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ACTS 29 TODAY

coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH

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WAYS TO FAST

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We just looked at a forty-day fast that Jesus went on to

prepare to confront the devil’s temptations. But there

are several ways to fast. The one I have found to be the

most practical and effective for the person carrying on

in today’s busy society is the common three-day

fast.This can be done in one of two ways.

If you can’t get away somewhere and just pray because

of your schedule, I recommend that you go on a juice

fast using mild juices such as grape or apple juice.

During that time, pray as much as you can. But if you

can get away, I suggest you go on a total consecrated

fast of just water (filtered or distilled, available at most

supermarkets).

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If you aren’t familiar with fasting and want to go on

more than a three-day fast, I recommend a series of

shorter periods of fasting. For example, you could fast

three days a week for three weeks straight. For that

time period, stick to fresh vegetables, fruits, and salads,

staying away from heavy meats and breads. Then when

your time of fasting is over, you can go back to those

foods if you desire.

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Eventually you may want to go on a more extended fast,

especially if you are dealing with some kind of

stronghold in your flesh realm (mind, emotions, or

body) that you want to shutdown or mortify for good.

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The Fast God Chooses

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To understand the kind of fast God chooses, let’s take

this subject one step further and go to Isaiah 58. Is not

this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of

wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the

oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou HIDE NOT THYSELF FROM THINE OWN FLESH?—

Isaiah 58:6,7

That last phrase of this passage of Scripture was the

part I got stuck on. I thought, Lord,what do You mean

when You say the fast You have chosen is that I hide not

myself from my own flesh? I wondered if God was

talking about the same thing Jesus spoke of in

Matthew6:17,18:

But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and

wash thy face;

That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy

Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in

secret, shall reward thee openly.

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Or was God making the same point in Isaiah 58:7 as

Paul made in First Corinthians 7:5 when he addressed

husbands and wives?

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent

for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and

prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you

not for your incontinence.

Jesus taught about a fast in which we are to wash our

faces and go about our daily business, not appearing

unto men that we are fasting. Then Paul taught about a

fast in which we could lock ourselves away on the

“mountain,” so to speak, giving ourselves completely to

fasting and prayer. Both types of fast are taught in the

Bible.

But I still wondered what the Lord meant when He said

I am not to hide myself from my own flesh. It took me

about three years of study and meditation to

understand what He was talking about.

The day you decide to fast is the day you decide to quit

hiding from your own flesh — from whatever it is in

you that just doesn’t care about the lost, the poor, the

naked, or those who are cast out of God’s house. It’s the

day you decide to quit hiding from whatever ceiling is

in your life stopping you from operating in God’s

power. The day you decide to fast is the day you decide

to quit running from yourself.

Image result for hiding with head in the sand

Jesus said, “That demon didn’t come out because of

your unbelief.” He also said, “That kind only comes out

by prayer and fasting.” And what does fasting have to

do with your unbelief? It executes the position of the

flesh that God has declared: It has no right to dominate

you. It has no right to rule over you.

When you live a lifestyle of fasting and prayer, there is

no operation of the flesh that the devil can lay hold of

to destroy your life with. This is what Jesus meant when

He said, “The prince of this world comes, and he has

nothing in me” (John 14:30).

woman-saying-no

Why is that? Because fasting and praying in the Holy

Ghost destroys those fleshly works and releases God’s

power in you. And the moment the operation of the

flesh drops below the level of the operation of the

Spirit, you receive a new anointing in your life and

ministry.

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Prepare for Satan’s Tactics

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As we pray and fast, hiding not from our flesh, we set

captives free. Let’s look at Isaiah 58:6again:

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the

bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to

let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

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Often the first captive that needs to be set free is

ourselves. As the flesh is dealt a deathblow through

fasting, we rise in freedom to walk more fully in the

Spirit. Once we grow to a place of greater spiritual

maturity, we begin to set others free.

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Remember, it is at this point that we will draw the

devil’s attention. He doesn’t want anyone to be free,

and we have become a major threat to his kingdom of

darkness!

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You may ask, “Aren’t you inviting trouble?” No, I’m not

inviting trouble; I’m anticipating the strategies of

Satan. The Bible tells us that when the Word is planted

in any way, shape, or form, the devil comes to steal it so

that it will not produce fruit (Luke 8:11-15).

If we aren’t spiritually aware of the devil’s tactics, we

will have a rude awakening. We will be caught

unprepared, and the devil will have a better

opportunity to steal from us or from those we love.

We aren’t in Heaven yet. We are living on a planet that

has had war declared on it. The devil was thrown out of

Heaven, and now he is active here on the earth. He

cannot cause trouble in Heaven, so he does his best to

cause trouble here.

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As long as the devil is active here on earth, the storms

will continue to beat down upon our homes. But just as

surely as Jesus revealed that the storms would come,

He also guaranteed that if our house is built on the rock

of hearing and doing His sayings, the devil can do noth-

ing to tear that house down (Matt. 7:24-27). The enemy

isn’t powerful enough. He doesn’t have the equipment

to force our house off the Rock of Jesus Christ.

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The more that we get a revelation of the entire plan of

God, the more victory we are going to have here on

earth. The more quickly we come to a place of

esteeming the glories of Heaven as a greater prize than

the temporary shortsighted goals of this earthly

existence, the more power we will have operating in

our lives for the victories in the battles here on this

earth.

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until next time

servant Larry

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ACTS 29 TODAY

coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH

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THE 40 DAY FAST OF JESUS

We can learn much about the purpose of fasting by

looking at the forty-day fast Jesus went on when He

faced Satan in the wilderness and defeated him.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness

to be tempted of the devil.

And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he

was afterward an hungered.

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be

the Son of God, command that these stones be made

bread.

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But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not

live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth

out of the mouth of God.

Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and

setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast

thyself down: for it is written,He shall give His angels

charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall

bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against

a stone.

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Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not

tempt the Lord thy God.

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high

mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the

world, and the glory of them;

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And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if

thou wilt fall down and worship me.Then saith Jesus

unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou

shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou

serve.

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Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came

and ministered unto him.— Matthew 4:1-11

 

As I read this passage of Scripture, I wondered, What

was the reason for Jesus’ forty day fast, and why did

Satan challenge Him at the end of it?

When discussing this with others, the answer I often

heard went something like this: “The fasting reduced

Jesus to the weakest state of vulnerability. In that

weakened state, Jesus showed the supremacy of His

power over the devil by not giving in to temptation.”

But, in reality, the opposite is true. Jesus fasted forty

days in preparation for facing the devil. Why? Because

He knew that fasting shuts the flesh down and

strengthens us, not weakens us, against the devil.

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Why was Jesus led by the Spirit into the wilderness to

be tempted by the devil? Because He as our Substitute

was being tempted in our place. Then after He

overcame the devil, He could turn around and give us

the perfect standing that He had obtained from

defeating Satan in the temptations of the flesh. That’s

why Jesus could later say in Luke 10:19:

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and

scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and

NOTHING shall by any means hurt you.

Image result for behold i give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and nothing shall by any means hurt you"

So then fasting has the same effect on our flesh as it

had on Jesus’ flesh: It braces us against the temptations

of the devil and helps us mortify or shut down the flesh

by enforcing the perfect standing Jesus has already

given us.

In order to understand how perfect and powerful this

standing is that Jesus has given us over the flesh, we

must learn what Jesus had to withstand to obtain it. You

see, nothing can be declared perfect unless it cannot be

improved upon. This means that the standing Jesus has

given to us over the flesh and the devil could only be

declared perfect if it had withstood Satan’s most

diabolical testings and schemes.

Jesus had to be subjected to the worst that Satan had —

the worst torments, fears, pressures, and cares, the

worst temptations of lust and riches. This was the

entire reason Jesus was led into the wilderness. He was

on a mission from God as our Substitute to obtain for us

as part of our redemption a perfect standing over the

flesh.

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Now we can enter into God’s Presence, armed with the

standing of grace He has given us— not because of what

we have done but because of what Jesus has done.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched

with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points

tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore

come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may

obtain mercy,and find grace to help in time of need.—

Hebrews 4:15,16

There before the throne of God, we can find mercy to

help in our times of need — our temptations, testings,

and trials.

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In order for Jesus to deliver this kind of standing to us,

He had to face Satan on three levels: spirit, soul, and

body. This confrontation had to be carried out not in

Jesus’ deity, but in His humanity. That’s why Jesus said,

“Man (referring to His humanity) shall not live by

bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the

mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).

The pressures, the torments, the loneliness, and the

fear that Satan attempted to put on Jesus are

indescribable. They can only be described as similar to

the horrors one may see in the lower level of an insane

asylum where people reside whose spirits have been

completely taken over by demons. The demonic

opposition Jesus faced was the type that spawns such

deranged drives for power and wealth as Adolph Hitler

and the Nazis possessed, where one culture tries to

completely annihilate another in the quest for

dominance or world power.

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You see, Jesus had to face the worst Satan had. He

couldn’t just win a victory over some low-level,

expendable, second-rate demon that simply afflicts or

torments. He couldn’t even deal with just a ruler of the

darkness or a principality. Jesus had to face Satan

himself! And in doing so, Jesus defeated Satan on all

three levels: spirit, soul, and body!

Image result for satan himself"

Number one, Jesus defeated Satan on the level of the

body. Satan challenged Him to meet the needs of His

physical body — but on Satan’s terms:

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be

the Son of God, command that these stones be made

bread.— Matthew 4:3

Satan attempted to pressure Jesus with the worst

torment of the physical body: the threat that the basic

necessities to sustain life will not be met. The attempt

failed.

Image result for jesus faceing satin in the wilderness temtations"

Number two, Jesus defeated Satan on the level of the

soul when Satan tried to tempt Him to commit suicide.

Satan took Jesus up to a high pinnacle of the temple in

the Holy City and began to pressure Him in the

emotional realm of the soul to commit suicide by

jumping off the pinnacle:

And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast

thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels

charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall

bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against

a stone.— Matthew 4:6

Image result for jesus faceing satin in the wilderness temtations"

Jesus knew that God had given the angels charge

concerning Him, but He wasn’t about to tempt God by

jumping off the temple just because the devil told him

to.

You see, suicide is the last step into a state of

hopelessness after a long battle with torments and

fears. In that hopeless state, the person says to life,

“You have no real answers.” In that sense, it is the worst

torment of the soul, and Jesus defeated Satan in that

very arena.

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Satan may try to badger us in the soulish realm of our

emotions, but today we have access to a perfect

standing against soulish torment. That standing was

given to us by Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and will

sustain us no matter what Satan tries to do.

Number three, Jesus defeated Satan on the level of the

spirit when Satan tried to tempt Jesus to worship him.

It’s interesting to note that when Satan tested Jesus in

the physical realm, he used food,and when he tested

Him in the emotional realm of the soul, he used suicide.

But when Satan tested Jesus in the realm of the human

spirit, he used power and money by offering Him the

glory of the kingdoms of the world.

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This shows us that Satan has a strategy to conquer a

man’s spirituality.

The devil knows that men will switch

their allegiance more quickly from

worshiping God to worshiping him

because of power and riches than any

other thing he has to offer.

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Satan offered to make Jesus the

wealthiest, most powerful Man in the

world. All Jesus had to do was turn

Himself over spiritually to Satan and

worship him.

But, thank God, Jesus withstood Satan. Then he turned

around and gave us the standing He had attained

through His victory on all three levels. Somehow

fasting had helped prepare Jesus for that time of

temptation so that He could, as our Substitute, give us

His standing. Now when we fast, we execute Jesus’

standing over the flesh as we yield to God and

withstand the devil.

Image result for 40 day fast command these stones be made bread"

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UNTIL NEXT TIME, AND PLEASE PRAY FOR ME, AND PLEASE PRAY FOR MY DAUGHTER LEAH WHOSE HUSBAND PAST AWAY TODAY.

SERVANT LARRY

 

 

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ACTS 29 TODAY

coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH

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Fasting Helps Preserve the ‘Old Wine skin’

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Let’s take this a step further. In Matthew 9:14 and 15,

the disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus a question

about fasting. It took me a long time to understand

Jesus’ answer.

Then came to him [Jesus]the disciples of John, saying,

Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples

fast not?

WILLYOUJesus-appears-to-the-disciples

And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride

chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with

them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom

shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

The day that Jesus is talking about is the change from

the Old to the New Covenant; it’s our day.

Then all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, Jesus goes

on to say this:

No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old

garment, for that which is put into fill it up taketh from

the garment, and the rent is made worse.

Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the

bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles

perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and

both are preserved.— Matthew 9:16,17

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Let’s catch what Jesus is saying here. The disciples of

John came to Jesus and said, “The Pharisees fast often,

and so do we. But we have noticed, Jesus, that these

men who follow You don’t fast at all.”

Then Jesus answers, “No, they don’t have to fast while

I’m with them. I’m the Bridegroom.” In other words, at

that time the disciples were between two covenants, the

Old Testament and the New Testament. And before

Jesus sent the seventy disciples out, He literally put His

anointing on them.

The disciples cast devils out and raised the dead. When

they came back and talked to Jesus about what they had

done, they were more shocked that demons had to

come out than the demons were! Luke 10:17 says, And

the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord,even

the devils are subject unto us through thy name. But,

you see, it was Jesus’ anointing they were walking

under.

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So in essence Jesus says, “No, while I’m with you, you

don’t have to fast, because I put My anointing on you.

But the day will come when I’m taken away, and there

will be a change of covenants. On that day you will fast.

And would you like to know why you will fast in that

day?”

The disciples say, “Yes! That’s the question we’re asking

You.”

Jesus says, “I’ll tell exactly why you’ll fast in that day —

because you don’t put new wine in old bottles and new

patches on old garments.”

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So as I meditated on Jesus’ answer to the disciples of

John, I thought, That was His answer to why we are

going to fast under the New Covenant? They asked Him

a question about fasting.What kind of answer is it to

say, “You don’t put new wine in old bottles”?(I don’t

think I understood half of what Jesus said in the early

days of my ministry!)

Preaching

I finally came to understand what Jesus was saying. The

moment you were born again,your spirit was seated in

heavenly places with Christ Jesus. But, unfortunately,

He had to leave you in the old garment or old wine skin

— this earthly body. One day a trumpet will sound, and

this earthly body is going to be transformed from

corruptible to incorruptible.

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last

trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall

be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:52

Can you imagine our bodies being glorified in the time

it takes a person to blink?

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At that moment, I won’t own a body anymore that was

given to me from the loins of the first man Adam.

Instead, I will be a manifested son of God, born of Jesus

Christ, comprised of spirit, soul, and glorified body.

 But meanwhile, as generations of saints can testify

before us, we are still wearing an old garment or old

wine skin that is dying day by day and is capable of

sin.When I belonged to that ultra-Holiness church,

people would tell me that it was the devil who was

tempting me to sin, and I understood that. But I didn’t

understand what it was in me that wanted to agree with

the devil!

I wanted Galatians 5:16 to read this way: “This I say

then, walk in the Spirit, and all the warrings and lusts

of the flesh will go away.” But it doesn’t say that. It says,

This I say then,Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill

the lust of the flesh.

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That’s why Jesus said, “When I’m taken away from you,

there will be a change of covenants. Your spirit is going

to be seated with Me. But, unfortunately, I’ll have to

leave you in the old wine skin. That’s okay, though,

because fasting is going to have the same effect on your

old wine skin as if you went out and bought a new one.

Fasting will preserve your old wine skin so the new

wine, My power, can operate through it until I give you

a new wine skin— a glorified body.”

It’s a sad thing when a preacher’s old wine skin bursts

in full view of the entire world,spilling out the new

wine because the vessel that carried it wasn’t strong

enough to maintain it. That situation brings a reproach

on the Gospel. Perhaps if that preacher had known a

little more about fasting, his old wine skin might have

been better preserved against sin.

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So fasting has the same effect on your old wine skin as

if you had gone out and bought a new wine skin. Fasting

preserves the old wine skin against sin. It helps mortify

the deeds of the flesh while the new wine operates

within the old wine skin.

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UNTIL NEXT TIME

servant LARRY

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ACTS 29 TODAY

COMING THE THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH

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BREAKING DOWN THE CEILING OF FLESH

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Sometimes it’s not only that subtle kind of unbelief, but

the flesh that constructs a ceiling over our lives. The

devil will erect some kind of stronghold in our flesh

realm, such as smoking, drinking, anger, gossip, or lust.

Then he uses that stronghold to control us. Every time

we attempt to receive from God or to accomplish

something for Him, he turns up the pressure in those

areas so that we feel hopeless and out of control.

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So what do we often do? We pray superficial prayers;

we go to church; we try to minister; we implement

programs; we substitute many things for the power of

God that is absent because of the ceiling of flesh over

our lives. But our lives stay the same all the time, never

increasing. We may instigate more programs, but the

power never changes. Our lives keep bouncing off that

ceiling of flesh.

sleeping in church

is it over yet

Then one day, we decide to fast and pray. We begin by

praying in the Holy Ghost and worshiping God. Then as

our spirit begins to be built up, we start to fast. As we

add fasting to our prayer lives, we slam the door on

Satan’s accessibility to the control center on our lives.

woman-saying-no

Pretty soon the ceiling of the flesh over our lives begins

to drop down. It isn’t long before the operation of the

flesh is at the same level as the operation of the Spirit

in our lives, so we continue to fast and pray.

prayer-warrior

Finally, the operation of the flesh drops below the

operation of the Spirit; its power is broken. When that

happens, answered prayer is the automatic result, and

the things we’ve been believing for begin to come to

pass. We start seeing answers to prayers that have been

lying dormant for years — even prayers that we forgot

but God didn’t.

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At this point, if the devil comes to inspect that

computer-like program he implanted in our soul to

destroy us, he will find it gone— and God’s program in

its place! Why? Because through fasting, we have

enforced the positional truth that our “old man” was

crucified with Christ.The flesh is rendered powerless to

force us into sin. We have released the operation of the

Spirit.

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Fasting Doesn’t Move God

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Personally, I thank God for fasting, because many times

I have come to a place where I didn’t know how to go on

in God. I didn’t know how to break the last barriers of

flesh down. In those situations, I found fasting to be a

tool, a means to an end. It was the “super-charger” I

needed, combined with praying in the Holy Ghost, to

push me over into victory.

Image result for moon rocket

But we make a mistake if we think that we move God

with our fasting. How can we move Someone who has so

expressed His willingness to move on our behalf?

Romans 8:32 makes it crystal clear:

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up

for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us

all things?

Our fasting doesn’t move God; it moves us to a place

where we can receive from God. Fasting destroys the

hold that the flesh has had on our lives so that, instead

of operating out of the flesh, we can continually operate

out of the Spirit!

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You see, God isn’t the One holding the power back. If He

had His way, every one of us would be operating in

raising-the-dead type of power tomorrow!

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UNTIL NEXT TIME

LARRY

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ACTS 29 TODAY

coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH

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A SUBTLE KIND OF UNBELIEF

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So I began a search to find out what kind of unbelief

Jesus was referring to. I discovered that it’s a subtle

kind of unbelief a person may not even know he has

until his life is over. If the disciples knew why they

couldn’t cast the devil out, why would they have

bothered to ask Jesus? They didn’t know, so they asked

Him.

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This subtle unbelief puts a ceiling on your life that

defies you to pull yourself out of the mess your life is in

or to accomplish the thing God wants you to

accomplish. As long as that ceiling is there, one year

will be like the next, until one day you’ll realize five

years have passed, and your anointing hasn’t changed;

in fact, nothing has changed. You’re just the same now

as you were five years ago. Why?

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Because you keep operating under an invisible ceiling

that hangs over your life, and you don’t even know it’s

there. And even if you did know, you couldn’t break

through that ceiling in your own strength.

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Let me explain a little more with this hypothetical

situation. Suppose five little crippled,deformed

children in wheelchairs are brought to my meeting,

their arms and legs twisted and their heads leaning

over to one side. I come in, and as I begin to preach, I

see these five little children.

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Now, I can’t blame the fact that the children aren’t

healed on their faith. They aren’t required to have any.

I also can’t say it isn’t God’s will to heal them, because

even though the disciples couldn’t cast that devil out,

Jesus revealed His will when He cast it out.

Image result for jesus cast out the demon the disciples couldn't

So I walk over and lay hands on the children. I reach

down on the inside of me and pull out every ounce of

faith I have. I milk every cell, every fiber of my being

for faith to pour out on these kids — but still they don’t

get healed.

Suddenly Jesus in His glorified body walks in the room.

I say, “Jesus, I’d like to ask You a question.”

Jesus says, “Hold on just a minute, Brother Roberson.”

Then He walks over and heals everyone of those

children, just like that! He comes back to me and asks,

“Do you have a question?”“Yes, I do. Why didn’t You

heal those kids when I prayed for them?”

Image result for children pushing empty wheelchair healed

Now, do you think Jesus is going to tell me anything

different than He told His disciples?No, He looks at me

and says the same thing: “They didn’t come out of their

wheelchairs healed because of your unbelief, Mr.

Roberson.”

I protest, “Jesus, that’s impossible! If there was any way

to have more faith, I would have had it. I turned my

being inside out; I pulled on every fiber within me. How

can You say they didn’t get healed because of my

unbelief?”

“Because there’s a subtle kind of unbelief in you that

you don’t know about, Brother Roberson.”

But this one thing I have discovered about Jesus, my

Teacher. He never outlines a problem like this without

going on to give me an answer before the teaching is

over. It’s not enough to outline a problem; I need an

answer. There must be some way I can deal with that

kind of subtle unbelief on purpose so that absolutely

nothing is impossible unto me.

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Fasting Helps Move Mountains

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In my search, somehow I knew my answer lay in what

Jesus told His disciples in Matthew17. I found that

answer in verse 21: Howbeit this kind goeth not out but

by prayer and fasting.

Jesus analyzed the whole situation in one word:

“howbeit.” “Howbeit” is an analytical word meaning

nevertheless or however this particular situation may

be. Jesus was in effect saying that even though

mountains can be moved with faith the size of a tiny

mustard seed, we will encounter some situations that

require prayer and fasting to overcome.

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Jesus was talking about a lifestyle of prayer and fasting

here. Most deliverance preachers in the old days taught

about and encouraged that kind of lifestyle. Today we

don’t teach or emphasize its importance nearly as

much. The result? Although we live in a time of Church

history when teaching the Word has risen to the

forefront, many are unequipped to do the Word, which

includes casting out demons and moving mountains of

all kinds.

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Often we associate fasting only with deliverance from

demonic influence because of Jesus’s statement here

that a certain kind of demon can be cast out only by

prayer and fasting. But Jesus also told His disciples that

the reason this devil wouldn’t come out was their own

unbelief (v. 20).

So Jesus didn’t just associate fasting with demonic

deliverance; He also associated it with moving your

mountain. He said, “If you had faith as a grain of

mustard seed, you could speak to the mountain and it

would be removed, and absolutely nothing would be

impossible to you.”

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be gone

Right after saying that, Jesus made the statement about

prayer and fasting. This indicates to me that these two

things have something to do with bringing me from a

place of unbelief —where my mountains refuse to

move, where everything is impossible to me — to a

place where nothing is impossible to me.

Therefore, my fasting doesn’t move God; He isn’t the

One stuck underneath an invisible ceiling. My fasting

also doesn’t move the devil; he isn’t the one with my

problem. Somehow fasting deals with my unbelief.

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But my question to God for so many years was this:

“What in the world does fasting have to do with

unbelief?” Of all the places to find that answer, I found

it back in Romans 8:

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin;

but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.— Romans

8:10

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If Christ lives in you, you qualify for the rest of this

verse, namely, that your spirit is life. It has entered into

the zoe, seated-in-heavenly-places-with-Christ, God-

kind of life.

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But notice, the same verse that says my spirit is life also

declares my body to be dead. Well,I know my body isn’t

physically dead because I’m still wearing it. So what

kind of “dead” is Paul referring to? To understand this

passage in Romans 8, we must refer back to something

Paul said in Romans 6:6:

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him,

that the BODY OF SIN might be destroyed, that

henceforth we should not serve sin.

What is this “body of sin”? It is no less than the old

nature inherited from the first man Adam before we

were born again. This is the “sin nature,” the

unregenerate spirit within us all before our spirit

passes from death to life in the new birth. It was that

sin nature that used to energize the lusts of the flesh,

such as self-exaltation and the love of money.

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So if Christ be in you, then positionally God has

declared the sin nature, the “body of sin,”to be dead

and your reborn human spirit alive unto Him.

We understand positional truth pertaining to our spirit.

For instance, we know that Jesus was made to be sin for

us and that we were made the righteousness of God in

Christ (2 Cor.5:21). We are now seated in heavenly

places with Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6). We are above and

not beneath (Deut. 28:13).

However, we may know very little about positional

truth pertaining to our flesh. The essence of that truth

is this: The moment we were born again, God declared

the “body of sin”— the sin nature or the “old man” — to

be dead. Positionally, the flesh has lost its “power

source” to commit sin. It lost its right to dominate and

rule over us any longer.

So when you pray in the Holy Ghost, worship God, and

confess His Word, you are enforcing the positional

truth that your spirit is seated in heavenly places with

Christ Jesus. The more you pray in the Holy Ghost, the

more you execute that position of grace. On the other

hand,…………………… when you fast, you

are enforcing the positional truth that

the “body of sin” was crucified with

Christ and your flesh no longer has the

power to rule over the operation of your

spirit.

Thus, when you begin to fast and pray, you execute two

positional truths in the realm of the Spirit. That’s why

prayer and fasting are the power twins.

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Until next time

LARRY

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ACTS 29 TODAY

COMING TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH

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WHAT JESUS TAUGHT ABOUT FASTING

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In Matthew 17, we find an account that reveals what

Jesus taught His disciples about fasting.

Jesus climbed up what we call the Mount of

Transfiguration with James, Peter, and John.There Jesus

had a visitation of God. Afterwards, He charged the

three disciples who were with Him to tell no man what

they had seen; then they came back down the

mountain.

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Meanwhile, the other disciples were trying to cast a

devil out of a man’s son at the foot of the mountain. The

disciples had cast devils out before this with no

problem, but now they had run into one that just

wouldn’t come out of the person. While they were

making their unsuccessful attempts, a crowd had

collected around them.

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The disciples were probably feeling frustrated,

flustered, and embarrassed. This is the situation that

Jesus, James, Peter, and John walked into when they

came down off the mountain.

And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him [Jesus]a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,

Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for

verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of

mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove

hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing

shall be impossible unto you.

HOWBEIT THIS KIND GOETH NOT OUT BUT BY PRAYER

AND FASTING.—

Matthew 17:14-21

So this man came to Jesus and said, “Lord Jesus, please

have mercy on my son. He’s crazy— out of his mind —

and often a spirit throws him into the fire. I brought

him to disciples, but they couldn’t cast this devil out.”

Notice how Jesus answered the disciples: “You faithless

and perverse generation, how long shall I suffer you?”

In other words, “How long am I going to have to do this

for you?” Jesus wouldn’t have said that if He hadn’t

expected His disciples to cast that devil out.

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Jesus rebuked the devil, and it departed out of the boy.

Then the disciples did the same thing I would have

done. They came to Jesus privately and said, “Why

couldn’t we cast that devil out?” (I definitely wouldn’t

have yelled that question over the heads of the crowd,

because Jesus would have probably yelled the answer

back to me: “Because of your unbelief!”)

Notice again Jesus’ answer to them in verse 20:

And Jesus said unto them, BECAUSE OF YOUR

UNBELIEF: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a

grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this

mountain,Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall

remove; and NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE UNTO

YOU.

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Jesus said the reason that devil wouldn’t come out of

the boy was the disciples’ unbelief.He went on to say

that if they ever learned to deal with that

unbelief,

they

would be able to say to a mountain, “Be removed!” and

it would obey them. Finally, Jesus said something

absolutely incredible: “Nothing shall be impossible to

you.”

So Jesus was saying that if I ever learn to deal with that

particular kind of unbelief, I have a promise from Him

that absolutely nothing will be impossible to me. When

I realized that truth, I wanted to know what kind of

unbelief Jesus was talking about here so I could isolate

it and deal with it!

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UNTIL NEXT TIME

LARRY

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

ACTS 29 TODAY

coming to the knowledge of the truth

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PRAYER AND FASTING…THE POWER TWINS

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Let’s say you’ve just committed yourself to a season of

praying in the Holy Ghost. You’re hungry to know God

more intimately and to walk in His plan for your life, so

you’re ready and willing to yield to the Holy Spirit’s

purging process and to push through any impasses you

might encounter.

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But what about those areas in your life in which you

have been defeated time and time again? What about

those deeds of the flesh that have wedged themselves so

tightly into the nooks and crannies of your life — the

ones that taunt you into believing that you will never be

any better than you are now and that you will never

accomplish anything more than what you’ve already

accomplished? Is there anything that can help set you

free in these areas once and for all?

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I have good news for you — Jesus has given us an

important key for just such a purpose!It isn’t a very

popular key; yet when a person employs it, that key will

shut down the flesh nature with the same vengeance

that God used to slam the door on Noah’s ark against an

entire world that had gone the way of the flesh. That

key is fasting.

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You see, if you ever learn to shut your flesh down, you

will shut Satan down, because the only power he has is

through the seduction and manipulation of the flesh

nature, which includes the mental and emotional realm

as well as the physical body.

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My First Experience With Fasting

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God introduced me to fasting during a time when I had

reached an impasse in my prayer life. I had gotten so

hungry for God from just praying in tongues that I was

looking around for ways to get closer to Him. During

this time, my heart cry was “Help me produce

something for the Kingdom in the next month or two,

Father. I have to see something tangible!”

I found out right away that an impasse was overcome

more quickly when I fasted. Not only that, but the

workings of my flesh surfaced much more quickly as

well! I learned that fasting accompanied with prayer

multiplied what was already in me.

The first time I went on a fast, I had amazing results. As

soon as I came off the fast, every-thing in my world

went wrong!

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I came off this long fast, which I refer to as a “seeking

time,” and almost had to stagger into meetings. I had

weak knees, and it wasn’t from a lack of food! I could

hardly stand up to preach. It seemed as if God’s

anointing had lifted from me. When I laid hands on

people to pray for them, they wouldn’t have fallen

under the power of God even if lightning had hit them!

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On top of that, we were in debt for an entire month’s

budget. I tucked myself away to fast and pray — and I

came out of that time only to be more in debt than

before! I told God, “The least You could do is to

supernaturally arrange for the bills to be paid while I’m

locked away with You!”

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I was getting a little short-tempered about the situation.

Anger was building up on the inside because I wanted

to know why.

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I began to see clearly. I came to realize that during the

fast, certain areas of my flesh nature that hadn’t been

put to death in the past had come to the surface. When

these fleshly works began to surface, the anointing felt

less, but in reality was greater than ever before.

This is what Paul meant when he said in essence, “For I

would rather glory in my infirmities (or weaknesses as

a man) because when I am stripped of my dependency

on my flesh, it places my dependency on the Holy

Spirit” (2 Cor. 12:9,10). When we feel weakest in our

own natural strength, we are usually the strongest,

because un-mortified areas of our flesh are in the

process of dying.

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Fasting and prayer in combination help cause those

fleshly works to come to light in our lives more

quickly.Tests and trials will also bring them to light, but

I would rather not wait for the trials. Fasting and

prayer allow the Holy Spirit to reveal those things

hidden in darkness and to deal with them before the

trials come. This in turn causes our character to be

strengthened.

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Until next time

LARRY

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