copyright, 1997-Apocalypse Productions
Part 3-The American Revolution-1776 to 1781
HISTORY QUIZ-Who or what are the above pictures?-(Click pictures for answers.)
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.-Psalms 9:17
THE GREAT AWAKENING
During the early 17th century, many Bible believers fled Europe to escape the growing stronghold that Mystery Babylon had established there. Pilgrims, Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, and many other groups came to the New World in search of religious freedom from the many state church systems of the Old World. Those who came to America because of their love of God were blessed in their endeavors as the new American colonies began to grow.
When the children of these immigrants began to reach adulthood, a new danger loomed for Christian America. As the puritan leader, Cotton Mather, so aptly put it,
"Religion begat prosperity, and the daughter ate the mother!".
Remember that God had started our great nation with two English colonies: Jamestown, which was given over to the love of money; and Plymouth, which was dedicated to the love of God. One of the spiritual strongholds of darkness at Jamestown was slavery. During the 1680's, the curse of slavery spreads to the Plymouth colonies as they also begin to trade in the slaves provided by their southern cousins. It is one of these slaves who would later teach a group of young women certain principles of witchcraft. This incident would ultimately result in the Salem witch trials, where twenty people would be condemned and hanged for witchcraft.
In the 18th century, it became more and more evident that the generation that had originally came to America for freedom to worship God was being replaced by a generation of people who were turning further and further away from God. The godly remnant, that Jesus always has in such instances, prayed mightily for their people to turn back to God.
These prayers are answered with a series of revivals which would later be known as the Great Awakening. God always does things in perfect timing and, in His perfect foreknowledge, He knew that these people would need this spiritual renewal for the terrible times that they would soon be facing in the latter part of the 1700's, as this small group of colonies would ultimately have to take on the greatest empire of their day to gain the true freedom that God had prepared for the generations yet to come. As the debate grew among the colonies over whether to finally separate from Great Britain, American patriot John Adams wrote,
"If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice, come when that hour may. But while I do live, let me have a country, and that a free country!"
THE CAUSES OF THE CONFLICT
Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.-Psalms 9:20
Colonial Americans understood the evil church state system that had spread across Europe that the Bible calls Mystery Babylon. They were living in America for that very reason, freedom of religion. To many, like Patrick Henry, civic and religious freedoms were inextricably combined.
"Religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience...It is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other."
This was indeed in stark contrast to the system which had inspired the Dark Ages and the Inquisition. This is why the colonists began to seriously consider separation from England, not because of taxes nearly as much as the threat from English kings to use those taxes to install a bishop of the Church of England over the colonies. This would mean that America would then be enslaved by the same Mystery Babylon system that they had come there to escape.
The thought of an American church state system, where their taxes would go to the support of yet another Mystery Babylon system was more than many were able to bear. Many understood that good government was not enforced but taught, from generation to generation. Elias Boudinot, president of the Continental Congress in 1783, and later a congressman from New Jersey, who also served as president of the American Bible Society put it simply.
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Let it then, as workmanship of the same Divine hand, be our peculiar constant care and vigilant attention to inculcate this sacred principle, and to hand it down to posterity. Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow."
It was sentiments such as this that would sweep across the colonies in years to come. This sentiment would also be sounded in one of the rallying cries to be heard when the conflict would begin, "No king buy King Jesus!" God was already preparing leaders for the coming conflict also. For instance, on July 18, 1755, following the bloody Battle of the Monogahela in the French and Indian war, Colonel George Washington wrote,
"By the miraculous care of Providence, that protected me beyond all human expectations, I had four bullets through my coat and two horses shot under me, and yet escaped unhurt."
As opposition to British oppression grows, the true reason for the conflict became more evident. Whenever British troops would find an American pastor, he would be summarily executed, and whenever they found a church house, it would be turned into either a stable or a brothel. When the port in Boston was closed by British troops in 1774, William Prescott wrote to the citizens.
" We heartily sympathize with you, and are always ready to do all in our power for your support, comfort, and relief knowing that Providence has placed you where you must stand the first shock. We consider that we are all embarked in the same boat and must sink or swim together. Let us all be of one heart, and stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. And may He, of His infinite mercy, grant us deliverance out of all our troubles."
These were truly troubling times as Mystery Babylon endeavored to establish its dominance over the young colonies. However, just like David and Goliath, God would preserve his people against what appeared to be insurmountable odds. In the same manner, as the days grow darker for our nation today, I pray for a new generation of Davids, Daniels, Ruths, and Esthers to preserve our nation to turn it back into the Christian nation that it once was.
THE BEGINNING OF THE CONFLICT
All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations.-Psalms 22:27-28
As the Revolutionary war began, many were the emotions that took hold of those on both sides of the struggle. At the end of May, 1775, three weeks after the taking of Fort Ticonderoga, the Reverend Samuel Langdon, president of Harvard College, was invited to preach to the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts. Deeply concerned at the giddy euphoria which was sweeping New England, he was determined to speak what he felt God was impressing on him.
"We have rebelled against God. We have lost the true spirit of Christianity, though we retain the outward profession and form of it. By many, the Gospel is corrupted into a superficial system of moral philosophy, little better than ancient Platonism. My brethren, let us repent and implore the divine mercy. Let us amend our ways and our doings, reform everything that has been provoking the Most High, and thus endeavor to obtain the gracious interpositions of providence for our deliverance. May the Lord hear us in this day of trouble. We will rejoice in His salvation, and in the name of our God, we will set up our banners!"
Needless to say, times like this give rise to many different situations that call for special faith. After an especially bloody encounter one American Minuteman, Corporal Amos Farnsworth wrote in his diary.
"Oh, the goodness of God in preserving my life, although they fell on my right hand and on my left! O may this act of deliverance of thine, O God, lead me never to distrust thee; but may I ever trust in thee and put confidence in no arm of flesh!"
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.-Psalms 33:12
This must have been a verse used often during some of the darker days of the American revolution. However there were other dangers also, equally as deadly to the fledgling nation. In the wake of the fortification of Dorchester Heights which forced the British to leave Boston, American confidence ran high, so high that the invasion of Canada was attempted, with disastrous results. Sobered, the Continental Congress heeded the admonitions of many clergymen and declared May 17, 1776, a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer. In his sermon for the occasion, John Witherspoon began:
"While we give praise to God, the supreme disposer of all events, for His interposition on our behalf, let us guard against the dangerous error of trusting in, or boasting of, an arm of flesh."
Many times the founding fathers realized that this was true, that it was indeed God's hand that was protecting them. Commander in chief George Washington made the following observation,
"The hand of Providence has been conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations. But it will be time enough for me to turn preacher when my present appointment ceases; and therefore I shall add no more on the doctrine of Providence."
May we all pray for a return to the time when, once again, we will see that it is God that makes our nation great, and not we ourselves. The book of Psalms holds many principles that we would do well to heed today, as our early founding fathers did.
FAITH UNDER FIRE
Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.-Psalms 43:1
John Witherspoon understood that it was God, and not the efforts of fallen man, which made our nation great. On May 17, 1776 he stated:
"What follows from this? That he is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy to God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country. Do not suppose, my brethren, that I mean to recommend a furious and angry zeal for the circumstantials of religion, or the contentions of one sect with another about their peculiar distinctions. I do not wish you to oppose any body's religion, but every body's wickedness. Perhaps there are few surer marks of the reality of religion, than when a man feels himself more joined in spirit to a true holy person of a different denomination, than to an irregular liver of his own. It is therefore your duty in this important and critical season to exert yourselves, every one in his proper sphere, to stem the tide of prevailing vice, to promote the knowledge of God, the reverence of his name and worship, and obedience to his laws."
John Witherspoon was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was elected to the Continental Congress in 1776, served intermittently in Congress until 1782, and was a member of over a hundred legislative committees, including two vital standing committees, the Board of War and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. He, better than most, could see both the political and spiritual sides of this struggle. Here is yet another founding father who truly saw that America would only be great as long as America was good. Let us pray that we, as a nation will learn that lesson again today.
He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.-Psalms 47:3
Our early American ancestors understood this truth, that for a nation to exist and prosper, it must be submitted to God. For instance, on June 20, 1776, a letter was traveling to Philadelphia from Massachusetts. In it, Abigail Adams reassured her husband John.
"I feel no anxiety at the large armament designed against us. The remarkable interpositions of heaven in our favor cannot be too gratefully acknowledged. He who fed the Israelites in the wilderness, who clothes the lilies of the field and who feeds the young ravens when they cry, will not forsake a people engaged in so righteous a cause, if we remember His loving kindness."
It is indeed sad that we cannot say that our nation is still standing for righteous causes today, as it once did. The idea of religious freedom, freedom from the church-state systems instituted down through the ages by Satan via Mystery Babylon, was uppermost in the minds of those who risked their lives so long ago in the forming of the United States of America. The Continental Congress entered into a debate on whether or not to separate from Great Britain on July 1, 1776. It was at this time that John Adams declared:
"Before God, I believe the hour has come. My judgment approves this measure, and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it. And I leave off as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment. Independence now, and Independence for ever!"
Still today, we enjoy the freedom to worship as we please. Yet how long will we continue to turn away from the God that made this nation great before we will lose this most precious of all freedoms. We all need to dedicate ourselves to prayer that we, as the singer Carman puts it, need God in America again.
A RIGHTEOUS REBELLION
I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.-Psalms 57:9
As we mentioned earlier, the trouble between the colonies and King George III really heated up when the king suggested that he might install a church of England bishop over the colonies. The taxes collected would go to this church, a clear return to the church-state system of Mystery Babylon. America's response to this a very quick no-thank-you. To this the king sent back a short ultimatum, "No miter, no sceptre!" In other words, if you do not bow to the miter of the church of England, you are in effect refusing to bow to the king of England. The colonies reply was simple and to the point. "Very well then, no miter and no sceptre!" and the rallying cry of the colonies became "No king but King Jesus!" In reply to this pronouncement, King George's reply sent troops to America to revoke the charters of all the colonies.
From the pulpits of America came wave after wave of sermons depicting America as captive Israel and King George as Pharaoh. In fact, King George would state in time that the army he feared most in America was the black regiment, referring to the American clergy. He had good reason for this. A young minister by the name of Peter Muhlenberg is a good case in point. One Sunday morning, Pastor Muhlenberg delivered a powerful sermon on....
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.-Ecclesiastes 3:1
Peter Muhlenberg closed his sermon thus, "In the language of the Holy Writ, there is a time for all things. There is a time to preach and a time to fight, and now is the time to fight!" With that he threw off his clerical robes to reveal the uniform of a colonel in the Continental Army. Three hundred recruits would sign up on the spot and he marched off the same day at the head of his new regiment, the 8th Virginia. He would finally rise to the rank of brigadier general by the time the war ended.
Is there any wonder that such faith in God would not inspire men to great deeds? None whatsoever. It is very easy to understand why Benjamin Franklin could say, "Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world."
He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.-Psalms 66:7
As was becoming a righteous people, many in the American colonies struggled with the idea of rebelling against England, in spite of the abuses they were suffering by England's heavy hand. However, many others yearned for the dream of becoming a free nation, much as Israel must have dreamed while still in Egypt. This dream began to be realized in 1776. On July 3, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that this day.
"ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore."
As the months grew into years during the ensuing war, the people of the American colonies began to grow more closely together. This is the tendency of people when they face hard times together. Slowly but surely, these 13 colonies became one united front against the incursion of England and the Mystery Babylon system they tried to force on our ancestors.
On May 1, 1777, intelligence reached the American army that at last France was coming into the war on the side of America. In announcing the French decision to his joyous troops, General George Washington proclaimed:
"It having pleased the Almighty Ruler of the universe to defend the cause of the United American States, and finally to raise up a powerful friend among the princes of the earth, to establish our liberty and independence upon a lasting foundation, it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the divine goodness, and celebrating the important event, which we owe to His divine interposition."
Thomas Jefferson would go directly to the heart of the matter in his "Notes on the state of Virginia" written in 1781.
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
GEORGE WASHINGTON, THE BELIEVER
I feel that there is much more evidence for the Christian witness of George Washington than many today believe. He was raised by a Christian mother in a Christian church. He continued to carry a prayer diary where he documented his prayers during his military campaigns. There is even a wonderful room in the basement of the Capitol building in Washington, D. C. where a prayer room is set aside complete with a beautiful stained glass window showing George Washington kneeling in prayer. Take the following example, for instance. On July 5, 1775, General George Washington issued this order to the Continental Army.
"The General most earnestly requires and expects a due observance of those articles of war established for the government of the army, which forbid profane cursing, swearing, and drunkenness. And in like manner, he requires and expects of all officers and soldiers not engaged in actual duty, a punctual attendance of Divine services, to implore the blessing of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense."
When General George Washington resigned his commission from the army in 1783, he sent letters to the governors of the thirteen states which concluded with a prayer:
"Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection, and wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation."
On April 30, 1789, on the balcony of the Federal Hall in New York City, George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, took the oath of office. Then, embarrassed by the cheers of the multitude below, he went inside to address Congress.
"It would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplication to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States."
President Washington went on to extol the virtues of godly government and the great privilege and awesome responsibility that came with the highest office in our land. He would go on to close with a powerful statement of what he believed really allowed our nation to be free, in itself a far cry from the self-righteous pronouncements of his modern-day counterparts.
"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained."
In spite of all this, historical revisionists would still try to paint the father of our country as an unbeliever. That, in itself, is not only a sign of the times, but also an indictment against those selfsame revisionists. If this be not enough to convince even the hardest skeptic, let me close with one final statement, to put to rest any lingering doubts out there. In his last will and testament, George Washington stated to his heirs,
"You do well to learn, above all, the religion of Jesus Christ."
Regardless of what some may mistakenly believe, our heritage is full of the proof of our Christian roots, although I am afraid that we cannot in all honesty be called a Christian nation today. In 1974, American President Gerald Ford put it well, when he said,
"Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first - the most basic - expression of Americanism. Thus, the founding fathers of America saw it, and thus with God's help, it will continue to be."
Washington was a member of the Episcopal Church. In fact, on June 1, 1774, while considering what the future of our nation might be, Washington states that he went to church and fasted all day. Odd behavior for someone who is not a Christian. There is a most wonderful statement with which the Commander-in-Chief closes the Circular to the States, his formal resignation issued in June, 1783, in which he exalts America to....
"Do justice...love mercy, and...demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation."
After his death, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall said of Washington, "Without making ostentatious professions of religion, he was a sincere believer in the Christian faith, and a truly devout man."
On the rear wall of Washington's tomb is engraved, "I am the Resurrection and the Life; sayeth the Lord. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die."
An appropriate epitaph for a man who gave his life for his God and his country.
Let me share one statement to put to rest any lingering doubts that might still be out there. In his will, George Washington stated to his heirs,
"You do well to learn, above all, the religion of Jesus Christ."
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.-Psalms 67:1-2
The Declaration of Independence of the United States contains the following phrases.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...", "Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions...", and "With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence..."
In spite of all this, many historical revisionists today still resist the idea of America being founded as a Christian nation. Take for instance, those men who risked their lives by signing the Declaration of Independence and what they had to say about their belief in God.
"First of all, I rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins."-Samuel Adams
"I am constrained to express my adoration of the Author of my existence for His forgiving mercy revealed to the world through Jesus Christ, through whom I hope for never ending happiness in a future state."-Robert Treat Paine
"I think it proper here not only to subscribe to the doctrines of the Christian religion, but also, in the bowels of a father's affection, to exhort and charge my children that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, that the way of life held up in the Christian system is calculated for the most complete happiness."-Richard Stockton
"On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation and on His merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts."-Charles Carroll
"My only hope of salvation is in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!"-Benjamin Rush
"I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; the same in substance, equal in power and glory. That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are a revelation from God and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him."-Roger Sherman
"I shall now entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for there is no salvation in any other (Acts 4:12). If you are not clothed with the spotless robe of His righteousness, you must forever perish."-John Witherspoon
PRESIDENT THOMAS JEFFERSON
Among many of the things that Thomas Jefferson would work on, there is a section of the Northwest Ordinance that I would like to now address, article III, to be exact.
"Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged."
Please note that he is saying that schools are established to encourage the teaching of religion to the children of our nation. This is indeed a far cry from what our current leaders, the judiciary for example, feel should be promoted in schools. It has always been a wonder to me that so few leaders realize that if you take God out of the schools, you should not be surprised to see the selfsame schools begin to produce godless children. We are reaping that harvest today.
In 1787, President Jefferson would promote an act in Congress which set aside special lands,
"For the sole use of Christian Indians and the Moravian Brethren missionaries for civilizing the Indians and promoting Christianity".
Again this is a far cry from what many declare today as Jefferson's doctrine of separation of church and state, which was actually a reference in a letter from him to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, which reassured them that no state-church system would be established in America, as was at that time in Europe. A system that the Holy Scriptures calls Mystery Babylon, and the church has opposed down throughout the ages.
After his work on the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was the Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781. It was during this time that he would proclaim a day of, "Public and solemn thanksgiving and prayer to the Almighty God."
One of the most sobering statements concerning our nation and what we face when we turn from God was made by this founding father in his "Notes on the State of Virginia", where he stated:
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
How prophetic those words were! If President Jefferson feared that for the America of his day, how much more should we fear the wrath of God today, when so many historical revisionists are trying to remove all reference to God from the history of our nation. It is not God, but the traditions of men taking the place of God's word in our nation that brings judgment upon us, as Jefferson fully understood.
"The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of its benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."
It is the failure to realize these basic biblical truths today that has brought us, as a nation, to the precipice on which we find ourselves at the present time. In 1774, while serving in the Virginia Assembly, he personally introduced a resolution calling for a Day of Fasting and Prayer. It was Jefferson who would pen the famous words of the Declaration of Independence which begin,
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitles them....We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. that they are endowed with their Creator with certain inalienable right, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
It was Thomas Jefferson who proposed that the United States seal, which expressed the spirit of the nation should be, "The children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night."
President Jefferson truly understood the difference between God's church and Mystery Babylon, something that so many who do not understand the Bible fail to grasp. While his latter years would be deeply influenced by his exposure to the doctrines that underlined the French Revolution, he truly understood that Christianity in its purest form.
"Deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support."
In a letter written on June 17, 1804 to Henry Fry, Jefferson proclaimed,
"I consider the doctrines of Jesus as delivered by himself to contain the outlines of the sublimest system of morality that has ever been taught but I hold in the most profound detestation and execration the corruptions of it which have been invented."
While I am sure that I could find beliefs of this president that I would disagree with, this is one area in which I totally agree. One of the saddest signs of our times today is the way in which men have taken the teachings of our Lord and twisted them away from their original meanings.
If one would take the time to read the second inaugural address, given on March 4, 1805, they would see President Jefferson state the following,
"I shall need, therefore, all the indulgence I have heretofore experienced. I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessities and comforts of life, who has covered our infancy with His Providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join with me in supplications that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils and prosper their measures, that whatever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship and approbation of all nations."
Strange words for one that so many proclaim did not believe in God and the Bible. It is my prayer that God would raise up more men of this calibre to help to turn our nation back to God while there is still time. Thomas Jefferson prayed a prayer to this effect on March 4, 1805, when he proclaimed a national prayer for peace.
"Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endow with Thy spirit of wisdom those to whom in Thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."
You must admit that these are strange words for a man that so many claim did not believe is Jesus. However, as you know from the Holy Scriptures, all men have contending within them two natures, one godly and the other fleshly. Could it be that so many are simply seeing this manifested in the life of Jefferson and thus concluding that he was an unbeliever, when in fact, he is just exhibiting the same nature as you or I?
THE GODLY SIDE OF THOMAS JEFFERSON
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.-Proverbs 14:34
Continuing with our discussion of President Thomas Jefferson, I find it interesting that in Query XIX of his Notes on the State of Virginia that he wrote,
"Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God...whose breasts He has made His peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue." He would further write in a letter to Peter Carr, dated August 19, 1785 the following.
"He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual. He tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions."
These are interesting words indeed when you think of the matter of the historical revisionists that continually try to write God out of American history books. You know, the more I read, the more I see that Jefferson seems to be a believer who just had some ideas I do not agree with. Is not this true of all believers today also?
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.-Isaiah 1:4
When I think of issues such as abortion, pornography, illegal drugs, etc., and how our current leaders approach these matters, I cannot help but fear God's judgment hanging over us. It is indeed a far cry from the days of our founding fathers. Take, for instance, the first inaugural address of President Thomas Jefferson, given in 1801.
"And let us reflect that having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. Let us then, with courage and confidence pursue our own federal and republican principles...enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them...acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter."
President Thomas Jefferson understood the difference between the true church of Jesus Christ and Mystery Babylon, as we see here. He also understood the difference between cooperation between government and religion and the current despotic system that tries to deny the godly principles that our nation was built upon. Let us pray for more leaders to come forward today, to right this wrong and turn our nation back to God.
He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:-Proverbs 24:24
Does not this verse do a good job of describing some of our leaders, especially judges, today. It is also a good description of the current wave of historical revisionism that has endeavored to write God our of our history books. Take, for instance, President Thomas Jefferson, who is repeatedly referred to, as many of the founding fathers are, as an unbeliever. He is the one credited with the statement that you hear so much lately about separation of church and state. Here is another statement he also made. One that you will not hear revisionists quote very often. In 1798 he wrote at the occasion of the Kentucky Resolution, "No power over the freedom of religion...is delegated to the United States by the Constitution."
This is quite different from the way that many unbelievers use his phrase today, when they try to use it to club the church into silence on so many issues. This is, in my own humble opinion, tyranny of the cruelest kind. It is this same type of reasoning that led to the gulags of the Communist Union many years ago. Jefferson's opinion of such things is also part of public record. In a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, dated September 23, 1800, he wrote,
"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
A strange thing for a man to say, when so many declare him an unbeliever, don't you think?
I know of people who are not only believers but even pastors who openly admit that they do not believe certain parts of the Bible. They still claim Christ as Savior, and I suppose this is just an area where they still need growth. The same is true for all of us, including the founding fathers, no doubt. In spite of this, however, President Jefferson did much to make our Christian nation what it is today. For instance, in April of 1806 he signed the Articles of War which stated, among other things that he "earnestly recommended to all officers and soldiers, diligently to attend divine services."
This would be an unusual stand indeed for an unbeliever to take. Moreover, on January 23, 1808, Jefferson wrote to Samuel Miller the following....
"I consider the government of the United States interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment, or free exercise, of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the United States."
This statement made by the famous author of the phrase "separation of church and state", puts the entire idea of separation in a very different light from which most leaders try to mold it into today.
This again goes back to the difference between the church and Mystery Babylon. The church grows and exists through the free exercise of faith, which Mystery Babylon attempts to legislate all other beliefs out of existence. This is also the great danger that we all fight against, despite what historical revisionists might say to the contrary.
The clergy of his day called President Thomas Jefferson an antichrist. I have had modern day clergy call me things that are not dissimilar, yet I am a follower of Christ. In fact, if the truth be known, most churches today would not allow a John the Baptist or, in some cases, even Jesus Christ Himself to speak in their pulpits. Take the picture we see in Revelation 3:20. Here we see Jesus standing at the door, not of the unbeliever's heart, as some may assume, but of the church knocking on the door to be allowed in. This is indeed the case of many of our churches today.
The word "religion" appears in the New Testament of the Authorized King James Bible only five times. Once it describes the Pharisees (Acts 26:5) of which the Apostle Paul was one before he became a Christian. This was just one of many religions that persecuted the early church (Galatians 1:13-14). It was this religion that killed the early believers.
Many appear to be religious, while they are actually lost (James 1:16). Out of the five times the word religion is used in the Bible, in four cases it shows how evil the evil religions of this world actually are. Only once, does God use religion in a positive light and that is....
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.-James 1:17
Notice no church services, seminaries, or religious affiliations are mentioned. Only a sincere heart before a loving God. All others need not apply. This is the difference between the church of Jesus Christ and the religions of this world. Indeed, it was the religious leaders of His day that put Jesus to death. This being the case, religious opposition to Jefferson could mean he was just a cut above them rather then what they actually thought of him. Take, for instance, a letter which he wrote to John Adams in 1813.
"In extracting the pure principles which Jesus taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled....there will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man."
While Jefferson was unable to accept much of the miraculous accounts of the scriptures, this would not disqualify him as a believer. I know not only Christians, but also some pastors today, who still struggle in their acceptance of parts of the scriptures. This, alas, is just another sign of our times. The Apostle Paul explains that we all believe in part. Full understanding will come with the Lord's return. While many write Jefferson off as an unbeliever, I find some of the things he did of a great help to the Christian founding fathers of our nation. For instance, in a letter to Samuel Miller, dated January 23, 1808, he stated,
"Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the general government."
This is a very different separation of church and state then many try to enforce today. Currently the only expression ruled out of the public arena often seems to be religious expression, Christian expression in particular. Jefferson's feelings in this area did not limit themselves to the political only. When writing to William Canby on September 18, 1813, Jefferson remarks,
"An eloquent preacher of your religious society, Richard Mote, in a discourse of much emotion and pathos, is said to have exclaimed aloud to his congregation that he did not believe there was a Quaker, Presbyterian, Methodist, or Baptist in heaven, having paused to give his hearers time to stare and to wonder. He added, that in Heaven, God knew no distinctions."
An odd remark for an unbeliever to say the least, if Jefferson was indeed an unbeliever. I guess we have pretty well covered whether or not President Thomas Jefferson was a Christian or not. However, even if such is the case, God is still able to use unbelievers to fulfill His will. The Holy Scriptures are replete with such stories. If Jefferson is not a believer in God, then he would fall into this category. Take, for instance, how that the 57th Congress, voted in 1904.
"That there be printed and bound, by photolithographic process, with an introduction and not to exceed twenty-five pages, to be prepared by Dr. Cyrus Adler, Librarian of the Smithsonian Institution, for the use of Congress, 9,000 copies of Thomas Jefferson's 'Morals of Jesus of Nazareth', as the same appears in the National Museum, 3,000 copies for the use of the Senate and 6,000 for the use of the House."
Then there is also the letter that Jefferson wrote to Miles King on September 26, 1814 where he states the following.
"Nay, we have heard it said that there is not a Quaker or a Baptist, a Presbyterian or an Episcopalian, a Catholic, or a Protestant in heaven; that on entering the gate, we leave those badges of schism behind. Let us not be uneasy about the different roads we may pursue, as believing them the shortest, to that our last abode; but following the guidance of a good conscience, let us be happy in the hope that by these different paths, we shall all meet in the end. And that you and I may meet and embrace, is my earnest prayer. And with this assurance I salute you with brotherly esteem and respect."
In the end, we will not know the final fate of President Thomas Jefferson until we reach that abode ourselves and see if he preceded us there. I pray that he will be there. I pray that you will also.
THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.-Psalms 67:4
As the American Revolution came to an end, our founding fathers began the work of establishing the government for their fledgling nation. The first Constitutional Convention was called together and our nation's leaders began the process of putting together what is today the United States constitution. While today, the beliefs of these men are terribly misrepresented by the historical revisionists, their true beliefs can be found in their own words. For instance....
"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ."-President Thomas Jefferson
"This is all the inheritance I can give my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed."-American patriot Patrick Henry
"My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ and I cannot cavil or quibble away the whole tenor of His conduct by which He sometimes positively asserted and at others countenances His disciples in asserting that He was God." -President John Quincy Adams
One of the major institutions used over the past few decades to endeavor to re-define what the constitution originally said has been the United States Supreme Court. The spirit of this court has changed greatly from the days of its founding. Once again, let us go to the words of the early Supreme Court justices to see what was the original spirit directing early court decisions.
"I render sincere and humble thanks for His manifold unmerited blessings, and especially for our redemption and salvation by His beloved Son, blessed be His holy name."-U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Jay
"I think the Christian religion is a Divine institution; and I pray to God that I may never forget the precepts of His religion or suffer the appearance of an inconsistency in my principles and practice."-U. S. Supreme Court Justice James Iredell
"I resign my soul into the hands of the Almighty who gave it in humble hopes of His mercy through our Savior Jesus Christ."-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Gabriel Duvall
Indeed it is true that our government institutions have changed mightily since the days of the founding fathers. The question is how do we undo the damage done over the last century to their selfsame institutions. In 1787, during the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin appealed that those involved should begin each session with prayer because:
"And have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: 'that God governs in the affairs of men.' And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that 'except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain who build it.' I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel."
In fact, the Bible was so important to the Continental Congress of the United States that their first official act was to authorize the printing of 20,000 Bibles for the purpose of evangelizing the America Indians. Thomas Paine would state the feelings of the nation at that time when he said,
"The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Where, say some, is the king of America? I'll tell you friend, He reigns above."
Another good example of the times was the fact that, after the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788, a letter was sent by George Washington to Benjamin Franklin which stated....
"No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings. Much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to, so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass. The Great Governor of the universe has led us too long and too far to forsake us in the midst of it. We may, now and then, get bewildered; but I hope and trust that there is good sense and virtue enough left to recover the right path."
BAPTIST STATE CHURCH
There is an interesting footnote to history concerning Baptists and their feelings about the state church system of government. The incident occurred shortly after the Revolutionary War. One of the first questions put before the American Congress was whether there should be an established church in America. Several different bills were presented for different candidates for this state supported church. The main three being considered at the time was the Episcopal, Congregationalist, and Presbyterian churches.
All other Christian groups contended that there should be no established church, but rather religious liberty for all, the Baptists being the largest and most vocal. The main spokesman for these groups was James Madison. Patrick Henry offered a substitute bill that there should be four established churches; Episcopal, Congregationalist, Presbyterian, and Baptist.
When the first three churches saw that none could prevail, they all agreed to accept this compromise. This bill stated that each person taxed would have the right to say which of these denominations his money should go. The Baptists continued to fight against the idea, feeling that any combination of church and state was against the fundamental principles of the Bible. I will let historian J. M. Carroll finish the story.
"Henry pleaded with them, said he was trying to help them, that they could not live without it, but they still protested. The vote was taken. It carried nearly unanimously, but the measure had to be voted on three times. The Baptists, led by Madison and possibly others continued to fight. The second vote came. It also carried almost unanimously, swept by Henry's masterful eloquence, but the third vote had yet to be taken. Now God seemingly intervened. Henry was made Governor of Virginia and left Congress. When the third vote came, deprived of Henry's irresistible eloquence, the vote was lost. Thus the Baptists came near being an established denomination over their own solemn protest. This is not the only opportunity the Baptists ever had of becoming established by law, but is probably the nearest they ever came to it."
The religious side of these times are also well show by the tombstone of Benjamin Franklin.
"Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790, the body of B. Franklin, Printer; like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out, and stripped of its lettering and gilding, lies here, food for worms. But the work shall not be wholly lost; for it will as he believed, appear once more, in a new and more perfect edition, corrected and amended, by the Author."
Many say many of our founding fathers, like Franklin, were unbelievers. I have always found it much more enlightening to get the truth directly from those whom we discuss, rather than count on the opinions of modern historical revisionists.
U.S. PRESIDENTS SPEAK OUT ON AMERICA'S GODLY HERITAGE!
"It would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplication to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States."-George Washington (1789-1797)
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