Sunday, November 29, 2009

Are You A KNYHT In HIS Majesty's Sacred Service?

Tell me what comes to mind when you think of the word 'knight'? What sort of image does it create?
Perhaps an image not unlike the one that's posted on this particular entry.

We've all entertained romantic notions of knights from the wealth of literature and film that's been exposed to us since we were children.

Of late, we've seen epic adventures in such films as Star Wars and the Jedi Knights that are sworn to protect the Republic from all enemies; also, The LORD of the RINGS with such knightly heroes as Aragorn, Boromir and Eomer have warmed our hearts with their faithful and dutiful words and deeds.

The historical reality of knights however can sometimes present a rather dismal picture: knights were often quite self-serving, greedy, heartless, merciless vigilantes who would sell the use of their swords to the highest bidders, who were usually corrupt monarchs and aristocracy that plotted vile plans of conquest and subterfuge.

This is not to say, of course, that there weren't any knights that held true to noble and true-hearted causes; certainly there were those of honorable conduct that endeavored to hold their titles with the utmost of diligence in fighting for the cause of right. Its just that these sort were far fewer than one might presume.

Yet the concept of chivalry was born out of the lives of such men who swore allegiance to a goodly king and or noble cause, and these knights held fast to such a code of ethics and conduct.

I would like to discuss a knight of a different sort however, that is, one who is a KNYHT. A KNYHT is an allegorical term I made up to represent the Christian: one who is born of the Spirit of God, a citizen of the kingdom of heaven, one who is a subject to the LORD King, Jesus Christ our Redeemer, and a spiritual warrior sworn to His sacred (not secret) service.

Consider the word itself: 'KNYHT' and notice the letter at its very center: 'Y' which could stand for Yahweh, and certainly for the KNYHT, the very center of his heart and life encompasses the LORD God Who dwells there.

Also, if you look closely at the branches that stem from the letter 'Y' you will note that the one on the left is broader than the one on the right, which is much narrower: this speaks of the two paths- the broad way that leads to destruction and the narrow way that leads to everlasting life.

Just as Kings and Lords (of the wealthiest sort) would sometimes furnish knights with their coat of arms, a suit of armor, weapons, and wages and estates, so too are KNYHTS furnished by their KING, but far more lavishly!

For a coat of arms, we are granted the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness!

ISAIAH 61:10
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness. . .

For a suit of armor, we are granted such unequaled by any other!

2 COR 6:7
By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

EPH 6:11,13
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.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.


And for weapons, we are given those which shall prove most lethal; the deadliest weapons ever to wreak havoc in the kingdom of darkness, which in centuries past have proven their worth just as they shall in any future campaign!

EPH 6:17
And take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

HEB 4:12
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

EPH 6:18
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

For wages and estates, while we have no certain dwelling place here, and if our situation provides only food and clothing, we are therewith to be content (1 TIM 6:8); however we KNYHTs will receive no wages for the glory of entering heaven's domain; no, this is an entry established solely by the grace of God! And yet, we shall receive different degrees of reward and inheritance based on our performance in this world (MATT 25:21-23), on that Day of Judgment of Rewards; such an inheritance that we have coming would not merely stagger the imagination, but undo it entirely! Consider the awesomeness of this verse!

ROM 8:17
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.

In regards to the profundity of that verse, I can say with David (PSALM 139:6) "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." It is true that as KNYHTs, soldiers of the Savior, we shall suffer in this world, but rewards for suffering for Christ's sake will equal an "eternal weight of glory", compared to such "light afflictions" (by comparison) we may endure here (2 COR 4:17). And even as we shall share in proportion to that which Christ shall receive for His inheritance from our Father, we shall acquire even more than this!
We shall know the depths of our precious LORD Jesus; the supreme Treasure of treasures! --- to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death (PHIL 3:10)--- and as it states elsewhere:

1 COR 13:12
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Can you even conceive of such an honor more glorious than that??? What is there about you that God doesn't know? He knows you through and through --- one day we shall know the LORD with that kind of thoroughness! Astounding!

No where else can any King boast of such benevolence towards his knights or even his own royal line! And that's precisely who we are in Christ Jesus: His royal house, His princes and princesses!
As KNYHTS, we are His soldiers (2 TIM 2:3), His priests (1 PET 2:9), His ambassadors (2 COR 5:20), His very household of sons and daughters!

And just as knights were subject to oaths of loyalty and fealty to their lords and kings, how much more are we as KNYHTS to swear our undying allegiance (even if our own bodies die in order to maintain that allegiance; 2 TIM 4:6) to the KING of Kings and LORD of Lords, He who is the Holy King of Heaven, that humbled Himself to such an inconceivable degree as to take on human flesh, walk among us sinners in this sinful world and ultimately, to become sin for us on that cross (PHIL 2:7-9); He who knew no sin (2 COR 5:21)- - went to such lengths for us: what level of dedication, commitment, faithfulness, and zeal should be considered "over much" in light of this???

And in this age, and in this very time in which we live, we are engaged in a holy war, but of an entirely spiritual kind. Grave indeed was the error of the Crusades, where men in the name of Christ took up swords forged by human hands, and spilled the blood of others, contrary to the command of Christ Who told us to "love our enemies, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those that spitefully use you" (MATT 5:44).

Make no mistake, those who marched in the Crusades did so by the command of Popes, not by scripture nor by the LORD Christ Jesus!

Paul stated emphatically who our enemy is, and what sort of warfare we are to conduct:

2 COR 10:3-4
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)


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.

Warren Weirsbe long ago made the statement that has stayed with me for the length of my Christian life: "We battle not FOR victory, but FROM victory!"

In other words, in this spiritual warfare we as KNYHTs are engaged in, the ultimate victory has already been claimed and achieved by the Captain of our Salvation, the LORD Jesus Who purchased our salvation by His own blood, and broken the power of the enemy.

Witness the truth of this statement in the following verse:

COL 2:15
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he (the LORD Jesus) made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Its clear that in the context of the verse above, this was achieved on the cross when He redeemed us from sin and death, but at this same time, He "spoiled" (skinned, like one would an animal, stripping of power) the very powers of hell in regards to His beloved! Such was His victory that not even the highest authorities in Satan's domain can interfere in the love of God towards us, His beloved:

ROM 8:38, 39b
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come . . . shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So what sort of warfare is this spiritual warfare?

On a side note: you may cringe at the very idea of spiritual warfare and of battling against the forces of Satan, and say, 'Sorry, this isn't my sort of thing.' Yet if you are a Christian, you must realize that this world system that's all around us belongs to Satan, who is the god (ruler) of this world (2 COR. 4:4) and as a Christian, you already are a marked target! It's either FIGHT or FLEE and become a VICTIM! There is NO THIRD CHOICE! Yet have hope, saint of God, for you have a brilliant weapons Master who will teach your hands to war (PSALM 18:34)!

This is a very broad subject and one worthy of dozens of books containing hundreds of pages each, but I have endeavored to get into detail about spiritual warfare, and what it entails in these TTUF articles at The TRUTH Under FIRE, a web site (See the link under "Spiritual Chow" on this blog site) I co-author with one Anne Kisly.

For now let me state as briefly as possible (IS such a thing possible for me??) that our warfare is two fold in its military objectives: the first objective is internal integrity, and the second is external evangelism.

Satan, the god of this world can do nothing against us KNYHTs where our salvation is concerned: once the LORD God has purchased us with His own blood, and we receive the redemption of our souls, this is a covenant that can't be corrupted by the great enemy, and he knows this!

What he can do however, is get us compromised: to so sway us by slow subtlety and gradual deceit that we eventually cease to walk in the Spirit, and begin to walk in the flesh; to sow to our flesh in such replete fashion that we can't engage in spiritual warfare: he will have effectively deprived us of our armor, as we carelessly leave it all behind, and walk naked behind enemy lines (this world), vulnerable and weak.

The battle then is for our internal integrity, that we maintain such a walk pleasing to God, in fellowship with Him that loves us so, He willingly offered up His own Son on our behalf. We must remain diligent in the Truth of God's Holy Word, not just in understanding its doctrine, but in their practice, and not just in their practice but with the right motivation--with a heart full of undying, unrivaled love for our LORD Who first loved us (1 COR 13)!

We shall partake of communion in prayer with our heavenly Father, and in exhortation and fellowship with our fellow warriors and saints, admonishing and encouraging each other, and so much more so, as we see that Day approaching (HEB 10:25)!
Essentially, the battle is for holiness (Christ-likeness), or in other words sanctification in our lives. If we offer ourselves as willing vessels, our God will be faithful and diligent to fill us with such grace and power that our objective of internal integrity WILL MOST CERTAINLY BE ACHIEVED!!! And subsequently to this, our second objective will be successfully fruitful!

Show me a warrior strong in the LORD, who laughs at temptation, who sneers at the power of the enemy, who exalts in the love of His LORD, and I will show you a warrior who is sanctified with the genuine work of the Holy Spirit in his life!

To learn more about what it means to be sanctified, I am pleased to present to you some articles I've done, which I pray will encourage you to pursue a holy walk in your every day life:

The Simple and Serious Gospel of Salvation – Phase II The Sanctifier is the Saint's Fire (part two and three are likewise found in sequence on The TRUTH Under FIRE).

The second objective is external evangelism, and you might think that such an objective can hardly be considered spiritual warfare; evangelism isn't about warfare, its about sharing the gospel!

Yet what is the goal of the gospel? To see souls saved from sin, death and hell, right? And can we honestly assume that Satan will politely step aside while we empty his kingdom of his enslaved subjects?? Absolutely not! He will bring all his forces to bear when even once his domain is threatened by such heralders of the gospel as we!

I recall an old Jamaican saint that we missionaries of Operation Mobilization once knew in England back in 1987. We were sharing the gospel with immigrants of Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist faith, and this gentleman seemed hugely successful in bringing Muslims to Christ! When we asked him how he managed to do this, he simply said in broken English, thick with Jamaican accent:
"Before I say one word to the Muslim, I say ten thousands words to LORD Jesus!"

This man understood intercessory prayer, and the nature of spiritual warfare as it relates to the Gospel!

I've heard it said that spiritual warfare is all about "UPrightness and OUTreach".

Reaching out to the lost, first with prayer on their behalf, and waiting upon God for the opportunity to share the Gospel, and then be empowered by God by His Spirit to go forth and wage war valiantly against the enemy, prying his claws from off the sorrowing, sinful soul who knows not what bondage he is in, breaking every chain that enslaves them in the darkness of that vile kingdom is what the KNYHT is all about.

As loyal soldiers, devoted to the KING of Kings, the Regent-Redeemer of the Heaven of heavens, we must heed His command and obey without question or hesitation, even more so than any earthly knight would for their own king who is but a man, whose breath is in his nostrils.

May we all, myself included, repent of any obstinate rebellion against our Holy King, and commit anew our vows of chivalrous service as KNYHTs in His Majesty's Sacred Service! Amen!

Hear my battle cry!
Nikaeo Aionios A.V.R.A.S.!

(Eternal Victory - Absolute Victory [in life] Requires Absolute Surrender [to Christ])

agape, grace & peace,

brother James a.k.a. KNYHT FIRE

post script:
May I please solicit prayer on my own behalf regarding a manuscript that I have (a novel not completed) which deals with much of these ideas of KNYHTS and warfare, but in story form. I have not worked on this manuscript for some time due to other more pressing needs to work on The TRUTH Under FIRE, as well as both blogs in getting the word out about the times in which we live and the extreme urgency Christians need in preparing spiritually for the dark days ahead.

If it's the LORD's will that I some day re-visit this manuscript and get it published it could prove a useful tool in the encouragement of the saints, as well as a means of presenting the gospel to the lost.
I would appreciate prayer for sensitivity on my part in hearing the LORD's voice and for sure direction and timing according to His will.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION?


It was the 6th century B.C. in the land of Israel.
Darius the ruler of the Medo-Persian Empire had been reigning at that time for a little over two and a half years. The people of Israel were granted permission to go and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.
Yet all was far from well in that day.

The word of the LORD through the prophet Haggai was as follows:

HAGGAI 1:6-8
"Ye have sown much and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enuogh; ye drink, but ye have not filled with drink; ye clothe you but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put into a bag with holes.. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up into the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD." 


Up until that point the people had said, "The time is not come, the time that the LORD's house should be built." vs. 2.

How they even got into such a predicament where their nation was razed, the holy city of Jerusalem was thrown down, one quarter of the entire population was slain in war, another quarter died in pestilence, another in starvation, and only one quarter remained and were led away captive in Babylon was because of their disobedience to the LORD and His Word.

Then I think of our own nation, and how collectively America has thumbed her nose at God and His Word, and even the church herself is disparaging the Holy Scriptures in ever increasing degrees.

Recall to mind the words of Thomas Jefferson, "I tremble for my country when I remember that God is just, and that His justice will not sleep forever."

The LORD encouraged His people to build the temple where once again the sacrifices could be made, offerings to the LORD, and He could meet with His people. He assured them that His Spirit remained with them just as much as in the day when He led them out of Egypt.

And on the heels of that encouragement, the LORD declared that,
Hagg. 2:6-7
". . . I will shake the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I wil shake all nations and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts." 

Note, all of creation will be shaken, including all nations: there won't be a single nation that will be exempt of this Divine shaking from the LORD.
"The desire of all nations" , a title of the LORD Jesus Christ, "shall come: and I will fill this house with glory. . ."

Here is a prophecy of the LORD's return to Earth, and a picture of the Millennial Reign in which He will rule from Jerusalem, in a "house" that will be filled with His glory; no doubt the very temple as seen by the prophet Ezekiel!

We realize however that before that glorious event, perilous times are in store in our near horizons; things are going to get increasingly "shakey".

The prophet Joel said as much in Joel 3:16 -


"The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel."

Anyone who's ever been in a major quake can relate to the terrifying experience as something that leaves a person very insecure. The longing for dwelling in a secure, stable environment can be overwhelming. Such an event can possibly leave one seriously psychologically impaired, and fearful.
In today's world where can we find stability and safety? Where can we look to for the security of rock-solid daily living? Where can we find peace?

In Matthew 7:24-27 the LORD Jesus declares that any that hear His Word and obey it, are like a house built upon a Rock, and its an entirely "storm-proof" structure! Such is the security for those who obey the Word of the LORD. Before you can obey it however, you must "hear" it, and this doesn't just mean using your ears. The concept behind this word is "to understand" and that takes spiritual insight granted by the Spirit of the LORD, and this is available to any and all who seek after, desire, and love the Truth.

If you desire peace and stablity, seek after, desire and love the Truth.
Then obey it.

The writer of the book of Hebrews (I believe that's the apostle Paul) admonishes the saints to
Hebrews 12:25-28
". . . refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

"Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

"Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:" 

Even in our individual lives, we may submit to the LORD Jesus in certain aspects-- our time in church, among other Christians at certain functions like prayer meetings, etc, and in a general sense, our over all lives; yet is He LORD in our home life, with our spouses and families? In our business life? Over our minds and thought life?


Any area of our lives that is founded on the Rock, the LORD Jesus, will know this security. Any area not yet submitted to the LORD in obedience to His Word will not know this security. If you're experiencing difficulties in any area in your life, ask yourself these questions:

Have I submitted this to the will of God? Is Jesus LORD in this area of my life?

Just as every man-made institution, objective and plan; every ideal and philosophy that is founded on humanistic, socialistic, atheistic, emergent church, social gospel (what have you) foundations will crumble and fall in this world. Everyone will experience this tremendous "shaking" by the LORD's hand, so that only that which is founded on Him will endure. So too, every area in our lives not submitted to the LORD Jesus will suffer loss, and only that which is granted to the LORD, this alone will not only survive, but prosper - - even in the midst of hardships, trials and perilous times in our near future!

Incidently, that temple that was built in the days of Haggai was the very same structure that survived into the days in which the LORD Jesus walked the land of Israel; granted it was expanded lavishly under the architectural prowess of Herod the Great, but it was, at its core, the same temple structure that was built several hundred years prior.


Yet the LORD prophecied in Matthew chapter 24 that not one stone would remain on top of another, that is, it would be destroyed!
Why? Quite simply, because the WORD of the LORD had come into their midst, in the flesh, and as a nation, they rejected Him, He who is the Messiah of Israel! Yet, while God is not even today finished with the nation of Israel (she has a fantastic future in store, in fulfillment of promises made both to Abraham and to David), she was in 70 A.D. once again dispersed. She had as before, been disobedient to the LORD, the WORD made flesh!


May we, who are called by the Name of the LORD Jesus, renew our commitment to our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ, and be hearers, doers, obedient children and lovers of the WORD and thus remain steadfastly secure, and stable on Him, Our Firm Foundation! He alone is our grace, peace and joy!

May the LORD Jesus Christ, bless each and every one of you - - WAY TOO MUCH!!



How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.



agape,

brother James