Daily Words of God | "God Himself, the Unique V" | Excerpt 145
Mat 4:5–7 Then the devil takes Him up into the holy city, and sets Him on a pinnacle of the temple, And said to Him, If You be the Son of God, cast Yourself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.
Let us first see the words that Satan spoke here. Satan said, “If You be the Son of God, cast Yourself down,” and then it quoted from the Scriptures: “He shall give His angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.” How do you feel when you hear Satan’s words? Are they not very childish? They are childish, preposterous, and disgusting. Why do I say this? Satan often does foolish things, and it believes itself to be very clever. It often quotes from the Scriptures—even the very words spoken by God—trying to turn these words against God to attack Him and to tempt Him in an attempt to achieve its objective of sabotaging God’s plan of work. Are you able to see anything in these words spoken by Satan? (Satan harbors evil intentions.) In all that Satan does, it has always sought to tempt mankind. Satan does not speak straightforwardly, but in a roundabout way using temptation, beguilement, and seduction. Satan approaches its temptation of God as though He were an ordinary human being, believing that God is also ignorant, foolish, and unable to clearly distinguish the true form of things, just as man is unable to. Satan thinks that God and man alike are unable to see through its substance and its deceit and sinister intent. Is this not what Satan’s foolishness is? Furthermore, Satan overtly quotes from the Scriptures, believing that doing so lends it credibility, and that you will be unable to pick out any flaws in its words or to avoid being fooled. Is this not Satan’s absurdity and childishness? This is just like when people spread the gospel and bear witness to God: Will not nonbelievers sometimes say something similar to what Satan said? Have you heard people say something similar? How do you feel when you hear such things? Do you feel disgusted? (Yes.) When you feel disgusted, do you also feel aversion and hate? When you have these feelings are you able to recognize that Satan and the corrupt disposition Satan works into man are wicked? In your hearts, do you ever have this realization: “When Satan speaks, it does so as an attack and a temptation; Satan’s words are absurd, laughable, childish, and disgusting; however, God would never speak or work in such a way, and indeed He has never done so”? Of course, in this situation people are only able to faintly sense it, and remain unable to grasp God’s holiness. Is that not so? With your current stature, you merely feel that: “Everything God says is the truth, is beneficial to us, and we must accept it.” Regardless of whether you are able to accept this or not, you say without exception that God’s word is truth and that God is truth, but you do not know that truth itself is holy and that God is holy.
So, what was Jesus’ response to these words of Satan? Jesus said to it: “It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Is there truth in these words that Jesus said? (Yes.) There is truth in them. On the surface, these words are a commandment for people to follow, a simple phrase, yet nonetheless, both man and Satan have often offended these words. So, the Lord Jesus said to Satan, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God,” because this is what Satan often did, taking pains as it went about it. It could be said that Satan did this brazenly and without shame. It is in Satan’s essential nature to not fear God and to not have reverence for God in its heart. Even when Satan stood beside God and could see Him, it could not help itself but to tempt God. Therefore, the Lord Jesus said to Satan, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” These are words that God has often said to Satan. So, is it appropriate for this phrase to be applied in the present day? (Yes, as we also often tempt God.) Why do people often tempt God? Is it because people are full of corrupt satanic disposition? (Yes.) So are the words of Satan above something people often say? And in what situations do people say these words? One could say that people have been saying things like this irrespective of time and place. This proves that the disposition of people is no different from the corrupt disposition of Satan. The Lord Jesus said a few simple words, words that represent truth, words that people need. However, in this situation, was the Lord Jesus speaking in such a way as to argue with Satan? Was there anything confrontational in what He said to Satan? (No.) How did the Lord Jesus feel about Satan’s temptation in His heart? Did He feel disgusted and repulsed? (Yes.) The Lord Jesus felt repulsed and disgusted, and yet He did not argue with Satan, and much less did He speak about any grand principles. Why is that? (Because Satan is always like this; it can never change.) Could it be said that Satan is impervious to reason? (Yes.) Can Satan recognize that God is truth? Satan will never recognize that God is truth and will never admit that God is truth; this is its nature. There is yet another aspect of Satan’s nature that is repulsive. What is it? In its efforts to tempt the Lord Jesus, Satan thought that even if it was unsuccessful, it would nonetheless still try to do so. Even though it would be punished, it chose to try anyway. Even though it would gain no advantage out of doing so, it would try nonetheless, persisting in its efforts and standing against God until the very end. What sort of nature is this? Is it not evil? If a man becomes infuriated and flies into a rage when God is mentioned, has he seen God? Does he know who God is? He does not know who God is, does not believe in Him, and God has not spoken to him. God has never troubled him, so why would he be angry? Could we say that this person is evil? Worldly trends, eating, drinking, and pleasure-seeking, and chasing celebrities—none of these things would bother such a man. However, at the very mention of the word “God,” or of the truth of God’s words, he flies into a rage. Does this not constitute having an evil nature? This is sufficient to prove that this is man’s evil nature. Now, speaking for yourselves, are there times when truth is mentioned, or when God’s trials of mankind or God’s words of judgment against man are mentioned, you feel an aversion; you feel repulsed, and you do not want to hear such things? Your heart may think: “Don’t people all say that God is truth? Some of these words are not truth! They are clearly just God’s words of admonishment toward man!” Some people might even feel a strong aversion in their hearts, and think: “This is spoken about every day—His trials, His judgment, when will it end? When will we receive the good destination?” It is not known where this unreasonable anger comes from. What sort of nature is this? (Evil nature.) It is directed and guided by the evil nature of Satan. From God’s perspective, with regard to the evil nature of Satan and the corrupt disposition of man, He never argues or holds grudges against people, and He never makes a fuss when people act foolishly. You will never see God hold similar views on things to human beings, and moreover you will not see Him use mankind’s viewpoints, knowledge, science, philosophy or imagination to handle matters. Rather, everything God does and everything He reveals is connected to truth. That is, every word He has said and every action He has taken is bound to the truth. This truth is not the product of some baseless fantasy; this truth and these words are expressed by God by virtue of His substance and His life. Because these words and the substance of everything God has done are truth, we can say that God’s substance is holy. In other words, everything God says and does brings vitality and light to people, enables people to see positive things and the reality of those positive things, and points the way for humanity so that they may walk the right path. These things are all determined by God’s substance and by the substance of His holiness.
Excerpted from The Word Appears in the Flesh