“The God of the Bible is spoken of as a personal being with intellect, emotion, and will,” writes world-renowned religion expert Robert Morey in his grand-slam book The Islamic Invasion: Confronting the World’s Fastest Growing Religion. “This is in contrast to Allah, who is not to be understood as a person. This would lower him to the level of man.

 

“To the Muslim, the idea that Allah is a person or a spirit is blasphemous because this would demean the exalted One. But the concept that ‘God is a spirit’ is one of the cornerstones of the biblical nature of God as taught by Jesus Christ himself in John 4:24.”

 

*****

 

In a great Sunday school study given last month by my preacher, Alex Kurz, he made the observation, “You know what the problem of the God of the Christian Bible is in relationship to all the religions of the world? The religions of the world have the same concept of God that Satan does, so when the religious system starts talking about God, all they’re doing is repeating Satan’s concept of God—a God who always has his wishes satisfied; he is always gratified.

 

“If you study the religion of Islam, Allah gets whatever he wants. The God of the Christian Bible says, ‘I’d rather go hungry.’

 

“Jesus Christ answered Satan, saying, ‘But it is written, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeeth out of the mouth of God.’ Christ is demonstrating what Paul says in Philippians 2: ‘He made himself of no reputation.’

 

“God says, ‘I’ll starve.’ What kind of God is that?! What kind of God says, ‘I’d rather go hungry; I’d rather not be self-gratified’?! And here’s the devil whose plan of rebellion is, ‘Listen, God can have whatever He wants—He has a right to!’

 

“Jesus Christ, as the true God-man, is demonstrating something about the character which defies human logic.”

 

*****

 

Referring to Christ’s 40 days of fasting in the wilderness, as reported in the Gospel accounts, Kurz explains,  “When the Tempter came, he said, ‘If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made of bread.’ What does a self-serving spirit and attitude say if you’re hungry?

 

“Let me ask you this, if you’re God, why would you go hungry? Doesn’t God deserve to be full? Doesn’t God deserve to enjoy happiness and to possess? You see what the devil’s mindset and attitude is? ‘The one who created the universe—why can’t you just take a rock and turn it into bread and satisfy the hunger pangs?!

 

“You see, the Adversary, and the origins of this go back to Ezekiel, his concept of God, of being like ‘the most high God,’ is a God who never lacks, who never wants—a God who always enjoys unbroken comfort and happiness and has every desire, wish and whim automatically fulfilled. That’s what Lucifer sought as ‘the most high God.’

 

“When the Lord Jesus Christ responds, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,’ He’s saying, “I’m not here to satisfy my own longings but I’m here to obey my heavenly Father.’ That’s why Jeremiah says, ‘I found thy words and I did eat them.’

 

*****

 

As the rest of the famous “temptations” passage in Matthew 4 reads, “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
[6] And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
[7] Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
[8] Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
[9] And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
[10] Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
[11] Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”

 

Kurz explains, ‘Satan is saying to the Lord Jesus, ‘Listen, jump and God will be there to serve,’ because, as far as Satan’s concerned, he’s consumed with a desire to be served by others. Satan, in his deluded concept of what God is, can get anything he wants.

 

“The idea is, you deserve to be adored and cared for by others. It’s this issue of being the centerpiece. You see, the Adversary and the lust of the devil—his concept of ‘the most high God’ is he’s the darling of the universe, the object of adoration and attention by the creation, and he’s saying, ‘Why not let the angels care for you?’

 

“Satan is saying the angels have a responsibility to provide for the Lord Jesus and in verse 7, ‘Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’

 

“To try to get God to do something He’s not—when you have people today who insist and pray to God for physical deliverance, for healing, for all of that kind of stuff, you’re tempting God! You’re trying to get God to do something He’s not doing.

 

“When people who think God is nothing but a big genie in the sky reason, ‘When I heartaches and so forth and clean my life up, maybe God will answer me and heal me and deliver me and give me a better job, a better life,’ all they’re doing is tempting God. What makes you think you’re the center of God’s universe?!

 

“You’ve heard it many times before—people are always asking, ‘Am I at the center of God’s will?’ Shouldn’t God’s will be the center of your life? You see the difference there? Satan is saying, ‘Then you should be in the center of God’s will,’ and what the Lord Jesus says is, ‘No, I’d rather have God’s will be the center of my life. Don’t tempt the Father.’ ”

 

*****

 

In the third temptation of Christ, it says, “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
[9] And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

 

Kurz reasons, “Do you see the progression here? Self-gratification: ‘I get what I want and, not only that, people need to appreciate me, they need to care for me, they need to respect me, they need to value me, and I have the right to rule over them.’

 

“You see the progression? That’s how Satan operates—get what you want and others need to respond in kind, and not only that, you get to rule and exercise authority. The lust of the devil seeks not only to be served but to rule.

 

“In the Scriptures, pride has all sorts of synonyms. Arrogance, puffed up, high-minded. Paul says, ‘Be not wise in your own conceits.’ That’s satanic. That’s the origins. It’s the devil himself. He feels he has the right to reign and rule over men, so he tempts the Lord Jesus Christ with, ‘Hey, if you are God, don’t you want to rule over the kingdoms of the earth?’ It’s this issue of seeking to be exalted; seeking to be something that is not yours.”

 

(Editor’s Note: To be continued . . . )