Who or what is the devil?


#1

Did god create Satan First? As in before humans or angels and stuff? Read that online somewhere that Saan was created first, also is “satan” just a word meaning adversary, who is this lucifer then and mephistopholes from the bible are they like a trinity of hell?

If the devil was in the garden and got adam and eve kicked out isnt the devil the one that started humanity so is he a bad guy or a tool of god?

If God invented the devil how is it a bad thing? As in how is the devil bad? If the devil is not God how could he kill god? What is the whole battle of angels about if god could just snap his finger and the devil is gone?

When Jesus was here the devil did that test thing to jesus. Was this to make sure jesus was worthy acting again as an instrument of god?

So if the devil is an instrument of god, how did he get such a bad wrap? How would the devil “fight” god anyways as stated in the bible?


#2

Wow, a lot of questions! You can find a lot of these answers by searching the Catechism

usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/epub/index.cfm

A few answers, though: The one that we call Satan was an angel, created before man, but whether he was created before other angels or whether all angels were created at the same time, I can’t site Church teaching on that.

Satan does mean Advirsary. Lucifer means Light Bearer. They are both used to refer to the same being. Mephistopheles is not in the bible, and was a name created by someone in the Middle Ages for a story titled Faust, but it too refers to the same being. Are they names or just titles or descriptions? Does it really matter?


#3

Ah so the “devil” or is that his name is his name devil? Is it supposed to be Lucifer the angel? If god made him why cant he kill him if god didnt like him so much? So if the devil is an instrument of god like an angel even if he “fell” shouldnt he be venerated like other angels? Also why is he still in hell? If he can go to earth cant he just go to heaven? or is he acting as an instrument of god ruling hell?

Also are there any answers to the above questions without reading the entire catechism :stuck_out_tongue: its a bit long. I doubt even if I read it that I would understand it really.


#4

To destroy the wicked, either angelic or human, would violate free will.

One third of the angels rejected God and incurs for themselves eternal damnation, which is primarily an inward state of torment. Satan was their leader.

All of the demons, but most especially their leader, hate God, and all of his creatures, including themselves and including you. Their choice is irrevocable and they cannot be redeemed.


#5

Thanks for your responses.

Does it say the devil “hates” god somewhere in the bible I dont recall ever reading that. How could the devil hate god? did the devil have free will meaning he would have a soul? Why would demons hate me I dont think i recall that being in the bible. Im pretty likeable cant see why anyone would hate me.

So God hates the devil? Because didnt god kick the devil out of heaven? The devil didnt leave he was kicked out right, so where is the whole devil hates god thing coming in, it seems more like god hates the devil and if so why does god hate something he made so much?

So The angels are in heaven with god, they just decided god wasnt real? Or god didnt make them even though god is right there making angels and stuff everyday? I am thinking maybe there is some other reason or thing going on that isnt well explained because that doesnt make sense :stuck_out_tongue:


#6

I can’t link due to problems with this device, but go to the Catholic Information Network Baltimore Catechism. Go to “Lesson Fourth.” A coulple of paragraphs in will be information about angels and demons.

God amde the angels and upon their creation, they had a choice to be good or evil. Satan and others decided to be evil–they are the devils or demons.

Is it supposed to be Lucifer the angel?

Lucifer, light-bearer, was supposed to be the head of the angels, but decided to be bad instead.

If God made him why cant he kill him if God didnt like him so much?

You should capitalize God’s name.

God loves all His creation and is sad that the demons decided to stop loving Him after He made them. He could destroy the demons, bit He made them to be eternal, so it would be like breaking His word to destroy them.

So if the devil is an instrument of God like an angel even if he “fell” shouldnt he be venerated like other angels?

The good angels are venerated because they are in the presence of God and are good and help us out. The bad angels are forever barred from the presence of God, are very wicked, and try to destroy us. We venerate what is good and stay away from what is bad.

Also why is he still in hell?

When the angels were created, God gave them a lot of knowledge–way, way more than we have or can get! So the angels made a permanent choice when they decided whether to serve God or not. So that is why they are stuck in Hell for all eternity.

If he can go to earth cant he just go to heaven?

Why should the fact that he can come to earth mean that he could go to Heaven? He cannot go to Heaven, the goid angels kicked all the bad angels out.

or is he acting as an instrument of god ruling hell?

God did not choose this to happen, but He does use the demons for His own purposes.

Also are there any answers to the above questions without reading the entire catechism :stuck_out_tongue: its a bit long. I doubt even if I read it that I would understand it really.

I hope you will find the catechism I recommended to be easier to understand. If you have trouble finding it, let me know. It’s a version if what I read when I first returned to the Church :slight_smile:


#7

I find the discussion very interesting as well.

Especially Lucifer trying to beat God, who is all knowing and all powerful. I presume Lucifer would have known that.

Very interesting theological discussion.


#8

Bridget, are you quite young, perhaps not yet confirmed? If so, these would be good questions to bring up at your confirmation classes.

If you are confirmed. . . then I would suggest you consult with the leader of your parish RCIA. This group is not limited only to those who are looking to become Catholic; it is for any person who wants to learn the Catholic faith. You seem to have quite a few misconceptions and misunderstandings about the most basic Catholic teachings.

If you don’t want to do the above for any reason, I’d recommend you go on-line and look up the Baltimore Catechism, or the You-Cat (the latter is especially geared to young adults). Because quite frankly, you need to go back pretty much to the very beginning and go brick by brick. If you were put into say an honors History class somehow and you hadn’t ever learned (one way or another) the basics, you’d be asking all kinds of questions that would irritate your teachers and confuse and annoy your peers, not because you were stupid, or trying to cause trouble, but because you simply wouldn’t have the basic knowledge to understand the **context of the material being studied.

And that is exactly what your questions are like --like somebody who is smart, and seeking, but who simply doesn’t have the basic knowledge to understand the context of what she is trying to learn. And that ‘lack’ is not something to be ashamed of or defensive about. However, it is something that needs to be ‘fixed’ so that you will then be able to discuss the subject of the Faith with basic knowledge and understanding.
**


#9

The word Lucifer was sort of a poetic term used in the book of Isaiah to refer specifically to the King of Babylon, and figuratively or metaphorically to the being we also call Satan or the Devil, which are also interchangeable words to describe the same being.

God loves all of his creations. It is not in his nature to completely destroy something like you suggest, and we have to believe that God has his own design for allowing Satan free range over the earth, of which I cannot answer, though he is not venerable, for he does not love God.

In the book of Job, Satan does visit heaven and speak to God directly, so he is not limited to Hell, but we believe he will eventually.

Rev. 20: 10 The Devil who had led them astray was thrown into the pool of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.


#10

The devil and all angels both heavenly and fallen are created spirits. They are pure spirit. We are spirit and body.

All Angels have free will Some chose to disobey God, They were separated from God forever. They saw who God was and his glory and goodness and turned away anyway. such an action is irrevocable.

So God hates the devil? Because didnt god kick the devil out of heaven? The devil didnt leave he was kicked out right, so where is the whole devil hates god thing coming in, it seems more like god hates the devil and if so why does god hate something he made so much?

No the devil chose to be separated from God. Chose to be removed from heaven. Being outside God’s presences he resides in a spiritual realm called hell. Hell is a horrible place because the devils make it so and choose it to be so. They enjoy watching the destruction of souls. For loves all his creatures including the devil. In fact, Lucifer was one of the greatest of all of Gods created angels. God loves him so much, he allowed him to have the freedom to choose to rebel against God.

So The angels are in heaven with god, they just decided god wasnt real? Or god didnt make them even though god is right there making angels and stuff everyday? I am thinking maybe there is some other reason or thing going on that isnt well explained because that doesnt make sense :stuck_out_tongue:

God does not make angels everyday. He made angels in the beginning of time once for all. They Demons know very well that God is real. They chose not to be a part of God’s plan. Why that is, we do not really know, but the Bible indicates Pride was part of their fall from grace. They wanted to be like God and interact with the world in their own way not in the way God told them to.

Some Bible verses regarding Satan

Isaiah 14:12-15 ESV / 16 helpful votes

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.

Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. "You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was in you. On the day that you were created They were prepared. "You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. "You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created, Until unrighteousness was found in you. "By the abundance of your trade You were internally filled with violence, And you sinned; Therefore I have cast you as profane From the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the stones of fire. "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, That they may see you. "By the multitude of your iniquities, In the unrighteousness of your trade, You profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; It has consumed you, And I have turned you to ashes on the earth In the eyes of all who see you. (Ezekiel 28:12-18)


#11

The devils did not want to be in subjection to God, so they rejected his order. Being in a state of perfection, there were no half-measures, they were either for God or against him.

God does not hate any of his creatures.

It doesn’t matter in this regard that you are likable, the devil hates God, so he hates you for being a creature of God. He wants you to burn in Hell forever.


#12

Thanks for your responses, I find this information very helpful and interesting.

I am Catholic and Confirmed, which is why I ask these questions from my understanding of what I learned is where many of these questions come from. Though simple in nature they were not expressly reviewed in my preparations to the minutia of what I am asking about here, that might be a bit much to cover? Also it might have annoyed the **** out of my teachers if I badgered them with a million questions which would deviate from the curriculum which is packed with material as it is without sidetracking them.

Dear St. Francis

In your post you mentioned the Angels chose at creation to be good or bad so that means they have free will then? So do they have souls then? Were the bad ones given souls? Also good and bad are kind of abstract words, was it that simple a choice god said be good or evil and they just decided to be evil? If that was at creation how did the devil get 1/3 more angels to follow him if they already decided to be good? If angels are fallible and have the conscience of free will would they have souls? Are souls tied to the concept of free will? Angels have free will to be right or wrong so they have souls then because that means they can choose right or wrong, or do they just get a free get out of jail free card for their actions because god made them? If so why dont humans get that card? Also doesnt that mean all angels even the venerated ones can just wake up and become evil anyday?

Dear Jon S

God made Devil as his greatest creation, so what the devil the first or that doesnt matter? Also if god gave him free will would that be to act as an instrument of god so even though rebellion seems likes an act of free will, its part of Gods plan so the devils are in fact acting as an instrument of god. Is it possible to say that they didnt chose to ignore God after seeing him, but to kinda go about doing Gods work in a different way which of course would be better in dealing with humans which god didnt create yet?

Paleocon:
If the devils hate all creatures of god wouldnt they hate themself? Also if they knew god created everything how could they not believe in god, it seems like hmmm Im not sure of the word but I think its contradictory. They left god because they thought they could create better things or something maybe? But angels or devils dont make things they just exist far as I know.

General:
So lucifer means “light bringer” that is a bible thing from the bible? So as an instrument of God it would be correct to suggest that he freed humans from the Garden of Eden which could be viewed as a prison? In that vein of bringing light, wouldnt that be what god wanted because God created a whole planet and Adam and Eve are stuck in just a little garden to hang out in? Wouldnt it be best for them to leave the garden to make more humans since they werent making any humans in the garden? It must have gotten pretty boring in that garden after awhile I would imagine and seeing all of Gods creation seems better than just part of it, so would the devil be doing a “bad” thing there or a good thing by releasing them? Speaking of being stuck in the garden how come they didnt have sex in the garden, is that kind of controversial to say? Why did they leave the garden to do what they could have just done in the garden?


#13

God gave them free will to serve God as they were meant to, or reject God.

He chose to reject God, even after seeing Gods goodness. His path is his own not Gods. Satsn does nothing good, instead he is responsible for all evil things directly or indirectly (by temptation for example)

By definition, Satan is doing the opposite of Gods work.

At Michael the Archangel champions Gods plans. Satan fights those plans.

It looks like this, except more intense.

http://www.discerninghearts.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/michael_archangel.gif


#14

A few definitions are helpful, since the terms soul and spirit are often incorrect used interchangeably.

A soul is the principle of a living thing, a spirit is a rational mind with the capacity for free will. Thus animals and plants have non-spiritual souls, which cease to exist when the animal dies. Angels are spirits, but not souls, since they have a rational mind capable of free will, but are not living creatures (they have no bodies). Humans alone have spiritual souls, since we are physical creatures with free will.

Natural perfection is perfection of a creature in itself. Basically a perfect version of Earth.

Supernatural perfection is perfection of a creature in God, this is infinitely better than natural perfection.

The state of eternal damnation is the state of those who are eternally disordered.

God desires all spiritual creatures to be supernaturally perfected.

In the beginning, God created the angels in a state of natural perfection. They had the choice to become completely fulfilled in God. Two thirds excepted this. However one third, including the devil, rejected this and instead embraced disorder.

With regard to Adam and Eve, by choosing to obey the dictates of God, they would have been supernaturally perfected (they started out naturally perfect). But the devil tricked them into choosing disorder by disobeying God. God could have simply let them be damned, but instead he chose to redeem the human race. Had Adam and Eve chosen to obey God, they would have begot the rest of the human race in supernatural perfection.

The devils do indeed hate themselves. They know God exists, but they hate that he is greater than they. Because they hate his order, they want to draw as many people away from God as possible.


#15

Thanks for responding, you wrote “God gave them free will to serve God as they were meant to, or reject God.” So where it says “serve God as they were meant to”, doesnt that mean that hmmmm like they were going to enforce gods will how they felt not that they really rejected god? Does it say in the bible or anwhere that the devil said “I hate God” or something similar? It seems like maybe they went rogue like Sara Palin and chose to enforce gods will the way they saw it so why is that :evil", are they called evil by god? Who decided their choice was “evil”. If Satan hates God, then why torture people in hell who didnt follow Gods law, would the devil make it like a party celebrating how much all these people hate God? The devil seems to act as an instrument of god Torturing those who do not follow Gods words or teachings. In other words the devil seems maybe like a SuperAngel enforcing Gods will right? If the devil was made to be “perfect” then how is he messing everything up? Seems contradictory from an engineering standpoint that “perfection” is pretty sucky.

maybe devils are like the cops of the earth and angels are the cops of heaven? Would that make sense given angels arent here fixing anything, but the devil is blamed for everything bad as you stated right?

Who decided the Devils choice was Evil? That seems to not make sense that one of gods creations would just go “Hey God Im evil now, deal with it.” That doesnt make sense, if the Devil was so great and smart why would he act in such a dumb way? I suspect there is information missing there to tell the narrative correctly? It just seems to simple The devil “chose” evil, who would do that? People typically make choices out of the environment or the situation their in, in what situation would any angle be in where they just go evil, and if the devil was kicked out of heaven and not allowed back doesnt that mean god doesnt practice forgiveness? Is it possible the devil is still Gods great creation who chooses to rule hell to torture the sinners who dont follow gods path thus enforcing gods will as an instrument of god?

also hmmm, it doesnt say Adam and Eve wanted to stay in the Garden of Eden, maybe they wanted to leave but didnt know how? How do we know they wanted to be there? Wouldnt they get cabin fever if their human? I love traveling I would hate thinking I could never leave this one area or place or see the ocean. There would be NO human race if Adam and Eve stayed in the garden, I mean they werent having kids or anything in the garden. I dont get how the devil is bad for them leaving or making them get kicked out, if the devil didnt convince them to eat that apple theyd still be stuck there today and we wouldnt be here so in essence inst the devil a tool of god furthering gods agenda for mankind?

Dear Paleocon:

Thanks for that information about souls and spirits, so angels are spirit things that arent physical and living things are. God created man, it doesnt say god created souls so where is this information from that angels have no souls but humans do? I get the spirit part but hmmm did god specifically invent souls for humans? I dont recall reading that anywhere that god invented souls in that 6 day creation part.


#16

You have done fundamental misunderstandings,…like Eden was just a small garden. Eden was a state of being that Adam and eve resided in. It was vast.

Also

Evil is the absence of Good. God is pure goodness. So any action apart from God and his plan is evil.

That is why Satans actions are evil because they are apart from good.


#17

Interesting, wouldnt that imply that by creating the human race it was “evil”. so there shouldnt be a human race? If god created people and angels with free will why would he care if they follow his plan if he didnt want them to then isnt that all part of the plan?

Thus the devil is following gods plan by using free will to interpret gods message to man, freeing them from the prison of the garden to experience being “human”. in the garden Adam and Eve did not behave in a human manner, they didnt have sex, or explore the world around them, they developed no technology and just kinda sat there like people who sit on the couch and do nothing. That said, is it possible the devil seeing that these lazy people werent being human as god intended set them upon the path of being human utilizing their capabilities as humans that god gave them in other words experiencing god, so in that sense the devil is acting as a tool of God?


#18

I don’t get how you can say creating humans was evil.

It was all part of Gods plan.

God did know we would rebel. He chose to create us anyway. Why? We don’t really know but we will know someday.

The fact that he in his goodness created us with free will bring good, does not translate to actions we take that are not good.

Example:

It is good for a mother to raise and nurture Her son. She does this knowing full well he may be a monster. The boy grows up to be a rapist and murderer. His actions are not good just because he was created and raised in goodness.

His actions are a rebellion of what he was given.

So too with us and the fallen angels.


#19

Speaking specifically of the Devil and not humans, the Devil is acting as an instrument of God in his actions it would appear from what is said in the bible it seems?

Maybe that was a misunderstanding, didnt mean to ask the generic questions of why “God created us”, meant for it to read that God created Adam and Eve to create a human race, but instead they just sat around this garden doing nothing literally pretty much nothing, so the human race would be Gods Vision perpetuated by the devil. Which is more to the question of how did the devil get a bad rap of being so “evil”, where does it say specifically he is evil, or hates god? Where it does if it does is this interpretation or biblical fact? I dont understand this whole Devil rejected God, rejected what about God exactly? That God exists? Because that is silly the devil can see God. IF the argument is that God is superior to the devil and the Devil rejected that than that is also dumb because God made the Devil, and the Devil cant make anything. So if the devil is so “perfect” then why would he make such dumb decisions, it seems very contradictory, it would be like if I woke up and decided Im my parents and gave birth to them aka the grandfather paradox.

If the angels “fell”, then fell to where to hell? so hell already existed? God knew this would happen so created hell as a place for those who made such a choice. If God created hell then creating the devil to act as an instrument of god in such a capacity charged with specific responsibilities shouldnt make the devil evil right for obeying Gods will?

If the garden of eden is a “state of being” that means god created heaven, hell, the earth and this garden? So this garden isnt on earth? Then how would Adam and Eve have gotten to earth? That would suggest some other dimension of existence god created that isnt mentioned in the 6 day thing, creating the earth then adam and eve is how it goes so like they would be on earth it seems and not in an alternate state of being. Thats why i said the garden would be small because well if they left they would just sit there helpless instead they went out and experienced being human as god intended with a fire lit under their keysters from the devil who is an instrument of god to insure the fulfillment of gods will?


#20

:mad::mad::mad:

Adam and Eve wouldn’t have had to worry about those things. Before they sinned, they were in God’s intimate presence, and enjoyed his goodness. That alone is enough to override any earthly discomfort.

:cool: Even when we’re tainted with sin, we still know to give our children bread when they ask for bread, and snakes when they ask for snakes. If we, tainted with sin, know what our offspring need, then how about God, who is sinless?

Before Adam and Eve rebelled, they were free from the bondage of sin; God would have been more comfortable with granting their every request, for none of these requests would have been malevolent. If Adam and Eve had asked God to expand the garden, he would have gladly done so. “Ask, and you shall receive.”


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