In reading Matthew 16:18-19 today, something stood out to me that I thought I would share. Jesus was having a conversation with Peter, after Peter had the revelation that Jesus was the Christ, and declared that he was the Son of the Living God. Jesus turned to Peter and said, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Jesus was saying that He would build the church upon the same revelation that Peter had; Jesus was the Son of the Living God. But, then He went on to tell Peter that the gates of Hades, or Hell, would not prevail against the church. That’s us. Jesus wanted Peter to understand that He was giving His disciples the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever they forbid on earth would be duly noted by heavenly administrators of justice and those statues would be carried out in the earthly realm. Likewise, whatever they permitted on earth would also be loosed from heaven and the answers sent back to the earthly realm.
There is a similar scripture in Isaiah 22:20-23. “The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder: so he shall open, and no one shall shut. And he shall shut, and no one will open. I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, and he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house.”
The steward had the key that gave him an audience with the king. This idea is affirmed again in Revelation 3:7. Jesus Christ, the holy one who is called Faithful and True, had the key of David because He was the rightful son of David (see Matthew 1:1). The ‘key’ holds the entrance into the door of the New Jerusalem as it’s called, or the kingdom of heaven. It was Jesus’ prerogative as the rightful owner of the keys to give them to whomever He wished, and He gave them to His disciples. That is what He was trying to explain to Peter, and it’s what He keeps hoping WE will understand today. Friend, YOU HAVE THE KEYS TO HEAVEN. You have the keys to the church (that’s you!). YOU have the keys to lock the enemy out of your house. You have the keys to lock the gates and secure the doors to make sure that Satan’s plans are shut down. Get up and go get your keys!
The enemy has no rights unless we allow him to have them. Stop complaining, stop blaming others, and stop feeling helpless. The enemy doesn’t have the keys anymore, remember? You do! Simply remember that God has given you authority and use the keys He gave you! You have the authority to lock the door! You have the authority to forbid the thief, the oppressor and the murderer from taking from you and your family. You also have the authority to ask for angelic assistance to bring you the things you loose from heaven.
Another very interesting thing I took note of is found wedged between “The Offended Brother” in Matthew 18:15-17 and verses 19 & 20 that mention prayers of agreement. It’s tucked in between as if it is all part of the same conversation. I asked the Lord, “Lord, was it part of the same conversation or something You said at another time?” “Why was it written in my Bible as if it was all part of the same dialogue? Are You trying to tell us that we even have authority on earth to bind up offenses and just forbid them from happening?” That intrigued me.
Perhaps we won’t know for sure until we just start forbidding offenses from occurring and loosing God’s grace, humility and understanding. Personally, I believe God will honor the prayer of faith. What if we all started praying that just as a little experiment? Do you wonder what effect it could have? Start with where you have been given authority and influence: your family, your workplace, pray it over your church, neighborhood and increase your prayers into ever-widening targeted areas. Pray for no offenses in your city. Bind up that spirit of misunderstanding, offense and anger. Loose the graciousness of God to touch the ears of those that hear.Ask Him to remove the filters off the ears of others that would cause them to hear something that wasn’t intended. Pray that people will hear without taking in offense. That will have a ripple effect that reaches far and wide.
One thing I do know is that Jesus was obviously reaffirming the concept of the transfer of authority to His disciples because He repeated what He said to Peter. Vs. 18: “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” AUTHORITY TO RULE. The question is, are YOU using it? It’s already done. Whatever problem or issue that is coming against you, your loved ones, or even in our cities or our nation...if it’s not permitted in heaven, then it should not be permitted on earth. If it is permitted in heaven, then it can be loosed as an answer to come and invade earth. In the kingdom of heaven, the answers have already been determined. All we need to do is to call it out of heaven and tell the right thing to manifest in the earthly realm. By faith, we call those things we can’t see and tell them to exist. When our faith agrees with what has already been determined in heaven, God can then release the answer to our prayers. In the mere twinkle of an eye, what didn’t exist before, suddenly just is. We say YES, Lord to Your will, Your plans and purposes coming forth. Let it be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.