BASIC MILITARY TACTICS
LESSON 1, UNIT 1
Here is what you need to know for now. Please be sure to take notes as necessary, as you will be tested cumulatively on your acquired knowledge at random points throughout this blog, in various ways. As a soldier for Christ, you must be prepared at all times! (Reference: 1 Pet. 3:15 (KJV) –> “…and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”)
- “Kill the Strange Fire”
In regards to this military tactic, there is a recorded incident in the Bible that caused enduring perturbation for many of God’s people. It is the story of how two of the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, were suddenly slain by God.
According to Lev. 10: 1-3 (KJV), “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, ‘This is it that the Lord spake, saying, “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.”‘ And Aaron held his peace.”
What is “unauthorized fire,” or, as it is rendered in other translations, “profane fire” or “strange fire”? We use the word profane to refer to that which is less than holy, but the word profane comes from the Latin word profanus, which literally means “outside the temple.” So, in a literal sense, Moses, as the author of Leviticus, is saying that the fire that Nadab and Abihu introduced to the altar had not been purified or consecrated. In reciprocation to that, God took their lives.
Children of God, it is important to note that at the very formation of the nation of Israel, God laid down the fundamental laws of consecration for the priests. He warned them that if they were not consecrated or if they violated their consecration, He would “break out” against them. Nadab and Abihu violated the holy law of the priesthood. When they did so, God killed them, reminding Israel of the sanctity of His presence. That is why Moses reminded Aaron, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified’” (vv. 3). When he heard this, Aaron “held his peace.” Even amid his grief, he knew his sons had committed a grave offense against Israel’s holy God.
Now when it comes to the application of this war strategy in modern-day terms that are easier to comprehend, this military tactic means to kill a potentially troublesome situation at the root before allowing it the chance to rapidly expand into an issue that is difficult to subdue, manage, control, and/or resolve. The essence of this military tactic is not cruel in the least, it is simply a very necessary safety precaution that can and must be applied in response to multiple challenging situations. On ministry-related terms, if you do not address and kill strange fires head-on (and in public, if need be, amidst a panel of witnesses/elders, or even in front of the entire congregation) then they will most definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, deaden your ministry. If you desire for your ministry (or for any serious organization of the matter) to truly go far, then you must kill strange fires immediately upon arousal. Of course, there will always be problems present, because of our flawed, Adamic (to be discussed in later posts) nature, and the ways of this fallen world. Whether people like to hear it or not, it’s just the gospel truth. Since there will always be problems on this side of eternity, I can definitely guarantee the presence of strange fires, as the Bible does say that “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8 KJV). However, this should not discourage you in the least. If you are always prepared to be able to kill them upon arousal at any moment, then their temporary presence until being extinguished will never bother you. Likewise, as you progress in leadership ability, killing them will rightfully so become a part of your second-nature, by the wonderful grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- “Divide and Conquer”
Also known as the “Divide and Rule” strategy, within the realms of politics and sociology, this military strategy is defined as gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. The use of this technique is meant to empower the sovereign to control subjects, populations, or factions of different interests, who collectively might be able to oppose his rule.
Elements of this technique involve:
– Creating or encouraging divisions among the subjects to prevent alliances that could challenge the sovereign
– Aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the sovereign
– Fostering distrust and enmity between local rulers
– Encouraging meaningless expenditures that reduce the capability for political and military spending
Historically, this strategy was used in many different ways by empires seeking to expand their territories. In regards to foreign policy, divide and rule can be used by states to weaken enemy military alliances. Likewise, in politics, the concept refers to a strategy that breaks up existing power structures, and especially prevents smaller power groups from linking up, causing rivalries and fomenting discord among the people to prevent a rebellion against the elites or the people implementing the strategy. The goal is either to pit the lower classes against themselves to prevent a revolution, or to provide a desired solution to the growing discord that strengthens the power of the elites.
Within the New Testament, Matt. 12:25 (KJV) reads, “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’” Is it not funny that the Commander of Heaven’s Armies, Jesus Christ himself, is teaching us, his children, the very essence of this military tactic? If God himself is teaching this, then it becomes quite evidently obvious that it is expected of us to strive to be able to learn and adequately apply such tactics to our varying daily lifestyles.
- “Confusion in the Enemy’s Camp”
This military tactic is a very common prayer point prevalently found and prayed across many deliverance churches around the world. It is an offensive tactic, to be applied in order to scatter congregations of evil cohorts that are against the move and will of God and his people.
In regards to the holy scriptures (real historical stories, to be discussed in later posts), by studying the book of Exodus chapter 14, we see how God threw the Egyptian army into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so they had difficulty driving. Nothing can operate well if the wheels are jammed, and if the brain is not functioning properly, then there will be confusion. The Egyptians realized that God was fighting for the children of Israel and decided to run away but alas, it was too late as they were swept into the sea.
In Judg. 7:22, when the people of God blew 300 trumpets, the Lord set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole [antagonist] army, and the army fled. The seventh chapter of Judges is a wonderful example of the wisdom of the Holy Spirit as He directs Gideon and his 300 fellow Israelites fighting against Midian.
- “Back to Sender”
The book of Esther is a prime and perfect example of this military tactic. In Esth. 9:25 (KJV), the scripture reads “But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.” This is an ideal scriptural demonstration of the back to sender principle, as Haman had originally designed to execute someone else on the gallows that he had constructed, yet he himself was hung on those very gallows.
The back to sender prayer is a fully scripturally backing prayer. They are warfare prayers organized by the children of God to return wicked arrow projectiles back to the very people that sent them. A back to sender prayer has the power to disgrace and destroy the enemies of your divine destiny in Jesus Christ. Brothers and sisters, you must keep in mind that the realm of the spirit is actually very violent, and the devil has designed attacks not just to oppress you, but to destroy your life. You MUST put on your Ephesians 6 armor and prepare for battle. In this way, through the power of Jesus Christ, you will gain victory. The Bible says, in Matt. 11:12 (KJV) “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Therefore, Body of Christ, let us now suit up and “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12).
- “Unity of Command”
In military organization, unity of command is the principle that subordinate members of a structure should all be responsible to a single commander. During multinational operations and interagency coordination, unity of command may not be possible, but the requirement for unity of effort becomes paramount. Unity of effort—the coordination and cooperation toward common objectives, even if the participants are not necessarily part of the same command or organization—is the product of successful unified action.
This principle of war is usually applied when one is dealing with a military force of different services (for example, army and navy) and of different nationalities. The American army believes that unity of command means that “for every task there should be unity of effort under one responsible commander.” Other services contend that this “unity of effort” can be achieved by “cooperation” among commanders, and that there is no necessity to go so far as to put “one responsible commander” in overall charge.
Yet when the principle of unity of command is violated, problems quickly develop. It can, for instance cause operations to split between several unified commanders, causing significant operational problems.
According to Phil. 2:2 (KJV), we are called to be “likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, [and] of one mind.” Therefore, as God’s own children, we are all to be “unified” under the “command” of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
- “Flexibility vs Discipline”
Balance is needed between the two. It is one thing to analyze tactics in the abstract but entirely another thing to put theory into practice under different circumstances, on different kinds of terrain, against different kinds of enemies, with the aid of troops who may be tired or confused or recalcitrant, and amid every kind of mortal danger.
Even then, tactics are not just a question of executing a plan, however clever and well conceived. In tactics, what matters is his ability to adapt the plan to that enemy’s reactions rapidly, smoothly, and without losing his grip. Flexibility is thus a cardinal principle of tactics. But flexibility will prevail only if it can be bound by a firm disciplinary framework. Moreover, flexibility and discipline are not easy to combine and can often be achieved only at each other’s expense. Other things being equal, the larger and more powerful a given force, the less flexible it will be. Therefore, for optimum survival results, a soldier for Christ must be both adaptable and structured.
As Heb. 12:11 reads, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Basically, this scripture is saying that what is involved in training may be painful, but due to discipline and adaptability to the perfect and authoritative will of God, the victory of obtaining the fruit of righteous living can be obtained.
- “Ambush and Raid”
The oldest, most primitive field tactics are those that rely on concealment and surprise—i.e., the ambush and the raid. Such tactics, which are closely connected to those used in hunting and may indeed have originated in the latter, are well known to tribal societies all over the world. Typically the operation gets under way when warriors, having reconnoitered the terrain and stalked their enemy, take up concealed positions and wait for the signal. The engagement opens by means of such long-range missile weapons as the javelin, the bow, the sling, and the tomahawk. Once the enemy has been thrown into disorder and some of his personnel killed or wounded, cover is discarded, short-range weapons such as club, spear, and dagger are employed for delivering the “coup de grace.” Since concealment is vital and there is no sophisticated logistic apparatus, the number of combatants is usually no more than a few dozen or, at the very most, a few hundred. Tactical units are unknown and command arrangements, to the extent that they exist at all, elementary. None of this, however, is to say that such tactics are simpleminded. On the contrary, making the best use of difficult terrain such as mountains, forests, or swamps usually requires much skill and presupposes an intimate familiarity with the surroundings.
This military principle is important to be studied, since it is a principle that many agents of darkness (aka demons and witches– to be discussed in future posts) operate on. Yet it does not matter how many enemies are against a child of God. Wherever they gather against you, your loved ones, and your divine destiny, may they scatter in Jesus name.
- “Coup de Grace”
A coup de grâce is a death blow to end the suffering of a severely wounded person or animal. It may be a mercy killing of mortally wounded civilians or soldiers, friends or enemies, with or without the sufferer’s consent.
In regards to the ministry-related area of deliverance, a deliverance minister may pray to “cut the head of the snake” or “sever a curse from the root.” These prayers are prime examples of this military tactic, since the kingdom of darkness must not be played with… it must be severed, terminated, and destroyed through the power of Jesus Christ.
- “One to One” aka “One on One”
Apart from ambush and raid, which depends on making the best possible use of terrain, many primitive tribes also engage in formal, one-to-one frontal encounters that are part battle, part sport. The weapons employed on such occasions usually consist of the club (or its more advanced form, the mace), spear, and javelin, sometimes joined by the bow and special blunted arrows. Defensive armor consists of nonmetallic body cover of wood, leather, or wickerwork, often made in fantastic forms and painted extravagant colours in order to enlist the aid of spirits and terrify the opponent. Such fights differ from those described above in that the warriors stand in full view of each other across specially selected level terrain, the objective being to please the spectators and gather glory for themselves. However, here too there can be no question either of formations or of a command system. Rather, each man picks his opponent and fights separately. Hence, it is impossible to speak of tactics, except in the limited sense of the skill displayed by individual warriors in handling their weapons.
In the area of ministry, “one on one” usually refers to a type of deliverance where the deliverance minister is conducting a deliverance catered towards a specific person, family, or small group of people in general. This style of deliverance can take more time than other styles, since the deliverance minister puts more time, effort and detail into individualized cases.
- “Phalanx” (aka small groups/tribes)
Phalanx tactics are known from ancient Sumer and Egypt as well as from Greece. Their essence consisted of packing troops together in dense, massive blocks, to some extent sacrificing flexibility, mobility, and the possibility of concealment in order to achieve mutual protection and maximize striking power. In Greek armies the usual number of ranks was 8, but formations 16 and even 50 deep are recorded. Insofar as they relied on brute force, such tactics were often considered primitive even in their own day—for example, by the Persian commander Mardonius in describing them to his master, Xerxes 1. For a phalanx to execute even a simple lateral evasive move, the troops had to be “professors of war”; such was the Roman historian Plutarch’s expression in describing the disaster suffered by Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. As Sumerian reliefs, Egyptian wooden models, and Greek narratives show, the typical weapons employed by the phalanx were consistently short-range, hand-held instruments such as sword, spear, and pike, used in accordance to whether individual duels or mass action was considered more important. These weapons were invariably combined with defensive gear such as helmets, corselets, shields, and greaves, although here too the amount of protection varied from one case to the next.
Invented in the 3rd millennium BC, the first chariots seem to have been too slow and cumbersome to serve in combat, but about 2000 BC the light, horse-drawn, two-wheeled vehicles destined to revolutionize tactics appeared in the Western Steppe and Mesopotamia, Syria, and Turkey, from which they spread in all directions. In combination with the bow, the chariot represented a very effective system, so much so that in biblical times it became almost synonymous with military power. The great advantage of the chariot was its speed, which permitted it to drive circles around the phalanx, staying out of range while raining arrows on the foot soldiers. Once the latter had been thrown into disorder, it might be possible to put the chariots into formation, charge, and ride the enemy down. Relying on such tactics, the chariot-riding Aryan peoples were able to undertake some of the most extensive conquests in history, spreading over the Eurasian landmass and inflicting crushing defeats on the materially much more advanced Egyptian and Indian civilizations. The chariot’s principal drawbacks were its expense and unsuitability for difficult terrain. Also, it made inefficient use of manpower, since each vehicle required a crew of two and sometimes three men—only one of whom actually handled offensive weapons and struck at the enemy.
- “Light and Heavy Cavalry/Horsemen”
The next development following chariots was cavalry, which took two forms. From Mongolia to Persia and Anatolia—and, later, on the North American plains as well—nomadic peoples fought principally with missile weapons, especially the bow in its short, composite variety. Equipped with only light armour, these horsemen were unable to hold terrain or to stand on the defensive. Hence, they were forced to employ their characteristic highly mobile “swarming” tactics, riding circles around the enemy, keeping their distance from him, showering him with arrows, engaging in feigned retreats, luring him into traps and ambushes, and forming into a solid mass only at the end of the battle with the aim of delivering the coup de grace. Being obliged to keep their possessions few and light, nomads typically were unable to compete with sedentary civilizations in general material development, including not least metallurgy.
- “Light and Heavy Infantry/Foot Soldiers”
Among the technically more advanced sedentary civilizations on both edges of the Eurasian landmass, a different kind of cavalry seems to have emerged shortly after 1000 BC. Reliefs from great Assyrian palaces show horsemen, clad in armour and armed with spear or lance, who were used in combination with other troops such as light and heavy infantry. The function of these cataphracts (from the Greek word for “armour”) was not to engage in long-distance combat but to launch massed shock action, first against the enemy cataphracts and then, having gained the field, against the enemy foot. The fact that ancient cavalry apparently did not possess the stirrup has often led modern historians to question the mounted soldier’s effectiveness. They argue that, since riders held on only by pressure of their knees, their ability to deliver shock was limited by the fear of falling off their mounts. This argument fails to note that, particularly in Hellenistic times and again in late Roman ones, cavalry forces did indeed play an important, often decisive, part in countless battles. Still, it is true that never during classical antiquity did cavalry succeed in replacing the formations of heavy infantry that remained the backbone of every army.
A legion is defined as a unit of 3,000–6,000 men in the ancient Roman army. Though its exact origins are unknown, the Roman legion seems to have developed from the phalanx. In fact, it was a collection of small, well-integrated, well-coordinated phalanxes arrayed in checkerboard formation and operating as a team. Hellenistic heavy infantry relied on the pike almost exclusively; the legion, by contrast, possessed both shock and firepower—the former in the form of the short sword, or gladius, the latter delivered by the javelin, or pilum, of which most (after 100 BC, all) legionnaires carried two. Screening was provided by light troops moving in front, cohesion by pikemen in the third and rearmost rank. Short arms made it easier for individual soldiers or subunits to turn and change direction. Too, careful articulation, a well-rehearsed command system, and the use of standards—which do not seem to have been carried by Hellenistic armies—made the legion a much more flexible organization than the phalanx. No Greek army could have imitated the movement carried out by Caesar’s troops at Ruspinum in Africa in 47 BC, when part of a legion was made to turn around and face an enemy cavalry force coming from the rear. As numerous battles showed, where the terrain was uneven and the chain of command broke down, the legion’s advantage was even more pronounced. A phalanx whose ranks were thrown into disorder and penetrated by the enemy’s infantrymen was usually lost; a legionary commander could rely on his soldiers’ swords to deal with intruders, meanwhile bringing up additional units from both flanks.
It is important to understand the military term “legion,” because one way that God’s holy angels, as well as demons (the devil, and his other fallen, wicked cohorts). In the book of Luke (ch. 8), Jesus encountered a man at the cemetery who was plagued with legions of demons that caused him insanity. Yet even though the demons that were caging that man’s life were many, the Lord still set him free. Therefore, my brothers and sisters of the Most High God, it does not matter how many seem to be in opposition to you. For the word of God says that if God is for you, who can be against you? (Rom. 8:31)
For this week, all that you have to do is study and memorize these tactics, as you will be tested soon, young students of the faith. So brace for impact! Your testing will not be hard, however, please do take this studying material seriously as these tactics are very important within the operational functioning of the Kingdom of the Most High God. So study well, my students. Who knows when your first test will be? After all, life in the military is always… (drum roll please… To Be Continued…)
Song of the Week: “See a Victory” by Elevation Worshiphttps://www.youtube.com/embed/wJghcUSZyK4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent