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Archive for October, 2019

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?”

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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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