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Brother Yun Gets a Bible

Mar 29, 2007

I have mentioned in earlier articles the fact that there are well over 100 million Christians in China today. This has been a fairly recent phenomenon. The gospel first came to Henan Province in 1884, and by 1922 there were only 12,400 Christians in the entire Henan Province.

Then in the year 1900 a secret society called "The Boxers" attacked many foreigners and killed more than 150 missionaries and thousands of Chinese converts. They thought this would stop the foreign missionaries from coming to China. They were wrong.

On Sept. 1, 1901, a Norwegian single woman, Marie Monson, arrived in Shanghai, inspired by the martyrdom of the missionaries the previous year. She stayed in China until 1932, training Chinese Christians in the Word, and often castigating Church leaders for hypocrisy.

In the 1940's a young woman heard the gospel from missionaries and was impressed, though she did not understand much. After 1949, when China became Communist and the Church was largely stamped out, this young woman forgot most of what she had been taught.

By 1958 all of the visible churches had been closed. In the 1970's a Christian delegation visited from the USA and later reported, "There is not a single Christian left in China." The hour was ripe for a resurrection.

The Chinese woman mentioned above had five children. Her second son was Liu Zhenying, or "Brother Yun," as he came to be called (pronounced YOON). By 1974, when Yun was just 16, his father was dying of cancer. One night, Yun's mother heard a clear voice tell her, "Jesus loves you." She knelt by her bed and rededicated her life to Christ. Then she called her family to come and pray to Jesus for her husband's healing.

The next morning, he was much better and was completely healed within one week. They summoned the neighbors, who presumed they were to come for a funeral. Instead, they found a man totally healed and wanted to know who his doctor was. All their relatives and friends came to know Dr. Jesus that day.

Yun witnessed this healing and soon wanted a Bible. But no one he knew had ever even seen a Bible. All copies had been destroyed. Bible teaching was very scarce, and Christianity was purely experiential. So Yun went to a former pastor, who told him that if he wanted a Bible, he would have to pray for one.

After praying for months, one morning at 4:00 a.m. he had a vision-dream of an old man with a long beard pulling a cart of fresh bread. "Are you hungry?" he asked. Yun replied, "Yes, I have nothing to eat." The old man then took a red bag of bread from his cart, and the two servants gave it to Yun, telling him to eat it immediately. When he did, the bread instantly turned into a Bible.

He woke up and began to search the house for the Bible. When he realized it had only been a dream, he began to weep uncontrollably, and his family thought he had had a breakdown. Then came a knock on the door, and a voice called out his name. He recognized the voice from the dream and rushed to the door, asking, "Are you bringing the bread to me?"

"Yes, we have a bread feast to give you," came the reply. He opened the door, and there stood the two servants he had seen in his dream, holding a red bag. They gave him the bag with the Bible and quickly departed into the darkness, for delivering a Bible was a dangerous mission.

Later, he learned that the two men were Brother Wang and Brother Sung, who came from a far-off village. An evangelist had a Bible that he had buried years earlier. He had nearly died through torture and had suffered much for the gospel. But a few months earlier, he had had a vision instructing him to dig up the Bible and to give it to a young man. In the vision he saw the location of the village and the house itself. He resisted, but finally was obedient to the vision, sending the Bible with two of the brethren, who arrived right after Yun had had his dream.

That is how he got his first Bible. It took 28 days for him to memorize the book of Matthew. Then he began preaching by simply quoting the book of Matthew. The power of God moved, and within his first year (age 16) he led over 2000 people to Christ. There were relatively few Christians in China in 1974. Today there are more Christians in China than in any other nation.

I want to share more of his story with you later, because his life is a good example of how we can be led by the Spirit. All of our stories are different, of course, but yet the patterns are all the same. We have the same God, who is sovereign over all nations and will ultimately be recognized as such.

The full story of Brother Yun can be found in the book, The Heavenly Man, which he wrote with Paul Hattaway in 2002. It is published by Monarch Books in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


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Dr. Stephen Jones


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