the Apostle Peter be the doorkeeper in heaven, since Jesus said
to him: "I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of
heaven?" (`Matt. 24:19`.)
<ANSWER>--The "Kingdom" in this Scripture represents
those who become true followers of Jesus. "Keys" are
a symbol of power to open. To the Apostle Peter was delegated
the privilege and authority of first opening the message and
work of the Gospel to the Jews, and later to the Gentiles. He
did the opening work of the New Dispensation, first to the Jews
at Pentecost, at which time as we read, "Peter stood up
with the eleven"; he took the initiative, he opened the
Gospel invitation to the Jews and the other Apostles followed
him. There he used one key. More than three years later he used
the other key to open the message of the Kingdom of heaven to
the Gentiles when the Lord sent him to preach the Gospel to
Cornelius who was the first Gentile to accept the Lord Jesus
Christ; therefore the first to become a member of the Kingdom
of heaven class. Thus we see that the Apostle Peter long ago
used the keys referred to in this Scripture. There will be no
occasion ever to use them again. Those who reach heaven will
not pass through literal doors.
did Jesus mean when He declared, "There hath not risen
a greater than John the Baptist; notwithstanding, he that is
least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he?"--`Matt.
<ANSWER>--To understand this statement of the Master it
is necessary to remember the clearly marked distinction between
the different "Ages." John was the last of the Prophets
and belonged to the dispensation which was closing. The Apostles
and other followers of Jesus, on the contrary, belonged to the
New Dispensation, which Jesus was inaugurating. The Gospel call
is a call to participate in the Kingdom of God--Messiah's Kingdom.
Our Lord Jesus is to be the Great King of the World during that
Millennial Age; and the Heavenly Father purposes to select from
among men a "little flock" to be our Lord's associates
in the work of uplifting and blessing the world of mankind.
The first to be accepted into this Kingdom condition received
the holy spirit at Pentecost. Since then, all who similarly
consecrate and are similarly begotten of the holy spirit are
accepted as of the same class, namely, as members of the Kingdom
class. If faithful through the trials and testings of the present
life, these shall be "kings and priests unto God"
and unto Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years for
the uplifting and blessing of mankind. (`Rev. 1:6`;`Rev. 20:4`.)
The least one in this class will have a higher station than
John the Baptist or any of the Prophets of the preceding dispensation;
for all these will be spirit beings on the spirit plane. On
the contrary, while John, with all the faithful of the past,
will have great blessings, yet, since they will be on the earthly
plane, their blessings will be restitution blessings to human
you explain the Savior's words to Nicodemus--"Except a
man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into
the kingdom of God?" `John 3:5`. (Pharisee.)
<ANSWER>--The Jewish nation was a consecrated nation,
a covenant people. They were all baptized into Moses in the
sea and in the cloud when they left Egypt. God accepted them
in Moses, the mediator of their covenant at Mt. Sinai but, at
the time Jesus was speaking, they had forgotten their covenant,
some were openly living as publicans and sinners, and many others
were self-righteous hypocrites. John's ministry, therefore,
was repentance and baptism for the remission of sins--a return
to God and to a recognition of the repentance and reformation
of heart and life. Nicodemus was a Jew, and no Jew could become
a follower of the Lord Jesus and enter into the kingdom, until
first of all he had experienced this reformation and had been
baptized, "born of water," in addition to this there
must be the begetting of the spirit, and then in the resurrection,
the birth to the spirit nature--"born of the spirit."
Only those who experience this complete reformation of heart
and mind, and who are "changed" in the resurrection,
will ever enter into the kingdom of God.
I say unto you, There be some standing here which shall not
taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom."
`Matt. 26:28`. Does this idea that some living at that time
would continue to live on until the Lord's second advent? (C.W.)
<ANSWER>--The word "Kingdom" properly rendered
is royal majesty. Continuing the narrative on down into the
next chapter, it is stated that six days afterwards, the Lord
took Peter, James and John and went apart from the rest of the
disciples, up into a high mountain, and was there transfigured
before them. His face was gloriously illuminated and became
as resplendent as the sun, while His raiment was white as the
light. The royal majesty of the Lord's appearance, together
with the "vision" of Moses and Elijah, and the bright
cloud over-shadowing all, formed an overwhelming arrangement
of light and glory. The Apostle Peter afterwards, in writing
of this glorious scene, declared that they were eyewitnesses
of the majesty (royal majesty) of the Lord Jesus, and that they
also heard the voice of the Heavenly Father coming from the
excellent glory. (`2 Peter 1:16-18`.) In this way `Matt. 16:28`,
you please explain `Matt. 11:12` -- "And from the days
of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth
violence and the violent take it by force?" (T.C.W.)
<ANSWER>--This is a prophecy relating to the Church, the
Kingdom class, the Kingdom of Heaven in its embryotic state.
It has been remarkably fulfilled in the history of the true
Church of Christ from the days of John to the present. The "violent,"
those of the Ishmael and Esau disposition, have always bitterly
opposed and persecuted the Lord's true people, and apparently,
have triumphed over the Kingdom of Heaven. Many Scriptures teach
that this would be the condition of affairs in the world until
the time would come when the Lord Jesus, at His second coming,
would take unto Himself His great power and authority and establish
His own righteous rule in the earth, overthrowing Satan's Empire
and setting up the Kingdom of Heaven. The Apostle admonishes
the Lord's people to be subject to the powers that be (`Rom.
13:1-7`) the worldly governments and dominions, but the time
would come when these would be turned over to the Lord Jesus
and His joint-heirs, and on the ruins of the old, selfish, evil,
kingdoms and governments, God's Kingdom would be established,
never to be removed.
am trying to do the best I know how; will not this entitle me
to an entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven? (M.E.W)
<ANSWER>--If you do to the very best of your ability you
will get a great lesson as to your inability to do perfectly.
Then, realizing that God, cannot approve that which is imperfect
and self-condemned, you will he ready to pray, "God be
merciful to me a sinner." (`Luke 18:13`) Then the Lord
will reveal to you the fact that there is only one door of salvation--Christ.
Then, still desiring peace with God, you will seek Christ and
be found in Him. The most God asks of anybody is that he do
the best he can. We all need a Savior, for the reason, as St.
Paul declares, "Ye cannot do the things that ye would."
(`Gal. 5:17`) We cannot do perfectly because we are imperfect;
we are imperfect because we were born in sin and "shapen
in iniquity." (`Psa. 51:5`) The Jews, who were under the
Law Covenant, tried to justify themselves before God by what
they did, but wholly failed. In discussing this question the
Apostle points out that the only hope for deliverance is through
Christ Jesus, who as the great Deliverer will come and turn
away ungodliness from them. (`Rom. 7:18-25`)