“Before the Central Intelligence Agency, there was the Office of Strategic Services—a clandestine espionage organization of almost 13,000 Americans who, from 1942 to 1945, gathered intelligence for President Roosevelt and wreaked havoc against the Axis powers in every World War II theater….They broke code, planted false information to mislead the Germans, and parachuted into enemy territory to blow up bridges and rail lines.”1 We will see that these words in the opening paragraph of the article titled “The Women Whose Secret Work Helped Win World War II” in the New York Times Magazine, describe an interesting parallel to what is happening behind the scenes in the world today. .
Our world is struggling! Natural disasters, war, and pestilences have intensified in recent years. According to the Insurance Information Institute, as a result of the 108 natural catastrophes that hit the country, the U.S encountered a natural catastrophe loss of about $81.9 billion, just in 2018 alone.2
While we do not know yet the loss sustained in 2019, the beginning of the year 2020 is terrifying. Tornadoes, earthquakes, and volcanoes are just a few of the disasters. This not to mention the great pandemic that threatens the world economy—Covid-19. The entire world seems to be headed to a halt. According to the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Coronavirus, popularly known as Covid-19, “is the most difficult crisis in our post-war [WWII] period…The decision taken by the government is to close down all productive activity throughout the territory that is not strictly necessary, crucial, and indispensable to guarantee us essential goods and services.”3 Countries are shutting down. Is it an economic pandemic too?
As the situation worsens, countries are blaming each other for the pandemic—as we have witnessed between the US and China.4 But the question remains: who is to blame? Who is responsible for all the natural calamities? Who is the originator of all the evil in the world? While philosophy and science cannot explain the origin of evil, the Bible does. Satan is the originator of evil in the world. This is not a conspiracy, but a real war that was not only introduced to the world in Eden, but that actually began in heaven. Rev. 12:9
God created a perfect universe and filled it with perfect beings. “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Gen 1:31. But in heaven, one of the perfect angels, Lucifer, rebelled against God. With prideful ambition, he desired to “be like the Most High [God]”. Isa. 14:12–14; Ez. 28:13–18. After he lost the battle in heaven, he brought his venomous ambitions to the earth—and caused Adam and Even to join him in rebelling against God. Gen. 3:1–24. This rebellion opened the floodgates to evil, pain, sorrow, and death. Rom. 6:23. In describing Satan’s work on earth, Jesus used the analogy of a garden of wheat and said, “but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” Matt. 13:25. While men were unconscious of his working, Satan planted evil. The tares here represent sin and all its evils.
There are four key activities that Satan and his angels do on earth. First, they are warring against God’s people. Throughout all the ages, Satan has constantly fought against true believers so that they will not share the message of salvation with others. Rev. 12:13, 14. During the Dark Ages, several million Christians lost their lives because of their faith in Christ. This war is still raging today. But we can overcome Satan “by the blood of the Lamb [this is Jesus; see John 1:29], and by the word of [our] testimony.” Rev. 12:11
Second, Satan is tempting humanity to sin. Just as he did with Adam and Eve, Satan is still very subtle in his deceptions, even with leaders. See 1 Chron. 21:1. The ones who are attacked most are people who desire to follow God. Acts 5:3. He did not even spare Jesus, the Son of God, from temptation. Matthew 4:1–11. Do not be surprised if this same war is happening in your life today. Satan wants to keep you ignorant of the saving power of Christ. But we have hope in Christ. The apostle John declares, “But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:12. This is what the devil does not want anyone to know.
The third work he does is to constantly accuse us before God day and night. See Rev. 12:10. No one likes to be blamed, so Satan uses this strategy to discourage many people from accepting Jesus. He whispers to individuals that they are too wicked and tells them that they are too sinful to be saved. But thanks be to God who did not sent His Son into the world to condemn us, but instead “that the world through Him might be saved”! John 3:17. God’s object is to save us. “Him that cometh to Me,” Jesus said, “I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37
Jesus described Satan as a thief whose work is to destroy: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” John 10:10. This brings us to our fourth point: Satan works to destroy humanity. By causing affliction, disasters, and diseases, Satan works to achieve his goal. See Luke 13:11, 14–16; Job 2:7. But who does he direct people to blame? As usual, God. While God is supreme and is always thought to be responsible, the Bible reveals God is a God of love. Jeremiah 31:3. He has no desire to see even the most outrageous sinner die. Instead, He seeks to draw them to Himself so that they can be saved. “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” Ez. 18:32. God checks Satan’s power on earth. He cannot do anything without God’s permission. Job 1:10. God’s love for us moved Him to give Jesus for our salvation. John 3:16. Therefore, Christ declares, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10. You too can have this eternal life if you believe in Jesus.
Similar to the secret spies who wreaked havoc against the Axis powers in the theaters of World War II, Satan is also working behind the scenes to thwart the plans of God and disrupt His plans for humanity. But unlike the spies working against the Axis powers, he is on the losing side!
1 New York Times Magazine, The Women Whose Secret Work Helped Win World War II, March 6, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/06/magazine/intelligence-world-war-ii-oss-women.html
2 Insurance Information Institute, Facts + Statistics: U.S. catastrophes, https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-us-catastrophes
3 OA News, Italian Prime Minister: Coronavirus is ‘Most Difficult Crisis in Our Postwar Period’, March 22, 2020 08:26 AM, style=”font-weight: 400;”>https://www.voanews.com/science-health/coronavirus-outbreak/italian-prime-minister-coronavirus-most-difficult-crisis-our
4 Courtney Subramanian, Nicholas Wu, David Jackson, Trump uses China as a foil when talking coronavirus, distancing himself from criticism, USA TODAY https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/20/coronavirus-trump-blames-china-distancing-himself-fallout/2876983001/