John Wilkes Booth. Even people who are unfamiliar with history know that name. Why? Well, the truth is, most people tend to remember the names of those who did horrible things. If you know who Booth is, you surely know who Hitler and Stalin are as well. Those who commit horrendous acts are often etched in our minds for centuries.
What leads these people to do such unspeakable things? What drives them? In some cases, the person is driven by hatred and revenge. Other times, the person is politically or religiously motivated. And sometimes, the person is just plain crazy.
So, what was the case for John Wilkes Booth? You may not know this, but Booth came from a prominent family, who hailed from England. His father was a celebrated Shakespearean actor who was both popular and well-respected. Booth’s family moved to the United States before he was born, making their home in Maryland. Like his father, John Wilkes Booth became an actor, and he was very good at it. He was popular, athletic, good looking, and well known among thespians. He performed in respected theaters in Maryland, Virginia, New York Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. to name a few. He was characterized by many as one “who stole the scene.” He had veracity, charm and wit. At one point he was called “The Pride of the American People” and the most promising new actor in America. It’s hard to imagine a man like this would assassinate a President in cold blood.
What happened in the mind of this very successful actor? There are many books written about him and theories as to why he did what he did, but let’s just look at the facts. John Wilkes Booth was enraged about the idea of slavery being abolished. In fact, he attended the hanging of John Brown, the abolitionist responsible for the raid on Harper’s Ferry. (I wrote about Harper’s Ferry in my blog COMPROMISE). As the years progressed and the war began, Booth’s hatred and anger grew. Booth was very vocal about his hatred, often traveling all over the country to perform, and let his opinion be heard. In St. Louis he was arrested for saying he wanted the President to “Go to Hell”.
The hatred began to eat up Booth inside. It festered, and an uncontrollable rage built up. By 1864, he had developed a plot to kidnap Lincoln. He hatched a plan to secretly hide Lincoln in a boat, and travel across the Potomac River. Once across, he would bring Lincoln into the Confederate capital- Richmond, Virginia. There, Lincoln would be used as a pawn to barter with the Union leaders. Booth’s hope was that the Union would then surrender, leaving the Confederates as the standing government, and victors.
Much to Booth’s dismay, he was unable to execute his plan. Before he knew it, the worst possible scenario (for him) unfolded. Lincoln would enter Richmond, Virginia, but not as the “loser”. He would enter it as the winner. The Union Army would take Richmond, Virginia, which was the capital of the Confederacy. ON APRIL 4, ( eleven days before his death), Lincoln would tour Richmond, Virginia. Interestingly enough, in 2015, a blood moon (total lunar eclipse) happened on APRIL 4, 2015, also occurring on Passover. When Lincoln entered Richmond, it signaled the END OF THE CIVIL WAR. The Confederacy knew they’d lost the war. Yet, historians have noted that even when Lincoln came to Richmond, he never came in with a prideful attitude. Along the way he greeted slaves, who were exhilarated by his presence, and grateful for what he did as the Great Emancipator. They even tried to bow down to Lincoln, but he quickly told them to thank God, not him. That was Lincoln’s way. Humility over pride.
The victory of the Union infuriated Booth. His dreams of keeping slavery alive were over. The South was now in complete ruins from the war. Their money was worthless. And now, they had lost the fight as well. These harsh realities were too much for Booth. That’s when the enemy does his best work.
Booth decided he would avenge the South. He would be its Savior. There was only one thing to do. HE WOULD KILL LINCOLN.
Booth knew Lincoln loved the theater. In fact, Booth himself had performed for Lincoln in the past. So Booth figured out Lincoln would be at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. the night of April 14, 1865. Booth knew exactly which play Lincoln would be watching. It was called Our American Cousin. Booth knew the play well, and he’d memorized every scene. He decided he would sneak up behind the President and shoot him during the funniest scene in the play. While the audience was laughing hysterically, Booth would shoot Lincoln in the back of the head. The sounds of laughter would muffle the sound of his gun. And this is exactly what he did.
After he shot Lincoln, Booth jumped to the stage, frightening the audience as he shouted, “Sic semper tyrannis!”. This means “The South is avenged.”
But was he really avenging the South, or himself? It is obvious at this point, Booth was deranged and had lost all sense of reality and decency. With no connection to God, he felt connected to the evil one. The evil one will tell us revenge is the answer. He will tell us our pride is at stake. They are all lies that will lead to the path of destruction. Pride is Satan’s weapon. After all, his own pride got him kicked out of heaven.
Lincoln had premonitions of his death before it happened. He had a dream not long before his assassination where he saw his own corpse. He supposedly knew (in the dream) the corpse had been shot by an assassin.
When I read the story of Lincoln, I feel saddened, yet alarmed. Booth had so much hate in his heart. The division in the country had gotten so vast. It was brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor. The issue of slavery, along with states’ rights, had turned people into bitter enemies within the same country.
When I look at the election going on, my mind turns to historical instances like this. I worry about things like assassinations. Our country is experiencing a huge divide- a rift of division. The shakings are happening, much like the shakings that come before an earthquake. How many are fired up like John Wilkes Booth? To be honest I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much animosity in an election.
Our country is heading into icy waters. We are watching a crack form before our very eyes. We thought 9-11 was bad, but this could be much worse if we don’t do something about it.
What can we do? Should we get mad? Should we get even? Should we crawl under a rock and hide?
What we should do is pray. I would start by praying for our nation to turn back to God. We should pray for religious freedom to be protected. We should pray for hate to dissolve in this country. We should pray for Christ to reign in our land. I would pray for the safety of ALL OUR LEADERS, regardless of who they are. An assassination of any candidate would be disastrous. The rift is already big. Imagine what would happen if an assassination took place. We are talking Grand Canyon here……
Take World War 1. The war had several causes, but the most immediate cause was the assassination of the Archduke of Austria-Hungary. This assassination threw countries into a tailspin and led to an all- out world war.
So, with all the security we have nowadays how could an assassination even take place? Presidential candidates have plenty of body guards, bullet proof cars and security like Fort Knox. I agree it is much more difficult to assassinate a presidential candidate, or the president these days. That’s a good thing. But, what if there were a traitor among the ranks? Perhaps someone on the inside, who has privileged information? I sure hope that’s not the case, but in today’s world anything could be lurking around the corner. In addition, we should be praying for all members of government because it could happen to anyone at this point. An assassination is what took down the Roman Republic. It’s what killed John F. Kennedy. It’s just horrible to think about it.
Since we’re speaking of traitors, let me talk about the most famous traitor in American history. I didn’t even have to say the name did I? You know who it is. BENEDICT ARNOLD. Yes, even small children often know his name.
But, did you know that Benedict Arnold was once a HERO of the American Revolution? Yes, hard to believe. Like John Wilkes Booth, he was good at what he did. He was a decorated soldier and military General, and well known to his countrymen. George Washington even entrusted him with overseeing the command of West Point (in New York), a key site of importance in the war.
Perhaps Arnold’s greatest contribution was what he did at the Battle of Saratoga during the Revolutionary War. As a commander at Saratoga, he was a key player when it came to keeping the British at bay, and stopping their swift advance. Not only that, he fought fiercely beside his men, and at strategic times, forced the British to retreat. At Saratoga he suffered a horrible leg injury, yet he continued to fight on. This same leg injury would cause him pain up to his very death, which would come years later.
If you look into the records of Arnold’s battles, you will find he was not afraid of much. In war he was known to ride out of his horse Mercy, heading straight for the enemy and never holding back. His tactics were aggressive and brilliant. Though other Generals thought he was haughty and rebellious, George Washington admired his spirit and veracity. Arnold not only fought brilliantly at Saratoga, he already had many many battles under his belt. Here’s a list of them: Fort Ticonderoga, Battle of Quebec, Battle of the Cedars, Battle of Valcour Island, Battle of Ridgefield, and the Siege of Fort Stanwix. He was known for his assertive techniques and strong sense of leadership.
Arnold never received the recognition he thought he deserved for his service. Instead, other leaders and officers were given accolades, while Arnold was rebuked and often ignored. This, along with other factors that would take a while to explain, led to his bitterness. Over time, he soured and the hate began to fester. Like Booth, he felt emboldened to do something.
After letting bitterness eat him alive, Arnold decided to switch sides. He would provide secret information to the British. Even though he had fought for the Revolution, he would now allow bitterness to drive him to revenge.
At one point Arnold was offered the command of West Point. This was a strategic location and stronghold for the Continental Army. Having control of this military fortification was an honor that held great responsibility. It was the chance Arnold had been waiting for. Now he could get his revenge.
Arnold offered to surrender West Point to the British. He conferred secretly with Major John Andre, and General Henry Clinton of the British Army. Arnold planned to let the British know about the troop movements of the Continental Army. Arnold wrote up plans that would show the British how to take the fortification at West Point.
Much to Arnold’s dismay, his plans were foiled. On September 23, 1780 Arnold’s plans were discovered. Arnold had given these secret plans to John Andre, a spy chief for the British. Andre was captured by American militiamen and the plans were found. These plans gave details about how to capture West Point and Benedict Arnold’s name was on them. Washington, who had given Benedict Arnold command of West Point, was notified, and Arnold’s dirty deeds were exposed. Washington is quoted as saying, “Treason of the blackest dye was discovered.” Then, he went on to say, “The providential train of circumstances which led to it affords the most convincing proof that the Liberties of America are the object of divine Protection.” Washington was crushed by the news that a man he had placed his trust in was now a traitor. Yet he believed God had allowed the plot to be revealed.
The date September 23 struck me- the date Arnold’s plans were discovered, and the plot revealed. Last year, September 23, 2015 marked the start of the Jubilee year, which also coincided with Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). Prior to this Jubilee date, there had been three blood moons (total lunar eclipses) occurring on Passover (April 15, 2014), Feast of Tabernacles (October 8, 2014) and Passover again (April 4, 2015.) All of these occurred on Feasts of the Lord, or Jewish Feasts. Now, why is the Jubilee a significant date? In the Bible the Jubilee occurred every 50th year and it was tied to the restoration of the land. If land had been lost due to debt or other circumstances in the past, it would be returned to the rightful owner in the year of the Jubilee. I couldn’t help but think of what would have happened to this LAND we call AMERICA if Benedict Arnold’s plans hadn’t been discovered. If West Point had been taken by the British, the war could have made a horrible turn in favor of the British. America may have never been. I wonder what the September 23 Jubilee, which happened in 2015 means for America? Our land has faced some serious problems in just the last two years, and continues to have issues. Could it be that we have traitors in this land who do not want the Lord to reign, and who want tyranny to abide? Where are the all the Washingtons? Are we only left with the Booths and Arnolds of this country?
Interestingly enough, the Pope met with President Obama on this date– September 23, 2015 (Jubilee). It was the first time the Pope had stepped foot on our land. Why is that significant? Many may not realize this, but the Pope supports a Palestinian state. That means he supports a two state solution for Israel and Palestine. This could mean the division of Jerusalem- God’s holy capital. Now, I can tell you one thing for certain. It would be a stupid, stupid thing to even think of dividing Jerusalem! The Bible sends strong warnings to all nations who try to divide his land. Yet, the Vatican is ok with this. They say it will bring peace to the land. Oh, no– it will not bring peace. It will bring war and judgment. If the United States participates in this deal for division, their LAND will be judged as well.
I wonder what traitors are out there negotiating the “sale” of Israel’s land? Benedict Arnold was promised a hefty sum of money for selling out his own country.
The United States has always supported Israel for most of its years. However, since the early 90’s, with the inauguration of Bill Clinton, the U.S. record of supporting Israel has made a downturn. It started when the Clinton administration refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 stated the United States would move its embassy to Jerusalem. However, Bill Clinton refused to implement this, along with the administrations of Bush and Obama. In addition, land was given away in 2005 to terrorists with the blessing and help of the U.S. government. The U.S. track record continues to get worse as the UN, and the rest of the world continue to ask Israel to give up more land.
Are we going to be like Benedict Arnold and “give up Israel” in exchange for our own safety and security? Some may think that will work. But let me tell you what happened to Benedict Arnold after he betrayed his country. After the Americans won the war, Arnold was of course branded a traitor. He could not go back. So, where did he go? Arnold went to live in both England and Canada to start a new life. He tried to gain new positions within the Army, and establish himself as a man of importance. Much to his dismay, he was never accepted in England or Canada. His reputation as a traitor followed him and many did not trust him. Military officials didn’t give him credit and he was not offered the positions he sought. When it came to business, he was caught up in many shady deals and earned himself a reputation as an untrustworthy businessman.
Benedict Arnold died at 60 years of age, and in terrible pain. The old leg wounds he sustained during the Revolutionary War never really healed, and his leg was so swollen he could barely walk. He died in a state of delirium. He was buried without military honors. His remains ended up being moved to an unmarked grave because of a clerical error. Because of this, his grave had no marker- no name. He left numerous debts behind for his wife to clear. He died without money and honor.
If the United States decides to abandon Israel and God, she may as well get ready to occupy an unmarked grave. The great name she once knew was given to her by God. He blessed her as a nation. If the U.S. turns against her partner and ally, it is just as bad as when Benedict Arnold turned on his own country. Some say Arnold did it for money. Others say it was pride. Whatever it was, it was WRONG. And was it worth it? I’m sure if Arnold were alive today he’d say no. If he could look back on his life and the consequences of his actions, he would say no.
If the U.S. forgoes Israel, it is very possible she will lose her status as a great nation. She will lose her credit. She will lose her honor. God holds the key to our honor, not people. John Wilkes Booth and Benedict Arnold did not understand this concept. They lost everything because of their treacherous deeds.
If you don’t believe me, read the Bible. Look and see what God says about his land, and his people. He says to put him above all things- to make him number one. And, he says to stand with his end time plan. Israel- Jerusalem is the key part of plan. We cannot go against his plan and divide his land and expect to be blessed.
Do you know who UNESCO is? It is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It has 195 member states. It is associated with the United Nations and one of its functions is to secure and legitimize world cultural and natural heritage sites. On April 15, 2016, UNESCO passed a resolution that completely ignores Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. They are saying the Jewish people have no historical ties to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem!!!! The area is only referred to with Muslim names and is defined only as having a historical tie to Islam!!!! This is complete ignorance and lies! There are slews and slews of historical evidence tying the Jewish people to their homeland. UNESCO is operating in complete defiance of God, and of history itself. This all happened on APRIL 15- the anniversary of Titanic’s sinking. I can tell you one thing- if the world and the United States goes along with this initiative they will all be the TITANIC. The Bible says this clearly.
The resolution was voted on in October 2016, (after the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles), and passed by member nations. I am happy to note that the United States was outraged by this vote and denounced its legitimacy. This is all well and good, but there’s something else, or should I say SOMEONE ELSE we have to worry about. OBAMA!
Obama is on his way out, but many do not realize he still has some power. In fact, it is a well -known fact that Obama does not care for Benjamin Netanyahu, who is the leader of Israel. Obama has pushed for a Palestinian state since he’s been in office. So far, the U.S. has not voted in favor of Israel giving away any land- not yet. But there’s a plan in the works- a treacherous plan that has a traitor’s roots. Apparently, the current Obama administration has told the Palestinian Authority that they should not bring a vote to the UN (United Nations) Security Council before November 8. Why November 8? This is the date of the elections. After the elections Obama has eight weeks to set his plan motion.
UNESCO’s denial of Jewish heritage is one thing. But the UN Security council is another and it’s much more serious. Unlike UNESCO, the UN Security Council has power. It can pass resolutions that are legally recognized and binding. This resolution would legally obligate Israel to go back to their 1949 borders. This means that land they acquired in 1967 would be null and void. This means they would no longer have a claim to Jerusalem- their eternal capital.
Why would Obama wait until he’s leaving office to do this? Well, it makes a lot of sense given the fact that Hillary Clinton’s campaign hinges on Obama’s endorsement. There are many people in Congress who would be against the resolution, as well as voters. If the vote were to happen before the election, Obama would likely not vote for the Resolution, or he would veto it because of political/election related reasons. But, after a new President is elected, what is there to lose? Hence, let the the vote happen after November 8.
I think this is just horrible because we have always been a friend to Israel. The idea that members of our government are playing “Benedict Arnold” and giving away Israel’s rights, is just awful. Don’t think God doesn’t know all the tricks and lies. God will allow this plan to be revealed. However, the consequences could be grave.
Do you realize our country is on the cusp of complete and total change? We are looking at waves of immigrants flooding our nation. We are looking at open borders, and open season on America. Why? It’s a simple and sad reason. As a nation we are turning our backs on God (Jesus) and Israel.
John Wilkes Booth’s last theatrical appearance was a play titled The Apostate. It was after this that he decided to commit treason- to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. The definition of apostate is : A person who renounces a religious or political belief. Synonyms are dessenter, deserter, turncoat or TRAITOR. Essentially, he became an APOSTATE. He shot Lincoln on April 14, 1865, with Lincoln dying on April 15. Titanic hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912 (sinking on April 15). There was a blood moon on April 14/15 in 2014. In some areas the eclipse began on April 14, and in others it began on April 15. Since this blood moon (and the other three thereafter) our country has reached a tipping point. A line of division has been formed. As far as I’m concerned I want to be on God’s side of the line. I will not go against God’s word and become an APOSTATE. If we go along with dividing God’s land, we are as good as Apostate because the Bible is crystal clear about Jerusalem and the land of Israel being HIS LAND, and part of HIS PLAN.
John Wilkes Booth and Benedict Arnold had many things in common. They let hate and pride overtake their hearts. They didn’t let Jesus deal with their anger and resentment. They thought they had to get even in order to make things right. The only one who can make things right is Jesus. There will be no peace on Earth until he returns. Giving away land won’t bring peace. Assassinating people won’t bring peace. Spreading hate obviously won’t bring peace. Getting revenge will not bring peace. Only the Prince of Peace can change hearts and minds. Until people start realizing this, they will never have inner peace.
Pray for peace to fill this country- the Prince of Peace- Jesus!!!
Interesting historical notes:
Benedict Arnold was a traitor. Yet, his brilliant leadership at Saratoga helped us win the battle. Winning this battle was a turning point in the war. This one victory boosted the troops’ morale and even convinced the French to help our nation fight. Without the French we wouldn’t have won. This one victory showed the British that Americans were a force to be reckoned with. This is just one of many battles where Arnold showed great leadership and fighting abilities. But, in the end he made a horrible decision. He traded a hero’s life for a traitor’s life. Never let bitterness rule your life. Give it to the only who can heal your heart- Jesus.
A new quarter was released into circulation on November 16, 2015, after the last blood moon. The Saratoga Quarter depicts a close-up of the moment British General John Burgoyne surrendered his sword to American General Horatio Gates, a turning point that marked the beginning of the end of the American Revolutionary War. Essentially Saratoga sealed our victory as a nation. This one battle boosted American morale, secured French support and created a “snowball effect” of win after win for the Americans. Saratoga was won through the help of Benedict Arnold, who became a traitor. Interesting timing if you ask me. Perhaps a coincidence, or divine timing. If I were you I’d keep my eyes open both spiritually and literally- and be on the lookout for traitors.
PHOTO: The photo you see on this blog post was taken recently on my trip to Saratoga National Battlefield in New York. This photo is a picture of the Boot Monument, dedicated to Benedict Arnold. Though Arnold was a traitor, his heroic fighting and leadership at Saratoga was a key factor in winning this campaign/series of battles. The monument does not list his name, but references are made that clearly identify him as the recipient. The boot is chosen because Arnold sustained a horrible leg injury during the Battle of Saratoga where he was shot, as well as his horse. His horse Mercy fell on his leg, crushing it, and causing un-repairable damage.
I timed my trip to Saratoga well, though I didn’t realize it when I planned it. As I stood in Saratoga National Battlefield, I realized it was the 239th anniversary of when America defeated the British at Saratoga. I was there on the anniversary. It was also the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes dwelling with God. It symbolizes the day when Jesus will return to Earth and rule during the Millennial Kingdom. I thought this was quite symbolic- being at Saratoga Battlefield on the first day of Tabernacles. After all, if it weren’t for winning Saratoga, we might not be dwelling in what we call America. God allowed our nation to become a dwelling for his spirit, his people and his work. He allowed the treacherous plot of Benedict Arnold to be revealed at the right time. Arnold could have kept our nation from forming, from dwelling in the land we now inhabit. God had a different plan than Arnold. I thank God for blessing our nation and I will continue to honor and trust him. LET’S ALL TABERNACLE WITH GOD- THE ONE WHO GAVE US OUR DWELLING- OUR LAND.
Blog post and photo copyright of Angela Rodriguez