Welcome Reader Friends! Thanks for joining us today for my book review of The Heavenly Man, another favorite.
The Heavenly Man
“By meditating on the Word of God, the Lord strengthened me to endure.”—Brother Yun
The Heavenly Man is a true story about a Chinese Christian who endures persecution in China toward the end of the 20th Century. And I mean endures! After finishing this book, I waited several weeks to write this review because I was so shaken and convicted in my own Christian life. Brother Yun led such an amazing life for Jesus Christ, everyone must read about how God used him!
Saved at a young age, Brother Yun immediately began to witness God’s mighty hand of miraculous protection and divine guidance. Gradually, he became a leader in the underground house church movement in communist China.
The most significant aspect of this book for me was the challenge to step up and step out more in faith for God. As a youth, Yun didn’t know how to preach, but he found a Bible and memorized the Gospel of Matthew, and recited it to others. Whole groups of people came to Christ through his simple witness, and that was just the beginning.
Brother Yun spent several years in prison and endured much torture. Everywhere he went, whether running from authorities, or during interrogations at facilities, he quoted Scripture. During some questioning, he feigned insanity, claiming to be a “heavenly man,” to avoid answering questions that would betray his Christian coworkers.
As the house churches in China became organized, Yun also hosted underground discipleship schools. We may think we know what living for Christ costs in the world, but this book shows another type of experience in a distant land. One of Yun’s schools lasted two months hidden inside a cave. Every day, the students memorized one chapter of Matthew, and in sixty days, they’d read through the New Testament. When the students left this school of prayer and learning, the Lord used them mightily!
Yun has important words for Christians in the West as well, which will cause each reader to examine him/herself. How lukewarm and worldly much of the Western church environment has become! Yun says in China, they endure through great suffering, and they give everything in their possession for Jesus. But in the West, many of us seem to give only our spare or excess time and money. It’s no wonder that Yun and others started a sacrificial missions movement from China, and are working westward as missionaries, reaching the world—a ministry called Back to Jerusalem.
In the Back to Jerusalem missionary training, students learn primarily how to suffer and die for Christ, how to witness everywhere for the Lord, and how to escape man’s custody when arrested by authorities who mean to hinder the gospel work.
The closeness and self-denial of the Chinese Church has greatly impacted me while reading this account. The book includes many photos that celebrate Yun’s years of trials, and eye-witness accounts to verify his record. The government-sponsored “religious leaders” in China have responded to this book with lies and slander, but the fruit that Yun has borne for Christ is unmistakable.
I give this book a five-star rating, and recommend that every Christian read it. Others in leadership in my own assembly are reading The Heavenly Man now, and I expect them to emerge with deep thoughts to encourage us to give more of our hearts to God.
Let me know if it impacts you as well. May we all live more faithfully for our Lord!
See you on the field!
One of David Telbat’s COIL novels, Distant Front, Book Two of The COIL Legacy, focuses on suffering and persecution in China, and he has also highlighted the Back To Jerusalem Ministry in the back of the book. You can begin this series with the FREE Prequel of The COIL Legacy, Distant Boundary. Click the title for direct links to retailers for your free download.
David wrote a post with a glimpse into Christian persecution and suffering called, “Suffering in Distant Front.” He shares some of God’s reasons for allowing suffering. It’s well-worth a read.
Visit this page to read other Book Reviews by D.I. Telbat.
Prayer Prompt: Please pray for the safety of Brother Yun and his team, as well as for open doors and much fruit for the Back To Jerusalem Ministry.
COMING UP: Join us next time for another unique D.I. Telbat Christian Short Story, “The Blame-taker.”