GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

04-24-2022

PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN

GBIBLE.ORG

 PDF: GBC04242022NOTES

Christian Soldier 69, Kenosis, Part 10, How our Lord in the temptations of the devil.

 

How the Holy Spirit glorifies our Lord in the temptations of the devil.

 

We are still noting

 

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

 

We have been noting that

 

Our Lord passed the first test which was to use the Word of God as His divine solution to the temptations of Satan.

 

The three parts of His evidence testing challenged His relationship to:

 

  1. The Holy Spirit; (MAT 4:1-4.
  2. The Word of God; (MAT 4:5-7).
  3. The plan of God; (MAT 4:8-10).

 

So,

Matthew 4 records the evidence testing of our Lord, which was the first event in His public ministry.

 

He had spent thirty years in preparation for a three-year ministry.

 

Now:

 

At the outset of His public ministry, He was immediately taken into the desert alone to face evidence testing.

 

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

 

Our Lord is alone because He is the only member of the human race who is involved in the temptations.

 

Three persons were involved in the testing of Christ: the humanity of Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the devil.

 

The humanity of Christ was residing inside the PPOG.

 

He was therefore filled with the Holy Spirit, as He had been ever since His virgin birth; ISA 9:6-7.

 

ISA 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

 

ISA 9:7 There will be no end to the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

 

Now, what was this passage all about and how does it apply to the temptations of our Lord?

 

First of all,

 

Once the virgin birth took place, it’s important to note that our Lord would have a kingdom that would reign forever.

How do we know that?

 

In LUK 1:26  Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee, called Nazareth,

 

LUK 1:27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

 

LUK 1:28 And coming in, he said to her, "Hail, favored one! The Lord {is} with you."

 

LUK 1:29 But she was greatly troubled at {this} statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be.

 

LUK 1:30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.

 

LUK 1:31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.

 

LUK 1:32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;

 

LUK 1:33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end."

 

We also know that He would have this Kingdom as the God-man;

 

HEB 1:8 But of the Son He says, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.

 

Notice back in MAT 4:1, that:

 

Jesus was led by the same enabling power of the Spirit that leads the mature believer in the PPOG; MAT 4:1.

 

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

 

Now remember:

Although the humanity of Christ was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit, the devil would be the one who would administer the testing.

 

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

 

Now,

 

This does not mean that he was not hungry during those 40 days and nights because He had those feelings during that time.

 

The humanity of Christ was hungry every day for all forty days He spent alone in the desert.

 

And it’s also important to realize that:

 

The first part of our Lord's evidence testing attacked His relationship with God the Holy Spirit.

 

So that in MAT 4:3, we read  And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God [and you are], command that these stones become bread."

 

Now,

 

Three years after His evidence testing,

 

Christ would win His third royal title, which would be awarded to Him upon His ascension and session at the right hand of the Father in heaven = King of kings, Lord of lords; REV 1:6.

 

REV 1:6 and He has made us a kingdom of priests to His God and Father;

 

Now then:

 

We are His Kingdom; He is our King!

 

We are His lords; He is Lord!

 

We are new creatures or a new creation.

He is the Head of the body and the New Creation.

 

We are a new spiritual species - those who worship Him, worship in Spirit and doctrine.

 

But, most of all:

 

The term that seems to have taken over for the Church is that we are His Royal Family.

 

Good morning “Royal family!”

 

I don’t know how it happened that this term seems to have surfaced to the top but; we are Royal family.

 

We are His New Royal Family.

 

I got all my sisters with me

We are family

 

Get up everybody and sing

We are family

 

However, as usual, Satan took his usual arrogant approach.

 

I said this past week that:

 

Satan is not only a liar and the father of deception but, he is also deceived himself and, of course, being deceived He doesn’t even know it.

 

His deception was based upon the fact that in MAT 4, he used the true doctrine of Christ's royalty as a weapon against our Lord.

 

This was the very doctrine that threatened Satan's arrogant plans.

 

In fact,

 

In a subtle attempt to trip our Lord into defeat, Satan virtually granted Him the victory in advance, without really knowing what he was actually doing.

 

How did Satan virtually grant Christ the victory?

Because….

 

Little did the devil realize that he was also allowing our Lord to reveal to us, how to handle evidence testing.

 

Evidence testing is Satan's cross examination of every witness presented by God in the historical trial of all fallen angels.

 

There are two categories of evidence testing.

 

  1. The relationship to the plan of God Test is illustrated by our Lord Jesus Christ in MAT 4:1-11.

 

  1. The relationship to life test is illustrated by Job.

 

Either category of evidence testing is administered only to the mature believer, for only he is a witness for the Prosecution.

 

Apparently, the spiritual mature believer does not take both tests, and which one he receives is a matter of the sovereignty of God.

 

Inside the PPOG for his life, the humanity of Christ advanced through all stages of spiritual growth, reaching spiritual maturity at an early age.

 

And therefore the issue is this:

 

If the humanity of Christ even sins once during this test, then He cannot go to the cross and die for the sins of the whole world.

 

Therefore,

 

In evidence testing and the angelic conflict, God the Holy Spirit is also the one who leads us to the test.

 

The Holy Spirit will lead us to the test but He will not tempt us.

 

That's why JAM 1:13 says….

JAM 1:13 "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone."

 

The humanity of Christ was hungry every day for all forty days He spent alone in the desert.

 

Now, the first part of our Lord's evidence testing attacked His relationship with God the Holy Spirit.

 

The basis for Satan's first attack = his knowledge that the deity of Christ has the power to accomplish any miracle that He desires to as God.

 

Satan knew that the deity of Christ was faithfully sustaining the universe at that very moment, COL 1:17; HEB 1:3.

 

COL 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

 

The act of turning stones into bread would have been a small matter for divine omnipotence.

So,

 

Satan tempted the Lord to operate independently of the Holy Spirit, who was the Father's provision in the PPOG for sustaining Christ's humanity during His first advent.

 

His first advent always refers to when He came into the world for the first time and He said in HEB 10:5 “But a body Thou hast prepared for Me;”

 

This means that He did not use His own divine attributes independently to benefit, sustain, or glorify Himself = The True Doctrine of Kenosis.

 

The three parts of His evidence testing challenged His relationship to:

 

  1. The Holy Spirit; (MAT 4:1-4.
  2. The Word of God; (MAT 4:5-7).
  3. The plan of God; (MAT 4:8-10).

 

The first phase of Christ's evidence testing teaches that miracles are not a legitimate solution to evidence testing, just as miracles are never the solution to any category of suffering for blessing.

 

One of the easiest things for God to do is to perform a miracle because it requires no cooperation from human volition.

 

Miracles require only divine sovereignty, whereas evidence testing spotlights human positive volition in Jesus Christ during the first incarnation as He remained inside the PPOG.

 

This means that it is easier for God to perform a miracle than it is for God to heal a marriage.

 

Open the Red Sea = no difficulty at all for God.

 

Solving problems in marriage or relationships = much more difficult for God because it requires human consent or volition.

 

And God cannot violate the free will of man.

 

He cannot interfere with man’s decisions and make him choose.

 

Therefore,……

 

He did not sin, though His temptations and His  pressures were a million times greater than any we would ever face.

 

Our Lord's temptations were real and far greater than anything we could ever face.

 

Those who reside in the predesigned plan do not need miracles.

 

Especially in light of the fact that MAT 24:24 says "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders,

 

Or in:

 

2TH 2:9 The false prophet is the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders.

 

In REV 13:13 He [the false prophet] performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.

 

Even demons know that their job is to deceive believers by using miracles signs and wonders; REV 6:14.

 

REV 16:14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world,

 

Therefore, our Lord refused this temptation.

 

Though it was not written as of yet in the human realm, the Bible is the mind of Christ and therefore it was available to the deity of Christ who knows all things.

 

David described the omniscience of the Lord in a fantastic way in PSA 139, and our Lord knew this.

Notice what He was thinking during His time of fasting.

 

This is an amazing Psalm that we will deal with verse by verse as a principle of the Christian Soldier that will be coming up.

 

However, for now, let’s look at some of the thoughts our Lord could have had during His temptations.

 

Now, I have decided to illustrate to you a Psalm of comfort that our Lord could have thought during the temptations in MAT 4.

 

Again, you must make some application and compare scripture with scripture.

 

For example, let me give you some thoughts concerning what I am about to read and what I am about to say.

 

I’m going to give it to you in the order that follows:

 

First of all:

  1. The devil is trying to get our Lord to use His deity in MAT 4:1-10.

 

  1. The Bible is the mind of Christ; 1CO 2:16.

 

Therefore,

 

  1. Our Lord is allowed to apply any passages He may seem fit that applies to the situation He is facing with God the Holy Spirit.

 

Because of that:

 

  1. We can have confidence that the Lord would use the PSD’s, especially the faith-rest drill, as He relied on the ministry of God the Holy Spirit to handle the temptations of the devil; 1PE 2:21-25.

 

  1. The application to us is that, like our Lord, these things have been written for our examples; ROM 15:4; 1CO 10:11.

 

With those five principles I just gave you, I would like to illustrate how our Lord would apply Old Testament passages that fit into those principles.

 

The one I have chosen is one that reveals the deity of Christ which He was being tempted to use by the devil.

 

This is why I have been telling you that:

 

Our Lord’s temptations were unique because no other member of the human race would ever be tempted to use their deity, because no one possesses deity but our Lord.

 

So, as we read this psalm, I want you to think of the temptations that the Lord had but refused to use at this time.

 

PSA 139:1 (For the choir director. A Psalm of David.) O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known {me.}

 

This refers to the omniscience of our Lord.

 

PSA 139:2 Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up; [omnipresence]

 

Thou dost understand my thought from afar. [omniscience]

 

PSA 139:3 Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down, And art intimately acquainted with all my ways.

 

This is why He is Just and Righteous.

 

PSA 139:4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, Thou dost know it all. = omniscience again.

 

PSA 139:5 Thou hast enclosed me behind and before, And laid Thy hand upon me. [omnipotence]

 

Divine protection is guaranteed because He is veracity which is truth and he is also immutable and will not change, and he promised us salvation.

 

The point is that:

What the devil is attacking is the essence of God, which is found in this passage that more than likely our Lord used at times during those 40 days of fasting.

 

The real meaning of fasting is to take the normal time you would for logistics and replace it with studying and praying and meditating on the Word of God.

 

PSA 139:6 {Such} knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is {too} high, I cannot attain to it. [omniscience]

 

PSA 139:7   Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? [omnipresence]

 

PSA 139:8 If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there.

 

PSA 139:9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

 

PSA 139:10 Even there Thy hand will lead me, And Thy right hand will lay hold of me. [omnipotence]

 

PSA 139:11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,"

 

PSA 139:12 Even the darkness is not dark to Thee, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike {to Thee.}

 

He is eternal in nature for as a part of the essence of God, He is eternal life.

 

PSA 139:13   For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.

 

PSA 139:14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well.

 

Why?

 

Because in 1JO 4:8b God is love.

 

PSA 139:15 My frame was not hidden from Thee, When I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.

 

PSA 139:16 Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Thy book they were all written, The days that were ordained {for me}, When as yet there was not one of them.

 

This is the sovereignty of God willing and performing whatever He desires and knowing about us before were even created.

 

And also:

 

Being Just and Righteous, which makes up the holiness of God is also found in this passage.

 

PSA 139:17   How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

 

This is the love of God again with the immutability of divine essence of who God is.

PSA 139:18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with Thee.

 

Notice that in all of those verses something was being mentioned concerning the essence of God that was being challenged by the devil to our Lord.

 

This is what makes this psalm so fantastic.

 

As that passage spoke of the song that David wrote, there were also many applications our Lord could make as the God-man from His humanity.

 

And so, there are some principles in this passage that I must comment about because they do apply to our Doctrine of Kenosis.

 

For example;

 

God's knowledge is not based upon time.

 

It is not related to or limited by time.

We usually can go back and evaluate things that have happened in the past, see our failures and hopefully, learn from them.

 

But none of us knows exactly what will happen tomorrow.

 

As James said:

 

JAM 4:14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are {just} a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

 

To the rich man, who instead of investing in the things of God was building bigger houses, driving new vehicles every tear, and hoards his money:

 

LUK 12:20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This {very} night your soul is required of you; and {now} who will own what you have prepared?'

 

LUK 12:21 "So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

We are slaves to time!

 

We are limited by time!

 

However,

 

God is not, and His knowledge is superimposed over time, including when He was being tempted by the devil in MAT 4.

 

We continue to learn as long as we live on this earth.

God has never had to learn a thing!

 

Jesus was God, is God, and will be God, forever.

 

And……

 

As God, He has always known everything including every thought, every motive, every event, and every action of every person who would ever live.

 

And He knew this billions and billions of years before they existed.

He knows the end from the beginning, according to ISA 46:6-11.

 

ISA 46:8  "Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you transgressors.

 

ISA 46:9 "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; {I am} God, and there is no one like Me,

 

ISA 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure'

 

ISA 46:11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned {it, surely} I will do it.

 

This is why when a believer who understands the omniscience of our Lord it is a very comforting attribute to understand!

Very comforting when you think about our Lord possessing omniscience but refusing to use it when He was tempted by the devil.

 

And why did He refuse it?

 

Because in HEB 12:3, you and I were the joy that was set before Him, and He loved us, says the Doctrine of Kenosis.

 

Because our Lord has omniscience, it means that there is nothing in your life that could ever happen that God didn't know about billions and billions of years ago.

 

And……

 

Knowing about it, and being perfect, He provided a perfect provision and perfect solution for every problem we would ever face!

 

Because He is omniscient, He knows what is best for those who trust Him!

 

This means that…..

 

Although there are times that we may not understand the adversities and the sufferings which come into our lives, yet in the end, we will discover that God knew exactly what we needed and what was best for us.

 

As an example of this principle; TLJC said to Peter in JOH 13:7 "What I'm doing you do not realize now, but you shall understand later on"

 

No one in the human race can ever really understand in depth the principle of omniscience, we can only touch the surface!

 

Again, this is a LUK 6:40 principle:

 

LUK 6:40 "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

Through learning from Him about how to handle temptations from Satan and his kingdom of darkness, we can become just like him right not.

 

As He is so are we in this present world says the apostle John in 1JO 3:1-2.

 

1JO 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and {such} we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

 

1JO 3:2 Beloved, now [positionally] we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears [Rapture], we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.

 

That is, in His perfect resurrected form because as soon as we sin, we step out of the PPOG.

 

Inside the predesigned plan of God is purity; Titus 1:15.

 

As long as one remains inside the predesigned plan, the purity factor remains in status quo.

 

But as I have mentioned, our Lord's temptations were unique and real and far greater than anything we could ever face.

 

For example,

 

After forty days of no food, He was tempted to turn stones into bread.

 

When’s the last time, someone tempted you to turn a stone into a piece of bread?

 

Not in this life!

 

Unless you may be in a “nut house” or if I were to be a little bit more gentle and politically correct, maybe you have been in a “mentally challenged facility” for the under privileged…..

 

No matter what our Lord's temptations were unique and real and far greater than anything we could ever face; HEB 4:15.

 

If our Lord used His deity, He would have had to act independently of the Father's plan.

 

Those who reside in the predesigned plan do not need miracles.

 

Therefore, He refused this temptation.

 

The sinlessness of Adam before the Fall differs from the sinlessness of Christ during the First Advent.

 

The first Adam was capable of being tempted and capable of yielding to temptation.

 

But…..

 

Our Lord, the last Adam, was able not to sin because He remained inside the PPOG and He was not able to sin because He is deity or God; HAB 1:13.

HAB 1:13 Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot even look upon sin or wickedness.

 

Because He as the last Adam and he went to the cross and died for our sins, we have a new creation, the only spiritual creation, 2CO 5:17, GAL 6:15.

 

GAL 6:15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

 

It is created by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, who enters each one into union with Christ.

 

In fact,

 

The “Last Adam” and the “new creation” is a synonym for the Royal Family.

 

So, Jesus Christ was born without an old sin nature.

 

Therefore, He could not be tempted from the inside.

 

All our Lord's temptations were real, but they came from Satan himself outwardly and not from within our Lord, as it does with us; ROM 7:17-18.

 

ROM 7:17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me.

 

ROM 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good {is} not.

 

The human nature of Christ was temptable, but in the predesigned plan, His purity was always intact.

 

For thirty-three years inside the predesigned plan of God for the humanity of Christ, our Lord manufactured the highest virtue ever to exist in a human being.

 

Our Lord's temptations to His humanity not only came from outside, but He was tempted by Satan personally, MAT 4.

 

The divine nature of Christ was not temptable because immutability demands impeccability.

 

God cannot change.

 

Even if we are faithless, He does not change; 2TI 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.

 

In Titus 1:2, we have the confidence of eternal life, from a God, who cannot lie.

 

And here is the motivation that comes from having the God that we do.

 

HEB 6:18  in order that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us.

 

So, the divine nature of Christ was not temptable because immutability demands impeccability.

 

Also, our Lord as God is sovereign.

 

Sovereignty cannot choose to sin.

 

He cannot do anything that would violate His nature.

 

The sovereignty of God cannot change His mind about sin.

 

The perfect righteousness of God cannot be corrupted by sin.

 

The justice of God is cannot be unfair.

 

Therefore, the deity of Christ cannot even look upon sin; HAB 1:13.

 

This is how the temptations of Christ and who He is, is brought out in MAT 4 and also applies to our Doctrine of Kenosis.

 

There are so many principles that theologians have missed concerning kenosis.

Why?

 

Because it means such things as:

 

The humanity of Christ was temptable and peccable, but He remained in the purity of the predesigned plan.

 

He had human volition but used His volition within the love complex, an absolute place of virtue.

 

JOH 15:10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love.

 

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 a part of the true concept of fasting.

 

So,

 

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

 

He had periods of prayer and Bible study, minus food, with the factors found in the Word of God providing the real meaning of fasting.

 

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

 

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

 

  1. The temptation dealt with the problem of Jesus being tempted to operate independently of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

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

 

  1. The temptation was unique because it involved the power to convert stones into bread.

 

  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.

 

This is why we are tempted to substitute human good for divine good.

 

That is the application and we now get ready for one of the most popular passages in the Bible.

 

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.'"

 

And that’s a good place to stop and even a better place to begin next time!

 

 

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