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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

The adversary affected to disbelieve this, and to suppose that, if God would just leave him in the position of any other man, he would distrust Him; and eat of the world's forbidden fruit, by embracing all it would afford him.

Thus, the adversary may be supposed to have moved the Lord to permit him to put the fidelity of Jesus to the test.

God, therefore, allowed the experiment to be tried; and by His spirit sent him into the wilderness for the purpose.

So the adversary went forth from the presence of the Lord, and came to him there.

Having arrived at the crisis when Jesus was suffering from the keenest hunger, the adversary assumed the character of an angel, or messenger of light to him.

Being acquainted with "the law and the testimony," for which he knew Jesus had a profound regard, he adduced it in support of his suggestions.

He invited him to gratify the cravings of the flesh by helping himself.

He was God's son; but then his Father seemed to have abandoned him; why not therefore use the power he possessed, whose presence in him was of itself a proof of God's approval of its exercise, and "command that the stones be made bread"?

But Jesus disregarded the reasoning; and set it aside by "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God".

Failing in this, the scene of the temptation was then removed to "the pinnacle of the temple"; and, as Jesus fortified himself by the word, the adversary determined to be even with him; and in appealing to the pride of life, so strong in the nature laid upon him, to strengthen himself with the testimony likewise.

"If thou be the son of God, as thou proudly assumest to be, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone".

But Jesus met him with "Again it is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God".

Lastly, the scene was shifted to a lofty mountain.

From this position, by the power granted him, he showed Jesus "all the kingdoms of the world," visible from that elevation; "and the glory of them".

He knew that Jesus was destined to possess them all; but that he was also to obtain them through suffering.

Jesus knew this, too.

Now, as the flesh dislikes suffering, the tempter proposed to gratify the desire of his eyes by giving him all he saw, on the easy condition of doing homage to him as the god of the world.

"All this power," said he, "will I give thee, and the glory of them; for that is delivered to me, and to whomsoever I will, I give it.

If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine".

But Jesus resisted the enticement; and said, "Get thee hence, adversary: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve".

"Having ended all the temptation he departed from him for a season".

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.

In this manner, then, was he put to the proof in all things according to the likeness of his nature to ours, but without transgression.