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Victory in the Wilderness

Victory in the Wilderness   2 members have voted

  1. 1. Next to the Cross, Jesus' victory in the wilderness is the most important event in the Great Controversy.

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Overall Question:   Why is Jesus' victory in the wilderness so important?

Memory Text: Luke 19:10 Modern English Version For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.


Sunday – Immanuel to the Rescue

Matthew 1:20-23 English Standard Version 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Matthew 1:23 COMMENTARY THE FOURFOLD GOSPEL Nature shows God above us; the Law shows God against us; but the Gospel shows God with us, and for us. The blessing of the church militant is Christ, God with us; that of the church triumphant is Christ, us with God. In this world Jesus walked "with us" in human form (Joh 1:14); and because he did so, we, in the world to come, shall walk "with him" in divine form (1 Jo 3:2; 1 Co 15:49). In a personal sense Jesus may fitly be called "God with us," for he was God and man united in one body.


Monday – Jesus’ Baptism

Matthew 3:7-12 Common English Bible 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.”

Matthew 3:7 COMMENTARY BY ALBERT BARNES harisees and Sadducees. The Jews were divided into three great sects, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes. In addition to these, some smaller sects are mentioned in the New Testament, and by Josephus: the Herodians, probably political friends of Herod; the Galileans, a branch of the Pharisees; and the Therapeutae, a branch of the Essenes, but converts from the Greeks. The principal of these sects are supposed to have originated about 150 years before Christ, as they are mentioned by Josephus at about that time in his history. Of course nothing is said of them in the Old Testament, as that was finished about 400 years before the Christian era.

Matthew 3:11 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY John later testified concerning Christ, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). John’s preaching was so filled with power that many of the people believed him to be the Messiah. Even the leaders of the nation were forced to consider the question seriously (John 1:19, 20). Christ Himself said of John that there “hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist” (Matt. 11:11). Despite this public acclaim John ever maintained a true sense of his relationship to the One who was to be “mightier than” he. Blessed is the man who meets with success and popularity, yet remains humble in his own eyes!


Tuesday – Stones Into Bread

Matthew 4:1-3 New Century Version 1 Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 Jesus fasted for forty days and nights. After this, he was very hungry. 3 The devil came to Jesus to tempt him, saying, “If you are the Son of God, tell these rocks to become bread.”

Matthew 4:3 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY The devil always attacks us at our times of greatest weakness, for it is then we are most likely to fall. For this reason it is of vital importance to preserve the physical, mental, and emotional powers at a high level of strength and efficiency. Anything that weakens these powers weakens our defense against the wiles of the tempter. Such things as overwork, lack of exercise, overeating, a faulty diet, lack of sleep, or anything that lessens intellectual alertness and emotional control tends to open the way for the evil one to enter the soul. To entertain thoughts of discouragement, defeat, or resentment will have the same effect. We must set our thoughts and affections on things above (Col. 3:2) and fill our minds with things that are true, honest, pure, and lovely (Phil. 4:8).


Wednesday – Another Temptation

Matthew 4:5-7 New Century Version 5 Then the devil led Jesus to the holy city of Jerusalem and put him on a high place of the Temple. 6 The devil said, “If you are the Son of God, jump down, because it is written in the Scriptures: ‘He has put his angels in charge of you. They will catch you in their hands so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.’” [Psalm 91:11–12] 7 Jesus answered him, “It also says in the Scriptures, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.’”

Matthew 4:6 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY Satan quotes from Ps. 91:11, 12, but omits the words “to keep thee in all thy ways.” Perhaps this was designed to obscure the fact that the protecting care of God is available to us only when we remain in ways of God’s own choosing. Satan well knew that when a man departs from the straight and narrow way he leaves God’s chosen ground and steps over onto the enchanted ground of the enemy. But Jesus refused to depart from the pathway of strict obedience to the will of the Father.

Matthew 4:7 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY The words used by Christ to foil the tempter were originally spoken by Moses with reference to the first occasion in the wilderness when the children of Israel murmured for water… In spite of the evidence of divine solicitude for their needs, they “tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?” (Ex. 17:7). They put God to the test; that is, they challenged Him to prove His divine power. Their sin consisted in the fact that they came to God in the wrong spirit—one of demand and petulant anger rather than of humble, patient faith. Unless their demand was met they refused to believe in God.

It was in this same spirit that Satan now proposed that Christ should put His Father to the test. Instead of accepting by faith the Father’s proclamation at the Jordan, affirming Him to be the Son of God, Jesus was to experiment in order to prove to His satisfaction that this was so. But such an experiment would reflect doubt rather than faith.

We are never to place ourselves unnecessarily or carelessly in a position where God will have to work a miracle in order to save us from the untoward results of a foolish course of action. We are not to presume upon God to rescue us when we rush unbidden into danger. Mature faith will lead us to order our lives in harmony with what God has already revealed to us, and then to trust Him for the rest.


Thursday – Devil Worship

Matthew 4:8-10 Holman Christian Standard Bible 8 Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 And he said to Him, “I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.”

Matthew 4:8 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY Satan effectively hid the seamy side of his kingdom, and presented only the dazzling glories of human prowess. He offered Jesus the role of political Messiah, a role in which the Jewish nation would have accepted Him.

Matthew 4:1-11 COMMENTARY BY MATTHEW HENRY High places are so; they are slippery places; advancement in the world makes a man a fair mark for Satan to shoot his fiery darts at. God casts down, that he may raise up; the Devil raises up, that he may cast down: therefore they who would take heed of falling, must take heed of climbing. High places in the church are, in a special manner, dangerous. They who excel in gifts, who are in eminent stations, and have gained great reputation, have need to keep humble; for Satan will be sure to aim at them, to puff them up with pride, that they may fall into the condemnation of the Devil. Those that stand high are concerned to stand fast.

Deuteronomy 34:1-4 New Revised Standard Version Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, 3 the Negeb, and the Plain—that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar. 4 The Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”

Revelation 21:10 New English Translation So he took me away in the Spirit to a huge, majestic mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.


Friday – Further Study

Ellen White, Desire of Ages, p. 116 – “Many look on this conflict between Christ and Satan as having no special bearing on their own life; and for them it has little interest. But within the domain of every human heart this controversy is repeated. Never does one leave the ranks of evil for the service of God without encountering the assaults of Satan. The enticements which Christ resisted were those that we find it so difficult to withstand. They were urged upon Him in as much greater degree as His character is superior to ours. With the terrible weight of the sins of the world upon Him, Christ withstood the test upon appetite, upon the love of the world, and upon that love of display which leads to presumption. These were the temptations that overcame Adam and Eve, and that so readily overcome us.”

Ellen White, Desire of Ages, p. 130 – “By the one who had revolted in heaven the kingdoms of this world were offered Christ, to buy His homage to the principles of evil; but He would not be bought; He had come to establish a kingdom of righteousness, and He would not abandon His purpose. With the same temptation Satan approaches men, and here he has better success than with Christ. To men he offers the kingdom of this world on condition that they will acknowledge his supremacy. He requires that they sacrifice integrity, disregard conscience, indulge selfishness.”

Ellen White, Desire of Ages, p. 131 – “Never can the cost of our redemption be realized until the redeemed shall stand with the Redeemer before the throne of God. Then as the glories of the eternal home burst upon our enraptured senses we shall remember that Jesus left all this for us, that He not only became an exile from the heavenly courts, but for us took the risk of failure and eternal loss.”

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