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240. Keys to the kingdom.

"I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth have been* ( or will be ) *bound in heaven* ( first) *and whatever you loose on earth have been* ( or will be ) *loosed in heaven* ( first ) *."* ( Matthew 16:19) The promise of the keys of the Kingdom, which is symbolic of authority in the Holy Spirit to bind or to loose on earth, was not made only to Peter but to all whom the Father calls and reveals that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Peter himself had said, *"The promise* (of the Spirit) *is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call."* ( Acts 2:39) The keys of the kingdom of heaven were not granted exclusively to Peter but also to the rest of the Apostles when Jesus delegated his authority to them saying, *"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples ..."* (Matthew 28:18-19) Again, the power to exercise the delegated authority was not only granted to Peter but also to the rest of the Apostles and even to those who were present in the upper room on the day of Pentecost for *'they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on EACH OF THEM.'* (Acts 2:3) If authority was exclusively granted to Peter, how come Paul opened the Gentile world to the gospel? Authority to bind and loose on earth ( not in the heavens) is promised to all who would believe in Christ and confess as Peter did.

What is interesting, though, is the sequence in which the keys work. *First in the heavens and then on earth,* which is in agreement with the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples: *"Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."* Whatever that needs to be bound on earth has been ( or will be) bound in the heavens and we only have to exercise our authority to bind the same on earth. And whatever that needs to be loosed on earth has been ( or will be) loosed in the heavens and we only have to exercise our authority to loose the same on earth. The battle always happens in the spiritual realm first before it spills over into the physical realm. *'And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down ... to the earth and his angels with him. '* ( Revelation 12:7-12) Before long the heavenly battle is going to spill over onto the earth, when the Holy Spirit is *'taken out of the way'* ( 2 Thessalonians 2:7) and the bride, the Church, will be *caught up* (GK: *harpazō* means to catch or carry away) together with the Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:17) The earth without the Holy Spirit and the Church will be vulnerable to the onslaught of the devil. *'Woe to the earth and the sea because the devil has gone down to you. He is filled with fury because he knows that his time is short.'* ( Revelation 12:12) First he lost in place in the third heavens and before long, he will lose his place in the second heavens. Speaking of the first incident, Jesus said, *"I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you."* ( Luke 10:18-19) This is the *clout* ( influence or power) the Church has to bind and to loose on earth what *has been* ( or will be) bound or loosed in the heavens because we have been given the keys of the kingdom. Amen.

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