Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 189

July—The Temptation of Christ

Constant Prayer Needed to Resist Satan's Cunning, July 1

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Luke 4:1.

Why was it that at the beginning of His public ministry Christ was led into the wilderness to be tempted? It was the Spirit that led Him thence, and He went, not in His own behalf, but in our behalf, to overcome for us. There was no compulsion about it. He was led by the Spirit, His humanity to be proved, as one who had undertaken to stand at the head of the fallen race.

Christ had been, and was then, in perfect harmony with the Father. He was to be tried and tested as a representative of the race. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to meet the foe in personal encounter, to overthrow him who claimed to be the head of the kingdoms of the world.

While in the wilderness Christ fasted, but He was insensible to hunger. Engaged in constant prayer to His Father for a preparation to resist the adversary, Christ did not feel the pangs of hunger. He spent the time in earnest prayer, shut in with God. It was as if He were in the presence of His Father. He sought for strength to meet the foe, for the assurance that He would receive grace to carry out all that He had undertaken in behalf of humanity. The thought of the warfare before Him made Him oblivious to all else, and His soul was fed with the bread of life, just as today those tempted souls will be fed who go to God for aid. He ate of the truth that He was to give to the people as having power to deliver them from Satan's temptations. He saw the breaking of Satan's power over fallen and tempted ones. He saw Himself healing the sick, comforting the hopeless, cheering the desponding, and preaching the gospel to the poor—doing the work that God had outlined for Him; and He did not realize any sense of hunger until the forty days of His fast were ended....

Christ is in the wilderness, the wild beasts His only companions, and everything around Him tending to make Him realize His humanity. Suddenly an angel appears before Him, apparently one of the angels that He saw not long since, and addresses Him with the words “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” “If thou be the Son of God” here is the insinuation of distrust. The words rankle with the bitterness in his [Satan's] mind. In the tones of his voice is an expression of utter incredulity.—Letter 159, 1903 (Manuscript Releases 21:8, 9).

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