Victory in the Wilderness

Scripture: Luke 19:10, Matthew 1:20-23, John 9:39
Date: 02/06/2016 
Lesson: 6
"Faithful people had deep misconceptions about the nature of the Lord's first coming. How might faithful people in the last days avoid having deep misconceptions about the nature of His second one?"
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Welcome to Sabbath School Study Hour. We are coming to you from the Granite Bay seventh-day adventist church located in Rocklin, California. We're going to do what we always do and that is sing your favorite songs and our first one, if you'll pull out your hymnals, those of you here and at home, and join with us - #73 - holy, holy, holy - beautiful song. We will do all four stanzas - #73. Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; Holy, Holy, Holy, merciful and mighty! God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

Holy, Holy, Holy! Angels adore thee, casting down their bright crowns around the glassy sea thousands and ten thousands worship low before thee, which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be. Holy, Holy, Holy! Though the darkness hide thee, though the eye of man thy glory may not see; only thou art holy; there is none beside thee, perfect in power, in love, and purity. Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God almighty! All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea; Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and mighty! God in three persons, blessed trinity! I love that song. It reminds of one time I was on a mission trip in peru with - on our team there were like thirty-five teenagers - wonderful group of people - and we were singing in a echo-y hallway in this old schoolhouse and we were singing this and we had no musical instruments and you could hear the harmony. It was just gorgeous.

This song is just - I love it. It's one of my favorites. Turn with us now to our next song - #83 - o worship the King - we'll do the first, second and fourth stanzas - #83. O worship the King, all glorious above, o gratefully sing his wonderful love; our shield and defender, the ancient of days, pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise. O tell of his might, o sing of his grace, whose robe is the light, whose canopy space, his chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form, and dark is his path on the wings of the storm.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail, in thee do we trust, nor find thee to fail; thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end! Our maker, defender, redeemer, and friend. Before we have our lesson study, I would invite you to join me in prayer. Father in Heaven, we come before you and we do worship and we praise you today. Be with us as we join together and we study Your Word. Be with our extended family around the world - we're so glad for each and every one of them.

Thank you so much for loving us - for dying for us and giving us the hope of eternal life. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study will be brought to us by our senior pastor, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you, debbie and our musicians - and it's fun hearing those instruments together. Is that a - is that a mandolin? It is.

I know I get that confused sometimes with a banduria or similar. Good to see each of you here. I want to welcome those who are watching on television right now or via the internet - our extended class - and also, we have some of our Granite Bay members. There are people scattered around the planet that, at least, understand english and they don't have a local church they can attend. And we have adopted many of them into our church family here - try and keep in touch.

If you're in that category and you'd like to be connected, you can simply go to and you can find out more about being part of the family and what's involved in that. We'd like to get you connected. We're continuing our study today in our quarterly dealing with rebellion and redemption. Today we're going to be on lesson #6, but before we get to that we always have a free offer and the free offer today is down from his glory - a tremendous book by Joe Crews - and call if you'd like this, it's 866-788-3966 - that's -study-more - and ask for offer #701. You could also go to amazingfacts.

org and I think you can read this on the internet as well. Well, our lesson today is dealing with a large segment of sacred Scripture talking about the great temptation of Jesus. Now it leads into that and it's lesson #6 talking about victory in the wilderness. This is something I think we'll all find very applicable to our lives because anyone out here struggle with temptation? Daily - and so this is going to be very relevant. Well, we're talking about the rebellion - the battle between good and evil - and we have a memory verse.

Now the memory verse is Luke 19, verse 10 - it's a good one to remember too - Luke 19:10 - I encourage our local class here to say it out loud with me. Are you ready? And it's from the new king James version - Luke 19:10 - here we go: "for The Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Jesus came into our world to be with us, to have a personal relationship with us, and this was foretold - that God would become a man - for many years. It was a promise made to adam, repeated through the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was the desire of nations among the Israelites that the Messiah - the Savior - would come - the anointed one would come and redeem man. Now they had many misunderstandings about how he would come.

Now, you know, nationalistically they always thought Jesus the Messiah was going to come and, like David, you know, fight their battles and relieve them from the oppression of the surrounding nations and make them a world kingdom like it was back in the days of Solomon and they were looking for that time where, you know, everything was made of gold and silver - during the time of Solomon - and they had peace on every side and - and they could go on with their lives, but the Lord was really talking about delivering them from the oppression and the burden of sin. Now, the first plan of the devil - and the devil, you know, his understanding of how the Messiah was going to save people has evolved and, as the Lord spoke to Abraham and adam and the different ones, satan was listening. He has been eavesdropping all along the way. And so even the devil's understanding has been growing about what the Messiah's mission was. The one thing he knew is that Jesus was going to come into the earth and become a man to save humanity.

Satan, in anticipation of that, he wanted to prevent it from happening. Why do you think the devil inspired the pharaoh to kill all the baby boys in Egypt? Well, because the devil knew that a promise had been made that they would somehow be delivered from Egypt and a Savior was coming. Well, it turned out being Moses, who wasn't the Messiah, Moses was a type of the Messiah, and so he tried to prevent it by having all of the seed of Israel - the male babies - thrown to the crocodiles. And then you could see it happening again in the days of athaliah, when she tried to exterminate - they knew there was a son of David that was going to come and save God's people and so athaliah tried to kill all the royal seed, but one escaped and the seed of David continued. And then, when Jesus finally did come, the devil inspired herod to send the roman armies into Bethlehem to do what? To exterminate the baby boys again.

So you see that he was trying to prevent him from coming. So that was plan a. When plan a didn't work and Jesus did come, he then switched to plan b - was frustrate - ruin his mission. Don't allow him to live a perfect, holy life and so he cannot redeem humanity, because if he didn't live a holy life, he could not save us from our sins. And so he spent, then, the rest of his life, trying to tempt Jesus to sin.

But now I'm getting ahead of myself. So first section is immanuel to the rescue. I'm going to have someone read a verse for me. In a moment you'll read - I think it's John 1:14 - and I'm going to read Matthew 1:20 through verse 23 - God spoke to Joseph through an angel and promised that she - your wife mary - "will bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." So it doesn't say from the Romans, notice - "so all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 'behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name immanuel,' which is translated, 'God with us.'" Now here Matthew is quoting from Isaiah 7:14 - that actually says, 'God is with us'. Jesus was God with us - that's called the incarnation - God came down to be one of us.

And why don't you, please, read for us then John 1:14? And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of The Father, full of grace and truth." So as much as humanity could behold the glory of God, Jesus came - now the glory of God was veiled in Christ - but the word became flesh. You know, artists have their concepts of what Jesus looked like but, you know, there's only one fleeting, very doubtful statement of a supposed roman soldier describing Jesus and many of the artists' concepts are based upon that, but in reality we really don't have anything in the Bible that tells us what he looked like, it just tells us that there's no outward appearance that we might be drawn to him. We know from evidence that Jesus could easily disappear in a crowd - he looked like everybody else. And even when they asked Judas to betray him, they said, 'look, we don't know which one he is. He looks like a typical galilean or a nazarite and you better go up and kiss him so we don't arrest the wrong one.

' So the idea that Jesus was strikingly beautiful is not biblical. He probably had, you know, a nice appearance, but we don't know what he looked like. What made him different was what he said. It says 'the word became flesh and dwelt among us, not the model out of vogue magazine or the movie star. And so it's what he said - the Word of God incarnate.

You can read in Romans 8, verse 3, "for what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh..." - Now that's important. Did Jesus come down 18 feet tall with the body of adam or did he come down with all the dna that's listed in Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3? You know, it goes through Jesus' family tree and it tells us that he had the dna of some very interesting characters in his family tree. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh and so he wrestled with sin the way we do and we're going to get into that in our study today. So it's very important to understand that the way that Jesus resisted the temptations of the devil, he used the same tools that are available to you and me, otherwise how could he be our example? And the Bible is very clear that he has given us an example that we should walk as he walked. How? As he did.

He was baptized as our example. He prayed as we should pray. He got hungry like we get hungry. He got thirsty like we get thirsty. He got tired and slept through a storm - and so Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh, but he lived a perfect life.

So - let me finish reading that verse - God sent "his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: he condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." So God is telling us right there, 'like Christ' - he lived a life walking after the Spirit. God is calling us to live spirit-filled lives. Can you say 'amen'? Did I just tell you the truth? That's right. Ezekiel 37:27 - this is an interesting verse and I want you to tell me where you find this in the new testament - Ezekiel :27, "my tabernacle will also be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be my people." Do you find that in the new testament? Yeah, second to the last chapter in the Bible, speaking - in Revelation 21 - "and I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people. God himself will be with them and be their God.

" Now what is your body sometimes called? A temple. Was Jesus' body called the temple? Did Jesus call his body a temple? Did Christ, one time, say 'destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up'? They got all upset and thought that he was threatening to perform terrorism on the Jewish temple and it says, 'no, he spoke about his body.' So, when it talks about the tabernacle of God being with men, did God tabernacle with them in the wilderness? And when they rebuilt the temple - and Solomon - there was a tabernacle among the people that was destroyed and they rebuilt it. In the days of Nehemiah there was a tabernacle. God says, 'I want to dwell among them.' So when Jesus came, all those other tabernacles were fulfilled in God truly tabernacling - is that a word - tabernacling? Well, it is now, write it down. They make up all kinds of words all the time - you just add it to Google.

So Christ came to tabernacle among us in his body and - the dwelling place of God - God will be with them. And this is what it said, both in Ezekiel and in Revelation - God himself will be with them. And in heaven, will God literally be with us? You see, we're separated by sin. Alright, now - so there are four primary reasons that are given - there are probably more, but four primary reasons Jesus came - in the lesson. He came to restore the dominion - that's one that was left out - that was lost by adam.

The world was kidnapped by our fall - the fall of humanity. Secondly, he came to bring judgment and destroy the works of the devil. Third, he came into the world to seek and to save the lost. And finally, he came to show us what God is like - to reveal God to us and to the watching universe. You know, I heard a story once about this european monarch that would really make the palace nervous because he would, every now and then, dress down and go roam among his people incognito and they said, 'you can't do this.

This is dangerous.' He said, 'how can I be a good sovereign of a people unless I know how they live?' So did Jesus come to find out what it's like to be a human? You've got to think about that. Now does God know everything? So God didn't need to be a human so he could say, 'oh, that's what it's like to be a person.' He already knows, but we now know that he knows. But even more than him coming to find out what it's like for it - to be a human - he came to show us what The Father's like. So he came to demonstrate how to love each other, what the father's like - he came as a living demonstration for us. It's a little different than that king scenario.

Alright, now let's get to the baptism of Jesus. And we'll just be looking at a couple verses here. If you go to Matthew chapter 3, the advent - the first advent of Jesus, God with us, was introduced by John the baptist and it says, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than i, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly clean out his threshing floor, and gather his wheat into the barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

" Did Jesus tell a parable something like that once? The parable of the wheat and the tares? What happens to the weeds? They're gathered and they're burned. But he gathers the wheat into the barn. And so Jesus even had a parable similar to the preaching of John the baptist. But it says, 'he'll baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.' When did that happen? In acts chapter 2, the place where they were assembled was shaken and there appeared on each of them, tongues of - fire. Fire.

And so, that was a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Did John's prophecy come true? They were literally baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire. And you can read in Luke 3, verses 3 to 6 - again, John preaching about what his mission was and the first coming of the Lord - and he went - "all the region around the Jordan" - preaching a baptism of repentance as a remission of sin as it is written in the words of Isaiah the prophet saying: 'the voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled, every mountain and hill brought low. The crooked places shall be made straight, the rough way made smooth.

All flesh will see the salvation of God. Now when a king was traveling in ancient times, they did not have taxes or they probably didn't have very good road construction. You know, we get taxed for road repair. Their roads back then were in pretty bad shape. But when a king was about to travel down a road, they sent a road crew ahead of him with a herald and the herald would say, 'the King is coming!' The road crew would kick the high spots and the rocks out of the road and fill in the low spots so that his chariot would ride smoothly because he's the King.

And he had, sometimes, men that would run before him that would be the King. I remember when I was in africa, the president drove by the street we were on in camaroon and he had - he was in a black limousine - and he had his security detail - there were like six or eight guys - I know they were in two rows - running before and behind his car - running - in suits - black suits - on the equator in midday with their sunglasses and their earpieces - and you knew the King was coming and they had everybody out lined on the streets and they were beating drums and it was quite a bit of fanfare. Bible times - you remember when absalom wanted to be king, he prepared fifty men to run before him. What do you think he had in his mind? It gives - when people are running before you to announce your coming, that means you're really an important person. And so John the baptist was the one who ran before the King to prepare the way - kind of like when Elijah ran before ahab to show respect to bring him safely back to jezreel.

So go - turn with me in your Bibles now - let's look at the baptism of Jesus and this prepares us for the temptation that's coming - to Matthew chapter 3 and John is baptizing a number of people - he's probably baptized Peter, James, John, andrew - and eventually Jesus comes. First John realizes who he is - he doesn't want to baptize him. He said, 'you should baptize me.' And Jesus said, 'allow it to be this way now, thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness. And it says in verse 16 - Matthew 3:16 - "when he had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven," - you know when the Holy Spirit came it says, 'and suddenly there was this shaking in heaven and the Holy Spirit came down - "and suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.

'" A testimony from heaven that Jesus is the Son of God. Now what does the word 'Christ' mean? How many of you, when you first became Christians and you heard the name Jesus Christ you thought Christ was his last name? I did. I mean, you know, you've got bob smith and Peter carpenter - or whatever - and Jesus Christ. I thought that was his name. But Christ, of course, you know now, is a title.

He was - Jesus of nazareth would have been Jesus The Son of Joseph, that would have been more what his name is. Matter of fact, you'll still meet people named - that are - one of our members here, Peterson, I mean it's The Son of Peter back there in his heritage somewhere. And you've got Josephson and different names like that. Well, Jesus was a Josephson and - but the word 'Christ' is a title. What does the word 'Christ' mean? Messiah - anointed - the word 'Messiah' means 'anointed'.

When you say, 'Christos' - when they Christen a ship - usually anoint it with champagne or something, right? And it's talking about to be anointed - the Christos. So when - what does - the Messiah is the anointed. When was Christ anointed with the Holy Spirit? Well, didn't he have the Holy Spirit before his baptism? Not to the same degree. Does the Holy Spirit come in different degrees? Did Jesus breathe on the apostles and say, 'receive the Spirit in the upper room'? Was that the same baptism of the Spirit as pentecost? No. Did Jesus give an element of the spirit to the apostles when he sent them out preaching? I hope so, I mean, they were casting out devils.

But it wasn't the baptism of the Holy Spirit - to anoint means to be submerged - to be covered. He was slathered with the Holy Spirit. You ever read where it talks about how they anointed aaron and the oil ran down his beard? I mean, they really anointed them back then not like what we do when we anoint for sickness or healing now, where you just take a little oil and put it on their forehead as a symbol. Most of you wouldn't want to be anointed the way aaron was anointed with oil. They poured it on him.

They filled a horn and they poured it on them. Jesus was covered by the Holy Spirit - filled by the holy spirit. Now, do you hear of any miracles that Christ performed before his baptism? No. Very little teaching - you have a statement he made when he was twelve years old. I'm sure there are many things he did, but nothing is really recorded - his mission began, in a special way, at his baptism.

Matter of fact, the prophecy of Daniel talked about the anointing of the most holy - it reached - Daniel chapter 9 - it reaches up to his baptism in 27 ad. And then, for three and a half years, he teaches. But when he was filled with the Holy Spirit, he was especially a threat to the devil. Notice what happens: after he's baptized - now that leads us to our next segment - temptation comes. Alright, someone's going to read for me in a moment, James 1:2 and 3 and it'll take me a minute to get there.

So if you look in Matthew 4:1 - this is right after his baptism - Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. A lot of people have struggled with that. Do you all want to pray for the Holy Spirit so you could be led to be tempted? Here Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit and he's led to temptation. Then in the Lord's prayer we're begging God lead me not into temptation. Well that's, you know, when you go from one language to another, sometimes it loses something.

What we're really praying is 'Lord, lead me away from my natural tendency to temptation. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to pray and prepare himself and the devil came there to stop him for his mission that he was praying about. Is that the first time people have been tested or tempted in the wilderness? No, you have that happening several times. Notice in Deuteronomy 8, the Israelites went into the wilderness to be tempted and tested. Deuteronomy 8:15 it says "who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and that he might" - here it is - "test you" - led them in the wilderness and they were tested - "that he might test you," - to know - "that he might humble you and that he might test you, to do you good in the end.

" You notice that he might test you to do you good. Does God sometimes allow us to be tested for our good? When you're going through a test it doesn't feel good. You know, it tells us, matter of fact, I'm going to have you read that for us now. Go ahead, read James 1:2. "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

" How many of you rejoice when you're tempted? Why does James tell us to rejoice? Because you're developing character as you survive these various temptations. You know, you don't feel temptation unless you have a struggle between good and evil inside. The reason this lesson is so important - the whole lesson is talking about rebellion and redemption. If you felt no temptation, it would probably mean that you are drifting with the current of destruction and you're not resisting. You don't feel the current when you're moving with it.

You know, when you sit on a sailboat and the sailboat is moving with the wind, you don't feel the wind because you're moving in the same direction. I used to sail a lot. I would wonder how to catch the wind. You have to watch the water because you don't always feel the wind when you're on the boat. You can see it in the sail.

You don't feel it because you're moving with the wind. And as soon as you start to resist the wind, then you feel it. If you're swimming with the current of the world, you're not going to feel much temptation. And some people want to give up the Christian life because they're tired of swimming against the tide. Sometimes you'll even feel you're swimming against the tide in the church.

This day and age, if you want to live a holy life and worldliness creeps in, you're going to feel like you're swimming against the current and you meet with resistance. Who was it that - billy Sunday was preaching about holiness one time and this man came to him after the service and he was a church member. He said, 'pastor Sunday,' he says, 'you're always rubbing the cat's fur the wrong way.' And billy Sunday said, 'well that's because the cat's going the wrong way.' He said, 'if the cat would turn around I'd be rubbing the fur the right way.' So, do thieves break into the homes of poor people or do they break into the homes of people that have something? When the devil tempts you it's because he's afraid. When does the devil come to Jesus? After he's filled with the Holy Spirit. When you're filled with the Holy Spirit you've got power to fight the devil and you are a threat to the devil.

And so, when the children of Israel went through the red sea - they were baptized in the sea - and the pillar of fire came and baptized them in fire - you remember the cloud of fire came - were they still attacked? They were attacked by the Egyptians, they were attacked by the amalekites - even in the wilderness they were attacked. Do you remember? And so, when a person begins to follow Jesus, sometimes they think, 'okay, I should now have unlimited joy.' There is a peace and a joy because you're on your way to the promised land, but you may still encounter temptation. There still may be problems so don't be discouraged by that. Thieves don't steal from paupers. It means you've got something.

It says, 'he tempted you that he might do you good in the end.' Was job tested and tempted? Was he tempted by God or by the devil? The devil brought the problems. Did God do him good in the end? It says he blessed the latter end of job more than if he had never been tempted - twice as much. And so James says rejoice if you're going through temptation. If you endure, you will be blessed. I remember - and you - I've referenced it several times because it just is a simple scenario but one of the big struggles for me was smoking and, you know, I just really appreciate - I've met people and God worked a miracle - he just took away the desire.

They threw away their cigarettes, the desire was gone, they never smoked again and that was it. It was a miracle. Well it didn't happen for me like that. I did throw them away and I never smoked again, but it wasn't easy and I was constantly tempted. I would follow people down the street who were smoking and inhale after they exhaled.

Seriously, yeah, I'd get into a truck with someone else who was smoking and they'd say, 'do you mind if I smoke?' And I'd say, 'no, please.' And, you know, back when I quit smoking they still smoked on airplanes. Any of you remember that? Which is really crazy when you think about it. They had a smoking section and a non-smoking section. The person, you know, two feet away from you smoking - they're in the smoking section and you're in the non-smoking section, it doesn't make any difference. But yeah, I actually relished getting a buzz off second-hand smoke because it was a struggle for me.

But, you know, finally I got to the place where, you know, sometimes it would be really hard every day and it was just - I'd get tempted - there'd be spells every week - I'd have a couple spells and then pretty soon I'd notice I wasn't tempted. For several weeks it went by and you'd barely think about it anymore, and then not at all. And I think back now over the 37 years since I've smoked and oh, I'm so thankful. You know how much money I've saved? That's an expensive habit. And not to mention, you know, that I can breathe.

Last week I went to visit somebody that was on oxygen - emphysema - years of smoking - and I thought, 'oh praise the Lord. Thank you, Lord.' I was tempted but he does you good in the end. Every temptation, when you gain the victory, you'll be blessed for it. So, now we're going to go on here to the - well, we're still talking about the temptation a little bit. Some people think, 'well, the way to avoid temptation is just avoid contact with people - avoid contact with life - and if I just go live in a cave somewhere and there's no, you know, las vegas strip and there's no people around, then I'll hide myself from all temptation.

' Well, I've got news for you, you can be tempted when you're all by yourself. I think Joe Crews wrote, 'the person who avoids temptation by avoiding contact with all people, may do no harm, but neither will they do any good. They become morally useless.' The reason that we want to be involved with people is not just - sin is just not doing bad, sin is also neglecting to do good. So you want to be an overcomer. Someone's going to read Matthew 4:4 and tell us how Jesus overcame that temptation in just a moment.

I'm going to read another verse from James, 'blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he is approved he will receive a crown of life which the Lord has promised to those that love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted of God.' For God cannot be tempted with evil nor does he himself tempt anyone, but each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.' Now there's a mystery in this verse: God cannot be tempted. Was Jesus God? Was Jesus tempted? God cannot be tempted. Was Jesus God? Was Jesus tempted? It says he was tempted. Was he tempted in all points as we are yet without sin.

How can we reconcile those two concepts? Because when Jesus came into the world, he laid aside his Godness - he laid aside his divinity - he embraced our flesh and so he knows how we are tempted. He understands completely how we are tempted. He had all of the same animal desires that a healthy human has. He knew how it felt to be hungry and want to eat too much. He knew what it felt like to be slighted and maybe have your self-esteem wounded and he just subdued all those things and was led of the Spirit.

He continually surrendered himself into his father's hands. Now, then temptation said, 'if you are The Son of God, turn these stones into bread.' Right? That's the first temptation. Now what gave the devil away? If. He said, 'if you're The Son of God.' He's - and did the devil, when he first came to tempt Jesus, the devil kind of plopped down on the ground snapping his pointed tail with his bat wings flapping and his goatee and his horns and his red leotards, stroking his goatee with long fingernails - it's the typical picture people have. You know, if you see red devil paint or devil's food cake and you've got a picture of the devil somewhere, he doesn't usually look like a good angel, does he? So if some hideous creature like that were to jump down and make a suggestion, why would you ever listen to anything that that creature would suggest? You know he's up to no good just by the way he looks.

How did the devil appear to Jesus? 2 Corinthians 11, satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. So he came down and he hid himself and looked beautiful and conveyed that he was sent from God and there's just one test and all this temptation would be over. He just needed to use his power and so I'm sure it was a lot more serious a temptation than we might think, if he appeared looking like a devil. Now did Jesus just hear the father say, 'this is my beloved son'? So the - yeah, when he was baptized - so now the devil's saying, 'if'. He's getting him to doubt the testimony of God's Word - first temptation.

What was the first temptation to eve? Was it regarding appetite? Was the devil trying to get eve to doubt the testimony of God's word - do not eat this forbidden fruit? And so Jesus - the difference is adam was tempted in a paradise. Jesus is now tempted in a wilderness. Adam fell in the Garden of Eden. Jesus overcame in a desert. And so the big contrast here telling us that if Jesus could overcome in those circumstances we can too.

So what did - what was Jesus' response? Matthew 4:4. "But he answered and said, 'it is written, 'man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" With every temptation, Jesus meets it with what? The Word of God. The Word of God - 'it is written'. Of the armor of God, you've got one piece of the armor of God you find in Ephesians chapter 6, that is not only offensive, it's defensive - it's both - most of them are defensive - your helmet, you know, no soldier ever attacks somebody with their helmet - not typically - or their breastplate, or their shoes, but the sword is - or their shield - the sword is an offensive and a defensive weapon. So when we're tempted by the devil, you use the sword.

It's a double-edged sword. It's a symbol for the Word of God - the new and the old testaments - the law and the prophets - it's like the ten commandments written on two stones - Moses and Elijah. And so he said, 'it is written.' Now, I'll tell you now that all three times when Jesus is tempted, who knows what book Christ quotes from? All three times he quotes from the same book - Deuteronomy. Isn't that interesting? It's the last sermon of Moses and in Deuteronomy, Moses foretells Christ is coming - Deuteronomy chapter 18 - so I think that's interesting. Did Jesus, when he was tempted by the devil, say, 'hang on satan, I've got a scroll here.

Just let me find chapter and verse' - there were no chapters and verses, by the way, back then. Did he have to take his finger and unroll this long scroll of Deuteronomy or had he already done that from week to week as he was reading the verses growing up on his mother's knee and he had hidden it in his heart so when temptation came, he had it. We need to store up the promises of God so that we can reference them. Will the Holy Spirit bring those verses to your mind when you need them? Does Jesus promise that the Holy Spirit will bring those things to our mind? the Spirit will give us remembrance? Yes he does. Alright, now another temptation, Matthew 4, verses 5 through 7.

And it says here, "then the devil took him up into the holy city, set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, 'if you are The Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written:" - ooh, look at that, the devil's quoting the Bible now. He's caught on. "For it is written: 'he shall give his angels charge over you,' and, 'in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" Now, you know, right away - I hope you noticed. If you know psalm 91 that the devil is quoting, the devil is misquoting - he's leaving part of it out.

He leaves out the part 'to give his angels charge over you to keep you in all of your ways.' And he's just saying, 'he'll give his angels charge - jump - they'll watch over you. They'll catch you. This'll be a sign of faith. Take a leap of faith. Where's your faith?' And he takes him to a religious place.

Now Josephus tells us - it says he took him to the pinnacle of the temple. Josephus tells us that the pinnacle of the Jewish temple was about 450 feet. Now that was pretty high. You've got to have faith if you're going to jump off - that's like bungee jumping - 450 feet is quite a ways up. Well, I'll save that.

How did Jesus respond? Deuteronomy 6:16 he said it is written - again - "you shall not tempt the Lord your God." So here the devil is using Scripture, but he's misusing the Scripture so Jesus responds with the right verse from the Bible. He takes him to a religious place and he quotes religious words. Does the devil sometimes go to church? Yes. Yeah, so here the devil goes to the temple. He has no problem with that.

And he's quoting Deuteronomy 6:16. Again, I mentioned it, the first adam fell in the paradise, Jesus overcame in a wilderness. The first adam fell with every need being met. The second adam, Jesus, overcomes with great want. When does the devil come with temptation? It says after he had gone 40 days and 40 nights.

He waits until you're tired. He waits until you're hungry. You always want to schedule your best arguments with your spouse for when you're hungry and tired and that's when you can have a real good one. The devil comes to us when we're weak. He doesn't come to you when you're strong.

He comes to you when you don't expect it and surprises you. You notice the old testament begins with a serpent tempting adam and eve and the world's fall. The new testament begins with a serpent tempting The Son of God and the world's salvation. The old testament begins by God saying, 'where are you?' The new testament begins by the wise men looking for Jesus saying, 'where is he?' The old testament begins explaining about the problem. The new testament begins explaining the solution to the problem.

You know, the devil said, 'just jump.' And Jesus said, 'don't tempt the Lord.' Does the devil still tell people to jump? Christian man finds a beautiful daughter of men and he's a believer and she's not and the devil says, 'just go ahead and propose. Jump. God'll catch you. She'll get converted later.' Do people sometimes still tempt the Lord today? The devil says, 'just jump, God'll catch you. Go ahead and sin and you can repent later.

Just jump.' How many times have you and I heard the devil say, 'just jump. God'll pick up the pieces. We don't have to worry.'? And then you get to the - this last temptation here - devil worship - and someone, in a moment, is going to read Matthew 4:10. Okay, ricky, you'll have that? I'm going to read Matthew 4:8 and 9, "again, the devil took him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, 'all these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me.

'" Now, at this point, the veil has been torn aside. You know, Jesus knows who it is. Twice he said, 'if you're The Son of God. If you're The Son of God.' And now the devil says, 'look, alright, so you know who I am. You came into the world to save the world, I will save you all the trouble.

You don't need to go through all the misery and suffering, rejection, and death that you're going to experience.' He said, 'if you just bow down and worship me, I'll give it to you. I'll hand you the world on a platter.' You hear about people selling their souls to the devil? 'If you'll just acknowledge me. Just sell out.' You know, some people sell their souls to the devil and they don't sign a contract and they don't pray to the devil. The devil doesn't appear to them and say, 'look, I'll make you a deal. I'll give you riches, fame, and fortune if you just worship me.

' There are people who'd probably do things like that, but a lot of people every day sort of sell their souls to the devil by saying, 'I just don't want to swim against the current. I'm just going to go with the flow.' And Christ said, 'if you're not with me then' - what? You're against me. You're against me. And some people say, 'look, it'll be easier to go along with the world. If I resist the devil he comes after me.

' As soon as Jesus began his ministry the devil came after him. Who wants to fight the devil? If the devil knows who you are, is that a good thing or a bad thing? How many of you want the devil to know who you are by name? How many of you have mixed feelings on this question? (Laughter) because you want to live a life that's a problem for the devil - such a big problem he knows who you are, right? So in that respect you want to be a problem for the devil. Did the devil know who Paul was? How do we know that? Because one time the demons said, when these exorcists tried to cast out a devil in Jesus' Name - they said, 'in the name of Jesus, who Paul preaches, come out.' And the devil responded - he said, 'I know Paul and I know Jesus, but I don't know you.' Wouldn't that be an insult if the devil said, 'I don't even know who you are. You're such a wicked person that you're just part of our lost crowd. We don't even know - who are you?' Don't you want the devil to know who you are? But you don't want any personal attention, do you? So it's hard to say that.

That's like praying - have you ever said, 'Lord, whatever it takes to save me. Send trouble. Send pain. Send suffering. Whatever it takes to save me, do it.

' Any of you ever thought that before? But you hesitate to pray it because who wants to pray for some cyclone to come into their life? But in reality, wouldn't that be the smart thing? To say, 'Lord, I'm totally surrendered. Whatever you need to do, I'm yours.' Right? Wouldn't it be worth it in the end? Or do you want to be unknown to the devil and untested by God? So he took him up to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world - 'all this I will give you.' That's why Jesus called the devil the prince of the world, because the - he claims it as his own. You know, the Lord took Moses up on a mountain and showed him all the promised land before he died. He showed him the promises. The devil is now taking Jesus up and showing him all the Kingdoms, but he's saying, 'don't worship God.

' In Revelation 21 John is taken up on a mountain and shown the new Jerusalem. You can read in Revelation 21:10, "and he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending...from God." What mountain is it that the devil took Jesus to - that he shows him all the Kingdoms of the world? You can't see all the Kingdoms of the world from nebo. You can't see all the Kingdoms of the world from everest. Have you read in Isaiah 14 what did the devil want? Isaiah 14:13, "for you have said in your heart:" - speaking of lucifer - "'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north;" - so this mountain must have been at the north pole? What does it mean? Farthest sides of the north? See, our idea - when you say someone lives down under in australia, why do you say 'down under'? Why don't you say they live at the top? The idea of the top of the world being the north and the bottom being the south - they even believe that in the southern hemisphere. That is an ancient concept.

The highest you could be - the pinnacle of the north - the devil wanting to be on the mountain of the north meant he wanted to be God. You get what I'm saying? It's the highest place. And so when it says he took him up to a high mountain, the devil took him up to his place and he gave him a panorama. He created this three-dimensional image. And when he showed him the cities of the world, did the devil show Jesus the cities of the world - did he show him the slums and the dirty places and the crime, or did he show them all the glory of them? He showed them the good side.

He hid the bad side. And he said, 'oh, I'll give it to you.' - Excuse me - 'it'll be yours, just bow down.' He wanted to be God. Alright, go ahead, read for me, please, Matthew 4:10. "Then sayeth Jesus to him, 'go adversary, for it hath been written, 'the Lord thy God shalt thou bow to and him only shalt thou serve.' Then doth the devil leave him, and, lo, messengers came and were ministering to him." Alright, so Jesus finally said, 'look, enough is enough.' There are three temptations that came. And all temptation can really be summarized into one of three categories: you've got 1 John 2:16, "for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of The Father, but is of the world.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof." Jesus is now tempted in three areas: he's tempted through his senses - what was that temptation? Make the stones into bread. He was hungry. He had a physical need. It was a physical temptation. He looked at those water-washed stones - maybe in a dry creek bed out there in the desert and they looked like little loaves.

And the devil probably created a fragrance of fresh bread and wafted it over to Jesus and said, 'you can just speak and make these breads - and eat right - make this into bread and eat right now.' He tempted him through his senses. He was tempted to test the supernatural. 'Angels will catch you, jump.' And he was tempted to take shortcuts to power - 'fall down and worship me.' The same areas where adam and eve were tempted - what did God say in Genesis 3:6 to eve? "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food," - lust of the flesh - "and that it was pleasant to the eyes," - lust of the eyes - "and a tree to be desired to make one wise," - smarter than others - pride of life - "she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat." You know, people say sometimes they don't think that diet and control over our diet is going to be an issue in the last days. Was it an issue with the fall of humanity? Was it an issue in the temptation of Jesus? In the end, when it says that maybe you can't buy or sell - well, you know, you might not be able to get new clothes for a little while, but how long can you go without eating or drinking? And so that's one of the reasons. If Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights he had those passions subdued.

And God is not asking us to fast - fasting periodically is a good idea. Do that under doctor's - your doctor's counsel, but fasting is biblical. You don't have to fast 40 days. Three people in the Bible fasted 40 days - who were they? Jesus. Jesus.

Moses. Elijah. On the mount of transfiguration, who appeared? Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. They're all symbols for the - the law and the prophets - the Word of God. And - but God is not calling you to do that.

But we do need to ask God to give us the victory in these areas. So these were the same areas where adam and eve fell - the same areas where Jesus was tempted. Everything that was lost by the first adam was recovered by the second adam. So, what are the tips for resisting temptation? Everything that - everything that Jesus did to fight temptation was, 'it is written. It is written.

It is written.' But there are some other things you can do. Avoid the places where you know you are likely to be tempted. Now, if you're going to live a Christian life, the Bible says, 'all that live Godly will suffer persecution.' But there are things you can do to avoid places where you know that you're weak. There are relationships you know that you can avoid. Sometimes you can avoid temptation by just waiting until you've had a good night's sleep to take care of a conversation or something, or you've had a meal.

Matter of fact, I've got another little book that's called tips for resisting temptation that would be good to look at. You can read it for free online. But we have run out of time for our lesson today. I want to remind those who are watching, we do have a free offer called down from his glory written by Joe Crews. We'll give you a free copy when you call.

Ask for offer #7o1. Here's that number again, 866-788-3966. We'll send this to you. That's 866-study-more and - or go to the website and you can read that for free. Well, friends, I hope we learned something today about temptation and how to gain the victory and we look forward to studying God's Word with you again next week.

Hello friends, I have a big announcement. I want to tell you about an exciting evangelistic opportunity that will be coming to your church this spring. Beginning March 21 Amazing Facts, in partnership with 3abn and the carolina conference, will be presenting a fresh new -part tv series called the last day of prophecy. This unique prophecy program will present the Sabbath truth and the three angels' messages in a winsome way that your friends and family will really appreciate. It's the ideal occasion to invite your community and introduce them to the beauty of the Sabbath.

This is also the perfect time in history for a net evangelistic program like this. It's not too late. Plan now to get your church or home group involved in this soul-winning program. For more information, go to and, of course, please remember to pray for the success of this program. The last day of prophecy March , 7:00 pm eastern time.

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