The Bible says in Matthew 4:1-11:
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.
As you may recall, we are in a series titled “How to Avoid Being Destroyed by the Devil”. Last week, we covered the second message in this series titled “How to Fight Back Against the Devil”. In that message, we covered three important points, which are as follows:
I. God Commands Us to Resist the Devil
II. The Tools We Have for Fighting Back
III. We Are Already Guaranteed Victory in the Fight With the Devil
Our message for today is titled, “How to Resist the Devil and Make him Flee”.
There is a great example of resisting the devil recorded in Matthew 4. Here we have the temptation of Jesus and a beautiful picture of His resisting the Devil. A careful study of this passage will show exactly how its done.
I. SATAN WILL ATTACK AT YOUR WEAKEST POINT
The Devil doesn’t fight fair. He attacks at your weakest point. One great preacher said, “When temptation and opportunity meet, we are in trouble.”
Jesus had “fasted forty days and forty nights, and he was afterward an hungred”. Then came the devil saying “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”
If you ever had a bout with liquor before you were saved, he will tempt you with drink. He attacks where you are the most vulnerable. When Jesus was hungry, Satan said “Command that these stones be made bread.”
If you get discouraged in the ministry and want to leave your church, don’t be surprised to get an offer for a very good job. If you and your wife can’t get along and you are fighting and fussing and your relationship is poor, don’t be surprised to have a beautiful woman about fifteen years younger show up and tell you, ugly as a scratch, that you are the most handsome thing that ever lived! If you are six months behind on your bills and you are worrying yourself to death, don’t be surprised to have someone offer you a get-rich-quick scheme!
Satan did not attack when our Lord had just finished a good meal and say, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread”; rather, it was after our Lord had fasted forty days and nights and was very hungry.
II. JESUS RESISTED THE DEVIL WITH THE WORD OF GOD
But, how did Jesus respond to the devil? Jesus responded, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Jesus used the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God to counter the temptation.
The temptation amounts to, “The Devil said…”; and the answer to the tempter and the way to resist the Devil is to tell him what God said, “It is written…” Jesus used a verse from the Old Testament appropriate for the temptation.
To resist the Devil simply means to fight back with the only offensive weapon we have — the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
But the Devil did not give up easily. Look at verses 5 and 6:
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.
Since the Lord had quoted Scripture, the Devil decided to try to get Jesus to yield to temptation by quoting Scripture back to Him. The only problem is, the Devil did not quote it exactly correctly. He was trying to get our Lord to live by chance and not by faith.
There is nothing wrong with trusting God, but there is something wrong with trying to demonstrate your faith by doing foolish things and tempting God.
In resisting the Devil, Jesus did the same thing He had done in the first temptation. In verse 7, He said to the Devil: “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Jesus continued using the Sword of the Spirit, quoting Scripture appropriate to combat the temptation. But the Devil still did not give up.
Verses 8 and 9 say:
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.
Again, Jesus responded in verse 10 by quoting the Scripture: “it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” The Devil said nothing about service, but the Lord knew that worship included service. What we worship, we serve. If we worship self, we will serve self. Nearly everything we do will be selfish. If we worship the world, we will serve the world.
I have known men to worship money and end up serving money. Everything they did was for money. Money governed their lives and their conduct. It even determined their friendships. What we worship, we serve.
And what we serve, we sacrifice for. Tell me what you are willing to make sacrifices for, and I will tell you what you serve and worship. We cannot go to Sunday school and church on Sunday morning because it is too cold, but we will get up eagerly to go and sit in the stands at a stadium for a football game outside in the cold. Now, I am not against going to football games. I am simply making a point. The same could be said for golfing, fishing, or any other thing we are willing to sacrifice for.
In this third temptation, the Lord said in verse 10, “Get thee hence, Satan,” then, “For it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” The next verse continues: “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”
Now what does the Bible promise in James 4:7? “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” That is exactly what happened in Matthew 4 when Jesus resisted the Devil by quoting an appropriate verse to combat the temptation. The Bible says, “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” Luke 4:13 says, “He departed from him for a season.”
James 4:7 is just as true as John 3:16. If we resist the Devil, he will flee from us. That is the promise of the Word of God and God cannot lie.
Now do you see why we have trouble? When the Devil comes to tempt u
s, we call on God and ask Him to help us. But God never says, ‘Pray, and I will make the Devil flee.’ He says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We must do what the Bible says if we expect to get Bible results.
How can we put into practice what Jesus did? Let me give an illustration.
Suppose someone is having doubts about salvation. The Devil continues to put the thought in his mind that he is not saved. This person could pray all he wished to, but that would not solve his problem. If he has trusted Christ as his Saviour, then the thing to do is resist the Devil. The moment the doubt comes, the person should realize the doubt is from Satan and tell the Devil, “I know where that thought came from. You are trying to get me to doubt my salvation, but the Bible says in John 3:36, ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.’ I know I am believing on the Son, and I know God meant what he said. Therefore, I know I have everlasting life.”
John 3:36 is a good passage to quote to the Devil when he comes with his doubts. We could even say, “Get thee hence, Satan, for it is written ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.’ I know I am saved because God said so. Devil, take your doubts and leave with them!”
Now, if you are listening today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your savior, then you are still under the Devil’s power — you are still on your way to hell. If you want to be delivered from the Devil, from sin, and from hell, allow me to share with you from God’s Word how you can accept the free gift of salvation that Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead to give to you.
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me the following simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and
in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of seventeen books.
He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a
worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel
each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a
Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called
The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio
broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator
Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, and
the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in
Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion
from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master’s degree in Religion from
Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former
Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God
has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com.