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 The title of the sermon today is “TEMPTATION IN THE BIBLE.”
Does The Bible Contradict Itself When It Comes To Temptation?
- I want to go over temptation in the Bible today because at times it appears to contradict.
- This is how I choose topics for sermons.
- When we read through the Bible at home as a family, I note Scripture that appears to contradict.
- God put that SCRIPTURE there purposely for us to study. He knows what He’s doing.
- With that said, let me show you what I mean and then we’ll study temptation and get the answer.
For this sermon, just so you know, I went through all verses with the following words:
- Temptation, temptations, tempt, tempted, tempteth, tempting.
- You can do the same thing to study this topic of TEMPTATION WITHIN THE BIBLE.
- You’re going to find 71 matches within 63 verses. We’re going to look at some of those today.
- Here’s a chart of the results that I like to show for the words that I’ve studied for this sermon.
The Book of Luke has 11 verses of the 63 total verses with words related to TEMPTATION.
- Then Matthew with 8, Psalms with 6, Mark and Hebrews ties with 5, Deuteronomy and James with 4.
- I want to start in James and Genesis because this is where the supposed contradiction occurs.
 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: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
- This Scripture appears to say that NO MAN IS TEMPTED OF GOD.
- You might say, “See, God doesn’t tempt anyone.” That’s what it says, right?
- Do you remember the Lord’s Prayer? Matthew Chapter 6 verse 13.
 Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
- “And lead us not into temptation.” So you see this again.
- So, James Chapter 1 says to let no man say “I am tempted of God.”
- But watch what we see in the Book of Genesis Chapter 22 verse 1.
 Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
- Doesn’t that verse say, “GOD DID TEMPT ABRAHAM?” Yes, it does. It’s very clear.
- So James Chapter 1 says to let no man say he is tempted of God.
- And Genesis Chapter 22 says that GOD DID TEMPT ABRAHAM. So, is that a contradiction?
- NO!!! The Bible doesn’t contradict itself.
- When you see something like this, this means we need to study.
- When we’re finished today, you’ll see how the solution is very simple.
Definitions Of Tempt
The word tempt has different definitions. And you’ll see this makes perfect sense within the Bible.
- So, let’s look at some of the definitions of the word TEMPT.
- I’m using Webster’s 1828 dictionary for this just so you know. Dictionaries are different too.
- There are 5 definitions for the word tempt.
- To incite or solicit to an evil act; to entice something wrong by presenting arguments that are plausible or convincing, or by the offer of some pleasure or apparent advantage as the inducement.
- To provoke; to incite.
- To solicit; to draw; without the notion of evil.
- To try; to venture on; to attempt.
- In Scripture, to try; to prove; to put to trial for proof.
In other words, there is a tempting that leads you to evil or to do sin.
- And then there’s a tempting that tries you that doesn’t lead you to sin.
- Do you see that so far? One definition of the word tempt is “TO ATTEMPT.”
- So, the word ATTEMPT and tempt are related. ATTEMPT means to try or to give a shot.
- I’m going to attempt to make this free throw in basketball. I’m going to “TRY” to make it.
- So, this is very simple to see that you can be tempted to SIN and tempted or tried.
- Those are 2 very different things. And I’ll show you this today within the Bible.
- You will see the difference immediately, and you’ll see that there is no contradiction within the Bible.
Before we start, there are 2 types of TEMPTATION WITHIN THE BIBLE.
- #1: Temptation from God is a test or trying of your faith. God doesn’t tempt you to sin.
- #2: Temptation to sin is from Satan. He preys on your fleshly desires.
- Those are the 2 types of TEMPTATION that you’ll see in the Bible.
- And those fit the definitions of the word perfectly.
- We’re going to look at the TEMPTING from God first. And then we’ll look at the tempting from Satan.
With that said, let’s go back to James Chapter 1 and read more.
- I want you to see that when God tempts you it WILL NOT BE tempting you to sin.
- When God tempts you, He is trying your faith. He is putting you through something to test your faith.
- Now, if you know God, is HE DOING THAT FOR HIMSELF? No, He’s doing it to help you.
- Everything He does has a reason, and you can know it’s BEST for you. Even if you think it’s bad.
- It’s what you need. God is there trying to help you. Even if He’s punishing you it’s to get you back to HIM.
In James Chapter 1, James is writing to TRUE CHRISTIANS from the 12 PHYSICAL tribes of Israel who are scattered.
- He calls them MY BRETHREN so we know they are SAVED people.
- Watch what he says starting in verse 1.
 James 1:1-3 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
- Diverse temptations are the trying of your FAITH and this trying of faith worketh patience.
- In other words, temptations TRY YOUR FAITH and this results in your patience being worked.
- And it’s not just one type of temptation. It’s DIFFERENT temptations. DIVERSE TEMPTATIONS.
 James 1:4-6 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
- You don’t want to be like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
- That’s what TRYING OF YOUR FAITH can do. Don’t fall to the temptations, or you will be tossed around.
- Count on God ALMIGHTY through the temptations. Not yourself. You’ll lose. It must be God.
 James 1:7-10 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
- During temptations, you will be made lower. Don’t be double minded. In other words, focus on GOD.
- You should want to be made lower. We should rejoice in that. We need to be humbled.
 James 1:11-12 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
- “BLESSED IS THE MAN THAT ENDURETH TEMPTATION.”
- So, this entire chapter so far is talking about TEMPTATION and being tempted.
- Now, we’re to the verse we read earlier. Verse 13.
 James 1:13-16 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: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
- God doesn’t tempt you to do evil. If there’s some temptation to sin in your life, it’s not God tempting you.
- He doesn’t tempt you with evil. He doesn’t entice you to SIN. EVER. The Bible says so right there.
- If you’re tempted of evil, this means you are drawn away of your own lust. It’s not of God.
- It’s your flesh being tempted. It’s not YOUR SPIRIT when you’re saved. It’s your flesh tempting you.
- It’s something YOU WANT. It’s not something GOD WANTS. Do you see the difference?
God Cannot Be Tempted With Evil
“FOR GOD CANNOT BE TEMPTED WITH EVIL.”
- That means the HOLY SPIRIT living inside you is not being tempted. It’s your flesh. It’s your LUSTS.
- “Then, when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
- “DO NOT ERR, MY BELOVED BRETHREN.”
- Do you see what this is teaching now? You will be tempted, you will be tried.
- But God doesn’t tempt you with evil. That’s your own lust tempting you.
- It’s your desires tempting you to do evil. That doesn’t come from God. That part comes from you.
- GOD DOES TEST YOU AND TRY YOU but not with evil and not with sin.
Now, let’s go back and look at Genesis Chapter 22 and Abraham being tempted by God.
- Let’s see what happens. Let’s get the whole story.
 Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
- After these things means after the things that happened in the past Chapter.
- Isaac, the promised HEIR of Abraham, is born to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis Chapter 21.
- After God fulfills this promise to Abraham with Isaac, GOD is going to TEMPT or TRY Abraham.
- God commands Abraham to offer his only legitimate son ISAAC upon the altar.
 Genesis 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
- What did Abraham do? He went and he did what God commanded him to do.
- He passed the test. He passed the temptation from God. That temptation was a trying of Abraham’s faith.
SIN is NOT DOING WHAT GOD SAYS. So God isn’t tempting Abraham to do something he shouldn’t.
- Why? Because whatever God says to do is the right thing. Not doing what GOD SAYS is sin.
- Do you see how God can’t tempt you to sin? If He tells you to do something, automatically it’s not sin.
- The definition of SIN is not doing what God says to do. GOD CANNOT TEMPT YOU TO SIN.
- What does God do, though? He tests your faith to see if you’ll be faithful to HIM.
- And the test results are to help you. He doesn’t need the help. He’s helping you.
- If you fail, this simply means you NEED to increase your faith. READ THE BIBLE. STUDY THE BIBLE.
Don’t listen to preachers who give you one verse or two or three and waste your time in Church.
- They say, “Well, I don’t think the CORONA VIRUS is from God.”
- Hey listen, NO ONE HAS ANY IDEA if the Corona Virus is from God or not. Could it be? Oh yes it could be!!!
- God does this all throughout the Bible. He might be mad and angry with the entire world!!!
- I mean, really, we haven’t done anything wrong, right? Yeah right. Look at our world today.
- Listen to a preacher and learn from a preacher who preaches THE WHOLE SCRIPTURE.
- You see, I think it’s a waste of time to stand up here and give you stories and opinions.
- Instead, let’s learn from the SCRIPTURE. Let’s make the SCRIPTURE the focus.
- Learn from God. Not from man.
So, we learn more about ABRAHAM’S TEMPTATION FROM GOD in the Bible.
- We find more information in the New Testament. See? The Old and New Testament are tied together.
- And they’re tied together perfectly to help us understand.
- Let’s look to the Book of Hebrews to give us more information about ABRAHAM’S TEMPTATION from God.
- But first, I want to read Genesis 22:1 again followed by Hebrews 11:17.
 Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
- Notice that this verse says, “that God did TEMPT Abraham.” You see that, right?
 Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
- Genesis 22:1 says, “God did TEMPT Abraham.”
- Hebrews 11:17 says, “By faith Abraham, WHEN HE WAS TRIED, offered up Isaac.”
- So, the temptation we see from God is a trying of Abraham’s FAITH. It wasn’t temptation to sin.
- I hope you’re starting to see the differences in the definitions of temptation.
- The story of Abraham offering up Isaac is a picture of the LORD JESUS CHRIST being a sacrifice.
- When Abraham was willing to do what God said, He did the right thing.
- He didn’t sin by doing what God said. YOU WILL NEVER SIN BY DOING WHAT GOD COMMANDS.
Tests Of Faith = Trying Of Faith = Temptation
There are TESTS of FAITH all throughout the Bible. This is referred to as temptation or trying of FAITH.
- When God told Noah to build the ark, that was a trying of Noah’s FAITH.
- When God told Abraham to get out of his country to a new land that He would show him, that was a test.
- Sarah was tested when God told her she would conceive. She laughed at first but then she believed.
- That was a test. God tested Moses when he told him to be the leader. He had trouble at first.
- But then he passed the test through FAITH alone. Keeping the PASSOVER was a test for Moses.
- Keeping the circumcision was a test for Moses. He failed that test. God almost killed Moses over that.
The harlot Rahab was tested when she received the spies into her home. She passed the test, the temptation.
- She could have gave those men over to be killed. But she didn’t.
- When you pass the test from God, your weakness is turned into STRENGTH through God.
- Hebrews Chapter 11 tells us about all of those people and more. They were tested.
- They overcame through FAITH alone. All the prophets in the Bible. Think about them.
- Think about Nathan when he had to stand up to King David when he told him the story of the poor man.
- The rich man came and took the poor man’s sheep. Nathan had to tell David he was talking about him.
- He had to HAVE FAITH in order to do that. It’s a test.
Elijah had to go confront the King of Israel face to face.
- He preached against the King directly to his face. He was hunted down by everyone.
- That was temptation from God. That was God testing Elijah. He passed it. And look what God did for HIM.
- When you pass a test, God increases your faith. He returns to you what you’ve done.
When I think of some of the toughest tests in the Bible, I think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
- They were instructed to bow down to a false god OR get thrown into the fiery furnace.
- That furnace was right there in front of them. They knew King Nebuchadnezzar would do it.
- It’s much easier to just bow down than to SAY NO and get thrown into the fiery furnace.
- But they stood up and God showed up for them. That was a test. They passed.
- And now they are written in the Bible. You know their name. You know they are in heaven right now.
JONAH was tested and he didn’t do so well. He hated those people in NINEVAH.
- But he didn’t know they could be saved. God told Jonah what to do. He said, “No thanks.”
- I told Emma to get Annie the other day for me. She’s a little scared of Annie because she jumps on her.
- She said: “No, I don’t think so. No thanks.” And I laughed. That’s probably what God did with Jonah.
- He said, “Okay, you want to say NAH, no thanks.” I’ll have a whale swallow you up and take you.
- So, all of the people in the Bible went through TOUGH TIMES. They had trouble. They were tried.
 1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
- So look there at those verses. You are begotten of GOD. He has purchased you.
- You have an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and is kept by the power of God.
- Your reservation in heaven has already been made. It’s not getting canceled.
- But watch what the next verses say in 1 Peter Chapter 1. Verse 6.
 1 Peter 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
- You greatly REJOICE because you HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. You’re saved.
- But, for just a season, if need be, you’re in heaviness through manifold or diverse temptations.
- The Bible calls those many temptations A TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH.
- And that trial of your faith, those temptations, are going to make you better.
- If everything went perfectly for you each day, your faith wouldn’t improve and get better.
- Understand that today. You will have trials, you will have tests, you will have troubles!!!
- When they are from God, understand that those MAKE YOU BETTER.
- But watch this next Scripture from 2 Peter Chapter 2.
 2 Peter 2:6-7 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
- Lot was VEXED with the filthy conversation of the wicked in the city that he lived.
- He was going through temptations. Lot was a GODLY MAN, though, and watch what the next verses say.
 2 Peter 2:8-9 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
- “THE LORD KNOWETH HOW TO DELIVER THE GODLY OUT OF TEMPTATIONS.”
- When you’re having troubles because of temptations, GOD KNOWS HOW TO DELIVER YOU.
- Lot’s the example of that. What did God do? He took out the entire cities with fire and brimstone.
- You might be down, you might be troubled by the evil in this world, but remember.
- GOD KNOWS HOW TO DELIVER YOU FROM THAT EVIL, FROM THOSE TEMPTATIONS.
Temptations From God Are Not Equal To Temptations From Satan
So, you have TEMPTATIONS from God and then you have temptations from SATAN.
- You have trials from God and then you have trials from Satan.
- You don’t want to be around the trials from Satan. But you want the temptations from God.
- Keep the faith and God delivers you. Trials and troubles from God GROW YOUR FAITH.
- You should REJOICE in those trials and troubles.
- I know it’s difficult, but watch what Job says here in Chapter 23 verse 10.
 Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
- When God tempts you and tests you, YOU’LL COME FORTH AS GOLD.
- So we need to remember that GOD IS THE EXAMPLE. GOD’S WAY IS THE BEST WAY.
- So think of the answer to this question: “Does God protect you from everything?”
- Or, does God allow you to go through trials and troubles?
- Is every problem you’re going through a punishment from God? NO, IT’S NOT.
- If you get sick, is that a punishment from God? Maybe. Maybe not. Many times, it’s not.
Remember this: GOD ALLOWS YOU TO GO THROUGH TEMPTATIONS, TRIALS, TROUBLES, TRIBULATION.
- Why would He allow this? Why would He be behind the temptations or the trying of your FAITH?
- If everything went perfect for you all the time, you wouldn’t get any better.
- Troubles in life are the times you truly learn and get better as a person for God.
- So, God is the greatest FATHER in existence. No one else compares.
- What I’m getting at here is as a FATHER to my children I’m going to follow HIS LEAD.
- My children are going to go through trials and tribulations as they grow and get older.
- I’ll be there for advice, but they need to go through it.
I will make them work hard in their life. Everything isn’t going to be easy for them.
- I’m going to make them dig up the garden. I’m going to make them stay outside all day and work with me.
- I’m going to make sure they get hungry, thirsty, and tired. I’m going to push them.
- I’m going to make sure they’re reading, studying, and learning the Bible even when they’re tired.
- I’m going to hand out the punishments when they need them. I will not lead them into sin, though.
- I will not send them to public schools. I will not send them to drunken parties as they get older.
- I won’t allow that sin in their life. But I will make sure they go through tough trials in their life.
- I’m going to follow God’s lead and make sure everything isn’t perfect for them all the time.
Why would I do that? So they become a better person and a more Godly person.
- I want them to work hard for God all their life. We’ll rest when we die.
- God doesn’t say to stop working for Him EVER in the Bible. Moses never stopped working for God.
- He worked for God until God said, “Go up in that mountain and die, Moses.”
- So yeah, I go through trials and troubles in my life. All of us do.
- Instead of getting upset, we need to REJOICE in these temptations.
- We have a chance to increase our FAITH. And yeah, I know it’s tough but we can do it with GOD’S HELP.
So, we can be like Job and have that attitude versus the bad attitudes we get when we’re tried.
- Always remember Job. “When HE hath tried me, I shall come forth as GOLD.”
- All the impurities are burned away and all that’s left is PURE GOLD.
- When you mess up, learn from that mistake. Understand to walk in the SPIRIT next time.
- Don’t let the flesh take over. That’s giving in to temptations.
- GOD TRIES YOU. He puts you through hard times. If everything goes perfect all the time, then I’d wonder.
- If you have troubles, REJOICE IN THEM. It’s your choice to grow stronger in the LORD. GO TO HIM.
With all of that said regarding TEMPTATIONS FROM GOD, now let’s see if we understand the Lord’s Prayer.
- Because what did we just learn? Temptations from God are good. We want those temptations.
- So, let’s read the part of the Lord’s Prayer that mentions temptations again.
 Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
- “AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL.”
- So, the Lord’s prayer is saying to lead us not into temptation.
- Does that mean we don’t want temptation from God? No, that’s not what that means.
- That obviously means to please keep us from the EVIL TEMPTATIONS of Satan.
- Those are the ones that we don’t want. Those are the ones like LOT had in those wicked cities.
- And what did God do? He delivered Lot from that evil just like the Lord’s Prayer says.
- “BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL.” I hope you’re seeing this now. It’s very clear in the Bible.
- King David says this in Psalm Chapter 139 verse 23 and 24.
 Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
- I know you don’t want ANY trials and tests in your life, but you need to be asking God for HIS.
- Today, we ask God to try us just like King David asked. Have you ever heard that in Church?
- No, because nobody wants ANY PROBLEMS in this life even if they’re a test from God.
- As CHRISTIANS we should trust God with all that we have. Please God try us with your trials.
- Will you fail on your own? Yes, you will fail on your own.
- But if you look to God for your help, you can’t fail.
 Psalm 63:7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
 Psalm 121:2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
- When you’re going through TEMPTATIONS and trials, who are you looking to?
- Do you look to yourself to get you out of the trouble, your husband, your wife, your family?
- Look to God because HE IS YOUR HELP. That’s all HE ASKS. He says, “TRUST ME. I’LL HELP YOU.”
- Will God do what He says? OH YES HE WILL. And you’ll come out a better person for GOD.
- Why? Because He’s going to make you a better person. You aren’t. HE DOES IT. You’ll come out as GOLD.
Temptations From God Are Good
Now, let’s take a look at the TEMPTATIONS that come from Satan because there’s a huge difference.
- Temptations from God are good. You want those. Why? Because you’ll come out better.
- If God is tempting you, you’re on HIS MIND. That’s a good thing. You want that chance.
- But the temptations from Satan are temptations to sin. You don’t want those.
Do you think you can stay away from all temptations from the devil? Well, let’s see.
- Maybe you’re so FAITHFUL AND POWERFUL that the devil would never bother you, right?
- Joel Osteen would probably preach that. I don’t know if he has, but it sounds like something he would say.
- Or Kenneth Copeland has power over the tornadoes and weather he claims JUST LIKE GOD.
- He rebukes the tornadoes even though God controls the tornadoes. So I guess He rebukes God.
- Kenneth Copeland thinks the devil would never touch him because he is a great man of God.
- But deep down he knows he works for the devil. He knows he’s a liar.
- But let’s see who the devil tempts within the Bible, and we’ll see if you’re too good for that.
 Matthew 4:1-4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 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.
- JESUS HIMSELF was tempted of the devil. So don’t believe Joel Osteen when he pumps you up.
- He likes you to feel good about yourself. You’re so powerful the devil can’t touch you.
- Well the devil didn’t care that it was JESUS CHRIST.
- Have you ever fasted for 40 days and 40 nights? I’ve only gone a couple days at most in my life.
- And guess what? ANYTHING tastes great after 1 day. Try 40 days. Jesus did. He was hungry.
Satan, the tempter, shows up and he knows that Jesus is hungry.
- That’s the first thing Satan tempts Jesus with. FOOD.
- So you need to watch out how much you worship food. Look at the belly size of the preachers.
- Did they miss this SCRIPTURE in Matthew Chapter 4? The first thing the devil tempts GOD with is FOOD.
- Jesus says, “Hey, I don’t need bread to eat. I don’t live on bread alone. I live by the WORD OF GOD.”
- I want you to see this next piece of SCRIPTURE on the next temptation in Matthew.
 Matthew 4:5-6 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 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.
- Satan tells Jesus to show me that God will take care of you. Let’s see if the angels will save you.
- This is very important to understand today because I’ve done this same thing myself.
- I’m sure you’ve probably done it yourself too.
- When you’re having trouble that just won’t stop, you look up to God and say “What’s your problem?”
- “Are you going to help me or not, God? Where is the help that you promised?”
- Have you ever done that before? Have you ever said that in your mind? Have you ever thought that?
- Oh yes, I have. But I want to teach you what that means today. Watch what Jesus says to Satan.
 Matthew 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
- When you have those thoughts like that, when you yell out to God like that, that’s a HUGE SIN.
- Why is that? That’s the definition of YOU TEMPTING THE LORD THY GOD.
- Now, it’s not God tempting you, it’s not Satan tempting you, but NOW you’re tempting God.
- Did you know out of the 63 verses in the Bible about half of those are MAN TEMPTING GOD?
- That’s the biggest category there is in the Bible regarding temptation. MAN tempting GOD.
- Not a good thing. What does Jesus say right there? “THOU SHALT NOT TEMPT THE LORD THY GOD.”
 Exodus 17:1-2 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?
 Exodus 17:3-5 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? 4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. 5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.
- The people CRIED to Moses, “Have you brought us out of Egypt to kill us? We’re thirsty.”
- They don’t trust in God through all that they’ve seen. Are you going to be the same way?
- All of these examples are here for a reason.
 Exodus 17:6-7 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
- Do you see what that says at the end? They tempted the Lord, saying, “Are you here or not, God?”
- Are you going to help us or not? I’m going through all this trouble. Where are you at, God?
- That’s called tempting the Lord God Almighty. He already know what you’re going through.
- God doesn’t need you to be the messenger. God doesn’t need you to ask Him where He is.
- The name of that place is called MASSAH and MERIBAH because the children of Israel tempted God.
 Deuteronomy 6:16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
- So, Matthew Chapter 4 where Jesus is being tempted by Satan comes from MASSAH or MERIBAH.
- And it wasn’t that Satan was tempting Jesus who is God directly. He did that with the food.
- What it means is that Satan is trying to get Jesus to test God by sending angels to save HIM.
- Do you see the difference now?
- Satan is saying, “Let’s prove God is going to save you if you jump off this mountain.”
Don’t Tempt The Lord God Almighty
People who do stupid things because they think they’re protected by God are tempting GOD ALMIGHTY.
- Well, God will save me. I’m going to test God to see if He’ll save me.
- For example, snake churches who get poisonous snakes to bite them.
- They use Mark Chapter 16 to say, “SEE!!! The snakes can’t hurt me. Poison can’t hurt me.”
 Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
- What they’re actually doing is testing God, which is a great sin. They are tempting God.
- People die from that. That’s doing something stupid and testing God.
- Do you see the APOSTLE PAUL testing God? Did he go seek out a poisonous viper to bite him?
- No, here’s what actually happened and that’s what Mark Chapter 16 is talking about.
 Acts 28:3-5 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. 5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
- Paul didn’t seek out that viper. Paul wasn’t testing God.
- When Paul asked 3 times for his infirmity to be removed, now that’s closer to tempting God.
- He heard you the first time. Remember that. God hears what you ask. Don’t tempt God. Have faith.
- He stores your prayers because they are important to Him. He works things out for you.
- Give HIM some time. Be patient. If it’s according to HIS WILL, it will happen. If not, it won’t.
- If it’s not according to HIS WILL, you shouldn’t want it either.
- Let’s go back to Matthew Chapter 4 and find out the next temptation that Satan tries with Jesus.
- If he tries it with Jesus, he’ll try it with you.
 Matthew 4:8-11 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; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 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. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
- Now Satan tempts Jesus with POWER in this world. He says, “I’ll give all of that to you, Jesus.”
- Really? You’re going to try that with GOD HIMSELF? Yeah, he did. We get to see this example.
- And this temptation works really well in this world and in this country. “The land of dreams.”
- “The land where you can become rich and powerful.” And that’s what people come here for. It’s sad.
- We should be the land where people come to FIND GOD. But instead it’s to find riches and power.
- You can have all that Satan says if you would just fall down and worship me.
And that’s what men like Joel Osteen have done. He preaches the opposite of the Bible. He works for Satan.
- That’s what Southeast Christian has done. Go in there and the first question isn’t “ARE YOU SAVED?”
- “Are you going to heaven? We want to make sure you know how to get to heaven.”
- No, it’s not that. That’s not important. It’s “HOW MUCH DO YOU MAKE A YEAR?”
“Have you visited our book store? Have you purchased anything?”
- “Have you given us your bank account so we can directly withdraw from YOUR BANK ACCOUNT?”
- “We want to make sure you’re tithing before we tell you how to go to hell with our false gospel.”
- “But we’ll smile at you, entertain you, give you flashing lights, smoke, we’ll get rid of your kids for you.”
- “We’ll take care of them for you, give you a place to workout.”
- “We’ll have women who know nothing about the Bible teach you even though God says no.”
- “You can use whatever Bible version YOU want. We’ll take care of you. Don’t worry.”
- “Just give us your money, and we’ll make sure God blesses you.”
The Love Of Money Is A Temptation From The Devil
You see: A temptation from the DEVIL is the love of money. He uses that very well.
- Southeast Christian has sure fell for that. They CANNOT get the simplest thing in the Bible right.
- They can’t get the GOSPEL. They can’t understand how to be saved. They don’t understand eternal life.
- But what do they have? MONEY, fitness centers, dump your child off child care, and great coffee.
- They are re-shaping Louisville a 5-star reviewer on Google said. “They have better coffee than Starbucks.”
- That’s no joke. That’s what’s important to them. They don’t teach how to be saved.
- Their leader sales his books for monetary gain and his books are TRASH. They contain a FALSE GOSPEL.
 1 Timothy 6:8-9 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
- The temptation of being rich doesn’t come from God. That comes from SATAN.
- When I hear preachers say, “You deserve an abundant life.” Trigger word. RUN.
- What they’re saying is that GOD OWES YOU MONEY. GOD WILL BLESS YOU. How?
- Well, of course, you give us your money and then God will give you money.
Where does the Bible say that? RICH PEOPLE fall into temptation the Bible says. A SNARE OR A TRAP.
- Should you want to be rich? No. That’s why Jesus says it very hard for a rich man to enter into heaven.
- They don’t want to give up money for God. The rich young man wouldn’t follow Jesus.
- He loved his money too much. Jesus said, “Give all that up and follow me.”
- He replies, “No thanks. I’d rather have my money and riches.”
- What do riches do? They drown men in destruction and perdition through FOOLISH and HURTFUL LUST.
 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
- We’ve talked about this before. BE HAPPY WITH FOOD AND clothing.
- The temptation of money, riches, and power all come from SATAN. God doesn’t tempt you to sin.
 1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
- “FLEE THESE THINGS.” Lead us not into temptation. Run away from those things that lead to sin.
- Please God keep us away from those things. You don’t want to be caught in a bad situation.
- You don’t want to be like Joseph stuck in that house with that evil woman who wanted to sleep with him.
- He said, “NO I WILL NOT.” Run away. Run out of that house.
- God, please lead us away from situations like that. Joseph was sent to prison for something he didn’t do.
So far today we’ve seen God tempting man, Satan tempting God, Satan tempting man, and man tempting God.
- When God tempts man, it’s to test your faith. It will lead to good things.
- We want these temptations from God. We want Him to test us so we can get better.
- Satan tempting God isn’t going to work, but we learn from those things.
- We act like Satan sometimes. We want to test God just like Satan did. Hey, don’t test God.
Don’t tempt God. Then we saw Satan tempting man.
- Those are the temptations that lead to sin. That’s what we don’t want to be around.
- We need to flee from those temptations. Don’t put yourself in bad situations. Ask God for help.
- So, let’s read some more Scripture from 1 Corinthians and test your abilities now.
- You tell me if the temptation in this SCRIPTURE is from God or from Satan.
 1 Corinthians 10:12-14 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
- What do you think? The temptation mentioned here. Is it from God or Satan? 50/50 shot.
- “There hath no temptation taken you but such is common to man.”
- What type of temptation is common to ALL PEOPLE? We fight the flesh every day.
- These are our lusts. We’re tempted by SATAN. Notice verse 12 mentions FALLING.
- Verse 14 says to FLEE FROM IDOLATRY. That’s a sin so we know this isn’t talking about GOD TEMPTING.
- God definitely doesn’t tempt you with idolatry!!! He HATES idolatry.
God Helps You Through Temptations From Satan
In these temptations from Satan, God is still there helping you.
- He won’t suffer you to be tempted above anything you can handle. He will make a way for you to escape.
- Then it’s your choice. He says HE WILL MAKE A WAY TO ESCAPE.
- So, God allows Satan to tempt you. But He gives you a way out of it.
- Jesus was tempted. Jesus could have said a word and SATAN would be destroyed. But He didn’t.
- God knows your weaknesses. He’ll shield you from certain temptations. But He allows it.
He will give you a way out, though. But listen, it’s not God’s fault when you mess up.
- He GAVE YOU A WAY OUT. It’s your decision. It’s your fault when you mess up.
- It’s Satan’s fault that he decided to rebel against God. It’s not God’s fault.
- All the GOD HATERS in this world like to BLAME GOD for everything.
- When a drunk driver kills their child, they blame God. They hate God.
- How could God let something like that happen? Did God decide to drink that liquor and drive?
When someone kidnaps a 14-yr old girl that was walking out on the street in short shorts and a low cut tank top, the parents BLAME GOD.
- When someone kidnaps a college age girl who is out running on the road in the middle of nowhere, the parents blame God.
- Where are the parents? What are the parents doing? Younger adults need to use their brains too.
- Why are your children out on their own in a world like this?
- My child got hit when he was riding his bike on the road. It’s all God’s fault.
- Why is your 8-yr old riding a bike on the road by HIMSELF?
Hey, look, I don’t have all the answers. I’m not God. I’m nothing. I’m a filthy rag before God. I know that.
- But what I’m saying today is we better stop and look at ourselves and what we’ve done.
- God didn’t make you do anything. Satan didn’t make you do anything. You chose to do it.
- Can your choices affect your children? OH YES THEY CAN. Remember that.
When we go to God and act like He needs to show us He’s there, that’s a GREAT SIN.
- When we yell out in prayer in church, “GOD, SHOW US YOUR POWER. SHOW US YOU’RE THERE.”
- “We don’t think you’re there, God.” That’s called tempting God and that makes me angry.
- I’ve witnessed that myself in CHURCH. And I can’t take that kind of trash in church.
- If that makes me angry, you don’t want to know what that makes God.
- Satan wanted Jesus to do the same thing when He tempted Jesus.
God has already proved HIMSELF. God doesn’t need to prove anything to you or to me.
- This Bible has all the proof you need of God. It is written for you and I to read, to see, to hear.
- If it’s written in here, it happened. Understand that right now. It happened.
- Do you know how many times God has already proved HIMSELF to man?
 Psalm 95:7-9 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
- God allowed MAN to tempt HIM and guess what? Man tested God and guess what?
- GOD PROVED HIMSELF. Pharaoh tested God. He found out what happens. God sent plagues.
- God parted the waters for HIS PEOPLE. God performed miracles for His people. He fed them.
- He gave them water to drink. He sent them JUDGES to help them when they cried out.
- King Saul tested God. He found out the hard way. Jonah tested God. We know what happened there.
God proved HIMSELF to all the prophets and all the kings.
- David killed GOLIATH. Who do you think was behind that?
- Jesus proved that HE IS GOD. He brought people back from the dead. He healed the lame.
- Gave sight to the blind. Do we forget all of these things? He is perfect. Sinless. Died on the cross.
- Arose from the dead. HE PROVED THAT HE IS THE SON OF GOD.
- When He pours out HIS WRATH in Revelation, that’s still not proof enough for unbelievers.
- What else do we need to see? Church goers think they need to see more.
God gives us sunlight every day. He gives us oxygen, food, water, clothing. He holds the earth in space.
- He keeps asteroids and comets from taking out the earth. There could be one flying by right now.
- He holds the time, the years, the seasons, the months, the days, the hours, the minutes, the seconds.
- He holds your breath in HIS HANDS. And we still want God to prove He is there for us.
- WAKE UP. Stop testing God Almighty. You don’t want to do that. Here’s a warning I hope you see today.
Ananias And Sapphira Tempted God Almighty
Let’s talk about the story of Ananias and Sapphira from Acts Chapter 5.
- Ananias, the husband, had just lied about giving all his money from his land to God.
- He didn’t have to say that. They didn’t ask him for that information. He lied to God.
- Then his wife comes in and we’ll start there in the SCRIPTURE.
 Acts 5:7-9 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. 8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. 9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
- Do you see where it says, “Ye have agreed together to TEMPT the SPIRIT OF THE LORD?”
- Do you see what happened? Don’t tempt God. Don’t do it. The Holy Spirit is GOD.
- He lives inside of you if you’re saved. If you have ever put all your trust in Jesus, you’re saved.
 Acts 5:10-11 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. 11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
- So today, that should scare you. Don’t look to God and say, “Where are you, God? I’m having trouble.”
- “And you’re not helping me God. You better show me you’re there.”
- That’s tempting God. That’s testing God. That’s trying God. You don’t want any of that.
I hope this sermon on TEMPTATION IN THE BIBLE has opened your eyes today.
- I know when I wrote this it sure opened my eyes because I’ve tested God too many times.
- I now see the truth, and I don’t want any of that any more. I’m going to trust GOD with all that I have.
- I know He’s there. I don’t need Him to show me that He’s there. He’s shown me enough.
- I’m going to know that He’s there. And I’m going to do what He says.
- Let’s finish this out with one final verse.
 Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
- Don’t stop believing. Those people in that verse are SAVED. They believed. They’re saved.
- But they fall away because they allow temptation of the DEVIL to carry them away from God.
- KEEP THE FAITH. Grow the faith. Read the Bible. Study it just like we have today.
- Your faith will grow. You’ll know God is there. GOD IS WITH YOU. Remember that.
- Don’t let temptation of the devil take you away from God.
- Ask God to try you. If He’s trying you, maybe the devil won’t have time to try you.
- You don’t want the devil trying you. You want God trying you.