Well, hey, thanks again for sending in questions related to our recent sermons. As we go through the Book of Mark, we have encountered numerous demons or people accusing Jesus of being evil. And so this last week we, we encountered a man who had been possessed by a demon and we talked about really the dangers of evil and how Satan, how demons can still tempt and lure us as Christians. Even though we would say we cannot really be possessed by a demon, if we are Christians, we can still be influenced in some ways. So the question comes in this week, how is it that demons can influence us?
How does that actually happen? And so to answer that, I’m going to turn back nearly 400 years to 1652. There was a book published called Satan’s or Twelve Precious Remedies to Satan’s Devices. It’s written by Thomas Brooks. Since it was written in 1652, it is way out of copyright.
You could find it online for free and you probably find it on Amazon if you want a hard copy as well. But it’s a very large book. So this is a brief summary. I’m only going to give you Satan schemes. If you want to know the remedies, find the book.
But here is just some examples of Satan’s schemes which are ways that we can be influenced by evil as Christians. Thomas Brooks says by presenting the bait and hiding the hook. He said that in 1652. Still pretty relevant today. Sin looks fantastic until you take a bite of it, right?
He says by painting sin with virtues colors that would be the this is bad, but I’ve got to do it for the greater good. I’m really doing something good here. Even if it’s something evil. He says by presenting God to the Soul as one made up of all mercy. So it’s just like, I can do this.
God will forgive me, who cares? It’s okay. By presenting to the Soul that repentance is easy and therefore the Soul need not scruple about sinning, I’ll just ask for forgiveness later. Simple. I can do this.
By making the Soul bold to venture upon the occasions of sin, the I’m going to do this. I know it’s wrong, but I’m just going to go ahead with it anyway. By representing to the Soul the outward mercies enjoyed by men walking in their sin and their freedom from outward miseries. We see people living in sin and we think, wow, it’s going great for them. Why don’t I just do that?
By causing saints to compare themselves in their ways with those reputed to be worse than themselves, we might be sinning, but we can always find someone who’s sinning worse. And so we say, mine isn’t that big a deal because look at that guy over there. By leading men to choose wicked company, surrounding ourselves with influences that will draw us away from God in a different section of his book. These are satan’s devices to keep souls from holy duties or to hinder souls in holy services like to keep them away from doing what God wants you to do. It’s by presenting the World in such a way to as a garb see, some of these words we don’t use anymore.
1652 by presenting the World in such a garb as to ensnare the soul makes it look really good out there. By presenting to the soul the difficulty of doing religious duties it’s so hard for God for me to do what God wants me to do. By presenting the view of the fewness and the poverty of those who hold to religious practices we look at people following God and we’re like wow, that looks hard, that looks like it’ll make me poor. That looks difficult, I don’t want to do it. By showing saints that the majority of men make light of God’s ways and walk in their own hearts nobody follows God.
Really? It’s okay if I don’t. Where do all these thoughts come from? This is Thomas Brooks point and if he’s writing this in 1652 and we have all these same thoughts today, it should really clue us in to there is some force outside of us that is speaking, that is enticing, that is luring us away from where God wants us to be a different category. Satan’s device is to keep saints in a sad, doubting, questionable, uncomfortable condition by causing saints to remember their sins more than their savior look at everything I’ve done.
It’s bigger than Jesus, right? By suggesting to saints that the conflict in them is also found in hypocrites and profane souls, right? Like I’ve failed. Look at these other people who failed. I’m every bit as bad as them.
God could never want me. By reminding the saint of his frequent relapses into sin and formerly repented of and prayed against it’s, keeping us in guilt and shame by reminding us what we’ve done in the past and not experiencing the freedom of forgiveness in Christ do any of these sound familiar to you? I bet they do. They sound familiar to me. The evil forces against us are the evil forces that have always been against God’s people and we would be wise to understand them as evil as not leading us to Christ and to pray for his rescue of us.
If you’re interested in those remedies again, it’s twelve remedies against or precious remedy. I don’t know where I got twelve. It might be twelve precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks in 1652. Hope that’s helpful and we will see you next time.