SBS Sermon Notes

SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 13/05

The Hour of Temptation

Reading: Revelation 3.

1. Introduction

To tempt means to "persuade, or try to persuade (especially into doing something wrong or unwise)." A temptation, moreover, is "an attractive inviting offer to do something wrong or unwise." In fact if the offer is not attractive, it is not a temptation. Temptation has been with mankind since time began. It is not a new thing. That is why the Saviour taught to pray:
Matthew 6: 13: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

This morning, however, I wish to speak about a special time of temptation, quite apart from the standard temptations that men and women face throughout life. It is called the Hour of Temptation! It is a particular temptation which will face the whole world - all mankind - at the same time - the Hour of Temptation. What is this temptation that will come upon all mankind at the same time? Will you stand up to it? Will I stand up to it? Who will withstand it? What is this special temptation anyway? Before any believer can hope to stand up to this particular temptation surely we ought to know what it is. Yes we should know. Hopefully this morning we will find out what the Hour of Temptation is. But first a few examples of great believers, every one of them as great, if not greater, than any one in this audience - including David Loughran. When we consider these examples, let us remember that not one of them had the faintest idea that he would fall when the temptation struck.

2. Bible Examples of Temptation


2 Kings 5: 20: But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
The Result
verse 25 But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither.
26: And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?
27: The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

King David

2 Samuel 11: 2: And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
verse 27 ... But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.
The Result
2 Samuel 12: 9: Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
10: Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
11: Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
12: For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

The Apostle Peter

Luke 22: 31: And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
33: And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
34: And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

The Result
Matthew 26: 75: And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

The Patriarch Job

Job 2: 7: So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
8: And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.
9: Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
10: But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

The Result
Job 42: 10: And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Joseph, son of Jacob

Genesis 39: 7: And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
8: But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
9: There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

The Result
Genesis 41: 38: And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
39: And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
40: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
41: And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
42: And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;
43: And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)

Luke 4: 1: And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2: Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
3: And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
4: And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
5: And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6: 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 whomsoever I will I give it.
7: If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
8: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
9: 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, cast thyself down from hence:
10: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
11: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
12: And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
13: And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

The Result
Matthew 28: 18: And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

3. Temptations Come To All

Temptations come to all men, women and children: and they come in many forms.
Ignorance can be an avenue through which Satan can make you fall: so study Yahweh's word.
Ill health can cause you to wonder if God exists: or if He does, is He interested in us humans.
Riches can lead a person into great temptation. Poverty, Persecution and many other pressures bring their own brand of temptation. Here are some texts that spell out these temptations.
Luke 8: 13: They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Ill Health
Galatians 4: 14: And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 6: 9: But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10: For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

2 Thessalonians 2: 1: Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2: That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.

All these temptations are common to mankind. Everyone experiences one or more of them. But the Almighty will never allow a person to be tempted over and above his/her ability to bear it. In other words, no matter how sore the temptation or trial, spiritual help is available to overcome temptation. The Bible says:
1 Corinthians 10: 13: There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

4. The Shaking of Heaven and Earth

These temptations, however, which we humans encounter throughout our lives are not the subject of this sermon. The subject of this sermon is the Hour of Temptation that is coming upon the whole world. It is a special time unlike anything in human history. It is an Hour of Temptation that will overtake all the inhabitants of the earth at the same time. Thank God it lasts only a short time: not that is just 60 minutes, but it is a relatively short time nonetheless; a few months or years at most.

The Hour of Temptation will be preceded by the shaking of heaven and earth. When the Almighty reveals His power things begin to shake. Mountains quake and smoke, angels shield their faces and even holy men shake in terror. Very few things can withstand Yahweh's holy presence without trembling. Were it not for His Spirit we would all collapse in terror at His presence: so holy and awesome is Yahweh the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Hour of Temptation will begin soon after the shaking of the heavens and the earth: probably with the opening of the 6th Seal of Revelation.
Revelation 6: 12: And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13: And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14: And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15: And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16: And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Hebrews 12: 25: See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

Luke 21: 25: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26: Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

Mark 13: 25: And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

This shaking of heaven and earth will bring the whole of civilisation to a standstill. Every nation and all peoples will know that something terrible is taking place. This unimaginable shake-up will introduce the Hour of Temptation: when the whole human race will be compelled to choose between obeying the commandments of the Almighty God or rejecting them. The commandments that will become the point of issue are the Sabbath and Festival commandments of Yahweh the God of the Hebrews. After the shaking of heaven and earth all the world will be compelled to accept or reject them. In Bible prophecy this is called the Sealing Time. (See Stewarton Bible School's online booklet Understand the Revelation for details of this timetable.)

5. The Hour of Temptation

The Hour of Temptation will be a unique test of faith and obedience which will come to the inhabitants of the whole world - at the same time. It will be similar to the Day of Temptation which came to ancient Israel in the desert of Sinai: when they rejected the leadership of Yahweh for 40 years and pleaded to go back to Egypt. They didn't believe He was able to take them into the Promised Land, the land of rest which was symbolised by the seventh day Sabbath.
Hebrews 3: 8: Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the Day of Temptation in the wilderness:
9: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
verse 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19: So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Hebrews 4: 4: For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
5: And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
6: Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
verse 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10: For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11: Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Revelation 3: 7: And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8: I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9: Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10: Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11: Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12: Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

When the Antichrist arrives on the world stage, he will pose as God and command earth's inhabitants to celebrate his bogus festivals. (Daniel 7:25) He will attempt to abolish Yahweh's sacred Sabbaths and in their place institute festivals of his own choosing. These festivals constitute his mark - the mark of disobedience, the Mark of the Beast! All who refuse to obey the Antichrist will not be allowed to buy or sell. (Rev.13:16-17) That will be the Hour of Temptation. Will you stand at that time? Do you honestly believe that Yahweh is able to sustain you without the need to visit the market place each week or month? It will be a test of faith every bit as great as what ancient Israel went through on the Day of Temptation in the desert. How will you stand at that time?

6. Watch and Pray

The Saviour's advice is perfectly clear: Watch and Pray. If you do not watch and pray you will most certainly fall in the Hour of Temptation. People watch many things.


Luke 12: 37: Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
38: And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.


Pray fervently and constantly, because the flesh is weak. Any believer can fall; just as surely as anyone, young or old, can slip and fall on an icy path. Some of the best believers (Gehazi, David, Peter) fell when tempted. Beware! To withstand the Hour of Temptation a believer will require special preparation, special prayer - now! We must prepare for that hour now! Failure to do so is a sure way to defeat. We must watch and pray!
Matthew 26: 41: Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

In other words, pray that you will be able to stand in the Hour of Temptation. The vast majority of the Christian church, which have already rejected the commandments of God, will not stand. Most will not believe that the Almighty is well able to protect and feed us during the terrible Hour of Temptation. The time to spirirually prepare (prayer, Bible-study, meditation etc) is now! Because when that hour comes, the time for preparation will have passed.

7. The Reward of Overcomers

No one can imagine the wonder and glory of the reward to the overcomers. Words may give us some idea; but I am certain the reality will be infinitely better than our wildest dreams. The Bible says:
1 Corinthians 2: 9: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
James 1: 12: Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Everlasting Life

Revelation 2: 7: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 2: 11: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Hidden Manna

Revelation 2: 17: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Power over the Nations

Revelation 2: 26: And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.

Clothed in White Raiment

Revelation 3: 5: He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Resident of the New Jerusalem

Revelation 3: 12: Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

High Court Judge

Revelation 3: 21: To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Inherit All Things

Revelation 21: 7: He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

It is absolutely impossible to appreciate the value of promises of this magnitude. They are heaven's finest gifts and they are reserved for the overcomer: to those who have obeyed Yahweh's law in the face of the most fearsome odds. The Hour of Temptation is almost upon us. How will it find you; prepared or unprepared? Remember that your present performance will determine whether or not you are divinely kept from falling during that dreadful hour.

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth ..."

To help you prepare for the Hour of Temptation go to the following pages. They contain information which you cannot afford to miss.

SBS     Sermon Notes

Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Jan 1996 ... July 1999