Ekklesia: Keys of Kingdom Management, Part 1
by Dr. Patti Amsden
by Dr. Patti Amsden
The day Jesus identified His ekklesia, He gave them keys (Mt. 16:18-19). These keys would open the door of earth or allow earthly access to God’s will, heaven’s purposes, and kingdom realities. Conversely, these same keys would close the door of earth or deny earthly access to Satan’s will, sinful imaginations, counter-kingdom strategies. “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” could be more than a prayer. That prayer could materialize as the ekklesia used the keys given to them by Christ.
Before man was fashioned or the ekklesia formed, God brought heaven to earth. Because God created all things and because nothing existed before God made it, God had no one or nowhere to go to get the pattern for His creations. It could be said that the blueprint God used came from inside of Himself and in conformity to His own will and wisdom. Therefore, everything He created was an earthly reflection of His eternal realities. Drawing from the metaphor of keys, God used His authority to unlock or loose heaven on earth. He was the first to use His keys.
After each day of creation, God would evaluate His work and declare, “It is good.” That judgment was based upon the fact that what had been fashioned matched the pattern that was inside the heart, mind, and will of God. The creation passed inspection. It was good. Heaven was reflected and, in a measure, duplicated on the earth. Psalm 19:1 states, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” The words of this familiar s refrain tell us that the skies with all the stars, sun, moon, comets, or galaxies tell us and show us unseen truths about who God is and what He can do. When God made man’s heaven, God revealed eternal realities. With His keys, He brought heaven to earth.
Having set the pattern of making the earth a reflection of heaven and a welcoming environment for the eternal, God placed the earth into the hands of His earth managers – Mankind. Man was to follow God’s example. Man was to get a pattern for his labors from the heavenly realm and then go to work with the earth to build little heavenly replicas in every sphere of human endeavor. In the Garden, God gave man the keys – or the authority – to determine what would be allowed and what would not be allowed upon the earth.
Adam used his authority to allow on earth what God did not allow in heaven. From that Garden event and on throughout the pages of scripture, God sought human representatives that would use their authority to manage the earth in such a fashion as to advance God’s will and God’s kingdom. In the early days of the bible’s redemptive narrative, God called individuals and gave them kingdom keys: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God elected each individual and authorized them to take the keys of the kingdom and release heaven into the earth. The eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews recounts the heroes of faith who faithfully administrated their portion of the earth by using the kingdom keys.
Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, became the father of twelve sons whose progeny grew into the nation of Israel. At that point in redemptive history, God called the nation into a covenant with him and appointed them to be managers of His kingdom “Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priest and a holy nation . . .” (Ex.19:5-6). Israel was special because she was to function as a priestly nation to all the other nations. She was to use her authority to bring heaven to the earth. She was given keys – keys of the kingdom. These keys would open the door of earth or allow earthly access to God’s will, heaven’s purposes, and kingdom realities. Conversely, these same keys would close the door of earth or deny earthly access to Satan’s will, sinful imaginations, counter-kingdom strategies. (Sound familiar?) Israel served God as His called out ekklesia to build heavenly realities into the earth.
“Keys of the kingdom” was not a new concept, a new idea, or a new phrase that Jesus invented on the day He called for His church. Jesus was informing His called out that they would be required to function under the same mandate that Moses’ called out had functioned. Jesus’ ekklesia would be required to steward the kingdom, use kingdom authority to bind and loose, advance the kingdom, and bring heaven to earth. As has already been stated in former articles, the new ekklesia would be comprised of persons from the blood line of Israel and persons from the blood lines of every kindred, tribe, and tongue. The composition of the ekklesia would take on a new face, but the job was as old as Adam. Actually, the job preceded Adam; for God, Himself, was the first to take the kingdom keys and open the earth to receive heavenly realities.
How do kingdom stewards know what may be bound and what may be loosed? That is the topic of next week’s article.