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Gabriel watched as Lucifer backed away and began to circle the garden looking for the best vantage point.  Gabriel could imagine what he was thinking.

Temptation was not really Lucifer’s exclusive domain after all, not in its purest form at least.  It was a natural part of the created order.  It was nothing more than choice really.

There was nothing wrong with desire, so long as it was desire for something good and did not interfere with obedience.

Like many of the vices which Lucifer had perverted from virtues, temptation was also a counterfeit.  Lucifer had never created anything.  He could only destroy.  His own existence was proof of that, an archangel turned traitor.

Temptation was no different.  Desire and choice were the creation of God that simply formed the context for loving obedience.  What you did with that choice was the essential question of life.  Because of the disobedience of mankind, desire and choice was empowered by sin and rebellion and became temptation.  That perversion of choice, empowered by sin, was the Devil’s playground.

A simple act of loving obedience was his greatest nemesis.

Mankind simply did not understand how easy it was to defeat his schemes.  A simple act of loving obedience would cut through all of the confusion and doubt and leave Lucifer with nothing, no power to coerce or deceive or destroy.  That secret must be kept hidden at all costs.

But then again, Lucifer was good at deception, even deception about deception.

*****

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The Temptations of the Cross by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.
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Footnotes and references included in original manuscript.