God gives us the knowledge and help we need to resist Satan in every way.
As shown in the articles in this issue—and as is evident from the news headlines every day—great evil is at work in our world. But few understand the source of that evil, and how great and how dangerous it really is.
As I write these words my heart is broken over yet another mass murder in a school. A mentally deranged 28-year-old woman—who recently started identifying as a man—shot her way through locked doors at a private Christian elementary school and then gunned down three nine-year-old schoolchildren and three adult staff before being herself killed by responding police.
It’s another sad footnote in the story of a culture and society that has tragically and horrifyingly lost its way.
Perhaps not surprisingly, this happened on the same day results of a national poll were released showing the percentage of Americans who said religion was “very important” to them had plunged to only 39 percent over the last 25 years—a shocking drop of 23 points. This kind and rate of change is unprecedented.
The reality is that we’re seeing things that defy physical understanding. The only way to begin to truly understand is to realize we’re dealing with a different reality—a spiritual reality. And the only truly accurate source of information about that spiritual reality is from the true God—His Word, the Holy Bible. Here we find information we could learn of in no other way.
God’s Word reveals the source of the evil so prevalent in our world. That source is a powerful spirit being—a kind of super-angel—who once served God but rebelled and now hates God and everything He stands for. The Bible refers to this being as Satan the devil, words that mean “enemy” or “adversary” and “slanderer.” The apostle Peter calls him “your enemy the devil” (1 Peter 5:8, New International Version, emphasis added throughout). The Bible reveals that these words describe him well. That’s what he is, and that’s what he does.
Jesus Christ referred to this being as “a murderer from the beginning” and “the father of [lies]” (John 8:44). If you believe Jesus is real, you must believe Satan is also real because Jesus repeatedly affirms his existence!
The Bible clearly shows that our cultures and societies are powerfully influenced by Satan. The apostle John writes that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Every human civilization has been seduced by this evil being’s insidious lies and deception. The tragic result has been thousands of years of misery and suffering.
Satan’s deception is so pervasive that the Bible calls him “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). In the original Greek wording here, the apostle Paul identifies him as the theos—the god, the one who is worshiped—of this aeon, this age, this era in mankind’s history. Jesus himself calls Satan “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31).
Consider what this reveals about Satan’s influence—that most of humanity unwittingly follows and worships the devil as its god. Most assume much of humanity worships the God of the Bible. But God Himself clearly tells us that’s not true, that mankind as a whole follows in the footsteps of a different god—a lying and deceptive god!
That is the astounding truth revealed in God’s Word, a fact we ignore at our peril! Some of that worship is increasingly out in the open, as shown in this issue’s first article. Some is much more subtle, as shown in the next article.
Understanding these sobering truths explains so much of what is so terribly wrong with our world. Paul explained that, because of Satan’s unseen grip on mankind, most people fail to understand or accept the truth of the Bible. They do not understand or believe the gospel—the wonderful good news—of God’s incredible plan for mankind. As Paul put it, “. . . The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ . . .” (2 Corinthians 4:4, New Revised Standard Version).
But the true followers of God are never without hope, “because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). God gives us the knowledge and help we need to resist Satan in every way. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you,” He tells us. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7).
Arm yourself with the knowledge of your enemy revealed in this issue and stand against him with God’s help. Nothing could be more important!