147:7.2 On Tuesday evening Jesus was
conducting one of his customary classes of questions and answers when the leader of the six spies said to him: "I was today talking with one of John's
disciples who is here attending upon your teaching, and we were at a loss to understand why you never command your disciples to fast and pray as we
fast and as John bade his followers." And Jesus, referring to a statement by John, answered this questioner: "Do the sons
of the bridechamber fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as the bridegroom remains with them, they can hardly fast. But the time is coming
when the bridegroom shall be taken away, and during those times the children of the bridechamber undoubtedly will fast and pray. To pray is natural
for the children of light, but fasting is not a part of the gospel of the
kingdom of heaven.
Be reminded that a wise tailor does not sew a piece of new and unshrunk cloth upon an old garment, lest, when it is wet, it shrink and produce a worse
rent. Neither do men put new wine into old wine skins, lest the new wine burst the skins so that both the wine and the skins perish. The wise man puts
the new wine into fresh wine skins. Therefore do my disciples show wisdom in that they do not bring too much of the old order over into the new
teaching of the gospel of the kingdom. You who have lost your teacher may be justified in fasting for a time. Fasting may be an appropriate part of
the law of Moses, but in the coming kingdom the sons of God shall experience freedom from
fear and joy in the divine spirit." And when they heard these words, the disciples of John were comforted while the Pharisees themselves were
the more confounded.
147:7.3 Then the Master proceeded
to warn his hearers against entertaining the notion that all olden teaching should be replaced entirely by new doctrines. Said Jesus: "That which is old and also true must abide. Likewise, that which is new but false must be rejected. But that which is new and
also true, have the faith and courage to accept. Remember it is written: `Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable to him. As new
wine, so is a new friend; if it becomes old, you shall drink it with gladness.'"
147:8.5 And then long into
the night Jesus propounded to his
apostles the truth that it was their faith that made them secure in the kingdom of the
present and the future, and not their affliction of soul nor fasting of body. He exhorted
the apostles at least to live up to the ideas of the prophet of old and expressed the hope that they would progress far beyond even the ideals of
Isaiah and the older prophets. His last words that night were: "Grow in grace by means of that living faith which grasps
the fact that you are the sons of God while at the same time it recognizes every man as a brother."
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