The Mountain of Destiny
The dawn encouraged us to rise to the soft flow of water nearby. It seemed that an underground stream had surfaced beneath the boulder, and the water was now flowing gently but steadily out of its base down the hill into the river in the valley.
Sipporah was the first to taste the water. “It is the water of life,” she said. “It is sweet and invigorating, no different from the water from Revelation Mountain.”
“Excellent,” I responded. “This will spread throughout the valley and enhance life to all who are in it.”
Gushgalu then walked to the rock. Cupping his hands together, he drank and then looked at us with wonderment. “This is spiritual water that enlightens the eyes and strangely fills an inner void,” he said slowly. “I have never tasted any water like this. It seems to contain a certain vibration of light that consumes death and darkness within my very soul.”
He took another drink and closed his eyes for a moment as we watched him enjoy its effects. “It contains a spoken word of prophecy,” he said with contemplation. Then looking at me, he said, “I recognize your voice in this. How is that possible?”
“Last night while we were sleeping,” I confessed, “I saw the heavens opened, and messengers ascending and descending upon a great staircase. 10 They were carrying scrolls. I heard a voice from heaven telling me to speak to the rock. I then commanded the rock to bring forth truth and life, that all eyes and ears might be opened to receive the truth, and that all might be filled with the fulness of the divine nature. All of this happened in the dream, of course, so I do not know if I spoke these words in the world or only in the spirit.”
“It does not matter,” he said solemnly. “The voice of the Spirit, though silent to earthly ears, is more real and powerful than any voice on earth. Heaven is springing up to the surface of the earth, and the two are again becoming one. This, then, is truly a moment of destiny. Perhaps now our lost tribe will come forth into the light of day, and this valley will blossom as never before.”
We then ate a hasty breakfast before beginning our journey through the Mountain of Destiny in the Timeless Mountains. Afterward, we packed our supplies and secured them on the horses.
“When we return, how will we find you?” I asked Gushgalu.
“My village is a few miles up the valley on the right side of the river,” he said, pointing in that direction. “You can’t miss it.”
“Then we will see you soon and bring a good report,” I assured him. “We have a divine mission to accomplish somewhere on the other side of Timeless Destiny.”
“Few have gone into this mountain,” Gushgalu said. “It is sacred, and it holds secrets that have frightened some who have dared to enter. But from the reports that I have heard, it is just an old mine that comes to an end at some point.”
“Well, we have been instructed to go through it, so there must be more to it than just a mine shaft,” I replied.
“Till we meet again,” he said, holding up his hand in a salute.
“Yes, we will meet again soon,” I responded.
With that, Gushgalu rode down the hill toward the river, and we set our faces toward the opening in the Mountain of Destiny. When we came to the flat rock called Oahe in front of the mouth of the cave, we dismounted and stood upon the rock with bowed heads, hand in hand.
“Guide us now, Spirit of Elyon,” I prayed, “to the place where we should go. We are here to do Your will.”
Sippore seemed to whisper in Sipporah’s ear, and she responded by reaching out her hand and touching the rocky surface of the mouth of the cave. She bowed her head in deep concentration. “I hear voices crying from afar,” she said. “They say, ‘We are cut off; we are lost; we cannot find our way home. Help! Can anyone hear us? Can anyone find us?’ 11 The voices seem to come from the distant past, and no one hears them.”
“It seems that we are called to find them, or perhaps to search out their origins,” I said.
“Let us go, then,” she replied. “Let us begin our adventure and see where this cave leads us.”
With that, we led our horses in single file into the mine shaft and began descending gradually deep into the mountain. The star on each of our foreheads was a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, and the darkness fled before us. The horses seemed unafraid as well, confident that we were led by a Power higher than ourselves. Perhaps they were just feeling the effects of the new river of life from which they had drunk. At any rate, they were confident and unafraid.
Sippore remained on my wife’s shoulder, for it was impractical for a dove to try to fly in a cave like a bat. Doves are creatures of light, whereas bats are creatures of the night.
It was not long before we came to the far end of the mine shaft, where it ended abruptly. Examining the rock more closely, I could see a large vein of gold near the base of the rock, like a divine thread of truth buried deep within the heart of the mountain. I put my hand on the rocky heart of the mountain and listened. Presently, I heard a voice. “Come,” the voice instructed. “The door is open to you.”
I opened my eyes and saw an open door on my right, as if a new mine shaft had opened up with a silent invitation. “This way,” I said, leading Pegasus through the opening. The shaft immediately opened up into a much larger passage way. This was no ordinary mine shaft, for we had stepped through a small portal into a large cavern.
As we stepped into our new surroundings, we found ourselves dressed in white robes and sandals. My Indie hat, however, remained unchanged on my head. We looked at each other knowingly, for a spiritual door into another dimension had opened for us not long ago early one morning. Then too we had found ourselves clothed in white robes that were necessary to function in that parallel world, and we recognized that we had stepped into a greater reality.
The path before us was uneven but relatively flat. Distance was difficult to calculate, but the ceiling was as high as one might find in a cathedral. I began to walk carefully along the path that the star revealed ahead of me.
“Watch out for that rock,” I said to Pegasus.
“I see it,” he replied in a deep voice that rumbled like distant thunder. “Don’t worry, I am surefooted.”
I laughed with surprise. “How long have you been able to speak?”
“I speak all the time to Pleiades,” he said, “but only since we crossed through the open door have I been able to speak to you.”
“Pleiades, too?” I asked, looking at her.
“Yes, I speak, too,” she assured us.
“That is wonderful!” Sipporah exclaimed. “Now we can truly be friends! This is going to be a great adventure!”
“For us, too,” Pleiades said, nodding her head and shaking her mane. “The Creator has already commissioned us to be part of this mission—or adventure, as you call it. But could I ask you for a small favor?”
“Of course,” Sippore replied.
“You really do not need these bridles. Thank God you had sense enough not to use bits with the bridles. That would make it impossible to speak without mumbling.”
“Of course,” I said with some embarrassment. “Here, let me relieve you.” Sipporah and I each took off the bridles and dropped them to the floor of the cavern. “We won’t be needing these on this trip,” I said confidently. “Obviously, we are all partners in this quest. But,” I said, addressing the horses, “I suggest that you keep quiet in front of other people. We would not want them to know too much.”
“Agreed,” Pegasus said, and Pleiades nodded. “Even so, if we were to speak, they would only hear horse-speak. Others do not have ears to hear our language. As long as we speak in short sentences, no one else would be the wiser.”
“Okay,” I said laughing, “but right now we have plenty of time to talk before we reach the end of this cavern.”
We spent the next hour getting to know the horses in a great time of fellowship. We discovered that they had always followed the Creator by instinct, that is, by nature, and that His laws were written upon their hearts from the beginning. Although the disobedience of Earthyman had certainly affected them and had largely cut off their communication with men, they had remained in direct contact with the Creator.
“Are all horses like you?” I asked. “I mean, have all of them maintained unity with the Creator throughout the past?”
“No, sadly, not all of them,” Pegasus replied. “In fact, we alone are unique, because we possess the Creator’s Spirit together. The Spirit of the Creator is both male and female, and in order to express that Spirit fully, we were each given a half measure. Together, we contain the full measure of His Spirit. Our unity is the key to fulness.”
“Understanding the principle of unity is rare,” I commented.
“It is indeed,” Pegasus replied. “But those who understand about quantum physics are able to see it more quickly.”
“Quantum physics?” How does a horse like you know of such things? You sound like a university professor!”
“Ha! Ha!” he laughed. “The law of unity is a basic law of the universe in which we live. It tells us that all things—every particle in the universe—is connected to all the others. Whatever happens to one particle is felt by all. No one is ever alone, though many feel lonely. The unity of all is based on the fact that all things are made of God particles. All things come out of the Creator, they go through Him, and in the end they all go back to Him. 12 If anything should be lost in the process, then the Creator would remain incomplete thereafter.”
“So what is the meaning of one?” I asked.
“All is one,” he said. “In the end, there is no more than one.”
“What about zero?” I questioned?
“Zero is the distance between heaven and earth,” he explained. It is the time between past and future. Quantum physics shows that things at great distances are affected instantly by what happens to a single God particle. There is neither time nor space on this quantum level. But I suspect that you have already begun to experience this for yourself.”
“So how old are you?” Sipporah asked.
They both tossed up their heads and laughed. “The Spirit that is in us is ageless,” Pleiades said, “but our present bodies—that is, our present bodies back in the village—are only five years old. Our Spirit is transferred to our offspring when our bodies die of old age. For this reason, we have conscious knowledge of many generations. In our spiritual minds, we are very ancient.”
“You must have many stories of things you have seen and heard over the centuries,” I observed.
“Yes, indeed,” Pegasus said. “In fact, we originally came to the valley by a different path through the Timeless Mountains. These mountains open up by the will of the Creator at various times. I was ridden by Zaphnath himself in those days.”
“You knew him personally?” I asked incredulously.
“Yes, of course,” he said. “He once ruled over a great kingdom in the New World. His palace was a large cave carved out of a mountain in the Grand Canyon. He came here to prepare the way for his descendants, for he knew a great secret. The Creator revealed to him that his descendants would forget the Creator and His laws and that they would be exiled from their land. He knew that many of them would make their way here in the distant future. So he prepared the way. Unfortunately, much of his work was lost and fell into ruin as well.”
“Well, you are a veritable encyclopedia of secret knowledge,” I said with a new respect. “I see now why the Creator has sent you to accompany us on this mission.”
“The Spirit in you and Sipporah is just as strong,” Pleiades added. “If you search the great library of your spiritual memories, you will become aware of much more about yourselves than what your soul has known. You only need to inquire of your spiritual mind.”
“Let us rest for a moment, then, so that I can concentrate better.” We stopped, and I sat down on a rock and closed my eyes. I found my inner spiritual conscious mind and traveled back many generations of memories until I reached a certain ancestral king, who had given orders to build golden calves for the people to worship. 13 I saw a prophet come to him and warn of dire consequences upon his people. I saw him refuse in pride to take heed to the warning from the Creator. I saw that within a few generations, the nation was destroyed and the people taken into exile to a foreign land, never to return.
“I have seen enough that is disturbing to me,” I said, opening my eyes. “I think now I know why I have been called for this mission. It was my ancestor who caused the loss of the nation and the exile of his people. It appears that I have been called to restore that which was lost and overturn the bad decisions that were made in the distant past. Even as sons are affected by the decisions of their fathers, so also the sons have special authority to reverse those decisions and right the wrongs.”
“If your ancestor was the king who was responsible for all of this, then you are also descended from his ancestor, Zaphnath,” Pegasus said. “You have a good heritage that lost its way in the labyrinth of history. But you are in a unique position to reverse the curse with a blessing. The message of truth that was given to you was first revealed to Zaphnath’s ancestor. It was a promise of divine intervention. This gives people hope.”
“Even so,” I mused, “this divine intervention has been delayed until our time. What about past generations? I suspect that most of them lived and died without knowing that there was hope of restoration.”
We continued our journey through the cave. Occasionally, Sippore would fly to Pleiades and whisper something into her ear, and the horse would reply or laugh hoarsely. Time seemed to stand still as we walked steadily through the Timeless Mountains.
At last we turned a corner and saw a sight that was difficult to comprehend. It was a large room full of treasure—gold and silver bars and strange coins, precious stones, some cups, plates, masks, shields, and animal figures. The great treasure sparkled in the bright light shining from our stars.
“What do you suppose this is?” I asked. “Some of these objects look like Egyptian artifacts. Do you suppose we have gone all the way to Egypt?”
“I do not think so,” Sipporah replied. “Egypt is on the other side of the earth, and we have been walking for only a short time.”
“Then it must have been brought here by someone,” I said. “Perhaps this is the hidden treasure that we were to find.”
“I think,” said Pegasus, “that there are more valuable things to find than this. We horses are not impressed by these things, though we know that all created things have value to the Creator. But their value is determined only by their usefulness. Right now, I do not see much use for all of this.”
“Yes, you are right,” I said. “But perhaps there is more here than meets the eye.” I walked through the path between the artifacts and chests of gold and silver, searching for other things of greater value.
Finally, as we approached the far end of the treasure room, I saw about a dozen wooden boxes, decorated with a few carvings and some writing on them. After looking carefully at the writing, I said with surprise, “This is ancient Hebrew writing. Some of it is paleo-Hebrew, or Egyptian Hebrew. Others are of a later style called Phoenician Hebrew. The Egyptian Hebrew writing is more rounded and more hieroglyphic, but the later style is written in straight lines with wedge-shaped instruments.”
“Yes,” said Pegasus, bowing his head to look at the writing closely. “The name on the oldest box is Yeshua, or Joshua, as we now know him. It appears to be a coffin, and we seem to be in the cave where he was buried.”
“And the treasure must have been brought with them from Egypt,” Sipporah added. “I recall that Joseph was buried in Shechem in the field that Jacob bought from Hamor, 14 but Joshua was buried in a cave on his family inheritance near Timnath-serah.” 15
“Yes,” I said, “Joshua was the custodian of all the wealth that Joseph had received when he was the prime minister of Egypt. It appears that the family wealth was buried with him for safe-keeping in this cave. But how did all of this get to the Timeless Mountains? Who brought it here?”
“Let us proceed,” Pleiades said. “Perhaps the answer lies ahead of us.”
We had hardly continued our journey past the storehouse when the mountain shook with a violent earthquake. The cave did not collapse upon our heads, but suddenly an opening appeared just a few yards ahead of us, piercing the darkness with bright sunlight.
“Come quickly,” I said. “I think we should get out of here.”
“Climb aboard,” Pegasus said. Sipporah and I each mounted on our horses, and they broke into a gallop. The noon sun burst upon us, causing us to squint until our eyes were used to the bright light. The horses ran swiftly past a man lying dazed in the dust at the side of the path. Thinking that the earthquake may have injured him, we stopped abruptly, turned, and jogged back to where he lay.
The man was frightened. Looking up at us, his voice shook with fear, saying, “Please do not hurt me!” He spoke in Hebrew, but we understood him as if it were our native tongue.
“Why would we want to hurt you?” I asked, dismounting and offering him my hand. I pulled him to his feet, but he immediately dropped to his knees before me with his face to the ground.
“What is your name?” I asked.
“My name is Rephah,” he said, feeling more at ease at our friendly gestures. “I guard the tomb of my ancestors. Which ancestor are you? How did you rise from the dead?”
“We are not of those who are buried here,” I replied. “The Most High God of Israel has sent us as messengers of hope.”
His eyes widened with amazement, not fully comprehending who we were or what our mission was, yet glad that we were not hostile to him. “Hallelujah! We need hope in times like this,” he said gratefully.
“Then take us to your father, or let us speak with your elders. But first,” I said, glancing back at the open tomb, “I think we ought to roll the stone back over the opening of the tomb. We would not want to tempt grave robbers.”
Rephah looked at me with concern. “No doubt you saw what else is in this cave,” he said, lowering his voice. “The wealth of my ancestor Joseph has been a well-guarded secret for many years, buried here in the tomb of Joshua. Please keep it secret.”
“We will respect your secret,” I replied, “but you realize that this means you must also keep secret the manner of our arrival here. If others were to discover that we came out from the tomb, they would know that we saw the hidden treasure. They only need to know that we are strangers who have come from afar, seeking their hospitality, and that we bear a message from the Most High.”
“Agreed,” Rephah said. “It is regrettable, however, that they cannot know this secret, for it would lend much credibility to your words if they knew.”
“Perhaps,” I said, “but truth must stand on its own merits to be truly effective. Miraculous signs are persuasive, but they do not produce real faith. The word tests every man’s heart for its ability to discern. Truth produces faith in the ears of all who can hear the word, and if not, then they will not truly be persuaded even if one is raised from the dead.” 16
The stone was heavy, round, and shaped like a thick wheel. With the help of Pegasus, we helped Rephah roll the heavy stone back to its original position. When the task was completed, I turned to our new friend and said, “There; it is finished. No one else will know our little secret except you, my wife and I, and, of course, our two horses.”
“Thank-you,” he replied. “Now please come with me and be my guest while you are here. I presume that you are here for the Council meeting of the tribal chiefs. Ibzan, the Judge, 17 is here as well. You can stay at my house for as long as you wish.”
“Yes, it appears that this is our purpose for being here,” I replied with a meaningful glance at Sipporah. “But why are they not meeting at Gilgal?”
“They decided to meet closer to Philistine territory in order to talk to those who know the situation better.”
“When do they plan to meet?”
“The meeting began early this morning,” Rephah informed us. “I do not know how long they will meet before deciding on a strategy to counter the rising power of the Philistines. The Philistines have iron weapons and chariots, as surely you know, and are skilled in warfare. We need to develop a strategy to deal with this threat, so that we have the strength to maintain our freedom.”
“What is freedom?” I asked, remembering the discussion of freedom and strength at the Council with Chief Hiamovi just a few days ago. It was obvious that we had gone back in time to the land of Israel, which at that time was facing a forty-year Philistine captivity. Of course, they did not know what was about to happen to them, but they could see the threat, and they were trying to build up their strength to avoid captivity.
“We will indeed accept your kind offer of hospitality,” I said with warmth. “Lead on. We will follow.”
- Genesis 28:12; John 1:51
- Ezekiel 37:11
- Romans 11:36
- 1 Kings 12:28, 29
- Joshua 24:32
- Joshua 24:29, 30
- Luke 16:31
- Judges 12:8