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


#21

We’re forgetting that he is not alone. He has a lot of fallen angels helping him. There’s a lot more truth than we realize in the cartoon picture of a good angel sitting on one shoulder and a bad angel sitting on the other.

The devil is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. He is a created being, and only the Creator is omniscient and omnipotent. He is the head of a large organization of evil, and he has plenty of minions who collect intelligence and carry out orders.

If I may be allowed an analogy out of my own life, I had a very, very small role in the first Gulf War. Saddam Hussein, as the leader of the “forces of evil” on the other side, did not even know I existed. However, if he had had an agent in the area where I was living, he would have known what I was doing and could have taken me out, if he had been ordered to do so.

In the same way, we are, for the most part, very low-ranking soldiers in the Kingdom of God. Satan, as the CINC of the forces of evil, certainly knows who Pope Benedict, or Father Corapi, or (on the Protestant side) Billy Graham are, but he most likely doesn’t know me from Adam’s off ox. However, some of his minions certainly know who I am, and what my weaknesses are. This required no omniscience on the devil’s part.

DaveBj


#22

Question: how does he convince us?


#23

Yes i can; i can say something, and you think it in your head.
The words you are reading right now, are being processed into your mind.
If you’re talking about having the power to force images in to your head, then no i can’t. But how does this explain your objection to my previous posts?

If you dont know, then why do you think that Satan would need omnipotence to put a thought into your mind?


#24

I don’t know how, if you asking, “how do spiritual creatures communicate with are soul”…i dont think anyone eles knows either.

I did not create spirits.


#25

Firstly: The Devil comunicates with your soul; not your material body.

Secondly, i think that in the spirtual world, your soul is naked, that is how a spirit can know what you are thinking. I cannot know because i am a material being as well as a spirtual one, and that material body acts as a barrier.


#26

Since Christ had been born as a man, the enemy came to believe that God was now under the same imperfection of man. The devil, thinking himself now superior to God, attempted to test what had been reveiled to him by the Father at the dawn of creation (that Christ would be born a man). Hence, the enemy tempted Christ in order to prove his superiority over God.


#27

I’m not saying the devil has the ability to walk around like humans and tempt us in the same manner as humans. All I’m saying is that we shouldn’t be surprised at the fact that he has the ability to tempt us. We have the ability to tempt each other in human ways… the devil has the ability to tempt us in aacording to his own angelic ways and abilities.


#28

If you’re reading this and you can comprehend it, then Freesoulhope has managed to put his voice into your head through the use of his human capabilities.

As for being able to place images and senarios in your mind, that’s also very easy. The enemy has learned from experience and observation what tempts men. He provides the temptation through various means available to his angelic nature, and you create the images yourself using your imagination.

It must also be remembered that the enemy has no power of his own. He only has the power granted to him by God. The angelic being is different then that of the human being: it is not bound by the same limitations we are (just as we are not bound by the same limitations they are). The enemy and his minions are not capable of comprehending any more than God allows him to.

Where did the enemy first learn what tempts men? From his own temptation and those of his own minions.

The key to your questions seems to be proving the perameters of the angelic being itself. You want to know what the enemy is capable of and what he is not. It sounds like you need to first define what an angel is and what an angel is capable of doing. Then you can compare that information to the definition of omnicscience to figure out whether it applies to angels or not.


#29

Being more powerful than men does not equate with omnipotence. Neither does having powers that man does not have equate with omnipotence. Neither does having powers not explainable by the laws of physics equate with omnipotence.

Omnipotence entails the ability to do anything. The devil is understood as not being able to create something out of nothing. So that’s at least one thing he cannot do. This proves he is not omnipotent.

Being extremely, extremely, powerful does not entail omnipotence.

BTW, I think the Devil’s ability to tempt us all in a powerful manner is a good way to deflect arguments that non-Catholics make when they say that the saints and angels ability to know all our prayers makes them omnipotent. The Devil’s ability doesn’t make him omnipotent and neither does the saints or angels ability make them omnipotent.


#30

Yes, the Devil can’t stand before us and talk to us so that words go into our head. Maybe he could appear to be human for a second to do that, but not every time we are tempted.

If you dont know, then why do you think that Satan would need omnipotence to put a thought into your mind?

I’m just thinking it through logically, trying to find an answer.


#31

Mhmmm…maybe you’re on to something. That’s interesting. Does anyone have any quotes on this from the Church?


#32

Mhmmm, interesting. Any Church quotes? Catechism?


#33

What are these various means?


#34

How so? He just needs to be able to move very quickly, pay attention to his surroundings and be able to speak?

Chuck


#35

Knowing all things is omniscence.

…I don’t know, I see it more as, the Devil tempted Adam and Eve and so through that first temptation, sin came into the world and that sin exists today and tempts all of us. I’m just wondering what the Church teaches…Maybe I’ll call into Catholic Answers Live on Monday.


#36

You keep equating the ability to communicate with humans with omnipotence. I don’t get it?

If you assume he is “telepathic” that doesn’t make him omnipotent.

I don’t know that there is any specific teaching on the subject, but I tend to believe that all “angels” can read our thoughts and can in turn influence our thoughts. Since they are not corporeal beings they can move with infinite speed. And they’ve been around since before man (so they’ve pretty much seen it all.) Their also seems to be plenty of indication that they can interact with the physical world, and at least at God’s command, bring about some rather extraordinary events.

That would tend to make them pretty powerful. But that doesn’t mean that they are outside of time nor that they can create anything of their own power.

So satan having been at one time the “best” of the angels, you would think would be exceptionally “good” at his “job”. But he’s not omnipotent. He’s a created being.

Chuck


#37

Satan doesn’t need to convince you of anything. He simply needs to persuade you to do it. (‘It’ being anything) This is almost always done without explicitly coming to you or I and communicating. He has his servants and other fallen do that for him.

He might decide to personally handle someone of great importance, but other then that why would he wallow with the creatures he dispises? The simple truth is, He wouldn’t.

So, let’s narrow that question down just a little and reword it slightly so it is an answerable question.

How does he indirectly persuade us to fall to sin?

Unfortunately I’m not exactly sure how a demon/Fallen communicates it’s intentions. I’ve been a satanist for a number of years, rolling over into a couple of decades here shortly… and I understand about as much of it as you.

If you believe that an angel, a saint, mary or whomever else you pray to can help, influcence and guide you, then I’m not sure what makes it difficult for you to understand how the devil can do the same.

How does he do it? Well, you help him a lot just by your very nature. People tend to want to justify their actions rather then accept responsibility. He is indeed a deciever, but so are we. We convince ourselves that what is wrong, is actually ok to do in certain circumstances.

The tools of the trade aren’t just hatred, rage, desire, etc. They’re also trust, compassion, acceptance and even complatency.

These are all human emotions, and he uses them through various methods to influence your decisions. He does this and many other things because god allows it.

So if you’re curious, I suggest you ask him about it. :wink:


#38

We believe the saints can help us through their prayers to God. The process to declaring someone as a saint involves having miracles after asking them to pray for an intention. When miracles occur, we know that God has heard the saints and our prayers. Saints cannot do anything on earth under their own power. Their only advantage(to affecting things on earth) are in their favor with God. They are closer to God and so find probably a little more favor with Him.


#39

Alright. How do you view angels roles then? Your guardian angel?

If they’re messengers, protectors or say if they can inspire someone, why can’t the devil and his followers do the same? If there is divine inspiration, can’t their also be demonic inspiration? They’re all angels still.

Even if they must go before god and ask permission, as Satan did… Then what makes you think god wouldn’t also give them permission to tempt you? What makes you think that they don’t have similar abilities?

Not attacking, just trying to understand your question.

Editted a few more things in.


#40

Mhmm…I always saw my guardian angel as an invisible being who prays to God for me and is always at my side. And might intercede physically in times of bad stuff. Like when I was younger, I was playing with a portable closet with a small tv on top and I saw it tipping over and closed my eyes, and it fell away from me. I don’t know. Maybe something like that? I just don’t see them doing anything too extreme. I guess an archangel or demon could have more power?


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