ONE NATION UNDER GOD

A LAYMAN'S LOOK AT AMERICAN HISTORY

By Zander Dell Raines

copyright, 1997-Apocalypse Productions

Part 5-A House Divided-1860 to 1865

HISTORY QUIZ-Who or what are the above pictures?-(Click pictures for answers.)

And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.- Revelation 18:13

 

PRAYER AND THE BIBLE

One of the reasons that we have come so far from God today is our public education system. While I am sure that there are many godly people working within this system, it must truly be a burden to them to try to teach godliness to children, when the system they are working in seems so determined to oppose godly principles. As the Contemporary Christian singer Carman said in one of his songs, we need to stop passing out condoms and start passing out Bible in our schools again. An early leader of America's media, Horace Greeley, put it well in 1852.

"It is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom."

In 1843, an American leader by the name of Daniel Webster stated the following concerning our founding fathers.

"The Bible came with them and it is not to be doubted, that to free and universal reading of the Bible in that age, men were much indebted for right views of civil liberty. The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book or religion, of especial revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow-man."

Indeed Satan has launched his latest and most vicious attack against our nation over the last 40 years. Time will only tell what the future may bring for us. Let us pray that it will bring revival and a turning of our nation back to the God of the Bible.

 

PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN-1

I have been thinking of our current chief executive and how he compares with other leaders of the past. While modern politicians constantly have an ear open to the media and what they say is the current mood of the people, this is not what our earlier leaders listened to when making major decisions of state. Take, for instance, the following statement by an early American president.

"I frequently see my way clear to a decision when I have no sufficient facts upon which to found it. But I cannot recall one instance in which I have followed my own judgment, founded upon such a decision, where the results were unsatisfactory; whereas, in almost every instance where I have yielded to the views of others, I have had occasion to regret it. I am satisfied that when the Almighty wants me to do or not to do a particular thing, He finds a way of letting me know it. I am confident that it is His design to restore the Union. He will do it in His own time."

President Abraham Lincoln was unique among our leaders in the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, he was the only president who was saved while in office. It was as if God was preparing him for what He knew lay ahead.

Indeed his newfound faith would face some great testing during the following years, when our nation was literally torn asunder by the great Civil War that raged about him. Many times, he would spend long hours in solitude and prayer as he sought his Father's will in some many major decisions that would affect so many lives around him.

Three weeks before the Battle of Gettysburg, Lincoln was asked by a college president if the country would survive.

"I do not doubt that our country will finally come through safe and undivided, but do not misunderstand me. I do not rely on the patriotism of our people, the bravery and devotion of the boys in blue, or the loyalty and skill of our generals, but the God of our fathers, Who raised up this country to be the refuge and asylum of the oppressed and downtrodden of all nations, will not let it perish now."

President Lincoln's words proved to be prophetic as we all know now. It is very sobering to think of how much our nation's leaders used to depend on God's guidance. As we have all, leaders and citizens, turned from God and replaced His holy counsel with our own wisdom, it is much easier to see how things like Watergate, Filegate, and the White Water scandal have become more and more common today. Our nation has come a long way from the time when President Abraham Lincoln said,

"But for this Book (the Bible), we would not know right from wrong.", and when our first supreme court justice, John Jay, said, "Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and the interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."

It is interesting to see, in American history, how God has used times of hardship to bring His people closer to Him. Two such instances are the American Revolution and the Civil War. Referring to the Revolutionary War for independence while addressing the New Jersey State Senate in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln said:

"I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance with the original idea for which that struggle was made. And I shall be most happy, indeed, if I shall be an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, for the perpetuating the object of that great struggle."

A far cry from the professional politicians of the modern era, don't you think? There were many heroes that God has raised up during such times. I think of Joseph, Moses, Daniel, Esther, David and myriads of others throughout history who have stood at their nation's darkest hour for the truth of God and His word. There are also countless unsung heroes down throughout the history of the church and the world who have, with God's aid, been able to turn seemingly hopeless situations into great victories for justice and good.

 

THE CIVIL WAR

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.-Matthew 24:6

Edward Schneider was such a young man. He was a young student at Philip's Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, when the Civil War broke out. He enlisted at once and fought well, until he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Coal Harbor. As he lay dying, he said to his chaplain:

"Don't weep, chaplain, it is God's will. Please write to my father, and tell him that I have tried to do my duty to my country and to God. And there is my brother in the navy: write to him, and tell him to stand by the flag and cling to the Cross of Christ."

This is the type of faith and patriotism that we need today to turn the tide of darkness that has been sweeping over our nation during the last few decades. Let us pray that God will raise up many young men and women who will, like Edward Schneider, help to turn this nation back to God while there is still time. In 1861, during the dark days of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called all Americans to prayer as,

"It is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to His chastisements; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and to pray, with all fervency and contrition, for the pardon of their past offenses, and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action."

The effects of the Civil War proved to be most telling on President Abraham Lincoln. He was literally caught in the crossfire of that turbulent time in more ways than one. His newfound faith was sorely tested during those dark hours. He made it clear that, regardless of the cost, he would see it through.

"Here without contemplating consequences, before High Heaven, and in the face of the world, I swear eternal fidelity to the just cause, as I deem it, of the land of my life, my liberty, and my love. Let none falter, who thinks he is right, and we may succeed."

Everyone has seen the wonderful statue of President Lincoln in the Lincoln memorial. However, in the nation's capital there is another statue of President Abraham Lincoln worth seeing. It is a sculpture in bronze in the National Cathedral, of Lincoln kneeling in prayer. Gazing upon it, the visitor is reminded of what the President once told his intended secretary, Noah Brooks:

"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go."

How much better off our nation would be today if more of our leaders realized that they stand the highest when they stand on their knees.

 

GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE

"Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and the supreme call for all Christians today, I pleadingly urge our people everywhere to pray. Believing that prayer is the greatest contribution that our people can make in this critical hour, I humble urge that we take time to pray, to really pray. Let us pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have never known Jesus Christ and redeeming love, for our national leaders. Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice."

While you would think that these words would have come from some great pastor or evangelist, such is not the case. It came from another godly man in American history who was a military leader. His name was Robert E. Lee. General Lee knew the power of the two greatest weapons in our spiritual arsenal, prayer and the Bible. Is it no surprise that in Satan's latest attack against our nation, he found it necessary to first remove prayer from our public schools? Not to mention the many attacks he has launched against the Bible using these same public educators. This is quite a change from what our public education system once thought of the Book of books.

I never think of this time without remembering how that President Abraham Lincoln, like many other believers of that time, came to the conclusion that the Civil War was not so much a war freeing the southern slaves as it was indeed a judgment from God exacted on our entire nation for allowing this horrendous practice to continue for such a long time in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Robert E. Lee was as noble in defeat as he had been in victory. During the times of bitterness following the end of the war, Lee's spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness did much to heal the chasm between North and South. When a Southern clergyman spoke caustically in his presence of recent actions taken by the federal government, after a silence Lee said to him softly, "Doctor, there is a good old book which says 'Love your enemies.'" Then he added, "Do you think your remarks this evening were quite in the spirit of that teaching?"

It is an interesting fact of history that General Lee defended the south, although he never owned slaves, while General Ulysses S. Grant led the north while he owned slaves. Today it is another class of citizen, the unborn, who have been enslaved by the monstrous abortion industry of America. What judgment awaits us for the millions of Americans who have died by the abortionist knife? God help us to repent, as a nation, over this evil among us before it is too late.

STATE CHURCHES OF HISTORY

It seems that some out there feel that, if Christians become more involved in our government, it would lead to a state church system. Some of the most evil governments in history, not to mention today, have been based on the false premise of the state church system. God also condemns this system. In the Bible, He calls this type of government Mystery Babylon.

It was a Medo-Persian state church that threw Daniel into the lions' den. It was a Babylonian state church that threw the three Hebrews into the fiery furnace. It was also a Jewish state church that crucified our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

When the Pilgrims, Baptists, and other Christian groups came to America, it was to escape the state church systems in Europe. The American Revolutionary War began when England tried to establish a state church in the colonies. If such a system was to even be considered in America, true, Bible believing Christians would be among the first to oppose it, and rightly so.

On the other side of this issue, many Christians are very concerned about the fact that our nation has been slowly turning away from God over the last few decades. While many of us have been busy raising families, pastoring churches, doing missions work, and helping the needy, America has fallen victim to a long moral slide that has many citizens, including myself, extremely worried about the future of our nation and how this will effect us, our children, and in my case our grandchildren.

Although God's people in the Bible opposed the state church concept, they were nevertheless very actively involved in the government of their nations. Joseph was a governor, Daniel an administrator, Esther a queen, David a king, etc. Jesus told us to render to Caesar. He also told us to be salt to the earth and light to the world. On behalf of believers everywhere, I simply wish to state that we want to be involved in the process of our government. I truly feel that no true American would want to deny that to anyone, simply because of their faith in God. In 1856, Horace Bushnell said that Americans,

"as a nation, are witnesses to all mankind of the power there is in the gospel to establish at once, equality and order, liberty and justice, and so to organize a free commonwealth."

Here, once again, we see reflected the view that our founding fathers used to make this nation great. It was the idea of establishing a Bible commonwealth, a nation based on the precepts of the Bible, with freedom of religion, and liberty and justice for all. All in all, our nation, as all others, will succeed or fail based on how closely we follow the mandates of God as given in the Holy Scriptures.

It was Mystery Babylon using the state-church system in Israel to crucify Jesus. Even though they may have been able to use the Roman army as their hit men, it did not make them any less guilty. Then, in many ways, we are all guilty of that death, because it was caused by the sins of us all.

When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people.- Psalms 105:13

In many ways this verse describes both Israel and America. We were both people who left a nation ruled by a king, to go to another nation to become a people of our own. Many of the problems that we face today are because we have forgotten the roots from which we sprang, or as we say up home, we have gotten above our raising! While our leaders today have developed a terribly warped view of the separation of church and state, this has not always been so with our nation's leaders. Take the following, for example.

"Resolved, That devoutly recognizing the supreme authority and just government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and nations, and sincerely believing that no people however great in numbers and resources...can prosper without His favor, and at the same time deploring the national offenses which have provoked His righteous judgment, yet encouraged in this day of trouble by the assurance of His Word, to seek Him for succor according to His appointed way, through Jesus Christ, the Senate of the United States do hereby request the President of the United States, by his proclamation , to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation."

Would you believe that the radical right-wing extremists that wrote this piece of law was actually the United States Senate? This was at the height of the American Civil War. While I realize that not everyone that was a member of the Senate at that time were church-going Christians, I think this is a case of where there are no atheists in foxholes. Don't you think? This was not only the belief of the legislative branch alone. The executive branch believed in God at this time also. In December, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln stated:

"I hold myself in my present position and with the authority vested in me as an instrument of Providence. I have my own views and purposes, I have my convictions of duty, and my notions of what is right to be done. But I am conscious every moment that all I am and all I have is subject to the control of a Higher Power, and that Power can use me or not use me in any manner, and at any time, as in His wisdom and might may be pleasing to Him."

Concerning the Pilgrims and the Puritans, we need to realize that the Pilgrims, Baptists, and others came to America in rejection of Mystery Babylon so that they could return to New Testament Christianity. The Puritans, on the other hand, were endeavoring to purify the Church of England. In other words, they were bringing Mystery Babylon over here with them. A cursory look at history reveals all of the tragedies that this caused. Many of our godly leaders of the past understood this difference.

 

PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN-2

"Whereas, the Senate of the United States devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution requested the President to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation: and whereas, It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins...and to recognize the sublime truth announced by the Holy scriptures, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord; and inasmuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land...Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to the God that made us."

These words were spoken by President Abraham Lincoln on May 30, 1863, in the midst of one of the greatest wars in the history of our nation. Even after his death, those left behind would speak of the virtues of this man. In 1865, in a memorial address concerning President Abraham Lincoln, Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House of Representatives, recalled:

"Nor should I forget to mention here that the last official act of Congress ever signed by him was one requiring that the motto, in which he sincerely believed, 'In God we trust,' should hereafter be inscribed upon all our national coin."

I truly feel that our nation is indeed in dire straits again today because we have forgotten the warnings of the past and of the Holy Scriptures. As far as I am concerned the more godly the leaders the more godly the nation. Many others down throughout the history of our nation feel this way also. When asked whether he believed if God directed the affairs of our nation, President Abraham Lincoln replied,

"That the Almighty does make use of human agencies, and directly intervenes in human affairs, is one of the plainest statements of the Bible. I have had so many evidences of His direction, so many instances when I have been controlled by some other power than my own will, that I cannot doubt that this power comes from above."

This godly leader was much more qualified than you or I to speak on what is best for our county. He not only spoke his beliefs openly but he laid down his life for them. Others alive at his time took careful note of his firm belief in God. On September 5, 1864, a group of black Americans from Baltimore, Maryland presented a Bible to president Abraham Lincoln. His response follows;

"In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it, we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it. To you I return my most sincere thanks for the elegant copy of the great Book of God which you present."

By Lincoln's own testimony, while he believed in God most of his adult life, it would be when he went to deliver the Gettysburg Address and saw the massive destruction there, that he became a Christian. Thus by the time of his second inaugural address, his perspective on the war as a whole had changed entirely.

"If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God will that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsmen's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said,

'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether'."

During the closing days of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln would begin to share the opinion of many other Christians of that time. They believed that the Civil War was not so much a battle to free the slaves as it was a judgment sent against our nation by God for our sin of enslaving others.

Around 1400, a sailor is told by a dying missionary that there are people to the west of the Atlantic Ocean who need Christ. This man is Christopher Columbusí grandfather. He shares this story with his family. Christopher means "Christ Bringer".

In 1492, Christopher Columbus comes to America with a vision to bring Christ to the people there. He falls victim to the love of money and spends much of his time searching for gold. He also brings the first slaves from the New World to Europe.

In 1607 the Jamestown colony was set up. The spiritual stronghold of this colony was love of money. By 1620, the strongholds of slavery, and addiction were added. As slaves were brought from Africa to the New World, this evil practice grew, and along with it grew God's coming judgment.

At this time the Plymouth colony was set up, based on the spiritual stronghold of the love of God. In spite of this love of God, the Puritans would themselves become slave traders during the 1700s thus spreading this evil to both colonies.

When the Great Awakening revivals began, one of the results was that the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776, declaring that all men are created equal. However, the founding fathers would later compromise this important truth when writing the Constitution, which protects slavery.

In the 1800s, America experienced the second Great Awakening and began to realize the evil of the institution of slavery, and the abolition movement began. The northern states gave up slavery first, and the southern states, where the Jamestown colony and the scourge of slavery had first begun, clung to the institution of slavery.

When the southern states seceded, they were exercising their rights under the Constitution. However, because our nation had not freed the slaves when the nation began, judgment finally came upon us. This judgment is called the Civil War. Nearly all of the battles occur in the southern confederacy. The last battles are fought in Virginia, where Lee finally surrenders to Grant at Appomatox Courthouse, Virginia. Slavery had first begun in the Virginia colony at Jamestown and our national judgment concerning slavery ended where this stronghold had first begun.

U.S. PRESIDENTS SPEAK OUT ON AMERICA'S GODLY HERITAGE!

"That the Almighty does make use of human agencies, and directly intervenes in human affairs, is one of the plainest statements of the Bible. I have had so many evidences of His direction, so many instances when I have been controlled by some other power than my own will, that I cannot doubt that this power comes from above."-Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

"Let us look forward to the time when we can take the flag of our country and nail it below the Cross, and there let it wave as it waved in the olden times, and let us gather around it and inscribe for our motto: 'Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever", and exclaim: Christ first, our country next!"-Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)

 

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INDEX

4000 BC-1492

1492-1776

1776-1781

1781-1860

INTRODUCTION

1860-1865

1865-1945

1945-2000

SUMMARY

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