We are going to begin a long and serious study on the spiritual warrior by looking at warfare contained in the Scriptures and the related weapons, tactics and strategies. This will not be like anything you have ever studied, nor will it be like any warfare study you have ever been exposed to. This will take a long time to develop and this should be read and studied in order because we are going to build on each concept as we go along.
Each scripture given should be looked up and studied. The goal of this study is to “know the Lord” (Jer 9.23-24) not to fight battles. But, we are in a war that never stops and part of the battle is the decision to do it. We must “consider your ways” (Hag 1.7) and by this we mean are you wasting your time in life or are we building the house of God (Ezek 13.1-5). We must “repair the walls” that have been broken down and you do this by each piece of information that you will learn.
Think of it as building a wall around your city. Each piece of truth is like a brick that you put into your wall. Song 8.9 asks if we are a wall (strong) or a door (weak). Some will say that they don’t see the application in studying warfare. It is not something that you just sit down and understand quickly, but this will apply to anyone who is believer because you are in a war whether you want to be or not.
Ecc 9.14-16 likens us to a city, and it can be delivered by wisdom. Matt 13.45-46 and Job 28.18 speak about wisdom and how valuable it is. This wisdom comes from the Lord through the Scriptures, with the Torah as a foundation for your walls. If you want to have a strong wall and a protected city, you must understand the Law and the Prophets, and then build on that.
There are three goals to this study. First, we are going to look at the ancient battles and apply what God has shown to our spiritual battles. There is no way to get into all this in the detail we could if we taught this live to an audience, but we will do our best to bring things out to better your understanding. Secondly, we want to understand the coming of the Messiah in the context of the battles that were fought before as being pictures of the future battles that we read about in prophecy. Third, we want to open everyone up to a better understanding of any passage that we come across as we study.
There is a chronology of warfare in the Scriptures and it also changes through time. The periods we will cover is the Neo-lithic, which is the stone age (around 4000 BC). Then there is the Chalo-colithic, which is a transition from the stone age to Bronze Age (4000 to 3200 BC). The early Bronze Age is around 3100 to 2100 BC and then the middle Bronze Age, which is the patriarchal period and the Hyksos in Egypt (2100 to 1570 BC). The late Bronze Age is the new kingdom in Egypt (Exo 1), the Hittite period, the Exodus and the conquest of Canaan (1570 to 1200 BC). Then we have the Iron Age I and II which started with the Philistines who first developed iron for weapons and tools (1200 to the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC). Then we will look at the Persian, Greek and Roman periods (538 to 326 BC). Finally, we will look at the Modern Age. We will start by discussing the earliest fortifications and come up through the different periods. We will look at the different fortifications, weapons, the development of armies, tactics and strategies.
Warfare developed over the centuries, from Cain and Abel to nuclear weapons. At first it was a rock, then crude shields and then walled cities, bows and developed strategies for protection, all the way up to tanks, missiles and what we have today. Spiritually, it will be the same thing with us. At first, we don’t know much but we have a relationship with the Lord and he gives grace to us because we are babes. But, we must begin to build our city (us) and our walls. If we haven’t progressed over the next few years the enemy is going to hit us hard, and the Lord will allow it to teach us warfare. That’s why the Lord left some of the nations in Canaan because he wanted to teach his people war (Judges 3.1-2). If we don’t start learning and building, the enemy is going to hit us like a steamroller because we are not equipped.
So, we need to “come out of it” and learn the Torah and the Prophets and what the Lord is trying to tell us in the Scriptures. Staying in a church all your life will not do it because you are captured already because they have exchanged the Hebraic mindset of understanding the Scriptures for a Hellenistic, western mindset, which is useless in a real battle.
We need to head towards the “promised land” where the Lord wants us and move out of the “seat of idolatry” (Egypt). We need to develop and get organized. We need to develop our weapons, our mobility and security. As we get stronger, the enemy will be stronger and may “hit you” in more than one place. Our enemy is powerful (Babylon), many (Medo-Persia), moving fast (Greece) and skilled, relentless and killers (Romans). Our development in the Scriptures must parallel the time you have been a believer in order to “build our fortifications.”
War is the attempt of one entity to impose its will on another by force. The Lord gave the laws of warfare in Deut 20 to the nation of Israel. The Lord is a warrior (Exo 15.3) and he is the commander in chief, called “Adonai Zva’ot” which means “Lord of the armies.” The term “gospel” in Hebrew is the word “basar” and it means “good news from a battlefield.” There is Hebrew term called the “moreshet karav” and it means “the heritage of war.” Israeli school children learn it very young.
The Lord said he will teach us warfare (Judges 3.1-2; 2 Sam 22.35). The casualties of this war will be or hearts, minds, health, family and possibly our lives. What we learn in this study we must be able to apply to our lives (2 Cor 10.3-4; Eph 6.10-20). Warfare changed in Israel and so should it change in our lives. The caliber of enemy and weapons and defenses got stronger and better, so our weapons and defenses better get stronger, too.
Ecc 1.18 says that “in much wisdom comes much grief” and the mark of true wisdom is knowing the Scriptures but not having to prove it to everybody all the time. We are commanded to learn, but it will be hard and lonely, but we will learn what to expect and how to deal with it. We learn from Luke 14.31 that part of the battle is the decision to do it! There is always a price to pay in battle, and it can come in many ways. It may be in losing your family, your friends, your health through stress, jobs, finances and other things. We will be our biggest enemy. There are no “formulas” to overcome the enemy and to be completely incorruptible ourselves, but the Lord will open doors.
Don’t ever think that the battle is over in a victory, you must expect a counter-attack and the battle to get hotter. Why? Because we just improved our weapons and the enemy will counter. God will allow him to “hit” you (Judges 3.1-2) because of pride (2 Cor 12.1-10). One of the things we will look at is what we think are weapons are really not real weapons at all, but “magic” in place of real weapons. Naming and claiming, “confessing” things “into existence” like in the faith movement is just a false teaching from the enemy that has convinced some that they are throwing rocks when they are really throwing “mud.”
Everything in warfare must come from God (Lam 3.37). You can’t make God “jump through your hoops” like a circus lion. Remember, he is “Adonai Zava’ot” and “Lord of the armies.” Pride should always be directed towards the Lord (Jer 9.23-24) and when its not, there will be trouble. For example, we can take pride in our children, or, just be thankful that God has blessed you with children and he has blessed them in their accomplishments. See the difference?
As tactics and weapons develop, so should ours. We must see ourselves as a city and a fortification. When the enemy comes to attack, there are certain things you must have in place to keep his battering rams away from your walls in order to “penetrate” you. We can hold him off and defeat him. Conservatism in warfare is a weapon and tactic that the people are afraid to use, or change, as things develop. You can’t throw stones if someone is shooting arrows at you, you have to change. This can hurt you if a strong weapon is developed and you don’t take the time to improve yours against it. We need the right weapon and defense at the right time. We need to hear from the Lord on this.
For example, a “casemate” wall is thin and the Assyrians used a crude battering ram against them. Then they made “broad walls” which was 17-20 feet thick and higher. Ladders won’t work and a battering ram had to be bigger. Some cities like Laish had 50 foot walls. King Herod built Masada, but only built casemate walls because they were on top of a mountain and he didn’t think a battering ram could reach the top, and it was cheaper. What happened? Rome built a ramp up to the walls of Masada and it fell. The lesson is don’t underestimate the enemy or it could be fatal.
In Part 1, we will begin by talking about the three elements of warfare and begin to develop your understanding of spiritual warfare by looking at how the enemy will attempt to achieve this triple supremacy over us. We are going to get into many different facets of warfare and apply what we learn to our spiritual warfare. This will be like nothing you have ever learned before, but it will be one of the most important lessons you have ever studied.