My brothers and sisters,
As concluded in Part 1, Jesus himself was tempted by Satan, but He fought back and won the victory. Satan’s battle plan never changes but follows an exact or similar format. Pay attention to how Jesus handles the battle of temptation.
THE MATTHEW 4: 11 BATTLE PLAN
NOTE: This happened shortly after Jesus submitted Himself to God via being baptised.
The Temptation of Jesus
1. Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
2. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
(SATAN TEMPTS JESUS WITH THE LUST OF THE FLESH)
4. But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
(JESUS FIGHTS BACK WITH DEUTERONOMY 8: 3)
5. Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6. and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
(SATAN TEMPTS JESUS WITH THE LUST OF THE EYES AND SHARES PSALM 91: 11 –12 ON TOP OF TEMPTATION.**)
7. Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
(JESUS FIGHTS BACK WITH DEUTERONOMY 6: 16)
8. Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
(SATAN TEMPTS JESUS WITH THE PRIDE OF LIFE)
10. Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”
(JESUS FIGHTS BACK WITH DEUTERONOMY 10: 20)
11. Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
**QUESTION: Why did Satan USE THOSE SPECIFIC SCRIPTURES to tempt Jesus?
Satan is a liar. IF Jesus listened, He would have jumped to His death. This will result in Jesus not dying on the Cross, and thus not fulfilling His purpose; no sacrifice for humanity’s sin, mankind will be eternally lost and Jesus would have fallen into sin, for disobedience. Praise God that He is all-knowing and aware of his schemes.
As we can see, Satan used the lust of the flesh, eyes and the pride of life model to tempt Jesus, who responded with Old Testament scriptures; the commandments of God Himself.
Please pay attention to a heavy distinction here. Scripture has made it clear and has given us insights to why being tempted, deceived and led astray by any worldly vices is dangerous.
Isaiah 14: 12: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
John 8: 12: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
According to the Blue Letter Bible interlinear function, the Hebrew word for Lucifer is heylel, a masculine noun which means “light-bearer”, (some translations say Shining One, or Morning Star). Its verb equivalent Halal outlines the following meanings:
The light that Jesus is referring to is described below, the Greek word; Phos.
Both descriptions have stark differences. In Lucifers case, the common theme here is boasting.
Jesus presents himself as the light of brilliance, life and enlightenment. Lucifer, the light bearer, bears light in a boastful manner. Please note, he might not present himself, if indeed, with red horns, a forked tail and a pitchfork.
2 Corinthians 11:14 – And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Brothers and sisters, we have to be very discerning in opportunities, for not everything is from God.
1. Do you know His will? This is the foundation of being discerning of your environment.
2. Do you know his Word? Can you apply it to your specific circumstance?
3. Has your eyes and flesh been tempted? Are there prospects of achieving or acquiring something that fills you up with boastful pride?
I ask these because the truth is, Satan is here to tempt you with the very things you want the most. Not everything that glitters is gold, and not everything you want is good for you.
James 1: 13-18 (ESV) (Emphasis Added)
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Temptation is a fact, it will always be there. To fall into temptation implies an action, one where a decision is made to fall in, knowing that the act of indulgence is against God. Sin is committed.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
Temptation does not come from God, but from your own desires.
Satan presents the “light” as a way of drawing you towards indulgence.
God is always present to deliver by pointing the way out (Matt 6: 13, 1 Corinthians 10: 13).
You must make the decision to resist or run away from it. Timothy was warned about this in 2 Timothy 2:22 (CEV):
Run from temptations that capture young people. Always do the right thing. Be faithful, loving, and easy to get along with. Worship with people whose hearts are pure.
To conclude, Jesus performed in detail what Scripture says we should do when we are tempted; face to face with the devil himself:
James 4:7 – Submit yourselves, to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Be warned. Satan will be back; he rules the world after all.
Luke 4:13 (ESV) And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
This is evident in the Gospels when he left Jesus in the desert, got rebuked by Jesus through Peter, (Matt 16:23, Mark 8:33) and then entered Judas Iscariot (Luke 22:3, John 13: 27).
My brothers and sisters, until He calls us home or when He returns, submerge yourselves in His word, pay attention to your surroundings and DO NOT be ignorant of his devices. If you are, he will outwit, outsmart and take advantage of you.
Follow the light; The right one.
Tunde T. Amao