Isaiah 22:22: The Key To Governmental Authority
Fifteen years ago, God unequivocally and undeniably gave me Isaiah 22:22 as a life-verse. "Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, when he opens no one will shut, when he shuts no one will open." After 40 plus confirmations over a two-week period – yes, more than 40 – I became thoroughly convinced this verse was both a promise and a weapon for me. I have since used the verse hundreds of times throughout America – in all 50 states and in Washington DC – to open and close spiritual doors for the Lord.
After receiving the Isaiah 22:22 key for impacting the nation, much of my time was spent in the nation's capital, carrying out very specific and strategic prayer assignments. Heaven's endorsement on these missions was without question, with confirmation after confirmation being given to affirm the assignments. Oh, the stories I could tell from that season of my life – amazing! While this verse has never left my thinking or ministry, for several years after the 2008 change in our national leadership, the Lord redirected my attention toward other assignments in America. As a result, my time in Washington DC, decreased significantly.
Within the past year, however, I have sensed the Lord asking me to wield the Isaiah 22:22 key in our nation's capital once again. Through my recent recommissioning, and other prophetic revelation, the Lord has confirmed to me that the door to the governmental arena – and to Washington DC, specifically – is again wide open. And where Holy Spirit leads, I will certainly follow.
The Keys of The Ekklesia
This invitation to cross the threshold back into the sphere of governmental intercession has not only been extended to me, but to the entire Body of Christ. As we mentioned, a key, symbolizing governmental authority is first mentioned in the book of Isaiah, within a prophetic passage concerning Jesus, the Messiah; but the second time keys, symbolizing spiritual authority, are spoken of in Scripture is at Jesus' first mention of the Church.
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, [Greek: ekklesia] and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven. Matthew 16:18-19
In the disciples' day, the paradigm for an ekklesia (Church) was very different from contemporary notions. In the disciples' culture, an ekklesia was an assembly of people assigned to govern the affairs of a city, state or nation – in essence, a parliament or congress. To the Romans, it was an assembly of people sent into a conquered region to govern, but also to alter the culture until it became like that of Rome.
They infiltrated government, language, social structure, schools, etc. until the people talked, thought and acted like Romans. In other words, they brought the culture and ideals of the Kingdom of Rome to their assigned region. When Jesus said He would build His "Church," – His ekklesia – He was speaking of a Body of people that would legislate spiritually for Him, extending His Kingdom government and influence on the earth.
Christ's statement that "the gates of Hades will not overpower it" makes much more sense when we understand that these gates are not physical, but rather spiritual, and also symbolize government. In Biblical times, city gates were often where judges sat to rule, and where governing councils met to make decisions; therefore the word "gate/s" often symbolized government (for example, see 2 Samuel 19:8; Proverbs 22:22-23; Ruth 4:4-10).
In this first announcement regarding the Church, Jesus is declaring that the kingdom government (rule, decree, councils) of Hell won't prevail over His Kingdom government on earth – the Church. He follows this declaration by saying that He would give to His ekklesia "keys," which, just as in Isaiah 22:22, represent spiritual authority. In Isaiah 22:22, these keys close or open spiritual doors allowing or disallowing access and activity. In Matthew 16, Christ's Church would also have keys – to bind and loose (lock, unlock, allow, forbid) – the "gates" or governmental decisions of Hell and to release the governmental decisions of Heaven.
God's Call to Kingdom Governance
We should attempt to function in this calling through prayer, by voting, and also by serving in governmental positions. I frequently hear statements from the media, political leaders, educators, and others saying that religious beliefs should be kept "private" or that "they have no place in the public arena," and especially that they have no place in government. Nothing could be more unbiblical! The purpose behind this satanically-inspired dogma is to keep the Church from being the Church – the ekklesia. The Bible brims with examples of God influencing government through individuals that were knowingly representing Him and His will.
We cannot place all hope for change in a wrong interpretation of God's sovereignty – a belief that when God wants and chooses to, He will change a particular problem or situation to be in accordance with His will, with or without our involvement. We must realize that we are God's governing force on the earth, which have been given keys of authority from Him to legislate from the spiritual realm. With those keys, we are to close spiritual doors through which evil and destruction might otherwise enter.
The outcome of our mid-term election causes hope to arise, affirming that people are ready for change. Americans are being awakened and made ready to press through complacency taking strides toward real change. For such a time as this, God has prepared and positioned Kingdom ambassadors to wield His influence and shape our national destiny.
The Lord has called Dutch Sheets Ministries, and other similar ministries, to partner with Him by making bold governmental decrees, strongly supporting Godly leaders, strengthening the Church, and releasing Divine strategy for reigniting a prayer movement that will shift our nation toward righteousness. I believe these strides toward Kingdom governance will birth revival in America. As members of His ekklesia you, too, are called to be a part of this.
Your Delegated Authority
As Holy Spirit has reemphasized Isaiah 22:22 to me, I have prayed that you will be encouraged to take hold of God's promises and personally activate the keys – governmental authority – in your own life and for the nation. My prayer is that you would walk boldly in this authority God has delegated to you.
Some of you may be instructed of the Lord, as I have been, to use your Isaiah 22:22 key within the sphere of government, and particularly within Washington DC. Some of you are called to pray for your state capital, your city or even another nation. Others of you may be assigned to use your Kingdom keys in the financial realm, for educational institutions, or for the entertainment sector. As you seek the Lord, He will reveal these and other assignments to you.
In this New Year the Lord is releasing keys – Heaven's governmental authority – that are yours for the taking. As you lay hold of them, your intercession and obedience will release you into a partnership with God, resulting in even broader realms of influence.
God is not finished with America, and He needs each one of us to help shift this nation! He is calling forth Kingdom warriors who will effectively wield the Isaiah 22:22 weapon, such that His throne of righteousness and justice is reestablished within our land.
Will you join us?
The Call to Kingly Intercession
A while ago, upon seeing pictures of an Appeal to Heaven flag being waved over the plains of Nineveh—the location of the first known transforming revival—I was extremely excited. I quickly sent the picture to one of my friends whose immediate response was, "Our prayers have tapped into the root of awakening in the earth." For the past year, connecting my personal testimony with the profound history pertaining to our nation's founding, I have been rallying the Church to make "an Appeal to Heaven."
In the midst of dismal circumstances, countless Believers have responded to this call. Based on what the Holy Spirit spoke to my friend, I believe the appeals to Heaven have been heard and we are now moving into the next phase of this new era—a Third Great Awakening that will impact the world!
We must be mindful, however, that successfully stepping into a new season calls for inquiring of the Lord concerning what we must do differently. Change will be necessary in order to come into proper alignment with the season, preparing us for what He wants to release to us and through us in this kairos time. One of the things I hear the Lord saying is that in this new season, we must pray differently.
Keys For Kingly Intercession
Isaiah 22:22 and Matthew 16:18-19 are essential passages of Scriptures for shifting into this new aspect of prayer. Both mention "keys" as a way to illustrate the Believer's authority in the spirit realm. These keys are indispensable tools God is highlighting for igniting a prayer movement that will bring about a righteous turnaround in this nation.
"Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder,
When he opens no one will shut, When he shuts no one will open." Isaiah 22:22
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. "I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in Heaven." Matthew 16:18-19
Using our authority to open and close spiritual doors is an aspect of prayer I sometimes refer to as "kingly intercession." My understanding of this facet of prayer, which I will also call "governmental intercession," began with an unusual comment made to me by a prophet in the late 1980s and culminated with a statement the Lord made to me in 2002.
"God is going to bring the Church into the fresh age of the Melchizedek order, and you will be a part of initiating it," declared the prophet. I had no idea what this meant. Fast-forward approximately fifteen years to October 2002. I was praying for America, primarily concerning the judicial system, when I heard the Holy Spirit say,"You will fully shift the government of America when the prayer movement fully shifts from priestly intercession only, to kingly intercession as well."
Suddenly, I remembered what the prophet had said to me years ago. And, finally, I understood "the fresh age of the Melchizedek order." Grasping this revelation will expand our understanding of governmental or kingly intercession.
Understanding The Melchizedek Order
Melchizedek was first mentioned in Genesis 14, again in Psalm 110, and then once more in the book of Hebrews. He was a "type" or picture of Jesus in several ways, one of which was that he was both a king and a priest. At the time, this was unheard of. Zechariah 6:13, a messianic verse describing Christ, refers to Him in His King-Priest role, "...Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices."
The function of a king was to rule, representing God's authority to people; the role of priests was to serve, representing the people to God. As our High Priest, Jesus represents our needs and desires to God. As the King, Christ represents and releases the rule, authority and will of God from Heaven to earth. His Kingly role is God-centered, while His Priestly responsibility is human-centered; one releases power and authority (king), the other love, mercy and grace (priest).The priestly role is petition or intercession-oriented; the kingly role is declarative, decreeing God's word and will.
As co-laborers, partners with and representatives of Jesus Christ, we have become extensions of His King-Priest role. Most Christians, though they may or may not think of it as priestly activity, realize that we are to offer up worship and prayer (petitions) from earth to Heaven. Almost none, however, have understanding or involvement in God's plan concerning our kingly representation of Christ (decrees). We are not only priests, we are a "royal (kingly) priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9), who have been given the keys of Kingdom authority in which to bind and loose, forbid and allow, close and open.
As Holy Spirit reemphasizes these prophetic words and Scriptures to me, I sense that He is calling His ekklesia to step fully into our responsibility for kingly intercession. The Lord is calling us to shift from merely petitioning the Father, to also making decrees (official orders, edicts or decisions), declarations (announcements or formal statements) and proclamations (the process of binding and loosing) as we are prophetically inspired by Holy Spirit to do so.
The power of God's decreed Word is extraordinary! It releases His creativity, His salvation, and yes, His judgments! He rules through His Words, and so must we. Consider these verses of Scripture:
"How forcible are right words!" Job 6:25
"You will also decree a thing and it will be established for you; and light will shine on your ways." Job 22:28
"Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant." Jeremiah 1:9-10
"So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army." Ezekiel 37:10
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21
The Time Is At Hand
Even as I have heard God's clarion call to wield the Isaiah 22:22 key in the governmental arena once again (which you may read about here), I sense that He is calling His ekklesia in America to pray with greater fervency and diligence concerning our national government, especially for the election in 2016.
With several Supreme Court Justices reaching expected retirement ages over the next decade, new nominations to the bench will be forthcoming. The next President, especially if re-elected for a second term, could have a crucial influence on the future of the Supreme Court (the President appoints the Supreme Court nominees). This will, in many ways, determine the future of our nation.
We must fill the bowls of intercession in advance for these choices (Revelation 8:3-5). The Lord is inviting us to take the keys He has made available to us and fully shift our national government. The American church must go beyond asking and petitioning the Lord only, to also decreeing and declaring His will and purposes into the earth. We must move from merely presenting our case before God as priests, to decreeing the rule of Christ into every situation and circumstance. It's time to wield the keys of Kingdom authority and shift into kingly intercession.
Our appeals to Heaven truly are being answered. But let's do even more. It's time to agree with and boldly voice Heaven's decrees in order to establish Heaven's government on earth. I am persuaded that we can turn the tide in America through effective governmental intercession. The Lord's will can be accomplished in our land, and righteousness can be restored to the White House, Congress, and the judicial system.
America, the time is now. God is bringing forth the fresh age of the Melchizedek order. Be a part of it!
Dutch Sheets is an internationally recognized author, teacher, and conference speaker. He travels extensively, empowering Believers for passionate prayer and societal transformation. Dutch has pastored, taught in several colleges and seminaries, and served on the board of directors of numerous organizations. Dutch's greatest passion is to see America experience a sweeping revival and return to its godly heritage. Dutch is a messenger of hope for America, encouraging Believers to contend for awakening in our day and reformation in our lifetime. Dutch has written over 20 books, many of which have been translated into over 30 languages. Dutch and his wife Ceci have been married for 35 years and now reside in the Dallas area. They treasure time spent with their two grown daughters, son-in-law, and grandchildren.
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June 5-6, 2015