Luke 4:1-13 - The test of Satan

Updated: Jan 17

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After his baptism, Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread." Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone.'"


Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, "To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered him, "It is written,


'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'"


Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,


'He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'"


Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.


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This is the Gospel selection that will be read aloud by a priest on the first Sunday in Lent, Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. This will be led by a reading from Deuteronomy 26, where Moses instructed the Israelites to remember the harvesting of the first fruits, writing: “So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, Yahweh, have given me." You shall set it down before Yahweh eloheka and bow down before Yahweh eloheka.” A singing of Psalm 91 will follow, which includes the verse that sings: “Because he is bound to me in love, therefore will I deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my Name.” That set will precede a reading from Paul’s letter to the Jewish-Christians of Rome, where he wrote: “One believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.”


In the third Sunday after the Epiphany set of readings, the verses from Luke 4 that follow those selected for today were read. In my analysis then, I pointed out the neglect of the Church to state the transitional words that connected the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (followed by his rejection in Nazareth) to this period of temptation in the wilderness. Verse fourteen begins with Luke writing, “Kai hypestrepsen ho Iēsous en tē dynamei tou Pneumatos,” which begins with a capitalized “Kai,” denoting great importance to follow. The transition says it is of great importance to realize “[it] returned this Jesus within this power of the Spirit.” The importance of that statement of transition says it was the “Spirit” that “returned” to the man who was named “Jesus.” By seeing that written (and its great importance), then one can look at this reading selected for the first Sunday in Lent to tell of the departure of the “Spirit” from “Jesus,” to be tested.


When the reading today begins by stating, “After his baptism,” this is a creation of the Episcopal Church, where it is setting the scene by reminding the church-goers what was read from Luke 3:21-22, skipping over the genealogy of Jesus, which fills Luke 3:23-38. There is absolutely nothing stated in Luke’s fourth chapter that speaks of baptism. Simply by adding, “After his baptism,” one is led to believe the assumption that Jesus was baptized by John, when the only baptism of importance is that by Yahweh, through marriage with a soul in His Spirit. Only Yahweh can baptize anyone with Spirit; and, Jesus was born baptized with Spirit. Therefore, the Church admits its inability to read Luke 3:21-22 in a way that says the presence of John and Jesus (two souls born baptized by Spirit) led to the Spiritual baptism of those Jews who came to be cleansed, as seekers of Yahweh.


The Greek text of Luke’s first verse in chapter four needs to be carefully observed. It is as follows: “Iēsous de , plērēs Pneumatos Hagiou , hypestrepsen apo tou Iordanou kai ēgeto en tō Pneumati en tē erēmō .” Before translating that written, one needs to see where the punctuation marks are, as this divides this verse into three segments of words. The third segment is then subdivided by the use of “kai,” which denotes importance in that segment that needs to be realized. Each segment needs to be understood, before connecting that to each of the adjoining segments.


The first segment then states, “Jesus indeed now”. The capitalization of “Jesus” is easily overlooked as just a proper name. Every time it is written, one must see the divine elevation that means the meaning behind the name is being stated; and, that meaning says, “Yahweh Will Save.” More than connecting this statement made in the first segment to a time when Jesus joined John is some river (most likely the Jordan), it would be better to link this beginning to the John's reading for the second Sunday after the Epiphany, where Jesus was in Cana for a wedding. At that time, Jesus told his mother, “My hour has not yet come.” Reading in Luke 4:1, “Jesus indeed now” says this is his time having come.


The second segment of words then says (separately), “full of Spirit of Sacred”. This rolls off the lips and over the ears easily enough; but the point is to understand what “full” means. Because the Church has purposefully suggested this is “After his baptism,” the assumption is like Jesus pulled up to the John the Baptist ‘filling station,’ rang the bell and told John, “Fill her up!” [Children born after the invention of ‘quickie marts’ will not understand this analogy.] That is not how “full” should be read.


The Greek word “plērēs” means “complete,” such that “full” means a totality, with that then being a statement of wholeness in Jesus that was “of Spirit.” This means one hundred percent of “Jesus” was “indeed now” absent of physical being, as “Jesus indeed now” was “all Spirit;” and, that total state “of Spirit” meant there was nothing present in, on, with, or about this “Spirit” that was not purely “of Sacredness, Holiness, and Saintliness.”


When one comes to the realization that Jesus has become ‘out of body,’ as wholly a soul that is filled with the “Spirit” of Yahweh, his Father, thereby made completely “Holy,” the next segment of words need to be seen as leading to an important aspect to take note of. Here, one finds the exact same word as comes later (in verse fourteen), where “[it] returned” follows a capitalized “Kai” and tells when this separated “Spirit” of “Jesus returned” to his flesh, when he would begin his official ministry. Here, in this usage in verse one, Luke is saying this “Spirit” made “totally Holy” “has returned away from of this Jordan kai [it] was led within this Spirit inside this desolate”. To fully grasp what Luke stated (as divinely inspired insight), this needs to be examined very closely.


We are talking about an out of body experience that took the soul of Jesus “away from” [from "apo"] his body of flesh. To realize this as being a forty day period of linear time, when it is impossible for any human body of flesh to go that long without eating food, this “testing-tempting-trying by the devil” has nothing to do with the physical strengths of a body of flesh. The story of Job was a test of a soul to stay strong, while the body was being unjustly punished. This test of Jesus must be seen as purely Spiritual; such that his body of flesh could continue to live ordinarily, doing mundane things, while his soul was being tested for readiness. To better see this, one needs to look at the capitalized word “Jordan,” followed by the use of “kai” that denotes importance to follow, which leads to the element translated as “wilderness” ["erēmō"].


The word that is the meaning behind the name “Jordan” says “Descender, Descending.” It comes from the verb “yarad,” which means “to descend.” While it is very easy to assume Jesus came from the Jordan River, where John was doing baptisms by water, that is not the divinely elevated purpose [the capitalization] for this word’s use. This makes the first half of this segment of words be pointing to the soul of Jesus having “returned away from” his flesh, such that his soul “Descended” into the realm of the devil. This means that both heaven and hell are not external places, but internal extensions of one’s soul. So, this “Descent” is relative to how we think that Jesus would “descend” into death for three days [after his execution], before he rose again. The forty day test was more of a figurative death of Jesus’ body as the Christ, so his soul could walk as the Christ in Satan’s realm, to prove his mettle.


The use of “kai” then announces the importance of realizing his soul “[it] was led within,” where “en” is a statement of this being an “internal” travel, “led by this Spirit” that was Yahweh married to his soul. This then says the Spiritual being that was the Christ within Jesus was taken “inside” (another translation of “en”) to where there is “barrenness, desolation, and waste,” the true meaning of "erēmō." This is not a physical “wilderness,” but a visit into the inner realm of a soul that has “deserted” Yahweh and “abandoned” His help. When this is then linked to a lack of food for forty days, because this environment is purely spiritual the meaning is spiritual food – manna from heaven. In other words, Jesus spent forty days without any guidance from or direct communication with Yahweh; so, Jesus’ soul was left to defend itself from all temptations of a spiritual nature.


When verse two begins with the words “hēmeras tesserakonta,” the rules of English syntax say transform that into “forty days.” This becomes a measure of linear time, which is only relative to the material realm, not the spiritual. Since the spiritual real is only filled with eternal souls, there are no time measurements. This means the reality of the Greek written, which must maintain that divine ordering of words, says the English translation should be “days forty.” In that, “days” must be read as only when light is present. There is no ‘night’ in a “day.” So, “days” means the light of truth surrounded the soul-Spirit of Jesus at all time spent in the inner desolation that is the inner realm where souls are tempted. This means the number “forty” must be read symbolically.


The number “forty” is numerologically a “four,” when that if seen as 40 => 4 + 0 = 4. This relates to the basic meaning of a “four,” where “four” is symbolic of a “base” or “foundation,” upon which something is solidly built. Still, the numerological number “forty” relates to the product of “four” times ten, where “ten” reflects an elevated to a higher stage [in a base ten system]. This means “forty” is relative to a divinely elevated state of “foundation." However, the test of a “forty” brings on the question: “Can this higher [divine] elevation be reduced back to a basic foundation [4]?


This means the soul of Jesus had prepared for the inner depths of testing – into the realm of the devil – by spending “days” absorbing the light of truth that is Yahweh’s presence. That presence elevate his basic soul-body to that of a Spiritual soul – a Yahweh elohim. Therefore, all the temptation of the devil that are listed afterwards are attempts by Satan to reduce Jesus to mere mortal soul status.

Rather than taking the soul-Spirit of Jesus to the top peak of a mountain, Satan took that within his realm - within the earth, like in a cave - where Satan was most "high." This picture depicts Daniel in the lion's den; but that can also reflect this test of Jesus' soul.


In verse two is a second complete ‘sentence,’ beginning after a period mark; and, beginning with a capitalized use of “Kai.” Rather than this capitalization being read as standard syntactical rules of capitalization, this use of “Kai” must be read as a most important statement being made, which is a new statement that relates to “days forty being tempted under authority of the devil” [where ”hypo” means: “properly, under, often meaning "under authority" of someone working directly as a subordinate (under someone/something else). HELPS Word-studies]. The very important thing to know now is: “not he ate nothing in the days at that time which is spoken of , kai [those] of having been accomplished them , he was hungry .


This most importantly says that the soul-Spirit of Jesus took nothing offered by Satan as ‘food for thought.’ It says that everything offered by Satan amounted to “nothing” of value, which means everything said was a trick or a lie. Here, the Greek word "diabolos" is translated as "the devil," but the word's true meaning is "slanderous, accusing falsely," with it personified as "the Slanderer." The soul-Spirit of Jesus depended solely on the spiritual food it had been fed during the “days” of preparation – having become ‘fattened’ with truth. It says Jesus retained his “forty” status, as his Spiritually elevated base was sound. Still, after such a steady test of truth, amid all the misdirection and lies used by Satan, Jesus was “earnestly desiring” [from "epeinasen"] a meal of spiritual food from the Father.


When it is seen that the timeframe of “days forty” has already been stated AND then we read that the soul-Spirit of Jesus was “hungry” for spiritual food from the Father, it is then that “the devil” knows of this desire. It is then that the temptations begin coming … as mutations of manna from heaven. This leads Satan to present a series of three temptations that challenge: 1.) the marriage agreement between the soul of Jesus and Yahweh; 2.) the possibility of a divine divorce; and 3.) pointing out the way humanity is always more prone to turn away from Yahweh, rather than towards Him. These proposals were stated as possibilities, where “if” conditions had to be met first.


Satan challenged the marriage commitment that the soul of Jesus had with Yahweh by speaking of “this stone,” when he said, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” That begins with a ‘big If,’ written with a capitalized “Ei.” The divinely elevated conditional proposed then related to the soul-Spirit of Jesus being “hungry” for spiritual food that could only come from Yahweh. The “If” proposed that Jesus take the power away from Yahweh, as the “Son existing of this of God” [“Huios ei tou Theos”], who could then make his own “commandments” [“eipe”] on a new “stone” [“lithō”]. Satan suggested the soul-Spirit of Jesus had that power, as the "Son being of this." Because his soul-Spirit was "of God," Jesus could act as God. That was Satan making fun of the New Covenant, such that his proposal would tempt Jesus’ soul-Spirit to make his own ‘manna from heaven’ and feed himself the spiritual food he desired so greatly.


To that proposal, Jesus told Satan, “One does not live by bread alone.” [NRSV] This response then becomes the spiritual food Jesus’ soul-Spirit desired, as he quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3. There, Moses had written: “And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of Yahweh.” [NRSV, with my adjustment in bold type]


In the actual words written by Luke, he included Jesus’ soul-Spirit adding, “but by every word of god,” with “theos” written in the lower-case AND those words placed in parentheses. The NRSV sees parentheses as an excuse to eliminate what Jesus said, thereby having no need to explain a lower-case “god.” The symbolic use of parentheses makes it deeper than simply being an 'aside statement.' The parentheses reflect an inner – soul related – statement, where the words spoken by Moses in Deuteronomy meant the source of words spoken by a lower-case "god" [a Yahweh elohim] is because Yahweh's Spirit is within one's soul.


In the Hebrew of Deuteronomy 8:3, the literal English (with one exception) translation of the last segment stated says, “shall live ha-adam that above wholly coming forth from the mouth Yahweh lives ha-adam.” In that, “ha-adam” is written twice and should be see as stating, “shall live the elevated soul of Adam [a Yahweh elohim] so all coming forth from the mouth is spoken by Yahweh, which gives eternal life to the soul of a human.” In this regard, the NRSV translates Jesus saying to Satan, “One does not …,” when the Greek written by Luke has him saying, “not on bread alone shall live this man.” There the operative word written is “anthrōpos,” which matches what is written in Deuteronomy [as “man” or “humanity”]. Seeing that, the lower-case spelling of “theos” is then confirmation that a “god” of Yahweh is one of His elohim. Jesus was confirming that he was the “Son of this of God.”


In verse five, the NRSV begins this by showing, “Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant …”. In this, Luke again wrote language within parentheses, which has been partially omitted. That written within parentheses is the second segment of words, which literally translate into English as saying, “this slanderer into mountain high”. In that, the Greek word “diabolos” has been read and translated by the NRSV as “the devil.” Every place where “the devil” is the translation, one can substitute “the slanderer,” as everything he said to Jesus’ soul-Spirit slandered anything taking human form. The use of parentheses (again) says this segment of words is within – soul related – not like going to some physical location that was a "mountain high." The parentheses then also reflect the imagery was within the earth, which would feel like spiritually entering a cave of lair.


In the omission of verse five is the terminology of “mountain high,” which has been depicted in religious art. The use of “eis,” rather than “en,” says to depict Jesus and Satan on top of a “high mountain” is not what was written by Luke. The word “eis” leans strongly to a translation of “into,” where HELPS Word-studies says: “eis (a preposition) – properly, into (unto) – literally, "motion into which" implying penetration ("unto," "union") to a particular purpose or result.” As such, Satan, as a fallen angel, was cast “into” the earth; and, a “mountain” is where Satan has prepared ‘lairs.’ Thus, the word “high,” which follows “into mountain,” says that the soul-Spirit of Jesus was taken into a place where Satan was “exalted” and most “high” [from "hypsēlon"].


In an instant, every place in the world where Satan ruled was underground. The surface was where humanity was little more than an animal to Satan. The whole world was the realm of Satan; and, underground was a symbol of the realm of the dead that he ruled over. The offer made to the soul-Spirit of Jesus was to divorce Yahweh and become married to Satan, where that soul would be united with a demonic Spirit. As a demon of Satan, the soul of Jesus would become a Son of his, who could help him reign over the dead – souls in lost bodies of flesh.


To that proposition [a lower-case “if”], Jesus is shown to have said, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” Here, again, is a quote from Moses, written in Deuteronomy. This comes from Deuteronomy 6:13, where the Hebrew text uses “Yahweh eloheka,” which must be realized as meaning the “gods possessed by Yahweh” or Yahweh elohim. Thus, the answer given says the soul-Spirit of Yahweh [a Yahweh elohim] had been commanded to “worship Yahweh [the Hebrew replacing “the Lord” of Greek], who is one’s Spirit Husband, making one His possession, as an elohim. In that marriage, a wife-servant only “serves Yahweh.”


The twist of Jesus’ soul-Spirit telling this to Satan is that Satan was an elohim of Yahweh [one of His angels], who was told by Yahweh to serve mankind. Satan refused to follow that order, which led to his being cast into the earth, to forever dwell there, never to see Yahweh again. As such, the soul-Spirit of Jesus was telling Satan, through the Law [spiritual food], “If you cannot live up to your commitment to your God, how can anyone ever expect you to live up to your promises?”


Evidence of this comes from a symbol used in the text of Luke, which does not translate into any English. The symbol is called a “left right arrow” [“⇔”], which is placed between the Greek words “Proskynēseis” and “Kyrion” [both capitalized words that must be read as having divinely elevated meanings]. The first word means “You will worship” or “You will do reverence to,” with “Kyrion” meaning “Lord” or “Master.” The “left right arrow” acts as a symbol of truth, where “worship” and “reverence” is equated to who is one’s true “Lord.”


Here, it also needs to be seen that a greater set of 'double parentheses' are written, marking off the whole of the segment of words to the right of the arrow. While a parentheses mark will denote a spiritual meaning, or one that is hidden within, not externalized, the double left and double right angle brackets become a whole statement of soul-Spirit in relationship with Yahweh. Thus, for the divinely elevated meaning of "You will worship" or "You will do obeisance to" (to be true) must equate to the whole statement that says, "Master this God of you." The whole of "Master this God of you" says the 'soul' of Satan will show obeisance or worship through following all commands, as if self-ordered, with Yahweh as his "Lord."


The left right arrow symbol says If one is a lie, then so too is the other. Written in this manner, Luke was pointing out [divinely led to this symbol] Satan only worshiped himself; so, he had no love of Yahweh that made Yahweh his “Lord.” As a liar, the soul-Spirit of Jesus threw that in Satan’s ‘face.’ The quoting of Deuteronomy 6:13 used "Yahweh eloheka," which means a servant of Yahweh (one of His elohim), where Moses pointed out to the Israelites that all such 'angels in the flesh' will "fear" Yahweh and "take an oath" [the Commandments of divine marriage] to always "serve Him." Satan broke the Covenant of the elohim, thereby divorcing Yahweh of his worship.


Because that reference was understood to say that Satan had been cast down out of his own sense of self-importance, Satan added another ‘big If’ scenario to the soul-Spirit of Jesus. That led Satan to project the human Jesus as the height of religion, symbolized by the Temple in Jerusalem (Judaism, yet Christianity by extension). Rather than take a physical Jesus to some spire high over the Temple [churches have spires, not the Temple of Jerusalem], asking him to trust the angels of Yahweh to catch him, by casting himself down, the entire situation is projecting to a future like the world of Christianity has become today. Jesus has become elevated to god-like status, as an equal to a God Christians refuse to name as Yahweh. To take that position would place Jesus' soul on the same level as was Satan, when he was cast down. Thus, Satan proposed that Jesus know the same failures of mankind, which he saw as reason to reject a command by Yahweh, for the elohim He created to serve such animals with so easily tricked brains.


To confirm how such a proposal by Satan could be so thought provoking, Jesus today has been cast down by those who worship him as a replacement to God. He has been raised to the pentacle of Christianity, to the point that everyone knows his name, but delegate Yahweh to simple "Lord" status. The leaders of Christianity now openly promote demonic changes in the Law, saying, “IF Jesus were here, he would condone every sin known to mankind.” That was what Satan offered Jesus, as reason to turn away from Yahweh, like did Satan, because mankind is to stubborn to self-sacrifice and marry Yahweh. They will bow down and worship an icon, as long as they have free reign over the sins they love to commit. Thus, Satan knew the only angels that will swoop down and save that projection of Jesus were his fallen angels. That projection proposed to the soul-Spirit of Jesus was Satanic and evil.


To entice the soul-Spirit of Jesus to feed on Scripture as spiritual food to feed his spiritual hunger, Satan then quoted verses eleven and twelve of Psalm 91 [today’s Psalm], which says, “For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” In that, Satan pretended that David was moved by Yahweh to say all sins will be made impossible by guardians sent to right all wrongs. The "stone" is the Covenant brought down by Moses. Satan used David's words to entice the soul-Spirit of Jesus that he could do as he pleased, as long as angels held him up. Not swayed by those translations, which are misunderstanding the truth of what David sang, the response given to Satan was: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”


That quote comes (again) from Moses, in Deuteronomy 6:16. There it is written (literally translated), “not you shall test , this Yahweh elohekem ; which you tried in Massah .” The name “Massah” [not truly capitalized in Hebrew] means “Test” or “Proving,” which comes from the root word used earlier – “nasah.” What Satan proposed was the same “test” of Yahweh by those who followed Moses; and, the answer to such “tests” is stated in Deuteronomy 6:12, saying: “you will anger Yahweh eloheka against you and destroy you from the face of the earth.” This answer, again, uses the combination of words “Yahweh eloheka,” such that it says one should realize the soul-Spirit of Jesus was not having a conversation with Satan in Greek [and certainly not bad English].


By that answer being given to Satan, Satan knew he was serving Yahweh as the Tempter. He had done that to job, with Yahweh’s consent [before he became cast down into the earth]. When the soul-Spirit of Jesus threw that threat of destruction upon Satan, Satan knew it was time to end the test and release the soul-Spirit of Jesus. That was when the soul-Spirit of Jesus “returned with the power of the Spirit,” ready to begin his ministry, his mettle proved.


When the last verse says, "When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time [NRSV], it is vital to know that Yahweh is not stupid. Yahweh is omniscient [All-Knowing], so Yahweh the Creator made the elohim, knowing a third would refuse to follow His command to serve mankind. In the story of Job, Satan was one of the angels ["sons of elohim"] who freely came before Yahweh and suggested he torment Job and prove how weak human beings are. It was Yahweh who created the serpent and made him the craftiest of all the animals, who tricked Eve [holy woman], who was then used to tempt Adam [holy man]. Thus, Yahweh made Satan to be His "devil's advocate," or His tester of souls, many of which will say, "I love God," but need to be show just how much they still love themselves. Because Satan serves that purpose for Yahweh, he would be allowed to slink away, to come back another day.


This Gospel selection is obviously chosen for the first Sunday in Lent for the purpose of showing how there is no test that will fail, if one has married one’s soul to Yahweh and become His elohim. It shows that the period of having one’s mettle tested by Satan is an expectation, as the standard trial by fire that proves one’s capability. This is not a physical test of endurance, strength, or will, of a personal nature. One must leave one’s physical body to the side, while one’s soul-Spirit is given all the answers required. When one’s soul has been reborn as Jesus, then the experience one needs to pass the test is built-in. The soul-Spirit of Jesus has already been there, done that, so there is nothing for any other souls to worry about.

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