Ellen G. White Writings

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Homeward Bound, Page 341

Satan’s Claim, November 8

All this authority I will give you, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.—Luke 4:6.

When Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted, He was led by the Spirit of God. He did not invite temptation. He went to the wilderness to be alone, to contemplate His mission and work. By fasting and prayer He was to brace Himself for the bloodstained path He must travel. But Satan knew that the Saviour had gone into the wilderness, and he thought this the best time to approach Him.

Mighty issues for the world were at stake in the conflict between the Prince of light and the leader of the kingdom of darkness. After tempting Adam and Eve to sin, Satan claimed the earth as his, and styled himself the prince of this world. Having conformed to his own nature the father and mother of our race, he thought to establish here his empire. He declared that mankind had chosen him as their sovereign. Through his control of them, he held dominion over the world. Christ had come to disprove Satan’s claim. As the Son of man, Christ would stand loyal to God. Thus it would be shown that Satan had not gained complete control of the human race, and that his claim to the world was false. All who desired deliverance from his power would be set free. The dominion that Adam had lost through sin would be recovered.

Since the announcement to the serpent in Eden, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed” (Genesis 3:15), Satan had known that he did not hold absolute sway over the world. There was seen in humanity the working of a power that withstood his dominion. With intense interest he watched the sacrifices offered by Adam and his sons. In these ceremonies he discerned a symbol of communion between earth and heaven. He set himself to intercept this communion. He misrepresented God, and misinterpreted the rites that pointed to the Saviour. People were led to fear God as one who delighted in their destruction. The sacrifices that should have revealed His love were offered only to appease His wrath. Satan excited people’s evil passions, in order to fasten his rule upon them. When God’s written word was given, Satan studied the prophecies of the Saviour’s advent. From generation to generation he worked to blind the people to these prophecies, that they might reject Christ at His coming.—The Desire of Ages, 114, 115.

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