At the end of Part One of wHaT
tHe LoRd HaS dOnE wItH mE, Marilyn and I were headed for new adventures in a
spiritual reality that most people don’t dream about!
Particle – The
Spirit of God Draws
We lived in a whirlwind of diverse and simultaneous
activities. During the year preceding our marriage, various people
spoke to me about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Those I recall
were Mrs. Black in Regina, Saskatchewan; Mervin and Muriel Mediwake
in Lanigan, Saskatchewan; Dave Loewen of Calgary, Alberta; his daughter,
Diane, who had been staying with her grandfather, Mr. Toews, my landlord;
and some unnamed persons at various meetings.
Sherry and Muriel Mediwake
Muriel Mediwake had been holding Charismatic meetings
at a local United Church in Lanigan, Saskatchewan with some youth.
At one meeting that some of us Southern Baptist “Bible-correct” doctrinaires
attended, Brian Sherry was to lead the meeting. He stood up, spoke
about 10 words, and said he had nothing more to say - he would let
the Holy Spirit take over. After a brief silence, many of about seventy
people began to cry, unable to conceal their emotions, wondering
what was going on. Some of them tried to describe what they were
feeling, but couldn’t.
I felt the emotion, but I didn’t have too difficult a time
holding back the tears; I suppose I was still hard in heart. Yet
I knew something was happening, no matter how much one could logically
argue with the externals. We went home criticizing, but it seems
the Spirit was gently, lovingly criticizing me!
Len Koster, our Faith Baptist Church outreach minister, was there,
criticizing what happened. You’ll see why later.
Regina Charismatic Meetings
Mrs. Black, who wasn’t knowledgeable of Scripture,
but whose conviction about receiving the Spirit I found irresistible,
invited me to a Pentecostal meeting led by Pastor Straza in Regina.
Going there, I had a discussion with a tall, slim fellow with an
overbite (Cliff, I believe), in his mid-thirties, who testified to
me personally of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts.
He patiently endured with me, while I argued enduringly with him.
I doubt that he has changed 32 years later, and I haven’t changed.
I still argue, only now I argue with knowledge and conviction. Then,
I had no clue of what I was saying.
It wasn’t his knowledge of Scripture that counted, however,
but his friendliness, patience, and particularly, his conviction
that impacted me.
Backslidden Daughter Speaks
Even Diane Loewen, Dave Loewen’s backslidden
daughter who was staying for a while with my landlord (her grandfather),
penetrated me by her conviction. She had turned her back on the Lord,
but she convincingly declared that there was such a thing as a real,
legitimate, godly baptism in the Holy Spirit, and that she was not
speaking of just some silly emotional experience or delusion of devils.
My silent question was, “If one is deluded by devils, and
not aware of it, can’t or won’t one have a demon-inspired
conviction? Isn’t that what delusion is all about?” Yet
somehow I knew she spoke the truth, though she couldn’t argue
with me or afford much Scripture.
What she did was candidly admit she was wrong in turning her back
on God, thinking there was no more hope for her, and she insisted
that her decision did not reflect on the reality and virtue of the
baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Here was a backslidden young woman, running around, dating an obvious
roughhouser in my very presence, yet admitting her wrong and bearing
a strange but strong testimony to me. Legalists would despise her
doctrine because of her lifestyle and apparent spiritual failure.
Though I may have been somewhat of a legalist, I couldn’t resist
The lesson: All persons glorify God. He is over all. There is a
purpose and timing for all things. I’m thankful that Diane
and her father, Dave, shared with me.
Another lesson: It’s not Scriptural knowledge that persuades
or convicts – it’s the Spirit, Who bears witness not
only in the present, but also by the past work He has done.
I may see an old rusted-out car in the bush, obviously useless for
transport, but it still speaks of something beyond natural occurrence
or development; it was not something a fox, a hill of ants, wind,
rain, or the sun could do – there was an obvious intelligent
human design involved in the making of it, though the course of natural
degeneration had taken over.
But try to persuade an indoctrinated evolutionist of those laws
or factors. He would fail to see that complex things, though deteriorating,
have the marks of having been formed by deliberate intelligence,
and that rust and rot are the norm in all of creation, the natural
direction of things. Long-term progress in natural creation, with
improvement and development, is not.
Diane was there, wasn’t there, but I knew that some of her
that once was, still was. What was left of good was not of her doing.
Sites Sanction Saints in Skimpy Swimsuits
While in Regina, we met Larry and Sue Spencer, a young
Southern Baptist pastor and his wife from the US who were beginning
a church at a school. Larry was rather outspoken and more apt to
speak of social issues than most pastors.
I recall a girl in her later teens coming up from the south to help
with their work, who would go to the beach wearing a bikini. Larry
took issue with that.
“What is the difference between being nearly naked at work
or at church and being naked on the beach?” he asked. “Does
the beach or a public swimming pool make it right? Does everybody
else being naked make it right? Women should dress discreetly anywhere,
shouldn’t they? Christians are supposed to have a conscience
about these things. What kind of testimony is it to be nearly naked
before the world?”
I agreed with him. The concept seemed lost on the girl, who was
there presumably to help Larry build the church and win souls to
This wasn’t the last we would hear of Larry Spencer’s
stand on moral issues, though it would be many years later.
Particle – Shall Chickens Not Lay Eggs?
While with the Baptist Student Union on the university
campus in Regina, I got into a discussion with a couple feminists
who had a table next to ours. They blamed the social and marital
plight of women on Christianity. One was capable of carrying on a
decent conversation, while another was foul-mouthed, ignorant, and
very obstinate. God gave me the patience to talk with the young women,
not treating the one in kind.
Then came the leader, a woman in her fifties or older, very bitter,
sarcastic, and vicious. She was snarling right in my face, almost
spitting, cursing men and Christianity. Without waiting for my response,
she turned on her heels and left. I wondered how someone could be
so full of hatred.
I also wondered how anyone with any intelligence or decency wouldn’t
see through her foul influence, take immediate note, and run in the
opposite direction, instead of becoming her follower.
So what did the more “rational” of the two feminist
students decide? Could she tell by my conduct, contrasted with her
partner and leader, that perhaps she should reconsider her direction?
She said, “I’ve learned something today. I’ve learned
how to deal with people in a more effective manner,” judging
my manner effective and adopting it to support her leader’s
agenda of hate.
What?! Was that it?! My manner was effective?! Was I not saying
anything worthwhile? Could she not tell by my fruits that perhaps
the subject matter was the cause of my manner and my peace? Apparently
not, at least not for the time being. I marveled that by my peaceful
conduct, I was encouraging a feminist to promote hatred more effectively.
Is Christianity responsible for the ills in this world? The Christianity
of this world is responsible for a good deal of it, but Jesus Christ
is not. And He’ll tend to those who have claimed and done evil
in His Name.
Christianity Is Indeed Responsible for Evil
To give an example of evil in this world perpetrated
by those who call themselves Christians, we were in Regina with Jo
Campbell, daughter of a successful grain farmer. Publicly, she was
a friendly, smiling, zealous proselytizer, using Campus Crusade’s
“Four Spiritual Laws” tract to “win souls.” Why? Because
she didn’t have her own oil, though having “accepted” Christ “into
her heart” as her “personal Savior.”
Jo was highly and overtly critical of her father, who, she said,
was consumed with financial gain. Was her obvious contempt for him
the spirit and conduct of a true believer? She had formed her own
brand of Christianity and used it as a tool to show herself morally
superior over others, father included.
With Jo’s guard down, I found her quite cynical and spiteful.
She was also twice her proper weight. Did she not know gluttony was
a sin? Who was she to judge her
Particle – What
a Gift for Lending Our Suite!
Knowing we would be away for a week during Christmas,
the landlord asked us if his daughter, Irene, and son-in-law, Dave
Loewen, could use our basement suite while visiting him from Calgary.
Before he returned to Calgary, Dave left behind a little booklet, “The
Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” by R. A. Torrey. He had been sharing
about the Spirit with me by mail. I replied with argument, not knowing
what I was talking about, barely reading what he sent me. It is amazing
to me now, in retrospect, how arrogant, closed, and unreasonable
I could be.
In reading the Torrey booklet, however, I felt and hoped there was
something there for me. Baptists are quite opposed to such doctrine,
which caused us to hesitate, but not for long. I said, “Lord,
if You have something here for us, I want it.”
Not a Sin in the Nominal Churches
We would be away during Christmas, because we were
asked to babysit a home for Terry and Norma Wuester while they took
a trip to the States. They were very friendly people, university
professors and members of good standing in Faith Baptist Church.
However, I recall a great curiosity concerning them. They were both
very heavy - Terry weighing possibly over 300 pounds. While at their
house for supper at an earlier date, I saw them eat three or more
times as much as I would or even possibly could. Their pantry was
heavily stocked with a variety of foods.
Plainly, they were gluttons. “Doesn’t the Bible place
gluttony in the same category with drunkenness?” I thought. “Surely,
it does. Why isn’t Pastor Henry Blackaby saying anything to
them? But if they were true believers, why would he have to say anything?
Wouldn’t they know for themselves?”
It was an array of situations like this that made me question what
Christianity was all about. I, as a relatively new believer, knew
better. Why didn’t these older believers know better?
I didn’t feel it was my place to speak, judge, or even inquire.
I fully expected that if I asked, I would be rebuked, whether sharply
or kindly. I wasn’t confident that I understood enough to make
accurate judgments, although there truly was no opportunity to say
anything; otherwise, I might have done so. Soon it wouldn’t
matter, at least with them, because within two weeks, we would be
As I see it now, Terry and Norma had a problem, they didn’t
seem to see it as a problem, and those presuming to shepherd them
seemed derelict in their duties to counsel them to life, whether
they were receptive or not. The bane of churches and their pastors
in nominal Christendom is accepting sin in their churches in the
name of accepting sinners, with the primary goal of increasing numbers,
both in people and offerings.
Of course, it goes deeper than that. They don’t know the Lord;
their fruits declare it. Their fruits manifest that they aren’t
founded on the Rock - Jesus Christ. “Having a form of godliness
but denying the power thereof”?
We would celebrate our last Christmas at the Wuesters’.
Marilyn, at my request, prepared a big festive Ukrainian meal, with
perogies and all the things Ukrainians eat at that time. We invited
my unbelieving cousin, Linda Michaluk, for one supper, when I learned
she was in town. She nearly fell asleep on us. Tim and Verna Friesen
came for another supper. Verna was pregnant and not feeling well.
It was a strange season. Interestingly, nobody at Faith Baptist
invited us for Christmas, and we didn’t invite any of them.
The Baptists all celebrated Christmas. Why didn’t they invite
us? Why didn’t we invite them? Shouldn’t the Body of
Christ rejoice together in an event that was supposed to be so significant
We didn’t know it would be our last Christmas celebration,
something I would have a bit of a challenge giving up, because
in the past, before I came to believe, I enjoyed it very much.
Henry arranged for a “Watch Night Service” on
New Year’s Eve. It began about 7 p.m. We were expecting a “season
of prayer,” Bible study, and worship to bring in the New Year.
(Archie and Cathie were with us that evening.) Food was served, games
were played, and it turned out to be nothing more than a worldly
social in the basement of the church.
It wasn’t until about ten minutes before midnight that Henry
rallied everyone upstairs to the chapel and spoke a few words. We
prayed a short prayer at midnight and went home. I was greatly disappointed,
if not disgusted. That night seemed to be the final straw, precipitating
us to going on with God the next night.
A. Torrey Ministers to Us
I had finally red through R. A. Torrey’s booklet, “The
Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” and was desirous to receive the
promises therein. One month after being married, at about 9:30, the
evening of January 1, 1975, the night after the “Watch Night
Service,” my wife and I red Torrey’s booklet, considered
what he was saying, got down on our knees, confessed our sins, and
asked for and received the Holy Spirit.
We did it with a bit of apprehension because what Torrey talked
about was an experience our evangelical church condemned as “Pentecostalism,” as
of the Devil. It took us about an hour to pray through the steps
outlined by Torrey, based on Acts 2:38-39:
Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you
in the Name
of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise
is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off,
even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
Before receiving the Spirit, I had to confess to my wife an attraction
I had for a single woman at the church, and who it was… Judy
Linton. We had only been married one month and there I was having
to confess sin tantamount to adultery, if not adultery (not that
there seemed to be lust involved). I confessed, and Marilyn forgave
me. Peace came, and upon asking for the Spirit and reading the following
passage, an assurance settled in my bosom:
“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we
ask any thing according to His will, He hears us: And if we know
that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions
that we desired of Him” (1 John 5:14-15 KJV).
There were no manifestations of any kind. It was very quiet, but
A note of interest: April 1 was once New Year’s
Day, I’m told. My physical birth, that being of the “old
man” - the carnal nature, as the Bible puts it - was on the
day of the old New Year’s: April 1. My spiritual birth was
now on January 1, our present New Year’s, the day of the birth
of my new inner man.
Cost to Kosters
Something happened to us that evening, though quiet
and unobtrusive. We immediately called Len and Ruth Koster, the outreach
minister and his wife, and invited them over. We thought they needed
the power of the Holy Spirit as much as anyone at Faith Baptist.
Their reaction surprised us; they were alarmed. Apparently, while
formerly pastoring a church in Taras, British Columbia, they had
suffered a church split because someone had come teaching about the
baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts. The Kosters would have
none of what we wanted to share.
We pursued the subject no more, and they soon left, but we were
unmoved in our conviction and course. They had been the first to
meet us fresh in the Spirit and had been shaken, while we, in spite
of their rejection, were unshaken.
Today, as I write, I see why Len had been so critical
and outspoken at the Lanigan Charismatic
meeting, when Brian Sherry
he was going to let the Holy Spirit take over. Len had seen this “sort
of thing” before and was on the losing end.
And lo and behold, in less than 2 years, in another city, we would
meet the man who allegedly split their church. His name was Koster,
Bible Comes Alive on a New Level
After the Kosters left at about 1:30 a.m., we went
to bed, but we couldn’t get to sleep. Off would go the lights,
but not the inner light. The Lord would quicken things to me and
direct me to Scripture. So we turned on the lights and red. Off again
would go the lights to get some sleep, the Lord would quicken yet
more, and on again came the lights. This happened several times that
It was a new world! The Bible came alive in a way I had never experienced.
All night, the Lord was taking us through the Scriptures, revealing
many things to us, taking us from the Book of Joshua, wherein we
red of the Lord’s parting and Israel’s crossing of the
Jordan River (a second water crossing) and entrance into Canaan,
to the third chapter of John, concerning the new birth, to Paul’s
teaching on the Spirit in his epistles. The Lord made Himself known
to us in a new exciting, joyous, yet solemn, way. We didn’t
get to bed until 7 a.m., sleeping for perhaps an hour. We were on
to a new day - in more than one way.
Who says there is no God?
My brother Archie and his wife came over that morning.
I was filled with the Spirit and testified to them. Archie and I
got on our knees and began to pray. I saw Archie’s face distort
and he began to pray in tongues, something that sounded Oriental.
I was suddenly envious, seeing he immediately received tongues,
while we had not. I knew I should be thankful, yet I was disturbed;
there was something amiss, not because I hadn’t received tongues
(though that disturbed me slightly), but it was something with Archie
that was more disturbing. I felt something evil, but I didn’t
Nothing happened with Cathie that I recall. She was never interested
in the things of God. All she did was go along with Archie. Only
weeks before, while we were at their place, she was resentful of
us for something and didn’t prepare us a meal at suppertime.
Instead, she made a bowl of popcorn for herself and sat down to eat
it in front of us. Being the slow one as usual, and so preoccupied
with what the Lord was doing, I was completely oblivious to her resentment
and subtle sign to show us the door.
But Not as I Expected
Disillusionment…. Get to the back of the line!
Upon receiving the Spirit, I had expected and assumed that we had
arrived to fullness of power in the Lord. I expected that many would
come repenting and believing. I thought the world would soon be falling
at my feet. Instead, nothing happened with Kosters, and nothing happened
with Archie and Cathie (though I thought perhaps something had with
To add to my chagrin and disillusionment, I got suddenly annoyed
with Marilyn for some little thing she had done, which resulted in
my spilling some hot water on my hand, though harmlessly. I was chagrined
by my attitude, but too proud or hard to immediately confess that
there was still something lacking. I had no doubt, however, the Lord
had done something very good and important for us. We had entered
not only the clouds of heavenly dew, but also the smoke of purging
fires. As John testified:
“I indeed baptize you with water to repentance. But He Who
comes after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy
to carry. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire;
Whose fan is in His hand, and He will cleanse His floor and gather
His wheat into the storehouse; but He will burn up the chaff with
unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:11-12 MKJV).
Being baptized in the Holy Spirit didn’t make the flesh holy.
It established warfare with the flesh, and the battle began. I had
Takers of the Spirit of Truth
I tried sharing with everyone I could, hoping and expecting
they would be open. I was expecting perhaps a revival. Was I so wrong!
They were chagrined, confounded, disturbed, skeptical, disinterested,
afraid, alarmed, and even hostile. I could see in the Scriptures
what I was talking about, and marveled that they couldn’t.
I marveled that even when the Bible clearly declared something, they
were incapable of receiving it or understanding. They really weren’t
interested in the truth or in going on to a deeper relationship with
the One they professed to worship and serve. Indeed, I was beginning
to suspect they didn’t have a relationship with the Lord at
I shared with Al Niebergal, who trembled in fear as we went to prayer,
and got nowhere. “What is he afraid of?” I wondered.
I shared with Randy Wilson, Warren Mackenzie, Dan and Dale Fishley,
Bob Bye (who was offended that I was “deceiving” my simple,
innocent brother, Archie, and his wife), and others. They all rejected
what I said out of hand. Henry was away at the time, so I couldn’t
share with him before we were taken to Prince Albert to the Scarborough
Baptist Church to work with Jack and Bonna Connor.
Virtue Not Real
Mrs. Bates was an apparently kind, gentle, friendly
lady in her eighties, whom many perceived to be pious. She was one
of the core members of what was left of Faith Baptist before Henry
Blackaby came to revive it as a church. She kept a room reserved
for Henry in case he wished to retreat for privacy to write or study.
Marilyn had rented a room in her basement before she and I married.
One day, I thought I would share with her about the baptism in the
Holy Spirit. That day, I saw a Mrs. Bates I hadn’t seen before.
She became very agitated, obviously prejudiced by conversations that
had taken place about us and what had happened. She was loud and
incoherent and refused to listen or reason. It was disturbing. I
left, knowing there was nothing I could do.
Another person who seemed humble and reasonable, if not godly, was
John Cunningham, the pastor of Cambrian Heights Baptist Church in
Calgary, Alberta, an associate Southern Baptist church. Before we
received the Spirit, I had wanted to get together with him, just
to learn from him. I had a taste of a short and sweet visit with
him at a pastors’ retreat.
Soon after we received the Spirit, he spoke against us or against “Pentecostalism,” though
he never spoke personally to us. I was disappointed, but not entirely
surprised. This was only a start on the great road of disillusionment
concerning man’s virtue.
As for the Cunninghams, we would hear of tragic developments for
the whole family in the future.
Resurrection Will Suffice
Why should I have been surprised that those not having
the Spirit couldn’t see the testimony in the Scriptures? Before
receiving the Spirit, I was blind to it, and fought it. And before
I was converted, when reading the Bible, I couldn’t so much
as see that Jesus Christ was what it was all about. How does one
see the sun when in the grave? It wasn’t until the miracle
occurred in me, bringing me up from the dead, that I was able to
perceive spiritual reality as recorded in the Bible.