chapter twenty-five: Jerusalem Fish Gate Mystery revealed (revised)

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Jack read with concern that almost every Biblical mention of the Jerusalem Fish Gate involved either corruption of the people; or its consequences. 2 Chronicles 33:14 recorded how King Manasseh repented (from idolatry), cleansed the city from false religion, and built a wall outside the City of David as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate. In Nehemiah 3:3 the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate. In Zephaniah 1:10 God pronounced His judgment on Jerusalem in the future and would start from the Fish Gate: “And there shall be on that day,” says the LORD, “The sound of a mournful cry from the Fish Gate…” The public market place often reflected the spiritual state of the hearts.

Then Jack read John 21:1-11 “Breakfast by the Sea” and saw a different picture. In this passage, the resurrected Jesus showed Himself the third time to the disciples. The disciples led by Peter went fishing at the Sea of Tiberius whole night and caught nothing. Jesus came and asked them to cast the net on the right side of the boat, and they did, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. This was on happy occasion. When Jesus dealt with fishy business He transformed them into miracles of His provision and undeserved favor! During Jesus’ ministry on earth He multiplied seven loaves and a few fishes into ample food to feed four thousand men plus women and children!

Jesus not only shepherded His sheep, He brought them to green pastures with clear water. He is a provider and sustainer of life on this earth and for eternity. When He asked the disciples to feed the thousands of crowd, He was not giving them an impossible task. He was pointing them to be Jesus-focus, the source of all good things. Thus, miracles happened. Food provided. Hearts changed. The sick healed. The weak strengthened. Even the smelly Fish Gate marketplace could become a pleasant one and bless those who walk through!

The following is a record from Jack’s earlier journal on his Biblical living quest. The Spirit led him to see the power of Jesus-focus. As he was struggling with the issue of weight, he realized that fearing having inadequate food was un-Biblical and baseless. The real issue lied in his heart not in his belly.

Journal day 51: Three days with nothing to eat

Today’s passage intrigues me. At least four thousand plus men besides women and children had nothing to eat for three days and they were still walking!

Matthew 15: 32 “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” Jesus told the disciples.

What were these people doing during the three days? Surly there is a clue as to how they had managed to survive during that period without food. In the same chapter, the Bible described the background activities. After Jesus rebuked the Jewish religious leaders for their hypocrisy, he went to Tyre and Sidon, where He healed the severely demon-possessed daughter of a Canaan woman, praising the mother for her great faith in Jesus. Canaanites were idol worshippers and enemies of the Jews. Yet the Canaan woman found great courage to come to Jesus as she was desperate and knew that all the idols she and her tribesmen worshipped all their lives could not save her daughter.

After that, Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat there. Then great multitudes came to Him. They brought the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others. They laid them at Jesus’ feet and He healed them all. The multitudes saw, marveled at the miracles, glorified and worshipped God.

So the great multitudes (four thousand men besides women and children) had spent their three days carrying their sick relatives and friends, following Jesus, walking long distance, climbing the mountain, listening to Jesus teaching about the kingdom of heaven, seeing Jesus (displaying His mighty supernatural power and healing them all), and worshipping God. In the presence of Jesus, the people saw God. They were awed. They were fed with spiritual food and filled. Jesus’ words were food. The people received life through His words (Spirit and life).

It is obvious that during the three days Jesus and His disciples had not eaten any food. Otherwise Jesus would have fed the multitudes miraculously just as He did previously when another group of people (five thousand men plus women and children) followed Him. So it was a big fasting gathering of thousands of people on the mountain!

Were they human? Yes. Jesus told His disciples that these people would be hungry and could faint on the way when they went home. As long as they were with Him, listening to His words, seeing Him displaying His power as the Son of God, and worshipping God, they would not be hungry. But they were human and would be hungry when they were away from Jesus. So Jesus fed them before they left, miraculously with seven loaves and a few little fish, multiplying these into abundant food.

My application:

After reading a book on fasting and prayers as the ultimate weapon to beat the devil, and real life testimonies of ex-patients who had been healed from terminal and other chronic diseases, broken relationship, and other failures, I have started learning to fast last week. I take a light lunch, skip dinner and drink water instead. Sometimes I take one glass of fruit and vegetable juice with milk in lieu of one meal. Whilst fasting I read the Bible and meditate on God and His words. It is refreshing to the soul. At first it was difficult and I kept thinking that I had gastritis pains. I resisted the temptation to take medicine.

Yesterday I woke up and found my old enemy, the back pain, emerged. I rebuked it and went on with my daily living Biblically. I resisted the temptation to take pain-killers after claiming the healing from Jesus. I refused to speak negative words giving the indication of any doubt/unbelief. In the afternoon when I felt the pain emerging, I read Romans chapter 8 again aloud in the bedroom. After that it subsided. In the evening I decided to spend time reading the Bible aloud. So I took the Romans chapter 8 and read again. Then I was led to read Isaiah chapters 58-66. After reading these, I received a phone call from a mother to urgently pray and intercede for her son (a young man) who is alone in a strange city. So I prayed and read the deliverance prayers for him.

Soon it was time for bed and I did not feel any hunger pang at all. I woke up refreshed and healthy today. I did not feel hungry even though I had fasted both lunch and dinner yesterday!

There is Biblical foundation for fasting. Many men and women of God did mighty works through fasting and prayers. When we fast, we are saying to the physical aspect of life that we are not to be dictated by it anymore. We are saying “no” to the body/flesh (five senses). We are saying “yes” to the Spirit. We learn to live by the Spirit. To be led by the Spirit and live according to the Spirit is the goal of victorious living of all Christians.

I find that my body becomes lighter and my mind becomes sharper when I fast. I feel more peaceful, happier and even more sensitive to the spiritual realm.

My advice to all who want to try is that you need to learn to reduce food intake bit by bit. Prior to this project I had reduced my meals by eating very light lunch and dinner. I cut down on snacks. I learn to drink water. It takes a lot of preparation physically.

The more important preparation is that you need to be convinced that the words of God are true. As you fast you need to spend time in the presence of God, reading His words, meditating on them, worship and sing praises to God. You also spend time praying and interceding for others. Sometimes I just listen quietly, close my eyes for a long time and see if pictures or words come into my mind.

My goal in this is not to seek sensational experiences. My only desire is to live Biblically and live out the kingdom life that Jesus has given to every believer. Why live as a beggar if you can live like a prince?

AAA Jack

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