I have been recently re-reading “The Heavenly Man“. It is the story of one of the leaders of the underground Chinese church, who goes by the name Brother Yun. The forward is written by Zhang Rongliang, who is currently in prison in China himself.
It is a story of someone who has undergone more pain and suffering for the gospel than most of us can fathom.
In the west, we have homes to live in, insurance, agencies that will care for us if anything goes wrong and many other comforts. Yet people still wonder why God hasn’t provided them with a lotto win, or let them loose weight without exercising.
Yun has walked out of a prison after having his legs beaten to a pulp.
He has spent nights in freezing cold, while running from the authorities.
He has spent years in forced labour camps, carrying rocks or manure.
And that is just the beginning.
I’m often asked about the rights of pastors in China. A pastor has no rights, except the rights of a slave! Everyone in the world is a slave. They’re either slaves to sin, or slaves of Christ. Our “rights” are in the hands of Jesus. We must fall on our knees in complete dependence on him. (p 313)
There are many visions and miracles mentioned, but don’t for a minute confuse Yun’s ministry with the western charismatic movement.
In Finland in 1999 I was asked to be one of the main speakers at a conference attended by about one thousand church leaders. The main speaker was a well-known American preacher. Every time he spoke it was about the love and goodness of God. During the prayer time everyone fell down on the floor and laughed.
After I spoke I commanded people to kneel down at the foot of the cross of Jesus, and they wept! Tears always come first before the Lord truly moves. He will never pour his blessing out on unsanctified and selfish flesh. The cross of Jesus must be at the centre of everything we do.
In China, the greatest miracles we see are not the healings or other things, but lives transformed by the gospel. We believe we’re not called to follow signs and wonders but instead the signs and wonders follow us when the gospel is preached. We don’t keep our eyes on the signs and wonders; we keep our eyes on Jesus.
Every house church pastor in China is ready to lay down his life for the gospel. When we live this way, we’ll see God do great things by his grace.
If you read only one book about a modern Christian, read this one.
It will change your life.