November 14, 2007 - The Devil - Alive and Active in Our World
The devil exists as a personal being under Godís dominion and he tries to bring about manís ruin in an ominous manner by prompting him to rebel against God and by instigating him to separate himself from God. In spite of that, however, with Godís help, man can resist Satan and remain faithful to God.
First thing to be noted is that it is the same devil that is described in both the Old and New Testaments. Some of the names used in the New Testament are not found in the Old Testament, but they all refer to the same being. For example, we read in the Book of Revelations: “The huge dragon, the ancient serpent known as the devil or Satan, the seducer of the world, was driven out; he was hurled down to earth and his minions with him”(129). There are at least 300 references to the devil in the New Testament, with a variety of names that denote the nature and wickedness of the devil.
Does the devil exist?
We know that he exists because God himself has revealed it to us in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible. The devils are purely spiritual beings. They do not have bodies. Furthermore, we have to admit that as a spiritual being, the devil could enter a body, including an existing human body, and act through it.
In the twelfth century there was a heresy which made the devil a god. It was condemned officially by the Fourth Lateran Ecumenical Council (1215). The decree states: “We firmly believe and declare... That God is the sole origin of all things. The Creator of visible and invisible, spiritual and corporal reality... The devil and the other evil spirits were created good in their nature, but they became evil by their own actions.” Satanís desire to be and act like God may also explain why there were so many possessed persons in the time of Christ and why he loves to simulate the sacraments instituted by Christ, as in the practices of sorcery and witchcraft. Ever desirous of receiving a divine cult and worship, Satan will make use of any means by which he can put himself forth as a god.
In the sacrifice of the Mass, Christ is offered up as victim to God the Father for our sins and then we partake in his flesh and blood as a communal meal so we can become one with him. In Satanic worship, they offer up children on an altar as their victim to Satan and then they drink the blood and eat the flesh.
Another False Teaching: The Devil is seen as the Personification of Evil
He is not real is false teaching. Some will say he is but a name that symbolizes whatever is evil. But evil is a negative abstract concept; therefore the devil does not exist in actuality. But do we remember the words of Christ, “Begone, Satan! For it is written: The Lord thy God shalt Thou adore and him only shalt Thou serve” (MT 4:9-10). Christ clearly calls the evil one by name.
The Devilís Best Defense is to Remain Hidden
Thatís precisely what St. Peter warned: “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” (Ep. 5:8)
Pope Paul seemed thoroughly sensitive to Peterís warning. He called Satan, “the treacherous and cunning enchanter who finds his way into us by way of senses, the imagination, lust, utopian logic, or disorderly social contacts in the give and take of life. To introduce deviation...” (General Audience, Nov. 15, 1972). I find a lot of help from the words of St. Paul, “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ep. 6:12)
Immediately after their sin the fallen angels were condemned to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt. 25:41) and the fact that this is an eternal punishment is stated many times in the New Testament. For example, “eternal punishment” (Mk. 25:46), “everlasting fire” (Mk. 9:43), “the fire is never extinguished” (Mk. 9:48), “the smoke of their torments will go up forever and ever” (Rv. 14:11), “their torture will not stop day or night, forever and ever” (Rv. 20:10).
This is not a fun place. Pretend you had a blow torch on your face forever and you couldnít die. This is just a small comparison to hell.
The Devil can be known through Diabolical Presence
The general public should be acquainted with this because of the alarming diffusion of witchcraft and diabolical cults. The clergy should take precaution because the denial of the existence of the devil can lead to an agnosticism that will have a harmful effect on oneís faith in other areas of revealed truths.
Different Types of Diabolical Presence
We can divide diabolical activities into two general types: the devil either induces individuals to evil or he himself does evil.
The first is ordinary diabolical activity, because it is more common, although not visible.
The second is extraordinary diabolical activity, because this intervention is very rare, but the intervention is visible!
Ordinary diabolical activity occurs by way of temptation whereby the devil incites individuals to sin.
Extraordinary diabolical activity, on the other hand, can be divided into three types: local infestation, personal infestation, and diabolical possession.
- Local infestation refers to diabolical activity that is in direct and immediate contact with inanimate objects or which uses plants or animals as a medium of the devilís actions. In this way, the devil exerts his evil influence on human beings indirectly or may even inflict physical harm.
- Personal infestation (or diabolical obsession) occurs when the devil focuses his power and activity on a person, even to the point of affecting that personís self control and resistance but never to the point of controlling the intellect and will of the individual.
- Diabolical possession occurs when the devil has such control over the body of an individual that he or she becomes, as it were, a blind and docile instrument of his perverse and despotic power.
The devil was created as a purely spiritual being, and he did not lose his angelic nature when he became evil. He still possesses powers and potentials that are difficult for us to imagine. In fact, he transcends the categories of space and time; he is not conditioned as we are by matter, weight, measure, color, sound, etc. He is not subject to fatigue, sleep, nourishment, sexual urges, sickness, and death. The good angels are motivated entirely by the love of God and his creation, including the human race. The fallen angels are the opposite. They hate God and especially human beings.
The devil cannot conquer me unless I let him
It is our free will to choose Satan and once we do he can conquer us. The devils are all united in the same malice and evil, which consists in an intense hatred of God of the good angels and of human beings.
But, through the power of confession, we are forgiven again and again and again until our last breath. God is mercy. You can do the sin a million times and a million times you are forgiven, but you must make an effort to change and stop this sin.
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