The Chief Cause Of All Human Suffering
The reason for a world of evil, suffering, sickness, and death, is a fallen being who opposes God and seeks the destruction and death of every person on earth. Beginning at the book of Genesis, chapter 3, God promises a Redeemer who will make it possible for any person to experience the forgiveness of their own sins and destroy the work of the devil.
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel. ~Genesis 3:15b
The Apostle John Writes In His Gospel That Jesus Accomplished This By His Death And Resurrection
…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. ~1 John 3:8
Created as the most beautiful, intelligent, and perfect creature of God, Lucifer held a place of honor before God that was given to no other. Unknown to us today is precisely when Lucifer attempted his assault against the throne of God, this event most certainly took place before God created Adam. When we see Eve in the garden and the devil seeking to deceive her, Lucifer had already fallen and lost his glorious position.
God describes Lucifer as the highest of all God’s creation and perfect until he chose to sin against God.
You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. ~Ezekiel 28:15
Isaiah Chapter 14 and Ezekiel Chapter 28 both describe Lucifer before his fall.
Lucifer’s sin occurred after the earth was created but long before Adam was created by God. Before Adam is spoken of in Genesis chapter 1, Lucifer, the greatest of all the angels, is described by Ezekiel 28:13 as in Eden, perfect. After his fall he is seen in the Garden once again in opposition to Adam’s creation, seeking to cause his fall.
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. ~Genesis 3:4-5
The Creation Of Lucifer, Perfect In Every Way:
…You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. ~Ezekiel 28:12
He Was In Eden, The Garden Of God Before Adam Was Created:
You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering… ~Ezekiel 28:13
We see that Lucifer was in the Garden of God on the earth and was perfect, long before Adam was Created. This was not the Garden of Eden of Adam; it is called by a different name: The Garden of God.
He Was On The Mountain Of God, Walking In The Midst Of The Fiery Stones:
You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. ~Ezekiel 28:14
Perfect Until He Coveted God’s Title:
…For you have said (Pre-Fall) in your heart: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” ~Isaiah 14:13-14
You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. 16 By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. 17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you. 18 You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you. ~Ezekiel 28:15-18
Verse 14: Lucifer is a cherub, an angel who was on the Holy Mountain of God, before Adam was created and placed on the earth.
Verse 15: He was perfect from the day he was created.
Verse 16: Lucifer is described as trading, a description of the work he was doing on the Mountain of God, before God created Adam. As a result the Lord destroyed him. The Hebrew word used here is wā·’ab·beḏ·ḵā, to kill or make perish. It seems that upon his fall Lucifer may have lost his physical body while retaining his eternal spirit. This is perhaps why we see him as satan in the body of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. This is much in the same way that we see the angels who were disobedient to God, came to earth and died in the flood of Noah. They are now without physical bodies, described as demons.
Verse 17: It was pride over his beauty that caused Lucifer to fall. Notice that at his fall, God laid him before kings so that they might gaze at him. This is written in the present tense, meaning that at that time when Lucifer fell, Kings saw him. These kings were on the earth with Lucifer, and they were all here before Adam was created, later in the Garden of Eden. It is because of this description that some scholars see the possibility of a creation existing on the earth before Adam was created.
Verse 18: Lucifer is described by God as defiling your sanctuaries—a place of worship on the earth on the Mountain of God before Adam was created. God says that He turned Lucifer to ashes upon the earth, in the sight of all those who saw him fall.
The Language Here Is Clear
Lucifer was a prince over the earth before man was created. He had rulership over kings, and there were other beings that may have been angels or some other humanoid type of beings. Lucifer coveted the power that God had over all creation, and he was not satisfied with the rule God gave him on the earth.
Lucifer is said to defile his sanctuaries. A sanctuary is a place of worship. Lucifer defiled the place of worship to which he was in authority over—by proclaiming that he is God and then commanding that all who were on the earth to worship him. There is an amazing similarity between this event and the events which take place during the seven year Tribulation as the antichrist, during the midway point of the seven-year Tribulation, will also defile the Temple at Jerusalem and demand the exclusive worship of himself by the inhabitants of the earth.
It was for this reason that God cast Lucifer out of heaven and destroyed him. In the same way, after the antichrist commands the world to worship him as God, the 21 judgements described in the Book of Revelation are unleashed upon the kingdom of the antichrist and those who do worship him.
God will not permit any being to take his place as the sovereign God of the earth. When Lucifer sought this title for himself before Adam was created, God destroyed him. When the antichrist seeks the title of God and His worship during the middle of the seven year Tribulation, God will destroy him also.
Jesus Said That He Saw satan, Cast Out Of Heaven:
And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” ~Matthew 10:18
Lucifer Destroys The Earth:
After God dethroned Lucifer and took away his right of rulership, something cataclysmic took place on the earth which was caused by Lucifer’s rebellion—instituted by God’s judgement.
Lucifer is cast out of heaven, dethroned, and he becomes satan, resulting in the earth being made a wilderness.
Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities… ~Isaiah 14:17
Lucifer sought to ascend into heaven and take rulership from God. He was therefore cast out of heaven to the earth.
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. ~!Isaiah 14:12-15
Notice God’s reference to Lucifer’s fall, that he weakened the nations. This is not a future reference but a present-tense statement of the events which took place when Lucifer fell. God cast Lucifer out of heaven back to the earth before the very nations and kings to which he had formerly ruled over.
God Judges The World, Places It In A State Of Suspension:
Upon its destruction, God places the earth in a deep freeze and covers it with water with no light, no land, and no life. The term darkness was on the face of the deep, in Hebrew (Tohu wa Bohu), implies that a judgement has taken place. This was not simply a declaration that the earth was in a state of emptiness before God formed it for habitation, but that it was habitable and then became a wasteland by the action of God’s judgment.
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. ~Genesis 1:2
When we arrive at verse 3 of Genesis Chapter 1, God is ready to take the earth out of its suspended state and bring forth life again.
The End Of All Evil
In our look at the first prophecy of the Bible, we discovered, in Genesis Chapter 3, verse 15, that God had promised a Savior to redeem all people, by a Messiah who would be born of the seed of a woman. This Savior is referred to as: He (who) shall bruise your head.
The Seed of a woman is a strange term since a woman does not have seed within her. Under normal circumstances, the seed must come from a man. In the case of this promised Savior, God would supernaturally impart Seed into the woman who would bear the Messiah, without the aid of a human father. It should therefore come as no surprise to us when we arrive at the New Testament book of Matthew, and learn that this Seed is imparted to Mary, a virgin—by the Holy Spirit.
A Body Prepared
In the Book of Hebrews, there is an interesting text that describes a conversation between the Father and the Son—before Jesus took the body of a human being at Bethlehem:
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.” Then I said, “Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.” ~Hebrews 10:5-7
The body that Jesus inhabited was imparted to Him by the Spirit of God. A body that was prepared for Him by the Father—before the foundation of the world.
In these three verses of Hebrews 10:5-7, we learn that the Old Testament sacrifices for sin were only shadows of the perfect sacrifice that Jesus would make for all people, for all time. From the beginning, it was the Lord’s desire to put away sin, forever. The animals that were brought to the priests for sins were a precursor of the one offering that Jesus would make to fully pay for all of our sins. This one sacrifice would bring to an end the Old Testament need for perpetual sacrifices, and fulfill every requirement of God to forgive all sins.
A human body was prepared by the Father for His Son, so that He might be qualified to be the Savior of the World.
Jesus Became The Second Adam
The Bible describes all men as sinners, having inherited this flaw from Adam. In the same way; all men who place their trust in Jesus—as the second Adam; are made righteous by His Sacrifice.
For since by man (Adam) came death, by Man (Jesus) also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive ~1 Corinthians 15:21-22.
Satan’s deception of Adam caused his fall and the presence of sin to enter the entire human race. It is his goal to bring destruction and eternal death to as many people as possible. Therefore, it was the purpose of Jesus sacrifice to destroy the works of satan and bring to an end all sin and the curse of death.
...The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. ~1 John 3:8 (ESV)
When Adam sinned, he also lost his dominion over the earth that had been given to him by God. From the fall of Adam to the present day, satan has maintained his dominion over the earth. The purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection was to redeem the earth back to God.
The Chronicle For Dominion Of The Earth:
- God creates the earth; it is His.
- God gave dominion of the earth to Adam.
- Adam loses dominion to satan at the fall.
- Satan has dominion from the fall of Adam to the present day.
- Jesus wins the right to redeem the earth back to God at the cross, but delays taking His dominion until His return (Revelation 5).
- Jesus will have final dominion over the earth at His second coming.
- The Lord will share dominion of the earth with those whom He has redeemed from the earth upon His return.
The evidence that satan has dominion over the earth, even to the present time, is observed by Jesus’ conversation with the devil, in Luke Chapter 4. Satan tells Jesus that all authority has been delivered to him for this world. Jesus never disputes this fact, only that worship should be given only to God.
Then the devil, taking Jesus up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” ~Luke 4:5-8
The Reason For Suffering
The present dominion of the earth by satan (Luke 4:5-8) is one of the reasons that there is so much suffering and evil on the earth. We cannot blame God for the condition of the world, since it is presently under the dominion of satan. This is what the earth is like without the Lord as our king. A secondary and equal cause of all suffering in the world is sin. From the moment that Adam disobeyed God and chose to live apart from His law, all men born after Adam; became sinners. It is by this fatal flaw of sin that we can trace the entire history of human suffering.
God is always sovereign over the universe, but He allows limited dominion to those who win the right to rule. Adam won the right to have dominion by his obedience and fellowship with God. He lost this right to satan, who deceived him, and took from Adam the right to rule. Jesus won back the right to rule the earth, having defeated satan at the Cross and His Resurrection. The Lord’s complete dominion over the earth has been delayed until His return to earth at the end of the seven-year Tribulation. When Jesus returns with His church, He will share dominion over the whole earth with all those who have believed in Him for Salvation and were watching for His return (Luke 19:17, Matthew 24:45-47).
It is also important to remember that although dominion may be won, the parameters for that dominion are set by God and controlled by His power, His will, and His sovereignty. An example of the limited power of satan is seen in the first two chapters of Job, where satan is given the right by God to afflict Job on a limited basis.
Then 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, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. ~Job 1:8-12
Satan’s accusation against God was that Job only served Him for the benefits that he received. To prove the genuineness of Job’s love for God, the Lord allowed satan limited access to Job for a time. All the while that satan had access to Job, it was for the express purpose of displaying the truth of Job’s love and motivation for serving God.
Job was not aware of the charges levied against him by satan, nor that God had allowed satan limited access to his life. To Job, the plans and purposes of God must have seemed a mystery. Job may have considered that God did not care, or even perhaps that He did not have the ability to do anything about his circumstances. We may often observe evil as it is committed in the world and believe that God doesn’t care, refuses to help, or that He is not able to help. Like Job, we may not realize that there is much more occurring behind the scenes in our present circumstances than we are aware of. God is always working out His plan for our lives, even though we may be completely unaware of what He is doing. Our place is to believe in the goodness of God and to trust that He has a good outcome planned for us.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28
This present world is under the dominion of satan. This is the reason that there is so much suffering and evil in the world today. In spite of this truth, the Lord is working out all of His good plans that He has determined before the world was created. The Lord has revealed many of these plans by the Old Testament prophecies that are recorded in the Bible.
In this present age, satan has limited dominion over the earth. He could do nothing unless he had previously won this dominion from Adam at the fall. We should never confuse permission with sovereignty. God has permitted satan to be the ruler of this world (John 12:31) because he has won this right from Adam. The evil we observe today is the result of a world that is under satan’s limited power and influence. If God were to grant unrestrained control of the earth to satan, he would kill every human being on the planet and utterly destroy the earth.
Because God restrains satan and has total power over all of creation, including satan and his activities, our world is still inhabitable and we have the opportunity to love and trust God.
All over the earth, everyday, God allows people to decide for themselves, whether or not, they will believe in Jesus and be saved. Although the consequences for not believing is eternal death, many still reject Jesus and count as nothing, the suffering and death that He endured to make our salvation possible. The Lord loves us, and He respects our right of self-determination—which He has given us. It is also true that the Lord will not force His love or salvation upon anyone. Though we may stubbornly refuse to receive the love of God, He relentlessly pursues us until our final breath.
One of the foundational principle of the universe, in which God operates, is in the area of the human will. Although God is sovereign and Lord over the entire cosmos, He permits every person to continue in their actions, whether they be good or evil—until their life comes to an end. God has set before us life and death. He sincerely hopes that we will choose life—which is found only in Jesus Christ, but we can also choose death by rejecting Jesus as our Savior. The decisions that we make while alive will determine what God does with us in eternity. He has testified of this truth in His word, and He holds each one of us accountable—not only to know these things but also to make the right decision.
In God’s own time, He will bring an end to the rulership of satan and the obstinance of men. When the Lord has given the full measure of time that He has determined for each one of us, He will bring to a conclusion, this present world and begin a brand new world in which righteousness dwells.
Why Does God Permit satan To Continue?
The question of satan’s continued presence can only be answered by God. It is hard to understand why an agent of so much suffering and death could be allowed to remain on the earth for so long. As we examine how the Lord works through all types of people throughout the Bible—good and bad—we understand that He has a purpose for those who know Him, as well as those who do not. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, was a pagan king who didn’t know God, but he became known to this king, in great detail, through the prophet Daniel. The Lord called Nebuchadnezzar for specific tasks in order to accomplish His will, even though this king did not love God or worship Him. Cyrus was described by God in the prophecies of Isaiah chapters 44 and 45, one hundred and fifty years before he was born. The Lord worked through this pagan king to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the Temple.
It appears that the purpose that God has for satan is to offer us a choice. There are only two kingdoms in the universe—the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. We can serve the Lord, or we can serve satan, there is no neutral ground. A person might object to the limitation of only two choices, but this is nevertheless the only two options that God has given us. If a person will not serve Jesus, then he is automatically defaulted to serve in satan’s kingdom. Someone might claim that he does not serve God nor satan, but neutrality is not an option that God recognized. Jesus said that those who are not with Him are against Him.
He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters. ~Luke 11:23
Giving someone the freedom to make his own choices is the greatest act of genuine love that a person can express. The unfortunate consequences of conveying this freedom to a person is that he may use his liberty to make decisions that cause his suffering, as well as the suffering of many others. The continuing consequences of allowing all human beings the privilege of their free will is clear and obvious—all over the earth. It is a mistake to blame God for what people do to each other by their own choices.
We forget many times that our acts of sin and the suffering that people experience in this world—as a result of those sins, also cause the Lord to suffer.
The LORD is longsuffering… ~Numbers 14:18
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. ~2 Peter 3:9
As the Lord sees the world in a condition that He never intended for us, He longs for the day when He will say “enough,” and the time of His patience with man’s sin will come to an end.
And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever…” ~Genesis 6:3
Parents, who observe their child making decisions that cause their hurt, suffer themselves as they see their sons or daughters experience the consequences of their actions. The Lord has been suffering for the decisions that Adam has made—as well as those who are his descendants, for six thousand years.
God cannot do anything that is evil. He will however, not prevent us from doing the evil that we choose to do by our own free will. It would be completely unloving for God to stop us from exercising our right of choice that He has given to us—to make our own decisions apart from Him, if that is our desire. God does, however, suffer greatly for the decisions that we make and constantly seeks to draw us into a close relationship with Him, so that He can someday remove us from this present world that is quickly coming to an end. It should be noted that this time when we can choose to rebel against God, will not last forever. At the end of this age, when Jesus returns to earth; the entire population of this planet will live in conformity to the righteous laws of God.
It was the compassion of God in all our suffering and His desire to end our pain that compelled Him to allow His only Son to die for us, by such great torture and misery.
This second Old Testament prophecy that Jesus fulfilled is found in the second part of Genesis 3:15:
…He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel. ~Genesis 3:15
At the Cross, Jesus not only paid for the sins of every person—for all time, He also bruised the head of satan. The meaning of this verse is clear: Jesus would destroy the works of satan, by removing man’s slavery to sin and the fear of death that all men have.
… that through death Jesus might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. ~Hebrews 2:14-15
The meaning of: He shall bruise your head, is clearly a reference to a fatal blow that was dealt to satan and his works by Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.
…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. ~1 John 3:8
The second part of Genesis 3:15, in this second Old Testament prophecy, describes Jesus as he would experience a bruising of His heel by satan. It was the intent of satan—at Jesus’ death, that He would be defeated and lose His ability to be our Savior. Satan clearly did not understand the ramifications of Jesus’ death, nor that His resurrection would mean the end of satan’s rulership over man. When Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, the reality of what His death had accomplished was revealed to all creation. As satan understood that he had been defeated, forever, and his limited rulership over the earth for the past six thousand years, was over; He knew that his remaining time was short. In these last days before Jesus returns, satan has drastically increased his activity of evil and deception in seeking to destroy as many lives as possible, before the Lord returns.
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. ~1 Corinthians 2:7-8
Jesus’ death on the Cross caused only a bruising of His heel. At the resurrection, Jesus lifted His foot and crushed the head of the serpent forever, who once defeated man in the garden and took away his eternal life.
The Fulfillment of this second prophecy of the Bible is found in these two New Testament Verses:
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. ~Hebrews 2:14-15
Today, because Jesus did not waiver or fail in His efforts to be the perfect—second Adam, all people everywhere have the opportunity to have their sins removed and be flawless—in the eyes of God.
All those who come to Jesus Christ in true and sincere repentance, looking to His sacrifice on the Cross as the payment for their sins, have their record of wrong, cleansed.
If you are trusting in Jesus today and believe that He died for you on the Cross and rose from the dead, your sins are no more, and you are clean and perfect before God. There is therefore NOW no condemnation to those who are in Christ.
Very soon, the devil, his demons, all sickness, suffering, and death, will be eliminated from the earth. When Jesus returns with His church at the end of the seven year Tribulation, the devil will be chained at the Abusso and the earth rid of his plagues. We can all pray that this day is not long, for our world is suffering under the weight of evil every day and we cannot survive much longer unless our Lord returns.
God: His Adversaries