Manuscript Releases, vol. 16 [Nos. 1186-1235]


MR No. 1211—Christ's Humiliation

Christ's humiliation is not understood and not appreciated. Forty days and nights Jesus was subjected to the temptations of the enemy—the one who was once an angel next to Christ in majesty and glory in the heavenly courts. It is stated, Thou wast exalted because of thy beauty, et cetera. But he wanted to have the place of Christ, and Christ was one with the Infinite God; and because this was not accorded him, he became jealous, and he was the originator of sin. 16MR 180.1

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. 16MR 180.2

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 overcome; and Satan was defeated. 16MR 180.3

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. And He came into the world to stand at the head of humanity whom Satan had deceived, and to fight His battles in behalf of the race whom Satan has deceived through his lying power. This whole effort was to draw Christ away from His allegiance to God, to undermine in a deceptive way His principles and His allegiance to the Lord God. 16MR 180.4

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. His deceiving power was so great that a third of the heavenly angels were induced to believe him to be right and unite with him against God and His Son Jesus Christ. And now Satan's personal contact in this world with Christ was of a most determined character, for if he succeeded here in his strong and wily efforts he was conqueror and the prince of the world. He knew that all his claims to the kingdoms of the world were false and could not be sustained unless he should overcome Christ. 16MR 181.1

It is impossible to take in the depth and the force of these temptations unless the Lord shall bring man where He can open these scenes before him by a revelation of the matter, and then it can only be but partially comprehended. Satan's assaults were prepared for the circumstances in accordance with the exalted character with which he had to deal. If he [could] gain the victory in the first temptation, he would secure Him on all the rest. Satan had never aimed his darts at so strong a mark. 16MR 181.2

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 the human nature of man, united with the divine nature by faith, may be strong and withstand Satan's temptations. 16MR 181.3

Christ's perfect humanity is the same that man 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 the nature of man, 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. A human body, a human mind, with all the peculiar properties, He was bone, brain, and muscle. A man of our flesh, He was compassed with the weakness of humanity. The circumstances of His life were of that character that He was exposed to all the inconveniences that belong to men, not in wealth, not in ease, but in poverty and want and humiliation. He breathed the very air man must breathe. He trod our earth as man. He had reason, conscience, memory, will, and affections of the human soul which was united with His divine nature. 16MR 181.4

Our Lord was tempted as man is tempted. He was capable of yielding to temptations, as are human beings. His finite nature was pure and spotless, but the divine nature that led Him to say to Philip, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father” also, was not humanized; neither was humanity deified by the blending or union of the two natures; each retained its essential character and properties. 16MR 182.1

But here we must not become in our ideas common and earthly, and in our perverted ideas we must not think that the liability of Christ to yield to Satan's temptations degraded His humanity and He possessed the same sinful, corrupt propensities as man. 16MR 182.2

The divine nature, combined with the human, made Him capable of yielding to Satan's temptations. 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. To suppose He was not capable of yielding to temptation places Him where He cannot be a perfect example for man, and the force and the power of this part of Christ's humiliation, which is the most eventful, is no instruction or help to human beings. 16MR 182.3

But the facts of this history are not fable, but a living, acting, experience. [To deny this] would rob Jesus of His greatest glory—allegiance to God—which enshrouded Him as a garment in this world on the field of battle with the relentless foe, and He is not reckoned with the transgressor. He descended in His humiliation to be tempted as man would be tempted, and His nature was that of man, capable of yielding to temptation. His very purity and holiness were assailed by a fallen foe, the very one that became corrupted and then was ejected from heaven. How deeply and keenly must Christ have felt this humiliation. 16MR 183.1

How do fallen angels look upon this pure and uncontaminated One, the Prince of Life, through the different stages of His humiliation? They look upon the scene, the Son of the living God humiliated to take upon Himself the nature of man and meet the strong man armed with all his weapons of deception and falsehood to overcome Jesus Christ. And every victory gained, how precious it is in behalf of the human family, exalting, elevating, ennobling the workmanship of God; and Satan has been at work for centuries, degrading, debasing, and prostituting all his powers to do his hellish work. 16MR 183.2

The humanity of Christ received the fallen foe and engaged in battle with him. He was sustained in the conflict by divine power just as man will be sustained by his being a partaker of the divine nature. He gained victory after victory as our Champion, the Captain of our salvation, and the divine approval of God and all the universe of heaven flowed into His soul. His nature was shocked almost unto death, but the heavenly angels ministered unto the suffering One. 16MR 183.3

All heaven rejoiced because humanity, the workmanship of God, was placed in an elevated scale with God by the signal victory gained. Christ was more than conqueror, leaving the way open that man may be more than conqueror through Christ's merits, because He loved him. The Son of the infinite God is brought into the tenderest sympathies with the tempted church. He knows how to succor those who shall be tempted, because He was Himself tempted.—Manuscript 57, 1890. (Transcribed from Diary Book No. 14, pp. 272-283; 293-295.) 16MR 184.1

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

September 2, 1986.

Entire Manuscript.