Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1.

Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:

After Jesus was baptized by John, and John announced that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, Jesus did not immediately begin preaching, teaching, and healing. My Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1.

That may sound strange, but it was not strange but strategy. The devil needs to be dealt with at some point in every person’s life. I train your hands for battle and your fingers for war. But in Jesus, I have already given you the victory over sin and death, over every curse that alights, so you just need to enforce your victory. He is the author and the finisher of your faith. He is your forerunner behind the veil, making a new and living way for you. All you need to do is keep possession of all your possessions, i.e., all that I have freely given you in Christ. Like I told Adam to guard and cultivate the abundant and delightful garden I had given to him.

Once you have received Jesus as Lord you are in the place of authority, not defeat. He has given you authority to trample on the devil and his demons and everything that would harm you.

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Luke 10:19.

You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down. Psalm 91:13.

You are not trying to get something; you are merely enforcing what you already have. I have given you everything you need for life and godliness for yourself and an abundance for every good work as well.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:2-3.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. 2 Corinthians 9:8.

Just as I led the children of Israel into the wilderness for a time of oneness with Me so I could test them and teach them My ways, I led Jesus into the wilderness as My beloved Son to test Him and to teach Him how to tread upon the devil and undo his works. He could have failed the test as Adam did when the devil dangled the rule over all the kingdoms of the world and their glory before the eyes of Jesus if Jesus would only submit to him, but Jesus did not.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. Genesis 3:6-7.

Adam and Eve fell for the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, which are not from Me. 1 John 2:16. Jesus did not. Why? He knew how to answer the devil’s lies with the truth, that is, with My Word that counters his lie and takes it down. You must learn how to wield the sword of the Spirit, which is My Word released in prayer and declarations of all kind, to live the life of the overcomer, the conqueror, the victor, but above all as one who sets the captives free and releases all those oppressed by the devil.

But let Me back up a bit. I tell you not to be unaware of the devil’s tactics. They are tactics that he uses since the time of Adam and Eve and he has not changed because they work well with the unwary and the ungodly, in other words, those who do not know Me or My Word. And have no idea who they are or what they have.

What are the devil’s tactics? What he does is like a game of chess. He makes a move to capture each area of your life until he has taken all your pieces off the board and your shalom is gone. He has it all in his belly—cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. Revelation 18:12-13. But the good news is you can take up the Sword of the Spirit, which is My Word, and slit his belly wide open and take back all that the devil stole. The wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous. I restore the years that worm ate from you. But you must learn the strategies of his diabolical game of chess.

You must check the devil at every attack and keep doing so until you have checkmate. Let us consider what Jesus did that won the game and then look back to see how Eve lost it.

Chess is a board game for two players, called White and Black, each controlling an army of chess pieces, with the objective to checkmate (threaten with inescapable capture) the opponent’s king. In chess, an attack on a king by either an opposing piece or an opposing pawn is called “check.” When you have checked the devil’s activity there are only three avenues of escape for him and if he can’t get one, it is checkmate, you win and the game is over.

When in check, the devil must do one of the following: move so that he is no longer under attack (flee from you); block the attack by interposing a piece between himself and the attacker (try using another person or stepping up the attack by contrary circumstances), or capture the attacking piece (wear you down and get you into doubt and fear or offense so he can take you captive to do his will or entice you to an easy way out that indulges your flesh). If he cannot and you successfully check him three times, the game is over and you have won. Checkmate.

And that is how Jesus won the round in the wilderness. The devil tried three temptations and Jesus successfully checked all three. Checkmate. Be gone, Satan!

It was the opposite with Eve, she checked the devil on his first onslaught about eating from the tree but she did not check him on the second and lost all the pieces of her life and Adam did as well. He took them captive to do his will. And his will is to steal, kill, and destroy your destiny, the good plan I have for your life.

So let us return to when the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness after His baptism at the Jordan. It was here that the Holy Spirit taught Jesus in His humanity what to do when the devil attacks. Remember even though Jesus was fully God and fully man, during His sojourn on earth as one like you, He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men, being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:7-8. He was tempted in every way you are but never sinned. And his victory is yours. Take advantage of that. He gave you His Name to cast out the demons and their king, Satan.

And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, just as Moses had when he received My Word, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Matthew 4:2-3. Here the devil is trying to make Jesus doubt His identity and prove it to Satan, even though I had just declared such at the baptism, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17. You notice the devil left out “beloved,” and the pleased part, as he will about you too.

Now you will see what you must do. Whatever it is the devil shoots at you, you must answer it specifically. This is how you put him in check.

Jesus countered with, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” Matthew 4:4. Here He did not get trapped by the temptation to try to prove who He was, He was established in that already. But He answered with My Word on the very subject the devil was moving against him in—bread is not just the physical bread but the bread of My Word. You have to feed to fight. The verb of the same letters that form the noun “bread” “lechem” in Hebrew is lacham, which means to fight. Feed on My Word and you will have the stability and vocabulary you need to take the enemy down. But you will see that the main ingredient is that He answered with My Words as written in the Bible.

Next the devil took Jesus up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” Matthew 4:56. The devil will quote My Word out of context to trick you into moving thinking it is from Me. Just know this, I would never tell you to endanger yourself doing things that had no purpose and made no sense to prove something about your relationship with Me.

He is challenging Jesus to show who He is by foolish behavior—this would be what people would call a “dare,” and all these are incited by Satan to destroy people based on foolish pride. The devil will try the same tactic on you and try to give you what people today have termed an “identity crisis.” If you are not established with who you are in Christ you will be taken in by this. You do not have to prove you are My child if you have taken Jesus as Lord, established in righteousness you are far from oppression.

And I would like you to note that the devil quotes Psalm 91 here out of context, for the very next line tells you what to do with him when he shows up, i.e., tread him underfoot. “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.” Psalm 91:11-13. He left out the treading part because you tread on him by answering his lies with My Words.

So what do you do when he urges or encourages you to do something that is foolish or dangerous? What did I show Jesus to do? For He only said the Words that I gave Him and did the works I showed Him. Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not put the LORD your God to the test.’” Matthew 4:7. Again, He used My Word to specifically answer the temptation that Satan presented.

In the devil’s game of chess, there had been the first check and he had tried to stop the check with his second move, but only found that he was checked again. The devil was trapped now but he chose to go for one more attempt to turn the game around so he could take checkmate.

The devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:8-9.

Jesus had a choice. He could accept the offer and win the kingdoms of the world without having to go to the Cross or He could answer this and command Satan out. He chose to answer it and command him out, so 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.’” Matthew 4:10.

Here again, He specifically addressed the attack and quoted My Word that directly contradicted Satan’s temptation. He nipped it in the bud and refused to consider it, though it could have appeared an easy solution to accomplish the overall goal of His mission. Adam and Eve were not so wise. They did not answer the devil’s temptation in the negative but took it in as a positive and agreed with it though it was contrary to My Word. And they did not tell Satan to leave bothering them. Never permit him to stay.

And that is the next step after checkmate, you cast the devil (or one of his demons) out in Jesus’ Name. You have taken him down and not vice versa.

So the first step when the devil moves against you with fear, depression, sickness, storms, or the like is to answer his attack specifically. Speak to the mountain that is in your way and trying to scare you into submission by its formidable size, whether it be disease, pain, lack, a storm or accident, you have to answer it by speaking to it the appropriate word of cancelation. For this you will need to be familiar with My Word from spending time in it (girded with truth so you have an arsenal of answers and listening to the Holy Spirit as He brings them up to you in your spirit) or use an internet search to find Scriptures with the key words you are seeking to find that address the attack.

You will see that Jesus answered things during His time as one like you. He answered the unfruitful fig tree. He answered the fever that was attacking Peter’s mother-in-law. He answered the storms at sea.

If cancer has attacked your body, that is not from Me but the devil, and you must answer it. If you have not spoken to the cancer that is attacking you, it will stay. You have to check it. You have to say, “Oh no you don’t! You are not putting that on Me. By His stripes I have been healed, He Himself bore my diseases and infirmities, He Himself took my pains, so this does not belong in my body and cannot stay. ‘Cancer in the Name of Jesus, leave my body and be cast into the depths of the sea never to return.’ Answer each test specifically, and speak to the thoughts, words, symptoms, lack (speak to the bills and your bank account for Jesus is your Shepherd so you do not want for any good thing, etc.), and anything else the devil sends. But you must answer.

You know this in legal matters as well. If someone files a complaint or petition against you in court you must file an answer with the court or you will lose by default. It does not matter if what the person is accusing you of is not true, you have to answer, or it will be assumed true. By your words you are acquitted and by your words you are condemned. Watch your words, death and life are in the hand of your tongue.

Refusing to tolerate the devil’s lies by answer them with My Words is submitting to My Word and resisting the devil’s word or test.

If you just go straight to casting the demon out but do not answer (that is, cancel) what he said, the devil works by the power of suggestion so that you will pick up what he is telling you or the influence he is sending upon you and if you do not answer the words and cut them off they will just keep swirling around your head trying to find entrance.

You may have noticed that sometimes a thought will come that you will suffer a certain ailment such as cancer or have problems with your ears or eyes or problems meeting your needs financially when there really is no problem with any of that in the present moment, but it is a foreboding of a dreaded outcome. If you do not immediately answer those and cut them off, My servant Paul by My Spirit called that casting down imaginations and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, they will keep swirling round your head seeking entrance to torment you.

After answering the thoughts the devil sends, then you must do the next step or the devil will just keep hanging around trying to get you to take the thought by his persistence, so you must command the spirit behind the disease, infirmity, etc. to go. Jesus showed you, “Be gone Satan.” And then the devil left Him. Matthew 4:11.

But there is one more step, that you must do to keep your heart from being invaded by the devil, to keep up your shield and your helmet on. You must keep your mind above where I have seated you with Christ and keep your eyes on Me and the greatness of My power and the devil’s tests will no longer be mountains but become a plain.

“This is the Word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” ’ Zechariah 4:6-7.

And what is the next step? Jesus told you in the last answer to the temptation, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” Matthew 4:10. Then the devil left and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. Matthew 4:11.

It is worship. Worship shuts the door in your life to the devil. It is thanksgiving and praise. The voice of thanksgiving works wonders. The devil cannot walk in the glory of which he was cast out. Keep up a lifestyle of worship in thanksgiving and praise and you will never fall, and the holy angels will come and minister to you.

To answer and cast out the demon just takes a matter of minutes, though you will need to repeat it if he keeps coming back trying to make the symptoms stay, but if you stay in worship with praise and thanksgiving, especially in song, the answers and the rebukes are easy so that you can stay in My presence making melody in your heart in hymns, psalms, and songs of the spirit, songs in tongues.

You have to enforce My law of liberty and enforce My promises, that are all “yes” to you in Christ Jesus, in your life. In chess when your opponent moves you have to move, you cannot just opt out and not play or you lose the game.

When Satan attacks you must A.C.T.: You must ANSWER his lies with the truth of My Words that apply to his attack, you must CAST the devil out n Jesus’ Name and CAST your cares on Me, you must THANK before you see the answer manifest and it will come into being from the spiritual realm to the physical realm. And if you have unforgiveness in your heart, get rid of it, for bitter roots will keep the door to your life so tightly shut that none of My blessings that I am pouring down on you can get in your door, they are all piled up outside it.

A policeman who sits by and lets a thief rob a store before his eyes is not skilled at his job and will be fired by the police department that has clothed him in authority, entrusting the responsibility of keeping things in control and peace. For what he permits will cause things to get more and more out of control.

And this is true in your own life as well. I have clothed you in Christ and He has given you His authority over the devil and his demons. You must use it. He did all the work and got you the power to use, you need only do three simple things: Answer it (this will take it captive and make it ceases and desist), cast out the spirit behind it so he can cause no more, and then worship to keep your life in perfect peace as all My promises manifest in your spirit, soul, and body.

I love you. Don’t talk with the devil, but counter all he says by answering with My Word, which is the truth. And check all his attempts to take you captive.