Report By E.R. Mast
AMERICA AWAKENING - When?
In the 18th century there came a great awakening in America, in part because no longer was religious passion the central component of mainstream life as the beginning. When the end of the 1700's came then we saw the work of Joanna Southcott in England. Her message was for the end of the age. Then came to America the boy preacher, age 19. He was America's first traveling Evangelist. (From the book Faith and Freedom by Benjamin Hart). He preached in hundreds of towns and villages. His message was that each individual could come to Christ themselves. And He would repeat many times this message:---(Quote)
Father Abraham whom do you have in heaven? Any Episcopalians?
Any Independents or Seceders, new sides or old sides any Methodists?
Whom have you there then Father Abraham?
We don't know those names here. All who have come are Christian believers
in The Christ. Men who have overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of HIS Testimony."
Oh! in that case then God help me. God help us all to forget names and become Christians in deed and in truth.
Thus was the message of this young Evangelist, by the name of Whitefield. This young preacher shouted and waved his arms to the delight of his audiences who were weary of the highbrow, heavily annotated and gentlemanly style of the preachers from Harvard and Yale. (Unquote)
Benjamin Franklin wrote about the extra ordinary influence of this young Evangelists oratory. He tells the story of how he first came to one Whitefield's sermons with the determination not to pay any attention to what the wild man had to say. Franklin said at the time he had in his pocket a handful of copper coins, three or four silver dollars, and five in gold but he was determined that this wild man would not get any of it. Then as the young man preached Franklin softened. He decided to put the copper coins in the box when it was passed. Then another stroke of the Minister's oratory made him ashamed and he finished so admirably that Benjamin Franklin said that he emptied his pockets into the collection plate, gold and all. Later then Benjamin Franklin offered to publish Whitefield's sermons for wide distribution. Thus, the idea of a personal relationship with the Heavenly Father came to America. And with a minister by the name of Edwards on his side then young Whitefield came to the conclusion that the New World had been selected by God to complete his divine mission. The Prophet Isaiah had spoken of stirrings that would occur n some remote land which thru two Evangelists interpreted to mean also America. (Isa. 14 and Isa. 10:26-27) which means deliverance.
Then these two Evangelists Edwards and Whitefield who had thus attacked various religious establishments which they felt were presenting an unknown and unfelt Christ, charged that a dead ministry makes a dead people. They came to Charleston and ran into the Anglican establishment there led by Alexander Garden the commissary to the Bishop of London. There Whitefield was warned that he must not come into the jurisdiction of the church of England and compete for souls. This would also be the fate of Joanna Southcott of England for when she came with her message from "The Spirit of Truth,” the Church of England was still not ready or willing to accept any new way of preaching or understanding of the Bible.
Now; this great Awakening as to the Grace of God was not a political movement but it meshed in well with the American trend toward the building of a Republic in this new land. It became the individuals response to God's call that was important, not the propping up of dead religious structures. The States interest was subordinate to individual rights. Men such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin had history and experience as their starting points. But the Preachers such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield began with scripture and the HOLY SPIRIT. But both political and religious movements sought to break away from established institutions, challenge time-honored customs and make the individual central to both the temporal and the spiritual orders.
Whitefield came to the New World for the last time in 1770 and at that time even the Episcopal church welcomed him. Thus, denominational barriers no longer mattered here in America. For America considered herself to be a nation of liberty like that which existed in heaven. You will remember that God gave the Israelites a king in his anger, because they had not the sense and virtue to like a free commonwealth. But where the LORD is this the Israelites would have to learn.
No wonder then that Americans as Christians would also know that if in sin they would go straight to their heavenly father, ask for forgiveness and then keep HIS commandments of their LORD, to walk in HIS ways and to love HIM. For had he not brought them into a good land, a land of brooks and springs flowing forth in valleys and hills. A land of wheat and barley, of vines and fir trees and pomegranates. A land of olive oil and honey, a land where you shall eat food without scarcity, in which, you should lack for nothing. Thus, Americans saw themselves as the New Israelites and King George of England as the modern day Pharaoh. And they felt that it was their Christian duty to separate themselves from the corrupt government then in Britain. They recalled the teachings of the Apostle Paul (II Cor. 6:14) and from this came the Declaration of Independence. The Americans recalled that the Israelites failed many times to follow the path laid out for them at Mt. Sinai. But they also remembered that God destroyed Egypt’s army as it tried to follow as God delivered his people at the Red Sea. So the Americans under Christianity responded with the Revolution. But knowing they would also need miracles to deliver them from King George III and his Imperial Army. But America called upon her wisest and best and you know the results. The Constitution of the U.S. was written. This was the rules and procedural under which government must operate. At the end of the 18th century came then America was overwhelmingly Protestant.
The Declaration of Independence was a creed of faith, if you will, about the origin of our liberties. The Constitution contains no such lofty rhetoric because it was a device for the ordering of government and defining its responsibilities; the word culture which was a part of this new nation comes from the word Cult. Webster defines this as a system of religious belief. In fact culture is really little more than an experience of a people's religious traditions. Thus today we see how this culture has been eaten away over the years. Men such as Jefferson and Madison would recoil in horror if they could see how their words, ideas and actions have been so misrepresented to inhibit rather than to expand religious freedom. That altho the words of the Constitution seems to be intact they bear little resemblance to the ever expanding government now in existence.
Thus people in the spirit separation of church and State is that as the State grows bigger, then the practice of our religious faith because the private sphere has disappeared. This happened in the Soviet Union. The Kremlin used this exact---separation of church and state as Justice William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall, and Harry Blackmen used in an attempt to completely obliterate the religious fife of their nation. In America this became the position for the American Civil liberties union, the People for the American way, and the National Education association. The Soviet Union also used the separation of church and state, to remove all the crucifixes from the schools.
As we look at what has happened here in America, we see that America has drifted so far toward Gomorrah instead of toward new Jerusalem that now those who rule believe that government should control education, raise our children, run the economy, make it difficult for religious institutions to operate, and impose a secular value system on a Christian people. They knew that in a free society such causes as abortion on demand, affirmative action for homosexuals, and the expunging of all religious affairs. And religious references from text books could not flourish. Thus the enemy of Christian America did not make a frontal attack on Christianity which would have been unpopular. But they attack it on the grounds and under the guise of such acceptable notions as the 'liberty of Conscience.’
Today, thus we hear --"Who is to say what is right or wrong?" All life styles are to be permitted. Thus in the end will have even permitted cannibalism, human sacrifice, group suicide, the Manson family, Polygamy and kiddie porn. Our society cannot long survive if this principal is pushed to its logical conclusion.
The Apostle Paul (Romans 13:4) says to the Romans,--That Government purpose is to bring wrath upon one who practices evil, meaning criminals, foreign invaders, and those who pose a threat to Liberty. This is in fact the only government function condoned by God in the New Testament. Thus the Government can punish the 'wrong thinkers' only if his thought drives him to break the law by committing some abominable act.
Now; for government to extend its authority beyond its laws and order functions is dangerous, even when done in the name of Christianity. Remember that punishment of heretics under the Spanish Inquisition was carried out by the State, not the church. And occurred after the State had centralized and consolidated its power placing the church under the control of the king, and parliament, and the results was persecution of dissenting Christian sects, social disturbance and civil war.
But remember the God of the scriptures is present in human relations but He coerces no one. For ‘where two or three have gathered together in MY NAME there I am in their midst,’---thus said Jesus. (Matt. 18:20)
Today the conventional wisdom is that education is the responsibility of the federal government. Yet Moses told his people--- ‘And you shall teach them God's laws diligently, to your sons and talk to them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way and when you lie down, and when you rise up.’ (Deut. 6:7). Thus, teaching falls principally under the domain of parents. This was how education was conducted in early America.
Today, we say, ‘whatever happened to ethics?’ This has been asked for several years. And Congress goes right along and passes laws that are suppose to correct but of course do not. In the process Americans have lost sight of the fact that a price must be paid for freedom. The preservation of liberty sometimes involves personal sacrifice.
The great task ahead of America must be to return to the first principles upon which America was founded, this is agreed by many to be the great task ahead of us.
As Tocqueville wrote:---(quote) ‘Liberty regards religion as its companion in all its battles and triumphs, as the cradle of its infancy and the divine source of its claims.’ This is but an echo of Paul's warning to the Galatians. ‘It was for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.’
Remember today that we had the message from Joanna Southcott as it was relayed to her by the "Spirit of Truth.” That message was for the end of the age, for we were to start to understand the meaning and message of the Woman of Revelation 12 --then move to the last few chapters of Revelation for the climax.
In the 1900's we had the ministry of Dr. Wesley A. Swift to explain further this climax of this 'The greatest story ever told.’ People heard and they were encouraged. But as time went on, God's people get tired of trying to study so as to learn and understand HIS WORD's and they begin once more to slide in their thinking, for we have seen the results of the 60's, for now the people from the 60's have come into control of our institutions as well as our government.
Out in the great heartland of America this message for the end of the age is still alive. But many people are afraid of persecution if they speak out and acknowledge. They are waiting for the time when it seems that YAHWEH as YAHSHUA will once Step back into world affairs, especially in this nation of His Kingdom. There is thus a great awakening ahead and America will finally stand knowing once again that this is the great nation promised to Abraham. And then developments will come thick and fact.
This year of 1998 may well be the year of great events. So once more--buckle your seat belt for we are going thru.