Mat 4:1-11; Why Would God Allow a Strong Adversary Like the Devil?

Class Outline:

Thursday January 25, 2024



Satan is a fallen angel, most Christians believe that he was the greatest of the angels as the anointed cherub, but that by some rising pride, he fell and rebelled against God.


His names are all titles:

Satan = adversary.

Devil = slanderer.



Satan is a title meaning adversary. Devil is also a title meaning slanderer.


It is delightedly frustrating to try and fill in the gaps, for we know very little about him. But as is always the case, God gives us enough. 


2CO 4:4

the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving


JOH 12:31

the ruler of this world will be cast out.


MAT 25:41

'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;


EPH 2:1-2

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience


EPH 6:11-12

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.


MAT 4:1-3

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."


Test part 1)

Satan attempts to get Jesus to doubt the purpose of the Son of God.


Satan knows his target. He is trying to get Jesus to doubt the purpose of the Son of God. Should the Son of God be without food for 40/40 in the desert? Jesus doesn’t have to say it, but His answer is emphatically yes.


Satan: “Should the Son of God be starving in the desert?”

Jesus: “Yes. I am His Servant Israel.”


The Word of God states that He must be and do all that Israel could not.

ISA 49:3

He said to Me, "You are My Servant, Israel,

In Whom I will show My glory."


But not only this. This is the first part of the attack - create doubt, even a seed will do. The second part of the attack is the temptation to use His own power as God outside of the Father’s will.


Shouldn’t the Son of God be able to take care of Himself?


ISA 42:1

“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;

My chosen one in whom My soul delights.”


Test part 2)

The Son of God should take care of Himself.


He was human and humanity was always designed by God to depend completely upon Him.


The plan of God was for the humanity of Christ to be exactly what all humanity must be.


Deception plays an important role in satanic temptation.


In the case of Eve, and probably all humans, Satan avoids making a frontal attack immediately on God’s probationary command.


Now, what about you? Satan tells you many lies through his world network.


Satan is a deceiver, tempter, accuser, adversary, slanderer, liar, and murderer.

He is always doing these to you.


Examples are many: You should not suffer as a child of God. You should have no problems with people. You should be loved by all. Your life will be prosperous. It’s okay to be bitter and angry at times. You don’t have to sacrifice all that much. You can live for the world and still worship God. You will receive from God everything you want. Your family and friends will receive you if what you are saying is true.


1TH 3:5-6

for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain. But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love,


This is the same word used by Matthew to describe the devil, “the tempter.” Why was Paul concerned? He knew the truth of the matter, as Peter famously wrote in 1PE 5:8-9.


And just to be sure that he means the devil:


1TH 2:18

For we wanted to come to you — I, Paul, more than once — and yet Satan hindered us.


Satan was active in attempting to reduce the impact of Paul’s ministry upon the Roman world. He failed because God is faithful and because Paul trusted that God was faithful.


2TI 4:18

The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.


1TH 3:1-5

Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone, 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith, 3 so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this. 4 For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know. 5 For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.


But what does Timothy report back, to Paul’s great joy?


1TH 3:6-8

But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you, 7 for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith; 8 for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.


What gave Paul great joy, and caused him to brag about the Thessalonians to other churches, was just what Satan attempted to destroy.


1TH 1:2-3

We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father;


Satan’s strategy against them was to use their families and neighbors to persecute them.


1TH 2:13-16

For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. 14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.


How did the Thessalonians overcome the persecutions?


1TH 3:6

But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love


The truth of divine love, as they received from the Word of God taught to them by Paul, overcame the temptation to get bitter because of their suffering, fight back, defend themselves, blame God for suffering, turn to stimulants to ease the pain, quit on devotion to God. Instead they loved their enemies just as the Word told them. They lived on every word that proceeded from the mouth of God.


Benefit: a life so pure and powerful that it overcame what the adversary of God threw at it. With such a characteristic, words almost fail to describe it.