Nixon’s Visit to Beijing: A Fateful Misstep
The following article is based on a sermon preached on July 18, 1971, in New York City, by Mrs. Hannah Lowe.
We have heard the news that our President will be going to Red China. History is heading up to its momentous climax. Rulers and nations are in motion—they are moving and they are being moved unaware—toward the grand finale. The human actors in this drama are presidents, dictators and national rulers. Back of them stand “principalities and powers, the world rulers of this present darkness, the spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places”—satan and his emissaries. Ephesians 6:12.
Time magazine’s cover story on the President’s planned trip carried this headline in red letters: “Nixon’s Coup: to Peking for Peace.” The story presents the prospect of the President walking through the Gate of Heavenly Peace to sup with Mao and Chou. There are some who are distressed by the President’s plan to visit Peking. Word came over the radio that a diplomat said that there is an ulterior motive in China inviting the President. From the Biblical perspective, we can understand that it would not just be Red China that has the ulterior motive. Rather, satan in back of it all has the ulterior motive.
[from tract: President Nixon intends to visit Peking to seek “the normalization of relations” with Communist China. That raises the interesting, and important, question: What are “normal” relations with a despot, and what can be expected to come of such relations?]
The President has set his aim and sight on peace. He wants peace not only for the present; he wants peace for his children and his children’s children. He hasn’t pulled out of Vietnam so quickly, he says, because he just doesn’t want a peace that will last for a few moths or a year. He wants lasting peace.
[In the Bible,] Saint Paul clearly says, “For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3. Lasting peace—how are we going to have lasting peace until we have the Prince of Peace? Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. That means He owns the territory of peace. He says, “My peace I give to you: such as I give the world cannot give and the world cannot take it away. His is the only peace: the peace that passes all understanding. And He is the Prince of Peace.
In European history there were princes of certain regions and each prince reigned over his part, since it had been handed down to him by his father. So Jesus was given the territory of peace by His Father, and He’s the Prince of it. He’s the only one who can give lasting peace because he is the only one who owns it. Truly He is the Prince of Peace.
Can President Nixon bring lasting peace? Can diplomacy bring this about? While we[, as Christians,] honor the President, we cannot possibly honor his audacious and anti-Scriptural assertions[, that he, a man, can bring lasting peace.] and acts. Certainly, we’re not against the man personally. Tricia said she’s never seen a kinder man. He seems to be a kindly man. He wants the nations to be blessed. Then he will bring peace to all the world, and he will be the representative of peace. So, he’s the man of the hour.
In reading about the kings of Israel and Judah in the Bible, you will find the phrase, “He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.” And when the king did that which was right, then the nation was blessed. The people received the blessing because the king did right. It was one man’s decision that blessed or ruined the whole nation.
We see that the nation rose or fell by what the king did. It’s lamentable that a nation fell by one king doing evil.
Consider King Josiah. Two evil kings preceded him and conditions were at such a low ebb in Judah that the Word of God had been lost and forgotten until it was found in the dust of the temple. A scribe brought him the book of the law, and read it to him. “And when the king heard the words of the book of the law, he rent his clothes.” II Kings 22:11. He realized he was responsible. He said, we have not kept the law, what will God do? Will God spare us or will we be cursed? Josiah sent messengers to inquire of a prophetess. Thank the Lord that there was a woman who was on the watchtower. No king had ever sent to her before. We don’t know to what extent she had ever been used of God, or for what purposes. But she had kept on. No doubt she had been hidden away, but she was there, ready. Her people were keepers of the wardrobe in the college there in Jerusalem. One day the king’s dispatch came to her, five messengers I think it was who said, “We’ve found a book. We want to know what will happen to us, good or bad.”
She said, “Tell the man who sent you”—they didn’t tell her who it was; she knew it was the king right away. She was on the watchtower. Isn’t that marvel? Whether school kept or not, whether she was noticed or not, Huldah the prophetess was on the watchtower! The prophetess said, “Go tell the man who sent you, that the Lord will bring evil upon this nation and its inhabitants, and all the curses of the book—but not in your day. Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord, you shall be taken to the grave in peace. You will not suffer because you have listened.” II Kings 23:19. The king came upon the book by chance and he was so blessed by it because something in him was right. He would be satisfied with nothing less and when he had opportunity, he acted.
Josiah died and the next king came along and put all the evil back again. This was typical of the history of the kings of Israel and Judah. One would do right and many would do wrong. God beholds all of these changes. He sees it all built up and sees it all dragged down over a period of thousands of years in history—hundreds of years just to go through with those kings.
Let us try to get God’s picture. Just look at His side for a while—how He sees it. He has suffered this of mankind from the very beginning: the disobedience, the failure, the pulling away from Him, the stiffening of the neck, the hardening of the heart. Consider the setting up and the pulling down; all the painstaking that one king would do only to have the next king come along and tear it all down.
When rulers act, their people are affected. We see in Biblical history how certain kings—trying to bring about [that when a king did what was right before God, then the nation was blessed. Another king—seeking] security for his nation or a stronger military position or sometimes simply to establish friendly terms [relations] with foreign kings—sold out their people. [One man’s decision brought either blessing or ruination to the whole nation.] We have seen in recent years how fateful Presidential initiatives have been in involving our nation and its people in war and death. These initiatives, all meant for good, have worked to the contrary.
We can look at [Take, for instance,] Jehoshaphat, a king of Judah. When he sought the Lord and walked in His ways, [then] Judah was blessed because the high places and the groves to false gods were destroyed. He grew in power and all the nations round about feared and respected him. But look again! Jehoshaphat joined an affinity [made an alliance] with Ahab, the wicked king of Israel [– a man who had become an enemy of God]. We read, “Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.” II Chronicles 18:1.
King Ahab [first] prepared a feast for Jehoshaphat: “And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him.” And then he made a proposal: Ahab “persuaded him to go up with him to Ramothgilead” [to fight the threatening Syrians]. II Chronicles 18:2. Jehoshaphat answered Ahab, “I am as thou art and my people as thy people.” II Chronicles 18:3.
The distinction between what was good—that is, in line with the will of God—and what was evil—contrary to the will of God—was blurred in this act of spiritual adultery. It was a fateful step in the wrong direction for Jehoshaphat [and it brought defeat to his army].
How similar that is to what is now going on: Our nation, founded upon faith in God by our Pilgrim Fathers, is headed up by a President saying, “I am one with you” to wicked rulers who have over a period of years viciously denied the Christian faith and doctrine and have systematically destroyed its pastors and congregations, through infiltration, torture and murder.
Atheism—active denial of any belief in God—is a cardinal principle of Communist doctrine. Atheism is obligatory for all Communist party officials.
Our nation was founded by men who had regard for the Word of God, who fled the terror and tyranny of kings in Europe. From its early days it has been a refuge for people who had suffered bitter oppression in other lands. Too long they had known the fear of seizure, the corroding effects of an imposed and inescapable poverty, fixity from birth to one level of the social strata, the autocratic denial of the most elementary rights. They looked out longingly from the countries where they lived for a place of freedom, where fear did not rule men’s souls. By the hundreds of thousands they came to new America and found that life was gloriously different here.
Our founders knew that the ways of the nations were evil and they desired a different country, where liberty and righteousness would dwell. The Lord was pleased to honor their faith and to set the United States at the height of the nations at a critical time in the world’s history, when an evil ideology, inspired by satan and avowing enmity to God, would arise to subjugate the peoples. He lifted our nation with the intent that His light shine into many nations. Yet at this time, when the United States should reflect the glory of God, it reflects its own shame.
The United States, made up of many peoples, became a nation composed of remnants. Her diverse peoples could call back to Europe, to Africa, to Asia, to South America, the wonderful news of spiritual, economic and political liberty.
Communism is a tyranny exceeding that of kings. It is ravenous and murderous and energized by tremendous lies. The Red ideology reaches out to swallow up nations and peoples. It magnifies itself above the Lord and brazenly declares that there is no God. It has perfected the technique of brainwashing. It replaces kings with a small coterie of dictators who constitute themselves rulers of the people in perpetual succession.
There is a special blindness in the West, a willful disinclination to deal with certain facts as facts. The mishandling of one individual human life is a crime, yet Communism is a system whose history is written in the blood of millions. Its victims committed no crime but to be inconvenient, or to seems to be so, to Communism in its raging zeal to obliterate even a murmur of dissent.
In his carefully documented history of the purges in Russia, titled, The Great Terror, Robert Conquest accounts that by “minimal estimates” 20 million Russians were killed, without a war. This figure may be 50 per cent too low, he cautions. More than 20 million human beings, entitled to rights that we hold to be self-evident and unalienable, were put to death. Add to that the fearful sum of arrests-without-trials, families wrenched apart, hopelessness and mental anguish suffered by millions more and you catch only a glimpse of the crimes committed by Communism against the rights of men.
In China, much the same thing has happened on a similarly vast and awful scale. Scholars do not argue over the fact, only the figures. There are some who say the bloody heel of Communism has taken 7,000,000 Chinese lives; others put the total at over 54,000,000 lives.
Millions upon millions—perhaps 25 million—have died in forced labor camps in China. Political liquidation campaigns of wild irrationality have snuffed out perhaps 30,000,000 Chinese. Confiscation, brainwashing, slave labor, the sundering of husbands from wives and children from parents, forced confessions by torture, starvation, mass outdoor trials with frenzied public accusation and wholesale execution—all of this has fallen on the heads of the Chinese people.
Chairman Mao Tse Tung sends [has sent] out his word—“power flows out of the barrel of a gun,”—and imposes it in the place of God’s Word on the masses. His words, printed in the Little Red Book carried like a pocket testament, are memorized and recited. It is by his word that men are inspired to perform their deeds, that good supposedly comes, that all progress may be made. [And] Not only that: he has made himself to be a god!
It is to such a man that the President intends to go, to look eye to eye and to take mutual counsel, to see what may be done for mankind and peace.
The Chinese rulers, never elected by their vast people, desire now to take a prominent place in the affairs of the nations.
A news dispatch from Peking (New York Times, August 29, 1971) reports,
Premier Chou En-lai declared last night that the United States is on the verge of losing the pre-eminent position it has enjoyed in world affairs since the end of World War II.
The Premier said at a banquet here that “the whole world is in the midst of a great upheaval, and the situation is excellent.” He added: “The United States imperialist position of hegemony established after World War II has been shaken to its very foundation, and the imperialist colonial position is collapsing.”
It was the second time in recent weeks that a Chinese leader has spoken of “a great upheaval” in world affairs.
Diplomatic observers here believe the phrase may provide the key to an understanding of China’s initiative in inviting President Nixon to visit here sometime before next May. The Chinese are thought to feel that the President’s continuing withdrawal of United States forces from Indochina, together with growing isolationist sentiment among the American voters, has created a fluid situation in which they can score significant diplomatic gains.
All that sets these rulers apart from murderers of the common sort is that they hold power and that their crimes are larger. Having trampled millions of lives into the dust, Mao and his associates now seek to act upon a greater stage.
Our fathers said “No” to tyranny in Europe. The remnant who fled from intolerable circumstances came west to gain the territory of freedom. Now the President of the United States will go to the east to see what good may be gained by familiarizing with these despots. No single act has done more to bring the Red dictators to the forefront of world attention. The flow of news from China since the announcement documents their interpretation of the President’s visit as a sign of the weakness of the U.S. and the “historical inevitability” of Communism’s triumph.
This all started with a Ping Pong game, didn’t it? This will all be written on the pages of the historic record: in the end there was a Ping Pong tournament in Asia and this then opened the door to the Chinese mainland. It is a question of how much more history we will have.
He comes out now, our President, and says to Mao Tse Tung, “Let us sit down together; I am as you are”—to Mao who has denied the Lord for over 20 years as matter of China; to Mao who has shown himself an anti-Christ, receiving worshp as a god—our President will go there saying, “I am as you are. We’re just the same: I’m the ruler of the greatest country; you’re the ruler of one of the greatest countries”—Red China that has tried to abolish God.
God saw what Jehoshaphat had done and sent a prophet to speak to him. “And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to King Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou love them that hate the Lord? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.” II Chronicles 19:2.
What will happen to our nation? Who will suffer? Who suffered when the kings of Israel or Judah did evil or went down and linked themselves with the rulers of evil nations? The people suffered. The nation suffered desolation and defeat. They went to ruin, and finally into captivity in Babylon for 70 years.
[By seeking peace and security on the wrong basis, by making an alliance with evil men, Jehoshaphat brought great distress on his nation.]
You read through Chronicles and you see them working on the temple of the Lord restoring it and getting the service of the temple in order. The first thing you know, it’s down. It is all gone: Jerusalem is wholly destroyed.
Through all those critical times and dealings with those wicked kings, there was always a prophet, or two prophets, or more. God faithfully raised them up as in one place He said, “Since the days that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck.” Jeremiah 7:25,26. The prophets were always able to get through to the king. Sometimes the king would say, “Take him out. Didn’t I tell you that he would only prophesy evil against me. I do not want to hear him.” And then he would call in the false ones and say, “Let’s listen to them.” Even in those days there were some who heeded the voice of the Lord.
In Ezra we read of the time when God fulfilled the prophecy of restoration spoken by Jeremiah—exactly 70 years after the captivity, as he had prophesied. Cyrus, as you know, was in it. He was the Gentile king whom God anointed to restore Jerusalem and the temple. “I am the Lord that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” Isaiah 44:28. God would have a ruler in history who would do His pleasure. Think of Cyrus. What a marvel that God would say, “My anointed.” Never had a Gentile king been called the anointed of the Lord—“Cyrus, My anointed.” And Cyrus could say, “The Lord has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem. There must be a temple. It must be done. Get to the work,” he said. “Get to the work.”
They went to the work, persisted for a time, but they were restrained by force, and the work was stopped. Then two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, stood up and prophesied, “Go on with the work.” We read: “Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and my house lie waste?” The prophets were there while the building was going on, the hammering was going on, the nails and things were going in. I believe those prophets were leaping and shouting and praising God and saying, “And it will go up, Hallelujah. The work of God will be done.”
“And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes the king of Persia.” Ezra 6:14.
Then Ezra, the teacher of the law, took up the burden—a wonderful man of God who plucked out his beard and his hair when he heard of the careless mixing of the Israelites with the godless nations round about. We see that Ezra got Artaxerxes on it and they beautified the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, and the vessels for the service of the Lord were brought from Babylon and put back into the temple.
But at the end there was absolute judgment, absolute ruin, everything was smashed or else taken away and used by evil people: cups spilling over with iniquity, putrefaction, corruption, everything vile. What did they have left? What do we have today?
You go to the Holy Land now and they’re excavating. They’ve found a little piece of something to prove there was a temple, but it’s all in ruins.
Now let us look at God’ side: always pouring out love—all His compassion being given, all His mercy, all His grace. The temple of Solomon—nothing like it ever existed. The Queen of Sheba said that she had not been told the half of its glory. Yet all of that was torn to pieces. II Chronicles 36:19.
One man works to build it all up, and another comes along and tears it all down. And it just goes on, and on, and on, and on, until we come up until today, and what does God have? And where is the place of His glory? Is there a nation that honors and worships God? Will our nation utterly abandon Him?
Kings fail. Presidents fail. Nations fail. All will fail. What will it ever amount to, and yet in the midst of ruin there was a remnant. God always had a faithful company. Throughout the ages there had always been a remnant, and there always will be. It is to this remnant that God commits His work. Apart from that, God’s glorious plan would suffer surcease and destruction. “Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” Isaiah 1:9.
You see the remnant, don’t you, in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, who made the great image or idol of gold. He ordered the people to fall down and worship it. But Daniel, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said, “No, we will not do it. We will not do it. We will die first.” That is the caliber. I will not do it. I will not go the way of compromise. I will not go that way!
God will have a people—His people. They will start at the beginning—the point at which God calls them—and they will go through to the end. They will be true to Him under the most obstinate circumstances.
God acts in judgment when His righteousness demands it, when men have gone far beyond the limits of the mercy extended to them, where there is no intercessor. This was true in Noah’s day. God couldn’t stand it. He could no longer tolerate the sin. Judgment fell and the people were wiped out.
When God’s wrath was aroused against Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham began at once to intercede and plead with God to spare the people. God would have, if a small remnant of righteous men had been found there. They were not found so He poured out fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah. God does wipe out when His wrath is kindled and gets to the opint where it is boiling. “His wrath,” it says, “was kindled.” It overflows, and who will be able to stand in that day when His wrath is so great that judgment falls, and falls upon our nation.
There would have been a wiping out even of His chosen people, Israel, in Moses’ day when God’s anger was provoked by their rebellion. God said to Moses, “Stand aside, Moses, because I’m going to smite this people, and I will start anew with you.” But Moses interceded, offering his own life for his people. (Exodus 32:10 and 32). Except for that, the Lord would surely have slain them all. They would have perished and their whole posterity after them.
Where is the remnant for our day? Where are those who will stand in the gap—intercessors to prevail with God on behalf of our wayward nation? Where are the prophets for the present hour—to declare His counsel and to shed His clear light on the situation?
Where will you fit in? Will you take your place in His plan for this hour? You know that this is what God is looking for, not only for His glory, for His Name’s sake, but for your sake. But you can just let it all go by neglect or by passivity, or by something else you want to do, something that is lesser.
Think of His mercy. Think of His longsuffering. “For the husbandman hath long patience for the fruit of the earth, until he receive the early and the latter rain.” We have not seen that yet, the latter rain. That is when the abundance of harvest is really gathered. In the East there is the former rain, as I understand, to soften up the ground for planting. The latter rain is to ripen it, until the fruits be brought to the mellowing stage and ripened to be garnered.
So we pray for it—rain. Pray, the Word says, “Ask of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds and give them showers of rain.” Zechariah 10:1.
We know there is the process by which the planes go up and pierce the clouds. It is called “seeding the clouds.” And then the rain pours on the needy areas.
Can we penetrate the clouds by faith? Can you wing your prayers by faith to pierce those clouds, pleading with Him to pour out His blessing on the parched, hard ground? It is very hard. This ground is very corrupted. The statistics we have of conditions show the days that are upon us are shattering and horrifying. Can we by faith pierce those clouds? No, not if you have something that is not straight with God. But if you are free, you can get down on your knees and you can pierce those clouds, pierce the very heavens by faith, until His latter rain come down in abundance.
Someone has done it for Indonesia. Someone did it for Asbury College. They pierced some cloud. Someone’s prayers pierced through, and got through to the heavens and God emptied clouds of rain. Those who trust God have power with God.
If you have just a twinge or an inkling or an idea that God has put His hand upon you and is calling you, do not waylay. Let nothing detain you. It is strange that people who seem to have the least upon them to detain them are the slowest to move.
The hour is desperately late. Let us work the works of Him who called us while we can, while it is yet day. For the night is coming when no man can work. John 9:4. Our nation has faced crises that threatened its very existence in the past and triumphed because men and women of God prevailed with Him in prayer and publicly proclaimed His truth to the people.
Otherwise, it can get to be too late. It became too late for Israel, God’s chosen nation. By seeking for peace and security on the wrong basis, joining affinity with God’s enemies, Asa brought wars upon his nation.
We read in the Scriptures that “Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, “Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the Lord thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because thou didst rely on the Lord, he delivered them into thine hand. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” II Chronicles 16:7-9.
Today, our nation has a man at the head who is working to bring in an era of peace, on his own. This man will link arms—and will link us—with the head of the Red Chinese Nation, for peace. God help us.