My Experience (Andrew Friesen)

Hallelujah to God for setting us free! Thank you brother Chris for sharing your story.

I have never posted anything since my wife & I left the Holdeman Church in May 2011 because the expelled forums where so full of bitterness. I also commend this website for your balanced (as much as possible)

This too was because of God freeing me from a life of sin WITHIN the church. I just couldn’t get victory over my sin which is incredibly condemning in an organization that has lost the focus on Jesus Christ and has placed God’s glory on the organization. This caused huge depression and turmoil for 19 years I was in the church. Whoever does this WILL be shown to be building on sand just as I was.

The breakthrough came when I realized that I was trusting the “church” for my salvation and not Jesus Christ. I became totally free of all the major sins that I struggled with for those 19 years (angry outbursts & sexual debauchery). There was a deliverance from the consuming fear of man that I had. Those who are honest in my former congregation would have to testify that I was a totally changed man.

At that time God revealed to me that I would not be able to retain my peace with Him if I would stay in the church. In finding out about Doug & Viona Rehger and what happened to them I knew that the best thing would be to leave. God showed me that the “CHURCH” would eventually wear me down because Jesus was not king there.. An organisation that covers sin and oppresses the poor is under the judgement of God and will have to repent.

May God give grace and that the godly ones left in the Holdeman church pray & confess their sins openly that they may be saved from the ungodly tares amoung them that are only protecting their own power. If they don’t repent they will become completely dead just like so many churches. They have no idea how much I LONG that their blindness (judgement) would be taken away.

Andrew Friesen

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20 Responses to My Experience (Andrew Friesen)

  1. Thanks for telling your story. This is the very thing I have been asking for. I have been pleading with men to stand up and do what they have to do, whatever the cost. When God moves upon a man, nothing else matters.

    Do you mind telling who Doug and Viona Rehger are and why their situation moved you?

  2. Chris Frase ~Set Free says:

    My firm conviction is that these minsters that are benched are now going through the fire and will come out better men. I told Sheldon today that I believe he indeed does have a calling, he needs to grow a bit until the shoes fit, but don’t lose hope and don’t lose faith ! The CoGCM Needs Godly ministers !!! There is hope ! There is change. The “people” are struggling and they want Set Free to serve God. I cannot and I did not say the “required” I love this church and her doctrines before communions, because quite frankly I don’t. But I can with an honest heart BOLDLY Proclaim I Love the Lord and “HIS” doctrines. The bride is to be submissive to the husband…not the other way around. Submission is NOT because of fear but because of Love. My wife has also been Set Free…she can now be my “wife” because she loves me and not because she “has” to. It’s called “First Love” and the loss of it is grounds for “God” to remove “a brides” candlestick. Revelation is very clear and very repetitive about those who have left their “First Love” . We can have a wife (church) that is a good house cleaner, excellent cook, Loves us because she knows it’s supposed to be that way in a marriage, but has lost her “First Love”. I want my wifes “First Love” and God, Jesus Christ…”Wants” our “First Love” !!! I am not satisfied with mere obedience ! I want my wifes love because she Loves me and wants me…Not “just because she’s married to me” !!!!! I am made in the likeness and image of God. And so are you. When Paul talks of the similarities between the marriage of a husband and wife as compared to the bride and Christ, it is NOT WITHOUT GOOD REASON !!!! If your mariage has lost it’s first love there is a problem. “The Church” has lost her first Love !! It is NOT a “drift” it is the loss of “First Love” !! Get it right people ! Marriages that “Drift” apart end up in divorce. Churches that “drift” away from God and lose their “First Love” also lose their candlestick. God is not above letting you go if you refuse to “Love” Him ! After all it’s “Your” choice. A husband “asks” a bride to be his wife…it’s up to her to accept or reject him ! What will “You” DO ?? It’s either yes or no…even if you lead a man or God on for a time. When Moses spoke to Pharoah what did he say ?? “Let My People Go”. Today God is saying the same to “the church”. The real question is, “Will she listen, or will she refuse ?” God is here to deliver those in captivity. Jesus Christ came, “To Set the captives Free !” Make No Mistake about it, “I Love the Brotherhood !! ” It’s religion I despise !” So did Christ. He rejected and had the most scathing remarks against “self righteous religion” The main “problem if you will” that I see in the CoGCM is a “Form”, (2 Timothy 3:5 KJV) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
    I am not opposed to “the brotherhood” I am opposed to a “form of godliness” with No Power ! The “Power” of a bride is the strong arm of her husband ! Don’t believe it ? Mess with someones wife. There are many a men have died for messing around with someones wife. God is a jealous God, His “Bride” is the people, Not “the church” ! Churches are dead, religion is dead, I don’t know about you folks, but I want a live wife and I’ll die for her. If your wife and family isn’t worth dying for you don’t have much for a wife and family. But if that wife demands divorce I’ll sign the papers. Not because “I” want to but because in that case “she” would want me to. God is no different. Don’t let your Love for God and His Son Jesus Christ…Drift away !! Demand it…pursue it…cherish it. Now read “the Song of Solomon” with a God given understanding and repent for leaving your “First Love.” If the husbandmen beats you keep searching. Matthew 7:7-8 KJV Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (8) For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
    These are the words of “the Groom”. He is asking for your hand, He is seeking your love, He is knocking at your hearts door…will you let Him in ? He Will Protect You ! You are as the apple of His eye…Don’t poke Christ in the eye or there will be hell to pay ! When someone “accidently” pokes you in the eye it can be overlooked…when it’s deliberate and repeated there is a problem.

  3. Andrew Friesen says:

    I have felt many times that the time would come when God would want me to relate my experience. Here is the expanded version.

    I would like to just share what I have gone through over the years. Growing up I got involved in pornography and had a thought life given over to the devil. There was a foster girl in my parents home when I was 18 or 19. I touched her in a sexual way multiple times. After I was converted in 1990 this sin began to bother me. I discussed this with a minister before I was baptized in 1992 and he asked me what I thought should be done about it. I felt that I should confess to her but I found this hard for me. I told the minister that I wasn’t sure what to do (which was true because I was trusting in the ministry for direction not the Holy Spirit.) and this was the last time this subject was ever brought up. This sin continued to torment me.

    Throughout the time before becoming a member of the church I continually struggled with sexual sin of all sorts, especially masturbation. The ministers were well aware of this because it tormented me and I was open about my struggles. After a time (over a year) they felt that the church could probably help me better if I was a part of it. Con Barkman baptized me and I remember that it was as if a darkness fell over my life at that point. I fell into a huge depression and was extremely up and down until 2009 when I found the Lord again in a closer way. There was a point a little while after my baptism where I came into conflict with the church because I just didn’t feel right about many things going on. Also I saw the hatred that there was against a very sincere brother that was trying to live by his conscience and it was conflicting with the brethren’s light. It came to me that this would lead me out of the church and so I chose to let go of ALL of my convictions and just trust my brethren. This was the second time it became clear to me that a huge power of darkness clearly took control of my life. I also started at this time to follow the advise of some brethren that I shouldn’t be so open about my sins.

    There is no point in relating the tumultuous years that followed. In 2009 I had just had a meeting with our staff. I had an spirit of anger in my life and it would at times come out in uncontrollable screaming at my wife and they were trying to help me. I was at the point where I felt that christian life had never worked for me and I told the Lord that either He must change me or I would be lost. The Lord took me back to where I decided to follow the light of my brethren over my conscience. This was the problem. I vowed to the Lord that I would be honest about every sin that was revealed to me. First, my own sin, next, my brethren’s sins, and then the sins of others outside the church. Complete honesty is always the first step to being in the grace of God. God told me that this could lead to being expelled from the church. I can’t remember my feelings at this time but I can remember the transformation in my life. This is the reason that my wife is 100% behind me. Many people in the congregation would also testify to the change in me then if they are honest. I was completely delivered from the power of sexual sin, uncontrollable anger, and my depression left.

    About a year later I fell back into depression and playing computer games but the Lord showed me this was because I was starting to trust in my brethren’s light again and not in Christ’s power alone by the leading of the Spirit.

    As I was completely honest about my sin, Frieda & I began to wonder about various people who we had appreciated for their sincere walk in the Lord and had been dealt with for a foreign spirit or “self-righteousness.” My father in law is also facing this.

    This led us to thinking about Doug & Viona Regehr & their expelling. Viona had an experience of deliverance from a tormenting spirit that God showed her came from a childhood molestation by her brother Con. When she told her experience to the staff (in front of her brother!!) they told her that she must never talk about it again. She refused because it involved her confession of God’s deliverance and there were other sexual abuse cases covered up that needed opening up. As I heard their story it had a ring of truth to it. That is when I talked to the Peace Problems committee members Bev Toews and Robert Toews as they had been heavily involved in trying to work with this situation. When I asked if Doug was telling the truth they said that they had given up trying to work with Swanson because it just didn’t work. They were both extremely grieved at the situation. When I heard Benny Hiebert’s story that he was expelled for repenting of the work they had done with Viona and making it right with her it just added another confirmation of the evil in the church. I emailed a couple of brothers in Swanson and they wouldn’t even discuss it or pretended to have no knowledge about it. Some staff even appear to have even knowingly lied to me about their knowledge of Doug’s situation.

    Frieda & I have proven from the bible to our satisfaction that the doctrine of the one true visible church being only one denomination is false and that the church includes all saved believers. Our forefathers clearly taught that wherever the true doctrine is taught & PRACTICED they are a congregation of the true church of God. History shows beyond doubt to the honest researcher that many early church fathers & congregations taught some false doctrines but God still promoted His kingdom through them. I really question whether many Holdeman congregations are part of the true church anymore. The lying spirits in the staff bother me. Another concern is the fanatical blind opposition that I feel when I bring up that you are supposed to try the spirits in your brethren and staff and not to believe what they teach if it conflicts with the word of God. This also shows up if you question whether the Holy Spirit is leaving the Holdeman organization. This caused Frieda & I many tears and heartache. Are sexual perversion and other death sins being dealt with in the church or are they being covered up as a “we need to have confidence in the brethren?” What about blatant materialism? Needless to say we are in conflict with the Holdeman church & our family.

    In regards to my sin of sexual abuse, I ended up confessing to the police. The officer’s concern was that a minister of the gospel would not have reported my case to them even though that is the law. I have the same concern and I see no hope for the church until it repents of it’s own “foreign spirit”. It is clear to me now that anyone who truly loves the church would not allow situations like this to fester in the body of Christ.

    I asked for a letter at the time we were expelled and here it is:

    Dear Andrew and Frieda
    Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10 Likewise ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and
    be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5. It pains our hearts to see that you have left the fellowship of the Church. It appears to be an independent spirit taking control in your lives and you have broken the covenant you have made at the time of your baptism. You have been asked by the Church to repent and to come back into fellowship and you have not done this. On these grounds you have been excommunicated from the Church. It is our prayer that you will repent and find your way back.
    Written in Love by the Steinbach staff representing the congregation.

    In closing, I want to state very clearly that God did truly lead me to the Holdeman people. Because of this I have been blessed with a godly wife who I never deserved and helps me in so many ways. I also have had the tremendous blessing to see things from an Anabaptist point of view.

    I don’t appreciate unreasonable attacks on John Holdeman who was used mightily of God to wake up the churches around him. He was far from perfect. He made huge mistakes. The OTVC is his biggest. Read Peter Hoover’s book to find out how Menno Simons actually started all the division in the Mennonite churches. God uses imperfect men. I have become convinced that if we had accurate biographies of all the heroes of faith from the apostles to our present age EVERY ONE would have a time in their life where they made at least one huge mistake because they were deceived on some major point. God uses men consumed with love for Him not perfect ones. This is to jolt us from confidence in men to confidence in Jesus Christ alone. Hallelujah.

    The fact is that if John Holdeman was alive today he would totally condemn the Holdeman church and very quickly be expelled. What is going on would horrify him. He very possibly would also see that he had been deceived about the OTVC.

    Andrew Friesen

    • Andrew, this is an incredible story. There was a time in my life when I would have doubted the things you have to say, but no more. I have seen more than I cared to in the last number of years, and what you say verifies the things I have seen and heard of. It takes tremendous humility and courage to speak out the way you and Chris have done, and I believe God is going to use you in a mighty way. It would seem that the problems you have spoken of are not uncommon, but in fact are systemic and deeply embedded. The fact that they are covered and concealed is horrifying. The fact that you were encouraged to get into the church while struggling with sexual sin is unbelievable. How can the ministers usher you into the church when you are loaded with moral sin, but put you out when you show “an independent spirit.” This makes a total mockery of their doctrine of excommunication, and the shunning that is carried out on people who have done no sin, other than to question, and to study the word to see if these things are so, is completlely horrifying when we stop to think that there are gross sinners within the church who are concealing not only sins, but crimes. I respect your stand and your courage.

  4. Chris Frase ~Set Free says:

    Yea and Amen !! My first excommunication during the dreaded panel times was for “buggery” something that was “attempted” and not done “before” my conversion !! The group of “panel ministers” 8 or 10 would grill me asking the most embarressing questions that I being but a child had absolutely no idea what they were talking about. They were grown married men, of course they knew about sex. Because of my obvious embarressment and discomfort I was sweating. Sooo when they asked me to leave “while they “proved” me” the back of my chair seat was wet. They were convinced I was lying and the grilling continued until I rembered things I had attempted “before” my conversion. The ministers son “Had” done it so he was convinced I too was guilty. So I was exed to repent of my gross death sin. That was the start of a long and sordid life of sexual obsession…because now I wanted to know what they were talking about. To destroy a childs innocence is a very serious crime in the eyes of God and it were better that a millstone be hanged about that persons neck and him drowned in the depths of the sea. “After” I was excommunicated, during a “members meeting” while home alone I did find out what they were talking about !! What’s wrong with this picture ? Leaving children home alone even though they are now in their teens while you have a “members meeting” ?? It is child abandonment that carries a felony prison sentence with it until “the child” is 18 years of age and considered an adult.
    Well I was doing chores for the neighbor (different one than the pig farmer) and his son had boxes of pornographic material in the garage where I went to get the dog food every day. Playboy is a mere comic book compared to those magazines. And then I too started the road of sexual sin that has haunted me throughout my life like so many others.
    I finally after doing all I knew to do was one day out mending fence when the Lord told me to go talk to the minister and tell him He had picked me up. Other than trusting and obeying God nothing special other than the impression to go and go now. I at first called our then minister now benched for many years and moved away, the one I could trust. He wasn’t home so I called the other one now also benched, for the fourth time, and he happened to be home so I went and told him what I had. Nothing really other than following the Spirit’s leading. That’s all it took to be reaccepted “and I believe rightfully so”. That was a year after being exed. That particular ministers son was out for a mere three days…may as well have not been excommunicated in comparison unless his dad beat his sin out of him in that amount of time for embarrassing him ?? Perhaps that’s a bitter thought and should be taken as such, please forgive me, these things do bring back more than is wanted. In the ensuing years various other sins of sexual abuse and obsession some causing me to be exed again for over a year each time. We DO NOT CONDONE SEXUAL SIN !! God can heal and does but it Must be repented of. You can’t do it alone you need the help of God and your wife as well as a brother/sister that understands…if you’ve been there, done that you understand. God uses our faults to help others overcome theirs…because we know how hard it is and that we Do need an accountability partner. Mentoring works ! And not just for sexual sins. After moving to TN this same minister drove here I am told (?) to make sure I knew that what I had done as a child was wrong. I thought once we had been reaccepted it wasn’t supposed to be brought back up again…ever ! Obviously “the church or certain members of the staff” never forget ? Sounds like blackmail to me ? I just listened to him and said uh huh and left it, even though it gnawed on me. Men and brethren, these things ought not so to be !!
    Yes… We… as fathers and mothers need to be aware of the dangers. We “as fathers and mothers” need to be guarding our children. It is a “parents” responsibility to guide our children in these areas NOT a LARGE group of strangers !!! Without the parents even being present !!! I thank God for a very patient and understanding mother to whom I could go and pour out my heart and tell her anything and everything I was struggling with and while I know it tore her heart out, she calmly gave me Godly advise and NEVER condemned me in a way that would break down the trust between us !! Did she condone sin ?? Absolutely not !! Did she pick me up dust me off and encourage me to try again ?? Most definitely !! I have a God fearing mother of whom I have no doubt about her salvation and I know she prayed for me daily. Mothers !! Fathers !! Are you teaching your children ??!! There is a time and a place and when we “don’t know how or when” God gives us wisdom and the right words to say to explain without exciting a lust to know…the difference between good and evil ! To destroy innocence is an heinious crime !! Especially so when done by strangers and the ministry !!! If you staff members have a concern…go to the parents…not the child !! It is the parents responsibility to train up their children in the way they should go…NOT YOURS !!~!!~!! You are usurping your authority and God is angry because you are offending “HIS” little ones. If you have a concern about someone’s wife..go to the husband…it is his God given resposibility to guide his house…NOT YOURS the ministry !!! You preachers always look at the womens side of the house and call down judgment for the high heels the skimpy headcoverings the flowered dresses…etc..etc..ad nauseum. “THINGS that have very little to do with salvation and following God but you forget !! PREACHER YOU FORGET !! That a woman is a follower…they do what makes their husbands happy !! Since when is it wrong to wear a flowered dress ?? Look at nature..doesn’t it teach you anything ??!! Look at the variety…look at all the different colors….look at those things in nature that are humorous…Dodo bird, Blue Footed Booby etc…look at the Cardinal, the Starling, the Eagle and the Buzzard…STOP and consider…WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME !! It’s a proven fact that animals kept in confinement tend to perversion and depression. Men are no different !! Do you want your son or daughter to respect and do right ?? Then teach them…and trust them !! Does that mean they’ll never mess up ? Never fall into sin ?? Never Betray your trust ?? NO, NO, NO !! The bible says; (Proverbs 24:16 KJV) For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
    It’s not so much the falling that is so bad as having your face shoved into the mud and not let up !!! A true friend, a true brother a true father and mother isn’t afraid to get their hands “dirty” lifting their brother / sister / child to get up out of the mud and help them clean up !!! To apply that healing salve to the wounds they’ve received from their fall. WAKE UP PARENTS ! WAKE UP STAFF MEMBERS !! WAKE UP ALL MEN AND WOMEN, FATHERS AND MOTHERS FOR THE LION IS OUT TO KILL THE THIEF IS OUT TO DESTROY AND STEAL YOUR CHILDS INNOCENCE !! Satan has not changed his tactics since the garden of Eden when he stole killed and destroyed Adam & Eve’s innocence. An innocent child is not ashamed to run through the house naked and we teach them that it is inappropriate. Why did Adam and Eve hide themselves in the garden ?? Because their innocence had been stolen !! Woe to the staff member that steals a childs innocence !! Woe to the parent that steals a childs innocence !! Brothers and sisters…staff members…committee members wake up !! The Truth is we are a defiled and guilty people that have lost our innocence !!! As well as our First Love !! Sound the Alarm !! Spare not !! If you want to meet behind closed doors meet with the husbands…meet with the fathers…STOP the INSANITY where it needs to stop !! At the head and not at the tail !! START WITH the committee…Start with the ministry and deaconery…start with the fathers and let the heads teach their families as God intended. That is the beginning of the problem clear back in the garden…WE MEN have not guided our households !! WE MEN have not held each other accountable !! WE MEN have not held the ministry accountable for plowing with our heifers !! Judges 14:18-19 KJV And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And he said unto them, (If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.) (19) (And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled,) and he went up to his father’s house.
    Where was Adam when Eve took of the fruit ?? Why do we too want to taste what has been plucked in disobedience to the Word of God and by our silence Allow deception and ruin ?!! Adam was NOT deceived…but he allowed it. Fathers do you know the Word of God ? Have you taught your young men and your daughters ?? Purity in the home is the Fathers’ Responsibility !! NOT THE MINISTRY’S the ministry is to teach the fathers !! Stop looking at the womens side of the house and saying “she took and gave to me and I did eat ! God holds us as MEN responsible !! So we’ve fallen in our youth ? Get up and warn your children !! Preacher, committee member you see what is happening WARN THE MEN !! It is the MEN that prepare for war…NOT the youth and women !!! It is the MAN that protects his household !! MEN WHERE ARE YOU ??? Stand up and fight !! Your family is at stake, your wives and your children are being ravished by ungodliness !! The war we wage is against powers and principalities…WE NEED GOD IN OUR LIVES !!!! You fight fire with FIRE !! For our God is a consuming FIRE !!

  5. Chris, I believe God has led you to the work that he has for you to do.

  6. ~Set Free says:

    Folks Pray for me. There is a war being fought and while it involves the CoGiCM it is far far bigger than that and we need to make no mistake about it. The following will be for mature audiences and is not intended for youth and children although some may see it. Nevertheless David was but a youth when he slew Goliath and we are taking on Goliath. If you do happen to be a youth don’t be afraid to stand up and fight this Goliath by coming against him like David of old…In the Name Of the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY and JESUS CHRIST HIS SON whom Satan has defied !! The war in which we are engaged is not about “church” whether it’s about Mennonites, Muslims, Hindus, Animists, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics or Aithiests or anyone else out there that has not been specifically named. This war is against principalities and the rulers of wickedness in high places….Our hearts and minds…the battle we are fighting and the war we are waging in a very real sense is a war which Satan started in heaven years ago. It is NOT about this denomination or that religion fighting one another. It is NOT about religion !! It is about the forces of evil that are coming in like a flood against the “Church of God” against the people of GOD regardless what denomination or religion you are of. Revelation says the enemy sent out a flood against the woman to destroy her.

    Christian Men and Women…All you who believe in and though in weakness are trying to serve God. Those who have fallen, who may be down in the dirt as it were at this very moment.. Rise up and fight…in the NAME OF THE LORD !! THIS IS WAR the very lives of our wives and children, the very lives of ourhusbands and fathers is at stake and there will inevitably be some die in this war. There will be those of the Medic Corps as it were who will follow behind and bind up the wounded, there will be the Special Forces that will go behind enemy lines to Set Free the captives and those that are bound. GOD has a place for YOU in this battle even if it’s just supplying the food and water…DO your job and Do NOT question the instructions of the Head of this army JESUS CHRIST !! Are you willing to DIE FOR THE CAUSE OF CHRIST ?? IAM and I ask…I beg and plead for you my brothers and sisters in the Faith to cover me with the armour and the protection of God…the ground fire…the air assault… of PRAYER for help from God.

    and may GOD cover me…I’m going in.

    I’m going to be very frank and I’m going to be very open, because I want to bring to the Light the darkness that is going on in the world around us…and men fear the Light…because their deeds are evil.

    I said in the previous post that the magazines I was exposed to as a youth made Playboy look like a mere comic book and they did.
    The enemy that today is coming in like a flood…the enemy that is responsible for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorah is BDSM…that stands for “Bondage, Domineering, and Sadism”…this enemy and it carries both the physical aspect as well as the spiritual aspected…needs to be exposed to the Light.
    Fleas die when they are exposed to soap & water and I have learned that they also die when the tempurature gets cold enough (below 50 degrees I was told by the exterminator). We as a people are covered in fleas as it were and we need the washing of the Water of the Word. We need the cleansing Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ to wash away our sin, we need the balm of Gilead to soothe and heal the wounds from “all those little bites on our legs and on our bodies.” It’s the little foxes that spoil the vinyard. We need to exterminate the fleas. Back in the dark ages the Bubonic Plague was caused by fleas…millions died. The fleas were carried by rats and infested the animals and peoples of the lands. To kill rats and fleas you have to expose them to the light and to the water or to the cold and loss of their food source…to cleanliness. You can’t kill something you can’t see and do not know is there. Today this infestation is covering us to the point it is dramatically obvious. I am caring for a friends home and business affairs while he is in bondage (jail at this point). His house was infested by fleas. When I walked in they covered my legs even though I had put on bug repellent generously. When a house is empty the fleas multiply at an alarming rate. our house has been empty swept and garnished, (Matthew 12:41-45). In Revelation we are told, Revelation 3:6-13 KJV He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (7) And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; (8) I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. (9) Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. (10) Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (11) Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. (12) Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. (13) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
    Men and Brethren the hour of temptation is here and it’s strong…I know…I’ve been there. It’s an enemy that cannot be faced alone but flees when exposed to the light. It’s an enemy that works alone and in darkness, it’s an enemy that lives in the corners and behind closed doors, it’s an enemy that delights in secret and it is destroying the purity of our homes, the purity of our wives and husbands, the purity of our youth and children. And it is coming in like a flood.

    A flood comes in slowly and silently in some instances and in a raging torrent in others. But it comes and the only defense is to seek higher ground. Either way it leaves behind filth, deep mud, and destruction. As a youth I was privileged to help clean up in the Johnstown flood in PA. We carried out mud in buckets wheelbarrows and by shoveling it out the tiny windows of basements. We slipped and fell in it, we were covered in it by the end of the day. At one location there was a refrigerator full of food that has spoiled ans sat in the 80 degree weather for the week or two before we had arrived to help. Someone opened the door and the stench ran us out of the place. Christ tells us in Revelation that He would we were either hot or cold…but because we are luke warm He is going to spue us out of his mouth. Folks just as cold kills fleas so does fire. We either need to be hot or cold. I asked the exterminator, “What about the eggs and the larvae that is not or has just been hatched ?” He said, “The cold will kill them too.” So will fire. People, fellow travellers to eternity, fellow soldiers in this war, Have you been baptized with the Holy Ghost and with Fire ??!! The cold killed the fleas in my friends house but it did not clean up the mess. The trash and the hiding places are still there. We need the Fire of God in our lives to totally destroy and annihilate not only the vermin but their hiding places !!! A Fire while destroying all Sets men Free in the sense that they have to go somewhere else. They can no longer live where they used to live because it is no longer there…only a pile of ashes. They have nothing holding them back and they are free to seek refuge wherever it may be found. But they had to give up “ALL” to get to that place. Do you just want to spray some flea spray on the rug of your life in hopes that it will kill the fleas ? I tried that at my friends house…it didn’t work. Do you think if you sweep and vacuum the floors every day you will exterminate the fleas in your life ?? I tried that too and while it was better and it helped for a time…it didn’t work !! We had a tornado the other day wipe out a small town close to us. CDR went in to help clean up…but the place is still destroyed. The local fire department was there on Sunday to burn up some of the debris…but the place is still barren. Even after all the debris is cleaned up and the rubbish hauled off… there is no place to live. How is it in your heart ? How is it in your religion ? How is it in your church ?? Is there room for the Holy Spirit to live ?? Is there a place for Him ?? Do you know ?? Do you care ?? You that do have a home, you that do have the Holy Spirit in your life…in your home…are you willing to give up your bed…are you willing to share your home…with someone that has lost everything ? “The church”, the “religion”, IS NOT THE DETERMINING FACTOR HERE !! Do you care about your brother ?? Do you care about your neighbor ?? Do you care about that man or woman, youth or child that has no where to go…that has no shelter from the storms ?? Do you care ??? Are you willing to DO what you can ?? Even if it’s only offering a cup of cold water ?? I want it said of me BY CHRIST like He said of the woman that broke the alabaster box of costly ointment and poured it on His feet, “she has done what she could and wherever this gospel is preached she shall be remembered.” putting it in my own words what Jesus said in Matthew 14:6-9. (John 5:39 KJV) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. Read all of John 5 and don’t stop there Read and share the whole bible ! (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: But don’t stop there ! There is much more in the books of Paul to Timothy !! Read the Word ! Study the Word ! Know the Word !! Memorize the Word !! Because what is in your heart cannot be taken from you !! Read John 10:25-39 and may God give you understanding. When you read the bible ask God to open your eyes ! We are blind…we cannot, do not see…the Truth… unless Christ shows it to us through “His Holy Spirit” !! Admit it when you are blind ! God already knows ! Admit it when you are ignorant (you don’t know) !! God already knows our ignorance ! Don’t be afraid to question God !! Children ask their parents questions until they almost drive them up the wall and all too often we as parents finally tell them to be quiet and just DO what they have been told to DO. There is a time and place to Do and there are many times and many places where our heavenly Father…our Abba Father…our Daddy just picks us up and shows us…explains to us…holds our hand and teaches us by letting us work under His guidance and direction !! My father…taught me to weld…as a child…by holding my hand as I held the rod. First he showed me, he explained in simple terms the process, and then he held my hand and guided me. Praise God for God fearing fathers that teach their children !! Praise Gos because He is our Father…because He delights in our childish questions…because He answers our prayers (our questions) !! Praise God because of who He is. And don’t mess with me…because my Daddy’s bigger than yours !! Do you know ? Who your father is ?? If you don’t God is in the business of adopting and He loves you…He wants you…come to Him through Jesus Christ His Son !! You know how it is when a little boy finds a stray puppy ? Daddy can I keep him ? Please Daddy I want him !! Look Daddy he’s cold, he’s hungry, he wants me, he wants to stay here, he doesn’t have a place to go, he’s homeless. How many of you men, you fathers have experienced that ? God cannot resist the pleading of His children. Are You one of His own ? Are you God’s child ? Have you been adopted into the family ? Do you know ?? If you don’t come and ask…He’ll take you in. (Matthew 25:40 KJV) And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    Where are you today, tonight ? Where is your family ?? Do you know ?? Do you have the lights of home on ? Do you have the porch light on so that son or daughter, husband or wife…can see to come in ?? Where are you preacher, deacon, committee member ? Where are you…when you’re needed ?? Where are you ?? Do you know ?? Or are you too lost in the dark…groping in blindness…doing the best you can to lead…but without the True Light ??? Where are you ?? I think of the book entitled “the united undivided church of God” I’ve never read it and doubt I ever will… I don’t care about the doctrines of men. But the title grabs my attention…children of God “Unite” !! This is WAR and mens lives are at stake. This is WAR…men, women, youth and children are being ravished before our very eyes…all around us. Both within as well as without. Will you GO ?? Will you DO ?? Where are you ??? Are you willing to lay down your life for your friends ?? Jesus layed down His for you…follow me is His command…walk in His footsteps…do the works that He did. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead…freely ye have received…freely give ! Where are you ?? Do you know ?? If you don’t are you willing to seek ? Are you willing to ask ?? Are you willing to knock to see if the door will be opened ?? Where are you today ?? Do you know ?? Do you “Want” to know ??!! There is NO SIN in questioning when you want to know !! God has the answers for you and He “Loves” to teach His children…because He wants us to be…just like Him !! Think about it. How many children around the world want to be…just like daddy when they grow up ?? Do you ?? I do. People it’s NOT ABOUT “RELIGION” !!! It’s about knowing God as your Father and coming to Him through Jesus Christ your brother…that Son whom Daddy can’t refuse when He wants to take in a stray.
    If you don’t know where you are…Find out !! If you don’t know who your father is…Find out. If you find your father is the abusive devil and you want adopted by God…come to Christ…He’ll take you in…He loves you…He died for you…He wants you…just as you are. Come to Him in that way…He’ll take you in and His Father will accept and adopt you…He’ll bandage and put the soothing salve on your wounded feet…He’ll pick you up and carry you…He’ll keep you close to His side and never let you go…He’ll hunt for you until He finds you if or when you get lost…He’ll pick you up when you stumble and fall. Trust Him ! He won’t hurt you even though sometimes it hurts to wash a wound…He’s gentle and tender in all His healing ministrations…because He loves you, wants to keep you, wants to care for you, feed you and keep you close to Himself.

    Don’t trust in man…don’t trust in the illusion of wealth and riches, don’t trust in being accepted by peer pressure because those kinds of friends will turn on you when you’re down…Trust God !!

    And Come to Him…Do it…He loves you…and He’ll take you in.

    May God bless us all and keep us all…Safe In His Sheltering Arms.

    Continue to pray for the work that is being done. Meet the challenge, Share the good news, the gospel of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ…arise…and walk…there’s work to DO.
    May we all…be… Set Free

  7. Chris, I want to comment on a statement you made…”The enemy that today is coming in like a flood…the enemy that is responsible for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorah is BDSM…that stands for “Bondage, Domineering, and Sadism”…this enemy and it carries both the physical aspect as well as the spiritual aspected…” These are not random perversions, they are seeds that spring up in fertile soil. When a person has the wish to dominate or humiliate and carry out cruelty against another, it is generally because they have experienced powerlessness and weakness in their own lives. These perversions give such a person the ability to take power over another and thus somewhat assuage their own terrible fears of being dominated and powerless. As you stated, this has a spiritual as well as a physical/sexual aspect, and when we see those who take power over those in their control, we can readily assume that they are dealing with their own victimization by victiminizing someone else. Everything is a smaller version of a larger system. The same patterns are worked out whether it be in government, corporations, religious organizations, families or the individual. The perturbed struggle going on within an individual will manifest itself in his family structure, the religious organization he is in charge of, or the corporation, or the government. By understanding this, we can have mercy on those who abuse, because we can understand that without a doubt they were once abused themselves. This does not excuse them, as they are required to accept responsibility and be cleansed and delivered. However, they are no doubt damaged children on the inside who need our prayers and our mercy. May God deliver us all from the bondage of sin and heartless abuse. Thank you for the honest and open way that you are sharing. I can see that God has given you many literal situations in your life where you became aware of the nature of filth and infestation. These lessons helped you to see the filth in your own life, and the value of exposure and eradication. May others follow your example.

  8. Andrew Friesen says:

    Chris I don’t want to offend you but I wonder if you are getting into a manic episode? If I’m wrong please forgive me. Your statement that you need Jesus, your wife, and a trustworthy brother or sister to heal is wrong. Jesus is enough. I didn’t used to believe this. It kept me in darkness. It is unbelief. I have tried so many antidepressants. Thank God none of them worked! Otherwise I would never have given up all hope in myself/pills/the right minister/the right church/etc. This is life-transforming!!! Praise to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father for what they’ve done!

  9. Amos Bender says:

    Hang in there Chris. Sometimes we very much need our wife and sisters help, as you said but if it is not there Jesus can fill the need. Andrew, may we not misunderstand and judge one another. May we know the love of God with passes knowledge (Eph 3:19).

  10. Amos Bender says:

    Sorry I probably said to much. I very much know that God alone can keep and heal. But also know that God uses people too. May we be willing too accept the help of people, and may we know the Lord well enough that when all people fail us we can rest in Him!!!

  11. ~Set Free says:

    “Getting” into a manic episode state ?? Seems I stay that way ? Sort of obvious isn’t it ?

    My thought on “need” our “wife” our fellow brothers / sisters for the “help” of healing does not stem from a thought that “Jesus” is not enough but rather that “He” has set in motion the need of interdependency (which in one sense we’re trying to get away from and avoid but in a real sense just holding each other accountable) of people to be with each other and help each other. The very fact that this blog is here to “hold those in authority accountable” those who have and are doing wrong, testifies to the fact that it is God ordained that we need one another to keep our balance. Why did Jesus send His disciples out two by two if all they needed was Him ?
    (Ecclesiastes 4:9 KJV) Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
    (Ecclesiastes 4:10 KJV) For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Are you not lifting me up in a sense by bringing to my attention “my problems” my need of help and pointing to Jesus the True Physician ?? Think about it. When you fell in sin were you in the presence of a Godly understanding helper or were you alone ? I was alone.
    (Ecclesiastes 4:11 KJV) Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
    (Ecclesiastes 4:12 KJV) And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

    A perfect example is you “noticing” I’m manic and coming to ask me about it. The point being we’re not an island. Even in the very begining (Genesis 2:18 KJV) And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
    Mentoring…accountability partners…you asking if I’m manic (yes very much so and I ask an interest in your prayers because of it, but God can use that very thing if He so desires) it’s that part of joining hands for a common cause. Joining together in prayer…not to each other, but, to God through the blood of Christ. Again Jesus says; (Matthew 18:20 KJV) For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
    Yes the fact that doctors can and do make mistakes (so do we) and not all medication does any good when what our true need is, to be set free by Jesus as verified by several accounts by Him, actually many, The demoniac of the Gadarenes, the woman with the issue of blood (classic case of spending all your money on doctors and meds that aren’t working) The hunchbacked woman and the man with the withered hand that were healed on Sabbath days. Yes both of our points are valid and point to our desperate need “first of all” for the power of God in our lives as well as the power of helping one another by holding each other accountable.
    Would you suggest I stop taking my meds ? It’s crossed my mind on more than one occasion.
    And NO I am most definitely NOT offended at anyone asking if I’m manic, I for one “need” you my brethren to balance things out when my mind is racing and my thoughts go farther and faster than I can keep up with to the point that I leave out parts of thoughts and the message becomes garbled or I overstep the bounds of propiety in my examples ?? No I am not offended…I need you, thank you for noticing, I appreciate it. Would to God more brethren would notice when someone is struggling and speak up, reach out a helping hand and point to the Great Physician.
    The fact is we DO need each other. It is not authority and leaders we are opposed to but the “abuse of power” the “usurping of power” whether it is men or devils…ourselves or others. I, as you, want Jesus Christ to be my all in all. We need that first…we also need each other.
    Many of these ministers have indeed and do indeed “minister” to the needs of their congregations…both the benched as well as the benchers. It is not enough to say, “Be ye warmed and filled,” we need to supply that which is lacking to the best of our ability. We ned to stand in the gap for one another. Your question has, in truth, brought out a very valid point.

  12. ~Set Free says:

    Amos your post wasn’t up or was covered up when I was writing. Pertinent thoughts All of ours I believe, Andrew you are Not out of line at all. Amos your encouragement as well as Andrews are what we need more of.

  13. ~Set Free says:

    As to Hirams thought I, looking back in my childhood, was small weak and bullyed in school. I believe that thought of wanting to dominate and abuse one’s authority coming from a time of being weak and abused is very pertinent and right on target. I am not exempt. I own my guilt and stand before God asking for the blood Of Christ to cover me.
    No reasonable prayers refused, neither much needed admonitions.

  14. Hiram says:

    I have appreciated this conversation. Several have mentioned the bitterness on other forums, and I don’t think it is so much that you are offended by the process of someone who is wounded working through their hurt feelings, but rather that it becomes impossible sometimes for people to have relevant and decent discussions when there is always an angry troll deriding and degrading things that are said. Things will be kept civil and mature here. The admins here have the right to approve or unapprove any comment, as well as being the ones in charge of what is posted. There will never be any deterioration into name calling and angry tirades here, simply because it is counter productive and harmful. However, that does not mean that someone who is hurt and in the early stages of healing cannot speak honestly here. Chris is right, this is a place where growth and development can take place, aided and abetted by others who have also been there and come through it. Chris himself has mentioned that he is in his “spring mania.” By being honest and open about the intensity of his emotional swings, he can ask for prayers and receive healing. I believe that bipolar disorder or manic depression as it used to be called, is almost always the manifestation of intense hurts in childhood. As Chris mentioned, some of his hurts were shown as he began to move into sexual immorality, where he felt powerful and in control, but then the alternate mood would come upon him when he felt guilty, ashamed and weak. This intense swinging from one mood to another can eventually cause the body to swing out of control, as the adrenalin system produces substances to keep us on track. Herre is some information on cortisol:

    “Normally, it’s present in the body at higher levels in the morning, and at its lowest at night. Although stress isn’t the only reason that cortisol is secreted into the bloodstream, it has been termed “the stress hormone” because it’s also secreted in higher levels during the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response to stress, and is responsible for several stress-related changes in the body. Small increases of cortisol have some positive effects:

    A quick burst of energy for survival reasons
    Heightened memory functions
    A burst of increased immunity
    Lower sensitivity to pain
    Helps maintain homeostasis in the body
    While cortisol is an important and helpful part of the body’s response to stress, it’s important that the body’s relaxation response to be activated so the body’s functions can return to normal following a stressful event. Unfortunately, in our current high-stress culture, the body’s stress response is activated so often that the body doesn’t always have a chance to return to normal, resulting in a state of chronic stress.”

    I am only postulating on my own here, after years of observation and personal experience, but when this part of our bodies gets over taxed and stressed, we begin to swing out of control. This is why the peace of God is important to us. It keeps us on an even keel and keeps us nourished and calm emotionally. Chris, I don’t know if your manic phases are followed by dark depression, but if so, you do need a great deal of prayer. It has always been my personal opinion that bipolar disorder could be healed by prayer, and I hope that God can help you because I know it can be stressful not only for you, but for those who live with you.

    Once again, I want to say I appreciate the interaction here between people who are seriously interested in growth and change, truth justice mercy and love!

    Hiram

  15. ~Set Free says:

    Yes Hiram what you have said is very relevant to our times as well as to each of us and I believe it is right.
    I am diagnosed as Bipolar I, rapid cycling.
    The rapid cycling part is extremely hard if not impossible to control with drugs other than to try to keep it from cycling too high or too low. Drugs in this case as well as with mere normal Bipolar symptoms that are not quite so volatile only attempt to keep the emotions from swinging from high to low, to the extreme, but do not and cannot keep them from swinging. All peoples, regardless if they have or have not been diagnosed as “Bipolar”, emotions swing from high to low to a certain extent depending on many different factors. Just because you have mood swings doesn’t necessarilly mean you’re bipolar. Treating “normal if you will” bipolar is easier because the swings are not as rapid and volatile often those swings happen over a period of months with the person being higher or lower for longer. I have noticed in myself that my swings can go from extremely high to low in the matter of as little as 30 minutes. Very diffcult if not impossible to control or treat with drugs and it is only the grace and mercy of God that keeps me as sane as I am.
    I “generally” do not tend toward deep depression that I am aware of but am more of a manic person most of the time with it coming down and going up. Other than when my moods are at an extreme level I am not always aware of if I’m high or low.

    I much prefer being in the “normal” range. Normal I am told is only a setting on the dryer 8^>. But I think you know what I mean. I appreciate, want and need you as my brethren, “balancing” me out and please “do not” stop ! As Hiram said I am working through years of pent up emotions. It is not at all my intent or desire to be flamitory…seems like that comes without me trying. When I am call me down or lift me up depending on which way God would put on your heart. I believe it is imperitive that we be open to heal.

    Being set free is exilherating. It can also be dangerous. Men who are let out of prison find life exilherating on the one hand and very exciting at their renewed freedom. Yet without a very good support system of loving and concerned family and friends they simply don’t make it and end up back where they started from. By all means lift me up to God in prayer and by all means mentor me and be here for me.
    I thank you all for your concern and I ask a continued and contiual interest in your prayers and support…both to lift me up when I need it and to keep my feet on the ground as it were when I get to high.

    May God bless all in what we say and do, so that more can be set free and may we not forget that once free we need support. Even a large pasture has boundaries.

  16. Andrew Friesen says:

    Chris I was probably too harsh. I also was NOT saying that you should quit your meds. I feel very confident that in the end God will lead you as I feel you have an attitude of humility I can learn from. I have read that most horrendous criminals were on or in withdrawal from meds. Is it true? I don’t know.

    • ~Set Free says:

      Andrew
      I am not / was not hurt or offended at what you said. In fact I believe that God can use these very things to strengthen us. I did not feel a harshness and in all likelyhood have thicker skin than needed at times as well as thin spots and scars that are raw, bleeding and far too thin.
      As to horrendous crimes being committed by; going on / coming off / taking the wrong thing at the wrong time or wrong drug period as in my case, causes people to do Horrendous crimes. I have learned much about brain function from a book titled, “Change your brain, change your life” by Dr. Richard-(?) Amen He has with CT and MRI taken some pretty amazing pictures of peoples’ brains and malfunctions even in psycopathic murderers. When a persons brain is malfunctioning they do things they would not do if it wasn’t malfunctioning. Does that make sin and wrong less sinful or wrong ? No. But it does go to show the truth in God’s higher wisdom and the fact that He looks on the heart while we look on the outward appearance.
      According to my “criminal record” I am a felon. A mans’ criminal record or past crimes do not necessarily define “who” that person is in truth. We often look at “criminals” as warped and / or perverted people when the truth may be much different and they may just be people that have in a time of weakness or mental instability done a warped and / or perverted crime. You may validly argue that if you sin you are a sinner and if you do a crime you are a criminal and those are true statements. However those answers tend towards the hypocrisy of the Pharasees that we are to avoid and by lifting ourselves up by putting others down we refuse to offer them the help they so desperately need.
      Alcohol and drugs are responsible for 95% of all crimes in the USA according to my probation officer. Both if improperly taken destroy or change the brain make up and operation. Today the USA has the highest per capita percentage of people in jail / prison / and on probation or parole than any other nation in the world. There’s something wrong with this picture. And there are those that call us a “Christian” nation ???
      Those of us who claim Christ are not doing our part, (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV) If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
      You will observe that it doesn’t say if all the sinners and heathens, but rather, “If MY people, which are called by MY name, shall humble themselves.” The abuse and usurping of authority is a pride issue in many if not all respects. A man or woman that is abusive in whatever way they may be (whether it is a person in authority or not), is in a sense too proud to admit to themselves that they are “no” better” than the one they abuse. And sad to say that includes me.

      • ~Set Free says:

        Note; the book “Change your Brain Change Your Life” is by Daniel G. Amen M.D. Not Richard…I’m not sure where the Richard came from ?? Memory lapse ?? A worthwhile read for anyone dealing with mental problems whether your own or someone you know. Copyright 1998 ISBN 0-8129-2998-5

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