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“I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.”[1]

Satan would never have had any power over us if we, through Adam and Eve, did not first have the propensity for sin, that is, an inert desire to disobey God. Some people believe that there is good in all men in varying degrees, and that is true because we are the image of God, who is Good. However, it was not the good that was in us that brought us down, rather, it was something that is never in God that brought us down, a desire for more than what we have been given, a dissatisfaction with what we have.

Eve, the woman, saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom,[2] after Satan had lied to her. If Eve was able to remain satisfied with all that God had already given her to eat, which was every tree in the Garden including the Tree of Life, for God has said to Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the Garden; but you must not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil…”[3] then no matter how much Satan tried to tempt her, she wouldn’t have fallen, for if you know what satisfaction is, you will not crave for more. Eve only saw what she did not have, so was blind to what she had and as a result of that she lost it all.

Adam likewise had the same weakness, for indeed Eve’s weakness came from Adam, for Eve came from Adam, not Adam from Eve, but he had a second weakness. When it came to the word of God, Adam would ignore it completely, not even reminding himself or Eve what God had commanded him. At least, Eve tried to remind herself and Satan what God had said, however inaccurately, for she said, “But God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the Garden, and you must not touch it or you will die.’”[4]

Thus, to begin to turn away from the power of Satan and to keep ourselves turned away from the power of Satan, we must learn to be:

1. Satisfied with what we have received from God and realise that what God has offered us is far more than what He has commanded us to stay away from.

2. Be accurate in our recollection of what God said.

3. Do not ignore what God has said.

These three characteristics would have allowed Eve and Adam to resist and overcome Satan’s overtures as Jesus did.

When Satan came to tempt Jesus after Jesus had been in the desert for 40 days and nights, it says, after fasting 40 days and nights He was hungry. Satan the tempter came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”[5] As he had tempted Eve with food, so Satan came and tempted Jesus with food. However, Jesus refused to be blinded by Satan even though it was desirable to turn stone to bread to feed Himself. Jesus kept His eyes on the more that God had given Him rather than the immediate situation of lack He was confronted with, and replied, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”[6] He quoted the words of Moses, the words of a man who knew how to look at what God had given him and value it above all else. When Moses went back to Egypt, he used the staff that he had in his hand because God said, “But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it.”[7] Moses, aside from pleading with God that He should send someone who was better qualified, did not ask God for more than what he had been given, not even a larger staff.

Jesus kept His eyes on the more that God has, rather than let Satan blind Him with what He did not have when Satan tried to murder Him by quoting a scripture from Psalm 91:11-12 out of context of the Scriptures and the question Satan asked. For Satan said, “If You are the Son of God…” but the scripture applies not to the Son of God but to those who make the Most High your dwelling—even the Lord, who is my refuge.[8] If Jesus is the Son of God, then He does not need to make God His dwelling, for He is already dwelling with God. Satan, in his second attempt, in Matthew’s rendition, tried to misquote or deny the context of God’s word. Jesus replied, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test,’”[9] quoting the words of Moses again, the man who built the tabernacle according to everything that God had instructed him, a man who except for one incident, obeyed and followed all of God’s commands to Him to the letter. Jesus overcame Satan by an accurate recollection of words spoken by a man of God who preceded Him, a man who failed to obey God once only and lost his place. As well, the exact quote that Jesus gave Satan threw the whole thing back in Satan’s face, for if Jesus is the Son of God, then Jesus is the Lord of Satan, so “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” An accurate knowledge of Scripture and its context affected the way Satan twisted the Scriptures.

Then, because Jesus did not fall at the second temptation, Satan had to speak again. Satan only spoke twice to Eve because Eve fell at the second temptation. The third time, according to Matthew, Satan now turned to bribery, offering the Kingdoms of the World and their splendours, “If You will bow down and worship me.”[10] Jesus refuted it, again quoting Moses who never stopped worshipping God, even after God had told him that he would not enter the Promised Land, for by the time Moses was speaking to the Jews in Deuteronomy 6:13, God had already told Moses that he would not cross the Jordan for striking the rock when he should have spoken to it. Even when the creation, the Promised Land, was denied Moses, Moses never stopped worshipping the Creator. Satan tried to bribe Jesus to worship the creation, that is Satan, by offering Him the splendours of creation, but Jesus refuted it by sticking to, obeying and worshipping the Creator. Jesus did not forget the Creator as Adam did when the fruit of creation was offered to him.

Thus, for you and me to turn from the power of Satan and to keep ourselves turned from his power, you and I need to avoid Adam and Eve’s mistakes and follow Jesus’ lead. So, resist at all times the temptation of looking at what you do not have, but keep your eyes on what you do have and on what you have been given, especially spiritually. For God’s command to the disciples of Jesus Christ is, “Listen to Him!”[11] which means that the words of Jesus Christ are sufficient for us and that the Person of Jesus Christ is sufficient for the individual disciple. When so called teachers of the church begin to offer additional teachings of their own or turn the ears of the church to words other than Jesus’ and to persons other than Jesus, they have not in mind the things of God but of Satan, for Satan focussed Eve’s attention on what was not given to her by God. Truly, such men are sons of Satan who unless they repent will be weeded out of the Lord’s Kingdom. Jesus promised, “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.”[12] Anything that causes a disciple not to listen to Jesus only causes sin, for the Father gave only one command to the disciples of Jesus just as He gave only one command to Adam. Satan made Eve break that one command, and the sons of Satan will tempt the disciples of Jesus to stray away from listening to Jesus and to look at someone else’s lead.

Jesus quoted Moses when He refuted Satan, but the Father commanded the disciples to listen only to Jesus even though Moses was standing there. As such, disciples may look at and read what Moses said and did, but only after and as part of listening to Jesus, whereas James the Younger directed the disciples back to the Law given to Moses and directed them to look at Moses when he said, “For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”[13] Jesus is not mentioned, the Name of Jesus is not mentioned once in James’ discourse in Acts 15:13-21 and only twice in his letter of 5 chapters and 108 verses. Even John already mentions Jesus twice in his third letter of 1 chapter and 24 verses. It goes to show who the person James was really listening to and looking at the more. For James, the words of Jesus were not enough so he added back the words of Moses. The Nicolaitans’ teachings, likewise, do not consider the sacrifice of Jesus sufficient so they have added back the Law of Moses.

Likewise now, in your personal life when you listen to your thoughts, turning your eyes to what you do not have, Satan is there; and in your ministry life, if you think that the words of Jesus are not sufficient, you have in mind not the things of God.

I know the Holy Spirit will make known to you more than what is written concerning what Jesus has said, for Jesus Himself said, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.”[14] So yes, the Holy Spirit will reveal the more, more than what is written, but HE WILL NEVER DO IT until you are first satisfied with what you have been given as it is written, and have eaten of all of it. In the same way, God could have allowed Adam to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil after he had eaten of every other tree including the Tree of Life. Likewise, until you have listened to all the written words of Jesus (in our case, because we have the Bible) and have eaten it, that is, received it into your heart, retained it, understood it, persevered with it and produced a crop for it, you will not be shown the more. The good soil that receives the seed to produce a crop is like a man’s stomach that receives the food to produce life in his body. So, to eat the words of Jesus and to eat Jesus who is the Word, you must receive the Word and His words into your heart, retain Him and His words there, understand Him and His words, persevere with Him and His words to produce the crop of Him and His words 30, 60, 100fold.

When the Holy Spirit sees you are doing this and have done this, then will He open the ‘more’ of the W/word to you. So, when you see the teachers who claim to teach you about the more of God, the new revelations, to turn your eyes to what you do not have, do not listen to them if they are not always admonishing you to listen to Jesus. Many preachers substitute listening to Jesus with listening to God. Well, if they really are disciples of Jesus and are listening to God, they would be focussed on saying and quoting what God said, “Listen to Him!” If they were focussed on listening to God through Moses, they would also realise that Moses had instructed everyone who’d listen to him to listen to the One God would send after him. That is why Jesus said to the Jews, “If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”[15] To show Satan that Jesus Himself believed what Moses wrote, Jesus used Moses’ words and only Moses’ words of Deuteronomy 3:3; 6:16; 6:13, to refute Satan. So, if you truly believe the words of Jesus and His promises for you, then you would only use Jesus’ words to refute Satan. To those who use wisely what is given them, more will be given until they have an abundance.

If people flatter you for your ‘new’ teachings and ‘revelations’, tell them the truth, there is nothing new about our teachings, for it comes from the old, old teaching of ‘listening to Him’ only. Even Adam had that teaching. You also need to know what you need to know and be accurate in your recollection. Eve’s inaccuracy with her reply did not allow her to survive Satan’s second temptation. Jesus’ accurate quotation of Moses allowed Him to withstand Satan’s temptation even though Jesus used an inferior word compared to what Eve tried to use. Eve quoted God and Jesus quoted Moses. With accuracy, even an inferior weapon is superior to an inaccurate, more powerful weapon. Then how much more is a superior weapon with pinpoint accuracy to be feared. As such, you must know your scriptures. For Jesus, His scriptures were the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms. For you, it is the words of Jesus in the Gospels, Epistles and Revelation, with the Law, Prophets and Psalms as backup. So, truly you have been given more, and as such, it should be a surprise that you cannot do more.

Above all else, do not ignore God. Do not bow down to the creation and forsake the Creator. Do not allow even your ministry or any relationship to be the object of your worship and even proof of how blessed you are by God. Jesus alone is our Sanctifier by His word, and as such, there can be no external measurement of the degree of our sanctification, not by title, letters or works. Satan and his sons will tempt us with offers just like he did Jesus with the splendour of the Kingdoms of the Earth. Ours is the splendours of the Kingdom of God and only the Kingdom of God, which is invisible anyway, that captivates us, for it is the Kingdom of the Lord God whom we serve and worship. Even when it comes to the splendour of the Kingdom of God, we must be careful that we only use its splendour to worship God and not the Kingdom of God’s splendour to have us worshipped by men. We are after all only unworthy servants who barely do what we are commanded.

When you are turned away from Satan’s power and keep yourselves turned from Satan’s power to the power of God, which requires constant unceasing repentance and practice, then you are ready to turn others, for you cannot do unto others what you have not had done to you.

Gratitude for what you have been given, knowing what you have been told accurately and retaining it, with constant practice without ever ignoring God, will keep you in the Kingdom of God as it would have kept Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Then you will see, truly Jesus has given you all things to overcome the power of the enemy. When you are grateful for what you have in Jesus, Satan cannot give you what he has.

What you know of the words of Jesus and of God when you know the Scriptures accurately, you will not underestimate Satan, nor will you be overly or unnecessarily fearful of him. But more than anything else, knowing and understanding the power of the enemy is to help you appreciate the brilliance of God even more, who through the Scriptures has locked Satan into a set pattern of behaviour and word that he cannot escape from, even though he may appear to be able to.

Once more, I must apologise to Satan as surely as I have repented before God. I have taught you that Satan was not smart enough to tempt Jesus with calling forth water from the rock rather than tempting a man who is in the desert for 40 days with bread. However, God’s brilliance blocked that option out, because the water from the rock is the Holy Spirit, and as such, Satan could not risk the Holy Spirit’s appearance through that temptation. It is enough to respect Satan by telling him exactly what is written about him in the Scriptures and not make up fanciful doctrines about him. We do not bind him, an angel will.[16] “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile…”[17]

We need to remind ourselves that “the devil… knows that his time is short,”[18] and politely remind him to hurry up with his work for, as it is written, his time is short. And as surely as we desire to listen to Jesus and do what He has told us, so likewise, we should be polite and not be rude to Satan for love is not rude, and Jesus has commanded us to “love our enemies.”[19] We should remind him of what Jesus told him to do: “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”[20]

Let us politely allow him to continue his work assigned to him whilst we focus on what is assigned to us without delaying him. Satan must raise up the beast, and the false prophet must be raised up to help him so that Jesus can be glorified on the day of His coming as He devours them and all their works with the sword that comes out of His mouth, His word. Love never fails as Paul has written to encourage us. “Love your enemies” will never fail to bring you to perfection and fullness of mercy, making you just like your Father in Heaven.

Thus, be not unaware of Satan and his sons’ tricks and schemes, but be more aware of the plans of God for you that are hidden in the words of Jesus being made known to you by the Holy Spirit. In this way, truly you will overcome the power of the enemy.


 

[1] Acts 26:17-18

[2] Genesis 3:6

[3] Genesis 2:16-17

[4] Genesis 3:3

[5] Matthew 4:3

[6] Matthew 4:4 [Deuteronomy 8:3]

[7] Exodus 4:17

[8] Psalm 91:9

[9] Matthew 4:7 [Deuteronomy 6:16]

[10] Matthew 4:9

[11] Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:5; Luke 9:35

[12] Matthew 13:41

[13] Acts 15:21

[14] John 16:12-13

[15] John 5:46-47

[16] Revelation 20:1-2

[17] Revelation 22:11

[18] Revelation 12:12

[19] Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27

[20] Matthew 4:10

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