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Victor Hafichuk's Testimony
I was the firstborn in a Ukrainian Catholic family. Here is my first
recollection of being made aware of the existence of God and another world:
My parents and I were driving home from town one evening as the sun was setting.
I was about 4 years old. The sun had cast a glow on some clouds on the
horizon, which gave them a special effect as that of a glowing celestial
My mother pointed to that beautiful scene and said (in Ukrainian), "Look son, that's Heaven over there. God, the angels and the saints are
all singing and rejoicing!" That event was quite stirring to me. I knew
I wanted to be there, and I don't know if my mother told me I would have
to die (in physical terms) to go to Heaven, or I instinctively knew I would
to do so to get there, but I knew I had to die. I knew I would have to lose
or let go of everything in this world to have that immense privilege of being
with God. It was a bittersweet experience, thrilling, yet deeply sad. Unknown
to me, I would come to know the reality of it while living in this
“God, if You
are willing to show Yourself, please, please do.”
The next time I recall having an "encounter" with God was when I
was about 11 or 12. One thing after another was going wrong. I was
exasperated. One day I was splitting wood under a tree and as I brought down
the axe, I pulled a branch with it down onto my head, which shocked me. It
seemed as though the heavens were falling in on me. I cried out to God in
desperation, fearful and broken. From then on, a peace came and there were no
more such incidents for a while.
When I was nearly 25, I had a skiing "accident." I was off work
for three and a half months and in physiotherapy for much longer. During that
time, a search began within me for more meaning to life. Questions arose,
such as, "Who am I? Why am I here? Is there a God? Will He talk to me?
What does He want from me?" I began to seek out various causes,
philosophies, religions, and I began to read the Bible.
By a peculiar set of circumstances, I was hired by another company and
sent to a city hundreds of miles away from where I was living. I was
separated from family, friends, and familiar surroundings. It was a quiet
job, with plenty of time to think, meditate, read the Bible, and search after
During that period in 1972, I began to pray, crying out to God saying,
"God, if You are there, if I can talk to You, if You are willing to show
Yourself, please, please do." Night after night, I would kneel by my bed
and cry out to God in quiet desperation. That emptiness within and
dissatisfaction for the things of this world were growing more intense until
I felt that unless God answered, I had no reason to go on living.
year of 1972, I decided to fast for three days and three
nights, without food or water. It was around that time that I had a dream
of the Lord
Jesus Christ, something I knew by the term, "Second Coming." I
saw His face. It was a face like no other...perfect in beauty, love, power,
wisdom, knowledge, and peace. His face was plainly, distinctly Jewish, yet
it was universal. A man walked with Him on His left, and that man's face
too was distinctly Jewish, though not universal. He was full of reverence,
thankfulness and joy, all because of the One with Whom he walked, and Whom
he worshiped. Both the Lord Jesus and the man with Him had neat beards, short
hair, and royal or priestly apparel.
As I witnessed these two persons, I was condemned, not by the Lord or that
man with Him, but by my own corruption and religious doctrine. As a Catholic,
I was taught that if I died with a mortal sin on my soul, I would go to Hell
and burn with horrible pain forever and ever, or, if the Lord came and I was
in mortal sin, I would suffer the same consequence. The Lord was
acknowledging very few people as He came by the whole world, which stood very
still, watching and wondering. He did not acknowledge me, and I knew He could
not. I feared I was rejected and damned for all eternity. When I woke up, my
clothing was wet with perspiration.
to believe Jesus Christ was the Answer for me and all mankind.
Greatly troubled, and not knowing what to do, a week or two later I had a
second dream from God, in which I was informed that I needed spiritual food.
I set out to try to change my life, to rid myself of my sins, to make myself
pleasing and acceptable to the Lord. I soon began to realize the
impossibility of such an undertaking on my part. I despaired and nearly quit
trying altogether, when I had a third dream which was an encouragement to go
on. Symbolically, the dream told me I was almost "there."
(To read about these three dreams in greater detail, click on this
The Feast of Passover
Some time later, the Lord sent an elderly man, George Lynn, to testify to me, and to teach me from the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments. He was quite knowledgeable in the Bible. For some days, learning that I was Catholic, he was trying to tell me of how corrupt the Roman Catholic Church was. He related some of the gross and indecent sins prevalent in her. However, all he succeeded in doing was to make me angry.
Given wisdom by God, he steered away from criticizing my church and, instead,
delved into Scripture, and spoke of the Lord and His love and sacrifice for
me, and how I needed to receive and submit to Jesus Christ as Lord of my
life. He made it clear that there was nothing I could do to save myself,
that I needed the Almighty and Only Savior to do the job. He shared hundreds
of Scripture verses with me, several hours each day. I particularly recall
many verses from the epistles of the apostle Paul, such as:
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it
is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9
And: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23
And: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23 KJV).
To encourage me to believe the veracity and authority of Scripture, George shared with me (along with other passages) the words that the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy saying:
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man
of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy
a joy I had never known, peace, fulfilment, direction, and
There were many verses, but the ones that stand out to me the most, and seemed to be the clinchers for me, were:
"But what says it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed" (Romans 10:8-11 KJV).
After seven evenings, each with several hours of instruction, I began to
believe that Jesus Christ was the Answer for me and all mankind. I knew I
was not right with God, was not able to make myself right with Him, but wanted
much to be right with Him, and here was George telling me exactly how it
was possible, and the only way possible.
Somewhat bashfully, I got down on
my knees and George with me. I was surprised that I did not know how to
pray. What should I say? Then George counseled me to speak simply and honestly
to God as one I respected but with whom I could express myself without
I confessed myself a helpless sinner and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to
forgive me for my sins and to take over my life, which I confessed I could
or change on my own. (He knew I had tried to change, and failed miserably.)
I did not feel, hear or see anything special or unusual. A little disappointed,
yet somehow at peace, I went home.
the days to follow, changes occurred in me over which I had
no control and for which I could take no credit whatsoever. The vices and
bad habits I
had tried and failed to overcome were removed from me. I found myself with
new desires, a joy I had never known, peace, fulfilment, direction, and
purpose. I had life for the first time. The Bible became a
new Book to me. I had read it once through before this momentous occasion in
my life and
understood nothing. Now I was full of interest in, and enthusiasm for, its
contents. This Book was alive and infinite in meaning. God was real!
“You know what, Victor?” my sister declared, “I
don't like the ‘new you.’”
Let me be quite candid here, so that you may appreciate what kind of
change occurred in my life at that time. As a Catholic, I had been an altar
boy, president of the youth club and soloist in the choir. I went to catechism,
confirmation, confession, communion, and even attended a minor seminary for
one year. I did it all. At the same time, I was a great fool, liar, thief,
cheat, fraud, pervert,
coward, traitor, hypocrite, fornicator, adulterer, masturbator, blasphemer,
idolater, drunk, glutton, smoker, and more.
I constantly went to confession,
and continually sinned. I did not do so cynically, but with guilt,
helplessness, frustration, and fear. I was smiles, jokes and laughs on the
outside, but troubled within. For example, since puberty, I had masturbated,
and when the time came that I earnestly tried to quit, I found myself a slave
to it, unable to stop. I now perceive the great harm that it did, but I
wonder if those who taught me, who have never come to know Jesus Christ and
salvation, can tell what it did to them.
While I have confessed some things, there are sins I do not dare confess because they are so despicable that I do not want to foul minds with the thought of them. I would be committing another sin by divulging those. I only want to say to all that there can be hope, no matter how vile your sins. I have learned that we are all capable of the worst, every last one of us. There was hope and salvation for me. After all, Jesus paid the price for every sin.
the Lord delivered me of my sins, and took over my life,
turning it right side up, there came a division between me and my family,
associates. The Catholic parish priest and all Catholics condemned what had
happened to me. My family went black. My sister threw me out of her house,
and they all shunned me.
While a Catholic, I was all those things I mentioned
above, several of which were known to many, yet nobody in the family or the
Catholic Church had a problem with me. Truly, I was one of them, but the
moment I confessed Jesus Christ as Lord, and was delivered of those vile
sins, vices and habits, I was shunned by my family and condemned as an
ignorant dupe of some "Bible students."
My sister kicked me
out, because I had tried to reach those I loved, telling them
I had found life. I so desired to share with them that which I found. I
was surprised that they found a problem with my deliverance. "You know
what, Victor?" my sister declared, "I don't like the
'new you.'" I lost all that I had, but quite willing to
have it so for that fulfillment in the Lord Who consumed me.
I began telling people that I needed to go back
to the Catholic Church.
As long as I was Catholic, my sins were not an issue, but when my sins were cleaned up, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, outside of the Catholic influence, suddenly I was as a leper to them. Why weren't they thankful?
months after having experienced repentance and deliverance
from my sins, I was reading a book by a John O'Brien, I believe, called "The
Faith of Millions." This book was a defense of the Catholic Church and its
doctrines. I was moved by it, and intellectually persuaded that indeed, the
Church was the one, true church, and her doctrines true and legitimate. I
began telling the people of the Alliance Church where I was attending that
I needed to go back to the Catholic Church. They were quite disturbed by
During those days, just before I was going to go forward one Sunday in church
and announce that I was returning to "my church," I was struck ill. My landlord
and his wife found me uncustomarily at home, in bed, in my basement suite,
feverish and bringing up green bile. They took me to the hospital,
late at night, having contacted my young medical doctor who met us there.
doctor, Lorne Rabuka, did not know what was wrong, but there was an older
doctor who happened to be walking by, and saw me on the gurney. He came
me a press
in the lower abdomen that nearly sent me through the ceiling, and said, "I
think you will find that he has acute appendicitis. We need to get him into
the operating room immediately." This was around midnight. By two o'clock
in the morning, they were operating. I was told later that I was a matter
few hours, if not minutes, from dying of a burst appendix.
Now I was off work, in the hospital and later convalescing at home for a few
days. I did not have the Alliance pastor visit me at the hospital. Instead,
I had the Catholic priest do so, which disturbed my Alliance friends, but they
criticize. All they did was pray, though I did not know of their prayers till
later. I had many questions to ask of the Catholic priest, but I found his
knowledge of the Bible quite limited, and his opinions of the Bible not credible,
though I found him to be amiable, unobtrusive, and yet persuasive.
By the time I reached the book of Hebrews, I was
George Lynn also happened to be back in town that week. He visited with me
for a few hours and we argued about Catholic doctrines. He had been upset while
I was not, and with my intellectual arguments for Catholic doctrine, which
I learned from "The Faith of Millions," he was stumped. I was not angry with
him this time, and, at the end of our visit, I asked that we pray together.
He consented, and later confessed that he had been humbled in that he was not
the one to have suggested we pray. He went away, crestfallen, knowing I was
happy and determined to go back to the Catholic Church, fully persuaded of
However, all was not done yet. Until I had gotten ill, I had been reading
through the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, a few chapters each day, and
at this point I was beginning the epistle of Paul to the Romans. In that week,
having plenty of uninterrupted time, which was quite unusual for me, I red
all of Paul's epistles in one "sitting," so to speak.
By the time I reached
the book of Hebrews, I was stunned. God had opened my eyes; He had reached
heart. He unveiled to me the truth of that which Paul was preaching. Though
I had been persuaded otherwise by intellectual argument, I realized that
what Paul was teaching was the very opposite of what the Catholic Church was
and practicing. The contrast was so stark to me. It was as though a bright
and holy light shone onto the pages of Scripture and into my heart.
I could say without exaggeration that the difference between what the Catholic
Church was practicing and teaching, and what the apostle Paul was teaching
in his epistles, was as black and white. I knew that the Catholic Church
and the Bible were diametrically opposed to each other in both letter and
spirit. God had been merciful to me in my delusion and affliction. Paul had
down his life in vain nearly two thousand years ago, at least, not in my
I was delivered of the power of deceptive doctrine and religion by his
ministry in the Lord. As it is written:
"Concerning the works of men, by the Words of Your lips, I am kept from the paths of the destroyer" (Psalms 17:4 MKJV).
the great deliverance and excitement after a lifetime of
death, and attributing this change to the knowledge of God and of the
Scriptures, I decided to go to Bible school. I thought that if the Bible
could make such a difference in my life, I wanted to know it as much as
possible. I finally decided upon a fledgling Southern Baptist Bible school,
called the "Christian Training Center," in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, ninety
miles away from Prince Albert, the city of
my spiritual conversion. It was operated by Henry Blackaby and associate
They seemed to be quite
satisfied, confident that they had the truth.
I had other reasons for going to Bible school. I wanted to share this new
life with others with the help of the Scriptures. Mistakenly, I thought that
a Bible school was the place to go to accomplish that. A third reason that
seemed to propel me in that direction was that I was continually hearing a
still, small voice indicating to me that I was not "there" yet.
Though I could not deny the wonderful change that had taken place
in me, I still felt like I was falling short of God's will. Whenever I would
confide this dilemma to the pastors and other evangelicals, they would advise
me that it was Satan trying to cause me to doubt my salvation. Nevertheless,
I could not shake that voice.
To my chagrin, I came to realize that in this Bible school, I studied
church history, homiletics (the art of preaching), Sunday School, church
administration, choir directing, evangelism, denominational history, Greek,
but very little of the Bible. Nevertheless, during that time, God was dealing
with me. I came into conflict on some issues in the church, because I was
finding a discrepancy between what they were practicing and teaching, and
what I was finding in the Scriptures.
I also recall having another painful dilemma. I would walk into the tiny
library, with no more than maybe two thousand books at best. One of those was
"Strong's Systematic Theology," a large, thick book in fine
print, filled with doctrine and discourse. I thought, "How in the world
will I ever have enough time to wade through this one book alone, much less
all these other books, and much less all the theological books in this world?
Do I not need to search all things out to conclude what is right and true? Is
Calvin right? Is Luther right? Are any of these men right in all that they
teach? If so, which man or men? Where shall I go? Whom can I truly
This consideration was very perplexing to me. The pastor could
not help me, and nobody else seemed to mind too much. They seemed to be quite
satisfied with the direction and schooling they were getting there, apparently
confident that they had the truth.
It was a new world. The Bible came alive in a way I had
I recall just after that time of perplexity, entering into a period of a
few months of soul-searching and conviction of subtle sins, like being
critical of others. During that time, I was experiencing somewhat the same kind
of spiritual ordeal I had undergone before my conversion, only this time it
was on another level.
The Feast of Pentecost
my future wife there, and twenty-one months after my conversion,
which was at age twenty-seven, we were married. One month later, the evening
of January 1,
1975, about nine-thirty in the evening, Marilyn and I asked for and received
the Holy Spirit, an experience our evangelical church and circles condemned
as "pentecostalism," as of the devil. We could not go to
sleep until 7 am. It was a new world.
The Bible came alive in a way I had
never known. All night, the Lord was taking us throughout the Scriptures,
revealing many things to us. The Lord made Himself known to us in a way
we had never experienced till then. It was very exciting.
We could not help but speak what we had experienced. We were not received
at all in the Bible school or churches. The Baptist pastor, Jack Connor,
told us that we
should be very careful to believe something if it was contrary to the counsel
and understanding of the church. I suddenly replied, with realization,
"You are no different than the Catholic Church. They told me the very
same thing when I was converted!"
The Lord revealed to me that Jack was not
saved, contrary to his claims. He gave us three choices: one, change
our minds; two, believe what we believe if we will
to ourselves; or three, leave. I knew I could not deny what the Lord had
done, nor could I contain myself in sharing, and so we knew our only choice
I threw away or burned all books and spent hours
each day in the Scriptures.
In receiving the Holy Spirit, we received, not immediately, but in the days
to come, the gifts of the Spirit…tongues, interpretation of tongues,
prophecy, miracles, healing, the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge,
faith, visions, dreams, and the discerning of spirits.
I began to realize something. When Catholic, I was taught that we were the
true church of God, and that our doctrines and beliefs were the right ones.
Then I was converted. Jesus Christ had taken over my life through the
revelation of Scripture and the ministry of someone not Catholic. My life was
transformed, much changed for the better. I knew the Catholic Church had not
Then, when baptized in the Holy Spirit, I discovered that there
had been more, though evangelicals had told me I had all that there was to
be had, just like the Catholics before them. The evangelicals had not been
Now I was hearing from some that there was yet a third level
experience in the Lord. I was not about to allow anyone to delay me on
this one if it was available. I set out to enter rest, or to be
perfected or sanctified, as some would call it. However, that would not
happen for many years.
The Lord - "I am hurting! I am hurting!"
the months to come, the Lord exposed us to, and separated
us from, all formal and organized religion, churches, and denominations.
was not a reaction out of hurt or bitterness at all, which some have
understandably, but erroneously, presumed.) I threw away or burned all books
and spent hours each day in the Scriptures for the next two to three years.
Lord teaching me, I soon
discovered that what was taught and practiced in the churches, evangelical
included, and what was taught in the Scriptures, were quite different in
many crucial points. (I do not use the word, "crucial" loosely.) It was
a struggle, a battle with unbelief. Doubts assailed me; people criticized me
and we were quite alone, for many years. It was hard, but good. In all that
time, the Lord provided everything we ever needed in every way.
In March of 1976, just over a year after receiving the Spirit, the Lord
spoke to me in an old, abandoned, log cabin and said, "I am hurting!
I am hurting!" I could feel the chill of His pain go through me.
Using objects as symbols, He told me His people were perishing because they
were believing lies, practicing false religion, keeping heathen customs, that
were in darkness and
ignorance, without knowledge. He told me to come out of all formal and
nominal religious systems, where His people and all others were perishing,
and to leave it all behind as I would leave behind my own dung. He brought
were in His full control, in every detail.
Eight years later, in 1984, He gave me to query Him on what He had told
me. I asked, "Lord, why are You hurting?"
He answered, "Because
My people are suffering."
I asked, "Why are they
"Because they don't obey Me,"
I asked, "Why don't they obey You?"
He said, "Because
they choose their own ways."
"Why do they choose their
own ways?" I asked.
"Because they lack
knowledge," He answered.
"Why do they lack knowledge?" I asked.
replied, "Because nobody is willing to give his life that they might
have that knowledge."
I was silent for a time. Years before, I recognized that many sought for
the Lord to be their friend, asking Him for things, praying to Him when
needed something. But what about being His friend? Did He not desire those
who would be His friend? Abraham was known as a friend of God. I wanted that.
So I asked the Lord, "Lord, would I be your friend if I was not willing
to lay down my life so that people would have that knowledge?" There
was no reply, but the question to me was quite rhetorical. I knew the answer.
Only minutes before that question and answer session, a great peace had come
over me, and by inspiration, I said, "Lord, this is the kind of life I
would like to have: one in which I am free to come and go, and in which You
do with me as You please, taking care of all my needs and concerns while You
use me for Your purposes, and to address Your concerns." In that very
moment, He said, "You've got it." In other words,
The Feast of Tabernacles
Sixteen years later, an angel visited me to strengthen me, and a consecration
in obedience came, in trying circumstances. It was the final battle, to the
death. One can only serve the Lord with the sentence of death upon himself.
That is the victory; that is the rest. In the seventeenth year, the covenant
between the Lord and me began to take effect more fully.
In all those years, the Lord was the Schoolmaster, the Bible was the
textbook, and the world was the classroom. He brought many people into our
lives, to deal with us, to teach us, and to bring us to that place of rest
in Him. It has been a life of waters, fires, blood, tears, chastenings, yea,
scourgings, sorrow, anguish, defeats and lessons.
The Lord has not only forgiven
sins, but also dealt with the sin nature, which is very religious,
self-righteous, stubborn, unbelieving, proud, ignorant, arrogant and selfish.
How merciful is God, and how faithful! Indeed, He IS love, and He IS good.
also reigns over everything. This I know. Many are the times He has revealed
to me that our circumstances were in His full control, in every detail. Oh,
thank You, Lord Jesus, thank You! He is Lord of all.
declare to you today, that the Lord has chosen me from among men,
to teach, to speak forth the truth to all those Whom He has ordained to
whether for good or for evil. I do walk with Him in His Present Coming today
and do confess that Jesus Christ comes in the flesh. This is the day of the
Lord. It is a great and terrible day, great for the righteous and terrible
for the wicked. Let all fear and repent. The Lord has come to reconcile all
things to Himself.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Yashuah HaMashiach Adonai
(Hebrew), Yahweh, the One and Only One Who is God and Who created all things
for Himself! And as He has one walk with Him, so I have one to walk with me,
Paul Benjamin Cohen, a Jew both in the flesh and spirit, to whom I was sent
to deliver, by the Word of the Lord, in 1979 at Kibbutz Revivim, HaNegev,
Israel. Together we walk before the Lord of Heaven and earth and speak that
speak for the sakes of all those to whom He sends us.
Blessed are those who are not offended in us.
Victor Nicholas Hafichuk
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada