This Kind of War
Monday, February 15, 2016
In military terms, the Center of Gravity (COG) is a concept that links some central thing, to whatever an army, a population, an enemy, force, or nation centers their strength around. It could be national pride. It could be ethnic or tribal allegiances. It could be advanced technology, or perhaps a particular industry. It could be ideological, religious, or political. As an example, Americans used to center their COG on defending freedom and promoting the American way of life, both here and abroad.
Carl Von Clausewitz was a Prussian General and about as famous a military theorist you could get, made famous this term which has been long debated by both scholar and general as how best to apply it in regards to military strategy. The thought was that if you could identify and then attack an enemy’s Center of Gravity, you could effectively defeat said enemy by weakening them to the point of collapse.
We live in a day and age in which everything is accelerating at a dizzying pace, and the church writ large (i.e.…Christendom), is trying really hard to make itself relevant by blending into a world that is continually changing. In fact, the only thing changing faster than our technological advancements are the cultural norms. As believers, our Center of Gravity must be God’s Word, for without it, we would neither know God nor know the means of salvation vis-à-vis the Gospel of Jesus Christ or how to live and function while operating in enemy territory. But churches are continually and more intensely being pressured by society to compromise their own COG for that of the world’s by compromising on doctrinal truths. As believers, we must come to grips with the reality that we are at war, all day, every day.
In order for us to grasp the level of conflict we are in, we must first understand that every philosophy, every ideology, every religion, every source of wisdom or knowledge that is not from God comes from Satan regardless of how harmless or benign it may appear. Some two-thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul, as moved by the Holy Spirit, also addresses this kind of war…
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13
While somewhat difficult to explain in regards to a simple, comprehensive understanding, it is simply coming to terms with the absolute truth about our reality here, so stay with me on this.
If the God of our Bible is real, and everything in our Bible is true…then everything that is must conform to that truth no matter how it is being presented by whichever society or era you find yourself in. Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “The Word of God is the anvil upon which the opinions of men are smashed.” So it is for instance, that the Genesis account of Creation in which God speaks into existence ex nihilo, everything that is, in six, 24 hour days, has to be as it is described in Scripture. If you accept and believe that then no matter what the science of the day proclaims contrary to that you stand on God’s Word.
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8
Interesting to note how by the 1800’s, the ages of Rationalism, Enlightenment, and Modern were in full swing and there were philosophical and “scientific” theories aplenty being tested on the general populace with little regard as to the effects they would have. For example, let’s look at the two big ones of the 19th century; Darwinian Evolution and Karl Marx’s development of Communism. With the luxury of hindsight we’ve seen the effects that both Darwin’s Theory and Marxism have had over the past 150 years. Tragic would be an understatement.
Yet at the time, these were radical and ‘cutting edge’ ideas. They were revolutionary and went against the status quo of the day. Decades after they were formulated they were lauded by the academic elites as being ‘the truth’ and the Bible mocked as being archaic and woefully inadequate to deal with the new scientific breakthroughs and geo-political issues of their day. Yet today, they’re both considered laughable and disastrous models.
As for Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel (who did not live to see their disaster play out), we got a Bolshevik Revolution, a Second World War (think NAZI), 70 years of communism complete with Iron Curtain, Stalin’s purges, Mao Zedong, Great Leap Forward, Korean and Vietnam Wars, and an overarching Cold War- with hundreds of millions of war dead and entire generations lost. As for an economic and philosophical model, Marxism (as it’s come to be called) was and will always be an utter failure…because it attempts to redefine human nature it is not, as naturally altruistic.
As to Darwin’s theory, scientists are beginning to realize that there is a lot more to our existence than what they once thought. Much of Darwin’s ideas are laughable today even by secular scientists. Our world, when broken down to the molecular level is far more complex than they could have understood it to be. Simply put, had technology been available to people then we would not have had generations taught that we came from slime out of the primordial soup or that our existence here is purely accidental. They wouldn’t have had academic support by which much of what Social Darwinian rested upon, such as ‘survival of the fittest’, eugenics, and racism. And yet, for all of Darwin’s so called genius and for his dismissal of Scripture as being the one, true, source of truth, Scripture concludes…
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:16
We humans exist in a physical dimension whose boundaries are time, gravity, and space. We are confined to planet earth, with little prospects of successfully existing anywhere else due to our own physical and mortal constraints of requiring oxygen, heat, water, food, and gravity to live. Our enemy however, is not bound by these things. Satan and his fallen angels are spiritual beings who have their own Center of Gravity, and it is centered on attacking, corrupting, and destroying the three things that stand in the way of their only chance of thwarting God’s plans: the Church, the Jew, and Jerusalem. You will see very clearly that the world hates, mocks, and despises, the Church (true Christianity), the Jew, and Jerusalem…irrespective of religion, ethnicity, or academic grooming.
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 1 John 5:19
Having previously attempted to wage war on God directly, and subsequently cast out of heaven (along with a third of his fellow, fallen angels) to the earth, Satan realizes that a direct attack is a last resort. In the meantime, he has been busily attempting to circumvent God’s plans and in God’s structuring of our reality here. The fact that man has been given free will to decide on whom he will follow, has given Satan the notion that he might have a chance at succeeding. While Satan was cast out of heaven initially, he has retained the ability to transform himself in order to present himself in heaven, yet, there is coming a day when he will also lose that privilege and be cut off from the Third Heaven (2 Cor. 12:2) altogether. In your bible study, simply consider the chronology of events here: Ezekiel 28:11-19, Isaiah 14:12-15, Job. 1:6-7, and Rev. 12:7-12
At the halfway point of the Tribulation (3.5 years into Daniel’s 70th Week), Satan will attempt another coup d’état in heaven, and will lose again. But this time, Michael the Archangel will cast him out down to earth, and he will be confined to our physical realm. Because of this, he will furiously possesses the man we know as ‘the Antichrist’ and spend the next three years, feverishly pouring out his persecution upon the Jew and Jerusalem. This is in part why Christ intervenes at the Second Coming, because if He doesn’t, no flesh would survive. (Matt. 24:21-22)
Notice, I didn’t say the Church?
That is because the Church is nowhere to be found inside the confines of the 70th Week of Daniel, also known as ‘the time of Jacob’s Trouble’. (Dan. 9:24, Jer. 30:7-11) The Church, that is the universal body of believers from Pentecost until today, who make up the corporeal, corporate, multi-membered yet singular, body of Christ…will one day be taken/caught/snatched up to meet the Lord in the air. (John 14:1-3, 1 Thess. 4:13-18, 1 Cor. 15:50-55, Rev. 3:10)
In regards to a military maneuver, the Rapture is in effect, a triumphal victory parade upwards through Satan’s domain (Eph. 2:2), with full honors and angelic escort. This is why the timing of the event itself is shrouded in secrecy (no man knows the day or hour), and why it could happen at any moment (imminency), and why the ‘shout’, the ‘trump of God’, the immediate resurrection of the dead, and the translation of the living- from mortal to immortal, has to happen in that order...as we will be marching straight through the enemies stronghold. It is Christ, triumphantly presenting His workmanship ‘the Church’ (Matt. 16:18), to His enemy…and Satan not being able to do a single thing about it. Jesus in effect then is deconstructing Satan’s COG by effectively removing one of the three main targets who had been under his satanic persecution for millennia.
Those who come to faith in Christ after the Rapture of the Church, will be the next group who Satan (via the False Prophet and Antichrist) targets and will produce an untold number of martyrs in the process, from all tribes and kindred’s. (Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9-17; 13:7) At the midpoint of the Tribulation when the Tribulation martyrs runs out, Satan then turns his furious focus on the final two objects of his wrath, the Jew and the Jerusalem. It is at the mid-point that the Antichrist becomes indwelt by Satan himself, and sets himself up in the newly rebuilt, Jewish Temple and declares himself to be God (Dan. 9:27, 2 Thess. 2:4, Rev. 13) and attempts to finish what Holocaust did not, total annihilation of the Jewish people. (Matt. 24:15-21)
Jerusalem then becomes the flashpoint for all of humanity as the nations of the world, led by Antichrist, descend upon Har Megiddo (Armageddon) in which they prepare for all-out war. It is here that Christ returns, peeling back the sky for everyone to see, and returning triumphantly with the Church, to destroy Antichrist, the False Prophet, and the nation’s armies. Satan’s very best, the Antichrist and False Prophet, are cast alive into the Lake of Fire, and Satan himself is bound for a 1,000 years in the abyss thus ending man’s long march to ruin. (Zech. 14, Rev. 19-20)
Going back to what the Apostle Paul wrote though, is understanding that we are at war, and understanding that the Charles Darwin’s and Karl Marx’s of the world, aren’t our enemies per say, they are simply the pawns in which the enemy uses to try and destroy Biblical truth and the human race. Think of these men as you would Islamic suicide bombers, who instead of using explosives, use false ideologies, false religions, and humanist philosophies to kill, maim, and destroy…and they would willingly blow themselves and everyone else up…for a lie from Satan, the father of lies.
And while we are still at war, realize fellow believer that this war is coming to a close very soon. Having already won the victory at the Cross, Jesus Christ, thus became the Center of Gravity for all of human history. Either people were looking forward to His coming at the first, or we look back at what was won. And now, having joined with Christ through salvation, all we are waiting on now, is the victory parade upwards.
Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28
About Pete Garcia
Last week: Why Prophecy Matters
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