What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
I Got to Know Satan’s Evil Intention in Tempting the Lord Jesus
Every time I read from the scriptures about Satan tempting the Lord, I would ponder why Satan did so. Especially when I read the following verses, I would be rather bewildered: “Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve. Then the devil leaves him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him” (Matthew 4:8-11). Satan knew clearly that the heavens and earth and all things were created by God; and God is the Ruler of all things. But why did Satan ask the to worship it? What exactly was its purpose in doing so? Besides, the Lord to Satan that You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve, what’s the practical meaning of this word?
Not long after, I read a book which revealed this aspect of the truth. It said, “Satan, the devil, having failed at its previous two tricks, tried yet another: It showed all the kingdoms in the world and the glory of them to the Lord Jesus and asked Him to worship the devil. What do you see about the true features of the devil from this situation? Isn’t Satan the devil absolutely shameless? (Yes.) How shameless can it be? Everything was created by God, yet Satan turns it around and shows it to God saying, ‘Look at the wealth and glory of all of these kingdoms. If You worship me I’ll give them all to You.’ Isn’t this a role reversal? Isn’t Satan shameless? God made everything, but was it for His enjoyment? God gave everything to mankind, but Satan wanted to seize it all and afterward it said, ‘Worship me! Worship me and I’ll give this all to You.’ This is the ugly face of Satan; it is absolutely shameless, right? Satan doesn’t even know the meaning of the word ‘shame,’ and this is just another example of its evil. It doesn’t even know what ‘shame’ is. Satan clearly knows that God created everything and that He manages it and has dominion over it. Everything belongs to God, not to man, much less to Satan, yet Satan the devil brazenly said that it would give everything to God. Isn’t Satan once again doing something absurd and shameless? God hates Satan even more now, right? Yet no matter what Satan tried to do, did the Lord Jesus fall for it? (No.) What did the Lord Jesus say? (‘You shall worship the Lord your God.’) Does this phrase have a practical meaning? (Yes.) What sort of practical meaning? We see Satan’s evil and shamelessness in its speech. So if man worshiped Satan, what would the conclusion be? Would they receive the wealth and glory of all of the kingdoms? (No.) What would they receive? Would mankind become just as shameless and laughable as Satan? (Yes.) They would be no different from Satan then. Therefore, the Lord Jesus said this phrase which is important for each and every person: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve,’ which states that except for the Lord, except for God Himself, if you serve another, if you worship Satan the devil, then you wallow in the same filth as Satan. You would then share Satan’s shamelessness and its evil, and just like Satan you would tempt God and attack God. Then what would your end be? You would be loathed by God, struck down by God, and destroyed by God, isn’t that right? … From everything Satan has said and done, we can see its arrogance and we see its deceit and malice. How is Satan’s arrogance primarily displayed? Does Satan always want to occupy God’s position? Satan always wants to tear down God’s work and God’s position and take it for itself so that people will follow, support, and worship Satan; this is the arrogant nature of Satan. But when Satan corrupts people, it does so in a deceitful and treacherous way: When Satan does its work on people, it does not directly tell people how to refuse and oppose God. When Satan tempts God, it does not come out and say, ‘I am tempting You, I am going to attack You,’ so what method does Satan use? (Seduction.) It seduces, tempts, attacks, and sets its traps, and even by quoting the scriptures. Satan speaks and acts in various ways to achieve its sinister motives. After Satan has done this, what can be seen from what’s manifested in man? Aren’t people arrogant? Man has suffered from Satan’s corruption for thousands of years and so man has become arrogant and extraordinarily conceited, and he has become deceitful, malicious, and unreasonable, right? All these things are brought about due to Satan’s nature. Since Satan’s nature is evil, it has given man this evil nature and brought man this evil corrupt disposition. Therefore man lives under the corrupt satanic disposition and, like Satan, man goes against God, attacks God, and tempts Him to the extent that man does not God Himself, the Unique V”). Through the revelation of this passage, I saw Satan’s evil, baseness and treachery. It used the wealth of the kingdoms to tempt the Lord Jesus, in order that He might worship it. It clearly knew that everything is created by God, not belonging to mankind, nor being controlled by itself; but it still brazenly took everything God bestowed on mankind as its personal property to tempt the Lord Jesus. How shameless it was! I also saw from Satan’s evil intentions in its words that it arrogantly wanted to replace God’s identity and status so as to achieve its ambitions and goals of controlling the world and mankind. That completely exposed Satan’s extreme arrogance, evil, slyness and cunning, and its reactionary essence.and does not revere Him in their hearts. Is that right?” (“
However, in the face of Satan’s temptation, the Lord Jesus made it slip away in humiliation with only one word—You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve. Meanwhile, through this word man can understand: Only God is the Lord of all things, is supreme, and is the One we should worship; only if we rely onto live can we resist Satan’s corruption and affliction, and can we be blessed by God. If we follow Satan pursuing the wealth of the world and living in the satanic corrupt disposition, we will oppose, tempt and attack God as Satan itself and ultimately suffer God’s punishment and curses. This one word of the Lord Jesus shows us the way of practice, allowing us to understand God’s will, to know what we should pursue is the correct way and is the meaningful life. This one word makes us see through Satan’s evil schemes, so that we no longer live for our personal benefits, no longer pursue fame and status or covet the glory and wealth of the world, but rather, we will only live for satisfying God and walk down the road to salvation through fearing God and shunning evil. In addition, from the conversation between God and Satan, we can see that are transparent and direct, without equivocation, because God’s substance is holiness. Contrarily, Satan’s word is full of seduction, temptation and attack; it appears dignified or great on the surface but is insidious and malicious in substance.
This reminded me of Job who walked the path of fearing God and shunning evil all his life and therefore was called the greatest one of the east. In his late time, Satan’s temptation and attack came upon him: All of his possessions were robbed away, and all his children encountered misfortune just in one day. Moreover, his body was covered in boils and suffered great pain. At that time, Job didn’t reject God because of losing his possessions and children; instead, no matter how Satan enforced its plots to tempt him, he always stood by God’s side and maintained a heart of reverence, not blaming God. He kept his loyalty to God all the while, obeyed God’s sovereignty and arrangement with his faith, and thus stood firm in his testimony for God. Satan was humiliated in defeat and ran away from the presence of God. From then on, Satan didn’t dare to tempt Job any more, and Job obtained greater blessing from God: Not only his property and lifespan were both doubled, but most importantly, he heard the personal voice of God and saw His back, so that he got deeper knowledge of God and further understanding of His will. He also drew closer to Him and gained the praise of Him.
Later, I once again read God’s word, which said, “If they wish to be saved, and wish to be completely gained by God, then all those who follow God must face temptations and attacks both great and small from Satan. Those who emerge from these temptations and attacks and are able to fully defeat Satan are those who have been saved by God. Which is to say, those who have been saved unto God are those who have undergone God’s trials, and who have been tempted and attacked by Satan an untold number of times. Those who have been saved unto God understand God’s will and requirements, and are able to acquiesce to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and they do not forsake the way of fearing God and shunning evil amid Satan’s temptations. Those who are saved unto God possess honesty, they are kindhearted, they differentiate between love and hate, they have a sense of justice and are rational, and they are able to care for God and treasure all that is of God. Such people are not bound, spied upon, accused, or abused by Satan, they are completely free, they have been completely liberated and released. Job was just such a man of freedom, and this is precisely the significance of why God handed him over to Satan” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II”). From these words, I came to know God’s will and realize that God utilizes the efforts of Satan to do the work of perfecting man. While experiencing various temptations and attacks from Satan, only if we rely on God and live with our faith in God, like Job, can we see through Satan’s evil schemes and overcome its forces and walk out of Satan’s domain. Think about the time when the Lord Jesus came personally to earth to do His work of saving men, Satan didn’t let Him go but tempted Him. Thus, today for us who want to be fully gained by God, Satan won’t let us go easily either. For this reason, we will certainly go through great and small temptations from Satan.
I am grateful for the guidance of God, which allows me to get real knowledge of Satan’s evil intentions. I realize that the purpose for Satan tempting us is to interrupt and disturb God’s work and assume dominion over the earth, so that mankind will betray God and worship it and become the object which is casually enslaved, fooled and swallowed by it. However, God’s work is built upon the Satan’s schemes and God makes use of them as service to perfect our faith and love to God. That reveals God’s almightiness and wisdom even further. At the same time I have a deeper understanding of the practical meaning and value of what the Lord Jesus said—You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve. This word is of great weight, which means that no matter what temptations we encounter from Satan, we must rely on God, don’t lose faith in Him, and must walk the path of fearing God and shunning evil like Job. Only in this way can we stand testimony for God in Satan’s temptations and receive God’s protection.
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