PART SEVEN – Surprise Visitors to Day 888 (cont.)
Seldom did I hear from Paul and when I did, it was always vexing. He was doing his own thing. I saw the enemy, that man of sin, still there and we wouldn’t “come together until the enemy is removed,” even as the Lord said. I suspected Paul was back with Kerri, but hiding it from me. He was deceitful.
On June 6th, I faxed this letter to him:
Your reaction to the criticism of you this morning is so very unpleasant, but typical and ever consistent with the way you are and have always been. “Well, they did it, too! I’m not the only one… besides, I did some good, too.” In other words, 10% on a test is every bit as good as 70%, because at least it’s something, or… everyone else got 10%, so what’s so bad about that?
Your self-measuring barometer has always been others; the wicked and the foolish are your yardstick. As long as you remain and satisfy yourself that way, we walk two different roads and serve two different gods. With such difference, there is no harmony between us and there can be no reconciliation.
You were arrogant and obstinate in 1979 in Revivim, Israel, and you’re no different today. Is it any wonder you are where you are, as you are? And there’s nothing I can do. Indeed, the son of perdition is as his name and you walk in him until he goes or you go. One or the other must. In truth, you’re one and the same.
Only circumstance arranged by God and His revealing and destroying you by the Spirit of His mouth will do. How long? How long must we travel with that unsavory, consuming, self-possessing character we call “Christ,” but who is us? How long? – Victor.
As I was brooding and bothered about the Mills, Knorrs, Ogdens, Knelsen, and others, these words came to me:
“Come and confess not only your perceived sins, My people, but come confessing yourselves as you are. You run about, seeking pleasure and peace and find none. You eat out of broken, empty dishes and drink out of empty containers. You yourselves are empty, full of foolish notions, pretending to help, and you help no one.
You are depressed, deflated because you leak. Rather than being filled with the Holy Spirit, having good words to speak, you empty yourselves by thinking and speaking foolishly about things that don’t profit, leaving you depressed. You scatter, spill your seed to the ground, wasting and laboring fruitlessly. You anger Me to the point of destroying you, your ways are so vile.
What is particularly offensive is that you do all these things in My Name. You are evil in all your righteous ways. Adulterers and adulteresses, whoremongers, whoring after your pleasures, playing God, defiling everything you touch, acting as God standing in the holy place, calling for worship. I will destroy you; you will be no more, and then will I rest, and only then. ”
First, one speaks of the Lord, then to the Lord, then for Him, and finally in, by, and through Him. Four dimensions of relationship and speech concerning God.
I began to write hard letters to the Ogdens, Knorrs, Debbie Summers, Barny Knelsen, and Les and Penny Mills. I was troubled in the night about how I conducted myself with all these people – communicating by letter rather than face-to-face, exerting force, not at all practicing the principle of “live and let live.” I expressed no apparent kindness, gentleness, or love. Rather, my approach seemed to be “my way or the highway.”
I thought, “Instead of preaching, shouldn’t I be praying for them? Instead of faulting, criticizing, and scolding, shouldn’t I just live my life, give the example, and not get offended?”
But this I knew: Lives without words aren’t sufficient to preach. Didn’t Peter sharply rebuke Simon and Ananias and Sapphira? Didn’t Paul rebuke Peter, the Corinthians, Galatians, and Elymas, and didn’t he counsel Timothy to rebuke some sharply? What about John the Baptist with the multitudes, and Jesus with the religious? They didn’t spare. Neither did the prophets of old spare – not Moses, Samuel, David, Nathan, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Isaiah; none of them.
The Lord gave us all Isaiah 58:1 for me (not the first time):
“Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like a ram’s horn, and show My people their rebellion, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1 MKJV).
So why did I get these doubts that left me in condemnation and fear? It was wicked unbelief – fear of man instead of fear of God.
I thought, “At least tell them these things face-to-face!” Gene and Les wondered if I was schizophrenic. They said when we talked face-to-face, I was friendly, but in my letters I was harsh.
Coincidentally, as I am writing this portion of the Theo-autobiography, for my customary daily reading I am at 2 Corinthians 10 in the Good News version:
“I, Paul, make a personal appeal to you—I who am said to be meek and mild when I am with you, but harsh with you when I am away. By the gentleness and kindness of Christ I beg you not to force me to be harsh when I come; for I am sure I can deal harshly with those who say that we act from worldly motives.
It is true that we live in the world, but we do not fight from worldly motives. The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds. We destroy false arguments; we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:1-5 GNB).
And: “Someone will say, ‘Paul’s letters are severe and strong, but when he is with us in person, he is weak, and his words are nothing!’ Such a person must understand that there is no difference between what we write in our letters when we are away and what we will do when we are there with you” (2 Corinthians 10:10-11 GNB).
The Lord has encouraged me to speak and not to fear or waver. Our culture has a perverse take on proper attitude and conduct, and naturally I’ve been influenced by it so as not to see things and people the way I ought, the way God sees them.
Political correctness and contemporary social decorum are Satan’s tools to stifle and resist the Spirit of Truth.
After I talked to Sean about death to the flesh, that death and hell had to be accepted, Marilyn said to me that the darkest and hardest time for me was yet to come, with no evil in it, but that I should trust the Lord and not fear. She said that what I was about to endure was only a fraction in comparison to the glory that awaited me. A while before, she received the words, “the end of all flesh” concerning me. She also heard and said, “You don’t know who I am.”
Enquiring of the Lord, I couldn’t see those words as from Him as applicable to me. But if they were, it would be very good for me.
On the 7th or 8th or so of June 1998, Jonathan had a vision of six boulders of varying size and shape, standing and shaking. He said it seemed that I was shaking them and that they were shaking the whole earth.
Was this Jonathan’s imagination? Was he thinking of the boulders vision I had? I don’t believe so. I believed he saw from the Lord, though I didn’t fully understand the vision. Were these boulders the visitors we recently had and with whom I was dealing? It was possible.
Some time later, I would understand. It was indeed a vision from God.
Les had been having major difficulty with depression bouts for many years. During those bouts, he would isolate himself, and Penny would cover for him socially, fielding phone calls and making excuses for him. That explained why she lied to me about where he was when I called. It bothered me that they couldn’t be honest with me.
In a vision, I saw Les with a little light inside his lower torso, to one side. It seemed like that light was going to grow. I interpreted that to mean that Les would begin to heal from his problem.
George Warnock is an elderly preacher and writer who was involved with George Hawtin, James Watt, and others in a “move of the Spirit of God” that occurred at North Battleford, Saskatchewan in the late forties. George lives in Cranbrook, British Columbia, perhaps a five-hour drive from our home.
Les Mills had many of George’s writings, including “The Feast of Tabernacles.” He suggested we go visit George. Marilyn expected that if I went, there would be a clash between George and me. Having red some of George’s literature and given my experiences with many others, I conclude she was likely right.
I didn’t necessarily disagree with what George was teaching. It was more his spirit, in which I felt the usual humdrum deportment and thinking of nominal orthodox Christianity. I was looking for the Life of Jesus Christ in Christians and never finding it – only ho-hum words, opinion, theory, form, formal lifestyle, posture, doctrine, philosophy, and theology. I rarely encountered the real, vibrant Christian Life. I didn’t see that it was any different with George. Notwithstanding their profession of faith and status as spiritual leaders, men are everywhere dead.
I received this of George: He has seen some truth of the Feast of Tabernacles, but he hasn’t experienced it. He has consumed the letter of it, but the spirit of it hasn’t consumed him. He has the theory, but not the practical. This isn’t a problem. The question might be asked, “Why doesn’t he have the reality of the Third Feast, the entrance into the City?”
Les and I never did visit George together, but there would come the time that Jonathan and I would.
Hardly a day went by when we didn’t have verbal strife, especially when Marilyn was having her time of the month, but also at other times.
I said, “Lord, this is evil. Do You visit evil on us for our sins? Is it the farm? Shall we give it up, as Gene Knorr and Les Mills insist?”
I heard that He gave us the farm as a blessing, not as a curse, and that we needed to believe, go on, and do what needs doing. It was good. Also, I saw Him keeping us in so many matters, notwithstanding failures and losses.
I purposed to visit the Ogdens and Barny, which, I believe, they proposed. Marilyn was against it. The others at the farm agreed that I should go and take Sean with me. This was one of those times where I was gradually realizing I had to step out and do what I thought to do and not permit Marilyn to intervene or overrule. It seemed we were constantly on different wavelengths.
Sean and I met at Mark and Amanda’s with Barny present. There was a battle. Barny exposed himself totally; he was a false prophet – of that I had no doubt. He denied Christ speaking through a man; he said I was arrogant, without love and unteachable. He opposed everything I said and stood for, even the Word I was given to speak to him, which he said he had anticipated. Bitter Barny.
Barny left the Ogdens with a letter I had for him and the paper, Iniquity, recently written. They all fought me, though the Ogdens didn’t take an open, firm stand against me, as Barny did.
In retrospect, I see that Barny was intense on holding on to his followers, finding me a threat. He was apparently still very defensive after losing his “flock” to George and Hazel Hill around 1980, nearly two decades earlier.
Unrepentant of seeking preeminence among men, he continued in his stubborn and proud way, which tormented him and defiled everything he touched.
There are some interesting parallels between the first Adam and the Last Adam, Jesus Christ.
One, and most obvious, both are referred to as “Adam.”
Two, both are known as “the son of God” (Luke 3:38).
Three, death has been referred to as sleep in Scripture. Both Adams were put to sleep.
Four, both were naked at the crucial point, Adam when God took his rib, fashioning a wife, and Jesus on the cross when pierced for the Bride-to-be.
Five, both were roused from that sleep.
Six, in each case, the result was a wife; in the first, it was Eve, in the second, it was the Body of Christ.
Seven, both suffered a wound in the side while asleep.
Eight, each one/One took all of mankind with him/Him – one down, the Other up.
Nine, each gave up his/His life to have the wife; the first Adam followed Eve in her deception, willfully sinning, and the Last Adam followed the wife to hell in order to redeem her; He was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Ten, both went into sin, the first committing sin with her, but the Last made sin for her.
I’m certain I have by no means exhausted the parallels.
We opened the June 19th Herald one day and found that on May 2nd, Chris Hafichuk had been in a bicycle accident and suffered “moderate to severe brain damage” and hemorrhaging in the head for about 90 minutes before others discovered and rescued him. He spent a month in the hospital. It was estimated that it would take him about two years to recover. He also suffered blurred vision and memory problems.
It was three months less a day from the time he and Nathan left us in the middle of the night without notice. God spared him greater injury or death, but I couldn’t help believing he suffered the consequences of his conduct and attitude, and the timing seemed significant. I had often said to others, “He that risks life and limb for sport is a fool.” Chris decided to disregard the advice and challenge “Dutchman’s Revenge,” a threatening coulee bike trail in Lethbridge.
He was constantly arguing with others. Lois had once warned him not to take his intellectual abilities for granted or use them wrongfully. She said that the Lord could take those from him. I recalled the prophecy over him years before.
When the Herald interviewed Chris about the accident, he attributed nothing to God, neither judgment nor protection. His helmet, he said, was what saved him. Chris had spent years with us, but it was as though he had never heard a thing about God.
I later found out Archie had been broadsided as he drove his truck through a controlled intersection. His older vehicle was a write-off. I don’t know that he sustained any injury.
We were told his daughter, Erin, was in a serious auto accident, in which she sustained significant injuries. It felt bad to hear of these things. Over the years, I had tried to shelter them from God’s judgment by continually being on their case to do right, to keep from any sin. Finally, when they left, it wasn’t long before the things I tried to prevent came on them. In the years with us, they suffered nothing of the kind.
We received anonymous calls asking for Nathan. It seemed he was in financial difficulty and was being pursued by creditors or collection agencies. I had no idea where he was and told the callers so.
In time we would hear of still other tragic occurrences in Archie’s family.
On June 23rd, Lois received these words concerning me:
“My son, My beloved, I have not forsaken you, although it may appear to be so. Every circumstance you are faced with has been My design. You will not be able to contain the glory of the place I have for you. You will not have minded one bit the trial I have put you through. You will know how small it has been, compared to what I have for you. Your complete life has been My doing. Do not despair; things are not as they appear. Trust Me, My son, please trust Me. I am with you; you are Mine.”
On June 23, 1998, Jonathan said, “Dad, I just had another vision. I saw two boulders with rock arms and white gloves. They were shaking hands. Behind them were two bigger boulders with space between them. The ground was orange and had pebbles all over it – these were also orange. The sky was a clear blue.”
Orange is a combination of red and yellow or gold. Gold is representative of the Heavenly realm and God. Red is earthly, as in “Adam.” It is a combination of heaven and earth, Jew and Gentile, representing reconciliation. The two boulders were shaking hands.
In time to come, I would have another interpretation of the vision.
On June 27, 1998, eight days after the Herald article about Chris’s cycling injury, he dropped off a typed letter at our farmer’s market booth. It red:
Everyone at the farm,
We are writing this letter to address a number of points. We apologize for not giving you the last GST check. Included is a reimbursement of $27.00. We also apologize for taking some food when we left the farm. Also included is reimbursement for it as when at your prices. We have since realized that leaving in the middle of the night was not a responsible nor mature decision and for this we are sorry. We believed at the time it was our only option.
We also apologize for the attitude in which our previous had been written. When we read your letter we were both very hurt by your derogatory and scathing remarks. We would like you to know that we do not feel the same way towards you and we forgive you for any wrong doing you may have done to us.
Chris and Nathan
The first Adam, earthy, took his place below the Last Adam, Who is from above. Esau, the firstborn, served Jacob. Ishmael, Abraham’s firstborn, the device of men, gave way to Isaac, the son of promise. Manasseh, Joseph’s firstborn, gave place to Ephraim, the second born. David, the second king of Israel, replaced Saul, the first.
Why? This is to demonstrate that the natural, as legitimate as it may be in and of itself, must make way for the spiritual. The “first Christian” must go to make room for the “second.” The Lord was taking me away to make room for the new, as He must do with all Christians. This was that overcoming.
Isn’t it interesting that Cain was the first one of mankind recorded to bring a sacrifice to the Lord? And of him it is written that he was of the evil one (1 John 3:12). He was also the firstborn. His sacrifice was rejected, unlike that of Abel, his younger brother.
For weeks I was struggling with the thought that I had to go to the neighbors next door and call them to repentance. Finally, on August 21, I obeyed. I told them that they were mocking God in all their ways, and that I wished to help them in any way I could. What came of it, I don’t know, except that they weren’t friendly with me. Whoever enjoys hearing they need to repent? Is that perhaps why they killed the prophets, sawed Isaiah in half, beheaded John the Immerser and James the apostle, crucified Jesus, and stoned Stephen?
I now recalled, for the first time since I can remember, crying helplessly when I was taken to Auntie’s and Uncle’s in 1952, 46 years before. I was a few months younger than Jonathan, who was now coming seven. I was homesick, lonely, and scared. Auntie tried to comfort me, but how could I be comforted? The three miles away from home seemed like the other side of the world to me.
I now cried out to the Lord, tormented, forlorn, confounded, anxious, and bitter. I didn’t know what to do. I was overwhelmed by everything – work, bad deals, relationships askew, loneliness, defeats, troubling, and unpleasant neighbors. “Lord, where am I? For how long? I’m vile, I am; yet I preach as though everyone else is vile. My letters are full of condemnation and judgment. Who am I to preach or speak, being as I am?”
A thought hit me, as I contemplated a favorable change in circumstances. “That’s not what I want. I want to change. If I don’t change, circumstances always do and may only get worse, and I’ll still have my problem. I want to change.”
I was disconcerted about how I had failed to remain isolated from people to the very end of my fast. In the last hour of the ten-day fast, Jamie, the neighbor boy, came to the door and I failed to resist, being reluctant to offend him. But I realized the Lord had left me with my infirmity and it was manifest in that very failure. He wanted me to serve Him with my infirmities and saw to it that it would remain that way. I could have no claim to fame or to any righteousness of my own. I was thankful for this realization or revelation.
So many Christians think in terms of the Lord having come 2,000 years ago. Many think He will come once more, physically, and usher in a new age of peace, establishing His Kingdom. One writer, Preston Eby, said that He has come many times and will continue to do so many times. It suddenly occurred to me that He came to me, firstly, in a dream in 1972, then in repentance in 1973; He came again and gave me His Spirit in 1975, and now He was here. He had come and manifest Himself once again to me. Then on this day, July 4, 1998, He spoke:
“I am here. I am in you and you are in Me. I come, I have come, and I will come. Do you need your deliverance, your healing? I am it. You enter your provision by faith. You enter into your rest by ceasing from your labors to accomplish; you do nothing. Labor to enter that rest. With all your heart, do nothing to enter in. Cease from all effort… it is vain. And when you cease, turning away from yourself, your own strength, your own effort, then will I come! Behold, I am at the door and you know I am there, here. If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
These are some of the final words to the last church (Revelation 3:14-22) – peculiar, perhaps appropriate, and timely. Lastly, He says He grants the overcomer to be seated on the throne.
Eighty-eight days before this time, I went to Dr. Michael Pratt and received a clean bill of health.
Eighty-eight days from now was to be Yom Kippur (Sept 30). The Hebrew holy days have often figured into my experience.
(Read further to see the significance of the number 88.)
Because of our business location being difficult to find, we needed to put up directional signs. Without any competitive motive or ill intent, we put one up on the road most commonly used by people to find their way to us, which happened to be the road to Broxburn Vegetables, as well. Paul De Jonge immediately took offense and put his signs up on other of our roads to cut our traffic flow off and direct it to his farm.
Jonathan promptly had a series of visions. First, he saw a cartoon character rat, dressed in brown clothing and a big top hat. He climbed on a horse, via a fence, and cleared his throat, as he pointed his right arm and index finger to the sky.
Next, Jonathan saw this character ride into sandy places with standing dead trees. He then saw him ride into a poor part of a city with old buildings. Next, he saw that the rat rode into a narrow canyon between two mountains.
Jonathan saw yet another scene, one in which the character was no longer on the horse but standing with his hands in his front pockets, looking at about 10 loaded cannons, with no one there to man them.
Those seeking after wealth are very poor. The more they gather, the poorer they become. It isn’t how much a covetous man has, but how much there is yet left to gain, that counts to him – it is a bottomless pit, a journey with no end.
The covetous man focuses not on what he has, but on what he doesn’t have; therefore is he poor.
On the other hand, the liberal man doesn’t focus on what has been given, but on what he has left to give; and so he’s rich, always having something. The amount one possesses is irrelevant to contentment.
One day as I was on the lawn weeding, it came to me that the Mills, Ogdens, Knorrs, and Barny Knelsen were of the synagogue of Satan. I also knew the promise of God:
“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you” (Revelation 3:9).
While exterminating ants in the driveway, Jonathan asked why I was killing nature. I reminded him that we also killed the sawfly worms eating the spruce trees. “Yes, but ants do good things,” he replied. I agreed and pointed out that all creatures do good things where they belong, but when they go where they don’t belong, they do harm (the ants were removing sand from under the patio stones).
Then I thought of how we are all in evil when doing that which is not our place or duty to do, even if what we do, in itself, isn’t wrong.
It so bothered me to be constantly viewed by everyone as a false prophet. What bothered me most was not the rejection, though unpleasant enough, but the prospect that maybe I was speaking and walking out of my own heart. After all, so many from all walks said I was false – multitudes, high and low, rich and poor, young and old, religious and otherwise, intelligent and simple, male and female, neighbors, relatives, and strangers. By some I was even intensely hated, so much that they would kill me if they had opportunity. So I asked, “Lord, are You with me? Am I with You? Are You sending me, and if so, shouldn’t and wouldn’t I know it?”
I’d had conflict with many people – my whole life was one of conflict. There seemed to be no giving, no mercy, and no tolerance on my part. It seemed bad, and I knew I had my faults. There was, however, a Scripture that kept coming back to me over and over again: “You love righteousness, and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows” (Psalm 45:7).
“The sons of those who afflicted you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet; they shall call you the City of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 60:14 ESV).
(See also Isaiah 66:5-24.)
At the same time, there were the internal underlying, abiding assurance, peace, and joy beyond the intellect that can’t be described or understood; they were just there, anchoring me through the constant billows of life.
July 10th came and went with no apparent event. It wasn’t until the next day I realized that July 10th was very eventful. I received in some special, secret way that there is no effective effort involved at all on our part to make ourselves acceptable to God. The secret is to acknowledge that we can do nothing and that we are entirely unprofitable in our ways before Him. We can only trust and look to Him; there’s no other way.
I heard myself saying to others, “I don’t expect you to change yourself. You can’t do it. Just recognize your need for that change. Believe what I’m saying, submit to it, accept it, and seek after the Lord, trusting Him to change you.” Those of the synagogue of Satan presume to make His righteousness their own and theirs His, as though it originated with, or could be claimed and possessed in, their own strength. It doesn’t happen.
I also realized it was on July 10th the Lord told me the job (His work) was finished. I would not be dying. I knew I could tell nobody about this; they wouldn’t believe me, except for maybe one (Jonathan). I certainly didn’t think Marilyn, Lois, Sean, or Paul would believe me.
Marvelous how the Lord did this, just marvelous, and so unobtrusively, so quietly, so simply, so secretly. Indeed, He does hide His great things from the wise and prudent and reveal them to babes.
And I had a third realization on that July 10th! It was that the Lord would provide all things for me. My age and inabilities wouldn’t matter at all. He communicated this truth in such a way that it excited me. Suddenly, I had a renewed desire to study the Scriptures more and in greater depth. I hadn’t been able to read them studiously for quite some time.