To the church in Philadelphia the Lord introduces Himself as the Holy One, the true One, the One who has the key of David, the One who opens and no one will shut, and shuts and no one opens (Rev. 3:4); the fact that Christ has the key of David is very meaningful, for this key opens the whole universe for God.
In Isa. 22:22-24 Jehovah’s word regarding Eliakim, who typifies Christ, is,
I will set the key of the house of David upon his shoulder – when he opens, no one will shut, when he shuts, no one will open. And I will set him as a peg into a sure place, and he will become a throne of glory for his father’s house. And they will hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all the smallest vessels, from the bowls to the jars.
Our Christ is the all-inclusive One, and God has put upon His shoulder the key of the house of God, the key of David; this key is the key of the treasury of the house of God (Isa. 39:2).
The house of God in the Old Testament was the people of Israel and today it is the church; the church today is both the house of God (1 Tim. 3:15) and the kingdom of God (Matt. 16:18-19; Rom. 14:17).
Christ has the key of David: He keeps all the treasures of the house of God, and He can unlock these treasures to His people for them to enjoy and be built up as His house and established as His kingdom. The treasures in God’s house are all the riches of Christ for our enjoyment.
Christ has been “driven” by God as peg, a nail, into a sure place – into the third heaven, where Christ was exalted by God after His resurrection (2 Cor. 12:2; Acts 2:33; 5:31).
Now Christ is in God, even in the third heavens, and He has the key of David; He has the authority to open and shut, and on Him all the believers – whether big or small – are “hanging”, that is, depending on and relying on.
Wow, Hallelujah, our Christ is the all-inclusive One driven into God, a sure place, and we are all in Him; He has the key of David to unlock and open the door of the treasury of God for us all to enjoy God and partake of His riches so that we may be built up as the house of God and be established as His kingdom on earth! How wonderful!
Christ Holds the Key of David: He built God’s House and He Established His Kingdom
What is the meaning of Christ holding or having the key of David? What is this key of David, and what does it signify?
If we go back to Genesis, we see that God created man in His image and according to His likeness, and He gave man dominion over everything; God wanted man to express Him in His image and represent Him with His dominion over all the earth.
However, man fell and lost God’s image and dominion; even though Adam, Abel, Enosh, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived in God’s presence and enjoyed something of God, experiencing Him in their daily life, they never fully recovered God’s image and dominion.
It is only when the temple was built in the city of Jerusalem that God’s image was seen and His dominion was established, at least to a certain extent. The temple was built by Solomon directly, but David was the one who, indirectly, built the temple – he prepared all the materials, made the plans, and set the order of the services in the temple.
When the temple was built in the city of Jerusalem we see two things: the temple signifies God’s expression and the city signifies God’s dominion; God had His expression and dominion expressed on earth among His people.
The key held by David, therefore, was the key to God’s entire dominion, and this dominion includes the whole universe – particularly mankind. David was one who fought the battle for God, established God’s kingdom, and made preparations for the building up of the temple.
To such one God gave a key, the key to God’s image and dominion; however, David was just a type – the real David is Christ, the One who is the greater David (Matt. 12:1-8). Christ came as God incarnated to establish God’s kingdom and to express God.
In His speaking, living, and work, He brought in the kingdom of God; He preached the gospel of the kingdom, He announced the kingdom of God, and He urged people to repent for the kingdom of the heavens is near.
Furthermore, Jesus Christ expressed God fully: He embodied God, He displayed God, and He expressed God in everything He was, He said, and He did. Christ as the greater David has built up the house of God – the real temple – and He has set up the kingdom of God for God to have a realm in which He can rule and reign.
Christ holds the key of David, that which represents God and opens the whole universe for God. Wow, Christ came and opened the whole universe for God: He made a way and created an entrance for man to come back to God’s original intention by repenting and coming into the kingdom of God so that they may become God’s corporate expression on earth.
Christ is the center of God’s economy: He expresses and represents God, and He holds the key to open everything in God’s dominion. In Him, through Him, and for Him all things were created, so that He may have the first place in all things (Col. 1:16). Wow, what a Christ!
Thank You Lord for coming as the Greater David to build the house of God, the church, and to establish the kingdom of God on earth. Hallelujah, our all-inclusive Christ has the key of David, and He opens the whole universe for God! Thank You, Lord, we now can enter through Christ into God’s kingdom to express Him and represent Him, and in Christ and by Christ we can fulfill God’s original intention in creating man. Amen! We love You, Lord, and we thank You for opening up the treasures of God for us to enjoy, partake of, and be filled with so that we may become Your expression for Your dominion on earth!
As the One holding the Key of David, Christ Makes us a Part of the New Jerusalem
As the One holding the key of David, Christ first opened the way for man to come back to God and into God; by believing in Christ man can be regenerated and enter into the kingdom of God, thus recovering the right and power to express God and represent Him on earth.
However, this is just the beginning. As seen in the Lord’s epistle to Philadelphia, Christ is the One who holds the key of David for the purpose of producing and building up the temple of God consummating in the New Jerusalem.
The overcomers in Philadelphia will be pillars in God’s temple, which will ultimately be enlarged into the New Jerusalem (Rev. 3:12; 21:22).
Those who keep God’s word, are faithful to Him with their little power, and enjoy Christ as the One who holds the key of David, are being produced as overcomers to be pillars in the temple of God, parts of the New Jerusalem.
Christ, holding the key of David, opens and shuts, not that we might be holy or spiritual but that we might be built up. Both holiness and spirituality are to enable us to be pillars in the temple of God. Eventually, we will bear the name of the New Jerusalem. In 3:12 the Lord said, “I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which descends out of heaven from My God, and My new name.” God’s purpose is to make us part of the New Jerusalem. (The Conclusion of the New Testament, pp. 4200-4201, by W. Lee)
Wow, this is so wonderful! Why does Christ hold the key of David? It is so that He may open and shut the door to the treasury of God in the house of God, so that God’s people would enjoy God to the uttermost and be produced as pillars in the temple of God.
Christ holds the key of David so that His people would have a free way to enter into God and enjoy God, with the result that they are built up into the church as the house of God in this age, consummating in the New Jerusalem for eternity.
God’s promise to His overcomers is clear: He will write on them the name of God, the name of the New Jerusalem, and His new name (Rev. 3:12). Our Christ has fought the battle for God and won the victory; He is now building the house of God, His temple, and He is establishing the kingdom of God, His dominion – and all these are for God’s building.
God’s unique work today in the universe is the work of building; He opened the way in Christ for us to come back to God and be recovered to His original intention, and He makes us His church and His kingdom for us to be built up as God’s building, consummating in the New Jerusalem.
To this little church in Philadelphia the Lord is such a One with such a universal authority. We may not have a great number of saints among us in the church life in the Lord’s recovery, just as the Brethren didn’t start with the great number, but here we enjoy the riches of Christ to be built up as His house and established as His kingdom, becoming a part of the New Jerusalem!
Hallelujah for our Christ, the One who is the Head of the Body, the church – He’s the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself might have the first place in all things (Col. 1:18). Hallelujah!
Lord Jesus, we love You as the One who holds the key of David, for You open and shut the door to God’s treasures so that we as Your people may be built up into the church and established as God’s kingdom! Praise You, Lord, You fought the battle for God and won the victory, and now You’re building the temple of God and establishing the kingdom of God so that You may gain the New Jerusalem, the enlarged building of God! Build us up, Lord, into Your temple, and make us pillars in the temple of God!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Minoru C. for this week, and portions from, The Conclusion of the New Testament, pp. 4199-4201 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Returning to the Orthodoxy of the Church (2016 fall ITERO), msg. 7 (week 7), The Church in Philadelphia.
- Hymns on this topic:
# These things says the Holy One, / The true One, the One who has the key of David, / The One who opens, no one will shut, / And shuts and no one opens: / I know your works; / Behold, I have put before you an opened door / Which no one can shut, / Because you have / A little power, / Have kept My word, / Have not denied My name. (Scripture song)
# Hallelujah, overcomers, / “In the temple of My God, / I will build them in as pillars, / Nevermore to go abroad.” / God’s own name is written on them / And the new name of the Lord. / With the triune God they’re blended; / They’re the city of our God. (Hymns #1275)
# Within those whom You’d call / Put such a restless caring / For building to give all— / These times are for preparing; / The gates of hell cannot prevail / Against the builded Church! / The hours are few, the builders too— / Lord, build, O build in us! (Hymns #1248)
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