Jesus Is Tested

Jesus Was Tested as a King

Book of Matthew Chapter 4 Verse 1 through 11

We should remember the numbering of the Chapters and verses in the modern Bible did not exist in the time of Jesus so if we back up to Chapter 3 in the Book of Matthew, we find these verses.

Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Mat 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

It is this time that the Lord Jesus Christ began His earthly ministry!

The next thing we see is the beginning of our lesson today.

We will find Jesus being tempted of the Devil.

What is temptation? We could say temptation is “enticement”. Enticed to do things that go against the Word of God!

The source of all temptation is Satan and the works of Satan.

Satan can be effective in his works of temptation because we live in the flesh.

We know that God cannot be tempted and neither does He tempt any of His children nor is He the source of temptation to those who are lost.

Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

When we read that Jesus is tempted of Satan, we should understand that it is because Jesus was 100% man still being 100% God.

It was extremely important that Jesus, while in His flesh be sin free, impeccable. After salvation this should be our goal.

We will see that Jesus did not just wander into temptation but the Holy Spirit who drove Christ Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil.

There is no place we can go upon this earth that we will not be exposed to temptation!

The Holy Spirit drove Jesus Christ into the wilderness which may not be far from where Jesus was baptized of John the Baptist.

*Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

We must never understand that this was the only time that our Lord Jesus faced temptation because He was tempted throughout His ministry upon this earth, but He cannot be tempted now that He is back in Heaven as said in the Book of James but also in other places.

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

We should understand that if Christ Jesus was so tempted then, while in His flesh, then it could have been possible that He could have sinned if He so chose to.

To be a true man then Jesus was capable of sinning!

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Pe 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
1Pe 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

We should understand as a test of our own goodness, God will allow us to be tempted of Satan.

All human goodness needs the strain of temptation.

We will never have a testimony until we have been tested!

We do not know what form Satan took in his temptation of Christ Jesus, but we do know he took the form of a serpent when he went after Eve.

When we read and study this passage, we know this temptation was terrible enough but the worst of the times of the temptation of Christ came in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Luk 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Heb 12:4 “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin”.
Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Before this temptation began our Lord Jesus first fasted.

*Mat 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

Fasting has been in the Church from the beginning and again our example is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Fasting has a place in our relationship with the Lord.

Fasting is a means to teach us self-discipline.

Fasting is a means of preparation for beginning a ministry as it seems the Lord Jesus was doing here in this passage.

Fasting is not a means to obtain God’s Grace!

Grace comes by beginning a “sincere” relationship with the Lord by accepting the work He did for our salvation.

All fast are not acceptable to the Lord.

Isa 58:4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
Isa 58:5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
Isa 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Isa 58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Isa 58:8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
Isa 58:9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
Isa 58:10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
Isa 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

We are bought and paid for with the blood of Jesus, making Jesus our new owner. We should hate man-made slavery, but it is a privilege to be a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Fasting is not a substitute for righteousness.

The ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ began with a fast for 40 days and forty nights and there can be little doubt that Jesus was very hungry.

We should understand that Satan (the Tempter) will usually show up when we are in a period of physical and mental weakness.

He will then try to confront us with his lies.

*Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

In this temptation of our Lord we must remember that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God. If Jesus in the flesh could not fulfill His ministry without being sustained by His Godly power, then no human would be able to do so.

Jesus had to refrain from using the power of God to sustain Himself. It will obvious He did use some portions of Godly power to help others as we study the Gospels but never for Himself!

These are called miracles which He still does today!

God will help us because we do not have the power within ourselves to do so!

In fact the greatest lesson we will learn in life is, that we cannot help ourselves to obtained salvation, we need the Lord Jesus Christ in a personal relationship to be saved.

The Lord Jesus Christ possesses the only means of salvation. Do not be fooled by naysayers!

By the end of those forty days, Jesus in His flesh had reached a point where it was critical that He get something to eat.

Satan knew this as he had been spying on Jesus all this time.

There is nothing outside God’s creative power except the power to do wrong!

There is hardly anywhere you go in Israel where you will not see stones and many of those stones were round and to the hungry eye, they could appear to be small loaves of bread.

It would have been really easy for the Lord to do this.

In fact John the Baptist said God could just as easily raised up humans from those same stones.

Luk 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Jesus later said if He needed to hear praise He could just as easily gotten praise from those same stones.

Luk 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Yes, He could have easily changed those stones into bread, but He did have a response to the tempter.

*Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

The message of Satan: Go ahead and trust yourself, you do not need God.

The message of Jesus to Satan: I choose to live by God’s ways!

This must be our answer! We must choose to live according to the Word of God!

Jesus had all the power of God, but it is always best to live by the Word of God!

As humans we may be bound by our human necessities, but when we base our existence on our necessities, then these things will become our standard for living.

God lives upon a greater plain and He knows we have human needs, and it is He, that supplies those needs so, we need much more than life’s necessities.

We need God! We do not need some false god, we need Jehovah God, and we need the truth of life and the truth of Spiritual life!

We have in our possession a Book of Truth. The world can only provide lies with very little truth because higher powers have decided that the public is too ignorant to know the truth.

God on the other hand is not afraid to give us the truth!

Our physical life is but a short period of time, but our Spiritual life is forever!

Jesus quoted part of a passage from the Book of Deuteronomy.

Deu 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; “that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live”.

Every human being has a spiritual hunger that must be satisfied yet, so many settle with falseness, and they are never really satisfied in this life.
Many reject the need for spiritual things, and this leads them to a miserable life.

Many choose some sort of substitute for the truth and they ruin their bodies and their minds. They are happy one day and miserable for many more days, and livein endless cycles of denial.

We can only be at peace when we have the satisfaction of the Lord Jesus Christ and depend upon the truth of the Scriptures for true life now, and endless life forever.

When we get to Heaven, we will be more alive than we can ever obtain here upon this earth.

The Devil did not like the response of the Lord, so he took the Lord to Jerusalem.

*Mat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
Mat 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

As there was not a designated pinnacle upon the roof of the Temple, the Greek word used here means the highest point of the roof of the Temple. The apex of the building.

The word pinnacle in architecture, is a term used for a wing-like projection and was most probably one of the Temple porches that overlooked the Kedron Valley that is between the Mount of Olives and Mount Moriah which adds to its height.

We should understand that the city of Jerusalem also sits upon a hill and at this time of Jesus, Jerusalem was probably the highest capitol city in the ancient world.

In the Gospels only Matthew describes Jerusalem as the Holy City.

Again the Devil quotes Scripture. We must understand that Satan has read every bit of Scripture and he can understand it as much as any lost person can, but without the Holy Spirit he cannot understand the truth of the message of God.

Here, the Devil quotes from the Book of Psalms.

Psa 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Psa 91:12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Of course God could get safely off the top of any high peak, but in the flesh the Lord would have perished.

The angels would have certainly rushed to His rescue.

We must remember that Satan was trying to get Jesus to use His godly powers to save Himself.

He did not have to prove Himself to Satan. Satan knew exactly who the Lord Jesus was.

Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

If Jesus was a human Messiah, then certainly God the Father would have not allowed Him to be injured.

The Lord Jesus gives us a great understanding of the truth of God!

No matter our relationship with our Heavenly Father we must never tempt God.

God will do exactly what He says He will do and in most cases He will go far beyond what He says, but we must never test God just to see if He is telling the truth.

What our Heavenly Father says is the truth without question! God is not to be tested! God is to be trusted!

Faith is the greatest key to our relationship with our Heavenly Father!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

The Lord Jesus replies sternly to Satan.

*Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

We must clearly understand, the only way we can obtain the glory of the Lord is by obedience!

God gave us His Word so we could know the truth and decide ourselves who to believe!

This is where Adam failed and this in the one thing we must overcome!

Again Jesus quotes from the Old Testament, the New Testament had not been written.

Deu 6:16 “Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God”, as ye tempted him in Massah.

At Massah, Moses and Aaron had displayed distrust in Jehovah when they tried to glorify themselves with a miracle of God.

Num 20:7 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
Num 20:9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.
Num 20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
Num 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
Num 20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

We should understand this as the one thing that kept Moses from leading the children of Israel into the Promised Land.

We as the Church understand that it is by “obedience” to the Word of God that we enter into God’s true Promised Land, the New Heaven.

We must never tempt our Heavenly Father!
We must always obey the written Word of God!

The Lord Jesus Christ in His flesh could never misuse the true power He had while He was upon this Earth!

Again, Satan was defeated but Satan will never stop until the Lord is through with him, but he can only tempt us, he cannot force us to sin if you are one of God’s children by Jesus Christ.

We sin when we choose to go against the Word of God!

*Mat 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

What is the greatest sin we do as Christians today? We compromise our ministry and our mission in the work of Christ with this evil and wicked world!

We lose our testimony and are all but useless in the work the Lord has given us to do!

It is not important to know if there is such a mountain in this world.

It is important to know that as powerful as Satan maybe, he does not have absolute power on this earth and he never has had that power.

It would have only been important to Satan if he could convince the flesh side of the Messiah that he did have this power.

In these three temptations we have seen the truth of the temptations of the Devil.

1Jn 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.

Our Lord Jesus was tempted in these three things.

Satan maybe the prince of this world but he will be judged and spend eternity in Hell just like every other non-believer!

Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
Joh 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Joh 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

He is also called the prince of the power of the air:

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

We should clearly understand that Satan only has limited power, and that limited power is under the control of Jehovah God!

Many a national leader has fallen under the trap of that same offer Satan made to the Lord Jesus Christ.

We see it every day in the USA, the craving for power.

Eventually the Antichrist will step upon the scene and he will crave for worldly power.

Luke wrote it like this:

Luk 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
Luk 4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

Satan is indeed the ruler of darkness, but darkness is always overruled by Light.

Shine a light into a dark room and you will see darkness flee to its limited places to hide where darkness becomes shadows that move about as the light moves about always hiding from the light.

Jesus gives Satan His greatest rebuke.

*Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

We must understand that though Satan is powerful, he does not have the power of God.

God will never lead us into temptation, but this is Satan’s favorite game!

We are to put on the armor of God and take our stand even if we are facing the Devil!

Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

We must know who has the greatest power!

1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Satan cannot overcome the child of God unless we allow it to happen.

We are to worship only the Lord our God and He only are we to serve! It is just that simple!

The Devil gave up for a moment, but he tempted Jesus all the days he was upon the Earth.

*Mat 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

The Lord Jesus Christ describes to us actual scenes. We do not know what form the Devil used and it is not important.

These were not dreams that the Lord had but a reality, and it will be the same for each of us that love Him.

Satan just does not give up!

If Satan is bold enough to tempt the Lord, knowing who He was then, why should we think he will not come after us.

Now he may not come himself. Remember Satan can only be in one place at a time, but he will send one of his demons.

Satan will do his very best to ruin our Christian testimony, but without his temptations, we would not have a testimony to begin with.

We have the power within us to resist the Devil, the Tempter, Satan, the Deceiver, or whatever you want to call him!

It begins with Scripture.

Many Churches today listen to preachers who twist the truth because they have sold out to Satan.

They preach from perverted text with intent to deceive because they are already sold out to the Devil.

If you know the Scriptures then run them out of the pulpits of America, and you will witness the greatest change this nation has ever had!

The angels did come to minister to the Lord for no doubt he was weak, which is another lesson for us.

Even in His weakness, the Lord easily overcame the full power of Satan with His flesh side!

Jesus Christ is our example in everything we do for the Lord God!

Amen

Pleasing God Requires Obedience

Pleasing God Requires Obedience

Our Text: Leviticus chapters 25-27

As we finish our lessons in the Book of Leviticus we must realize we have only touched on the importance of this book. This book is one of the most quoted books in the New Testament.

Being a “separated” people to the Lord is the theme of this great book and the church is also to be a “separated people”.

2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, [and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,]

We most always read this verse and understand that we are to come out of the ways of this world but we seem to not read the second part of this verse.

We are admonished as the “Body of Christ”, to not only come out of this world we live in but God says to not even touch anything that is unclean.

Unclean means “anything that is immoral in the eyes of God”, anything that is of the devil!

*****The Greek for unclean is “akathartos” which means immoral, impure, demonic or lewd.

We have skipped over much in the Book of Leviticus to get to this chapter 26, where we finish our short study in this book.

Even though there some spiritual lessons here as in all the Bible, we also have the history of the Nation of Israel “before” they went into the land of Canaan.

*****We can see the word “IF” nine times in this chapter.

This chapter gives us some of the details of the “covenant” God had made with Israel. That word “If” means that this was a two party covenant with both sides having to meet certain requirements.

Each side of the agreement had certain responsibilities. This was a conditional covenant.

There are also some unconditional covenants in the Bible that we should study!

*****In this same chapter God says “I Will” 24 times!

God says “He will act and react to Israel’s response to those “ifs”!

In other words, there is a great emphasis on being obedient to the Word of God and there is still a great emphasis on being obedient to the Word of God!

What we will see is that even what we call the laws of nature, are under direct control at  the hand of God.

1.) Rainfall is mentioned.

2.) Bountiful crops are mentioned.

3.) Famine is mentioned.

4.) Drought is mentioned.

5.) Living safe from their enemy is mentioned.

We should take note of all these things because, Our God never changes. And He will certainly keep His side of every covenant!

God loves His Church and wants to shower us all in His “Blessings”.

BUT!

1.) When we try to remain neutral in the ways of this world.

2,) When we remain in sin after we are saved.

3.) When we refuse or reject God’s Will in our lives.

Then, we will see the other side, of Our God of Love!

We cannot hide behind our sinful ways and expect the Blessings of God!

The Nation of Israel is still learning this lesson!

And so is the Body of Christ!

And so am I!

*****Our Text:

Lev 26:1  Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
Lev 26:2  Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
Lev 26:3  [If ]ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
Lev 26:4  [Then I will] give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Lev 26:5  And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
Lev 26:6  And [I will] give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and [I will] rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.

God first describes His Blessings.

These first two verses sum up the first part of the Ten Commandments, without which there can be no relationship with Our God!

These things were essential for the nation of Israel to stay in the land of Canaan. The land was given to them for them to enjoy and have a home and to have a home land.

The saying ” that there is no place like home” is very true for most people.

What were the conditions [ what were the “ifs”]?

1.) They were to make no idols:

What does that word “Idol” mean?

That word “idol” means a nothing, a vain thing.

It is hard to make a friend out “of a nothing”!

When we place any vain thing in between ourselves and Our Lord we are making “a nothing” out of our relationship with our Savior!

Anything that takes the place of God is “a nothing”!

We would call a Totem pole or anything else of wood a standing image.

We would call any monument of stone a carved image.

The cross could be considered a standing image but we are not to worship the cross nor worship before the cross.

There are some who worship the cross as an “idol”.

WE ARE TO WORSHIP, CHRIST OUR LORD WHO HUNG ON THAT CROSS!

2.) The Nation of Israel were commanded to keep the Sabbaths.

They were to set aside one seventh of their time for the Lord weekly but also all special days and feasts on their own Jewish calendar.

This commandment was not given to the church, the Body of Christ. The veil is torn, we can worship everyday and we are commanded to do so.

I still believe God wants us to give Him at least, one seventh of our time in certain things But we are to be 100% dedicated to the Lord!

3.) The Nation of Israel were to “Reverence” the Sanctuary.

Spending time with the Lord and worshipping and reverencing the Lord at a place He has placed His name is also commanded of the Church, the Body of Christ.

To “reverence” is to have a godly fear, and be mixed with respect and affection!

We must not forget when we are saved our bodies become the “sanctuary” of God and we must be careful to use our bodies for His glory.

The Holy Spirit lives within us, we must not “grieve” Him.

Eph 4:30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

*****Why are we to do these things?

God says: “I AM THE LORD”

That title LORD as used in this verse means “JEHOVAH” your “ELOHIM”, your Almighty God!

*****In can be said that idolatry is having thoughts about manmade things. Those thoughts should be shown to the Lord Our God.

There are those that worship vain things in their lives but, the worst of all are those that try to worship their idols in the Name Of God!

This is turning a reality into an illusion or, truth into a deception and this will lead to the destruction of the Church.

*****Again why are we to do these things?

It’s called “blessings”!

We can then say that our blessings depend on our “Ifs”!

If we obey, then God will bless!

The Nation of Israel is still struggling with the “Ifs” in this passage but we know that this will change after the Rapture of the Church and Israel comes back to the Lord God Almighty.

Amo 9:13  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.

Joe 2:23  Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
Joe 2:24  And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.

We can see that these words of prophesy began in the Book of Leviticus and have not been fulfilled as of yet, even though Israel is in blossom, they have not done so completely because they still do not have peace. In fact there is no real peace in this entire world. Every place, and every nation live under the threat of “Terrorism”!

*****Our Text:

Lev 26:14  But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
Lev 26:15  And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:
Lev 26:16  I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
Lev 26:17  And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.

Again the Lord begins with the “if’s”.

God now describes His chastisements. 

Chastisement will mean the things God will use to correct by punishment and this is painful most of the time.

The Bible says God whips us as an act of love and this is true.

Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Heb 12:8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

We also see that there are some in this world that seem to never be punished for their actions BUT this same scripture says that they are not God’s children.

Those that are not God’s children are the children of the devil!

A wise man wrote:

Pro 3:11  My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
Pro 3:12  For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

It is a great privilege to serve Our Lord but this privilege also brings a responsibility for us to act like the children of God.

This chapter in Book of Leviticus tells us about six periods of chastisement of the nation of Israel. They suffered five times while they were in their own land but the sixth judgment caused them to be dispersed from their land.

What are these things mentioned:

1.) Great distress
2.) Great terror
3.) Disease
4.) Drought
5.) Famine
6.) Defeat at the hands of their enemies
7.) Death from war
8.) Fear of animals
9.) Plagues
10.) Destruction
11.) Exile
12.) The children would suffer because of the actions of their forefathers.

All these things have happened to the Nation of Israel.

We have seen that the cycle of prophesy is in reverse now as Israel did become a nation again on May 14, 1948. The land is blossoming again but many other things are still in the future.

Four times in this chapter God says “I will punish you seven times for your sin”

Each period of chastisement has been completed except for the last one.

Seven is God’s number of completeness.

*****Our Text:

Lev 26:23  And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
Lev 26:24  Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
Lev 26:25  And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.

What we have seen is that Israel took some steps with God that we should learn from and avoid:

1.) The first step:

Israel stopped listening to God’s Word.

The Bible is God’s Word of truth. When we do not listen to what God has to say, WHO ARE WE LISTENING TO?

Rom 3:3  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Rom 3:4  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

2.) The second step:

Israel refused to keep the commandments of God.

Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The Bible tells us:

Pro 14:12  There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

3.) The third step:

Israel actually hated and despised the Laws of God.

Heb 10:28  He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

Any nation that has no laws will destroy itself.

4,) The fourth step:

The Nation of Israel completely broke their covenant with God.

This covenant nation no longer had a covenant with God BUT God will always honor His side of every covenant.

God promised there would come trouble in disobedience!

When God is against us, then there is absolutely no one that can help us!

*****Our Text:

Lev 26:40  If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
Lev 26:41  And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
Lev 26:42  Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
Lev 26:43  The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
Lev 26:44  And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.
Lev 26:45  But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.

Let’s look at how God will forgive:

The most important thing we can see in this passage is that the “Land of Israel” will always be the ‘Land of Israel”.

When this nation repents God will honor His covenants He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
This is before the time of David and we will see that God will honor that covenant also.

*****God gives His requirements for them to stay in the land:

1.) They must obey Him!

2.) If they do not obey then they must leave the land.

(God will not have them utterly destroyed)

3.) They must repent to get back into the land.

(The land is always theirs to come back to)

While they were off their land the land enjoyed her sabbaths:

That word “enjoy” as used in this verse, means “to satisfy a debt”:

Lev 26:34  Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
Lev 26:35  As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.

The Bible says:

2Ch 36:20  And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:
2Ch 36:21  To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, [until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths]: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.

The History of Israel in captivity can be proven. From the time of King Saul to their captivity was about 490 years. (490/7=70)

They stayed in captivity until they were released by the Persians who had conquered Babylon.

This was prophesied by God to take place!

Not only here in the Book of Leviticus but listen to what Jeremiah said:

Jer 25:11  And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

Jer 29:10  For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

Daniel realized the truth of God’s Word and Daniel offered up a prayer of repentance to God:

Dan 9:3  And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

God loved Daniel and God heard his prayer:

Ezr 1:1  Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
Ezr 1:2  Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 

Cyrus, King of Persia came under conviction of the Lord.

Not only was this prophesy fulfilled in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, we know that there is still a future prophesy to be fulfilled:

Zep 2:5  Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.
Zep 2:6  And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.
Zep 2:7  And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: [for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity].

Daniel wrote:

Dan 9:25  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem(Ezra1:1-2) unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
Dan 9:26  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
Dan 9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This where we are today:

Daniel reveals that one week (or seven years) remain in order the seventy weeks (490 years) to be fulfilled.

This information allows us to know that the coming tribulation period will be one week(or seven years).

Those seven years will be divided into two parts” of 3 and 1/2  years apiece.

This gap we are in now is what is called the Church Age!

It may be mistaken to think that the Tribulation Period(the seven years) will begin at the Rapture of the Church though it could.

Daniel says the Tribulation Period will begin when the  Nation of Israel confirms a covenant  with the Anti-Christ. (Verse 9:27 confirm  the covenant for one week)

All the way back to the Book of Leviticus we can see that even before Israel first went in to Canaan Land, God has a plan for Israel that has not been fulfilled but only in part.

If we say we believe the Bible then we must believe this part also!

Just as Adam brought judgment upon the whole world with his sin, Israel has brought judgment upon Palestine.

I believe that on May 14,1948 when Israel again became a nation we saw a great sign that we are in the end times, and nearing the end of the church age!

God looks down through the ages to see these things happen but we must realize that no matter if God’s people keep their promises:

GOD WILL ALWAYS KEEP HIS WORD!

Moses could not save Israel!

There is only One Savior!

Joh 1:17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

God may punish His people but He will never reject them nor cast them away!

To not be chastised is to obey the Word Of God!

Let’s Pray!