The acts of the Holy Spirit were very evident throughout South Africa in those years and later. One marvelous demonstration of the power of God came through a young Dutch Reformed missionary. He was David Pypers, an enthusiastic believer in his early forties who had not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit at that time. He had an outstanding ministry among Indians (not the American kind). At one point, he became much distressed over an Indian theologian who had come to South Africa and was challenging the Christian church, proclaiming that Jesus Christ had been a fake, that there had been no death on Calvary, that His disciples had removed Him before death so He could recover, that there was no tomb, that, in sum, Christianity was a farce.

The Indians in South Africa were beginning to pick up the challenge and were pressing David hard with questions like "How can you prove Jesus Christ is alive?" He just couldn't take this lying down and picked up the challenge, arranging to meet the Indian on a public platform to debate the truth of Christ. He spoke with a Dutch Reformed elder, and the old man agreed to pay expenses for the confrontation, so David rented the football stadium at Seapoint, Cape Town. The match was set.

Because of publicity in the papers, thirty thousand people--black, brown, white--jammed into the stadium. They weren't going to miss this show. The place quivered with excitement.

The Indian, as the challenger, went first, spinning out a story about how Jesus actually went into Egypt when the disciples took Him off the cross, doing many good works as a prophet there. He thoroughly ridiculed the Christian faith.

Then it was Pypers' turn. He recited various points in Scripture and in history that argued forcefully for the historical Jesus, God come in the flesh. But he realized, "I've been doing as much talking as he has. The whole issue is, who's got the truth? There's only one way. Jesus will have to reveal Himself here and now."

So he began to declare that Jesus was alive, that He was with them in the stadium, and that He could then and there do the very things He had done when He walked the earth as a man. Taking a deep breath, he spoke loud and clear, "Is there anybody in this audience that, according to medical judgment, has an incurable disease? Remember, it must be incurable. And if you are willing to come up here on this platform and let me pray for you, Jesus will heal you."

He gulped, shaking all over. He had prayed for sick people before and they had been healed. But this was different. Everybody was craning his neck to see. The stadium was buzzing.

And then came several men carrying a woman with braces all over her body. She was paralyzed. They lifted her up onto the platform, and David was on the verge of fainting. It was an impossible case. But he went ahead, and asked if there were any doctors present who would examine her and vouch for her condition. Several doctors came forth, including her own physician, and they concurred in pronouncing her affliction incurable.

There was no turning back. He simply walked up to her, without dramatics, laid his hands on her, prayed briefly, and then said, "In the name of Jesus, be healed."

She dropped her crutches and began to move. She removed some of her braces and moved further. A group of people made a curtain with their coats and she was able to remove all the braces from her body. She walked up and down the platform. The doctors examined her. She had been healed.

The crowd went wild, shouting, applauding, laughing. The Indian was furious and argued violently that the healing was a fraud and would not last. But nobody was paying any attention. The challenge was over. Victory was the Lord's.

As a matter of fact, Pypers had the woman examined several days later by five doctors, who issued a statement to the press that she was indeed well.

That was quite a day's work for young David. But it spelled trouble for him with his church. Instead of rejoicing with him, officials started action against him for having joined the confrontation without getting synod approval. But he survived the criticism, remaining effective in the church, and a year or two later received the baptism in the Holy Spirit--not, happily, under my ministry although I had instructed him about Jesus the baptizer. He went directly to the Lord. If I had been involved they would have said, "Oh, he's just one of those du Plessis fanatics."

Oddly enough, he did not go on to have a healing ministry, as many had expected. He did from time to time pray for the sick, as need arose, but it was not his specialty. He continued ministering to the Indians--Hindus and Moslems--whose attention he had most effectively secured.

 

From: A Man Called Mr. Pentecost by David DuPlessis, pag. 87-89, 1977, Bridge Publishing, South Plainfield, NJ

 

 

Index