Native Americans and the Land


By Dr. Ken Matto


Joshua 1:2 (KJV)   Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.


For many years here in the United States there has been a claim by Native Americans that the land of America is owned by them and that the white man stole it from them.  There are many who have taken this philosophy for themselves and actually believe it.  I have never heard this situation dealt with from a spiritual viewpoint and that is what this article is about.  It has nothing to do with racism so if you read this and e-mail me on that subject you will be deleted.


            The American Indian had many religious beliefs which differed among the many tribes but many of them partook in ancestor worship, shaman and medicine men would take strong hallucinogens and communicate with the gods which means demons, their religions focused around nature as many mountains were considered sacred, animals and plants also played a great part in their religion and animals were used to depict certain spirits, ideas and traits, they appeased spiritual entities with private prayers, sacrifices, their shamans had supernatural powers through visions, etc.  So you can see that much of the religions of Native Americans were centered around the occult.  Much of it matched the New Age which also communicates with spirit beings and have visions.


            When the English settlers came to America in 1620 and landed in Massachusetts, they came with a single desire which was written in the Mayflower Compact.  Their desire was “to the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian Faith.”  Since Native American religions were occultic in nature, they had to be moved out to make way for the coming Christians who would one day begin the task of world evangelism in the last days.  Now the question remains, was it right for God to take away the land of the Native Americans and give it to another?  The answer is yes because there is no one on this planet who owns anything.  We are only stewards of it for a temporary season of time.  1 Corinthians 4:2 (KJV) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.


            I do not expect the unbelievers who read this to understand the biblical principles used in the removal of the American Indian but I do expect believers who read this to spiritually assess the principles I am going to offer.


The first major principle is found in the following verses:


Psalm 24:1 (KJV) A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.


Psalm 50:12 (KJV) If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.


Deuteronomy 10:14 (KJV) Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.


1 Corinthians 10:26 (KJV)   For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.


Jeremiah 27:5-6 (KJV)   I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.  {6} And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.


Daniel 4:25 (KJV)   That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.


            If you notice in these verses there is one overriding doctrine and that is the fact that the earth belongs to the LORD and not to man simply by means of the fact that God is the Creator and Sustainer of the earth.  Psalm 24:1; Psalm 50:12; Deuteronomy 10:14 and 1 Corinthians 10:26 make this perfectly clear.


            Now let us look at Jeremiah 27:5-6 and let us focus in on the phrase “and have given it unto whom it seemed meet to me.”  The word “meet” means “right or pleasant” in this verse.  So God declared that he was going to give the earth to unto those who seemed pleasant or right unto Him.  Then in verse 6, God states that He gave lands to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.  So we see in this verse God gave land to whomever He pleased.  Why?  Because he is the owner of the earth.


            Now let us look at Daniel 4:25 speaking about the same king Nebuchadnezzar.  Since he was loaded with pride believing that it was him who was responsible for the growth of Babylon, he was now going to be disciplined for his arrogance.  God is the one who had allowed Babylon to grow so large but it was Nebuchadnezzar who took credit for it.  So for his discipline he was to be sentenced to live with the beasts of the field for a period of seven years until he got to the point that he acknowledge that it was God who is the true ruler of the world and that He is the one who gives certain kingdoms to whoever He wills.  It is God’s choice and not man’s.


            So what we learned from this portion of scripture are two major principles concerning the earth, 1) the earth is owned by the LORD, and 2) He doles out kingdoms and portions of the earth to whomever He wills.  This means God is the one who decides who lives in certain places and not man.  The next lesson comes from the times of the Exodus including the book of Joshua and Judges.


            Exodus 3:8 (KJV) And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.  In Exodus 3:8 the LORD is coming to Moses to tell him that He sees the affliction of His people in Egypt and the beginning of their liberation is at hand.  Here God reveals that eventually Israel will be freed from Egyptian bondage and then will go to a good land flowing with milk and honey.  However, in that good land God names six people groups who were dwelling there and they were all pagans who worshipped false gods.


            Joshua 3:10 (KJV) And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.  As we advance to the book of Joshua, we read in 3:10 that Joshua told the people of Israel that they were ready to cross into the Promised Land and that God himself would remove the pagan groups from off the land and would replace them with His people.  In 3:10 we read about seven groups which were to be displaced. The Girgashites were not mentioned in Exodus 3:8.


            Job 5:19 (KJV) He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.


Proverbs 6:16 (KJV) These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:


            If we look at the principles in these two verses we see that in Exodus 3:8 six pagan nations were mentioned but in Joshua 3:10 seven were mentioned.  In Job they are told that the LORD will deliver them in six troubles and seven no evil shall touch thee.  Then in Proverbs 6:16 it states that there are six things the LORD hates and seven are an abomination to Him.  The LORD hates false religions of which the seven groups hold to and they are seven evil groups which will give the Israelites trouble in the future.  Now I may have taken liberties with those two verses but the principles are there.


            Joshua 21:44-45 (KJV) And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.  {45} There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.


            Let us proceed to see the final scene in the book of Joshua.  The LORD had fulfilled his promise to the fathers by giving Israel the land he promised them by allowing them to have rest all around them from the pagan nations which were displaced by the LORD.  Here we are told that the promise of the land was fulfilled but their responsibility was to maintain obedience to God if they were to keep the land for future generations.  When we go to the book of Judges we read how they disobeyed God and started playing spiritual harlotry with the pagan nations and their false gods.


            Now let us move ahead 3,000 years to 1620.  In England, the dissenters otherwise known as the Pilgrims and Puritans were being persecuted by the king and the hierarchy of the Church of England because they wanted to see reform come to the Church of England but that did not happen so they decided to withdraw from them.  The Pilgrims were still being persecuted so they decided to leave England and go to the Netherlands where they settled in Leiden.


            In Leiden they were such good citizens that the people did not want to see them go.  Just as Israel was persecuted in Egypt, the Pilgrims were persecuted in England and God gave them a passage into Holland where they settled but in 1620 they decided to head to America where they believed they would join the Jamestown colony, instead they landed in Massachusetts where they penned the Mayflower Compact and including in it was their desire for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.  In 1630 the Arabella arrived with the Puritans and then more people were coming to America plus those who were being born there.


            As people began to arrive, they began to spread out and begin to settle in other parts of America.  This meant that a great migration was beginning to take place and would culminate in the great western expansion in the nineteenth century.  As the settlers started moving west, the Native Americans were being removed from the lands they lived on for many centuries.  This made way for the many cities and towns which would start cropping up on the landscape and with that expansion came the growth of Christianity as churches and schools, who taught the Bible, were being planted.


            America would soon become the hub of world missions as it sent out many missionaries and produced bibles for distribution along with Christian materials designed to help grow Christians in the faith.  As America continued to grow so did the Christians faith as thousands of churches began to be built across the land.  Every town, no matter how small had a church or either a house church if it was in a rural community far from a city or town.  Children learned how to read by using the Bible.  The schools also used the McGuffey Readers which helped children to read. The author was William McGuffey who was an educator and Presbyterian minister who believed that Christianity and education should be intertwined for the best possible education a student could receive.


            With many different people coming to America in the 1800s, many new Christian materials were being written in different languages.  This made it possible for shipping these materials to different countries or for missionaries to take them with them when they sailed for other lands.  The American Bible Society was founded in 1816 which was dedicated to the printing of the Holy Bible.  On September 11, 1777 Congress approved the purchase of 20,000 Bibles since they were sorely needed.  Keep in mind the War for Independence was going on at this time.  To keep costs at a minimum for the Bibles plus raw materials were scarce in America at this time, they were imported from Holland and Scotland and distributed in different ports of entry for the USA.  So as history shows us that the desire of the Pilgrims was coming true as Christianity was advancing rapidly in the 18th and 19th centuries across America and beyond her shores.


            Since the Native Americans were steeped in false religion just as the seven people groups mentioned in Joshua which the Israelites faced, they had to be removed to make way for a Christian America.  In 1892 Supreme Court Justice David Josiah Brewer declared America to be a Christian nation.  America became the center of missions and Christian education from which people of many countries have come here to study and then go back to their countries and begin churches.


            God had set aside this land for the purpose of creating a nation which would propagate the gospel from its shores all over the world.  Instead of people worshipping the land and their ancestors and unknown spirits, millions in America and abroad were now worshipping God as America has become the end time nation from which the gospel flows to all countries.  Therefore, since God owns the entire world as we read in scripture, it was not the white man who displaced the Native Americans and their false religions, it was God who turned this land from a pagan country into a Christian nation.  Just as He removed the pagan nations from before the Israelites, He removed the pagan false religions of the Native Americans from before the expanding Christian community.  This is not to play down or give approval to the atrocities that many Native Americans had faced such as 1890 at Wounded Knee, South Dakota or when the British in 1763 gave blankets loaded with small pox so they would be wiped out.  “A war of extermination will continue to be waged between the two races until the Indian race becomes extinct.” – California Governor Peter H. Burnett, 1851.  In 1838-39, the Trail of Tears when 4,000 Cherokee died of cold, hunger, and disease migrating to Oklahoma.  These and many other atrocities will be dealt with on Judgement Day.  Nobody gets away with anything.



So the removal of the Native Americans was not the decision of the white men coming to settle the lands but God, who owns the entire world and as we read, He gives lands and kingdoms to whomever He desires.  The Native Americans were steeped in false religions and needed to be removed so their influence would not be felt by expanding Christian population.  Just as God removed the pagan nations from before the Israelites, He did the same thing here in America.  The LORD owns this world and we are just stewards of what He gives us.  Nobody owns anything because if we did then we should be able to take it with us after we die instead we leave it all here for greedy and undeserving relatives to fight over.  If you assess this situation through spiritual eyes instead of physical, unsaved eyes, you will see that God has a perfect right to do as He pleases and He does.  We are living in the last of the last days now and America is fighting for its survival because false religions are pouring into this country and the churches have been silenced by the government and fear.  It is only a matter of a short time before true Christianity will be extinguished and false religions will permeate this land once again.