1 Peter 4
Let us cease from all sin and live by every Word of God just like Jesus Christ did and does.
1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind [we are to be filled with the same Christ-like determination to live by every Word of God]: for he [those that] that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin [suffering for godliness is proof that we have turned from worldliness and rejected sin]; 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time [the remainder of our lives] in the flesh to the lusts of men [we who sinned in times past, must STOP sinning and live in godliness], but to the will of God.
In the past we lived to satisfy the lusts of our flesh, but now we who are called to God through Christ are to live in Christ-like zeal according to every Word of God.
4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
The wicked speak evil of those who will not join them in their sins.
All humanity will ultimately have to face the Judge and give an account for their works.
4:5 Who [every person will be made to account for their actions] shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick [the living] and the dead [those who have died will be raised up to their judgment].
The Gospel is preached to sinners so that when they are raised back up to the flesh, they will remember and repent and be saved. They died in the flesh being wicked, and they will be raised up to flesh for an opportunity to repent and to live by the whole Word of God in their period of judgment.
4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead [The Gospel was preached to many who sincerely repented to live by every Word of God. They will be resurrected to eternal life in godliness.], that they might be judged [we die while in the flesh] according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit [God’s faithful will receive eternal life in the resurrection to spirit.].
4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober [serious], and watch unto [be diligent in] prayer.
This was written for us in that all flesh is subject to death, and for our day with the end of this society and the coming of our LORD now very close at hand.
4:8 And above all things have fervent charity [true godly love] among yourselves: for charity [loving God by keeping His Word; and loving our brothers and sisters enough to warn them to turn away from sin and to live by every Word of God, which love will cover their sincerely repented sins] shall cover the multitude of sins.
Let us be friendly and sharing with the brethren; and brethren, do not take undue advantage of others. Let each person work and not be a burden to others.
4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
4:10 As every man hath received the gift [a gift of the Spirit], even so minister the same [help and edify one another according to God’s gifts as they are given to each one] one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Do all things for the glory of God and be a shining personal example of the righteousness of God; which is to passionately love and live by every Word of God in all our thoughts, words and deeds.
4:11 If any man speak, let him speak [we are to speak as befitting godly people] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
We are to expect trials of our faith and zeal; be not dismayed by trials for our God is working with us to make us fit to be a part of the eternal collective bride of Christ.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Because, having suffered for righteousness sake just as Christ did we will have a part in the resurrection to eternal life, just as Jesus Christ was resurrected to eternal life.
If you are reproached for being zealous to keep God’s Word and Will; rejoice for you are in the company of Jesus Christ, who was also reproached for faithfulness to God the Father.
4:14 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.
Keep yourself pure from all sin so that we need not suffer for our own sins and be zealous to learn and to keep the whole Word with a deep and abiding love for all truth and all things godly.
4:15 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.
4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a [faithful doer of the Word of God] Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this [because he is faithful to God and suffers for his faithful loyalty, which enduring will bring the good blessing of eternal life] behalf.
Brethren, the called out are being tested and judged right now as to whether we will be fit to be resurrected to eternal life as Jesus Christ was. Only those who are of the same mind as Christ, who are full of Christ-like zeal for God the Father and the whole Word of God will be among the Chosen for the resurrection to eternal spirit.
4:17 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? 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
When we face trials for our diligence to live by every Word of God the Father, let us not back down or compromise to try to reduce the burden by our own efforts; rather let us redouble our love, commitment and zeal to live by every Word of God, and let us commit our lives into the hands of our Mighty Deliverer and Savior, who will raise us up on that day!
4:19 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
1 Peter 5
Instructions for Elders
1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you [with the pure and undefiled milk and the solid meat of the whole Word of God], taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre [not as a mere job for a pay cheque, or for the adulation of men], but of a ready mind; [a mind willing to serve God]
The elders are to serve first by setting a godly example.
5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
Those who exhort the people to passionate godliness, teaching the whole Word of God and powerfully rebuking all sin; will have a good reward.
2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
Those who do not rebuke all sin, those who do not set a godly example and those who are not diligent to teach passionate zeal to live by every Word of God; will be required to give an account and will be judged by our Master.
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
A wolf feeds himself first, and ravages the flock.
Ezekiel 34 the entire chapter is about those shepherds in BOTH physical and spiritual Israel who are wolves and feed themselves with all the good things of the flock, while neglecting to feed the flock with ever Word of the Truth of God in due season.
Those who are political and seek the chief seats, who seek self-aggrandizement and personal advantage; are the wolves hiding among the sheep.
Today there are very many such wolves who do not feed the sheep the true Gospel of warning, repentance, and diligent faithful obedience to God unto salvation and eternal life.
Ezekiel 34:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
If any man teaches tolerance for sin out of a phony false love; if any elder tolerates sin [the breaking of any part of God’s Word, not the breaking of some organizational edict] without rebuke; if any organization does not preach a message of warning and repentance to the world; They are corrupt branches that will be pruned off at the judgment!
The True Good Shepherd and his faithful servants feed the flock with the words of truth and with the teachings that lead to salvation; strongly rebuking all sin.
We are to follow that True Good Shepherd on High, diligently living by every Word of God so that we internalize God the Father and the Son and grow into complete spiritual unity with God!
John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
The good tree is that Ultimate Good Shepherd who is working to bring the whole flock into a fullness of complete unity with God the Father! We are to follow that Good Shepherd who gave his all, who gave his very life for the Father’s flock and did not seek his own.
We are to follow the example that was set for us and faithfully serve God the Father by feeding his flock with the very Word of God, the very nature of God; without fear or compromise; regardless of what men think or do.
There are some good shepherds among us even now who teach the true way of salvation and are alert watchmen discerning the signs of the times. They may be kept down, ridiculed and even persecuted by others, yet the Father will reward them.
Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
12:43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
12:44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
Matthew 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
The evil servant.
Luke 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
Those who exalt themselves, abuse others and seek their own pleasures will be abased
12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
We can know the good shepherds by their love of God and by their diligent keeping and teaching of every Word of God and by their diligence to do the will of HIM who called them.
Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Those who internalize the nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ, those who become one with them in total spiritual unity through a deep love for God and all the things of God, those who love the passionate keeping of every Word of God and who set a good example of godliness and FEED THE FLOCK with the good pasture of the Word of God, watering them with godliness; are building on the foundation of the Word of God: Which shall NEVER be moved.
The good and faithful teacher will receive a good reward of eternal life and the knowledge that he has helped to save many, as well as a good office in the eternal priesthood and kingship of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
Let everyone humble themselves before God and work in cooperation with one another so that we may all exercise the gifts that God has given to each of us for the edifying of the whole body, in an orderly manner.
5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder [let the young in the faith submit to the older or wiser]. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace [mercy] to the humble. 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
The tempted and persecuted are not alone because all of the faithful brethren have been or will be tempted and afflicted while in this world in the flesh.
5:8 Be sober [serious and controlled], be vigilant [always watchful]; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour [Satan seeks to tempt or deceive away from God.]: 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
The faithful brethren who are in the flesh in this world, all face trials like we do.
God the Father will establish those who persevere in his Word and will give them eternal life in a body of spirit; just as he raised up Christ.
5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his [God the Father’s] eternal glory [God the Father has called us to salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ.] by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, [God will] make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
5:11 To him [to God the Father] be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace [godly love] of God wherein ye stand.
Peter wrote from Jerusalem and he was using the name “Babylon” as a euphemism for Jerusalem which is also called spiritual Egypt and Sodom (Rev 11:8). At that time wicked Jerusalem was soon to be surrounded by the Romans and facing complete destruction, which came in 70 A.D.
5:13 The church that is at Babylon [Jerusalem], elected [also called to God] together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son [Mark, Peter’s son in the faith who assisted Peter at Jerusalem].
5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
It was the custom for the brethren to greet one another with a big loving hug and a kiss of affection on the cheek or neck as many of us still do today.