2 Cor. 11:14
1 Peter 5:8
2 Peter 2:4
- 1 Peter 5:8
- "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."
- This passage is cited in support of the doctrine that the devil is a rebel angel.
- The passage does not state that the devil is a rebel angel. The devil is compared to a roaring lion but elsewhere in Scripture lion-like characteristics are ascribed to men, not angels. (e.g., Psa. 22:12, 13; 57:4; Prov. 28:15).
- The Greek word "antidikos" translated "adversary" means "an adversary in law"1 and the Greek word "diabolos" translated "devil" means "accuser, calumniator."2 Hence, "the roaring lion" was an opponent at law who maliciously accused. This was none other than the Roman magistracy. The persecution of the ecclesia under Nero and Diocletian are well documented.
- If it is argued that the devil was really behind the persecution, then proof that such is the case is required from the narrative.
- Peter's first epistle expresses concern for the steadfastness of the ecclesia because of the imminent period of suffering that the ecclesia was about to enter. He exhorted: "Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world"; "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you." (1 Peter 5:9 R.S.V.; 4:12). See also 4:16-19.
- Paul had a similar encounter with a roaring lion (2 Timothy 4:17), but this lion was not a fallen angel, but Caesar's tribunal, (vs. 16, 17) from which Paul was delivered at the first trial. Paul was also delivered, not from a rebel angel, but from persecutions and afflictions at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra of which he wrote: ". . . but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution . . . But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:11-13).
- Robert Young, Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible, (London: Lutterworth Press. 1965). Return
- Ibid. Return