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Thursday, March 3 2016

Matthew 4: Showdown In The Wilderness

"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil ... 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"

The Ministry of the Messiah began with a confrontation with the Devil (see What Is Satan's Real Name? and the Fact Finder question below). Notice that Satan didn't attempt to lure the Messiah away from the Word of God, but rather to pervert it into a self-righteous, self-serving antichrist religion (see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?). The Devil repeatedly quoted Scripture to the Son of God in a way that was an attempt to "convert" Him into a sinner - exactly as he had done to the first humans, who were also created sinless (see Where Did True and False Prophets Originate?).

The Wilderness

"4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written,

He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

4:8 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; 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

4:10 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.

4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." (Matthew 4:1-11 KJV)

With the defeat of the Devil, the Messiah's Ministry began - at the same time that the ministry of John the Baptist, who was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah, was successfully completed (see How Long Was John's Ministry?). Notice also that the beginning of the Messiah's Ministry resulted in His soon thereafter leaving Nazareth because of their violent unbelief (see The Last Words At Nazareth).

"4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;

4:13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

4:15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:12-17 KJV)

Then, the calling of the first disciples ("disciple" means student) who would be trained (see Strait And Straight and Which Way Is Right And Left?) to become the first apostles ("apostle" means to be sent with authority).

"4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 4:22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him." (Matthew 4:18-22 KJV)

The general population appreciated the Truth that the Messiah taught - and greatly benefited from it and its physical and spiritual healings. His "fame" however would soon become the reason that the corrupt religious "authorities" feared and hated Him. In the end, they assassinated Him for the "crime" of unflinchingly speaking and teaching the Truth.

"4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. 4:25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan." (Matthew 4:23-25 KJV)

Fact Finder: How has Satan impersonated the Messiah for centuries?
See How Does Satan Impersonate Jesus Christ?


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This Day In History, March 3

473: Gundobad nominated Glycerius as emperor of the Western Roman Empire (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

The Roman Empire
1284: The Statute of Rhuddlan incorporated Wales into England.

1575: Mughal Emperor Akbar of India defeated the Bengali army at the Battle of Tukaroi.

1847: Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), the inventor of the telephone, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He invented the telephone in Brantford, Ontario, Canada (the "Bell Homestead" is now a National Historic Site of Canada) after immigrating there from Scotland, and is buried in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia (Latin for New Scotland) near his home there.

Alexander Graham Bell
1857: Britain and France declared war on China to begin the Second Opium War.

1861: Serfdom was abolished in Russia by Czar Alexander II.

1875: The first organized hockey game was played, in Montreal, Canada.

1878: The peace treaty at San Stefano was signed, ending the Russo-Turkish War and gaining independence for Serbia.

1904: Kaiser (the German form of "Caesar") Wilhelm II of Germany became the first person to make a sound recording of a political document, using Thomas Edison's phonograph cylinder.

1905: Czar Nicholas II of Russia created an elected representative assembly, known as the Duma.

1913: Thousands of women marched in Washington, D.C. demanding the right of women to vote in the land "where all men are created equal."

1918: Germany and its allies signed the treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia, ending hostilities between them in the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1919: The first international air mail was flown from Vancouver, British Columbia to Seattle, Washington.

1919: The world's financial cost for the First World War was estimated to be about $197 billion.

1921: Dr. Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best of Toronto announced the discovery of insulin.

1924: 5 months after Turkey was made a republic on October 29 1923, the Grand National Assembly abolished the caliphate of the Ottoman empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1938: Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

1966: John Lennon set off an international protest when he was quoted in the London Evening Standard as saying that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus Christ."

1991: Latvia and Estonia voted for independence from the Soviet Union.

2002: The people of Switzerland narrowly voted in favor of becoming a member of the United Nations.


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