The Mandate of Heaven--Part 2
Mar 15, 2012
When we speak of the Mandate of Heaven, we are normally talking about the highest authority. Technically, however, all authority comes from God (Rom. 13:1), so the principle applies on every level. But prophecy deals mostly with the Mandate to rule the earth under God.
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus Christ has received that Mandate, but that His right to rule was disputed and usurped in His first coming. This was already contemplated in the prophecies, because the Roman Empire still carried the Mandate, and, as Revelation 13 tells us, there were still two more beasts to arise.
The situation is complex, because God has seen fit to give the Mandate of Heaven to beast nations that were destined to abuse the people during their time of power. Judah was first given this Mandate, and then, more specifically, to King David. But his descendants abused the Mandate by refusing to submit to the One who had given them the Mandate. When the Judahite kings took the Mandate as if it were theirs to do with as they pleased, God finally removed the Mandate from them and gave it to beast nations.
He knew, of course, that the beast nations would do no better, but yet they would bring judgment upon Judah for their lawless rebellion. God had no difficulty giving the right to rule the earth into the hands of unbelievers. Why not give the other nations the opportunity, as long as the kings of Judah were unbelievers as well?
The succession of beast empires has lasted for a very long time. The true Heir came in the midst of the time of the Roman Empire (iron kingdom of Daniel 2), but He was destined to die for the sin of the world at that time, so the plan called for His throne to be disputed and usurped. It would then require a second coming under the prophecy given to Joseph for Him to actually claim His rightful position on the earth.
Some object to this view of prophecy, saying that Christ ascended to the throne and then returned ten days later on Pentecost, giving the Church the Mandate from Heaven. This is absolutely true on a sub-level. The Church was still subject to Rome, but they did receive the Mandate in the same sense that King Saul had received it at his Pentecostal coronation more than a thousand years earlier.
The problem was that the Church--like Saul--abused its position and so lost its Mandate. When the Roman Empire's Mandate ended in 476 A.D., the Roman Church fully took over as the "little horn." They then usurped the authority given to them in the same manner that Judah had usurped authority in earlier times. In both cases, they thought the Mandate gave them the right to overrule the law of God and the instructions of the apostles. Pope Boniface VIII, who became pope in 1294, wrote in his Unam Sanctum,
"Wherefore, no marvel if it be in my power to change times and times, to alter and abrogate laws, to dispense with all things, yea, with the precepts of Christ. . . Likewise against the law of nature, item against the apostles, also against the canons of the apostles, I can and do dispense [set aside]; for where they in their canon command a priest for fornication to be deposed, I through the authority of [pope] Sylvester, do alter the rigour of their constitution, considering the minds and bodies also of men to be weaker than they were then."
In other words, this pope claimed the authority to cast aside both the law of Moses and the instructions of the apostles--and even the commands of Jesus Christ Himself. He mentions the law against fornication itself, because such practices were well known to all in those days. The orgies in the Vatican itself were well recorded by the Cardinals and Archbishops themselves.
Hence, even as King Saul had lost the Mandate of Heaven in his 18th year, so also did the Roman Church lose the Mandate in its 18th Jubilee (10th century A.D.) during the time that the historians call The Age of Pornocracy, "rule by prostitution."
Scripture makes it clear that the Mandate of Heaven will be given to the saints of the Most High (the overcomers) at the end of the time allotted to the beast systems.
The book of Revelation, meanwhile, refers to the last beast as "Mystery Babylon," because it functions more secretively than the previous beasts. It is a secret money power. Yet it is to be overthrown in the end according to the same pattern that the original Babylon was overthrown. Revelation 16:12 says that the River Euphrates will again be "dried up that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east."
God Himself, through the angel, was preparing the way. This tells us that we must study the pattern of King Cyrus of Persia and King Darius of the Medes, who also dried up the Euphrates in order to conquer Babylon. But in Revelation 16 the kings are nameless, because God has raised up a new set of eastern kings to accomplish His purpose and to receive the Mandate of Heaven. They will rule with less authority than the overcomers will have, of course, but they will be the actual kings on the earth ruling the day-to-day affairs.
The Chinese dynasties have always understood the concept of the Mandate of Heaven. It is written in many history books, such as Jonathan Fenby's The Dragon Throne, where he writes on page 4,
"Still, the system that evolved from the earliest days of empire proved remarkably resilient. The theory of the Mandate of Heaven . . . handed down by the gods to the ruler meant that the underlying imperial tradition could be maintained as dynasties came and went, taking power when the divinities smiled on them and being toppled when their behavior angered the gods. The theory promised that the benevolent father of the people who looked after the masses in proper fashion could be sure of a long reign, but, when self-interest prevailed, he and his dynasty were on the downward slope. If a ruler led armies into disastrous wars, murdered his siblings or wasted the treasury on extravagances, the Mandate would be withdrawn. . . ."
No biblical prophet could have said it better. Many dynasties came and went. The Qing dynasty was the final dynasty, ending in 1912, just as the Titanic sank and America was preparing to enter its own peculiar bondage to the Federal Reserve Banking System of the final beast of Revelation 13.
The descendants of the emperors understand the Mandate of Heaven, and they have been working behind the scenes to prove themselves worthy of regaining that Mandate. They seem to understand quite well that the Mandate cannot be won by force, but by promising benevolence and wise rule.
Will they receive such a Mandate? It is quite likely that they form the backbone of "the kings from the east" mentioned in Rev. 16:12. They are, even now, in the process of overthrowing the Babylonian bankers of the West, and their concern is to do so without causing chaos and war. Unfortunately, the Western money powers control whole governments and their militaries, along with their nuclear weaponry, and they have been willing to use this to threaten the world with annihilation.
Nonetheless, their river of fiat money will dry up in the end. This prophetic pattern was already established over 2,500 years ago. We are watching a remake of the same old movie, now colorized and having a new set of actors and a new director. We saw the original black-and-white version of this movie, so we know how it ends, even if some of the details have been reinterpreted at the director's discretion to make it more exciting to the modern audience.
This is the second part of a series titled "The Mandate of Heaven." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones