103: Lead Us Not Into Temptation

In this outline prayer Jesus taught us to ask God the Father for things that are vitally important for our spiritual development, growth, and protection.

Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil [from the evil one]. (See also Matthew 6:9-13)

From this outline prayer Jesus gives us a list of some of the most important things that we are to pray for on a regular basis: we are to pray for God’s glory and kingdom to come to earth; we are to ask for our daily bread; we are to ask God to forgive us of our sins as we forgive others; and then Jesus says that we are to ask God to not lead us into temptation but to deliver us from evil.

What does the word “temptation” mean as it is used here, and how can we avoid whatever it is that Jesus considers so important that He would tell us to pray for it on a regular basis right up there with praying for God’s Kingdom to come, our daily bread, and forgiveness of our sins? And then the question arises: why did Jesus instruct His disciples to pray “lead us not into temptation” when the apostle James states emphatically in his epistle that God does not tempt anyone? (James 1:13)


Definition of Temptation

The Greek word for “tempt” in James 1:13 is peirazó (Strong”s #3985) and means to make proof of, to attempt, test, tempt peirazó. 

And the Greek word for “temptation” in Luke 11:4 is peirasmos (Strong’s #3986) which comes from peirazó and means: an experiment, a trial, temptation (Strong’s Concordance).

Cognate: 3986 peirasmós (from 3985 /peirázō) – temptation or test – both senses can apply simultaneously (depending on the context). The positive sense (“test”) and negative sense (“temptation”) are functions of the context (not merely the words themselves). (HELPS Word-studies)

This definition tells us that the Greek noun peirasmós translated “temptation” can refer to either a trial or a test with an intended beneficial purpose or effect…..or the word can mean a trial or test that is designed to entice to wrong doing. The meaning of the word is be established by the context in which it is used. It is not until we read the whole passage that we can see what the intent of the meaning of temptation is; whether a “trial” [hardship] or being tempted [enticed] to sin.

The English definition of “temptation” is more along the line of tempting/enticing, or influence one to do wrong: (From Free Online Dictionary)

* The act of tempting or the condition of being tempted.

* Something tempting or enticing.

* The act of tempting: enticement or allurement.

* Something that tempts, entices, or allures.

* The act or state of being tempted, esp. to evil.

* The act of influencing by exciting hope or desire.

* Influence- causing something without any direct or apparent effort.

* Wheedling, blandishment – the act of urging by means of teasing or flattery.

* Leading astray, leading off – the act of enticing others into sinful ways.

* Seduction – enticing someone astray from right behavior, allurement, solicitation –  the act of enticing a person to do something wrong.

* Something that seduces or has the quality to seduce.

God does not tempt men to sin, as per James 1:13, but He does allow men to be tested and to go through trials.


God Does Not Tempt Any One

James 1:13 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:

The apostle James says here quite plainly that God does not tempt men to sin, and as believers we know it would be against all that God is about and who He is to try to tempt anyone to sin.

James stats that temptation (the kind that entices one to sin) does not originate with God. God is righteous and holy and it is impossible to tempt Him to sin. In His holiness, God is so above evil that temptation has no power over Him and neither would He tempt anyone else to sin.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

On the contrary, it is God’s desire for us to be a holy people and that we would do whatever it takes to avoid sin and the breaking of His commandments. It is against God’s righteous nature to tempt or entice anyone to sin. It is God’s passionate desire that His people strive for holiness that they might be a light for Him and of all His ways to the rest of the world.

1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

If God does not tempt us, why should we pray for God to not lead us into temptation?

The answer is that the translation is a little awkward because the word “temptation” can mean various things;  properly this says that we should pray that God will not let us fall into the temptations of the devil, or in other words; we should be praying for God’s protection from all evil including the temptation to sin.

God never tempts any person to do evil and  Jesus instructs us to pray that we would be delivered from the temptations of evil and of the evil one! 

The confusion arises because this same word can have two different meanings: one of enticement, and the other a positive rendering in the sense of “testing” or “proving”, it depends on the context of how it is being used. And as we saw in the Greek definition the same word can be used of both senses. Following in verse 12, James uses the word to imply trials/hardships.

James 1:12 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.

But in the next verse he, uses the word in this sense: “God does not entice us or cause us to sin“; but the word translated in the King James Version “temptation” can also mean “a trial” or “to test”. A good example again is verse 12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: [trials]….” (James 1:12)  in which James is talking about enduring difficult trials.

If we read the context in this chapter, we see that the theme in the beginning is about trials but he uses the word temptation. Then starting in verse 13 James assures us that God will not tempt us, again using the same Greek word but now it means something different, a different kind of trial. James then gets into the discussion of what happens when we are tempted to sin and who it is that is leading us to do the sinning; and then gives us good advice on how to combat this kind of “tempting”. 

To see the context, here is James 1:1-12 where He is describing trials and hardships that come upon believers.

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations [trials]1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 1:5 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. 1:6 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. 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 1:9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 1:10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 1:11 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. 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation [trials]: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

In verse 12 James concludes this section by saying that the man who perseveres under the temptation [trials] is greatly blessed because when it is over and he has proven to be steadfast in spite of the trials, he will receive the crown of life.

Then in verse 13, James begins to use the other meaning of temptation to include the kind that leads to sin and how it begins with temptation, (the enticement definition) and goes on to explain how we can be enticed when we allow ourselves to be tempted by harboring thoughts of lust (or we allow ourselves to be exposed to temptation), how it takes hold and draws us away, and then brings forth sin.

James changes the theme from diverse [all kinds of] trials to then giving stern warning in regard to a specific kind of temptation [the temptation to sin] and why we are “tempted” in this way. “Enticement to sin” is a type of temptation which involves evil desires and then  succumbing to the temptation which brings forth sin, and sin leads to death.

This type of temptation originates in our own sinful desires and then is spurred on by Satan (who knows our weaknesses) tempting us to act on those desires. 

James wants us to understand that the sooner we recognize what is going on and then rebuke the temptation and turn from it; the easier it will be to resist the sin that we are being enticed to do. In the following passage James describe the process:

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted [enticed to sin], I am tempted [enticed to sin by God] of God: for God cannot be tempted [enticed] with evil, neither tempteth [God does not entice anyone into sin] he any man: 1:14 But every man is tempted [is enticed to sin], when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Again we look at what James has to say:  “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”

When the tempter comes to us through various means, he entices us to think or do something that is contrary to what God says is right. As we ponder on what we can have if we accept that enticement we can be drawn away from God’s laws and His truth which are God’s standard of righteousness.

In this passage James is referring to our own desires that are stoked by the temptation [enticement to sin] and if we do not quickly deal with the temptation [enticement to do evil], then eventually we will give in and go the wrong direction.

By dwelling on the temptation [enticement to sin], we begin to long do do it.

Deep in our hearts we find the act desirable and dwelling on it we begin to long to do it, and then we forget about wanting to please God and we take our mind off of the holiness that God has called us to. The attraction then becomes so great that we give in to our lusts because we are more focused on the reward or the instant gratification, or sometimes it may be the relief from suffering; that we will receive if we give in to the temptation.

This scenario brings to mind a picture of what a fisherman does when he dangles a piece of bait before a fish that he is trying to catch.

The fish may be just sitting in his weed bed, (his safe haven), but he spots the bait and it looks really good to him; he is drawn to it and is “enticed” to take it. The bait is also appropriately called a “lure”; a lure is used to tantalize the fish into biting and then swallowing the bait, not realizing that he just swallowed a sharp hook hidden within what the fish thought would be a tasty morsel.

James suggests that something similar happens when we yield to Satan’s temptation enticing to desire to do something which is not lawful. We can be lured with Satan’s bait which gets our attention and then instead of letting it just go on by, we start looking at it, imagining what it would be like to have it, getting ever closer to it and then we take the bait and succumb to the temptation to sin.

Like the hook hidden in the bait, we, too, are snared and are then taken captive by Satan and reap the consequences of the sin that we were enticed into.

When an enticement has “conceived” and then grown into strong desire, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course ( if it is not repented of), it will eventually bring about death.

This is exactly how temptation works on people; Satan did it with the forbidden fruit in tempting Eve and his modus operandi – “method of operation”  has not changed. He used it in tempting Christ to sin by baiting Him to turn stones into bread; when that did not work he then tempted Christ to throw Himself off of the Temple, and finally offered rulership over all the nations at that time if He would only bow down to him.

In Matthew 4:1-10 we get a detailed account of the tempter coming to Christ and tempting Him to sin against God. This passage shows us very clearly how we are to resist temptation following Christ’s example of what it means for God to lead us not into temptation and to deliver us from it when we do encounter it (that which comes from Satan, not God). Even though God does the delivering, we as believers have our part to play, as well, by proclaiming and obeying God’s truth which is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God:

Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4:4 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. 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 4:6 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. 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 4:8 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; 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 4:10 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.

Jesus, by His example, shows us what to do when we are tempted by Satan. When He was in the wilderness and had fasted forty days, the tempter came to Him. When tempted to turn the stones into bread, Jesus quoted God’s Word to him; when Satan tempted Jesus to throw Himself off the Temple, Jesus quoted Psalm 91:11-12, and when Satan tempted Jesus to bow down and worship before him, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3.

These quotes show that Jesus had well prepared himself to fight Satan and his enticements by diligently studying and learning the entire Word of God; as an example that we should do likewise!

If we are diligent to study the word of God and to seek knowledge and a good understanding in prayer,  later in the time of need the Holy Spirit dwelling within us will bring to remembrance the very Scriptures we need, to ward off Satan and overcome his enticements.


Encouraging Scriptures

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. – [When something seems too difficult or impossible.]

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. – [When we become anxious over our trials looming at us in the face.]

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 46:2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; … 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. 46:11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. – [When we anxiously want to take care of an injustice through our own efforts and retributions.]

Psalm 31:4 Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. [When faced with crafty enemies who are trying to trip us up.]

Exodus 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: [When it seems that we are being pursued by our trials and things look so bleak that it appears as if there is no possible way of escape from them.]

If are engraving the Word of God into our hearts and minds (Ezekiel 36:26), the Holy Spirit that will bring the needed specific Scriptures to mind as they are needed, but we must first study and fill our minds with godliness, fully internalizing every Word of God .

The words will come forth naturally, for these things have been stored in our minds and written on our hearts over the years and decades that we have devoted ourselves to the study of God’s Word. 

If we keep studying and internalizing the Word and Nature of God, we will be able to do as Jesus did when He was being tempted and He rebuked His tempter [enticer to sin]  by answering back to him with the Word of God.

What did David say that we should do so that we would not sin against God? He, too, hid God’s Word in his heart so that when he was tempted to sin, the words would be right there flowing from his heart to his mind showing him the way to go and how to resist.

Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.  119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.


When We Zealously Seek God, He Will Lead Us in the Way That We Should Go

Our daily spiritual food, to be forgiven, and to be protected from evil are the three things that Jesus says we are to ask God the Father to provide for us in His outline prayer.

These three things are the spiritual tools that God provides for us to ensure that we live the kind of lives God intends for His children, and the kind of living that brings Him glory. 

These three things are the tools believers need in order to live in this present evil world and at the same time overcome the world, our own human nature and the temptations of Satan. 

So how are we to understand Jesus instruction to pray “lead us not into temptation”? What is Jesus alluding to when He says that we are to pray to God to not lead us into temptation?

James 1:12 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.

Just as we are to pray for God to send us our daily bread [including our spiritual daily bread] we are to pray daily that God would lead us away from situations where we are vulnerable and entice us to sin. Or if we are being tempted (such as Jesus was tempted in the wilderness) that God would help us to master those temptations and come away the victor.

In His prayer, the very next thing after Christ tells us to pray that God not lead us into temptation, He says : “but deliver us from evil.” We have a great need to pray to our Father for this very thing, that God would deliver us [and guard] us from all evil. 

The whole purpose of the Christian life is to live a life of righteousness, to become holy as God is holy and to keep oneself pure and untainted from sin, and we constantly need God’s help to fight against our foe (who is Satan and his followers) and to deliver us from his power and influence.


May God Lead us in the Path of Righteousness

David prayed in many, many passages for God to lead him in the way of righteousness and to teach him the way he should live [even in the midst of enemies whose purpose was to derail David or to lead him astray].

Psalm 5:8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

Psalm 27:11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

Psalm 128:1….Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.

Moses’ request of God was that He would show [or teach] him His way.

Exodus 33:13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.

The idea of God leading His people in the way that leads to goodness and eternal life is one of the main themes of the Bible. There are many verses in the Old Testament, and in the New, that are filled with prayers or pleas for God to lead His people in His ways; in the path of truth and righteousness and in “the way everlasting”. David prayed in Psalm 139:

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 139:24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

And God through the prophet Isaiah, assures us that He will lead us in the way we should go.

Isaiah 48:17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

Jesus, at his last Passover in the flesh, said that the Spirit of truth would be our guide and that it would lead His followers into the truth, which is God’s way of salvation.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

In addition to asking God for our daily provision, [our daily bread, physically and spiritually] we are to ask for God to lead and to guide us, to divert us from the paths that lead to temptation [enticement to sin].  We must ask God to supply His guidance and His wisdom; we are to pray that we would to be led away from enticements to do evil in all of its forms and then be led into the way that leads to eternal life as children of God.

Following is Paul’s prayer for his brethren that they would be filled with God’s wisdom, knowledge and spiritual understanding so that they might walk worthy of their calling, and be strengthen in their inner being; and then he gives thanks to the Father who delivers us from the power of darkness, thereby making it possible for us to live righteously. And if we endure to the end, we will be raised to eternal life and inherit the Kingdom. Because this is recorded in Scripture, this is still his prayer for all who are called by the Father:

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

When a believer prays that God would help him and that he not be led into temptation [enticement to sin], it reflects that person’s intense desire to avoid any of the traps that could ensnare him into sin and the evil consequences of sin; and that the believer is deadly serious about his calling. We exhibit our faith as well, for when we make this request we are saying: “Lord, you have the power to guard me from the wicked one and all his fiery darts; You, alone, God, are much more powerful than Satan and any of his works of darkness.”

To ask God to deliver us from evil, we must have faith that God is well able to deliver us and that He does have control over Satan and his followers, and is well able to save us from their power if we call upon our Mighty God who wants to save us and deliver us from evil.

1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

We also are to do our part by clothing ourselves with the armor of God which enables us to fight against Satan with the tools that God has provided us with. Paul tells us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His MIGHT and then proceeds to tell us what we are to do:

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;


The Tempter

The power of enticement to sin as expounded upon by the apostle James, can also be compared to that of a magnet. The closer a piece of metal comes to the magnet, the greater the force grows that is drawing it. If the piece of metal is inched a bit closer, the attraction to the magnet intensifies. If the metal comes even still closer, at some point the object will suddenly “get stuck” to the magnet.

The closer a person approaches something unlawful that he desires, or the more he keeps his attention upon it, the more the desire grows and the greater the pull becomes; until at a certain point the person is overcome with temptation and gives in partaking of the unlawful thing.

The definition of “tempter” is also derived from peirazo, which basically means “one who tempts.” When preceded by an article, it literally means “the (one) tempting.”

Satan uses temptation to entice people to sin “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” (Matthew 4:1). 

Satan is called “the tempter” twice in Scriptures – Matthew 4:3, 1st Thessalonian 3:4)

Matthew 4:3 And when the tempter [enticer to sin] came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

Who is the “fisherman” in the above fishing scenario and who is it that does the luring and tempting [enticing]?  Paul calls Satan “the tempter”, one of his rightful names, in his letter to the Thessalonians:

1 Thessalonians 3:4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. 3:5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted [enticed you to sin] you, and our labour be in vain.

What is the end product of temptation [enticement to sin] if we let it run it’s course? Again we go back to the book of James. James changes his description terms of picturing temptation that reflect lures, baiting, enticement to then the idea of the lust conceiving and then giving birth. 

This makes the warning against allowing ourselves to be led into temptation even more ominous for here James is warning that unless we get rid of the inner desires that are against the law of God, that they will eventually lead us to our [spiritual] death. This is why I think that Jesus included the petition for help against temptation in His outline prayer because it is so very imperative that we learn how to deal with temptation and the evil that can so easily ensnare us if we are not vigilant.  

In verse 15 James compares lust to our own desires that make us sin, and when sin is finished with us, it will bring about our death if not repented of.

James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

James clarifies for us: first temptation comes when desire, or as James puts it: lust is conceived then grows and develops and finally “gives birth to sin.” Then sin, the child of lust, develops until it is full-grown. When sin is full-grown, it becomes addictive and even a way of life, that without repentance, will end in death. Paul, in his letter to those in Rome, states very emphatically that “the wages of sin is death“! (Romans 6:23). 

James teaches us that there is a deadly progression: from evil desire, to being drawn away, to enticement, to conception, to birth, and finally results in death. This six-fold progression proceeds from the mind, to the affections, to the will, to the outward deed, to enslavement, and then to a state of spiritual death.

This is also taught throughout the Old Testament; we are all familiar with what God warns through the prophet Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Ezekiel 18:26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.

James is very graphic in his portrayal of what lust and giving into temptation bring about or “brings forth” as he puts it; he says that our desires birth sin and when sin has its final course it will bring about, or causes death. As believers we are not to let our desires conquer us but rather we are to conquer our desires and change them to what God desires for us. 

What is it that God desires and what are we to exchange our lusts for? for His truth and righteousness! For this too we can cry out to God to help us as David did when he recognized that he had inordinate lust in his heart.

Psalm 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 51:9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

God will lead us into proper lawful desires if we are setting Him as our highest priority and we find delight in doing all His will.

Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Why is it so vitally important that we include praying that God would lead us not into temptation and to deliver us from evil?

Temptation [enticement] begins the process to sin and ends in death. It is not God who tempts [entices us into sin] us, He is not the originator of temptation [enticement to sin] but Satan is, and God does not tempt [entice us to sin] us; but rather we are drawn away by our own desires and/or enticed by Satan to play out those desires through his enticements. 

Illegitimate desires become lust and lust begets sin, which in turn creates all kinds of problems, pain, and destruction in our lives and in the lives of others, and eventually ends in death.

To sum up James; we go from TEMPTATION [enticement]  to DESIRE, and then SIN comes, and (if left to continue with no repentance), SIN ends in DEATH!


Temptation [Enticement to Sin] and Deception

After James descries how illicit desires and temptation [enticement] work, he then warns us against deception which goes hand in glove with temptation to sin against God.

James 1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

The Greek meaning for the word “err” helps clarify further what is going on when we allow ourselves to be tempted to sin.

The Greek word for “err” is planaó (Strong’s #4105) and means: From plane; to (properly, cause to) roam (from safety, truth, or virtue) — go astray, deceive, err, seduce, wander, be out of the way. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

And from HELPS Word-studies:

4105 planáō – properly, go astray, get off-course; to deviate from the correct path (circuit, course), roaming into error, wandering; (passive) be misled. (HELPS Word-studies)

This word is used 39 times in the New Testament and is generally translated as: going astray, deceived, seduced, to err or be mistaken or misled.

For instance “gone astray” in Matthew 18:12 is the same word used for “err” in James 1:16

Matthew 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? [planáō]

In verse 16 “Do not err [be deceived, wander away], my beloved brethren” James warns the brethren to not err; do not allow yourselves to become deceived or misled. He tells them to not go astray or wander away from the truth. Deception often accompanies temptation, and James recognizes this danger and warns his congregation just after explaining to his brethren about the dynamics of desire and temptation.


Beware of Deceivers

Satan is very crafty and he has managed to deceive the whole world. Every area of government, education, healthcare, food industry, commerce, and even religion [even in today’s called out Ekklesia] is rigged and under his sway.

2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:

1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness [under the control of the evil one.

How do we avoid being deceived? In many places we are told to watch and pray, to stay alert to the dangers that are all around us;  and most of all to keep far from evil company and from those things that would influence us and even seduce us into sin;  and that can be used to tempt us to break God’s commandments and/or to stray from God’s sound doctrines.

It is helpful to read and study Jude and 2nd Peter [find the Epistles studies here]; both these epistles talk about how the deceivers were beginning to lead the Ekklesia away even in the early apostles’ day. Such deceivers are still present and even abound today, and we still need to be on guard toward them and avoid those who speak contrary to God’s Word and who depart from God’s doctrines. 

The apostle John also warned against allowing ourselves to become deceived by those who want to be elders and leaders in the brotherhood; those who exalt themselves rather than pointing their followers to Christ and to God’s Word.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

3 John 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. 1:12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.

There are many more warnings throughout the whole New Testament right up to and in the Book of Revelation, including all the warnings to the seven churches about false leaders, the doctrine of Nicolaitans, Jezebel, etc. (Revelation 2 and 3)

But, of course, there are many factors involved when it comes to becoming deceived (not just false leaders), for we can deceive ourselves by justifying ourselves in our own minds, in doing what we want, or what others want instead of living by every Word of God. 

The major way we can avoid being deceived is to stay close to God always; diligently studying and passionately living by every Word of God, being constant in prayer and keeping our minds focused on the things that are from above, rather than all the things of the world, and then simply staying alert.  

The writers of the Bible often caution us to stay awake, be sober, watch, be aware, walk circumspectly and so on. Filling our minds and hearts with God’s truth will help us to recognize instantly any counterfeits when we are confronted with them and then ask for God’s Holy Spirit every day to be filled up with the power that enables us to discern deceit and craftiness. 

Even though false leaders may mislead us, we ourselves are ultimately responsible for our own salvation, therefore it behooves us to check out all that we are being taught against the teachings of the Bible and to “prove all things”.  After proving what God says from His Word, we are to only believe and follow God even if others are going in opposite directions and “cling to what is good” (1st Thessalonians 5:21, Revelation 2:2).

The rest of chapter one of James (1:19-27) gives us excellent advice on how to avoid the pitfalls of being led into temptation and how to stay close to God to avoid straying from His truth. Applying these things will go a long way in keeping us from temptation and will deliver us from the consequences of sin and getting involved with evil. James is talking mostly about hypocrisy in these verses and then shows us how to be authentic Christians.

James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

In these verses, the apostle James admonishes us to listen more than to be quick to speak and to observe carefully, to be on guard, to put far from us anger and sinful thoughts and attitudes, to watch what we say to and about others, and then make wise choices in all of our actions making sure that all we do is in accordance with God’s laws and precepts: the whole Word of God.

Christ warns also in several places to watch and pray concerning temptation and to not allow ourselves to become weighed down with the pleasures and cares of this world.

Luke 21: 34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Even in His final hours Christ was warning the disciples to watch and pray that they not yield to temptation. That is part of the armor of God against all the trials and temptations that come our way, and Christ knew the apostles were going to be severely tested and tried in the coming days, weeks, and months to come. But this also applies to all the disciples that would come after them, to the Ekklesia!

Matthew 26:40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into [or yield to] temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

All men are tempted, just being human subjects us to temptation;  but being tempted does present us with a choice; to either entertain the temptation and then act upon it to sin; or to resist it and get as far away from it as we possibly can. Temptation does not become sin until we dwell on it and succumb to it, but God does expect us to flee from those things that could cause us to sin.

Matthew 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.  

Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

We must always be on the lookout for temptation that is camouflaged by deception. We do this by watching and correctly discerning good and evil, praying always for God to infuse in us His nature and directly asking God to deliver us from temptation that comes our way and the evil that accompany it.

Through God’s help and by the help of His Holy Spirit, we can avoid the potential to sin before it can take us captive and separates us from our God. In this way we can have victory over temptation. God is a very present help and Jesus prayer reminds us WHO we are to turn to when being tempted [enticed to sin].

God knows that we are weak  “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust“. (Psalm 103:14) and He knows we need His help to overcome Satan and his temptation. Paul says of God’s mercy in Hebrews that Christ is our mediator and our High Priest.

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.


Trials and Suffering

God does never tempts [entices us to sin]  us, but He does allow us to be tested as a way of purifying us and showing us where we need to repent and overcome; and we become righteous and holy as we work with Him in resisting evil when it is presented to us. 

God knows that repeated experiences in resisting temptation will strengthen our will and will develop our character, which will in turn make us stronger spiritually.

Again in 1 Corinthians 10:13, the apostle Paul encourages the Ekklesia, by saying that God promises to help us and that He will make a way of escape when we go through tough trials and when we are tempted.

God promised that when we are tempted [enticed to sin], God will help us to resist it successfully and to stand firm against it.

Even though it may seem hard while going through these things, being tempted and resisting the enticement to sin, produces sterling character that will strengthen the character of His people.

Malachi 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. 3:4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

We know from 1 Corinthians 10:13 that God says by Paul that He is faithful and will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability [with God’s help] to bear any given trial and will provide a way of escape.

1 Corinthians 10:13 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.

On occasion God may expose us to Satan’s assaults for His own purposes, as in the case of Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7,) Job (Job 1:1-12) and Peter (Luke 22:31-32); and even of Christ Himself when He was here on earth in the flesh with all the trials that came upon him culminating in His arrest, scourging and crucifixion.

Jesus in His outline prayer shows us that we should pray for deliverance from trials and suffering, as long as we submit ourselves to the will of our Lord. A child of God can rightly ask to be delivered from trials, but if it is God’s will that he or she should go through them regardless, he or she can ask for the strength to endure it until a way of escape is provided. 

Remember Hebrews 11,  there is no promise of deliverance from suffering in this life,  our promise is for a deliverance from the grave to eternal life with no more suffering or pain.

Matthew 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

No matter what kind of temptation (or trial) we have to endure, God can use it to teach us many things and as we resist temptation and overcome we become stronger.  God teaches us lessons about life and how we are to live regardless of the temptations we may face or endure. Trials help to refine our character if we yield to God’s will for our lives and let Him fashion and mold us. The key is to patiently endure them and let them refine us, rather then let our trials or temptations defeat us and lead us to sin by becoming bitter because of them, or to let them diminish our faith in God.

Psalm 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

37:38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

37:40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, [including wicked spirits]and save them, because they trust in him. (Read the rest of Psalm 37)

1 Peter 1:3 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, 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

Peter knew that trials try [test, build] our faith and the end result will be honor and glory if we pass our tests.

1 Peter 1:7 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:

In both cases, whether we are asking God to lead us away from enticement and situations that would lead us to sin, or from painful trials, we are seeking the goal that Jesus recites for us found in the second part of verse Luke 11:13 and that is to: “deliver us from evil.”

David too prayed to God to keep him from wickedness by asking God to keep his heart from practicing the works of wicked men.  

Psalm 141:4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

Our heavenly Father is more than willing and able to deliver us from sin and evil and in Jesus model prayer He shows us that, we, as His beloved children, have the very precious privilege of approaching our heavenly Father and ask Him to give us of those things that we need.

We can pray to Him day and night, “Father lead me not into temptation: but deliver me from evil.” We need to trust and rely on God’s faithfulness to help us resist all temptation and to provide a way of escape when we find ourselves being tempted or currently going through a difficult trial. We should study and apply God’s Word being prepared always by putting on His armor each day and hiding God’s Word in our heart for those times when we will need it; and then cry out to God for power to resist the temptations.

Following are some other very well-known passages that teach us how we can have victory over temptation and how we can be delivered from evil and Satan’s traps for us:

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

If we resolutely resist the temptations of Satan and then do what is right in God’s eyes, then God promises that the devil will be forced to flee from us. God wants us to resist Satan even in our thoughts and bring everything we think and do to the obedience to the laws of God.

The key is to recognize and reject every wrong thought before it leads us into sin. If we will do that, then God will back us with His power through the Holy Spirit to overcome the temptations that lead to sin, if, as Jesus taught His disciples, we stay close to Him spiritually by loving Him enough to keep all of His commandments and by watching and praying.

2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

God knows what we are made of, but it sometimes takes testing and temptation to show us the things that are in our hearts. Testing and trials bring about positive results when they lead us to REPENTANCE of the evil things still residing in our hearts, for God will expose them and then He gives us the opportunity to rid ourselves of those things. And if we do that, He promises us fabulous rewards.

Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Psalm 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 119:3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. 119:4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. 119:5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 119:7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. 119:8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 119:12 Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes. Psalm 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 19:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.


It is Not a Sin to be Tempted; it is a Sin to Dwell on the Temptation and so Tempt Ourselves

When we are first tempted to sin we either reject it or we begin to meditate upon the temptation and if we do not immediately reject it, it gets stronger and stronger until we allow it to lead us into sin.

When first tempted it can act as an early warning system to alert us to the fact that there is potential for us to sin in any given situation.  When first enticed we should immediately decide that we will not do as we are being tempted to do,  rejecting the temptation and thrusting it out of our minds before it can take root. 

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

When Jesus Christ was on earth as a man, He endured frequent temptation (not just in the wilderness during His 40 day fast) just as all believers do, yet He remained completely without sin, therefore He understands our trials and has empathy for His followers for He knows what it is like to be tempted.

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Although Jesus did not sin, life was not easy for Him. He came to perfection as He won victory after victory in the constant battle with temptation. Jesus kept His focus on the heavenly (just as we must) and He placed in His mind the holiness of His Father and never became distracted from that holiness. He knew that all sins are really committed against God and therefore separate us from God; and Christ never wanted to be separated from His Father. 

He prayed for the strength to resist and He admonishes us in His model prayer to pray everyday for the strength to resist as well. It is of utmost importance that we include in our daily prayers the petition that God would lead us away from temptation and to deliver us from all that is evil.

Where does the responsibility fall for our reaction to temptation? We find the answer again in the epistle of James. We must learn to resist temptation from the world, from Satan and from our own self-serving carnal nature, to qualify to rule under Christ in God’s Kingdom.

At first, temptation seems to be a very bad thing and it is (it is not God that tempts us), but Satan is allowed to tempt us just as he was allowed to tempt Christ so that we may develop strong character that can withstand any and all temptation that we may remain and prove loyal to God, now, and throughout all eternity.

Some may argue that when we are spirit beings we will no longer have Satan and his demons to temp us to do evil, and yet, we can see that Satan did not have any outside force tempting him when he became lifted up in pride and made the decision to rebel against God.

God does not want any of His children to become like Satan EVER, and therefore allows us to be tested in this life to determine our fitness to be in His kingdom ruling as kings and priests.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Temptations (whether they come from the tempter, or are difficult trials that we encounter) are actually tools that God can use for our good if we successfully overcome them like Jesus did in the wilderness.

All temptation can then be turned for good to prune us, to refine us, and to make us stronger in the inner man and fully equipped to be the strong godly people that God wants us to be, now, and in His future Kingdom.

God has given us everything we need to resist temptation and gain the victory over sin if we will only draw upon those things. (See again Ephesians 6:10-18)

We cannot blame others if we fall to temptation and sin for God has given us mighty weapons and has laid out His ways of overcoming and for gaining the victory over Satan and temptation. Ultimately we are responsible for our own decisions and for what we believe and what we do in this life.

So we know that God is faithful and will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear and He will help us to gain the victory over any temptation. He constantly admonishes us to meet the temptations that present themselves (and no one goes without temptation), resist them, rebuke the tempter, and then learn the lessons from them and move on to receive the crown of life.

God promises to be with His children throughout their journey in this life if they stay on His path. We can have faith that what God has begun He will finish if we cooperate with Him in all things and seek to please Him rather than seek to gratify any lustful desires that we may have.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

And remember Christ’s message to the the Philadelphia church:

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

God has a crown waiting for each one of those He has called who resist all evil and are  faithful to their calling to the very end. It is truly worth it to give it all we have in this life and resist Satan’s deception and temptation to sin. If we overcome we will win the prize.

Constance Belanger and James Malm



~ Feature Scriptures ~
  2 Corinthians 10:4 
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing
that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing
into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
1 Corinthians 10:13 
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.




Add a Comment
  1. In this article you state: “These quotes show that Jesus had well prepared himself to fight Satan and his enticements by diligently studying and learning the entire Word of God; as an example that we should do likewise!”

    Also, Luke 2:46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions.

    Understanding that Christ was the creator of all things and has existed since the beginning and led the Israelites out of Egypt how is it that when he became flesh he apparently had no remembrance or knowledge of these things or scripture?

    That is a hard one and I do not know of a scriptural answer. I would imagine that the physical human mind could not possibly contain the understanding of eternity. We are told in Hebrews 4:15 that He was made flesh to experience what humanity does. In that I would say that he was born with God’s Spirit but without a past memory so that he could experience all things including a normal childhood. Perhaps later as he matured and learned more, memory began coming back to him. Of course this answer is only my personal opinion and is pure speculation. James

  2. It would seem to me that he was born with a physical body and human spirit just as the rest of us. Just as is possible for any of us, that are called by the Father, he was given a measure of God’s spirit, added to his human spirit. The difference is that Jesus, as a man had Faith much much larger than a mustard seed. This absolute unquestioned Faith gave him an overwhelming measure of God’s spirit which then brought in all the knowledge of God.

  3. Jesus asking questions and listening to the instructors/teachers/doctors in Luke 2:46 is simply asking questions and listening. This doesn’t mean that Jesus had no memory of his prior existence. He could’ve been asking rhetorical questions as he did with his disciples and just about everyone else throughout his ministry.

    This is not revealed and is a matter we will have to ask him when he comes. James

  4. LL asked: “Understanding that Christ was the creator of all things and has existed since the beginning and led the Israelites out of Egypt how is it that when he became flesh he apparently had no remembrance or knowledge of these things or scripture?”

    In a beginning was The Word, and that Word subsequently was made flesh (John 1:14). It is like a secret of God to know exactly how that happened, but it does appear that Christ as a young child had no memory of any past as the word.

    An angel explained some things to Mary and I suspect those thoughts may have been passed on to Jesus Christ as he got older. Jesus would have been in the habit of going to the synagogue and would have had lots of exposure to the words contained in the Old Testament. At some point He must have realized something was happening as He said He must be about His Father’s business, although a voice from Heaven did not acknowledge Jesus as God’s Son until He was baptized and God’s Spirit came upon him, like a dove (as John tells us) and abode in Him and remained with Him:
    John 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
    :33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.”
    Jesus was administered to by angels after His encounter with Satan; I would imagine those angels filled Jesus in on even more information.
    As Scott said: “It would seem to me that he was born with a physical body and human spirit just as the rest of us.” He was just like us in that sense. He was not something strange or weird.
    Eventually, Jesus admitted seeing Satan fall as lightning, so it appears that some sort of a memory was returning into his mind.
    Perhaps, and here I speculate, after Jesus was resurrected and went to visit His Father, the entire memory of the “Word” may have been “downloaded” (to use a modern term) into His mind. and Jesus then returned to earth for a second time, fully prepared as the High Priest in the Order of Melchizedek. He was also the Groom. Where was the Bride? Jesus told us: “…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
    As James pointed out, some things, perhaps a lot more than we realize, are not revealed to us at this time, but we may ask Jesus later!

  5. Until he fulfilled his mission to give up his Godhood and be born as a man to save his creation. Until he fulfilled that mission he had to be as we are or as we have the potential to be in the flesh. His example would be tainted if he was fully God from his human birth. Once he lived the perfect sinless human life, as our example, proving that with Gods Spirit it was possible to fulfill the law in the flesh. Then after resurrection and returning to the Father he regained his Godhood position in the family of God. All for an example to the called out ones and future example to those that are called in the Fall Harvest.

  6. Luke2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God.
    Luke2:47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
    Luke2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man
    These scriptures seem to suggest that that Christ was not omnipotent at this point. His understanding seems to be progressive in nature.
    Luke3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
    Luke3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
    Luke3:23And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed ) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
    This appears to be where in His life there is dramatic change.

    Luke4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
    The word “full” denotes “complete, lacking nothing, perfect.”
    Luke4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
    The word “anointed” denotes ”
    consecrating Jesus to the Messianic office, and furnishing him with the necessary powers for its administration.
    All this being said, I refer back to Scott’s comments.

  7. DFT One point that is missing in your quoted scripture is Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that you sought me? Don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business?

    That verse is revealing in that he knew who his Father was. He had a knowledge and or memory of his Father’s business at the age of 12.

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