PART TEN – The Issues of Life (cont.)
was on the Hsin Ten cruise. We offered our hands to shake but he wouldn’t have it. The Nelsons avoided us as well. We met Ken and Mary Solberg; he claimed to be a shaman. We tried to talk to them about Jesus Christ but they knew better (which was the case for all of these).
We had a somewhat pleasing visit with Nathan and Vera Lipton, with whom we would have more to do in future. We met and visited with Neil and Diane Voss and would have more to do with them, as well as others we would meet by them. Little did we know what was in store for us by meeting these people.
We met with and had an extensive and conflicting discussion with Martin and Cora Severnson of Camrose, Alberta. Cora was formerly a “Two by Two.” She said many things, to which I responded later by letters. Here is an excerpt of a letter I sent in March of that year:
“Repent, both of you. I do not speak these things to those who do not profess to know and to serve Him. Them the Lord judges in His way. But it is vexing to have professors of Jesus Christ come and speak absurdities and blasphemies, and I can’t help but speak. The Lord is finished winking. Repent and rewardingly rejoice, or go on in your proud, ignorant and stubborn ways and be destroyed. It is your choice.”
They didn’t change their attitudes and minds. We would see what would happen.
Many have remarked on how Paul and I appear to be brothers, a mysterious thing in and of itself. Sean Wu tells us that many have asked if Paul and I were brothers or related, and Deanna Sudweeks asked us.
Paul and I do not look the same. He is typically Jewish in appearance and I, perhaps Slavic – I always fancied myself to look more like Rock Hudson or Cary Grant – kidding…sort of. Yet strangers out of the blue almost immediately ask if we are brothers, and those who are slightly familiar with one of us mistake one for the other.
This has happened to us perhaps seven or eight times. For example, Joella Arnoldussen saw Paul at a short distance and called out to “Victor” (more on this later).
While walking through Cozumel, we decided to get a foot massage, during which we told the owner about the Hot House. As we departed, Carlos Seone blessed us in the Name of God. He later purchased the Hot House from us, having it shipped from New York to his clinic.
On March 8, we caught our plane but suddenly had to disembark because of a defective computer chip problem. As a result, our luggage was transferred in a rush and was not subjected to customs inspection. I was concerned about an article I had naively purchased in a tourist market in Cozumel, Mexico, which I speculated might get me into hot water; I wasn’t sure. This event settled that problem, and I believe God spared me.
In Toronto, Ontario, on our way home, we had a plane to catch from the Sheraton Four Points Hotel and there was possibly only one more bus to take us to the airport in time. Several of us lined up for limited seat space. As I stood in line, there was a friendly lady in a red sweater smiling at me. She had a friend with her. She told me she had a flight to catch that left a little sooner than did mine (she gave the time).
The bus was two seats short. I wondered about giving our seats to her and her friend but didn’t do it. As we drove away, I saw her and her friend standing at the entrance. I felt like crying out to the driver to stop and let me give them our seats, but I didn’t. I recall Ken Cook making a remark about missing the plane. When we got to the airport, we had lots of time because the lineups were processed without difficulty and, I believe, our plane may have been somewhat delayed.
I felt rotten to the core. I knew those were angels of God trying me and I failed. I also believe that had I done the right thing, there would have been great reward, but now all I have is regret. Not that I should have done it for reward. I felt bad about that incident for some time and still do when I think of it. I missed a glorious opportunity to do good to someone in need.
I am selfish to the core. Lord, why, and when will I change?
The Scripture says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love”
(1 John 4:18 MKJV).
Had I not been walking in fear, by God’s grace I would have given my seat to the woman. As I was entering this matter into this book, I discussed it with Paul. He wrote:“Victor, I think what I saw was that you had some fears about not being at the right place when traveling. That is not to excuse any selfishness on your part, but perhaps this episode was needful to deliver you and heal you of your fear?
I recalled how I was in fear of missing a plane or of getting lost or of being taken advantage of in a strange environment. He reminded me of how I had tried to persuade Sean Wu to meet us at the airport in Florida because I didn’t want to take a taxi (Sean didn’t oblige me).
Yes, I was uncomfortable with that trip. I was also still recovering from uncomfortability with being with several people. It wasn’t that long ago that I had spent about three years alone on the side, from July of 1997 to July of 2000, divorced from my own friends and acquaintances, along with everyone else. I was fearful and insecure, even after the Lord had done a work with me, bringing me to a spiritual victory in the spring of 2000. I was still unsettled, in a “solidifying” state.
I can’t imagine what it must be like for prisoners released into society after years of confinement, or hostages taken and held for years, cut off and mistreated far more severely than I was. The impact would be horrific.
So while God was correcting, He was healing me, which is always why He deals with us – there’s always a good purpose determined, and which comes to successful fruition; He never fails. Paul had also written, “In recognizing you could have done better is great reward too.” He is so right.
You may ask, “What was the big deal?” I agree; there was not much to it, but that’s how fear works. Fear is often irrational, inexplicable, and without justification. We have an amazing array of phobias to point to that make us wonder things like, “How can someone be so afraid of cats, spiders, closed spaces or heights?” But as Paul has spoken, so I realize God has released me. Still, I believe I would have had a great and special reward, had I been able to overcome at that time. Perhaps in my failure, the intended results just took longer. Obviously, I’m only guessing.
Now, as I edit this document in May 2016, I realize God was dealing with my infirmities in these very circumstances. He is faithful.
Returning to Lethbridge, I found Marilyn hard and cold. It occurs to me now that had I been kind and considerate to the woman in Toronto, things may have changed in our marriage for the better, but I don’t really know. All I know was that when we got back, things were worse than when I left.
Lois records that she had these dreams after 2000, but didn’t record the dates, as instructed. She writes:
In both dreams, Marilyn was applying makeup and I was wondering why she needed it. (It speaks of Ahab’s Jezebel wearing makeup – the only one I know of in Scripture that did that).” Doesn’t makeup speak of changing appearance, even covering something unwanted or undesirable?
Lois records a vision she had wherein Marilyn was swimming against big dark waves and was very determined. This too was after 2000, but she failed to record the specific date as requested. Lois always, always ignored my requests. Why?
Ingrid called from Belgium to let us know her parents were granted custody of her children. Furthermore, the judge declared that we be investigated. How Belgium can make such a move in Canada, I don’t understand, but I suppose the judge should know.
Besides other factors, in reading our web site, they distorted and misinterpreted our writings, but they also naturally disagreed with other writings and doctrines they clearly understood, like opposition to formal religion and pagan holiday celebrations. Ingrid’s parents and in-laws condemned us as a potentially dangerous cult. Without substance or evidence of any kind whatsoever, the judge pronounced sentence against Ingrid.
We were amazed. Ingrid’s female lawyer was amazed and incredulous. She said she had never seen anything like it. But I knew it was the Lord’s hand; He was above the judge.
I also discussed Ingrid with Paul. He seems to be preoccupied with her. I don’t believe his eye is single.
I composed a letter describing what I saw and was needed for Ingrid. She was to not resist evil but to let the enemy have what he wants. What more then can the enemy do? Paul relayed the message to Ingrid, who said she would talk to her parents, which she did. They told her she could live anywhere, including Lethbridge, with the children, as long as she had nothing to do with Victor and Paul, who are “crazy.” Ingrid replied that her faith was God-given and that she couldn’t deny it.
In the night of the 22nd, I received that Ingrid needed to give thanks not only for her circumstances as they were, but for her parents and her in-laws the Gregoires, what they were all doing, and the way they were.
On the morning of March 23, our 77th weekly Sabbath, I received that Ingrid needed to give up her children. It was bold, plain, logical, crucifying – a matter of faith through the cross…where the enemy cannot follow and is rendered impotent.
Paul relayed the message to Ingrid. She has set out to do what is necessary, knowing it to be God’s will. For a mother to be able to forsake her beloved children with nothing guaranteed in reward, is nothing short of a miracle through faith.
On the plane home, Paul and I discussed the possibility of keeping the Hebrew land Sabbath or Shemitah in 2002. While we were talking about this matter, the Bensons were discussing the same at the farm, and Trevor entered into discussion of it while on the internet (I gave up on trying to control him). Discussing it together, we all agreed to keep the land Sabbath. We would let the land rest, not growing or harvesting anything beyond our current needs. All agreed, that is, except Marilyn, who was quite upset we were doing so.
Jonathan was also opposed, with emotion, saying it was a test from God. He said God told him it was a test from Him to see if we would do His will, that being to not take the route of keeping the land Sabbath. I felt that Marilyn was influencing him. I know he was greatly troubled by what seemed to be a renewed or markedly increased hostility between Marilyn and me.
It turns out that this year is the one many are keeping as the land Sabbath. What is the statistical probability that our purchase of the farm and the seventh year from that time would land on this very year? One in 49? At least.
For some reason, I spoke to John Shaskin, our Moon River neighbor, about our deciding to keep the land Sabbath year. His reply as an unbeliever was, “God bless!”
Mark’s former acquaintance, Kumiko Konoshita, was having problems with us:
First, she was offended that we were selling Chi machines. I don’t know what her impression of us was or what she thought we should be doing, but she didn’t think we were being godly by merchandising.
Second, it was difficult for her to accept the constant conflict between me and Marilyn, particularly when it involved a third party, which in this case resulted from Marilyn insisting on another man as her soul mate and lover. How could the answer of God be with us? Not surprising.
Third, and this one did surprise me: when we told and proved to her by the Scriptures that Jesus Christ was God, it seemed to be what finished her. As far as she was concerned, He was a great man and we should leave it at that – He wasn’t God.
I had communicated many teachings to Kumiko from 1999 to 2002. Here is the last of our correspondence some time later, though I have no record of when it was. I was dealing somewhat with the second and third issues that had troubled her:
“Greetings Kumiko, in Christ Jesus, Lord of lords and King of kings!
“I thought of you last night, wondering if this address is still functional, and how you are doing. I thought it strange that you withdrew yourself from us over the issue that Jesus Christ is God. I wrote you on that truth and believe the same things now as I did then.
“I suspect you were thinking, consciously or otherwise, ‘Look at Hirohito! He too thought he was God and disillusioned our entire nation! Never again!’
“To that thought, I reply, man was never God, but God was a man, as the Scriptures testify:
“‘For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:5-8 MKJV).
“Hirohito, along with countless others, has thought or presumed to be the incarnation of God. Only those who are born again, however, are His incarnation – not that Jesus Christ is limited to only one person. His body is of many.
“I think I also discussed with you the time you were involved with us, Kumiko. However, I would like to express those thoughts, regardless. You were present and witness at a time when we were being taken by the fires, all of us. The turmoil was great. It was confusing to you. This ordeal was testified to by the Lord in many places in Scripture as, for example, here:
“Do not at all fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the Devil will cast some of you into prison, so that you may be tried. And you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death’ (Revelation 2:10-11 MKJV).
“He gave seven promises, and has fulfilled them all for and in us. Another one is:
“And he who overcomes and keeps My works to the end, to him I will give power over the nations. And he will rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of a potter they will be broken to pieces, even as I received from My Father. And I will give him the Morning Star’ (Revelation 2:26-28 MKJV).
“We were cast into a prison and a fire. It was very necessary, like greenware clay pots needing to be baked in a kiln. We have overcome, Kumiko, and now we have a glorious victory we had never known. We live now in His resurrection power, the reward of overcoming. This was established in 2000 and has continued with increasing vitality.
“Will you read this letter? Are you there? Have you been receiving the Issues of Life? I would like to hear from you. We all would.
“Thankful for the trial that was, and for the fruit it brought to us, an eternal fruit that cannot perish,
Kumiko left us, either casting away faith and unable to be honest with us, or the Lord simply took her out to seek and to find the truth the hard way, independently of the Lord’s servants (the for her seemed to indicate something to that effect.
By now Trevor was doing all he could and dared to build a romance with his internet acquaintance, Michelle Daugulis of Australia. I entered the scene to know more of her and where she stood spiritually. If Trevor presumed to bring her into our midst and join his life to her, we obviously would be affected, and therefore had every right, indeed, responsibility to examine her.
We had well learned that Trevor had no ability or desire whatsoever to determine right from wrong or good from bad. An electronic romance would be that much more open to examination. It was up to us. The correspondence then began with Michelle, wherein she was confronted on her sins and flippant lifestyle, though passionately professing faith in “Yahweh.”
I was invited to a massage therapy session by Betty Dingreville in Lethbridge. She did muscle testing, which many alternative health practitioners and others use to determine matters. She also used a pendulum. As she was treating me, she began speaking of my mother, saying things that were true, without knowing a thing about my mother to my knowledge. How was this possible? Was it God? No. She professed no faith. Was it a spirit of divination? That was possible. She said that my mother was removed from, afraid of, and hiding from me.
As I write this in my story seven years later, I suddenly realize that this massage session was the only one I had ever been offered by a stranger practitioner for free in my life. During that session, she tells me of my mother and the conflict in our relationship. The simplest and most logical explanation for this curious experience is that she knew my mother, our circumstances, and was trying to intervene, possibly and likely on behalf of my mother. I seem to recall Betty trying to subtly encourage me to make amends with her. on the uptake? And how! That is my pace.
Paul writes: "Is there anything to back this speculation, Victor? I see on the net that Betty went to high school in Alberta. It may not be “slow on the uptake,” but being hesitant to go there without evidence? There are people who divine things, and flesh sides with flesh. I’ve also run into massage therapists giving free massages to drum up business.” END
But I’m good with leaving the report as is.
I realized I recently had some dreams of “walk-flying” – the ability to take long steps without touching the ground, the length of the step depending on faith or willpower. It seems years since I had those dreams.
I received that all would go well with Ingrid’s coming. Then we received word that Ingrid was stalled in coming. I received that she needed to obey God. All agreed.
When I speak the cross to anyone, I’m in great turmoil with that one. Now it is with Ingrid. Not long ago, it was with Miyuki.
On the morning of April 18th, I received that Ingrid must not leave Belgium secretly but openly, declaring that she will do so with or without the children. She must risk the consequences of public testimony, entrusting herself to God.
Ingrid’s great trial is my trial. It occurred to me that one easily joins a church of the world. The man in the flesh signs a membership, pays dues, and obeys, more or less, joining the works of men. But membership in the true church of God comes by the cross alone. It is signed in blood and blood alone. Ink avails nothing. The carnal man joins a carnal church at will, but the spiritual man is added to the church by the power of God, as God chooses.
Peter Nickel was the one who sponsored us into the Chi business. Soon one of our distributors was complaining that Peter had undersold him, offering one of his friends a Chi machine for $100 less than the established retail, which was against Hsin Ten policy and contrary to sound marketing and fairness to all distributors. When I lodged an informal complaint with Sean Wu of Hsin Ten, he wouldn’t do anything; we were on our own.
I talked to and wrote both Peter and Sean Wu letters to appeal to their sense of decency and justice, but nothing was done. We had no choice but to drop the issue and go on with life. It would not go well for Peter or Sean, as we have seen in such cases.
We met Sal Caliendo, a Hsin Ten employee from New York, at the Las Vegas convention in August of 2001. Sal professed faith in Christ and spoke rather enthusiastically of his desire to forsake all and walk by faith. He also talked of how wrong others were. He told us his wife and children were against, even contemptuous of him and his profession of faith. We would find out why as we dealt with him.
He arranged to come to Montana, spend time and learn from us for a while. Bill and Connie Kleinhans had discouraged him from making the move after we confronted them on their error and sin. Sal saw through their falsehood, but as the time approached to come, he was altogether without faith and full of fear. According to him, his wife had scornfully told him he wouldn’t make it. She knew, for he had planned doing things like this before. What a horrible place to be in – a place of talking one way and acting another, earning the contempt of all!
Sal called us on May 31, 2002, telling us he wasn’t coming. Soon after, as is the case of the double-minded, Sal grew lukewarm, then cool, then cold toward us, unjustly treating us with the contempt and derision he had rightly earned and received of others.
It never ceases to sadden us when people promise one thing and do another, walking away from life and treating us as though we were death angels. We have grown well accustomed to it.
Marilyn was troubled about Ingrid coming to Canada. She said she saw black. I told her it was fear, and that the Lord had spoken and doesn’t speak by fear. She said it wasn’t fear, but troubling. Indeed, Ingrid would have a troubling. Would she be a troubling for us?
I’m feeling dead and useless, drained spiritually as well as physically. Is it my overweight, or eye strain from being on the computer for hours every day? Is it a lack in diet or exercise? Is it stress? I don’t know. Why, Lord? What is the sin? What are we doing wrong? Why are we here? What is our purpose? Are we dead and perishing?
People come and people go. They almost never remain. We are left alone.
Paul’s answer from the Lord, though he didn’t claim it to be from Him: “What we do and why we are here is the Lord’s business, not ours.” Father, he speaks truly; thank You for him.
The Lord gave me another perspective and explanation of Marilyn’s state and enmity with us. She has had all desired and expected securities removed from her in order to deliver her from her deep insecurity within. She is judged for excluding me and is now herself excluded, but for good, for her deliverance.
Isn’t it amazing how we give babies soothers and children toys to comfort them in their insecurities, but God removes the soothers and toys, forcing us to face our fears and problems and look to Him, the Invisible, Apparently Absent, True Security!
Jonathan wished to go to the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge to see some advertised entertainment – skateboarding, roller blading, stunts and feats of strength. I didn’t realize this performance was sponsored by evangelical Christians in hopes of converting young people to Christ.
When we witnessed young machos demonstrating brute strength to break baseball bats and skateboards, it annoyed me. Does strength of the flesh win to Christ? The Bible teaches the very opposite. These people teach carnal greatness: “Admire me and my muscle; I am Christian; convert to Christ and you’ll be able to break bats like me,” or “See, even Christians have fun – they’re normal, too.”
No, the cross alone separates one from the world and gives us the life of Christ, by God’s power and grace and not by man’s power and pride.
At first, I used the name “Real1now,” declaring that I was not just another religious one doing his own thing out there. But I didn’t feel right about it so I took on a name that suited what God had given me, “Shabbat Olam,” which means “everlasting rest.” God had given me the victory, the rest of which the Hebrews writer exhorts the saints to enter. This also would soon change to my own name, despite warnings and cautions of others about making ourselves vulnerable.
I heard somewhat of Vern Cook from Jann Gouw, the contractor who installed siding on our farmhouse. He spoke highly of Vern as someone with a special, almost miraculous gift for healing. Vern used his abilities as an official practitioner, sometimes simply by lightly touching the patient at specific points of the body. Some would call it “energy healing,” of which there are many techniques and forms.
Vern once paid a visit to the farm earlier on, though I wasn’t there. Lois described him as rich in himself, well dressed, and full of confidence and assumed authority. But it wouldn’t be more than a year or two later that he would return, a broken and gaunt man, living out of his car, after his wife and children suddenly left him.
We learned that Vern was once a member of the Church Universal and Triumphant based in Corwin Springs, Montana. Founded by Elizabeth Clare Prophet, the group had been in trouble with authorities for various reasons, including stockpiling arms and building bomb shelters that allegedly had negative environmental impact. Prophet had predicted a nuclear war with the USSR.
I tried to get together with Vern to learn more and to lead him to Truth, but it didn’t happen; he wasn’t interested.
On the net, at Eliyah.com, we met Chemdah Ashmiel, a black woman from San Diego CA (originally from England), who worked for Tony Robbins’ organization. She professed faith in Yahweh, in Yeshua HaMashiach, and revelled in Jewish language and religious tradition, which is why Eliyah.com attracted her.
With her husband “Chuggie,” she had been a member of the House of Yahweh (HOY), based in Abilene, Texas, founded by Yisrayl (formerly “Buffalo Bill”) Hawkins. We began to confront her on her religiosity and contradictions. At first she was combative, but eventually, after much correspondence and phone calls, she seemed to acknowledge that the things we were saying to her were valid and true.
We learned that her marital relationship (her second) was not a healthy one, and her husband was very involved with and committed to HOY. We immediately told her plainly that HOY was not of God at all and that if she was to walk with God, she would have to come away from men’s works that hinder true faith.
On May 7th, 2002, Les and Laura Klein picked Ingrid up at the Calgary International airport at 3 PM and brought her to their home for the night. Ingrid was without her children. We picked her up the next day and brought her to Harvest Haven.
At this time, I was seeking the Lord about whether it was His will or not that Paul and Ingrid should marry. I wasn’t comfortable with the prospect.
Now Marilyn was troubled, depressed and fearful. She told me that Ingrid’s faith and obedience convicted her. She had been against Ingrid’s coming and leaving behind her children. Now she was ashamed. Paul reminded me that he once prophesied that Ingrid’s coming would be good for all, including Marilyn. Ingrid joined us for our 84th Sabbath.
During this time, Ingrid and Sara were warned against cynicism and resentment towards their parents and any others who opposed us. We received to fight the enemy with truth while they fought us with lies and false accusations.
Beth Schmidt, Sara’s mother, was a particularly vindictive and brazen woman who would stop at nothing to do us harm. It wasn’t long before we discovered she and a friend of hers were writing us, using pseudonyms “Mitch” and “Ace.”
On May 15th, when Ingrid tried calling from Canada to talk to her children, her parents wouldn’t permit it.