14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. 17 Nor do they put new wine(Spirit) into old wineskins (teachings), or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved’ (Matt 9:14-16.)
In Matthew 9:15 it says that Jesus looked at the disciples of John and said, “My disciples will fast. When I am taken away they will mourn and they will fast.” My point is not the fact that they are going to fast because they are mourning. My point is that the disciples were going to mourn when Jesus is taken away. It is not just because He died and was raised from the dead. That was a three day period of mourning. When He appeared after the resurrection they knew that He was fully alive, but there still an element of mourning. They were filled with gladness that He was raised from the dead.
He was not talking about one 3 day period that His disciples would mourn and therefore they would fast. I doubt that they fasted in those 3 days because of mourning. He was talking about another dimension of mourning that they would have their entire life as apostles for the next 20, 30, 40 and 50 years. They mourned. You might have interviewed these apostles and said, “Why are you sad? You have the Spirit. You have signs and wonders. You have the anointing. You have revelation. What are you mourning for?” Jesus said that His disciples would mourn. Again, it was more than just from the cross to the resurrection. It was more than a 3 day period. They did not do much fasting in a 3 day period. He was talking about a lifestyle where they would feel the ache in their heart. It would lead them to fast in order to have their hearts satisfied with a fresh encounter of His heart.
I imagine we could go to Peter and say, “Peter, are you perfectly happy?” He says, “Well, kind of, yeah, because He has appeared to me a number of times and man, it is just awesome. I have had a couple of heavenly experiences. He loves me.” We say, “Do you mourn or is there any sadness?” He says, “Well, kind of, yeah, there is.” We say, “What is it?” He says, “I am sad, but it is not the same. It is wonderful, but it is not the same.” We say, “What is not the same?” He says, “Well, for those three years we got to walk everywhere with Him. We felt the energy of His gladness and His love. We got to just be there and look into those eyes. He would put His hands on us. It was so awesome just being there!”
We are talking about this Holy Spirit energized gladness and love beaming out of this young Man’s eyes, Jesus of Nazareth. Peter says, “I have lots of joy, but there is something about that. I can not wait to be with Him again where I just look into His eyes and feel the radiance of His gladness about My life. When Jesus looked at me, He was the only one who really understood who I was. He was the only who grasped my greatness and my genuineness. Even I did not grasp it, but He did.” He goes on to say, “He enjoyed me. Even when the other guys were angry and annoyed with me, I knew that He enjoyed me. Even when He corrected me, He wanted me. I loved that! I mourn! I want to feel that! I want more!”
Jesus taught them, “When you feel that ache of mourning after I am gone then you will fast. That fast will accelerate your ability to experience the gladness of My heart.” It was Jesus’ gladness that moved them, though not only His gladness. It was many things about the heart of Jesus. Beloved, He was and is the God of gladness. He is a God of indescribable gladness. Look again at verse 28 where Jesus is talking to the Father. He says, “You will make Me full of joy. I will be full of enjoyment. I will be full of gladness.” Verse 26, “My heart was full of gladness and I rejoiced.”
In Psalms 45:7 Jesus was the most anointed man of gladness.
- This is the God we serve. This is the God who is leading us, discipling us and training us by the Holy Spirit. The image we have of God is so dynamically related to the state of our emotions. It truly is. I am going to give you a bunch of verses. Turn to Deuteronomy 30:9. This is Moses. It is pretty good for Moses.
Doctrine of Joy
You do not see much of this in Moses. The Psalms are filled with it. This was one of David’s main doctrines. Moses touched it a time or two. I like Moses. I am not picking on him. He was 500 years before David. Even the guys after David did not see what David saw. David was called the man after God’s own heart. He was the man with a unique understanding of God’s heart. Moses touched on the God of gladness a little bit, once or twice. Maybe this is not fair to Moses, but under the anointing he prophesies this. Aaron and the boys look at him and say, “Moses, we have never heard you talk that way about the consuming fire who is Yahweh the eternal God.” Moses says, “I do not really know, but He told me that. He is filled with gladness.” You only find it once or twice or maybe a few more times in all of Moses writings. It is kind on the peripheral. Though with David the gladness of God’s heart is right in the center of Davidic revelation. If you are in Deuteronomy 30 then you have to look at verse 6. It says, “You will love the Lord your God with all of your heart.” That is a promise for the end time church right here. Deuteronomy 30:6 has not been fulfilled. I do not want to get into that, but we were in the neighborhood.
In Deuteronomy 30:9, he says, “The Lord will make you abound in all of the work of your hands, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock and in the produce of the land for good.” Here is why you are going to prosper, “For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good in the same way He rejoiced over your fathers.” God is telling Moses by the anointing of the Spirit of revelation that God at the end of the age is going to rejoice. He is going to break forth with rejoicing.
Zephaniah 3:17. It says that God will sing over us with gladness. He will rejoice over us with gladness.
- This is a famous verse. God will sing over the people of God with gladness and rejoicing. When God sings over the people He is not singing over them and angry with them. He is rejoicing with gladness. He releases the song that transforms the people of God. In Zephaniah 3:17 when God rejoices over His people He quiets their stormy spirit with a revelation of love and gladness. He says, “I will quiet you with love. I will sing over you with gladness.” Zephaniah 3:17 says that H e will quiet us with love. He will sing over us with gladness. If you read all of Zephaniah, at the end of the age everything that can be shaken is being shaken. Everything is shaking. There is a storm on the outside and a storm on the inside. People are so driven with fear. Luke 21:26 says that men will die of heart attacks for fear.
It is because fear will be everywhere. Fear will be the predominant emotional reality. There will be fear everywhere. When everything is shaken, the storm on the outside and the storm on the inside, God will release the singers in Zion. They will sing songs of love. They will sing songs of the gladness of God’s heart. He will quiet the church by the songs of love and the songs of gladness. I do not mean just the promise that they will be glad. He will be revealing His love and His gladness through the songs of Zion. I do not have any doubt that we will hear the angels sing the songs of love and songs of gladness. Predominantly the song that the Father sings is released through the prophetic singers on the earth, though it is not only. I am sure we will hear the angels. I am sure that God’s own voice will sing over His people before it is over. Mostly, though, He is singing through His people songs of love and songs of gladness. He is not just exhorting people to be glad.
The songs are not, “Be glad, O people, be glad.” That is biblical, but it is more than that. God is going to release songs that reveal His glad heart over us. That is what makes us glad. It is not just the exhortation to be glad. It is the revelation of His gladness that will awaken our hearts. Can you imagine what the prophetic songs at the end of the age are going to look like in maturity? When these songs are mature God’s gladness and God’s love is quieting the storm on the inside, which are the insecurities, the fear, the sense of rejection, the religious spirit, the fear of martyrdom and the fear of the uncertainty of “Where are we going to eat and get our food?” All kinds of things are shaken. He says, “I will quiet you by releasing songs of My affection over you and songs of My gladness about you. You will be quieted on the inside.”
Gladness and Love
It will be by the revelation of gladness and love. Look at Deuteronomy 28:47-48. “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness, therefore you will serve your enemies.” Deuteronomy 28:47-48 says, “Because you did not enter into God’s joy and gladness then you will serve your enemies.” That is not God pouting and saying, “I was glad. You would not enter it so forget it. You are just going to serve your enemies.” It is different than that. It is the same logic as Psalms 2:11 when God says, “Kiss the Son lest He smite you and you perish in His wrath.” I do not want to spend a lot of time on it, but what it means is that if we do not kiss the Son or enter into intimacy then we will fall prey to an accusing spirit against God. Kissing the Son is our only way that we can avoid the domino effect of positioning ourselves against the Lord. David was telling them in Psalm 2, “Kiss the Son. Move into intimacy or eventually you will be offended. You will accuse Him and end up under His wrath.” It is the same thing here. Enter into God’s joy and gladness because that is the only way the end time church will be sustained. If you do not do that then you will end up having a domino effect in your soul. You will end up against the Lord accusing him. There is not going to be any gray zone. We are going to be people who are lovesick and people who are glad before their God or they are going to be angry with Him. There is not going to be any middle ground. The revelation of God’s gladness is absolutely critical.
In Luke 10:21 reveals that Jesus rejoiced greatly in His spirit. Jesus knows how to be glad in His spirit. In Revelation 19:7-8 the end time bride is around the throne. What are they filled with? They are filled with gladness and rejoicing. Put the word “enjoy.” They are filled with enjoyment and gladness on the wedding day, Revelation 19:7. Affection, yes, undoubtedly affection is flowing through our being. We are glad and why? It is because we are next to the throne and the throne is full of joy. We are smiling and saying, “This is way better than what Dorothy saw. This is incredible!” Song of Solomon 3:11 is the King on His wedding day. It is the day of the gladness of His heart. The King will be glad on His wedding day. His bride will be glad on the wedding day. We will be near the throne. We will be near the heart of the Father. We will be glad. It is this God that is bringing us through the stages of immaturity and failure. It is the God of gladness that is training us and strengthening us. It is not the God who is mad and sad all of the time. It is not the God who is always on the verge of being so broken hearted that He can not bear you anymore, like, “If you do one more thing I will be so broken hearted! No! No!” I promise you that is not the emotional makeup of our God.
He is not this fragile on the verge of collapsing if you fall short in your flesh again. He is not shocked when your flesh is weak. I know that those are meaning well. The logic means well that if we can portray that God is going to be shattered, broken hearted and can not bear it anymore then we will bolster ourselves up for one more moment of perseverance. It really does not work that way. It just makes us run from Him. We say, “Man, I do not want to disappoint God. I just might as well quit. This is never going to work in my life.” He is not glad at our immaturity, but He is glad at our heart. While He exposes our immaturity He disciplines us and trains us, but it is because He has a heart of gladness towards us. We need more revelation of the God of gladness. He is angry at rebellion. He is not angry at immaturity anymore than you are angry at the immaturity of a 3 year old in your home, your own sons and daughters. He can sort through the issues even better than you can. He can sort through immaturity and rebellion. He can see the difference greatly and easily.
Father, we come before You in the name of Jesus. I say that You are a lovely dwelling place. How lovely is Your dwelling place! In Your presence is the fullness of enjoyment. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. I love to love You! I want to be a part of Your beaming, glad heart, O God. Transform me by beholding Your glory. Let me see and let me become like You when I see You, in Jesus’ name. Lord, we are Yours.
You may say, “I never really had language for it, but the God I worship, I guess when I actually think about it, is mostly sad and mostly mad. I just never thought about it. I guess when I come to Him that He is kind of saying, “Okay, what do you want this time?” or He is saying something like, “I thought we settled the issue the last time you vowed. You have broken your vows again.” I am not trying to make light of that. That is not my point. My point is that we have this whole idea of this fragile God who is about to collapse because we collapse. He upholds everything by His goodness and His power. You have this idea of God. You are saying, “Lord, I want to change it. I want to begin to behold a new dimension of You.”
He really makes a difference. If you get this right then you will run to Him instead of from Him when you find your immaturity. There is a city like a jasper and a diamond with an emerald rainbow. That city is filled with gladness. It is filled with pleasure. On your wedding day you will be so filled with gladness. Why wait until then? I am going to lead you in a prayer. I want you to say these words in your own heart quietly.
Father, I want to repent that I have accused You of being angry and sad. It is a false accusation against Your heart. I did not realize that. I have agreed with the enemies lies about Your character that You are mostly angry or just mostly in a bad mood when You look at me. I want to break my agreement with lies against Your heart. The Lord is not upset with you, but you have to break your agreement with darkness to get free from it. I am calling you to repent of charging God with being like the devil. The devil is sad and mad all of the time. He tells you that is what the Father is like all of the time.