22-Life in the Kingdom of God - Keys of the Kingdom
By Colleen Donahue

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"Life in the Kingdom of God is really about returning to the governing authority of God in the earth and learning how to live and function in that authority. Part of this understanding is learning how to use the keys of kingdom." Dr. Myles Monroe

1. We know that the Kingdom of God is God's desire and purpose for us because he told us so.
Luke 12:32

Jesus brought the Kingdom of God to us and the moment we turn from our rebellion and place our trust in Him we step over the threshold into the Kingdom of God. We become naturalized citizens of the Kingdom of God with all the rights, privileges and benefits that come with it. But how do we appropriate those rights? That is our topic for this study on the keys of the kingdom.

2. One day Jesus asked His disciples the most important question that He would ever ask them.
Matthew 16:13-15

Without hesitation Peter answered it.
Matthew 16:16

In the Jewish faith the terms "Christ" and "Son of the Living God" were reserved exclusively for the Messiah. So Peter was confessing that Jesus was the Messiah. How did Peter know this?
Matthew 16:17

Then Jesus tells us that upon the "rock" of Peter's confession of faith He would build His "church".
Matthew 16:18

Church is the Greek work "ecclesia" and is a governmental word NOT a religious one. It means "called out ones". It was used by the Greeks to refer to the senate or other political bodies. The Romans developed the Greek concept of democracy and called their senate body ecclesia. It was their job to turn the mind and will of the king into legislation for Roman citizens. So in Matthew 16:18 Jesus is saying that He will build His government through His church --or ecclesia --who will carry out His wishes and will.

The ecclesia therefore is a select group with critical, secret information for running God's kingdom here on earth. It was to be so powerful that hell itself will not be as strong as Christ's ecclesia.

And so to Jesus' select group of disciples -- both then and now -- what does He give us?
Matthew 18:19

Notice that Jesus gives us the keys OF the Kingdom and not the keys TO the Kingdom. Since we are citizens, we are already in the Kingdom of God and don't need the keys to it.

3. The keys of the kingdom are those that will unlock the power of the Kingdom and make it work in our lives. Only citizens can have these keys. The key to the keys however is not having the keys but in knowing how to use them. Jesus wants us to have this knowledge.
Luke 8:10a

Christ's ecclesia is not a secret society but its keys need to be learned.

4. Jesus left us with no doubt that His kingdom is supposed to work for His ecclesia in the same way that it worked for him.
John 14:12-14

There is one significant key embedded in this passage that will open the warehouse of Heaven. It is so important that Jesus repeats it two times. Reread:
John 14:13-14

This isn't a license to gratify our own selfish desires. As Kingdom citizens we are about God's business of expanding the Kingdom. And so when we ask according to the King's will and in line with His purpose we can receive those things.

5. The disciples had seen this key activated one night. Here was the situation.
Matthew 14:13-15

What did Jesus tell them?
Matthew 14:16

And why did they protest?
Matthew 14:17

This was a test. The disciples should have asked, "which key do we use", but instead they just focused on what they could see -- which wasn't much. They had not yet learned that in the Kingdom of God we walk by faith and not by our sight. When we know the key to use we'll never say again, "all I have is ...."

Now read the progression of what Jesus did.
Matthew 14:18-21

A. He took what they had (5 loaves and 2 fish)

B. He looked up to God and blessed what He had in his hands.

C. He broke the bread and fish in pieces

D. He gave it to his disciples who in turn...

E. Distributed it to the people

F. Everyone had all they they wanted

G. They picked up the leftovers!

Jesus had drawn from Heaven's abundance, gave it to us so that we could give it to others.

PRINCIPLES OF KEYS

Dr. Myles Monroe in his book called Kingdom Principles shares that there are seven principles to know about keys and I'd like to share them here.

6. The first principle is that keys represent authority. When your boss gives you the keys to open up the business in the morning, he is giving you the authority to enter the building, turn off the alarm and open it up for the other employees to come in.

Reread Matthew 16:19. Jesus is giving us the same authority that He has. But how few of us have really learned what this means!

7. Second, key represent access. The keys of the Kingdom of God give us immediate access to all the resources of Heaven. That's why we must learn to have a kingdom perspective.
2 Corinthians 5:7

I like how the New Living Translation puts this verse. "For we live by believing and not by seeing."

Elisha had this Kingdom perspective but his servant did not yet have it. The servant woke one morning to find the army of a pagan king surrounding the city because he was intent on capturing Elisha. The servant in a panic cried, "What shall we do?"

Then a calm, cool Elisha prayed that the Lord would open his eyes. What did the servant see?
2 Kings 6:15-17

Elisha's key had brought down the angelic host to protect him but all the servant saw was the pagan army assembled against them.

When we have the keys to the warehouse of Heaven there can be no lack because our King is greater than all of them.

8. Keys represent ownership. When Jesus gave us the keys of the kingdom he was giving us the ownership of Heaven and earth. That's why whatever we bind on earth will be bound in Heaven and vis versa.
Matthew 16:19

This means that as Kingdom of God citizens, we have resources outside of this world to draw upon. When we can draw upon the King's resources it means that we will never be destitute.

9. Keys represent control. If we have the key to a house or a car it means that we control it. There is a beautiful story in the life of Elijah that illustrates this. It was during the days of famine when a poor widow and her son were about to eat their last meal and die. Along came Elijah with a request of this lady. Notice what had gone on before Elijah made this request.
1 Kings 17:8-11

How did the widow respond?
1 Kings 17:12

Yet Elijah persisted.
1 Kings 17:13-14

Was he being selfish? No. Elijah was offering this lady a key and fortunately she took it. She opened up Heaven's pantry and what happened?
1 Kings 17:15-16

Putting God's servant first in giving him food brought unlimited provision for herself and her son. It's an example of what Jesus meant in
Matthew 6:33

When we put God's Kingdom and it's needs first, then everything else opens up for us.

10. Keys represent authorization. When my boss would give me the keys to his car to pick something up for him, it meant I had permission to use his car and when I got to the store I could tell them it was for Mr. ______ and they would release it.

Now Jesus has given us the authority to use his name.
John 14:13-14 / John 15:16

In fact, Jesus makes it plain in these verses that He is not going to do the asking for us because the Father loves us just as He loves Jesus.
John 16:26-27

Peter used this key when he came across a lame beggar at the gate called Beautiful going into the temple. Here's how it happened.
Acts 3:1-10

Did Peter take credit for this man's healing?
Acts 3:16

No. He had been authorized by Jesus to do the same works that Jesus did and he used that key.

11. Keys represent power. This is similar to control. When my dad would give me the keys to his car I remember how powerful I felt! I could go where I wanted and do it at top speed! Having keys gives us the control and power over whatever we possess the keys for. Will you memorize this verse?
Matthew 16:19

Notice when Jesus gave us the keys he gave us power in Heaven. Jesus doesn't want us to be victims of earth's systems. Therefore he gives us the keys to tap into Heaven's unlimited resources which may be invisible to the eye but are absolutely real. Even in times of earthly crisis we will have God's provision and protection.
Psalm 91:1-16

(Note: This is another "key" section of scripture that we should memorize).

12. Keys represent freedom. That's because we are free to lock or unlock, open or close. Remember the time that a great storm was going on and Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat? His disciples were totally panicked but here was Jesus asleep.
Matthew 8:25-27

Jesus had taken out his key and locked up the storm.

13. Jesus tells us that truth sets us free.
John 8:31-32

But it's not truth in general that frees us. It's the truth that WE KNOW AND USE that frees us.

WHAT EXACTLY ARE THESE KEYS?

We know that Jesus isn't talking about physical locks and keys. So what are these keys?

Keys are the laws, principles and systems by which the Kingdom of God operates. In fact, every government runs on laws and systems. Those who know them can use them to good advantage. Kingdom of God citizens can bring the influence of heavenly systems to their earthly situations. That's why we can rest in confidence that we will have the victory no matter what things look like on earth. These keys that activate Heaven enable us to enjoy all the good things that the Father gives us here on earth.

While religion is built on feeling, emotions and wishful thinking, the Kingdom of God operates on God's laws which are fixed and unchangeable. When used correctly they always work.

In our study called "Opposite Thinking" we learned that much of how the Kingdom of God operates is reversed from the world's way of doing things. Instead of getting, you give. You don't hoard things but you release them. You love instead of hate. You show regard for others first before yourself. All of this is opposite to kingdom of the world thinking but it's the way the Kingdom of God works. It's a total clash of systems.

14. This is well illustrated by an encounter Jesus had one day with a rich young man who was interested in getting into the Kingdom of God.
Mark 10:17-23

This young man had grown up in a world where you get by taking. He just couldn't get hold of the principle that you actually get by giving! Many don't understand that today either. They forget that in the Kingdom of God we are stewards NOT owners. It's usually when we think we own something that all the headaches come. But what is true about the wealth that the Lord brings to us?
Proverbs 10:22

15. The way the Kingdom of God operates is totally foreign to our fallen nature and the way we grew up thinking. Can you see why these were the first words Jesus said about the Kingdom?
Matthew 4:17

Repent means to change the way we think. It's vital if we are to operate with the keys of the kingdom. In our next study let's look at HOW we are to get the knowledge and training to operate these keys.

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