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5. TRUTH in Action: Repelling the Devil.

Matthew 4:1-11 KJV Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted (tested) by the devil.

The temptation or testing of Jesus wasn't by accident or because Jesus was spiritually weak. Rather, the Spirit of God led Jesus to the wilderness to be tempted, tested, and tried - it was necessary. To reveal a contrast between God and Satan, good and evil, and for Jesus to identify with mankind's earthly struggles. God the Father was pleased with His Son. The Father had said of His Son, "This is my Son whom I am well pleased."

The devil was now poised to attack the Son of God, tempting Him to prove His deity through a miraculous work(s), saying, "IF... you are the Son of God command that these stones become bread." The word IF is often times used to question or challenge someone. The devil was questioning/challenging Jesus' authority, power, and status. Jesus, however, didn't take the bait, but instead answered, "It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." He used Scripture, The Bible, to repel the devil. And while Jesus could have answered the devil supernaturally, he did not. He used the same spiritual weapon that's available to men - Scripture. When we study and memorize the Bible for the benefit of deflecting the devil's fiery darts or when we share the Word of God with an unbeliever.

This of course, did not stop the devil from baiting the Son of God to get Him to sin, by satisfying a selfish desire; to eat, after spending 40 days and 40 nights without food. A lesser devil is also trying to accomplish the same thing with men, saying things like, "IF... you are truly a believer, Christian, or child of God, ask God to take away your suffering and be refreshed..." The question or challenge is nothing more than a way of baiting God's elect into not trusting God's provisions. Trust God's word, His provisions, and submit to our Heavenly Father, using a passage from Scripture (Truth) as Jesus did to repel the devil.

It would have been nice if the devil had fled shortly after Jesus recited Scripture, but he did not. Instead, he doubled his efforts and tried a second and third time. Notice verses

(v5-7) Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus responded by saying, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’”

The devil attempted to move God forcibly to act in a supernatural way, which is the same method he uses when he tempts us. "IF God really loves you, ask Him to spare you from the pain you are going through." When the devil asks a question such as this, our response should be as Jesus responded, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God." Do not capitulate and ask God to act supernaturally just to relieve a momentary discomfort. For example, someone might say, "Lord, let me win the lottery, least I should loose my home, car, or job." Surely, God will not allow any harm to come to His children, right?" Be careful, the devil is trying to tempt you. Keep in mind, the devil knows Scripture and will try and convince us, he is right, misquoting Scripture just to support his point of view. Do not be deceived! We must be on guard at all times. Study Scripture " to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Know what what scripture says, so that the devil doesn't take a passage out of Scripture out of context (For it is written).

After the devil's second attempt fails, he tries a third time, Notice,

(v8-10) Again, the devil took Him (Jesus) up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

Here, the devil is trying to exalt himself over God and get Jesus to bow down to Satan. Why on earth would Jesus ever do that? Only God is to be worshipped and served; Jesus knows Scripture! As we must also. And while the devil may have had possession over "all the kingdoms of the world" having received them from Adam when he chose to follow Satan instead of God. Jesus zeroed in on what the devil was truly after, to be worshipped and served. How many times has the devil attempted to convince men everywhere that they should be worshipped and served? I dare say too many times. Today, a man willingly worships material things everyday through such devices as our cell phones, big screen TV, and a host of other material objects. Unfortunately, man is quick to bow down (worship and serve) to these images just as the children of Israel did soon after fleeing Egypt, bowing down to the golden calf they had made. Instead, we should be quoting scripture as Jesus did and not believing the lie, which the devil is more than willing to use.

The Word of God is an effective tool to combat the devil's lies, deceptions, and doubts. Do not allow fear and an unbelief rule within. Allow God's word to fill our hearts and minds, whereby, God's truth shall reign supreme within us. And just as Jesus had angels come and minister to him, the Holy Spirit shall minister to us, drawing upon the verses, stories, and testimonies of others to repel the devil. Not man's wisdom, but God's wisdom shall see us through the difficult times in this world. Amen? Amen!


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