Whereas the Spanish explorers first came to our Southwest and to places such as what became St. Augustine, Florida over 500 years ago in search of gold and also to extend the Roman Catholic Church into these regions; it was not until one hundred years later that the Pilgrims from England came to our eastern shores seeking to establish a new life for themselves, free from the repressive power and persecution of the spiritually dead State Church.
Jamestown Colony in 1607 and Plymouth Colony in 1620 were but two of many colonies that were founded by the English colonists up and down the Eastern seaboard of what is now the United States of America. It took about 150 years of oppressive regulation and taxation of England to bring these pioneers to the point of rebelling against this oppression and declaring their independence from England by writing and signing the all-important document, our Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.
The signers of this awesome document came from all thirteen of our original colonies, including John Hancock from Massachusetts, the only one who signed it on July 4th. He scrawled his name across the bottom of the document “largely and clearly so King George III could read it without his spectacles”. The other 56 delegates to that Continental Congress added their signatures on August 2nd.
The signers were all men of means and educated: including lawyers, jurists, merchants, farmers and large plantation owners. What a price those brave men paid for their signatures, knowing full well they would face death if captured! Their fate is well known and recorded by many.
Five were captured by the British as traitors and tortured to death. Many had their homes ransacked and burned.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader saw his ships destroyed. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died a pauper.
Thomas McKean of Delaware was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and he died in poverty.
Vandals looted the properties of Ellery of Rhode Island, Clymer of Pennsylvania, Hall of Georgia, Walton of Georgia, Gwinnett of Georgia, Heyward of South Carolina, Ruttledge of South Carolina, and Middleton of South Carolina.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr., of Virginia, knowing that the British General Cornwallis had taken over his home for his headquarters urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis of New York lost his home and properties. His wife was jailed and she died within a few months.
John Hart of New Jersey was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his grist mill were destroyed. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Lewis Morris of New York and Philip Livingston of New York suffered similar fates.
Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were among prominent Americans well known in England. Yet both signed enthusiastically knowing they would be hanged if caught. Jefferson risked Monticello and Franklin his wealth and world prestige if independence was not secured.
Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more than security. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged:
“For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
Where are such men of honor and principle to be found today? No wonder America became a great nation and has been blessed beyond measure by Almighty God!
Can America endure much longer when the God who gave us our freedom is being mocked in the class room and His Word is being driven out of our national life and the Christianity upon which we were founded is bring replaced by the false religions of “liberalism”, “multiculturalism” and “political correctness”?
For a definition and explanation of liberalism, see my article on this topic on this web site.
A declaration of independence can be good or bad. For our founding fathers and for America is was good. As great and as earth shaking as that declaration was, there have been three other declarations of independence that have had an even great repercussion on us and on our world.
The first was Satan’s Declaration of Independence from God which is recorded in Isaiah 14:12-19 and Ezekiel 28:11-19. Satan was perhaps the first of God’s creation, Lucifer, a glorious, beautiful cherub whose life was devoted to glorifying God’s holiness and majesty. (Cherub is singular and cherubim is plural.)
The time came when Lucifer was not satisfied with his exalted position in Heaven. He rose up in rebellion towards God and God cast him out of Heaven. He could have instantly destroyed him, but in God’s wisdom, omniscience and sovereignty, He chose to allow Satan (formerly Lucifer) freedom to carry out his enmity towards God on this earth that He created.
Though there are myriads of angels, it is my observation that there are only four cherubim now. Lucifer had been the first of five cherubim. Now that Lucifer has been banished from that position, Revelation 4 and 5 speak of four living creatures (cherubim) In Revelation 4 they glorify God the creator and in the 5th chapter they glorify God (The Lord Jesus Christ) as our Saviour.
Tracing cherubim through the Old Testament, we find them first in Genesis 3:24 guarding the entrance to the Garden of Eden to keep sinful man from ever returning.
In the Book of Exodus we see images of the cherubim embroidered into the heavy veil that separated sinful men from the Holy of Holies where God was present with His people, Israel. We also see golden images of cherubim hovered over the Ark of the Covenant, symbolically guarding this holy place behind the veil.
In Ezekiel 1 we see a description of cherubim that defies our ability to fully comprehend.
Satan is in the world today leading fallen mankind to continue his revolt against God. Every person on the face of this earth is either surrendered to God or in revolt against God. If they are revolting against God, it is certain they are not free; but rather slave to Satan.
Satan and those who revolt with him against God will eventually be cast alive into the eternal Lake of Fire as is taught in Revelation 20:10-15
We are most like our first spiritual father, Satan when we are proud, rebellious and hateful. We who are born again through faith in Christ are most like our Heavenly Father when we are holy, humble and loving.
No sooner had Satan declared his independence from God and was banished from Heaven, when he appeared on God’s newly created earth in the Garden of Eden. He indwelt a serpent and approached Eve with the temptation to join him in his rebellion by disobeying God in the matter of eating fruit from the forbidden tree in the midst of the Garden.
Adam and Eve together joined Satan in his rebellion towards God as it is described in Genesis 3. As children of Adam and Eve, the entire human race has inherited Adam’s sinful nature and we are all born sinners. Read Romans 5 concerning this truth. It doesn’t take long for that rebellion to reveal itself in our sinful human nature. Isaiah 53:6 testifies to us that we are all as sheep that have gone astray. We’ve all gone our own ways, thinking we were free, when in reality, we are slaves of Satan.
Every man thinks he is free to do his own thing. In reality, there are only two super powers in the world: God and Satan. Though sinners refuse to believe they are in bondage to Satan, the fact is, they are.
The Pharisees in Jesus day, refused to believe they were in bondage to Satan. Read their conversation with Jesus about this in John 8:31-45 It’s amazing how they boasted that they had never been in bondage to anyone, when in reality they had been in bondage in Egypt for 400 years and in Babylon for 70 years and now they were slaves of the Roman Empire.
No sinner is free. As a slave of Satan, he can only sin. It’s only when one has put his trust in Christ as Saviour and Lord that he discovers true freedom for the first time in his life. Speaking of Himself in John 8:36 He said to them and to us, “If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed!” Have you cast yourself on Christ and found that true freedom.
Because God is perfectly righteous and holy and sinners cannot be in His presence, and because we were born slaves of Satan, lost and condemned to hell. God had a right to forget the human race and let them go to hell. He would have been just in doing that.
But God is more than just and righteous. He is also loving and gracious. Because of His love and grace, He devised an amazing plan of salvation that only He could have ever planned. God intervened on our behalf and did what we could not have ever done for ourselves in a million years. He solved the sin problem by coming down to this earth in the person of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. He allowed Christ to take the curse of sin for us in His own body on the cross.
Those who come as guilty, lost, helpless sinners to God and trust in Christ’s sacrifice for their sins, are instantly declared righteous. Read carefully Romans 3-5 concerning this life and death matter.
The good news is that if you put your trust in Christ, He removes the curse of sin from you and counts you as righteous as Jesus Himself, making you fit to dwell in His presence in Heaven forever. Read I John 5:11-13 about this certainty.
Not only does He justify you, declaring you perfect in Christ; but He also breaks Satan’s stranglehold on you, delivering you from his wicked kingdom and translates you into the Kingdom of His dear Son. Read Colossians 1:13 about this. As Jesus said in John 8:36, “If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed!”
If you have received Christ as your Saviour, don’t you think it would right for you to bow before Him and invite Him to be Lord of your life? That’s what the grateful slave who had a loving master did when he had a right to go free. Read about it in Exodus 21:5-6 He went to the door post and allowed an awl to be driven through his ear lobe and with that act, he surrendered to his loving master for the rest of his life.
Have you made that surrender to Christ? Have you declared your independence from Satan through the merits of Jesus’ shed blood and have you surrendered voluntarily to Christ as Master and Lord of your life?
Some Americans take their freedom to extremes and go and live in a commune or compound out in the wilderness totally independent of fellow Americans. Their attitude is, “I have my guns and provisions. I have no need of anyone or anything. I refuse to pay taxes. No one tells me what to do.” Such people are dangerous and un-American.
So there are Christians who carry their freedom to extremes. “No one tells me what to do. I have my freedom in Christ! I am answerable to no one!” Such people reject being accountable to anyone. They reject being involved in a Bible preaching church. They reject Bible preachers and even the authority of the Bible itself.
What if the framers of our US Constitution had refused to come together and seek God’s wisdom for the framing of our Constitution? We would have no union today. We would just be a group of independent, autonomous colonies. In fact, we probably would have been conquered by some world power.
What if the early Church had not come together under the submission of the Apostle’s Doctrine as given to us in the inspired Scriptures? The Church would have had no foundation and would be non-existent today.
Thank God for our freedom from condemnation and from the power of Satan through Christ. Thank God also for His Church, purchased with His shed blood and under His sovereign Lordship. Thank God for His inspired, infallible Word that teaches us not only how to be saved, but how to live as Christians. Thank God for the inter-dependence we can enjoy as fellow Christians in order to grow and be useful Christians.
I trust you can say, “Thank God, Jesus has freed me from Satan and from the power and penalty of sin. I love my Master. I will not go free. I will obey His Word and joyfully serve Him all my life.”