Immediately after the baptism of Jesus he went up into a mountain in the wilderness to study God’s plan and to meditate upon it, that he might be instructed in the way that Jehovah would have him go; and when this season of forty days was ended and he came forth, he was subjected to a great temptation by the devil. Jesus resisted all of these efforts of Satan. (Luke 4:1-13) Jesus, the head of the seed of promise, was the target of Satan’s instruments. For three and a half years he suffered daily at the hands of Satan and those who represented him, namely, those human beings who possessed the devilish spirit. During that period of three and a half years he was indeed a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; but all this suffering was necessary for his perfection as a new creature. (Hebrews 5:8,9) Because of his faithfulness, his fidelity and loyalty to God even unto death, he won the great victory, became an overcomer. Hence we read: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”. (Philippians 2:9-11) The members of the body of Christ, the members of the church, must follow in his footsteps.—1 Peter 3:21.
While the selection of the new creation began with the baptism of Jesus, God had foreordained long in advance that there should be a church, of which Jesus Christ is the head. St. Paul wrote: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.”—Ephesians 1:4-9.