For the remainder of our stay in New Jersey, we listened to sermons
by George Verwer, Paul Troper, and others. We stayed in a large mansion
owned by a bachelor, Bill Okkema, who owned a building materials
outlet (Mowerson’s, I believe). He had a fellow staying with
him, a Hispanic named Juan.
Bill was a member of the large church hosting the OM gathering.
While we had some interesting talks on spiritual matters, it seemed
Bill was merely doing his “Christian duty” by housing
and feeding us, which was fine, but he seemed quite disinterested
in the things of God, which I found disappointing.
We had a meal at his mother’s one day. She also seemed disinterested.
Particle – Was
Morley an Angel?
The Scriptures declare:
“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for
in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews
We met him in New Jersey. I think his name was Morley (perhaps Murray),
and I believe he had a New York accent. He was one of those who didn’t
fit in - quiet and unobtrusive, even apparently shy. He was not unkempt,
but neither was he well dressed.
I recall his questioning something some of us were discussing. He
was one of those that could agitate one, poking at the validity of
what was said. Though he seemed provocative, he didn’t speak
or question with strife or contention. I wish I could remember what
was discussed. I believe it was about free will and God’s sovereignty,
but I’m not sure. I do recall realizing I had much more to
On rare occasions, someone steps into your life and
impacts it in a matter of moments in a way that others, who may have
you for years, don’t. I think he was an angel sent to correct
me, but with a New York accent? :-)
Particle – Churches
Demonstrably All the Same
Though we were slightly short the stipulated amount of money, OM
accepted us, and we were off to Brussels, Belgium. We had heard that
OM was against the doctrine and reality of the baptism in the Holy
Spirit, but we were led to go with them, anyway. That summer would
prove to be very educational spiritually. We would be exposed to
many people, churches, denominations, doctrines, and practices. The
Lord would be showing us that the formal churches are all very much
the same, if not in doctrine, at least in general form and spirit.
Particle – Base
Landing in Brussels, about a thousand of us from many countries
were gathered for a few days’ conference in a huge vacated
Catholic seminary, the base for OM’s operations that summer.
From there we would be dispersed as evangelistic teams to various
The dark, gloomy halls in that building seemed two blocks long,
or more. It was well built, as is common in Europe (contrasted to
much of America’s construction). It had a large garden or park
in the center of it, and behind.
We slept in large vacant rooms (formerly private offices or bedrooms)
on clay-tiled cement floors. Corrugated cardboard used for padding
became a precious commodity. The fare was poor - processed, much
of it donated I expect, not an organic or godly diet - but we didn’t
Three days were spent listening to George Verwer and other speakers,
learning the operations and our general duties. Teams of four would
be formed to take to the streets, preaching, witnessing, and distributing
nominal Christian books for donations; the proceeds would serve
to finance OM in these operations.
Particle – Hans
Here happened one of the more humbling moments of my life. Marilyn
and I decided to see a bit of Brussels. We went for a walk, and when
we returned to the conference center, I was surprised to have a fellow,
Hans, stop us at the door, asking for ID. Why I resisted him, I don’t
know (pride, I believe), but I reacted, as if to say, “Why
should you question us?” Yet, it was his duty; he didn’t
know us, and obviously, they didn’t want strangers entering.
Hans didn’t react. He was polite and patient, even respectful,
but stood his ground. I was ignorantly testy, though not nasty, with
him. I finally gave him our identification.
He then took his second step in putting me to shame. He invited
Marilyn and me to the kitchen for hot chocolate (it turned out he
was the chief cook). We accepted, and he treated us as friends and
guests. He was entirely charitable, and because he was so, I was
humbled to tears and moved to apologize. He accepted and graciously
brushed the incident off as negligible. I have been moved by his
reaction to my attitude and conduct to this day.
It was another one of those brief encounters with great impact.
Hans, God bless you, wherever you are. He blessed me by you.
Particle – Truth
and Goodness Prevail, Never Fail
The power of that incident has often made me wonder about myself,
even now as I write, decades later. The Lord has greatly blessed
and kept me, spoken to me of many things, undeniably used me to speak
to many, as you shall see, yet I rarely exhibit the same kind of
spirit Hans did that day. His humility, gentleness, and patience
were so powerful, far more so than the testy and disagreeable reaction
I gave him. I am often ready to do battle or correct someone, yet
I seem to be the one in great need of correction.
I would want to have the same impact on others that Hans had on
me, seeing that his way gets the desired results (at least with me).
While I would prefer his attitude, and have had it on occasion, I
don’t have it often. Rarely do I detect people ashamed of themselves
before me for their wrongs. On the contrary, I usually get reactions
like, “Judge not!”
Yet I find that I am what I am, and it seems this is the way it
must be. I would like to be nice, I really would, but find that being
real is preferable, nice or not.
Am I excusing myself? Do I fall short of a certain required behavior
before God in His economy of things for every person and occasion?
That may well be, but I know this: He rules over the spirits of men,
Hans’ and every other spirit, mine included.
[The editor, Sara Schmidt, in working on this paper, was moved to
write the following, as she red this particle:
Victor, I know you know this, but perhaps a reminder is helpful....
You impacted my life in a far greater way than Hans impacted yours.
He was still part of the church system, conducting himself with love
and compassion as they are often taught to do (and usually failing
when confronted with the truth). You, on the other hand, spoke out
forthrightly, sharing truths that have delivered me from the whore,
both externally and internally. What else can I say??? You have been
required by Him to speak hard words, and as a result, His work has
wrought great deliverance for me and others.]
Particle – “Hiob” (Job)
We prayed for a fellow, Hiob (he may have been a Filipino), to receive
the Spirit. He rejoiced, but we didn’t have occasion to get
together with him again that I recall.
Particle – Grumpy
Likely the hard tile floors had something to do with
this event, along with my injured
neck that would often pain and
me, especially if I didn’t lie down just so. One morning, I
awoke particularly grumpy, and Marilyn suffered the brunt of it,
as had been the case many times. I was so hard on her, I broke down
crying, feeling so wretched that I should be that way, especially
as a Christian.
I had tried so hard to correct myself, to no avail. I would apologize,
we would pray, yet nothing would change. How many times in the past
I apologized to her for this and other offenses, I don’t know,
but as I apologized this time, we prayed and I tearfully cried out
to the Lord in brokenness and desperation to deliver me of this horrible
problem. He would answer - in about a year.
Particle – Korneuburg,
Our first assignment was in Korneuburg, Austria, where we had to
learn some German quickly. The team leader, Klaus, determined that
we would head out into the streets and spread the word that we would
be having Bible study. I, however, believed in letting the Lord bring
the people. We had a debate on our hands, but as it turned out, Klaus
did some street preaching, we prayed, making request to the Lord
to bring people, He brought them (not only some of those to whom
Klaus preached), and Klaus was somewhat impressed that such a thing
Particle – God
We were dependent upon God for our needs, particularly food. We
considered ourselves fortunate when there was a fruit tree available,
or when the administrator at the volunteered facility where we stayed
decided to provide us with some groceries. In Korneuburg, we had
some funds to occasionally go to the bakery and pick up a fresh round
loaf of substantial Austrian Rye bread, about three or four kilos
in weight, for our team.
We fared well compared to other teams. In France, for example, some
had to survive on limited supplies of white French bread alone, for
up to two weeks. We saw them in Brussels later, appearing sickly
and sluggish, sadly reporting their experience.
Particle – We
Need Each Other
To our Bible study came a young Catholic fellow and his sister (Wolfgang
and Christina). I was sharing with them the example that God is the
Tree and we are the branches. “How can branches,” I rhetorically
asked, “live without the tree? We need the Tree.”
Christina replied, “True, but then, as a tree cannot live
without branches, so God needs us, too!” It had never occurred
to me that Almighty God might need us. After all, why are we here?
Isn’t it wonderful when we who presume to be teachers or authorities
can learn from anyone, like I did from that young Catholic lady?
How wonderful the peace and rest of not feeling compelled to be the
ones knowing it all!
Particle – Walter
and Gertrude of Austria
Having completed our time in Korneuburg, we spent a night in Vienna
and enjoyed more food than had come our way at the Austrian OM office.
We met Walter and Gertrude (Gertrude was with OM) who lived in Vienna.
They treated us to a Viennese tour, dinner, and classical music on
piano and violin at their apartment. Walter was studying medicine.
Gertrude had resisted the truth of receiving the Spirit, but she
hadn’t been offended. They went out of their way to befriend
I have to say that those who treated us well in spite of our differences
had the greater impact on me. It just isn’t the same as being
treated in a friendly way by one who is in agreement or stands to
gain something from you. Loving your enemies has a greater payback,
at times and in various ways, than loving your friends does.
Particle – Back
to Brussels on the Autobahn
After our night in Vienna, we headed back to Brussels in one of
the many old Volkswagen buses, which were limited to 80 kilometers
per hour anywhere, including the speedy freeways like the Autobahn
where vehicles passed us as though we were at a pit stop changing
Particle – A
Sad Piece of News
I believe it was at this time, in Brussels, or perhaps a bit later,
that we received a disturbing letter from Canada, saying that my
brother David had been admitted to the hospital with acute leukemia.
I was greatly saddened, wondering what had happened in the prayer
we had with him, wherein he was cleansed.
We asked the Lord if we should cut our time with OM short. He said
to remain for the term scheduled. We planned to see David when we
returned to Canada. Would he still be alive? God assured us he would
be, and that there was no need to rush or panic.
Particle – Chaperones
Needed in England
We were slated to leave Brussels for France when there came a request
for a married couple to chaperone elsewhere. There were very few
married couples; almost all were young single students. When we presented
ourselves to answer the call of duty, we found out the need was in
We accepted, drove through France, and were off by hovercraft to
England, then to Manchester via London. One part of the tongues and
interpretation message that Marilyn received in Prince Albert that
March had now come to pass.
Who says there is no God?
How can professing Christians argue against the validity of the
gifts of the Spirit for this day? But they can, and do. Who but God
can do these things? Yet they attribute power and, in effect, worship
to Satan, as though he is sovereign over all.
There was still another portion of the message given Marilyn that
had yet to be fulfilled.
Particle – Manchester
and Heinrich Schneider
The OM office and residence in Manchester was in a vacated industrial
building, converted to a tenement. Our bedroom was about eight feet
away from the tracks of a train that passed through regularly, day
There we met some interesting people. One was Heinrich Schneider,
from Germany, a zealous believer. He had also been baptized in the
Holy Spirit, and was constantly exclaiming, with a German accent, “Praise
the Lord!” Even early in the morning, at breakfast, he would
come to the table and loudly proclaim, “Praise the Lord!” One
young OM worker grumbled that if he did it again, he would stuff
something down his throat. I was reminded of the proverb:
“He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early
in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him” (Proverbs
Not all were as joyous and enthusiastic about the Lord as Heinrich.
I’m sorry we lost touch with him. We had some good talks.
Particle – George
Verwer Mocks the Spirit
The director of the Manchester OM office, while praising George
Verwer for “walking the talk,” told us a story he thought
was quite humorous. George was on a bus, passing out Christian tracts.
A passenger asked him if he had received the Spirit. (The idea was
possibly to suggest that those who are led by God don’t indulge
in various common religious activities such as handing out tracts,
unless directed by the Spirit.)
George immediately asked him a question in turn: “Have you received the Spirit?”
The man replied, “Yes, I have.”
George replied, handing him the tracts, “Then you hand them
After relating the story, the director and some people laughed,
but not us. It became awkward when he perceived that some of us weren’t
amused. We knew he didn’t understand, but we also knew that
he wasn’t ready to receive more truth, either.
Particle – Steven
In Manchester, we met Steven Hawkins, who was on staff with OM.
He took us for a little tour, most of which I don’t recall,
but one thing I remember is the graveyard that went back so many
centuries. It had worn tombstones with the names of people who had
died in the dreaded medieval plagues. The sites testifying to times
so long ago in English and European history impressed us. In Western
Canada, our home turf, manmade landmarks were no older than two centuries,
We talked to Steven about receiving the Spirit. We weren’t
led to pray that he would receive, but we would hear more of him
in future. Years later we discovered that he came to live in Edmonton,
Alberta. It turned out that we were living in the same province,
about three hundred miles away.
Particle – Ipswich,
Friends, Confirmations of Good Doctrine
Having completed our time in Manchester, we headed to London and
from there to Ipswich, where we joined others to form a new team.
Now the Lord would be revealing some things to us to confirm our
footsteps in Him and the things He was teaching us. The Lord would
be showing me how my struggles in seeking to understand the essence
and realities of repentance, the new birth or the baptism in the
Holy Spirit, and other matters were not just my doing, but His. We
would also meet some friends in Christ with whom to share.
Particle – Men
Say One Thing; God Another
Learning God’s doctrine rather than man’s brought us
into conflict with most nominal Christians, and especially with those
who appeared to be the greater among them. The Lord had taught me
that the new birth is the baptism in the Spirit, and the baptism
in the Holy Spirit is the new birth. While Baptists and others will
agree with that statement, they are mistaken in the experience. Repentance
is one thing, as real, wonderful, and necessary as it is, but the
new birth is quite another experience. Baptists think repentance
is the new birth, which is simply not true.
Particle – New
Birth Comes With Spiritual Gifts
I daresay that most evangelicals have experienced neither repentance
nor the new birth. For those who have experienced repentance, they
are taught that they are now born again, that is, they have received
the Spirit, yet without receiving the gifts. Not having the gifts,
they are told that the gifts were only for the early Church and are
no longer necessary or valid. But the Lord taught us that the new
birth is the receiving of the Spirit, and with the new birth come
Particle – What
about Billy Graham?
When speaking of receiving the Spirit and the gifts, like prophecy,
tongues, interpretations of tongues, visions, dreams, revelation,
healing, discerning of spirits, the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge,
rejoicing, praise, thanksgiving, and the lifting up of hands unto
the Lord, people would immediately put forth Billy Graham as proof
that I was in error, seeing he never spoke of, or attested to, these
They would come to me and say, “Victor, how can these things
be of God? What about Billy Graham? He doesn’t say ‘Praise
the Lord,’ lift his hands up to the Lord in public, lay hands
on people to pray for healing, prophesy, or speak in tongues, but
look what a godly man he is! Has he not won many thousands of souls
to Christ? With all that power and godliness, how can you say that
he doesn’t have the Spirit? Are you saying Billy Graham isn’t
How amazing it is that if people have a choice between believing
what the Bible (God) has to say about the Spirit and the gifts, and
what Billy Graham has to say about the things of God, the vast majority
of nominal Christendom will believe Billy Graham!
Here is a man who claims to believe the Bible, yet denies that which
is in the Bible as applicable to us in our day. Yet everywhere in
the Scriptures, we read of the Spirit of God and the gifts. In fact,
the whole Bible is the Substance, the very Essence, of the Spirit
of Christ and His gifts to man.
I had to take that oft-repeated question, “What about Billy
Graham?” to the Lord. It was one of the first and most pressing
questions to be answered after receiving the Spirit.
Beginning in Ipswich, the Lord verified what He had revealed to
me of Billy Graham - his spiritual state and ministry - thereby also
confirming the sound doctrine we were receiving.
Particle – “Read
On the first night in Ipswich, we arrived at Zoar Baptist Church,
the building in which we would be lodged. For bathing, some congregants
volunteered their homes. Marilyn and I were guests in a home where
a lady soon forced a magazine on me to read while I was waiting for
my turn to use the bathroom.
This was an unusual occurrence. The lady didn’t tell me what
she wanted me to read, though I asked her. She didn’t even
seem to know what she was doing, because I asked her why she was
giving me the magazine, and she gave no reason. “Just read
it,” she said.
Having no desire whatsoever for it, I declined twice, but she insisted.
I relented, opened it up, and as I leafed through it, I found a small
article of an interview with Billy Graham.
There was no reason to believe she was trying to tell me something
about Billy Graham. The article was quite small and insignificant,
buried among many larger ones, but to me it was exciting. Right there,
I found that Graham was declaring the gifts of the Holy Spirit were
not for today and that those gifts that were being manifested were
not of God. I had my answer from the Lord! I realized that anyone
who would deny or condemn the Spirit and His work and gifts was not
of God. He was erring against the Spirit.
I knew the gifts were true and for today. Were we not in England
months after Marilyn prayed in tongues, asked for interpretation,
and heard that we would be going to England? At the time of the tongues
and interpretation, we had no idea we would be going anywhere, much
less to England. Then along came Sally Hogg who said, “Why
don’t I give you this OM money and you go, seeing you are free
Originally we went to Belgium, and from there to Austria, then it
came about that they needed married couples for chaperones in England,
so off to England we went, and thus were the tongues and interpretation
fulfilled. As we sat in that lady’s living room in England,
we knew God had brought us there.
Who says there is no God?
Particle – George
Verwer a Billy Graham Proselyte
Here we were in England to work with Operation Mobilization, the
founder of which was George Verwer. And George was, we are told...
a Billy Graham “crusade” convert. Once personally acquainted
with OM, we discovered that they also stood against, and not only
stood against, but mocked and scoffed at, the gifts of the Spirit.
The Lord was tying loose ends together for us.
George was also a man of works. He took great pride in wearing rags
for clothes, displaying his commitment to evangelization and piety.
He worked very hard, and had his people work hard, but it was all
works of the flesh, not of the Spirit. George had no use for the
Spirit. (To this day in 2011, he hasn’t changed.)
We discovered that the books they were selling on the street were
anti-Christ and anti-Scriptural. Though these books were very common
and popular among evangelicals, not so among those who had truly
received the Spirit of God.
Particle – Twofold
the Child of Hell
George is, in effect, “twofold the child of Hell” Billy
Graham, the great proselytizer, is. Many nominal Christians think
of children of Hell as being dark, nasty souls, but it is not necessarily,
or even usually, so. Children of Hell are commonly, if not predominantly,
smiling, friendly, “Bible-believing,” devout, “evangelical” (proselytizers
don’t win people by being negative), sincere (according to
today’s concept), “Christ-like,” and often quite
“For such ones are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming
themselves into the apostles of Christ. Did not even Satan marvelously
transform himself into an angel of light? Therefore it is no great
thing if his ministers also transform themselves as ministers of
righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works” (2
Corinthians 11:13-15 MKJV).
Particle – All
It is argued by some that Billy Graham is a minister of God at a
lower level, serving in the outer court of the living Tabernacle,
but that others, like Charismatic leaders teaching the gifts, are
called to minister on higher levels, in the Holy Place and the Holy
of Holies in the Tabernacle or Temple.
I know this isn’t true because those who truly ministered
in the outer tabernacle of Moses knew full well the Holy Place and
the Holy of Holies existed. They wouldn’t have denied their
existence or told you they were not for that day.
Billy Graham is a false minister, a star performer of Mystery, Babylon
the Great, the mother of harlots. He is a super deceiver, wittingly
or not, intentionally or not, sincerely or not, humbly or not (he
isn’t). The effect is all the same on those he “converts
Particle – Sincerity
and Power Not Enough
People speak of Billy Graham’s great sincerity, and of his
having won millions to Christ. But many people are sincere - Mormons,
JWs, Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Communists, Satan worshippers,
and many more. Consider how Muslims are sincere to the point of blowing
themselves up, even giving their children to do so.
As to winning souls to Christ, I
have related how
I was at a Billy Graham “crusade,” in which my roommate
Fred Slater and I went forward. I was drawn to Billy Graham, thinking
drawing me. His personality was magnetic and compelling.
Many went forward, as they always do. That night, my friend and
I were part of the renowned statistics of “converts to Christ.” Billy
Graham, not Jesus Christ, was the attraction. He has been anointed
all right, but not by the Holy Spirit of God. My conversion that
night was spurious, as are any at Billy Graham “crusades” that
I have known (I’m not judging Billy strictly by my own experience).