‘An Appeal to Heaven’Banner - Resurrected after 240 years
Posted 31 March 2021 by David Stanfield - Australia
A banner created 240 years ago is being resurrected to push back against oppression once again.
A design birthed in prayer by John Locke and used by George Washington to inspire action when all other options seemed futile, is being used once more - across the USA and the world!
The design in this banner features a parchment-coloured background with an Eastern White Pine under the words “An Appeal to Heaven”. It is a replica of a 240-year old banner commissioned by George Washington.
The American Story
The parchment-coloured background acknowledges the 240 year history of this design.
The Pine tree is a symbol of two calls to unity. The first occurred in Northeast North America (Canada and the USA) in the 1600s and a second in 1775. In the 1600s, six Iroquois tribes gathered together in a treaty to stop fighting each other, but be united against their common enemy. They literally “buried their hatchets” under a seedling of an Eastern White Pine. The White Pine became a symbol of their unity and was subsequently used by pilgrims in that region.
Later in the life of the colonies a global scarcity for very tall timber to make ship masts led Great Britain to set an embargo on harvesting the White Pine. This was one of the triggers for the rebellion against the British. In 1775, George Washington took up this symbol, along with the term “An Appeal to Heaven” as a rallying cry of solidarity, conviction and encouragement to fight for liberty.
The banner flew on the battle ships of the 13 colonies in their war against a seemingly unbeatable Great Britain. This banner of prayer predated the Stars and Stripes as a uniting symbol of the USA.
The term “An Appeal to Heaven” came from writings of John Locke, an influential English philosopher from the mid-1600s. Locke wrote a series of papers stating that human rights originated with God, not with government. In his “Two Treatises of Government” Locke made the case that when people have done everything humanly possible to experience those God-given rights and have failed to do so, there remains only one option- they have the freedom to appeal directly to Heaven and ask God to intervene on their behalf.
“…where the body of the people, or any single man, is deprived of their right, or is under the exercise of a power without right, and have no appeal on earth, then they have a liberty to appeal to Heaven, whenever they judge the cause of sufficient moment.”
To Washington and his fellows this was not only a prayer in appealing to the highest level of authority, but as a call to action to appropriate the freedoms that they believed God had ordained mankind to have. Seeking these freedoms had been central to the reason pilgrims travelled to the Americas in the first place.
Dutch Sheets (www.dutchsheets.org) believes the Lord is inviting our generation to raise this banner again. He believes God is resurrecting this concept and this banner 240 years after it was first commissioned.
This flag now hangs in thousands of homes, prayer rooms, churches, government buildings and businesses. Thousands of people have small ones tucked in their Bibles, as lapel pins, tacked to bulletin boards, or conspicuously sitting on their desks, emblazoned on shirts and bumper stickers.
And while this banner has clear meaning and connections for the USA, it has a wider application all over the world – for such a time as this!
It can be seen flying in the Himalayas – the highest point on the planet – where it is raised above dozens of Buddhist prayer flags. It has also flown on the plains of Nineveh, in South Africa, Panama, Cambodia and Australia.
This banner is being used increasingly across the globe in the context where the Christian voice is being marginalised and silenced by governments – even in countries previously considered to have a Christian heritage.
Where leaders, policy makers and national influencers promote ideologies or enact laws that inadvertently or purposely shut God out, there is a need for spiritual and moral renewal – a war for the restoration of God’s original purposes, not those of flawed, man-made structures.
In a time where many believers face overwhelming opposition it is time to take our stand in the celestial courtroom, appealing to the Judge of all the earth for His saving grace, mercy and sustaining power. It is time to appeal to Him:
It is time to ask for grace and mercy, but we also to appeal for justice.
First Nations People
I believe it is also profoundly significant that Locke linked the term “An Appeal to Heaven” with a proposal that ancestral rights to justice could not, should not, be extinguished by conquerors:
“But the Conquered, or their children, have no court, no arbitrator on Earth to appeal to. Then they may appeal, as Jephthah did, to Heaven, and repeat their appeal, till they have recovered the native right of their ancestors, which was to have such a legislative over them, as the majority should approve, and freely acquiesce in.”
I am firmly convinced that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob revealed himself to Indigenous Populations on all continents. Romans 1:20 states “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
In the process of conquering and colonising, the Western tradition of Christianity has silenced the voices of Indigenous people, their stories of their experience of God and their ability to live as Christians within their own cultural context.
The “An Appeal to Heaven” banner is a powerful end-time weapon to appeal to the Most High God to allow the voices of His First Nations People to be heard. If we stop and listen, and allow Spirit-filled leaders to be heard, we will hear how God that had already revealed Himself, His eternal power and divine nature, to His First Nations People. Their understanding of God is broader than the narrow, structured, religious version of Christianity that Constantine popularised and which has dominated Christendom for 1700 years.
It is for such a time as this, that this banner has been recommissioned and re-released to see the voice of God and the voice of His People released afresh in the earth to bring freedom and prepare the bride for His coming.
Appeal to Heaven – it still works!
“Everyone knows how God has saved us, for He has displayed His justice throughout history.” (Psalm 98:2 TPT)
Purchase ‘An Appeal to Heaven’ silk banner.
Posted 31 March 2021 by David Stanfield - Australia
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