HISTORY & SCRIPTURE POINT THE WAY
Pastor Jim Sanderbeck, AIM President & Overseer
As network overseer and one whose great desire is to support and to promote the Believer and all ministries in an hour when we are fast approaching social and cultural “critical mass”, the Lord has emboldened me and mandated me to become a voice and example of a full-out uncompromising Kingdom son. I don’t believe that as sons of the Most High God we can continue to sit in the bleachers while others labor in the arenas of the world. I hope you are feeling that way as well. Now don’t get me wrong–I don’t believe we should be obnoxious nor do I believe that we should become so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. But, to be lukewarm, complacent and lethargic has no place in God or the Kingdom–especially right now! Jesus does not live in the comfort zone. He lives in the growth zone–which I have often referred to as the “groan zone”.
I love history and recently I’ve been drawn to it more because, as Solomon said in Eccl. 3:1, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” He elaborates more in the following 14 verses. He states in Eccl. 1:9 “That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.” So, you may have noticed, I am no longer about floating on my innertube on the sea of life but, more and more, I’m butterfly stroking on the water. For some reason, God has placed us over ministry assignments and people of God in a season of great turbulence and daily flux. I am now intentionally doing things, subtle and overt, like flying a flag, making more pointed comments, and quietly but forcibly letting the world around me know for what and for whom I stand. History, both Biblical and natural is speaking and providing avenues of action.
Edmund Burke was an Irish statesman, economist and philosopher. He was born in Dublin and served as a member of parliament between 1766 and 1794 in the House of Commons of Great Britain with the Whig Party. He was a proponent on underpinning the virtues with manners in society and of the importance of religious institutions for the moral stability and good of the state. He is attributed with the following quote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Boy has the “church” fit that label– at least since just around 1960.
A full research of the quote reads thus: “Whilst men are linked together, they easily and speedily communicate the alarm of any evil design. They are enabled to fathom it with common counsel, and to oppose it with united strength. Whereas, when they lie dispersed, without concert, order, or discipline, communication is uncertain, counsel difficult, and resistance impracticable. Where men are not acquainted with each other’s principles, nor experienced in each other’s talents, nor at all practised in their mutual habitudes and dispositions by joint efforts in business; no personal confidence, no friendship, no common interest, subsisting among them; it is evidently impossible that they can act a public part with uniformity, perseverance, or efficacy. In a connection, the most inconsiderable man, by adding to the weight of the whole, has his value, and his use; out of it, the greatest talents are wholly unserviceable to the public. No man, who is not inflamed by vain-glory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours, are of power to defeat the subtle designs and united cabals of ambitious citizens. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”
–Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents 82-83 (1770) in: Select Works of Edmund Burke, vol. 1, p. 146 (Liberty Fund ed. 1999).
With that posture and quote as a background or foundation, I again stress how important it is for us in these times to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to do what He came to do in and through us the true believers–the Ekklesia. In the very first chapter of Acts is where we must find ourselves today:
Act 1:6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
Act 1:7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;
Act 1:8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Act 1:9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
This is how our Power Cell Initiative can prepare a table for us to touch the world around us: A world in which you have influence. It doesn’t have to be a big production or be in lights in order for your witness to be impacting. In fact, when you do something out of a pure heart, you have no idea that you’re doing something special but it is in those instances when a life is changed because the undefiled heart is power on steroids. Just watch for the opportunities and doors that God opens and then just walk through under the leading of His still small voice. Let that act, “breathe” life upon the situation.
A practical example of a quiet but visible act of witness is the displaying of the Appeal To Heaven Flag. My time reviewing history has again spoken to me of how I can make a statement that opens the door to those who are, shall we say, hungry and unaware. Amazing how these examples opens doors of opportunity without anger or confrontation. This is what that flag is all about:
The Tree Flag (or the Appeal to Heaven Flag) was one of the flags which was used during the American Revolution. The flag, which featured a pine tree with the motto “An Appeal to Heaven,” or less frequently “An Appeal to God”, was originally used by a squadron of six cruisers which were commissioned under George Washington‘s authority as commander in chief of the Continental Army in October 1775.
The design of the flag came from General Washington’s secretary, Colonel Joseph Reed. In a letter dated October 21, 1775, Reed suggested a “flag with a white background and a tree in the middle, the motto AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN” be used for the ships Washington commissioned. The pine tree had long been a New England symbol being depicted on the Flag of New England flown by colonial merchant ships dating back to 1686. Leading up to the Revolutionary War it became a symbol of Colonial ire and resistance.
This flag, is a symbol of solidarity, conviction and encouragement to fight for liberty. The Appeal To Heaven flag has now become the emblem of a movement aimed at putting “conservative, Biblical” principles into public life.
The Appeal To Heaven flag root comes forth from the writings of the English political philosopher by the name of John Locke (1632-1704). He argued that when all other political and individual methods of resisting tyranny are exhausted, only an “appeal to heaven” remains.
“And where the body of the people, or any single man, is deprived of their right, or is under the exercise of a power without right, and have no appeal on earth, then they have a liberty to appeal to heaven, whenever they judge the cause of sufficient moment. And therefore, though the people cannot be judge, so as to have, by the constitution of that society, any superior power, to determine and give effective sentence in the case; yet they have, by a law antecedent and paramount to all positive laws of men, reserved that ultimate determination to themselves which belongs to all mankind, where there lies no appeal on earth, viz. to judge, whether they have just cause to make their appeal to heaven.”
In summary, Locke’s contention was that no man had inherent power to regulate or restrict divine arbitration in civil affairs. Even in dire circumstances, he alleged, natural rights transcended the political process.
Historical Narrative Article Link” https://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/washington-cruisers-flag.html
What an avenue into discussions of which even most Christians are not aware. We have been quiet too long. If we do not begin to do as Burke and Locke suggest, the critical mass of today’s national and international balances will spill over into disaster. We are experiencing the spirit of Babylon just as it is depicted in Scripture.
Mic 4:1, 10 And it will come about in the last days That the mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, And the peoples will stream to it. 10 “Writhe and labor to give birth, Daughter of Zion, Like a woman in childbirth; For now you will go out of the city, Dwell in the field, And go to Babylon. [representative of the world’s systems that place man equal with or above God] There you will be rescued; There the LORD will redeem you from the hand of your enemies.
This Scriptural passage was integral to our last prayer meeting and Holy Spirit lit upon it (pagah) and propelled us into a powerful time of prayer. It is my hope that you will take the exhortation of this blog and let it propel you and encourage you in this hour. We must all look beyond the natural conditions, hear what the Spirit is saying and then act obediently to His voice. Can you hear the voice behind the word? Let’s become vessels of power and begin to be His foot-soldiers right here right now. Let the Kingdom come on earth just as it is in heaven. Let’s open our mouths and raise our flags (whatever that is) as He directs us in this appointed season.