Legal Issues in Biblical Counseling

For Immediate Release
Contact: Audra Jennings


Understand the Legal Landscape of Biblical Counseling

New resources for churches and counselors gives a comprehensive overview
of legal issues that could impact their biblical counseling ministry

Greensboro, NC—Is the church vulnerable to the pressures of governmental regulations regarding moral issues in counseling? How should biblical counselors navigate their responsibilities before God and government requirements? And what exactly are those requirements? As the culture’s hostility towards Christianity grows, churches and counseling ministries must prepare for when challenges arise. Being aware of potential challenges and being prepared for them frees the church to do ministry without fear.

In Legal Issues in Biblical Counseling: Direction and Help for Churches and Counselors (New Growth Press/September 19, 2022), pastors and biblical counselors who are seeking to faithfully lead, mentor, and guide their flocks in a rapidly changing cultural landscape will find clear direction and guidance from a team of Christian lawyers. Coeditors T. Dale Johnson Jr. and Edward Wilde, along with a host of experienced lawyers and biblical counselors, set out to give a comprehensive overview of legal issues that may impact a biblical counseling ministry.

“There are times pastors are hindered from engaging in counseling ministry because they fear making legal missteps,” Johnson explains. “We want to eliminate the fear of litigation that hinders churches from engaging in ministry. We also want to help churches maximize their preparation and documentation so that they do not encounter any unnecessary legal ramifications. Our goal is to encourage and equip pastors and church leaders so they can establish counseling ministries without fear of legal issues, should they arise.”

Legal Issues in Biblical Counseling explains the importance of involving legal counsel in creating ministry documents, setting up liability insurance, and counseling those involved in legal disputes, divorces, or criminal proceedings. Readers will also learn:

  • How to communicate about their counseling ministry with clarity
  • How to protect themselves and their counselees from litigation
  • What to do in the face of a potential lawsuit.

Pastors and counselors will also find encouragement to press on in ministry with full trust in the Lord, knowing that he will care for his church and that the gospel will continue to move forward. An appendix at the end of the book also includes templates for forms counselors may need for their ministry.

Steve Viars, Senior Pastor of Faith Church in Lafayette, IN, writes, “A wonderful combination of biblical wisdom and legal experience, this book is a must-read for anyone hoping to start a biblical counseling ministry or those of us already engaged in such work. The team of writers has served the church well by discussing practical challenges and questions with a focus on real solutions that give hope and confidence to those seeking to provide biblical counseling services to their church and greater community.”

The Wonderful Combat, Sermon 7.2



The Devil’s Kingdoms?

Now to the answer: Scriptum est. [It is written]

The disputing or deciding of the Devil’s title:[1] that is, whether the kingdoms of the earth were his to give or no, Christ stands not upon; nor upon this, whether the Devil were a man of his word or no.[2] Indeed, it might well have been doubted, whether the Devil be as good as his word: his promises are not Yea and Amen, as the promises of God are.[3] We may take example by Eve, to whom  he promised, that if they did eat of the forbidden fruit that they should be like gods[4]: but were they so indeed, after they had eaten? No, but like the beasts that perish.[5]

And as true it is, that the kingdoms are his.[6]

If[7] the Kingdome of Israel had been at his disposition, we may be sure David should never have been King: as well appears by the troubles he raised against him[8]. No, nor Hezekiah[9] neither, of all other he would never choose such. We may see his good will in Job, chapter second verse 7. he could not only be content to spoil him of all that he had, but also he must afflict his body[10]: and so upon the Gergashites hogs in the 8. Chapter, and 30. verse of Saint Matthew[11].

The kingdoms are none of his, but they are committed to him in some sort to dispose, as he himself says in the fourth of Luke, the 6. vers. He hath (as it were) an advowson[12] of them, to present unto them: but yet, not as he there says, to give to whom he list [wish] but to whom he is permitted[13].

God must first put all the Job hath in his hands, or else he can do nothing. AbimelechJudges 9. and Herod[14]Matt. 2. came to their kingdoms by the Devil’s patent [grant] they bee the Devil’s officers. So, we see daikt in our days, that he bestows offices, and presents to Churches. So that as Brentius[15] says, Many have Panem quotidianum [Latin, daily bread] that cannot come by Da nobis[16]: they come not to it by God’s gift: yet all the interest that the Devil has, is but to present Pro hac vita tantum[17]. As therefore it may be true, that in some sort they may be given him: so yet, not to dispose as he will[18].

It is God only that can say so, for his only they are absolutely. The earth is the Lordes, and all the fulnesse thereof, the round world, and all that dwell therein, Psalm. 24. vers. 1[19]. It is he (the Most High God) that divided to the Nations their inheritance, Deuteron. chapt. 32. verse. 8.[20] By him Kings reigne, and Princes haue dominion, Prouerbes. chapt. 8. verse. 15.[21] He brought Nebuchadnezzar to know, That the most high God bare rule ouer the Kingdomes of men, Dan. chapt. 5. vers. 21[22]. He indeed may well say, Cui voluero, do ea[23]: and to whomsoever God gives, he gives liberally, and reproaches no man. Jam. chapt. 1. vers. 5.[24]

[1] On the question as to whether the Devil had legal title, whether he was the legal owner. To be “on title” is to own.

[2] One could debate whether the Devil actually had the right to dispose of the kingdoms of this world, or whether the Devil would keep his promise. These are both serious questions. Jesus, however, ignores both questions.


15 Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace. 16 I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea. 17 Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? 18 As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. 20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

2 Corinthians 1:15–20 (ESV)

[4] The Devil’s statement that Eve would not “surely die” for eating the fruit is actually more to Andrewes’ purpose.


                  Man in his pomp will not remain;

he is like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 49:12 (ESV)

[6] The Devil was lying about having control of the kingdoms, just like he lied to Eve.

[7] To prove his point, that the Devil does not control the kingdoms of the world, Andrewes presents two lines of evidence. First, the Devil would not permit a good, godly king to rule. But David and Hezekiah were both kings in Israel. Therefore, the Devil did not make them king. Second, the Devil must ask permission from God to act. He gives the examples from Job and from the demons that the Devil has no personal authority.

[8] If the Devil really had control over the kingdoms to the extent he claimed to Jesus, the Devil would not have allowed David to become king of Israel.

[9] Another King of Israel: Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God. 2 Chronicles 31:20 (ESV)


Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Job 1:6–12 (ESV)


28 And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29 And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30 Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. 31 And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” 32 And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters.

Matthew 8:28–32 (ESV)


advowson /ədˈvaʊz(ə)n/

  ■ noun Brit. (in ecclesiastical law) the right to recommend a member of the Anglican clergy for a vacant benefice, or to make such an appointment.

Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, eds., Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

[13]  and [the Devil] said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. Luke 4:6 (ESV) The Devil has a limited authority. God does permit the Devil to make certain decisions. The Devil does not have independent authority. Andrewes will then provide examples of this sort of authority

[14] Abimelech and Herod were two particularly evil rulers.

[15] “Brenz, Johann (1499–1570), reformer of Württemberg.” F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford;  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 236.

[16] Da nobis: Latin give to us. Andrewes is quoting the Lord’s Prayer in Latin. They have something to eat, but it did not come as God’s gift.

[17] Latin, For this life (and not the next).

[18] While the Devil has some power, his power limited to what God will permit. He might be mean dog, but he is always on a leash.


The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,

the world and those who dwell therein,

Psalm 24:1 (ESV)


                                  Remember the days of old;

consider the years of many generations;

                                    ask your father, and he will show you,

your elders, and they will tell you.

                                  When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,

when he divided mankind,

                                    he fixed the borders of the peoples

according to the number of the sons of God.

                                  But the Lord’s portion is his people,

Jacob his allotted heritage.

Deuteronomy 32:7–9 (ESV)


                  12               “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,

and I find knowledge and discretion.

                  13               The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.

                                    Pride and arrogance and the way of evil

and perverted speech I hate.

                  14               I have counsel and sound wisdom;

I have insight; I have strength.

                  15               By me kings reign,

and rulers decree what is just;

                  16               by me princes rule,

and nobles, all who govern justly.

Proverbs 8:12–16 (ESV)

[22] Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, boasted in his pride that he had made himself great and Babylon great. God struck him in his pride and left him to spend seven years thinking he was a cow, eating grass and living outside. As Daniel explains:

18 O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty. 19 And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. 20 But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. 21 He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will. 22 And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, 23 but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.

Daniel 5:18–23 (ESV)

[23] Latin, I will give to whomever I wish to give.

[24] If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5 (ESV)

The Wonderful Combat, Sermon 7.1



The Seventh Sermon.

Matt. 4. Ver. 10. 11.

Then Iesus saith vnto him; Get thee hence behinde me Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him onely shalt thou serue.

Then the diuel leaueth him, and beholde the Angels came, and ministred vnto him[1].

The answering of this temptation, if some[2] had had the answering of it, would have been facto, by the doing of the thing that the Devil required: and not in words, standing upon terms in disputation.[3] Insomuch, as they would never have cared for a cushion to kneel on: but have fallen down straight on their very faces, and have thanked him too.

If Balak should say unto any one of them[4], I will promote thee to great honour, Num. 22. 17[5], an angel standing in the way, should not hinder them from going. The manner of flesh & blood is, in cases of preferment to respect nothing, that may bring them out of their conceived hope or desire thereof: and therefore, whatsoever it is that stands in their way, be it never so holy, down it shall for haste, to make the way nearest.

The Sins We Will Commit to Gain a Kingdom

In regard of this, one brother respects not another. When Joseph had had a dream of his brethren, & told it them, all brotherly affection was laid aside, Gen. 37. 5.[6] The son and subject Absalom, forgets his duty as to his father, and allegiance as to his Prince, seeking his life, 2. Sam. 16. 11.[7]

The mother of Ahaziah, Athalia, when she saw her son dead, makes no more ado, but destroys all the Kings seed, 2. King. 11. 1.[8] Jehu makes no bones, nor is abashed at the sight of heaps of dead men’s heads, of King’s sons that he had caused to be slain, but adds more murders to them, 2. King. 10. 8.[9] What’s a basket full of heads to a kingdom? And Herod stack[10] not to kill all the male borne children in Bethlehem, Mat. 2. 16.[11]

So that Gregory might well say, Ambitio est vita, cui etiam innocentes nocent[12], such is the vehement desire of a kingdom.

So that a great many would have made no scruple at the matter, neither would they have counted it a temptation, but good counsel.[13] Neither would so have cut up Peter, as Christ did, to bid him go behind him, and turn their backs on him[14]: but they would rather have turned their backs to God, & their faces after Satan, Ie. 2. 27[15]. •. Ti. 15[16]. And indeed ,it must needs be, that either our Savior was unwise in refusing so good an offer, or else the world (in these days) is in a wrong bias.[17]

Our Savior (we see) doth not only refuse the thing: but also gives him hard [harsh] words, for making the offer and motion. For he doth not only confute him here, by saying, Scriptum est[18]: but he adds words of bitter reprehension, saying, Avoid Satan [Satan, go away!] He might have given fair words, as he did before: but here he seems to have left his patience. The reason why he was more hot in this, than in the former, is: for that this touches the glory of God, & the redemption of mankind: the former Temptations touched but himself in particular, as the turning of stones into bread, but for miracle: and the casting himself down, was but to try God, what care he had of him: But this so much touches the glory of God, as he can hold no longer. Also, his longing to redeem man, caused the same. Neither did he only answer the Devil so: but when his blessed Apostle, who meant friendly to him, moved him to the like matter, he rebuked him sharply.[19]

Two causes there are, wherein Christ is very earnest; one in counsel ministered to him, tending to the impairing of God’s glory: the other in practices, tending to the impairing of God’s Church, John 2. 15. There he was not only vehement in words; but made a whip to scourge them out[20].

And so, in the Old Testament, it is said of Moses[21], Num. 12. 3. that he was a meeke man, aboue all the men of the earth: yet when he came to a case of idolatry, Exod. 32. 19. it is said he threw the Tables out of his hands, and broke them. And so far did he loose his natural affection to his people and country men, that he caused a great number of them to be slain.[22]

And so in a case of the Church, when Korah rebelled, Num. 16. 15. then Moses waxed [grew] very angry[23]: for Glorie be to God on high, and peace on earth, is the Angel’s song and joy, and the Devil’s grief: as on the other side, the dishonor of God, and dissention of the Church, is the  Devil’s joy, and grief of the angels.

Now, besides that he does in words rebuke him sharply, he does no less in gesture also: as by turning his back upon him, (as it is most like he did in saying Avoid Satan) which is such a despiteful disgrace, as if that one should offer us the like, we would take it in very great disdain[24]. Which is to us an instruction that as there is a time, when we are to keep the Devil before us, and to have our eye still upon him, and his weapon or temptation, for fear least unawares he might do us some hurt: so is there a place, a time, and a sin that we are to turn our backs on, and not once to look at his temptation.[25]

In affliction[26], patience is to be tried: there resist the Devil, stand to him, and he will fly from you. James 4. 7.[27] Here we are to set the Devil before us. But in a case of lust, or filthy desire, then do ye [you should] fly from him, 1. Corinth. 6. 18.[28] So in the second Epistle to Timothy, second chapter, and two and twentieth verse, we are exhorted to fly from the lusts of youth, and to follow justice[29]: there is no standing to gaze back on the Devil and his temptations.[30]

[1] Matthew 4:10–11 (ESV)

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

                                    “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God

and him only shall you serve.’ ”

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

[2] He is going to speak of a category of people “some” who would jump at the Devil’s temptation. They wouldn’t need a cushion for their knees, they would dive on their face. If Balak offered them honor to curse Israel, they wouldn’t be slowed down by an angel with a sword. These people will run after Satan’s deceitful offers.

[3] This temptation held no ambiguity. There was no misuse of Scripture as there had been when the Devil said to throw yourself down. The response to this temptation would be to act or not.  

[4] The “some” mentioned above.

[5] The Moabite king had offered the prophet for hire Balaam great honor if Balaam would curse Israel. “For I will surely do you great honor.” Num. 22:17

[6] Joseph, the oldest son of Rachel, but far younger than most of his brothers born to Jacob’s other wife and his wife’s maids [this was not a “healthy” family], tells of a dream in which his brothers will all bow down to him. Since Jacob so favored Joseph, it appeared that Joseph would become the patriarch at his father’s death. Joseph’s telling of dreams is problematic. His brothers did not take Joseph’s dream well: they kidnapped him and sold him as a slave. This family had problems.

[7] When David did not deal with Amnon’s abuse of Absalom’s full sister (all three had David as a father, but they had different mothers), Absalom took justice into his own hands and dispatched Amnon. Later, Absalom led a rebellion against his father David, who was his father and his king.


 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death. And he remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the Lord, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

2 Kings 11:1–3 (ESV)


Then he wrote to them a second letter, saying, “If you are on my side, and if you are ready to obey me, take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow at this time.” Now the king’s sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were bringing them up. And as soon as the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons and slaughtered them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel. When the messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” he said, “Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until the morning.” Then in the morning, when he went out, he stood and said to all the people, “You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him, but who struck down all these? 10 Know then that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of the Lord, which the Lord spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for the Lord has done what he said by his servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu struck down all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all his great men and his close friends and his priests, until he left him none remaining.

12 Then he set out and went to Samaria. On the way, when he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds, 13 Jehu met the relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah, and he said, “Who are you?” And they answered, “We are the relatives of Ahaziah, and we came down to visit the royal princes and the sons of the queen mother.” 14 He said, “Take them alive.” And they took them alive and slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two persons, and he spared none of them.

2 Kings 10:6–14 (ESV)

[10] “Stack” does not seem to be the correct word. Perhaps this was did not “stand,” that is, pause, before killing, etc.

[11] Herod the Great heard of the birth of the “King” from the Magi. While he pretended to wish to meet the child himself, he instead desired to murder the child. When the Magi did not give him the precise location of the child, he decided just to kill all of the boys in the area to make sure he killed the child.

[12] Latin: Ambition is life which will even harm the innocent. Ambition will drive us to harm even the innocent to achieve that ambition. I am not certain which “Gregory” is the source of this quotation.

[13] The perversion caused by sin is such that many would not consider the Devil’s temptation to be a temptation to sin. Instead, they would see the offer as a blessing. Thanks, Devil!


21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Matthew 16:21–23 (ESV)


                  26               “As a thief is shamed when caught,

so the house of Israel shall be shamed:

                                    they, their kings, their officials,

their priests, and their prophets,

                  27               who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’

and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’

                                    For they have turned their back to me,

and not their face.

                                    But in the time of their trouble they say,

‘Arise and save us!’

Jeremiah 2:26–27 (ESV)

[16] 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 1 Timothy 5:15 (ESV)

[17] There are some who rather than turn away from Satan’s offer (as Christ did with Peter, in a striking event), will turn away from Christ and after Satan. For either Christ was foolish to turn down a good offer, or our world is wrong to go after it.

[18] Latin, it is written.

[19] Jesus’ response to this temptation differs from the other two. On those occasions, the fault of the temptation fell on Jesus. But in this temptation sought to directly rob God of his glory: giving worship to someone other than God, himself. He gives a second reason, that Jesus had in mind his work of redemption. However, if Jesus had sinned in response to either of the other two temptations, Jesus would have been unfit as the mediator. Therefore, I think Andrewes is right on the first point, but wrong on the second.

[20] When Jesus saw the discretion of God’s glory and God’s worship, he made a whip to drive them from the Temple.

[21] Moses is here given as an example of the pattern Andrewes sees in Jesus. Moses was described as the most meek man upon the earth. But, when Moses came down the mountain with the first set of the ten commandments, he threw the tablets to the ground in his anger at the people having fallen into idolatry with the Golden Calf.


25 And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, to the derision of their enemies), 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. 27 And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’ ” 28 And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell. 29 And Moses said, “Today you have been ordained for the service of the Lord, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that he might bestow a blessing upon you this day.”

Exodus 32:25–29 (ESV)

[23] Korah led a rebellion against the order and authority established by God. For his rebellion, the ground opened up underneath the rebels and their family. Numbers 16.

[24] If someone treated us with this level of disgrace, we would be very indignant.

[25] Andrewes draws a lesson from Christ’s behavior toward the Devil. In two of the temptations, he answered the Devil: he kept his eye upon him, and paid attention to the trick being played. There are times where it is wisdom for us to keep our eye upon the temptation so that we are not surprised by temptation and fall into sin. But Jesus also turned his back on the Devil in this final temptation. So there are times where wisdom is to turn away from the temptation altogether. In the next paragraph, he explains how this works in practice.

[26] There are basic tactics to bring us to sin. One is affliction, a “trial”, where we are put under pressure. These are the various difficulties of this world, sorrow, pain, loss, death, et cetera. Affliction calls for patience. We cannot simply “flee” disease. The only means is to draw us to sin. We would call this a “temptation.” It is “temptation,” the seduction to sin that we are to flee.

[27] Andrewes here alludes to two separate passages in James:

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:6–8 (ESV)


Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

James 5:7–11 (ESV)


12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:12–20 (ESV)


20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

2 Timothy 2:20–23 (ESV) Andrewes’ reference that we are to pursue “justice” comes from the Vulgate, “sectare vero justitiam” where the English translation all have “righteousness.”

[30] He seems here to be alluding again to Lot’s wife. Lot’s turning back to look upon Sodom has been a frequent image in this work.

The Wonderful Combat 6.5e



(The conclusion of the sixth sermon)

In this temptation (as in the former) there is both fire to consume ourselves, and a dart to wound our consciences. The fire is the motion of discontent[1], that God is[2] either a poor God, not able sufficiently to reward those that serve him: or else an unkind God, that will not reward the duties that are performed by those that serve him.[3] By this wee come to say; Who is the Almightie, that wee shold serue him? Job. 21. 15.[4] The wicked are they that prosper and increase in riches. I haue cleansed my hart in vaine, for daylie haue I been punished. Psal. 73. 12.[5] Then this dart makes us weary of well doing: and then follows, that we will serve the Devil being discontent with God’s service, we undertake the service of his enemy: he requires nothing but a little falling down[6], and then if Simon shall come, and require any unlawful thing at our hands, we are ready (with Judas) to meet with him, and say; What wil ye giue me, and I will doo it, Mat. 26. 15[7]. though it bee to the betraying of Christ. The Devil here opens his meaning in this temptation plainly[8], (that he would have him fall down & worship him) with a bare and bold face: before, he came disguised, and spoke in parables. His meaning is not when he says Dabo[9], to give them: but to barter or exchange one thing for another. It is no gift, but a flat bargain: men use not to account it a gift, except it be without rendering back either money or service[10]. If he render here service back, he may well think I have sold my soul for Hoc aliquid[11], Mat. 16. 76[12]. He may think, as Esau sold his birth-right for a mess of pottage. Heb. 12. 16[13] so has he sold his soul, his birth right[14], and freedom: for we were all bought with a price, 1. Cor. 7. 23[15]. the same great high Priest redeemed us all with his blood. No sins are so carefully to be taken heed of, as these, that have annexed to adoration, donation: he has Malum[16] with a jointer[17]. If he should have cast himself down from the Pinnacle, here is all he should have had: they would have talked of it, and have wondered a while at it.[18]

Well, we must be thus persuaded, that God is as well able and willing to reward us for any service, as the Devil, and better too. It is he indeed that reigns over the kingdoms of men, Dan. 5. 21[19] and places in them whom pleases him: but when he gives or disposes, he gives indeed freely, exacting nothing back again, unless it be such things, as he were to have without any such gift, such things as are due of mere right, without any stipulation or hire.[20] James. 1. 5[21]. The Devil’s Dabo [I will give] is, as offices and parsonages are given among us; that is, as usually sold as horses in Smithfield[22]. But if we could be content to give indeed, let that heroical mind that was in Abraham be in us, Gen. 14. 23. that as he would not take anything of Melchisedech[23], so we will not be a shoe latchet the richer by the Devil[24]. If he offer to make us wealthy, let vs answer him; Pecunia tua tecum pereat.[25]

[1] All persuasion begins with discontentment, because persuasion requires us to change from one state to another. The discontentment can begin with either an allurement that you have at present is not good enough (just a moment before you may have thought you were happy, but let me show you something better); or it can begin with an attack upon your present circumstance: something to make you positively unhappy. Once discontentment is achieved, the next step is the offer. The Devil’s first move is thus discontentment: it is the beginning of a fire.

[2] Even if God is not explicitly stated, all temptations entail God: Behind all temptations is the implicit statement that God will not provide, you had better take care of this yourself.

[3] John Bunyan puts this point into Apollyon’s mouth in Pilgrim’s Progress as follows: “Consider again, when thou art in cool blood, what thou art like to meet with in the way that thou goest. Thou knowest that for the most part his servants come to an ill end, because they are transgressors against me and my ways. How many of them have been put to shameful deaths! And besides, thou countest his service better than mine; whereas he never yet came from the place where he is, to deliver any that served him out of their enemies’ hands: but as for me, how many times, as all the world very well knows, have I delivered, either by power or fraud, those that have faithfully served me, from him and his, though taken by them! And so will I deliver thee.”John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress: From This World to That Which Is to Come (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995).


                                  Why do the wicked live,

reach old age, and grow mighty in power?

                                  Their offspring are established in their presence,

and their descendants before their eyes.

                                  Their houses are safe from fear,

and no rod of God is upon them.

                  10               Their bull breeds without fail;

their cow calves and does not miscarry.

                  11               They send out their little boys like a flock,

and their children dance.

                  12               They sing to the tambourine and the lyre

and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.

                  13               They spend their days in prosperity,

and in peace they go down to Sheol.

                  14               They say to God, ‘Depart from us!

We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.

                  15               What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?

And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’

Job 21:7–15 (ESV)

[5] In Psalm 73, the Psalmist looks at the wicked and sees the wicked’s life to be wholly better in all ways. He then looks at himself and thinks that he has received nothing for serving the Lord. Why should I have taken all this effort to deny temptations when I get nothing for my faithfulness?

                  11               And they say, “How can God know?

Is there knowledge in the Most High?”

                  12               Behold, these are the wicked;

always at ease, they increase in riches.

                  13               All in vain have I kept my heart clean

and washed my hands in innocence.

Psalm 73:11–13 (ESV)

[6] The Devil’s service comes so easily. He requires only “a little falling down.” What could be easier?


14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

Matthew 26:14–16 (ESV)

[8] He explains himself clearly.

[9] Latin, I will give.

[10] It is not a gift unless it comes without strings or obligations.

[11] Latin, “this thing” (where “thing” could be anything).

[12] 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:26 (ESV)

[13] Hebrews 12:15–16 (ESV)

15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.

[14]  29 Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) 31 Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” 32 Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis 25:29–34 (ESV) As the oldest son, the promise made to Abraham and Issac that the land would go to their descendants was not worth persisting in hunger.

[15] 1 Corinthians 7:23 (ESV)

23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.

[16] Latin, evil.

[17] Evil with an addition.

[18] The only pay-off for throwing himself down from the pinnacle of the temple would have been the discussion of those who saw it. He would have been paid in words.

[19] 17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. 18 O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty. 19 And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. 20 But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. 21 He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will. 22 And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, 23 but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored. Daniel 5:17–23 (ESV)

[20] All the kingdoms and honors of the world are disposed of by God. Yet when God gives one a kingdom, God is not seeking to manipulate the recipient. A king owes to God that which he would owe if he the king’s servant.

[21] And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:4 (ESV)

[22] Any “gift” of the Devil is a commercial transaction, it is given solely so that he may get back what he desires.

[23] The city of Sodom (among others) was sacked by an invading army. Among those taken captive was Abraham’s nephew Lot. Abraham organized a war party and managed to rescue everyone. The king of Sodom offered to allow Abraham to take some of what was captured as his spoil. Abraham refused to take anything from the king of Sodom. Abraham also meets Melchizedek. Abraham gives a tithe to Melchizedek.

17 After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) 19 And he blessed him and said,

                                    “Blessed be Abram by God Most High,

Possessor of heaven and earth;

                  20               and blessed be God Most High,

who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”

And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.”

Genesis 14:17–24 (ESV)

[24] We will never profit in making a deal with the Devil. He will always make the better bargain.

[25] Latin, may your money perish with you. It is close to the Vulgate translation of Peter’s answer to Simon Magus, “Pecunia tua tecum sit in perditionem.” Biblia Sacra Juxta Vulgatam Clementinam., Ed. electronica. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005), Ac 8:20.

The Wonderful Combat, Sermon 6.5d



It’s Always the Devil

Now let us apply this to ourselves.

But we will peradventure say, the Devil never made us any such offer: and therefore what needs any admonishment in this behalf? But I answer, though the Devil come not in person to us, as he did to Christ, yet he comes by his instruments.

When Balak sent to Balaam, to come and curse the Israelites, and promised him great rewards, Num. 22. 17[1] it was not Balaak’s messengers that spoke, but the Devil used them as instruments to speak.

So, when Simon Magus would have bought the Holy Ghost with money: the Devil therein tempted the apostles with simony[2], Simon was but the trunk, through which the Devil spoke, Act. 8[3].

We will fall for less

Again, there be some that will say, they were never tempted with kingdoms: it may well be, for it needs not, when less will serve. It was Christ only, that was thus tempted: in him lay a heroical mind, that could not be allured with small matters.

But with us it is nothing so, we esteem far more basely of ourselves: we set our wares at a very easy price[4], he may buy us even dagger cheap, as we say: he need never carry us so high as the mount, the pinnacle is high enough, yea, the lowest steeple[5] in all the town would serve the turn. Or let him but carry us to the lead or gutters of our own houses, nay, let us but stand in our window, or in our doors: if he will give vs but so much as we can there see, he will tempt us thoroughly, we will accept it, and thank him too. He shall not need to come to us with kingdoms, one kingdom is too much, what say ye to half a one? Mar, 6. 23[6]. No, will the Devil say, I will give you half of one? If he would come to us but with thirty pence, Mat. 26. 15. I am afraid many of vs would play Judas.[7] Nay, less than so would buy a great sort, even handfuls of barley, and pieces of bread, Ezk 13. 19.[8] and Proverb. 28. 21[9]. Yea, some will not stick to buy and sell the poor for a pair of shoes[10], as Micah in his eight chapter and six verse speaks.[11]

When he comes then to tempt us, he may abate a great deal of this that he offers Christ: he may strike out Omnia [Latin, all, every], and Haec [Latin, these] too, and instead thereof put in Hoc [Latin, this] and say; Hold, you shall have this to worship me, I will give ye no more.[12] I fear me we will make short work, and take it, Hoc aliquid[13], a matter of half a crown or ten groats, a pair of shoes, or some such trifle, will bring us on our knees to the Devil.[14]

Is there a pretty commodity to be had? It makes no matter for breaking faith and promise.[15] This is that that makes the Devil so good a husband and thrifty[16], and to go near hand: what need he give more, when so little will serve? whereas, if we will stand hucking [haggling] with him, we might get a great deal more.


14 So the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”

15 Once again Balak sent princes, more in number and more honorable than these. 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Let nothing hinder you from coming to me, 17 for I will surely do you great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Come, curse this people for me.’ ” 18 But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the Lord my God to do less or more. 19 So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the Lord will say to me.” 20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.” 21 So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.

Numbers 22:14–21 (ESV)

[2] “simony. The practice of buying or selling ecclesiastical favor or sacred prerogatives. The term is derived from Simon Magus, who attempted to purchase the ability to bestow the Holy Spirit through the act of laying on of hands, and thus sought to buy spiritual prerogatives or perhaps apostolic authority with money (Acts 8:9–13, 18–24).” Stanley J. Grenz and Jay T. Smith, Pocket Dictionary of Ethics, The IVP Pocket Reference Series (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 108.


18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” 24 And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

Acts 8:18–24 (ESV)

[4] We give up our soul for far less than kingdoms.

[5] A church steeple would be the highest point in any town at this time.

[6] Herod, in the place and as an instrument of the Devil, tempts his stepdaughter with half a kingdom. She asks for a murder.

21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” 23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” 24 And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.”

Mark 6:21–24 (ESV)

[7] Judas betrayed the Lord for 30 pieces of silver. That would be more than enough to tempt us.

[8] We will sin for a handful of food:

17 “And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own hearts. Prophesy against them 18 and say, Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive? 19 You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death souls who should not die and keeping alive souls who should not live, by your lying to my people, who listen to lies.

Ezekiel 13:17–19 (ESV)


To show partiality is not good,

but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.

Proverbs 28:21 (ESV)

[10] We will oppress the poor for a pair of shoes. We may wonder what the prophet would think about modern industrial practice.


                                  Hear this, you who trample on the needy

and bring the poor of the land to an end,

                                  saying, “When will the new moon be over,

that we may sell grain?

                                    And the Sabbath,

that we may offer wheat for sale,

                                    that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great

and deal deceitfully with false balances,

                                  that we may buy the poor for silver

and the needy for a pair of sandals

and sell the chaff of the wheat?”

Amos 8:4–6 (ESV)

[12] The Devil would not not need to over us all these kingdoms, but a single “this” of just about anything is sufficient to get us to fall.

[13] Latin, this anything: any single trifle.

[14] We are so easily tempted, that anything at all is enough to get us to sin.

[15] We will lie and break our promise to obtain anything at all.

[16] To “husband” a resource is to protect it from waste, to care for it. The Devil can be careful with his resources. He will not overspend to obtain our compliance with his will.

The Wonderful Combat, Sermon 6.5c


, , ,

The Devil’s Gift Always Comes at a Cost

The Heathen man says, “If a man be to violate his faith for anything, it is for a kingdom.”[1] Christ has here offered him all kingdoms[2], a very enticing bait: but is there never a hook hidden under it?[3] The woman was fine and brave [not courageous but fine, excellent], and had a cup of gold in her hand: but it was full of abomination, Apoc. 17. 4[4].

So here, for all these fair shows, if you will gain anything by the Devil you must worship him: that is the condition annexed to the grant, it is no absolute gift, the Devil is not so kind as to part from all that for nothing[5]. It is such a gift as the Lawyers call Excambium[6], that is, Exchange: I will give you this, if you will give me that.

But yet one would think it a very large offer, to give so great a liewe[7] for so small a service: it is but a little external reverence, the bowing of the knee; you may (notwithstanding) in heart think what ye list.[8]

Well, we may think there was somewhat in it, that the Devil offered so much for so little, and yet Christ refused it. Indeed, Christ had great reason to refuse it: for he should have been a looser by the bargain. I will stand to it, he had been better to have yielded to either of the two former temptations, than to this: he should full dearly have bought all his kingdom, he had been better to have cast himself down from the pinnacle. For that which the Devil here demands is liewe [precious], is as much worth, as both the glory of God, and the redemption of man[9].

Of his glory, God saith, That he will not give it to another, Is. 42. 8[10]. If to no other, then not to the Devil of all other. And therefore, the Angel would not have a burnt offering offered to him, but to God, Iudg. 13. 16.[11] The Angell would not let John fall down and worship him, but bad him worship God, Reuel. 19. 10[12] for he knew that God was vary jealous of his honor, and stood precisely upon that point. If he would not impart this honor with the angels, much less would he with the Devil: for there are degrees in idolatry, Roman. 1. 23.

It is not so ill to turn the glory of God into the image of a man, as into birds and beasts.

The Whole World is not Worth the Loss

Secondly, if we look into the desire that he had to satisfy his ancient envy, by the destruction of mankind: we must needs commend the Devil’s wit, in making such a bargain. It had been the best penny-worth that ever was bought. For if we mark how Christ rates one only soul, we may see, how he that to gain all the kingdoms of the world, shall loose his own soul Mat. 16. 26. makes but a foolish bargain. Then what rate shall be made of all men’s souls, if one be worth kingdoms[13].

All which had been lost, if Christ had consented to that which the Devil here requires: for then he could not have said, I restored that which I tooke not, Psal. 69. 4.[14] By his death he paid the price for the sins of the whole World.  He should then have had a score of his own to have paid & his death could have been sufficient but for himself only. If hee had fallen down, and worshipped him: he could not have sad, that the Prince of this World had nothing to say against him, John 14. 30.[15]

[1] The one who is not a Christian says, I will be loyal to my God. When if I can get a kingdom, it would be worth it.

[2] This is one of the many printing errors in the text. This must either be, “The Devil offered Christ” or “Christ was offered”.

[3] The image of Satan fishing is interesting. Luther uses


Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality.

Revelation 17:1–4 (ESV)

[5] The Devil is not generous in his offers: the temptation comes always with a cost. You want the kingdoms, I will get the worship.

[6] This Latin word appears in Black’s Law Dictionary. It means the exchange of property: this for that.

[7] An alternative form of “lief”, something dear, precious, beloved.

[8] The behavior is not very difficult. And you can think whatever you want (ye list) about the other person. Who cares about something so insignificant?

[9] It would have been better for Jesus to have fallen on the first two temptations than to fallen on this ground. The loss would have been

[10] Isaiah 42:8 (ESV)

I am the Lord; that is my name;

my glory I give to no other,

nor my praise to carved idols.

[11] 15 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “Please let us detain you and prepare a young goat for you.” 16 And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “If you detain me, I will not eat of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to the Lord.” (For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the Lord.) 17 And Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?”

Judges 13:15–17 (ESV)

[12] 9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Revelation 19:9–10 (ESV)

[13] The Devil’s logic here is remarkable: He offers all the kingdoms of the world in exchange for a single soul. If he had been successful, he would have made a great bargain. Christ raises this precise from the opposite direction: He says plainly that the loss of your soul would not be worth the entire world.

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

Matthew 16:24–27 (ESV)

This then leads to another consideration: If one man’s soul is worth more than the entire world, what must the world of men’s souls be worth?

[14] More in number than the hairs of my head

are those who hate me without cause;

                                    mighty are those who would destroy me,

those who attack me with lies.

                                    What I did not steal

must I now restore?

Psalm 69:4 (ESV)

How did Christ restore those things which he took not away? In general, by his active and passive obedience. 1. Christ’s doing the will of God in such a manner as he did it, was a greater honour to God than ever had been, or could be done before. 2. Christ’s suffering of the will of God, made a considerable addition to the glory of God, which had been impaired by the sin of man, Heb. 5:8; John 17:4; and 13:31, 3. Christ hath provided for the justification of the sinner by the obedience which he fulfilled, Rom. 5:8. 4. Christ communicates that grace which is necessary for our sanctification also. 5. Christ hath merited for us a present blessedness in this world. 6. Jesus Christ hath procured for us a more full and absolute blessedness in the world to come. IV. Why did Jesus Christ make it his work to restore what he took not away? 1. It was a necessary work, a work which must be done, in order to his being a Saviour. 2. It was a work impossible for any mere creature to do; so that if Christ did not, it could not be done by any person besides him.—Timothy Cruso’s Sermon.

C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 56-87, vol. 3 (London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers, n.d.), 189.


30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

John 14:30–31 (ESV)

Satan as a Fisherman


, ,

(I got sidetracked in annotating Andrewes’ Sermons The Wonderful Combat):

The image of Satan fishing is a topic perhaps worth tracing out.  The image of a hook and temptation appears here, “and we counsel you not to suffer them to be wounded with the hook of passion.” Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, eds., “The Epistles of Pope Fabian,” in Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, the Clementina, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First Ages, trans. S. D. F. Salmond, vol. 8, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1886), 638. Gregory of Nyssa, likewise writes

through the deception of the great advocate and inventor of vice, that that was beauty which was just the opposite (for this deception would never have succeeded, had not the glamour of beauty been spread over the hook of vice like a bait),—the man, I say, on the one hand, who had enslaved himself by indulgence

Gregory of Nyssa, “The Great Catechism,” in Gregory of Nyssa: Dogmatic Treatises, Etc., ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, trans. William Moore, vol. 5, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1893), 492. Gregory the Great uses the image more directly of Satan:

For the most part, then, the adversary of souls, when unable to insinuate into them what is wrong on the face of it, endeavours to supplant them by throwing over it as it were a show of piety, and persuades them, perhaps, that money ought to be received from those who have it, so that there may be wherewith to give to those who have it not, if only he may even so infuse mortal poisons concealed under the appearance of almsgiving. For neither would the hunter deceive the wild beast, nor the fowler the bird, nor the fisherman catch the fish, if the former were to set their snares in open view, or if the latter had not his hook hidden by the bait. By all means, then, the cunning of the enemy is to be feared and guarded against, lest those whom he cannot subvert by open temptation he should succeed in slaying more cruelly by a hidden weapon.

Gregory the Great, “Selected Epistles of Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome (Books IX–XIV),” in Gregory the Great (Part II), Ephraim Syrus, Aphrahat, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, trans. James Barmby, vol. 13, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1898), 24.

Ambrose uses a similar image of the “ministers”:

His ministers and his wretched deluded followers are wont to bait their hook with that saying of the apostle, “Now we see through a glass in a figure, but then face to face.”3 As if, forsooth, the Apostle Paul knew in part, and prophesied in part, and saw through a glass in a figure; whereas all this is removed at the coming of Manichæus, who brings that which is perfect, and reveals the truth face

Augustine of Hippo, “Reply to Faustus the Manichæan,” in St. Augustin: The Writings against the Manichaeans and against the Donatists, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. Richard Stothert, vol. 4, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1887), 215.

When we come nearer in time, we find Luther using the image to represent Satan being caught:

Eternal and infinite power is given unto the man, Christ, not because of his humanity, but because of his divinity. For the divinity alone created all things, without any help of the humanity; nor did the humanity conquer sin and death, but the hook hidden under the worm, whereon the devil did fasten, conquered and devoured the devil, which sought to devour the worm.

Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 258.

But when we come to the English writers, the image of Satan a fisherman with a baited hook becomes a commonplace.

Lancelot Andrews in The Wonderful Combat writes [with an emandation from the plainly defective printing] “The Devil has here offered Christ all kingdoms[1], a very enticing bait: but is there never a hook hidden under it?” Following Andrewes, the image of the fishing Devil is found everywhere. For example:

O it is strange, and yet not strange, considering the degeneracy of man’s nature, to see how Satan carries sinners after him with this golden hook! Let him but present such a bait as honour, pelf, or pleasure, and their hearts skip after it as a dog would at a crust; he makes them sin for a morsel of bread. O the naughty heart of man loves the wages of unrighteousness, which the devil promiseth, so dearly, that it fears not the dreadful wages which the great God threatens! As sometimes you shall see a spaniel so greedy of a bone, that he will leap into the very river for it, if you throw it thither, and by that time he comes with much ado thither, it is sunk, and he gets nothing but a mouthful of water for his pains: thus sinners will catch at their desired pleasures, honours, and profits, swimming through the very threatenings of the word to them, and oftentimes they lose even what they gaped for here

William Gurnall and John Campbell, The Christian in Complete Armour (London: Thomas Tegg, 1845), 103–104. Thomas Brooks puts in his usual elegant manner:

His first device to draw the soul to sin is,

Device (1). To present the bait and hide the hook; to present the golden cup, and hide the poison; to present the sweet, the pleasure, and the profit that may flow in upon the soul by yielding to sin, and by hiding from the soul the wrath and misery that will certainly follow the committing of sin.

Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 12.

John Kitchin with a very similar image:

God will call over and charge thy sins upon thee, when all the sweet is gone.—Thou makest a shift to swallow the hook with pleasure, when it is covered with the sweet bait; O, but when that is digested or disgorged, and the naked hook piercing and raking thy heart, what wilt thou do then? O how bitter is the pill when all the sugar is melted off!

James Nichols, Puritan Sermons, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers, 1981), 314.

Thomas Watson:

Yet though they pray “hallowed be thy name,” they profane it by shooting oaths like chain-bullets against heaven; they know they should abstain from fornication and unclcanness, yet they cannot but bite at the devil’s hook, if he bait it with flesh, Jude 7.

Thomas Watson, The Select Works of the Rev. Thomas Watson, Comprising His Celebrated Body of Divinity, in a Series of Lectures on the Shorter Catechism, and Various Sermons and Treatises (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1855), 491. And:

A third subtle policy of Satan in tempting, is, he baits his hook with religion; the devil can hang out Christ’s colours, and tempt to sin under pretences of piety.

Thomas Watson, The Select Works of the Rev. Thomas Watson, Comprising His Celebrated Body of Divinity, in a Series of Lectures on the Shorter Catechism, and Various Sermons and Treatises (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1855), 559.

Thomas Manton:

That the course which Christ taketh to draw in proselytes is quite different from that of Satan and the world. Satan showeth us the bait and hideth the hook, but Christ telleth us the worst at first.

Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, vol. 17 (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1874), 8.

David Clarkson:

He promises advancement too: ‘as gods.’ See how cunningly the arch-enticer baits his hook, and then see how it takes: ver. 6, ‘Good for food,’ there is the profit; ‘and pleasant,’ there is the delight.’ ‘To make one wise,’ there is an higher advantage.

David Clarkson, The Works of David Clarkson, vol. 2 (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1864), 343.

The image is also used of temptation generally, without a specific reference to the Devil

Thomas Manton:

Before men be overcome by temptation, they are first enticed by the apprehension of some pleasure or profit which is to be had by their sins, by which apprehension the danger of committing the sin is covered and hid, as the fisher’s hook is by the bait; that is the metaphor there, ἐμπλακέντες ἡττῶνται, lapse again into the slavery of the former sins, which they seemed to have escaped.

Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, vol. 11 (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1873), 197.


What was the cause of Solomon’s falling into idolatry and multiplying of strange wives? What, but himself, whom he would rather pleasure than God? What was the hook that took David and snared him first in adultery, but his self-lust? and then in murder, but his self-credit and self-honour?

Samuel Rutherford and Andrew A. Bonar, Letters of Samuel Rutherford: With a Sketch of His Life and Biographical Notices of His Correspondents (Edinburgh; London: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1891), 389.

John Owen offers justification and explanation for the use of fishing and temptation:

THE second thing in the words of the apostle ascribed unto the deceitful working of sin is its enticing. A man is “drawn away and enticed.” And this seems particularly to respect the affections, as drawing away doth the mind. The mind is drawn away from duty, and the affections are enticed unto sin. From the prevalency hereof a man is said to be “enticed,” or entangled as with a bait: so the word imports; for there is an allusion in it unto the bait wherewith a fish is taken on the hook which holds him to his destruction.

John Owen, The Works of John Owen, ed. William H. Goold, vol. 6 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 245.

[1] This is one of the many printing errors in the text. This must either be, “The Devil offered Christ” or “Christ was offered”.

The Wonderful Combat, Sermon 6.5b


, ,

The Breadth of “All These”

Now come we to the second point: to wit, the temptation itself: haec omnia tibi dabo[1], vers.9. Having prepared Christ’s minde (as he thought) by showing him that he would give him: now he comes in with a short and pithy oration; All this will I give thee. Here you see all you can wish for: without you shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all Egypt, as Pharaoh said to Joseph, Gen. 41. 44[2], so as he might make all captains, & give to everyone one fields and vineyards, 1. Sam. 22. 7[3] that he may say to everyone what he list [he desires to]

Speakest thou to mee? Seet thou not that I have power to crucify thee, or to let thee go? John 19. 10[4] that his favor might raise a man so high, as Haman was exalted above all the princes, Esther 3. 1[5]. and his disfavor, or the least word of his mouth quite overthrow him, as Haman was verse. 7. 8. by picking some small quarrel against him[6].

But this is not all neither: for this same garish apparel, wherein many do delight, is contained under this Haec omnia [Latin, all these][7]: Not only embroidered with gold, but even gold itself, and smells of the finest scent, Psalm. 45. 8. and 9[8]. And as for the delights of the flesh, if he can see any that delight him better than other: it is no more than with David 2. Sam. 11. 4 to send for her, and have her, she was straight at his commandment.[9]

Neither must any say, it was unlawful: no, not John Baptist, if he love his head, Mark. 6. 17.[10] He may command what he list; if any gainsay it, he may dispatch him out of the way[11]: for he may kill and wound whom he list [wishes to] Dan. 5. 19[12]. he may command all men’s tongues, 2. Sam. 14. 10. that they dare not once open their mouth to speak against him[13]. Nay, he shall have all men’s tongues & pens ready to extoll all that he doth, and say; The King is like an Angell of God, 2. Sam. 19. or that it is the voice of God, and not of man, Act. 12. 22.[14]

Why, then to have all men’s hands, feet, bodies, faces, tongues, and pens this may be well said All, to have not only one kingdom, but all:

to have all the power & glory of those kingdoms:

here is even all the kingdom, the power, and the glory.

He comes not after a pelting [petty, insignificant] manner, he shows himself a frank chapman [a plain spoken merchant]: he says not that Godlines is great gayne, and a minde content with his lot, 1. Tim. 6. 6. and wills him to be content with food and raiment, ver. 8[15]. He comes not with Illae, which we shall not once behold till another world come; and whether there be any such or no, may doubt. He shows him a mount that may be touched, Heb. 12. 18[16]. hee comes with haec [Latin, these things], that is, with ready money in his hand[17]: he not only offers, but stakes down and whereas God saith, that in the sweat of our forehead we shall eat our bread, Genes. 3. 19[18]. the Devil requires no such thing. This is a donative, Haec omnia dabo: [Latin, these things I will give you]

What say you now? Shall Christ take it, or no?

[1] Latin, [I have emended the sermon text slightly to conform to the Vulgate], All these things I will give you.

[2] The Pharoah made Joseph his chief governor. Joseph commanded all of Egypt except for Pharoah. Therefore, no one could dispute Joseph, that is, no one could “raise his hand” against Joseph.

[3] King Saul, knowing that God was to take the kingdom from him, became incensed against his son-in-law David and sought to kill him. David hid from Saul. Saul accused his people of seeking to help David. Saul says, “Has David promised that he would give you vineyards if he becomes king and you help him?” The Devil says to Jesus, When you are king of the world, you will be able to give rewards to anyone you wish. You will have complete loyalty from everyone!

[4] This is a fascinating allusion: Pilate tells Jesus, that Pilate has complete power of life and death even over Jesus. The Devil is in effect offering that power to Jesus. This allusion puts Pilate into the position of the Devil, believing that he has the power of life and death. This makes Jesus’ response to Pilate a response also to the Devil: Actually God has that power:

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”

John 19:5–12 (ESV)

[5] Haman, the villan of the story of Esther, is introduced as the Persian King’s chief noble.

[6] Haman sets upon a plan to murder all the Jews in the Empire because he received a slight from one Jew. Haman prepared a gibbet from which to hang his particular enemy. Through a reversal of fortune, Haman finds himself the King’s enemy and is hanged upon his own gallows. This allusion puts the Devil in the place of Haman and of the Persian King.

[7] Anything which could stir the senses is included within the phrase “All these.”

[8] The allusion here is to the splendor of a king’s adornment:

                                  your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.

                                    From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;

                                  daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;

at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

Psalm 45:8–9 (ESV)

[9] 2 Samuel 11 begins the story of David and Bathsheba. David, alone on his roof, spies the married woman bathing. He sends for her and she becomes pregnant. Her husband, away in a battle is brought back but refuses to stay in his home while he fellow soldiers are in the field. David then gives commands that the husband die in battle.

[10] The John the Baptist condemned the King for wrongfully taking his brother’s wife as his own.  For his condemnation, John was imprisoned and then eventually beheaded, at the request of the offended wife through her daughter.  In the temptation of the Devil, condemnation of sin will also be hid away. Hiding the cost or extent of sin is a key deceit of the Devil. Thomas Brooks writes that the Devil brings so to sin:

Device (3). By extenuating and lessening of sin. Ah! saith Satan, it is but a little pride, a little worldliness, a little uncleanness, a little drunkenness, &c. As Lot said of Zoar, ‘It is but a little one, and my soul shall live’ Gen. 19:20. Alas!1 saith Satan, it is but a very little sin that you stick so at. You may commit it without any danger to your soul. It is but a little one; you may commit it, and yet your soul shall live.

Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 19.

[11] The Devil says, that if anyone will try to stop you in your course of sin, I will simply kill him for you.

[12] The reference in Daniel is to God granting to a king the power of life and death. Incidentally, this does not mean that the King’s use of that power is wise or good. God grants all breath and life. But that does not mean that all use their breath and life to glory God and to love their neighbor.

[13] This is yet another example of a king’s power. In this instance, David pledges to protect the life of a woman who has come to speak to him.

[14] The references are to people speaking to or about the king. The purpose here is that the temptation of the Devil is a temptation to this degree of unfettered power. No one will stop you in pursuing your desires. Their life will be in your hand.

[15] The Devil is frankly selling discontentment. He does not encourage us to be content with what we have, but to desire what we do not have. But Paul counsels differently:

1 Timothy 6:3–8 (ESV)

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

[16] This is an ironic reference to the Mt. Sinai which God forbad the Israelites to approach or touch. But rather than the mountain of God which is holy and may not be approached, the Devil goes to a mountain of this world and invites us to come there too.

[17] The Devil is ready to deal and has something to offer. There is no delayed gratification with the Devil.

[18] As a consequence for the Fall, God has made our work a drudgery. The world produces weeds without effort; but our food will require our hard labor.

The Wonderful Combat 6.5a



IIII.  The Offer: Every Kingdom

Omnia Regna. [Latin, Every Kingdom]

This was no small offer, but even all the wealth and honor that may be: two such things as are most vehemently desired of all men.

So that as Jerome[1] said, Prae auri sacra fame nihil sacrum.[2]

The desire thereof also is so unsatiable, that it is like the dropsy[3]: which, the more liquor administered to it, the more it thirsts: it is perpetual & unnatural. The less time a man hath to live, and so needs the less: the more he covets to abound[4]. These two do never wax old [wear out, lessen]: of all vices, gray hairs do never grow on these.[5]

This is the bait the Devil laid for Christ, and lays for youth, and minds lascivious given, he lays a bait on live flesh: to choleric natures, he minster matters that may increase their wrath: for melancholy, he lays baits of envy: and so for everyone, according to their natural inclinations and humors, such baits as may entice them soonest[6]. Which if he can get them once to swallow his hook that is within, it will hold them sure enough[7], and by his line he will draw them to him when he list [desires], so that he cares not to let them play with the line: then though he go, it is no matter: with an apple he caught Adam and Eve, and all their posterity.

Well, we must be as children, weaned from this world, though it bring weeping with it[8], Psalm. 131. 2[9]. Genes. 27. 38.[10]

When Eve was Lady and Mistress of all the world; yet, because there was a Godship, a higher degree than hers, she was not content[11]. Princes, because they can go no higher by any earthly dignity, aspire to be Gods, and so would be accounted;[12] as was said to Herod, that it was the voice of God, and not of man[13]. But, as they that are above, can abide to have no equals, but will be alone by themselves: so they that be below can abide no superior.[14] As when Saul was chosen by lot from amongst the Israelites, to be king over them, some wicked men said, There is a goodly wise King: nay, I would I were King, I would they might come to me for iustice 1. Sam. 10. 27[15]. 2. Sam. 15. 4.[16]

Everyone hath this conceit [thought] of himself, that he is worthier to bear rule, than they which are in authority: not so much as the silly Fur-bush, but it thought itself a fit person to make a King, Iudg. 9. 15[17]. & the Thistle would have the Cedars daughter married to his son, 1. King. 14. 9[18]. The Spider, a silly [insignificant]poisonfull thing, will yet be in the top of the Kings palaces, Pro. 30. 28[19]. The gourd start pp in one night, and was gone in the next. Jonah 4. 6[20]. Goodly Zebede’s wife could find no less thing to ask of Christ, for her two sons, that came the last day from the cart[21]; but that the one might sit at Christs right hand, and the other at the left in his kingdom, Mat. 20. 20[22]. Balaam could never think his ass went halfe fast inough, when he rode towards preferment, Num. 22. 17[23]. The Disciples also longed for the kingdom of Israel to be restored[24].

[1]“ JEROME (ca. 347–419/420). A church father and biblical scholar who produced numerous commentaries and homilies on Scripture, historical treatises, theological essays, a vast correspondence, and other miscellaneous works. He is most noted for his translation of the Bible into Latin, later known as the Vulgate.” Brian C. Small, “Jerome,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

[2] Latin, “Nothing is more scared than the sacred craving for gold.”  Probably better rendered as, “Nothing is more desired than the accursed greed for gold.”

This appears to be an allusion Virgil,  

Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,

  auri sacra fames?

P. Vergilius (Virgil) Maro, “Bucolics, Aeneid, and Georgics Of Vergil,” ed. J. B. Greenough (Medford, MA: Ginn & Co., 1900).

O, whither at thy will,

[81] curst greed of gold, may mortal hearts be driven?[2]

[3] Edema. There is a swelling of the tissue. So the more fluid, the more swelling, the worse the disease.

[4] This is bizarre but true. In one instance, the notes taken by the man’s psychiatrist read, “He has said to his son that he does not care about children and grandchildren and wives because if something happens, you can always replace them. However, money is a different thing.”

[5] Consider this as a practical matter: violence and lust require the cooperation of the body for performance. There are no geriatric highwaymen. But the desires for honor and money are not bound to the body’s strength. Consider merely the geriatric politicians who stump for glory when they could enjoy their grandchildren or great grandchildren. What is this but coveting praise?

[6] The Devil fits the temptation to the person. If you are prone to anger, he will provoke you to anger. If you are prone to discontentment, he will ply you with envy. He is unconcerned with the bait itself, only with the hook:

His first device to draw the soul to sin is,

Device (1). To present the bait and hide the hook; to present the golden cup, and hide the poison; to present the sweet, the pleasure, and the profit that may flow in upon the soul by yielding to sin, and by hiding from the soul the wrath and misery that will certainly follow the committing of sin. By this device he took our first parents: Gen. 3:4, 5, ‘And the serpent said unto the woman, 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.’ Your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods! Here is the bait, the sweet, the pleasure, the profit. Oh, but he hides the hook,—the shame, the wrath, and the loss that would certainly follow!

Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 12.

[7] “He that will play with Satan’s bait, will quickly be taken with Satan’s hook.” Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 159.

[8] The passages quoted by Andrewes are given as illustrations, not proofs of his point. We must give a love of the world, irrespective of the pain and loss we may experience.

[9] Psalm 131:1–2 (ESV)

                                  O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;

my eyes are not raised too high;

                                    I do not occupy myself with things

too great and too marvelous for me.

                                  But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

like a weaned child with its mother;

like a weaned child is my soul within me.

[10] Genesis 27:38 (ESV) “Esau said to his father, ‘Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.’ And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.”

[11] Eve was the absolute queen of the world. But that was not enough for her. Since there God, and she was not God, she was made to be discontent with being queen.

[12] The irony and even prophetic force of Andrewes words are shown by a speech given by then-future King of England, James I to Parliament:

The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth; for kings are not only God’s lieutenants

upon earth, and sit upon God’s throne, but even by God himself are called gods. There be three

principal similitudes that illustrate the state of monarchy: one taken out of the word of God; and the

two other out of the grounds of policy and philosophy. In the Scriptures kings are called gods, and so

their power after a certain relation compared to the divine power. Kings are also compared to fathers

Parens patriae  of families: for a king is truly , the political father of his people. And lastly, kings are

compared to the head of this microcosm of the body of man.

Kings are justly called gods, for that they exercise a manner or resemblance of divine power upon earth: for if you will consider the attributes to God, you shall see how they agree in the person of a king. God hath power to create or destroy make or unmake at his pleasure, to give life or send death, to judge all and to be judged nor accountable to none; to raise low things and to make high things low at his pleasure, and to God are both souls and body due. And the like power have kings: they make and unmake their subjects, they have power of raising and casting down, of life and of death, judges over all their subjects and in all causes and yet accountable to none but God only. . . .

You can find of that speech here:

[13] Acts 12:20–25 (ESV)

20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.

24 But the word of God increased and multiplied.

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.

[14] Our evny and discontent is not the sole quality of the powerful. Those who lack power despise those who have it.

[15] 1 Samuel 10:25–27 (ESV)

25 Then Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship, and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home. 26 Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched. 27 But some worthless fellows said, “How can this man save us?” And they despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.

[16] David’s son, a prince, was not content with being a prince:

2 Samuel 15:1–4 (ESV)

After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.”

[17] Judges 9:7–15 (ESV)

When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on top of Mount Gerizim and cried aloud and said to them, “Listen to me, you leaders of Shechem, that God may listen to you. The trees once went out to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my abundance, by which gods and men are honored, and go hold sway over the trees?’ 10 And the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 11 But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go hold sway over the trees?’ 12 And the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 13 But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my wine that cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?’ 14 Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 15 And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade, but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’

[18] 1 Kings 14:7–10 (ESV)

Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: “Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, but you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods and metal images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back, 10 therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone.

[19] Proverbs 30:27–28 (Geneva)

27 The greshopper hathe no King, yet go thei forthe all by bandes:

28 The spider taketh holde with her hãds, and is in Kings palaces.

Modern translation all have “lizard” rather than “spider” in verse 28.

[20] Jonah 4:5–7 (ESV)

Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered.

[21] They had only just been taken from their position of working.

[22] The madness of the request is something. Jesus is on his way to be arrested and murdered:

Matthew 20:18–24 (ESV)

18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers.

[23] Numbers 22:22–33 (ESV)

22 But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”

31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.”

[24] Acts 1:6–9 (ESV)

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

The Wonderful Combat 6.4


, , ,

III.       The Devil Appeals to our Sense

Thirdly, he sets before his eyes al the kingdoms of the earth. There is nothing so soon enticed & led away as the eye: it is the broker between the heart & all wicked lusts that be in the world. And therefore, it was great folly in Hezekiah, to shew his robes and treasure, Isaiah 39. 2. as he was told by the prophet: it stirred vp such coals of desire in them that saw them, as could not be quenched, till they had fetched away all that he had, and all that his ancestors had laid up even till that day[1].

It is the wisdom that is used nowadays, when men would have one thing for another, to show the thing they would so exchange: as the buyer shows his money, and the seller his wares in the best manner that he can, each to entice the other (by the eye) to the desire of the heart[2].

It is the Devil’s ancient sleight, he would not go about to persuade the matter in words, till he might withal present the thing to the eye[3].

So, he dealt with Eve, Gen. 3. 6. First he shewed her how pleasant the fruit was, and the woman saw it.[4] So, the cause of the deluge was, Gen. 6. 2. that the sons of God saw the beauty of the daughters of men.[5] Ahab’s seeing of Naboth’s vineyard, 1. Kin. 21. 2. for that it lay near his house, was the cause of all the mischief that followed.[6] This same foolish vanity of apparel, (whereof I have given so often warning out of this place,) comes from hence. I saw a fine Babilonish garment, and desiring it, I tooke it, saith Achan, Joshua 7. 21[7]. So the seeing of the bribe, blinds the eyes of the judge, Deut. 16. 19[8]. So still the sight of the eye, allures the heart to desire.

The Heathen man therefore wished, that virtue and honesty might as well be seen with bodily eyes: for then he thinketh, that Admirabiles amores excitarent sui[9]. So, if we could as well see that which God hath for us, as that the Devil here offers us: we would not regard the Devil’s largesse. Moses and the other Patriarchs saw him which is invisible, which had provided a better thing for them: therefore he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, Heb. 11. 27. and to enjoy the pleasure of sin.[10]

But you are not so to take it, as though it were a thing simply ill to behold such things, or to look on a cupboard of plate, or to stand on a pinnacle, it is dangerous, but no sin; especially, it is unfit for an unstayed & an ungoverned eye. Therefore Lot & his wife were forbidden to look back at the destruction of Sodom, Gen. 19. 17[11]. To Abraham it was left at large, without any restraint: for that he was a man of better ruled affections.

For as there must be one without, to take view and to entice: so, must there be one within, to hearken to it & to condescended. Be sure of that within, that it be upright: and then you may the better look with that which is without. But ever be wary, for the tinder of thy nature will soon take fire[12].

Job said chap. 31. ver. 1. he made a covenant with his eyes: Why then should he think on a maid, and that he had not been deceived with a woman, vers. 9. and that his hart had not walked after his eye? ver. 7.[13] Paul knew how to use want, and how to use abundance or plenty, and how poverty: both to be full, and to be hungry: he had stayed affections, Phil. 4. 12.


We human beings are not moved by thoughts but by desire. Imagine Spock, the man of perfect logic and no emotion. How would such a man ever actually act? I could see one thing might be “better” than another, but why move?

Or consider the matter differently: what decisions have you made without any emotion, any desire, any affection? How acts without caring about the outcome? Who puts forth effort without desiring to obtain some-thing?

This is how the Devil proceeds with us. He does not merely tell us that some sin may be had. He shows it. We hear it. We see it. Consider this discussion of temptation in Proverbs 7

Proverbs 7:11–18 (ESV)

            11          She is loud and wayward;

her feet do not stay at home;

            12          now in the street, now in the market,

and at every corner she lies in wait.

            13          She seizes him and kisses him,  [touch, taste]

and with bold face she says to him, [sound]

            14          “I had to offer sacrifices,

and today I have paid my vows;

            15          so now I have come out to meet you,

to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. [desire]

            16          I have spread my couch with coverings,

colored linens from Egyptian linen; [sight]

            17          I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,

aloes, and cinnamon. [smell]

            18          Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;

let us delight ourselves with love. [she then presents the temptation]

We must give attention to the temptation:

Proverbs 23:31 (ESV)

            31          Do not look at wine when it is red,

when it sparkles in the cup

and goes down smoothly.

The temptation requires not merely the offer, but it also requires the potential desire to respond. He pictures this as a match and tinder. We can avoid temptation by avoiding the match. But we must also protect our heart from being so flammable:

Proverbs 4 gives us that advice. Consider this as it applies to avoiding the occasion of temptation and the keeping of our heart; both must be in place for us to be safe (because we will not be perfectly avoid all occasions of temptation):

Proverbs 4:20–27 (ESV)

            20          My son, be attentive to my words;

incline your ear to my sayings.

            21          Let them not escape from your sight;

keep them within your heart.

            22          For they are life to those who find them,

and healing to all their flesh.

            23          Keep your heart with all vigilance,

for from it flow the springs of life.

            24          Put away from you crooked speech,

and put devious talk far from you.

            25          Let your eyes look directly forward,

and your gaze be straight before you.

            26          Ponder the path of your feet;

then all your ways will be sure.

            27          Do not swerve to the right or to the left;

turn your foot away from evil.

[1] The King Hezekiah received a visitation from the envoys from Babylon. He showed them all the wealth which had been accumulated in Jerusalem. They saw that wealth and soon returned to take for Bablyon:

Isaiah 39:1–8 (ESV)

At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” Hezekiah said, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.”

[2] This is the way men complete their business. The seller shows what he has to sell; that excites the buyer. The buyer shows his money; that excites the seller.

[3] This is the way the Devil works. He does not just tell someone about the sin: he shows it. When we see it with our eyes, the temptation arouses our desire.

[4] Note how the Serpent plays upon Eve’s desires not just with words but with sense. He uses words to get her to consider the issue; just take a look:

Genesis 3:1–7 (ESV)

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

[5] This is a debated passage: who are the “sons of God”:

Genesis 6:1–2 (ESV)

 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.

This is followed by the Flood.

[6] King Ahab saw the vineyard of his neighbor Naboth. It filled him with desire. This led to his wife having Naboth killed on trumped-up charges so Ahab could steal the land.

[7] Joshua 7:20–22 (ESV)

20 And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: 21 when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and behold, it was hidden in his tent with the silver underneath.

Achan would be used as a frequent example of the progression of covetousness to sinful action. For example, “Satan is ever casting in the angle of a tentation, to see whether we will bite; he knows how to suit his tentations; he tempted Achan with a wedge of gold: he tempted David with beauty; we cannot lock the door of our heart so fast by prayer, but a tentation will enter.” Thomas Watson, The Christian Soldier, or Heaven Taken by Storm, ed. Armstrong, Second American Edition. (New York: Robert Moore, 1816), 201.

[8] Deuteronomy 16:19 (ESV)

19 You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous.

[9] Latin. A paraphrase would, “That would arouse their strong desire.”

[10] Hebrews 11:23–28 (ESV)

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

[11] God pronounced judgment upon Sodom. However, God graciously provided for the escape of Lot (Abraham’s nephew) and Lot’s family. The angels who led Lot from the city warned them carefully to flee and to not look at the city. Lot’s wife looked back and was turned to salt. J.C. Ryle preached a tremendous sermon on this passage, “A Woman to be Remembered.”

[12] The image here is pile of dry brush and a match. There must be a match. There must be the tinder. When the two come into contact, there is fire: “the heart of man being as tinder or powder, easily catching at every spark that sets the flesh on fire.”Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, vol. 18 (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1874), 390. The image of the heart as tinder was a commonplace among those following the time of Andrewes.

[13] This is a passage in which Job protests his innocence:

Job 31:1–10 (ESV)

 “I have made a covenant with my eyes;

how then could I gaze at a virgin?

                                  What would be my portion from God above

and my heritage from the Almighty on high?

                                  Is not calamity for the unrighteous,

and disaster for the workers of iniquity?

                                  Does not he see my ways

and number all my steps?

                                  “If I have walked with falsehood

and my foot has hastened to deceit;

                                  (Let me be weighed in a just balance,

and let God know my integrity!)

                                  if my step has turned aside from the way

and my heart has gone after my eyes,

and if any spot has stuck to my hands,

                                  then let me sow, and another eat,

and let what grows for me be rooted out.

                                  “If my heart has been enticed toward a woman,

and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door,

                  10               then let my wife grind for another,

and let others bow down on her.