Dedicated to my Swiss friends, Ruth and Dr. Arthur Scherbarth of Bern/Switzerland and Kelowna, B.C. with true appreciation and gratitude.
WINE OF GOD
By Dr KURT KOCH
WHAT IS TRUTH?
Under the cross of Jesus, the Roman officer who was in charge of the execution called out, "Truly this was the Son of God" (Matt. 27:54). After completing his work for the day, this captain reported to his family with great excitement and emotion what he had experienced at this unusual crucifixion. The seventeen-year old son of the captain was named Quaestus. He possessed something of his father's honest nature. With the zeal of youth, he decided to get to the bottom of the matter.
"I want to find out what the case is with this King of the Jews. Was He a victim of a Roman error in justice? Or did pious fanaticism lead Him to His death?" Quaestus set out on his way. The first man he found was a certain Rabbi Ben Huda. "Rabbi," he asked, "can you tell me who this King of the Jews was?"
"My son, do not call the crucified man by this name. He was a blasphemer, and for this reason He had to die according to the law".
"Of what did His blasphemy consist?" inquired the curious young man further.
"He made himself to be the Son of God. But now do not detain me any longer. I want to go to the temple and thank God for the fact that His honor has been restored".
Quaestus searched further. He met a colleague of his father, the centurion Aemilius.
"Hello, Aemilius, can you spare a moment?"
"Why not. What do you have on your mind?"
"Have you heard anything about the circumstances surrounding the crucifixion?"
"Yes, why, all of Jerusalem knows about that."
"What do you think of this King of the Jews?"
"That can be explained quickly. According to Roman law, for the past 200 years agitators, rebels, and political troublemakers have been nailed to the cross. After all, we have to put such rascals out of business".
Quaestus wrinkled his forehead. Ever since hearing the descriptions from his father, he harbored a secret sympathy for this man who was crucified in the middle of the three crosses.
The young seeker after truth could not rest on this Friday. Late in the evening the streets of Jerusalem became deserted.
Something drove Quaestus to walk once more along the Via Dolorosa. There a sinister-looking man came towards him.
Quaestus deliberated whether he should speak to this man. The opinion of rabbis and officers is not always the most accurate. Does not the opinion of the common people also often come near to the truth?
"Schalom lecha - Peace be with you," Quaestus said to him. He did not use the Roman form of greeting, 'salve', because he saw that he was dealing with a Jewish man.
"You have certainly heard of the frightful thing that happened today?", the young man continued.
"Have I heard of it! It even affects me somewhat personally".
Quaestus pricked up his ears.
"You have something to do with it? What am I supposed to understand by that?"
"This I want to tell you. I am Barabbas. The death sentence was the judgment which was supposed to be for me. Yesterday they took me from my cell and placed me on the stand beside another prisoner. Pilate asked those gathered there, "Whom should I release to you?" The people cried, "Release Barabbas to us!"
"I did not know what was happening to me. But I really was set free. At first I wandered through the streets of Jerusalem and enjoyed the freedom I had just regained. Then something drew me to the place of execution so that I could look at the unknown man to whom I owed my release. From the distance I gazed at the hanged man and thought: you are hanging there in my place and I am free. I am not the kind of man who places much value on feelings, but this act of substitution gave my life back to me".
Quaestus had listened with great suspense. "Then you must be thankful to this stranger?"
"Of course! I do not know him. I only know that he has saved me. I will not forget that very quickly".
"I thank you Barabbas. Take full advantage of this newly won life!"
The longer Quaestus searched for witnesses, the stronger grew his sympathy for the crucified man, the One whom his father called God's Son.
Several days passed. His interest in this matter and his inner unrest did not diminish.
Quaestus remembered that there were men in Jerusalem who maintained that they had been healed by this King of the Jews. Could he not perhaps locate such people?
Quaestus did not succeed in this plan. But through the providence of God he found another point of contact. He had heard that the followers of the Crucified One usually gathered at night because they could then more easily escape the persecution of the Pharisees and the priests. He built his plan on this fact.
During the time of the second night watch he strolled along several streets, always pressing himself against the houses so that he would be inconspicuous in the shadows. Then he noticed several men and women furtively entering a large house.
Quaestus stationed himself near the entrance and waited. Again several visitors approached the house. He asked them, "Who lives here?"
No answer! Only inquiring glances met him.
Then still a third group approached. The young man became bolder.
"Is there a meeting in this house? Who lives here? I am not an agent of the authorities or of the Sanhedrin. My father is a Roman officer and believes in the King of the Jews. I would like to hear more about this matter. Can you give me further help?"
This questioning did get results. All the disciples of the Crucified One had meanwhile heard of the believing Roman captain.
A bearded man answered him, "Wait a moment. I want to ask my brother."
The stranger hurried into the house and soon returned. "You may enter. We respect your father."
Quaestus joined the secret gathering of the disciples of Jesus. The atmosphere became unusually lively. Several of the late arrivals declared, "Jesus has risen. He lives. He has appeared to several people".
Other voices expressed doubt: "Was it not a vision? A vision born out of a pious heart?"
"I want proof, proof, otherwise I will not believe it. If I do not see the marks of the nails and put my hands in them, I will not accept it as true."
Quaestus went home late that night. Sleep evaded him. The reports had affected him too deeply. Even the atmosphere which prevailed in this group was so completely different from that among the Romans and the Jews.
What kind of world is this?
Quaestus reviewed this experience with those he met since the day of the crucifixion:
"Blasphemer" - said the rabbi.
"Agitator" - explained the centurion.
"My substitute" - said Barabbas.
"I want proof" - demanded the disciple.
"God's son" - was the opinion of his father.
"And what does this King of the Jews mean for me?" Quaestus asked himself. With this question he finally fell peacefully asleep.
This introductory story reveals Biblical truth mixed together with a legend. In this connection a possible misunderstanding must definitely be avoided and, at the same time, a confession must be made.
The events which are reported in the Bible are not myths and fables but true events, facts in the history of salvation. I believe without reservation in the events in the Bible. But Christian stories and legends have arisen which are outside of the Bible, which are not historical, but still serve to clarify some truth.
The one great truth which is to be found in the Quaestus story is the fact that opinions are divided about Jesus.
Jesus is the touchstone of our innermost attitude. Jesus represents the value of our being. In Jesus we have our salvation or our destruction.
All spiritual events which have their origin in God obviously have the same touchstone character, be it a miracle, an answered prayer, a divine healing, or even a revival. In this book, this truth will be demonstrated in the problem of four revivals.
REVIVALS AND ANTI-REVIVALS
The second half of the twentieth century has a decidedly eschatological character. Evil is becoming ripe unto judgment and the good, the congregation of Jesus is experiencing its preparation for the day of the Lord. Revelation 22:11 is being fulfilled today: "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still".
Satan knows the character of our time better than most of our university theologians. Therefore, he arranges everything in such a way that he might confuse or thwart the defenses of the disciples of Jesus. This opponent of God is the founder of the anti-revival.
The countermovement occurs in four sectors: in the area of the somatic or physical, of the psychological, of the intellectual, and of the cultic.
A sexual intoxication is sweeping over the earth today and has taken hold of the people as never before. The threshold of Sodom and Gomorrah was crossed already a long time ago.
A psychological intoxication in the form of the movement of speaking in tongues and other extreme tendencies is whipping up people who are religiously predisposed. This is not to be misunderstood. I believe in the filling with the Holy Spirit, I believe in the work and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but I emphatically reject all human and demonic imitations.
An intellectual intoxication, the absolutizing of human reason, has taken hold of the educated people and blocks for them the entrance into the working of the Holy Spirit.
The climax of these anti-revivals is, then, the satanic cults with a religious character which have sprung up in all the major cities of the world. Let us only recall here the black pope in San Francisco, Anton Szandor LaVey. He boasts of having 200,000 members in his church of Satan who have all signed themselves over to the devil with their own blood.
All of this is Satan's strategy of the last days; he has taken up the final battle against the Nazarene.
But the Lord Jesus does not stand passively by. In this time when the gates of hell have opened and myriads of demons have come to plague the congregation of Jesus, the Spirit of the Lord is at work just as hard as before in the past 1900 years.
Throughout the world the fire of the Holy Spirit is breaking forth. Large and small revivals are being granted. These are the signs of fire which the returning Lord is igniting. Just as at night the airport beacons point out to a landing airplane the way to the landing runway, so the Lord announces his coming through many spiritual upheavals.
At no time in church history - with the exception of the apostolic time - have so many spiritual fires been ignited simultaneously as in the twentieth century. I have received from God an undeserved gift in the opportunity of visiting most of the revival areas of the world. Everywhere, I came upon the footprints of the risen Lord, who is sending to his congregation a great period of grace.
Kregel Publications has published a series of my reports in book format: Victory Through Persecution (The Korean Revival), Revival in Indonesia, Revival Fires in Canada and World Without Chance?, which includes several reports on the revival at Asbury College.
Here, in this pocket edition I will provide a few excerpts from the revivals in Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, Formosa, and Southern India. Those who are familiar with the German language have greater access to information. Five of my books consisting of from 450 to 558 pages of missionary reports are available in the German language. These references to additional sources of information are not provided with the intention of praising my own books. No, I want to enable those readers who are unable to visit the centers of revival themselves to participate in the blessing which emanates from the revival areas. Many letters show me what spiritual fruit these books have brought. Christians have been led to a new devotion to the Lord. Unbelievers have capitulated before Christ.
A second reason for the reference to these books is the fact that there are in North America seven million people who have a command of the German language because they have German ancestors. Since we do not otherwise promote our German language books in North America, I hope to reach the German-speaking people in this way.
Now, I will proceed to the discussion of the revivals.
I find the first reference to revival in Genesis 1:2. The second verse of the Bible speaks of revival: "And darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
It looks dark in the world today, and again the Spirit of God moves over the chaos.
I hardly know where I should begin and where I should end. It was in the year 1972. I was traveling through Brazil for the sixth time. Of the many countries I have visited, this country attracts me strongly. It is, to be sure, a citadel of spiritism and of the satanic cults. At the same time, this country with its 100,000,000 people is open to the gospel.
In Florianopolis there was a conference of Baptists. The program had been prepared ahead of time. But there was one who did not keep to the program: the Holy Spirit himself. While the brethren were praying, the power of God came over them. A spirit of confession of sin and of repentance took possession of them. There were tears of repentance and mutual confessions. No one inquired about the time and about ordinary obligations. They continued to stand for awhile only in the presence of God and experienced a new cleansing and a preparation for service.
Then there was an incident in Pommerode. I had been invited to come by Pastor Liesenberg. The meetings were scheduled for eight o'clock. But already at seven o'clock there was no room left in the church. All the seats were taken! In an adjoining room fifty people were sitting on the floor. The corridors were also packed. The sacristy, too, was filled with men. They sat on the steps leading to the pulpit. A tent was set up to provide additional space next to the church. Even that was filled to overflowing. Those who did not come early had to turn back, for no room could be found within the range of the loudspeaker. Many decisions were made. Two Christian congregations came into being during this week of lectures.
The week in Pelotas passed in a similar way. Pastor Müller, an old friend of mine, had called me to come. I enjoyed working with him very much. During the week of lectures the city experienced a flood. The streets were standing under water. We feared that this water would keep the people away from the services. But they came anyway. The church was so full that here, too, the lectures were relayed to a second room by means of an intercom and closed circuit of television. Pastor Müller said to me, "It was good that God sent us this flood. Otherwise we would not have been able to provide seats for the people. Now, only those who definitely were drawn by the Spirit of God came in the face of these obstacles.
An individual case should be reported.
Three weeks prior to the beginning of the campaign, a Roman Catholic man had a strange dream. We may not place a special value on dreams. We have the inspired Word of God as our foundation. But, we also do not have the right to deny God the privilege of confronting a person by means of a dream. This Roman Catholic saw a cross. Under it was standing a messenger of Jesus, who was preaching in a language which he could not understand. Then, the strange man disappeared and the man heard in his dream the voice of Jesus: "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
In the days and weeks which followed, the man forgot his dream. Then, someone pressed into his hand an invitation to the lectures in the Lutheran church. The first topic read: Spiritism as Seen from the Perspective of Pastoral Work. This topic interested him. He was, to be sure, a Catholic, but instead of going to mass, he attended the meetings of the spiritists. Out of curiosity he entered the church. During the first lecture, he remembered his dream and said to himself: Indeed, this is what I saw and heard. He came again the next evening, and again on the third evening. Then the Spirit of God seized him. He was convicted of his sins and came the next morning for pastoral counseling. At that time, he surrendered his life to the Lord. The Catholic, a spiritist, became a disciple of Jesus. Not everything can be fully reported here.
In one city, sixty people responded to the invitation. In another city, there were more than two hundred. But it is not a question of numbers. An intoxication with numbers has led many an evangelist into an attitude of arrogance and has robbed him of his full spiritual authority. It is the Spirit of God, not we pitiful missionaries, who leads men to the decision. Alongside the spiritist cults and the fanatical movements, there is blowing in Brazil, also, the breath of the Lord. Every time I visit this land, it appears to me as if the Lord will ignite the fire of revival there very soon. Who wants to pray that it may happen soon according to the will of God? In Brazil, humanly speaking, the future of South America will be decided.
THE REVIVAL IN INDONESIA
Events from the Indonesian Revival
This report is not intended as an introduction to or a survey of events in Indonesia. Such a report is available in the book Revival in Indonesia and in still greater detail in the German book Uns Herr wirst du Frieden Schaffen.
Only certain events will be selected which have caused much offense in the western world. The reason for this is that many western theologians do not believe the Bible, but rather take their own understanding as the standard.
Is the word of John 14:12 able to open our eyes? "Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."
Now is that truth or pious imagination? Whoever does not believe the Bible and wants to demythologize its reports of miracles will be excluded from every revival.
Even as I was writing this chapter, a letter from Dr. J. T. V-L., a believing woman in Holland came into my hands.
This believing Christian has an earned doctorate from a university. After reading my book, she sought contact with a missionary who had returned to Holland after several years of activity on Timor.
This Reformed theologian brought home from the mission field the following verdict:
The revival movement in Indonesia is pagan Messianism. The miracle of water being changed into wine is deceit. All of these miraculous acts of God are fantasies of high-strung islanders. He had been in Soe himself and had searched in vain for a person who had risen from the dead.
What can one reply to this? Poor missionary! The glory of God which Jesus gave to His disciples and still gives today (John 17:22) has not yet appeared to him. Perhaps it would have been better had he remained at home instead of trying to minister to the islanders. The institute at which he taught has been pumped full of biblical criticism, anyway, by Europeans. I will discuss this matter again later. Let us proceed next to the matter which causes the greatest offense to the western world.
The Resurrection from the Dead . . .
The Dutch missionary of whom we have spoken testified, "I was in Soe once in 1969. I found no one who had been raised from the dead."
I have also been in Soe myself. I was not at all concerned with finding someone who had risen from the dead. I experienced something much greater, namely, that men who were dead in their sins were awakened to spiritual life. I was present when a murderer confessed his monstrous deeds and surrendered himself to Christ. I was also present when King Kusa Nope gave his testimony for Christ. The return home of the prodigal son in Luke 15 is a greater miracle than the resurrection from the dead of the widow's son of Nain (Luke 7). The spiritual has precedence over the material. A rebirth through the Holy Spirit is more than a physical resurrection.
We may not shift the emphasis. To be sure, spiritual things can be understood only through the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 2:14). Those who came to the central ecclesiastical district on Timor during the initial stages of the revival experienced powerful things. The heathen accepted Jesus by the tens of thousands, and nominal Christians experienced a break-through to a genuine Christian life.
Yet, aside from these spiritual resurrections, there were also resurrections from the dead. I myself met the woman of whom the leaders of the congregation say that she has experienced six resurrections from the dead in the presence of many witnesses.
The name of this woman is Mother Sarlin. I met her in Soe. Petrus Oktavianus informed me that this woman, after having this wonderful experience, became proud and lost her spiritual power. Of course, Petrus Oktavianus is a trustworthy witness, even accepted by Dr. George Peters. But, very often the Timorese people are not able to distinguish. Therefore, we ought to exercise great caution and reservation in our acceptance of these reports. The people on Timor differentiate in their stories with various forms of being dead.
When an islander falls from a tree and remains unconscious for five hours, then he later speaks of having been dead.
Even in describing visionary experiences, the Timorese use the same expression dead. Thus, a twenty-four-year old man of Timor told me in the presence of several foreigners that he had been dead for fourteen hours and had been at the entrance to hell. Then the Lord called him back. The man who reported this had not been physically dead but had only had a vision.
In considering the next "form of death", the problem becomes more critical even for a western observer. So-called cataleptic comas occur much more frequently in Eastern Asia and on the Pacific islands than in the West. In the speech of the common people, we say here in the West "apparent death". According to the laws in the tropics, dead people must be buried within twelve hours because of the rapid rate of decomposition. Since doctors are often unavailable to determine whether or not a person is dead, such people who are in a cataleptic coma are also buried. To us, this situation seems intolerable.
A fourth form of apparent death, is the occult trance-like state which occurs among the people of Tibet and Macumba, among the Voodoos, and also in Indonesia. In this mediumistic trance, all the functions of the body are slowed down drastically. One can hardly find the pulse. The activity of the heart is reduced to a minimum. Since the circulation of the blood is also greatly diminished, these mediums look pale and as if dead. I have had contact with such phenomena in many countries, in India as well as in Indonesia and among Islamic sorcerers. During these occult trances, there are the most rapid "resurrections" from the dead. When an entire prayer circle takes up the cause of such a person, then the death-like trance yields to the spiritual influence.
The fifth form of being dead is then actual physical death.
For all these five forms of - unconscious states, visions, cataleptic coma, the mediumistic trance, and actual physical death - the people of Timor use the expression to be dead. The language of these people is not sufficiently differentiated in this area. In order to prevent misunderstandings, let it here be noted that other Indonesian languages do have this differentiation. The revival has been granted on approximately thirty islands. Every large island has its own language.
Because of this linguistic situation, the western missionary cannot rely on the reports of the people of Timor with reference to the matter of being dead. In all cases, he must determine whether signs of decomposition had already appeared in the dead person before the miracle of resurrection occurred. And there are such cases. I know of two such occurrences where signs of decomposition had appeared. One case was reported to me by Detmar Scheunemann. The other case was reported by a team who came back from the Portuguese border near Atambua.
Much more has happened in the Indonesian revival than what is described in all the reports on the subject. Before proceeding to a new event, I again want to emphasize my rejection of every kind of mania for miracles. Those who want to base their faith on miracles alone fall prey to fanaticism, which has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of sobriety, of truth, of spiritual discipline.
The question will now arise: "Why, then, do you report the miracles?" I counter with this question: "Why are so many miracles reported in the Bible?" A sarcastic joker responded thus to my counter-question: "So that the theologians will have something to criticize and to doubt".
The Bible is full of the glory of God. In this world of God's greatness the miracle consists not of the supernatural but rather of the natural.
Let us hear of a new challenge to human and unregenerate understanding. A team was on its way evangelizing in the eastern part of the Indonesian half of the island Timor. A river blocked the way. The water was too deep. No boat was available. No bridge was available either. The Lord gave the command: "Walk across the water". First there was hesitation, then simple obedience. The members of the team did not know what was happening to them. They felt firm ground under their feet and crossed over the river although the residents had said that the water was very deep.
What should we do with such a report? The rationalists and ethnologists of the West say: a pious fairytale originating in the religious sub consciousness of primitive people who cannot distinguish between the imaginary and the real.
This report cannot be disposed of so easily. Have not the theologians and the missionaries who have become estranged from the Spirit of God themselves at one time learned the words: Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever? Is this valid or not? I would like to scream these words into the ears of those who think they know it all, these people who are constantly polluting the glory of God and casting doubt upon it.
Let us, then, look once more into the Bible to see whether such an event is uncommon.
What was the experience of the people of Israel in the face of the Red Sea? We read the answer in Exodus 14:15-16: "And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea".
Fortunately, no theologian or scholar in the field of missions was among them. They would have talked the miracle out of existence before it happened.
Let us also read Joshua 3. It is reported there that the water of the Jordan was pushed back so that the people of Israel, again, could pass across the river bed without any trouble. Those who are stubborn about accepting this miracle should take a lesson from the psalmist. We read in Psalm 66:12: "We went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place".
And the prophet Isaiah should have the final round in the Old Testament. By order of God, he writes in Isaiah 43:2: "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee".
In the New Testament we have the report of how Jesus walked over the water in coming to the aid of his troubled disciples (Matthew 14:22-33).
Of course, I am familiar with the explanation of the liberals, who declare that Jesus walked through shallow water at the time of low-tide. Such lies do not hold up very well. The critics and know-it-alls should first see to it that the Sea of Galilee get low and high tides.
We have Holy Scripture as a witness that the Creator who made the universe also governs and controls it.
Yet, another argument from a completely different area should be considered. From about forty years till now, I have been observing occult phenomena. I have never become involved in such matters myself. I have only become familiar with them through my pastoral work. Since in Europe, as well as on the mission field converted magicians have often come to me for pastoral counseling, I have heard much about their secrets.
In the area of spiritism, magic, and fortune-telling, there are many occurrences which often resemble biblical miracles, although they have a satanic origin. How can this be? The devil is the imitator of God. He tries to mimic God in all things. For this reason, there are satanic miracles which run counter to all biblical miracles. The confusing thing is that these miracles of the devil often border on the religious so that even Christians can be deceived.
Now, occasionally, it is possible to draw an inference back from the miracles of Satan to biblical miracles. True Christians say in such a case: if the Devil can do that, then God can do it a thousand times better and more often.
In the history of religion that has been called via negationis. That is to say, one can often draw conclusions from the negative which can be applied to the positive.
In this connection I want to report an experience from the mission field.
It was in Madras. I was at the home of Father Daniel, whose life story I will tell later. Brother Daniel has a university education and is an intellectually prominent man. He reported to me that powerful Indian spiritists and magicians also are able to cross a deep river by means of magical forces and without any kind of special resources. Here, then, we have the satanic counterpart to the crossing over the water which was reported in this chapter.
Daniel's report does not stand by itself. I have heard such things of the voodoos on Haiti, of the Macumba tribes in Brazil, of the Zombis in Africa, and of the Shinto priests of magic in Japan. These occult phenomena belong in the area of spiritual levitation and translocation. Those who would like further information on this subject can consult the following books of mine published in the English language by Kregel Publications: Christian Counseling and Occultism; Between Christ and Satan; The Devil's Alphabet; Demonology, Past and Present; and Occult Bondage and Deliverance. I recommend also the book by Dr. Merrill F. Unger entitled Demons in the World Today and John L. Nevius Demon Possession.
In this report of water being changed into wine a sign is given. The critics are annoyed at this. Those who are born of the Spirit of God rejoice in the acts of God. The biblical miracle which occurred at the marriage in Cana has been repeated in Soe on Timor eight times.
We will hear an authentic report on this matter from Superintendent J. M. E. Daniel, who is director in the central ecclesiastical district on Timor. Daniel is a Reformed theologian and has completed a western-type seminary training. He gave a full report at the conference on July 12, 1968 before 120 missionaries and students from four continents. I myself was present and later received the report in English translation. This detailed introduction is necessary because tremendous things will be declared. Yet, they do stand up in the face of critical examination. I have preached several times in the church in Soe in which this has happened. Let us now hear Superintendent Daniel.
No grapes grow on Timor. There is no such thing as wine made from grapes there. The importing of wine would be completely impossible because of the great poverty of the people. But, there is on Timor a drink made from the juice of palm trees which contains a high percentage of alcohol. Many people are addicted to this drink. Prior to the revival alcoholism reigned on Timor. When the Spirit of God seized the people, many destroyed their liquor bottles. Many bars were also simply smashed to pieces. Those who were converted on Timor gave up alcohol.
Because of this, a difficult problem developed in the practices of the church. The Reformed church used this brandy made from palm juice thinned with water in the celebration of Holy Communion. During every celebration, the smell of alcohol pervaded the church. This custom became a temptation for those who had been freed from their drinking. For the drunkards outside of the church this custom was a means of defending themselves. They said, "As long as the church pours out alcohol it is not a sin. There is no reason why we may drink our palm drink only in church".
The believers prayed for a solution. The Lord did not keep them waiting long for an answer. On September 9, 1967, a woman heard the voice of the Lord saying, "During the October celebration of Holy Communion I will change water into wine". This announcement was repeated on the thirteenth and seventeenth of October, 1967. The woman, who belonged to an evangelical team, reported this message to the brothers in charge. During the celebration of Holy Communion on the fifth of October, the containers were filled with water and the people prayed over them. The promised miracle occurred. The congregation in Soe had here experienced its first miracle with the wine.
During the next celebration of Holy Communion in December of 1967, the miracle was repeated in the same manner. The Lord always gave an announcement several weeks ahead of time, this announcement was always fulfilled. He also sought out every time a different team which was to pray for the transformation of the water.
In his report, in July of 1968, Superintendent Daniel emphasized that since that event in October of 1967, the miracle of transformation was repeated at all communion celebrations in Soe. The total number is now eight times.
On December 7, 1968, Petrus Oktavianus together with his wife participated in the celebration of Holy Communion in Soe. He, too, experienced this miracle. He said to me he had felt like a miserable sinner during this service and had confessed his sins anew in spite of the forgiveness he had already received.
One time two bottles of this wine were left over. As the next celebration of Holy Communion approached, these two containers were missing. According to the announcement, teams four and eleven were supposed to have permission to carry out the next transformation. Seven bottles were needed, only five were there. With the consent of Superintendent Daniel, one of the members emptied the two full bottles. When he arrived home, he found his wife lying there with a hemorrhage. She seemed to have lost a quantity of blood equal to the amount of wine which had been emptied. The man knelt down beside his wife and prayed for her healing. He then hurried to Superintendent Daniel and reported what had happened. They called the elders together and hurried into the house of the sick woman; there they prayed over her. Immediately she was restored to health.
After this experience the men asked the Lord, "If you do not want your wine to be emptied out, what then are we supposed to do with it?" The Lord answered them that they could use the wine for the sick so that they might be cured by means of it. It should be used especially in cases of anemia. After this, the people acted according to these instructions.
By administering this wine to the sick, the people made a new discovery. After standing around for a while, the wine became bitter. During the first week it was only dry, but in the fourth week it was already almost completely bitter. But let us not forget that the manna which was given to I he people of Israel in the wilderness also became spoiled when it was kept for a longer period of time. After hearing the report of Superintendent Daniel, many missionaries naturally asked, "Is it a case of true wine, or is it grape juice as the total abstainers often believe?" The answer was revealing. Neither the one nor the other! It tastes and smells like true wine but contains no alcohol. Perhaps in this way the argument between the total abstainers and their opponents can cease. Both are wrong. Both are right. This will be the case with yet many theological problems.
To the western theologians the repetition of the miracle of Cana is a scandal. Many of them reject the miracles of the Bible, as it is. For this reason, they have no access to the events of Timor. My book will be rejected as an expression of fanaticism. I can understand that. If I had been taken by surprise by such a book five years ago, I would not have believed it either. For this reason I have sympathy with genuine doubters. But now, this difficulty can be overcome. The revival center of Soe can be visited by doubters even as I myself did. It is possible to examine these events and perhaps even to participate in the experience if the glorified Lord permits it.
To be sure, this revival congregation is not a tourism attraction. No one should approach the table of the Lord who does not desire to follow him. Furthermore, curiosity can be touched on at a sensitive point. In this revival center, live many with spiritual gifts. He who appears here with unforgiven sins or even with an insidious or obstinate heart can experience here, under certain circumstances, the uncovering of his hidden and unforgiven sins. It is definitely possible that the Lord will give to a member of a team a direct message for an unrepentant person present - a message which then hits the bull's eye.
I am Witness
I am an unworthy witness. I have often robbed the Lord of honor. How often I have been disobedient and have made my own decisions. My service in the kingdom of God rebukes me. And yet, I am witness. God's mercy is incomprehensible. I am witness to the transformation of water into wine.
After a faith conference in eastern Java, an international team under the direction of Petrus Oklavianus departed in order to visit several places in the revival area. In addition to the leader and his assistant, there were three professors from Japan and Pakistan in the group. A young American missionary also accompanied us. We came, then, from five nations and formed the first international team with the privilege of becoming acquainted with the center of the revival. Each of us foreigners was deeply moved by this privilege granted us. Petrus Oktavianus said to me, "You are the first German from the outside who has been permitted to participate in this." I can only repeat: I have not earned this privilege.
On July 16, 1969, we reached Soe on the island Timor. It had been a strenuous trip. In Germany One cannot imagine such traveling conditions. We arrived many hours late. The members of the congregation had already been waiting four hours for us.
The next few days we attended many meetings. Ten to twelve hours per day. What a spiritual stomach these people have that they can take in and digest so much!
During our stay, we, together with the entire congregation, witnessed twice the transformation of water into wine. It was the ninth and tenth miracle of transformation. Who can comprehend how we were considered worthy to be placed in the presence of God!
Superintendent Daniel explained that the Lord had told him six weeks prior to our arrival that he was to celebrate Holy Communion together with the coming international team. At this time the team had not yet been formed. That occurred at the faith conference which I mentioned and then only after much prayer, two days before our departure.
On the fifth of July, twelve men and women had received from the Lord the assignment of praying for the transformation of water into wine. Six women, by order of the Lord, were to draw water from a spring which the Lord designated. The water was poured into a large container in the presence of eighteen people and then covered with a cloth. On Friday, the eighteenth of July, at twelve o'clock, the Lord said to them that the transformation had taken place. They removed the cloth. It was wine. When I saw the amount of wine, I declared to one of the leading brothers, "That will not suffice for seven hundred to eight hundred guests at Holy Communion." He agreed and said, "We realize that too. We have to wait for instructions from the Lord." At ten o'clock, on Saturday, the assignment of the Lord came: "Assemble tomorrow at four o'clock in the morning, draw water from a spring which I will show you, and pray until seven o'clock." It happened. The next morning at seven o'clock water was again changed into wine in the presence of eighteen people.
Each time the Lord chooses different people to fetch the water and each time, different ones to pray. There are, then, no special privileges. Each time, also, the Lord designates different places at which the people are to gather and at which the transformation takes place. There is a series of miracles, then, which occurs throughout the entire congregation. No one knows ahead of time who has been chosen by the Lord for this.
This transformation brings up many problems. I am familiar with the ugly objections of the rationalists. We were not under the influence of mass hypnosis during this event. It definitely was not a matter of trickery or deceit. The pastors of the congregation are involved as well as the doctor of the village, the district president, and even the believing King Kusa Nope.
I can appreciate all honest questions. Human reason cannot comprehend this miracle. Even the simple islanders have doubts at times. One day a woman expressed her doubts. She was a believing Christian. At the time of the next transformation the Lord gave her the task of fetching water and of being present until the transformation had taken place. She experienced it with her own eyes; she then fell down, cried, and asked the Lord for forgiveness. One of the brothers told me his own story. After the first transformation he expressed doubts and said, "If that is true, I will give up cow for it." How amazed he was when the next time the Lord designated him to fetch water. He drew water at the appointed spring. He hardly had the water in his container when he smelled the fragrance of wine. He saw that he already had wine in the container. He put the wine down, fell on the ground, and asked the Lord for forgiveness.
The remarkable thing in these events is the fact that the Lord gives instructions down to the smallest detail. The participants are to render absolute obedience. At one transformation the Lord sent out the people who were to fetch water but indicated no particular spring. The six persons who had been chosen started out without knowing where they were going. When they were outside the village, the Lord suddenly gave the command: "Stop! Lift the stone!" They did this and found water. They filled their containers. The next day, this spring had dried up again.
On another occasion the eighteen praying people received the command to deliver the wine to Pastor Manuein. They reached his house. His wife took the wine from them. As a result of this small act of disobedience, the wine changed back into water. According to the instruction of the Lord they had to fast and pray again for three days until the Lord transformed the water back into wine.
On the occasion of the ninth transformation of the water, at which I was a witness, the twelve people chosen by the Lord received the assignment two weeks ahead of time that they were to fast. Then, the Lord indicated that they might eat only half a banana and a teaspoon of rice and drink half a glass of water each day. Nourished only by this small amount of food, they were to pray several hours each morning and were to work during the day. But the Lord blessed the small amount of food.
On Sunday, the twentieth of July, we then had the service of Holy Communion for which we had been longing. Five hundred to seven hundred members of the congregation took part in it. I had never before experienced such a celebration. Who can comprehend our deep emotion as we sat at the table of the Lord which the Lord had furnished with his own wine. The wine was red and tasted spicy but was without alcohol. For about ten minutes the spicy taste remained in my mouth.
What could be the significance of this transformation of the water? One thing it certainly is not. It is not a sensation but rather an aid which the Lord gives to these poor people who do not even have fruit juices at their disposal. It must also be emphasized that the transformation of hearts is more important than the transformation of water into wine. There are miracles which are more powerful than this preparation of the wine. Jesus is the greatest gift of all. His coming, His atoning death, His resurrection, His ascension into heaven, and His return are more important than the gift of His wine. The salvation of man is more valuable than the gift of a supernatural wine. Our faith is not built upon such miracles but rather upon Jesus and His Word. If we have understood that, then the way is free for great joy over the fact that the Lord is still present in the twentieth century with the same power and majesty as He was during His time on earth. It is a mighty demonstration that the Lord performs such miracles at a time when the theologians of the Western world cross the miracle of Cana out of the Bible and attribute it to the legend of Dionysius. In the revival area of Asia there is no Dionysius, there is only the Lord Jesus.
This wine miracle has yet further significance. When He performed the miracle in Cana, Jesus was standing at the beginning of His miraculous and saving activity. According to John 2:11, the miracle of transformation was His first miracle in Galilee. It is no mere coincidence that this miracle occurred at a wedding. The coming of Jesus is a happy time, a time of celebration. The second coming of the Lord, that time when He will carry away His congregation and will celebrate the marriage supper of the lamb, is the event of the future which is again the most joyous and the most full of promise. The water-into-wine miracle in the revival area is eschatological in nature. The "marriage" is imminent. The Lord is coming. Both the first and the second coming of the Lord bring a time of joy. In the revival area this fact is recognized. Many prophecies point to the imminent return of Jesus.
In this wine miracle there is yet another problem which must be touched upon in conclusion. I have often been asked why God performs such miracles among these islanders and not among us.
The answer is not very difficult. We have the Bible, the divinely inspired Word of the Lord. How is God to reveal himself to the illiterates, who neither have a Bible nor would be able to read it? In the jungle settlements of Timor there are no schools. All inhabitants, including the elders of the village and the mayor, are unable to read and write. There are schools only in the larger villages like Kupang, Lelogama, Soe, Atambua, Niki-Niki, and a few others. God speaks in miracles to these primitive people. The pagans who are converted, then obtain for themselves a Bible - usually given them by friends at the mission - and then have someone read the biblical texts aloud to them repeatedly until they know these verses by heart. As soon as these illiterates are able to read, the great stream of miracles ceases. That is a thoroughly healthy spiritual development. Like us, these islanders must learn to find their foundation in the written Word which has been inspired by God.
Thus, the miracle of the wine also gradually eases. In 1971 it still occurred four times. From October 1967 until the end of 1971, this miracle occurred a total of twenty times. According to a report of Pastor Daniel in Soe, it occurred only once in 1972. Since then, it has not happened again. Naturally, there are still miraculous answers to prayer. That is biblical. The person who is praying waits in faith for the answer from God. In this connection, Pastor Daniel reported that his mentally ill daughter, whom people had wanted to commit to a psychiatric section in Kupang, was healed through prayer. Healings still come as the fruit of prayer even though the great and powerful stream of healing characteristic of the beginning slowly died down.
A theological problem also arises in connection ill the miracles of Timor.
The representatives of dispensational theology declare that the great period of miracles came to an end with the apostolic era. There is something true and something false in this theology.
I have studied at the Universities of Heidelberg and Tübingen. It belongs to the ABC's of Lutheran theology that the originality of the apostolic period came to an end with the formation and recognition of the biblical canon at the Synods of Jamnia and Joppe (201 A.D.). At the same time formation of the canon is the end of the general period of revelation, the end of genuine prophecy. In this, Lutheran theology finds itself in agreement with Reformed theology and with the dogma of the theological institutes of the Baptists both on this side and on the other side of the ocean. I also stand firm on this foundation.
The question is, then, how are we to understand theologically the miracles of Timor. For the modernistic theologians, they are simply lies and deceit. For the extreme dispensationalists they are a source of irritation. They feel that they are threatened in their theology. For those who specialize in the psychology of religion, they are legends developed by primitive people who confuse their imaginings with reality. All these opinions fail to take into account the truth of the Bible.
I can ascribe to a moderate form of dispensationalism simply because there are definite periods of revelation. The time in paradise stands in a different proximity to God than does the time after the fall into sin. Noah's time is different from the times of Abraham, Moses, the kings, and the prophets. The apostolic period has a character different from that of the time when the New Testament had already been defined. There is no point in arguing about this.
Along with thousands of other Christians, however, I see red when people want to assume that the Holy Spirit locked up his office at the end of the apostolic period. To this I respond with an emphatic no. Then, all the promises of the Bible would today be meaningless. Then, the Bible would be only a fact in the history of religion which could show us how things were at one time.
No, the living God is still reigning today in the lives of His children. He still hears prayers today. The Holy Spirit is still active today with the same power as then. This becomes especially apparent in the revivals.
I naturally know that in the matter of the so-called spiritual gifts the emphasis has shifted. I stated this already with reference to biblical prophecy. On the basis of philological and biblical linguistics, I distinguish among four forms of prophecy. I do not want to elaborate on this now, since I am not writing a theological textbook but rather bringing reports from revival areas.
Allow me at the conclusion of this chapter to quote a drastic statement from the Bible: "Neither Cast ye your pearls before swine" (Matthew 7:6). Petrus Oktavianus, the most famous leader in the Indonesian revival (Pak Elias), declared, "I no longer report the wine miracle in the West. They do not believe it. For this reason they hear this report to the increasing of their stubbornness and to their judgment. I want to keep them from this".
Reactions and Counter movements
The more magnificent and powerful a revival is, the more guns the arch-enemy brings forth to block and ruin the acts of God.
In military service the recruits in the artillery have to engage in target practice. Many of them shoot too short, many, too long. But both miss the target.
In spiritual movements there occurs the same phenomenon. Extreme hotspurs shoot too long. They exaggerate. Cold men of reason and critics usually shoot too short. Their shot, their gaze does not reach to the target. It is only tragic that they think they have hit the target.
The arch-enemy of souls rejoices in this. He likes nothing better than seeing the truth obscured and denied.
From the beginning of the apostolic revival until today, we have been experiencing, continually, the same tactics of Satan. He only keeps changing the setting and shifting the scene so that no one will catch up with his tricks. The apostle Paul once wrote: "We are not ignorant of his devices" (II Corinthians 2:11). Today he would have to say: "We are ignorant of his devices".
Let us go back to the time of Jesus. Do we remember the story about Quaestus? The young man sought the truth and received opposing answers.
When the Son of God walked upon earth, there were, in Jerusalem, many religious groups and movements. The liberals, the rationalists of that time, were the Sadducees, who rejected the resurrection of the dead, the miracles, the supernatural things. They still have their disciples today.
Another group was that of the Essenes. Their main concern was the ritual washings which were supposed to lead to the purity of the soul.
Yet another group was that of the Nazarites, radicals who wanted to force their way through to their goals by means of their vows and by violence.
The most enthusiastic ones were the Zealots, pugnacious people who did not spare their own life to attain a goal which they saw as true.
I intentionally name last the group of the Pharisees. They exerted the most detrimental influence on the people. Because of their numbers and because of their great sense of dedication to the law, they were the most significant among all these elements. We will linger a little longer with this group, for it still has many adherents today.
The Pharisees were the orthodox ones among the religious movements of the time of Jesus. To all who questioned them on their beliefs, they declared:
"We believe in the stories and miracles of Holy Scripture (the Old Testament).
We believe in the resurrection of the dead.
We believe in the Divine Inspiration of the holy books".
And what happened? When the resurrection of Jesus took place in the vicinity of Jerusalem, they declared, "His disciples came by night, and stole n away while we slept" (Matthew 28:13).
How many orthodox theologians and Christians are their followers today! They say, "We believe in the Holy Scriptures. We accept the miracles in the Bible and also the possibility of miracles today". I when such miracles do occur, then they come up against it with everything, not only criticism but also they in order to get rid of the 'unpleasant' miracles. They will rather deny the activity of God than throw overboard their falsely oriented theology.
Having completed this basic introduction, let us discuss a series of criticisms. This is not done with attitude that only I am right and they are all wrong. I know that our knowledge is incomplete (I Corinthians 13:12). I am also aware of the fact that the Spirit of God reveals Himself, but not to the proud and only to the humble, the defeated, the miserable.
I bring multiple gifts to this task of evaluating the Indonesian revival. By the grace of God, I have experienced a rebirth through the Holy Spirit and also a filling with the Spirit from above. Until now I have not reported on this second experience in any book written in English. Perhaps I would have been counted among the Pentecostals although I do not belong there.
I also bring academic qualifications to this task. I have earned my doctorate at the university with a thesis in the area of the border sciences of theology, parapsychology, medical psychology, and pastoral care.
Finally, I have at my disposal material from the revival areas which is based on direct experience, for I have visited almost all of the revival centers in existence today.
This personal introduction is necessary because I have been attacked in many American periodicals in a nasty and ugly manner.
Now, people will probably criticize me also because of the fact that I am mentioning the filling with the Spirit of God for the first time in a book written in English. Other messengers of Jesus have done this before me. I cite here the testimony of Dr. R. A. Torrey, which was published in a small booklet The Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Dr. Torrey testified as follows:
"I was led to seek the baptism with the Holy Spirit because I became convinced from the study of the Acts of the Apostles that no one had a right to preach the Gospel until he had been baptized with the Holy Spirit. At last, I was led to the place where I said that I would never enter the pulpit again, until I had been baptized with the Holy Ghost and knew it, or until God in some way told me to go. I obtained the blessing in less than a week. If I had understood the Bible as I do now, there need not have passed any days.
"As to what the blessing has done for me, I could not begin to tell. It has brought a joy into my soul that I had never dreamed of before; a liberty in preaching that makes preaching an unspeakable delight, where before it was a matter of dread; it has opened to me a door of usefulness so that now, instead of preaching to a very little church, I have calls every year to proclaim the truth to many thousands, being invited to conventions in every part of the land to address vast audiences; and I have a church today, in addition to my work in the Moody Bible Institute, that has a membership of thirteen hundred."
I am not comparing myself to Dr. Torrey, but I have the same God, the same Bible, the same promises and the same Saviour to whom I have surrendered myself.
Giving this report, I want to avoid being understood. I do not say that a "second blessing would be necessary in order to be a good Christian. I believe that we receive the Holy Spirit with our rebirth. We should not separate conversion, rebirth, and the infilling of the Holy Spirit as gifts in different steps. I reject such a position. Sometimes God gives a man a special experience, but we should not build a special theology out of it.
1. Church Government and Seminary in Kupang
Now, let us proceed to the counter-movements. The first group existing in resistance to the revival is to be found in the Timorese church itself; it is composed of the directors of the church, the theological institute, and the pastors.
This is not at all unusual. Almost all revivals have embittered opponents in the theological circles.
As a classical example, I want to mention Pastor Louis Harms in Germany, to whom God granted the Hermannsburg revival. He was a great man of prayer, who spent several hours on his knees each day. When he died, his knees were like leather. During his lifetime the ministers fought against him to the end. Sixty-two times they approached the governing body of the church with complaints against him. Yet, they were never able to produce proofs to back up their charges. One of the charges was that he had sold the golden chalice used in Holy Communion and had used the money to buy himself alcohol.
How did the common people react to Louis Harms? I have gathered many reports in the Hermannsburg area. One of my hosts reported to me, "Often, on Saturday, my grandmother marched off so that she could hear Louis Harms preach on Sunday. She had to go fifty-six miles on foot each way, a total, then, of 112 miles. She did not come back until Monday."
The ministers were bursting with venom and malice while the people were hungering after the bread of life.
On Timor things have not happened in such a crass manner, but yet just as much hostility has arisen. The Indonesian half of the island is composed of three ecclesiastical districts. The revival originated in the central ecclesiastical district among the laity, not among the pastors. Not until the revival was well under way, were many pastors caught up in it; the most prominent among them is Superintendent J. M. E. Daniel, who observed the revival critically for one year without becoming involved in it until the Spirit of God seized him.
The most hostile group is the western ecclesiastical district. The center of this district is Kupang, where the governing body of the church has its seat and where the theological institute is also located. What is the attitude of these theological leaders? I was in Kupang a total of three times and was able to study the conditions thoroughly.
As a western visitor I could not avoid paying the resident of the Timorese church a courtesy visit. Petrus Oktavianus, the most prominent leader of the revival, accompanied me. The brief meeting developed into a great disappointment. We both reported that we had twice witnessed how the Lord Jesus had transformed water into wine for Holy Communion. Naturally, we were not the only witnesses. Professor Shimizu, an instructor at the University of Tokyo, was present as well Professor Iqbal and Professor Daniel Bakt, instructors from Pakistan, and an American and a german missionary from Batu, Detmar Scheunenin. In addition to this international group of witnesses, there were also five hundred to seven hundred inhabitants of Soe present.
What did the president of the church reply? This miracle had not occurred. It was a piece of deceit. The crafty islanders had prepared this wine from bananas and sugar.
At this moment my mind passed back over the centuries. Out of the distance I heard again the words: "His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. . . and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day" (Matthew 28:13, 15).
Both of us, Petrus Oktavianus and I, were standing in front of the theological institute in Kupang. I asked Peter, "Must we pay a courtesy call here too? I have had more than my fill with the first one." He answered, "No, these Dutch instructors are strongly opposed to the revival. It is hopeless! The leading theologian at this institute is Dr. Middlekoop. A second one is the missionary who returned to Holland in 1970. He is the man who called the revival 'a pagan Messianism'".
Most of the pastors on Timor come from this Institute. It is, then, no surprise that the pastors continue to proclaim what they were taught in Kupang. It was a disappointment for me that except for the groups of laymen, Kupang was hardly touched by the revival. An exception to this is Pastor Jakob, who allowed the evangelical teams of Soe to enter his church and thus participate in the blessing of the revival. I myself preached in his church one evening in my poor English and was amazed that the Spirit of God led eighteen people to a decision at the time of the invitation. But, as I have already said, here in Kupang, too, it is the laity that has been seized by the spirit of the revival.
Now what happens when a western theologian comes to Timor in order to study the revival? Among these western visitors are some who bring with them their objections and their criticism. They are, as it were, predestined to accept all negative aspects with great eagerness.
They, then, pay their visits to the president of the church and to the director of the theological institute and are there informed that the revival represents pagan emotionalism.
Finally, then, they come to Soe - already packed lull of criticism and rejection. The spiritual Mothers in the revival center observe quickly in what spirit a visitor comes. I have experienced a few times that these spiritual brothers remain silent about their experiences in the presence of such visitors. One does not cast valuable pearls away but rather puts them into a safe.
Thus, this type of western theologian has before him four barriers: his own disbelief, the deceit hypothesis of the church president in Kupang, the thesis of pagan Messianism from the institute and, finally, the silence of the brothers.
Naturally such a theologian then returns to his own country and declares joyfully to his followers, "Did I not say right away that these miraculous stories have been made up out of the exuberance of the heart." Then, since this visitor is a theologian and an instructor, perhaps even affiliated with a famous school or seminary, people believe him. Thus, the number of the lies is increased. In this way Satan again attains his goal.
I am familiar with the psychology of primitive peoples. An expert in the science of missions, Professor Freytag, spoke of the cultural threshold. Natives, members of the primitive tribes below the cultural threshold, confuse too easily imagination and reality. There are visual external projections. I illustrate this in my book Christian Counseling and Occultism (p. 208) in the chapter on eidetics. There are also external projections out of the unconscious. The primitive man, then, actually believes that something has objectively occurred when it is only a conglomeration, a product of an interaction in the world of his sense perception which has been projected into the external world.
Some western observers have tried to undercut the revival on Timor by placing it in the category of these projections. Let us pause once more at the word primitive. In their use of this expression, western rationalists often imply an inferiority, an intellectually underdeveloped state. People then feel themselves superior to these simple men.
Before the face of God things are quite different. He reveals himself to the humble, the insignificant, the defeated ones and not to the proud or the puffed-up and the arrogant.
We can inform ourselves further on this matter by turning to the words of Paul in I Corinthians 1:19-21, 26-28, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent . . . God made foolish the things of the world to confound the wise ..."
We find further explanation of this in I Corinthians 2:14-15, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are unto him a pagan Messianism - pardon me, I made a mistake in my writing - they are foolishness unto him. . . . But he that is spiritual judgeth all things".
Applied to the "primitive people" and the clever people" of today, that can mean that the highly learned professor of theology without the Holy Spirit does not comprehend the spiritual events of a revival.
The despised "primitive" who has been born again and has received the Holy Spirit understands more about spiritual things than the university scholar. Whomever the shoe fits, he should put it on!
In order to avoid misunderstandings, I must add a word of explanation. Naturally, there are also theologians who have the Holy Spirit and a humble heart. It is all the better when true faith and an excellent education unite! On the other hand, primitives can also be terribly proud and arrogant.
The second group with which we would briefly like to come to grips is that of Mel Tari and his friends. If the Kupang people shoot too short, then Mel Tari people shoot too long. They exaggerate.
I have read the book by Mel Tari entitled Like a Mighty Wind twice. In addition, I met Mel Tari personally in his home town. If I remember correctly, he was also my interpreter once when I spoke in Soe.
First I will say a positive word which will make many people uncomfortable. I can substantiate many of his reports of miracles myself. Mel Tari will certainly be happy about that. But what he and his friends do not accept from me is my resistance to the theology which is unfolded in the book. It is not the product of Mel Tari's own thinking but reflects rather the influence of his "pentecostal" friends in the U.S.A.
Mel Tari was financed by American Christians and was guided by them although he did not notice this because of his yielding disposition. Let us take a sentence out of his book. On page 119, he said, ". . . those who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit will sooner or later speak in tongues." That is a false teaching!
a. The Corinthian congregation which spoke in tongues was the most difficult congregation the Apostle Paul had.
b. In the later letters of Paul we hear nothing more about the speaking in tongues.
c. During the nineteen-hundred-year history of Christianity, the great men of God have not spoken in tongues.
d. Martin Luther, John Calvin, Phillipp Jakob Spener, Charles G. Finney, D. L. Moody, John Wesley, George Whitefield, Hudson
Taylor, and C. Haddon Spurgeon did not need to warn their congregations against speaking in tongues.
e. Dr. R. A. Torrey explained, "If God did not bestow this gift anymore in nineteen hundred years, I cannot understand why now
suddenly in the twentieth century he should grant this gift again."
f. In its impact, the movement of speaking in tongues is a spiritual catastrophe. I have become aware of this state of affairs in my visits to about four hundred mission fields. It is not necessary to write much about this. There probably are a hundred publications for and against this teaching.
The modernists and the orthodox people have probably followed me with approval on these six points. Whether they will do so also in my last statement is questionable. The extreme dispentionalists will certainly not accept the following statement, but I must say this for the sake of objectivity.
1 believe along with them that the actual gift for speaking in tongues probably came to an end with the apostolic period. But again I assume that the Lord can give to a person the gift of worshiping in a strange language in individual cases. I met such people who privately - without anyone's knowledge - worshiped God in a strange tongue. Naturally, this private worship is no theological criterion. I do not know with absolute certainty that this private gift which is exercised in seclusion is genuine or not.
Yet, I do want to cite an example in this matter. A believing American soldier was wounded in Vietnam and was near death. In these hours which could have been his last he was suddenly comforted by his ability to praise the Lord in a strange tongue. A great peace came over him. He was comforted and received new courage to continue living - a courage which led to his recovery. This soldier confessed, "Never before or after this did I have this talking in tongues. But it was a definite help to me in my nearness to death."
I find no fault with this experience. The Lord gave help to his disciple in the most critical hour.
In order, however, that those who are accustomed to chopping everything to pieces may know that I am familiar with the psychology of borderline situations, I want to add the following description.
In borderline situations such as a dream, anesthesia, delirium produced by fever, a drug-induced high, danger of death, and severe injuries, a person may experience that his subconscious becomes more powerful than his conscious mind. Then, contents appear which previously were latent. In the case of believing people whose conversion and rebirth extends down into the deepest layers of their souls, the contents which arise out of the unconscious are then religious in nature. In the case of the soldier it can also have been an activation of subconscious contents. The Lord used it, however, for his purposes. Thus it was, in any case, an act of the God of mercy. But it can just as well have been an activity of the Holy Spirit. So let us not approach boldly and irreverently where God deals mercifully with his children.
To summarize this long discussion, I must say that I regret the "pentecostal legality" in Mel Tari's book. I cannot accept that.
On the other hand, I do not belong among those who assume that they must close all doors with the end of the apostolic period. Who are we that we want to dictate to the Holy Spirit whether and how and when He may act. I am afraid of this theological presumptuousness and arrogance.
3. Anthropologist Dr. Pearl England.
The third great front in the battle against the Indonesian revival developed in the western world. First, I want to discuss the report by Dr. Pearl England. She is an anthropologist and teacher at Man kato State College. As a member of the Lutheran church, she traveled to Timor in order to investigate the revival and the miracles. Upon her return, she confirmed the many healings and conversions but denied the miracle of the wine and other prominent miracles. The report by Dr. England appeared in many American church newspapers. I had five different at my disposal. In response to her report, I have several questions.
- Who knows the revival which originated in Soe better - a visitor from the West, who spent five weeks traveling there and then was in Soe for approximately two or three weeks, or Superintendent J. M. E. Daniel, who has been directing the church in Soe for more than fifteen years?
- Furthermore, how much time did Dr. England have to devote to the revival? She is an anthropologist and while on Timor studied mainly the occult phenomena. She brought along with her a list of eighty fetishes which are used on Timor.
- Thirdly, does Dr. England possess the gift of spiritual discernment if she attends Catholic charismatic prayer meetings as is reported in one of the five church newspapers?
In the so-called charismatic movement there are very few spiritual gifts but many mediumistic and suggestive powers existing in religious disguise. My experiences with this charismatic movement have shown me that much of what goes on here is unbiblical and that one finds here least of all, the gift of spiritual discernment.
Dr. England may certainly be a firm and devout Christian. Yet, as soon as we succumb to the pull of occult and mediumistic powers, our ability to form judgments becomes confused. This danger exists whenever one becomes too involved with pagan magic fetishes. This can even happen if a person harbors fetishes and cultic objects and amulets in his home.
I observed the dulling of the power of discernment just as clearly among members of the so-called charismatic movements, which usually have a more suggestive and mediumistic than charismatic character.
d. The fourth question is why does Dr. England believe God capable of the greatest miracle and also confirms this miracle on the basis of her visit to Timor, while rejecting the lesser miracle? A rebirth through the Holy Spirit, the transformation of the sinful human heart, is greater than the transformation of water into wine. Why this illogical reasoning?
e. My fifth question is whether Dr. England accepts the series of witnesses cited in I Corinthians 15:4-8? If she believes that testimony, as I assume she does, why does she, then, not believe the series of witnesses from Soe?
The two pastors, Daniel and Manuein, were witnesses of the wine miracle as were 1500 people of Soe and the surrounding area and, in addition, the 120 team leaders during the period 1967 to 1971. Furthermore, the international team which I mentioned in a previous chapter witnessed this. Petrus Oktavianus was present three times, I myself, two times. We have not been deceived by tricks or fraud and are telling the truth.
It is tragic that several church periodicals take up the report of Dr. England with a lot of fuss. In many alike periodicals one can detect a malicious joy, an attitude which says, "There you see, it is all a deception."
But that is not it at all. These are facts. The western world has brought guilt upon itself in this affair.
In 1972, a believing American, George Otis, was in Soe. He had a long conversation with Pastor Daniel and asked him, among other things, about the miracles. Rev. Daniel answered as follows:
"Criticisms from overseas are causing some confusion and problems now in Indonesia. I hope they won't continue much longer. They could bring divisions here if we are not prayerful.
"There are also some miracles still occurring here. How can I deny it so close to me? Yes, there has been water turned into wine once again this year. I have tasted it and, yes, there are still healings taking place."
We will not conclude this chapter without mentioning the sciences.
From the area of nuclear physics we know that the principle of the transformation of matter has become generally recognized. If under the application of great energy from an atom smasher, several electrons are shot out of or into matter, then the matter is transformed. In this way one could produce a gold atom out of a lead atom. Here the medieval alchemists' dream is fulfilled. Technically this procedure is not profitable because the value of the energy which must be applied is much greater than that of the material which is produced.
Yet, another interesting fact should be mentioned. Professor Schaafs of the University of Berlin is the world expert in the area of molecular acoustics. Years ago at a personal meeting, he said to me, "If a double molecule of water is hit by a shower of cosmic rays, then a simple molecule of alcohol is produced." With this information the transformation of the water is comprehensible in principle.
I do not want to be misunderstood in my mention of these scientific explanations. I believe in the Bible and its miracles even if they can not be explained scientifically. But, if God occasionally gives us a cue through a scientist, then we need not reject that.
In conclusion, then, we have to establish the fact that the testimony of Dr. England is too weak, too one-sided, too incomplete when seen in relationship to the long series of witnesses which I have cited.
I urgently request that the Indonesians now be spared from the visits of the critics. Western criticism has already caused too much damage.
4. Mooneyham's Biblically Sound Report
The fourth criticism came from the pen of W. Stanley Mooneyham. I met this brother in 1966 at the Berlin Congress for World Evangelism. Biblically, this report is the best that I have ever pen written about Indonesia in the United States. A clear spiritual orientation, a fine sense of discernment!
There are, in fact, several things which I want to underline for emphasis. In one of my German books, I have expressed something similar to what Mooneyham says about the Trinity (circulus majestatis). Our proclamation must be Christ-centered and not Holy Ghost-centered. For years I have been proclaiming ceaselessly: the giver is more than the gifts.
For some time I had been trying to reach Mooneyham in order to obtain permission to print at least his section on the Trinity. I have now received that permission. Here is a section from Mooneyham's discussion of the Trinity:
"First of all, the astounding humility of the Trinity precludes any exaltation of the Holy Spirit over Christ. Jesus said the "Spirit of truth shall testify of me" (John 15:26). The Godhead is agreed that it is the Son who shall be exalted. The Son magnifies the Father (John 17:4) while the Father honors the Son (Philippians 2:9-11) and the Holy Spirit reveals and glorifies Him (John 16:14-15).
"Even the gifts of the Spirit are meant to bring about, not the fullness of the Spirit, but the "fullness of Christ" in the believer (Ephesians 4:11-13). St. Paul's admonition to be filled with the Spirit is an imperative plea for the appropriation of the Spirit's presence, not a reference to His glory.
"In some mysterious way, any exaltation of the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit quenches His power. His purpose is to magnify the Son and He is deeply grieved when the Spirit's work itself is glorified.
"How strange is our intoxication with the gifts over the Giver! It is Christ and His redeeming work, not the Holy Spirit and His ministry of gifting the body, which is to be lifted up. The blessed Holy Spirit will not be exalted over the Son".
I am also frightened off by the mania for miracle which has received so much emphasis in the West in connection with the Indonesian revival. For me the greatest and most powerful miracle of all is Jesus himself Who, on our behalf, left heaven to endure persecution, suffering, and crucifixion at the hands of men and then received His divine exaltation in the resurrection and ascension. This miracle of His pierced hands and feet has remained with me already for many years both before my eyes and in my heart.
I also want to underline Mooneyham's rejection of the charismatic distortion of the revivals. The charismatic spectacles are not the norm for revival. We see this in the Canadian revival, which has not exaggerated a desire for gifts but rather represents a movement of repentance and purification. In the Canadian revival people even practice definite rejection of the movement of speaking in tongues and the so-called charismatic movements.
Again I share the opinion of Mooneyham that we cannot copy the Indonesian revival here in the West. God proceeds differently with us who have the Bible as the inspired Word of God than with these illiterates of the jungle villages.
Let me permit myself several marginal notes. Because he has never visited Soe personally, Mooneyham sees some things differently. If he had visited Soe, he would have met Fallo. Then, Mooneyham would no longer be able to say, "None were trained." Fallo is an educated man and so is Kapitan. Fallo is the representative for the governor and was a member, not a leader, of a team. Kapitan is the President of the Congress on Timor and is actively involved in the revival.
Mooneyham also says that no case of resurrection of the dead has been medically confirmed. I must qualify this statement. There are no doctors in jungle villages. Thus, they cannot be called in to examine a case. Kupang has a few doctors. They are, however, too far away and too expensive for the jungle people. But there is a point at which the islanders know that a person is dead, namely, when definite signs of decomposition become apparent. This happens very fast in the tropical heat.
I am familiar with a drastic case. A man was "dead". A simple, uneducated woman looked at him and said. "He isn't dead. He doesn't stink". She was right. The "dead man" regained consciousness again after a few hours. He had only been in a cataleptic coma.
But, it seems that there is also a case which has been medically confirmed. My informant on Timor was a missionary who had been trained in the West. He told me about a child who had been receiving medical care and died. The doctor informed the parents that they should pick up the child for burial. They did so. However, they did not bury the child but rather sent a messenger to Mother S. She came, and prayed over the child, and it was sent back to its parents.
In conclusion, then, even if we reject every mania for miracles, we may not now fall into the error of rejecting miracles which actually have happened. But, let us not forget that the greatest miracle is the renewing of man and his obedient following after Jesus.
5. Criticism of Dr. Peters
The fifth criticism comes from Dr. George Peters, an instructor from Dallas Theological Seminary.
This seminary has a good reputation. The work of one of its former professors, Dr. Merrill F. Unger has contributed significantly to this. His books are well-known both in Europe and America. I wish I did not have to write the following section. But, obvious untruths which have been distributed in print to a wide public cannot be left unchallenged.
Dr. George Peters has written an article entitled Indonesia Revival: True or False? I have already taken a position on this in a four-page pamphlet. This leaflet can be obtained without cost from Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49501. For this reason, I can be more brief here. What kinds of truths are in the article of Dr. Peters?
a. He writes, "Dr. Koch came much too late". Yet, the truth is that I was in Indonesia in 1963,1965, 1966, 1968, and 1969 - a total of five times. I can instantiate this by means of the reports in my German books. In 1963, the revival had not yet begun, but already on individual islands which I visited, a small fire had been kindled. Dr. Peters was in Indonesia in 1970 and in 1973. Now, who really did come much too late? Is it; perhaps I, who spent time in Indonesia, already 7, 4, 2, 1 years before he did? Or does time run backwards for Dr. Peters?
b. Dr. Peters writes, "It is a fact that Dr. Koch did not witness the miracles." That, again, is an untruth. I have participated in the experience of a whole series of miracles of various types. It is not necessary to recount them all here. Enough is recorded in the book Revival in Indonesia. This present book also contains a report on the wine miracle. Where does Dr. Peters get the boldness to spread such incorrect information?
c. Dr. Peters writes, "Dr. Koch's book is the ill of listening to tape-recorded stories". Again it is an untruth. I have not heard a single tape!
d. Dr. Peters writes, "Dr. Koch confuses the revival on Timor and the evangelistic revival, which is issuing from the Batu Bible Institute." The following points will show who confuses the public and leads it astray.
I know Batu better than Dr. Peters does. Twice I was there for a period of four weeks and gave lectures. Then, too, I worked together with the Scheunemann brothers on Timor and, in one case, Roti. Furthermore, Petrus Oktavianus and Detmar Scheunemann gave lectures in Germany as my guests. In Stuttgart we had three thousand people in attendance. I also held an evangelistic series in the church of Dr. Scheunemann, the father of the two Scheunemann brothers who are missionaries. From Detmar Scheunemann I received an explanation of the relationship between Timor and Batu.
In the Spring of 1964, Detmar heard of a movement of healing on Timor, especially connected with the ministry of J. A. Ratuwalu. This teacher had a powerful gift of healing. According to the information Detmar received, thousands were being healed. Upon hearing this, Detmar went to Timor, where he stayed several months observing this movement of healing. Because he discovered many biblical errors, he stepped in to correct them. In this way, he rendered a valuable service on Timor. This movement of healing was the forerunner of the revival on Timor.
At this time Batu did not yet have a revival. At least two years passed before the revival impulse spread from Timor to Batu.
Naturally Batu is today faced with the task of making corrections where abuses have wanted to steal in. But let us hold fast to one thing, namely, that the revival was not carried from Batu to Timor but from Timor to Batu. It is also clear that the revival did not originate with the pastors and missionaries but with the islanders, Miss Hennie Tunliu, known as Priscilla, Nahor Leo, nephew of Pastor Daniel, Franz Selan and others.
It is not my presentation but the report of Dr. Peters that is inexact. I spent plenty of time with these brothers and also with Petrus Oktavianus, who, out of modesty, requested that I not use his name in the book Revival in Indonesia. For this reason I called him Pak Elias.
e. Now comes the sorest point in Dr. Peter's report. As his star witness he cites Dr. Pieter Middlekoop, the Dutch instructor at the institute in Kupang. He writes that without the ministry of Dr. Pieter Middelkoop and the faithful and diligent work of Pastor Daniel, the revival from the human point of view could never have come.
Pastor Daniel is, in fact, a good man. He gave his testimony once in my presence before approximately 120 missionaries in Batu in 1968 and said he had taken a critical position against the revival for one year before the Lord convinced him one year after the beginning of the revival! Then it not possible that he contributed to the coming of the revival.
According to Dr. Peters, Dr. Middelkoop's ministry is supposed to have been a preparation for revival. Without doubt, this Dutchman has done a good work in the field of Bible translation for the church and his mission. This fact is recognized by church leaders. However, among the believers he does not have the best reputation. The instructors of his Seminary introduced Biblical criticism to Timor. From the beginning this Seminary was an opponent to the revival. And for Dr. Peters, Dr. Middelkoop is the star witness!
To show the attitude of Dr. Middelkoop's Seminary I bring the English translation of a letter received from a Dutch scientist, Dr. J. ter Vrugt-Lentz.
Geldrop, April 24, 1972 Dear Dr. Koch:
After reading your book, "Uns Herr wirst Du Frieden schaffen" I called the mission office of our church because I was surprised that I had never found anything about the revival on Timor in our church papers. I was referred to a pastor who had returned from Timor in 1970 and was an expert in this matter.
I then called him to ask if he had read your book and what he knew of all these matters. He said that he had read your book, but apparently, an earlier edition. He thought you had received your reports from Pentecostals. He had been in Soe once himself in 1969 and had tried in vain to locate even a single man who had been raised from the dead. As far as the wine miracle that he had heard about is concerned, when he asked about it, someone confessed to him that they had fabricated this wine themselves by crushing overly ripe bananas with their fingers and letting them ferment in bottles of water. Furthermore, while praying with a group for the uncovering of hidden fetishes, a native pastor secretly let a fetish slip out his sleeve, and thus the prayer had apparently been answered. On the whole there was much that was not true and much exaggeration in these matters, especially in the periodicals of American mission societies because such stories promote generous giving.
He had worked on Timor for several years himself and, as he told me, had worked at improving the theological training of the church office-bearers. I am not able to recall the name of the village where he had worked, but it began with a "K," and now I ask myself whether I was speaking with the modern Dutch theologian whom you mention on page 390 of your book. He described the revival movement as a "pagan messianism" which would soon be extinguished again. He found the sermons of the pastors poor and said they could not satisfy the spiritual hunger of the people, and since the people in southern countries are susceptible to emotional excesses and to delusions, such stories could arise.
As far as I am concerned, I am no theologian, but for years I have been a presbyter in the Hervormde Kerk of the Netherlands and am involved very much professionally with the history of religion and with patristics.
Dr. J. ter Vrugt-Lentz
Dr. Peters calls my book incomplete because I have not mentioned "the preparatory work of Dr. Middelkoop and his institute".
It was impossible for me to do this. The truth had to be told. I want to cite an extreme example which does not apply to this institute. Bultmann was a "great theologian" but yet a man who devastated and destroyed the congregation of Jesus. He has entered into the history of theology but not into the history of the Kingdom of God.
The institute of Kupang may enter into the history of missions or of the Timorese church but hardly into the history of the Kingdom of God. An institute that uses the terms pagan exuberance and pagan messianism in describing such a miraculous revival as the one on Timor, at which tens of thousands have been converted to Christ, has no right to be considered a preparer of the revival; at the most it could be included among those opposing the revival. I gladly accept the reproach of Dr. Peters on this point.
Here I want to provide a biblical reference. In the story of the rich man and poor Lazarus in Luke 16, the name of the pious Lazarus is preserved. Yet, the name of the rich man is not mentioned.
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints" (Psalm 116:15). ". . . thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name forever and ever" (Psalm 9:5).
Bultmann and Lazarus are two extreme examples. The institute of Kupang lies somewhere between them. This institute has no business in a book on revival.
Indonesian Revival: True or False?
The Indonesian revival is true, but this preliminary report of Dr. Peters is false in many points.
It is a tragedy that God has revealed His majesty to this island world, and that people then try to tear this majesty into pieces with their criticism, their unbelief, and their intellectual arrogance.
On the occasion of my tour through the United States in May of 1973, I heard a good statement in the Beth Eden Baptist Church of Dr. Matteson. A staff member said, "Our theology is life-related." He meant that our attitude toward the revivals and toward all acts of God is dependent on our own spiritual life style.
A man who is filled with the Spirit of God judges differently concerning spiritual phenomena than a very intelligent man without the Holy Spirit. I intend this as a general statement and am not applying it to anyone who is mentioned in this book.
I will now mention a characteristic aspect of revivals.
Certain patterns always appear along with revivals on all continents. At the Timor revival many I pastors - excluding some notable exceptions - remained outside of the movement. They had, then, no part in the blessing which is connected to this revival. They had all been inoculated against the revival by the Kupang Institute and its tractors. We see the same situation in the Canadian revival. I know of cases where a spiritual revival was granted to a church. A number of the elders were seized by it, the others stood off to the side and remained critical and cold.
In this connection one is automatically reminded of the words of Matthew 24:40-41: "Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left."
Also, in the Timorese Revival there are different reactions. One believes in the miracles and says the truth, the second doubts the miracles and is not able to bring the truth. Pastor Daniel has often confirmed the wine miracles before many witnesses. Some critics say it was impossible. Now who is right?
Petrus Oktavianus, Detmar Scheunemann, Progor Shimizu, Professor Iqbal, Professor Daniel Bakt, King Kusa Nope, District President Fallo, President of the Congress Kapitan, and I were all witnesses of the wine miracle. The critics say that the primitive people who confuse imagination with reality believe that. I would gladly be counted with the primitive people. I am in good company. The question is only which of us is standing in the truth and which is alongside the truth.
An image from the Old Testament comes to mind. It is the report of the river of life in Ezekiel 47:9. Wherever this river flows, it brings life to people and animals. "But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed', (Ezekiel 47:11). There are not only miry places and marshes alongside. There are also people who are standing alongside. It is a great tragedy when powerful things are happening all around us and we are sitting disinterestedly alongside. May the Lord preserve us from this!
This sorrowful chapter must end. God bestows rich blessing and men make it into a controversial case, thus leading others into danger.
Back to Dr. Peters. I can pray for him and also love him according to the command of Jesus. The Lord said in Matthew 5:44, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you".
It would have been right of Dr. Peters had he as scholar practiced objectivity, and as a Christian lover of the truth. One cannot spread untruth about another Christian, especially in print, without previously having asked him whether it is true or not. It is the order set forth in the New Testament which has been violated here.
It is not yet generally known, indeed, even the brothers in Batu, Kupang, and Soe do not suspect that I am already planning to make a sixth visit, this one to other Indonesian islands. It must be emphasized that with these visits, as with the earlier ones, it is not a matter of studying, examining, or critizing the revival. It is my purpose to bring Missionary proclamation to the natives, who have already received some thousands of Bibles and New Testaments as a gift from my mission. This sixth visit comes in response to an invitation. There is a difference as to whether the islanders welcome us or fear our visit. Only too often the leading brothers have told me that they fear the my American visits, most of all, those visits by people from Pentecostal circles.
The review of Dr. Peters also lacks objectivity in the following statement: "He [Dr. Koch] may have been 'there,' that is on some geographical spot where something had been experienced previously. . . ."
I was not only "on some spots," for I have been traveling throughout Indonesia for ten years, and much more extensively than ever has been or will I possible for Dr. Peters. Thus, this statement only serves to cast contempt on me and does not represent a truthful review.
It is interesting to see which witnesses Dr. Peters uses to base his judgments. With his reliance on men like Dr. Middelkoop and his seminary, I can understand this slanderous article against me. Men like Petrus Octavianus, King Kusa Nope, and others have not provided Dr. Peters with this untrue material with which he has tried to dispose me in public with his article, "Indonesian Revival: True or False?"
It is the curse of untruth that it must continue to bear further untruths. This article has been printed in religious periodicals in many countries. I repeat my request, I even plead in despair, people should leave the Indonesian brothers in peace and, above all, send no "examiners without the inner spiritual qualifications". Let us bear in mind the warning of Pastor Daniel, "Western criticism brings about the danger of a split among us".
For the sake of completeness, I must mention something else that will certainly make Dr. Peter happy. Unfortunately, I have an opponent in Indonesia who, for years, has missed no opportunity to harm me.
I have in no way caused this opposition. On the contrary, I have tried to placate this man with large missionary gifts which extend into the thousands. This opposition has a long history.
Many years ago I gave several lectures at the University of Tubingen at the invitation of Professor Koberle and the department of theology. Following the lectures, there was a discussion period with the students. It concerned the American extremist, William Branham, whose life God took few years ago in an automobile accident. I will include here some of my extensive material.
a. The two interpreters of Branham, the American Rev. Ruff and the Swiss Dr. Hollenweger left him. Rev. Ruff said to me, "This man is no messenger of Jesus. He is a spiritist. He gave me proof for this."
b. I have in my possession reports of healings Branham which turned out to be heavy occult burdens.
c. In my Branham collection are several sermons by him. From an examination of these, one can see
that Branham denies the Trinity of the Godhead. For this reason, a Branham sect has arisen in the
United States which believes only in Jesus and denies God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
d. In his sermons there is also the frightful statement that Cain, the first-born son of Adam,
did not descend from Adam but from a union of Eve with the snake.
e. The worst fruit of Branham is perhaps his anointing of the Indian "Brother Larry" to be the
Messiah. This Brother Larry gathers believers out the whole world around himself because the end
of all things is near. Everyone who joins this sect gives up all he owns. His followers have turned
over to him a gigantic fortune. I know a victim of this Brother Larry personally; it is a German Oman who left her husband and departed for India with her many possessions. There she delivered everything over to Brother Larry and then returned home, one day, without a penny.
At that time, I cited such arguments in the discussion and was amazed to hear a theology student defend William Branham and call him a great man of God.
In the face of these flawless arguments, the defense by the student pointed to a great spiritual confusion.
Later, I met the family of the student, which gave more knowledge about the case. His father is a Biblically-based Christian who tried to free his son from the Branham idea.
During my fourth and fifth visits in Indonesia, I found this student there as a missionary. From the first hour on, I felt the rejection and opposition of the man. He continually made trouble for me by offensive conduct and his taunting words. Through friends, I was also made aware of the fact that this Indonesian missionary spoke against me during his furloughs.
In spite of this, I pray regularly for this brother and his followers. It almost seems to me that Dr. Peters was influenced by him. Many things in the attack of Dr. Peters follow a line similar to that in the attacks of this missionary. Experience has shown me that a false theology twists the character of a man and that a healthy biblical orientation also makes the life style of the Christian biblically healthy and sober.
It is a tragedy that Christians feud with each other. This attitude does not proceed from the Holy Spirit.
There are many things I could say on this point. The American magazine Eternity, for example, has attacked me heavily because of my anti-occult books. They reproach me with having granted the devil too much honor. This criticism results from an ignorance of the American situation, which is becoming increasingly contaminated with the occult. This charge can also be refuted objectively through the reminder that I have written eight times as many books on revivals, missionary problems and about the second coming of the Lord against occult matters. But it is the same in the United States as in Europe. An editor of a periodical must always have someone with whom he ca "lock horns," or the readers will not stay with a boring magazine. They want to be fed with sensation stories.
If God has given me the task of writing and speaking against the occult, fanatical, pseudo-charismatic, modernistic movements of our time, then Christians should not attack me from behind. Objective opposition should not be carried on with slanderous charges as the Indonesian missionary, Dr. Peters, and, in part, Eternity magazine have done.
I close this chapter with a personal request to all my English-speaking readers. I request that they
support me with prayer in my battles on the various fronts. The battle is being fought on the following fronts:
The front against modernistic rationalistic theology. That is the worst false doctrine of our time.
The front against the extremists in the Pentecostal congregations and in the so-called charismatic movements. In this group there are also serious, faithful, sober followers of Christ whom I never attack but respect and love.
The front against occultism, spiritism, magic, and sorcery in every form. Here, the battle is raging most violently, for Satan answers with the heaviest attacks. I wish the Lord had not given me this assignment. I have almost been destroyed in this battle.
The front against cold, dead orthodoxy. These are the people who accept the Bible, believe everything, and yet remain sitting alongside. They have it all in their heads and nothing in their hearts. They lack the Holy Spirit. Please do not misunderstand. There is also a genuine living orthodoxy, which we do not attack and we are not attacked by.
The front against myself, against my sinful heart, against my ego, against my lack of devotion, against insufficient love for my brother, against disobedience and unfaithfulness towards the Lord. This last front has caused me the greatest pain. How many things accuse me here. How often have I said to the Lord "Crush me like a worm, I deserve it". How great is the comfort I receive from the Apostle John: "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth al things". (I John 3:20). One can even logically extend this sentence of the apostle to read: our own brothers condemn us, God is greater and more merciful than the brothers.
THE REVIVAL IN THE SOLOMON ISLANDS v AUSTRALIAN SOUTH SEA MISSION
For the last twenty years I have usually spent nine months out of every year on evangelistic trips and missionary trips throughout the world. In the course of these extended air travels, unfortunately, I have no time to travel by ship and there are always breakdowns. One of the worst ones occurred on my flight from Sydney, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea, then further to Wewak and to Manila in the Philippines.
A small airline on New Guinea had changed its flying plans without taking into consideration the flight plans of the large international airlines. Thus I faced an involuntary stay of two weeks on New Guinea. I was desperate, for then I could not keep lecture schedule in the Philippines. Furthermore, I did not know what I should do with so much time on New Guinea.
Our difficulties are often God's opportunities. The Lord knew about this seemingly insoluble problem and solved it so marvelously that I am still thankful for it today.
Director Griffith, the Director of the Australian South Sea Mission, came to see me and invited me visit his mission fields on New Guinea. For me it was a gift from heaven.
A small airplane of the Missionary Aviation Fellowship brought me from Wewak to Balif and then to other stations of the South Sea Mission.
I stayed with the missionaries Watt and Pearce and also with the women missionaries Elizabeth Schrader and Helene Held. My visit to these mission fields on New Guinea was extremely profitable for me, both spiritually and ethnologically.
In this small book I do not have the space to report everything. Perhaps a life story may be presented, the story of Peter Lus. I met him at the mission station Ilahita, where the missionary Elizabeth Schrader was serving.
Peter was born in 1930. Like many of his fellow tribesmen, he was involved in the cult of Tambaram. When he was twenty-five years old, he came to Sister Elizabeth at the mission school in order to learn how to read and write. Since the instruction centered entirely around the Bible, Peter heard the Word of God every day.
After spending three years at the school, he asked the missionary one day, "Does Jesus have so much power that he can hold on to my hand?"
You see, Peter was a quarrelsome fellow who immediately began hitting whenever he did not get his way.
The missionary answered, "Jesus can do more than that. Pray that he will do it!"
Peter did this and at the age of twenty-eight surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus. Since he was an active man, he immediately began to build a church and a school in his village. He began to give the instruction himself and gradually gathered together almost all who were between the ages of nine and eighteen.
To the heathen, his activity was a thorn in the flesh. They produced false witnesses and went with charges against him to the district officer, who was a fanatical Catholic. The evangelical mission is an offense to this underhanded man. On the basis of the statements of the false witnesses, he condemned Peter to six months in prison. The legal system on New Guinea is in a bad state.
This man, who was made to suffer even though he was innocent, does not regret this time in prison. He became a missionary to the prisoners and was permitted to lead several to Jesus.
Because of good behavior he was released after five months. The false witnesses now feared his revenge. Peter declared to them, however, "A few years ago, I would have sought retribution. But now I forgive you for the sake of Jesus".
Peter proved himself as an assistant to the missionary. He worked five days a week without pay at the mission station. He worked the sixth day for his room and board.
God rewarded this unselfishness richly. The authorities became aware of the outstanding work Peter was doing in his teaching. When a parliament was being chosen for the Australian part of New Guinea, Peter Lus was recommended. He was actually elected as a member of parliament.
Financially things now went very well for this faithful Christian. He received about $420.00 every month, an enormous sum for an islander on New Guinea with his few needs.
What did Peter do? Every month he gave the money over to the mission station. An outstanding proof of how the Lord can prepare a faithful unselfish tool of His grace out of a simple islander.
Next to Indonesia and Brazil, I am most attracted to New Guinea.
The Australian South Sea Evangelical Mission, which in recent years has united with a German South Sea Mission, is permitted to render a blessed pioneer service on this island which is still full o pagan cults, magic, and even cannibalism.
At this point, I especially want to thank Director Griffith for opening this door for me at that time when I was in a difficult situation.
I will also never forget the report of the pilot who brought me to this mission station. We made a small detour. He showed me a valley in which approximately three thousand islanders were living. He reported to me, "One day, a delegation o men came out of this valley to a mission station. They declared, 'We have heard of a marvelous man by the name of Jesus. We want to learn more about this. Could you provide us with a teacher who would tell us about this Jesus?'"
When I heard this report, I said to the Lord, "Is it possible that I could pull up my stakes in the western world and go to New Guinea as a missionary?"
The Lord did not grant me this request because he had another plan for me. Since that time, I have been permitted to visit hundreds of mission stations on all continents and serve them with the Word of God. That was more than what I had requested. The Lord goes beyond our requests an our understanding.
(My New Guinea experiences are contained in the German book Unter der Fuhrung Jesu.)
Since the time of my two visits to New Guinea, I have been interceding for the work of the missionaries of the Australian South Sea Evangelical Mission and have been sending them Christian books in the English language free of charge.
The Lord has granted a special blessing to the mission fields of the Australian South Sea Evangelical Mission. One of these mission fields experienced a miraculous revival, about which I will now report. It concerns a revival on the Solomon Islands.
The tool which the Lord used on the Solomon islands is Muri Thompson. I met him for the first time in 1966 at the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin, which was organized by Billy Graham.
Then I met him again in New Zealand, Muri Thompson is a Maori. The Maori are an original tribe on New Zealand which is now dying out. I was told that there are only about fifty pure-bred Maori left on New Zealand. This is related to the fact that the Maori are a beautiful race. European settlers like to marry the Maori girls. The Maori are not only well-built people, they are also artistically inclined. They are musicians and great woodcarvers. I have received many samples of their talent.
Once I was with a Maori family where the situation was reversed. A Maori man had married an immigrant woman. It was the Gilbert family, both serve the Lord.
I have not yet visited the Solomon Islands. They are on the program for my next visit to the South Sea areas. For this reason I cannot describe this revival with my own reports but am in a position to offer a collection of documents.
As the first document, I supply a letter which the secretary of the Australian South Sea Evangelical Mission sent to me.
SOUTH SEA EVANGELICAL MISSION New Zealand Council 427 Queen Street Auckland 1
26th June 1971
Dear Doctor Koch,
Recently I have been thrilled to read your excellent book describing the Indonesian revival. It certainly is very encouraging when, in spite of all the problems that have been besetting that area of the world, that God has moved in such a clear way. A number of friends have also read your book and are finding as I have, that this is an enriching experience. Although it has just appeared in our shops it is very much in demand. It was interesting to read of the historical background as well as the revival itself. Your comments and observations are very much appreciated.
Last year (August 27, 1970) God poured out His Spirit in revival in the Solomon Islands. You may have already heard about this, but in case you have not, I am sending you accounts of this movement of God which have appeared in the quarterly magazine of our mission Not in Vain. It appears that each time God moves in revival there are different emphases. You have very ably brought this fact out in your book. This revival in the Solomon Islands has been characterized by:
Deep conviction of sin, almost to the degree of agony.
When sin has been confessed, and the forgiveness of God has been claimed, there has been a great spirit of praise and joy as souls have experienced the release that God alone can give.
Then there has been a tremendous zeal to share the Lord Jesus with others - a reaching-out to the unsaved. After ten months, two interesting things are emerging. There is deep hunger for the Word of God. New Bible schools are commencing and we are advertising the need of Bible teachers to serve in the Solomon Islands to help these. Then, the national church leaders have new initiative and drive. Where formerly they have been inclined to look to the missionary, perhaps too much, they are now taking more of the leadership and responsibility themselves. One of our missionaries who was at home on furlough when the revival started, arrived back on the field to a new situation. He said that the national leaders used to ask him for advice now they tell him what to do! Trust this will be of interest to you.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Robert J. Cooper
Secretary New Zealand Council
The following reports are taken from the mission periodicals of the Australian South Sea Evangelical Mission which Brother Cooper sent to me. Especially the magazine Not in Vain of December, 1970 and of March, 1971 are mentioned.
Documenting The Solomon Revival
1.The Breath of God
Luke reports in Acts 2:2, "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting."
In the United States I heard the following theology several times: "What happened back at the first feast of Pentecost cannot be repeated. The Holy Spirit has been poured out. He is already here. There is no longer any need to wait for a similar event."
This theology sounds very biblical and does contain an element of truth - except that the Spirit of God often does not abide by this. Let us hear what happened on the Solomon Islands.
At the beginning of August 1970, there was supposed to be a two-month conference of the Australian South Sea Evangelical Mission. Muri Thompson, of New Zealand, was invited to speak. Muri did not come alone. He brought with him a team of other Maori. Several missionaries and natives of the Solomon Islands joined them.
Powerful things happened on this mission tour. Muri was to preach on Sunday, August 27,1970, in the church at Sifilo on the eastern coast of Malaita. There were three thousand people gathered in the church and outside of it. During this service the crowd had an experience like that of the disciples of Jesus in Jerusalem. The Spirit of God came like a stormy wind over the islanders gathered there.
Let us allow Muri Thompson to tell the story: "At first, I thought it was audible prayer among the congregation. But, I realized it was above, in the distance, like a wind and getting louder.
"I looked up through an opening in the leaf roof to the heavens from where the sound seemed to be coming. It grew to a roar - then it came to me: surely this is the Holy Spirit coming like a mighty rushing wind. I called the people to realize that God the Holy Spirit was about to descend upon them."
2. A Rushing Mighty Wind
We will now let George Strachan, a fellow worker of the team, continue the account:
"During the time of silent prayer there came a sound like an airplane in the distance. Growing louder, it attracted attention, as it sounded like a gale approaching. My thoughts went to our ship, the Evangel. Yesterday the anchor had dragged in a strong gale, and only Benjamin was on board at that time. I looked outside, only to see the trees quite still; yet the roar, full, but not deafening, continues. It came to me with a start: surely, this is the Holy Spirit coming like a mighty rushing wind.
"In a matter of seconds, the silent church started to echo with wailing, praying and strong crying. Being up in the pulpit, I glanced over the congregation. One felt the sacredness of the moment. The Spirit of God was upon His people.
"As men began to pray aloud, cries of conviction increased among the people. Gradually, they started to come through to deliverance. There was no panic. All was under the control of God who was handling the powers of evil, man's sin and the huge crowd.
"We trust that this is only the beginning of the fulfillment of God's promise, which we claimed from Him years ago: 'Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not' (Jeremiah 33:3). And so it proved to be the beginning of a work of the Holy Spirit."
3.The Fire Continues To Burn
The revival on the Solomons was not emotionalism. The form of the meeting was not determined by men but was set by the Spirit of God. The proclamation of Muri Thompson was sober and not based on feeling. A missionary writes to his embassy:
"Muri Thompson's message was not emotional. He did not tell anyone during his message or afterwards to go and confess anything to anyone. It was completely spontaneous and it was obvious that it was a real and deep working of the Holy Spirit in lives."
The event which had begun in the church in Sifilo on Sunday morning, August 27, 1970, had a continuing effect.
Already in the afternoon several leaders of the Christian congregations came together. Let us hear what one of those present wrote about it:
"As this session progressed, one of those present broke down and cried and cried before the Lord, confessing the sin of bitterness, animosity, resentment and misunderstanding towards the missionaries - all as a result of the message. God had been speaking to his heart, which had been exposed by the Spirit of God and the Word of God and was utterly broken before Him. This deeply affected the other leaders and there was a spirit of confession and admission of the same feelings on the part of others."
During the days following this memorable Sunday, the same thing almost always happened: a wave of repentance took possession of those who were gathered together. One is involuntarily reminded of the revival in Canada, during which the spirit of repentance also seized those present.
Let us allow a missionary, Gordon Wilson, to report further:
"Monday morning proved the initial breakthrough for the whole conference. But, the Wednesday service was a meeting that we shall never forget. It lasted for four hours. God met with us and dealt with us. There is no more shattering experience than to be humbled to the dust in public, in an agony of sin and failure. But, what joy and praise follow the release of this burden. In a quiet and orderly way, God convicted missionaries and national leaders of wrong attitudes, resentful thoughts, hurt feelings, jealousies and the like, which we now realized had been crippling our work, in some cases for years - thus hindering the Holy Spirit in His work. There and then, in or out of the meeting, brother came together with brother, sister with sister, and confessed faults, asking each other's forgiveness. It was a deeply moving experience and the love shed abroad in our hearts was tremendous."
4.Unity in the Spirit
In His high-priestly prayer as recorded in John 17:20-21, Jesus prayed, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. That they all may be one."
It is usually a sign of the revival that the pastors, elders of the church, and other Christian leaders who have been divided among themselves reconcile their differences. The process is reversed when a revival again dies out; then, the conflicts return. We see this, for example, in the Uganda revival, which began in 1931. The fire of this revival has almost burned down. At the same, time quarrels and divisions have set in.
Let us listen to an eye-witness from the Solomon revival as he reports on this point:
"We are amazed and awed at God's gracious dealings and cannot praise Him enough. He has truly answered prayer in ways far beyond what we thought and in different ways too. All were assured that it was indeed a work of the Lord Himself. The real Oneness with the nationals has to be seen to be believed. Missionaries, leaders and students publicly confessed things that hindered unity, and the Lord's prayer was answered - that they may be one.
"The Spirit broke us right down about many things, coming between us. This brought a close bond between missionaries and islanders than had previously been known."
One is here reminded of the original congregation in Jerusalem: "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul" (Act.4:32).
5. Like the Book of Acts
"What happened in the Solomons was like something out of the book of Acts", writes another missionary. "The coming of the Holy Spirit as on the Day of Pentecost. Demons were cast out, the sick healed, Had I not known those who were bringing these reports, I could well have doubted what was said." An example of an immediate healing should be given.
"One unusual case was a man in the last stages of T.B. who was carried to Afio station, where the team prayed for healing. Sent home from hospital incurable, this man was a bundle of misery, almost completely confined to his bed. To hear from the locals what he was like is quite vivid and convincing. After prayer was made for him, he immediately became well, and today he is making canoes and working in his food-garden, a living witness to what God is doing at this time. We mention this case in particular, as it happened on a mission station, with a missionary present to see."
6.The Team System
It is interesting to observe that in all revivals in twentieth century the team system has proven worth. In Korea the seminarians of Pyongyang who had been seized by the Spirit of God went out into the country and carried the message to all around.
In the Indonesian revival there were from 1965 to 1970 about two hundred teams who went from one village to another without purse, without money.
In the Asbury revival the students went out weekend into the cities to which they were called!
The Canadian revival, too, reveals this manner of working. Many laymen formed groups and carried the fire of the revival further.
On the Solomon Islands, the Lord again chose this biblical method of working. The mission ship Evangel brought the New Zealand team from the east coast to the west coast and then to the north coast. Wherever they came, a spirit of repentance seized the inhabitants of the islands.
On the northern coast of Malaita in Kwaiana an unusually large number of cases of demon possession became apparent during the evangelization. Missionary Gordon Wilson mentions this in his letter: "Demon possession showed out here in an alarming way. There was cause for much rejoicing that the power of God prevailed as they were cast out."
The mission ship rounded the entire island Malaita. On the northeast coast they stopped in the vicinity of Kofiloko.
John Pipi, the singer with Muri Thompson, will report on two experiences here. He writes as follows:
"I slept on an island sleeping mat in the thatched pulpit of the Kofiloko Church under a mosquito net. During the night and early morning, one grew accustomed to the islanders' times of prayer - praying always - praying aloud, especially early in the morning from three o'clock onwards. Twice my night's rest was disrupted by people whimpering and crying out under demon possession."
In this same church of Kofiloko, the pouring out of a spirit of repentance was repeated. Let us hear the missionary George Strachan:
"Many were crying, and leaders were disturbed that they could not stop it. There appeared to be no real cause, yet their distress was real. The church was full of concerned faces. But a spirit of relief came when we explained that this was godly sorrow for which we had been praying for years. Those crying were taken to a separate building and the meeting commenced. When we explained to those crying that they could accept God's provision by faith, there was a change and weeping turned to great joy."
That Your Joy May Be Full
During the revival the repentance could become so strong that it resembled death throes. When the penitents then were able to lay hold of forgiveness by faith, an overpowering joy took hold of them. A Missionary writes:
"All was in order till the call was given after the message. Then there was a surge forward, and many broke into strong crying, both men and women. They were left for perhaps ten minutes then outbursts of joy and praise began. This spread over the whole meeting and continued for another fifteen minutes. It was tremendous, such as I have never seen or heard in all my life. Towards the end of the meeting, a number of schoolgirls were dancing with joy and praising the Lord outside the church. You couldn't help but recognize they had a joy beyond themselves."
The revival spread to the schools. The teachers reported that in their teaching the situation was completely changed. Often an organized program of instruction was no longer possible, for the spirit of repentance had come over the children. They cried over their guilt and confessed their small transgressions. Because the teachers could not take care of all the pupils, the children often helped each other by showing the crying ones the way to Jesus.
The children who had been saved received visions similar to those of the children at the revival on Timor. They saw the dying and resurrected Lord. Others, on the other hand, saw nothing. But all were filled with an indescribable joy. A teacher reports:
"All are praising God, singing choruses of praise and flooded with joy. In this part of the world they all sing with movement—waving their hands and beating time. It just seems suitable. They are so full of joy and love for the Lord and for others that they cannot contain themselves and tell of Him to all they meet."
Every revival brings its fruit in one's own country and in missionary service outside of one's country.
On the Solomon Islands, the fire spread from the island Malaita over to the neighboring islands. It was a great victory that on the island Rennel the workers in the mines were caught up by it. These men were completely devoted to materialism and the desire for profit. God gave the team such complete power, however, that the recognized leader of the Christian church repented first. Within a year, eight young men came forward and applied at tin One Pusu Bible Institute.
It is a common occurrence that during spiritual upheavals many young people offer themselves for service in the kingdom of God.
During the revival on Timor three hundred young people volunteered within a short time. They could not all be accepted.
The time is no longer far away when these islanders begin to go beyond the borders of their country to serve as missionaries. The spiritual conditions of the earth are shifting more and more. The churches of the West often no longer have a younger generation because the churches have become spiritually cold. This is the case especially in Europe. For this reason, the simple people are coming from the mission field in order to proclaim the gospel in the former mother-country of the missionary societies. This process has already begun. The first will be last and the last, first.
THE REVIVAL IN FORMOSA
It is a good thing and is according to the plan of God that not all revivals are alike. Otherwise men would immediately make a system out of the way revivals occur. God adapts himself to the mentality and the educational level of the people he wants to touch. He approached the illiterates in the jungle of Timor first of all with miracles and direct revelations. The Canadian revival is a movement of repentance and purification. In other parts of the world, it was the fruit of many years of faithful labor on the part of missionaries and an answer to their prayers. In the Hebrides, it was God's answer to that untiring supplication of two women who for thirty years prayed for a revival! The next chapters will show how the revival happened on Formosa.
Soil Fertilized With Blood
On Formosa, I visited first the mission station of the Overseas Crusades, which, at that time, was directed by Missionary Hans Wilhelm and now is directed by Missionary von Kleist. My second visit was to the leprosy station at Hsi-Chuang, where a nurse from Hensoltshohe, Alma Trucks, was undertaking great blessings in her work. But my real concern was that I get to the primitive tribes in the central area of the island. This was made possible with the help of Missionary Juttka.
Let us next hear something about the political development of Formosa. The history of Formosa has been written with blood. At the beginning of the seventeenth century the island belonged to the Dutch. In the middle of the seventeenth century, a general settled on Formosa. He had been defeated on the mainland and sought refuge on this island. Gradually more and more soldiers came over from the mainland. The daring general succeeded in making a surprise attack. The Dutch were chased out. Yet, this victory ill did not give him mastery over the island. He had to win tough battles with the primitive tribes, which had been partially Christianized by missionaries. The struggle ended with the massacre of the Christians of the Tay-yal tribe in 1662. About 170 tribal leaders were bound and thrown into a deep chasm. The other Christians were killed. Ever since this killing, the Tay-yal have had a cross tattooed on their foreheads as their tribal sign. The old men of the tribe still have this sign of the cross today.
The general from the mainland, Koeh-hsieng-yeh who with this bloody action brought Formosa (Taiwan) into the possession of the Chinese mainland is honored today as a national hero. The year 1962 was the three-hundredth anniversary of his bloody deeds
But, the island was still far from achieving peace. In 1895 the Japanese attacked the island without cause and took it away from China. This surprise attack was again accompanied by terrible tribal battles. The Japanese, finally, resorted to a stratagem of war. The tribal leaders were invited to a celebration of reconciliation. They were fed well and above all provided with much liquor. When they were drunk, they were all slaughtered. In this way the Japanese mastery over Taiwan was assured. At first, the conquerors ruled harshly, but then they became friendlier and treated the natives more humanely. There are yet today many on Taiwan who are still friendly toward Japan. During my visit to this island, I heard the typical remark of a peasant when he said, "Under the Japanese I worked for one day and could then live with my family for five days on what I had earned. Today, I work for five days and can exist with my family for only one day on what I earn." In this connection, I had to recall a remark of Weiss-Ferdl during the Nazi period in Germany; he once said, "Previously, things went well with us. Today things are going better with us. It would be better if things were going only well with us." Weiss-Ferdl was locked up by the Nazis for saying this.
With their collapse after the Second World War, the Japanese left the island. From 1945 to 1949, the island belonged, for all practical purposes, to the Chinese mainland. With the advance of Mao-tse-tung's troupes, Formosa became a refuge for the retreating troops of Chiang Kai-shek. Before this leader of the Nationalists arrived on Formosa, a general with Nationalist troops came first to prepare the way for Chiang's retreat. He carried out his task so thoroughly and in such a bloody way that the people of Taiwan have still not forgotten it. This general put on the same kind of affair as the Japanese in 1895. He invited two hundred tribal leaders to a feast and had them killed during tin meal. This army leader did this on his own without asking President Chiang or informing him of his plan. When Chiang Kai-shek heard of this blood-kith, he had the general brought before a court-martial and condemned to death. But, Taiwan has never recovered from this wound. Yet, the Taiwanese have great respect for their president because he is a man with character and with a Christian way of thinking.
Will Formosa now find peace? No one knows. To be sure, many nationalists are living on Taiwan live with the idea of one day reconquering the Chinese mainland. But, here one asks oneself, "Does the mouse want to attack the tiger?" No, Mao will find a different master. Mao's untitled account cries out to the heavens. In complete spiritual blindness or confusion, Dr. John C. Bennett, a member of the National Council and World Council of Churches, called this man the 'Savior of the East." This "Savior of the East" has, however, millions of people on his conscience. Therefore, God will one day speak the deciding word in the matter of Red China.
The End of the Reign of Demons
In Taipei, Missionary Wilhelm related to me a conversation he had had with a native pastor of the primitive tribes. The conversation was held in English, Japanese, and in a dialect of the primitive tribes. Pastor Li had brought along an interpreter who spoke all of these languages.
Pastor Li told him many things about the fortune-telling, spiritism, and magic of the primitive tribes. The entire tribe lives in fear of its magicians who work in part with great and sinister power and not only with suggestion as many ethnologists and psychologists would have us believe.
For lack of space we will examine only one area namely, death magic. Pastor Li explained that it is a serious problem because powerful satanic forces are revealed here.
The magicians work with a small bird, which they keep in a cage. They employ every means to conceal this bird from the eyes of the others, for their fellow tribesmen who are tormented by the magicians try in every way possible to gain possession of this bird.
Whenever the magician wants to kill a person, he concentrates on this bird and gives him the assignment of bringing poison to the victim. Of course, the bird never flies away. It is only a matter of symbolic magic. The strange thing is that the victim of this magic dies within one week or, at the latest, within a month. It cannot be a matter of autosuggestion since the victim usually knows nothing about the magic pursuing him.
But if a tribesman does feel the effect of this magic, then he has three possibilities of saving himself. He can try to obtain possession of the bird. If he succeeds in doing this and he kills the bird, then the magic loses its power. Secondly, he can try to kill the magician. This happens quite often. Thirdly, he can buy himself free. He offers the magician some kind of valuable object and thus buys his freedom.
These magicians are greatly feared. With their magic, they keep the tribe in check. They are usually very wealthy because the tribesmen have to fulfill all their wishes if they want to be spared from the loss of their life. Li's interpreter added that he had had to give the magician clothing four times while he was still a pagan. But, since he has become a Christian, the magician has no more power over him. As on all mission fields, one could observe here, too, that faith in Jesus provides a protective wall against pagan magic.
While in the process of recording this report, I happened to come across a copy of a solid and established American magazine. There, I read again he ridiculous theory about the happiness of the natives, a happiness which at best can only be disturbed by the missionaries. When whole tribes of New Guinea or some other island of the Pacific are in great fear of spirits and in terror of the magicians, then that is by no means the happiness of primitive people.
Freedom from the fear of spirits and the release from spells of magic is possible only through Christ, who, on the cross, broke the power of all dark forces. As a defeated army, these forces have only a limited sphere of influence left until the return of Jesus, Who will bring the final reckoning.
Eighty Thousand Mountain People Find Their Way to Christ
A climax of my visit on Formosa was the time I spent lecturing at the two Bible schools in Taipei in Tansui.
Tansui is the place where the Lord fashions His armaments, the place where He prepared a tool for missionary service to those living in the mountains. Chi-oan is the name of this tool; she is the one who may be considered the missionary to the mountain tribes of Taiwan and the one who brought them the revival.
Her life history is so fascinating and so significant in the history of missions that we ought to pause here briefly to review it. Chi-oan comes from the tribe of the Tay-yal, the most feared head hunters of the island. When the Japanese occupied Taiwan in 1895, having completed their conquest of the plains already some time before, the Tay-yal were still resisting bitterly. The surprise attack which they carried out secretly during the night cost many Japanese soldiers their lives and their heads. The Tay-yal had the custom of insisting that a young man not be permitted to court a girl until he could point to at least one head which he had brought back from battle as proof of his bravery.
For decades the battle raged on between the new masters of the island and the mountain tribes, who had been occupying their territory since the second century. In these bloody feuds Chi-oan was one day to play a significant role.
Against the will of her tribe, Chi-oan had married a Chinese tradesman. Aided by her high intelligence, she learned Chinese quickly and then also Japanese. Her husband came from a Christian family which took its faith very seriously. Because her connection with these Chinese in-laws, Chi-oan came into contact with Christian missions and became a Christian.
Here God was leading in a manner already familiar to us. How often the Lord precedes in unusual ways when he is preparing a chosen tool for a special service!
A further landmark in God's leading was his removal of Chi-oan from her family. Her fellow tribesmen, the revenge-thirsty Tay-yal, had not forgotten her marriage to a Chinese man. One night they attacked the couple. Her Chinese husband was killed. Chi-oan was to return to her old home in the mountains with her husband's murderers. She refused. Since among the Tay-yal the women are held in high esteem and usually occupy position of leadership in the family, Chi-oan was not forced to go. Now the mother was left standing alone with her two children. Soon after she thought it was God's will that she marry a Christian Chinese man. She was to regret this step. The second husband was only concerned with acquiring Chi-oan's large fortune. As soon as her fortune had been transferred to his name, he disappeared, never to return. This second terrible event took away her last support. Now she learned to rely completely on the promises of God. Her path into complete poverty was hard but blessed.
Miring this time while she was making her way through a hard school of faith, she, a fifty-eight-year old woman, applied for admission at the Bible School in Tansui. The director, Missionary Dickson tried to explain to the applicant that at her age she could no longer go to school. The young pupils would certainly poke fun of her, especially since entire face was disfigured by the tattoos of the Tay-yal. Brother Dickson had not taken into account the stubbornness of Chi-oan. It was not in vain that she belonged to a brave unyielding mountain tribe. Chi-oan wanted an education so that she could serve the Lord Jesus. In fact, it was her wish that she might bring the gospel to her own tribe in order that the head-hunting and the blood feuds might cease.
This made Brother Dickson stop and think. How many years he and his friends had prayed that they might gain entrance into the mountain tribes? Was this supposed to be such a way? Was this the answer to their prayers? Brother Dickson no longer had the courage to reject the applicant.
With unflagging diligence and high intelligence, Chi-oan acquired in Tansui the necessary Biblical background. Upon completing her studies, she set out to bring the gospel message to her tribe. The Lord provided grace. What no white man had previously been able to do, Chi-oan succeeded in doing. The houses, the families, the villages opened their doors to the gospel.
At first, the fight with the Japanese continued; it lasted almost until the end of the period of Japanese occupation (1895-1945). Chi-oan was to play a decisive role in this conflict. The Japanese had forbidden head-hunting as well as the hoarding skulls in the huts of the Tay-yal. On the other side, the message of Chi-oan was also directed against head-hunting and ancestor worship. Force on the one side, the gospel on the other side: this situation demanded a settlement. One day, the tribal leaders approached Chi-oan and asked her to mediate between them and the Japanese. After all, she possessed the necessary language skills, the fearlessness of a Tay-yal, and the kind heart of a Christian for this difficult assignment.
The suggestion that Chi-oan serve as mediator was also very welcome to the Japanese, for they had already lost too many soldiers at the hands of the Tay-yal. With great wisdom Chi-oan brought about a reconciliation between these two sides so hardened in their opposition. Chi-oan was greatly honored by both sides. Later, when the Christians were persecuted, Chi-oan was never put into prison, for she was credited with having brought to an end the bloody feuds with the mountain tribes.
Yet, the main achievement of Chi-oan was not political assignment, even though it was highly blessed. Her attention was directed totally towards winning the defiant mountain population to the Lord Jesus. This was granted to her in such a measure that for twenty years the area of the mountain people was a place of revival. Chi-oan succeeded in smuggling Bibles and portions of Bibles into the mountains. Today, this smuggling is no longer necessary, for Chiang Kai-shek not only does not prevent the distribution of Bibles, he even promotes it. During the Japanese occupation, the distribution of biblical books had been forbidden.
Many of the mountain tribes were unable to read. furthermore, there was no one who could interpret the Bible for them. Chi-oan had gradually become an aging and sickly woman who could no longer respond to every call. And yet, the revival which has arisen since 1945 shows that the Word of God does not turn void. For me, this remains unforgettable since I myself was once permitted to bring the gospel to these mountain dwellers.
What has become of this revival since that time? First of all, we must very briefly clarify the concept of revival. The reports in the book of Acts and the history of the work of God's kingdom show us what a biblical and unbiblical revival is. Today, this concept is widely misused. Fanatical intrigues and spiritual outbursts of feeling are not genuine revivals climate produced by the Spirit. But, when people are convicted of their sins by the Holy Spirit and accept the Lord Jesus in faith as their Savior, then we may speak of a revival. The events among the mountain people of Taiwan have this distinguishing mark.
Pastor Cho, who presented an evaluating report at the annual festival of the mountain tribes in the summer of 1965, gives us a summary of the entire revival movement. Among other things he says:
"As representatives of the 385 mountain congregations in Taiwan, we bring greetings to all our brothers and sisters on the plain. We thank the Lord that he has broken through the wall of separation and has united the churches on the plain and in the mountains into one family concerned with caring for each other. We have to thank God for granting us the privilege and the opportunity of participating in His miraculous acts in the twentieth century. Just reflect on the significance of the fact that 67,000 mountain dwellers have been converted in only seventeen years".
At the time when this book was being written, there were already over 80,000. Then, too, 385 congregations were founded. And this miracle has by no means come to an end yet. In the past year they had a growth of almost five thousand people who accepted the faith. It is said that when Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fishes this was a miracle. And it truly was! Or when Pastor Sato, the director of the Bible school in Kobe, Japan, came to Taiwan and in his meetings was permitted to bring healing to several hundred sick people through prayer and the laying on of hands in the name of the Lord - that also was a miracle. But, when in one year five thousand mountain dwellers experience salvation, is that not a still greater miracle? And those are not so-called "flour-Christians" or "CARE-package Christians," for we have distributed no gifts of charity. In spite of this, the Lord had added this great number. That is a miracle before our eyes, one of the greatest miracles of the twentieth century, one for which we ought to be very thankful.
A strange phenomenon is occurring in our time. Among the so-called Christian peoples, the light of the gospel is burning lower and lower. The Bible is no longer considered to be the Word of God. Human reason has been made the standard by which truth is measured. The ancient truth of God must submit to a ‘cleansing’ process carried out by human reason. In this time of decay, the Lord is igniting His fire in remote corners of the world. Should this not drive us to repentance?
After Mao had conquered the entire Chinese inland, he drove all foreign missionaries out of the country. A few missionaries managed to stay until the beginning of 1954. Two steadfast older female missionaries even remained secretly in Red China until 1962. Their life was very hard since they received no ration cards for food. When they were discovered, they were given the choice of either placing all their resources at the disposal of the red militia or leave the country immediately. For the sake of Christ, they held out there for two more years but had to knit socks for the Red soldiers. Since their daily food ration consisted of half a pound of either rice or beans, they could finally bear it no longer. They left the country.
Two other female missionaries also had a remarkable departure from China. These were the two missionary nurses Anna Begemann and Else Schroter. Their departure from Red China is described in the German book Name uber alle Namen, Jesus, beginning on page 69.
After Chiang Kai-shek had given foreign missionaries permission to continue their work on Formosa, many of the workers who had previously been associated with the China Inland Mission and other missionary societies went to Taiwan.
Among them were Nurse Anna and Nurse Else. They were not interested in working in the capital Taipei, but rather in reaching the primitive tribes. The work of Chi-oan had, meanwhile, become well known among the western missions.
The two brave women set out on their way. The work in the mountains behind Puli is full of dangers and hardships for women. The way leads over swaying suspension bridges and up steep, winding roads. The eight-hour journey on foot over rocky narrow paths exhausts one's physic strength. But, it is worth the effort. What does matter if the shoes and stockings fall from one's feet? Who notices it if one's clothes are torn and tattered by thorns and sharp rocks when in the high mountain villages, people hungry for salvation are waiting for the message?
The entire village is gathered in the chapel. The two nurses hardly have time to refresh themselves to regain their strength. After the strenuous day-long march, the work of the gospel is waiting for them. They begin at eight o'clock. They tell, they sing, and they proclaim what is burning in their hearts. When the two messengers of the gospel, finally, want to retire at twelve o'clock, an expression of regret passes over all the faces. "Sisters, can you not continue? We want to hear so much yet." Yet, they realize that after the strain of the trip it would be too much to expect that the tired nurses continue working beyond midnight.
Day had hardly dawned when a new surprise awaits the missionaries. Shortly after sunrise an elder of the congregation knocks on the window and says, "Sisters, are you awake? Are you up? The whole congregation is in the chapel already and wants to hear more." How amazed the messengers of Jesus are at this hunger and zeal! And yet, this is the way it is when the Lord Jesus ignites a fire in men's hearts, for then it burns brightly. Then, all sense of time disappears; then the people forget tiredness and hunger! It is a blessed service to bring the joyous message to people awakened in this way! Here the word of Isaiah 52:7 is truly fulfilled: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, who publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"
Even this work among the primitive tribes was not to be the last assignment of Nurse Anna. It was laid on her heart that she should found a Bible school with financial support provided by friends of the mission at home. At this school, girls and women from the primitive tribes are led further into an understanding of the Bible. Voluntary unpaid workers help in the teaching. Included among them are evangelists, pastors, Christian teachers, and naturally also Nurse Else, the loyal co-worker of Nurse Anna.
It would give me pleasure if many of the readers would be willing to pray for these primitive tribes and for the large leprosy station Hsi-Chuang.
THE REVIVAL IN SOUTH INDIA
We will now seek out a smaller revival which, to be sure, is already well known in Germany and in Switzerland, but hardly known in North America. It concerns the areas in which the Evangelical Laymen's Fellowship is working in Madras and South India. The founder of this alliance of evangelists is Father Daniel, whose story will be reported in the following chapters.
I have not known many men with the clarity of mind and with the full authority of Father Daniel. God granted him revivals in penal settlements, among scholars, among students, and among the poor and the lowest men.
What has been shown in his life and his work through the power of Jesus is so unusual that I fear the western theologians will come forward with powerful weapons to shoot everything down to pieces. Indeed, it is impossible for God to please all the theologians.
Among these lay evangelists are so many educated people with a doctorate from the university and especially medical doctors that a sufficient number of witnesses can be called to testify. These People in Madras and the surrounding area have enough education that one cannot confuse them as easily as the jungle inhabitants on Timor.
The star witness for the events surrounding Father Daniel is his son Josua Daniel. He earned the Master of Arts degree at the university in Madras. He is a man of faith and prayer. He has worked as an evangelist often already in the United State and in Canada and can be called upon to serve. His address is Josua Daniel, 4 Nungambakkam High Road, Madras 34, South India.
The experiences of Father Daniel are described in my German book Jesus auf alien Kontinenten. For me, the most unusual thing in the life o Father Daniel is the fact that for years he spent the entire month of June in fasting and prayer. I know no other worker in God's kingdom who commands this unusual power. Perhaps, his early death is related to the extended periods of fasting. His son Josua, who is my friend, told me that his father never really recovered from this month’s fasting, the year 1963. He went to his eternal home in the fall of that year.
The Coat of Elijah
In II Kings 2 we are told how Elijah was taken from his successor Elisha. A chariot of fire and horses of fire took God's warrior away. During this prophet's ascension, his mantle fell from him. Elisha then kept this mantle as a final reminder of his master. With it, he smote the waters of the Jordan and walked through the river on dry ground. This is a familiar image to Christians; for believers, it is a symbol of the action of God, but to critics of the Bible it is only a legend of Israel. Even as the mantle of Elisha divided the waters, today his mantle still separates the children of God from those who seek to undermine the Bible.
But now another story about a mantle ought to be told, a story from our own time. I heard it from the mouth of the man who experienced it. And the brothers and co-workers of this reporter, many of whom possess a doctoral degree, testify to his complete truthfulness and humility.
The life of Father Daniel will here unfold before our eyes. He is the man whom God used in the revival in South India. This is not done with the intention of glorifying man, for the extolling of men can become a blasphemy against God. In following the course of this man's life, we want to see the majesty of Him to whom a name above all other names has been given: Jesus! We have evidence of Father Daniel's humility and modesty, even in the face of all the mighty things which he was permitted to experience, in the fact that he never wrote down and published his Divine revelations and his experiences of Christ. Indeed, not even a good photograph of him is available. When this warrior of the Lord was suddenly called to his eternal home on December 18, 1963, his family was not even able to publish his picture. They wrote to me in Germany and asked me for a photograph because during the course of my work in Madras, I had taken such pictures of Father Daniel.
N. Daniel comes from a distinguished Hindu Caste. His father found his way to Jesus at an evangelistic meeting. From this time on he had the burning desire that his entire family be converted. He was especially concerned about his gifted son, who had a very promising future. How often he cried out in his prayer, "Lord, save my son. Make of him your tool!" His cries were heard. The sixteen-year-old boy was seized by the Word and Spirit of God and changed his course. The boy responded in a radical way. He returned stolen things and explained to the astonished people the reason for his action. Wherever he had lived with someone in discord and strife, he became reconciled. He sought out the pastor and confessed that he had started an ugly rumor against him. His decisive conversion was widely discussed, not least of all among his comrades, who respected him as a great sportsman.
Early in the Service of the Lord
Conversion and work for the Lord was all one to the young Daniel. In the most natural way, he spoke about Jesus with his Hindu comrades. The Bible was his constant companion. He took it along to school. He had it with him on the athletic field. He took advantage of every free minute for the Word of God. This remained characteristic of him throughout his life. The Word of God and prayer had precedence above all else.
Often, this boy, who was only sixteen years old, withdrew for a whole night to pray. This practice lingering in the presence of God conferred full authority on his witness.
Although he by no means neglected his studies, he was constantly guided by the goal: "How can I win my comrades and teachers for Jesus!" Opportunities were to present themselves. One day the wife of the director of the school fell sick. She lay unconscious in the hospital. She was not expected to live. Then Daniel heard the voice: "Go to the hospital and pray with her!" Could this voice be only the expression of his youthful zeal to convert others? No, we will hear again of this special characteristic and blessing of Daniel. Often throughout his life he received direct instructions from his Lord.
The director, who was sitting beside the bed of his wife, let the young pupil in. He knelt down beside the bed and wrestled with God for the life of the unconscious woman. The Lord heard him. The sick woman was allowed to recover. News of this healing spread throughout the school. Now hearts were wide open to the message of Jesus.
Once a month, a Baptist minister came to hold a worship service for the Christians. The director now asked the young pupil, "Take charge of the Worship service." Daniel, who was not yet seventeen years old, was to hold his first public worship service. The teachers were there in full number although they were Hindus. The other pupils had all come too. Young Daniel was respected because he stood at the head of the class in academic achievement and in sports. In addition, he possessed a healthy, naturalness and friendly manner.
Even in Daniel's own family, it was evident that the Lord was standing behind him. When his own mother once fell and broke a rib, she did not want to call a doctor. She asked her son, "Pray with me. That is better than calling a doctor." The boy spent the whole night in prayer, and the Lord touched his mother and healed her. The Word of the Lord in I Samuel 3:19 was fulfilled in the young warrior "And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him.
The Meeting with Sadhu Sundar Singh
While studying the Bible, the young Daniel often asked himself whether there were still today men of faith like those in Holy Scripture. He formed this question into a prayer and said, "Lord, do let me once see and meet a man after your heart." Also, in this the Lord was to grant the request of His young servant. A short time after this prayer, Daniel learned that Sadhu Sundar Singh would be evangelizing in several cities along the eastern coast. In the heart of the young man, there appeared the thought: "That must be the man of God whom the Lord wants to show me."
He traveled to Kakinada, the city in which Sundar Singh was to speak. To be sure, it was very difficult to get near this famous and blessed evangelist since hundreds of missionaries and other Christians wished to speak with Sadhu. The young man had little prospect of reaching his goal. But, Daniel possessed the certainty that this meeting was according to the will of the Lord. So, without hesitation he got in touch with Sundar Singh interpreter. This man, who translated the message of the evangelist into Hindi, obtained an audience for the pupil.
Sundar Singh spent an unusually long time with Daniel. The bright boy gave him great pleasure. With this meeting began the series of further meetings which were to extend over a period of twelv years. Sundar Singh told the younger brother man things about his associations with the Sadhus in the mountains of the Himalayas. According to the report of Sundar Singh, there are in the caves right at the snow limit, at an altitude of about twenty thousand feet, many old saints who live withdrawn from the world and pray for India.
One of the strangest stories is Sundar Singh's meeting with the Maharishi, who is said to be over three hundred years old. This strange episode has been published in the English biography of Sundar Singh. But, I heard about it for the first time from the mouth of Father Daniel. When Sundar Singh was crossing the Himalayas on his way to Tibet, he slipped on a sheet of ice at the snow line. Upon regaining his bearings after this fall, Sundar Singh suddenly saw a creature that looked more like a bear than a man. It was a long-haired fellow without any clothing who spoke to him and took him along into his cave. Before Sundar Singh was able to recover from his fright, the stranger said to him, "Let us first pray!" The shaggy fellow then prayed In the name of Jesus. For Sundar Singh, that was a new surprise. Through further conversation Sundar Singh now recognized in the old man one of the many saints who dwell in this area and feed on roots. Sundar Singh sensed in the presence of this old man of God such a peace that he wanted to stay with him. Yet, Maharishi did not permit this and explained, "You are still too young. You must preach for a while first and carry the message of Jesus further. My task here is to pray for your work and, also, to intercede for all of India." Sundar Singh met with this very old brother several times after this. Each time he profited very much from the meeting.
During these repeated meetings with Sundar Singh, the young Daniel was permitted to participate in all his strange experiences. What was to become of this friendship? One day, Sundar Singh gave the young Daniel a gift. He said, "I have only my Bible and this blanket which I use as a coat and as a blanket when I sleep. I am giving you this blanket as a sign of my friendship and love." Daniel did not know what was happening to him. He did not dare to refuse this gift, but held it in great honor.
With this blanket, Daniel was to have a strange experience. A short time later his brother became sick with typhoid fever and was near death. Upon receiving this news, Daniel heard the voice of the Lord saying to him, "Get up, visit your brother, lay Sundar Singh's blanket on him, and pray for him. I will make him well." When Daniel reached his brother, the patient was already unconscious. He treated him as the Lord had commanded him, and the man who had been so seriously ill recovered.
When I heard this report from Daniel, doubts arose in me. For years I have been engaged in a fierce defensive battle against all fanaticism; therefore, people should not hold it against me if I listened to such reports with alert and critical eyes. I immediately asked Father Daniel, "Did you often heal sick people with Sundar Singh's coat?" To my relief Father Daniel answered, "No, only this one time, and that only because the Lord bade me do it. I would not have come upon this idea on my own, but would have been content with the Word of God and with prayer." Upon hearing this, I was relieved and was thoroughly convinced that Daniel had not fallen prey to fanaticism. He also assured me that he shared my concern about everything which does not come from the Holy Spirit.
When this mantle story became known among Daniel's friends, people said that Daniel is the Elisha of Sundar Singh. When I consider all that this warrior of God was permitted to experience with his Lord, I am definitely of the opinion that this title of honor is justified. During the writing of this book, Father Daniel has been called to his eternal home. By providing this short biography, I am not placing him in danger.
An Unusual Wedding Story
The meetings with Sundar Singh had a powerful effect in the life and work of the young Daniel. Wherever the young evangelist went, the Lord granted revivals. When Daniel had to be transfered to another college, he was asked again at the next school to hold devotions and worship services. He was highly respected by the Hindus and the Christians alike.
After completing secondary school, he studied mathematics, physics, and chemistry. On the basis of the good grades he received on his examinations, he became the director of a teacher-training college for women immediately after graduation. Naturally, he did not stay long at this college. At that time, the girls in India were not permitted to engage in sports. For this reason, the position was too boring for him. He requested a transfer to a college where he could be involved in sports with the boys.
This new position challenged him fully. He spoke once a week to the whole school and proclaimed the message of Jesus. The pupils were very devoted to him. Daniel was young, very talented, and a good companion in sports. In this way he gained the confidence of the young people, it was not surprising, then, that already as a young teacher he became the headmaster, the director of the school.
The young man now had everything his heart desired - an influential position and the cooperation of teachers and pupils. What did he still lack? - A wife!
One day Daniel met a girl from a very high Hindu caste. The Lord said to him, "She will become your wife." But, strangely enough, Daniel offered resistance and said, "Lord, she does not follow after you. For this reason, I cannot marry her. She would draw me back into the world again." For a full year Daniel fought against this unreasonable demand. But the Lord always answered him, "Do what I tell you."
Why is this wedding story strange? If a believing young girl comes to me and wants to marry an unbelieving man, then I advise against it. On the basis of long personal experience Paul gave us this advice: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" (II Corinthians 6:14). Thousands of experiences demonstrate that natural love is not strong enough to bring the partner in marriage to Christ. Young Daniel was biblically correct when he said, "Lord, I do not dare to unite myself with an unbelieving girl."
And, yet, there are no set patterns for those who follow after Jesus. There are paths and commands which are the will of the Lord even though they contradict all biblical knowledge. But, then, they must be the paths of the Lord and not our own imagination.
Daniel was certain of his path because it was not the wish of his heart to win this girl but rather the will of the Lord. He requested the hand of the girl from her parents and immediately received an afirmative answer. Today, this girl's brother is a Cabinet minister in the Indian government.
As strange as the decision to marry against one's conviction was, just as peculiar - according to the opinion of man - were the first weeks of the marriage. What we in Europe call the Flitterwochen and what the American is accustomed to spending as a honeymoon was for the young Daniels a month of prayer and fasting. The young wife willingly permitted her husband to lead her to Jesus. From the beginning she showed great understanding for the nature of his work and was never a hindrance even though his way of life often involved many privations. It would soon become evident that she was the companion which the Lord had selected for him.
The Way of Abraham
We all are familiar with the great exodus command of God to Abraham in Genesis 12:1: "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee." Abraham's way of faith was to determine for part of the way the development of the young man of God. The young couple, to whom two children had been given, had before it a difficult way which it, at first, did not at all anticipate.
The young family had settled down in Kakinada, six hundred kilometers north of Madras on the eastern coast. Daniel was the director of the largest school of a Christian mission. They had an attractive house. The work at the school satisfied him. In the evening he played tennis with his colleagues. The young wife who also had a good education helped in the school. Their life and their future appeared rosy.
Then, the word of the Lord came to the young professor: "Go and leave your friends." While praying, Daniel heard the voice of God saying "You are not to be the headmaster here. You must leave your people (your tribe), you are to give up this city and go to a place which I have sought out for my service." This call was so strange and yet clear.
Did God not give a similar command to the prophets? It was not only Abraham who had to it this way. The prophet Amos, too, experienced such a command. He had to confess: "And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, ‘Go, prophesy unto my people Israel" (Amos 7:15). The prophet Ezekiel felt God's hand upon him in a similar way. He confessed: "The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord" (Ezekiel 37:1). Under God's command, under God's grasp, under God's leadership - that was the great experience of these men. Was this God supposed to have forgotten how to speak and to lead? No, Father Daniel experienced a similar leading in the twentieth century.
Where the way of the Lord was to lead, the young couple did not know yet. They had only the instruction to depart as had Abraham, in whose marching orders stood only the words, "into a land which I will show you." The Daniels did not know where they were supposed to go. The Lord did not keep them waiting. Shortly after the call, a request came from a faith mission that Brother Daniel should take over the leadership of a home which was to be open to those graduates of the Christian school in Madras who had not found placement. India has a terrible shortage of jobs because it is economically undeveloped. What may have moved the Lord to seek out Madras as the place of action for his servant? We do not know, and yet I see a spiritual connection which I cannot dismiss so easily.
In God's work, there are lines of connection which extend over centuries. It was not in vain that church history coined the expression: "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church." Where men of God have at one time fought, prayed, suffered, and died for the Lord, there many decades or centuries later revival movements will arise.
Does Madras have such a history? Yes! According to tradition the apostle Thomas worked in the area of Madras from the years 52 ad to 68 ad and suffered there a martyr's death. Excavations which brought to light the stones of an early Christian chapel are said to support this theory. Even though these methods of proof are much too weak, yet more than ten clear historical testimonies substantiate the theory that Thomas was in South India.
The most important testimonies should at least be mentioned. The following people have spoken of the activity of the apostle Thomas in South India: Bishop Dorotheus (born 254), Gregor von Nazianz (born 330), Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia (died 410), Paulinus von Nola (born 353). It has also been established that the catechist Pantaenus, director of the catechetical school in Alexandria, during his trip to India met Christians there who had come into contact with the activity of the apostle Thomas.
It should not be called wild fancy if the revival movement which Samuel Hebich experienced in the area of South India in the last century and also the revival in connection with the work of Father Daniel are seen as mysteriously connected to the prayers and the martyrdom of that apostle of Jesus. All that the men of God have fought for, suffered for, and pleaded for throughout the ages for sake of Jesus is not lost. We will recognize that day in eternity.
Put to the Test
It has often been the case that the Lord cares for the souls of his followers in such a compelling way that he commands them to burn all their bridges behind them. That was often the way of the prophets in the Old Testament and was also the demand placed on the disciples in the New Testament. Thus the Lord placed the rich young man before the decision to renounce all his possessions and to follow him (Matthew 19). We are familiar with the tragic end to this call. The publican Matthew was placed before the same choice (Luke 5: 27-32). This man dared to let go of all defenses and supports. The evangelist Luke testifies: "And he left all, rose up, and followed him." That was a brave step, a clear-cut case! Would we dare to do that?
Father Daniel was also expected to renounce every earthly support. Since he was aware of the significance of such a step, he asked the Lord for a sign so that he could be really sure of His way. He wanted to go with his whole family into the mountains of Kodaikanal for a month in order to pray there in peace. If the Lord would take care of him and his whole family there, then that should be for him an answer from the Lord. The trip to Kodaikanal was not without obstacles. Just as he was leaving, there came the news that his father had been called to his eternal home. Daniel became unsure about what he should do. Then, the Lord placed the Word in his heart: "No man, having put the hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62).
A second difficulty appeared when no room could be found for the family at the place which he had sought out for his retreat. Again, the young man of God stood before his Lord and asked, "Lord, what should I do?" This difficulty, too, became for God an opportunity. A missionary had to leave earlier than expected. His home, then, became available for the Daniels. A third hurdle still had to be overcome. On the way the little daughter became sick. The doctor advised strongly against going to the mountains with the child who was sick with fever. Daniel stood before his Lord in prayer and asked, "What should I do?" The Lord answered him, "I want to cure the child on the peak of the mountain." Daniel trusted the heavenly doctor more than the earthly one. They traveled on, and on the peak of the mountain the child became well. Imitations of such leadings are not possible. Great men, unique men of God, cannot be copied.
Thus three tests were passed. The best came last. The Lord said to Daniel, "At the end of your month of vacation, I will give you the money that you need to pay the rent on the house." The last day of the vacation came. The Daniel family was getting ready to leave. They closed up the house and still had no money in their hands. For the last, time they entered the chapel of the town. As they were coming out again after the prayer, the bus was just passing by. A mailman caught sight of Daniel jumped from the bus, and waved a money order in his hand. The money for the rent was there. In tin way the Lord had transformed all difficulties into glories. What a faithful God! Daniel now possessed the certainty that he was to follow the call to Madras.
The Way Leads through Deep Places
It is good for every worker in the kingdom of God if his work has to begin with struggle, temptations, disappointments, and difficulties. Temptations teach us to pay attention to the Word. Madras was a rocky path for the young servant of God. In July of 1935, he found himself standing right in front of nothing. There were no resources to take care of the financial aspect of the house which was planned. He also had no circle of friends. Daniel was still completely unknown in this city. He had only the one thing: "I will undertake it on the basis of your Word!"
First of all, the enemy pressed him by whispering, "That's what you get. In Kakinada you were the headmaster. You reached hundreds of students with your message and here you sit in a small house and barely scrape by." When the enemy whispered that to him, the Lord said to him, "A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation" (Isaiah 60:22).
In addition to the financial difficulties there came the evil rumors. One of the students slandered him because Father Daniel would not grant all of his wishes. Many Christians accepted this bad rumor and spread it further. The habit of gossiping and slandering can be very great among Christians, too, and even among workers in the kingdom of God. How we have forgotten in our circles the advice of the apostle Paul: "Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses" (I Timothy 5:19). The words of II Corinthians 13:1 also emphasize this point: "This I lie third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." How many are there who themselves proclaim the Word of God and yet are guilty of destroying the honor of a brother.
Father Daniel learned his lesson from this wave of slander. The Lord said to him: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
In addition to the distress caused by the bad rumor, Daniel suffered from purely personal temptation. In the vicinity of his home was a Bible college. Almost every day he observed the students who went in and out of the school. How often there came to him the tempting thought that there could be his work. With sadness he now and then would think back on his former work as director of such a school. Now that was all past. He was now a nobody, an unknown and unnoticed man. In this way, he had to walk the path of death, but it was a path of blessing.
. . . and Back Out Again
Plants and trees which grow high in the mountains where the storms rage about them, usually, drive their roots deep into the rocky ground. It is exactly the same in the kingdom of God: paths which pass through low and difficult places cause a person to go to the depths. People in the depths are flooded with the blessing of God even as water always seeks the deepest spot. In her song of praise Hanna declares, "He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up" (I Samuel 2:6).
The warrior of God, having been tried, was to be permitted this experience. Every day he carried out his program with the people who had completed their schooling and were now unemployed. This program consisted of morning devotions, Bible study, sending the people out to preach on the streets, and the organizing of special ten-day retreats. In all this work of preparation, one thing remained primary for Father Daniel: repentance. Every day he repeated to himself: "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit" (Psalm 34:18). He never tired of impressing on his pupils and colleagues: "The way to fruitfulness in the kingdom of God must lead over one's own collapse."
After four years of faithful and fearless work, the doors were opened. The Lord gave an initial spiritual opening which then spread and also went down into the depths. The church pulpits, which had previously been off limits to Father Daniel, were now opened up to him. The revival spread from Madras over into the neighboring cities and villages. The words of Matthew 11:5,6 were fulfilled: "The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me."
The Fire Burns
Days dawned like those in the first congregation in Jerusalem. All difficulties drove Father Daniel and his co-workers into fasting and prayer. Every bit of progress in the movement was prepared for in their knees. No decision was made without inquiring into the will of the Lord.
The unique thing in this revival was that it penetrated into the circles of the educated as well as the uneducated, the circles of religious people and of criminals.
How did the work among the robbers begin? A man by the name of Stuart Purem from the penal settlement in South India came to Madras to be treated for a dangerous eye disease. While he was here, a doctor dragged him to the meeting of Father Daniel. The message which he here heard for the first time in his life gripped this man so strongly that he could not sleep that night. He folded his hands and prayed in order that he might obtain relief from his distress. Then Christ revealed himself to him and made it clear to him that he would take care of his sins. This lonely fighter in tin night, who so often had been a highwayman and bandit, was converted and became a special tool of his Lord among the robbers. His eye disease was cured in a short time. He returned to his village and began to proclaim the name of the Lord Jesus.
A time like that which followed the pouring of the Holy Spirit began in this demon-possessed penal settlement. In response to the proclamation of John - that is the Christian name of the converted man - the robbers collapsed. Many of them fell faces to the ground during the proclamation of gospel. Others were blind for three days like Paul before Damascus. Sick people were healed and dark faces became bright from the light of the Word of God. Many began a new life through the grace God.
Perhaps an individual case may here be reported, a case which like many others caused a sensation.
Among the converted criminals, there was also a difficult boy whom the police had been seeking for years. His name is Ramaiah. His father had been a robber for some time. Before the men of the family went out to commit their robbery, they sought out a Hindu temple and offered up sacrifices to their idols in order that their raid might be successful. Once Ramaiah deceived a doctor. He showed him several gold nuggets which he wanted to sell him at a very favorable price. The doctor agreed very eagerly to buy them. The buyer left with his booty. But when he reached home and wanted to show his wife the gold, he had only stones in the little sack. The robber had cleverly substituted for another bag.
During the course of this revival these bandits all confessed their shameful actions and, wherever possible, made restitution for what they had done.
It was a spiritual awakening known only to those for whom the book of Acts and the working of the Holy Spirit is a reality. People who did not know how to read asked the Lord, "Help us so that we can read your Word." And the Lord performed in them a miracle so that they could read within a very short time. Others, who could not yet have been familiar with their Bibles in the few days and weeks since their conversion, often heard these words as an answer to their prayer: "Open your Bible to the following place." When they had carried out the command, then there was an answer to their prayer. A Hindu girl who had been converted received a whole series of such references which, when put together, made up a clear biblical message. When people asked her how she had arrived at this, she answered, "Why should the Lord not be able to do the same things which demons can do?" She was here referring to the spiritist practices of the Far East which are not common in the same intensity among us in the West.
This revival was exposed to many load-tests, and this was a good thing. Straw-fires burn down quickly. Only that which endures under storm proves its authenticity. The men, who previously had lived from their plundering - as well as their families - experienced great hardship after their conversion. And yet they said to themselves, "We would rather starve than live from plunder." Others were subject to direct attack by demons, who, after all, had ruled the village for centuries. Small children died in unusual ways. The power of darkness grasps all that is dear to us when we have made a decision for the Lord Jesus. It should also not remain unmentioned that often the attacks came from the official church as well. It belongs to the nature of all revivals that the official leaders always persecute the revival leaders. That was also the case during the times of the prophets. That was the lot of the apostles. The disciples of Jesus experienced the continual fulfillment of the word of their Master: "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you."
Under the proclamation of Father Daniel, men who had been trained at the university were also reached. A Mohammedan lawyer was converted. A professor of philosophy ascribed all honor to Christ. The head of the school system in Madras became a faithful member of the congregation. Engineers and doctors surrendered to the great Man of Nazareth. I myself was given the opportunity to work together with one of these doctors in the district of Madras and Vellore. This young doctor - the name of this brother is Williams - drove me around during the course of my work in the area. I was thus granted a time of fellowship with the man who wants to give up the practice of medicine so that he might devote himself completely to the work of evangelism.
A surgeon who had also been converted rearranged his entire clinical practice and founded the first evangelical clinic. Every day about 100 to 150 patients come and wait their turn. While they were waiting, their spiritual needs were ministered to by Father Daniel. This medical care along with prayer and the proclamation of the Word is accompanied by God's blessing. This is truly a work carried out in the spirit of the apostle Luke - medical and evangelistic care, hand in hand. I met the surgeon who is director of this clinic. His name is Dr. Jeyasingh. Several times we sat down together in a brotherly way and shared our experiences. What became so important to me in this movement is the fact that this gifted doctor has the same view of the demonic that I myself have. In Germany as in all a civilized or underdeveloped countries the number of the doctors who are believers in the New Testament sense is indeed very small. What a comfort it is, then, to meet true brothers who carry out their medical and also pastoral activity in the fire of the love of Jesus!
The Direct Speaking
If we were to ask about the special secret in the life of Father Daniel, then a very rare spiritual gift would have to be mentioned. While still a young Christian, Daniel paused one day before the stories of Abraham and asked the Lord, "Can you not speak to us directly anymore today as you did with Abraham and the other men of the Old Testament?" Daniel then received an answer from God. And now there began in his life a continuous dialogue which remained with him until his death.
The Lord placed in his heart direct answers to the questions he asked in prayer. I have never seen it this way with any living man of God. Only some years later on Timor I found the same experience. But, if fanatics have on occasion claimed such an incident, then the direct hearing of the voice of God which they claim has not stood up in the face of closer examination. What they declared to be the voice of God was their own imagination if not something of even worse origin. Father Daniel was no fanatic but a sober realist. We spent much time discussing the matter of fanatical movements. He explained that after reading my English book Between Christ and Satan he has shared my conviction in this matter. He added, "I cannot go the way of these extreme circles. Other spirits are involved there."
Why is it that in making decisions we often do not know what the will of God is? Why can we no longer hear the voice of our Lord in our prayer? Here one could point out that we have the Bible, which Abraham did not have. Here one can also point with some justification to the gift of the Holy Spirit. And yet, in spite of the Word and Spirit of God, we still often experience great difficulty in making decisions. Is it not also because we can no longer be quiet and can neither hear nor obey? The Lord gives his answer only to the man who wants to obey him!
It was a powerful secret in the life of Father Daniel that he was always permitted to hear God's answer to his prayer. By the grace of God he was often granted the privilege of being able to say with the full authority of the prophets of old, "Thus saith the Lord!" Many small incidents made this clear to me.
Once, when Father Daniel had been urged by an owner of some property to move out of his rented place, he and his wife asked the Lord, "What is your will?" Father Daniel heard a biblical passage Which was unfamiliar to him: "Here will I dwell; for I have desired it" (Psalm 132:14). His wife received the same words at the same time: "Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I give to your fathers, forever and ever" (Jeremiah 7:7). In this case, then, the Lord used two biblical passages to make known His will. But, it also often happened without biblical passages.
His son Josua related to me the following incident. One day he was behind the wheel of their car. His father and mother were in the back seat. His father had the open Bible on his knees as usual and was reading it. They were driving along a perfectly straight road at high rate of speed. Suddenly, the father said to his son, "Josua, the Lord told me there is danger ahead." The son, who at that time was twenty-seven years old, thought when he heard his father's words, "Why should there be danger here? The road is in the best condition and there is hardly any traffic. Is it not typical of old people to worry like that?" He drove on without paying any attention to the warning. Several minutes later there appeared a slight curve in the road. Josua applied the brakes a bit. The car began to swerve and rolled over three times. There they were, now lying in the open field. Father and mother were not injured. Josua had to be brought to the hospital because of his injuries. The Lord had warned them. Naturally, the young man at the wheel knew better and was taught a lesson he would not forget.
Thou Hast Put All Things Under His Feet
Even as Father Daniel was granted the privilege of hearing the voice of his Lord in direct exhortation, so, too, many people from his revival movement received this gift of hearing directly the speaking of God.
A small example will show this. Father Daniel was holding one of his customary retreats near the sea. Two hundred participants had gathered for ten days of prayer and study of the Word. Father Daniel not only gave them spiritual food but also cared for all of their physical needs. In his poverty stricken country where some people even had to go hungry, he could never have expected those participating in the retreat to pay a fee. For this reason he has carried out all his work on faith ever since the founding of this mission endeavor in 1935. The promises of God were the guaranty of his income as they were for George Müller of Bristol or for Hudson Taylor. He genuinely expected everything from the Lord without resorting to the brazen practice of continually taking offerings as one often sees in faith endeavors.
At this retreat, the supply of food dwindled slowly as the days passed. One morning, the cook reported to the two hundred guests that there was only rice left for the noon meal; there was no other food that they could eat with the rice. As was his custom, Father Daniel brought this difficulty, too, before God in prayer.
At the same time, four young men from the retreat were walking along the sea. Suddenly one of them heard a voice: "Corneli, stop, I want to give you a fish." He stopped. His companions asked, "Why do you stop? Come on." He answered, "The Lord told me he wanted to give me a fish here." Then all four saw a small wave moving from the sea towards them. A large fish swam toward them and stopped in front of Corneli. The young man grabbed the fish, killed it, and dragged it home. Here Father Daniel had the additional food for which he had prayed.
For all the participants this event was a strange and yet also very natural experience. The Lord who caused the fish to come up with a piece of money in its mouth (Matthew 17:27) is still alive in the twentieth century. In Psalm 8 David sings: "Thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas."
The ravens of Elijah (I Kings 17:4) still stand ready to serve as the Lord orders. The fish, too, are subject to His command. We have a God Who does wonders (Psalm 77:14). To child-like trust, His majesty is revealed. Whoever is able to pray and believe has always a way out.
Power Over the Arch-Enemy Force
The first time I sat down face-to-face with Father Daniel, I asked him what had prompted him to invite me to India. He answered, "I heard of your work and your defensive battle against the occult and the demonic through the deaconess' house in Aidlingen. Since I have been involved in the same battle for years, I asked the Lord whether I might invite you. The Lord gave His permission. And now here you are." This answer moved me deeply especially since I am subject to many attacks and much rejection in Germany from the camp of modern theology. It is indeed marvelous that the Lord provides a comradeship in battle which extends over continents. Furthermore, I found in this loyal brother an understanding of cases of demon possession as well as a fullness of power such as I have hardly ever encountered elsewhere. It is instructive for us to hear about a few of the struggles he experienced in the course of his pastoral work. Father Daniel gave me permission to publish these reports.
All that can be written about people suffering from demon-possession is reported from a position of victory. We know that Satan and all his troops are a defeated army. Triumphantly Paul declared, "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
The glory of this victory is that we, as disciples of Jesus, are called to participate in this victory. Thus, the Lord says: "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Luke 10:19). We should keep in mind the fact that the following examples come from India. Magic events like this can hardly be found in Europe, which has already been Christianized. In the pagan world, on the other hand, they are a common thing.
The Feeding of Demons and Zombiism
Father Daniel told me about one of his evangelists who had a terrible past. The uncle of this co-worker is a necromancer; he introduced his nephew to his sinister art. This magician had the strange habit of feeding demons. On his farm he threw food into the air in broad daylight; this food then disappeared in the air. At least this is the way observers saw it. Furthermore, this old magician had the demonic ability to kill people some distance away through his black art or at least to put them into a cataleptic trance. Since dead people must be buried within twelve hours in the tropics because of the heat, these unfortunate victims found themselves in a grave until the next night. Then, the necromancer went to the cemetery at midnight and with the help of his nephew dug up the man who was either dead or in a trance. The magician administered a drug to the man who had been dug up and also gave him something to eat after the dead man or the man who was in a trance had showed signs of life. For the purpose of fortune-telling, the magician then interrogated him. After this procedure, the unfortunate victim fell back into his trance and was buried again by the two men.
This old magician's nephew, who had strong magical powers at his own disposal, was one day brought to Father Daniel for pastoral counseling. When the man of God prayed with the sinister man, demons spoke out of his mouth. Father Daniel drove them out in the name of Jesus. Then the magician confessed all his sins and surrendered his life to Jesus.
His conversion was clear and genuine. He grew in faith and could soon begin work as an evangelist. The demons which had been driven out took revenge. One of his children died under peculiar circumstances, and his wife became sick shortly after his conversion. Of course, we should not fall prey to a way of thinking which wildly seeks connections everywhere. But those who have had no pastoral contact with demon-possessed people are not familiar with the reactions of darkness. When practicing magicians become free, then they must always count on acts of revenge from the spirits which have been driven out.
In the literature of parapsychology this process is called zombiism. I found this form of death magic on Haiti, in India, in Africa, and also among individual Indian tribes in the area of the Amazon. It is one of the most hideous things on earth. Perhaps, only the so-called black masses about which I heard in Paris and Sydney surpass these things in horror. It is a powerful triumph of the grace of God that such a necromancer, who was among the worst criminals, may today be a messenger of the gospel. Here, the words of Hosea 13:14 are truly fulfilled: "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death." The Son of God, who went down to the lowest places of the earth, is able to bring his victim up out of the deepest hell. No sin is so immense, no difficulty is so great, no hell is so deep that the Man of Golgotha could not save and set free. It is the crown of His victory that people who had sold themselves to the devil are freed from Satan's yoke and from then on magnify the name of Jesus.
Set Free from Devil-Worship
In India as in all countries of the world, there are devil-worshipers. This veneration of devils takes forms in which those who have fallen prey to it even hear the voices of demons. They receive daily instructions on all the big and small decisions they face. How bad it is for them if they do not carry out the commands of the demons. Then they must die immediately.
One of the evangelists from the circle of Father Daniel met with such a devil-worshiper. The messenger of Jesus showed the man plagued by demons the way to Christ and drove out the forces of darkness in the name of Jesus. But this was not the end of the battle. Another devil-worshiper from the same group used black magic to bring the demons back into the man who had been set free. The tormented man then sought out Father Daniel. Not only before him but also in a meeting of a thousand people he confessed his sins with trembling. In the fellowship of the co-workers of Father Daniel he was granted complete freedom from the demons. Since he feared the return of the demons, he did not return to his previous home but remained at the mission of Father Daniel. He grew strong in faith and was given a position as an evangelist. In the course of time he became somewhat careless. The powers of darkness often wait long indeed to regain possession of a person. One day the man who had been set free experienced an attack. The demons demanded from him that he honor Buddha. He refused. The demons then threatened to knock him down and cripple him if he would not follow their instructions. The man remained steadfast but because of the danger came immediately to Father Daniel. People prayed with him. But then Father Daniel was attacked by demons himself. Yet the two brothers were granted the victory. The demons had to retreat. A short time later the troubled brother died. Yet, to his last breath he was able to enjoy the peace of God and to enter eternity in complete certainty of his salvation.
This example shows the meaning of the fellowship of the saints. It is not without purpose that Luke points to the fellowship of the believers in Acts 2:42. The brotherhood of the Word of God, of faith, and of prayer is a bulwark against all attacks of the powers of darkness. Only through the fellowship of the saints can we offer resistance to the dark spirits. Whoever does not continue in this fellowship will be broken or destroyed in the storm of the attacking powers of darkness.
A sexually depraved man tried to approach a beautiful woman in an indecent manner. She resisted the vulgar man and reported this incident to her husband immediately. The disappointed lover then went to a magician and offered him a sum of money which was unbelievably high according to Indian standards if he would kill this woman by magic means. The magician agreed to this deal. A short time later the woman was troubled in a strange way. Her husband sought out an evangelist from the staff of co-workers around Father Daniel. This man of faith prayed with the woman and drove out these dark powers in the name of Jesus.
The next day the woman got a rash over her entire body. The afflicted couple then sought out Father Daniel. The woman confessed her sins, and Father Daniel prayed with her. At this moment marks appeared on the woman's neck from invisible hands which were trying to choke her.
When the rascal who was after the beautiful woman noticed that his magician was not getting through to the Christian brothers, he sought out the head magician. Both magicians promised to combine their efforts to get rid of the woman. The next day the couple saw the two magicians sitting on the water of a river.
Since I was not familiar with this expression, I asked Father Daniel what he meant by this. He explained, "The observation that strong magicians sit on the water occurs frequently in India. The devil is the imitator of God. Just as Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee, so great magicians try to walk or sit on the water."
After this strange appearance the woman found herself in mortal danger. She lay dying in her hut. Her husband hurried immediately to Father Daniel and called him to come. The man of God came and anointed the head of the dying woman with oil and prayed with her while laying his hands on her. Then, in the name of Jesus he ordered the dark forces to leave. At this moment men's voices cried out of the woman, "We have enough now. We will leave and return to those who sent us and will attack them. You have greater power than we do."
After this occurrence, the woman seemed to be free. She recovered on the same day. But the battle was not yet done. The magicians did not give up yet. It is not known how they got the demons to attack again. In any case, the afflicted woman experienced one last difficult assault. For Father Daniel that was an emergency situation. He withdrew to pray and fast. Every time he lay in prayer, the choke marks appeared on the woman's neck. Father Daniel was counting on the complete victory of the Lord, however, and did not yield one bit to these dark powers. When the battle had reached its climax, the demons again cried out of the woman, "We cannot stand it. We are going. You have a greater power than we do. We cannot carry out our assignment." That was the last stage of the duel. The woman, her husband, and their parents were all completely free. No more attacks came. The Lord held the field over against these dark forces.
It is a joyous experience to witness such a deliverance. When hell with its hosts makes an assault, then a bulwark built upon a foundation of rock stands fast. It is the cross of Golgotha, the monument to the greatest battle in world history, the victory column which proclaims to us that Satan and death had to relinquish their power to the Son of God. And we pitiful men, we miserable creatures, have a share in this powerful victory. Heaven should resound with our triumphal song! We are allowed to walk in the footsteps of him before whom heaven, earth, and the underworld must bend their knee. Happy are we who belong to our mighty Lord!
Through all these reports we have now been given a short survey of the inward and outward development of Father Daniel. Basically, these are only marginal notes to the rich life which the Lord granted this Indian man of God. His life and his experiences with the Lord have many more sides than were described here. One of the characteristic marks of the entire revival movement should still be mentioned.
I once asked Father Daniel, "Why do you and all your co-workers experience so many expulsions of demons? Why do you also experience so many healings?" Daniel answered, "In India, it simply belongs to the basic equipment of an evangelist that the Lord gives him full authority to drive out demons and to heal along with full authority in the proclamation of the gospel. Perhaps, the spiritual atmosphere in India is more heavily charged with demons because of the non-Christian religions there than is the case in Europe. In the course of our work of proclaiming the gospel, we have almost daily contact with people who are influenced by demons or who suffer demon-possession. Without full authority in this area we would not be able to carry out our task."
In the course of another conversation, Father Daniel expressed his surprise that there are so few evangelists in Europe who possess full authority in the two areas which have been mentioned. He thought that either Europe has a completely different situation in spiritual matters or the evangelists no longer have any knowledge of charismatic equipment. I do not know what to give as an answer to this problem myself. I can only testify that I sensed a spiritual advantage in the revival movement of Father Daniel: the workers possessed an apostolic, revival-based, charismatic orientation in all they did, but yet were free of all fanaticism and excessive sensationalism.
The greatest thing about this man was reflected in the observation that he spent more time talking to God than he did talking with people and to people. Praying and fasting took up more time in his life than any other kind of work. For this reason he was granted the privilege of glorifying the name of Jesus in a way which is granted to few evangelists of our time.
Four revival areas have been described. Every movement has its own characteristics. Spiritual things cannot be copied. This only results in un-naturalness or even in fanaticism.
People often ask me, "Can one bring a revival to pass?"
No! The Spirit of God blows where it wants to (John 3:8). Must we then stand idly by while waiting?
No! We know with certainty what hinders the Spirit of God: arrogance, sluggishness in prayer and Bible-reading, lack of obedience, and criticism of God's Word.
If we are looking for a revival, then it will be possible only if we let ourselves be broken down by the Spirit of God. He approaches only that man who has been broken down, only that man who is humble. A productive prayer life is also necessary for revival. A few minutes each day is not enough. The women on the Hebrides who were praying for revival did so for thirty years. A woman I knew prayed for forty years, and the Lord answered with a revival.
"The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and I he violent take it by force" (Matthew 11:12).
The surest way to block or destroy a revival is through the constant criticizing of many theologians and through the fanaticism of the extremists.
In spiritual matters neither the polar chill of the rationalists nor the overly heated incubator of the emotionalists holds forth any promise. The Holy Spirit works according to other laws. There is one thing which certainly does help - that we have hearts which are on fire for the Lord Jesus. The Lord gives us this. Praise, thanks, and adoration be His forever!
In the name of Jesus I bless all my friends and enemies!
The present book was written and had been given for publication before Dr. Peters' book about the Revival in Indonesia had appeared.
An American friend handed me in May, 1973 the article of Dr. Peters' Indonesian Revival: True or False?. As we know from the preceding chapters, in this article many untruths against me are being told. This caused me, therefore, to pray: "Lord, protect me from this man and the untruths which he is spreading against me." I did not yet know in the summer of '73 how necessary that would become. In the meantime, I have been able to perceive the results of this slander.
When I wanted to speak in Denver about the revival in Indonesia, the minister turned it down, indicating that there had been comments against my book in a Baptist magazine. The same happened to me in other places.
Even from Indonesia I received information concerning this article by Dr. Peters, substantiating that the wine-miracle, in spite of the existing doubt, had occurred. The address of the writer of this information is the Rev. H. Tan, Jakarta, 9 Jalan Ketapang.
My friend, Dr. Les Werry, president of the "Ambassadors for Christ" sent me a mission magazine from Australia. It was the September-October, 1973 issue of The Australian Evangelical. In this paper is printed with all the untruths against me, the complete text of Indonesian Revival: True or False?.
This disastrous libel has, however, still more consequences. Two Scandinavian countries wanted to translate and print my book Revival in Indonesia. A few weeks after the appearance of Dr. Peters' libel they cancelled.
My friend, Dr. David Otis Fuller, advised me to write to the President of the Dallas Theological Seminary and inform him about the untruths which were being spread. I followed this suggestion but I did not receive a reply.
How am I to explain this campaign all over the world, when I read on Page 10 of the book which now appeared, that Dr. Peters declares to have written this book under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Was this done under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, if, in the "True-False" article, the Lord's commandment: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" (Ex. 20:16) was terribly violated.
A friend sent me Peters' book and showed himself enthusiastically impressed by the extensive documentation to be found in it. With one exception, I am in this book no longer attacked as I was in the "True-False" article.
The forming of our opinions depend on many factors. We can only name a few.
Our judgment depends on our spiritual state. The Holy Spirit leads into all truth. As an example I mention again that missionary from the Timor Seminary in Kupang - and we don't mean Dr. Mid-delkoop, who called the revival of Soe "pagan messianism". I presume that there is here a lack of spiritual awareness.
Our judgment further depends on our contacts. To illustrate this, here is an experience from the revival on Timor.
During my lectures in Singapore, I was staying at the missionary home of the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF), Singapore, Cluny Rd. 2. I think very highly of brother Heimbach, who is in charge there. At the same time there was another guest in this house, a missionary by the name of Griffith. We got into a conversation. Griffith (not to be confused with the Director Griffith, leader of the Australian South-Sea mission), told me, that he had visited Indonesia and had not found any revival. Later, he also printed this report in a mission magazine. It turned out that this missionary had only been on the island of Java between Jakarta and Surabaja. Indeed, in this part of the country are hardly any revival groups to be found.
With these too few contacts, one cannot argue the existence of the revival on the small Eastern islands.
I was really upset when a German mission magazine imported the translation of this negative report of Griffith to Germany. I also wrote to this mission but they gave an insufficient answer. And so remained this untruth among the German and Swiss mission friends.
It is a sign of the coming end, that even among the believers so many untruths circulate, and slander is possible.
Just while I am writing this, I received notice of a new liable against me. Friends called and asked me, if I was still alive. In Christian circles in the South of Germany, it was being told that I had taken my own life. My friend, Hesse from Elkhart, Indiana, wrote me that between Toronto, Canada and Indiana, in the U.S.A. the rumor is circulating that I am in an institution for the mentally ill. In a European mission conference the news was spread that I was presumed dead in the jungles of South America.
The worst for me, however, was that a minister told his congregation that I was in prison for swindle.
Behind all this is a system: the work of the father of lies, who wants to ruin me and my ministry.
Our opinions also depend on our professional qualifications. Here, also, is an experience from my work. I published the book of Prof. Dr. Schaaffs "Christ and Physical Research". Prof. Schaaffs deals here with the nature-miracles, the wall of water during the crossing through the Red Sea, the astronomical miracles, Joshua 10:12 (Sun stood still) and the water-wine miracle in John 2. Prof. Schaaffs stated, that as a physicist, he was in touch with the nature-miracles. The medical miracles of faith, healings of exorcism, and the raising of the dead were not exactly his type although he could believe them.
Against the attitude of a believing physicist of the University of Berlin, take now the attitude of Dr. Peters. He writes, "I find no difficulty in principle, accepting divine healing or exorcism, and even raising the dead to life. But I am suspicious of stories of nature miracles." Prof. Schaaffs is "open for nature miracles", Dr. Peters is more "open to the human-medical miracles". Our mentality is therefore being molded by our professional or scientific environment.
The forming of our judgment in an active, as well as in a passive sense, depends mostly on the principle of selection. A documentation can be evaluated objectively, but also extremely negative or positive.
The Romans have a proverb: quae volumus, ea credimus libenter - we like to believe that what we want. But reversed it can be: that what we believe, we can easily prove. Let us take an example from Greece for the theory of selection. If someone visits Athens and then only gives a description of the Acropolis, he creates a picture of the Grecian art. However, if a real naturalist only wanders around in the old part of Athens and writes about this, he will draw a picture of poverty, misery and dirt.
During my many mission travels, I have collected much material on how doubtful and unreliable documentations can be. The substantial documentation of Dr. Peters is not free from the principle of selection.
a. Devaluation of Miracles
On page 63 Dr. Peters refers to Rev. Peter Nanfeld, Field Chairman of CMA in Jakarta. His missionaries supposedly did not know anything about the reports of the revival miracles.
First of all, I want to report gratefully on the contacts I have had with the missionaries of the CMA. I spoke at their Bible school in Chungchau near Hong Kong. Further, I had many of their missionaries at my lectures at Karuizawa (Japan) and I found such messengers of Jesus in many places in East Asia. Therefore I am positively inclined toward these men. Nevertheless, I cannot get away from the suspicion that here, again, there is a "Griffith-experience". Which one of the missionaries of the CMA was, for example, on Roti or Semau to study the relations there? Dr. Peters, of course, welcomed Rev. Nanfeld's objection, because this suited his concept. That is, however, not objectivity but selection.
b. The Phenomenon of Walking-on-water
On page 85 Dr. Peters tries to refute this miracle by stating, that the rivers on Timor are shallow and can easily be crossed over. Therefore, he also welcomes the "smile" of Dr. Middelkoop on this question.
This miracle is believable to me. I myself had to cross the river Noemena between Kupang and Soe several times, but also other small creeks. These shallow waters however, become raging rivers in the rainy season and then cannot any longer be crossed on foot.
At the moment I am just dealing with this high water problem. I wanted to start my 6th Indonesian excursion on February 1, 1974. My companion, the Rev. H. Tan from Jakarta, wrote me however, that at the moment we would not be able to travel, since high water is blocking the conference grounds. When a team is facing such high water, even the road is closed since in the interior you will find only a few bridges or often none at all. Although I do not accept the Pentecostal theology in the book of Mel Tari, for the sake of truth and objectivity I must say, that nowadays such miracles can still happen. But because of their rarity, they do not find many believers.
Unbelievers will be rampant at the end of the world, before the return of Jesus, so that even the returning Lord will be doubted. And with this, the Word of Jesus in Luke 18:8 is being fulfilled, "Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" Miraculous river crossings have been reported to me on many mission fields in connection with Spiritism. I heard about it in Haiti, Ecuador, Brazil, Central Africa, India, Japan and in other countries.
The devil imitates all the miracles of the Bible. With this, we face the theological question: "Does God leave this world only to the devil? Does God, as Creator of heaven and earth, also make use of the powers of His creation?" Does a river-crossing at the present time have to be a miracle of the devil, or can it not also be a Divine sign in missionary service, when there is no other possibility? The questions answer themselves. The restriction must be made, that these things have only been experienced at the start of great revivals.
For the rest the "shallow-water-theory" is already two thousand years old. The Sadducees argued the miracle of the crossing of the Red Sea. They already talked about low tide. The liberal theologians of the 19th and 20th Century declared that Jesus, when walking on the Lake of Gennesaret (Matthew 14) used the shallow places during low tide. Believing theologians should not, with their arguments, keep company with this kind.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." (Psalm 1:1)
c. Negative Selection
The theory of negative selection becomes ever more clear in the remarks of Dr. Peters.
In his book, he mentions, among others, the following principal witnesses, Pastor Daniel, Petrus Oktavianus, Franz Selan, Detmar Scheunemann and the Director of the Bible School in Soe. The name of the leader of the Bible school is not mentioned. His name is Sardjito Martosudarmo. I am up to the present moment in close contact with him. All these men who are mentioned belong to my circle of friends. Since the title of this book is "The Wine of God", we will illustrate the attitude of these brothers towards the water-wine miracle. On the attitude of Pastor Daniel we have already on several occasions commented. In July, 1968 he reported in the presence of 120 missionaries and me, on the miracle of this change, which had taken place on a number of occasions.
Pastor Daniel experienced this change miracle twice in the year 1967; in 1968, 4 times; in 1969, 6 times; 1970,4 times; 1971,3-4 times; and 1972 once.
Petrus Oktavianus experienced the miracle for the first time on December 7, 1968; then together with me and the whole congregation on July 18 and July 20 of 1969. If he experienced it on any other occasion, I do not know about it.
Frank Selan took part in it every time as a member of the congregation in Soe whenever he was not otherwise occupied in his missionary efforts.
Detmar Scheunemann was present together with the International Team and with me on July 18 and July 20, 1969. Sardjito took part in the miracle as long as he was in Soe as leader of the Bible school. At the present time, he is in Modiokerto/Jatim and is preparing himself for his departure as missionary to Surinam. God willing, we will have Sardjito in April, 1974 here for a service in Germany.
Dr. Peters was in contact with all these brothers, however, he does not mention one word about the fact that all these men, more than once, experienced the water-wine miracle and do confirm this. And that should be a well-founded documentation? That is the principle of negative selection.
This miracle did not fit in with Dr. Peters' theological concept. The nature miracles are not In type.
d. Previously Formed Images
The forming of our ideas further depends on our previously formed images. Through our study, through spiritual development and through experience in our environment, solid theories and images are being developed, (imagines intellectuals).
We are always in danger of classifying new experiences or fitting them into the already previously formed guideline. When Dr. Peters makes allowances for the medical miracles and doubts the nature miracles, that is then such an incident of hardening. We simply ask: can God at the present time only heal people, set them free or raise them from the dead, but where nature is concerned His Power stops? What kind of theology is that? And what kind of image of God is this?
e. Nature Miracles
Let us mention a few of the nature miracles which have taken place in connection with the Timor revival.
Petrus Oktavianus was in the former Hollandia, now Jajapura, capital of West Irian. He was speaking in the open to 3000 to 5000 people. A storm came up. The corrugated roofs of the city caused a deafening noise in the wind. The crowd could no longer hear the speaker who had to speak without loudspeakers. Oktavianus saw in this a trick of the enemy. He commanded the storm to stop in the name of Jesus. The raging elements immediately obeyed the name of Jesus and the storm subsided. Not only the whole crowd of people are witnesses for this occurrence but also Oktavianus and the (German missionary, Willy Haseloh, who was accompanying him. The address of this witness is: Batu Institute Indjil via Malang, Java, Indonesia.
I myself have twice been present at such events and I will report a similar occurrence.
In 1963, I was invited by Father Daniel to come to Madras. Among other things, I had to speak in a tent meeting in Tambaram. His son, Joe Daniel was leading the meeting. Since India is full of witchcraft, they had asked me to speak on this subject. The moment I stepped on the podium, all of a sudden, a terrible storm broke loose. A torrential rain pattered on the tent. I could hardly hear my own words. Streams of water were running through the tent and were undermining the poles by making holes in the ground where the poles were holding up the tent. Men had to support the poles. Others were quickly digging canals to let the water find a way out. Joe Daniel called to me: "That is the enemy". He interrupted me and with a thundering voice he shouted into the tent, "In the name of Jesus I command you, power of darkness, to stop this immediately. Jesus is conqueror." Then he prayed on and the storm stopped as suddenly as it had started and we continued our tent evangelism undisturbed.
Witness for this event are the friends of Joe Daniel and of course Joe Daniel himself. His address is: Joe Daniel, 4 Nungambakkam High Road, Madras 34, India.
Back to Timor. Another miracle is the so-called feeding of 50. My friend, Franz Selan, leader of team 36 has experienced this. The Lord had told him to go to an area where there was famine. The village did not have anything to eat for the eleven members of the team. The Lord, in a wondrous way, took care of the team and of the leading members of the Christian congregation, through a miracle.
I have reported on this miracle of feeding in my book "Revival in Indonesia". Witness is Franz Selan, and his companion. The address of Franz is: Franz Selan, c/o Pemdeta Manuein Soe, Timor, Indonesia.
Dr. Peters knows Oktavianus and Franz Selan. Why does he not mention their reports? Is this objective documentation?
f. Revival Without Decorations
Dr. Peters warns of human glorifications in revivals. God does not need that. These are maxims which I fully underline since they are biblical. However, in the same breath I want to warn of suppressing a revival, putting it in cold storage. Those who exaggerate are in the oven, those who suppress it are in the refrigerator. Heat and cold are not the right biblical climate as we have already heard.
Through all ages, critics have cut out from God's deeds, that which did not suit their way of thinking. In the second century e.g., Marcion considered everything supernatural and miraculous in the New Testament as later ingredients by the congregation who in this way wanted to glorify Jesus. He deleted, therefore, the New Testament to a colorless book, the so-called Marcionistic New Testament. The same process we experienced with Bultman and all the representatives of the school of historical moulding. These theologians think that the Church of Christ is referred to in the portrayal of legends and they have drawn an oriental picture with Gnostic vines around the person of Jesus.
As long as there are theologians, God will have to put up with criticism. The well known late Pastor and Evangelist Ernst Modersohn once wrote a book entitled "Can Even a Pastor be Saved?"
g. The Shot from Ambush
With the "True-False" article, a bag full of feathers has been released, which have been carried by the wind to all continents. Dr. Peters cannot repair the damage he has done. His book is, in this respect, much more decent. Fortunately, I was only once mentioned, therein on page 94. But, also, here an untruth was supposedly attributed to me.
Dr. Peters mentions a report from Dr. Frank Cooley about the growth of the congregations on Timor. I have written on this subject in my book "Uns Herr wirst Du Frieden schaffen," 3rd edition, page 271, lines 7-8. "During these three years of revival, in excess of 200,000 persons have been converted". In the German text this statement is clearer than in the English translation. In the English book, "Revival in Indonesia", page 159, line 27,1 state, "One of the pastors on the island told me that today, at the end of the revival's third year, the figures have grown considerably. The number of those who have been converted has risen to over 200,000." In three years over 200,000! Let us take notice of this number. About which three years are they speaking here? Detmar Scheunemann told me once that the healing movement had been a forerunner of the revival. Based on this, it would refer to the period of July 1964 until July 1967. Those, however, who take the start of the revival as beginning from September 1965 have to take the period up to September 1968. My book was published in 1969. I have no statements therein about the growth in the year 1970.
On Page 94, Dr. Cooley writes the following: "Koch, Tari and Crawford all affirm that 200,000 converts were won by the movement between 1965 and 1970". On page 96, Dr. Cooley continues, "200,000 conversions resulting from the movement of the Spirit are greatly exaggerated."
When we are here accused of exaggeration, we have to come up with proof. In this case, it is very easy. Where did we get these figures?
a. From Petrus Oktavianus, Detmar Scheunemann.
b. From the English translation of the report by Pastor Daniel, the pastor of Soe.
c. Further, Dr. Peters declares in his book on page 95, line 19, the following: "Indeed the Timor Church leadership reported a membership of 650,000 to the Council of Churches". What this number means, we can see in the statistic, supplied by Dr. Cooley, which has been printed by Dr. Peters. From this, we get the clearest picture.
d. In the statistics for the growth of the church on Timor, supplied by Dr. Cooley and mentioned by Dr. Peters on page 93, we find the following:
- 1964 - 375,000
- 1965 - 450,000
- 1967 - 650,000
These amounts prove the accuracy of my data, yes, this shows that I mention fewer converts.
From 1964 till 1967 a growth of 275,000 not just 200,000. If you only take two years, you find the increase from 1965-67 around 200,000. In two years as many as I had mentioned for a period of three years. I ask myself, how can men who have earned a Doctor's degree from the University not acknowledge the importance of these figures, and accuse the writer and other reporters of exaggeration? Still, with theologians anything is possible.
How does Dr. Cooley succeed to reduce the blessing of the revival? He simply takes the average from 1953 till 1972 and diminishes, by doing this, the number of converts during the time of revival. The lean years before the revival are being increased in numbers by the good years of the revival time. But, that diminishes the tremendous growth during the revival time. Every statistician and mathematician would laugh at such manipulations. But, this is then the so-called documentation! This statistic contains still another source of error. On page 96, line 31 Dr. Peters says: ". . . the total church of Timor includes the islands of Timor, Roti, Sabu, Alor, Flores, Lomblen, Semau and Sumbawa." Some of these islands such as Timor, Rote, Semau experienced a revival. Other islands, such as Flores met with a strong Catholic opposition. Flores was hardly open for the revival movement until 1969.
This all means, that the figures shown in the statistics, include the revived and not-revived islands. This also contributes in averaging, to a decrease in the number of converts on Timor.
We cannot put down the acts of God in numbers. Also, all this counting is repulsive to me.
The publisher of most of my books in the English language begged me to let this matter rest. He said, I should leave this to God's judgment and not defend myself. This advice is biblical. I probably would have followed it if it only concerned myself.
But all these assumptions and especially the untruths in the '"True-False" article have caused a great stir in the whole world.
Dr. Peters, it is said, is a leading figure in Missions. He is regarded very highly in the circles of Evangelicals and even among the strict Fundamentalists. This man, however, has confused the believers all over the world who appreciated my books, and many have lost their confidence in me. Further, even my English language publisher admits that since the publication of the "True-False" article, the sale of my book, "Revival in Indonesia" dropped considerably.
This event will still have its sequel in eternity. There another, the Highest Authority, will decide what was and is "True and False".
As far as I am concerned, I will act in accordance with the example of Jesus. If the innocent Son of God on the cross prayed for His murderers, I, a sinner, can also pray for the murderers of my reputation.
I live by the mercy and forgiveness of the Lord and therefore I will also forgive with all my heart.
Revivals are times of God's special visitation. They have their day and then pass. Their fruits, however, and their consequences can survive the initial impulse by centuries.
The greatest revival of all took place in Jerusalem on the first Pentecost. Decline had already set in by the second century. In the meantime, however, the Gospel had reached Asia Minor and Europe.
The revivals of our century have been of much shorter duration. In Wales the great event lasted only from 1905 to 1909.
The Uganda revival of the twenties ended in tensions, frictions, and schism.
The revival impulse in Canada was already on the wane after a single year. But it bore good fruit.
We could make the same observations about every revival. No revival lasts more than a century.
The great miraculous period of the Indonesian revival is also past. But its blessed consequences live on. For those who were saved, the time has come to sink their roots deeper in the Bible and strengthen the foundation that has been laid. In the meantime, the illiterate have learned to read and have been trying to get Bibles. With the help of my circle of friends, I have provided some three thousand Bibles and New Testaments, some of which have been distributed on many islands by my friend Rev. Tan in Jakarta. But this is a mere drop in the bucket. Ten times that number could be used.
In this second appendix, the most recent news about Indonesia will be reported. The information has been provided me by Sardjito Martosudarmo, who is at present residing in Germany. He was invited by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to go to Lausanne as a delegate to the second World Congress on Evangelism. From 1968 to 1973, Sardjito was the director of the Bible school at Soe.
In a long conversation with him, I learned about recent developments in the Timor revival.
In the first place, the leading brethren at Soe are quite upset that so many Americans set out to experience the revival at Soe at first hand. Many of them were disappointed because there were no longer any miracles for them to observe.
This passion for observing miracles exposed some of the less stable Timorese to danger: they tried to counterfeit miracles in order to win the approval of the visitors.
An account of such a counterfeit miracle will be given in brief. A new evangelization team set out from Soe. At Kupang, the leader - L.N. - declared that the Lord had showed him that he should repeat the miracle of changing water into wine. About midnight, the team, consisting of several young men and a girl, went out to a well. It was not a spring but was fed by a pipe. They prayed and drew water. They filled their vessels and brought them back to their assembly room. When they emptied their vessels into a larger container, the water of the leader was red and was called wine.
The water of the girl had remained water. This event raised problems for the conscience of another young man, likewise a member of the team. He prayed about it at length, and then, a few weeks later, confronted the leader and demanded an accounting. The miracle turned out to be a pious fraud. The leader had secretly put some sugar and a red powder called kesumba into the water, intending to reproduce the miracle of the water and wine. Thereupon, the two pastors Daniel and Manuein, as well as the Soe elders, deposed the team leader and forbade him to exercise any evangelistic office.
Sardjito stated that not only was the miracle of the water and wine counterfeit, but so were some so-called resurrections.
The tragic and sinister element of all this is not only the pious fraud of attempting to produce miracles, but the fact that critics are now taking the instances of deception as the norm and are likewise calling all the genuine miracles frauds. Thus, not only these well-meaning hypocrites but also their Western critics are culpable.
Although Pastor Daniel has stated explicitly that the actions of L.N. constituted deception, he continues to maintain that there were genuine miracles.
Sardjito, too, is of the opinion that fraudulent counterfeits do not impugn the genuine miracles.
In this account, we have not mentioned the names of the participants, in order to protect them from persecution. I know the name of the man who committed the pious fraud, as well as the name of the girl, whom I have also met personally.
The handful of abuses on Timor have now given the Western critics and theological witch-hunters the material to support their negative attitude. These critics, who have eyes only for what is negative, are engaged already in the process of negative selection, mentioned above, which is unworthy of objective scholars. I will use two examples to expose this negative perspective for what it is.
Years ago, a pastor in southern Germany stole the church funds and fled the country. Anyone who practices one-sided negative selection should say on this basis that all pastors are thieves and knaves.
In a large city in northern Germany, a night nurse reported to me that a doctor in her hospital was using injections or potent sleeping pills to put attractive women who were his patients into a stupor, after which he would subject them to sexual abuse. The negative critic should say on this basis that all doctors are sexual exploiters and criminals.
Such a notion is absurd. There are many honorable, trustworthy, self-sacrificing pastors and doctors. It is not necessary to waste words on the subject.
Let those who seek to diminish the truth of God hear the words of Rev. 22:19: "If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life."
We must let the Lord and His Spirit lead us along the sober and objective pathway of truth, and not follow our own theological and rationalistic obduracy.
The book The Wine of God was already being set in type when I received an extremely important piece of information. My informant is one of the leading brethren of Soe on Timor. He wishes to remain anonymous because he does not want to expose himself to attack.
The report deals with a visit of Dr. Peters to Soe. In his article Indonesian Revival, True or False?, Dr. Peters disposed of my book on Indonesia with the remark that I had had little opportunity to study the revival.
And now, I hear the following: "Dr. Peters was at Soe for four whole days." In the course of six different visits, I myself spent several months at the centers of Indonesian revival.
Furthermore, my informant related that Dr. Peters was accompanied by a church official who had been an opponent and critic of the revival from the very outset.
This makes the situation clear. My earlier remarks on the visits of theological critics to Indonesia are confirmed.
Dr. Peters bases his negative account in his diatribe True or False on other publications and on the critics among the ecclesiastical authorities of Kupang. He himself could not make any independent observations in the course of four days. Neither does he know any language understood on Timor; he had to have his companion, who is contemptuous of the revival, translate for him.
How these ecclesiastical authorities from Kupang comported themselves can be seen from the fact that they demanded the closing of the Bible school at Soe, which had come into being with the revival. The thirty Bible students thereupon went forth as missionaries to many of the islands of Indonesia and outside of Indonesia. Thus, this prohibition on the part of the authorities was once more made to serve the cause of the spread of the Gospel.
It is lamentable, however, that Dr. Peters relied on such informants and thus gave a totally distorted and false picture of Timor and of my book in his article Indonesian Revival, True or False?
Furthermore, it is ignoble of Dr. Peters to say that "he (Dr. Koch) was on some geographical spots. . . ," when he himself spent only 1/25 the time in Indonesia that I had at my disposal.
I repeat: from a Christian one should be able to expect devotion to the truth, and from a professor, objectivity.