The events of world history have been sovereignly arranged by God for Him to carry out His purpose; therefore, in order for us to have the proper church life, we must know the world situation and be one with the Lord in His move.
Throughout the Bible we can see the divine history within the human history; what the Bible reveals is not only the human history of the children of Israel or of the church, but the history of God with man (in the Old Testament) and in man (in the New Testament).
In all the world situation with the events and situations, God is sovereign; He has absolute authority, position, and control, and even what seems to be human error in doing this or that, God is sovereign.
Everything that is happening today is under the sovereignty of God for Him to carry out His purpose. As believers in Christ, we were born in the human history – and then by repenting and believing into the Lord we have been reborn, regenerated, in the divine history.
Therefore, all throughout the day in our daily life we need to live in the divine history – and not merely in the human history.
The internet today brings the news, entertainment, and everything in the world to the screen in our pocket or on our desk; we as believers should live one spirit with the Lord a life in the divine history within the human history.
When we go through persecution, sufferings, or trouble, we should acknowledge God’s sovereignty and ask not necessarily to be delivered but to be one spirit with the Lord for His purpose to be fulfilled.
Furthermore, we need to live a life in the church life so that we may be in the divine history within the human history; in the church life God’s history has become our history, and we and God have one history.
It is amazing to realize that God is mingling Himself with us day by day as we open to Him and enjoy Him, fellowship with Him, let Him work in us, and let Him build us up with the saints; this mingling continues the divine history within the human history.
God wants to move, and He is sovereign; however, He needs to gain the proper persons so that He would have a way in the divine history to move.
The Events of World History are Sovereignly Arranged by God for Him to Fulfill His Purpose
He arranged not only the major world events but also the events in our personal life in such a way that He would accomplish His purpose in us. God allows the rise and fall of the kingdoms of earth and He determines the boundaries of all the nations, predetermining where people live, move, work, and what their future is.
For example, God arranged that Columbus would discover America, a continent inhabited by the Indians for many years. It was not Columbus himself who did this – it was God inspiring him to sail on to the west until he reached a new land.
God made the appointment when America should be exposed to the descendants of Japheth (see Gen. 9:27, where Noah prophesied that God would enlarge Japheth). Before Columbus the time was not right for Japheth to be enlarged and spread abroad, but when he came, the time was right.
All the events of world history have been arranged by God in a sovereign way for Him to carry out His purpose (see Acts 17:26; Rom. 8:28; 2 Tim. 1:9). Therefore, we all need a clear view from which to consider the world situation.
Brother Wachman Nee had a clear view of the divine history, but he also was aware of the events of world history; when the tide began to change in China and the Communist Party came into power in China, he sent brother Witness Lee out to Taiwan to preserve the Lord’s testimony, and through this the Lord’s move continued.
We need to consider the world situation from the perspective of God’s purpose, realizing that all the events are sovereignly arranged by God for Him to fulfill His purpose.
Since God made man in His image and He made all peoples out of one, He surely took interest in the territories the various nations would occupy, and He surely was interested in the seasons when nations would rise and fall.
Yes, God did arrange the right place for the bears, tigers, lions, and other animals to live in, and He does care for all creation, but in particular He cares for man.
Man is made in the image of God, being God’s photograph – man looks like God, and man is meant to have God’s life and be God’s expression; therefore, God arranged seasons, boundaries, and territories for the nations and the peoples.
Why did God arrange all these things? It is for man to seek for God and find Him, receive God, be one with God, and fulfill God’s purpose for God.
In order for God to carry out His purpose, He has arranged the world situation; history becomes meaningful to us when we realize this, and we will praise God for His sovereign arrangement in the world history for the carrying out of His purpose (see Eph. 3:9; Dan. 2:20-21; 4:2-3, 25-26, 34-35).
For example, God arranged for the British Navy in 1588 to defeat a better equipped Spanish Navy, and as a result, Britain prevailed and gained dominance on the sea, becoming an empire in which the sun doesn’t set.
Through this country the Lord had a way to spread the gospel, and at the same time He limited the reach of Catholicism.
Lord Jesus, grant us a clear view of the world situation in the light of Your move. May we see that the events of world history have been sovereignly arranged by God for Him to carry out His purpose. Thank You Lord for Your sovereignty in arranging the boundaries of the nations, the rise and fall of kingdoms, and the appointed seasons. Lord, all things are under Your sovereignty so that Your purpose may be fulfilled. We give ourselves to You, Lord, to live one spirit with You in the church life for the fulfillment of Your purpose!
Having a Proper Church Life by Knowing the World Situation and being One with the Lord in His Move
If you look at the major events in human history from God’s point of view, you will realize that these events match God’s move on earth.
We may consider the spread of the Roman Empire into the Middle East as being their desire for expansion and then later retreating from there; but the Roman Empire was greatly used by God to create the environment for His move.
For example, both Mary and Joseph were from Nazareth, so God used the Roman Caesar to make a census in Israel, so these both had to go to Bethlehem, so that the prophecy concerning the birth of the Lord may be fulfilled (He was to be born in Bethlehem).
Then, the Lord used crucifixion – the Roman method of capital punishment for the lowest class of criminals and for slaves who were guilty of rebellion – to accomplish the Lord’s death on the cross for our redemption.
Furthermore, the common language, the single rule, the good means of transportation and the roads, and the domestic order that the Roman Empire established were all used by God for the spread of the gospel. The Roman Empire was appointed by God to provide the situation in which Christ’s redemption could be accomplished and then the gospel would be spread.
All the major events in human history match God’s move on earth, and God uses all these events to move, spread the gospel, and accomplish His purpose.
We may think that such terrible things as war, famine, and death should not be allowed by God, but God uses these for His purpose, to wake people up and cause them to be more open to the gospel.
Since the church comes out of mankind, we as God’s chosen ones need to realize that God is moving through the world events, and we will have a proper church life. In order for us to have a proper church life, we must know the world situation and cooperate with the Lord for His move on earth (1 Thes. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:2).
The church is not something “spiritual and in the air”; the church is composed of a group of people from the mankind that have been redeemed and regenerated by the Lord, and they live in a certain human history in their age.
Therefore, if we want to have a proper church life, we need to have God’s view of the world history and situation; the more we know the world situation, the more we will be watchful and strengthened to participate in the church life.
The more we see the major events in the world in the light of God’s move, the more we will give ourselves to the Lord for Him to use us in His move, so that we would become stepping-stones for Him in this age.
Lord Jesus, we want to have a proper church life today by knowing the world situation and by being one with You for Your move on earth today. Grant us to realize that all the major events in human history match God’s move on earth. Save us from the blinding work of the enemy which operates among all men on earth today. Bring us fully in oneness with You for Your up-to-date move on earth today! Lord, as men created in Your image, we choose You, we want to be one with You, and we want to live one spirit with You in the divine history within the human history today!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by the brothers for this week, and portions from, Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1981, vol. 1, “The World Situation and God’s Move,” preface and ch. 1, as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Special Fellowship concerning the World Situation and the Lord’s Move, msg. 2 (week 2), God’s Sovereignty, the Divine History within the Human History, and the World Situation and God’s Move to Spread His Recovery.
- Hymns on this topic:
# When this passing world is done, / When has sunk yon glaring sun, / When we stand with Christ on high, / Looking o’er life’s history; / Then, Lord, shall I fully know, / Not till then, how much I owe. (Hymns #545)
# I am one with Thee, Lord Jesus, / One in spirit now with Thee; / All Thyself I now possess, Lord, / All Thou art now lives in me. / One with Thee, one with Thee, / One with Thee, one with Thee; / Day by day I share Thy riches, / Thou art everything to me. (Hymns #474)
# If these latter days and situations of the world / Make you feel that round a vicious circle you are swirled, / Then please listen closely to the things we have to say; / It may be that you will find with us a better way. (Song on the proper church life)