2/25/2021

WILL AMERICA'S CHRISTIAN ROOTS BE COMPLETELY SEVERED?

One of Joe Biden’s first presidential acts was to cancel the “1776 Commission.” This Commission was formed to promote the teaching of America’s history in American schools from a positive perspective, highlighting her achievements and noble ideals, while acknowledging her sins and mistakes.

In its place, the Biden administration is implementing the secularist “1619 Project,” which claims that America was forever defined by slavery and is, therefore, fatally flawed, racist, and corrupt at her core. This is the thinking behind the attacks on America's founders - toppling their monuments and removing their names from public buildings.

This rewriting of history is, of course, an important part of the strategy to transform America into a Marxist/socialist state, for as Alexander Solzhentisyn said, “To destroy a people you must first sever their roots.”

My book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, undermines the "1726 Project" narrative by documenting how a Christian awakening, beginning in 1726, unleashed the moral and spiritual forces that eventually brought about the end of slavery on this continent, and defined America as a land of faith and freedom. As Paul said in Romans 5:20b, But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.
If you do not have a copy of 1726: The Year that Defined America, I hope you will obtain a copy for yourself and a copy for your pastor, mayor, school principal, and congressional representative. This is a critical moment for our Republic, for as historian, Carl Sandburg, said, "When a nation goes down or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from; they lost sight of what had brought them along."

Also, check out the "1726 Project" and prayerfully consider bringing it to your church or community. It is an inspiring reminder of where we have come from as a nation and what brought us along to this point in history.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author and ordained minister with a passion to see another Great Awakening that will transform the church, bring many to Christ, and impact American culture as past Awakenings have done. Check out his vision and the numerous books he has authored at his website, www.eddiehyatt.com.


2/19/2021

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FALSE PROPHET AND A MISTAKEN PROPHET

This article is derived from the new book by Eddie Hyatt entitled Prophets and Prophecy

A false prophet has no integrity and functions out of self-serving motives, using a supposed prophetic gift for personal gain. A mistaken prophet, on the other hand, has integrity and wants to serve God but mistakes his/her own imaginations and feelings for the Spirit of God. The former needs to be rebuked while the latter needs to be pastored.

I Encounter a False Prophet

As a young believer in 1972, I passed a small church that I had visited in the past and noticed a large banner stretched across the church yard advertising special revival services. The banner included the name of an evangelist and a caption in large, bold lettering, “God’s 20th Century Prophet.” Although the boastful, self-promotion in those words should have been a warning sign to me, I was young and na├»ve and could hardly wait to go and hear what “God’s 20th Century Prophet” had to say.

I attended the service that night and noted that this individual spent most of his time prophesying to people. He would walk down the aisle and pick people out of the congregation and prophesy to them. His prophecies were not practical but filled with images and symbolisms. Most people there seemed to be in awe of what they were hearing.

He called me out and prophesied to me. The prophecy was filled with various symbolisms that had no obvious meaning to me. He spoke of me having dragged about a ball and chain and other symbolisms that I do not recall. What I do recall is that I could not relate what he said to anything that was happening in my life at the time, and there was no ministry of life to my spirit.

The meeting with “God’s 20th Century Prophet” came to a sudden end when the pastor discovered that, in private, he had prophesied to members of the congregation to give him money and land. If God did use him in a prophetic gift (and that is open to question), he had prostituted it for monetary gain.

He fit the category of those whom Jude lamented; Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit. He was a false prophet and the pastor was right to confront him and close the meeting.

I Encounter a Mistaken Prophet

Fast forward about 20 years. My phone rang and the voice on the other end of the line, in a very emphatic tone, said, “I was lying by the pool meditating and God spoke to me and said, ‘call Eddie Hyatt and tell him to start a church and call it The Gateway to Heaven.’”

This person also told me that he had seen a vision of the church building and described it in some detail as a white building situated in a large field.

Some things are as obvious as the nose on your face and this prophecy was one of those. I knew it was not from God. However, I also knew that I should deal gently with this person who attended a weekly meeting Sue and I led. Knowing he was a new believer, and not wanting to squelch his spirit, I said,

“Larry, I appreciate you telling me this but just know that I would never undertake something of this magnitude unless God Himself told me that He wanted me to do it.”

Some weeks later this brother, who was sincere (but misguided) in his zeal to be used of God in the gift of prophecy, was still attending our weekly Bible study. In these gatherings we allowed, and encouraged, people to flow freely in the gifts of the Spirit, but also made it clear that we would follow the Biblical injunction to test the spirits and judge prophecies.

On this particular evening, this brother announced that during a time of prayer that week God told him to tell me that I was not to put down roots in that city because I would be travelling. Deciding to use this as a teaching moment, I stopped him. “Wait a minute Larry,” I said! “What happened to that white church you saw a few weeks ago?”

He replied, “Oh, that might be 10 years down the road.” I then asked, “Do you know what they did to people in the Old Testament who gave false prophecies?” With a note of irritation in his voice, he replied, “I know! I know! They stoned them!”

At this point everyone, including Larry, began to laugh. It was a healing moment. Larry suddenly realized that he needed to relax and stop trying to curry favor and impress others with his super spirituality. He realized that I would continue to accept him and be his friend, but I would not accept everything he said just because he prefaced it with a “thus saith the Lord” or a “God told me.”

Larry’s soulish prophecy about me starting a church in Tulsa and calling it “The Gateway to Heaven” was born out of his own personal struggles and desires at the time. He and his wife had been unable to find a church where they felt comfortable and accepted. He enjoyed our weekly meetings and secretly wished that Sue and I would start a new church.

His personal desires and feelings were interpreted as being from the Spirit of God and he gave it forth as a prophecy. At the time, I had clear direction from the Lord and knew it was not from Him. I also knew that I needed to pastor Larry and coach him along in his prophetic zeal.

By the way, Larry was right on at times. One night a vibrant young woman came into our midst that no one knew. Larry felt led to pray for her. She consented and I encouraged him to take the lead. As he prayed, God gave him a word of knowledge that she was deeply depressed and contemplating suicide. She began sobbing and confessed it was so. The Spirit of God then ministered powerfully to her.

Larry continued to grow in God and our friendship continued for many years until the time of his death a few years ago.

Why Integrity is Essential

I believe that most of the individuals who prophesied that Donald Trump would win the 2020 presidential election were mistaken prophets, not false prophets. However, if mistaken prophets refuse to own their mistakes and admit their human frailty, the pride can open them to deception and they may move from being a mistaken prophet to being a false prophet.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, Prophets and Prophecy, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.







2/14/2021

COMPELLING EVIDENCE THAT GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS A TRUE CHRISTIAN

George Washington (1732–1799) had his own human sins and frailties, but during his 67 years as a surveyor, soldier, and first president of the United States, he showed himself to be a person of integrity and a true Christian.

Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, to Augustine Washington and his wife, Mary Ball Washington. When George was 11 years old, his father died, creating a situation in which he had to develop a sense of responsibility at a very young age.

His Mother’s Influence

Washington’s mother was a devout Christian who sought to raise him to be a truly committed believer in Christ. When he was leaving home as a young soldier, she told him: “Remember that God is our only sure trust.” She reminded him: “My son, neglect not the duty of secret prayer.”

Washington’s mother was, no doubt, influenced by the Great Awakening, for it had a profound impact on the state of Virginia. This was confirmed by Charles Hodge, who in a pamphlet written in 1839 and entitled, “The Constitutional History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America,” says,

In no part of our country was the revival more interesting, and in very few was it so pure as in Virginia (Hyatt, 1726: The Year thatDefined America, 131).

Both her faith and the faith of her son were characteristic of those impacted by the Great Awakening. This was made startlingly clear in a prayer journal kept by Washington when he was in his twenties.

Washington’s Prayer Journal

In April of 1891, several of Washington’s descendants, including Lawrence Washington, Bushrod Washington, and Thomas B. Washington, sold a collection of his personal items at auction in Philadelphia.

Among the items was a little book filled with daily prayers in Washington’s handwriting when he was in his twenties. Entitled, Daily Sacrifice, these prayers are deeply devotional and evangelical in nature (Hyatt, 1726: TheYear that Defined America, 131-32). For example, the first entry reads, in part,

Let my heart, therefore, gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of Thine honor that I may not do my own works, but wait on Thee, and discharge those duties which Thou requirest of me.

The following Monday morning, his prayer reads,

Direct my thoughts, words and work, wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit . . . daily frame me more and more in the likeness of Thy Son Jesus Christ.

Also, of note is his prayer:

Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind, and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy Son, Jesus Christ.

Commenting on this prayer book, Professor S. F. Upham, of Drew Theological Seminary, wrote,

The “Daily Prayers” of George Washington abound in earnest thought, expressed in simple, beautiful, fervent and evangelical language. They reveal to us the real life of the great patriot, and attest his piety. None can read these petitions, which bore his desires to God, and often brought answers of peace, without having a grander conception of Washington’s character. The prayers are characterized by a deep consciousness of sin and by a need for forgiveness, and by a recognition of dependence upon the merits and mercies of our Lord (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 132-33).

Washington Establishes a Praying Army

In May of 1775, Washington answered the call of the Continental Army to be commander in chief of the American forces. He realized that unless he could instill in the soldiers a sense that what they did, they did for God and under His protection, they had no hope of withstanding the mighty British war machine.

He, therefore, issued an order stating that each day was to begin with prayer led by the officers of each unit. He also ordered that, unless their duties required them to be elsewhere, every soldier was to observe “a punctual attendance of Divine services, to implore the blessing of heaven upon the means used for our safety and public defense.”

He also forbade profanity, swearing, gambling and drunkenness and expressed his desire that, “Every officer and man will endeavor so as to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier.”

During a difficult period of the war when Washington and his army were quartering at Valley Forge, Rev. Henry Muhlenberg (1711–1787), pastor of a nearby Lutheran Church, observed Washington’s activities. He wrote, “Washington rode around among his army yesterday and admonished each one to fear God.” Muhlenberg went on to say,

This gentleman does not belong to the so-called world of society, for he respects God’s word, believes in atonement through Christ, and bears himself in humility and gentleness. It appears that the Lord God has singularly, yea marvelously, preserved him from harm in the midst of countless perils . . . and hath hitherto graciously held him in His hand as His chosen vessel (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 115).

Washington accepted free blacks into the American army resulting in one out of every six soldiers being of African descent. Blacks and whites fought side by side for independence from Great Britain.

Not Shy About Publicly Expressing His Faith

Washington insisted on taking the oath of office with his hand placed on a Bible and, thereby, began a tradition that has been followed since by every American president. He then delivered his first inaugural address, which was filled with references to God and the Bible, including the following remark,

The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the external rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 174).

Washington’s deep faith was also apparent in his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation issued on October 3, 1789, shortly after he became president. He obviously saw that the two-fold attitude of faith and thanksgiving toward God would be the tie that would bind the new nation together. After declaring it being the duty of all nations to “acknowledge the providence of Almighty God and obey His will,” he gave a reason for this special day of Thanksgiving, saying,

That we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national sins and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 134).

Washington believed in tolerance for all faiths and religions but was not shy about sharing his faith in Jesus Christ with those of other religions. For example, in a meeting with Chiefs of the Delaware Indian Tribe, he encouraged them to learn “above all the religion of Jesus Christ.”

The Chiefs had come to meet with Congress, and they brought with them three of their youth, asking that they be educated in American schools. Washington addressed them as “Brothers” and referred to their mutual desire to “preserve the friendship between the Two Nations to the end of time.”

He also expressed his hope that the Delaware would “become One people with your Brethren of the United States.” He assured them that Congress would look upon their youth “as their own children.” He then said,

You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 172).

Washington and Slavery

But what about the fact that Washington was a slave-owner? Can one be a slave owner and a Christian at the same time? We must remember that Washington did not invent slavery. He was born into slave-owning family and inherited a large plantation with a number of slaves at the death of his parents. At that time in world history, slavery was accepted and practiced throughout the world.

It would be similar to a person today being born into a family and culture where abortion (killing babies in the womb) and same-sex marriage (violating God's created order) are considered the norm. They grow up thinking it is a normal part of life until they are confronted with Gospel truth, and this is what happened to Washington. He was confronted with Gospel truth.

As documented in my book, 1726, there was a powerful anti-slavery movement that emerged out of the Great Awakening. This 18th century abolition movement impacted virtually every founder, including Washington. Dr. Thomas Sowell has written of this, saying,

Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that DefinedAmerica, 90).

Confronted with the inconsistency of a Christian profession and owning slaves, Washington set in motion a compassionate program to rid Mt. Vernon of slavery. Those slaves who wanted to leave were free to do so. Those who chose to remain were paid wages, and he began a program to educate and prepare the children of slaves for freedom. He declared,

Not only do I pray for it, on the score of human dignity, but I clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union by consolidating it in a common bond of principle (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 103).

It has been said that the three most difficult words to say in the English language are, “I was wrong.” Washington admitted that he was wrong about slavery and he backed it up with his actions.

Elected Unanimously as America’s First President

After leading the American forces to victory over the mighty British army, Washington’s desire was to retire to Mt. Vernon. However, the other founders assured him that he was the only one with the universal respect of the nation and ability to lead them at this crucial time. He, therefore, reluctantly conceded and was elected unanimously, not once, but twice without a single dissenting vote.

Washington lived in an imperfect world and like every person born into this world, he was a flawed individual. However, he was aware of his own sinful nature, which is why he prayed the prayer recorded above, “Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 132).

Washington’s strong Christian faith, his integrity, his willingness to acknowledge when he was wrong, and his willingness to sacrifice personal comfort for the sake of the new nation endeared him to the hearts of the founding generation, which said of him,

 First in war; first in peace; and first in the hearts of his countrymen.

There is no question that George Washington was a true Christian.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. He is also the founder of the “1726 Project” whose purpose is to educate America about the nations birth out of a great, spiritual awakening.

2/09/2021

THE CHRISTIAN REVIVAL THAT BROKE THE BACK OF SLAVERY AND DEFINED AMERICA

At a time when slavery was accepted and practiced in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and throughout the world, there arose a movement against it in colonial America. One of the great intellects of our day, Dr. Thomas Sowell, who happens to be black, has written of this, saying,

Slavery was just not an issue, not even among intellectuals, much less among political leaders, until the 18th century–and then it was an issue only in Western civilization. Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 90).

This anti-slavery movement resulted in slavery in America having a short lifespan when compared to the rest of the world. The late Dr. Walter Williams, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, pointed this out saying that the unique characteristic of slavery in America was both the brevity of its existence and the moral outrage against it.

But what was the source of this moral outrage that arose against slavery in colonial America?

The Source of the Moral Outrage Against Slavery

The source of this sudden moral outrage against slavery is to be found in a Christian revival that became known as the Great Awakening. In this revival, that began in 1726, it seemed that entire towns repented and turned to God. In his Autobiography, Benjamin Franklin described the amazing transformation of his hometown of Philadelphia in 1739. He wrote,

It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 79).

In this revival, racial and cultural barriers were breached as blacks and whites worshipped together and shared the Good News to neighbors and friends regardless of race or social standing. For example, when George Whitefield, in 1739, preached night after night to thousands from the steps of the Philadelphia courthouse, blacks were part of the audience and there was no segregation.

After preaching his farewell sermon, many followed Whitefield to his place of lodging, including many blacks. He later recorded in his Journal, “Near 50 Negroes came to give me thanks for what God had done for their souls.” Whitefield considered this an answer to prayer, saying, “I have been much drawn in prayer for them, and have seen them wrought upon by the word preached”  (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 70).

Evangelists of the Great Awakening, in fact, found blacks to be among the most receptive to the Gospel message. Gilbert Tennent, for example, was delighted that during a preaching tour in Massachusetts, “Multitudes were awakened, and several received great consolation, especially among the young people, children, and Negroes” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 69).

Further south, Samuel Davies gave special attention to blacks, including slaves, during his time of ministry in Virginia. He was greatly encouraged by their enthusiastic response to the Gospel and wrote,

My principal encouragement of late has been among the poor negro slaves; in the land of their slavery they have been brought into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

Davies not only preached to free blacks and slaves, but treated them as brothers and sisters in Christ, inviting them to share in regular church observances including the Lord’s Supper. In 1757 he wrote,

What little success I have lately had, has been chiefly among the extremes of Gentlemen and Negroes. Indeed, God has been remarkably working among the latter. I have baptized 150 adults; and at the last sacramental solemnity, I had the pleasure of seeing the table graced with sixty black faces (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 70).

Although these early evangelists did not attack the institution of slavery, the inclusive Gospel message they preached, and their compassionate treatment of blacks, created a climate conducive to the anti-slavery sentiments that would burst forth through the next generation of Awakening preachers.

Second Generation Awakening Preachers Attack Slavery

Indeed, the revivalists who came after Whitefield, Tennant, and Jonathan Edwards, carried the message of their predecessors to its logical conclusion. If we are all creatures of the same Creator and if Christ died that all might be saved, then how can slavery ever be justified?

They, therefore, began a vicious attack on the institution of slavery. This is what historian, Benjamin Hart, was referring to when he wrote, “Among the most ardent opponents of slavery were ministers, particularly the Puritan and revivalist preachers (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 92).

These "ardent opponents of slavery" included the followers of Jonathan Edwards who expanded on his idea of the essential dignity of all created beings and applied it to the blacks of Colonial America. They included Levi Hart in Connecticut, Edwards’ son, Jonathan Jr., also in Connecticut, Jacob Green in New Jersey, and Samuel Hopkins in Rhode Island.

The Hypocrisy of Demanding Liberty and Tolerating Slavery

Samuel Hopkins (1721–1803), who had been personally tutored by Edwards, pastored for a time in Newport, Rhode Island, an important hub in the transatlantic slave trade. Like Paul, whose spirit was “provoked” observing the idols in Athens, Hopkins was outraged by what he observed in Newport. He, therefore, began to passionately speak out against this "violation of God’s will” and declared, “This whole country have their hands full of blood this day" (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 92).

After the First Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in 1774, Hopkins sent a pamphlet to every member of the Congress, asking how they could complain about “enslavement” to Great Britain and overlook the “enslavement” of so many blacks in the colonies.

Indeed, as “liberty” became a watchword throughout the colonies, these second-generation Awakening preachers began applying it to the enslaved blacks in America. Like Hopkins, they pointed out the hypocrisy of demanding freedom from Great Britain while enslaving black Africans. One of the most vocal was the Baptist preacher, John Allen, who thundered,

Blush ye pretended votaries of freedom! ye trifling Patriots! who are making a vain parade of being advocates for the liberties of mankind, who are thus making a mockery of your profession by trampling on the sacred natural rights and privileges of Africans (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 156).

God Speaks to Freeborn Garrettson

Freeborn Garrettson (1752-1827), a revivalist from Maryland, freed his slaves after hearing God speak to him supernaturally. According to Garrettson, he heard the Lord say, “It is not right for you to keep your fellow creatures in bondage; you must let the oppressed go free.” Garrettson immediately informed his slaves that they did not belong to him and that he did not desire their services without giving them proper compensation.

Garrettson began preaching against slavery and advocating for freedom, which provoked intense opposition, especially in the South. One enraged slave-owner came to the house where Garrettson was lodging and swore at him, threatened him, and punched him in the face. Garrettson did not retaliate but sought to reason with the man who finally gave up and left.

Garrettson took his message to North Carolina where he preached to black audiences and sought to “inculcate the doctrine of freedom in them.” His opposition to slavery was firmly rooted in the Gospel and he described a typical meeting with slaves in which,

Many of their sable faces were bedewed with tears, their withered hands of faith were stretched out, and their precious souls made white in the blood of the Lamb (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 95).

Garrettson also preached to southern white audiences and sought to convince them of the evils of slavery and that God’s will was liberty for all His creatures. In Delaware, Garrettson visited the Stokeley Sturgis Plantation and preached to both the slaves and the Sturgis family. He was able to convince Sturgis that slavery is a sin and Sturgis began making arrangements for his slaves to obtain freedom.

America's Black Founding Father


One of those who obtained his freedom was Richard Allen who had already been converted through the preaching of a Methodist evangelist when Garretson came on the scene. After obtaining his freedom, Allen set out to do what was burning in his heart – preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Allen, whom CBN correspondent, Paul Strand, calls “America’s Black Founding Father,” became a successful evangelist to both black and white audiences, further breaking down racial barriers. In 1784, he preached for several weeks in Radnor, Pennsylvania, to a mostly white audience, and he recalled hearing it said, “This man must be a man of God; I have never heard such preaching before.”

He eventually settled in Philadelphia and joined the Methodist church in that city. He also became close friends with Benjamin Rush, a Philadelphia physician, founding father, and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Rush was also a passionate abolitionist who helped form America’s first abolition society in that city. He called slavery a “hydra sin” and admonished the ministers of America to take a bold, public stand against it, saying,

But chiefly—ye ministers of the gospel, whose dominion over the principles and actions of men is so universally acknowledged and felt, - Ye who estimate the worth of your fellow creatures by their immortality, and therefore must look upon all mankind as equal; let your zeal keep pace with your opportunities to put a stop to slavery. While you enforce the duties of “tithe and cumin,” neglect not the weightier laws of justice and humanity. Slavery is a Hydra sin and includes in it every violation of the precepts of the Laws and the Gospels (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 100-101).

However, by 1787 the spiritual fervor of the revival had waned among the Methodists in Philadelphia and the elders of the Methodist church decided to institute segregated seating based on race. When this became known, Allen and other blacks walked out, not knowing where they would go or what they would do. They knew, however, they could trust God and that they had a friend in Benjamin Rush.

Rush, who was a Presbyterian, came to their aid with both moral and financial support. This founding father assisted them in obtaining property and putting up a building in which to worship. This became known as the Bethel Methodist Church in Philadelphia out of which emerged the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) denomination, with Allen as the founder. Allen later wrote,

We had waited on Dr. Rush and Mr. Robert Ralston, and told them of our distressing situation. We considered it a blessing that the Lord had put it into our hearts to wait upon those gentlemen. They pitied our situation, and subscribed largely towards the church, and were very friendly towards us and advised us how to go on . . . Dr. Rush did much for us in public by his influence. I hope the name of Dr. Benjamin Rush and Mr. Robert Ralston will never be forgotten among us. They were the two first gentlemen who espoused the cause of the oppressed and aided us in building the house of the Lord for the poor Africans to worship in. Here was the beginning and rise of the first African church in America (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 156).

America’s Founders Turn Against Slavery

Because of the power of the Awakening, and the “moral outrage” it produced against slavery, virtually every founder came to agree with John Adams who wrote,

Every measure of prudence . . . ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States. I have throughout my whole life held the practice of slavery in abhorrence (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 101).

Two years before the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin released his two slaves and began to advocate for Abolition. He joined the Abolition Society in Philadelphia and later served as its president.

In fact, opposition to slavery was so strong in the North that, when the separation from England came in 1776, several states, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York immediately took steps to abolish slavery—something they could not do under George III.

George Washington was born in the South and inherited a large plantation with numerous slaves. The first evidence of the power of the Awakening on his thinking was during the War for Independence. Serving as commander-in-chief, Washington welcomed free blacks into the ranks, which resulted in one out of every six soldiers being of African descent. Blacks and whites fought together for freedom from Great Britain.

Confronted with the inconsistency of a Christian testimony with owning slaves, Washington set up a compassionate program to completely disentangle Mt. Vernon from the institution of slavery. Those slaves who wanted to leave were free to do so. Those who chose to remain were paid wages, and he began a program to educate and prepare the children of slaves for freedom. He declared,

Not only do I pray for it, on the score of human dignity, but I can clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union by consolidating it in a common bond of principle (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 103).

Deciding that slavery was wrong, however, was easier than deciding what to do with two million people from another continent and culture who were unprepared for freedom. In the end, concessions were made to the southern states, and slavery allowed to continue, in order to bring them into the Union. Sowell has said,

But don’t pretend that it was an easy answer—or that those who grappled with the dilemma in the 18th century were some special villains when most leaders and most people around the world saw nothing wrong with slavery. It is clear from the private correspondence of Washington, Jefferson, and many others that their moral rejection of slavery was unambiguous, but the practical question of what to do now had them baffled. That would remain so for more than half a century (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 10).

That even the founders from the South struggled deeply about the slavery issue is clear from the statement of Thomas Jefferson, made in the context of slavery being allowed to continue in the South. He wrote,

God who gave us life, gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that His justice cannot sleep forever (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 125).

Colorblind Founding Documents

The founders’ moral rejection of slavery is obvious in the founding documents, which contain no mention of slaves or slavery. This was purposeful, for James Madison, the chief architect of the Constitution, said, “The Convention thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men."

Neither is there any mention of race or skin color in the founding documents. They purposely worded the Constitution in such a way that the rights guaranteed therein could not be denied to anyone based on race, ethnicity, or skin color. Yes, America’s founding documents are colorblind even if her history has not been.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood this. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he declared,

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

King did not want America to dispense with her founding documents, but to live up to them. Quoting from the Declaration of Independence, he said,

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 121).

Many today are insisting that America was founded on racist principles. They are wrong. David Azerrad was correct when he said, “The argument that the Constitution is racist suffers from one fatal flaw: the concept of race does not exist in the Constitution” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 127).

America Defined by 1726

Although it would take a Second Great Awakening (ca. 1800- ca. 1830), a Great Prayer Awakening (1857-58), and a Civil War (1861-1865) to bring final closure, the back of slavery was broken in that first Great Awakening that began in 1726, and America was defined as a land of liberty.

Contrary to this 1726 vision, many today are claiming that America was forever defined by 1619 when the first African slaves were brought to these shores. Interpreting everything through the lens of 1619, they insist that America is fatally flawed and racist at her very core.

America could have been defined by 1619, but there was 1726. Those who see America through the lens of 1726 believe that God has a divine purpose for this land, even though flawed by human sin. Dr. King expressed this in his “I Have a Dream” speech when he declared, “I have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

Recovering this 1726 paradigm of America’s history is critical, for as George Orwell said in his classic book, 1984, “Whoever controls the past, controls the future.” And commenting on the demise of nations in world history, Carl Sandburg, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, said,

When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 11).

America was birthed out of a great Christian revival and recovering the knowledge of what happened, beginning in 1726, is paramount to understanding our history. 1726 broke the back of slavery and marked a new beginning for this land. 1776 would never have happened apart from 1726, for it was the revival that unleashed the desire for liberty throughout the land.

Let us, therefore, remember 1726 and pray, “Lord, do it again!” 

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, 1726, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. He is also the founder of the "1726 Project" whose goal is to spread the message of America's unique birth out of the First Great Awakening and call on believers everywhere to pray for another Great Awakening across the land.

2/06/2021

5 WARNING SIGNS THAT PROPHETIC MINISTRY HAS GONE OFF THE RAILS

Winston Churchill once said, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This is true of the church and especially so concerning prophetic ministry. The following account of a 16th century prophetic movment is filled with sobering lessons for today's church.

The information in this chapter is drawn from a document written around 1560 by Obe Philips, a leader in the 16th century Anabaptist movement that sought the restoration of New Testament Christianity. Prophecies, dreams, and visions flourished in this movement. Philips was commissioned as an “apostle” in this movement and he commissioned others to this “office.”

The document, entitled “Confessions,” describes events in Europe in the 1530s. From this document I have delineated 5 warning signs from their experience that can help us avoid the tragic mistakes that produced such great suffering and distress for them. 

This article is also Chapter 7 in my latest book, Prophets and Prophecy.

Warning Sign #1
When Prophecy is Used to Enhance the Status of a Movement and its Leaders

1517-1537 was a very exciting time for many Christians in Europe. A great spiritual reformation was under way and many believed that God was restoring the church to its original purity and power. Many believed that out of this restoration would come a great revival and harvest that would usher in the coming of the Lord and the end of the age.

In the midst of this end-time, revival atmosphere, individuals began to arise proclaiming themselves to be special end-time apostles and prophets endowed by God with miraculous power to usher in His kingdom upon the earth.

One of the most prominent of these “apostles” was Melchoir Hoffman, a powerful preacher and teacher who gained a large following. His status was further enhanced when a prophetess saw in a vision a large white swan, larger and more beautiful than all the others, swimming in a beautiful river. She claimed it was revealed to her that the swan was Hoffman and that he represented the fulfillment of God’s promise in Mal. 4:5 to send Elijah before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

Biblical Insight: Satan plays on human ego and pride. God calls us to humble ourselves before Him and promises that He will then raise us up. Demons, on the other hand, tell us how great, wonderful, and significant we are in ourselves. The “Elijah” prophecy given to Hoffman is one that Satan has used again and again to bring good men down because of pride. We must remember that the Holy Spirit has not come to exalt a preacher, a church, or organization. Jesus said in John 16:13 that when the Holy Spirit had come, He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is mine and declare it to you.

Warning Sign #2
When Prophecy Becomes the Primary Means for Determining the Will of God

Another individual prophesied that Hoffman would be imprisoned for six months in the city of Strasbourg and, after that, his ministry would spread over the whole world. Based on the prophecy, Hoffman moved to Strasbourg where he began to preach and teach throughout that city.

The first part of the prophecy was fulfilled when the Strasbourg authorities arrested Hoffman and had him imprisoned. Philips says that he entered the prison “willingly, cheerfully, and well comforted,” convinced that the latter part of the prophecy would now soon come to pass.

While in prison, Hoffman wrote many letters, which Philips says came every day describing “how his actions, his visions and revelations affected him.” One individual prophesied that at the end of his six-month imprisonment, Hoffman would depart Strasbourg with 144,000 true apostles endowed with such miraculous power that no one would be able to resist them. Elated with such prophetic predictions, Hoffman vowed that he would take no food other than bread and water until the time of his deliverance.

Six months passed, however, and he was not released. More time elapsed and he found it necessary to break his fast. Hoffman eventually died in prison, a very disillusioned man. Philips wrote,

Everything that he so boldly professed from the prophets and prophetesses, he, in the end, found it all falsehood and deception, in fact and in truth; and he was so deceived with all their visions, prophecies, commission, dreams, and Elijah role that my heart today feels pity for his on account of this distress of his soul (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy71).

Biblical Insight: It is clear from Scripture that personal prophecy is not for giving direction in life. There is not a single example of such in the New Testament. The only example of a personal prophecy giving direction is in Acts 21:4 where certain disciples, by the Spirit, told Paul, who was on his way to Jerusalem, not to go up to Jerusalem. Paul, however, ignored their prophecy and continued on to Jerusalem. Prophecy must confirm what we already know in our heart and Paul had already purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem (Acts 19:21).

Warning Sign #3
When Prophecy is Preoccupied With Images, Numbers, and Symbols

Prophetic dreams and visions flourished in this movement. These dreams and visions predicted many remarkable things related to the establishing of God’s kingdom and the destruction of the wicked. Much of this information was given in symbolic form which had to be interpreted by those who were “spiritual.” Philips says,

One came dragging a wagon without wheels, another wagon had three wheels, one wagon had no shaft, some no horses, some no recognizable driver, some had but one leg, some were lepers and beggars, some wore a tunic or a cloak with a lappet of fur. All this they could interpret for the brethren in a spiritual sense (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy71-72).

These prophecies, dreams, and visions predicted remarkable successes for the people of God, including a super-empowerment of the Spirit by which they would be enabled to overcome the wicked and establish the kingdom of God in the earth. In his very moving account of these matters, Philips says,

Now when these teachings and consolation with all the fantasies, dreams, revelations and visions daily occurred among the brethren, there was no little joy and expectation among us, hoping all would be true and fulfilled, for we were all unsuspecting, innocent, simple, without guile or cunning, and were not aware of any false visions, prophets, and revelations (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy72).

Biblical Insight: In the New Testament, God communicates very clearly and precisely to His people. When He spoke to Ananias in a vision about going and praying for Paul, God gave precise instructions (Acts 9:10-12). He told Ananias the name of the man (Paul) for whom he was to pray, the name of the man (Simon) in whose house Paul was staying, and the precise street address. When God does speak in a symbol or image, it is for the purpose of communicating a more clear and vivid message. It is never done as a riddle that must be searched out and solved. God wants to communicate clearly with His children.

Warning Sign #4
When Those Prophesying Are Not Open to Testing or Correction

During this time, two new apostles arrived in Philips’ home town of Leeuwarden. They declared that they had been commissioned to the apostolic office with such signs, miracles, and workings of the Spirit that words failed them to describe it. They also declared, “In a short time God would rid the earth of all shedders of blood and all tyrants and the godless.”

Philips says that they frightened the people so that no one dared speak against them for fear they would be speaking against the commission and ordination of God. “For we were all guileless children and had no idea that our own brethren would betray us.”

Biblical Insight: False prophets are unteachable and unwilling for their prophecies to be evaluated and tested, as Scripture commands. Virtually every time the New Testament speaks of prophecy, they also speak of evaluating and testing the prophecy, which is the responsibility of every believer. I Thessalonians 5:19-21, for example, says, Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is God. I Corinthians 14:29 says, Let two or three prophets speak and let the others judge. And in this same vein of thought, I John 4:1 says, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 

Warning Sign #5
When Prophecy Becomes a Replacement 
For the Scriptures and Common Sense

The tragic end of this prophetic movement came when, based on dreams, visions, prophecies, and supposed angelic visitations, a number of these visionaries claimed that God had designated the city of Munster as the New Jerusalem and from there the kingdom of God would spread through all the earth. Philips says, “Some had spoken with God, others with angels until they got a new trek under way to Munster.” Based on the prophecies and supposed visions, they went to Munster and took the city by force from the Catholics who controlled it and renamed it New Jerusalem.

The Catholics, however, quickly regrouped and regained control of the city. They wasted no time in inflicting a terrible slaughter on those apostles, prophets, and their followers who believed they were setting up the kingdom of God on the earth.

This whole fiasco resulted in widespread persecution of all Anabaptists who were hunted down, imprisoned, hanged, burned, and drowned. Philips later lamented his role in this prophetic movement. He wrote,

It is this which is utter grief to my heart and which I will lament before my God as long as I live, before all my companions, as often as I think of them. At the time that I took leave of those brethren, I had warned Menno and Dietrich and declared my [apostolic] commission unlawful and that I was therein deceived. I thank the gracious and merciful God who opened my eyes, humbled my soul, transformed my heart, captured my spirit, and who gave me to know my sins. And when I still think of the resigned suffering which occurred among the brethren, my soul is troubled and terrified before it (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy, 74-75).

Biblical Insight: In Psalm 119:105 David said, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness to doubt His identity, He responded to each temptation with, It is written, and then quoted the appropriate passage of Scripture. John Wesley, who saw many unusual spiritual manifestations as the leader of the 18th century Methodist revival, said, “Try all things by the written word, and let all bow down before it.”

Conclusion

This 16th century prophetic movement highlights the need to “test the spirits” and to “judge” prophetic utterances according to the Scriptures. For the most part, these were sincere, seeking people who suffered much pain, grief, and even death because they neglected this Biblical admonition. May we learn from their example and not repeat their mistakes.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, Prophets and Prophecy, available from Amazon in both paperback and kindle. Check out his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.