Baptized With The Holy Spirit And Fire, Part IV
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him. "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.' " Luke 4:1-4
Upon your Holy Spirit baptism you need to be prepared to follow Jesus into the wilderness and be able to overcome by enduring all the temptations and trials that He suffered when the devil tempted Him. This is the reason we are to be filled with Holy Spirit power, in order to be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the evil one, and believe me they will come upon you just as they came upon Jesus! We would do well to take a hard look at the walk that Jesus walked and learn to conquer the powers of darkness that will be sent against everyone who is sold out for Christ!
In the above mentioned passage of scripture you will notice that Jesus wasn't tempted until He became hungry. The devil will not attempt to attack you when you are strong, only when you are in a weakened state of mind or weary in body will he take the opportunity to strike. Observe the lion or most predators in their quest for food, they don't jump on the head water buffalo or the strongest in the herd, no, they are patient and wait for the stragglers, or the sick, or very young, and then they attack with deadly force quickly overcoming their prey. Satan is the master of disaster when it comes to tempting the believer and from the garden of Eden up until now he has brought down some mighty men of God, so beware and be on the offensive as he will surely come to you to test what you are made of just as he has with every other born again, Spirit filled saint that has ever stepped on to the battlefield of true Christianity!
The first temptation that the devil tried on Jesus was not with food as we would think because He was coming off a forty day fast and He was hungry and obviously weakened by the experience as anyone would be. No, Satan had the audacity to ask Him "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." If You are the Son of God! Was there any doubt that this Man Jesus, King of kings, Lord of lords, Savior of all of mankind, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoken to by God, His Father from above in an audible voice was not the One? Of course, Jesus knew exactly who He was as all believers need to know who they are in Christ because the devil will use this scheme more than once to take you out of the battle just as he tried to do with Jesus, but resist him firm in your faith just as Jesus did and use the Word of God against him and he will flee!
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, because He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. I Peter 5:6-9
BEWARE OF THE SNARE
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. "Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." Luke 4:5-7
The devil has taken out multitudes with this scheme and in today's church the temptation to be a success in the world and be healthy, wealthy and wise has seduced millions of unsuspecting sheep who follow their false shepherds wherever they lead them! Everywhere you look today in media, TV and the internet they are promoting the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the deadly and seductive boastful pride of life. Self-help gurus and as the late David Wilkerson used to call them, "Pillow prophets" have led God's people astray with the perverted and dangerous gospel of the all seeing I, or in other words, the worship of self!
Jesus said if anyone wished to be His disciple, they had to be willing to deny themselves, take up their cross ( a cruel instrument of death) and follow Him without the promise of a home or wealth or even the promise of keeping oneself from martyrdom, of which many suffered at the hands of violent men. Many a sold-out believer succumbed to a horrible fate because they chose to love not their life even unto death. Satan hates the word, self-denial because it denies him from controlling our lives with the promise of selfish ambition, pride and greed of which fuel his passion to destroy us.
Satan tempted Jesus with all the world had to offer, authority, power, wealth and influence if He would only bow down and worship him, the problem being, Jesus already possessed these and the truth of the matter was the fact that the devil didn't, but only lied to gain an advantage. We would do well to follow Jesus as He defeated the devil by taking up His own God given authority and power to defeat him as we have also as born again Spirit filled saints been given to overcome the powers of darkness. A friend once said, "Deceived folks don't know that they are deceived," a very valuable word to the wise, don't be deceived!
For to this you were called because Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: "Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth;" who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. I Peter 2:21-23
FALSE SIGNS AND WONDERS
Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. "For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You,' "and 'In their hands they shall bear You up, lest you dash Your foot against a stone.' " Luke 4:9-11
Satan's most dangerous tactic, the use of God's word and false signs and wonders to seduce, pervert and to deceive the unsuspecting saint. If Jesus had fallen for this demonic scheme and jumped off the pinnacle of the temple where hundreds, maybe even thousands would have been watching He would have created a firestorm of frenzied new believers ready to join up and immediately Jerusalem would have had a mega church full of uncommitted thrill seekers like we have today.
In the past twenty or so years millions have been deceived by the rise of false prophets displaying false signs and wonders such as the appearance of gold dust and angel feathers, female angels appearing and people barking and acting like animals, uncontrollable laughing and other grotesque manifestations brought on by demonic activity, not discerned by an unsuspecting crowd of spiritual babies who want to be entertained. True signs, wonders and miracles such as healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead and the use of true prophetic utterance should be common place to the born again believer anointed with the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit are not Christmas presents to be opened only on Sunday to entertain a complacent company of pew sitters, they are a supernatural arsenal of divinely powerful weapons to be used to defeat the enemies of God and to make true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Jesus passed the test in the wilderness against the most powerful and deadly force in the universe, the devil, fallen arch angel, former son of God, raised in Heaven and trained in the art of subterfuge and camouflage, but you, born again Spirit filled saint of the Most High God have been given power and the anointing to defeat even the most vile demonic forces! The same power and authority that Jesus used in the wilderness has been given to us to not only defeat the powers of darkness but to do the greater works that Jesus promised we would do in His name. So, what are you waiting for, an engraved invitation, if so, you already have one, because He has inscribed you on the palms of His hands, you belong to Him and He has called you into service in the kingdom of God, the greatest appointment anyone on earth can receive.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. II Corinthians 11:13-15