Thoughts on Temptation of Christ, post 1

Thoughts on Christ’s temptation. 

First, let us understand the word “tempt”.  So few of us truly understand this word.  Since the Bible was authorized by the English, then we could use the English meaning.  It appears the word was a Middle English word from “tempten”, maybe borrowed from Old French “tempter”, coming from the Latin “temptāret,” meaning to “try, test, tempt”.  My 1940’s dictionary says,  “to put to trial; test; persuade to evil.”   Since I am not a theologian, nor a language expert, I think it is important to use the format of the Word I grew up with.  The simple KJV.

Notice the definitions do not mention anything about testing for positive or good results.  Also, when I have talked with other people, most feels it means: “to lure”.  So, I want to ease us into thinking of it in its true meaning of  “to test or persuade to evil”.

To get us started, I want to use Matthew 4 and Luke 4.  I want to just look at what the tempter said.  Not what our Redeemer says.  So we read:

Matthew 4

(1)  Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  (2)  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward ahungered.  (3)  And when the tempter came to him, he said,  If thou be the Son of God,  command that these stones be made bread.  [hunger and pride ]

(5)  Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city,  and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,  (6)  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.  [ half truths/scripture ]

(8)  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;  (9)  And saith unto him,  All these things will I give thee,  if thou wilt fall down and worship me.   [ greed/lies/promises ]

Luke 4

(1)  And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan,  and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,  (2)  Being forty days tempted of the devil.  And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended,  he afterward hungered.  (3)  And the devil said unto him,  If thou be the Son of God,  command this stone that it be made bread . .. 

(5)  And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  (6)  And the devil said unto him,  All this power will I give thee,  and the glory of them:  for that is delivered unto me;  and to whomsoever I will I give it.  (7)  If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. …

(9)  And he brought him to Jerusalem,  and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him,  If thou be the Son of God,  cast thyself down from hence:  (10)   For it is written,  He shall give his angels charge over thee,  to keep thee:  And in their hands they shall bear thee up,  lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 

Next, let us consider the names/characteristic/skills that satan has — and uses.  He is known as the “great liar” and blinds the eyes of those he is after.   He masquerades as good and righteous.  He can do signs and wonders;  he can cause illness and harm.  He is known as the “great tempter”;  thus, he puts ideas in our minds to be as the world is and like our peers.   He is a killer.  He is the evil that any murderer has in themselves, but he is also a killer of  ‘faith’.   He is called the  “great accuser”.  Using  ‘accusations’  against us;  which encourages us to doubt or accuse ourselves,  so as to promote the fear of being lost from our salvation.  Satan uses pain, pleasure, and the hope of promises to cause us to be blind to his actions. 

He uses deception in the mouth of our prophets/preachers, the same as he did in the Old Testament. He uses our  ‘education’ against us.  He turns our thoughts away from what is righteous with the Word.

Ⅱ Corinthians 4:4

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them,

Ⅱ Corinthians 11:

13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

14   And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 

15   Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

[Matthew 7:15; Ⅱ Thessalonians 2:1-12;  Job 1-2]

Something that we tend to forget, or consider, is that satan was daring and brazen to tempt the Redeemer!  Imagine the audacity!  Taking that thought, then it is no stretch to think that he would do the same to each of the mere children of God.  We have an adversary to our soul.  He is constantly seeking a way into our armour around our soul.  Those of us whom have been redeemed are his biggest targets and we need to make it extra hard for him to pierce our armour.  But even with the Spirit in us, satan will send his tempting arrows at us.  Just as in Matthew,  he uses the physical body and its needs to tempt us.

Then when that may not work,  he moves on.  He loves to use “pride”.  He might use “fear” as his next temptation.  He will find something that will be a stumbling block to us and encourage us to seek our own path around the block;  instead of keeping our eyes on the path that the Lord might have for us.  Think on it,  he suggested that Christ just jump and that the angels will keep Him from harm.  He suggested that Christ tempt the Father,  which was nothing different than what he did with Eve. { More thoughts on that comment in the next post. }

Then third was the promise of riches.  Satan tempts us with money and riches,  saying that if we just do as the world tells us to,  we will have all we want.  [How many times have you seen a post on FB or Tw that suggests you can like the post and riches will come your way?  Just today I saw several.]   What a joke that we all fall for.  Satan had the nerve to suggest to the Redeemer,  that he (satan) was the true ruler of this sphere and he could give it to whom he chose. 

There is not a trick that satan will not use on us.  Remember that satan has been around since before man (us).   He knows the plans the Father has for him.  He is always seeking to prove the Father wrong and loves to use us as a tool to do so.  With that in mind, satan knows the Word better than any man knows it.  What does that mean for us?  It means that he is always trying to be one step in front of us and continually throwing stones in our path.  The saddest part is that he uses our knowledge of the Word against us. 

Just like with trying to tempt Christ,  he will toss just enough scripture at us and use it to make us stumble.  He can do this in so many ways.  He does it with using and twisting our knowledge to give us a polluted understanding of the Word.  He uses our church leaders to also water down the gospel.  He uses their fear of losing church members and church income to encourage worldly acceptance of sins.  He (satan) clouds their understanding with the things of this world.  All the proof we need is in the words: for it is written”.  Then never forget Ⅱ Corinthians 11:13 “ For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  ”

So what do we do, knowing we have a target on our soul?

We can use the Word as our guide.  We must always be on the lookout for what the evil one is throwing at us.  If we do not read the Word for ourselves and seek the knowledge that the Spirit will impart for us, we will never be aware of the truth of the Word.  We will never know the truth of:  “for it is written”,

My prayer: Father let the Spirit guide and give us the hunger to know Your Word.  Help shore our armour.  Let us be as our Redeemer was as He was ahungered:  sure in Your word.

 

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Temptation of Christ, post 1

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