PART EIGHT – Day 888 to Victory (cont.)
When I mixed with people anywhere in the world’s activities and thought of the kinds of harsh things I’d said and done in the Name of the Lord, it scared me and caused me to ask myself, “What have I done? What have I been?” My answers: “A self-righteous, crazed, self-centered spiritual prig, or worse.”
How was it I could feel that way? I saw humanity, kindness, friendliness, and goodwill with people, and I knew full well that unless I was that way with them, not only did I stand no chance of getting anywhere with them, they would surely string me up or at least abhor and avoid me if they only had some idea of what I had been all about. I thought of my writings, doctrines, declarations, and letters, such as to “the six,” and of my dealings with Archie and his family, with Paul, Kerri, and others, and I shuddered. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die; I was so ashamed.
So then I asked: “Am I in the flesh, judging after the appearance when I mingle with the public and therefore doubting things God has done with us? Have we been spiritual idiots, deluded, ungodly, as so many religious groups and individuals are, doing the strangest of things to their own damnation?”
But there had been visions, revelations, and confirmations of God over the years regarding the things at which I shuddered; they occurred in reality with legitimacy before God.
Furthermore, there was no way that the world would understand the strange, apparently cruel, and repugnant things God was capable of doing to and by people, as in the Old Testament when father and mother were required by God’s Law to lay hands on their own child for stoning to death by the whole community, if that child was found guilty of blasphemy or cursing parents or rebelling against them.
Nor would people of the world think anything but the worst of a God Who would have a man killed for picking up sticks on the Sabbath day (Numbers 15:32-36) or Who would slay a man and his wife on the spot for a “harmless lie,” especially considering that they were sharing their goods with the saints and giving to the poor at the same time (Acts 5).
On the other hand, we could seriously question our spiritual status with God, in that it could certainly appear that God’s wrath was on us. Many had left us, divorced, and scattered. There were financial trials and losses, much bitterness, unpleasant relations with neighbors, constant strife and divisions among us, and adultery in my own home with my wife hating me and loving another man; there was my separation from the others and my isolation. There were physical problems – all of us finding it necessary to go regularly to chiropractors, and more.
“Lord, all I can do is leave all this with You and trust You to do what You will and must with us. I know nothing of myself. ”
We must be what we are and cease trying to be what we aren’t. Trying to be what we’re not is to play God and create ourselves in our own image. We profess to be wise and therein become fools, worshipping the creature rather than the Creator. We thus make God out to be a liar and fool.
If we accept what we are, then it’s God Who receives the glory. We let God be true in serving as He intended. Being what we are, we’re the manifest wisdom of God. A blade of grass manifests His wisdom, though it’s not an oak. But it would be a shame for the blade to try to be, or wish it were, an oak. The acceptance of reality is a thing of beauty; it is the essence of emancipation.
I perceived that the key to beginning my new life was to accept the way I’ve been. That, to me, was new meaning to the truth of laying down my life. It’s not merely a matter of giving up all that I have and am; it’s also accepting all that I’ve been. Has not the Lord said to me that His will was that I would serve Him with my infirmities? Surely, that was what it was all about. And isn’t this what reconciliation and rest are all about?
Even those accepting themselves as evil have more rest being what they are than those trying to be something they’re not. I must forgive myself. I feel like a caterpillar in a cocoon, part way between two states. Was this the “turning upside down” the Lord promised through Don Morrison in 1976? Was this the fulfilling of Ernie Chadwick‘s Word and vision of 1976? Was this the promise of the Lord by Mickey Patrick in 1976, that He would break me?
A journal entry:
Marilyn today has acknowledged that she no longer answers to me, that she does her own will, unapologetically; in short, she is no longer my wife. Today she threatened to leave. I am seeing that threat more as a promise now.
God forgive me, but I have to say it. She is a first-class bitch. I hate her. I can’t help it. I hate her. I truly want to see her eliminated, out of my life forever. I want nothing more to do with her. She is to me a witch and a first-class bitch. If such condemns me, so it does. God, I can’t help it. I can’t deny it any longer.
Mark said he recalled how in 1988, when I had come to Stettler for four days to help them move, I missed Marilyn and couldn’t wait to be back home. I no longer feel that way toward her. I also know that Lois sympathizes with her. If I’m wrong as was Howard, and they both are victims of wicked husbands, so be it, but I want that bitch out of my life.
I suppose this proves me in the wrong, for it is written:
“He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no offense in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:9-11 MKJV).
Hasn’t Lois seen a vision of me walking in darkness? Furthermore, it says:
“Everyone hating his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer has everlasting life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15 MKJV).
Frankly, I hate them all. I sincerely declare, “I don’t know anything.” I do know that as I feel, the Scriptures condemn me. This 16th day of February is the third day of this, my third fast, and to what end? I don’t know. Again, John says:
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love” (1 John 4:7-8 MKJV).
I don’t even want to love. I think I want to hate. It’s like I don’t have any choice but to be bitter and to hate. Truly, if things were to continue, I would be tempted to kill her – I really think so. Only the existence of my son would serve to stop me. Is this that threefold cord which that witch perversely sees as herself, Sean, and God? Am I the warlock Barny said I was?
What a hideous day I had! Marilyn said that I needed not to resist, but to let things happen, let go of losses, and look forward to what was in store. I believed that to be true.
I expected that this fast would be my death if I went a full forty days. Forty days would take me to the 3½ year anniversary of Marilyn’s prophecy. Could I do it? Should I do it? Lord willing. It was tempting to “fulfill” the figures, to lose the weight, to see the reactions of others, and to do it in self-pity, thinking, “Who cares? What do I have to live for?” There could be many unworthy motives, but I had asked the Lord to keep me from myself and I remembered the proverb saying, “A man’s heart devises his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
“Pride says, ‘Go 40 days. Jesus, Moses, and Elijah did. It’s a “prophet’s fast”; you’re a prophet, and big things will happen.’ If this is the temptation of the enemy, God save me and preserve me from him. But I seem to have something beyond me taking me. I honestly don’t know why I’m fasting. I think this is the end of all that has been happening in our midst.”
Reading Weller, I find that he, along with Eby, Roach, Hawtin, Brooks, Ebaugh, Prinzing, Wood, and others, denounced any kind of man-to-man submission, perhaps even wives to husbands. Must I reconsider what I’ve been believing, teaching, and requiring of others? We had certainly been contrary to what they taught, yet, obviously, each person did his or her own thing anyway.
I think what the Lord was doing was bringing us to the correct form of spiritual walk and authority in Him and with each other. I perceived there would be a recognition of the authority of the Spirit flowing from whomsoever, yet the Lord would give to submit to elders and to some who have authority over others, not in the flesh, lording it over others, but in the Spirit; it is Christ Who reigns through one placed in authority over others.
If I considered the boulder vision, why would it show many bowing to me and not all bowing to each other, if Les, Barny, Mark, and all these writers were right? God didn’t say, “You will all, every believer, sit on 12 thrones judging the house of Israel,” but to the apostles only He gave this responsibility. No, there was an order to things, and I saw all those writers I mention as bitter rebels against God’s authority. It is of such as them that Jude spoke:
“Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities” (Jude 1:8 KJV).
These writers and proponents of their teachings have spread the poison of rebellion everywhere, having elated, yet confounded and spoiled, many.
In this 5th day of fasting, I confronted Sean on his offense concerning letters to the farm. He was intractable. Marilyn asked me what was going on and faulted me for confronting him, accusing me of striving. She was the one who insisted I talk to him and now faulted me and questioned any value in my doing so. When I laid out my side at her request, she couldn’t argue, didn’t like it, and stayed neutral, knowing I had substance and just cause in my argument. But in her horrid bias, it wouldn’t be long before she sided with him.
This I believed: God so hardened her toward me and so enamored her toward Sean that if I were laying on the ground, face up and starving, and he were to squat and defecate in my face, she would say, “Sean’s right. See? There’s the confirmation, Victor! It came from above, didn’t it?” He could do no wrong whatsoever in her sight. He was to her an angel and I a despised, unworthy creature. “Lord, this is so hard! There is such horrid contradiction.”
On this sixth day of my fast, I see myself as Balaam, who ran greedily after reward, using the things of God to gain worldly riches. I have been and still am so covetous. The record is there to bear it out, and added to that, it has been so in the Name of the Lord.
I’ve been as Esau. In saying to Sean that I would trade places with him, have I not despised my spiritual birthright? Surely! And he, as Jacob, has stolen it. I’m a fornicator, attending to and preferring the things of the flesh to those of the spirit.
Ishmael, Abraham’s elder son and firstborn, no less, was a child of the flesh, as were Esau, Cain, David’s brothers, and Joseph’s brothers. Being children of the flesh, these all persecuted or despised the younger. Ishmael despised and mocked Isaac. I feel resentful to Sean for getting it all; I am jealous, envious, disgraced, and humiliated. He even has a relationship above mine with my very wife. While she has never reverenced her husband, she certainly seems to adore him, and all see it.
Saul lost his anointing as King of Israel and perceived the favor of God and man with David. He resented it and persecuted David until the Lord destroyed Saul. God replaced Saul with David, who was faithful. Has God determined to replace me with Sean?
I am as Nabal, whose wife, Abigail, favored David over him. Nabal treated David rudely and selfishly after David and his men had been a great help and protection to Nabal’s house. Nabal’s servants came to Abigail, complaining of their master’s great selfishness and foolishness, and warned her of David’s intent of retribution against them. She intervened, brought gifts, blessed David, asked him to reconsider, and called her husband a son of Belial – a worthless, foolish person.
My wife has gone over to Sean even as Abigail went over to David. Haven’t I been as Nabal? Who can doubt it? And as Nabal withstood David, after David had helped him and his household, have I not withstood Sean, who has helped us?
“And it happened in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal and his wife had told him these things, his heart died within him and he became like a stone. And it happened about ten days afterward the LORD struck Nabal so that he died” (1 Samuel 25:37-38 MKJV).
I feel like what happened to Nabal is happening to me. Nabal died and Abigail became David’s wife. Such is Marilyn’s prophecy with us. Archie came to Marilyn, saying, “I can’t talk to Victor. Let me tell you what’s happening….” Danny’s dream showed that the man beating the bags of fertilizer was wounded and had to leave. Was that me?
As Nabal was wounded by his wife, wherein his heart turned to stone and he died, so I have been wounded by my wife and have only to wait for my death.
Cain hated Abel because Abel was in faith and Cain wasn’t. Cain was offended and killed Abel. I had a vision of Sean dying in my arms and I was crying for him. Would I be responsible for his death? It came to me that when Cain killed Abel, he wept over him, remorsefully holding him.
Have I not seen myself as a murderer? Does not that spirit of hate and envy reside in all losers? Cain killed Abel, Ishmael despised Isaac, Esau sought to kill Jacob, Joseph’s brothers sought to kill him, Balaam sought to see Israel destroyed, and Saul sought to kill David.
I’ve been one who has beat his servants and lived for himself. The Lord even speaks of that, quite literally:
“But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My lord delays his coming,’ and shall begin to beat the male servants and women servants, and to eat and drink and to be drunk, the lord of that servant will come in a day when he does not expect, and at an hour when he does not know. And he will cut him apart, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his lord’s will and did not prepare, nor did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes” (Luke 12:45-47 MKJV).
Why did I have a vision of Marilyn, bitter and naked, even eating her own dung? Was she in great need and I failed to feed and clothe her, as a decent husband should? I’ve been as one who hid the talents he was to invest and failed to do so, out of selfishness and fear. What hope do I have? I’ve been as all the villa qins of Scripture. I’m the man of sin, that wicked one, the son of perdition, the Lucifer of Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, the anti-Christ.
Yet the Lord will save me. He will redeem me. I will be transformed, raised from the dead to serve and worship Him in spirit and truth. He has promised and will fulfill it. The first Adam, the man of sin, is to be redeemed. “You won’t be dying. Will you believe Me?” He said to me.
Somehow, I’ve had to be as I’ve been. There’s no explanation. Haven’t I offered to be the anti-Christ if necessary to do His will? Has the Lord taken me at my word with such an offer?
I ended the fast on the sixth day, February 19, 2000, concluding I was fasting because of my conflict and frustration with Sean and because of Marilyn’s rejection of me, declaring her allegiance to him. I decided that those motives were illegitimate and that I must face my fate.
On February 21st, Sean called to reply and explain his talking to Marilyn the way he did, when we three were on the phone, in the spirit of, “I’m the head here.” He said that he spoke to her as his wife, that he speaks to her that way at the farm, and thought that he should speak to her no differently in front of me. I had nothing to say and he nothing more. I thought this day was significant. He openly claimed her as his wife.
I awoke the next morning, having seen that I was one who suffered loss, my works being hay, wood, and stubble, burned up, but that I would be saved “yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). I recalled having once asked the Lord how I would be going, and He said, “With fire.” I also saw that I was that rich man tormented in the flames of Hell (Luke 16:22-24), whose flames are not quenched, and eaten of worms that do not die (Mark 9:44-48). Well, if the fire can purify me, let’s get on with it because I have no desire or intent to remain as I have been.
At some point during this time, I picked up Merlin Carother’s book, Power in Praise. As I red his teaching and the testimonies, I was given to understand that, indeed, the victory of the believer was received in giving God thanks and praise for everything, both good and bad. One could not lose or err in giving God the glory in everything. I thought, “Where have I been? Of course I should be thanking and praising God! That was one of the first things He taught me, back in 1974 – it was my first sermon! Where have I been? What’s with me?!”
I set myself to giving the Lord thanks for my circumstances, not as I would have liked them to be or so that they would change, but to acknowledge that He was in charge and running all things well and that all things were working for our good. Confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord entails much more than speaking the word with the mouth. He wants our hearts. He gave me to concentrate on thanking Him.
Soon, with some fits and starts, victory began to happen – one step forward, one back; two steps forward, one back; one back again, then one forward, then two, then three…. I was beginning to experience victory, and it was independent of my circumstances. In looking to God, the circumstances didn’t matter so much anymore.
My perspective and attitude changed. I began to have more peace, rest, joy, contentment, and assurance that all would be well. I was reminded of these words and they became real to me:
“A Psalm of thanksgiving. Shout for joy to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness. Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God. It is He Who has made us, and we are His. We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, and bless His Name. For the LORD is good. His loving kindness endures forever, His faithfulness to all generations” (Psalms 100:1-5 HNV).
It suddenly occurred to me that though God had said many things to me, He never said He married Sean and Marilyn. If I was all those bad guys, why had He told me so many things and given me visions and revelations? Thus far during all this trial, He said to me:
Let it happen.
Lay down your life for them.
You’ll not be dying. Will you believe Me?
Serve Me with your infirmities.
Be what you are.
Let go of the old.
Wait on the Lord. (I was told this several times.)
Don’t try to figure it out.
Don’t judge after the appearance.
All these things He said to me, besides the visions, revelations, and prophecies concerning many matters.
Interestingly, on the surface here, it may seem like I was fighting my circumstances, but I wasn’t. In fact, I didn’t even want to! I was okay with them, and perhaps, oddly enough, even more for them now than for a reconciliation in marriage.
To have my bosom companion of over two decades push me away, wishing I were dead and she much preferring another, is about as painful an experience as can be, perhaps only second to losing an only-beloved child of one’s old age. Yet I marvel at how God not only made me to bear it, but even to continue with it as it continued with me.
Sean called, probing and intimate with Marilyn, while she was reluctant to talk with me present. It is growing and coming to a conclusion. I rejoice.
A revelation came to me: When I am given to speak to someone, I should speak not only for the one to whom my speech pertains, but for all those around us. They all need to hear what is being said. I was not to hold back or mute my voice in any way, but to be bold. There need be no secrecy or timidity or apology. “That which is whispered in your ear, shout from the housetops.” I was not to be ashamed of the Truth or anything good.
The revelations and prophecies I received on February 10, 2000 were finally delivered on the 24th to the farm. I had waited, masticated, hesitated, deliberated, and finally decided to deliver. The Bensons were in turmoil and there resulted considerable discussion in what I brought them. It didn’t seem that anybody questioned any of it. Lois began a fast the next day, upon Sean’s suggestion, because she and Trevor were becoming very frustrating to Sean and to Marilyn. The fast would take 18 days to complete.
I was now steadfastly and spontaneously giving thanks. The next day would prove to be memorable indeed for me, one that I could never forget. Here it is, glory to God!
This is not a vision or dream per se. However, it is as a vision, because though it happened in reality, I was as in a dream and saw that which is not at all normal, as you shall see by my account (I recorded this on February 29, 2000, four days after the encounter):
On Friday, February 25, 2000, Jonathan and I were in Coaldale on the main street. He and I circled the block for a walk from the back door of John Wiebe’s meat shop to the front of the Saan Store. As we walked, a young woman came out of one of the buildings (shops). She was casually, yet seemingly well dressed, slim, dark hair, not long, yet not real short. She was very comely, though not as the world perceives. Her complexion was smooth, without blemish, her countenance calm, confident, at peace, alert.
She looked at me, as though she took particular interest, yet didn’t wish to let on so. I looked her in the eyes momentarily. She captivated me almost instantly, yet I thought it impolite, even wrong as a married man, to look at her too much, and so we went away, Jonathan and I in one direction, and she in the opposite.
I didn’t realize the impact she had on me until that evening. It was then that I thought or wished that, given another opportunity, I would have paid more attention, dared to pursue further, even enquired of her. I don’t remember seeing anyone like her before, not in reality, movies, or dreams. She seemed so superior in quality to anyone I’ve known or seen, not so much physically as mentally and spiritually.
Could that person have been an angel? If not, I think her to be one of immense power, possessing a rare glory perhaps akin to the mythical or legendary Helen of Troy, of whom it is said men would readily lay down their lives. I’ve never known or heard of anyone on earth with such comeliness. It wasn’t at all as this world counts attractiveness. The prettiest models and famed beauties are crudely groomed, pretentious, proud, artificial, counterfeit, hard, sin-sick in comparison. This creature’s beauty gently and innocently radiated from within, perfect and natural. Her attractiveness was in her spiritual nature and character.
There was no pretense, only innocence. We were free to love each other without expecting anything of the other. Indeed, there was no need of expectation because the reality was that we belonged to each other and nobody would change that, or possibly even could. There was no risk, no ground for jealousy, no fear of loss or of failure. Our relationship was wholesome, unadulterated by any possible thing, guaranteed impregnable, incorruptible.
I was going to say that I loved her so much I could let her go free at any time, but such a statement is full of error. This is a new thing. With this encounter, I must redefine love, as I’ve never known it. It’s not a matter of a greater measure of what I’ve known, not at all. A full measure and overflowing of what I’ve known couldn’t begin to suffice. It would fall short altogether, like filling up with quarts of water to satisfy hunger – it doesn’t happen; indeed, such an approach seems antithetical. No, what I experienced in a matter of moments was a love that knew no bounds, not within, not without. This love, if one could call it that, perfectly included the subjects for all time. There is no such thing on earth, though men and women wax eloquent and romantic while perhaps even exaggerating about their loves.
Yes, one wants to be with that person; yes, there is comfort, peace, joy, contentment, and true fulfilment… but somehow, because that love is spiritual and genuine, there’s no need or desire for physical union.
She had a universality about her. It was as though nothing mattered, yet everything mattered. She was free of all things, yet took a responsible attitude toward them all, if one could call it attitude, because it was more of a nature or deportment than an attitude. If a deportment, it was unconscious, essential, not one purposed or cultivated.
They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but on that day I saw a face that had so much more, a face, it seems, that said all that could be said! I suppose such words may sound idolatrous and blasphemous. Of whom but God can such things be said? Yet, if He so wills to reveal Himself in a tiny portion of His creation in such a way, and I don’t doubt His ability to do so, then is it idolatry or blasphemy to speak this way? Are not angels His direct representatives, in nature as well as in duty, expressions, or manifestations of Him?
Furthermore, concerning the face of this woman, more particularly her spiritual expression, and more specifically, her eyes, which were the core of expression, the windows of her being, it was that, as she looked at me, I was included in her. Nor was she invasive or obtrusive. She required nothing of me, yet freely shared all that she had and all that she was, without trying.
In so doing, I was utterly hers, willingly, defenselessly, automatically. Though I’ve said I hesitated to look long upon her for fear of being wrong, I suspect that any continuation past those few moments would be as though one went past glancing into the sun, where in moments more, one could incur damage to the eyes. Even the residue of that encounter has impacted and captivated me so that I would willingly look into the sun (I long for it), knowing full well the consequence (or reward).
Yet if I had any suspicion of harm, I wouldn’t choose to look, knowing it was evil. But I have to say that, though there lingers some degree of doubt and suspicion that such a creature can be, and can be only good, I judge her almost beyond any justification of suspicion; so pure, so good, so clean she seemed to me.
This is almost a fit of insanity! I related a part of this writing to Marilyn, and she marveled. She said, “Perhaps if you saw her again, as you say you wish, you might be disappointed.” How true! Imaginations can surely carry one away, and I can consider myself rather vulnerable, given the present unhappiness and emptiness in our marriage.
But I would be perfectly willing to be disappointed! I have no desire for illusion or fantasy. If upon further examination, she turned out to be an ordinary person, I’d be disappointed on the one hand that I had not met a special creature of God after all, sent to me for good, but on the other hand, I would go on with reality, preferring so.
And if this person should reject me, I would know she wasn’t at all the person I thought she was, and her rejection wouldn’t hurt me because I wouldn’t be rejected by someone I wanted to be accepted by. And again there’s no fear of rejection from the kind of person I describe here. It is a win-win situation.
As I perceive her, and in the state she has left me, I would be willing to leave off all my inhibitions and pursue her person. If she were ordinary or married, fine. I wouldn’t want to take anything belonging to another, no matter how wonderful, and if by virtue of the fact that I’m married and she was forbidden of God to me, fine.
I’d like to know who she is, why she is as she is, if it can really be true that she is as I have perceived, and why God has arranged all this. If perchance, God meant something for us, it would be an almost incredibly delightful thing to me, like literally dying and going to Heaven.
I know this: There would have to be no pain whatsoever to any, especially to Marilyn and Jonathan. Let her be such a creature that could satisfy my every longing, desire, and need, but if there was any wrongdoing whatsoever to them as a result, I reject it all out of hand, without any hesitation whatsoever.
What a strange, strange experience! It’s as though I’ve looked into the eyes of an angel from God, never to be the same again. What power, what impact, and that, in a matter of moments!
More. As she was, I was becoming as I gazed on her. I was included in that universality. By universality, I mean something more specific and other than expected by common usage of language. All was hers, all was ours, and all was mine. She notified me in a few moments of silence that all was mine, that I was an heir to all that exists.
Gladly would I surrender all that I had, including my very life, to have what I saw there in her. It wasn’t her but what she represented… another world, the true kingdom, everything. But I would not, could not, give up any soul, any person, not any. Why? Because in the surrender of all things for the acquisition of that which I saw and felt, perceived, and received, or which was indelibly, yet invisibly etched on me, it would be an abomination to sacrifice any soul. She couldn’t be bought, deserved, won, or earned any more than can be done with the sun; it’s impossible.
I can’t begin to express sufficiently what is there in me, about me. It’s like every soul is an integral part of that whole, which is mine, nothing to be sacrificed, nothing to be hurt. Whereas we have had to forsake all, including parents, wives, children, friends, any and all possessions, and ambitions to follow the Lord, now we are to sacrifice or forsake nothing.
“And in that day you shall ask Me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to you, Whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give you.” (John 16:23 MKJV)
Instead of forsaking, we discipled saints are to include everybody. (I’m not able to say what is there.) If I were to cause any undue pain to anyone in pursuing this woman, this creature, it would be like sacrificing children and virgins by fire to pagan deities to obtain their favor.
Her look at me seemed to be mirroring my look on her, as though “deep called unto deep.” While she was impacting me, I sensed that she was almost experiencing the same thing with me as I with her. It is also possible, unless she is an angel (or perhaps even though she is an angel), that she ponders this meeting even as do I.
More. Because of the effect her countenance had on me, I have to conclude that every effort of ours to change someone for the better out of their faults, real or perceived – it doesn’t matter – is vain, utterly vain, and not only so, but wrong, even criminal. I have no doubt whatsoever that her few split seconds of gaze move me to change more than all teachings, reproofs, admonishments, rebukes, and punishments man could place on me in a lifetime.
While there would be visible or perceptible changes performed on me by someone, those changes would not necessarily be for good, even if appearing good, even if preventing me from committing evils of all kinds. I wouldn’t be changed in heart. But this countenance would move me to do anything good. It would perfectly inspire me to endure, to persist, and to ignore failure altogether, until I accomplished that good I knew to do, impossible as it might seem.
And it wouldn’t matter if I eventually failed in the thing itself. The consumption of the commitment and drive would be the success sought for.
It is written that His (Jesus Christ’s) visage was marred more than that of any man (Isaiah 52:14). I once had a dream of men damaging my face – I was a road, and the men were workers with picks and shovels. Men mar the face of God, and now I perceive that the face of God transforms in all goodness, not only the faces or visages of men, but their very natures. Indeed, no man can see God and live – he can never again be the person he was.
God, I don’t want to control any person ever again, in any way, shape, or form… not a believer, pagan, neighbor, friend, foe, wife, son, not myself! I would far rather be a changer by spiritual influence rather than by words and actions. (Yet I know the Word must be spoken and the act done.)
I have to say something else. Though the person was apparently a woman, yet she seemed almost independent of sex. She was independent of everything, yet included by all, naturally or intrinsically committed to the good of all.
What would true evil be? True evil would be a disposition of any kind, to even the slightest degree, which would dislike, reject, oppose, even ignore the nature, the substance of the creature that unveiled herself to me for those moments. I saw goodness (integrity, sincerity, sobriety) such as I have never before seen in any person on earth.
I could almost write a book on the two seconds or so I spent in suspended animation, gazing upon this face, gazing into her eyes or, rather, being captured by that gaze. The whole countenance was unassuming, unpretentious, sincere, honest, prepared to lay all on the line; respectful, studious, very conscious, nonjudgmental, non-critical, objective, intelligent, discerning, sober, neither obliged nor obligating, yet willing to be obliged, but not foolishly confident. Her spirit was wise, unobtrusive (a very good word), free, generous, and unselfish in all ways. I would have to say that the apostle Paul’s description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 expresses very accurately what I saw in this person. It’s nothing at all as men imagine or describe love.
More. Uninhibited, but discreet, taking pleasure only in good, void of any retaliation (indeed, none can be found in such a nature, so foreign to it), truth of its composition as wood of a tree. (The day I met her, Lois began her fast, which climaxed for her in a freedom from a certain fear after 18 days of seeking the Lord.)
If I were to run into that person again and find her to be nobody unusual, I could be very embarrassed, yet I think God has given me something nevertheless, for which I should not be ashamed, but rather grateful. Lord, resolve all this for me.
Lord, thank You.
I know that love is not something that can be made or conjured up. I also know I don’t have it as I perceived it in that person, but I would like to be there in it and it in me. Of course, one can say that if God is in me, and He is love, then love is in me, and I in love. Yet, I discern no such manifestation as I saw then. Lord, have Your way.
More would be occurring to me in the months to come concerning this visitation.
Who says there is no God?
Page 11 PART FIVE – Moon River to Harvest Haven (cont.) Particle – Emptiness Within Often and for long periods of time, God has hidden Himself from His called ones, as with all the saints and prophets of old. We desire so much to walk by sight, but we need to learn to walk by faith, by the little given knowledge of the unknown, in order that we may know Him. And though He hides Himself to try us, He's always there; there's nowhere one can go from His presence. Emptiness isn't a bad sign in itself, as one might suppose. I am ill with sorrow and grief, Vexation and loneliness; My soul is filled with groanings and longings; I look in all directions; I reach out; My hand returns empty. Tears fill my soul; I cry and cry and cry; There is no one to comfort, to console, to ease my pain. Day after day, year after year, Decade after decade, I wait, I long, I cry; I heave and sigh. There is none to understand. I wait for morning; I wait for evening; I'm desolate. I eat, I sleep, I cry. Is it sin I say I don't have That causes me to be this way – Desperate, sad, lonely, unfulfilled, Useless, despised, unwanted? This is not the abundant life. Though I have my carnal needs met And freedom to come and go, I have nowhere to come and go. All is quiet, uneventful, drab, and grey. Do I complain, Or do I merely state the way things are For those appointed to such by Divine order, Not for sin, But for His purposes? I don't know. I do know I...
Page 14 PART FIVE – Moon River to Harvest Haven (cont.) Particle – The Feedlot Battle The residents opposing the feedlot held a meeting. I attended and found them demoralized and defeated. Their only remaining hope was to voice their concerns, without expecting any results, perhaps with the possibility of some small concessions. I remember Lloyd Sereda, Luc and Maria Demers, Etta Taylor, Tim Jarvie (a lawyer), and his wife, Anita. Pat King was nowhere to be found. I told them what the Lord had promised us by Marilyn. Of course, most didn't believe. However, Etta Taylor and Maria Demers both declared they believed it and it gave them hope. I was thankful for them. The day came for the meeting at Claresholm on May 20th, 1993, 3 ½ years and ten days after the conflagration at the Moon River fire hall on November 10th, 1989. (I suspect Pat King had informed me of this issue on May 10th, but I have no record of that. I only go by how the Lord has often done things with remarkable timings.) Both parties presented their arguments to council. Al Wheeler spoke briefly for the Mandels and the feed company, owned and operated by the Olafsons (Butte Feeds), who were in partnership with the Mandels. It could well have been a strategic move to have a Moon River resident speak up for them, thus minimizing opposition from the hamlet. Olafson and his son, Randy, were present (which I do not mention without significant cause, as you will see). Olafson Sr. made a short, rat...
Page 19 PART ONE – Darkness to Light (cont.) Particle – John R. Rice The Sword of the Lord was a publication that stirred up considerable controversy among the evangelicals in the early seventies. John R. Rice was bombastic, lambasting evangelicals. I recall them saying he was a brother, but not very loving or Christlike. I didn't know what to make of Mr. Rice. Though he stood out as different among evangelicals, I was not drawn to his teaching. Particle – Heeding Head or Heart The issue was never a matter of doctrine to me so much as spirit and life. My guidelines for choosing my teachers seemed different than those of most others. I was led more by the strings of the heart than by the chains of the head or denominational partisanship, though I didn't know it. Particle – Lukewarm Lambs, Likewise Leaders Members of the Alliance Church once talked of how a visiting preacher confronted a congregation. He asked, “How many people here hate God?” No hands went up. “How many people are on absolute fire for God, willing to do anything for Him?” Very few, if any, hands went up. Finally, he asked, “How many are somewhere in between?” There was a great show of hands. He then had them open their Bibles to the following passage: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16 MKJV). The fellow telling the story (himself an or...