Rabbi Schneider - How to Fight Temptation
Shalom and God bless you, beloved ones. I want to say to you, I just feel God's love for you. We're in a very remarkable series right now. This is our Holy Land Series. We're in Season 3, and today I'm gonna be taking you to a very unique place inside the land of Israel. It's not to a church, but beloved, we're going today to the Judean wilderness. I know God is gonna speak to many of you as I minister his Word from this very unique place, both in Israel and in the Word of God. God bless you. Stay tuned. I love you and Shalom.
I'm in the land of Israel and behind me you see the Judean wilderness. What a powerful and awesome sight. So many things in the Word of God pertain to the desert and the wilderness. Israel had to go through the wilderness before they were able to enter the Promised Land. And this is where John the Baptist's ministry took place. I'm reading now from the Book of Matthew, beloved ones, chapter 3, verse 1-2. Hear the Word of God: Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And the Scripture says all of Israel came to him here in this wilderness for a baptism of repentance. John was preparing the way for the Messiah, and he did it right here in this wilderness that you see behind me.
I'm gonna move forward now in Matthew's Gospel, to Matthew, chapter 4, because right after Yeshua, right after Jesus came out of the Jordan River, two things happened. The first thing that happened was the confirmation of God on his life. The Spirit descended on Jesus visibly and bodily like a dove. And as the Spirit of the Lord came upon him lighting him, the Scripture says, Father's voice also came from heaven saying, You are my beloved Son. This is my beloved Son and in you I am well pleased. So Jesus comes out of the Jordan River. The Spirit of the Lord descends upon him bodily as a dove, remained on him lighting him. At the same time Father speaks from heaven. Jesus heard the Father speak saying this: You are my beloved Son. The others around heard the voice saying, this is my beloved Son.
We may ask ourself how could the Spirit say to Jesus you are my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased, and yet the people around that saw it happen heard the voice say, this is my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased. It's because, beloved ones, when the Spirit of the Lord speaks, he speaks like this. In fact when the Torah was given at Mount Sinai, tradition tells us that it came to us in 70 different tongues. It's just a dimension of how supernatural God's Spirit is. Now after the Spirit of the Lord spoke to Jesus and said, You are my beloved Son, and in you I'm well pleased. Next what happened is that the Spirit of Elohim, the Spirit of the living God led Jesus into this wilderness. And Jesus was in this Judean wilderness, listen, for 40 days and 40 nights. Why? Listen, it wasn't the devil that led Jesus into this wilderness. Rather the Scripture says the Spirit of God led him into the wilderness.
And there's an application for you. Sometimes Father will bring us into difficult seasons in our life for a purpose. Is it, it isn't always the devil that cause. causes difficulty. Sometimes, beloved ones, it's Father God that's bringing us into difficulty because he's gonna strengthen us in the midst of it. So let's read now in Matthew, chapter 4, how the Spirit of the Lord, listen now, I want you to hear what I said. It was the Spirit of the Lord that led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan for 40 days and 40 nights. And the application that I just made to you is this, sometimes the Lord will lead you into a temptation experience. It's not the devil that led you into the experience. Sometimes the Lord will lead you into a temptation experience in order to strength you as you exercise your spiritual muscles to resist.
Let's pick up now, Matthew, chapter 4, verse 1: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Listen again: Then Jesus was led by who? By the Spirit, capital S, led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. So now Jesus is physically weak. He hasn't eaten, and he's physically weak. And the tempter came and said to Him, listen to the first temptation: If You are the Son of God. This is the first thing that the devil does. He tries to make Jesus doubt who he is. You see, Jesus was able to resist the devil, get me now, because he knew who he was. If he wouldn't have known who he was, he would have fallen.
So the first way that Satan tried to attack him, listen, was to get him to doubt his identity. You and I need to know who we are. We're the chosen of the Father. We're the beloved of the Father. There is a heavenly call upon our life. The Bible calls us a kingdom of kings and priests. When we know who we are, we're gonna be able to stand up to the devil, say no to him and resist him. It's only when we don't know who we are that we fall into temptation. You see this same thing happening, beloved one, even in the natural phenomenon. When children come from strong homes with a strong dad and a strong mom and they've been affirmed by their dads and by their moms in a positive way, they're able to resist becoming drug addicts. They're able to resist becoming promiscuous. They're able to resist all those things. Why? Because they know who they are.
And the same thing is happening here, beloved ones, in Jesus's life. The devil first says, listen if you're the Son of God, trying to get him to doubt that. Because if the devil could take that from him, he knew that Jesus would soon fall. So once again: after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, If You're the Son of God, command that these stones become bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. So important; Jesus learned how to live by the Word.
And I want you to know, Jesus is the Word. And the Father says to you today, seize my Word and don't let anything else in. Seizing the Word comes in two forms. Number 1, it's seizing the written Word. But secondly, Jesus is the Living Word, and as we begin to consciously recognize the presence of Jesus in our life, as we learn how to discern the presence and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we're gonna learn how to take ahold of the inner witness of the Spirit, beloved ones. And in taking hold of the inner witness to the Spirit, we're gonna learn how to abide in the anointing. We have to understand when we're feeling the witness that we're in the zone of the Holy Spirit, we're in peace. We're in the sweet spot.
I can tell, for example, if I'm leading singing how to stay in the sweet spot, because if I go too fast, I'll sense myself stepping out of the anointing into nervousness. If I go too slow, there's no power there. So I learn how to stay in the anointing by, listen, seizing his Word. Then continuing in verse 5: The devil took Him into the holy city and let Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, If You're the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will command His angels charge over You. He will command his angels concerning You; and on their hands they will bear You up, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.
You see, this is the difference, beloved, between faith and presumption. Listen once again. The devil said If you're the Son of God, throw yourself down because the Word says he'll give his angels charge concerning you. And on their hands they will bear You up, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone. Some of us make the mistake of thinking that we're stepping out in faith, when in reality we're just being presumptuous. This is what the devil was trying to lead Jesus into, presumptuous. Just jump off the mountain. Just command these stones to become bread. No, he was trying to get Jesus, he was trying to deceive him to doing spiritual things. But the spiritual things that the devil was trying to lead Jesus to do were not being initiated by the Father.
Make sure that when you're stepping out in faith, that it's really faith that you're stepping out on and not presumption. For example, here I am in Israel. Many people come to Israel. They fall in love with it. They say, oh I love being here. This is my home. And they decided I'm gonna move here. They think they're stepping out in faith, when they automat... when they just all of a sudden move from the United States to Israel thinking they're being called to move here. But sometimes what happens, they get here, they fall on their face 'cause it's so hard to assimilate to living in the land here, to learning how to communicate in Hebrew, to learning how to move through all the cultural differences.
People thought they were stepping out in faith, but you know what? They were really just stepping out in presumption. They wanted to move here. They said, I'm gonna move here and I'm gonna trust God by faith that I'm gonna move here and everything's gonna work well. But because it was presumption that led them here, assuming it was God's will, because it was what they wanted to do rather than moving on faith. Jesus said, I don't do anything except that which I see the Father doing. Because Jesus was moving in true faith, being led by the initiation of the Father, he was powerful and effective in everything he did. Don't make the mistake, beloved, that the devil tried to bring Jesus into making, saying, you know, just throw yourself down. He's gonna catch you. He's gonna give his angels charge over you. Some of us in our immaturity would take a taunt like that and act. No, sometimes, beloved, it's just the enemy trying to make us fall.
Let's continue on: Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written, You shall not put the Lord your God to the test. He walked in faith not in presumption. Let's continue, verse 8: Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, All these things I will give You, if You'll fall down and worship me. Then Jesus said to him, Go, Satan! For it is written, You shall serve the Lord your God, and serve Him only.
Once again, the devil was promising Yeshua fame, and riches, and the glory of the world. Once again listen: Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. All of the kingdoms of the world and their glory; all the things that we think today when we're walking in deception will make us happy; being rich, being wealthy, being famous, having everything. But yet Jesus said, Life consisteth not in the abundance of things. But how many believers get seduced into believing that lie. Hollywood tells us that if we just have money we'll be happy. If we had fame, we'd be happy. If we had more status because of a better job, we'd be happy. If we looked better, we'd be happy.
And the devil shows us the fame of the world. He shows us the glory of the world. And because we don't know Father well enough, because we don't know the voice of the Holy Spirit well enough, because we don't know Jesus well enough and haven't found satisfaction in intimacy with God, we fall. We fall on our face. And beloved, what happens? We end up in some very painful, destructive circumstances. And this is exactly what the devil was trying to bring Jesus into. He was trying to destroy him through seducing him with the glory of the world.
Listen once again before I move on: Again, the devil took Him and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. How many people start out as strong Christians and then they get into the working world and they compromise because they want to get ahead. It's the same thing here. How many people are believers, and yet when they go into the work place, they compromise their principles, they compromise their values, because they want the glory of the world. I know I'm talking to some of you right now.
Father, right now there's some that are watching me right now, they've done this very thing that the devil was seeking to seduce Jesus into. They've traded you in for a lie. They've traded in their riches in you, King Jesus, for the glory of the world. They were raised in the church, many of these that are watching. They were taught the faith through Sunday school teachers and other teachers in their life. They believed. But when they got into the working world, they began to compromise their principles. They began to sell out to the world. They sold out to the devil. They compromised their morality because they wanted a boyfriend or they wanted a girlfriend, or they wanted to be accepted, and they wanted to be liked so they compromised their sexual integrity. And they got into the work place and they wanted to be popular. And so they started talking like the world, and acting like the world, and doing the things that the world did. And then they wanted to get more money, and so they made compromises in their value systems and the way they handled themselves in their occupation and business.
Beloved, if that's you, this is exactly the temptation that the devil tried to pull on Jesus. But you know what? Jesus didn't bow to it. Jesus said this in verse 10: Go, Satan!, For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only. You have an opportunity to repent right now. I know that I'm talking to many of you across the world right now. The good news is this. If we confess our sin, God is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. If we repent, he'll receive us. Remember, it was in this wilderness behind me that John the Baptist was baptizing. What type of baptism was he baptizing, beloved? It was a baptism, listen, for repentance. Today you can repent. You can get on your knees with this wilderness that's coming through your television set behind you, just like the children of Israel were coming to this wilderness to repent, to be prepared to receive Messiah.
God wants to do more with your life. God wants to circumcise your heart and my heart in a greater way. But before he can do that, we need to repent. And I'm asking you right now, if you're healthy, get on your knees. Tell Jesus where you've compromised. Ask him to forgive you. Ask Father God for mercy. Ask God to strengthen you in the Holy Spirit. Re-commit yourself to following him. Get rid of those things that you let into your heart that were from the world; the glory of the world that never satisfies. This can be a do, a new day, a brand new day for you in Yeshua the Messiah.
Now as we conclude today, I want to talk about one more principle. I'm going to the final verse in this section, verse number 11. Listen what happens. Jesus defeats the devil. He defeats the world, the flesh and the devil through all these temptations. The way that Satan came to Jesus is the same way that he comes to us today, beloved. The temptations that he brought to Jesus, he brings to you and I today disguised in similar form. But Jesus defeated him each and every time. Now after Jesus defeated him, after this last temptation where Satan offered to Jesus the glory of the world if Jesus would bow down and worship. And Jesus responded, Go, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only. Listen what happens next: Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. And the account of this same event in the other Gospel says this: And the devil left him, get this now, to look, hear me now, beloved one, for a more opportune time.
When Luke records this, it concludes by saying, the devil left him, after Jesus said, get behind me, Satan, for the Word says to worship the Lord your God and him alone. Luke tells us what happened was the devil left. But the devil was looking to come back for a more opportune time. The point is, we're gonna have a fight against the world, the flesh and the devil for the rest of our lives. It's not gonna go away. Sometimes people come to me when they're struggling with a temptation and they just want me to wave a magic wand over them thinking the temptation will go away if the right man of God or the right woman of God just prays for them. But I want you to know, we're gonna struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil all the days of our life. We can defeat Satan every time. But listen, when you defeat him in one area of your life, he's gonna still try to come and find another way back in; when you're weak perhaps, like Jesus was weak here.
The Bible says that Jesus had already been in this Judean wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights without eating. And he became weak and hungry. And it was then that the devil came. And so often times, beloved one, Satan's gonna try to make entrance when you're weak, when you feel emotionally down, when things in your life have circumstantially gone wrong. Maybe you're just burned out emotionally or physically. Be on guard because just as the devil tried to get entrance into Jesus's life when he was weak, so the devil is still roaming the earth today, the Bible says, like a lion looking for someone to devour. What does that mean? He's looking for a weak one. He's looking to enter in when someone is weak.
Paul got to the end of his life, the very end of his life, the great Paul, the Apostle Paul, the hero of our faith, a great hero of our faith, and the Bible says at the very end of his life, Paul said these words: I have fought the fight and I have run the race, and now there's laid up for me a crown of righteousness. And he said, and not just for me but for all those that are looking for and are gonna love his appearing. You see, our entire life, beloved one, is gonna be a fight of faith. But God says to you today, Shalom. His peace will keep you and he will guard what you've entrusted to him against that day. This is Rabbi Schneider saying to you, I love you, from the Judean wilderness. And Jesus is yours as you fight the fight of faith. Hold on, my friend, because he's coming back for you and I quickly. Shalom.