Author Topic: Peter and the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven  (Read 1537 times)

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pilgrim

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Peter and the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven
« on: February 22, 2011, 10:54:12 AM »
In Matt. 16:18-19 the Lord said to Peter:

 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, (assembly) and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (clarification added).

The question is, when did Peter use the keys to the kingdom of heaven? To answer that we have to ask: had heaven never been opened before? The only time recorded is when Enosh and Elijah were taken up. All others were preserved in Hades as shown in Lk. 16:19-29 where Lazarus was resting in Abraham’s bosom.

Until sins were paid for as in Heb. 9:15 the saved were preserved in Hades. When Zechariah said: “Because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit” (Zech. 9:11) that is precisely what Paul was referring to when he told the Ephesians: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive” (set the prisoners free) (Eph. 4:8).

Concerning leading captivity captive, (Eph. 4:8). It is plain from the word ‘led,’ that He speaks of taking with Him others into heaven. Who but the redeemed would He take? Paul’s quote is from Ps. 68:18 where it speaks of the victor taking prisoners and returning with them as his spoils of war.
 
The prisoners were sinners who were set free from Hades (Zech. 9:11) because their sins were yet binding until He set them free through His shed blood of the New Covenant. In Ps. 68:19-20 he continues with a description of the captives that He led captive and the benefits to the people.

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Our God is the God of salvation; Our God is the God of salvation; and to God the Lord belong escapes from death.
 
Because He has been the victor, and has the spoils of war (salvation), He now gives us gifts of men to show us the way of salvation and blessings through The One who overcame death and makes it possible for us to escape death.
 
In my teaching of the “incorrect division of the Old and New Covenants”) I have been accused in the past of nitpicking. To find fault with the present division is far from a simplistic complaint. In view of the historical aftermath of such teaching, if we say the New Covenant began before the Lord’s death, are we not in an unintentional but real sense denying the need for His death? Yet, in the face of it all, we seemingly have no care or even the least concern.

The teaching that the New Covenant began through the Lord’s teaching, love, good works, and miracles is the very root and wellspring of the social gospel. From that we hear much about the love of God and the brotherhood of man apart from the cross and the blood of Christ. A pseudo gospel that is anything but good news (Gal. 1:6-7) but rests squarely on works and denies the need for the Lord’s sacrifice.

In searching some of the best commentaries for their comments on the aforementioned Scriptures, it is almost inexplicable why the truth about where the New Covenant begins is completely passed over without saying anything about the present incorrect division.

It is as if they simply refuse to see the truth and would choose rather to ignore it than try to explain it. Perhaps the truth is, if they acknowledge the present division as being incorrect and change to the scriptural division, then for many, their theology will be radically affected. They would then have to rearrange a lifetime of mistaken teaching about many things, and that, they are not willing to do.

The Lord in Jo. 3:3-8 said that unless one is born again (from above) he cannot see the kingdom of God. That is why the doors to the kingdom could not be opened before sins were not paid for. Sins still separated us from God. Nor could the Holy Spirit be given to all who believed and accepted the Savoir as their sin bearer because of that. Now one can be re-united to their Creator as part of the family and children of God.

However, there is much confusion as to what the term “kingdom of heaven means.” For at least 3 years the gospel (good news) of the offer of the re-establishment of the kingdom of Israel had been preached starting with John the Baptist. I have shown in another post that “(Three offers of the re-establishment of the Davidic kingdom)” was to be made in Matt. 22: 1-10. The third offer is yet future when the Lord promised it in Matt. 24:14. The second offer was in vv. 4-7 and ends with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 because Israel had again rejected their King. In Matt. 10:5-23 again is shown the offer of the kingdom of heaven without any break for the present church age and that because Paul said it was a mystery.

In Acts 1:3 it is said that the Lord taught the disciples about things pertaining to the kingdom for 40 days and immediately in v. 3 they asked Him if He would at that time restore the kingdom to Israel. After all, that is what the keys were to open that the Lord had given Peter after He had said he would yet build His assembly in Matt. 16:18.

For two thousand years the church leaders have completely ignored plain simple words that it was the kingdom they had been preaching before the cross. There is nothing whatever to indicate another new program other that what they were expecting; the re-establishment of Israel’s kingdom. The same identical kingdom of Heaven as in the passage above from Matt. 10:5-23. If the Lord had intended otherwise He would have corrected them but we see no such thing.

When the Scriptures speak of the kingdom of heaven, they are literally saying the kingdom from, or of, the heavens. John the Baptist (Matt. 3:2), the Lord (Matt. 4:17), and His disciples (Matt. 10:7) proclaimed, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Since the specific article (The) was used, it is evident that they were speaking of something that was known before; that being the Messianic Kingdom of David; it was that golden “age to come” (Matt. 12:32); “...the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory (Matt. 19:28), and described by Zechariah as led by the Holy Spirit (Lk. 1:68-75).

Peter told the Israel (Acts 3:19 21) that if they would repent, God would send Jesus back from heaven to bring about the “times of refreshing,” and, “restoration of all things.” The times of refreshing was typified by the “Year or Jubilee” (Lev. 25). Every fiftieth year all debts were canceled, all lands sold for debts were returned to the owner, and all bondservants set free. The Israelites were to “proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants” (v. 10).

That restoration (v. 21) that Peter spoke of was only echoing the Lord’s words when He had said of Elijah the forerunner of Messiah (Matt. 17:11): “Elijah truly is coming first and will restore all things.” Of course the greater truth expressed was that the Redeemer had come and paid the sin dept, and set us free from the penalty of sin. When at last the Redeemer comes and establishes the kingdom, man will be restored to communion with his Creator. And since the whole creation was cursed because of man’s sin, then it would also be released from bondage also (Rom. 8:18-23).

In Lk. 17:22 the Lord speaks of it as “one of the days of the Son of Man,” and in Lk. 17:30 as “the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” By various names, the time on earth when the kingdom of God is established; or when He is reigning through His Son the Messiah, is found almost 200 times.

The psalmist referring back to Gen. 1:26-28 says: “You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet” (Ps. 8:6). Even though the man Adam through disobedience forfeited his kingdom, it was the decree of God that man was to rule the earth. For that reason Paul said of the re-establishment of kingdom: “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet” (1 Cor. 15:52).

The Hebrews epistle quotes the Psalms passage but because of Adams loss of the kingdom adds the words: “But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus…” (Heb. 2:8-9). As the first Adam brought death (Rom. 5:12), Jesus as the last Adam will give life (Rom. 5:18-19; 1 Cor. 15:45-49).

From Eden forward, the Scriptures are an unfolding plan of God to re-establish that kingdom on earth where man would again have dominion and perfect communion with his Creator. In Heb. 2:4 it is said: “For He has not put the world to come, or which we speak, in subjection to angels.” It is evident that not only will man rule, but if there is to be a re-establishment of the kingdom that Adam lost (Lk. 4:5-7), then it will have to be an earthly kingdom.

Please, listen carefully, Peter told Israel in Acts 3:19-21 that if they would repent, God would send Jesus back from heaven for the times of refreshing and restoration of all things; another offer of the kingdom, but they did not repent. They began threatening the disciples, then beating and finally killing.

The fact that Jesus did not return is undeniable truth that whatever was offered was not realized. The kingdom nor the present church was established at that time and the undeniable proof is because the Lord did not return. The present church would not begin for another 14 years by Paul as seen in Acts 13:3, 46-47, and the kingdom will not be established until the end of the tribulation that begins with the preaching of Matt. 24:14 immediately following the rapture.

Needless to say, the teaching of Rome that Peter was the head of the present assembly of Christ which is the establishment of the Davidic Kingdom on earth with a successor is pure fiction. The Protestant churches are also guilty of saying Peter started the present church when in fact Peter and the other 11 has nothing whatever to do with the present assembly of Christ. Lord willing, I will have more to say about that in a later post.

May the Lord bless.

pilgrim