"It is Written Again"
"Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God"-Matthew 4:7
Our message today centers around one of the greatest battle scenes in history. This battle is not fought with bombs and missiles. It is fought with a weapon more powerful than all of these, the most powerful weapon found upon the face of the earth: "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God". The battle is between the Son of God and our arch-enemy, Satan. It is recorded for a purpose. As a general learns his enemy by studying their techniques in battle, so may every believer gain insight unto Satan's methods by observing his attack upon the Son of God.
The most dangerous mistake that a general may make is to misjudge his enemy's arsenal. And so it is with this battle for truth. Though it may come as a surprise to some, we must realize: Satan knows scripture and he can quote it with precision. In this particular battle, Satan quotes Psalms 91:11,12 with skill and accuracy in his vain attempt to defile the Son of God. But our impeccable Lord was ready as He drew the sword and replied, "It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
"It is written again" is a powerful statement. It would not allow the devil to use a scripture for a purpose for which it was not intended. Nor will it allow us. We are to compare every doctrine; every principle; every truth that is set before us with all other scripture regardless of who is saying it or quoting it. Is there a "thus saith the Lord" attached to that principle, and if so, does it agree with the rest of the Bible? Each truth must be like the musician's instrument: it must harmonize with the whole orchestra or the score will be misrepresented. We must consider, "It is also written."
Peter put it like this: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation"- 2 Peter 1:20. The prophets were not allowed to privately interpret what God had said to them. They were not allowed to write according to what they wanted God to say. They wrote according to the movings and utterances of the Holy Ghost. They represented God's mind and not their own. Therefore, in 1999, we are not allowed to privately interpret the Bible for ourselves. It still means what it did when it was penned. Some of the greatest mistake in the history of religion have occurred from men either bending a scripture to make it suit their own personal ideas or by taking one scripture off to itself and making a religion out of it without comparing it to the whole. Since man is fallible, either avenue will prove a disaster for we can be sure that Satan will be around to help us out with his thoughts. We must always consider, "it is also written."
In this battle, none are exempt. It is fought every day in the trenches of life. It is fought in churches, in homes, in schools, in front of the television, in books, in articles, on billboards, in politics, governments and most importantly, in the heart of every believer. It is a battle between truth and error and the great weapon we have at our disposal is the word of God, the sword of the spirit. For our sword to be effective against our enemy we must keep it sharp and carry it daily into battle. If we have learned from this battle, every principle that we embrace must agree with Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21. Lord, bless us with the spirit of discernment.
Come to worship with us at HARMONY PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday morning. Phone 501-337-1115.
by His Grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor.