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Jerusalem 2015 Empowered 21 Global Congress: Renewing the Revelation of a Worldwide Pentecostal Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

Some 4,500 Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians from approximately seventy nations gathered in Jerusalem May 20-25, 2015 to reaffirm and clarify the Pentecostal truth restored to the Body of Christ in the first part of the 20th century and to pass the vision of the Pentecostal revival and world missions to the next generation. This revival began April 1906 when a small group of American Christians, both black and white, were baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. Within the short period of a little over 100 years, it has grown into the predominate branch of Protestant Christianity with close to 700 million adherents. The vision of E21 is that every person on earth would have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033.

View of David’s Citadel from Hinnom Valley, Jerusalem.
Image: Gilabrand / Wikimedia Commons.

It was stated that this was probably the largest gathering of Spirit baptized Christians gathered in Jerusalem to honor the Holy Spirit since the Day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2. Like that important day that we are all linked to, this conference had people from most nations in the world, the majority being what we term “Third-World Nations”. Probably over 1,000 were from Asian nations, with huge delegations from China and Indonesia.

The speakers included most of the present well-known leaders in the Pentecostal movement speaking in the main sessions, as well as both famous and not so famous speakers in dozen of workshops covering virtually every subject dealing with the church and ministry to the Lord and the world. Most Christian gatherings in Jerusalem focus mostly on praise, worship, prayer and reconciliation between different peoples groups. This had all that, but was also packed with solid Biblical teaching. If we have learned anything in the past 109 years of this movement, it is that Holy Spirit led and anointed ministry will only produce lasting fruit when it is based on solid Biblical teaching. The total audio library of both general sessions and workshop teachings (over 175 talks), can be ordered on-line at http://jerusalem2015audio.com

The Hall of Names at Yad Vashem. “Yad Vashem” comes from Isaiah 56:5, giving “a place and a name” to the millions of Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.
Image: David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons.

Most of those who participated in the conference also visited many historical Biblical sites in Israel before or after the meetings. The fact of the return of the Jews to their land after being in dispersion for close to 2,000 years, and the restoration of the State of Israel itself is a proof of the Bible, and a miracle you can see with your own eyes. Those who visited Yad Vashem (The Holocaust History Museum) were deeply moved, many to tears. Throughout history the powers of darkness have used every conceivable method to destroy and exterminate God’s chosen people, the Jews, culminating in the Nazi holocaust with the murder of six million Jews living in Europe. We learned behind this was a devilish doctrine of ‘replacement theology’ that is sadly still believed by some misguided Christians.

The restoration of God’s chosen people to their ancient land, as miraculous and important as it is, reminded us of the Biblical promises of the restoration of the church and the world-wide preaching of the Kingdom of God (Acts 3:19-21, Matthew 24:14, Eph. 5:26-27, etc.) In Empowered 21 we were reminded how the Pentecostal Gospel has been preached with signs, wonders, miraculous healing and gifts of the Holy Spirit to the whole world during the past 100 years resulting in the salvation of hundreds of millions and the transformation of lives and whole societies.

However, we were also reminded that many are backsliding from the Pentecostal message that focuses on the Cross of Christ, the Word of God and the working of the Holy Spirit to a compromising man-pleasing Gospel (Jude 3). I for one heard a clear call from many of the speakers to return to this Pentecostal faith that impacted the whole world. I heard many warn of the dangerous trend in Charismatic circles to accept and preach the hyper-grace message which has admittedly been the reason for the success of many mega churches claiming to be part of this Pentecostal movement. There was a strong call to repentance, fasting and prayer, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire resulting in holiness in the lives of believers and the preaching of the Full Gospel to the whole world.

The worship leading was done mainly by young people, many from Oral Roberts University and Australia. On the last day, the leaders of this generation of youth shared the Word and ministered to everyone. The Pentecostal vision truly has been maintained and spread throughout the whole world during the past century, and now the baton has been given to this generation of young people. They very possibly will be alive to usher in the return of Christ.

Dennis Balcombe
Hong Kong

 

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Category: Ministry, Summer 2015

About the Author: Dennis Balcombe knew he was called to be a missionary to China while he was a teenager, and was one of the first to enter the mainland when it opened to the West in the 1970s. He founded Revival Christian Church in Hong Kong in 1969 and continues to plant churches, travelling and ministering in China and internationally. He shares his story in One Journey, One Nation: Autobiography of Dennis Balcombe, Missionary to China (2011) and he is the author of China's Opening Door: Incredible Stories of the Holy Spirit at Work in One of the Greatest Revivals in Christianity (Charisma House, 2014). Revival Chinese Ministries International

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