PART EIGHT – Day 888 to Victory (cont.)
Like a veil suddenly drawn back, I realized that I had no reason whatsoever to feel guilty about the way I dealt with others in the past. It now almost angered me that the enemy had me in this state. I thought of Chris Hafichuk and said, “No way! They were all guilty. I tried to help.”
In doubting true spiritual authority, I therefore began to doubt my past actions and dealings along that line, hence the darkness. That was done now.
My new resolve started when I began to thank God for the darkness in which I found myself, something I had never done before.
Fire came by Les, Gene, and others so that what I had should be tried. Maybe my works were burned up, but His work in me remained intact and stronger than ever, praise God!
In the night the Lord also showed me He was going to restore everything, tangible and intangible, every lost opportunity concerning all with whom we have had to do all our lives. All will be redeemed. He said so.
He showed me that women have ruled as a necessity, by His design. I often wondered why it says, “A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife,” and not, “A woman shall leave her father and mother and cleave to her husband.” The revelation was that a man leaves the nurturing of his parents and takes on the nurturing of a wife, instead. The nurturing continues until he is fully grown.
When Paul said, “…even so is the man also by the woman” (1 Corinthians 11:12), perhaps he doesn’t speak merely of physical birth by a mother, but of nurturing by a wife, at least for some. Then comes a time when he also leaves his wife as he did his parents, walking in a new dimension with the Lord. And where it says, “Neither was the man created for the woman,” Paul points out that because a woman nurtures a man does not mean he is hers. She’s there to help him for a time.
To know true spiritual authority is to sit on the throne. The throne is within. To know it is to have the presence of the Lord within, reigning with Him.
When one forsakes and surrenders all that he has and is to the Lord, the Lord gives him all that He has and is. What a trade! This speaks of the reconciliation of all things as well as knowing true spiritual authority. This is that overcoming promised in Revelation 2 and 3. This is what the Lord spoke of when He said that those who forsook all would receive a hundredfold in this life.
This is partially what is meant by that spoken of the 144,000: “These are those who were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, as a firstfruit to God and to the Lamb” (Revelation 14:4 MKJV).
This does not speak of men who were never married. Consider that the sons of Jacob were all married, as were some of the apostles, including Peter, as were prophets Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and David.
On December 29, 1999, I wrote this letter to those at the farm:
To all concerned at the farm, “the six” (Mills, Knorrs, Ogdens), and all.
Marilyn and Sean believe. They love the Lord, they love those who are the Lord’s, and they love their neighbor(s). I don’t and I never have.
I have always loved things. My focus has ever been on money, on gain, on getting. My emphasis on law has been for my own sake – to get and to condemn so I could get, whether it be one’s goods or one’s soul (subservience). I have sought to rule and served only myself. There has never been a stitch of love in me, hence Marilyn’s bitterness.
While I have spoken doctrine and carnal knowledge, Marilyn has gone by faith, without reading much of anything, even the Scriptures, and spoken truth by faith. She has discipled Sean these past years and nurtured him to be strong in faith.
Concerning “the six,” Marilyn heard, “This is why he [I, Victor] must go.” I believe it is that I need to be taken out of the way so that Les and the others can come to Marilyn and Sean for ministry. While they have viewed them as the culprits, truly I am the culprit, that man of sin, that son of perdition, that wicked one now exposed. I have condemned and railed upon them (read the last letter to Les and Gene in particular and catch the spirit of it).
I don’t love – not them, not anybody, not even my own flesh, not Marilyn, not Jonathan. That’s why money matters bother me; that’s why I can’t handle anybody or anything; that’s why all the conflict we have all had. I have cursed everyone, some often, and I’ve set everyone in turmoil and sorrow by my ways. I love mammon.
Bensons, I think you need to flee to Sean and away from me, for your lives. It seems that the Lord is doing this for your sakes now. Sean cares; I never did. While he and Marilyn have spiritual wisdom, I’ve only had carnal wisdom which can appear to be true and valuable but, in effect, brings death.
This last watering incident is a good example. Why have I so worried and fretted and scolded and argued? Because of unbelief. I haven’t believed. For unbelief, the Israelites were overthrown in the wilderness.
When Sean feels he should speak to Les and Gene saying I haven’t gotten anywhere, it’s true. Nor should I be there when you do, Sean. Nor will this ever change. I see nothing but that I am finished and you people ought to be free of my tyranny (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28).
I’ve been clinging desperately to everything – possessions, wife, son, all you people, the estate….. I have held back saying these things lest you boys, Trevor and Mark, should give it all to Sean, turning away from me. But why shouldn’t you? Why should I shamefully, pitifully, helplessly try to retain or obtain anything any further? The Lord will, does, and has delivered you out of my power.
I have been a disgusting creature to all – you, “the six,” flesh and blood families, all associations, neighbors…. (I don’t think this is a pity party and I hope you don’t take it that way.)
Covetousness! That’s why the fear, strife, worry, and anxiety. But why should I fear? Haven’t I learned that this world and what it offers is worthless, while the world to come and what God offers is priceless? Of course!
The Lord bless and keep you, people.
On January 1, 2000, I wrote in my journal:
“There have been no Y2K problems. President Yeltsin of Russia resigned today by surprise. I sent a letter to all those at the farm and, with the year 1999, too, I’m finished. I quit. I’m dead. The Lord can do what He wants with my carcass. I tried, and I failed. I hoped, I worked, I, I, I.”
Today, I quit. I give up. I’ve lost anything I ever had in my life. Sooner or later, I’ll lose whatever I have now. And I never had what I thought I had or ever hoped to have. I tried to believe, obey, love, give, act wisely, do right, and walk with God, and I have utterly failed, while I witness Marilyn and Sean and Jonathan succeed. I’m done. I quit.
Shall I go back to the world? Not by deliberate choice, though I can’t see how it much matters. No, I think I’ll just rot… or freeze to death.
I suspect that simply quitting is one step in the direction of going back to the world. I’m reminded of the verse where the Lord says He’ll have no pleasure in the soul that draws back. That is a threat I can expect to be fulfilled, given my track record, while any Scriptural promises I’ve desired to be fulfilled remain out of reach. I’ve been an outcast and a reject from conception to this hour. I quit deceiving myself with illusions and false hopes. I quit.
I realized that the December 29th letter I sent to the farm was a reaction in the flesh of discouragement and self-condemnation growing out of Marilyn’s constantly flowing praises of Sean, who, in her eyes, could do no wrong. And often she contrasted me to him. I thought that what she said was true and that what I wrote in the letter to them was therefore true.
I find it interesting that the Gentile calendar year 2000 coincides with the Hebrew calendar year of 5760 (144 X 40). The number 144 (12 X 12) represents the number of generations, each being 40 years. Completeness is suggested or signified, from the time of Adam to this day.
Jacob’s son, Joseph, had seven years of abundance to gather and store food in Egypt before seven lean years of drought would come and devour all that was stored, and then some. I found myself comparing those times to our situation, only in reverse. I saw that we might have a time of preparation, yes, but seven years of “leanness” first, being chastened, disciplined, sifted, and tried.
Thus far, for over four years, we had leanness – bloodletting, expense, labor, learning, losing, failing, crying, struggling, purging, burning, and cleansing. Then, for those of us surviving the trials, there would begin a time when God would use us as instruments to minister in whatever way to a hurting world. If the specific time span of seven years applied, we would begin to taste a fulfillment and usefulness in the fall of 2002, seeing we bought the farm in 1995. That’s if the farm in itself has anything to do with the timetable.
Would I be around for the payoff? Not if Marilyn was right, yet here we were over three years after her prophecy, and I was still here. And the Lord did tell me I wouldn’t be physically dying, while she was adamant that I would.
Is the following an excellent example of twisted reasoning, or is there a precedent (of sorts) in Scripture for it?
A prophecy of which I have often wondered ever since I gave it was one I spoke to the Tower family, Branhamites in Portage La Prairie in 1981, saying that Brent wouldn’t marry his American girlfriend, and their not marrying would be a sign that their Branhamite religion and doctrine were wrong and that they needed to come out from it. We found out in 1990 that they did marry and also had children.
One morning it was made known to me that, yes, it was a false prophecy from my lips, and it served to deceive the Towers, not because they believed it but because they didn’t. Brent’s marrying would convince them I prophesied falsely and persuade them to remain in their religion. The revelation to me was that I prophesied and condemned them to believe falsehood, God purposing that they should be deceived. The Biblical example? Though it is not an exact parallel, read 1 Kings 13 of the young and old prophet, and see how strange the ways of the Lord can be.
I’ve also seen how God has stumbled others by me, not by false prophecy, but by causing me to say or do apparently foolish things, so that people might scoff and He might find occasion against them to bring judgment. I would walk away from those occasions, asking myself, “What got into me? Why did I say/do that?” Later, I would find out. This is not to say that I haven’t said and done many foolish things that apparently didn’t serve such godly purposes; indeed, I have, as the reader should well know by now.
On January 5th or so, I had a vision of Sean. I saw him lying on the ground, face up, bleeding and dying. I was kneeling and crying, holding his head and shoulders off the ground in my hands and on my forelegs. I delivered this vision to the farm on January 7th, Day 1200 since the prophecy.
Common nominal Christian assumption is that wolves can be changed to sheep. Not true; it was never meant to be. By God’s power and not by our works, the wolf will remain a wolf, but be reconciled with the lamb.
Salvation is not about the wolf changing into another creature. There are two changes to come for wolves: they will cease trying to be something they are not, and they will remain wolves, but God will change them into “good” wolves, as Isaiah testifies:
“Also the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the cub lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6 MKJV).
Sean called me to say that he and Marilyn had another “love” conversation on Friday the 7th after I left the farm. I confess it made me feel bad – depressed, condemned, forsaken, betrayed – perhaps “forlorn” is the best word. Mark also felt bad about it. Sean was prompted to divulge these things when I called the farm to share some writings by Elwin Roach, “The Rapture” and “Waiting.”
When you are given to see the incarnation of bitterness concentrated in your direction, I doubt that there can be a more hideous spectacle, especially when that bitterness comes from one you have known intimately for decades – one from whom you naturally expect the opposite toward you – love, acceptance, respect, appreciation, and empathy. Bitterness is made manifest in due time because, ultimately, all things must come to light. Only understanding from God can give one the encouragement to withstand someone ‘s bitterness and forgive.
But bitterness is the lot of every believer and everyone must come to terms with it. This is about “that wicked one being revealed” (2 Thessalonians 2), who must be dealt the deathblow. While the judgment of the man of sin within is the very worst time for all believers, there is cause to lift up the head, because redemption is near at hand.
“And then they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to happen, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:27-28 MKJV).
The manifestation of that mysterious man of bitterness is a token of the Lord present, for the son of perdition is exposed by the brightness of the Lord’s coming and destroyed by His Word. But destroyed how? By being redeemed, transformed, resurrected, and reconciled to God through the Son of God. It is a great and terrible event.
Bitterness cries, “You owe me!”
And she will not rest until
She gets what she wants.
She’ll not be persuaded otherwise
Nor will a substitute do.
Bitterness is rooted in finding no fault in one’s self. “I’m innocent. I deserve better.” Bitterness is arrogant and presumptuous. The very inability to acknowledge wrong breeds bitterness. The acknowledgment isn’t necessary for one’s self only, but also for all mankind. We must recognize the fallen state of the universal carnal man, of which we are all a part.
What is this negative side of seeing and confessing our wrong? Is it not more a matter of confessing that God alone is just and righteous and sovereign over all? Bitterness denies His righteousness, justice, wisdom, sovereignty, and indeed, His very nature.
“I disagree with You!” she cries to God.
“Either You don’t know what You’re doing
Or You can’t do what’s right.
So I have to do it!
I have to take control of things;
I have to protect myself
And get what I want.
Nobody else can be trusted to do it for me.
But I know I can’t,
Yet I have to try
And try and try until
You will finally see it my way.
I am wise in my own eyes.”
Bitterness is stubborn;
She shuts her eyes and stops her ears.
She sees what she wants to see;
She tells herself what she wants to hear,
And is deceived in believing
That which is not true.
Her heart worships her ambition and desire.
Nothing can persuade her otherwise.
Ah, but the Lord is merciful and finally prevails! He delivers us out of the pit of corruption and casts all our sins behind His back! Not only had we rebelled, but we didn’t know it. We didn’t perceive ourselves in rebellion until we were delivered from it.
And the Lord comes
And grants her all her desire
And more than she asks.
He opens her eyes to see
And she closes them, seeing.
Brokenness confesses, “I owe you!”
And cannot rest until
The debt is settled once for all.
He opens her eyes to see,
And she rests, pacified.
Content is her new name.
January 11 and 15, 2000
Moon River Estates
I have often thought I’ve been too hard on people when speaking to them and confronting them on their spiritual error. I’m reminded of how a nation was formed in the “fiery iron furnace.” When their wilderness experience began, they were wishing they were back in the iron furnace of Egyptian slavery and oppression. They cried out for deliverance in Egypt and now they were crying to be delivered back to the furnace.
Another thought: God seemed deceptive and treacherous. He led Jacob and his family out of severe drought and into Egypt, where they were cordially received and provided for. And by whom? By Joseph, Jacob’s son, second in command of Egypt, who over two decades earlier, was sold into slavery by his brothers. As time passed, things changed and the guests became slaves, all under God’s divine hand.
Weren’t hardships occurring at our farm? That which we expected to be a pleasant haven became hard bondage. But when all is done, the prophecy of Harvest Haven will be written in the hearts, and then will we “come out of Egypt” to go to the promised land, taking the spiritual domain out of the hands of the enemy.
I perceived some changes in me. My nights were more restful, my dreams slowly altering, and I dwelt less on the earthly and on the past. I had more faith now that the Lord would reconcile all things. I saw more past the veneers or appearances. I more easily discerned by the Spirit the hidden nature of people’s thoughts, words, and deeds. I found myself with an increasing honesty or candidness and willingness to be open about matters. Fear was disappearing, and confidence in the Lord was increasing; however, I still saw traces of fear in junk dreams.
Chiropractic treatment had relieved me of tensions and anxiety, as chiropractors claim they do. Should I attribute all my improvement to chiropractic or had there been supernatural changes in me? Whatever the vehicle of God’s grace, I was thankful.
If I had been slain, who slew me? Was it not my own wife? Yes, even as the Lord’s people slew Him. And out of bitterness they killed Him. They weren’t impressed with their Husband. They had served in bondage many times under many nations and, even at His coming, they served under the Roman yoke, hoping He would come and glorify them.
But while He cast off the majority of His nation, He kept a remnant, those who would honor Him in spirit and in truth, not looking for their own benefit or glory but honoring Him for Who He is.
They killed Him, but He laid down His life for them. Why did they kill Him? Because they served other gods. They wanted the power and independence. They thought they knew the Voice of God in that they had Moses’ Law and the Scriptures. But the Voice of God, the Word, stood before them. He was their King, their Authority, their Husband, their Portion, but they said, “No, we love another.” These were parallels to the relationship between Marilyn and me.
On the evening of January 17, 2000, I received this prophecy for Marilyn:
“All will be reconciled, replaced, restituted. The causes of bitterness will be addressed, removed, revisited in the sense that she will be brought to the place where all will have been made right – no more bad memories, no more regrets, and no cause for such.
But neither will there be a cause (outside of the Lord’s grace and will) for contentment. She will not be brought to a state of contentment because of any external reason, such as a husband that is loving and ideal, but God will simply make her to be wholly content. That contentedness will emanate from her like light from a bulb to all things at hand or nearby. She will enjoy her contentment immensely. There will be such peace, satisfaction, and fulfillment. There will be no regret of the past, no agitation or discomfort of the present, and no anxiety for the future. In all three, she and all will be well. Full assurance of this will be hers. Bitterness could never again return.”
Remember my vision of Marilyn on the throne in the sky?
The next day, on the heels of this prophecy, Marilyn was considering going to be with Sean. I reiterated that I wouldn’t stand in the way, not at all. Tomorrow, she will tell me she had more intimate conversation with Sean. I know these things before I’m told, before I even see her now.
Jonathan, now eight, makes remarkable creations with his Legos, which has been quite a toy for him – challenging, flexible, educational, confidence-building, interesting, developmental, and more. He has spent many hours at it. Trevor bought him his first set.
I once tried organizing all the pieces in compartments to facilitate finding what was needed, only to find the fun taken out of it for him. Now we rummage and enjoy. I say “we” because, on occasion, I join him and enjoy it. When he was three, he was disconcerted with the fact that I produced more creative pieces than he. “Dad, how do you do that? Why can’t I do it?” he would lament. It wasn’t long before he quite outstripped me in capability and imagination, I’d say by age six.
He’s learning to ice skate and catching on quickly. All three of us are going to Harper’s Chiropractic in Coaldale for adjustments three times a week. Jonathan is so very active. He can’t ever walk or sit. He must jump and run. If any child set forth an example of a “twirling dervish,” I’m afraid it is he.
Jonathan is immensely interested in martial arts, inspired by various TV programs, whether for bad or good, I’m not sure. With my mind, I suspect for the worse, yet feel it’s not a problem somehow.
Jonathan is very confident with others, no matter the age, and comfortable with those who are years his senior. In his homeschooling, he is receiving A+ in all subjects. Marilyn does most of the schooling, and I do a little.
I’m reading Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe to him, and I’m surprised he hangs in there, listening, commenting, and marveling.
Jonathan is taken up with the life and works of the detective, creating files, papers, tools, weapons, systems, “chemicals,” rules, membership requirements for a club, etc. He has been at this for at least two years. He enjoyed some Hardy Boys, Power Boys, and other detective stories, though his interests are far broader.
He had great interest, as a toddler, in construction – bulldozers, backhoes, excavators, earthmovers, packers, and dump trucks. Paul bought him a tape, Road Construction Ahead, which he watched countless times, and I built him a sandbox wherein he and his friends spent many hours with several Tonka toys (by the way, Tonka toys have certainly cheapened in quality in recent years).
It has been disconcerting to me that Jonathan has taken great interest, almost an addiction, to warfare, shooting, killing, maiming, and even torture (I’m ashamed to say). It bothers me; I try to talk to him, and he seems to understand. Somehow (I don’t understand), it seems like it won’t be a problem.
On the other hand, Jonathan has had wonderful wisdom from God, the gifts of the Spirit operating – prophecy, visions, word of wisdom, and word of knowledge, for which we are thankful and edified.
His powers to reason and argue and of logic can be quite remarkable. He’s also a very determined fellow, not one to give up easily. Yet when a foot is put down firmly, he knows it and respects that boundary, submitting to it.
All in all, I appreciate my son. He is a wonderful gift to us. I regret the pain he has experienced in the enmity between Marilyn and me, even to the point of blows once.
A grievous curse has been on our marriage and Jonathan hasn’t been exempt from the effects, of course. I’m very confident, however, that if it hadn’t been for Jonathan, Marilyn and I would have parted ways. I can’t decide whether his influence in keeping us physically together has been good or bad or to my liking, though I expect it’s the Lord’s glue for now and needful for Jonathan. For his sake, I’ve remained. Whether such motivation is good or bad, acceptable to God or idolatrous, I don’t know.
In the night, I knew that only love and a genuine personal relating to people would be of any value when all was said and done in life. Accomplishments and things are of little value in themselves; by themselves, they are essentially worthless.
After some years, I came to realize Herbert W. Armstrong was partially instrumental in bringing some valuable truths to me. He preached that the Sabbath Commandment was never nullified or changed; that Christmas, Easter, and other religious “Christian” events were pagan, having nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus Christ; that the teaching of clean and unclean foods still applied, though not entirely as he taught; that it was wrong to charge for ministry; and that Jesus was in the grave precisely three days and three nights (72 hours) just as He prophesied, as witnessed in Scripture.
However, I never did receive a witness from God that Mr. Armstrong was a man of God, notwithstanding some good doctrinal teaching, an apparent integrity, commitment, and the will to stand alone against nominal orthodox Christendom. Jesus Christ never seemed personal to him. I saw excellence in the flesh, but I didn’t see a broken spirit, a man humbled by the cross of Christ. His righteousness was his own, by the Law and not by faith.