PART NINE – Signs of New Times (cont.)
One day, Lessard approached me and said that the Lord was telling me by him to partake of their foot-washing ceremony. Paul and I both knew he wasn’t hearing from the Lord; however, we both felt to do it for Jean-Claude’s sake, and I told him as much when we accepted. I also told him that I was washing his feet by speaking the Word of the Lord to him and that he would wash my feet by receiving what I was saying to him by the Lord. Mike Schaber invited Paul to partake, which Paul did.
After the foot-wash, we went downstairs for lunch and were presented with a wonderful opportunity to talk. I ended up free to share with a polite, if not attentive, interested audience. I gave them part of my testimony and, given their doctrine of the unconscious dead, I told them of the visit I had from my father and uncle in 1998. They couldn’t argue with my faith or resist what I was testifying, yet struggled with their indoctrination, which was contradicted by what I was sharing.
Later, we had another unplanned “open forum” where Paul and I were able to share much with several – Mike and Renee Lemon, Sharon Davies, Mike Bowes, Mike Schaber, Darrell Beaudoin, Jean-Claude Lessard, Larry and Pat Berteotti, a Negro elder who was quite sassy (Why do blacks often come across so arrogant and contentious? Are they trying to prove something?), his wife, and perhaps three others. God opened the doors.
Sharon had lost her son to suicide about two years before. I shared what I had just seen with Josh Kendall, but because she stuck by SDA doctrine, she wasn’t able to benefit from the truth.
I also told them they were denying the Lord by their doctrine, in putting the resurrection into the future when, in fact, He is.
I awoke on October 1, 2000 with an alert that so many people take tangents and miss the point in conversations. The point must often be retrieved. These people are lost sheep, yet they think they will be saved by their professions and doctrines. They’re scatterbrained or deliberately evasive; either way, they need to be guided or compelled to honesty, respect, and discipline.
One thing is sure – they’re right after all in saying the dead are unconscious; they don’t know anything; the Bible says so.
In reading Jonah, I saw that God was sovereign over believers, unbelievers, cities, weather, oceans, fish, plants, insects, the future, the Scriptures, their fulfillment, and everything else. By using man’s unrighteousness, the Lord made a living sign, which He would also fulfill in His Son, centuries later, to demonstrate and to fulfill His righteousness.
Particle – A Tragedy Adorned in Earthly Glory
I believe I was watching the Miracle Channel in Lethbridge (possibly known at the time as CJIL) when I saw a church in Regina, Saskatchewan broadcasting a service. It was large and apparently successful, with several pastors, and Harry Strauss was the senior one. I believe they were celebrating Christmas or Easter or some religious occasion of Christendom.
There was Harry, dignified, presentable, alive and thriving to the world, honored of men, but so dead to Heaven and to God.
Particle – One Must Lose the Life to Keep It
I’m constantly reminded by the Lord that if I keep my life, I lose it, but if I lose it for His sake, I keep it, and not only keep it but have it multiplied to me manifold. “And they loved not their lives unto death” (Revelation 12:11).
Particle – Taber New Life Church
Pat and Linda Kavanagh invited us to Taber New Life Church. On October 1, 2000, Paul and I went for the morning service. The music and singing were lively and joyous, they had their own music band, and even the youth were actively involved. There were people dancing, clapping, and lying on the floor. There were the gifts of prophecy and tongues, and perhaps other gifts manifesting. The music brought tears to my eyes (yes, I am a rather emotional one). The whole thing was rather impressive to me. They were doing things I had often wanted to see happen with us, yet I suspected I had to reserve judgment, watch, and wait.
After the meeting, we were invited for dinner at the Kavanagh’s, along with Doug and Karen Shimoda, their very friendly, sociable pastors. The Shimodas informed us of their association with the “Toronto Blessing,” a wild charismatic movement we had long ago been instructed was not of God, but was, indeed, demonic. They recounted some sensational events and played a recording of the alleged sound of a great moving of God’s Spirit at a gathering in Northern Canada. Paul and I agreed it was the manifestation of a demon, strong delusion.
Particle – Shimoda’s Words for Us
Before we left Kavanagh’s, I suggested prayer. Doug, Karen, and Pat prophesied. While Pat’s vision and prophecy didn’t seem to witness with us (that is, we didn’t have that quiet inner assurance from God that his prophecies were of God), Doug and Karen’s prophecies and visions did witness, and they were extraordinarily accurate. Theirs had three basic themes:
One, Paul and I had just gone through hard times with the enemy having had the preeminence and power over us, particularly over me, though not because of sin.
Two, things were about to begin happening in a great way and indeed were already beginning.
Three, Paul and I were men of God together. They prophesied that we would be receiving great revelations and that we were to go on.
Karen also prophesied that one, all my past sins were forgiven; two, Paul and I had a special relationship, a closeness (a spiritual appearance of us that many other strangers have had); three, there was particular significance to my name; and four, no weapon or opposition would prosper against us.
Particle – Karen Shimoda’s Vision: A River Growing
Karen saw a riverbed that at first was very low on water. There was a bit more than a trickle, not a lot, but it was beginning to flow. There were rocks and boulders that seemed like obstructions in the riverbed, but the rush of water to fill the whole bed was coming and would, and did, sweep away the boulders. It then appeared to be a strong but normal river flowing. This all pertained to God’s work through Paul and me.
Doug also saw a change in Paul, likened to a change in woodgrain, that his grain would be changed. Doug also spoke of Paul’s getting to know the love of a/the Father.
There was more, but I don’t recall it. Paul and I had no “in season” prophetic utterances for them, but I did declare to them that the “Toronto Blessing” and the event heard on the audiotape, and like works and manifestations, were strong delusion, the enemy, and not God. We were desirous that they would examine themselves in that light and repent of spiritual follies. They disagreed with us.
We also assured them that the prophecies they uttered were true and served as confirmations of what we had already been experiencing and receiving. We invited them to join us for our first Sabbath on the 14th, and I gave my Sabbath paper to Pat.
Particle – Pat Kavanagh’s Vision and Prophecy: Trees, Amusement Park Ride
Ezekiel 13:4-10 MKJV
(4) O Israel, your prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.
(5) You have not gone up into the breaks, nor built the wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.
(6) They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, “The LORD says.” And the LORD has not sent them; but they hoped to confirm their word.
(7) Did you not see a vain vision, and speak a lying divination? Yet you say, “The LORD says”; although I have not spoken?
(8) Therefore so says the Lord God: Because you have spoken vanity and seen a lie, therefore, behold, I am against you, says the Lord God.
(9) And My hand shall be against the prophets who see vanity and who divine a lie. They shall not be in the council of My people, nor shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord God.
(10) Because, even because they made My people go astray, saying, “Peace”; and there was no peace; and he builds a wall, and lo, others daubed it with lime.
These were the manifestations from Pat that we questioned:
Pat saw a little tree formed from the seed of a big tree, having to return to the big tree. This was contrary to nature, and it simply didn’t witness to us.
Pat then likened Paul and me to those who had checked out a ride at an amusement park, fully examining all the parts, nuts, bolts, and everything for safety, and now we must, by faith, hop on the car. I didn’t believe the Lord would use an amusement park as an illustration of our calling. Besides, we were already stepping out by faith and learning to shout from the housetops all we have heard in the ear.
My note eight years later (2009): I now see how the first illustration could apply. Paul was that little tree, and he certainly had wandered from me, yet not me, but the Lord, and now it was time for him to obey and return to me in the Lord as his big tree, so that the work might begin and be established.
I now see how the second illustration could also be applied: The Lord has been teaching us the truth and good doctrine all these years. We have meditated, prayed, studied, and pondered all these things, and now we should be readying ourselves to declare what we’ve learned.
Can the Lord’s good doctrine and preparation be compared to an amusement ride? Certainly this is not about amusement, but in principle, the truth and message are there. Recall that the Lord commended the unjust steward for his scheming. We know He wouldn’t commend theft and disloyalty, but His message was one of doing that which is wise with what we have in this world, that it may serve us well in the next…. “Make unto yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when you fail, they will receive you into everlasting habitations” (Luke 16:9).
Why couldn’t we receive Pat’s visions or prophecies as of God at the time? I don’t know. Perhaps Pat had to be tried. Was he willing to stand by faith, contrary to opposition and contradiction?
Particle – The Taber New Life Church
Here’s what we saw with the people:
They were playing, with no vigilance of any kind.
They were easily deceived by delusions like the “Toronto Blessing.”
They were irresponsible and ignorant concerning many things such as diet, pets in homes, chemical use in agriculture and in homes (they were spraying for flies in the church), etc.
They made light of Christ and His cross, joking about their dog being saved.
Karen ruled over Doug, as over a house dog on a leash. She dominated his thoughts, actions, and speech. Yet her prophecies were right on. The gifts of God are indeed without repentance. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” These are His people that need instruction. (Linda also ruled Pat.)
This is not a congregation of godly people. It is “church,” the unclean, harlotry, along with all the rest of them.
Yet, by God’s grace, Karen and Doug prophesied to us a true and accurate Word, as far as we could tell. We also delivered a Word of warning and correction to them, and while we received some of their revelations at the time (now all), they couldn’t receive what we had to say. Would they eventually believe what the Lord gave us to give them?
Of course, it could be argued that while their Word to us required no change on our part, our Word to them required major change. It isn’t as though we were equally tried.
Particle – Revelation of Free Will and Choice
Hours previously, on the way to Taber, which was a 45-minute drive from Lethbridge, I received understanding on the matter of free will. While we have choice, we don’t have free will. We are given choice to demonstrate our own unrighteousness, against which comes God’s righteousness, proving that we need a Savior.
Jesus Christ alone can save us, and He is merciful and gracious. We are not saved by our own effort. Jeremiah says it’s not in man to direct his steps. Though we devise our ways, making our choices, all being wrong, God directs our steps out of mercy. What a wonderful, wonderful revelation! How emancipating the realization that we don’t have to depend on ourselves in any way.
Particle – Revelation on Annihilation of the Wicked
Can the wicked be awaiting annihilation? I wondered if perhaps the SDAs had a point and I was wrong about the doctrine of salvation for all. Then I was reminded that it would be “more tolerable” for Sodom than for Capernaum in the day of judgment. More tolerable? What need would there be of annihilation if the worst would experience any measure of tolerance? To what end?
Particle – Mark’s Vision: Burning Cross and Number Seven
Mark called on October 2, 2000, telling me he’d had a vision at about 11 pm the night before. He saw a burning cross, which was replaced with a number 7 the same size or a little larger than the cross. At the time, I thought it symbolized the destruction of the last enemy, death, with rest ensuing. As I write this book today, I realize it signified purging by fire and death through our recent circumstances, bringing us to Sabbath rest.
Particle – Jonathan’s Vision: Blue Gears Working Smoothly
On October 3, 2000, snow and cold came, and I was concerned about our harvest and other things. Jonathan then had a vision of blue gears, working together smoothly, many of them. I took this to mean that all would be working smoothly as it should, that I needn’t be concerned about the work, lack of manpower, or anything else. The vision pointed to a time when everyone and everything would be working smoothly at the farm and everywhere else in relation to us.
Particle – My Letter to the Members of Church of Chimes
On September 20th, I’d written a letter to the Church of Chimes in general and several members in particular. Several days later, I presented it to the pastor, Mike Lemon, who naturally disagreed with it, but told me that while he would have no part in distributing it, he would permit me to do so with whomsoever I would.
I distributed the letter on October 7th, 88 days from July 10th, 77 days from the binding of Satan and casting him out, and 70 days after Sean’s casting out was sealed. This, however, didn’t happen without stiff opposition from several members, especially Ed Knox and Darlene Aldous, a hard woman indeed. She acted as a nasty clucker sitting on a batch of eggs to hatch. Little did she know her eggs were those of a cockatrice. And elder John Lacanilao would not shake my hand.
I went to the trouble of visiting several people at their place of employment to get this letter into their hands. Some Filipinos were very skeptical, even contemptuous, as though I had the plague. Others seemed receptive. Several had a language barrier I wasn’t able to overcome to my satisfaction.
Remarkably, Mike Lemon asked two cynical, ignorant, unbelieving, insulting questions: “Are you an epileptic?” (the theory being that epileptics supposedly have visions – Ellen G. White was an epileptic) and, “Are you Elijah?” (I suppose many have come, like William Branham, thinking they were Elijah.)
Particle – Another Contact with My Mother
My mother sent Jonathan a belated gift for his birthday, so I suggested he call and thank her. Though we don’t celebrate birthdays, I didn’t think it appropriate before God to refuse her (she already knew where we stood on this matter), but rather take the opportunity to show an open door to her for her sake.
When we called her, she told me that Barb had been deeply hurt by a letter I sent years ago, wherein I was vicious to both her and Mom. I know I was. I had reacted to the years of abuse I suffered from them. Mother took the high road and suggested that I should “love” them and apologize, that I would get further that way than by “dictatorship.” She also said that they were all still afraid of me.
From the conversation, I concluded that she took the credit for my life in Christ. She said she spoke to me in 1971 at the hospital, telling me I needed to get serious about life (it was about that time that my life began to turn around). I also concluded that she placed the onus on me for the division between us. In other words, she said, “We are right; you have wronged us, and it’s up to you to make things right. You have to come to our side; we have no intention or desire to come to yours. The reason I contact you is not to join you, but that you might rejoin us.”
She told me that after I sent the harsh letter, Barb wrote me off as a brother. I was surprised to hear that. I thought she had written me off long before. I saw no reason whatsoever to pursue anything with them.
Particle – Childhood Sins Bear Fruit
I believe there was another reason Barb was so offended with me. I had apologized to her by letter for my sexual advances toward her as children, and I don’t think she could handle the unpleasant memories. One day it occurred to me why she became hysterical when I was playing in the living room with Ronnie, her boy, and his pants began to slip as I was swinging him upside down (there were several other people sitting and visiting). I concluded that her extreme reaction grew out of her childhood experience with me.
Sean sent us a letter. I criticized it and Marilyn stood with Sean, telling me I was carnal. She condemned my letters and words to the SDAs and to Pascal Gregoire as carnal works.
She developed a bit of a relationship with one of our unbelieving customers, Christina, and confided in her. Why did she not confide in Lois, a believer, one with faith and who heard from God? Why did she fight her husband and make friends with the world?
Particle – Troubled Kerri Calls Repeatedly
Kerri called a few times recently, troubled about being separated from Paul. I tried to explain and encourage her, but if her heart was set to keep Paul, nothing I said would appease her.
Particle – Marilyn Killed Sean
I had wondered who had killed Sean from the time I had the vision. I received one morning that Marilyn had killed Sean. She usurped my place and authority, received him to herself, and began to form her fantasy including him, rejecting me.
Particle – Dream:Hal Lindsay and Cliff Ford
I had a dream on the night of October 12, 2000, in which Paul, Trevor (maybe Mark), and I were at a book sale of new and used books displayed on high shelving units in what seemed to be a retail outlet where were many people. I found a book by Hal Lindsay, which was the size of a large Bible concordance, only half the thickness. I noticed the cover highlighted some of the material within, and while it was somewhat accurate and factual, there was no mention of or witness to the Lord (I knew this to be so).
As I was beginning to pull it off the shelf for inspection and possible purchase (it was $20), Hal Lindsay and Cliff Ford both gruffly came, took the book off the shelf, out of my hands, and set it on the floor in a corner by the bookshelf, as if reserved or already spoken for. They were rather rude and unfriendly, quite impersonal. I was going to say something, but they were gone, lost in the crowd, and I awoke.
Interpretation: I had been watching the International News Briefing at times. My take was that those two men didn’t testify of the Lord. They were afraid and ashamed of their works, rejecting me because I am from God. So are all the works of men, according to John 3:19-21.
“And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices truth comes to the Light so that his works may be revealed, that they exist, having been worked in God” (John 3:19-21 MKJV).
Particle – Prophecy at the Farm
Paul and Kerri arrived from Great Falls on October 12th. On October 13th, we had our first Sabbath Eve supper with eight present – Lois, Mark, Trevor, Paul, Kerri, Jonathan, Marilyn, and me. I prophesied of our having been taken through the fires and now we are to be a light to a very dark and troubled world. The trouble was coming; those high, tough-talking, boastful, and religious would be shaken and fearful. We would all suffer, but no weapon formed against us would prosper.
I also said (words to the effect): “Who do you think you are or are fooling? The Lord is not mocked. Troublous times swiftly approach, yea, they are here.” (Did these latter words apply to Kerri or to many?)
Particle – Our First Weekly Sabbath
I awoke on our first Sabbath morning and red Jonah and some Scriptures pertaining to the Sabbath. In the afternoon, Mike Bowes and Yvon Goulet came by. I had given these SDAs an invitation to come, if they wished. I think they came out of curiosity to see what we were up to. I offered them a copy of the letter. Yvon accepted and Mike declined; he’s blind but I don’t think that was why he refused.
Particle – Boldness of Speech the Only Way
We sang some of my songs and Kerri asked for prayer. With tears, she renounced security and comfort for herself. I gave Yvon the paper on Christmas. I was also learning that being bold and forthright in speech was the only way to go.
In the evening, when the Sabbath had ended, Paul and I went to Pascal and Ingrid’s for some Bible study, as they had requested. They seemed receptive.
Particle – Cold Shoulder atTaber New Life
On October 15, 2000, Paul and I headed to Taber again for the New Life Sunday service. Now the whole thing was unveiled to us and obvious. It was fleshly works and delusion. We talked to Pat Kavanagh and Dave Greeno about fleshly works and the Sabbath. The place was a sick atmosphere of pleasure-seeking. The leaders were in trance-like states, with eyes glazed.
It was obvious the Shimodas had sounded the warning to their people about us. I had not sent the letter to them. All we had said to them was that the “Toronto Blessing” and the event in Northern Canada weren’t of God. We didn’t fight or argue with them.
Did they not believe their own prophecies concerning Paul and me? Apparently not. They were as Balaam, who prophesied by the Spirit of God, blessing the children of Israel, yet wouldn’t believe the Word himself. He was consequently destroyed in his opposition of the Israelites (Numbers chapters 22, 23, 24, and 31; 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14).
We weren’t welcome and soon left, but not before I found one of their brochures in the lobby, advertising a “Life Links” conference in Medicine Hat. It was on a significant date to us (November 8-10), so I considered attending the event, but we weren’t led to go. However, in the brochure were many mailing addresses of members of the Taber church, which we would find useful.
Calculating the days back from November 10th to when I first contacted Paul on July 27th, I found there to be 105 days or 3½ Hebrew calendar months between those dates.
These people were representative of the “Toronto Blessing” and Vineyard Fellowship, of great deception and spiritual counterfeitcy spreading throughout the world. I was becoming angry, as never before, concerning these spurious professions of faith in Christ and so-called ministries. They are so impudently diabolical and insulting to God. There was a fire growing in me after being exposed to the various and numerous falsehoods recently with such as Evan, Les, Gene, the Missoula people, the SDAs, and now the Taber and Vineyard bunch.
Particle – Puzzlements and Aftermath Effects of the Sabbath
We had to learn how to keep the Sabbath. What do we do, how, when, and even why? A customer came about the time we began our Sabbath, insisting the evening didn’t begin until later and insisting he hadn’t known we were keeping the Sabbath. Fair enough. But whom do we serve, God or man, and shall we make room for our neighbor in such circumstances? After all, it wasn’t as though it was our intention to do business on the Sabbath and it wasn’t the customer’s doing that he didn’t know we weren’t open. He did drive out believing it was business as usual.
Marilyn served him, and it may have been a mistake to let her go to the store, seeing she was against keeping the Sabbath and disgruntled that her customers were so inconvenienced. Business meant more to her than God or, at the very least, more than our unanimous conviction (apart from her) about keeping the Sabbath.
Did I fail God by allowing Marilyn to serve the customer? I don’t know. Did we serve the customer for his sake or our own? God will tell. This sort of thing would occur a few more times on Sabbaths to come. Having informed people that we would gladly serve them on Sundays, we had only two come on the first Sabbath. Gross sales were cut by more than half, Saturdays accounting for the lion’s share of our business volume.
At what time should we begin the Sabbath and how rigid ought we be? While many Sabbath-keepers observe from sunset to sunset, we prayed and settled on going from 7 PM to 7 PM because of the great variation in time of our sunsets, from approximately 4:30 PM at the winter solstice to 10:30 PM at the summer solstice.
However, circumstances arose where we had no choice but to work, like when a semi came in after 7 PM with a shipment that needed unloading then and there. By this we decided that we would try to adjust ourselves without being legalistic. After all it wasn’t as though all of Alberta or Canada kept the Sabbath as did the entire ancient nation of Israel where everything shut down. We left off the rigid 7 to 7 and began the Sabbath as soon as we could around 7 and endeavored to end it at the same time the following day.
It was also interesting how animals are totally unaware of the Sabbath. Why do they decide to have their young or get sick on the Sabbath? If the Sabbath was so sacred in certain respects, could not God have allowed for such things? We perceived that God was saying, “Yes, I want you to keep the Sabbath; it is a blessing for you; don’t get legalistic about it; the Sabbath is for you and not you for it, so be flexible. It’s your attitude and faith that concern Me most of all.”
Admittedly, I was concerned about business and sales. I was also bothered that Marilyn was the one who went to the store when the customer pulled in and that we allowed a belligerent customer to persuade us to serve him. I asked the Lord’s forgiveness for the incident, not knowing for sure if I had done right or wrong. Lois had a word for us, saying we need not be concerned about business.
Particle – Benny Hinn and Company
At the time I was contemplating writing a letter to the Taber New Life Church members, I was watching a documentary by a CBC producer, Anthony Thomas, on Benny Hinn and Reinhard Bonnke. The journalist traced their miraculous healing claims and found not one valid, and only great disappointment and disillusionment among those who believed in these men and had hoped in a healing or were misled in believing they had received it.
In the documentary, Hinn made brazen declarations: “We are going to see the greatest move of the miraculous in world history. You are going to see people’s arms grow out who have no arms; not only will the lame be healed but the maimed will be healed. Creative miracles are just around the corner.” Pompous, cynical, impudent poppycock contemptuously vomited upon a naïvepublic. In the meeting where he spoke those words, absolutely nothing happened.
Hinn claimed 76 miracles. When the producer asked for names, it took Hinn’s organization 13 weeks to respond, and when it did, only 5 names were submitted. When they followed up on the five, none were healed or better off, and one had died. Another has died since then.
If Hinn was a man of God,
– he would not make publicity or a big production; there would be no need for it; healings would speak for themselves.
– he wouldn’t be adored by multitudes; rather, he would be condemned by the religious and by money-makers who stood to lose – the medical associations, the pharmaceutical companies, and church organizations.
– he would never ask for money or take a salary.
– he would not live in luxury with thousand-dollar-a-night hotels, ten-thousand-dollar suits, hundred-thousand-dollar cars, million-dollar vacations and cottages, and ten-million-dollar houses and expensive cars.
The man is a thief and liar, a destroyer and scum of the earth. He deceives with entertainment in the Name of Jesus Christ. He is far worse than a gangster because at least most gangsters don’t use God’s Name.
God damn Benny Hinn. Let his deeds come down on his head for all to see. I have never said this of any man or woman before, not a Muslim, not Muhammad or the pope of Rome or Hitler or the CEO of Monsanto or of any drug-pushers, though they are all damned. I have never met Hinn and I don’t need to meet him to know him after the spirit.
I’m not saying there aren’t others who fit into his category. I’m saying he’s the only one of whom I’ve spoken such words in solemnity and earnestness. Am I wrong in doing so? Perhaps so, but Jesus came close, if He didn’t do the same, when He said:
“Fill up then the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:32-33 KJV)
Hinn puts the onus on the helpless and solicits, indeed, presses for, funds at his “free admission” meetings, promising that they would be spared all financial tragedies if they gave. They would be granted healing and all their needs would be met according to their faith, as expressed in how much they give.
“Buy your protection and financial insurance. Make sacrifices to me and God will be pleased, benevolent, and rewarding.” There is not a word mentioned of sin or repentance, not by Hinn, not by Bonnke, not by any prosperity and “miracle-working,” “faith-healing” preacher. Bastards they are, every last one!
Hinn confesses doubts about his visions, as does Bonnke. I have also had doubts but not like theirs. I know who I am. They don’t because their relationship with Jesus Christ is fiction. When they come to God saying, “Lord, we’ve done great works in Your Name,” He’ll say to them, “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity. I never knew you.” I can tell you Binny Hinn will go into age-lasting darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth.
All those who associate or identify with Hinn in any way are as Hinn. They may not be as financially successful or intentionally devious, and they may not be in full agreement with all his doctrines or methodology, but they’re all birds of the same feather in the end.
There is the example in Scripture where righteous Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, got together with Ahab, wicked king of Israel, to do battle with a common enemy. Ahab was known for his wickedness while Jehoshaphat was more of a fencesitter with a little faith. But I don’t see any of those who keep company with Hinn as mere fencesitters or having any faith or righteousness of Christ.
They’re all corrupt, self-seeking phonies and that’s why they, being blind and covetous, can’t see through Hinn. Either that or they know very well how evil Hinn is, but hang in there for the gains. Either way, they have nothing to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. Hinn’s evil is blatantly obvious to any true believer, much more to a man of God.
I picked up a book, Catch the Fire, on the “Toronto Blessing” and, in it, Benny Hinn is credited with that move, as is Kathryn Kuhlman, two first-class charlatans. Though I’m not absolutely sure whether Kuhlman was deliberately deceptive or just plain deluded, I know Benny Hinn to be a deliberate deceiver. All the pieces come together; they converge on this point in time. These are the people the Shimodas associate with, support, and emulate. Woe to them! They’ve been warned.
Particle – Satan Deceiving, Creating Illusions by His Ministers
I see Satan creating illusions and fostering unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose Name all these things are done by these charismatic leaders, faith healers, prophets, evangelists, apostles, pastors, teachers, preachers, and musicians. They are all liars and cheats… murderers, in fact.
Particle – The Zeal of His House Eats Me Up
It’s time for me to say with Jehu: “Do go along with me and look upon my toleration of no rivalry toward the LORD” (2 Kings 10:16 NWT). This happens to be the New World Translation, which, for this verse at least, well expresses how I feel. Jehu excites me tremendously. I, too, will deal with Baal and all the high places. In God’s Name shall I conquer and that, totally. The indignation of the Lord burns in me.
Particle – Letter to Taber New Life Church
I couldn’t hold back any longer. I became very angry about what people were saying and doing in the Lord’s Name. I was sorry I had been so easy on them, so compromising, giving them any benefit of doubt. They made my blood boil, far more than did the SDA group, though none did me any personal insult or harm. In fact, the SDAs were much more insulting. I saw the SDAs as slaves to Satan, but the Vineyard bunch as foot soldiers or perpetrators for Satan. It was they with whom I would do battle.
Particle – Time for Strong Speech
It was time to speak out boldly, clearly, and to be heard by all. I saw no point in holding back any longer – I couldn’t do it. I wrote this letter on October 17th to those we had encountered at the Taber New Life Church, though I didn’t send it until October 30th by snail mail to all the addresses in the brochure. Here’s the letter:
TO: All New Life Church members in Taber and elsewhere
FROM: Victor Hafichuk
October 17, 2000
I come to you in peace in the Lord Jesus Christ, yet I come to you in war. While I want the good and wellbeing for every person I met there (God is my witness), I’m very angry as I write this letter. Angry because what is going on with you people is one great pile of bullshit, and all in the Name of the Lord. (The word I just used may shock your “pious” senses, but even it nevertheless falls far short of amply describing the abomination of your ways before the Lord.) The leaders, thinking they are in the Spirit of the Lord, are high on spiritual drugs straight from the pits of Satan, deluded into thinking they serve God and His will, but are instead making a mockery of all that is true, honest, just, pure, holy, and Godly, both in Heaven and on earth.
Doug and Karen Shimoda: You’ve been snared by the delusion of the enemy in the “Toronto Blessing.” You have been duped. There is only one reason why people are duped by such impudent, counterfeit spiritual power and that’s because they haven’t had a love of the truth. They have sought to magnify, to exalt, to please, and to save the flesh. The very words of the Gospel they use for the flesh rather than against, to save the carnal man as he is, rather than to come to the cross of Christ, denying themselves, having been crucified with Christ. The appearance of the true and false are the same, the effects very different.
Paul Cohen and I came to your church, you two prophesied over us at Kavanaghs’, and we have to candidly admit that the prophecies from you two were true words. Whether they were from the Lord or not is another matter. Devils also know things as in Mark 1:23-24; Acts 16:16-18, and Acts 19:13-15. Nevertheless, I believe those prophecies were from God, not devils. But if from God, then you need to heed them and consider where we are now coming from, as expressed by words spoken out of your own mouths.
I told you the Lord revealed to me that the “Toronto Blessing,” as it is known, is deception, a counterfeit work (as was the event up north as recorded on your audio tape) with all power, signs, and lying wonders. When we came again to your meeting, two weeks later, the reception from you was reserved… understandably.
Doug, you said one must judge by the fruits. The trouble is, one must have power, discernment, and knowledge of God in order to judge fruits rightly. The fruits you have judged to be of God, i.e. healings, miracles, conversions, spiritual gifts, love, joy, etc. have often been counterfeit.
I knew a man who was “slain in the Spirit,” who resultantly prayed in tongues, was “filled with love” for everyone, red the Bible, went to meetings, witnessed enthusiastically, and praised God, but who was exposed as having been counterfeit, a son of Satan, born again but not from above, just like the one who laid hands on him to receive the Spirit. The Lord exposed Art Beals as a child of Satan, an exposure undeniable to the spiritually learned, God confirming it, though hidden from others.
There have been many such. I well know the power of Satan “to deceive if possible the very elect.” That is what is happening to you, to yours, and to all involved in the “Toronto Blessing.” Both tares and wheat rejoice in the sun, rain, soil, and fertilizer as they grow up together. I believe you and Karen are the Lord’s (I could be wrong in this; I don’t believe I am), but you’re deceived and are in great need of repentance and deliverance yourselves (in this I am not wrong). For such as you, His people, God is hurting, much so.
What is happening with you people is of the Charismatic movement. This movement is Satan’s wrath poured out upon the inhabitants of the earth because he knows he has a short time. He counterfeits the last days’ outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh and many millions are being taken by him. This is that strong delusion spoken of by Paul to the Thessalonians, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, come upon all those who love pleasures more than God.
Karen, you talked of how those who say God doesn’t work in organized churches are wrong, that you people have experienced very differently. But does the Lord indeed put new wine in old wineskins? He Himself says He does not. The Charismatics often claim that the churches must come into unity before revival can come. Did Jesus seek to unite the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and others? Did He try to work within the existing frameworks? Was He preaching that one ought to “bloom where one is planted”? A resounding “No” to all these questions.
Even from the Lord’s birth, the religious organizations were excluded; He warned His disciples of their leaven; they were His opponents (anti-Christ); they killed Him. His disciples had to obey God rather than the religious officials; they went out and preached in spite of the disapproval of their rulers. All those who believed, followed Him “without the camp.”
And the Pharisees had been legitimate in their status, set there by God, and, to the extent that they were, believers were to submit to their authority. Jesus said to His followers, “The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say and do not.”
The harlot churches are all illegitimate, none ordained of God. The Catholic Church claims something it is not… “the Mother Church,” claiming to go right back to Peter. It claims to be the mother of the Bible, which it is not. The leader is known as the “Most Holy Father,” the sole representative of Christ on earth, which he is not. Rome’s fallacies, sins, and blasphemies are many, and so are those of her daughters, including the Lutherans, Anglicans, and the many breakaways who carry with them many of her uncleannesses and abominations (Revelation 18:2, 24; and the whole chapters of 17 and 18).
Masses flock to Benny Hinn, Bonnke, and others, in hopes of God’s benefits. You all flock to “worship” in hope of God’s benefits. All are deceived, people go away empty-handed, and I’ll tell you why. Not a word of sin is mentioned. In fact, the keeping of sins is preached. God’s Law is forsaken, ignored, and even denounced. The Law of God has been cast off, replaced by vain customs, traditions, and lies. You are not after God to obey, but to get.
You all want the manifestation of God? I’ll tell you exactly how to have God manifest Himself to you – in your favor, that is. Was it not Jesus Himself, Who died for our sins and through Whom we have salvation by faith, Who said, “He that has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves Me: and he that loves Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21)?
Do you indeed hunger for His presence? Here is what Jesus had to say about that:
“If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23).
You think you have His presence? Not if you live in lawlessness, which I perceive you do.
What happens at your meetings and those of Charismatic preachers? Film producer Anthony Thomas put forth true answers on CBC’s recent 2-part Witness production, legitimately and responsibly exposing the fraud, giving true explanations. He showed their works to be mesmeric, psychological, soulish – nothing to do with God at all – they’re works of Satan, who doesn’t savor the things that are of God, but the things of men. Denounce Thomas as unbelieving, skeptical, even atheistic or antiChrist; the fact is, he knows more of what he is talking about than you do.
When will the true move of the Spirit of God come? When His people turn to Him with all their hearts and repent of their sins and of breaking His Law. Many Laws you break and you don’t even know you’re breaking them, being ignorant and taught by ignorant and self-seeking teachers. Nevertheless, you pay the price and don’t realize it. But when you learn and repent, then will miracles and healings come.
Then will the “substance” of which Hinn boasts or which he tries to pronounce come. “Fire!” he cries. What rubbish! Fire comes to purge, to cleanse, to destroy the flesh – it isn’t pleasant or enjoyable. Hinn preaches another fire, Satan’s fire, and teaches falsehood. You sing about God sending down fire. When He does, you won’t like it one bit, though you will begin to know it is very necessary to purge you of your sins, which you choose to ignore in yourselves and one another.
Yes, John Arnott is a likeable fellow. There’s a form of godliness, humility, gentleness, patience, joy, and a power manifested in unassuming spirit; he prays and praises the Lord, works hard, and does all the things one would logically expect from a Christian or Spirit-filled man of God. But as nice as it is, it is counterfeit. Would it be so powerful and persuasive if not nice and apparently genuine? God have mercy on him. I have nothing personally against him, yet I do in the Lord because he walks counter to the Lord, deceiving multitudes.
Arnott has been deeply influenced by Benny Hinn, who has nothing to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. These men are stars for Satan. Arnott follows in Hinn’s steps and is as he.
Now I come to you, not with niceness but warning and rebuke, speaking words of judgment – yes, judgment, righteous judgment, not according to appearance. You’ll all shun me and condemn me as a false prophet.
We come to your congregation and see hurting people. A woman lay prostrate on the floor next to me (which I was thankful to see in itself), and she was hurting. Later she passed by me with a frown, not for me personally that I know of, but because of where she was at, troubled. If not troubled, then her fruits are quite cold and unfriendly toward strangers, and all the prostrating before the Lord is vain and hypocritical.
I see another lady dancing in the aisle, but when it came to entertaining strangers (or anyone else for that matter), there was such a hard look to her countenance; she also passed me by as though I shouldn’t exist; she also seemed troubled. I don’t take these events personally, but I declare to you that what I see in “worship” and what I see in reality are two different things.
I see teenagers and youth looking about skeptically at the goings-on, entering into the spirit of things, but not into the Spirit of the Lord. It’s more like entertainment for them, giving them the impression that there’s a “right” worldliness and a “wrong” one, but they don’t know or consider that there can only be worldliness or holiness, the two quite separate and distinct.
The parents and leaders have blurred the distinction between the holy and unholy. Oh, the drugs are absent, the scanty dress, the piercings, the hair-dos and make-up, to varying degrees; the language and conduct are quite controlled or restrained; but I see more a difference of degrees, even if those degrees are extensively different, rather than a difference in nature and spirit.
They try to raise money selling garbage for food, encouraged by the parents who don’t even know it’s garbage. You people destroy yourselves in so many ways for lack of knowledge.
We talk to you, Ian Byrd, and you walk around as though looking for a good time or another drink. You’re high on something and it isn’t the Lord, though you and others may think or judge otherwise. You’re there to get drunk and stay that way if you can help it. And the youth are under you!
David Greeno: You condemn those who farm organically, doing what they know and can to treat God’s creation the way it ought to be treated, suffering the hatred of neighbors, resisting the tyranny of multinational chemical corporations who are raping the earth and its inhabitants for the almighty dollar, sending to the hospitals and graves millions of people by their sorceries.
Spray a field with herbicides or pesticides and you kill absolutely essential microorganisms that God has created for the good of soil and growth; you kill insects and consequently birds and animals; you kill vegetation… all these, indiscriminately. You are grossly ignorant of Godly agriculture, denying that it can and should be done that way, denying the Lord, His ways, His sovereignty in all things.
You find fault with organic farmers Joe and Mary Slovak, who don’t go about professing to believe, yet do things in agricultural operations to some extent the way all, and particularly Christian farmers everywhere, should be doing them. But you, oh, you preach and witness; you are part of a “worship team”; you praise the Lord in tongues and sing hymns unto Him; you lay hands on others and pray for them.
Mr. Greeno, your hands, and the hands of those who lead you in your ways, drip with blood; in your ignorance and negligence and false spirituality, you walk in constant guilt of slaying others, you and your leaders, counselors, and pastors.
You come to us saying how fascinated you are about the Feasts of the Lord. I had just found a piece of paper tucked away in my Bible for a long time on the Feast of Tabernacles. In it was a list of many significances concerning that Feast. I handed it to you and all you did was glance at it and hand it back. You weren’t the least bit interested. Why? Was it because you don’t believe anything worthwhile could come from us, or are you not sincere in what you say? I say the latter and maybe both.
You are also on a quest for a perpetual high and that is all you and many others there care about. It is hypocrisy. You are also snared by that delusive spirit that comes to tickle, entertain, puff up, and make one and all feel good, all the way to Hell.
Pat Kavanagh: I have to say that the gifts of prophecy and vision coming forth from you at your place didn’t witness with us. I see you hurting, my friend, hurting, hurting, you and your wife and family with you. You don’t need to be up with the best; you don’t need to be important or accepted or “equal.” Neither are you any less than any other. If any are greater than you, it’s because they’re submitted and faithful to Christ when you aren’t. And while you envy or covet what others have, instead of being thankful to God for who you are and what you have, indeed you are and do have less than they.
But what is happening there isn’t of God, nothing to envy, and you need to get sober, real, and earnest with God and, when doing so, He’ll meet you and your needs abundantly. He’ll have to take you through correction, through the fires, but He’ll bring you through to that wide open space of fruitfulness in Him, for which you long. Die, my friend, instead of seeking to live; it’s the only way.
My son came back from Sunday school with two reports:
1) He said, “The lady said that any day can be the Sabbath.”
Let the lady substantiate by Scripture the claim she has heard repeated by many millions in their delusion at the hands of pagan, idolatrous, unregenerate souls such as the Emperor Constantine who instituted the keeping of Sunday in 325 A.D. in honour of his sun god, instead of the day God ordained at creation for all men. She will find no such evidence. Let that same lady read my paper on the Sabbath for more knowledge on the matter instead of repeating and teaching children vain traditions of men, which have made null and void the Law of God, in this case the Decalogue, no less.
When God instituted the Sabbath, it was not any day or a choice of days, but the seventh day. It was His choice of days, not man’s. Is He so purposeless in His ways that He should be loose with His words? And Jesus said that Heaven and earth would pass away before one jot or one tittle of the Law would pass. Look around, folks, and see that those have yet to pass. I have also been guilty of the same until recently when God had mercy on me.
2) Jonathan said, “The lady asked for an example of kindness in the Bible. I told her that God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt. She refused that example, saying it had to be an example from the New Testament.” Not because he is my son, I think he was right and should be encouraged in his answer. But I ask: “Do you people cast off the Old Testament in certain aspect and measure?” There are those who do. If so, you greatly err. Perhaps Jonathan didn’t understand the situation.
We heard the prayers and prophecies going over the pastor and his wife in sending them off to England. So much garbage and imagination!
“Oh, Lord, why are Your people as silly children playing in the streets, in the traffic, running about naked, unkempt, malnourished, uttering silly, unlearned words, mimicking others as though they know, feeding on junk food, finding it wherever they can, prey to elements, to stupid notions, and to the devil who goes about devouring whom he will?”
Here’s what the Lord quickens to me: His people are hurting because they don’t obey Him. They don’t obey Him because they choose their own ways; they choose their own ways because they lack knowledge; they lack knowledge because nobody’s willing to lay down his life that they might have that knowledge. God has called me to do just that and therefore I now speak.
Allan Fulton: We heard your sermon. It is a sermon of the works of the flesh, of man’s righteousness. You asked for one example where there was a revival or great move of God without great prayer. Try reading the Book of Jonah. Jonah, knowing the mercy and graciousness of God, didn’t wish to go to Nineveh for fear that God would save them (Jonah 4:2-3). And God did! Every last one of them!
Have you ever heard of such a move of God? An entire city of 120,000 people saved! The preacher wasn’t a preacher of prayer or “anointing” or “love” or “compassion” or any of the things that you think you need to stir up within yourself or within others.
Your sermon was all self-righteousness; zealous, yes, but flesh and not of God or God’s will or God’s way. (I’m not discounting love or prayer.) I know these words are strong, but please believe me when I say I don’t condemn you; I do tell you that what you’re doing isn’t right.
Furthermore, while you speak of how God is going to use you and the others in such great ways, you yourselves have dire need of repentance, salvation, and cleansing. In this diabolical deception, perhaps you need it even more than do the perceived heathen!
“Oh, but that example of Jonah was the Old Testament! Things were different then.” Were they? God is sovereign and is able to do and will do what He determines at any time. Neither will any man receive glory in and of himself for “helping God,” as though He can’t do anything without His infirm creatures. The Lord Jesus comes saying, “I can do nothing without the Father,” but you come with anti-Christ doctrine saying, “The Father can do nothing without us.” Anti-Christ? Yes, your ways are contrary to the Scriptures, to the Lord, and to His ways.
Do I condemn you? No. I condemn your doctrine; you are ignorant of God and His ways, and I want to teach you the right, ridding you of the wrong. That is not condemnation. If it were, I would say, “Go to Hell; be damned,” in so many words, but I’m not. I rebuke you telling you that you have no right speaking in the Name of the Lord when you have nothing to say from Him. But He will have mercy on you, and you shall seek Him and find Him when you search for Him with all your heart.
Keith Hazell: You presume to be some overseer. What, a pastor, an apostle, or a prophet of some kind? How is it you scatter people to the wind by your ignorant and self-seeking ways? You not only expose, but subject, these people who follow you to diabolical deception, stupid “holy laughter,” twitching night and day; to devils and manifestations of same; to wicked, worldly fleshly and spiritual pleasures, all in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
You have never been called of God to do the things you do and if you say so, your god is not mine, but a devil who leads you to lead others to destruction. You people serve the ancient gods, Ashtoreth and Baal and others, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. All you’ve done is change the labels; the contents are the same as those consumed by the idolaters of old. How dare you preach and lead in the Name of the Lord Jesus!
You are spoken of by Jeremiah: “Woe be to the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! saith the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed My people: You have scattered My flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them; behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, says the Lord. And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:1-4).
I don’t care how good you think the fruits are that come from the influence of the “Toronto Blessing” and all these Vineyard fellowships such as that of Wesley and Stacey Campbell. I say they are all diabolical deception, and those who are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God are prime prey.
As Paul said to Timothy, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers [those who offer bloodless sacrifice], false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with diverse lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1-7).
Doug Shimoda, you say that where God goes, the enemy, too, is there. Jannes and Jambres practised their sorceries before God sent Moses in to deliver His people. Many were deceived by them. But when God began His work, their works were exposed for what they were and plainly subdued by the power of God. So, too, will the rods of all those who practice these false works be swallowed up. God is finished winking. He comes to deliver His people from those who presume to deliver them in His Name, and there will be no doubt whatsoever what is of God and what is of men and Satan.
I see the women leading the husbands. I see Karen leading Doug, Linda leading Pat. Oh, in name, official theory, and profession, it may appear otherwise, but it is not so. When you get right down to it, Karen calls the shots, and so does Linda, and so do the other wives, be they Hazell’s or Campbell’s or any other man’s. You all know it, too. This day is a day of iniquity, with all turned upside down, women ruling men, soul ruling spirit, men dictating to, and usurping the authority of, God.
Feminism in Christian garb is alive and well in nominal orthodox Christendom and elsewhere, yet seldom perceived as such because compared to the blatant, hostile, radical feminism of cursing, bitter bra burners. The men are no less to blame than the wives. We have all denied the Lord and walked in our own ways, and while the women have been deceived, we men have done so willingly. Men, it’s time that you lay down your lives for your wives that they might be saved, and not only for wives, but in all obedience.
I red Catch the Fire, by Guy Chevreau. While he compares the experiences and manifestations of the “Toronto Blessing” with those of the saints and prophets in the Scriptures, there are very distinct and crucial differences. His comparisons are utterly unjustified and arguments spurious. While I won’t take the time here to discuss them, I will mention another matter in his book and quote a quote he made from Teaching a Stone To Talk by Annie Dillard:
“For the sleeping god [sic] may wake someday and take offence….”
To you He is sleeping and I tell you He is definitely offended, and I can only hope for all your sakes that “…the waking god [sic] will draw us out [in mercy – my words] to where we can never return” (Page 2). As it stands, you are being drawn out by devils and charlatans who serve them; they laugh at you. God have mercy.
I now throw down the glove! If I am in the wrong and you in the right (which isn’t the case), let the Lord “slay me in the Spirit.” Let Him destroy or rebuke or convert me, if need be, because I’m so deluded and wicked, but if you are the ones in delusion and diabolical works as I’ve here boldly declared, then God bring His judgment (correction) even as He showed mercy to the children of Israel through Elijah with the prophets of Baal. Let’s get it on.
I’m asking the Lord to manifest Himself either way and deal with your horrible and wicked bullshit once and for all. I’m tired of it; He’s tired of it (and not only tired, but hurt and angry), and you need to be tired of it. I’m tired of being vexed by sodomites and idolaters in “Christian uniforms,” shunned as a leper by the “chosen and holy ones,” mocked by deceivers and deceived, and denounced by professing believers as a false prophet.
Let’s get it on! I am willing to face all of you anywhere you choose, Lord willing (you can choose nowhere or no time over which the Lord is not sovereign; I have that confidence in Him). Let’s determine once for all if the power of God rests with all of you or with me. By the mercies of God, He will deliver you (those who are His and chosen) from the grip of Satan who comes as an angel of light, his ministers as ministers of righteousness, with Bibles under arm. You’ll no longer “halt between two opinions.” You’ll be delivered from the black light to the white light, from your sinful ways, from the faith of devils to the faith of the Son of God, Who loved you and gave Himself for you, that you should no longer live unto yourselves, but unto Him Who died for you and rose again.
Satan, your time is up. The Lord rebuke you altogether! You have had the power of death, but the Lord Jesus Christ has destroyed your power and that of darkness and death, holding all keys! There is no greater power than His Resurrection Power, Which and Whom He is!
And I come in His Name to deliver such as are for deliverance. Let God be true and every man a liar. Praise God! The will of the Lord Jesus Christ be done.
Note during edit of this Part, September 2015: In retrospect, I don’t see Doug and Karen as son and daughter of God at all. I see all the people of these “Toronto Blessing” movements as deluded, choosing their own way. Of these, the Lord says, “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity. I never knew you.”
Particle – Is God in Formal Religious Structures?
Karen talked about God working in and through organized religion. I had heard this many times before, particularly in Charismatic circles. She spoke of the necessity for unity of nominal churches, saying that without unity, there’s no revival. But is there supposed to be a “revival”? What is there to revive? Speaking of reviving suggests there was once life. Was there ever life in the works of darkness? Must there be agreement and harmony among the dead before life can come? Is it not that life appears in spite of death and not because death, against its own nature, agrees that there ought to be life? Will man’s righteousness win the day?
Did the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Scribes, Zealots, and Essenes unite to form “a great move of God” and revival? Did Jesus or His disciples encourage unity of denominations? Is new wine put in old wineskins? No, when Jesus came, He called people out of their old structures.
Saul of Tarsus was no longer a Pharisee after conversion. As a Pharisee, he persecuted those who came out of sects. Having come out, he was persecuted by Pharisees and other Jewish religious establishments. None of Christ’s disciples remained members of any denomination; neither did they join any at any time – unless they returned as dogs to their own vomit. They certainly didn’t call for unity among sects for any cause, and especially not as a way to God.
Particle – Marilyn’s Persistent Negative Attitude
There could be many reasons for Marilyn’s great misery and horribly antagonistic attitude, not only toward me, but toward the others at the farm. Marilyn’s prophecy of my literally dying hadn’t been fulfilled, Sean was now gone and her prospects of marrying him looked quite dashed, and maybe most of all, she would be in turmoil about what she had heard and spoke as of the Lord that didn’t come to pass. Added to all this, business had ground to a near standstill since keeping the Sabbath – her business and customers were quite important to her.
When Sean was sent packing nearly two months before, Marilyn left the farm, but returned after a week because there was nobody else to run it. She asked me to take her back as my wife, and I consented. But her attitude remained bitter and antagonistic; she kept crying out loud in the shower nearly every morning. We had bitter battles; there was no reasoning with her.
On this day, October 21st, at the farm, she was in her usual state of dismalness, chafing with us. I had about enough. I finally expressed my anger, frustration, and perception of her before all. I called her all the things I saw and believed of her, and told her I didn’t want her around anymore. Masa, a Japanese neighbor with Shinji Shumeikai, was present and I didn’t care.
Jonathan didn’t hear all these things, but when he found out that Marilyn was going home and that I was not going to follow in the days to come, he was torn and intervened. She changed her mind and stayed, tempering her negativity, not that anything was resolved. But I had had enough and wasn’t willing to tolerate any more of her stinking attitude.
Particle – What Do We Do About Rejection?
Paul called, saying Pat Kendall refused his letter, because counseled by Ron McKenzie against it. He and I were feeling the exact same thing: rejection and despisement. So we were asking: “Are we to speak out, or do we simply worship the Lord, enjoy Him, and leave others alone to themselves? Are we suffering for nothing, speaking what, when, and to whom we ought not?”
Yet didn’t the Lord say we would suffer for His sake and be hated by all men? Didn’t Paul say that those living godly in Christ Jesus would suffer persecution? Do we isolate ourselves and live a comfortable Christian life as a light unto the world without speaking? What do preachers do? However, what do we say and how do we testify – to whom, when, where, why, and how? By oral speech? By letters? To believers or unbelievers? Publicly or privately? Gently or roughly? In spiritual or secular gatherings? While at work or play or publicly meeting? Should we speak only when people ask or when we feel we should speak, regardless of their preferences?
I think I have some answers. We speak as did the prophets, apostles, and saints. They didn’t simply live their lives. They testified any way they were given. If speaking, we will be despised and persecuted as they were (Matthew 5:10-12).
The apostle Paul says, “How shall they believe unless they hear and how shall they hear unless it is preached to them?” If we’re hated by all men, then it is to all men that we speak, as given and when given. Where? Publicly and privately both, as given.
Paul also believed we ought to speak, and he found it humorous that I think I’m too harsh or offensive. People take offense at my words because they expect mush (“Christian” virtue and affectation), which is Satan’s strategy and modus operandi of flesh-pampering and deception.
Particle – Last Visit to SDA Church of Chimes
Paul and Kerri came up from Great Falls to spend the third Sabbath with us. We debated whether or not to go to the Church of Chimes service again and decided to go, all being in agreement. I was anxious, expecting a battle, and a battle we got.
I talked to Yvon Goulet, who gave me a friendly letter, faulting and criticizing me. The letter led to more correspondence, which seemed to go nowhere.
I talked a bit to a skittish Jean Claude Lessard and had a short chat with Wayne and Gary Chute and Larry Berteotti.
I had a short “surface” talk with Mike Lemon and returned books he had lent me. I also returned books to Darlene Aldous.
I spoke more extensively to Darrell Beaudoin and his wife Lise, who lost it with me, as did Darlene Aldous and Elaine Roque (or Hubbard?). I was surprised at what came out of Elaine, so contrary to her usual smiling and chuckling friendliness.
I confronted the Negro fellow on his attitude and the remarks he made the last time we talked.
I gave Annette Hubbard the letter and a copy of Here Is the Way It Is. I also gave Roy Wooliscroft the letter.
I tried giving Eldon Hubbard the letter, which he, as many others, condemned without reading (they were judging by hearsay). This was when Elaine lost it, condemning the letter as “trash” and reining in her husband from reading it. Eldon asked me, “Who is ‘the prophet’? Are you?” I said, “I am.”
I gave friendly gestures to Mike Bowes and Mike Schaber.
I had a talk with Althea, whom I discovered to be hurting and bitter. I confronted Schaber on his promise to give Althea a letter, a promise he didn’t keep.
I also had a chat with two native women. I was ignored by Ed Knox and Debbie Lacanilao, Bernardo and Elaine’s daughter. I gave the letter to Ben Lacanilao.
Darlene Aldous called me “two-faced.” I returned her books with a note, saying, “Have you not confirmed my words by your actions and reactions? Those words from me were for good and not for evil.” She stormed off, belligerent and fuming. I said, “Self-righteous.”
I had been dissatisfied with SDA events, like there was unfinished business. I was thankful that business was now finished. It seemed like opportunities were presenting themselves on a platter repeatedly. Effortlessly, I took advantage. Truly, it was a good day.
Particle – Jonathan’s Prophecy: Paul and Kerri’s Status to Be Dealt With
We discussed Paul and Kerri’s situation and received that the issue wouldn’t need to be settled immediately. Jonathan received, “Jesus’ will be done.” I took it that it would be; the prophecy was an assurance. Kerri left for home, and Paul remained so that we might do whatever was needful.
Particle – Unfinished Business with Beaudoins
I felt that I had not given ample opportunity to Lise to speak on the Sabbath. When I tried to talk to Darrell, she would interrupt and argue. Darrell would ask her to calm down or wait for me to finish, but she wouldn’t listen. I then several times firmly told her to obey her husband. She wanted no part of that, though she knew full well she was at fault!
So I called them on Sunday, the 29th of October, and asked if we could get together and talk things out. It appeared to be a mistake. She immediately went into railing, calling me down and nixing any possibility of meeting, totally ignoring any advice from Darrell. “I have no time to waste on the likes of you. You are unwilling to receive good doctrine. You have literature to read and learn and if you don’t heed, you’ll have to answer to God, and that is that!”
I said, “Good-bye, Darrell,” and hung up, quiet in the whole affair. There, in the ears of all concerned, my words of her in the SDA letter were fulfilled.
Before I had called them, Paul prophesied that they wouldn’t be willing to meet with me, but that the Lord would deal with them. We were also reminded that Lise was Darrell’s proselyte, made twofold the child of Hell he was.
Particle – Vision: Yvon Goulet
Near the end of October, I had a vision of Yvon Goulet. He was older, mature in Christ, comforting, compassionate, understanding, confident, and fatherly as a result of his sufferings and what God had done in him. I shared that vision with him in one of my letters to him. He had written, I replied, he replied, and I replied again (it was a lengthy correspondence, but with no agreement). Why such a vision of him? I don’t know. Perhaps it was a promise of things to come. He declared the vision was now fulfilled in him, which I knew wasn’t true.
Particle – Letter to Ronald McKenzie
Disconcerted that I might have erred in having depended upon unbelieving intermediaries to pass on revelation to the Kendalls for their sakes, I decided to write the Presbyterian pastor a letter and discuss the matter with him. I hoped he could also be reached with truth. Indeed, I recognized that perhaps this circumstance was as much for him and Donn Walmsley, as for the Kendalls. The letter:
TO: Ron McKenzie
FROM: Victor Hafichuk
November 1, 2000
Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ, Ron.
It is my understanding that, regretfully, you were not able, in good conscience, to deliver my message to the Kendalls for their comfort in the truth, simply because you didn’t think it to be truth. Correct me if I’m off the mark, but I suspect your reasons may be one or more of the following:
1) you don’t believe that God speaks directly and personally to His people today as He did in Biblical times,
2) you don’t believe there is such a calling as that of a prophet today who would receive revelation by prophecy, visions, and such, as in those days, and
3) you don’t believe that my message agreed with the testimony of the Scriptures, but that it was “extra-Biblical revelation,” which makes it error.
As to the first point, let me quote you what I consider to be somewhat of an appropriate excerpt from a former letter to an acquaintance some time ago:
“Nevertheless, as I pointed out to you, the Bible is a record of God speaking to all the main characters, both in Old and New Testaments. Curiously, those who today presume and profess to be great believers of the Bible ‘and only the Bible,’ as God’s Authoritative Word to modern Christianity, swiftly depart from that position, contradicting themselves by saying that God no longer speaks in such ways.
How do they depart and contradict themselves? The Bible doesn’t have the slightest hint that God has changed His approach to His saints. Religious unbelievers, in speaking of the utmost authority of the Scriptures, declare something not substantiated in the Scriptures. In fact, they declare the very opposite, since the Record bears witness that He speaks personally, directly to His people.
Again consider that the patriarchs didn’t even have the Bible to read. That didn’t prevent or handicap God in any way from relating to them personally. So now the preposterous argument goes that seeing how the early saints didn’t have a Bible, God had to speak personally to them, but now that we have the Bible, He no longer speaks to us personally, but by the Scriptures.
Again, no Biblical foundation or support for such nonsense; it is purely carnal reasoning coming forth from those who simply have not experienced a relationship with God on a personal basis, though they think otherwise. It is a denial of the truth by non-experience. ‘I’ve never seen Moscow so it doesn’t exist,’ or, ‘Only what you can experience by the senses is real,’ as some stubborn and ignorant atheist would assert.
Another argument is that we can now receive Christ so we don’t need to hear His voice, whereas they couldn’t receive Him and had no Bible then, so they needed to hear His voice. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? If we can be personally in touch with the Lord so much so that He dwells within, one should think there would be less need for external communication than in the old days, less need for the letter, seeing as how we have the Person Himself and His very life within! But carnality exposes its darkness to the children of light in whom dwells The Light.“
As to the second point, again there is not a trace of substantiation in Holy Writ that there are no longer prophets today. If I were to wager my life in choosing between whether the Bible negates or supports the idea of the existence of prophets today, I would clearly choose the latter, and indeed, I have wagered my life on that alternative.
Some say that John the Baptist was the last prophet, but the Bible declares that Jesus Himself was a prophet. Some say that, according to Hebrews 1:1 and 2, the appearance of Christ in the flesh ended prophets and prophecy. Again, the Scriptures don’t support that supposition. Agabus, for example, is mentioned in Acts 11:27 and 21:10, along with other prophets, years after our Lord departed in the flesh from the earth. Also are mentioned prophets in Acts 13:1 and 15:32.
Paul writes to the Ephesians that the Lord has given, among the other ministries, prophets (Eph.4:11). It is assumed this is a reference to the Old Testament prophets, but this is purely assumption not based in Scriptural testimony. As we’ve just pointed out, prophets continued after the Old Testament.
To Titus, Paul spoke of a prophet (Titus 1:12). Furthermore, two prophets were and may yet be manifest, according to John in Revelation 11:10. Again, that scallywag ‘Assumption’ asserts its nature, declaring that the reference of the two witnesses points to Moses and Elijah or the Old and New Testaments or Christians and Jews, with no credible support from Scripture. But they were called prophets, nonetheless. Finally, in Revelation 22:9, John is warned not to worship the one before him because… “I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets….”
Indeed, “the testimony of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of prophecy,” says John, and all believers having the Spirit of God within are, in a very true sense, prophets, having the same Spirit (of Christ) within as did the prophets of old upon themselves. As well, Jesus said that there was none greater than John of all men born of women and that he was more than a prophet; yet the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John. So the Scripture fully supports the fact that one can have revelation, prophecy, visions, or dreams as the Lord sees fit. I and several others with me have had many such gifts, the fulfilment of which, in many cases, is a matter of record.
A word of caution here: I’m aware that most Protestant or Evangelical churches don’t believe in personally experiencing the second solemn Feast, Pentecost (baptism in the Spirit), as a separate experience from repentance, which is represented by the Feast of Passover. They also have a different concept of the words “prophet” and “prophecy.” They speak of prophesying as a “speaking forth” or preaching and of a prophet as primarily a foreteller.
To those who have received the Spirit, a prophet not only foretells; he also speaks of the hidden things of God, of the spiritual realm (Heaven), these things being a present reality to them, though hidden to the carnal Christian. Prophesying is expressing those things, often in mysteries, allegories, or other ways, but still by revelation and beyond the understanding of the intellect.
Even true preaching is prophetic to some extent. For example, when listening to your sermon the day we were there, I appreciated many things you said, though I have no doubt that there were others who couldn’t understand and therefore didn’t appreciate your sermon as much. Yet you were preaching and not prophesying.
As to the third point, I doubt that you are a believer of the doctrine taught by Adventists and others of the state of the dead, believers or not, being in unconsciousness or sleep until the resurrection. I also question whether you believe that Josh would be with the Lord even though he was not converted in this life.
What I suspect is that you might believe that, in Christ (assuming that Josh was born again), in spite of the fact that Josh lived an unvictorious life and finally took it against God’s will, he would go directly to be with the Lord, forgiven completely, his sins having been atoned for. I don’t think you would believe that it was God’s will for him to kill himself, though I could be wrong here because you did seem to give credence to his motive, that he would be relieving others of the great burden he was causing.
But as I pointed out in the letter to the Kendalls, giving credence to such a motive would fly in the face of a just God and would encourage the notion of a believer taking one’s life when in distress to escape hisher circumstances rather than persevere unto victory, those trials designed for the specific purpose of bringing one to victory in Christ through the trial of hisher faith.
Does not the Lord speak of His servants receiving stripes, some many, some few, according to knowledge and deeds? Of course! Does not the Scripture declare that there are degrees of judgment and reward? Of course!
I realize that the Kendalls might have desired to hear something more immediately gratifying and comforting and that you would have preferred to grant them such, seeing their pain. However, it is certain that it is the truth, not wishful thinking or pleasant thoughts, that makes one free. While truth may not be quite as palatable as wishful thinking, in the end it surely yields deliverance, emancipation.
Now if you believe that Josh wasn’t saved and that those unsaved in this life are forever damned, you would then believe my revelation was not of God. You would believe that he is forever lost. In such a case, you would have to tell them the truth. However, you don’t believe you’re in such a position to judge whether he was saved or not, “not being God or judge of these things,” and therefore you feel free of telling them anything substantial, other than to place their faith in God and accept things as best as they can, relying on Him for strength and succour (good counsel in itself).
But my point is that revelation can come on specific issues today to true believers, even as it did in the days of believers recorded in the Bible, as when Joseph was told in a dream to flee to Egypt to save his family or when Peter received a vision on the housetop, symbolically directing him to go to the Gentiles.
I declare to you that it is no different today, Mr. McKenzie, and furthermore, if you don’t believe that, I have to tell you that you fall well short of what the Lord has in store for you if you will believe and avail yourself of Him.
In the meantime, if I did indeed receive revelation from God concerning Josh for the sake of his bereaved family, practically giving them that succour you counsel them to receive from Him, then you do them injustice by withholding and perhaps speaking against that revelation of truth, promise, and comfort.
And in many such things do you withhold good from those to whom you presume to minister in the Lord Jesus Christ, being in darkness on these matters. I therefore urge you to humble yourself, pray, and seek the Lord’s face, if perchance He might reveal these things, these holy and godly principles by which He works, which principles you have not only disbelieved but condemned, I suspect, as heresy or fallacy.
There is so much more that could be said of many things, and I’m willing to communicate with you, if you’re willing, but are you? I doubt it, but hope otherwise. The will of the Lord be done.
I feel regretful and somewhat foolish that I should have entrusted disagreeing persons to deliver such a message given of God, which message could be intercepted because judged as error by the messengers I employed. I have learned my lesson. Nevertheless, with the conviction that all things are with purpose under the sovereignty of God (“a man’s heart devises his way, but the Lord directs his steps”), I know that greater things are working themselves out here by God’s wisdom in my foolishness. Who knows if God, by this event, with your inclusion, is not doing a special work in your heart, in Donn Walmsley’s, and in the hearts of others? I certainly hope so. Whatever is the wisdom of His ways, I rest.
I now note as I edit: Yikes! Was that a long-winded letter! Not unusual, but unusually long as even long letters go.
Particle – Jonathan’s Concussion
On November 2, 2000, Jonathan fell on the stairs at the farm and suffered a concussion. I wasn’t there when it happened but drove to the hospital the moment they notified me. Lois and Marilyn took Jonathan to the hospital where they did an MRI, something I wouldn’t have wanted him to have, knowing its potential carcinogenic effects. Jonathan was in pain, hallucinating, incoherent, and recognizing nobody. It was terrible!
I spent the night with Jonathan in Room 538 at the Lethbridge Regional Hospital, praying and hoping. Finally, at 5 a.m. on the 3rd, Jonathan came to himself. I spent the day with him. The Lord told Paul, Lois, and me that Jonathan would be OK. It certainly didn’t look that way for a while.
Marilyn brought supper and she, Jonathan, and I ate together at the hospital. In this incident, I experienced a restoration of our relationship, back to the days before the stock market times when I was in stress. I was so very thankful for that. On the 5th, Jonathan and I went popcorn-selling for the Scouts. He was recovered.
Marilyn and I had another battle, this time concerning Jonathan. I cursed Marilyn for what she brought on him, wantonly so. I was certainly at the place where I would rather have seen her dead than as she was. She mocked, condemned, and despised me. Her period multiplied her wicked state in horrible contradiction, confusion, and evil. There was no talking or reasoning with her.
Particle – The Twelfth Eviction for the Faith
Mike Lemon called, declaring that if we were to enter his church again, he would have us evicted, by the police, if necessary. He lost it, calling me a liar, deceived, arrogant, devious, a troublemaker. He also said that people in his congregation (Darlene Aldous, I presume) had criticisms of Marilyn’s state and Jonathan’s behavior with their children.
Paul was with me, and Mike was on the speaker phone. I had things to say to Mike, but he hung up on us. I told him he was a child of darkness.
Three days after Mike called, he called again and left a message. He was backtracking, sheepish about his conduct, but he didn’t apologize.
Particle – True and Counterfeit Love
Early on the morning of November 7th, I received that, as Christ died for sinners while we were in rebellion and at enmity with Him, so we are to love the loathsome and the unlovely, those we hate. This sounds contradictory or convoluted, but herein is the definition of true love and exposure of the false love again.
While true love is an act of the will, obedience to God, doing right, the false love is the harlot’s version, one of feelings, emotions, affection, romance, pleasing to the flesh, adulterated, counterfeit, the Satanic version – that which men savor.
This counterfeit love is the very love Marilyn experienced with Sean and which he pretended and assumed to have, and likely had, in measure for her. In him dwelt the spirit of Satan, as Trevor prophesied.
And should this be any marvel? If God is love, will not the usurper, the accuser of the brethren, the arch enemy of God, the antiChrist, not manifest counterfeit fleshly love? No doubt he shall. And we all have had to learn and discern the difference, though the two outwardly appear alike in word, profession, faith, works, and even gifts. Yes, we have learned important lessons and have come to a maturity, having our senses exercised to discern between good and evil.
Particle – Problems Continue against Expectations
Because of what the Lord had done with us and how He was clearing the air to a great extent, I had expected only good things to happen now. However, it wasn’t so. Jonathan had his concussion. Then the water system broke down. Trevor called to ask if we could bring in a plumber on the Sabbath, seeing we needed water. I consented. The next day a $350 ram mysteriously died. Had I offended on the Sabbath? Likely. We could have brought in another plumber on a different day and paid him, but no, mammon was more important.
Trevor was secretly phoning Alena, an unbelieving past girlfriend in Toronto. Besides all these things, Marilyn and I were having our battles, Kerri was calling with her struggles, and Mike Lemon and Yvon Goulet were accusing and criticizing us. It wasn’t a peaceful existence by any means.
Previous Page Next Page
Part IX – Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Part I ~ Part II ~ Part III ~ Part IV ~ Part V ~ Part VI ~ Part VII ~ Part VIII ~ Part IX ~ Part X ~ Part XI ~ Part XII
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, ...
Page 3 PART ONE – Darkness to Light (cont.) Particle – Isabel's Ire Perhaps once every few months, our family would drive twenty miles west to Gilbert Plains to see my mother's parents and siblings. We enjoyed Grandma's bread and donuts, and the variety of crabapples and plums from their orchard in season. We enjoyed going to the Rex Café, where we would buy a dinner plate of potato French fries for 25 cents and share them. We enjoyed playing with Terry, Pat, Linda, Lois, Isabel, and Marlene (my aunts and uncles, three of which were younger and the others not much older than I), as well as with their neighbors, Hope and Daryl Bushie. There was one day, however, that stands out, and not a pleasant one. I do not recall how old I was, perhaps between seven to nine. We had all piled into my father's ‘51 Ford. In the back were my grandmother and her daughters, Isabel and Lois. We younger children had to sit in laps. I happened to be sitting in Isabel's lap. She was about three or fours years older than I. A strong disagreement arose between her and Lois on the one side and me on the other. I do not recall what it was, but in anger, Isabel took hold of my head and dug her long nails into my face, scoring it and drawing blood. I have little doubt that I was blameworthy to some extent at least. There was no call, however, for marring my face and drawing blood. What made it more unpleasant was that, seated in her lap, I was helpless to defend myself while she attacked from beh...
Page 8 PART THREE– Israel to Bernalillo (cont.) Particle – Eating Out Perhaps a year after the event with the young man, we dropped in on the pizza place where the young fellow had worked. He wasn't there but we were hungry and ordered a pizza. I like my pizza half-baked and expressly ordered it that way. It came out so well done, it was black on the edges. As well, I had ordered two extra toppings, both of which were merely sprinkled, but for which we paid perhaps a third again of what the pizza was worth. When I brought the overdone part to their attention, they would do nothing about it. The owner did the waiting and was openly dismissive. We ate it, paid, and left. This was just another of several continuous bad experiences in eating out. The Lord was teaching me something here. On another occasion, Carroll and Yvonne Vance had taken us out for dinner to The Keg on Macleod Trail in Calgary. In my food I found pieces of glass. Calling the headwaiter over, he laughed about it and did nothing. Being with the Vances, I didn't press the matter. What could I do? Besides, I was far more interested in what Carroll, one gifted in prophecy from God, had to say, and didn't want to be distracted from spiritual matters or to disturb him. Eating pizza burned black at a pizza place in Brooks with the Mediwakes after church services on Sunday was also unpleasant. The waiters did nothing about it, perhaps because they were very busy, seeing the church crowds were out for...