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The Principles of War:
A strategy for group and personal evangelism

By James I. Wilson

Forward

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."

Just as 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
Colonel, Infantry

[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.]

I. The Objective

"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.

Every man in the chain of command has his objective assigned to him by higher authority.

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 28:18-19.

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?" attitude.

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 bottom.

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.

Rather than 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.

Our objective is two-fold:

  1. To communicate the Gospel in love and power to the world.
  2. To introduce to Jesus (or Jesus to) those who respond to the Gospel.

[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 the people...

...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 audacious"--Jomini

[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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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." (Jomini)

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 effective weapons.

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. ]

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