Today in Prophecy

Revolution in Hong Kong

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn” (Isaiah 61:1, 2 NAS).

Hong Kong is thought to have become part of the Chinese empire under the Han dynasty between 206 BC and 220 AD. Increasing numbers of Han Chinese from the mainland began to settle in Hong Kong, alongside boat-dwelling communities also thought to have originated from southern China. Hong Kong’s sheltered main harbor became a place to replenish supplies for trading ships plying the maritime Silk Road between Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, which flourished from around the 7th century. As well as silk, China exported porcelain and tea and received everything from spices to plants and textiles.

Portuguese, Dutch and French traders arrived on the south coast of China in the 1500s, and Portugal set up a base in Macau, neighboring Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s outlying islands were also a haven for Chinese pirates — its current territory includes 260 islands, many of them uninhabited.

Opium Wars led to British Rule

Later, in the 18th century, China imposed restrictions on the Europeans in a bid to contain their influence. Britain was angered when an imperial edict banned its trade in opium from India to China because it had led to the spread of addiction. After Chinese authorities seized a vast haul of the drug, Britain attacked in 1840 and reached northern China, threatening Beijing, in the First Opium War. To make peace, China agreed to cede Hong Kong Island to Britain in 1841. The Kowloon peninsula followed in 1860 after a second Opium War and Britain extended north into the rural New Territories in 1898, leasing the area for 99 years. When the lease on the New Territories expired, the entire city was handed back to China.

Since returning to Chinese rule, Hong Kong was given more autonomy than the mainland, and its people more rights. The arrangement was known as “one country, two systems.” However, that changed in June, 2019, when a new proposal passed the local government allowing the extradition of Hong Kong citizens to mainland China. Dissidents feared the city’s independence and protests began. City leader Carrie Lam agreed to suspend the extradition bill (it was withdrawn in September), but demonstrations developed demanding full democracy and an inquiry into police actions. They also argued the bill would give China greater influence over Hong Kong and could be used to target activists and journalists.

On October 1, while China was celebrating 70 years of Communist Party rule, Hong Kong experienced one of its most violent and chaotic days. While the extradition bill is no longer a factor, protestors’ demands have called for a new government. Protests supporting the Hong Kong movement have spread across the globe, with rallies taking place in the UK, France, US, Canada and Australia. In November elections, dissidents seek universal suffrage in Hong Kong, but others are calling for complete independence from China.

The Cry for Justice

Disputes among nations have almost invariably turned to violence and war. Utopians have envisioned a day when the people of the earth would adopt a sane and righteous method of living with one another. The prophets of the Bible, writing under the inspiration of God’s holy Spirit, foretold such a time, explaining that it would come about through the establishment of a world government or dominion that would impose upon the people of all nations just and righteous laws, through the keeping of which universal and lasting peace would be assured.

In the Bible’s prophecies of this coming time of peace under a world government, the assurance is given that there will be no miscarriage of justice because the kingdom of promise is to be a powerful government, perfectly organized and powerfully equipped to perform every function. The Bible refers to this government as the kingdom of Christ because he will be the head and ruler. But he will not be alone. Jesus quoted the Isaiah theme text in Luke 4:18, and three verses later said that it was he who fulfilled the prophecy. Isaiah had earlier proclaimed that “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:7).

One of the first Biblical references to this was by Jacob, the progenitor of Israel, who on his deathbed prophesied of his son, “Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” (Genesis 49:9,10).

This prophecy depicting Judah as a “couched lion” was a pictorial way of saying that from this royal tribe of Israel would come the one whom the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob had promised — the “Seed” who would be Messiah and King. Shiloh was a reference to Jesus, the one who would come through the line of Judah.

Isaiah foretold the birth and ultimate exaltation to ruler of this great King, saying, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Later in his prophecy Isaiah referred to this coming Ruler of earth as the “Arm” of Jehovah, and foretold that this “holy Arm” would be made bare in the eyes of all the nations, and that “all the ends of the earth” would see “the salvation of our God” (Isaiah 52:10).

David wrote, “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the LORD’s and he is the governor among the nations” (Psalms 22:27,28). David also wrote concerning Jehovah’s kingdom, “All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations” (Psalms 145:10-13).

Researchers claim that there have been less than 300 years in the past 3,400 without war and its preparations (What Every Person Should Know about War, Chris Hedges, 2003). When the time finally arrives for Christ’s kingdom to rule, it will quickly establish a standard for peace, justice and equality among men. During the 1000-year reign, “Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place” (Isaiah 28:17). The kingdom authority is first manifested to the world in a great “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation,” destroying the “kingdoms of this world” (Daniel 12:1, Revelation 2:26,27, Matthew 24:3,21, 22, Revelation 11:15). But beyond this, its setting up will mark the time for the resurrection of the dead, when the “saints” of this age are exalted to reign with Christ for 1000 years in the spiritual phase of the kingdom, and when the ancient prophets will be made “princes in all the earth” (Revelation 11:18, Psalms 45:16).

Then, also, the whole world will be enlightened, and all, small and great, will learn to reverence the Lord (Acts 3:23). When the work of the kingdom is completed, God, the Creator of heaven and earth will be “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). This is the true answer to the cries for justice that have prevailed in this dark night of sin. What a glorious answer the scriptures provide!

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