The First Letter of Peter: Introduction


During the first century the faithful Body of the Messiah, the Assemblies of New Covenant believers, by and large were persecuted by the Pagan Roman Emperors and the Jewish religious leaders who rejected their own Messiah our Lord Jesus and persecuted His followers. While the Body of the Messiah has always been persecuted down through Church history in the 20th Century the Church in the western democracies have for the most part been free from persecution due to the Historical Biblical revivals providing a Judeo-Biblical heritage. Great men of God, such as John and Charles Wesley, George Whitfield, General Booth of the Salvation Army, D.L. Moody and others, were used mightily by God to reform and bring society back from the brink of the precipice of social, moral and spiritual defilement, and to spiritually revive spiritually backslidden Christendom.

Since the 17th and 18th Centuries the freedoms we have enjoyed in the western democracies resulted from these historical Biblical revivals. Before the beginning of the seventieth Century persecution by and large was perpetrated against New Covenant believers. In the early centuries of the Body of the Messiah up until the time of Constantine persecution was a daily part of the lives of believers. The persecution continued under the Popes of Rome until the reformation had taken root within wider Christendom, being the forerunner of the revivals to come which gave us the freedoms we have today in the west to worship and serve the Lord without fear of persecution.

However, things are rapidly changing in our world as we see western governments passing legislation that diametrically opposes Biblical, moral, spiritual and ethical standards. We also see the rapid rise of technology and Artificial Intelligence in the hands of the increasing number of scientists, technicians, philosophers, globalists, and those promoting ungodly humanistic philosophies and ideologies that reject God who are themselves being manipulated by the spirit of antichrist. The freedoms that the Body of the Messiah have enjoyed basically for the past two to three centuries are now being eroded as we see godless governments coming to power within the western democracies with their past Judeo-Christian heritage that are now neo-pagan.

As for the Body of the Messiah in the Middle Eastern regions of the world dominated by Islam they are under very severe persecution on a daily basis, not to mention the persecution in China and Russia and that is also growing in Europe as well. Also we see Anti-Semitism spreading its dark tentacles across Europe and in the western democracies against the Jewish people. Today Peter’s letters are relevant to the wider Body of the Messiah in the present age and more so as we see the beast empire of the Islamic Antichrist to come starting to form in the Middle East. We can also see European and western political leaders working towards a form of global governance that is ungodly to its very core with wicked and unprincipled men and women at the helm steering the ship on its destination to perdition and taking millions with them who have rejected the Triune God of the Bible.

The Apostle Peter wrote this his first letter and later his second letter just before the persecution of the Body of the Messiah throughout the Roman Empire intensified under the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero in around 64 AD. Nero began the systematic persecution of faithful New Covenant believers and during this brutal and savage time of persecution many faithful believers still alive were actually sown into animal’s skins and set alight to provide lights for Nero’s garden parties where the elite of Rome ate drank and fornicated into the night. It was during Nero’s reign that both the apostle Peter and Paul were martyred. Peter knew that that persecution was about to break out in intensity and ferocity throughout the whole of the Roman Empire. He wrote this his first letter to strengthen, to encourage and to prepare the assembly at Rome and within the wider Roman provinces for the coming persecution looming on the horizon for them at Rome

Peter was shepherding the Israel of God at Rome as the Lord Jesus had commissioned him to do in order to encourage and exhort the flock over which the Holy Spirit had ordained him as their overseer or shepherd to stand firm in their faith, and that through this time of trial God’s strength would be with them in power, and that through these persecutions the Holy Spirit would purify their lives preparing them to be ready for the Second Coming of the Messiah our Lord Jesus to rescue His saints and to overthrow all earthly kingdoms arrayed against God and His Messiah (1:5-7) (Revelation 11:15).

Peter also gives practical instructions for daily living that reflects the character of the Lord Jesus. Peter exhorts and instructs them in matters related to living holy lives, living as God’s chosen people, about submission to earthly rulers and employers. He also gives instruction in matters related to Wives and husbands and living for God and not for the fleshly appetites of the fallen sinful nature. He also writes about suffering according to God’s will and matters related to elders and not to be anxious but cast all anxiety onto the LORD and to stay spiritually alert against the wiles of the devil, and to live by faith, knowing that the Body of the Messiah throughout the whole Roman Empire was experiencing the same kinds of sufferings. Peter ends his letter reassuring them of the enabling grace of God who Himself has called them into His eternal glory and that compared to the joy of eternity the present sufferings are to be short lived. He also tells them that the Messiah our Lord Jesus will Himself restore them body, soul and spirit, making them strong, firm and steadfast to the end.

Peter most likely wrote this letter from Rome which to the first century believers was formed by, and steeped in the character and the pagan idolatrous customs and culture of Ancient Babylon (1 Peter 5:13). In the Bible Babylon is a literal city that was birthed by Nimrod in the Book of Genesis and became a world power under King Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon rears its head again in the Book of Revelation. It is of course not the original Ancient Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar resurrected as it were. The City of Babylon still exists today as a city in the desert by the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia and its destruction is also heard at the Red Sea (Revelation 16:9; 17:3-6) (Isaiah 21:1-2) (Jeremiah 49:20-22). The city would be Mecca (This subject has been dealt with at length in other studies on this website such as “Fallen, Fallen is Babylon”).

Babylon is also a culture and lifestyle reflected in the civilization of every nation down through history and in all false religions even to the present day. The cities of New York and Rome are prime examples of the opulence, the decadence, the immorality, the sodomy, the hedonistic pagan culture and customs of the city of Ancient Babylon also steeped in the occult. However, the cities of New York and Rome are not located in a desert by the Red Sea. In looking at Bible prophecy we must focus our attention on the Middle-Eastern geographical region and not primarily on Europe. All of the geographical regions and nations mentioned in the Bible related to prophecy are all Islamic nations today and they are specifically named in the writings of the Hebrew prophets. Rome is only briefly mentioned. The whole Bible is a Middle-Eastern Book and must be understood in light of this and this includes Bible prophecy.

The main purpose of this letter was to prepare the wider Body of the Messiah throughout the Roman Empire for the coming imperial persecution. Prophetically this letter of Peter has encouraged persecuted believers down through the centuries to equip the wider Body of the Messiah to stand in the face of persecution in every age of Church history. In these last of the last days Peter’s letter is more than ever applicable to the 21st Century Body of the Messiah because globally it is ultimately going to be confronted with the Antichrist and his beast empire which will be vast. In the end it will come down to a choice, embracing either the cross or the crescent, Christ or the Antichrist. In light of these matters it is clear that this first letter is intended by the Holy Spirit writing through Peter, to encourage the wider Body of the Messiah in Peter’s time and in every age, but more so in this present age in which we are now living to stand fast in the shadow of the coming persecution in the western nations traditionally and historically associated with Biblical Judeo Christianity, that are now neo-pagan (1:1) (1:6-8) (3:13-15) (4:12-19) (5:6-10).

Go to Study No.1