Apr 29, '10 8:31 PM
By Regner Capener
If you’ve never had to deal with this thing they call “Shingles” I recommend you don’t. It isn’t particularly fun. The Doc says it comes from the Chicken Pox virus I had as a kid. The virus goes dormant in your nervous system and for most folks never bothers them again. Apparently it tends to reappear as an adult version of the Chicken Pox in people mostly over the age of 50 if their immune system is weakened for some reason or their body is subjected to extreme stress.
Looks like I “qualified” under the “extreme stress” identifier when I went through a week of extreme activity getting less than three hours of sleep each night and eating poorly during those days. My bad! The pox “shingles” appeared as a rash around my waist on the right side only. By the time I got to the doctor the pain was almost debilitating. He gave me a prescription for a steroid to deal with the external manifestations but told me I’d have to really quiet down until the internal eruptions (in the nerves) quit.
The internal pain has almost ceased except for occasional moments of bursts of pain which cause the muscles in my back to contract and require chiropractic adjustments to my lower spine in order to minimize the pain. My advice to you, if you’ve had chicken pox and you’re over 50 is, Don’t overdo things physically and put your body under extreme duress. It’ll cost you!
Meanwhile, Thank God for healing; and thanks to all of you who’ve known about it and have been praying for me. I’ve only had to deal with this for a little over two weeks instead of six months like some folks.
Enough of that. Let’s get back to our study and discussion on the Keys of the Kingdom.
THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM ARE DESIGNED TO RELEASE HEAVEN ON EARTH
In our last Coffee Break, we were talking about Jesus talking to the fig tree and the disciples expressing utter amazement over Jesus’ authority being so demonstrated over our natural environment.
What they had forgotten in this instance is the fact that it was the spoken Word that caused trees to exist in the first place. Since Jesus was the One who spoke those Creation words in the first place, it shouldn’t have been surprising that He had the ability to also command them to die.
But the disciples were just beginning to get a grip on the fact that Jesus WAS that same Word — that He was the Creator! What came forth from Jesus’ mouth was substance: it was faith! Remember how Paul put it when writing his epistle to the Hebrews?
Hebrews 11:1-3: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
What came forth from Jesus’ mouth when He spoke to the fig tree was that kind of evidentiary substance — the substance that produced either creative life, or the cancelation of life for that tree.
The faith that came forth from Jesus’ mouth was the same creative power that spoke the world into existence, the same creative breath that He breathed into Adam and Eve and gave them the ability to speak creatively to the animals so that they became whatever Adam spoke.
When the animals were brought before Adam “to see what he would call them” (Genesis 2:19) “whatsoever Adam called (‘qara: pronounced or proclaimed) every living creature, that was the name (shem: character, makeup, essence, position [the word shem in Hebrew is identical in every respect to the Greek onoma) thereof.”
It is vitally important that we understand just how important the words of our mouth are. The Keys of the Kingdom — authority and power — are turned, activated, and put into force by the words of our mouth.
Let me say that again.
The Keys of the Kingdom depend entirely upon our speaking in order for them to unlock or lock Heaven’s resources. How we use the words of our mouth directly controls the use of the keys.
IT TAKES WORDS -- SPEAKING OUT LOUD -- TO RELEASE HEAVEN'S RESOURCES
If we speak the Word of God — not simply the logos, but the rhema — as we hear it from the Lord, there will be direct results produced.
Similarly, if we speak contrary to the Word of God, we use something that was specifically designed by the Lord to activate the Kingdom to further a personal agenda, or to advocate for the desires and lusts of our flesh; and in so doing suffer personally because of it.
We’ve sort of beat around the bush to get there, but let’s take a look now at what Jesus actually said to the disciples following their reaction to the drying up of the fig tree.
Mark 11:22-26: And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have (echô: possess, retain, hold onto, keep) [the] faith [of] in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto (epô: command, call, declare, decree) this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt (diakrino: oppose, hesitate, discriminate, waver) in his heart, but shall believe (pisteuo: have faith in, to entrust fully) that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have (esomai: will be) whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray (proseuchomai: request or require in the covenant), believe (pisteuo) that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive (aphiemi: remit, dissolve, cause to cease to exist), if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses (paraptoma: side slip, lapse in judgment, error—intentional or unintentional, sin). But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive (aphiemi) your trespasses.
It takes agape to do that. It takes agape-activated and energized faith to dissolve, to banish, to erase the faults and offenses of others. This, folks, is the primary — the first and greatest — use of the Keys of the Kingdom.
The remitting of others’ sins, offenses or debts towards you is a demonstration of the life within the Kingdom of Heaven. We extend the Kingdom to those we forgive. Grace is on display. Agape is on display. Jesus is being manifested and demonstrated.
Once again, let me emphasize the fact that this forgiveness — this remission/erasure — of sin is not simply something you think in your mind. It takes more than simply thinking “I forgive you” to make it effective and enforced. Those words must come out of your mouth. The actual substance of forgiveness is the faith of God.
There is nothing silent about faith, just as there is nothing silent about agape. Words — Jesus-filled words — must come forth audibly so that the recipient of forgiveness receives the faith to believe he or she is forgiven.
Here’s how the apostle Paul put it:
Romans 10:17: So then faith cometh by hearing (akoe), and hearing by the word (rhema) of God.
A person must hear the Word before faith can be activated.
The ability to hear with faith — with revelation — is released by the utterance: the rhema: the directly spoken Word of God.
Nothing — absolutely nothing — exists in this world today that did not come into being before words were spoken. Creative power is released with audible words.
By the same token destructive power is released with audible words.
We won’t spend a lot of time on this aspect because I want to at least lay the foundation today for a different realm of words (keys which release and unlock Heaven’s authority and power in a completely different dimension) but the concept of “binding” — withholding, locking up, restricting or stopping — also requires speaking out loud.
Take a quick look at an illustrative event in Jesus’ ministry.
Matthew 12:22-32: Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Here is an instance in which the Pharisees were directly challenging Jesus’ authority to heal, to deliver, or to forgive. They questioned His status as THE Son of God, and because of their religious legalism, felt that there was no way Jesus could possibly do what He was doing except by demonic power. As a result, they accused Jesus of casting out demons using Satan’s power. What the Pharisees failed to recognize was that Jesus not only had power — the power that cast out the evil spirits that caused the young man to be both blind and dumb — He had authority — the Authority of Father with the full backing of Heaven’s hosts.
LOCKING UP SATAN IN ORDER TO RELEASE HEAVEN'S RESOURCES
Heaven’s resources include sight and speech. Those resources had been stolen from this young man by the thief. One of the things Jesus had spoken when His ministry began was:
John 10:10: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Jesus made it clear that any loss that people suffer is because of the thief, and that included sight, hearing, speech, or the loss of the proper and designed use of any organ of the human body.
When He said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly,” He was saying that He came to restore the full benefits of the Kingdom of God — the Kingdom of Heaven. The Amplified Version puts it like this:
“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance — to the full, till it overflows.”
He came to restore access to a Garden of Eden lifestyle. But that access would come by eating of the Tree of Life, and not the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The Pharisees accused Jesus of using Satan’s power (“by Beelzebub, the prince of devils”) to cast out the evil spirits that withheld the man’s sight and speech.
So Jesus made it clear that the authority to cast out evil spirits — one of the uses of the Keys of the Kingdom — was demonstrated by binding Satan — restraining him, withholding his power and locking him out of his place where he tormented this man.
Jesus likewise made it clear that Satan does not bind Satan; else Satan’s house will fall. Satan — as the strongman (ischuros: one who applies force; also means one who is boisterous — a loudmouth) uses both words and force to keep people in chains.
Most believers have not built themselves up in the Holy Ghost sufficiently to exercise power over Satan. Jesus, therefore, put it like this:
Luke 10:19-20: Behold, I give unto you (exousia) authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
That authority is a part of the use of the Keys of the Kingdom. It is the authority to overcome the power of the Enemy and set people free!
In our next Coffee Break we’ll pick up on Jesus’ command for forgiveness – let’s make that “remission” instead. Forgiveness and Remission are fundamental to the use of the Keys of the Kingdom as we shall see – and we’re not just talking about forgiving those who’ve hurt you or offended you personally!
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