The American Wisdom Series

Matthew #2505a

In order to "live" (as in eternally) man must partake of the heavenly manna, that spiritual bread from above which is the rich nutrition of the Word of God, which alone gives and sustains life.

Let us now learn from the example of Jesus Christ how to handle Satan, the chief scripture lawyer! As preface to the three separate temptations recorded here in Matthew, here is a brief outline of the flow:

Temptation. "If Thou be"
       Answer. "It is written"
Temptation. "If Thou be"
       Answer. "It is written"
  Temptation. "If Thou wilt"
       Answer. "It is written"

Matthew 4:1
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Not only did Jesus Christ come to this earth to pay the price and to defeat death (Heb. 2:14), which is Satan, but the following verse also speaks to the importance of this temptation.
Hebrews 4:15
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
So we now see Jesus Christ about to be tempted one on one, not just by the spirit of Satan, but by Satan himself, just like he tempted Eve. This is extremely important information, for those in this final generation shall also face this spurious messiah when he comes at the sound of the 6th Trump claiming to be God (2 Thes. 2).
[2] And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred.
Numbers in scripture have spiritual significance and help us to partake of that "hidden manna", giving us a deeper level of understanding. For instance: each time the number 40 is used throughout the Bible it denotes probation or testing, e.g. it rained 40 days and 40 nights at the time of the flood, Israel wandered in the wilderness 40 years, Moses was on the mountain 40 days, and here we see Christ tempted of Satan after 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness.

Here are a few other numbers and their meanings:

 5 = Grace
 6 = Man
 7 = Spiritual Completion
 8 = Resurrection & New Beginnings
10 = Law or Ordinal Perfection as in the 10 commandments
12 = Governmental Perfection as in 12 tribes, 12 apostles, etc.
Note: See appendix 10 in the back of the "Companion Bible", Kregel Publishers, for a brief synopsis of numbers in the Bible.

Now, it is obvious that after 40 days and 40 nights of not eating, Christ certainly would have been "an hungered" and Satan knows it! Therefore, Satan will use this moment of flesh weakness to tempt and challenge Christ concerning His authority! Do you know what your weaknesses are? I sure hope you do not think that you do not have any (for then ego and self-righteousness are evidently two of them) and furthermore, do not think for one moment Satan doesn't know them also. He is especially cognizant of the weaknesses of God's servants and handmaidens, to which HIStory shows... beginning with the woman in the garden, you know... Adam's wife to whom he listened!

Just a side note: There is an old acronym (HALT) which has become a reminder of an adage that says be especially "On Guard" against temptation when you are either Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. To wit, your accuser and tempter awaiteth your moments of weakness!

[3] And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
We are now going to read the very first words from the lips of Jesus Christ following the anointing of the Holy Spirit as He faces the spiritual temptation of Satan. Remember well these first three words of Christ for they should forever be words of example to all the servants of God.
[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.
Christ may have been hungry for physical nourishment but He certainly had no fear of starving to death and He did not allow the crying out of the flesh to prevent Him from walking in the spirit, so He was able to "see" right through Satan's motive to use this opportunity to cause Him to stumble. To that end, Christ quoted from the 8th chapter of Deuteronomy to draw OUR ATTENTION to, and make the analogy to, the temptation of Israel in the wilderness, which is "written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come (1 Cor. 10:11).
Deut. 8:1-4
All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.
Do you want happiness and peace of mind... ETERNALLY, as in life eternal? Then stay in His Word and walk in His ways and you shall possess it because the LORD has PROMISED it to be so... those who love and serve Him. You "see", if you partake of the true bread of life, you shall never hunger nor thirst! John 6:35 "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
[2] And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
If you have wisdom from His Word, then you know that that our trials and temptations are opportunities to show forth the love and trust we have for our Father and His Word. James 1:2-4 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; [3] Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. [4] But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
[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 order to "live" (as in eternally) man must partake of the heavenly manna, that spiritual bread from above which is the rich nutrition of the Word of God, which alone gives and sustains life. John 6:63 "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
[4] Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.
And so it shall be with your spiritual raiment (Rev. 19:18) when you partake of the heavenly manna!

Note: One cannot help but be reminded of another who was in a weakened state of the flesh, being also an hungered (though no where near the degree to which Christ was). However, because he had little regard for his heritage, even the Word of God, he sold out for a bowl of red pottage to feed the flesh! His name was Esau who claimed he was just "starving to death" (a statement true more spiritually than physically for sure) and so and he sold his birthright.

Matthew 4:5
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
The holy city is Jerusalem and the pinnacle is Mt. Zion, the seat to where Satan, the false Messiah, will soon come!
[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.
Satan is again challenging the authority of Jesus Christ and has twisted a quotation from the 91st Psalm, a Psalm written by Moses, in his futile attempt to tempt God! Take heed to this devious method of making the scriptures appear to say something they do not say, simply by omitting or adding to that which is written. To say God doesn't like that would be a gross understatement of that which is written so we will let the Word of God speak to this: Rev. 22:18-19 "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: [19] And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Satan is guilty of doing BOTH! So let's compare what is actually written to what Satan quoted and note the changing of God's truth by his both "taking away" from the prophecy (teaching of God's Word) and "adding to" it:

Psalm 91:11
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Well, lookie there! Satan left out (took away) the whole object of the subject which is "to keep thee in all they ways". That's the charge the angels have been given! You know what this reminds me of? Many preachers tell our unsuspecting brothers and sisters who listen to them and follow their words without checking out what they teach in the scriptures (that's a Big Boo-Boo), that if they just have faith in God then they can claim the following verse from John 15:16 "that whatsoever ye ask of the Father in my name, He may give you." They apply that to asking for all sorts of things, even and especially material things. But the subject and context of the scripture from which this quote is taken concerns God's elect and their doing the work of God in "bringing forth fruit". Whatsoever you ask in the name of Christ to help you produce that fruit, such as wisdom and understanding to help teach, etc., He will give unto you.
Here is Christ speaking to His disciples:
John 15:16
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you.
Let us now continue with the 91st Psalm.
Psalm 91:12
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Go back and re-read what Satan said and you will notice that he added the words "at any time", changing the intent of the bearing up which applies to "keeping thee in all thy ways" to now include jumping off a cliff!

Satan also totally ignored the next verse, which you better believe he is well aware of. You see, Christ has all power and authority in both heaven and earth and He has given that power, which is His Word, His Spirit, unto His servants: Luke 10:19 "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

[13] Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
It is those who love their Father and keep his ways that He lifts up and delivers.
[14] Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
There is no other way to be set on high. God will protect those who know Him, those who "call upon His name" which means to cry (proclaim) His name (His authority which is His Word). Acts 2:21 "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
[15] He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

[16] With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

So after Satan botched up quoting the 91st Psalm in trying to tempt Christ, a scheme of which Christ was totally aware, here was the Lord's reply.
Matthew 4:7
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Jesus once again refers to Deuteronomy where the admonition to us is to stay in His Word DILIGENTLY keeping His commandments, and His testimonies, and His statutes, which He has commanded thee! If you don't, then those ministers of Satan who appear as angels of light will be able to give a little twist to God's Word and just like Eve...DOWN YOU GO!
2 Cor. 11:13-15
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.

Would you believe that the majority of so-called Christian ministers today fit into this category today and have deceived the majority of our people (5 out of the 7 churches in Rev. 2 & 3) into accepting phony doctrines of men like "any-moment rapture theories", etc.? Christ said it would be that way in the final generation of the "fig tree": Mark 13:6 "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."

Here then is the section of scripture in the Book of Deuteronomy that Christ quoted and expects His servants to be familiar with (yes it is in the Old Testament)!

Deut. 6:16-19
Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted Him in Massah.

[17] Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.

[18] And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers,

[19] To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.

And so do not argue with Satan or his children! You "see", it is the power and the authority of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, that "casts out all thine enemies". Now, enjoy the privilege of watching our Savior do just that, i.e. cast out the enemy, in these next verses!
Matthew 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;
Oh, let's try the worldly power and ego trip on Jesus Christ. That's a HOOT! Like we believe there is anything in this flesh age worthy to be compared with the glory which lies beyond the veil of this dimension! Besides, God's elect have not only read the Book of Ecclesiastes wherein the man of wisdom who once HAD IT ALL (he's dead now... it happens you know) documents that there is not enough power, not enough money, not enough Hollywood entertainers, not enough fast women, and not enough wine to satisfy the flesh for but a short time, but many of God's elect once personally tested various parts of his research (heh, heh, you know who you are) to know that it is true!
[9] And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
What will it take for you to fall down and worship him? Take notice from this verse that Satan has these things at his disposal to give and so he uses money, power, and ego very effectively in his repertoire of wiles!

Now here comes "the casting out of thine enemies from before thee" (Ps. 91:19)!

[10] Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: forit is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Hey, another quote from Deuteronomy chapter 6! It would do one well to diligently read and study the whole chapter!
Deut. 6:13
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve Him, and shalt swear by his name.
To swear by His name is to act by and with His authority, which is the Word of God. Jesus Christ set the example right here in Matthew for us to follow. And when you order Satan and his demonics OUT from before thee in His name... he is subject to that power and authority!
Matthew 4:11
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.
Let there be no doubt whatsoever in your mind about who is in charge! Just remember to stay in His Word and be real careful of those who claim to represent Christ by checking out what they say with the supreme and ultimate authority, the Word of God, to see if there are any twists or omissions or added statements that are meant to CHANGE the truth into a lie!

1 Thes. 5:21
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

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