The Youth’s Instructor


December 21, 1899

“Tempted in All Points Like as We Are”

Part 1.


As Christ's ministry was about to begin, he received baptism at the hands of John. Coming up out of the water, he bowed on the banks of the Jordan, and offered to the Father such a prayer as heaven had never before listened to. That prayer penetrated the shadow of Satan, which surrounded the Saviour, and cleaved its way to the throne of God. The heavens were opened, and a dove, in appearance like burnished gold, rested upon Jesus; and from the lips of the Infinite God were heard the words, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” YI December 21, 1899, par. 1

This visible answer to the prayer of God's Son is of deep significance to us. It assures us that humanity is accepted in Christ. The repenting cry of every sinner, the petition of every believing soul, will be heard, and the suppliant will receive grace and power. Christ has opened the way to the highest heavens for every bereaved heart. All may find rest and peace and assurance in sending their prayers to God in the name of his dear Son. As the heavens were open to Christ's prayer, so they will be opened to our prayers. The Holy Spirit will come to every son and daughter of Adam who looks to God for strength. YI December 21, 1899, par. 2

From the Jordan, Jesus was led into the wilderness of temptation. “And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” YI December 21, 1899, par. 3

Christ was suffering the keenest pangs of hunger, and this temptation was a severe one. But he must begin the work of redemption just where the ruin began. Adam had failed on the point of appetite, and Christ must conquer here. The power that rested upon him came directly from the Father, and he must not exercise it in his own behalf. With that long fast there was woven into his experience a strength and power that God alone could give. He met and resisted the enemy in the strength of a “Thus saith the Lord.” “Man shall not live by bread alone,” he said, “but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” YI December 21, 1899, par. 4

This strength it is the privilege of all the tempted ones of earth to have. Christ's experience is for our benefit. His example in overcoming appetite points out the way for those to overcome who would be his followers. YI December 21, 1899, par. 5

Christ was suffering as the members of the human family suffer under temptation; but it was not the will of God that he should exercise his divine power in his own behalf. Had he not stood as our representative, Christ's innocence would have exempted him from all this anguish; but it was because of his innocence that he felt so keenly the assaults of Satan. All the suffering that is the result of sin was poured into the bosom of the sinless Son of God. Satan was bruising the heel of Christ; but every pang endured by Christ, every grief, every disquietude, was fulfilling the great plan of man's redemption. Every blow inflicted by the enemy was rebounding on himself. Christ was bruising the serpent's head. YI December 21, 1899, par. 6

Satan had been defeated in the first temptation. He next took Christ to the pinnacle of the temple at Jerusalem, and asked him to prove his sonship to God by throwing himself down from the dizzy height. “If thou be the Son of God,” he said, “cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” But to do this would be presumption on the part of Christ, and he would not yield. “It is written,” he replied, “thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Again the tempter was baffled. Christ was victor still. YI December 21, 1899, par. 7

Presumption is a common temptation, and when Satan assails men with this, he gains the victory almost every time. Those who claim to be enlisted in the warfare against evil frequently plunge without thought into temptation from which it would require a miracle to bring them forth unsullied. God's precious promises are not given to strengthen us in a presumptuous course, or to rely upon when we rush needlessly into danger. The Lord requires us to move with a humble dependence upon his guidance. “It is not in a man that walketh to direct his steps.” In God is our prosperity and our life. Nothing can be done prosperously without his permission and his blessing. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” As children of God, we are to maintain a consistent Christian character. YI December 21, 1899, par. 8

While you pray, dear youth, that you may not be led into temptation, remember that your work does not end with prayer. As far as possible you must answer your own prayers by resisting temptation. Ask Jesus to do for you that which you can not do for yourself. With God's word for our guide, and Jesus for our teacher, we need not be ignorant of God's requirements or of Satan's devices. YI December 21, 1899, par. 9

“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Then divinity flashed through humanity. “Get thee hence, Satan,” Christ said; “for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Satan did not then present another temptation. He left the presence of Christ a conquered foe. YI December 21, 1899, par. 10

Mrs. E. G. White