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By Ruth Wang
on September 30, 2016 03:09 AM
"I have a dream that our Chinese church should turn into the church in Acts. This is called revival, not merely done with many people or many being baptized. It means that we should recover to the church in the time of Acts." Rev. Dennis Balcombe said in the opening ceremony of 2016 Chinese and Korean Revival Conference held on Jeju Island, Korea, on September 26.
Dennis, the founder of Revival Chinese Ministries International, shared the revival dream for the Chinese church where he has served for decades.
Born in California, the pastor with white skin said he was born for China yet and his fellow workers who have operated with him for years claim that he has a Chinese heart. He confirmed God's calling at 16 and went to Hong Kong to learn in 1969. He has visited China for several times since 1978 and witnessed the revival in Chinese house church in the past decades, ministering them in the process.
Meanwhile, he has been leading Chinese revival conferences in Europe in the past years, hoping that the Holy Spirit may revive China and lead the revival in the global church and mission. Here, he shares his vision and understanding of revival again, stressing that the wonders and miracles shall not be ignored in evangelism because they follow Jesus' ministry and the church in Acts.
It should never be forgotten that a Spirit-filled man can speak in tongues and practice spiritual gift while the more prominent evidence is to receive power to witness the Lord.
Below is the summary of his sharing:
His testimony of experiencing the Holy Spirit
He grew up in a traditional church and attended Sunday services weekly for 16 years. At first, he started to doubt the existence of God for he couldn't see God's work in the church. The church did things the way opposite to that the Bible teaches; therefore, he might leave the church as an intellectual, holding that Christianity was unreasonable and the things said the Bible never happened. But one day, one of his classmates invited Dennis to visit his church filled with the Holy Spirit. He heard people talking in tongues like French and Hebrew and miracles that the deaf could hear, the blind see and the drug addicts get rid of the addiction. Then, he realized that the Gospel and Jesus in the Bible are real, it was only that he hadn't heard the real gospel, but just the social gospel in the past.
Three months later, he dedicated himself to be a preacher in 1961. He has been preaching the gospel after 57 years since that day.
Do you have vision from heaven?
Acts 26:19-20 "So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.
It records that Paul witnessed that he had a vision from heaven.There's a word ---"vision" in Christianity. It appears in both Christianity and other fields including business, religions, government and education.
He give two examples that Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King Jr. both had visions.
The Bible says, "Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint." Then do you have a dream for your church, family and ministry? Does God talk to you?
He who loves reading and research once dreamed to be a scientist as an intellectual, but he saw God's calling at 16 --- to serve China. He has been doing this after 57 years passed.
The first sentence in the Great Commandment is "Go"
Mark 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
Then the Lord promised after announcing the Commandment, "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."
Dennis shares that he experienced the revival in Henan in the 1980s when many people preached the Gospel and some even went to evangelize in Northeastern China where there were rare believers. They preached along with the Holy Spirit revival.
Some years ago, he met a local pastor who once heard his sermon in a local church in 1989 when the locals saw a foreigner for the first time. The pastor shared that his church had developed into the congregation of 3000 from 200 in the beginning and had a large church that could hold more people after a few months. They were filled with the Spirit.
The pastor said that he didn't want to be a Christian and be prosecuted like his parents in Dennis' sermon, but the Spirit came down and he saw many miracles performed with the help of Dennis' prayer. This was a revival that the Spirit led in China and the great love of God for China.
Dennis continues he will share the truth of "perfect gospel" and only this should be preached and help the Gospel spread widely.
Moreover, the miracle of healing can testify the resurrection of Jesus and most of Chinese Christians have heard or saw the miracles done in the name of Jesus.
Acts 2:22"Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know."
Notice that it mentions "Jesus of Nazareth" who performed miracles and Peter didn't say "son of God". Jesus, as a man filled with the Spirit, preached the good news of the kingdom.
So we cannot heal diseases, drive out demons or perform miracles before receiving the Spirit.
Hebrews 2:3-4 How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
The Lord and his disciples declared the salvation through words and the signs, miracles and the gift of the Holy Spirit gave witness along with them.
Without the Holy Spirit, the church will gradually become the church in Laodicea. Nowadays, the fullness of the Holy Spirit and miracles performed by men are the center of the church in the New Testament, despite the fact many evangelical churches today show no miracle. He declared that the power of the Spirit is what the Chinese church needs the most.
1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.
Among these eight positions, Dennis speaks that four of them are related to Pentecostalism: prophets, workers of miracles, those having gifts of healing and speaking in different kinds of tongues.
Does your church have these positions?
This is a time of revival when everyone who believes shall receive a gift.
Miracles and wonders follow real apostolic mission. Moreover, believers devote themselves to the apostles' teaching. (Acts 2:42-44)
Dennis' dream: Hope Chinese church recover and become the church in Acts. The Chinese church has been facing many persecutions and heavy pressure while these problems affected the church for generations.
However, look at Acts where the apostles didn't pray to the Lord to judge enemies or to guard the church after having been persecuted. They prayed for boldness, healing, miraculous signs and wonders. (Acts 4:29-30)
This should be our prayer topic: give us boldness to evangelize and even though there is persecution, we should thank and ask for unity and bless our people.
Gospel proclamation along with miracles performed is the most successful mission method in the New Testament and among the recent global mission.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
The Spirit-filled man can speak in tongues and practice spiritual gifts, but the most prominent evidence is receiving the power to witness the Lord.
There was a revival in Shandong in the 1930s and a hymn centered around the verse became popular then. May we experience that the kind of revival and be witnesses for the Lord to the ends of the earth.
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