I have been a devoted student of history for more than forty years, but it has been only over the last several years that I have felt compelled to understand our foundations as a nation. I was surprised to see that we truly were a nation built on sound biblical principles. The Scriptures give a lot of instruction about righteous governments, and The Great Commission was to make disciples of all nations, not just individuals. I have concluded that America was certainly one of the great nation disciples of the Lord. Our government was founded mostly by those with a great resolve to adhere to biblical principles of righteousness and justice. The prosperity we have enjoyed as a nation was the favor of God promised to the nations that did this as we see in places like Proverbs 14:34.
If we had continued to adhere to these basic biblical principles that the nation was founded on, we would not likely have any of the troubles we’re now in. The answer to getting out of the crises we’re in is to return to those solid foundations. However, we must understand them to return to them.
The Scheme of the Devil
The quickest way to kill a plant is to cut it off from its roots; the quickest way to kill a nation or culture is to cut it off from its history, which are its roots. This is why one of the first things totalitarian governments do when they gain power over a nation is to start changing its history. There has been a systematic attempt to destroy America by doing just that—gradually revising our history and then changing it altogether. What is now taught in virtually all of our schools as American history is not the truth about our history.
History textbooks now used in our public schools make almost no mention of our Judeo/Christian foundations unless they are derogatory. The emphasis of these textbooks is so focused on the mistakes and negatives in our history that they leave students ashamed to be Americans. This could be a greater threat to our future than all of the other crises we’re now facing. We have been systematically cut off from our roots. If we do not reattach to them soon, we will perish as a nation. If we do recover our roots, revival will quickly follow.
The Wells of Living Water
Some of the greatest revivals in Scripture began when a people rediscovered the roots that they had been cut off from. In Scripture, you see this repeatedly in Israel’s story, especially in the restoration books like Ezra and Nehemiah. The people regained a vision for their future by reconnecting with their history. The same will be true with us.
The revival that probably had the greatest spiritual impact on America, and helped to set our spiritual DNA as a nation, was the result of the young German Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf discovering the historic roots of the refugees he had taken onto his estate. He did this by discovering the writings of Jon Amos Comenius. Comenius is called “the father of modern education,” but he was a Moravian bishop who led a group of persecuted Christians from the same area that the refugees who had come to Zinzendorf’s estate had come from one hundred years earlier. Comenius founded schools so that all children could receive an education, not just the children of the nobility. His ultimate purpose for education was to prepare a generation of missionaries to fulfill The Great Commission.
When Zinzendorf shared the news that Comenius, who was considered one of the men that has most impacted the modern world, was actually a spiritual forefather of these refugees, this discovery resulted in what historians call “The Moravian Pentecost” and gave birth to modern missions. Many of those missionaries came to America, including Count Zinzendorf himself, and they inspired those who would be the voices of the First Great Awakening.
Zinzendorf was likely one of the wealthiest men of his time, and he expended his fortune on the gospel. For this reason, historians have called him “the rich young ruler who said ‘yes.’” This same spiritual DNA, missions and generosity of spirit, remains a basic part of America. Whether it is a natural disaster, or a manmade one, Americans can be counted on to be the first to help. Whether through Christian missions, or simple missions of charity, Americans are spread all over the earth seeking to do good.
Revival in America will come as we reconnect to our roots. We have one of the most remarkable histories since biblical times, and as we reconnect to it, the great vision and nobility of spirit that gave birth to our nation will revive in us again. As the great British evangelist Leonard Ravenhill said, “America is too young to die.” Regardless of how great the crises are that we are now facing, our best days can yet be in our future. (Bold Emphasis added by Patrick Atkins)
The only commandment that was given with a promise, which is in both the Old and New Testaments, is to honor our fathers and mothers. The promise for doing this is that it would go well with us and that we would have longevity in the land that the Lord has given to us (see Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:2). Our well-being and longevity as a nation is linked to honoring our national fathers and mothers. This must be recovered.
We honor people by remembering them, and we dishonor those that we forget. It was for this purpose that the Israelites were commanded to recite their history to their children every year. This ensured that they would have the strongest possible roots as a nation. Our longevity as a nation will depend on how we honor our national fathers and mothers by remembering them. This must begin with honoring the Founding Fathers.
Winston Churchill said that we could not understand where we were going if we did not understand where we’ve been. One of the primary reasons for the present lack of national vision for the future is because we have been so cut off from our past. The vacuum created has opened the gates wide for the worst kind of influences. Over the last half century that the revising of our history has been taking place, we see the nation falling deeper into debauchery and the corruption of our basic integrity. Our revival and restoration is linked to returning to the good roots that gave life to America in the beginning, which have preserved us through the great crises in our development. They can give life to us again and preserve us through our present crises.
The Bible is basically a history book. It does not cover up the mistakes and failures of even its greatest heroes, and likewise, a true history cannot gloss over the mistakes and failures in our past. These are some of the greatest lessons we need to learn from. Even so, it is worse not to honor the good.
Back to the Future
MorningStar has become known around the world as a prophetic movement. We certainly value the prophetic ministries and gifts, and we are even increasing our pursuit of them. As we are told in Acts 2 and Joel 2, when the Lord pours out His Spirit in “the last days” it will result in prophetic revelation—dreams, visions, and prophecy. This is because we will need this increasing guidance as these days unfold. We have helped to teach and equip tens of thousands of believers from all over the world, and we are seeking to excel even more as the times require it.
However, along with our devotion to the prophetic, we have sought to also impart an understanding of and love for history. We have taught and are committed to the three-fold cord that is not easily broken: sound biblical doctrine, a good understanding of history, and a prophetic perspective. We must have all three and keep them in proper balance.
I was shown the first year that I was a Christian that we could not be trusted with the spiritual authority the Lord wanted to give us without being strongly linked to all who have gone before us to prepare our way. This is why when Jesus was asked by what authority He did His works, He pointed to the baptism of John. He was not trying to deflect their question, but this was the answer to their question. Jesus was linked to all who had prepared the way for Him. John was there as their representative to declare that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, so Jesus honored them all by submitting Himself to John’s baptism. He even said He did this to fulfill all righteousness.
Every generation that would carry on must do the same—be baptized by those who went before them to prepare their way. In the Old Testament, one of the ways that Israel honored their fathers was to drink from the wells that they had dug. We must do the same. We do this not by drinking from physical wells, but from the wells of living water that sprung up from them—their teachings and their prophecies.
One of the ways that the enemies of God’s people harassed them and drove them off of their land was to stop up their wells. Our wells have been stopped up in America as well as in many other nations that have at one time been disciples of the Lord. We must unstop the wells and drink again from this living water. Strength will return as we rediscover our true history.
This summer as you vacation, resolve that you are going to strengthen your roots. Read a good history book. Resolve that you will read at least one a year. There are many other resources such as history videos and historic movies that are full of inspiration and life.
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