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Bible Gem 789 - Temptation One - "It is written . . . " (Luke 1:4)

May 26, 2019

The Scriptures say (it is written) 'People do not live by bread alone but on every rhema coming from the mouth of God.'" [Deut 8:3] (Luke 4:4)



In a number of translations the segment "It is written" is translated as "the Scriptures say . . . " or as "it has been said in the Writings" or as Eugene Petersen wrote in the Message "as Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy". So which is it? The actual words are "it is written" but this is variously interpreted as "Scripture", "the Writings" or "Deuteronomy". What is going on here? The truth is when Jesus uses the words, what is meant is the Word of God which has been written down and remains written for our instruction in Him. This is then rightly interpreted as Scripture or the Holy Writings. Eugene Petersen (MSG) also rightly translates this as Deuteronomy but only because all of Jesus quotes are from Deuteronomy. Still it is Scripture that is meant. When Jewish people write quotes from the Scripture they often use the terms the Law, the Prophets and the Writings as technical terms for the parts of the Old Testament. The Law refers to the Torah (the first five books of Moses). The Prophets of course refers to the Old Testament Prophets but also to the history books as well. The Writings refer to all the other books. There is only one part of these quoted sections which is truly the part called Writings and that is the quote from Psalms that satan uses in Luke 4:10. For all the other quotes while they are strictly classified as Law being part of the Torah, they are lifted from Deuteronomy so Petersen is correct in using the term Deuteronomy for all of Jesus quotes, but not satan's. 


Many times when Jesus and / or Paul quote the Old Testament they will frequently use a quote from each of these three sections, the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. To quote from all three sections is to provide irrefutable evidence of the strength of what you are saying because it comes from all three of the major parts of the Old Testament. Note also the three fold use of "it is written" in this passage in Luke 4; verses 4, 8 and 10. "It is written" is used by Jesus twice and then once by satan. On the first two occasions satan confronts Him, Jesus says "It is written" referring to Scripture and in fact the Torah. But on the third occasion satan is the one who says "It is written" to which Jesus responds "It is said".  Interesting isn't that twice Jesus quotes Scripture. Then satan tries quoting the Scripture but wrongly interprets and applies it. Note the fact that satan quotes the Word of God too. But he never quotes it accurately or he adds his own spin to it. Satan masquerades as an angel of light when all the time He seeks to deceive us.    


Observe from Jesus' example how to handle satan. When we are tempted by satan, either in our heads or face to face we must fight his deception with the Word of God. Tell him and remind ourselves what the Word actually says. Correct his lies by using the truth of the Word of God. Claim the truth of God that comes to mind in order to refute the lies of the enemy. But we can only do that if we have the Word hidden in our heart and stored in our minds to begin with. "I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You." Psalm 119:11. In order to be able to do that we have to have stored portions of the Word of God in our memory to be able to pull them out appropriately when we need them. Jesus immediately challenged the lie of the devil with the truth of God. If He did that then we certainly need to follow in His footsteps. When the devil whispers lies into our mind we must counter it with the Word of God. When the devil attacks our thoughts in the wee small hours of the morning, which is the time he often attacks us, we must search our minds and our memory for the truth of God which is appropriate to counter the negative thoughts we are thinking   


Two Gemz readers have commented on the fact that I use a small "s" for satan when the convention of English demands a capital "S" for a proper noun. It is just a quirk of mine over recent times that I refuse to spell his name with a capital S. I refuse to give him any honour at all. 


David pointed out that in Gemz 787 I missed out the "not" in a sentence which was an important one. The sentence was "Sorry I let my thoughts lead me astray but hopefully to the point of committing a sin" in the context of discussing Smith Wiggelsworth and Sonny Bill Williams. Clearly that sentence should read "Sorry I let my thoughts lead me astray but hopefully not to the point of committing a sin." I wonder how many of you noticed it anyway. Yes I do that from time to time, I.e. miss out words. It is like my brain is working faster than my fingers. Then when I read back over it my brain reads the sentence as though the word was there when in fact it is not. My apologies if I led you astray. I figured this was an important one to comment on. Especially for you readers of Gems for whom English is your second language. 


I don't want to be placed in the category of the "Adulterer's Bible". The Wicked Bible, sometimes called The Adulterous Bible or The Sinners' Bible, referring to the Bible published in 1631 by Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, the royal printers in London,  which was meant to be a reprint of the King James Bible. The name is derived from the type setting mistake: in Exodus 20:14 where the word not in the sentence "Thou shalt not commit adultery" was omitted, thus changing the sentence into "Thou shalt commit adultery". Now it seems I am following down the same track. Please forgive me. It certainly wasn't deliberate. 



Satan builds his strongholds in the shadows of our strengths. Tom White


Satan only attacks that which is of value and he fears. 


Better to slip with foot than the tongue (or the keyboard – Ian). Benjamin Franklin


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