PART TWO – Pentecost to Israel (cont.)
The term “crusade” is abominable to God. The murder, rape, and plundering of Europe and the Middle East at the direction of the popes of Rome – in the Name of God and redeeming the “Holy Land” – was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of atrocities in the history of mankind, particularly because it was in the Name of Christ. Muslims, Jews, and even nominal Christians were slaughtered, their wives and children raped and killed, their lands plundered, and their possessions confiscated by an army of ruthless, drunken butchers who were promised eternal spiritual immunity as “soldiers of the Cross.” These were called the Crusades. The Roman Church promised these murderers both earthly and heavenly rewards for their diabolical services.
Billy Graham has continued the tradition of the Crusades as a faithful servant, not of Jesus Christ, but of Rome, of Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots, who is drunk with the blood of prophets and saints (those exercising the gifts of the Spirit), whose blood has been shed from the beginning of the world.
Billy Graham, in the most attractive and “pious” of ways, is a butcher of millions of souls. He is a star descendant of Nimrod, the mighty hunter of souls before God. He has killed millions in the Name of Christ.
People think to be closer to Christ because of Graham’s preaching, but they have been deceived, lulled into false assurance. He leads them into thinking or believing they have eternal life by a simple “decision for Christ,” which is a lie.
Few have known greater spiritual power of darkness posing as light. Billy Graham is an incarnation of the angel of light, “whose ministers transform themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:15). We should not marvel at this, the apostle Paul says.
I must say this on Graham’s behalf. I don’t believe he has deliberately deceived. I believe him to be sincere, but know him to be ignorant of God and sincerely wrong. Yet I will qualify this benefit of doubt that I grant him. No man is innocent who speaks against the Spirit of God, especially when using the Name of the Lord while doing so.
That same year, or one later, we were checking out at a grocery store, and I noticed a People magazine with Billy’s face filling the front cover. (“That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination with God,” said Jesus.) Opening it, there was an interview with Billy Graham and his wife, Ruth. The interviewer asked him how he heard God speak to him about becoming a minister. He said that the Lord spoke to him through Ruth.
Surprised, his wife turned to him and said, “I thought God spoke to you!”
“But I thought He spoke through you,” he repeated.
I could have the details somewhat inaccurate here, but the gist of it was clear – he didn’t know or recall the Lord commissioning him personally and directly, and though he thought it was through his wife, she denied knowing anything.
Can one imagine Moses saying, “God spoke to me through Zipporah,” and Zipporah saying, “But I thought God spoke to you directly!”?
One could have a continuous hearty laugh at this, if it wasn’t such a serious and even pitiful situation. When God calls a man, the man knows it! If God calls a man, and not his wife, He speaks to him, and not to his wife. Men are called to forsake their wives for Him, not to follow them or depend upon them as satellite dishes, bringing in the news from space.
The religious confusion in this world is amazing, but those who have minds capable of perceiving these things will not be deceived.
After 9/11, all Billy Graham could do was denounce the wickedness of those who destroyed the Twin Towers. What about calling America to repentance before God, informing them that such was the judgment of God, and warning them that there was more where that came from if they didn’t repent? Such words wouldn’t do for his popularity among men, particularly fellow Americans. No, Billy Graham is a false prophet, sincere or otherwise. He is a phony, through and through.
In a newspaper article we have before us today, as I write this portion, Billy Graham is asked about gay marriage. He refuses to comment because it’s controversial.
Can you imagine the apostle Paul refusing to comment? What did Paul have to say about it to the Romans in the first chapter? What did Moses have to say about it in Exodus and Leviticus? What did God do with Sodom and Gomorrah?
Do you think homosexuals are happy that Billy says nothing? You can be sure they are! What does that tell you about Billy’s “leaven”? Billy Graham refuses to comment, sanctimoniously, while claiming he is a servant of Christ, and being “Christ-like” by not getting into anything controversial.
Controversial! Do you think Paul and the other apostles would all have been persecuted and martyred if they had taken Graham’s pains to avoid controversy? Graham has never known the Lord Jesus Christ. He adds sin to sin by preserving his image and reputation in the world, saving his proud and selfish skin, all in the Lord’s Name, yet denying Him at every turn, trial, and temptation.
Graham also testified that his eyes were glued to the televised funeral of Pope John Paul II. Of the pope, he said, “He taught us how to live, how to suffer, and how to die.”
“How to live”? The pope is the pompous incarnation of all that is evil and abominable in God’s sight! This last pope (John Paul II) was the greatest champion of prayer to, and faith in, Mary, the “Mother of God,” that the Catholic Church has had in recent times! Is that how we are to live? The Bible clearly teaches otherwise.
Jesus comes poor; the pope comes rich. Jesus rides on a donkey, delivers Himself into the hands of His murderers, and lays His life down for us; the pope rides in a bulletproof “Popemobile,” surrounded by high security. Millions of Catholics live in abject poverty, while the RCC remains the wealthiest private organization in the world, the pope having every luxury he can think of! And he taught us “how to live, how to suffer and how to die”?!
The Catholic Church is reported to have aided and abetted the massacre of Rwanda. It kills evangelical people in South America, Asia, and elsewhere every day. It runs a world banking system, which is utterly criminally corrupt (Read In God’s Name by David Yallop). And it sexually abuses its own congregants by its priests and bishops – the pope hides frocked perverts from justice, transfers them to other dioceses, or promotes them to higher positions.
Who are those offenders that they should be permitted to escape justice? How corrupt is this world! Let the ordinary man on the street try to get away with a transfer of occupation or use of a church for sanctuary to escape crime! Furthermore, we are finding these cases are by no means few or isolated. If we who are left out of the loop are aware of so many offenders, just how many are there?
The Catholic Church presumes to be the one true apostolic Church. Doesn’t Jesus deserve better than a vicious slut for a bride? Is not the Catholic Church light years away from the glorious Church, without spot or wrinkle? If the Catholic Church is the Bride of Christ, then pigs fly and there is no sun or ever any hope of one.
The pope claims to be the sole vicar and representative of Jesus Christ, with full temporal and spiritual authority over all the earth, and Billy Graham says, “He taught us how to live”?! He has taught others how to suffer… I can believe that; and how to die… I can believe that; but how to live? Shame and blasphemy!
The pope is anti-Christ, as are all those who bear favorable witness to him, Billy Graham above all, because he is so popular and professes Jesus’ Name. Billy, you don’t know the difference between life and death, good and evil, God and Satan.
Mr. Billy Graham, you are the false minister of false ministers of Jesus Christ, even beyond the pope, for he is not as insidious as you. He doesn’t carry a Bible around, and he doesn’t proclaim the Name of Jesus Christ as the way to salvation. You do, which makes you so much worse:
“For many will come in My Name, saying, I am Christ [that Jesus is Christ], and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5 MKJV).
One man alone has deceived many. That man is Billy Graham, preaching another Jesus and another gospel.
Billy Graham did not, and does not, know the Lord. Being deceived himself, he has deceived many. There are fewer men who have done more evil against true Christianity and the Gospel than he. None come to my mind, not even the popes of Rome, who don’t preach from the Scriptures or profess to be born again; Billy, doing so, becomes all the more deceptive.
Continuing with Ipswich:
On the Ipswich team was a disturbed young woman who took offense to our speaking of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts. We were quite vexed by her spirit. It seemed she had a devil. Though we weren’t free to pray for her or rebuke the devil, we tried to reason with her. She lodged a complaint against us, charging that we were causing division.
Instead of the leadership searching out what we were talking about, if perchance it might be good (which it surely was), we were warned by OM supervisors to refrain from controversy of any kind. The Spirit of Truth, however, can be, and invariably is, very controversial.
Because of the woman’s complaint, George Verwer called me to his office and asked me if I was “having problems with the Spirit.” I said, “No, not at all!” He didn’t push it, but assigned us more directly under senior supervision, to monitor our lives while with them.
I wanted to talk to George about the things of the Spirit, but didn’t sense any openness on his part or direction from the Lord to do so. George was intent on avoiding any discussion of the “Pentecostal” experience, which he despised with a passion. Is that the fruit of a true believer? How can one in Christ be against the Spirit of Christ? This is the fruit of Billy Graham, whom George honors.
At one point they threatened to ship us out if we didn’t cease our speaking of the Spirit of God and the gifts, but God kept us there, and eventually we were able to witness to several people. Some we led to receive the Spirit, and some we served to strengthen in their walk in the Spirit.
Les Wheeldon was on our Ipswich team. He was single, in his early twenties, an Oxford or Cambridge student, quite intelligent, articulate, and enthusiastic. He said he had received the Spirit about the same time we did. We had lengthy discussions and shared many things together of the Scriptures. We much enjoyed our talks together. He was also with us in the spiritual conflict with the woman I mentioned above, who opposed and reported us.
Les had his problems, as we all do. He, as I, was trying hard to logically understand the things of God. One day, as we were in prayer, I had a prophecy, which spoke of oil and water not mixing. At first, I thought it spoke of how there could be no agreement between those of our team who had the Spirit and those, as the troubled woman, who were in the flesh. However, it appeared I was wrong. Les immediately spoke up, convicted that the words were meant for him. I believed him.
We kept in touch with Les by mail after parting, but I found myself having to compete with him, as though we were both subtly maneuvering for top position, for the preeminence between each other.
Marilyn and I soon realized that Les came to think of the apostle Paul’s Gospel as his own, as if he had every right to refer to it as his Gospel, as did Paul. And like me, he seemed to hope to be recognized as a spiritual superior by all in short order; however, there seemed to be no room for debate on that matter in his case, unlike mine.
I finally had to tell Les how I felt – that he was proud and presumptuous, not well in the faith, and that he was not what he thought he was.
At that, he ceased communicating. I then had a vision of him. He was in England, wearing a long-sleeved dull-colored sweater and loading the trunk of a car with luggage. Having received and red the letter from me, he took it, tore it up, cast it away, and spit on the ground in contempt for what I had to say. He was very offended and bitter.
My interpretation was that he was throwing away any vestiges of faith in God, throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It seemed he went back to the world or hardened himself in his chosen course. Years later, we would learn what was happening with Les, and the significance of the car and luggage.
During our time in England, due to talking about the Holy Spirit and the gifts, we had quite disturbed the OM leadership, particularly Peter Maiden, the leader for England. He preached a sermon before a large audience against our influence, visibly quite fearful about it. I recall shaking his hand when we first met (by that time he had heard of us), and he was fearful, even shaking. Why didn’t he try to talk to me personally? Because, again, he was afraid. Paul wrote to Timothy:
“For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, His Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7 GNB).
How is it that he, presuming to be a Christian leader of many, was afraid of me, a nobody? And if I was an instrument of the Devil, as the leadership seemed to perceive me, and his faith was real, why should he be afraid of me because of a difference in doctrine? Why wouldn’t he at least be willing to hear me out, or try to set me straight, or both? I marveled that these people could profess Biblical faith in Christ, yet be so insecure.
“The wicked flee when no man pursues; but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1 MKJV).
We also disturbed the minister of Zoar Baptist Church, an elderly man who had a dead church with but a few pews occupied with elderly people. He also preached a sermon against me and the doctrine of the baptism in the Spirit. He also didn’t come to me directly. At the time, I suspected he was preaching against me, but I wasn’t sure. I didn’t realize it until after the sermon, when a young fellow, Ian, enlightened me on what the sermon was about; he was quite contemptuous about the preacher’s stance and tactics.
While the dead minister was tending dead sheep, Ian, with the help of another Ian, was leading a youth group in the basement of the church. Several young people had received the Spirit and were rejoicing wonderfully in the Lord, with gifts manifest. One young teenager I recall in particular was Keith Mumford. Keith was excited and overflowing with the Spirit of God, ready to pray openly, loudly, yet humbly and excitedly. He and his sister were both joyful and thankful.
Keith’s parents seemed to have no idea what was going on with their children. One Sunday, they invited us for lunch after church services (Mr. Mumford was an elder or treasurer at Zoar Baptist), and while at the meal, to my astonishment he was literally, though apparently unwittingly, reminding me of the words mentioned in Proverbs 23.
“Can I tempt you with some of these, or these, or some of these? Go ahead!” he would playfully say to me. He seemed to be up to something.
Having had a problem with food consumption, I suspected Satan was tempting me. If I recall correctly, I didn’t refrain completely, but neither did I take all that he offered.
It was tempting to me, though, not only because it was food, but because it was English sweets and therefore different to me (I was always interested in trying new things). I recall I was mindful of the words of counsel in such a situation:
“When you sit down to eat with a ruler, look carefully at what is before you; and put a knife to your throat, if you are a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceitful food” (Proverbs 23:1-3 MKJV).
“Do not eat the bread of him who has an evil eye, nor desire his dainty foods; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he; Eat and drink, he says to you, but his heart is not with you” (Proverbs 23:6-7 MKJV).
I don’t believe Mr. Mumford was consciously trying to do me evil, but I do believe Satan was using him. Is it not interesting how seemingly insignificant events can be quite otherwise? Wait till you see later how significant they can be!
There are simple explanations for some illnesses. Once when Marilyn and I caught colds, we prayed and asked why. It was our understanding at the time that we shouldn’t be ill, but if we were, there was always a cause for it, and it was up to us to identify that cause and deal with it. The Lord answered simply, “Not enough water.” We increased our water intake and the colds soon disappeared.
We had a remarkable experience in Ipswich when we went to visit beautiful Christchurch Park. OM leadership solemnly informed us that the policy of the park was that there was to be no public religious preaching or witnessing permitted. (I believe they had signs in the park to that effect.) We were also firmly warned not to break those rules. Those offending would be expelled.
I was amazed that someone like George Verwer, known as a Christian literalist and radical, would countenance such a restriction. He was widely reputed to walk the talk, wearing ragged clothes and shoes with holes in them to make a statement on Christian commitment, and apparently proud of it.
It wasn’t enough that there should exist such rules or policies as forbidding the preaching of the Gospel in a park named after Christ, the One Who preached repentance of sin anywhere and everywhere He went, provoking the authorities of His day to kill Him and His disciples. There was also an aging dramatic monument erected in Christchurch that spoke volumes. It was in honor and memory of nine Christians martyred centuries ago in that very place, burned alive at the stake for their testimony of Jesus Christ! Irony of ironies!
Christchurch Park divided the sheep from the goats for me that day. It is one of many places and ways where the likes of George Verwer and Billy Graham are exposed.
That day I was filled with anger, and a transaction silently occurred in my heart that I wouldn’t permit any authorities to forbid my proclaiming, anywhere at any time, the Name of the One Who laid His life down for us – by His grace alone, I know. I was thoroughly disgusted with OM for its compromise and hypocrisy. However, I wasn’t moved to say much that day, though I was itching to do so.
Should one conclude by my silence that I was honoring the authorities in their rules? Possibly, but I don’t believe so. As I see it, the Lord simply didn’t give me anything to say. I believe that it wasn’t my time. However, I did bring the irony to the attention of many who were apparently oblivious to it, and expressly declared my disagreement with anyone’s acquiescing to such blatant denial of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“These are sunken rocks in your love feasts, feasting together with you; feeding themselves without fear; waterless clouds being carried about by winds; fruitless autumn trees, having died twice, having been plucked up by the roots; wild waves of the sea foaming up their shames; wandering stars for whom blackness of darkness has been kept forever” (Jude 1:12-13 MKJV).
Marilyn and I developed colds that lasted a month rather than days, with hoarse throats that simply wouldn’t go away. We did all we knew to do, physically, to no avail. Finally, in prayer for healing, the Lord revealed that we had critical attitudes towards the OM leadership; they weren’t without fault, but we weren’t right. We confessed our sin and very soon our colds were gone. The revelation and confession happened at Christchurch Park.
We met a young couple on OM, whose names I don’t recall. The wife was a miserable creature, not interested in the things of the Spirit of God (indeed, she was opposed). The man was burdened and grieved in spirit, and searching for peace. I shared with him about the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
One day, having gotten down on our knees in a garden, in Brussels I believe, we prayed through the steps of Acts 2:38-39, as R. A. Torrey had outlined in his booklet, “The Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” The fellow confessed sins he had been burying for some time.
When finally cleansed and filled with the Spirit, he looked up, looked around, and quietly exclaimed, “Everything is alive! It’s all so full of life, bright, and wonderful! Praise the Lord! This is wonderful! I’m alive! It feels so good!” I saw with special intensity what he was seeing, too. We rejoiced in the Lord together. What a blessed experience and reaction from him!
When we returned from Europe, we had not a penny, because we had given all to OM. The fellow I just mentioned met us at the hosting church for a few minutes just before we left and asked us if we were financially okay. While I was committed to never inform anyone of our needs if they didn’t ask or know, I would give them an honest answer if they asked. I told him we had nothing.
Ducking down behind a car to be out of sight of his wife who was waiting for him, he eagerly gave us some money. We were glad he was so willing to do so, though not happy that he felt compelled to hide it from his wife. But we were also thankful at how the Lord faithfully provided. (I wish I could know where he is now and how he is doing. It seemed his wife would be quite opposed to him and his new life in Christ.)
On this OM trip, the Lord exposed us to many churches and denominations. This gave us a general representation of Christendom and churchianity on two Western continents, bringing home to us the message that, basically, in spirit and substance, the churches were all the same, no matter how much pride they took in their doctrinal and external differences. In both America and Europe, except for a few individuals here and there, the churches were dead.
We found Europe to be spiritually “hard” everywhere we went… Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, and Austria. It could be surmised that the one who said, “God is dead,” might have received his inspiration in Europe. While there were several church buildings and cathedrals, darkness and death permeated the atmosphere.
After what Europe did to the Jewish people, can there be any wonder that God’s wrath is heavy upon it? Today, it is plagued with the enemies of the Jews and of the Judeo-Christian culture. Six million peaceful Jews are replaced with forty-five million contrary Muslims determined to take over all of Europe and the world. Did the Jews riot in the streets, burn cars, fight the police, trash churches and mosques, blow up buildings, railways and stations, insist on their own way and seek to impose it upon others? What a trade you made, Europe! What a bed of nails you have made to sleep on!
Page 13 PART FIVE – Moon River to Harvest Haven (cont.) Particle – Husbands Set Apart for Children I recall how Howard Benson remarked that when their first child was born, Howard felt neglected, if not abandoned, by Lois. Consequently, he said, he went and found other ways to occupy and fulfill himself, apart from his wife. I recall Jim Puls confessing in the 70's he was miserably depressed. I believe it was at a time when he and Ilene just had their first child. After many years, I realized the depression I had been feeling since Jonathan was born was due to a major portion of Marilyn's attention transferred from me to the one who needed and deserved it so much more. I didn't realize what was happening at the time. Had someone explained it to me and I understood, I think I would have found it significantly easier to cope with. But then, perhaps the poems I wrote a month after his birth might not have been written and wouldn't be serving others. (I don't believe they only expressed my feelings about what was happening in that situation, but how our lives were in our spiritual pilgrimage.) Particle – Consummate Inventor of the Wheel I often wonder why I've had to learn many things the hard way, re-inventing the wheel again and again. Where were the parents and grandparents, the teachers and counselors who could have helped me so much? There were none. Why didn't God provide them? Particle – Jonathan Falls Jonathan was just over a year old when he climbe...
Page 11 PART NINE - Signs of New Times (cont.) Particle - A Strange ReactionA regular and pleased customer, Kathy Kvile, came to our farm. She was extremely curious about what we were all about, religiously and spiritually. She asked many questions, differing with us on many matters, such as creation, evolution, and homosexuality. She disagreed about not belonging to a formal church and about hearing the voice of God on many matters. The Bensons were present; we talked until 11:30 at night. We were patient and friendly with her, though frank and unapologetic. Kathy turned from incredulous to scornful. We never heard from Kathy again. However, I did write her parents, Harvey and Janet, who were churchgoers, her mother professing faith. I described the incident to them, but never heard from them, either. Particle - Paul at It Again Sara arrived in Helena late in the afternoon of the 30th of July. On August 9th, Paul sent me a bomb by email. He had said nothing to me at the Hartman wedding twelve days earlier, but Paul was planning or hoping to marry Sara (unbeknownst to her) even before we saw him at Kerri's wedding on the 29th. Here is that email: Good Day Victor! I don't know of a gentle way to introduce what I want to tell you in this letter. So I will only begin by saying this is a heavy duty thing I want to tell you about. It is time. I have loved Sara for some time. It started, I think, after the first time I spoke with her on the phone. It was...
Introduction Table of Contents PDF Version PART SIX – Harvest Haven to Surprise Visitors The Third Dimension (cont'd) (More of) The Feast of PENTECOST Particle – The Farm I Once Wanted When Lois Benson and Cathie Hafichuk went to a U-pick farm just outside of Lethbridge for farm-fresh strawberries, they told the owner that we were in the market for an acreage and asked if they knew of any for sale. The owner said that just the previous night, they'd decided to sell their 80-acre market farm that they'd owned for about 13 years (having purchased it from the Fortunes). Marilyn and I went out to see it. It happened to be one we had visited years earlier, in 1988 or so, when shopping for lamb. At that time, seeing the many huge cottonwoods and house style, the thought had entered my mind, “I wouldn't mind owning this place.” It was a simple, fleeting thought; I don't recall ever thinking that way of any other property. The place wasn't for sale then, and if it had been, we would have had no financial means whatsoever of buying it, nor did we have any interest in operating a market farm (not that it needed to continue as one). Particle – We Bought the Farm It happened to be July 10th when we revisited the farm and spoke to the owners, Bill and Vera Mokoski. That night we decided we would buy, but first to sleep on it. The next day, July 11th, we struggled and debated, discussed it with Archie, and finally gave Mokoskis their asking price. T...