Mar 9, '10 8:18 PM
By Regner Capener
My apologies for the long delay between the publishing of Coffee Breaks. We had a power outage which crashed my computer a little over two weeks ago and took out a lot of my work. Lost in the process was my next Coffee Break on Honor & Dishonor. I've yet to re-write that Coffee Break, but in the meantime decided to share something the Holy Spirit has been downloading on us here at River Worship Center.
Years ago during the Charismatic Renewal there was a considerable amount of teaching on the Kingdom of God -- and specifically dealing with the Keys of the Kingdom. I suppose I've somewhat grown up with some understanding of this truth, but early this year the Holy Spirit began to download on me a new dimension of understanding that has been changing the scope of my prayer life and causing me to go back through my past years to deal with some issues previously considered "resolved." This is a rather large topic, so I'm breaking it down into several discussions. Today we'll lay down some fundamentals.
WHO IS JESUS CHRIST?
Matthew 16:13-19: When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Whenever we read this phrase we think of “keys” in a generic sense: something -- usually a metal piece -- that locks or unlocks a door. In a metaphoric sense you can picture what Jesus is saying within that context, but what Jesus is saying actually has much greater significance. Let’s see if we can re-phrase this more accurately according to the actual Greek:
“And I will give you the authority and power to lock and unlock Heaven so that whatever you bind, restrict or stop on earth shall be, having been already bound, restricted or stopped in Heaven. And whatever you break up, loose, dissolve or put off on earth shall be, having already been broken up, loosed, dissolved or put off in Heaven.”
Changes the picture a whole lot, doesn’t it? So why did Jesus put it like that to Peter? Let’s first put this in the context of the events that had just taken place and then get back to what started this exchange between Jesus and Peter in the first place. Matthew, by the way, is the only one among the four writers of the Gospels who notes this exchange. It comes after the feeding of the five thousand. A miracle of unusual proportions has just occurred. Jesus has multiplied bread and fish out of five loaves of bread and two small fish to feed a crowd of somewhere on the order of 30,000 people to the place where everyone is full and satisfied.
To get away from the crowds, Jesus has crossed over the Sea of Galilee with His disciples. Whatever time it took to cross the Sea of Galilee obviously was more than an hour or two and the disciples had gotten hungry. A conversation ensues between the disciples when Jesus makes the statement to them, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.” They mistake His comment to them to be a reference to bread and say among themselves, “He’s saying this to us because we forgot to bring any bread with us.”
Hmmmmm….. makes you wonder where their thoughts were!
Now they’ve come into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi and Jesus has a question. “Whom do men say that I as the Son of Man AM?”
The question is designed to bring the disciples to a confession that will forever alter their lives. “Some people say you are John the Baptist, some think you are Elijah and some think you are Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
So Jesus puts it to them directly. “But who do YOU say that I AM?”
Simon Peter wastes no time in responding. “You are the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One, the Son of the Living God!”
There! He’d said it. The confession had taken place and Jesus made it precisely clear where this statement had come from. “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you [this didn’t come out of carnal, human thinking]; this revelation came directly to you from My Father which is in Heaven. “I declare to you that from this day your onoma has been changed. No longer are you Simon [the one who hears] who is the son of Jona; you are Petros – a piece of the Rock (Petra) – and it is upon that rock (of which you are a part) that I will build my Ekklesia – my called out and chosen and prepared body of people;
“And the gates of Hell [all the powers and governance of Hell] will not ever overpower or prevail in battle against it [my Ekklesia]. “And I will give you the authority and power to lock and unlock Heaven so what whatever you bind, restrict or stop on earth shall be, having been already bound, restricted or stopped in Heaven. “And whatever you break up, loose, dissolve or put off on earth shall be, having already been broken up, loosed, dissolved or put off in Heaven.”
Are you beginning to understand “the keys of the Kingdom?” Let’s see if we can summarize this picture a little more specifically.
EVERYTHING IS ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN JESUS' ONOMA!
1. Everything is rooted and grounded in the fact that Jesus is the Anointed One, the Son of the Living God. That is His onoma.
2. For the keys of the Kingdom to work, the revelation of Jesus as the Anointed One, the Son of the Living God, MUST come from the Father (and the Father gives that revelation to us by and through the Holy Spirit). (Simon went from being simply one who heard the Word to one who had revelation break forth in his being. That revelation changed him forever.)
3. Upon the foundation of Jesus being the Anointed One, THE Son of the Living God, the Ekklesia began to be built – and it is being built today!
4. Because the Ekklesia is built on THE ROCK, Christ Jesus, it is immovable and so grounded in Christ Jesus that the governing powers of Hell can neither overpower nor move it from its place of absolute authority. (Note the similes that Jesus uses in His illustration.)
5. With the foundation of Heaven’s authority established in us comes the ability, the authority and the power to lock up or unlock Heaven in order to bind or restrict, or break up and dissolve the powers of Hell on earth.
6. With that same authority comes the empowerment to enact the Will and divine purposes of God the Father – as well as His heart’s desire – in the earth in the same way that it already exists in Heaven.
7. Put more simply, this is the authority and power to lock up or unlock Heaven’s resources – in accordance with the Father’s Will – so that Earth once again becomes a mirror image of Heaven.
What this means is that these “keys” are substantive: they are not metaphorical, and they are not imaginary. A common misconception is that these “keys” are “the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven” instead of being the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.” These are not keys that open up doors for us in Heaven. These are “keys” of Heaven’s authority, power and resources put into our hands!
They are put into our hands because we are part of the Kingdom of Heaven. We are a part of The Ekklesia. We are “called and chosen and faithful.” Before we get too far along in this study, it is important to go back once again and look at Jesus’ particular phrasing as He speaks to Peter.
“It is upon that rock (of which you are a part) that I will build my Ekklesia – my called out and chosen and prepared body of people; “And the gates of Hell [all the powers and governance of Hell] will not ever overpower or prevail in battle against it [my Ekklesia]. “And I will give you the authority and power…..”
Do you see it?
He didn’t say, “I have given you the authority and power”; He said “I will give...” meaning that this was a process to unfold over a period following the revelation of Jesus Christ in the believer.
I don’t want to belabor this point, but once again, this is not – as Simon Barjona was – just one who hears (or has heard) the Word. This is one who receives the revelation of Jesus Christ from the Father – and that revelation can only come in His presence! The apostle Paul clearly understood this and emphasized it as he wrote to the Ephesians. He sums up this picture about as clearly as you could ever have it:
Ephesians 1:15-23: Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
Now do you see it? Are you seeing the pattern of Matthew 16 here?
HAVING THE FULL REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST IS ESSENTIAL.
Take another look.
1. The “Father of Glory” releases the revelation of Jesus Christ through and by the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation.
2. That revelation first brings us an understanding of Jesus’ calling — that His calling is IN US.
3. The next part of the revelation is to grasp the full perspective of the wealth (ploutos) and stupendous glory are in His inheritance IN US.
4. The full revelation of Jesus Christ MUST incorporate the unfathomable (huperballo) greatness of Father’s power to those of us who believe.
5. Along with that comes our understanding that this is the same resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead!
6. But the revelation continues. Now it encompasses the very fact that Jesus has been seated at the right hand of Father.
7. With that seating and placement in and with the Father comes absolute authority over every name, every power, every dominion, every ruler of darkness and every effort of Satan — whether that effort is exercised here on earth, in the heavenlies, or in Hell (Hades) itself.
8. But there’s more. Jesus’ authority and power extend beyond time and this world’s realm to the future and to eternity.
9. All things, all events, all spiritual forces — angelic or demonic — have been placed under Jesus’ feet and, by virtue of the fact that we are the body of Christ, under our feet; so much so that Father has given us the responsibility of working together with Him and through Jesus Christ to subdue all things and bring them under His authority.
10. The final revelation of Jesus Christ is that we are His body — that we complete Him. He is the Head. All commands come from Him. Without His instruction, we do nothing, but with His instruction and commands, there is absolutely nothing impossible to us, and nothing withheld in any way, shape for form. We are the body, the arms, the legs, the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ!
With that revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ from the Father, we now understand our position. We now understand His position!
This is the essence of the revelation that Peter received! Maybe I should say that this is where the revelation of Jesus began in Peter. Because the Day of Pentecost had not yet arrived and Peter was not yet filled with the Spirit, much of what He saw would not be understood or realized until that day.
WHAT IS THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST?
Peter saw Jesus first as the Anointed One – The One in whom the Holy Spirit rested, The One with the empowerment of Heaven dwelling in Him. He saw (though he didn’t fully understand at the time) the greatness and richness of the anointing of the Anointed One in us and toward us.
Peter would not yet have the revelation of the power of the resurrection – not until the Day of Pentecost – but when He had been baptized with the Holy Spirit, it would so explode in his being that in one day, he would see 3000 people accept and acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Anointed One; and the One Who had paid the price for their redemption from the curse of the Law and the curse of death. That same anointing that brought the revelation in Peter of who Jesus really was would flow from his lips as he preached Jesus to the multitudes.
The revelation of Jesus – as it is made available to us today – includes the revelation of the power of the resurrection.
It is the revelation of being seated with Jesus in Heavenly places.
It is the revelation that Jesus’ onoma – operating in us and with us as Jesus’ heirs and joint-heirs – exceeds and sits above in authority and power every name, every onoma, every character and personality and every being – whether in earth or in Heaven or under the earth.
It is the revelation of power over death, disease and destruction.
It is the revelation of the purposes of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, made in absolute agreement and harmony with one another before the very first words of Creation were uttered.
It is the revelation of the Family of God in Heaven and Earth.
It is the revelation of agape — Father’s Love — a dimension of love that exceeds the natural understanding of man.
It is the revelation of the power of Creation.
It is the revelation of God’s Glory.
THAT, folks, is the authority and power to lock up and unlock Heaven’s authority, power and resources as God the Father commands here on earth.
Ephesians 3:14-19: For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the release of that authority and power; and that authority and power are “the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven!”