PART TWO – Pentecost to Israel (cont.)
On the final gathering of the weekend, after Don’s prophecy, the tall young fellow who had been sitting by quietly and saying nothing as I tried to receive counsel from the two older men, came and spoke privately to me. He said, “I was there when you spoke to those two men. You didn’t get anywhere with them, did you? They couldn’t help you. I also heard the prophecy from Don Morrison to you yesterday. I’m amazed! The Lord has revealed things to me that I need to tell you.”
He went on: “Morrison prophesied that the Lord was going to turn you upside down. It’s true He’s going to do that – He’s going to break you.”
Then he gave me some verses pertaining personally to me:
“Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back” (Isaiah 38:17 KJV).
“Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art My servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness” (Isaiah 41:9-10 KJV).
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one” (John 10:28-30 KJV).
I also knew that several of the verses in Isaiah, in context with those given, also applied, such as:
“For the grave cannot praise Thee, death cannot celebrate Thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for Thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise Thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known Thy truth” (Isaiah 38:18-19 KJV).
“Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee” (Isaiah 41:11-13 KJV).
The man’s name was Theo. I never saw him again, but there was compassion and understanding from him in my turmoil. I was thankful to receive those words and verses, and was somewhat, though not entirely, settled thereafter. I gave him a big hug, and he received it, though I could feel in his hug that the honor was the Lord’s and not his. He recognized himself as but a conduit.
Archie was present for at least one of the prophecies to me – whether Jim Flynn’s prophecy or Don Morrison’s prophecy of similar things (he was certainly there for Don Morrison’s), and Archie said to me, “Remember, he said you aren’t to tell anyone what the Lord tells you, or you’ll get into trouble.”
I was surprised and replied, “I don’t remember hearing that!”
He insisted that such was spoken. Though I wondered about it, I never really believed him. Satan, I have concluded, was speaking by Archie, trying to still my mouth.
In later years, the Lord was forcing me to speak things I didn’t wish to speak, expecting there would be enmity, controversy, strife, or discomfort of various sorts in social relations. Sure enough, it was so.
Archie was contradicted in three ways, thus proving the source of his words: one, I hadn’t heard what he said was said, nor had anyone else testified hearing anything like it; two, I was never given a second witness to that effect in the years to come; and three, the Lord had often urged, indeed compelled, me to speak truths and revelations I was receiving and which I was often reluctant to deliver.
Furthermore, the Scriptures defy Archie’s counsel to me:
“What I say to you in the dark, say in the light; and what you hear in the ear, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him Who is able to destroy both the soul and the body in hell” (Matthew 10:27-28 EMTV).
John Hutchison was there in Canmore. He was the fellow who led Charismatic meetings in Calgary homes in our early months in the Spirit over a year earlier. He was clinging to Don Morrison, trying to ply something from him. I didn’t hear or see what was going on outwardly, but in the Spirit, it was like John was trying to capitalize on something. I saw Don resisting John.
I also saw John preaching at Grace Gospel Church in Calgary. There he had made an issue of the doctrine of eternal security, arguing in favor of it with others. I recall his being quite insistent about it.
I thought, “This isn’t an issue. Why is he, who presumes to have the Spirit, making it an issue? He seems to be more ‘water’ Baptist than ‘Spirit’ Baptist.”
I also recall an older man in the audience quoting Scripture to refute the doctrine. John seemed stumped. One Scripture I recall is:
“For how can those who abandon their faith be brought back to repent again? They were once in God’s light; they tasted Heaven’s gift and received their share of the Holy Spirit; they knew from experience that God’s Word is good, and they had felt the powers of the coming age. And then they abandoned their faith! It is impossible to bring them back to repent again, because they are again crucifying the Son of God and exposing Him to public shame” (Hebrews 6:4-6 GNB).
As I look back, I realize the Lord was showing me that it wasn’t about doctrine, but about walking with Him and the condition of the heart before Him.
While I was in a washroom at Grace Bible Church in Calgary, an obese man I was vaguely familiar with walked in and spoke a Word from the Lord to me. He said I was not to strive with men, but only to speak the Word I was given and leave it. It wasn’t my responsibility, he said, to convince anyone. I knew he was speaking by the Lord.
The Sunday or Monday morning of that weekend at Canmore, we went to Vic Graham’s church service at Truth Tabernacle. I was still in rough shape. Vic was preaching on doubt and murmuring. Just before the Amalekites attacked Israel, the Israelites had said, “Is God among us or not?”
Vic pointed out that because they expressed doubt, questioning whether God’s presence was with them, they opened themselves up to the enemy’s attacks. The passage:
“And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not? Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim” (Exodus 17:7-8 KJV).
Marilyn alerted me to what Vic was preaching. I hadn’t been paying attention because of my turmoil. After the service, I went to him and asked him about it. When relating it to me, he immediately saw the burden lift from me, deliverance coming by the truth that dawned upon me. He smiled and chuckled. He and I knew I had been ministered to in that truth. Now I could go home in relative peace.
Vic repeatedly stated that the Lord commissioned him to preach, requiring three things of him: “Feed My sheep, don’t charge them, and don’t make them yours.”
I have often pondered those words, wondering if God did indeed speak them to him. They sound good, yet I have questioned them.
While Vic taught on various Biblical and spiritual matters, he primarily preached the restitution of all things. However, it seemed he wasn’t prepared to deal with people in matters of the heart. It seemed to me that it’s necessary for a shepherd to know and direct the sheep on a personal level, in all matters of life.
When the Lord led us to leave the Southern Baptists early in 1975, Marilyn’s mother, Laura, remained with them in John Cunningham’s Cambrian Heights Baptist Church in Calgary. Laura professed faith in Christ, Marilyn presumably having led her to the Lord before we met. Marilyn’s father, John, remained in union with his son, Marilyn’s brother, Les, who also remained with the Southern Baptists. John and Les were also presumably converted to the Christian faith through Marilyn before we met, yet none received what the Lord was doing with us, and all became our enemies.
All the official churches are filled with proselytized people, professing faith and having none.
When Marilyn and I were first married, we received correspondence signed off by both husband and wife, but it was plainly the wife’s, and the husband had nothing to do with it. Mom, for example, would write and sign off, “Mom and Dad,” I knowing full well he had nothing to do with it. I found that to be so with many couples.
I decided to cut with the custom of one married partner speaking for another. I wanted to hear from each person directly, even if they were in agreement. I also determined that I would sign my letters with my name only, unless Marilyn knew what I was writing, specifically agreed with what I was saying, and requested to have her name included.
It was around 1976 that we were visiting Marilyn’s mother and stepfather, Les Klein. He began to open up to me and seemed to want to talk more from the heart. Almost immediately, I saw Laura rush over to Les, and in the Spirit, I saw many tentacles or devils going forth from her to stifle any inquiry or such discussion by him. Clearly, she wanted no part of reality.
He never opened up again. I was too young in the things of God to realize what was going on or know what to do about it. It was quite disappointing.
Having severed ties with many, and they with us, it soon became even more lonely and desolate for us in our country home outside Prince Albert. There was a hog farmer a mile away, Morgan by name, who, for two days or so, recruited me and some young “independent, fundamentalist, separatist” Baptist students from their local Bible school to erect a steel Quonset building. Besides driving to town once a week for groceries, the “barn raising” was the highlight of our social life at the time. Marilyn heard my reports of the activity.
I was curious about these strange Baptists. While the students presented themselves as prim and proper in their dress and grooming code, their spirits were dead, dead, dead; but then so was mine, it seemed. While I tried having talks with them on the job, they weren’t interested. They, though many, were as desolate as I was alone with Marilyn. We never saw them again.
Harold Pease was a turkey farmer who lived nearby, but we had no contact. We shared a party phone line that occasionally rang – only for him, never for us. Yes, we were very alone.
Marilyn and I would take long lonely walks in the pine forest adjacent to our home. We did this daily for about three months, having nothing else to do. Why wasn’t I looking for work? I simply wasn’t given to do so. Marilyn still dislikes going for walks, the memories of that desolate time having impacted her so.
During that time, I had a dream. Marilyn and I were driving south on an eight-lane freeway that looked similar to Henderson Highway in Winnipeg. We were headed against the traffic toward downtown, approaching an overpass, when two policemen pulled us over, not to penalize us, but for our safety.
As we stood by our car, Mickey and Lynn Patrick came driving by. Mickey was driving, and Dave Grier was in the back seat on the driver’s side, with his window open, waving a baseball glove at us. They were all laughing and driving on against the traffic as we had been, but while we were prevented, they were allowed to go on.
Marilyn, the police, and I were standing beside our car; she was in front of it, facing it and me, but looking past me. At the time, I only perceived a distant look on her face. It wasn’t until years later, during a lengthy fast, that I realized it was a look of discontentment and bitterness.
In a second part of the dream, I saw Gary Pilon, the OK Economy produce manager (Mickey and Lynn’s next door neighbor), with a holy, shining, compassionate countenance, saying to me, “Love your wife.” It is something, I’m sad to say, I have miserably failed to do.
In my dream, the traffic police in Heaven were there to help us. I was reminded of an incident when I was driving to Prince Albert. As I pulled onto the Shellbrook highway and headed east from our country road junction, an RCMP cruiser passed me on his way west. In my rearview mirror I saw him make a quick U-turn and follow at a consistent distance behind me. This continued for about a mile before he turned around again.
I had the distinct feeling he was tailing me to see if he could catch me speeding or somehow violating the law. It wasn’t as though I was driving a Corvette Stingray – it was only our Volkswagen. Granted, it was a ’73 canary yellow fastback, but still!
I saw the contrast between how many police officers on earth (not all) conduct themselves, trying to trap or catch someone in an act of lawbreaking, ready to punish, and how the police in Heaven are there to help us and prevent us from doing the wrong thing, in loving care. I like the ones in Heaven better!
Yet justice in both Heaven and earth is in the perfect caring hand of God. He is just and merciful to those who show mercy, and the law is for the lawless.
I have had speeding tickets and I knew it was because I deserved them, getting generally careless in my driving. I know of other situations where I could have gotten a ticket by accidentally speeding or going through an amber light turning red and didn’t, and my conscience was clear – I wasn’t deliberately trying to speed or be rude or take chances, being consistently conscientious. God knows who deserves what.
Gaining weight again, I decided to resume the Weight Watchers program, this time without attending classes, and would remain with it until two and a half years later. I went from 166 to 147 pounds. Part of my regimen since attending college about 10 years earlier was to do the Royal Canadian Air Force 5BX exercise program to keep in decent physical condition.
At the end of our funds, and not knowing what to do, I temporarily took on a sales job with some young people who had a dealership for Filter Queen. It was an unpleasant experience and very short-lived. Their marketing scheme was a selfish, predatory, wasteful one. We soon realized that the end had come for us in Prince Albert. Wondering where we were to go and feeling like it would be Dauphin, we decided to go there during Christmas and test the waters before making a commitment. We stayed with my parents.
My brother David, being single, was still with the parents. We tried to communicate and have fellowship in the Lord with him, but he was reluctant to do so. He didn’t agree with how we were seeing things pertaining to the Lord and His ways. In his opinion, he believed that externals didn’t matter. It was the inside that counted with God, he declared, which was only partially true. Both count. Were we seeing the effect of his not having come to Prince Albert and thus being influenced by worldly and carnal philosophy? I believe so.
We advised him to put away alcohol, smoking, carousing, and other worldly destructive habits and activities. As did others, he thought we were legalistic – trusting in discipline and keeping the Law of God. Though he gave lip service to the Lord, claiming to love Him, David would go out with his friends, curling, drinking, partying, and generally having fun. While he was friendly, he tended to avoid us.
David also had a pretty girlfriend, Diane, and I suspected they were having sexual relations. He had persuaded her to believe that what they did outwardly didn’t matter to God.
David felt we were too religious and aggressive. We advised him that he needed to study the Scriptures, to recognize what the Catholic Church and its doctrines and practices were all about, and to come out of them because deceptive and spiritually stultifying – no matter what our parents felt or had to say about it. We tried to impress upon him the need for Christian company, rather than the company of those who couldn’t care less about Christ. He needed to make a break with the world, we told him, but he didn’t heed us.
While he was thinking we were too aggressive, however, we hadn’t been in touch with him for several months, partly because I had no longer been phoning home. Aside from calling us once to persuade us to talk to the parents, he hadn’t remained in touch with us, either.
After several days in Dauphin, we returned to Prince Albert and made the final decision to move to Dauphin.
On the way out of town, whom should we run into but Gord Campbell and his son, Dean! Gord confessed he had been wrong about his smoking and had finally quit. He gave me a big hug and $50 as a gift for the road. I didn’t have the heart to ask Dean or Gord to pay me what Dean owed, though I expect Gord would have done so. All I needed to do was ask.
Were we to take his repentance as a sign to stay in Prince Albert after all? I don’t believe so. We headed out, towing a small U-haul trailer with all our worldly possessions.
We drove straight to my parents’ place and told them we were moving to Dauphin. Because my mother had tried to renew a relationship with us, I was surprised by their cool reception. However, given that we hadn’t notified them of our return to Dauphin, arriving at their door unannounced, it was perhaps understandable.
Renewing relationships with some distance between us was one thing. Putting us up for who knew how long until we found a place to live, and realizing we would be living in their town, was maybe too close for comfort for them.
We didn’t know it when we first arrived, but there was also the Damocles’ sword of David’s illness hanging over them. That might have explained their coolness, and our self-centeredness led us to believe their attitude was against us. We really need to exercise patience with people, especially when they aren’t treating us very well. Who knows the causes?
Soon we were informed that David was ill again. I felt horrible about it. Why had his cancer returned? Some said that he had never really been healed; his cancer had only gone into remission. Though such a thing was not uncommon, I didn’t believe it to be so in his case.
More importantly, we believed we had heard from the Lord that he was healed. But here he was, ill again. Who can argue with the facts?
David avoided us. It seemed he was trying to keep preoccupied with pleasures and the activities with his friends in the world in order to avoid thinking about his illness and approaching demise. But it was more than that.
David confided to us that the Lord had told him to go to Prince Albert to be with us, and he disobeyed. When he told me this, I wondered if I had been negligent, because we certainly didn’t strongly encourage his coming to Prince Albert, feeling that he wouldn’t be able to endure correction or our loneliness and the state we were in, as with Dave Grier. It seemed we had enough to deal with ourselves, though we would have gladly received him.
I believe I also harbored doubts about David’s healing. What if he took ill while with us? What would we do? There was unbelief on my part, for sure.
My parents had been attending Catholic Charismatic meetings, held in homes or wherever they could find a meeting place. “Sister Millie,” a nun, led these meetings, and the group was composed mostly of women. The only male there was Yaraslow “Yars” Lazowchuk, a Greek Orthodox fellow in his thirties. My father was only there temporarily because of the grief over David. Otherwise, I don’t know that he would have gone.
A prominent participant, Olga Gerard, was a jovial, talkative lady in her late forties. She had many things to say and was often taking the lead with Millie. These people were advising that David was going to die. Family and friends expected the worst. I, on the other hand, preferred to cling to what the Lord had told us over a year before – that he had been healed and would therefore make it. I hadn’t heard differently since.
David decided that he would never accept chemotherapy again, so horrible an experience it was before. He said he would rather die. Now, I ask, what kind of medicine is that? What kind of heinous diabolical remedy is chemotherapy? Those inventing it should be subjected to it, cancer or no cancer. How gruesome a “caregiver,” the medical establishment!
Yet I see the sovereignty of God in all these things. David was urged in goodness and wisdom from God to turn from his worldly ways, and though granted reprieve from terminal illness, he didn’t heed the call.
As David lay sick in bed at home, my mother called the priest, Gregory Oucharyk, who came to give him last rites, or “Extreme Unction,” a Catholic ritual of prayer for those nearing death.
I didn’t know it was prayer for that specific purpose. Millie suggested I be present for it, but when I tried, the priest abruptly shut me out of the bedroom, as though I was a leper. I didn’t resist or protest.
When Jesus prayed for a young maid, He shut all out but the parents and some disciples and raised her to life from the dead (Matthew 9:25; Mark 5:40-41). When Peter prayed for Dorcas (Acts 9:40), he put all the people out of the room and raised her from death. So this may have been a Scriptural guide (more like a pretext) for putting me out.
But what a difference between what Jesus and Peter did with the dead and what Catholic priests do with those still alive! While Jesus and His apostles raised the dead, Catholic priests commit one to death – and they are going to shut me out for that? Unless I can change things, I suppose it’s just as well!
It was only a matter of days from the time we arrived in Dauphin that David was readmitted to Dauphin General Hospital. Despite the indications otherwise, and the odds, I clung to the promise that he was healed and wasn’t about to give up.
We visited David at the hospital, and he was going down fast. In those final hours, he was feverish, restless, incontinent in bladder and bowel, delirious at times, and lucid at others.
The last time I visited him, he was able to tell me of a dream he had: He was walking across a desert, leading a horse by the reins. There were rattlers around him here and there, and he was kicking them out of the way.
It was so hard to witness all this. And David was as cheery as he could be through it all. In retrospect, it seems he was trying to cheer Mom and make it as easy on her as he could. I was so dense, so insensitive, so out of it!
Having been faithfully by his bedside, Mother temporarily stepped away when David died, early in the morning in January 1977. I recall her calling home and Dad answering the phone. I didn’t want to believe the news, but I did. Dad’s reaction was one of resignation to the expected and inevitable. He cried, but he wasn’t in shock.