40 days and 40 nights :: Time to get Strong (Spiritually)


This is part of the 40 days and 40 nights series.

The Bible states that Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness and after he had fasted for forty days and forty nights, the tempter (devil) came to him and tested/tempted him.

First it is important to recognize that Jesus was not alone in the wilderness. It was the Holy Spirit of God who was with him and who led him. Second, it is interesting to recognize that the tempter comes to tempt Jesus, during his time of physical weakness – after he had fasted for forty days and forty nights. The forty days and forty nights was the time before Jesus’ testing. Physically Jesus was empty but spiritually he was fully charged and even in his hunger, he had full control of his mind and effectively used the quick, powerful and sharp two-edged sword of God (the Scripture) (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12) to fight against the tempter and his temptations. His Spirit was willing and he did not succumb to the desires of his flesh.

Points to ponder:
When the Spirit of God leads us, even the wilderness of our lives is not a place where we are to feel alone and though physically (in the flesh) we may be weak, we will be strong and super-charged spiritually (in our spirit), when we are led by the Spirit of God. The Spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthews 26:41), so we ought to watch for the Spirit’s supervision and watch out for satan’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 2:11) and pray that the Lord deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:13) so that we do not fall into temptation (Matthew 26:40-41). Are you feeling lonely? Are you strong and supercharged?

Matthew 4:1-3a (KJV)
1 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, ..

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The Godly line shall continue


Genesis chapter 5 verse 1 begins by stating “This is the book of the generations of Adam” and lists out by name, ten generations, from Adam (the man who found grace in the eyes of the Lord, despite his disobedience) to Noah (the man who found grace in the eyes of the Lord – Genesis 6:8).
When the son of Adam, Cain murdered his godly brother Abel, the godly line could no longer continue and God’s direct and first prophecy of Jesus as The Seed of the woman, the coming Savior (Messiah) (Genesis 3:15) was now in jeopardy. Satan, who would have enjoyed his victory of turning the sons of Adam through the line of ungodly Cain,away from God, was in for a surprise, for God appointed forth Seth, another seed (Genesis 4:25; 5:4), begotten in the likeness of Adam (Genesis 5:3) who was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), in just a little over a century (130 years – Genesis 5:3). Interestingly in these ten generations (Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah), Cain or his progeny are not mentioned at all, for ungodliness (unrighteousness) can have nothing to do with godliness (righteousness) (2 Corinthians 6:14).

Points to ponder:
From the Godly line of Seth comes The Messiah, Jesus Christ (Luke 3:23-38) and all who believe in him are imputed the righteousness of God (Godliness) (Romans 4:3) and they shall live forever (John 3:16). In other words, the Godly line shall continue (forever) and no amount of Satan’s wiles and schemes can thwart that. The prophet Malachi writes the words of God, that God is seeking a Godly seed (Malachi 2:15) and while Jesus is the firstborn of the Godly seed (Colossians 1:15), when we believe in him, we are given the power to become the sons (seeds) of God (John 1:12). The question then, that demands an answer is: “From us, will that Godly line continue?” In other words, is your life and mine, one from which many others will be brought to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, as their personal Lord and Savior? The Godly line shall continue, but we must watch and pray, lest we are beguiled and fall into ungodliness. Let it not be said of us that from him the Godly line could not continue, but in and through our lives, let people find grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Genesis 5:1-3 (KJV)
1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:

Malachi 2:15 (KJV)
15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

John 1:12-13 (KJV)
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Les Misérables Cain


Those who are familiar with Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Les Misérables, would probably have no contention in agreeing with me that, in the main character, Jean Valjean, is personified the words “fugitive” and “vagabond”. The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word fugitive as someone who is ‘running away to avoid being captured’ and the word vagabond as someone who is ‘moving from place to place without a fixed home.’

Genesis 4:12 records that God told Cain as part of his curse, that Cain would be a fugitive and a vagabond.

Because of the willful sin of Cain, he had to be on the run as a fugitive – running from the Lord God. In addition to Cain being a fugitive, Cain was also sentenced to be a wanderer, because he was weak and he let sin not only wander into his life, but rule over him and became of snare of the devil (Genesis 4:7; 1 John 3:12; 1 Timothy 3:7). As a wanderer, Cain would have been restless, all his life, with no rest. Cain’s life, in a sense, would have been miserable.

Points to ponder:
Let us watch and pray so we do not fall into temptation, for the Spirit of God in us is willing, but our flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). Let us give no room for the devil to wander into our life (1 Timothy 3:7), lest we like Cain willfully sin and become a wanderer and a fugitive. Let us not be like Les Misérables Cain.

Genesis 4:12 (KJV)
12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

1 Timothy 3:7 (KJV)
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Matthew 26:41 (KJV)
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

 

Jesus Impersonator :: Lord (Messiah)


Satan uses the deception of impersonation to deceive many. We must therefore watch out and pray and be on the alert (sober and vigilant) so that we are not deceived (1 Peter 4:7).

For the redemption of mankind from their own sins, God had to manifest himself in the form of a messiah (the “anointed” Christ) and came to the world he created as a human (Philippians 2) and was named Jesus (Matthew 1:21). Jesus, the Only Christ came with a sword (Matthew 10:34) and left peace (John 14:27). When the tip of a sword is placed into the ground, it resembles the shape of a Cross and a sword can divide, just as the Cross divides the righteous (those who have believed in Jesus) and those who have not.
But Satan who has no original idea of his own will bring his own messiah, who is the antichrist. The antichrist will come with a deception of peace and leave behind a sword, destroying many (Daniel 8:25). The antichrist is the antimessiah.

Points to ponder:
We must be aware and beware the adversary (Satan), for Satan will bring the antichrist as the messiah of mankind, who will impersonate Jesus Christ, the Only Lord (Messiah of all mankind). Watch vigilantly and pray always, lest we are caught off-guard. 

Matthew 10:34 (KJV)
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

John 14:27 (KJV)
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Daniel 8:25 (KJV)
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

Luke 21:36 (KJV)
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.

Jesus Impersonator :: Lion


Satan uses the deception of impersonation to deceive many. We must therefore watch out and pray and be on the alert (sober and vigilant) so that we are not deceived (1 Peter 4:7).

In Genesis 49:9-10, when Israel is blessing his sons, he blesses Judah by calling Judah a lion’s whelp (cub) and affirms that the sceptre (rule/government) shall not depart from Judah and the ruling staff from his descendants (from between his feet), until the coming of the one to whom it belongs (Shiloh) – the one whom all nations will honor. Prophesying the birth of Jesus, God’s prophet, Isaiah announced that the government (sceptre) shall be on the shoulder of Jesus Christ and the increase of his government (rule) and peace shall have no end (Isaiah 9:6-7). Revelation 5:5 affirms that the one that was prophesied as the one who is to come to whom the sceptre (kingdom) belongs is Jesus Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah – the True (Lion) King. All those who are under the protection of Jesus, the Lion King, who conquered (devoured) death and prevailed, have life – life eternal.
But Satan wants to be the king over all and impersonates Jesus by walking around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour and bring death in the end (1 Peter 5:8).

Points to ponder:
We must be aware and beware the adversary (Satan), for Satan walks about like a roaring lion seeking to devour and bring death. We must submit to the Kingship and Lordship of Jesus Christ, The True Lion King, who brings life!

Genesis 49:8-10 (KJV)
Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Revelation 5:5 (KJV)
And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Luke 21:36 (KJV)
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.

Rest and Test


Jesus went to the wilderness to REST in God, before His ministry (Matthew 4:1).
The devil went to the wilderness to TEST the Lord, before Jesus’ ministry (Matthew 4:1).

Points to ponder:
When we are to begin the ministry, or are in the ministry that God has given unto each one of us, do we take the time to first REST in God? Often we hurry and plan for God himself, not allowing his purposes according to his time to be fulfilled in our lives.
Secondly, when we go to rest in the Lord, we must be aware and beware, always watching and praying, so that we do not fall into temptation, for the devil is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour and those who are resting in the Lord are particularly his targets to test (Mark 14:38; 1 Peter 5:8).

Matthew 4:1 (KJV)
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

1 Peter 5:8 (KJV)
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Mark 13:38 (KJV)
38
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

Cease and Cease Not


The Bible counsels us to Cease from doing evil and to repent by reasoning with the Lord  (Isaiah 1:16-18).
The Bible also counsels us to Cease not from praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

And come to think of it, these two counsel are related. We can learn from Jesus’ words that to cease from doing evil, we must cease not from praying.
If we watch and pray (without ceasing), we will not fall into temptation (to do evil) (Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38).

Isaiah 1:16-18 (KJV)
16
Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)
17
Pray without ceasing.

Mark 14:38 (KJV)
38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.