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Satan’s Temptation Of Yeshua HaMashiach

Posted by Job on March 19, 2007

 1 John 2:16 -For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

I mentioned in Fear Not Temptation that one does not have to fear temptation because Yeshua HaMashiach has experienced them for us already. Let me give you another example. Please remember that the temptation that Eve was tempted and deceived of in the Garden of Eden was the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. I will reveal that Yeshua HaMashiach experienced the same temptations as did Eve during His 40 day fast.

First, we shall deal with the lust of the flesh. Lust means to have a yearning or desire; have a strong or excessive craving; a passionate or overmastering desire or craving. I define it as having a desire for something in a larger proportion than its actual need, to want something that you should not have, or to want something more than you love or desire to please God. Lust is also a demon, which is discussed here. And we should also consider the meaning of “the flesh”, which could mean “the body”, “bodily need”, “appetite”, or simply one’s human nature. So, a lust of the flesh is wanting something that you should not have that you do not need. It is one thing to want something that you do not need that you can have. It is another to want something that you need – or think you need – that you cannot or should not have. But wanting something that you KNOW that you do not need and KNOW that you cannot have is inexcusable. Yet, our society glorifies the pursuit of the inexcusable routinely; as a matter of fact it demands it. From using advertisements to push overeating unhealthy food to music, TV shows, and movies glorifying illicit sexual activity to our worship of guns and violence, you are constantly bombarded with notions that you should want things that harm you, and that you should hate anything, including God, that will withhold it from you. And that is precisely what Satan did when he told Eve “you will not surely die, but God is withholding it from you because He knows that if you eat of it you will be as Him knowing good from evil.” Eve had no bodily need for the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but she desired it anyway, and her desire was stronger than the desire to please or obey God, especially after Satan was able to get her to resent God for keeping her from filling her desires. And which desire was it? Well, why was “being as God” such a powerful temptation to Eve? Because what does God do? Receive worship. Eve wanted to be the center of attention, the object of affection, just as did Satan. When God saw that in her, He cursed her regarding it, saying that she would desire to be loved and adored by her husband, but rather than worship woman, man would rule over woman. 

Satan tried the same thing with Yeshua HaMashiach. How? He told Yeshua HaMashiach that if He were the Son of God, that He should command that the stones be made bread. Now of course, during fasting, Yeshua HaMashiach’s body desired food, to satiate His flesh. But in truth, He had no need for the food, because God the Father, YHVH, was supplying all His Needs. And He also know that it was God’s Will that He finish the fast. So, Satan was trying to get Yeshua HaMashiach to take something that He WANTED for His Flesh rather than NEEDING for it, and to desire it more than He wanted to obey Father YHVH. But there was an added dimension: to receive worship in the place of God. Satan told Him that IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD, DO THIS. This is not so much Satan’s tempting Yeshua HaMashiach with the notion that as the Son of God He ought to be able to do and have as He pleased, although that was certainly part of it. Rather, it was trying to get Yeshua HaMashiach to PROVE BEFORE SATAN that He was the Son of God, to GET SATAN TO ACKNOWLEDGE IT. Getting Satan to acknowledge that He was the Son of God WAS AN ACT OF WORSHIP! Satan was saying “OK, if you are the Son of God, that means that You are equal to God and are God, so if you do this I will acknowledge You and worship You.” But when Yeshua HaMashiach said “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every mouth that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Father”, though that is one of the best known and most quoted verses of the Bible, it seems rather odd and cryptic as to its meaning. But Yeshua HaMashiach was telling Satan that obeying the Will of God was more important than receiving praise. And this is very strange. Why? Because Yeshua HaMashiach was God! It was appropriate for Yeshua HaMashiach to want praise and to receive praise. All of creation is supposed to bow to Him and worship Him. But this shows the extent to which Yeshua HaMashiach humbled Himself and submitted Himself to the Will of the Father: He turned down praise that was appropriate and due to Him in order to do the Father’s Will.  

Next, Satan tempted Yeshua HaMashiach was with the lust of the eyes. Now “the eyes” had a somewhat different meaning in that time and culture than merely being the sensory organs. The eyes were considered to be “the window to the soul.” What a person looks at and wants is supposed to be a revelation of the contents of that person’s soul. If a person desires good, then the person is good. If the person desires evil, then the person is evil. So, when Eve saw the fruit of the tree of good and evil, it was not a matter of merely thinking “wow, that is so beautiful, I bet it will taste good.  That is so beautiful that I would be great just for eating something that looks so fine.” No, when she saw the fruit’s brilliance, she worshipped its beauty. And she believed that by eating it, consuming its beauty, it would make HER beautiful and terrible, and also wise, and for that reason Adam, all creation, and GOD HIMSELF would HAVE to worship her! You are familiar with the saying “You see what you want to see”? Well, that is because of the power of the mind to bend its perception of reality to conform to the lusts of the heart. When Eve looked at the apple, she saw “just as you worship my beauty, if you eat me, all creation and God Himself will worship you.” And that is what Satan did when He took Yeshua HaMashiach high up on the mountaintop to show Him the kingdoms of the world and all their glory, and told Him that “all this will be yours if you will fall down and worship me.” It has been alleged that Satan was not merely referring to the EARTHLY PHYSICAL kingdoms, but rather the DEMONIC ONES; the exceedingly strong powers, principalities, and princes that carry out Satan’s instructions in ruling the earth. Perhaps Yeshua HaMashiach saw how all of these evil beings were destroying the earth and oppressing its people with death, poverty, disease, sickness, and perversion. Doubtless Satan was believing that if he showed the Son of God this, that the Son of God would decide that He did not have to follow God’s plan to save mankind. No, Yeshua HaMashiach could change things right now! He could take control of all of Satan’s demons, and use them to do HIS WILL rather than Satan’s. He could stop the suffering of the world and the persecution of Israel right now! He could remove the demonic rulers empowering Rome, and have ISRAEL rule the Romans! Surely that would be God’s Will, right? After all, the Romans were pagans and Israel was God’s chosen people! Why perform miracles to convince people that He was God and to follow Him, only to have most of them defy and reject Him? Why go to the cross? Why defile Himself with sin? Why go to hell and the grave and contend with death, and demean Himself in such a fashion? He was GOD, earth was HIS, and HE could take it over and set things right this very instant! 

Or at least that is what Satan was HOPING that Yeshua HaMashiach would see. He was HOPING that the desire for power, for glory, to avoid the suffering of sin and death and the humiliation of the cross, and impatience in taking back what was His was in the heart of Yeshua HaMashiach. But it was not. So, when Yeshua HaMashiach looked at all of the kingdoms of the world, He did not see how things would be better if He did things HIS WAY. No, all He saw was a bunch of people dying in their sins and needed a Saviour. And as for Satan’s princes, powers, and principalities, all He saw was a bunch of evil corrupted spirits who hated Him, His Father, and His Spirit and were only fit for one thing: to be defeated and destroyed. There was no desire in Yeshua HaMashiach’s heart to make Him think that He could redeem what was already gone, and those demons and the sinful earth and the bodies of man are unredeemable. The demons are destined for the lake of fire, the bodies of man are destined to return to dust, and the earth is destined for the lake of fire. Men made righteous by grace through Christ will get new bodies, there will be a new Heaven and a new earth, and Satan and his demons are going to the lake of fire. So, Yeshua HaMashiach replied “Get thee behind me, Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Why? Because there was no lust in Yeshua HaMashiach’s eyes, because there were no desires to disobey God and do things HIS WAY in His Heart. The only thing that was in the Heart of Yeshua HaMashiach was God’s Way, and that was because Yeshua HaMashiach did not have the blood of Adam in Him, but rather the Blood of Father YHVH! Yeshua HaMashiach knew that HE was to serve and worship YHVH, NOT YHVH serve and worship HIM!

And last we have the pride of life. Eve manifested this when she desired the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil to make her wise. Now it is curious that one of the definitions of “pride” is the sexual desire of a female, for some Christian ministries allege that Satan was the tree of knowledge of good evil, and that Eve and Satan had intercourse, and Cain was the result. This is also because the Hebrew word used when it described Eve taking of the fruit of the tree is “naga”, which means to touch in a sexual manner. I do not accept that interpretation, and am thinking that sexual language was used to describe the depravity of Eve’s lust in vivid language, just as the term “harlot” and is used to describe idolatry and false religions, as are references to adulterous women. But the most common term of “pride” is an elevated opinion of oneself. Now having an elevated opinion of oneself while lacking a basis is “delusion.” The spirit of strong delusion mentioned by Paul in II Thessalonians 2:11 that will come in the latter days is that man is as God and should be worshipped in the place of God by using false religions such as New Age and humanistic forms of false Christianity, and also with the lie that man can make himself holy through legalistic works and vain sacrifices, and that God will be forced to acknowledge man’s works and account it to him for righteousness, thereby worshipping man. 

And to further buttress the argument of the “Eve had sex with the tree of knowledge which was Satan” crowd, the first manifestation of this anti – Christ “have God worship me rather than me worship God” was none other than Cain himself. When it was time to present sacrifices of the Lord, Cain presented an offering of WORKS, that which he himself had toiled for in the fields. Notice that pagans ever since have offered such things to their false gods; all false religions are works religions. But Abel’s offering was OF FAITH (Hebrews 11:4). Abel gave God lambs. See, you do not work to create a lamb. The mother sheep has the lamb and it is there. You have nothing to do with it. The lamb’s existence is GOD’S DOING, not yours. Abel offered God that which was God’s doing and not his own out of faith that giving God something that God had produced would please Him. Cain offered God the sweat of his brow, thinking that God would HAVE to honor that which he had worked so hard for. So, Abel was worshipping God by giving God the excellence of His Own Work and thereby admitting to God that nothing that he would do could compare to the wonders and power of God; Cain was trying to get God to worship HIM by paying respect to His his efforts. So, we see that the desire to be worshipped was present in Cain but not in Abel, giving further burnishment to the “Cain was Satan’s child” theory. It is curious to note, and is noted here in detail, that Seth was called “in the image of Adam” but Cain was not! 

But enough with digressions, as Eve was not deluded, but merely prideful, thinking herself to be greater than she was. How does thinking oneself to be greater than one is relate to “life”? Well, a definition of “life” is the aspect, meaning, or purpose of existence. So, “pride of life” means that Eve felt that her existence was more valuable than it actually was. Why? Again, because she wanted to be worshipped! She felt that if she ate of the tree of knowledge and of good and evil became as wise, God would have to acknowledge her wisdom AND acknowledge that her wisdom was in an acceptable proportion to His (not equal to His, but enough for Him to take notice of it), which would be an act of worship. Can one actually worship something that is lesser than you? Of course. Humans worship material things as well as political and philosophical ideas all the time. The concept of “capitalism” or “patriotism”, for instance, is not worth a single human life. Yet how many men have died because of or in defense of them? Or, quite simply, you have inner city youths killing each other because one of them stepped on the other’s brand new tennis shoes. 

And that is what Satan attempted to deceive Yeshua HaMashiach with when He tempted Him when He put Yeshua HaMashiach on the pinnacle of the temple, and told Him to cast Himself down, saying that the scriptures prophesied that His angels would bear Him up lest He dash His feet against a stone. Now it is good to note here that of course Yeshua HaMashiach was not going to have such a high opinion of Himself that He would demonstrate His power in an exercise of prideful vanity; to “show off.” Of course had He jumped off, A) angels would have rescued Him or B) nothing would have happened, for He could not have died since the cause of death is sin and being born of God and not of Adam, there was no sin in Him. No man could take His life; He gave it! And this is a clear refutation of the nonsense in the “gospels”, which falsely claimed that before Yeshua HaMashiach’s ministry started, He performed miracles simply for His own amusement and to make mischief. Now of course, that is easy to believe because we can relate that to our own experiences and desires; for if WE had the power of Yeshua HaMashiach, OF COURSE we would do things like that. But that is because we, born of Adam as sinners, have PRIDE in us. But Yeshua HaMashiach had no pride in Him, no need for validation, so as such He had NO NEED to use His power until His ministry began, because it was only in His ministry when His power was needed, for the only reason for His power was to convince people that He was the Saviour. That was why when He was at the wedding and turned water into wine, when Miriam (Mary) asked Yeshua HaMashiach to do something about the wine running out, He objected, saying that His Ministry had not started yet! Now the gnostic interpretation would have made it more sensible to human understanding, as how else would Miriam have KNOWN that her Son was capable of performing miracles save He had done them prior? That is why we are told not to rely on our own human understanding (Proverbs 3:5), and that our hearts are desperately wicked and deceitful above all things(Jeremiah 17:9). No, Miriam knew that Yeshua HaMashiach was capable of miracles because she had faith in something that she had never seen before; faith that her Son was her Saviour and God in the flesh. 

So, Satan failed in convincing Yeshua HaMashiach that it was appropriate for Him to use God’s power to please Himself, because Yeshua HaMashiach had within Him no delusions of His Mission on earth. What was that mission? TO DIE. Yeshua HaMashiach came to earth for one reason alone: to die for the sins of man. That is why the other gnostic nonsense that Yeshua HaMashiach was married is ridiculous, not because there is anything wrong with marriage, but rather that it had nothing to do with His earthly mission. And that is why  so err when they claim that their priests are to be chaste in order to emulate Yeshua HaMashiach. That, my friends, is the anti – Christ sin of Cain again, trying to imitate Christ and get man and God to acknowledge the works of your flesh. Simply put, there is no reason for any man to withhold himself from women as Christ did, for no man is going to die for our sins as Christ did! (Of course, nuns are to be celibate because of “Virgin” Mary when Matthew 1:25 clearly indicates that Joseph and Miriam consummated their marriage shortly after Yeshua HaMashiach was born.) The bigger issue, actually, is that even had Miriam been celibate, there would have been no reason to emulate her celibacy, as not being God there is no reason to walk in her footsteps. We are only to walk in the footsteps of CHRIST because He is GOD, and we are supposed to do so IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH (John 4:24), not after the flesh! That is what Paul labored so hard to convey to the churches in his letters. So Yeshua HaMashiach did not come into the world to use His power to amuse Himself, to get pretty girls (or even one pretty girl like Mary Madgalene, you gnostic fools), or to prove Himself in front of Satan or anyone else. He did not come to lead a revolt against Rome, to do good works, or to teach good values and political philosophy. He came to convince all who would believe that He was sent to die for their sins, and to then die for their sins. Period. 

And yet, there was also another dimension: Satan was trying to get Yeshua HaMashiach to admit an aversion to death. Not that Yeshua HaMashiach FEARED death. But again, consider THE PRIDE OF LIFE, thinking that one’s existence is more important than it is. Satan was tempting Yeshua HaMashiach in the manner of thinking that His earthly existence was so important that it could not be sacrificed in God’s Plan. Why should God die when there are angels to save Him? That is what Yeshua HaMashiach told Peter, when Peter cut off the ear of the chief priest’s slave in the garden of Gethsemane. Yeshua HaMashiach told Peter that if it was meant for His earthly Life to be preserved, He could call legions of angels to rescue Him! But it was not meant for His earthly life to be preserved, the only reason why His earthy Life was created to begin with was to please God, and the only way Yeshua HaMashiach could please God with His earthly Life was by doing the Will of God and dying. Satan was tempting Yeshua HaMashiach with the notion that God was too important to die. Another dimension still: Satan was tempting Yeshua HaMashiach have the pride of even His eternal existence in the Holy Trinity! Why should God submit Himself to any other? Was He not God? Did He not have His place in Heaven? Why should He bow to anyone? Why should He fulfill the Will of anyone? Satan was saying “Hey, God may rule Heaven, but this is EARTH, buddy! Down here YOU can call the shots! YOU can defy God by getting His Angels, YOUR angels, to save You, and by doing that You can tell Him that You are just as important in the Trinity as He is, if not in Heaven DEFINITELY down here on earth!” But Yeshua HaMashiach did not have any prideful notions within Himself that He was anything more than the Word of the Father YHVH. Yeshua HaMashiach simply replied “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” In other words, “You cannot get me to even consider the notion that I am more important than the Father, or not to subject myself to the Father, whether I am in Heaven or earth.” 

Do you know what happened next? SATAN LEFT HIM! Why? BECAUSE HE WAS ALL USED UP! THOSE WERE ALL THE TRICKS THAT SATAN HAD UP HIS SLEEVE! All of the temptations that Satan throws at us are designed to get us to feed the desires of our body, the desires of our mind, or to make us think that we are more important than we are. The only complexity that he has is to link them together. Take a man that is considering cheating on his wife. Lust of the flesh = a physical desire to have sex. Lust of the eyes = he looks at her and sees not an attractive woman but rather prey; his own ability to capture another living person and dominate it, and then exercise the same domination over his wife by concealing it from her, and by demonstrating within himself that she is not his only source of carnal pleasure. So, when he is looks at her, he sees power. Pride of life? Thinking that so much of his own existence that committing adultery is more important than A) his commitment to his wife or his wife’s emotions, B) the best interests of the other woman, and C) the need to obey and please God. If he can resist all those temptations, he will never commit adultery. Truthfully if he is able to resist even ONE of them, he generally will not. And that is not just men and adultery, it is every person with every sin. 

So that is why Yeshua HaMashiach literally did face every single temptation that man goes through. Why? Because as Satan demonstrated with Eve first and then with Yeshua HaMashiach, when you get right down to it there are really only three of them. There are lots of sins, and lots of demons, but only three temptations, and all are directly related to the sin of Satan himself, which is to desire to be in the place of God.


Father YHVH in the Name of Yeshua HaMashiach, we thank You that Yeshua HaMashiach suffered all temptation that we have to face so that by following His example spiritually, we can also resist temptation. May we consider ourselves not so great that we do not have to resist temptation, but may we know our place, which is lesser than that of Yeshua HaMashiach whose value is worth more than the total of creation, so that if He was able to resist temptation to please You, then we should do the same. Amen.


The demons that work in this area are lust and pride. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!


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