A Deeper Understanding Of The Temptation Of Christ

stock-footage-pan-of-cross-in-desert-landscape-at-sunrise“And the devil, taking him (Jesus) up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” – Luke 4:5-7

Wow, what a statement. There is so much revelation and information to be gleaned from this one statement that I scarcely know where to start. True to his nature (and that of all prideful sinners) Satan boastfully tells on himself, revealing some of his greatest secrets, plans, and tactics in his attempts to temp Christ.

The first temptation mentioned in the passage was one of satisfying the flesh, in that Satan tempted Jesus who had been fasting to turn a stone into bread. The second temptation was one of satisfying the ego and spirit, in that Satan tempted Him with great power and a counterfeit/easy road/quick access version of His calling and the power and authority it would grant Him. Only in Satan’s version, Christ would have had to worship and serve Satan, doing his will rather then God’s. The third temptation was one of the emotions or soul, in that Satan tried to provoke Jesus into sinning as an emotional response to his pride stirring pokes for Him to prove Himself.

Christ, being in human form was, like us, a three part being (body, spirit, and soul) and Satan made sure to test all fronts for weaknesses. Satan will always tempt your flesh first knowing that it is the weakest. You see, he knows that he doesn’t have to tempt you with riches, fame, rule, or even the world if he can tempt you with food, disobedience to fast, hunger for entertainment, lust, or any other desire of the flesh that you allow to trump your obedience to His daily will. The lust of the flesh and failure to crucify it continually will cost you your destiny, your calling, and eventually if not corrected, your right standing with God as it becomes a form of self idolatry.

“…(being) lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” – 2 Timothy 3:4-5

Now let’s take an even closer look at the second temptation as quoted in our opening passage. Note that Satan shows Christ “all the kingdoms of the world” and offers to give Him the power and glory of them all. He then continues to explain that they all belong to him and rule of them is only given to those he chooses and who worship him. So if you ever wonder why it seems that nearly all world leaders, governments, and people of earthly power in this physical world seem to have sold their souls, being callus, evil, and even satanic at heart… It’s because, for the most part, they have.

It is also important to glean from this passage, the fact that Satan was able to offer this in the first place, or else it would not have been “a temptation“. It shows that Satan is the ruler of this physical world in its current state. A point that is echoed elsewhere in scripture.

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” – Ephesians 2:1-2

“And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” – John 14:29-30 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12

“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” – John 17:14-18

Scripture is very clear in stating the reality that Satan is the ruler of this world. This is why Jesus tells us that “we are not of this world, but rather He has chosen us out of the world” (John 15:19). We are, as Christians, to be separate from the world, seeking and submitting to the will of God at all cost.

Understand that when Christ died He, through His blood, afforded us all authority, dominion, and power making our enemies our footstools. This means that Satan no longer has a monopoly on authority in this world and we (as true holy, righteous, and redeemed blood bought Christians) now hold an even greater authority then him. However Satan does not want to give up rule of this world. This is why the world (those under Satan’s rule) are always in such strong opposition to Christians (those under God’s rule), even to the point of silencing and killing Christians at every opportunity. When that opportunity is not afforded him, then Satan does the only thing he can. He seeks to destroy the power and authority of God’s holy people, by tempting them into abandoning their holiness and right standing with God, therefore forfeiting their authority. You see, for Satan, it’s all about his thrown, his will, his rule, and being worshiped as the greatest authority and power. It always has been.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 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: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” – Isaiah 14:12-15

“And the devil, taking him (Jesus) up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” – Luke 4:5-7

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:” – Ephesians 1:17-21


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