Lecture Hall Archives
THE VERACITY OF GOD’S WORD
Matthew 4:3-4 “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said: ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ 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.”’”
During the time of the temptation of Jesus after He had fasted
for forty days and forty nights, the enemy came to test the trustworthiness of God’s immutable Word. I want to share with you the insight of what was taking place during this encounter between The Word and the accuser.
This is an extremely important lesson. Our understanding of what was taking place behind the scenes if you will, will greatly help us to overcome the accuser when he comes knocking on our door to challenge what we believe.
I have seen the faith of some young believers wrecked by their failure to understand the gimmicks that Satan employs when challenging the veracity of the Word of God. My hope is that by exposing some of the enemy’s tactics, that it might prepare you to take a firm stand against the devil’s perversion of the Word of God when you are confronted by them.
Luke 20: 17-18 “Then He looked at them and said, ‘What then is this that it is written: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone”’? Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
When the devil challenged Jesus to turn the stones into bread, at first appearance, in the natural scheme of things, it appears as if the enemy is tempting the flesh that was hungry after a long fast, but spiritually speaking there was a lot more going on here than we see at first glance.
As we can see from our Scripture in Luke, the stone is representative of the Word of God and it’s power to break those who fall on it, and grind into powder those upon whom it falls. So that in essence the spirit behind Satan’s challenge was “to turn the stone” (The immutable Word of God) into something soft and common like bread that you eat today and is gone tomorrow, it wreaks of compromise.
In other words the enemy was saying, if you are the Son of God you can do whatever you want to with the Word (implying that He could change it). Hence the answer that Jesus responded with, “it is written”. Which brings me to the first application of this lesson in regards to the challenges that we face today when it comes to our faith and trust in the Word of God.
How do we know that the Bible is the true Word of God? It is written!
I hear people tell me that the Bible was written by men, and that other men decided which of the many books that were written were made part of the Bible, as if God was somehow limited by the powers of men.
2 Peter 1:20-21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation (It was never left to men as to what to write or what to include and reject), for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke (men spoke from God) as they were moved (into action) by the Holy Spirit.”
Satan wants us to believe that men, fallen creatures as we are, are incapable of producing truth, and that is true if men are left to their own devices. But the Bible does not credit men with producing truth, all the credit goes to the Holy Spirit of God. And just as God chose the womb of one of the many virgins of Israel to give birth to the Word in Carne, God chose and moved in the spiritual womb of men and women of God to bring forth the Written Word as well.
1 Peter 2:4-5 “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
The one thing that unbelievers can never comprehend is how the Word becomes alive (a living stone) inside the ones who believe in Jesus as their savior, since they haven’t experienced the transformation that a born again believer experiences when he/she becomes a living stone. We become like living stones when we partake in simple faith the truth of the Gospel.
What is hard for me to understand is how believers that have tasted of the sweetness of the Living Rock that gushes forth to satisfy their taste for righteousness, can overtime allow the bitter waters of the enemy’s poison to weaken their trust in the truth that they have tasted in their born again experience.
Galatians 1:6-7 “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the Gospel of Christ.”
Which brings as to the second temptation that Jesus had to endure on our behalf.
Matthew 4:5-6 “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: “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.”’”
In the natural the temptation is for Jesus to be presumptuous, but if you look a little deeper the truth of this temptation is the perversion of God’s Word.
Once a believer has experienced the truth of God’s Word, the enemy’s aim is to pervert its application by treating the Word as mechanical in nature instead of a living relational part of our everyday lives. Yes there may be a time when God tells you to trust Him to the point of doing something so foolish that it defies human logic. But to the person that is in a personal relationship with the Living Word there will be no doubt in their hearts.
Jesus simply responded to this temptation by saying: “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt (test) the Lord your God.’” Matthew 4:7
One does not have to test true relational friendship, because by definition, it has already been tested when the weaker one chose to put all their trust in the power of the stronger one. So that when a believer puts his/her trust solely in the Word for their eternal salvation, how much more can they trust the Word for the less important matters of everyday life.
Galatians 3:1 “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?”
So that once we know the greater truth that Jesus was crucified for our sins, the goal of the enemy is to separate us from daily trusting in Him as we continuously work out our relationship with that same truth. Basically what I am saying is that if we are willing to trust His Word for our eternal salvation, then how much more can we trust in His Word for our everyday life.
Matthew 4:8-9 “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.’”
When Adam was first created he was given dominion over all the kingdoms of the world that were to come in all their glory. When Adam failed to trust the Word of God that said that he was good even though he was naked, Adam forfeited his dominion to the devil who caused him to know that he was naked. In other words, he believed the lies of the devil over the truth of God’s Word and that kept him from partaking of the tree of life.
When the devil tempted Jesus who is God the Word the third time, his aim was to have Jesus the Word declare him, the devil, good, in exchange for Jesus not having to bear the sins of Adam and of his descendants through the cruel death of the cross in order to regain the dominion that Adam had lost when he failed to trust in the Word of God.
So basically, what the devil said to Jesus was, I’ll give you the dominion that Adam lost to me in exchange for you declaring me good even though I am perverted, you have power to declare me clean so that You do not have to die on the cross.
Matthew 4:10 “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.”’”
So that in the temptations that Jesus suffered we can clearly see the progression of the devil’s machinations, and they all involve different levels of perversion to the Word of Truth.
First the devil wants the Stone Truths or the foundational principles of the Word of God to be turn into the soft bread of compromise, so that the Word that the believers profess won’t crush his head.
Secondly he wants us to have religion instead of relationship with the Word of God. In religion or ritualistic confines the devil is able to turn the Word that frees us into cold frigid rules that suffocate the very life that the Word was meant to give us.
Thirdly, the devil offers an easy way out to the uncompromising believer that will not deviate from God’s foundational principles and walks in the freedom of the spirit filled life, by trying to make the road that the believer has to walk harder than it is, so that he can tempt him to receive perverted power that does not come from God.
Unfortunately some who originally ministered in the Word of Truth have given up the difficulties of the narrow road of hardships for the temporary glory of the third temptation, the glorification of self.
Jesus did not mess around when faced with that third temptation, immediately He uttered the words: “Away with you, Satan!”
All humans are influenced by spirits that want to sway us into doing good or bad. There is always something or someone in the spiritual realm that wants us to do their bidding. The only protection that we have against those bad and unprofitable influences is the Truth of the Word of God. The Word of God is the filter that protects our spirit and soul from contamination. The greater our knowledge of the Word of Truth the finer the mesh becomes in the filter.
Do not let the spirit of the world that continuously belittles the Word of God rob you of the many benefits that Jesus has provided for us in his many great and precious promises.
2 Peter 1:3-4 “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him (the Word made flesh) who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises (in God’s Word), that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption (perversion) that is in the world through lust.”