Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 193

Christ Met Temptation With Scripture, July 5

It is written, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4, NRSV.

Though he [Satan] appears as an angel of light, these first words betray his character: “If thou be the Son of God.” Here is the insinuation of distrust. Should Jesus do that which Satan suggests, it would be an acceptance of the doubt. If Christ's confidence in God could be shaken, Satan knew that the victory in the whole controversy would be his. 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.

Not without a struggle could Jesus listen in silence to the archdeceiver. But the Son of God was not to prove His divinity to Satan. He met the tempter with the words of Scripture. “It is written,” He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” In every temptation the weapon of His warfare was the Word of God.

When Christ said to the tempter, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” He repeated the words that more than fourteen hundred years before, He had spoken to Israel. And the same words are written for our admonition. We are to commune with the One who gives us life, the One who keeps the heart in motion and the pulse beating. God is giving the breath of life to every member of His great family here below. He deserves your sincere reverence, your earnest devotion. When you consider what He has done for you, how can you help loving Him? He has given His Son as a propitiation for sin, in order that you might stand on vantage ground with God.

If the world should recognize the claims of God upon them, we would not see and hear of the awful sins that are now so common; we would not read of the murders, the wickedness, and the tyranny daily chronicled in the newspapers. Like the antediluvians, the inhabitants of the world have almost entirely forgotten God and His law.—Manuscript 155, 1902 (Sermons and Talks, 2:218).

When Satan can bring his craftiness to bear on human minds, deceptive influences are received [as] from heaven. If his deceptions are allowed to enter, many souls will be ensnared by them before it is seen that they are not from God, but from the enemy of all righteousness.—Manuscript 37, 1903 (The Upward Look, 135).

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