The Role of Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Miraculous in Evangelism

By: Dennis Balcombe, missionary to China since 1969

Description: Since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Azusa Street and other nations at the beginning of the 20th century, mission work and revivals worldwide have been characterized by divine healing and the supernatural. Even to this day they prevail in Christian ministry resulting in church growth in many ‘third-world nations’. Today they are also a key to the conversion of religious people worldwide.

This teaching will study the Scriptural and historical background of the supernatural in evangelism and worldwide missionary work. We will look at ways whereby we can launch out today in this most exciting yet controversial aspect of Christian ministry. 


A. The Biblical and Theological Foundation of Miracles and the Supernatural

1. A Biblical definition of miracles compared with the heathen view
a) A true miracle is an event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God,
operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine
commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message (John 2:18; Matt. 12:38) .
b) Missionaries working in ‘Third-Word’ nations soon come to realize the supernatural aspect of religious belief is an integral
part of the peoples ‘world-view’.
c) Evangelical missionaries who are not Spirit filled soon come to realize if their ministry is simply based on good works and
Bible teaching or preaching, they are no match for the supernatural powers that are a fundamental part of ‘heathen’ religions.
d) This of course will inspire them to seek after the Baptism of the Holy Spirit or learn from local native Pentecostal
fellowships. Thus with few exceptions these missionaries are baptized in the Holy Spirit and will seek to perform miracles to
prove the truth of the Gospel.
e) They must soon point out that miracles done by the Christian God are always done to benefit people, change lives for the
good and bring glory to God.
f) Miracles performed by ‘heathen’ gods inspire awe, but the result is to give more credibility to the ‘heathen priest’,
‘witchdoctor’ or heathen religious leaders. They are often (to us) very strange miracles that focus on appearances of dead
people or departed spirits, or bring curses or prosperity to people.
g) But it cannot be denied some adherents of ‘heathen’ religions claim physical healing and even deliverance from demonic
possessions though supernatural manifestations. Therefore supernatural proofs cannot be the final say in matters of faith and
h) The Word of God must stand above everything. Even without miracles, as Christians pray, the Holy Spirit will confirm the
truth of God’s Word in the hearts of those who heard the Gospel. See Mark 4:20

2. Biblical names of miracles
a) In the New Testament, four Greek words are primarily used to designate miracles:
1. Semeion, a “sign”, i.e., an evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine message (Matt. 12:38, 39; 16:2, 4; Mk. 8:11; Luk 11:16; 23:8; John 2:11,18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and working of God; the seal of a higher power.
2. Terata, “wonders;” wonder-causing events; portents; producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19).
3. Dunameis, “mighty works;” works of superhuman power (Acts 2:22; Rom 15:19; 2 Thess. 2:9); of a new and higher power.
4. Erga, “works;” the works of Him who is “wonderful in working” (John 5:20, 36).
b) Sometimes they are translated as ‘Power and Signs’
1) Mk. 9:39; Acts 2:22; Acts 19:11; Jn. 2:11; Lk. 23:8;
2) Num. 14:22; Deu. 11:3
3) Jn. 4:48; Acts 4:30; 2 Cor. 12:12
c) They are also called ‘Wonders, Mighty works, wonderful works, miracles’
1) Ex. 15:11; Dan. 12:6
d) In relation to Jesus they are simply called ‘Works’ – Jn. 5:36; Jn. 7:21

3. The supernatural character of miracles
a. The Bible recognizes a divine factor that is established in nature. Gen. 8:22; James 5:7
b. Also there are a special series of facts brought about by the intervention of God – Miracles. Deu. 11:13-17.
c. What we call natural law is only the order of God’s ordinary working in the natural world. Ps. 19:1-6; Ps. 104; Jn. 5:17; Heb.
d. A miracle, therefore, is a putting forth of the same power in the natural world in an extraordinary or supernatural manner.
e. In the biblical view the whole world is wonderful (Job 26; etc.). To him who has eyes to see, nature everywhere is full of
f. A miracle is not only wonderful, but it is so in the sense of being a “new thing” (Num 16:30) and therefore peculiarly fitted to awaken the feeling of wonder.

4. The purpose of miracles in God dealing with mankind
a. Miracles attract great crowds. Jn. 2:23; Jn. 6:2; Acts 3:16; 4:4;
b. Miracles confirm the message. Mk. 16:16-18; Acts 8:6
c. Miracles meet the read needs of communities. John 2:1-11; 4:46-54; Matt. 14:15; 15:32;
d. Miracles prove the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Acts 2:22; 4:10
e. Miracles bring glory to God. Lk. 18:35-43; Mk. 2:12; Acts 4:41
f. Miracles establish converts in the power of God. 1 Cor. 2:4-5
g. Miracles make the man of God stand out from the ordinary religious teacher. Mk. 6:2

5. The Biblical test of miracles from God.
a) When prophecies do not come to pass, that prophet is not from God. This must be true even in Christian circles and among people who are proclaimed to be ‘prophets’. Deu. 18-20-22
b) When prophecies are fulfilled, or miracles are attested to be genuine, but it turns people to other gods (even by ‘Christians’ that do not glorify Jesus but lift up a man or strange doctrine), they are not from the Lord. Deut. 13:1-3

6. The importance of miracles
a) One of most learned highly trained men of his time, Paul, did not trust in eloquent words, but in the demonstration of the
Spirit and power. 1 Cor. 2:2-5
b) People who reject the truth and disobey will be judged, for the Word was confirmed with signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Heb. 2:1-4

B. The Role of Miracles in the Old Testament and the formation of Israel

1. Power conflicts between Jehovah and heathen gods

a) The average person with no understanding of theology or doctrine cannot help but be deeply impressed when he sees God’s power defeat the power of their ‘heathen’ gods. Biblical examples: Moses and the ten plagues of Egypt (Ex. 3-12) and Elijah challenging the false prophets of Baal. (1 Kings 17)
b) God constantly reminded Israel of the miracles that delivered them from Egypt which was the foundation of their nation.
Deut. 26:8

2. The supernatural protection of Israel throughout history
a) While the book of Esther doesn’t mention the name of “God”, nowhere in the Bible is God’s divine intervention and
protection of His people more evident than in the amazing story recorded in this book.
b) The restoration of the State of Israel, the return of the Jews to their ancient land, the restoration of the Hebrew language,
God’s supernatural and miraculous protection bringing great victory in wars, are some of the greatest miracles in history.
They all occurred in the last century and still are taking place. God does rule in the affairs of men!

3. The role of prophets in bringing credibility to God’s Word and leading the nation
a) Jesus and the NT writers valued the importance of Old Testaments prophets. Luke 24:25-26; 2 Peter 1:19-21;
b) God spoke to His people and thus victory came! Amos 3:8; 2 Chron. 20:20

C. The Role of the Miraculous in the Gospels and the New Testament Church

1. Miracles and fulfilled OT prophecies proved Jesus was the promised Messiah
a) “. …this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled….” (Matt. 26:56). These fulfilled prophecies prove
beyond a doubt Jesus is the Messiah.
b) Jesus did these signs that we might believe and thus obtain eternal life. John 20:30-31

2. The role of healings and deliverance in truly ministering to the needs of mankind
a) Jesus’ healing ministry and that of the apostles was based on true compassion. Matt. 9:36; Lk. 11:20; Acts 3:6
b) It would seem the real motivation of most ‘healing’ ministry today is to attract crows and build up the reputation of the
healing evangelist as a ‘man of God.’

3. Through the miraculous Christianity basically became a world religion in only 30 years from its inception
a) By AD 65 (during Paul’s time), the Gospel had reached the whole then known world. Col. 1:5-6
b) This was due to the miraculous and power of the Spirit. Rom. 15:16-19

D. Miracles, Gifts of the Spirit and Tongues have never ceased in history (Refuting the Cessation Theory)

1. The theological and hermeneutical errors of the Cessation Theories

(A) Signs and wonders ceased at the end of the apostolic age.
a. Some proponents of this theory say the “Apostolic Age” ended about A.D. 100 with the death of the Apostle
John, the last survivor of “… the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev 21:14).
b. One “Reformed” theologian thought the supernatural gifts “were confined to the apostolic age, and to a very
narrow circle then.” Their purpose was to establish the authority of the apostles; once accomplished, the
charismatic gifts were done away with.
c. According to this position, signs and wonders reported after that time were either spurious or did not occur by
divine means.
d. This is a “circular” argument, in which a theological judgment is made that signs and wonders are impossible
after the first century, forcing the conclusion that historical evidence is fraudulent.
e. The great weakness of that position is this. There is a total absence of Scripture to support the contention that
divine miracles ceased upon the death of the twelve apostles of the Lamb and their generation. No Scripture
passage either states or implies this position.

(B) Signs and wonders ceased because they belonged only to the earliest centuries of the Church.
a. According to this theory, they were no longer needed to validate the gospel. The church, once widely
established and officially sanctioned, was enough to certify the authenticity of the Christian message.
b. The cutoff date is the time of the completion of the canon, usually recognized to have been at the Council of
Carthage in 397. This argument accepts second and third century documentation of signs and wonders,
arbitrarily assigning their early cessation. But why a particular cutoff date?
c. When was the Church widely established and officially sanctioned? Is 397 when the canon was closed? (Many
church historians would dispute that conclusion.) Where does Scripture teach this? This argument is left
without biblical or historical support.

(C) Signs and wonders faded as leaders of the organized church opposed them.
a. This argument, which contradicts the church establishment theories, has some merit. In fact, as faith for
miracles wanes among church leaders, miracles decrease in frequency. Also, when unusual signs and
wonders have occurred — these often threaten the “Lords and Governors” of the church hierarchy and the
status quo of the church. For this reason, church leadership has tended to oppose them.
b. However there have been waves of signs and wonders throughout Church history, and the hierarchy has
alternately retarded or encouraged their ebb and flow.
c. But the main point of the argument — that the gifts have completely ceased — cannot stand up to the historical
test. It cannot be documented that the gifts have ceased for any significant period of time in church history, and
especially not today. Miracles in the church are commonplace world-wide.

2. Miracles in the Patristic Era (100-600 AD)
a. Justin Martyr (100-165)
1. Justin was a Christian apologist who had studied all the great philosophies of his day. In his Second Apology
(circa 153), Justin, in speaking about the names, meaning, and power of God and Christ, writes concerning
exorcism and healing:

For numberless demoniacs through out the whole world, and in your city, many of our Christian men
exorcising them in the name of Jesus Christ… have healed and do heal, rendering helpless and driving the
possessing devils out of the men, though they could not be cured by all the other exorcists, and those who
used incantations and drugs.

2. In his Dialogue with Trypho (a learned Jew), Justin refers to the current use of spiritual gifts:
For the prophetical gifts remain with us, even to the present time. And hence you ought to understand that the
gifts formerly among your nation have been transferred to us.

3. In 150 Justin Martyr founded a disciple training school over a house in Rome and documents current ‘signs
and wonders’ (exorcisms, healings and prophesyings), and writes:
‘The first Apostles, twelve in number in the power of God, went out and proclaimed Christ to every race of
men. ‘There is not one single race of men, whether barbarians, or Greeks, or whatever they may be called,
nomads, or vagrants, or herdsmen dwelling in tents, among whom prayers and giving of thanks are not
offered through the name of the Crucified Jesus.’

4. He was martyred at Rome.

b. Irenaeus (140–203)

1. Irenaeus was the bishop of Lyons. He documents recent charismata (exorcisms, visions, prophecies)
His five books Against Heresies are devoted to the heresy of Gnosticism. In refuting it he says:
For some have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions, and utter prophetic expressions. Others
still, heal the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole.

2. The historian Eusebius quotes Irenaeus:
Some, (believers) indeed, most certainly and truly cast out demons, so that frequently those persons
themselves that were cleansed from wicked spirits believed and were received into the church.
And, moreover, as we said before, even the dead have been raised and continued with us many years…
As we hear many of the brethren in the church who have prophetic gifts, and who speak in all tongues
through the spirit. Others also bring to light the secret things of men for their benefit, and expound the
mysteries of God.

3. Rebuking those who opposed Phrygianism (Montanists), Irenaeus wrote:
“In their desire to frustrate the gifts of the Spirit which have been poured out according to the pleasure of
the Father upon the human race in these times, they do not accept that aspect [of the evangelical
dispensation] presented by John’s Gospel, in which the Lord promised that He would send the
Paraclete; but set aside at once both the Gospel and the prophetic Spirit. “Wretched men indeed!
Who wish to be pseudo prophets, forsooth, but who set aside the gifts of prophecy from the
church…. For, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul speaks expressly of prophetical gifts, and
recognized men and women prophesying in the Church. Sinning, therefore, in all these particulars,
against the Spirit of God, they fall into the irremissible sin.”

c. The Rise of Montanism (120-175).

1. Montanism’s rise took place under a new convert named Montanus (c156) in Phrygia. It was a puritanical, prophetic,
charismatic, millennial, apocalyptic movement claiming to be called to birth a new age of the Holy Spirit’s power.

2. Montanus had a Pentecostal experience at his baptism in water: He spoke in tongues and began prophesying,
declaring that the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit promised in the Gospel of John was using him as his mouthpiece.

3. In 206, Tertullian joined the Montanists. In 230 the movement was excommunicated by the Synod of Iconium but,
though persecuted, continued as an “under-ground” movement until (circa) 880.

4. Wesley, along with many others of later centuries, believed the Montanists were a genuine “revival movement’ much
maligned by jealous, callous, backslidden church leaders of the era – who opposed manifestations of the Spirit’s

d. Tertullian (160-220)
1. Not many details are known concerning Tertullian’s life. He was reared in the cultured paganism of Carthage. He
became a Christian and joined the Montanist group about 206. He was a prolific writer. In his work To Scapula,
Chapter 5, he gives this account of expelling demons and healing:

a) All this might be officially brought under your notice, and by the very advocates, who are themselves also under
obligations to us, although in court they give their voice as it suits them. The clerk of one of them who was liable to be
thrown upon the ground by an evil spirit, was set free from his affliction; as was also the relative of another, and the
little boy of a third.

b) How many men of rank (to say nothing of common people) have been delivered from devils, and healed of diseases!
Even Severus himself, the father of Antonine, was graciously mindful of the Christians; for he sought out the Christian
Proculus, surnamed Torpacion, the steward of Euhodias, and in gratitude for his having once cured him by anointing,
he kept him in his palace till the day of his death.

2. He also writes: ‘Christ commanded them to go and teach all nations. Immediately, therefore, so did the apostles.’ ‘The
blood of the martyrs is seed.’ ‘There is no nation indeed which is not Christian.’

e. Novatian (210–280)

1. Novatian of Rome is noted for two reasons: he was the antipope of the puritan party in the church, and he gave the
Western church its first full- length treatment of the Trinity. In chapter 29 of Treatise Concerning the Trinity he writes of
the Spirit:

This is He who places prophets in the Church, instructs teachers, directs tongues, gives powers
and healings, does wonderful works, offers discrimination of spirits, affords powers of government,
suggests counsels, and orders and arranges whatever other gifts there are of charismata; and thus
make the Lord’s Church everywhere, and in all, perfected and completed.

f. Antony (about 251–356)
Our knowledge of Antony depends largely on his biography, written by Athanasius. Chapter 40 of this biography
shows Antony’s work with the supernatural, especially in dealing with demons:

Once, a very tall demon appeared with a procession of evil spirits and said boldly: “I am the power of God, I
am His providence. What do you wish that I grant you?” I then blew my breath at him, calling on the name of
Christ, and I tried to strike him. I seemed to have succeeded, for, immediately, vast as he was, he and all his
demons disappeared at the name of Christ.

g. Hilarion (291–371)
1. Hilarion was an ascetic, educated and converted at Alexandria. By the time he had been in the desert for twenty-two
years, he became widely known by reputation throughout the cities of Palestine. Jerome in his Life of Saint Hilarion
tells of a number of the miracles, healings, and expulsions of demons that occurred during his ministry:

Facidia is a small suburb of Rhinocorura, a city of Egypt. From this village, a woman who had been blind for
ten years was brought to be blessed by Hilarion. On being presented to him by the brothers (already there
were many monks with him), she told him that she had bestowed all her substance on physicians.
To her the saint replied: “If what you lost on physicians you had given to the poor, Jesus the true Physician
would have healed you.” Whereupon she cried aloud and implored him to have mercy on her. Then,
following the example of the Savior, he rubbed spittle upon her eyes and she was immediately cured.

2. Jerome concludes the section he devoted to telling of Hilarion’s life by stating “There would not be time if I wanted to
tell you all the signs and wonders performed by Hilarion.”

h. Macrina the Younger (328–380)
Macrina was the sister of Basil, bishop of Caesarea, and also of Gregory, bishop of Nyssa. Gregory tells of
the following healing:

There was with us our little girl who was suffering from an eye ailment resulting from an infectious sickness. It was a terrible and pitiful thing to see her as the membrane around the pupil was swollen and whitened by the disease. I went to the men’s quarters where your brother Peter was Superior, and my wife went to the women’s quarters to be
with St. Macrina.
(The story then relates how they went to this family, had a meal with them, promised a healing ‘medicine’, but gave no
actual medicine. When they returned they saw the mother with the child.
She said in a loud voice, joyfully and fearfully.”Nothing of what was promised to us has been omitted, but the true
medicine that heals diseases, the cure that comes from prayer, this she has given us, and has already worked;
nothing at all is left of the disease of the eyes.”
As she said this, she took our child and put her in my arms, and I also then comprehended the miracles in
the gospel which I had not believed before, and I said, “What a great thing it is for sight to be restored to the blind
by the hand of God, if now his handmaiden makes such cures and has done such a thing through faith in him, a fact
no less impressive than these miracles.”
i. Ambrose (339–397)
1. A layman, Ambrose was acclaimed the bishop of Milan by his enthusiastic followers. When ordained as a bishop his
first act was to distribute his wealth among the poor. He was an outstanding preacher and teacher and very
outspoken. Ambrose in The Holy Spirit (Fathers of the Church) states that healings and tongues were still
given by God.
2. In his writings he documents current healings and glossolalia (speaking in other tongues by the Spirit). He taught:
“Behold, the Father established the teachers; Christ also established them in the churches; and just as the Father
gives the grace of healings, so the Son also gives it; just as the Father gives the gift of tongues, so the Son
also has bestowed it.”
j. Augustine (354–430)
a. Augustine, the most famous of all the early church fathers, wrote,
We still do what the apostles did when they laid hands on the Samaritans and called down the Holy Spirit
on them in the laying on of hands. It is expected that converts should speak with new tongues.
b. Augustine served as Bishop of Hippo. He was baptized by Ambrose in Milan on Easter, 387. At the close of his life, he
wrote The City of God (circa 413–427). He argues that the ones that happened and were recorded in the New
Testament are “absolutely trustworthy.” Then he writes In book 22, chapter 28, of the miracles that were occurring in
his day:
It is sometimes objected that the miracles, which Christians claimed to have occurred, no longer
happen. The truth is that even today miracles are being wrought in the name of Christ, sometimes
through His sacraments and sometimes through the intercession of his saints.
c. Augustine then tells of the miracles that happened:
1) A blind man whose sight was restored.
2) The Bishop Innocent of Carthage healed of a rectal fistula.
3) Innocentia in Carthage healed of breast cancer.
4) A doctor in Carthage healed of gout.
5) An ex-showman of Curcubis healed of paralysis and a hernia in the scrotum.
6) The healing of Hesperius, one of Augustine’s neighbors, whose diseases were caused by “evil spirits.”
7) A demonized boy cured, after the demon ripped out his eye and left it “hanging by a tiny vein as by a root. The pupil
which was black, turned white.”
8) A young girl in Hippo delivered from demons.
9) Florentius of Hippo who prayed for money and received it.
10) The resuscitation of a nun
11) Augustine’s friend’s son who was raised from the dead
d. Augustine ends his narrative of miracles by telling his readers that there are too many miracles to list. “It is a simple
fact,” Augustine writes, “that there is no lack of miracles even in our day. And the God who works the miracles
we read of in the scriptures uses any means and manner he chooses.”
e. He opposes emerging theory of the cessation of Charismatic gifts, as an over-reaction to what some thought were
excesses of Montanism. He opposed the idea that miracles and charismata (Gifts of the Holy Spirit as in 1 Corinthians
12:) ended with the Apostolic age.
k. Gregory of Tours (538–594)
a. Gregory was a bishop and historian. He was a prolific writer, whose works provide invaluable knowledge of
sixth- century church life.
b. There are many accounts of healings that occurred in Gregory’s time. They are to be found in his Dialogues, where he
also relates the expelling of a demon and his own healing:
c. “Eleutherius, abbot of the Monastery of St. Mark the Evangelist adjoining the walls of Spoleto, lived with me for a long
time in my monastery at Rome and died there. His disciples say that he raised a dead person to life by the power of
his prayer. He was well known for his simplicity and compunction of heart, and undoubtedly through his tears this
humble, childlike soul obtained many favors from almighty God.”
d. I will tell you about a miracle of his which I had him describe to me in his own simple words. Once while he was
traveling, evening came on before he could find a lodging for the night, so he stopped at a convent. There was a little
boy in this convent who was troubled every night by an evil spirit.
He prostrated himself in prayer with all his monks and continued praying until the boy was freed from the
power of the evil spirit. The cure was complete and the Devil did not dare molest him any further.
e. He places detailed planning of organized missions to all heathen among his major objectives, because of the
imminence of the Last Judgment.
l. Gregory I (The Great) (540–604)
a. Gregory the Great was pope from 590 to 604. His Dialogues (593–94) were described by the author himself as
stories of “the miracles of the Fathers which were done in Italy.” The Dialogues contain supernatural tales, which
divide neatly into three classes: stories of visions, stories of prophecies, and stories of miracles.
b. The following, a summary of one of Gregory’s stories, is taken from Frederick Dudden’s seminal work on the life of
One day at Subiaco, the little monk Placidus, the future Apostle of his [Gregory’s] Order in Sicily, went to the lake
to draw water, but overbalanced himself and fell in.
Benedict, who was sitting in his cell, was supernaturally aware of the occurrence, and cried out hastily to his disciple
Maurus: “Run, Brother Maurus, for the child who went to fetch water has fallen into the lake, and the stream has
carried him a great way.” Maurus ran down to the edge of the lake, and then, “thinking still that he went on dry land,
he ran on the water,” caught the drifting boy by the hair and brought him safely back.
It was only when he stood again on the firm ground that Maurus realized that a miracle had taken place, and “much
astonished, he wondered how he had done that which knowingly he would not have dared to venture.”

3. Miracles in the Medieval Era (600-1500 AD)
a. St. Vladimir – Prince of Rus (988)
The following account illustrates how a miraculous sign led to the conversion and Christian baptism of VLADIMIR,
prince of Rus (which later became Russia). These events took place just about the end of the first millennium of
By divine agency, Vladimir was suffering at that moment from a disease of the eyes, and could see nothing, being in
great distress. The princess declared to him that if he desired to be healed of this disease, he should be baptized with
all speed, otherwise it could not be cured.
When Vladimir heard her message he said, “If this proves true, then of a surety is the God of the Christians great,”
and gave order that he should be baptized. The Bishop of Kherson, together with the princess’s priests, after
announcing the tidings, baptized Vladimir, and as the bishop laid his hand upon him, he straightway received his
Upon experiencing this miraculous cure, Vladimir glorified God saying, “I have now perceived the one true God.”
When his followers beheld this miracle, many of them were also baptized.
b. St. Francis of Assisi (1181–1226)
1) St. Francis was the founder of the Franciscan order. He had an extensive healing ministry. The following selections
are taken from a vast number of miracles that occurred in the ministry of Francis:
2) “Once when the holy man of God Francis was going about through various regions to preach the kingdom of God, he
came to a certain city called Toscanella. There, when he was sowing the seed of life in his usual way, a certain soldier
of that city gave him hospitality; he had an only son who was lame and weak of body. Though he was a young child,
he had passed the years of weaning; still he remained in a cradle.
When the father of the boy saw the great sanctity of the man of God, he humbly cast himself at his feet, begging from
him health for his son.
But Francis, who considered himself useless and unworthy of such great power and grace, refused for a long time to
do this. But finally overcome by the insistence of his petitions, he prayed and then put his hand upon the boy and,
blessing him, raised him up. Immediately, with all present looking on and rejoicing, the boy arose completely restored
and began to walk here and there about the house.”
3) Once when the man of God Francis had come to Narni and was staying there for a number of days, a certain man of
that city, Peter by name, lay in bed paralyzed. For a period of five months he had been so deprived of the use of all
his limbs that he could not rise at all or move himself even a little; and thus having completely lost the use of his feet
and hands and head, he could only move his tongue and open his eyes.
When he heard that Francis had come to Narni, he sent a messenger to the bishop of that city to ask him
for the love of God to send the servant of the most high God to him, confident that he would be freed
from the illness from which he suffered at the sight and presence of Francis.
And so it happened that, when the blessed Francis had come to him, he was immediately healed and
restored to his former health.
c. Waldensian Community
1) This was a movement in the Middle Ages whose characteristics included evangelical obedience to the gospel,
rigorous asceticism, aversion to recognizing the ministry of unworthy priests, belief in visions, prophecies, and spirit
2) A. J. Gordon in his book The Ministry of Healing quotes the following doctrine of the Waldensians:
Therefore, concerning this anointing of the sick, we hold it as an article of faith, and profess sincerely from the
heart that sick persons, when they ask it, may lawfully be anointed with the anointing oil by one who joins
them in praying that it may be efficacious to the healing of the body according to the design and end and
effect mentioned by the apostles; and we profess that such an anointing performed according to the
apostolic design and practice will be healing and profitable.
d. Vincent Ferrer (1350–1419)
1) Vincent was a Dominican preacher who was born in Valencia. Known as the “Angel of the Judgment,” he preached
across Europe for almost twenty years. The New Catholic Encyclopedia records the following:
Vincent was disillusioned; he became gravely ill. In a vision, he was commissioned by the Lord… “to go through the
world preaching Christ.” After a year had passed Benedict permitted him to go. In November 1399, therefore, he set
forth from Avignon and spent 20 years in apostolic preaching. As the spirit moved him or as he was requested, he
visited and revisited places throughout Spain, southern France, Lombardy, Switzerland, northern France, and the Low
With fiery eloquence he preached the need of repentance and the coming of the Judgment. He seldom remained in
any one place for more than a day, and then only when the people had been long neglected or when heresy or
paganism was rife. Miracles in the order of nature and of grace accompanied his steps.
2) The Catholic Encyclopedia Dictionary also notes: “He is said by some to have had the gift of tongues … “
e. Colette of Corbi (d. 1447)
The following is recorded about Colette in The Lives of the Saints:
In 1410, she founded a covenant at Besancon; in 1415, she introduced a reform into the convent of the Cordeliers, at
Dole, and in succession into nearly all the convents in Lorraine, Champagne, and Picardy. In 1416, she founded a
house of her order at Poligny, at the foot of the Jura, and another at Auxonne. “I am dying of curiosity to see this
wonderful Colette, who resuscitates the dead,” wrote the Duchess of Bourbon, about this time.
For the fame of the miracles and labours of the carpenter’s daughter was in every mouth.
4. Miracles in the Reformation and Modern Era (1500 AD to the present)
a. Martin Luther (1483–1546)
1) In Luther: Letters of Spiritual Council, the following letter of Martin Luther is recorded:
The tax collector in Torgau and the councilor in Belgern have written me to ask that I offer some good advice
and help for Mrs. John Korner’s afflicted husband. I know of no worldly help to give. If the physicians are at a
loss to find a remedy, you may be sure that it is not a case of ordinary melancholy. It must, rather, be an
affliction that comes from the devil, and this must be counteracted by the power of Christ with the prayer of
This is what we do, and what we have been accustomed to do, for a cabinet maker here was similarly
afflicted with madness and we cured him by prayer in Christ’s name. Then, when you depart, lay your hands
upon the man again and say, “These signs shall follow them that” believe; they shall lay hands on the sick,
and they shall recover.” Do this three times, once on each of three successive days.
2) In Luther’s Works, concerning prophecy he says, “If you wish to prophesy, do it in such a way that it does not go
beyond faith so that your prophesying can be in harmony with the peculiar quality of faith.” He goes on to write that
“one may prophesy new things but not things that go beyond the bounds of faith … “
“Dr. Martin Luther was a prophet, evangelist, speaker in tongues and interpreter in one person, endowed with
all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He prayed for the sick and cast out devils. He was a Pentecostal Lutheran.”
5. Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556)
Ignatius was the founder of the Society of Jesus. He was wounded in the Spanish army in 1521. While recuperating
he read the Life of Christ by Ludolph of Saxony. This inspired him to become a “soldier” for Christ. He entered a
monastery and spent nearly a year at ascetic practices. Here he composed the essence of Spiritual Exercises. In
them he writes the following about the Spirit:
a) The Spirit of God breathes where he will; he does not ask our permission; he meets us on his own terms and
distributes his charisms as He pleases. Therefore, we must always be awake and ready; we must be pliable so that
he can use us in new enterprises.
b) We cannot lay down the law to the Spirit of God! He is only present with his gifts where he knows that they are
joined with the multiplicity of charisms in the one Church. All the gifts of this church stem from one source — God.
c) What Paul says in the twelfth chapter of his First Epistle to the Corinthians is still true today! This should give us the
strength to overcome every form of clerical jealousy, mutual suspicion, power grabbing, and the refusal to let others —
who have their own gifts of the Spirit — go on their own way.
d) That is what the Spirit wants from us! He is not so narrow minded as we sometimes are with our recipes! He can lead
to himself in different ways, and He wants to direct the church through a multiplicity of functions, offices, and gifts.
e) The church is not supposed to be a military academy in which everything is uniform, but she is supposed to be the
body of Christ in which he, the one spirit, exerts his power in all the members. Each one of these members
proves that he really is a member of this body by letting the other members be.
b. Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)
a) Teresa, a Carmelite reformer, mystic and writer, was born in Spain and educated by Augustinian nuns. In her
autobiography there are frequent accounts of the ecstasy she experienced from God. In it she writes, “What I say
about not ascending to God unless he raises one up is language of the Spirit. He who has had some experience will
understand me, for I don’t know how to describe this being raised up if it isn’t understood through experience.”
b) She refers to this kind of speech again when talking about prayer:
c) I don’t know any other terms for describing it or how to explain it. Nor does the soul then know what to do because it
doesn’t know whether to speak or to be silent, whether to laugh or to weep. This prayer is a glorious foolishness, a
heavenly madness where the true wisdom is learned; and it is for the soul a most delightful way of enjoying. In fact
five or even six years ago the Lord often gave me this prayer in abundance, and I didn’t understand it; nor did I know
how to speak of it.
c. The Huguenots (Formally organized in 1559)
a) Huguenots was a nickname for the French Calvinists. Henry Baird writes in his book The Huguenots the following
concerning some of the phenomena of this religious group:
b) Respecting the physical manifestations, there is little discrepancy between the accounts of friend and foe. The
persons affected were men and women, the old and the young. Very many were children, boys and girls of nine or ten
years of age.
c) They were sprung from the people — their enemies said, from the dregs of the people — ignorant and uncultured;
for the most part unable to read or write, and speaking in everyday life the patois of the province with which alone
they were conversant.
d) Such persons would suddenly fall backward, and, while extended at full length on the ground, undergo strange
and apparently involuntary contortions; their chests would seem to heave, their stomachs to inflate. On coming
gradually out of this condition, they appeared instantly to regain the power of speech.
e) Beginning often in a voice interrupted by sobs, they soon poured forth a torrent of words — cries for mercy, calls to
repentance, exhortations to the bystanders to cease frequenting the mass, denunciations of the church of Rome,
prophecies of coming judgment.
f) From the mouths of those that were little more than babes came texts of Scripture, and discourse in good
and intelligible French, such as they never used in their conscious hours.
g) When the trance ceased, they declared that they remembered nothing of what had occurred, or of what they had said.
In rare cases they retained a general and vague impression, but nothing more. There was no appearance of deceit
or collusion, and no indication that in uttering their predictions respecting coming events they had any thought of
prudence, or doubt as to the truth of what they foretold.
h) Brueys, their most inveterate opponent, is no less positive on this point than are the witnesses who are most
favorable to them. “These poor madmen,” he said, “believed that they were indeed inspired by the Holy Ghost.
They prophesied without any (ulterior) design, without evil intent, and with so little reserve, that they always boldly
marked the day, the place and persons of whom they spoke in their predictions”
i) Calvin, in referring to tongues, wrote: “At present great theologians… declaim against them with furious zeal. As it
is certain that the Holy Spirit has here honored the use of tongues with never dying praise, we may very
readily gather, what is the kind of spirit that actuates these reformers, who level as many reproaches as they can
against the pursuit of them…. “Paul, nevertheless, commends the use of tongues. So far is he from wishing
them abolished or thrown away.”
d. Valentine Greatlakes (1638)
a) David Robertson writes in his article “From Epidauros to Lourdes: A History of Healing by Faith” about an Irishman
named Greatlakes:
b) He was a Protestant in Catholic Ireland and fled to England in 1641 at the outbreak of the Irish Rebellion. For a
time he served under Cromwell. In 1661, after a period of depression, he came to believe that God had given him,
a mere commoner, the power to cure scrofula.
c) When he began trying to cure the king’s evil, his friends and acquaintances were astounded to find that he did indeed
seem able to produce a regression in this disease.
d) This stunning achievement led him to try his hand at other illnesses like epilepsy, paralysis, deafness, ulcers,
and diverse nervous disorders, and he found that his touch was efficacious in these cases as well.
e) Soon word of his uncanny ability spread far and wide and he was besieged by multitudes of sick people. The crowds
that came to him were so great that he could not accommodate all of them even if he worked from 6:00 in the morning
until 6:00 at night.
e. The Quakers of the Society of Friends (1640–to Present)
a) The Quakers’ origins are traced back to English Puritanism in the 1640s. The first leader was George Fox, who
preached a message of the New Age of the Spirit. They were opposed by both the Puritans and Anglicans. The
typical Quaker meeting was characterized by the people waiting for the Spirit to speak through them and by
the people “quaking” as God moved among them. The following are some excerpts from Fox’s Journal:
b) In the year 1648, as I was sitting in a friend’s house in Nottinghamshire (for by this time the power of God had opened
the hearts of some to receive the word of life and reconciliation) — I saw there was a great crack to go throughout the
earth, and a great smoke to go as the crack went; and that after the crack there should be a great shaking. This was
the earth in people’s hearts, which was to be shaken before the seed of God was raised out of the earth.
c) And it was so: for the Lord’s power began to shake them and great meetings we began to have, and mighty
power and work of God there was amongst people, to the astonishment of both people and priests.
f. The Moravians Count Van Zinzendorf (1700-1760)
a) Count Van Zinzendorf established a city of refuge near Dresden, Germany called Herrnhutt. Persecuted Christians
came from all over Europe to make this home. The following is a brief account of a special visitation of the Spirit
that came to the village in the summer of 1727. From this, a prayer meeting started that lasted without
ceasing, twenty four hours a day for over 100 years.
Baptized Into One Spirit
b) Firmly believing it to be the will of God, Zinzendorf had thus begun to mold a divided band of refugees of different
denominations into a united and witnessing Congregation. But all through the summer, the people seemed to be
waiting and preparing for a visitation from the Lord.
c) Sunday 2 July was a day of great blessing; the Count preached in Herrnhut… The whole neighborhood was ablaze
with thanksgiving to God . . .
d) On 16 July he prayed among the young people. Besides the obligatory night watch, small groups of the single
Brethren held night-long vigils of prayer and meditation. These proved a real repose in God and Zinzendorf often
joined in.
e) From 22 July to August 4, Zinzendorf was on a visit to Baron Gersdorf in Silesia. In the Library he chanced upon the
Ratio Disciplinae and from the Preface learned of the early ecumenical vision of the ancient Irenic Church.
f) He drew up an extract in German from the Ratio and on his return he gave it to the prayer teams in Herrnhut.
Immediately they recognized the similarity between this church and what God was doing among them.
g) Wrote one Moravian, “We discovered therein the finger of God, and found ourselves, as it were, baptized under the
cloud of our fathers, with their spirit.
h) “For that spirit came again upon us, and great signs and wonders were wrought among the Brethren in
those days, and great grace prevailed among us, and in the whole country.”
g. The Jansenists (circa 1731)
a) “The expectation of miracles and other supernatural signs had become almost an integral part of the
Jansenist worldview by the end of the seventeenth century,” writes Robert Kreiser in his book Miracles,
Convulsions, and Ecclesiastical Politics in Early Eighteenth Century Paris.
b) One such miracle that he records is the cure of Pascal’s niece in March 1656. Marguerite had been suffering for a
long time from a serious and disfiguring lachrymal fistula in the corner of her eye. She was healed when a holy
thorn was simply touched to her eye. The miracle was supported by substantial medical evidence and made
a profound impression on the public.
h. John Wesley (1703–1791)
a) John Wesley was the founder of the Methodist church. In his Journal he writes:
Wednesday, August 15, 1750 — By reflecting on an odd book which I had read in this journey, The General
Delusion of Christians with Regard to Prophecy, I was fully convinced of what I had once suspected:
(1) That the Montanists, in the second and third centuries, were real, scriptural Christians; and
(2) That the grand reason why the miraculous gifts were so soon withdrawn, was not only that faith and
holiness were well nigh lost, but that dry, formal, orthodox men began even then to ridicule whatever
gifts they had not themselves, and to decry them all as either madness or imposture.
b) Wesley wrote a letter to Thomas Church in June 1746 in which he states:
c) Yet I do not know that God hath anyway precluded himself from thus exerting His sovereign power from working
miracles in any kind or degree in any age to the end of the world. I do not recollect any scripture wherein we are
taught that miracles were to be confined within the limits either of the apostolic or the Cyprianic age, or of
any period of time… I have not observed, either in the Old Testament, or the New, any intimation at all of this
d) St. Paul says, indeed once, concerning two of the miraculous gifts of the Spirit (so, I think, that test is usually
understood), “Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease.” But he does
not say that these or any other miracles shall cease till faith and hope shall cease also, till they all be swallowed up in
the vision of God…
e) March 17, 1746 -Praying over a young lady with a demon:
“We continued in prayer till past eleven, when God in a moment spoke peace into the soul… She joined in singing
praise to Him who had stilled the enemy and the avenger.”
f) Page 130, “I called at the house of William Shalwood. He and his wife both sick in bed, and with small hopes of
recovery of either. Yet (after prayer) I believed they would not die, but live and declare the loving kindness of
the Lord. Next time I called he was sitting downstairs, and his wife was able to go abroad.”
g) Page 146, “When I left Smeton, my horse was so exceedingly lame … he could scarcely set his foot to the ground. By
riding seven miles, I was thoroughly tired, and my head ached more than it had for months. I then thought, ‘cannot
God heal either man or beast, by any means, or without any?’ Immediately my weariness and headache ceased
and my horse’s lameness in the next instant. Nor did he halt any more either that day or the next.”
i. The Baptists (circa 1740’S)
a) From England early American Baptists received a tradition of laying on of hands after water baptism “for a further
reception of the Holy Spirit of promise, or for the addition of the grace of the Spirit…” for “the whole Gospel
was confirmed in primitive times by signs and wonders and divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost in
b) Baptist historian Edward Hiscox points to early records of the Philadelphia association where there are indications
that various gifts of the Spirit were in operation in the churches of that area about 1743.
j. Other Well Known Evangelists (circa 1820 — 1920)
a) Nineteenth century instances of tongues speaking may be traced to a revival in Port Glasgow, Scotland, led
by James and George MacDonald, men of unimpeachable character.
b) In 1830 Dr. Thompson, a lay member of Regent’s Square Presbyterian Church in London, carried news of this revival
to his pastor, Edward Irving. People in Irving’s church sought and received a Pentecostal experience of the
baptism in the Spirit, and began to speak in tongues and prophesy in public services.
c) The revival spread to Sweden, Ireland, and Armenia. The London congregation was soon divided by controversy and
forced to form a new denomination, the Catholic Apostolic Church. Self-appointed “apostles and prophets” soon
usurped Irving’s authority and interrupted his preaching and Communion.
d) Charles Finney stated, “I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. No words can express the wonderful
love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love, and I do not know but I should say, I
literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart.”
k. Life of Charles H. Spurgeon (by Russell H. Conwell)
a) Page 77, “The days of prophecy are not passed, neither is the period of miracles closed.
b) Page 102, He taught a Sunday School class, which grew out of all proportion to the rest of the school, but he reduced
it by urging the scholars to go out and become evangelists, in distribution of tracts, caring for the poor, and praying for
the sick.”
c) Page 173, When asked whether he believed all persons could be healed by the use of sincere prayer by persons who
believed in Christ and whose lives were righteous, he announced, “…no man probably in England or America in this
century (19th) has ever healed so many people as did Mr. Spurgeon, although he was not a physician.
d) “Thousands of cases were healed in answer to prayer, among them, partial paralysis, rheumatism, mental affliction
and contagious fever. He regarded himself as the mere agent of Divine power, and spoke of himself in two instances,
as unworthy of possessing the gift of healing.”
l. The Life of Dwight L. Moody (by his son)
a) An intense hunger and thirst for spiritual power were aroused in him by two women who used to attend
his meetings and sit on the front seat.
b) At the close of the services they would say to him, “We have been praying for you.” Moody would reply, “Why don’t
you pray for the people?” The women said, “Because you need the power of the Spirit,”
c) In relating the incident years later Mr. Moody said, “I need the power? I thought I had power! I had the largest
congregations in Chicago, and there were many conversions. But right along these two godly women kept praying for
me, and their earnest talk about anointing for special service set me to thinking.
d) “I asked them to come and talk with me, and they poured out their hearts in prayer that I might receive the
filling of the Holy Spirit. There came a great hunger into my soul. I did not know what it was.
e) “I began to cry out as I never did before. I really felt I did not want to live if I could not have this power for service.”
f) While Mr. Moody was in this condition the city of Chicago was laid in ashes by a fire that nearly destroyed the city. His
church was burned to the ground. Then the fire crossed the river and the Moodys had to flee in the night as the
flames engulfed their home also.
g) As soon as his wife and family were safe with friends, Mr. Moody devoted himself to relief work. He went to the East
to raise money for the homeless and also for a new church.
h) During this time the hunger for more spiritual power was still upon Mr. Moody. “My heart was not in the work of
begging money,” he said. “I could not appeal; I was crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit.
i) “Well, one day, in the city of New York — oh, what a day! — I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too
sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only
say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay
His hand.
j) “I went to preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were
converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you should give me all the
world — it would be as the small dust of the balance.”
k) In TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS OF FAITH, 1875: Dr. Richard Boyd, a friend of Moody, wrote: “When I got to the rooms
of the Y.M.C.A., I found the meeting on fire. The young men were speaking in tongues and prophesying. What
on earth did it mean? Only that Moody had been there addressing them that afternoon.”
l) From MOODY AND HIS WORK, “At a meeting in Los Angeles, Dr. Torrey told how in one of Mr. Moody’s big services
in London, as he arose to read the Scripture, he began involuntarily to speak words that neither he nor his
congregation understood.”
E. The remarkable effect of the ‘Azusa Street Pentecostal Revival’ and the ‘1948 Latter Rain Revival’
on world missions and church growth
1. The role of intense prayer, fasting, a hunger for God and an expectancy for revival
a. In 1905, Charles Parham moved his school from Topeka, Kansas, to Houston, Texas. There William J. Seymour, a
black evangelist, joined the school. He embraced the “teaching on tongues” but did not experience this in Houston.
b. In 1906, Seymour was invited to speak in a small black Nazarene Church in Los Angeles. On April 1, 1906, Seymour
spoke in tongues. The small group soon outgrew the little house on Bonnie Brae and moved into an old livery (horse)
stable at 312 Azusa Street.
c. Seymour was the central figure of the Azusa Street revival. The revival continued for three and a half years at Azusa
Street. Services were held three times daily — morning, afternoon, and evening.
d. Speaking in tongues was a central attraction, but healing of the sick was not far behind. Seymour was the pastor of
the congregation, which was made up of both blacks and whites, until his death in 1929. Pilgrims to Azusa were
common and came from all parts of the world.
2. The lowly status, humility and anonymity of those used by God
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the
world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 1 Cor 1:26-28
3. The lack of promotion of the revivals by the media or revivalists other than negative media attacks
a) Unlike the recently promotion of the Lakeland meetings by God TV or promotion of similar Charismatic events in Christian
publications, the Azusa Street revivalist had no way to use the media to promote their meetings.
b) Just the opposite, there was a lot of negative publicity from the media. This in fact only assisted in promoting the revival
resulting in more local and international visitors attending. (Phil. 1:12-14)
c) For example the headlines of the ‘Los Angeles Daily Times’ of April 18, 2006 was “Weird Babel of Tongues” with subtitles
of ‘New Sect of Fanatics Is Breaking Loose’, ‘Wild Scenes Last Night on Azusa Street’, and ‘Gurgle of Wordless Talk by a
d) However that was the day the news of the San Francisco earthquake that had devastated that city reached Lost Angeles. The
Azusa Street mission printed some 40,000 tracts, claiming that the earthquake was due to the evil of San Francisco, and
hinting if the people in Los Angeles did not repent they might fact a similar fate (there were daily aftershocks which caused
fear in the populace).
e) Due to the ‘negative’ advertisement in the LA newspapers, everyone know the location of the Azusa Street missions.
Thousands thus flocked there, found the Lord and were baptized in the Spirit.
4. The role of the supernatural and accurate prophecy in these revivals
a) In both the 1906 Azusa Street Revival and 1948 ‘Latter Rain’ revival in North Battleford Saskatchewan, clear specific
prophecies were given that prophesied of a world-wide outpouring of the Spirit culminating in the return of Christ.
b) These prophecies to a large degree have been partially fulfilled. The church in most ‘Third World’ nations that was small
(missions was in its initial stage) has grown beyond the wildest dreams.
5. The massive out flowing of Spirit-filled missions to the nations within years of Azusa Street revival
a) Through personal prophecy, visions and dreams, God confirmed to many ordinary laymen and preachers in these revivals,
that they were to take this Pentecostal message to Asia, Africa, South America and all nations of the world.
b) These unlearned untrained people flooded many nations fresh with the fire of Pentecost, gifts of the Spirit and a vision from
6. The foundation these missionaries laid for later revivals in China, Africa and other nations
a) These Pentecostal missionaries brought the fire and message of the revival to thousands of local indigenous churches. God
had already been working in these nations and there was a hunger for a Pentecostal revival. These Pentecostal missionaries
played a key role in bringing revival.
F. The Role of the Supernatural in China resulting in a 100% growth in Chinese believers since 1949
1. The Pentecostal foundations of great Chinese revivals before the Communist era (1949)
a) As early as 1900, Chinese Christians were speaking in tongues. After 1906 Pentecostal missionaries from Azusa Street
revival began to poor into China starting Pentecostal churches.
b) These Pentecostal missionaries were poor and not well educated, and they faced much persecution from denominational
missionaries. However God’s Spirit fell all over China, Pentecostal fellowships sprang up everywhere, and even many
denominational missionaries were baptized in the Holy Spirit.
c) William Wallace Simpson (1869-1961)
1) He went to Tibet in 1892 under the Christian Missionary Alliance. The head Lama cursed him or any Christian who would
dare to preach Christ in Tibet. In a ‘power encounter’ this Lama died, and the doors were opened to Simpson to preach the
Gospel. He was given by the Tibetan Lamas many priceless Tibetan Buddhist religious artifacts that he sold to the Museum
of Chicago to finance his missionary work.
2) Eventually he went to Peking (Beijing) and started a church. Around 1900 they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, spoke
in tongues and experienced divine healings. One person was raised from the dead.
3) However the Cu0026amp;MA in the USA later rejected the Pentecostal experience and commanded the China missionaries to fall in
line with the official doctrine. He refused to do so, was kicked out of the Cu0026amp;MA in 1916. In 1918 he joined the Assemblies of
God and remained in China until 1949 preaching the Pentecostal doctrine.
4) His son William E. Simpson (also an Assembly of God missionary) died at the hands of bandits near Tibet (1932) and his late
grandson, Richard Simpson, later jointed Shiloh in Oakland then under Violet Kiteley.
d) Jonathan Goforth (1859-1936)
1) He was the first Canadian Presbyterian missionary to China with his wife Rosalind. He became the foremost missionary
revivalist in early 20th century China and helped to establish revivalism as a major element in Protestant China missions.
2) The Goforths were sent to pioneer the North Henan missions in 1888. The work was difficult and they lost 5 of 11 children to
sickness. In 1900 they had to flee many miles across China during the ‘Boxer Rebellion’. He was attack by a sword, but
3) He was stirred by the great Welsh revival and in 1907 witnessed firsthand the stirring ‘Korean revival.’
4) He returned to China with the power of the Spirit in 1908 during the time of the unprecedented ‘Manchurian revival.’ He was
greatly used of God to bring revival to many parts of North China.
5) During 46 years on the mission field, he set up 31 mission stations, trained 61 native Chinese evangelists and converted over
13,000 Chinese people.
e) The Great Shantung (Shandong) Revival
1) Many missionaries and Chinese Christians were killed in Shandong Province by the ‘Boxers’ during the ‘Boxer Rebellion of
1900. But missionaries flooded back into this province and by the 1920’s there were hundreds of missionaries and tens of
thousands of Chinese Christians. However many felt the church was lacking the power of the Spirit, and many began to fast
and pray for revival.
2) Around 1932 God poured out His Spirit all throughout Shandong. First preachers and laymen openly confessed their sins and
made restitution. Everywhere meetings continued day and night with prayer, confession and weeping.
3) Many were baptized in the Spirit, spoke in tongues, had visions of Jesus and angels, etc. Soon a great healing revival began
with miracles, sings and wonders taking place everywhere. Countless hundreds of thousands were swept into the Kingdom
of God.
4) The results of this great revival can be seen to this day. It gave birth to powerful indigenous Chinese house church
movements such as ‘True Jesus Church’ and ‘Jesus Family’.
f) John Sung (1901-1944)
1) He is undisputedly the most famous Spirit-filled Chinese evangelist of all history.
2) From a Methodist background, he was trained in the United States, first earning a doctors degree in chemistry.
3) He later joined the Union Theological Seminary in New York for seminary study. During this time he backslide from Christ.
However after attending a revival meeting in New York conducted by a young Spirit-filled woman, he was baptized in the
Holy Spirit on Feb. 10, 1927.
4) He became so fervent in prayer and preaching, that the liberal seminary determined he was mentally unbalance, and he was
put in an insane asylum. He was there for 193 days (he influential family were instrumental in getting him released), and he
read the Bible through 40 times during those days.
5) He returned to China in 1927, threw his academic awards into the sea, and began an evangelical ministry that covered much
of South China and many SE Asian nations.
6) Miracles, signs and wonders followed his preaching. Over 100,00 were converted through his work.
7) In 1930 he joined the Bethel Bible School of Shanghai. With other graduates the ‘Bethel Evangelistic Band’ was established.
They travelled all over China preaching the Gospel and bringing revival fires to sleeping churches.
8) Daily he would spend hours in prayer, often going without sleep at night. Many miracles resulted from his prayers. However
he was never physically healthy, and died of intestinal tuberculosis aged 43 in 1944.
g) H. A. Baker (1881-1971)
1) He was a powerful Pentecostal missionary to Tibet from 1911-1919, to China from 1919-1950 and in Taiwan from 1955-
2) With his wife Josephine they began the Adullam Rescue Mission for street children in Yunnan Province.
3) The children in the home, mostly boys aged from six to eighteen, began to have spiritual experiences, claiming to have seen
Heaven through a series of visions. These visions were recounted in Baker’s book Visions Beyond the Veil.
4) Rolland Baker, the wife of the famous Heidi Baker (working mostly now in Mozambique) was the grandson of H.A. Baker.
They at one time worked with Dennis Balcombe in Hong Kong and Heidi can still speak fluent Cantonese.
5) H. A. Baker, his son, grandson and whole family have been greatly used by God for generations to bring the Pentecostal to
China and other nations.
h) The Jesus Family
1) “The Jesus Family (Yesu jiating) was a unique Pentecostal communitarian church first established in rural Shandong
Province (in a village called Mazhuang, in Taian County) about 1927. In later years, other Jesus Family churches were
established in North and Central China, many of them in Shandong but others as far south as the regions of Wuhan and
Nanjing. They were all in rural or semirural areas, and were formed into small communes of up to a few hundred, with the
believers working and living together, and holding property in common, under the direction of the ‘family head’.
2) It seems that there were well over one hundred of these Jesus Family communities in 1949, with a total of several thousand
members. All were run entirely by Chinese, under the overall leader Jing Dianying (1890-1953?).
3) The Jesus Family was strongly millenarian, anticipating the imminent return of Christ, and it was very Pentecostal, basing its
worship and behavior on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including tongues, and also on the believers’ receiving divine revelations
through messages obtained while in a trance.
4) All the Jesus Family communities were disbanded in 1953, but even today many former adherents are active members and
leaders in the Chinese Christian community. In the 1980s, some Jesus Family groups reappeared, but they are technically
illegal and subject to persecution by the authorities.”
2. The role of communist persecution in purging the Chinese church from anti Pentecostal theology and
a) All missionaries were driven out. But this was a great blessing!
1. Why? Most foreign missionaries WERE NOT baptized in the Holy Spirit and resisted the Pentecostal revival.
2. They controlled the finances which came from overseas and determined who could run the churches.
3. True missionaries operating in the Biblical pattern seek to make the churches indigenous and turn all control to local ministry.
b) Missionary trained clergy were sent to prison or slaved in labor camps. But this was a great blessing!
1. Many had the same anti-Pentecostal theology of the missionaries.
2. The celery also tried to control the church, much as missionaries had done.
3. The clergy did everything (preaching, teaching, evangelism, etc.)
4. Thus the work of the ministry came to all the members of the Body of Christ – no more professional clergy.
c) Church buildings were confiscated. But this was a great blessing!
1. Most expelled missionaries and denominational leaders lamented this and considered this the work of the
2. But it was a key factor that led to the present revival.
3. Church buildings (mostly built on using Western styles of architecture) underlined the fact that Christianity
was a western religion.
4. The finances and efforts of Christians were put into constructing and maintaining church buildings, not in
3. Testimonies of great Pentecostal revivals with accompanying miracles resulting in mass conversions
a) China open to the outside in 1978. We began a ministry of taking Bibles to the Chinese Christians, a ministry that has not
ceased to the present day (2008). Over 10 million Bibles and millions of copies of various titles of teaching materials have
been delivered to China.
b) House church Christians asked us, ‘How is it you as just a pastor of local church in Hong Kong without the financial support
of any para-church ministry, can provide us millions of Bibles?’
c) The answer was, ‘Through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit. We work with Spirit filled churches all over the world.
They both give and participate in the ‘Bibles for China’ ministry. Thus we were invited to teach on the truths of the Holy
Spirit and revival.
d) After teaching we prayed for the leaders to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Thus over a period of about 15 years (1980-1995),
tens of thousands of house church preachers were baptized in the Holy Spirit.
e) As they received the Holy Spirit and gifts of the Spirit, great boldness came and they went everywhere preaching the Gospel,
healing the sick and casting out devils. These preachers often would start new churches every week.
f) The numbers of Christians in S. Henan province (where most of our work was done), numbered in the tens of thousands only
in 1980. Now they claim 10 million believers in their fellowships all over China.
g) We began to work with a house church group in Daqing of Heilongjiang Province in 1989 that numbered about 30-50
believers. We taught them on the Baptism of the Spirit, and as they were filled with the Spirit miracles followed their
h) Their fellowship grew to 3,000 by 1991. On a visit there at that time I was told about two people who had recently been
raised from the dead.
i) By 1994 the fellowship had amazingly grown to 100,000 believers. Often they would conduct large worship revival meetings
in the wilderness attracting over 6,000 believers.
j) Now the church in the city and surrounding districts of Daqing numbers about 300,000 believers.
G. Miracles resulting in Muslims turning to Christ
1. The miracle of massive numbers of Muslims turning to Christ in Indonesia
a) Evangelism to Muslims in Indonesia, Egypt and other Middle Eastern nations
b) Healing miracles coupled with mercy ministries
2. The role of dreams, visions and divine healing experienced by Muslims resulting in conversion to Jesus
a) Jesus appear to Muslim woman in Mosque – Malaysia
b) Muslim leaders experiencing supernatural dreams turning them to Jesus.
3. Christian deliverance ministry to Muslim believers in Egypt and Indonesia resulting in conversion
a) Don’t be hesitant to offer prayer for Muslims
b) Reach out to Muslims – Invite them to your church or cell group to lecture on Islam.
H. Steps to see the miraculous operate in your ministry
1. The role of fasting, prayer and speaking in tongues in releasing the supernatural
2. Hearing the voice of God and operating prophetic gifts and the word of knowledge
3. Get out of the church building, stop attending endless Christian conferences and go into the harvest field of lost
and hopeless souls
4. The importance of miracles and healings bringing glory to God alone and not used to promote men, ministries or
The above is a brief introduction to the miraculous and evangelism in the nations of the world. If you are interested in knowing more
about this, specifically about ministry China, or if you wish to visit China to participate in this ministry, please contact us. More
information is found on our website and we will free of charge mail you DVDs and ministry reports and/or update you on China
ministry by email reports. Please contact us by email.
Pastor Dennis Balcombe (
Revival Christian Church; Revival Chinese Ministries International (RCMI)
G/F, Kwai Fong Terrace, 15 Kwai Yi Road, N.T.
Hong Kong
Church Fax: 852-23972576; Church Phone: 852-23807272, Dennis Cell Phone: 852-90210707;
Church Email:; Web Site:; Web Site:
RCMI Phone: 852-23804475; RCMI Email:; RCMI Fax: 852-24071891






Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap