Temple of Heaven located on Beijing, China
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NotLi2wZ4Sc (Click the above link for YouTube Video Presentation)
( Mobile App link for Man-child website, you can read/watch from your Mobile phone now: http://apps.itsapp2you.com/
China is mentioned in the ancient Hebrew scriptures, an ancient prophecy from Isaiah 49 v12 (about 700BC): Surely these shall come from afar; Look! Those from the north and the west, and these from the land of Sinim. (Sinim=Qin which is referring to the Ancient China)
In context, this prophecy appears to refer to the return of exiled Israel from the nations of the world. The ‘north’ probably refers chiefly to Russian Jews and the ‘west’ to American and European Jews. But while ‘north’ and ‘west’ are general terms, ‘Sinim’ is a specific term, thought by many scholars to be China. The ‘Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible’ explains Sinim as ‘Chinese!’. In fact the nouns ‘Sinology’ or ‘Sinologist’ use the same root word ‘Sin’ pronouns as QIN meaning China. Isaiah thus prophesied that one day Israel’s exiles would return from China back to their own land. Other Christians have interpreted the above scripture to imply ‘Christians’ rather than ‘Jews’ meaning that many Chinese would come to believe in God. Maybe both interpretations are correct. However, regardless of how you interpret Isaiah’s prophecy, one important fact is that China (Sinim) is mentioned in the Bible!
It appears that the Chinese believed in YHWH the Almighty (ShangDi) without an organized religion for more than four thousand years.
From the writings of Confucius(551-479) and Moz (408-382 BC), we discover that the ancient Chinese were originally monotheists who worshiped a Creator-G-d whom they called ‘Tian =The Most High but English translated it as Heaven’ or ‘ShangDi’. In fact, an eastern Han (202 BC-8AD) scholar also confirms ‘ShangDi’ as an alternative name for ‘ Tian=The Most High; however, the English translation for it is Heaven’ as follows:
‘ShangDi is another name for Heaven’ The scholar Zheng Xuan The ancient Chinese, unlike their modern counterparts, did not believe in the theory of Evolution, which is a Western atheistic philosophy. How sad that today’s Chinese have accepted a Western philosophy in place of their own indigenous religion!! Now that we know that the original G_d of China was called ‘Tian (Heaven)’ or ‘ShangDi’, and how did the ancient Chinese people, including Confucius, worship Him. The following quotes from the writings of Confucius have left behind a clear record of ancient China’s original religious beliefs:
‘Emperor Sun sacrificed to ShangDi (2255 BC)’. The Book of History
‘The Border Sacrifice ceremony is how men serve ShangDi’ . The Doctrine of the Mean Sz Ma Qian, an official during the western Han dynasty (222 BC-8AD), affirms Confucius’s quotes and gives us additional information about the worship of THE ALMIGHTY (G-d) in ancient China:
‘Erect an altar of earth on Mt. Tai and offer a burnt offering to ShangDi or Tian (Heaven)’. Sz Ma Qian, The Book of Historical Documents:
‘There has never been any Emperor of China who has not performed the sacrifices
to Heaven’. Sz Ma Qian,The Book of Historical Documents
From the above quotes we can deduce that the Aloahiym of ancient China was worshiped in a ceremony involving animal sacrifices, with the chief participant being the Emperor. This ceremony, also known as the ‘Border Sacrifice’, was performed annually on the top of Mt. Tai in Shandong province, on the eastern border of China. Therefore, it should not be surprising to find that Confucius was a believer in Tian (Heaven)= (ShangDi), as he lived in Shandong province not too far from Mt. Tai. Even HuangDi (the Yellow Emperor), from the so-called ‘Legendary Period’, is reported to have sacrificed to Heaven (ShangDi).
In the 15th century AD the ‘Border Sacrifice’ site was moved to the Altar of Heaven in Beijing and continued there until 1911 AD when the last Emperor of China was deposed. Thus in China we have a religious belief system and sacrificial ceremony of more than 4000 years continuous observance! Worship of Tian (Heaven)=ShangDi at the Altar of Tian (Heaven) in Beijing
The Altar of Heaven complex, which is today an important tourist site, comprises 3 main edifices. The northern most structure, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, has on its north wall, a tablet inscribed with the following characters:
‘Heavenly Sovereign ShangDi’ These characters clearly indicate that ShangDi (Heaven) was the Almighty worshiped at the ‘Border Sacrifice’. This sacrifice took place every year at the winter solstice (December 22) and by reviewing some of the prayers and songs used in the ceremony it becomes obvious how the Chinese revered their Supreme Almighty: “When Di (ShangDi), the Sovereign, had so decreed, He called into existence heaven, Earth, and man. The Statutes of the Ming Dynasty”
If we compare this with the Hebrew text of the Bible it becomes clear that the Creator-Almighty of the Chinese and Hebrews is one and the same:
By the word of YHWH the heavens were made… For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. Psalm 33v6,9—The Bible. Heaven (ShangDi) simply spoke everything into being by His commands. In addition, the religious ceremony of the ancient Chinese appears to be identical to that of the Hebrews as recorded in the Bible: Then Almighty (Yahuwah) said to Moses… ‘An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings. The Bible, Exodus 20v24—Moses Remember, as mentioned above, the Chinese Emperors also offered their sacrifices and burnt offerings on an altar of earth at Mt. Tai. Truly the Creator Almighty of ancient China is the one true Aloahiym as mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. This is confirmed by further Chinese prayers and songs used at the ‘Border Sacrifice’:” All the numerous tribes of animated beings are indebted to Thy favour for their beginnings. Men and things are all emparadised in Thy love, O Di(ShangDi). All living things are indebted to your goodness, but who knows from whom his blessings come to him? You alone, O The Sovereign One, are the true parent of all things. The Statutes of the Ming Dynasty.” From the above quote we learn that the ancient Chinese believed that their Aloahiym was The Almighty ( G-d) of love, as we learned previously from the philosopher Mozi quoted above. One final recitation from the ‘Border Sacrifice’ is of note: “Of old in the beginning, there was the great chaos without form and dark. The five elements had not begun to revolve, nor the sun and moon to shine. You, O Spiritual Sovereign, first divided the grosser parts from the purer. You made heaven. You made earth. You made man. All things with their reproducing power got their being. The Statutes of the Ming Dynasty” The above quote can be compared with the Biblical record:
In the beginning Aloahiym created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without
form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Aloahiym was hovering over the face of the waters. Then Aloahiym, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.’ …and Aloahyim divided the light from the darkness…Then Aloahyim made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night…Then Aloahiym said let Us make man in Our image… Then Alaohiym baruk them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’… Genesis chapter 1, The Bible
In conclusion, the original religion of China is similar to that of the Hebrew people as recorded in the Bible. From ancient times right up until 1911 AD it had been the Emperor of China’s responsibility to obey the ‘Mandate of Heaven’ i.e.YHWH Aloahiym’s will. This included the ‘Border Sacrifice’.
Part 2 January/February 2009.