​​Chapter Four

1          3 Spirit of Prophecy p231

2          James 1:13.

3          Manuscript Release No.14 p334.

4          Hebrews 4:15.

5          Signs of the Times. 09.05.1900.

6          1 Selected Messages p255.

7          Bible Echo and Signs of the Times. 02.01.1893.

8          The Desire of Ages p24.

9          Philippians 2:7.

10        3 Selected Messages p129.130.

11        Manuscript Release 16. p181.

12        Selected Messages p408.409.

13        5 Bible Commentary p1130.

14        2 Spirit of prophecy p39.

15        1 Selected Messages p256.

16        The Desire of Ages p49.

17        Luke 1:35.  5 Bible Commentary p1128.

18        7 Bible Commentary p925.

19        The Faith I Live By p49.

20         John 8:46.

21         John 14:30.

22      5 Bible Commentary p1128.   The word ‘propensity’, according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary means ‘bent of mind, natural or acquired, inclination disposition to anything good or evil, particularly to evil, as a propensity to sin;  the corrupt propensity of the will’.

23        2 Testimonies p202.

24        3 Selected Messages p131.

25        1 Selected Messages p254.

26        Manuscript Releases 16 p118.

27     2 Spirit of Prophecy p88.  Temptation is not sin, so long as it is immediately repulsed.   But to consider sin – to dwell upon it – in the mind, is to be guilty, and must be repented.

28       The Desire of Ages p19.21.22..

29       Ibid p24.

30       8 Testimonies p207.208.

31       1 Selected Messages p256.

32       Genesis 3:15.

33       Review & Herald. 02.18.1890. 1 Selected Messages p255.

34     ‘Soul’ can mean the whole person, the life, the mind, both in the Old Testament and the New.  Old Testament ‘nephesh’.  See Genesis 2:7. 34:3.8. 35:18. 42:21. 46:22. Leviticus 4:2. 7:18. 22:6.  Deuteronomy 6:5. 11:18. Judges 10:16. 1 Kings 17:21. Job 7:15. Psalm 6:3. 16:10. 19:7. 25:20. 31:9. 40:14. 42:2.5. 49:15. 107:5.   New Testament ‘psuche’.  See Matthew 10:28. 12:18. 26:38. Mark 8:36. Luke 1:46. John 12:27. Acts 2:27. 2:41. 3:23.  Romans 13:1. Hebrews 10:39. 1 Peter 3:20. 2 Peter 2:8. 3 John 2. Revelation 20:4. 

35     Hebrews 4:15.

36      1 Selected Messages p256.

37      Bible Training School. 10.01.1902.

38     5 Bible Commentary p1129.1128.

39      Hebrews 7:26.

40      Review & Herald. 09.01.1891.


Immanuel -- God with Us

Chapter Four

A Human Nature

The Son of God needed to be united to the human family that He might lay down His life.   As God, He was immortal.   His original and unborrowed life was not subject to death, but to come under its power, He needed to be mortal.

Satan well knew the Son of God could not die, and when Peter contradicted His Master regarding the approaching crucifixion, it was in response to the Deceiver’s intimation.  “Satan suggested to his (Peter’s) mind that if Jesus was the Son of God He could not die.” 1   

Although the devil knew God’s Son could not die, he did not understand the plan of redemption.  As God, Christ could not die, but as a human being, He could consent to lay down His life and be placed in the grave.

The Saviour also needed humanity that He might be tempted.    As a divine being in the heavenly courts, with the nature of God, Christ could not be tempted. 2

But as a human being, Satan and his angels could approach Him with specious temptations.  It was the “human nature of Christ that endured the temptations in the wilderness, not His divine nature.” 3    Thus Christ was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” 4

As a human being, Christ felt His need of strength and grace, and was often found “bowed before His Father as a suppliant, obtaining strength from on high.” 5

Satan constantly watched for an opportunity to triumph over Christ.   He knew, that in His humanity, Jesus could easily be overcome. 

In the wilderness, the devil placed strong temptations before the Saviour, but “Christ was unmoved.   He felt the strength of this temptation, but He met it in our behalf and conquered.” 6

“Jesus sought earnestly for strength from His Father.   He regarded communication with God more essential than His daily food.” 7    He “exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us.” 8

To take the human form was a humbling experience for the Creator, for not only would He become one of His creatures, but He would take man’s nature in its fallen condition.  He “made himself of no reputation, and took the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” 9

The Saviour’s human nature was like our nature.   He was “bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh.” 10   He had a human body and a “human mind with all the peculiar properties.   He was bone, brain and muscle. A man of our flesh, encompassed with the weakness of humanity.” 11

He experienced hunger, thirst and tiredness.   He desired companionship, entering into “every phase of man’s experience.” 12 

Christ “possessed all the human organism.   His necessities were the necessities of a man.   He had bodily wants to be supplied, bodily weariness to be relieved.”  13

His height was “little taller than the common size of men then living upon the earth.” 14   His physique was well-proportioned, but far shorter than that of Adam in Eden.   His strength of muscle was inferior,  and He was “subject to the infirmities and weaknesses by which man is encompassed”. 15

“Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin.  Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity… 

He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.” 16

But in taking man’s nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not partake of its sin.   He was “that holy thing”.   These words “do not refer to any human being, except the Son of the infinite God.” 17

Christ “was born without a taint of sin, but came into the world in like manner as the human family.” 18   He “did not in the least participate in its sin”. 19   

When speaking to the leaders of Israel, Jesus asked, “which of you convinceth me of sin?” 20    Not one of them could condemn Him.  To the disciples He said, “… the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” 21

A brother in our infirmities, Christ “could have sinned;  He could have fallen, but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity.” 22   
“As the sinless One, His nature recoiled from evil.” 23

He “did not possess the same sinful, corrupt, fallen disloyalty we possess, for then He could not be a perfect offering.” 24 

Christ hated sin as no other human being has ever hated it.   He hated it with a “perfect hatred”. 25  

The more Israel’s leaders saw His purity,  the more they followed the suggestions of the enemy to destroy His influence, and finally, to put Him to death.  It was the “…sinlessness of Christ’s humanity that stirred up such Satanic hatred.” 26   

It was not easy for Christ to resist temptation, as every “enticement to evil, which men find so difficult to resist, was brought to bear upon the Son of God in as much greater degree as His character was superior to that of fallen man.” 27 

And He never failed once!

Jesus came to this world “to reveal God both to men and to angels” -- a God of love, not a tyrant who demands obedience to a law that is impossible to keep. 28

The fact that Christ obeyed is our hope.  His life “testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God…  As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience;  as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey.” 29

“Christ came to vindicate the sacred claims of the law.   He came to live a life of obedience to its requirements and thus prove the falsity of the charge made by Satan that it is impossible for man to keep the law of God.”  30

“Could Satan in the least particular have tempted Christ to sin, he would have bruised the Saviour’s head.   As it was, he could only touch His heel.   Had the head of Christ been touched, the hope of the human race would have perished.  Divine wrath would have come upon Christ as it came upon Adam.” 31  

Obviously the word ‘head’ and ‘heel’ refer to the first promise of a Saviour given in the Garden of Eden.  

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” 32

The shame and horror of the passion of Christ is likened to the bruising of His ‘heel’, and the bruising of the serpent’s head, to his demise at the second death.  

The word ‘head’ in the quotation is figurative for Christ’s mind.   It can not be His head, for Satan’s agents did touch Christ’s physical head at the trial.   They spat in His face, pulled out His beard and hair, threw a covering over Him and demanded He prophesy. 

Finally they crowned His sacred head with thorns.  

It was not possible for the devil to touch Christ’s sinless mind.

“Satan did not gain the victory over Christ.  He did not put his foot upon the soul of the Redeemer.  He did not touch the head though he bruised the heel.” 33

In the above quotation, the word ‘head’ and ‘soul’ are obviously synonymous. 34    Both refer to Christ’s mind, His inner being. The Saviour refused to entertain the thought of sin for one moment, He was “tempted in all points, like as we are, yet without sin.” 35

“We should have no misgivings in regard to the perfect sinlessness of the human nature of Christ.” 36   His life of sinlessness is “a complete refutation of Satan’s charges against the character of God.” 37

We are warned against “making Christ altogether human, such a one as ourselves”, and must not leave the “slightest impression upon human minds that a taint, or inclination to corruption rested on Christ, or that He in any way yielded to corruption.” 38   The Saviour was “holy” and “undefiled” at all times.  39 

We stand in awe of the blessed Saviour.

“The crown of thorns He wore, the curse of the cross He suffered – who could have imagined that He, the Son of the infinite God, the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, would bow His righteous soul to such a sacrifice!   For sinners, for sinners, He died.   

Wonder, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth!    The Son of God has died on the shameful cross, that the world might not perish;  He died to bring life, everlasting life, to all who shall believe.”  40