Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

January 3, 1901

Tempted in All Points

Christ offered himself as a willing sacrifice in our behalf. He stooped from his high place in heaven to rescue human beings from the slavery of sin. The Son of God gave up his honor and glory, and tasted the bitterness of death, that men might become partakers of the divine nature. He died that all might have an opportunity to choose God as their leader.

“When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, ... to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” The star of hope arose upon our world, and its brightness increased as our Saviour increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

In the wilderness Christ endured temptations that no human being can comprehend. Here he was brought face to face with Satan, the fallen angel, who tempted him with all his subtle power. The enemy began by disputing Christ's divinity. If you are the Son of God, he said, give me evidence that you are. Here you are in the wilderness, hungry, starving for food. You do not look like a sovereign. Give me evidence that you are what you claim to be. Command that these stones be made bread.

But the One whom Satan was trying to overcome was the Lord of heaven, and all the tempter's efforts were without avail. Though Jesus was physically weak from his long fast, he would not yield one inch to the wily foe. His will was anchored in the will of his Father. “It is written,” came from his pale and quivering lips, as Satan told him to turn the stones into bread, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Satan then took Christ to the pinnacle of the temple, and challenged him to cast himself down, saying: “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Thus Satan tried to lead Christ to commit the sin of presumption. He reminded him that God had promised to protect him by angel ministration. But no temptation could induce the Saviour to accept the challenge. “It is written again,” he said, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Christ's time to show his divine power had not yet come. He was fully aware of the glory he had with the Father before the world was. But then he willingly submitted to the divine will, and he was unchanged now. This was his time of trial and temptation; he must endure the test, however cruel it might be. But he knew that by suffering and sorrow and a cruel death he was to bruise the serpent's head. The giving of his life was to be the price of the world's redemption.

Satan next took Christ to the top of a high mountain, and there presented before him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, saying: “All this power will I give thee, ... for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” Then it was that divinity flashed through humanity, and the fallen angels saw Christ glorified as he said, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

The victory was gained. Christ had redeemed Adam's disgraceful failure and fall, and had placed man on vantage-ground.

“Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” The angels had been watching the contest, but they could do nothing to relieve the Saviour until the last temptation had been resisted. The commander of heaven, Christ was accustomed to receive the attendance and adoration of angels; and at any time during his life on this earth he could have called to his Father for the help of angels. But no bribe, no temptation, could induce him to deviate from the path of God's appointment. Great cunning was shown by the tactics that Satan followed. He assailed Christ on the point of appetite. He appealed to his trust in God. He presented to him earth's most captivating scenes. But Christ failed not. He saw a world perishing in sin, and steadfastly and firmly he moved forward in the path of resistance. He had a world to rescue. He had come to seek and save that which was lost.

Christ passed over the ground where Adam fell, and overcame in our behalf. He endured every test that man will ever be called upon to endure. He met all the temptations that man will have to meet. He traveled over the path in which he calls us to walk. Every step Christ took was taken in dependence upon God, and upon not a single point did the enemy overcome him.

When God gave Jesus to our world, he gave all heaven. This gift has secured for us our adoption into God's family. The Father's promise is Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus. Never will he falsify. Never will he alter the thing that has gone out of his mouth. The clouds of uncertainty and unbelief rolled back as the Saviour cried out upon the cross, “It is finished.” And today he who overcame the world, stands in the heavenly courts as our Advocate. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities; for he was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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