Messiah Jesus told His disciples: “I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven.”
“I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth will have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have [already] been loosed in heaven.” Then He gave the disciples strict orders to tell no one that He was the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).” Matthew 16:19- 20.
When Jesus spoke those words, He was just a few weeks from going to the cross, shedding His blood for the remission of our sins, dead and buried. On the third day, God rose Him from the dead. (Matthew 27-28)
In the remaining weeks, Jesus taught His disciples the gospel of the kingdom and warned them of what was to come. Here are two aspects we should especially take to heart.
Rank in the Kingdom
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and set him before them, and said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self — your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:1-3.
“Then they will hand you over to [endure] tribulation, and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will be offended and repelled [by their association with Me] and will fall away [from the One whom they should trust] and will betray one another [handing over believers to their persecutors] and will hate one another. Many false prophets will appear and mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold. But the one who endures and bears up [under suffering] to the end will be saved. This good news of the kingdom [the gospel] will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end [of the age] will come.” Matthew 24:9-14 (Ephesians 1:15-22)
Ten days after Messiah Jesus ascended into heaven, on the day of Pentecost, God poured out the Holy Spirit on all flesh. (Acts 2:1-47)
Since The Kingdom of God is in the Spirit, I think that was when Messiah Jesus gave us the keys (authority) of The Kingdom.
“John, to the seven churches that are in [the province of] Asia:]Grace [be granted] to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being], from Him Who is [existing forever] and Who was [continually existing in the past] and Who is to come, and from the seven Spirits that are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who [always] loves us and who [has once for all] freed us [or washed us] from our sins by His own blood (His sacrificial death) — and formed us into a kingdom [as His subjects], priests to His God and Father — to Him be the glory and the power and the majesty and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes (nations) of the earth will mourn over Him [realizing their sin and guilt, and anticipating the coming wrath]. So it is to be. Amen.
I am the Alpha and the Omega [the Beginning and the End],” says the Lord God, “Who is [existing forever] and Who was [continually existing in the past] and Who is to come, the Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all].” Revelation 1:4-8.
The Patmos Vision (Revelation 1:9-16)
I have the keys of [absolute control and victory over] death and of Hades (the realm of the dead)
“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. And He placed His right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last [absolute Deity, the Son of God], and the Ever-living One [living in and beyond all time and space]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of [absolute control and victory over] death and of Hades (the realm of the dead). So write the things [s]which you have seen [in the vision], and the things which are [now happening], and the things [u]which will take place after these things. As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels ([v]divine messengers) of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” Revelation 1:17-20.
“Worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood You purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign upon the earth.” Revelation 5:8-10.
Now as things really are.
“But now [as things really are] Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, [and He became] the first fruits [that is, the first to be resurrected with an incorruptible, immortal body, foreshadowing the resurrection] of those who have fallen asleep [in death]. For since [it was] by a man that death came [into the world], it is also by a Man that the resurrection of the dead has come. For just as [d]in Adam all die, so also [e]in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s [own will be resurrected with incorruptible, immortal bodies] at His coming. After that comes the end (completion), when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after He has made inoperative and abolished every ruler and every authority and power. For Christ must reign [as King] until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be abolished and put to an end is death. For HE (the Father) HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS (Christ’s) FEET. But when He says, “All things have been put in subjection [under Christ],” it is clear that He (the Father) who put all things in subjection to Him (Christ) is excepted [since the Father is not in subjection to His own Son]. However, when all things are subjected to Him (Christ), then the Son Himself will also be subjected to the One (the Father) who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all [manifesting His glory without any opposition, the supreme indwelling and controlling factor of life].” 1 Corinthians 15:20-28.
All Scripture quoted above is from the Amplified Bible.
~ Bill Bremer
Bill Bremer is Founder and Managing Director at Kingdom Relationships Colorado.