What does the bible have to offer for training an army?  Probably the original basic training manual for every modern army!  It reveals basic principles of success with confirmation in both testaments.  More importantly it offers the most powerful weapons training available:  SPIRITUAL WARFARE.  Look at the bible development path:


The bible opens much like the first steps a new Christian takes.  A personal invitation went to Abraham, much as Jesus offered to you.  He began alone and grew into a family with a promise of nationhood to come.  Joseph provided the wealth of Egypt to nurture the infant nation.  He also demonstrated charity and mercy; key weapons of spiritual warfare.  Moses organized the tribes into divisions with leadership assigned to each unit.  God gave the law to Moses, but it would only serve to reveal the weakness of man.  Joshua continued the demonstrations of leadership into the Promised Land. 


 The Judges provided a variety of godly leadership to counter the failures of the people.  Samson reminded us that strength is from God, and can be perverted by temptation.  God delivered him and Israel through these years. 


 When human nature demanded a king like the other nations had, we began to see more human weaknesses and Godly mercy.  Israel became a military power for this season, but Saul would not trust God enough to enjoy a long reign.  David and Solomon both had glory flawed by human weaknesses.  Solomon recovered in his later years to reveal the fulfillment of wisdom in the end.  He also revealed the nature of the coming Messiah in his Song.  That pattern revealed a king who left his throne for a bride, and a dream of the tribulation.


 The kings who followed demonstrated all the things God warned Israel about.  As soon as one good king made corrections, a bad one would follow to drag them into captivity.  Solomon’s admonition to obey God was ignored, and Babylon took them into captivity.  Prophets had already named Cyrus of Persia as the king who would free them, and they returned to Jerusalem.  They had lived for 400 years in Egypt, with no word from God.  Now they lived another 400 years of silence before Messiah.


 Jesus claimed to pre date the Patriarchs, and indeed he was the first.  He had made many appearances, types, and shadows of who he was to be in the Old Testament.  Now he fulfilled the promises of the prophets.


 Jesus announced that he came to bring a sword, not peace.  He pointed to a Roman soldier as having more faith than any of the Jews.  The disciples used military analogies like the armor of faith.   This militant attitude was now directed at spiritual powers rather than human enemies.  The wars of the first testament gave us understanding of the urgency of the spiritual warfare to come.  We are to heal our neighbors, and to destroy the spiritual strongholds that imprison them. 


We find a new model of leadership, a vine whose roots are from the saints who were dead and buried before us.  The branches stand on that vine, and send the living water to the tender flowering and fruit.  This is a supportive and nurturing leadership.  The Egyptian pyramid of power by oppression is not God’s way for leaders.  Leaders should serve the people instead of oppressing them. 


As God anoints leaders, his soldiers are given a chain of command even as the worldly armies have.  Jesus taught us to address problems to the participants in private before going to leadership.  A witness may confirm the nature of the discussion after that private meeting.  If a complaint is justified the parties may address the authority of the church.  In every step any investigation is always done with in the presence  of all the parties, especially if accusations are being brought.  Our commander (God) has a personal open door policy, but lesser shepherds should take care not to entertain unconfirmed gossip. 


In three ages, Old Testament, New Testament, and Prophetic, we see his plan.  God prepares man for the failure of works and law.  Then he provides the righteousness to redeem sin.  Finally God will lead us to do exploits in the fulfillment of his promises.  I see these ages as past, present, and future; dealing with land, sea, and air.  Israel entered the Promised Land, the church crossed the seas of baptism and the world, and the promise opens the heavens to us.


 God has prepared us through many generations for the exploits he has planned for us.  He has mapped out the path and progression of the battle ahead of time.  He has demonstrated answers to every spiritual attack even in the early days of the church.  There are types and shadows of his methods and plans through both testaments.  We are trained to be his representatives.  As we allow him to live through us, we become the bible to the world around us.  Those who are predestinated to salvation will be drawn by our example.  We will become the living word, the bread of life to his lost sheep.


There are many enemies of God, and some are provocative.  We need to avoid being tempted to waste our energies on small things meant to distract us from major goals.  Our warfare is spiritual, directed at recapturing the minds of those who are actually called to salvation.  Scripture warns us to avoid railers, those who bring railing accusations.  Some churches become an offense by engaging in carnal warfare.  Ultimately the enemy has violent answers to our weak forays into their territory.  We can bypass the small strongholds.


If the bible has not given you enough examples, research the lives of famous Christians since the book of Revelation was concluded.  The prophesies are not all filled yet, and the bible continues to empower living souls today.  The living word is an interactive media.  Trust God to use us, and to carry us through the battles of the day.


 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.  Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.  1st Corinthians 13:11-13,  New Living Translation


 Prayer employs our minds in the needs of others.  We learn compassion for others as God had for us.  We see as an observer for artillery or air forces.  We use the radio of prayer to rely our observations to the source of powerful warfare.  He delivers us, but we begin to understand what he is preparing us to do in the real life ahead of us.  This life is only the entrance exam for the other side of eternity.