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All May Become Conquerors Through Christ,

All May Become Conquerors Through Christ,

Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. Jeremiah 13:23. {CTr 207.1}

We know that intemperance is in our world everywhere. There is no sin in eating and drinking to sustain us physically, and in doing that which is for our spiritual good. But when we lose eternity out of our reckoning, and carry these necessary things to excess, that is when the sin comes in. We see on every side such crime, such iniquity. Is it not time that we shall begin to study for ourselves? … {CTr 207.2}

Satan is represented by the serpent. The tempter is everywhere, on every side, and when God says ye shall not, what is the result? In many instances in the place of obeying the voice of warning, people listen to the tempter. And in the place of all the attractions that Satan presents they have woe and misery…. {CTr 207.3}

When Christ came into our world as a babe in Bethlehem, the angels sang out, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”… Satan with all his synagogue—for Satan claims to be religious—determined that Christ should not carry out the counsels of heaven. After Christ was baptized, He bowed on the banks of Jordan, and never before had heaven listened to such a prayer as came from His divine lips…. The glory of God, in the form of a dove of burnished gold, rested upon Him, and from the infinite glory was heard these words, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The human race is encircled by the human arm of Christ, while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite One. The prayer of Christ cleaved right through the darkness and entered where God is. To each of us it means that heaven is open before us. It means that the gates are ajar, that the glory is imparted to the Son of God and all who believe in His name…. {CTr 207.4}

Christ entered into the wilderness with the Spirit of God upon Him, to be tempted of the devil…. Satan left the field as a conquered foe. Our Saviour passed over the ground and was victor…. {CTr 207.5}

What has He done for the human family? He has elevated us in the scale of moral value. We may become conquerors through our Sufficiency. There is hope for the most hopeless, in Christ…. What did Christ come here for? To represent the Father. What a heart of love and sympathy! … When God gave His Son, He gave all heaven. He could give no more.—Manuscript 27, 1893 (Temperance, 283-287). {CTr 207.6}

In Christ We May Have Perfect Humanity,

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:4. {CTr 208.1}

Satan wished to change the government of God, to fix his own seal to the rules of God’s kingdom. Christ would not be brought into this desire, and here the warfare against Christ commenced and waxed strong. Working in secrecy but known to God, Lucifer became a deceiving character. He told falsehood for truth.{CTr 208.2}

He was expelled from heaven, and apparently Christ was alone with him in the wilderness of temptation. Yet He was not alone, for angels were round Him just as angels of God are commissioned to minister unto those who are under the fearful assaults of the enemy. Christ was in the wilderness with the one with whom there was war in heaven, and the one whom He overcame; and Satan was defeated. {CTr 208.3}

Now Satan meets Him under different circumstances, as the glory that was round about Him is no longer visible. He has humbled Himself, taken upon Himself our nature…. What mental anguish Christ passed through! What grief! What torture of mind! He was face-to-face not with a hideous monster, as is represented with bat’s wings and cloven feet, but a beautiful angel of light, apparently just from the presence of God…. {CTr 208.4}

It is impossible to take in the depth and the force of these temptations unless the Lord shall bring us where He can open these scenes before us by a revelation of the matter, and then it can only be but partially comprehended…. Our Lord’s trial and test and proving shows that He could yield to these temptations, else the battle was all a farce. But He did not yield to the solicitude of the enemy, thus evidencing that human nature, united with the divine nature by faith, may be strong and withstand Satan’s temptations. {CTr 208.5}

Christ’s perfect humanity is the same that we may have through connection with Christ. As God, Christ could not be tempted any more than He was not tempted from His allegiance in heaven. But as Christ humbled Himself to our nature, He could be tempted. He had not taken on Him even the nature of the angels, but humanity, perfectly identical with our own nature, except without the taint of sin….{CTr 208.6}

Here the test to Christ was far greater than that of Adam and Eve, for Christ took our nature, fallen but not corrupted, and would not be corrupted unless He received the words of Satan in the place of the words of God.—Manuscript 57, 1890 (Manuscript Releases 16:180-183). {CTr 208.7}

All Called To Be Children Of God,

Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 1 John 3:2, NRSV. {CTr 209.1}

First 1John 3:1-3 quoted. Here John has a view of the measureless love of an infinite God. John cannot find language to express it, and he calls upon the world to behold it. There were types and shadows that prefigured Christ in the Old Testament. Those who had been with Christ through His ministry recorded His works in the New Testament. For three and a half years the disciples were learning lessons from the lips of Christ, the greatest Teacher the world ever knew…. What brought Him here? Adam and Eve had transgressed the law of God in Eden…. {CTr 209.2}

Christ looked upon our world before He came to it, and He saw that Satan’s power was exercised upon the human family. And because of the transgression of Adam he claimed the whole human family. He pointed to their calamities and diseases and reflected them upon God. He said God would have no mercy upon them and they might as well be under his control. Jesus had enlisted to give His own life for the salvation of the human race. He laid aside His royal robe and royal crown that He might clothe divinity with humanity…. {CTr 209.3}

Since the law of God was transgressed, the sentiment prevailed that it was impossible for human beings to keep the law of God…. The human and divine were combined in Jesus Christ. He came to our world to elevate humanity in the scale of moral value with God. He passed over the ground where Adam fell. He stood against the temptations of Satan and came off conqueror. He [Satan] approached the Son of God as an angel of light, just as he may tempt you. {CTr 209.4}

Jesus Christ came off conqueror in the wilderness of temptation. When upon Jordan’s banks, He offered such a prayer to heaven as heaven had never listened to before. His prayer penetrated through the darkness around Him and reached the highest heavens. The heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit, in appearance like a dove of burnished gold, descended upon Him, and from the lips of the Infinite One was heard these words, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” We have not understood how much this was saying to us. You are “accepted in the beloved.”… {CTr 209.5}

Christ came here to our atom of a world, and He honored it by taking human nature upon Himself. He honored humanity in the sight of all the created intelligences.—Manuscript 16, 1893. {CTr 209.6}

Our Influence Is A Power For Good Or For Evil,

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.Daniel 12:3. {CTr 210.1}

True Christians will have an experience like that of Christ in the wilderness of temptation, especially those who engage in rescuing souls from the snares of Satan. They will meet the assaults of the enemy of all righteousness; and as Christ overcame, so may they overcome through His grace. Christians should not feel that they are abandoned of God because they are subjected to sore temptations. If they remain unshaken by the temptations, Satan will leave them, and angels will minister to them as they did to Jesus. There is no comfort equal to that which Christians enjoy when the tempted soul has patiently suffered and Satan has been vanquished. They have borne witness for Jesus, relying wholly upon the Word of God, “It is written,” and thus have resisted every advance of Satan, till they have beaten him back and gained the victory. {CTr 210.2}

Let us in no case depreciate people because they are severely tempted and the billows seem to go over their head. We must remember that Jesus was sorely tempted in all points like as we are, so that He might succor all who should be tempted…. {CTr 210.3}

We all have a personal influence. Our words and actions leave an indelible impress. It is our duty to live, not for self but for the good of others; to be controlled not by feelings, but by principle. We should consider that our influence is a power for good or for evil. We are either a light to cheer or a tempest to destroy…. {CTr 210.4}

The law of God requires that we love one another as we love ourselves. Then every power and action of the mind must be put forth to that end—to do the greatest amount of good…. How pleasing to the Giver for us to hold the royal gifts of the soul so that they shall tell with power upon others! They are the connecting link between God and humans, and reveal the Spirit of Christ and the attributes of heaven. The power of holiness, seen but not boasted of, speaks more eloquently than the most able sermons. It speaks of God and opens to men and women their duty more powerfully than mere words can do.—Letter 39, 1887 (Manuscript Releases 20:137, 138). {CTr 210.5}

We Are To Live By God’s Every Word,

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:17. {CTr 211.1}

As Christ bowed upon Jordan’s banks after His baptism, there was a bright light that descended like a dove of burnished gold and lighted upon Him, and from heaven was heard a voice saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” We read over these words, but do not take in their significance. We do not seem to understand their value to us. They are stating to you that you are accepted in the Beloved. Christ with His long human arm encircles the fallen race, while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Almighty, thus uniting earth with heaven, and fallen, finite human beings with the Infinite God. And this earth, which was divorced from heaven, is again united with heaven. A communication is opened with heaven through Jesus Christ [so] that the human race, which was fallen, is brought back again into favor with God. Here Jesus passed into the wilderness of temptation, and trial is brought to bear upon Him one hundred times more trying than that brought upon Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden…. {CTr 211.2}

If Adam and Eve had lived by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God, they never would have fallen, never lost the right to the tree of life. All who will live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God now will be brought back to the Eden home…. {CTr 211.3}

There is happiness, hope, and peace for the desponding. We cannot afford to give our God-given ability and devote it to the commonplace things of this earth. We want a faith that will grasp the promise set before us in the gospel…. {CTr 211.4}

I see matchless charms in Jesus. I never talk of any trials I cannot bear, or any self-sacrifice that I cannot make. I see One who died in my behalf, and He shall not die for me in vain. I will place myself in right relation to God, and I will have a right hold from above. I am not studying what the world will say of me, but my study is, Lord, how shall I please Thee? How shall I perform my mission in this world? … {CTr 211.5}

If we are overcomers at last, there are battles for us to fight, and we will find that the flesh warreth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh. It is for us to say which will triumph.—Manuscript 16, 1886 (Sermons and Talks, 2:32-34). {CTr 211.6}

Jesus Our Example On How To Overcome Satan,

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, NRSV. {CTr 212.1}

The great leading temptations wherewith we would be beset, Christ met and overcame in the wilderness. His coming off victor over appetite, presumption, and the world shows how we may overcome. Satan has overcome his millions in tempting the appetite and leading people to give up to presumptuous sins. There are many who profess to be followers of Christ, claiming by their faith to be enlisted in the warfare against all evil in their nature, yet who, with hardly a thought, plunge into scenes of temptation that would require a miracle to bring them forth unsullied. Meditation and prayer would have preserved them and led them to shun the dangerous positions in which they have placed themselves, and that give Satan the advantage over them. {CTr 212.2}

The promises of God are not for us to claim rashly, to protect us while we rush on recklessly into danger, violating the laws of nature, or disregarding prudence and the judgment God has given us to use. This would not be genuine faith but presumption. The thrones and kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, were presented to Christ. Never will we have temptations as strong as those that assailed Him. {CTr 212.3}

But Satan comes to us with worldly honor, wealth, and the pleasures of life. These temptations are varied to meet people of every rank and degree, tempting them away from God to serve themselves more than their Creator. “All these things will I give thee,” said Satan to Christ. “All these things will I give thee,” says Satan to us. “All this money, this land, all this power, this honor, and these riches, will I give thee,” and we are charmed, deceived, and treacherously allured on to our ruin. If we give ourselves up to worldliness of heart and of life, Satan is satisfied.{CTr 212.4}

The Saviour overcame the wily foe, showing us how we may overcome. He has left us His example, to repel Satan with Scripture. He might have had recourse to His own divine power and used His own words, but His example would not then have been as useful to us. Christ used only Scripture. How important that the Word of God be thoroughly studied and followed, that in case of emergency we may be “throughly furnished unto all good works” and especially fortified to meet the wily foe.—Letter 1a, 1872. {CTr 212.5}

Our Saviour Was Tempted Exactly As We Are

Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me. Isaiah 27:5. {CTr 213.1}

Imagine, if you can, yourself in Christ’s stead in the wilderness. There is no human voice you hear, but you are surrounded with demons under deceptive pretensions as angels from heaven, presenting in the most seducing attractions Satan’s wily insinuations against God, as he did to our first parents. His sophistry is most deceiving and artful in undermining your confidence in God and destroying your faith and your trust. He keeps your mind on a constant strain so that he can get one clue that he can use to his own advantage to allure you into a controversy, as if reading your thoughts to which you will not give utterance, just as he did Eve.{CTr 213.2}

He could not obtain from Christ one word to lead him on. The word, “It is written,” was spoken from point to point as he tested Him. But only the quotation of His own words that He had inspired the holy men of old to write would come from Christ’s lips… In our Lord’s great scene of conflict in the wilderness, apparently under the power of Satan and his angels, was He capable, in His human nature, of yielding to these temptations? … {CTr 213.3}

As God He could not be tempted, but as a man He could be tempted, and that strongly, and could yield to the temptations. His human nature must pass through the same test and trial Adam and Eve passed through. His human nature was created; it did not even possess the angelic powers. It was human, identical with our own. He was passing over the ground where Adam fell. He was now where, if He endured the test and trial in behalf of the fallen race, He would redeem Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall, in our own humanity. {CTr 213.4}

A human body and a human mind were His. He was bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh…. He was subject to disappointment and trial in His own home, among His own brethren. He was not surrounded, as in the heavenly courts, with pure and lovely characters. He was compassed with difficulties. He came into our world to maintain a pure, sinless character, and to refute Satan’s lie that it was not possible for human beings to keep the law of God…. {CTr 213.5}

Through being partakers of the divine nature we may stand pure and holy and undefiled. The Godhead was not made human, and the human was not deified by the blending together of the two natures. Christ did not possess the same sinful, corrupt, fallen disloyalty we possess, for then He could not be a perfect offering.—Manuscript 94, 1893 (Manuscript Releases 6:110-112). {CTr 213.6}

At Last We Shall See The King In His Beauty,