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…To everyone who conquers…

To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God. Revelation 2:7, NRSV.

I must tell you that heaven is to be sought for, to be prayed for, to be worked for. We cannot, with our unconverted traits of character, drift into heaven…. {CTr 214.3}

Do not spend time in controversy with those who bring up objections, for the enemy will suggest to other minds enough to occupy your time in combating them. Your strength is to keep to the affirmative. When the devil met Christ in the wilderness, Christ did not enter into controversy with him. Satan tempted Him to perform a miracle to create bread. Had Christ done this, He would have given the enemy a decided advantage, for Satan might have given a similar evidence of his own power…. {CTr 214.4}

So today, if people bring to you objections to the truth, and try to stir you up, do not become excited. Keep on the track of the affirmative. Affirm the truth, “Thus saith the Lord,” and let me tell you, the enemy will soon desire to get out of your presence…. {CTr 214.5}

Let us lay aside the warfare the enemy would have us put on. Let us begin to work in earnest to overcome our hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil. Let us plead with God to take away the wicked propensity to faultfinding, and in its place to give us life and the love of Christ…. {CTr 214.6}

We have a heaven to win, and Christ wants us to have it. He died that we might have it. Every soul who is saved in the kingdom of God will give the glory to Him, not to any human being. Christ will open for us the golden gates; He will invite us to enter…. {CTr 214.7}

And we must enter heaven here below or we shall never enter the heaven hereafter. Right here on this earth we must begin to live the life of Christ, and then it will be a heaven to you and it will be a heaven to those who associate with you…. And at last you will see the King in His beauty; you will behold His matchless charms and, touching the golden harp, fill heaven with rich music and songs to the Lamb.—Manuscript 97, 1906. {CTr 214.8}

Through Divine Aid We Can Be Victors Against Satan,

Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57. {CTr 215.1}

It is at an immense cost that we have been placed on the high vantage ground where we can be liberated from the bondage of sin, which has been wrought by the fall of Adam…. Never can we understand the value of the human soul until we realize the great sacrifice made for the redemption of the soul upon Calvary. Adam’s sin in Eden plunged the human race into hopeless misery. But in the scheme of salvation a way has been provided for all to escape if they comply with the requirements. A second probation has been granted by the sacrifice of the Son of God. We have a battle to fight, but we can come off victor through the merits of Christ’s blood. {CTr 215.2}

God saw that it was impossible for us to overcome and gain the victory in our own strength. The race has ever been growing weaker in every succeeding generation since the fall, and without the help of Christ we cannot resist the evil of intemperance. How thankful we should be that we have a Saviour and that He consented to lay off His royal robes and leave the royal throne, and to clothe His divinity with humanity and become a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…. {CTr 215.3}

After His baptism, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and was tempted of the devil. Christ commenced the work of redemption just where the ruin began, and the future welfare of the world depended on that battle fought by the Prince of life in the wilderness. Thanks be to God that He came off victorious, passing over the same ground where Adam fell and redeeming Adam’s disgraceful failure. Satan left the field of battle a conquered foe. This victory is an assurance to us that through divine help we may come off victorious in our behalf on our own account in the conflict with the enemy…. {CTr 215.4}

Satan felt that all the power of this fallen planet was in his possession, but when Christ came to measure strength with the prince of darkness, Satan found One who was able to resist his temptations. The words of Christ are “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.”… All heaven was watching the result of the controversy between Christ and Satan…. Now the question is Will we take advantage of the situation and come off more than conqueror through Him who loved us?—Manuscript 26, 1887. {CTr 215.5}

Are We Prepared For Christ’s Return,

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. John 1:10. {CTr 216.1}

All that the world could endure of their Redeemer was the few years He was with them upon the earth, and they wanted to get rid of Him almost as soon as His mission commenced…. The question that every one of us has to settle is: Am I prepared for the coming of the Son of man? If you have accepted your Saviour by living faith, if you have repented of your sins, then you are in a position of acceptance with God so that if Christ should come you would meet Him in peace…. {CTr 216.2}

Let us notice the steps that the Son of man had to take in order to carry out the plan of salvation. He stepped down from the royal throne, laid aside His royal robes, clothed His divinity with humanity, and consented to come to this world. This world—right here—was to be the field of battle where Christ and Satan, the prince of this earth, should engage in conflict. And the question to be settled was How could God be just and true to His law and yet justify the sinner? This could be done only by the sacrifice of the Son of God…. {CTr 216.3}

It was difficult to uproot Satan from the affection of the angels in heaven. He took the position that the law of God was against the heavenly intelligences, and the warfare and controversy between Christ and Satan was started in heaven and is going on in the earth to the present day. The controversy between Christ and Satan was witnessed not only by the heavenly intelligences but by all the worlds that God had created. Here the power arises that claims to have the right to change times and laws—it is the man of sin. But does he have power to change times and laws? No; because God’s law is written in the tables of stone, engraven with His own finger, and placed in the temple of God in heaven. That great moral standard will be the criterion that will judge every being upon the face of the earth, both dead and living…. {CTr 216.4}

Christ went into the wilderness of temptation to bear the severest temptations, He was tempted in all points as Adam was tempted, and He passed over the very ground where Adam stumbled and fell…. Christ was now to stand where Adam stood, bearing humanity and overcoming in behalf of the race where Adam fell. And Christ withstood the test on every point; He resisted on the point of appetite…. He was tempted upon the point of ambition, and presumption, and He overcame the enemy on these points…. The Saviour of the world overcame and obtained the victory on every point.—Manuscript 11, 1886. {CTr 216.5}

Better To Suffer Than To Yield To Temptation,

He humbled you … in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.Deuteronomy 8:3, NRSV. {CTr 217.1}

The duel between Christ and Satan was fought in the wilderness, Christ with apparently not a friend to aid Him. Satan was subtle; falsehood is his stock in trade. With all the power that he possessed he tried to overcome the humanity of Christ…. {CTr 217.2}

Satan charmed the first Adam by his sophistry, just as he charms men and women today, leading them to believe a lie. Adam did not reach above his humanity for divine power; he believed the words of Satan. But the second Adam was not to become the enemy’s bond slave. {CTr 217.3}

Adam had the advantage over Christ in that, when he was assailed by the tempter, none of the effects of sin were upon him. He stood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the full vigor of mind and body. He was surrounded with the glories of Eden and was in daily communion with heavenly beings. It was not thus with Jesus when He entered the wilderness to cope with Satan…. {CTr 217.4}

Every device that the enemy could suggest was brought against Him. It was when Christ was in a weakened condition, after His long fast of forty days, that the wisest of the fallen angels used the most enticing words at his command in an effort to compel the mind of Christ to yield to his mind…. “If thou be the Son of God,” he said, “show thy power by relieving thyself of this pressing hunger.”“Command that these stones be made bread.”… {CTr 217.5}

When Christ said to Satan, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” He repeated the words that, more than fourteen hundred years before, He had spoken to Israel. [Deuteronomy 8:3, quoted]. {CTr 217.6}

In the wilderness, when all means of sustenance failed, God sent His people manna from heaven; and a sufficient and constant supply was given. This provision was to teach them that while they trusted in God and walked in His ways, He would not forsake them. The Saviour now practiced the lesson He had taught to Israel. By the word of God succor had been given to the Hebrew host, and by the same word it would be given to Jesus. He awaited God’s time to bring relief. He was in the wilderness in obedience to God, and He would not obtain food by following the suggestions of Satan. In the presence of the witnessing universe, He testified that it is a lesser calamity to suffer whatever may befall than to depart in any manner from the will of God.—Manuscript 113, 1902. {CTr 217.7}

Christ Knows Just How To Help Us Overcome

Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him. Deuteronomy 6:13. {CTr 218.1}

We should not present our petitions to God to prove whether He will fulfill His word, but because He will fulfill it; not to prove that He loves us, but because He loves us. {CTr 218.2}

“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain … and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” {CTr 218.3}

This was Satan’s crowning effort. Into this effort he threw all his beguiling power. It was the charm of the serpent. He exerted the power of his fascination upon Christ, striving to make Him yield His will to him. In His weakness Christ laid hold of God. Divinity flashed through humanity. Christ stood revealed as the Commander of heaven, and His words were the words of one who has all power. “Get thee behind me, Satan,” He said, “for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” {CTr 218.4}

Satan had questioned whether Jesus was the Son of God. In his summary dismissal he had proof that he could not gainsay. He had no power to resist the command. Writhing with humiliation and rage, he was forced to withdraw from the presence of the world’s Redeemer. Christ’s victory was as complete as had been the failure of Adam.{CTr 218.5}

Christ knew of the long years of conflict in the future between human beings and their subtle foe. He is the refuge of all who, beset by temptation, call upon Him. Temptation and trial will come to us all, but we need never be worsted by the enemy. Our Saviour has conquered in our behalf. Satan is not invincible. Day by day he meets those who are on trial, striving by his wiles to gain the mastery over them. His accusing power is great, and it is in this line that he wins more victories than in any other. Christ was tempted, that He might know how to help every soul that should afterward be tempted. Temptation is not sin; the sin lies in yielding. To the soul who trusts in Jesus, temptation means victory and greater strength. {CTr 218.6}

Christ is ready to pardon all who come to Him confessing their sins. To the tried, struggling soul is spoken the word “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” Thank God, we have a high priest who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities, for He was in all points tempted as we are.—Manuscript 113, 1902. {CTr 218.7}

Jesus Gained The Victory For Us

The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs 18:10. {CTr 219.1}

There was never a time when Christian men and women, in all walks of life, were in so great need of clear spiritual eyesight as now. It is not safe to lose sight of Christ for one moment. His followers must pray and believe and love Him fervently…. {CTr 219.2}

Satan demanded of Christ a miracle as a sign of His divinity. But that which is greater than all miracles, a firm reliance upon a “Thus saith the Lord,” was a sign that could not be controverted. So long as Christ held to this position, the tempter could gain no advantage. {CTr 219.3}

It was in the time of greatest weakness that Christ was assailed by the fiercest temptations. Thus Satan thought to prevail. By this policy he had gained the victory over both men and women. When strength had failed and the willpower weakened, and faith ceased to repose in God, then those who had stood long and valiantly for the right were overcome. Moses was wearied with the forty years’ wandering of Israel, when for the moment his faith let go its hold upon Infinite Power. He failed just upon the borders of the Promised Land. So with Elijah, who had stood undaunted before King Ahab; who had faced the whole nation of Israel with the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal at their head. After that terrible day upon Carmel when the false prophets had been slain and the people had declared their allegiance to God, Elijah fled for his life before the threats of idolatrous Jezebel…. {CTr 219.4}

Whenever one is encompassed with clouds, perplexed by circumstances, or afflicted by poverty or distress, Satan is at hand to tempt and annoy. He attacks our weak points of character. He seeks to shake our confidence in God, who suffers such a condition of things to exist. We are tempted to distrust God, to question His love…. {CTr 219.5}

Christ declared to the tempter, “Get thee behind me, Satan.”… So we may resist temptation and force Satan to depart from us. Jesus gained the victory through submission and faith in God, and by the apostle He says to us, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We cannot save ourselves from the tempter’s power; he has conquered humanity, and when we try to stand in our own strength, we shall become a prey to his devices; but “the name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Satan trembles and flees before the weakest soul who finds refuge in that mighty name.—Manuscript 15, 1908. {CTr 219.6}

Believe That Christ Will Give Us Power To Overcome,

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10. {CTr 220.1}

In your efforts to overcome, you will meet with many temptations; but if you continue to strive, Christ will give you great success. The more serious the trials, the more precious the victory you gain. If you will only flee to the Source of your strength, then you will receive a great blessing. But we must learn to cast all our cares upon Jesus Christ, who is our helper. All our sorrow and grief, take it to the Lord in prayer. {CTr 220.2}

It is a great thing to believe in Jesus. We hear many say, “Believe, believe, all you have to do is to believe in Jesus.” But it is our privilege to inquire, What does this belief take in, and what does it comprehend? There are many of us who have a nominal faith, but we do not bring that faith into our characters. The statement is made that the devil believed and trembled. While he was in heaven, he believed that Christ was the Son of God, and when upon this earth he was in conflict with Him here on the field of battle. He believed on Christ, but could this save him? No; because he did not weave Christ into his life and character. We must have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul, and this belief in Christ will lead us to put away everything that is offensive in His sight. {CTr 220.3}

Unless we have this faith that works, it is of no advantage to us. You may admit that Christ is the Saviour of the world, but is He your Saviour? Do you believe today that He will give you strength and power to overcome every defect in your character? … We are to grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus, and we are thus growing up a precious temple unto the Lord. He says, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”… {CTr 220.4}

It makes every difference with us whether we are living righteously or in sin. To some of us Christ may say that He is ashamed to call us brothers and sisters; but to those who are loaded down with burdens, the pitying Saviour stands right by their side to help them…. {CTr 220.5}

He took our nature upon Him, that He might come right down to us in the temptation wherewith we are beset…. Then shall we not accept Him as our Saviour? If you feel the wound and sting of sin, then it is for you to cry to the Saviour to help you.—Manuscript 5, 1886. {CTr 220.6}

All May Know God The Father

For by grace are ye saved through faith; … it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8. {CTr 221.1}

Jesus Christ is our spiritual touchstone. He reveals the Father…. The mind must be prepared to appreciate the work and words of Christ, for He came from heaven to awaken a desire and to give the bread of life to all who hunger for spiritual knowledge. Inspiration declared that His mission was to preach the gospel to the poor, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. His Word declared that He should set judgment on the earth, and that the isles should wait for His law; that Gentiles should come to His light, and kings to the brightness of His rising. This was the Messenger of the Covenant yet to come, the Son of Righteousness yet to rise upon our world. {CTr 221.2}

Adam and Eve were formed in the image of God. But Satan worked constantly to destroy the divine similitude. The holy pair yielded to temptation, and God’s image was obliterated. Christ put His hand a second time to the work. He would recreate human beings. When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son. Hear, O heaven, and be astonished, O earth! The appointed Instructor appears, and He is no other than the Son of God; His divinity was clothed with humanity. {CTr 221.3}

Christ came to reveal perfection amid the imperfection of a world corrupted by disobedience and sin. The eternal Word appeared in human form, bringing with Him all grace, all healing, all efficiency. He brought with Him the bread of life, which, if received, will be to us as the tree of life. The Inspired Word declares of this Teacher, “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” {CTr 221.4}

The question of how to obtain a knowledge of God is to all a life-and-death question. Read Christ’s prayer to His Father, intended not merely as an important lesson in education for the disciples, but to come down through all time for the benefit of those who would read the Inspired Writings. “Father,” He prayed, “the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”Manuscript 15, 1898. {CTr 221.5}

He Who Made The Worlds Became A Helpless Babe

And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Luke 2:40. {CTr 222.1}

We cannot understand how Christ became a little helpless babe…. His face could have been bright with light, and His form could have been tall and beautiful. He could have come in such a way as to charm those who looked upon Him; but this was not the way that God planned He should come among the human family. He was to be like those who belonged to the human family and to the Jewish race. His features were to be like those of other human beings, and He was not to have such beauty of person as to make people point Him out as different from others. He was to come as one of the human family, and to stand as a man before heaven and earth. He had come to take our place, to pledge Himself in our behalf, to pay the debt that sinners owed. He was to live a pure life on the earth, and show that Satan had told a falsehood when he claimed that the human family belonged to him forever, and that God could not take the race out of his hands. {CTr 222.2}

People first beheld Christ as a babe, as a child. His parents were very poor, and He had nothing in this earth save that which the poor have. He passed through all the trials that the poor and lowly pass through from babyhood to childhood, from youth to manhood…. {CTr 222.3}

The more we think about Christ’s becoming a babe here on earth, the more wonderful it appears. How can it be that the helpless babe in Bethlehem’s manger is still the divine Son of God? Though we cannot understand it, we can believe that He who made the worlds became, for our sakes, a helpless babe. Though higher than any of the angels, though as great as the Father on the throne of heaven, He became one with us. In Him God and humanity became one, and it is in this fact that we find the hope of our fallen race…. {CTr 222.4}

From His earliest year, Christ lived a life of toil. In His youth He worked with His father at the carpenter’s trade, and thus showed that there is nothing of which to be ashamed in work…. Those who are idle do not follow the example that Christ has given, for from His childhood He was a pattern of obedience and industry. He was as a pleasant sunbeam in the home circle. Faithfully and cheerfully He acted His part, doing the humble duties that He was called to do in His lowly life. Christ became one with us in order that He might do us good.—Youth’s Instructor, November 21, 1895. {CTr 222.5}