Christian Principles from War:
A strategy for group and personal evangelism
By James I. Wilson
In the study of warfare, great men have concluded that there
are some overriding principles which, if followed, will always tend toward
success in battle, and with equal positiveness, if neglected or ignored, will
tend toward defeat or even destruction. These principles have been titled "The
Principles of War."
All except the most foolish know that in war it is
imperative that those involved apply the "Principles of War."
these time-tried principles are effective in waging secular warfare--the author
presents in quick succession these same principles as the key to assured
victory in our spiritual warfare.
In the true military style of being
brief, perspicuous, and succinct, the author, with power, plunges the reader
point-blank into the fight--a very present institution. The enemy is Satan, the
objective is the acknowledgment and fulfillment of the commandments of God, and
the ammunition is the power of the Holy Spirit. The Christian, clothed in the
whole armor of God and applying these pertinent guiding principles of
warfare--is an army, a communication system, a weapon to be used and a soldier
to participate forcibly in the battle, to the glory of our Lord.
Granville A. Sharpe
[This book is out of print and
no longer available on the open market. It is also essential that pastors be
armed with this information in these end times for the accomplishment of
Matthew 28:18-20, so that Matthew 24:14 will become a reality.]
"When war is declared by Congress their objective is victory.
They pass this assignment over to the Commander-in-Chief. The
Commander-in-Chief with the Joint Chiefs of Staff makes an estimate of the
situation, comes to a decision and develops a plan. To oversimplify it, the
decision might be to invade and occupy specific nations in Europe and Asia. The
plan would be to assign Asia to Commander-in-Chief, Pacific and Europe to
Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic. These subordinate commanders must then make an
estimate of the situation, come to a decision, and develop a plan. They, in
turn, assign objectives to subordinate commanders. Commander-in-Chief, Pacific
orders the Commander of the Seventh Fleet to land certain armies and Marine
Divisions in the assigned country in Asia. This process of estimating the
situation, making a decision and assigning objectives to subordinate commanders
continues right down to the company, platoon and squad level.
in the chain of command has his objective assigned to him by higher
Now suppose an individual infantryman has as his objective
the top of a sand dune on a beach in Asia. He is pinned down by enemy fire and
he cannot make a move. While he is in this position he suddenly sees a paper
floating across the beach.
So far this is a very real situation, but
suppose we make it unreal, even ludicrous. The paper happens to be a page from
the Joint Chiefs of Staff Operation Order. As the page lands in front of him,
he reads the assigned objective to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific: "Invade and
occupy--on the continent of Asia." This is too much for him. He cannot even get
off the beach and they are telling him to occupy the whole nation. To him it is
unrealistic. Since he cannot understand how the whole can be taken, he might
even lose the will to get to the top of the sand dune.
Enough of the
illustration. Jesus Christ is our Commander-in-Chief and He has assigned the
overall objective and put it in the grasp of every one of His followers in the
directive of the Great Commission. Here it is:
"All power is given unto
me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations." Matthew
To any individual Christian who thinks he is fighting the war
all by himself, this objective not only seems unrealistic but impossible. Like
the soldier on the beach it is easy to get a "What's the use?"
The problem is the same in both cases. The man at the bottom
of the chain gets a view of the objective of the person at the top. He is
looking up the chain of command without the benefit of intermediate
objectives. He sees only the objective of the top and the resources at the
So for the Christian. He may see with his
Commander-in-Chief the complete objective assigned to the whole church. He may
also see the smaller parts of the church, groups of believers raised up to
reach a special segment of the world's population. God has raised up
specialists with limited objectives in His church.
lament the multiplicity of Christian organizations, we should rejoice that an
intensive effort to meet our objective is being made. Of course, there is the
danger that such groups will be filled with too great a sense of importance.
If, however, they seek to occupy their own limited objective with all
faithfulness, then the warfare of the church is advanced. These many
organizations may be in existence not because of doctrinal differences but
because God has given them different objectives under the Great Commission.
objective is two-fold:
- To communicate the Gospel in love and power to the world.
- To introduce to Jesus (or Jesus to) those who respond to the
[Our] first objective is one of sowing the seed. The
second is reaping the harvest when the seed falls on good ground. If
we sow the seed in every heart, but do not reap where the seed prepares a
harvest, then we have not reached our objective. We have in effect added to the
condemnation of men with the Gospel. We have been a savor of death unto death
rather than life unto life (II Corinthians 2:16).
If, on the other hand,
we reap where we have sown but we do not sow in every heart in our assigned
mission fields, then we have not reached our objective. This is serious. This
objective is not a mere psychological goal that makes us feel good when we get
there. This is a mission assigned by our Commander-in-Chief. Not to get there
is failure to carry out the assigned mission: it is defeat. Even if people do
not or will not respond to the message of good news this has no bearing on the
objective to communicate the message to them. God assigns the objective, not
...Unless we know where we are going it is of little
importance how we go about getting there. The objective is primary."
II. The Offensive
"They want war too methodical, too measured, I would make it
brisk, bold, impetuous, perhaps sometimes even
[General George S. Patton was against the digging or using of
fox-holes, he didn't want his army to waste time stopping to dig them, since
they're defensive in nature, not offensive.]
In warfare the offensive is
the means by which one takes the objective. It is an aggressive advance against
an enemy to wrest the objective from his possession.
An army on the
offensive has a moral and physical advantage over the enemy at the point of
contact. The offensive is an attitude as well as an action. The attacking
general has the advantage of making his decisions first, and then carrying them
out. The defender must first wait to see what his opponent does before he makes
his decision. The decision he makes is usually forced upon him by the attacker.
The aggressor has the advantage of the initiative. He can choose whether to
attack and when and where to attack. The defender must wait for him. He is in
the superior position.
There are two general ways in which the offensive
can be directed.
- It may be directed against the whole front to take the whole front
simultaneously. This is not ordinarily feasible in that it requires an
overwhelming superiority in numbers and weapons. Nor is it wise, for it
requires much more logistic (weapons, food, ammunition) support, much more
fighting and will sustain many more casualties.
- The offensive may be directed against one segment of the enemy army,
the defeat of which will mean a decisive victory. "Decisive" means that this
defeat of the enemy may cause the rest of the army to capitulate, or it may
mean a breakthrough has been made so that the rest of the army remains in a
very weak position.
"In either case it should be well understood that there is in
every battlefield a decisive point, the possession of which, more than any
other, helps to secure the victory by enabling its holder to make proper
application of the Principles of War. [i.e., the "high ground."] Arrangements
should therefore be made for striking the Decisive blow upon this point."
Whether the offensive is made along the whole front or at a
decisive point, it has several basic characteristics. In attitude it is bold,
in direction, it is forward toward the enemy at the objective; in means it uses
The offensive in the spiritual war is conducted in
the same manner. It is directed against the enemy, not against the objective.
Satan is the enemy. We fight in order to wrest his possession those through
fear of death are subject
[To clarify his point, we pursue the
offensive, take the offensive, by the proclamation of the Gospel. That is how
we march into the enemy occupied territory--with all guns blazing--that is how
we carpet-bomb his factories of deception--with the truth of the Gospel being
proclaimed by whatever means: books, articles, all types of publishing and
media such as radio, T.V., movie, DVD, video cassette, tape cassette, the
Internet, you name it. Also the proclamation of the Gospel must be accompanied
by much intercessory prayer. Such prayer empowers the weapons, arms them,
causes them to detonate on the enemy. Intercessory prayer must accompany
the proclamation of the Gospel, or else it will be like a dud torpedo bouncing
off the hull of an enemy ship. ]
"I git thar fustest with the mostest." General Nathan
Bedford Forrest, War Between the States
"thar"--objective, "fustest"--mobility, "mostest"--concentration.] [General
Forrest had the deadliest army in the whole of the Confederate States of
General Forrest was neither a West Pointer nor a War College
graduate, but he knew the principles of war and he knew how to apply them.
Although it is doubtful that he used the double superlatives in the above
quotation, the statement does emphasize several truths. In this one short
sentence we find four principles of war and others are implied. The one word
"mostest" leads us to the subject of this, "Concentration."
Alexander the Great nor Julius Caesar could have conquered the then known world
if they had neglected concentration.
Occasionally in the history of
warfare a new method comes to light that seems so effective or is such a
surprise to the enemy that its users are strongly tempted to depend upon the
new method (which is temporary) and forget the principles of war, such as
This tendency was evident when the airplane made its
advent on the Western front in World War I. It glamorized the war, men became
air aces and heroes. The use of the airplane did not, however, have much effect
on the final outcome, for no one used it in concentration.
Clair Chennault, when a young Army Air Corps aviator, noted this lack of
application of principle. In his Way of a Fighter he wrote:
"For four months we flew and fought all over the Texas sky in
the fashion of the Western Front--flying long patrols in formation, looking for
a fight, and then scattering in a dive on the enemy into individual dogfights.
As sport it was superb, but as war, even then, it seemed all wrong to me. There
was too much of an air of medieval jousting in the dogfights and not enough of
the calculated massing of overwhelming force so necessary in the cold, cruel
business of war. There were no sound military precepts that encouraged the
dispersion of forces and firepower that occurred in dogfighting." (Way of a
Fighter, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York; p. 11)
This failure to apply the principle of concentration continued
through the Spanish Civil War and into World War II. Chennault himself put an
end to these individual tactics with his American Volunteer Group [AVG], better
known as the Flying Tigers. When he went to Burma and China, his pilots
struck together. Outnumbered in the air and on the ground, in planes, pilots,
and parts, they destroyed 217 enemy planes and probably 43 more with a maximum
of 20 operational P-40's in 31 encounters. Chennault's losses were six pilots
and sixteen planes. In order to accomplish this Chennault used concentration.
He simply had two aircraft firing at one enemy aircraft. Even if outnumbered in
the air ten to one, Chennault's two always outnumbered the enemy's one. [Thus
was born the all-famous wingman principle in the Air Force.] If each Flying
Tiger had taken on ten of the enemy, probably we would not remember the Flying
In 1956 while on the staff of Commander Carrier Division
Five aboard the aircraft carrier Shangri-La in the western Pacific, I
watched the Carrier Air Group in practice maneuvers. The F9F Cougars came down
from the sky low over the waves, firing machine guns or rockets at the target
simultaneously, then pulled up together to disappear into the blue. One evening
I asked one of the pilots how he could fly wing on his leader and still aim at
the target. It was easy, he said, he did not aim, he just flew wing. "When he
shoots, I shoot." This is concentration.
Now let us see how the
principle of concentration applies to the spiritual warfare.
Luke 10:1 and 2 read:
"After these things the Lord
appointed other seventy also, and sent them two by two before his face into
every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto
them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore
the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into this
In the chapter on "The Offensive" we concluded that the
offense in winning men to Jesus Christ is carried out by preaching and prayer.
In the Luke passage we see Jesus sent His disciples out to preach in
concentration. He also told them to pray in concentration: "Again I say unto
you that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they
shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where
two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them"
(Matthew 18:19). This is effective warfare.
Paul, one of
the greatest of preachers, had a "wing man" with him in most cases, and when
alone he does not seem to have been nearly as effective. For instance,
in Acts 17 we find Paul going to Athens alone but asking that Silas and Timothy
join him with "all speed." "Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his
spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.
Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout
persons, and in the market daily." Paul could not wait to concentrate his
forces; so he took the city on alone and had neither an awakening nor a riot.
Silas and Timothy did not join him until some weeks after Paul had arrived in
Corinth. Here also he preached alone with no recorded results.
"And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded
the Jews and the Greeks."
When Silas and Timothy arrived there was a marked difference in
the power, the content, and the results of his preaching.
"And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia Paul
was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was
That was the power and content; the results are recorded in
succeeding sentences. There was opposition, blasphemy and many conversions.
"And Crispus the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the
Lord with all of his house and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and
"Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be
not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; For I am with thee, and no man
shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city."
Paul remained in Corinth among these many believers for
another eighteen months teaching the Word of God among
Concentration was so important to Paul that he wrote on one
"When I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel and a door was
opened unto me of the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit because I found not
Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into
II Corinthians 2:12 and 13
Paul passed by an open door for lack of
Many of us wish we had an Apostle Paul to travel with,
not realizing how much the leader needs the close follower. Without his
helpers Paul was not greatly used in Athens or Troas. When the earthquake
occurred at midnight in Philippi it was not Paul alone who prayed, but Paul and
Silas. I am sure you have already begun to think of other instances in the
Bible where concentration proved important to the Gospel ministry.
If you find you are scattering your witness in "dogfights" or if the
enemy is using concentration on you because you insist on taking the whole ship
or base or city alone, then you need a partner. You may be partly effective in
your lone witness and you may think you have no need for a wing man. Perhaps
you do not, but maybe the wing man needs a leader. Remember that in warfare it
is not enough to be faithful, but only partly effective. We are after the
objective. [A whole book, Partners in Prayer has been written
by Senior Pastor John Maxwell on this subject detailing how to concentrate your
forces in prevailing prayer to assist you the pastor and your congregation's
evangelism efforts. Be sure to look it up in the "What is Prayer?" section of
this web site, particularly in the subsection "Start a Prayer Resource
You may wonder where you are going to find a partner. Start by
asking God to send him along. Start by asking God to send him [or her] along.
You may have to lead him to the Lord. Once you meet him and before you minister
together, you need to be one in purpose and as complementary as possible. Study
together, pray together, talk together and reprove one another in the Lord [use
wisdom on this last one]. There should be openness and honesty between the two
and no unconfessed sin to hide. Then you can meet the enemy with combined fire
power. [I can't help but noticed how this description of the "perfect" prayer
partner matches Pastor Dave Moore's description of how husbands and wives ought
to be spiritually, mentally and emotionally united as one. What a perfect
prayer-partner our spouses ought to be with us. Imagine a whole congregation of
double-prayer partners like this! Sort of like having a spiritual squadron of
Clair Chennault's P-40 War hawks in your congregation, all paired up in twos. We
need spiritual wingmen like this!]
A few years ago aboard a carrier in
the Pacific two junior officers met every afternoon to offer concentrated
prayer for the ship. Soon one other officer received Christ; this increased the
concentration 50%. In two months ten officers and over thirty enlisted men were
reached for Christ through this concentrated prayer and witness. The witness
Concentration also plays a vital part in mass evangelism. In
the chapter "The Offensive" it was brought out that when the army on the
offense does not possess an overwhelming superiority it is not feasible to
launch an attack along the whole front to take the objective. In such a case a
decisive point must be selected against which to strike a decisive blow. An
overwhelming superiority is obtained by transferring forces from the rest of
the line to the decisive point. This weakens the rest of the line but enough
should be left in order to keep the enemy occupied. Even if minor defeats occur
along the weakened portion, this is not crucial because in the meantime you
have served the decisive blow at the decisive point which defeats the
An excellent example of this is found in Montgomery's
preparations for the first battle of El Alamein. In his own words:
"Then from the bits and pieces in Egypt I was going to form a
new corps, the 10th Corps, strong in armour; this would never hold
the line but would be to us what the Afrika Korps was to Rommel; the formation
of this new 10th Corps had already begun.
Montgomery concluded that Rommel would make his main effort on
the south or inland flank. This was the Alam Halfa Ridge. Since Montgomery
weakened his northern flank in order to concentrate on Alam Halfa, he
strengthened it with mine fields and wire so it could be held with a minimum of
troops. At Alam Halfa, the decisive point, he concentrated two mobile armoured
divisions, the 44th Infantry Division, and his newly formed armoured
division of 400 tanks dug in behind a screen of six-pounder anti-tank guns.
From the 31st of August to 6 September 1942 the Afrika Korps pounded
against this line, all the while being hit hard by the mobile and dug-in tanks
and by the British Desert Air Force. Rommel retreated on the 6th
with a decimated Afrika Korps. He had been defeated and Montgomery had won a
decisive victory. Thus, concentration achieved the turning point of the war in
Non-Christians and the powers of darkness outnumber us along
the whole front in the spiritual warfare. We can make advances along this front
by using two-by-two concentration. This is necessary, however it may not bring
decisive victory. In order to win a decisive victory we must seek the will of
God to determine the decisive points and then Christians along the whole front
- Concentrate on prayer for the decisive points. [This is what Pastor
Cymbala's Brooklyn Tabernacle does!]
- Transfer temporarily or permanently to the decisive point for
concentrated preaching and testifying. [and this can be done in conjunction
with doing good works, say in a work party for someone in need.]
The physical transfer could be make by taking time off and
traveling to the decisive point. This would weaken portions of the front
temporarily, but no more so than when Christians take leave under ordinary
When Jesus gave the Great Commission the Apostles were
not sent immediately to the uttermost parts of the earth. They were told to
remain together in Jerusalem until they were "endued with power from on high"
(Luke 24:49). Notice the elements of concentration:
- They were all together;
- They all continued together in prayer;
- They were all in agreement;
- They all preached the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:11)
As a result of concentrated prayer and preaching 3,000 were won
to Christ in one day.
The same sort of concentration is practiced in
the Billy Graham campaigns. Thousands of Christian people pray for him, the
team, and the city for weeks and even months in advance of the Crusade.
Hundreds more concentrate in the city as counselors, choir members, and
assistant missionaries weeks in advance and during the Crusade.
keep in mind that the unique battleground of the Officers' Christian Union is
the Armed Forces and our unique objective the Officer Corps. How can we
practice mass evangelism in the Officer Corps? We should look for decisive
points where great numbers of officers are assigned to duty. Once a point is
chosen and a plan made, we may call upon you, all of you, to spend much time in
prayer for that decisive point. We may also call some of you to visit that
decisive place to add your witness for Jesus Christ, to help us concentrate
fire power in the ministry of the Gospel.
"Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send
forth labourers into his harvest." (Luke 10:2).
"And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes
on your feet and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste; it is
the Lord's Passover."
After 400 years, some of which had been spent in slavery,
600,000 men of Israel, besides women, children and possessions, moved out of
the land of Egypt in one night. That is mobility! [And that number including
the women and children is estimated to have been 2.5 to 3 million people!] If
we undertook the same feat today we would use trains, planes, trucks and ships.
We would have better equipment but might not prove as mobile.
as a principle of war is not absolute. It must not be measured against how fast
we could move yesterday, rather it must be compared with the enemy's mobility.
We must move more quickly, farther and for a greater period of time than the
enemy. Mobility was defined in the statement of General Nathan Bedford Forest,
"I git thar fustest with the mostest."
The French of World War II
could move their armies but they were not as mobile as the armies of Hitler.
Hitler's Lightning Warfare (Blitzkrieg) was mobility in action. The early
success of the Japanese in the same war were largely dependent upon the
mobility of their striking and invasion forces. The political and military
surprises of both Germany and Japan could not have been effected without
The opposite of mobility is immobility. To be
immobilized is to be at the mercy of the enemy. An army or any other unit that
is immobilized is incapable of attacking, evading or retreating. It can only
defend until surrender or to the end. The American defense of Corregidor is an
example of immobility.
The British Army was defeated in France in 1940.
If it had reached the shore and found it was immobilized it would not have
suffered defeat only, it would have been annihilated. It was the British
mobility at sea which saved the Army at Dunkirk. If the Germans had been as
mobile at sea as they were on land, they could have followed the British across
the Channel. In this case the defenders were mobile and the victors became
In World War II mobility was demonstrated in the existence
and actions of the U.S. Third and Fifth Fleets. One component of the
Third-Fifth Fleet particularly exemplified mobility. This was the Fast Carrier
Striking Force, Task Force 38 (or 58, under the Fifth Fleet) under the command
of Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher. This force could move hundreds of miles
overnight in any direction and strike hundreds of miles farther with the Air
Groups. It consisted of fifteen or sixteen carriers and scores of screening
The submarine and the Strategic Air Command are probably the
most mobile of present day combat units. In the infantry the Army's Airborne
Divisions and the FMF of the Marine Corps are probably the most mobile. One of
their characteristics is their ability to strike a decisive blow any place of
their own choosing. The offense could never be mounted in concentration without
the ability to move. An army must be mobile.
Jesus Christ said, "Go ye
into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
From the above command and other texts in the New Testament we, in
previous chapters, drew the conclusion that "every creature" is the objective
and that preaching and prayer were our two main means of offense. From the
same text we see that mobility is a requirement if we are to carry out Christ's
command to "Go."
Within the Church there must be an ability to move
to the place or to the people where the offense will take place. We must
convey our firepower where it will be used. Securing this mobility is simply a
matter of obedience to the command "Go."
We can move our firepower in
many of the ways that physical weapons of war are moved. We can walk, Philip
left Samaria and was, in obedience to God, crossing the desert when he
encountered the Ethiopian eunuch. Philip taught Christ to him from the
53rd chapter of Isaiah and the man believed. David Brainerd moved on
horseback and led hundreds of American Indians to Jesus Christ. In Jungle Camp
the Wycliffe Bible Translators are trained to move by foot, raft and dug-out
canoe. The Missionary Aviation Fellowship provides mobility superior to that of
the enemy in territory which is otherwise inaccessible. [And now Campus Crusade
for Christ International and their JESUS Film Project is taking a movie film
version of the Gospel of Luke into almost every previously unreached area and
peoples of the world, translated into all the native languages of the areas
they move into. People who previously couldn't be reached due to language
barriers and lack of ability to read and write can now be reached and are being
reached with the Gospel of Christ. Be sure to look them up in the section
titled "What is Evangelism" under the subtitle "Evangelism: national and
international." Along with Missionary Aviation Fellowship they are the
most mobile and powerful evangelistic group going. And Campus Crusade's JESUS
film crews have come to fit Nathan Bedford Forest's axiom "I git thar fustest
with the mostest."]
There are other ways of delivering the Word of God,
besides taking the messenger to the physical location. One is that of
correspondence. God put His stamp of approval on this means of mobility when
much of the New Testament was given in letters, this being necessitated in part
because the messengers, Paul and John, were immobilized as prisoners. Praise
God, His Word is not bound (II Timothy 2:9).
Another important means is
the mobility gained through Christian books and literature sent via mail or
passed from hand to hand [and now over the Internet]. The ministry of moving
books, magazines, booklets and Bibles is hardly being used at all. The
Christian may be physically immobilized because of his profession or state of
health. Yet if he used Christian literature he would not find the Word of God
limited just because he himself was immobilized. The Objective would be taken
in near or distant places, though the Christian was absent.
giving and sending of books is just the beginning of fast mobile communication
of the Gospel. Records and tape recordings can bring to anyone's living room
the most powerful preaching and teaching that is available today. Christian
leaders are broadcasting the Gospel of Jesus Christ on hundreds of radio
stations weekly. [T.V., radio, movies, desktop publishing and the Internet are
some of the new means of moving the Gospel anywhere in the world now close to
the speed of light in some cases.] But this does not guarantee that people will
have radio receivers tuned on at the time or to the right station. A telephone
call to each of our friends immediately before the program would greatly
increase the listening audience.
Then too, we should consider mobility
with the use of the weapon itself. If a weapon has a 360 degree field and the
soldier keeps it trained in one direction only, then he is not using the
weapon's inherent mobility.
Our weapon, the Word of God, "...is
living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division
of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and
intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). We must use it to the maximum of our
capacity. It has no limitations. The limitations are in us. Let us learn to use
the Word as a defensive-offensive weapon. It is a tragedy to see Christians
immobilized in a specific witnessing situation because they do not know how to
use a very powerful and effective weapon. If we are versatile in the
Scriptures, we can strike an effective blow at the place of our choosing.
Continual personal study of the Bible is the only adequate means of
familiarity with and use of the Word.
All of this so far
has had to do with the mobility of our firepower, or in other words, our
witnessing. But from the chapter on the offense we recall that our offense is
directed with prayer in addition to preaching. We must be mobile here,
Like the Word of God, prayer has no limitations. The limitations
are in us. Prayer of intercession has greater range, accuracy, speed and power
than the greatest intercontinental ballistic missile we will ever produce. The
prayer of intercession is one that agrees with God in His desire and purpose to
win men to himself. We can use as our guide the prayers of Jesus and of the
Apostles both for Christian brethren and for those who are still under the
command of the enemy.
Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call unto me and I will
answer thee and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." Let
us ask for big things, things which we have never previously
Mobility serves no purpose if we have no intention of going
anywhere. Do not stay at home in your intercession. Be mobile. It costs nothing
to go to Africa via God's throne in prayer, except time and a concern for men
Dawson Trotman recounts a personal experience in the booklet
"Born to Reproduce." He and a fellow worker in the Navigators, when that
organization was still very young, decided to pray for the development of their
work in every state of the Union:
"So we made a list of forty-eight states, and we prayed.
Morning after morning in these little prayer meetings we would look at our list
and ask God to use us and other young fellows in Washington, in Oregon, in
California, and in all other states of the Union. Five weeks went by, and we
did not miss a morning. We met at four o'clock on Sunday morning and spent
three hours in prayer. During the sixth week the Lord put it on our heart to
get a map of the world, and we took it up to our little cave in the hill. We
began to put our fingers on Germany, France, and Italy. We put them on Turkey
and Greece. I remember looking at one little island near China--you had to look
closely to see what it was--and we prayed that God would use us in the lives of
the men in Formosa."
If you know of the worldwide ministry of the Navigators today,
you know that this prayer has been answered.
The united witness of
which we are a part is also the result of prayer on the part of many
Christians. Let us not stop now; let us individually and together pray to take
the objective for Jesus Christ. Pray that we will be used in the lives of
others on every ship and station, post and base in the world.
effectiveness of our ministry in the spiritual war largely depends upon the
individual mobility in the use of the capabilities of the Word and of prayer.
We must know something of the range and depth of the Word of God and we must
experience the range and accuracy of intercessory prayer.
"And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will
answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear."
"The act of retrenchment...shall serve the defender NOT to
defend more securely behind a rampart but to attack the enemy more
Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to
withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians
The subject of security may be divided into three parts:
- Intelligence of the enemy.
- Continual protection against the enemy;
- Final stand against the enemy.
Before we can secure from attacks from an enemy we must know
there is an enemy. The nation that has no enemy is very secure. The nation that
has an enemy but does not think so is very insecure. That nation could be
surprised, completely unprotected.
Intelligence of an enemy
ensures knowing who he is, his intentions and his methods of
operating. This prevents deception and surprise. In physical warfare this
intelligence in gained by listening to everything the enemy says and reading
everything he writes. Since the enemy does not want his opponent listening
in on everything he says, he establishes safeguards: fences, guards, soundproof
rooms, security checks to expose spies or traitors, and encryption of his radio
and telephone communications. In order to gain this intelligence the opponent
sends in spies, breaks down fences, steals safes, bribes or kills guards, taps
telephone wires, and practices cryptanalysis.
Thus, to be secure from
the enemy, one must gain access to his communications while safeguarding all of
his own communications.
In the early months after Pearl Harbor, our
carriers were operating in the Southwest Pacific, our battleships were out of
action, and the Japanese were moving a three-pronged striking and invasion
fleet toward Midway Island and the Aleutian Chain. There would have been no
stopping this force if it had not been for intelligence of the enemy. Through
cryptanalysis, the U.S. Navy cracked the Japanese code and moved more planes
and submarines to Midway. The Japanese lost four carriers to air action while
we lost one carrier and one destroyer. This, the turning point of the war in
the Pacific, illustrates the absolute necessity of intelligence of the enemy to
So it is with the spiritual war. Our enemy is
Satan. We must know who he is, what he does, his intentions and methods. We can
read his history in the Bible and observe his victories and his defeats in his
action with men. We can also read of his contact with the Son of God, his
failure in the Temptation in the Wilderness and his defeat at
We find that Satan is neither omnipotent nor omniscient and
that he has very definite limitations. Apparently through ignorance of God's
"plan of attack," Satan perpetrated the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ by
blinding the religious and political leaders of 2,000 years ago. The Bible
says: "...none of the princes of this world knew (the wisdom of God): for had
they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" (I Corinthians
2:7,8). This failure of Satan to discern God's plan was a factor in his defeat,
for through the Cross God wrests men from Satan's group and enlists them into
His eternal Kingdom.
Neither are we omnipotent and omniscient, but we
have access to power and knowledge of which Satan knows nothing. Christ has
revealed to us the wisdom of God, though it is "hidden" from the world. He also
endows us with His power. Christ said to the apostles: "All power is given unto
me. Therefore go."
There are many things Satan does not know and cannot
do. Let us find out his strength and weakness factors. "Lest," as Paul says in
II Corinthians 2:11, "Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not
ignorant of his devices." Let us discover the information which is key to our
Intelligence of Satan permits us to set up our
defense, with the reasons for each part of our "armor." Before we put on the
armor we must be strong in the Lord's strength and power (verse 10). Verses 11
to 13 put the emphasis upon the whole of the armor and 14 to 20 speak of the
separate parts of the armor and their uses.
Our combatants are not flesh
and blood but "principalities," "powers," "rulers of the darkness of this
world," "spiritual wickedness in high places" (verse 12), and they are
masterminded by the Devil himself (verse 11). Like any general, Satan will
not attack a strong point if weak points are available for a breakthrough. He
is a good strategist. We need not fear his strength so much as his "wiles"
(verse 11). The Scripture tells us twice to put on the "whole armor of God"
so there will be no weak points.
A wall around a city may be strictly
defensive, but armor by definition is not. Webster's Collegiate Dictionary says
of armor: "that conceived of as an offensive or defensive weapon." A soldier
does not cover himself with armor because he intends to read a good book in
front of his fireplace. He is going off to battle. He has every intention of
going into harm's way. He is looking for and expecting a fight. Sun Tzu
"The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the
possibility of defeat and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the
The Christian warrior who obeys Ephesians 6 has done just this.
This soldier employs the various parts of the armor to put himself beyond the
possibility of defeat. He surrounds himself with truth, he puts on the
breastplate of righteousness, he takes the shield of faith and dons his helmet
of salvation. Then with the power of the Lord, the preparations of the Gospel
of Peace and the sword of the Spirit, he defeats the enemy.
If the great
objective assigned to us by Jesus Christ is to "preach the gospel to every
creature," then the smallest whole number of that objective is one single
person. Each individual, like the rest of his fellows, is an enemy of God in
his mind by wicked works (Colossians 1:21). We are surrounded by these enemies.
We read their literature, hear their conversation and participate in their
community. In effect, the prince of this world and his servants are taking the
offensive against the saints continually. One way to keep from being attacked
would be to keep no company with the wicked. But I Corinthians 5:9-11 tells us
that "then must ye needs go out of the world." Jesus prayed to the Father, "not
that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep
them from the evil" (John 17:15). It is His will that we be exposed to attack
but not defeated. Our divinely ordered armor provides effective
Lt. General William K. Harrison, Jr., in a message given in
Yokosuka, Japan, drew attention to Romans 13:12-14 which says, "let us put on
the armor of light," and "put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not
provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." This indicates, General
Harrison said, that putting on the armor is putting on
Jesus Christ. When we put on the armor of Ephesians 6 we are putting on
Jesus Christ. He is the truth (John 14:6), He is our righteousness (I
Corinthians 1:30), He is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2),
He is the Gospel (Mark 1:1), He is our Salvation (Exodus 15:2), and He is the
Word (John 1:1).
In physical war, if a nation were continually under
attack and on the defensive we could prophesy ultimate defeat, surrender and
destruction. To prevent this there must be a final stand. The initiative and
the offensive must change hands before victory could come to the defenders.
This stand is called the defensive-offensive.
In World War
II there were four main turning points which gave the offensive to the Allies.
All of these were great defensive-offensive battles where the defenders won and
afterward took the initiative. Two of them have already been described in
brief. The first battle of Alamein at the Alam Halfa ridge turned the tide in
North Africa. It is briefly described in Chapter 3: "Concentration." The Battle
of Midway mentioned earlier was the defensive-offensive battle that reversed
the positions in the Central Pacific. In Europe the crown for
defensive-offensive strategy goes to the Russians [and Chechnians!] in the
Battle of Stalingrad. When it became clear that the city would not fall the
Germans should have called a retreat. This was not done and the German Sixth
Army was annihilated. The fourth example is the defense of Port Moresby in
New Guinea which resulted in the annihilation of the Japanese Detachment at
If there is no turning point the defender will be defeated. There
will be no turning unless a stand is made in a defensive-offensive battle. Yet,
seemingly, in the minds of many Christians, a defensive position in the
spiritual life is considered a virtue and an offensive position a sin. Defense
is associated with the innocent party, as though we expect only the wicked to
take up the offense. For this reason the virtuous pride themselves on being
defenders, instead of taking up a powerful personal witness. This sometimes
results in the pathetic situation of the virtuous enjoying defeat. Let us never
forget that without an eventual offensive, defense only anticipates ultimate
The defensive-offensive applies to both individuals and
groups of believers. Have you been only a defender against sin and sinners?
Perhaps it is time for a stand, a defensive-offensive.
stand," and thus make your security sure.
[Be sure to click on "Local
church evangelism" and then on "How To Bring People To Jesus" to access an
incredible resource that will enable you to shift your whole congregation and
any individual Christian within your congregation from a defensive
stance to an offensive witnessing stance.]
"One belligerent must surprise, the other be surprised. Only
and when the two Commanders play these respective roles will a battle lead to
the annihilation of one Army."
--General Waldenmar Erfurth
The Old Testament hero Gideon learned the principles of war by
revelation from God, and one of them was "Surprise." The account in the seventh
chapter of Judges tells us that the amassed armies of the "Midianites and the
Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like
grasshoppers." This force consisted of 135,000. Less than 15,000 got away. We
can say that Gideon with 300 men surprised the enemy and won a battle of
There are only a few elements with which surprise can
be effected: time, place, and method, or any combination of the
However, surprise also depends upon two additional and
essential factors, namely, ignorance on the part of one commander, and
intelligence on the part of the other. This ignorance may be natural (e.g.,
incompetence or inadequate security) or it may be induced
Gideon's victory, Hannibal's victory at Cannae, the German
invasion through the Ardennes in 1940 and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
were all aided by the ignorance of the surprised nation. In the first two cases
deception helped immensely in the execution of the surprise, and in all four
cases the surprising belligerent kept his intentions and plans
The surprise of Gideon was one of time (night) and method
(lamps, torches, voices, trumpets) and place (three sides of the camp). The
attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise of time and place; the weapon was not
unusual. The United States' surprise at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was primarily
one of weapon, although the time and place were a part of the
In the spiritual warfare we may use any or all of these
elements of surprise. Surprise can be very effectively used in evangelism,
whether mass evangelism (strategic surprise) or in personal evangelism
In the spiritual war there are two commanders, God
and the Devil. One of them is the Creator, the other is a created being. God is
omniscient, Satan is not. Since surprise depends upon the ignorance (natural or
induced) of one of the commanders then it becomes obvious that God cannot be
surprised. God is omniscient. He has no limitations in His intelligence, nor
can He be deceived.
This is not true of the Devil. He has been surprised
before. God did not deceive Satan. He just withheld information from him. The
Bible speaks of it over and over as a mystery. Notice I Corinthians 2:7-8. "But
we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which
God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this
world knew: for had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of
glory." Our greatest surprise is in the message itself.
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died
for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet
peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his
love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans
Surprise in warfare means more than "to cause wonder or
astonishment or amazement because of something unexpected." It means "to attack
or capture suddenly and without warning." The above passage from Romans 5
clearly tells us that the love of Christ expressed in His death for us is
unexpected. If the message is used with people who are dependent on their own
effort or relative goodness they will be "amazed." If the messenger catches
that man with his defense down he will be "amazed" and surprised. In other
words he will be captured suddenly and without warning.
be increased even more if we combine the message with a surprise in time and
place. To hear the gospel in a Sunday evening evangelistic church service is no
surprise. It is even possible that the message itself will surprise no one in
the audience. On the other hand, a personal testimony of the saving grace of
Jesus Christ backed up with the Word of God will be an effective surprise when
it comes from a line officer. It will surprise tellingly when this occurs in
the Officers' Club, at a cocktail party, in the office, in the field, aboard
ship, or in combat.
It is much easier to be vocal in an evangelical
church than it is in the above places. It is always easier to train for combat
than it is to engage the enemy in a fire fight. The reason is simple: in the
evangelical church, as in military training, there is no enemy. The presence of
an enemy means fear and knots in the stomach, even though we have the
opportunity to take the initiative and catch him by surprise.
defensive we have no choice but to fight. But when we have the opportunity to
surprise the enemy, the decision to fight is ours. We would hardly pass up such
an opportunity in physical combat, though it means fear and the possibility of
death. Likewise let us press our advantages in the spiritual warfare despite
the problems and fears. Do not reject surprise in time and place.
forewarn the enemy is to ask for strong resistance to any attack. The
principles of surprise is one of the prime means of thwarting such resistance.
This principle applies equally in personal evangelism. If we give men the
chance, they will hide, cover up and defend sin. They will do the same with
their ignorance. They will make a last stand defending sin even if it is only a
bluff. Let us catch men with their guards down. Give them as little opportunity
as possible to hide or defend sin.
Above all use the Word of God:
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow and
discerning the thought and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature
is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have
to do" (Hebrews 4:12,13). This is our surprise. It is devastating. Remember our
objective is not to win an argument, but to win men to Jesus Christ.
"Fellowship is the keynote of this belief; such a deep
fellowship with God through Christ as shall inevitably lead to a deep
fellowship with others of His children. The revival of the Christian Church
will surely come only through the disciplined and creative fellowship of
surrendered Christians; for such a fellowship in Christ is God's supreme weapon
for the evangelization of the world (I John 1:5-7 and John 17:22-23). The
isolated Christian is an anomaly."
Howard Guinness in Total Christian
In World War II the United States narrowly escaped a crushing
defeat because of neglect of a principle of war: the principle of
Until the invasion of the Philippines, 20-23 October 1944,
we had fought two separate wars in the Pacific: the advance through the Central
Pacific, Gilberts, Marshall, and Marianas, and the war in the Southwest Pacific
via the Solomons and New Guinea. The forces of the former were commanded by
Admiral Chester Nimitz in Hawaii and the latter by General Douglas McArthur in
Australia. When these advances met in the Philippines, the two leaders had no
superior short of the Commander-in-Chief, the President of the United
The invasion was the responsibility of General McArthur with
Central Pacific Forces filling a supporting role. The Seventh Fleet under the
command of Vice Admiral Kincaid was given to General McArthur for the invasion
and included units of escort carriers and old battleships, some of which had
been raised from Pearl Harbor. The ammunition of these units was
non-armor-piercing, high explosive, as they were for support of the troops
ashore and not for an engagement at sea.
Protecting the invasion from
attack by sea was the Third Fleet commanded by Admiral [Bull] Halsey under
Admiral Nimitz. The main striking force consisted of four carrier air groups of
four fast attack carriers each, and a surface striking force of new fast
The Japanese sent a two-pronged surface attack against the
invasion fleet in Leyte Gulf and a decoy carrier group from Japan into the
Philippine Sea. The old battleships under Rear Admiral Oldendorf sank all but
one cruiser in Surigao Strait, which took care of the south prong. The fast
attack carriers turned back the northern prong in the Sibuyan Sea and then
proceeded after the decoy group away from the invasion fleet.
Japanese northern arm returned to the attack, coming through San Bernadino
Straits with four battleships and ten heavy cruisers. No one was there to meet
them. They caught our escort carriers in Leyte Gulf. After sinking the
Gambier Bay, for some unknown reason the Japanese admiral retreated. His
only opposition consisted of torpedo attacks and smoke from destroyers and
destroyer escorts (the DE's do not carry torpedoes). [The movie In Harm's
Way, staring John Wayne is based on this engagement.]
Our forces had
intelligence of the enemy. We had an overpowering superiority in surface and
air power. But we did not obtain a decisive victory because of poor
communication between cooperating forces. If it had not been for the decision
of the Japanese admiral to retire, we might have suffered a decisive
When we fail to uphold the principle of cooperation, we
cannot count on the enemy making mistakes or poor decisions. Nor can we bank on
scaring him with smoke and mock torpedo runs.
determine to have an overwhelming superiority to meet the enemy in a decisive
battle at the right time, which cannot be achieved without
Cooperation is dependent upon two
- Cooperating forces are allies, not belligerents. [The cooperating
forces in these end-times should--and have to be--the differing parts of
the body of Christ in the arena of national and international evangelism.]
- The cooperating forces come under one commander. [One commander
running a non-denominational evangelistic organization to promote national and
international evangelism of the Gospel wouldn't be a bad idea. Bill Bright's
Campus Crusade for Christ International and its' JESUS Film Project are one
stunning example of this principle currently being used today as you read this.
Be sure to CLICK ON "Evangelism: national and international" in this section
titled "What is Evangelism?" Many differing Christian denominations support
this fine organization and many more use it's prime resource, the JESUS
Cooperation with an enemy is not cooperation; it is treason.
Failure to cooperate with an ally is a violation of an essential principle
of war and a gross error.
Unity of command is necessary for
cooperation. The closer the commander is to the cooperating forces, the closer
the cooperation. The farther removed the unity of command, the weaker the
cooperation. [This principle holds true at all levels of command. Local pastors
should be close to the good works work parties that act as one prong of
a two-pronged offensive of the gospel. Just as essential, differing parts of
the body of Christ, denominational leaders, should be close to each other in
the projects of gospel evangelism they're combining forces on.]
invasion of the Philippines the supreme commander was very distant, the
President of the United States. Admiral Nimitz had a unified command. So did
General McArthur. But this was a meeting of two distinct commands. [And the
differing parts of the body of Christ, the differing denominations, are very
distinct and separate commands as well. They face a similar problem.] They had
no common superior close enough to the situation to provide good cooperation.
The principle of cooperation is very important in the spiritual
First, it applies to each one of us individually. Most Christians
are used to fighting (win or lose) their own spiritual battles. We are so used
to fighting the spiritual war alone that when we come into contact with a
fellow Christian in the same war at the same time or place, we find it
difficult to cooperate and communicate. Cooperation is a prelude to
concentration [of forces] and concentration [of forces] is one of the keys to
It should be immediately apparent that the
Christians [do] have the advantage of a unified command.
Furthermore, their Commander is not too far removed from the situation to
provide effective cooperation. [But under this High Supreme Allied
Commander, we must strive for unified command and cooperation between
our "allied forces--the denominations!] Jesus Christ himself
experienced the temptations and difficulties in this world, so He is close to
our situation in the sense of personal experience.
More important, He
presently occupies a position close to all Christians from which to direct
their cooperative efforts--that is, He dwells in their hearts. From there He
can guide us as individuals or as part of a group: "Where two or three are
gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20).
"I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew
If there is any breakdown in the principle of cooperation,
it is not on the part of the spiritual Commander; rather it must be traced to
the individual combatants [and denominations].
The greatest deterrent
to cooperation is pride. Pride says 'I can handle my problems alone; I don't
need any help.' [whether this is a denominational attitude of pride, such as
found between armed services, like pride between the Navy and Army, or an
individual attitude of pride.] Or perhaps it will allow me to accept help, but
not from him!
Sometimes pride keeps us from admitting our
needs even to ourselves, let alone to anyone else.
could help us in our weakness, but we will not let them know what it is. A
proud man wishes to win the struggle alone so he may take all the glory. When
he loses no one else knows about it, or so he believes. James 5:16 says:
"Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another." This cooperation
in the spiritual war is essential if we do not wish to be continually defeated
at the point where pride hides the fault. [And the power to soundly defeat
personal sin, especially addictions--alcohol, drugs--mental depression, comes
from combined prayer resulting from our "confessing" to our Christian friends
when we're having "problems", waging spiritual war, against such things. And
this confessing should be a part of our Christian fellowshipping when we come
together. And when a Christian friend lets you know about the problems he or
she is having, you must without fail write them down and put these things on
your daily prayer list. Many Christians have walked away from all sorts of
addictions and mental depressions as a direct result of such intercessory
prayers from other Christians. This should become an essential part of our
service to each other in our respective church services. Encourage this in your
God's attitude toward pride is explicit in the Scripture.
Proverbs 6:16 says, "These six things doth the Lord hate...a proud
look..." I John 2:16 states, "Love not the world...For all that is in the
world...the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world."
Bible also describes the results of pride. Daniel 5:20 explains the downfall of
Nebuchadnezzar in these words: "But when hardened in pride, he was deposed from
his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him." King Uzziah suffered
leprosy until the day of his death, because "when he was strong his heart was
lifted up" (II Chronicles 26:16).
Proverbs 16:18 states the principle in
this way: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a
In the military services pride is deliberately generated in order
to encourage obedience and high quality in performance of duties. Rivalry and
competition in training bring the units to the peak of readiness.
platoons should cease to compete when they act as a company. They are held
together by the company commander. Companies should cease to compete when
acting as a battalion and so on up the line until the Commander-in-Chief unites
the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
But a problem exists.
Whereas the highest sense of loyalty should be to the highest commander, the
greatest pride somehow frequently is generated in the smaller units and the
greatest loyalty is given to the subordinate commanders. There may be fierce
loyalty to the skipper and indifference, antagonism, or at best a lesser
loyalty to the squadron commander. (This is no great difficulty as long as the
skipper insures no deviation from orders given by the squadron
Another way that pride is fostered is through the function
of the unit. The method of warfare used in the particular unit becomes, so far
as the men involved are concerned, the primary means of winning wars. For
instance, the armor historian will tell the heroic part that that unit played
in winning World War II. In turn, we can find out how destroyers, submarines,
the Navy, the Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and the Army each won the
The pride and loyalty that is encouraged, rivalry and
competition that keeps units sharp and on their toes, can and does backfire.
After a few years in the service, the naval officer has been indoctrinated to
such an extent that it is difficult to cooperate with the Army, even though
aims are in agreement. We then find that the individual thinks his loyalty to
the Navy is synonymous with loyalty to the U.S. Unfortunately the Army feels
the same way. Strained cooperation results. Thus the function of one's branch
can become more important to an officer than the over-all objective of the
Armed Forces. This is a result of instilling pride in subordinate units to the
neglect of emphasizing higher loyalties. [Object lesson here: WE ARE
CHRISTIANS FIRST AND FOREMOST, AND MEMBERS OF OUR RESPECTIVE DENOMINATIONS
SECOND! If being a good Baptist detracts from you're being a good cooperative
member of the body of Christ, then you are going against a major principle of
spiritual warfare, and getting in the way of your Commander-in-Chief's overall
prime objective (Matthew 28:18-20). I'm not trying to pick on Baptists, by the
way, just making an example. As the saying goes, "If the shoe fits, where
In the Army of the Lord the same error occurs. The different
units (denominations, mission societies, and non-denominational groups) may
develop a pride in the distinctives of their church or fellowship. The
doctrines, liturgy or methods that make a group distinctive are the points
which are emphasized.
Many denominations and other groups are primarily
the result of the ministry of individual men raised up by God: John Wesley,
Martin Luther, John Calvin, Hudson Taylor, as well as living leaders [Pastor
Chuck Smith or Dr. Billy Graham for example]. These are the "subordinate
commanders" who may get fierce loyalty and obedience which belong only to the
Supreme Commander, Jesus Christ.
This would be strongly denied by most
of us. Yet we betray our loyalties when our conversations frequently begin with
ourselves or our group and its leader. Is Jesus Christ as often the subject of
our opening sentences? If anyone draws this matter to our attention, we explain
that our group and Christianity are synonymous, or that our leader is the most
devoted follower of Jesus Christ, or that we meant Christianity, even if we did
not say so. Thus each group feels it is most representative of Jesus
Strangely enough, if we were to apply the mathematical axiom
"Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other," we would conclude
that all the groups were nearly identical to each other and would enjoy great
freedom in cooperation. This is not true. It is true that people who have a
genuinely close fellowship and contact with the Supreme Commander have no
trouble with each other, regardless of the groups with which they are
We must guard our loyalty and keep it for the Lord Jesus
Christ. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all
your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And
a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew
The Officer's Christian Union has been raised up by God to
serve Him in the spiritual war on a specific battlefield, the Armed Forces of
the United States, particularly the Officers Corps. On the whole, we are
operating as a separate unit with our assigned objective set before us. We have
been operating this way so long is it easy to think in terms of the ministry of
the OCU instead of the ministry of the whole church of Jesus Christ. We may
think in terms of "every officer" instead of "every
Sometimes we will encounter another Christian or Christian
group on the same battlefield. Will we oppose his presence, tolerate his
presence, ignore it, or unite with him to win the battle?
question never really centers around the method of the OCU versus the method of
the other group. The question is loyalty to the OCU versus loyalty to Jesus
Christ. He commands both groups. For infantrymen not to accept the cooperation
of tanks is not only stupid; it is disobedient to the one commander of both
tanks and infantry. Our controversy is not with the other group--it is with
"John said to him, 'Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in
your name, and we forbade him because he was not following us.' But Jesus said,
'Do no forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able
soon after to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us.'"
Our determining factor is the person of Jesus Christ. The man
may not be with the OCU and we may disapprove of his methods. But if we agree
with his loyalty to Jesus Christ and with his message, we should
Paul saw this very clearly when he wrote:
"Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others
from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for
the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ to afflict me in my
imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in
truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice" (Philippians
The other fellow's motives should not be our concern. This is
easy to say and to quote, but how to enter into an openhearted willingness to
work with someone from another group is not easy. The problem is that we, as
allied groups, are not close enough to the Supreme Commander, the Lord Jesus
Christ. The solution, then, is to spend more time with Jesus Christ
individually, in our group, and with other groups. This time alone or
together should not be spent in thinking or talking about distinctives or
differences. Nor should it be spent in accusation or
We should spend our time with Him in prayer, praise,
worship, reading, studying and meditation. When we listen to Him, talk to Him,
sing praise to Him and talk about Him, we will come to know Him better. We will
begin to realize more of His love and power, and to follow more closely His
commandments and purpose.
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another;
even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will
know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John
[This chapter highlights the central theme of this web site,
and its name, Unity in the body of Christ. It is almost as if Mr. Wilson wrote
this chapter for this site, in advance. Who knows. The Lord knows all in
advance, including that he would inspire me to put together this site to try to
unite the body of Christ in its common purpose and objective the Lord has given
us all, expressed in Matthew 28:18-20, which Jesus prophesied we Christians
would successfully accomplish in Matthew 24:14. Be sure to read the following
articles in this section titled "What is Evangelism?" to learn more of our
assignment, on the individual, local church, national and international level.
"An Army marches on its
Napoleon expressed the principle of communication very well. He
knew that a front line army without food and ammunition cannot fight or move,
and invites defeat. Napoleon himself lost two armies, one because he neglected
this principle, and the other because the English severed his line of
The official definition of "lines of communication" is
"All the routes, land, water and air, which connect an operating military force
with its base of operations, along which supplies must continue to move."
Adequate supplies must continue to move along these routes until a campaign is
over. If an army is in pursuit, its supplies must move all the faster and
farther. The principles of communication is violated whenever an enemy is
allowed to cut off supplies or when an army advances too far and too fast for
adequate supplies to keep up.
Napoleon was defeated on both counts.
In the closing years of the eighteenth century he invaded Egypt. The French
fleet in the Mediterranean provided the lines of communication. Militarily
speaking, Egypt was an easy conquest. But the English got word of this movement
and Lord Nelson went after the French fleet. He found and sunk it near the
mouth of the Nile, stranding Napoleon's army in Egypt.
having conquered most of Europe, Napoleon invaded Russia. In the middle of
winter he found he had disastrously overextended his line of supply. Another
army was lost through violation of the principle of communication. It is no
victory to defeat the enemy tactically and then freeze and starve to
In the fall and winter of 1950 the United Nations forces pursued
their defeated enemy up the Korean peninsula faster than adequate food, winter
clothing, ammunition or engineers could follow. The victorious army arrived at
the Yalu River thinned out in supplies and unprepared for winter. In this state
they were caught by the Chinese Communist Army, which crossed the Yalu River
supplied and winterized. The hitherto victorious army retreated to the
38th parallel. Great numbers were overrun, surrounded and captured.
Only the amphibious evacuation at Hungnam saved most of the surrounded army.
This principle of war may not be the most important, but it still must be
practiced. Without it victory is temporary, defeat ultimate.
So it is
in the war with Satan. Spiritual defeat is the only reward for those who
overextend their lines of communication or allow them to be severed. We in the
Army of the Lord must maintain communication with our Commander-in-Chief. He is
our source of supply for spiritual food, ammunition, information and orders. We
have two-way communication with God: Prayer and the Word of God. Prayer is our
means of communication to Him. Via prayer we make our needs known; through
intercession we ask help for cooperating forces. By prayer we praise Him for
victories won and confess our defeats.
I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us
to "pray constantly." Spiritual communication must not be broken. The enemy
endeavors to cut our supply line by the simple device of temptation. If we
yield, sin results, and sin severs. The presence of sin suppresses the desire
to confess defeat. We do not praise God, thank Him, or intercede for others.
Confession is the only means of restoring
God's means of communication with us is the
Word of God. Any other spiritual communication is subject to test by this
authoritative standard. He first spoke to men through the prophets and later
through His Son and then through the apostles. We have these communications in
the Bible, comprising all our orders for the war with Satan.
Bible is more than that. It is our complete source of supply. It is our
spiritual food. [The connective expository sermons within this web site are
there to demonstrate one of the most effective ways of feeding this spiritual
food to your congregation, making them spiritually strong and healthy troops in
the Army of God, so they can effectively wage the battle of evangelism locally
under your immediate command. Strongly consider learning this method of
teaching. John Wesley used it and started a major revival. George Muller used
it, and had thousands in his local congregations. Pastor Chuck Smith and the
Christian revival he started uses it, and this revival continues to spread
across the United States like wildfire.] Job said, "I have esteemed the words
of his mouth more than my necessary food" (Job 23:12). Jeremiah said, "Thy
words were found and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and
rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name O Lord God of hosts"
The Word of God is our weapon, "for the word of God is
living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division
of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and
intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
The Word of God is much more.
By this means God causes faith, love, hope and strength in us. [This is in
direct conjunction with the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. He is stirred
up by our reading of the Word. ] In His Book He sets the standard of
conduct. Through it He communicates His requirements of humility and absolute
obedience, as well as many details and principles of the conduct of an army at
war. He sets the bounds of fellowship among those within the camp and those
without. [Be sure to read the section on 1 Corinthians for the Lord's
instructions through the apostle Paul and how a local congregation is to be run
and what is and isn't permitted within the congregation. God set the standard
through Paul here for all of us to follow as pastors.] As a weapon it is the
most telling and effective in setting captives free from the power of Satan.
"You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through
the living and abiding word of God" (I Peter 1:23). [Jesus is the Living Word
of God, whereas the Bible is the Word of God in print. Jesus within us through
the indwelling Holy Spirit enables and feeds us spiritually as we read the
written Word of God. Our mere physical act of reading God's Word is meaningless
without the enabling of the Holy Spirit within us (I Cor. 2:9-12).]
this portion of our two-way line of communication can be cut and again it is
sin that severs. With unconfessed sin in his life, the Christian has no desire
to read, hear, study or meditate upon the Word of God. He now neither
communicates with God nor receives from Him. It may have been a minor sin that
severed the lines of communication; but once severed and not immediately
restored, he is set up for a decisive defeat by Satan.
It is mandatory
in the war with Satan that we have daily communication with our source of
supply. We must receive daily from the Lord via the Word enough for all of the
day's needs, and we must store up provisions of the Word of God in our hearts
and heads for any future time when we have a prolonged engagement with
Daily time with the Lord is far more than our line of
communication for the battle. Fellowship with Him is really our
objective. We were created and redeemed to walk with God. In fact, this is the
reason why we are engaged in war, so that others may be brought into fellowship
with Him. "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you [proclaim also
to you], that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is
with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ" (I John
In Korea is seemed more important to implement the
principle of war called pursuit than to keep in touch with supplies. This would
have been right if the Chinese Communists had not entered the war. Our lines
of communication can be overextended as well as cut. It may seem more important
to be out witnessing or attending meetings than it is to spend time with our
source of supply, the Lord Jesus Christ. Both witnessing and attending
meetings are legitimate means of combating the enemy, but they cease to be
effective when we run out of spiritual power. Scripture and sound military
principle warn us that decisive defeat may be the end result. If we are
fortunate, friends may be standing by to evacuate and keep us from
In Luke 10:38-42 is a story that illustrates this principle.
"But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said,
'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then
to help me.' But the Lord answered her, 'Martha Martha, you are anxious and
troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good
portion, which shall not be taken away from her'."
Notice this: Martha
was not far from the Lord nor was He far from her. The line of communication
was short. Even though it was short she had still overextended. She had
received nothing. She was too busy serving to receive. If we are too busy to
spend time with the Lord, then we are too busy.
We are never far from
Him. The Second World War extended lines halfway around the world. We have not
such a problem in distance for He said, "I am with you alway" (Matthew 28:20).
We can pray to Him at any time and place. We can receive from Him through His
Word all the supplies, strength, and wisdom needed for daily combat.
is not the length of our lines of communication that is important. Just the use
[This web site's two main resources are in the area of prayer
and Bible study (and the latter demonstrating the preaching style of connective
expository sermons for the effective feeding of your respective flocks under
your care). The section "What is Prayer?" deals with teaching about the many
important aspects of prayer and how to pray and make it effective. The
connective expository Bible studies are scattered throughout this site as an
example of that incredibly powerful style of preaching. Utilizing these two
main resources found on this site will help you keep the supply lines open for
both you and your congregation. As a pastor, it is your primary responsibility
to meet these needs of your spiritual troops under you. And the section on
"What is Prayer?" also shows you how to concentrate your forces, spiritual
troops, in joint cooperative prayer groups, and Pastor Cymbala in his book
Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire shows what will be accomplished as a result of
this concentration of prayer force.]
Economy of Force
"The more the concentration can be compressed into one act and
one moment, the more perfect are its
Economy of Force is efficiency in fighting, effectiveness in
warfare. If our objective is the annihilation of the enemy army we will take
the offensive at the decisive point. In order to do this effectively, the
combined application of all principles of war is necessary. A statement by
General Erfurth mentions or implies most of the principles of war:
"To concentrate overwhelmingly superior members at the decisive
points is impossible without strategic surprise. The assembly of the
shock-group must be done as quickly as possible in such a way that all units
can attack at one and the same time."
Each of the following principles when supplied separately
economizes force. When they are supplied in unison economy of force is
achieved. Let us look at each principle in the light of economy of force,
realizing that all of them are interdependent:
- Objective: The greatest incentive for economizing is to know where
you are going and then go there.
- Offensive: "Going" economizes forces. It takes less force to mount an
offense against one point than to defend all points.
- Security: If the enemy does not know what we are going to do, we can
do it with less force. If he knows, he will then be prepared and we may not be
able to do it all even with a much greater force.
- Surprise: This principle certainly allows a commander to do the job
with less force.
- Mobility: Mobility economizes force by increasing, in effect, the
numbers of men and arms. "A leader who aims at mobility should not be afraid to
strain his troops to the limit in order that they may reach the battlefield in
time. Many victories were made possible by forced marches. Mobility equals
increase in numbers." (Erfurth).
- Cooperation: When allied forces advance with a common objective and
in unity, they can attain victory with fewer men than if they had acted
- Concentration: This may seem to be, but is not, the opposite of
economy of force. To use one's force in driblets here and there may only result
in consistent defeat. But if we concentrate at the decisive points, we are
using economy of force.
(There is such a thing as over concentration in places which
are not decisive points. "Consequently, the fronts where no decisions are being
sought should be manned with a minimum of force" (Erfurth). To concentrate at
indecisive points violates economy of force. It is better to have one's force
scattered in driblets at decisive points than have it concentrated at an
As we apply the various aspects of the principles of
economy of force to the spiritual war in which we are engaged, we can say that
any concentration of Christians where there are few or no non-Christians is an
over concentration of Christians at a point which is not decisive. To have
concentration of Christians where paganism is thick and rampant is compatible
with the principles of war.
Because Christians have a tendency to
concentrate at indecisive points, it may be difficult to get more than a few
away from places of misallocated concentration to points where decisive battles
are being fought. The few may not be enough for effective concentration, but
their proper deployment is a step in the right direction, a step toward economy
of force. Not to send a few to those decisive points would violate several
principles of war. Economy of force uses what is available to do the job.
[Think about this when a work-party is assigned to go help a needy
non-Christian. Concentration of force by having many show up is giving this
person witness of the demonstrated gospel of Christ, without which the
spoken gospel of Christ becomes hobbled.]
When there are many decisive
points and the Christians are congregated away from the front, we ought to
plead with God for economy of force: "And I sought for a man among them, who
should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I
should not destroy it, but I found none" (Ezekiel 22:30).
in a noncombatant area is legitimate for training, to receive power or to
prepare to attack. If concentration remains after training has been
accomplished or if we dilly dally around in the rear, we will never be ready
for war. This is a waste of force!
The Lord Jesus Christ said to His
disciples, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third
day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be
preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are
witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon
you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high" (Luke
24:46-49). The primary objective was "all nations." Jerusalem was the place
where power was to be received and from which to start after the early
believers had received the power. However, they stayed in Jerusalem a prolonged
period of time after they had received power through the coming of the Holy
Spirit at Pentecost. Their failure to move out was disobedience to orders. But
God finally forced them to leave by allowing persecution. Concentration in the
wrong place is not economy of force.
When these principles are combined
with an offensive at a decisive point, we are practicing economy of
In Biblical history the greatest example of these principles
combined in one military battle is Gideon's victory over the armies of Midian
and Amalek described in Judges 7 and 8. In his God-directed use of economy of
force, Gideon sent 31,700 men home and won the battle with 300 men.
much needed application of this principle is that we must send to the decisive
point men who are willing and ready to go. It may be that, as it was with
Gideon, 22,000 are afraid to go and another 9,700 are not ready to go. Thus,
perhaps only 300 men are willing and ready to go with the message of Jesus
It was not God's plans to invite the Midianites and the
Amalekites one and two at a time to the Israelites' home towns where 31,700
soldiers could take them captive. Nor is it His plan to invite non-Christians
one and two at a time into an over concentration of Christians at an indecisive
point where the believers preach the Gospel at each other [although Calvary
Chapel does this quite effectively, by using other keys of local church
evangelism right within their church services. More on this later.] It is God's
plan to attack the decisive points with victory in mind. There are so many
places and so few willing to go that we must economize our force.
said, "The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few; pray therefore the
Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest" (Luke
This is in the imperative. Jesus Christ tells us to pray that God
would send men. He commands us to do it and tells us why. The harvest is too
much for the few reapers. Let us pray for economy of force.
"Only pursuit of the beaten enemy gives the fruits of
In his biography of Field Marshall Viscount Allenby of Megiddo
and Felixstowe, General Archibald Wavell, K.C.B., C.M.G., M.C., gives a very
clear picture of the problems of pursuit:
"To the uninitiated, pursuit seems the easiest possible form of
war. To chase a flying, presumably demoralized enemy must be a simple matter,
promising much gain at the expense of some exertion and hardship, but little
danger. Yet the successful or sustained pursuits of history have been few, the
escapes from a lost battle many. The reasons are partly material, but mainly
moral. A force retreating falls back on its depots and reinforcements, unless
it is overrun, it is growing stronger all the time, and there are many
expedients besides fighting by which it can gain time: bridges or roads blown
up, defiles blocked, supplies destroyed. The pursuer soon out runs his normal
resources. He may possibly be able to feed himself at the expense of his
enemies or of the countryside; he is not likely to replenish his ammunition and
warlike equipment in the same way. But the chief obstacle he has to overcome is
psychological. The pursued has a greater incentive to haste than the pursuer,
and, unless he is demoralized, a stronger urge to fight. It is only natural
that the soldier who has risked his life and spent his toil in winning a battle
should desire relaxation in safety as his mead of victory, and that the general
and staff should feel a reaction from strain. So that while coolness in
disaster is the supreme proof of a Commander's courage, energy in pursuit is
the surest test of his strength of will. Few have carried out pursuits with
such relentless determination as Allenby in 1917 and 1918."
The spiritual war for men is not much different. If the
principles of war were applied by a body of believers in any given locality, I
believe there would be a great spiritual victory. The battle would be won and
there would be many spiritual conversions to Jesus Christ.
a breakthrough for Christ is achieved, we relax, as though the fight were
Consider Gideon's rout of the Midianites. In Judges 7 we find that
for the battle 300 men were all that were needed to make the breakthrough. But
once the battle was won and the Midianites were fleeing, Gideon called for the
men he had previously sent home; three of the four tribes joined in the
pursuit. He also called out the tribe of Ephraim to cut off the fleeing
Midianites by seizing the fords of the Jordan. "And Gideon came to the Jordan
and passed over, he and the three hundred men who were with him, faint yet
The fact that 120,000 of the enemy were already slain, that
Gideon had won the battle, and that he and his men were tired and hungry, did
not stop his pursuit. By this time only fifteen thousand of the enemy remained.
"And Gideon went up by the caravan route east of Nobah and Jogbehah and
attacked the army for the army was off its guard. And Zebah and Zalmunna fled,
and he pursued them and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna and he
threw all of the army into a panic. Then Gideon...returned from the
In physical warfare, the fruits of victory are conserved by
pursuing the beaten enemy. The victors cannot relax or just "follow up" the
prisoners of war. The pursuit will bring many more prisoners in a short time,
but if it is delayed, another major battle will ensue. The defeated enemy will
have time to regroup his forces.
In spiritual warfare we must think
beyond the converts made in the immediate battle. We must pursue the many
non-Christians who are "fleeing" in conviction of sin, but who as yet have not
surrendered to Jesus Christ. In other words, we as Christians ought to consider
the principle of pursuit to be as important as "follow up" of the new
Christians after a spiritual breakthrough. The victory has prepared many men
almost to receive Jesus Christ.
Although it is very important to take
care of prisoners of war, it takes a minimum of men to take care of disarmed
prisoners. In the spiritual war the prisoners are the converts to Jesus Christ.
They are not only disarmed, they are now on our side. It should take fewer
people to follow through on the new converts than is needed to pursue the great
numbers who have been defeated but who have not yet surrendered to Jesus
Christ. Sometimes after a major spiritual victory, even "follow up" is not
attempted. Still worse is the failure to press the pursuit of those who are
running away from Jesus Christ.
The most effective way to pursue the
beaten enemy in physical war is to hit from his unprotected flanks. If a direct
pursuit is carried out, the victors run into the deadly sting of the rear guard
[and Rommel was a master at putting together deadly rear-guard's, composed of
mobile 88mm anti-tank batteries. The British learned to not follow too close
behind Rommel's retreating Afrika Korps!] and into many roadblocks and blown
bridges, and so the retreating enemy gets away. To avoid these, the victors
should travel a parallel path, outrun and intercept the retreating enemy. To
continue direct pursuit after the battle is won is to lose the retreating
enemy. In order to effect an interception in the pursuit, mobility is needed.
If immediate pursuit is undertaken, as many more captives as were taken in the
battle can be secured.
Prior to the Megiddo battle in September 1918
Allenby promised his cavalry 30,000 prisoners of war. His staff thought he was
presumptuous. In reality he ended up with 50,000 prisoners having reduced the
Turkish Seventh and Eighth armies to a few columns.
Let us consider the
"how" of spiritual pursuit. First, we must be convinced that many people are
ready to receive Christ and will receive Him if they are cut off and confronted
with their sin and the Saviour. When a man begins to run away, he is ready to
be captured. This does not mean that he will not put up a last desperate
struggle or will not continue to run. This is why it is important to cut off
To outrun fleeing, convicted sinners, God-directed mobility
is required. As in Gideon's case, it might take a small, well disciplined,
courageous group to make a breakthrough in the spiritual conflict for men.
[Like the "work parties" that went down into the "salt mines" of Brooklyn NY
with blankets and Bibles for the homeless--they created the "breakthrough"--]
Once the breakthrough has been made and many have received Christ, many others
will have been convicted of sin, righteousness and judgment and will begin to
flee. Then we need more than our hard core of trained men. We need, like
Gideon, all of the Christians who were not prepared for the battle but who are
necessary in the pursuit. If we depend only on the hard core of Christians who
seek to follow hard after Christ, we will win many battles, but there will be
no complete rout. There will be successful evangelistic campaigns, but no
awakening. If pursuit is practiced, every successful evangelistic campaign
is a possible prelude to a general awakening.
If we study spiritual
awakenings from Pentecost to the Welsh Revival of 1901 and the Korean revival
of 1905, we notice the battle and the breakthrough centered around one man or a
small group of men. This was only the start. After that many Christians
witnessed and testified of saving grace and more people were converted.
Christians got right with the Lord and entered the chase. The whole church was
in the awakening. Evan Roberts was not responsible for the 70,000 new
Christians in Wales; he was only the leader. God's revivals may start with
God-picked men. But they continue only if every Christian, weak or strong,
joins in the pursuit.
It is the responsibility of the leader not only
to make the breakthrough in the battle with his picked men, but also to call in
all the reserves for the rout. Our greatest mobility is in the quantity of
Christians who can testify of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Every Christian
should testify to everyone he meets.
Another means of mobility in
pursuit is literature distribution--booklets, tracts, books and Scripture
portions--all of them on the judgment and love of God. The literature may be
offered without charge and distributed at meetings, by the mass of Christians
or by direct mail. [Or like those in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, on "good works"
outreaches into the poor and homeless sections of Brooklyn.] [The Internet is
another new technology for distributing this same precious
A third factor essential to effective pursuit is the
manner and content of our appeal. In preaching Christ to the people just prior
to the breakthrough, it is possible to be somewhat removed from one's audience.
But in pursuit we must be clearly identified with the people. Let there be
compassion and understanding in our approach.
Furthermore, an ultimatum
should be used in our message, citing the judgment of God on unrepentant men.
This is the only effective means that will cause a fleeing man to surrender to
Christ. Judgment is the reality he cannot escape if he persists in fleeing from
Christ and therefore it has great force in causing a fugitive to stop in his
flight. Yet our warning should be given in love and joy.
The church in
Thessalonica witnessed to their countrymen in the true sense of pursuit. True,
they were not established Christians like those of Ephesus. They did not have
two years of Bible school with Paul as the teacher. They had heard the Gospel
only three Sabbath days. Nevertheless Paul writes to them a few weeks
"For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in
Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to godward is spread
abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing."
Will we follow their example?
We must if we are to win!