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Genesis 3 is the history of the awesome event, which brought the entire human race under the curse of God. We know the history of how Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit; and in so doing, they slighted the authority of God’s Word. The test of Adam’s obedience set forth in this chapter was to prove their reverence for the authority of God’s Word. Satan beguiled Eve, and she began to question God’s authority. The authority of God’s Word is glorious and exalted above all things.

Man was brought under the curse of the broken law. Let’s examine the nature of that curse. The curse proclaimed upon the serpent was the proclamation of the gospel. Notice that the gospel was proclaimed before the curse because outside of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the curse was instant death. Verse 15 says, "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." That was the first prophesy of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This prophesy was that the head of the serpent would be crushed by the heel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Death had now entered the world, but Christ would have the victory over death, the grave, hell, and the power of sin.

The next curse was pronounced unto the woman. "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee," GEN 3:16. We need to analyze this verse to understand it is a curse. On the surface it seems very unlike a curse. That a woman’s desire would be unto her husband would be a most blessed thing on the face of the earth if we could use the literal meaning of the verse. That would not be a curse. To gain a true knowledge of the meaning of the verse, we must go into the original to find the meaning of the word "desire." It comes from the root word "shuwq" in the Hebrew. It means a burning, yearning desire to overflow, to over run, to run over the top of.

Now we can begin to see wherein the curse lies. The woman shall have a yearning, burning desire to overflow, or run over the top of her husband; yet, he is to rule over her! The confusion that we see so predominant in the human race today is the curse of the broken law, "... and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." The women’s liberation movement and the equal rights movement are attempts to fulfill the yearning, burning desire to overflow, run over the top of their husbands. The confusion results from the second half of the curse, "...and he shall rule over thee." The confusion that automatically follows is the curse of the broken law.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is found, there is liberty from this curse of the broken law. The Spirit of the Lord will remove that curse when the woman is in total submission to her husband. She loses that burning, yearning desire to overflow him. The blessed state brought into marriage where the Spirit of the Lord is has been so beautifully illustrated in EPH 5:22-29, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself."

Satan’s promise was that man should be as God. Not only would he not need to submit to the authority of God, but also, man would decide what was right or wrong. We see so much of this curse of the broken law in the churches today. The churches, which are a type of the bride of Christ, want to be governed by a democracy -- a majority vote of what is right or wrong -- rather than submit to the authority of the Word of God. However, as the Lord works grace, He brings the churches to the liberty found in the Spirit of the Lord. In other words, there is a deliverance from the curse of the broken law. The curse is replaced with a loving desire in the heart of the church of Christ to come into submission under the service, authority, and headship of Christ.

We looked at the curse upon the woman. Adam also had his curse. He had to labor by the sweat of his brow. As it is to this day, the land brought forth weeds and thistles. GEN 3:17-19 says, "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

The New Testament church is not excluded from Satan’s crafty tricks. Even those who have been delivered from the curse of the law by becoming part of the flock of Christ are not fully delivered from the crafty designs of Satan. Satan wants to bring the bride of Christ back into the bondage of the broken law through rebellion against the authority of God’s Holy Word. The Apostle Paul warns us in 1CO 10:12, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." Why? Satan goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, Cf. 1PE 5:8.

Every descendant of Adam’s fallen race is exposed to the "wiles of the devil," Cf. EPH 6:11. The word "wiles" comes from the Greek word "enduo" which means "the sly tricks, the beguiling trickery, to lure away." How better can he accomplish this than through a state of confusion by wresting and perverting the Word of God? To get man to rebel against God is to accomplish his purpose of bringing man back into confusion. God’s reward for rebellion is confusion. If you don’t believe that, look at the world today. God sent confusion at Babel as the reward for rebellion. To break their rebellion, God confused their languages, Cf. GEN 11:1-9. Anytime we rebel against God’s authority, we will end up in confusion.

Look around at the churches today. Do you see any in a state of confusion? Ask the local pastor where the confusion comes from. Is he preaching submission to the will of God? Is the pastor guiding his charges to turn from their evil ways and walk in the ways of the Lord? If that message is being faithfully preached, there should be no confusion. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is no confusion, Cf., 2CO 3:17.

GEN 3:1 teaches that Satan appeared in the form of a serpent because, "The serpent was more subtil [subtle, crafty] than any beast of the field." In order to escape being lured away by a flood of mass confusion, each individual must be aware of the sly tricks most commonly used by Satan as recorded in Holy Writ. Old Satan has not changed a bit; he is still just as crafty. That is why it is so important that we search God’s Word to be conscious of his designs. He would like to catch you and me off guard and cause us to rebel against God’s Word. The end result is the flood of mass confusion seen in our day.

As we prayerfully search the Word of God to be aware of Satan’s crafty designs, we should notice that Satan’s first trick in Eden was to cast doubt upon the authority of God’s Word. Satan has never learned any new tricks. This is the very same place he begins in his attempt to trap man today. It is important to search the Word of God that we may be aware of Satan’s crafty tricks. It is awesome how many people today gainsay the Word. They will barter its authority for that of some theologian or other human authority. God’s Word then takes second place, and human reasoning is used to decide what is right or wrong. This puts God’s authority in question, and Satan has the person in the same snare into which Eve fell. One of the subtle approaches used by Satan is to twist one word, thereby losing the meaning of the authority of God’s Word.

GEN 3:4-5 is the first use of Satan’s subtle tricks: "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die…" Satan’s implication was that the threat was not to be taken literally. By adding his private interpretation to God’s Word, he effectually made God the liar instead of himself. He went on to qualify his private interpretation by saying, "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" GEN. 3:5. Satan was denying the literal meaning of God’s Word by his private interpretation as is so often done by the most honored theologians today.

No person on the face of the earth, including the very apostles of Christ who wrote the Scriptures, has ever been given permission to add their own private interpretation to the Word of God. See what we read in 2PE 1:20-21: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." The Scriptures mean exactly what they say. Satan was promoting the usurpation of God’s place in the first chariot. In effect, Satan was trying to sell the idea that God didn’t mean what He said, implying that it was just a scare tactic.

The principle that Satan taught in Eden, that is most common today, is against God’s goodness, teaching that His restrictions are unkind. He wanted Eve to believe, again so common with fallen man today, that a woman should have a right to choose, that God’s prohibition of the one tree was unkind. Satan implied it was beyond His authority.

Satan encouraged rebellion against God with a lie saying in GEN 3:1-7, "Ye shall not surely die," assuring that man would be as God. This principle of freedom from all God’s restrictions would enable them to decide for themselves what was right or wrong. Isn’t this the philosophy of the world today? People say, "Yes, the Bible says this, but what I believe…" or "what I want" is more important. Often these attempts are phrased in the manner of another person’s opinion. "This old writer says...," "That certain commentator says...," or "This certain theological authority says…" are used to explain away the Word of God. We must watch that the Word of God is not altered.

As Satan’s lawful captives, men who hold and teach these broad principles are the authors of the flood of mass confusion in the world today. To escape these "wiles of the devil," we must learn to recognize the easy or ready objects he uses for his attacks. Satan is so crafty that we must understand how he manipulates the human mind. He uses a very easy and available object upon which to focus your mind; it becomes the object of his attack. The Word of God teaches these things so we can be on guard against Satan’s approach.

In Eden, the tree was this object. See how cunningly he devised his approach. Satan’s ambush was laid by the general manner in which he posed his question using God’s Word out of context. He did not attack the forbidden tree; he spoke in general terms to talk about every tree in the Garden. He didn’t want to scare her away by the thought of being caught having the forbidden fruit.

Instead he gets her mind on the tree by posing his question using God’s Word out of context. Satan’s question in GEN 3:1 asks, "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" That was wresting God’s Word! God did not say, "Thou shalt not eat of every tree of the garden." See how Satan used God’s Word out of context; God’s restriction was not to all the trees, but a particular tree. Satan made reference to every tree in the garden in a way that he did not isolate the forbidden tree. His question was framed in such a way that Eve would become defensive and identify the forbidden tree. Now she is the one who brought up the forbidden tree.

GEN 1:29 says, "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Do you see how Satan twisted God’s Words out of context? God did not say, "Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden." By twisting the Word’s of God, Satan accomplished his design. Eve had to remedy this and mention the one tree.

Satan’s broad general approach was to avoid suspicion of his motive. He wanted Eve to covet that tree. He talked about all the trees; she brought it down to one tree. Satan’s second manner of approach is a negative one. "Yea, hath God said." He engaged his victim in a dialogue wherein a suspicion could be cast against God’s Word, His goodness, character and integrity. When we enter into a dialogue with Satan, we are on slippery ground.

Immediately upon gaining control of the human reasoning through dialogue with his victim, Satan casts doubt upon God’s integrity. Satan wants us to reason with him, using his logic. He will make it sound so reasonable. Then Satan zeros in on his target. When Eve answered that they could eat of all the trees of the garden except one, then the devil suddenly zeroed in on just that one tree. She is not on guard because she brought up the subject of the one tree.

Satan said in GEN 3:4-5, "Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Satan has caught Eve in a dialogue, a conversation wherein she is reasoning with the devil. Don’t ever get caught in that trap. Don’t ever get caught in a dialogue with Satan, questioning the Word of God. We read in ROM 1:18, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness."

God gives men over unto themselves to work that which is unseemly for changing His truth into a lie. ROM 1:24-25 says, "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

When Eve reasoned with the devil, the truth was changed into a lie. The forbidden tree was in plain sight; it was in the midst of the garden. GEN 2:9 says, "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

Through Eve’s conversation and human reasoning with the devil, he convinced her of his lie; then it became the object of lust. This was where "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life" (Cf.1JO 2:16) was born. Now Eve looked at the forbidden tree with a lustful eye. Until then the tree held no attraction.

GEN 3:6 tells us, "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

Do you see what happened? Satan caught Eve in a dialogue in which she reasoned with him instead of saying, "Stop wresting the Word of God." The authority of God’s Word must be the end of all controversy.

Oh, beloved, you can never have a dialogue with the devil and win. When we debate with people about the Word of God, even entertaining a conversation with someone that twists or alters the Word of God, we are caught in a dialogue with the devil. We expose ourselves to being deceived like Eve. We can never safely have a dialogue with Satan. Never.

Even Michael the archangel, in JUD 9 said, "when contending with the devil...durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." Michael the archangel would not enter into a conversation with the devil. He would not debate about the body of Moses; he would not reason with Satan. He would not talk with him about it.

Satan is the strong man spoken of in LUK 11:21, "When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace." You and I are not a match for the devil; we cannot reason with him. If we try by saying, "I know the Word, and I...," the next thing we know, we will fall flat on our faces in Satan’s trap.

Thanks be unto God there is a stronger One than Satan, the Lord Jesus Christ, our heavenly High Priest, who can crush the head of Satan. You and I cannot do it, and we must not enter into a dialogue with him because we will end up in his snare.

HEB 4:15 tells us of our heavenly High Priest, " For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Christ was able to withstand Satan. Christ knows his power of fascination of sin and all of Satan’s tricks. Anytime Satan raises his ugly head, we must look unto Christ.

Having been tempted of the devil in all things even as we are, Jesus knows all his devices and is able to deliver us from Satan and all his wiles. Our best and only defense is to flee to Christ.

Isaiah spoke of this salvation in Christ in a prophetic way when he said in ISA 49:24-25, "Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? [You and I can become lawful captives of Satan, willfully serving at his will.] But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children." It is only under that blessed power and rule of Christ that we can escape Satan’s snare.

When we have our faith’s eye on our Blessed Substitute, rebellion is broken in our hearts, and Satan must go. When our eye is fixed on Christ, the power of sin and rebellion is broken. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty--liberty from the power of sin.

JAM 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." In other words, if we entertain a dialogue with Satan, he will overcome us because he is stronger than we are. When we resist the devil, he will flee. How do we resist? We must turn our faces to the Lord Jesus Christ. That ends all dialogue with the devil; all reasoning is ended. We look to Christ in the Word.

Beloved, Scripture teaches repeatedly that when we become strong in our own faith, we give occasion to the devil. When we feel strong in ourselves, we are in danger. 1CO 10:12 says, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." We put ourselves in slippery places when we feel strong enough to stand. At no time are we sufficient unto ourselves.

When we are in our right place we can say with the hymn writer:

"I need Thee every hour, Stay Thou near by;
Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh.
I need Thee, O I need Thee, Ev-’ry hour I need Thee!
O bless me now, my Saviour- I come to Thee."

That is the frame of mind we need. We must beware of Satan’s occasions which he uses to snare us. As with Eve, he sought an occasion when he found her alone, out from under the umbrella of her husband’s protection. We need to have our wife or husband with us.

One time I saw a man and a woman flirting with trouble. I told the man that if he had his wife with him, the occasion would not arise. I admonished him quite sharply. Six months later he stood before the church and confessed to committing adultery with that woman. His excuse was that his wife didn’t know how to play racquetball, but his companion did. My reply was to teach his wife the skills she needed to accompany him, or stay home. Satan loves to use such occasions. If we see such an occasion before us, that gives opportunity to the devil for sin, we must flee from the occasion. Satan caught Eve alone, and he used that occasion. A man does not belong alone any more than a woman does. We should have our spouses with us; it is not good for each to go his own way, doing his own things.

Whenever the bride of Christ is near Him, feeling her need of her Heavenly Bridegroom, Satan can only flee apace. Only when we wander away from Christ, our Husband, do we give occasion to the devil. The church is the bride, and we must not stray away from Christ, His Word, or His fellowship.

One of Satan’s most common ambushes is a feeling of independence.

Today, many families are broken because the women want to be independent. They do not want to be dependent upon their husbands for the groceries; they want a courier, they want to have a baby sitter, and they want to be independent. It is destroying the homes. It is the occasion Satan loves. Any feeling of a desire to be independent is an occasion for the devil. As 1CO 10:12 says, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." When we think we can stand alone, we are a standing target for the devil.

Peter thought he could stand when he said in MAT 26:33, "Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended." Peter thought he had great strength in himself. It presented Satan with a tremendous occasion to catch him off guard. When Peter came to where he thought he could stand, he became ripe for Satan’s attack. That was when Jesus withdrew His restraining grace and told Peter in LUK 22:31, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat." Peter was strong in himself leaving an occasion for Satan’s attack; he didn’t need the Saviour to be his protector. He was going to stand up for his Saviour. He learned his lesson didn’t he? When he was cursing and swearing, denying he ever knew the man, the cock crowed; then Peter knew he had fallen and repented. Satan sifted Peter as the wheat.

Another one of Satan’s prime occasions for temptation is idle time. Did you know that pride, fulness of bread, and idleness were the chief sins of Sodom? EZE 16:49 says, "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

For these three sins, the Lord gave them over unto themselves to work that which is unseemly--men with men and women with women, Cf. ROM 1:22-32. This sodomy was the judgment God sent upon them for these three sins. The main occasion Satan used to bring about their destruction was idleness. Idle time is a tremendous occasion for Satan.

Does this mean that upon retirement we may waste our time in idleness? We can be snared even if we are sitting on the throne with David. When we find ourselves unoccupied is when we most often begin to entertain a dialogue with the devil, i.e., our hearts begin to entertain evil thoughts.

David should have been out with his army, but he tarried at home and became unoccupied. That was Satan’s occasion for temptation. 2SA 11:2 says, "And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon." What does this teach us? It teaches us that David had been idle the whole day; he didn’t arise from his bed until evening. He spent the whole day just lying in bed, and when he wandered out upon the roof, Satan used the occasion. David saw a beautiful woman, and lust became his snare.

The woman was the object Satan used to draw David into a dialogue. Satan uses objects. The woman was the object Satan used to instill lust. "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death," JAM 1:15.

Now watch how the dialogue takes place with Satan wherein lust is conceived. David saw the woman, she was beautiful to look upon, and David began to reason. What happened? If David had not entertained Satan at this point with those evil lustful thoughts, Satan’s snare would have been broken. The object was the woman, but by his evil thoughts, lust was conceived, and became Satan’s snare.

Let’s consider some of Satan’s other devices. We are called upon to search the Scriptures. 2CO 2:11 says, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." The Scriptures are full of Satan’s devices; they teach us how Satan operates. We are not to be ignorant of these devices. The apostle Paul teaches a very important principle where he taught the importance of not being "ignorant of [Satan’s] devices."

Satan’s first victory over man was by perverting God’s Holy Word, and he deceives his millions for hell by this very deceit today. The other day I was talking to a man who was trying to prove to me that the seventh day was still the Sabbath. He took the writings of another man to show me. When he got all done, I said, "Now wait a minute. Hold it. Scripture says in ACT 20:7, "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." The man took Scripture, wrapping verses around each other, until he thought he’d proved it was not the first day of the week. So I told the man he had not proved me a liar, but he turned the Word of God into a lie. That is Satan’s device.

Some people take single words or verses of Scripture out of context, plant them together, and twist the Word of God into a lie. Satan’s first victory was accomplished just that way. His deceit continues to this day.

God teaches that Satan’s crafty, beguiling trickery is exposed in the Scriptures, and we are to search out these teachings. We are not to remain ignorant of Satan’s devices. God’s Word teaches us the basic method of detecting Satan’s methods of deceit and attack. We are also given instruction on how to combat Satan. We must understand and never forget that the devil in Genesis 3 is still the same devil today. He never changes, even though he is now armed with centuries of practice.

If Satan was able to lay his ambush before Adam and Eve, beguile them while in the state of perfection, how much more now in the present maimed condition? Satan took God’s Word out of context. GEN 3:1 says. "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Do you see his little twist? I could explain that in a way that you’d believe that is exactly what God said. The implication is that every tree was not to be eaten. The end result of such reasoning is a lie. Satan still perverts the Word of God today to accomplish his goals.

If that fall could have happened when man was in a state of perfection, don’t think it couldn’t happen today if we hold a dialogue with those who want to twist the Word of God. The Apostle Paul warned us in COL 2:8, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men..." We are responsible to search Scripture, so "...we are not ignorant of his devices."

As previously stated, the apostle warned us, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall," 1CO 10:12. When we think we are strong enough to stand, we become one of Satan’s prime occasions. We must flee to the Shepherd, Christ, as our only strength. If Adam and Eve could not stand against Satan in their perfection, who are we to think we have any hope of succeeding? We need to heed the Apostle’s admonition in EPH 6:10-12, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord [Jesus Christ], and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God [Christ, the Word], that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God [Do you know what that is? It is Christ!], that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day."

There is a power in Satan’s devices. A serpent has a power of fascination. I have personally watched a serpent swallow a toad alive. When the victim has its eye upon the eye of the serpent, the power of fascination totally incapacitates that creature. It cannot move, and the serpent will literally swallow them alive. As I watched, the toad was shaking and trembling while the serpent slowly moved its mouth around him and swallowed him alive. The only way that toad could have escaped was if something came between them and broke the line of sight.

We must understand the principle of the power of fascination. The power of sin lies in the devil’s power of fascination. As long as our eye is fixed upon Satan’s object of lust, we have no power against it. Our eye must be taken off the sin and fix the eye upon the Lord Jesus Christ. "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall," tells us that when we think we can withstand the devil, we are prime targets.

We must flee to Christ "...that (we) may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Do you know what the word ‘principalities’ means? It means kingdoms, power, the power of a king. Satan is the king of terror; he has an ugly power that is able to dominate us. This is the foe. We are wrestling against the powers of hell. We need the whole armour of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our armour to withstand Satan. We see this in ROM 13:14, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Putting on the whole armour of God means putting on Jesus Christ; He becomes our all; it is putting off the lusts of the flesh.

GAL 3:27 says, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Being baptized into Christ is to be "buried with him" into death, dead to sin and the lusts of the flesh, and raised with Him to "walk in newness of life," ROM 6:4.

Our study of Satan’s designs must be two-fold: first, we must study how he draws us into sin, and secondly, how he troubles us for the sin he has drawn us into. First, Satan wants to get us into sin from which the Lord withdraws Himself. Next, he wants to torment us, to bring us into a state of harassment because we became his victim.

How does he draw us into sin? How did he draw Eve there? He picked a suitable object with which to pose his temptation--the tree. We can have a partner as an object and become proud of it. Our hearts can become so set on our children that they become an object of Satan’s devices. We try to do everything in our own strength, believing we do not need the Lord. Some of the things closest to us can become the object of Satan’s trap. We can lose sight of the fact that we need the Lord.

We can become so involved in the everyday tasks we are doing, such as raising our children, that we lose sight of the fact that we need the Lord to work grace in their hearts. We cannot save our own children from the power of sin. We need the Lord’s quickening grace so our eyes remain on the Lord. Then we do with our might what our hands find to do in the Lord.

As soon as Satan was able to engage Eve into a dialogue about his object of temptation, her eyes were fixed upon that tree with evil desires. Before that, the tree held no special interest or desire. Then she saw with an evil eye, "That the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise," GEN 3:6.

Before a man is drawn into sin, he must behold the object. When his heart embraces the object Satan has placed in front of him, he is ripe to become a victim--Satan’s victim and a victim of that sin.

Jesus said in MAT 5:28, "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Remember the illustration I used earlier? The man was enticed by this woman. They played racquetball together, but I could see by the expression in her eye that there was a lot more going on than a game of racquetball. It was obvious there was an attraction to each other. I warned them they were setting themselves up for Satan’s trap. When our eyes become fixed on an object of lust, our heart will begin to embrace it. Then we are ready to fall. Jesus says that if we look in lust, we are already falling.

Satan’s first device is to place mental objects before the mind’s eye, and then focus his conversation, i.e., the thoughts and lusts of our hearts, around that object. Identifying the object is the first step. Then the heart becomes entangled.

How must we come against such crafty devices? The great question is, do you want to entertain a conversation with the devil? Will you allow your heart and your thoughts to entertain human reasoning? If you know the object is forbidden, you know enough to flee to the Lord. Entertaining those thoughts is entering into a dialogue with the devil.

JAM 4:7-8 says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." There is the cure, the formula for ousting Satan. When Scripture speaks about our conversation, it means that which traffics our minds as well as that which proceeds from our mouth. The heart’s desires, the thoughts, and intents of the heart are included.

JAM 3:13-18 says, "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, [by letting it traffic your mind], glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish." How do we identify this earthly wisdom? We must look at the conversation of our minds and hearts. If the heart is filled with bitter and evil thoughts, be careful. Satan has a trap, and he knows how to snap the snare shut. We can fall so quickly. If our hearts are filled with such thoughts, Satan already has the object and the dialogue in place; all that is left is to close the snare around the victim.

Whenever Satan strikes up such a conversation in our hearts through "...bitter envying and strife," the only escape is to stop entertaining this dialogue with the devil and turn our eyes unto our blessed Redeemer. We must stop entertaining the bitterness and evil thoughts. Why? When the eye is fixed on the blessed Redeemer, thoughts will turn to how He paid our debts, suffered patiently, and now provides a refuge for us. When we begin to understand what Christ came to do, all the bitter, evil thoughts flee because we find we have not one stone left to throw at another person.

Remember the Pharisees who came to Jesus with a woman worthy of capital punishment for her crime? What did our Saviour say? "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." And what was the result? "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst," JOH 8:7-9. When the Lord opened their eyes to see but a glimpse into their own hearts, they didn’t have a stone left to throw at her.

Hearts filled with thoughts of our Redeemer have no room left for bitterness or evil thoughts. Our eye of faith sees our blessed Redeemer hanging on the cross, saying, "...Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do..." LUK 23:34. If you have faith to believe that your sins were forgiven when Jesus said that prayer (because it was your sins that nailed Him to that accursed tree), when this fills our hearts and minds, there is no room for bitterness.

How is the best way for us to get rid of bitterness, envyings, and strife? Forgive. Why? If we forgive others, our heavenly Father will forgive us. 2CO 2:10-11 says, " in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." Forgive it in Christ. Why? We can see the debt Christ has forgiven us; we can forgive the brother who has offended us. Pray for that person. Forgive him or her. Our hearts bleed when someone comes against us personally. We must take our eyes off the object of Satan’s devices and turn them unto the faith of Jesus Christ.

If a brother comes against you while you are living in the Spirit of Christ, Satan’s occasion for strife and envy in your heart will only miscarry. Such sins have no place in your heart. Your heart turns to the throne of grace asking that the Lord would forgive the poor man. Forgiveness, in the person of Christ, is the key to keeping Satan from taking advantage and closing his snare upon me. In Christ, it is possible to conquer Satan; He is the whole armour of God against Satan’s crafty designs.

Now take notice of the Lord’s Prayer. MAT 6:12 says, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Has your heart ever trembled at the thought of reciting the Lord’s Prayer? Mine has! When I have to come before the Lord, asking for forgiveness, knowing it is the quality of forgiveness I give, I can see it is not a full, 100% forgiveness. Then we need to plead, "Oh, Gracious Father, forgive my unforgiving spirit!" There is no room to harbor any bitterness. Do we dare recite the Lord’s Prayer? Turn now to verses 14-15, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Does Satan come with his crafty designs to build bitterness and evil envyings and strife in your heart? Forgive. Forgive in the person of Christ!! 2CO 2:10-11 says, " in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." Amen.

These on-lines sermons are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a daily devotion. For a list of sermons on cassette please visit our on-line tape catalog. See also, our sermon notes.

We pray this sermon has been a blessing to those who read it. If you share this sermon with a friend, please let us know. Thank you.

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