Bound and Loosed in Heaven

Matthew 16 (Keys of eaven and hell)

Just what does that mean–”Bound and loosed in heaven”?

One of the most quoted and theorized quotes in the New Testament is Matthew 16:18-19.  As many of us know, this is one of the foundational quotes that the Roman Catholic Church has used to establish its authority as  “God’s true church”.

Matt. 16:18 — “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Matt. 16:19 — “And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”

The world’s most populated church, the Roman Catholic Church, believes that the above quotes applied strictly to Peter. The following is a quote that sums up their belief in those inspiring words.

“…Jesus was declaring that Peter would be the “rock” on which He would build His church. Jesus appears to be using a play on words. “You are Peter (petros) and on this rock (petra) I will build my church.” Since Peter’s name means rock, and Jesus is going to build His church on a rock – it appears that Christ is linking the two together. God used Peter greatly in the foundation of the church. It was Peter who first proclaimed the Gospel on the day of Pentecost. Peter was also the first to take the Gospel to the Gentiles . In a sense, Peter was the rock “foundation” of the church.”

But is that really the Lord’s intention, in speaking those words? Could they have a deeper and a more profound meaning than we generally realize?

There are three divine instructions of God that tell us what is needed for proper interpretations of Scripture. To be (1) “guided into all truth” by the “Spirit of Truth”(John 16:13) as we are (2) ” doing the Father’s will” (John 7:17). (3) “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20).

In other words, there is only one correct interpretation of Scripture and that is by the Lord through the “Spirit of Truth”. Let us now read what His last messenger said about these things. (Victor Houteff’s words are in brown.)

Matt. 16:18 — “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

   The words “thou” and “this” comprehend two objects — Peter and the truth he uttered.  The name “Peter” in Greek means “stone.” And so what Jesus was actually saying was not to name the man, but rather to tell him that he was selected to be one of the stones in the spiritual structure — the church.  But “On this rock [not on a stone] I will build My church,” Jesus declared.  On which rock? — Obviously on the solid rock of Truth, the truth which Peter uttered — the truth that Jesus Christ is the “Son of God.”

   Then Jesus made known that the gates of hell could not prevail against the Truth, that the gates could not keep in hell (in the grave) even the dead in Christ, that they, too, are to be a part of the ever-living church, the church that stands on the solid Rock of Truth.

Matt. 16:19 — “And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”

 Jesus here declares that Peter is become the figure, the type, of all those who declare Divinely-revealed truths.  To them, as to Peter, are given the keys of the Kingdom; that is, the promulgators of Inspired Truth are authorized to bind and to loose by the power of the Truth.  That which they bind on earth is so recognized in heaven. 

Elijah bound that there should be a famine for three and one half years, and so it was.  Said he, “unto Ahab…there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” 1 Kings 17:1. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 29- 4)

Wow,  notice what the underlying words  say. The trust from the Lord is implicit and vast. He empowers His true servants to “bind and loose” on this earth, and then it’s likewise bound in heaven. In other words, what the servants declare, if they are according to his will, are backed up by the Lord of heaven.

His servants are so in tune and one with Him that He knows they can be trusted! This is the ultimate trust–to be trusted by the King of the Universe to make decisions–  that heaven will abide by. Let’s read of some historical examples of this “binding and loosing” given to His servants.

Matt. 16:21-23 — “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.  Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee.  But He turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind Me, Satan: thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”

   Here is magnified the aforesaid truth.  Peter’s binding or loosing on earth was acceptable in Heaven only when done by means of Divinely-revealed Truth.  When speaking from his own impulses and sentiments, Peter was sharply rebuked, and told plainly that his suggestions were not the Truth, but were prompted by Satan.  It is therefore plain that the followers of Christ may bind or loose only with the keys of Truth.  They are to realize that Truth alone swings open the gates of Heaven.

   Finally, if we have Heaven’s Truth for the hour, as Peter had It in his day, we then have the keys of Heaven and can with It bind or loose — Truth’s decisions on earth are the decisions in Heaven.

Matt. 16:24 — “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

   This verse implies that Peter’s concern was more for his own life than for the life of Jesus, for Peter knew that if Jesus were slain, then his own life would be in jeopardy.  Hence Peter was told that if any man would follow Jesus, he, too, would voluntarily consent to carry his own cross if Truth so decrees.  The Apostles, we are told, did this very thing, and were faithful unto death.

Matt. 16:25-27 — “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.   For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to His works.”

   The followers of Christ are here told not to shun Truth’s decree though they be required to surrender their own life, for thus losing their lives they will be actually saving them for eternity — they will rise in the resurrection of the just.  But for them to forsake Truth in order to appease the enemies of Truth, and thus save their temporal lives would eventually result in their dying the death from which there is no resurrection.

   It should be of interest to know whether the Apostle Peter was the first to be given the Keys of Heaven, or whether others had the Keys before him.  Since Present Truth committed to an individual is the Keys of Heaven, and since the teaching of It binds and looses things on earth and is so sanctioned in Heaven, then others must have had the Keys before they were passed on to Peter, for the earth, the church, and Heaven-revealed Truth existed before Peter’s time.

   Take for example Noah.  He declared that there was to be a flood, that everything outside of the ark which he was building would perish, and that everything that entered into it would live.  Then the fact that Heaven sent the flood immediately after Noah preached of it is proof in itself that that which Noah bound on earth was bound in Heaven also.  Peter, you, see, was not the first to be given the Keys of Heaven.

   After Noah, we shall see that the Keys were passed on to Abraham: since that which was to be bound or loosed on earth had to be bound or loosed in Heaven, the three messengers from heaven consulted Abraham concerning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  It was then covenanted that if there be ten righteous persons in the city where Lot lived they should not destroy it.  And so it was.

  Logically, after Abraham the Keys should have been passed on to Isaac: Isaac ruled that Jacob should receive the promised blessings even though by birthright they were to be Esau’s.  And in spite of the fact that Jacob obtained the promised blessings by a fraud, Heaven still sanctioned that which Isaac bound on earth — Jacob became the progenitor of Christ.

   Thus it is that down through the line of Jacob came the Lord, and thus it is that Jacob’s descendants inherited the Promised Land.  Having in possession the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, Jacob at the closing hours of his life decreed that Manasseh’s birthright should be given to Ephraim; to this Joseph protested by endeavoring to persuade his father to put his right hand on Manasseh’s head (Gen. 48:17-19), but what Jacob bound on earth was bound in Heaven, for years later, after the death of Solomon, the tribe of Ephraim, not of Manasseh, ruled the kingdom of Israel.  We see, then, that what Jacob bound on earth was also bound in Heaven.

   Contemporaneously with Jacob, Joseph by interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream bound that there should be seven years of plenty, and seven years of famine.  Thus it was that Joseph’s decree was carried out (bound) by Heaven.

   And Moses said, “If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the Lord hath not sent me.  But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord.” Num. 16:29, 30.

   Moses’ decree was bound in Heaven, for “the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.” Num. 16:32.

   The Keys of Kingdom you see, passed along from one generation to another — from the Patriarchs to the Prophets, to the Apostles, and on down to our day.  For instance, about three score years ago the founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination declared that the General Conference was no longer Heaven’s highest authority on earth (General Conference Bulletin, 34th. Session, Vol. 4, Extra #1, April 3, 1901, pg. 25, Cols. 1 & 2). 

And thus it was that when the time arrived for the additional message (which gives power and force to the Third Angel’s Message — “Early Writings,” p. 277) to be proclaimed to the church, it came, not through the General Conference but through the laity.  This is proof positive that the Keys with which Peter was invested are at work today.

   Plainly, then, the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven are in the hands of those who have the Truth for the day.  Consequently just as plain as Heaven can make it, the Truth stands out that the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven today have passed from the hands of the General Conference to the hands of the General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists, as verily as they passed from the Sanhedrin to Peter in the days of Christ’s first Advent.  So it is that Truth’s decree on earth today is the decree in Heaven.”  

Another story is found in (2 Kings 4:6-37). An intriguing story of Elisha, the succeed-er of Elijah. He declared a wish for a woman , because of her great kindness to him. She begat a son from her very old husband after Elisha’s promise, then later Elisha resurrected this son. What a beautiful example of the  keys from heaven bestowed on Elisha, God’s servant!

So in closing, let us  understand just what the Lord will do through His servants. The 144,000 will do His will and as such be given the keys from heaven “to bind or loose” on  earth. Our only hope now, is that we prepare ourselves and walk daily in His straight and narrow path. The cost now is serious. If we have a spot (cherished sin) it must go.

“The soul temple must not be defiled by any loose or unclean practice. Those whom I will acknowledge in the courts of heaven must be without spot or wrinkle” (Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p.969). The acknowledgement will include those keys aforementioned.

 In order to be among His faithful, we must forego all worldliness as much as possible. We must hate sin, plead with our brothers and sisters to know His truth,  and love the Lord with all our hearts. Then the Lord will hold nothing back from us. There will be implicit trust between Heaven and His people, amen.

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2 Responses to “Bound and Loosed in Heaven”

  1. mahargtrebla2 Says:

    Right on, bro. God Bless.

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    To Him be the Glory! Good to hear from you my faithful bro. Like we said from the beginning, “We’re going to be truckin for Jesus.”

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