The Victory In The Wilderness
In this blog I want to focus on the weaponry Jesus used in his first victory over Satan in the wilderness. It’s important because what he used, how, and it’s significance to us is vital in our walk in this world today.
How Jesus dealt with the devil is our example to follow. Let’s take a look at the account given in Matthew of this battle:
The Temptation of Jesus
Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Mat 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Mat 4:4 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.
Mat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
Mat 4:6 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.
Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Mat 4:8 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;
Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Mat 4:10 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.
Mat 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
1. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness-indicating this was a divine appointment, one that would be carefully attended to by angels standing by. The outcome was of vital importance-it was the first phase of the fulfillment of Gen 3:17- “I will put enmity between the woman’s seed and thy seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
2. After 40 days of fasting-the devil comes to tempt him. This is always the way of demonic temptation, coming with the most enticing lusts and lures when the victim is at their weakest.
3. Verse 4:3-"If" suggests a doubt, and, perhaps, a taunt. It is a cunning appeal to Christ to work a miracle to satisfy his hunger and to display his power. It would seem an innocent thing for Christ to make bread when he was hungry, for himself, as he afterwards did for the five thousand.
4. Verse 4:4- Here we see Christ bringing the first blow to Satan, even while he is at his weakest physically-and gaining the first victory. Using the sword of the Spirit-the word of God in retort of Satan’s enticement: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Here Jesus was using Deut. 8:3 to wield this blow.
This shows the vital importance of knowing the word of God, and how to correctly appropriate it at the proper time. Satan knows the word of God and knows if we do also-we have to study to show ourselves approved unto God, and an effective adversary against the devil.
5. Verse 4:5,6- Here Jesus is taken to a high pinnacle; Whether this refers to the highest summit of the temple, which bristled with golden spikes [Josephus, Antiquities, 5.5, 6]; or whether it refers to another peak, on Herod’s royal portico, overhanging the ravine of Kedron, at the valley of Hinnom - an immense tower built on the very edge of this precipice, from the top of which dizzy height Josephus says one could not look to the bottom [Antiquities, 15.11, 5] - is not certain; but the latter is probably meant.
Again the doubt is implied and the taunt uttered. Jesus had expressed his trust in the word of God. The devil now asks him to go from the extreme of distrust to that of rashly tempting God. It was, perhaps, the demand so often repeated and always refused, "to show a sign from heaven," to make a display of his power to secure popular applause.
6. Verse 4:7-Again the Savior replies in the words of Scripture, this time quoting from Deu 6:16. There is no argument, but a simple reply that shows what is asked is forbidden.
Here we see a great example of how we will gain the victory when the devil uses people to tempt, taunt, and entice-give an honest reply, no drama, no long winded disputes. Be reminded: To expose myself to any danger naturally destructive, with the vain presumption that God will protect and defend me from the ruinous consequences of my imprudent conduct, is to tempt God.
7. Verse 4:8,9-From some lofty center he spreads before Jesus a panorama of the kingdoms of this world with all their glory. We are not to suppose that all the kingdoms were literally visible, but they are portrayed in such a way as to be present to the mental eyes.
All disguise is laid aside. Satan claims to be the Prince of the world and the disposer of human kingdoms. Jesus came to be a King, but the pathway to the crown is weary, painful, beset with thorns and blood. Satan proposes an easier way. He will rally the Jewish nation around him, set him on the throne of David, make him the Messiah King of the world, if he will only consent to give up his idea of a spiritual kingdom, "not of this world," and worship the god of this world by conforming his kingdom to the worldly ideas of Israel. The temptation is to turn away from the path of self-denial, the cross and the tomb, and to establish an outward, worldly domain.
Is this not what provokes and drives the leaders we’ve seen down through history, and see in media today?
8. Verse 10- Jesus uses the written word again to bring this final blow and defeat the schemes of Satan ultimately. “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. “
This passage forbids every kind of religious adoration to any other object than Jehovah, whether it be idols, false gods, popes, Virgin Mary, saints, or angels. The three temptations had been met, three times the tempter had been baffled, three times the victory had been won. The first assault had been made through the door of appetite, "the lust of the flesh;" the second through vain glory, "the lust of the eyes;" the third through ambition, "the pride of life." All had appealed to Jesus to turn away from the pathway of self-denial and suffering marked out for him. All had been met by the shield of faith, and the tempter beaten back by the word of the Spirit.
In the course of this trial, it appears that our blessed Lord was tempted,
1. To Distrust. Command these stones to become bread.
2. To Presumption. Cast thyself down.
3. To worldly Ambition. All these will I give.
4. To Idolatry. Fall down and worship me, or do me homage. There is probably not a temptation of Satan, but is reducible to one or other of these four articles.
From the whole we may learn:
First. No man, howsoever holy, is exempted from temptation: for God manifested to the flesh was tempted by the devil.
Secondly. That the best way to foil the adversary, is by the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, Eph 6:17.
Thirdly. That to be tempted even to the greatest abominations (while a person resists) is not sin: for Christ was tempted to worship the Devil.
Fourthly. That there is no temptation which is from its own nature, or favoring circumstances, irresistible. God has promised to bruise even Satan under our feet.
As I wish to speak what I think most necessary on every subject, when I first meet it, and once for all, I would observe -
First, That the fear of being tempted may become a most dangerous snare.
Secondly, That when God permits a temptation or trial to come he will give grace to bear or overcome it.
Thirdly, That our spiritual interests shall be always advanced, in proportion to our trials and faithful resistance.
Fourthly, That a more than ordinary measure of Divine consolation shall be the consequence of every victory.
8. Verse 11-The battle was won, the devil leaves with his tail between his legs. In the account in Luke it says he left “for a season”, this is how it is for us also-we can expect an ongoing battle in this world, with intermissions of calm. Never be fooled into thinking the battle is over for good down here, scripture is clear on this-it’s ongoing until we leave this world.
When he fought off the tempter, after the victory was won, angels came to minister to him. This ministry was to supply him with food, but they also would afford spiritual sympathy, and encouragement.
Amid this time of refreshment, could we not envision a Voice from heaven be heard again, by any who could read the Father’s mind, “Said I not well, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased?”
Conclusion-Throughout this encounter we see the only weapon Jesus used was the word of God. In my years of following the Lord, I’ve seen the proof of the power of the word of God when used appropriately as Jesus teaches us in this account.
But, for those who have tried it, and say “It didn’t work for me”, ask yourself these questions:
1. Faith-do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Are you saved? This is where it starts.
2. Are you using these battle strategies for selfish, childish motives, the word of God is wielded successfully by those with pure motives, and right hearts-it never works with evil intentions.
3. Do you know how to rightly divide and use the word of God appropriately in the given situation? If not, again you will not find the word of God a magic wand. It is a powerful weapon only for those who know it’s effectiveness used in the proper manner.
To know how to use the weapons of our warfare, to pull down strongholds, walk in authority, and the covering of the blood of Christ-we must study, pray, and ask God to teach us His word and use it with knowledge and understanding.
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No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,
saith the LORD.
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 Victory of Our Faith
is born of God overcometh the world: and this is
the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world,
but he that believeth
that Jesus is the
Son of God?
But they that wait
upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The Whole Armor
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all,
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Am I racist? Read the blog below from my other site-it will fully answer this question.
The Race Issue-posted 3/8/2019- https://www.twosparrowsministry.org/home/the-race-issue
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