Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices

SATAN’S DEVICES TO DRAW THE SOUL TO SIN

  1. By presenting the bait and hiding the hook [4 remedies]
  2. By painting sin with virtue’s colors [4remedies]
  3. By the extenuating and lessening of sin [7 remedies]
  4. By showing to the soul the best men’s sins and by hiding from the soul their virtues, their sorrows, and their repentance [3 remedies]
  5. By presenting God to the soul as One made up all of mercy [5 remedies]
  6. By persuading the soul that repentance is easy and that therefore the soul need not scruple about sinning [6 remedies]
  7. By making the soul bold to venture upon the occasions of sin [2 remedies]
  8. By representing to the soul the outward mercies enjoyed by men walking in sin, and their freedom from outward miseries [8 remedies]
  9. By presenting to the soul the crosses, losses, sorrows and sufferings that daily attend those who walk in the ways of holiness [7 remedies]
  10. By causing saints to compare themselves and their ways with those reputed to be worse than themselves [3 remedies]
  11. By polluting the souls and judgments of men with dangerous errors that lead to looseness and wickedness [7 remedies]
  12. By leading men to choose wicked company [4 remedies]

SATAN’S DEVICES TO KEEP SOULS FROM HOLY DUTIES, TO HINDER SOULS IN HOLY SERVICES, TO KEEP THEM OFF FROM RELIGIOUS PERFORMANCES

  1. By presenting the world in such a garb as to ensnare the soul [7 remedies]
  2. By presenting to the soul the dangers, losses and sufferings that accompany the performance of certain religious duties [5 remedies]
  3. By presenting to the soul the difficulty of performing religious duties [5 remedies]
  4. By causing saints to draw false inferences from the blessed and glorious things that Christ has done [5 remedies]
  5. By presenting to view the fewness and poverty of those who hold to religious practices [6 remedies]
  6. By showing saints that the majority of men make light of God’s ways and walk in the ways of their own hearts [3 remedies]
  7. By casting in vain thoughts while the soul is seeking God or waiting on God [7 remedies]
  8. By tempting Christians to rest in their performances [4 remedies]

SATAN’S DEVICES TO KEEP SAINTS IN A SAD, DOUBTING, QUESTIONING AND UNCOMFORTABLE CONDITION

  1. By causing saints to remember their sins more than their Savior, yes, even to forget and neglect their Savior [6 remedies]
  2. By causing saints to make false definitions of their graces [4 remedies]
  3. By causing saints to make false inferences from the cross actings of Providence [4 remedies]
  4. By suggesting to saints that their graces are not true, but counterfeit [2 remedies]
  5. By suggesting to saints that the conflict that is in them is found also in hypocrites and profane souls [6 remedies]
  6. By suggesting to the saint who has lost joy and comfort that his state is not good [5 remedies]
  7. By reminding the saint of his frequent relapses into sin formerly repented of and prayed against [6 remedies]
  8. By persuading saints that their state is not good nor their graces sound [3 remedies]

SATAN’S DEVICES TO DESTROY AND ENSNARE ALL SORTS AND RANKS OF MEN IN THE WORLD DEVICES AGAINST THE GREAT AND HONORABLE OF THE EARTH


  1. By causing them to seek greatness, position, riches and security [6 remedies]
  2. By causing them to act against the people of the Most High [5 remedies]

DEVICE AGAINST THE LEARNED AND THE WISE

By moving them to pride themselves on their parts and abilities, and to despise men of greater grace but inferior abilities [4 remedies]

DEVICE AGAINST THE SAINTS

By dividing them and causing them to ‘bite and devour one another.’ [12 remedies]

DEVICE AGAINST POOR AND IGNORANT SOULS

By causing them to affect ignorance and to neglect and despise the means of knowledge [4 remedies]

FIVE MORE OF SATAN’S DEVICES

  1. 
By suggesting to men the greatness and vileness of their sins [8 Remedies]
  2. By suggesting to sinners their unworthiness [4 Remedies]
  3. By suggesting to sinners their want of certain preparations and qualifications [3 Remedies]
  4. By suggesting to sinners that Christ Is unwilling to save them [6 Remedies]
  5. By causing sinners to give more attention to the secret decrees and counsels of God than to their own duty [2 Remedies]

Adapted from Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks. [download PDF] It’s time to read a classic book. There is nothing like an old Puritan book from the 1600’s!.

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Matters of the Heart: what God says about the core of man

The Bible is says followers of Jesus Christ are to live in a way that reflects Him. A Christian is a “little Christ.” This can be a difficult role to fulfill especially when other people, even Christians are not acting, speaking or living for Christ. How do I live in a dirty rotten world? How Can I shine the light in a dark world? What is God’s view of self, success, & stuff? Does it matter what I do with my free time? So how do I live in the world, but not become like the world? What is the matter with my heart?

the heart of the matter

What is the heart? The heart is not just a muscle that pumps blood, the shape of a card you receive on Valentines Day, nor where romantic feelings come from. It is said that you cannot understand a human until you understand the heart. The Bible describes the heart as your inner man [spirit, soul, mind, emotions, passions, will, etc.]. The heart is the real you, where your beliefs affect your behavior. It is the control center of a your life. [Read More]

key to understanding your heart

Have you ever had a set of keys that you just did not know what they unlocked? I use to have a small box of mysterious keys I no longer knew what they unlocked. I still keep many of them around just in case I have a door or padlock that I cannot open. Hopefully you are not missing a key to something important that I’ve borrowed and forgot to give back to you? It is frustrating not having a key to unlock something valuable to you [i.e. home, car, safe, etc.]. Sometimes it might feel like your heart is locked and you do not have the right key to understand. [Read More]

Heart Distracters & Hardeners

God, you really didn’t mean to say that?

What does it really mean not to love the world? What does it mean for me? Does it mean I have to give up listening to unchristian music, R-rated movies, MTV, video games, making lots of money, gossip magazines, or my short shorts? If you were really honest you don’t want the answers, especially from a 2000-year-old book that may seem out of touch with today’s culture and trends. [Read More]

i love the world

John says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world.” [1 John 2:15] But then in another place John says, “For God so loved the world…” [John 3:16] and Jesus says, “As [God] sent Me into the world, so I have sent [believers] into the world.” [John 17:18] So on one hand, I am not supposed to love the world, but God loves the world. And on the other hand, I am not supposed to love things in the world, but Jesus sends His followers to live in the world. Okay, let’s decipher and answer: What is the world? Should or shouldn’t I love the world? How can I love the world? [Read More]

the colossal compromise

Compromise is a part of life. Everyday you are faced with decisions where you have to give up something good for another good. Do I study or do I play soccer? Do I visit this family member or do I visit this old friend? Do I go out to eat for pizza or a hamburger? Do we go on vacation to the beach or the mountains? Compromise is simply changing the question to fit the answer. Sometimes you cannot have both and you must compromise. Sometimes compromising is not this simple. Sometimes compromises can have a great affect on you and others depending on which option you choose. Sometimes people compromise deep-rooted beliefs or sacrifice morals to get what they want. [Read More]

lead me not into temptation

Temptation is something every human faces. Temptation in and of itself is not sin, but it is the first stage towards sinning. Temptation comes at you like blazing arrows at from Satan, the world, and your wicked heart. Your only vaccination to combat the constant nagging attacks of temptation is using the Word of God and loving Jesus Christ. Jesus was tempted, but did not sin [Hebrews 4:15-16]. Therefore, He knows the full weight of temptation because He did not give into it. [Read More]

hypocrisy

In the early days of acting a hypocrite was considered a good term. It described an actor who could put on many different faces or masks. Actors in the Greek theatre wore masks depicting an emotion. The masks were large, often twice the size of an actor’s face, so they could be easily seen. The Jews used the word hypocrite to describe a liar, deceiver, two-faced, or one who hid his true nature behind a mask. [Read More]

the spiritual war and your enemy

From the beginning to the end of Jesus’ ministry he warned, overturned, taught, and fought against spiritual foes. Much of Jesus’ ministry portrayed power encounters, exorcisms, and exposes a real supernatural warfare in this world. Since, spiritual warfare is real, how do we deal with it? [Read More]

7 important truths about temptation

1. God is not subjected to temptation and is not the source of temptation [James 1:13].

2. Temptation comes from lusts [James 1:14], covetousness [Proverbs 28:20; 1 Timothy 6:9,10], the devil—the author of temptation [1 Chronicles 21:1; Matthew 4:1; John 13:2; 1 Thessalonians 3:5], and evil associates—the instruments of temptation [Proverbs 1:10; 7:6; 16:29].

3. Often temptations come from poverty [Proverbs 30:9; Matthew 4:2,3], prosperity [Proverbs 30:9; Matthew 4:8], seeking worldly glory [Numbers 22:17; Daniel 4:30; 5:2; Matthew 4:8], distrusting God’s providence [Matthew 4:3], presumptions [Matthew 4:6], worshiping the god of this world [Matthew 4:9] and often strengthened by the perversion of God’s word [Matthew 4:6].

4. God permits temptation as a trial of faith [1 Peter 1:7; James 1:2,3], disinterestedness [Job 1:9-12] continual conformity to the nature of man [1 Corinthians 10:13], and often ends in sin [1Timothy 6:9; James 1:15].

5. Christ endured temptation from the devil [Mark 1:13], endured temptation from the wicked [Matthew 16:1; 22:18; Luke 10:25], resisted temptation by the Word of God [Matthew 4:4, 7,10], overcame temptation [Matthew 4:11], sympathizes with those under temptation [Hebrews 4:15], is able to help those under temptation [Hebrews 2:18], and intercedes for his people under temptation [Luke 22:31,32; John 17:15]. Christ keeps faithful believers from the hour of temptation [Revelation 3:10].

6. God will not subject believers to temptation beyond what their powers can bear and will make a way for believers to escape out of temptation [1 Corinthians 10:13]. God enables the believers to bear temptation. God knows how to deliver believers out of temptation [2 Peter 2:9].

7. Believers should resist temptation in faith [Ephesians 6:16; 1 Peter 5:9], keep watch against temptation [Matthew 26:41; 1 Peter 5:8], pray to be kept from temptation [Matthew 6:13; 26:41], not to tempt others [Romans 14:13], restore those overcome by temptation [Galatians 6:1], avoid the way of temptation all together [Proverbs 4:14,15], have strength through the weakness of the flesh [Matthew 26:41], may be in heaviness through temptation [1 Peter 1:6], and are rewarded for overcome temptation [James 1:2-4,12]. Professors of Christ fall away in time of temptation because they never really possessed Christ [Luke 8:13].

Biblical examples temptation: Eve [Genesis 3-5], Joseph [Genesis 39], Balaam [Numbers 22:17], Achan [Joshua 7:21], David [2 Samuel 11], Jeroboam [1 Kings 15:30], Peter [Mark 14:67-71], and Paul [2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Galatians 4:14].

lead me not into temptation

Computer viruses are almost like human viruses. Computer viruses have memories, can be caught anytime or anywhere, they can even be lethal to your computers health by sabotaging your files, programs, security system, and causing your hard drive to crash. Computer viruses have cause a lot of damage, cost lot’s money, and caused a lot of frustration from lost information [Solution = Buy a Mac. I just had to throw that in there!].

Temptations are a lot like computer viruses. As followers of Christ, you have incredible foolproof anti-virus software. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, ”No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Before we look at how to handle temptations, let’s look at the sources of our temptations.

What is the Source of My Temptation?

The Tempter. Satan in the Scripture is called, the tempter [Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5]. He is sneaky and sly little serpent. He is like a computer hacker that seeks to cause havoc in your life. He knows when your security system is the weakest. He doesn’t know your wiring quite like God because he is not omniscient. However, he has been around humans for a long time. Therefore, he knows your heart tendencies.[1]

People tend to give into Satan’s lucrative temptations. It is too easy to blame your sin on the serpent. Therefore, when people sin, you will often hear the excuse, “The devil made me do it.” Does the devil really make you do it? Does that devil really cause you to sin? No, you decide to sin. You do not have to choose to sin no matter how enticing it is. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” [James 4:7]

The Heart. The Bible describes the heart as your inner man—the real you—where your beliefs affect your behavior. Your heart is your control center. The Bible says there is something seriously wrong with your heart. Your control center has a glitch in its main frame, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” [Jeremiah 17:9] Your heart is sick and contaminated with a spiritual virus inherited from birth by your first parents in the Garden of Eden.

The World. Your world is warped by sin and temptation. Love for the world begins in the heart. The Bible warns, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.” [1 John 2:15] Worldliness is exalting yourself and excluding God, for the next verse says, “For all that is in the world—the lust of his flesh, the lust of his eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” [1 John 2:16].

The world knows you crave love and affection, fame and fortune, comfort and peace. The world makes it so appetizing you got to have it. And the devil is the world’s best promoter and commercial advertiser because he is the “god of this world.” [2 Corinthians 4:4]. He has corrupted the system by placing a lie in your mind that you are the center of the universe and God is subservient to all your wants and wishes. James 4:4 says contrary, “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself and enemy of God.”

Do you believe Common Lies Concerning your Sin and Temptations?

It is common to believe lies about the temptations you face. 1 Corinthians 10:13, clears up many lies you will have about daily temptations you come across.

LIE #1: “No one else is going through what I’m going through.” Whatever temptation you face is not unique to you. Someone in human history has faced it too. Your temptation is not a “special case.” Satan would love to convince you that it is special so that you do not seek help because no one will understand. Although, a member of your church might not have walked in the shoes of your temptations more than likely they have walked through similar temptations since “no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.” Seek accountability through temptation for a single string by itself is weak, but strings woven together into a cord are strong [1 Corinthians 12].

LIE #2: “God must not care about me, since He caused this temptation.” God is never the cause of temptation [James 1:13-14]. God does not tempt because He is not evil. He allows temptation [Job 1-2] within certain parameters. The Bible is clear; you are tempted by your own desires [James 1]. On the flip side, “God is faithful.” He will help you through temptations, giving you the strength to overcome, and restoring those who fall seeking Him for repentance. Sinners are never beyond God’s ability to restore.

LIE #3: “My temptations are too strong for me to resist.” Temptations do become stronger the more you give in. However, you will never have a temptation too strong you can’t get out because God “will not let you be tempted beyond your ability.” This is a precious promise from God.

Often we interpret this verse to have reference to temptations that test our limits to the extreme. We make the verse say something that is not really there. We use it to create an illustration that the war against Satan and temptation is no problem at all. God, will not cause us to go up against something that we are not eminently qualified to face. And when life throws things at us that are overwhelming, we wonder why our experience doesn’t match our understanding of this verse. It is easy to lose heart. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and forces of darkness [Ephesians 6:12]. He allows us to go up against these enemies, and gives us the resources to engage them and endure through the struggle [Ephesians 6:14-18].

LIE #4: “There is no way out, therefore, I must give in.” God always gives you an escape hatch, “with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” If you do not know a way out, pray. As Jesus taught you to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” [Matthew 6:13; cf. John 14:14; James 4:2] Often our only escape is to endure through it [cf. James 1:12; 1 Corinthians 6:7]. As A.B. Simpson wrote,

“Temptation exercises our faith and teaches us to pray. It is like a military drill and a taste of battle for a young soldier. It puts us under fire and compels us to exercise our weapons and prove their potency. It shows us the recourse of Christ and preciousness of the promises of God. Every victory gives us new confidence in our victorious leader and new courage for the next onslaught of the foe.”[2]

How Can I Overcome Sin, Temptation, and a Wicked Heart?

First, read, know, and rehearse the Word of God. When Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted by Satan, the devil undermined God’s Word, twisting it, and mixing enough truth to make it sound so tasty [Matthew 4:1-11]. Satan is crafty and cleaver with his use of Scripture. Be ready for the devil by reading the Word of God regularly and daily. Don’t just read it, know it, and memorize it. Filling your memory with God’s Word can help you detect tempting viruses. This is why David wrote, “Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” [Psalm 119:11] The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit [Ephesians 6:17]. It is a defensive weapon against the wiles of the devil. Wield it. Train to use it well [1 John 2:5]. Be ready to whip it out for action.

Second, run from sin, Satan, and temptation. There is no sense in sticking around to see if you are strong enough to fight sin on your own. You will lose. Guaranteed. Therefore, run like hell or else hell will have a handle on you. If you hop in a canoe and begin paddling down the Niagara River you will soon find the current moving faster and faster. It is easier to pull out far upstream than just before the falls. There comes a point of no return when you will not have strength in yourself to turn back and fight the current. It is best to not even get into the boat or go near the river. Run.[3]

Third, love your Lord Jesus Christ. When you love Jesus, things of this world and desires of your heart seem shallow compared to the depths of Christ’s riches. Think about the cross of Christ and His love for sinners [1 John 3:16]. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

In conclusion, temptation is something every human faces. Temptation in and of itself is not sin, but it is the first stage towards sinning. Temptation comes at you like blazing arrows at from Satan, the world, and your wicked heart. Your only vaccination to combat the constant nagging attacks of temptation is using the Word of God and loving Jesus Christ. Jesus was tempted, but did not sin [Hebrews 4:15-16]. Therefore, He knows the full weight of temptation because He did not give into it.

Is there hope for me if I have given into temptation and sinned? Yes. Restoration through Christ is possible. You never can go to far from God not to be made right through Christ. Repent of your sin and restore your need of Christ for the strength to endure through temptation. Live victorious because Christ is your sin conquering King. He has crushed your foes upon the cross.

For further reading check out John Owen’s work, Overcoming Sin and Temptation.


[1] 10 Temptation Truths: 1. Satan is a real Enemy; 2. Satan will H.I.T. you (Hungry, Isolated, or Tired); 3. Jesus is your victorious Warrior-King; 4. The Holy Spirit is your power; 5. Biblical truth is your counterpunch; 6. Christ is your identity; 7. Escape is always possible; 8. Satan eventually taps out; 9. Repent whenever you tap out and fight another round; and 10. Life is a battle with many rounds.

[2] A.B. Simpson, Christ and the Bible: The Epistle of James. Christian Publications, Harrisburg, PA. 1886. 9.