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    "THANK GOD FOR SATAN'S FIASCO" by Ajayi Joshua M.



    “. . . For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory”

    1 Cor. 2:8
    Introduction
    What unpleasant situation are you going through? Have you been so busy asking God, “Why me?” Maybe He is also saying, “Walk before Me and be thou perfect” like He told Abraham (Gen. 17:1)! Have you been threatened by a 21st century Nebuchadnezzar and you keep saying, “Where is God now?”  Maybe He is where He was when the three Hebrew guys, looking at a burning fiery furnace before them and yet told their own Nebuchadnezzar not to even think at all that they would bow to his golden image even if God would not save them (Dan. 3:18)! Maybe you have been blaming the people around you . . . wrong approach! I got a short message for you; . . . 

    “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Phi. 4:6)” and you will . . . Thank God for Satan’s Fiasco! This article has three subtopics; Satan in Eden, Satan in the East and Satan in Jerusalem. In the conclusion, I emphasized that “Accepting Jesus Christ is a necessary condition to get us into heaven but it is not sufficient”; but before we move on to the subtopics; suppose this big small world is a University where God is the Founder and Jesus Christ is the Lecturer and there are other lecturers too in it such as Mohammed, Buddha, Ogun, Obatala, Yemoja, Sango, Mammon, Zeus, Shiva, Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Cronus, Uranus, Hades and so on; and there are various disciplines too such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism etc; but the scope of this article is strictly limited to Christianity.

     Lest I forget, there is also Satan; the tempter! Your life guarantees your studentship; you have to use it well and wisely; any day you lose it; you have lost your studentship in this university. My Lecturer is simply addressed as Jesus Christ. Allow me to tell you that my Lecturer would never miss a class and He gives tough but realistic and achievable class quizzes, assignments, and projects. He is kind and affectionate. If we fail an impromptu test, He would say, “The skills to solve problems like this can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting (Matt. 17:21).”

     Repentance is His watchword (Luke 13:3 & 5). Holiness is His nature (Hebrews 12:14). Righteousness is His birthright (Matt. 5:20). Though He loves sinners; but He hates their sins and He is fond of telling us that we need to be perfect just as the Founder is perfect (Matt. 5:48). The Tutorial Master He assigned to me (and every Christian) is popularly referred to as The Holy Spirit (This guy is a workaholic!). Ajayi Joshua Morakinyo may sleep but He who keeps and tutors him doesn’t sleep and doesn’t slumber (Ps. 121:4 . . . paraphrased). 

    Whenever I am losing control for instance, He would echo, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).” Sometimes He sends warning signals like, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me (Ps.66:18).” When I fell down flat into sin and hated myself for it, He was ever present to strengthen me with comforting words such as, “My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not. 

    And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1John2:1).” If I seem to be wallowing in sin, He would query, “. . . Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid . . .! (Romans 6:1, 2)” Permit me to tell you that my Tutorial Master is Lovely; Joyful; Peaceful; Longsuffering; Kind; Good; Faithful; Gentle and Temperate (Galatians 5: 22,23); but He can also deal with you! Beware; do not grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30; Mark 3:29).  

    Satan in Eden!
    “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Genesis 3:1).”

    What was Satan doing in the most beautiful and most perfect garden called Eden? Who created the Adulterated Tree of the knowledge of good and evil? If God, then why? If not God, then what would He gain by allowing the tree when He could have just spoken the word and it would be uprooted! What would He gain by sparing Satan (whom angel Michael threw out of heaven) when He (God) could have killed and destroyed him? I cannot tell why God spared Satan until an appointed time according to the book of Revelation or why He permitted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in a garden like Eden; but I can say anywhere, that it wasn’t an accident that the serpent (Satan) tempted Eve. It baffles one to know that God knew about the havoc that the tree and even Satan could cause in the garden and yet didn’t exterminate them when He could; that He saw the bad guy (Satan) dialoguing with the most precious of His creations and yet didn’t stop the dialogue; that He was watching as Eve fell; that He saw how Adam joined her in eating the forbidden (adulterated) fruit; that He is Omnipotent and yet, did nothing!

     Wake up my dear reader. How can we (Finite elements) know what the Infinite God was, is or will be doing unless He reveals them to us? Let’s switch to Adam and Eve (our first dear parents) and learn from them. As we go further, beware that temptation doesn’t come because we have sinned; it comes (irrespective of who we are), that we may sin. Jesus Christ said, “I am the Vine and My Father is the Gardener.” Like Creator (God) like creature (Adam).

     What an honour it was that Adam was a gardener like God but he was demoted to a farmer . . . What a pity! They were sent forth from their comfort zone. They had to labour very hard to feed. Their first born (Cain) killed their second born (Abel)! At the age of one hundred and thirty, Adam had another son called Seth. What he must have gone through together with his wife, only God knows. Yet, when they had Enosh, their grandson, they began to call on the name of the Lord (Gen. 4:26). 

    But why would they do that after what they’ve been through! Have they read or heard of God’s love, faithfulness, kindness, righteousness, holiness or graciousness? Who wrote or preached to them that God was never and can never be wrong? From this angle of elevation, I strongly believe that, no matter what we are going through (good or bad), God always wins in this calculus. Concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, I leave you with this observation; God said, “. . . thou shall not eat of it. . . ”; He didn’t say, “. . . thou shall not uproot it. . .” (Gen. 2:17). There is a right time and a right way to do everything, but we know so little (King Solomon). Thank God for Satan’s Fiasco!   

    Satan in the East
    “And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?....... and the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand… (Job 1:8, 12).”

    This Easterner called Job was a godly wealthy man. He feared God; he was a righteous man and eschewed himself from evil. But why won’t God just leave this God fearing, righteous and good man alone and let him be? Why would God discuss the status of such a man as Job with Satan? Didn’t God know that Satan was a bad guy? Didn’t God know of how Satan was thrown out of heaven? Did He forget what Satan did to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden or has He forgiven him? Answering those questions is beyond the scope of this article but I will like us to note that, God won’t leave Job alone because He was, He is and He will always be a faithful generous God. He needed to promote a God fearing, righteous and good man beyond measure; but promotion beyond measure without extensive inspection, leads to commotion beyond control. 

    So He called the tempter (Satan) and told him, “…Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life (Job 2:6).” In a single day, Job lost seven sons, three daughters, seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, one thousand head of cattle and five hundred donkeys. In addition to that, he also lost his health, servants, encouragement and honour from his wife. Even neighbours abandoned him and he was castigated by his three major friends; Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. Oh what a tragedy!  Let’s come back to us a little. 

    What we are going through is not outside the content of our syllabus. That is one of the reasons we need to study to show ourselves approved unto God (2 Tim. 2:15). If we fail to study, we are bound to be ignorant, confused and always complain; but complaints cannot prevent us from being tempted. Now back to Job. He focused as if someone told him to stay focus (even while and) after his wife and three major friends, poured salt on his wound. 

    He almost could not take it anymore but he didn’t give up on God. He politely spilled everything he knew about God out of his mouth and logically argued with his friends that he had done nothing to deserve those calamities. Job must have exhausted all the tears in his eyes because of the death of his lovely children; felt sad and pessimistic, emotionally and physically wounded, rejected and dejected like every other human being but, he did not curse, disrespect or reject God! 

    This was a big slap on the devil’s face and it still is up till this day. God honoured Job with fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, two thousand head of cattle, one thousand donkeys, gold and sound health. In addition to that, Job was again the father of seven sons and three daughters and there were no other women in the land that were as beautiful as Job’s daughters. Thank God for Satan’s Fiasco. 

    Satan in Jerusalem
    “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil (Satan) (Matthew 4:1).”

    From inception, Abraham, Joseph and Job all defiled Satan’s cunningness to tempt; but no one had ever defiled his cunningness as Jesus Christ. Majority of the students would not dare to look at his face or question his audacity because they are afraid of loosing their studentship (Hebrews 2:15). They think he might because of that, expose them to more difficult hardship; not knowing that whether they question him or not, Satan will never compromise the usability, reliability and validity of a standardized temptation. Hence, many students in this university are living like slaves (Hosea 4:6). 

    Saint John gave us a sound narration of the pre-existence of Jesus Christ in the first chapter of his first book i.e. John 1. But how many people, even among the Israelites both then and now could and can boast of knowing Jesus Christ at His pre-existence stage before He came to our world which He created? He made everything that we can see and cannot see but He had no name which when mentioned, every knee would bow and every tongue would confess that He was Lord to the glory of God the Father. At His birth, heaven and earth rejoiced yet many people on earth still wondered what manner of child He was. After the celebration of His birth, we didn’t hear about Him again until He was twelve when He took His common entrance examination (Luke 2:47). 

    After this, He was probably known only by relatives and those whose furniture He made or repaired. Even though there was a public announcement about Him during His baptism, it only seemed like an awareness of what was about to supervene (Luke 3:22). Jesus Christ became a public figure after He was led to the wilderness by the Spirit and was tempted for forty days and nights by Satan. Ordinarily, He was alone sharpening His tools in advance; reading from the scrolls, fasting, praying and also working. 

    As soon as He passed the Wilderness Temptation, Satan left Him for an opportune time, angels came and ministered to Him (Matt. 4:11). Lo! After many years of studies, quizzes, and temptations, the blinds finally came calling the Son of David to please restore their sights (Matt. 9:27); demons became confused as soon as He stepped into their territory and begged Him to at least let them go into a nearby herd of swine (Matt. 8:31); a woman from His congregation publicly admired His mother (Luke 11:27); people from near and far came and attended His conferences on mountains (Matt.5, 6 & 7), at river banks and in synagogues (Matt. 4:23; 9:35; 12:9; 13:54) in order to listen to His messages. Twelve people, later seventy and so on became His disciples (Matt. 10:1; Luke 10:1). 

    He turned water to the best wine at a wedding (John 2:9); brought the dead Lazarus and others back to life (John 11:43-44; Matt. 9:18; Luke 7:14-15); healed the sick, and above all, He preached repentance in order that perishing souls may be saved (Matt. 4:23). . . Thank God for Satan’s Fiasco . . .! 

    With all of the above, God Almighty was not done with Jesus’ promotion. Permit me to ponder, ‘who would have thought that Jesus Christ would have to suffer before He can bring an end to the suffering of the world He created?’ Saint John was privileged to see the solidity of the suffering attached to this next temptation and he immediately concluded that no one would dare undertake such a task and he wept. Still weeping; behold! An elder came, comforted him and told him they’ve found a worthy volunteer . . . The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David… (Rev. 4:5). Hallelujah.

    The next phase of Jesus’ temptation was indeed a terrible one. Jesus appealed; asking the Founder if there was another way. The Founder did not say a word but His countenance seemed to be saying, “Son! I have heard You but there is no other way.” Jesus Christ had to go to the Founder again and again saying, “Sir; isn’t there another way?” And He got the same countenance from the Founder (not a word still). Hence, He stopped bothering the Founder but said to Him, “Let Your will be done Sir.” 

    He was molested like a girl who was raped by a gang of cruel men. As if that was not enough, they crucified Him and pierced Him to ensure that He was dead. While this inhumanity was on going, the tempter was only interested in finding faults with Jesus in words, reactions and attitudes; but Jesus never failed. Still, the Founder didn’t utter a word and Jesus cried out, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? (Matthew 27:46)” That was simply a question from Jesus to the Founder which was saying something like, “Why Founder, would You allow Your most favourite student to lose His studentship (i.e. to die)?” I wish I could see the face of the tempter when Jesus Christ uttered that jawbreaker, “I am done (It is finished).” 

    Praise God. This same Jesus who had being in existence (i.e. pre-exist) before the world came to existence but was not recognized by the world He created; was given a name as propounded by the Psalmist, up till this day and forever, that is above all other names (Ps. 138:2; Philippians 2:9). At the mention of His name (Jesus Christ), every knee must bow; those in heaven, on earth and in the world below, and every tongue must confess that He is Lord to the glory of God (the Founder) (Philippians 2:10-11). 

    Conclusion
    We seriously need to wholeheartedly trust, obey, diligently seek and look unto Him, the author and the finisher of our faith who died and yet lives. He (Jesus Christ) made it; hence, we are no longer slaves of sin and death and one day, we shall leave this mortal body, wear the immortal body, go home and live for ever with Him. Nonetheless, before that day comes, be conscious of the fact that heaven agrees and rejoices that you believe in Jesus Christ. Yes; even hell knows the importance of that step as an initial condition to making it into heaven; but may I shock you that, believing in Jesus Christ is necessary but not sufficient to get you to heaven? . . . 

    Surprised!!! Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour said, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force (Matt 11:12).” You must be violent (emotionally intensified) in holiness, righteousness, perfection, the fruit of the Holy Spirit and obeying every Word of God if you must get to heaven. At a point, He said to His own followers, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees (those who were not His followers), you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:20).” 

    One day, He called for the attention of his followers and said to them, “It is not everyone that calls Me Lord, Lord that will be saved but those who do the will of My Father who is in heaven (Matt. 7:21).” In advance, He warned those that may want to justify themselves through their ‘works of iniquity’ which they did using the name of the Lord; “On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ and I (Jesus Christ) will say to them, ‘Depart from Me you workers of iniquity for I know you not’ (Matt. 7:22 & 23).” Many a time, a lot of us got relaxed and forgot that we were in a university called Earth until the tempter came, then we got back to our feet. 

    Whether we lose our studentship or graduate from this university (Earth) doesn’t really matter; the important question is, ‘Where do we go from here?’ If the man who lived in the past was tempted, then let not the one who lives in the present think that he would be exempted. Nevertheless, “. . . Wisdom is profitable to direct (Eccl. 10:10)”.

    Thank God for Satan’s Fiasco”

    By

    Ajayi Joshua Morakinyo

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