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John MacArthur’s Strange Fire, reviewed by Dennis Balcombe

God used Demos Shakarian to start the Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship International, a movement that has touched the whole world. Hong Kong has one of the largest FGBMFI chapters in the world and hundreds of highly successful and quite wealthy business leaders are active in this fellowship. They work close with churches to host “gospel banquets” where thousands have been saved. Now the FGBMFI is spreading all over China with branches in most major cities, and tens of thousands of leaders in the market place and even the government are coming to Christ and preaching the Gospel. These Spirit-filled movers and shakers are literally changing the spiritual climate of China.

Lastly, I want to mention one American preacher and her husband who due to the revivals in North America have impacted many nations, specifically Mozambique with the Gospel. This is Roland and Heidi Baker. Rolland’s grandfather, H.A. Baker, the author of Visions Beyond the Veil experienced one of the most amazing Pentecostal revivals among orphan children in Yunnan Province, China in the 1920’s. Rolland is a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese, and after missionary work in Indonesia, came to Hong Kong, and worked under my ministry. Heidi as a Spirit-filled Christian was able to speak Cantonese in months. They began a ministry among drug addicts, sex-worker and others in the district around Temple Street, and saw tremendous success.

Later, Heidi and Rolland went to Mozambique, one of the poorest nations in Africa, a primarily Muslim nation. Later they were greatly touched by the “Father’s Blessing” revival that spread from Toronto in the 1990’s, and now are very close to leading ministers such as Randy Clark, Bill and Beni Johnson. For several years they have come yearly to Hong Kong and Taiwan where they have conducted “Kingdom Culture” conferences, and yearly thousands from China and Hong Kong are ministered to.

Their ministry in Mozambique under the name “Iris Global” which has seen the participation of and support of thousands of Spirit filled North American and European Christians, has seen the salvation of hundreds of thousands of people living in Mozambique and other African nations. It is reported over 10,000 churches have been started in Mozambique and other nations, a total of twenty, and they are directly related to the operation of the Holy Spirit: healing the sick, other miracles, and casting out of demons.

I have personally visited the work with a team from my Hong Kong church. We saw or heard first hand testimonies of multiple miracles such as blind eyes opening, crippled people walking and other miracles. We visited one village where after only three weeks of a team visiting on the weekend, the whole village, including the Muslim Imam, converted from Islam to Christ. The whole village was baptized in water and a simple church building was build. Some church growth experts have claimed that this is one of the greatest church growth movements in history. This part of Mozambique that was previously mostly Muslim is now becoming Christian, a fact recognized even by the government.

The three above examples are of people or ministries who are working or at one time worked in Hong Kong with the roots from the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement in North America. Hundreds of thousands are now in the Kingdom of God, members of the Body of Christ, and whole nations and society are being blessed and changing for the good. These facts of successful mission work rooted in the Pentecostal revivals in North America alone are sufficient to refute what John MacArthur says in Strange Fire.

People reading and believing in the writings of John MacArthur’s Strange Fire must be living a miserable life thinking the majority of the church worldwide is in error and deception. In addition to that, they do not believe God will speak to people today, heal their bodies, deliver people from bondages and experience His presence in praise and worship, which is basically nonexistent in churches not filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jude says, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

This faith was not just the doctrines of the reformation under Martin Luther or Calvinism and Reformed Theology, but the faith recorded in the Book of Acts. We need both personal faith and the doctrinal faith based on a true interpretation of the Word of God.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).

Pastor Dennis Balcombe
Hong Kong
18 May, 2014

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Category: Spirit, Spring 2014

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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