The Temper (satan) has for the past six-thousand years perfected his strategies, temptations and wiles to deceive
mankind away from God's truth and divine plan for salvation. Scripture instructs us to look for and prepare ourselves
against a 'three-fold' scheme of temptation. The type and kind of temptations that will be brought against believers are
replete throughout scripture from the garden, through the cross and into the book of Revelation. The serpent of old
tempted Eve through the body, soul and spirit ... "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that
it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof ..." (Gen. 3:6) [Italics
The areas of testing were threefold: (1) appetite (flesh), (2) vanity (beauty), and (3) desire for prideful ambition ... "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 of
the world" (1 Jn. 2:16). The Tempter also tempted Christ in a trine manner: first, in the flesh ... stones to bread;
second, a display of personal choice and authority; and thirdly, to worship something other than the Father (see Matt.
4:3-11). All three of Christ's temptations were to tempt Him to relinquish His total trust in, reliance on and obedience to
the Father in exchange for earthly cares, pleasures, recognition and/or possessions ... to forfeit His rightful place as
heir to all of the Father's heavenly kingdom and to compromise His divinely appointed earthly ministry. The temper
will not tempt us less! For he desires to steal, destroy and kill our covenant relationship with the Son, purchase our
soul for a round-of-bread, and have us trade our eternal life with Christ Jesus for fleeting indulgences, status, powers
or objects that all will disappear into rust.
God has not changed His Holy ways, His truthfulness nor His promises (Mal. 3:6/Heb. 13:8). The Temper has not
changed his practices and continues to utilize age-old techniques of deception, accusation, and allure that have existed
since the fall of the first Adam. Temptations of the flesh, in most experiences of daily life, can be identified through
our natural discernment; yet, are we as astute in detecting the temptations of our mind and spirit? The Tempter may,
if allowed, tempt our natural senses and relationships, singularly or in combination. The unbelieving world is rapidly
being pulled further down into the fleshpots of mankind's existence while counterfeit religious movements entice and
beckon with claims of prideful self-indulgent abundance, secretive knowledge and unscriptural teaching of 'recycled
life' without death (reincarnation). As we persevere against the attack and temptation of our flesh, the Tempter will
surely renew his efforts against our mind, spiritual stand (see Eph. 6:13) and our love for and obedience to the Son of
God, our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus noted aspects of the law that served to keep the body in subjection through ritual
(e.g., dietary) which also allowed the Pharisee's to be self-righteous and prideful in their religiosity! Having our flesh
under subjection does not guarantee the soul and spirit are free from assault or ambush by the temper and his minions!
Know your personal area(s) of temptation and spiritual vulnerability, and enlist other believers to pray for your
steadfast stand of faith so you will not become prey. To believe we do not have any areas of spiritual vulnerability to
sin is not only a gross self-artifice, but "we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (read 1 Jn. 1:8). Place all of
your existence, body, soul and spirit under the shed blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, Master, King and Redeemer.
Lastly, do not be so naive to believe you can not be lured into certain 'church-type' practices, rituals and/or belief
systems which are the concoctions of 'man's gospel'. Some of the pop-contemporary strongholds being foisted on
both the suspecting and unsuspecting seekers of Truth may be presented with authoritarian trumpeting and sanctioned
by leadership ... yet are designed to ensnare rather than liberate ... present day uncovering of atrocities among Catholic
priests and financial scams in other parts of the religious community only point up the long-standing deceptions now
being uncovered by the Power of The Holy Spirit's working presence. The one's caught in these toils surely did not
go looking for what they ultimately found ... but, nevertheless they were ensnared and became the prey. Know your
temptations! And pray to not become prey.
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin