I am a Christian. I believe in the God of the Bible, in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. I believe in Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (NIV)" I am a biochemist and a pharmacist by education. As such I have a desire to understand nature. I am writing this blog as my way to express the facts of true science as I understand them, from the perspective of one who believes that all things were created by God, for God and for His purposes.

Feel free to comment, to offer your perspective, or to give suggestions for subjects.
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Beryl - from Goals to God's Power

What is it about a game that keeps you running for 45 minutes straight times two, with low scores and frequent ties and only lets you touch the ball with your head or your feet? Why do so many people love this game? Why is it the most popular game on the planet? Is it the deft touches that move the ball across the field? Or maybe the two foot leaps to head the ball into the net, just out of the goalie's reach. Or even the shout of GGGGOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! by the sportscaster, drowned out by the body numbing vibrations of a thousand Vuvuzela's blaring in excitement?

Soccer, also known as football outside of the US, is one crazy game. And it seems you either love it or you hate it. It is filled with action, skill and finesse knit together into a battle to be the team that can hammer in that winning goal before the clock runs out. All of my kids, with the exception of my youngest, played soccer at some time in AYSO when they were small. I coached teams for my youngest son and oldest daughter for a number of years. My son still plays it periodically in several adult leagues and I still enjoy watching him play. Going to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 would be a dream.

So what does Soccer have to do with Beryl, the eighth foundational stone, you ask? Nothing really except that the largest soccer complex in our town is at Beryl Park and is situated between Beryl and Carnelian Streets. With four fields I spent many a day there coaching and yelling from the sidelines as an avid Soccer Dad. As I mentioned in the Sardonyx blog, our town has a street for just about every foundational stone mentioned in the Bible.

So lets get back to the real subject of this blog, the foundational stone Beryl. Beryl is a Beryllium Aluminium Cyclosilicate with the chemical formula Be3Al2(SiO3)6. It is sometimes confused with Chrysoberyl which is an aluminate of beryllium with the formula BeAl2O4. Despite the similarity of their names, Chrysoberyl and Beryl are two completely different gemstones. We will focus on Beryl here. Beryl has a Mohs hardness of 7.5-8, making it one of the harder of the foundation stones. Pure Beryl is colorless but impurities can change it into a number of colors: green, blue, yellow, red, and white. An Emerald is a green Beryl and a blue Beryl is an Aquamarine.

In Revelation 21:19-20 (KJV) the Greek word "b─ôryllos" is used for the Beryl foundational stone whereas the word "smaragdos" is used for the Emerald stone. Both words refer to "a precious stone of a pale green color" so it is not clear the difference between the stones. It may be that they are the same stone but then why the two words. A more exact definition of B─ôryllos describes "a precious stone of the blue-green color of sea water" so it may be that the Beryl was actually an Aquamarine in a turquoise or blue-green shade.

The blue-green Beryl or Aquamarine
with the Colors of the Sea and Sky
Reflects God's Power as the Giver of Life Eternal

In the Old Testament, specifically in Exodus 28:20 (KJV), the Hebrew word "tarshiysh," meaning "a yellow colored precious stone," is used as the tenth stone in the Breastplate of the High Priest. It is translated Beryl in most versions of the Bible with the exception of the NIV where it is Chrysolite. This stone may have been a golden Beryl. As the tenth stone in the Breastplate Beryl would represent Zebulon by birth order and Dan by the order of the camp.

The Beryl as Aquamarine, imitating the colors of the sea and air, suggests the apostle Thomas as he sailed to India, the farthest traveling apostle, to preach to the Jews there. Thomas, which means twin, is best known biblically for his doubting that the Lord has risen, needing to see the nail prints and put his hand into His side to believe. This links with Beryl's association with "clarity of vision." The word beryllus, in Latin, means a magnifying glass.

Beryl relates to happiness and everlasting youth. It is a symbol of truth, charity, and faith. It represents God's Spirit of POWER AND MIGHT. God wants us to be blessed which means to be empowered to prosper as a result of having God's favor in your life.

Aquamarine is often called “The Stone of Courage" as it is believed to enhance one’s innate abilities to always be prepared. The color is aligned with truth and justice. Since early times, Aquamarine has been believed to endow the wearer with foresight, courage, and happiness.

The blue of Aquamarine is a divine, eternal color, the color of the sky and the color of water with its life-giving force. It reflects God's Power as the Giver of Life Eternal.

Genesis 1:20 (KJV) - And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Revelation 5:13 (NKJV) - And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power [Be] to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chrysolite - The Golden Green Counsel of God

The golden green eyes were fixed on me and two of my kids. We could not see the body that they emanated from, it was if they were just floating in the dark like two tiny flashlights pointed back at us. We were on a night hike in the foothills above our home, an excursion I had expressed trepidation over. My son had assured me he was an old hand at this, having taken the same hike numerous times with his friends, reaching Cucamonga Peak in time for the first glimmer of sunlight; an awesome view I was not risking my life to appreciate.

I have three sons, all into enjoying the physical side of nature - mountain biking, surfing, and backpacking. My third son is a Physical Ed teacher at a local middle school and participates regularly in Soccer and Iron Man type events. Now I enjoy hiking and backpacking with them but I had never tried this style of "fun" before. I also knew, from living here for 30 plus years, that mountain lions and bears live in the hills above us. I was afraid, but my son and daughter convinced me to go. Now the reason for my fear was staring back at me.

The eyes of a fully grown mountain lion or puma are often a remarkable golden color. They have a unique feature in the structure of their eyes that reflects back the light hitting the retina which enhances interpretation of low-light images, giving the puma a second chance to discern what it is looking at. This thin layer of reflective cells, called the "tapetum lucidum," is responsible for the characteristic "eye-shine" of reflected light that is frequently seen in mammals at night. In the mountain lion, this eye-shine is a yellowish green, not unlike the color of the Chrysolite, the seventh stone in the Foundation of the New Jerusalem.

The name Chrysolite can refer to two different minerals, Chrysoberyl, an aluminate of beryllium with the formula BeAl2O4 or Olivine, a magnesium iron silicate with the formula (Mg,Fe)2SiO4. Chrysoberyl is used primarily when discussing the stones in the Breastplate of the High Priest. Since Beryl is listed as a separate stone in the Foundation, we will focus on the magnesium iron silicate form of Chrysolite.

www.holistichealingnews.comThis mineral is known by different names, according to its color, being called Peridot when of a deep olive-green, Olivine when of a yel­lowish-green, and Chrysolite when of a lighter or golden-yellow color. Chrysolite is from the Greek "chrysolithos" meaning a precious stone of golden color. It comes from "chryso" meaning precious things made of gold, and lithos meaning of building stones. The name Peridot is derived from the Greek word 'peridona', which means "to give richness." Peridot is the gemstone form of Olivine or Chrysolite and possesses a much richer green color.

Mg-rich Olivine has been discovered in meteorites, on the Moon, and on Mars. Chrysolite and Olivine in general are a very abundant, but gem quality Peridot is rather rare. The Peridot is one of only a few gemstones found in just one color. The rich, green color with the slight tinge of gold is caused by very fine traces of iron. The intensity of the color depends on the amount of iron actually present. Peridot is not particularly hard, only 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, but is a fairly robust stone for use in jewelery. Chrysolite is so ancient that it can be found in Egyptian jewelery from the early second millennium BC. The stones came from a deposit on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea, some 45 miles off the Egyptian coast.

The Peridot represents God's Spirit - His Counsel
When we receive God's Counsel we are receiving
His purpose and plan for our lives.

There is some confusion between the Chrysolite and the Topaz, another foundational stone. Some think that these two stones have been switched over the centuries and the Topaz of today is actually the Peridot and the Peridot, the Topaz. The Hebrew word for Topaz (in the KJV), "pitdah," is translated as Peridot in the NLT. In fact, the Chrysolite is mentioned alternately as four different stones in the Breastplate, in place of the second - Topaz, the third - Emerald or Carbuncle, the fourth - Emerald or Turquoise, and the tenth - Beryl. The 3rd or 4th stones seem the most likely to me as the Olivine is sometimes called the "Evening Emerald" and these are the positions most referenced for that stone. As we placed the Emerald in the third position we will place the Peridot in the fourth - representing Judah by birth order and Reuben by camp order. The designation as an apostolic stone is just as confusing; the Chrysolite is aligned with no less than three Apostles - Thaddeus, Bartholomew or Thomas.

The gemstone meaning of Chrysolite is said to be gold, which in turn signifies wisdom and charity, virtues which are considered more perfect than all others. It gleams just like a furnace and represents wise and charitable men and women who demonstrate what they believe to others in both word and deed.

Peridot is considered good for healing the healers. It brings understanding of destiny and purpose. Catholic Bishops traditionally wear a ring of Peridot and Amethyst as symbols of purity and morality. It is also said to represent the excellence of Jesus' divine nature. The Peridot represents God's Spirit - His Counsel. Counsel means the interchange of opinion; consultation and advice. But most importantly it means purpose and plan. When we receive God's Counsel we are receiving His purpose and plan for our lives.

When my son, daughter and I saw those olive green eyes of the mountain lion, I was afraid. And in my fear, I failed to seek the counsel of God; to pray for His protection. Although I followed the rules - I did not run - I continued to look back expecting to see those shining eyes looking down on me from the ledge above or from the trees close to the trail. I let my fear overcome me and in one anxious moment I caught my foot between the rocks and fell, breaking my leg and tearing my ankle. In that moment I had forgotten Him who holds me up.

Psalms 17:5 (NKJV) - Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not slip.

Psalms 27:1 (NKJV) - The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

2 Chronicles 18:4b (NIV) - "First seek the counsel of the LORD."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sardius, Carnelian or Ruby - The Sacrificial Blood

We are now at the half way point, working on the sixth foundation stone, with six more to go. Foundation six has a little identity crisis. It is called Sardius in the KJV and NKJV and called Carnelian in the NLT and NIV. The Sardius from the Breastplate (Exodus 28:17) in the KJV is translated as Ruby in the NIV. So which is it - the Sardius, the Carnelian or the Ruby? I would say it could be any or all of the three!

In the Old Testament, when referencing the first stone in the Breastplate of the High Priest, the Hebrew word used is "odem" which means a precious stone; a Ruby or Carnelian. It is derived from "adom" which means to be or look red. The New Testament Greek word is "sardion" or "sardinos" - a precious stone, the Carnelian or Sard. In ancient times the Sardius stone was obtained from Sardis in Asia Minor (Sardis was also the location of one of the prophetic Seven Churches of Revelation).

The Sardius is the red band found in the Sardonyx - a red Carnelian or Sard. It is a brownish-red mineral variety of Chalcedony (Silicon Quartz - SiO2) colored by impurities of Iron Oxide. A Ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral Corundum (same as a Sapphire - Aluminum Oxide - Al2O3). The red color is caused mainly by the presence of the element chromium. The Ruby has a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, with diamond having a Mohs hardness of 10.0.

The Sardius Stone occupied the first place on the High Priest’s Ephod. It represents Reuben by birth order and Judah by camp order. Inscribed upon the Sardius Stone was the name Judah which means Praise of Jehovah and denotes the expression of praise. The Sardius signifies the apostle Bartholomew, or Nathaniel, who Jesus immediately characterized as "Now here is a genuine son of Israel — a man of complete integrity." (John 1:47 - NLT).

The Red color of the Sardius Stone
Represents the Shed Blood of Jesus

This stone signifies the Scepter of God and the Power and Glory of God that comes forth in His purified people. It is God in His company of Saints. Those who walk in the Spirit and Power of Elohim without measure. It embodies the glory of God in judgment. All three stones, and in particular the Ruby, can be blood red and speak of the sacrifice of blood, pointing to the cross and Jesus shedding His blood for the remission of our sins.

Isaiah 5:16 (KJV) - But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.

John 1:29b (NIV) - "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sardonyx - Blood Red and Robes of White

Last August I told you a little about where I live (see The Wizard of Ozone); just 50 miles east of LA. In my town we have a street named after most every foundational stone listed in the book of Revelation. However, for the fifth foundational stone we have two streets, Sard and Onyx, but not one for them together - Sardonyx.

The word sardonyx comes from the Greek "sardonux," derived from "sard," meaning “reddish-brown," and "onux," meaning “fingernail," and has remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Sard is another name for red Chalcedony (Quartz - SiO2) or the stone Carnelian (the sixth foundation) and Onyx is a mineral formed of alternating Chalcedony bands. The Onyx bands are parallel to one another and a variety of different colors of which the Black Onyx is perhaps the most famous. Sardonyx is a variant of Onyx in which the colored bands are Sard (shades of red) rather than black. In both the alternating color is usually white Chalcedony. Onyx is generally only two layers, black and white as in the black Onyx, whereas the Sardonyx of old is generally presented with three layers - a superficial stratum of red, an intermediate band of white, and a base of dark brown Chalcedony.

In ancient times Sardonyx was often extravagantly carved to make intricate cameos and seals. This is due to its relatively soft nature, rated at 6.5 to 7 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, and its structure, composed of many layers of tiny quartz fibers stacked one on top of another. It was also said to never stick to wax. Early Roman writers spoke of it as a “gem of great value.” In antiquity, Sardonyx was, at times, considered more valuable than gold, silver or sapphire.

Sardonyx signifies the Blood of the Martyrs
Their Souls cleansed of Sin
With Humility in their Hearts

In the Breastplate of the High Priest (Exodus 28:20 NIV) the Sardonyx, represented by the Onyx, is the eleventh stone and would signify Joseph (by birth order) or Asher (by camp order). Of the Apostles it is said to represent James, son of Zebedee, brother of John. James was the first of the Twelve to suffer martyrdom, and the only one of the Twelve whose death is recorded in the New Testament (Acts 12:1-2 NIV).

Traditionally Sardonyx is considered a stone of strength, integrity, stamina and vigor. It is said to represent happiness and stability such as in partnerships with friends, in marriage and in business. Sardonyx has been used as a protection against evil. Some people lay out a grid of Sardonyx - placing it at each corner of their house, over doors and at windows to protect against crime and misfortune.

Sardonyx displays the humility of believers in spite of their gifts. It has three colors: on top it is red, in the middle white, and underneath it is black (or dark brown). It represents those who bear the suffering that their zeal produces in the name of Christ (red). Inside their soul they are white, or without hypocrisy, but they feel like detestable sinners (black). The Sardonyx is often referred to as the Gem of Courage or the Gem of Virtue, the Sard signifying the martyrs shedding their blood for Christ, and the white their heavenly Robes.

Revelation 6:9-11 (KJV) - And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day - The Chemistry of Liberty

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress of the United States approved the Lee Resolution and declared their LIBERTY from the tyranny of King George and the British Empire. A committee was already working on a formal declaration and John Adams had proposed Thomas Jefferson to draft the document for Congressional approval. On July 4, 1776 Jefferson's draft, a formal explanation of why Congress had voted to declare independence, was approved.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The document declared that men have certain God given rights - to be governed justly, to be represented equally, and to not to be oppressed. No one person is born more important than another. No elite has a right to rule over the masses by virtue of their birth.

--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

And that governments are established to guarantee this equitable treatment, establishing the law on the will of the people, something we seem to be forgetting today.

--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Whenever the existing government becomes oppressive, the people have the right to alter or to institute a new form of government. In a representative government such as ours, this means the right to elect new representatives.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

And this right can not be taken lightly. The decision to change must be made only after patient pursuit of all possible solutions to the problems at hand. But once all efforts are exhausted it is their (and our) right, indeed their (our) duty, to look to move to independence from such tyranny.

--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

So having patiently tried all means to make such change as to allow the United States to continue under the rule of the British Empire, the only possible solution was the succession from that government in the pursuit of LIBERTY and the establishment of a new government.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

So the Congress let the evidence of British Tyranny be clearly stated to the world. King George had:
  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  • He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  • He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  • He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  • He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    • For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    • For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    • For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    • For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  • He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
Are we seeing some of these same injustices today?

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

With these offenses, the King and his country were no longer fit to rule the Colonies.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

With repeated warnings, the Continental Congress informed the British of their injustices and of the consequences of continued oppression. Separation was inevitable.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

By signing this Declaration of Independence, the Colonies broke away from all allegiance to the British Crown, totally dissolving all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain. They declared themselves FREE and INDEPENDENT.

All thirteen colonies, a total of 56 representatives, signed the declaration, including John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. John Hancock, as president of the Second Continental Congress and one of the representatives for Massachusetts, signed his name largely and clearly so that King George could read it without his spectacles.

True Liberty is to Live As We Should, Not as We Please
Liberty = Freedom + Responsibility

All of this struggle began years earlier. Originating in the 1750s and 1760s, the notion of "taxation without representation" was one of the primary grievances of the British colonists and was one of the major reasons for the American Revolution. Many colonists believed the lack of direct representation was an illegal denial of their rights as Englishmen, and therefore laws taxing the colonists or laws applying only to the colonies, were unconstitutional.

One of the early actions against the British was the Boston Tea Party. It was the culmination of a resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act, which had been passed by the British Parliament in 1773. The Tea Party Colonists objected to the Tea Act for a variety of reasons, primarily because they believed that it violated their right to be taxed without representation in the Parliament. On December 16, 1773, after officials in Boston refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain, a group of colonists, the Sons of Liberty, boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by throwing it into Boston Harbor.

The Boston Tea Party was a key event in the growth of the American Revolution. Parliament responded in 1774 in part by closing Boston Harbor until the British East India Company had been repaid for the destroyed tea. Colonists in turn responded with additional acts of protest, and by convening the First Continental Congress. The crisis continued to escalate, and the American Revolutionary War began near Boston in 1775.

Other memorable actions strengthening the American resolve were the Gadsden flag and Patrick Henry's "Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!" speech. "Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!" is a quotation attributed to Patrick Henry from a speech, given on March 23, 1775, to the Virginia Convention. Reportedly, those in attendance, upon hearing Henry's speech, shouted, "give me liberty or give me death!"

In 1754, during the French and Indian War, Franklin published his famous woodcut of a snake cut into eight sections. It represented the colonies, with New England joined together as the head and South Carolina as the tail. The other colonies were listed in between, in their order along the coast. Under the snake was the message "Join, or Die". This was the first political cartoon published in an American newspaper. This was followed by the Gadsden flag which has a yellow field with a rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. Positioned below the snake are the words "DONT TREAD ON ME". The flag was designed by and is named after American general and statesman Christopher Gadsden. It was first used by the Continental Marines in the fall of 1775. The symbol of the rattlesnake became one of the images of the resolve of the colonists.

The Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, is at once the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring document. Jefferson concisely expressed the convictions of the American people. The philosophy was not new; the idea of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize it in "self-evident truths" and set forth a list of grievances against the King justifying before the world the breaking of ties with the mother country.

The American colonists revolted for Liberty over a list of grievances, chief among them the lack of representation in the British legislature and the accompanying tyrannical rule, and the rest is history.

2 Corinthians 3:17 (NKJV) - Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.