Nowhere in the Bible, neither in the Old or New Testament, is the word China mentioned. This may surprise many, because one thousand years before Christ was born, China was a booming country, with great traditions and illustrious cultures. Although not unified as a single country until Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor, unified it in 221BC, China's history, nevertheless, reaches back to 2000BC, as they settled and occupied the fertile basin of the Yellow River, in the North China Plain, which is the biggest alluvial plain in eastern Asia.
Lest we forget, one of the greatest scholars and intellectuals of his day was a man called Confucius, "Confucius's principles had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives. He also recommended family as a basis for the ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself", an early version of the Golden Rule." (Wikipedia article on Confucius)
One of the reasons why ancient China was not mentioned in the Bible, was because the Jewish Bible, (The Tanakh) the Old Testament, was written from the Jewish perspective, and China had no meaningful relations with Israel; as far as we know.
But China, although not mentioned by name, has been assigned an important role. God is no respecter of persons and He does amazing things to show his mighty compassion, and his unassailable sovereignty.
Remember when Jesus was born, three wise men from the East knew it (Matthew 2:1-2); these men were believed to be from Persia (Iran) and right there in Israel, the King, and all Israel were clueless that a King was born. This is just another example of what Almighty God does, He hides things from those who pretend to know, and feel entitled to know, and shows them to those He chooses.
One well known scripture says, "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." (Luke 10:21)
God is doing the same thing even today. He is confounding the wise, the intellectuals and smart people, and showing his plans and programmes to the humble, the ones not ego-driven, the babes in Christ whose mantra is yea, and amen, to the glory of God.
The reason the smart people know so little, is because, instead of receiving, and sharing divine revelations, they are trying to co-opt God in furthering their agenda. The Bible tells us, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." (Romans 1:21)
It was not too long ago that these smart people were telling us that the Beast of the Great Tribulation was the Soviet Union. Now the Soviet Union is no more and they are scrambling around to find a substitute Beast. Some say it's Iran, some are pointing at Russia and some are determined to give that role to China.
This is the foolishness that happen, when enemies of the cross of Jesus Christ take their agenda, political, social and cultural, and dress it up to look like a divine revelation.
God will have no association with wickedness and does not abide in the corridors of evil (Psalm 5:4), but at times the wicked are smart in camouflaging their iniquity, and getting gullible believers to give support, not being sufficiently perceptive.
Most people who understand these times in which we live, know that these are the last days. In truth, the last days began with the birth of Jesus Christ, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was a confirmatory sign (Acts 2:17).
If you are familiar with Bible prophecy, you will know that we are in the Age of Grace, the last dispensation before the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. Although the Tribulation period is not yet upon us, the seven year Tribulation is a period of extreme evil that will engulf the world immediately preceding the Second Advent, we are warned to be on our guard and not be caught napping, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." (Matthew 24:42)
As part of the end-times, several nations will be assigned roles; some positive and some negative, but all in fulfilment of God's plans and promises.
Israel will be central, because it is where God, through the faith and commitment of Abraham, developed a new relationship with fallen man and where it began is where it will end.
Armageddon will be a major event that will rock the world, but a lot of confusion, and obfuscation, surrounds it. However this is the one event where China seems to be pivotal, in a positive way, in bringing about God's plan as Israel finds herself in deep trouble.
A study of the events surrounding Armageddon indicates, that when Israeli's backs are against the wall, the first people to go to her assistance will be the West, with a hidden agenda, but China, now a mighty superpower, moves in to stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel.
China knows that the West is duplicitous, although she does not know the full extent, and truth be told none of them knows how rapidly the decline will be; in the middle of the Tribulation.
God acts in mysterious ways to achieve His objectives.
When Jesus was about to be slaughtered in Israel, by King Herod the Great, it was the heathens in Egypt that gave Jesus and his parents sanctuary (Matthew 2:13-14)
It was the heathen Rahab that hid the two Israeli spies, and then when it was safe, let them down by a cord through the window and so saved their lives (Joshua 2:15)
It was the heathen King Nebuchadnezzar, the same one that terrorized and destroyed many Israelites, that God referred to as his servant (Jeremiah 25:9). God is very capable of doing the unexpected to fulfill his purpose and he will do so with China.
When Armageddon is upon us, then God will clear the way by miraculous intervention, and allow China and perhaps her associates to come to Israel's rescue.
So China, perhaps acting with others, has been given an important role, one that clearly marks her as a great benefit and end-time asset in God's hands.
What does this mean for believers?
First, it means that China may very well become one of those nations so highly lauded by the saints and elders, "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever." (Revelation 11:15)
Second, the believers in China, all those Christians in China who serve God in spirit and in truth, now numbering more than all the believers in Europe combined, should be encouraged because the fruit of their labour is set to increase, and will play a vital role in divine affairs.
Third, believers everywhere should be mindful that China has great potential for dealing effectively with popery, and the Vatican in Rome. Popery has disfigured Christianity to a great extent (some but not all of this disfigurement was corrected by The Reformation) and the scandalous abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests is still being felt. China already does not allow Roman Catholicism to impact the lives of believers in China and the Pope has no influence in China.
Fourth, because God has assigned China this vital, beneficent role, we should seek to partner China now, give her every assistance to fulfill her heavenly calling. This means holding her up in prayer, giving her every spiritual assistance that she may require, and being tolerant of her mistakes, as she will undoubtedly make while under secular leadership.
Finally, believers should be loving, and supportive of each other worldwide, being mindful always that under God, there have been just one church, and one holy people, united with Christ. Jesus emphasized this important truth when he said, "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40) May God help China in faithfully fulfilling her role.
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Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward's career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2016
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