Thou Art a King and a Priest * Part 1
Sozo Short Bible Studies – Category #2 – Order and Authority
This Study will look at our King and Priest positions, what they mean, how important they are in our Christian walk, and what can be the result if we fail to walk in these positions in the manner in which God intended.
By Rev. G. E. Newmyer
“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” – Revelation 1:6 (KJV)
Terms in the Old & Terms in the New: There are many differences between the Old and New. In both, we find many “like terms”; yet they still differ by definition. For instance, there is the circumcision of the Old and one of the New; but they are different by definition. There is the Passover of the Old and one of the New; but they too differ by definition; and we could add many more things to this discussion such as Grace, Life, Sacrifice, all of which are seen in the Old and New, yet nonetheless, both differ by definition.
Definitions in the World vs. The Kingdom: There are things in the world that have “like terms” as well; but they also differ from the Kingdom’s definition. The world uses expressions such as, “spiritual” or “faith” and other “like terms”; but the world’s definitions are far different from those in the Kingdom. The world also has “power”; but so do those in the Kingdom and there are vast differences between the two powers. The world uses the term “name” as a means of identifying a person, as do we; but there is more to “a name” than what pertains to identification. “Oh! Over there we see is Bob, and there, is Mary; and oh yeah…there is Pastor Harry.” Were all three of those names used representing forms of identification alone? No, one of those names carried a title that pointed to a Position of Authority. What is known as “Positional Authority,” may or may not have a Power connected to it; but generally speaking, whether someone carries such a name or not, “Authority” without the Power to carry it out amounts to nothing more than being some kind of a “Figure Head.” There are monarchs sitting in countries who are Figure Heads only; and they have some authority as a monarch, but no power to enforce their authority.
Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God: When we came to the Cross, many things changed in purpose, definition, and cause. However, before one ventures into “kingly rule,” he/she must first make the distinction between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God. Heaven is a “place” for its citizens; but God is a Personage. Thus we are “in” the Kingdom of Heaven; but the Kingdom of God is “within” the Born Again believer.
No Priest a King & No King a Priest: God never requires persons to do anything that He hasn’t given them the ability to do. Under the Old, the people lacked the Spirit of Christ; thus God ordained a procedure for the nation of Israel, whereupon He had the “government order of kings” and the “priestly order” separated. Under this legitimate order, no priest could be a king, and no king a priest; however, a king could be a prophet and a priest could be a prophet. One of the major changes in Authority we are granted under the New, is the ability to be made both king and priest, as seen by the Scripture verse seen at the start of this Study… “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” – Rev 1:6 (KJV)
Priesthood of the “New”: Our “kingly position” is found in the “kingdom of heaven,” while our “priestly order” exists in the “Kingdom God.” From all this we find divisions and perhaps one of the biggest is the division of Laws. There is a Law for the “natural-thinking, earth-bound person; and there is a Law for the heaven-bound “loosed of the earth person.” Both laws are from God; but the issue here is never about, “from whom the Law came,” but “to whom it was directed.” Within each of those Laws we find a kind of priesthood and they differ by Order and Qualifications.
The Book of Hebrews & the Book of Leviticus: The Book of Hebrews is to the Christian, (under the Law of the Spirit), what the Book of Leviticus is to the priest, under the Law of Moses. God established an Order for Old Testament “Covenant people”; and He used the Tribe of Levi for their Priestly order, while establishing His “kingly line” with David, who was from the Tribe of Judah. Saul was never really a “king.” He was a Prince learning to become a king; thus David is the first anointed and appointed king of Israel.
Genealogy: In the Gospel accounts we find two different genealogy reports concerning Jesus: one in Matthew showing Jesus’ physical line connecting to Solomon and David, thereby giving Jesus the right to the kingly position. Then there is the report in Luke, connecting to Nathan, another son of David rather than Solomon, showing that Jesus was physically born a legal Jew. In order to be Jewish, one’s mother had to be a Jew, either by natural birth or adopted as was Ruth; but in order to claim to be “The King,” one had to trace their line to David by Solomon.
We know, the premise of one being a Jew based on their mother, originated with Abraham and Sarah. If one was a Jew by their father’s line only, then Ishmael would be a Jew, and so would the sons from Abraham’s third family. However, since the premise is based on the mother, we find the linkage goes to Sarah.
The method of recording the lineage was different; and Luke uses the term “as was supposed,” which is a Jewish idiom pointing to the father of the woman who is being talked about. In Matthew we find the phrase, “Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary” (Matt 1:16); however in Luke we find, “the son of Joseph which was the son of Heli” (Luke 3:23). The difference is found in the term “as was supposed” (Luke 3:23). Heli was the father of Mary and Jacob, the father of Joseph; but Luke is not attempting to show a kingly line, rather he is showing Jesus as a Jew and as “The One” who came for the Jews.
The Gentile didn’t enter the picture until the “time and timing of God” opened the Gospel for the Gentile, which was sometime after Pentecost. Nonetheless we don’t find any lineage for Jesus being linked to Aaron, Levi, or Moses. However, we know that Jesus is our High Priest; and He is the Lion from the Tribe of Judah; yet God’s lawful order didn’t allow for anyone to be a priest, who was from the Tribe of Judah.
Change in Laws/Change in Priesthood: So, was Jesus rebellious? Was He some whacko who formed His religion? No; with the change in Priesthood, there had to be a change in Laws. The priesthood, under the order of Aaron, pertained to physical things and carnal ordinances. They lacked a Spirit that was Godly in nature; thus they could not minister to the spiritual things. Their Law didn’t require “the spiritual,” nor did could it grant anyone “the Spirit.”
Therefore, the change in positions demanded a change in Laws; and the change in Laws demanded a new and different Priesthood under a New and Different Order. Both Laws would have priests, but the Order and Duties would differ greatly.
Origins of the “Jezebel Spirit”: The irony in all this is, of course, seeing how the mother of Solomon was not Jewish at all; rather she was married to a Hittite (II Sam 11:1-3). God’s legal order was for the priests to come from one area and the kings from another, as a check and balance; and there was no legal exception to this rule. Yet we know, there was one family who took over the high priest position during the Macabbes period; and one of them did appoint himself as priest and king. This would be termed the “Jezebel spirit” or “self-appointed”; and although this person did appoint their-self to be king and priest, that doesn’t mean that they were anointed by God.
Godly Order: Interestingly, the Talmud also termed this exception as illegal and did so based on the order which God had established. The result of this illegal act put the Nation under the Hand (rule) of Rome, which brought about the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD; and it hasn’t been rebuilt since. Also all those connected to that illegal mess were killed by Herod right after Rome took over the nation. Keeping things in their proper Godly order is the point; and we know the danger of mixing Old Testament procedures into New Testament procedures.
The Premise of Adoption: Okay, what about Ruth? The Jewish line of Jesus is connected to her; and she was a Moabitess who married Boaz (Luke 3:32). But she was also adopted by Naomi and then, called (named) “daughter” (Ruth 2:22). Therefore the premise of Adoption was known to the Jew; and Paul tells us that we are inducted into the Body by Adoption. We “were” children of darkness; yet God “adopted us” as His, and then gave us The Spirit, of which is the evidence of our new “family identification.”
New Change: Having said that, we find two verses in the Book of Revelation that are plain and to the point, which say that “Jesus has made us kings and priests unto God” (Rev 1:6 & 5:10).
“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Rev 1:6 (KJV)
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Rev 5:10 (KJV)
The Old Order would never legally allow that premise; therefore, a change came with Jesus, a change so great, that it would take a New Nature within the person, to fit into the Change. That New Change is only possible by being Born Again; and being Born Again is not based on pride, or religious conceit, or position. Rather, it’s open to all who ask. This Great Gift of Grace is Spirit-based and it doesn’t matter if one is Jew or Gentile, bond or slave, nor does it look at one’s background, social position, or anything else; it’s open to the “whosoever.”
Divisions & Separations: With that, we also find some interesting divisions and separations by God; Jesus said that one who is baptized and continues to believe, shall be saved, but one who believes not shall be damned (Mark 16:16): “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” He didn’t say this about one who is not baptized, rather the context relates to a position obtained by entering the Body.
Our water baptism didn’t save us. God did and the Baptism was our Sign or Token of acceptance of that delivery. Is that strange? Not at all, because regarding “Tokens or Signs,” we know as another example, that every time we see a rainbow, it reminds us that God will never destroy the earth by water again. That rainbow was God’s Token or Sign to us, but did the rainbow destroy the earth? No, it was a sign, or token that the destruction had ceased.
Our water baptism displayed many facets, including our acceptance of God’s Mercy (water) as we identified with the death and resurrection of Jesus. Our Baptism was our induction into the Body of Christ, when we gave our vow to run this race lawfully and it’s the “positional induction” into the Body of Christ that makes all the difference. One can believe up a storm, yet if they are not in the Body of Christ they do not fit, “shall be saved.” On the same note one can enter the Body, and then refuse to believe… and they too will fail to fit the criteria of “shall be saved.”
Keep believing: Mark 16:16 is not a discourse on baptism; it’s a warning for us to keep believing, regardless of any circumstance or event. It then becomes important to understand a few matters, some which can help us run this race in a manner that is not only legal, but pleasing unto the Lord.
What is a King in the New? The first point is to determine what a king is as well as if kingship would be restricted to gender. Circumcision under the old was restricted to gender; but under the New, we know that the “circumcision of the heart not made with hands” is the sign of a True Jew, and open to male or female. Therefore, we find that being a king in The Kingdom has nothing to do with gender.
But, what is a king? A king is a supreme or pre-eminent figure in a particular group, category, or sphere. The word Pre-eminent means “someone who is above others”; but in the case of the kingdom of heaven, we find that we’re all kings, so…” who then, is above whom”? Or is the question really…”who is above who”? Or “whom above whom”? Perhaps it’s neither, who or whom, but “what”?
We also have to add the concept of “Local.” A king is only a king of authority and power in their own sphere; they do not have authority and power outside of that sphere. The Queen of England is not the King of France; and if the Queen of England came to America and sat down in the White House, that doesn’t mean she is President. The President of the United States can’t presume he is the King of England either. Attempting to enforce our kingly authority outside of our realm is dangerous.
What is a kingdom? What is the purpose of a kingdom? Any kingdom is where the will of the king is being carried out. A king is one who formulates laws and determines what is considered to be, acceptable and unacceptable behavior for the subjects in their kingdom. Whatever the king deems as law or rule, is so; yet that same rule or law may be illegal in another realm.
For instance in the Principality (area/realm) of disobedience, we find situations where disobedience is the acceptable rule for the subjects, but in the Kingdom of heaven, this would not be. In fact, in the Kingdom of heaven, that same disobedience is destructive and deadly (Eph 2:2-3 & II Cor 10:3-7). Paul tells us in Second Corinthians that we can cast down imaginations; but how is that so? (II Cor 10:5).
When we were in the world those same imaginations controlled and guided us. What happened? The Cross of Jesus, the Body of Christ, the Resurrection, and the Spirit…..happened.
Good King, Bad King: Kingly authority is vital; but what if a king doesn’t believe that they are a king? Or, what if they run about shouting “kingly statements,” but in the wrong realm? These are good questions. A king is only a king when they know they are a king; and a good king rules according to the conditions of their position for the benefit of the kingdom order.
A bad king uses kingdom rules in a self-based manner to exalt himself; thus a bad king is always hated by the good subjects in the kingdom. But a good king is loved by the good subjects in the kingdom. The bad elements love the bad king; and if pride is our rule, then all the bad things that accompany pride will enjoy the rule. But all the Godly things will hate it. If anger delights in our rule, we’re in deeper trouble. On the same note, if Peace, Joy, Love, Faith, Mercy, and Grace all enjoy freedom under our rule, we’re a good king, a good king indeed.
Principalities & the Kingdom: Is a Principality the same as a Kingdom? No, a “principality” is a place within a kingdom, usually a beginning place or the place where the kingdom began. A prince is not a king, yet he has authority relating to his principality; and he is identified by this principality. Jesus is the King of Kings; but He is also the Prince of kings (Rev 17:14 & Rev 1:5). However, there is also the wicked prince of the power (authority) of the air (Eph 2:2).
Princes in the Old: In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word translated as Prince, means a Leader, but not as a king over a country; rather the term points to “one who represents a place, or group within the nation.” There were princes from the various tribes of Israel, but they were not kings over the tribes; rather they represented the tribe (Numb 7:18). A prince has authority, but it is limited to the Principality involved. In the case of Jesus, we find that He is King, Prince, and Priest, each with a specific power and authority.
Princes of the New: In the New Testament, the Greek word for Prince means a Commander, and connects to the Greek word which means a Principality. The same Greek word translated as Principality is translated as Beginning, as in “the Beginning of the Gospel”, or “in the Beginning was the Word”. Having said that we also read where “we war against Principalities” (Eph 6:12); yet Titus was told to instruct the Bishops to be Subject to Principalities (Titus 3:1).
Can being against something also mean we are subject to it? If we are kings, how can we be subject to a “thing”? The word Subject means to Arrange, or Keep in Order; thus we do war against remaining in the Beginnings of things, and more importantly, we war against making those Beginnings a god in our lives.
There are many Beginnings; and “no Beginning” begins “without the knowledge of God.” The Beginning of the Kingdom is important; but it’s not God. There was a Beginning for the prince of the power of the air; but we left that principality and all its deeds behind.
We carry the Gospel, but we don’t remain in the Beginning. Often being subject to something simply means that we don’t argue with it; rather, we allow it to run its course. We remain free of the cares of this world, by allowing them to remain in their realm, and we in ours.
There is the Principality of disobedience; but there is also the Principality of Peace. We war against the Principality of disobedience by being obedient to the Lord; and we war against remaining in the basic rudiments of the Principality of Peace by living in Peace. The natural mind sees the words “war” and “against” as emotional endeavors or as an open armed conflict in a face to face encounter.
Spiritual/Kingdom warfare: In the Kingdom, warfare is different; we battle anger by walking in peace, we battle bitterness by appreciating our Birthright under the New Covenant, and we battle pride by being humble. In the world, war means “the bigger gun wins,” which is using “gun against gun.” Since these differences exist, could they also relate to our Kingdom Authority? We will see.
The First Ruling Order: The first place in the Bible where we find a “ruling order” is in Genesis; The Light was to “rule over” the light of the Day and the light of the Night (Gen 1:16). The word Rule in Genesis 1:16 in the Hebrew means, “To have dominion over.” Clearly, that is a Dominion rule; but how many lights do we find? The Light is one; and the Hebrew word used for Light in this case, means a “Self-existing Light.” The only “Self-Existing” element is God which is the Self-Existent one, and which is the meaning of “I Am that I Am.”
Then we find the “Greater Light” for the Day as well as the “Lesser Light” for the Night; in this case the word Light means “a Light generated from another source.” The same Hebrew word points to the Menorah or the Golden Candlestick, which holds the light. The Menorah is not self-existent in any sense of the word; it must have oil, a wick, and someone to maintain the light. Even with the oil and wick, if we take away the care-keeper the light will soon fade, and burn out.
That is not the case with “The Light”; it doesn’t need any outside assistance. Still, that is far too many “lights.” Maybe God changed His mind? Or maybe poor Moses, without a degree, just blew it. The answer is “No”… on both counts; Genesis does show God creating and forming, but it also shows these: the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, the Gospel plan, and the division between the Day and Night.
Paul said that we are children of the Day; and so, we are not children of the Night or of the Darkness (I Thess 5:5). That gives us three realms; we were of the Darkness, but we accepted “the call” and were moved to the Body of Christ and became Children of the Day. But the Night comes, when no man can work.
The Day is for Salvation: The Day is for Salvation; it has the Greater Light for the Greater works, while the Night is yet to come and it’s for Judgment and for the season when we see the Lesser Light. We are of the group in heaven, seen as ten thousand times ten thousand (Rev 5:11); but there is another group of thousands of (or from thousands) (Rev 5:11). Both groups are under the authority and power of The Light, but with different purposes, different forms of power, different Laws, and far different abilities. From Genesis to Revelation, the context is still Kingdom authority.
Keys of the Kingdom: Jesus gave us the Keys of the Kingdom; and Keys in the general sense can open or lock various items. Jesus referred to The Keys as methods to bind (lock) or loose (unlock); and we know the metaphoric phrase “a key to understanding,” pointing to the revealing or Unlocking of something.
In the case of Jesus giving us the Keys, this refers to the granted authority to accomplish an act (Matt 16:19). The Keys came from Jesus; He is, nonetheless, the Source. But the Keys were handed to us, making us responsible for their use. If we don’t use them, then nothing gets done. We used one Key when we asked God to forgive our sins; but did we know that this was to be Reciprocal? The use of that Key demanded that we “not be hypocrites”; we asked God to forgive all our sins, but were we willing to forgive others? If not, we didn’t turn the Key; rather we were attempting to be the god over God. We may want God to forgive us; but if we start to consider that our pains and hurts are so great, then we may also try and excuse ourselves from forgiving others, thinking ourselves to be too high and mighty to forgive.
Turning the Key: God forgave us for what we did to Him, and for what we did to others. Therein we find the key, don’t we? Jesus said, “Go, your sins are forgiven”; but what sins? If all person’s sins are forgiven, why even go to the Cross? The people before the Cross had their sins forgiven on earth; but not in heaven. It would take the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus to “open” the Door to heaven. The Cross is the place of death, the death of the old, in order to gain the Life of the New. It is the place of Ability, that place where we find that God will forgive us completely; and thus, we can also forgive others completely. We put the key in the lock when we ask God to forgive us. We turn it when we make the decision to forgive others; and then the Mercy of God gives us the ability to do so upon which the Door to heaven opens.
The Keys in our hands: It becomes clear, that the Keys to the Kingdom are in our hands; the initial “act” therefore, begins with us. Okay, it’s a predicament; God is Love and He has the power to forgive. But we are mortal…so, how then, can we be like God (when it comes to loving and forgiving)? The answer is….”By our “Decision”; we make the decision in prayer, by saying to that mountain of unforgiveness “Go!” Or better…. we, “Loose it by Command.” Then God moves in with His Mercy and the mountain that sat on us begins to move.
Did we believe that God was able to move the mountain? If not why even say “Go”? We believed, and desired to please God; and that is the basis of faith. It’s not easy, and the old man comes around with all his bitterness, anger, memories, justification, and reasons why we should not forgive for all that suffering we went through.
Yet, the truth remains; we are told to Forgive as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us (Eph 4:32). How can we? With the same Mercy God used to forgive us. That Mercy is granted by our desire and decision, and the more we forgive, the more we are forgiven.
Time of Doors: Will the Keys of the Kingdom open any lock? No, although Jesus gave us the Keys to the kingdom, He retains the Keys of hell and death (Rev 1:18).
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death.” – Rev 1:18 (KJV)
Jesus also pointed to the Time of Doors or to more than one Door (makes sense). David was the first “appointed and anointed” king of Israel; and there is a Door for the “Key of David.” That Key belongs to Jesus alone, which no man can open or close that area (Rev 3:7).
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; these things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” – Rev 3:7 (KJV)
Yet we also find Jesus standing at a Door knocking; and only mankind can open that Door (Rev 3:20).
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” – Rev 3:20 (KJV)
Clearly there is more than one door. On one hand, there is a door which no man can open; and on the other hand, there is one that only man can open…. different Doors, for different Purposes.
Then we find John taken into heaven by the Spirit through a Door (Rev 4:1).
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be here-after.” – Rev 4:1 (KJV)
Doors are for entrance and windows are not. God will pour out a blessing through “the Widows,” but only a thief attempts to climb in by the window. Kings do not make entry through windows; they make entry through the Door. All this shows there are Doors many, and Keys many, some which we are privy to and some we are not. Attempting to use the Keys of the Kingdom in a Door which they were not designed for, makes us illegal intruders. Attempting to use the Key to gain entry through “the Window,” makes us a thief and a robber.
However, since we were given the Keys of the Kingdom, it stands that the initial move is in our hands as well. God calls us to the Cross and He even gives us guidance and instructions in the use of the Keys; but He will not take them from us, nor will He use them in our place. Simply, this means that, it’s up to us, to either use or not use the Keys.
There are many things left in our hands; for instance, we are told to “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness.” (Matt 6:33) Yet, God is not going to seek the Kingdom for us; He will grant it to us, but even that is dependent on our seeking. God will not study for us; but He will be there to help us study.
So, what are these Keys for? The Keys of the Kingdom are for “binding and loosing”; they do not open the gates of hell or the House of David, or death or hell. None of us would attempt to use the car key to open the front door to our house and then get mad because the car key won’t open the door. Misuse of the keys only brings frustration, while proper use brings peace.
Free of the Flesh: So, is all of this about “works of the flesh”? No, a work of the flesh is enacted to maintain the fleshly status; yet we came to the Cross to accept the death of Christ in our place so we could be free of the flesh; and that “deed” is an effort of faith, dependent on the ability of God to complete that which we requested.
A “work of the flesh” not only involves making some demand, but it also attempts to carry out the effort. However, the “renewing of our mind” is for ridding us of those things that keep attempting to “conform us” to the world again; then we allow God to fill our minds with the things of Christ, so we can be formed into the Image of Christ.
Bind the strongman: Keys are also “methods”; and right after Jesus says in Scripture that He gave us the Keys, He also tells us to “deny ourselves and pick up our crosses” (Matt 16:18-23). The very first premise of binding and loosing is, “for whosoever will save his life (soul) shall Lose it; and whosoever will Lose his life (soul) for My sake shall find it” (Matt 16:25). Procedure is always important; we must walk by faith, we do not “jump over procedure” by faith.
What else do we bind or loose? We are told to “Bind the strongman” (Matt 12:29); but who is that? This “strongman” is a man; he is not an angel and we are the ones who are told to bind him. “To bind” means to limit or restrict; thus in “the renewing of our mind,” the old man will fight to retain residence. But we are the kings, we have served the eviction notice; and now the Spirit of Christ has come to enforce that notice. A work of the flesh would be to serve the notice, then attempt to use the old man to evict the old man.
This connects to Paul telling us to “put off the old man, and put on the New” (Eph 4:24); we “loose the old” so we can be bound to the New. The strongman uses the weakness of the flesh; but there is one Stronger, who is the New Man, fully capable of giving us what we need to bind and overcome the old nature (man). If we are told to “Bind the strongman,” then surely we are given the ability in the New Birth.
Born Again: Being “Born Again” carries with it, enormous authority and ability. The old nature ruled over us as a taskmaster; but when we were Born Again, we were immediately elevated far above the realm where that taskmaster has authority and power. Rather than continue as a slave at the hand of the taskmaster, we became a king with rule over the old man and his nature. How does a king rule? By words… they make decrees, rules, and laws to keep harmony within their realm.
The teaching on” binding the strongman” in Scripture, came right after the religious leaders accused Jesus of casting out devils by the “prince” of devils (Matt 12:24). Jesus wasn’t telling the religious leaders to bind the “prince of devils”; they were to bind their own wild minds full of the products of the fall nature. The strongman within the souls of the religious leaders, was ruling them; and rather than bind that strongman (within themselves), they were using him (the strongman).
The strongman is not a devil…devilish yes, but not a devil. It’s “a nature,” the old fallen nature that all of us were subject to before we came to the Cross of Jesus. “The renewing” is to bring us back to the thought process a child has, that place where we learn afresh. Jesus told us to come to Him as little children, and therein we find the renewing. Attempting to mix spiritual matters into natural, or to use the natural to define the spiritual, always leads to destruction. We must vacate the old, and make room for the New.
Who was Jesus to these religious leaders who accused Him? Was Jesus a Gentile? No; was He some foreign figure? No; He was a Jew, with the same background as the religious leaders. They were speaking evil of a brother doing a good work; and that is the old jealous, envious nature that must be bound. James called it, “the spirit of man that lusts to envy.” Paul called it the “old man”; Jude called it all sorts of things.
So, how do we bind the strong man? We do so with choice and decision, and then by using a Key of the Kingdom. The metaphor Key also points to a type of Scepter, or Item showing authority, which may help us identify this enormous ability.
When Jesus taught on binding and loosing, He pointed to Mercy, not Grace. Mercy is the act of forgiveness; and the Cross of Jesus is based on Forgiveness, while His Resurrection is based on Grace. All this still pertains to “Kingdom rule” and shows us that the manner in which one begins a Kingdom society is just as important as maintaining that society. If we begin a corrupt kingdom, we will use corrupt rules and regulations and end up with corrupt society. If we allow the society to twist and corrupt the good rules and regulations, they will overthrow the kingdom rule, which is rebellion.
Grace is having the Spirit and being in the Kingdom of God; while Mercy is having the forgiveness of sin and being in the Kingdom of heaven. Anyone in the Body, even if they are not spiritual has the ability “to forgive as they are forgiven.”
Were the Corinthians carnal? Sure; and Paul said so. Did they have the Spirit? Yes,; and Paul said so. Were they Spiritual? No; and Paul said s ,and their behavior also proved it. However, Paul also told them, “You have reigned as kings without us” (I Cor 4:8). Even the Carnal minded are kings; thus this is a Kingdom of Heaven issue, not a Kingdom of God premise. The ability was in hand, yet they had to enter in.
The Keys relate to Mercy, and they are given to Kings; thus the purpose is based on Forgiveness. Jesus defined Binding and Loosing further in Matthew 18:18, as He said, “whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Where then is the initiation? It is on earth, not heaven; and hell isn’t at issue in this matter. This is something which the devil is not privy to; this is between us and heaven.
Clearly the language shows that this is restricted to something done on earth which affects heaven. Of course if the “prince of pride” gets a hold of this premise, it becomes twisted to the self, and we go about binding what should be loosed, and loosing what should be bound. “Will Jesus be mad at me if I don’t forgive?” That’s not the question; the question really is,” do you care if He is mad or disappointed if you don’t forgive?” He will be disappointed and sad, not so much for His sake, but ours. If we refuse to forgive, we bind God’s Mercy from us; and it’s God’s Mercy that brought us the Cross, while His Grace brought us the Resurrection.
In conjunction to the binding and loosing, Jesus taught on “two or three agreeing”; but that too was restrictive in nature, pertaining to Mercy and Reconciliation. If a brother trespasses against us, we go to them with the motivation of reconciliation (Matt 18:15). If that brother will not hear us, we seek out a third independent party to mend the differences. It begins with two, then the independent party making three, and all meeting in the Authority of the Name of Jesus, which means, that this pertains to the members of the Body of Christ with the Purpose of reconciliation (Matt 18:15-18). It doesn’t matter who is “right” or “wrong”; what matters is there should be no division in the Body. The gates of hell are death related; and they produce ungodly division. The Unity of the faith is joined to the Unity of the Spirit, and the enemy sets his gates in the path to divide us one from another. Reconciliation demands that we remove the gates of hell, and join in the Faith by the Spirit.
The context was “two or three”; it was not “one or two” or “four or fifty.” Only, if one of those two brothers refuses the Mercy and Reconciliation… are they to be taken before the Body? If they still refuse Mercy, they are to be treated as a non-believer. Why? As Believers we know that the Mercy of God and maintaining that Mercy, are far greater than personal retribution or validation. John tells us if we deny the Father or the Son we are antichrist; and refusing to grant Mercy is denying the Father.
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” – Matthew 18:15-16 (KJV)
All this shows kingdom rule; and we have the keys. Thus, if we say “No, I will not forgive,” we have bound God’s Mercy in heaven from us and we have bound ourselves to the earth. That leaves God no other choice than to form us into vessels of dishonor (Rom 9:21-24). However, if we say, “Yes, I will forgive,” we have loosed Mercy on earth and the reciprocal action causes God’s Mercy to be released from heaven. The authority is in our hands; God will not release His Mercy unless we use the key in the proper method. Mercy is always the glue to keep us in the Grace of God.
It becomes the one element we “Obtain” when we come boldly to the throne of Grace (Heb 4:16).
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 (KJV)
70 Times 7: Keeping things in their proper order helps us maintain a Peaceful kingdom; and Mercy is the Key element. It keeps the ship moving to the purposed goal. Peter understood this and right after Jesus taught on “binding and loosing”, Peter said, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? till seven times?” (Matt 18:22). The question wasn’t how many times shall I bind the devil? Or how many times shall I pray? It was directed at offenses between “brothers.” The “seven times” was from sabbath to sabbath; but we see Peter was looking for the loophole or the escape clause. “After seven can I hit him in the nose?” Jesus answered Peter with, “I say not unto you, Until seven times: but Until seventy times seven” (Matt 18:22)
We know the 490 figure was based on the time when the children violated the seven year sabbath of the land for 490 years and were placed in captivity to Babylon for 70 years, or “7 times 70.” But nonetheless, we see that there is a reference to “sabbath” (rest). Jesus told Peter that the time element would be equal to 490 sabbaths, or nine and half years. That was a much greater length of time than “the sabbath to sabbath” which Peter was considering. How could anyone forgive constant abuse for that long? By ourselves, it is impossible; it still takes the Spirit of Christ. On the same note, that doesn’t mean we have to submit to ungodly abuse so we fit the seventy times seven; it merely shows, don’t look for the loophole, don’t consider the way around the Commandment. Rather, we are to consider obeying the Commandment; and God will deliver us.
James used the same premise in the “prayer of faith” which is our prayer asking for the Wisdom of God, so we stop killing the just with words that are not conducive to a good kingly rule (James 5:15 & 1:5-6).
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” – James 5:15 (KJV)
James points out, that if we have faults with each other, we are to confess them and pray one for the other, rather than against one another, so we may be healed (James 5:16). Some of our biggest hindrances and problems center on our failure to forgive, so much so, that we will shut the door on any ministering in that area.
Of course we can play the mind game and say that “we have forgiven,” yet all the while, still seeking out some validation. Or, we may have forgiven the perpetrator, but maybe we still want some validation, wanting someone to admit that they failed us, or preferring someone to admit that, they could have “stopped it (the suffering).” But, that approach would still be a form of holding unforgiveness and merely transferring it from one person to another.
God didn’t tell us, “Oh yeah sure, I will forgive you; but let’s see…. that guy looks like a heathen, so I will put your sins on him.”
Jesus took the sins for all, whether past, present or future; so, once we accept the Cross, we accept that premise and in the process, we have no right or standing to hold unforgiveness toward anyone, since the Cross we now claim, takes those sins.
So, does Jesus carry those sins around like a big ball and chain? No, not at all; when sin hits His holiness, it is dissolved, just as darkness is dissolved by light. Where does the darkness go? Does it run and hide in the corner or under the bed? No, it is dissolved by the light, as if it had never been there.
The Light which dissolves the darkness: No matter how dark it gets, the littlest light can make all the difference. Think about Jesus Who is Light and how His Light did shine on us, dissolving the darkness. Our job is to believe it and even “believe” it without physical evidence. Belief is a power to the vehicle, and the vehicle is faith; thus belief and faith move us from one realm to another. When we believe in the Words of Jesus, our belief attaches to faith and our measure of faith pulls us to the place where the Words were spoken.
The “unpardonable sin”: If we bind someone to our unforgiveness, we have really bound ourselves to the darkness that is attached to that unforgiveness. “Oh yeah? What about the unpardonable sin?” The unpardonable sin is unpardonable because the person never asks pardon; they think that their ability to rip the heart out of people is some God given gift. If Jesus is able to forgive us of all sin, then He is able to forgive us of all sin (makes sense). But the requirement is, for us “to ask” to be forgiven. Therein we find the paradox; the person, whom we are holding unforgiveness against, doesn’t need to ask us to forgive them, but we must ask God to forgive us. When we pray, we forgive, as we are forgiven. There is no way around it; we can… “loose” the person, and have God’s Mercy “loosed” on us or…. bind that person, and bind God’s mercy from us.
Jesus explained binding and loosing, and the seventy times seven, by introducing the Kingly concept of the Kingdom.
“Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents (roughly 234 thousand pounds of silver). But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down and worshiped him, saying, Lord have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the Lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.” – Matthew 18:23-27 (KJV)
“But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants , which owed him an hundred pence (about one dollar): and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.” – Matthew 18:28 (KJV)
As this story continues…the “fellow-servant” admitted that he owed, but then he asked forgiveness in the exact same manner as the servant had asked the king. However, the servant rejected being compassionate, and did to his friend, that which the king had not done to him.
In essence, the servant who owed the king was “loosed” by the king, but that same man who had just been released turned around and “bound” another man for owing much less to him. The servant received the Mercy of the king, but refused to give it; and when the king heard about this, he delivered the servant over to the “tormentors.”
When the servant begged forgiveness, the king granted it; thus the servant had a “key.” But rather than use it on others, he twisted the entire thing around and bound others. Once Mercy is given, it grows; and Jesus said it will come back “shaken down and running over.” Mercy is the premise behind the key to binding and loosing, and it must be the first element we engage in before we attempt to use the binding and loosing concept anywhere else.
Authority in kingship: Still relating to kingship? You bet; the king had the power to render Mercy, or not. When he rendered Mercy, he expected the subjects in the kingdom to do the same. That is an example of Authority in kingship; God grants us Mercy and thus, we are expected to do the same. But must we? The servant in the story shows us that we “Should” do so; but we as kings have the power to reject or accept these conditions, opportunities, or rules. Whatever we allow into our kingdom rule is then “granted entry”; and whatever we forbid entrance to, “remains without.”
Paul explained this premise by saying, “Neither give place to the devil.” (Eph 4:27). The word Place in the Greek means Opportunity, and again, shows kingly authority. Can the devil simply march in? No, we as kings must give him opportunity, which grants him entrance. One way, is holding unforgiveness. Since the Cross of Jesus is based on Mercy and if we refuse to grant mercy… well then…who does that compare us to? When we grant Mercy, we give God the opportunity to intervene on our behalf; when we refuse to grant Mercy, we “bind” God, but “loose the devil.”
This kingdom principle explains why we sometimes see, that someone can hold a really weird theological position or doctrine, yet they are “comfortable” with it. We may wonder how they can hold to that junk, much less be comfortable; but…. they are kings, and have regulated their kingdom in that fashion. Does that mean they are right? Not at all, and we all will have to give account on how we maintained our kingdom.
“As” a roaring lion: In First Peter 5:8, we find that the devil is our adversary who goes about as a roaring lion seeking “whom he may” devour. That also shows we must grant permission for the devil to make entry, or else he cannot.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV)
In Hebrews 2:14 we find that Jesus destroyed the devil through the death of the Cross; and the word “Destroy” in the Greek means, “No longer effective” while metaphorically, it means “unemployed.”
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” – Hebrews 2:14 (KJV)
In the Old Testament the people were bound to the darkness; they were subject to the “prince of the power of the air.” But in the New, we have the Keys to the Kingdom.
It’s obvious that the place of “beginning” is the Cross; and by our acceptance of the Cross, the devil becomes ineffective in our lives. When we put all of that together, we find that the devil is effective in his realm, but we were removed from that realm and placed in an area where the devil is no longer effective. We were raised to heavenly places, while the devil was lowered to less than zero. Yet for some reason, some of us think the devil has more power over us now, than he did when we were darkness.
Three elements: Three elements give the devil place every time: when we take on the cares of this world, or the deceitfulness of riches, or the lusts for other things. Those three elements will choke out the Seed granted, which is most interesting (Mark 4:18-20).
“And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word: And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” – Mark 4:18-20
The Process is also evident; those who have the Seed choked out of them are also the ones who lack the Root. The Root of any plant is that element out of sight, that is gaining a foundation so the plant can stand and survive the winds of change, or the seasons of adversity. The Root breaks up ground, moves things around, and often pushes things to the surface. As kings we can ignore the exposure, or receive it.
The world looks to the result of some threat to the social good, and thinks that by controlling the threat they have controlled the source. Not so, we find that Jesus went to the source, destroyed the source (devil) and made the source ineffective. Often the world ends by exalting the pollution, yet ignoring the solution.
Faith, the counter to fear: Hebrews 2:14 not only shows how through death, Jesus destroyed (made ineffective) the devil, but it also shows us, that by accepting the death of Jesus, the same result applies. The devil’s main weapon is “fear of death” (Heb 2:15), which is a fear of the unknown. Faith is the counter to fear; the more faith we have, the less fear we are subject to.
The “roar of the lion” is to get our attention and then focus on where the sound came from. Once we focus on the location of the sound, we will draw ourselves to that spot, thus “giving the devil place” and opportunity.
On the other hand, we as kings can do many things, such as “put off the old man, put on the New”; we can resist the devil and he will flee from us. We can, “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” We can do these and many other “things,” including, but not limited to, binding and loosing.
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King James Version – KJV: For greater understanding of these commentaries, please use the Authorized Version of the King James Bible for confirming the Scripture passages mentioned. Please see the article, “Why KJV” by Ann M. Wolf for information regarding why we use KJV. Thank you for visiting our Sozo Short Bible Studies area.