Strategic Warfare:The Pursuit of God’s Glory

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Dearal L. John Baker. Ephesians: Heaven's Riches week Study Guide. Brian Simmons. But God. Pat Stonestreet. A Heart to Know Him. Lynne Bauman. The Power of Christian Healing Affirmations. Rick Wallace Ph. Ministering in the Mirror. Atrez Flemings. Karen Cogan. Moments with Him. Nicola T. Hendrickson Publishers. Finding Calm. Theodore M. Chuck Christensen. Today's Encouraging Words: Month of April. Jerome Rollins. Simon Kennard. Awakening to a Grand New Day. In this first lesson, we will concentrate on verses , which direct our attention to the war itself, and to our grasp of its gravity.

After a consideration of the war in general, we will then proceed to examine in more detail each of the weapons Paul mentions, and the offensive strategy of Satan which they imply. May God give us open hearts and minds to understand the spiritual war, and the means which He has provided for our defense. It should come as no surprise to the Christian to read here that we are engaged in a great spiritual battle. From the early chapters of the Old Testament it is apparent that Satan is the enemy of God, and that he actively seeks to oppose God, His purposes, and His people.

Let us consider the evidence for the spiritual war in the Old Testament, and then to further pursue this matter in the New Testament. We would probably turn first to the third chapter of the Book of Genesis to find Satan striking what appears to be the first blow of the spiritual war.

Neal Pirolo :: Chapter 6 - Principles of War

Actually, the battle began long before the creation of Adam and Eve. You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! On the day that you were created They were prepared. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. It is clear from these verses that the prophets are not speaking only of an earthly ruler, but of someone possessing much greater power. They are speaking of none other than Satan. He was the angel who was created by God Ezekiel , given the highest authority under God, but who was not content with this.

He was the one who was in Eden, the garden of God Ezekiel He was once blameless at the time of his creation, but then was found with sin Ezekiel He possessed great beauty, power, and authority, but he had to have more. He wanted to exalt himself further; he wanted to become like God Isaiah When Satan rebelled against God, others joined him in opposing God and His purposes.

And so we find Satan making his first public appearance in Genesis chapter 3, not as Satan, but as a creature which God has made. He contended that Job would only serve God as long as God blessed him. God then granted Satan the authority to afflict Job, but always within strict limits. An important thing to note here is not only that the suffering of Job, which appeared to be of very natural causes, was of satanic origins. In 2 Kings chapter 6, the king of Syria was waging war against Israel. When the king of Syria learned that Elisha was the source of his troubles, he sent out his army to seize him.

In the morning, the Syrian troops surrounded the city of Dothan, where Elisha was staying. The panic-stricken servant rushed to his master and told him what he had seen. While the servant was terrified by what he had seen, Elisha remained calm. He knew something that his servant did not. He knew that earthly armies were no threat when the host of heaven was on his side.

God's Strategy for Winning in Spiritual Warfare

What shall we do? This heavenly army descended to Elisha, who prayed that they might strike the enemy with blindness. He would not allow them to be killed, but instead sent them all home after giving them food and water. The heavenly army is ever-present, and it responds to the prayers of the saints. But behind his foolish and sinful decision we find Satan, ever seeking to oppose God through His people.

Finally, in the Book of Daniel we come to one of the most dramatic examples of the spiritual warfare:. I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods! But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince Daniel , But when these three were cast into the furnace, the king looked in and was shocked to see not three, but four men inside, and they were not writhing in pain or being consumed by the flames, they were walking around inside that furnace.

If not our Lord Himself, this fourth person was surely an angelic being, sent there to save the lives of these faithful men. In chapter 10 an angel was sent to Daniel, in answer to his prayers note verse Having been left there with the kings of Persia, Michael came to his rescue. The important thing to notice here is that angels are very much involved in the affairs of men and of nations. More than this, the unholy angels seem to have a link with political kingdoms and their kings. In the Gospels of the New Testament the spiritual war is again evident.

Satan sought to tempt our Lord to renounce His submission to the Father by acting independently for His own selfish gain. He was, of course, unsuccessful, for which we all may be grateful. What worked on Adam and on others, would not work on this King. Three of the Gospels record the exorcism which our Lord performed on the Gerasene demoniac.

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And when He had come to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs; they were so exceedingly violent that no one could pass by that road. Have You come here to torment us before the time? I implore You by God, do not torment me! They expected the Lord Jesus to come and to engage them in war.

What they did not understand was why He had come at that time. He had arrived early by their way of thinking. They, like all others, were not looking for two comings of the Messiah, but only one. It was Satan who entered into Judas, using him to betray his Lord and to hand Him over to those who would arrest Him John Early in the Book of Acts, Satan is found opposing the people and the purposes of God. In Acts chapter 5 we read of Ananias and his wife Sapphira, who had given a certain amount of money to the work of the Lord, but who had lied about the amount.

And near the end of this epistle Paul warns that Satan and his subordinates disguise themselves as true believers, thereby seeking to lead some astray by their authoritarian leadership:. In 1 Timothy Paul warns about laying hands too quickly on leaders, lest they become conceited and fall into the same condemnation incurred by the devil. In chapter 5 of 1 Timothy Paul urges younger widows to get married and not to become idle gossips and busybodies.

Imagine this. Paul refers to gossiping as turning aside to follow Satan. Now who would have ever considered gossip to be satanic? Paul does. In his epistle, James condemns the quarrels and strife which were taking place among the saints. He first links such sins to the pursuit of fleshly pleasures He then indicates that such sin is rebellion against God which grieves His Holy Spirit Next, James links quarrelling and strife with Satan:. Resist the devil and he will flee from you James Peter had come to learn about Satan the hard way see Matthew ; Luke And so we find him warning others of the threat which Satan poses as our adversary.

Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. In the letters to the seven churches, recorded in Revelation 2 and 3, the Lord Jesus frequently mentions Satan as the source of temptation and trials in the church see , 13, 24; The remainder of the Book of Revelation describes the coming final conflict with Satan, and his ultimate demise see especially chapters 12 and He knows, as we do, that the church is being watched by the angels, and that they are being instructed by what they see.

I understand that a significant number of angelic beings joined with Satan during or after his rebellion against God, as described in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel As the angels observe the women in submission to their own husbands 1 Corinthians , they are reminded of the importance of their submission to God. It may well be that in Job 1, Satan was not only trying to make a point with God, but with his fellow-angels, when he suggested that the only reason why any creature worships God is a selfish one.

No wonder, then, that Satan would work so hard to corrupt the church and its message to the angels. From these texts and many others, I believe that it is safe to say that Satan is the arch-enemy of the church. He is ever seeking to cause the saints to stumble and attempting to thwart the plans and purposes of God for His church. The spiritual war which Paul describes in chapter 6 should come to us as no surprise in our study of Ephesians.

As a slave, your world is a small one. You have severe limitations in terms of personal freedom, and in your exposure to the world. You may be a slave, but you are a part of an eternal plan, and privileged to take part in bringing glory to God. In chapter 2, Paul reminds you that you were once dead in your sins, and alienated from God.

Because of His great mercy, you have been saved from your sins, and reconciled to God in Christ. You have been forgiven your sins and saved unto good works through the grace of God in Christ You were also a pagan Gentile, separated from the people of God. But now, in Christ, you have not only been reconciled to God, you have been reconciled with His people. In being saved, you did not merely become a Jewish proselyte. God did not reconcile Gentiles to himself by making them Jews, He reconciled both Jews and Gentiles as one new man to Himself.

This means that Gentiles are not second-class citizens of heaven, nor are Jewish Christians somehow superior to Gentile believers. All are joined in one body, the church, through the Spirit of God to become a dwelling place of God. Chapter 2 provides a significant reason for the spiritual war. As unbelievers, we were under the power and control of Satan, even though we did not know it. No wonder he so aggressively attacks Christians. They were once his subjects. In chapter 3, the slave is given and even more complete picture of the eternal plans and purposes of God.

They mystery is the church, and that God would reconcile both Jews and Gentiles to Himself and to each other, so that they would become fellow-heirs and fellow-partakers of the promise of Christ in the gospel. And this mystery is now been revealed through the church, even as Paul has revealed it to the church. This mystery is for the instruction of the angelic hosts:.

To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

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This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him Ephesians That walk is to be a walk …. The walk of the wise is characterized, in part, by the filling or control of the Holy Spirit , which, in turn is evident in our mutual submission one to another — It should come as no surprise that Paul would turn to the subject of our spiritual warfare immediately following his instructions on submission and obedience.

He is engaged in a great struggle, the spiritual war. He is called upon to take up the full armor of God, and is thereby assured that he will not be defeated. If chapters have taken our salvation and its blessings back to its roots in the eternal plan and purpose of God, then chapter 6 takes our struggle with sin back to its source—Satan.

Many of the sins which seem completely human in origin, actually have a satanic source. And so Paul has taken our salvation from its origins, in eternity past, to its consummation, in eternity future. Our lives are thus to be lived in the light of the big picture of what God is doing—the will of God. We are to adapt our lives to His will for His creation, rather than to seek to persuade God to conform to our wills. Submission is the giving up of our rights and the pursuit of our self-interest.

The spiritual war is about not giving way, but standing fast. How often we tend to reverse these two. We are all too inclined to give up or to give in in matters where we should stand fast, and too eager to stand fast where we should give ground. We need to learn to stand where we are commanded to stand, and to submit where we are instructed to submit. Let those who would dwell on the blessings of our faith also take note of the battle which we have entered into by faith in Jesus Christ, and which we must wage in His strength.

With a few exceptions, our enemies remain invisible to our eyes, but they nevertheless are real, and so is their opposition. I doubt that we can fully grasp the variety and the number of those forces which oppose us. The angelic beings have great power. Satan would seem to possess the greatest power. One dare not underestimate this power. How could one ever come to this conclusion from our text, or from any other?

To have abandoned the only weapon of direct attack which we had at our disposal would have been a long step in that direction. But the link is not absolute. Frankland has defended the morality of the offensive while dismissing its effectiveness before March The supporters of the offensive, the military historians Patrick Bishop and Antony Beevor, won, with votes against the motion and in favour. This result suggests that no consensus on the subject exists. Yet the worst part of it was that I felt no guilt, no sense of repulsion at the enormity of my deed.

What monsters we had become! Film and television have complemented the multiplication of written accounts, despite the obvious difficulties of massing Lancaster bombers for the screen. The film of The Dam Busters , blessed with an instantly memorable theme tune, topped the British box-office in and was no. It inspired one imitation in Squadron , a fictional account of a daring raid by a squadron flying twin-engined Mosquitoes, which reflected commonly-experienced realities even less. But neither the scripts nor the acting caught the public imagination as The Dam Busters had. The fictionalised accounts have been matched by documentaries.

But Episode 12 ends at April , a point at which the offensive appeared as largely unsuccessful. As the only coverage in subsequent episodes was of Dresden, the overall balance of The World at War was decidedly negative. Some recent productions have used well-known actors as presenters, and attempted to re-create aspects of operations, emphasising their difficulty.

While German survivors of the Hamburg raids are interviewed for the programme, the climax, inevitably, is when the McGregors finally take to the air with the blessing of survivors of squadron. Commercially successful, the formula inevitably runs the risk of trivialising its subject. It is tempting to draw a comparison with the memories of German victims. Here, for the first time since the largely unreported late colonial conflicts of the s and s, the RAF was in action in what proved to be a highly popular war.

Its combat role has continued through two wars with Iraq, the Kosovo conflict of , the long Afghan war, the air strikes on Libya, and, from December , over Syria. Within the UK, the visibility has been reinforced by the opening of two museums, at Hendon in London and Cosford in Shropshire. The Hendon museum, opened in , unveiled a Bomber Command hall ten years later. In , moreover, the IWM opened an air annexe at the former RAF station at Duxford in Cambridgeshire, with a collection of historic aircraft and regular air displays.

It claimed 6, members at the start of the new millennium. The dynamic of war swept away our inhibitions. When the British and American air forces destroyed Dresden, we had suppressed our moral principles. The overblown Green Park edifice is not alone. By the coastal path at Beachy Head, another, almost ostentatiously modest monument, one metre wide by two metres long, marks the spot where many bomber crews flying south got their last sight of Britain. By , then, too late for many airmen, the upsurge in memorialisation had ensured that Britain has not one Bomber Command memorial, but three.

It has been contentious above all because of the gulf between the exceptional courage of the young men who served in Bomber Command and the horror that they inflicted on the German civilian population. To celebrate the bravery of the aircrew is to belittle the suffering of the civilians who died; to state clearly that the bombing offensive violated the laws and norms by which civilised human beings wage war diminishes the courage of the aircrew.

The extraordinary difficulty of straddling this gulf explains the unease even of some of the aircrew themselves. Germans seeking to promote a sense of national victimhood have seized on the Official History and the more sceptical British accounts. And the efforts at reconciliation coming from British churches run the risk of establishing a moral equivalence between the two belligerents. This, in the s and s, was the nearest that the United Kingdom came to a consensus opposed to the bombing campaign. The consensus was never universal, however; it did not prevent the publication of the Richards and Saunders history of the RAF, or the enormous popularity of the Dam Busters, both book and film, among all ages, and the war comics and plastic kits among children.

By the s, the history was being rewritten and the achievements of the offensive revised upwards. This did not create a new ethical consensus, even between historians, but it did suggest that Bomber Command had made a significant contribution to winning the war. Both that and the wider visibility of both the armed forces in general and the RAF in particular made it easier to celebrate the achievements of Bomber Command.

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  4. Praise for the aircrew then rolled out across a wide range of literary and other cultural production, with the efforts of the Bomber Command association finding a ready reception in the broader civil society. The culmination of this process was the triumphant memorialisation of Bomber Command at Green Park. The danger is that the Bomber Command memorial has both mobilised and reinforced right-wing Eurosceptical forces in civil society — in particular the right-wing press — and that the memories of Bomber Command have been captured by a chauvinistic and inward-looking project.

    For those aircrew members who joined Bomber Command in order to secure, not only an Allied victory, but a Europe reconciled and at peace with itself, this would be a betrayal. Useful Links. Search this site:.

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