Your Answer:  Keys of

   Throne of | Keys of | Rule Over
   | More Info


"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. 19"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." 20Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. Matthew 16:18-20 (NAS)

The Keys to Jesus' Kingdom

The apostle Peter was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven...which is the church that was built on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ.

The purpose of a key is to unlock a door or lock...allowing people to enter.  Peter was the first of the apostles to proclaim the gospel message after Jesus ascended to heaven.  Included in Peter's message in Acts chapter 2 was how a person may enter and be added to the Lord's church.  Later on in this lesson, we will look at Peter's sermon and these keys to the church/kingdom.

Who Rules over Jesus' Church?

We see from the following verses that Jesus was given power to rule over His church and that men, such as Peter, were not to lord over the church.

Jesus is the King over the Kingdom (the church). God and Jesus' thrones are for ever and ever:

Matthew 25:31-34 "But when the Son of Man (Jesus -- See 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8) comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. "And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (NAS)

Luke 1:32-33 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." (NAS)

No man rules or lords over the church; only Jesus Christ rules. Even though Peter was one of many elders in the church, neither he nor any of the other elders had the authority to lord over the church. Consider the words of Peter himself:

1 Peter 5:1-4 "Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (NAS)

Romans 15:12 says: And again Isaiah says, "There shall come the root of Jesse, and He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope." * (NAS)

*This reference to Isaiah is a prophecy of the coming of Christ (a descendant of Jesse -- Jesse was the father of David--and Jesus descended from David -- see the genealogy of Christ at Luke 3:31), not a prophecy of the coming of Peter. Only Christ had the authority to rule over the church.

Click on the next question to continue...

Question 8