In Rev 5.7 a “scroll” is taken by Yeshua at his coronation (See our Revelation study for more on this) and in Hebrew thought the Torah was seen as a “scroll with seven seals” meaning “perfect.” The Messiah himself goes to war with the Torah, and this is an example for us.
In Isa 8.16-20 it says that we are to “bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” and to go to “the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no light (understanding).” The “testimony” are prophecies and is another way of saying the prophets, and the “law” is the Torah. If people do not speak according to the law and the prophets the truth is not in them. We are told that “da’at” (knowledge) and “chachamah” (wisdom) go together, and it is the same with the Torah and the prophets. Sometimes you meet people who are into studying the Jewish roots but only study the Torah. At other times, you meet people who are only into prophecy. To have the da’at and to receive the chachmah that comes with that, you must have a combination of the two, “the Law and the Prophets” (Matt 5.17; Luke 16.31).
Having these two things will give us “stability” (our walls-Isa 33.6) for our times. Let’s go to Heb 5.11-14. Your knowledge should increase from a babe needing milk to a mature believer needing meat. The more you grow, the stronger your spiritual “fortifications” will be. We have an interesting story in 2 Chr 14.2 to 16.14. King Asa prepares fortifications, then the Ethiopians come. Asa calls on God and they are defeated. In 2 Chr 16.12, Asa got sick and did not call upon the Lord, and he died. He didn’t do both (call on God and the physicians), and loses. We need the Law and the Prophets (Isa 8.16). We need knowledge and wisdom (Isa 33.6). We also need to prepare and call upon the Lord (2 Chr 14.6-11; Prov 16.1). Any one can tell another what God said, but very few can tell another what he means. There is a difference. Remember, the essence of psychological warfare is to confuse the meaning of words and infiltrate the mind with conflicting concepts.
Now, let’s look at the some of the earliest fortifications to see what we can learn about spiritual warfare. In the Chal-Colithic period, or stone age, the fortifications in Jericho are some of the oldest. Tree’s like the sycamore were there, which were seen in Hebrew thought as the “tree of repentance and return” (Luke 19.4). Date palms were seen as “tree’s of righteousness” (Psa 92.12) and they were also there. It had a spring and the Jordan River there, so it was like an oasis. It had a tower with a wall built around it, very high. It also had a moat around the wall 9 feet wide and 3 feet deep. But why would it have a moat around the wall if there were no battering rams at the time? The answer is Jericho was very old, in the stone age. A new believer can have strong fortifications even at a young age. This would be better than being a believer long enough to be in the bronze age, but you are still in the stone age.
You are going to fight against bronze age weapons with stone age “weapons” or knowledge. You are doing what Heb 5.12 says. You should be teachers but you are still babes.
Now, there are three phases in building a tower. First, you have the tower, then a stone wall around the tower, then you have your outside wall. Excavations showed that the bow was the number one weapon at the time. It also showed that they dug a moat out of rock, so thousands of man hours were needed. In other words, these defenses were not thrown up “overnight.” It was well thought out, it was planned and it needed a lot of work. Our “fort” or “city” can only be built with a lot of work, that means getting in there and laboring. It is going to take much thought, and God will give you revelation.
As you study, God will reveal more and more. You must devour the Scriptures, eat them and drink them. They must be your last thought at night and the first in the morning. You must walk and talk them, all the time building your fortifications. We are going to move through these early periods quickly till the iron age, which starts in the book of Judges.
We are going to do extensive work in the time of the Exodus because it is where Israel has their first army. In the early bronze age, or pre-patriarchal, it covers from the flood to Abraham. Fortifications are well-developed at this time. Weapons are advanced but primitive. This is where we first see the chariot. The word in Hebrew for “chariots” is “merkavah.” They are developed in Mesopotamia, 1500 years before Egypt had them. The primary places that used them was Sumer, Mari, Akkad, Ur and Kish. They were not used in Israel until the time of David.
Solomon took the chariot to it’s height in Israel. In Hebrew, the word for “pattern” is “tavnit” (Ezek 43.10). Chariots and battering rams were two of the most effective weapons developed during ancient times. They were the “pattern.” A battering ram could demolish your fortifications. Until then, men would try to attack and try to hack away at your walls with an “eye axe” but they were not very successful. The chariots and battering ram are the “tavnit” of God. If you know what to look for in the Scriptures, you can get something out of it. You have a tavnit and are better equipped for offense or defense (Eph 6.10-20). A chariot gives you mobility (one of the three elements of war).
The first ones were not so good, they had four wheels or two wheels, were slow and couldn’t even use horses, they used “onagers” which were small, wild donkeys. They had solid wheels. In a direct assault, armed with javelins, they were used to panic the enemy and to engage them at medium range, then move to short range. The absence of bows means they were not very developed at this point, nor in widespread use. They were used like this until spiked wheels with lighter materials and a composite bow was developed. Then a chariot became a deadly mobile firing platform, using horses instead of onagers.
Spiritually, how do we apply this. When you became a believer, you may have read the Scriptures from cover to cover, with an attitude to build a chariot. You looked for the Messiah, the kingdom and anything that was a tavnit (pattern) for the plan of God. At first, your chariot will be slow and clumsy, not a great instrument of war. But, it was better to be “Sumerian” with a chariot than an Egyptian without any. Once you have a “chariot” you can structure yourself and have a mobile firing platform. Without it, you are in a battle and “outmatched.” Just reading the Scriptures without seeing the “patterns” is a waste of time.
For instance, read Gen 1.1. Do you see the seven thousand year plan there? Can you explain the enlarged Hebrew letter “Beit?” Do you see where the Messiah will come in year 4000 and year 6000? Do you see the menorah and the kingdom? If you can’t, then you don’t have a chariot because all of that is in that verse. You won’t get all this the first time, but you can get all of that and more once you start to built a functioning “chariot” and start to refine and filter with the proper instruction.
Your chariot will develop into a fast and mobile firing platform and it will have “shock value” on the enemy. Here is another example. Go to Lev 24.10-14. Now, Psa 136.15 says that Pharaoh was overthrown in the Red Sea. We know from Psa 74.13-14 that Leviathan is the sea monster who has his “heads” destroyed in the sea and the heads of Leviathan are crushed, an allusion to Pharaoh.
Rev 13.1 says that there is a beast who arises out of the sea, with seven heads. And Isa 27.1 says this is Leviathan. So, Pharaoh is a type of the false messiah, from “Egypt” or Europe (Ezek 29; Ezek 32). What was Yeshua tried for? Blasphemy, right? Did he blaspheme? No, but what does the false messiah do? He does blaspheme by saying he is God and creator (Dan 11.36; 2 Thes 2.4).
Lev 24.10-14 tells us some very important things about the false messiah. It tells us that he is possibly from the tribe of Dan. He blasphemes and his mother’s name was Shelomit, which means “peaceful” and who was the daughter of Dibri, meaning “my word.” Both are allusions to the false messiah. You could read those verses forever and not get that much detail and not even realize it was there. However, once you have developed a keen sense of what to look for, then you can see it.
Another example is Gen 2.21-24 when the Lord created Eve. This will help interpret Eph 5.22-32, Jer 23.5-6 and Jer 33.15-16 relating to marriage. Here is the trap. If you look for only the “tavnit” you won’t get a good foundation that will allow you to discover them. Read all the Scriptures, all the way through. Then you will know what’s right or wrong if you read a book or hear a message. Let the Scriptures mold your mind, not the book or message.
You will find as you center yourself in the Scriptures that many of the books and programs on TV you liked won’t matter anymore because you have matured. Babies put everything and anything into their mouths because there is no concept of wisdom within them that a piece of plastic can hurt them. In another example, Isa 21.1-10 has many “units” coming together to clarify these verses. Concepts like the wilderness, Babylon, Birthpains, Rosh Ha Shannah, Coronation, the Natzal (rapture), Messiah, the Magen, Eschatology, the Day of the Lord and the Lord’s Supper are all contained in those verses.
The purpose of a chariot is mobility. A chariot is used to break up the ranks in open battle, but not used in charging fortresses. Mobility is what they tried to improve. It is the same thing in our study of the Scriptures. You want to move through the teachings with a proper back-round. Dogmatism is being “boxed up” in a way where God can’t change you. That is not being “mobile” but a pitfall. You should be different next year than you are this year. If you haven’t changed, you have no mobility. You must “contend” for the faith and prepare, but the answer is from the Lord (Prov 16.1).
Desire to build your chariot, battering ram and all your weapons but you are going to have to come up “through the ropes.” At first, you are the guy out there with no helmet or axe and you are limited in what you can do. You would be stupid to go up against a great fortification (a better scholar). Admit that you don’t know much and don’t get into contentions with a “better” scholar.
Learn, ask questions and check things out. In Part 4, we will pick up with the short range weapons and close combat of the pre-patriarchal, early bronze age period and apply these concepts to our spiritual warfare.