Who Is the Tempter?

Identifying the Original Source of Sin

By Charles F. Stanley
  • October 25, 2015

Temptation is an enticement to act contrary to God’s will. This is exactly what Satan was attempting when he tried to tempt Jesus and what he continually tries to do with us. Every time we are enticed to disobey God with our thoughts, words, or actions, we must choose whether to walk faithfully with the Lord or go our own way.

The tempter is called by many names in Scripture: the devil, Satan, accuser, slanderer, and father of lies, just to name a few. He is an intelligent being who is completely evil. He is directly involved in perpetrating evil in individuals, and on a larger scale, in the world. Satan is a fallen angel who first appears in the Scriptures in the garden of Eden where he seduced Eve to believe a lie. He is the original source of sin and continues to spread his lies to this day.

One of Satan’s deceptions is convincing people that he doesn’t exist. The caricature of the devil in a red outfit with a long tail, horns, and a pitchfork causes some people to discount him as an imaginary creature. But if we fall for this lie, Satan has us right where he wants us. When we deny his existence, he is free to ruin our lives because we have no defense against him. Furthermore, to doubt Satan’s existence is to disbelieve the Bible, which testifies that he is a powerful source of evil. The Matthew 4:1-11 account of Jesus’ temptation clearly identifies the tempter as the devil.

How is Satan tempting you to turn from God? Stay close to God’s Word and ask God to help you resist him, and the Lord will make a way for you.

This article is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message, “Lessons Learned in the Temptation of Jesus,” which airs this weekend on TV.

Related Topics:  Addiction  |  Temptation  |  Listening to God

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.

3 And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."

4 But He answered and said, It is written, `MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'"

5 Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,

6 and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, `HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU'; and `ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'"

7 Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written, `YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'"

8 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;

9 and he said to Him, All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me."

10 Then Jesus said to him, Go, Satan! For it is written, `YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'"

11 Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.

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