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The Mount of Temptation!

The Mount of Temptation!

“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days, He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry” (Luke 4:1-2).


The Scene of the Mount of Temptation!

Jesus was Filled with the Holy Spirit!

Jesus was Led into the Wilderness by the Holy Spirit!

Jesus was Alone!

Jesus was Tempted by the Devil!

Jesus Chose Fasting Before He Faced His Temptation!

How would we behave if God sent us into the wilderness to face the devil with no one going with us and with no visible resources?


Visible Realm Versus the Invisible!

The Things that are Visible on the Mount of Temptation are:

·        Satan!

·        The Stone Satan Tempted Jesus with!

·        The Visible Inherited Earth Satan Showed Jesus!

·        The Pinnacle of the Temple Where Satan Took Jesus!


The Invisible Factors:

·        God!

·        The Word of God!

·        The Kingdom of God!

·        Jesus’ Commitment to God!


Satan Versus Jesus!

Satan was very much visible or audible: “And the devil said to Him…” (Luke 4:3), whereas God was silent.  God is immortal and invisible: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (I Timothy 1:17).

 

Everything of the devil can be seen whereas it will take FAITH to recognize and realize the presence of God who is immortal and invisible.  Often, we are tempted by what we see, feel, or touch.


Jesus was alone on the mountain with His Invisible Father with Him while the devil was showing up to tempt and seduce Jesus!


Temptation One - Lust of the Flesh!

“And the devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.’  But Jesus answered him, saying, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God’” (Luke 4:3-4).


Jesus was alone!

Jesus chose fasting for 40 days to face the devil!

His fasting ended!

After the fasting, He was hungry!

Jesus had every right to eat after the fasting was over, but He KNEW that the POWER from on High was not yet granted to Him.  The power was given to Jesus once He defeated the enemy: “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region” (Luke 4:14). Wisdom helps us recognize Satan’s temptation to act before our time when God wants us to wait!


The devil tempted Jesus to make the stones bread.

The stone was visible to the eyes of Jesus just as the forbidden fruit was visible and “good to look on” by Adam and Eve who also heard the voice of Satan for seduction.  Just as God was not there in the Garden of Eden, God was not visibly present to save Jesus on the Mount of Temptation.

Jesus was alone but NOT WITHOUT THE WORD OF GOD!

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God!”


The Word gave Jesus the strength to overcome the lust of the eyes and the temptation of the enemy.  It may sound elementary but there is no power equal to God’s Word living inside of us to defeat Satan.

Oftentimes, Satan will show you a picture to corrupt you but if you are submissive to God and are FULL OF GOD’s WORD, the Holy Spirit will remind you of the appropriate and fitting Word to combat the enemy and overcome Him!


It is fundamental and necessary (and no way out of it) that we must learn, study, and meditate on God’s Word daily to know the tactics of the enemy and overcome him.


Temptation Two – Lust of the Eyes!

“Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.’ And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Luke 4:5-8).


Satan showed Jesus the Kingdoms of the World – the word used for “world” describes the “inhabited earth,” and not the whole globe of the earth.  It refers to the visible kingdoms, such as the Roman Empire that was in authority at the time of Jesus.

Satan told Jesus, “By the authority I have, I will give You the kingdom that you can rule and govern.”


This is the most common temptation to every believer to possess what others possess, whether it be the (wrong) man, woman, position, power, etc. Even ministers of the gospel are tempted to possess what others possess and build their "kingdoms" on earth rather than being faithful to the callings to which God has called them.  We must recognize that there is no rival to our position to which God has called us if we submit and follow Him faithfully to excel in that position.  God has a unique purpose and design for everyone He has called to do His will.  We must obey God to overcome the “lust of the eyes.”


Jesus knew that the kingdoms of this world would become His kingdom one day: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever’” (Revelation 11:15)!


Jesus also knew and prayed for the coming of God’s invisible kingdom: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).  Jesus responded to the question of the Pharisees: “Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within (in the midst of) you” (Luke 17:20-21).


When we are tempted by the things of this world and with the lust of the eyes, let us remember Jesus’ answer to Pontius Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36).


Wisdom recognizes that the lust of the eyes takes us away from the true and pure worship of God and brings us back to the total devotion and dedication to God and God alone!


Temptation Three – Pride of Life!

“Then (Satan) brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you,’ and, ‘In their hands, they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God’” (Luke 4:9-12).


Satan put Jesus to the test of “proving” Psalm 91:11-12, just as the Israelites tested God if God was among them at Massah and Meribah: “Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore, the people contended with Moses, and said, ‘Give us water, that we may drink.’ So, Moses said to them, ‘Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the Lord?’ And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, ‘Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?’  So, Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, ‘What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me (death by stoning)!’ And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go on before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also, take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.’ And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. So, he called the name of the place Massah (“Tempted”) and Meribah (“Contention”), because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” (Exodus 17:1-7).


It was not asking for water but for the doubt of the Israelites “Is the Lord among us or not?” that tempted God. 


Satan tempted Jesus with the temptation of the pride of life that is common to all of us that we ought to have certain things “if God is with us.”  Jesus gave the appropriate answer: “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”


Never should we give into temptation when God is with us or not.  God is with all His children all the time no matter how we feel under the circumstances. 


We also MUST realize that cannot and will not have everything the world has, and overcome the temptation of the “pride of life” by our submission to our God.  Once again, our submission is reflected upon the knowledge and the power of God’s Word in us, for Satan will use our ignorance of God’s Word to take advantage of us.


Conclusion – Victory Over the Word!

Apostle John sums up our message above in three powerful verses: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (I John 2:15-17).


Remember Satan tempts with everything that you can see in the visible realm, whereas God stays strong in His invisible realm.  Faith sees the invisible, obeys God, and achieves the impossible.  Only your faith and obedience to God will help you operate in the realm of God that is visible only to you!


Satan fights us with temptation with what we see, touch, and possess. We overcome the temptation by the power of God’s Word in us!


Satan tempts us with the “lust of the eyes,” whereas God strengthens us with His guidance by the power of God’s Word!


Satan offers us power and position that does not belong to us, but God helps us to be strong in God’s perfect will to stay faithful in our calling!  “Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89).” Here is my proclamation: “Your word is settled in me as well, O Lord.”


We overcome Satan’s temptation of the “pride of life” by our submission to God and enjoying the blessings God has given us rather than coveting that which does not belong to us!


Let us heed the command of Archbishop James: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you!” (James 4:7-8).


Prayer

“Heavenly Father, I love and adore You and bow down before You.  You are immortal, invisible, and the only wise God.  I thank You for the knowledge of knowing You through Your Precious Son, Jesus.  Father, I thank You for the blood of Jesus that helps me overcome the enemy's tactics.  I am so grateful for the power of the Holy Spirit that keeps me sanctified with Your Word.  Fill me, Lord, with the power of Your Living Word, to help me to know and overcome the cunning devices of the devil and to live victoriously in Christ. Grant me, Lord, my desire to be a blessing to You for the purpose for which You have chosen me. I am Yours, and Yours alone, my Lord.  In the Most Precious and Wonderful Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen!  Amen!!” 

__________________________________________________________________________________________

John Jeyaseelan

Global Prayer Center | prayer | 701 Bill France Boulevard, Daytona Beach, FL, USA

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