Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 190

Christ Refused to Argue With Satan, July 2

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace. Luke 11:21.

He [Satan] ridiculed the idea of Christ, the Majesty of heaven, being left in the wilderness to suffer from hunger. Would God treat His own Son thus? Would He leave Him in the desert with wild beasts, without food, without companions, without comfort? He insinuates that God never meant His Son to be in such a state as this....

The words from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” were still sounding in the ears of Satan. But he was determined to make Christ disbelieve this testimony. The word of God was Christ's assurance of His divine mission.... It was Satan's purpose to make Him doubt this word. If Christ's confidence in God could be shaken, Satan knew that victory in the whole conflict would be his. He could overcome Jesus. He hoped that under the force of despondency and extreme hunger, Christ would lose faith in His Father and work a miracle in His own behalf. Had He done this, the plan of salvation would have been broken.

And Christ, the Son of God, answering said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Christ had been warned not to enter into argument with Satan. And though He recognized him from the beginning, He was not provoked to enter into controversy with him. Strengthened with the memory of the voice from heaven, He rested in His Father's love. He would not parley with temptation.

Satan tempted the first Adam in Eden, and Adam reasoned with the enemy, thus giving him the advantage. Satan exercised his power of hypnotism over Adam and Eve, and this power he strove to exercise over Christ. But after the word of Scripture was quoted, Satan knew that he had no chance of triumphing.

Satan came to Christ hoping to gain the victory. He thought that he had every advantage over Him. But he was conquered by the Saviour's meekness and humility, and by His reliance on the Word of God. Meek and lowly, and seemingly helpless, Christ was stronger than the strong man armed. Oh, how Satan strove to make Him sin against God! But all his efforts failed to make Christ swerve from His allegiance.

Our Saviour could receive the heavenly revelation without becoming self-exalted.... The enemy is subtle and very daring, but he is not invincible. He is a strong man armed, but if we keep close to the Captain of our salvation, using the weapon that He has given us, we shall be victorious.—Letter 159, 1903 (Manuscript Releases 21:9, 10).

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