DAVID DUPLESSIS (1905-1987), one of the key men in bringing together Pentecostals and Roman Catholics.
Duplessis' parents came under the influence of Pentecostal missionaries out of John Dowie's Zion City. They were put out of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa when they accepted the heretical doctrines of the latter rain miracle revival, healing in the atonement, and spirit baptism with the evidence of tongues. Duplessis' father became a part-time Pentecostal preacher and refused to allow his family to take medicines or visit doctors. He even refused veterinary care for his livestock and was briefly jailed for causing the needless deaths of plagued cattle.
David Duplessis claimed that he had a Pentecostal spirit baptism experience in 1918 and in 1930 he was ordained as a Pentecostal preacher. Six years later Pentecostal evangelist Smith Wigglesworth prophesied over Duplessis that he would be one of God's instruments in a coming worldwide ecumenical revival.
By the 1950s Duplessis became immersed in the task of ecumenism. He preached that God was pouring out the latter rain power just preceding Christ's return. He traveled widely, visiting the apostate leaders of the various mainline denominations. He became friends with the modernistic leaders of the World Council of Churches and participated in the second assembly of the WCC in 1954 and in the third assembly in 1961. He was invited to the Vatican to speak personally with Pope John XXIII and was the only Pentecostal invited to attend the Roman Catholic Vatican II Council of the mid-1960s. In his autobiography he testified that his heart broke and he literally wept during the performance of the Catholic mass (A Man Called Mr. Pentecost, p. 215). Throughout these experiences, Duplessis thought he was led by the Lord because of the "prophecies" he had received and also because of various powerful emotional and spiritual experiences. When he met with 24 modernistic ecumenical leaders in 1956, for example, he said he "felt a warm glow come over me" and his attitude of judging doctrine melted away. "I felt such love and compassion for those ecclesiastical leaders that I would rather have died for them than pass sentence upon them." He contrasted this with the "old days" when he would have denounced their false theology (A Man Called Mr. Pentecost, p. 181). When he first visited the Vatican, Duplessis claimed that a similar experience caused his prejudice against Catholicism to melt away so that thereafter he could readily accept Catholic priests as brothers in Christ without any judgmentalism whatsoever regarding their doctrine. Through powerful emotional experiences at mass during the Vatican II council, Duplessis says he was purged entirely from suspicion about Catholic doctrine (p. 216).
As a young man Duplessis was prepared for the deception he experienced in the ecumenical movement. He claimed that he got his guidance from God in direct revelations and also through "tongues." In his autobiography, he said that in his early spiritual life God showed him that tongues was a means for determining the divine will. "... the light clicked on. I was speaking to God in tongues, and He was speaking back to me in my mind. I began to find beautiful revelation that way. .... Praying in tongues proved to be a wonderful step in working my way out of such an impasse [in not being able to discern God's will]. I would merely pray in tongues, and if the idea held firm, then I knew it was real" (A Man Called Mr. Pentecost, pp. 76-78). This testimony reflects the deep and frightful spiritual ignorance which caused Duplessis to be led from deception to deception throughout his life.
Duplessis lost his ministerial credentials with the Assemblies of God for awhile for his radical ecumenism, he retained his membership in an Assembly of God congregation and his ministerial credentials were formally reinstated with the AOG in 1980.