Is the devil free or chained?



Is the devil free or chained?

I understand that normally when a believer is a good Catholic, the devil cannot touch him, and he is like limited, since the Lord Jesus came to save the humanity.

But when I see the evil that goes growing in the World, It seems that the devil is completely free.

What do you think about it?

Grace be with you.


See the first letter of St Peter, chapter 5, verses 8-9.
"wrap yourselves in humility to be servants of each other, because God refuses the proud and will always favour the humble. Bow down then before the power of God now, and he will raise you up on the appointed day; unload all your worries on him, since he is looking after you.
Be calm but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a lion, looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that your brothers all over the world are suffering the same things. You have only to suffer for a little while; the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will see that all is well again; he will confirm, strenghten and support you. His power lasts for ever and ever. Amen [1Peter, 5: 5-11]


Excellent response, Trishie - thank you!

It sent me to Ephesians 6 - the full armor of God. Note that all of the armor are defensive, there is only one weapon of offense there…which will then lead you to Hebrews 4:12


Well, I don’t know, it depends on how you look at it.

If you are Augustinian, he’s been chained since pagan Rome fell, and will only be let loose at the great apostasy.

but considering we have a significant apostasy, but it is not the end yet, it is worth considering that the devil has really been quite active over the last 2000 years, so that we are currently in Revelation 13 and not Revelation 20.

In that sense, the Millennium hasn’t started yet, and will not start until the age of peace dawns, after a chastisement if necessary


As I understand it, the devil was chained by the sacrifice on the Cross:

Apocalypse 20

7 And when the thousand years shall be finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go forth, and seduce the nations, which are over the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, and shall gather them together to battle, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

However, his minions - the demons - are free to roam and do his bidding:

Apocalypse 9

1 And the fifth angel sounded the trumpet, and I saw a star fall from heaven upon the earth, and there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit: and the smoke of the pit arose, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke of the pit. 3 And from the smoke of the pit there came out locusts upon the earth. And power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power: 4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree: but only the men who have not the sign of God on their foreheads. 5 And it was given unto them that they should not kill them; but that they should torment them five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man.


I think the answer is both, but in different respects. That is, it depends on how you look at it… there’s no one simple answer (yet), because if we use different senses of what it means to be “chained”, then the answer might be different.

You actually addressed both options rather well in your post…

Right. Since Christ came, Satan’s power has been limited in many ways… so that’s one way in which he is now chained. He is also (and always has been) chained by God, in the sense that Satan can do nothing unless God allows him to. I seem to remember some saints talking about how, if he were only allowed, Satan would gladly destroy the entire world in an instant, just because of how much he hates God’s creation, and humanity in particular.

Well, I don’t know about completely free, but yes. So this is the sense in which Satan is not “chained”… he is still often free to act in this world, and in many cases does. It won’t be until the end of the world that Satan is completely chained, in every sense of the word.


it looks like he is loose right now. just look at the signs of the times. people are more and more away from the laws of God. europa is coming against the Church that once was loved and revered by them.

many within the Church are being disobedient to the holy see.

we see so much pride in man that catholics obeying the Church is and object of criticism and even unaceptable by many.

as Catholics we are facing so much opposition from every side.

we must remember what is written. we must persevere until the end.

we must continue to obey the Church of our Lord.


The gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church.
Sounds like chained to me.


it looks like he is loose right now. just look at the signs of the times. people are more and more away from the laws of God. europa is coming against the Church that once was loved and revered by them.

He (the devil) certainly has enormous influence. I pointed out that his minions (the demons) are still free to test mankind and be “thorns” in our sides. He’s the equivalent of Osama bin Laden, holed up in a mountain somewhere, but with more than enough adherents to do his bidding, even if he can’t participate directly.

After the “thousand years” - which I interpret to be the time between the Crucifixion and the beginning of the tribulation to come - Satan will be released from his “prison” to severely persecute and crucify the body of Christ - the Church - at which point, Christ will return to destroy him once and for all, and bring the final judgment of all mankind.

i.e. if you think times are rough for the Church now, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.


We should take care not to look to Revelation as a Biblical “tarot card.” Realize that it is hugely liturgically symbolic, and very metaphorical.

That given, I don’t think it’s entirely ridiculous to pull some literal significance from the Book of Revelation. Still, realize that every era and generation sees social problems constantly; I think that our increased ability to exchange information in modern times is highlighting those problems. But it is near-sighted to instantly assume that contemporary problems are any a sign of the end of the world.

Do not fear satan, for regardless if we call him “chained” or “unchained,” he has no power over Christ. Simply love God, our shield and rock; the world may end this evening or in 20,000 years, but we have nothing to be afraid of with God’s love.


The only things we really need to understand about Revelation, in the prophetic sense, is that the Church will be persecuted, the anti-Christ will be the individual that will lead this war (at the bidding of hell) and Christ will/has triumph(ed).

That said, the symbols and metaphors DID have meanings, but we can’t squeeze them into a contemporary environment at will. There will be a point at which the prophecies will be immediate. There will be a day of judgment, there will be a man who will personify the eschatological “beast”, but in the end, as you said, the victory is ours - so why worry?


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