From Heaven With Love


Chapter 12—The Wilderness Temptation

This chapter is based on Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12, 13; Luke 4:1-13.

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward He was hungry.” RSV. HLv 69.1

Jesus did not invite temptation. He went to the wilderness to be alone, to contemplate His mission. By fasting and prayer He was to brace Himself for the bloodstained path He must travel. But Satan thought this the best time to approach Him. HLv 69.2

Mighty issues were at stake. Satan claimed the earth as his and styled himself “the prince of this world.” He declared that men had chosen him as their sovereign; through men he held dominion over the world. Christ had come to disprove Satan's claim. As the Son of man, Christ would stand loyal to God. Thus it would be shown that Satan had not gained complete control of the human race, and that his claim to the world was false. All who desired deliverance from his power would be set free. HLv 69.3

Satan had known that he did not hold absolute sway over the world. There was seen in men a power that withstood his dominion. See Genesis 3:15. In the sacrifices offered by Adam and his sons he discerned a symbol of communion between earth and heaven. He set himself to intercept this communion. He misrepresented God and misinterpreted the rites that pointed to the Saviour. Men were led to fear God as one who delighted in their destruction. The sacrifices that should have revealed His love were offered only to appease His wrath. HLv 69.4

When God's written word was given, Satan studied the prophecies. From generation to generation he worked to blind the people that they might reject Christ at His coming. HLv 70.1

At the birth of Jesus, Satan knew that One had come to dispute his dominion. That the Son of God should come to this earth as a man filled him with apprehension. His selfish soul could not understand such love. Since he had lost heaven, he was determined to cause others to share his fall. He would cause them to undervalue heavenly things, and set the heart upon things of earth. HLv 70.2