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THE TEMPTATION OF CHRIST
(also published as "Confrontation")
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E. G. White
This article was first published in sections in the Review & Herald
from 24 February 1874 to 15 April 1875.
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Then a series of pamphlets called
was issued between 1887-1888.
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The Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness
is No 2 of the 8 tracts
called the Redemption series.
(2RED.001 on the disk - all underlining and references in square brackets have been added and some paragraphs have been split apart for emphasis.)
The tract was republished under the title "Confrontation" in 1971 and for convenience that paging has been added.
The back cover of that book carries the following statement:
"Confrontation is Ellen White's description of the wilderness temptation of Christ. It is more than an adventure story. It is an inspired symbol of earthbound man face to face with the same powers of evil and temptation that harassed Christ. He moves within the triangle of lust - of the flesh, of the eyes, and the pride of life - to victory."
"What is the escape route?"
"Jesus, our example, teaches the efficacy of the Word of God, 'It is written'. Confrontation will put a sword in your hand to fight a valiant warfare."
"A total of 58 books in the highest tradition of Christian thought and experience have come from the author's pen. This is her smallest, but one of the biggest in perspective and relevancy to real life."
"It is a graphic portrayal of an encounter that will give you courage to go on to victory over evil."
Back to "Using Righteousness"
Confrontation pp 9-10
The Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness
E G White
After the baptism of Jesus in Jordan, he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. When he had come up out of the water, he bowed upon Jordan's banks, and plead with the great Eternal for strength to endure the conflict with the fallen foe. The opening of the heavens and the descent of the excellent glory attested his divine character. The voice from the Father declared the close relation of Christ to his Infinite Majesty: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." [Matthew 3:17] The mission of Christ was soon to begin. But he must first withdraw from the busy scenes of life to a desolate wilderness for the express purpose of bearing the three-fold test of temptation in behalf of those he had come to redeem.
Satan, who was once an honored angel in Heaven, had been ambitious for the more exalted honors which God had bestowed upon his Son. He became envious of Christ, and represented to the angels, who honored him as covering cherub, that he had not the honor conferred upon him which his position demanded. He asserted that he should be exalted equal in honor with Christ. Satan obtained sympathizers. Angels in Heaven joined him in his rebellion, and fell with their leader from their high and holy estate, and were therefore expelled from Heaven with him. [Remember Jude 6?]
God, in counsel with his Son, formed the plan of creating man in his own image. Man was to be placed upon probation. He was to be tested and proved; if he should bear the test of God, and remain loyal and true through the first trial, he was not to be beset with continual temptations, but was to be exalted equal with the angels, and made, thenceforth, immortal.
Confrontation pp 10-11
Adam and Eve came forth from the hand of their Creator in the perfection of every physical, mental, and spiritual endowment. God planted for them a garden, and surrounded them with everything that was lovely and attractive to the eye, which their physical necessities required. This holy pair looked upon a world of unsurpassed loveliness and glory. A benevolent Creator had given them evidences of his goodness and love in providing them with fruits, vegetables, and grains, and in causing to grow out of the ground every variety of trees for usefulness and beauty.
The holy pair looked upon nature as a picture of unsurpassed loveliness. The brown earth was clothed with a carpet of living green, diversified with an endless variety of self-perpetuating flowers. Shrubs, flowers, and trailing vines, regaled the senses with their beauty and fragrance. The many varieties of lofty trees were laden with delicious fruit of every kind, adapted to please the taste and meet the wants of the happy Adam and Eve. This Eden home God provided for our first parents, giving them unmistakable evidences of his great love and care for them. Comment.
Adam was crowned king in Eden. To him was given dominion over every living thing that God had created. The Lord blessed Adam and Eve with intelligence such as he had not given to any other creature. He made Adam the rightful sovereign over all the works of his hands. Man, made in the divine image, could contemplate and appreciate the glorious works of God in nature.
Adam and Eve could trace the skill and glory of God in every spire of grass, and in every shrub and flower. The natural loveliness which surrounded them reflected like a mirror the wisdom, excellence, and love, of their Heavenly Father. And their songs of affection and praise rose sweetly and reverentially to Heaven, harmonizing with the songs of the exalted angels, and with the happy birds who were caroling forth their music without a care. There was no disease, decay, nor death. Life was in everything the eye rested upon. The atmosphere was filled with life. Life was in every leaf, in every flower, and in every tree.
Labor a Blessing.
The Lord knew that Adam could not be happy without labor; therefore, he gave him the pleasant employment of dressing the garden. And, as he tended the things of beauty and usefulness around him, he could behold the goodness and glory of God in his created works. Adam had themes for contemplation in the works of God in Eden, which was Heaven in miniature. God did not form man merely to contemplate his glorious works; therefore, he gave him hands for labor, as well as a mind and heart for contemplation. If the happiness of man consisted in doing nothing, the Creator would not have given Adam his appointed work. Man was to find happiness in labor as well as in meditation.
Confrontation pp 11-13
Adam could take in the grand idea that he was created in the image of God, to be like him in righteousness and holiness. His mind was capable of continual cultivation, expansion, refinement, and noble elevation; for God was his teacher, and angels were his companions.
The Test of Probation.
The Lord placed man upon probation, that he might form a character of steadfast integrity for his own happiness and for the glory of his Creator. He had endowed Adam with powers of mind superior to any other creature that he had made. His mental powers were but little lower than those of the angels. He could become familiar with the sublimity and glory of nature, and understand the character of his Heavenly Father in his created works. Amid the glories of Eden, everything that his eye rested upon testified of his Father's love and infinite power.
The first moral lesson given to Adam was that of self-denial.
The reins of self-government were placed in his hands. Judgment, reason, and conscience, were to bear sway. "And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." [Genesis 2:15-17].
Adam and Eve were permitted to partake of every tree in the garden save one. There was a single prohibition. The forbidden tree was as attractive and lovely as any of the trees in the garden. It was called the tree of knowledge because, in partaking of that tree of which God had said, "Thou shalt not eat of it," they would have a knowledge of sin, an experience in disobedience.
Eve went from the side of her husband, viewing the beautiful things of nature, delighting her senses with the colors and fragrance of the flowers, and admiring the beauty of the trees and shrubs. [Comment]. She was thinking of the restrictions which God had laid upon them in regard to the tree of knowledge. She was pleased with the beauties and bounties which the Lord had furnished for the gratification of every want. All these, said she, God has given us to enjoy. They are all ours; for God has said, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it." [Genesis 2:16-17].
Eve had wandered near the forbidden tree, and her curiosity was aroused to know how death could be concealed in the fruit of this fair tree. She was surprised to hear her queries taken up and repeated by a strange voice.
Confrontation pp 13-14
"Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" [Genesis 3:1]. Eve was not aware that she had revealed her thoughts in audibly conversing with herself; therefore, she was greatly astonished to hear her queries repeated by a serpent. She really thought that the serpent had a knowledge of her thoughts, and that he must be very wise. [Comment] She answered him, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest [maybe] ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." [Genesis 3:2-5]
Here the father of lies made his assertion in direct contradiction to the expressed word of God. Satan assured Eve that she was created immortal, and that there was no possibility of her dying. He told her that God knew that if she and her husband should eat of the tree of knowledge, their understanding would be enlightened, expanded, and ennobled, making them equal with himself. And the serpent answered Eve that the command of God, forbidding them to eat of the tree of knowledge, was given to keep them in such a state of subordination that they should not obtain knowledge, which was power. He assured her that the fruit of this tree was desirable above every other tree, in the garden to make them wise, and to exalt them equal with God. He has, said the serpent, refused you the fruit of that tree which, of all the trees, is the most desirable for its delicious flavor and exhilarating influence. Eve thought that the serpent's discourse was very wise, and that the prohibition of God was unjust. She looked with longing desire upon the tree laden with fruit which appeared very delicious. The serpent was eating it with apparent delight. She longed for this fruit above every other variety which God had given her a perfect right to use.
Eve had overstated the words of God's command. [Comment] He had said to Adam and Eve, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." [Genesis 2:17]. In Eve's controversy with the serpent, she added "Neither shall ye touch it." [Genesis 3:3]. Here the subtlety of the serpent appeared. This statement of Eve gave him advantage; he plucked the fruit and placed it in her hand, using her own words, "He hath said, If ye touch it, ye shall die. You see no harm comes to you from touching the fruit, neither will you receive any harm by eating it".
Confrontation pp 14-16
Eve yielded to the lying sophistry of the devil in the form of a serpent. She ate the fruit, and realized no immediate harm. She then plucked the fruit for herself and for her husband. "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband [to eat] with her; and he did eat." [Genesis 3:6].
Adam and Eve should have been perfectly satisfied with their knowledge of God derived from his created works, and received by the instruction of the holy angels. But their curiosity was aroused to become acquainted with that of which God designed they should have no knowledge. It was for their happiness to be ignorant of sin. The high state of knowledge to which they thought to attain by eating of the forbidden fruit, plunged them into the degradation of sin and guilt.
Adam was driven from Eden, and the angels who, before his transgression,had been appointed to guard him in his Eden home, were now appointed to guard the gates of paradise and the way of the tree of life, lest he should return, gain access to the tree of life, and sin be immortalized. [Comment].
Sin drove man from paradise; and sin was the cause of the removal of paradise from the earth. [Comment] In consequence of transgression of God's law, Adam lost paradise. In obedience to the Father's law, and through faith in the atoning blood of his Son, paradise may be regained. "Repentance toward God," [Acts 20:21] because his law has been transgressed, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, as man's only Redeemer, will be acceptable with God. Notwithstanding man's sinfulness, the merits of God's dear Son in his behalf will avail with the Father.
Satan was determined to succeed in his temptation of the sinless Adam and Eve. And he could reach even this holy pair more successfully through the medium of appetite than in any other way. The fruit of the forbidden tree seemed pleasant to the eye and desirable to the taste. They ate and fell [jumped]. They transgressed God's just command and became sinners. Satan's triumph was complete. He then had the vantage-ground over the race. He flattered himself that, through his subtlety, he had thwarted the purpose of God in the creation of man.
Satan made his exulting boasts to Christ and to loyal angels that he had succeeded in gaining a portion of the angels in Heaven to unite with him in his daring rebellion, and now that he had succeeded in overcoming Adam and Eve, he claimed that their Eden home was his.
Confrontation pp 16-17
He proudly boasted that the world which God had made, was his dominion; that having conquered Adam, the monarch of the world, he had gained the race as his subjects, and should now possess Eden, making that his head-quarters, and would there establish his throne, and be monarch of the world.
But measures were immediately taken in Heaven to defeat Satan in his plans. Strong angels, with beams of light like flaming swords turning in every direction, were placed as sentinels to guard the way of the tree of life from the approach of Satan and the guilty pair. Adam and Eve had forfeited all right to their beautiful Eden home, and were now expelled from it. The earth was cursed because of Adam's sin, and was ever after to bring forth briers and thorns. While he lived, Adam was to be exposed to the temptations of Satan and was finally to pass through death to dust again.
Plan of Redemption.
A council was held in Heaven, the result of which was that God's dear Son undertook to redeem man from the curse and the disgrace of Adam's failure, and to conquer Satan. Oh, wonderful condescension! The Majesty of Heaven, through love and pity for fallen man, proposed to become his substitute and surety. He would bear man's guilt. He would take the wrath of his Father upon himself, which otherwise would have fallen upon man because of his disobedience.
The law of God was unalterable. It could not be abolished, not yield the smallest part of its claim, to meet man in his fallen state. Man was separated from God by transgression of his expressed command, notwithstanding he had made known to Adam the consequences of such transgression. The sin of Adam caused a deplorable state of things [over the whole solar system]. Satan would now have unlimited control over the race, unless a mightier being than was Satan before his fall, should take the field, conquer him, and ransom man.
Christ's divine soul was exercised with infinite pity for the fallen pair. As their wretched, helpless condition came up before him, and as he saw that by transgression of God's law they had fallen under the power and control of the prince of darkness, he proposed the only means that could be acceptable with God, that would give them another trial, and place them again on probation. Christ consented to leave his honor, his kingly authority, his glory with the Father, and humble himself to humanity, and engage in contest with the mighty prince of darkness, in order to redeem man. Through his humiliation and poverty Christ would identify himself with the weakness of the fallen race, and by firm obedience show that man might redeem Adam's disgraceful failure, and by humble obedience regain lost Eden.
Confrontation pp 17-19
The great work of redemption could be carried out only by the Redeemer taking the place of fallen Adam. With the sins of the world laid upon him, he would go over the ground where Adam stumbled. He would bear a test infinitely more severe than that which Adam failed to endure. He would overcome on man's account, and conquer the tempter, that, through his obedience, his purity of character and steadfast integrity, his righteousness might be imputed to man, that, through his name, man might overcome the foe on his own account.
What love! What amazing condescension! The King of glory proposed to humble himself to fallen humanity! He would place his feet in Adam's steps. He would take man's fallen nature, and engage to cope with the strong foe who triumphed over Adam. He would overcome Satan, and in thus doing he would open the way for the redemption from the disgrace of Adam's failure and fall, of all those who would believe on him.
Angels on probation had been deceived by Satan, and had been led on by him in the great rebellion in Heaven against Christ. They failed to endure the test brought to bear upon them, and they fell. Adam was then created in the image of God and placed upon probation. [Comment] He had a perfectly developed organism. All his faculties were harmonious. In all his emotions, words, and actions, there was a perfect conformity to the will of his Maker. After God had made every provision for the happiness of man, and had supplied his every want, he tested his loyalty. If the holy pair should be obedient, the race would, after a time, be made equal to the angels. As Adam and Eve failed to bear this test, Christ proposed to become a voluntary offering for man.
Satan knew that if Christ was indeed the Son of God, the world's Redeemer, it was for no good to himself that the Lord had left the royal courts of Heaven to come to a fallen world. He feared that his own power was thenceforth to be limited, and that his deceptive wiles would be discerned and exposed, and his influence over man would be weakened. He feared that his dominion and control of the kingdoms of the world were to be contested. He remembered the words which Jehovah addressed to him when he was summoned into his presence with Adam and Eve, whom he had ruined by his lying deceptions, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." [Genesis 3:15].
This declaration contained the first gospel promise to man.
But these words, at the time they were spoken, were not fully understood by Satan. He knew that they contained a curse for him, because he had seduced the holy pair.
Confrontation pp 19-21
And when Christ was manifested [born] on the earth, Satan feared that he was indeed the One promised who should limit his power, and finally destroy him.
Satan had peculiar interest in watching the development of events immediately after the fall of Adam, to learn how his work had affected the kingdom of God, and what the Lord would do with Adam because of his disobedience. The Son of God, undertaking to become the Redeemer of the race, placed Adam in a new relation to his Creator. He was still fallen; but a door of hope was opened to him. The wrath of God still hung over Adam, but the execution of the sentence of death was delayed, and the indignation of God was restrained, because Christ had entered upon the work of becoming man's Redeemer. Christ was to take the wrath of God which in justice should fall upon man. He became a refuge for man, and, although man was indeed a criminal, deserving the wrath of God, yet he could, by faith in Christ, run into the refuge provided, and be safe. [Comment] In the midst of death, there was life if man chose to accept it. The holy and infinite God, who dwelleth in light unapproachable, could no longer talk with man.
No communication could now exist directly between man and his Maker.
God forbears, for a time, the full execution of the sentence of death pronounced upon man. Satan flattered himself that he had forever broken the link between Heaven and earth. But in this he was greatly mistaken and disappointed. The Father had given the world into the hands of his Son for him to redeem from the curse and the disgrace of Adam's failure and fall. Through Christ alone can man now find access to God. And through Christ alone will the Lord hold communication with man.
Christ volunteered to maintain and vindicate the holiness of the divine law.He was not to do away the smallest part of its claims in the work of redemption for man, but, in order to save man, and maintain the sacred claims and justice of his Father's law, he gave himself a sacrifice for the guilt of man. Christ's life did not, in a single instance, detract from the claims of his Father's law, but, through firm obedience to all its precepts, and by dying for the sins of those who had transgressed it, he established it immutability.
After the transgression of Adam, Satan saw that the ruin was complete. The human race was brought into a deplorable condition. Man was cut off from intercourse with God. It was Satan's design that the state of man should be the same as that of the fallen angels, in rebellion against God, uncheered by a gleam of hope. He reasoned that if God pardoned sinful man whom he had created, he would also pardon him and his angels, and receive them into his favor. But he was disappointed.
Confrontation pp 21-22
The divine Son of God saw that no arm but his own could save fallen man, and he determined to help man. He left the fallen angels to perish in their rebellion, but stretched forth his hand to rescue perishing man. [Comment] The angels who were rebellious were dealt with according to the light and experience they had abundantly enjoyed in Heaven. Satan, the chief of the fallen angels, once had an exalted position in Heaven. He was next in honor to Christ. The knowledge which he, as well as the angels who fell with him, had of the character of God, of his goodness, his mercy, wisdom, and excellent glory, made their guilt unpardonable. [Comment]
There was no possible hope for the redemption of those who had witnessed and enjoyed the inexpressible glory of Heaven, and had seen the terrible majesty of God, and, in presence of all this glory, had rebelled against him. There were no new and wonderful exhibitions of God's exalted power that could impress them so deeply as those they had already experienced. If they could rebel in the very presence of glory inexpressible, they could not be placed in a more favorable condition to be proved. There was no reserve force of power, nor were there any greater heights and depths of infinite glory to overpower their jealous doubts and rebellious murmuring. Their guilt and their punishment must be in proportion to their exalted privileges in the heavenly courts.
[R&H March 3, 1874 __ Redemption #2]
Fallen man, because of his guilt, could no longer come directly before God with his supplications; for his transgression of the divine law had placed an impassable barrier between the holy God and the transgressor. But a plan was devised that the sentence of death should rest upon a substitute. In the plan of redemption there must be the shedding of blood, for death must come in consequence of man's sin. The beasts for sacrificial offerings were to prefigure Christ. In the slain victim, man was to see the fulfillment for the time being of God's word, "Ye shall surely die." [Genesis 2:17]. And the flowing of the blood from the victim would also signify an atonement. There was no virtue in the blood of animals; but the shedding of the blood of beasts was to point forward to a Redeemer who would one day come to the world and die for the sins of men. And thus Christ would fully vindicate his Father's law.
Satan watched every event in regard to the sacrificial offerings with intense interest. The devotion and solemnity connected with the shedding of the blood of the victim caused him great uneasiness. To him, this ceremony was clothed with mystery; but he was not a dull scholar, and he soon learned that the sacrificial offerings typified some future atonement for man. He saw that these offerings signified repentance for sin.
Confrontation pp 22-24
This did not agree with his purposes, and he at once commenced to work upon the heart of Cain, to lead him to rebellion against the sacrificial offering which prefigured a Redeemer to come.
Adam's repentance, evidenced by his sorrow for his transgression and his hope of salvation through Christ, shown by his works in the sacrifices offered, were a disappointment to Satan. He hoped forever to gain Adam to unite with him in murmuring against God, and in rebelling against his authority. Cain and Abel were representatives of the two great classes. Abel, as priest, in solemn faith offered his sacrifice. Cain was willing to offer the fruit of his ground, but refused to connect with his offering the blood of beasts. His heart refused to show his repentance for sin, and his faith in a Saviour, by offering the blood of beasts. He refused to acknowledge his need of a Redeemer. This, to his proud heart, was dependence and humiliation.
But Abel, by faith in a future Redeemer, offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain. His offering the blood of beasts signified that he was a sinner, and had sins to put away, and that he was penitent and believed in the efficacy of the blood of the future great offering. Satan is the parent of unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion. He filled Cain with doubt and with madness against his innocent brother, and against God because his sacrifice was refused, and Abel's was accepted. And he slew his brother in his insane madness.
The sacrificial offerings were instituted to be a standing pledge to man of God's pardon through the great offering to be made, typified by the blood of beasts. Through this ceremony man signified repentance, obedience, and faith in a Redeemer to come.
That which made Cain's offering offensive to God was his lack of submission and obedience to the ordinance of his appointment. He thought that his own plan, in offering to God merely the fruit of the ground, was nobler, and not as humiliating as the offering of the blood of beasts, which showed dependence upon another, thus expressing his own weakness and sinfulness. [Comment] Cain slighted the blood of the atonement.
Adam, in transgressing the law of Jehovah, had opened the door for Satan,who had planted his banner in the midst of the first family. He was made to feel, indeed, that the wages of sin was death. Satan designed to gain Eden by deceiving our first parents; but in this he was disappointed. Instead of securing to himself Eden, he now feared that he would lose all he had claimed out of Eden. His sagacity could trace the signification of these offerings, that they pointed man forward to a Redeemer, and, for the time being, were a typical atonement for the sin of fallen man, opening a door of hope to the race.
Confrontation pp 24-25
The rebellion of Satan against God was most determined. He worked, in warring against the kingdom of God, with perseverance and fortitude worthy of a better cause.
Appetite and Passion.
The world had become so corrupt through indulgence of appetite and debased passion in the days of Noah that God destroyed its inhabitants by the waters of the flood. ["Who caused the Flood?"] And as men again multiplied upon the earth, the indulgence in wine to intoxication, perverted the senses, and prepared the way for excessive meat-eating and the strengthening of the animal passions. Men lifted themselves up against the God of Heaven; and their faculties and opportunities were devoted to glorifying themselves rather than honoring their Creator. Satan found easy access to the hearts of men. He is a diligent student of the Bible, and is much better acquainted with the prophecies than many religious teachers. He knows that it is for his interest to keep well informed in the revealed purposes of God, that he may defeat the plans of the Infinite. So infidels frequently study the Scriptures more diligently than some who profess to be guided by them. Some of the ungodly search the Scriptures that they may become familiar with Bible truth, and furnish themselves with arguments to make it appear that the Bible contradicts itself. And many professed Christians are so ignorant of the word of God, through neglect of its study, that they are blinded by the deceptive reasoning of those who pervert sacred truth, that they may turn souls away from the counsel of God in his word.
Satan saw in the typical offerings an expected Redeemer who was to ransom man from his control. He laid his plans deep, to rule the hearts of men from generation to generation, and to blind their understanding of the prophecies, that when Jesus should come, the people would refuse to accept him as their Saviour.
God appointed Moses to lead out his people from their bondage in the land of Egypt, that they might consecrate themselves to serve him with perfect hearts, and be to him a peculiar treasure. Moses was their visible leader, while Christ stood at the head of the armies of Israel, their invisible leader. If they could have always realized this, they would not have rebelled, and provoked God in the wilderness by their unreasonable murmurings. God said to Moses, "Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions; for my name is in him." [Exodus 23:20].
Confrontation pp 25-27
When Christ, as the guiding, guarding angel, condescended to lead the armies of Israel through the wilderness to Canaan, Satan was provoked, for he felt that his power could not so well control them. But as he saw that the armies of Israel were easily influenced and incited to rebellion by his suggestions, he hoped to lead them to murmuring and sin which would bring upon them the wrath of God. And as he saw that his power was submitted to by men, he became bold in his temptations, inciting them to crime and violence. Through Satan's devices, each generation was becoming more feeble in physical, mental, and moral power. This gave him courage to think that he might succeed in his warfare against Christ in person when he should be manifested.
A few in every generation from Adam resisted his every artifice and stood forth as noble representatives of what it was in the power of man to do and to be, while Christ should co-operate with human efforts, to help man in overcoming the power of Satan. Enoch and Elijah are the correct representatives of what the race might be through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Satan was greatly disturbed because these noble, holy men were untainted amid the moral pollution surrounding them, perfecting righteous characters, and accounted worthy for translation to Heaven. As they had stood forth in moral power, in noble uprightness, overcoming Satan's temptations, he could not bring them under the dominion of death. [Comment] He triumphed that he had power to overcome Moses with his temptations, and that he could mar his illustrious character and lead him to the sin of taking to himself glory before the people which belonged to God. [Numbers 20:12; Deuteronomy 34:5].
Christ resurrected Moses, and took him to Heaven. This enraged Satan, and he accused the Son of God of invading his dominion by robbing the grave of his lawful prey. Jude says of the resurrection of Moses, "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil, he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." [Jude verse 9].
When Satan succeeds in tempting men whom God has especially honored to commit grievous sins, he triumphs; for he has gained to himself a great victory and has done harm to the kingdom of Christ.
Continued On to part Two
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