The Shrewd Tempter

English: Christ is tempted by Satan. The engra...

English: Christ is tempted by Satan. The engraved drawing was by Jacob de Wit after Peter Paul Rubens. 1711-12. School: Dutch. This print is from a group of 36 drawings after Peter Paul Rubens’ ceiling panels in the Jesuit Church, Antwerp, for engraving and publication by Jan Punt. Dimensions: height: 340 millimetres; width: 403 millimetres. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Genesis 3:1-19

Adam and Eve face temptation to disobey God.

The Shrewd Tempter


The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?

Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, the woman replied. It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said ˜You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.

You won’t die!  the serpent replied to the woman. God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. The she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. (Genesis 3:1-6)


Disguised as a shrewd serpent, Satan came to tempt Eve. Satan had once been a glorious angel, but he rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven. Satan tempted Eve by getting her to doubt God’s goodness. He implied that God was strict, stingy, and selfish for not wanting Eve to share his knowledge of good and evil. Satan made Eve forget all that God had given her and, instead, focus on what God had forbidden.

Satan succeeded in getting Eve to sin. Ever since then, he’s been busy getting people to sin. He even tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11). But Jesus did not sin! Why does Satan tempt humanity? Temptation is Satan’s invitation to adopt his kind of life and give up on God’s kind of life. But Satan is a created being and has definite limitations; he will not be the final victor. God will.

How could Eve have resisted temptation? By following the same guidelines we can follow. First, we must realize that being tempted is not a sin. We have not sinned until we give in to the temptation. Then, to resist temptation, we must (1) pray for strength to resist, (2) run, sometimes literally, and (3) say no when confronted with what we know is wrong.


Like Eve, we fall into trouble when we dwell on what God forbids rather than on the blessings and promises God gives us. Take time to consider all you do have and thank God for it. Then your doubts won’t lead you into sin.


Prophecy Thread of Week 22

God Inviting Christ to Sit on the Throne at Hi...

God Inviting Christ to Sit on the Throne at His Right Hand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Noah Webster‘s 1828 Dictionary Definition of Truth: Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. The truth of history constitutes its whole value. We rely on the truth of the scriptural prophecies.


God established His throne in heaven and reigns supremely from there. He has made His promise clear in Rev 21:3 that He will create a new heaven and new earth with God and man dwelling together. We can be assured that He will keep every promise made as we patiently wait. He will reign from His throne forever.




Psa 93:2a Your throne was established long ago;**




Jer 3:17 At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.



Rev 22:3b The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city,



Psa 45:6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.

Prophecies declared are in blue, prophecies fulfilled are in red, prophecies currently being fulfilled are in green, and prophecies to be fulfilled are in orange. Bold historical context dates are from Jeff Swanson’s The Plan dating system, and dates marked (U) are Archbishop Ussher‘s 1658 dating system. ** The date of this prophecy is in its referential context: the verse has been moved to the time frame of its contextual orientation.

Declension from first love



Declension from first love

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  Revelation 2:4

Suggested Further Reading: John 15:9-14

There are some people who always live upon what they have been. I speak very plainly now. There is a brother in this church who may take it to himself; I hope he will. It is not very many years ago since he said to me, when I asked him why he did not do something.  Well, I have done my share; I used to do this, and I have done the other; I have done so and so.” Oh, may the Lord deliver him, and all of us, from living on has beens.  It will never do to say we have done a thing. Suppose, for a solitary moment, the world should say, I have turned round; I will stand still.  Let the sea say, I have been ebbing and flowing these many years; I will ebb and flow no more. Let the sun say, I have been shining, and I have been rising and setting for many days; I have done this enough to earn me a goodly name; I will stand still; and let the moon wrap herself up in veils of darkness, and say,   have illuminated many a night, and I have lighted many a weary traveller across the moors; I will shut up my lamp and be dark for ever. Brethren, when you and I cease to labour, let us cease to live. God has no intention to let us live a useless life. But mark this; when we leave our first works, there is no question about our having lost our first love; that is sure. If there be strength remaining, if there be still power mentally and physically, if we cease from our office, if we abstain from our labours, there is no solution of this question which an honest conscience will accept, except this, Thou hast lost thy first love, and, therefore, thou hast neglected thy first works.

For meditation: Past love is no substitute for present expressions of it (Philemon: 5-7,20). Present work is no guarantee that love cannot be lost in the future (Philemon: 24; 2 Timothy 4:10).

Sermon no. 217 29 September (Preached 26 September 1858)