Summary: Immediately after the defeat of the Egyptians at the Red Sea, came the bitter water of Marah. After a mountain-top experience, prepare for a valley attack. And the higher and glorious the mountain-top experience is, the deeper the valley. The more the po
The topic of our message this week is entitled, “Iron or Clay.” Luke 4:1- 7 says, “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, if thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, it is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Not some of it, every word). And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me, and to whoever I will I give it. (Wonderful, Jesus did not argue at all. That is why they call the devil the god of this world). If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” Perhaps, we can now understand why some people have charms for making money at home. The devil is the god of this world and has power over these things. Verses 8-13 say, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me satan: (or put in our local language, get lost or go and jump into the lagoon). For it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, (Note the ‘if,’) cast thyself down from hence. For it is written, (that is the devil quoting the Bible) He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee. And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.” Meaning that he would come back. When the devil left Jesus, he began to speak to the scribes and the pharisees and his influence made them to argue with Jesus. When he finished with the pharisees and the scribes, he went to Herod, who was also looking for Jesus. After that, he went to Pilate, and then to the cross.
The above passage gives us so much information. It talks about the time of temptation. We can see that immediately after the anointing of Jesus, then came temptation. Immediately after the heavenly voice, came the temptation. Immediately after the defeat of the Egyptians at the Red Sea, came the bitter water of Marah. After a mountain-top experience, prepare for a valley attack. And the higher and glorious the mountain-top experience is, the deeper the valley. The more the power, the more the demand.
Let us consider a simple example of Elijah and Elisha. Elijah was a man of fire, they call him the prophet of fire. He was the first prophet to call down fire from heaven. There was a time fifty soldiers plus one captain came against him and said, “If thou be a man of God, come down.” He looked at them and said, “Well if I am a man of God, I will not come down but let fire come down.” And fire came down and roasted the fifty-one people. Another group of soldiers came, fifty of them plus one captain again, and said the same thing to him, “If thou be man of God, come down.” He replied again, “If I be a man of God, I refuse to come down. Let fire come down.” And fire came down and roasted the fifty-one people making a hundred and two roasted soldiers on the ground. A third consignment of fifty soldiers and one captain was sent; but this captain had some home training. When he came to Elijah and saw a hundred and two roasted people on the floor, he took a different approach. He said, “My father, please, have mercy on us,” and he came down. So the last captain and his group were not destroyed.
A hundred and two soldiers were sent against Elijah while Elisha, the man who had a double portion of his anointing, had a whole army sent against him. But thank God for the God of Elisha who got them so confused that they asked Elisha where was Elisha? And Elisha said, “Oh, he is not here, just follow me.” And they followed him whom they were looking for until they were put in bondage.