“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.”
King James Version (KJV)
1:18 And he that liveth - Another peculiar title of God. And I have the keys of death and of hades - That is, the invisible world. In the intermediate state, the body abides in death, the soul in hades. Christ hath the keys of, that is, the power over, both; killing or quickening of the body, and disposing of the soul, as it pleaseth him. He gave St. Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven; but not the keys of death or of hades. How comes then his supposed successor at Rome by the keys of purgatory? From the preceding description, mostly, are taken the titles given to Christ in the following letters, particularly the four first.
Re 1:18 He that liveth, and was dead. Put to death but living. And have the keys of hell and of death. "The keys of death and of Hades" (Revised Version). Not only a victor over death, but the very gates of death and Hades are under his control. Hence he can deliver from the dead whom he will.