The Harvest Is Ripe!
"This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Praise the Lord! We say the Lord is coming soon, prepare. If I ask, how are we to prepare, what will you say? First of all, we must be born again and be baptized by the Spirit of God. Then as Christians we must wait for the Lord and watch often in fasting and prayer.
Fasting and prayer is one way for preparing for the Lord's coming. We used to call fasting meetings in the 70's. That was a conference where everyone who came must be fasting for the duration of the conference. Maybe three days or seven days. In such days some deeper revelations can be taught and will be easy to assimilate by the attendees. The body of Christ need to go back to such solemn assemblies and fasting conferences.
The bible said "Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord" (Joel 1:14). There is a time for solemn assemblies.
A brother asked me long time ago, that why would
the Lord require the believers to fast? In Daniel 9:2-3 we see
that Daniel fasted "to understand".
When Daniel understood by reading the book of Jeremiah the prophet that God would accomplish 70 years in the desolation of Jerusalem. And it was getting close to 70 years, yet no revival, he began to fast and to pray.
We can relate to that right now, don't you think so? We have been saying there is coming the rapture, there is coming latter-rain revival. Some people have even predicted dates for the rapture many times. But are we seeing any revival which we expect yet? That is why Christians ought to fast and pray. It is time for solemn assemblies. Christians should begin to fast and pray now because the events we said should take place in the body of Christ to prepare us, are not forthcoming yet.
Also, there will be persecution prior to the rapture.
We shouldn't wait till the persecution is mounted against us before
believers turn to fasting and prayer. We should pray up. Like
Daniel, he realized that 70 years were almost over and there was
no sign of revival nor any indication that the Jews would return
Therefore Daniel began to fast and to pray.
"Fear not Daniel, for from the first day that thou didst set thy heart to understand, thy words were heard. And I am come for thy words." (Dan.10:3,12).
The Angel made us to know why Daniel was fasting. Daniel wanted to understand. Similarly, many believers say they don't understand the book of Revelations. They have never fasted to understand, that the Lord should reveal the meaning of some of those codes to them. There must be hunger to understand, which Daniel showed to us in his example. This should be the basis for our fasting to get something from the Lord. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled." (Mat.5:6).
Daniel wanted to understand and he fasted for it. An Angel was sent to him.
Some people also said if one is in a desperate sickness, one may fast to get God's attention.
Well, maybe so. That may work also, when you are desperate and you want to get something real quick from the Lord. But that should not be the only time we should fast.
Others think, if you have committed an offense and need to repent, you should fast. That may be okay also, but that should not be the only reason for fasting. The best reason to fast is what we just read from Daniel: Wanting to know more about the word of God.
Fasting can get spiritual gifts and revelations for the believer. However this should not be the reason for fasting. Else, one will be disappointed if one does not receive the spiritual gift. Should somebody be fasting simply because somebody wants to get visions from the Lord? I will say, fasting is used for humbling oneself before God. The Lord can reward you by those visions and spiritual dreams. Those are rewards. You don't want to use that as the bait for fasting. If you get visions, dreams that forewarn you of impending situations, those are good. Often times Christ wants to warn us about such events, but activities and businesses are crowding our spirit. When we are fasting, we are forced to set ourselves apart from the businesses and for studying the scriptures. Our mind will therefore be clear to receive from the Spirit. That is how believers can easily receive the visions and spiritual dreams to forewarn. However fasting to understand the word of God is the best motive.
Not just when you need healing for your body, or for your finances, but to know more about the plans of God or about the revelation of the word, Christians ought to fast occasionally. We see our example in Daniel who fasted to understand the times. (Dan.10:3,12)
Christians also ought to begin to fast wanting to know about the times. We believe that Christ will come in the rapture to take Christians away. But as we see the day approaching we ought to be sober.
David the king also said he humbled his soul with fasting. (Psa.35:13). "As for me when they were sick, my clothing were ashes, I humbled my soul with fasting "
Fasting can be used to humble oneself before God. If you want to get something from the Lord and you have been praying for a while and have not received it, and you really need it, maybe you want to humble your soul before God. One way of doing that is by fasting. It's more like hunger-strike. You go on hunger-strike.
In 2Sam.5:23 David also fasted for his little child which was dying. This was the baby which resulted from the adultery between David and Bathsheba. The judgment pronounced upon David included that the baby would die. David began to fast and to pray when the child fell sick as a form of repentance to intercede for the baby. He realized it was because of him that the baby was dying. Therefore fasting can be used to intercede for another person. Even if you are not the cause of the problem like David was, you can still intercede for another person, with fasting.
The key bible verse that we really need to rest our heart upon as to why we must fast, is from the master himself, the Lord Jesus Christ. It's found in Mathew chapter 17 verse 21. The Lord told us why some demons will not go after we command them to leave. "Howbeit, this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting". (Mat.17:21). Remember the story of the demoniac boy which was brought to the apostles when the Lord Jesus had gone to a mountain, with Peter, James, and John. While they were away, the boy possessed by the lunatic spirit was brought to the apostles and they could not cast out the spirit.
But those apostles had been sent out by the Lord to heal the sick and to cast out demons. At this particular instance, they tried but the devil refused to obey them.
They were confronted with this situation when the Lord Jesus arrived. Christ spoke and the devil was gone. Then the disciples came privately and asked the Lord, "why couldn't we cast him out?" The Lord answered them "Because of your unbelief". That was the first reply. Then he added the statement "howbeit, this kind goeth not out, but by prayer and fasting".
Gospel of Mark recorded the same statement. "And he said unto them, this kind can come forth by nothing, except by prayer and fasting" (Mk.9:29).
The Lord said it was because of their little faith. But how can they get the faith? That was the secret. He said "this kind" goeth not out but by prayer and fasting! That means, to get the kind of faith that will deal with this kind of devil, we need to fast and pray. So we know now that fasting will help increase our faith.
The Lord Jesus did not preach a whole sermon on fasting. He simply mentioned it. Another time, the Pharisees asked him: why are your disciples not fasting. The disciples of John the Baptist do fast and also the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink. The Lord replied them that, while the bridegroom is with them they don't have to fast until the bridegroom is taken away from them. Now we know Christ is gone up to heaven and he is coming back soon. We have to fast.
How to fast
Some people say if they miss a meal or two is good enough for them. That's not fasting. Some people say, by just drinking juice or going on fruits and vegetables only will do. Those are not fasting, those are classified as "dieting".
Apostle Paul told us when and how to fast in his writing. (1Cor.7:5).
To husbands and wifes, he wrote: "defraud ye not one the other except it be with consent for a time that ye may give yourself to fasting and prayer, and come together again that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency."
Apostle Paul was talking to married couples here, so we know that fasting was practised in the first church. Husband and wife can sleep together except when they decide to fast. When they want to fast they have to keep themselves away from one another for those few days of fasting.
Now consider the instruction of our Lord Jesus about fasting, to be in secret. (Mat.6:16)
"Moreover, when ye fast, be not as the hypocrite of a sad countenance, for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
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." (Mat.6:16-18).
That is the basic instruction on how to fast. However, can you say the Lord Jesus was doing that, anointing his head, and washing his face, when he fasted for forty days and forty nights in the wilderness? The point is, if you are living in the city, and will make a long fast - like forty days and forty nights, the best thing for you is to plan it, prepare, and really prepare, and go and camp somewhere in the jungle, in a wilderness place where you will not be seeing practically anybody. That was what the Lord Jesus did.
Carry with you many gallons of water and go camp in the jungle. Now, fasting is different from hunger and thirst. In 2Cor.11:27, apostle Paul separated "hunger and thirst" from "fasting". You can hunger and thirst, just like afflicting your soul. Or you can also just fast which is giving up every food except ordinary water.
So you can drink water during fasting. I didn't know this until I read it from books of another minister. It's wise to read the literature from other ministries.
If you really want to fast a long fast, forty days or so, go and camp somewhere so that you won't see people. There is no way you can keep your countenance that men won't notice as the Lord said, in such a long fast. But if you are just fasting for three days, or even seven days, days and nights, you can do that in the city following the instruction of the Lord and nobody need to notice it. I have fasted seven days within the city and nobody noticed. I generally will plan such fast to coincide with a vacation so that I do not have to go to work during the fast, and my regular four days fasts are planned for weekends.
Now, an effective fast must consist of "days and nights", not just from morning till dinner. You have to give up the dinner also. A lot of folks will tell you they have fasted for forty days. But what they meant was that they gave up breakfast and lunch for forty days, and they ate their dinners. The moslems do this during their Ramadan. I came from a moslem world before I was a Christian, so I know. They actually took breakfast early in the morning, about 5 AM. They said if you eat before a particular time (either 6 am or sometime before) it will not be classified as breakfast. But it is breakfast.
That is not fasting. The fasting which Christ talked
about is for days and nights. If you want to fast for forty days
and forty nights, you must go and camp in a jungle. But if you
are fasting three days, or seven days in the city, make sure your
family is informed before you start; your wife or your husband
ought to know. If your wife does the cooking, and will not fast
at the same time, she ought to know before you start so that she
will not prepare your meals. So you have to plan your fasting.
Whether fasting together as a couple or individually, you still
need to plan for it, inform your partner.
What does fasting do for us?
Since the Lord Jesus said the apostles were not able to cast out the lunatic demon from the boy because of their little faith, then fasting and prayer which he recommended is to help build our faith.
Why are many Christians not fasting regularly nowadays? There are still demons which need to be cast out! We need to come back to fasting and prayer at least for knowing the time like Daniel.
In 2Cor.11:27 apostle Paul wrote: "In weariness and painfulness,in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness." Here he separates hunger and thirst from fasting. Without divine intervention, I do not know how possible for a man to go without water for forty days and forty nights as reported for Moses in the mountain, which was in the cloud of God's presence. Since God is not providing such supernatural presence for everybody to be able to stay off water for so long as reported in Moses' case, I don't believe the Lord Jesus used supernatural presence to help him do the forty days fast, especially since he was giving us his example.
Scientifically, an average man cannot stay away from drinking water (including all liquids) for as long as forty days. With water we can last for almost fifty days in fasting.
I admonish you to challenge yourself to fast. It
may be the Lord put it in your heart to fast some days. He will
rouse a desire in your heart to attempt great things like the
men of old. When you begin with a little fast, say three days,
and you are successful, challenge yourself to try seven days some
other time. Later try ten or fourteen days. Soon the Lord may
be calling you to a long one - forty days. That was how I started.
I was in a revival meeting where the preacher took a poll: "how
many have ever fasted forty days, raise up your hands". Nobody!
He came down stepwise: "twenty days or longer?"
Nobody! He said "ten days?" One man raised up his hand. Wow! All eyes went towards the man. I was in the crowd I admired that. The preacher dropped to "Seven days?" Maybe one more person. He said "three days?" Many of us, myself included. After that day, I was challenged within me, saying "Wow, that guy did ten days? Next time I should try to meet that challenge!" I thought it was impossible, you know? Before those days, when we read about Elijah or those prophets who made forty days fasting, we usually think of those as if they were angels, or super-humans. But, No! From that very day, the next fast I took, I went for seven days, and later, ten days, and twenty one days, and later twenty eight days and beyond.
That is why I said you have got to challenge yourself to long fasts.
The only thing you need to worry about in planning your fast is when can you get enough vacation time to stay away for the number of days, if you work.
If you are fasting for forty days, naturally you will lose weight and become very skinny. Therefore because of leanness, you will need to go into a jungle and camp there during the fast. Someone may say, "I can do it in my house: lock myself up for forty days and forty nights".
Yes you can do that, but if anyone comes by and sees you so lean, skin and bone, they'll scream and call the police on you. You can imagine when Jesus came out of the wilderness after his forty days fast how ugly he would have looked. No wonder it was written of him that "he has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. ... and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." (Isa.53:2-3). Fasting made him look too skinny to be attractive. It reminded me of myself during my college years in which I did all those fasting. I was tall and too skinny.
It is very important to keep yourself to studying the scriptures during the days of fasting. It's not just punishing yourself; it is to set yourself apart to the scriptures. Read gospel literature, prophetic sermons from ministers you have selected, along with the Bible.
If you do not have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we are not recommending fasting for you. Fasting which we are describing is not for those who have not been born again. This is because fasting is a spiritual activity. Even the Mediums, the palm readers, and the witch-doctors practice fasting to open themselves to the evil spirit which they contact. It is a spiritual method of opening oneself to the spirit-world. If you don't have the Holy Spirit, you are opening yourself to any devil. You need to first be born again, and ask the Lord to baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Then the Holy Spirit himself will help you to be able to fast. When you are fasting, the Holy Ghost is shielding you from any demon and you don't need to fear. Even though those demons will like to penetrate into anyone who opens up for just any spirit to come, so as to give him some false prophecies or false messages or even for possession, but Holy Ghost filled believers are already possessed by the greatest Spirit of all and demons will not be able to attack Christians.
Therefore be filled with the Holy Ghost.
to sum it up
In summary, we spoke about why to fast. Fast to understand, as read in Dan.9:2,3; 10:3-12.
Fast to intercede, as done by king David. (2Sam.12:23 ). Humble your soul before God. (Psa.35: 13). Also we mentioned what the Lord himself said. (Mat.17:21). He said "this kind (of demons) goeth not but by prayer and fasting".
We discussed how to fast. We pointed out that hunger
and thirst is different from fasting. (2Cor.11:27).
Reward of fasting:
What are the benefits from fasting. You can get more revelation of the word of God through fasting. You can get answers quicker from the Lord.
When we said we can get answers quicker from the Lord, let's analyze this. What is the reason? When we pray the Lord hears us. Nothing disturbs him from hearing what we said. Especially when we have the Holy Spirit. The problem is when he answers we don't hear? Something is blocking his response from getting through to us. The problem every human being has is that when the Spirit of God speaks we are hard of hearing.
The Lord told me a long time ago that he can receive from my transmitter. I am transmitting when I pray or when I talk to the Lord. But when he responds I don't hear it. Something is blocking my receiver. The devil blocks our receiver. The devil does not hold God's hands from sending things to us; It's our ears that is being blocked. Our hands are being tied by our unbelief so that we couldn't receive what was sent to us. That is why we can't hear him clearly, even when he talks to us. There are so many voices that we listen to, therefore we can not distinguish his voice from others.
Many such problems will be cleared out of our system by fasting. It's like our receiver is fine-tuned to hear his voice. It's like radio, if your radio receiver is faulty, everything the radio preacher is saying will be jammed by what the other stations are saying. But when you get your radio receiver serviced by a technician, you can tune the gospel station correctly. Similarly, God hears when we speak, but when he speaks we don't hear. We need our receiver to be cleaned up and serviced. Fasting is one sure way to clean up our vessel. By fasting we simply sharpen our receiving antenna. "The bride maketh herself ready".
We ought to challenge ourselves to fast and pray for neighbors, for church members who are even on wheel-chairs. Nobody ever take it upon themselves to seriously intercede for such church members who had been long time on wheel chairs. Of course sometimes people pray for folks for a long time and they are still not healed. They are still on that wheel chair. We know that something is missing. There is a Spiritual gift which Christ promised which is missing. (1Cor.12:1-10). That is one of the things we can get by fasting.
In Rev.3:15-18, the Lord said we should buy of him gold tried in the fire that we may be rich. "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable , and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." (Rev.3:17-18).
Now he said "buy". There is something you have to present. The only method Christians can use to buy anything from Jesus is by fasting. Because that is a price you are paying.
It's paying a price for the wealth which you require. It is a wealth when you get the supernatural power that will do those wonders. If miracles happen in your ministry people will be helped and your ministry will also be recognized for it. But you've got to pay the price. Not only for helping other people. For your own self, to build up yourself spiritually, you need to get the supernatural power from the Lord; because the enemy will attack you if you are on the front line. So you need to get all your weapons ready.
How often should we fast?
One must give at least ten days from the end of a fasting period to the
beginning of another fasting period. This is necessary for the
body to recover. Daniel's example of asking to be proved for ten
days of eating pulse and water, gave us the insight that the body
needs at least ten days of regular eating for the food to show its
impact on the body. (Dan.1:12-14). If fasting is too frequent,
one may be perpetually lean, which may be a side effect desired
only by those who are too fat or obesed.
When Daniel did not see any sign of revival, he began
to fast and to pray. Then Angels were sent to Daniel. In this
generation, we are also expecting a latter rain revival, we have
not seen it yet. This is the time for fasting, and asking the
Lord to send this revival. When the people ask, they will receive.
In Joel chapter two, we read: "Blow ye the trumpet
in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants
of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is
nigh at hand." (Joel 2:1).
One must give at least ten days from the end of a fasting period to the beginning of another fasting period. This is necessary for the body to recover. Daniel's example of asking to be proved for ten days of eating pulse and water, gave us the insight that the body needs at least ten days of regular eating for the food to show its impact on the body. (Dan.1:12-14). If fasting is too frequent, one may be perpetually lean, which may be a side effect desired only by those who are too fat or obesed.
When Daniel did not see any sign of revival, he began to fast and to pray. Then Angels were sent to Daniel. In this generation, we are also expecting a latter rain revival, we have not seen it yet. This is the time for fasting, and asking the Lord to send this revival. When the people ask, they will receive. In Joel chapter two, we read: "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand." (Joel 2:1).
"Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord." (Joel 1:14).
We have been expecting the Lord's coming. We should begin to fast and to pray asking the Lord why the delay. We can see the world events pointing in one direction. It is time for solemn assemblies. Fasting is useful for solemn assemblies. When again we look into church congregations and see so many afflicted people, it is time to fast and pray and ask Jesus to send down the deliverance power to his body to deliver folks from the afflictions of the enemy. And like king David wrote: give me strength O, Lord, that I may show to this generation and the generation to come, the power of the Lord. That is my prayer. For the power of God to be demonstrated to the unbelieving world, we must cry unto God to send down his mighty deliverance power.
This technological age which thinks there is nothing to religion and they think there is no God, must be shown the power of our God by a convincing demonstration of the Holy Ghost power.
It is time for solemn assemblies, it is time for people to come back to God.
And behold saith the Lord, Ye shall find me when ye shall seek me with all your heart. Amen!
My people shall be glad for that which I
shall do in their days, for behold I do a new thing, yea and now
shall it spring forth. I will even make a way in the wilderness,
for the ransom of the Lord to return to the house and the praise
of your God. Yea I come , saith the Lord, Yea I come and my reward
is with me, to give to each and every one of you, according as
your works shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the
End, The Almighty. Look not at your past performances. But look
unto me , saith the Lord, for the things I will do through you
in the latter days. Wait upon me, wait upon the Lord your God.
I will speak unto thee quietly in the ears, in the night, and
will seal up my instructions into your heart. Let my Spirit lead
you in these days. Lean not unto thine own understanding. I will
lead you as you put your hands in my hand. Be patient to learn,
step by step, for I have been patient with you. Therefore be ye
not unwise but understanding what the will of the Lord your God
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry
If you are blessed by this exhortation, write and let us know. As the Lord has said "To him that have shall more be given".