The World Situation and the Direction of the Lord's Moveby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this chapter we have the burden to see the world situation and the direction of the Lord’s move. This burden can be expressed in the following four statements:
Before March 1991 I had no thought about a new direction for the Lord’s move, but right after the war between the allies of the United Nations and Iraq, I received a deep impression. The recent war with Iraq was fought for only four days plus four hours, altogether one hundred hours. Right after that war I reconsidered the world situation. We have to consider what the Lord wants us to do in this present time. There is the need of an appropriate direction for the Lord’s move in His recovery today to match the recent changes in the world situation.
While we have been changing in recent years in order to practice the church life according to the God-ordained way, the world has also been changing. Because of the present situation in the world, there needs to be an appropriate direction for the Lord’s move in His recovery today. We should not think that the present changes in the world situation are meaningless. The Lord is not only the Creator of the universe but also the Ruler of the entire world.
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, learned this lesson. He came to know that he was not the ruler of the earth but that the unique God, the One in the heavens, is (Dan. 4:28-37). There is the rule of the heavens on earth. Whatever happens in the world situation must be something of the Lord. When we see the many changes in today’s world situation, we have to wake up. Our eyes need to be opened. We should exercise our spirit to say, “Lord, what do You mean in all these changes, and what concerns us in all these changes?”
There have been many great and recent changes in the world. It is a historical fact that the world situation has always been the indicator of the Lord’s move on earth. Some have said that the Bible is a history of the Jews. This understanding, however, is not entirely correct. It is correct to say that the history in the Bible is centered around Israel, but the Bible is not just a history of the Jews. The Bible is a history of God’s economy. Israel has been the center of the carrying out of God’s economy on earth. God is not interested merely in the history of the Jews. His interest is in His economy, which is being carried out by Him on earth. The carrying out of His economy has much to do with the world situation.
Genesis 10 gives a record of how the nations of the earth were divided after the flood (cf. v. 32). These nations were set up by ambitious persons, but they were not that prominent. One day, however, the Lord Himself established a nation, the nation of Israel. After Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, Joshua brought them into the good land. Then God used David to establish the nation of Israel by defeating the enemies, by building up the city of Jerusalem, and by preparing for the building up of the temple to be God’s house on earth. Later, after David’s son Solomon built the temple, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, came to destroy the nation of Israel.
Daniel 2 records that Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, which Daniel interpreted. In that dream there was a great human image. The golden head of this image signifies Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian Empire. The breast and arms of silver signify the Medo-Persian Empire. The abdomen and thighs of bronze signify the Grecian Empire with Alexander the Great. The legs and feet of iron signify the Roman Empire. The feet of the image were partly of iron and partly of clay, signifying the nations in the period after the fall of Rome and before the second coming of Christ. This image shows the four great empires on earth with their governments. It is actually a prophetic illustration of the history of human government, sovereignly arranged by the Lord for the carrying out of His economy.
Just before the beginning of the New Testament age, Julius Caesar conquered the area of Palestine. Later, his adopted son, Augustus, became the first formal Caesar of the Roman Empire in 27 B.C. That empire was greatly used by God in the carrying out of His New Testament economy. It was under Augustus that Christ was born, and it was under the Roman Empire that Christ was crucified. Without the Roman Empire, Christ would have had no way to be born according to the prophetic details of the Old Testament. Furthermore, Christ would have had no way to die on the cross according to the details of the Old Testament prophecies. Christ’s birth and death took place through the means of the Roman Empire. When the Roman Empire was formed, that was an indicator that God was going to do something directly to accomplish His New Testament economy.
The Roman Empire also conquered the entire Mediterranean region, bringing all the nations around the Mediterranean Sea under its governmental control, and Greek became its common language. Furthermore, highways were built throughout the Roman Empire to make travel easier and safer. This was a preparation for the spreading of the gospel after Christ’s death and resurrection.
The history of the church also shows that the world situation is the indicator of the Lord’s move on earth. The Reformation with Martin Luther was greatly strengthened and helped by Germany. Later in world history, Spain became the prevailing world power. However, in the sixteenth century England was raised up to defeat the Spanish Armada. This limited the spread of Catholicism and gave a way for the truth of the gospel to be propagated. Under England’s influence the gospel was spread all over the earth.
Today the Lord needs the truths of His recovery to be spread to the whole earth. America, the last great territory on earth, discovered by Columbus, is being used by the Lord for His recovery. This is also under the Lord’s sovereignty for the carrying out of His New Testament economy. In order to see more details concerning the relationship between the world situation and the direction of the Lord’s move, I would recommend that you read the book entitled The World Situation and God’s Move. In this book I mentioned that the Lord’s recovery is His ultimate move and that the United States will be the ultimate power on earth used by the Lord to carry out His move.
I have been observing the world situation since the end of the First World War. I have spent my lifetime studying the Bible with the help of history. I began to minister for the Lord’s recovery in the United States in 1962. At that time I pointed out three things to a number of the brothers concerning the world situation. First, I told the brothers that the center of world activity in the West would eventually turn to the area of the Pacific. In the past, Western culture was centered around the Mediterranean. After Columbus’s discovery of America, it spread to the Atlantic. I told the brothers that in the future it would spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Second, I mentioned to the brothers that eventually California would become the main state in the United States. At that time New York was the most important state, the Empire State. Third, I told them that the financial activity would gradually turn from being centered on the East Coast to being focused on the West Coast. I told the brothers these three things twenty-nine years ago, and they have all come to pass.
Recently, The Los Angeles Times had an article speaking about how the major activity of the world has turned from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This article gave many statistics to prove this point. Specifically, it pointed out the tremendous amount of trade there is between the Far East and the United States. It stated that the trade between the Far East and the United States is fifty percent more than the trade between the United States and the countries across the Atlantic. The United States is the ultimate power on earth for the fulfillment of God’s economy. Today we are in the final stages of the Lord’s recovery for the carrying out of His New Testament economy.
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