Q 11. Is China mentioned in the Bible?
Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q 11. Is China mentioned in the Bible?
Does it have a role to play in prophecy?
The recent heavily publicised takeover of Hong Kong, during the summer, by the Chinese, has raised new interest and questions about its prophetic role.
I have to say that the name China is not found anywhere in scripture but there are important prophecies which, I believe, relate to this superpower. Some of the clearest of these prophecies are found in the book of Revelation, and events taking place today would suggest that China is the subject of them. China is an ancient civilisation with a long and colourful history. For most of that time it has been dominated by the ancient religions of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.
However, the seeds of change began to flower about 100 years ago - just before the turn of the century - with the fall of the Confucian monarchy. This gave way to western influence and internal revolution. The celebrated Chiang Kai Shek rose to power but he in turn was displaced in 1949 by Chairman Mao Tse Tung and the formation of the People's Republic of China.
Marxist communism, with its godless and repressive ideologies had taken hold of the world's most populated country. Despite social changes, China today remains the world's largest atheisticly led country.
How then does this fit in with prophecy?
As indicated above the book of Revelation is vitally important. Let us consider the following prophecies:-
'And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates: and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty ... and he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.'
The important phrase is 'the kings of the east.' The word east literally means, 'the rising or the sun' and is a clear reference to the orient The prophecy clearly states that they will come from a land east of the Euphrates river. We are talking here of a major oriental power with the military strength to involve itself in the world's greatest conflict. China fits the description perfectly.
In Revelation 9 v 14ff we read:-
'Say to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand, thousand; and I heard the number of them.'
Here is reference to a mighty army of 200,000,000 with the power to destroy a third of mankind. More than 25 years ago, China was already proudly boasting of an army of that size. They have gone on to become a nuclear power and the description of the destruction inflicted by this powerful army, in v.18 could be a reference to the unleashing of China's nuclear arsenal:
'By these three was the third part of men killed, by fire, and by smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.'
It is difficult to see any other nation but communist China fulfilling these Middle East and is establishing close links with Arab nations such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia for the purpose of obtaining oil.
With an exploding population of 1.2 billion and a developing economy and industrial base, China is in great need of oil. Although China has over 20% of the world's population it has less than 2.5% of the world's oil reserves. In this sense it is disproportionately poor and experts say that It will probably face major energy crisis in the next three years. As the crisis deepens China will increasingly be looking at the nations across the Euphrates rich in the one commodity she lacks.
The Revelation prophecies speak of an aggressive warlike nation. China is a military nation controlled by a repressive regime with an appalling record on human rights. The world was clearly reminded of that by the events in Tianamen Square just a few years ago.
The takeover of Hong King, despite British pleas to the contrary, was accompanied by a massive show of force reminding us of the hostile attitudes of China's dictatorial leadership.
It was thought by some in the west that following the death of Deng Xiaoping China might experience a break-up similar to the collapse of the Soviet Union. In fact the opposite has taken place - they have moved to suppress any unrest in Tibet, Xingiang and inner Mongolia. Added to this are Beijing's noises in relation to their desire to retake Taiwan.
It is this writer's conviction that China is the 'king of the east' - a sleeping giant who is awakening to fulfill its prophesied role in the last days.