Baptism and the Temptations

Scripture: Luke 3:22, Luke 3:1-14, Romans 6:1-6
Date: 04/11/2015 
Lesson: 2
"Repentance is not just a theoretical notion. It is a way of life. The word comes from the Greek 'metanoia', which means a change of mind, and this leads to a new life."
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Good evening, friends, my name is chuck holtry and I want to welcome you to Sabbath school study hour. We're glad you're here to study with us as we go through our lessons on the book of Luke. Before we get started I'd like to remind you of our free offer - or tell you of our free offer. It is offer #708, tips for resisting temptation. If you would like to get a copy of this booklet you can call -866-788-3966 - that's -866-study-more.

As we get started in our lesson, I'd like to ask the Holy Spirit to be with us so if you'd bow your heads with me as we pray. Father in Heaven, as we open Your Word we pray that you open our hearts. We ask for this in Jesus' Name, amen. In the civil war, there was a general who insisted on very interesting terms of surrender. His terms were unconditional surrender.

He got the name 'unconditional surrender grant' or ulysses s. Grant. The story is told that when he captured fort donelson in tennessee, it was a former classmate of his who was leading the confederate forces. It's kind of interesting because in the civil war you actually had classmates fighting against each other from their west point days. They were fighting against each other and they get to talking a little bit right before the surrender is put together and, as ulysses grant is talking to - I believe it was general buckner - they were discussing some different things and he said, 'how come general pillow is not here?' And buckner said, 'I think that he's not interested in being taken by you.

' And ulysses s. Grant said, 'that's fine with me. I'm actually glad that he's free because we like him leading the forces that are against us.' Interesting, the dialogue that would go on between different generals. But, in spite of the friendliness, ulysses s. Grant asked for unconditional surrender - 'I want everything.

We're not going to let you have your arms when you leave, etc. We want to have a complete surrender to our forces.' What does that have to do with a lesson on the baptism and the temptation of Jesus? Quite a bit, actually. I believe as we look through the baptism of Jesus and the temptation, we're going to find that the only way for us to have success as Christians is through unconditional surrender. With that being said, I'd like to start out with our lesson - Sunday's lesson - we'll be looking at the subject of preparing the way of the Lord, looking specifically at the teachings of John the baptist and also tying that in with the baptism of Jesus, so Luke chapter 3 - Luke chapter 3 and verse 3. I've always been amazed at how John preached.

Luke describes John's preaching. This is not the kind of preaching I would do if I was going to ask someone to get baptized, and you're going to see that as we go into it a little bit. But in verse 3 it says, "and he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of esaias the prophet, saying, 'the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." So here it is, we see that he's preaching specifically repentance and it's a fulfillment of a prophecy to prepare the ways of the Lord. And then he quotes this - please notice what it says in verse 5: "every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;" I'm preaching repentance and the fulfillment of a prophecy of Isaiah, and here's how it's going to happen: the hills are going to be made flat, the low places are going to be raised up, the crooked places straight, and the rough places will be made smooth. You know, repentance does something - it changes you.

It takes you - and sometimes it turns you the opposite direction from what you were going. In fact, you're probably familiar with this, but the word 'repentance means to change and turn. To turn; to change direction; to go a new way. God takes those who are high and lifted up and brings them low. He takes those who are low and brings them up.

He takes the crooked and makes them straight. He takes the rough and smooths it out. You know, you've probably seen this in your own life - how God has done miracles in your life. You repent and a change takes place. Before Jesus could come and do a miracle in the lives of these people, there was this call, by John, for repentance.

It's time for you to turn. I believe that's very important for us to look at. You know, 'to turn' oftentimes means I need to surrender my ideas. I need to change what I think is important - and that's what John is asking for - a surrender, if you will - a repentance. Verse 7 - when I read verse 7 I wondered who was this to? But I read a little book called Desire of Ages - you might be familiar with it.

It said that the words in verse were specifically spoken to the pharisees and sadducees that were coming to hear Jesus. Here's what it says in verse 7: "then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, o generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance and begin not to say within yourselves, 'we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." Baptism must have repentance connected to it. I'm not saying 'must' because it's some legalistic thing, it's just this is the natural way things should flow. When you have repentance, there will be fruit. Why the pharisees and sadducees? Why did he focus specifically on them? Why did he say, 'you brood of vipers?' I wouldn't preach that in a baptism sermon.

I'm sure of it. Why did he preach that? Because he knew their heart. They were wanting to get baptized for show - 'maybe if we're connected to this famous young preacher, maybe people'll look at us and we'll get more popular.' Bad reason to get baptized? I remember as a child I contemplated getting baptized for the wrong reason. Have any of you considered that? Maybe you don't want to raise your hand, but getting baptized because everyone else is getting baptized. Or maybe getting baptized because, you know, someone really wants you to get baptized.

Baptism is something that's going to be the result of repentance and that repentance is a turning - it's a change - and that change is going to bring fruit. That's the picture that we see being laid out here. Verses 8 and 9 I found exciting, because God doesn't need trees to get fruit. Did you notice that? Look at that in verse 8, "bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

" So if the tree is not bringing forth fruit, God said, 'don't worry about it, I'll use stones.' Not quite, but that's the picture that he's laying out here. He said, 'you say that you're a child of Abraham, well have fruit like a child of Abraham. And if you don't have fruit like a child of Abraham, I'll make a stone into a child of Abraham and I'll get fruit from it. That's the picture that God lays out. You know, trees for the fire, fruit from a stone.

Kind of an interesting way. God doesn't operate, necessarily, the way we operate. But repentance can do those things. You know, I was looking in verses 11 and 14 - 11, 12, 13, and 14 - you have some people coming and saying, 'okay, what are we going to do? You're asking us to repent. We see that we're a brood of vipers.

We see we're messed up. What do we do?' God's counsel is very simple - very simple - he speaks to three specific groups of people. The first group are the people. The second group are the publicans, and the next group are the soldiers and he gives them three very simple things. All of them are very practical in how they related to their fellow human beings.

'Give to them what they need. Don't exact more than you should, and don't be cruel to people.' Very simple messages that are being given out here. This kind of teaching, this kind of preaching, this baptism of repentance - Jesus now comes to get baptized and, for me, that's interesting - why Jesus would get baptized at a baptism of repentance. Did Jesus have anything he needed to repent of? Absolutely not. So why? You know, there's Desire of Ages page 111 says this: that Jesus identified with sinners.

It's kind of a nice thing, isn't it? He identified with sinners. He wasn't a sinner but he identified with sinners and went through the very steps that they had to go through. Corinthians 5:21 - if you want to turn there with me - a beautiful passage here in Paul's letter to the church at corinth - 2 Corinthians 5:21 - the Bible says this: "for he hath made him to be sin for us," - God made Jesus Christ to be sin for us - "who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." This is the picture - Jesus became sin for you and for me. He identified with us. You know, Philippians tells us that he humbled himself for you and for i.

What a beautiful picture is laid out by the life of Jesus' condescension. So we see Jesus humbled himself, but there's something very beautiful that comes out in this picture. After Jesus takes on or admits - allows himself to be baptized - we see this in Luke chapter 3 and verse 21 - it says that he was baptized and praying then heaven was opened. Verse 22 said - the next thing is, "and the holy ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, 'thou art my beloved son; in thee I am well pleased." God's voice - God The Father's voice - has not been heard for 4,000 years. ,000 Years there's been silence.

You say, 'well, what about the people there on Mount Sinai, right? Obviously the voice of God was heard there.' We do a little bit of study and you realize it's talking about - that was God The Son who was speaking to them. God The Father's voice has not been heard for 4,000 years, but now something special has happened. Again, heaven and earth are being connected. They're being connected in the life of a man - The Son of God, Jesus Christ - and the very voice of God being spoken at this point was a sign that something was starting to be reunited again. God and man were no longer going to be separate.

What a picture is being put together here. You know, after the baptism, the first thing we see after Jesus being baptized is the holy ghost descending and then the voice of God. Humility is the precurser to the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the anointing of the Holy Spirit leads us to hear the voice of God. The way Jesus experienced it is the way you and I can experience it. I want to hear the voice of God.

How about you? There are so many times I wish there was something called the first and second book of chuck. I mean, I'd just love to open it up in the morning and read and say, 'what am I supposed to do today? Where am I supposed to go?' I'd just be that crystal clear. But, you know, God says it can be. You're looking at me a little bit crooked with that, maybe. How could that be? Because, if I humble myself - condescend - God can fill me with his spirit and then I can hear the voice of God.

You know, a person was once saying, 'when it rains where does the water go?' I know we don't see a lot of that here, necessarily, but when it rains - you have a really heavy rain, where does the water go, up or down? Down. Down. And it fills up what - the highest place or the lowest place? Lowest. That's right. The same thing with the holy spirit.

When the Holy Spirit is poured out with power, that will fill - he will fill the lowest places. It is then that powerful things can take place. Condescend - lower; outpouring of the Holy Spirit - hearing the voice of God. That's a picture of a progression we see here in the baptism of Jesus. Now, a majority of our lesson takes place - takes place after the baptism, but if the baptism hadn't happened first, I think this story wouldn't be different, but there's a special element that takes place at the baptism that prepares Jesus for what's about to follow.

Right after the baptism, what takes place next? The temptation - that's the next thing we see taking place in the life of Jesus. Right after the baptism we see a temptation. So whose voice do we hear at the baptism? God The Father. But what does he say specifically? 'This is my - this is my son' - or - 'this is my beloved son.' Very clear affirmation from God The Father: 'I support you my son. I support the path you're on.

You're mine. I want to be clear.' And now Jesus is going and he's about to be tempted from the very beginning - if he is The Son. But he's got ringing in his ears the voice of who? His father saying, 'you are my son.' And so the whole next three things that we are going to see in Luke chapter 4 is an attempt of satan to make Jesus forget the words of God. You see that? I want him to forget, somehow, some way. I was trying to imagine this scene: Jesus, the former commander of the angels - still the commander of the angels, but it's kind of different now.

He laid aside all his power. He laid aside his glory. He's come down to this planet to take on humanity and, more importantly, take on sinful humanity. He took it on with all the infirmities, all the weaknesses. ,000 Years of degeneracy have taken place.

He has accepted that upon himself. And now he's meeting the one that had met and battled before in heaven. It's a different scene now. Jesus is not the head of a whole host of angels, he's alone. And his loneliness is stark because, not only is he alone, he has spent the last 40 days in fasting and prayer.

Now, I know what I look like after a day or two of fasting, and it's not too impressive. Jesus has spent 40 days - and you say, 'well, chuck, this is supernatural.' And I do agree, but Jesus was hungry, I mean, famished. The pangs of hunger he could feel. In fact, in describing this scene, my favorite author puts it this way, using Isaiah 52 to describe him, "his face was marred more than The Sons of men." You know, I used to apply that always to Isaiah 42 - apply that to Jesus at his crucifixion, right? And the trial. But it's applied here at Jesus' temptation.

That's what he's going through. That is his experience. Satan comes up to him to tempt him. Satan's goal is very simple. I want Jesus to doubt who he is.

Jesus is what? He's The Son of God. 'I want him to doubt who he is.' And I believe that satan hasn't changed his tactics much. He comes to you and I and he wants us to doubt that we are The Son and daughter of God. Am I right? The Word of God is clear, we can read it in Romans chapter 8, verse 14, right? Let's look at it, Romans 8:14. The reason we're looking at it is I was going to quote it and I completely forgot it.

Romans 8 and verse 14 - beautiful passage - "for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the" - sons. "Sons (and daughters) of God." That's right. "For as many as are led by the spirit of God." Now, quick question - Luke chapter 4, verse 1 - was Jesus led by the Spirit? It's crystal clear, isn't it? Luke chapter 4, verse 1 - he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. So here it is - "as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are The Sons of God." So not only is there the fact that you've got the voice from heaven, he was following the spirit. So we're crystal clear, Jesus is The Son of God.

And I'm just using that as an illustration for us. Are you following the Spirit of God? Are you going where he wants you to go? Are you listening to his voice? Good news, son and daughter of God. And satan, sometimes when we are doing that, will come up to us and say, 'hmm, how can I get them to not believe they're a son and daughter of God? How can I do that?' I believe that is a goal that satan has. He tried it with Jesus. He tries it with us.

He was not successful with Jesus and, by God's grace, as we submit to him, he won't be successful with us. Why would God allow Jesus to look so bad? To be so hungry? To be so tempted? Why would God The Father do something like that for his son? That was the insinuation in the phrase, 'if thou be The Son of God.' 'You're out here? You said you're The Son of God but look at you.' Of course he's not saying that, but the insinuation - 'look at you, you're emaciated. Your body is worn. You can see at 30 years old you look like you're 50 or 60. It can't be.

' In those days, that was very old. In today's days it's very young. 'How can that be? It's impossible.' And you can just imagine the insinuations that are coming at Jesus. Does that happen sometimes for us too? 'Are you sure God's leading you? You're having troubles in your life. Surely, if you're having troubles in life, God wouldn't do that to you.

' Satan tempts us to sometimes think that the difficulties we face are because we're not belonging to God when, in reality, it's because we're following God. Am I right? And it's something that I think we need to be aware of as we're studying this and looking at this. So what is this temptation? Let's look at it. Luke chapter 4 and verse 3, "and the devil said unto him, if thou be The Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread." "If thou be The Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread." Jesus is hungry. So why does he not do it? You know, the temptation is very simple here.

Your physical wants - Jesus - are more important than the requirements of God. God hasn't told you to do this. You're following God and he's given no command. You're going to do everything he tells you to do. Why don't you just take care of yourself right now? That is a temptation.

And you say, 'well chuck, it's connected with appetite a hundred percent. Appetite is that - a desire to fulfill my physical needs and/or wants ahead of the requirements of God. Appetite is probably one of the greatest challenges that humanity faces. What are your physical needs? What are your physical wants? You say, 'well, chuck, needs are important.' They are, but I tell you what, a physical need is nothing in relation to a requirement of God. That's what separates Christians - followers of the creator God of heaven - from those who are not.

You know, looking at this, I have to admit I was being spoken to myself. What are my physical needs and wants that I'm tempted to put ahead of the requirements of God? Do you have any? I don't want to take to much time thinking about it, but it's something I think it's valid for us to consider. God - does God take care of his people? Does he take care of them in his time? Is his time the best time? I'm glad you're saying that. Is it hard to believe that? Yes. Yes it is - and I believe that's why this temptation was so hard for Jesus.

It's one of the reasons. Who were some people in the Bible - I like to do this every now and then - who are some people in the Bible who actually fell into this temptation? My physical need and want over the requirements of God? Saul. Saul - and you're thinking of king Saul, yes? Old testament - right on. Esau. Esau? Absolutely.

Samson. Samson, definitely. Eve? Yes. We can even add her husband in there. Solomon.

Solomon, yes. David. David, yes. You could probably go on. This list of people that we've listed and, you know, I haven't been repeating it, but Solomon and David and eve and adam and several others - these people - were their lives better because they took care of their needs? Is your life better if you take care of your needs instead of trusting God? No, it's not.

But does it feel like sometimes it would be better? You know, I was scared, in college, of who God was going to have me marry. I'm not going to talk about it too long but, you know, I was nervous God was going to give me somebody I just could not like. I was just sure of it, you know? So, 'God, I'm going to take care of this part of my life, thank you.' And I started realizing that when I tried that, it wasn't really successful. It's when I allowed God to be in charge of that need that God gave me what was best in his time. It's a good thing.

Where has God led you? Where is God leading you right now? Do you have the faith to trust him and say, 'I will let you provide for my needs in your time. I think that's the call that we see and that kind of faith brings success in the first temptation. Let's look at our next one. Temptation #2 - let's read this from Luke chapter 4 and we'll be reading starting with verse 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. 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.

If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.' And Jesus answered and said unto him, 'get thee behind me, satan: for it is written, 'thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.''" Now, some of you may have noticed quickly that the order of temptations here in Luke swaps the second and third from the order of temptations that you see in Matthew chapter 3. We're just going to continue with the order as is here in Luke. I think it's important that both writers, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are focusing on different elements. It's pretty easy to see that. Luke, I kind of like the way he's laying it out here because he's showing temptation, temptation, and then a temptation where the temptor is actually using Scripture - kind of a layout like that, whereas Matthew seems to be showing, from the perspective of the very basic temptation getting harder and harder, to the most difficult.

You can see both of those and, of course, difficult - that's based upon my human understanding, but we'll look at it. The main focus of what satan's been always after, though, is seen here in the second one and that is, he wants worship. Isaiah chapter 14, 'I want to be like God. I want to ascend into the heights. I want to be above the stars.

I want to be worshiped like God.' That has always been his desire and now he's just making it crystal clear. Why? Why does satan want it? Well, I guess it's because he thinks of himself, right? Self would be the center of all that he is. Would Jesus' life have been easier if he'd accepted satan's offer? No crucifixion. No spending additional - no, not additional, another three and a half years with some ornery disciples - that'd be easier. So would some elements be easier? There is obviously this - we get into a habit in our society - and I think satan has programmed us this way - that we look at the product more than we look at the price.

Am I right? We're kind of trained to look at the product and sometimes - I went into a car dealership and I - I like my minivan and they had a much newer model of minivan there and I was looking at it and my wife and I were dreaming about how it would be nice to press buttons and have the doors open for us. My wife especially dreams about that - when you have two children and groceries. And as we looked at it, you start thinking about how great it is - all these nice features - and you forget about the price until you get hit by sticker shock. And then they still try to help you forget the price. 'Oh, it's not that big - think about what you're going to get.

Forget about what you have to pay. Think about what you're going to get.' And, you know, it's a simple thing that's being used in the car dealership, but satan does that all the time with temptation. 'Just think how fun it will be. You have no idea how much fun you could have today.' You may be miserable for the rest of your life, but how much fun you can have today. He would never say the miserable because that's the price and who wants to discuss the price - when it comes to sin? Am I right? You know, it's - it's actually just the opposite with Jesus.

Satan flips it around. He says, 'who wants to be a Christian? You know how much you have to pay to be a Christian? You know how hard your life will be when you're a Christian? It's going to be difficult. People are going to think you're odd. The scientific community is going to make fun of you. Your friends are going to think you're, you know, 'out to lunch' - or whatever it may be.

The price - satan exalts the price of Christianity and tries to veil from our sight what we receive - the product. But when it comes to sin, all he shows is the nice product and he tries to veil from our eyes the price, and you can see that taking place here clearly, with this temptation of Jesus. He showed him all the beautiful things that were before him - all the Kingdoms and their glory and power. And it said that he - you get the impression here that it's veiled from him - the ugliness of those kingdoms. It says he showed him all the glory of them.

I've always wondered - this next statement, verse 7, "if thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine." Now, when you worship somebody, and you really, truly worship them, all that you have is theirs, right? When you truly worship someone - if you truly worship God and you honor him completely - he is everything to you - all that you have is his. If you worshiped - truly worshiped - satan, all that you have becomes his. And so, instead of giving away the world, satan would be simply receiving it. Amazing - he promises us the world. He promises us enjoyment.

He promises us finances. He promises us all kinds of things and it looks like we're going to receive. But in reality, all we're doing is giving away and he's receiving. He's tricked us into thinking the reverse of what's really taking place. There is - oh yes, I had something written in my notes here - a deal with the devil is not a deal.

I know that makes sense, but a deal with the devil is not a deal. No, it could be a bad deal. What kind of deals is satan offering you right now? These are - he could be offering you all kinds of things, which, you know, if you'd just be willing to give up a little bit here or sacrifice a little bit here, you have no idea what you will get. I have a cousin of mine who was a very, very gifted wrestler. He was, I wouldn't say undefeated, but almost undefeated his senior year of high school and he was determined that he was going to honor the Sabbath.

So he never went to a meet on Sabbath. He refused. He would make sure he went and enjoyed his time in church. He actually helped teach in Sabbath school. He was part of the whole process of the church service.

He was going to honor God a hundred percent. I honor that. I appreciate someone who's willing to say, 'this is what's important. I believe in it.' Do you think there were offers? Oh absolutely! Can you imagine satan saying, 'you know what? You know you're the best that's out there.' And, by the way, he was really good - 'you know you're the best that's out there. If you just simply met that meet a couple times, it would take you to the top.

You know that. You'd have no problem. Doors would open before you. You're really good.' But he chose not to. I remember one time my father was over at his house and we were trying to get a jack to jack up the back end of the car so my dad could change tires and put it up on jack stands.

And my cousin - they couldn't find the jack so my cousin said, 'here, let me help you.' He picked up the back of the car and my dad put the jack stands underneath. So did - there was plenty of gift - plenty of talent - to go as far as he wanted it to. There was nothing that would hinder except this: a determination: 'I'm going to do what God has asked me to do.' So you would say - you know, some people would tell the testimony of my cousin kind of like this: 'and he gave it up. Poor guy is now living a mediocre life just because he was willing to honor God.' That's kind of a satan thing, isn't it? Looking at the price and ignoring the product. But, my friends, the faithfulness to God always is the best product - always the best product.

It doesn't feel like it right away, but it is always the best product. We've looked at the fact of John the baptist preaching. The call for repentance was actually a call to surrender. We looked at the fact that Jesus, at his baptism, in essence was surrendering - humbling himself, right? We saw the progression of salvation seen there in that baptism. Now we see Jesus - his first temptation to turn the rock to bread.

It was a surrender to the will of God. 'You're in charge, God, not me. I'm not going to make this move.' We've seen here in this temptation - to receive everything in the world - no, I'd rather not receive anything, but I want to remain true to God. It's an issue of surrender. Now the final one we'll be looking at: Christ the victor.

Luke chapter 4 and we're going to start with verse 9 and just read this section. "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: for it is written, 'he shall give his angels charge of thee, to keep thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.' And Jesus answering said unto him, it is said, 'thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.' And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season." Notice something here: Jesus is taken to the holy city, he's put on top of the holy temple, and he's quoted words from the holy Scripture. This just sounds spiritual. It sounds good. Holy place - a really nice place - with holy words being spoken.

Satan is pulling out everything in this temptation. 'You know what? You've been faithful. I know you've been faithful, Jesus. You've proved your faithfulness by not turning the rocks to bread. You've proved your faithfulness to God by not bowing down to me and accepting whatever.

I know you're a very faithful person and, because of your faith, I'm sure that you could cast yourself off of this temple and your God would save you.' Faith is very close to presumption - very close. Jesus - satan was actually using Jesus' strengths now, to be a weapon against him. At least that's what he thought. He does do that to us, though, doesn't he? You know, our strengths - our strengths - can become our weaknesses if they become our strengths. Yeah? And I think that's the danger that satan was hoping Jesus would fall into.

But not for Jesus, because his strength was found in whom? His father. It was in his father. You know, one thing that's interesting to note here - I'm sure you've seen this many times, but in Luke chapter 4, verses 10 and 11 - when he's quoting here, he's quoting from what book of the Bible? Psalms. Psalms. What chapter? Psalm 91 - this is the kind of chapter that I like to quote.

Beautiful chapter, full of promise, but he's doing something - he's making a mistake here. What is it? He is skipping part of a verse. In Psalms chapter 91 - let's look at it - Psalms chapter 91 - you can keep your fingers in Luke chapter 4 - psalm chapter and let's look at verse 11. Psalm 91, verse 11 says, "for he shall give his angels charge over thee," - what's that next phrase? To keep you in all your ways. "To keep thee" - or keep you - in all your ways.

Do you see that in Luke chapter ? That second part of the phrase isn't there - 'to keep you in all your ways" - or - "to keep thee in all thy ways" depending what you have. It's just not there. Then it continues on, "for he shall give his angels" - excuse me - "they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone." There's clearly something being left out here. Satan shows himself to obviously be somewhat familiar with Scripture, to know what to quote and what not to quote for his own purposes. He's hoping that maybe quoting Scripture will be enough.

You know, I get nervous when I spend a lot of time around Christians who know what their pastor said about a passage and they can quote the Scripture, kind of, to you. I've heard one person say, 'man, this person quotes so much Scripture, I know they have to be telling me the truth.' But you and I can tell him 'that's not true. Satan can quote Scripture. He can probably quote it with the best of them. But, just because someone quotes Scripture or just because you hear Scripture, doesn't mean that the context in what a person is putting into is truth.

We must be aware and know the word for ourselves - be led by God. Ask God to teach us. There is a tendency for one's self to vindicate one's self, even in spiritual matters. I want to vindicate my faith. I believe in God.

I believe he'll do anything for me so I'm going to pray this just to prove it's true. Now I'm sure no one would do that, but there's a possibility that sometimes we want to vindicate our spirituality. I want people to know that I'm a spiritual person, so I will make sure that I say spiritual things around spiritual people. I pray nice prayers around people. I may do something that looks spiritual at the right time.

And it's not, in any way, a desire to vindicate God, it's a desire to vindicate one's own self. Does that make sense? I have seen that that is a tendency that I can have. Why do I do righteous things? What is the purpose? I'm all getting this from the concept of Jesus throwing himself off the temple. Why would he be doing that? Why would Jesus throw himself off the temple? What was the temptation of satan? Throw yourself off the temple to do what? Prove that you are The Son of God. If you are, do this - prove it - vindicate yourself.

Jesus didn't even argue with him. He wasn't going to even get into it - why? 'I don't need to vindicate who I am.' Because in the back of his mind was ringing this: 'you are my son. You are my son.' I mean, that's the kind of message I want to be ringing in the back of my mind. When satan comes to tempt you and he comes to tempt me, in the back of our mind we want to hear Jesus say, 'you're my daughter.' 'You're my son, you don't need to do this; you belong to me.' You know, I was reading a child raising book recently, for some reason - there's a 4-year-old or a 16-month-old, one of the two - and I was reading a child raising book and it said something like this: 'you know, you want to emphasize that here's how your family operates and this is what your family does.' Now let me use it for my perspective: holtrys don't lie. So I tell my daughter, 'you're a holtry and holtrys don't lie.

It's not an option.' It's kind of interesting, but the reason why I brought it up is this: you are a son and daughter of God. This is not an issue for you. You're a son and daughter of God. It's not an option. You belong to God.

Isn't that a nice way to think? When temptation comes I'm not going to parlay with it. I'm not going to negotiate. It's not an option. You know, I believe, as we look at the story of Jesus, the main goal in all of these temptations was to get Jesus to leave the revealed will of God. And I believe that is also the temptation - the goal of temptations - of Jesus with us.

What is the revealed will of God in our lives? You know, I realize that we are all probably at different points in our journey with Jesus. We're all at different points in our journey, but I do realize that God is constantly revealing things to us. Am I right? Proverbs 4:18 says, "the path of the just is as a shining light that grows brighter and brighter to the perfect day." - Slight paraphrase. That's the picture. And so, there is a revealing that's taking place in our lives and walking in that revealing shows a faith in God.

You know, some people look at walking and revealing as a work. I'm going to do this because I have to. No. Walking in the light reveals that I have faith that God knows what's best for me. 'God gave me this light, obviously he wants me to walk in it because it's the best place for me to be right now, so I'll do it.

' Wait a minute, that involves not eating for - in Jesus' case - forty days. That involves being in a place where I could be tempted. I want to be clear on that: I'm not suggesting that you go to places where you could be tempted. But sometimes satan - God brings us into places where it's difficult for us. But if God is leading, I will walk.

Where he leads me is the safest place in the world for me to be. I'm going to walk in the revealed will of God. And that's what God wants from each one of us. So where's the revealed will of God for you? Where does he want you to be right now? You know, we looked at this lesson; we looked at the concept of surrender. We started out with this little story of ulysses s.

Grant and fort donelson - unconditional surrender. We've seen surrender in the preachings of John the baptist, right? 'Repent! Turn from the path that you're on, to a new path.' We've seen surrender through the act of Jesus Christ as he was baptized. His surrender led to the anointing of the Holy Spirit, led to the hearing of what? The voice of God, right? We see that and we see, clearly, the surrender of Jesus in temptations - from turning the stone to bread - from falling down and worshiping satan, to this last one, casting himself off the pinnacle of the temple. Surrender - time and time again - God's calling for that today. He's calling for a surrender.

I think the greatest need of the church today is men and women who are surrendered to God - really, truly surrendered. We don't need intellect so much as we need surrender. We don't need generals, we need prisoners of war. That's our greatest need in the church today. You know, I look at the story and I've got to be careful.

It's a Sabbath school lesson and I feel like preaching. Let's go to Mark chapter 12. Let's look at one story here as we close up - Mark chapter 12. Jesus is sitting in the temple, and as he's sitting in the temple he's noticing people walk by the money box and drop their gold and gifts in. He can hear the clank.

He can hear the thud of the different gifts as they're going in - as they resonate. But something is different with this next one - verse 41 - "as Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing." As she's throwing it in, I want you to imagine there's no noise. They're so small there's just no sound that comes - maybe with a background of people walking around, there's just nothing. In fact, she's actually hoping there would be nothing because it would be obvious that the sound of that is different than the sound of everyone else's.

It says, in verse 43, "and he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, 'verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:" - and I want to tell you, today, that it's impossible for two cents to be worth more than two hundred million, unless that two cents is a hundred percent and the two hundred million is five percent. God's looking at percentage. He wants our hearts. What percentage has he given us? A hundred percent. It's beautiful.

Why? Because a hundred percent is only possible from a heart of love. That's the only way you can give a hundred percent. Married couples would agree with me instantly. A hundred percent could only come from a heart of love and that is what God is asking from us - nothing big - just everything a hundred percent - all that you are - that's what I'm desiring from you. In giving it to him, we get the best that we could ever get.

In giving him all that we are, we get all that he is. What do we have to give up anyhow? Messed up lives; guilty consciences; shameful pasts. What do we get when we get him? We get all that heaven had to give. There is no greater gift. You know, I think of that story of ulysses s.

Grant and general buckner - they're at fort donelson and there's this interplay and interchange and, you know, buckner was very angry at first, when he got this from ulysses s. Grant. 'How could he say this?' You know, 'gentlemanly way of doing surrender is to say, 'okay, you can have your horse and you can have your arms and, you know,' especially if you're the general. You have a special pass that's given to you and you can, kind of, live out your life in relative okayness. But not with general grant; he wanted everything.

Three times this story is told of him. Fort donelson is one and there's two other times when he said, 'I want unconditional surrender.' That's what it is. It's that kind of mind-set that ended the war and it's that kind of mindset that will end the battle with sin, eventually, through the indwelling Christ and his soon coming. What a picture we can see. I want to be unconditionally surrendered to God, how about you? I want to have that kind of experience so that Jesus, who is the master, lives in my heart and that I have the very best gift that heaven can give.

I'd like to ask the Holy Spirit to be with us as we close out this lesson and just ask that he take these words and sink them into our minds. Would you pray with me? Father in Heaven, we thank you because you love us so much that you gave all for us and you came down and showed us how we, too, can give all to live the happiest, most fulfilling life in the world. We pray you'll draw close to each one of us here - to all those who are hearing this lesson online - we pray that, father, you will fill us with your spirit. We ask in Jesus' Name, amen. I want to thank each one of you for studying with us today, both here in our live audience and also those who are watching.

I just want to remind you of our free offer #708 - tips for resisting temptation. Make sure you get a copy of this. That number again is -866-788-3966 - That's 1-866-788-3966. Thank you for being with us. We're looking forward to studying with you next week.

Amazing Facts changed lives. I grew up in a family that was very saturated with God. We had morning worship. We had evening worship. We were taught from young children to have personal devotions each day, but for whatever reason, I seemed to always find myself alone.

I never really had a big group of friends and it always seemed to be like friends were taken away from me. I would pray for friends and then I'd meet someone and six months later they moved to Washington, you know, across the United States. And so finally it was just like I'm not - I'm not going to pray for any more friends because it hurts too much to lose them. But over the next two years, as I got closer to God, I started to be able to be thankful for the alone times, because I was forced, in that aloneness, to seek God. That is probably what has made me who I am and given me the experience with God that I have now.

The place where I feel most comfortable is being alone with God. I know a lot of people have questions about 'where is God when it hurts? If God is such a loving God, why is the world so bad?' Embrace the pain. Embrace the hard times and let God reveal himself through that because he has answers to questions you don't even know how to ask. Together we have spread the Gospel much farther than ever before. Thank you for your support.

In March 2015 Amazing Facts and Pastor Doug Batchelor traveled to the Philippines to share the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people living in the bustling metropolis of manila. This life-changing series of messages called prophecy countdown: a Bible study adventure for the last days was presented at the cuneta astrodome in pasay, to tens of thousands over a two-week period and lives were changed. Today, the love and power of Jesus Christ is more alive in the Philippines than ever, and lives are still being changed by the Holy Spirit as the futures of so many in the Philippines are renewed with hope, joy, and peace. Thank you so much for joining Amazing Facts on this mission of faith through your prayers and support. Without you it would never have been possible.

Friends, we've just come to the end of our prophecy countdown series here in manilla, in the Philippines and it has been a thrill and a joy to see people come. Night after night they opened the Word of God, hearts and lives have been changed - hundreds were baptized - and it's only by God's blessing and your participation all this has happened. Well, there's still a lot of world left to reach. Now, off to other mission fields!

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