Satan's Role in Causing Suffering

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Satan's Role in Causing Suffering

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Satan is a major reason for people’s suffering. The Bible tells of “that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan” (Revelation 20:2 Revelation 20:2And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
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), who rules over mankind as the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2 Ephesians 2:2Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
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). As “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4 2 Corinthians 4:4In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
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), Satan is the instigator of much of humanity’s misery.

Peter warns Christians that their “adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
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). Jesus tells us, in the parable of the sower and the seed, that, as soon as many people hear God’s Word explained to them, “Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts” (Mark 4:15 Mark 4:15And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan comes immediately, and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.
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).

The apostle Paul asked Timothy to instruct and admonish “those who are in opposition” so they could “come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:25-26 2 Timothy 2:25-26 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
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). Jesus sent Paul to the gentiles “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18 Acts 26:18To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
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).

We can see from these passages that Satan exerts a tremendous and pervasive power over mankind. How great is his influence? The Bible tells us that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19 1 John 5:19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
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).

Shortly before Christ returns, Satan and his demons will instigate a time of trouble that will prove to be more terrible than any tragedy human beings have ever experienced (Matthew 24:21-22 Matthew 24:21-22 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
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). The suffering it will bring is unimaginable.

At that time Satan will mislead mankind through a “lawless one” whose influence will be “according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception . . .” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all delusion of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
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).

Satan’s influence is the cause of much of the division and animosity among nations, races, religions and individuals. The Bible calls him “the tempter” (Matthew 4:3 Matthew 4:3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
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; 1 Thessalonians 3:5 1 Thessalonians 3:5For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain.
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). He capitalizes on our weaknesses to tempt and lure us into sin and conflict with each other (1 Corinthians 7:5 1 Corinthians 7:5Defraud you not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
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). By these means he instigates attitudes and behaviors in people that bring conflict, injury, heartache and death.

God, however, sets limits on Satan’s power and influence over mankind (Job 1:12 Job 1:12And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your power; only on himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
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; Job 2:6 Job 2:6And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand; but save his life.
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). God will not allow Satan to defeat His master plan for the salvation of humanity. God will never relinquish His ultimate control over the affairs of man.