When I was working on Brother Yun’s schedule for his Chicago visit, about six weeks before this last weekend, a good friend and solid missions leader, Rev. Ray Prigodich, became involved in my efforts. Ray is an elder at Village Bible Church (Sugar Grove, IL). Ray wanted to know more about Brother Yun before the church invited him to speak on September 21st, and thus did some serious, open-minded, research. (Thank God for men like Ray who ask and remain open to the truth.) In his reading Ray came across an online blog comment by a professor at Denver Seminary that was very favorable toward Brother Yun. This discerning and favorable word came from the well-known author Douglas Groothuis. As a result of this comment by Douglas Groothuis I passed this blog along to the Zondervan publicist and suggested that she contact the seminary. The publicist did this and thus Brother Yun was invited to speak at Denver Seminary on Tuesday, September 23.

The following report is from a Denver Seminary news source. I share this information so that you might see once again how God is using this brother so powerfully. Pray for him as he is now on the West Coast speaking in churches and schools in Southern California. His message is so obviously needed that I am not surprised at all that revival winds blow where he now goes.

Here is the news from the Denver Seminary post I received on Thursday:

This past Tuesday evening the seminary chapel was filled to overflowing with people who came to hear Brother Yun’s witness.  As some of us agreed afterward, it seemed that the Holy Spirit was present in ways we have never experienced on campus before.  Our prayer is that Brother Yun’s visit is the beginning of a season of renewal; of radical openness to what our Lord the Spirit wants to do in our community; of recommitment to the power of the Gospel of the Kingdom to set us free from whatever prisons hold us, just as it did for Brother Yun who by the power of the Spirit miraculously walked out of the highest security prison in China; and of surrender to how Jesus wants us to be His agents of transformation in the church and the world for the sake of His Kingdom.

News like this excites me more than all the news and debate about economic woes this week. It has very often been during times of huge economic breakdown that the Holy Spirit has moved powerfully in the church and the wider society. May it happen again!

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  1. Rick Sholette September 26, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Hi John:
    I have been following your compelling story and honorable defense of Brother Yun, and have been printing copies of your blogs for one of my book research files.
    As you know, I believe one of the most misunderstood and underappreciated phrases in the Bible is that from Col. 3:17 where we Christians are told to do everything “in Jesus’ name.” The meaning of these three words go far beyond simple utterance at opportune moments; they are a call for Believers, individually and collectively, to live and minister in such a way that Jesus’ character is demonstrated, His truth is upheld, His authority is exercised, His power is manifest, His purposes are served, and His reputation is promoted. Is there any failure in the Church that does not reflect a deviation from one or more of these Pauline standards?
    The story of Brother Yun illustrates both sides of this comprehensive biblical ethic: when a Christian lives accordingly–and when Christians do not.
    You describe Brother Yun as a man with spiritual power, who speaks with spiritual authority, embraces the truth, and cares about God’s purposes, but whose good character and reputation is being slandered by “Christians” who do not sufficiently care about the truth or about protecting Jesus’ reputation as it is linked to Brother Yun’s, thereby compromising God’s good purposes at work through this man.
    I would suggest that Brother Yun’s spiritual power is inextricably connected with his godly character, embrace of truth, exercise of divine authority, advancement of God’s purposes, and concern for Jesus’ reputation. On the other hand, his ungodly detractors are demonstrating what happens when Col. 3:17 is not lived.

  2. Douglas Groothuis September 26, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    I attended all three meeting of Brother Yun at Denver Seminary: the chapel talk, the lunch discussion, and the very powerful evening service. All were strong demonstrations of the reality of the gospel and our need to be Spirit-filled and fearless witnesses to Jesus Christ.
    Brother Yun is an utterly earnest and humble man who trusts God for the impossible. He has much to teach us about suffering, miracles, and witness. I recommend The Heavenly Man book highly. I have only started reading Living Water.

  3. Douglas Groothuis September 29, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Hello Again:
    My wife, Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, wrote this and it was sent out by Howard Baker, our campus chaplain at Denver Seminary.
    Weekly e-Encouragement from the desk of Howard Baker
    September 29, 2008
    This report from Rebecca Groothius:
    Brother Yun at Denver Seminary, September 23, 2008
    It was an amazing evening. The Seminary Chapel was packed out. People were standing around the walls and sitting outside the doors. This was not a Denver Seminary crowd (although a number of students and quite a few Asians from the Seminary were in attendance). A group of young people were sitting near us; the young woman next to me said she had read The Heavenly Man twice. I told her that my niece (from whom we had first learned about Brother Yun) so wished that she could be here, that it would be like meeting Jesus or one of his disciples. “Oh, Yes!!” the young woman exclaimed excitedly. She and the others with her were part of a group from a large church in Colorado Springs who had visited China. She was so encouraged that so many had turned out for the event. “God has saved 7,000 for himself,” she declared, her eyes glowing with joy. I piped up, “Yes, like God said to Elijah.”
    The room was not just full of people, it was full of the Holy Spirit. I thought to myself, “I never would have believed it possible!” It has been more years than I can remember since I’ve known such a powerful sense of the Spirit’s presence. But I should not limit God so. If Brother Yun had one central theme, it was that Jesus is alive and will do whatever he pleases to do. Mighty miracles are an easy thing for the Lord to do, and when he determines to do a thing, he does it.
    Well no, that was not the central theme. Another theme was also central to his message, namely, that we absolutely must have wholehearted, unconditional love for, and trust in, the Lord Jesus. No matter what.
    The best part of the evening for me was when Brother Yun recounted a time he was imprisoned and had been tortured and very badly beaten. He had been taken back to his cell and he lay there, wanting to die. The guard taunted him, saying he was crazy and would never get out of there alive (which certainly looked to be the case). Then the Lord brought to Yun’s mind a verse from Scripture (I forget what it was), and he was heartened and emboldened by this truth of God’s Word. So he determined that he would defy the guards and his circumstances and commence to praise the Lord. They thought he was crazy? So, he would act crazy! He began to sing Psalm 63 as loudly as he could. And at that point in his talk, Yun commenced to do just that. The translator was quiet as Yun sang through the whole psalm. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was just pouring out his heart before the Lord, as though he were back in that prison cell. There was no sense of self consciousness. He was not trying to impress anyone. He had no singing voice to speak of. But oh, it was beautiful. It was like stepping into the anteroom of heaven.
    Both Brother Yun (which is pronounced somewhere between yun and yoon) and his translator (a middle-aged Finnish man, who also had been imprisoned in China), were so patently earnest, real, and zealous for the Lord. It was obvious that they didn’t just talk the talk, as they say. Their testimony was the real thing. It was Paul and Peter and Jesus. For two hours the audience was riveted to the podium. I found all this spiritual reality wonderful, but also rather difficult to bear, and I couldn’t help weeping slightly throughout the whole time (used up quite a few tissues blowing and blotting). I felt quite silly, when I stopped to think about it, which wasn’t often.
    You don’t need power point and anecdotes and endless references to American popular culture, you don’t need to limit the length of the message to 30 minutes lest people lose interest, you don’t need loud music with subwoofers and proudly prancing “worship” leaders on stage. You don’t need any of that, if you can just have the presence of the Holy Spirit. And his presence in fullness is possible only when the Word of God abides in hearts that are sold out to Jesus, live or die, come hell or high water.
    Howard Baker
    Instructor of Christian Formation
    Campus Chaplain
    Denver Seminary
    6399 South Santa Fe Drive
    Littleton, CO 80120
    303.783.3138 (phone)
    303.761.8060 (fax)
    303.475.2221 (cell)

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