[b]"The RADICAL CHINESE HOUSE CHURCHES"[/b]
-by Denny Kenaston, The Remnant Magazine.
There is a powerful anointed church in China. She is a beautiful
bride prepared and waiting for her Bridegroom. I have read short
accounts of God's testimony on the other side of the globe and
been deeply challenged by their lives. Recently, at our Youth
Bible School, we had the privilege of hearing a detailed account of
many of their lives. Two men closely connected with the persecuted
church in China shared their story. When the meeting was over, I
sat and interviewed these two men, asking them specific questions
which I felt would help us American Christians get a vision. This
article is an account of that interview:
Bro Denny: When I was listening to you, I wrote a few questions
that I had wanted to ask you. One is about fasting and prayer.
How much do the people fast and pray in the house churches of China?
Bro Ren: Let us take prayer first. The leaders of the church in
China try to pray three to four hours a day. That is normal. But
then there are some brethren who are totally committed to pray.
Almost every minute they are awake, they are praying. They
cannot even be elders in the church because of the amount of time
they spend in prayer. They have two kinds of leaders in the church.
They have spiritual leaders, who fast and pray; then they have
practical operational leaders, who are active in everyday affairs of
the church. The praying leaders are praying for the whole church,
and especially for the practical leaders. They are not in a preaching
ministry. The operational leaders go to them for direction and
wisdom. Very few Westerners have ever met these elders. These
men are older men who cannot travel anymore, so they are mainly
in that ministry. It literally keeps the church on track. They hear
from the Lord and give answers to the practical leaders.
Bro Paul: I know a brother who never sleeps more than two hours
a night. He prays for 22 hours a day. The brothers and sisters pray
always, and there are many all-night prayer vigils. I have been to
some of these prayer meetings. By morning, the floor is slippery
because of all the tears that flow during prayer.
Bro Denny: What about fasting? What part does fasting play in all
these testimonies we have heard?
Bro Ren: There are two kinds of fasting in China. Most of the
pastors have to fast because they don't have money to buy food. It
is a natural part of their lives. The other kind of fasting is out of a
burden for someone or some spiritual issue. When you read from
Brother Yun's book, you will read how he fasted one hundred days
to get one Bible during the Cold War revolution. He was eating a
small bowl of rice each day; that is all. That means there was no
time that he wasn't fasting. After one hundred days of prayer and
fasting, he received a Bible in a supernatural way. That story is
there. It is not in anyway special. The people fast like that often.
The first time we sent about twenty people out to preach, nineteen
of them were arrested; one came back to report. Everyone else
was detained for six months. We sent another group. The same
thing happened. One lady came home on a stretcher. They
smashed her skull. She was paralyzed, but later God restored her.
When there is such resistance like this in one specific location,
then the whole team goes to fasting and praying. Usually this kind
of fasting will break the yoke within thirty days, and then the gospel
has free course. When there is a real resistance, the teams do not
try to push the gospel. They just go on their knees and wait on the
Lord to hear His voice for direction on what to do. They just keep
silent and continue to fast and pray. This is a very practical part of their
Bro Denny: Do they have corporate fasting where the whole church
joins in when a need comes up?
Bro Ren: Yes, they do. Let me just give you an example about
when the group Eastern Lightning kidnapped all of their leaders. I
met with the leaders from maybe ten different house church
networks. They would all say, "We have started once a week for
fasting and prayer for the release of these leaders." That was
something pronounced all around the body of Christ in China.
When Brother Yun was arrested the whole church in China was
fasting and praying.
Bro Denny: How do the Acts of the Apostles compare to the
Chinese church? What does the Chinese church believe about the
Book of Acts?
Bro Paul: They would say, "We are there. It is our normal Christian
life." They believe that Acts is a demonstration of the normal
Christian life. It is a testimony of the resurrected Christ, and He is
still the same today. They do not believe that miracles have passed away.
Bro Ren: We have to understand that the Gospel that is preached
in China, is a little bit different. The emphasis is not only
intellectual and mental messages. It is fifty percent preaching, fifty
percent showing the power of the Gospel. There is always an
expectation and readiness for miracles. It is normal that anytime
when the message of the Gospel is pronounced, there is going to
be a demonstration of the power of God in that situation. People
can see clearly that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He is the
Savior of the world. The church of China is not praying for miracles,
but they are living in miracles. It is like Paul said: it is the normal
Think about the challenge of the countries west of China, like the
many Muslim countries. The only thing that can really bring an
opening to these people is a demonstration of God's compassion.
You have to show them that you have something more than all
these gods they are bowing to. You have to prove your case,
instantly and on the spot, that this is true - that Jesus is alive, and
that He is the Savior of the world, and that He has all authority.
The Chinese house churches are living in the time of the book of
Acts. The Holy Spirit is working in their lives. They are just trying
to follow the wind of the Holy Spirit. It is something we miss. We
always want to settle, and we hope that the Holy Spirit will settle
with us and just be with us as we create these centers and places
where we hope the Spirit will be moving in a mighty way. We have
to understand that God's Holy Spirit is moving all the time. We
have to be very flexible. We should with the maximum effort join
the Holy Spirit where He is working, not trying to work ourselves.
It is always better to partner with Him, to find out where He is
active today, where the battle is going on, and join Him there.
Then we will be blessed with souls, and also the blessing will be
reversed upon us.
Bro Denny: That leads me to my next question. What about
missions and methods of evangelism? How do our Chinese
brothers live out the Great Commission?
Bro Paul: Their theology and methods are really quite simple. They
believe there is only one reason why God has left them here on
earth: that is to evangelize the lost. Anyone who is not actively
pursuing this holy purpose is missing the mark. The Great
Commission cannot be compromised. Their methods are anointed
preaching with signs following. The leaders instruct the evangelism
teams to go to a new village and inquire about the worst problem
in the village. Then they are to go and minister to that problem and
show that Jesus is the all-powerful Savior. With this success, they
turn to the people and preach Jesus to them.
Bro Ren: I will give you a beautiful example of how this worked for
two young ladies who were sent to a village to share the gospel:
These two sisters, eighteen years old and very tiny, came to a
village of about three hundred people. There was one big problem.
There was a man who was possessed by demons. Somehow, the
Communists were able to count that this man had twelve demons
in him. He was learned in five different languages. He was so
powerful that twelve heavy farmers could not hold him back. They
tried with chains and wires, but he had the power to break free.
This man happened to live at the entrance of that village. The whole
village of three hundred people could not walk on the road, but had
to walk in the forest, because the man decided that nobody was
going to pass through his property. Whenever anyone stepped
through the property line, which was invisible, the man would come
out with a jungle knife in his hand, shouting, "I'm going to kill you!"
Everybody was afraid. It was like this for many, many years.
Now, these two young ladies came asking, "What is the biggest
problem in this village?" Everybody pointed to the crazy, demon-
possessed man's house. The sisters turned around and started to
move towards that house. They were walking and praying. The
whole village came out from their houses. Everybody wanted to
see what would happen. They knew where the invisible line was,
and if they step over that line and enter into his property, they
knew what would happen. He would fly out with a jungle knife,
half-naked, with a crazy look in his eye, and all the demons would
drive him forward to them.
Sister Lee, one of the young girls, was leading. The two of them
entered onto his property. The man ran out through the door with
a knife in his hand. This sister lifted up her hand and said, "In the
name of Jesus, stop." This man became frozen. He stopped in
mid-air, like a statue. He couldn't move back, and he couldn't move
forward. This man was as a stone. He couldn't do anything. He
could not stand. His eyes were totally frozen.
This happens quite often in China. We know by experience that
the body is frozen by the Holy Ghost, but the person can hear with
his ears. You can share any message you want to with this kind
of person. He can understand every word that you speak. Sister
Lee went next to this "statue" and started to proclaim the Gospel.
She then, through the name of Jesus, cast all twelve demons out
of this man. He was instantly delivered. He melted in that spot,
like butter in sunshine. He fell down onto the ground and was
completely restored. The first words he said were "This Jesus is
Lord." He was wonderfully saved and restored.
There was a very special group of people who stood together in the
village that day. There they stood, the two girls on each side, and
the man who used to be possessed in the middle of them. He was
talking to these sisters, and together they entered into the village.
As they passed the doors of the first house, the families one by
one confessed that Jesus was the Son of God. The whole village
with three hundred people surrendered to the Lord that evening.
These are very simple Gospel methods: problem - solution - salvation.
Bro Denny: With results like these, they hardly need us Americans
to help them. We should be learning from them.
Bro Paul: Actually, that is not the case. They very much need
missionaries who can come help them and work together-but as
equal brothers, not as Western leaders leading the show. That
day is well and truly finished, and it is easy to see, they do not
need our leadership. This is causing a great burden on the Chinese
church. I sat in a meeting when one of the house church leaders
stood up and said, "We just don't understand why people are
racing into China from the West with their own vision and ideas,
doing their own thing." He continued, "Why don't these people
come and ask us what God has given to the church?" They are all
bringing their new visions, and it is actually damaging the advance
of the Gospel in China. The proud westerners do not even think to
ask the Chinese church. The key is that first you must find out
what vision God has given His body in China, then how you can be
part of that vision. Do not bring a new vision.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon