Saturday, December 8, 2012

Knights of the Lord’s Table

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  (Eph 6:13)

I once had a friend of mine tell me of the training classes he had been attending to learn how to better defend himself and his loved ones with a knife and a gun. He said that with the breakdown he was witnessing in society he expected that his new found skills would be called into use as the downfall took place. Then he made a statement that has stuck with me ever since. He said, “What really appeals to me is that righteous warrior aspect where the use of force is justified, good fighting against evil, like knights fighting in the crusades.” 

He was evidently enamored by the romance of the days of yore we’ve read about in classic literature of noble knights, men of valor and virtue who slayed dragons and rescued damsels in distress with chivalry and honor. Legendary days when King Arthur ruled with his Knights of the Round Table in Camelot; Camelot, that 1,000 year reign of peace and safety in the kingdom idealized by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in his work, Idylls of the King.

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I’m sure the parallelism is not lost between the reign of our Lord and King during the 1,000 years of the millennium and this counterfeit earthly kingdom romanticized by the Arthurian legend of Camelot where knights worship and serve their king, offering to put their lives on the line for the cause of truth, justice and honor.

A noble endeavor provided you serve the right King. We do serve the right King; the King of kings! But we don’t have to take up training for war with conventional weapons in order to participate in the battle for truth, justice and honor. When we pledged our lives to our Lord, we entered the battlefield; the spiritual battlefield with much more at stake than just land and earthly resources. We fight in the war of all wars for the Kingdom of God and of His Christ. (Rev. 11:15)

Since we don’t entangle ourselves in the affairs of this life, (2Tim 2:3-4) as good knights and soldiers of Jesus Christ, where is our battle and who is our enemy? Whom might we encounter that would require that we fight for truth, justice and honor? And what are our weapons?
(Eph 6:12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
So, our battle is a spiritual one; a fight for the truth, (2Thes 2:10-12) for the hearts and minds of those blinded by the father of lies, (John 8:44) the god of this age (2Cor 4:4) who has deceived the whole world. (Rev 12:9)
2Cor 10:3-6  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (4)  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  (5)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;  (6)  And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
While there is no question that this applies to us in our own struggle to keep our own thoughts in check, I contend it also applies to our encounters with the belief systems of others. We must do what is within our ability to pull down false belief systems when it is proper to do so.

We are told to love our neighbor aren’t we? If we love them shouldn’t we do what we can to make the truth of the gospel of the Kingdom available to them, exposing their false beliefs, shining the light of God’s word in a dark place? We aren’t to just simply tolerate the darkness and the deeds that men do there but rather expose them and reprove them.
(Eph 5:11-13)  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  (12)  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.  (13)  But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
How do we do this? What are the weapons of a Knight of the Lord’s Table? Back to Ephesians 6:14. We won’t read this whole passage but just have it handy as we list the items that make up the whole armor of God.
  • Belt of Truth
  • Breastplate of Righteousness [As we used to say, “Right makes might.”]
  • Shoes of the preparation of the gospel, a lamp unto our feet
  • Shield of Faith to protect us from the fiery darts of the enemy
  • Helmet of Salvation – to know and know that we know, trusting in God, taking Him at His word
  • Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God
  • Prayer, our line of communication back to HQ to call for backup and air support
  • Cloak of Zeal – (Isa 59:17)
Of all the items listed in the armor of God though, only one is a weapon, the sword of the spirit, the Word of God, and it is sharper than any two-edged sword.

Are we adept at wielding our sword? How do we deal with those we encounter who espouse counterfeit gospels, beliefs and doctrines? When we hear such things should we just ignore them or should we engage? Every fight need not be fought but there are times when those things should not go unchallenged. There are times when we must contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. (Jude 3) The dragon must be slain and the damsel must be rescued!

Each of us can do our part in preaching the gospel of the kingdom to every creature in all the world. (Mark 16:15; Matt 24:14, 28:19) As part of the body of Christ fitly framed together, (Eph 2:21) each with our own roles, (1Cor 12) each of us can do something to get the message out to the world, no matter how small.

There are easy steps we can take to get started. When we go to the doctor’s office or have our hair cut, we can leave behind a copy of the Good News magazine in the waiting area. We can post an article from the UCG website on Twitter or a video from Beyond Today on FaceBook. We can send it to a friend in email. We can distribute tri-fold pamphlets such as these, or write a blog or an article for the Virtual Christian Magazine.

The beginning of the millennium will be a time just after people have been through the most horrific ordeal beyond anything they could have imagined. They will be scared, distrustful, skeptical and in a state of shock, their belief systems shattered and confounded. We must be prepared as ministering spirits to console them on an individual basis to restore their faith and ensure them that they can safely place their trust in the new government entity out of Jerusalem, namely the Kingdom of God. It is through fighting the good fight now, (1Tim 6:12; 2Tim 4:7) that each of us hones our skills in preparation to serve and restore mankind in the millennium. It is also the actions we take now upon which our reward is based. (Rev 22:12)

To those who say, “But we have people at the home office for that. We have a paid ministry and a television program”, I say that as budgets continue to tighten and darkness falls on this nation and on this world, there may be no television program or home office. It will be up to each of us individually to let our lights so shine as to glorify the Father (Matt 5:16) and to get the message out. It's best we prepare now.

As we’re told in Amos 8:11, the famine of the word is coming and it will be up to those who have oil in their lamps (Matt 25:4) to show compassion on those who awaken to God’s truth and to take them in and nourish them until Christ returns.

The days of “pay and pray” are over! Do we really think we can take a Laodicean approach and just do nothing and merely wait for our Lord’s return? When he does return what will he find us so doing? Did we use the talent he gave us wisely or will we pathetically unfold the napkin to reveal to him the same raw undeveloped talent he gave us? (Luke 19:20) To whom much is given, much is required.  (Luke 12:48)

Have we become so richly blessed and in need of nothing that we have become lukewarm to spreading the gospel message? (Rev 3: 15-17) “I got mine! These people better wake up before it’s too late!” Well, many of them are awakening but to a watered down message of lawless grace instead of the real truth of God. When they do finally seek the truth, how do they find it if no one is there to lead them to it?
Rom 10:13-15  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (14)  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  (15)  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
We can be that preacher, that knight in shining armor who rescues them from the dragon with the sword of our Lord. We don’t have to be ordained ministers to tell people about the truth of God, do we? Each and every one of us that is called to the truth is also called to tell others about it. Freely ye have received, freely give. (Matt 10:8)

As people become aware that they’ve been deceived and sold a pack of lies by this world, some will seek the truth, and call on God. And until He finally turns his back on this world, He will hear them. But who will be there to lead them to the real truth? Each of us has an approach that will appeal to some but not to all, so each of us must do our part and trust that God will lead them to us.

On however small a scale, we each must do what we can to fight the good fight of faith and having done all, to stand therefore. (Eph 6:13) And one day to hear those words we all long to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”. (Matt 25:21) And to sit down at a table prepared before us in the presence of our enemies.
Psa 23:4-6  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  (5)  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  (6)  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Luke 22:29-30  And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;  (30)  That ye may eat and drink at my table [the Lord’s table] in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.


… as good Knights of the Lord’s Table become kings and priests! (Rev 5:10)


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