Introduction to 1 Peter

Teaching by John Verstegen
transcibed and edited by Nancy Paulson

We want to understand 1 Peter as it pertains to the tribulation saints. Letís begin to read at 1 Peter 1:3:

(1 Peter 1:3-13 KJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, {4} To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, {5} Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. {6} Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: {7} That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: {8} Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: {9} Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. {10} Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: {11} Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. {12} Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves [that is the prophets], but unto us [think about who the us is] they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven [ there is Pentecost]; which things the angels desire to look into. {13} Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you [when?] at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Our purpose is to understand what each of these books, Hebrews - Revelation, equips the tribulation saints with; what is the doctrinal point that the book stabilizes the believers in? 1 Peter is designed to equip the believer during the tribulation period with doctrine so they will be able to withstand the sufferings and trials of that time. What is the book of 1 Peter going to equip them with? What is it going to enable them to do?

When you read the book of 1 Peter it is clear they are going through the tribulation and they are experiencing extreme critical sufferings and persecutions for their faith. Iíd like you, at this point, to turn with me to 1 Peter 3: 15. I want to start this by an illustration so we can understand the seriousness of the affliction these people will be facing. They will go through the tribulation period. They will be experiencing great affliction and Peter reminds them of two major issues:

  1. Why they are suffering and that is they are suffering for righteousness sake. They are suffering because they owned the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. To focus on the glory that follows the suffering.

We will see that pattern all the way through the book of 1 Peter. I like to start with this illustration here so we can understand the intensity of the suffering.

(1 Peter 3:14 KJV) But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

They are suffering for righteousness sake and there is that terror and trouble they will experience from the opposition. Instead of being afraid of that terror, they are to not be troubled, instead ...

(1 Peter 3:15-16 KJV) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: {16} Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

Now, Iíd like you to imagine that every one in this room is a group of faithful Jews going through the tribulation period. Weíve owned the Lord Jesus Christ as our Messiah; weíve understood the book of Hebrews. We have the foundation of that doctrine in our soul and we have been stabilized in the transition made from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant, etc. We see that in Christ we have the greater things, the better things.

And then we have understood the book of James and we now have the capacity, the wisdom of God, to identify who the true faithful remnant is from the false apostate leaders. So, we have banded together as those of the faithful remnant. And in the middle of our meeting, in comes the army of the scribes and Pharisees and they take us all captive. They come in and totally break up our meeting and they begin to threaten every one in this room saying, "If you donít denounce the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will get your head cut off."

What if they go up to a man and wife and say, "We will take your child away from you because you are guilty of child abuse." You see, you are of the poor now; you cannot buy or sell because you did not take the mark of the beast. And so they come up and threaten that couple, "Unless you deny the Lord Jesus Christ, you will lose your child." That verse says you be ready to give a reason of hope that lies within you. What will they do? They will say, "I am sorry, I cannot do that because I know there is some glory that is coming." And they say, "Ok, Fine." And they take that man out and cut his head off. Guess what? Now that woman is a widow and that child is fatherless. And so now, they threaten her and begin to say, "Listen, you have one more opportunity or else you will never see this child again. We will take him away from you and we will indoctrinate him in our religious system. You will never see your child again. It is so easy, just stop following Christ."

Can you imagine the pain in one's heart having to face such a decision? If you can imagine the intensity of suffering of having to deal with something like that and then compound that by the whole nation then you can imagine the intensity of suffering that those saints are going to have to face because they have joined with Jesus, the Nazarene, as the Christ and refuse to follow this false god who has claimed to be the Christ. My friend, put yourselves in those shoes and you will have a better understanding of 1 Peter.

All the way through the book of 1 Peter, it is about the intensity of suffering that this nation has never experienced. But there is some glory coming. Letís see the issue of the suffering and the glory. Keep your eyes on the glory. Know why you are suffering; it is that reason for the hope within you. Focus on that and give them that testimony.

(1 Peter 1:6-7 KJV) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: {7} That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

There is the sufferings and the glory to follow. Do you see the connection there? They are suffering now for their faith but that glory is going to come. Look at verse 10:

(1 Peter 1:10-11 KJV) Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: {11} Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

These people will go through the same thing that Christ went through - He experienced that suffering and the glory to follow. So, they will suffer in that tribulation period, but the glory is coming. Donít lose sight of the glory.

(1 Peter 1:19-21 KJV) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: {20} Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, {21} Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

God raised Christ from the dead so that their faith and hope might be in God because they will be going through the same thing.

(1 Peter 1:22 KJV) Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

See that connection of them suffering and the glory that should follow.

(1 Peter 2:19 KJV) For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

Why is he enduring grief, suffering wrongfully? Because of his conscience before God; he is beginning to have that doctrine stabilized in his soul; he is being built up in that doctrine in Hebrews - Revelation. So with conscience toward God, he is enduring grief and suffering. Watch the result:

(1 Peter 2:20 KJV) For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

Here that man will not take the mark of the beast and cannot buy or sell, that is doing well. They are rejecting that mark of the beast but now they cannot provide for their family. Now what will they do? You see that suffering there? If you do well and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. God looks down upon that and it is acceptable to Him. Now, watch the comparison here:

(1 Peter 2:21 KJV) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Didnít we see that same pattern is chapter 1? You suffer and the glory is going to follow. Donít lose sight of the fact that Christ suffered and the glory was going to follow. Here this same issue is in chapter 2: the sufferings and the glory that should follow.

(1 Peter 3:14 KJV) But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, ...

They are suffering for righteousnessí sake but that glory is to follow.

(1 Peter 4:14-18 KJV) If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. {15} But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. {16} Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. {17} For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? {18} And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

The point is there is suffering and glory, suffering and glory., suffering and glory all the way through the book of Peter. You are going through an intensity of suffering but keep your eyes on the glory: understand why you are suffering and look forward to that glory.

(1 Peter 5:6 KJV) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

In due time, there is that Kingdom.

(1 Peter 5:7-10 KJV) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. {8} Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: {9} Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. {10} But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

The point is that all the way through the book of 1Peter is that these people are suffering and they know why they are suffering which is because they have identified with Christ. They are suffering because of righteousness but Peter tells them not to lose sight of the glory that should follow.

Watch this principle in Hebrews: They will suffer but the glory is to follow. Hebrews 12 tells them how Christ was able to go through the suffering He went through:

(Hebrews 12:2 KJV) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

That is the principle by which they will be able to endure that suffering. They will be able to say, "Just like my Savior experienced the suffering, He endured the cross, despised the shame." Why did He do that? Because of the joy that was set before Him. And so too, these saints here that will go through the tribulation period will be able to endure that suffering. How? By keeping their eyes on that glory to follow, that joy that is set before them as they will partake of that Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you see that pattern there?

There are key phrases all the way through the book of 1 and 2 Peter. At least in my mind (John Verstegenís), they kind of summarize (they say in different ways the same thing) but ultimately, it is all that issue of stabilizing their heart in the faith in the word of God. For example, Look at 1 Peter 1:13:

(1 Peter 1:13 KJV) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, ...

Now that is an interesting thought, the loins of your mind. Now, we all have loins but we usually do not think of it as the loins of the mind.

(1 Peter 1:13 KJV) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

That is what the book of 1 Peter is designed to equip to do, gird up the loins of their mind. It is designed to sober their thinking, clarify their thinking, to stabilize them in that hope so that they indeed hope to the end, until the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Watch how he says it in Chapter 2:

(1 Peter 2:21 KJV) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

What was the example? Yes, He suffered but He looked forward to that joy, thus He despised the cross and looked forward to the glory. That is the example.

(1 Peter 2:22 KJV) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

Now, watch, here is what the book of 1 Peter is to equip them to do in the midst of suffering:

(1 Peter 2:23 KJV) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

That is what that Little Flock, the faithful remnant, will have to do. They will have to commit themselves to God that judges righteously. The rest of the nation is not judging righteously. The rest of the nation will be looking down at that Little Flock and they will be judging them by the wrong standard, the outward appearance. But instead 1 Peter is designed for the faithful remnant to commit themselves unto God that judges righteously. Go to chapter 4, after he talks about the suffering of Christ and the glory that should follow, how Christ endured the affliction and so forth, yet He did it by committing Himself to God who judges faithfully. He did it by looking for the joy that was set before Him.

(1 Peter 4:1 KJV) Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: ...

That is what the book of 1 Peter does, it arms them with that same mind. The book of 1 Peter equips them with that same doctrine, that same mind, that Jesus Christ had when He for the joy set before Him despised the shame and endured the cross. So they are also supposed to do this...

(1 Peter 4:19 KJV) Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Let me go back to the illustration I asked you to think about earlier. In the illustration, I said to you, "Let us pretend that we are that faithful remnant in the tribulation period meeting together . Our meeting gets broken up by a bunch of people who are similar to Saul of Tarsus, who got authority from the chief priests to come and bind men, women and children and bring them captive and bound to Jerusalem. When the vote was cast, it was not 52 to 48 nays; it was all nays. The question was to kill them or let them live. They voted to kill all dads. Letís take and indoctrinate the kids and we just wonít worry about the moms, the widows, we just wonĎt take care of them.

Imagine as you are taken away to go to the gallows and you leave your wife and children behind. What will you do at a time like that? You will have to commit yourself to Him who is the faithful Creator. You know what the wives will have to do? They will have to walk by faith like they never did before. They come and try to take the children away. Let me tell you, the book is designed to stabilize the souls in a time like that. In the tribulation it will be extremely intense for these people. The word of God will do the same for us today. It does that in every dispensation. And if things continue as they are, if the Lord tarries, it might get that way even in the age of grace. What will stabilize your soul if you ever you ever do have to face a situation like that? The word of God, Godís grace. The book of 1 Peter is designed to stabilize their thinking to equip them so they can indeed by faith commit their souls to the faithful Creator.

It is real important that we understand several things: Peter is so clear as to who is his audience, the timing, the scenario, the setting.

Do you recall last lesson, (James) we read a verse in Romans 11 where Paul says, "I speak to you Gentiles in as much as I am the apostle to the Gentiles"? Do you remember that? Paul is the apostle of the Gentiles. Peter is the apostle of the circumcision. If Paul is going to write an epistle, as the apostle of the Gentiles, who is he going to write his epistle to? The Gentiles. If Peter, the apostle of the circumcision (Israel), is going to write an epistle as an apostle, who is he going to write an epistle to? The Jews.

(Galatians 2:7 KJV) But contrariwise, when they [Peter, James and John] saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me [Paul], as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

Which gospel was committed unto Peter? The gospel of the circumcision. Which gospel was committed to Paul? The gospel of the uncircumcision [Gentiles].

So, if Peter is going to write to a group as an apostle, guess who he is going to write to! The Jews, the circumcision.

(Galatians 2:8 KJV) (For he [Christ] that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

Peter is the apostle of the circumcision just like Paul is the apostle of the uncircumcision. Peter is the apostle to the nation of Israel, the Jews, just like Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles. So if Peter is going to write his epistle, guess who he is going to write to! Not to the Body of Christ, not for the dispensation of grace; he will write to those to whom he was sent. He was sent to the same people, the same audience that James was sent to.

(1 Peter 1:1 KJV) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Did we hear anything like that in the last study, James 1:1: to the twelve tribes which are scattered. Now, why do you suppose Peter would call them strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. Is Pontus Israelís home? Is Galatia? Cappadoicia? Is Asia their home? Bithynia? They are strangers in a territory that is not their own. They have been scattered as a result of divine judgment. The nation of Israel is scattered out among the Gentile nations. They are called strangers in verse 1.

(1 Peter 2:11-12 KJV) Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; {12} Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: ...

Peter is writing to Jews who are scattered among the Gentiles and they are called strangers and pilgrims for the same reason Hebrews 11 calls the Old Testament saints strangers and pilgrims.

(Hebrews 11:13 KJV) These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

Do you see the connection between the Hebrews and the Old Testament saints and Hebrews and 1 Peter? They are strangers and pilgrims on the earth. What I am saying is the book of 1 Peter is not written to the Body of Christ. The book of Peter is not written about the dispensation of grace. It has nothing to do with what God is doing in the dispensation of grace nor with the Body of Christ. 1 Peter is written to the same group of people that James is written to, the Jews that are scattered among the Gentiles.

(1 Peter 1:2 KJV) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, ...

Now, go to Matthew 24. I know there is a big argument about the elect, but Peter has never entered into that argument. I want you to notice something that he is indicating here. Go to Matthew 24, the Lord Jesus Christ is talking about the 70th week of Daniel.

(Matthew 24:24 KJV) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Just because someone comes along and shows you a sign or wonder that does not mean it is from God. Just because someone can do some miraculous powerful thing, does not mean it is from God. The lips of the Lord Jesus Christ indicates, especially at that time, there will be false Christs, false prophets. The signs and the wonders at that time are going to be so spectacular, so convincing, so powerful, that if it were possible even the very elect would be deceived. Now, that is some power. There is some signs going on there. Just because someone comes along with a powerful sign or wonder that does not mean God did it. The signs, the wonders, the powers are going to be so convincing out there if it was possible even the elect, the Little Flock: the remnant. Those signs are going to be so powerful that even that Little Flock that Peter is writing to, if it were possible, they would be deceived.

Now put the two things into combination. Go back to 1 Peter. On the one hand you have true faithful belvederes threatened with their husbands being killed, threatened with their kids being taken away and all kinds of things like that. On the other hand, you have the unfaithful, those who have joined allegiance with the Antichrist who have these powers, signs and lying wonders to convince the rest of the nation that they are the true followers of God. Friends, that is going to be a hard time. That will be a difficult time to make it through. The books of Hebrews through Revelation are designed to give them divine wisdom to discern who really is producing those signs and who really is the true nation.

(1 Peter 1:3 KJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope ...

Didnít Hebrew talk about a better hope, a new and living way? That is what it is talking about here. The book of 1 Peter is assuming you understand something things about the book of Hebrews and James. They have been begotten again unto a lively hope not the blood of bulls and goats that cannot take away their sins. There is a lively, a new and living way in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(1 Peter 1:4 KJV) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Does that ring a bell from the book of Hebrews? They said that do not have an eternal city here but they seek one to come. That is that kingdom of heaven that is reserved for them in heaven that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to bring back at His second coming to set up on this earth. THE Lord Jesus Christ told them not to lay up treasures on earth but in heaven. Why? Because the kingdom of heaven comes from heaven to the earth. Come with me to John 14, Luke 19 and Daniel 7 (Remember, there is a hope reserved in heaven for them and it says it fades not away and it is reserved in heaven for you. That does not mean they will die and go to heaven and be in heaven forever. There is something out there reserved for them that the prophets spoke and wrote about):

(Daniel 7:13-14 KJV) I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. {14} And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Daniel, in a vision, sees this picture of the Son of man (Lord Jesus Christ) coming to the Ancient of Days and receiving the title deed to the earth, receiving that dominion, glory. He goes to the presence of the Ancient of Days and there he received the authority of the kingdom. Then if you go to Luke 19, look what He does:

(Luke 19:12 KJV) He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

The Lord Jesus Christ is on the earth, (He is the nobleman) He will go into a far country (to heaven) and he will receive that authority, that fulfillment of Daniel 7 and He will return with that kingdom to establish His authority on the earth. Luke with me to John 14:

(John 14:1-3 KJV) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. {2} In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. {3} And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, ...

There is the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, right there in that verse. This passage has nothing to do with the rapture; nothing to do with the Body of Christ dying and going to be with the Lord in heaven forever. This passage has to do with the fulfillment of Daniel 7 and Luke 19 where the Lord Jesus Christ goes to the Ancient of Days and receives the authority, power and dominion of the kingdom, the title deed of the earth and comes back and receives that nation unto Himself right over here in that kingdom. That is the issue is 1 Peter 1:4 and letís see how this is al dovetailed together here:

(1 Peter 1:4-5 KJV) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, {5} Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

You have to remember when you read the word "salvation" and the question is, "What is the salvation in the verse"? Often times as Christian people we talk about salvation in the Bible, most of the time people think about salvation from hell. Is that not true? At least gospel evangelists and preaching teachers do. But you realize salvation in the Bible does not always mean salvation from hell.

There are different types of salvation:

  • Salvation from the penalty of sin (salvation from hell)
  • Salvation from the power of sin in the life of a believer
  • Salvation from the presence of sin (rapture)
  • Salvation from the apostasy doctrine (that is being led back into the Law program)
  • Salvation from the tyranny of our emotions

But what is the salvation in this verse, 1 Peter 1:5? So, do not automatically assume salvation means the salvation from hell type thing. We need to understand what is the salvation in this verse?

(1 Peter 1:5 KJV) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Ready to be revealed when? The salvation in this verse is a revealed salvation that will happen in the last time.

(1 Peter 1:6-7 KJV) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: {7} That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

When? At the appearing of the Jesus Christ; that is the second coming. Peter is telling them to keep focusing on that salvation, to keep rejoicing in that salvation now for a season, if need be, they are going through the trial of their faith. That season is the tribulation period; it is at that time they will go through the trying of their faith, the manifold temptations.

Peter says here the trial of their faith is tried with fire. When you are reading the book of 1 Peter, these people are going through the tribulation, there is no escape from the tribulation. If you take your doctrine from the book of 1 Peter, you cannot believe in a pretribulation rapture because Peter does not believe in a pretribulation rapture and his audience is not taught a pretribulation rapture. By the way, even 2 Peter is the same way.

You cannot believe 1 Peter is written to you and about you and at the same time believe as a member of the Body of Christ will go out before the tribulation period. But are you? Yeah, because Paul taught you and he is your apostle today. Peter is writing to Israel.

So, they are going through the trial of their faith and that trial of their faith is going to be found unto praise and honor, when? At the appearing of Christ. The point is they are going through the tribulation period.

(1 Peter 4:12 KJV) Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

Now, why would Peter tell them that? Why would Peter say, "Listen guys, donít think it strange that you will go through the tribulation period". As though it is something strange and unusual, as if God abandoned them. Why would Peter say, "Donít think that strange" ? Because they have been taught it all their lives. God is going to take Jacob through the fire and preserve him out of it.

Let me give you some passages: Malachi 3 and 4; Joel 2. The point is all the way through the Old Testament it talked about the day when Messiah was going to come and put that nation of Israel through the fire. He was going to come like a refinerís fire. He will purge the nation of Israel as silver and gold is purged in the fire. When John the Baptist showed up and said, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand" and who argued to flee from the wrath to come. Was he preaching some new doctrine, some new message? No, everything he was saying was based upon that Old Testament. Hence, it would be no strange thing that these people would go through the fire. It was no mystery; it was no secret, it was part of the doctrine that God taught them all along.

Do you know anybody else in the Old Testament that went through the fire and were preserved through the fire and did not get burned? Not even the hair on their arms. Perfect type of Israel going through the tribulation period. That fire gets turned up so hot that the big muscular soldiers that threw them in got burned up. That is how bad it is going to be.

(1 Peter 4:7 KJV) But the end of all things is at hand: ...
(1 Peter 4:17 KJV) For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

The point is "it is time". The point is when you are reading 1 Peter, they are going through the tribulation period and they are looking for the second coming of Christ.

(1 Peter 1:9 KJV) Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

The whole purpose is the salvation of their souls. When? At the appearing to the Lord Jesus Christ, verse 7 indicated that. The are going to receive the salvation of their souls at the second coming Jesus Christ. Now watch what he goes on the say in verse 10:

(1 Peter 1:10 KJV) Of which salvation ...

Now, we are still trying to deal with the issue of what is the salvation that is being talked about.

(1 Peter 1:10 KJV) Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

The first question is this: Did the prophets have access to study and search whatever the salvation that Peter is writing about? I am not asking if they understood it. Yes verse 11 says they searched what manner and time it should come.

Question 2, is the grace in this verse a prophesied, known preached about grace or unprophesied, unknown mystery grace? This is not Paulís grace! When Peter says in 2 Peter to grow in grace, he is not saying go and live by Paulís doctrine. Peter is talking about a prophesied grace.

(John 1:17 KJV) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

It is a prophecied grace the Messiah was going to bring that the prophets could study about and learn.

(1 Peter 1:11 KJV) Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

The point is the salvation in the verse is a prophesied salvation that was going to appear at the second coming of Christ. When you go to the Old Testament, where the prophets would have been searching and writing about, the only kind of salvation that was going to happen back there was the salvation Christ was going to bring with him when he establishes the kingdom of heaven on this earth. That is the salvation they are looking for. They are not looking forward to some rapture to go out, they are looking for the Lord to come to earth and establish His kingdom.

(1 Peter 1:12 KJV) Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves [the prophets], but unto us [that unique special generation, the final last genersation of Istrael that was going to see the fulfillment of all these things] ...

That is Psalm 78:1-6.

(1 Peter 1:12 KJV) Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

What Peter goes on to say in chapter 1 is that they are the faithful remnant,

(1 Peter 1:14 KJV) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

Put that together with verse 18:

(1 Peter 1:18 KJV) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

What these folks have been separated from is the former lust (verse14) is that vain conversation received by tradition of their fathers. What they have been redeemed from is that law that had been encrusted over with the tradition of the Pharisees, the scribes and the elders. Remember, Matthew 15, "You make void the word of God by your tradition." The Lord Jesus Christ strips the tradition away and what is left is that perfect Law of liberty. That is what these guys have been liberated from, that is the law with all the traditions of the elders. So, Peter reminds them in chapter 1 that they have been separated from that, Donít go back. You have the word of God. He ends the chapter by telling them to focus on the word by which they are born again. It is the word that abides forever. Donít go back to the vain conversation of the tradition of the fathers.

The issue in chapter 2:1-11, Peter is reminding them that they are the faithful remnant, they are that living stone, they are the ones built upon the Lord Jesus Christ. They are that unique generation.

(1 Peter 2:9 KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Peter is reminding them that they are the ones.

Notice how Peter rightly divided the word of God also:

(1 Peter 2:10 KJV) Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Peter used the same terms Paul did. What to us today is "but now", will be "time past" to them in the ages to come. Even if you do not consider the dispensation of grace, the terms still work when referring to the time of Hosea when Israel was scattered. Peter uses the same terminology. He rightly divided using the same terminology as Paul. So, he talks about the fact that they are the people of God so do not think the other ones are.

(1 Peter 2:11-12 KJV) Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; {12} Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

From verse 12 to the end of chapter 3, Peter is telling them they are that Little Flock out there among the Gentiles. Matthew 5 says they are the light of the world. It is in fulfillment of Deuteronomy that says Israel was to be the light to the Gentiles. So, Peter is saying here, fulfill that thing in Deuteronomy, fulfill that in Matthew 5: go out and be that testimony to the Gentiles so that they may see your good works and glorify God in that day of visitation. That is almost a direct quote of Matthew 5:16.

(Matthew 5:16 KJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

As he goes on in verse 18, he talks to servants. In 3:1, he talks to wives. In 3:7, he talks to husbands. In 3:8, he gathers them all together again and says you all need to do this. Go to Matthew 17 and 1 Peter 2.

I want you to see something real special about their conduct among the Gentiles. The point is they are the faithful remnant, but why does he bring all this issue on 1 Peter 2: submit yourself to every ordinance of man, or the governors, honor the king, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Why all this information about their conduct among the Gentiles?

Remember in 1 Peter 2, he says to have your conversation honest among the Gentiles, there is a testimony to the Gentiles. Obey the magistrates, submit yourself to the authorities, honor the king, fear God and so forth.

(Matthew 17:24 KJV) And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

Who collected the tribute money? What is tribute money? It is like taxes, right? Who collected the tribute money from the Jews? Ultimately, who did it go to? The Romans.

(Matthew 17:24-26 KJV) And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? {25} He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? {26} Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

Then he tells him to go get a fish and pay. (laughs) The point is that the current situation of the affairs on the earth, the nation of Israel were the free of God, were they not? But currently the Gentiles were in control. Currently, though Israel were free, they had to pay tribute to the then present rulership and authority. What I am saying here, the current state of affairs of Gentile rulership was only temporary. Even though the Gentiles take tribute from those that are the servants and not the free. Christ says, the children are free, but not in this present world system. Go ahead and pay for now. Get the picture? That is 1 Peter 2, that whole issue of the testimony among the Gentiles.

(1 Peter 2:12-16 KJV) Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. {13} Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; {14} Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. {15} For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: {16} As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

Just like Matthew 17, they are the free ones, but because of the present situation in that tribulation period, the Gentiles will still have the upper hand. Israel, go ahead and submit because there is a day coming when Christ sets up that kingdom on this earth when it will be totally different.

Well, the book of 1 Peter is designed to equip the saints to endure that tribulation period, having their eyes focused on that kingdom, that salvation the prophets prophesied about.

   

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