Have you ever wondered what these keys look like? Are they made of gold encrusted with diamonds and rubies? Are they translucent? Or are they invisible principles that can be used by any disciples of Jesus Christ? Let's look at some of these keys.
Key #1: A message
The disciples were given a message to preach.
And as you go, preach, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 10: 7).
They were initially only given one message. Wow, it must have been important, and it still is. They didn't need a PhD to spread the message. It was simple. It probably sounded something like this: "Hey buddy, I've got to tell you something." The unsuspecting Jew would have been curious, "Sure. What is it, brother?" "My Master told me to tell you that the Kingdom of heaven is near." I'm sure he would have asked, "Who's your master?" The disciple of Jesus would then pronounce with confidence: "Jesus." Everyone in Israel knew about Jesus. The signs, wonders and miracles were too big to hide. These were all signs of the Kingdom. It surely built their level of expectation. If the Kingdom was near, then blessings, miracles and healings were, too. Don't forget that this is your first key: the Kingdom within you is greater than the kingdom of this world.
You and I can share and demonstrate this great message today.
Key #2: Power
Power is the demonstration of God's Kingdom power over the kingdoms of this world. Jews understood that there were heavenly powers and demonic ones. Our message would be mere words if we couldn't back it up with power. Jesus did.
Key #3: Authority
Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick (Luke 9: 1-2).
REMEMBER: Power defined: "dunamis"— force, specially, miraculous power.
Authority defined: "exousia”— privilege, force, capacity, competency, freedom, or mastery (concretely, magistrate, super human, potentate, token of control), delegated influence.
-He gave them power and authority over all demons.
-He gave them power and authority to cure diseases.
-They were sent to preach the Kingdom of God and heal.
The disciples weren't preaching salvation yet. They didn’t understand or even know of it, and they were still unsure of Jesus' true identity. They preached what Jesus had taught them; namely, the Kingdom of God.
With the preaching came the demonstrations of Kingdom power by exercising Christ's authority. If you're going to proclaim that your kingdom is bigger and better, you’d better prove it. That’s exactly what the disciples did. When I was in grade school, I used to brag that I was tough. I had to prove it many times, too many times. I learned to keep my big mouth shut if I wasn't willing to back it up.
I also had the recourse of saying that my dad was tougher than theirs. Because he was from the Special Forces, I knew I wasn't exaggerating. It seems ironic that I still brag about my heavenly Father.
As Christians, we don’t have to keep our mouths shut. We’ve got the keys of the Kingdom, and we can tell everybody about it. And not only tell them, but we can prove it. Jesus told us to prove it.
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father (John 14: 12).
Key #4: A mission
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give (Matthew 10: 8).
Jesus gave us the power and authority freely so that we would give it away freely. Our mission is to give it all away. Even Paul the Apostle, a second generation follower, a post-resurrection believer, a post-ascension believer, understood that the message was central, but the power was the proof:
And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2: 4-5).
Paul taught the message of salvation and the message of the Kingdom, and He demonstrated both. Do you understand both messages? Can you back up your beliefs with power?
For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power (1 Corinthians 4: 20).
The message of salvation saved their soul and changed their destiny. The message of the Kingdom gave them a purpose to live and die for.
Key #5: The Spirit-filled life
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God (Romans 8: 14).
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5: 25).
The Spirit-filled, Spirit-led life is completely amazing. When He leads us, we have access to the gifts and the fruit of the Spirit. Our lives are different. Paul never stopped getting closer to the Spirit of Jesus. This was his primary focus because he knew it was the only way to fulfill his mission:
…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3: 10-11).