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Power in the People

Flow of power in government power in the people

Power in the People

Friday we experienced what Ronald Reagan described, in his first Inaugural Address, as “a solemn and most momentous occasion, and yet in the history of our nation it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place . . . and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this very 4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.”

During his inaugural address, the 45th President Trump, made a statement, “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

“January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”

Following the Inaugural speech, many news pundits picked up on this idea as something not necessarily consistent with conservative ideas. And yet this is not a new idea. Rather, it reflects the very basic idea upon which our nation was founded. For some reason, critics seemed to think putting the power in the people did not coincide with the ideas of limited government. It was puzzling why this was their interpretation.

William Penn stated that “we put the power in the people.” Historian Felix Morley wrote, “To put the power in the people implies faith. It implies that the component individuals are, for the most part, already endowed with self-control.”

Historian Verna Hall defined civil government as “the flow of power and force in society.”[1] The Scripture teaches us that all power comes from God. The individual becomes the fountain through which that power can flow from the individual to his delegated representatives. Over the past century, the flow of power has been interrupted as the Executive Branch developed a huge bureaucracy, expanding its powers far beyond the realm of its constitutional powers. In addition, the checks and balances of our three branches of government have been weakened. Power has gradually been centralized in the national government and flowing from Washington, D.C. down to the people in many areas, rather than from the people delegating authority to their elected representatives.

To truly put the power back in the hands of the people would be a formidable task, but one that could at least begin at some levels. It would require huge discipline on the part of the leadership in Washington and a willingness to give up power and move it back to the state or local levels where it belongs. The challenge will be whether the thousands of political appointees and employees in civil service positions will be willing to allow this to occur.

Turning to national government, rather than local government or private enterprise, has become so much a way of life in America that it will be very difficult to undo the mindset of a people who do not realize how much it is a part of our thinking. We need to be asking questions as to why is civil government providing funding for research, granting funds for arts, or protecting an endangered species, or meeting many other needs? Is this the function of civil government as provided by the Constitution? Or does this need to be the responsibility of local foundations, corporations, or individuals, who if liberated from their tax burden, would have the resources to provide for such opportunities?

Americans must educate themselves in the true purpose of civil government as it was intended and then seek to restore those foundational principles. One of those basic principles is to restore the power to the people. Can we once again be a government “of the people, by the people, for the people?” Do we have the character for such a government? Or have we become so dependent on big government that we cannot take the responsibility which would be required of each of us?


[1] Verna M. Hall, The Christian of the American Revolution: Consider and Ponder (San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1976) page xxi v.

Standing on Principles

Standing on Principles

As I watched brief news coverage on the Supreme Court hearing involving the religious liberty of such groups as the Little Sisters of the Poor, it reminded me of the challenge faced by the colonists in 1773 concerning the tax on tea. When the colonists refused to pay the tax, since they had no representation, a plan was devised that the tax would be absorbed, so that the tax would be paid, but the colonists would not pay the tax.

Capitol Bldg

Thinking this would satisfy the colonists, Benjamin Franklin wrote: “They have no idea that any people can act from any other principle but that of interest; and they believe that three pence on a pound of tea, of which one does not perhaps drink ten pounds in a year, is sufficient to overcome all the patriotism of an American . . . “ “They did not rise up against the paltry duty because they were poor and could not pay, but because they were free and would not submit to wrong.” The same principles apply today. Organizations and individuals are being asked to sacrifice their principles, even though the cost is being hidden. We must stand on those principles even as did the founding fathers of our nation. May the Lord guide the hearts of the Supreme Court, even as He can turn the heart of the King.

The Spirit of Thanksgiving

 The Spirit of Thanksgiving by Jeanette Whittaker

The true spirit of thanksgiving can be hard to capture in the whirlwind of modern society. You can’t facebook, text, tweet, or click to discover it.

You’ll find the spirit of thanksgiving as you contemplate and consider the nature and mighty works of our Creator and Savior.

The spirit of thanksgiving places all hope and trust in God. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. Psalm 145:3-4.

The spirit of thanksgiving recognizes the faithfulfulness of God. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. Lamentations 3:22-24.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we honor our Pilgrim fathers because they lived the Biblical spirit of thanksgiving.

Recognizing the principles of Scripture, they followed the dictates of conscience concerning the practice of their faith.

Tested by persecution, they placed all faith and hope in God. Recounting their experiences, William Bradford used phrases such as, “their desires were set on the ways of God…they rested on his providence, and knew whom they had believed.”

After spending a decade in Holland, the Separatists prepared themselves for an even more difficult endeavor, emigrating to the wilderness of North America. Bradford acknowledged the enormity of this step of faith with these gripping words, “It was answered that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and must be both enterprised and overcome with answerable courages…all of them [difficulties], through the help of God, by fortitude and patience, might either be borne or overcome.”

Arrived at Cape Cod, far from their planned destination in Virginia, Bradford recorded their continued choice to place all their faith and trust in God. “What could now sustain them but the spirit of God and his grace? May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord, and he heard their voice, and looked on their adversity. let them therefore praise the Lord, because he is good, and his mercies endure for ever.”

Over and over again, Bradford echoed the sentiments of the saints of God through all of time. In God will I put my trust.

Facing disease and death, near starvation, as well as other hardships, the Pilgrims carried on in those early years.  In 1623, a two-month drought threatened to wipe out the carefully planted crops. What would these steadfast Pilgrims do? In Bradford’s words, “they set apart a solemn day of humiliation, to seek the Lord by humble and fervent prayer, in this great distress. And he was pleased to give them a gracious and speedy answer.”

On the very day of their fasting and prayer, they received rain, followed by “such seasonable showers…as, through his blessing, caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. For which mercy…they also set apart a day of thanksgiving.”

Where would we be in America today if our Pilgrim forefathers had placed their faith in the wisdom of man?

Where will we be in America if our generation fails to recognize the call of God for individuals, families, and our nation?

As you move through this Thanksgiving season, may the Lord Jesus Christ give you reason to rejoice and to live in hope. In the days that follow, may you purpose to live in acknowledgement of the mighty works of God–past, present, and future.

Jeanette Whittaker 


Christ Changed History

Christ Changed History

As we focus on the celebration of Christ’s birth, we recognize that Christ and Christianity are the foundation of our lives. Jesus Christ is our hope, our Savior, the Author of liberty, and much more. The prophet Isaiah said it this way, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end…” Isaiah 9:6-7

The influence of Christ in our world truly cannot be measured. From a historical perspective, He is the focus of all of history. The Mighty Works of God series for children presents it this way. 

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“Christ’s coming to earth is the most important event of all history. All events, before and after Christ, point to his coming.

“When God created man, He created him without sin. However, man chose to disobey God and man became a sinner.

“God provided a way for sins to be forgiven. That forgiveness could only come through the shedding of blood. ‘Without shedding of blood is no remission.’ Hebrews 9:22b.

“The Old Testament promised there would be a Saviour, the Messiah. The people who lived before Christ could only be redeemed as they believed in the promise of the Savior. The law which was given to Moses included many ceremonies and sacrifices. All of the ceremonies and sacrifices foretold Christ’s coming and death on the cross.

“Hundreds of years before Christ’s birth, the prophet Isaiah wrote about Christ’s death and man’s need of a Savior. ‘But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ Isaiah 53:5-6.

“Each man, woman, boy, or girl who believes in Jesus can have his sins forgiven. This salvation gives eternal life. ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.’ John 3: 36.

“Christ came to fulfill all the promises God had given in the Old Testament. He was the sacrifice for all sins. With Christ’s death, His shedding of blood, man could come to God through Christ. The ceremonies and sacrifices of the Old Testament law were fulfilled. Since Christ’s death and resurrection, the sacrifices and ceremonies that were given in the Old Testament are no longer required.” (Ruth Smith, The Mighty Works of God: Divine Providence)

Truly the coming of Christ changed history. If we consider the work of Christ, changing the hearts of men, we will recognize the significance of self government and liberty. It is the foundation on which individuals, families, and nations can discover the manifold blessings of Christ and Christianity.

Free Teaching Resources




James and Barbara Rose 

Part 3


  1.  They believed in “Reformation without tarrying for any” – as demonstrated by an individual and personal responsibility to obey God’s Word. To the Pilgrim it meant “voluntary conformity to the rules and principles given in the New Testament, without waiting for others to obey, without waiting for the Church to change, and especially not waiting for the King to reform the church. Reformation presupposes repentance, and the Pastor of the Pilgrim, Rev. John Robinson, exhorted the Pilgrim church to “daily renew our repentance with our God, especially for our sins known, and generally for our unknown trespasses…”
  2. The Pilgrims were separatists and believed in the local, self governing, independent congregational form of church government. That is the form of church government to which we adhere. The Pilgrims “All had gained the intelligence that comes from the diligent study of the Bible and … were honest and earnest believers in the Christ of the New Testament. Such were the men and the women who were thus driven out of their native England, yet hunted and intercepted in their flight, as if they were criminals escaping from justice. Why did they suffer the spoiling of their goods, arrest, imprisonment, exile? They had caught from the Bible the idea of a church independent alike of the pope and the queen, independent of Parliament as well as of prelates (politicians), and dependent only on Christ. It was their mission to work out and organize that idea.” (Leonard Bacon, Genesis of the New England Churches, 1874) Individual self government and independent self governing churches produced a free, independent local civil government under the Mayflower Compact.
  3. THEY CAST ASIDE COMMUNISM IN LABOR AND SUPPLY FOR INDIVIDUAL ENTERPRISE. Did you know that the Pilgrims signed a contract with some London businessmen to obtain “their meat, drink and apparel and ALL PROVISIONS OUT OF THE COMMON STOCK AND GOODS of the said colony?” Agreeing to the condition that all property be publicly owned and that every person will get an equal share of their common labor and supplies – a form of communism / socialism in labor and supply — was the only way they could obtain the funds to acquire the religious liberty they wanted. The Pilgrims strove for two years to keep this part of the contract but the result was such dissention, discord and want that their Governor cast off communism and established INDIVUDUAL ENTERPRISE. He assigned all the unmarried folks and orphans to live with more complete families, assigned each family their own plot of ground as their private property, and left every household to “shift for itself or suffer want.”

Governor Bradford lists nine reasons why communism in labor and supply did not work:

  1.  taking away private property and sharing everything in common did not make      them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God.
  2. communism in labor and supply breeds much confusion and discontent;
  3. it retards employment;
  4. the younger, able and stronger men complained that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without recompense or reward;
  5. the most able men thought it unjust not to receive more food or clothing than he that was weak and less productive;
  6. the older and “graver” or serious and solemn men did not like to be ranked as equal to the younger men in labor, food or clothing and saw such equality as an “indignity and disrespect”;
  7. neither husbands or wives wanted to be commanded to serve other men by fixing their food, washing their clothes – they saw this as a form of slavery;
  8. the idea of all persons sharing alike, doing alike, being alike did not agree with “those relations that God hath set among men”;
  9. communal property and communism in labor and supply diminished the mutual respect that should be practiced between people;

The Governor wisely displaced communism/socialism for individual enterprise and industry and productively increased enormously, but God intended the Pilgrims learn to trust Him not their own wisdom by permitting a DROUGHT and heat wave to descend on the land for nearly two months during spring time.   The corn withered away and the ground was parched so the Pilgrims “set apart a day of humiliation” and sought the Lord by humble and fervent prayer in their great distress—and the rains came.

Thank God together this Thursday in remembrance of how the Pilgrims taught, illustrated and demonstrated SELF GOVERNMENT – THE CORNERSTONE OF OUR NATION, AND THEIR THANKS LIVING GIFT TO US AS AMERICAN CHRISTIANS.

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For further resources on the Pilgrims, Click Here.

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