Updated: Feb 5
In the Episcopal Lectionary schedule for Year A, the First Sunday of Lent brings out the Gospel reading that is Matthew 4:1-11. That reading can be summarized simply as “Jesus tested in the Wilderness.”
To refresh the memory of that reading, it states (Revised Common Lectionary translation):
4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
4:2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.
4:3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
4:4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
4:5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple,
4:6 saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'”
4:7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
4:8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor;
4:9 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
4:10 Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'”
4:11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
There is a similar account in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 4:1-13), but Mark adds no details, other than Jesus was attended by angels, and John wrote nothing of this testing of Jesus in the Wilderness. Luke differs in that he did not name “Satan” or identify a “tempter.” Luke lists “the devil” an equal number of times and identifies that as the one who presented the same tests to Jesus, as Matthew recounted. However, it is these small additions by Matthew that give necessary depth to this story of Jesus, prior to his ministry beginning, making it important to realize this fullness.
In the Greek text of Matthew’s Gospel, four times the word (or variations) “diabolos” is written, which is translated above as “devil.” One time the Greek word “peirazōn” is written, translated as “tempter,” and the personified word “Satana” is written, translated as “Satan,” which identifies the “tempter” and the “devil.” It is worthwhile to fully understand these three Greek words.
The word diabolos means, “slanderous, accusing falsely” (Strong’s), but the proper use says, “a slanderer; a false accuser; unjustly criticizing to hurt (malign) and condemn to sever a relationship,” while literally meaning “someone who ‘casts through,’ i.e. making charges that bring down (destroy).” (HELPS Word Studies) That source adds, of diabolos, “Satan is used by God in this plan – as a predictable wind-up toy, playing out his evil nature.”
The word peirazó translates as “to make proof of, to attempt, test, tempt,” used as “I try, tempt, test.” (Strong’s) According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, specifically addressing the usage in this reading from Matthew (and others similar), the word means “to try or test one’s faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin; hence, according to the context equivalent to – to solicit to sin, to tempt.”
The Greek word personified as Satana comes from the Hebrew word “satan,” which means “adversary, accuser.” (Strong’s) The personification becomes an increased level of recognition of a specific “adversary,” which is “the name of the superhuman adversary of God.” (NAS Exhaustive Concordance)
Understanding the full meaning of “devil, tempter, and Satan” is vital in grasping the intent of this reading. I say that because I believe there are many Christians (and I include myself in that number, prior to my being led to write this article) who fail to see the reason why the temptation of Jesus is told.
The analogy I have used to show the problem Christians face when they believe without fully understanding Scripture (the foundation of true faith) is Forrest Gump at the bus stop. Many like to think they are as good as Forrest (or better than a simpleton) and are willing to have their faith tested by strangers also waiting for the bus.
God: “Forrest mortal, Can these atheists have faith?” Forrest: “You know that answer. I am just a simple man.”
The more they say that is true, then the more the tempters will get up and leave. However, if the tempters (and atheists always know Scripture better than most “Christians”) can point out all the flaws they see in Christian doctrine and teachings of Scripture, then eventually the pretender Forrest will get up, with his or her tail between the legs, and run off. That appears to make Scripture false, when the reality it is the “Christian” that is false.
Simple is as simple does, and Forrest, like Ezekiel, submitted their brains to the Mind of Christ. So, they did not speak for themselves, but what the Father would have them say. That is an important analogy to remember, especially with this story of Jesus being tested is told.
In this regard, one has to be led to understand what it means when it is written by Matthew, “He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.” Luke wrote, “He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.” If anyone has ever watched the History Channel series Alone, then one knows how physically impossible it is to go forty days without food.
Dave Nessia lost 40 lbs over 73 days and was removed as a contestant trying to survive alone in Patagonia, when medical checks of his vital signs indicated danger. Dave ate fish regularly … just not enough.
A true Christian is not disturbed by any challenge that can come from an atheist, such as, “Have you ever gone forty days without eating food?” Or, “How can you believe Jesus did what nobody else can possibly duplicate?”
Without making this a dissertation that compares the Old Testament books, about Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness for forty years, with this event of Jesus’ life over forty days, as being a macrocosm- microcosm, the simple statement says, “The forty days here have little to do with the physicality of that much human time, as it is the spirituality (that which is symbolized in the number forty) that has to be grasped.”
Compared to the Old Testament books, the atheist at the bus stop would ask what manna is and how so many people lived in the wilderness from stuff falling from the sky. That question ignores how the Israelites left Egypt with all their livestock in tow. After Moses struck the rock with his staff and water flowed, all living beings (humans and animals) had water allowing them to live. The Israelites sacrificed animals routinely from their stock, meaning they routinely had milk and cheese to eat, along with the occasional barbecue at ritual times. The manna was then not for physical survival, but for spiritual survival, as God’s chosen people.
A little manna a day keeps the devil at bay.
As a physical form that is probably similar to a Eucharistic wafer, the Israelites had their spirituality fed by spiritual food. More than not eating anything physical (keeping in mind how Mark said Jesus was attended by angels, which makes physical nourishment possible, depending on the limits of the fasting), it was spiritual food that is more important to see as what Jesus had abstained from for forty days.
In the first verse, we read how “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness.” The capitalized word “Spirit” comes from the capitalized Greek word “Pneumatos,” which means (importantly, through capitalization), “Wind, Breath, Spirit.” (Strong’s) The importance is then a statement about the Holy Spirit, as the Breath of God filled Jesus, enabling him to set out on this testing period.
In Luke’s Gospel, he wrote the same capitalized “Pneumatos,” but then followed that with the capitalized Greek word “Hagiou,” which means an importance that conveys “Holy, Sacred, Set apart by God.” This has to be seen as how Jesus (or any human being) could survive an extreme test of fasting, both physically and spiritually. It would be completely impossible (even for the human Jesus) to survive that starvation without the presence of God filling his being (body and soul).
In this regard, it cannot be disputed that Jesus was born as the most holy human being ever. He was the Son of God in human flesh and he had just been baptized with the Holy Spirit when John the Baptizer (his cousin) baptized him with the water of the Jordan River. We know this because Matthew 3:17 states, “A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”’ This change in Jesus’ state of being must be grasped as well.
Scholars of Scripture reason that Jesus was “about thirty years of age” (based on Luke) when he began his ministry. Whatever the number of years actually was, Jesus had been most holy by birth, but he was like any and all other human beings, finding life on earth as the freedom of a soul (the breath of God) to find the pleasures (and the pains) of a life in the flesh to be so accommodating to the soul that God gives each freed soul a choice: will you serve the flesh (self-ego), or will you serve God? Jesus had to make that choice, just like everyone else.
Matthew wrote of the baptism of Jesus as, “He [Jesus] went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.” The Greek word translated as “went up” is “anebē,” which can also translate as saying, “ascended.” That word then brings on greater connotations than simply rising out of the water, as if dunked by John. Because that follows with a statement about “heaven” being “opened,” and Jesus seeing “the Spirit of God descending and alighting on him,” this is a statement of exchange (ascending and descending), where Jesus gave up his right to choose a soul in the flesh, at which time God’s Holy Spirit took over the body of Jesus permanently. Jesus made the choice to serve God.
Ascending while descending, just like in Jacob’s dream.
Prior to that baptism by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was free to choose life in the flesh over all the commitments that come with complete service to God; and that is, in essence, when Jesus died as a human being and became reborn as the Christ. That is a sacrifice that: A. Made Jesus prepared to be tested by the devil; and B. Made Jesus the Son of God, in whom God was well pleased.
The reason Matthew wrote about this testing of Jesus in the Wilderness is not to tell believers about how special Jesus was. He was born special. As a twelve year old he proved he was able to discern the meaning from Scripture that the elders had never grasped. Still, the missing years are not lessons Scripture teaches, because Jesus was still a freed soul in a body of flesh that experienced the realities of a physical world, just like everyone else. It took special-born Jesus decades to reach the point of willing sacrifice of his self-ego, so that he could become the Christ that God had promised long before.
Three years of ministry would lead to his physical death, but in order to become a minister of the LORD Jesus had to sacrifice his soul’s claim to a right to control the body of flesh that soul inhabited. Above all, Jesus had to sacrifice his brain to the Will of God, which comes as the Mind of the Christ.
This means the reason that Matthew and Luke wrote about some specifics of the temptations of Jesus – an event that neither author was present for, as direct eyewitnesses to the forty days of starvation – is to set the example of Jesus for all who would follow after him in the same self-sacrificing, in order to become Saints (or Apostles). All have to first be baptized by the Holy Spirit of God (not sprinkled with holy water from a baptismal font by a priest or dunked in a baptismal pool by a pastor), so all can be seen as pleasing to God, with His Son descending like a dove upon their flesh (as their self-ego souls rise to heaven). All have to make a commitment of total subjection to God’s will for the remainder of their soul’s life in the flesh (not just for forty days). All have to prove to God that their souls will not vacillate in that commitment, which is an impossible task for a freed soul, especially one still holding dearly to life in the flesh.
When one feels completely comfortable with this interpretation, one can then look at the tempter, the devil, and Satan in a new light. Just as Jesus is shown in the new light of being like everyone that has ever lived life in the flesh, so special that even he had to make the choice to sacrifice his self-ego to fully serve his Father, making him become the model for everyone who will be a soul in the flesh after his presence on earth, the tempter also has new light shone on it.
This story told by Matthew (and Luke), which tells of two characters – Jesus and the devil (Satan) – is vital as a template for all who would follow after Jesus as Apostles and/or Saints. The story of Philip in the wilderness encountering the Ethiopian eunuch says that all who follow Jesus will be tested likewise.
How did Philip know what he knew?
All who follow in Jesus’ footsteps will likewise sacrifice their self-egos and become Jesus again being tested in the Wilderness. Each individual Apostle-to-be must be reborn as Jesus the Christ, as one filled with the Holy Spirit from pleasing God the Father, and be made ready to be led to face the challenge of the tempter. However, one cannot think one is like a Flip Wilson comedy sketch, saying “The devil made me do it,” as the devil is one’s own soul, testing to see if the flesh wants it to return and control the body, rather than remain committed to serving God as Jesus the Christ resurrected in human flesh.
In the first test, the challenge was, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” The erroneous assumption is to see the devil knowing the physical hunger of a “famished” Jesus, after having “fasted forty days and forty nights.” The Greek word translated as “he was famished” is “epeinasen,” which fully means “he was hungry, needy, desiring earnestly.” (Strong’s) Once one has a grasp that the fasting was not from physical food (the angels attended to those needs, similar to the participants on the series Alone giving thanks to the unseen for them being allowed to catch fish, mice, birds, or small game) but from spiritual food. It was that lack that brought the soul of Jesus back to him, telling him “turn the stones into bread.”
As Jesus was the Son of God and most holy, the suggestion that his soul made to his flesh (then being led by the Mind of the Christ, via God having lit upon his flesh through His Holy Spirit) was to do as Moses had done when he had spent forty days atop Mount Sinai. The “bread” of the Israelites’ spirituality was the Word etched by the finger of God onto stone tablets. As in need of spiritual replenishment as the flesh of Jesus was, the hovering soul of Jesus-the-man suggested making some spiritual food from rocks. However, it was not a hunger in Jesus that could be satiated by reading Scripture written on holy stones.
Stones turned into the spiritual bread of God
This is why the Christ Mind in Jesus’ flesh replied, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Think about how the reply addresses a suggestion for written nourishment at a time of desiring spiritual nourishment. Turning “stones to bread” was not a suggestion to produce physical food to fill the belly, but to find holy words written on stones as the spiritual bread that fills a famished soul. The Christ Mind answered the soul of testing Jesus that Scripture has been stored in the memory of the Christ Mind, as the author of all holy words, and words alone (like those in this Scriptural writing) cannot possibly speak the fullness that is intended “by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
It is worthwhile to see how the flesh of Jesus was not weakened, as one might expect some human being that had been without food for forty days to be. The Christ Mind spoke with authority and a strength that speaks loudly that Jesus’ body was in no way deteriorated from lack of attention or punishment from physical sacrifices. It was from this position of strength that Jesus then addressed the second test presented by the devil that was Jesus’ detached soul.
The next test should also make it clear that Jesus’ body was alone in the Wilderness, as there was no winged gargoyle-like creature (the artistic depictions of Satan testing Jesus so commonly known) that magically appeared from out of nowhere. Jesus was alone with his thoughts, which is a statement that his thoughts of self-ego were indeed the devil’s advocate.
The rebellious fallen angel Azazel is a name believed to mean “scapegoat,” which was released into the Wilderness on Yom Kippur for the atonement of sins. It becomes important to see our souls in the light of ascension to heaven (escaped) or descended to hell on earth (imprisoned by sins).
While a voice suggesting turning stones to loaves of bread can be imagines as the sudden appearance of a separate entity, the transference from the barren Wilderness to the Temple in Jerusalem can only have taken place in the brain of Jesus.
We read that “the devil took [Jesus] to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple,” as a vision that is again symbolic of a need and desire for spiritual nourishment. If Jesus was not going to reproduce the Holy Tablets, then he should seek the support of the religion that had evolved from them. As the Son of God – the promised Messiah – then Jesus would be the “pinnacle” of that system of belief. However, the Greek word translated as “pinnacle” is “pterygion,” which means “a little wing, a battlement, an extremity, parapet, or apex.” (Strong’s)
This then becomes a statement that the devil that was the sacrificed soul of Jesus-the-man was showing Jesus as an “extremity” that was high above the heads of the ruling class of Jerusalem. The suggestion was then not to jump off from a high place and trust that angels would keep the body of Jesus from crashing harshly on the ground below, but to “cast yourself down,” where the keyword is “yourself” – a statement of the self-ego that had ruled the flesh of Jesus. The suggestion was to let the freed soul of Jesus-the-man take over as the High Priest of the Temple, which would be a significant “lowering” from the “pinnacle” that was the Son of God.
The suggestion of the devil soul of Jesus, quoting from Scripture, was: “’[God] will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”’ That was a false promise that Jesus-the-man could become as great as was King David, who was born up by God, through David’s complete subjection to the Will of God. The devil advocated that angels would come to the aid of Jesus by using a quote from one of David’s Psalms (Psalm 91:11-12). Of course, as David aged and became less able to combat the suggestions of his devil self-ego (David became tired of doing battle, as told in 2 Samuel 11:1), Jesus would have also failed God had he chosen worldly rule over divine submission to just God.
The answer the Christ Mind gave to the devil soul’s suggestion was, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” This quote comes from Deuteronomy 6:16, which was a reference (many believe) to the building of the Golden Calf idol, when Moses had been away, atop Mount Sinai, and worry had set in. The Israelites feared Moses had died and God had left them. That quote follows it being written in Deuteronomy 6:
“Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.” (Deuteronomy 6:13-15)
This says that the Mind of the Christ was rebuking the soul of Jesus-the-man (the devil’s advocate), whose thought was to become an idol for the Jews, like David prior, making Jesus of Nazareth become a god to follow, rather than be the model by which all God’s devotees need to realize, so all bear the personal responsibility of serving God through love and absolute commitment. That spread of commitment ceases when all bow down to a human king.
From this rebuke, the brain of Jesus was shown the whole world from a “very high mountain,” such that this should not be read as meaning a physical mountain (such as in the Himalayas) but a most holy mountain, like Mount Sinai.
High as in Holy mountain.
All the kingdoms of the world that were shown to the Christ Mind then represented a prophecy of the spread of Christianity that would come, since being the King of the Jews had been rejected. Kingdoms would spread through royal blood and give rise to Christendom, with all those kings, queens, princes and princesses. The devil of Jesus’ soul then said, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
This must not be seen as a request for Jesus to choose to worship a deity that would be considered a false god, but “me” (from moi) is the first person singular pronoun that refers to the speaker, which is a form of the Greek word “ego,” meaning “I.” The demand for worship was not to an unseen god but to worship of self, returning the deposed self-ego to control of the body. For that choice to be made, Jesus (the Son of God) would certainly have to fall down greatly, but not to his knees. He would have to fall down to the level of mere human being, unable to control the influences that bid him to do evils that constantly bombard the human brain.
The Christ Mind put a stop to this nonsense, saying, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”
The Greek word that has been translated as “Get you away” is “Hypage,” which means, “You go away, You depart, You be gone, and/or You die.” The Mind of Christ again quoted from the book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 6:13), telling the self-ego of a sacrificed soul to be forever dead, to never again challenge for rule over the flesh of Jesus. The soul of Jesus-the-man did as commanded.
In regard to the Christ Mind calling the soul of Jesus-the-man “Satan,” with orders to “Die,” Satan is then the name for anyone in human flesh that refuses to be permanently sacrificed, so the flesh can become the home of the resurrected Jesus the Christ. Satan is the name of anyone who will not worship the Lord as one’s God. Satan is the name of anyone who will not serve only God, because serving self feels so much more powerful and pleasing.
It should be recalled that Simon Peter began to rebuke Jesus because Jesus talked about his coming persecution and death at the hands of the ruling elite in Jerusalem, causing Peter to rebuke Jesus. Jesus (filled with the Christ Mind) then called Simon Peter “Satan,” telling him to get behind him, out of the face of God that was worn by the Christ Mind.
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:23)
This story must be seen as representing how every true Christian must repeat this story in their lives. Every man and woman that chooses to serve only God will be tested as to his or her commitment. The test will not be by some imaginary devil that will be external to the flesh, whispering influences to do evil, but from oneself talking oneself out of that commitment. The only way to continue on in service to God the Father, as an Apostle or Saint, is to be reborn as Jesus the Christ and let the Christ Mind tell oneself to “Go die.”
Then, like in this story, the devil of self-ego will leave forever, and suddenly angels will come and wait on the one who has been reborn in the name of Christ. Unfortunately, the temptations of a modern world, one mostly void of Apostles and Saints, thus largely having lost touch with Jesus the Christ, is that the self-ego gleefully wins these encounters with those who want to serve God … but do not know how to say “No” to the Satan in their brains. This story is for all ‘so-called-Christians’ that are too weak to be reborn as Jesus the Christ and tell their freed souls’ self-egos to “Go you away!”
Modern Christians have been fed the physical food of the concept of Lent, where the quasi-premise is to give up one itty-bitty sin for forty days, much like a New Year’s resolution of self-will. This concept ignores that this testing of Jesus in the Wilderness was after he had fasted for forty days and forty nights. The devil in him did not come out prior to his having been baptized by the Holy Spirit and given the Father’s blessing as Jesus being His Son, in whom God was well-pleased. Today’s Christians skip the baptism of the Holy Spirit, thinking they can go forty days and forty nights in sacrifice alone.
The error of Lent is the fanfare that precedes Ash Wednesday (a completely fictitious creation by some human beings), known as Mardi gras or Fat Tuesday, where the hoopla of celebrating the last chance to smear as much sin on oneself as possible gives the impression that being over-satiated with sins before a journey of repentance (quite limited and most probably quite manageable) makes the chances of success greater.
It makes the successful completion of a period of abstinence stretching over a linear forty day period seem important; when one never imagines the ‘what if’ of someone like Charles Manson having a priest smear ashes in the form of a cross on his forehead, while he committed to God, “I will not influence others to murder for forty days.”
The ridiculousness of Lent is it does not teach anyone to make life changes that will lead them to forevermore serve God, never again to be self-serving.
The bastion of “Christianity,” due to the spread of influence made by the Roman Catholic Church across Europe and then (through osmosis) to the Americas, has become the shining examples of what self-worship will bring. The hard, stone-like existence of the majority of the world has become soft, like fresh baked loaves of bread. “Bread” has even become synonymous with “money,” which the Western (Christian?) world has opted for. When once the Western World was teeming with Saints and Apostle in the name of Jesus the Christ, the leaders of organized religions calling themselves ‘Christian’ have heard the devil say, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” Saints have become reduced to political leaders that get assassinated, not ordinary true Christians that battle on in their commitments to serve God, in the face of a world that barely believes in God, much less serve something unseen.
Those modern “Christians” have lied to the face of God, saying, “I am reborn as a believer of the Son of God, so give me the soft, warm, nourishment that the world offers us sell-outs.”
The followers of those leaders have been taught for centuries to pay money for the indulgences of sin, so the masses have no concept of worshipping the Lord as their individual God and serving only Him. They serve an institution that has become the pinnacle of the Temple, replacing true Christianity with a duplicate form of Judaism, complete with false shepherds – high priests (Cardinals, Bishops, Popes, et al), Pharisees (all who profit from lavish lifestyles, benefiting from their claims to love God and Jesus), Sadducees (all who don the robes of piety as an educational pursuit for an occupation), and scribes (all who write the lukewarm vomit that is pandered to believers as if from the mouth of God).
Jesus the Christ has been cast down to a lowly image, one of a dead body hanging on a wooden crucifix, which can easily be sold for cold, hard cash.
Let Jesus die of self-ego so you can wear that sacrifice around your neck or nail it to your wall! You don’t have to give up anything but a few bucks.
Still, the leaders parade around in fine clothing, which speaks to the population of believers about how much God rewards his servants that serve self, rather than God. They teach, without using words, that angels will lift one up to heaven, without any of the hard work (the stone bruises) required.
The sad state of the religion categorized as Judeo-Christian is it has become the devil soul of a carcass that was Jesus of Nazareth. Having long been starved of spiritual food (fasting after having been filled with the Holy Spirit of Saints and true Apostles) that flesh stood in the Wilderness famished. The evil soul of Jesus-the-man was ripe for a devil’s advocate who would say, “All these kingdoms of the world, along with all their splendor, can be owned and possessed by your descendants, as long as you lead them to bow down and worship the material realm.”
The persecution of true Christians by the appeasement of a Roman Church that bent to the will of pagans, simply to add numbers to their defenses that had it attacked by all the other worldly religions, had led to the vast majority of Saints being crucified, burned at the stake, drawn and quartered, guillotined, and politically castrated. There are few true Christians left alive. If one is looking for a Unicorn, it is like looking for a Saint. No one believes they ever truly existed.
The message in Matthew 4:1-11 (and Luke 4:1-13) is not to idolize Jesus the man as having super powers that no one else can ever duplicate. The message is to become Jesus reborn, filled with the Holy Spirit, blessed by God Almighty with all powers of resistance to sin. The message is tell one’s own self-ego to die, go away, and leave the operation of a body of flesh to God’s Christ Mind. This makes one the resurrection of the Son of God, in whom God is well pleased. The message is to wear the face of God, as did Jesus, because any other faces (those of human desires and idolatries) will have God’s rejection.
“Thou shall have no other gods before me” (the First Commandment) says in Hebrew (reading words right to left, spelled with letters left to right), “לֹֽ֣א יִהְיֶֽה־ לְךָ֛֩ אֱלֹהִ֥֨ים אֲחֵרִ֖֜ים עַל־ פָּנָֽ֗יַ,” which transliterates as “lō yih-yeh- lə-ḵā ’ĕ-lō-hîm ’ă-ḥê-rîm ‘al- pā-nā-ya,” The literal translation amends what everyone knows as the First Commandment so it really states, “Not shall come to pass you gods any other upon face.” This essentially is God commanding that no human being will ever serve the Lord while wearing his or her own face, pretending to be a (little g) god, who thinks he or she is equal to God Almighty. Only by wearing the face of God can one “face God,” as God’s face is then before their flesh after the sacrifice of self-ego.
To begin to reach that righteous state of being, one needs to stop thinking in terms of days of self-sacrifice and start knowing a soul will outlive all bodies of flesh. Sacrificing God’s eternal Kingdom for a human life, one that amounts to a spit in the bucket of time, is selling one’s soul for nothing. Nothing gained in this material world will await a soul’s return to new flesh, squeezed from another mother’s womb. Family trees do not show ancestry of souls, just humans that came and went, with nothing assured that once a royal prince then always a royal prince. No Swiss bank account will hold onto your gold until you come back in a new body of flesh. That concept is called reincarnation, which in Christianity is called self-failure, having to repeat a grade in school. That goal has nothing to do with Christian thought. That is worship to Hindus.