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Archive for July, 2011

Evangelism

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Renewal Journal 10: Evangelism

Contents

Power Evangelism, by John Wimber

Supernatural Ministry, by John White

Power Evangelism in Short-Term Missions, by Randy Clark

God’s Awesome Presence, by R Heard

Evangelist Steve Hill, by Sharon Wissemann

Reaching the Core of the Core, by Luis Bush

Evangelism on the Internet, by Rowland Croucher

“My Resume” by Paul Grant

Gospel Essentials, by Charles Taylor

Pentecostal/Charismatic Pioneers, by Daryl Brenton

Characteristics of Revivals, by Richard Riss

Book Reviews: Flashpoints of Revival & Revival Fires, by Geoff Waugh

Renewal Journal 10: Evangelism – PDF

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Editorial

You will be my witnesses

‘Evangelism’ can be an unpopular word.  It may make us feel guilty because we don’t seem to do it very well – whatever it is!  That’s changing.  As in the early church, more and more people are gossiping the gospel, praying for their friends and seeing God change people.

‘Evangelism’ is not actually a biblical term, although ‘evangelist’ is mentioned three times: Acts 21:8 – Philip the evangelist; Ephesians 4:11 – some are evangelists; 2 Timothy 4:5 – do the work of an evangelist.  Then again, ‘altar call’, ‘making a decision’, and ‘inviting Jesus into your heart’ are not biblical terms either, useful as they may be.

Jesus called people to follow him; to deny self; to repent and believe. His followers were, and are his witnesses (Acts 1:8).  We proclaim, announce, tell, preach, gossip, share, demonstrate, and live the good news.  I’ve never forgotten the challenge a speaker to a youth rally flung out when he talked about evangelism.  He said, ‘Shut up, until you can’t.’  Maybe that was not polite, but it packed a punch.  We often lay burdens on people and try to convince them of our beliefs.  What about praying to the Lord so much that a fire burns in us and we just can’t keep quiet any more?

Better still, we too can do evangelism Jesus’ way, Peter’s way, Paul’s way, and as countless millions do now in the world – discovering the transforming power of the Spirit of God so that you just want to talk about it, pray about it, and see God touch people with his grace and power.

Contributors to this issue of the Renewal Journal take that approach to evangelism.

When John Wimber died in November 1997, he left a great legacy.  He inspired hundreds of thousands to take the Bible seriously and ‘do the stuff’ including power evangelism.  The Renewal Journal has often carried articles by John Wimber and others he influenced.  The first article in this issue of the Journal is a summary of his early statements on power evangelism from his famous course MC510 at Fuller Theological Seminary.  John White attended that course in 1984 (as did this editor) and tells in an interview with Julia Loren how it impacted his life and ministry.  Randy Clark gives global examples of power evangelism in short term missions.

Richard Heard, senior pastor at the Christian Tabernacle in Houston reports on a strong impact of the Spirit of God in their church, and Sharon Wissemann summarizes the significance of Evangelist Steve Hill’s ministry at Pensacola which has now touched hundreds of churches and thousands of people around the world.

Evangelist Louis Bush directs attention to evangelism in the nations of the 10/40 Window, and Rowland Croucher suggests ways to use opportunities the Internet provides for evangelism to the world.

Charles Taylor identifies the essentials of the gospel message.  Daryl Brenton summarizes the significance of 20 Pentecostal and Charismatic pioneers who have been powerful evangelists and leaders, and Richard Riss provides a comprehensive summary of the characteristics of revival.

Jesus described his kind of evangelism in his last promise on earth: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

© Renewal Journal 10: Evangelism, 1997, 2nd edition 2011.

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GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Reviews (9) Mission

Renewal Journal 9: Mission

Book Reviews

Building a Better World  by Dave Andrews. 

Albatross, Sydney, 1996

Reviewed by Dr Dorothy Mathieson

Please be warned: some Renewal people might be disturbed by this book.  Some may be suspicious of the title and question, ‘Is it worth putting effort into building a better world when it is so fallen?’  Then there is the book’s absence of religious language – no mention of the baptism in the Spirit or revival.  It’s all about building community to overcome cruel divisions, being inclusive even with your enemies, working with the poor as dignified equals.  That sounds biblical.

The advantage of this reviewer is that she has been she has been deeply touched by the author, as caring friend, stimulating colleague and prophetic writer (Dave has another book: Can you hear the heartbeat?).  Underlying this book is a passionate love for Jesus – strong enough for him and Ange his wife and the family to live with the poor in India and Australia, disturbing enough for him to choose to empower others rather than accept powerful positions more in keeping with his superior abilities, transforming enough so that his life is open to intimacy and to vagaries of successive waves of co-workers who may not always catch the breadth of the vision.

Dave deeply challenges, in non-charismatic language, a limited application of the transformation of the Holy Spirit.  A privatistic bless-me, heal-me approach does not build kingdom communities.  Dave calls us to move beyond such narrow confines.  Through stories of his own joys and sorrows, he offers a loving, powerful invitation to open up our lives together to the naked infusion of the Spirit.  Dave may squirm at language like this, as he is committed to removing all barriers preventing many different types of people joining the movement for love, hope and justice.

Read this book and get Dave and his friends to run seminars on community development.  More than this, let’s do what he does and join together in creating communities of hope.  Isn’t this the work of the Spirit?

Surprised by the Power of the Spirit (Zondervan, 1993)

Surprised by the Voice of God (Zondervan, 1996)

both by Jack Deere

Jack Deere combines rigorous biblical scholarship with compassionate pastoral insight in these landmark books on the place of the Holy Spirit in life and ministry.

His doctoral degree in Theology, including studies in Germany, his mastery of biblical languages and his experience as an associate professor of Old Testament at the evangelical, conservative Dallas Theological Seminary equip him well to examine the biblical issues involved.

His experience as a pastor, teacher and writer, and his wide ranging ministry as a conference speaker throughout the world, including many years ministering in Vineyard conferences, provided him with a unique breadth and depth in ministry experience.

These books beautifully combine these essential dimensions of biblical truth and ministry experience.

Surprised by the Power of the Spirit argues strongly for the full range of all the biblical gifts of the Spirit in the church today, including controversial ones such as tongues, healing and deliverance from evil spirits.

For example, the chapter on miraculous gifts provides these reasons for their use now from passages in 1 Corinthians 12-14:

God gave spiritual gifts to strengthen the church.

God commands us to eagerly desire spiritual gifts.

God commands us not to forbid speaking in tongues.

The Apostle Paul valued the gift of tongues.

Spiritual gifts are necessary for the health of Christ’s body.

Spiritual gifts will not cease until Christ returns.

The book challenges common misconceptions about the Holy Spirit including western rationalism and false ideologies as well as unbelief and disobedience.

Similarly, Surprised by the Voice of God challenges inadequate interpretations of Scripture, the denial of the supernatural, and the huge gap between Christianity as revealed in Scripture and as seen in so much of western Christianity.

It explores how the Holy Spirit speaks through the Bible, experience, supernatural and natural means.  Particularly helpful chapters examine the potential and pitfalls of prophecies, dreams and visions, with sound pastoral guidance concerning their place in the church today.

Jack Deere has been able to bridge the false divide between charismatic and anti-charismatic theologies, grounding his work in God’s revelation of himself in Scripture.  These are excellent books for personal reading, teaching and preaching. [GW]

 

Secrets of the Argentine Revival, by R Edward Miller

Peniel Outreach Ministries, 1999.

Secrets of the Argentine Revival is a personal account of the extraordinary revival in Argentina from the years 1949 to 1968. This incredible story explains in detail about the tremendous outpouring of God’s Spirit over the land of Argentina. This is also a factual account of the background leading up to one of the greatest spiritual awakenings in the history of the Christian Church.

Dr Ed Miller traces the tough early beginnings of revival in Argentina in scattered small churches and prayer groups, the unusual outpouring of God’s Spirit in little churches and evangelistic missions, leading to the astounding crusades with Tommy Hicks in 1954 which filled the largest stadium venues in Argentina and sparked massive church growth in the nation.   (204 pages)  [GW]

© Renewal Journal 9: Mission, 1997, 2nd edition 2011
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

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Pensacola Revival, by Michael Brown

Mike Brown, of Global Resource Ministries International, taught at Brownsville Assemblies of God in Pensacola, Florida.  He wrote the Pensacola Update report in December 1996 when the revival had been going for a year and a half with over 60,000 commitments to Christ.  Over 100,000 conversions were reported in 5 years.

 ___________________________________________________

the glorious fruit of tens of thousands of radically changed lives

___________________________________________________

John Kilpatrick & Lindel Cooley

I thought it would be appropriate to send you a 1996 revival update.  We can then join together in giving thanks for these glorious days of visitation in which we are living.  Who knows what God will do in 1997 ‑ if we seek Him with all our hearts, walk humbly before Him, and are careful to obey His Word?  The possibilities are staggering.

With no attempt to be systematic or to follow any chronological order, let me give you some of the highlights from the last few months.  (This would have come sooner, but with the intensity of the revival schedule, the relocation of our ministry offices ‑ and family! ‑ to Pensacola, and the raising up of our ministry training school, it was almost impossible to get out a timely update.)  Here is just a small glimpse of what has been happening (and as I write, it is sometimes difficult to hold back the tears of joy).

Youth Revival

The Spirit continues to fall among the young people ‑ dramatically.  One Saturday night service, multiplied hundreds of students, from grade school to college, were called to the front of the church.  There were far too many to put on the platform, so they filled the front area.  When we prayed for them in mass, the Spirit fell on them in awesome power, and most of them collapsed to the floor, consumed with God’s presence.  After we continued to worship and intercede for our schools (‘God, give us our schools!’), we were about to dismiss the young people back to their seats when, suddenly and unexpectedly, some of them began to weep and wail in intercession.

Soon, most of them were caught up with the burden for their lost generation ‑ and the weeping and intercession became intense.  There was no formal preaching that night, but the altars were filled with lost and backslidden people.  If there ever was a service to attend, it was Saturday night, 12 October, 1996 (The video is called Intercession for Our Schools).

During a Thursday night youth service with about 700 in attendance (this is the one night that the teens have their own meeting), conviction fell during the worship.  One of the Brownsville young people had a word about some of the kids having sinful, idolatrous things in their possession.  There were about 300 kids visiting that night.

Spontaneously, they began to throw dozens of packs of cigarettes on the platform, then condoms, then joint paper, then joints (and, apparently, other drugs), then diet and prescription pills.  The pile was so big that it filled a large, kitchen‑size garbage bag!  When the sheriff of the county, who happened to be in the main sanctuary that night, heard what was happening in the youth chapel, he was escorted over to see things first hand.  His comment?  ‘This is what will change America!’ Several weeks later, his daughter was saved in one of the services. Yes Lord!

Depth of Conviction

It seems that everything is increasing in intensity: the levels of praise, worship, and warfare, sometimes breaking out spontaneously and continuing for long periods of time; the numbers of souls responding to the altar calls; the depth of conviction.  It is very common to see repentant sinners and backsliders drop their heads when you look at them ‑ even when you’re trying to encourage them with a gentle smile.  They’re too ashamed of their sins ‑ until they know they have all been washed away.

At other times, even after my daytime teaching sessions for leaders and hungry believers, the Lord’s presence has been so heavy that people have tried to make it out to their cars, only to collapse on their faces, or on their backs, or to their knees on the grass outside.  It is a sight to see!

On one such day, the Spirit began to move on the line outside (they line up as early as 4 am now, or even sleep in the parking lot at night so as to be the first on line), and people began to fall under the power and repent of sin right there in the public lot ‑ without anyone even praying for them. You can’t contain revival in a building!

One night, three young black women made their way to the altar, all of them shaking, and the middle teenager literally being carried down by her friends.  She was coming forward to get saved and was under such conviction that her friends had to support her as she tried to walk, her arms draped over the other girls, much like an injured football player is helped to the sidelines.  That’s the way to come to the Lord ‑ utterly helpless and dependent.

Another night, early in his message, Steve Hill had a word for an unsaved young man named Scott.  The Lord revealed his desperate condition to Steve, so he urged him to get right that night.  At the end of the altar call ‑ to which, we learned later from Scott’s brother, he did not respond ‑‑ Steve had a word for a military man that had resisted God all his life.  He told him to respond now.  At that moment, a young man came rushing forward to surrender his life to the Lord.  It was Scott, the military man.  Talk about being singled out by the Lord!

A few weeks ago, two lesbians who had been living together and using drugs for years got right with God, ending their sinful relationship.  Their baptismal testimonies the week following were glorious.  One of the women had previously been married, and she had brought her son into the home with this other woman to live with them.  (She confessed this with great sorrow at her baptism.) The night she got saved, she went home and told her son what happened.  He said, ‘My prayers have been answered!’

Transformed lives

At this point, you might be wondering, ‘Well, what happens to all these people who get saved? Are they going on with God?’ Yes they are.  Of course, I can’t account for every single one, but I can account for many.  In fact, some of them are coming to our School of Ministry beginning next month!

To give you one case in point, a man from Chicago named Mark was an alcoholic for seventeen years, with a terrible family life as a result.  He was dramatically saved and instantly delivered right in his home, watching a 700 Club report on the revival.

That was in September.  When I saw him in November, he looked so different.  He was in the midst of a 40 day fast; his marriage and home were transformed; his brother and wife were wonderfully touched; and he and his brother had brought their construction crew to Pensacola with them (they own a construction company).  The whole crew got saved!  Some of these men are now candidates to attend our school.

You may have heard the testimony of Robert Lowell, the wealthy businessman who was radically converted when we came to the revival at the beginning of 1996 to pull his wife out.  The whole family has been touched, and in the Fall, one of their daughters got married to an Iranian Muslim, her fiancé who had also been saved in the revival.  They got married on a Saturday afternoon and were in church that night.  That’s revival!  Why?  They had so many unsaved friends and relatives with them that they couldn’t miss the opportunity to bring them to the evening meeting.  At the end of the altar call, the young bride turned to her lifelong close friend (and member of her bridal party), asking her if she wanted to give her life to Jesus.  I could only weep as I saw the two them make their way to the altar, dissolving in tears as they knelt side by side.  What a wedding present!  A good number of weeks later, I asked the bride what happened to her friends.  She told me that all of her unsaved friends in the bridal party (along with one tragically backslidden girl) got right with God that week ‑ and all of them were on fire.  What can you say?

The life and death urgency of the hour has been underscored to us when we hear of lost sinners getting saved, and then suddenly dying one or two days later.  And there was no warning that they were sick or in ill health.  They got saved, and then they were gone.  This has happened several times now.

Even more striking was the case of a man who was in the meeting, felt conviction, and ran from it, ending up at the pool hall playing pool with three of his drinking buddies.  But the conviction there was even more intense, so he left his three friends and returned to the church, giving his life to Jesus at the end of the night.  It was just in time.  He found out later that, shortly after he left the pool hall, the three friends drove off in their Chevy Corvette which was almost totally disintegrated moments later after a 100 mile per hour crash.  Two were killed instantly; the third critically injured.  This man would have been among them, had he not responded to the Spirit’s pull.  He was literally snatched out of the fire!

Interest in the revival has increased.  In recent months, the Pentecostal Evangel ‑ the international magazine of the Assemblies of God ‑ devoted 15 pages to the revival, the Dallas Morning News ran a front‑page story about the outpouring in its Sunday morning edition (by the way, it was the front page of the main section of the paper, not the religion section), and Charisma Now aired a powerful TV special on the revival.  Denominational leaders in the Church of God, Southern Baptists, and United Methodists (among others) have been wonderfully touched, and our recent ministers conference was attended by leaders from about forty nations.  This is in addition to the large number of leaders ‑ ranging from 300‑500 ‑ who attend every week.  And best of all, the fire is spreading!

Fire is spreading

A Southern Baptist testified to a dramatic rise in spiritual hunger in his church since he attended the meetings.  His son, the youth pastor was living in compromise and hardness ‑ until God sternly dealt with him and totally turned him around.  Back at the pastor’s church, after a special series of meetings ended, congregants showed up at the church anyway, even though the services had ended.  They were so hungry for the Lord that they climbed into the building through a hole in a broken window.  And these are Southern Baptists!

Friends of mine from Phoenix visited Pensacola and went back ignited.  The Spirit began moving freely in the services, the power of God fell in unprecedented ways for that fellowship, people began repenting, some of then fasting and gathering for 6 am prayer, the young people got turned on and starting witnessing to all their friends, winning some of them to the Lord.  Such stories are common now around the country!

One Spanish‑speaking youth pastor from Texas with a teens group averaging 8‑10 kids returned from Pensacola on fire, and he and his wife began preaching repentance to their group.  Six weeks later they were running 120 kids in the meetings!  And in many cities, where disunity and lack of cooperation had been the rule, pastors are now gathering together in sizable numbers for special leadership meetings, repenting with many tears, confessing their sins, and committing to pray and cry out … That’s the key!

One of my former students, an associate pastor in a Messianic congregation, showed the children at the congregational school the video featuring eight year old Whitney Lane sharing her burden for the lost ‑ until she breaks down crying.  He invited the kids who wanted a similar burden to come forward for prayer and then, to his amazement, the younger kids there (ages 5‑8 especially) began to weep, sob, and shake ‑ for forty‑five minutes!  A number of them had visions of heaven, hell, and Jesus, some of them dramatic.  He arrived home with a plastic bag full of the tissues these little ones had soaked with their tears.  Jesus is moving in the land!

And here’s a personal illustration of the love of God.  A Filipino pastor from Chicago felt that he just had to attend the revival services.  He arrived at the church by way of Orlando on 10 December, only to find out they we were in the midst of a break until 3 January.  He was totally crestfallen, coming back the next day with the hope that the services would somehow resume.  Of course, they did not; but the revival itself continues.  He then received an out‑of‑the‑blue invitation to speak in Toms River, New Jersey that weekend.  It was there that he learned that the very next day ‑ this past Monday ‑ I would be speaking at a special ministers’ gathering in – you guessed it! ‑ Toms River.  So, from Chicago to Orlando to Pensacola to Orlando to Toms River ‑ he got in the river!  You can’t limit the goodness of God.

Finally, I should mention that there seems to be an increase in powerful healings these days, and this too is often taking place outside of Pensacola.  A well‑respected pastor in Wisconsin, a man whose church has been in the midst of an outpouring since visiting us in June, told me personally about the documented healing of a baby born blind.  She is fine today, after receiving prayer from the leaders in that church.  Isn’t God awesome?

When God starts moving, everyone falls into place: The hungry press forward and are filled, the lost are drawn in and the backsliders drawn home, the laborers are raised up and thrust out ‑ and the critics criticize!  What else could we expect?

Actually, we ought to pity those who cannot recognize the glorious fruit of tens of thousands of radically changed lives because of a little shaking (as if God’s presence makes mountains and houses shake ‑ but not people!) or falling (as if it is illogical or unscriptural for someone to be overcome by God’s power).  They reject the Spirit because they don’t like the style.  Pity their souls and pray for those whom they mislead.  We don’t want anyone to be left out.

A few months ago the Lord said to me that soon it will be an embarrassment to be associated with the critics.  Day by day, the truth of that word is becoming clearer and clearer.  I would hate to find myself standing in the path of a divine tidal wave, shaking my skeptical fist and shouting, ‘That’s not God!’

Please hear my heart: We are literally on the verge of seeing the Spirit’s fire sweep through whole public schools, ignite whole regions, and shake our nation from bottom to top. Young and old will meet their God, and the nation could very well be transformed.  For the first time in my life, real revival across America is within range.  Let’s press in without compromise until the whole country is ablaze.  It really is time.  As Steve Hill often cries out at the altar calls, What are you waiting for?

Reproduced from the Awakening e-mail mailing.

© Renewal Journal 9: Mission, 1997, 2nd edition 2011
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

Now available in updated book form (2nd edition 2011)
Renewal Journal 9: MissioneStore – $7

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Contents of all Renewal Journals

Amazon – Renewal Journal 9: Mission – $8

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Return to main page

Harvest Now, by Robert McQuillan

Dr Robert McQuillan is editor of the Australian national Assemblies of God monthly magazine, the Australian Evangel.  He describes revival in Pensacola, Sunderland and Argentina.

 _____________________________________

Swimming in the river of God –

Over 60,000 have received Christ as Saviour!

_____________________________________

 

 Brownsville, Pensacola, USA: Harvest Now

Suddenly the name is on the lips of almost every minister wanting fresh fire renewal along with the question: ‘Where’s Pensacola?  I hear incredible revival is happening there.’

Indeed it is!  It’s called ‘the Brownsville harvest’.  As I compile this article I have before me a fax from Evangelist Steve Hill in Pensacola, Florida, dated 24 June, 1996, which reads: ‘The revival here is more intense than ever before.  The pace is ever increasing ‑ with no end in sight.’

People continue coming from all over the United States and the world.  Over 26,000 received Christ as Saviour in the first year!  Within two years over 60,000 have recorded commitments to Christ.

Suddenly the Wind …

It was Father’s Day in June 1995 when the evangelist preached at the Brownsville AOG 2,300‑seater church.  The pastor, John Kilpatrick (46), had just lost his mother to cancer and, feeling emotionally drained, had requested his longtime friend Steve Hill to take the Sunday service.

As Evangelist Hill (42) gave the altar call, the Holy Spirit fell and a thousand people streamed forward.  There was the distinct awareness of a wind blowing across the auditorium.  Some folk shook violently, others did carpet time.

John Kilpatrick was suddenly aware of the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit, more so when Steve Hill laid hands on him and claimed, ‘More, Lord’  Recently Kilpatrick told Charisma magazine’s editor, J Lee Grady, ‘When I hit the floor, it felt like I weighed 10,000 pounds.  I knew something supernatural was happening.  God was visiting us.’  He was ‘out’ for around four hours ‘feeling heavenly glory resting on him like a heavy blanket.’

The devil’s work?  Not according to Steve Hill who calls himself a missionary evangelist, having spent seven years on the Argentinian mission field.  He commented, ‘I don’t try to explain the manifestations.  I look for what God is doing in people’s lives.’  When as many as 1,000 people get converted a week and lives are dramatically changed, Hill is convinced this is the Lord’s work, not Satan’s!

Prophesied by Cho

News of the Brownsville revival ‑ incidentally, Pensacola is in the northwestern part of Florida ‑ began filtering across the world around October 1995.  The Pentecostal Evangel reported that in 1991 Dr David Yonggi Cho was praying for America while holding meetings in Seattle, Washington.  Suddenly the Lord told him to get a map.  He did so and the Holy Spirit directed him to point his finger at the Florida panhandle and to the quiet city of Pensacola.

Dr Cho then prophesied, ‘I am going to send revival to the seaside city of Pensacola and it will spread like a fire until all of America has been consumed by it.’

The word spread to Pensacola ministers.  Serious about revival, John Kilpatrick, described as a gentle‑natured pastor, had church members commence praying on Sunday nights, particularly for their own city and its political leaders, the school system, and leaders of every denomination.  Their prayer, and Dr Cho’s prophetic word, are being fulfilled!

The events of that Father’s Day service have occurred repeatedly night after night since, along with amazing healings, miracles, restored marriages and wonderful salvations.  Healings are even happening without the laying on of hands and prayer.  Sometimes distressed couples, including those divorced, have gone forward for salvation not knowing their partner or former partner was doing the same thing.  Gloriously saved they have then found each other again and been restored.

God’s Chain of Grace

The spectrum of those being saved is a wide one ‑ crack dealers to troubled teenagers to Satan worshippers to those in shaky marriages to strippers to the hard working poor to the wealthy.  People get saved, then bring their friends and family who also become converted.  Steve Hill refers to it all as ‘God’s chain of grace.’

And the fire has spread in the Bible Belt!  Many from other denominations, including Methodists and Baptists, attend the five nights a week meetings and in several cases the revival fires have now erupted in other church sanctuaries.  ‘Swimming in the river of God’ has become a popular Brownsville theme that has been readily taken up by other ministers and churches.

Nowadays if you want to attend a 7 pm Brownsville AOG service, you’ll need to queue up at 3.30 pm in the afternoon!  You’ll be among visitors from the States, Canada, Korea, Australia, Uganda, Brazil, UK …  400,000 had attended ‘the Pensacola Outpouring’ by the April 1996 count.  The town itself has only a population of 80,000.

Charisma reports that the church ‑ ‘nondescript and just blocks from bingo parlours and a topless lounge in a Southern city best known for beaches and seafood’ ‑ spends $150 a night on drinking water, $4,000 a month for child care, and $4,000 per month for extra car park security as some services run to 3 am.

Notable Differences

What’s different about the ‘Brownsville harvest,’ compared to the ‘Toronto’ blessing and ‘Sunderland’ revival?

In the main, it is probably the fact that the emphasis has been on salvation from the start with signs and wonders secondary.  The church has been serious in its praying for revival and that’s what it’s received.

Also, much weeping in repentance and heavy conviction at the altar is another dominant feature.

Thirdly, neither John Kilpatrick or Steve Hill are particularly anxious to leave the church to be special speakers around the world.  They are totally, as Steve Hill puts it, ‘committed at the Brownsville revival.’  In fact Hill, who was only supposed to minister once at the Father’s Day service, but has been there since, has moved his family from Texas to Brownsville.

Despite the overwhelming nature of all that has happened and the growing worldwide publicity, the Brownsville assembly remains humble and mystified as to why the Spirit has visited them in this way.  But they are rejoicing in the Lord at the results which haven’t stopped coming since the fire fell.

AOG Approved

Many American AOG ministers, previously critical of the recent move of the Spirit and sceptical about the ‘Pensacola Outpouring’ have had a change of heart since attending the Brownsville church, and doing unexpected extended carpet time.  Visiting with a determination that there was no way they would fall on the floor, they found themselves overwhelmed by the presence of God and getting up from the altar as long as three hours later.  Dramatically changed, their own churches are now swimming in the river of God.

Assistant General Superintendent, Charles Crabtree, was a speaker at the April Pensacola Harvest Revival Ministers’ Conference in Brownsville and was visibly touched by all that was happening there.  General Superintendent Thomas Trask is a godly man who definitely desires spiritual revival, and reports indicate that what is happening at Brownsville is warmly endorsed by the AOG Executive Presbytery, Springfield.

The Pensacola fire is spreading, impacting the Assemblies of God in particular; and those who are thirsting for more of God and old time revival are experiencing it.

Australians can learn!

Adrian and Kathy Gray, senior pastors Mount Annan Christian Life Centre, Campbelltown (NSW), where the river of God has been flowing mightily for some time, have just returned from Pensacola.  They write:

One of the most outstanding harvest revivals of our time is taking place in Brownsville.  A number of things stand out very clearly about this revival church:

* As a whole it is very focused on what the Lord has called them to do ‑ build up the saints and win the lost.

* They are definitely some of the most passionate people in revival that we have been among.

* The prayer, intercession and travail that occurs during the altar times is among the most intense that we have seen anywhere in the world.  Literally hundreds receive Christ every night.

Those receiving Christ are encouraged to do three main things:

* Come back to the revival meetings each night.

* Bring their family and friends.

* Follow the Lord into the waters of baptism.

Over 4,000 people were in the first meeting we attended.  A powerful service; over 200 people came to Christ and 32 were water baptised.  Every night, 14 year‑old Charity sings Mercy Seat and people run to the altar.  Unbelievable!  We are expecting this harvest anointing to ‘come home with us’ as we are particularly hungry for God to begin such a revival in our church.

Australians can learn a tremendous amount from the way the Lord is pouring out his presence in this church.  Our nation is ready for revival so let’s keep a spirit of faith, expect the harvest, and pray, ‘More, Lord!’

Moving Into the Harvest Challenge

These are still exciting days!   Let’s not drop this current move of God as some churches have done, let’s not fail to embrace it either as some have done, and let’s not keep it in-house as a local bless me club, but see it spill out in evangelism to win thousands into the kingdom.

John Kilpatrick & Lindel Cooley

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 Sunderland, England: Renewal moves into Harvest

Joy magazine reports that Sunderland Christian Centre (SCC) is experiencing a new and more powerful wave of the Holy Spirit as the church enters the second phase of the move of God.

Along with an amazing explosion of prayer, the church is experiencing some outstanding healings.

A New Emphasis

Senior pastors Ken and Lois Gott feel the Lord is allowing them to model the new emphasis ‑ prayer, mercy and mission to the unchurched ‑ just as they modelled the renewal.

After more than 19 months of nightly revival meetings with visitors flocking from around the country and the globe, SCC began gearing meetings to accommodate a new kind of guest.  The building which saw nightly renewal meetings is now used twelve hours a day, seven days a week, as people stream in from the local community where previously there had been little impact.

‘We built an eight‑foot fence to keep the violent street kids out,’ said Ken Gott, ‘but six months into the renewal God saved key people from the local community.  Jim Richardson was a major player in the local criminal underworld but God ‘arrested’ him in a renewal meeting ‑ literally knocking him flat on his back!  Now he’s on staff.’

Going for the Worst

‘Elaine Arkley, dramatically healed and saved during the renewal, is now running a drop‑in mission.  The workers cannot keep up with the numbers flocking to find food and, more importantly, the Saviour,’ adds Ken.

Around 260 people are being accommodated at SCC in this manner, but this is not church as they have known it before.  Those coming are being fed, helped and cared for by a church fired by a vision of mission and mercy.

Of course, the church is having to adapt, but, like General Booth of the Salvation Army, they are going for the worst of sinners.  And some truly remarkable conversions are taking place.

This change of direction is in line with many prophecies given before and during the current move which predicted a wave of renewal giving way to a compassionate ministry of love, healing and salvation to the desperate and needy.

Visitors to the church are no longer guaranteed to find renewal meetings every night of the week but those still travelling from all over the world are seeing first hand a model of renewal moving on into the harvest.

Denominational Reconciliations

Extraordinary scenes of reconciliation took place in SCC during a recent meeting led by Lois Gott and attended by hundreds of church leaders.

Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists, Salvationists, Messianic Jews, Congregationalists, House Church, Brethren and Pentecostals prayed for each other and confessed their past arrogance and lack of love for one another.

An Anglican vicar, tears flowing, led a prayer for national revival and announced prophetically that ‘the civil war (among Christians) is over.’

Pentecostals, particularly, repented of their arrogance in believing they ‘had it all’ and acknowledged the debt they owed to other denominations, especially the Anglicans ‑ it was Church of England vicar Alexander Boddy who was used to spark off the 20th century Pentecostal revival in Sunderland in 1907!

More Reconciliations

Also, at the recent 1,000 delegates prophetic conference other reconciliations took place in an atmosphere charged with an awesome sense of God’s presence.

A large group of Germans were called up to the front to be prayed for and Lois Gott, on behalf of the English, asked their forgiveness for the bloodshed of World War II.  Amid many tears and embraces, they in turn confessed the sins of their forefathers.  A Messianic Jewess who had had relatives killed in the holocaust also embraced them.  Christians from the north and south of Ireland also prayed for each other.

Amazing worship was accompanied by rich, anointed singing from the platform, and many were in tears as they sang inspirational new songs along with some wonderful old hymns exalting what Christ has done in the past and anticipating what he is about to do in revival power.

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Argentina Revival Fires: Hungry for the Spirit

When Argentina’s Claudio Freidzon stood before a crowd of over 65,000 in Buenos Aires’ Velez Sarsfield stadium it was like a dream come true.  As a boy he had dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player; being a pastor had been the furthest thing from his mind.  Now, walking onto the field for a gospel crusade, he had the wonderful opportunity of scoring a few goals against the devil!  Six hours of revivalist fervour would see many salvations and Holy Spirit miracles, healings and manifestations.

Claudio Freidzon is among the foremost figures of the extraordinary revival that has been taking place in Argentina since 1992.  He has also been a catalyst for the current worldwide revival ‑ as the saying goes, ‘Before there was Toronto or Sunderland, there was Argentina.’  More than 850,000 people have attended his crusades.  As well as many healings from a whole range of sicknesses, countless lives have been dramatically changed ‑ restoration of families has been a highlight in this revival, children pray for one another, and youngsters prefer to visit hospitals rather than play ball.

Almost giving up

But success did not come easily for Claudio.  When he and his wife, Betty, commenced ministry they set up both church and home in the one usable room in a dilapidated building.  At night they replaced the chairs with their bed and a cot for the children.  Those trying days proved a desert experience for Claudio which led him to a spiritual hunger and discovering complete dependence on the Holy Spirit.  He says, ‘The only fountain is God himself.  The only solution comes from heaven.’

With a congregation of just seven for seven years, he was on the point of giving up.  But God wouldn’t let him.  He recalls:

‘Sometimes pastor friends came to visit and would find me alone in the meeting.  I felt like dying: I wished I could disappear.  I used to walk among the empty benches and the devil laughed and jumped around me, whispering in my ear: “You’re no good; you’ll never make any progress; it will always be like this.”

‘And unfortunately I believed him.  One day I thought: “This isn’t for me.  I’m going to give up the pastorate.  I’m going to resume my engineering studies and get myself a job.”  But deep down I knew that was not God’s plan.

‘I went and saw my superintendent for the purpose of handing in my credentials.  But before I could tell him, he said, “Claudio, I have something to say to you.  God has something to say to you.  He has something wonderful for you.  You don’t see it, but God is going to use you greatly.”

‘He went on: “Look, I started in a very precarious house and had no help from anybody.  Sometimes I had nothing to eat and I suffered greatly.  But we prayed and God provided for each day and we felt grateful.  I knew we were doing God’s will.  And when I think of you, Claudio, I know you are going to be useful to God and that you are within his will.  I don’t know what your problems are, but keep on.  By the way, what brings you here today?”

‘I put my credentials back in my pocket and said, “Well… , nothing in particular, I thought I would just come and share a moment with you.”  There was nothing else I could say.  When I got home Betty was weeping and I said, “Betty, we’re going to continue.”  I embraced her tightly and we started all over again.’

Craving for the Touch of God

A new book, Holy Spirit, I am Hungry for You, tells how Claudio Freidzon went on to hunger from the depths of his soul for the touch of God that would enable him to reach the masses.  Desperate, and churning and aching inside as with hunger for natural food, Claudio desired and craved for the bread of life.  He was to discover that heart attitude is of primary interest to God and that through developing our relationship with him, the Holy Spirit is free to inspire any committed Spirit‑hungry Christian to do great exploits in Jesus’ name.

In his search for more of God, Claudio Freidzon visited Orlando and requested that Benny Hinn pray for him.  The evangelist did so, praying that the anointing of the Holy Spirit would rest on the Argentinian’s life and ministry and that God would do a great work through him in that nation.

The rest is history!  Claudio Freidzon began holding incredible rallies, presenting the message of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit and revival swept the country.  What began as a personal work of the Holy Spirit in his own life because of his spiritual hunger affected others.  Today he pastors a prosperous church of over 4,000 members and is bringing spiritual life to hundreds of thousands both in Argentina and in other nations.

Claudio Freidzon sees the Argentine revival as a sovereign move of God who provided the river to be followed.  Traditional style worship forms were changed dramatically and today there’s a great emphasis on joy and freedom in the Spirit.  Evidently people come dancing down the street on their way to church.  Another emphasis is on holiness and less gossip in Christians’ lives!

AOG Superintendent Testifies

Argentina’s AOG superintendent, Jose Manuel Carlos, recalls a visit he made to Claudio Freidzon’s church:

‘My wife Isabel and I wanted to see for ourselves what was taking place, for we had heard so many things about the King of Kings Church.

We left our car not far from the church.  As we started walking towards the building, we noticed our legs trembling.  We thought it was just suggestion due to the comments we had heard.  When we entered, the place was packed and there were still people waiting outside.

‘An usher recognised us and took us to the front row.  People were standing, singing, jumping and hugging each other in unity.  When Pastor Freidzon asked, “Do you want to receive more?” a “Yes” broke out from the people like the sound of many waters.  Immediately he shouted, “Receive!” and half the congregation fell to the ground laughing, some of them with an expression of drunkenness.

‘He then called to the platform some 50 children and asked, “Do you want to receive from God?” When they said “Yes,” he prayed with lifted hands and all of them fell to the floor as if asleep and with smiles on their faces!

‘I could not find a logical explanation for what was happening and prayed to God: “Lord, if this is of you, please let me know.”  At that moment Claudio had begun to walk among the people and pray for them.  When I opened my eyes, I saw my wife was falling to the floor as he laid hands on her.

‘He then embraced me and prayed: “Father, bless this servant of yours.”  At that moment, something covered me from head to toe.  I had a pleasant feeling of dizziness and felt flooded by a deep joy.  I couldn’t shake it off; I don’t think I wanted to either!  What I was experiencing was so precious that I didn’t want to move, lest I should lose it.  Isabel and I had such a great feeling of joy that night we couldn’t sleep.  I prayed in tongues until dawn.

‘My ministry has been blessed by this anointing of the Holy Spirit that flows through Claudio’s ministry.  My own church increased from 400 members to 800 in only six  months.  My children were changed.  My two daughters, aged 15 and 17, were baptised in the Holy Spirit and called to the ministry.  The elder sister has started her studies at the Bible institute and the younger, who is finishing school, is also planning to train for the ministry.

‘This change began to happen one night as Pastor Freidzon prayed for them.  My eight‑year‑old son, who is very fond of playing soccer, has stopped playing and is praying and seeking after God as never before.

‘I thank God for this precious ministry that changes lives, ministers  and churches and, I dare say, will affect our country.’

Holy Spirit, I am Hungry for You (Kingsway, 1996), is encouraging, challenging reading, especially for those wanting to serve God in a powerful way.

(Adapted with permission from a Joy article.  Additional material from Alpha)

© Australian Evangel, August 1996, pp. 29-31, September 1996, pp. 6-8, 18-19.  Used by permission.

© Renewal Journal 9: Mission, 1997, 2nd edition 2011
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

Now available in updated book form (2nd edition 2011)
Renewal Journal 9: MissioneStore – $7

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Mission in India, by Paul Pillai

Dr Paul Pillai is the Founder and Director of India Inland Mission, which plants churches among Hindus and has orphanages and a Bible College of 600 for training evangelists and pastors.  Formerly a Hindu lawyer, Paul was converted when healed through an Indian Christian’s prayer.

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 30 years in unknown places

                                               where churches are established now

                                             _______________________________

PaulPilai Family

Paul & Annie Pilai and family

We thank God for his faithfulness in our mission work and the many signs and wonders admit much persecution and danger.  It is difficult to write about them all because it is a story of 30 years in unknown places where churches are established now.

One village did not have drinking water, only salt water.  We prayed for pure water and the Lord provided pure water.  The whole village came to Christ.

The chief in another village became blind for there years.  His eyes were opened through our laying on hands and praying.  The village came to Christ.

Another village suffered from constant attacks of a tiger from the nearby forest.  No police or gun men could spot it to shoot it as it came at unexpected times around midnight.  Some of our team members preached the gospel in that village and went around the village seven times and claimed the protection of the village by the circle of the blood of Christ.  Since then for over eight years the tiger has never returned.  Before that, every week someone used to be attacked and killed.  No more now.

At another place a witch doctor had cursed a man and his animals because of enmity.  The man’s seven milking buffaloes stopped giving milk.  Our workers rebuked the curse in the name of Jesus.  Suddenly the buffaloes started giving milk.  Half of the villagers came to know Christ through that.

A large gathering came to hear the gospel in another village.  A militant Hindu group organised a riot against it and tried to stop the meeting.  Our people started praying together in the spirit.  Suddenly thunder and lightning came.  The leader of the gang which attacked us became totally blinded.   That stopped the riot and the meetings continued for five days.  On the fifth day the leader of the riot who was blinded came forward for healing.  Jesus healed him and he accepted Christ and was baptised as a believer in Christ.

In one place during the monsoon season the Lord stopped the rain for three days just in the area of our tent and surrounding places. People were amazed at this.  This was at a time when all other places were flooding with rain.  Even buildings were washed away.  Our tent meetings went on at the top of a mountain.  Many were healed, delivered from demons, and touched by the Holy Spirit.  Hundreds were convicted of their sins and accepted Christ.

In central India a whole tribe came to Christ through our work by the simple open door the Lord gave through a ministry of deliverance.  The daughter of the tribal chief became insane through demon possession.  The Lord used our mission team to deliver her from that. The chief and the tribe accepted Christ as their only Lord.

A fire broke out in a village where about 10,000 people lived in small huts almost wall to wall with thatched rooves and mud walls.  We established a church with ten believers in that village.  There was no fire engine or help available for the villagers.  Smoke filled the whole air.  The people could not see anything anywhere except thick smoke.  Our pastor and our believers called the whole village to stand around the village to call upon God in the name of Jesus to stop the fire.  Thousands prayed.  Our pastor kept shouting through the microphone to keep calling upon the name of Jesus.  The fire started in the morning about 8.30 am.  The smoke filled the village till five that evening.  All that time people were calling upon Jesus.  Then the pastor declared that the Lord would clear the smoke and that no lives would be lost.  The smoke went away.  The villagers found only two huts burnt where the fire started.  The other houses were not destroyed.  No one was hurt.   The village accepted Christ.

During a pneumonic plague the whole nation was in panic.  The plague started in Surat where we had a ministry for 20 years.  The people ran out of the town in thousands.  Many prominent leaders of several villages came to our church and asked our people to pray as they heard about the power of Jesus from us.  The believers fasted and prayed.  The plague was stopped completely in that town.  God’s people have prayed in thousands, and we continued to pray for the protection of the land from the plague.

These are a few of the things I have remembered.  We never kept a record of these events.  Only the Lord keeps track of these things.  The Lord continues to do many thing for his glory.  Indian Inland Mission workers all over north India see many things like that.  They work with native people who are very simple in their faith in the living God.

‘If you believe you will see the glory of God’ (John 11:40).

Paul Pilai children


1000 orphans in Bethel Home and 500 students in

Grace College at Indian Inland Mission

PaulPilaicongregation

Note:

Paul stayed with us in Brisbane and spoke at the Renewal Fellowship. He has taken teams to hundreds of villages and towns, starting churches. One time their tent was burned down by fantasists who tried to kill them. Paul’s arm was broken but then angels (appearing as fine young men) miraculously moved the team to a safe place and told them that the Lord would send them back there. He did. They started a home church there and it grew.

A small team from the Renewal Fellowship in Brisbane visited and spoke at Grace College in New Delhi on our way from mission with Raju Sundas in Nepal to Philip and Dhamika George’s family pastoring in Sri Lanka.

© Renewal Journal 9: Mission, 1997, 2nd edition 2011
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

Now available in updated book form (2nd edition 2011)

Renewal Journal eStore – all publications

Contents of all Renewal Journals

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General Blogs Index

Blogs Index 1: Revivals (briefer than Revivals Index)

Blogs Index 2: Mission (international stories)

Blogs Index 3: Devotional (including Testimonies)

Blogs Index 4: Chapters (Blogs from Books)

Blogs Index 5: Images (photos & videos)

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Revival in China, by Dennis Balcombe

Dennis Balcombe is senior pastor of Revival Christian Church in Hong Kong and regularly ministers in China.  This article is edited f rom newsletters sent early in 1996.

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a supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit

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We saw the Holy Spirit fall with great joy similar to what some refer to as the ‘Toronto Blessing.’  This has swept many parts of China without any teaching from the West, but in many places has been a supernatural outpouring of the Spirit.

In Asia many Pentecostal denominations are trying to be more acceptable to the denominational church world through more emphasis on theological education and degrees than prayer, fasting and the power that comes from the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  The opposite is true in China, for the house churches are more than ever turning to the Pentecostal roots of our faith.

We also arranged for many other well known ministry teams to teach the leaders in several parts of China.  Among them were Lester Sumrall, Ulf Ekmann of Sweden, Reinhard Bonnke of Germany, Marilyn Hickey of the US and many others.  One overseas preacher was excited as he was able to preach to a crowd of 6,000 in Northeast China.  There has been such a revival there that nearly 360,000 were saved in a few years time.

We took on several new full time local Chinese in the China Ministry.  We have encouraged the rest of the Chinese congregation to get involved in ministry in China.  Of the 1,000 plus churches in Hong Kong, ours is possibly one of the few who openly advocate and participate in ministry in mainland China.  Most pastors are fearful to do so for possible repercussions against them in 1997.  We have made our position very clear, and though it has caused a very few to have reservations about our stand, most of the Chinese congregation know where we stand and are prepared for whatever might happen.

Thus towards the end of the year we organized three ministry trips to Yunnan, Sichuan and Guangdong provinces, and nearly 20 local Chinese participated in each trip.  They all came back burning with the fires of revival as they met with house church leaders who have been greatly used of God to perform miracles resulting in mass conversions.  They also realized clearly the intense persecution against Christians in China and thus are better able to prepare for possible persecution in a  year or so.  Their testimonies excited so many others that the next scheduled trips around Chinese New Year are all full of applicants.  Never before have local Chinese responded to the China ministry in such a positive manner.

Persecution of Christians is severe and widespread throughout China and the situation with human rights is worse than any time since China opened in 1978.  The hard‑liners are firmly in control and there don’t seem to be any moderate voices.  In addition to long prison sentences being given to proponents of democracy, daily scores of people are executed through China, many for what we would call ‘white collar crimes’ or corruption.  In elections for the Hong Kong Legislative Council in September, the pro‑democratic parties won by a landslide.  This was a great insult to China who considers these men as ‘counter‑revolutionary’ and ‘subversives’.  China has vowed to dismantle the whole elected government and will not allow any of these legally elected councilors (who are like congressmen in the USA) to remain in office after 1997.  They have also strongly attacked the local ‘Bill of Human Rights’ and say they are not obliged to honour human rights in any way, for they have not signed the Bill of Human Rights in the United Nations, though they are signatories to the UN Charter.

People are now extremely pessimistic about the future here and many are saying that the only ones who got it right are those who immigrated years ago.  It is quite difficult to do so now at this late date, and people don’t even know if the  present travel document (British Nationality Overseas passport) or the passport that will come in next year (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC) will be recognized by foreign governments.  It is not certain Hong Kong  people will then be able to travel overseas without difficulty.  In addition to the above, the economy has started to decline and unemployment is at an all‑time high.

I continually teach the people that whatever happens we should not even consider leaving Hong Kong, for our nation will need us.  But through the cell group system we are attempting to disciple everyone and prepare them for persecution, if it comes to that.  Also many more people are willing to come into the ministry now than in a booming economy.  We may possibly start a full time intensive Bible School in which people work together and study for preparation of ministry in China as well as Hong Kong.

In December Pastor David Kiteley of Shiloh Christian Fellowship in Oakland, visited Hong Kong and with David Wang of Asian Outreach ordained Kathy Balcombe also a ‘pastor’ in RCC.  She has been operating in the capacity for many years as I am away from Hong Kong much, but this will give her more authority to make decisions when I am away and deal with other matters.  The church is growing rapidly and many are finding the Lord almost weekly.  The goal for this new year is ‘Revival’ and we are believing for 50% growth this year.  We usually have close to 500 people actually attend on any given Sunday, but like any church there are many more who don’t always come except a few times a year.  On special meetings we might have over 600.  We are not only believing for more numbers, but for an increase in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and evangelism.  Several sister churches have been planted by our own Chinese or missionaries working with the church.

We now have nearly 130 full time missionaries under the visa sponsorship of RCC, and many more who now have their own visas (which are given after 7 years in Hong Kong).  We have set up special intensive training for all the missionaries, and hope that many more new missionaries will be granted visas to come here, which it may be impossible after the change of sovereignty.  None of them plan on leaving though the laws about overseas foreign church workers after 1997 is still very ambiguous.

Bibles

Lastly I would appreciate your prayers that we have sufficient funds to purchase Bibles.  For nearly 15 years we received Chinese Bibles free of cost or at a discount from other organizations.   However due to different philosophy in ministry, they will not provide us any Bibles at discount, so we have to pay to have them printed in Sri Lanka.  The price last year was about US $1.50 per Bible, but now we can get them at $1.35 per Bible due to offerings from Norwegian Christian.   It is still not safe, economical or logistically possible to print and distribute large amounts of whole Bibles in China, though many (including ourselves) have printed limited amounts of other types of materials including New Testaments.  The sale of Bibles through the official channels is severely restricted as everyone knows, so the only way most of the church leaders in the rural areas can receive Bibles is through ministries like ours.

Due to the lack of funds there were a  few occasions last year when our workers had no Bibles to take to China, and we were only able to provide teaching materials.  However we want to keep the ratio of Bibles to teaching materials of 80% to 20%, for we are primarily providing these to Spirit filled church leaders who are actively involved in church planting all over the nation.  We have direct contact and relationship with about 50 large evangelistic teams which are ministering to about 10 million believers.  These are all people who are baptized in the Spirit, speak in tongues and exercise gifts of the Holy Spirit.  They in turn reach out to the lost in which their ministry is confirmed by mighty gifts of the Spirit, as in the Book of Acts.  They also reach out to the small percentage of non‑Spirit filled believers, for almost every Christian in China greatly desires the power that only the Holy Spirit can give.

Therefore we desperately need a large supply of Bibles to supply these growing Spirit filled congregations.  We were also saddened to hear recently that a large shipment of 85,000 large study Bibles taken in by container through other organizations were confiscated by the PSB police a few weeks ago in Liaoning Province.  These study bibles are very expensive and not really that necessary as most of the rural church leaders are not trained to use such comprehensive materials.  They basically only need the whole Bible and a few good study books such as ‘The Shepherd’s Staff’.  Rather than teach them doctrine or give them study Bibles with all kinds of exposition and sermon outlines, I personally believe it is best to teach the leaders how to study the Bible and allow them to dig out the treasures themselves.  I have been amazed over the past 18 years of ministry in mainland China to see how Spirit filled leaders almost speak the same message and preach pure doctrine.  The Holy Spirit will ‘lead us into all truth’.

Concerning these large operations, we have found over the years that it is very difficult for such big projects  to succeed due to the restrictive situation in China.   It is best to take in the Bibles in smaller amounts by several dozen people daily and maintain a continual flow of distribution throughout the nation.  We have done this and met with little difficulties.  In fact last year only a few bags of literature were confiscated, and this was due to spot checks of the mainland Chinese Christians on the road or train.  To facilitate such a ministry, you need many workers both in Hong Kong and mainland China and a safe reliable tested method of distribution throughout the nation.  We believe we are this position as we have been doing this for the past 18 years and have probably distributed over four million books in this way.  However we thank the Lord for everything others are doing and don’t want to be critical when things go wrong, for we are in ‘warfare’.  Even so, the need is so great and resources are so limited, it is essential such ministry is effectual and economical.

We are expecting an increase of at least 100% in ‘Donkey’s for Jesus’ workers who carry Bibles into China, and desperately need the funds to purchase the Bibles.  Revival Christian Church has invested heavily in this ministry and last year purchased a floor for the China Ministry Offices at nearly US $300,000 and monthly rents a warehouse for US $1,300.  Therefore please pray with us that overseas Christians will help us to purchase the Bibles.  We still have not found anyone who will donate them, though several have talked about this possibility.  Yes, it is possible to print Bibles in China, but it is much more expensive now as it cannot be done in large quantities for safety reasons and they don’t have the equipment or paper to print on thin bible paper, making the transportation more expensive, dangerous and difficult.  Only Amity Press (associated with the Three‑Self‑Church) prints on thin paper, but their total output is severely limited by the government, as it is an official press.  It still it has not been possible for house church leaders to purchase large amounts of Bibles from them.

Please pray with us that 1996 will break all records for safe and responsible distribution of hundreds of thousands of Bibles and teaching materials in conjunction with many training sessions for the house church leaders.  Thank you for your prayers for the work here.  I hope this information has been helpful.  Below are some recent testimonies relating to the ministry we are involved in.

China testimonies

From 3-9 December, 1995, together with Rodney Kingstone and Ian Rowlands from England, we went to two cities in Henan Province to minister to the brothers and sisters there.  They both move in the prophetic and prophesied over 180 people.  They also taught on the gifts of prophecy and  the Church exercised the gift right after the teaching.  Below is their testimony from this trip:

Our expectation as we arrived in China was not that we had come with all the answers but that we have a lot to learn from our brothers and sisters.  We wanted to encourage and release them in the area of the prophetic ministry, with the anticipation that they would do the same for us in other areas.  So at all the places we ministered at, we asked them many questions and made sure that they prayed and laid hands on us!

At one of these times we were really encouraged by one of the prayers that one of the leaders prayed for us.  He prayed that wherever we traveled we would take and impact the place with some of the revival power from China and that we would be partners together in taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.

One of the things that amazed us, during our stay, was the incredible courage and bravery of the believers ‑ risking everything for the sake of the gospel.  Most of the leaders we met were on the run from the police and couldn’t live with their families ‑ some had not been back home for 20 years and had to find other ways of seeing their wives, children and relatives.

We ministered to many leaders on the subjects of prophetic ministry and intimacy with God.  There were many hours of note taking while sitting on benches no wider than 3‑ 4 inches!  We had the privilege of praying over everyone there and we prophesied over all but a handful as well.  We received excellent feedback on the accuracy and confirmatory nature of these prophecies.

There were a lot of memorable times, here are some snippets:

In one meeting after we had prophesied over some of the leaders, Rod had a word of knowledge about some people having severe pain and discomfort in the lower back area and God wanted to heal them.  After praying three sisters testified that they had been healed:

* one had suffered from back pain and not been very mobile but was now totally free.

* another had fallen down some steps while evangelising and the doctors had told her there was nothing they could do for her but God had just completely healed her.

* another had fallen out of a car and could not swing from side to side but was now able to and no longer had any pain.

At one of the 5.30 am prayer meetings one of the leaders prophesied about a river of God’s blessing followed by us both prophesying about God’s river and its effect, this was followed by us inviting God to come and meet us and us all praying.  After a little while one of the sisters started laughing and crying and then most of them ended up on the floor on the top of one another and then many of the brothers also started to laugh.  The prayer time finished with a great celebration of singing and dancing!

Our lasting impressions ‑ and the challenge to us ‑ was that we had portrayed to an environment that seemed close to the Book of Acts in its power, simplicity and naturalness.  It really was a where the people were truly supernaturally natural.

This was evident when we asked the question.  ‘Are you still seeing miracles?’

Their eyes lit up and their response was immediate.  ‘Yes, every day.’  They then told us story after story of what God had done.  Here are some examples:

Testimony 1 ‑ by Brother Yeung

In 1987, Pastor Dennis Balcombe came and led us into the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Since then we started to see miracles happening as we go out to preach the Gospel.  Because of the miracles, many people came to know the Lord.  One time other co‑workers and I went to a meeting.  There was a 40 years old lady who was demon possessed who came into the meeting.  She was scolding and screaming at us while I was preaching.  She was disturbing the whole meeting so that I  could not continue to preach.  I then asked the whole congregation to kneel down and pray.  As we were praying, she came to the front and continued scolding and laughing at us.

I then stood up and said, ‘In the name of Jesus shut up!’

Not only she did not shut up, but she said the same thing to me, ‘In the name of Jesus you shut up!’

I then said, ‘In the name of Jesus kneel down!’ but she said the same thing back to me.

Whatever I said she would repeat the same thing.  I had never experienced that before.  I didn’t know what to do but cry out to God desperately.

I prayed to God, ‘I don’t want to be defeated by the power of the devil.’  I decided that no matter how long it may take or how hard it was, I was going to continue to pray until the demon was cast out.

At that time I knew that I could not pray in the understanding for she would repeat every word I said.  So I laid my hands on her and started to pray in tongues.  As I continued to pray I discovered that she wasn’t saying anything and she was softening down.  As she became weaker, I became stronger in the Spirit.  Then the lady tied her hands together and put her head down to the floor.  She cried out, ‘Please don’t pray anymore!’

I continued to pray in tongues.  After a while, she felt on the floor like a dead person.  Then after a few minutes, she woke up and was back to normal.  Because of this miracle, many people believed in the Lord in that village.

Testimony 2 ‑ by Brother Yeung

One time we had a evangelistic meeting in a village.  Many people came to the meeting to listen to the Gospel.  But as my co‑worker was preaching, some gangsters came in the meeting to cause trouble.  When I saw them coming in, I asked my co‑worker to sit down and I stood up to preach.

I thought to myself the reason that they were causing trouble was because they didn’t know the greatness of God.  So I spoke loudly that our God is a true and a great God and He is able to perform miracles.  Then I prayed to God to perform a miracle.  I then asked the congregation if anyone was deaf.  Then a sister brought a lady up who was deaf.  As soon as I prayed for her, she was immediately healed.  I then asked all who were deaf to come forward and that night they were all healed.

The gangsters were amazed as they saw the miracles happen.  Some people in the meeting including the gangsters went back to their home and brought back their family members who were sick.  There were eight paralyzed people who came and six of them were healed immediately.  Because of the miracles, the whole village including the gangsters all believed in Jesus.

I believe the reason for such a great revival in China first is by preaching the word of God and second is by the miracles of God.

Testimony 3 ‑ by Brother Yeung

One time we had a meeting which had 600 believers and 200 non‑believers.  Because the meeting was in a home Church, the house was so packed that many people had to climb up to the roof of on the trees in order to listen to the message.  That night I shared on the message of healing.  After I preached for about 3 hours I started to pray for the sick.

As I was praying, I saw an old lady who was praying desperately before God.  I asked her what  she wanted from God.  She told me that her daughter who was 19 years old was blind since birth and she was asking God to heal her.  Her daughter then stood up and I prayed for her in front of 800 people.

After I prayed, I asked her if she was able to see again.  Then I moved my fingers to test her sight.  Immediately, she was healed and the whole congregation sang Psalms 150 in praise to the Lord.  That night many blind people and paralyzed people were healed, and because of the miracles, the whole village came to the Lord.

Testimony 4 ‑ by Brother Yeung

One of my co‑workers went up to Saan Xi Province to preach the Gospel.  The people in that area are very superstitious and they worship many idols.  He went and preached to the people saying,  ‘Our God is a great God.  He is the one who created the universe.  He is able to cause the blind to see, the deaf to hear even the dead to raise again, but what can your God do for you?’

After he preached, a man ran to the hospital where a boy has just passed away.  He told the boys parents, ‘There is a Jesus from Henan came who said he can raise people from the dead.’

So the mother took her dead child to my co‑worker saying, ‘Jesus from Henan please raise my son from the dead.’

My co‑worker was shocked when he saw the dead child for he had never raised anyone from the dead before.  There was nothing he could do but just cry out to God.  At first he was very worried in his heart that if nothing happened, all the people would say he’s a liar and they would not believe in Jesus.  So he started to pray, but after a while, nothing happened so he prayed again and still nothing happened.  Then he prayed to God, ‘Lord, I don’t mind to loose face, but I really don’t want this to cause the people mock your name and not believe in you.  Please show forth your glory in this place.’

As he was praying that prayer, the mother of the child said, ‘Look, my child is alive again!’

He saw the child stand up and he ran throughout the house.  Due to this miracle, many people in that area burnt all their idols and believed in Jesus.

Testimony 5 ‑ by Brother Lui (who is a Public Service Bureau officer)

I have been a Christian for two years.  The reason I became a Christian is really a miracle.  Two years ago, I had a strange disease in which I had a bad headache all the time and my heart was beating very quick.  Not only that, I suddenly had a great fear in my heart that I was going to die.  I went to see many doctors and even stayed in the hospital, but there was nothing the doctors could do.

One time after I went to see the doctor, I meet a Christian lady who was preaching the Gospel.  Because I had nothing to do, I listened to what she had to say.  My Aunt is a Christian, so I knew a little about Jesus.  As she preached the Gospel to me, I decided to believe in Jesus.  But because I was wearing my police uniform, she didn’t believe that I would really become a Christian.

That night, I felt a great peace in my heart, and I prayed to Jesus, ‘Jesus, I know that you are here and I am willing to truly believe in you.’

The next morning when I woke up, the strange diseases all left me, I knew that Jesus had healed my disease.  Then I went back to the place where the sister preached the Gospel to me, tried to find her, but I did not succeed.  I did not give up but went everyday to wait for her.  She finally came on the fifth day and led me to her Church and baptized me.  I have ever since served God with all my heart.

Testimony of one distribution of The ‘Shepherd’s Staff’

This is the testimony of how God saved us from evil while we were distributing the ‘Shepherd’s Staff’ books of Bible readings.

On 31 July, 1995, the four of us took around 300 copies of the ‘Shepherd’s Staff’ from Guangzhou to bring back to Henan.  We took a train to go back..  The train that we went on was very crowed, we had no place to sit but just stood by the doorway.  After riding for four hours, the train stopped in a city and some police went up the train to have an inspection.  A policeman came to us and asked us why we carried so many bags.  We told him that we were porters, and we were hired by a man to carry the bags to Henan.  But he did not believe us and asked us to open up the bags.  We told him we had no keys for the locks but he still insisted we open the bags.

When he opened up the first bag, he checked and didn’t say a word.  Then he opened up other bags and found out that they were all books named the ‘Shepherd’s Staff’.  He asked us what were the books for, we told him that it’s to teach people how to shepherd.  He then checked the books and found out they were a Christian teaching book.  He was very mad at us and told us to follow him to the restaurant on the train.  At that time we knew that the situation was not good and that he was going to arrest us.

Because the train was very crowed, with all the bags that we had, we were not able to pass through all the people.  So the policeman had to go in front of us to open a way for us.  At that time the train started to move.  As we passed through the first car, the policeman was at the other car, and we knew that that was the only chance to escape.  I then told the other three brothers to leave the bags and run.  Two of them ran immediately and jumped off the train from the window.  Myself and the other brother also started to run, but because the train was going faster and faster, we could not jump at that time.  So we just ran through one car and the other until the train approached a small station and started to slow down.  We then jumped off the train from the window.

After we jumped off the train, we ran up the mountain until we reached the top.  When we reached the mountain top, we knelt down and prayed to God.  On one hand, we were thankful that God has protected us, but on the other hand, we were very worried about the other two brothers and were sad that we were not able to bring the ‘Shepherd’s Staff’ back to our brothers and sisters in Henan.  But thank God, as we returned to our home town, we met the other two brothers.  We rejoice in tears that God was with us and saved us.

© Renewal Journal 9: Mission, 1997, 2nd edition 2011
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

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God’s Visitation, by Dick Eastman

Dick & Dee Eastman

Dick Eastman is international president of the global movement, Every Home for Christ.  This article was published in Charisma as ‘The Days of God’s Visitation’.

 _______________________________________

Nothing in the history of world evangelization

compares with what is happening today

                                                        _______________________________________

Also, see Blog:

lwgcoverLOOK WHAT GOD IS DOING!
by Dick Eastman

Ch 3: People of the Trees
Pygmy tribe of 6,000 saved in 3 years

Ebola area miracles

______________________________________

I ’ve made 11 trips around the world in the last 15 months, and I’ve witnessed God’s hand at work.  Nothing in the history of world evangelism compares with what is happening today.

When our three-man team arrived at an encampment called Boteka, located on the Momboyo River in the heart of Zaire’s equatorial rain forest, it seemed to me that we stood on the edge of nowhere.  In less than 24 hours, though, I knew we would be right in the middle of it.

My colleague Wes Wilson and I had joined with Dia Mbwangi, the French African director of Every Home for Christ (EHC), for this unique journey to see with our own eyes the miraculous harvest of souls being reported among the Pygmies.  Five years ago, there had been almost no believers deep in that part of the rain forest.  Now we understood the number of Christians had surpassed 300,000.  Could this be possible?

If it was true, this was one more indication of the amazing work of the Holy Spirit being reported around the world in recent months.

We almost never made it to the rain forest.  While trying to obtain our visas back in the United States, the ever-smiling clerk at our local visa office begged Wes and me not to go into the region.  She explained that the State Department had issued serious warnings about that area, primarily because of instances in which outsiders had been kidnapped and murdered.  And besides, she said, the worst diseases in the world came from that region.

We soon discovered she was right.  In fact, a few days later I would learn the deadly Ebola virus had resurfaced just south of our destination.  The Momboyo River, along which we planned to journey, was a stone’s throw from the famed Ebola River from which this dreaded virus acquired its name.  The AIDS virus too is thought to have come from a nearby region.

Apparently we were heading straight into a ‘hot zone,’ a medical term for an area in which a deadly virus is active and transmittable.  More importantly, we were heading into a spiritual hot zone where satanic activity has ravaged humanity by the spiritual virus of sin for centuries.  Yet, as we would soon discover, the cure – Christ Himself – was setting multitudes free in one of the most remote locations on earth.

Every tree for Christ

When our workers first went into the Pygmy regions of the equatorial rain forest in 1992, the trip required an 11-day, motorized canoe trip up the mighty Zaire River (formerly the Congo River), and an additional journey of several days down any number of smaller rivers, such as the Momboyo.  Then workers had to travel by canoes up tiny tributaries and creeks until they reached the remote areas where the Pygmy peoples live.

Fortunately, when Wes and I arrived in Kinshasa, Zaire, and linked up with Brother Dia, we were able to enlist a pilot to fly us deep into the forest, dropping us off at a small, grass landing strip near an encampment called Boteka.  There we were able to obtain a 40-foot canoe with two outboard motors from a Belgian Catholic mission.  This made it possible for us to journey even further up the Momboyo River to another encampment called Imbonga.

From Imbonga, we traveled 20 miles directly into the forest until we arrived at our ultimate destination, a Christian village called Bosuka, made up of hundreds of Pygmy converts.

And what an arrival it was!  Hundreds of Pygmies lined the footpath as we neared Bosuka, joyously dancing and waving palm branches while singing in their dialect a song they had written themselves: ‘Jesus is Lord, and He’s coming back soon!’

The fact that these Pygmies were a part of an actual village was something of an anomaly.  Pygmies are generally nomadic peoples who traditionally do not live in permanent villages.  This was clearly a Christian phenomenon, the result of a transformation in the hearts of thousands of Pygmies who were turning to Jesus en masse after an EHC evangelistic campaign.

We had learned that these people actually lived in the trees.  In the initial progress reports that came back to us from Brother Dia in the forest, he explained that he was unable to say specifically how many ‘homes’ were being reached because Pygmies are ‘tree people’.

With his customary humor, Dia wrote on one report that he had now launched an ‘Every Tree Crusade,’ a modification of EHC’s standard ‘Every Home Crusade’ strategy.  Instead of pursuing our long-standing ministry goal of reaching ‘the last home on earth with the gospel,’ Dia wrote: ‘We will not stop until we reach the last tree on earth!’

The settlement of a Pygmy village – established around a church – was something unique and unusual in the forest. Yet it had happened in only about 14 months.  In fact, out of a tribe of 6,000 Pygmies in the region, 4,000 had come to a knowledge of Jesus, including the Pygmy chief of the area and his entire clan of some 40 relatives.

While in the forest, we heard other amazing reports.  In one neighbouring area where 32 Pygmy fellowships had been planted 36 months earlier, a remarkable 300 additional fellowships had been established even deeper in the forest, the result of Brother Dia challenging the leaders of those fellowships to each plant at least one new church by the year 2000.  To our amazement, they exceeded the goal by almost tenfold – and they did it four years early!

The Healing Stone

One month after our trip into Africa’s equatorial rain forest, I travelled to the other side of the world to witness a similar miracle in a mountainous region of the Solomon Islands chain.  In a rain forest deep in the interior of the island of Malaita, 11 Christian villages had emerged in just three years.

Our workers in one area had tried several times, unsuccessfully, to witness about Jesus.  A huge stone – called ‘the healing stone’ by the people of the region – seemed to be a visible stronghold keeping the people of the area held in some kind of demonic grasp.  Almost daily, chiefs from several villages brought their sacrifices of chickens and pigs to the huge stone.

A two-man mission team decided to camp out on an adjacent mountain overlooking the stone to fast and pray for seven days.  Early on the seventh day, clouds began gathering above the area.

A Kwaio priest from a nearby village made his way to the giant stone to offer a sacrifice.  Suddenly, a bolt of lightning streaked out of the ominous black clouds and struck the stone with such force that it split in two.  Half the stone rolled down the steep mountain.  Panic-stricken, the priest dropped his sacrifice and ran for his life.

Several village priests, who earlier had rejected the gospel message, now were filled with fear.  One of them invited our evangelists to return and tell them again about Jesus.

Soon, many villagers, with their chiefs, had received Christ.  On their own they burned their huts to the ground as an act of repentance and moved to a nearby Christian village that had been established only 36 months earlier.

A Season Called ‘Afterward’

My journeys into the rain forests of Africa and the Solomon Islands were part of some eight trips I made around the world in a 12-month period, mostly in preparation for writing my latest book, Beyond Imagination, which documents some of the amazing miracles occurring in world evangelization today.

These global journeys a year ago, followed by three additional trips around the world in a 60-day period while preparing this article, convinced me of several significant trends that indicate the church of Jesus Christ may have entered God’s ‘afterward’ season.

That expression is found in Joel’s ancient prophecy: ‘And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions’ (Joel 2:28, NIV).  The prophet adds, ‘And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ (v. 32).

Of course, the initial fulfillment of this prophecy was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the early church.  However, there is also a strong biblical sense that this promise likewise foretells a great end-time harvest and awakening in the very last days.

I believe the church may be on the threshold of this exciting ‘afterward’ time.  Certainly the body of Christ is closer to the fulfillment of Jesus’ Great Commission than many believers are aware.

Nothing in the history of world evangelization compares with what’s happening today.  Recently, missions researcher David Barrett told me that he is preparing for publication an updated version of his highly regarded, 1,000-page World Christian Encyclopedia, published by Oxford University Press in 1982.  So vast has been the progress of world evangelization since the first publication, Barrett says the revision will require three volumes, each as lengthy as the original.

Every Home for Christ has a strategic vision to systematically take a clear, printed gospel message (or recorded message for illiterates) to every family in a nation.  EHC can testify that the recent acceleration of the harvest has been dramatic.

In the 36-month period from 1989 to 1991, an encouraging 1.3 million decision cards were received in our offices.  But as exciting as that number was, in a similar 36-month period from 1993 to 1995, the ‘decision for Jesus’ responses jumped to 3.7 million.

Specific evangelistic advances in some previously restricted nations illustrate this dramatic acceleration.  For example, only a decade ago, in the once ‘closed’ nation of Nepal, anyone caught witnessing to or responsible for converting a Hindu to Christ could be put in prison for several years.  In fact, in the early to mid-1980s, as many as 200 Christians were incarcerated at one time in Nepal for this reason.

Then, a miracle involving democratic reforms came to this Hindu nation, not unlike what transpired in the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s.  Suddenly there were opportunities to communicate the gospel much more openly.

Until that time, our evangelists in Nepal had been conducting home-to-home visits in a cautious way;  now workers were able to witness freely.  Within a few short years our Kathmandu office had received more than 200,000 written decision cards, each requesting a four-part Bible-correspondence course.

Especially exciting has been the formation of hundreds of small church-fellowships called Christ Groups in Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist villages as the result of these house-to-house campaigns.  At the time of this writing, a remarkable 4,730 Christ Groups have been formed in villages and towns in Nepal, and some have grown into sizable congregations.  In addition, the original goal of reaching every home in every village of this Hindu land by 31 December, 2000, is expected to be completed four years early – as this is published.

Campus Crusade for Christ has seen a remarkable harvest in response to the showing of the Jesus film, which is now in 342 languages.  Campus Crusade staff estimate that more than 732 million people have seen the film in 16 years, and the acceleration has been especially dramatic in recent months.

The Christian Broadcasting Network also reports amazing results.  Network founder Pat Robertson notes that it took CBN almost 20 years to see 1 million people pray to receive Christ; in the last five years, however, that number increased close to 50 times, to some 50 million responses.

Even preeminent evangelist Billy Graham is seeing an increase.  In the spring of 1996, his organization presented a one-hour global television broadcast with an estimated potential audience of 2.5 billion people in more than 200 countries.  Of the 450 million pieces of follow-up literature prepared, most were used up almost immediately after the program.

Other isolated examples of church planting activities clearly indicate dramatic increases.  Varanasi, India, for example, has been a known Hindu stronghold for generations.  As recently as five years ago there were no churches in that city of 1.5 million people.  Today there are at least 230 churches with an estimated 5,000 worshipers.

In Cambodia, where almost all religious expression was wiped out during the notorious ‘killing fields’ of the Khmer Rouge two decades ago, an average of one new church is being established every week – just among the churches related to the Khmer Evangelical Church.  This group alone has a goal of 300 new churches by the year 2000.

In the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, a church in Tashkent that began with just a handful of believers nine years ago has grown to more than 3,000 believers.  They’ve also planted 46 additional churches across Uzbekistan.  The main congregation in Tashkent is said to be growing by as many as 100 new baptized believers every month.

The Force of United Prayer

No doubt a major reason for this incredible acceleration of global harvest is the amplified and intensified increase of united prayer sweeping the globe today.  David Barrett says there may be as many as 170 million Christians worldwide involved in praying every day for spiritual awakening and world evangelization.

Of this number, Barrett says there may be up to 20 million believers who see intercession as their primary ministry.  Barrett further believes there may be as many as 10 million prayer groups meeting regularly with a primary purpose of praying for global spiritual awakening.

Showing the possible sweep of this movement, Barrett suggests there are approximately 1,300 separate prayer-mobilization networks organizing believers to pray for God’s work globally.  Highly focused prayer that strategically targets satanic strongholds–which some, such as professor C. Peter Wagner, define as ‘warfare prayer’- has also dramatically intensified in recent years and even more so in the last 36 months.

The global Praying Through the Window events in 1993 and again in 1995 targeted prayer to the under-evangelized and least-reached peoples of the so-called 10/40 Window, a geographic region between 10 degrees and 40 degrees latitude north of the equator, stretching from West Africa across the Middle East to East Asia.  More than 20 million Christians participated in the first campaign in October 1993, and 249 teams made prayer journeys to the region.  Two years later, an astounding 35.3 million intercessors participated, representing 143,447 churches, and 407 prayer teams journeyed into the 10/40 Window.

I immediately saw fruit from this highly focused prayer effort.  Before the first 10/40 Window focus in 1993, our EHC campaigns were being conducted in 70 countries.  In the next 24 months the number grew dramatically to 108.

In the past, it was considered a miracle for EHC to begin four or five new national initiatives in a single year.  But to average more than one new national work per month for two years was unheard of! And many of these were begun in nations within or bordering the 10/40 Window.

The strategic prayer also impacted our church-planting efforts.  In India, for example, over the 36-month period before the first Praying Through the Window campaign, EHC saw the formation of three Christ Groups every day, an average of 90 per month.  Though this number was encouraging at the time, in the six months after the 10/40 Window focus, that number increased beyond 500 percent to more than 15 per day.

I recently heard another confirming testimony from a Middle Eastern worker with Operation Mobilization, based in Atlanta.  In the two years before the 1993 prayer campaign, this man had carefully visited hundreds of families, witnessing to them and offering evangelistic literature.  Yet not one person showed interest in knowing more about Jesus.  However, in the 24 months after Praying Through the Window, a remarkable change occurred.

In the very same region where the man’s previous efforts had been unsuccessful, more than 2,000 Muslims prayed to receive Christ! He’s convinced that targeted, warfare prayer made the difference.

Signs and Wonders

Perhaps as significant as any factor associated with the current global work of the Holy Spirit is the obvious amplified and intensified increase of miracles throughout the world.  What God did in establishing the New Testament church 20 centuries ago is clearly taking place today in increasing ways.

For example, Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ recently wrote his ministry partners about the ‘astounding phenomenon of dreams and visions confirming the reality of Christ, particularly among Muslims.’  According to Bright, thousands of letters from Muslims in North Africa and the Middle East responding to a radio program aired throughout the region, described dreams in which Jesus appeared to them saying, ‘I am the way.’ When these Muslims heard the radio broadcast, they suddenly understood what they had experienced in their dreams and requested more information about Jesus.

I have received similar testimonies from our home-to-home evangelism outreaches in Muslim areas.  In North Africa, an EHC worker in a city of 1 million people tried to give a Muslim man a booklet about Jesus.  The man tore it up and threw it in the evangelist’s face, threatening to kill him.

The following morning at sunrise, the worker was startled by a knock at the door of his tiny apartment.  To his amazement, the same young Muslim stood before him asking for another booklet.

‘Where did you get my address?’ the worker asked.

‘Oh, the voice in the night told me your address,’ the Muslim responded.  He then described a remarkable encounter in which ‘a voice with no body’ explained that he had torn up ‘the truth’ earlier that day when he ripped apart the booklet.  The voice then told the young man where the EHC worker lived and explained that if he got another booklet and believed its message, he would have eternal life.

The next morning the young man obeyed the voice and joyously received Christ.  Recently he finished a six-month Bible training course and is now a full-time missionary.

Signs and wonders are occurring among other peoples, too.  Recently, on a journey to India, I talked with Jacob George, an EHC worker also serving Wycliffe Bible Translators.  Jacob and his wife, Susan, had gone to evangelize the Konda Dora tribe in southeast India in 1979. Yet not a single member of this tribe had responded to the gospel in 10 years.

A breakthrough occurred when Jacob’s assistant, a believer named Devadas, visited the Konda Dora village of Sopha.  This village was steeped in witchcraft, and Devadas soon learned that sickness had prevailed throughout the population for two years.  No amount of sacrifices to their Hindu gods brought relief.

Devadas told them Jesus Christ could heal them, but the Hindus were skeptical.  On a subsequent visit, however, the village leader declared,  ‘You’ve been telling us about this person called Jesus.  What must we do to believe in Him?’

Devadas instructed them to remove all their Hindu charms from around their waists, arms and necks, and place them in a pile in the middle of the village.  He also told them to bring all their objects of Hindu worship from their homes and place them in the pile.

All the fetishes were burned that day in a huge bonfire.  Within several days every sick person in the village was healed, and 50 villagers gave their lives to Christ.

Soon, the impact spread to four neighbouring villages, and a church was established at Sarsu Podar, the largest of the four.  Eighty people now attend this growing congregation.  In addition, hundreds of Konda Dora people have turned to Jesus, and 11 villages have embraced Christianity.

Recently, a Buddhist monk high in the mountains of Myanmar (formerly Burma) was worshiping a statue of the Buddha when he heard a voice plainly declare, ‘Go find Jesus!’ So clear was the voice that the monk went immediately to his superior and told him: ‘I must leave today.  The Buddha has told me to go find Jesus!’

‘Who is this person called Jesus?’ the superior asked.

‘I’m not sure,’ the monk replied, ‘but the Buddha has said I must find him!’

As the monk entered a neighboring town, he was amazed to see a poster on a wall that said simply, ‘Come see Jesus!’ It was an invitation from Campus Crusade for Christ to a showing of the Jesus film that very evening.

By nightfall the monk had ‘found’ the Saviour.  And today he knows it wasn’t the Buddha who spoke to him but God Himself.

These are indeed amazing days.  God is moving by His Spirit, creating hunger for genuine spiritual awakening in the hearts of His children everywhere, and setting in motion the greatest global ingathering of souls in the history of the church.  Truly, the work of the Holy Spirit today -touching even the uttermost parts of the earth – is beyond imagination.

Examples

* The feared Wa people of northern Myanmar rejected Buddhist statues sent as a peace offering by the government and requested 100 Bibles and Christian missionaries instead.  The chief of the tribe of 3 million, a headhunter, recently became a Christian and was baptized – asking to be immersed 100 times, once for each head he had hunted.

Source: Discipling a Whole Nation

* Fugong County, in China’s Yunnan Province, has so many believers that it is known as ‘Christ County,’ with about 90 percent of its 70,000 people professing faith in Christ.  Impressed with the falling crime rate and other social benefits, local government authorities are actually encouraging people to believe.

Source: World Pulse, April 1996

* In 1900, South Korea was considered ‘impossible to penetrate’; the country did not have a single evangelical church.  By 1986, the country was 20 percent Christian; by 1992, 40 percent.  The church doubled to 12.5 million members in only six years, from 1986 to 1992.  In 1986, South Korea had 25,000 churches.  By 1992, the number had swelled to 37,200.  There are 7,000 churches in Seoul, including nine of the 21 largest congregations in the world.

Source: Youth With a Mission

* Hoping to derail an October 1996 crusade in an unreached area of India, a local Hindu faction cut off the town’s electrical supply.  But evangelist Sadhu Chellappa brought along a generator to power the lights and 32 loudspeakers, and in the absence of any competing noise, his voice was heard throughout the town of 6,000 people.  More than 150 people now attend a newly planted church there.

Source: Discipling a Whole Nation

* Ten house churches have been started among Khmer refugees in eastern Thailand along the border with Laos and Cambodia in the last year.  A Khmer believer, Sunthon Rawang, is training the 250 believers to start churches among their people on the other side of the border.  Christians have been praying for God to multiply the number of Khmer believers and for the success of Sunthon Rawang.

Source: Advance

* Before 1990, there were very few Christians in Saudi Arabia.  Since Desert Storm, more than 3,000 Saudi Muslims have come to Christ.

Source: Youth With a Mission

© 1996 Strang Communications.  Used with permission.

From Every Home for Christ website – ehc.org

What we have done

Every day our workers visit more than 200,000 homes. We have reached over 1.4 BILLION homes in the last 64 years, and seen over 101 million people respond to the gospel! Just last year alone we reached over 77 million homes! We continue to hear amazing stories and testimonies of this work and have exciting pictures and videos from the field.

How we do it

Every Home for Christ has created a strategy for reaching every home on earth with the gospel. We use local indigenous workers with face-to-face evangelism whenever possible, and when it’s not, substantial gospel literature for both adults and children in the local language and dialect are left at the home. Each response is followed up, and many times results in individuals – and even entire families, giving their hearts to Jesus. Every Home for Christ disciples new believers, and channels them into local churches. If there is no local church, we establish Christ Groups — small fellowships of believers that are then nurtured and discipled in their spiritual walk.

Also, see Blog:

EastmanLook What God is Doing:
Chapter 2: Mountains of Mystery
Solomon Islands:
Hostile tribe’s chief died and met Jesus

by Dick Eastman
Ch 2: Mountains of Mystery
*
 

lwgcoverLOOK WHAT GOD IS DOING!
Ch 3: People of the Trees
Pygmy tribe of 6,000 saved in 3 years

by Dick Eastman
Ebola area miracles

Look what God is doing – and rejoice!

See Dick Eastman interviewed about this book

Offer of free bookand you can donate

© Renewal Journal 9: Mission, 1997, 2nd edition 2011
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

Now available in updated book form (2nd edition 2011)

Contents of all Renewal Journals

Amazon – Renewal Journal 9: Mission

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Free book: Look What God is Doinghttp://lookwhatgodisdoing.com.au/

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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The New Song, by C Peter Wagner

Dr C. Peter Wagner, formerly Professor of Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary, author of numerous books, is President of Global Harvest Ministries and Co-ordinator of the United Prayer Track for the AD2000 and Beyond Movement. This article was published by Global Harvest Ministries as ‘Getting Ready to Sing the New Song’.

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 A church for every people

and the gospel for every person

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The Bible tells us that one day four living creatures and twenty‑four elders are going to surround the throne of the Lamb and sing a new song: ‘You have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation’  (Rev. 5:9).  What a song!

If the motto of the A.D. 2000 Movement is fulfilled, that song will be sung pretty soon.  I have the faith to join A.D. 2000 in believing that there, in fact, will be ‘A church for every people and the gospel for every person.’

Does it require faith to say such a thing?  It definitely does.

Speaking as a professional missiologist, I can, with great assurance, affirm that there is no known human theory of missiology today that could bring about such a result in such a short time.  If that is the case ‑ which it is ‑ the only way it could possibly happen is through a mighty move of the sovereign hand of God.

Prayer Moves the Hand of God!

What is it that moves the hand of God more than anything else?

Prayer!  In fact, in the verse just before the words of the new song, the ‘prayers of the saints’ are highlighted (see Rev. 5:8).

Nothing could be more important for fulfilling Jesus’ great commission to ‘make disciples of every nation’ than mobilizing massive prayer for world evangelization.  Since we founded Global Harvest Ministries and the United Prayer Track in 1991, the burning passion of Doris’ and my hearts has been to see more of God’s people praying in one accord for the lost of the world than ever before.

We are not generating the worldwide prayer movement.  God is doing it.  I like what Eddie Smith of the U.S. Prayer Track once said: “Our job is not to get people praying, but to get praying people!”  Never before in history have there been so many Christians praying on all the continents.

Our assignment from God is to see that as many of them as possible are praying for the lost ‘with one accord,’ as Luke put it in Acts 2:1.  When we first began we thought we were stretching our faith to believe that we could get one million praying for the same nation or city at the same time.

But our faith was too small.  Much more than this has actually taken place, by the providence of God.

Millions Praying In One Accord

In October 1993, 21 million were praying in one accord for the 62 nations of the 10/40 Window [10 to 40 degrees north between Africa and Asia].  In October 1995, 36 million were praying in one accord for the 100 Gateway Cities of the 10/40 Window.  We are confident that in October 1997 there will be 50 million praying in one accord for the 146 Gateway Clusters of 1,739 major unreached people groups.

I am confident that you will be praying in one accord with Doris and me and millions of others.  In fact, you may even be a member of one of the 17,390 local churches (10 per unreached people group) or a member of one of the 34,780 home cell groups (20 per unreached people group) committed to praying for one of the groups past October 1997 and through the end of the year 2000.

The Lights Are Coming On!

If you are like many others who pray, you want to know if your prayers are being answered.    The answer is yes!

When the A.D. 2000 Movement began in 1989, darkness prevailed across the 10/40 Window.  But we have been praying in one accord for seven years now, more and more each year.  It would be discouraging if the same degree of darkness persisted.  But it has not.

Lights have been coming on in many significant parts of the 10/40 Window since we have been praying.  We are getting reports that some of the 1,739 unreached people groups are now reached, but we are not tooled to start deleting names as yet ‑ so let’s keep praying for them all in the meantime.

The three most formidable anti‑Christian forces in the world are Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam.  I have some good news for those who want to see multitudes among these peoples move from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God.  Remarkable things have been happening in this decade of the 1990s.

1.  Buddhism.

My observations lead me to believe that the principalities over Buddhism are ‘on the run.’  This is the first large wall, after Communism, to come down in our generation.  For years Buddhism has been taking a hit in South Korea, and more recently, on even a greater scale, in mainland China.

I visited Thailand, the strongest Buddhist nation in Southeast Asia, twice this year and I was amazed at the growth of Christian churches.  Many Thai leaders point to 1993, more or less, as the turning point.

Why not?  Twenty‑one million were praying for Thailand in one accord.  The video for the 1995 Praying Through the Window II featured a Thai pastor, so Thailand got more prayer than most places.  Numerous Thai leaders said, ‘Peter, for the first time in all of history, it is easy to lead a Thai person to Christ!’  Thailand will be a key to evangelizing Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam.

2.  Hinduism.

The principalities over Hinduism are ‘badly battered.’  Nepal is the only Hindu kingdom in the world, and it has recently become one of the brightest lights for the gospel in all of the 10/40 Window.  Although it is still supposed to be a crime to convert to Christianity, some changes were made in the constitution in 1990, and churches are being multiplied from north to south and from east to west.  Laws are not being enforced.  Reports tell us that there are probably

200,000 believers there, possibly 300,000.

The light has just come on in the Indian Himalayan state of Sikkim where some are saying that 20 percent or even 30 percent may now be Christian.  Surprising reports are coming in from many other sections of previously resistant North India.  Probably Nepal will be a key to breaking through the Buddhist strongholds in Bhutan and Tibet.

3.  Islam.

The strongest principalities are those over Islam, but I see them as ‘scared stiff.’  They have been shaken by the large numbers of Muslims coming to Christ in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country.  They are fully aware of the power of light being released through our annual ‘Praying through Ramadan’ effort.  And, most of all, they are frightened, as they well should be, by the massive Reconciliation Walk tracing the routes of the First Crusade from 1996 through June of 1999 with a message of repentance for the sins of our ancestors during the First Crusade 900 years ago.  Nothing could weaken the principalities keeping Muslims in darkness more than this initiative.

Our prayers are working, and the world is changing as a result.  Now is the time to pray as never before.  Let’s double and triple our efforts.

The heavenly choirs may not quite be ready to sing the ‘new song,’ but they probably should begin choir practice, because the time to sing the song before the throne of the Lamb seems to be right around the corner!

(c)  C. Peter Wagner.  Used with permission of Global Harvest Ministries.

 

Some books by C Peter Wagner

Leading your Church to Growth (1984)

The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit (1988)

Your Church can be Healthy (1990)

Spiritual Power and Church Growth (1990)

Prayer Shield (1997)

Churches the Pray (1997)

Breaking Strongholds in Your City (1997)

Church Growth and the Whole Gospel (1998)

Church Quake (1999)

Your Church can Grow (2001)

Your Spiritual Gifts can help your Church Grow (2005)

Praying with Power (2008)

Warfare Prayer (2009)

Discover your Spiritual Gifts (2010)

 

 

© Renewal Journal 9: Mission, 1998, 2nd edition 2011
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

Now available in updated book form (2nd edition 2011)
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The River of God, by David Hogan

Pastor David Hogan is the founding leader of Freedom Ministries, a pioneering mission among remote Mexican mountain tribes.  This article is edited from a message he gave at Christian Outreach Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

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Between 150 and 500 people a month are being saved

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This article is also in
A Great Revival Stories All1Great Revival Stories

 

 

A new move of the Holy Spirit has started.  It’s been all over the place.  It’s got a whole lot of different names, depending on what part of the world you’re from.  Some people call it ‘The River’, some people call it ‘The Refreshing’, some people call it the ‘Fire of Heaven’, others just call it plain ‘Revival of God’.  I don’t particularly care what we call it as long as we’re in it!

Our work is now so large that I have to take care of it, which means I have to protect it in the way of not allowing any false doctrine to get into it.  Westerners are real ‘faddish’ people and tend to jump into the latest thing for a little while, until it subsides and then people go back into their normal way of life.  Well I don’t agree with that.

I agree with Jesus and going and staying in the flow and allowing it to change you and be completely radical in the Holy Spirit.  You have to do things by faith.  Everything has to be done by faith or it’s sin.

I am responsible to the Holy Spirit for what happens to the people he’s given me.  And I’m not going to jump in just because America jumps in, or just because Australia jumps in, or New Zealand, or England or anybody else.  I’m going to jump in when the Holy Spirit jumps in our work.  Now that’s not to say I’m fighting it, I never was fighting, please understand.  I was not against the Refreshing, the River, the flow, the wind, the fire.  I never was against all that.  Every time I’d come out, or go around the world somewhere, I’d mix with everybody but I was being cautious.

So I went after God.  I told the Lord: “This is what we’re going to do God, and if I’m wrong you can do whatever you want to.  I am not going to preach this Refreshing, this Revival, in our work.  I will not teach one message on it.  I won’t allow anyone that comes from around the world to speak about it in our work till I see you divinely touch us as you have in the past.”

You may say, “You shouldn’t be that strict.  You shouldn’t be that serious.”

Yes I should!  If you knew how hard it is for me to dig those Indians out of those hills, to get them born again, to get churches started, to get it established, then you’d understand why I’m so serious about how I undertake what I do in my ministry.

And it really happened, it really, really happened.

Miracles

We’ve had over 400 people raised from the dead in our work.  God can raise anybody from the dead.  It’s awesome to watch.

We had a lady the other day, just before I came over here, a 70 year old grandma, who was dead for about 14-16 hours.  The Holy Spirit touched her and raised her up, but it was after the whole family was brought in.  They washed her for burial.  They set her up on the altar in the house, and the whole town came through and acknowledged her death and gave respects to the people.  Then God raised her from the dead!  Hallelujah!

It’s wonderful.  God can raise people from the dead, whoever he wants to.  And it doesn’t make me any different whether you believe it or not.  It matters that I believe.  It matters that our work believes.  It matters that Jesus is King.

We see the dead raised, the blinded eyes opened, the lame walking, and all sorts of tumours fall off people and every kind of miracle – tuberculosis is healed.  Yes we get that, we do get that and let me tell you something, that’s the very reason I was so cautious about going into this revival with the rest of the world; because I don’t want our work tainted at all.

Our work has got high integrity.  It’s new.  It’s fresh.  It’s just 20 years old and I want the thing to carry over into the next millennium with glory and honour and victory!  And we will, in Jesus’ name, if Jesus doesn’t come back.

So, I blocked it.  I wouldn’t allow people to talk about this new revival that’s taking place in the world.

People say, “You can’t tell people what to preach.”

I wasn’t telling them what to preach, I was telling them what not to preach.  They could preach on anything but this thing that was going on.  We are stuck up in the mountains.  It’s off the trail.  It’s not a beaten path.  It’s hard to get to.  It’s not an easy thing to accomplish, and so people never would come to see us.

But now we’re a thousand strong and we’ve got every kind of miracle known, so now everyone wants to come!    That’s fine, you can come, but there are certain things you’re not going to talk about.

The work must be protected.  It’s a worthy thing that God’s doing.  But God can do it because God wants to.  God can quicken the dead if he wants to.  I watched him do it, I’ve personally been in on 19 dead raisings and I know.  I have watched people.  We had a couple of girls that were dead for 3 days that were lying, covered in lime and the Holy Spirit brought them back from the dead.  It’s wonderful.  A couple of teenage girls.  They loved it when they got up, spitting that lime out of their mouths.

Remember Romans 4:20: Abraham ‘staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.’

God’s visitation

So, about the new wine.  I was blocking people, not God.  I wanted something that would last.

I visited an outlying village.  It took 4 hours in a 4 wheel drive and then 2 hours on foot, uphill.  It’s very remote.  There’s no radio, no T.V., and no outside influences.  I was sitting up there in this little hut on a piece of wood against the bamboo wall on the dirt floor.  Chickens were walking around in there.

The pastor walked up to me.  He’s a little guy, and he was trembling.

He said, “Brother David, I’m really afraid I’ve made a mistake.”

I hadn’t heard of any mistakes.  I was wondering what had happened in the last few days.  He’s got four little churches in his area.

He said, “It’s not my fault.  I apologise.  I’ve done everything right, like you taught me.  I pray everyday.  I read the Bible.  I’m doing it right.  What happened is not my fault.”

I said, “What happened?  Come on, tell me what happened.”

He was trembling.  Tears were running out of his eyes.  He said, “Brother David, I got up in our little church.  I opened my Bible and I started preaching and the people started falling down.  The people started crying.  The people started laughing.  And it scared me.  I ran out of the church.”

That’s what I was looking for.  That’s what I was waiting for, when God came in our work, not because somebody came and preached it, not because I said it was okay or not okay, because I was neutral about it.  I knew it was all right, but I wanted to see it in our work not because I ushered it in, but because the Holy Spirit ushered it in.  And he did.

I got together with my pastors and we made a covenant to do a month’s fast in September 1995.  This was as well as the 3 days on and 3 days off fast that we had been doing that year anyway, so we were ready for whatever God wanted to do.  That year every day at least 365 people were fasting.

God hit me on the third day of that month of fasting, but I continued the fast and on the seventh day he hit me again greater than I’ve ever been hit in my life up to that point.  But we continued fasting for the whole month.

The River of God

Psalm 47:4-5 says, ‘There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God.  God is in the midst of her…’

I found the river.  It’s real.  The Shekinah presence of God has come into our work.  There is a river of God wider and deeper than we know.

The minute you think you are accomplishing something is the minute you should repent.  Find ways to keep yourself humble.  Look for ways to not be a ‘big shot’ and to stay in the river.  We are the habitation of God, Zion, God’s people.  He wants us flowing in the river.

It doesn’t matter what’s around us – bullets, knives, disease, the state of the economy.  It matters that our eyes are fixed on Jesus.  When the Holy Spirit fell on us there was war around us.  Bullets were being fired.  People were dying.

I don’t have words to describe what happened to us when the Holy Spirit fell on us on Friday 27 October 1995.  If you had been there, you wouldn’t have words to describe it either.

It’s an awesome thing I’ve been able to witness.

The river of God is here, and it’s full.  There’s plenty for all.

We were in an awesome time.  I didn’t know how deep we were in the river of God.  I’d been fasting for a month, and I didn’t know what was happening.    So I decided to get my pastors together in each section.  We had groups of about 30-75 pastors in each section.  I went into the most conservative area of our mission first, because I wanted to see what would happen.

At the first meeting, with about 75 of my pastors I got up, I opened my Bible, and I shared one or two verses.  Suddenly I felt, that’s enough.  They’re used to me preaching two hours sometimes, but it hadn’t been ten minutes.

I said, “Stand up.”  And they stood up.

I said, “Receive the River of Life.”

You should have seen it!  It looked like someone was hitting them with bats in the stomach and the head.  But nobody was touching them.  People were lying over benches, forward, backward, all over the place.  I was trying to help, but I couldn’t help.  People were just flying everywhere.  And these were ministers.

So I went through all the sections like that.  I got into one section, and they were glad to see me.  They hadn’t seen me in a few months.  I stood up.  I opened my Bible.  I read one verse about the fire of God, and the people started shaking.

I thought, “Oh God, this is way out.”

So I said, “Stand up.”  They tried to stand up.  Some of them couldn’t stand up.  I just said the word “Fire.”  And the whole place fell.

It was getting more and more scary to me.  But people were getting healed without anybody touching them.

A man in that meeting had been deaf for 27 years.  I didn’t know the man.  He fell over and hit his head on a bench, and fell underneath the bench.  He got up from there after a few minutes and he took off running out of the room.  His ears had unstopped and he was running from the noise!

Amazing conference

After I had been through all the sections, introducing this softly, it finally came time to call all the pastors together from the whole work.  A couple of hundred of our pastors came.  I wish you had been there to see what we saw!  It was amazing.

On the first day there were about 200 pastors there, and the whole church that was hosting us.  That made about 450 people.

The first day was awesome.  God hit us powerfully.  There were healings.  I was happy.  The people were encouraged.

The second day was even better.  It was stronger.  I thought we were peaking out on the second day.  I got there at 8 o’clock in the morning and left at 10 o’clock at night, and there was ministry all day.  We were fixing problems, and God was working through the ministry.  It was wonderful.

But I tell you, I was not ready for the third day.

We were coming in from different areas.  The Indians were all there.  I didn’t know they had been in an all night prayer meeting.  I didn’t know that the Holy Spirit had fallen on them and they couldn’t get up.  I didn’t know that they had been pinned down by the Holy Spirit all night long, all over the place, stuck to the ground.  Some of them had fallen on ant beds, but not one ant bit them.

I was staying about 45 minutes away.  I got in my 4 wheel drive and as I drove there I began listening on the two-way radio.  Some of our missionaries were already there, and were talking on the two-way radio saying, ‘What’s happening here.  I can’t walk.’

As I listened to them on the radio I felt power come on me.  And the closer I came, the more heat I felt settling on me.  I could feel heat, and I had my air conditioner going!

When I got to the little church, I opened the door of the truck and instantly became hot.  Sweat poured off me.  I was about 300 yards from the church.  The closer I got, the more intense was the heat.  I could hardly walk through it, it was so thick.  I’m talking about the presence of God.  That was 7.30 in the morning!

I walked around the corner of the building.  People were all over the place.  Some were knocked out.  Some were on the ground.  Some were moaning and wailing.  It was very unusual, and I could hardly walk.  By the time I got to the front of the church where the elders were I could hardly walk.  I was holding on to things to get there.  I could hardly breathe.

The heat of the presence of God was amazing.

The people had been singing for two hours before I got there.  At 8.15 on the morning of October 27th, 1995, I walked up there and lay my Bible down on that little wobbly Indian table.  Hundreds were looking at me.  Some were knocked out, lying on the ground.  I could hardly talk.

I called the nine elders to the front and told them the Holy Spirit was there and we needed to make a covenant together, even to martyrdom.  We made a covenant there that the entire country of Mexico would be saved.  They asked me to join them in that pact.

When we lifted our hands in agreement all nine fell at once.  I was hurled backward and fell under the table.  When I got up the people in front fell over.  In less than a minute every pastor there was knocked out.

We were ringed with unbelievers, coming to see what was going on.  The anointing presence of God came and knocked them all out, dozens of them.  Every unbeliever outside, and everyone on the fence was knocked out and fell to the ground.  There were dozens of them.

From the church at the top of the hill we could see people in the village below running out screaming from their huts and falling out under the Holy Spirit.  It was amazing.

We always have a section for the sick and afflicted.  They bring them in from miles around, some on stretchers.  There were 25-30 of them there.  Every sick person at the meeting was healed: the blind, the cancerous, lupus, tumours, epilepsy, demon possession.  Nobody touched them but Jesus.

There was instant reconciliation between people who had been against each other.  They were laying on top of each other, sobbing and repenting.

I was afraid when I saw all of that going on.  I looked up to heaven and said, “God what are you … ?” and that was the end of it.  He didn’t want to hear any questions.  Bang!

I was about three or four metres from the table.  When I woke up some hours later, I was under the table.

When I finally woke up my legs wouldn’t work.  I scooted myself around looking at what was going on.  It was pandemonium!  When some people tried to get up, they would go flying.  It was awesome.

We had five open-eyed visions.

One small pastor was hanging onto a pole to hold himself up.  He was there, but he wasn’t there.  He said to me, ‘Brother David, look at him.  Look at him, Brother David!  Who is it?  Look how big he is!  Oh, he’s got his white robe on.  He’s got a golden girdle.’  It was Jesus.

He said, “Brother David, how did we get into this big palace?”

I looked around.  I was still on the dirt floor.  I still had a grass roof over me, but he was in a marble palace, pure white.

I crawled over to look at him.  He was seeing things we could not see.  Another of the elders, a prophet from America, who had been working with me for thirteen years, crawled over and we were watching this pastor who was in a trance.  It was amazing.

The three of us were inside something like a force field of energy.  Anybody who tried to come into it was knocked out.  It was scarey.

The pastor said, ‘He’s got a list, Brother David.’  And he started reading out aloud from the list.

I was looking around, and as he was reading from the list people went flying through the air, getting healed and delivered.  It was phenomenal, what God was doing.  And he’s done it in every service in our work that I’ve been in since then.  It’s been over a year.  It’s amazing.  Wonderful.

Rev 22:1 says, “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

I saw that river.  I actually saw the river, its pure water of life from God’s throne.  If I could see it again I would know it.  I saw it.  I experienced it.  I tasted it.

God came because we waited, and listened.  We didn’t jump in at the first sprinkle.  We will keep it through prayer and fasting.

Between 150 and 500 people per month are being saved because of it, just through what the North American missionaries are doing.

Do you really want it?

© Renewal Journal 9: Mission, 1998, 2nd edition 2011
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

Now available in updated book form (2nd edition 2011)
Renewal Journal 9: Mission – Book Depository – free airmail worldwide

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Mission

See current updates on https://renewaljournal.com/

Renewal Journal 9: Mission

Contents

Renewal Journal 9: MissionThe River of God, by David Hogan

The New Song, by C. Peter Wagner

God’s Visitation, by Dick Eastman

Revival in China, by Dennis Balcombe

Mission in India, by Paul Pilai

Harvest Now, by Robert McQuillan

Pensacola Revival, by Michael Brown

Reviews: Building a Better World  by Dave Andrews,  Surprised by the Power of the Spirit & Surprised by the Voice of God both by Jack Deere, Secrets of the Argentine Revival, by R Edward Miller

Renewal Journal 9: Mission – PDF

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Editorial

Unprecedented evangelism and mission

Unprecedented evangelism and mission continue to accelerate around the world.   No one can keep up with the amazing accounts of this global harvest.  Similarly, the accounts of outpourings of the Holy Spirit with miracles, signs and wonders increase.  Often these cause huge numbers to respond in conversions to Christ.

Jesus said this would be so.  All the gospels and the book of Acts tell of the risen Lord’s commission for our mission.  Each command concerning our mission in the world includes the promise of God’s presence and power essential to fulfilling our mission.

Matthew 28:18-20.  All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus, so we are to go and make disciples of all peoples (ethna – ethnic groups, people groups).  This includes baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded.  He is with us to the end of the age.

Mark 16:15-18.  This controversial command includes going into all the world and preaching the gospel to everyone.  Signs accompanying that involve casting out demons in Jesus’ name, speaking in new tongues, protection from evil, and placing hands on the sick so they recover.

Luke 24:46-49.  Repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in Jesus’ name to all people, and Jesus said he himself would send the Holy Spirit promised by the Father, so the disciples had to wait for that.  And Luke tells how it happened in his second book – The Acts.

John 20:21-23.  As the Father sent Jesus, so Jesus sends us.  He breathed on his disciples and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’  They did.  So must we.

Acts 1:8.  Jesus last promise and command was that his followers would receive power when the Holy Spirit came on them, and they would be his witnesses to the ends of the earth.  This issue of the Renewal Journal tells a little of that continuing story.

David Hogan describes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit among Mexican mountain tribes.

John Piper grounds the goal and task of missions in worship.  God is great, and greatly to be praised.  The supreme purpose in all mission is God’s glory in everything.  Ultimately all the earth shall worship him.

Peter Wagner gives a brief global sweep of the massive prayer movement in the earth today and describes some of its impact.  Dick Eastman provides further examples of the current astounding harvest in mission.

Dennis Balcombe reports on the growth of the church in China with the miracles accompanying ministry there.  Paul Pilai, a converted Hindu, tells of signs and wonders accompanying mission among Hindu people in India.

Robert McQuillan surveys revival developments in Argentina as well as at Sunderland in England and Pensacola in America, and Michael Brown summarises developments at Pensacola where over 60,000 have now indicated commitments to Christ since June 1995.

The backdrop and context for much of these revivals include increasing violence, families torn apart, death and moral decay worldwide.  Sin abounds.  However, grace abounds even more.  The light still shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot put it out.

Historically, great revivals and moves of God’s Spirit have often broken through into dark times.  That still happens.

We can pray and believe for powerful moves of God’s Spirit in our land, that thousands may yet come to faith with lives and families transformed.

The nineties into the 21st century proved to be fascinating decades in the history of the church, and we expect that the years ahead will see even more profound changes as the kingdom of God breaks in upon us ever more fully.

© Renewal Journal 9: Mission, 1997, 2nd edition 2011

 

Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

Now available in updated book form (2nd edition 2011)

Contents of all Renewal Journals

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GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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