“For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin . . . !” Hebrews 4:15 & 2:17 & Romans 8:2-3
After His baptism, the Son of God entered the dreary wilderness, there to be tempted by the devil . . . . For forty days He ate and drank nothing . . . . He realized the power of appetite upon man; and in behalf of sinful man, He bore the closest test possible upon that point. Here a victory was gained which few can appreciate. The controlling power of depraved appetite, and the grievous sin of indulging it, can only be understood by the length of the fast which our Saviour endured that He might break its power . . . !
Intemperance (self-indulgence) lies at the foundation of all the moral evils known to man. Christ began the work of Redemption just where the ruin began. The fall of our first parents was caused by the indulgence of appetite. In redemption, the denial of appetite is the first work of Christ. What amazing love has Christ manifested in coming into the world to bear our sins and infirmities, and to tread the path of suffering, that He might show us by His Life of spotless merit how we should walk, and overcome as He had overcome !”
“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The Just shall live by faith . . . !” Romans 1:17
And “this I say then . . . . Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts (carnal desires) of the flesh !” Galatians 5:16
He (Christ Jesus) came to earth to unite His Divine power with our human efforts, that through the strength and moral power which He imparts, we might overcome in our own behalf !
Oh! what matchless condescension for the King of glory to come down to this world to endure the pangs of hunger and the fierce temptations of a wily foe, that He might gain an infinite Victory for man. Here is love with-out a parallel . . . . It was not the gnawing pangs of hunger alone which made the sufferings of our Redeemer so inexpressibly severe. It was the sense of guilt which had resulted from the indulgence of appetite (self love rather than love for our Creator and Redeemer) that had brought such terrible woe into the world, which pressed so heavily upon His divine soul. . . .
With man’s nature (Romans 8:3), and the terrible weight of his sins pressing upon Him, our Redeemer withstood the power of Satan upon this great leading temptation, which imperils the souls of men. If man should overcome this temptation, he could conquer on every other point !
Intemperance (self-indulgence and self-will rather than God’s will) lies at the foundation of all the moral evils known to man. Christ began the work of redemption just where the ruin began. The fall of our first parents was caused by the indulgence of appetite. In redemption, the denial of appetite is the first work of Christ. What amazing love has Christ manifested in coming into the world to bear our sins and infirmities, and to tread the path of suffering, that He might show us by His Life of spotless merit how we should walk, and overcome as He had overcome !”
“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The Just shall live by faith . . . !” Romans 1:17
– God’s Amazing Grace p.164
“Christ lived a human life that He might be man’s example in all things. He endured temptation even as every human being must endure. He believed God as we must believe ! He learned obedience even as we are required to learn obedience.” – Bible Echo, September 3, 1900
“The means by which we can overcome the wicked one is that by which Christ overcame, — the power of the Word. God does not control our minds without our consent; but if we desire to know and to do His will, His Promises are ours: “Ye shall know the Truth (the verity of My Words), and the Truth shall make you free !” “If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching.” John 8:32 & 7:17
“Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy Word is Truth (Verity, verily so) !” John 17:17
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious Promises: that by these we might be made partakers of the Divine nature . . . !”
II Peter 1:4
Through faith in these Promises, every man may be delivered from the snares of error and the control of sin . . . .”
– Desire of Ages p.259
“For whatsoever is born (begotten) of God overcometh this world: and this is the Victory which overcometh the world, even our faith . . . !”
I John 5:4
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of Incorruptible, by the Word of God (Deity), which liveth and abideth forever . . . !”
I Peter 1:23 & Luke 8:11-15
“For of His Own will begat He us with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures . . . . Wherefore, lay aside all filthiness and superfluity (abundance) of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls . . . And be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves . . . !” James 1:18-22
The Test of Appetite
“But I keep under (in submission) my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway . . . !” I Corinthians 9:27
After His baptism the Son of God entered the dreary wilderness, there to be tempted by the devil. For nearly six weeks He endured the agonies of hunger. . . . He realized the power (control) of appetite upon man; and in behalf of sinful man, He bore the closest (most severe) test possible upon that point. Here a Victory was gained which few can appreciate.
“Thanks be to God, which giveth us the Victory through our Lord (Sovereign King) Jesus Christ !” I Corinthians 15:57
The controlling power of depraved appetite and the grievous sin of indulging it can only be understood by the length of the fast which our Saviour endured that He might break its power . . . . Intemperance lies at the foundation of all the moral evils known to man. Christ began the work of Redemption just where the ruin began. The fall of our first parents was caused by the indulgence of appetite. In redemption, the denial of appetite is the first work of Christ.
“Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats (food) ? but God shall destroy both it and them. Now (for) the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body . . . . And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by His Own power . . . !” I Corinthians 6:13-14
“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane (wicked) person, as was Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright . . . !” Hebrews 12:16
The Son of God saw that man could not of himself overcome this powerful temptation. . . . He came to earth to unite His Divine power with our human efforts, that through the strength and moral power which He imparts, we might overcome in our own behalf. “Christ in you, the hope of glory ! . . . . and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us !”
Oh! what matchless condescension for the King of glory to come down to this world to endure the pangs of hunger and the fierce temptations of a wily foe . . . . Yet this great condescension is but dimly comprehended by those for whom it was made.” – In Heavenly Places p.194
The Significance of Christ’s Victory –
After His baptism, Christ was led of the Spirit into the wilderness. He had taken humanity upon Himself, and Satan boasted that he would overcome Him, just as he had overcome the strong men of the past ages, and he assailed Him (Jesus, Yehushua) with the temptations that had caused man’s downfall.
It was in this world that the great conflict between Christ and Satan was to be decided. If the tempter could succeed in overcoming Christ in even one point, the world must be left to perish. Satan would have power to bruise the heel of the Son of God; but the Seed of the woman was to bruise the serpent’s head: Christ was to baffle the prince of the powers of darkness. ref: Genesis 3:15 For forty days Christ fasted in the wilderness. What was this for? Was there anything in the character of the Son of God that required such great humiliation and suffering? No, He was sinless. All this humiliation and keen anguish were endured for the sake of fallen man, and never can we comprehend the grievous character of the sin of indulging perverted appetite except as we comprehend the spiritual meaning of the long fast of the Son of God.
Never can we understand the strength and bondage of appetite until we discern the character of the Saviour’s conflict in overcoming Satan, and thus placing all man (kind) on vantage ground, where, through the merit (worthiness) of the blood of Christ, he (we) may be able to resist the powers of darkness, and overcome in his (our) own behalf !
After this long fast, Christ was in a famishing condition, and in His weakness Satan assailed Him with the fiercest temptations. “The devil said unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.” Matthew 3:17- 4:11. Satan represented himself as the messenger of God (an angel of light), claiming that God had seen the willingness of the Saviour to place His feet in the path of self-denial, and that He was not requ-ired to suffer further humiliation and pain, but might be released from the terrible conflict that was before Him as the Redeemer of the world.
He tried to persuade Him that God designed only to test His fidelity, that now His loyalty was fully manifest, and He was at liberty to use His divine power to relieve His necessities. But Christ discerned the temptation, and declared, “It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God.” “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, but with the mouth, confession (to profess, speak out loud) is made unto Salvation ! . . . . And out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh . . . !”
Romans 10:8-12 & Matthew 12:34
When tempted to the unlawful gratification of appetite (carnal desire), you should remember the example of Christ, and stand firm, overcoming as Christ overcame. You should answer, saying, “Thus saith the LORD,” and in this way settle the question forever with the prince of darkness. If you parley with temptation, and use your own words, feeling self-sufficient, full of self-importance, you will be overcome. For the weapons which Christ used were the Words of God, “It is written;” and if you wield the Sword of the Spirit, you also may come off victorious through the merit of your Redeemer.” – Temperance p.275-276
“For the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life . . . !” John 6:63
“Of all the lessons to be learned from our Lord’s first great temptation, none is more important than that bearing upon the control of the appetites and passions (desires). 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 to man as a priceless endowment.
Thus it becomes impossible for men to appreciate things of Eternal worth. Through sensual indulgence, Satan seeks to blot from the soul every trace of likeness to God. The uncontrolled indulgence and consequent disease and degradation that existed at Christ’s first advent, will again exist, with intensity of evil, before His second coming . . . !
– Desire of Ages p.122-123
Christ declares that the condition of the world will be as in the days before the flood, and as in Sodom and Gomorrah. Every imagination of the thoughts of the heart will be evil continually. Upon the very verge of that fearful time we are now living, and to us should come home the lesson of the Saviour’s fast. Only by the inexpr-essible anguish which Christ endured, can we estimate the evil of unrestrained indulgence. His example declares that our only hope of eternal Life is through bringing the appetites and passions into subjection to the will of God.
“Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless, not My will, but Thine be done . . . For I delight to do Thy will, Yea, Thy law is within My heart . . . !” Luke 22:42 & Psalm 40:8
In our own strength it is impossible for us to deny the clamors of our fallen nature. Through this channel Satan will bring temptation upon us. Christ knew that the enemy would come to every human being, to take adv-antage of hereditary weakness, and by his false insinuations to ensnare all whose trust is not in God. And (but) by passing over the ground which man must travel, our Lord has prepared the way 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 intimidated and discouraged by the assaults of the serpent. “Be of good cheer,” He says; “I have overcome the world !” “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts . . . and the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life !” Zechariah 4:6 & John 6:63
“And this is the Victory which overcometh the world, even our faith . . . and faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God . . .”
I John 5:4 & Romans 10:17
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 !
Jesus rested upon the wisdom and strength of His Heavenly Father. He declared, “The Lord GOD (Adoni Yeh-ho-vee’) will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded, . . . And I know that I shall not be ashamed. . . . Behold, the Lord God will help me !” Isaiah 50:7
Pointing to His Own example, He says to us, “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, . . . that walketh in darkness, and hath no Light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah), and stay (rest, lean, support) upon his God (Elohim) !”
“The prince of this world cometh,” saith Jesus, “and hath nothing in Me.” There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan’s sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (weak, fleshly), but mighty through God (Divinity), to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing (the spirits which now work in the children of disobedience) that exalteth (rises up) itself against the knowing of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the perfect obedience of Christ !” II Corinthians 10:4-5
Christ’s humanity was united with Divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the Divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us! God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the Divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character.
“If ye abide in Me (the Word of God), and My Words . . . which are Spirit and Life . . . abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. For herein is My Father glorified . . . !” John 15:7-8
Temptations to the indulgence of appetite possess a power which can be overcome only by the help that God can (will) impart. But with every temptation we have the Promise of God that there shall be a way of escape. Why, then, are so many overcome? It is because they do not put their trust in God. They do not avail themselves of the means (power, strength and faith) provided for their safety . . . !”
– Testimony Studies on Diets & Foods p.152-154
“Christ came to make us “partakers of the divine nature,” and His life declares that humanity, combined with Divinity, does not commit sin !
The Saviour overcame to show man how he may overcome. All the temptations of Satan, Christ met with the Word of God. By trusting in God’s Promises, He received power to obey God’s commandments, and the tempter could gain no advantage.
To every temptation His answer was, “It is written.” So God has given us His Word wherewith to resist evil. Exceeding great and precious Promises are ours, that by these we “might be partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption (sin and death) that is in the world through lust.”
II Peter 1:4
– Ministry of Healing p.180-181