Tag: satan

5 Facts Of Satan Every Christian Should Know 

5 Facts Of Satan Every Christian Should Know 

Can he read thoughts? Can he predict the future? Move objects across the room? 

Satan and his hosts of demons are mysterious figures of the spiritual realm. They torment followers of Christ on a daily basis, though on most occassions their actions are invisible to the eye.

Over the centuries, the Church has grown in its understanding of these malevolent spiritual beings, Scripture also has much to tell us about Satan and his minions.

Here are five facts that help shed more    light on these dark creatures.

What was Satan before his fall into darkness?


The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms, “The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God” (CCC 391). He is traditionally named Lucifer, or “light bearer,” when he was a bright angel of light (cf. Isaiah 14:12-15).


Besides that, the Church has varying traditions as to what kind of angel Satan was. Saint Thomas Aquinas argues in his Summa that,Cherubim is interpreted ‘fulness of knowledge,’ while ‘Seraphim’ means ‘those who are on fire,’ or ‘who set on fire.’ Consequently Cherubim is derived from knowledge; which is compatible with mortal sin; but Seraphim is derived from the heat of charity, which is incompatible with mortal sin. Therefore the first angel who sinned is called, not a Seraph, but a Cherub.”


However, there is no dogmatic declaration from the Church regarding whether Satan was a cherub or seraph.

Can Satan (or any devil) predict the future?


The Catechism declares, “The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature” (CCC 395).


The short answer is NO. Fallen angels (as well as good angels) do not have access to the future unless God reveals it to them. As Jesus says in the Gospel of Mark, “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32).


On the other hand, they can make predictions about the future based on observation. Demons by nature are extremely intelligent and can observe people and events very closely, having a sense of what will happen. Essentially they can “predict” the future with limited accuracy, not because they know something hidden, but because they are able to observe and give a general prediction like any smart human.

Can they move physical objects?


Angelic beings are powerful spiritual creatures and have limited power when it comes to physical matter. Most of the time demons perform visual tricks by negatively influencing our minds with illusions, making it appear that something is moving when it is in fact not.


Other times they can move physical objects, making them fly across the room as can be seen in various horror movies. It is a rare occurrence, but can happen. Thomas Aquinas devotes a question in his Summa explaining how this can happen.


t does Satan look like? 

All angels are pure spirits, meaning that they do not posses a physical body, though at times they can take on the appearance of a human or some other creature. The visible form that is often reported in Scripture or popular news stories is merely a facade, a mask they put on so that we can see them with our eyes. Otherwise they are naturally invisible creatures.

Artists have used various images to depict Satan, such as a dragon, serpent, or a some other mythical creature. However, according to Satan’s nature he is without physical form.


Can Satan cast people into Hell?


The Catechism is very clear on this topic, “To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called ‘hell’” (CCC 1033).


Simply put, No, Satan can not cast/force people into Hell. We choose to go there out of our own rejection of God. Satan may influence us during our time on earth, but we are still free and make that choice at the end of our lives. If a human goes to Hell, it is because he has chosen to do so and goes there freely.

The Power Of Satan (4)

The Power Of Satan (4)

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Some people marvel at the ability of demons to tempt man and even to own the body (but they can never take the soul unless man freely gives it to them) through possession and oppression. We should remember what is written in Revelation (12:7, etc.): “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him…. And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman”, who was “dressed like the sun”, from whom Jesus was born (it is very clear that we are also talking about the Most Holy Virgin Mary). When the dragon realized that his efforts had failed, “he went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.”

During a May 24, 1987, visit to the Sanctuary of Saint Michael the Archangel, John Paul II said, “The battle against the devil, which is the principal task of Saint Michael the archangel, is still being fought today, because the devil is still alive and active in the world. The evil that surrounds us today, the disorders that plague our society, man’s inconsistency and brokenness, are not only the results of original sin, but also the result of Satan’s pervasive and dark action.”

The last sentence is a clear reference to God’s condemnation of the serpent, in Genesis (3:15): “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.”

Is Satan already in hell? When did the battle between angels and devils take place? We cannot answer these questions unless we keep in mind that hell is more a state of mind than a place. Place and time are different concepts for spirits.

Revelation tells us that demons were hurled down to earth; therefore their final damnation has yet to happen, even if it is irrevocable. This means that they still have the power that God had given them, even if only “for a brief time”. That is why they ask Jesus, “Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Mt 8:29). Christ is the only judge; he will gather to himself his Mystical Body.

This, then, is how we should interpret Paul’s statement to the Corinthians, “since we are to judge angels” (I Cor 6:3). When the “legion” of demons who possessed the man from Gerasa pleaded with Christ “not to command them to depart into the abyss” (Lk 8:31-32), they were seeking to hold on to their power. To a demon, leaving the body of a person and sinking into hell is an irrevocable death sentence; that is why the demon fights it to the last. However, his eternal pain will increase proportionately to the suffering he caused on earth. It is Saint Peter who tells us that the demons have not yet been definitively sentenced:

“When angels sinned, God did not spare them; he sent them down to the underworld and consigned them to the dark underground caves to be held there till the day of judgment” (2 Pet 2:4). The glory of the angels, too, will be increased according to their good deeds; therefore, it is very useful to invoke their help…To be continued.

Excerpts taken from the book An Exorcist tells his story By Fr. Gabriele Amorth.

The Power Of Satan (3)

The Power Of Satan (3)

Fr. Gabriele Amorth was the Chief Exorcist of Rome. He performed hundreds of exorcisms over many years. He is the author of the best-selling book, An Exorcist Tells His Story. He is also the author of An Exorcist: More Stories. This excerpt, “The Power of Satan,” is taken from An Exorcist Tells His Story (pages 25-36).

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Satan, defeated by Christ, fights against his followers. The battle against the evil spirits “was joined from the very origins of the world, and will continue until the last day, as the Lord has attested” (no. 37). During this time, every man is on battle alert because life on earth is a trial of faithfulness to God. “We strive therefore to please the Lord in all things (cf 2 Cor 5:9). We put on the armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil and resist on the evil day…. For before we reign with the glorious Christ, all of us will be made manifest ‘before the tribunal of Christ, so that each one may receive what he has won through the body, according to his works, whether good or evil’ (2 Cor 5: 10)” (Lumen Gentium, no. 48).

Even if this battle against Satan concerns all men and all times, there is no doubt that Satan’s power is felt more keenly in periods of history when the sinfulness of the community is more evident. For example, when I view the decadence of the Roman Empire, I can see the moral disintegration of that period in history. Now we are at the same level of decadence, partly as a result of the misuse of the mass media (which are not evil in themselves) and partly because of Western consumerism and materialism, which have poisoned our society.

I believe that Pope Leo XIII, in a vision that will be detailed in the appendix of this chapter [pages 37-39] received a prophetic warning concerning this demonic attack on our times. How does the devil oppose God and our Savior? By claiming for himself the adoration due to God and by mimicking Christian institutions. Therefore, he is anti-Christ and anti-Church. Satan uses the idolatry of sex, which reduces the human body to an instrument of sin, against the Incarnation of the Word who redeemed man by becoming man. Satan uses his churches, his cult, his devotees (often consecrated through a pact of blood), his adorers, the followers of his promises, to mimic the worship due to God. just as Christ gave his apostles and their followers specific powers for the good of body and soul, so Satan gives specific powers to his followers for the destruction of body and soul. We will examine these specific powers in our explanation of witchcraft.

I will mention one more item on this subject. Just as it would be wrong to deny the existence of Satan, it is also wrong to accept the prevalent opinion that there are spiritual beings that are not mentioned in the Bible. These are the invention of spiritists, of followers of the occult, of those who espouse reincarnation, or of those who believe in “wandering souls”. There are no good spirits other than angels; there are no evil spirits other than demons. Two Councils of the Church (Lyons and Florence) tell us that the souls of those who die go immediately to heaven or to hell or to purgatory. The souls of the dead who are present during seances or the souls of the dead who are present in living bodies to torture them are none other than demons. God allows a soul to return to earth only in very rare, exceptional cases, but we recognize that this subject is still full of unknowns. Father La Grua attempts to explain some of his own experiences with souls who are possessed by the devil, but I must reiterate that this is a matter that requires further research, and I will address it in a different book…to be continued.

The Power Of Satan (2).

The Power Of Satan (2).

continued…

Fr. Amorth Writes:

Scripture tells us that angels and demons (I want particularly to mention Satan) are spiritual creatures but also that they are individuals gifted with intelligence, will, freedom, and initiative. Those modern theologians who identify Satan with the abstract idea of evil are completely mistaken. Theirs is true heresy; that is, it is openly in contrast with the Bible, the Fathers, and the Magisterium of the Church. The truth about Satan was never doubted in the past; therefore, there are no dogmatic definitions in this respect with the exception of the following statement of the Fourth Lateran Council: “The devil [that is, Satan] and the other demons were created good by God;but they became evil through their own fault.” Whoever denies Satan also denies sin and no longer understands the actions of Christ.

Let us be clear about this: Jesus defeated Satan through his sacrifice. However, Jesus also defeated Satan before his death, through his teachings: “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Lk 11:20). Jesus is the strongest one, who tied up Satan (Mk 3:27), despoiled him, and pillaged his kingdom, which is at an end (Mk 3:26).

Jesus first gave the power to cast out demons to his apostles; then he extended the power to the seventy-two disciples, and in the end he granted it to all those who would believe in him.

The Acts of the Apostles tell us that after the descent of the Holy Spirit the apostles continued to expel demons, and all Christians have done so after them. Already, the earliest Fathers of the Church, such as Justin and Irenaeus, clearly express Christian thought about the devil and about the power to cast him out. Other Fathers, in particular Tertullian and Origen, concur.

These four authors alone can refute many modern theologians, who, for all purposes, either do not believe in the devil or completely ignore him.

The Second Vatican Council powerfully reminded us of this abiding teaching of the Church:

“For a monumental struggle against the powers of darkness pervades the whole history of man. The battle was joined from the very origins of the world” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 37).

“Although he was made by God in a state of holiness, from the very dawn of history man abused his liberty, at the urging of personified Evil. Man set himself against God and sought to find fulfillment apart from God.

Although he knew God, he did not glorify Him as God, but his senseless mind was darkened and he served the creature rather than the Creator” (no. 13). “For He sent His Son, clothed in our flesh, in order that through this Son He might snatch men from the power of darkness and of Satan” (Ad Gentes, no. 3).

How can those who deny the existence and the many activities of Satan understand the achievements of Christ? How can they understand the value of the redemptive death of Christ? On the basis of Sacred Scripture, the Second Vatican Council affirms that “[Christ], by His death and resurrection, had freed us from the power of Satan”(Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 6). And “[Christ] was crucified and rose again to break the stranglehold of personified Evil” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 2).

To be continued…

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