The Truth About Angels

The Third Temptation

Jesus was victor in the second temptation, and now Satan manifests himself in his true character. But he does not appear as a hideous monster, with cloven feet and bat's wings. He is a mighty angel, though fallen. He avows himself the leader of rebellion and the god of this world. TA 175.4

Placing Jesus upon a high mountain, Satan caused the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, to pass in panoramic view before Him.—The Desire of Ages, 129. TA 176.1

In his first two temptations, he [Satan] had concealed his true character and purpose, claiming to be an exalted messenger from the courts of heaven. But he now throws off all disguise, avowing himself the Prince of Darkness, and claiming the earth for his dominion.—The Spirit of Prophecy 2:95. TA 176.2

The great deceiver sought to blind the eyes of Christ by the glitter and tinsel of the world, and presented before Him the kingdoms of this world and the glory of them. He who had fallen from heaven, pictured the world as possessing the gilding of the world above, in order that he might induce Christ to accept the bribe, and fall down and worship him.—The Signs of the Times, March 28, 1895. TA 176.3

The sunlight lay on templed cities, marble palaces, fertile fields, and fruit-laden vineyards. The traces of evil were hidden. The eyes of Jesus, so lately greeted by gloom and desolation, now gazed upon a scene of unsurpassed loveliness and prosperity. Then the tempter's voice was heard: “All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If Thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be Thine.” ... TA 176.4

Now the tempter offered to yield up the power he had usurped. Christ might deliver Himself from the dreadful future by acknowledging the supremacy of Satan. But to do this was to yield the victory in the great controversy.—The Desire of Ages, 129. TA 177.1

Calling him [Satan] by his true name, Jesus rebukes the deceiver. Divinity flashed through suffering humanity, and He made manifest through His word the authority of heaven. He reveals to the deceiver that, though he had resumed the disguise of an angel of light, his true character was not hidden from the Saviour of the world. He called him Satan, the angel of darkness, who had left his first estate, and had refused allegiance to God.—The Signs of the Times, March 28, 1895. TA 177.2

Satan left the field a vanquished foe, peremptorily dismissed. At the word of Christ, “Get thee hence, Satan,” the powerful fallen angel had no choice but to obey. Angels that excel in strength were on the battleground, guarding the interest of the tempted soul, and ready to resist the foe.—The Review and Herald, April 24, 1894. TA 177.3