Synopsis of Bible Study 06/01/11
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
The bible teaches us that Jesus fasted. When Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4:2, we see that he fasted for 40 days and forty nights. Matthew 4:2 says 2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. – We believe that this was an absolute fast. In other words, he did not eat anything. So then when we talk about fasting we are dealing with the idea of not eating, giving up food. Lots of times people come up with creative fast these days such as fasting from cell phones, iPods, or shows on TV, but when you are after a breakthrough, we are talking about giving up food. Your body needs food and nourishment, so to abstain from that which your body desires; you literally put your flesh into subjection. You literally take authority over your flesh. Why is this important? Fasting is to abstain so that God can sustain. Most of the time, it is the flesh that prevents us from getting the things that God desires for our lives. It stops us from receiving what we are in pursuit of. So when we put our flesh into submission, this is a huge thing. We are saying that we choose to live completely by the spirit of God and when our flesh rises up, we expect and believe that God will sustain us through that moment. It is all about denying ourselves.
When we fast, we have to recognize that our focus has to be on God. It is a God focused fast. We are not fasting because we have individual agendas. We are fasting because we want God’s will to manifest in our lives.
The prophet Zechariah prophesies and interesting question in Zechariah 7:5 where it says 5Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? – God wanted to know if they really fasted for him or was their fast focused only on what they wanted. Many of us can believe God for some great things such as healing or breakthroughs in certain areas, but here is what a fast ought to look like. We want to believe that his will might manifest in our life. Whatever his will is, this is what we want to see manifest. This way the fast is not a success of failure if we don’t get what we wanted out of the fast. Success would be simply that God’s will be manifested in our life.
The importance of fasting
- What do you think the biggest problem Adam and Eve had in the garden? We know that they disobeyed God as a result and sin came into the world. What do you think is one of the biggest revelations in the Garden of Eden that is often times overlooked? It was that Eve took of the fruit. What is fruit? It is food. God says to them, “You can have this and you can have that, but don’t touch of that one tree.” Eve was undisciplined and allowed herself to take food that God said don’t touch. It was about food. Satan will always try and make you think you need something that you don’t need.
- In Genesis 25, there is a more interesting revelation. Abraham has a son Isaac who is the son of promise. Isaac has children and he has twin boys. They were Jacob and Esau. Jacob is the trickster and his name literally means trickster. His brother Esau is the bruit one. Jacob tricked his brother Esau out of his very birthright. By right, Esau was about to follow the patriarchal line, but Jacob tricked him out of it. Jacob tricked Esau out of his birthright with a bowl of soup. Esau sold his destiny for a bowl of soup. He sold his destiny, because he couldn’t say no to his stomach.
- Food is a big issue. God thought so much of it that even the children of Israel tried to tempt him with their issue of their hunger in the wilderness. Psalm 106:14-16 says 14But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. 15And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul. – In other words, they asked for fried chicken, but the Lord gave them baked tilapia instead. Food was what was requested and he filled the request, but not with the particular food they asked for.
When we fast, we are fasting because we have a purpose
- There has to be a purpose in our fasting. We are not fasting, because of some religious thing or routine. There is a specific purpose we are after such as healing, deliverance from demonic spirits, and etc… Here are some reference scriptures for fasting: Isaiah 58: 4-12, Act 13:2, Acts 9:9, and Matthew 17:41-21. Again we must fast with a purpose and not just because the church is fasting. We are after something.
- 2. When the tempter comes and know that he will come, he will try and get you off of your fast. If you have a purpose, you will say that you want your purpose so much; you are willing to deny yourself of what you are fasting from. It is only until you want what God has promised you more than what is present that you will get it.
- Fasting must be accompanied by prayer. You will not get the breakthrough until you understand it is not just abstaining from food. It is accompanied by prayer. Not your ritualistic, cookie cutter prayers. It really spending time communing and talking to God like you never did before. Even if you have never prayed like this before, in the next 21 days, you will learn how to pray. When you get hungry, this is when you are supposed to pray to God. At that moment, you put your flesh into submission, because you know your flesh is trying to make you revert back to the things that you are fasting from. If you don’t pray about it, you will be defeated. We have to learn to integrate prayer. We are praying daily and keeping ourselves built up.
Importance of fasting
- Will help you overcome the devil.- We wish we had some exempt passes to give you, but the truth is, during the fast the tempter will come at you just like he did Jesus in Luke 4:1. Luke 4:1 says 1And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness – This scripture teaches that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit. He was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness Luke 4:2 says 2Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.-While Jesus fasted for 40days, the devil tempted him the whole time. There is no way you can enter the spiritual realm and not get Satan’s attention. Don’t think it strange that the whole time you been fasting, that you have been under attack. You have gotten the devils attention.
- What happened during the temptation? The devil tried to get Jesus to turn the stones into bread because he was hungry as shown in verse 2. Luke 4:3-4 says 3And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. – Jesus was full of the spirit and he had the word to back it up.
- During the temptation, the devil took Jesus to a high mountain and said he would give all that that he could see if he would only worship him. Jesus tells Satan to get behind him and reminds him that Satan should worship the Lord thou God. Some people literally believe that Satan took Jesus up and showed him the kingdoms of the world. If you study this on a deeper level, you find that it is really Satan attacking Jesus’ mind. In same manner, Satan is going to attack your mind. It is amazing that Satan will have you seeing things, that don’t even exist. This why the bible says we have to cast down imaginations. Satan will try to show you stuff. For example: Seems like everyone around you will be eating what you like, but it is just your imagination. You can cast them out only if you have your spirit over your mind. If you let your flesh stay in control, it will talk you out of this fast. Ex- When starting this fast (Mt Zion/Daniel Fast), there was a little bit of confusion about it. Some people were legitimately confused, but for some, they were just looking for an opportunity to skate. In other words, they are asking questions like, “Can you have a smoothie for your fruit?” when they know it has sugar in it (must be fruit that is blended with its natural juices.
- You will be tempted, but you can overcome. Daniel overcame the prince of Persia through fasting in Daniel 10:2-3. It says 2In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. 3I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. – During this fast, he fasted for 21 days. During which he ate of no pleasant foods. No meat or wine came to his mouth. Scripture says he didn’t anoint himself either. Explanation for anointing: As a symbol of respect, people would anoint themselves before they would go into the presence of the king. Some people take this to mean that we are not supposed to use cologne or deodorant when we fast, but we don’t think this is what was meant by this passage. Please anoint yourself on behalf of us that have to be in your presence!
- You want to get a revelation. Daniel 10:4 says 4And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; – In other words he saw a revelation. We want to get a revelation from God. In the next 21 days, we are going to hear and see better more than we have ever in our life. We will hear and see clearer. There are many of us, though in church, we have a lot of clutter in our lives and it prevents us from hearing God like we need to. We get a word, but it has to filter through all of our issues and by the time we get it, we have watered the word down to fit our situation. We are at a point that we need to clearly what he is saying to us and what he is showing.
Different types of fasts
- Supernatural fast – Moses fasted and didn’t eat or drink anything. The only way you can do this will have to be with supernatural help.
- Total fast- This is fasting without food, but drinking water. Bishop says he has seen people fast for 21 days and for 40days without having anything to eat. They just drank water.
- The fast of no delicacy – This is like the fast we (Mt Zion Church) are on now such as the Daniel Fast.
- The non- total fast- This is eating nothing, but drinking juice or milk. Now this differs from us, because we are drinking water or fresh squeezed juice with not sugar or preservatives.
How do we break or stop a fast?
- You can’t fast for 21 days and then go and pig out. If you do, you will be sick as a dog. For a lot of people, you ain’t gong to want the stuff you ate before this fast. For some of us, you will undergo a serious lifestyle change, because you will hear and see better spiritually. You will end up changing some habits.
Why do we fast
- We fast because we are trying to make our spirit man sensitive to God’s voice. We want our spirit man to hear God’s voice. We want to let our spirit see and hear what God is saying to us. Our flesh dies so let our spirit hears what God is saying to us. A good reference for this is Acts 13:1-4 says 1Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
- We fast because we want to receive direction on what to do and how to do it. We want to do what God is speaking into our life. Luke 6:12-15 says 12And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 14Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,
- We fast because it builds up our spirit man with God’s word to defeat Satan and all of his temptations. In Matthew 4 and Luke 4, we are saying that while we are fasting, we have prayer, and our spirit is filled with the word. While fasting, this is not the time to be missing bible study and church. We have to stay in this word and we even have to be careful what we read now. We have to keep feeding our spirit, even being careful of the music we are listening to. We have to keep your spirit pure during this time of fasting.
- We fast to set those bound and afflicted by the devil free. Please reference Isaiah 58 and Esther 4:13-17.
- We fast to receive revelations from God. We are asking for God to make something plain to us. We need a revelation about our life and where God is taking us.
- We fast to get the victory and protection and for God to fulfill his promise. Please reference Daniel 9.
- We fast in obedience to God’s word. We fast being obedient to the fact that we are supposed to fast and pray. Please reference Matthew 6. You will discover in Matthew 6 that when you pray and fast, you are not supposed to go around telling people that you are fasting. That defeats the purpose. Even though we do it publically, it is a private matter. We are not supposed to go around broadcasting it or distorting our faces indicating our struggle to fast. What you do privately, your God will reward openly.
7 Tips to observe about the Daniel fast
- Be specific- Daniel 1:8 says 8But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. – Daniel was specific that he was not going to eat the Babylonian diet. He defied it because it was against Jewish culinary law and probably had been offered up as sacrifices to idols or demons. Write down why you are fasting, how long, and from what are you fasting from.
- Daniel fasted as a spiritual commitment- It takes a spiritual commitment to God. We must follow through. Once we see what we are going towards, we have to be committed to it. We are not taking fast recesses, meaning we are not going to fast, take a break, and fast again. We remain committed.
- Daniel reflected inner desire by external discipline. Now you are able to look at how disciplined we can be by our spiritual commitment.
- James prayed to role of sin in are relative sickness. In James 5, when James said let those sick call on the elders, we notice that James talked about repentance in vs 16. James 5:16 says 16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. – Repentance can be linked to our health. If you don’t’ repent, it can adversely affect your health. This fast would be a good time to repent from stuff. Fasting is God’s testing and healing ground.
- Daniel fasted as a statement of faith to others. He was asked to eat only vegetables and drink water. Daniel asked the overseer to compare the appearance of the 4 sons of Israel (after the fast) to the others that ate the King’s food. – By comparison, Daniel and his people looked as good as or better than the people that ate the King’s food even though they only ate vegetables and water. This is a great way to learn the effects of the food you eat. Now you can start thinking about what you eat. Ex- Bishop holds up some fat to demonstrate fat that is stored on our body and around our hearts as a result of what we eat. He wants us know that every time we eat something bad we add to this. He even stressed that doctors have to cut through this fat in order to get to what they are trying to correct.
- Daniel yielded all results to God. – Daniel basically left it to what God saw fit. If it happened, it was because God wanted it to happen. In Mark 9:29 it says 29And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. – This kind can only come out by pray and fasting. The story: Father has son and the son has a demon. He called the demon a dumb spirit which means the boy can’t talk. The demon causes the boy to go into the hot and the cold. He goes into the fire and the water, rolls on the floor, foams at the mouth, and grits his teeth. He walks around rigid and is out of control. The father goes to the disciples and they tried to help him, but they couldn’t. Finally the father takes his son to Jesus and informs him that he took his son to the disciples first, but they couldn’t help him. Jesus asks how long he has been like this. The father says he has been like this since he was a child. Jesus asks the question not to hear the answer, but to give the father revelation. In other words, this boy has been in his house like this all this time and the father is just now bringing him to Jesus. It is almost like Jesus is calling out a generational curse. Probably what’s wrong with the son is wrong with the father. This is maybe why the father asks if Jesus could have compassion on us and help us. Now the father has included himself in the deliverance process. It is not just his son now, it is him.
Jesus says dumb and deaf spirit, come out of him. The father brings the son and the demon is just a dumb spirit. Now when Jesus casts it out, it is two demons. It is a dumb spirit and a deaf spirit. The boy couldn’t talk, because the devil had his mouth. Jesus gives the revelation that he can’t talk, because he can’t hear.
- Here is our revelation: All of us have some struggles and issues, but we also have this one thing that we can’t seem to break. It is the one thing that takes us from the fire to the water. We get ourselves in the heat, but we know where the water is to cool us off. We keep going between extremes. We keep going between Jesus and that thing we want deliverance from. It is that one thing that says that if I can break this, I will be where God wanted me to be.
Jesus says though there is a dumb and deaf spirit, Satan controls the boys mouth, because he has his hearing. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If the devil can control what the boy hears, he can also control what he speaks. God created the world by speaking it. If he can’t speak to his situation properly, he will never be delivered from it. If the only thing that comes out of his mouth is in audible stuff and mess, because he foams at the mouth ( or has a nasty mouth), then all he knows is how to be negative with his mouth. He can’t speak with authority, because he can’t hear, properly. The real core issue then, it is not that you don’t have a good heart or that you don’t want to do right. It is because the core issue of the struggle is tied to this. The devil got your hearing and got your speaking.
We say it every Sunday. We say preach Pastor or Bishop, because we hear everything our Pastor says under the anointing of God, but when it comes to the one thing that we are struggling with, we quit hear that properly! When it comes to that one area of our life, it doesn’t come out quite as clear as the other stuff our Pastor talks about. This is why we never speak to it. Instead it speaks to us. We can be lying in the bed and it will say to us, “it is time to go”. All we do is go, because we don’t have the authority to speak to it, because we didn’t let faith come. We don’t let faith come because it is a deaf and dumb spirit. You can shout or run around the church all you want and still have that struggle!The question is, are you going to live with that struggle or are you ready to confront Mark 9:29 where it says 29And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting? This kind comes by prayer and fasting. Some struggles, your Pastor can pray right out of you right now at the altar, but let’s try to address this struggle that can’t be gotten rid of so easily. This kind is where we are trying to get the breakthrough from. God is able to break your “this kind” as referred to in the scripture! We have to say we are ready for a breakthrough! If you want it, it is right here!