Appeal To Heaven Editorial

The following article is taken directly from Dutch Sheets and his Give Him 15 episode of May 30, 2024.  It is provided in its entirety (including references) and all credit for this rich article goes to Dutch Sheets–not Antioch International Ministries or myself, James Sanderbeck.  I provide it in reference to the recent request by Democratic Senators that Justice Samuel Alito recuse himself from any case related to the January 6th Capitol events for flying the An Appeal To Heaven flag at his premises.  I am providing it to demonstrate the richness of United States of America heritage and for an awakening of factual history to every American and especially the Ekklesia.  In my opinion, this recusal request shows both the ignorance of history and the degree of fallen degradation that so-called Democratic leaders, especially these Senators, of the current government represents.

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Jim Sanderbeck, President

Antioch International Ministries


Dutch Sheets

May 30, 2024


The Appeal to Heaven Flag

As I stated yesterday, I was out of the office for a week, so am only now able to comment on the news of Justice Alito’s “egregious” behavior in flying the Appeal To Heaven flag. What was he thinking? Never mind that our first President, George Washington, commissioned the flag and flew it on our naval vessels. Doesn’t he know the flag is about prayer? The Justice should know that Judges must have nothing to do with prayer! And the most egregious of all, the flag was seen at the Capitol on January 6th! Every flag taken there should be banned from America! (Well, with the exception of Old Glory, which was also there.) If Justice Alito doesn’t resign, he should recuse himself from any future Supreme Court cases regarding prayer, patriotism, free speech, and evergreen trees!

Forgive my sarcasm and attempt at humor, but this controversy is so ridiculous it begs for it. It is now considered treasonous to fly one of the flags under which America was born. “Trump Derangement Syndrome” has now been revealed as actually “Christians and Patriots Derangement Syndrome.” It turns out he was right when he said it’s us the left is coming after, he’s just standing in the way.

Because of my promotion of the flag, Ceci and I began receiving phone calls and texts from reporters immediately after the news broke. They wanted to know if I knew the Justice, his wife, if I gave him the flag, and more. The answer to these questions was “No.” I have never met any of the Supreme Court Justices or any of their family members. And I have no idea where or how Justice Alito procured his flag. (In full disclosure, my office DOES sell them, as do Amazon and others.) I received my Appeal To Heaven flag from an America-loving wounded warrior who is actually fighting for his life from an illness he contracted while serving in Afghanistan.

I’m told that Speaker Johnson has the flag outside his office and that Senator Cotton is now flying one outside his, as well. I have never met these leaders either, and don’t know how they got their flags. Although I did find out from a leftist reporter recently that I am Speaker Johnson’s mentor! It’s amazing what you can learn from the mainstream media. I recently learned from a Christian watchdog, who partners with the mainstream media, that I caused January 6! (No, I wasn’t even there.)

Here is a brief summary of my introduction to the ATH flag and an explanation of its beginning, taken from my small book, An Appeal To Heaven:

“’Before I give you this gift,’ he said, ‘I need to explain the history behind it. It’s a replica of the flag displayed by George Washington and America’s founding fathers. This flag was actually used before the Stars and Stripes existed. In many ways, it is the banner under which America was born,’ he explained.

“‘This banner has the phrase “An Appeal To Heaven” across the top,’ he continued, ‘a phrase our Founders took from the writings of John Locke, an influential English philosopher from the mid-1600s. Locke wrote a series of papers on “Natural Laws,” stating that human rights originate with God, not government.’

“Locke made the case that when people have done everything humanly possible to experience those God-given rights and have failed to do so, there remains but one option:

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…’(1)

“Major Ostan continued, ‘Locke’s phrase, “appeal to heaven,” connotes that when all resources and the ability to attain justice on earth are exhausted, an appeal to earth’s ultimate Judge is the final recourse. This concept would become a foundational philosophy in American society, used even in the Declaration of Independence.’

“Will went on to explain that George Washington and his contemporaries grabbed hold of this phrase in America’s cause for freedom from Britain’s tyranny. Having exhausted all peaceful possibilities of experiencing the liberty they so desired, the colonists realized their only hope for freedom was through war. Yet with Britain’s great military, weaponry, and wealth – contrasted by the colonist’s dire lack of these resources –  any military attempt to break free from British rule was preposterous, even laughable. Laughable, that is, unless Almighty God intervened.

“The stance of the colonists was simple. Their right to freedom came from God: He would help them. ‘We will appeal to heaven!’ they declared.

“And a flag was born.

“From the days of the pilgrims, godly men and women have believed the Almighty was involved in the birth of our nation. They also felt that if a nation chose to partner with and honor God, it would experience His favor and blessing in extraordinary ways. Washington and the colonial dreamers agreed. But they decided to take it a step further and find out if the Sovereign was, indeed, birthing ‘A city [nation] set on a hill that can’t be hidden…a light to the world’ (Matthew 5:14). They no doubt knew of John Winthrop, a leader of the puritan’s Massachusetts Bay Colony, using this verse in his 1630 speech on board the Arbella to describe what he believed God wanted to build in America.(2)

“General George Washington, leader of the American Revolution, obviously believed in this divine plan. He commissioned several ships for the Revolutionary War efforts and, highlighting their dependence on providential help; each vessel was to fly under the Appeal to Heaven banner, also known as the Pine Tree Flag.(3) The popularity of the flag spread and was soon flying throughout the colonies, as well as being adopted as the flag for the Massachusetts State Navy.(4) It became the symbol of these colonists’ unwavering spirit of liberty, as well as a clear statement of where they placed their faith.”(5)

Don’t be distracted by the accusations of the left. They want to intimidate us into silence. It’s a good thing to love America. My advice to all patriots, regardless of your religious affiliation or lack thereof: fly and salute your American flag EVERY DAY! Say the Pledge of Allegiance to Old Glory; stand for the anthem with your hand over your heart, and sing along LOUDLY.

To believers, my advice is: Fly BOTH flags! Salute one and pray under the other. Love God unashamedly; believe and honor the Bible – all of it; attend a church that isn’t afraid to preach truth, including the truth regarding America’s birth by God, and the purpose for which He did so. And by all means, attend one which teaches and encourages its congregants to vote biblical values.

Pray with me:

Father, thank You for giving us praying leaders in Washington. Strengthen their resolve to seek You for wisdom, and to ask for Your blessing on our nation. Give us many more who unashamedly fly the ATH flag, both Democrats and Republicans. No leader in America  – especially America – needs to be intimidated regarding mentioning You or embarrassed when doing so. Overrule the evil attacks against them, including President Trump. Encourage him, and may his heart be turned always to You. Restore justice to America’s defiled judicial system – from the DOJ down.

We ask You to overturn every effort to destroy America’s Judeo-Christian roots. We boldly declare that we ARE a “city on a hill,” as our Founders and Presidents have called us. We also acknowledge that this does not make us loved by You more than other people throughout the world. It is a calling to SERVE the nations by delivering the gospel of the Kingdom to them. We boldly declare that we will see this calling reemerge from its root system, though the tree has been damaged and its fruit spoiled. Your discipline will bring forth the peaceable fruit of righteousness once again. We appeal to You for these things and do so through the risen King, Jesus.

Our decree:

We decree that appealing to heaven is the believer’s right and America’s heritage.



  1. John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government. “Chapter XIV, Of Prerogative, Section 168.” 1690.
  2. John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity,” 1630.
  3. American Memory. “Col. Joseph Reed to Col. John Glover and Stephen Moylan.” October 20, 1775. The Library of Congress.
  4. Naval History and Heritage Command. “The U.S. Navy’s First Jack.” U.S. Navy. Published December 17, 2014.
  5. Dutch Sheets, An Appeal To Heaven, (Dutch Sheets Ministries, 2015).

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