The devil has a subtle operation. An evil strategy is at work as it was in David’s household. Jonadab activated a plot that drove Amnon to rape and to death. It opened the door to rebellion. Christ met the devil in conflict. Now He represents us in identification with our temptation. His Word is as honey and gold for our battle. The Spirit and the Body are our refuge and protection. Matthew 4:1-4;2 Samuel 13:1-35
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 8/17/2022
P. Schaller –
Welcome tonight to our service. I have one phrase that came to my heart today and it has to do with a question.
Does the devil ruin lives? Does he have a strategy to destroy and ruin lives? That’s a question.
The answer is yes. He does. So, we can’t talk about the devil strictly tonight. We speak about
God and his grace. Louise, good to see you. P. Shibley has guests here from Saudi Arabia.
Turn now to – I’ll draw a picture first. Is that in red? It’s not up there. How do we do this? Okay.
Change that to white. Here’s a man and many times people feel like the life that I want to live is
a life of comfort, of normalcy or ordinary living. I just want a job. I want good relationships with
people. I want to be able to eat every day and have love in my life and just have a good life. This
is how many people think. We understand that.
But when Jesus came into the world, he was showing us something more that man is actually
made for God. Actually, he has it in his heart. Ecceliastes 3:10, we have eternity in our hearts. We are
actually made for God to be worshippers of God. It means we seek another life. If you seek a
life of faith, if you seek a life with the fear of God, then you give God your life. You surrender to
him your dream, whatever that dream is. And people have dreams for their lives.
What happens is when you find Christ, this is Matthew 6:29-33, if we seek first the kingdom of God
and his righteousness, then actually you get both. You have a possibility of getting for sure this
one. Because he said seek me and you will find me. Blessed are those that are hungry and
thirsty after righteousness. They shall be filled. It’s also possible that you get this one also. You
have a comfort that comes from this one. And when you have the comfort that comes from
God, when you live in this one with that comfort, your job goes better. Relationships go better.
You have a gift of wisdom. You have application. You understand some things. You have love in
your heart. You have optimism. You have faith. You have grace.
Because life is not about the material world and the circumstances. It’s about faith in God who
is in control of the circumstances. Who is God Almighty who we have set before our face. How
do we do this? Matthew 4 is the text we will turn to. I want you to see that Jesus is constantly
relating to the Father in his temptation. There was real temptation that happened in the
wilderness when Christ was there. There is a huge difference in life between someone who is
naturally minded and someone who is living by faith and the Spirit is filling him and he is
trusting. He is trusting in God, leaning not on his own understanding. He’s acknowledging God
and God is directing his path in Proverbs 3:5.
This is point #1. I think you followed it. I think you got it. It’s very simple and you have to decide
in your heart whether it’s true or not. Is what I just said, is it biblical? Is it true? Is it real? Isn’t
that a good question. Because without God, I honestly believe that the devil has a great
advantage over people to destroy and ruin their lives. Good people. Honest people.
Sincere people. Moral people. Religious people. He has an advantage because there is something
missing if the man doesn’t have God. Then there’s something missing in his life and he can
contradict the devil. He can contest the devil. He can deny the devil. He can resist the devil. But
without God, how can I resist the devil and how crafty he is and capable.
The word I want you to see tonight – I have a lot to say. I’m going slow but two or three parts to
the message. If you follow it with me, you’ll see a story in the Bible maybe you never read
before. You’re going to see something in the Scripture about this word “subtle.” It’s a word
that’s an adjective for the devil. He is very subtle, crafty, wise, sometimes translated in Exodus 1:10,
the word is wise. Pharaoh was saying we have to deal with the Jews wisely. It’s the same word
for subtle. We have to deal with the Jews in a very crafty way because they could take us over,
so they made them slaves. They killed the first born male child.
We have this word. It’s used in 2 Corinthians 11:3. Paul was concerned that as the devil deceived Eve in
the Garden by being an angel of light, the devil could take the church away from the simplicity
that is in Christ and deceive and mislead the church. So, he had what we could call apostolic
fear. Paul was actually afraid that the devil could mislead and deceive the church by false
apostles. You have false teaching. You have false apostles. There’s another Jesus, another
gospel, and there is another spirit, 2 Corinthians 11:4. This is real meat for us, Wednesday night. Aren’t
you glad you came to church to hear something that you can take home with you?
We’re going to the Scripture, Matthew 4:1. Let me get a couple papers out of the way here. Matthew 4:1,
God’s plan for Christ. Christ to be tempted like us, Hebrews 2:18. Christ was to be tempted like we
are tempted. He was to be encountering the devil one on one. Something to say about the
concept of the devil. There are people that make two errors. We have a spectrum. There is no
devil. They make light of it. It’s a joke. It’s a Halloween costume, etc. And the other error is
everything is the devil. Okay. People say I coughed. It’s the devil. There’s a car accident. It’s the
devil. The devil is under the bed. The devil is in the attic. He’s in relationships.
He’s everywhere. Well, there is something we need to understand about the subject. He is a person, a fallen
angel with incredible intelligence, incredible insight and totally absolutely evil, 100%. Every
word that would come out of his mouth he has some motive that is evil behind it.
Also, how difficult it is to fight an enemy that you cannot see. He can be anywhere in this world.
He can be in your house. He can walk alongside you on the road. He can be with you at night.
He is an enemy of ours. Because of our fallen nature, we are similar to him in many ways, but
we are more capable of feeling shame and guilt and fear and we hide our evil in darkness. We
do it at night. We do it behind closed doors.
We do it without telling anybody. We steal. We lie. We cheat. Commit adultery, fornication, unbelief, pride, and so on. These are all the results of our sin which is parallel to Lucifer falling out of heaven in his rebellion against God and unbelief. For him, he is saturated totally.
We have some spiritual blessing because we are in a world created by God where God is. God is
in this world. God visits us. God anoints. The unbeliever, his prayer can be heard by God.
Cornelius’ prayer was. The unbeliever could walk into the presence of God. The unbeliever can
look up into the cosmos and marvel and worship God who made it in Romans 1:20. So the world is
evil in its ultimate strategy that is designed by the devil and his fallen demons and targeted our
lives to ruin our lives and take us to hell. To destroy, ruin our lives. Our physical life, our
psychological life, our spiritual life, our relationships with people. Let me say it again. To
destroy your physical body with disease or sickness or lack of discipline, health issues,
psychologically, anxiety and fear and worry. Spiritually no fear of God and then relationally
which we will look at tonight if we have time.
I want to take the time because I want to show you something. We are believing in the devil. I
don’t know where in the spectrum we would say, but in the biblical sense. Biblically there was a
person called the devil that met Christ in the wilderness and there was communication
between them. The devil spoke. Christ heard. Christ answered. He overcame the temptation.
Great story. Yes, amazing.
After he overcame the devil in that case for 40 days and he lived his life in obedience and he
overcame the devil. He overcame death. He overcame sin. He overcame the curse. He ascended
up into heaven and sat down. Now, he is our priest and he identifies with us in our temptation.
And when he sees us tempted, he’s there for us. He prays for us, Hebrews 7:25. He speaks his Word
to us which is a big part of what we want to say tonight because the natural man, this guy that
doesn’t really – this guy that’s looking for this life, he does not have any interest in the Word of
God. He cannot handle what could come to him in his life time that would lead him to
destruction. Lead him into trouble. Lead him into more trouble. He does not have the
equipment that is needed. It must come from this one.
When you seek God and he gives us – there’s two things. There’s actually three. Holy Spirit. He
gives us the Word. and I want to slow down here for a second. Jesus was constantly quoting
Bible verses. Jesus was constantly teaching the Bible. When he rose from the dead and he met
the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, he taught them everything in the Bible regarding
himself and their hearts burned within them. They knew this is powerful. This is the Word of
Historically, whenever the church finds the Word of God there is a revival in a deep level in the
Spirit and the heart of the believer. And the believer gets hungry for the Bible. He gets hungry
to hear it. He gets hungry to relate to it. He enjoys it. The Scripture says it’s like honey in his
mouth. That’s subjective. That means I taste honey. It’s also like gold on the outside of me that
has great value. The Bible has those two values. Subjective value where I enjoy it like honey and
then objective value like money in the bank. That Bible is like gold. It has incredible value to it.
Moreover, by it is the servant warned. By keeping it there is great reward. This is happening in
this text with Jesus and the devil.
Vs. 2. What’s the temptation? What is the temptation the Lord is dealing with there? I think it
may go this way. I jotted it down this afternoon. I’m hungry. I could die. I need bread. Does God
care for me? Does God care for me or is God going to let me die? Turn the stones into bread.
God doesn’t care about you, but you can turn the stones into bread. Take it on yourself and do
it. Jesus is saying I trust my Father. I trust God.
That temptation is a big one in my life. How many things we turn to, to solve our problems. How many times we say I believe in God but I need a loaf of bread right now. I got to do this thing. I got to take this on myself. I got to do this.
Now, how did Jesus overcome the temptation? By the Word. When you are built up in the
Word, your faith will grow and you will say I actually believe God is in my life. I actually believe
he is taking care of me. I actually have lived long enough to see actually he’s in many details and
he has taken care of me. And I trust him because it is written. What did Jesus say? Vs. 4. This is
an incredible thing.
We are living in a time when the church has turned away from the Word of God. It’s an
incredible time. The average human being is not reading his Bible. The average human being
has no interest in the Bible. He does not know what it is. He may read a verse. He may read a
chapter every once and a while but he does not feed on the Bible. He is not reading the Bible.
He is not receiving the Word that comes from God. It’s able to build him up. The Bible is a
weapon. The Bible is a sword, Ephesians 6:12. It’s a weapon against the devil. It will overcome the
devil. “Young men, the word of God abides in you. You have overcome the devil, overcome the
wicked one because the word of God abides in you.”
So, this is the second point. That this is very real thing for us. Now, the third and last part is the
story. If you read the story on the temptations, there are three of them there. I wanted to read
to you a short list of the way the devil wants to destroy you. The bad habits that destroy the
body. Your body is the temple of God. We have bad habits that we develop to destroy our
body. We have bad thought patterns that destroy relationships and we have pride that removes
us from the fear of God.
Another one of Jesus’ temptations was to listen to the misapplication of Scripture for personal
advantage. Some people want to hear the Bible taught their way so they can live their life and
just say “the Bible says” but the Bible also says. What the devil did say to Jesus, it is written, and
Jesus said again it is written. But some people love the misapplication of Scripture because then
they can live a carnal lifestyle, live in the flesh. That’s a temptation for all of us.
I would like to say that if you are coming to this church and you have your Bible open, we are
ready to hear what you have to say. We want you to be taught. We want you to be interactive in the relationship of the Holy Spirit fellowship in the Body, to be edified in healthy doctrine. It’s
called in 2 Timothy, 1 Timothy. “Sound” means healthy doctrine. Sound doctrine. So, Christ had
this in his encounter with the devil. 2 Samuel 13. Has anyone read this chapter? Do you know
what this chapter is? 2 Samuel 13. Just raise your hand. Okay. Sometime in your leisure, read it a
And I want you to key in on a guy in verse 3. His name is Jonadab. He was the son; he was a
nephew to David. This guy is bad news. But you don’t see it so clearly unless you really read the
chapter and look for what I want to share with you. He’s described as being very subtle. Vs. 3.
He was very subtle, crafty. He shows up in the story. It’s a bad time right now with David.
Because he has committed a sin with Bathsheba. He is restored. He’s recovered, but trouble is
coming to his house and the devil is in it. He’s in the picture. And this guy has a certain way of
If you go through the chapter, we look at verse 1. It would be better written he lusted after her.
Has that ever happened to you guys? That you lust after a woman. Has it ever happened that
it’s just pure lust? It has nothing to do with love. It’s just lust. It’s looking for sexual gratification.
It’s looking for the interaction and the excitement of a lustful engagement or encounter. This
guy, Amnon had this for his half-sister, Tamar. Vs. 2. But Amnon had a friend.
Here we go. He had a friend. We are talking about the devil destroying people. Ruin, destroy
relationships. Destroy the body. Destroy relationships. Destroy a family. Could that happen?
Wow. It takes the devil who can do that and he is subtle. You and I have no idea what that
really means. He is so clever, so subtle. Inside he’s in your pocket. Your money is gone. He stole
it from you. You’re virginity is gone. He stole it from you. Your friend and in this case this is
David, a man after God’s own heart and the devil is in his family and he's doing a work through
his nephew, Jonadab. Amazing.
Why do I bring it up? Just because I’m meditating on it. I have no story for some decades. I
don’t think I ever preached on it except maybe at a rap or something. Just tonight, I want to
share it with you. That phrase, the devil ruins and destroys lives to take them to hell. If he can’t
take them to hell, he wants to destroy their life on the earth. And that’s not what God wants for
you. In Jn. 10, he wants you to have abundant life. But how? By the shepherd. What does the
shepherd have? He’s got a voice. The sheep hear my voice. They hear my voice. And they follow
me. What do they find? Pasture. Still waters. Protection. A table in the presence of their
Why didn’t David have that? David did have that, but David also got in trouble and he’s now in a
time of suffering and watching his family fall apart. His family is gonna fall apart and there is an
element in there that I want you to be aware of just because I feel like speaking about it I guess.
We hope the Holy Spirit is saying it.
Look at – the crafty guy. What does he do? This is his counsel. Vs. 4. You are a king’s son. Honor
you. Honor you. Butter you up. Mislead you in a few sentences with counsel and he is giving
you respect and he’s saying in vs. 4. You’ve lost weight cause you’re not eating. Are you
depressed? Tell me. #2. Tell me what’s going on with you. Tell me what’s going on really in your
life. Where are you really living? What is really happening to you? Tell me.
Sometimes that’s all the devil has to say to us and we could tell him everything. It’s like let my
sentence come forth from your presence, Psalm 17:2. How about “walk circumspectly not as fools
but as wise.” Being filled with the Spirit. Remember Samson did the same thing with Delilah.
Delilah said you don’t love me. You’re not telling me the truth. Tell me the truth. Remember
that? But we go into the secret place of the Most High. We don’t have to tell the devil nor our
friends. We don’t have to tell the devil nor our friends. Wow. What a word that is. My friends.
They don’t need to know everything about how I am feeling or what I am going through.
This is easy now for the devil because this man has lust. He has no control over his lust. He has a
sin nature. That lust is driving him. He just hooked up with a perfect guy, and he spins the thing.
Watch how it goes.
Vs. 4-5. #3. Bring David into the story. Bring King David into this. Drag the authority into this
thing. Drag the man of God into this thing. Drag her father into the thing. Bring David into your
room and ask him if he could ask your sister to bake you some food. Oh, really? Yeah. It’s like a
witches brew. It’s happening. And you know what? The whole thing is evil. You’re going to have
a woman raped. You’re going to have a man murdered. You’re going to have a family
destroyed. You’re going to have Absalom going to be the king, driving his father out of
Jerusalem. And it comes from a very crafty, capable man who is very smart with how he is doing
this thing. It’s amazing.
Look at vs. 5-7. He did it. He had no idea where this was going. Now it looks like he’s part of the
rape, cause he’s the one that sent the woman to him. And he’s implicated if you want to read it
that way. He’s implicated because it looks like he’s part of what happened there. Vs. 7-10. How
much detail is in there? There’s a lot of detail in there. I think it’s like something that could
happen today to anyone of us. It’s a story of people. We can’t control our passion. We can’t
control our temptations. We don’t know how to deal with our temptations. We’re not good at
it, but Jesus came to say you can do this. I overcame it and you also. Cause I broke the power of
sin. I paid the penalty of sin. I broke the power of it by crucifying your old sin nature. You are
free. Simply abide in me. You have the authority from my Father to overcome temptation and
to live another life.
But if you seek that life that is the natural one, you don’t have what it takes to overcome the
temptation. You don’t have what it takes to be with a company of people and not agree with
their lies or their errors or their misreading the Scripture or their application or their indifference or their pride. I don’t have it. But the third thing that we got from this life, this one
here, #1. Holy Spirit, #2. The Word, #3. The Body of Christ, which is where you are sitting
tonight in a portion of the Body where we talk about these things. Bring them up and talk about
them and think about it. Wow.
David, I feel sorry for you, David. You are dragged into this thing, and Absalom is going to
become your enemy cause that woman was his sister and he’s going to have a root of
bitterness against you, David, for the rest of his life. He’s going to become an enemy and it’s the
work of evil in an operation of evil with the flesh of man, the craftiness of the devil’s
messenger. And by the way, at the end of the story he’s shining as a little hero. Look at vs. 32
and we’ll finish.
The word came that all of David’s sons were murdered. All of them were killed and Jonadab had
the inside scoop on it. No, David. Not everybody. It says only Amnon is dead, vs. 32-33. Now,
David, don’t let this bother you that much. No, not all of them are dead. Only Amnon. He’s like
talking to David this way. vs. 34-35.
Could we make a highlight of that? Jonadab is saying. Your sons come. They are alive as I said.
Jonadab, you’re such a nice guy. I don’t trust you. You’re an evil man. You’re behind this thing.
You are a tool of the devil, and many times in life these things happen to David. They can
happen anywhere in the world. I honestly believe the devil is capable of incredible things. But if
your life is covered by God, if you are delivered from the path of the destroyer by the word of
his mouth, you are hidden in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. If you are Spirit filled then
you have love and satisfaction in your heart. On the outside, yes. These things happen in
families. They happen in churches. They happen nationwide. Nationwide. Greater Grace could
be dragged into something we don’t even know what they are talking about, but just our name
is dragged into something. We don’t even know what they are talking about. But you are
innocent and loving and so on.
Jesus Christ was brought into – he knew all about it. But do you watch it? Do you see how evil
men crucified him? Do you see how the world is evil? Do you understand that we are disciples
of Christ and these things are part of our life. The only thing actually, the sure thing for
everyone of us always in every situation is the comfort that comes from these words. And you
learn how to live.
Do not be like a Jonadab. Do not be a crafty, clever, politically capable manipulator mover. Be
simple, pure, without guile. Be humble before God. Seek the kingdom of God and God will take
care of us and he will do it. Okay. So, I think that’s it. Amen.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace