The Advocate vs. The Accuser

Thomas J. Euteneuer
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 69
May 25, 2007
Reproduced with Permission
Human Life International

In a few months I will publish a book on exorcism and deliverance by which I hope to educate the Church Militant on the reality of spiritual evil and the truth of the Church's power against it. On this weekend where our Church celebrates Pentecost, the great Feast of the Holy Spirit, I offer an excerpt from this upcoming book to highlight the influence of the Holy Spirit in defending our cause against the accusing spirit of the devil. If we are to fight for the salvation of souls, we must know our enemy and experience God's love as the protective shield against all his evil.

The following excerpt is taken from the chapter entitled, "The Devil, His Minions, and His Activities."

What do we call the principle of all evil and why?

There are three common names by which most people describe the font of all evil: the Devil, Satan and Lucifer; each of these names comes to English from a different language. The name "Devil" comes from the Greek word (diábolos), which literally means "one who throws things around" in the sense of creating the chaos for which he is so famous. The name "Satan" comes from the Hebrew verb "to accuse" and is variously translated as "the accuser," "the tempter," "the persecutor," "the calumniator" and "the adversary." Not ironically, the Church, taking her cue from the Gospel of John, calls the Holy Spirit, "The Advocate," (i.e., defense lawyer) in order to remind us that the depredations and accusations of our principle enemy are always met with one more powerful than he who takes our side in a fight.

"Lucifer" is a name that derives from the Latin meaning "light-bearer," commonly understood as his God-given name before he fell from grace. This name is cited in St. Jerome's Vulgate translation of the Bible in the Book of Isaiah 14:12-16. This potent creature has always been considered by the tradition of the Church as one of the most powerful angels that God created. It is speculated that his name was "Light-Bearer" because he was a Seraphim angel, the highest order of the angelic hierarchy, and the order of angels whose Hebrew name describes something that burns with the ardor of love. Lucifer's fall from grace did not deprive him of his natural powers but rather corrupted those powers for the perverse work of undermining God's plan of salvation for men.

Among all the many references to this wretched being in the Bible, the Book of Revelation is one of the best sources of knowledge about him and his plan to destroy God's children. He is described in Rev 12:9 as "a huge dragon, the ancient serpent, known as the devil or Satan, the seducer of the whole world." The devil's most serious indictment came from our Blessed Lord who called him, "a liar and the father of lies," and "a murderer from the beginning" (Jn 8:44). The New Testament refers to this origin of all wickedness nearly three hundred times to warn us of his presence and work.

As we celebrate the feast of Pentecost with our Church, let us make a profound act of faith in the Holy Spirit, that, no matter how evil our times may be, God will never abandon to the power of evil those who call upon Him. Let us call upon the Holy Spirit to protect us and our loved ones and to renew the face of the earth!