PART FOUR– Bernalillo to Moon River (cont.)
They pulled up in an older rust-eaten station wagon, pulling a cheap homemade trailer. Coming up the walk to the house, I saw a defeated, weary, sickly, impoverished family – Archie, Cathie, and their six children – Elizabeth, Christopher, Nathan, Erin, Benjamin, and in Cathie’s arms, Daniel, about six months old. The children all had colds. What I beheld was spiritual, though, every bit as much as physical.
Archie told me they had lived in a dump of a house in Toronto. They had been six or more months behind in their rent at times. Archie was working as a handyman for as little as seven dollars an hour and, even then, his clients weren’t paying him.
They had nothing to show for their nearly six years in Toronto, ever since they left Winnipeg, rejecting all the good the Lord was offering them, except three more children, which they had a difficult time supporting. Cathie, being pressured by hospital staff at Danny’s birth, had her tubes tied against her desire, something she deeply regretted.
Archie said he had been fasting and received that he needed to come to Lethbridge and submit to me as his spiritual elder. I warned him that we wouldn’t tolerate the kinds of things we experienced with them in the past, and this time, they would pay their own way in everything. I told him it would be hard. I reiterated that point more than once. He accepted the conditions. We permitted them to stay with us until they found a home and got work.
Archie had the bizarre idea he was going to minister in the U.S. with me. His ambition was always one of having some kind of ministry. I recalled how we had learned that it was a devil driving him in that thinking and desire. I quashed his speculations and told him he was going to have to get entirely cleaned up and turned around himself, before he could ever presume to do the same with others.
Thereafter, I found myself hard and harsh with them, particularly Archie, reminding him of his past evil deeds and attitudes. I found myself pointing out their lawlessness and that of their children, of their lack of hygiene (the house was soon stinking of dirty diapers, for example, not because there were dirty diapers, but because of the carelessness in sanitation). It was already hard.
The next day, we called Lois and invited her to come, which she did. That evening, after supper, we were all sitting in the living room talking, and I was sharing something from the Scriptures (Psalms, I believe). Suddenly, Archie spoke up for no apparent reason, in a strange voice, saying, “You’re not going to tell me what to do!” I looked up at him and saw his face contorting, as though it were soft rubber and some unseen hands were twisting it.
Immediately it was evident to me it wasn’t Archie speaking, but other entities through him. He shouted in terror, “They’re coming for me! Don’t let them take me! Don’t let them take me!”
Without delay or debate, I headed over to him. “Who’s coming for you?” I asked. He couldn’t answer. I said, “They won’t take you. I won’t let them. They’re finished.”
Then began several hours of rebuking unclean spirits and commanding them to come out of him.
It was a frightful, trying, exciting, and victorious night for us all. The most horrible of spirits came out of Archie, one by one. As they were commanded in the Name of Jesus Christ to name themselves, they were commanded to leave, and they left, some without a great deal of battle, some with stubbornness, some trying to deceive us into thinking they had left when they hadn’t. How did we know? We could only tell when the Lord gave us the witness, the peace, and the evidence in our spirits that the devils in question were gone.
A couple of notable religious spirits cast out of Archie:
There was the spirit “Babylon.” This one even praised the Lord!
There was a spirit of divination that could predict things or reveal spiritual secrets. In past years, Archie had gloried in this spirit, which made him able to walk as a prophet. It was a false prophetic spirit, perhaps like the spirit of divination the young woman had in Acts 16, who followed Paul and Silas for a time until Paul commanded it to come out of her.
While we were casting out devils from Archie by the Lord’s direction and power, Cathie went into a state of trance. She was hysterical, crying out in great pity for a baby she saw that was screaming and desperate, being plunged upside down into a river of water. “Poor baby! Poor baby!” she repeatedly wailed.
I suddenly remembered how many years ago Mom told us they had left Archie with Dad’s brother, Alex, and his wife, Kay, when Mom went to the hospital to have a baby – Barbara. Archie was about a year old at the time. She said Archie had been strangely different after being left with them. Alex and Kay had a river running right by their farmhouse.
While Cathie was crying out, the spirit to come out of Archie identified itself as “Death.” It was bone-chilling just to hear it declare its name.
Did I believe Cathie or what was coming forth from her? At the time, she was so emotional and beside herself, I didn’t know what to believe. Was it a devil in her? I wondered, but I also knew that what she was seeing by vision, or revelation, matched something I had known for decades, of which Cathie was never aware. Did Aunt Kay grow angry with Archie and try to stifle his cries by immersing him in the river? Did she have a problem of some kind and, thereby, mistreat Archie?
Or was she seeking revenge against Mom, deliberately traumatizing Archie, as Mom had once harmed her husband, Alex? Uncle Bill Atamanchuk once told me Mom had taken up a garter snake and gleefully chased Uncle Alex around the barn. I was told Alex was screaming in fear. He was traumatized and never quite the same again. Uncle laughed heartily about that event as he related it to me. I marveled that my mother would do such a thing.
While it could have been Alex who did this to Archie, I never ever saw this streak of evil in him, but I had seen it in Kay from time to time.
The interesting thing is that one day we shall surely know the facts. Jesus said: “There is nothing hidden that will not be found. There is no secret that will not be well known” (Luke 8:17 CEV).
I’m soberly aware and credulous of those words as I write these things.
There was also the spirit “Fear.” When that spirit named itself, Archie’s whole being manifest fear. It was as though the worst was before him, ready to destroy, while he stood helpless and hopeless. When it named itself, I was sure the hair stood up on my head.
It was that same spirit we experienced years before, when John Martello was walking into the bedroom, where Archie suffered his head and neck pain, and Archie cried out, “Don’t let him in here! He’s going to take my ministry away!” I felt his fear. It was dreadful.
There was “The Force,” the power mentioned in Star Wars. It mocked us. “Hah! Sure had you going, didn’t I? And you were all for me!”
I knew that though I had seen those movies and hadn’t received any spirit, Archie must have given himself over to the spirit and to feelings and power desired in watching them. That’s often how demonic possession works.
Alcohol, for example, has no demon, but one can be possessed by a demon that rules him by alcohol because that person gave his heart over to drink. It might be called an addiction. However, one may be addicted without being possessed, or possessed without being addicted, or both.
As you’ve red, our youngest brother, Bob, gave himself over to a spirit of gluttony when ordering extra large burgers at A&W. Was he addicted? I don’t believe so. I have never heard of anyone addicted to beef. Even so, our mother would cook roasts and have them in the fridge just for him. Bob gorged himself on them continuously. Furthermore, when the demon of gluttony was cast out of him, he was no longer compelled to eat great quantities of meat.
As for the movie, I knew that while I watched Star Wars, I learned good things and perceived allegories of truths, principles, and laws found in Scripture. (Someone wrote a book on this very thing; I wish I had bought it.)
Immediately, I rebuked “The Force” in Archie, saying, “Maybe you did have some fun with us, but your time is up. We renounce you and your power, and you’re finished with Archie. Out, in the Name of Jesus Christ!” And with a defeated struggle, it left.
There were the spirits of lust, pride, and a lying spirit. Lois also recalls that there was a spirit called “Legion,” as with the man of the Gadarenes in the Gospels (Mark 5:1-20). I don’t recall such a spirit.
Finally, Archie said something, and it occurred to me to ask who it was that was speaking. The voice said it was Archie, and indeed it was Archie’s voice, but I couldn’t trust it. Testing it, we found out that it was another spirit, an “Archie” that was the front for the real Archie, who had been hiding from childhood. Is this what some might diagnose as schizophrenia or split personality?
Commanding this spirit to come out, Archie slumped to the floor from his chair, temporarily unconscious, and then he revived. Coming to, Archie was Archie for the first time since I had known him from childhood. He was there; he was real, different, and free, almost childlike. He was in awe of what had happened, yet he didn’t seem conscious of it. He was thankful, as though he had entered another world, which in a way, he had. He was out of prison.
Archie once spoke of me years before as a prophet of God and expressed on an audiotape the great and wondrous relationship he perceived I had with the Lord. Now, he recognized little if anything of God’s calling on me. The things he had known, he had known by spirits, not by the Spirit of God, as many assumed. The Gospels say the spirits knew Who Jesus was, while the people didn’t.
We were learning things about the dark side, as well as the light side, of the spiritual realm.
Some days later, while Archie was downtown, I was in prayer at home and was led to address a final spirit in Archie. Its name was “Beelzebub.” When Archie came home, he was free, and told us that while he was downtown, he experienced another change for the better. The change was about the time of prayer.
After Archie was delivered and free to speak, he said that he had seen nine men in black business suits, seated, and they were the ones claiming possession of him. I don’t know why nine. I do know that sixteen spirits came out. When Archie realized that sixteen had come out, he related that just before they left Toronto, he had fasted for sixteen days, taking only water.
That night, Lois was fearful, having seen these things. She couldn’t sleep in the living room where all this happened. We prayed, the air cleared, and she was settled and went to sleep.
On October 14, Archie was baptized (fully immersed under water) in our swimming pool in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Five days later, we baptized Cathie, though I recall there was something not right there. On that day, they moved to their home at 249 Columbia Boulevard, not far from where we lived.
Within hours or days of Archie’s deliverance, in a vision, I saw Archie, Cathie, and the children in a ramshackle house that should have been condemned years ago. Then I saw the house swept away in fire and wind, as one sees in pictures of buildings destroyed from a distant nuclear explosion. I then saw Archie and his family standing together, still in the same spot, smiling, looking up, and marveling at what had happened. All was cleansed.
At this time in October of 1985, Marilyn had a vision of eight clay pots on a shelf. One was cracked. There were eight people in Archie’s family. While we speculated, we had no idea what the vision meant.
Archie wrote to friends they left in Collingwood, Ontario, Nick and Cory, professing Christians, telling them what had happened to him. As far as they were concerned, we were a “cult” and would have no more to do with us. I marvel at the predominant, widespread counterfeit Christianity everywhere.
What? Are we a cult because God has given us power over all the enemy? Isn’t that what He promised to those who believe?
“And He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases” (Luke 9:1 MKJV).
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. And miraculous signs will follow to those believing these things: In My Name they will cast out demons; they will speak new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will be well” (Mark 16:16-18 MKJV).
Christopher, Archie’s second born, was about nine years old. I spied him secretly kicking Danny, who was only six months old, as he was crawling on the floor. At the time, the parents didn’t seem to be aware of the problem or thought little of it, or didn’t know what to do about it.
Another problem Chris had was that he was soiling his pants. Archie and Cathie tried many things, to no avail. It wouldn’t be long before these two problems would be solved.
I visited Cathie one day at Columbia, while we were living at Laval Court. That day, she told me she saw a witch with a long black cloak over their house. She said she believed or knew she was that witch. I didn’t know what to say and wasn’t free to do anything. She didn’t seem very interested in solving the problem, either.
In November of 1985, Lois’ husband, Howard, moved out of the house proper into the garage bedroom and gave Lois and the boys an ultimatum. They were permitted, he said, to believe in God, read the Bible, and go to church if they so wished, but they were to have nothing more to do with Victor and Paul.
Lois and the boys were now faced with a decision. They had to decide, firstly, if we were of God and, secondly, if it was by us that God was ministering to them. If the answer was affirmative on both counts, then Howard’s idea of God was invalid and by cutting themselves off from us, they would be cutting themselves off from God.
They decided that God was ministering to them by us, and that they, in effect, were faced with choosing between Howard and God. In spite of the threatening circumstances and their fears, they chose to continue with us.
Within weeks of their marriage, Paul and Kandi called us, having problems. I recall the Lord saying to me, “Paul is the problem.” He was found to be intolerant and unreasonable. I told them what I had received from the Lord.
Not that Kandi was innocent. While I talked to her on the phone, I ended up praying and rebuking spirits in her. Paul said she seemed to go into a trance, and I recall that she became as though drugged and asked, “What’s happening to me, Victor?” There’s no doubt she had devils, but there was no release for her at that time that I was aware. Nor did it seem there was any hope of making things right in their marriage.
By December, Paul moved out. In the end, he said Kandi was openly hostile towards me, and entirely unreasonable. They soon proceeded to divorce. Kandi was very bitter afterwards and called Paul’s parents to pay for the phone calls he had made to us during the breakup. Paul had paid off Kandi’s credit cards when they married, well over a thousand dollars, so we collectively agreed she could pay for a hundred-dollar-plus phone bill.
Their divorce was final on February 12th, 1986, and Paul received a copy on Valentine’s Day.
We discussed with Paul that he could come live in Montana, thus being much closer to us, so we could see one another face-to-face more often.
The Lord gave me a couple more poems in December of ’85:
(While servants of the prince of darkness present themselves as angels of love and goodness, they grant to their victims, without the cross, some of those things the flesh desires to have. Souls are thus ensnared in their own selfishness.
“I gave my child all it wanted. I spared nothing. What more could I have done?” laments the parent whose child is now in rebellion, on drugs, in prison, or dead.
How ironic that the sure path to destruction is receiving at request all that one could ask for! How ironic that our way to peace and fulfillment is in denial, hardship, and deprivation until the final day!)
(It’s supposed by the lovers and inhabitants of this world that Christ came to make our existence in this world a pleasurable one by following His teachings and “principles of success.” They fail to realize that His purpose was to deliver us from the tantalizings of earth and prepare us for another world by overcoming and forsaking this one.
The cross of Christ represents death, not life, to the flesh; and life, not death, to the spirit, by the subsequent resurrection. Only a heart after God will perceive the reality of things and pursue at all costs.)
Free of devils and experiencing a peace he had never had, Archie wrote a letter to Carroll and Yvonne Vance, who were living in Calgary, letting them know what had happened to him. We received word that Carroll was saying I was legalistic. He had said so before, back in 1980, when I had written a paper on false prophets under the pen name “Victor Nicholas.” I hadn’t divulged the authorship to him, hoping I’d receive an unbiased assessment.
At that time, I didn’t understand I was legalistic, but I believe I was, though the Lord wasn’t rebuking or addressing me on it. On the contrary, I seemed to have His favor, something I would liken to the favor Phinehas had of God when zealous for Him to the point of driving a javelin through an Israelite prince and the Midianite woman with whom the prince had been fornicating (Numbers 25).
While I don’t recall being upset with Carroll back then, this time, I was angry, the reason being that while Archie had spent considerable time with him in Calgary, Carroll entertained the demonism, the prophecies, and the false religion in Archie, praising him for it all as though it were of God. Now by my “legalism,” the Lord delivers Archie from sixteen devils. Where was Carroll all that time with his “grace”?
I wrote Carroll on January 29, 1986, saying, in so many words, “Archie spent time with you while possessed with devils, and you did nothing about it. Indeed, you encouraged his spiritual state. If I cast out devils by the Law, by what do you cast them out?”
I then went on to call him a bastard, something I have regretted over the years. After all, he had ministered to me by the Lord and was given things of God to speak to me. Yet, as I write these things now, I wonder. Who was he to criticize and speak lightly of the Lord’s work in me?
I had come to the place where I believed that he, and so many others, had trashed the Law of God, calling their so-called freedom in Christ “grace,” when it was a lightness, a spiritual flippancy, which God didn’t appreciate one whit.
I recall hearing a tape of Carroll preaching at a FGBMFI meeting in Calgary, I believe. In it, he was grandstanding, as is often the case with Pentecostals. The Kingdom of God isn’t about showmanship or heroism (demonstration of the mark of the beast), but of righteousness, sobriety, humility, and truth.
I also recall Carroll bringing up sensational topics at the Saturday morning men’s prayer breakfast meetings. I believe he might have been the one who introduced us to the topic of the “Jupiter Effect,” which caught the attention of many doomsday enthusiasts. But the Kingdom of God isn’t about sensationalism.
He also brought up topics such as someone preaching that there was no such thing as free will. He spoke as though he agreed, yet when I began writing accordingly, believing it, he denied the truth of it. He denied the truth of many things. Why? I knew that things weren’t right with him, or at least, he lacked understanding, yet spoke authoritatively as though he had it all. I could no longer countenance that posture.
He also spoke at those meetings of men whom God powerfully used, working miracles by them, yet who were living in adultery. I couldn’t altogether accept that. Perhaps Carroll’s point was that God’s gifts were without repentance, in that once God gave, say, the gift of healing to a man, He wouldn’t withdraw that gift, though the man had strayed into sin. I can’t say.
However, were these facts or conjectures he was expressing? Couldn’t he be promoting, at least unwittingly, the inclusion of sin in a saint’s life? Was he in the error of Universalists who have no regard for repentance, saying, “We’re all saved, home free; it’s a done deal; no need for us to do anything more”? As I look back years later and consider the evidences, I think so.
Keith Bickerton sold 68 Laval Court for Alfred Fuegl, and we had to move by the end of December. It was arranged and agreed that we would stay with Archie and Cathie until we knew what to do. Their home had 1200 square feet of space, 400 in an unfinished basement with utilities like a furnace and hot water tank and their stored belongings, 400 square feet on the main floor, and 400 upstairs, with three bedrooms where Archie’s family slept.
Marilyn and I slept on the floor in the living room. This continued on and off for several months; on and off, I say, because we would be on the road at times, visiting the Bensons in Stettler or Paul in Montana.
Living in Archie’s house was difficult for all of us. While I wasn’t concerned about the living conditions, the spiritual warfare was trying. There was constant resistance from Archie and Cathie.
I recall when they were out of money, there was nothing left but perogies (dough and potato dumplings) to eat, and Archie wasn’t making an effort to work. At one point, there wasn’t even milk for the children. We had money, but we couldn’t give it to them, and what they had, they had given to us in offerings.
Was this right? Was it fair? Were we not hugely selfish, living with them, eating their food and living in their home, for which they were paying rent and utilities? Appearances and logic would scream so.
Archie was planning on other occupations, like working for a warehouse as a stockman (not that we knew of such opportunities), but we encouraged him to start a handyman business, knowing he had the skills and the interest, would make a much better income, have more flexibility, and would be his own boss.
There came a day when he handed out flyers for his services and received a call, but wasn’t willing to take the job. Perhaps he wasn’t confident, especially after his experience in Toronto. We had a discussion about it, and I advised him he wasn’t right in turning down work of any kind.
He finally relented, accepted the job, finished it, and was paid. The financial need was there, I believe, in part, because of his attitude toward work. From there, work began to come in and he began to prosper in ways he hadn’t known in Toronto, getting work, being paid, and being paid fairly. Financially, they never looked back while they believed and obeyed.
Page 14 PART THREE– Israel to Bernalillo (cont.) Particle – Another Loose End Tied We visited a grocery store in Saskatoon. There we were, passing through a city of perhaps 170,000 people, and who should we chance upon but Judy Strauss (nee Linton)! This was another of the many constant appointments arranged by the Lord – some unfinished business I was unaware of. Judy, you will recall, was the one for whom I had to confess desire to Marilyn, before God would grant me His Spirit in January 1975. There was no trace of the apparent humility I remembered of her as a new believer some eight years before. Now I saw Judy as proud and self-assured, religious, haughty, and completely closed to anything I might have to say. Her countenance was hard and consequently unattractive (I had known her when she appeared younger, more tender, humble, and innocent). She was now dogmatic in her beliefs and boasted of her husband's position as a Baptist pastor. Her attitude was one of “I'm a successful pastor's wife, and therefore I'll tell you a thing or two, because I know better than you. After all, aren't you the one who fell away from the faith?” (Besides what I saw in her attitude, there could be no question they were against our departing from the Baptists after we received the Spirit.) And this is the woman I thought I might like to court when she was single? How time, as overflowing waves on a shore, serves to erode and change the landscape! I think ...
Letter to Harry and Alice Koppert Although this letter was originally intended for few, and primarily Harry and Alice Koppert, it is now for all residents of Moon River that I know have been, or might be, involved in these personal matters. I intend to set the record straight about my character and alleged crimes. Hi Harry and Alice, These are the thoughts and questions I have after talking with you and your daughter, Suzannah, on Wednesday, August 1, at your place concerning the gossip about me. At first, I thought I would be removing a small cancerous cyst, until I found that the cancer had metastasized throughout the community. Therefore, I now send this letter to many, to eradicate the cancer of lies with a truth treatment, though such as are given to lies will believe as they please, to their peril (the virus of lies always destroys its carriers). To our subject: I fail to see how John Rienstra or Valerie Berns could have surmised a criminal connotation to my having come by your place last year (howbeit at a late hour, close to 11 PM) to drop off some goods for the Moon River Fire Department fundraising garage sale, unless there was something in the works from your household to that effect. Valerie Berns accused me of being a criminal with a record, of “having beaten a kid to within an inch of his life,” of shooting and killing someone’s dog, and sexually perverse (in that I supposedly peeped in her daughter’s window at night with a flashlight; what crimi...
Page 7 PART FOUR– Bernalillo to Moon River (cont.) Particle - The Sword “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34 MKJV). I've heard it said many times, “Whatever divides is not of God.” Of course, that simply depends on what is being divided and why. Isn't it of God to divide truth and error, clean and unclean, sheep and goats, wise and foolish, wheat and tares, faithful and heretics? And doesn't God wound and break? Doesn't He call one to forsake wife, children, parents, and friends? Is forsaking easy and pleasant? If so, it would not be forsaking. The problem is that those who lodge complaint against division presume to be in the right. They object to being divided when any among them is called to disagree for righteousness' sake. And they're under the false notion that pain, suffering, and sorrow arising naturally from division are ever products of Satan, and never of God. But these same people will indulge in dividing others in the Name of God, when advantageous to them, and think nothing of it. I am not sent for division's sake; I do not come to attack; Strife and debate I do not sow, Yet all these are found where I go. I haven't come for evil's sake, Bearing trouble, sorrow, and pain, Yet the sword I bear Will cut in two And each half in two again. There are those who wish to take the truth And claim it for their own, But others, joined to them, ...