Friday, May 28, 2010

SHALOM is not just a Hebrew word "...but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you."

When Yeshua sent out His 12 hand-picked disciples on their maiden voyage of ministry there were several things involved as we see from the Matthew 10 account.

He gave them the same power He had: to cast out unclean spirits and to heal all manner of sickness and disease. (Mt 10:1)

He gave them one message to preach: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Mt 10:7)

He gave them specific parameters for the ministry assignment: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Mt 10:6)

Jesus’ ministry on the earth in the flesh was only “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Mt 15:24) The day would come – after His death and resurrection – when the good news of the kingdom of God would explode into the nations. For now, Yeshua limited the twelve spiritual sons He was discipling to the same parameters of His ministry which God had set upon Him: They were only to go the nation and people of Israel.

One of the things we can draw from this can only be seen from the perspective of looking back in time. Today the common disclaimer from the Jewish people is that Jesus is a “Christian god” and that any Jew who “converts” from Judaism to faith in Yeshua as Israel’s Messiah has broken the ancient covenant of Israel with YHWH. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that God set limits on Yeshua to minister only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and that Yeshua would also place those same limits upon His own disciples while He was still in His earthly ministry.

There could be no question that before His salvation was opened to the nations after resurrection, Yeshua presented Himself only Israel. To the Jew first, and so to the Greek. (Ro 1:16)

What would have happened if Yeshua had said within Himself, "This doesn't make any sense. I know I am going to be light to all the nations, so why should I be limited to the national boundaries of Israel? Maybe I ought to travel up to minister in Damascus or over to Antioch?"

Who knows what would have happened because instead of DIS-obeying His Father's direction, He did what He saw the Father doing, and He said what He heard the Father saying.

Now Jesus was very specific to his 12 disciples about where they were to go and where they were not to go. ‘Stay in Israel,’ He told them. ‘You are not being sent to the nations but to your countrymen. You are not even being sent to the Samaritans who are close by and cousins to Israel.’ They obeyed His instructions as Yeshua had first obeyed the Father's instruction to Him.

He tells them, 'I am sending you out to announce the good news that the kingdom of heaven is drawing near. You are bringing the kingdom of heaven to Israel because I am sending you out with My gifts of power to heal and to cast out demons from the people.'

Jesus is instructing His disciples how to step out in ministry for the first time on their own, going two by two. He is asking them to trust that He has transferred His power to heal and deliver to them. They have seen Him demonstrate the power of God time after time and now is asking them to trust that, 'What you have seen Me do, you will also be able to do.' This is a big step of faith.

Now Jesus narrows the parameters even more about where and how they are to minister.
Not only is He telling them they are going out in the same power they have seen in Him, but He is really putting their trust to the test by telling them not to even prepare provisions for their trip. They are to take no money bags for expenses, no extra sandals or cloaks - just go out in the faith that as you are freely giving, you will be provided for.

Now here is the thing. Jesus was not telling the twelve that forevermore these narrow parameters would apply to their ministries. This time, however, they needed to learn that they could trust God for provision when they had no provisions.

He already knew they quickly forgot the miraculous provision in the multiplying of fish and loaves. When we forget spiritual miracles like these, it is because it did not penetrate our hearts where trust forms. We can know something intellectually, but until it springs out of our heart where spiritual understanding initiates, we cannot act in faith. Faith comes from trust built in the heart.

Eventually some of the 12 would receive instruction from the Spirit to go into the nations – not only ministering to Jews or within the borders of Israel. Whether to the foreigners in Israel, Samaria or other nations, the 11 would take the good news to all men who would receive it.
For now, their proclamation and demonstration that the kingdom of heaven was near was only towards their countrymen.

Likewise, this time they were to go out to minister without any material provisions to fall back on. In the future though they would go out with financial provisions in their belt, or an extra coat or spare pair of shoes.

We cannot make a specific formula out of the instructions Yeshua gave to His first 12 disciples because the instructions were specific to the moment. But we can draw general spiritual principles from this entire chapter about how God prepares us to minister in the power of Yeshua with the good news of the kingdom of heaven.

The issue in Matthew 10 was not just a test of their obedience to Jesus’ instruction, but it was the development of trust within their hearts that what He said about them was true: They were anointed with gifts to set at liberty the captives just like they knew He was. And as they freely gave these gifts to the men, women and children who would receive the gifts, that they would not have to worry about what they were going to eat or where they were going to sleep.

The issue was trust. We have to trust for the anointing to work through us and we have to trust that as we go about the Father's business He is our Provider. We have to trust that even though sometimes the specific instructions we receive defy “common sense” – like going out with no money to cover expenses – that it doesn’t mean we will not be provided for.

We have to be able to hear the instruction of the Spirit for the moment. God doesn’t work in neat little formulas that we can memorize and apply like some instructions on a recipe card. We can’t put God in a neat little box that says every time something is going to happen in the same way and in the same ministry formula. We must be prepared: to hear from God for the moment.

The next issue Yeshua dealt with is discernment and once again, He gave the 12 precise directions in how to discern where to stay and how long to stay there.

Jesus told the 12 when they entered into a town, to ask around and find out who was a person of merit in that town and then go stay in their house. Remember, they are in Israel and Israel has a covenant with God. When Yeshua tells them to ask around to find out who is "worthy" in this town, He is telling them to find a godly man.

He said when you enter into that person's house, embrace the household joyfully, and "If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you."

We don't have to wonder what that means because Romans 14:17 tells us exactly what it means: "for the kingdom of God is … righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

Yeshua sent the 12 out with a specific message: Come and get it! The kingdom of heaven has drawn near to you on earth and we are passing out heavenly gifts to men who will but receive!"

They are not just carrying words with them, but the power of God to heal and deliver, the power to call the righteousness, peace and joy of heaven into the earthly realm.

This "shalom" they are to bring upon the homes of worthy town elders where they stay is not about just saying something in Hebrew to the homeowner. Those who carry the gospel of the kingdom of heaven also carry the environment of heaven with them. Righteousness, peace and joy accompany those who are bringing the good news of the kingdom of heaven.

Righteousness, peace and joy from the Spirit of the Lord within us is something we are carrying everywhere we go. When we walk into a room or a home or a job if the authority of that place receives us, our "shalom" will permeate that place. If the authority of that place rejects us, then the environment of "hell" will be the thing that prevails there.

In terms of the cities of Israel in those days, Yeshua was saying that if the “worthy” town elder is indeed godly, he will receive you. But if he rejects you then he is not godly, and you withdraw from that home – whatever peace you have brought into that home cannot flourish because it is not “authorized.”

Note that if the most "worthy" person in an Israeli town was rejecting the proclamation and demonstration of the kingdom of heaven that His disciples were bringing into their homes, Yeshua is saying this is a good barometer of how unfruitful their ministry in this town was going to be. The 12 were starting off in each community at the home of the most meritorious person. If they did not receive the disciples’ message, then the twelve were to move on to the home or township that welcomed them – and the gifts from God they were freely giving away.

It is possible, when we refuse to accept that the Father is not moving in a place or among a certain group of people, that that the environment of hell will batter us into a state where all our righteousness, peace and joy has shriveled up to nearly nothing. It is important to know when to move on to where the Spirit of God can move, and this is what Yeshua was teaching His disciples.

We need to recognize that moving on is not always giving up, but it can be the witness of the Spirit to leave those entrusted to God. Don’t believe it? See how many time Jesus “departed” to another place. Who carried the environment of heaven in Himself more than Yeshua, yet when the authorities in a place began to stir up the environment of hell, Yeshua did not dig His heels in. He removed to another more fruitful place of ministry and waited for a more open season of ministry in that place.

This is not to say we should only minister in places where there is absolutely no opposition to the gospel because reality is there is no place on earth like that! Matthew 10:17 makes it clear that opposition to the gospel is guaranteed to come against us. But even when this is the case, we can discern when it is time to depart from a place or to change our locations for maximum fruitfulness.

In Israel today, we know that the more fruitful season of His ministry is blossoming in our day and still this lesson holds: it is important to discern where Israelis are open to receive, and where only hell is churning.

Even though Yeshua withdrew Himself from Jerusalem when hell was churning violently against Him, He always found a way to return to be about the Father’s business. Maybe He sent his disciples on and arrived alone unexpectedly, but He did not just place Himself in harm’s way when hell was churning against Him. So it is with Israeli ministries in this day – in some places there is more freedom and openness than others. Even though there is great opposition to Yeshua and His followers in Israel, the gospel of the kingdom of heaven is still to the Jew first. It is a Light that God will not allow to be extinguished in Israel.

Yeshua told His 12 disciples that they could discern if they were to stay and bless the townspeople, or if they were to move on shaking the very dust of the town off their sandals as they left.

Now in this, He was speaking specifically of the generation of Israel at that time because Yeshua knew the plan of God was for Israel to be set aside for a season so that salvation could be extended to all the nations. (Read Romans 9-11). He knew that for a season only a remnant of Israel would respond to the good news, but in due season and according to the plan of God “all Israel shall be saved.”

All of us – Christian and Jewish disciples of Jesus – need to be able to discern between our sometimes stubborn desire to hang in there trying to make people respond to the good news or accepting when God have us move on. None of us wants to be a quitter, but in this passage Jesus is teaching us that fruitful fields are receptive. We need to be able to trust that. It may be that we are only to withdraw for a season, or it may be a field for someone else to harvest.

The important thing is that we have discernment from God not our own stubborn spirits, and that we do not get robbed of all righteousness, peace and joy by trying to minister in an environment where hell is churning.

That can be a hard one. I would imagine that many of us have experienced trying to minister in a place where we are not received - like maybe parts of our families.

Here is the thing about that. When the good news that the kingdom of heaven with gifts of healing and deliverance from bondage has drawn near, and the authority of the house rejects it - even when it may be people we love, family members - we must DISCERN that God is NOT presently working there and move to where we discern He is working. We have to trust that He has got this. We can't force it no matter how much we may want it for someone else.

Yeshua broke it down for us in John 8 as He was speaking to those who were rejecting Him, saying, "I do nothing of myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things. And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." (v.28-29) As we go out to minister, we can expect the same. We can expect that we are also not left alone, but He is with us.

Bottom line: We need to discern where the Father is moving and speaking. In that place the good news of the kingdom of heaven will be welcomed and embraced. If the message is not welcomed and embraced, don't keep banging your head against the brick wall - trust God and move on to where His Spirit is moving! It takes fully trusting God to let go and move on sometimes, especially when we have strong emotional draws to the people we are trying to minister to. It is good to remember that we could never love them more than God does.

As He wrapped up His instructions and guidance to the first twelve "sent ones" Yeshua said, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: therefore be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." (Mt 10:16) We need to discern when to depart from a place where hell is churned up to a more fruit place of ministry. We need to discern because Hell would like to rob us by convincing us that we can never move on because it would be "giving up."

Clearly there is a verse that applies to this lie: "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Messiah."

To get His results, we must do it His way.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cast in a Hook & Take the Fish that Comes Up First

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting on our screened back porch in the early morning reading Matthew 14 about when Yeshua came walking on the water towards His disciples' boat in the midst of a raging storm.

Suddenly, it popped into mind how I had found a job lead for my husband on Craigslist which was a most unlikely place to find business for contractors. My nephew had been searching for pick up type jobs, so that is the reason I was even looking there.

When I saw the ad for a cabinet maker wanted to contract out for a business, I was surprised but immediately copied the ad and emailed it to my husband in his office for following it up.

He did. This happened immediately after the business relationship he had been getting jobs from ended badly, through no fault of my husband.

Nevertheless this left us high and dry for a source of jobs. This economy has been rough on remodeling contractors as it has for lots of other business and trades. So this lead from Craigslist turned out to be a real God-send, a blessing of multiple ongoing contracting jobs for my husband - and for my nephew.

Back to my Back Porch

In that moment of reading Matthew 14, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly spoke within me saying, 'This was your fish with the golden coin in its mouth to meet your needs.'

That ad on Craigslist - it was like it was just there for me to find early one morning. When I returned to look at the ads in the afternoon, that ad had been removed. My husband contacted the business and it was the start of ongoing business - just in the nick of time to meet our pressing financial needs.

Many times over the years when I would read the passage in Matthew 17 of Yeshua telling Peter where to go to find the money needed to pay taxes, I have asked God, 'Where is my fish with the golden coin in its mouth?' I have mused over how that would work in my life and suddenly when I least expected an answer the Spirit was telling me, "This is that!"

How exciting to hear an answer to a question you have been asking God a long time.

Not only that, but then it dawned on me it was no coincidence that the answer came as I was reading the Matthew 14. This is the account of where Peter responded to the call of Yeshua to step out of the safety of the boat and to join Him in walking on the water in the midst of a storm on the sea of Galilee.

On the sea of Galilee in 2005 I received a similar word of the Lord, in that the Spirit spoke to me to step out of my safety 'boat' of a salaried job and to trust Him that He would keep me afloat.

There were no physical waves on the Galilee that day – instead peace was wafting off of the water like a powerful tranquilizer. I was so mellow out there on the "Jesus boat" crossing over the Galilee with the water calm as glass - but the storms and the boisterous waves were in my real life!

Just two weeks before leaving for my 2nd trip to Israel, and on Yom Kippur (the solemn "Day of Atonement" in Lev. 23), I had been laid off from a job that was a real trial for me to even stick with. I was being picked on because my superior was threatened by her superior being someone I went to Messianic synagogue with.

When the layoff came, I was devastated - by its bad timing and also by the feeling that I had been defeated by those who were determined to get rid of me there. I had tried to walk in a spirit of Messiah likeness even under withering almost daily fire. I felt I had failed to overcome evil with good.

The day after I was let go, the Lord told me to stop crying, that I was looking at it wrong: it was a promotion, not a defeat. It was His deliverance not the enemy's victory over me. So I had applied for unemployment and continued on my long planned (and un-refundable) trip to Israel.

On the Jesus boat that day crossing the Galilee I wasn't fretting about anything, just taking in the peace and tranquility that was palpable. I wasn't expecting the Lord to speak to me about my job but He did. What He said was that it was time for me leave behind the safety of a salaried job and step out on the water of following Him in my ministry for the Body in Israel.

I don't know why I am such a late bloomer in the things of God.

It was five years between that word to step out of the boat onto the water, and the word that just came about how to identify when the Lord is showing me the fish with the golden coin in its mouth to meet our needs.

We have gone through many financial struggles through the five years between my last job and today, but true to His word, He has kept us afloat. We have never gone under even though times have been tight and at times mightily uncomfortable. Financial lack can leave us feeling 'dead in the water' and abandoned. As Proverbs 14:20 notes, "The poor is hated even of his own neighbor: but the rich have many friends."

The reason I wanted to write about this is to encourage those who have been operating under similar circumstances with financial stress and strain.

Many times over the past five years I have questioned whether I just needed to go find some job and forget the spiritual experience I had on the Sea of Galilee. My husband always opposed my second guessing and doubts when they arose telling me, 'You have a job: write!' People who haven't had spiritual experiences like that would say, 'Heck yeah: do the practical thing! Get a job!'

It always comes down to which voices we are going to listen to in our lives - the human voices, the inner voices of doubt and unbelief, or the clear word of the Spirit of God we know that we know we heard.

It is our expectation - especially in western nations - that, 'If it's not quick, it's not God.' Hey, baloney to that idea! God operates under His own timetable. Shall I be full of self doubt and self hatred because the promises of God are rolling out to me slowly... but surely? Was Moses? Was Joseph? Was Paul?

Here is the conclusion of what I am saying: Hold on! The promises that the Spirit of God has spoken in your hearing and to your heart - no matter how long they take to come to pass and no matter what kind of smack downs life and people in your life may be dishing - there is a time coming that the promise spoken will begin to shoot forth in blossoming fruit in your life.

Do not give up! Do not lose heart and faint as you wait for God to arise on your behalf.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 1 Cor 4:16-17

Whatever the Spirit of the Lord has spoken to you in secret, no matter what anyone else thinks, He is faithful that promised. Hebrews 10:23

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Keys to the Kingdom & the vast Gates of Hell Prison system

by Donna Diorio May 15, 2010

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Messiah, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 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. Mat 16:16-19

In Matthew and Mark the scripture says that Yeshua/Jesus went about "preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing." Then in Luke 9:2, Yeshua sent his 12 disciples out with power and authority over all devils and to heal all diseases and "He sent them to preach the gospel of the kingdom."

So what is it that Yeshua was preaching and teaching His disciples to teach?

Every verse and passage where Yeshua is teaching His disciples about "the kingdom," He is giving them in parables the "KEYS" to the kingdom. He did not reveal the meaning to everyone that came to listen to him, but Yeshua revealed the meaning to His disciples, those that were truly following Him.

Here is what He told them before sending them out to minister without Him by their side in the Luke 9:2 passage above:

And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And He said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Luke 8:9-10

So the mysteries of the kingdom are contained in the parables of the kingdom which Yeshua explained to His disciples. Today, we also understand the parables of the kingdom through revelation - hearing what the Spirit speaks to enlighten us. Some see or hear the parables of the kingdom but do not understand, but His DISCIPLES can hear what the Spirit is saying and come to understand the spiritual mysteries contained in His parables.

In Matthew 16:16-19 Yeshua asked, Who do men say I am? Was He Elijah? Jeremiah? John the Baptist? Some great prophet? Yeshua was making a distinction between what onlookers vs. disciples discerned about Him.

He followed up by asking His disciples, "But whom do you say I am? Simon Peter answered, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

To this Yeshua responded: You are blessed Shimon Barjona, because you got that revelation not through your own intellect, but by My Father speaking it to you, revealing it to you.

Now here is where many interpretations of the text go awry because of not taking into account the original Hebrew context. When Jesus calls him "Shimon Barjona" which is Simeon son of Jona, He is emphasizing the name SIMEON which means "hearing with acceptance". Shimon (Simeon) was the son of Leah and Jacob and was named Shimon because Leah said "Because the Lord has heard and given me a son."

The emphasis Yeshua is giving by calling him by his Hebrew name (Shimon) is about Peter being able to hear spiritually - hearing what the Spirit of God says and accepting it.

To further emphasize this spiritual "hearing" Yeshua says, Not only has My Father spoken this revelation to you, but now "I say also to you...." Yeshua is emphasizing that as His disciple, Peter has been given the spiritual ability to hear what the Spirit reveals.

Yeshua then switches back to the Aramic version of Peter's name saying, Not only has My Father spoken this revelation to you, but now "I say also to you that you are Peter" .

We all know that that in the Aramic "Peter" (Petra) means "a rock, cliff or ledge" and generally we have interpreted Yeshua calling him "Petra" as a sign that Peter was a rock solid man. But that name cuts two ways because it shows both the strength and the weakness of Peter.

Not only can "Petra" indicate the strength and firmness of soul, but it also metaphorically indicates a hard and unyielding soul, which we all have until and unless the Spirit of God GIVES us the ability to spiritually see and hear.

Now this goes against the flow of what we have been taught about Yeshua calling Simon Peter "Petra" but consider that immediately afterward, verse 16:23, Yeshua has to rebuke Peter for trying to correct Him from informing them about the suffering He is about to enter into at Jerusalem.

Yeshua stops Peter's faith pep rally by telling him, "Get behind me, Satan: you are an offense to Me: for you are not like-minded (froniev/G5426) in the things that be of God, but in the like-mindedness of men. Yeshua was saying, that came from human mindset, not from the mindset of Heaven!

One minute Peter was uttering a revelation from the mind of the Spirit and the next from the mindset of fallen humanity, and do you know we are all like that? None of us have arrived to the point that we don't do the same thing from time to time, but the good news is that does not disqualify us.

Yeshua is drawing attention to the fact that He is taking men who were rock solid in the ways of men, and speaking into them the mysteries of the kingdom. By spiritual revelation we hear and break out of our rocky hearts, responding to what the Spirit is revealing to us.

So Yeshua says, Not only has My Father spoken this revelation to you, but now "I say also to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my ekklesia; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

There are several things to look with new eyes at in this. Sticking with the point of our being spiritually rock hard souls until God grants us an ability to hear spiritually and to receive spiritual understanding, or revelation of what He is saying to us, Yeshua says "upon this rock I will build My called out ones."

We are called out of the crowd of hardened human souls that cannot HEAR what the Spirit is speaking to humanity. It is not based on our intellect or greatness, but it is a gift of God when we can hear anything the Spirit is saying.

I believe Yeshua is telling Peter that He is taking common, unexceptional people, without great intellectual or natural reasoning gifts, revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to them by revelation, and upon that hardened rock He is building up an assembly, a great throng of those who heard the call out of darkness into His marvelous light.

When we say we finally understand something, we say we have gotten light on a subject, or "It dawned on me."

Yeshua is saying the ones who are called out - those that gather together because they have spiritually heard and responded to what they have heard - these are My building blocks, my living stones for a living Temple of God, or My Church, if you prefer.

We call it His "Church" because that's what we've been calling it for the past nearly 2,000, but in its original context, the People of God are always His "called out" ones.
Abram heard and responded to being called out.
Moses heard and responded to being called out.
Jesus' own mother, Miriam heard and responded to being called out.

If we do not hear and do not respond, we are not called out. Upon this rock - of hearing that we are being called out by what the Spirit is speaking - is the bedrock foundation which Yeshua identifies as how His "church" will be built.

To that Yeshua adds, and upon this rock I will build my called out assembly and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

We are a called out assembly. Whether you call it His Church or His Temple - we are all called out to be assembled TOGETHER as ONE in HIM. The living building blocks of a House of God on earth, a BODY of believers hearing and responding to the Spirit of Messiah Yeshua, who is the Head of the WHOLE Body. These are the called out ones that the gates of hell cannot prevail against.

What does that mean "the gates of hell will not prevail against" the called out ones that Yeshua is building into one living Temple?

Let's start with "the gates of hell".
What are they? In the Strong's definition it says that "the gates of hell" are likened to a vast prison. I like that understanding because that is exactly what the enemy does to mankind by locking us up in a vast prison system where we are bound by various sins and afflictions.

Likewise, the scriptures say that Yeshua came to set the captives free.
That is what this is all about, setting at liberty those who are being held captive in the vast prison system the devil binds humanity in.
And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but my Father which is in heaven.

And I say also unto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Temple; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Mat 16:16-19

Upon the rock of being able to hear spiritually, Yeshua is building an assembly of called out ones - a living Temple - called out of that the vast prison system of the enemy which has bound up human beings since the Fall of Man. No longer can the enemy keep those who are called out by the Spirit of Messiah who came to set at liberty those who were held captive.

Not only does Yeshua call us out of the Gates of Hell Prison, but He also gives us the keys of the kingdom of heaven! These keys are the spiritual parables which He taught to His disciples: "The kingdom of heaven is like...."

These parables are keys to unlocking every door in the vast prison system of the Gates of Hell Prison. Every place within our souls that the enemy has lock up in bondage the parables of the kingdom are the keys to unlocking every chain that binds us.

"And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

First, He gives us the keys of the kingdom, in parables - so those who hear and respond may be set at liberty: "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."

Those who hear the parables and do not understand are not made free because hearing and seeing, yet we still do not understand. So, it is not based on intellect, but it is based on our hearing the revelation of the keys to the kingdom, and responding to them.

If we hear, and we follow the hearing with doing, then we will receive more. One by one, the keys to the kingdom unlock every barred gate of hell in our souls until we are free indeed.

As Romans 8:14 and 17 puts it, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God...."

And as James said (1:22) "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."

We not only must be able to hear spiritually, but we must respond and do. Only then "whatsoever you will bind (asar/forbid) on earth will be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you will loose (hitir/permit) on earth will be loosed in heaven."
It is not just about what is available to us in Heaven to speak into existence in earth, but there is a correlation between our spiritually hearing the keys of the kingdom and then doing them.

Matthew 18 is a perfect example of how hearing and doing, faith and works correspond in the parables of the kingdom.

In John 20, after Yeshua had been crucified and in His first appearance to His disciples who were assembled together in fear of what might become of them, Yeshua appeared to them saying (v.21-23) ,

"Peace be unto you: as My Father has sent Me, even so send I you. Then he breathed on them, and said to them, Receive the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins you retain, they are retained."
The words Yeshua used for remit and retain or the same words He used for binding and loosing in Matthew 16:19.

In Matthew 18 Yeshua teaches that forgiveness is a spiritual key to the kingdom - so when we do not forgive others their trespasses against us, we are retaining them in bondage in the vast prison system of the Gates of Hell prison. When we remit or forgive their trespasses against us, we are loosing them from the chains that hold them bound by the Gates of Hell.

We have been set at liberty, so we can set others at liberty.

When we violate the conditions of our being set free, the parable of Matthew 18 tells us that our own liberty can be revoked. Even though we have heard the revelation that Yeshua is the Messiah, and responded, if we want to STAY free from the chains of all manner of bondages, we must forgive. It is a major essential key to the kingdom so the Gates of Hell cannot prevail against us.

What could be more important than pressing into the teachings of Yeshua and hearing what the Spirit is saying about the mysteries of the kingdom of God in His parables of the kingdom? Only hearing and then doing.