Prophecy Article
Expanded Internet Edition  July 1, 1995 

China in Prophecy

By Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1995
Edited by David Sielaff, May 2009


 

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There is more in the Bible about China as a nation and as a people than most people have imagined. It is time that all of us realize just what role China will play in the history of the world in the next few years ahead of us. This Prophetic Report gives both biblical and historical evidence to show just who the Chinese people are and how important they will soon become in matters dealing with the prophecies of the end time. There is one prophetic role for China that most people know nothing about. This is the fact that the Chinese people before the Second Advent of Christ are destined to accept Christianity in a very strong way. If we hope to realize what the future holds for the world in the next three decades, we will have to be aware of the real importance of “China in Prophecy.”

All people on earth need to know just who the Chinese people are in matters dealing with the biblical revelation. This is important because the Holy Scriptures are not only interested in the welfare of people who are now known as Christians, Jews, and Muslims (people indebted to Abraham and Moses for their basic religious teachings), but the Bible makes it clear that God through Christ has designed His plan to bring a salvation to all people on earth, no matter who they are or where they live. This certainly includes the people of China.

[ Editor’s Note: As of May of 2009 China is the most populous nation on earth today with approximately 1.3 billion people. One out every five people alive on earth at this moment live in China. That is 20% of all men, women, and children alive today. Even more important, consider that one out of every five geniuses live in China. 1 Those geniuses will be better educated than ever before, and they will receive the finest of education and career promotion. That has not happened in China in the past 200 years.

Within 10 or 15 years, by virtue of its increasingly productive huge population, the total gross national product of China shall exceed that of the United States and Europe in most all measures. If current trends continue, China will not only be the most economically powerful nation on earth, it will be a major political power. 2  DWS ]

It would seem odd if the Bible did not include some essential information about this great nation and its people since the Holy Scriptures purport to be the divine document which informs all people in the world about the plan of God for mankind. And true to form, the Bible does not abandon China and other peoples in the Far East or the islands of Oceania in its theme of salvation or in matters of prophecy. We need to understand just how significant these peoples are in the prophetic scenario that is to occur just on the horizon to us before the Second Advent of Christ back to this earth.

Who Are the Chinese People?

The place to start our research on the origin and destiny of the Chinese people is at the very beginning of the biblical revelation. That is where God gives an overview of who the peoples in the world represent as they relate particularly to the people of Abraham to whom God made special spiritual covenants (and most specifically to the people of Israel who represent a type of priestly people to the rest of the nations on earth, Exodus 19:6). In fact, the Holy Scriptures pertain essentially to the people of Abraham and more specially to Israel. This maneuver by God was to make Israel in particular responsible for teaching the ways of God to the whole of the human race. In a real sense, Israel is the nation which has a type of priestly mission to relate the messages of God to the rest of the world (Exodus 19:6; Isaiah 61:6; Deuteronomy 7:6). The nation of Israel is called God’s servant:

“to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved [margin: desolate lands] of Israel; I will also give you [Israel] for a light to the Gentiles, that you [Israel] may be [i.e., bring] my salvation unto the end of the earth.”

This responsibility of Israel to bring the teaching of salvation to the ends of the earth certainly includes that message being given to the Chinese people. China is destined soon to be evangelized.

In short, God has designed the historical circumstances in His plan for mankind so that Israel should be the nation to present to China and other Gentiles the teachings of God. That is what God called Israel to do as the priestly nation to the world.

However, the people of Israel are not yet doing their prophesied role of taking the message of salvation to the world. They began to do it in the time of the apostles, but because they, as a nation and as a people, failed to accept the teachings of their Messiah (Jesus Christ), Christ prophesied that the responsibility for teaching the Gospel would be given to another nation to do the job (Matthew 21:43). This was not another “race,” but another “nation” of people (Romans 10:19). Some in that nation would bring forth the fruits of the Gospel. So, Paul said the responsibility for getting out the Gospel then fell to the Gentiles, particularly to the people of the Roman nation and its empire (Romans 11:11–17). The Gentiles of the Roman Empire (and their descendants) would take over Israel’s place until what Christ called the end of “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) would occur. 3

It is now up to us Gentiles with that European influence from Paul (made up of many races) to do the job. Still, the evangelization of the world is not the responsibility of us Gentiles. God has preserved Israel to perform that job. Frankly, what Israel now needs is for us to teach the Gospel to them, and Israel needs to accept the Gospel. Because of this, we at A.S.K. (all of us working together) are trying our best to present the true Gospel to Israel and the world. I believe God is pleased with our efforts.

Thus, a new age is about to dawn. The times of the Gentiles for teaching the Gospel to the world are about to end. Israel shall be sent a spirit of grace and supplication and they will then begin to take over their prophesied role in bringing the messages of God to the nations of the world. This was prophesied to occur once Israel would return to the Holyland and to Jerusalem. With their return, we are told that God would cause a miracle to occur in Israel and to the Israelites (and this miracle is prophesied to emerge before the Second Advent of Christ). What is this miracle? It is the fact that many of the people of Israel (including some of its top leaders) are destined to accept Christ Jesus as their own Messiah. This is shown in Zechariah 12:10–14 through 13:16.

God will send the people of Israel a miraculous spirit of grace and supplication in the not too distant future. When this develops, Israel will then begin to perform their role that God prophesied for them in bringing the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6). One of the first things that Israel will do according to the prophecies is to overthrow the idolatry and idolatrous customs in the Holyland that Gentile Christians of Roman Empire origin have placed in their churches and shrines. At that time, Israel will not countenance such rampant idolatry (Zechariah 13:1–6). When a great number of Israelites in the Holyland are thus converted to Christ, we shall soon see China begin to look to Israel and the Middle East (as will all nations on earth) for the teaching of the Gospel of Christ. The Chinese will not accede to the Roman Empire form of idolatrous “Christendom” as their example.

To discover how this will happen to the Chinese, and to intelligently understand the means by which this will be accomplished, we first have to recognize from the Bible just who the Chinese people are. The Chinese people can be identified from the teachings of the Bible. Their identification is first given in Genesis chapter 10 which shows the descendants of Noah and how they repopulated the earth after the great flood.

A Clue that Identifies the Chinese

It is easy in a general way to discover who the people of China are from the information found in the Table of Nations. The first evidence emerges when we consider the meaning of the names of the three sons of Noah through whom all the world’s population today have descended. Note these three sons. His firstborn son was Japheth. Noah’s second son was Ham. And, his third son was Shem.

(1) Look at Noah’s firstborn son Japheth. The word “Japheth” means “Enlargement” and it signifies in a prophetic sense that Japheth’s progeny would become an enlarged population on earth. They would become the most populous people, having many more descendants than Ham or Shem. And without doubt, the people of China and their neighbors who are a part of what we generally call the Yellow Races are the most populous of the nations on earth. This meaning of Japheth’s name is the first evidence that the patriarch Japheth and his descendants describe the patriarchal origin of the Chinese people.

(2) Along with this is the fact that Noah’s second son was named “Ham” which signifies “Dark Colored” and this is a clear indication that the darker peoples on earth are descended from him.

(3) The third son was Shem from whom came the Israelites, the Arabs, and other Mediterranean types of people. It is pretty easy to see that this group of people from Shem are not of the Yellow or the Black races, and they more particularly represent the White or the Olive Skinned peoples on earth.

Of course, there are variations in all the three main racial stocks and there have been blendings among the original races on a wide scale, but the three general racial divisions of mankind and their standard characteristics can be pretty easily identified from the information that we have in the Bible. The indication that Japheth would become the most populated of peoples gives us biblical evidence that the Chinese fit into the Japhetic camp.

The Dispersal of the Original Nations

About two hundred years after the Flood of Noah, the population of humans had grown sufficiently that they began to build a tower as a religious monument (like a steeple or pyramid) to keep mankind’s geographical attention centered on the region of Babylon where the main patriarchs of Noah (and Noah himself) lived and made their homes. God did not like this scheme, so He changed mankind’s languages and sent them into all areas of the world (Genesis chapter 11). When these people left the tower in the Babylon area, they journeyed outward with mere families (just small clans of individuals) and they went into various places on earth. God must have directed them to the regions on earth to which He intended them to live and to populate. People quickly spread around the world.

Among the people who began to leave Babylon were those of Japheth. Let us look at them. Japheth had seven sons: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras (Genesis 10:2). Gomer’s three sons were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. They and Javan’s four sons Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim were singled out for distinction by Moses in his Table of Nations. This is because these particular descendants of Japheth were those who came in contact with Israel in the early generations up to the time of the Exodus. Throughout the annals of Jewish history, it has been known that Gomer, at first, went into Central Europe into the area represented now as Germany and Poland. As for Togarmah, son of Gomer, we find that they went into the extreme north part of the earth (Ezekiel 38:6) and became what we call Eskimos today.

These historical indications I have given in my Prophetic Report for September, 1992, titled “Prophetic Geography and the Time of the End,” available online at www.askelm.com/prophecy/p920901.htm. In that Prophetic Report, I have given maps to show in a graphic manner how these movements and settlements of peoples were made from the Tower of Babel into all areas of the world, and that includes the Chinese.

What we find is the fact that the people of Japheth developed into the mongoloid types of races within the first eight to ten generations from the time of the Flood of Noah. The information on how this could happen in a genetic way is given in the above mentioned Prophetic Report. The main point, however, that we should remember in this present Report on China is the fact that the people of Japheth became the most populous of people. Recall that the word “Japheth” means “Enlargement.”

In actual fact, the Bible and history as understood by the early Jews show that the people who finally developed into the people living in China and Japan (the mongoloid types of people that we know today), stemmed originally from Japheth. These Japhetic peoples developed various racial characteristics that became associated with them. This was especially noted in the shape of the eyes, the yellowish type of skin, and the straight black hair which predominates in these racial groups. These three general classifications of races are well known today.

We should understand that there are different types of ways in showing variations in races, but in simple terms the people of Japheth can be classified as being basically mongoloid in appearance. And on this fact hinges the evidence that the majority of the population in the world today is actually Japhetic in origin and that most of them now live in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Though this is true for this present age, historical records involving biblical peoples and early Jewish accounts show that several of the clans of the people of Japheth journeyed to eastern Asia in a roundabout way. Indeed, some of them right after the Flood of Noah first went into southern and central Europe. It was only later, when Semitic tribes began to invade Europe from the east, did the original Japhetic clans move north and then east into the regions of the world that we normally associate with mongoloid peoples today.

Some Japheth Races First Went to Europe

What is not often realized is the fact that the Bible and early Jewish history show that several of the chief sons of Japheth first went into Europe, and from there they journeyed north and east and finally settled in East Asia. Gomer was certainly one of them.

And not only Gomer, but we find the fourth son of Japheth also had a connection with Europe. His name was Javan. He is mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 10:2, 4. The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. Of these were the isles, or the coasts, of the north Mediterranean settled not long after the Tower of Babel (Genesis 10:5). Now when it says “nations,” it doesn’t mean huge nations that we know today. By the time of Moses, when Moses wrote the Book of Genesis, the clans of the earth were just starting to become nations.

Notice that there were four sons of Javan. They were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. We know from history that the people of Tarshish were first located in Spain and some of the islands of the Western Mediterranean, and also North Africa. There is a good deal of historical information to show this fact, and I have given it in the above Report.

Also, the people of Dodanim (called Rodaniym) have the name “Rhodes” in its variant reading. They first settled on that island in the Mediterranean. Elishah is connected with Ellis, an early tribe who settled on the Greek archipelago in the Aegean Sea and in Western Asia Minor. These initial settlements were achieved before Israel’s Exodus from Egypt.

But this is not all. Look especially at the people of Kittim in this first migration. Kittim was geographically associated even in later times (in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC) with the Mediterranean region. This shows that the people of Kittim first settled this area and then moved into other parts of the world. I have explained in the Prophetic Report mentioned above what happened. The people of Kittim moved into other areas of the world while they left their name on the region of their first settlement after the Flood of Noah. The Syriac Version of Genesis chapter 10 (called the Peshitta Version, which was written about the 4th century or 5th century AD), rendered the word “Kittim” as “Cathay.” This clearly denotes an early name for China. By the 4th century AD, the people of Kittim had been fully replaced in Europe, and they had gone farther east, even into China and adjacent areas.

What we find is the fact that the people of Japheth are today primarily mongoloid people, or connected with the mongoloid strain, or race, that finally developed after the Tower of Babel.

The Descendants of Japheth

The first sons of Japheth were given special references in the early history of the Bible. But in studying carefully, you will notice that only Gomer, and specially Javan, are presented with more elaborate descriptions. That is because the Israelites in Moses’ time were coming in contact with those people. They were closer in a geographical sense to Israel, and Israel was more acquainted with them. The other sons of Japheth, for example, Magog, the Madai, the people of Tubal, of Meshech and of Tiras, were already far distant from the Israelites in Egypt and the Land of Canaan. In the Bible you find little information about them because they had spread far from the cradle of civilization.

Look at these Japhetic peoples for a moment. We know that Meshech and Tubal are associated with Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Some people have even connected the city of Moscow in Russia with Meshech. That is a possibility. These nations of Japheth moved north and then on farther east. Later on, we find that Gomer and Javan and the others of Japheth followed them into the east into the region of what we call China today. They also went into Southeast Asia, and then through the Malay archipelago into various islands of the ocean. Indeed, many of Japheth’s descendants went throughout the Pacific and into the New World. These movements of peoples are more particularly covered in my Prophetic Report mentioned above. But look at what this means in regard to the Chinese who were once known as the people of Cathay or Kittim.

Believe it or not, the Kittim people were the original ones who first settled the island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean after the Tower of Babel incident. From there they went further westward and made settlements in Italy.

Then they were pushed northward and then eastward by Semites coming from the eastern Mediterranean areas. The people of Kittim journeyed even further north and then eastward into the central areas of Asia, and finally winding up in the region we now call China (indeed, an early name of China was Cathay which comes from the root word Khitai which also answers to Kittim, the “im” is plural).

Though Gomer (the firstborn of Japheth and the uncle of Kittim) was the first to settle central Europe after the Flood, the biblical revelation shows that at the end of the age, his descendants are found in Asia—in the Far East. In Ezekiel 38:16 we find Gomer associated with Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Ethiopia (eastern Cush of the Hindu Kush), Phut in India and Ceylon (not as the King James Version states as “Libya”). This means that Gomer and all his bands went eastward long ago and became Asiatic powers. The Bible shows they are still Asiatic powers at the time of the end.

As a matter of fact, even after the Millennium is over, the Book of Revelation refers to the geographical regions associated with Magog. They are shown to be in the four extremities of the earth which primarily refer to the regions of the antipodes from Jerusalem (the North and South American continents, Southern Africa and the extreme northern regions of Eurasia). What must be understood is that most of the European tribes of Japheth, who first went to Europe at the dispersal of the nations at the Tower of Babel, left the European region and went into Asia. Others went further eastward into the Pacific Islands and then to the Americas. But, as for the people of Kittim, they finally settled in China and gave their name to the region. China is even called in their own language “Cathay” (after the word “Kittim”).

A Further Biblical Reference to China

There is even more on China. The Bible prophesies that the people of China will be given the truth of God before the Second Coming of Christ. And who performs the task of taking the teachings of God to China? The Bible says it will be Israel. As mentioned earlier in this Prophetic Report, the people of Israel are destined to take the Word of God to all areas of the world before the Second Advent of Christ, and China will not be left out. God shall:

“raise up the tribes of Israel, and to restore the preserved [margin: desolate lands] of Israel: I will also give you [Israel] for a light to the Gentiles, that you may be [bring] my salvation unto the end of the earth. Thus says YHWH, the Redeemer of Israel ...”

It will be the people of Israel (once the “times of the Gentiles” end) who will bring the light of the Gospel to all the Gentiles. The Gentiles of the world will turn their attention to Israel in the Holyland and the Gentiles will begin to listen to the Israelites about Jesus Christ and how idolatry should be shunned. Indeed, the people of the world who are Gentiles will then want to attach themselves to Israelites and to their teachings that God will inspire (look up Zechariah 8:23). This is a time when the waste places that once made up Jerusalem will be repaired and rebuilt.

“Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem: for [1] YHWH has comforted his people [Israel], [2] he has redeemed Jerusalem. [3] YHWH has made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations [the Gentiles]; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”

Gentile nations from around the world will want to go to Israel and to Jerusalem to hear the words of truth that will then come from the Israelites once they are converted to the truth as Zechariah 12:9–14 prophesies. And what is a major area from whence these Gentiles will come? God singles out a special region of the earth for His interest. Look at Isaiah 49:12. It says that people will come to Israel “from the land of Sinim.” Lange’s Commentary says “this name [Sinim] must represent an entire quarter of the heavens and probably the east” (vol. VI, p. 535). 4 And what major people are in this region? China is in an easterly direction from Jerusalem and would fit the prophet’s intentions very well.

Indeed, in modern Hebrew, Sinim means “China,” and well it should because even the single letter we render as “Ch” in “China” has the soft sound of an “S” and the Chinese call themselves the people of “Sina” or “Sino” with the vowel at the end usually unsounded. Chinese history recognizes that in the 10th to the 12th centuries AD, major parts of China were ruled by what they call the “Sino-Khitan Empire” (the Chinese area was dominated by the Khitan people — or, as I have shown, the Kittim people). Thus, the Kittim and the Sinim of the Bible are found together in major historical events that formed the Chinese nation and its people.

There is a further prophecy that illustrates this. Look at a predestined event that will also occur not long before the Second Advent of Christ. Malachi records:

“For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles [goyim]; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen [goyim], says YHWH of hosts.”

There is no doubt that this prophecy will be fulfilled before the great and terrible Day of the Lord because Malachi later on speaks of that very Day as yet future to him in the context of the prophetic teaching he was giving (Malachi 4:5–6). And note that the above prophecy is directed to the farthest easterly direction from the land of Israel that one can go — to the very rising of the sun itself. The Land of the Rising Sun is, even in our modern parlance, Japan, and in the same region is China and Southeast Asia.

Those areas of the world are soon going to be evangelized with the Gospel of Christ, and they will begin to accept it on a wide scale. This will occur once Israel itself begins to accept Christ Jesus as Zechariah 12:9–14 says will occur. We will not have many years left to see these very things beginning to happen.

We Christians in the west need to focus our primary attention on presenting the Gospel of Christ to the Jewish people in the best way we know how. They at first gave us the Gospel by their Jewish apostles, and now it is our turn to return it to them.

There are some exciting times to happen on earth in the not too distant future. The prophecies show that even the Gentile nations in the Far East and to the West will be given the Gospel of Christ as shown in the New Testament revelation (and Gentiles will accept it in a basic sense). This is as certain as the rising of tomorrow’s sun. Just as South Korea is now experiencing a new and revolutionary interest in Christ and the New Testament, a groundswell of proper regard to Christ will soon begin to sweep many areas of the world. China will begin to accept the teachings of the Gospel.

According to Zechariah 13:1–6, people in the Land of Israel will commence a campaign of getting rid of the idols and idolatrous ways that our western Christian churches have placed in their false shrines in the Holyland and this will have a rippling effect from Jerusalem throughout the world. All of us in Christ who now love the Gospel are privileged to be the precursors for bringing forth the fruits of the Gospel to Israel and then the world. That teaching from Israel will then reach out to embrace the whole world. The result? All in China are destined to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and you and I are having a part in bringing this to pass.

Ernest L. Martin, 1995
Edited by David Sielaff, May


1 Regarding geniuses in China, I am presuming that the Chinese have the same ratio of genius as other nationalities, just as they have the same ratio of left-handed to right-handed people. I also presume that the ratio of geniuses is consistent throughout the human race. After all, we all come from Adam. People are people. Yes, the measure of genius is subjective, measured by such things as Nobel Prizes, number of advanced degrees, number of inventions and patents, etc. As the Chinese middle class grows, economic opportunity increases. That allows talent, ability, and genius to be recognized, promoted, and not stifled by culture, bureaucracy (an age-old problem in China), economic deprivation, and brain damage from lack of food. All such factors are changing for the positive in China today. The goal of Chinese society as a whole is economic well-being and prosperity — a better life for individuals who will have less care about the Chinese state and the collective. Such is the nature of prosperity.  DWS

2 See the internet article “China’s Economic Growth, 1978–2025” at http://ihome.ust.hk/~socholz/Growth/Holz-China-Growth-2Nov05-web.pdf, accessed May 2009. Only a disruption of present trends such as a major losing war, civil unrest, a series of major natural disasters, or the breakup of China (as did the Soviet Union) could cause such a projection not to occur. During the current recession of 2008/2009 China is still growing (according to official Chinese economic data) while other economies are in recession.  DWS

3 Note also it is the times (plural) of the Gentiles” that shall end. Several prophetic trends involving the Gentiles shall end at that time. These need to be discovered and understood.  DWS

4 Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Isaiah, Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (New York: Scribner, 1878). It is also titled The prophet Isaiah / theologically and homiletically expounded by C.W.E. Nägelsbach; trans. by Samuel T. Lowrie and Dunlop Moore (reprinted by Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 195–).

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