Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 202

We Can Always Rely Upon “Thus Saith the Lord,” July 14

If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it may be made bread.... If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence. Luke 4:3-9.

In the wilderness of temptation the riches of the world was the bribe presented to our Lord. Satan did not come to Him with his temptations until the human nature was weakened and was crying out its necessity....

Christ's humanity would have shrunk from that which awaited Him in the desert. But He came to the world so that by coming into close contact with him [Satan], He might wrest from the hands of the usurper the Lord's human heritage....

Satan knew that the personal controversy between the Prince of life and the prince of darkness had commenced, and he sought to overcome Christ in His physical weakness. The proof that Satan required was for Christ to accept the doubt and act upon it, thus showing that He entertained the doubt by giving the evidence that Satan desired. Had Christ complied with this suggestion of the enemy, his satanic majesty would still have said, Show me a sign, that I may believe you to be the Son of God. But not one of the signs specified was Christ to give. By working a miracle in His own behalf He would show that He questioned God. That sign that is greater than all miracles, a firm reliance upon a “Thus saith the Lord,” was a sign that could not be controverted....

How artfully had Satan approached Eve in Eden! “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Thus far every word that Satan spoke was truth, but his manner of saying them was a disguised contempt for the words of God. There was in his words of truth a covert negative, a denial, a doubt of the divine truthfulness. He sought to instill into her mind the thought that God would not do as He had said, that the withholding of such beautiful fruit was a contradiction of His love and compassion for them.

And now he seeks to inspire Christ with his own sentiments. “If thou be the Son of God.” Thus he sought to imbue Christ with his doubts.... Would God treat His own Son thus? ...

Temptations will arise [among some] to cause distrust of God and to question His love.... They become traitors, rebels against God, and accept the temptations of him whom they choose as their leader. They become a medium for Satan, a channel through which he communicates to other minds the doubts and infidelity with which he has imbued them.—Letter 3, 1897.

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