Australasian Signs of the Times



October 20, 1913

Aid for the Tempted


When Adam was assailed by the tempter in Eden, he was without taint of sin. He stood before God in the strength of perfect manhood. All the organs and faculties of his being were equally developed and harmoniously balanced. BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 1

Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam's place, to bear the test he failed to endure. Here Christ overcame, in the sinner's behalf, four thousand years after Adam turned his back upon the light of his home. Separated from the presence of God, the human family had been departing, each successive generation, further from the original purity, wisdom, and knowledge which Adam possessed in Eden. Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth to help man. In behalf of the race, with the weaknesses of fallen man upon Him, He was to stand the temptations of Satan upon all points on which man could be assailed. BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 2

Adam was surrounded with everything his heart could wish. Every want was supplied. There was no sin, and no signs of decay in glorious Eden. Angels of God conversed freely and lovingly with the holy pair. The happy songsters carolled forth their free, joyous songs of praise to their Creator. The peaceful beasts in happy innocence played around Adam and Eve, obedient to their word. Adam was in the perfection of manhood—the noblest of the Creator's works. He was in the image of God, but a little lower than the angels. BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 3

Great Contrast

What a contrast the second Adam presented, as He entered the gloomy wilderness to cope with Satan single handed! Since that fall, the race had been decreasing in size and physical strength, and sinking lower in the scale of moral worth, up to the period of Christ's advent to the earth. In order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he was. He took human nature, and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He who knew no sin, became sin for us. He humiliated Himself to the lowest depths of human woe, that He might be qualified to reach man, and bring him up from the degradation in which sin had plunged him. BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 4

Christ Took Our Nature

“For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 5

“And being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 6

“Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 7

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 8

In the wilderness of temptation, Christ was without food forty days. Moses had, on especial occasions, been thus long without food. But he felt not the pangs of hunger. He was not tempted and harassed by a vile and powerful foe, as was the Son of God. He was elevated above the human, and especially sustained by the glory of God which enshrouded him. BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 9

Satan's Confidence

Satan had succeeded so well in deceiving the angels of God, and in ruining noble Adam, that he thought he should be successful in overcoming Christ in His humiliation. He looked with pleased exultation upon the result of his temptations, and the increase of sin in the continued transgression of God's law, for more than four thousand years. He had worked the ruin of our first parents, and brought sin and death into the world, and led to ruin multitudes of all ages, countries, and classes. By his power he had controlled cities and nations, until their sin provoked the wrath of God to destroy them by fire, water, earthquakes, sword, famine, and pestilence. By his subtlety and untiring efforts, he had controlled the appetite, and excited and strengthened the passions, to so fearful a degree that he had defaced, and almost obliterated, the image of God in man. His physical and moral dignity were in so great a degree destroyed that he bore but a faint resemblance in character, and noble perfection of form, to the dignified Adam in Eden. BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 10

At the first advent of Christ, Satan had brought man down from his original, exalted purity, and had dimmed that golden character with sin. The man whom God had created a sovereign in Eden, he had transformed into a slave in the earth groaning under the curse of sin. The halo of glory, which God had given holy Adam to cover him as a garment, departed from him after his transgression. The light of God's glory could not cover disobedience and sin. In the place of health and plenitude of blessings, poverty, sickness, and suffering of every type, were to be the portion of the children of Adam. BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 11

Satan had, through his seductive power, led men to vain philosophy, to question, and finally disbelieve, the divine revelation and the existence of God. He looked abroad upon a world of moral wretchedness, and a race exposed to the wrath of a sin-avenging God, with fiendish triumph, that he had been so successful in darkening the pathway of so many, and had led them to transgress the law of God. He clothed sin with pleasing attractions, to secure the ruin of many. BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 12

Satan's Most Successful Scheme

But his most successful scheme in deceiving man has been to conceal his real purposes and his true character, by representing himself to be man's friend—a benefactor of the race. He flatters men with the pleasing fable that there is no rebellious foe, no deadly enemy that they need to guard against, and that the existence of a personal devil is all a fiction; and while he thus hides his existence, he is gathering thousands under his control. He is deceiving many, as he tried to deceive Christ, telling them that he is an angel from heaven, doing a good work for humanity. And the masses are so blinded by sin that they cannot discern the devices of Satan; and they honour him as they would a heavenly angel, while he is working their eternal ruin. BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 13

Christ had entered the world as Satan's destroyer, and the Redeemer of the captives bound by his power. He would leave an example, in His own victorious life, for man to follow, and thus overcome the temptations of Satan. As soon as Christ entered the wilderness of temptation, His visage changed. The glory and splendour which were reflected from the throne of God and His countenance, when the heavens opened before Him, and the Father's voice acknowledged Him as His Son in whom He was well pleased, were now gone. The weight of the sins of the world was pressing His soul, and His countenance expressed unutterable sorrow, a depth of anguish that fallen man had never realized. He felt the overwhelming tide of woe that deluged the world. He realized the strength of indulged appetite and unholy passions, which controlled the world, and had brought upon man inexpressible suffering. The indulgence of appetite had been increasing and strengthening with every successive generation since Adam's transgression, until the race was so feeble in moral power that they could not overcome in their own strength. Christ, in behalf of the race, was to overcome appetite, by standing the most powerful test upon this point. He was to tread the path of temptation alone, and there must be none to help Him—none to comfort or uphold Him. Alone He was to wrestle with the powers of darkness. BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 14

In Man's Behalf

As in his human strength man could not resist the power of Satan's temptations, Jesus volunteered to undertake the work, and to bear the burden for man, and overcome the power of appetite in his behalf. In man's behalf, He must show self-denial, perseverance, and firmness of principle, paramount to the gnawing pangs of hunger. He must show a power of control stronger than hunger and even death. BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 15

The humanity of Christ reached to the very depths of human wretchedness, and identified itself with the weaknesses and necessities of fallen man; while His divine nature grasped the Eternal. His work, in bearing the guilt of man's transgression, was not to give him license to continue to violate the law of God; for transgression made man a debtor to the law, and Christ Himself was paying this debt by His own suffering. The trials and sufferings of Christ were to impress man with a sense of his great sin in breaking the law of God, and to bring him to repentance and obedience to that law, and through obedience to acceptance with God. He would impute His righteousness to man, and so raise him in moral value with God that his efforts to keep the divine law would be acceptable. BEcho October 20, 1913, par. 16