Hebrews & General Epistles

Southern Christian University

Lesson On I Peter #1

James A. Turner


Read all the references and they will help you to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.


We are now ready to begin the study of I Peter. I looked in the Young’s Analytical Concordance of the number of passages that lists Peter, and I went down the row and counted down to forty‑eight and then by that judged the rest of it, and I concluded that there are at least a hundred and sixty passages where the apostle Peter was mentioned.  That ought to tell us on the surface that he was a very important apostle, and surely he was.  In John 1:29 John said of Jesus to his disciples, “Behold the lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.” When Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized of John, John said, “I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?” Jesus said, “Suffer it to be so for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:13-15).” Some have tried to have this reference teach the popular false doctrine that baptism is not essential to salvation, but the point is that John’s baptism was from heaven (Matheww 21:23-32) and those who rejected remained in a lost condition (Luke 3:3); and it was given while the Old Testament was still in force. Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament (Matthew 5:17-18). Jesus kept the law perfectly, and thus he needed to be baptized to fulfill this requirement of the law although he had committed no sin (Hebrews 4:15-16). When Jesus was baptized the Spirit descended as a dove upon him, and a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:16-17).”


It was then that John learned that Jesus was the Christ, for God had told him, “Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him, the same is he that baptizeth in the Holy Spirit (John 1:29-34).” John and Jesus were cousins, but he did not know until then that he was the Christ and the next day he said to his disciples, John 1:29, "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world."  And then on the next day he saw Jesus, and he pointed out Jesus to two of his disciples, “behold the lamb of God” (John 1:35). And I think in such a way that he meant go follow him, and they did.  One of those that followed him was Andrew.  The other one would be the apostle John, the author of the book.  And Andrew went and got Simon his brother, and the Lord changed his name to Peter. 


John's account shows that there was some association on the part of some of these disciples before the Lord called them to full‑time discipleship or apostleship.  And then the gospel accounts give a record of the Lord calling them to full‑time apostleship.  But remember that Jesus chose two sets of brothers, and they were partners in a fishing business together.  Luke 5:1‑11  shows that Andrew and Peter, and James and John were partners in the fishing business along with James and John's father Zebedee when Jesus called them to full time service as apostles.  And James and John left their father, Zebedee, with the hired servants and followed Jesus, and, of course, Peter and Andrew left and followed Jesus on that occasion. 


We remember Peter as one who was always quick to respond, and sometimes his response was as good as it could possibly be and sometimes it was not so good.  A good example of the two would be Matthew 16:13-19 where Matthew said Jesus came down the coast of Caesarea at Philippi where he asked his disciples saying, Whom do men say that I, the Son of man am?  And they told him Jeremiah, Elijah, and one of the other prophets.  But Jesus said, But whom say ye that I am?  And Peter said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  Jesus said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjonah:  For flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:  And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:  And whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."  And then it looks like on maybe that same occasion Jesus started talking to them about his coming death on the cross.  And Peter said, not so Lord, that is not supposed to happen to you.  And you remember Jesus said unto Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan:  For thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men."  So one was an excellent response, and the other one was a wrong response.  But Peter was the kind of fellow that was going to say something on all important occasions.  Some people are just built that way, that when something important is said and there should be a response, they come forth with a response immediately. 


Another occasion of such would be when they had fished all night and had caught nothing and the Lord said, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught. And Peter, Master, we toiled all night and took nothing; but at thy word I will let down the nets,” and they caught so many fish that the net was breaking. And when Peter saw what had happened he said, “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man.”  But you just find him in one occasion after another responding and responding immediately.  And when the Lord told Peter that he was going to deny him before the cock crows twice, did not he say thou shall deny me thrice as recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  And Peter said, though all deny thee, I will not deny thee.  Mark said that he vehemently said, which means that he got angry about the matter.  But the Lord told him, “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  And Peter did not know how weak the flesh was until the time came.  After Peter denied the Lord and the cock crew, and the Lord looked on Peter and Peter remembered what the Lord had said, “And he went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:61-62).”  Peter’s tears were tears of real repentance. Never again was Peter quite as weak as he was on that occasion.  But he still was a man, and he still did wrong, and Paul had to rebuke him, because when he went to that church of the Gentiles at Antioch of Syria, he was eating and having full fellowship with the Gentiles until certain came from James and then he separated from them.  And Paul rightly rebuked him to the face because of his wrong conduct (Galatians 2:11-18). 


Well, I guess we need to leave that and get to the reading and study of the text.  "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are sojourners of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia."  So notice that this epistle is addressed to a very large area.   Surely many churches were included in all of this area.  Chapters thirteen and fourteen of Acts is about the first missionary journey, or at least as recorded in the book of Acts, of Barnabas and Paul to the Gentile people.  And we read that they established a church at Antioch of Pisidia,  Iconium, Lystra and Derbe on that first missionary journey, at least four churches.  Paul on his third journey spent three years at Ephesus of Asia (Acts 20:31) and during his stay at Ephesus all the people in all Asia “heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. (Acts 19:10).”  The seven churches of Asia were probably established during Paul's stay at Ephesus (Acts 19:10; Revalation 1:10-11).  Most of the people in all of this territory were Gentile people. 


Now, back to the reading, “to the elect who are the sojourners of the Dispersion,” and you remember that James was written to the twelve tribes of Israel that were of the Dispersion. That terminology first applied to the Jewish people that had been scattered into other nations, but we can see here in first Peter that it included Gentiles.  In fact, most of the people that these two epistles went to first were Gentile brethren.  Look at verse fourteen of chapter one, "As children of obedience, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts to the time of your ignorance.  But like ye who called you is holy, be ye also holy."  Now, that could in a sense apply to the Jewish people, but it surely fit the Gentile people.  They were about as immoral, as a people could be. The Gentile people as a people were idolaters worshiping idol gods, and with the worship of a number of their gods, they even practiced vile sex acts in worship to their gods.  It was not only counted all right but the proper thing, and they would even pray for prostitutes, for the upkeep of their religion.  And so I Peter 1:14 really applied to the Gentiles.  Look at verse eighteen of chapter one, "Knowing that ye were redeemed not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers."  Again, that could apply to some of the Jewish people, but it really applied to the Gentile people.  Look at chapter two beginning with verse nine, "But ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own precession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."  There are other passages where Paul talked about how that God had sent him to the Gentiles to turn them from darkness to light (Acts 26:16-18).  "Who in time past were no people, but now are the people of God:  Who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."  That is sufficient to press the  point that most of the brethren in these churches were Gentile brethren.  But coming back to the word the elect, I think you will do well to hi-light it.  What does that mean?  It is addressed to the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion.  What does that mean?  Who is he writing to?  Elect would be about the same as the chosen of God, so he is writing to Christians, and that includes Jews and Gentiles, but predominantly Gentile people.  And they are God's elect because they have been saved by their obedience to the gospel. 


Verse two, "According to the foreknowledge of God."  And you would do well to highlight foreknowledge of God.  That is an important statement that these people were children of God, or Christians, according to the foreknowledge of God.  And do you have a margin where you can write several passages from Isaiah.  If you have to, draw an arrow up to the top of the page and write down some verses.  There are many references in the prophets  telling how Christ would be a light to the Gentiles.  Please write, in a margin of your Bible, these references from Isaiah about how Christ would be a light to the Gentiles, and how that the family of the new Israel (Romans 2:28-29; Philippians 3:2-5) would be greatly enlarged by the bringing in of Gentile converts into the kingdom of God: Isaiah 11:1‑5, 11:10, 42:1‑9, 49:5‑6, 49:14, 49:21, 51:4‑5, 52:13- 15, 56:1- 5, 57:19, 62:1‑2.  Let us take time to hurriedly read those passages beginning with Isaiah 11:1‑5, and this passage is about Christ.  "And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse."  That means Christ would come of the seed of Jesse.  Jesse was the father of David.  The lineage of Christ is traced through Jesse and through David on down, in the first chapter of Matthew.  "And a Branch out of his roots shall bear fruit:  And the spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah; and his delight shall be in the fear of Jehovah:  And he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes."  So he is to be a judge,   "Neither decide after the hearing of his ears:  But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth:  And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth."  Now, Jesus is the only one that can smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and the rod of his mouth is his word (Hebrews 4:12; II Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:15-16).  "And with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.  And righteousness shall be the girdle of his ways, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins."  And then in the same chapter verse ten, "And it shall come to pass that in that day, that the root of Jesse that standeth for an ensign of the people; unto him shall the nation seek:  And his resting place shall be glorious."  Now, it does not say the Gentiles, but you will have Gentiles and nations used interchangeably. STUDENT:  The King James says Gentiles. BROTHER TURNER:  And so according to what translation you are reading from whether it says Gentiles or nations or the peoples.  Gentiles, nations, and peoples mean the Gentiles, according to the Jews all other people were Gentiles, or nations, or peoples.


Next is Isaiah forty‑two.  "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine chosen, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him:  And he will bring forth justice to the Gentiles."  The brethren in these churches, evidently predominantly Gentiles, and they were the elect according to the foreknowledge of God.  God intends to send Christ to be a light to the Gentiles.  And so Christ has been that light to them.  "He will not cry, nor lift up his voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street.  A bruised reed will he not break, and a dimly burning wick will he not quench.  He will bring forth justice and truth.  He will not fail nor be discouraged, until he have set justice in the earth:  And the isles shall wait for his law, (New Testament) Thus saith God Jehovah, he that created the heavens, and stretched them forth; he that spread abroad the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and the spirit to them that walk therein:  I Jehovah have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles."  And, again, the covenant is the same as the law up there in verse four.  It is God's covenant to be given to all in the Christian age.  "To open the blind eyes, to bring the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house."  And, again, those that sit in darkness out of the prison house, that especially applies to the Gentile people, see.  "I am Jehovah:  That is my name:  And my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images.  Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare:  Before they spring forth I tell you of them." God is telling through the prophet that my servant Christ is going to be a light to the Gentiles, and I am telling you about it before they spring forth I tell you of them.  If there is no other purpose as to why we need to study the Old Testament a lot more than we do, it would be for the building of faith.  See how God told of Christ’s coming, and we can look back and see how He came.  Isaiah 49:5‑6, "And now, saith Jehovah that formed me from the womb to be his servant, ( talking about Christ) To bring Jacob again to him, and that Israel be gathered unto him, for I am honorable in the eyes of Jehovah, and my God has become my strength.  Yea he saith, It is too light a thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel:  I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth."  "But Zion said, that Jehovah hath forsaken me."  Zion would refer especially to the real religious people of the people of Israel.  "Jehovah hath forsaken me, and the Lord hath forgotten me.  Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb."  A good woman will not do such a thing! "Yea, these may forget, yet will I not forget thee.  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.  Thy children make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth from thee."  God is going to use the destroyers to punish, but then he is going to punish the destroyers.  And the destroyer was especially the nation of Assyria.  "Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold:  All these gather themselves together, and come to thee."  This is after the restoration that this takes place.  "As I live, saith Jehovah, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and gird thyself with them, like a bride.  For as thy waste and thy desolate places, and thy land that had been destroyed, surely now shall thou be too straight for the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away."  In other words, the time is coming when the land of Palestine would not be large enough for all the children, it would be too straight for them, and straight means narrow, or limited. "The children of thy bereavement, shall yet say in thine years, The place is too straight for me:  Give place to me that I may dwell.  Then shalt thou say in thy heart, Who hath begotten me these."  Talking about the new children, the Gentiles .  "Seeing I have been bereaved of my children, and am in solitary in exile."  The ten northern tribes had been in Assyrian captivity since  722 B.C. (II Kings 18:9-13) and then the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were carried into Babylonian captivity 136 years later in 586 B.C. II Kings 25:1-7).  "And wandering to and fro?  And who hath brought up these?  Behold, I was left alone; these, where were they?"


Do you see the meaning of it?  Israel was in exile, but the family has been enlarged.  The place is too straight for us, and all these children, where do they come from?  It is talking about the bringing in, how that the Gentiles would be the new recipients of the New Testament covenant under Christ and would be the children of God.  In other words, how the family would be increased. 


Next is chapter fifty‑one beginning with verse thirteen, "Behold, my servant shall deal wisely.  He shall be exalted and lifted up and shall be very high, like as many were astonished at thee.  His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of man."  I think that would apply especially to that scourging that Jesus received and note the words of Pilate as given in Luke 23:13-16; John 19:15. STUDENT:  Which verses were you reading right then? BROTHER TURNER:  Verse fourteen of chapter fifty‑two. And then verse fifteen, "So shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths at him:  For that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they understand."  The meaning of verse fifteen that “he will sprinkle many nationsmeans that through the cleansing power of his blood, that people of many nations would be cleansed from sin (Zechariah 13:1). 


Chapter fifty‑six beginning with verse one, "Thus saith Jehovah, Keep ye justice, and do righteousness:  For my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness is to be revealed."  Please remember that the statement “it is near to come” was said by Isaiah more than seven hundred years before Christ was born of the virgin Mary.  So near to come, from God’s view of things does not always mean as we think of as near of at hand. "Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that holdeth it fast; that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.  Neither let the foreigner, that hath joined himself to Jehovah, speak, saying, Jehovah will surely separate me from his people:  Neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.  For thus saith Jehovah of the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and hold fast my covenant." 


In this context, he is speaking especially of spiritual eunuchs, those that are faithful unto the Lord.  But here is the main verse now, and note that it includes the foreigner and the eunuchs.  And then verse five, "Unto them will I give."  The eunuchs that do right, those that are faithful to the Lord.  "Unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a memorial and a name better than of sons and daughters:  I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off."  Now, in particular what is verse five talking about? STUDENT:  Christians. BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, the name Christian.  And notice where it is going to be given, within my house and within my walls.  What is God's house today? STUDENT:  Church. BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, the church.  The church is God's house.  (I Timothy 3:14-15). "And so within my house and within my walls I am going to give a memorial and a name better than that of sons and daughters, I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.”  Chapter fifty‑seven and verse nineteen, "I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near."  Those that are far off are what people?  Gentile people.  Ephesians 2:17, Paul said to those Gentile brethren, or most of them in the church at Ephesus were Gentiles, he came and preached peace to them that were afar off and to them that were nigh, and broke down the middle wall of petition and came and “preached peace to them that were afar off (Gentiles) and peace to them that were near!.”


Isaiah chapter sixty‑two and verses one and two, "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness go forth as brightness, and the salvation as a lamp that burneth.  And the nations shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory:  And thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall name."  That new name, that memorial and name that would never be cut off, was to be given when the nations see thy righteousness and all kings by glory.  And when was that new name given?  If you do not remember Acts 11:26, write it down by verse two.  Antioch was the first Gentile church,  and the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.”  And, by the way, I looked up that Greek word for called.  All you have to do is turn and look in Young’s Analytical Concordance.  And that word for called means “To declare by an oracle.”  Some are ready to say that the name Christian was just flung at them by their enemies?  Not so!  It was the fulfillment of Isaiah 62:2 and the new name was given by an oracle of God.  Does that add to the meaning now, the “elect according to the foreknowledge of God?”  So God had planned that Christ would be a light to the Gentiles and they would have a way of salvation “in Christ” if they were ready to take it.  Most of the brethren in these churches were Gentiles. 


Peter says that it is “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father in sanctification of the spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood.”  Do you remember Isaiah 52:15 “so shall he sprinkle many nations,” and Zechariah said, “there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David --- for sin and for incleanness  (Zechariah 13:1) and we surely need to continue using that good old hymn entitled, There Is A Fountain, which is based on Zechariah 13:1. Isaiah 52:15 and Zechariah 13:1 means essentially the same thing, that the cleansing blood of Jesus, which he gave on the cross of Calvary, would be for all nations (Matthew 28: 18-20).


The brethren in these churches had been sanctified or consecrated, set apart to the service of God.  They are the saints of God by their obedience of the gospel.  The Holy Spirit guided the apostles and inspired men into all truth, and that truth is recorded so that all men who obey can be cleansed, and consecrated to God's service by the cleansing blood of Jesus.  And as we continue to walk by faith, and obey the instruction of the spirit, that sanctification is a continuous process. John records that long discourse that Jesus gave his apostles after he kept the last Passover supper with them, John chapters thirteen through sixteen.  In chapter seventeen, he records the prayer that Jesus prayed before he went into the garden.  And Jesus prayed in behalf of himself, and then on behalf of his disciples, and he said, “Sanctify them by thou  word,: thy word is truth (John 17:17).” I think you want to write that down at the end of “grace to you and peace be multiplied (John 17:17).”


Please note that Peter like Paul uses both the Greek salutation, grace and the Jewish salutation peace and there were Jews and Gentiles in these churches.


Verse three, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."  And Paul uses those same words in Ephesians 1:3.  By the way, we did not say anything about the time for I Peter, but it is usually thought that the epistle is written ‑‑ I guess the most common dates that are given for it would be 64 to 65. II Peter chapter three shows that the brethren that he is writing to were familiar with the epistles of Paul.  Turn to II Peter 3:15‑16, "And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given to him wrote unto you; as also in all of his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and the unsteadfast rest, as they do also the other scriptures unto their own destruction."  So from that we learn that these brethren that the apostle Peter is writing to are familiar with a number of the epistles of Paul.  So, evidently, most of the epistles of Paul had good circulation by this time.  There are several passages here in I Peter where there are statements almost identical to Paul's statements in the Ephesian letter, and some think that that shows that Peter was familiar with the Ephesian letter.  And when he said that some of the things that Paul had written were hard to be understood, I think that would surely have included the epistle to the Romans. Next to the book of Revelation, I believe that would be about the hardest book of the New Testament.  But Peter is not just familiar as his writing seemed to indicate with the Ephesian letter, but other letters that the apostle Paul had written.  Ephesians was written during Paul's first Roman imprisonment, and the dates vary according to who you are reading from.  But it seems like years ago they dated the Prison Epistles as 61-62 A.D., but in recent years some have said 62-63 A.D, but anyway, the dates are approximate. But if it is 62 or 63 and he is familiar with the Ephesian letter, it would be after that time. and they think it is written before Nero really started persecuting the Christians, and that started in about 65 A.D., and that is the basis that some writers refer to as far as the dates for the book. 


I Peter 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ according to his great mercy, begat us again unto a living hope. By the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."  But why does he say it is by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead?  The resurrection of Christ from the dead is a crowning miracle of all miracles.  There would be no gospel of Christ without the resurrection of Christ.  Do you remember how Paul said to the Corinthians, I Corinthians 15:1-4, that he had preached to them, how that Christ died for our sins, that he was buried and rose again the third day according to the scriptures.  Those are the facts that must be preached, and believed  and obeyed in a form by alien sinners in order to be saved (Romans 6:3-7, 6:17-18).    And so Christ “begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  Unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away (It will be forever)  reserved in heaven for you."  So the inheritance of Christians will in no way be corruptible and it will be undefiled.  There will be no sin not tears there (Revelation 21:4) but all were sinners before they were cleansed by the blood of Christ. 


Now, the Jehovah Witnesses' may try to get inside your house by reasoning that we want to tell you how great it is going to be, that heaven is going to be down here for most of us.  Are you familiar with how they will do that?  Peter says, it is reserved in heaven for you.  Do you remember the words of Jesus to his apostles in that long discourse before he was betrayed, "Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; I go and prepare a place for you. And  if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:1-2).”  Where has he gone?  And you need to call attention to such passages, that the heaven that you are planning on going is in heaven and not on earth.  And there are other passages, but those are two that you especially need to remember. 


Verse five, "Who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."  Every child of God is guarded, just as long as he wants to be guarded.  We have already called attention to John 10:27‑29, that just as long as a child of God hears and follows Christ, the devil doesn't have the power to snatch him out of Christ's hand and out of God's hand.  But the difference between truth and error turns on the child of God willing to hear and follow.  And I Corinthians 10:13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.  God will not allow you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation give a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  And let me say that I believe that is a verse that every child of God should learn by memory and let it speak to him.  All of us are going to be faced with temptation, but that passage says the Lord will give a way of escape, and we need to be looking for that way of escape.  Remember for Joseph, he left the coat in her hand and fled out of the house.  There are different ways that God gives, but there is going to be a way, we are guarded.  And some say that is a military term, so just like our military guards our nation, God guards his children and He does not want a single one to be lost (John 6:39-40; Luke 15:1-20).  "Who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."  Well, does that mean that these people that Peter is writing to did not have salvation, a present salvation, when he says unto a salvation ready to be revealed a last time?  What kind of salvation is verse five talking about? STUDENT:  He was talking about the last salvation. BROTHER TURNER: Yes,  He was talking about eternal salvation, when the saints would be carried home to heaven.  I Thessalonians 4:13‑18; I Corinthians 15:50-58; Philippians 3:20; and I John 3:1-3 teach that when Christ comes in His second advent (Hebrews 9:27-28) that he will bring the spirits of the righteous with him, and before the living righteous are changed the dead righteous will be raised with incorruptible and glorious bodies.  And they will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air.  So shall they ever be with the Lord." 


Verse six, "Wherein we greatly rejoice, thou now for a little while, If we need be,  "You have been put to grief in manifold trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold that perisheth.  though it is proved by fire, may be found unto praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."  So they were being put to grief in manifold trials, and the purpose of the trials is what?  To prove whether or not your faith is genuine, whether or not it is real.  And you remember  that James said about the same thing about trials, so the proving of our faith by trials is more important than gold that perisheth, and it is for the proving of your faith that you may be found “unto praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  The revelation of Jesus Christ, of course, means at the second advent.  I Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  And the dead in Christ shall rise first."  And so just as surely as the Lord has descended one time, he is going to descend a second time, Hebrews 9:28.  And so the purpose of the trials for them and for us, is for the proving of our faith, to make us stronger that we may be found faithful when Christ comes. 


Verse eight, "Whom not having seen ye love; on whom, though now ye see him not yet believing, ye rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory."  So Peter says that even though these brethren were being put to the test by manifold trials, they were still rejoicing,  “greatly with joy, unspeakable and full of glory.  And one reason we are not growing faster is because there is not enough joy in the church today.  When a congregation of brethren appreciate all of the Lord's blessings, and all of the Lord's promises, and are looking forward to receiving heaven at last, you find a happy people.  And that kind of happiness and joy attracts others.  And we need to remember that and try to keep a pleasant atmosphere always when brethren are together, as much as it is appropriate. 


Verse nine, "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."  Now, they had a present salvation, just like Christians today have a present salvation, but Peter is  talking about that salvation at the end of the way, the end of faith is to receive heaven at last.  "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."  And that is eternal salvation, of course. 


Verse ten, "Concerning which salvation the prophets sought and searched diligently who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you."  The Old Testament prophets, well, beginning with Moses, He said, “Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me and him shall you hearken in all things (Deuteronomy 18:15-19).”  Do you suppose Moses understood much about what he was saying when he gave that statement?  All the prophets Peter said from Moses on had spoken of the Christ (Acts 3:22-24).  Think of the many passages in the book of Psalms and in the book of Isaiah particularly talking about Christ, and Isaiah fifty‑three, the whole chapter, about the death of Christ.  Now, Peter does not go into details as to how many or what prophets, but it may be all of them that spake of the sufferings of Christ.  They wanted to know more about it, but it was revealed unto them, and this would show that they were speaking by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  That they were speaking about things that they did not completely understand.  They searched diligently, and I think that would include searching other teachings on the same subject from the Old Testament and from the other prophets.  They tried to learn more about it.  Searching what time or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of God are used interchangeably in the scriptures, but especially here it is referring to the prophets that spake about the coming of Christ and his death upon the cross.  There are a number of  passages in Isaiah and in the Psalms about that.  "Which was in them, did point unto when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow them."   They understood that something wonderful was coming and they wanted to know more about it. 


Now, do you think Peter understood what he was saying in Acts 2:38‑39 when they said “men and brethren what shall we do?”  And Peter said, “repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.”  I think he understood that much, but then thirty‑nine, "Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit for the promise is to you and to your children and them that are far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."  Well, I think he understood about the gifts of the spirit, but he didn't understand about them that are far off, did he?  Acts ten shows that he had to receive the vision from heaven before he was ready to go to the Gentiles.  They were the ones that were far off.  So the Holy Spirit was speaking through the prophets.  The prophets knew that there was something very wonderful about what was coming.  And I think this indicates that they wanted to live in that day, right?  But it was revealed unto them, verse twelve, “that not unto themselves, but unto you, did they minister these things, which now have been announced unto you through them that preached the gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven, which things angels desire to look into”.  Now, the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God was speaking about the sufferings of Christ.  So the Holy Spirit is speaking through those Old Testament prophets.  But if there is any difference, what is spoken to us is even greater than that, being announced unto you through them that preached the Holy Spirit unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven.  What is the meaning of that statement?  “By the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven.”  That would be the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that Joel had prophesied of in Joel chapter two.  Remember Peter quoted that part somewhat as an introduction to his first sermon on Pentecost.  This is that which is spoken of by the prophet Joel.  They had witnessed the outpouring or the beginning of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.  And so that wording has special significance, preach the gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven, which things angels desire to look into. 


In John chapter sixteen, Jesus told his apostles that it was expedient that he should go away.  For if I go not away, the Holy Spirit will not come.  I may not be getting it quite right.  But, anyway, if I go away, the Holy Spirit will come, and will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak of himself, but he shall take of mine and shall declare it unto you.  I think that is John 16:13.  So the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven, gave all of God's will to the apostles and inspired writers.  What the  inspired writers have written is just as authoritative as anything that Jesus said during his personal ministry, “He shall take of mine and shall declare it unto you.”  And that is a passage that you need to keep in mind. There are some who want the words of Jesus in red and so a few think that they are more authoritative than the rest of the New Testament but remember everything is just as authoritative as that, all of it is from the Lord. 


Verse thirteen, “Wherefore girding up the loins of your mind."  Well, we surely understand that as figurative language.  I do not know how a person could literally gird up the loins and strengthen his mind, do you?  But the figure is taken from the people in Palestine wearing those long flowing garments, and when they were ready to work or run, they would need to gird up those garments, so they would be better prepared for what they needed to do.  It would be somewhat like our saying today, let us roll up our sleeves and get this work done.  So it is emphasizing that they need to get ready to serve in a better way. And some think it would have a special reference back to Exodus twelve when God instituted the Passover.  They were to eat that first Passover supper with sandals on their feet and with their loins girded and with the staff in their hand, ready to leave after God had killed the firstborn in all the houses of the Egyptians.  They were going to be commanded to leave in haste, and they needed to be ready to go.  "Wherefore girding up the loins of your mind, be sober and set your hope perfectly on the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus.” When a child of God dies, he goes to paradise of the Haden world, but he doesn't go directly to heaven. 


Max King, went to great extreme on the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and he teaches that before a child of God's body is buried it goes on to heaven.  According to him destruction of Jerusalem was the resurrection, and just about everything else.  But the Bible plainly teaches that there is going to be a great resurrection when Christ comes.  If we did not have but that one passage, John 5:28, "Marvel not at this:  For the hour is coming, in all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."  So the righteous and the unrighteous are going to be raised and judged at the same time (Acts 17:30-31).    Our salvation is a gift of God (Romans 6:23), but we must be trying to obey to receive the gift.


Verse fourteen,  "as children of obedience, not fashion yourselves according to your former lusts in the time of your ignorance."  Now, I do not see how it could really apply to the Jewish people as a  people, but the Gentiles for centuries (Romans 1:18-32) lived in lust because of their ignorance. It might apply to some of the Jewish people from time to time, but it really describes the Gentile people. "But like he who called you is holy, be yourselves also holy in all manner of living."  It is only through the cleansing blood of Christ that we can be holy in all manner of living.  Verse seventeen, "And if you call on him as Father."  Now, in the epistles  there are a number of passages like this where it is said if you do this or that, but it does not mean to cast any doubt, but rather just as surely as you call on him as Father.  "And if you call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judgest according to each man's work."  This is very much like Romans 2:6‑13 that God judges each man on the basis of his work and God is no respecter of persons.  "Pass this time of your sojourning in fear."  In other words, have proper reverence for God, be ready to obey him in everything.  "Knowing that ye were redeemed not with corruptible things, with silver and gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers."  And you see how that would especially describe the Gentile people from your vain manner of life.  "But with precious blood as of the lamb without blemish and without spot, even the blood of Christ."  When God instituted the Passover supper, there were several ways in which the Passover lamb was a type of the Christ to come, and Peter in verse nineteen gives one of them, the lamb to be with out blemish, representing Christ being without sin; but that had been true of all the animal sacrifices. So from the time of faithful Able on, animal sacrifices typified the sacrifice of Christ to make atonement for sin (Isaiah 53:7-10; Hebrews 10:4-9).  Do you remember how in I Corinthians 5:7 Paul says, "For Christ our Passover hath been sacrificed for us."  And so the Passover lamb represented the Christ to come.  "But with precious blood as of the lamb without blemish and without spot; even the blood of Christ.  Who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the end of the times for your sake." 


I do not believe I put a question at all about verse twenty, and I should have had several.  Try to find a place to write some passages down that have to do with the foreordination and predestination of God.  And let us consider them and see if we can come to a conclusion as to what God has foreordained and predestined.  You know the strictest form of the Old Calvinist Doctrine is that God before the foundation of the world foreordained or predestined those who would be saved, and those that God foreordained and predestined to be saved will be saved regardless of whether they have the gospel preached to them or not;  but if God hath not foreordained and predestined you to be saved, then there is nothing you can do about it.  God just did not choose you!  And, of course, that doctrine has gone through many different changes.  And I do not guess anybody much holds on to the strictest form of it today. 


I can remember the day when some of our brethren went to the other extreme and were more or less ready to conclude that God did not foreordain or predestinate anything.  Well, the Bible plainly teaches that God has foreordained and predestinated some things. I have read articles where some brethren would try to make a distinction between predestined and foreordained.  You take the different translations like the King James in Ephesians 1:5, "Foreordained us unto the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ our Lord."  The King James says,  predestinated unto the adoption of sons.  So it is according to what version you are reading from as to whether it's foreordained or predestinated.  Here Peter says that, "Christ was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the end of the times for your sake." 


We are going to read some passages about what God has foreordained and try to come to some conclusion, about the word foreordained as used here.  Now, I think the Bible plainly teaches that God knew that if he made man a free moral agent that the time would come when man would sin and it would reflect on God if he did not know that much, right?  Suppose  you should give  your sixteen year old son a super sport fast automobile, and you tell him to be very careful and not go over the speed limit, what are at least ninety‑nine out of one hundred sixteen year olds going to do? STUDENT:  Speed. BROTHER TURNER:  Well, if we have that much understanding with what little intelligence we have in comparison to God's intelligence, do not you know that God knew that if he made man a free moral agent that the time would come when man would sin. 


The scriptures teach that God planned a way of redemption for man, and that from the foundation of the world, the end of that plan was that Christ would come as an offering for sin and all that would receive and obey Christ would be the chosen of God.  So I will tell you in advance as to how I see the foreordination and predestination of God.  Now, let us write down these passages and turn and read some of them, or let me call attention to some of them at least.  The references  will be from the book of Acts 2:22‑23, 3:18, 4:27, 13:44‑48; Ephesians 1:3‑5; John 3:14‑18, 8:28, 12:31; Romans 8:29-30; I Timothy 1:9; II Thessalonians 2:13-14.  And you might want to put down Revelation 13:8 from the King James Version or the New King James Version reads, “a lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”  Now, the King James Version and The New King James Version are the only ones I know of that speak of it as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  But I believe that is the meaning of it, in other words, that God had foreordained and predetermined that Christ would be an offering for sin.  And when God has foreordained and predetermined, something is coming, it is as good as done although it may be ten thousand years later. 


Let me see if I can just give the substance of these passages rather than taking the time to read them.  Acts 2:22‑23, Peter in his first gospel sermon preached the facts of the gospel, the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ.  Acts 22:22,  “Ye men of Israel hear these words!  Jesus of Nazareth a man approved of you by signs and wonders and manifold powers which God did by him in the midst of you, even as yourselves also know, him being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God you have taken, and by the hand of lawless men, the Gentiles, did crucify and slain.”  So Christ was delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.  Then when Peter had an opportunity to preach, what is the second gospel sermon after the healing of the impotent man at the beautiful gate of the temple where the multitude came to gather.  Again, he preached about the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ.  And I wonder if he did not show some signs of them being sorrow in verse seventeen when he said, “And now I know brethren that through ignorance you did it, as did also your rulers. But the things which God   foreshadowed by the mouth of the prophets, that Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled And then the first part of Acts the fourth chapter, you remember that because of the miracle, Peter and John were arrested and the next day carried before the highest court of the Jews.  And Peter being filled with the Holy Spirit gave them an excellent answer (Acts 4:7-12).  And so they straightly charged them not to teach anymore in the name of Christ and released them.  They went back to their company, a company of Christians, and they prayed to God. 


I guess we better turn to that passage.  Let us begin with Acts 4:23, "And being let go, they came to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said unto them.  And when they heard it, lifted up their voice to God with one according, and said, O Lord, thou that didst make the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:  Who by the Holy Spirit by the mouth of our Father David and thy servant did say. Why did the Gentiles rage, and the people imagine vain things?  The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his anointed."  You see, they had come to understand that Psalms 2:1-2 was talking about Christ, and so they quoted that passage in their prayer.  And I have heard brethren criticize anybody that would quote a passage in a prayer, and they would say, “The Lord knows what he said, and there is no need of doing that,” but we have a number of prayers recorded where the men of God quoted.  Verse twenty‑seven, "For the truth in this city, against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel foreordained to come to pass."  So the passages that we have read plainly teach that God foreordained that Christ should die for our sins, right?  That he would be nailed to the cross, foreordained to come to pass.


Now back to the other passages, Acts 13:43-48, Paul and Barnabas on that first missionary journey, had gone into the Jewish synagogue at Antioch of Pisidia  and they had preached about Christ, and they asked them come back the next Sabbath day.  But the next Sabbath day almost the whole city ‑‑ of course, Gentile territory turned out to hear them.  The Jews became jealous, and they began to blaspheme and contradict.  And Paul and Barnabas spoke out against them and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should first be preached to you, (the Jewish people). Sseeing you thrust it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo we turn to the Gentiles."  And then Luke tells us that the Gentiles were glad and “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed,” and you see how a Calvinist preacher could use that reference and say just as many as were ordained to eternal life. That is what it says, “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Not one more and not one less believed. 


Early in his ministry, Jesus began to talk about his death upon the cross. When Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews went to Jesus by night, Jesus first talked to him about the new birth.  Nicodemus and the other rulers of the Jews had rejected the baptism of John.  So he first talked to him about the new birth, then he talked to him about his death upon the cross.  John 3:14 beginning, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  That whosoever believeth on him may in him have eternal life.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."  And he goes ahead to say, "He that believeth on him is not condemned:  But he that believeth not on him is condemned already, because he is not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God."  You remember Numbers twenty‑one when the serpents were biting and killing the people and finally they confessed to Moses that they had sinned and wanted him to pray for them and he did, and God told him to make. a serpent of brass and put it on a standard, and whoever looked on the serpent would be healed.  And that was also a type of Christ to come, that he would be lifted up on the cross of Calvary and that is what the Lord is talking about, “as Moses lifted up the serpent.”  And in John 8:28 Jesus said, "When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he."  And as given in John 12:31-33, Jesus said,  "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself." So not only did Jesus know that he came to die, he knew how he was going to die. See also Matthew 20:17-19. 


Another passage about the foreordination and predestination of God is Ephesians 1:3‑5, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ:  Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love:  Having foreordained us."  And doesn't the King James say, "Predestinated us to the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ our Lord and to the good pleasure of his will."  So this passage says, that those Ephesian brethren were saved before the foundation of the world.  And do you see how that these passages, if you do not come to the right interpretation, how that a skillful, and false teacher can make that false Calvinist Doctrine look like it is true Bible doctrine! The Calvinist interpretation would make God an unjust God an arrogant and unholy God who without proper cause saves some and condemns other. But the Bible teaches that God is a kind and merciful God who rewards his servants (Hebrews 11:6), that he does not want any man to be lost (II Peter 3:9; I Timothy 2:4); and that he is a God of great love (John 3:14-18; Romans 5:8); the Father of mercies, and God of all comfort (II Corinthians 1:31) and peace (Romans 16:20).