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© Rosemary Bardsley 2020

Alongside the physical world that God created, there also exists a ‘world’ which is not normally visible to humans. This ‘world’ was also created by God, through his Son, Jesus Christ. To understand the Bible’s broad perspectives on suffering it is necessary to also understand that this ‘invisible’ world exists alongside of the visible, physical world.



What do these verses teach about this invisible world?
Colossians 1:16

John 1:3


These verses assure us that the invisible world was also created by Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

In this invisible world there are a range of creatures.

What normally invisible beings are identified in these verses?
Genesis 3:24

Exodus 25:17 – 22 (crafted representations of these beings)

1Kings 6:23 – 35 (crafted representations of these beings)

Job 1:6

Job 1:6

Isaiah 6:1 – 7 (in a vision)

Ezekiel 1:4 - 14 (in a vision)

Matthew 1:20

Matthew 4:1 – 11

Mark 5:1 - 13

Luke 2:13

Revelation 4:6-11 (in a vision)

Revelation 12:9, 10

In these verses we read of a range of beings that are not normally visible to us – cherubim, Satan (who has many names or titles), seraphim, ‘living creatures’, angels, demons and so on. Some of them are good, serving the Lord; others are evil, opposed to the Lord.



It is important to identify at this point that all of these, because they are created by God, are neither outside of his authority nor able to thwart his purpose. God is Sovereign. They are his subjects, accountable to him, whether they like it or not.

Read these verses. How do they communicate the sovereign authority of God over these beings, particularly over those that work against him?
Job 1:6 – 12

Job 2:1 – 7

Mark 1:21 – 27

John 12:31, 32

Ephesians 1:19b – 22

Colossians 2:15

2Peter 2:4



In a study on suffering it is necessary to look at Satan and his involvement in suffering.

The first we hear of him he is in Genesis 3:1-7, and here that we see several of his characteristics in action:

Check these verses. How does what Satan did and said in Genesis 3:1-7 demonstrate what these verses teach about him?
2Corinthians 11:13-15

Revelation 12:9

John 8:44a

John 8:44b

Revelation 9:11

What we read in these verses helps us to understand what Satan did in Genesis 3:

He is a master of disguise/deceit. He spoke to Eve through a serpent. (He is the great deceiver.)

He leads people astray (away from God). He led Eve, and through her, Adam, astray, and hence led the whole world astray.

He is ‘the devil’, diabolos, which means the slanderer, the accuser. In Genesis 3 he slandered and accused God.

He is ‘Satan’: the adversary/opponent/accuser. In Genesis 3 he acts as God’s adversary, and, although he pretended otherwise, the adversary of Adam, Eve and their descendants.

He is ‘a murderer’. He enticed Eve, and through her, Adam, into an action that would result in death.

He is a liar. In Genesis 3 he told his first lies to humans. He told lies about God and about what God had said would result from eating the fruit. Because of this lie, all other religious lies exist. All false teaching, all human religions, all human misconceptions about God, have their original source here.

He is Apollyon (Abaddon) which means ‘the destroyer’. In enticing Eve and Adam to disobey God his intention is destruction. As we will see later, Satan wants to destroy and/or discredit whatever or whoever has God’s love and approval and gives God pleasure.


On Satan’s attacks on Job see this study.

For suffering caused directly by Satan – this study.

Extended study on Satan and demons : http://godswordforyou.com/joomla4/bible-studies/satan-and-demons.html