Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.


Question: Matthew 16: 19 reads:


“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.”


What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven and power to bind and loose that Jesus here

promises to give to the Apostle Peter?


Answer: The word key in the Scriptures symbolizes that one who has been duly authorized, has

the power to open something. We sometimes hear the expression, “He holds the key to the

situation.” Peter was not given the keys of authority as to who would gain an entrance into

heaven or not, but was given the privilege and authority of opening the message and work of the

Gospel to the Jews, and later to the Gentiles.


He used the first key on the day of Pentecost, after the anointing of the holy spirit, when he

opened the way for the Jews to enter into Christ’s Church, the Kingdom of heaven class

(Acts 2: 14-40). Three thousand Jews entered in through this opened door on that very day (verse



The second key was used three and one-half years later, when Peter opened the way for the

Gentiles to enter into Christ’s Church. The Lord sent him to preach the Gospel to Cornelius and

his household, who, accepting the message, and believing, became the first Gentile converts

(Acts 10).


Thus we see that Peter used the “keys” referred to in this Scripture, and there will not be any

occasion for them to ever be used again.


The ability to “bind” and “loose,” on earth and in heaven, while here expressed to Peter

specially, applied to all of the Apostles. They were guided by divine inspiration, making their

teachings infallible and authoritative. Whatever they bound upon the Church as duty or

obligation, was bound in heaven; and whatever they loosed on earth, such as the obligations of

the Mosaic law, were loosed in heaven.





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