I think my conversation with Parker concerning our impending orders occurred about the 7th week of boot camp. There was still a battle going on until after boot camp was over. But something had happened in about the 3rd or 4th week to assist my faith and little did I know strengthen it for even further trials during the actual revelation of the lost keys in South Carolina. What was it? I got a post card. My wife sent me a post card and it said on the front cover: "How good and how pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity." This was a direct quote of Psalms 133:1 which was already by that time becoming one of the most important passages of scripture to my heart during those times than anything ever written.
I had recently done a study concerning this scripture and was especially impressed with verse 3 where it says. "There the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forever more." Where is there? There is where brothers dwell together in unity. And it has to be scriptural unity not just some Joe Blow's opinion of what he thinks unity is. It has to be what God thinks it is. And what does God think? That's simple! God thinks unity is one assembly per one city! Period! To that there are no ands, ifs or buts. That is Biblical unity whether you like it or don't like it and like it or not you belong together with the exact believers who live in your locality. …. Do you even know them?!!! I'll admit I'm in a situation where I don't.
But to get back, by experience this scripture had already become precious to me because I had tasted the "blessing of life" at the "church in Los Angeles" and as much as I had experienced as a Christian already of the powers of the world to come and the grace of God, etc. …. Well, the blessing of life was just the greatest blessing of all and it is not just individual Christian life it is the life of God more abundantly as it flows through the members of Christ's Body. It is Body life. So you see this scripture was already quite precious in its meaning to me for there I had found fullness of joy, there I had found unsearchable riches of Christ and there I had found the reality of which my revelation of the tabernacle was only a vision and had not yet been a reality.
But that post card in boot camp had an added meaning to me when it was sent. To me it seemed I was being given hope that it applied to my wife and I that we would dwell together in unity at our new home no matter where that should be. I could not have gotten anything that said it better or a better choice of words. I do not believe it was an accident that she happened to pick out that particular card at that particular time. Since this was one of the three passages in the Word that was being rehearsed again and again by the Holy Spirit in my mind through not only this experience but that which was to come it was also another sign post along the way. It was another indication of the finger of God writing upon the wall. I will write concerning the meaning of these three passages in the next three chapters. As you read on you will see there were too too many signposts along the way to be ignored. This chain of events was no accident!
After boot camp graduation there was a marvelous re-union with my wife during the following weekend. After this I was to begin 4 weeks of Fireman apprenticeship training. The difference between this training and boot camp was that we had (aside from duty sections and watches) after our school times and on the weekends a thing called liberty. Liberty meant you could get into civilian clothes and go off base for awhile. Hmmmm…. Now what would I do with that (besides the weekend when I went to visit my wife)? Well, I called the same kind of Christians on the phone of which I had been meeting with in LA. I found out that one of the brothers who went to "The church in San Diego" was in the Navy and had access to the base. So he picked me up for a meeting. So I experienced my first meetings with the church in San Diego during that time.
One of the meetings in particular I will never forget. There was so much light such as I had not been exposed to in a long time due to the actual Body relationship of many members of Christ being together. Since many members were actually functioning in praises one brother after another and the amens following, the intensified light of Christ was shining brightly! It was so wonderful that it was like coming out of a long dark tunnel I had been in during boot camp. It is impossible to describe to you what it was like unless you have ever tasted genuine "church-life" as they call it. I would call it the reality of the Body of Christ. There was so much light there that in the first 3 minutes of that meeting I was so enlightened that the resident underlying faith within me that had been lying there buried with the fears, worries, cares and other choking elements to be found at boot camp life were instantly blown away! I stood there basking in the presence of God and faith came alive! Why! Because in the real Body relationship when found on this earth in reality brings with it the light of Christ! Along with that there is the speaking of God. I do not mean an audible voice or words (I would be careful of that if I were you) in my brain but rather as it should be: enlightenment upon the Word and promises of God that causes faith to spring into action and come alive!
So of course you will ask what it was that came alive to me that day specifically? Now note this: that all of this came to light during the first 3 minutes of that meeting as it were all at once! It was amazing! First I was enlightened by the fact that the declaration concerning a man not going to war but remaining at home with his wife to cheer the wife he has taken for that first year was a declaration of the will of God. This could be claimed by faith as a promise of God for every newly married young couple. I had been standing upon this passage in Numbers by faith but it was my mind that had been assailed by the enemy.
Secondly, there was a revelation that the doubts, fears spooky thoughts about the imaginary gusts of the whispering spirits resembling the night gales and winds of the sea, etc. were a ploy of Satan to rob me of what was mine. The words of John 10:10 were made alive to me in an instant: "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (KJV) Thirdly, with these words the light from the Lord came: how can Satan steal something that does not already belong to you? And if it already belongs to you it is something you already possess because you have it either in the now or by faith!! Hallelujah!
At this point even though I had not yet received my orders I knew that I would be sent to a command where I would spend at least a year at home with my wife. (I was actually given about 4 1/2 years the majority of which were spent in port!) There was not even the shadow of a doubt in my mind! All the cobwebs had been blown away! Far away! All the little spiders were running in different directions for cover and my mind was instantly delivered from every fear and doubt and all this TOOK PLACE IN JUST 3 MINUTES !!!!!!!! Praise the Lord!
Even though all that took place in 3 minutes, there was not an opportunity to share this with the brothers and sisters until after about 15 or 20 minutes into the meeting. This was due to so many standing up one by one (or saying things, praying things from a sitting position etc.) wanting to share something or break forth in praise or call out a hymn. When I did stand up, I did not go into my personal situation but rather just shared from John 10:10 how the enemy does not come EXCEPT to steal!! And he cannot steal what is not already yours!!! Then I said I thank God that I have such and such and after my testimony it seemed the whole room was set aflame with the glory of God as brother after brother stood up declaring what we have in Christ! "Thank the Lord that we have unsearchable riches in Christ!" and the whole room thundered in unison: AMEN! Suddenly he sat down and another brother stood up and on it went for a couple of minutes! Then another: "We have the promises of God, yea and amen in Jesus Christ!" AMEN! Then another: "We have like precious faith" AMEN! Then another: "We HAVE the Triune GOD !!!!!!!!!!" AMEN! And on and on! It seemed the whole meeting was set aflame with the glory of God! Now was this a confirmation that the Lord had answered my prayer or what? Hallelujah! Amen!
Now I do not quite remember whether it was this meeting or another meeting before this one or after this when another very special event to my mind was made manifest, but a song was emphasized in that meeting in a very special way. They sang a very special rendition of Psalm 133: all three verses. They sang the words over and over in that meeting and then spoke them in prayer, praise and pray reading to the Lord and surely I was quite impressed as to the importance of this truth before the Lord. There was no getting away from it.
All this of course was during a four week period in San Diego during my Fireman Apprenticeship training after boot camp. In the fourth week we got our original orders assigned to us for our first permanent duty station in the Navy. This event took place after those that I have mentioned above. My orders were to the USS Holland AS-32, which was homeported at Charleston, South Carolina!
At first I was under the impression that this was not so good as this was a ship and ships get underway and go to sea but then someone told me that the Holland is a tender, spending most of its time import taking care of submarines and that those submarines are far more important than us going to sea. Praise the Lord!
When I left San Diego to be with my wife at my mother in law's house for a couple weeks leave before reporting to my first ship. I met another young sailor on that flight with his seabag right next to him. He was wearing his blues for the flight. When I told him I was destined to report to the USS Holland he said "how boring!! You'll never see anything but the boring Charleston pier! That ship hardly goes anywhere or sees anything but home!" To him it was boring, but to me it was God's answer! How I rejoiced with pure joy! Praise the Lord's name forever!!!