When Florida minister Rick Curry told Dutch Sheets about a dream involving the “Appeal to Heaven” flag, Sheets had no idea America’s first flag would soon be flying atop state capitols and even the Himalayas. “In the dream, I unfolded the ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flag, waved it over seven generations of Americans … and referenced the harvest that I believe is coming,” Sheets says.
At a time when everything that can be shaken is being shaken, the “Appeal to Heaven” flag has become a symbol of the growing recognition that America’s greatest hope is divine intervention. As detailed in this month’s cover story, the tale behind the flag dates to the Revolutionary War when George Washington’s “secret navy” flew it to signal that the only hope to defeat the British was to request divine assistance. The white flag with an evergreen tree and the words “Appeal to Heaven” preceded both the stars-and-stripes one that Betsy Ross sewed together in 1776 and the yellow-and-black “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. “Many believe Washington used the evergreen tree as a sign of our covenant with God,” says Sheets, founder of Dutch Sheets Ministries. “In Genesis 21:33, Abraham planted an evergreen tree, a tamarisk tree, when he called God the ‘everlasting God.’ It was a way of saying, ‘I will forever honor this covenant with the everlasting God.’ ”
Now, during this critical hour when many believe America is under God’s progressive judgment, the flag is inexplicably appearing across the land as more people are awakening to the realization that the country must return to its biblical roots or face calamity. “It’s everywhere now,” Sheets says. “The flag is flown over state capitols. I just got a call this week about state legislators wearing the ‘Appeal to Heaven’ pin. It’s flown on the highest point anybody can get to—the Himalayas. … I have pictures of about 10 governors holding it.”
Amid a seemingly nonstop series of crises in recent years—the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, catastrophic natural disasters, ballooning levels of debt and growing fears of World War III—many are asking whether the world is now in the run-up to the end time events predicted in Scripture. A recent Barna Group poll found 4 in 10 Americans—and 77 percent of evangelicals—believe the “world is now living in the biblical end times.”
This growing sense that history could be wrapping up comes amid a convergence of a rare set of four blood moons and the biblical Shemitah. At a recent Prophecy in the News conference, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of the New York Times best-selling books The Harbinger and The Mystery of the Shemitah, warned that the end of the seven-year biblical cycle known as the Shemitah in September—and the “Super-Shemitah” in 2015-16—could bring economic collapse or war in the Middle East.
“America’s apostasy from God has quickened,” Cahn told the crowd of 1,000. “It’s as if there is an unraveling in the world. … (The harbingers) have progressed and the sequence is that the nation is being warned that if it doesn’t turn back to God … then the shakings will continue until the nation either comes back to God in revival or in total judgment.” This is why we decided to feature an image of the Statue of Liberty—draped with an “Appeal to Heaven” flag—on the cover. The statue is our nation’s symbol of freedom and hope, yet America is in dire straits and a political savior won’t save us now—only a divine Savior can.
Despite the ominous portents, I’m greatly encouraged by the growing “Appeal to Heaven” movement. After its long slumber, the church and nation is beginning to awaken. In 2012, famed evangelist Billy Graham wrote a letter to “America and its deceived people.” In it, he compared the United States to ancient Nineveh. When the prophet Jonah proclaimed God’s warning, the people of Nineveh repented and escaped judgment. Graham believes the same thing can happen in America.
As you’ll read in this issue, there are initial signs this is beginning. Our news editor Jennifer LeClaire believes this could result in the “prophesied great awakening.”
“Can you see that God is sending prophetic voices to warn America—even our very government and president?” LeClaire wrote in The Next Great Move of God. “We need another great awakening. We need to make an appeal to heaven. The good news is that God wants to bring another spiritual awakening to America. He’s just waiting for us to get in line with His Spirit.”
Troy Anderson is the executive editor of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter@TroyMAnderson or Facebook (troyandersonwriter).
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