"Get thee behind me, Satan"

To whom did Christ Jesus, when he was tempted in the wilderness, speak the words recorded in Luke's Gospel, "Get thee behind me, Satan"? Certainly not to a personal devil, as person to person, but to personal sense, falsely claiming intelligence, presence, and power apart from God. This adversary, speaking through our own or others' false mortal thinking, as Jesus stated, is "a liar, and the father of it;" and its only chance of being heard lies in our acceptance of it as true.

Whatever the temptation,—be it a claim of sickness, of sin, or of unhappiness,—error, erroneous mortal belief, always tries to induce us to affirm: I am sick; I am sinful; or, I am unhappy; and only as we are awake to the truth and refuse to accept and echo these lies of personal sense, can we say to them with a conviction born of spiritual understanding, "Get thee behind me, Satan," and so prove their unreality, as did the great Master, who refused to admit the arguments that true riches are to be found in materiality, and that he could worthily use his spiritual power for material ends. After Jesus had silenced these lies, the devil departed, or disappeared into its nothingness; and Jesus thus proved that evil is nothing, no person or thing.

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