From the dawn of Man at Eden, Satan has been seeking the ruin of humanity. Today, Satan remains active, continuing to instigate rebellion against God and sowing evil around the globe; Satan’s evil influence is evidenced by the depressive decay of the culture and the growing violence and strife that is engulfing the world. Despite appearances, Jesus Christ has decisively conquered Satan but, through His mysterious Providence, allows Satan to continue roam about the world, seeking the destruction of souls. Every man who is willing to give himself to Christ can be protected from the Evil One. The choice is ours.
Satan – The Ancient Enemy
Satan, the Evil One, and his demons, are fallen angels who freely chose to rebel against God’s reign (CCC 391-395). When Adam failed in his vocation to protect Eve and the Garden, Satan (Hebrew: adversary, one who plots against) treacherously enticed Eve to rebel against God (Gen 3:1-24; CCC 1707). Adam and Eve’s Original Sin to side with Satan led to a loss of Original Holiness and evil took root in the world, pitting men and women against each other in hostile world of pain and death (CCC 400). The Old Testament documents Satan’s action in the world (Lev 17:7; 1 Chr 21:1; 2 Chr 11:15; Tob 3:17; Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7; Wis 2:24; Isa 13:21; Bar 4:35; Zech 3:1-2).
Satan in the Modern World
Satan continues to vigorously corrupt Man to rebel against God (CCC 414) in overt ways: the barbarous murders of Christians by Islamic terrorists; the institutionalized murder of abortion; government endorsement of sinful sexual behaviors (e.g. contraception, pornography as free speech, the legalization of homosexual acts); the growing euthanasia movement; legal attacks against God and Christians; coercion to accept same-sex faux marriage; Satan worship.
Satan is also acts in subtle ways to corrupt: contraception as a “right”; mainstreaming of single parenthood; radical feminism that divides women and men; “gender theory” that proliferates “orientations”; increasing control and manipulation by governments and corporations; rampant materialism; stifling of free speech and religion; education systems that indoctrinate but fail to teach; the earth-worship of perverted environmentalism; political systems built on divisive identity politics; selective acceptance of racism and sexism; the expansion of no-fault divorce; technology-powered propaganda of perverted causes; growing totalitarianism of pluralism/relativism.
Satan has also corrupted some Catholic bishops and priests to teach lies and not Truth and to stand idly by while millions of Catholics leave the Church: the downplay of the existence of Satan, Sin and the reality of Hell; de-sacralizing the liturgy; de-emphasis of Confession; promotion of “pastoral” acceptance of divorce and homosexuality as a “gift”; the failure to vigorously rebuke predator priests; acceptance of heretical Catholic education leaders; the abject failure to evangelize men.
Jesus Christ – Conqueror of Satan
Jesus Christ decisively conquers Satan and unequivocally warns Man about Satan. Jesus:
Allows Satan to roam the earth…for now – While Satan can influence, his power is nothing compared to the power of God. Christ, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, allows Satan to exist in the world for His own providential and mysterious purpose (CCC 395).
Incarnates to conquer Satan – Predicted in the Protoevangelium (the first Gospel; Gen 3:15), Jesus incarnates through Mary to decisively conquer and destroy Satan and to teach the redemptive goodness of God in the face of evil (CCC 309; 385; 394).
Rebukes Satan in the Temptation – Satan attacks Jesus after a 40-day fast, twisting scripture with appeals to hunger, pride and power (Matt 4:1-11); Christ rebukes and dismisses Satan.
Dominates demons in every encounter – Scripture documents many of the times that Christ specifically casts out demons in a variety of circumstances (Matt 4:24; 9:32-34; 12:22-28; 17:14-21; Mark 1:21-28; 1:32-34; 1:39; 3:22-26; 5:1-20; 7:24-30; 9:14-29; Luke 4:31-37; 4:41; 6:17-19; 8:1-3; 8:26-39; 9:37-43; 11:14-19; 13:10-17; Acts 10:34-38). On a number of occasions, the demons recognize and fear Christ (Matt 8:29; Mark 1:21-28).
Condemns the acts of Satan – Jesus rebukes Satan’s attempts to corrupt Peter (Matt 16:21-23). He accuses the Pharisees for acting on Satan’s behalf (John 8:43-51). Christ warns Peter that Satan has demanded Peter for himself (Luke 22:31-34). He calls Satan “a murderer” and “the father of lies” (John 8:44). Christ prays to the Father to protect the apostles from the Evil One (John 17:15).
Warns men about Satan in the Lord’s Prayer – Christ specifically acknowledges Satan and man’s need for protection: “But deliver us from the Evil one” (Matt 6:13; CCC 2850-54).
Strengthens the Apostles to recognize and confront Satan and his demons – Numerous examples exist of Christ’s warnings and the Apostle’s confirmation of Satan in their teachings:
- Gives the Apostles the power to cast out demons – Christ allows and specifically equips the Apostles and other disciples to cast out demons (Matt 10:8; Mark 6:7; 9:38-41; Luke 9:1; 9:49-50; 10:17-20; Acts 5:16; 8:7).
- Peter – Warns that the “devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” and that men must resist Satan (1 Peter 5:8-9).
- Paul – Confirms that he is being used to turn people from Satan to God (Acts 26:16-18), rebukes Elymas for being the “son of the Devil” (Acts 13:8-18), exorcises demons (Acts 19:11-17), instructs the faithful to reject hardened sinners to Satan’s grasp (1 Cor 5:4-5; 1 Tim 1:19-20), warns the Satan disguises himself as “an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:14) and that in latter days “some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of devils (1 Tim 4:1-2), confirms that some early disciples are corrupted by Satan (1 Tim 5:15), and acknowledges that he is being attacked by Satan (2 Cor 12:7-10; 1Thes 2:18). He instructs men to “put on the armor of God…to withstand the wiles of the Devil” (Eph 6:10-20).
- St. James – Instructs men to be “subject to God, but resist the Devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas 4:7).
- St. John – Confirms that Jesus came to “destroy the works of the Devil” (1 John 3:8), that men can resist the Devil in Christ (1 John 2:13) and that the whole world is currently influenced by the Evil One (1 John 5:19; Rev 2:10-11).
Decisively conquers Satan – Christ will ultimately put an end to Satan’s evil attacks (Rev 12:1-17) and counterfeit signs (Rev 16:13-14), bounding Satan and casting him into a lake of fire (Rev 20:1-10).
Strengthens the Church to teach the reality about Satan – The Church in the fullness of Truth, continues to profess the reality of Satan who acts in the world today and that God has dominion over Satan (CCC 391-395; 414; 1708).