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David was anointed as a king to replace Saul, was given a prophetic gift, as found in the Psalms, and was given the Davidic Covenant, guaranteeing there would always be a man to sit on his throne (fulfilled in Christ). As king, David extensively modified the worship protocol in Israel. He also had power to choose the High Priest among qualified candidates, and generally determine who could worship in Jerusalem. The key of David was this power to control the religious activities of individual Israelites, besides his secular powers as a traditional king. His covenant was more authoritative than the covenant of salt given to Aaron (Num 18:19). For Christians the power to open and shut the door (the door is Christ, John 10:9) refers to the ability to open and restrain the blessings of Christianity, such as baptism of the Holy Spirit, anointings, etc. The Key of David is to be exercised by those of Philadelphia, so to speak, from heaven, for the kingdom of God in both earth and in heaven, (as are all the other rewards promised by Christ for Christians who overcome). After Christ's second coming, the Key of David will be exercised only through Jerusalem, the capitol of the Kingdom of God. Later, after the Great White Throne judgment, the Sons of God will possess the Key of David and full spiritual authority, in addition to full temporal authority as priest-kings, at the New Jerusalem. The power to "bind and loosen" (Matt 16.19) given to the apostles is quite different since it refers to the ability to change on earth the requirements in heaven needed for Christians to go to heaven. (technically speaking, of course, not in essence.)
This is a fascinating question, also asked by Isaac Abban. My aunt June sent me a birthday card every birthday I had for 50 years! I imagine she did the same for all my cousins and her 5 children. On one of my birthdays my Aunt June sent me this birthday card, I think from Dayspring cards, “Behold I set before you an open door which no man can shut,” taken from Revelation 3:8, but which would also include the context of Revelation 3:7 where Jesus mentions, “The one who has the key of David. What He opens, no one can close; and what He closes. No one can open.” From Bible experts, like Warren Wiersbe, in his masterful book, Index of Biblical Images, I get that “the key of David” is not a literal key but a symbol of Authority. Wiersbe lists: Isa. 22:22 Matt. 16:19 Rev. 1:18; 3:7; 9:1; 20:1 “Jesus the Messiah is successor to David’s royal line. As the gatekeeper of heaven (not Peter as most people think), Jesus has authority to open and close the way to heaven (comp. Matt. 16:19).” –NLT PARALLEL STUDY BIBLE O all embracing mercy, thou ever open door, What shall I do without thee when heart and eyes run o’er? When all things seem against me, to drive me to despair, I know one gate is open, one ear will hear my prayer. ~ Oswald Allen
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