A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Teaching, Training & Commissioning
THE TESTING BY THE BAPTISM OF FIRE
(First came the Baptism of Water, now of Fire)
Matthew 4:1-11 says, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 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.’”
“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.’”
“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.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.”
This is a demonstration of “the process of sanctification”, a necessary step in our preparation to follow Jesus, in order to do His works and to engage in the inevitable Spiritual warfare, which awaits us. We will hear more about this in Matthew chapter 5.
Here, we see “the temptation of Jesus”. The word “Temptation”, as it is used here, comes from the Greek word, “peirazó”, which means “a test or a trial”.
This is a testing, and a proving trial.
- It is the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy; the enticement to sin, arising from personal desires or from the outward circumstances; In this case, it is to reveal and to remove the obstacles to righteousness in fidelity, integrity, virtue and constancy.
- In this case it is the temptation by which the devil sought to divert Jesus the Messiah from his divine errand; Beware, because the devil seeks to divert and devour you, as well.
- It also shows the condition of a person, their mental state and the way which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from the faith and holiness; This testing will be your training ground for endurance to holiness.
- This testing comes by the way of adversity, affliction and trouble, sent by God, serving first, to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness; secondly for training and preparation of one’s character, faith and holiness in order to follow Jesus in completion of His Mission.
- WARNING: This type of temptation can culminate in rebellion against God, by which His power and justice are, as it were, put to the proof and challenged to show themselves. Scriptures warn us that we are not to tempt nor to test God in this way. We are to trust and obey Him.
Jesus has shown us the way through His own testing. He is reminding us that He is faithful, and that He is with us, wherever He leads. Be certain to follow Him closely!
(As a reminder, please click the blue italicized links above, and in each chapter, in order to get important details on these Bible teachings)
Your Brother and Friend,
Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter, “The Sermon”
(The previous episode can be found at Effective Spiritual Warfare – Water Baptism & The Holy Spirit)
(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along. You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references which are necessary for the entire teaching)