I read Satan’s three temptations of the Lord in Matthew 4 again this morning. It’s a familiar passage to most of you:
1. “And the tempter came and said to Him, “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 on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
2. “Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand 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 will command His angels concerning you’’, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that You will not strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
3. Again, the devil took Him to a very 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 fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”
I noticed once again at least two important points.
First, the Lord Jesus used Scripture in His response to each temptation. Second, the Devil also knows scripture – and he abuses it, twists its context, so it will say what he wants it to say. Remember, he is the father of lies.
The Holy Spirit warns us through St. Paul about those who abuse Scripture from pulpits, classrooms, and, today, across social media:
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
Our protection against being sucked into false and demonic-breathed teaching?
1. Become so familiar with God’s word – reading it day after day after year after year – so when you meet temptation to do wrong, you can respond according to God’s revealed will in Scripture.
2. Become so familiar with God’s word that when Satan’s servants abuse and twist Scripture for their own evil purposes, you will not be seduced.
Need a Bible reading plan to get you through the entire Bible in a year? Do an internet search for key words such as ‘Yearly Bible Reading Plan.’
Or you can try mine at: http://bit.ly/2cv5cee