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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

April 19, 2022

The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ


Revelation 1:18

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.


Jesus told John that He, Jesus, has… the keys of hell and of death. Meaning to unlock these two enemies of every living person we must go to Jesus, and He alone. Only He has the keys to unlock these mysterious lifelong adversaries.


But the keys. These keys are several, but just like the four anchors in Acts 27 nowhere does the Lord specifically identify those keys. We don’t know how many keys there are, for no doubt there are many, one for every lock of every door that needs to be opened. Faith is a key, certainly the Gospel is a key, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the specific teachings of the Word, many keys. But one thing we can know; Jesus has them. Hell, and death are like cells of a prison holding captive every person, but Jesus can, and will, unlock those prison doors for He has the keys!


Just as He said about Lazarus, Loose Him, and let him go, He says that about any and all who come to Him in faith for freedom from the wages of sin, which is Hell and death. Perhaps these keys that Jesus has are voice activated keys. All He has to do is utter the words in heaven and the doors are open.


The words hell and death are only combined four times in the New Testament, all in the book of the Revelation. In Revelation 6:8 the rider on the pale horse with Death and Hell following him. In Revelation 20:13 death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them. Last, in Revelation 20:14 death and hell were cast into the everlasting lake of fire. Each one of these are controlled, executed, commanded and managed by the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the only one that can lock them and unlock them.


King David lamented poetically about these two enemies. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. (Psalm 18:5) But the greater David, Jesus, lets us know through His words to John that the sorrows of hell or the snares of death can be unlocked. The fear of them has no power over those who accept Jesus by faith for after all, He and He alone has the keys to these dreaded enemies. Let Him unlock them for you today. After all it was Jesus Himself who said those immortal words; If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:36) But how are we set free? And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)


About now someone may think that throwing out various verses of all kinds from both testaments and several books seem chaotic and jumbled. But isn’t that just the way keys are. Fifteen or twenty keys may be on one key ring they get jumbled, twisted, and it seems that the one key needed has to be searched for over and over again. Look at it like this, in the Bible there are two Testaments, 66 books, 1,189 chapters, 31,173 verses, and 774,746 words. Each and every one is a key that unlocks some aspect of God’s Holy truth. The truth being unlocked in the heart and mind brings freedom. Especially freedom from the prison cell of hell and death.


Until next time,

William T. Howe, Ph.D.

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