Book: America & Britain

All across America and the United Kingdom, the Bible has become a ubiquitous aspect of modern life. Indeed, Bibles can be found in virtually every home—yet they are taken for granted; they are not read, not studied. Moreover, it is extraordinary that the Anglo-American peoples possess, in great numbers, Israel’s Bible—the Old Testament. Why is that? While it is true that mainstream Christianity downplays the Old Testament in favor of the New, the fact remains that America and Britain have uniquely inherited the very Scriptures God gave to ancient Israel. Why?

The answer lies in the great purpose God has for modern Israel. Just as God originally raised up the nation of Israel to be a shining example of His way of life to the world, America and Britain have been charged with that same responsibility. God began revealing His plans for Israel shortly after He delivered them from Egypt. He told them: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:4-6). As a nation, Israel would function like a “priest”— directly representing God to the world.

But in order to accomplish this, Israel would need a law—a moral and civil code to live by. Moreover, by their own adherence to that law, Israel would demonstrate to the nations that obedience to God is the only way to lasting peace and prosperity. This simple, yet incredibly profound, “law” was to become the envy of every nation. Just prior to Israel going on to possess the Promised Land, Moses said: “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you should [keep them] in the land where you go to possess it. And you shall keep and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what nation is so great whose God is so near to them, as the LORD our God is, whenever we call upon Him? And what great nation has statutes and judgments that are so righteous as all this law which I set before you today?” (Deut. 4:5-8).

The entire book of Deuteronomy is primarily a restatement of the laws, commandments, statutes and judgments of God—given to Israel as they were about to go into the land. The point is this: Before God could bless Israel with national greatness, His Word needed to be fully established as their moral foundation.

But as this book has shown, the promises of national greatness that God gave to Abraham were to ultimately be fulfilled not through ancient Israel, but through end-time Israel—specifically the “birthright” tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who would carry name “Israel” in the modern era. As modern Israel, it was God’s intent that America and Britain exemplify the same moral laws that God originally gave to their Hebrew ancestors. They were to be that shining example to the world in the “latter days.”

This idea has been shared by many Anglo-America leaders. In fact, the British generally believed that God had blessed them with an empire so that they, in turn, might be a blessing to all mankind. As James Morris notes, “It was not merely the right of the British to rule a quarter of the world … it was actually their duty…. They would so distribute across the earth their own methods, [moral] principles and liberal traditions that the future of mankind would be reshaped.”1 In 1765, Sir William Blackstone introduced his Commentaries on the Laws of England, which not only advanced the development of English common law, but served as the premier legal reference for the nation and much of the Empire. Of utmost importance was the fact that Blackstone’s work was based principally on the laws and precepts of the Bible.2 Thus, the British were able to promote and exemplify many of the living principles of the Bible to much of the world. Moreover, as we will see, England has played a chief role in the early development of the Bible itself—as well as its subsequent dissemination.

In America, the sentiment was perhaps even stronger. Many of our founding fathers likened America to a new Israel—a new land being settled for the first time, all predicated on divine providence. In his book Joshua and the Promised Land, Roy May writes: “Promised Land imagery figured prominently in shaping English colonial thought. The pilgrims identified themselves with the ancient Hebrews [and] viewed the New World as the New Canaan. They were God’s chosen people headed for the Promised Land.” For example, in 1613 the Virginian minister Alexander Whitaker preached that “God hath opened this passage unto us, and led us by the hand unto this work.” Most particularly, “the [pilgrims] who disembarked in Massachusetts in 1620 believed they were establishing the New Israel. Indeed, the whole colonial enterprise was believed to have been guided by God.”3

This image of being God’s “chosen people” called to establish a new “Israel” became central to how early America defined itself. In fact, the idea was so entrenched that, in 1776, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson pressed unsuccessfully for “Promised Land” imagery to be incorporated into the nation’s Great Seal. Throughout the Revolutionary War period and beyond, the idea was forcefully proclaimed from the pulpit. For example, in 1788 at Concord, New Hampshire, Samuel Langdon preached, “We cannot but acknowledge that God hath graciously patronized our cause and taken us under His special care, as He did His ancient covenant people.”4

Leaders such as George Washington understood that God alone had established America for a great purpose. In a 1778 letter to Thomas Nelson, Jr., he wrote that “the hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all [of] this….” Numerous subsequent leaders have made similar comments. In his famous “The Bible and Progress” speech given in 1911, Woodrow Wilson (then governor of New Jersey) said, “America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the … Holy Scriptures.”5 In other words, America was raised up to model God’s righteous way of life through adherence to the moral principles found in the Scriptures. We were to be a light, a shining example, to the world—just as God had wanted for ancient Israel. The Puritan minister John Winthrop had the same vision: “We shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us….”6

Perhaps no other American leader—at least in modern times—has expressed this vision so vividly as has Ronald Reagan. From his earliest days as a public speaker, Reagan never made a speech that didn’t somehow invoke America’s greatness and destiny. One theme remained constant: America was a “shining city on a hill”—a metaphor clearly meant to imply that America was to be a model nation to the world. In 1952, Reagan spoke of America as a “place in the divine scheme of things that was set aside as a promised land.” In 1964 he said to the nation, “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny”—and said America was the “last best hope” of the world. In his January 11, 1989, farewell address to the nation, he repeated his vision of America as a “shining city on a hill”—adding that, for now, “she’s still a beacon” to the world.7 But today, America and Britain no longer exemplify biblical morality—no longer shine like a “city on a hill.”

To repeat, God gave ancient Israel His Word through Moses—before He blessed them with greatness, before He put them in a position of being His model nation. Likewise, God planned to give modern Israel His Word in written form—before He bestowed on them the fullness of the Abrahamic “birthright” blessings. It was imperative that a moral foundation be firmly in place before all the eyes of the world were on Britain, and later on America. Moreover, as modern-day Israel, God would need a standard by which He could judge Britain and America. This standard is realized in the Scriptures, particularly in the Ten Commandments and their subsequent magnification by Jesus as seen in Matthew 5-7.

And that is why there are so many Bibles throughout the Anglo- American nations! The Scriptures are indeed God’s unique gift to America and Britain. But when—how—did this gift come to modern Israel?

Britain’s Struggle for Religious Freedom

In the centuries following the collapse of the Roman Empire, Europe remained under the domination of the Catholic Church. Largely defined by poverty, ignorance and warfare, much of this period has traditionally been called the “Dark Ages.” But in the latter half of the 15th century, three landmark events occurred. First, the fall of Constantinople in 1453 brought an influx of scholars into western Europe, and these scholars brought Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Secondly, in 1456, Johannes Gutenberg perfected the use of moveable type, leading to the birth of mass printing. This would eventually enable the widespread dissemination of knowledge— and the extensive printing of the Scriptures. Third, in 1492, Christopher Columbus “discovered” the New Word, thus beginning the unbroken connection between Europe and the Americas.

At this time England was enjoying a relatively stable government under Henry VII. The next century would prove most remarkable: Catholic control of England would be overthrown; literacy would begin to spread; and England would develop into a considerable naval power. But not to be overlooked is that throughout Europe—even as the continent made the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance Period—Christians had long been deprived of access to the Word of God. In fact, under Catholic decree it was forbidden to give laity access to the Scriptures. Yet it was in England that the battle was ultimately fought and won for the right of the common man to have a Bible in his own language. At the forefront of this extraordinary achievement was William Tyndale, who during this period brought Britain the first complete Bible—in English.

Long before the Reformation officially began in Germany in 1517, various Christian fellowships throughout Europe existed outside the realm of the Catholic Church. These valiant believers despised the heresies and hypocrisies of Rome and refused to honor the pope—and untold numbers of them were martyred for their rejection of Orthodoxy. England as well had its own brave Christians who challenged Catholicism. As we will see, Tyndale was foremost among these English “reformers.”

Even after the Reformation was well under way, being a non-Catholic Christian was risky, especially in Spain, Italy or other staunchly-Catholic areas of Europe. But little England would prove to be different: eventually shaking off Catholic control and embracing Protestantism, the Isle in time became a refuge for those who could reach it. How all of this happened bears witness to the hand of God working out His great plan.

England’s infamous Henry VIII (who reigned from 1509 to 1547) was staunchly Catholic. But the king wanted to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon, so he could marry the younger Anne Boleyn in hopes of securing a male heir. The pope denied him permission. Henry reacted by “divorcing” England from Roman Catholicism—declaring himself head of the still-verymuch- Catholic Church of England. Parliament officially endorsed Henry’s new position in 1534. (Interestingly, Great Britain’s monarchs still retain the vaunted position, “Head of the Church of England.”)

However, England’s new “pope” continued the Catholic tradition of persecuting those who rejected the state religion. While Protestantism made substantial gains during this time, Henry’s reign was, nevertheless, one of considerable difficulty for Protestants. As it turned out, even his death was a serious setback for Protestantism—because it ultimately led to his daughter, Mary I, taking the throne in 1553. Mary was a fervent Catholic, and her legendary persecution against Protestants earned her the name by which she is still remembered—Bloody Mary. Ironically, the persecution of dissenters during Mary’s five-year reign caused a backlash against Catholicism. For many, apparently, the moral depravity behind the idea of state-enforced religion had become all too graphic.

Mary was succeeded on the throne by her half-sister Elizabeth I, who turned England back to Protestantism. A sense of religious liberty was felt across the land; for the first time in the nation’s history, to be English was to be Protestant. Rome continued to campaign for a revival of Catholicism on the Isle, excommunicating anyone loyal to the queen. While Elizabeth and most of England simply ignored the pope, her reign was dominated by the threat of a Catholic restoration through war with Spain. But God had other plans. In 1588, Spain set out to conquer England and restore it to the fold of the Catholic Church—but its vast armada was destroyed by storm winds off the coast of England. The Spanish were defeated, guaranteeing that England would not come back under the domination of Roman Catholicism.

All of England could see the hand of God in this miraculous victory. The benchmark event gave the British renewed confidence and a sense that God had a great purpose for the nation. Religious zeal began to flourish among the common people, and a newfound interest in the Scriptures soon resulted in the 1611 translation of the King James Version of the Bible.

The Reformation had reshaped England like no other nation; almost the entire country proudly became Protestant, making the Isle a ready refuge for those fleeing Catholic persecution. Indeed, the stage was set for future religious freedom in Britain—at least on a certain level.

William Tyndale—A Man with a Divine Mission

With the development of his movable type printing press, Johannes Gutenberg printed the first Bible (in Latin) in 1455—making hand copying obsolete. Then, in 1516, Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536) published his groundbreaking Greek-Latin New Testament. David Daniell writes: “This was the first time that the Greek New Testament had been printed. It is no exaggeration to say that it set fire to Europe. Luther (1483-1546) translated it into his famous German version in 1522. In a few years there appeared translations from it into most European vernaculars. They were the true basis for the popular reformation [in Europe].”8 It was largely Erasmus’ translation that inspired Martin Luther to challenge the papacy, effectively initiating the Reformation in Germany in 1517.

Similarly, the success of the Reformation in England hinged on the circulation of Scripture—in English. Thus, without question, the single most important figure in the Reformation in England was William Tyndale—who published the first English version of the Bible, Old and New Testaments, translating directly from the Greek and Hebrew. As Daniell notes, Tyndale’s “translations have been the best-kept secret in English Bible history”9

It is evident that God prepared Tyndale for this most profound work. He was born about 1494 in Gloucestershire, took his BA at Oxford in 1512 and his MA in 1515, and apparently spent time in Cambridge. In addition to Latin and Greek, he had mastered six other languages. Most importantly, Tyndale possessed a singular passion—to translate the Word of God into English and make it available to all. He believed everyone—from the lowly plowboy to the king sitting on the throne of England—should have access to the Scriptures.

Tyndale’s first accomplishment was to translate the New Testament into English from Erasmus’ 1516 Greek version. Then, while in Germany in 1526, he published an English New Testament by translating directly from the Greek. He later published a revised version in 1534. Having been denied permission by Catholic authorities (as well as by Henry VIII) to translate the New Testament, Tyndale worked in secret, avoiding church authorities. In time, England was flooded with thousands of copies of his outlawed New Testament—fanning the flames of the Reformation.

Tyndale quickly became the most hated enemy of both the Catholic Church and Henry’s royal court. But while church officials publicly burned thousands of copies of Tyndale’s New Testament (and his other books), nothing could stop the influx of Bibles into England.

In 1530, Tyndale translated and printed the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament. This marked the first time any part of the Old Testament had been translated directly from the Hebrew into English. He published a second edition in 1534, adding other parts of the Old Testament.

Tyndale was arrested in May of 1535 and imprisoned near Brussels, where he remained until his execution in October, 1536. During the months of his detention, Tyndale was able—with the help of his loyal friend John Rogers—to continue work on his Old Testament. After Tyndale was killed, Rogers fell heir to all of his notes and unpublished translations of the Old Testament. At risk to his own life, Rogers finalized Tyndale’s work, making his complete Old Testament ready for printing.

As he was being martyred, Tyndale uttered this final prayer: “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!” And God did just that. Henry soon began to see the need for the common man to have access to the Scriptures. Thus, in 1537, not even two years from Tyndale’s death, Henry authorized the printing—and distribution among England’s congregations—of the Thomas Matthew Bible, which was, in reality, William Tyndale’s complete Old and New Testaments. As documented by Daniell, the title was chosen (probably by Rogers) to hide the fact that it was Tyndale’s work.10 Years later, in 1553, Rogers was burned at the stake under Bloody Mary’s reign of terror.

God’s timing is always perfect. With the ascension of Elizabeth I to the throne, Protestantism in England flourished. Over time, Tyndale’s works became exceedingly popular. In 1603, Elizabeth was succeeded by James I—who in 1611 authorized the King James Version of the Bible. Ironically, Tyndale’s work formed the basis for James’ version, which incorporated 90 percent of Tyndale’s passages without revision—and, unfortunately, without acknowledgment. (The complete Geneva Bible—published in Geneva in 1560 by scholars who had fled England during Mary’s rule—incorporated some 95 percent of Tyndale’s work. It was this Bible that the earliest pilgrims carried with them to the New World. Moreover, it was largely King James’ dissatisfaction with the Geneva Bible that led him to commission his 1611 version.)

It is most apparent that God used little England in a powerful way to bring the world the written Word of God. In fact, the Foreign Bible Society, based in London, has been responsible for the Bible being translated into virtually every language and for making copies available for the first time to people all over the world. But more to the point of this appendix, God’s written word had to be commonly accessible in order to establish the moral foundation of what would become a worldwide phenomenon—the rise of latter-day Anglo-American Israel. As modern Israel, Britain and America were to have a strong moral influence on the world—which they did, for a time. Moreover, God would use those same biblical precepts as the standard by which He would judge Britain and America.

British Intolerance Gives Way to American Liberty

As de facto guardians of the Word of God, Britain was to assume the lead in proclaiming the Gospel to the world. Unfortunately, this is precisely where the British have failed. Even after the Reformation had virtually run its course, genuine religious liberty continued to evade England. The state-run Church of England—albeit fully Protestant—tolerated little dissension from its brand of orthodoxy. Consequently, it was not at all uncommon for unorthodox groups—Puritans, Unitarians, Anabaptists, Sabbatarians, etc.— to be heavily persecuted.

Over time, the Church of England became mired in tradition, ritual and politics. It never recognized the profound opportunity at hand: utilize the resources of the British Empire to reach the world with the Gospel. To be sure, the British have sponsored thousands of mission projects around the world and distributed millions of Bibles. The Anglican church has raised up churches, schools and related organizations throughout the Empire. But like the Catholic Church, the Church of England has embraced a pseudo-gospel focusing solely on the atoning work of Christ. Like their tepid Protestant counterparts in America, the Church of England has been ignorant of the true Gospel message that Jesus and the apostles proclaimed—i.e., the advance news of the Kingdom of God as a literal world-ruling kingdom (Dan. 2:44; Matt. 24:14; Mark 1:14; Luke 4:43; Acts 1:3; etc.).11

For those unorthodox groups that made an effort to proclaim the true Gospel—particularity Sabbatarian churches that took the Scriptures more literally—the atmosphere of religious intolerance created by the Church of England made it all but impossible to be effective. Sabbath-keeping in the British Isles can be traced back to the Celtic church in England.12 This was the norm until Catholicism became established in Britain in the 500s AD and found fertile ground for rapid growth. Many of the Christians of Britain were, up until that time, Sabbath-keeping Unitarians who kept the biblical food laws and holy days.13 But by the mid-600s, Sabbatarians had become a minority and found themselves under rising persecution. Like their faithful counterparts throughout much of Europe, Sabbath-keepers across Britain found refuge in sparsely-populated areas, virtually going underground.

The Reformation period brought renewed hope for Sabbath-keepers, but such hope ultimately proved to be an illusion. While the lengthy reign of Elizabeth I (1558 to 1603) fostered a new sense of open-mindedness to non-Orthodox beliefs, she was compelled by Parliament to approve the 1559 Act of Uniformity, which made Sunday attendance compulsory (the penalty for failure to conform was a significant fine). The ruling was apparently aimed at poor church attendance in general as opposed to being a strike against Sabbatarians. Nevertheless, Sabbath-keepers were particularly singled out.

In about 1580, Robert Browne—a nonconformist who broke with the Church of England—began preaching a message of separatism. By the time Browne was exiled from England in 1582, his “Separatist” movement had gained a considerable following—and included many Sabbath-keepers. One of the results was the formation of Sabbatarian churches in several parts of London—most notably under John Robinson and William Bradford. Facing unrelenting persecution, Robinson and Bradford led Sabbath-keepers from Scrooby, Gainborough, and Southwark to relocate to Amsterdam, Holland, in 1608. However, some 12 years later, the former Londoners began to face similar persecution in Holland for their Sabbath-keeping.

After much difficulty and many setbacks, Robinson was able in 1620 to bring his followers—known in history as the Mayflower pilgrims—to a new land, America. Thus, settling in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the pilgrims formed the first Sabbatarian community in the New World. Unfortunately, some 20 years later, the group was forced to flee to Rhode Island—not because of their belief in the Sabbath, but because they refused to accept Trinitarian ideas.

Meanwhile, back in England, Sabbatarian leaders continued to face persecution. A notable example is that of John Trask, who came preaching Sabbath-keeping in London in 1617, drawing a sizable following. Within a year, Trask was arrested and charged with sedition—pulling the king’s subjects away from the church and into “Judaism” (this follows Martin Luther’s anti-Semitic tactic of disparaging Sabbath-keeping by labeling it Jewish). Sadly, Trask recanted and was released after three years in prison.

In 1618, “a violent controversy broke out among English theologians as to whether the Sabbath of the fourth commandment was in force and … on what ground the first day of the week [Sunday] was entitled to be observed [and referred to] as the Sabbath.”14 Moreover, debate over the Puritan teaching that Sunday should legitimately be called the “Sabbath”—a highly destructive theology for Sabbatarians—reached a boiling point by 1640.15 In spite of such controversies, it is interesting that Sabbatarian views actually gained in popularity during this period. Londoner James Ockford, for example, is credited with fueling the Sabbatarian movement in 1650 via his highly-persuasive writings. In fact, around this time “it occurred to many conscientious and independent thinkers … that the fourth commandment required of them the observance, not of the first, but of the specified seventh day of the week….” However, most Christians remained convinced that “the [Sabbath] day had been altered by [the] divine authority” of the church. Still, Sabbatarians “became numerous enough to make a considerable figure for more than a century in England.”16 One researcher writes: “That the Sabbatarians were then a distinct body, and that they had been such for some time previously to 1654, is seen from the fact that there were then about one hundred fifty adherents belonging to several groups in London. The Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist organization exists in London to this day, and its [existing] records go back to 1673, when they had seventy members.”17 Other records trace the origin of the Mill Yard church to Trask in 1617.18

The English Civil War (1642-1649) between King Charles I and his Parliamentary opponents ultimately brought some relief to Sabbath-keepers. English general Oliver Cromwell led Parliament to its victory, resulting in Charles’ execution. With the loss of their “head,” the powers of the Church of England were greatly diminished. Subsequently, Cromwell became “Lord Protector of the Commonwealth” (1653 to 1658)—and, as head of state, instituted many Puritan-styled reforms in the Anglican church. During this period, tolerance for Sabbath-keepers was much improved. Cromwell was hailed as a champion of those who opposed the state persecution of minority faiths, especially Sabbath-keepers.19 However, with the subsequent collapse of Cromwell’s regime and the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660, Sabbath-keeping quickly fell once more into disfavor. Charles had promised toleration—but promptly reneged. A particularly horrific example of “royal malice” against those who taught the Sabbath occurred in 1661. John James, who years earlier had preached at the Seventh-day Baptist church at Mill Yard, was executed ostensibly for uttering “treasonable words against the king.”20 As a deterrent to Sabbath-keepers, James’ severed head was hung on a pole outside his meeting hall.

Thus, Sabbath-keepers began leaving Britain in great numbers. “By and large, from this period, Sabbath-keeping incurred an almost enforced migration to America.”21 One well-known Sabbatarian, Stephen Mumford, came directly to America from London in 1664. Later, in 1671, Mumford formed the first Seventh-day Baptist church at Newport, Rhode Island.22

Supposedly, the 1689 Act of Toleration granted freedom of religious worship throughout Britain. But while the Church of England surrendered the idea of imposing one faith on the nation, it was little consolation to the hundreds of Sabbatarians who had fled to safety in America. It must be noted, however, that the demise of Sabbath-keeping in England was not totally because of persecution. In 1702, there were still about 18 Seventh-day Baptist churches in England. But by the mid-1700s, their zeal had vanished as numerous once-staunchly Sabbatarian evangelists took up leading positions in Sunday-keeping churches. “They took upon themselves the responsibility, after a time, of making the Sabbath of no practical importance, and of treating its violation as no very serious transgression of the law of God. Doubtless they [had] hoped to win men to Christ and His truth by this course; but, instead of this, they simply lowered the standard of divine truth into the dust.”23

The migration of Sabbatarians to America was again evidence of the hand of God at work. Among these Sabbath-keeping groups could be found a remnant of the apostolic church founded by Jesus. Thus, the true Church of God was now in a place where it could grow and spread the true Gospel of the Kingdom of God. By 1802, the first Seventh-day Baptist Conference had formed—with 8 churches, 9 ministers, and 1130 members. Organizing decades later, Seventh Day Adventists groups also saw tremendous growth, along with the Church of God, Seventh Day.24

As a republic, the United States was founded chiefly on the ideal of religious tolerance. Though they would always be a tiny minority compared to Sunday-keeping Protestants and Catholics, Sabbath-keeping groups in America have mostly found wide acceptance. In fact, over the past 50 years, U.S.-based Sabbatarian groups have been able to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God around the world with unprecedented success—something that could never be done in or from Britain.25 Today, the Church of England, while all but impotent, still influences what ideologies are allowed to be disseminated. Meanwhile, atheism, secularism, and humanism are fast sweeping the nation (see Appendix 8 for the current state of religion in the UK and in America).

America and Britain—Judged by the Bible

For over 400 years, the King James Version has remained the best-known translation around the world—the standard by which all other Bible translations are compared. Although the Scriptures have been published in practically every language, the English version remains the most significant, with Britain and America printing and distributing hundreds of millions of copies around the world.26

But why has the Bible been so predominant in Britain and the United States? Almost every Anglo-American home has several Bibles. Why?

Once held in high regard, the Bible is now considered by the British to be among the “top 50 most-interesting books”—a sad commentary on the growing distain for Christianity in the UK. In the United States, however, the Bible is perennially a best seller. Indeed, Americans say the Bible is the one book that has most influenced their lives. But why has the Bible been held in such high regard by the Anglo-American nations? Why did the men who framed the American Constitution lean so heavily on the wisdom and insight of the Scriptures? Is it because the book tells not only the story of our distant ancestors, but also reveals our future?

Again, we have Israel’s Bible—why?

Through the widespread availability of the Bible, God has given the English-speaking nations of Israelite descent an understanding of what He expects of us. Importantly, the way of life laid out in the Bible is clearlydefined— so that we are without excuse!

“For this commandment which I command you today is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven that you should say, ‘Who shall go up to heaven for us, and bring it to us, so that we may [understand] it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea that you should say, ‘Who shall go over the sea for us to bring it to us, so that we may [understand] it and do it?’ But the word [of God] is very near you, in your mouth [by reading it] and in your heart [in your understanding], so that you may do it” (Deut. 30:11-14).

To be sure, no one can claim to “not understand” what God requires of modern Israel. This passages leaves no room for excuses: God’s way of life as defined by the Ten Commandments (and additional statutes) is quite clear if we are willing to listen and obey. But the problem today is the same problem our ancestors had—an unwilling heart!

“Behold, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil, in that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments so that you may live and multiply. And the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it [including the land of America and the British Isles]. But if your heart turn away so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I denounce to you this day that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days on the land…. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life, so that both you and your seed may live” (verses 15-19).

God established a solid moral foundation for modern Joseph before bestowing greatness on Britain and America. These common moral values, based on the Bible, were fundamental in the development of our nations. Moreover, this moral foundation was to be exemplified to all nations—like a “light shining on a hill.” For a time, the world stood in awe of our example. But today, we continue to bring shame and disgrace to the name of our Creator.

Modern Joseph—Britain and America—is now under judgment. But God’s criterion for judgment is not “religion” per se; it does not hinge on denominationalism or on a specific doctrinal worldview—for America in particular has been home to a variety of faiths (including the Jewish faith, which honors the moral teachings of the Old Testament). Rather, God’s judgment centers on how we as a people have lived—and are now living. We once had a common moral code based on the Scriptures. Whether you were Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, or even non-religious—there was one standard by which to live.

Now, because of our foolish rejection of the Bible—God’s unique gift to Britain and America—we are being cursed at every turn. Unless our peoples repent and return to God’s Word, it will mean our destruction as modern-day Israel.


1. James Morris, Pax Britannica: The Climax of an Empire, p. 26

2. Shane Idleman, “America: “Christian Nation”…Fact or Fiction?” Also see Leonard Ransil, “The Total Truth Solution for a Fractured America” (Section 4, Chapter 28: America Founded on a Christian Worldview, Our Founding Documents); Both writers document the importance of Blackstone’s work.

3. “Manifest Destiny: America the New Israel,” excerpted from Joshua and the Promised Land by Roy May. See manifest.html. - (No longer available)

4. “Manifest Destiny: America the New Israel”

5. “Quotes from America’s Leaders,”

6. “Manifest Destiny: America the New Israel”

7. Reagan Quotes -

8. David Daniell, Tyndale’s New Testament, p. 58. Quoted in “A Tribute to William Tyndale,” by Fred R. Coulter; available at

9. Daniell, p. vii; quoted in “A Tribute to William Tyndale”

10. David Daniell, Biography of William Tyndale, p. 335. On the last page of the Old Testament, Rogers intentionally placed the initials “W.T.” in large print—“which may be intended to stand for the larger presence of William Tyndale in the whole” (p. 335). Quoted in “A Tribute to William Tyndale.”

11. The Protestant “Gospel” has always centered on the atoning work of Christ. As such, it focuses on His death and resurrection. Certainly, this is a vital component of the Gospel. But Jesus Himself, as did the apostles, preached the “good news” of the reality and certainty of the messianic Kingdom of God—a literal world-ruling kingdom. Today’s Christianity has excluded Jesus’ own message—of a literal kingdom—from the Gospel while crafting a false gospel by “cherrypicking” texts from Paul’s writings and misapplying them. Martin Luther, for example, ignored Jesus’ teachings in the gospel accounts and based his teachings solely on Paul’s letters. Calvin did likewise. Their idea was that Jesus preached a “Jewish” message up to the cross, after which Paul took the real “gospel of grace” to the Gentiles. Acts 20:24-25 shows otherwise. C. S. Lewis wrote: “The epistles are for the most part the earliest Christian documents we possess. The gospels came later. [But Jesus preached before the epistles were written.] They [the four gospels] are not the gospel, the statement of Christian belief…. [The] epistles are more … central [to Christian belief] than the gospels.” Such language clearly sets up an imaginary dichotomy between the gospel accounts and the writings of Paul—yet Paul taught “all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets” (Acts 24:14); he upheld the very “words of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Tim. 6:3). This would have included a literal kingdom-gospel just as described by the prophets (Dan. 2:44; etc.) and just as taught by Christ. Billy Graham wrote: “What is the gospel?” Jesus “came to do three days work, to die, be buried, and be raised.” “He came not primarily to preach the gospel … but he came rather that there might be a gospel to preach.” What utter biblical ignorance! What about Mark 1:14-15 and Luke 4:43—both of which emphasize the message of a literal kingdom? Note Graham’s obvious focus on the messenger, not His message. Clearly, the evangelical “Gospel” of modern Christianity denies Jesus’ own message in favor of a distorted view of Paul’s writings. But a “Christianity” that is not rooted and anchored in the exact message of the historical Jesus—a message of a literal kingdom that would bring salvation—is only a false faith. Such “Christian” writers have apparently never noticed that Jesus sent the apostles out to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:2, 6) while having no understanding of His future death and resurrection. It was only after the apostles had returned from this early evangelical tour that Jesus began to hint at His coming death (verse 22). Much later, the apostles still did not “get it” concerning Jesus’ death and resurrection (Luke 18:31- 34)—they “understood none of these things.” Indeed, it was only toward the end of His ministry that Jesus began to speak openly of His death (Matt. 16:21). Prior to that time He only vaguely hinted at His death—and even after His death the disciples still did not understand about His resurrection (John 20:9). How How could this be? How can one be called on to preach the Gospel and yet have no understanding of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice? If the Gospel is all about Jesus and His redemptive death and resurrection, what Gospel did the apostles proclaim in Luke 9? The true Gospel of a literal kingdom! The Gospel of the kingdom is exactly that—the advance “good news” of the coming establishment of the world-ruling Kingdom of God. The Gospel’s link to salvation rests in the fact that it is only within the context of that kingdom that salvation is offered. Paul does link the Gospel of the kingdom to grace (see Acts 20:24-25). But a message of grace does not exclude or deny the vital message of a literal kingdom. Paul is only relating the fact that the establishment of the Kingdom of God is an expression of God’s saving grace or favor.

12. James C. Moffatt wrote that it was “customary in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest…” (The Church in Scotland, p. 140). Numerous other sources attest to the Celts keeping the Sabbath in England from before the fall of the Roman Empire. See “Sabbath Keepers Throughout History,”

13. Wade Cox, “General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches,” p. 25;

14. Cox, p. 26

15. James N. Andrews, History of the Sabbath (1887), ch. 27, p. 6 (digital version). The quote is from Chamber’s Cyclopedia, vol. 8; “Sabbath.” The title of chapter 27 is “The Sabbath from the 17th to the 19th Century.”

16. Andrews, p. 2

17. Andrews, p. 6


19. Cox, p. 27

20. Andrews, pp. 7-8. Another notable example is that of Francis Bampfield of London, an eminent Church of England clergyman who defected in 1662 to preach the observance of the Sabbath. He was subsequently imprisoned for nine years and later died of natural causes shortly after being jailed a second time in 1682 (pp. 8-9).

21. Cox, p. 27

22. Andrews, p. 10. Even in America, Mumford ran into intolerance. He and his family and a small group of followers initially fellowshipped with non- Sabbatarian Baptists. Eventually, however, they were labeled as “apostates” and compelled to separate over the Sabbath issue (pp. 10-11). Thus, in 1671, Mumford formed the first Seventh-day Baptist church at Newport, Rhode Island.

23. Andrews, pp. 9-10

24. Andrews, p. 11

25. Moreover, the climate of religious freedom in America has encouraged and enabled billions of dollars to be expended on worldwide mission work and the teaching of Christian principles to other nations. This is just one of the many ways in which Genesis 12:3 has been fulfilled: “And in you”—in Abraham’s offspring, Ephraim and Manasseh—“shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

26. It has been estimated that, as of 2007, over seven billion Bibles have been produced and distributed around the world—in almost every language. Moreover, this figure does not include digital versions. Why are there so many Bibles in the world? As the time of Jesus’ return draws near, God has seen to it that mankind is essentially without excuse when it comes to having an understanding of basic morality. The Bible is a living testimony to numerous truths, not the least of which is how God expects people to live. (See The Holy Bible in its Original Order, page x: “Why Are There So Many Bibles in the World?”)