Introduction. It was in 1992 that I strongly sensed that the Lord thru a vision was saying to me: “Take the 12 Embryonic Principles from the 1948 Visitation and help bring them to maturity. They will both help to initiate as well as sustain the second great revival wave prophesied by Smith Wigglesworth and Dr. Charles S. Price.”
It wasn’t until this week as I watched a documentary of “Puberty,” that I realized how awesome is this challenge. From conception to 8 weeks the new life in the mother’s womb is called an “embryo.” From 8 weeks to 9 months it is a fetus. The baby follows birth – then childhood – then adolescence or puberty, which lasts from year 12-13 to 15-16 approximately. The adolescent then enters adulthood or maturity. Between 16 and 30 Benjamin, Joseph’s full brother fathered 10 boys!
So if the 1948 Visitation was but Embryonic – what then will we experience in maturity? It will be Ezekiel’s waters to swim in, and it will be 100 and 1000 fold greater than 1948! Think of it!
One. Gad: His Tribal Significance. Zilpah birthed Gad for Leah and Jacob. He was the seventh son of Jacob, and the legal son of Leah thru her handmaid (Genesis 30).
Leah named him “Gad,” meaning troop. Her thought was – “With 5 sons for my husband, I now have a troop that will gain his love.”
Jacob’s patriarchal blessing over this son is an encouragement for all of us. “Gad [troop] – a troop will troop on him, but he will troop on their heel” (Genesis 49:19). Or we can paraphrase it, “You can lose the first 14 rounds of a fight – but if you land a haymaker in the 15th – you win the fight.” That’s Gad.
Or again, as the Allies in World War II – “You can lose the majority of the initial battles – but if you win the last battle, you win the war!”
When we come to the great Law-giver’s prophecy over this tribe, more encouragement comes: “Blessed is he who makes Gad so large; he lies there like a lion, tearing arm and scalp. He chose the best for himself when the princely portion was assigned. When the leaders of the people came, he carried out Adonai’s justice and his rulings concerning Israel” (Deuteronomy 33:20-21).
With Reuben and the half tribe of Manasseh, Gad chose the central part of East Jordan in Gilead (present day Jordan). Yet with these two tribes – the three of them passed over Jordan and unitedly possessed Canaan land with the other 9-½ tribes. He did ensure the justice of Adonai, as a lion man like Judah. (Judah is chiefly a Matthew/John, while Gad is just the opposite, a John/Matthew. It is therefore proper that the Holy Spirit would signify that they both share the lion nature!)
In Exodus 28 we find Gad’s name inscribed upon the 6th stone on Aaron’s Breastplate of Judgment – the hard and brilliant diamond. Is Gad like this? Indeed he is!
In 1 Chronicles 12 we read that Gad was one with the 2-½ tribes east of the Jordan, and one with all 12 tribes. “All these soldiers who were experienced in war came to Hevron wholeheartedly to make David king over all Israel, and all the rest from Israel were single-hearted in wanting to make David kingf” (12:38).
Elijah the Tishbite was a true Gadite: lion-like in courage, and his forehead like a diamond. He could persevere thru great opposition, persecution and difficulties. On Mount Carmel he single handedly confronted Jezebel’s prophets of Baal and of the groves, defeated them in a spectacular challenge of faith and brought forth a confession from Israel, “Adonai – He is God!” This was an accomplishment of God thru Elijah that makes him a Restorer of Inheritance!
A true Gadite is like a bulldog – like a Churchill – he won’t let go or give up. He is like a George Washington – he perseveres until there is victory. He is like a Jacob who said to his angel-wrestling partner – “I will not let You go till You bless me!”
Perseverance is the key to the Gadite spirit. He that endures to the end shall be saved. It is an active faith – one with gritted teeth – hanging in there.
Churchill could not hold back the fasting and prayer of a Gandhi, whom he called a half naked Indian fakir – and he proclaimed that he was not about to preside over the dissolution of the British Empire. But when two Gadites met, the one that added fasting prevailed!
Yet as the Wartime British Prime Minister, he as a bulldog didn’t let go of Hitler and the Nazis. Hitler complained to his aides and generals: “Doesn’t Churchill and Britain know they are finished?” No – the last battle wins the war and Hitler’s 1000 year Third Reich lasted but 12! And Jesus the Jew will return; a nation of returned Jews to their ancient land given to them by God will be born in a day (a United Nations okayed Israel as a nation in 1947), and He, Jesus, will reign 1000 years! The enemy’s abortion in Hitler failed because the bulldog Gadite Winston Churchill wouldn’t let go and wouldn’t give up!
Look at his famous scowling picture! The photographer Yousuf Karsh of Canada was appointed to get a suitable picture of the Prime Minister. He daubed his face with grease here and there and said, “Go ahead with your duties and pay no attention to me.” He took over 20 shots but was not satisfied. Then on inspiration – he walked over and yanked Winnie’s cigar out of his mouth. The picture is Churchill’s reaction to this obstreperous photographer! Can you see the Gad in this photograph?
We need a Gad-like Elijah for Israel today! We need a Churchill for them. Could Natan Sharansky be God’s man? See when he was released from the Soviets as a Refusenik. They wouldn’t give him his Hebrew book of Psalms when he was ready to board the plane to Israel. He rolled in the snow and screamed and hollered. He challenged them; “I will not get on the plane till you give me my Hebrew book of Psalms that saved my life in your prisons! They capitulated, and he triumphantly “made aliyah” to Israel with possession of his treasured Hebrew book of Psalms!
This is the man as Secretary of the Interior who stands up to Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and the Orthodox Shas party. He has initiated and seen pass bills that help regain Israel’s self-possession in the midst of inner turmoil and outward pressures – pressures from the PLO, Syria, Egypt, Arabs, the UN, the European Coalition, Third World nations, and the United States and its President.
PRAY FOR NATAN SHARANSKY – a true Gadite!
Two. Asia: Its Fasting Significance. Out of Asia came the birthing of Islam in the 7th Century. One of its great strengths that lead to its fanaticism, is the month Ramadan and the fasting of that month from sunrise to sunset. Though they may eat after sundown, many of them do not overdo it. Still, determination, motivation, yes even fanaticism enters their bone and sinew partly – and perhaps in large part – because of the fasting of Ramadan. Five times daily they pray towards Mecca, and once a year they add fasting to their prayers. And they are not ashamed of their faith – they do all of this openly. You hear the regular call to prayer from the minarets – and wherever they are in public – they bring out their prayer mat and fulfill their prayer obligation towards Mecca.
It was John Wesley who said, “Any church that fasts less than twice a week, has long since fallen from grace!” “Fanaticism,” you say. Yet the Methodist revival continued for 60 years with its power unabated. And Islam survives to this day.
But the greatest exponent of fasting from Asia was Mahatma Gandhi. Again and again he added fasting to his prayers when results with prayer alone were not forthcoming. And when death approached, the British Empire would concede the goals of Gandhi – until eventually they withdrew the last British Viceroy and turned home rule back to India.
The biography of Gandhi by E. Stanley Jones is one of the great eye-openers of history.
Yes, Asia is a challenge to our western culture. There are areas of living we can successfully emulate. Like Jeremiah, we must take the precious from the vile – but that applies for every culture and people including us in the west. And fasting was in the life of Moses (two 40-day fasts in the process of receiving theTorah, the Ten Commandments). It was in Elijah’s life (40 days in fleeing from Jezebel.) It was in the life of Daniel. It was in the life of our Lord, Jesus of Nazareth (40 days when tempted of the devil).
Many in the west are hearing this challenge of Gad and Asia, and are finding the rich dividends of fasting added to prayer.
Arthur Wallace in his “God’s Chosen Fast,” 1968, Christian Literature Crusade, gives a very balanced treatment on this subject, and leads you step by step through a 21 day fast.
Derek Prince, “Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting,” 1994, Whitaker House, through Barnes and Noble at 20% saving (<bn.com>) is a classic and will inspire, inform and motivate.
His book “Fasting,” 1986 @3.99 Barnes and Noble price, is also excellent.
Gordon S. Tessler, PhD, “The Genesis Diet,” ISBN 1-881924-09-2, Be Well Publications, PO Box 99005, Raleigh, NC 27624; Tel: 919-870-9080 – is a good all round book. Chapter 6, “Fasting for Health,” also shows some of the dangers to avoid in a fast longer than 3 days.
Be wise in this area. Numbers died from lack of wisdom and failure to have someone mentor them when they went longer than 5 days on a fast back in the 40’s. If you have serious health problems, always consult your doctor for his counsel before going this way too strongly.
Three. E. Stanley Jones: The Kingdom Significance of Fasting. Jesus plainly stated to Pilate that His Kingdom was not of this world – else would His servants fight. The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Fasting added to prayer brings out these Kingdom qualities more clearly.
“The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person” is one of Dr. Jones’ significant books. To understand the Kingdom of God from Heaven’s perspective is a shocker! The Sermon on the Mount gives it expression. But its heart flows from the Holy Spirit in union with the full Lordship of Jesus Christ.
God is keenly understood in the light of full appreciation of the Kingdom of God. E. Stanley Jones had this picture. When he was asked to write this book he countered, “But I am an evangelist, not a theologian.” “Yes,” came the reply, “but as an evangelist your main tool is the Kingdom of God. Think about it. Pray about it – and do what God tells you.”
It may well be that this book of all his 30 and more books will carry the day for God’s glory. Bob Mumford bought this book by the boxfull and gave them out prayerfully and carefully. You will do yourself a favor, and please God most of all if you too put yourself out to purchase, read, reread, reread and then practice this concept. You will understand Gad and his concomitant counterpart of fasting in a clearer way. (It has recently been reprinted by “McNett Corporation, 1405 Fraser, Bellingham WA 98226, USA; Tel: 360-671-2227).
Four. The 1948 Visitation and Fasting. Winston Nunes believed that this was one of the 3 key secrets that explain how and why God used this revival. He could be right.
In the mid and late 40’s, Franklin Hall brought fasting crusades to many of the great cities of America. Tracts and later books popularized this emphasis. Granted that the teaching in places needed correction and adjustment – but in the main it was the Holy Spirit using an imperfect vessel (and aren’t we all? Is not this treasure in all of us as “Jars of Clay?”). Through this vessel God brought to the church’s attention an important but neglected truth.
Remember it was Jesus, who said, “When you give alms,” assuming all would be doing so. “And when you pray,” again assuming this would be a normal practice in the lives of His disciples. And thirdly, “When you fast,” – “But now Lord, You are meddling,” much of the church responds. But does it not bear out that if we grant the first two challenges as being legitimate and normal, that then the third one is equally so? All great disciples of the past 4000 years have thought so. Gandhi thought so, and he was not a professing Christian, though he gave Christianity his respect.
Mohammedans do not quibble about Ramadan. One billion believers of their faith follow this line.
The Bethel Bible Institute of Saskatoon, which later became Sharon Orphanages and Schools of North Battleford, heard – accepted – and then fell into line to practice this restored truth. A few fasted 40 days like Moses, Elijah and Jesus. Numbers fasted 21 days like Daniel and Paul. Almost all went 7 to 10 days time and time again.
Is this of God? Yes – for it puts the steel of an Elijah into our bones. In 1947 I went on my first 11 day fast. It is like yesterday, as in indelible memory I relive the presence and power of God that was released at that time! With great reluctance I ended my fast. As a student minister for my denomination I was going to a mission field for 4 months, and I didn’t wish to put a stumbling block before them by arriving on the scene “pulling a Gandhi!”
Later on I had other opportunities to fast.
Whenever in the 1948 Visitation prayer alone was insufficient to obtain an answer – immediately fasting was enjoined on all leaders, and all people invited to participate on a voluntary basis. Invariably the answer to prayer immediately came thru!
Whenever special ministry took place, the candidates for commissioning, ordination or blessing, were asked to fast and pray for 2-3 days before the event took place. Invariably again the presence of the Lord accompanied the laying on of hands of the elders with prophecy. It wasn’t empty hands on empty heads. It was an awesome, powerful manifestation of our great God – revealing secrets of hearts and confirming what no one but God and the candidates themselves knew!
Conclusion. Gad is the eighth embryonic revival principle. The “Watch of the Lord” through Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda recognize and practice this truth. All who enjoy the free flow of the gifts of the Spirit in edification and power know that fasting must be employed as a hidden preparation. Then – receive, embrace and with thanksgiving, act on Gad!