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Principles Of Warfare


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#1 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 06:47 PM

Carl Von Clausewitz

Enter the 19th century Prussian general, Carl Von Clausewitz. His great work 'On War', influenced military thought for almost 100 years, and is still a standard military textbook in some armies, including that of the former Soviet Union.

Clausewitz understood war very well, and it is for this reason that I will be referring to his work. I will take one of his principles of warfare, and see if it can be applied to our own, just as Paul looked to the Roman army for inspiration on the numerous occasions during which he wrote of the war against the flesh.

Many of the principles which Clausewitz proposes are directly applicable to our own battle, but some are not. For this reason, I will not always be agreeing with him, but it will be useful to demonstrate how unlike a literal, fleshly war our struggle is.


WHAT IS OF GREATEST IMPORTANCE IN WARFARE?


According to Clausewitz:

'There is nothing in war which is of greater importance than obedience.'

Now here is a principle which we may apply directly to our own warfare.
Without obedience, we cannot possibly wage an effective war against the flesh:

Romans 6:
16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?


Obedience to the master of our choice will determine our success or failure in the battle. If we obey the flesh, we cannot win, and will die.

Only obedience unto righteousness will provide an opportunity to prevail against the flesh, and win.

2 Corinthians 10:
3For 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;) 
5Casting 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;


The principle is clear. If we would succeed in our warfare, we must use spiritual weapons against a carnal foe. We cannot fight the flesh with the flesh. Remember David's battle against Goliath?

When we make war, our weapons are mighty through God, which means that only when we obey Him can we succeed.

Note that even every thought, every one of our sentiments and feelings is to be taken, brought into captivity, and made obedient to Christ.

This will happen only when and if we decide for ourselves that Christ is our commander in this battle, and that we will obey him.

#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 06:50 PM

Now let's continue this thought.

Think of the moment that a soldier first enlists in an army. When he does so, he pledges his allegiance to his country, and his commanding officer.

He knows full well that he is pledging his life, and that is required to give up his entire life in obedience to his commander.

With this pledge comes a knowledge that he is also giving up a way of life.
He is no longer a civilian, and his old life is no longer available to him.
This is less true now that it used to be. These days, soldiers are able to go on leave from the army, but this was not the case in former days.

In fact, there is at least one modern army which still demands complete dedication from its troops, and that is the French Foreign Legion.

Historically, it has been called 'The Legion of the Damned', because once a man has enlisted, he is never to leave, nor can he ever even receive correspondence from the outside. His 'old life' is entirely forgotten, and the only life which now exists is his life in the army.

This is equivalent to the armies of Rome, on which Paul drew for so many of his analogies:

2 Timothy 2:
4No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.


This complete dedication, this complete obedience, is what Christ requires of his soldiers. Once we have enlisted in the army of Christ, we can no longer return to our old way of life.

This necessarily means that when we are enlisted in the army of Christ, our way of life must change. We must put certain things behind us, and never return to them. You do not receive 'leave' from the army of Christ.

If we pledge Christ our complete obedience, we must maintain that pledge by keeping ourselves separate from the world. Not only the world, but also from our old way of life. There will be many things which we will have to give up, our time being one of them. To return to our old way of life will be to entangle ourselves with our own past, and to sacrifice our pledge to Christ.

If this seems harsh, if it seems isolating and lonely, consider these verses:

Philippians 3:
16Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.


When we walk in the army of Christ, we do not walk alone. No soldier does.
We walk with others, we 'advance in a line' as the phrase in verse 3 means.
Soldiers walk in rank. This means a number of things:

- They are united in purpose and goal

- They are aware of each other, and their positions with regard to others

- They support each other

- They have the same commander, and obey the same commands

The ability of the soldier to march in line, and perform complex battle maneuvers in the field whilst maintaining formation, is only acquired by means of constant drilling.

Drilling is the training of the army as a group.

The soldiers are gathered into one place, and are trained together, that they might become used to thinking and acting as one body, so that the entire body might be moved by a single commandment.

Our drilling takes place most often when we are gathered together in a group for the purpose of exhortation by the word. We are reminded of the identity of our commanding officer, we are reminded of the commands which we know we all have to follow, and we are encouraged to follow them as a group.

There is no doubt that Paul was inspired by the Roman army, capable of astonishing battle maneuvers at high speed, and of the well disciplined ranks which would advance, steadfast and unyielding, on the untrained barbarians who would inevitably break ranks and collapse.

There is strength in numbers, but only when those numbers are united with the same mind. Paul obviously had these thoughts in mind when he wrote to the Philippians:

Philippians 4:
1Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
2I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.


The aim of the commander when drilling his army is that they eventually have the same mind as he. This will require complete obedience on the part of the soldiers, and complete trust in their commander.

With Christ as our perfect commander, it is only sensible to have the same mind as he does, to give him our complete obedience, and to listen to his every command.

#3 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 06:52 PM

Another principle of warfare from the pen of Clausewitz:

'The first rule is therefore to enter the field with an army as strong as possible.'

This is certainly true, and Paul referred specifically to this principle when drawing the analogy of his spiritual warrior in Ephesians 6:

Ephesians 6:
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.


When we examine the warrior of Ephesians 6, we actually find some interesting anomalies, some crucial differences between the soldier which Paul refers to, and the usual Roman legionary.

Paul's warrior is equipped with the following:

- Helmet

- Shield

- Sword

- Armour on the loins, possibly including shinguards (the legionaries usually wore one, on the leading leg)

- Breastplate

- Shoes

What is interesting is that this is not the usual equipment for a Roman legionary. Whilst legionaries wore body armour, the armour they wore was not a breastplate, but a kind of body armour made from separate bands of steel, connected with leather thonging, and laced at the back.

This provided good protection, and permitted flexibility. However, it was still possible for a sword, spear, or arrow point to pierce the body by passing through the gaps between the steel bands.

With the breastplate, protection was complete. Made from one or two pieces of solid brass (steel being heavy, and more difficult to work), it was usually form-fitted to the torso, and actually wrapped part the way around the body to cover the sides.

Being a solid piece of metal, there were simply no gaps between which a blade could pass. Protection was complete.

But such items were expensive, and only the centurions were given them.
To the Roman army, a centurion was of significantly more importance than a legionary, and so was provided with superior protection.

Paul's point is quite different. He knows very well what an ordinary Roman legionary wears, but this is not sufficient for his spiritual warrior.
He wants to draw a picture of a man who is properly and completely armed against the flesh. He wants that man to have the best protection which was offered to the best soldiers of the best army in the entire world.

To Paul, as to Christ, every soldier who wars against the flesh is of equal value, and all require the best protection available. Paul willingly departs from his model, the Roman legionary, simply because it does not fit his analogy.

There is another incongruity. The Roman legionary was always equipped with at least one weapon other than the sword. It was not the dagger, for the dagger came and went out of fashion. It was the pilum, the throwing spear.
Heavier than a javelin, it was a short ranged spear, intended to engage the enemy at a distance.

#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 06:54 PM

Why does Paul not equip his soldier with this weapon? Surely, if he intends to provide his soldier with the best armour, he will naturally provide him with the most weaponry?

There is a very good reason, and one which Paul's audience may well have known. A throwing spear is an excellent weapon - when you are the one throwing it. When someone else is throwing it, especially at you, it becomes something of an inconvenience

The Roman pilum was designed in such a way as to prevent it being thrown back. The head was attached to the wooden shaft by means of a socket that gave way on impact, causing the thin steel of the head's neck to buckle, bend, or break. This was a weapon which could only be used once.

Paul completely disregards the pilum when drawing his analogy, for there is nothing in our warfare against the flesh which is analogous.

We carry no weapon which can be used against us, nor does God provide us with any weapon which must be discarded after being used once:
For the spiritual warrior, whose battle is as long as his life, such a weapon is a mere encumbrance, and thus Paul does not equip him with it.

The weapons by which the spiritual warrior makes his warfare are eternal.
They were forged long ago, but they have lost none of their power, none of their force:

1 Timothy 1:
18This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;


Here Paul urges Timothy to take up the prophecies which went before him, the prophecies given as many as several *thousand* years before Timothy was born.
But have the years blunted their edge? Has their strength been weakened by corrosion, their brightness dulled by rust?

By no means:

2 Corinthians 10:
4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)


Were our weapons carnal, they may be subject to such weaknesses.
But our weapons are spiritual, and they endure throughout all generations.
Mighty through God, our weapons are eternal, and will never lose their strengh:

Hebrews 4:
12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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.


Quick, powerful, sharper, piercing, and dividing. This weapon is eternal.
It is to be used against the flesh, as so forcibly demonstrated here.
This means that it is to be used firstly against ourselves, just as the priest would examine with his knife the sacrifice which represented the life of the believer.

The sword of the spirit must first be used for self-examination, before it can be used against others. Only when we use it to cut away the flesh which encumbers us, which makes obedience to God so difficult, can we begin to term ourselves spiritual warriors, fighting a spiritual battle against the flesh, fighting it in the strength of our Father, and the weapons which He has provided.

#5 Kesaph

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 06:59 PM

:clap2: :popcorn:

(and you have a full time job!?!)

#6 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:00 PM

Of weakness, Clausewitz says:

'All war supposes human weakness, and against that it is directed.'

This is a statement which we may apply directly to our own warfare.
The enmity which we feel, the warfare which we are obliged to wage, is both the result of, and directed at, our own fleshly weakness.

That the flesh is weak, we need hardly be told:

Mark 14:
38Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.


This is indeed the problem. The flesh is weak. What this demonstrates quite clearly is that we cannot afford to try and fight the flesh with the flesh:

1 Samuel 17:
8And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
10And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.


Goliath wanted a man to fight. He was flesh, and knew how to fight flesh.
The challenge he issued contained a lie:

9If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.


If a man defeated Goliath, what would that prove? Would the Philistines have surrendered? Unlikely. The flesh does not surrender, nor can the flesh defeat the flesh. No doubt there were plenty of other Philistine warriors who would have been equally prepared to fight other men.

David did not give Goliath a man to fight. He gave him a God.
It was this that caused the Philistines to flee, when they realised that they were not fighting mere men. The victory of David over Goliath was so obviously against the natural order, that it was clearly the result of Divine intervention.

#7 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:01 PM

The same applies to our battle. We cannot win by fighting the flesh with the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal.

In this world, we find that the very things which challenge us, which war against us, are those things which appeal to our weakness, to our flesh.
Such things can only be fought with the spirit.

This is why it is pointless, utterly pointless, to decide that we'll 'see what the world has to offer' before 'trying the Truth'. We all know what the world has to offer, and we know what the Truth has to offer. The difference is, we naturally like the former, and rebel against the latter.

Likewise, do we really need to 'see what the world is like' before we are convinced of how 'bad' it is?

A quick 5 minutes of self-examination will tell you the kinds of things which appeal to the flesh, a good 10 minutes reading Scripture will tell you that they are fatal abominations in the sight of God, and you don't need to take any time to find out that the world offers them all.

What does this demonstrate? That the battle begins in the mind, and must end there:

Romans 7:
23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.


Moreover, it teaches us that the only reason why there will be conflict in our minds, is if there is something already in there which finds the flesh hateful, and which is at eternal enmity with it.

If we do not have this in our minds, then we will undoubtedly fall victim to the flesh. In fact, there will never be a war, simply because we won't have any reason to fight. We all know very well that enmity against the flesh is only the result of the law of God being placed within us:

Romans 7:
7What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.


If it wasn't for the law of God forbidding the lusts of the flesh, we would certainly indulge in them.

I know I would, and I'm rather sure that you would also. :eek:

#8 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:02 PM

When you've come to that realisation, the idea of having to make a quick 'exploratory mission' into the world to find out if it's as tempting and as bad as it is made out to be, becomes rather silly, and downright lethal:

Galatians 4:
9But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?


These 'weak and beggarly' elements are only weak when compared to the spirit. Compared with the flesh, they are strong. This is why they are able to hold us in bondage. They naturally appeal to the flesh, which is why their pull on us feels so strong.

Only if we have the mind of the spirit, can we possibly overcome these lusts:

2 Corinthians 10:
4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)


The point is that it is the weapons which we use to defeat the flesh which are mighty. We are not mighty in ourselves, nor are we naturally equipped with weapons which will fight the flesh.

We aren't even naturally at war with the flesh, and when the flesh fights us, we cannot win in our own strength. The flesh gives us no weapons with which to fight back.

We are naturally flesh, and therefore naturally weak. When the enmity commences between us and the flesh, the only way we can possibly overcome the weakness against which the war is directed, is to use the spiritual weapons provided by God, which are mighty to save.

#9 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:03 PM

:clap2: :popcorn:

(and you have a full time job!?!)

I do. But these are studies I wrote up years ago. I used to email out a short study (about 3 pages), every week day, for about 3 years. The result is a large stash of study material on a range of topics.

#10 Kesaph

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:07 PM

I heard about this from a forum member! - You must have loads then - nearly 2000 pages if my maths isn't too far wrong!? :wowzer:

#11 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:14 PM

I haven't counted them, but there are a few, for sure. I did them on and off at times, and eventually had to give up this year after other commitments started taking their toll.

But it was useful while it lasted (I had about 120 members on the list at one time, and about 80 when I ended), and I made a lot of good friends that way. ^_^

#12 Abigail_*

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 10:09 PM

Great stuff Fort. Thanks :)

#13 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 11:42 PM

Thanks Abi. More to come... ^_^

#14 Matthew Hawkins_*

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 01:30 AM

Top stuff fort, :thumbsup:

Now let's continue this thought.

Think of the moment that a soldier first enlists in an army. When he does so, he pledges his allegiance to his country, and his commanding officer.

He knows full well that he is pledging his life, and that is required to give up his entire life in obedience to his commander.

With this pledge comes a knowledge that he is also giving up a way of life.
He is no longer a civilian, and his old life is no longer available to him.
This is less true now that it used to be. These days, soldiers are able to go on leave from the army, but this was not the case in former days.

In fact, there is at least one modern army which still demands complete dedication from its troops, and that is the French Foreign Legion.

Historically, it has been called 'The Legion of the Damned', because once a man has enlisted, he is never to leave, nor can he ever even receive correspondence from the outside. His 'old life' is entirely forgotten, and the only life which now exists is his life in the army.

This is equivalent to the armies of Rome, on which Paul drew for so many of his analogies:


QUOTE 
2 Timothy 2:
4No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.



This complete dedication, this complete obedience, is what Christ requires of his soldiers. Once we have enlisted in the army of Christ, we can no longer return to our old way of life.

This necessarily means that when we are enlisted in the army of Christ, our way of life must change. We must put certain things behind us, and never return to them. You do not receive 'leave' from the army of Christ.

If we pledge Christ our complete obedience, we must maintain that pledge by keeping ourselves separate from the world. Not only the world, but also from our old way of life. There will be many things which we will have to give up, our time being one of them. To return to our old way of life will be to entangle ourselves with our own past, and to sacrifice our pledge to Christ.

If this seems harsh, if it seems isolating and lonely, consider these verses:


QUOTE 
Philippians 3:
16Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 



When we walk in the army of Christ, we do not walk alone. No soldier does.
We walk with others, we 'advance in a line' as the phrase in verse 3 means.
Soldiers walk in rank. This means a number of things:

- They are united in purpose and goal

- They are aware of each other, and their positions with regard to others

- They support each other

- They have the same commander, and obey the same commands

The ability of the soldier to march in line, and perform complex battle maneuvers in the field whilst maintaining formation, is only acquired by means of constant drilling.


Before I came into the Truth, I was mad keen on joining the Air Force, hopefully looking at being an Aircraft mechanic, but firstly to be in military intelligence, due to the youthful ambition that young blokes go through with the element of ego and determination. However it didn't turn out that way, and Thank God for that it didn't.

I was in the Air force cadets for a few years, and at the same time I also wa doing Taekwondo, for which I was an instructor for four years.

It was very hard going through some methods of discipline and training, as to acknowledge the keeping of rank, the obedience to commands, but the answers revealed themselves as to understand the reason and purpose why all of these things were being done, when they could be seen and identified with the mind.

The mind is what is always focused on.

Consider this for example,
From 1st Chronicles Ch 12,

1Ch 12:2  They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin.


1Ch 12:32  And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.


But also this,

1Ch 12:33  Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.
1Ch 12:34  And of Naphtali a thousand captains, and with them with shield and spear thirty and seven thousand.
1Ch 12:35  And of the Danites expert in war twenty and eight thousand and six hundred.
1Ch 12:36  And of Asher, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, forty thousand.
1Ch 12:37  And on the other side of Jordan, of the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and of the half tribe of Manasseh, with all manner of instruments of war for the battle, an hundred and twenty thousand.
1Ch 12:38  All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king.
1Ch 12:39  And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them.
1Ch 12:40  Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.


All taken from 1 Chronicles 12, which speaks very clearly about Military might, keeping rank, keeping order, being aware of eachother as to keep rank with one another.

Read the following,

1Ch 12:1  Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.
1Ch 12:2  They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin.

1Ch 12:3  The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; and Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite,
1Ch 12:4  And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite,
1Ch 12:5  Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite,
1Ch 12:6  Elkanah, and Jesiah, and Azareel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korhites,
1Ch 12:7  And Joelah, and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.

1Ch 12:8  And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;
1Ch 12:9  Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third,
1Ch 12:10  Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,
1Ch 12:11  Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,
1Ch 12:12  Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,
1Ch 12:13  Jeremiah the tenth, Machbanai the eleventh.

1Ch 12:14  These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand.
1Ch 12:15  These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west.

1Ch 12:16  And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David.
1Ch 12:17  And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.
1Ch 12:18  Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.
1Ch 12:19  And there fell some of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads.

1Ch 12:20  As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the thousands that were of Manasseh.
1Ch 12:21  And they helped David against the band of the rovers: for they were all mighty men of valour, and were captains in the host.
1Ch 12:22  For at that time day by day there came to David to help him, until it was a great host, like the host of God.

1Ch 12:23  And these are the numbers of the bands that were ready armed to the war, and came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD.
1Ch 12:24  The children of Judah that bare shield and spear were six thousand and eight hundred, ready armed to the war.
1Ch 12:25  Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valour for the war, seven thousand and one hundred.
1Ch 12:26  Of the children of Levi four thousand and six hundred.
1Ch 12:27  And Jehoiada was the leader of the Aaronites, and with him were three thousand and seven hundred;
1Ch 12:28  And Zadok, a young man mighty of valour, and of his father's house twenty and two captains.
1Ch 12:29  And of the children of Benjamin, the kindred of Saul, three thousand: for hitherto the greatest part of them had kept the ward of the house of Saul.
1Ch 12:30  And of the children of Ephraim twenty thousand and eight hundred, mighty men of valour, famous throughout the house of their fathers.
1Ch 12:31  And of the half tribe of Manasseh eighteen thousand, which were expressed by name, to come and make David king.
1Ch 12:32  And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
1Ch 12:33  Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.
1Ch 12:34  And of Naphtali a thousand captains, and with them with shield and spear thirty and seven thousand.
1Ch 12:35  And of the Danites expert in war twenty and eight thousand and six hundred.
1Ch 12:36  And of Asher, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, forty thousand.

1Ch 12:37  And on the other side of Jordan, of the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and of the half tribe of Manasseh, with all manner of instruments of war for the battle, an hundred and twenty thousand.
1Ch 12:38  All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king.
1Ch 12:39  And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them.
1Ch 12:40  Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.


But in Eph 6:10-18, we are also encouraged by the Apostle Paul to follow the spiritual warrior.

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
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.
Eph 6:13  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 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;


How often is it that we keep rank and order together with one mind?

#15 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 07:33 AM

Thanks Matt, the exhortation to unity is a good one. ^_^

#16 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 07:34 AM

Defeat

Clausewitz says that defeat is the result of:

'…a gradual exhaustion of the physical powers and of the will by the long continuance of exertion.'

Clausewitz had very strong views on defeat. He believed that the longer one waged war against a foe, the more likely you were to be defeated.

If you wanted to attack your enemy and win, you had to attack at once, with all available forces, and overcome him as quickly as possible.
Drawing out the battle would put you at a considerable disadvantage.

This can again be demonstrated from history. It was when Napoleon's campaign in Russia became literally bogged down in the snows of the deadly Russian winter, that he realised defeat was close at hand.

Exactly the same happened to Hitler, when he tried to defeat Russia.
The campaign which was supposed to last a month, dragged on for about a year, and eventuated in the complete defeat of the German army, which never recovered from the blow.

The same principle applies to us. We know full well the weakness of our flesh, and that we are such easy victims to our own desires.
We can apply this principle of defeat in two ways.

Firstly, we can see how important it is that we be sustained during our warfare, for the war itself will last as long as our lifetime.

Secondly, we can see that the way to win the war is by ensuring that every individual battle is as swift and as decisive as possible.

Let's look at the result of a prolonged warfare:

1 Kings 19:
4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.


Elijah was quite literally ready to drop. In fact, he dropped. He could go no further. He had done his absolute utmost to combat the systematic idolatry of the nation, and had achieved (so he thought), precisely nothing.
Both his physical powers, and his will, had been drained to the point of defeat.

Clausewitz makes the significant point that an army will suffer defeat if it loses both physical powers and will, or just will. He also makes the point, of equal significance, that the loss of the physical powers will not necessarily mean the defeat of the army, as long as there is sufficient will to continue.

He provides a number of historical examples, in which smaller, less equipped forces, defeated larger, far better equipped forces, sometimes nearly twice their size. It is the will, Clausewitz emphasises, which is of greatest importance.

This is something which we forget so often, constantly caught and dogged by our own physical weakness. But what is God's reply? God answered Elijah by telling him that He could overcome Elijah's physical weakness, and could still accomplish His purpose with him, as long as Elijah's will to participate in God's purpose remained.

He proved this to Elijah when He demonstrated that the still, small voice, the Word of God, was stronger than the most awesome displays of physical power, and it was then that Elijah returned to do God's work.

#17 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 07:38 AM

Paul was told something similar (although equally difficult to accept), when he besought God to take away a physical complaint from which he suffered:

2 Corinthians 12:
8For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.


When we look at the number of Scriptural quotes which deal with this issue, it is clear that the vast majority of them are concerned with sustaining the will of the spiritual warrior to continue in the battle. Time and again, we are told that our physical stamina is actually irrelevant to God.

It is the will which is of greatest significance in our prolonged warfare, and it is the will to win which we are encouraged to maintain:

Galatians 6:
9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.


Here we are told not to be weary of performing that work which is our reasonable service - we have been offered a prize to inspire us.

Proverbs 3:
11My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of His correction:
12For whom the LORD loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom He delighteth.


Here we are told not to be weary of the times when we are chastened by God, which can certainly be another way our will is eroded.

Again, we are reminded of the prize which awaits us.

#18 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 07:39 AM

In this final quote, these ideas are combined:

Revelation 3:
8I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

9Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

10Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.


The Philadelphian ecclesia had but a little strength, but we see what God was able to do with it. Christ commends this ecclesia, for with only a little strength, they were able to keep his word, not deny his name, and hold fast that which they had.

To inspire them yet further, to strengthen their will the more, he shows them the reward, and spurs them on to fight a good fight.

#19 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 07:41 AM

Contrary to what many believe, Clausewitz was not a blood-thirsty warmonger. In fact, he understood well that war was highly undesirable.

But he also believed that it was sometimes the only rational course of action to take.

Even so, it was because he realised just how destructive war is that he constantly emphasises the importance of waging a war which is quick, decisive, and completely effective. Clausewitz did not believe in 'stalemate', or a 'draw'.

If the enemy is capable of stalling you, he wrote, of holding you off, of keeping you at bay, then he will gradually bring you to the point of defeat.

If you are in this position, then everything which results in the continuation of the struggle will be to your disadvantage, and will contribute to your defeat.

In this, Clausewitz is undoubtedly right. In the battle against the flesh, we are either victorious, or defeated. There is no middle ground. The longer we stall, the longer we remain passive or indecisive, the more likely it is that the flesh will win:

Joshua 7:
21When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them;


We all know this one from Sunday School. Achan saw, coveted, and took.
Now, perhaps he couldn't help seeing, perhaps he came across these things by chance. But the coveting? We all know what that means.

He allowed this thought to dwell in his mind. It was a thought which appealed to him, so he kept it. From the moment he decided to keep that thought in his mind, it was inevitable that he would think about it more and more, until eventually, he took.

This is how the battle is fought, and lost. It's the typical process we all know so well:

James 1:
4But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.



#20 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 07:42 AM

Here is another example we all know well, one which is rather more uncomfortable, but reinforces very well the absolute deadly danger of trying to 'stall', or being 'passive' in the battle with the flesh:

2 Samuel 11:
2And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
3And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? 
4And David sent messengers, and took her



This is how the battle progressed: saw, looked upon, sent and enquired, sent and took. This is where the battle should have ended: saw.
Perhaps up until that last stage, David thought he was in control.
Perhaps he thought he could see, look upon, even send and enquire, without endangering himself.

Not so. Every action which resulted in a continuance of the battle, produced a change for the worse, just as Clausewitz warns.

But of course, Clausewitz was not the first to propose this principle:

Psalm 119:
37Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.

Job 31:
1I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?


Discipline of the eyes means that the thought will not enter the mind.




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