The enemy wants to conquer and destroy. We need to understand the tactics of the enemy and how to fight him.
John 10:10 The thief cometh…to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and…more abundantly.
The devil is a liar and all lies are from the devil.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
The devil will quote scriptures out of context and twist them. God gave instructions to Adam and Eve.
Genesis 2:16-17…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.
God made the devil like the other beasts and he wasn’t an angel cast out of heaven. The devil tries to make people think they’re deprived by God. The enemy, the serpent, said that God told them not to eat of every tree; but God had said they could eat freely of every tree. The enemy made it sound like God was keeping them from doing something good.
Genesis 3:1-2 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:
God said if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would die. The devil said they wouldn’t die but would be wise as gods. The enemy tempted Eve through the lust or desire of the flesh.
Genesis 3:3-6 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…Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened…shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and…pleasant to the eyes…to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit…gave also unto her husband…
We’re all going to be tempted by the lusts of our flesh. We need to be sure we’re keeping our flesh under control.
James 1:13-14 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.
The Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He was tempted by his flesh but had God’s word in the battle. Jesus was faithful at the temple, studied God’s word, and prayed. We must be faithful, to study the word, and pray.
Matthew 4:1-2 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.
The devil tried to get Jesus to act in a foolish way by quoting scripture. The devil will twist scriptures to get us to act wrong.
Matthew 4:3-6…the tempter…said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered …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…setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith…If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge…and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Psalm 91:11-12 For he shall give his angels charge…shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Jesus knew the scripture that says not to tempt God.
Deuteronomy 6:16 Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
The devil knows scripture, quotes it, and tries to get us to act in a way to tempt God. We have to know scriptures so we can be victorious over the lies of the enemy when we’re tempted. The devil tempted Jesus when he had a physical need.
Matthew 4:7-11 Jesus said…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…All these …I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus…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…and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
The servant Gehazi was tempted by coveting what Naaman tried to give Elisha. Gehazi deceived and lied to Naaman and Elisha (II Kings 5:15-27). Satan entered Judas’ heart when he went to betray Jesus (John 13:21-30). Judas was tempted by covetousness before Satan entered his heart. There’s a difference between being tempted and by a bad spirit of the devil possessing someone. It wasn’t just in Jesus’ day, but there are people today who get possessed by bad spirits. Ananias and Sapphira were tempted by covetousness and lied (Acts 5:1-10). A man at Corinth desired his father’s wife (I Corinthians 5:1-5) because of lust. Lusts are desires of the heart. We need prayer and a desire of heart to watch out for temptations.
The devil tries to cause division but God hates sowing discord in the church (Proverbs 6:16-19). Division starts when someone has an issue or opinion against someone, often the pastor. We need to pray if we think there’s a problem, not share it and cause division. Division is because of carnality (controlled by desires of the flesh). God hates carnality so he sent the Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
Fruits of the flesh like adultery, fornication, hatred, strife, envy, murders, drunkenness (Galatians 5:19-21) are completely different than the fruits of the Spirit. Some of the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith (Galatians 5:22-23). There’s arrogance and pride working if we watch to find fault and be critical about others. We need to pray for ourselves and others to not get elevated in our own opinions and cause division. Jesus prayed for unity.
John 17:21-23 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee…that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory…gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one…that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
We need to have love, concern, and compassion for each other. The test of fellowship is that we’re living free of sin, not any other issues. The enemy will twist the word of God and elevate issues to be the test of whether we’re saved. The word of God doesn’t teach us that going to doctors or remarrying after divorce determines if we’re out of the church.
There were 250 prominent men who came against Moses. He didn’t choose to be in charge but God put him in charge.
Numbers 16:1-4 Now Korah…and Dathan and Abiram…took men…before Moses…two hundred and fifty princes…famous in the congregation…And they gathered…together against Moses and against Aaron, and said…Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy…lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?…he fell upon his face…
They wanted to elevate themselves. They worked in the temple as Levites but weren’t satisfied and wanted Moses’ job. Moses was grieved. He said God would show who he chose. Their minds were distorted to think Moses elevated himself. If we complain or find fault, we cause division. God appointed Moses, like he chooses pastors of the Church of God.
Numbers 16:5-13…to morrow the Lord will shew who are his, and who is holy…and it shall be that the man whom the Lord doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you…Seemeth it but a small thing…that the God… separated you…to do the service of the tabernacle…seek ye the priesthood also?…Dathan and Abiram…said, We will not come…Is it a small thing that thou brought us…to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?
All members of the church are important, even as our heart that isn’t seen is very important. God said get away from those men. The day after God destroyed them, people were complaining again. It will affect us if we sympathize with wrong.
Numbers 16:19-30…Lord spake unto Moses… Separate yourselves…Moses rose…saying, Depart…from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing…lest ye be consumed in all their sins…shall know…Lord hath sent me to do all these works…If these men die the common death…Lord hath not sent me. But if…the earth…swallow them…understand that these…provoked the Lord.
Numbers 16:31-35…the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them…they perished from among the congregation. And all…them fled…said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. And…fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men…
Numbers 16:41…the morrow all the congregation…murmured against Moses…saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)