Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Orderly Procession of the Spirit and the Gift of Tongues

Joseph Herrin (07-04-2013)

The Day of Pentecost

I deemed it expedient to post a second writing on the Holy Spirit, and tongues as a sign, after receiving numerous e-mails on the preceding post. When writing on a particular topic I often discover many of the arguments that cause people to stumble at truth as responses begin to come in. This affords me the opportunity to address the specific objections, many of which I acknowledge come from sincere individuals who have had error delivered to them by other Christians.

One of the sincere objections that was raised is that there are numerous accounts in the book of Acts where the impartation of the Holy Spirit to groups of men is attended with signs and wonders, one of the most common signs being speaking in tongues. Why, one might ask, do we have recorded on multiple occasions visible manifestations, and speaking in tongues when the Holy Spirit was received by men, if Yahweh did not intend to establish a doctrine that these things will always accompany one another? This writing will endeavor to answer this question.

Bear in mind that these events are all recorded in the book of Acts. This is a book wholly unlike the books that follow it which primarily consist of apostolic epistles. The book of Acts is NOT a doctrinal treatise like the book of Romans, or I and II Corinthians, or Galatians. Rather, it is a narrative retelling of events that occurred from the time of Christ’s ascension, detailing the spread of Christianity throughout the world.

This distinction is important to keep in mind, for many of the events recorded by Luke in the book of Acts are unique, historical occurrences. They were not intended to be taken as a pattern for the churches to repeat. For example, on the day of Pentecost, there was the sound of a rushing mighty wind heard throughout the city. There were tongues of fire which distributed themselves over the heads of the 120 men and women gathered in the upper room. ALL of those gathered experienced the Holy Spirit falling upon them, and they ALL began to speak in tongues and prophesy.

Luke clearly did not intend for his narrative of this experience to be taken as a template for the manner in which every annual Pentecost celebration should be observed, nor as a pattern to be repeated every time someone received the gift of the Holy Spirit. There is never again a record of a similar event occurring. The sound of a rushing mighty wind was heard only on the day of Pentecost. The same is true regarding the appearance of tongues of fire above the heads of the saints.

A narrative of an event is very different from an instructional epistle that was intended to be shared among the churches. Apostolic letters were given as universal guidelines for all disciples of Christ. That the apostles’ instructions were intended to inform the believers of the universal practices of the church is often stated within the body of the text.

I Corinthians 7:17
This is my rule for all the churches.

I Corinthians 11:2
Now I praise you because you remember me in everything, and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you... But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.

II Thessalonians 2:15
So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

II Thessalonians 3:6
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Yahshua Christ, that you keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.

It is evident from these Scriptures that the epistles which make up a large portion of the New Testament were given to establish rules, traditions, practices, and ordinances among all members of the body of Christ. What Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers applied equally to the saints in Thessalonica, in Phillipi, and in Colossae. Nor were these merely the instructions of Paul, for we find him using expressions such as “WE have no other practice,” and “whether by word of mouth or letter from US.” These instructions were attested to by the other apostles and elders appointed by Christ as overseers among His flock.

The book of Acts is not the same type of writing. We have no record of Luke being numbered among the apostles. We are only told that he accompanied Paul on some of his missionary journeys, and was a helper to those that were engaged as apostles and teachers. Neither did Luke write the book of Acts in the same way that the epistles were penned. Paul frequently began his letters by declaring his authority in Christ, for his letters were written as a spiritual father instructing children. Following are some examples, though not an exhaustive list.

Romans 1:1
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Yahshua, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God...

I Corinthians 1:1
Paul, called as an apostle of Yahshua Christ by the will of God...

Galatians 1:1
Paul, an apostle (not sent from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Yahshua Christ, and God the Father...)

Ephesians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Yahshua by the will of God...

Colossians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Yahshua Christ by the will of God...

It was necessary that Paul establish his credentials and authority at the beginning of his letters, for he was establishing doctrine and delivering to the churches traditions, practices, rules, and ordinances that they were to follow. This is very different from the introduction Luke provides at the beginning of the book of Acts.

Acts 1:1-2
The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Yahshua began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.

“The first account” Luke refers to is The Gospel of Luke. In this gospel Luke focuses on the life of Yahshua, beginning with a virgin becoming pregnant and the Son of God being born. Luke now labors to set forth a second account which begins at the ascension of Christ to the right hand of God, as he follows the work of the apostles in laying a foundation for a new work of God among mankind. This is not an instructional book like the epistles. It is a historical account. Those who read it should bear this distinction in mind.

If a person wants to know what the Christian’s attitude and beliefs should be in relation to the gift of tongues, they would do well to look for such information in the epistles. The apostle Paul did not overlook this subject. He wrote at length on the topic in I Corinthians chapters 12 and 14. What he set forth there applies to all the churches.

The book of Acts, on the other hand, reveals occasions when men spoke in tongues, while providing no instruction, no rules, and no ordinances related to the employment of tongues among the body of Christ. What Acts does provide is very valuable, if one discerns the reason that selected events were recorded by Luke. These are not random events strung together by the author. They were set forth with careful design, and specific purpose.

In Luke’s account of The Acts of the Apostles, he relates four separate occasions when the Holy Spirit was given to groups of men. At every occasion there was some outward manifestation. There were differences, for, as it was already mentioned, we never read again after the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost of there being a sound of a rushing, mighty wind, nor of tongues of fire manifesting above the heads of believers. Nevertheless, on each of the four occasions Luke cites, there was SOME obvious, observable, manifestation. Furthermore, on each one of the occasions, there were apostles present. This latter fact should provide the reader with a clue to Luke’s purpose in setting forth these specific acts of God.

During Pentecost, all of the original apostles were present (Judas Iscariot had been replaced by Matthias). Following are the other three accounts of the Holy Spirit being given. Note specifically the presence of apostles at each event.

Acts 8:14-18
Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Yahshua. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money...

Acts 10:1-5, 44-48
Now there was a certain man at Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort, a devout man, and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people, and prayed to God continually. About the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in to him, and said to him, "Cornelius!" And fixing his gaze upon him and being much alarmed, he said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now dispatch some men to Joppa, and send for a man named Simon, who is also called Peter... While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Yahshua Christ.

Acts 19:1-7
And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, and he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism." And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Yahshua. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. And there were in all about twelve men.

These accounts are the sum total of passages in the New Testament that link together the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. Some, not discerning the purpose Luke had in mind in sharing these specific events, have wrongly concluded that what is set forth occurs every time a man or woman receives the Holy Spirit. Let us therefore discover the common thread connecting these accounts that we might discern what made these experiences significant and unique.

You may have wondered about the title of this writing. What is meant by the phrase “The Orderly Procession of the Spirit”? Yahweh determined by His own counsel that the salvation provided through His Son should be revealed to mankind in a specific order. Paul sums it up succinctly in the following words:

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Paul was not expressing some personal prejudice by saying that salvation was delivered “to the Jew first.” Paul was a Jew, but his statement was not based on national pride. Paul was merely affirming that which Yahweh ordained. Yahshua declared the proper order of salvation during His years of ministry. When Philip approached the Lord and told Him that some Gentiles wanted to speak with Him, we find that Yahshua made no effort to comply (John 10:20-23). Yahshua’s  actions were in keeping with the words He spoke to the Syro-Phoenician woman who had a daughter horribly oppressed by a demon.

Mark 7:27
He was saying to her, "Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."

What Yahshua was declaring was that Yahweh had established an order for salvation to be given to mankind. It was to the Jew first. Christ’s entire ministry was focused on the Jewish people. Yahshua never sought out those who were not the natural descendants of Abraham, for He discerned the Father’s will in this matter. Yahshua declared, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 15:24). The Son of God gave similar instructions to His disciples.

Matthew 10:5-6
These twelve Yahshua sent forth, and commanded them, saying, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

(On a side note, understanding the established order of the spread of the gospel, we find that the myths and fables which have arisen that declare that Yahshua visited England, or some other foreign land, in His childhood, are proven to be false. The Gospel of the Kingdom had to be declared first in Jerusalem and Judea before it could spread to the uttermost parts of the earth.)

Luke clearly understood this procession of the salvation of Christ. He understood that salvation, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, had to be rolled out to mankind in an orderly fashion determined by the counsel of Yahweh. Luke, in the first chapter of the book of Acts, reveals his understanding of this principle when he cites the following words of Christ.

Acts 1:8
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. 

The remainder of the book of Acts is a forth-telling of the fulfillment of this Great Commission that was spoken to the disciples of Christ. The disciples, and all the original apostles, for a season, bore witness to Yahshua only to the Jews. For a number of years they did not venture beyond Jerusalem and Judea. The church was established there on the day of the first Pentecost following the resurrection of our Lord. What we observe is that every time the salvation of Christ was carried to a new group of people, the Holy Spirit was given to them, and this fact was attested to by signs and wonders. Among these visible signs was the gift of tongues.

The first expansion beyond Jerusalem and the Jewish people was to the citizens of Samaria. The Samaritans were a mixture of Israelite and Gentile blood. They were considered half-breeds by the Jews, and were scorned. Yahweh had to drive the Jewish believers in Messiah out of Jerusalem through the instrument of a severe persecution, in order to induce them to take the gospel message beyond their own people. In Acts chapter 8 Luke tells us that a severe persecution arose. Saul, later to be called Paul, was one of the chief actors in the persecution.

As the persecution began, Philip, one of the seven deacons selected by the apostles, went down to Samaria and proclaimed the gospel of Christ there. This was the first time the gospel had been proclaimed to non-Jews.

Some have read the account of salvation coming to the Samaritans, noting that they did not immediately receive the Holy Spirit, and have formed doctrines of a second blessing. Luke is not writing to establish doctrine. He is being faithful to record that the impartation of the Holy Spirit to each new group of people was attended by visible signs, observed by the apostles, and it occurred in a public manner. The Father acted in this way to demonstrate to the Jews, and particularly to the Jewish apostles, that He was now giving His Spirit to men and women who were not Jews.

Acts 8:14-18
Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Yahshua. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money...

Although there is no mention of any specific manifestation of the Spirit in Samaria, we can conclude confidently that there was a visible manifestation. Simon the sorcerer observed the power of God being manifested with the laying on of hands of the apostles. He was so impressed by what he saw that he offered to purchase this power from them.

It was necessary that Yahweh provide a visible testimony to the impartation of the Spirit to the Samaritans, otherwise many of the Jewish believers would not have believed, or accepted, that Samaritans had become partakers of the same Holy Spirit that was given to them.

Luke, understanding the procession of the Holy Spirit being given to men, provides an orderly account of the way in which this astonishing occurrence unfolded. The next to receive the Holy Spirit was a Gentile dwelling in Judea. Cornelius was a Roman centurion. He was a member of the Italian cohort. He was a convert to Judaism, being described as “a devout man, and one who feared God with his whole household.” Despite this man’s devotion to the God of the Jews, it was forbidden for Jews to enter the home of a Gentile, or to break bread with them. The Gentiles were considered unclean.

How deep-seated this belief in Jewish superiority was, is hard for Christians to comprehend today. That the Gentiles should be made partakers of the Holy Spirit was inconceivable to many Messianic Jews. Peter was typical in this regard. Yahweh had to speak to Peter through a vision, repeated three times, in order to break through his resistance. Peter saw a vision of unclean animals being lowered down from heaven on a sheet. The voice of God spoke and stated: “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unclean” (Acts 10:15). Yahweh then sent Peter to the home of this Roman centurion, and the Holy Spirit fell upon the Gentiles gathered in his home.

Acts 10:44-48
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Yahshua Christ.

Notice the words, “And all the CIRCUMCISED believers who had come with Peter were amazed.” Six Messianic Jewish men accompanied Peter. They looked on with astonishment when the Holy Spirit was given to Gentiles. It was very necessary for there to be an outward manifestation to demonstrate what had occurred inwardly in the lives of these Gentiles. Without an outward manifestation, many of the Jews simply would not have believed that the Holy Spirit was given to Gentiles.

Immediately following this event, we find that Peter landed in hot water with the Jewish Christians back in Jerusalem. They called Peter on the carpet.

Acts 11:2-3
When Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him, saying, "You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them."

Peter, was still subject to intimidation by the Jews. He had previously denied Yahshua three times. Yahshua specifically chose Peter to face the wrath of the Jews at this time in order to cause him to stand and overcome where he had previously failed. Although Peter was a bit hesitant, and shifted the blame to God, he did stand firm, and did not deny what the Lord had done. Peter gave a defense of his actions, concluding with the words, “If God therefore gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Yahshua Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?" 
The Jewish believers were mollified by these words, and dolefully acquiesced to Yahweh’s judgment.

Acts 11:18
And when they heard this, they quieted down, and glorified God, saying, "Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life."

To our minds, it seems strange that these Jewish believers in Messiah would “quiet down” when they learned that the Holy Spirit had been given to the Gentiles. It would have been far more appropriate that they had gotten exceedingly louder as they began to rejoice that Yahweh’s salvation was being granted to all mankind. So proud had the Jews become in their identity as Yahweh’s chosen people, that it was with difficulty that they could accept the fact that Yahweh was now accepting others.

Notice a particular thing that Peter stated when giving a defense. He said, “If God therefore gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing...” Yahweh did not repeat the sound of the rushing mighty wind, nor the tongues of fire. He did, however, repeat the sign of tongues and the gift of prophecy. This was so that the Jews would recognize that the Holy Spirit had been imparted to the nations in the same way that He had been imparted to them.

There was one more step to take however. Cornelius, though a Gentile, was living in the land of Judea, and was a devout follower of the Jewish God. It yet remained for the Holy Spirit to be given to gentiles outside of Judea, in pagan lands, and to men who were not converts to Judaism. When the persecution of Jewish Christians began in Jerusalem, the believers in Messiah spread across the Roman Empire, but they did not immediately begin sharing the gospel of their Messiah with the Gentiles. They still spoke only to Jews. This is revealed in the following passage.

Acts 11:19
So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone.

These scattered Jewish believers, needed a sign from God that He was granting His Holy Spirit to the Gentiles. Here then we find the final procession of the Holy Spirit as He is given to Gentiles outside of the land of Judea. Once again, there were apostles present, and attesting signs were given that the Jewish believers might observe that Yahweh had chosen to give His Spirit to people they had previously considered unclean.

Acts 19:1-7
And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, and he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism." And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Yahshua. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. And there were in all about twelve men.

Luke has chosen these specific accounts to establish the fact that Yahweh was bequeathing His Holy Spirit to all the nations, even to the uttermost parts of the earth. This was a fact not easily accepted. Even among the Jewish converts to Messiah, we find that there was great resistance to the inclusion of non-Jews as fellow members of the body of Christ. Deep prejudices of many centuries were hard to overcome. In the book of Galatians we read of Paul having to rebuke Peter, Barnabas, and many of the Jewish believers, for their failure to openly receive Gentile believers.

Galatians 2:11-13
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.

It is hard for Christians in America today, to perceive of the offense that had to be overcome in the minds of the Jewish believers in order for them to accept Samaritans, and Gentile believers, as equal members of the body of Christ. Having a very myopic point of view, and not perceiving the purpose of Luke’s accounts, many have falsely assumed that these four accounts of the Holy Spirit being given, attended by signs and wonders, were set forth to establish a doctrine that there will always be an external manifestation when someone receives the Holy Spirit. This was not Luke’s purpose at all, nor God’s. These specific events were attended with outward signs so that the Jewish believers, and the apostles in particular, would recognize that the Holy Spirit was being granted to all nations.

There have been multitudes of men and women who have become partakers of the Holy Spirit in the ensuing 2,000 years who did not share any similar manifestation. There are even accounts in the book of Acts of men and women being born again of the Spirit and becoming believers in Yahshua the Messiah, who did not experience an outward manifestation. To list just a few, there were 5,000 saved in Jerusalem, recorded in Acts chapter 4, and there is no mention of any external signs and wonders occurring. There was Paul’s conversion, and baptism by Ananias in Damascus. We are told that Paul regained his sight, and something like scales fell from his eyes, but there is no mention of speaking in tongues, or prophesying, occurring in conjunction with Paul’s salvation experience. The same is true when Lydia came to faith in Christ.

Acts 16:13-15
And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled. And a certain woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us.

We are told only that “the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.” Was Lydia not a partaker of the Holy Spirit because she did not manifest outwardly the gift of tongues, or prophesy? Was not the presence of the Holy Spirit revealed in the generosity that immediately gripped her heart, and her offer of hospitality? There are many ways that the Spirit makes His presence known.

I would conclude this teaching by recommending to you a writing by Zac Poonen on the subject of the gift of tongues. I have found it to be a well balanced teaching, and believe it will be helpful to those who are seeking truth.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

Heart4God Website:    

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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Myth of an Inerrant Text

Biblical inerrancy means different things to different people. To some it means that the Scriptures as originally written by men inspired of the Holy Spirit were a perfect representation of the words of God. For some, though not all people, Biblical inerrancy also means that the Bible in its original form was perfect in all of its statements, whether they relate to history, science, medicine, or any other field of human study. I am among those who believe the Bible is inerrant in its original manuscripts, and I clearly believe that Yahweh, being the Creator of all things, has a far better understanding of history, science, and medicine than any human. I am confident that no original writing that He inspired men to write contained error.

More extreme views of the Bible inerrancy doctrine affirm that there are extant today specific versions of the Bible that are flawless, not having deviated through the years from the original autographs. Some people make similar claims of translations of the Bible that have been rendered into other languages. They insist that the Bible translators were divinely guided to a perfect and flawless expression of the thoughts and words of God as they labored to translate the Scriptures. One of the most recognized examples of this radical belief in an inerrant Bible is observed among those who assert, often with great prejudice and a very contentious spirit, that the King James Version is a perfect, and flawless English translation of the Scriptures. Many who hold to such a view demonize all other English Bible translations, and at times suggest that a person is not truly saved, nor in right standing before God, if they are using any Bible other than the KJV Bible.

I recently came across the account set forth by Samuel Martin on his blog where he writes of his uncle Virgil in the 1950s reproving Samuel’s father for speaking about recent scholarly developments relating to the Dead Sea Scrolls and Bible translations such as the Revised Standard Version. Virgil was a Nazarene preacher, honest as the day is long, and very sincere in his beliefs and loyal in his affiliations. He brought short the conversation by stating, “If the King James Version was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.”

This, of course, sounds much like the words attributed to Ma Ferguson of Texas who claimed that Jesus spoke the King’s English. Such comments are not at all uncommon. There exists a large group of conservative, fundamentalist Christians who have been raised in denominational churches that equate the King James Bible with the words of Christ and the apostles. Not all are ignorant of the fact that Christ and his apostles did not speak English, but a great many have no knowledge of the history and process of Bible translation.

A Sampling of English Bible Translations

Loyalty toward a particular Bible version for many is not unlike the attitude of sports fanatics who root for their favorite ball team, or individuals who believe the state or nation in which they were born and raised is superior to all others, simply because it is their state. These types of loyalties are frequently dissociated from fact and evidence. They represent emotional decisions, for their favored Bible version was the Bible their parents used, or the one their pastor, church, or denomination reads from.

As disciples of Christ, our loyalty should be to God and His kingdom, and our allegiance should be to truth wherever we may find it. Bible translations need to be judged upon their individual merits and shortcomings. It does no one any good to suspend a critical and unbiased examination of the evidence available to them. Yet, many turn a blind eye, and stop their ears, to any explanation of the merits and shortcomings of a beloved Bible translation. An Adamic sense of loyalty has closed their minds to consider that their translation may in fact have shortcomings and contain errors.

Christians may be surprised to learn that the type of bias manifested by zealous proponents of the KJV Only crowd is not a new phenomenon. Indeed, the history of manuscript and translation bias provides some examples that make the KJV Only proponents appear downright wishy washy. For centuries, the Roman Catholic Church dominated Europe and they forbid the Scriptures to be read in any language other than Latin, or in any translation other than Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. The penalty for violating this order was either excommunication, or, in darker times, death by drowning, burning at the stake, or some other form of torture that the inquisition could dream up. The Roman Catholic Church has given abundant evidence to the fact that religious people, even those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, when not subject to the leading of the Holy Spirit, are often some of the most prejudiced, hateful, and violent among all humanity.

The predilection for favoring a particular translation has frequently been due to a language, or cultural bias. At times, it has even been due to a prejudice against the Jews, as in the case of some who favored the Greek Septuagint translation over the Scriptures in the original Hebrew tongue. As far back as 2,000 years ago, there were religious men quarreling over Bible translations. When the Greek Septuagint gained popularity, some suggested that it was a far superior translation than the Hebrew Scriptures from which it was translated. There even developed myths that suggested that the 72 translators of the Septuagint were divinely aided in their work. One legend recorded in the Babylonian Talmud states that King Ptolemy of Egypt gathered the 72 Jewish scholars who created the Septuagint translation, placing each man in a separate room, and only then disclosed to them why they were summoned. Ptolemy is reported to have entered into each man’s chamber and said: "Write for me the Torah of Moshe, your teacher." The Talmud relates that every one of the 72 Jewish men wrote out an exact copy of the Torah in the Greek language, word for word in agreement with each other for Yahweh guided them to produce a perfect translation.

Septuagint Symbol

Such an account is not only incredible, it is a complete falsehood. Yet men resort to such vanities in order to magnify a preferred Bible translation, embellishing it with exaggerated claims of being perfect and without error. One can imagine many present day Christians entertaining similar fictions in their minds regarding the manner in which the King James Bible came into existence.

One of the reasons the Greek Septuagint had reached a place of ascendancy among Jews, and later among Messianic Christians, is that Greek was the most widely spoken language of the Roman Empire. Jews who emigrated outside of the land of Canaan frequently adopted the language of the land in which they were dwelling. The Hebrew language waned, with fewer people being able to speak or read the language. When Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, many disciples of Christ arose who had never had any familiarity with Hebrew. It was quite reasonable that they would prefer a Greek translation of the Scriptures.

When in the year 382 A.D. Pope Damasus I delivered to Jerome the task of creating an updated Latin Version of the Bible, Jerome at first began to translate his Latin Bible from existing Greek manuscripts. He later reconsidered this decision, determining that it was far better to translate the Old Testament from the original Hebrew. It is hard to dispute such logic, for it is far better to translate from an original source language than to translate from a translation, as long as reliable original language manuscripts exist and the translator understands the language. Jerome was immediately taken to task for his decision to translate from the Hebrew, rather than from the Greek Septuagint. One of his critics was none other than St. Augustine. Following is a discourse between the two men as they carried forth a correspondence on this topic.

I have received letters so long and eagerly desired from my dear Desiderius ... entreating me to put our friends in possession of a translation of the Pentateuch from Hebrew into Latin. The work is certainly hazardous and it is exposed to the attacks of my calumniators, who maintain that it is through contempt of the Seventy that I have set to work to forge a new version to take the place of the old. They thus test ability as they do wine; whereas I have again and again declared that I dutifully offer, in the Tabernacle of God what I can, and have pointed out that the great gifts which one man brings are not marred by the inferior gifts of another. But I was stimulated to undertake the task by the zeal of Origen, who blended with the old edition Theodotion’s translation and used throughout the work as distinguishing marks the asterisk and the obelus, that is the star and the spit, the first of which makes what had previously been defective to beam with light, while the other transfixes and slaughters all that was superfluous.

But I was encouraged above all by the authoritative publications of the Evangelists and Apostles, in which we read much taken from the Old Testament which is not found in our manuscripts. For example, ‘Out of Egypt have I called my Son’: ‘For he shall be called a Nazarene’: and ‘They shall look on him whom they pierced’: and ‘Rivers of living water shall flow out of his belly’ : and ‘Things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, which God hath prepared for them that love him’, and many other passages which lack their proper context. Let us ask our opponents then where these things are written, and when they are unable to tell, let us produce them from the Hebrew. The first passage is in Hosea, the second in Isaiah, the third in Zechariah, the fourth in Proverbs, the fifth also in Isaiah...

Are we condemning our predecessors? By no means; but following the zealous labors of those who have preceded us, we contribute such work as lies in our power in the name of the Lord. They translated before the Advent of Christ, and expressed in ambiguous terms that which they knew not. We after His Passion and Resurrection write not prophecy so much as history. For one style is suitable to what we hear, another to what we see. The better we understand a subject, the better we describe it. Hearken then, my rival: listen, my calumniator; I do not condemn, I do not censure the Seventy, but I am bold enough to prefer the Apostles to them all. It is the Apostle through whose mouth I hear the voice of Christ, and I read that in the classification of spiritual gifts they are placed before prophets, while interpreters occupy almost the lowest place. Why are you tormented with jealousy? Why do you inflame the minds of the ignorant against me? Wherever in translation I seem to you to go wrong, ask the Hebrews, consult their teachers in different towns. The words which exist in their Scriptures concerning Christ, your copies do not contain.
[Source: Jerome’s Apology, Book II, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol 3.]

For my part, I would much rather that you would furnish us with a translation of the Greek version of the canonical Scriptures known as the work of the Seventy translators. For if your translation begins to be more generally read in many churches, it will be a grievous thing that, in the reading of Scripture, differences must arise between the Latin Churches and the Greek Churches, especially seeing that the discrepancy is easily condemned in a Latin version by the production of the original in Greek, which is a language very widely known; whereas, if any one has been disturbed by the occurrence of something to which he was not accustomed in the translation taken from the Hebrew, and alleges that the new translation is wrong, it will be found difficult, if not impossible, to get at the Hebrew documents by which the version to which exception is taken may be defended. And when they are obtained, who will submit, to have so many Latin and Greek authorities: pronounced to be in the wrong? Besides all this, Jews, if consulted as to the meaning of the Hebrew text, may give a different opinion from yours: in which case it will seem as if your presence were indispensable, as being the only one who could refute their view; and it would be a miracle if one could be found capable of acting as arbiter between you and them.
[Source: Augustine of Hippo’s Letter LXXI, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Volume 1]

I will share a judgment on the correspondence that appears above. I believe that Jerome argues well from the perspective of one who is a lover of truth and who wants to produce an authentic and accurate translation of the Bible. Jerome is not concerned about the approval of men. He desires to be faithful to the testimony of the evangelists (those who wrote the Gospels) and the apostles. In many places the evangelists and apostles quoted Old Testament passages. Many of these Old Testament passages are not to be found in the Septuagint, or they are obscured by a poor translation, yet Jerome declared that they appeared in the Hebrew Scriptures that were extant at the time and present among all the Jews in their synagogues.

Saint Augustine - Catholic Theologian

On the other hand, Augustine is arguing from the perspective of one concerned with politics. He is concerned lest there be a division between Latin and Greek factions of the church. He argues that if the Latin Scriptures that Jerome is laboring to produce should deviate from the Greek Scriptures that “differences” will arise. Such an argument is unworthy of one who proclaims to be a follower of Christ. Truth, not politics, should be the guiding principle for the disciple of Christ. It matters not whether there be irreconcilable differences between the Septuagint and a new Bible translation, as long as the new translation is accurate to the original autographs of the prophets, and consistent with the inspired quotations of the Gospel writers and apostles.

Jerome mentions that he has been inspired by the zeal of Origen, one of the early church fathers and the creator of the Hexapla, the six translation Bible previously mentioned. Origen used a system of asterisks and obelisks to mark where the Greek translations deviated from the Hebrew. Origen marked with an obelisk and asterisk where words or sentences had been added or omitted in the Greek text. Some of the additions and omissions were deliberate, and done with evil intent. Jerome describes Theodotion, who produced one of the Greek translations, as “a man who, after the passion of Christ, was a Jew and a blasphemer.” That is to say, Theodotion denied that Yahshua was the Christ, the Son of God. Theodotion made deliberate alterations to the Greek Scriptures to obscure those passages in the Old Testament that would lend credence to the truth that Yahshua was indeed the Son of God and the Jew’s promised Messiah. These alterations had made their way into the Septuagint of Jerome and Augustine’s day. In a follow-up letter Jerome asks Augustine why, if he is so zealous for the Septuagint, does he not use the original version of that translation ascribed to the seventy, rather than the altered and corrupted versions that were common at the time.

Jerome ascribes the introduction of errors into the Septuagint to Origen who merged Theodotion’s version of the Greek Old Testament with the original Septuagint. Origen did, however, indicate where changes had been made to the Greek text. Where there was additional material added by Theodotion, he marked the content with an asterisk. Jerome then challenges Augustine to only accept those portions of the Septuagint where there are no asterisks, for then he would be true to the original Septuagint. He cautions Augustine, however, warning him that if he is faithful to the seventy that he will find himself at odds with all of the Bibles in use by the Christian churches of the day.

I am surprised that you do not read the books of the Seventy translators in the genuine form in which they were originally given to the world, but as they have been corrected, or rather corrupted, by Origen, with his obelisks and asterisks; and that you refuse to follow the translation, however feeble, which has been given by a Christian man, especially seeing that Origen borrowed the things which he has added from the edition of a man who, after the passion of Christ, was a Jew and a blasphemer. Do you wish to be a true admirer and partisan of the Seventy translators? Then do not read what you find under the asterisks; rather erase them from the volumes, that you may approve yourself indeed a follower of the ancients. If, however, you do this, you will be compelled to find fault with all the libraries of the Churches; for you will scarcely find more than one manuscript here and there which has not these interpolations.
[Source: Ibid]

This discourse between these two men reveals the disparity that existed in the Greek Bibles over 1,600 years ago, and the prejudice that existed among men such as Augustine who favored a specific translation. Augustine’s bias in favor of the Septuagint was not based upon the merits of the translation, for it had been corrupted, and many variants existed. I believe Jerome’s attitude is the proper one. He favored examining all the existing manuscripts, whether Hebrew, or Greek, while laboring to arrive as closely as possible to the original words of the prophets. Ironically, in time, the Roman Catholic Church would manifest the same bias in favor of Jerome’s Latin translation as Augustine had demonstrated for the Greek Septuagint.

In the 16th century we see a similar manifestation of translation bias for a specific Bible as some began to inordinately venerate Erasmus’ Latin/Greek Bible which came to be known as the Textus Receptus. Erasmus never boasted of having created a flawless Bible translation. As so often happens, the error of claimed inerrancy originates with others who come afterwards. In this case, the claim of an inerrant text was motivated by the basest of motives, the love of money.

The sobriquet Textus Receptus was attached to Erasmus’ Greek New Testament by a publisher to boost sales. Erasmus’ title for his Greek and Latin New Testament was Novum Instrumentum omne, diligenter ab Erasmo Rot. Recognitum et Emendatum which roughly translates into English as “The New Testament, Diligently Revised and Improved.”

It wasn’t until 1633, a century after Erasmus first published his Bible translation, and long after he had died, that the phrase Textus Receptus was used to describe this often altered Greek New Testament. The Elzevir publishers of the Dutch city of Leiden included a preface to the book which read, “Textum ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptum: in quo nihil immutatum aut corruptum damus,” which translates into English as, "so you hold the text, now received by all, in which (is) nothing corrupt." Leave it to merchants to create a controversy that continues to this day. In a self-serving attempt to magnify the book they were offering for sale, the Elzevir publishers claimed that this Greek translation was inerrant, and that it was received by all.

It is misguided to claim that any Greek or English translation existent today is inerrant. Erasmus did not claim his Greek New Testament to be inerrant. Rather, he continued to make corrections to it throughout his life. Neither did the translators of the King James Bible profess that they had produced a flawless English Bible version. The KJV translators included a preface to the Bible that was titled “The Translators to the Reader.”

Truly (good Christian Reader) we never thought from the beginning, that we should need to make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one,... but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principal good one, not justly to be excepted against; that hath been our endeavor, that our mark.

The entire preface can be found at the following link:

Consider the language used by the translators. They said their aim was to make a “better” translation of the Scriptures. They did not say a “flawless,” nor an “inerrant” translation, for perfection was beyond their grasp. They stated that they sought to produce a “good” Bible translation. Once again, the language employed falls short of the grandiose claims of many today who would, out of irrational bias, declare that in the KJV Bible is found a perfect and inerrant translation of the Word of God.

It is unreasoning and baseless to claim that either the Textus Receptus or the KJV Bible are inerrant. Not only did Erasmus publish five different versions of his Latin/Greek Scriptures, but other men altered them further. Robert Estienne, known as Stephanus, produced five different versions of Erasmus’ Greek New Testament, making further changes to the text with each edition. Theodore Beza in turn took the third edition of Stephanus’ text, editing it nine times between the years 1565 and 1604.

We find that a similar experience befell the King James Bible. The 1611 edition of the KJV Bible, the very first one to be published, is very different than the KJV Bible sold today. There have been numerous revisions to the KJV Bible. The version sold today is widely identified as the 1769 Baskerville Birmingham revision. This Bible, was originally printed in Birmingham, England by renowned printer John Baskerville. The Baskerville revision of the KJV Bible modernized the language. The 1611 Bible used spellings such as "Hierusalem,"' "Marie," "assone," "foorth," "shalbe," "fet," "creeple," "fift," "sixt," "ioy," "middes," and "charet," which you will no longer find in a KJV Bible, though they still are advertised as “1611 King James Bibles.” Baskerville followed the revisions of F.S. Paris and H. Therold who produced an updated language version of the KJV in 1762. The Baskerville Birmingham Bible also introduced some other changes of wording.

Font Developed By, and Named After, John Baskerville

It is well to comment somewhat on John Baskerville, the printer. Although a near genius at originating innovations in printing that led to vastly improved print quality, the man was all his life a professed atheist. In his later years he lived openly with the wife of another man (her husband had reportedly abandoned her), though they never married. Baskerville was a member of the Lunar Society, a philosophical society attended by other “enlightenment” thinkers such as Erasmus Darwin, and Benjamin Franklin. He was very outspoken against those he considered to be religious bigots. That he would print a very successful revision of the King James Bible that has become the standard text for KJV Bibles today is not inexplicable, for the Bible has always been a best seller. He was, after all, a merchant seeking to turn a profit.

Although Baskerville was an atheist, and no friend of Christians, this does not necessarily mean that the KJV Bible is a wretched work (though it certainly contains errors and shortcomings). It does, however, destroy the argument that would suggest that the KJV Bible we have today was produced by a divine act of God as he moved upon Christian men resulting in an inerrant text of the Scriptures in the English language.

More will be shared on the subject of errors in the Biblical text in the next chapter. My point in this post, is that claims of inerrant Bible translations are not a new phenomenon. Manuscript and translation bias has existed at least as far back as the time of the early church when Jewish myths about the translators of the Septuagint were passed around to bolster the reputation of this Greek Bible. The same type of bias was demonstrated by the Roman Catholic Church who favored Jerome’s Latin translation of the Bible, and by Protestants in Europe from the 16th century forward who placed an inordinate veneration upon Erasmus’ Textus Receptus. Today we find that there are many Christians committing the same egregious error by suggesting that the KJV Bible is inerrant, or superior, to all other English language Bibles. The saying of Solomon is true:

Ecclesiastes 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.

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Friday, March 26, 2021

The Mazzaroth

Joseph Herrin

In order to interpret a heavenly sign, each element must be understood according to its divine meaning. From ancient times the stars and planets have been named, and the heavens divided into an orderly arrangement following the path of the sun in the heavens (the ecliptic). This 360 degree ecliptic is divided into twelve segments corresponding to the signs of the Zodiac, which in the ancient Hebrew was called the Mazzaroth.

Each of these 30 degree segments contains a major constellation and three lesser constellations called decans, a term denoting the ten degrees in which the minor constellation is found. There are therefore 48 constellations in the ancient Mazzaroth, or Zodiac, and twelve major constellations. Discoveries from ancient civilizations has revealed an amazing consistency in the names and images attributed to these ancient constellations, as well as in the names and meanings of the planets.

God established this heavenly testimony to declare His great work of redemption among mankind. The first of the constellations is Virgo, depicting a virgin giving birth. The last constellation is Leo, which symbolizes the Lion of the tribe of Judah who comes back to rule the earth. The ancient Egyptians entire religious system was based upon a corruption of these heavenly signs, for Satan is ever active to sow deception among those witnesses God has established.

For many long years the Sphinx in Egypt remained a great mystery until it was viewed in the light of the Egyptian religious system, which is based upon the stars and their constellations.

The Sphinx has the head of a woman and the body of a lion. Many wondered at the enigma presented in this figure, but it was finally unraveled. The Sphinx is a depiction of “the Way” in the heavens, a reference to the constellations and their messages as one follows the journey of the Sun on its course. The Sphinx begins with the head of a woman, an obvious reference to the first constellation Virgo, and it ends with the body of a lion, picturing the end of the Sun’s course as it concludes its journey in the constellation Leo.

Image from the Temple of Esneh

A great clue to unraveling the mystery of the Sphinx was found in the Temple of Esneh in Egypt where an ancient sky painting is found on the ceiling of the portico. This ancient representation of the heavenly constellations is known as the Denderic Zodiac, and it is estimated that it is 4,000 years old, which would place it close to the time in which Abraham lived. Between the figures of the Lion and the Virgin is a small symbol of the Sphinx, representing the joining of the two characters.

Sphinx of Naxos - Circa 560 B.C.

Although Satan has brought confusion and deception to man’s understanding of the message in the heavens, the original meanings are yet discernible. There are a number of excellent books available on the topic. One of the earliest books from recent times was written by Miss Frances Rolleston. Miss Rolleston was a very astute, well educated English woman who devoted her latter years to the study and compilation of ancient historical references to the Mazzaroth, or Zodiac. In her 80's she published her magnum opus, which she titled Mazzaroth: or the Constellations. This book was first printed in the 1800s and has served as a main source for a number of authors who have taken the compilations of information provided therein and arranged it into a form more suitable for general consumption.

Among these latter books are The Gospel in the Stars by Joseph Seiss, written in the latter half of the 1800s. Not many years later E.W. Bullinger wrote The Witness of the Stars, of which I have a reprint of the 1893 edition. All three of these books can be read online, and they can also be ordered in printed copy from booksellers. I have one further book on this topic titled The Heavens Declare..., written by William D. Banks in 1985.

From ancient times the origin of the grouping and naming of the planets and stars has been attributed to Seth, the son of Adam, and also Enoch is mentioned as one who had great understanding of the starry heavens and their message. The oldest book of the Bible, and the only Old Testament book not written with a specifically Hebrew audience in mind, is the book of Job. This book makes numerous references to the constellations, and reveals that the ancients had knowledge of the constellations and the divine message they contained. This message is attributed to God, who is the One who set the stars in their places, and leads them forth through their circuits.

Job 38:31-33
Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?

The Pleiades are a major star grouping in the constellation known today as Taurus the Bull. Orion is the most brilliant of the constellations, being a decan in the constellation grouping of Taurus. Mazzaroth is a reference to the entire body of heavenly constellations. Arcturus is the name of a major star in the constellation known today as Bootes. Bullinger suggests that this constellation was probably known by the name Arcturus in ancient times. Arcturus is found in the segment of the heavens known by the major constellation Virgo.

As the author of the book of Job attributes the above words to God as He is speaking to Job, it is evident that the stars were arranged into constellations according to the will of God, and the knowledge of their testimony was passed on to man by God. There are many other passages of Scripture that speak of the heavens and their significance.

Job 9:7-9
He commands the sun, and it does not rise; He seals off the stars; He alone spreads out the heavens, and treads on the waves of the sea; He made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the chambers of the south...

Isaiah 40:22-26
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth (the Mazzaroth)..., lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing.

Isaiah testifies that it is Yahweh that has given all the stars names. We can conclude that He has done so that He might make known to man His divine plan as it unfolds. In the first chapter of the Bible we are told that God has put the stars in the heavens “for signs and for seasons.” They are intended to make known times and events, and this is witnessed by the sign in the heavens that the Magi discerned to be a testimony that the King of the Jews had been born when the Son of God was born of a virgin.

Matthew 2:1-2
Now after Yahshua was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,  saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."

The Mazzaroth is a great testimony set in the heavens by Yahweh.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Luciferian Foundation of America

Joseph Herrin

I know the title of this writing will upset many, but the illusion of America being a Christian nation needs to be cast down in this hour that a righteous remnant might come forth in devotion to Christ who purchased them from OUT OF every tribe and tongue and nation. There are at present Christians in the earth, and there are nations, but there are NO CHRISTIAN NATIONS.

I challenge any who have embraced the deceit of America being a Christian nation to read this writing. I have let the founding fathers speak for themselves. I am sure you will be appalled at what you will hear coming from these men, for the public school system of my generation taught a very different history than that which is actually true, and the church has propagated the lie.

This writing was written a year ago and sent out to my mailing list, but I believe it is time to post it publicly for the hour is very late. PLEASE READ IT!

The Luciferian Foundation of America

It is widely believed by those who profess to be Christians in America that this nation was founded upon Christian principles, by Christian men. Numerous books have been written in support of such a conclusion.

I am sure that contributing to this conclusion are a number of conspicuous references to God that appear to be of great antiquity, and which one supposes are testimony of the founding father’s devotion to the God of the Bible. For instance, The Pledge of Allegiance which most adults learned while in elementary school contains the phrase “one nation, under God.” The Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy in 1892, more than a century after the Declaration of Independence was signed, and in its original version it did not include the words “under God.” These words were added to the Pledge of Allegiance as recently as 1954, and therefore were unknown to the founding fathers of America.

Another instance cited is the occurrence of the words “In God We Trust,” which is found on America’s paper money. Yet this too is a much later development, occurring after the Civil War. As one looks at the other symbols that adorn America’s money, including the pyramid and all seeing eye, both of which are symbols shared by Freemasonry, the Illuminati and other organizations that make no pretense of honoring Jesus Christ, one must also question what god is being referenced in this statement. There are myriads of gods worshiped in the world, and the symbol of the pyramid and the all seeing eye are related to a number of them, but have no established link in the writings of Holy Scripture to Yahweh or His Son Yahshua.

By far the greatest support for the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation is derived from quotations of the men who are now regarded as the founding fathers of America. It is true that there were Christian men present in the nation during its founding years, and some joined with the men who were leading the charge for separation from England and the establishment of a new nation. As in all ages, some who claimed to be Christians were not Christians at all. For a Christian is much more than one who confesses belief in Jesus Christ, Yahshua the Messiah. The man who would be a disciple of Christ is warned by Yahshua Himself that it will cost him everything to be a disciple, and that no man can serve two masters. The Christian must sever all allegiance to the world, even hating father and mother and son and daughter and spouse, yes and even his own life if he would be a disciple of Christ (Luke 14:26, Matthew 10:37-39).

Few of those who pretend to Christianity in any age can be described as disciples of Christ. The majority are like the multitudes who used to follow Christ as they observed His miracles, but who fell away when He revealed to them the true cost of following Him, or who became offended by some saying that He declared to them. The Scripture is true that “many are called, but few are chosen.” One should not conclude then that because there were men involved in the rebellion against the king and the founding of America who claimed to be Christian, that they acted under the guidance of God. John Adams, the first Vice President of the nation and the Second President knew as well as any man what it was that guided the men who penned the formative documents of the nation, and who worked for establishment of an independent government.

In his, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" [1787-1788], John Adams, America’s first Vice President and second President wrote:

“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”

There was no man among the founding fathers who was more involved in the foundation of the nation of America than John Adams. Although Jefferson penned The Declaration of Independence, it was largely the influence of John Adams that saw its adoption. Jefferson referred to Adams as “The Colossus of that Congress—the great pillar of support to the Declaration of Independence, and its ablest advocate and champion on the floor of the House.” It was this Adams, who was immersed in the deepest plans for the creation of a new nation that testified that those men involved neither had interviews with the gods, nor were they “in any degree” under the influence of heaven. He testifies that the new nation was “erected upon the simple principles of nature.” This statement reveals Adams influence by the philosophical writings that came out of The Enlightenment.

Yet some Christians have been told that John Adams was a Christian and they have received the argument that all he did in working to found this new nation arose out of Christian beliefs. The truth, according to Adams’ own testimony, clearly denies such a conclusion. There are even those who have testified that Thomas Jefferson was a Christian. One quote should suffice in this regard.

Even THOMAS JEFFERSON, called a deist by many, called himself a Christian. He stated that his views were, "the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from the anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed, but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus Himself. I am a Christian in the only true sense in which He wished anyone to be, sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others..."

Notice several important things about Mr. Jefferson's statement. First, that it stands in contrast to what some today claim of him. Second, during those days in which this country was founded, Jefferson saw nothing negative attached to being considered a Christian, unlike some of today's politicians and teachers. Third, he not only saw no negative stigma to Christianity, but he himself wanted to be included with those who wore that label.
[Source: website -]

The above statements concerning Thomas Jefferson are evidence of the greatest naivete and deception. A man is not a Christian just by simple declaration. What is hidden behind this quotation of Thomas Jefferson is the fact that he redefined for himself what it meant to be a Christian. In Jefferson’s own writings to others on the topic of his beliefs he revealed that he rejected the divinity of Christ, he believed the virgin birth was a fable in league with Greek and Roman mythology, he rejected all the miracles of Christ, and he did not accept the resurrection of Christ from the dead. He called himself a Christian merely because he found the moral teachings of Christ to be the product of “an exceptional man.”

Some Christians are working so hard to defend the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation that they will grasp at every straw of evidence to support their argument. The apostle Paul has charged the saints with the following admonition:

Ephesians 5:6
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

When Thomas Jefferson says he is a Christian he is speaking empty words. Paul says “let no one deceive you.” Yet many want to be deceived. Many saints are emotionally attached to the idea that America must be a Christian nation. The truth is available to those who will perform due diligence in their study of this matter. The Christian must allow the facts to speak for themselves, without prejudice. The word prejudice means to pre-judge a matter. When we pre-judge a matter, then all the facts in the world that support a different conclusion are rejected out of hand.

Let us look at some evidence of the true foundations upon which America was formed. A reference to a Creator is found in The Declaration of Independence, penned by Thomas Jefferson in the year 1776.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights...

Many have cited this sentence as being evidence that America was founded by Christian men, yet Thomas Jefferson’s own testimony of his beliefs reveals that he was not a Christian, but rather a deist. As the word “Creator” does not identify the name of the god believed to be the creator, one would be wrong to assume that either the writer, or the signers of this foundational piece of American literature, were referencing the God of the Bible who has revealed His name to be Yahweh, and that of His Son to be Yahshua.

Thomas Jefferson’s beliefs are easily discovered by those who wish to look into them. Jefferson believed that Jesus was a great teacher, and that his moral and ethical teachings were the best the world has ever seen. Yet Jefferson did not believe Jesus Christ, Yahshua the Messiah to be the Son of God, or to be divine. Jefferson did not believe in miracles or the supernatural. Jefferson compiled his own version of the four gospels where he removed everything that was miraculous and left only the teachings of Christ and a few historical sections relating to his birth, crucifixion and death. “The Jefferson Bible,” as it is called, can be found on the Internet by doing a search on its name.

The following statements of Jefferson reveal his opinion of the Bible and of the person of Jesus Christ, Yahshua the Messiah.

Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.
[Source: Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, April 13, 1820]

In a letter to John Adams, another founding father of America, Jefferson wrote the following, further revealing his justification for creating his own version of the gospels of Christ.

The whole history of these books (the Gospels) is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man (Jesus Christ); and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.
[Source: Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814, (parenthesis added)]

It is observable from this statement that Jefferson did not believe Jesus to be anything other than an “extraordinary man.” What Jefferson referred to as the work of inferior minds includes the virgin birth of Christ, as well as all of Christ’s miracles of healing, casting out demons, and His bodily resurrection. In another letter he penned the following comment:

And the day will come when the mystical generation (birth) of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.
[Source: Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823]

The Bible testifies the following:

I John 4:1-3
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

What does the apostle John mean when he states that “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh?” We can look at John’s own writings to answer this question.

John 8:42
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.”

I John 4:15
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

I John 5:5
Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Since Jefferson denied that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, the Scriptures testify that God was not Thomas Jefferson’s Father. The apostle John says that those who testify lies concerning the Christ, denying His deity, denying that Jesus was God come in the flesh, are not from God, but are manifesting the spirit of antichrist.

Many Christians have been too easily fooled by mere appearances. They have not “examined all things carefully” as the apostle Paul admonished them to do. Nor have they been “as wise as serpents, but harmless as doves” as Christ commanded His followers to be in this world. Some look at the inscription on the Jefferson Memorial in Washington and are beguiled into thinking that Jefferson was a defender of the faith of Christianity. On his memorial is the following quotation:

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

There are very few Christians who have done their homework in order to understand the context of this Jefferson quotation. Thomas Jefferson penned these words while he was running for election to the Presidency of the United States. There were numerous ministers from the area of Philadelphia who were aware of Jefferson’s antichrist spirit. They understood that Jefferson was a deist who believed in a god of nature that could not be known on a personal level. Jefferson viewed all teaching of a personal God who is active in the affairs of men as so much rubbish. He discounted the divine inspiration of the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments, and a number of ministers from Philadelphia put out pamphlets warning the people about Jefferson’s beliefs.

In a letter written to Benjamin Rush in 1800 Thomas Jefferson commented on the opposition of these Christian ministers. He wrote:

"The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes, & they (the clergy) believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: & enough too in their opinion, & this is the cause of their printing lying pamphlets against me..."
(Parentheses added)

What many Christians have mistakenly taken as a proof of Jefferson’s belief in the God of the Bible, is actually an extract from statements he wrote in defense of the church’s reproof of his lack of belief in the deity of Christ.

Since Jefferson played so large a part in the foundation of America, and the writing of her most influential documents, one must ask what truly shaped his thoughts. Jefferson studied the philosophers of what has come to be known as “The Enlightenment.” These philosophers believed that reason was the highest principle upon which to base all science and politics. These same philosophers discounted revelation, such as that identified as Holy Scripture, and they denied the miraculous, clinging only to those things that the rational mind could conceive. Jefferson’s thoughts are revealed in the following quotation:

“Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.”
[Source: Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787]

In evaluating this statement by Jefferson one must remember that he had read the Scriptures and was familiar with their testimony. Yet Jefferson rejected the God of the Bible, and clung to a notion of some unknowable deity that created the Universe and established it upon certain laws. In seeking to understand these natural laws, Jefferson thought that not only could science be advanced to a much higher degree, but that one could establish a more perfect government than the world had known before.

This was the teaching of The Enlightenment. Adherents of this philosophy believed that as one correctly identified the laws of the Creator, whoever that might be, they would be able to establish laws, and grant rights, in accordance with these laws of nature. The result would be a new world order that would free mankind from all superstition and enable these enlightened thinkers to bring forth an utopian society. All this hope was based upon an elevated regard for reason. In contrast, the apostle Paul testifies:

I Corinthians 2:4-14
My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom (human reason), but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom (human reasoning) of men, but on the power of God... Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 

Colossians 2:8
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 

Thomas Jefferson viewed himself as a man of intellect and reason, and much of the world regards him in this way. Yet the testimony of God is that he was a natural man without spiritual perception to whom the words of God appeared as foolishness. Jefferson, and those other founding fathers of America who were in agreement with him, obtained the principles upon which this nation was founded from the teachings of worldly philosophers who were without spiritual understanding. One such Philosopher was John Locke, a man through whose teachings Jefferson acknowledged being influenced.

To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But heresy it certainly is.
[Source: Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, Aug. 15, 1820]

It was Locke who also first penned a phrase that was later modified and made famous by Jefferson. John Locke discussed natural rights in his work, and identified them as being "life, liberty, and estate (or property)." Jefferson modified this statement and made it famous.

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.

We can see, then that rather than being influenced by the Bible, or by the teachings of Christianity, the author of The Declaration was influenced by the philosophers of The Enlightenment. The philosophers of The Enlightenment were renowned for their challenges to faith in the God of the Bible. Many were deists like Jefferson, believing only in an unknowable god of nature who was not involved in the personal lives of men. It is apparent from Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence that it was this deity that he referred to whenever he spoke of God. The opening words of this document are as follows:

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 of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

What then is the source of this enlightenment that leads away from a knowledge of the One True God. It is Satan, for he is the one who deceives the whole world, and in whose power the world lies. Contrary to the notion that America’s founding father’s were inspired by their Christian faith to create a Christian nation, they actually were inspired by Lucifer (whose name means light bearer), and of whom the apostle Paul testified:

II Corinthians 11:14-15
For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. The word angel in the Greek is the same word as “messenger.” The word light serves as a symbol for truth. Satan disguises himself as a messenger of truth. So too do his servants. We can look at the fruit of the teachings of the philosophers of The Enlightenment and easily see that it has led many to unbelief and a denial of the deity and supernatural character of the life of Christ. This is the work of Satan. Yet we can see even more of Satan’s influence as we look at the attitude, or spirit, manifested in the Declaration of Independence.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation...:

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions...

A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

How many Christians have sought to know the mind of God regarding this document and the charges found in it? The vast majority have simply accepted that which was communicated to them through the public schools of this nation, and through the history books that are written to make glorious the actions of the founding fathers in establishing what is touted to be the greatest nation on earth. But what does the Spirit testify in regard to the actions and writings of the founding fathers.

Under whose influence were they? Let us gain understanding as we look at this document called The Declaration of Independence. The apostle Paul gave the following instruction to all Christians.

Romans 13:1-7
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

The seeds of the American Revolution were first observed in the Stamp Tax Rebellion. Many Americans have heard the story of what has become known as “The Boston Tea Party” where American revolutionaries opposed to the taxation of the King of England disguised themselves as Indians and dumped barrels of tea into Boston Harbor. Was this a Christian act? Very plainly, from the apostle’s words above, it was not. Christians are exhorted, not only because of the wrath of the king, but in order to maintain a good conscience, to pay the taxes levied against them and to not resist the established authorities.

The apostle Paul probably penned these words when Nero was Caesar of Rome. It is doubtful that King George III of England was more of a tyrant than Nero. Yet Paul’s inspired writing to the church in Corinth informs them that “every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”

The principle is the same throughout the Bible. God is the One who establishes authorities, and it is God who will remove the same. God never honors rebellion. We see this example clearly in the life of David as he suffered under the evil behavior of King Saul. God tested David twice, letting Saul fall into his hands, and both times David’s men advised David to strike King Saul so that his troubles might be over. Yet David’s response was a testimony of faith in God’s ability to remove an evil ruler when He deems the time to be right.

I Samuel 26:9-11
But David said..., "Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against Yahweh’s anointed and be without guilt?" David also said, "As Yahweh lives, surely Yahweh will strike him, or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down into battle and perish. Yahweh forbid that I should stretch out my hand against Yahweh’s anointed.”

David understood the principle that all authority is established by God. He expressed faith in Yahweh that He would reprove the wrong authority, and he understood the necessity of manifesting restraint and patience in order that he might not bring guilt upon himself. Yahweh has proven that He will reprove wrong authority.

I Chronicles 16:19-21
When they (God’s chosen people) were only a few in number, very few, and strangers in it, and they wandered about from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people, He permitted no man to oppress them, and He reproved kings for their sakes...

God will vindicate Himself. He will raise up a man as a ruler, and He will abase those who act wickedly. The histories of the nations recorded in Scripture reveal that God judges both the rulers of His own people and the rulers of the nations. Those who are children of God are never to enter into rebellion. They are to manifest a different spirit.

I Peter 2:13-23
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God... Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps..., and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.

Jefferson’s actions, and those of the founding fathers of America, were in direct contradiction to the instruction of Scripture. Rather than honoring the authority established by God, rather than looking to God to deal with an unreasonable or unjust ruler, they entered into rebellion. This rebellion was justified in the words found in the document announcing the rebellion. Over and over the words “He has” were hurled as an accusation in order to justify rebellion against the king. In this we see an echo of Satan’s original sin of rebellion against God.

Isaiah 14:12-14
How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart,
'I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and
I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.'

As we look at these two declarations side by side, we observe the two sides of rebellion. Eighteen times Thomas Jefferson wrote the charge “He has,” this being 6+6+6. Five times we find Satan declaring what he will do in defiance of the will of God. For every overt act of rebellion there is a corresponding justification. He has..., so I will.

It is little reported today that there was a great division among the citizens of the thirteen original colonies of America regarding the act of entering into rebellion against the king. At no time during the American Revolutionary War did those in favor of the war reach or exceed fifty percent of the population. It is estimated that 15 - 20 percent of the population declared themselves as loyalists to the King. Approximately 40 percent of the population of the original thirteen colonies declared themselves to be neutral. Only 40-45 percent were ever in favor of rebellion. (Source: - Article on “Loyalists, American Revolution”)

The Christian who seeks to understand the mind of God regarding the American Revolution would be helped in looking at the definition of the word “revolution.” Revolution is defined as “an act of rebellion.” Those who opposed the king during the revolution were called, among other things, “Rebels.” God’s word has the following to say about rebellion:

I Samuel 15:23
For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.

As mentioned earlier, David was severely harassed by King Saul. Saul acted very wickedly in his actions, and God brought judgment upon him because of it. Yet David’s own testimony to this wicked king was that he never entered into rebellion against him.

I Samuel 24:11-12
Now, my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and perceive that there is no evil or rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it. May Yahweh judge between you and me, and may Yahweh avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you.

David is highly praised by God in Scriptures. He is called “a man after My own heart who will do all My will.” It is not the will of God that men should act rebelliously against the governing authorities. There are occasions when a Christian must choose to obey God rather than man, but even in this there is to be no hint of rebellion manifested in their attitude. But as we have read in the words of John Adams, the separation from England and the establishment of a new nation was not the result of men obeying some directive from God. It was the result of men being guided by their natural reason.

Many other evidences could be given that America was not founded upon Christian principles. These further proofs are provided.

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.
[Source: Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom]

I once believed that America was founded as a Christian nation, and that references to freedom of religion were references to freedom to practice whatever form of Christian belief one desired. This is what I was taught growing up. Yet the documents of the founding fathers reveal that they were not merely guaranteeing freedom for Christians to worship as they believed, but they were establishing a nation whereby all religions would be equally tolerated. In essence, they were creating a new Babylon.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State.
[Source: Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802]

That the government intended such a statement to apply to all religions is observed in the establishment of a treaty with Tripoli during the very early years of the nation when the founding fathers were alive, many of which participated in the passage of the treaty. The following quote is taken from an Internet website.

An insight from at a little known but legal document written in the late 1700s explicitly reveals the secular nature of the United States to a foreign nation. Officially called the "Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary," most refer to it as simply the Treaty of Tripoli. In Article 11, it states:

Joel Barlow, U.S. Consul General of Algiers
Copyright National Portait Gallery Smithsonian Institution/Art Resource NY "As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." 

The preliminary treaty began with a signing on 4 November, 1796 (the end of George Washington's last term as president). Joel Barlow, the American diplomat served as counsel to Algiers and held responsibility for the treaty negotiations. Barlow had once served under Washington as a chaplain in the revolutionary army. He became good friends with Paine, Jefferson, and read Enlightenment literature. Later he abandoned Christian orthodoxy for rationalism and became an advocate of secular government. Barlow, along with his associate, Captain Richard O'Brien, et al, translated and modified the Arabic version of the treaty into English. From this came the added Amendment 11. Barlow forwarded the treaty to U.S. legislators for approval in 1797. Timothy Pickering, the secretary of state, endorsed it and John Adams concurred (now during his presidency), sending the document on to the Senate. The Senate approved the treaty on June 7, 1797, and officially ratified by the Senate with John Adams signature on 10 June, 1797. All during this multi-review process, the wording of Article 11 never raised the slightest concern. The treaty even became public through its publication in The Philadelphia Gazette on 17 June 1797. 

I am sure it will come as a shock to many Christians to learn that the nation of America was never founded as a Christian nation, despite the many assurances of Christian authors and preachers who have declared otherwise. Yet Christianity has always thrived in nations that were not Christian. Christianity was birthed under the government of the Roman Empire, and for many years the leaders of the Empire were hostile to the teachings of Christ. In such an environment Christianity spread and prospered.

It should be no source of alarm to learn that America was not founded as a Christian nation, or to even learn that there were among her most influential leaders those who were antagonistic to Christian belief. Such attitudes are observed in the following statements.

I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians.
[Source: Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 (Richard Price had written to TJ on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion and wrote “Would not Society be better without Such religions?”)

It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [the book of Revelation], and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.
[Source: Thomas Jefferson, letter to General Alexander Smyth, Jan. 17, 1825]

Although numerous men among the founding fathers spoke of the existence of God, their beliefs were not defined by the orthodox Christian belief. Some, like Jefferson, even made a pretense of being Christian in their thought, but like various cults that exist today that claim to be Christian, one must examine carefully what the adherents truly believe. As has been mentioned, there were numerous men among the founding fathers who were deists and others who were Unitarians. What is a deist? I will provide a quotation that answers the question.

Perhaps the first use of the term Deist is in Pierre Viret's Instruction Chrestienne (1564), reprinted in Bayle's Dictionnaire entry Viret. Viret, a Calvinist, regarded Deism as a new form of Italian heresy. Viret wrote:

There are many who confess that while they believe like the Turks and the Jews that there is some sort of God and some sort of deity, yet with regard to Jesus Christ and to all that to which the doctrine of the Evangelists and the Apostles testify, they take all that to be fables and dreams.... I have heard that there are of this band those who call themselves Deists, an entirely new word, which they want to oppose to Atheist. For in that atheist signifies a person who is without God, they want to make it understood that they are not at all without God, since they certainly believe there is some sort of God, whom they even recognize as creator of heaven and earth, as do the Turks; but as for Jesus Christ, they only know that he is and hold nothing concerning him nor his doctrine.
[Source: - Article on Deism]

What is an Unitarian?

Adhering to strict monotheism, they maintain that Jesus was a great man and a prophet of God, perhaps even a supernatural being, but not God himself. Unitarians believe in the moral authority, but not necessarily the divinity, of Jesus...

Unitarians sum up their faith as "the religion of Jesus, not a religion about Jesus." Historically, they have encouraged non-dogmatic views of God, Jesus, the world and purpose of life as revealed through reason, scholarship, science, philosophy, scripture and other prophets and religions. They believe that reason and belief are complementary and that religion and science can co-exist and guide them in their understanding of nature and God. They also do not enforce belief in creeds or dogmatic formulas. Although there is flexibility in the nuances of belief or basic truths for the individual Unitarian Christian, general principles of faith have been recognized as a way to bind the group in some commonality. Adherents generally accept religious pluralism and find value in all teachings, but remain committed to their core belief in Christ's teachings. Liberal Unitarians value a secular society in which government stays out of religious affairs.
[Source: - Article, Unitarianism]

The teachings of Deism and Unitarianism share many commonalities. It is sometimes hard to distinguish one from another. Thomas Jefferson did make comments favorable to Unitarianism in his life, although he was never a member of a Unitarian church (there were none in Virginia at the time.) Jefferson wrote, “I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian.” Much can therefore be gained about the current beliefs of Unitarianism as one examines the statements of Thomas Jefferson. There is a denial of the divinity of Christ. There is a denial of the divine inspiration of the Bible, etc..

Benjamin Franklin was another man who was intimately involved in the formation of America as a nation. His views on Jesus Christ are expressed in his following words.

As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion...has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his Divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the Truth with less trouble." He died a month later, and historians consider him, like so many great Americans of his time, to be a Deist, not a Christian. 
[Source: Benjamin Franklin, “A Biography in his Own Words”]

George Washington is another man of great influence among the founding fathers. The following is an extract from the Internet website

In his thousands of letters, the name of Jesus Christ never appears. He rarely spoke about his religion, but his Freemasonry experience points to a belief in deism. Washington's initiation occurred at the Fredericksburg Lodge on 4 November 1752, later becoming a Master mason in 1799, and remained a freemason until he died. 

To the United Baptist Churches in Virginia in May, 1789, Washington said that every man "ought to be protected in worshiping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience." 

After Washington's death, Dr. Abercrombie, a friend of his, replied to a Dr. Wilson, who had interrogated him about Washington's religion replied, "Sir, Washington was a Deist."
Among those who provide evidences that America was established as a Christian nation, the example of Samuel Chase is often cited. Chase was an Episcopal minister who later became a Supreme Court Justice. That Chase considered himself a Christian and orthodox in his beliefs is not contested here. He is considered one of the founding fathers of the United States of America and his signature is found on The Declaration of Independence.

What is contested is whether he was being led by the Spirit of Christ in his activities. It seems strange that a man who answered the call to preach the gospel would later lay aside this call to enter into the realm of worldly politics. There are many professing Christians who know nothing of being led of the Spirit of Christ into all of their activities. Many are self-directed, and on the day that they stand before the Lord and they testify of all the things they did for Him, Jesus will reply, “Depart from Me you workers of lawlessness. I never knew you.”

That a professing Christian and a minister would join himself to men who manifested the spirit of antichrist is great error. That this same man would embrace rebellion to the king in disobedience to the instructions of the Holy Spirit in Scripture is a further error. Yet Samuel Chase did even more reprehensible things. We read the following regarding his participation in the American Revolution.

[Samuel Chase] continued a member of Congress until in 1778, and was almost constantly employed in the duties of most important committees. Some of these were of a delicate and trying nature, yet he never allowed his sensibility to control his judgment, or shake his firmness of purpose...
He was chairman of a committee appointed by Congress to act in relation to those Americans who gave "aid and comfort to the enemy;" and it was his painful duty to recommend the arrest and imprisonment of various persons of this class, among whom were several wealthy Quakers of Philadelphia. An instance of his fearlessness in the performance of his duty, may be properly mentioned here. During the summer of 1776, Reverend Doctor Zubly was a delegate in Congress from Georgia. By some means Mr. Chase discovered that he was in secret correspondence with the royal governor of Georgia. He immediately rose in his place and denounced Doctor Zubly as a traitor, before all the members of the House. Zubly fled, and was pursued, but without success... 
[From: Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Declaration: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1975), page 45-46]

Manifested in the actions of Samuel Chase is the same error we find in the apostle Paul BEFORE his conversion to Christianity. Even as Paul sought out those who professed belief in Yahshua as Messiah, and he turned them over to the authorities where many were imprisoned, had property confiscated, and some lost their lives, so too did Chase act as an accuser of men. Men were arrested and imprisoned at his direction, including those testifying to faith in Christ. Samuel Chase became the persecutor of those who remained loyal to the king out of a desire to maintain a clear conscience before God and man.

It is unthinkable that so many could use the testimony of this man as one of their chief evidences that America was founded as a Christian nation.

Time does not permit me to do an exhaustive study of all of the men involved in the rebellion to the Crown of England. I have sought to provide testimony of men who were key actors in the establishment of the nation of America. I would encourage those who would seek to provide testimony to the contrary to perform a full and unbiased examination of those men they would use in their argument to declare that America was, and is, a Christian nation.

I also recommend the writing “Freemasonry, the Spirit of Babylon” to all those who would know more about the origins of America’s founding, that they might observe more fully the Luciferian influence throughout the design of America’s capital and this influence upon her leaders. This writing can be found here: .

Am I condemning America as a nation? This is not my object. There are no truly Christian nations in this world today. The Scriptures declare:

I John 5:19
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

A day will come when the following words will be fulfilled:

Revelation 11:15
"The kingdoms of the world have become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign to the age of the ages."

This day has not yet appeared. None should be shocked then at the title of this writing. The whole world lies in the power of the evil one, and this includes America. Can any look at the maturing fruit of this nation and deny that this fruit is Satanic in nature?

John Locke wrote that all people have the natural right to govern themselves. He provided justification to rebel against the established authorities of the nations, and he said every man should have the right to live according to the dictates of his own will. It was these teachings that inspired men like Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. But what is the mature fruit of these doctrines of self-rule?

In 1973 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a woman has the right to murder the unborn child in her womb. This is the ultimate expression of liberty and freedom derived from natural law. Since 1973 over 40 million babies have been aborted, and their blood is a hideous stain upon the nation’s conscience. This same high court has made numerous rulings in defense of homosexuality, even as she has ruled that the Ten Commandments must be removed from all courthouses throughout the land. The high court has given protections to free speech that have been interpreted to include all manner of vile pornography in which this nation is currently drowning and through which her children are being morally corrupted.

The President of the United States has become the chief spokesman to the entire world for the acceptance of false religions and idolatry (See also “Freemasonry, the Spirit of Babylon” for more on this topic).

Am I saying that Christians should rise up in rebellion against the government of the United States? Absolutely not! Let them rather fall to their knees in repentance as that righteous man Daniel did many years ago.

Daniel 9:3-11
So I gave my attention to Yahweh God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to Yahwhe my God and confessed and said, "Alas, O Yahweh, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land. Righteousness belongs to You, O Yahweh, but to us open shame... Open shame belongs to us, O Yahweh, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To Yahweh our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; nor have we obeyed the voice of Yahweh our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. Indeed [the entire nation] has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us...

It has not been my intent through this writing to incite revolt against the government of the United States. I have only been desirous of stripping away the deceptions concerning the foundation upon which America rests. A nation conceived in disobedience and founded upon Luciferian principles will eventually manifest the mature fruit of its error. Am I saying that America should be intolerant of false religions, or persecute their adherents? No!

Christianity was born under the rule of the Roman Empire, and America today is a manifestation of Rome. Those who wish to establish the kingdom of God upon the earth by reforming human government are deceived. God will judge the kingdoms and rulers of the world. Men are only ever truly changed, and the kingdom of God established, as they are born again of the Spirit of Christ. Yahshua’s charge to His disciples was:

Mark 16:15-16
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”

The apostle Paul said:

I Corinthians 5:12-13
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges.

The church is not called to reform worldly government. The church is not called to condemn the world, or bring the evildoer to justice. The church is called to preach the kingdom of God. Great error has entered into the church as she has thought her calling included the establishment of Christian government and nations. Search the entire New Testament. You will find not a trace of the church’s involvement in the affairs of world politics, nor the establishment of a Christian nation.

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