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We continue in our studies, entitled “Our Sinless Yet Sympathetic Saviour,” and we have been considering together from God’s Word and from the Spirit of Prophecy, the all-sufficiency of the Word made flesh to be both sinless Substitute and sympathetic Elder Brother and valid Example for a fallen human race. {Audio starts from this point:} We’ve been trying very carefully to come to an understanding of Christ’s nature in His incarnate state that allows Him to be both sinless Substitute and sympathetic Elder Brother and valid Example at the same time.

We have emphasized the importance of His being sinless, even in nature, in order to be our sinless Substitute, and we have established from scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy that, indeed, as far as sinlessness is concerned, in nature He was just as sinless as Adam before the fall. Praise God for that blessed truth because only therein do we have one who is absolutely sinless and can take all of our sins upon Himself, and be a sin offering for not only sins of deed but for sin in the flesh, sin of nature. But not only do we need Him to be absolutely sinless to be our offering, we need Him to be absolutely sinless to provide in our behalf, to produce in our behalf, an infinite righteousness that meets the standard. For even our best obedience, inspired by the Holy Spirit, passing through the corrupt channels of humanity is so what? So defiled that unless purified by blood, it can never be of value with God. And if He is just the same corrupt channel we are, then he, too, needed an intercessor. Then he, too, had to pray in someone’s name. Then he, too, had a righteousness that fell short of the infinite standard. But praise God, He was not such a corrupt channel, and He has a righteousness that meets the infinite standard.

Now we’ve turned our attention to an equally important and precious truth, and that is that, though as far as sinlessness is concerned, He is just like Adam before the fall, as far as everything else is concerned, he’s just like us now, very much after the fall. Because He took by the law of heredity all our weaknesses, all of our infirmities. He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He had to be, for He came not only to be our sinless Substitute but our what? Our sympathetic Elder Brother and valid Example. And He had to be touched with the feelings of our infirmities in order to be tempted in all things like as we are. Yet without what? Sin.

Does that mean yet without sinning? Of course. But it means more. It means yet without sin, even inbred sin, and therein is the apparent mystery. And there is, of course, always a degree of mystery. But at the surface it seems impossible for Him to be tempted in all things like as we are and yet not have the inbred sin we have, those inherited tendencies to evil, that natural bent that is ours by natural inheritance. If He didn’t have that, how could He be tempted in all things like as we are?

We wrestled with that in our study yesterday, Part I of this two part series entitled: “Tempted In All Things Like as We Are.” And we came to the conclusion, and let me just share it with you again for the sake of review, that in order to be tempted in all things like as we are, while being absolutely sinless, He had to be tested under the following conditions. And this is what He covenants with His Father to do.

1. He will assume all the infirmities and weaknesses of degenerate humanity, that is, all the deteriorated faculties of mind, body and spirit.

2. As a man, He will be subjected to providential circumstances that will so stress His human powers, and augment and intensify the natural appetites and passions of His sinless human nature as to enable Him to experience firsthand, in all three categories of temptation, the full extent of man’s weakness and inability to overcome in his own strength, and the maximum intensity and strength of the perverted appetites and passions of man’s sinful nature, to induce Him to yield to temptation.

3. He covenants to overcome all such temptations in this innate and providentially developed condition. He promises to overcome all these temptations relying upon only those resources that by grace will be made available to the guiltiest of Adam’s race.

4. He will be tested and experience these temptations under the conscious load of guilt, the guilt of man which is imputed to Him.

Under those conditions, He can, indeed He was tempted in all things like as we are.

Brothers and sisters, as we now prepare to move ahead in Part II, let us recognize anew that these truths being the most profound spiritual truths, the truths of the mystery of mysteries, require us, in order to understand them–require us to have the power and the agency of the Holy Spirit working in our behalf. We cannot possibly succeed in our quest for an understanding of the truth as it is in Jesus unless we have the Spirit of truth through the gracious gift of Jesus. Shall we pray to that end?

My Father in heaven, I come holding the Lamb. See me as I am washed in the blood of the Lamb and clothed with His spotless fleece, I pray. I hide in the Lord, my righteousness, Jesus Christ, for only in Him do any of us have right to come into your presence. In ourselves we are sinners but we thank you, Father, that in Christ you count us to be righteous. Oh, Lord, graciously then I pray, grant our request just now and that is for the gift of the Spirit of Christ. Oh, Father, pour out that gift upon us just now in fullness of measure, to the fullness of our capacity to receive it, and then, I pray, increase that capacity. Help us to stretch our earthly sanctuary that we might be more fully indwelt with your Spirit, Lord, more completely possessed and owned by that gracious presence. And, Father, through the power of your Spirit, I pray that you would energize and quicken our whole being, but especially those highest faculties of mind that we might perceive the truth as it is in Jesus, and that we might receive the truth as it is in Jesus, and that we might be transformed by the truth into the likeness of Jesus. This is our prayer, Lord. Grant it, not because we’re worthy but because we’re needy. Oh, Lord, take full possession of me. Touch my lips, I pray, with the coal, purge me of all the dross that is within me, and prevent me, I pray, my Father, from distorting the truth in any way. Oh, such precious truth. I tremble under the responsibility of proclaiming it, Father, but your biddings are enablings and I trust you, I can do nothing else. And I am so grateful that you are trustworthy, for I come asking what I know to be within your will, and I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tempted in all things like as we are. Remember in our two previous studies where we wrestled with the expression: “in the likeness of men,” and then where we wrestled with the expression: “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” We came to understand that this Greek word, which is again used here, tempted in all things like as we are, is used when both elements of sameness and elements of differentness are indicated. He was in the likeness of men, not because He was only sort of a man. He was fully man but He wasn’t just man. There was an element of difference. He was God. So He was in the likeness of sinful flesh, not in that He was sinful flesh, but in that He was like sinful flesh.

How was He like sinful flesh? In every way except its sinfulness. All of its infirmities, all of its weaknesses were His, but not its sinfulness. In that absolutely critical, basic, fundamental issue, He was different. That’s why Paul says: “likeness of sinful flesh,” not that He came in sinful flesh, because he wants us to recognize that vitally important element of difference.

Now, as we turn our attention to this verse, Hebrews 4:15: “Tempted in all things like as we are,” we see the same Greek word. This time with the prefix “kata” {G2596}, which means according to.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2596&t=KJV

Literally, the expression is: “according to likeness.” Tempted in all things according to likeness. And in the context, the clear meaning is according to the likeness, in which we are tempted. That’s why the King James says: “Like as we are.” But let’s not forget that even here the word indicates elements of sameness and elements of difference. Though Christ could be tempted, and indeed was, in the same categories of temptation that we are–and we’ve noted those in our last study. What were they? The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. There is, because of His sinlessness of nature, and because of his perfect hatred for sin, a radical element of difference in the way He was tempted in these areas. There had to be.

Testimonies, volume 2, page 201 and 202: “He is a Brother in our infirmities but not in possessing like passions. As the Sinless One, His nature recoiled from evil.” His nature what? Recoiled from evil. But what about the nature of fallen man?

Education, page 29: “There is in His nature a” what? “A bent towards evil.” And that is the result, through the law of heredity, of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In the context that’s made clear. We have by nature a bent towards evil, but Christ by nature because of His unique origin–and that was one of our previous studies. A body hast thou prepared for me, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Because of His unique origin, He was exempt from this bent towards evil. That’s part of the sinfulness of nature that He did not assume, though He took everything else. Therefore, she says: “as the sinless one, His nature” what? “Recoiled from evil.” All of the rest of us, with our sinfulness of nature, we have a bent towards evil, but he, as the Sinless One, recoiled from evil. A radical difference. There was in His nature a revulsion of evil, a passionate hatred or perfect hatred, in the words of inspiration, for sin.

Obviously, then, He cannot be lured into sin in the same way we can. His temptations were unique in that He was not tempted by evil as evil, only by evil made to appear as good. And thereby appeal to desires and motives that were holy, just and good. He was tempted the same way Adam was in Eden, according to inspiration. Did Adam in Eden have a bent towards evil? No. Did He have any attraction to evil? No. Could He be lured by evil? No. But He could be lured by evil made to appear good, and He was. He was. His temptations (Christ’s) were never to satisfy evil desires for He never had them. His nature was repulsed by evil. His heart hated it with a perfect hatred. He was tempted by Satan to satisfy pure and holy desires in all three categories of temptation in a way that was made to appear good and lawful, but was actually evil and unlawful. And the moment He discerned it as such, actually evil and unlawful, what did He do? He repulsed it, for His nature was repulsed by evil.

Secondly, Satan tempted Him to employ His own divine powers to escape exposure to sin and evil that pressed in around Him and which was so painful to His sinless, human sensitivities. And he also tempted Him to employ His own divine powers to meet His very real and legitimate needs. It was in this second area that Christ had the strongest and most frequent temptations, to use His own divine power in His own behalf.

I read from Bible Commentary, volume 7, page 930: “Christ was put to the closest test, requiring the strength of all His faculties, to resist the inclination when in danger to use His power to deliver Himself from peril and triumph over the power of the prince of darkness.” Christ had inclinations, didn’t he? But were they inclinations to evil? And brothers and sisters, I challenge you. You may search high and low through the Spirit of Prophecy looking for one reference to Christ as having inclinations to evil. There is not one. In fact, those–and it amazes me that one can go to such lengths as to do this. There are those who, in their efforts to claim that Christ had the same inclinations we do, have used this very statement. But do you know where they stopped quoting it? “Christ was put to the closest test, requiring the strength of all His faculties, to resist the inclination,” and the quote stops there. And it has been suggested that that means that He had the same inclinations we do. Now, is that being honest and fair to the context of the statement?

I read on: “Requiring the strength of all His faculties to resist the inclination when in danger to use His power to deliver Himself from peril and triumph over the power of the prince of darkness.” What power is that that He was tempted to use? His divine power. And brothers and sisters, herein Christ shares with us the common denominator to every temptation, and what is it? Distrust God; trust in self. I don’t care what the particular temptation might be, before you are going to yield, you’ve got to what? Distrust God and trust in self. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our” what? Our faith. And what is in the world, by the way? The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. So no matter which of those three temptations are concerned, before you’ll yield to them, what have you got to do? Distrust God; trust in self.

Was Christ tempted to distrust God and trust in self? Of course. But brothers and sisters, the self that He was tempted to trust in was one that could turn stones to bread. It was a divine self. The heart and core of the trials and temptations of Christ lie in the constant self-denial required of Him to assume and retain the weaknesses and infirmities and limitations of utterly helpless and dependent humanity, while all the time entirely conscious that He was the omnipotent and omniscient Son of God, and therefore able at any time to utilize the infinite resources of His own divine nature to meet any emergency or satisfy any personal need.

Now, can you imagine the strength of temptation that that must have been? I ask you, Who has a greater temptation, one who has poor, faulty, limited resources to fall back on, or one who has within Himself infinite power to fall back on? Infinite power. Oh, brothers and sisters, may we never suggest that because Christ didn’t have the same sinful, selfish nature that we have He had an advantage. He had a marked disadvantage, I submit.

Let’s consider how both of these methods of tempting Christ, the two that we’ve outlined, tempting Him in the three major areas of temptation, and tempting Him to rely upon His own divine power; let’s consider how both of these methods of tempting Christ were employed by Satan in the wilderness experience.

Turn with me to Matthew 4. And I can tell right now, bless your hearts, that we are going to be able to spend a significant amount of time together studying God’s Word. I hope you’re ready. Bless your hearts. Matthew 4:1: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Now, tell me. Before we can consider this, we must briefly consider the events just prior to His wilderness ordeal. And what was that event? His baptism. Precisely. Matthew 3:13: “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, I have need to be baptized by you; are you coming to me? But Jesus answered and said to him, Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he allowed Him. Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came up immediately from the water, and behold the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and a lighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.'”

Very significant that we note what Christ has experienced just prior to going into the wilderness to be tempted. What has He experienced? First of all, He has received, as our Substitute and Surety, the burden of our sin and guilt. Desire of Ages, page 111: “Upon coming up out of the water, Jesus bowed in prayer on the river bank. A new and important era was opening before Him. He was now upon a wider stage, entering upon the conflict of His life. As one with us, He must bear the burden of our guilt and woe.” He bears now the burden of our guilt and woe.

What else is His experience? In spite of this conscious load of guilt, what sustains Him as He moves onto this wider stage. The words of His Father: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Oh, brothers and sisters, what do these words mean to us? They should mean everything to us. Listen. I can’t resist sharing this. Desire of Ages, page 113: “And the word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,’ embraces humanity. God spoke to Jesus as our representative. With all our sins and weaknesses, we are not cast aside as worthless. He made us accepted in the beloved.” Ephesians 1:6. “The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. It tells us of the power of prayer, how the human voice may reach the ear of God and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven. By sin, earth was cut off from heaven, and alienated from its communion. But Jesus has connected it again with a sphere of glory. His love has encircled man and reached the highest heaven. The light which fell from the open portals upon the head of our Saviour will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation. The voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, This is my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.” Oh, praise God for that blessed assurance.

But now, with those words cherished in His heart and with the sense of the load of our sins upon that heart, He goes to the wilderness. Verse 1, chapter 4: “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” In other words, clearly a divinely ordained test. He was led there by whom? By the Spirit. Through which He is to further develop for man a perfectly sinless character, and become for man an example as to how he, though fallen, though degraded and depraved by nature, may become an overcomer by His grace.

Satan is ready. He’s well-prepared. Signs of the Times, July 9, 1874: “For 4000 years, ever since the declaration was made to Adam that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head, he had been planning his manner of attack.” He’s ready. He also knows what is at stake.

Bible Commentary, volume 5, page 1079: “The time had now come when the Satan’s empire over the world was to be contested, his right disputed, and he feared that his power would be broken. He knew that everything which concerned his prosperity was depending upon his success or failure in overcoming Christ with his temptations. And he brought on the Saviour every artifice at his command to allure Him from His integrity.”

Consider with me for a moment. Four thousand years of preparation. That incredibly intelligent mind. And with absolutely extraordinary motivation, his very survival at stake. He’s ready, isn’t he? He’s ready. He has only three approaches planned, however, because there are only three.

Testimonies, volume 4, page 44: “In the wilderness of temptation, Christ met the great leading temptations that would assail man. There He encountered single-handed the wily, subtle foe and overcame him. The first great temptation was upon appetite. The second, presumption. The third, love of the world. Satan’s manifold temptations grow out of these three great leading points.” Every temptation known to man comes under one of those heads, brothers and sisters.

In I John 1:16: “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life.” There are only three temptations. So if Christ is to be tempted in all points like as we are, He  must be tempted in three basic areas. Correct? Absolutely. How many times is He  tempted in the wilderness? Three times.

Temptation No. 1. What is it? Selected Messages, volume 1, page 274: “His first temptation to Christ was upon appetite. He had upon this point almost entire control of the world, and his temptations were adapted to the circumstances and surroundings of Christ, which made his temptations upon appetite almost overpowering.” What was it that made–what circumstances particularly was it that made that temptation in the area of appetite almost overpowering? It was the fact that He  had fasted for forty days and forty nights.

Selected Messages, volume 1, page 272: “When Christ bore the temptation upon the point of appetite, He was emaciated through long fasting and felt the keenest sense of hunger.” Why was this necessary, to bring Himself to the condition where He felt the keenest sense of hunger? Because His perfectly normal, unperverted human appetite had to be rendered, through fasting, as intense in its demands for gratification as the most perverted and depraved appetite could be. And brothers and sisters, the length of the fast is one of the clearest indications of the degree of perversion. Christ had to go forty days and forty nights without food before His sinless human appetites and passions could be rendered so augmented, so intensified, that they were the equivalent to the most degraded and depraved of fallen human nature.

But here is the important point. Don’t miss it. He could by this means, by starving Himself for forty days and forty nights, He could by this means be tested in the area of the most sinful appetites and passions without actually having sinful appetites and passions. Do you see that? He can thus become our fully sympathetic Elder Brother and still our fully sinless Substitute. Praise His name. He can be our totally valid Example while still remaining perfectly sinless. In other words, He can know what it is like, experientially, to be tempted in all things like as we are, yet without what? Sin. That’s what Paul is telling us in that verse. He’s saying, He knows what it’s like but He gained that knowledge without sin, inbred or any sin. Do you see that?

Was there anything sinful about His acute, keen hunger after forty days and forty nights of fasting? Why, of course not. And yet, that arbitrarily induced intensity of appetite enabled Him to experience in both type and intensity a temptation that was more than equal to any in the whole spectrum of temptations that depraved human nature must overcome in the area of the lusts of the flesh. No matter, then, what our particular perverted and sinful appetite or passion might be in this area, the lust of the flesh, do we have in Christ a valid Example as to how we can overcome? Yes, of course. Why? Because He had such Himself? Never. Why, then? Because He experienced its full equivalent in type and intensity.

Can I ever say, then, that He had an advantage over me when it comes to resisting temptations in the realm of appetites and passions? Can I? No. Can I claim He doesn’t know what it is like? No. Can I claim that there is no condemnation for my sinful indulgence because I can’t overcome? No. For he, in the likeness of sinful flesh, has overcome, and thereby condemned sin in the flesh. He’s proven, by taking a condition that was perfectly parallel, that it still by His enabling grace could be overcome. And there’s no excuse for yielding to the lusts of the flesh. He has thereby condemned sin in the flesh.

Satan is also tempting Him, though, in this first temptation, not only in the area of appetite; he’s tempting Him in that area of trust in self. How does he word the temptation? “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, If you are the Son of God, command these stones become bread.” If. What does that “if” imply? Doubt. And, oh, the insight that the servant of the Lord gives us, I would love to take the time to dwell upon it, as to what he was actually insinuating. Oh, the intensity of that temptation. Not only then is this temptation appealing to an excruciating physical appetite, but it is appealing to a much larger issue as well.

Satan is actually implying that, by all appearances, He can’t possibly be the Son of God; He must rather be that fallen angel called Lucifer and cast out of heaven. And if you’re not, why don’t you go ahead and satisfy that appetite by doing something that evidences beyond controversy that you are actually God. Oh, advantage, brothers and sisters! Why did He refuse to work a miracle, though? Because in the context it would have manifested a lack of faith in the Father’s word. What had He just heard upon coming out of the Jordan? “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

Review and Herald, March 9, 1886: “It was only by trusting in His Father that He could resist these temptations. He walked by faith as we must walk by faith.” And faith is the evidence of things what? Hoped for. Conviction of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. By appearances, was He the Son of God? No. But was He walking by sight? No. He was walking by faith. And faith cometh how? By hearing. God told Him He was the Son of God. So, in spite of everything His senses tell Him to the contrary, He chooses to believe God’s Word; that’s faith. And that’s victory.

Why else could He not use His divine power? He could not for it would have manifested a lack of trust in the Father’s love. A lack of trust. Signs of the Times, December 3, 1902: “Here is the insinuation of distrust. In the tones of the tempter’s voice is an expression of utter incredulity. Would God treat His Son thus? Would He leave Him in the desert with the wild beasts without food, without companions, without comfort? Satan insinuated that God never meant His Son to be in such a state as this. If thou be the Son of God, he says, show thou power by relieving thyself of this present hunger. Command these stones be made bread.” Had He done so in the context of the temptation, it would have manifest a distrust in His Father’s love. He could not.

Thirdly, He could not work a miracle using His own divine power because to do so would be breaking His agreement with the Father never to use His own divine powers in His own behalf.

Fourthly, it would have been a concession to Satan to do so.

Fifthly, it would have been a yielding to appetite, sinfully. Please note. We said it would have been a yielding to appetite, sinfully. We did not say it would have been a yielding to sinful appetite. There was nothing about sinful about that acute appetite. But had He indulged it in the context, it would have been a sinful indulgence. Correct? Yes.

As with Adam in Eden, the appetite that was appealed to was not sinful. But what was sinful was the indulgence of it, a God-forbidden way. In so doing, had He worked a miracle in yielding to His appetite, He would have failed to show man that He can overcome any appetite, no matter how intense or perverted it might be.

Sixthly, He could not use His own divine power and work a miracle because so doing would have immediately rendered Him an invalid Example. Why? He would have availed Himself to a power not readily available to us. Review and Herald,, May 14, 1908: “Coming to the Son of God, the great deceiver claimed to be commissioned by the Father with a message to the Saviour. He need no longer hunger. If thou be the Son of God, command these stones be made bread. But by such an act as this, Christ would have broken His promise that He would never exercise His divine power in order to escape any difficulty or suffering that man in his humanity must meet.” So had He done such, He would have rendered Himself an invalid Example to man, because man in his humanity does not have divine powers to recourse to.

So, recognizing this, what did He do with this very real and extremely powerful temptation to turn stones to bread, exercising His divine power to satisfy His acute human appetites? What did He do with that temptation? He repulsed it immediately. But how? Oh, perfect Example. “It is written.” He quoted scripture. He used that which is available readily to every one of us, didn’t he? Even in repulsing that temptation, He uses that alone which is readily available to us.

As our Example, what does His victory mean to us in this area of appetite? In the book, Temperance, page 20: “Satan was defeated in his object to overcome Christ upon the point of appetite. And here in the wilderness Christ achieved a victory in behalf of the race upon the point of appetite, making it possible for man, in all future time, in His name, to overcome the strength of appetite on his own behalf.” Praise God.

Brothers and sisters, do you have a struggle in this area? Jesus Christ was tempted in all things like as you are, and He overcame. And that same grace that enabled Him to overcome is available to enable you to overcome as well.

As our Substitute, what does His victory mean for us? Selected Messages, volume 1, page 272: “As man could not in his human strength resist the power of Satan’s temptations, Jesus volunteered to undertake the work and bear the burden for man and overcome the power of appetite in his behalf. He must show in man’s behalf self-denial and perseverance and firmness of principle that is paramount to the gnawing pangs of hunger. He must show a power over appetite stronger than hunger and even death.” Did He do such? Yes. Do we have any excuse not to be overcomers in the area of the lusts of the flesh? No. And this temptation in the area of appetite comprehended all other temptations in the area of the lusts of the flesh, including sexual drives and passions. Because, as the servant of the Lord clearly states, if we overcome on appetite, we what? We overcome on every other point. So when He got the victory on this one, it comprehended the victory in every other of the miserable and myriad depraved areas of the lusts of the flesh. Do you see that?

Temptation No. 2. Pride of life. Satan now changes his tact radically. He reasons, So, he really believes he’s God’s Son. So he’s going to quote scripture to me. So he’s going to trust His Father’s love and believe His Word. Okay. I’ll see if I can tempt Him to take that faith and trust to the point of presumption. So what does he do? He quotes scripture back. Regarding what? The trustworthiness of God. Do you see how he comes right back? To take advantage of something sinful and depraved in Him? No, there is no such thing in Him. But to take advantage of that faith and trust that He has manifested. And what does he quote? Matthew 4:6: “And said to Him” — verse 5: “Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written.” And here comes Satan’s memory verse. “He shall give His angels charge concerning you.” But what vitally important part of his memory verse did he forget?

Signs of the Times, December 10, 1902: “When Satan quoted the promise, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee, he omitted the words, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Did he just forget that part? I read on. “That is, in all the ways of God’s choosing. Jesus refused to go outside the path of obedience. While manifesting perfect trust in His Father, He would not place Himself unbidden in a position that would necessitate the interposition of His Father to save Him from death. He would not force providence to come to His rescue and thus fail of giving man an example of trust and submission.”

You see, in the context, it would have been not faith at all but a want of faith. It would have been presumption. Review and Herald, May 14, 1908: “Again the temptation is prefaced with the insinuation of distrust. If thou be the Son of God. Christ was tempted to answer the ‘if,’ but He refrained from the slightest acceptance of the doubt. He would not imperil His life in order to give evidence to Satan. It is written, He declared, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

It’s fascinating to note the Old Testament context of what Christ quoted back. Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Note what inspiration tells us regarding that. Signs of the Times, December 17, 1902: “Jesus declared to Satan, It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. These words were spoken to the children of Israel when they thirsted in the desert, and demanded that Moses should give them water, exclaiming, Is the Lord among us or not? God had wrought marvelously for them. Yet, in trouble, they doubted Him and demanded evidence that He was with them. In their unbelief, they sought to put Him to the test.” And Satan was urging Christ to do the same thing.

God had already testified that Jesus was His Son. When did He do that? After the baptism. God had already testified that Jesus was His Son. And now to ask for proof that He was the Son of God would be putting God’s Word to the test, tempting Him. And the same would be true of asking for that which God had not promised. It would be to manifest distrust and would be really tempting or proving Him. We should not present–oh, brothers and sisters, I want this to be personally, this study; let’s learn from Christ’s example. I read: “We should not present our petitions to God in order to prove whether He will fulfill His word, but because He will fulfill it.” Not to prove that He loves us but because He loves us. One is testing God, and it has to do, not with faith, but with presumption. The other is faith in God. And there’s a radical difference.

“Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God,” Christ responded. In other words, you must do nothing for the purpose of testing God’s love and omnipotence by placing yourself in an avoidable situation, where He is required to work a miracle to protect you from physical harm or evil influence. What can we learn from our Lord’s example in this area of temptation?

Early Writings, 156: “Christ is the example for all Christians. When they are tempted or their rights are disputed, they should bear it” how? “Patiently. They should not feel that they have a right to call upon the Lord to display His power that they may obtain a victory over their enemies, unless God can be directly honored and glorified thereby. If Jesus had cast Himself from the pinnacle of the temple, it would not have glorified His Father.” Why? Listen. “For none would have witnessed the act but Satan and his angels. And it would have been tempting the Lord to display His power to His bitterest foe. It would have been condescending to the one whom Jesus came to conquer.”

What can we learn from our Lord’s example in overcoming this temptation? Mind, Character and Personality, volume 1, page 25: “The promises of God are not for us to claim rashly to protect us while we rush on recklessly into danger, violating the laws of nature or disregarding prudence and the judgment God has given us to use. This would not be genuine faith but presumption.”

But again, brothers and sisters, we ask–and please follow me. Was Satan tempting Christ with something obviously evil when he tempted Him to jump off the pinnacle? No. It was something that he presented as a manifestation of one’s what? One’s faith. Was he appealing to something sinful in Christ? Absolutely not. Christ was absolutely repulsed by evil, so the only way Satan could tempt Him to do something wrong, something unlawful, was to disguise it as something very good and honorable. In this case, remarkable trust in God’s promises, and the protective love and watch care over His children.

In other words, Satan was appealing to the sinless, God-given inclination in the heart of the perfectly sinless human being, Jesus Christ, to trust in God and he was seeking to get Him to yield to that inclination in a God-forbidden way. Again, in this sense, He was tempted in the wilderness as Adam was tempted in Eden. But again, under the particular circumstances, this temptation was equal in type and intensity to any that degraded and depraved human nature might be called upon to meet in the area of the pride of life that leads to presumption. Do you see, then, how He can know what it’s like to be tempted in this area without having our same sinful propensities? Of course.

Temptation No. 3. What is it? Lust of the eyes, or the love of the world. Materialism. Lust of the flesh. What’s that? That’s sensualism. Lust of the eyes? What’s that? Materialism. Pride of life. What’s that? Egotism. You have the three religions of the world there, don’t you? Sensualism, materialism, egotism.

Temptation No. 3 is the lust of the eyes in the realm of the love of the world, or the love of material things. Consider the significance of this temptation. It begins in Matthew 4:8: “Again the devil took Him on an exceeding high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.” And the pen of inspiration gives us remarkable insight as to what was displayed to Christ. There was absolutely nothing tarnished or ugly. It was all overcast with a very rosy view. It only gave Him a view from perspectives that hid entirely the degradation and depravity of earthly kingdoms.

“Again the devil took Him up on an exceeding high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me. Then Jesus aid to him, Away with you, Satan, for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you shall serve.” Verse 11: “Then the devil left Him and behold angels came and ministered to Him.”

What is the significance of this third temptation to Christ? In Spiritual Gifts, volume 1, page 34: “Satan claimed the kingdoms of earth as his, and he insinuated to Jesus that all His suffering might be saved. He need not die to obtain the kingdoms of the world, but He might have the entire possession of earth and the glory of reigning over them, if He would worship him. Jesus was steadfast.” Praise God. “He chose His life of suffering, His dreadful death, and in the way appointed by the Father to become a lawful heir to the kingdoms of the earth, and have them given in His hands as an everlasting possession.” That’s what He chose. But can you imagine the temptation that the alternative route must have been to Him?

He had come for what purpose? To become once again the benign and benevolent ruler of planet earth. But He recognized that He could only gain that right through the blood-stained power that led to Calvary. But here Satan is offering a detour.

Signs of the Times, June 9, 1898. How did He overcome it? It was on this point, worldliness, that Satan thought to overthrow Christ. This, by the way, was his last chance, wasn’t it? He’d exhausted two other approaches. He’s down to the last line. “It was on this point that Satan thought to overthrow Christ. He thought that, in His humanity, He could be easily overcome. But Christ was unmoved. He felt the strength of this temptation, but He met it in our behalf and conquered. And He used only the weapons justifiable for human beings to use, the Word of God who is mighty in counsel, It is written.”

Well, brothers and sisters, I ask you: Was Christ’s temptation in this area, which was very real, equal to anything that naturally selfish and covetous man might face? Oh, yes, it was more than equal.

Letter 1a, 1872: “The thrones and kingdoms of the world and the glory of them were presented to Christ. Never will we have temptations as strong as those that assailed Him. But Satan comes to us with worldly honor, wealth, and the pleasures of life. These temptations are varied to meet men of every rank and degree, tempting them away from God to serve themselves more than their Creator. All these things will I give thee, said Satan to Christ. All these things will I give thee, says Satan to man. All this money, this land, all this power and honor and riches would I give thee. And man is charmed, deceived and treacherously allured on to his ruin.” If we give ourselves up to worldliness of heart and of life, Satan is satisfied.

But we ask ourselves, Was this desire in the heart of Christ that Satan was appealing to in any way sinful? Was it in any sense selfishness or covetousness that was being appealed to? Absolutely not, for there was no trace of selfishness or covetousness. There was not even an inclination to selfishness or covetousness in the heart of Christ, in the human nature of Christ. What then was he appealing to? Listen closely.

Review and Herald, March 1, 1887: “The desire to accumulate wealth is an original affection of our nature implanted there by our Heavenly Father for noble ends.” I’ll read it again. “The desire to accumulate wealth is an original affection.” Original as by creation, not as by fall. “The desire to accumulate wealth is an original affection of our nature implanted there by our Heavenly Father for noble ends. Every faculty might have been cultivated to the highest possible elevation by exercise for the heavenly immortal life and for the far more exceeding eternal weight of glory.”

Do you hear what she’s telling us? There is a dimension of desire for the things of this world that is pure and holy and God-given. But when man wrongfully indulged those desires: “he saw that the tree was” what? “A delight to the eyes.” When she unlawfully indulged that which was a God-given desire, it at that moment turned into covetousness, which is the essence and the heart and core of sin–selfishness.

But please recognize that Christ could have a desire that was being appealed to to which the beauty of this world was very attractive and not in any way be what? Covetous. Not in any way be covetous. It was to this God-given, and thereby perfectly sinless and unselfish desire, that Satan was appealing to in Eve when he regaled before her that which was a delight to the eyes. This desire was perverted by sin, by the sin of our first parents, and now manifests itself in fallen nature as covetousness. This God-given desire has been made, then, sin in the flesh, for covetousness is sin.

But was it covetousness in the heart of Christ, we ask again, that Satan was appealing to? Never. Never. Had He had any covetousness whatsoever He would have had sin in the flesh. And yet, please recognize as well, under the God-ordained circumstances of the test, Christ’s perfectly sinless, God-given desire to accumulate wealth was so intensified that it became at least the equivalent to any covetous passion of the most depraved human heart.

Think of the circumstances. Here apparently was a way being offered to become the benign and benevolent ruler of all the rich and beautiful kingdoms of the world without going to the cross to earn it. Can you imagine the intensity of such a temptation? I submit that we cannot even comprehend it. We ask then, did He have an advantage over us, being Himself perfectly free from covetousness, in overcoming temptations in the realm of the lust of the eyes? Did he? Absolutely not. Just the opposite.

I ask you as well, Is He a valid Example for us in this realm? Perfectly valid, for He has experienced and overcome the full equivalent of any temptation the most covetous or selfish human being will ever face. But He did not have to be covetous to do so, did He? Do you see, my brother, my sister, how He does not have to be sinful to be sympathetic? Do you see it, my brother, my sister? Oh, my heart longs for us as a people to see this truth so we will cease in our justifiable, yes, attempts to uplift Christ as a valid Example and to show that we can be overcomers because He overcame, but brothers and sisters, I long that we will cease to do so in a way that makes Him sinful and destroys His substitutionary capacity. Some of the things that we say about our Lord in our effort to make Him a valid Example are nothing short of blasphemy, not to mention the fact that they utterly destroy any hope of salvation. For if He is the same corrupt channel I am, with the same sinful nature that I have, which is under condemnation of the law, then I have no one to go to the cross for me. He was on it for Himself.

Oh, I please with my brothers. I honor and I recognize their desire to have Christ recognized as a valid Example and a sympathetic Elder Brother, but God forbid that we should do such in a way that would make it impossible for Him to be our sinless Substitute. We don’t have to. Do you see how we don’t have to? He can be tempted in all things like as we are, yet without sin, any sin, sin of deed, sin of thought, sin of word, sin of nature, without inbred sin. He can be tempted in all things like, equivalent, fully equivalent in both type and intensity, but not exactly the same, praise God. If it’s exactly the same, then he’s what by nature? A sinner.

Oh, brothers and sisters, I pray that you will take this understanding of truth and share it as far and wide as you can. First, though, convince yourself it’s truth. I don’t ask you to accept it because I have simply presented it to you. Test it. Test it. See if it checks out. And if it does, take it. Apply it to your own life, and then proclaim it. Proclaim it. It’s a precious, essential truth. It’s present truth. It is the true understanding of righteousness by faith. And brothers and sisters, it must swell and become the Loud Cry. I am convinced. I am convinced.

Did Christ overcome any of his temptations relying upon power not readily available to us by grace? He did not. Desire of Ages, page 24: “And He exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us.” Had He done that, who would have screamed before the whole universe: “Unfair”? Satan, of course. Questions on Doctrines, page 651: “The enemy was overcome by Christ in His human nature. The power of the Saviour’s Godhead was hidden. He overcame in human nature, relying upon God for power.” God for power. And that same page. “When Christ bowed His head and died, He bore the pillars of Satan’s kingdom with Him to the earth. He vanquished Satan in the same nature over which in Eden Satan obtained the victory.”

As far as sinlessness is concerned, indeed it was. Christ’s victory over temptation in the wilderness means everything to us, brothers and sisters, because there He proved that even fallen man, even fallen man, no matter how degraded in his powers or depraved in their function, no matter how limited his human strength or powerful his sinful appetites and passions, in the strength of his God, even fallen man may overcome. And what gives us this assurance? Christ’s victory. He gained it being touched with our infirmities. That victory which He gained as our Substitute and as our Example; that victory which He gained–and listen for our conditions that we noted at the onset–while subject to all our weaknesses and infirmities, that victory He gained while in a condition and under circumstances that equaled the disadvantages of any depraved soul who might come to God for power to overcome, no matter how degraded in powers or depraved in appetite and passion.

No. 3. While dependent upon only those resources, that by His grace are freely available to the most wretched sinner.

And, 4, while bearing the oppressive load of human guilt.

Oh, brothers and sisters, do you see that, if under those conditions, the Sinless One could overcome, we, though sinful by nature, can overcome as well? Do you see it? We can be overcomers. How do we know? He overcame. He overcame. Do you see, though, how He has proved, while perfectly sinless in Himself in nature that even the most degraded and depraved among us might overcome in his strength? Do you see that we don’t have to make Him sinful to make Him sympathetic? Do you see how His capacity to be perfectly sympathetic does not negate His capacity to remain perfectly sinless? Do you see it? Oh, praise God.

Was the wilderness the end of His temptations, though? Oh, no. But it was there that He gained the victory to all our temptations. He was continually harassed, however, to temptations that were unique to Himself. And that is to trust in His own divine resources. But did He ever yield?

Desire of Ages, page 119: “Christ was not to exercise divine power for His own benefit. He had come to bear trial as we must do, leaving us an example of faith and submission. Neither here nor at any subsequent time in His earthly ministry did He work a miracle in His own behalf. His wonderful works were all for the good of others.”

But brothers and sisters, please consider with me the intensity of temptation that He must have had in this realm. What dwelt in Him in fullness? The Godhead bodily. And at times that human vail, that vail of flesh was too thin to hide it, wasn’t it, and divinity flashed through humanity. Take the incident there at Gethsemane, when that motley crowd comes to bind Him and to take Him to His crucifixion. He asks whom they seek, and they say, Jesus, and what is His response? I am here. And as He uses those words, what happens? Divinity flashes through humanity and they fall around Him like dead men. Whose divine power was that? That was entirely His own. That was His personal divinity that flashed through humanity. But did He exercise that divine power in His own behalf? No. Why? Proof positive. Had it been in His own behalf, what would He have done while they were all groping as blind men? He would have left. But He stood there patiently waiting for them to gather their wits about them and jump on Him.

But brothers and sisters, who then did He let that divinity flash through for? For them and for His disciples. To let them know beyond controversy that He was going with them because He chose to, not because they overpowered Him. And He wanted all the rest of us who read the story ever after to know that He went to the cross, not because He was made to, but because He chose to.

Now brothers and sisters, please follow me. With that same Jesus who knows very well that power; he’s just used it in Gethsemane, and now watch Him in the courts, as the Roman legion pull out His beard in handfuls, spit in His face, pound that crown of thorns into His brow, call Him every name that you can imagine. Can you conceive of the temptation it might have been to let divinity flash through humanity just once more? Can you even conceive of it? Just for the sheer physical relief if nothing else. But the physical pain was nothing compared to the oppressive presence of sin around His sinless person. Can you imagine the temptation? We can’t. God forbid that any of us should ever cry out “advantage” again.

And when He was nailed to that cross, and when they in mocking derision said, You saved others; save yourself. Could He have done that? But what did He say in His heart? He said, I can. I can, I know I can, but if I did, I couldn’t save you. And so I’m going to stay here. He overcame self, my brother, my sister, and He gave us a shining example, and it is our perfectly sinless Substitute who gave us that perfectly valid Example. Praise God for the all-sufficiency of the Word made flesh to be both, at the same time, sinless Substitute and valid Example for a fallen race. Shall we pray.

 

Quotes from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy as used in this lesson for your reference 😉

1 John 2:16 “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”

2T 201,2 “He is a brother in our infirmities, but not in possessing like passions.  As the Sinless One, His nature recoiled from evil.”

Ed 29 “There is in his (fallen man’s) nature a bent to evil.”

7BC 930 “Christ was put to the closest test, requiring the strength of all His faculties, to resist the inclination when in danger, to use His power to deliver Himself from peril and triumph over the power of the prince of darkness.”

1 John 5:4 “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

1 John 2:16 “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”

Matt 4:1 “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

Matt 3:13-17 “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.  And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I have need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’  But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’  Then he allowed Him.  Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

DA 111 “Upon coming up out of the water, Jesus bowed in prayer on the river bank.  A new and important, era was opening before Him.  He was now, upon a wider stage, entering upon the conflict of His life…. As one with us, He must bear the burden of our guilt and woe.”

 

DA 113 “And the word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, ‘This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased’ (Matt 3:17) embraces humanity.  God spoke to Jesus as our representative.  With all our sins and weaknesses, we are not cast aside as worthless.  ‘He made us accepted in the Beloved.’ Ephesians 1:6 The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us.  It tells us of the power of prayer, how the human voice may reach the ear of God and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven.  By sin, earth was cut off from heaven, and alienated from its communion, but Jesus has connected it again with a sphere of glory.  His love has encircled man and reached the highest heaven.  The light which fell from the open portals upon the head of our Saviour will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation.  The voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, ‘This is My beloved child in whom I am well pleased.’”

Matt 4:1 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

RH March 18, 1875 “For four thousand years, ever since the declaration was made to Adam that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head, he had been planning his manner of attack.”

5BC 1079 “The time had now come when Satan’s empire over the world was to be contested, his right disputed, and he feared that his power would be broken…. He knew that everything which concerned his prosperity was depending upon his success or failure in overcoming Christ with his temptations, and he brought to bear on the Saviour every artifice at his command to allure Him from His integrity.”

4T 44 “In the wilderness of temptation, Christ met the great leading temptations that would assail man.  There He encountered, single-handed, the wily, subtle foe, and overcame him.  The first great temptation was upon appetite, the second, presumption, the third, love of the world.  His (Satan’s) manifold temptations grow out of these three great leading points.”

1 John 2:16 “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life.”

1SM 274 “His first temptation to Christ was upon appetite.  He had upon this point almost entire control of the world, and his temptations were adapted to the circumstances and surroundings of Christ, which made his temptations upon appetite almost overpowering.”

1SM 272 “When Christ bore the temptation upon the point of appetite…. He was emaciated through long fasting and felt the keenest sense of hunger.”

Matt 4:3 “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’”

Matt 3:17 “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

RH March 9, 1886 “It was only by trusting in His Father that He could resist these temptations.  He walked by faith as we must walk by faith.”

ST Dec 3, 1902 “Here is the insinuation of distrust.  In the tones of the tempter’s voice is an expression of utter incredulity.  Would God treat His own Son thus?  Would He leave Him in the desert with wild beasts, without food, without companions, without comfort?  Satan insinuated that God never meant His Son to be in such a state as this.  “If Thou be the Son of God,” he says, “show Thy power by relieving Thyself of this pressing hunger.  Command that these stones be made bread.””

RH May 14, 1908 “Coming to the Son of God, the great deceiver claimed to be commissioned by the Father with a message to the Saviour.  He need no longer hunger.  “If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”  But by such an act as this, Christ would have broken His promise that He would never exercise His divine power in order to escape any difficulty or suffering that man in his humanity must meet.”

Te 20 “Satan was defeated in his object to overcome Christ upon the point of appetite.  And here in the wilderness Christ achieved a victory in behalf of the race upon the point of appetite, making it possible for man, in all future time, in His name, to overcome the strength of appetite on his own behalf.”

1SM 272 “As man could not in his human strength resist the power of Satan’s temptations, Jesus volunteered to undertake the work and bear the burden for man, and overcome the power of appetite in his behalf.  He must show in man’s behalf, self-denial and perseverance, and firmness of principle that is paramount to the gnawing pangs of hunger.  He must show a power of control over appetite stronger than hunger and even death.”

Matt 4:5,6 “Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down, for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning You.’”

ST Dec 10, 1902 “When Satan quoted the promise, ‘He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee’, he omitted the words, ‘to keep Thee in all Thy ways,’ that is, in all the ways of God’s choosing, Jesus refused to go outside the path of obedience.  While manifesting perfect trust in His Father, He would not place Himself unbidden in a position that would necessitate the interposition of His Father to save Him from death.  He would not force providence to come to His rescue, and thus fail of giving man an example of trust and submission.”

RH May 14, 1908 “Again the temptation is prefaced with the insinuation of distrust. ‘If Thou be the Son of God.’  Christ was tempted to answer the “if”, but He refrained from the slightest acceptance of the doubt.  He would not imperil His life in order to give evidence to Satan.  ‘It is written’, He declared, ‘thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’”

ST Dec 10, 1902 “Jesus declared to Satan, ‘It is written’ again, ‘thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’  These words were spoken to the children of Israel when they thirsted in the desert, and demanded that Moses should give them water, exclaiming, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’  God had wrought marvelously for them, yet in trouble, they doubted Him and demanded evidence that He was with them.  In their unbelief, they sought to put Him to the test.  And Satan was urging Christ to do the same thing.  God had already testified that Jesus was His Son, and now to ask for proof that He was the Son of God would be putting God’s Word to the test – tempting Him.  And the same would be true of asking for that which God had not promised.  It would be to manifest distrust, and would be really tempting or proving, Him.  We should not present our petitions to God in order to prove whether He will fulfill His word, but because He will fulfill it, not to prove that He loves us, but because He loves us.”

Matt 4:7 “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

EW 156 “Christ is the example for all Christians.  When they are tempted or their rights are disputed, they should bear it.  They should not feel that they have a right to call upon the Lord to display His power that they may obtain a victory over their enemies unless God can be directly honored and glorified thereby.  If Jesus had cast himself from the pinnacle of the temple, it would not have glorified His Father.  For none would have witnessed the act but Satan and the angels of God.  And it would have been tempting the Lord to display His power to His bitterest foe.  It would have been condescending to the one whom Jesus came to conquer.”

MCP 25 “The promises of God are not for us to claim rashly to protect us while we rush on recklessly into danger, violating the laws of nature or disregarding prudence and the judgment God has given us to use.  This would not be genuine faith but presumption.”

Matt 4:8-11 “Again the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  And he said to Him, ‘all these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.’  Then Jesus said to him, ‘away with you Satan, for it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you shall serve.’  Then the devil left Him and behold angels came and ministered to Him.”

1SG 34 “Satan claimed the kingdoms of earth as his, and he insinuated to Jesus that all His suffering might be saved.  He need not die to obtain the kingdoms of this world.  But He might have the entire possessions of earth and the glory of reigning over them, if He would worship him.  Jesus was steadfast.  He chose His life of suffering, His dreadful death, and in the way appointed by His Father to become a lawful Heir to the kingdoms of the earth, and have them given in His hands as an everlasting possession.”

1SM 255 (ST June 9, 1898) “It was on this point that Satan thought to overthrow Christ.  He thought that, in His humanity, He could be easily overcome.  But Christ was unmoved.  He felt the strength of this temptation, but He met it in our behalf and conquered.  And He used only the weapons justifiable for human beings to use – the Word of Him who is mighty in counsel, – it is written.”  (Matt 4:4,10)

Lt. 1a, 1872 “The thrones and kingdoms of the world and the glory of them were presented to Christ.  Never will we have temptations as strong as those that assailed Him.  But Satan comes to us with worldly honor, wealth, and the pleasures of life.  These temptations are varied to meet men of every rank and degree, tempting them away from God to serve themselves more than their Creator.  ‘All these things will I give Thee,’ said Satan to Christ.  ‘All these things will I give Thee,’ says Satan to man.  All this money, this land, all this power and honor and riches would I give thee.  And man is charmed, deceived and treacherously allured on to his ruin.”

RH Mar 1, 1887 “The desire to accumulate wealth is an original affection of our nature, implanted there by our Heavenly Father for noble ends.  Every faculty might have been cultivated to the highest possible elevation by exercise for the heavenly, immortal life, and for the far more exceeding eternal weight of glory.”

DA 24 “And He exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us.”

5BC 1108  (YI April 25, 1901) When Christ bowed His head and died, He bore the pillars of Satan’s kingdom with Him to the earth. He vanquished Satan in the same nature over which in Eden Satan obtained the victory. The enemy was overcome by Christ in His human nature. The power of the Saviour’s Godhead was hidden. He overcame in human nature, relying upon God for power. This is the privilege of all. In proportion to our faith will be our victory.

DA 119 “Christ was not to exercise divine power for His own benefit.  He had come to bear trial as we must do, leaving us an example of faith and submission.  Neither here nor at any subsequent time in His earthly life did He work a miracle in His own behalf.  His wonderful works were all for the good of others.”

😉

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