coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH


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(by Dave Roberson)


From time to time I have been asked what I consider to

be the most powerful way for a person to spend three

or four hours in the Presence of God if that’s all the

time he has to do so in a given week. After many years

of praying and waiting on God, my answer boils down to

these three basic things:

1.Worship and praise(which supplies the sustaining

power needed for the duration of our trials, trading our

weaknesses for Christ’s strength)

2. Confession of God’s Word(speaking to the

“mountains” in our lives that need to be removed


3. Praying in tongues(the supernatural language that

or pain, finances or torment, worry or fear, etc.) not

only edifies but supplies revelation knowledge)

You see, it isn’t the general messages that you hear a

minister preach for an hour each week that will change

your life. The anointed teacher or pastor can only

supply some of the information required for needed



But the real change comes when in the privacy of your

own home, you apply the Word to the problems you are

facing. Your life is transformed in direct proportion to

the private time you spend praying in the Spirit and in

confession of the Word and worship.

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Now, it’s important to understand that the guidelines

I’m about to give you for spending time with God are

just that — guidelines. They are not a set formula that

you must follow to the letter in order to enjoy

fellowship with the Father.

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Just follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as you develop

these three areas in your walk with God. As you do, you

will enjoy a new dimension of answered prayer and a

strong, continual awareness of God’s Presence.



The First Hour: Worship



The first hour I would enter God’s Presence in worship,

praise, and thanksgiving. I’d say,“Here I am, Father. I

don’t have any needs to present, because all of my

needs were met at the Cross two thousand years ago.

I’m just here to fellowship with You because You’re my

Father and I’m your child. I’m going to ascend on Your

holy hill and see how high I can go praising and

worshiping You.” My goal is to develop a relationship

with God based on fellowship instead of need.


Too many times believers enter into God’s Presence

only when they are instructed to do so in church or

when they need something. But one of the highest

forms of worship is to enter into His Presence in our

private lives to praise and worship Him as our

Heavenly Father simply because our name is written in

the Lamb’s Book of Life.

God is exceedingly glad that we are His children and

that He is our Father. And as a Father who enjoys His

children, He wants to spend time with us fellow

shipping around His throne. He likes it when we lift up

holy hands and tell Him just how much we love Him in

pure fellowship.

So how do we enter the Presence of God? Well, the Holy

Spirit was sent to glorify Jesus(John 16:14). His entire

ministry is to bring you into Jesus’ Presence. Then Jesus

in turn brings you into the Presence of the Father. And

the same principles Jesus taught His disciples about

entering into the Father’s Presence applies to entering

the Presence of Jesus.

Jesus said, “When you pray, say, …Our Father which art

in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name(Matt. 6:9). That word

“hallowed” means to sanctify His Name in our lives,

raising it high above everything else. It means to enter

His Presence with reverent worship.

Hypothetically speaking, we are always in God’s

Presence. We have Jesus’ Name. We can petition God at

any moment of the day.

But when we have time to enter the Presence of God

with protocol, then let me tell you right now, there is a

way that pleases Him.

First of all, there is a way to offer myself to God in

private worship. The first part of me I should offer up

before Him is my soul — my intellect, my will, and my


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I may not feel like offering up my soul to God. No one

may be leading me to do so. A band doesn’t follow me

around, creating an atmosphere for worship. I don’t

always have a cassette or a compact disc available to

play worship music for me. But when I enter into God’s

Presence offering my soul, I almost always end up

worshiping Him in spirit.

Secondly, when I come before Him, I am to show Him

respect. An ambassador will show honor to an earthly

king by bowing before him and offering him gifts. How

much more should I show respect as I enter the

Presence of the King of Kings with the offering of my


Sometimes we forget whose Presence we are entering

into. Yes, Jesus is our best Friend.Yes, He is our

Confidant. But when we approach Him with a petition

or with worship, He is our High Priest, and He deserves

our highest honor and respect.

For that very reason, it is highly important that we do

not let our soul wander off down the street to solve

some problem when it is supposed to be worshiping the

King of Kings. If we want our soul to be blessed by the

King, then we must keep our soul in the Presence of the

King. To do otherwise would be highly disrespectful, to

say the least.



The Second Hour:



Confession of God’s Word Then I would spend my

second hour with the Lord reconciling the problem I’m

currently facing to the Cross. How? By replacing with

the words of my mouth the image of the problem that

the devil sends my way with the image that is in the

Word. That is my inheritance and my right as a



As I entered the second hour, I’d say, “Father, I thank

You that devils are subject to me. I thank You that

disease, which is caused directly or indirectly by devils,

is subject to me in Your Name. I thank You that I have

been delivered from poverty and that it is also subject

tome in Your Name. I thank You for all these things,


“Now if You will excuse me, Father, the devil is

invading my territory. So I’m going to use the faith and

the Word You have given me to meet that invasion

head-on with the power of confession.

“You said that if I do not doubt Your Word with my

heart and if I confess it with my mouth,the same

incredible power that wrought the most phenomenal

miracle of all, the rebirth, will also operate to remove

my mountain.

”So I would spend the next hour hurling the confession

of God’s Word directly at my problem. I’d talk to that

mountain in my life the same way Jesus talked to the fig

tree in Mark 11:14.

For example, if I was dealing with financial lack, I’d

confess something like this over and over: “Poverty, you

have been reconciled to the Cross. Jesus Himself has

borne my poverty by an act of grace. Though He was

rich, for my sake He became poor that I through His

poverty might be made rich [2 Cor. 8:9].

“Do you hear me, poverty? I have a covenant with God.

You cannot stay in my life. You are cursed. You are

leaving my life!

“And, prosperity, I call you in from the north, the south,

the east, and the west! Finances,I command you to

increase! I am enforcing my rights as a believer by a

gift God has given me— the confession of faith in His

Word!” For that entire second hour, that’s how I would

talk to that mountain of poverty, cursing it and

commanding it to move out of my life.

I’ve had the time of my life just picking on the devil,

doing exactly what I’ve just described. I don’t think

anything makes him more upset!

Now, someone may say, “I can understand worshiping

God for an hour, but isn’t confessing the same thing

over and over to your problem a form of begging?” No,

it isn’t. You are begging God when you ask Him again

and again for something He has already provided, such

as healing or deliverance from an addiction that has

kept you in bondage.

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Confessing the Word of God is using the faith God has

already put in your heart to enforce what He has

already said about your problem. Once we have prayed

the prayer of faith over the problem, we are not to talk

to God about the problem — we are to talk to the

problem about God!




The Third Hour: Praying in Tongues



Finally, as I entered the third hour I’d say, “Well,

Father, I have reconciled that problem to the Cross. I

have aggressively wielded the sword of the Spirit, the

Word of God, this last hour and have changed a few

things in the Spirit. I thank You that I have received my



“But now will You excuse me, Father? I need a little

edification, a little strengthening of my spirit man, a

little praying out of the mysteries of Christ.” Then I’d

spend that third hour praying in tongues. I’d just lie

down, sit down, or walk back and forth, building myself

up on my most holy faith as I prayed in the Holy Ghost.


When you do that, many times you will start feeling so

edified that you won’t want to quit!You’ll say, “I think I

will tag another hour of praying in tongues onto this


You see, I have found something I can do during that

third hour on purpose, just because I want to, that

carries a promise from God to edify the part of me in

which I’m not supposed to doubt — my heart.

What am I saying as I pray? Most of the time I don’t

know because my understanding is unfruitful. But I do

know that my spirit is communicating divine secrets

and mysteries before the Father and that I am building

myself up on my most holy faith in my inner man, or

my heart.

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So if I had only one three-hour time period that I could

spend with the Lord during a week,that would be the

way I would spend it. If for some reason I only had one

hour that I could spend in prayer that week, I would

break it into three segments of twenty minutes apiece

for worship, confession, and praying in tongues. All

three kinds of prayer are designed to benefit you and to

make you receptive to the finished work of the Cross.


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until next time

servant Larry




coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH


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Edification Doesn’t Spell Feelings


A lot of times, people look for feelings when they pray

in tongues. That’s why I pin people to a chair during

corporate prayer — to help them get beyond looking for


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“Do you ever feel anything when you pray in tongues,

Brother Roberson?” Oh, yes, don’t get me wrong. I

welcome the emotions when they come. Once in a while

something will build and build and build in my spirit

until it is finally delivered to my soul, and then my

emotions go,“Wow!” But I don’t judge whether I’m

receiving anything based on what I feel. I just keep

praying in tongues, believing the Word that says I am

edifying myself.


You see, tongues originate in your spirit by the power of

the Holy Spirit. Emotions are added when the tongues

pass through your soul. That’s why whether you shout

or whisper in tongues doesn’t make a lick of difference

to the outcome of your prayer if you’re the one who

added the emotions.

In my early days of praying in the Holy Ghost, I thought

that maybe I wasn’t praying effectively if I didn’t feel a

tingling in my fingers or rise to a certain state of

emotional “high.” Then I went through a period of time

when every time I prayed in tongues, an emotional war

would wage on the inside of me. I almost quit praying

because I thought Heaven had been closed against me. I

was judging whether or not I was getting through to

Heaven on the emotions I was or was not experiencing

in prayer.

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Now I know that edification doesn’t spell feelings.

Praying in the Holy Ghost is a step deeper than our

emotions. Emotions belong to our soulish realm, but

power and edification belong to the spiritual realm.


The Holy Ghost even leaves our intellect out of praying

in tongues. That’s a big blow to our carnal pride! We

may pray three hours in the Holy Ghost without God

ever letting us in on what we were praying about!


For example, one time I had a vision of Old Mexico, and

I prayed and prayed in the Spirit,trying to find out

when that vision would come to pass. I badgered God

about it, asking Him why He wouldn’t show me more of

the coming revival I had seen in the vision. “Please

show me what meeting it was that I saw,” I prayed.

“Show me what I have to do.”

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Finally, the Lord interrupted me one morning in prayer

and said, “If I tell you in English what I have planned

for you, you will just mess it up!” He was right, because

later when I found out what it would cost to fulfill what

He wanted me to do in Mexico, I needed a lot of extra

edification just to handle it!

So praying in tongues is deeper than your emotional

realm. It comes from your spirit — the foundation upon

which your life rests, the part of you that the Holy

Ghost was sent to nourish, teach, and edify.

That may not mean you’ll always enjoy wonderful

emotions. But edification is the necessary process by

which you are transformed to the Word you have heard

— the Word that sets the standard in your life.



The Role of Worship _______________________________________________

So edification doesn’t necessarily include my emotions.

If I want feelings, I worship,because that is designed to

bring the godly emotions I need for fortification to my

soulish realm.

You can’t do anything better in the midst of a trial than

to worship. Worship sustains you,stabilizing your

emotions to go through the trial victoriously.

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However, you don’t want to just be sustained through a

problem; you want to go further in God and be set free

from it. That is the job of the Holy Ghost, and that is

where praying in tongues comes in, because all

permanent change comes from within.

That’s why James said you are to count it all joy when

you fall into temptations, testings,and trials. Rejoice in

the midst of your afflictions, your infirmities, your

perplexities. Just count it all joy. As you turn all of your

attention to God, releasing your emotions in

admiration and worship of your Father, that joy will

stabilize your soulish realm, which is the part of you

the devil likes to operate against.

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coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH



How To Effectively Pray in Tongues


There seems to be a need in the Church for some down-

to-earth, practical teaching on the “how-to” of praying

in tongues. So let me give you some basic guidelines to

help you effectively “build yourself up on your most

holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.


It Isn’t How Loud Or How Soft You Pray


People come to me all the time and ask, “How do you

pray in tongues, Brother Roberson?”

I just simply answer, “I pray like this,” and then I

demonstrate, praying quietly under my breath.“

But don’t you pray out loud?”

“No, not usually,” I reply. “God isn’t hard of hearing.”

(Of course, if I do pray louder, He isn’t nervous either!)

Then someone asked me, “Well, what about warring


I asked, “How do you do that?” The person

demonstrated, almost screaming in tongues.

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“Why do you yell like that when you’re talking to God?”

I asked.

“Well, I thought I was talking to the devil.”

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you talking to me boy? NO I AM TALKING TO GOD.

“No, no, First Corinthians 14:2 says you’re talking to

God. Now, you can pray that loud if you want to. But I’ll

tell you what, it won’t be long before your tonsils will

be playing Bach’s Fifth Cantata! You’re going to blow

those tonsils out!”

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So there is the group that says, “You aren’t getting

anywhere with God praying in tongues unless you pray

in a warring tongue.” They scream and shout in

tongues, thinking they’re addressing the devil.

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But the issue isn’t whether you shout or whisper when

you pray in tongues. You aren’t producing any more for

the Kingdom of God by yelling in tongues than you are

by praying in tongues under your breath, because it’s

the Holy Spirit who supplies the language. You didn’t

create it; He created it. And if the Holy Spirit is the

Originator of the language, it is always full of power.


(The same is true with worship: It isn’t how loud or how

quiet you worship; it’s how much of your entire being

you pour into every statement of adoration. You can’t

truly worship the Lord while your mind is wandering

off down the street analyzing some problem.)


When I first began traveling in the ministry, I used to

walk back and forth in my motel room, praying in the

Holy Ghost. I was still very ignorant about prayer, so I

would pray in tongues just as loud as I could. I thought

that increased volume made my praying more

powerful. I hadn’t learned yet that God isn’t deaf and

that He can hear my prayer anywhere and in any tone

of voice.

Later I came to realize that the moment the Holy

Spirit’s supernatural language comes out of my mouth,

it is released to God. It doesn’t make any difference if I

am whispering or shouting; the words that come out of

my spirit in tongues still mean the same because I’m

talking to God.


Is Fervency in Prayer a Requirement?


You may ask, “What if I don’t pray real fervently when I

pray in the Holy Ghost? After all,doesn’t James 5:16 say,

…The effectual FERVENT prayer of a righteous man

availeth much?

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Yes, it does say that, but James is talking about the

prayer of faith in that verse. The prayer of faith occurs

when you line up your sights on some “mountain” in

your life and say,“Mountain, move!” That kind of

fervent prayer avails much when you have enough

strength in your character to stand your ground against

hell or any other opposition until that mountain moves.

But if you don’t have enough strength of character yet

to do that, praying in the Holy Ghost will help bring you

to a place where you can hold your ground until you

receive your answer.

So whether or not you’re praying fervently in tongues

doesn’t really matter. It just depends on what God is

doing in your spirit.


For example, sometimes the Holy Spirit gets quite

forceful in my spirit as I pray in tongues,and I feel like

I’m fighting something. But when that forceful unction

lifts, I let it lift. I trust the Holy Ghost to lead me; He

knows what I’m praying about. But I don’t stop praying.

I just go back to praying quietly under my breath.


Pray to a State of Peace


At the church I pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we meet

together regularly to pray as a corporate body. At these

prayer meetings, I often have everyone sit down and

“glue” themselves to the chair. They are to do nothing

but sit there and pray in tongues.

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Over the years, some people have had a hard time

doing that because their flesh was still“on the go.” They

couldn’t even sit and pray in the Holy Ghost for two

hours without moving. It was obvious that they weren’t

well acquainted with themselves or with the Holy


Sometimes in prayer I enter into such a state of peace

that I just lie on the floor for two or three hours.

Everything is so quiet, I don’t even want to move. At

those times, the Holy Spirit begins to teach me things

from His Word, and the truths He reveals seem so

crystal clear.What a wonderful place in the Spirit that


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But most Christians don’t know anything about the

place of utter peace that can be reached through

praying in tongues. They have never stayed still long

enough in prayer to get acquainted with it.

“Do you have something against walking while you pray

in tongues, Brother Roberson?” No, I have nothing

against walking and praying. But there comes a time for

learning discipline in prayer and for getting acquainted

with the Holy Ghost. These can often best be

accomplished by keeping your body as still as possible

while your spirit prays out the mysteries of Christ in









coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH


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The Missing Ingredient: Supernatural Peace


I didn’t understand how all of this worked until several

years ago when I fasted and prayed during an extended

seeking time. I was looking for the change in my life

that would make the difference. I wanted something I

could put my hands on. I was waiting for the angels to

appear or the heavens to open.


Those things didn’t happen, but when I came out of the

seeking time, I was left with something I never had

before. I entered into a degree of peace I never knew

existed. God put me on the Rock to stay!


You may ask, “Didn’t you always walk in peace?” If you

had asked me that before the fast,I would have

answered, “Oh, yes!” because I didn’t have anything to

compare it with. But this new peace was different. It

was unshakable!


This peace felt so good and so strange at the same time.

When things seemed to go wrong,I found out that I

could enjoy waiting with patience for God’s plan to

materialize! I could take my responsibility in a

situation without taking the care or burden of it.


So through prayer and fasting, God had caused me to

enter into a peace that was a tangible force keeping me

in a position to receive His power. He spoke to my spirit

about this peace,saying, “This is what you’ve been

looking for. It is the missing ingredient.”

You see, conditions on this earth aren’t going to get

better. Jesus told us in Matthew 24what the last days

would be like: wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes,

sorrows, persecutions, false prophets, and the love of

many waxing cold. The storms of life are getting more

violent. As time goes on, they will rage more and more



Fasting and prayer empty us of our fleshly nature and

allow God to fill us with His character. As the flesh loses

ground, the peace of God can begin to rule in our lives

(Col. 3:15). We climb from one level of peace to another.

Our faith becomes greater and greater.


All of this is waiting for you and me. We are capable of

so much more than merely over-coming the crises of

life. Each of us is meant to be a force on this earth for

God — and prayer combined with fasting are the power

twins that help us attain that goal!



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For in the quietness of My Spirit, My voice is known,and

My ways, My principles, and My precepts are shown. So

fly away with Me, saith the Spirit of Grace, for I and no

man will exalt you and give you your rightful place in

Myself. For peace will be the fruit, saith the Spirit of

Grace,the peaceable fruit,when you give me that

rightful place. (word given thru Dave Roberson)





coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH





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


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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.


The Fast God Chooses


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


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


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.

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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).


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



Prepare for Satan’s Tactics


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


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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




until next time

servant Larry



coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH


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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


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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


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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.

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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


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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.


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!

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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


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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

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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


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.

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coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH


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Fasting Helps Preserve the ‘Old Wine skin’



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?


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


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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


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


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!)


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?


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.


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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servant LARRY

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