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A Walk Through The Bible – Genesis 3 – Temptation

SIHsTOTT ICON AWTTBDevotional Thoughts From Every Chapter of the Bible

Genesis Chapter 3:

 

 

 

Gen 3:1-24

(1)  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

(2)  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

(3)  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

(4)  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

(5)  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

(6)  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

(7)  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

(8)  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

(9)  And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

(10)  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

(11)  And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

(12)  And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

(13)  And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

(14)  And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

(15)  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

(16)  Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

(17)  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

(18)  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

(19)  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

(20)  And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

(21)  Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

(22)  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

(23)  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

(24)  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

 

 

 

 

 

Thought For This Chapter…

 

In this section of Scripture, many different truths can be seen: the existence of sin, Satan and temptation; the results of sin; and the typical excuses used by mankind when caught in acts of sin etc etc.

In our devotional this morning, we will be looking at the three basic areas of temptation that are faced by all of us.  In verse number six we see these three areas brought into clear view for us…

 

Gen 3:6

(6)  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

 

 

These three areas are revealed in the phrases…

  1. “saw the tree was good for food”, – we are tempted to partake of sins that appear to satisfy our fleshly desires.
  2. “it was pleasant to the eyes”, – We are tempted to partake of sins that attract our attention and appeal to our senses.
  3. “desired to make one wise”. – we are tempted to partake of sins that appear to will somehow give us an advantage over others and make others think more highly of us.

As in 1 John 2:16, these same three areas of temptation are given to us using the phrases: “the lust of the flesh”; “the lust of the eyes”; and “the pride of life”…

 

 

1Jn 2:16

(16)  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

 

 

May we all be on guard when any of these three areas come into play as we make the many choices that our lives will have to offer.

Most importantly, may we stop and seek the Lord’s will, as revealed in His Word, to lead us to always make choices that are pleasing to Him… no matter how each choice may seem to satisfy our desires, appeal to our senses, or benefit us, as we progress in our walk with Christ.

Spiritual Gifts: What Types Of Gifts Are There? Accrediting Gifts (Part 6)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:4)

 

 

 

After coming to an understanding of the basic definition of a “spiritual gift”, we now need to examine each of the different types of spiritual gifts that God has given to man.

There are three basic types of spiritual gifts given to the Lord’s local churches:

1. Gifted Men – These are men, used by God to serve the Lord as a part of the ministry of His local assemblies.

2. Accrediting Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to establish and accredit His Word and place of worship. A secondary purpose of these gifts is to minister to others within the context of local church ministries.

3. Ministering Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to testify of Christ and His Word through the ministries of His local       assemblies.

We will continue our study of the accrediting gifts by looking at begin studying the Accrediting Gifts that involve SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.

 

Lesson:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)

Keep in mind, in our previous studies we have seen that the Accrediting Gifts involving:

1. SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH:

the word of wisdomand the word of knowledge

2. SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH:

faith”, “gifts of healing”, “the working of miracles”, prophecyand “the discerning of spirits

3. SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH:

[divers] kinds of tonguesand the interpretation of tongues:

 

Before we begin looking at the Scriptural teaching on the conclusion of the accrediting gifts, there is one more passage that we need to look at concerning the Accrediting Gifts. In this case, in involves a list of these gifts given to the local assembly in the context of the Great Commission…

 

(Mark 16:14-19)

14) Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19) So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

 

And to “the seventy” as He equipped them to go before Him and announce His coming from town to town…

1)  After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

2) Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly [is] great, but the labourers [are] few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

3) Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

4) Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

5) And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace [be] to this house.

6) And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

7) And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

8) And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

9) And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

10) But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11) Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

12) But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

13) Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

14) But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

15) And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

16) He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

17) And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

18) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

19) Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

20) Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

(Luke 10:1-20)

 

 

The Accrediting Gifts and the Great Commission

Let’s take a look at this historical account with our attention especially pointed towards truths about the accrediting gifts (within the context of the Great Commission)…

 

(Mark 16:14-19)

14) Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

This historical event takes place following the Lord’s resurrection from the dead with His ascension to the Father to take place soon after. We need to take notice of two important points in this passage:

1. The Lord is speaking to the eleven Apostles which made up the foundation of the Lord’s local assemblies on earth. He is meeting with them during a time when they are assembled as a group. This once again, supports the truth that the accrediting gifts were given to, and used by, the Lord’s local assembly and not believers in general.

2. The eleven had already trusted in Christ by faith. When He pointed to their “unbelief and hardness of heart”, He was not addressing a lack of saving faith, but a lack of belief in accounts of His resurrection spoken to them by eye witnesses. In other words, although saved, they had lacked faith in His miracle working ability. Especially, they did not believe in His ability to raise Himself from the dead. (John 2:18-21, 10:17-18)

 

15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Please keep in mind the Great Commission involves three different responsibilities that are given to the Lord’s local assemblies:

1. Take the gospel to the lost; 2. Baptize those who believe the gospel; 3. Indoctrinate those who are baptized into the assembly

Matthew 28:16-20. In this passage only the first aspect of the great commission is taught with the second aspect only touched upon lightly.

Christ explains to His first church the need to preach the gospel to the lost in the hopes that a genuine belief in Christ and His work will result. The genuineness of the belief will be shown by a declaration of faith and membership in to the Lord’s assembly through baptism. A lack of genuine belief will result in eternal damnation (punishment).

 

This context (vs 14-16) to the accrediting gifts (vs 17-19) is further evidence that these gifts were given to the local assembly to be used in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. These gifts were NOT given to believers in general as is commonly taught in error.

 

17) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name

Once again we see these gifts are described as “signs”. The Greek word for “signs” carries with it the idea of a “mark”, “indication”, or “token”.   In other words, the following list of spiritual gifts would be used by the Lord as evidence proving to others: the validity of the local church as the worship place for both Jew and Gentile; the divine authority of the message of the local assembly.

 

“them that believe” – These signs would be exhibited by those who were genuinely believing ministers of the Word. Remember the two aspects of “faith” being spoken of in the context…

1. a faith in the Lord’s ability to do all things as Sovereign All-powerful Lord (His resurrection in context) (vs 14)

2. a saving faith (vs 16)

The accrediting signs would be exhibited by those who had exercised a genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Sovereign Lord. But the prerequisites for the working of the accrediting miracles did not stop there…

 

“In my name” refers to the fact that those who would work these miracles would be do so under the specific calling and authority received from the Lord. It would only be those who were “sent authoritatively” as chosen ambassadors they would be able to exercise these gifts. These workings of miracles were limited to Christ Himself, the Apostles, and other members of His local assemblies who were gifted for the benefit of the assemblies as they fulfilled the call of the Great Commission.

 

Contextually, there is no way to make this section of Scripture teach that all who believe in Him will receive these gifts.

 

 

shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

The Lord now begins to give a list of some of the gifts that would be used in the local assembly’s accreditation by the Lord:

1. shall they cast out devils; – a supernatural INDICATION of the truth

2. they shall speak with new tongues; – a supernatural PROCLAMATION of the truth

3. They shall take up serpents;- a supernatural INDICATION of the truth

4. and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; – a supernatural INDICATION of the truth

5. they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. – a supernatural INDICATION of the truth

 

19) So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Soon after He bestowed upon the assembly the authority to minister for Him (fulfilling the Great Commission) and gave to them the ability to perform works that would accredit their ministry, He ascended to be with the Father.   The giving of the Great Commission, and the accrediting miracles, was a very important step to preparing the assembly for the first stages of its ministry on earth in His absence.

 

 

The same type of miracle working ability was also given to a group of local church members described as “the seventy”…

(Luke 10:1-20)

1) After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.2) Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly [is] great, but the labourers [are] few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

These were given the responsibility to go ahead of Christ telling others of His soon arrival as He traveled from town to town…. There were many that were lost who needed this ministry to prepare their hearts for the coming Christ.

Note that they were “appointed” this is when they received the calling and authority of the Lord to minister to others and to use the spiritual gifts as a part of their ministry. Implied here, is that they had been disciples of Christ and members of His church.

 

3) Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

4) Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

This would be a ministry that was based entirely upon faith in the Lord Jesus. They were not to prepare for their journey but they were to be relying upon Him for their daily supplies.

 

5) And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace [be] to this house.

6) And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

7) And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

As they traveled from city to city, they were to approach each home in a spirit of openness, love and graciousness, which would be shown by wishing the inhabitants quietness and harmony. If the 70 were treated with the same spirit by the inhabitants of the house the Lord would bless that house with peace. If the household treated the 70 poorly, they would lose out on the blessing of peace that could have been theirs.

They were to remain in the home and enjoy the hospitality that was offered to them. They should not feel guilty about the receipt of this hospitality, because they were simply being repaid for the spiritual blessings that the 70 had brought with them.

 

8) And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

9) And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

When a city accepted them, they were to be a blessing to the city by healing the sick. They were then to explain that this miracle was being performed based upon the “kingdom of God”. In other words, this miracle was performed based upon the Lord’s sovereign control over this sickness. They had just seen the hand of the Lord exercising control over this sickness.

It would be this same all-powerful Lord that would soon be coming their way.

 

10) But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11) Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

12) But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

13) Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

14) But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

15) And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

16) He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

To those cities who did not kindly receive the 70, they were to depart from that city and not “force themselves” upon it. They were to not take anything from that city, even the dust of the city they were to leave behind. This is a visible illustration to teach this rebellious city a very important lesson… the 70 did not need them, nor were they associated with this spirit of rebellion in anyway. It was a visible rejection of the city’s spirit of rebellion that would eventually result in their eternal judgment.

 

Examples to emphasize the horrendous, eternal, judgment of the Lord is given to this rebellious city…

1. Sodom and Gomorrah – the recipients of a temporal judgment of fire… the cities who reject the seventy would face eternal, never ending judgment.

2. Tyre and Sidon – Tyre and Sidon, two Gentile cities would be judged eternally based upon their lost condition, but because they did not have the privilege of hearing the teachings not seeing the miracles of Christ or the seventy, their judgment was limited. However, the judgment falling against those cities that purposely reject the message and miracles given to them would face a far greater judgment.

 

Since the seventy were sent as the authoritative ambassadors of Christ, anyone who rejected them was, in effect, rejecting Christ as Himself. This is the reason for the severe judgment of God falling upon them.

 

17) And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

18) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

19) Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

20) Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

At the completion of their ministry, the seventy were amazed at the great miracles they were able to perform. In their mind, the greatest miracle was that of the casting out of demons.

Christ responds explaining that He had proof that Satan was already defeated in the counsels of God. Satan being cast out of heaven onto the earth was proof that he was defeated in the counsels of God. Of course, Satan’s defeat was accomplished through the death of Christ on the cross. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Christ gave them the ability to withstand the poison of snakes and scorpions (picturing Satan – Genesis 3:1-14, and the powers of darkness – Revelation 9:3-10). This was visible evidence that they had power over the powers of darkness which they could not see.

 

They are reminded to keep their attention, joy and appreciation pointed toward the miracle of their salvation not the far less significant ability to perform these accrediting miracles.

 

In both of these examples, we have seen tremendous similarities:

 

THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS GIVEN:

1. Healing of the sick

2. Not harmed by poisons

3. Authority over demons

 

THE PURPOSE FOR THE GIVING OF THE GIFTS:

1. To prepare the lost for Christ’s coming (to visit a city by announcing Him, or His second coming by declaring the gospel)

2. To give evidence their message was true and their authority was divine

 

THE PEOPLE TO WHOM THE GIFTS WERE GIVEN:

1. Local church members (Apostles, Seventy)

2. Personally chosen to a specific ministry

3. Given authority to be His ambassador and prepare others for His coming.

4. Given authority to exercise gifts to fulfill their ministry

 

It is very helpful that we keep the mention of the gifts in the Great Commission and the sending of the seventy in the context of our previous studies… the church at Jerusalem during Pentecost, the church in the house of Cornelius, the church at Ephesus, the church at Samaria. These examples help us to understand both the Luke 10: and Mark 16: passages.

 

In our next lesson, we will answer the question when did these accrediting gifts come to an end.

 

 

Additional Information:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)

(Mark 16:14-19)

14) Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19) So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

 

The Accrediting Gifts and the Great Commission

1) Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3) But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6) And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

7) And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

8) And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

9) And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?

10) And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself.

11) And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

12) And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

13) And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

14) And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

(Genesis 3:1-14)

 

(Mark 16:14-19)

14) Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19) So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

 

1) After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

2) Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly [is] great, but the labourers [are] few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

3) Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

4) Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

5) And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace [be] to this house.

6) And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

7) And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

8) And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

9) And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

10) But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11) Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

12) But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

13) Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

14) But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

15) And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

16) He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

17) And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

18) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

19) Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

20) Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

(Luke 10:1-20)

 

18) Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

19) Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

20) Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

21) But he spake of the temple of his body.

(John 2:18-21)

 

17) Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18) No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

(John 10:17-18)

 

14) Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

15) And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

(Hebrews 2:14-15)

 

1) And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

2) And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

3) And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

4) And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

5) And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment [was] as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

6) And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

7) And the shapes of the locusts [were] like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads [were] as it were crowns like gold, and their faces [were] as the faces of men.

8) And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as [the teeth] of lions.

9) And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings [was] as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

10) And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power [was] to hurt men five months.

11) And they had a king over them, [which is] the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon.

(Revelation 9:1-11)

 

“Why Does Evil Exist? (Part #4)”

SIH STSTA ICON“I Create Evil”

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].(Isaiah 45:7)

[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:…” (Habakkuk 1:13) 

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:  (James 1:13)

In above set of Scriptures, we find one of the supposedly contradictory texts of the Scriptures.  On one hand, from the lips of the Lord Himself, He clearly states that “I create evil”.  Then later in the Scriptures we find Habakkuk, as he speaks concerning the Lord, says [Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:  then, to add confusion to our subject, James states clearly that God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

In this series of lessons, we will be looking into two basic questions, first, “What Is God’s Role In The Existence of Evil ?” and, secondly, “What Is The Purpose Behind The Existence Of Evil ?”

THE STUDY:

Before we begin this portion of our study, let’s pick up with the summary from our studies so far …
1.  “Evil” describes something that causes harm or injury
2.  “Evil” can be referring to harm that is so severe, that it causes total destruction or uselessness
3.  “Evil” can, but not necessarily, involves moral wickedness
4.  “Evil” can describe sin or it can describe the results of sin
5.  “Evil” can describe the direct results of sin
6.  “Evil” can describe the indirect results of sin
7.  “Evil” can describe an act that is morally wicked
8.  “Evil” can describe, not the act, but the result of moral wickedness
9.  Evil is “the condition/act of sin, OR the direct or indirect results of sin, that are harmful, and potentially ruinous, to any part of God’s creation.”  
10.  Our Lord is in absolute control of all things, this principle is clearly presented throughout the Bible
11.  It is only because the Lord is in control of all things that we can place our unwavering faith in Him
12.  The Sovereignty Of God affects: His ability to aid us, His answering our prayers, His ability to save, His prophecies to use
13. The Lord is in control of Satan himself, who can do nothing apart from the Lord’s allowance
14. The Lord is perfectly holy and separate from sin.
15. Satan and Adam are the ones who are responsible for sin’s existence and entrance into this world

If God, due to His holiness, cannot be the author of sin then what did He mean when He said “I create evil”?…

“I Create Evil”… Exactly What Did Our Lord Create? 

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].(Isaiah 45:7)

To understand what the Lord is speaking of we must remember the Biblical definition for “evil”.

Evil is “the condition/act of sin, OR the direct or indirect results of sin, that are harmful, and potentially ruinous, to any part of God’s creation.”

In other words, the term “evil” can describe either:
1. the act of sin
2. OR the result of that sin.

We have already seen that, due to the absolute holiness of God, the creation of sin cannot be attributed to the Lord. Therefore when He says “I create evil”, He cannot be speaking of the act of sin.  However, there is no reason to deny that He was speaking of the results of sin in the world.  As a matter of fact, the Bible makes it clear to us that this is exactly what He is saying.

Following the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, the LORD IMPOSED upon the serpent, mankind and all nature several “evils” in response to the commission of sin by Adam.  These included: the curse upon the serpent, enmity between serpent and man, physical, spiritual and eternal death, the growth of weeds, and the mother’s pain in childbearing and the dominance of man over the woman…

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.  Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.”   (Genesis 3:14-19)

In these we can see the Lord’s acceptance of the responsibility for these “evils” upon Satan, the woman, the man, and nature by the phrases “I will” and “cursed”.

What about some of the results of sin upon nature?  The evils of tornados and earthquakes, floods, and famines all of which only exist due to the entrance of sin into nature…

Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:” (Psalms 148:8)

 

The Psalmist tells us that the elements of nature exist at the Lord’s bidding and fulfill His will.  But the Word goes much farther in Job 37:

For he saith to the snow, Be thou [on] the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.  He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.  Then the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places.  Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.  By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened.  Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud:  And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.  He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.

 (Job 37:6-13)

Here, we are clearly told that the Lord is the One that “causeth it to come” and that He then uses these evils of nature “whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.

Throughout the Word we see His origination, control and usage of the many “evils” of nature.  A few well-known examples include:
1. Gen 6:-9: – the worldwide flood of Noah’s day
2. Exo 9:-13: – the many of the ten plagues of Egypt
3. Deut 28: – drought as punishment for sin
4. 1 Kings 16: – rain withheld
5. Jonah 1: – storm to stop Jonah’s flight
6. Nahum 1: – whirlwind and drought used as examples of judgment from the Lord

All of these were created by God, controlled by God and meted out in response to the presence of sin in the world.

What about the physical (medical) evils that comes upon mankind…. Is the Lord in control of these things?  Below are just a few of many examples of the Lord causing, and then using, physical afflictions for His purpose..
1. Gen 19: – men of Sodom smitten with blindness
2. Exo 9: – boils upon animals and Egyptians
3. Deut 28: – boils, hemorrhoids, rashes
4. 2 Kings 6: – Dothan’s army smitten with blindness
5. Acts 9: – Blindness upon Saul
6. Acts 12: – Herod smitten with worms
In the above six I chose, ALL of them clearly tell us that the Lord, or one of His angels, brought these afflictions upon these men. And all of these are related to the sinful condition of mankind.
The Bible clearly tells us that the Lord creates and uses many direct and indirect evils (harmful events) in response to the sinfulness of mankind.  It is, in this sense, that He says “I create evil”
Note: Please keep in mind, the evil results of sin do not always proceed upon men directly from the hand of the Lord.  The example of Job helps us to understand that, at times, the Lord sovereignly allows Satan to bring the results of sin upon man.  In Job’s case, it included both physical sickness, as well as, natural catastrophes as well as others (Job 1:-2:).
Be that as it may, it opposes the clear declaration of the Scriptures to believe that all of these evils come indirectly from the Lord. There are many times in Scripture where we are clearly told that these types of evils come directly from the hand of the Lord because of the sinful condition of mankind.

In our next lesson… Why does a loving God allow sin to take place and why does He bring to pass the evil results of sin upon mankind?

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

What we have seen in our study so far….

We have attempted to come to a very basic understanding of the term “evil” as used in the Bible.  We have come to see that:

1.  “Evil” describes something that causes harm or injury
2.  “Evil” can be referring to harm that is so severe, that it causes total destruction or uselessness
3.  “Evil” can, but not necessarily, involves moral wickedness
4.  “Evil” can describe sin or it can describe the results of sin
5.  “Evil” can describe the direct results of sin
6.  “Evil” can describe the indirect results of sin
7.  “Evil” can describe an act that is morally wicked
8.  “Evil” can describe, not the act, but the result of moral wickedness
9.  Evil is “the condition/act of sin, OR the direct or indirect results of sin, that are harmful, and potentially ruinous, to any part of God’s creation.”  
10.  Our Lord is in absolute control of all things, this principle is clearly presented throughout the Bible
11.  It is only because the Lord is in control of all things that we can place our unwavering faith in Him
12.  The Sovereignty Of God affects: His ability to aid us, His answering our prayers, His ability to save, His prophecies to use
13. The Lord is in control of Satan himself, who can do nothing apart from the Lord’s allowance
14. The Lord is perfectly holy and separate from sin.
15. Satan and Adam are the ones who are responsible for sin’s existence and entrance into this world
16.  The Lord is the author and sovereign controller of the results of sin upon mankind

 

May the Lord bless you as you continue to seek His truth.

For The Free Study Guide For This Series:  .pdf format    .docx format

 

 

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Personal Experience Or God’s Word, Which Is Our Standard? #1

SIH STSTA ICONShould we trust the Word when we lack life experiences?

 

Throughout our lifetime, we are called upon to choose between trusting the revelation of God’s Word or placing our faith in our life experiences.  Phrased another way, are we to make our life decisions based upon what our senses have revealed to us, or do we look to God’s Word as the only unquestionable  standard by which our life is to be directed?

This is study I would like us to come to an understanding of God’s will on this all important issue.  There will be three parts to our study for us:

1.  Should we trust the Word when we lack life experiences?
2.  Should we trust the Word instead of our life experiences?
3.  Should we trust the Word based upon Biblical revelation?

THE SCRIPTURES:

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:16-17)

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  (Genesis 3:1-5)

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.  And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.  Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.  And this [is the fashion] which thou shalt make it [of]: The length of the ark [shall be] three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.  A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; [with] lower, second, and third [stories] shalt thou make it.  And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life, from under heaven; [and] every thing that [is] in the earth shall die.   (Genesis 6:11-17)

For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.  (Genesis 7:4)

And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed [is] the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.  But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it.  And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.  For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.   (Luke 11:27-30)

Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.  (John 20:27-29)

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

 (Hebrews 11:7)

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.  (Hebrews 11:13-16)

 

THE STUDY:

Throughout the history of mankind we find the ongoing tension that runs between the personal experiences of our life and the teachings found in God’s Word.  Some of the most well-known of these tensions include:

Example 1 – Adam and Eve’s Response To God’s Warning – 

In the garden of Eden, the Lord graciously warned Adam and Eve of the results of partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  He goes further and explains that if this fruit is partaken of thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).

Here was the problem…. Adam and Eve had never personally experienced death (physical or spiritual) at this point in their lives, nor did they ever see it take place in the life of any creature in the garden.

Since they had never experienced death, for them to believe God’s warning, they must place their faith in God’s Word.  In doing so, they would be making God’s Word the standard for their decision making and their understanding of the consequences of eating the fruit of the tree.  However, if they chose to rely on their life experience, making them their standard for decision making, they would partake of the fruit believing that neither spiritual nor physical death would not be a result of their actions.

FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THEIR LIFE EXPERIENCES, GOD’S WARNING WAS EMPTY AND WORTHLESS.

This dilemma created an opening in which Satan could work. As a matter of fact, questioning the reliability of the Word was made the central theme of the temptation that was presented to them … But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  (Genesis 3:3-4)

As the Word records for us, Adam and Eve chose to disbelieve the Word and to rely upon their life experience.  In doing so, they sinned against their Lord, experienced immediate spiritual death, would experience a future physical death, and brought both upon all of their descendants.

 

Example 2 – Noah’s Response To God’s Warning –

In Noah’s day, the Lord gave Noah a warning of a coming global flood that was brought upon the world because of the sinful condition of all mankind The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.  And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”  …”And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life, from under heaven; [and] every thing that [is] in the earth shall die.” …  For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.” 

(Genesis 6:11-13,17; 7:4)

The Lord graciously, goes farther and expresses to Noah the manner in which he, and his family, can escape this coming destruction Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.  And this [is the fashion] which thou shalt make it [of]: The length of the ark [shall be] three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.  A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; [with] lower, second, and third [stories] shalt thou make it.   (Genesis 6:14-16)

Once again, we find Noah faced with the same dilemma as that of Adam and Eve.  Before the flood, we are told that the earth had never experienced rain.  The vegetation of the earth had been watered by a “mist” or a “dew” that fell upon the earth (Gen 2:5-6).  Noah had never experienced rain falling from heaven, nor any type of localized or worldwide flood taking place upon the earth.

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7)

BASED UPON HIS LIFE EXPERIENCE, GOD’S WARNINGS WERE EMPTY AND WORTHLESS.

Noah faced the hard choice of relying upon his life experiences, which would tell him no flood was going to take place, or place his faith in the warnings of God, that made it clear the world would experience a worldwide flood.

In this case, Noah chose to trust the Word of God over his life experiences, he built the ark in approx. a 100 yr period, and he saved himself and his family according to the commands of the Lord.

 

Example 3 – God’s People’s Response To God’s Future Promises –

The last of this type of tension we will look at is a tension that involves each and every one of us.  It is the tension that lies between our experiences in this temporal life and the promises found in God’s Word concerning the blessings we will enjoy throughout eternity.

If we were to only believe in those promises that we have experienced, or seen in existence today, we would sadly miss out on some of the greatest sources of motivation, joy and peace we can experience during our walk in this world.

BASED UPON OUR LIFE EXPERIENCES, GOD’S PROMISES BECOME ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE “PIPE DREAMS” THAT HAVE NO BENEFIT FOR US.

In Hebrews 11:, in the midst of looking at many Godly men who placed their faith in the Word of the Lord above their human experiences on earth, we find a text that clearly explains the need for each of us to place the promises of the Word as the centerpiece of our walk with Him.

Note, these promises we are expected to rely upon are promises that we have not yet experienced, “not having received the promises”.  On the contrary, they are promises that have only been “seen afar off” (through their eyes of faith).

Note that they acted upon these promises “were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”   This resulted in them not returning to their old country, but instead, consistently serving their Lord with hope.  “And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.   (Heb 11:13-16)

This was the motivating force behind the great “people of faith” found in this wonderful chapter.  This, too, should be the great motivating force in our life today.  But we can only look to these as legitimate sources of motivation for us if we accept, through faith, the testimony of God’s Word as utterly reliable.

However, if we were to insist that the Lord must “prove” to us the existence of these great and precious promises, we would be counted as no better than the Pharisees who demanded to see signs confirming Christ’s ministry and message, And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed [is] the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.  But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it.  And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.  For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.”  (Luke 11:27-30)

Or, we would be placing ourselves on the same level as Thomas who required “proof” before he would accept the testimony of Christ, Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.”    (John 20:27-29)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Personal Experience Or God’s Word, Which Is Our Standard?…  If we take a minute to stop and think about our study, we can see the great importance this original question holds for us.  Two of the greatest events in human history centered upon this very issue.

When the personal experience of man was relied upon, we find the entrance of sin entering into the entire human race.  Condemnation and separation from God for all mankind immediately followed.  All of this took place, because Adam and Eve choose to place their own personal experience in a position of supremacy over the very Word of God in their decision making process.

When God’s Word was solely relied upon over personal experience, we find that mankind’s existence on earth was sustained.  This took place when Noah placed his faith in the Word of God motivating him to build the ark which allowed him and his family to escape the ravages of the flood.

Finally we have seen one area, among many, where this issue comes into play into each of our lives.  Every eternal promise the Lord has graciously given to us requires faith to be accepted as truth.  Our physical eyes tell us the promises of God CANNOT take place, but our eyes of faith tell us these things are AS GOOD AS DONE.  The very existence of our service to the Lord hangs in the balance on this issue.

If our physical eyes are reliable in discerning the spiritual things of God, then the record of God’s Word is not true, and we, categorically, have no reason to serve Him.

If however, we understand that our physical senses cannot be relied upon to discern the things of God, then we turn to our eyes of faith.  Through this faith, we can rest assured that His Word (and the promises therein) are reliable; our eternal future is secure in Christ; and we can joyfully face whatever this world may offer to us, realizing someday we will go home and be with our Lord forever and ever.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth concerning this very important subject.

 

For more lessons…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Oh, How Good It Looks… Oh, How Bad It Is For You

SIH STSTA ICONOne of my weaknesses is my desire for a cheeseburger.  I love cheeseburgers…. Burger King Whoppers with cheese to be exact.  But actually, how can anyone find fault with me?  Just take a look at this Burger King Whopper commercial…. (be forewarned, I don’t know how anyone can resist this!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pltp_xNrego

After having a mild heart attack about 5 years ago, it is for my good that I don’t make a habit of eating these babies.  It seems as if ever since I was told to “lay off the Whoppers” that I have only wanted them more.  We have all experienced something like this… temptation is universal, everyone has experienced it at one time or another.

Sadly, this universal experience is one of the greatest hindrances we face to living a faithful, obedient Christian life.  Why does temptation make such an impact in a Christian’s life?  How can we overcome such a strong influence?  Let’s see what the Bible has to say about temptation…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (1Jn 2:15-17)

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Gen 3:6)

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he 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. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 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. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 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; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 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. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. (Mat 4:1-11)

THE STUDY:

1 John 2:15-17

Here, we find the three basic areas of attack that temptation takes… the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.  These are the three types of sinful desires we all have within us.  These are the areas that temptation appeals to and to which we submit, producing sin in our lives. (James 1:13-15)

Genesis 3:6

Here, we read of the very first temptation of mankind.  Note the three areas attacked by Satan during his temptation of man:

the tree was good for food” (lust of the flesh);

it was pleasant to the eyes” (lust of the eyes);

a tree to be desired to make one wise” (the pride of life).

This is a consistent pattern throughout the Scriptures.  Every temptation that is enacted upon man is aimed at one (or more) of these three types of sinful desires we all possess.

Matt 4:1-11

In this account, we have the temptation of Christ brought into view. Notice that, again, temptation’s attack is in a three-fold direction:

command that these stones be made bread” – Christ’s hunger after His fasting (this would have appealed to His desires of the flesh)

If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down:… lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” – By doing this, Christ would be proving to everyone His divine origin (this would have appealed to His desire to exalt Himself or His pride of life)

The devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, …if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” – This was appealing to the sight of all the kingdoms of the world.  (By doing this the temptation involved the desires of His eyes)

In each case, a similar area of Christ’s life was being attacked (just like in the other two examples we looked at.)  However, in the case of Christ, we have a perfectly sinless response to these temptations.  Why?  Christ’s did not have a sinful nature that fallen mankind possesses.  This is one reason why Christ was perfectly able to resist these temptations.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

For our benefit, Christ clearly displayed the method in which to overcome any temptation that we may face.  Please notice, in each of the three attacks by Satan, the Lord used the Word of God to gain the victory over Satan.   “It is written”, “it is written”, “it is written”; was Christ’s constant refrain.

In each case Satan lied (John 8:44), in each case Christ refuted the lie by going to the source of all truth, God’s Word.

Satan can use our friends, our family, even our experiences to lie to us.  The only sure source of truth we can rely on is the Word of God.  If anything in our life leads us contrary to Scripture, we must put it aside, and follow the Scripture exclusively.

The example of Christ, once again, speaks to us concerning the importance of Bible study and memorization for the Christian.  It is truly the only offensive weapon we have to deflect Satan’s attacks against us. (Eph 6:14-17)

Another lesson from Christ’s example is the need to take special care when we see a weakness in any of these three areas in our life.  We should be constantly striving for control of our pride, control of our eyes and control of our fleshly desires.  When these begin to dominate us, we are headed for defeat.

For those who have never submitted to the Lord…

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (Jas 1:13-15)

Without the forgiveness of Christ, spiritual, eternal death is the end result of temptations workings in mankind.  The only remedy for this is to look to Christ, the life-giver, who gave Himself on the cross so that we might share eternal life with Him. (2 Tim 1:8-10)

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”