Volume. XXVI, No. 5
Sunday, 31 July 2011


The Temptation Of Jesus (Part 2)-Scripture Text: Mathew 4:1-11


There are three things we learn from the Temptations of Jesus:

1. The Devil is a mighty and real creature.

2. Temptation by the Devil not to be taken lightly.

3. The Scriptures, the Word of God, is the chief and best weapon to resist the Devil.

1. The Devil is a mighty and real creature.

A) People make light of Satan.

Many people and even believers treat Satan and his demons with disdain and irrelevance. They foolishly think that Satan and his followers are just jokers that can be trampled and ordered around in any way they think fit by their commands or a click of their fingers! There are some people who order him and his demons around. Let me tell you this: although God is All-powerful, and more powerful than anything including Satan, Satan is a powerful spiritual being that we have to be careful about.

Even the archangel Michael did not dare to confront Satan in Jude 9 “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee”. Michael dared not bring an abusive condemnation against him, but [simply] said, The Lord rebuke you! If the archangel Michael did not dare to condemn Satan, then what are we? We should be very careful about ordering around or making a fool of Satan or his demons.

If Satan was not afraid to attack our Lord Jesus in the wilderness, think and consider what he could do to us. Recorded in Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels, three times he tempted or assaulted our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, His own Creator. Satan thought very highly of himself.

B) Satan was the first sinner.

Originally called Lucifer in Is 14:12, his name was changed to Satan when he fell. It was Satan who brought sin into the world at the beginning (Is 14:12-14; Ezek 28: 12-19). It was Satan who caused the downfall of Adam and Eve (Gen 3: 1-7), caused so much pain and suffering to Job (Job 1:6 – 2:7), deceived King David into an adulterous relationship and to commit murder (2 Sam 11:1-5,14-17), led king Herod to slaughter the infants in Bethlehem (Matt 2:16-18), led Peter to deny our Lord three times (Matt 26: 69-75; Mk 14:66-72; Lk 22:55-62; Jn 18:15-18, 25-27), and tempted Alexander to do “much evil” against the Apostle Paul (2 Tim 4:14).

It was Satan who deceived the people of this world in the past, the present and in the future to worship false gods, and to worship the true God in a false way and thus he is the author of all false religions in this world, thereby deceiving many souls into hell. It was him who caused men like Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot to commit atrocities in their countries. It was him who caused us to blame God when things do not turn the way we wanted.

The Scriptures call Satan, or the Devil a “murderer”, a “liar” in John 8:44 and a “roaring lion” in 1 Pet 5:8. He is very busy going from place to place seeking those he could “devour” (consume or overcome). He does not sleep, he never rests, he is never tired, and he has been working continuously for the last 6 to 10 thousand years to bring the souls of men and women to ruin and to hell because his end is near. In Eph 2:2 Satan is described as “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

C) Satan is so cunning that he can transform himself into an “angel of light”.

2 Cor 11:14-15 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works”.

Satan is so cunning and subtle that he can also be passed as “an angel of light”. He can also be good at misleading people in the world to believe in other religions – is it not true that there are always good points in other religions? Satan, as an angel of light, has managed to deceive many to believe in him or to worship false gods that he has created! He has also brought down churches throughout the last 2 thousand years. Previously Bible-believing, these churches have become apostate churches! Previously reformed churches have become deformed churches, quoting from Rev George van Buuren. 

We have to watch ourselves, be on our guard, and pray regularly to ask God to protect us from Satan’s evil devices. Our enemy is invisible and far more formidable than the enemy we can see. Our enemy never dies. He is always near us, and he follows us wherever we go.  He is real and powerful but not as powerful as God. Let us be careful that we do not take Satan for granted and treat him as nothing to worry about. Nowadays, increasing numbers of people are making fun of the devil. They make fun of him on Halloween Day. They think Satan and his demons are weaklings. They are not! Let us not encourage our children to participate in Halloween activities for they would soon come under the deceptive influence of Satan and his demons, and draw them away from God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

To be saved we must not only crucify the flesh and overcome the world, we must “resist the devil” (Jas 4:7).

2. Temptation by the Devil not to be taken lightly.

A) We are all tempted – no one is immune!

Everyone on this side of life faces temptations by the devil. When one becomes a believer, temptations appear to become stronger and intense. No one is immune. Before our salvation, temptations may not be a problem, but become problematic after our salvation because the Holy Spirit dwelling in us convicts us and make us aware of what is right and what is not right. Activities that we used to do and enjoy are now classified as sinful activities.

See Matt 10:24The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord”.  What it means is that the disciple is not greater than his master, nor the servant than his lord. If our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Master and Lord, could be tempted by Satan, we, the disciples and servants, will not be immune from the devil’s wiles and temptations. It would be very foolish of us to think that just because we are believers we are protected from Satan’s darts. We must remember that and we must be careful about his evil intentions.

B) We are capable of evil and wickedness.

We are sinners saved by the grace of God. By ourselves we are capable of evil and wickedness. We often find that evil thoughts arise within our minds, evil words pour out of our mouths and evil deeds carried out. Matt 15:11 “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man” .We are intrinsically evil. Matt 15:18 “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man”. Our hearts need careful watching.

It is easier for us to do wicked and evil things than to do good. Just ask ourselves, have we being critical of others, of what they do and what they are without thinking about the consequences to those persons? Even amongst ourselves, we find it hard to say good things! Many of us are at times so discouraged by negative criticisms and comments that we feel like giving up. Our old man wants to get up and many times in our weakness we allowed him to burst out. How many times, when we are driving along a busy road and another driver cuts in infront without much warning, and our countenance changed? Our old man wants to scream at and think evil of the other driver, but our new man calms and prevents us from carrying out the threats!

We must always remember that there is a devil and that he is real. We must not be surprised that he and his demons are watching us and working for our downfall into sin.

C) Temptation is not a sin but to yield is!

It is not a sin to be tempted, but it is sin to yield to temptation and giving it a place in our hearts. God will allow us to be tempted and will not allow us to go through a temptation that He knows we cannot bear. 1 Cor 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it”. This is reassuring. God is indeed merciful, faithful, understanding and good indeed. He knows our weakness.  Many times, we do not realise our weaknesses. Without God’s help we are weaklings.     (..To be continued) Elder Michael Lee

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht. Next Lord’s Day: Sis Kam Yvone.

A Thanksgiving Memorial Service for the life of the late Bro Winston Selvanayagam will be held  next Sat, 6 Aug, at 11 am. All are welcome.

*Gospel Rally: Please invite your family, relatives & friends.

*Hope Bookstore - open 12:30-1:45pm every Sunday.

*Reminder: All reports for the ACM must be submitted to Clerk of Session, Dn Colin Gan, by today.

*All members of Hope BPC are expected to attend the ACM. Please keep this date in your diary.

*An Outreach/Gospel Working Group to be formed to discuss/feedback about our Outreach/Gospel Rally. Sign-up sheet is on the notice board. Anyone who is interested - please sign up & meet after Worship Service next Lord’s day.

Looking Ahead

* YAF Music Night, Fri, 12 Aug, at 7:30 pm

* ACM, Sat, 27 Aug.

* AFG Retreat, 1 - 3 Oct.

* Christmas Concert, Sat, 3 Dec.

Praise and Thanksgivings

1. Journey mercies: Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman (KL); Bro Simon Yeo (Melb/Adl); Sis Natalie Cheng (Adl); others who arrived safely.

2. Church activities - over the past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. New worshippers & visitors. Salvation of souls.

5. God’s guidance & protection for Sis Peng Ha Yeo while away overseas.

6. Those who came for Working Bee yesterday.

Prayer items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser;  Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Myung Ki (Lond), Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); & others in affliction.

2. Special Prayer - Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Sis Nita Chong’s sister-in-law) recovering from brain surgery (yesterday in Malacca).

3. Cambodia Missions - Rev Luke Kim & Ministry (Phnom Penh & Veal Renh); Bro Chanthon & Sis Siang Lai (Siem Reap).

4. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & Ministry.

5. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

6. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr H S Lim (Melb).

7. IBPFM (USA) - Rev K Coleman, Board & Missionaries around the world.

8. Ministry in New Life BPC, London - Ps & Sis Ki.

9. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries.

10. Ps & Sis  Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.

11. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

12. House of Hope, Cebu, Philippines.

13. Journey mercies: Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman (Zur);  & those who are travelling.

14. Health in pregnancy - Sis Edna Obed.

15. Job - Sis Clara Sim.

16.  Studying in Auckland, NZ - Bro Peter Koo

17. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.

18. God’s comfort - Those in grief.

19.  Street-Evangelism - Protection of participants & Salvation of those who received Gospel tracts.

20. Gospel Rally - Speaker, organisers & Salvation of unbelievers.

21. Norwegian Massacre - Comfort for those who lost their loved ones; repentance & salvation of the person who committed these acts.

 

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063