“An absolute must for the sleeping churches of the West” – Revd Dr Mark Stibbe
From the back of the book: “The Heavenly Man” is the intensely dramatic story of how God took a young, half-starved boy from a poor village in Henan Province and used him mightily to preach the gospel despite horrific opposition. Brother Yun is one of China’s house church leaders, a man who despite his relative youth has suffered prolonged torture and imprisonment for his faith. His account challenges any complacency about the situation in China, where international economic investment ignores the brutal fact that religious persecution is still a daily reality for millions. Instead of focusing on the many miracles or experiences of suffering, however, Yun prefers to emphasize the character and beauty of Jesus. This astonishing book will form a watershed in your spiritual life.”
Brother Yun’s story is truly inspirational. Right from his conversion at the age of 16, he has lived full-heartedly for Jesus, enduring many horrors for the sake of the gospel and bringing thousands of people to Christ in a revival that has spread across China. Amidst the suffering are amazing examples of God’s goodness, faithfulness and his awesome power to overcome in any situation, even those that seem completely hopeless.
While reading, I was most struck by the whole-heartedness of the church in China. Their desperation and hunger to see God’s word preached is inspiring. The Chinese Christians, while already living in poverty, gave everything that they had to support those working for the gospel. The instruction given to Chinese house church missionaries before they were sent out included:
- How to suffer and die for the Lord.
- How to witness for the Lord.
- How to escape for the Lord – “we teach the missionaries special skills such as how to free themselves from handcuffs, and how to jump from second-storey windows without injuring themselves”.
These are not people who expect obedience to God to bring them an easy life!
In recent years, Brother Yun has been based in Europe, speaking in churches across the world and working through Back to Jerusalem to spread the gospel throughout Asia and the arab world. Yun’s chapter of reflections on four years in the west are particularly telling – how we are held back by material possessions from moving out in the Lord; how easily we focus on God’s love and neglect to reach out with it to those who most need to hear the good news. “When revival came to believers in China, the result was thousands of evangelists being sent out to all corners of the nation, carrying fire from the altar of God with them. When God moves in the West, it seems you want to stop and enjoy his presence and blessings too long, and build an altar to your experiences.”
One final word from Yun: “If you truly want to see God move, the two main things you must do is learn the Word of God and have the obedience to do what God tells you to do.”
Reviewer: Lizzie Pridmore
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