Keys to the Kingdom Part 2
Keys to the Kingdom Part 2
In continuing our search for the “Keys to the Kingdom” that are given to a remnant among His people, it’s vital that we understand which group they’re given to. Not everyone has the keys. Prophetically, the Father divides His people up into seven assemblies that are detailed in the beginning of the book of Revelation. If you look carefully at each church, you will find that the Philadelphia church in chapter three stands out as having two characteristics that none of the other churches have. Let’s take a look.
Revelation 3:7-8 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says ‘He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens’: I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”
Did you catch that? They kept His Word and did not deny His name. These two characteristics set them apart from all the other churches. These are the exact same qualities that we see in the “children of the woman” that the Beast goes after in chapter 12, verse 17.
Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring who KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD AND HAVE THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS.”
The Beast only went to make war with those that “kept [Yahweh’s] Word” and “did not deny His name.” This is not a group that just believed in Jesus. This is a group that believed in Jesus AND kept the commandments/Torah of God. This is exactly what the first century disciples did. They kept the Torah THROUGH their faith in Yeshua. Yeshua did not destroy the commandments, but came to bring complete meaning to them and to teach us how to keep them through faith (Matthew 5:17-21). So this group is the SAME as the church from Philadelphia. But notice something else. They are weak. Why? Look at what they are strong in. Both the keeping of the commandments and not denying His name are found on the “works/obedience” side of the coin. They have found the “key of knowledge” that Luke 11 talks about but they are weary from the difficulty it is to obey God in a harsh world that is against them to begin with. They do not know where their real strength lies, which is on the other side of the coin. They were given the “Key of David” but they didn’t know how to use it.
It is also interesting to note that the very first verse in Revelation 4 says, “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in Heaven…” Could this be the door that was opened for the Philadelphian church from the key in chapter three? If so, then there is a hint that it will be from this church that the understanding of John’s vision will come. I find it eye-opening that among all the scholars that study end-times eschatology, it is from the Messianic community that comes the deepest understanding of these prophetic end-time visions.
Now that we know who the key is given to specifically and the strong characteristics of this congregation of people, let’s turn our focus to what exactly is on the other end of this rainbow from which the key comes. For this, we turn to Ephesians 3:8 and following:
Ephesians 3:8 “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.”
I want to make several points here. First of all, the riches that are found in Christ are UNSEARCHABLE. This was a great revelation to me. This means that you CAN’T find them on your own. There is nothing you can do to even know where to start to look for them. They are not of this world and no amount of obedience or knowledge of His Word will result in you standing at the end of that rainbow. Secondly, the PURPOSE of “the manifold wisdom of God” and the “mystery” is to shove it in the face of the “principalities and powers that are in heavenly places”! Three chapters later, in 6:12, it says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ladies and gentlemen, the entire point of our existence as believers in Christ is to fight the enemy in the spiritual realm through the “manifold wisdom of God” and through the “riches” that are found in Christ. The “Keys to the Kingdom” ARE what unlocks these riches, which are really weapons for war!
Let’s move further down through Ephesians 3 and take a look at verse 14 which says, “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father…16 That He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height- 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Man, there is a lot here in these few verses. I have read this a thousand times and did not ever get out of it what I am about to unpack for you. First of all, Paul again refers to the “riches,” but this time tells us what they do. They “strengthen,” but not JUST strengthen. They “strengthen with MIGHT.” And what do they strengthen with might? The INNER MAN! We cannot overlook the power of what Paul is trying to say. The riches do not strengthen the outer man. Remember, when you are a believer, you are made up of two in one body. You have the physical attributes of the soul…your mind, will, and emotions. Then you have your “inner man,” which consists of an entirely different set of attributes that are spiritual in nature and only give and receive in and from the spiritual realm. Because we live in the physical, we are well aware of how this “outer man” works. But most of us are not very aware of the rules, methods, and purpose of the “inner man,” or how to use and grow it into maturity.
Where does the Messiah live according to this Scripture? In the inner man, BY FAITH. So we know that faith is the method by which the inner man (spirit) receives. It receives by faith. It did not receive Christ by doing anything in the natural, except for sincerely believing and accepting that it needed Christ and believed that it could accept Him with that simple faith. This simple belief is what activated the inner man to receive. This is the BELIEF on the spirit man side of the coin. It is believing in something that you cannot see as if it already is (Hebrews 11:1). Belief on the works/obedience side of the coin is the mental assent to information. Trust on the works side is that you are trusting the one that you received the information from and faith is actually doing something in the physical realm with that information. But on the Spirit side of the coin, it is in the spiritual realm, a realm which you can do nothing in the physical to activate. In the spirit, you believe in the information (that there are riches, gifts, and spiritual weapons to be had). You trust in the One that says they exist and you accept them into your inner man by faith as if they have already been deposited into your account. On the spiritual side of the coin, faith is a deep desire for and acceptance of what He already has deposited. First you must accept the gift. Then you can open it.
Paul goes on to say that a key element for receiving these “riches” is to be “rooted and grounded in love (for one another).” Without love for one another, there is no way to receive the greatest gift, which is to receive into your inner man the “fullness of God.” And what is the “fullness of God”? The comprehension of the love of Christ. Love is what destroys the works of the enemy. God is perfect love. It is the fullness of who He is. So when our inner man becomes full of the riches of Christ and the “fullness of God,” look what Paul says happens in verse 20: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” When we use the key properly it opens up the ability for the Spirit to go BEYOND all that we can imagine, but ONLY “according to the power that works in us.” His power is LIMITED to how much power is in the inner man. THIS IS THE ENTIRE POINT OF THIS JOURNEY THAT WE’RE ON! The Father is trying to get His people to play offense! And that requires the inner man to be equipped for service.
Our physical bodies can no more hold the fullness of God than a lightning rod can hold a lightning bolt. It is connecting with it, but cannot contain it. In the same way, only infinite can contain infinite. Only deep can cry out to deep. Only the spirit man that is made in the image of God can house the “fullness of God.” These gifts are freely given to those that know how to receive them through belief, trust and faith. And it is love that sets the stage for the spirit man to receive. Love is what conquers the gates of hell, covers a multitude of sins, fulfills the entire Law of God, sets captives free, and is what formed the entire universe to begin with. And out of every spiritual gift that comes from the treasures of Christ, 1 Corinthians 13 says that “the greatest of these is love.” It is no coincidence that the keys are given to the church in Philadelphia, which literally means “brotherly love.”
Romans 15:13 says, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Can you obtain joy, hope or peace on your own? You can obtain a version of it but it is dependant in the physical realm upon physical circumstances. True joy, hope, and peace transcend all circumstances and are not affected by the changing tides of this world. The inner man can sleep in the center of a hurricane. Paul says here that the only method by which they are given is by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT! And the only method by which they are received is by BELIEVING!
The book of James furthers this concept by telling us in the first chapter that “5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” When we ask in faith, we cannot doubt. Notice also what James says we are asking for. It is not a new car, a new house, etc…It is none other than the SAME “manifold wisdom of God” that Paul talks about in Ephesians! But in order to get it you have to believe that you have already received it after you ask for it. You cannot doubt, even an inch! And the second requirement is found in chapter 4:3, “Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend it (the riches and the manifold wisdom of God) on your own pleasures.” This statement is connected to the statement made by Yeshua in Mathew 6:33 when He says, “But seek first the Kingdom of God and HIS righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” We know from Luke 17:22 that the “Kingdom of God is within you.” It IS THE INNER SPIRIT MAN that houses the entire “fullness of God”! Where the fullness and image of God is, IS the Kingdom!
I say all that to say this: When we seek to grow the inner man, we are seeking to grow the “room” needed to house the “fullness of God” which holds the “riches of Christ” which contains the “manifold wisdom of God” which distributes all of the “gifts of the Spirit” which are, in turn, used to defeat the enemy and tear down the gates of Hell! CHECKMATE!
Let us pursue the “Kingdom” and use the “Key” that He has given us to receive the power of God in our spirit man so that we may truly fulfill our purpose. We know our identity. We are pursuing the “keys of knowledge” (keeping His commandments). Now let us pursue the “Key of David,” the Sword of the Spirit.
Jim’s life’s desire is to help believers everywhere draw closer to the Father by understanding the truth of the scriptures from their original cultural context (a Hebraic perspective) and to apply them in faith for today.