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    0012 mc577chinarevival 0012 mc577chinarevival Document Transcript

    • 1 Rethinking Contemporary Revival Through The Evaluation of “China’s Open Door and Revival” TABLE OF CONTENTS ( MC 557—Contemporary Revival) i. Introduction.................................................................................................................................... II. Historical Perspective................................................................................................................... A. The Chinese Quickening in the 1900s...................................................................................... B. China Revival in 1980s- 2000................................................................................................... C. The Observations of “ China’s Open Door and Revival”......................................................... D. Persecution and Church Growth............................................................................................... E. Faith or Face?............................................................................................................................ III. THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE......................................................................................... A. A Theology of Spirit-Empowerment is Needed....................................................................... B. Fear of Emotionalism................................................................................................................ C. Attitude of the Pharisees Quenches the Spirit........................................................................... D. Testing the Authenticity of the Revival.................................................................................... IV. BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE.................................................................................................... A. A Definition of Revival............................................................................................................ B. A Normal Christian Life in a Horizontal Movement................................................................ C. A Passion for God’s presence................................................................................................... D. The Floor Time—the Benefits of Brokenness.......................................................................... E. Four Aspects of the Great Commission.................................................................................... F. Revival Versus Evangelism....................................................................................................... V. MISSIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE........................................................................................ A. Worship and Witness................................................................................................................ B. Apostolic Paradigm................................................................................................................... 1
    • 2 C. End-Time Phenomenon............................................................................................................ VI. CONCLUSION–MISSIONAL APPLICATION.................................................................... I. INTRODUCTION From 1985 on, at the worldwide level, there has been a spiritual awakening toward Christianity much more significant than previously. Some scholars mark 1985 as the turning point for this “revival” awareness, the world experienced a World-Wide Revival in 1985, but most didn’t recognize it. This paper is going to evaluate the documentary film of “China’s Open Door and Revival”—with six short video sketches of Christian ministry in Hong Kong and China which happened to take place from 1985 following. In 1998, “Revival Chinese Ministries International” produced this video. I will attempt try to evaluate from four perspectives, to include history, theology, biblical view and missiology. I will try to discern whether this “China Revival” is a genuine revival. Also, I will discuss the related issues, which have been raised by it. I will make a missional conclusion, followed by the trend-- the World-Wide Revival, which is the harvest that the Lord promised in the Bible. II. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE Joel 2: 21-24 contains the promise of the “abundance” which has to do with the return of Jesus Christ, “ . . .The threshing floors will pile high again white wheat, and the presses overflow with olive oil and wine.” Nothing is more important for us at this present time than to read the history of the past and to rediscover its message. We are not confronting a new problem. Abraham had the problem of finding water; Isaac had precisely the same problem. The difference of the problem is on the surface. God remains the same, humanity remains the same, and the New Testament reminds us that the solutions to the problem remains the same: “ Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” ( Heb.13:8). The history of Church has been 2
    • 3 a history of turbulent ups and downs as has that been of China (Lloyd-Jones 1987: 24). A. The Chinese Quickening in the 1900s. In the last decade of the Nineteenth Century, China suffered humiliation after humiliation at the hands of foreign powers. The rising anti-foreign feeling was directed against missionaries, as well as other foreigners including traders. At the turn of the twentieth century the Awakening in China occurred in three phases: 1.1900-1905-- a prayer movement; 2.1906-1909 —a wide spread awakening; 3.1908-1909-- extra ordinary revival continue till the Revolution in 1911. In the spring of 1900, a revival of great power swept the North China College and a nearby church at Tungchow. It proved to be a “baptism” for future suffering. The meetings progressed from times of confession to times of consecration with, awakening joy continuing for three weeks or more. Confession and public confession of sin make special features of the whole movement (Orr 1973: 163). It was reported at the Edinburg Mission Conference the ethical and social changes and transformations in the work of God. The Revival in China in these years proved to be the beginning of an indigenous spirit in the Chinese churches. In spite of opposition, a way was being prepared at last for the coming of the Great Awakening among the Chinese Christians. The Revolution of 1911, although directed by a professed Christian, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, marked the beginning of a reaction against Christianity. The popularity of the Church decreased as the strength of nationalism developed. The churches also became less evangelistic as education took the place of a vigorous evangelism. More than half the missionary force was engaged in teaching. Fortunately, another evangelical awakening occurred before China’s second Revolution, beginning in the latter half of the 1920s and continuing throughout the 1930s. This 3
    • 4 wide movement was even more indigenous in its personal affects than the awakening of the 1900s (Orr 1973: 164). B. China Revival in 1980s- 2000 God opened doors that no one can close. In Mainland China, the population of Christians grew from three million to thirty million between 1949 to 1980; now there are over 100 million Christians in the Mainland as of this year, despite of persecution and restriction, particularly in the under ground or unregistered churches (class note). Though there were many pessimistic predictions by doomsayers that Hong Kong would lose its freedom and the ministry to China would be curtailed or stopped after the handover to China in 1997. Nothing could be further from the truth. The doors are more open than at any other time. After 155 years as a British Colony, Hong Kong became part of the People’s Republic of China on July 1, 1997. China’s “five-start red flag” to many symbolized an atheistic Marxism and a government whose policy has been that of persistent religious persecution and suppression of political dissidents. Many were Christians, including pastors who feared the worse and did not want to chance having to live under Communism left Hong Kong for another countries. Many Christian organizations doing “ China Ministry “ relocated to other Asian nations. To these people, the lowering of the British flag signaled “closing doors”, another sign of an anti- Christ force taking control throughout the world. However, more Chinese Christians saw this as a great “Open Door” to reach 1. 25 billion people in the Mainland with the Gospel. A spirit of prayer and hunger for revival and gifts of the Holy Spirit came to many of the Hong Kong churches. Pastor Dennis Balcombe believes that Revival in China will possibly open soon and China will become a free, prosperous, powerful nation where Christ is honored. We must keep our eyes open to see that before the return of our Lord, the words of the prophet will be fulfilled 4
    • 5 "Look at the nations and watch-- and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told ( Hab. 1:5).” Further, Pastor Dennis Balcombe, who the Senior Pastor of “Revival Chinese Ministries International” said: “ If we visit the home churches in China, it is like returning to the days of the Book of Acts.” The Chinese church is a model for churches that all-Christian should desire to experience. Lacking property, buildings, Bible seminaries, trained clergy and these Chinese home churches are very strong.” The secret is that Persecution has driven the Body of Christ to the foundations of the Word of God and a reliance on the Holy Spirit., God’s principles, pattern of revival for the last day. We are possibly at the beginning of a great World-Wide Revival that will bring in this harvest! C. The Observations of “China’s Open Door and Revival” This documentary film shows, people bearing witness to God’s Kingdom both with signs and wonders, with miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit (Hab. 2:4). These phenomena include: demons cast out through speaking in tongues; eight hundred people witness the healing of a nineteen-year-old young woman who was blind since birth; other many blind and paralyzed people were healed; and a “whole village came to the Lord.”; a dead child was restored to life; and a commitment,“ Lord, I don’t mind losing face, but I really do not want this to cause people to mock your name and not believe in You. Please show forth your glory in this place.” Due to these miracles, many people in that area burned all their idols and affirmed belief in Jesus. “Revival comes by faith in God’s Word and intense prayer.” The young people ages 16-20, are not educated, but are via hearing and memorization God’s Word. They were willing to devote their lives to God and prepared to be equipped that God would use them. They were 5
    • 6 all filled with the Spirit and fell on the floor. Some were laughing and others were crying. The instant lengthening of short arms and legs both increased the faith of believers and brought non- believers to Christ. Overseas Christians are always greatly impressed by the prayer of Mainland Christians. They are up at 4:30a.m. each morning and pray fervently, in tongues and with tears flowing down their faces. At a five-day Retreat Sunday School children were “lifted to Heaven.” The lame walked, the dead came to life. Even illiterate people were able to read the Chinese Bible! To see people dancing, roaring, speaking in tongues, especially miracles, inner and physical healing produced praise and thanksgiving, weeping, crying, shaking, laughing, jerking, sing in the Spirit. D. Persecution and Church Growth These testimonies “proved” that today Jesus uses miracles, signs and wonders to testify to the truth of the Word that is preached. God uses ordinary Chinese, not powerful or educated evangelists. Persecution and church growth go hand-in-hand. The Chinese Christians know the message of the cross. Many say, “ Jesus died for me; the very least I can do is to die for Him.” “. . . they are persecuted because the Kingdom of Darkness uses both ordinary citizens and authorizes those who have no understanding of the Christian Church to oppose the work of the Gospel.” A Henan preacher was just released from several years of imprisonment. As he related his sufferings, the believers all begin to weep. Some prayed that, “ Lord, why is it You have blessed him so greatly that he is privileged to suffer for you? Please allow me the great blessing of being able to take up my cross and suffer with You.” 6
    • 7 E. Faith or Face? When the awesome forces of God's Kingdom are brought to bear on a people, wonderful things begin to happen. The common people hear gladly and are enlarged and liberated. But, on the other hand, the proud people are often enraged. In Revival as in this one the status quo is challenged, long-held traditions are forsaken, theological strongholds crumble, and many societal doors are blown off their hinges. When the Holy Spirit is conquering a people by God's love, a full range of emotions will be on display. There may be weeping, wailing, trembling, running, spiritual drunkenness, clapping, laughing and dancing. The author of Dynamics of Revival, Chip does not believe all such manifestations of religious zeal are of God, for some of them are demonic and some are simply the overworked emotions of immature believers. But, among them are the genuine reactions of an earnest people seeking to know and respond to a supernatural God ( 700 Club, TV interview Oct. 2000). Eneas Tognini, a leader of Revival in Brazil, said that there are diverse concepts on what a Revival is like: fire, earthquake, wind, shouting, excesses, confusion and disorder. However, a real Revival is the direct work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer. Whether those physical and emotional manifestations ( listed in syllabus p.43) is from God or from Devil had caused lots of confusion. Dr. Deiros pointed out that if people are fearful, then you can tell it is from the Devil. Being aware of the Devil’s scheme of deception is vital, of course. Experiences such as viewed in the film may be found in the Scripture and historical documents. Debating as to whether these forms of God’s work are valid or not is not important alt all. The issue is that God is at work. The theological issues undergirded substitutional theological understanding of the Holy God. “My emotion is not against that understanding. It is expression of His operation in my life. My body, together with my intellect are responses to my 7
    • 8 will, not contradicting between one and the other.” It is worth making clear that these kinds of manifestations may not always have God as the source of power. It is true that some are not genuine. "As influences of the true Spirit abounded, so did falsifications. The devil showed himself active in the imitation of both the current and the extraordinary influences of the Holy Spirit of God . . .” ( class note). III. THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE New Wine cannot be put into old wineskins ( Mk. 2:22). Every time one tries to ignore God’s clear teaching, one fails. In the light of the history of revivals and application of the truth, without a doubt it is the discovery of the following cardinal doctrines that has led ultimately to Revival. There is always a preliminary basis to Revival. For example, the history of the Protestant Reformation occurred after Martin Luther both culturally and theologically seen the grand truth of “justification by faith” which resulted in the Protestant Reformation. The renewal was to return back to the theological truth, in the epistles to the Galatians and the Romans. This prepared the way for the outpouring of the Spirit. A similar pattern is seen in the Seventeenth, Eighteen and Nineteenth Centuries. Thus there are certain truths which are essential to Revival. If they are denied, or are neglected, or ignored, one has no right to expect the blessing of Revival (Lloyd-Jones 1987: 35). One can see that features of true Revival are reflected in the “China Revival”. These include: God Sensitive, Christ Centered, Spirit Empowered, Sin Exposing; Prayer Dependent, Mission Focus, Leadership Embracing, Faith Activated, Expectation Motivated, Structure and Strategy Renewing, Spiritual Warfare Committed, Power Appreciative, Environment Creating, 8
    • 9 Unity Oriented, Progressive, Rapid and Sudden Movement, Song Accompanied (Deiros 2000: 29-40). In the film, the following three phenomena have been magnified: 1) The truth concerning the sovereign, transcendent, living God who acts still, and who intervenes, and erupts into the history of the Church, and of individual. The Lord said “ My Father worked hitherto, and I work ( Jn. 5:17). 2) The authority of the Bible. The whole case of the Bible is that God is searching for humanity, and that he has revealed Himself. 3) Humanity is in sin and under the wrath of God. Since men and women in the midst of Revival are conscious of two things: One is their unutterable sinfulness. People groaning, agonizing under the conviction of sin( Jer. 17:9). Another is to recognize the presence of the living, and the holy God, and to see their own unworthiness. Thus, Revival reveals above everything else is the sovereignty of God, and the iniquity, the helplessness, the hopelessness sin. A. A Theology of Spirit-Empowerment is Needed A theology is needed which frees the Spirit to empower life and ministry because the primary active agent of Revival is the Holy Spirit. Many mainline conservative churches do not emphasize the ministry of the Holy Spirit. How can the Church function and be the Church without the Holy Spirit? The ministry and centrality of the Spirit in Revival would be hard to overstate the Book of Acts which is the “Acts of the Holy Spirit.” It would be very naïve to assume that all manifestations are of the Holy Spirit. While the Spirit is operating, the Devil is too, mimicking the Spirit’s activity, trying to create confusion and trouble, and put an end to the move of the Spirit. Discernment is needed--which is a gift of the Spirit-- to know whether it is a 9
    • 10 human spirit or evil spirit, or God’s Spirit. People will not see Revival without the Devil’s manifestation in both unbelievers and believers. The devil will try to blind people, create confusion, and hinder the work of God’s Spirit. Also in a true Revival there will be an activity of Satan and his demons, too. Devils will try to imitate manifestations to bring confusion. Both events occur together to bring trouble, confusion to believers. As a result, transformation will not always occur. Today events in some Chinese Churches are what Oswald Smith wrote: "There are a lot of ministers, Christian workers, and churches in Chinese context who do not want revival. They are afraid of what may happen. They are afraid of fanaticism. They abhor interruptions. They prefer a normal church service with each item carefully typewritten so that the service will go through from beginning to end in a dignified way and close right on the dot. Revival, they know, will break into their order of service. They have read enough about revivals to know that when revival breaks out, God comes on the scene and when God is present there are always interruptions." (The Passion for Souls, 111). B. Fear of Emotionalism Why do people have the fear of emotionalism, which is a God-given quality? It might be due to a pseudo-intellectualism, a false sense of what is respectable which is one of the greatest hindrances to Revival. The Apostle Paul is one of the greatest intellectuals this world has ever known. This Giant intellect was moved by the truth and moved to tears. Why are then so hard, and so intellectual and so controlled? It is better to come to “God’s house in freedom, ever expecting the power to descend upon us, and to have an experience of God and of Christ that will melt us, and move us, and break us, and make us forget ourselves. Quench not the Spirit. Despise 10
    • 11 not prophesying, but at the same time prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good (Lloyd-Jones 1987:67). Fear also embraces a lot of other attitudes against Revival. Revivals include new elements. Such as a new style of preaching. For example, Charles Wesley struggled at first with Whitefield’s style, because Wesley learned at the university and in the Anglican church, whereas Whitefield learned out in the field with a common vocabulary. God’s Word is going to accomplish no matter what (Isa. 55:11), even sometimes one may wonder why the Holy Spirit acts the way He acts, not follow “the rules” better? However, one needs to keep a balance of order and spontaneity. To have an ordered service, but also to be open to what the Holy Spirit wants to do. The famous American preacher Jonathan Edwards wrote, “order can be accompanied by the noise of men and women crying out for forgiveness, and falling to the ground.” Sometimes one pray for rain, but when the rain comes and interrupts the service there is anger because the service there is disrupted ( class note). C. Attitude of the Pharisees Quenches the Spirit In the midst of Revival, we still have the god of the philosophers, and the god of the deist and the rationalists. We need to have God’s grace to mediate on these things such as how we think of God? How do we approach God? What is our attitude in his presence? (Lloyd-Jones 1987: 38). One can be perfectly orthodox and yet our orthodoxy can be useless if one is failing in daily living. During the time of Revival, it is important that actions and attitudes are not like the Pharisees by becoming so narrow and formal that one loses sight of God’s incredible grace and mercy. The Pharisees were professional religious leaders. They had learned all the rules of the Book and the rules of the game of life. By externalizing “spirituality” the Pharisees actually 11
    • 12 thought that they were on the cutting-edge of the movement of leadership in their day and age. They believed and acted as they were only ones who were truly dedicated and loyal to the purpose of God. Dr. Frank Damazio wrote: “A Pharisee is one who restricts spiritual flow and spiritual experiences until religion becomes a purely intellectual and theological exercise. Every group of followers of Christ has the potential of developing pharisaic attitudes (1996: 249). Signs of Pharisaic attitudes include: resistance to anything new; negative Power or influence on people’s lives; discipline people into hypocrisy, legalism, wrong focus, criticism, a judgmental attitude, or exclusiveness. These are all signs of having a negative influence on people’s lives. The attitude of the Pharisees is also a narrow and rigid formalism, which is a focus on non-essentials. Blind to the true spiritual condition, spiritual emptiness and lip service, without heart service, hardness toward other’s problem. The Pharisaical attitude quenches the Holy Spirit. Revival time is a call to servanthood, a call to minister to the sick, the weak, the poor and the lost. “As we move into times of revivals, it is vital that we individual and corporately repent of any pharisaic attitudes in our midst. God is the initiator of revival and we are the responders.” (Damazio 1996:249) God is sovereign, and His sovereignty is revealed in the timing and in the manner and measure of the Holy Spirit’s working. D. Testing the Authenticity of the Revival Revival is an intensified moving of the Holy Spirit upon believers that should result in the start of an intensified process whereby believers become more mature in 12
    • 13 Christ. Unfortunately, Revival is usually accompanied by excesses and a general lack of wisdom and discernment. It is the responsibility of believers to test all things to make sure that are from God. In 1 Thessalonians 5: 21 “ These is the admonition to test all things; hold fast to what is good. Since God does not expect us to stop using our minds, Revival activities, beliefs, and behaviors must be spiritually discerned through the written Word of God and biblical principles, not by emotions, opinions, religious backgrounds, or personal likes or dislikes. Care must be taken that all experiences and manifestations during Revival produce long-lasting fruit: the fruit of holiness and the fruit of perseverance. The biblical focus is a Jesus focus. Then response will be the same as Jesus: ‘ . . . Let us go down from this mountain ( Mt. 17:9,14).” (Damazio 1996:149). True Revival causes a transformation from the mountaintop to the city. IV. BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE A. A Definition of Revival There may be varied definitions of Revival. For example, Revival is an act or instance of reviving and the state of being revived, with emphasis on a renewed attention to or interest in something forgotten, or an experience of renewed religious interest. The term occurs in various forms in the Old Testament more than 250 times. “To revive” comes from a Hebrew root form, which means, “to breathe.” Something that breathes is something living. Revival was “breath” in the life of God. The root may be translated, “revive, live, preserve, heal, prosper, flourish, save.” (Eze. 35:5-7; Job 33:4; 1 Kg. 17:22; Gen. 3:7; Hos. 6:3, 14:7; Hab.3:2.) In the New Testament, the comparable word means, “to live again.” (Rev. 25; Rom.14:9; Lk. 15:24; 32). Other terms refer to Revival as “rekindling of a slowly dying fire.” ( 2 Ti. 1:6.) Another 13
    • 14 meaning is to a plant which has put forth fresh shoots and is flourishing again (Phil. 4:10) ( class note). B. A Normal Christian Life in a Horizontal Movement The normal Christian life is a “revived” life as shown in the book of Acts, lived in a permanent state of Revival. Revivals in Old Testament days could last but a day or a week, but the effects would endure for a generation or more with circumstances determining the duration. However, most have come to regard the condition of the church as “normal” and signs of Revival as “abnormal.” The brothers and sisters in the “China Revival” live without knowing that they are in revival. As Norman P. Grubb said: . . . now I see that 'revival' in its truest sense is an everyday affair right down within the reach of everyday folk to be experienced in our hearts, homes and churches, and in our fields of service. ...The truth is that revival is really the Reviver in action, and He came two thousand years ago at Pentecost; so that really revival is not so much a vertical outpouring from heaven, for the Reviver is already here in His temple, the bodies of the redeemed; it is more a horizontal outmoving of the Reviver through these temples into the world. It is a horizontal, rather than a vertical movement. (Deiros 2000: 12) From this definition one can affirm that a Revival brings about the awakening and reformation of the church, and is followed by the reformation and salvation of sinners, going through the same stages of conviction, repentance, and reformation. So true Revivals could be the result of the spirit of humiliation and confession, the spirit of travail, the spirit of longing, the 14
    • 15 spirit of harmony, or unity is one of which the greatest requisites to Revival. In addition, Revival removes the barrier of the denomination and all the differences that divide. The issue is power instead of doctrine. The spirit of faith as demonstrated by intercessory prayer prepares Revival. (Deiros 2000: 11, 26) According to Dr. Frank Damazio, the twelve characteristics of a Biblical product in Revival are as follows: in submission to Jesus as the Lord ( Lk. 14:25-35; 9:23-25); filled with and living by the Holy Spirit ( Eph. 5:17-18); functioning in spiritual gifts( Rom.12:1-6); committed to and supporting the local church ( Ac. 2:37-47); fervent worshipers( Jn. 4:24; Rom 12:1); praying faithfully ( 2 Ti. 2:1; Col. 4:2); boldly share faith ( 1 Th. 11:8-10; Acts 1:1-8); giving generously ( 2 Co. 8-9; Mal. 3: 10-11); family builders ( Co. 3:18-21; Eph 6:1-2), serving others and overcoming the self life ( Lk. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-10); with a world vision ( Mt. 9:36-38; 28:16-18; Ac. 1:1-8) (1996:192 ). The film vividly portrays these characteristics. In amazing actions of love and concern, these Chinese Christians display the use of spiritual gifts, the prayers and the qualities of respect for others. These Chinese Christians shared generously from their poverty with others. The genuiness of the Chinese Revival appears valid. C. A Passion for God’s presence Revival is the time when the presence of God moves from the omnipresence to the manifest presence to the felt and reveals the personalized presence of God. “The key to the longevity of Revival is that we walk in the presence of God and that we walk in the Spirit. The presence of God is uniquely present through the Spirit's indwelling of the people of faith.” (Damazio 1996:174). According to 1 Kings 8:27, God not only fills the heavens, but He also fills the earth and 15
    • 16 people’s hearts with His presence. The presence of God is to be the great passion of every believer’s heart. Called to love the presence of the Lord and to desire to live in His presence every minute of the day should be the goal of ever believer. During a spiritual awakening, there is first an overwhelming awareness of the presence of God. There is a restlessness in the church until it finds a place of connection with the presence of God, entering into God’s rest. “God’s throne is beyond the highest heavens. The presence of God literally means to “fill up, to pervade, to permeate, to overspread, to be under the eyes of (Damazio 1996:168).” God's face is always turned toward humanity in acceptance and favor. When God is present, there is sustenance support to what God energizes. The film provides a window into the marvelous facets of joy and happiness resulting from God’s presence in the Chinese Christians. D. The Floor Time—the Benefits of Brokenness “China Revival” is not all emotion and high feelings of exaltation. One sees that the Revival brought people “down low, down to the ground, down to themselves” or so-called the floor time. First they were brought to a deep sense of sin, their own impurities. Then, God could bring into them a spirit of humility and brokenness. Since God knows that from a broken vessel there can be much light, God can renew a broken vessel, and He can fill it with whatever He would like. Then, all glory will go to Him (Damazio 1996: 56). Since maturity requires recognition of need. As a Revival spirit moves upon the hearts and spirits of believers to result in a representation of Christ' character and a manifestation of God's attributes. However, a Revival that results only in intensified emotional church services and experiences runs the risk of shallowness and a short lifespan. This renewal of Christian faith among the Chinese is being accompanied by an 16
    • 17 impressive numerical growth, organizational maturity, the emergence of a qualified leadership, unity among the pastors, greater evangelistic commitment, and a development in discipleship and ministry formation (Deiros 2000: 16). As the mission strategist, George Otis Jr. said, “ The Holy Spirit is moving, The Word of God is spreading. The Power of God is drawing millions of people to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” E. Four Aspects of the Great Commission Four aspects of the Great Commission in Mark 16: 15-18 have been highlighted as the result of “China Revival.” First, salvation is implicit in Jesus’ words, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (v.15). Second, there has been deliverance,“ In my name they will cast out demons” (v.16). Third, manifestations of the anointing of the Holy Spirit are evidently. They will speak in new tongues ( v17). Fourth, healing occurs as Jesus told his disciples, “They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover” (v.18). The understanding of the Lord’s command and practices of proclaiming, healing and casting out demons continue to be foundational to our ministry ( Wagner 1998: 63). One of the foremost contemporary historians and advocates of revival, J. Edwin Orr wrote that, in times without revival, believers look for non-believers. In times of revival, non-believers look for believers the answer of salvation. F. Revival Versus Evangelism Revival is not the same as evangelism. According to author C.E. Autrey, Revival is “a reanimating of those who already possess life. Revival in the strict sense of the word has to do with God's people. It revives spiritual life which is in a state of declension.” Further discussion 17
    • 18 of the differences is that, “Revival is an instrument of evangelism. Evangelism is confronting the unregenerate with the doctrine of salvation. Evangelism embraces the reviving of the dead Christians as well as offering salvation to the lost. The prime purpose of revival is to revive the saved. When the saved are revived it results in the salvation of the lost," (Revivals in the Old Testament, 13). V. MISSIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE A. Worship and Witness From “China Revival” video, can be seen events which are the same as in the New Testament, a true Revival, that is, a church life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit marked by two key activities: witness and worship. Where Revival is evident as new songs emerge and there is new and jubilant worship. Singing and music are strong characteristics of the China Revival: people don’t want to stop – their hearts are filled with love, awe and the joy of the Lord. Worship is another barometer to test Revival. Through video presentations, people are reminded how God opened many doors to the ministry in China, and how God has blessed and greatly expanded the ministry during the past thirty years. Today this ministry is impacting people throughout China and around the world. Like the lyrics of the song in the film entitled, “Unfailing Heart for China” the music and joy of worship continue in the Christian churches— . . . An unfailing heart for China is always within me, For your love fills every part of China. Let us proclaim that You have personally carried our affliction, That lost souls might be save . . . ( The Challenge of China, Dec. 1999). 18
    • 19 The purpose of “China Revival” is not for people to feel well or to be inspired for a short time, but to worship the Lord and to witness to the lost. The missionary spirit is another one of the major characteristics of the China Revival. Since a real and authentic spiritual revival cannot be separated from mission, both essentially are linked and emerge from the same biblical and theological foundation. There is a big difference between normal times and in the times of revivals. In normal times, people were asked to confess their sins and accepted Christ. However, in times of Revival, sinners ask how they can be saved. Not all Christians are meant to be evangelists, with a special calling to proclaim the Gospel to those who have not yet received it; but all Christians are meant to be witnesses. Most revivals have been local and never spread beyond a limited area. There have been nation-wide revivals and continent-wide revivals, but there has never been a worldwide revival. For this phenomenon there is still a hope. “China Revival” is not confined to religious belief, but expresses itself in every sphere of life. So China Revival is a mission focus which is based on the New Apostolic Paradigm, as discussed in the Book of Acts. B. Apostolic Paradigm The great Christian Apologist C.S. Lewis wrote: “ The church exists for nothing else but to draw men to Christ, to make them little Christ.” ( Mere Christianity, 169). Mission is a key element in renewal of the church. If one is to understand what is happening in the world today, the Christian paradigm needs to be changed. Author William Easum wrote: “A paradigms is a set of assumptions, beliefs, ideas, values, or expectation of what form or filter through which we make meaning out of life, create structure and process, view information ... and make value judgements (Dancing with Dinosaurs,13). Instead of a Christendom Paradigm, the Apostolic 19
    • 20 Church in the Book of Acts was based on the Apostolic Paradigm. The early church did not wonder if there was a spiritual Revival. In fact, what we call “spiritual revival” was the Apostolic Church’s way of life, due to total involvement with the mission ( Ac. 2:43; 4:16; 5:12; 6:8, 13; 5:12; Rom. 15:12; 2 Co. 12:12; Ac. 2:4). The role of Revival in today’s Christianity is based on the Apostolic Paradigm which is totally opposite from the purpose of The Christendom Paradigm. The later one was to convert the barbarous pagan to the Christian religion and the Christian civilization. The Christendom Paradigm is from being a persecuted minority—the congregation of the “called-out” ( ekklesia) – to being the congregation of the “ called-in”, accommodating itself to the ruling system. At this time there is desperate need for Christians to go into the world. The mission was outside the Church. To be a witness to the Kingdom did presuppose a willingness to be persecuted and to die for Christ-- to be a martyr ( Wagner 1998: 47). C. End-Time Phenomenon The present phenomenon of globalization not only forces us to evaluate any local phenomena adequately within their own space-time frame, but also within the global context in which the facts, both human and divine, take place. Author Chip Hill said that, “The Church today is more socially respectable than a holy spectacle, more phlegmatic than spiritually dynamic and more entertaining than sin restraining.” ( 700 Club TV interview, Oct. 2000). Chip believes that the next few years will record a hair-raising story of awesome revivals and awakenings in the midst of almost unbearable circumstances nationally and internationally. New vitality and fertility bring spring rain. Christ is no longer crying “his Widowhood but shouting joy” ( Isa. 54:1-5). One needs to enlarge the mindset of collecting the rain, enlarge in the place of 20
    • 21 the tent, stretching the tent curtain wide and not holding back. VI. CONCLUSION –MISSIONAL APPLICATION This evaluation and assessment of fulfillment of the promise are the tools to see what the Lord’s redemptive work in the world needs to be and do. A vision is needed of what the Church is meant to be. Through the “China Revival” one sees what is happening in the world today in a land of vast area and population. Revival shared often becomes Revival conceived. Significantly, “ China Revival” portrays women in great numbers being affected by the truth and demonstrated of the Holy Spirit. As a Christian young woman in ministry, I am much encouraged and blessed to know that women in ministry is a vital part of the current China Revival. Sadly, from the Communist regulation of one-child-one family policy, many baby girls were killed and /or abandoned since the cultural desire for sons pervade. Thus, to see women accepted and respected as colleagues in ministry in “China Revival” affirms to me an encouraging biblical Revival. The demonstration in Tiananmen Square by hundreds of Falungong cult followers and the papal proclamation of 106 Chinese Catholic martyrs on National Day ( Oct. 1st, 2000) has led to a tightening of control of religious affairs within China. It is to be noted that 70-80 % of Chinese Christians are peasants, many of them are poor and semi-literate. There is a great need for the effective evangelizing and teaching, and for the provision of pastors who have to live sacrificially on very low incomes. According to “ China-Religious News Updates” from Global Chinese Ministries, in Xiangshui County in Jiangsu three quarters of the registered Christians are women and currently at least 11 million people have personal computers and now use the 21
    • 22 internet. The access of Internet website would be an increasing ways of hope for everyone for Christian’s growth today. In class, Dr. Deiros said, “I see a lot of hope for mainline churches and denominations. I can’t believe that the Holy Spirit will abandon churches that have abandoned Him. God is faithful even when we aren’t. These people will be touched and transformed by the Holy Spirit.” The opportunity of accessing more suitable theological training materials in Chinese must be increased. The number of listeners to Gospel radio requesting Christian literature have increased also. Literate Mainland Chinese on the average spend two hours each day reading if there are materials. Since the crackdown on the Falungong cult, authorities are even stricter in controlling publishing. The need for Scriptures is still very great. Poor areas in Guizhou, Shandon, Sichuan, Shanxi provinces, for examples still need help in getting Bibles according to Global Chinese Ministries published by OMF International Dec. 2000- Jan 2001 reported. From this inspired “China Open door and Revival” documentary film, one can envision the future global trends that can come. These trends include the development of the Christian testimony in China and the theologizing from the Asian eye, especially from the suffering churches in China. The persecuted churches praise the Lord with joy, which comes out of pain and deprivation, learning how to worship the Lord, “ in Spirit and in truth” ( Jn. 4:24). New missionary conscience comes from the Third World. Surprising numerical growth in some places. Emerge with apostolic and missionary networks as well as prayer networks. There is multiplication of churches and increased human resources especially to the non-reached peoples. Globalization has increased the circulation of Christian information. There is an increasing exercise of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, with multiplication of testimonial signs and wonders. The availability of the Scriptures in many languages is increasing, as well as literately. 22
    • 23 Pessimism has characterized many Christians throughout the ages. However since apostolic days of long ago, there has not been such an evident work of the Holy Spirit as in the world today. “China Open Door and Revival.” has been focused the mighty works of God. I believe that there is going to be a World-Wide Revival in fulfillment of Habakkuk 1:5. The Church Growth Specialist, Peter Wagner has said “My guess would be that more reports of revival activity have come forth in 1990s than in the last eight decades combined. The frequency of revival reports is accelerating dramatically year after year. . .” (Deiros 2000:15). My vision is that I will see in reality what I dream. If one goes out with a coffee-cup to collect blessings that’s what one will get. But if one uses a larger basket, that collection will be large, God meets humanity at its expectancy. I expect great things from God for God’s people! 23
    • 24 REFERENCES CITED Brown, Michael L. 1996 From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire: America on the Edge of Revival. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers. Damazio, Frank. 1996 Sevival: Understanding the Appointed Times of Spiritual Refreshing. Portland, OR: BT Publishing. Derios, Pablo A. 2000 Syllabus of MC 557 Contemporary Revival. Fuller Seminary, Fall 2000. Global Chinese Ministries Dec. 2000-Jan. 2001 China –Religious News Updates, OMF INTERNATIONAL. Hill, Chip. 2000 700 Club Television Interview. Oct. Lloyd-Jones, Martyn. 1987 Revival. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books. Orr, J. Edwin. 1973 The Flaming Tongue: The Impact of 20th Century Revivals. Chicago, IL: Moody Press. Revival Chinese Ministries International 1998 “China’s Open Door and Revival” – a documentary film. 1999 The Challenge of China -- Ministry Report of Revival Christian Church ( Hong Kong SAR) and Revival Chinese Ministries International . Dec. 1999. http:// www. rcchk.org Wagner, C. Peter and Pablo A. Deiros. 1996 The Rising Revival. Ventura: Renew Books. 24