Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, (Luke 4:1 NKJV)
Others before Jesus were also filled with the Holy Spirit and led by Him.
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.” (Luke 2:25-32 NKJV)
Ezekiel was also filled with the Holy Spirit and was led by Him. In Ezekiel 1:27-28, Ezekiel describes the Holy Spirit as he saw Him.
27 Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking. (Ezekiel 1:27-28 NKJV)
After Ezekiel fell on his face in humility, the Lord began speaking to Ezekiel. The One tells Ezekiel to stand up and the Holy Spirit stands Ezekiel up, causing Ezekiel to become Spirit filled and gives Ezekiel the gift of prophecy.
And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” 2 Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me. 3 And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. 4 For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ 5 As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them. (Ezekiel 2:1-5 NKJV)
Ezekiel was not Spirit filled all the time, but was filled with the Spirit at times, as in Ezekiel 3:24, Then the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and spoke with me and said to me: “Go, shut yourself inside your house.“ (NKJV)
Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him. (Mark 1:12-13 NKJV)
Mark does not include the temptations of Jesus is his account of the gospel, but Mark does note Jesus was tempted in the wilderness where He was with the wild beasts.
This was not the type of wilderness where John baptized with water, but was instead and uninhabited wilderness where all types of dangerous creatures lived, wild beasts that would create an environment any human would easily be afraid to be in alone, with dangers all around.
We are not told what Jesus saw while in the wilderness in the Spirit. We are only told about three temptations. We can only imagine what the Father told Jesus through the Holy Spirit while He was in the wilderness fasting for forty days and nights, where He ate no food, but, we can imagine He was being fed Words from the Father, preparing Jesus for His Ministry while Jesus was first Spirit filled in the wilderness, just like Ezekiel was fed words from God, preparing Ezekiel for his ministry.
6 “And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. 7 You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. 8 But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” (Ezekiel 2:6-8 NKJV)
Forty days and nights is significant. Moses fasted for forty days and nights in Exodus 34:28, as Moses was with Yahweh, receiving the Ten Commandments.
So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 34:28 NKJV)
This was the second time Moses was with Yahweh receiving the Testimony. The first time Moses was delayed coming back from Yahweh, or so the people thought.
Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” (Exodus 32:1 NKJV)
The delay of Moses is similar to the delay the world is now experiencing waiting on the return of Jesus. It is actually not a delay at all, but is the amount of time God is taking to deliver His full message. As the earth has aged, many in this world have lost faith in Jesus’ return, or have no faith in Jesus at all, relying on what is seen instead of relying of the promise to come, which is having faith. In Moses’ time, during the erroneously perceived delay of Moses, the people of God made a golden calf out of their golden earrings.
2 And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf.
Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!” (Exodus 32:2-4 NKJV)
Moses came down the mountain with the stone tablets, was angered at what he saw and threw the stone tablets on the ground, breaking them to pieces. A while later, Moses said in Exodus 32:30, “You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” (NKJV)
So Moses went again to be with the Lord. Yahweh sent the people on a journey and later, Moses was called up to Mount Sinai by Yahweh, where Moses was again given the Words from the first tablets. This is when Moses fasted for forty days and nights.
Moses was given the Law, which was not an atonement for sin, but was Law that defined sin, giving actions that could only cover sin, like animal sacrifice. This forty day and forty night period of Moses’ fasting and spending time with the Lord was a precursor to the forty day and forty night period of Jesus’ forty days and forty nights in the untamed wilderness.
Some of the oldest texts say Jesus was in the wilderness fasting for forty days and nights and then He was tempted. Some versions of the gospel say Jesus was tempted the entire time. What can be certain through it all is Jesus was never tempted with significance until after His fast and He was hungry.
The Holy Spirit has led me to a realization. When a person comes to Jesus in humility and has true repentance, like the point at which a person becomes a born again Christian, something significant happens.
Jesus did not need baptized by John for remission of sins, but Jesus said, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15 NKJV)
His baptism in water was Jesus coming to the Father in humility, like people who come to Jesus in humility to become born again Christians. The Father told John to baptize with water, told by John in John 1:33, so, Jesus was acting in obedience to the Father. John, realizing this humility and obedience, also acted in obedience and humility and baptized Jesus with water.
At the point of Jesus’ humility and baptism, Jesus becomes Spirit filled. This is significant. All who experience true humility and true repentance, and come to Jesus, knowing we cannot do it on our own, knowing we have messed up attempting to do it on our own and knowing we have sinned and are sorry, also become Spirit filled.
Though Jesus did not become Spirit filled through repentance and remission of sin, like a born again Christian has, we born again Christians become Spirit filled through humility and obedience, like Jesus did,
Here, I am not talking about long term and continuously being Spirit filled, I am talking about a specific period of time, the forty day period after true repentance and becoming a born again Christian, like the forty days Jesus experienced in the wilderness, after His Spirit filling encounter with the Father. Many Christians call this period of time the Honeymoon.
The Honeymoon is a period of time when, though we may be tempted, temptation is easily shrugged off. We are not eating bread from this world any longer, we are being fed by the Spirit. As anyone who has experienced the Honeymoon can attest to its reality, our spiritual eyes are opened and we see life how we are meant to see life, if only we continue in this manner after the forty days.
After the forty days, desires for the world begin to reemerge. We realize we are hungry for worldly things and our battle with the flesh begins. This is the point when a baby Christian must have help and be surrounded by seasoned Christians who can minister to the baby Christian, just as the angels ministered to Jesus after His forty days.
2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “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 by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:2-4 NKJV)
The point of hunger is the point at which Jesus describes in Matthew 13, The Parable Of The Sower.
When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. (Matthew 13:19 NKJV)
Here, Jesus is talking about those without ears to hear. These people never experience true repentance and do not become born again Christians. Their point of hunger is far less than forty days. Their seed, or hearing the gospel, never grows within the person and the person remains an unbeliever.
5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him 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 shall give His angels charge over you,’
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”
7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” (Matthew 4:5-7 NKJV)
20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. (Matthew 13:20-22 NKJV)
The person described here is someone who hears the gospel and believes it but has no faith. The person may feel joy for forgiveness of sin and be overwhelmed by the Honeymoon for a time, but will eventually dash the person’s foot against a stone and will stumble.
The person may have to compromise the gospel for a job or for any other thing those led by the world may impose on the person. Those who compromise are those who are likely to cause dissensions and also are those who are likely for follow heresies.
8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly 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 will fall down and worship me.”
10 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.’ ” (Matthew 4:8-10 NKJV)
Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22 NKJV)
The person Jesus describes here is like a person in the third temptation of Jesus, in Matthew 4, if Jesus would have given into temptation.
Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Matthew 4:12 NKJV)
But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matthew 13:23 NKJV)
The person described here is a Saint, a born again Christian, walking in the Spirit, being led by the Spirit, continuing on from the Honeymoon, just like Jesus did after the devil left Him and the angels ministered to Him. To this person is given a promise, should the person remain a faithful saint all the person’s days, enduring to the end and being saved.
None of us are perfect and we will all stumble and sin at times, but, as long as a person is alive, the person can repent and change the person’s ways.
Which person are you that Jesus described? Did you fall away from the faith or continue on like a saint? Keep trying. Keep battling the flesh. Keep looking toward Jesus, that marvelous One in which there is endless compassion, endless forgiveness, endless love. He died for our sins, having taken on our sins at the cross and defeating satan. He paid the ultimate price so we could spend eternity with Him, have faith!
3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; (Colossians 1:3-6 NKJV)