1. Hello, listening friends.
2. Today, we come to the third and the last of the temptations of Christ;
3. and I want to begin by telling you a true story.
4. In Africa, there is a certain tribe that selects a new king every seven years;
5. but, as soon as a new king is elected, the old king must be killed.
6. During the seven-year reign of a given king, that king is an absolute ruler.
7. The king has ultimate rights and privileges.
8. Above all, that king has absolute power over everything, except one.
9. He cannot change the custom that the old king must be killed after seven years.
10. Now, you would think that there would be no candidates for the job,
11. knowing, of course, that they will surely die after seven years;
12. yet, they always have had an abundance of adults vying for the job.
13. They prefer seven years of absolute power and self-indulgence than a long life;
14. and, while we may cringe at this kind of thinking, the truth is that there are many people who prefer to live their lives like that king.
15. Many people are craving and grabbing for all the mirage that this life can offer,
16. but they give very little thought to the end of their life.
17. They are totally infatuated with power and control and they do not even think about their eternal life.
18. If you have tuned in for the first time, my listening friend,
19. we are at the last of three temptations of Jesus.
20. We saw that, after Jesus’ baptism, where the Father publicly crowned Him as His beloved Son,
21. Jesus went into the wilderness;
22. and, in the wilderness, He fasted for forty days;
23. and right at the end of Jesus’ fasting time, the devil came in to tempt Him;
24. and the devil tempted Jesus in three areas;
25. and these three areas are representative of all temptations in life,
26. pleasure, popularity and power.
27. Every time you and I are tempted, it is in one or more of these areas.
28. Why was Jesus tempted this way?
29. The Bible tells us that Jesus, the Son of God, was tempted in every way, as we are, but without sin.
30. In other words, there is no temptation that you have ever faced, or will ever face, that Jesus had not faced.
31. In the same text, in the Letter to the Hebrews, it gives us the reason why Jesus was tempted in every way.
32. It says that Jesus was tempted so that He could sympathize with our weaknesses.
33. What does that mean?
34. It means that Jesus was tempted so that none of us could ever look up to Heaven and say, “God doesn’t understand my pain,”
35. or, “God doesn’t feel what I feel,”
36. or, “God does not experience what I’m experiencing.”
37. No matter what you are suffering right now,
38. Jesus can look you in the eye and say, “I have experienced far worse.”
39. Are you experiencing the pain of rejection?
40. He experienced it more.
41. Are you experiencing the pain of injustice and unfairness?
42. He experienced it more.
43. Are you experiencing physical pain in your body?
44. He experienced it more.
45. Are you experiencing false accusations and being wrongly maligned?
46. He experienced it more.
47. Are you experiencing temptations for pleasure, popularity or power?
48. Jesus was tempted like we are, but He had victory over these temptations every time.
50. So that we, too, can be victorious over all of these temptations;
51. but some of you, my listening friends, may be asking, “Why did Jesus go along with Satan?
52. Why didn’t He just say to Satan, ‘Go away?’”
53. First, He wanted to demonstrate to us His power over Satan.
54. Secondly, He wanted to show us that, in His power, we too can defeat Satan.
55. Now, listen to that third temptation in Matthew, Chapter 4, verses 8 to 11.
56. Matthew 4: 8-11.
57. In the first temptation, Satan tried to tempt Jesus to disobey and distrust His Father;
58. and, when the devil failed in doing that,
59. Satan tried to get Jesus to test His Father;
60. and, when the devil failed to do that,
61. he tries this, his final and most desperate effort to corrupt Jesus;
62. but, in doing so, Satan finally revealed his secret purpose.
63. Satan finally reveals his true intent, and that is to induce Jesus to worship him.
64. The devil himself offered to do something for Jesus in exchange of what Jesus could do for him.
65. How did Satan do this?
66. Supernaturally, he took Jesus to the place from where they can see the whole planet Earth,
67. and he showed Him the splendor of Egypt with all its vast treasures;
68. then, he showed Him the mighty power of Rome with all its vast empire.
69. No doubt, he showed Him the great Athens
70. and the magnificent Corinth
71. and, of course, the royal city of David;
72. and, there, Satan said to Jesus, “It is all Yours right now.”
73. My listening friend, there’s an important word here. You do not want to miss it.
74. It is the word, “now.”
75. Satan knew that all of it belongs to Jesus anyway, but not before the cross.
76. Satan knew that Jesus is crowned as the Lord of the universe;
77. but He does not get crowned until after the crucifixion.
78. Satan knew that Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords,
79. but not before Gethsemane;
80. so, Satan comes in and he says to Jesus, “Jesus, wouldn’t You like to get it all now?
81. Why wait for what is rightfully Yours?
82. Why follow Your Father’s plan when You can circumvent it?
83. Jesus, You have already paid the price by leaving Heaven and coming to Earth. You have done enough.
84. Jesus, why do You submit as a servant when You could reign as King right now?
85. Jesus, I am not offering You anything that your Father has not already promised You;
86. and didn’t Psalm 2:8 prophesy, saying, ‘Ask of Me and I will make the nations Your inheritance and the ends of the Earth Your possession?’”
87. What the Father offered Jesus for His righteous obedience, Satan now is offering it to Him for His unrighteous obedience.
88. My listening friend, do you know that the devil does that to you and to me every single day?
89. Satan will offer you only pure counterfeit.
90. and Satan’s price is always cheaper.
91. Some of you probably are saying, “How can Satan own the whole Earth?
92. and how can he offer it to Jesus?”
93. I want to explain this to you, my listening friend.
94. When God established the Earth, He gave the property deeds to Adam;
95. but Adam forfeited his right to exercise dominion
96. and he surrendered his birthright to Satan when he obeyed Satan and did not obey God;
97. but Satan knew that his days would be few after Jesus had gone to the cross.
98. The cross was God’s way of redeeming and recapturing what Adam lost to Satan.
99. Satan knew that, after the cross and the resurrection, he would be exposed as a usurper;
100. so what did Satan do?
1. Satan wanted to keep the ownership of the Earth,
2. and he thought he could keep it by offering the Earth to Jesus before the cross;
3. and so, here, in the third temptation of Christ,
4. Satan’s cunning, conniving and miserable plot was exposed.
5. It was exposed by the Lord Jesus Christ when He said to him, “Away, Satan,” or, “Be gone, Satan.”
6. Jesus told him, “It is written: You shall worship the Lord your God alone.”
7. My listening friends, let me tell you something of uttermost importance as I conclude.
8. There is no single human being on the face of the Earth who does not have a god.
9. Every one of us has a god.
10. Every one of us has a Number One in their life.
11. Paul told the Philippians in 3:19
12. that, for some people, their god is their appetite;
13. and Jesus said, in Matthew 6:24,
14. that, for some people, their god is money;
15. and, for some people, their god is themselves.
16. Whatever and whomever your Number One is, that’s your god;
17. and we all have a choice
18. either to worship the one true God, or, a cheap substitute.
19. Either you place the one true God as Number One in your life,
20. or, you give that position to someone or something else.
21. Either you choose to love God with every fiber of your being,
22. or, you choose to love someone or something else.
23. Some of you may say, “How can I stand firm in the face of temptation?”
24. By first thing in the morning, you must place on yourself God’s protective armor suit.
25. Listen to Ephesians, Chapter 6, verse 11:
26. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
27. Begin every morning by placing each piece on your body, piece by piece.
28. Place the Truth around your loins,
29. the breastplate of righteousness over your chest,
30. and the boots of the Gospel of peace over your feet,
31. and the sword of faith in your hand,
32. and the helmet of salvation over your head,
33. and the sword of the Spirit in your other hand.
34. “Then,” said the Apostle Paul, “after you have done that, pray all times in the Spirit with all prayers and supplication.”
35. My listening friend, until next time, I pray for God’s victory to be yours.