I make no apology for coming back to yet another consideration of the doctrine of the devil. As I have said several times recently, Satan is a real and powerful spirit creature. He has us on his radar, and I am sure that he has been disrupting our efforts to bring glory to the Lord. Certainly, we are not his primary interest, but he doesn’t want us to become more of a threat than we are. He doesn’t want any of us to be on fire for the Lord; that we are Holy Spirit empowered; that we are willing to sacrifice our lives for the Saviour and for the sake of lost souls. Satan wants us to spend our few years here on this planet playing church, using our flesh to serve God.

Before we get into my simple outline for this evening, consider our text and its background. In his First epistle to the Corinthians Paul ripped that church apart for not properly dealing with a sinful member. Later, they apparently did, but when he repented and sought to be restored, the church dragged its feet. Now Paul is forced to exhort the congregation toward forgiveness, restoration and a return to fellowship with the man. Verse 8 – “Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.” In verse 9 he says in effect, “Prove your obedience in all things by being obedient in this thing.” And in this context he says, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

Notice the word “devices” – “We are not ignorant of his devices.” That word reminds me of what Paul says to the Ephesians in chapter 6 – “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the WILES of the devil.” The devil has his devices and his wiles. He has tools, techniques, and extremely crafty tricks. “We are not IGNORANT of his devices.” While that is true, there is the fact that we often forget about Satan and his tools, or we simply don’t pay proper attention to them. Satan may come to us in the way that I picture Ehud greeting Eglon, with his right hand out in a friendly gesture, but “Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly.” Satan comes to us the way Joab, David’s general, met Abner, King Saul’s former general. Abner knew that Joab hated him for killing his brother; he knew his devices, but he forgot about his wiles. “Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him under the fifth rib, that he died.” This is the way that Satan works. These are some his wiles and devices.

This evening let’s consider more of Satan’s wiles – his tools. The devil has a box – a tool kit – filled with instruments similar to what a carpenter might carry to a job. He has drills, hammers, nails, wrenches, wedges and a dozen other items. I know that my outline is simplistic, but I am asking the Lord to make applications which are appropriate and helpful to us all.

In the devil’s box of wiles, there are several WRENCHES of various sizes and varieties.

There are adjustable wrenches, socket wrenches, pipe wrenches, strap wrenches and so on. And what does he do with those things? Their uses are as many as their varieties. Sometimes Satan uses them on the scripture the Christian is reading or hearing preached. He twists the eternal Word of God so the verse isn’t quite tight, or it doesn’t line up with other scriptures. When Peter was talking about the writings of Paul, he pointed out that unlearned and unstable Christians, “WREST (Paul’s words) as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” – II Peter 3:16. From whom did they get the tool to “wrest” or “twist” Paul’s words? It came from Satan’s tool box. When the devil went to Eve, he used this tool to loosen God’s word just a bit: “Yea, hath God said?”

Satan also uses his wrenches directly on us – on God’s saints. Any of us can get “sideways” – emotionally, or intellectually, or in other ways. We are supposed to “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” We are commanded to “set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” But the devil comes along with his wrench around our heart and twists just a little bit – sometimes so incrementally that we don’t feel it. All of a sudden were are looking at ourselves rather than Christ, or we’re staring at the sin of a neighbor.

Another of Satan’s tools is the HAMMER.

Sometimes he puts it into the preacher’s hand, getting that man all fired up with one particular doctrine. It might be about the second coming; it might be the doctrine of the church. Or it might be something social like thoughts about the COVID vaccine; it could be anything. It could be something 100% Biblical, or it could be heretical. It could be positive or it could be negative. Sometimes it really doesn’t matter to the devil what is being hit. But that excited preacher, with Satan’s hammer in his hand, starts pounding on his current favorite theme. Over and over again he hits the nail on its head until the congregation gets a headache. At that point the devil has gotten his job done. While there is a large project needing to be finished – like the whole council of God, or the evangelism of the city – that church has become focused on one little nail. And where there are real problems, like those outlined in Revelation 2 and 3, the angel of the church is only hammering on one thing.

I know that a carpenter sometimes uses a rubber mallet to encourage perfectly cut board into its proper place. And sometimes a sledge hammer is used to break up concrete or something else. But upon what are hammers mostly used? What is their primary purpose? Going back to the image of that hammer coming down over and over again, it is usually for the purpose of driving a nail. And no rational carpenter is going to drive in a nail simply to drive in a nail. It should have a purpose. Usually, a nail is used to bind two items, like two boards, together. And without a doubt even in my illustration this is a good thing. As I said last week, the Apostle John nailed godly living to the soon return of Christ. Sunday I tried to nail the sinfulness of man to the judgment of God. Salvation through the blood of Christ should be nailed to man’s sin and to God’s sovereignty and holiness.

But we need to be careful to recognize when Satan is nailing inappropriate things together. For example, the Bible teaches the preservation and perseverance of the saved soul. But the devil has often tried to nail the freedom to wilfully sin onto that plank of God’s saving grace. He says, “Since you are saved by grace for eternity, it doesn’t matter whether or not you sin.” The Bible describes the length, breadth and depth of God’s salvation, but Satan comes along and tries to nail earthly, financial prosperity to that salvation.

And by the way, I have several hammers which might be properly called “claw hammers.” On the side opposite the face which pounds in the nail – is something with which to pull nails out. Satan is perhaps even more busy these days, extracting nails, than he is in driving them in. “Yea, hath God said, thou shalt surely die?” “Let’s pop that nail out.” “Surely, mother, this new born baby of yours isn’t as depraved as your husband, his father.” “God is absolutely sovereign over hurricanes and tornadoes, but not over kings, and elections, and the salvation of sinful hearts.” We all know people who once believed important Bible truths, but they no longer do today. Satan has used his claw hammer on them.

Not every tool box has one, but two of my tools are MAGNETS.

Yes, you heard me correctly. One of mine is called a “cow magnet.” Dairy farmers in particular, make their cows swallow cow magnets. I am not making this up. It is a cylindrical, smooth, silver magnet, which is forced into the throat of free range dairy cattle, particularly if they will be grazing in a new field. It goes into one of the four parts of the cow’s stomach, and lays there, catching whatever metal it can, keeping poisons from getting into either the cow’s digestive system or into her milk. I have one of those. The other magnet I have is relatively small and is attached to the end of an orange, pencil-like handle. I use those magnets to pick up the nails and screws which I will always drop during just about every job I do.

In application, I’ll just say that Satan loves attracting and catching weak brethren, pulling them out of church and away from the fellowship of their brethren. He will draw them with any number of things: lusts of the flesh, family feuds, educational confusion. The devil loves to divide and conquer. And it is particularly easy to collect new believers who are separated from the herd – the “flock.”

And speaking of dividing, Satan has a few WEDGES in his tool box.

There are very few things more important, practically speaking, than the unity of a church. When church members can’t get along with other church members that church is in trouble. It was a problem in Corinth, where the congregation was divided four ways from Sunday, as my old pastor used to say. There were some members who favored Peter, others who followed Apollos, and some preferred Paul. But of course the most “spiritual,” and perhaps the most troublesome, were those who claimed to follow only Christ – I Corinthians 1:12. Two chapters later Paul wrote: “For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not CARNAL?” He might have added, “Isn’t this of SATAN?” Paul doesn’t tell us what specifically separated each group, but it doesn’t really matter. Each platoon may have had their favorite Bible doctrines. Some may have been pre-trib’ers while other were pre-wrath. Some may have preferred their Greek Bibles, but others read the words of David in Hebrew.

But the point was they were not united as they should have been or could have been. And when there are cliques and factions there will ultimately be hurt feelings and animosity. Jesus said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand” – at least it can’t stand very well or very long. “While one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?”

Satan’s tool box also has a pair of GOGGLES.

When the carpenter is creating lots of dust, wood chips and metal shavings, he should wear eye protection. I admit to not using mine as often as I should, citing my glasses as being good enough. I know that I should add another layer of protection to my eyes, but I’ve used two excuses. There have been occasions when I have been so hot that my goggles have steamed up so I couldn’t see what I was trying to do. And then there is the fact that my goggles are very old and very cheap. They have deteriorated through the years and they have been scratched. Again, I can’t see through them very well, so I don’t use them.

If I can say so, these are the goggles the devil hands to us to use. They distort the truth; they twist our sight, so we are unable to see the Lord, see the work, see lost souls. And when we look at other believers our brethren appear distorted, but we may not want to admit that it is our eyesight and not them, who are blurry.

The devil also has an ELECTRIC SAW there beside his tool box.

To further show you how far I am from a good carpenter, I’ll just tell you that when I need to cut a 2×4 or even a piece of plywood that isn’t more than a couple feet wide, I use a hand saw rather either of my power saws. I use my circular saw so seldom that whenever I pull it out I say to myself, “I forgot that I was going to get a new blade for this thing. Why didn’t I get a new blade?” I am no expert, but it appears to me that among my tools, there is nothing more dangerous than a dull knife or a dull saw. I have heard that more accidents and injuries are created by dull, inefficient equipment than sharp, well-maintained tools.

Do you remember Paul’s illustration of the church being a body, with Christ as the head. You and I are members of that body; parts of Christ’s body here in Post Falls. We are eyes and ears, arms and feet. And fingers. You may think my illustrations tonight are rather silly, but my intentions are serious. Satan uses his tools to cut the odd finger off the body – even bigger body parts if possible. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the WILES of the devil.” “We are not ignorant of his devices.”

I’ll close with one more.

Satan’s tool box has a tape measure, a small level, and even one of those adjustable squares. But not one of them is accurate. The bubble is off and the markings are inaccurate. The devil wants us to cut things short, crooked or otherwise incorrectly, so he will help to do that. Some day I need to study the word “compare” more carefully than I did yesterday. It looks to be interesting.

Romans 8:18 – says, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be COMPARED with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Satan doesn’t want us to compare what we possess today with what the Lord has in store for us. With the right comparison, we would become more fruitful and ready to serve the Saviour. So Satan hands us a tape measure that misleads us.

I Corinthians 2:12 – “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; COMPARING spiritual things with spiritual.” The Holy Spirit teaches us to compare spiritual things with spiritual things, like our service and God’s Word. But Satan wants us to compare spiritual things against anything else but things spiritual. And that is the context of verse 14 – “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

And then there is Paul’s discussion about himself in II Corinthians 10:12 – “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or COMPARE ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and COMPARING themselves among themselves, are not wise.” It is unwise to use faulty measuring equipment, but Satan is always ready with a bad one to hand to us. In speaking about the Anti-Christ, Paul says of his sponsor, Satan comes “with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness…” – II Thessalonians 2:9-10.


The Lord’s most useful craftsmen – His primary servants – should be in His churches. Satan is well aware of this, so loves to bring his weapons and his tools to bear on those churches. To all of us, Paul says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to STAND against the WILES of the devil.”