The Signs of the Times



December 1, 1914

One of the Greatest Temptations
A Sympathizer Clothed with Power—He Gives Victory over Drunkenness by Providing Control of the Appetite


One of the strongest temptations that man has to meet, comes upon the point of appetite. In all ages, temptations appealing to the physical nature have been most effectual in corrupting and degrading mankind. Through intemperance, Satan works to destroy the mental and moral powers that God gave man as a priceless endowment; and it is impossible for those who yield to him, to appreciate things of eternal worth. Through sensual indulgence, Satan seeks to blot from the soul every trace of likeness to God. ST December 1, 1914, par. 1

Through Indulgence of Appetite

It was through the temptation to indulge appetite, that Adam and Eve fell from their holy and happy estate. It seemed a small matter to our first parents to transgress the command of God in that one act—the eating from a tree that was so beautiful to the sight, and so pleasant to the taste; but it broke their allegiance to God, and opened the gates to a flood of guilt and woe. And it is through the same temptation that the race have become enfeebled. Since the first surrender to appetite, mankind have been growing more and more self-indulgent, until health has been sacrificed on the altar of appetite. The inhabitants of the antediluvian world ate and drank till the indulgence of depraved appetite knew no bounds, and they became so corrupt that God could bear with them no longer. They filled up the cup of their iniquity, and by a flood He cleansed the earth of its moral pollution. ST December 1, 1914, par. 2

Christ knew that the enemy would come to every human being, to take advantage of hereditary weakness, and by his false insinuations to ensnare all whose trust is not in God. And by passing, a conqueror, over the ground which man must travel, our Lord has made it possible for us to overcome. It is not His will that we should be placed at a disadvantage in the conflict with Satan. He would not have us discouraged and intimidated by the assaults of the enemy. “Be of good cheer,” He says; “I have overcome the world.” ST December 1, 1914, par. 3

When Struggling Against the Power of Appetite

Let him who is struggling against the power of appetite, look to the Saviour in the wilderness of temptation. See Him in His agony upon the cross, as He exclaimed, “I thirst.” He has endured all that it is possible for us to bear. His victory is ours. ST December 1, 1914, par. 4

Those who would have clear minds to discern Satan's devices, must bring appetite under the control of reason and conscience. If we would see the standard of virtue and godliness exalted, we must control appetite, the indulgence of which counteracts the force of truth and weakens the power to resist temptation. The heart can not maintain consecration to God while lustful appetite is indulged. ST December 1, 1914, par. 5

One of the most deplorable effects of the original apostasy was the loss of man's power of self-control. Only as this power is regained, can there be real progress. ST December 1, 1914, par. 6

He Would Enfeeble the Body

The body is the medium through which mind and soul are developed for the upbuilding of character. Hence it is that the adversary of souls directs his temptations to the enfeebling and degrading of the physical powers. His success here means the surrender to evil of the whole being. The tendencies of our physical nature, unless under the dominion of a higher power, will surely work ruin and death. ST December 1, 1914, par. 7

The body is to be brought into subjection. The higher powers of the being are to rule. The passions are to be controlled by the will, which is itself to be under the control of God. The kingly power of reason, sanctified by divine grace, is to bear sway in our lives. ST December 1, 1914, par. 8

The Essential Power

Apart from divine power, no genuine reform can be effected. Human barriers against natural and cultivated tendencies are but as the sand-bank against the torrent. Not until the life of Christ becomes a vitalizing power in our lives can we resist the temptations that assail us from within and from without. ST December 1, 1914, par. 9

When one surrenders to Christ, the mind is brought under the control of the law; but it is the royal law, which proclaims liberty to every captive. By becoming one with Christ, man is made free. Subjection to the will of Christ means restoration to perfect manhood. Obedience to God is liberty from the thraldom of sin, deliverance from human passion and impulse. Man may stand conqueror of himself, conqueror of his own inclinations. ST December 1, 1914, par. 10

Awaken to Self-Mastery

The requirements of God must be brought home to the conscience. Men and women must be awakened to the duty of self-mastery, the need of purity, freedom from every depraving appetite and defiling habit. They need to be impressed with the fact that all their powers of mind and body are the gift of God, and are to be preserved in the best possible condition for His service. ST December 1, 1914, par. 11

In that ancient ritual which was the gospel in symbol, no blemished offering could be brought to God's altar. The sacrifice that was to represent Christ must be spotless. The word of God points to this as an illustration of what His children are to be,—“a living sacrifice,” “holy and without blemish,” “well pleasing to God.” ST December 1, 1914, par. 12