How can the Devil tempt us if he isn't omniscent and omnipotent?


Is it because he’s the one who tempt the human race first and so let sin into the world? Through that first temptation did he give us all temptation by the introduction of evil?

Your opinion, the Church’s opinion, please.


From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls “a murderer from the beginning”, who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign. 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. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but “we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.”

And don’t forget, he has lots of help:

*Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death. Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them. But woe to you, earth and sea, for the Devil has come down to you in great fury, for he knows he has but a short time.” *(Rev. 12:7-12)

391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy. Scripture and the Church’s Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called “Satan” or the “devil”. The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: “The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing.”

392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels. This “fall” consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter’s words to our first parents: “You will be like God.” The devil “has sinned from the beginning”; he is “a liar and the father of lies”.

393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable. “There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.”


The Devil is an archangel and thus almost unimaginably powerful, but he is not omnipotent - only one being can be that. Whether or not he is omniscient we don’t know, but being a pure spirit he is not subject to normal limitations on hearing and vision.

One power he doesn’t have which a human couple hold is the ability to create another soul. However he has a sort of mockery of that power in the ability of sin to create another sin. Thump someone in a pub and, almost inevitably, you will see them committing another sin a little time later. If they can’t get even with you they’ll take it out on the wife or the dog.


Very interesting question… I would just like to add to what the others have posted.

The enemy is a creation of God which is sentient. Humans are also sentient beings created by God. Humans have the potential to tempt one another for good or for evil.

For instance, I can tempt you into eating a piece of cake, with the promise of getting a reward: which would be the satisfaction of the cake’s wonderful taste.

I could also tempt you into doing something evil, by promising you some kind of reward.

Humans have the ability to tempt each other. It’s not unreasonable to assume that the enemy, who is a more powerful being than a human, would also have the same ability to tempt. The enemy just has more capabilities to tempt than humans do. :slight_smile:


We do know…he tried to tempt Jesus. If the Devil knew He was God, then he knew temptation wouldn’t work.

Humans do NOT create souls. GOD creates souls.

Yes, but the Devil doesn’t walk around in person(at least not in multipul persons) and so can’t tempt us like other humans tempt us. I can see that because of his first temptation, sin came into the world and so began to breed more sin…that would be a temptation from the Devil- other sin.


It is my opinion that the Devil Makes Ripples, very much like ripples in a pond. You have to remember that the devil is playing a game. He doesn’t whisper in all ears at the same time; rather he whispers in one ear, or in many ears (especially to those who have the gift of influence) and through these creatures, a ripple occurs that is far reaching and is very destructive of any human soul that succumbs to that ripple.

Remember, evil is not the devil; the devil is evil. He does not need to talk to everyone; he influences those who have learnt to be prideful or otherwise, and not every sin we commit is the immediate result of his interference. He can influence a photographer 2000 miles away from you, living 50 years ago, and his porno magazine could be in you room right now tempting you. The devil uses the material world and you five senses to tempt you indirectly; he doesn’t need to go directly to your soul. He want you to become consumed by perversion and selfish infinite pleasures, blinding you to the spiritual world that lies behind are own.

However; the Devil has only the power to tempt, and so is not are worst enemy. Truly I tell you; our worst enemy is our selves!

He is a shepherd like the father, but the devil works for are destruction to spite God, and Jesus works to save us, because he love us.


This still demands that he is omnipotent. To whisper in an ear…he needs omnipotence.


This would imply that Jesus was not tempted. Could it be that Jesus was tempted and satan did know that he was both God and fully human, and that is why he attack Jesus in his human form?


You have not explained why you think this, which leads me to believe that you dont even know why you said it your self.
And you have not read my post properly; because If you had done so, you would know that “Satan the king of lies” does not need omnipotence to tempt the whole world.


Jesus has a humane and divine nature. He cannot shed one while the other is off to lunch. I meant that Satan attempted to tempt Jesus. From the time when Jesus was on the wall to the time Jesus was in the garden, the Devil was trying to tempt Jesus.


So your saying that Jesus did not feel temptation like human beings do. Then how may i ask,(in case i am ignorant) can he be fully human?


So… this must mean that i am ominipotent, since i can wisper in somebodys ears and go from one person to another wispering in many ears in succession.


How can the Devil tempt us?

Because we (humans) are stupid and weak. One doesn’t have to be a demi-deity to successfully tempt one of us. Most of the time we do a pretty good job of tempting ourselves; we don’t even need him. I seriously doubt that more that a few of the denizens of this forum has actually had an encounter with the devil.



The Devil has a lot of power. He might not be omnipotent or omniscient, but he still have the same power he used to have when he was an angel. He is multiscient, like all the saints and angels in heaven are, so he can know our thoughts and feelings.




The Devil isn’t there in person and so needs omnipotence to put his voice in our head. Ergo the questions “how can the Devil tempt us personally?”


The question still lingers…in what way does he tempt us? Personal temptation by the Devil either means we are tempted by the sin he brought into the world or by him personally(in our head…put that would mean he’s omnipotent…and he would need to know when he are suspectible to sin…which is omniscence).


That sounds an awful lot like omniscence.


I am using a allegorical simili to explain something i cannot explain explicitly with the human language; " God parted the sea with a blast from his nostrals"; we know that God of the old testement doesn’t have any nostrals, yet this doesn’t change the fact that God parted the sea. I do not know the actual process by which the devil would influence our souls directly. But i do know the tricks and methods that he uses such as lust, violence, pride, envy, selfishness and others.

What has lead you to think that? I can put my voice in your head, and i am not omnipotent.

Note that i have taken the time to explain my position; i would be most gratefull and happy if you explain yours, rather then just make a statement.


You can’t put your voice in my head…I’m talking about speaking directly in someone’s mind…being able to place images in heads and such.

My position? I don’t know I’m just exploring…wondering what the answer is.


Its been many many many years since the devil first tempted Adam and eve; i think he would, by now, have a vast array of methods that he uses based upon probablity. He does not need to know what you’re thinking. He knows what you want, like all the other angels. The devil twists the truth and trys to convince you that you can achieve the status of God through other means other then God himself; that you can experience pleasures that God has selfisly denied you. Thats the trick and lies he used with Eve; she thought that she was getting something, but she was getting nothing with out the love of God.


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