Back To Jerusalem Visions

The Back to Jerusalem visions are visions that God has given many Chinese Christians in many places. They have been given through prayer, Bible study, dreams, and revelations and indicate that Chinese and Asian Christians are a crucial agent to finish the Great Commission.  This is a little of that story. It also means that we need to focus our efforts on evangelizing China and Asia in order to finish the Commission most efficiently. You can read much more in the book “Jesus in Beijing” by David Aikman and also here:

Chinese house church leaders have asked Christian organizations to help them train ~1,000,000 missionaries by 2055 to send to the 10/40 window with God’s truths and messages and make the “back to Jerusalem” vision a reality. (see esp. ~3:00+)

Adventists have been focusing more and more efforts in this 10/40 area in recent years.

The mission efforts now often have to be directed more towards big cities since that is where millions of people are living.

Many more videos of what Adventist missionaries are doing overseas are here:

The Back to Jerusalem vision is something that thousands of Chinese Christians are willing to die for. Why? Right now there are already hundreds of Chinese missionaries working outside China in the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, and Southeast Asia. Thousands more are in training, learning languages such as Arabic and English that will be put to use on the mission field. A team of thirty-six Chinese missionaries departed China in March 2000 for a neighboring Buddhist country.

The Back to Jerusalem vision is a vision that Chinese Christians have been receiving in various parts of the country since the 1920s. It was first given to a Chinese church called the “Jesus Family” in the late 1920s, and later to several different church groups in the 1930s and 40s. Chinese Christians were studying about evangelism around the world and they read:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

They prayed and meditated on this verse. God opened their minds to understand that there was was a geographic progression of the advance of the Gospel throughout the world. Evangelism started in Jerusalem” (the city near where they were standing), then “Judea” (the province west and northwest of Jerusalem), then “Samaria” (the province north of Judea), “and to the ends of the earth.” It seemed that God was indicating that the fire of the Gospel would start first in Jerusalem, and then spread west and north of the city, then further into the lands bordering the Gentile world, and onward into nations where God’s name was not known. Many centuries later, as adventurers and missionaries started exploring the world by ship, the fire of the Gospel spread to central and southern Africa, to the Americas, to hundreds of islands in the South Pacific, to Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia on the Pacific Rim. Around the beginning of the 20th century revival broke out in places like Korea, the Philippines, parts of eastern China and Southeast Asia.

The Japanese invasion of China was directly responsible for the formation of the Northwest Bible Institute. James Hudson Taylor II (the grandson of the world-famous pioneer) and his wife Alice were forced to leave their mission field in Henan Province due to the continual bombing of enemy aircraft. They traveled westward into Shaanxi Province, where they had the vision to establish a Bible school. They had no land to commence the work, but much prayer was undertaken for God’s provision. The prayer was answered. The China Inland Mission offered their premises near the city of Fengxiang. The first year just eight students came for a three month course. James H. Taylor II was appointed the Principal of the school, and Pastor Mark Ma later became the Vice-Principal. While ministering as the Vice President of the Northwest Bible Institute in Shaanxi, Mark Ma had a discussion with the Lord that changed his life forever

Although the school had only been open for two years, the Easter morning prayer-meeting in 1943 was to prove the genesis for a chain of events that drastically changed the lives of many. The impact of that prayer time could be said to have impacted the Chinese Church to this day….

On the hard surface of the courtyard, under the tall trees whose thick boughs spread a leafy shelter overhead, a map of China had been outlined in whitewash. The students stood around, looking at it. They had been hearing again of the needs of the great provinces to the North and to the West…. The sky was lightening in the east, and thin rays of light obliterated the fading grayness of the night. It was very silent in the courtyard, and the white-washed outline of the map on the ground stood out sharply. The solemn moment had arrived, the moment which brought with it an almost breathtaking hush. ‘Let those who have received the Lord’s commission leave their places and go and stand on the province to which God has called them’…. There was a stir among the group of students. Cloth-soled feet moved noiselessly as one, then another, walked across the courtyard to the map. And as the sun rose over the distant horizon, eight young people were seen standing quietly on the patch that was marked with the word XINJIANG. [2]

The vast Northwest region of China is Xinjiang, a Chinese name meaning “New Dominion.” The traditional name for the area was Eastern Turkestan. Xinjiang was, and still is, inhabited by millions of Muslims, the majority of whom speak languages from the Turkic linguistic family, such as Uygur, Kazak, Kirgiz and Uzbek. Other Muslim groups include Tajiks, Tatars, and Chinese-speaking Hui people. A large number of nomadic Tibetan Buddhists also inhabit Xinjiang.

On the evening of November 25, 1942, while in prayer the Lord said to me, “The door to Xinjiang is already open. Enter and preach the Gospel.” When this voice reached me I was trembling and fearful and most unwilling to obey, because I did not recall a single time in the past when I had prayed for Xinjiang; moreover it was a place which I had no desire to go. Therefore I merely prayed about this matter, not even telling my wife.

After exactly five months of prayer, on Easter morning, 25 April, 1943, when two fellow workers and I were praying together on the bank of the Wei River, I told them of my call to Xinjiang and one of the fellow workers said that ten years before she had received a similar call. I thanked God that He had already prepared a coworker. When I returned to the school I learned that on that same Easter Sunday at the sunrise service eight students had also been burdened for Xinjiang. It was with joy that I gathered them all together, and we planned to have a regular prayer meeting.

On the morning of May 23 as I fasted and prayed about the name of the Band the Lord revealed the verse of Script-xure to my heart, “This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then the end shall come.” Matthew 24:14.

I said, “O Lord what does this mean?” “It is this, I not only want the Chinese Church to assume responsibility for taking the Gospel to Xinjiang but I want you to bring to completion the commission to preach the Gospel to all the world.” I asked, “O Lord, has not the Gospel already been preached to all the world?”

The Lord said, “Since the beginning at Pentecost, the Pathway of the Gospel has spread, for the greater part, in a westward direction; from Jerusalem to Antioch to all Europe; from Europe to America and then to the East; from the Southeast of China to the Northwest; until today from Gansu on Westward it can be said there is no firmly established Church. You may go Westward from Gansu, preaching the Gospel all the way back to Jerusalem, causing the light of the Gospel to complete the circle around this dark world.” I said, “O Lord, who are we that we can carry such a great responsibility?” The Lord answered, “I want to manifest My power through those who of themselves have no power.”

I said, “That section of territory is under the power of Islam and the Muslims are the hardest of all peoples to reach with the Gospel.”

The Lord replied, “The most rebellious people are the Israelites, the hardest field of labor is my own people the Jews.” …. The Lord continued speaking, “Even you Chinese, yourself included, are hard enough but you have been conquered by the Gospel.”

I asked, “O Lord, if it is not that their hearts are especially hard, why is it that missionaries from Europe and America have established so many churches in China but are still unable to open the door to Western Asia?”

The Lord answered me, “It is not that their hearts are especially hard, but I have kept for the Chinese Church a portion of inheritance, otherwise, when I return will you not be so poor?

When I heard the Lord say He had kept for us a portion of inheritance, my heart overflowed with Thanksgiving and my mouth uttered many Hallelujahs! I stopped arguing with the Lord.

On May 23, 1943, Mark Ma reported the above revelation to the prayer group. They decided they needed a name for their group and the name “Bian Chuan Fuyin Tuan” was adopted. The Chinese name literally means, “The Preach Everywhere Gospel Band.” This is the name this small group of faith-filled men and women are known by in China to this day, but the missionaries agreed the English name of the movement should be “The Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band.”

This is an inter-denominational but not an anti-denominational group of workers accepting the whole Bible as God’s revelation. Its aim is to join members of the Lord’s body in fellowship to consecrate strength and will on the preaching of the Gospel in order to be ready for the Lord’s return. The sphere of the work is two-fold:

First, pioneer work is as follows:

In the seven provinces on the borders of China: Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Xikang [Tibetan areas of today’s western Sichuan], Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia.

In the seven countries on the borders of Asia: Afghanistan, Iran, Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Palestine.

Second: To establish new churches in evangelized areas as well as to shepherd and revive existing churches. In pioneer districts we plan to establish churches according to the example of Script-xure. In places where churches already exist, we plan to serve such churches. We look to the Lord alone for all financial supplies. [5]

Mark Ma was always considered the leader of the Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band. In addition to his responsibilities as Vice President of the Northwest Bible Institute and his busy schedule of evangelistic work, he assumed the added responsibility of traveling throughout China, “calling the Church to prayer and spiritual warfare on behalf of the Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band, and enlisting volunteers for service in this great work.” [6]

The following words of Mark Ma ring true for the present generation of Chinese believers who are now pressing forward with consecrated hearts to fulfill this great call: “My hope is that our Chinese Church will with determination and courage hold fast this great responsibility and, depending upon our all victorious Saviour, complete this mighty task, and taking possession of our glorious inheritance, take the Gospel back to Jerusalem. There we shall stand on the top of Mount Zion and welcome our Lord Jesus Christ descending with clouds in great glory!”