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3 ‘Fake News’ About Satan And The Devil That Every Catholic Should Know

Who is this being really, and what should we know about him and his ways?

As the world continues to battle fake news, Catholics must become aware of who and what Satan really is. As they say, knowledge is power and that remains true especially when we’re faced with fighting evil.

In the Bible, Satan is called the devil, the evil one. He is the universe’s public enemy number one and the chief opponent of God and his people. But who is this being really, and what should we know about him and his ways?

Fake News About Satan: Satan is an evil god

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Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils by William Blake (1757–1827) – In ‘Job’, God and Satan discuss the limits of human faith and endurance. God lets Satan force Job to undergo extreme trials and tribulations, including the destruction of his family. Despite this, as God predicted, Job’s faith remains unshaken and he is rewarded by God with the restoration of his health, wealth and family. (Photo by Tate Britain)

While some religious traditions around the world have held the existence of two supreme deities– the good god and the evil god– Satan is not to be considered as a god. Unfortunately, many Christians give Satan a god-like status and believe that Satan could rival God in power and is an equal match. False! The Catholic Church teaches that Satan is merely a creature and God is the creator. (Read: A Prayer of Deliverance From Evil Spirits)

God originally created Satan as a good angel. But he rebelled against his creator and thus choosing hatred and isolation rather than being in God’s love and embrace.

Fake News About Satan: The devil has ultimate power

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“Tartini’s Dream”, by Louis-Léopold Boilly (1824) – One night, in the year 1713 I dreamed I had made a pact with the devil for my soul. Everything went as I wished: my new servant anticipated my every desire…(Photo from Wikipedia)

Pop culture depicts the devil as having unlimited and ultimate power– granting wishes and desires of mortals in exchange for doing bad deeds. However, Satan or the devil does not have supreme power. Because God created Satan, his power is limited. The Catholic Church teaches that Satan cannot prevent the building of God’s reign, and therefore cannot be in equal or more powerful than God.

“Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries — of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature — to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history,” says the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (Read: 3 Powerful Prayers to the Archangels)

Fake News About Satan: Satan gives you ‘freedom of choice’

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The devil, in opposition to the will of God, represents evil and tempts Christ, the personification of the character and will of God. Ary Scheffer, 1854. (Photo from Wikipedia)

Satan is a liar. He is skilled at deception than any other created being. John 8:44 states that the devil’s nature is to lie– he is the original and father of lies. So, no. Satan does not give people “free will” or “freedom of choice.” Satan gives you no choice but death. But with God, we are encouraged to “choose life” through God’s Word and obeying his commands. Moreover, one’s life is not determined by fate– another notion that the devil lies to you about. (Read: A Feast Day Prayer for St. Augustine of Hippo)

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