Jesus committed the 'keys of the Kingdom of Heaven' to His ekklesia. It was obvious from the start, that the ekklesia and the kingdom would be indelibly linked.
Kingdom Priority by Myron Mason
When I hit the “proverbial wall” spiritually by truly repenting and ridding my life of idols, God began to reveal secrets to me beyond the gift of salvation; secrets about the reign of God's Kingdom in my life. God showed me that knowledgeable things I had learned were not all I needed to know.
God revealed to me what I had lost (after Adam’s fall). Jesus’ message was never to scare me into Heaven but to encourage me. He wanted to RESTORE me because I was made in God's image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-28).
God told me that satan's scheme was to steal my identity and turn me into a religious puppet so others that satan had misled could misinform me. Other people didn't have a clue as to what God had put on the inside of me; nevertheless, they thought they had the authority to tell me what God wanted me to do. This would cause me to covet the institution containing titles, pomp, and prestige and what it stood for and not GOD’S PRIORITY WHICH WAS HIM AND HIS KINGDOM.
Satan never wanted me to study and recognize that I am a container of God's Glory as I walk holy before the Lord. Eventually, I forgot my purpose and the assignment that came with it. “Where there is no revelation (VISION), the people cast off restraint” (Proverbs 29:18).
When you become free in Christ, your religious robes are discarded and you put on the new man which is renewed in the knowledge of Him that created you. God's ORIGINAL INTENT for man was being revealed to me “Behold I long for your precepts (original thoughts), revive me in your righteousness” (Psalm 119:40).
The Kingdom of God should reign in every believer because it was Jesus original message –“The Kingdom is at hand”; but man's religious “churchianity” hinders many from walking in it (Matthew 23:13). Hosea 4:6 says, “MY PEOPLE are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”!
Jesus saved us not for us to go to heaven, only (John 17:15); but to display heaven on earth as He did “…as my Father has sent me, even so I send you” (John 20:21). Re-discover the Kingdom within, that Kingdom which God originally gave us. The Kingdom that promotes and utilizes the Holy Spirit as the early church did.
The word “Repent” means to think high thoughts, for people to change their thinking. “Coming up higher” means to not settle for the Status Quo of those who aren't pressing in. God has something to reveal to His remnant in this hour and it, diametrically, opposes what we are practicing today. That remnant is called the Ekklesia!
When I originally heard of the ‘Ekklesia’ from my friend, Tim Kurtz, I just listened to what he had to say. My spirit was moved; I knew it had to be more; however, I could never put my thoughts into words like he had.
In Jesus’ days, the Ekklesia in the first century meant a ruling governmental council with the authority to establish policies, legislate, confer, deny citizenship, or to elect officials.
I had heard of that word “council” in the scriptures before (the Sanhedrin council) so I looked it up. They consisted of 71 members: scribes, elders, prominent members of the highly priestly families and the high priest, the president of the assembly.
So, it appeared to me that there would be a conflict when Jesus began to make disciples (disciplined learners) on what it meant to be an ambassador, a citizen of heaven’s culture. He was in all actuality training them to become the ruling council, the Ekklesia, to speak to the authorities that be.
I recall in Acts 4:6 when Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest were gathered together at Jerusalem began to ask Peter and John by what power or what name had they healed the impotent man; the Ekklesia, Jesus was building was so much greater than those of the religious rule of His day. The Ekklesia had the power to heal and make men whole who had previously been doomed to suffer the ailment they had for the rest of their lives.
The Ekklesia are given keys to the Kingdom of heaven; whatever they will bind (forbid) declare to be improper and unlawful on earth will have (already) been bound in heaven, and whatever they will loose (permit) on earth will have (already) been loosed in heaven.
In other words, the Ekklesia is an extension of Jesus’ Ministry, mission while on earth, because it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom (Luke 12:32) so we can become representatives of the government of heaven on earth!