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Luke 1:1-38
Luke 1:39-80 Luke 2:1-38 Luke 2:39 - 3:17 Luke 3:19-4:23 Luke 4:14-5:11
Luke 5:12-26 Luke 5:27 6:11 Luke 6:12-49 Luke 7:1-23 Luke 7:24-50 Luke 8:1-18
Luke 8:19-40
Luke 8:40-56 Luke 9:1-27 Luke 9:26-50 Luke 9:51 to 10:24 Luke 10:25-42
Luke 11:1-13 Luke 11:14-44 Luke 12:1-21 Luke 12:22-48 Luke 12:49 - 13:17 Luke 13:18-35
Luke 14:7-35 Luke 15:1-10 Luke 15:11-32 Luke 15:24-32 Luke 16:13-31 Luke 17:1-26
Luke 17:26-37 Luke 18:9-27 Luke 18:31-43 Luke 19:1-27 Luke 19:28-48 Luke 20:1-26
Luke 20: 27-47 Luke 21: 5-36 Luke 22: 1-20 Luke 22:21-34 Luke 22: 35-53 Luke 22: 54-71
Luke 23: 13-43 Luke 23: 43-56 Luke 24: 1-35 Luke 24: 36-53    
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Luke 3:19-38

 

“And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.  But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.  Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.  And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge, which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er, which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Simeon, which was the son Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim, which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David, which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Boaz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson, which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor, which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala, which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech, which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.”

 

“‘Father, we settle our hearts as we continue, we praise you for this opportunity to gather publicly, we praise you that we can come together, Lord in peace.  We pray Father you receive our thanksgiving, that we can place our children in Sunday-school, that our high school students can be in Senior High Ministry, and the Junior High Ministry, and that we can gather here with heat or air-conditioning, with lights and, Lord, with relative comfort to worship you and study your Word.  And Lord we’re so aware of the terrible conditions around the world in so many places.  Father we pray that you would take every opportunity, as we enjoy this great privilege, to invest in our hearts and be conforming us into the image your Son.  Lord, we pray for this nation, Father, this community, and Lord we see the great need around us.  How many, Father, don’t know your love.  They don’t know the reality, Father, the coming of Christ, his death on the cross, his resurrection, and his soon return.  And Lord, we find within ourselves so often a traitor, we find those sins that so easily beset us, Father, and we find that we are so desperately in need of your empowering, your constant care over our own souls, that you would daily be our Shepherd, Lord, and renew us and lead us beside still waters, renew our souls.  And Father we pray as we have this time, drawn aside from the business of life, Father, do speak to our hearts.  We pray for, Lord, anyone here this evening who has not yet come to know you in a personal way, Lord, that Lord, you would be touching their heart.  That there would be something real here for them this evening, and true, Father, and not offensive, but something that they might thirst after.  Lord, we know we are praying according to your will as we continue, and we pray in Jesus name, amen.’

 

End of John the Baptist’s Ministry---The Hanky-Panky of Herod Antipas

 

Chapter 3 of Luke, we have come to the completion of an exhortation by John the Baptist, last week we looked at unquenchable fire, and the baptism with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.  Verse 18 says, “And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.  But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, added this above all, that he shut up John in prison” (verses 18-19).  So this kind of brings to a conclusion the ministry of John the Baptist.  We have more details in the other Gospels.  The Herod mentioned here is Herod Antipas.  Herod Antipas on a trip to Rome visited his half-brother Herod Philip.  Herod Philip had married his half-brother Aristubolis’s daughter, Herodias.  Now the one who started all of this trouble was Herod the Great.  He had five or six wives, and by them had all these sons.  The one son, Aristubolis, his grand-daughter (of Herod the Great) was Herodias.  He had another son by another wife, which was Herod Philip.  Not Philip the tetrarch, but Herod Philip, a citizen who lived in Rome, wealthy.  And then by another wife, he had Herod Antipas that we read about here.  While Herod Antipas was in Rome, as he’s in Rome at his half-brother Herod Philip’s house, he starts to get involved with Herodias, his half-brother’s wife and half niece, and steals her away from his half-brother, and comes back to his jurisdiction in the area of Israel.  And he decides to leave his wife, who is the daughter of the Nabatean king, an Arab [no, actually a Idumaean, or Edomite] king, starts a war.  And she [Herodias] leaves her husband, Herod Philip, and now they are together, obviously, as we just read.  Well you can see by the way this family goes, these are not the kind of people you mess with, because they don’t have any scruples at all.  John the Baptist could have compromised and kept his mouth shut, and lived.  But it said “the Word of God came to him.”  And the Word of God was worth more to him than his own life.  It was more precious to him than breath.  He would rather be persecuted and in fellowship with God, than free, and in compromise.  John was one of the great men of the Bible, the greatest prophet that ever lived.  Imagine that, having enough guts to come right on CNN and point at the leader of the country and say ‘This is what you’re doing.’  And he just reproves Herod Antipas in front of everybody.  ‘You’re in adultery and incest.’  Herod Antipas urged on by his wife, Herodias, takes John the Baptist and puts him in the prison Marcarus, on the other side of the Jordan River towards the north end of the Dead Sea in this prison.  And he then is kept down in a dungeon.  He hears, when he is placed in the dungeon, that Jesus removes and goes into the area of Galilee.  You know, John the Baptist didn’t care, because he said ‘Yeah, this is the One, winnowing fork in his hand, he’s coming with power and with fire to cleanse his threshing floor’, and so he doesn’t care, the Messiah’s here, I’ve got nothing to lose, he’s firing both barrels, he get’s thrown in prison---and so he doesn’t care, ‘The Messiah’s here, I’ve got nothing to lose.’  He’s firing both barrels, he gets thrown in prison, and he [Jesus] just leaves.  So he was wondering about that.  That is when he would send his disciples to say ‘Are you the One, or are we supposed to be looking for someone else?’  But it says Herod Antipas would, and we still have to move down into a scene where John was still baptizing, but he [Herod] would add to all of his other sins, that he would take John the Baptist and put him in prison. 

 

Jesus’ Baptism

 

“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased” (verses 21-22).  Now Luke is the only one who tells us “and praying…” Now I don’t know what that looked like when it says “the heaven was opened,” or how far away, or was it torn open right above him where he stood, or was it open a mile up?  We don’t have those details.  “and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.”  Now the interesting thing here of course is we have a picture of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.  The Father speaking from heaven, the Son standing in the river, and the Spirit descending like a dove.  Very interesting picture of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit all present at the same time.  Do we understand that?  No.  But you are, in case you didn’t know, Trinitarians.  If anybody asks, say ‘Yeah.’  [Comment:  Or you can say ‘No.’  In the early teachings of John, Peter and Paul in the Epistles, as well as the four Gospels, the doctrine of the ‘Trinity’ is nowhere evident.  But it was teased out of the New Testament writings over a period of 300 years, mainly by those in the proto-Catholic church.  The Sabbath-keeping Churches of God believe the Holy Spirit is the ‘power of God.’  Catholic dogma teaches that the Holy Spirit is actually “the third person in the God-head.”  Personally, and this is just me, I believe the Holy Spirit is an integral part of God the Father and God the Son, but not in the form of being “a person.”  There really isn’t enough in the Bible to say one way or the other.  We will find out at Jesus’ return.  But for one side [i.e. Trinitarians] to call the other side “heretics” over differences in beliefs is not correct based upon a doctrine which sits on such shaky grounds of interpretation.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/TheHolySpirit.htm.]  They say, ‘What does that say?’  Say ‘I’m not sure, that’s what I am.’  [laughter]  You know, because the question is ‘Well how can God be God the Father and God the Son and God the Spirit?  Well if we could figure out everything about him we wouldn’t need him.  He wouldn’t be the kind of God that we need, if we understood why he did everything, how he did everything, and everything about him.  He’s God.  His ways are above our ways.  The Bible says they’re past finding out as the heavens are above the earth.  The remarkable things are the things that he’s decided to reveal to us.  Here, being baptized, the Spirit descending in the form as a dove.’ 

 

After Jesus’ Baptism John’s Message About Jesus Changes

 

Now, from here Jesus will be driven into the wilderness into his temptation.  John the Baptist, something clicks in his head, he will go sit somewhere, maybe read Isaiah 53, I don’t know, look back at the Scriptures again, because when Jesus returns from his temptation, John the Baptist tells a different story.  Up until this point in time he’s being saying ‘This is the One, that latchet of whose sandals I’m not worthy to unloose.  This is the One whose coming, who baptizes with the Holy Ghost and with fire.  Even now his winnowing fork is in his hand, the ax is laid to the root, he’s going to thoroughly cleanse his threshingfloor and burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.’  Well when Jesus comes back from his time in the wilderness, John the Baptist will stop and point the finger and say, “Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”  So there’s something in this experience, there’s something in this picture here, again, we’re told in John chapter 1, John the Baptist said “I would have not known him, except the one who sent me to baptize said ‘the One whom you see the Spirit descending and abiding on, that’s the One.’  In other words, John the Baptist said, ‘If you looked around this room at the thousands of people here and looked at everybody’s face, you couldn’t have picked Jesus out.’  If you flicked the lights out real fast, he wouldn’t have been glowing [at least not to us physical folks.  To the demon world he was invisibly glowing with the Holy Spirit in him].  He didn’t kind of float down the aisle to his pew, there was no distinguishable mark to him.  He was one of the crowd, because he came to be Immanuel, God with us, and he came to approachable, by every one of us.  And he spoke to the people about sheep, and about planting seed, and he took the children on his lap.  He came to show us who God was, to display him, because no man at any time had seen God [the Father].  And he came to be with us.  And when John the Baptist saw the Spirit coming in a sacrificial animal, the dove, and abiding on him, no doubt he went away and he searched the Scripture again.  And then it was no longer just the coming of the Messiah in power, then there was something else working in his heart.  He said “The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” 

 

God the Father is already pleased with Jesus---Why?

 

The interesting thing for you and I, as we look at this picture is, here we have God the Father saying “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am already well pleased.”  That is the tenses that’s given to us in.  Now Jesus had not done a miracle, hadn’t preached a sermon, had no public ministry.  In fact, he spent 30 years at home [or off with uncle Joseph of Arimathea, cf. Steven Collins, Parthia, The Forgotten Ancient Superpower And Its Role In Biblical History, pp. 154-189], the majority of those in a carpenter shop.  Somewhere along the line Joseph had died, and Jesus had grown up under a single mom, not bitter, walked with God, he hung every doorjamb straight, he never made out a phony bill when he fixed somebody’s window, he never jipped somebody on material.  God was saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am already well pleased---what I could not find in the first Adam, because he sinned and turned away, I have found for 30 years in the second Adam, the Second Man, every day in his labor it was sacred, every day where he was and what he did, his heart was on Me and upon my Word, and we communed with one another, ‘This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.’  Very important for us, because by and large, most of you in this room will not have a public ministry.  You will have a ministry of one sort or another.  By and large you will not have the kind of public ministry Christ did with thousands following you, preaching, healing.  But you’ll have the kind of ministry he had for the majority of his life, fixing doorjambs, putting in windowsills, being the best carpenter in Nazareth, doing the best work, the best stain he used on every window jamb, the best polyurethane he could find in his day.  And we can find our lives where the majority of his life was spent, in fellowship with God.  We can find our lives, so that no one may know who we are in a public sense, we may never get our praise and reward and our glory until we come to heaven, and God rewards us openly, as he says.  [This would be upon the Sea of Glass, right after the 1st Resurrection to Immortality.]  But we can know this, that when it happens, he can say “Behold, my beloved son, my beloved daughter, in whom I am already well pleased.”  What a great lesson I think for us, as I look at this picture.  The hidden years that people talk about, we’re going to look at that. 

 

Jesus’ Lineage through Mary

 

It says “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph,”  Notice, “(as was supposed)”, he wasn’t, but was supposed the son of Joseph.  He was the Son of God, not the son of Joseph, he was supposed to have been the son of Joseph “which was the son of Heli,”  Now when you read Matthew it says Joseph was the son of Jacob.  This should be “that Joseph was the son-in-law of Heli.”  The Talmud tells us that Mary was the daughter of Heli.  So he is the son-in-law of Heli, supposed to be the father of Jesus.  God was the Father, Mary’s the mother.  And Luke because he’s portraying to us Jesus the man, the Son of man, traces the genealogy of Jesus all the way back to Adam, traces the entire human family, because Jesus is the kinsman-redeemer for us all, for the whole human race.  Matthew with a different purpose in mind, begins at Abraham and back to David and Jesus, and he takes the genealogy from David through Solomon, the royal line, and even though it goes through Jeconiah, he traces it to Joseph, and then says, “who was the husband of Mary of whom Jesus was born.”  He traces Joseph’s line because it is the royal line, and then he switches in the last sentence, and then says Joseph is the husband of Mary of whom Jesus is born.  So he gives us, in that day if you adopted a son, and Joseph claimed Jesus as his son, the royal lineage could be passed on to him.  So it traces the royal Davidic line.  The very interesting thing is that God had pronounced a curse on that line of Jeconiah, and said ‘No one of his sons would ever sit on the throne’  So though Jesus was of the royal line of Jeconiah, yet he was not the son of Joseph, though he had right to the line.  But he was rather the son of Mary, who was also of the blood line of Judah and of David who sat on the throne [through Nathan, David’s son, half-brother of Solomon].  Well Luke has a different purpose in mind.  He wants to take us all the way back to the Garden of Eden.  Now if you don’t mind, I won’t read through all of these names [wheh!].  I’ll probably get a lot of nasty letters this week, ‘We really wanted to read through all of those names.’  [It was hard enough typing them out accurately for the opening page!]  You’ll have to be patient with me.  I think the thing that you can take to heart, when you look at a list like this, is God knows where you are.  He knows who your dad is, he knows who your mom is, he knows who your aunt is.  Look at this list.  He knows who you are, he knows where you live.  He knows what generation you should be born in. 

 

Wish You Could Have Lived Back Then?---Our Future Could Be More Exciting!

 

You know, sometimes don’t you wish, ‘Boy, I wish I could have lived,…’ you know the kids get to watch those cartoons where they travel in Bible stories, back in time.  Now sometimes we think, ‘Boy I wish I could have lived in Jesus day, and just watched him cleanse the leper and walk on the water’, you know, sometimes you wish that.  That’s until you get a cold and need an antibiotic, and then you’re glad you’re living today.  [laughter]  God in his wisdom put us here.  We are going to see the close of the age.  We’re going to see more prophecy fulfilled than this generation [in Christ’s and John the Baptist’s day] saw in regards to the first coming of Christ.  For some reason God has chosen us.  Our paths would never have crossed, he saved us [some denominations term this as “He called us to salvation.”].  Because of that we look around the room and we see familiar faces.  We’d have been lost, I’d still be in the world taking drugs if he hadn’t touched our lives and called us, we’d have never met, this would never have happened.  By his sovereignty, by his work, here we sit, at the end of the age.  He’s bidding us to be Salt and Light in this generation that we live in, and by the way, you don’t hear salt or light, know what I mean?  Unless you have really sensitive hearing.  But you don’t hear salt or light.  You see light, that should tell you about how your witness should be.  And you taste salt, you don’t hear it.  But he’s chosen us to be Salt and Light in this last generation, and introduced us to the family of God.  What a great privilege.  “(supposed to be the son of Joseph) which was the son of Heli,” verse 38, “which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.”  Man, we went through the history of humanity fast [he just jumped from verse 23 to 38], Adam created by God. 

 

Luke 4:1-13

 

“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil.  And in those days he did eat nothing:  and when they were ended, he afterwards hungered.  And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.  And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.  And the devil, taking him up into a 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.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan:  for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.  And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:  for it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:  and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.  And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.  And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.” 

 

Satan’s Three Great Temptations

 

Jesus’ 40-day Temptation in the Wilderness

 

“And Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost”, the Holy Spirit, now this is his baptism with John the Baptist, “returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil” (verses 1-2a).  Now take note of this.  Here is Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit.  God finally affirms, ‘This is my beloved, the Son that I love, in whom I am well pleased’---fills him with the Spirit.  You’d think, hey if God speaks from heaven and said ‘This is my kid, I love him,’ fills you with the Holy Spirit, you’re on easy street.  No, it says here he is, now filled with the Spirit, and he’s led, Mark gives us a different word, ‘He is driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’  You know, you expect better things.  ‘Here I am, God’s talking from heaven, he tells me he loves me, fills me with the Spirit, then he drives me out into the desert to fight the devil.’  Sometimes we think, ‘Boy when we have a deep, rich, spiritual experience, it’s a no-hassle kind of…No, I wish it was.  It says in Ecclesiastes ‘There is no discharge in that war.’  Driven by the Spirit.  Now you have to understand, there’s a showdown here.  You kind of imagine two gunslingers, got their guns on. And God’s been waiting for a long time to put his Second Adam alone with the devil who whooped the first Adam.  So this is kind of an exciting thing in heaven.  Jesus, driven by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, driven by the Spirit into the wilderness forty days.  And it seems to indicate the entire forty days Satan was tempting him…“to be tempted of the devil.” 

 

Temptation Is Not Sin

 

Now notice this.  Jesus never sinned.  So temptation is not sin.  The word is more properly “to be tested.”  It is not sin to be tempted, James tells us that.  But it does say ‘Every man is drawn away, and every woman, of their own lust, and enticed.’  And then it says ‘When sin has conceived, it brings forth sin, and then that brings forth death.’  The idea is, when we’re put in a situation, kind of like when the sperm hits the egg, you have conception.  When we’re put into a situation where our lust, the desire that we have, is put into an environment where its desire can be answered, that there can be the conception that brings forth sin and death.  So it’s important for us to look at what happens to Jesus here, because he never sinned.  He was tested, he was tempted.  But there is a way then for us to experience that without sin, it’s important for us to realize.  We don’t think sometimes just because we’re tempted, we think ‘Oh, I’m no good, Satan’s there.’  ‘Yeah, you’re no good.’  Then you think ‘Oh man, God doesn’t love me.’  Satan’s just saying to you ‘Yea, yea, he doesn’t love you.’  No, there are those fiery darts the enemy shoots at us, the Bible says, thoughts that come into our minds.  Now, I think it was Luther that said ‘You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep him from building a nest in your hair.’ [chuckles]  There are thoughts that zoom by, and no doubt we have to put them down, and we bring every thought into captivity to Christ, as the weapons of our warfare are spiritual, they’re powerful, they’re not carnal.  And there are times when a thought goes through our mind, and we have to pull that baby right down, and say no.  [cf. 2nd Corinthians 10:3-6; Ephesians 6:10-20]  ‘No, no, get out of here!’  But the problem is, that sometimes that thought comes, and we kind of ‘Well nobody can see my thoughts, can they?  I’m not hurting anyone.  I think I’ll think about this a little bit.’  And like ping-pong, it goes back and forth, and we play with it. That’s when Satan gets us in the mode, you know, I don’t think he knows our thoughts… I think by observation, as he says that in the first chapter of Job, that he has scrutinized, military word, Job, he’s watched him, he sees you if you walk past the pornographic magazines in a store, and he sees your eyeballs fall out on the floor, he sees you if you’re going into the State Store into the bar, he sees where your weaknesses are, he sees what you do in traffic, and he knows how to get to you.  You ever notice that, you know, Christian friends that you have, and you know they struggle in a certain area, things happen to them that don’t happen to anybody else?  You know, you know somebody who struggles with anger, somebody pulls up next to their car and throws beer bottles at their car. Now that would never happen to anybody else.  [laughter]  But he [Satan] observes us, and loves to get us into the environment then where something’s pulling on us. 

 

Technical Aspects of a 40-day Fast

 

It’s very interesting to see this.  Because it says that “being forty days tempted of the devil.  And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended he afterwards hungered.”  So here is Jesus, it doesn’t say he was thirsty, so evidently he drank water [not necessarily, we just don’t know], but he fasted for forty days [a normal Hebrew fast was without food or water, and in Matthew’s Gospel it says Jesus fasted 40 days].  Now what happened is in a long fast like that, is there is a certain point where your hunger kind of shuts down after five or six days, and it’s not knawing the way it is in the very beginning.  But you fast to a certain point, you have really fowl breath when you fast, and you’re kind of spaced out, and you don’t sleep right, it’s great.  And then [laughter], but when you fast, the Bible says this, ‘Don’t be like the hypocrites who love to be seen of men.’  ‘Are you ok?  I’m fasting.’  You know, Jesus says, put on some Bril Crème, wash your face, shave, and look normal, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.’  Don’t be like the hypocrites when you fast.  But there is a point when after you’re natural processes, when you’ve digested everything that’s not necessary, fatty tissues, sometimes even benign tumors, whatever your body’s got to get energy somewhere from, so you’re digesting yourself instead of everything you’ve been digesting for years---there is a point where you start to digest protein, muscle tissue.  You boil down to where your body now is doing self-damage, and at that point the fast is over, the sweetness of your breath returns, and your hunger begins to knaw again, it’s time to break the fast.  But of course you’re extremely weak then. 

 

End of Jesus’ Fast, Satan Hits Hard---First Temptation of Satan

 

Now that’s when Satan comes, at the end of the forty-day fast, when Jesus is wasted, and his hunger is there, his stomach is knawing, and that’s when he comes.  You know, Satan doesn’t look at you when you’re down and out, and say, ‘Oh, poor Christian, you know, I hate to mess with a tired hungry Christian, I’ll wait until he gets back on his feet again, because I like a good fair fight.’  No, he pours it on when you’re saying ‘It can’t get worse’, he’s saying ‘Oh yeah?’  Well that’s when he comes to Jesus, when the hunger has returned, when it is a knawing hunger.  “And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread” (verse 3).  Now, Satan doesn’t doubt, Satan was there and heard the voice from heaven when Jesus was baptized saying ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”, there’s no doubt, he knows who he is.  There is a class condition in the language, in the Greek there’s a class condition, they complicate it.  There’s three if’s.  In English there’s just “if”.  In Greek there’s “If” and it’s really “not”, there’s “if” and that means “if.”  And then there’s “If” and you “really are.”  There’s three class conditions.  Well this could better be translated “Since you’re the Son of God,” which actually adds to the temptation.  You know, Satan comes to us when something is knawing at us, maybe we’re hungering for something.  Maybe our wife has been unfaithful to us, and we are hungering for a relationship, and there’s something that comes and dangles in front of us, and Satan is saying ‘Since you are God’s child, and you’ve been wronged, you have a right to this.’   Or sometimes you’re trying to break away from some kind of habit, whether it’s gambling or something, and Satan comes and says ‘Well since you’ve been so good, you haven’t been to the casinos in four months, and you’ve been telling your wife the truth about the money…’ You know, he loves to come at that moment when we’re really just stressed out, or maybe it’s when our kid is sick, and he’s saying well ‘Since you’re a son of God, or since you’re a daughter of God, why is this happening to your kid, God doesn’t really love you.  Why is he  holding out on you?’  So it’s extremely important as this temptation begins for us to understand how Jesus handled it.  I think this is important.  Realize this, when this incident took place, who was present?  Think about that.  There was nobody there but Jesus and the devil.  It isn’t until he comes back from the temptation in the wilderness that he begins to call his disciples.  None of the disciples were there.  None of them saw this.  That means Jesus thought that this incident was important enough that somewhere in his ministry, when he sat with the men, he told them what had happened before he had ever called them.  Maybe when Peter said “Far be it from you, Lord,” like in Matthew 16, and Jesus turned and said to Peter “Get thee behind me, Satan, because you savour not the things of God but the things of men.”  Maybe it was then, because I’m sure that the Lord then had to sit Peter down and kind of calm him down, and say ‘Peter, I wasn’t talking to you, it was the devil that was behind you.’  Because he says here after this temptation, that he left Jesus for a season.  Maybe it was then that Jesus sat around the campfire and said ‘Look, you have to understand something, I’ve come to be your representative.’  Very important for us to see.  He says ‘Since you’re the Son of God, turn these stones into bread.’  Jesus could have turned the whole desert into a bakery.  He could have turned every stone into an Éclair, for as far as eyes could see.  It wouldn’t be too long after this that he would take two loaves and three fishes and feed thousands upon thousands of people.  He could do it.  And he was the Son of God. 

 

What It Takes For Us To Defeat Satan

 

But I like how he answers Satan.  He looks at Satan and he says, “It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone,”  You see, he didn’t exercise the divine prerogative there.  You know, if I was Jesus, I’d have said, ‘You know, I am sick of you, you have been hassling me for thousands and thousands of years, you’ve been making people sick, you brought sin into the world.’  I would have just smoked him right there, Booom!  And then it would have been done with.  You know, red tail, pitch fork smokin’ on the ground, just finished, just done it!  But the problem is, is you and I have no divine prerogatives to exercise.  We’re going to face him as men, filled with the Holy Spirit.  Jesus says to the devil, ‘Man, Satan I don’t have to be the Son of God to whup you.  I have to be a man that knows the Word of God, and is filled with the Holy Spirit.’  Very important for us to see.  That’s why Jesus communicated this to them, at some time afterwards, and gave them an accurate record of what had taken place and how he had defeated Satan in the beginning of his ministry, as a man, filled with the Spirit, not exercising divine prerogatives.  I think it’s interesting for us to see what Jesus didn’t do.  Because we hear lots about warfare in the church.  Here’s the devil, the devil knows that Jesus is the Son of God, so the devil’s going to take his best shots.  And if these are the shots he took at Jesus, and they are his best shots, then we have an insight into what to do.  Jesus doesn’t do this.  ‘OK, I’m going to speak in tongues---blabby-da-blabby-da-blabby,’ and the devil’s going ‘Aaaah! I can’t stand that.’  No, Jesus doesn’t do that [laughter].  And if you pray in tongues, I think you should pray in tongues, God bless you, but that’s not what Jesus does.  Jesus doesn’t go ‘I bind you, I shackle you, I put blood on you’, he doesn’t do all this authority thing that we hear people do.  Maybe there’s a time to do that.  He doesn’t say ‘I’m going to sing, the devil hates Praise & Worship music, ‘Oh praise the Lord’ and the devil’s running around going ‘Aaah!’ holding his ears.  No, but I think it is important to see what he does do.  He says, “It is written…”  You know, Jeremiah says “If a dreamer has a dream, let him tell it.  And if a man has a vision, let him declare it.”  Let me, it is easier to read it then try to quote it from memory, “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell it.  And he that hath a vision let him declare it.  And he that hath my Word, let him speak my Word faithfully.  What is the chaff to the wheat?”  In other words, spiritual experience compared to the Word of God is like chaff compared to the wheat.  He says, “Whoever has my Word” and that’s you and that’s me, “let him speak it faithfully…Is not my Word like as a fire, sayeth the LORD, and like a hammer that breaketh the rocks in pieces.”  Jesus says to the devil, “It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”  Man is not sustained simply by the material, by food.  Man is sustained by something spiritual.  How often do we see it in our own church, how often we see Christians in an environment where unbelieving people are falling apart.  And they [the believers] have the same resources materially or as far as food, sustenance, but we see the thing that keeps them is they have the Word of God in their heart.  And there’s a strength there, there’s a trust that goes beyond the five senses, and it leans out and it takes hold of the Word of God, and it rests there.  Very important.  And by the way, this Word of God is the raimna, it’s not just the written Word, the Logos, it is important for us to know the Word, so that we can know the verse that applies to our [specific] situation.  Jesus quotes Deuteronomy by the way, and Jesus quotes Deuteronomy more than he quotes any book in the Bible, it’s his favorite book.  All three of these quotations are from Deuteronomy.  And Deuteronomy lays out the statutes that were necessary for Israel to enter the land and take their inheritance.  Jesus quotes Deuteronomy, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” 

 

Satan’s 2nd Great Temptation

 

“And the devil taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.”  Next part of  the temptation.  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.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan:  for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (verses 5-8).  Now, the temptations of the devil are always in these three realms, 1) the lust of the flesh, 2) the lust of the eyes, 3) and the pride of life.  That’s how he comes to Jesus now.  Bread, he’s hungry, his physical being is hungering.  And Satan comes to us to tempt us in regards to what our physical being hungers after.  Then he comes with the lust of the eyes, he shows them all of the kingdoms of the world.  And then finally he will come and say ‘It’s your right, cast yourself down, the Bible says this, God will have to  bear you up, he appeals to his Messiahship, pride of life.  He does the same thing to Eve in the Garden of Eden.  She saw that the fruit was pleasant to look at, lust of the eyes, was good to the taste, lust of the flesh, and to make one wise, the pride of life.  God would tell the kings of Israel in Deuteronomy chapter 14, ‘When you come into the land, see that you not take a multitude of wives,’ the lust of the flesh.  ‘Do not store up gold and silver to yourself,’ the lust of the eyes.  ‘Don’t go down to Egypt to build munitions and chariots and a great army,’ the pride of life.  God says, ‘Rather, take a copy of the Law, keep it by thee, read in it day and night, that you realize you’re no better than your brother.’  Same thing, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, the pride of life.  So this is how he’s going to come at you, he’s going to come at me this way.  Lust of the flesh, does anybody in this room here today understand the lust of the flesh?  Thank you, that one person, this study was for somebody, anybody.  [laughter]  That’s a blessing.  The lust of the flesh, I understand it, you understand it.  The lust of the eyes.  I mean, one of the problems in America, the poorest guy in the country gets the same catalogue the richest guy gets.  The poorest guy in this nation watches the same things on TV that the richest guy in this country watches.  The most deprived person, and the most discriminated person is exposed to the same thing that the wealthiest person, the tyrant is able to see, and the lust of the eyes. 

 

Satan’s Three Temptations Tend To Hit Us At Different Stages In Our Lives

 

And by the way, just as an aside, I’ll throw this in for nothing.  I think that these three things, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, are always present, but I always think different areas are dominant in different parts [seasons] of our life.  I think certainly as a young man or a young woman, the lust of the flesh is a dominant force [not always], lust of the eyes, pride of life is there.  But there’s a time in our life when that it just happens to be true.  I think as we come into what we call a midlife crisis, I think sometimes it is as we are cooling off the lust of the eyes, becomes a dominant force, life just passing away, I haven’t attained this, I haven’t attained that, maybe I should compromise here, maybe I shouldn’t pay Uncle Sam everything he wants…you know, the lust of the eyes.  Then of course, I think in our later years, I think lust of the flesh is there, I think the lust of the eyes is there, but I think sometimes the pride of life comes to the forefront.  Because the days of passion have cooled off, and I think the days of your dreams, you’re on the back side of them at that point in time [not always, but the overall trend is accurate], the lust of the eyes is not so driving.  But there is almost that place where you know you hear your old uncle saying, ‘Well you’ll wise up one day kid, I’ve been around for a long time…’ It’s kind of what they have left is that pride of life.  And you know that most people who come to Christ, three quarters are under the age of 18.  It is very unusual to see an older person come to Christ.  Because what they have left to hold onto is the pride of life.  And it is very hard at that age to admit, ‘Yes, you are right, I need forgiveness, I need Christ.  I’m a sinner.’ 

 

Back To Satan’s 2nd Temptation of Jesus---Lust Of The Eyes

 

He [Satan] appeals to the lust of the eyes, takes Jesus up into a mountain, not a physical mountain.  The book of Revelation chapter 21, John is taken up onto a great high mountain, and he sees the Holy City Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God.  Here Jesus is taken up into some spiritual precipice by Satan, and he’s shown all of the kingdoms of the world, and all of the glory of them.  And he says ‘If you’ll worship me I’ll give you all of this.  This is a short-cut, you don’t have to go to the cross.’  You see, that is why I think he knew Satan was behind Peter when Peter said ‘Far be it from you to be crucified.’  Jesus said “Get thee behind me Satan.”  Satan is saying the same thing, ‘You don’t need to go to the cross, just worship me, I’ll give you….yea, yea, all the kingdoms of the world will be yours, yea, you’re going to be crucified, you’re going to rise, but there’s an easier way, just bow down and worship me and I’ll give you all of this stuff.’  And how often does Satan come to us that way tempting us?  ‘You know, you just need to compromise a little bit, nobody will know.  Just a little bit, just a little bit.’  Lust of the eyes, you know you sit home and watch something on TV, ‘Nobody’s around, I’m not hurting anybody, maybe just a little bit, a little bit.’  And a little leaven leavens the whole lump, he’s glad to get just a little bit of his hook in.  He’s been around for 6,000 years, he can wear you out, he’ll take his time.  And he sets before the eyes of Christ what he sets before the world.  Look at Las Vegas, neon lights, big signs, everything’s glistening, everything’s beautiful, and then they have a power outage, and man that place ain’t worth nothing.  The dam breaks and that place is going down.  In heaven the lights of God are eternal, beautiful, the walls of jewels, the streets of gold.  [Comment:  And here’s something I’ll toss in here for free.  God’s throne is where?  It would appear it is the New Jerusalem, heavenly Zion above (cf. Hebrews 12 and Revelation 21).  And where is the New Jerusalem coming to at the end of the Millennium?  To earth, cf. Revelation 21:1-23.  Heaven, God’s heavenly throne atop the New Jerusalem will be coming to earth.  For one particular interpretation of how this might come to pass, log onto: http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/Pentecost-Revetion1.htm.] 

 

We’re Renewed by Focusing Our Eyes on the Things of God---The Things Not seen

 

There’s something in every man that yearns after that Kingdom.  He takes Jesus where he takes so many, and says, ‘Look at the glory of this world, look at this, look at all you could have.’  What is it worth?  Again, wasn’t it a pity to see the end of the life of Princess Diana, and hear so much about how empty and sad she really was.  She had all of that.  Could have gone anywhere in the world, have as much money as she wanted, beautiful, popular, young, empty.  Paul will tell us that we are renewed day by day, and take note of that because Paul the apostle needed to be renewed every day.  Sometimes we think Paul the apostle got his battery charged on the road to Damascus, that the Lord appeared to him, kind of like the energizer bunny, the Lord put Duracell’s in Paul and he just kept going and going and going and going.  No, Paul the apostle will tell us that he and Silas at one point despaired of life itself in Asia, they wished they were dead, things were so difficult.  And he’ll tell us after that ‘But we found that we were renewed day by day.’  Paul the apostle needed daily renewal.  You know what he says?  He says we find that we’re renewed while we look not at the things that are seen, because the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen, they are eternal.  Paul says while we look at those things that are not seen, this is that word scopio, you know we scope something out.  Scope out a girl, scope out a new house, scope out a boat, scope out a car.  You know, Paul says ‘I have brought my focus in on this eternal state, I have set my heart on it, I have looked at it, I’ve realized that it is worth more than anything in this world, and I find that in all of my difficulties, while my outward man is perishing, yet I am renewed day by day, while we look, not at those things which are seen, but the things that are not seen.  Because the things that are seen are temporal, the that are not seen are eternal.’  He says he finds daily renewal by looking at those things.  Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame, seeing the glory that was ahead of him.  And here Satan tries to give him a shortcut.  ‘Bow down and worship me, I’ll give you all this now.’  And he can deliver some, he’s going to deliver it to the antichrist, the Bible tells us that, he’s going give all dominion in this world to the antichrist, all power.  And he may be alive somewhere, I think he is, a man now, but to be possessed of Satan himself.  [Comment:  I have read an account by a professional British Naval Attaché/Naval Intelligence Officer, where he described seeing Adolf Hitler going into what we would recognize as severe demonic possession, probably by Satan himself.  This was not a religious book, but a historic book written by this man, describing his exploits as a Naval Intelligence Officer operating in Germany just before Germany declared war on England.  Hitler was merely a forerunner of the antichrist, a foretaste of what that dude will be like.]  All of what he [Satan] can offer leaves us empty, compared to what we’re really looking forward to in the eternal state.  What we really long for is to be home, to be in glory [cf.1st Corinthians 15:49-54] and how he parades before us the temporary things of this world, and he does it with Jesus.  Jesus answers “Get thee behind me, Satan:  for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”  There he is again, Jesus with the Word of God.  And notice, very important: “him only shalt thou serve.”  Because Jesus knows what you worship you serve.  Satan left that out.  He said ‘If you’ll bow down and worship me, I’ll give your all the kingdoms in the world.’  Jesus knew, ‘Well if I worship you, I will serve you.’  And what you’re serving tonight if you are not a believer, you are worshipping, every human being worships, it may be your car, you may be kneeling down polishing your Ferrari fifteen hours a day.  It may be your career, it may be one thing or another, whatever you serve that’s what you’re worshipping.  We all have gods, or the True God.  Jesus says ‘I’m not going to worship you, I’m not going to serve you. 

 

Satan’s 3rd Great Temptation

 

Finally “And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:  for it is written, He shall give his angels change over thee, to keep thee:  and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone” (verses 9-10).  Josephus tells us it was 400 foot high in the day of Christ, the pinnacle of the Temple, the southern corner by the Kidron, where the Kidron and the Hinnom come together.  So imagine, a forty story building, he brings Jesus there to the pinnacle of the Temple, with multitudes of people coming up the southern steps.  He set him on the pinnacle of the Temple, said to him “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence.  For it is written…”  Notice this, Satan is quoting Scripture now.  You know that?  I mean, take note of that, because if you take this study to heart, and you say ‘OK, lust of the flesh, I know this is what the Bible says, and OK, lust of the eyes, I’m going to hang in there.’  But know this, that somewhere along the line, he’s going to come quoting Scripture to you.  He doesn’t do a good job of it.  But he’s going to come quoting to you.  “For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee, and in their hands they shall  bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”  What he’s saying to Jesus is, ‘You’re right, you’re the Messiah.  You know, the Scripture says His angels will have charge over you in your office of Messiah, and all of these thousands of people coming to the Temple, you can stand up on the pinnacle of the Temple and go ‘Aaah aaah [like Tarzan]’ and just dive off, and they’ll all look up and see you coming down, and right before you’re ready to spatter on the ground the angels---Whooom!---will come in, everybody will look up and go ‘Ah, that’s him, the Messiah!’  But he misquoted the verse.  He says to Jesus, ‘It is written, he shall give his angels charge over thee,’ and the verse says “To keep thee in all thy ways.”  In other words, there were specific ways laid out for the Messiah to walk in, paths that God had pre-ordained.  And there are for us.  It tells us in Ephesians chapter 2 that there are good works fore-ordained that we should walk in them.  And it tells us that you and I are the poema of God, the poetry of God.  He desires to demonstrate through our lives, not only that which is factual and true and powerful, but that also which is beautiful.  You know, here is Satan quoting Scripture to Christ, but leaving out “to keep thee in all thy ways.”  In other words, he’s saying, is it ‘my will or thy will?’  That’s the struggle here with us, isn’t it?  “I will” verses “thy will.”  “In their hands thy shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”  So Jesus says unto him, “It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (verse 12).  And we do this as Christians, you know, ‘OK, it’s my right.’  That’s the argument here.  Friday comes, I’ve been working hard all week, I sit down in front of the TV, I’m ready to just take my brain and put it on ZONE, and I’m ready to surf, and I sit there, glass of iced tea, and the kids are saying ‘I wanna watch this, etc.’ And I say ‘I worked all week, you know, I am messiah, I brought the money home for the food, I did this, I laid down my life, I have a right to sit for five minutes and RELAX!’’ And they’re saying ‘You’re crabby!’ and you’re saying ‘I’m NOT CRABBY!  I HAVE A RIGHT!  You know, you can’t relate, I’m sure [laughter].  Demanding our rights.  And the Bible gives us wonderful promises about who we are, and what will be ours.  But Satan, remember, he is pictured for us in Ezekiel chapter 28, we know he is of the order of the cherub, the cherubim.  Not an angel the way we think of angels, but of the order of the cherubim.  He is in Eden in his unfallen state, he didn’t fall eons before, he’s described in Eden with all of his beauty, perfect in beauty.  [He could have fallen eons ago, if this was Eden before God created man, before the dinosaurs, maybe during their time.  The Bible does not tell us whether this was the Eden Adam was a part of or an earlier version of Eden.  This is a very secondary area of belief, where in reality we just don’t know.]  And the timbrel and the pipes were found in him, he was the head worship leader in heaven.  It says, “Until his heart was lifted up, and pride was found in him.”  And it tells us in Isaiah 14, “I will be like the Most High, I will sit on the sides of the congregation of the north, I will do this…”  five times, ‘I will,’ five times he lifts his own self-will against the will of God.  First time in all of eternity there was another will besides the will of God, self-will.  And he’s still the same.  In all of these things he is bidding us to have self-will, rather than bringing our lives under the written Word of God the way it’s revealed to us.  Rather than living in a place where God will bless us and blow our minds, rather than us putting our selves sometimes under the Word of God [we’d rather have our own way, our own will].  Even when it doesn’t seem logical, we know that God’s written it out that way, I guarantee you, if you bring your life into subjection to the written Word of God, your life will be blessed beyond measure.  You will find strength in difficulty, you will find that when you are hungering and knawing for something, that there is more than what you are knawing and hungering for, that will give you life, the very Word of God.  You will find that when everyone else is looking at all the beauty and all the pleasure and all the glory of this world, that in your heart, you will find that worshipping and serving the King of the Universe who has a greater Kingdom than anything that sparkles in this world, is a much greater privilege, being able to look to heaven and say ‘Abba, Father.’  You will find even when Satan comes to you and says ‘Exercise this, this is your right!  They were wrong, you were right.’  And sometimes even as Christians, ‘That’s right!  That’s what the Bible says!  They were wrong, I was right!’  Well, remember it says this, 1st Peter chapter 2, it says, you know if you do something wrong, as a Christian, and you suffer for it, and you keep your mouth shut, big deal.  I’m paraphrasing.  You deserved it.  Why shouldn’t you keep your mouth shut?  But it says, ‘If you don’t do something wrong and get blamed for it, and keep your mouth shut, God looks favorably on it, because it reminds him of his Son, who came, who knew no sin, and was crucified as a sinner, who when he was reviled, reviled not again, when he was rebuked, he didn’t strike back, but he entrusted himself to the Shepherd and to the Bishop of our souls.’  Even in this, yes, Jesus in his right, he was, it’s written in the Scripture, to cast himself down and the angels would bear him up, but he said no.  It really was, it’s written in the Scripture, to be able to cast himself down, the angels would bear him up.  But he said, ‘No, in my Father’s time.’  And, by the way, God has a much better plan.  It won’t be jumping off the corner of a building, it will be the sun going out, the stars refusing to shine, the heavens splitting open, and the Lord of lords and the King of kings coming through the heavens on a white horse, with his vesture dipped in blood, and all of the tribes of the earth will wail and mourn, because of him.  He’s got a much better plan than jumping off the corner of a building.  Satan makes it look so good. 

 

The Temptation of Jesus Ends

 

“It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.  And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season” (verses 12b-13).  And I don’t like this “for a season.”  I wish it would say ‘the devil blew up.’  [laughter]  ‘When the temptation was over, Jesus smoked him!’  Jesus is gonna smoke him.  And it tells us as God’s saints to be patient, because God will crush him under your heals shortly.  Remember this, when we compare Satan with God, there is a big mistake that people make, and it is kind of like people believe Satan and God have each other in a head-lock, and they’re going ‘ugh! Ugh!’, you know, Satan’s got God, God’s got Satan.  And we’re almost afraid, in our hearts we think God’s gonna win, but we’re almost afraid, ‘Boy, I hope God doesn’t go ‘Uncle! Uncle! Uncle!’  No, it’s not like that at all, it’s such a misconception, and Satan would love to put that on our minds.  God is the Creator, Satan is part of the creation. Satan stands no more chance of defeating God than a tomato plant, [laughter]  or any other part of creation, any other part of creation.  [There is an heresy called Arianism, which teaches that Jesus is a created being and brother of Satan.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/What%20is%20Arianism.htm]  Who he hates is you.  His war is not with God, that’s not a war. God is sovereign.  He’s warring with you, with your mind.  That’s where it rages, right here.  I think when he said in Isaiah “I’ll be like the Most High”, I think he was envious of Adam.  You know, the only one who was like the Most High was Adam, created in his image and likeness.  And as soon as Satan fell, he brought the same lie to Adam, ‘You can be like God, that’s what he said, ‘I’ll be like the Most High.’  ‘Eat this fruit, you’ll be like God, knowing good and evil.’  Yea, knowing good and not being able to do it, and evil and not being able to avoid it.

 

God Saves the Best For Last---Satan Puts His Meagre Best Up Front

 

And so the story of redemption begins.  I want you to know this, if you don’t know Christ this evening, listen.  When Jesus goes to a wedding in Cana of Galilee, his mother presents a problem to him.  ‘They’ve run out of wine.’  He says to her, ‘Woman, what have I to do with you?  This is before my time.’  Like all moms, she doesn’t listen, she just says ‘Whatever he says, do it.’  So Jesus has them bring a number of large stone jars filled with water.  He says, ‘Take it to the steward of the feast and let him taste of it.’  By the time they fill them and get them there, it’s wine.  The remarkable insight is this.  The steward, the one whose the head of the feast says ‘This is remarkable, because normally, at a shindig like this, they put out the good stuff first, and then when everybody’s half pickled, they put out the poison.’  He said, ‘But you’ve saved the best wine till last.’  That’s something you have to understand, is the difference between the way Satan and the world works, and the way God works.  Satan gives you the good stuff up front, the kingdoms of this world.  Have your bread now, have your rights now, have adultery now.  The Bible says “Stolen water is sweet” in regards to adultery.  Moses says he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, refusing the pleasures of sin for a season (see, that’s all that goes on, it’s for a season), rather to suffer the reproach of Christ with God’s people.  This is what the Bible says. Satan comes, he’s not stupid, he doesn’t come to you and say ‘Yea, uh, ah, I’m the devil!  Bring your dogs and cats and chickens, we’re going to sacrifice them.’  He doesn’t do that.  He comes as an angel of light, the Bible says.  He comes to deceive.  He comes and offers you, ‘Take this now.  Take your life now.  Have this now, have this pleasure, have this drug, have this woman, have this man, have this money, have this now.’  And when we become intoxicated with it, we find out how bitter and how cheap and how empty it really is.  Whereas on the other hand, Jesus.  Now let me tell you something.  I would rather be here than anywhere in the world.  I’d rather be sitting here, listening to one of our worship leaders lead worship, everybody’s singing, worshipping God…I’d just rather be gathered with God’s people than be a multimillionaire.  I’d just rather be here.  And as good as this is, we ain’t seen nothing yet.  Because he’s saved the best for last.  We ain’t seen nothing yet.  [applause] 

 

Is God Drawing You?

 

If you don’t know Jesus tonight, what do you have to look forward to?  And look, I am not talking about religion.  I grew up in a church, and it was empty.  I didn’t get anything there.  My parents said ‘We’re tired of fighting with you, you don’t have to go [to church] anymore.’  And that was it, I didn’t go anymore.  I thought, ‘I’ve been waiting for this day to come my whole life.  And I went to drugs, I went to the world, I went to the poison, it was sweet at first, but it left me empty.  I didn’t want to go back to the church, because I never found anything there.  Religion didn’t mean anything to me.  But what I found was in my emptiness, I found myself asking honestly for the first time, “Is there more?  God, are you there?  Is there more?  What is life all about?  I might as well have been born an ox, I can sleep, and I can eat, and I can sweat.  What is the purpose of life?  Lord, I’m empty.  If you’re there…”  And that’s what we’re talking about.  We’re talking about knowing the risen Saviour. We’re not talking about religion, because that never did anything for anybody, but send them to hell.  We’re talking about a relationship.  If you don’t know Christ tonight, personally, not Calvary Chapel, not any church, not religion, we’re talking about Jesus.  We want to give you the invitation before the night’s over, to ask Christ into your heart [and life] and to be your Saviour.  Now this is what the Bible says, “No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me draw him:  and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).  You have to know in your heart this evening if there’s something going on.  It’s not something that goes on with our five senses, our hearing, our eyes, our taste, touch or smell.  It says that in our hearts we have this witness that there’s a pulling on us, and that God is drawing us, and there’s something in our hearts saying, ‘This is true, this is true, I want this.  I’m tired of trying to do it on my own, I’m ready, if you’re really there and you’ll love me, I want to know you.”  The Bible says that can happen in your life by repenting.  Repent means to make a u-turn.  You’ve been going away from God your whole life, you’ve been going into sin [which is the transgression of God’s law, cf. 1st John 3:4].  The Bible says if you are willing to make that u-turn and come towards him, and ask for his forgiveness, that he will wash you and cleanse you and make you his son and daughter, and forgive you forever.  [And that washing and cleansing is a lifetime process.]  And you can know when you leave this building tonight that you have eternal life.  And we want to give you that opportunity…[transcript of a connective expository sermon given on Luke 3:19 through 4:13, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, PA  19116]      

 

Related links:

 

Who is Satan?  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/Satan/satan.htm   

 

How Do I Become A Christian?  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/baptism/What%20is%20Baptism.htm   

 

and,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm

and scroll to the bolded paragraph title “How to Become a Christian” and read from there.

 

What is Arianism?  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/What%20is%20Arianism.htm

 

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