Wednesday evening, we began our study of:


Point 4.  The Manifestation of Kenosis in our Lord's Evidence Testing.


Matthew chapter four is one of the most important passages in the Word of God from the standpoint of Christology.


Christology refers to the study of our Lord Jesus Christ as God and as man.


As the apostle Paul said in:


PHI 3:8  I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,


Now, in MAT 4, notice that:


The first ten verses are crucial to understanding not only the gospel but the ministry of Jesus Christ in His Hypostatic Union at the First Advent.


Because of this, the best way to extrapolate, which is to take out the principles involved in a passage, is to look at some of the original language of the Greek.


MAT 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.


Our first verb is:


“to be tempted” - the aor-pass-inf of the verb peirazo  which means to entice, prove, tempt, to trick.


It refers to every point of time when Jesus was tempted during the forty days.

The tests will last for forty days and during that time Jesus was constantly tempted by the devil.


Only three of the temptations are going to be extracted and recorded because they are unique.


The person is unique and the temptations are unique.


By the way, here is my conclusion:


The person is unique = Hypostatic Union

The temptations are unique = Kenosis.


Comparing scripture with scripture which is what a pastor is commanded to do, MAR 1:13 adds some more information about this temptation by the devil;


Mark tells us that not only was our Lord hungry for forty days but He also lived among wild beasts while angels ministered to Him the Word from God.

The wild beasts presented at least two temptations as far as I can see.


  1. The temptation to eat them because our Lord was starving.
  2. The temptation to fear that they will eat you because the wild beasts are starving.


MAR 1:13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.


This is something Matthew did not say.


In Fact, Dr. Luke tells us something that Matthew does not record.


LUK 4:1-2, And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, then the devil tempted Him


In other words;


Luke makes it crystal clear that God the Holy Spirit led our Lord every single day whether Satan was attacking or not.


Second prin: We know there were 40 days but there were not 40 temptations.


Therefore, the question you should ask is:


  1. = What did our Lord do when Satan was not attacking?


  1. He was not going to let His guard down and He is going to prepare even though He just had victory.


Notice the order of tests:


Mathew records for us the order of Satan’s temptations as follows:


  1. MAT 4:1-4 – stones into bread
  2. MAT 4:5 - pinnacle of the temple,
  3. MAT 4:8 – kingdoms of the world.


On the other hand, Luke records for us the order of Satan’s temptations as follows:


  1. LUK 4:1-4 – stones into bread.
  2. LUK 4:5 - kingdoms of the world,
  3. LUK 4:9 - the pinnacle of the temple.


The order is different and the verse to follow is different.


The question you should have is why?


Why do the order of the temptations differ?


Is it because He doesn’t want us to be familiar with God’s word; PRO 20:25.


Is it because God does not want you to put Him in your little self-made box; REV 2:4?


Does God want to pluck corn on your sabbath by shaking things up just when your little world was nice and set.


(Fish bowl illustration)




Does He want us to be disciplined and check things out while being precise in our discoveries; JOH 8:31-32.


The answer to that and more is coming up, until then just be patient and wait for the timing of God.


In God’s time, He will reveal His mysteries, if necessary.


Now, remember, this all came from MAT 4:1.


Two principles of verse one:


  1. After our Lord’s victory of accepting the Father’s plan through water baptism, He was tested by Satan to use His deity.


  1. The believer is always most vulnerable to a defeat immediately after a great victory.


Verse 2 — the background of the temptation:


MAT 4:2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.


Now, things are not always what they appear to be and the fact that Jesus Christ is exceedingly hungry is not simply dieting.


Dieting is not fasting.


Fasting means to spend the time that ordinarily would be used for normal functions in life in contemplating doctrine and prayer.


In other words, the Bible study and prayer is the true concept of fasting.


The humanity of Christ spent the time ordinarily devoted to eating and normal surviving, living in prayer and meditating on the Word.


Now, in verses 3-11 we have five principles concerning the temptations.


  1. The temptation dealt with the problem of relationship with the indwelling Spirit.


  1. Jesus was tempted to operate independently of the indwelling Holy Spirit.


  1. The temptation was designed by Satan to force Christ to violate the Kenosis principle, to try and force Christ into relying upon His power rather than on the Holy Spirit.


  1. This temptation was unique because it involved the power to convert stones into bread and none of us could do that.




  1. The principle of this temptation is one that the believer faces every day which is being tempted to rely upon his old sin nature rather than the power of the Holy Spirit.


We are tempted to substitute human good for divine good.


That is the application.


MAT 4:3 And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."


The word “tempter” is a reference to Satan who lives to exalt self and to oppose God; 2TH 2:4.


2TH 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

Satan’s greatest push is to get man to operate independently of God and……


Since there are two kinds of men, the first Adam and the last Adam, there are two ways in which we can operate independently of God.


Satan’s objective with the unbeliever is to blind him from the cross and salvation.


Satan’s objective for the believer is to get him to operate in his old sin nature rather than in the power of the Spirit so that the old sin nature will crank out human good.


Satan isn’t interested in you or me cranking out sin; this hurts his cause.


He is interested in your cranking out human good.


The devil is not the one who tries to get people to sin; the devil can use people who do not sin, people who are full of human good — do-gooders, religious people.


The Devil's greatest trick was convincing the world he doesn't exist.


These are the ones that Satan can use.


Prin: Religion is the greatest system for getting people to act independently of God; this is the whole purpose behind religion and behind legalism.


That is why ever since the cross….


All the devil can do is try to keep the unbeliever from seeing the gospel — he no longer can keep Christ from going to the cross, it is an historical fact.


In addition to this, as far as the Christian is concerned;

Satan has an objective, not to get the Christian to sin but rather to get the Christian to become self-righteous and religious, and to crank out human good from his old sin nature.


Satan himself is not anxious for believers to sin and the fact that sin occurs is not the devil’s idea for the way that he thought he could be like God and rule his own world.


He would like to prove to God that he can establish an order on this earth which is very moral and very self-righteous and totally independent of God.


As Lewis Sperry Chafer said,


"A serious question arises whether the presence of gross evil in the world is due to Satan's intention to have it so, or whether it indicates Satan's inability to execute all he has designed.


The probability is great that Satan's ambition has led him to undertake more than any creature could ever administer."


Lewis Sperry Chafer understood this and also write on 223, volume 4 of his eight-volume set under the title "Warning against False Prophets.


He goes on to say:


"Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits" (MAT 7:15-20).


The warning to the children of God under grace is against false teachers who are to be discerned by their doctrine concerning Christ (2Pe 2:1, 2Jo 1:7-11): never by their lives.


for outwardly, false teachers are said to be directly under the power of Satan who himself appears as an angel of light (2Co 11:13-15).


The attractive personality of the false teacher affords great advantage as a background for the appeal he makes for his doctrine."


In MAT 4:3 And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."


“He said, if you are the Son of God [and you are].”


The key verb here is the verb “to be” which is translated “you are.”


This is where we get the translation of the word “If” into “Since” because the verb is in the first-class condition which says “if and it’s true.”  


Satan, of course, recognizes that Jesus is the Son of God.


Satan is a fallen angel and all fallen angels are under condemnation for eternity, both past, present, and future, though they may be free to run around until God makes them a footstool for our Lord’s foot.


As far as they are concerned the angelic creation is divided and we have the two categories: the elect angels and the fallen angels.


Satan is the leader of the fallen angels and they have already fought in eternity and lost so Satan recognizes that Jesus is the Son of God — but obviously it does not save him.


He is already in his category for eternity.


He has had his chance and he is out of the picture now.


So, it should be noticed that angels recognize the deity of Christ.


Satan recognizes that if he can get Jesus to turn stones into bread, even though He is deity [the Son of God], He can act independently of the Holy Spirit.


There is an appeal to pride here by Satan.


He thinks the Lord can be bought with the right circumstances.


He thinks everyone has their price.


Everyone can be bought!


Can you?


Can you be bought.

Satan learned the lesson quickly that Jesus cannot be bought for any price.




Notice the gall of Satan when he says to our Lord             “command” the stones to become bread.


Some points on this temptation:


  1. Jesus is hungry and He has the power to turn stones into bread which would be very simple for the Son of God to do.


To turn stones into bread would mean:


  1. Depending upon His own volition and upon His own divine power rather than the power of the indwelling Spirit and the volition and plan of the Father.


  1. Jesus is being tempted to obtain a lawful thing in an unlawful way — apart from the power of the Spirit.


  1. Jesus is being tempted as to the sufficiency of the grace of the Father for His daily needs; MAT 6:33-34.


We face the same issue today.


The Father’s provision is grace.


The issue is grace versus legalism.


  1. Would Jesus provide food for Himself by turning stones into bread or can He wait for the Father to provide all His needs; ISA 40:31.


ISA 40:31 Those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up {with} wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

He knows that the Father’s purpose for Him is to go to the cross even though He has gone without food for forty days.


He knows that He will not die until He goes to the cross because that is the Father’s plan.


The point is:


Does He have the patience to wait for the Father’s plan to operate or is He going to jump out ahead and not wait upon the Lord?


Our Lord knew:


PSA 27:14 Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.


He knew:



PSA 130:5   I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.


PSA 37:34 Wait for the Lord, and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land;


PSA 62:5   My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him.


PSA 40:1 “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”


Issue to us:


Do we have the patience to wait for the Father’s plan to develop in our lives or do we jump out ahead of it?


  1. This introduces the faith-rest issue: Are we going to trust the Father or are we going to do it ourselves?


The Father will not permit the humanity of Christ to starve to death because:


  1. Gen 3:15 and ISA 53 and all of the Levitical offerings, all tells is something about how the Savior would die.


Jesus Christ knows the Old Testament.


He knows that anyone who is hung on a tree is under a curse from God; DEU 21:23  for he who is hanged is accursed of God,


Because of comparing scripture with scripture our Lord knew certain principles concerning passages in the New Testament.


ACT 5:30  The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging Him on a tree.


GAL 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:


  1. He has been fasting, which means He has been thinking about the Old Testament scriptures, and He knows that there is no scripture that says that Messiah will starve to death.


Will He believe it or not?


This has tremendous application to us:


  1. Can we depend upon the plan of the Father for our lives or do we have to jump out ahead with human viewpoint?


There is just one hitch, and that is #10.


  1. If we do not know doctrine, you have nothing to believe in and you do not have enough faith to operate in the faith-rest technique.


This temptation, of course, brings out a tremendous factor: if God doesn’t open the door for you tomorrow so that you can see daylight, are you going to fall apart?


I told you there are a lot of principles in this doctrine


If you do cannot see the end from the beginning, all you need is to know what the Word has to say and God will provide your daily needs; MAT 6:33.


Just as He provided the biggest need you ever had, which is salvation, He also will provide the lesser which is logistical grace support.




All that it requires on your part is to:


Operate in the faith-rest drill and the fantastic peace and blessings that come along with it, in the midst of the pressures, testing’s, and trials of life.


For a good resource on that you might want to pick up the publication written by our own Cliff Spier entitled:


The Christian way of Living, which is an excellent book on getting started getting started with the faith-rest drill.


The point is that verse 3, is a command for all of us not to fall apart through anxiety.


This leads us to verse 4


MAT 4:4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"


“He answered” is an aorist active participle, and when you put them together you have an idiom which means He told the devil off.


He not only gave him an answer but He gave him a dogmatic answer, an answer which couldn’t have had greater power.


He simply gave him scripture.


For forty days He had been living on the Word and He is ready for the devil.


Our Lord knew Deuteronomy because He quotes DEU 8:3 and He gave Satan a dogmatic answer: “It is written” in the past with the result that it goes on forever.


In other words;


The Word of God “lives and abides forever.”


As MAT 5:18 says "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished.”


The passive voice: the Bible receives writing, the thought content of the Bible comes from God and to us as the mind of Christ; 1CO 2:16.


This means that victory comes through the Word which is the object of the faith-rest technique and the basis for true spirituality.


Living in the Word is maximum knowledge of doctrine and occupation with Christ which can only come through the Word of God which is alive and powerful.


If you do not know the Word you do not know Christ; JOH 8:47.

“Man shall not live by bread alone”


Remember that:


Deuteronomy is the book that describes the walk of the people in the land with the phrase:


“Man shall not live” indicates that it takes more than mere survival to be truly alive unto God.


ROM 6:11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.


When Jesus Christ set up the pattern for the Church-age believer, He had the indwelling Spirit and He had the filling of the Spirit, both of which He never lost.


We lose the filling of the Spirit but we will never lose the indwelling of the Spirit; JOH 14:16 "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

Another principle concerning Mat 4:4, that man must not live by bread alone, is that:


Our Lord indicated to us that just having food, shelter and clothing and the necessities of life isn’t living.


Man is not living apart from relationship to God and so man is not going to live by bread alone.




The word “alone” also adds the spiritual to it because we still all need food in order to survive.


Relationship with the Lord must come first, however.


Food is necessary to sustain physical life but the sustaining of physical life is meaningless without spiritual life --- because that simply is not living.


Here’s where we go back to the principle of I.C.E. and note the exegesis or the original language;


There are three Greek words for life:

bios, psuche, zoe.


These words have different meanings.


Bios refers to the existence of life

Psuche refers to thinking of life as a normal function

Zoe refers to the Zoe, the supernatural way of life.


The word living here is the word “zoe” which is the life our Lord revealed to us when He handled the temptations that He faced.


The zoe life!


What is it?


Zoe comes from zoology and it means the function of life and here it refers to the super-grace life which is the objective of all doctrine.


The objective of doctrine is to take the believer to the super-grace life.


The “zoe life” is God's fantastic grace provision which is far beyond even your most fervent prayers.


You have never prayed for anything that even comes close to the "zoe life” or the life that God has designed for you.


The “zoe life” came from the doctrine of the Hypostatic Union when our Lord as a man operated in the Doctrine of Kenosis.


Kenosis was when our Lord revealed the uniqueness of His Hypostatic Union


The "zoe life” is God's fantastic grace provision which is far beyond things for which you have asked from others.


You ask parents, people, friends, spouses, and children for things throughout your lifetime.


However, the "zoe life” or the "life that God has designed for you" is far beyond anything for which you have ever asked from anyone.


EPH 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,


The "zoe life” is also God's fantastic grace provisions which are far beyond your fondest dreams.



No matter how wild and seemingly impossible your dreams may be:


God has provided something far greater than any thinking or imagination in any dream you have ever had; 1CO 2:9.


And what God has provided for the mature believer in the "zoe life” staggers the imagination.


The "zoe life” is the direct result of fulfilling the life beyond gnosis or knowledge; EPH 3:19.


It's one thing to know something, it's another to experience it.


The life beyond gnosis of Eph 3:19 is the means of entering the “zoe life” of Eph 3:20.



In the "zoe life,” God does infinitely more than two things stated in Eph 3:20.


  1. He does infinitely more than all we ask, whether the asking is toward God in prayer, or toward man by request.




  1. He does infinitely more than all we think or imagine, which is our personal desires, expectations, and our thoughts associated with happiness symbols.


Dreams can represent:

What we want to be;

What we want to have;

With whom we desire to associate;




To what we want to be promoted to;

Where we desire approval, here applicable, with whom we desire to marry.


Dreams carry us to the farthest extent of our imagination.


For the Church-age believer, for every member of the royal family of God:


There is a "zoe life” which goes beyond anything for which we can ask of anyone, whether God or man.


For every Church-age believer, as a member of the body of Christ, there is a life beyond our dreams and our imaginations.


This was the type of life our Lord used when He was being tempted by the devil for the Doctrine of Kenosis is the “zoe” type of life.”


It is a fantastic life.


A life that is in view in Col 3:3  For you have died and your life [that is the zoe-life] has been hidden together with the Christ by means of the God.


This is the ultimate life, and it is what God expects for every believer to have.


And for this goal, God has made complete and total provision.


The provisions come in four spiritual skills.


The filling of the Spirit;

Metabolized doctrine circulating in the soul;

The ten problem solving devices;

The execution of the PPOG.


Let’s note some principles concerning this passage on bread or food in MAT 4.


  1. Bread or physical food is necessary for physical life but bread is a mere detail in man’s dependence upon God.


  1. It isn’t the food but the promise which guarantees the food that counts.


  1. While bread is necessary to sustain life it is a mere detail in survival.


  1. What really sustains the believer is the promises of the Word.


Food and shelter can be taken away from us in a moment of time but we keep on having the promises of God.


  1. When the time of testing comes it isn’t what is in the Bible that counts, it is what you have taken out of the Bible and transferred into your frontal lobe that counts; both in the mind and the heart.


He relied upon the Word of God and He resisted this great temptation through the Word of God.


This is the principle of divine versus human viewpoint.


This leads to the concept that:


All spiritual victory is directly related to the Word of God, and your ability to have spiritual victory is based upon your understanding of the Word.


  1. Reliance on the Word of God rather than the word of man is the pattern of this victory.


  1. All spiritual victory is related to the Word.


  1. Jesus never put His own power or His own works above or on a level with obedience to the Father’s plan.


To rely on the power of the Spirit was the Father’s plan for our Lord, therefore in obedience to the Father’s plan He relied upon the power of the Spirit when he used the Word of God.


  1. Jesus found strength, not in performing a miracle, but in the Word of God.


  1. Reliance upon God and fulfilling the plan of God depends upon the believer becoming spiritually self-sustained by feeding on the Word and converting the Word into strength or divine energy or power.


  1. Just as physical food goes in and is converted into energy so doctrine in the frontal lobe is converted into divine power — orientation to the plan of God.


Pick up Verse 5-7, the second recorded temptation.



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