Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him (Matthew 4:10-11).
In the temptation of Christ, Satan tried to delude Jesus through his deceit and lies by twisting and perverting the Scripture. It was the same tactic the old serpent, the devil, had used when Adam fell on his prey. But this time Jesus overcame the devil. Jesus didn’t just remain passive but took a stand and confronted the devil and rebuked him by citing the written Word of God. Jesus boldly declared on three different occasions the authority of the Scripture and quoted; “It is written …” There the devil acknowledged the authority of the written Word of God and left Jesus alone.
The devil recognizes the power and the authority of the spoken Word of God that is according to the Scripture. Believers have more to learn on the authority of the written Word of God. You see when the Word of God is declared in faith the Word becomes the final authority. The Word shall accomplish its purpose. God created the heavens and the earth with the power of His Word. He declared the Word by faith and the Word accomplish its purpose.
God is a faith God. When He speaks, He speaks with authority and expects His Word to come to pass. When He speaks the Word, it happens. As a matter of fact, Jesus told His disciples to speak to their mountains in life by faith and they will obey. Also, Jesus only used the Father’s Word during His ministry on earth. He never speaks of His own but the Father’s. The same is true with the believers. Believers must speak according to the Word of God in faith to overcome any work of the enemy. The written Word of God can only work in the lips of faith. No matter how you speak the Word if there’s doubt and unbelief in your heart, it will not do you any good.
The Scripture (the Bible) has already completed for our use. There’s nothing else to add. The Bible is the only authority for everything we say and do regarding the ways God. The Scripture itself warned us not to exaggerate or censor the written Word of God. In the Book of Revelation, the apostle John warns everyone who hears the words of the prophecy, that no one shall add or take away from the written word of God (Revelation 22:18-19).
John also declared in his book that the Spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. This means that all prophetic utterances must exalt Jesus and testifies about Him and nothing else. Any prophetic utterance that does not glorify Jesus and the works of Christ is false and erroneous. The message of the Father for salvation is the Gospel of Christ.
The Bible declares that on the last days, many false prophets will come in His name and will perform signs and wonders and miracles. You see, the purpose of the devil is to divert the believers from the authority of the written word of God. He will entice believers to believe because of the presence physical manifestation they observed and of some sort of spiritual experience during their services.
There is the danger of seeking signs and wonders. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees because they thought too much of these things. They read the signs in the sky but could not read what is morally and ethically wrong in their lives.
Again, how do we protect ourselves and other believers from falling into this spiritual trap of deceit and lie? We need to get back to the basics. It’s very alarming that majority of those who claim to be believers of Christ do not spend good quality time with the Bible. Solely reading the Scripture is not enough. It takes great amount of time in meditation and pondering of the Word of God before a person can able to obey and follow the Word of God. A “forty-five minutes” listening to a sermon on Sundays is not enough to do the job.
The only way to gain understanding of the ways of God is by immersing our spirit into the Scripture. Also, merely reading or listening to the Word is not enough. You have to put yourself in obedience to the Word and let the Word become a part of your daily life. Obedience to the Word becomes easy when you force yourself to follow the Word.
“Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:104 NKJ).
The word ‘precept’ means a command or principle intended especially as a general rule of action. God’s precept is His command and His principle intended as a rule of action. God’s precept is intended for action. And this is where many have failed to understand. They enjoy reading and studying the Word, but fail to obey or put the Word into action.
The psalmist obviously has an intimate bond with the Word of God. The psalmist enwrapped himself with God’s precepts and the understanding of the truthfulness and the faithfulness of God’s word. In his conclusion, the psalmist declares that he could not stand any impurity, lie, deceit or every false way. You see, when you are so immersed with the Word of God and live in obedience to His Word, you will able to discern and distance yourself from anything that is false, deceitful, malice or hypocrisy.
The apostle Paul warns Galatians that anyone who teaches anything that has no Scriptural foundation is erroneous. No matter how spiritual a message or a claim may be, if it is not according to the Scripture then it is misleading and false. Everything a believer does in life must be according to the written Word of God. The written Word of God or the Scripture was written for our learning and admonition. The events in the Scripture serve as revelations of the will of God to His people.
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4 NKJ).
“Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11 NKJ).