PART TWO – Pentecost to Israel (cont.)
At Caroline, we met and had fellowship with Ernie and Robin Gouchie from Prince George, British Columbia. They were natives and members of Ernie Chadwick’s church. Robin didn’t participate in many of the meetings. She felt that many of the people thought they knew a lot, talked too much, and listened too little. Robin had a vision for us of a chest full of treasure. While it seemed to sound good, we had no idea what it meant, but one day we would.
There we also met John Taal. He was a tall elderly fellow, who was quite joyous, friendly, energetic, and zealous. His expressed ambition was to serve with Brother Andrew, smuggling Bibles through the Iron Curtain. I believe he had his wish granted, though I’m not sure. I will mention more of him later.
We met Bill Koster there, who was from Taras, British Columbia. As we did many times, we discovered the world to be a small place. You will remember Len and Ruth Koster to be the first to whom we spoke about receiving the Spirit, Len being the outreach minister at Faith Baptist Church. I never did know if Len and Ruth were related to Bill. We didn’t realize the connection between them until a year later when Bill came visiting us.
Charlie Pegelow, Cliff Stalwick’s mentor and spiritual elder (I believe) in the Charismatic movement, was the guest preacher that week at Caroline, accompanied by his wife, Peg (I just realized – Peg Pegelow!). One day, preaching to the packed auditorium, he said, “Do you get up grouchy as a bear in the morning? And you call yourself a Christian? Hah!” I was sorely convicted. I knew I was the man, though Pegelow did not.
Right after the sermon, I rushed over to Bill Koster and Ernie Gouchie, who happened to be nearby. I confessed to them my problem of waking grouchy nearly every morning, told them I was helpless in doing anything about it, and asked them to pray for me. They laid hands on me right there and then, in the middle of all the activity, and prayed. I felt a washing sweep through me from top to bottom, and I knew I had been cleansed and delivered of this uncontrollable burden. The mornings to come would prove my healing.
Immediately, the origin of my problem was revealed to me. As young children, we slept upstairs in our home. Many mornings, my father would shout from the main floor, “Okay, get the hell out of bed! How long are you going to sleep anyway? You’re late for school! It’s eight-thirty already! Get up!” It wasn’t actually that late, but he would employ exaggeration and bluster to scare or shame us into action.
Without realizing it, I was tormented for nearly three decades because of this kind of rude awakening nearly every morning, until that day of healing in August of 1976. I marveled. This event was my first specific inner healing. It was the answer to my earnest prayer in Belgium the year before.
Who says there is no God?
Many more healings would come in the future. We began to recognize a pattern. Upon receiving healing, the origin of the problem would be revealed. I started to realize that when I knew the origin, I knew I was healed.
Psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists think to aid their clients by determining the origin of their problem and then finding a way to solve or come to terms with it. This seems logical; as they say, identifying the problem is half-way to solving it. However, the true origin of a problem is seldom, if ever, clearly recognized and defined; it is guesswork, in spite of how sure therapists think they can be about it.
Furthermore, their approach to a solution is superficial, producing only superficial results. Therapists attempt to condition people to cope with their scar tissue, and though that may be better than nothing, the problem isn’t eliminated. Only a supernatural event can produce a genuine healing.
But truly, how can we presume to heal ourselves? We may as well try to reverse aging or sprout wings and fly. When God heals, He takes away the root cause or the origin, and then there is no longer a need to come to terms with the problem, because there isn’t one. Isn’t that much better?
I appreciated Uncle Fred Molnar and his wife Delores, my mother’s sister, but there was often conflict with them. When I was first converted, Delores was already a believer. Before we received the Spirit, she tried to talk to us about speaking in tongues, a spiritual gift she claimed had strengthened her in times of doubts and trials.
However, soon after we were baptized in the Holy Spirit, she denied having had the gift of tongues. We didn’t understand why she would change, except that perhaps she had her doubts about the gifts, which were controversial, especially speaking in tongues, and she didn’t want to see us stumble as new believers. She was double-minded and indecisive in her spiritual walk.
As we were making our way home from Caroline, Alberta to Prince Albert, we decided to pay the Molnars a visit at their acreage outside Camrose. On the way there, we unintentionally ran over a garter snake that was slithering across the road. Immediately, I received that there was evil at the Molnars and that we would tread on that evil:
“Behold, I give to you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the authority of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19 MKJV).
Arriving there, we were received, but it seemed a bit strained. Fred wasn’t much interested in spiritual matters, while Delores was often intent on making her thoughts and convictions impressed upon him. They both had their personal problems and there was conflict in their marriage.
We were reading very little besides the Bible. When we did read, I would read to Marilyn. There was one book Delores gave us that we particularly liked and red several times – Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It was similar to John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, another allegory, and another favorite for a short time until we grew a bit more in the Spirit.
Although I had a problem with Hannah Hurnard’s portrayal of the Lord to some extent, and of putting words in His mouth, her allegory was a comfort to us in many difficult and lonely times over the span of several years.
Another book we found interesting, which Delores also gave us, was If I Perish, I Perish, by Walter Ian Thomas, a peculiar interpretation of the Book of Esther.
A fourth book that resonated with us was by Richard Adams – Watership Down. It seemed to us to serve as an allegory of our spiritual pilgrimage fraught with dangers and trials, from destruction to peace and safety. We identified with Fiver, the “prophet,” who was regarded as strange or not in his right mind, yet if not for his eccentricity, his rabbit warren might have perished.
In the end, when the rabbit leader, Hazel, was ushered into the next realm, Marilyn and I couldn’t help but cry.
Around this time, I put two pieces of Scripture to music.
The first was Psalm 143:8-10:
Psalms 143:8-10 KJV
(8) Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
(9) Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.
(10) Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
(Click HERE to listen to the song.)
I forget the music for the other one, which was:
Psalms 145:1-3 KJV
(1) <David’s Psalm of praise.> I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless Thy Name for ever and ever.
(2) Every day will I bless Thee; and I will praise Thy Name for ever and ever.
(3) Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.
I was lying on the couch around this time, pondering some of the many mysteries of Genesis. I was asking, “Lord, whom did Cain marry?” I had heard the theories, the prime one being that Adam and Eve had other children, and brothers married sisters, speculating that in the first stages of mankind, incest wasn’t a problem, but necessary to propagate. Abram’s marriage to Sarai, his half-sister, is a Scriptural example given.
I didn’t believe this reasoning, because there were other relevant questions. For example, with Cain having killed his brother, why would Adam and Eve give their daughter to him for a wife? The record seems to indicate that Cain remained in his wayward condition. Also, it says that Cain went out and built a city. A city? For whom? All his brothers and sisters?
As I pondered these things, the words came quietly, “There were others.” No explanation came, but I understood that not all people came from Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were known as children of God, but there were also other humans that were not known as children of God:
“And it happened, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and when daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were good. And they took wives for themselves from all whom they chose” (Genesis 6:1-2 MKJV).
It is said that the creature we know as a serpent or snake today was once able to walk, talk, and reason, and that it was just such a creature that tempted Eve. I don’t believe it. I believe the serpent was a man.
We have lost knowledge and understanding of these things after several millennia. The only reason this creature (“the most subtle of all the beasts that the Lord had made” – Genesis 3:1) had reasoning powers and subtlety was because it was a “he,” a human being, and not an “it.”
After coming to this conclusion, I recalled how Harry Roder said in 1971, at a Concept-Therapy class in Winnipeg, that we have intelligent, reasoning two-legged, upright beasts abundant in society today, commonly known as men and women. He didn’t mean this in a derogatory way. He was simply stating things as he understood them to be. However, he didn’t elaborate.
During the period from 1975 to 1978, Marilyn and I visited Merv and Muriel Mediwake in Lanigan, Saskatchewan and then later in Brooks, Alberta, where they had moved. One of the times we visited, Muriel mentioned she was planning to sell real estate. We said we didn’t believe she should be working when, first, she had children to bring up, and second, she didn’t need to work. We believed that, according to the counsel of Scripture, a woman’s place was in the home with her children:
“To be wise in mind, clean in heart, kind; working in their houses, living under the authority of their husbands; so that no evil may be said of the Word of God” (Titus 2:5 BBE).
Merv didn’t favor her working, either; he expressed so, but wasn’t about to make any firm decision on the matter. Their youngest daughter, Anne Marie, was only a toddler at the time. We would see more of her many years later – as would many others.
Muriel didn’t agree with us; she entered the real estate business, and before long, she excelled in it. We visited again, perhaps a year later, and seemed to perceive that the family was being neglected. Again, Merv expressed that he would prefer Muriel to be at home, but it was obvious it wasn’t his decision or real jurisdiction.
While the earth remains in its present corrupt state, there will be no want of those who seek to sensationalize something for riches, fame, and glory. When news of the “Jupiter Effect” came out in the mid-seventies and was popularized by a book of that name, many in evangelical Christian circles were caught up with a doomsday scenario. The planets were all to line up in one straight line and cause all sorts of unimaginable catastrophes, or maybe just one big lethal, climactic one to end life on the planet. We talked about it and counted down the years to 1984.
The year came and went, and nothing happened, except that I gave occasion for yet more disrespect from a former friend, Gerry McClintock, who never forgot it, scorning me years later for sensationalism, as though my repeating this theory was a false prophecy on my part. I learned my lesson, which was not to trust men or their speculations, no matter how allegedly grounded in science or factually sound, not that the event meant nearly as much to me as Gerry seems to have thought.
One day, a fellow came visiting us at our country home. As we sat outside, the wind became very strong and uncomfortable. Simply knowing that we, as believers, were supposed to have the power and authority of Jesus, I decided to rebuke the wind and still it. I tried. The wind continued and the fellow with me was embarrassed by my action.
I am thankful my prayer wasn’t answered or my “command” not obeyed. What terrors novices can grow to be! What was the purpose of that prayer? Was there a need? Was it to test or prove our faith? That’s not a good enough reason for God. Contrary to the opinion of some, we can’t do as we please. Thank God He saves and keeps us from ourselves!
When we got back to Prince Albert from the Camp Caroline retreat, Mickey and Lynn served us notice that they were returning to Saskatoon. They were enthusiastically going back to Bill Kellers and Dave Roberts, with whom they had been acquainted since near the beginning of their spiritual journey. I could see the satisfaction on their faces, as though they expected we would be distressed by the news, knowing that we hoped to see a work and a gathering begun in Prince Albert.
Why would they be happy to see us disturbed? I’m not sure, except that they despised the thought that I should think they would consider me their spiritual leader. They always felt they were the first to hear from the Lord, and had the love and understanding we didn’t have.
We were prepared for this day, though it wasn’t a happy one for us. We didn’t try to talk them out of their decision. Instead, as they were eagerly looking for our display of dismay, I told them the Lord had, from the beginning of our acquaintance, spoken to us, telling us they wouldn’t be with us for very long. Their countenances immediately changed. The wind was taken out of their sails.
Now what would happen with Dave, who was working in Prince Albert and living with us? Would he leave us and go with them, or would he remain with us? In the days to come, we didn’t know what to do with him. It seemed that the walk of discipline to which we were called, known as “legalism” by many in Charismatic circles, wasn’t at all something he could endure. One day, while praying with him and Marilyn at the table, I had prophecy come forth, with words to this effect:
“I will deliver you over to the destroyer for the destruction of the flesh, and then you will know that I am the Lord.”
There were several other words I don’t remember, but several times, it was repeated and emphasized that Dave would be delivered to the destroyer for the destruction of the flesh, and then he would know that the Lord was Lord.
The prophecy reminded me of Ezekiel’s oft-repeated words, “And you will know that I am the Lord.” What would that look like? We all wondered if there wouldn’t be a literal, physical destruction, but that’s not what those words were all about, as we would learn.
When the prophecy was done, Dave asked, “What do I do now?” I didn’t know what to say. He ended up going to Saskatoon to visit Mickey and Lynn, who took him to Bill and Dave at the Mount Zion Christian Center. When he returned to pick up some belongings he had left behind, he was all excited and tried to tell us how subdued, sober (as in morose), and legalistic we were, and how joyful and fun things were at Mount Zion with Kellers and Roberts.
A month or so later, Dave returned with a companion to pick up the rest of his belongings, and then they were gone. Remarkably, knowing we had no funds, Dave left money enough to pay for the rent to the end of the lease, two or three months’ worth. We parted as friends, yet divided.
Though we believed things probably had to be that way, it was a sad and trying day for us. Were we right, or were we in delusion? Now we were completely alone with nobody, absolutely nobody.
In this summer of 1976, I received a surprise call from Bob Vail of Homes Canada. He was in town to shut down the Prince Albert lot, asking for help to clean up. This was now three years after Dennis Skuter came to town and set up a competing lot, vowing to run Homes Canada out. It appears he succeeded, although Homes Canada had shut down many lots in various parts of the country previously, where Skuter was not an influence.
But I was reminded of how Bob Vail and Terry Johnston had expelled me in 1973 by surprise and deception, fearing I might do to them what Dennis Skuter had done to them years before. Now they were having to shut down, at least in part because of the man who once deceived them, and who was now prevailing over them again.
The judgment of God comes by wicked hands, which are used to deal with wickedness.
Twice in my life the Lord enlightened me on Job, once by revelation without the experience, and the second time by a taste of what Job suffered, taking me back to my mother’s womb, my earthly origins. As Job, I have learned that it is not our righteousness.
On October 31, 1976, the Lord gave me another song – “Job.”
(Click HERE to listen to “Job,” or to read the lyrics.)
There were times of testing for us when we would be required to lay aside the Bible. We asked ourselves at times, “Are we right? Is this God’s will? Or are we making an excuse, because the Bible has become dry and dead to us? Is there sin in our lives, of which we aren’t aware?”
We had heard from others of the need to stop “grazing” and be content with “chewing the cud” – letting the knowledge we had gained sink into our being and become a part of our lives, before gathering more.
I began to perceive that the Bible had become a talisman, a magic wand for many, and even a god. The Lord was showing us that we needed to place our trust in the One of Whom the Bible testified, not in the Bible itself, which is a subtle god to so many. The one walking around with a large Bible under his arm is invariably an idolater. Ironic, is it not? As Jesus said:
“You examine the Scriptures carefully because you suppose that in them you have eternal life. Yet they testify about Me. But you are not willing to come to Me to have life” (John 5:39-40 ISV).
Soon after Patricks left us, it was reported that lightning struck a large old tree only a few feet away from their house, splitting it in two. We have seen such omens on various occasions, and this one would not come up empty.
Archie and I decided to attend a Christian men’s retreat in Canmore, Alberta, on Friday and Saturday, November 12 and 13th, 1976. A prophet, Don Morrison from Texas, and an apostle, Bob Turrell from the U.S., were to be the ministers for that weekend.
While I wasn’t absolutely sure, I was sure enough that Bob Turrell wasn’t an apostle except a false one. He conducted himself in ostentatious friendliness. His preaching promoted him and his “calling.” I wasn’t at all comfortable with the man, and I wondered why everyone else was falling for him. Having some confidence that Don Morrison was a prophet, I wondered why he was with Turrell or how he could be deceived by him, but he was.
Marilyn and I were very alone, and we searched for people with whom to have spiritual fellowship. I was struggling and looking for answers, for spiritual direction. There was no fellowship or direction to be had in any of the organized churches.
The first night we were at the retreat, I tried talking to a couple of elderly men in their sixties or seventies, thinking to seek the “hoary head” for wisdom and understanding. While I tried explaining my problems, I was getting nowhere with them, except getting quite frustrated. They didn’t understand and could only give religious, legalistic empty pat answers.
A tall young fellow, somewhat curiously dressed, was sitting nearby, listening. He said nothing, and I barely noticed he was there.
The next day, Nov. 13th, in a meeting, Don Morrison prophesied to many individually, laying hands on some and hugging some, speaking rather kindly or respectfully to them. Then he brusquely called me to the front, as though he was going to let me have it. Before I came near him, as others had, he stopped me in my tracks, abruptly addressing me in a harsh manner.
While the prophecy was considerably longer, I do recall these portions of it:
“Stop trying to figure things out. Don’t try to understand Me. Trying and failing to understand Me, you’ll be tempted to throw in the towel. I am going to turn you upside down. Look back and see that as I have led you in the past, so I am leading you now. Within you is the desire for the perfect will of God. You will be shown things other men have not heard. And when your foot steps on foreign soil, you will know that I have brought you there.”
With all my unbelief and doubts during that time, I wouldn’t argue that I had no rebuke coming to me from the Lord, but the words didn’t match Don’s spirit toward me. As a result, I was still in turmoil, though I received some comfort from the prophecy.
Morrison’s spirit seemed personally contemptuous of me, not in agreement with God’s Spirit, though I truly believed he was prophesying from God. Perhaps Don could be compared to Balaam, who wanted a curse on Israel to come forth from his mouth, but was forced to bless Israel, instead. When I tried to talk to Don later, he dismissed me.
I have only one explanation for his animosity towards me. He prophesied by a spirit of divination, but for me, the Lord intervened and put words in his mouth Don wasn’t pleased to speak. This would also explain why he partnered with Bob Turrell, an obvious charlatan. We would hear and see more of both Bob and Don – small world.
Don Morrison had words for Archie as well, laying hands on him and praying for him with compassion, prophesying that he harbored deep unforgiveness. He also mentioned something of Archie having a pastor’s calling.
We would come to realize the terrible, spiritually debilitating depth and power of Archie’s unforgiveness (particularly toward me), which others would also recognize, though he would deny it. Don’s empathy with Archie also helps validate my explanation of his antagonistic spirit toward me, more than you know, but you will know more.
One of the men attending the retreat heard Don’s prophecy speaking of my stepping on foreign soil. Leonard Barrows approached me and said, “I believe that prophecy was telling you to come to Sunburst. You need to be under a five-fold ministry. We have it.” He was quite forward about it. (Sunburst is just across the Alberta border in Montana.) “If you don’t obey the Lord and come, you’ll perish,” he said (words to that effect). I knew the words of Don’s prophecy didn’t mean what Leonard said they meant. I would hear more of this fellow in future – small world again.