Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Matthew 4:8-10
Notice here that in all the temptations that Satan took Jesus through, the single temptation where he needed Jesus to fall down and worship him involved the power and glory of this world. He would give Jesus these if he would fall down and worship him.
You would be shocked at the thought of Jesus falling and worshipping Satan, but you need to remember that Jesus was as much blood and flesh as you and I. The devil is not stupid, as many people suppose. And the power of the glory of this world is not something to tamper with.
This was the last temptation that the devil would tempt Jesus with at that particular time, and that is noteworthy because we know that one always saves the best for last. In other words, this was the devil’s best temptation.
What many Christians do not realize is that Jesus refused, gave up, or surrendered what the devil was trying to give Him. Jesus, as a man, knew that it was truly in Satan’s power to do exactly what he had told Him he would do. When Jesus made that answer to old man Satan, He knew exactly what He would be missing.
That was why Jesus did not do His rounds in a Boeing 747 (which He very well could have afforded to do, being the Son of God – and you can imagine the crowds being awed by the sight of that big iron bird in the air and pointing to each other, “There goes the King’s Kid!” as He whizzed past). That was the reason also that He was persecuted instead of being revered. That was the reason Jesus would undergo many of the things He went through.
Jesus was aware of all that, but He would not bend His knee and worship Satan. That cannot be said of many Christians today. Many are seeking after the glory and riches of this world. And therein lies their spiritual downfall.
Someone said, “Those who say money does not bring happiness are those who have never owned money”. He was right in a way. Money, after all, is the god of this world. Money is power. The gospel of Jesus Christ has been compromised the world over almost entirely due to this single reason, the love of money. As an African I know that only too well. I am well aware that there are many African preachers and Christians who cannot serve God with any degree of spiritual freedom any time they come into contact with someone with money (or when they meet a white man, because a white man is considered ‘superior’ and moneyed).
In the same way, there are many white people who do not “see” God clearly when it comes to dealing with an African. They prefer to serve their ego.
This is a truly big problem with the church, and it needs to be faced and dealt with squarely because it is destroying the church of Jesus Christ.
The sad thing about all this is that if one is not serving God in freedom (as described in either of the above cases) he is not really serving God. He is serving something else.
But God wants us all to serve Him in freedom of spirit. And He wants us to serve Him and Him alone. Do not “fall down” to a white man, nor to your ego, nor to anything because if you do so, you will not be worshipping and serving the One True God.
“Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
Christians worship Satan unknowingly on so many fronts. It is time we faced this truth so that we may be set free to serve God and Him alone.
The problem today is that there is a glut of conformist gospels; gospels that conform to a worldly standard; and these gospels are being taught in church. This was the very thing the Apostle Paul feared for the Corinthian church, as he tells them in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4: “… I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him”.
Unfortunately, that is the very thing that is happening with the church today.
But he tells Timothy, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Tim. 4:16).
Notice that word, “doctrine” there. Our safety is in the doctrine that we submit ourselves under. What we become ultimately depends on the doctrine we are hearing. The teaching that we hear moulds our spiritual desires and expectations. We should desire and seek after the true doctrine of Jesus Christ, which the apostles preached and on which the Early Church was built.
The Apostle Paul tells us what doctrine he preached: “… Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).
There are some people who have made Paul’s words a populist saying. But it is not. On the contrary, it refers to the work of the cross that a knowledge of Christ will bring into our hearts, which work will crucify the lusts of the flesh and reveal the life and character of Christ in us. This alone will enable us to worship God and to serve Him only.
A vision of the cross was what enabled Jesus to not desire the world or its influence and power. In that way He was able to not fall down and worship the devil.
When we are not walking in the revelation of the cross, when we are not taking up our cross and following after Jesus in crucifying the flesh, we will be in church singing “Glory, Hallelujah!” but we are worshipping the devil. That sounds shocking, but it is the truth.
That truth is made all the more real by the unashamedly materialistic gospels being preached today. In lusting after money and all that it offers, we have compromised the gospel of Jesus Christ in an incredible manner.
Nowadays in Africa, there is much fear in church circles of what people call ‘Freemasons’. Many Christians fear that this shadowy clique are out to ‘buy out’ the church through the ungodly wealth that they possess.
We don’t need to look that far. We ourselves (today’s church) are the real ‘Freemasons’! We have jeopardized the gospel of Jesus Christ by paying heed to ‘fables’ in church. A preacher comes to church and says things that the flesh wants to hear and we clap and cheer. In reality, we are doing obeisance to the devil.
A true worship of God will require us to refuse the glory and power of this world just like Jesus did. And, pray, what kind of power can unbind the flesh from these things? Only one thing can: the cross. We need an understanding of the cross which goes far beyond the conventional knowledge that Jesus was crucified on it for our sins. We need an understanding that agrees with scripture that ” if one died for all, then were all dead” (2 Cor. 5:14).
And in the small way that God has granted me, that is what I am dedicated to doing in this blog.