Today’s selected reading continues in the first New Testament epistle which was written by the apostle peter unto the strangers which were scattered abroad. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first twelve verses of the third chapter. If you read the words which are found and contained within this passage of Scripture you will quickly notice that what is written here builds upon what we have in the second half of the previous chapter. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the previous chapter you will find the apostle Peter once more addressing the recipients of his letter one more time, for in verse eleven, the apostle Peter writes unto them “as strangers and pilgrims”—a reality which is a continuation of what we find in the opening verse of the first chapter. If you turn and direct your attention to the opening verse of the first chapter you will find the apostle Peter beginning the epistle and addressing his audience as t hose which were scattered abroad in the surrounding regions of the earth. Those whom the apostle Peter was writing to weren’t those who were found within the normal realities of their homes. Undoubtedly at the time this particular epistle was written the persecution which broke out against the church in Jerusalem had already taken place, thus causing a number of saints to be scattered throughout the surrounding nations and regions of the earth. In fact, if you study the history of the early church, as well as the history of the Jewish people during this time, you will find that there were essentially two distinct smatterings which took place in the earth. There was the initial scattering which took place in the eighth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts, which the beloved physician Luke records. If you begin reading with and from the first verse of the eighth chapter you will find the following words written concerning the first scattering. What is interesting and unique about this first scattering, however, is that it wasn’t a scattering of the Jewish people as a whole, but rather the scattering of the Christians. When you examine the history of Judaea, Samaria and Jerusalem during the days of the early church, you will find that the first to find themselves scattered, and perhaps even displaced weren’t the Jewish people, but rather the Christians. Consider if you will the words which we find in the opening set of verses within the eighth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts:
“And Saul was consenting unto his [Stephen] death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made a great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:1-4).
Twice within the first four verses of the eighth chapter of the book of Acts we find the word scattered, for in the first verse we find it written “and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria” (Acts 8:1). IN the fourth verse of the same chapter we find that “they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). It’s worth noting that the beloved physician Luke doesn’t specifically reveal where these early Christians went, and there are no details describing their locations. In fact, I would dare say that it isn’t until we come to the opening verse of the first epistle written by the apostle Peter that we discover some of the areas and locations where these Christians were scattered—“to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1). Within the opening verse of the first epistle written by the apostle Peter we encounter specific locations where the early Christians had been scattered after the great persecution had broken out within the city of Jerusalem. What’s interesting to note about the timing of the writing of this epistle, is that it was written in the year A.D. 60, which was roughly around twenty-seven years after the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Fifty days after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ we find the Day of Pentecost taking place, and on that day the early church was birthed by the Holy Spirit of the living God. It was on that day when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the one-hundred and twenty saints and disciples in the upper room, and all of them began speaking in tongues. What is interesting about these early saints speaking in tongues is what is spoken of them on that day by those visiting the city of Jerusalem. I can’t help but see a wonderful and powerful connection between the Day of Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and the great persecution which broke out against the church within the city of Jerusalem. Consider if you will the words which Luke records in the second chapter of the book of Acts, beginning with the first verse of the chapter:
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phyrgia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meanteth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine” (Acts 2:1-13).
IT’s interesting and worth noting when reading the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts the tremendous similarities between what we find in the first chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Peter, and the second chapter of the New Testament book fo Acts. In the opening verse of this first epistle we find the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. In the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts we find the saints and disciples which were in the upper room speaking in tongues, and some of those tongues were in the languages of those from Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia. While the second chapter of the book of Acts only mentions these two regions within the earth, as well as that of Asia, I can’t help but wonder if those in and from the regions of Galatia, and Bithynia didn’t have certain men and women in the city of Jerusalem during that time when the day of Pentecost came, and those one-hundred and twenty began speaking in other tongues. I am completely and utterly convinced that there is a strong and powerful connection that exists between the day of Pentecost, speaking in tongues, and the fact that after the death of Stephen the Christians were scattered abroad throughout the surrounding regions of the earth. If within the city of Jerusalem those from the various regions of the earth heard Galileans speaking forth the praises of God in their own native tongue, then I can’t help but also wonder if when the Christians were scattered throughout the surrounding regions, they brought the gift of speaking in tongues into those regions. In other words, when the praises of God were first heard within the city of Jerusalem in the native tongues of those whose heritage and ancestry was outside of Judaea and Samaria, those praises could now enter into and invade those regions themselves. I have to admit that I absolutely love the fact that there were those in Jerusalem from the surrounding regions of the earth, and those who heard these disciples and saints speaking forth the praises of God in their native language and tongue—particularly and especially considering the fact that when we come to time of the writing of the first epistle written by the apostle Peter there were those who were scattered within the regions of Pontus, Cappadocia and Asia.
It’s quite interesting to consider the fact that hearing the praises of God in their native tongue occurred in Jerusalem for I would dare say that when the Christians began to be scattered within and throughout the regions of the earth, those same tongues which were first heard in Jerusalem were now being heard in the land of those tongues. The beloved physician Luke writes in the New Testament book of Acts how when the Christians were scattered throughout the surrounding regions of the earth, they preached the word of God wherever they went. I am convinced that not only did the Christians who were scattered throughout the regions of the earth preach the word of God concerning Jesus Christ and the kingdom of heaven, but they also continued speaking in tongues. What this could very well mean is that not only did those within that region hear the word of God being preached in the Hebrew tongue, but they also heard the praises of God being proclaimed in their native tongue. Each and every time the Holy Spirit would move upon the heart(s) and spirit(s) of those who were found within those regions, the native inhabitants of that region heard the praises of God being spoken in their own language. This is a direct fulfillment of the words which Jesus spoke unto His disciples, and unto all those who were found present with Him at the time of His ascension. Consider first the words which are found and recorded in the twenty-eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew beginning with the sixteenth verse: “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they say Him, they worshipped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:16-20). Consider also the words which the beloved physician Luke records in the gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus: “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, T his it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:45-49).
These words have even more depth and meaning when you consider what we find in the first chapter of the New Testament book of Acts. If you begin reading in this New Testament book—particularly within the first chapter—you will find n additional account of words which Jesus spoke unto His disciples, and those who were gathered round about Him at the time of His ascension. If you begin reading with and from the opening verse of the first chapter you will find the following words written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke:
“The former treaties have I made, O Tehophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he. Had chosen: to whom also he shewed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:1-8).
Not only did Jesus emphatically declare that His disciples and followers would receive power from on high if they tarried and waited in Jerusalem, but He also declared unto them that they would be His witnesses for and unto Him in all the nations of the earth. The preaching of the gospel would begin and start within the city of Jerusalem, however, it would eventually spread within and throughout the region of Judaea before it would transition to the neighboring region of Samaria. Ultimately the gospel concerning Jesus Christ would spread beyond Jerusalem, beyond Judaea, beyond Samaria, and would eventually reach the uttermost parts of the earth. This would of course include Rome itself, for not only did the apostle Paul journey to Rome, but there was also a church which was found and established within the ancient city as well. I am absolutely captivated by the fact that not only did the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ preach the kingdom of heaven in the surrounding nations and regions of the earth, but they would also take the gift of speaking in tongues into those regions. The great persecution which broke out against the church in the city of Jerusalem would have an impact and effects upon the early church, which were far beyond anything they could even think or imagine. When the great persecution broke out against the church within the city of Jerusalem it thrust the Christians and saints of God into areas and regions they perhaps otherwise would not think of or consider traveling to. By the time the first epistle was written by the apostle Peter, more than two and a half decades had passed from that first day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out, and the early church was formed in the upper room in the city of Jerusalem. When this epistle was written the great persecution had already broken out against the Christians in Jerusalem, and the Christians were now scattered throughout the far reaches of the earth. When the apostle Peter took up the pen to write his first epistle he sought specifically to write unto those who had been scattered abroad throughout the earth—those who were strangers in a land not their own. Much like the Jewish people centuries before who were removed from their land and taken as captives to live in the land of the Assyrians, as well as the land of the Babylonians, the early Christians were strangers and pilgrims in a land completely different from the one they were used to. What’s more, is that not only were they strangers in the physical sense, but they were also strangers in the spiritual sense as well. I do not believe for one minute when the apostle Peter besought his readers as strangers and pilgrims in the second chapter he was speaking in the natural and physical sense, but in the spiritual sense. If we are to understand that which the apostle Peter was writing in this first epistle, we must understand this dual concept of being strangers and pilgrims, for not only were they strangers and pilgrims in the places and regions they were scattered within, but they were also strangers and pilgrims in the earth—a reality which the apostle Peter mentioned and alluded to in the first chapter when he instructed them to pass the time of their sojourning on the earth in fear.
I wrote earlier of two distinct acts of scattering which took place in a thirty year span of time, and I have already written concerning the first one—the scattering of the Christians as a direct result of the great persecution which broke out against the early church in the city of Jerusalem. There was a second scattering which took place nearly thirty years later, for you will recall how in the year 70 A.D. the Roman army entered into and invaded the city of Jerusalem. Not only did the Roman Army invade the city of Jerusalem, but they also utterly and completely destroyed the second Jewish Temple which stood on the Temple Mount in the city. It was at this time when a second scattering took place—a scattering not of the Christians alone, but a scattering of the Jewish people. It’s interesting and worth noting that by the year 70 A.D., not only were the Christians scattered abroad throughout the surrounding regions, but now so also were the Jewish people scattered abroad throughout the surrounding regions. One fundamental difference between the two scattering, however, is that the scattering of the Christinas would never result in a return to a specific land, for the Christians had no portion or inheritance within the earth. There was never to be an inheritance or portion for the Christians within the earth, and they were to forever to live as strangers and pilgrims within the earth. The Christians—much like the Levites and priests in the Old Testament—were to have no inheritance, nor any portion in the land in which they were entering, for the Lord Himself was their portion and inheritance. Consider if you will the words which are found and recorded in the eighteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy beginning with the first verse: “The priests the Levites, and all the tribes of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and His inheritance. Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the Lord is their inheritance, as He hath said unto them. And this shall be the priest’s due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw. The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him. For the Lord thy God hath chosen him out of thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons for ever. And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which the Lord shall choose; then he shall minister in the name of the Lord, as all his brethren the Levites do, which stand there before the Lord. They shall have like portions to eat, beside that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony” (Deuteronomy 18:1-8). Just as the Old Testament Levites and priests were to have no portion or inheritance in the land in which the children of Israel were entering into because the Lord was their inheritance, so also are the disciples of Christ—the saints of the living God and church of Jesus Christ—to have no portion of inheritance in the earth. In fact, I am convinced this is directly linked and connected to the words which the apostle Peter wrote unto these strangers which were scattered abroad, for in the second chapter you will find the apostle Peter referring to them in a unique light:
“To whom coming, as unto a lively stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, ZBehold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 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” (1 Peter 2:4-10).
Please don’t miss the tremendous significance and importance of what is found and continued within this passage of Scripture, for not only once, but twice did the apostle Peter refer to the saints and disciples of Jesus Christ as a priesthood within the earth. In the fifth verse of this chapter the apostle Peter referred to the saints of God as “a holy priesthood,” while in the ninth verse the apostle Peter referred to them as “a royal priesthood.” These two descriptions are even more captivating when you consider the fact that in the eleventh verse of the same chapter the apostle Peter refers to them as strangers and pilgrims within the earth. I believe that both the reality of the saints of God being a holy and royal priesthood within the earth, as well as their being strangers and pilgrims within the earth point to the same Old Testament reality—namely that the Old Testament priests had no inheritance within the earth, for the Lord was their inheritance. :This New Testament priesthood was different from the Old Testament priesthood in that while the priests had no portion or inheritance within and among the inheritance and portion of the people of God, they were still part of the people that entered into the land. It might be said that the Levites and priests were sojourners within the inheritance given unto the people of God, for they had no place within the inheritance that belonged to them. The Lord Himself was their inheritance, and their portion was the offerings which were brought unto the house of the Lord by the people of israel. Similarly, we as the New Testament priesthood are sojourners, strangers and pilgrims within the earth, as we have no inheritance or portion within the earth. There is absolutely nothing within this earth that should have any appeal to us as this royal and holy priesthood, for the Lord of hosts is our portion and our inheritance. It was in the first chapter of this very same epistle the apostle Peter wrote the following words: “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, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefined, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5). A similar reality is found in the first chapter of the New Testament epistle of the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Ephesus. Beginning with the third verse of the first chapter we find the following words:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen. Us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasures which. He hath purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the p urchased possession, unto the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:3-14).
What I find to be absolutely stunning, captivating and challenging when reading the words which the apostle Peter wrote unto the strangers which were scattered abroad throughout the regions of the earth is not only this concept of being a holy and royal priesthood, but also of the tremendous witness and testimony they were to have in the places to which they had been scattered. We cannot have a discussion about the saints and Christians of Jesus Christ being scattered abroad throughout the regions of the earth without also speaking to the reality of them having a wonderful and powerful witness in the earth. In fact, if you read the second half of the second chapter of this first epistle written by the apostle Peter you will notice two distinct areas where the witness of the saints of God was present and manifested within the earth. The first witness and testimony these saints of God had was in their submission to the authorities, the powers, and the rulers which were placed in such roles by the living God. In verses thirteen through eighteen we find the following words: “Submit yourselves to every ordained of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 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. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men; as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God, Honour all men, Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward” (1 Peter 2:13-18). Within this particular set of verses we find the apostle Peter writing and speaking to the witness among Gentiles—the witness of strangers and pilgrims in the earth—as being displayed and manifested through a wonderful and powerful sense of humility among all men. The apostle Peter not only wrote unto them concerning their submission to every ordained of man—whether it be king, or ruler, or any other authority in the earth—but also submission one to another. The apostle Peter knew this humility and submission wasn’t merely due to those powers which were set in place by the living God, but also unto one another in humility and love. As strangers and pilgrims in a land not their own their witness would be manifested in their humility one to another, and their submission to those around them as they esteemed others as better than themselves. THE SILENT WITNESS OF HUMILITY! THE SILENT WITNESS OF SUBMISSION! It might not seem like it, but I can assure and promise you that there is a silent witness which has a great and tremendous affect within the earth—a witness which is more often than not neglected and ignored. We as strangers and pilgrims within the earth—we as a holy and royal priesthood of Christ among the nations of the earth—are called to exercise a silent witness of humility and submission unto those who have been placed in positions of authority, but also unto our brethren.
As you continue reading in the second and third chapters of the epistle written unto the strangers and pilgrims which were scattered abroad, you will find that there was a second witness which was to be displayed among the nations and lands in which they were scattered. This witness was the silent witness of bearing up with patience and endurance under the weight of suffering and affliction. In the second chapter of the first epistle the apostle Peter writes the following words: “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 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. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:19-23). This reality would be expressed once more within this very same epistle and would be found in the fourth chapter. Consider if you will that which was written and recorded in the fourth chapter beginning to read with and from the twelfth verse: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 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. 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. 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. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 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” (1 Peter 4:12-17). As surely and as certainly as there is a silent witness of humility and submission, there is also the silent witness of patience and endurance in the face of suffering, affliction, adversity, trials, tribulation, and the like. As strangers and pilgrims in a land and place which is not our own—how we bear up under, and how we handle affliction, suffering, and adversity can and will provide a witness among men that is absolutely unparalleled in light of countless other things we think we can do to have and maintain a witness within the earth. The question we must ask ourselves is what our silent witness looks like within the earth among the nations, the cities, the towns, the villages, the lands we find ourselves living in as strangers and pilgrims.
With that being said, when you come to the actual passage which is found in the third chapter of this same epistle, you will find an additional witness which would be present among Gentiles, and among men—namely, the silent witness of a godly wife, as well as the silent witness of a godly husband. Inverses one through seven of the third chapter we find the following words: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adoring let it not be that outward adoring of plaiting the hair, and of wearing gold, or of putting on of appeared; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorined themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:1-7). THE SILENT WITNESS OF THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART! THE SILENT WITNESS OF A MEEK AND QUIET SPIRIT! It is absolutely necessary and imperative when we read the words which the apostle Peter wrote in this particular epistle, that while it is true we are strangers and pilgrims within the earth, we are called to have a silent and quiet witness among men—a witness that shines forth in how we treat our spouses, a witness that shines forth in how we bear up under and handle suffering, affliction and adversity, and a witness of humility and submission one to another, as well as to those who are in authority and power among men. What’s more, is that in verses eight and nine the apostle Peter writes the following words: “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:8-9). The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not as strangers and pilgrims, whether or not as a holy and royal priesthood we have this silent and quiet witness among men within he earth, or whether or not we are making a lot of noise that is doing nothing but damaging and hindering our witness. Oh that we would examine our role as strangers and pilgrims within the earth, and that we would learn to live our lives as this holy and royal priesthood within the earth—one that has a quiet and powerful witness among men in places where we live as strangers and pilgrims as we pass our time of sojourning in fear before the living God.