The PHYSICAL Temptation
TEMPTATION 1: COMMAND STONES TO BECOME BREAD
Matthew 4:1-4 ¶ Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
It was the spirit that led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. Jesus, it reads ate NOTHING for forty days and forty nights before the tempter came and it reads that He was VERY HUNGRY. From this we must come to the understanding that not all of our temptations come from the enemy. When we belong to God, He wants to take us through many temptations just to show us His power so that He is glorified. We do not belong to the enemy and neither did Jesus. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
This was a real physical temptation for Jesus when the devil challenged Him to turn the stones into bread.
Ones true conviction is found to be strong if we hold up under true pressure. It’s like we are a tube of toothpaste and when the pressure is applied to the tube, stuff comes out. So in a since, Jesus had to be tested so that He would endure what it is like for man to suffer the physical pains of hunger and the trial of temptation. How would Jesus know what it is like for us, had the Son of God not gone through every test and trial that would come our way, if He had not first been tested Himself? We can apply this physical temptation to every physical aspect of our life because the temptation that He went through has provided for every aspect of our physical being that needs the hand of God’s healing touch.
How did Jesus respond to the tempter? He simply spoke the word of God to him. People need more than physical bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God so that when temptation comes, we can declare the word of God with confidence and over come the tempter and the temptation so that we can receive the healing that God wants to provide for our life.
There are many reasons for memorizing scripture. In all likelihood, we don’t carry our Bibles everywhere we go, so it is good to place the scriptures in our heart and our mind, so that we can recall them and declare them upon any occasion. Jesus was able to resist the devil’s temptation not only because He knew the scripture, but because He obeyed the scripture. God’s word is a sword for us to use in all of our physical, emotional and spiritual battles.
It is the devil who is overcome by the power of the word of God because he had already chosen not to obey the word of God. Revelation 12:11 tells us ‘And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.’ We can defeat the devil because of God’s gracious act on behalf of mankind, the shedding of the Lamb’s blood and also because we can fearlessly declare our testimony by giving witness to this act of God on our behalf. We can carry and hold fast to this profession all the way to and through our death.
When we are tested or tempted, we should keep in our minds that it may be that we are being led by the Spirit for a purpose by God and that the devil has come to block God’s propose for our life or maybe even for someone else’s life.
During those forty days and forty nights, what did Jesus do? We can all have an idea, but my thoughts are that every evening and morning and at noon that Jesus cried out to God knowing that He would hear His voice. As Jesus cast His burden upon the Lord; He was sustained. I am guessing that God never suffered His righteous Son to be moved and that as Jesus called upon God, He was saved. I am sure that Jesus didn’t lean onto His own understanding but in all His ways, He acknowledged His Father and His Father directed His path. God did not allow His Son’s feet to be moved during those 40 days and 40 nights because He who keeps you does not slumber.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him in Spirit and in truth. I believe that God, who heard His Son’s cry, kept Him in perfect peace that passes all understanding, guarding His heart and His mind as Jesus kept His heart and mind, focused on His Father. Not so much on His mission, but upon His Father who would keep Him and guide His path unto the way of peace. This is what happens to all who trust in the Lord with all their heart because Jesus paved the way by showing us an example.
We don’t need to be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, send our requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds, through Christ Jesus. The God of our hope will always fill us with all peace as we trust in Him so that we overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
In case you have not figured it out, the three temptations of Christ are taking us through the three temptations that first began in the garden. Christ is showing us how to overcome them. The first temptation to Eve was a physical desire of the flesh.
Genesis 3:6 ¶ And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
God has a clear purpose to where He took Jesus and that very same purpose is why we must follow His path. Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Our bodies need healing. Not everything that we see in the physical and material world is good for food even if it is pleasant to the eyes. God did not originally intend for humankind to eat all that He has created. To take this from the mouth of Jesus, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
The word that proceeded out of the mouth of God was given unto Moses, the prophets. Some of which are found in the historical books and all the writings both in the old and the New Testament. This is the food that will sustain us in every temptation, even the temptation of food in and of itself. When Jesus said, ‘it is written’, this is where we find where it was written. Jesus was being tempted by the desire of the flesh.
The EMOTIONAL Temptation
TEMPTATION 2: CAST YOURSELF DOWN FROM THE TEMPLE
Matthew 4:5-7 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, it is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
The next temptation came to Jesus to prove that God was able to keep His word. This desire is also two part because the devil is tempting Jesus with the desire of the eyes just like he did to Eve in the garden. The enemy told Jesus that if He was the Son of God that all He had to do was to prove that, by jumping off the highest point that overlooked the valley below the temple, which was the highest building in Jerusalem at the time, that the angels would catch Him.
Again the devil used scripture to try to get Jesus to commit sin. However, Jesus isn’t threatened any more than we should feel threatened. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. It may be that the enemy somehow knows or senses when we are taking a spiritual jump and wants to do everything in his power to stop that growth of faith in our spiritual walk or even a gift of healing that God is providing. He would love nothing more than to see us fall on our face. But what does the Bible tell us?
Psalm 91: 11-12 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
“Satan accurately quoted God’s Word to Jesus, but with a 100% wrong conclusion.”
The one thing that we cannot miss is that when satan quoted the Psalms passage to Jesus, he left out a very small bit of truth. He left out ” to keep thee in all thy ways.” When Jesus replies to satan, Jesus lets him know that God does not guarantee that He will protect us in all of our ways, but He does promise to protect us if we walk in all of His ways.
The enemy is always trying to trip us up so that we fall down. We are bound to the Lord God. By being bound, we will find ourselves being challenged because we are following the same path that Jesus walked. Anyone can find scripture in the Bible to defend their viewpoint, but what are we taught about the scriptures?
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Timothy 3:16 We might think that we can search the scriptures and find eternal life, but we can’t. Eternal life only comes through Jesus. However, the scriptures are where we find how to walk in an upright position before our God. These are where, ‘it is written’.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
The main element of God’s witness is found in His written word. Jesus is inviting those who do not have the word of God in them to search the scriptures because they testify of Him. All scripture, not just any scripture or some scripture must be used if we are to be diligent in our learning of all the truth that the Lord has for us to learn, trust in and obey. We cannot let our emotions lead us or tempt us; we must be led by the Spirit of truth in all things.
Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
The devil didn’t even accurately quote God’s Word to Jesus, and he did so with the wrong conclusion. When the devil quoted the Psalms passage to Jesus, he left out a very small bit of truth. He left out “to keep thee in all thy ways.” When Jesus replies to the devil, Jesus lets him know that God does not guarantee that He will protect us in all of our ways, but He does promise to protect us if we walk in all of His ways. We can’t expect God to protect us when we choose our own path in life when we are commanded to follow Him and His ways. This is exactly what the devil was trying to get Jesus to do, to choose His own way and not God’s way.
Jesus knew the mission that He was on and He was bound and determined to honor God alone. He wasn’t going to take any short cuts. The enemy was trying to get Jesus to make it look as though God’s protection and care was the only condition on which His loyalty was to be established, rather than love, trust and obedience.
The only doctrine that we can hold true to is the doctrine that is written in the scriptures. To teach the will of God, and to point out Jesus Christ till He should come. His doctrine shall drop as the rain, His speech that shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass. It is God’s principles for living and what He wants for our lives that we should seek. When we study the word, we will begin to understand the whole of the Bible and recognize errors of interpretation of a verse taken here or there to satisfy, that which the heart of man wants to satisfy.
Jesus taught that folks will not believe in the Bible, even if the prophets of old were to come back from the dead. (Luke 16:31) God wants us to live by faith and believe by faith in what the scriptures teach us. It is not wise to ask God to prove who He is by showing us a sign and that is another avenue that the devil was tempting Jesus with.
Jesus’ answer to the devil was a quote from the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 6:16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. We as His children are to diligently keep his commandments, His testimonies, and His statutes, that He commanded because it is through every word of God that we live.
If the devil could make it appear that God’s protection and care were the condition on which loyalty was to be established, then he would have shown that God’s love was conditional, rather than His love being un-conditional within and of itself. God is love.
1st John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1st John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Basically, this was the same temptation that the devil tossed in Job’s lap. We can’t expect God to protect us when we choose our own path in life; we are commanded to follow Him and His ways.
If we apply our faith to what God commands, and worship Him in spirit and in truth we will find that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Many people say, if you do it this way, it will work out. Jesus didn’t believe that anymore than we should.
It started in the garden. The serpent said unto the woman, ‘Ye shall not surely die’
We must understand that the devil’s most successful tactic in his war against the truth is to quote God’s Word to us, but earnestly wants to have us come away with the wrong conclusion. We must not let our emotions rule our thinking or the decisions that we must make. We must die so that we gain life.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. The devil knew full well that it was him that will surely die, ‘he speaketh of his own’.
The SPIRITUAL Temptation
TEMPTATION 3: WORSHIP SATAN AND RECEIVE ALL THE WORLD AND ITS GLORY
Matthew 4:8-10 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
The devil told Eve and Adam who was standing next to her: ‘For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ ~ Genesis 3:5
The devil was tempting Eve and Adam with the pretentions of life no different than he was now tempting Jesus. The devil is able to offer us nothing more than death if we worship him. He is attacking Jesus in the spiritual realm. God may, in His mercy, rescue us because of our ignorance, but that is not the spiritually mature way to think.
The following is a quote by someone I found on line.
”The enemy: has yet another tactic he will use and that is to cause us to accept whatever someone says about God without putting it to the test of God’s Word — God’s entire Word. It begins when we want something for our self so bad that our desire causes us to have “tunnel vision”, making the only thing we wish to see is our miracle, the fulfillment of our desire. It is at that point where we cross the line, loving our desire and/or truth more than God’s desire and/or truth.”
Whether Satan realizes it or not, when Jesus walks out of the desert victorious over him and his temptations, Jesus has demonstrated that Satan’s doom is assured. Jesus will choose God’s plan even if it means suffering, death, and personal ridicule on a cross.
What is the cost of my following God? We will all have to ask ourselves at some point, will I choose faithfulness over ____________?
2nd Thessalonians 2:9-12 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The Anarchist’s that is coming is all about the devil’s work. The activity of all his power and signs and miracles are fake, evil sleight of hand trickery that will play to those who hate the truth that could save them. And since they’re so obsessed with evil and refuse to trust truth, they’re banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions. They are blinded to the truth because they do not believe it. Their pleasure is in un-righteousness rather than seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness. This is why they will receive the deluding influence that God is sending so that they might believe what is false. We must love God and the truth above all else, even over our own desires and/or truth, or it will cause us to have a blind spot — blinding us from God’s desire and/or truth.
The outcome in the wilderness for Jesus was successful.
Matthew 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
What happened to Adam and Eve?
Genesis 3:6-9 ¶ And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
God has been calling mankind ever since. Those who have ears will hear what the Spirit is saying and respond to the call. However, if we truly want discernment in our life, we must be willing to act on what we already know.
John 7:16-17: “Jesus therefore answered them, and said, ‘My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself.'”
Did Jesus teach anything different than what God spoke? The question remains, is man willing to do God’s will rather than trying to walk out his own path of salvation from sin and transgression? Is man willing to eat only of the tree of life, the very words that have come from the mouth of God? We cannot allow our feelings and desires, our attitudes or mental assent to focus on anything other than our decision to obey God and His word.
The only way that we can know that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God is to read the scriptures for our self, inviting the Holy Spirit to teach us and to constantly ask our self, am I willing to do His will? If so then we need to know of His teaching and trust that He is who He said that He is and that He is the one who will reward our diligence that we may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless, overcoming the enemy by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony; and not love our lives unto the death, loving Him more than life itself.
I learned about it when studying with some Aramaic speakers a few years back when Myspace had forums lol. It should be viewed from the Aramaic because it is the only one that retains the flow:
Therefore whoever shall break one of these small commands and shall so inculcate on the children of men, shall be called little in the kingdom of heaven: but every one that shall do and teach [them], shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matt 5:19
[Murdock] Two words are used there as is one implied for least:
1.) זעורא – z’ora (LEAST of the commands) 1 small 2 humble 3 few, small amount –(a) lacking in blood –(b) considerable, in substantial amount 4 pl: a few things http://cal1.cn.huc.edu/getlex.php?coord=620400519&word=8
2.) (LEAST of men) The majority of translators translate “men” as “children of men” as this is an idiomatic expression in and of itself. This pushes yet another “little” or “least” usage into the message.
3.) דספרא – b’syra (LEAST in heaven) 1 lean –(a) unworthy –(b) weak –(c) (astron.) waning, diminished 2 small –(a) pl. few –(b) in construct with a noun indicate what the subject has little of 3 minor, lesser –(a) less –(b) adv.: less http://cal1.cn.huc.edu/getlex.php?coord=620400519&word=12
As you can see the participle adjective DOES carry the definition of something that is unworthy. B’syr is the root of a lot of terms that mean “small, inferior” etc. A list can be found here: http://www.dukhrana.com/lexicon/index.php
It exists in four forms: Adjective Participle Adjective Noun Verb So you have three different forms of “smallness” or “least” in the English translation.
The word for GREAT is used once and it is: רבא – Raba 1 great 2 large 3 important, chief 4 older 5 elder http://cal1.cn.huc.edu/getlex.php?coord=620400519&word=21
The contrast between Raba and B’Syra is no accident, and is akin to someone contrasting Cold and Hot.
Of the two terms, z’ora is usually the inclusion use.
By that, I mean as a member of a group. Like “This is the smallest of the oranges in the harvest.” Paul uses z’ora in reference to himself: to me, who am the least [z’ora] of all the saints… Eph 3:8 I am the least [z’ora] of the apostles… 1st Cor 15:9
Another usage that is comparable: I say to you, that no prophet, among those born of women, was greater than John the Baptizer: and yet THE LEAST [z’ora] IN THE KINGDOM OF ELOHIM, is greater [rab] than he. Luke 7:28
A native Aramaic speaker translates the inflection in this way elsewhere: “Even you, Bethlehem of Judah, you are not INSIGNIFICANT [b’syra] in the eyes of the kings of Judah, for from you shall come out a king, who will shepherd my people Israel.” Matt 2:6
[Lamsa] B’syra in this inflection (overall) should not be viewed as inclusive. ———-
In summary even the least [z’ora] of those in the kingdom of heaven will call such people “b’syra”. That’s the nuts and bolts of it. I wish I still had contact with those guys but when they deleted the forums I left Myspace. Sooooo much stuff was lost. I was upset.