Text: Matthew 4:1-11
1 Then the Spirit led Yahshua up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Adversary.
Do you see something incredible in the first verse? A different aspect of the work of the Ruach HaKodesh, contrary to what is generally taught. I want you to become aware of the difference: “Then the Spirit led Yahshua up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Adversary.” Note please: The Spirit led Yahshua to be tempted. You may ask yourself, why in the world would the Spirit lead us into temptation. Is not the Spirit the comforter not a means that brings discomfort?
Aren’t we taught and haven’t you always attributed temptation to the work of hasatan? Oh, he might be a necessary cog in the mechanizations of temptation, but is he the source? In Isa. 45:7, YHVH informs us Who is the source of good and evil. Let me read:
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I YHVH do all these things.
Are you and I to really believe that G-d is the author of evil? If we believe Scripture to be the Word of G-d, then we must. Scripture tells us in Rom 8:28 “…that all things work together for good to them that love G-d, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
May we then conclude that evil in the form of temptation, adversity, trials and testing is a form of G-d’s good work through the Spirit, but to what purpose? Simply stated, to help us ascend unto Him. We might even conclude that in this context it is a good work designed to further spiritual maturity in the believer.
Without ambiguity, we are informed in this verse that it is the Spirit’s work. Also, take notice that it says that the Spirit led Yahshua “up.” This word “up” corresponding to the Hebrew word Aliyah is a simile. Aliyah in Hebrew, always means ascending to G-d, no matter the direction of travel, be it geographically up or down. When we experience temptation in any form it is designed to propel our spirit upwards, to ascend to G-d.
We should also remember that when tempted or when in adverse conditions what Yochanan wrote in: John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
And in: John 15:21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
and finally in:John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Furthermore, we read in the parable of the seeds, in Mark 4:16, this warning: “And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
The bottom line is that we are to expect not only temptation but also adversity and testing.
Now let us look at the cause of all our temptations. In Greek, he is referred to as diabolos usually translated as devil. In Hebrew, satan which is usually translated as the Adversary and carries with it the meaning of opponent, rebel. In Isaiah 14:11–15, between the lines of a taunt against the king of Babylon, can be read the downfall of a creature who was once both powerful and beautiful but who in pride rebelled against G-d and came to oppose him; Ezekiel 28:11–19 is similar. On the other hand, Job 1–2 is explicit in showing Satan as the opponent of both G-d and man. In Genesis 3, as the serpent, he tempts Adam and Eve to disobey G-d; equating the Adversary with the serpent is clear from Rev. 12:9, which speaks of “that ancient serpent, also known as the Devil and Satan (the Adversary), the deceiver of the whole world.” Hasatan, the satan is a created being, in no way equal to his Creator; yet he is the basis of all sin, evil and opposition to G-d. When we are tempted, he cannot succeed if we but resist and deny him power over us. This is YHVH’s plan to discipline us and help us grow into mature believers. The book of Job teaches us that the reason why an omnipotent and good G-d permits such opposition is a mystery, but as believers, we can conclude from other scriptures now available to us that it is for our benefit and growth as believers. We also learn that regardless of our response to temptation, G-d remains in perfect and unthreatened control. This we see most clearly in Job chapters 40–41, where “Behemoth” and “Leviathan” are seen to be stand-ins for the Adversary, because when G-d challenges Job to deal with them he repents “in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). Both the Tanakh and the B’rit Chadasha (New Testament) take for granted the existence of a supernatural realm of good, obedient angels who serve G-d and evil, rebellious ones (demons) who serve the Adversary and we must be cognizance of this fact. As believers, we have fights to fight and battles to be won.
Now let us return our text:
2 After Yahshua had fasted forty-days and nights, he was hungry. 3 The Tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of G-d, order these stones to become bread.” 4 But he answered, “The Tanakh says, ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of Adonai’ ”
We need to examine this theologically important New Testament term “son of G-d,” it can mean:
(1) A G-dly person (without divine or supernatural qualities);
(2) The special one sent by G-d;
(3) The Son of G-d in the flesh, as described in chapters 1–2 of Luke
(4) A human whose presence on earth required a special creative act of G-d, hence either Adam or Yahshua, who is therefore called “the second Adam” (Lk 3:38, Ro 5:12–21, 1 Corinthians 15);
(5) Yahshua who could in his earthly lifetime relate to G-d as his personal Father, calling him “Abba”; and
(6) The divine, eternally existent individual or Word who always has and always will be within the inner “structure” of Adonai and, in that structure which is the one G-d, is in his essence the Son in both equal and subsidiary relationship with the Father (Yn 1:1–3, 14; 10:31; 14:9–10, 28; Pp 2:5–11). But, here from the mouth of the Adversary, it probably carries all six meanings.
Unfortunately, The Tanakh says little explicitly about these things, yet it does offer strong r