Answers to Correspondents: Keys of the Kingdom; Isa. 53:2 Wrong Translation?

Matthew 16:19  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
26. Q.-What is taught by " the keys of the kingdom of heaven" which the Lord gave to Peter in Matt. 16.7 Have they anything to do with baptism and the house of God?
H. F.
A.-The thought conveyed by "the keys" is that of 'opening a door into a place. (See Judg. 3:2525And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlor; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth. (Judges 3:25); Rev. 2:18;9. 1.) The place here in question is that of the kingdom of heaven-the sphere on earth where the authority or rule of heaven is owned. (Comp. Dan. 4:2626And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. (Daniel 4:26).) This answers to 'Christendom where the name and authority of the Lord Jesus are acknowledged. While the Lord Jesus was on earth, the kingdom of heaven was only announced as " at hand;" but it was actually set up after His death, and consequent upon His ascension to the right hand of God in heaven. The opening of this kingdom the Lord committed to Peter, and there being "keys" given to him, instead of only a key, conveys the thought of the key being used twice, or of the door of the kingdom being opened more than once. This accords with the history of the setting up of the kingdom of heaven given us in Acts. In the second chapter Peter used the key to admit the Gentiles, and in the tenth chapter to admit the Gentiles; and from these two distinct epochs the door of the kingdom has been open alike to Jews and Gentiles. In both the instances referred to, the actual and visible means by which the Jew and Gentile respectively passed out of Judaism and out of Gentilism, and were admitted into the kingdom of heaven, was that of baptism.
Another aspect of Christendom is that of the house of God, or the sphere in which the Holy Ghost dwells; and thus the kingdom of heaven-the sphere of the profession of Christ's name, and the house of God-the place where God in Spirit dwells, being co-extensive, baptism admits outwardly to both at the same time. In the one case the Lord Jesus is before the mind, as the King in heaven; in the other, the Holy Ghost, as dwelling here on earth. This last must not be confounded with the action of the Holy Ghost as having baptized all true believers in the Lord Jesus into one body, united to Him as the Head in heaven;' the Lord Jesus is not King of the body, nor does the Holy Ghost dwell in the body.
The aspect of baptism as admitting into the sphere of Christian profession, must not be confounded with that spoken of in Col. 3:1212Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (Colossians 3:12), where it is the sign and expression of our death and resurrection with Christ, according to the power of God that raised Him from the dead, vitally laid hold of by faith in those who are baptized. The baptism is the same, but it is looked at in connection with the faith that truly lays hold of what the sign expresses. C. W.
A.-We do not know that the translation is wrong, but we have learned from competent authority that the construction of the Hebrew conveys the thought (contrary to the interpretation usually put upon it) that the " before him " refers to the Israelite, not to Jehovah; the tender plant and the root out of the dry ground presenting to the natural eye weakness rather than strength of the arm of the Lord, and hence Christ was despised and rejected because of His seeming weakness. and emptiness. c. w.