Satan’s Last Temptation

Jesus Christ must come. We are living in the final generation, and we are going to see the appearing of Jesus Christ in the sky with glory. We yearn to see the Second Coming, for that is the only answer for all of the problems of this earth, including political and economical unrest. There is also a spiritual warfare within the churches and the worldwide corruption of morality. All of these events come together like a puzzle, making a picture of the final generation. Now is the time that we must finish the work of the gospel and hasten the coming of Jesus Christ.

The remnant church must be roused and ready to receive the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel to the world. At the time of the early church the gospel had been preached with such a power and many souls were convicted and converted. It seems like that kind of power has been lost for a long time.

Paul talks about the power of the gospel. He said, “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” It was not the enticing words of man nor was it man’s wisdom, but it was the demonstration of God’s power. That is what is needed today to finish the gospel work in this world so Jesus Christ can come in this generation. Then Paul continues, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” I Corinthians 2:4, 5.

We must become pure vessels imbued by God’s power, so that when we preach, our words will be simple, powerful, persuasive and will convert and convict many souls. The harvest is ready. God is waiting for the harvesters to be ready to anoint them with His Holy Spirit. Satan knows that at that time the work will be finished very quickly and he desperately sets a last temptation before us to make us an impotent people; a people who are not able to finish the work—not able to preach the gospel with the demonstration of the power of God. We must wake up, the world is waiting for the demonstration of the power of the gospel. “The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God. The arguments have been presented. The seed has been sown, and now it will spring up and bear fruit.” The Great Controversy, 612.

We need the power of the gospel given back to the church as it was in ancient days. Satan knows that this power of godliness is going to be recovered, restored within the church and then the latter rain, the Holy Spirit will be poured out. At that time, God’s people are going to rise up and preach the gospel, as a demonstration of the power of God and the work will be finished. Satan knows that the power of the early church will be revived in this generation and he is trying to hinder it, trying to block it and to destroy it.

Why has this kind of power been lost? Is it because God does not want us to have that kind of power anymore? Why is not this kind of power manifested anymore within the church? We should have been in heaven a long time ago. If we believed and lived according to the Spirit of God and preached the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14, then God’s people who are still in the Babylonian churches would have already come out. We should have been in heaven a long time ago and are yearning for the power of the latter rain. We need to find the answer to this important question in the experience of ancient Israel.

After the Israelites had wandered in the wilderness for forty years, they came to the outskirts of Canaan, the Promised Land. They were so happy and ready to go in and occupy. They had longed for this moment. At the same time, Satan was preparing one last temptation for them. Just like the Israelites, we are standing at the border of the heavenly Canaan and we are about to enter in. Now, as Satan did to the ancient Israelites, he has prepared for us a snare—his last temptation for God’s church. He is making God’s church impotent so they cannot receive power to preach the gospel.

In I Corinthians 10:1–5, 11, it says, “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat.” That spiritual meat symbolizes the word of God, the truth of God. This is something we cannot make for our own selves. We have to receive it. It must come down from heaven. That manna was round and white, which signifies the infinite love of God. The infinite truth of God, His righteousness was given to them by heaven. They had partaken of the manna every day and actually experienced the miracle of drinking water and of eating food every day. Verse 4 says, “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” So they came out from Egypt and were all baptized together, “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” Verse 5. Even though they came out or overcame the Egyptians and they experienced the miracles of God, yet they were defeated in the wilderness. They were not able to overcome their own selves, their own intemperance, their own pride, their own selfishness. Their own enemy in their own souls defeated them. “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” Verse 11.

These experiences were written in the Bible for us to study and contemplate so not to make the same mistake. Satan attempts to block God’s people from receiving His power and experience a true miracle by spreading his last temptation before God’s church.

Our enemy is out to destroy God’s church, the souls of His people. He hates to hear about the soon coming of Jesus Christ. He has put a snare before us to numb our thoughts and our feelings and to make us disinterested in holy things. His temptations are very subtle and yet very powerful. He succeeded in defeating ancient Israel while they were standing right on the border before entering the land of Canaan and his plan is to defeat us too.

We need to do something quickly in order for us to stand against this final temptation. We need to pray and build our spiritual standard. Nothing should be allowed to come into our thoughts, hearts and souls that would benumb our spiritual senses and lower our spiritual stamina. The Israelites learned a lesson from this. The false prophet, Balaam, was enticed; Balak, the King of Moab, tempted him. Balaam attempted to curse Israel, but when he opened his mouth, the Spirit of God came upon him and caused him to speak blessings toward God’s people. He had failed three times and later on he devised a temptation, a devilish plan. Satan knew that the only way to destroy the Israelites was to separate them from God’s protection. If he could cause God’s people to break His law, His commandments, then they would be severed from His protection and that is exactly what he did. Balaam caused God’s people to commit adultery, to break God’s law, and he successfully uses that same technique today. The new interpretation of righteousness by faith, the new interpretation of the gospel, the new gospel, the liberal gospel, has been devised by Satan to cause God’s people to break His law and commit sin, yet still harboring a false hope of salvation in their hearts. That is the deception of Satan.

In Patriarch and Prophets, 455, we are told, “Their iniquitous practices did that for Israel which all the enchantments of Balaam could not do—they separated them from God.” Balaam’s plan had succeeded and caused them to be separated from the power and protection of God.

The Israelites committed adultery by participating in the heathen festivals of the Moabites. The first thing Balaam did was to invite them to come and see. They did not have to participate, but to come and watch and be entertained. Through this process, they finally committed fornication with the harlots of the Midianites.

“At Balaam’s suggestion, a grand festival in honor of their gods was appointed by the king of Moab, and it was secretly arranged that Balaam should induce the Israelites to attend. He was regarded by them as a prophet of God, and hence had little difficulty in accomplishing his purpose. Great numbers of the people joined him in witnessing the festivities.” Ibid., 454. Remember, the first time they did not have to participate, just to come and see and be entertained. God asks us to guard our five senses. Satan uses his cunning to penetrate the senses, sight, hearing, talk, smell and touch. He spreads before us heathen-like festivities and then excites our emotions and our feelings, which defile our thoughts, causing us to contemplate on evil things.

“They ventured upon the forbidden ground, and were entangled in the snare of Satan. Beguiled with music and dancing, and allured by the beauty of heathen vestals, they cast off their fealty to Jehovah. As they united in mirth and feasting, indulgence in wine beclouded their senses and broke down the barriers of self-control. Passion had full sway; and having defiled their consciences by lewdness, they were persuaded to bow down to idols. They offered sacrifice upon heathen altars and participated in the most degrading rites.” Ibid. They went so far as to commit fornication with the prophets and prophetesses, the harlots of this heathen worship ceremony.

First came the invitation to come and watch. Satan spreads out all of the things in the world, billboards, televisions, dramas and movies and all of these things. Satan attempts to come into our inner sanctuary and defile our feelings and thoughts and so benumb our holy senses and excite our passions so that we will lose the senses to understand between the holy and the unholy. He causes impotence to preach the gospel with power.

A new kind of gospel has been spread all over the church—Adventism is in crisis! Satan has introduced the wines of Babylon, the wrong gospels, wrong festivities, wrong programs, celebration worship styles. He has been spreading these wines into the church and invited God’s people to come, to sit and to be entertained—to watch and witness. Slowly and surely he began to benumb the spiritual senses and the hearts of God’s people. Through this process we have lost the power of the gospel; we have lost the power of the demonstration of God so that when we preach the three angels’ messages it has lost the power that was once demonstrated by the early church to convict and convert souls.

God’s servant, Ellen White, has told us that this power is going to be restored. Satan fears this knowing that when that time comes he will be defeated, so he increases his deceptions. By the decline of reverence and the rise of entertaining worship he benumbs spiritual senses. There is very little difference between the music in the Babylonian world and in the church. Why? Because we have been watching; we have been entertained, and our spiritual senses have been benumbed and our fleshly passions have been aroused.

We have a work to do to resist these kinds of temptations. Those who do not want to fall prey to Satan’s services must guard well the avenues to the soul. Our individual duty and responsibility is to overcome these things, guard our holy emotions and feelings, and understand the true gospel and the three angels’ messages. This is the best way to be prepared to receive the latter rain and to go out and to give the loud cry and hasten Jesus’ second coming.

The mind should not be allowed to wander at random on every subject that the adversary of souls may suggest. Satan is trying to suggest all kinds of things through the entertainments of the world, especially to young people.

“Satan seduced Israel into licentiousness before leading them to idolatry. Those who will dishonor God’s image and defile His temple in their own persons will not scruple at any dishonor to God that will gratify the desire of their depraved hearts. Sensual indulgence weakens the mind and debases the soul. The moral and intellectual powers are benumbed and paralyzed by the gratification of the animal propensities; and it is impossible for the slave of passion to realize the sacred obligation of the law of God, to appreciate the atonement, or to place a right value upon the soul.” Ibid., 458.

Because their senses are benumbed by entertainment and all the snares of Satan, many Adventists today do not understand the true meaning of the three angels’ messages or the true meaning of the everlasting gospel and the meaning of the most holy place, what it means to have a cleansing experience, what it means to have a blotting out of sin experience. The mental powers are paralyzed and they try to gratify their animal passions by entertainment.

It is about time to wake up and to pray and confess our sins and let our souls be cleansed and purified because Jesus Christ must come soon.

Goodness, purity and truth, reverence for God and love for sacred things, all of those holy affections and sacred desires that link man with the heavenly world are consumed in the fires of lust. The soul becomes a blackened and desolate waste, the habitation of the evil spirits and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Mrs. Ellen White used this expression to express the defiled soul. God’s people who had allowed their souls to be defiled by the temptations of Satan were described as every unclean and hateful bird. This is the description of Babylon. This is the habitation of the evil spirits and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

By introducing the wines of Babylon, compromised gospel of Babylon, into the souls of God’s people, he is trying to defile us. There is a possibility that we, God’s church in these last days, could become the habitation or cage of every hateful bird, evil spirits and Babylon. Satan has spread the last temptation before God’s people as he did so successfully before the Israelites, destroying so many on the banks of the Jordon while they waited to go in and occupy the land of Canaan. My friends, Satan is using the same tactic for God’s people and His church today hoping to jeopardize their entry into the promised heavenly Canaan.

Beings formed in the image of God are being dragged down to a level with the beasts. “It was when the Israelites were in a condition of outward ease and security that they were led into sin. They failed to keep God ever before them, they neglected prayer and cherished a spirit of self-confidence. Ease and self-indulgence left the citadel of the soul unguarded, and debasing thoughts found entrance. It was the traitors within the walls that overthrew the strongholds of principle and betrayed Israel into the power of Satan. It is thus that Satan still seeks to compass the ruin of the soul. A long preparatory process, unknown to the world, goes on in the heart before the Christian commits open sin.” Ibid., 459.

Sometimes we do not understand how a brother or a pastor or a deacon could fall and do such things as they do. But before that sin is committed, for a long time Satan has been preparing their souls and their hearts by introducing evil thoughts, evil pictures and evil imaginations. When the citadels of their souls are unguarded and they have allowed and even invited all of these temptations from Satan, when finally the opportunity comes, they commit sin, openly. “The mind does not come down at once from purity and holiness to depravity, corruption, and crime. It takes time to degrade those formed in the image of God to the brutal or the satanic. By beholding we become changed.” Ibid.

When you are tempted, when you feel weak and lose stamina, come to Jesus Christ; come to the foot of the cross and pray. Meditate upon the word of God. You have lost the battle many times and you have probably lost the spiritual stamina to stand up and fight, but have courage, there is power in the word of God. Read the Scriptures and pray. By faith contemplate on the Word. If you will chew and swallow and eat, the power of God will be manifested in your soul. Read, study, contemplate and live it.

Satan is out to get us. We must stand up and cleanse our camp and cleanse our heart and soul to hasten the coming of Jesus Christ.

We are living in the Day of Atonement. By faith we follow the high priest into the most holy place. On that day, God asked the Israelites to afflict their souls, which means to agonize with your souls. Search your souls for any hidden sins or desires for sin and confess it and pray to have a purification experience. This is the cleansing experience of the most holy place. Jesus Christ went into the most holy place—this is not just any theory. He went into the most holy place to open the books and start an investigative judgment. God is preparing a people in which God’s law cannot find fault. God is preparing a people through the experience of the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary. He will produce a pure, spotless people—a cleansed people free from all defilement.

Let us search our hearts and guard our thoughts and afflict our souls and confess our sins so we can be cleansed. We are living in the most holy place period of this earth. Jesus Christ is not only thumbing through the pages of the books in heaven but in His ministry He is cleansing a people to be ready to receive the last resource of the power of God so that He can demonstrate the power of the gospel before the world and call them out of the Babylonian churches and from the world.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23. Every day be revived and renewed by the working of the Holy Spirit. We are living in a generation where it is very easy to be enticed, tempted and defiled.

My plea to you right now is to wake up, pray and meditate upon the word of God. We need to become the last warriors to stand up and become holy to defeat the enemy and hasten the coming of Jesus Christ. Only when we first come out of the practices and faults and teachings of Babylon will we be able to call God’s people out of the Babylonian churches and the world. God’s church is not Babylon, but many of God’s people became Babylonians by the defilement of the temptations Satan spread before them. As the Spirit of Prophecy declared, their minds and desires are defiled; they are a “cage of hateful birds.” Our church has been bringing the heathen idols into the camp for some time. What a sad situation we are in. Many people are baptized into the church without knowing and understanding the true Spirit of Prophecy and the meaning of the sanctuary message including the cleansing of sin.

In the time of the apostasy in ancient Israel, there was a warrior for God, Phinehas. When he saw one of the princes take one of the harlots of Midian into his tent, his anger for God and for righteousness arose, and he took the javelin, went into his tent and thrust down into the two bodies, and God’s wrath was stopped. Are there any modern Phinehas’ in our camps?

We are in the most holy place, the Day of Atonement. This should be our cleansing experience, a time to search our souls and our hearts to know what is wrong with us and what is preventing us from receiving the latter rain. What is preventing God’s church from preaching the gospel as it did in the early church? We have lost the demonstration of God’s power as individuals and as a church, because we have participated in idol worship and rites. We are standing before the heavenly Canaan and Satan is using the same tactic he used with such success with the Israelites on the border of Canaan causing many of God’s people to fall. For this reason we have lost the power of the gospel; the gospel that has power to convict and convert thousands in a day so the work can be finished and we can go home. We must pray and search our hearts as a church, as a group, as a family and as an individual. Let us truly have a cleansing of soul experience, a Day of Atonement experience—confess our sins and become holy.

“When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 69.

Pastor David Kang is the director of Light for Life U.S. Ministry operation out of Ft. Lee, New Jersey. His sermons are broadcast weekly on New York and Virginia Korean television stations. Pastor Kang also frequently travels to Asia where he trains pastors who often work “underground.”