Matthew 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Matthew 16:18b Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

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.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.


MEMORY VERSE: Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. —II Peter 1:10-11


CENTRAL THOUGHT: Those who have received Christ and heard His Word are given insight into the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven and keys of access into the authority and power of the kingdom of heaven. For those who are diligent unto the end, access into the eternal aspect of the kingdom of heaven is abundantly given through Christ.




Matthew 16:18b “Gates of hell”: Hades, or death. “All the powers of Hades, all the forces of destruction that attack and in the long run overpower other societies, should attack, but not overpower” Christ’s church (Ellicot’s Commentary for English Readers). “The machinations and powers of the invisible world” (Adam Clarke, Clarke’s Commentary).




Today in our lesson we are looking at different places in the Gospels where Jesus shared special things concerning the kingdom of heaven with His disciples.

In the first instance, Jesus had been teaching the multitudes using parables, or dark sayings. Later, the disciples questioned him on the meaning of His stories, wondering why He wasn’t explaining them more clearly to all the people. Jesus explained that there were qualities of spirit that not all people had; only those who believed in Him had the privilege of being given spiritual vision and understanding into the mysteries of the kingdom. Jesus proved this by example; spiritual understanding was given, not just to the twelve disciples, but even to Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, a Pharisee and a rich man, because they received His Word and sought after the kingdom of God (John 3:1-21 and Mark 15:43).

The second example is what Jesus said to His disciples after Peter had emphatically stated that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Jesus let him know that His heavenly Father had revealed this truth to him, and upon this rock—the foundation of Christ, the Truth, revealed to the heart—He would build His church. Against His church—those to whom Christ had been revealed—even the gates of hell could not prevail.

He then made a very important statement, which I believe is at the heart of this series of Bible lessons. “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven…” A lot of different teaching, as to what kind of authority Christ meant by this statement, has been offered down through the years. But for this series, let me offer this: keys give access. They allow entrance. What has Jesus given, in the establishing of His kingdom on earth, in the instructions He gave concerning how a man might enter the kingdom, and how it might enter him; in the insights into the mysteries, riches, power and authority of the kingdom and in the doctrines and commandments of the kingdom—the full declaration of the way of salvation?

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




  1. He That Hath: What do you think a man must have before more is given to him?
  2. Enquiring Prophets: What did the disciples of Jesus know and understand that the Old Testament prophets could only dimly see?
  3. Upon This Rock: To what rock did Jesus refer?
  4. All the Power of the Enemy: Does this verse (Luke 10:19) give clues as to what Jesus meant by the binding and loosing in earth and heaven? What else could be included?
  5. Entrance: What kind of entrance into the eternal kingdom is given to those who are diligent?






We asked a question in the Lesson Background to which we will now provide a possible answer. As was said, many interpretations have been put upon the statement about the keys of the kingdom, but there are some things I believe have been brought to light through the lessons on the Beatitudes.

In the first lessons, the humble in spirit are blessed because the kingdom of heaven is given unto them. They possess it. It is theirs.

In the next, they that mourn—the ones who humbly repent and seek for forgiveness— are granted the comfort of pardon and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Paul tells the Colossians that we are translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, in Whom we have redemption and forgiveness.

Afterward we learned that the meek would inherit the earth; the land of promise, which we discovered is the life, conquest and victory of the Holy Spirit.

We also found out that those who hunger and thirst—earnestly seek—after righteousness would be filled. This also pointed to the satisfaction and fullness which comes through the Spirit of God.

Three more requisites—being merciful, pure in heart, and being peacemakers—are listed, which have to do with the ongoing work and witness of the Spirit-filled children of the kingdom of God.

The last beatitudes promise the comfort, power and authority of the kingdom to those who are persecuted; the godly who suffer with and for Christ.

Jesus has given these keys to us as His disciples. These, among other keys, such as believing faith, importuning prayer and fasting, give entrance and access into the wealth, treasure, mystery, power and authority of the kingdom of heaven, which is “righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17). They are the doctrines of full salvation that admit or forbid those who would enter the kingdom of God.

What a wonderful inheritance is ours through the Holy Spirit! What a blessed people we are! What a kingdom!

“We possess it right here, when He saves from all sin; And it will last while the ages shall roll.”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




We all know of people who have an extra house key hidden outside their homes. It’s in an inconspicuous place by necessity but it would be accessible to anyone if they only knew where to look. It may require a bit of work—lifting a rock or digging in the flowerbed. But once you have the key you then have full access to all that’s inside the home. But not just anyone knows where the key is. That knowledge is only shared with the people with whom there is a relationship—family or friends.

Though plain and simple, some scriptural teachings are shrouded in mystery. Though they are accessible to everyone, not everyone can see them. The key is the condition of the heart that establishes a relationship with God. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

Humility is a key that has unlocked a multitude of blessings down through the ages. It gives ownership to the kingdom and unlimited access. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. When you meet the conditions, the kingdom is yours and you are given the keys. You are not a guest. You are a member of the family of God and what belongs to the King belongs to His children.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. As a child of God, you have become an heir of God and joint-heir with Christ. Your treasures are there. Your heart is there. The things that are of value to you are there. It’s your home—your eternal home. Does it not make sense to have access to the keys?

—Bro. Darrell Johnson