Letting God rule in every area of your life.
[Steve Myers] I had a challenging situation happen to me awhile back. I actually was traveling here to Cincinnati and checking into my hotel. I was traveling here by myself, and as I had all of my stuff with me, I was at the desk, the lady was checking me in, making sure to take care of all of my needs. And as I got finished she gave me the key. They had one of these credit card kind of keys. You've seen those types of things? And so she ran it through her special little machine there on her desk and handed it to me and pointed out where my room was. And so I was off and running to the room. It was kind of late. I was tired – ready to relax a little bit. So I had to walk all the way down this hallway, through the doors, around down the next hallway to the elevator where I could take the elevator up to the sixth floor. Then, of course, my room is not the first room on the sixth floor. It's all the way down at the other end. So I walk all the way down to the end of the sixth floor, and I get out my key, put it through this little lock – there's a little slot there you put it through – and the light is red. Oh no! So I thought, “Well, I probably put it in here wrong.” So I flipped the key over and tried it that way – still red. So I tried it a few more times. It's not going to work. So I thought, “Oh no, it didn't work.” So I thought, “Okay, let's go all the way back down.” So I walked all the way down the hallway, got on the elevator, took the elevator down, walked all the way down that hallway down there, all the way around, back to the desk and said, “You know, my key isn't working.” “I'm sorry, sir,” she said, “let me make sure we've got it right.” So she got a different key. She ran it through her little thing. She said, “Here you go. This should be fine. It should be working. It should not be a problem.”
So I said, “Oh great.” So I grabbed all my stuff, got my suitcase, started pulling it down the hall, got all the way down back to the elevator, up the elevator, all the way down the sixth floor, got to the room, pulled out the key, put it through the slot. It's red again. Unbelievable! So I flipped the key over, thinking, “Well I must have just…I got it mixed up.” I turned it the other way – nothing. So I tried it again, like thirty or forty more times, and it wouldn't work. So I said, “Argh!”
So I walked back down the hallway, get to the elevator, down the elevator, down the hall, back to the front desk. I said, “My key doesn't work. I don't understand why it's not working. There must be something wrong with the lock, or something wrong with the keys, or maybe your little machine.”
And she looked at me and said, “Well, what did you do with it?” I said, “I went up there and I put the key in...” She said, “No, no, I don't mean that. After I gave you the key, what did you do with the key?” I said, “I put it in my pocket.” She said, “Oh, okay. Is there anything in your pocket?” I said, “The key.” “No, other than the key, what's in your pocket?” I reached in there and well, my phone is in my pocket. And she said, “Oh, that's why your key isn't working!” I said, “Well, what do you mean?” She said, “Your phone battery is erasing the information on the key that I'm giving you and so that's why you can't get in the room!”
I was like, okay, great. So she gives me another key and she says put this in your other pocket. So I put it in the other pocket, go down the hall, up the elevator, all the way down the other hall, put it in there and it's green! I get to go in. Yay! Finally! Finally made it. I didn't realize it could be so complicated just trying to get into a room – at least nobody else was in there so that was good.
But I was erasing my own key and couldn't get access into my room. Now the reason I tell you that story is that I was reminded of that story when I was reading through this passage the other day. And this passage is over in Revelation 3:7 Revelation 3:7And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things said he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David, he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens;
American King James Version×. And believe it or not, it's a passage about a key. This is a little bit different kind of key, it's not a Holiday Inn key. But it's a different kind of a key that gives us some information about what's happening, not only down the line, but also something that kind of hints at something back in the past as well.
In Revelation 3:7 Revelation 3:7And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things said he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David, he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens;
American King James Version× – a pretty familiar section of scripture – here's where we have the various letters to the churches and this is the one that we love to identify with. Because it's about the church in Philadelphia and there are wonderful traits about this church. So we like to identify and say this is us. This is me. This is who I want to be. And so we have this message that is given to the church at Philadelphia. And notice the way that it's described here in the beginning of that letter in verse 7. It says:
Revelation 3:7 Revelation 3:7And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things said he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David, he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens;
American King James Version×- To the angel in the church in Philadelphia write; These things says he who is Holy. He who is True. He who has the Key of David. He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.
Now, of course, that's talking about Jesus Christ. He's the one who is Holy. He's the one that is True. And He's the one who has this key. And this isn't a little credit card key, I don't think. It's something different. In fact, it's interesting that this phrase, the key of David, only happens here in scripture in that exact order – the key of David – only once – right here in the New Testament. So I couldn't help thinking, “Well, what about this key? Why is that important? Why is it mentioned, especially in connection with the Philadelphia church and what is it unlocking that couldn't be shut?”
So I thought it might be interesting to talk about this for a little bit – to look at this example of this key and maybe the door that it opens. How can we understand more meaning behind what's mentioned here in Revelation 3 – this key of David? And I think that answer lies in the metaphor of the key in the door.
Let's think about that for a minute. And maybe just thinking about what a key does might be a good place to start. If you think of a key, maybe not as a noun, but as an adjective. As an adjective, what is a key? Well, this is key to winning this football game. Well, that doesn't mean like the key you open your door with. That means it's important. “Here, this is what's significant.” “This is the way – the fundamental – way we are going to win this game.” Or, “We are going to do this job.” This is something that is necessary. It's key. It's crucial. It's important. It's significant. And I think that's not a bad place to start. But there's also a connection, I think, to the noun as well. The key that does open that door.
So, here's a dumb question. What does a key do? That noun key. The one that you hold in your hand that…well, it's supposed to unlock something. It's supposed to unlock, in this case, a door. And the Holy One, that's True, He holds this key. And what door is that key to? Well, Revelation implies Jesus Christ is holding this key, and it's the door to the Kingdom – the door to the Kingdom of God. Christ, it says, has set an open door – set us an open door to the Kingdom. But he says He can also shut that door. But nobody else can. Nobody else can open it. Nobody else can shut it. And it is also kind of interesting, a verse later he says, there is something about works that are connected here. He says:
Revelation 3:8 Revelation 3:8I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.
American King James Version× – I know your works – in Revelation 3:8 Revelation 3:8I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.
American King James Version×.
So, are there any other connections in scripture that could help us gain a little bit more of an insight into what that phrase, and what that key that Christ is holding, is all about? And you guessed it! There is. There is! There is an interesting connection to that phrase, the key of David. A similar phrase is found in the Old Testament. So, if you'll turn with me over to Isaiah 22. It isn't exactly the same because, like I mentioned before, this phrase the key of David is only in Revelation. But a similar phrase with an extra word is found in Isaiah 22.
Isaiah 22 gives us a story about a man who had gained a lot of influence in Judah. He wanted to be like the king. He was supposed to be the king's helper. He was supposed to be the king's steward. But he had gained a lot of influence – a lot of authority. He had taken things upon himself that he shouldn't have. And so we find God talking to this individual. His name is Shebna. Shebna was supposed to be the king's steward. And yet it seems like he was kind of playing both sides. Judah was under threat. It was a mess. It was towards the end of Judah as a nation and Assyria was on the doorstep. But it seems that, maybe, Shebna was in cahoots with the Assyrians. And so maybe that's part of what's playing here. He's kind of a double agent here in some ways and yet just in it for himself.
And so notice what God says.
Isaiah 22:15 Isaiah 22:15Thus said the Lord GOD of hosts, Go, get you to this treasurer, even to Shebna, which is over the house, and say,
American King James Version×. Thus says the Lord God of Hosts. Go proceed to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the house and say…. That's kind of interesting. Shebna is over the house. What house is he over? What household is he over? What does he have some authority over? What particular house?
V-16 - What have you here, and whom have you here, that you have hewn a sepulcher here, as he who hews himself a sepulcher on high, who carves a tomb for himself in a rock?
You read that and go, “What does that have to do with anything?” Well, a sepulcher can be a tomb. It can be a grave. But it can be like some of the graves that we used to see in New Orleans – that it wasn't just a grave, but this grave became a monument, and it became a representation of somebody's strength and somebody's authority and somebody's power – so that, even after they were gone, people would look upon this tomb and say, “Wow! Was that a man! What an awesome guy he was!”. And this Shebna has taken upon himself to create a monument to himself. And that's why it says, “…he carves a tomb for himself…” in a rock. Instead of serving the king, he's serving himself. So what's God's perspective?
V-17 – Indeed the Lord will throw you away violently, oh mighty man and shall surely seize you. So God's going to take care of him.
Isaiah 22:20 Isaiah 22:20And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:
American King James Version×– skip down just a couple verses. And then God throws him away – removes him.
V-20 – Then it shall be that day, I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah. I'll clothe him with your robe and strengthen him with your belt. He says: I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and house of Judah.
So, we find Shebna is going to be replaced and we find that Eliakim will be the one to take his place. Here's an honest man. Here's a faithful man that will execute his responsibility in the right way. So he will be over the house of Judah. He will be helping, and actually serving the king.
He also says that in Isaiah 22:22 Isaiah 22:22And the key of the house of David will I lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.
American King James Version×. Here's our connection now to Revelation 3. He says:
V-22 – The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder. So what house was Shebna over? What house is Eliakim over? Well, the house of David. The house of David – David's rulership, in that sense. And so, he's laying on his shoulder this key of the house of David. Notice the connection to Revelation 3 again. So he shall open and no one shall shut – talking about Eliakim. And he shall shut and no one shall open. I'll fasten him as a peg in a secure place and he will become a glorious throne to his father's house.
So here's a man who's going to do what's right. He's going to use the key that he's been given in a right way – in a righteous way. In ancient times keys were used, I suppose, a lot in the same way that we use them today. This steward would have had the responsibility to control the gates to the city. He could determine who was entering and who was leaving. His use of the key would determine who comes and who goes. Well, we do that today. When we use a lock and a key we control who has access. I think that's an important key as we think and that's something that's significant, something that is important. Something that's is important is we consider this key of David. This key of David has something to do with access – with access – with the ability to have admission or the right of entry. So we can enter. We can have admission. We can have access – Revelation 3 says: with the key of David. And that's kind of the sense where he's using this here as Eliakim replaces Shebna. God says unfaithful Shebna is out and he's a steward. He was over that house of David – David's descendants. He controlled, oftentimes a steward in those days would control the finances so he would have some effect on the treasury. I suppose in some ways it's like a modern prime minister. He's not the head of the country, but he's supposed to work under the head of the country like a chief of staff. Or maybe today we might think of a secretary of state.
So as a steward that was supposed to be his job. But instead of executing his job in a righteous way, he took it upon himself, he wanted to make this great monument to himself. He wanted to control all access and he thought that he could do everything that he wanted. But God said, “No, that's not acceptable. There is a better way.” Ultimately, God controls access and gives that right to those who will do their job in a righteous way.
Now that is kind of a sideline. It is interesting that archaeologists have actually found a little fragment of a tomb that seems to point the way to this sepulcher. This monument that Shebna tried to build for himself. It's got a Hebrew inscription on it from Hezekiah's time, which would have been this time period, and the interesting part is where they found this. It was in an area of Jerusalem that was easily seen from anywhere in the city, which seems to fit this idea of being high. “Wow, look up there! Look at how great Shebna would have been!” And that's what they found on this inscription. It was partially destroyed, but the name that seems to be on it might be connected with this particular individual – this Shebna. They found the name. It ended – it wasn't just Sheba, as we read in our English Bible – but there was Y H on the end, which would have an indication of yahu – not like yahoo.com, like yippie yahoo – not that kind of yahoo. But would be connected to God's name, the YHWH, the tetragrammaton – God's name – the Eternal, we might say in English. So they think it was probably Shebanyahu would have been his name and Shebna was a shortened version of that. So they actually found this partial fragment that has yahu, Shebanyahu, would have carried the meaning of the prosperer is Yahweh – is God – God prospers. And that's not unusual. Even today they still use that in people's names. You may be able to think of somebody in Israel today that has that ending to their name. A guy nobody has ever heard of – Netanyahu. Netanyahu means God's gift – a gift of Yahweh – . God's gift of Yahweh.
So it doesn't seem too much of a stretch that this Shebna was a real man, who really did these things, and God did judge him, and replaced him down the line. And, of course, you look at that situation and say, “What's his problem? What was his problem?” Well, he wanted to make himself something. It was pride. Pride governed his thinking and he was replaced with a man named Eliakim, who God gave this position of honor – a position of trust, a position where faithfulness was something that had to be a part of doing his job. And he tells us in Isaiah here that God would place on Eliakim's shoulder – do you see that back here in Isaiah 23:22 Isaiah 23:22
American King James Version×? – place on his shoulder the key to the house of David. And that connection, then, with Revelation – No man can shut, and when he shuts no man can open.
It is interesting that there seems to be a tradition – some of the scholars feel – that someone who was a steward at that day would actually have special clothes – maybe special robes, or special garments. And a steward – someone of an important position in the city – would actually have embroidered on that garment a golden key. Because Eliakim would be kind of like the gate keeper. He would be the one that would control access. He would have the power or the authority to decide who gets to see the king – who can come before him. Well, the steward would be the one in charge, and so, maybe, this embroidered key on the shoulder was even a literal thing – that upon his shoulder was that key to the house of David, that he was ruling over in terms of the authority – that the king had given to him.
And so I suppose it is a lot like a military person might have. I mean you could recognize who the general is, or who the colonel is, because of the embroidery that they would have on their uniforms. And so it seems that, perhaps, this steward would have a special embroidery that would be easily recognizable. So you knew who was the man in charge. And so, as a gatekeeper, he controlled access. He controlled admission, especially for those who would come before the king.
Of course, you've got the two sides. You've got Shebna – bad guy – in it for himself. Eliakim – good guy – did things in a righteous way. Can you think of other examples that might have been in the Bible of men who wanted to control access to God – control access to the kingdom? Well, there are a couple of examples. There is an interesting one over in Matthew 23:13 Matthew 23:13But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in.
American King James Version×. It's really the example I think we're all familiar with, but thinking about it in these terms, it might not immediately come to mind. But notice the connection between what he's doing here with the power to control access and this key. Matthew 23:13 Matthew 23:13But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in.
American King James Version×– we find Christ not talking to a Shebna, but to some of the leaders of that day and, in Matthew 23:13 Matthew 23:13But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in.
American King James Version×, who were those that were trying to control access? The scribes. The scribes.
Matthew 23:13 Matthew 23:13But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in.
American King James Version×– Woe to you scribes! Oh, we're not just limited to them. And Pharisees. You hypocrites! You shut up the kingdom of heaven against men. For you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. You see, they were being like Shebna. They were taking that authority to themselves. So here's Christ Himself saying this – that they were locking people out. And you know how they did that in that day? Saying, “Don't listen to that Messiah. Don't listen to that Jesus. He's nothing. We're the leaders. You listen to us. Don't pay any attention to His gospel. Don't listen to His word. You've got to focus on what we're about. We want our power. We want our authority.” And so the scribes and the Pharisees took that upon themselves, like a Shebna. In fact, they weren't the only ones. Scribes, Pharisees. A little bit later in Luke 11:52 Luke 11:52Woe to you, lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in you hindered.
American King James Version×, notice there is another group here that is mentioned. In chapter 11, the book of Luke, right near the end of the chapter, here is a quotation from Christ again – same thing is going on but a different group of people controlling access, or at least trying to control access. Notice who he refers to in this case. It's not the scribes and the Pharisees this time.
Luke 11:52 Luke 11:52Woe to you, lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in you hindered.
American King James Version×– Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You didn't enter in yourselves and those who were entering you hindered. So once again we see that connection to that ancient Shebna – that they didn't want the people going to Christ. They wanted the glory. They wanted the attention. They wanted to control who was in charge. They wanted the power. They wanted to build their own monuments to themselves. And forget this Christ. You don't want to go to Him.
And so we see it has a lot to do – this key – with access, and the key of the knowledge of salvation – what the Kingdom of God is all about. And so, as we begin to think about this key of David, it has to have something to do with admission – with access.
I think it's also interesting that as we talk about these people – the scribes and the Pharisees and the lawyers – we could probably throw the Sadducees in there as well, if we wanted to. What did they want to hang on to? They wanted to have the authority. And this key of David has a connection to authority. So that's a second aspect that we need to think about.
Yes, it was about access – about admission – about the right to enter. But at the same time there is a connection to authority here as well – the authority to administer. The Sadducees wanted that. The Pharisees wanted to be in control. They wanted to be the big shots. They were the religious leaders of the day, not this upstart Jesus. And so as we begin to think about that, think about this connection to Shebna and then the guy that replaced him – the righteous one – the one that was faithful. You're going to see there is a connection between putting one system away that isn't faithful, that isn't righteous, and replacing it with a system that is good, and is right – that administers justice in a godly way. But who is going to administer justice in a godly way? Well we know, ultimately, that's going to be Jesus Christ. And so this key of David has this connection to authority. And ultimately, Christ has the royal right of authority. I'll bet you might say, “Wait a second, why would Christ be just a steward? Why would He just be like a Prime Minister or something like that? I mean, He's going to be our returning King, isn't He?” Well, I think, if you imagine it as maybe this chief of staff, or secretary of state, as a steward. Is it fair to say that Christ could be considered the steward? How about the steward of the Kingdom? I think we could imagine that, because who would be the ultimate ruler? I mean, ultimately, what is Christ going to do with the Kingdom? He's going to give it to the Father.
So, in a sense, as Christ returns and the millennium is set up, there is coming a time after that that Christ is going to deliver the Kingdom into the Father's hands. The Father is going to come down with the new Jerusalem. And so, until that time, Christ is steward over the household. I think there is a connection there, as well, with happened even in ancient Israel. Think about that for a moment. When God finally said: “All right. You can have a King. Israel. Fine, you won't listen to Me. You can have a King.”
When Saul was established and chosen, it's interesting that God didn't name him king in the sense that he was an ultimate ruler type of king. Originally, in Samuel, you'll find that he was named commander. He was the commander and, in a sense, the one that would rule over things for the ultimate King. Because, really, who was the ultimate king of Israel? Who was supposed to be the ultimate king of Israel? Well, it was supposed to be the One who became Jesus Christ. That was supposed to be Israel's ultimate leader. He was the one who was supposed to be in ultimate authority. And so, as time went on we get to the time of Shebna, David's dynasty – the descendants of David – were ruling as stewards for the real King, which was supposed to be God Himself. And so no wonder then he calls this the Key of David, because he was supposed to have this key as he rules for Christ. And ultimately then for the Father.
So we see a Eliakim was a type of Christ. Ultimately, Christ would replace the systems of this world. And ultimately, where we see the connection with authority is in the inheritance of Christ. Think about what Christ will inherit. In Daniel 7:13 Daniel 7:13I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
American King James Version×we have an indication of the inheritance that awaits Jesus Christ. Let's notice that. We're going to jump into the middle of a vision that Daniel had and we will see this connection with authority – the connection with the Kingdom – the connection between the steward of the Kingdom and with the ultimate King. Let's notice that in Daniel 7:13 Daniel 7:13I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
American King James Version×– Daniel writes:
Daniel 7:13 Daniel 7:13I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
American King James Version×– I was watching in the night visions. Daniel has this vision – kind of like a dream, I guess you might be able to say. He says: Behold, one like the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. So he's seeing the return of Jesus Christ. He's seeing this. And then he goes on: He came to the Ancient of Days and they brought Him near before Him. So we find this representation of Jesus Christ coming before God the Father, the Ancient of Days.
V-14 – Then to Him – talking about Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, coming on the clouds – To Him was given dominion and glory and the kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him and His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away. And His Kingdom, the one which shall not be destroyed.
So herein we find God the Father giving the authority to Jesus Christ, giving Him dominion as He returns to Earth to establish the Kingdom of God. Christ is given the authority. Christ, in a sense, inherits that throne of David – that throne of David that would continue to that time.
Over in Luke 1 it says it maybe a little bit plainer. Maybe we could skip over there really quickly. Luke 1:32 Luke 1:32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David:
American King James Version×. Let's notice that. Here is the angel speaking to Mary before Jesus is even born, and she is given insight into this very concept. Let's notice what the angel tells Mary. Luke 1:31 Luke 1:31And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.
American King James Version×says:
Luke 1:31 Luke 1:31And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.
American King James Version×– You'll conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father, David.
So Christ inherits the throne, has the authority and will be administering the government. He will be administering things by authority. He will have the throne. And so even David himself will have a throne, won't he, in the Kingdom? We know the Bible says that David will be King over Israel under Christ. We are told that. And so, no wonder why these connections kind of bring us together. David is given authority over the house of Israel. And it is interesting, also, to think about the house of Israel today, which is the church – the church. So Christ has the key, gave this key to David, he's going to inherit the throne of David, and once again, then, we find that exhibited in the Kingdom of God. And ultimately, that authority? He's going to share He's going to share that authority with who? With us. With us.
So if you quickly jump back to Revelation 3 where we began. Let's notice just a few verses down.
Revelation 3:21 Revelation 3:21To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
American King James Version×– Notice the authority that's represented here as well. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne. So, Christ is going to share His authority with us – with those who are part of His Kingdom and His family. He says: As I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. And so we see there is this connection, then, to the key of David and the royal right of Jesus Christ – that He has authority and He's ruling with authority that the Father has given Him. And of course, as you think about who has the right, you think about access, you think about authority. You can't have those kinds of things without having a government. And the key of David certainly has a connection to government. I think that's a third aspect that we have to consider as we identify this key of David.
There's a connection to government here. If you're ruling and reigning, if you're controlling access to the king, there has to be government. Think about the first example we talked about – with Shebna and Eliakim. Eliakim had a righteous perspective on ruling – a righteous perspective on serving. Christ Himself was designated to be the ultimate fulfillment of the right kind of government. And if you think about that type of connection, probably Isaiah 9 is a passage that would come to mind. Let's look at what Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah 9:6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
American King James Version×tells us about this connection to government, because it puts all these things together. We will put access together. We will put the authority together. We are going to put the throne in here with the government. That's ruling as well. It all comes together here in Isaiah 9.
Let's notice a prophecy here of Jesus Christ – not only His birth, but ultimate rulership. Let's see the ultimate representation of government as spoken of here. It says:
Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah 9:6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
American King James Version×– For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. A lot of times we will stop right there, but this – the next part – we will miss the connection if we don't keep reading. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end and He will reign on David's throne and over His Kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. He says the zeal of the Lord the Almighty will accomplish this.
And so we find the righteous government of God is going to be administered with authority, and access to that government is controlled, ultimately, by Jesus Christ. And David's throne is connected to that. It will continue on and ultimately into the Kingdom of God. And it's also interesting, there is this connection back to Shebna and Eliakim. He talked about the shoulder back there in Isaiah 22 – talked about that golden key that might have been embroidered on their robe. Did you notice any connection here in Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah 9:6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
American King James Version×? It says: the government will be upon His shoulder. Could that have a connection back there to being the steward of God? I think it's kind of interesting. It may not be a direct connection, but I think it's a possibility. The government will be on Him. He will control access. He will be in authority. He will be like that representation – the ultimate representation of what Eliakim was supposed to be – because he has the key of David, not just some embroidered thing on his garment, but Christ ultimately holds that key. And Christ wants to give us that key so that we can rule with Him in His government. And He says here that there will just be no end to that government. So we have that opportunity, and much like David himself, that he refers to here, we always think of David as a man after God's own heart. You wonder how could David become a man after God's own heart. Even with all the struggles, the difficulties and the challenges that he went through in his life – the awful choices that he made. Ultimately, he became a man after God's own heart. How did he do that? I believe it has to do with what this passage is all about – that ultimately he had to come under God's authority. He had to come under God's government. He had to see himself for what he was and, instead of being king of himself, which he began to think, “I'm king, I can do what I want,” he had to realize there was authority over him. There was a government that he had to follow and so submit his life to.
And so it's really not any different with us. If we're to be men and women of God, if we're after God's own heart, we need that key. We need to come under His authority and live under His government. Because we know – Matthew 28 tells us – Christ has all authority. Remember after the crucifixion, after He was going to give the instructions of the great commission to go and baptize and preach and teach? He told the disciples that all authority had been given to Him. And He wants to share that with us.
2 Timothy describes it a little differently. Maybe we can notice what Paul told Timothy and see a connection here to this representation of government tied in with this key of David. 2 Timothy 2:11 2 Timothy 2:11It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
American King James Version×– Paul says:
2 Timothy 2:11 2 Timothy 2:11It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
American King James Version×– This is a faithful saying, for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. So we find out what government we have to come under. We have to come under His government. We have to put ourselves aside, live under the authority and government of God. He says: If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. We will have a part in that rulership. We will have a part of His authority. We will sit with Him on His throne. He says: if we deny Him, He will also deny us. If we are faithless, if we are like a Shebna, we are going to have trouble. We are going to have problems. He says He remains faithful. He can't deny Himself. He controls the ultimate access, because He has the authority. It is His government. It is the government of God. And so He's going to reign and rule and we're going to have that opportunity to reign with Him as well.
And so we find authority and government and access is all involved with this key. Of course as a ruler, there is another aspect. As a ruler, I think that connects with this key as well. You think about royalty even today. If you were to have a photograph of the queen, let's say. And it's an official photograph that's released. What do they look like? What does a sovereign look like in an official portrait or an official photograph? You don't usually see them sitting there relaxed in an easy chair in jeans and a tee shirt or something like that. Well, they've got their robes on. They've got their crown and usually, in their hand, they've got their scepter. They have their baton type looking thing. They're not going to twirl it like a cheerleader or anything like that, but they've got this scepter – the royal staff. And the royal staff is representative of their rulership. And there is a connection between the key of David and the scepter. The scepter – the concept of rulership. And of course, if you look back we see this connection to the house of David and the scepter as well. Let's notice it in Jeremiah 33. We will see how this key has a relation to the scepter as well. Jeremiah 33:14 Jeremiah 33:14Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
American King James Version×. We know that ultimately God chose David – as over the house of Judah, became king. Judah was the tribe that became the kingly tribe, I guess you could say – the scepter tribe, if you want to use that word. We see that reflected here in Jeremiah 33:14 Jeremiah 33:14Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
American King James Version×. Here we find a prophecy that wasn't fulfilled back in the day. We're looking to this, at least sections of this, down the line. Let's notice Jeremiah 33:14 Jeremiah 33:14Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
American King James Version×. He says:
Jeremiah 33:14 Jeremiah 33:14Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
American King James Version×– Behold the days are coming says the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. What good thing could that be? What was the promise?
Verse 15 – He says: In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a branch of righteousness. So we're following David's house—the rulership, the authority, the scepter. We're following that and he says something is going to grow up to that. And it says it's going to be a branch of righteousness – branch of righteousness. That's talking about not a tree or bush or anything like that. It's talking about an individual. He, it goes on, shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. Well, who could be the only one that could refer to? Well, only Christ ultimately can execute judgment and true righteousness.
Verse 16 – In those days Judah will be saved. Jerusalem will dwell safely and this is the name by which He will be called, the Lord of righteousness. For thus says the Lord, David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel. So we have a prophecy not only of the return of Christ but the fact that throne of David – that house of David – would always have a scepter, would always have a ruler, would always have someone on the throne until that branch would appear. Until the ultimate ruler would return to execute judgment and righteousness.
And so today, we have a connection with the house of David. You think of kings and queens today. Is there anyone that has a past that you can identify that connects back to the house of David? Well, I think we know that Queen Elizabeth has a connection that goes all the way back to King David. And so, this scepter promise is also a part that has a connection to this key. Christ holds this key, He's going to return, He's going to sit on that throne of David and ultimately fulfill this very promise.
And this promise is also connected over in the book of Hebrews. Let's notice Hebrews 1:8 Hebrews 1:8But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.
American King James Version×. Here's a little bit more of that connection that's made to illustrate the fact that this key is connected to the scepter, to the rulership, this concept that Christ will come back and establish His government. And yet, in the meantime, physically speaking, there will be a ruler over that throne, that still is on that throne when He comes back. And it's interesting it's specifically to the house of David. Of course when you think of the word back there in Jeremiah, the house of David means the lineage of David. It's not talking about a building or anything like that. It's talking about the family or the descendants of David. There would still be someone physically on David's throne.
Well here then, back in Hebrews, we find the ultimate conclusion to that throne, physically speaking. It's going to be changed.
Hebrews 1:8 Hebrews 1:8But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.
American King James Version×– But to the son he says: Father, speaking to Jesus Christ, Your throne, Oh God, is forever and ever. He says: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. Therefore, God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions – so, so much more than a physical king or queen. Ultimately that scepter belongs to Jesus Christ. The royal staff – the emblem of rulership – belongs to Christ and He's going to return. And it's connected with this key that He holds out.
So how do they all fit together? How do these things all fit together? Well, if you look at this right of entry – you look at admission or access with Jesus Christ Himself holding that key – that government on His shoulder – He controls access ultimately to the Kingdom of God. He has authority. He is going to establish the government of God on Earth. Only those that have the key can enter. Only by that key are we allowed to come into the presence of God. But ultimately what he says for those that have access…we flip back to Revelation 5. We see those that do have access have special promises here. Revelation 5:10 Revelation 5:10And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
American King James Version×says to those that have access – those that have this key – he says:
Revelation 5:10 Revelation 5:10And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
American King James Version×– God has made us kings and priests to our God and we shall reign on Earth.
So, how is it possible to reign with Christ? Only if He gives us access. Only if we have the key to unlock that door.
A couple of pages back—if we look at Revelation 2:26 Revelation 2:26And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
American King James Version×– part of the connection here. It says:
Revelation 2:26 Revelation 2:26And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
American King James Version×– He who overcomes and keeps my works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations. So we have to overcome. We have to keep His works – do His way.
Well, how can we do that? How can we live His way? How can we be under His authority? How can we be under His government? How can we have access? Well, it's only by utilizing the key of David. What is that key? We've got to have God's Holy Spirit. Without God's Holy Spirit there is no access. There is no access. There is no Kingdom. We can't live under His authority. We can't live His way. We can't do His will.
Over in Romans 8…it has a couple of powerful things to say about this key. Romans 8:9 Romans 8:9But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
American King James Version×. This whole section of Romans 6, 7, 8, such a phenomenal section of scripture that deals with becoming a true Christian – becoming Christ-like – putting away the old man – coming to baptism – repentance. All of those things are talked about in Romans 7 – six, seven and eight. Romans 8:14 Romans 8:14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
American King James Version×puts it right on the line. It says:
Roman 8:14 – As many as are lead by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. The only way of access is through God's Spirit.
You probably remember that famous passage that says it's not by might, it's not by power, but it's by My Spirit, says the Lord. That's over in Zechariah – Zechariah 4:6 Zechariah 4:6Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, said the LORD of hosts.
American King James Version×talks about that – not by might but by God's Spirit. That's the only way it's possible. And Christ has held out – Christ has given us – that key. If we repented and we're baptized and we claim Christ as our Savior, we've been given that key.
And in John 10:9 John 10:9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
American King James Version×we'll see that access as Christ speaks about that. Notice John 10:9 John 10:9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
American King James Version×. Here Christ gives several metaphors, but one that connects with this passage in Revelation 3.
John 10:9 John 10:9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
American King James Version×– He says: I am the door. So Christ is the door. How do we enter by the door? He says: If anyone enters by Me he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
We've got to have a key to get through that door and without God's Spirit you don't have access. You won't have authority because you haven't been under His government. You haven't chosen to live your life under His authority. And so we're challenged then in that way. And we've got to make sure that God has access to every area of our life. If we're going to enter the Kingdom we can't lock God out of any area of our life. Is there a part of your life that maybe you haven't let God in that part – that we've withheld admission to God? You see, we've got to open up. We've got to submit our lives fully to Him. He's given us the key of His Holy Spirit to open the door to the Kingdom. But He says, “I know your works. I know your works.” If we don't utilize that Spirit, if we don't respond to God's Spirit, if we don't react and change, I guess we change the locks, don't we? We change the locks to allow God access to every area of our life. So our thinking and our actions and our reactions are different. They've come under the authority of God. And we give God access to our thinking so that it changes. That's the key, isn't it? And it's only possible to do those things through God's Holy Spirit.
And so Christ is holding out that key. He's given us that key. Let's use it. We can't misplace it. Don't erase it. Don't erase it. Put it in a safe place and use it. A key is made to be used. So don't neglect the key. Just don't hang on to it and not use it. God's telling us here we've got to utilize His Spirit in every aspect of our life. Every way. Every way. In fact, if we go back to Revelation 3, He said that very thing – that this key was made to be used. Use God's Spirit. Live by God's Spirit – in every part of your life.
Revelation 3:11 Revelation 3:11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown.
American King James Version×– as he concludes this section of scripture, in the letters to the churches, he says:
Revelation 3:11 Revelation 3:11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown.
American King James Version×– Behold. I come quickly. Hold fast to what you have. Hang on to that key. Use that key. He says: That no one may take your crown. Use God's Spirit. He says: he that overcomes – and that's only going to happen by God's Spirit – he says: if you overcome I'll make him a pillar in the temple of my God and He shall go out no more. You won't need a key anymore! You'll be there. You will have access. He says: I'll write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God the New Jerusalem which comes down out of Heaven from my God and I will write on him my new name. He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
God has given us an awesome gift. He has blessed us with the key of David – His Holy Spirit. So let's utilize it. Let's be sure we are using it, because that is the only way to unlock the door to the Kingdom of God.