Updated: Feb 5
After his baptism, Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.'”
Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'”
Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,
‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’
‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'”
Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
Christianity has no idea what the ‘Wilderness experience’ is about. It is not about forty days trying to use will-power to give up some worldly temptation: chocolate, swearing, sex, or anything like that.
The ‘Wilderness experience’ is about self-sacrifice, completely. It is about the death of the ego-driven will, to be reborn of the Mind of Christ. That self-sacrifice brings upon one the Will of God, which cannot be swayed by the illusions of the material world.
We read, “After his baptism, Jesus [was] full of the Holy Spirit.”
That baptism was the cleansing of his soul. The Holy Spirit is what led Jesus into the wilderness. That was not a place, such as the Judean Wilderness, but a state of being. Jesus was led to not be Jesus the man, born of a woman; but to become Jesus Christ, born of Divine Will.
“Forty days” is not a timeframe, such as between Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at 9:00 AM and Palm Sunday, April 14, 2019, at 9:00 AM. Forty days is forty God days, which is forty thousand years, give or take a century. That means “forty days” is an eternity, which encompasses whatever remaining linear years of artificial “time” one has left in the flesh that is draped over one’s soul. “Forty days” is no different than the forty years Moses led the Israelites around in the Sinai wilderness. It was not about place of being; it is all about state of being.
Do you think Noah could jump off the ark and grab whatever delicacies the world had to offer, if he wanted, when it was pouring rain and flood was everywhere? His ‘wilderness’ was all about being willfully within the vessel God told him to build. Jesus was within his ark, which was the vessel of the Holy Spirit being one with his body. Jesus was afloat in the world, without contact to it.
A human being cannot survive forty linear days of ‘time’ without food.
When we read, “[Jesus] ate nothing at all during those days,” it means Jesus did not need worldly sustenance of any kind. The soul of Jesus was nourished completely by spiritual food. Spiritual food, like manna from heaven, is supplied by God, through His angels.
When we read, “and when [the linear lapse of time was] over, he was famished,” the Greek word “epeinasen” (translated as “he was famished”) is better read as “he was hungry.” By Jesus being “hungry,” he was ripe for being tested. Being asked to abstain from something when one is already satiated is no test. One must be hungry first and then told to abstain, if a true test is to be made.
The test of hunger means: One passes the “hunger” test by refusing to be tempted with earthly delights, because the Mind of Christ overrides a brain made of flesh. One fails the “hunger” test by accepting the temptations of Satan, because the gray matter inside a skull lusts for what it has been missing.
“Forty days without chocolate! Maybe forty minutes … maybe.” These are the thoughts of brains that have become addicted to substances. Brains cannot will abstinence when the body is addicted.
Jesus passed the tests because the Father’s Will had replaced that of the body of Jesus.
When Satan tempted Jesus to turn a stone into a loaf of bread, Christians who fail the tests of Lent (everyone?) fail to see the Greek word for “stone” (“lithō”) represents the “tablets of stone” (“luach ebenim”), or the Law of Moses, given by Yahweh to all His priests to adhere to totally. Turning the Law into something soft and deliciously satisfying, where pieces can be easily torn away from the rest and savored as one chews that which is not meant to please the flesh is what Satan recommended to Jesus.
Can you see how often Christians fail to observe the Law? Can you see how that “stone” has been transformed into whatever some false priest, misguided bishop, or antipope (retired or dual in rule) has tempted believers to accept?
“If the stone of the Law and the barrenness of one’s self-imposed ‘wilderness’ is too hard to swallow, try this substitute: (fill in the blank of addiction). It is oh so sweet and tasty. Rather than sacrificing, it is self-serving! Here, take a bite.”
When Jesus was shown by Satan “all the kingdoms of the world,” he was trying to bring his brain back to consciousness. He was trying to awaken Jesus from self-sacrifice, in a Spiritual place that required nothing worldly, and make him see the structures of worldly existence. Instead of the Mind of Christ transforming the body of Jesus into the Kingdom of God, Satan wanted Jesus to see the powers of nations and earthly kingdoms.
The temptation of Satan was to say, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”
Have Christians ever heard a leader of their ‘church’ say, “Let us be political and side with this philosophy of man”? Has anyone ever judged others, based on their opposition to their ‘authority’ to speak for Jesus? Have priests marched in protests wearing the glory of holy robes? Are they not serving Satan’s will, rather than standing pat in Christ? By whose ‘authority’ do they speak, if not for oneself? Satan’s?
How often does Bishop Michael Curry tell Episcopalians, “’Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him”?
I hear him preaching the Gospel of John, Paul, George and Ringo, “All you need is love, love love. Love is all you need.” I see “worship the Lord” as being in that “wilderness experience’, where only Satan projects unattainable commitments as the authority given by the master trickster.
Is not love a will of self? Love of God and serving only Him means everyone else is out of eyesight and out of one’s brainwaves of thought. God’s love led Jesus to reject Satan … to love Satan by telling him, “Get out of my face!”
Finally, Satan tried to make Jesus see the future, when he would be placed high upon the pinnacle of religious buildings … not those sacrificing animals to Yahweh, but cathedrals of Christianity. Satan said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.”
Have not many a Christian cleric thrown Jesus down from atop brick and mortar shrines of worldly worship, saying to the people, “Jesus Christ lives among us of faith, so we welcome anyone, regardless of their sins. We have thrown Jesus down so we now speak for Jesus. Because we believe Jesus was the Son of God, our words will be held up by the hands of angels”?
How often are church leaders saying to the world, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test”?
Not often, because the Christian churches of 2019 are all testing God by failing to be Jesus Christ reborn by the Holy Spirit.
A fancy building cannot be Jesus Christ. The fancier the building the more Satan has had Christians throw Jesus from the pinnacle of their faith.
The ‘wilderness’ is the relationship an individual develops with God. When God speaks to that individual, saying, “This is my Son. In him I am well pleased,” then (regardless of one’s human sex organ) one has been reborn as Jesus Christ (a most Holy male, of the masculine Father). One’s soul has been washed clean of all past sins – FOREVER.
One has then begun an eternity as a servant-slave-subject of God’s Will, with one’s self-ego purged … left behind.
One might remember that the Apostle Philip was also found in the wilderness, when he came upon an Ethiopian eunuch. John the Baptist had his wilderness experience also, prior to his ministry of washing Jews with river water and prior to his presence at the baptism of Jesus by the Holy Spirit. The wilderness experience is a must for salvation. It is what separates wantabe Christians from true Christians – those reborn as Jesus Christ.
A true church is a collection of those who have entered the wilderness and faced temptation; all have passed. Soon after Jesus died, resurrected and ascended, Jesus Christ returned in each of his disciples (sans Judas Iscariot) and the Christian Church was born of those committed souls, who would gather “in the name of Jesus Christ” together.
That selective gathering is no longer as it was. Today, human beings, with their egos still attached and their lusts still leading their hearts, gather in buildings, calling those structures holy. Those human beings are the ones who pretend to sacrifice for forty days, with only one sin being caged up temporarily.
“Don’t worry lust, you will be back out soon.”
Today, more people pay respect to Fat Tuesday than Ash Wednesday. The same trend goes for All-Hallowed’s Eve, rather than All-Hallowed’s Day. Christians love being pagan, more than they love being religious.
That, my friends, is the meaning of us reading in Luke:
“When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.”
These are most opportune times for Satan to tempt the believers of God.