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Temptation Number 3

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8 )  Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9)  "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."  10)  Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"

 

Matthew 4:8-10

 Next, the devil took Jesus to a high place where he showed Him all the kingdoms of the world.   In a moment of time, he projected the wealth, power, and authority of the empires of Rome, China, Aztec, the Mayans empires and all the other kingdoms of the world.  The panoramic view no doubt, included the awesome power of the armies of Rome and the other empires, glorious mansions and villa's, mountains of gold and other precious metals, jewels, wines, clothing, beautiful women, farm lands, vineyards, cattle, sheep and everything that could possibly stimulate greed or lust for power.

Gesturing his hand majestically over the panorama of the kingdoms of earth, the devil arrogantly stated, “All this belongs to me and I can give it to whomever I wish.”  Then he slyly looked at Jesus, and whispered, “I will give all this, with all the authority and splendor that comes with it, to you.”  Then, he gestured toward the ground at his feet and said, “All you have to do is worship me!

Sounds simple right?  But was it?  Once again, this is a temptation that strikes at multiple levels.

First, many believe that the devil was offering Jesus a demonic short cut.  “Worship me and you won’t have to have to endure the horrors of the cross.  Avoid the pain, and gain the kingdoms of the world at the same time!   All you have to do is worship me!” But is that all that is going on here?

Consider this.  Was it possible that Lucifer was aiming for a higher plane? A higher goal?  He was gambling for the Kingdom of Heaven itself.  He craved worship and majesty.

Isaiah 14

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Lucifer wanted to become God!  He coveted God’s power, authority and majesty with all his heart, and soul.  The bible implies that the devil gained the kingdom of earth by enticing Adam and Eve into sinning against God by eating the forbidden fruit.  He'd gained the kingdom of earth through one sin, why not throw the dice to try and grab it all?  Was he trying to gain the Kingdom of Heaven by enticing Jesus into kneeling down to worship him?

There’s no need to ask what the sin is here.  At this final climatic test, the devil rolled the dice for the biggest prize of all time, the Kingdom of Heaven itself.  For Jesus to kneel in worship to Satan would be abject rejection of God, transferring his allegiance to Satan and acknowledging him as Lord.  This would have been blasphemy on the ultimate scale! Why?  Consider the word worship itself; it implies that one individual is submitting obeisance to the authority of another, in other words, acknowledging the superiority and power of the other as with a servant to his lord.   Was the devil trying to get Jesus to transfer His power to him?  The devil was in deed playing high stakes poker, his audacity staggers the mind. 

You can almost feel the tension on the mountain that day, the static electricity between the two combatants must have been crackling around them like a summer storm. On one hand, the steely eyes of the Son of God, fighting to suppress His deep, utter revulsion.  On the other, the cold, -reptilian, lifeless eyes of the prince of demons.    

Jesus looked Satan in the eye and said with definitive authority, “It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”  The second half of that verse is, "Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.” Deuteronomy 6:13." 

Jesus once again used scripture to answer the prince of darkness.  Throughout the Old Testament, the words fear and worship are used interchangeably.  Fear, not as in terror, but as in respect, awe and admiration.   Therefore, in definitive terms, Jesus told the devil, " I will never kneel to you! I serve the Lord God of all creation, now get out of my face.

Then the devil reeled, as if struck by a blow, stung by the rebuke and then left Him.   In an instant, the angels of heaven came to minister to Jesus, giving him food, drink and companionship.  God had provided, just as Jesus had told the devil.

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.  

Matthew 4:13

Points to ponder:

  • Jesus used scripture as a weapon against Satan. The bible is filled, cover to cover, with sage advice, commandments and examples of God's provision and protection. Learn to use the scripture wisely.
  • Jesus provided the example.  Resist the devil and he will flee. James 4:7

 Here are just a few examples of scriptures to add to your arsenal:

 2 Timothy 2:4, KJV

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man (or woman) that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that (s)he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

2 Cor 10:4, KJV

 “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)”

Joshua 1:9

 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 

Psalm 91:1-13

1Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

3Surely he will save you

from the fowler’s snare

and from the deadly pestilence.

4He will cover you with his feathers,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5You will not fear the terror of night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

6nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,

nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,

but it will not come near you.

8You will only observe with your eyes

and see the punishment of the wicked.

9If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”

and you make the Most High your dwelling,

10no harm will overtake you,

no disaster will come near your tent.

11For he will command his angels concerning you

to guard you in all your ways;

12they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13You will tread on the lion and the cobra;

you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

 

 

Psalm 23 the Lord is my shepherd

 

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

 

 

Isaiah 54:17 - No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue [that] shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This [is] the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness [is] of me, saith the LORD.

Psalms 91:1-16 - He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Read More...)

Jude 1:24-25 - Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (Read More...)

Isaiah 26:3-4 - Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee. (Read More...)

Psalms 23:1-6 - (A Psalm of David.) The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want. (Read More...)

Isaiah 40:28-31 - Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? [there is] no searching of his understanding. (Read More...)
1 Peter 2:9 - But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Psalms 18:1-6 - (To the chief Musician, [A Psalm] of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day [that] the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,) I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. (Read More...)

John 10:10 - The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

John 8:32 - And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Daniel 12:1 - And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Psalms 121:1-8 - (A Song of degrees.) I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (Read More...)

Psalms 61:1-4 - (To the chief Musician upon Neginah, [A Psalm] of David.) Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. (Read More...)

Psalms 46:1-7 - (To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.) God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Read More...)

Psalms 1:1-6 - Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (Read More...)

Revelation 13:1-18 - And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (Read More...)

2 Peter 3:11 - [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,

Titus 1:16 - They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Hebrews 4:16 - Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

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