Seeing Beyond the Impossible
GOD’S DESTINY FOR CHINA—THE TRUE HEAVENLY MANDATE
Since time immemorial, the Chinese have had a deep sense that the heavens and the earth were somehow inextricably connected in a very profound and mysterious way. Thousands of years ago, they had a far greater symbiotic relationship with the earth, sea, and sky than now. Soon, they realized there was an unspoken pattern, rhythm and moral order that governed the universe. They began to see how the spiritual was intimately tied with the physical, and in time, developed a reverence for whom they called Shang-Di…the Supreme God.
Early in China’s history, the Chinese firmly believed that in order for their Middle Kingdom to prosper forever, Shang-Di’s perfect, just and moral order that governed the heavens must somehow be established on earth. Shang-Di would only bless the nation if the Emperor was righteous and properly wielded divine power. If the Emperor became despotic and corrupt, the Mandate from Heaven, or right to govern, would be removed and transferred to another ruler more worthy.
In God’s sovereign plan, His true Heavenly Mandate was first revealed to the Israelites. In His divine providence, He chose to work with the tiny nation of Israel and the Jews first, so they could be the humble channel by which He could bless the nations (Gen.12:2-3; Deut.4:1-8). Today our great God is still fulfilling His covenant relationship with Israel for the eternal welfare of all the nations -- including China (Romans 11). Everyday, “the great wall” that has long stood between the Chinese heart and their Creator, comes down one stone at a time. Their eyes have been opened and they’re beginning to understand the deeper meaning behind profound scriptures such as Romans 11:25-26: “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery--so that you will not be wise in your own estimation--that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved.”
Today, the “fire” has been ignited in millions of Chinese believers as they’ve come to realize, “we are a significant part of what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he said, ‘fullness of the Gentiles!’” Now, there are continual prayer towers, reconciliation, and revival gatherings throughout the Body of Christ in Asia. They know that in the flesh, they’ll stay divided. But through and by the power of the Holy Spirit, they can be united. They want this one prayer of Jesus answered more than any other prayer, “...that they all be one...” (John 17:21).
In working alongside my Chinese brothers and sisters over these many years, I’ve often wonder what would have happened if the Gospel had first traveled East, instead of West, and reached China far before the influence of the Western world. I believe the Spirit-led apostles would have brought the Chinese an understanding of time, space, meditation, prayer, spiritual rest, respect for authority, education, and an integration of mind, body, soul and spirit that they would have very much identified with.
The biblical Hebraic worldview is far more similar to the Asian mindset than the Greco-Roman, which is the bedrock of Western thinking. When we share the Gospel in China, we bring to them this Hebraic worldview and the true Heavenly Mandate their emperors and rulers all longed for but could never define. We reveal to them the real Shang-Di, who came forth in the fullness of time (Gal.4:4), as Jesus Christ (Yeshua in Hebrew), to reveal the Kingdom of God.
He is our Creator and our King who can live within us now. He is the One who breathed into us His breath of life and divine intellect. Unlike any other creature on the face of the earth, humans were brought forth as “praying beings.” Only we can develop an intimate relationship with our Creator. He gave us His instruction book, the Holy Bible, so we could learn of His nature, life-giving patterns, rhythms and moral order to life. He is molding and shaping us to rule with Him in power and glory! That’s what we teach God’s Chinese disciples today.
The Chinese have always yearned for immortality. In this 21st century, millions are finally discovering what it means to have true eternal life and it’s not being buried 6 feet under like these terra cotta soldiers!
If you were to serve in China with us, you would be amazed at the transformation taking place in the Church in China. God’s Kingdom and true Heavenly Mandate have come down to earth for those who have opened their hearts to His Way and His Spirit. He has been able to transform their disorder into His order, their emptiness into His fullness and their darkness into His Light. They are a new creation. All their testimonies speak to this fact.
A dear Christian brother, who was a brilliant scholar, teacher, and friend of mine passed away about 20 years ago. At his funeral, someone said to me, “He’s in a better place now.” I replied, “No. He has always been in that place.” And so it is with many of the Chinese Christians in China today. They’re living in Christ’s victory and not as victims of their circumstances. Many missionaries flock over to China as teachers but always come back as students. May the Body of Christ in China continue to glorify God and His Holy Name.
~ Christina Kuo Graham, Director of Operations