After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John – the baptzer, His ministry began.
It was during that scene at the River Jordan that the Holy spirit descended upon Jesus - for it was now that Jesus would need the POWER of the Holy Spirit to begin…and to finish His ministry on earth.
Jesus was sent by His Father, God, to become the single blood sacrifice needed to bring remission or forgiveness for the sins of all mankind.
Those who would then accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior would be given a promise, and that promise would be that their spirit would spend eternity in heaven, rather than in the place first designed for Satan and his demons…a place of torment and fire called hell.
When Jesus first started His ministry, this same Holy Spirit of God descended upon Him, and then led Him into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan himself.
Matthew 1:1 –“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”
Whie out in the desert wilderness, Jesus prayed and fasted for forty days and forty nights.
Forty is the number of completion. When God starts a plan…usually the number 40 comes into play to let us know that the plan is complete.
Joshua and Caleb…plus ten other tribes of Israel, were sent into the land that God promised Israel…a land flowing with milk and honey. The “Promised Land” of old represents the “Promised Land” of tomorrow for the Christian…heaven.
The spies went into the land for 40 days. Joshua and Caleb came back and reported to Moses that the land was just as God said it would be…”let’s go in and take it.” The other ten spies reported negatively…that the land was full of giants, and they caused Israel to be afraid. Fear is of the devil.
The devil asked Eve – in the garden of Eden, “Are you going to believe me or God?”
God told Adam and Eve that they would SURELY DIE if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Satan said, “Surely you shall NOT die.” Eve and then Adam chose to believe Satan. They should have never listened to Satan’s voice as it entered their minds.
To avoid committing sin, we should reject the first evil thoughts that come into our minds…planted there by Satan.
If we reject his planted thoughts, we could avoid the consequences of committing the evil planted. Committing the evil is sin.
So, the spies that were afraid (fear was planted in their minds) caused all of Israel to not believe God. To not believe God is sin. To believe the lies of Satan carries with it consequences.
The consequence of their unbelief led God to punish them by leaving them in the wilderness – one year for every day that they spent in the Promised Land. Forty years in exchange for 40 days!
We all know that Israel spent forty wasted years in the wilderness, and none of the original Jews made it into the Promised Land. Their offspring made it. Moses never made it into the Promised Land. He only got to see it from a distant mountaintop. Joshua and Caleb DID get to enter and enjoy the Promised Land.
When God told Noah to build an ark because He was going to destroy the earth and all life within in by flood, Noah and seven family members obeyed God’s words.
The rains came. The firmament that was between the sun and the earth to protect and prolong life for mankind and beasts was released upon the earth.
Before the flood, man and beast lived to a ripe old age of at least 969 years..as it was with the oldest man ever to live…Methuseleh. After the firmament was released, the ultraviolet rays of the sun were not blocked, and men lived to be 120 years. After the time of King David, man was given three score and ten years to live - 70 years on average.
The rains came, and the firmament was released, and the waters of the deep flooded the earth.
This happened for exactly 40 days.
God’s plan was completed then, and all life on earth died – except for the eight souls in the ark.
After that thirteen months and twenty seven days elapsed before the ground was completely dry. So, God's plan to let it rain to the point where all life on earth would be destroyed was completed in 40 days. The rest of God's plan to have Noah and his family leave the ark and step on dry ground would take 422 days.
It should also be known that the ark landed on the top of Mount Ararat in Turkey. Man has tried for years to climb Mt. Ararat, but the Turkish government has forbidden anyone to search the mountain for the ark. To find the ark would prove the story of Noah, and prove that what God did was true. It should be strange to know that the government of Turkey (where Satan landed when God tossed him out of heaven) refuses to let anyone search for the ark. They guard the mountain. Why? If there is nothing there...why guard nothing?
It is this writer’s belief that 40 comes into play in our days known as the “End Times”.
Israel became a nation in 1948, but they did not control Jerusalem. The Arabs owned half of the Holy City. It was not until 1967 (after the 6-day war) that Israel gained ownership over the entire City of Jerusalem to complete the ownership of all of Israel.
40 years from then would have been February of 2007. What happened in February of 2007? A man by the name of Barack Obama would come from nowhere to announce his candidacy for president of the United States.
God’s plan for entering the last days was completed. The stage was set for the rest of God’s plan to unfold. (See my articles on 2012 for the rest of the story, or read my book – America’s Two Holy Wars – in the online e-book store).
Matthew 1:2 -"And when Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred."
When we are at our weakest point….you can count on Satan showing up.
Satan’s job is to discourage, and to remove our confidence in God.
In the Book of 2 Kings, 18:19: Hezekiah was asked of a man full of the devil, “What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?”
In English, “In whom does your confidence lie?” Hezekiah’s answer was the same as ours should be – “My confidence lies in God.”
Mtthew 1:3 -“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”
Satan came to Jesus at the time when Jesus was at His weakest point. Satan knows where our “Achille’s heel” is. He knows exactly where our weakest point in our character is, and that is the point at which he will attack…usually with an enticement first. What is your weakness? Is it family? Is it finances? Is it health? Wherever your Achille's heel is, that is where Satn will attack you.
If enticement fails, FEAR will be the next line of attack.
Satan said to Jesus…”If you are the Son of God, command these stones to turn into bread…then you can feed that hunger of yours.”
Satan knew that Jesus was the Son of God. He tried to have Jesus killed when he instructed King Herod to kill every male child under the age of two.
Satan’s goal was to plant a thought in the mind of Jesus. His plan was to entice Jesus with the thought of eating bread made of stones.
His GOAL, however, was to get Jesus to obey him. He knew that the first time he could get Jesus to listen…then DO what he said, would put Jesus into the category of doing what Satan said. To DO anything Satan says is to be obedient to him. To do what Satan tells us is to make him the master…and us the slave.
If he could just get Jesus to DO one thing he tells Him to do, he wins….God, whom he hates…loses.
Satan did it to Eve then Adam. He caused them to believe him, rather that to trust God’s words. He got to cause Adam and Eve to commit sin. Their sin was rebellion and disbelief in God.
Satan figured if he could get the first man to sin....why not this man? Why not any man...or woman?
4 – “But Jesus answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Jesus set out to accomplish His own objective, and that would be to let Satan know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that Jesus was in control, and that Satan would never be in control of heavenly things.
5 –“Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city (Jerusalem), and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 - And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”
Once again, Satan gives an order as master to Jesus. If Jesus obeys Satan and does this temptation, then Jesus is servant to the master.
Satan is trying to establish his authority. He is trying to use his best intellect to get Jesus to obey him.
7 -Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
Jesus now put it to Satan this way, “Satan…you know all of the words in the Old Testament and you will stop at nothing to use and twist God’s words to get people to do things, but let me quote God’s words back to you. You shall not tempt the Lord they God.”
The temptation was aimed at Jesus. This is why Jesus told Satan…”Do not try to tempt me, for as you already know…I and my Father are one…we are God.”
It should not strike us as odd to know that Satan brought Jesus up to the top of the Holy Temple of God in Jerusalem. Did he want to show God, whom he hates, that he could control what God’s Son would do?
Did he want to show God almighty that he could get Jesus to obey him? I would think that this is exactly what Satan believed. He was cunning…crafty…master deceiver.
8 -Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 -And saith unto Jesus, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”
In verse 8, Satan’s TRUE GOAL comes out. He flat out tells Jesus to worship (obey) him.
If Jesus obeys Satan, He will get to own all that He sees on the earth.
Jesus already owns all that is in, on, under the earth, and all that is in the heavens above, so it is no stretch of the mind to know that Jesus was about to finish Satan’s temptations off with more Holy Scripture.
It would be good for us to know that Satan will entice us with anything at all to get us to obey him. Jesus reminds us, in Matthew 16:26 - "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul."
Keep in mind that Satan uses anything to entice YOU, too. If you agree to serve and obey his thoughts planted into your mind, he wins..and YOU lose.
10 -"Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
Jesus wraps it all up by telling Satan to “get behind me where you belong. I am the Lord, thy God, and I will be the one who you will answer to one day.”
11 -"Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”
When Jesus delivered the final words to Satan - Satan left.
Satan had no further enticements to offer. He knew that Jesus was God in the flesh, and that Jesus would never obey any temptations that Satan would put into his mind. He left.
Once Jesus straightened Satan out, His angels came to minister to Him, and I’m sure they brought Jesus some great tasting food and water.
We need to remember the temptations of Christ, and how He handled Satan. He used the Scriptures to cause Satan to realize that he was NOT in charge.
Jesus wants us to know that Satan is not in charge, and that God’s word…if hidden in our hearts, gives us the same ability to resist the devil…and he WILL flee from you.
James, the apostle of Jesus said…in James 4:7 – “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Submit to God…obey His words (which you must read to know what they say), and resist Satan by not entertaining the evil thoughts that he plants in our minds…and if we resist those first evil thoughts that he plants in our minds….and do NOT act upon them, he will flee from us.
When temptation comes, and they will on a regular basis, there are many ways to get Satan to flee from you.
What I will do is sing hymns about Jesus. Satan hates that name. Or, when Satan tries to tell me that I am a failure…or that God doesn’t care about me, I will say…out loud, “Satan, you are the loser here…not me. You are the one who will spend forever in hell…where the fire is not quenched and your torment will never cease…and Jesus is the one with the keys that He took from your hands. Jesus is the one who will cast you into that lake of fire that He made for you. I will be heading to heaven. I win – you lose”.
Then, he seems not to be around anymore!
If I sense his presence, I will invite him to pray with me! “Satan, I am about to pray to the name you hate…Jesus. Would you or your demons who are hanging around care to bow with me and pray or worship God?”
Satan disappears immediately.
Resist the devil and he will not have control over your mind.
We have a "Prayer of Salvation" located at www.JohnTyler.com/Salvation.htm
John Tyler, Author of nine books.
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