On Peter

Beginning             Subscribe Now

Choose Bible Version:

Share this page

Another Bible passage that is sometimes cited by apologists of the state, in an attempt to demonstrate that people ought to submit to mortal government is:

1 Peter 2:13-18
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for יהוה'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 יהוה, 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 יהוה. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear יהוה. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

But Peter himself did not submit! He didn't obey the commands of the rulers, so this interpretation must be wrong. Peter and the apostles were arrested in Jerusalem by the Sadducees for preaching the gospel of Jesus and brought before the Sanhedrin court for questioning:

Acts 5:27-32
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we strictly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. Then Kepha and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey Elohim rather than men. The Elohim of our fathers raised up Yahushua, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath יהוה exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit, whom Elohim hath given to them that obey him.

So here we have it from Peter himself: We ought to obey Yahweh rather than men! Yet Jesus already commanded that the ultimate Law is for everyone to treat others as they themselves would want to be treated--therefore, according to Peter, any command by men that is contrary to this ultimate Law is automatically null and void.

Once again one must consider that the Christians at this time were a persecuted minority under the surveillance of the mortal "authorities" as possible insurrectionists, and so statements like what is written in 1 Peter 2:13-18 were included to pacify such "authorities" so that the most important task of saving people's souls could continue--yet, just as Paul included an "escape clause" in Romans 13 ("Owe no one anything except to love one another"), Peter also includes an escape clause contained in 1 Peter 2:13-18, which is the 16th verse:

For this is the will of Yahweh, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men--[verse 16:] as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of Yahweh.

The NIV Bible translates verse 16 as "Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God." Most other modern English Bible versions translate the beginning of this passage as either "Live as free" or "Act as free." So in other words, when this is combined with what Peter said in Acts 5:29, we can take the entire passage of 1 Peter 2:13-18 to mean that we ought to obey all the ordinances of men: except for all such ordinances that happen to conflict with our God-given liberty and Jesus's ultimate commandment--which is virtually every single one of them! But other than that, do indeed obey every other ordinance of man, for in so doing one will merely be obeying Jesus's commandment--in which case the ordinances of man which one ought to obey are merely redundant!

Also, consider the following statement by Peter which some statists might try to construe in their favor:

2 Peter 2:9-10
יהוה knoweth how to deliver the reverent out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

My advice, DO NOT despise government, but choose the CORRECT and TRUE government and align yourself to it. Give your service and obedience and honor and loyalty to the True government of Yahweh, His Kingdom of Yahweh.

False governments are no government at all. They are ANARCHY (lawlessness) claiming to uphold law. Yahweh's law is the ONLY law. Love your neighbor as yourself, against this there is no law.

As has already been pointed out, the statist fallacy when encountering positive statements about government is to automatically deem the "government" and "dignitaries" spoken of as necessarily being the "government" and "dignitaries" that man's law so regards--but such cannot be the actual case, as it is written:

Hosea 8:4
They set up kings, but not by Me; They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them.

As well, Jesus Himself rebuked the supposed "authority" of the Earthly "rulers":

Mark 10:42-45
But Jesus [Yahushua] called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

2 Corinthians 4:3,4
But if our gospel is veiled, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the elohim of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of the Messiah, who is the image of יהוה, should shine unto them.

Satan is the god of this age and he has blinded (veiled) the gospel. Because the gospel is veiled, it is difficult to understand. It is less clear. Peter's words are easily misinterpreted.

Back Beginning Next