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Rainbow Divider

Chapter 1

The Keys of the Kingdom

A few months ago a tremendous vision came forth during one of our services in which an angel was seen to come down from heaven with some keys which he gave to the church. Although I do not remember all the particulars of the vision at this time, I remember distinctly that there were seven keys. Seven, the number of perfection, simply meant complete in the sense of all the keys. It is my personal conviction that this was a vision from the Lord showing us that the keys of the kingdom are now being restored to the body of Christ.

Let us go to the scriptures for a study of this very important subject.

“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.” Matt. 16:19.

These words followed the Lord’s statement concerning the building of his church against which, he said, the gates of hell would not prevail. I believe the keys were given to the church and not Peter. Though an individual most certainly could and would use the keys of the kingdom as a functioning member of the church, he would merely be an arm or extension of the church.

I further believe the keys, except to a minor degree, were withdrawn from the church when it ceased to function as the unified body of Christ. Even as a country loses its power and authority when overrun by the enemy and its people are divided and spoiled, so was the church. Col. 2:8-10.

From then until now every visitation of God has come in answer to the heartfelt cry of God’s people who forsook their divisions long enough to unite in prayer. However, no movement or visitation has ever taken the church back to where she was when the keys were removed.

Let us also note that the keys are in the plural, or more than one. Since they are kingdom keys, they would of necessity give the user access into the kingdom realm. If we can now ascertain just what the kingdom is we will know more about these keys.

In Mark 4:11, Jesus said, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God ...” A mystery is something that is hidden to most people, otherwise it would be no mystery. In this case, the mystery of the kingdom is not seen or understood by the world. Only the Lord’s people whose hearts and minds have been supernaturally opened by the Spirit can know and understand.

The Pharisees, as well as the disciples, were looking for a visible, tangible kingdom. “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, `The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, lo here! or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you’.” Luke 17:20-21. According to this scripture, the kingdom of God is not something that can be seen with natural eyes.

When Jesus sent the disciples out to preach the gospel and heal the sick, he instructed them to say, “The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”

In Matt. 12:28 he said, “... if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.”

In Rom. 14:17, Paul said, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink: but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

In Cor. 15:50, Paul said, “Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God ....”

From these scriptures we see that the kingdom of God belongs to the realm of the Spirit. Healing, casting out devils, joy, peace and righteousness by and in the Holy Ghost are manifestations of the kingdom of God.

Though all space, matter and time will one day be redeemed from the curse and brought under the control of the eternal Spirit, the kingdom of God, as of now, is in a different realm from these things.

By nature, habit and unbelief, we belong to the realm of the fallen creation. Only redeemed men and women with the Spirit of God are able to cross over into the kingdom realm. This is why it is necessary for the natural man to be born again before he can see or enter the kingdom of God. John 3:3-5.

These keys of the kingdom are the means given to the church whereby it is able to do just that. Use of these keys enables the church to perform the work of the kingdom.

HOW RESTORED

Certainly it is important that we know how these keys are to be restored. In Luke 11:52, Jesus accused the lawyers (scribes) of having taken away the key of knowledge. Through their traditions and vain interpretations of the law they had made the word of God of none effect. Mark 7:13. No doubt this is exactly what Paul had in mind in Col. 2:8-10.

The Lord said through Hosea, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hosea 4:6.

By substitution of religious tradition for the word of God, the scribes and Pharisees had taken away the key of knowledge through which men could enter the kingdom of God. The key of knowledge certainly would be one of the great keys of the kingdom.

Because the preachers in Hosea’s day had rejected the true knowledge of the Lord, God’s people were destroyed.

The key of knowledge opens the door to the kingdom. Inside the kingdom door hangs the other kingdom keys which likewise are manifestations of God’s great wisdom and knowledge. The keys of the kingdom are divine principles and knowledge that must be understood and employed by the church. These divine principles or truths as embodied in the holy scriptures can only be known by the revelation of Jesus Christ. The revelation of these keys comes to the body through Jesus Christ the head.

In Rev. 5, it is the Lamb that opens the seven-sealed book that no man was worthy to open. The opening of this book was a very important and needful thing. John said, “... I wept much, because no man was worthy to open and read the book ....” Rev. 5:4.

It is also significant that after the opening of the seven-sealed book the twenty-four elders “... sung a new song, saying Thou art worthy to take the book and open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation: And thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Rev. 5:9-10.

Through the opening of this book they were enabled to sing this new song and reign on the earth as kings and priests unto God. In Rev. 14:15 we learn that the hundred and forty-four thousand which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth were also able to sing this new song.

Both of these scenes from Rev. 5 and 14 were shown to us through mighty visions exactly as they are described in the scriptures. The angel of the Lord told us these Bible visions were being given to us that we might know what is taking place. This being true, I believe the Lamb is now in process of opening the book.

Another tremendous vision of a mighty angel which spoke the words of Joel 2:1 perfectly fits the description of the angel of Rev. 10:1. It will be noticed that this mighty angel had a little book open in his hand that John had to eat and as a result, “prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.”

The eating of this opened book from the hand of the mighty angel, no doubt, became the source in inspiration for John’s prophecy.

The restoration of the keys of the kingdom is coming to us by the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is simply the Lord opening the book to the apostolic truth lost to the church because of vain traditions of men. This, beloved, is how the keys of the kingdom are being restored.

KEYS VITAL

These keys are more than just important. They are vital to the restoration of the church. It is through the use of these keys that the church will be perfected. The body cannot be cleansed and perfected apart from the use of the keys of the kingdom.

Without the full use of these keys the church is limited in what it is able to do. Full and complete operation of the keys means power to loose and bind on earth. Full use of the keys means complete restoration of the power and authority of the church.

All of these keys are necessary to establish God’s kingdom in the hearts of men. Each key enables us to enter into and enjoy some aspect of the kingdom. Like keys that open doors to the many rooms of some king’s castle, the keys of the kingdom are necessary to gain an entrance into the various realms of God’s kingdom.

Each key opens the door to some vital and necessary place in God’s kingdom. Use of these keys by the church is necessary to introduce others to the king (Jesus) and his kingdom. Use of the keys of the kingdom is also necessary to open the prison doors of unbelief and set the captives free. Needless to say, it is the use of the keys of the kingdom that enables us to take authority over Satan and his demoniac kingdom.

It is the church using the keys of the kingdom that the gates of hell cannot prevail against.

It is my conviction that every spiritual visitation the church has experienced has come as a result of the use of the keys of the kingdom. Haven’t you noticed the tendency of the various religious groups to put more emphasis on one line of truth than others? Often the reason for this is that they discover that through use of one of these keys they derive great benefit and blessing. Able to enter into the kingdom realm of the Spirit through the exercise of their discovery, they end up going to seed on this truth.

Sad to say, in time they (as a group or movement) end up in a state of darkness, still holding to the form but without the power and Spirit. We know for a fact that the same doctrines preached and practiced by some in times past brought life and blessing to those using them.

Today they are a mere form void of the power and blessing. With some it might be a noisy form worked up in the energy of the flesh; in others it might be quiet, dignified and highly intellectual. One appeals to the group which is looking for feelings and manifestations while the other appeals to the group whose faith is in the wisdom of men and not the power of God.

The true Spirit of God may be quiet and as gentle as a dove or it might shake the place like thunder. We are not to look for either but occupy ourselves with him who is the way, the truth and the life.

Failure to go on into the discovery and use of all the keys of the kingdom eventually leads to darkness. This has been demonstrated time and time again as we scan the pages of religious history. Every genuine movement of the church has been through the discovery and use of one or more of these keys.

Only when the church was in complete possession of these keys, beginning with Pentecost, did she march triumphantly forward. Not a spot, wrinkle or blemish was allowed to tarnish that early church. Acts 5:1-6.

The very first use of these keys by the church began with the preaching of Peter on the day of Pentecost. There has never been another Pentecost with the church in complete possession of the keys of the kingdom. But, hallelujah! We are looking for the restoration of these keys before the Lord is through with his church. Acts 3:21; Joel 2:25-27.

DECEPTION

We certainly need to be warned against deception in the knowledge and operation of the keys of the kingdom. As with everything else, the religious charlatans, racketeers, and opportunists will beguile and make merchandise of simple souls through the substitution of some shortcut or gimmick.

No specially concocted oil, water from Jordan, magic potion, anointed cloth or magic formula will take the place of the keys of the kingdom. These keys are basic Bible principles that must be believed and practiced if we get results. There is no substitute or shortcut. Only true disciples (learners, followers) of Jesus Christ will ever know and use the keys of the kingdom.

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