In Matthew 4:8, what is meant by “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.”?
The answer to every question about God’s Word is in God’s Word.
Jesus Tempted by Satan
“Again, the devil took him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And (the devil) said to him (Jesus), All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. Then Jesus said to him, Get away, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.”Matthew 4:8-10
Notice that Jesus did not say “You don’t have authority over the kingdoms” which implies that Satan did and does have authority over the kingdoms. This is shadowed in the book of Revelation chapter 17 where you find the Whore of Babylon sitting on the back of the beast. Just as a rider is in control of a horse, she controls the beast. The Whore is the false religion of the adversary, and the Beast is the governments of the world over which she has power.
Adam and Eve
Consider this, Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan in the same fashion in the Garden. Jesus as the second Adam, came to correct that transgression. Unlike Adam who followed Eve into the transgression, Jesus said to Satan “Get away”. His message to the bride, the second Eve, is “follow me”. In following him you would tell the devil to get away from you, because “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.”
The Whore and the Beast
Who or what then is the devil and Satan that you should get away from and what is the beast which she empowers? Here are some examples: the wicked kings of Judah and Israel were the beast that murdered the prophets at the behest of the pagan religions which are represented by the whore. Why? Because the prophets were trying to bring the people back in line with God. The Roman Empire (the beast) murdered Jesus at the behest of the Pharisees (false religion) because Jesus was trying to bring the people back in line with God. Rome and friends (the beast) murdered the apostles at the behest of the pagan religions (the whore) because the apostles were trying to bring the people back in line with God. The Kingdoms of Europe (the beast) murdered Christians at the behest of the Roman Catholic Church (the whore) in the Inquisition and Crusades. Why? Because the Christians were leaving the Church to get back in line with God.
I’m sure you can see the pattern here, and I’ll bet you can think of others that fit this MO (modus operendi). Their names vary widely but their actions never change. Jesus said “You will know them by their fruits” and “a good tree cannot bring forth corrupt fruit.”
How does this apply today?
You’d be hard pressed to find a politician who hasn’t “sold their soul to the Devil”. Think about that… they are elected to serve the people but end up serving the special interests that got them into office. As the saying goes “follow the money”. Furthermore, a quick search on the internet will find a picture of practically every world leader over the last 50 years bowing before the Roman Pontiff. Jesus would not have allowed anyone to do that.
This is what a kingdom empowered by Satan looks like. This is how you end up with tax laws that favor the rich while an unfair balance is an abomination to God. This is how you end up with statutes of limitations for pedophilia set to run out before the child reaches adulthood. This is how you end up with government funded schools, run by religious organizations to “Christianize” the natives. This is how you end up with “In God We Trust” printed on money and then spent to buy weapons for protection.
God says not even a dog will bark at His people, and Jesus said “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means harm you.” Where is the trust?
“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of demons, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations/kingdoms have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her (get away from her), my people, that you are not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.”Revelation 18:1-4