Darrow Miller and Friends

Christ the Knight

  1. Understanding the Times and Seasons
  2. Gothic Images from Today’s Culture
  3. The Three Worlds of Evangelicalism
  4. The Need for Symbols
  5. The Wilderness
  6. Evil Dwells in the Wilderness
  7. The Habitation of the Demonic (includes audio and video links)
  8. Christ the Knight

In the last three blogs we examined two symbols that should help provide the current context for our lives, The Wilderness and the Evil Dwelling in the Wilderness. In the last blog, we further explored the effects of the demonic realm on society and individuals. Now we will examine Nathan Stone’s third and final symbol: Christ the Knight.

Stone writes, “Finally — perhaps most crucially — the symbol of Christ as good shepherd needs to be replaced with the Christ Knight, the Christ Warlord. It is not that the image of the good shepherd is wrong or somehow bad but that, at this moment, engaged as we are in a warming cold war for survival, it is not the symbol that we need.”

Many of us have grown up with the children’s hymn “Gentle Jesus” that has so shaped our lives. Here are the words:

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, Look upon a little child; Pity my simplicity, Suffer me to come to Thee.

Lamb of God, I look to Thee; Thou shalt my example be: Thou art gentle, meek and mild; Thou wast once a little child.

Fain I would be as Thou art; Give me Thine obedient heart: Thou art pitiful and kind; Let me have Thy loving mind.

Is Jesus the Good Shepherd? Yes! Is he the Lamb of God? Yes! Is he meek and mild? Yes! But that is not all He is. Jesus is the Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5). He is the Dragon Slayer (Rev. 12:10).

As Christians we are to live between these two statements, principles, or visions that on first glance seem to conflict with one another.

The great G.K. Chesterton, known as the “Prince of Paradox,” explains in his book Orthodoxy that we are to live within the tension of two things that are equally true: I have written about Chesterton’s helpful insights here.

Jesus, the Christ, is both the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah. In His going to the cross, Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. In His resurrection from the dead, He is the Lion of Judah, the Conquering King, who leads His people in battle against the forces of evil and darkness. He is gentle Jesus, meek and mild AND He is the conqueror of Satan and death. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 14:54-58:

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
     O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

He is the Christus Victor (victorious Christ) at the resurrection. He ascended into heaven as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Christ is the victor over death and Satan!

The great Irish Christian missionary to India, Amy Carmichael stated so profoundly the importance and impact of Christ the Victor:

Every high thing was cast down at Calvary. Principalities and powers were spoiled there. He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them. We have to do with a conquered foe, not a conquering, foe; we follow a Captain who is unconquerable!

Knowing now that Christ is both the Lion and the Lamb, reflect for a moment on which aspect of Jesus you’vespent the most time contemplating. How does this truth that Jesus is the victorious King change the way you see our current cultural moment? How does this truth change the way that you see the church?  How does it change how you see yourself?

As we respond to Christ the Warrior King, we need to remember four things about the context of this new symbol.

First, the battle, while here on earth, is rooted in the heavenly places against the demonic. The principalities and powers, though personal spiritual beings, project their influence on people and nations through culture. Culture is the integration point between the spiritual and the physical realms.

Second, Christ has preeminence over all things. Colossians 1:16-19 states:

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Christ’s death on the cross was “to reconcile to himself all things.” Did you catch that? His death on the cross was not only to save our souls, but it was to reconcile all things to himself. He is supreme! With His ascension from earth to heaven, he was coronated as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Third, Christ reveals to His followers that He will build his church. He says to Peter in Matthew 16:18, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Note two things here:

  1. The church is God’s primary instrument for bringing change to society.
  2. The church is to be on the offense, not the defense.

Picture this: the Warrior King is leading His people into battle, and they are attacking the very gates of hell. The gates of a city are defensive. Remember, Christ’s death and resurrection showed His victory over Satan. Satan, the defeated enemy is now holed up in his fortress. Christ our Captain promises we, the church, will win this battle!

What are some of the strongholds of evil in your community? Are you ready to follow Christ into battle?

Fourth, what are the weapons we are to use? Remember there is real flesh and blood warfare but the source of the warfare is in the heavenlies. Culture is the fountainhead that influences economics, politics, and any other collective efforts. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Paul makes it clear what we are to fight with:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

While the battle is in a flesh and blood world and will manifest itself in flesh and blood, we need to remember that the origin of this battle is in the heavenlies with principalities and powers – the demonic. The demonic are inhabiting the wilderness/wasteland. The weapons we are to use are intended to destroy mental strongholds. “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ…”

We are to break strongholds at their foundations; they are essentially wicked ideas and ideologies. As the late J.I. Packer has so clearly stated, “The Evangelical is not afraid of facts, for he knows that all facts are God’s facts; nor is he afraid of thinking, for he knows that all truth is God’s truth, and right reason cannot endanger sound faith.”

Too often, today, the church is spineless. We are often spineless because we are not confident that we have Truth on our side. But we can be secure that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. We do not need to fear facts or the searching out of truth because truth is self-authenticating, and anything true is a reflection of our Lord.

The Church’s response to evolutionism and modernism has been to hide behind the sacred/secular divide and thus to withdraw from the world. But the church has nothing to be afraid of when confronting the false notions behind materialism and modernism. The Church’s response to Cultural Marxism and wokeness was to leave objective truth behind for subjective feelings. We need to have the courage of earlier generations of Christians who understood that Christ is the Warrior King and to follow Him, like they did, to the very gates of hell.

Christ is the Victor. He is the Great Warrior King. What does this mean for us? We are to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. We are to follow him to the very gates of hell in our own communities and nations. We are the church, and He has promised that we will overcome!!

We have learned in this blog that Christ went to the cross as the Lamb of God and was resurrected from the dead as the Lion of Judah, the Warrior King. We are His army, called to follow Him on the offensive, to take ground with the power of the Spirit.

What are the darkest places in your neighborhood, community, or city that need the Light?  Where do you see Christ weeping? What do you see God doing behind the scenes? How can you join with God to see those places transformed? Where are those broken and impoverished lives that need the Love of God?

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About 
Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).

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