MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
June 15, 2022
SATAN ACKNOWLEDGES CHRIST’S DIVINITY. HIS WORD AS LAW BOTH SPOKEN AND WRITTEN
First things first, read for yourself what “is “written” in Matt. 4: 1-11; Luke 4:1-13; Mark 1: 12,13. Another apostle says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; THE DEVILS ALSO BELIEVE, AND TREMBLE.”’ James 2: 19, KJV.
Here is common ground shared between such “believers in one God,”regardless of what religion they believe, and whoever they believe is their “God”—-with the demons or evil spirits. But whether such “believers” likewise “tremble” as the demons do in that belief is quite another thing.
The only one that can answer that is the believer himself, and God in Christ, through the Holy Spirit, in the “Word of God that is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do [give an account of ourselves.].” Heb. 4: 12, 13.
To be sure, such “belief and trembling” never makes the eternally-doomed demons (Jude 6) one iota less demons, or the merely professed believers into true believers in Christ; the latter is definitively described in these last days in these words: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).
True to the nature of “the mystery of iniquity,” as “the father of lies and murderer from the beginning” (John 8: 44, the master deceiver, disguised as an angel of light come down from heaven, approached Jesus at the end of His forty day-and-night fasting from all food and water.
When He entered the wilderness in His incarnated flesh and blood human nature (Heb. 2: 9-18; Rom. 8: 3-10) to cope with Satan, the Son of man, of David, and of Mary,” was in much lesser advantage than was “the first Adam” (1 Cor. 15: 45-47) in his yet-sinless nature in pure Eden.
How and why? “For four thousand years the [human] race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral worth; and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. [For] only thus could He rescue [deliver, save] man from the lowest depths of degradation.” (White, Desire of Ages, 117). The three types of temptations that embody the “all points in which mankind has, is, and will be tempted till the close of time.
Jesus was “tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.” Embodied in the three great classes of temptations
that Satan, disguised as an “angel of light” (or a “wolf in sheep’s wool) attacked Jesus with, are embodied all the “points in which mankind” has, is, and will be tempted by” till the close of time.
In order that his first temptation upon appetite could sting hard, Satan had to first point out, thus acknowledging—-that the famished-from-40’days-of-fasting, recently baptized and anointed Messiah—was the Creator Himself, he cunningly suggested to create doubt, “IF thou be the SON OF GOD, COMMAND that these stones be made bread.”
The temptation of appetite/desire/lust on all things God forbids, is that which Eve and Adam yielded to, fell, and became sinners. All their progeny thus were born with sinful, not sinless nature.
Christ answered and SAID (spoke), “It is WRITTEN, ‘Man shall not live by bread [physical, literal food] alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4: 3, 4; cf. Deut. 8:3). God spoke through the patriarchs and prophets in ancient times, through His disciples and apostles in the New Testament, and through His chosen messenger-prophet in this closing phase of earth’s history in the advent movement, starting at the termination of the 2300-day prophecy of Dan. 8: 14.
That Satan yielded to the authority of the SPOKEN command and the WRITTEN word, accepting defeat with no question or quibbling, is testified by the written record that he quickly moved on to the next two classes of temptations.
To the temptation PRESUMPTION, Satan’s counterfeit of genuine faith, Christ again replied, IT IS WRITTEN, thou shalt not tempt the LORD THY GOD….” verses 5-7. To the third and last temptation of “love” (adoring; idolizing; worshipping) “the world and the things of the world,” and “the creature over the Creator,” Jesus, “the Word made flesh (John 1:1-3, 14), consistently and with certainty replied, “It is WRITTEN, Thou shalt WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE.”verses 8–10.
The record of Matthew says in conclusion, “Then the devil LEAVETH Him, and, behold, ANGELS [‘ministering spirits,’ Heb. 1:14; Ps. 103: 19, 20] came and ministered unto Him.” v 11. Luke’s account concludes with, “And when the devil had ENDED ALL THE TEMPTATIONS, he departed from Him FOR A SEASON (‘for a while’ only).” Luke 4: 13.
Satan continued to tempt, assail, vex, and harass Jesus till He was crucified—a Victor and Overcomer “over the world, the flesh, and the devil” by the power of IT IS WRITTEN.” Fallen, sinful mankind cannot succeed in any way other than what Jesus established in the flesh!
Until next MWM, God willing, NMF.