Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices – Proof and the First Device

Brooks begins by proving that Satan has “devices” by which he tempts people. He points us to Ephesians 6:11 – “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” God would not have commanded us to put on armor if it weren’t absolutely necessary. Brooks notes that the word translated, “wiles” points to a snare or a trap that is set behind someone or comes upon them quickly. He also calls it “waylaying”, in that the word points to crafty people taking every advantage they can get to capture their prey. Satan’s wiles are crafty and deceitful traps that are designed to surprise and ensnare people. Brooks notes that by these deceptive traps, “Satan [does] more hurt in his sheep’s skin than by roaring like a lion.”

Brooks also points to 2 Tim. 2:26 – “And that they might recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” The word translated “to recover” points to one who awakens from sleep or drunkenness. The word translated “to take captive” means to be taken alive. In a military context it refers to a prisoner of war. Satan’s devices aim to not only ensnare or trip up but to take people captive as slaves to do his bidding.

Having proved that Satan has devices to ensnare us, he moves to the first device: “To present the bait and hide the hook.”

Satan will “present the sweet, the pleasure, and the profit that may flow in upon the soul yielding to sin–and to hide from the soul the wrath and misery that will certainly follow committing of sin.” Satan baits sin by showing how good or pleasurable or wonderful the sin will feel or be while hiding any negative consequence of that sin. Brooks points us to Genesis 3 and the fall of our first parents. Satan promised that Adam & Eve would not die but have their eyes opened and be like God.

Brooks describes how this device operates:

There is an opening of the eyes of the mind to contemplation and joy–and there is an opening of the eyes of the body to shame and confusion. He promises them the former–but intends the latter, and so Satan cheats them–giving them an apple in exchange for a paradise, as he deals by thousands now a days.

In short, Satan never puts forth a temptation of the form, “Eat this and you will die”, but rather “Eat this and you will be like God.” The subtle deception entices our thoughts and imaginations and we are deceived from seeing what is really being offered.

For remedies, consider:

  1. Keep at the greatest distance from sin (Rom. 12:9). “The best course to prevent falling into the pit is to keep at the greatest distance from it; he who will be so bold as to attempt to dance upon the brink of the pit, may find by woeful experience that it is a righteous thing with God that he should fall into the pit.”
  2. Consider that sin is but a bitter sweet (Job 20:12-14). “That seeming sweet that is in sin will quickly vanish; and lasting shame, sorrow, horrow, and terror will come in the room (place) thereof … Many eat that on earth what they digest in hell… Adam’s apple was a bitter sweet; Esau’s bowl of stew was a bitter sweet; the Israelite’s quails a bitter sweet… Men must not think to dance and dine with the devil, and then to sup with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven…”
  3. Solemnly to consider that sin will usher in the greatest and the saddest losses that can be upon souls.
  4. Seriously to consider that sin is of a very deceitful and bewitching nature. “Sin is from the greatest deceiver, it is a child of [Satan’s] own begetting, it is the ground of all the deceit in the world, and it is in its own nature exceeding deceitful… It will with Delilah smile upon us, that it may betray us into the hands of the devil, as she did Samson into the hands of the Philistines. Sin gives Satan a power over us, and an advantage to accuse us and to lay claim to us… Sin so bewitches the soul, that it makes the soul call evil good, and good evil; bitter sweet and sweet bitter, light darkness and darkness light… a man bewitched with sin had rather lose God, Christ, heaven, and his own soul–than part with his sin.”

We must seriously consider that the least sin will damn any of us; that is promises life and happiness, threatens pain and sorrow, but cannot deliver any of its promises. Sin has the worst credit rating in the world! We must see sin for what it is — not to judge if something is “right in our own eyes” but on the basis of what God has revealed to us in His Word and by His Spirit. Satan approaches Adam & Eve with, “Did God say…?” and the only way we see through these devices is by knowing, believing, and acting upon what God has said.

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