PART FIVE – Moon River to Harvest Haven (cont.)
It also came to me that these pompous, formal places or organizations of worship were the gates of hell Jesus referred to. They don’t seem as bad as this sounds, but they are very bad all the same. Hell is the state and place of darkness, ignorance, bondage, and lack of understanding – where the dead reside. It’s a place of false doctrine, delusion, and lostness. In hell, people lawlessly presume to worship the Lord Jesus Christ, while forbidding others to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
I’ve found it isn’t the un-churched people who oppose the Kingdom of God so much as the churched. It’s the religious who opposed Jesus Christ in the days of His flesh, and it’s the religious who oppose Him today. Has not Jesus called the members of these places “children of hell” (Matthew 23:15)?
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you compass sea and the dry land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matthew 23:15 MKJV).
There’s no greater stumbling block for spiritual sojourners, or opposition to the way of the Spirit of God, than is found in the feigned faith, wisdom, and love of men. They prefer their creeds, rites, ceremonies, philosophies, and social powers, instead of their Creator God. When confronted with truth, these people ignore the evidence at best and, at worst, viciously revile and kill those who differ with them. These religious groups are the repositories and agents of sin and death.
When they perceive one to be attracted to the faith of the Son, Jesus Christ, especially one of their own, they are Satan’s frontline of defense and offense to prevent what they presume to be a travesty against God.
“They shall put you out of the synagogue. But an hour is coming that everyone who kills you will think that he bears God service” (John 16:2 MKJV).
In one of these years, I received an understanding of depression (at least of a certain kind) and how to handle it. I realized that if a depressed person were to simply tend to some cleanup duties in their immediate surroundings, the depression would begin to break.
Wash up that sink full of dirty dishes that have been there for a week or more. Change your clothes, make your bed – properly. Put your things away where they belong. Don’t try to do it all at once, just do one thing at a time – just one, maybe only one for the moment. A person may need to exercise some willpower to do it, but if he does it, it will be rewarding. Each step thereafter will be a little bit easier. It’s marvelous how it works, really.
Sometimes one needs only to get some sunlight, fresh air, and exercise. Sometimes depression’s a matter of diet, mineral supplementation, or chiropractic adjustment. All of these have worked to elevate my mood.
I have often found, however, that if one were to simply clean up immediate surroundings and tend to some duties left neglected, things change for the better almost immediately. You get to feel lighter and better about your circumstances and about yourself.
Years after this revelation, I wrote more on depression and how to beat it: Good Riddance to Depression.
On December 21st, 1991, four months from the day we last spoke to Paul by phone, he called. Kerri Palermo was on the line with him. She was a young woman he had met when he headed out and did as I suggested.
When telling her about his life, he had said, “When Victor told me the Lord had sent him to Israel, I told him I knew the Lord had sent him to me. That turned out to be true.”
Kerri replied, “Why are you not in touch with him, then? You should be!”
Paul said to me, “I knew she was right, that I should be in touch, and I determined at that moment to contact you. What struck me was that Kerri had no question or doubt that what I told her was true, that God had sent you.”
Paul and Kerri said they wished to marry. We didn’t have the witness and peace of God they should do so and thought that if they were given enough time, things might change. We advised them to wait a year. They agreed. However, I warned Paul that if he married Kerri, he would be hers and she would lead him around by the nose. Indeed, she was already doing so.
On January 1st, Paul and Kerri arrived for five days. I was surprised when I tried sharing spiritual matters with Paul that he was as dead as Kerri, an unbeliever, incapable of understanding even basic truths.
But why should I have been surprised? I had told him he was better off cold than lukewarm and to do his thing, which he did. Why, then, would the Lord impart anything to him? I heard strange words coming forth from Paul. He said, “These things are too hard for us to understand.” Not only was he receiving nothing, he was identifying with her in her unbelief, not with us in faith.
I was disgusted with Paul. I thought to myself, “You have known us for eleven years now, and simple things are too much for you?” I was reminded of the apostle Paul’s words to the Corinthians:
“Brothers and sisters, I couldn’t talk to you as spiritual people, but as people still influenced by your corrupt nature. You were infants in your faith in Christ. I gave you milk to drink. I didn’t give you solid food because you weren’t ready for it. Even now you aren’t ready for it because you’re still influenced by your corrupt nature… and living by human standards” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3 GW).
In response to what I just wrote above, Paul writes: “I was delighted to hear the true things you were saying. I had been away for a while and backslidden, not hearing them, but I hadn’t forgotten about God or what happened in the past years. That was with me every day, like Carol Browne says of herself. I recall receiving things, understanding what was said during that visit, and being helped by those things in days to come.”
Put one bad apple in a basket of good apples, give it time, and no matter how many good apples there are, they’ll all spoil. The bad will overcome the good, every one of them, every time.
Paul went to unbelief by joining himself to Kerri, an unbeliever. The two become one flesh. She didn’t come to believe when joined to him; he went to unbelief when joining her. It is a law.
“A little leaven leavens all the lump” (Galatians 5:9 MKJV).
“And the flesh that touches any unclean thing shall not be eaten. It shall be burned with fire. And as for the flesh, all who are clean shall eat of it” (Leviticus 7:19 MKJV).
“Her priests have broken My Law and have defiled My holy things. They have put no difference between the holy and the common, and have not taught between the unclean and the clean, and have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am defiled among them” (Ezekiel 22:26 MKJV).
Lloyd Bennett, a sugar beet farmer of Taber, Alberta, was president of the Lethbridge Naturalist Society when he came by as a birdwatcher to see the Northern Cardinal. He told me how he had used his large tank sprayer for an herbicide on his field to kill all the weeds before planting his beets or before they came up. He said he emptied the tank completely of the chemical. Then, when the beets were up, he filled the tank with a fertilizer and sprayed the beets. His crop was completely destroyed from the residue of the herbicide, though greatly diluted with fertilizer and water.
Just how strong a mix was he using for the weeds?
What is a member, indeed the president, of a naturalist society doing killing everything green on his farm? Isn’t this an organization that presumes to care about conservation of the natural environment, or at least to observe it in its natural state?
Don’t these naturalists know they’re killing microorganisms, insects, birds, animals, and themselves, as well as polluting our streams and aquifers with these insane agricultural practices?
Doesn’t it occur to them that agriculture and wild nature are intricately and intimately united, married as man and wife?
Isn’t there the slightest amount of common sense with conventional farmers?
I had a talk with Lloyd about this. I hope and think he understood the gravity of such practices.
I don’t recall anyone from my earlier life ever getting in touch with me. On the other hand, I’ve often wondered how others have fared and I’ve tried to contact them. The remarkable thing I found is how they hadn’t changed over decades. They only grew more established in their natures. Aside from changes in occupational status and having families, it seems life passed them by.
People need to be raised from the dead. Only knowing Jesus Christ, Who is Life, can truly change and profit anyone. Perhaps traumatic circumstances make a difference, but even those don’t change nature, only disposition, often for the worse, though sometimes for the better.
Of those who did have faith in Christ, such as Ernie Chadwick, whom we had met in 1976 in Caroline, Alberta, and who had a vision and prophecy for me, we witnessed a sad and tragic unfolding of their lives.
In 1992, after 16 years, I contacted Ernie. He informed me he had heart surgery and was on medications. Spiritually, he was following the ministries of men such as Paul Cain and Rick Joyner, which ministries I perceived to be self-serving and dead. I was disappointed to see these things with Ernie.
Could it be concluded that whether one has faith or not, old age and disease come inescapably hand-in-hand? I saw Ernie as having taken a wrongful direction somewhere and suffering the fruits of that waywardness. Whereas it seemed he once had life, now he was into the dead works of men.
“You need to go where the Spirit is,” he declared to me. But what spirit was he following? Was it the spirit of strong delusion? The scenario with Mickey Patrick insisting Marilyn and I join his “Spirit-filled church” repeated itself again and again… men calling us to them in the Name of the Lord, as the Lord warned:
“Then if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness’; do not go out. ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms’; do not believe. For as the lightning comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:26-27 LITV).
We have seen Him come many times, lighting up the sky.
One thing I’ve witnessed with many professing faith in God: They ignore proper care of the body, as though it didn’t matter. It matters, just like it matters to service a car or nurture an animal properly. Being Christians is no reason to neglect our physical needs. There’s great ignorance and irresponsibility in this matter. Ernie was found to be serving not the Lord, but himself. When men forsake the Lord, they forsake their welfare and reward.
Because Dave Loewen was instrumental in our receiving the Spirit by leaving R.A. Torrey’s booklet in our home in 1974, I decided to call him in 1992. They came to visit us in our new log home at Moon River Estates. When we knew them in 1975, 17 years earlier, they had a nice new home in Calgary, a construction contracting business, and children. We had nothing but a 1973 Volkswagen Fastback – no home, no furnishings, and no savings.
Now they informed us that after we parted in 1975, the very opposite happened to them that happened to us. They lost everything in bankruptcy – their business, home, furniture (Irene emphasized they lost “everything”). Furthermore, if my memory serves correctly, they also lost a child.
Meanwhile, God had freely given us a wonderful home, furnishings, and a new car; He met all our needs abundantly (without servile labor or asking or depending on anyone for anything). He even gave us a son, 17 years after we were married, when Marilyn wasn’t even supposed to be able to bear children.
If you’ll recall, we and the Loewens had to go our separate ways because Dave wasn’t prepared to identify fully with the Lord, refusing to speak His Word when commanded and refusing to make the break with organized religion. We perceived that the fruits they experienced were directly related to their failure to take up the cross and follow the Lord. It doesn’t pay to disobey. As it is written:
“Good understanding gives favor, but the way of traitors is ever flowing” (Proverbs 13:15 MKJV).
Who can help but perceive the remarkably diametrical events of our and the Loewens’ lives?
Who says there is no God?
Days after the visit, I wrote to them, telling them what we understood and saw. Dave only responded with an indignant, faulting letter, with apparently logical and valid argument. We could only shake our heads. There was nothing to do but let him have his way. Apparently, they hadn’t suffered enough. We would have yet more to do with them in years to come, and Dave would be our public enemy.
In March 1992, Nathan Hafichuk was permitted to rejoin the family in their usual activities. With tears, Archie received him back. I wondered that it had taken so long and hoped Nathan wasn’t going to return to his old ways. As far as we knew from then on, he didn’t do so. I was thankful. Everyone liked Nathan, not that disliking him had been the issue.
Because of the neck injury I sustained three decades earlier, I became increasingly incapacitated. By 1992, I wasn’t able to stand, sit, lie in certain positions, or turn my head to the right for more than a few seconds without incurring a major headache that would last hours, perhaps days.
Over the years, I hoped and prayed the Lord would heal me. I once recall coming to tears with a headache, likely out of self-pity, and I was depressed, anxious, and irritable. Some of these conditions I attributed to a sinful disposition, not realizing my neck was affecting me.
Trevor Benson was receiving treatment from a chiropractor, Dr. Joe Nemeth, and found satisfaction, so I decided to try him. With Dr. Nemeth’s treatment, I began the slow road to recovery.
Dr. Nemeth had two very friendly receptionists, Leslie, and Vicky Dejong.
Mark met Ariko Ishikawa, a Japanese exchange student, in school and began to cultivate a close relationship with her – he was even considering marriage. He tried to convert her to Christ. They would come visit us at Moon River and help weed.
Then a strange thing happened. I decided to give her an English name, “Agatha,” which means “good,” the root of my surname, “Hafichuk.” Why did I do so with her, of all people? I have no idea. I had never done so with anyone else, and there was no indication she believed. Why should she receive such identification or honor (if one could call it “honor”) above others closer to me? At any rate, I gave her the name. Knowing what I know now, I regret doing it. Likely, it was a silly idea, though I’m not convinced; the event was rather beyond me.
While renting a room from Lois on Lakemount Boulevard, Ariko was being deceptive with us. For example, while she was acting as one interested in the things of the Kingdom of God – to win Mark as a husband, I suppose – Lois found condoms in her possession. Lois and Mark tried reasoning with her and teaching her right from wrong, according to Biblical truth and law. Given her pagan background, it was understandable she was ignorant of these things.
In hindsight, we realize she was discreetly contemptuous of morality. She came to the place where she accused us of being manipulative and domineering. No doubt, Lois, who has been known by all to be dreadfully brutish and demanding, could have handled things much better.
At that time, I received a prophecy for Ariko: “Because you’ve practiced deception on others, others will practice deception on you, many times over what you have done, and you’ll taste and know the fruit of your ways.” I saw her going back to Japan where she would suffer these things, and she did return to Japan.
While I was weeding the lawn, I received another prophecy for Ariko, and also one for Kerri Palermo: “Ariko will be back, and Kerri will fade away.”
Sadly, years later we would come to see Ariko as not only manipulative and domineering, but insanely obsessed with unforgiveness and vengeance toward us and anyone who had anything to do with us. Perhaps she felt led on by having been given an honorary name and then rejected as Mark’s bride? Speculation, speculation…. At any rate, deception did indeed take her over.
When Jonathan was about six months old, he developed a terrible case of eczema on his face. We prayed and tried what we knew of natural remedies, but nothing worked. The condition grew worse. Then Marilyn had a vision of a facial cream being applied to his face and his face clearing.
Because God wasn’t answering our prayers for healing, we went to our medical doctor. Dr. Morgan was upset we had waited so long; Jonathan had developed impetigo. She immediately put him on antibiotics and prescribed a steroid cream to be applied to his face. We were opposed to both things, but didn’t know what else to do, not being familiar with alternatives. We administered those, and in three or four days, Jonathan’s face cleared.
God is over the medical establishment and isn’t afraid of antibiotics or steroids, even for infants. Not saying those are the routes we should take when we know of better alternatives. I see this situation as the Lord dealing with our fears of “the establishment,” of fear of man, really. God rules, and doesn’t countenance any limitations imposed on Him.
On May 30th, 1992, I decided to meet with John Taal and his wife. They were wondering how things were going for me, recalling I had been struggling when I was in their home years before, though I hadn’t divulged particulars to them. They weren’t wondering with compassion; it seemed they were rather smug about how they had handled me when I had come apologizing.
They did some preaching and testifying, not of the Lord, but of their church and their works. The Lord gave me strong things to say against the corruption of the church systems and the occupants thereof. I was bold and direct, without apology or hesitation, yet clear of belligerence or arrogance.
By the time I was through, John was showing me the door, which was expected. I was thankful to taste the rare occasion of righting something I had previously messed up because of lack of faith.
Charles Givens’ organization came to town in 1992 to better everyone financially – or was it to better himself? We had substantial savings and were wondering how best to manage our assets and invest them effectively. I attended the meeting at the Lethbridge Lodge, signed up, and was soon sorry I did.
I had a vision of Charles. I saw him with his back turned to the people and giving a low palm-side stroke against those behind him, brushing off anyone coming for help. He was cold and calloused to the needs of those he was presuming to help. Reflecting his spirit, his staff was trained to coldly reject triflers and doubters, and not to waste any time on probing questions.
Six years later, on July 12th, 1998, Charles Givens died of prostate cancer at age 57.
The world, in my estimation, doesn’t revolve around me, yet again and again I’ve seen how I’m often the last straw when it comes to God’s dealing with people. He allows people to do me evil and then deals with them. Was such the case here?
On June 19th, 1992, Paul and Kerri picked up Gerald Thompson in Great Falls and brought him to Canada for the weekend. Because of his split personality, confusion, and provocative expression when writing us, we believed Gerald was demon-possessed. We hoped he might receive deliverance.
As we visited, I tried to persuade him that his life was a mess and in need of redemption. I tried to make him realize his need, of which he seemed quite oblivious. Indeed, he seemed to take pride in his state of affairs as though it was Christi-like of him to be wretched and poor. I quoted various passages of Scripture to reason with him. While I don’t recall the specific ones, they would have been such as the following:
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalms 84:11 KJV).
“The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 MKJV).
I said, “Gerald, here you are, living on welfare, your mind messed with pharmaceutical drugs, much overweight, not able to provide for yourself, not able to comprehend things – the list goes on. How can you think you have the abundant life Jesus promised to those who believe? What makes you think you’re walking in faith?”
With no attitude or intention of gloating or boasting, I said, “Look at what the Lord has given us,” referring to our home and other benefits, both physical and spiritual. “We didn’t earn them or deserve them, but God has blessed us, fulfilling His Word to all who believe.”
His immediate defiant answer was, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of that which he possesses.”
Those were words the Lord Jesus had spoken, true words. I knew them well and was mindful of them. I also knew one could be physically poor and still be in the perfect will of God – no problem. Paul the apostle was a classic case. We had also been rather poor at times while walking with the Lord.
His reply, however, was an arrogant rebuttal, and I thought it came from demons. Suddenly the realization hit me: It wasn’t a devil speaking, but Gerald. It was a revelation. I turned to Paul and said, “This isn’t a devil speaking. It’s Gerald! It’s him!”
I pondered for years why I had such a realization. Usually there was no debate about whether one was speaking from himself or by a devil, and it didn’t matter. In this case, the lesson or demonstration was very clear. We would learn more on this in the future.
I became angry. I expected there were still devils, but there was no way Gerald could be helped. He was in all wickedness. There we were, trying to help him, and there he was, accusing me of placing emphasis on goods, as though I was a self-righteous, prosperity-preaching idolater, when he was wasting away as an irresponsible, lazy, arrogant vagrant, thinking to glorify God with his holiness.
Then and there, I wouldn’t permit him to sit at our table another minute, stuffing his fat face with extra helpings of dessert my wife was willingly, even encouragingly, serving him. I said, “Paul, take him away. I know you have to go, too, seeing you brought him here and must take him back, but I don’t want this man here another moment.”
They soon left, but not before Lois, who was present with us, started to cry, pleading with Gerald to repent and listen. I recognize now that Lois was being deliberately dramatic, emotional, and selfish, her plea not being by the Spirit of God, but by a desire to be important.
Gerald wrote many more letters. He was prolific, always philosophizing, speculating, theologizing, opining, debating, and preaching. Most of his bulky letters went into the fire without being opened – dozens of them.
Gerald was one of the few black people with whom we discussed spiritual matters (I recall three while we were with OM in 1975). While his logic and reasoning seemed different, we didn’t think of them as characteristic of black people until we met, and had spiritual discussions with, several other blacks many years later and found the same characteristics. (I will discuss that when it comes time to relate these other experiences.)
While learning to deal with these characteristics, we were to also learn that faith in God and spiritual truth correct and harmonize the idiosyncrasies of race, color, and religious backgrounds, while positive peculiarities continue to glorify God.
When Jonathan was about a year old, I was letting him play with tools on the workbench; I was feeling really down. He turned around, looked at me, put his hand on my shoulder and part way around my neck, as if to say, “It’s okay, Dad.”
I was immediately uplifted and amazed, and tears came. I knew it was more than a chance event. I didn’t believe for a second his gesture was the simple act of an unwitting child. He was picking up on my feelings and comforting me. I was seeing the “Alaythia” prophecy unfolding even at this early stage of his life.
We would be seeing so much more. I may have misapplied the name and gender to him in the prophecy, when they belonged to another, but there was little doubt about the inspiration and suitability of the message for Jonathan.