Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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From a sermon by Preacher Clark at Grandma’s house, early 1969.
Gary’s Reel 2, CD-6 Track 3
During a time of true fasting, said Preacher Clark that day, “You never hunger.” He pointed out that during Jesus’ forty days of temptation in the wilderness he neither ate nor drank anything, and of that time, the Scriptures say, “After the forty days, he hungered.” When the Spirit is involved, he said, “fasting is a cessation of the natural desires; they are overpowered by a desire for God.” In other words, true fasting is of the will of God, not of the will of man.
Then, in his sermon, he went on to say, “Pushing your plate away is of the will of man. It’s the same as water baptism. Jesus’ disciples never saw him on his knees wearing sackcloth. They never heard him say, ‘I have been fasting three days now, and I am hungry.’” And yet, he was continually fasting, but in a way that man did not recognize.
There is nothing in God’s kingdom that is of the will of man. Nothing. We who are born of God’s Spirit begin our spiritual life only by the will of God. Jesus said, “No man can come to me unless the Father draws him.” John said that children of God are not born again by the will of the flesh but by the will of God (Jn. 1:12-13). Jesus told his disciples, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” Understand that your new birth was not of your own will, even though after God called you, you became willing.
From the first to the last, nothing in God’s kingdom is of the will of man! Daniel saw a vision of the end of this age, when by His Son, God will crush to powder the governments of earth. He saw in his vision that there will not be the least bit of those governments remaining when Christ assumes command of this planet. He needs nothing of man! There is nothing of man that is of any value to him. God’s power is complete; His wisdom is infinite; His goodness is sufficient for every need. He needs nothing from man – even so much as man’s will! He can do His work without it. God spoke through the Psalmist and said, “If I was hungry, I would not tell you” (Ps. 50:12). In other words, even if I did need something, you couldn’t do anything to help me.”
We are nothing, except that God loves us. Jesus does not need us; we need him. But he wants us. Do we want him? Whenever we do things our way, we are saying to God, “I do not need you; I can handle this life on my own.” But when we submit ourselves to do the will of God, we are confessing before men that we need God’s help in order to live life the right way.
What a good word! You know, everything in the natural is designed to teach us of a spiritual truth. Our first birth is designed to teach us of our true birth, which is our “spirit birth”.
Now I ask, “Did you have any thing to do with your first birth, or was it an act of your natural father?” As a matter of fact, once you were formed in the womb (the darkness), you were very comfortable in it because it agreed with your nature. Once the appointed time came for you to leave the darkness and enter into life in the natural light, you fought it, and it took a power stronger than yourself to push you into the light. A baby must be pushed out! Doctors call it “a delivery”. It is the same in the spirit! Praise be to God who has “delivered us from the power of darkness and into His marvelous light” (Col.1:13, 1Pet.2:9).