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I picked up the bridles lying where we had left them on the floor of the cave. Looking up, I knew we were near the veil where changes would take place. I reached up and stroked Pegasus’ neck. “Well, my friend,” I said, “I do not know if I will be able to speak with you once we have crossed to the other side. I will miss our fellowship.”
“I will always understand you,” he replied. “But the world on the other side of the veil is now in a state of rapid change, so one never knows what will develop. We know only that these changes will be for the better and will improve all things as time passes.”
As we passed through the thin veil from one age to the next, we found ourselves again clothed with that which we were wearing when we began the journey. Our beloved horses ceased to speak, although they continued to be who they were. We now knew and understood them, and we loved them as dear friends.
Passing through the mouth of the cave into the light of day, we blinked and squinted for a moment until our eyes became used to the brightness of the hour. From the flat rock of Oahe, we could see a continuous stream of water flowing from the Rock of Destiny into the river below. The grass seemed greener than we had remembered, and the trees stood firmer and taller. The air was vibrant with the sweet scent of new flowers, and it hummed with the songs of happy bees.
We took a few deep breaths and paused to enjoy our heavenly Father’s world. It seemed that the water of life was making all things new, and a subtle energy was building surely and steadily in the purified atmosphere of His Kingdom.
“Well,” Sipporah said finally, “should we pay a visit to Gushgalu’s village? He said it is just a few miles up the valley along the river.”
“Yes, that seems to be our final stop before returning to give our report to Chief Hiamovi,” I said.
The horses immediately began to descend from Oahe, and as we passed the Rock of Destiny, we stopped to drink from the living water that still flowed from somewhere beneath it. As we knelt before it, we both felt a tingling sensation from the ground. “The hidden treasure,” Sipporah commented. “Do you feel it under us?”
“Yes,” I replied. “and perhaps the Creator will find it useful soon.”
“Meanwhile, though,” she said, “I have a feeling that Gushgalu’s village holds a greater treasure that we will yet find.”
“I too have had that impression growing in my mind,” I said. “I wonder what we will find there.”
We made our way down to the river and then turned to take the path up the valley. The journey was peaceful, and an eagle soared on the winds high above us, watching countless noisy little creatures scampering happily among the rocks and trees far below. No creature was afraid of us, but seemed glad to see us—welcoming us, it seemed, and congratulating us for a mission well done.
“How much do they know about our mission?” I mused. “Are they really aware of the great things that are coming to the earth?”
“One never knows,” Sipporah said. “But wait,” and pausing to listen to the dove, she said presently, “Sippore tells me that they sense that the old age of oppression and corruption has ended, and that a new age of freedom and purity has begun. They feel these changes, because they are gaining strength even now, and who knows what changes will be apparent in the days and years ahead?”
Within the hour, we saw the Indian village ahead. The river was not deep, so we were able to cross it without difficulty, and as we approached the town, Gushgalu came running toward us.
“Anava! Sipporah!” he shouted. “I was not expecting you so soon! I just arrived home hardly an hour ago. Have you completed your mission so soon, or were you not able to find the passage through the mountain?”
“We did complete our mission, and we have been gone four days,” I said as we approached him. “But if we parted company earlier today in our present time, then it seems that our mission took very little time off the clock, even though our days were filled with activity and with revelation. We have met many new friends who lived more than three thousand years ago, and we were able to give them the word from our Creator to help guide them through difficult days.”
“Indeed,” Sipporah added, “we passed through the Mountain of Destiny into another world in another age, but now we have returned.”
“Then the cave did not end with a solid wall?” he asked, as he led us into the village.
“Actually, it did end,” I replied, “but the wall opened for us, so that we could pass through the veil of time, allowing us to do our mission.”
“That is marvelous,” Gushgalu said. “But come this way. I want you to meet my wife and grandfather. You will be our guests tonight.”
We followed him to his spacious, but humble house at the edge of town, and he invited us to enter. We dismounted and released Pegasus and Pleiades to roam around at will or to find sweet grass to eat as they pleased. Sippore flew off to explore and to discern the spirit of the village. Entering the house, we were met by Gushgalu’s wife, who took us into a large living room, where we were given a soft couch to sit upon while talking. She offered to get us drinks and cakes, and when we accepted, she happily flitted out of the room.
“Make yourselves at home,” Gushgalu said. “My grandfather, the Chief, will be here shortly. My son has gone to fetch him, because when I told grandfather about you, he was anxious to meet you. It seems that when he was young, he knew your father and Yaqui Joe.”
“Well, then, I have many questions for him,” I said. “Though my father told me much, I know that he did not tell me everything.”
Soon Gushgalu’s wife arrived with coffee, cake, and cookies for us, and we soon felt like we had known her forever. We talked and chattered until the elderly grandfather arrived. After introducing himself briefly as Chief Tivdatsi, the lion or panther, we all sat down in the living room for a visit.
“I understand you knew my father, Thomas,” I began, looking at Tivdatsi. He was wearing a gold bracelet with a lion engraved on it, and I was surprised that the workmanship and shape of the bracelet resembled the one that Rephah had given me. From that distance, however, I could not tell if the engraved design was the same or not.
“Yes, I knew him well, along with his friend, Joe. They used to go camping in these mountains, and after their adventures, they always returned with unusual stories to tell.”
“When I was a child, he told me many stories as well,” I said, “but now that I have found the silver mine in the mountain next to Oahe, I am quite curious about what he found there.”
“He and Joe found silver and gold,” the Chief replied, “but they buried it nearby. They refused to take any of it for themselves, because it came from land which was owned by the Zaphnath tribe.”
“That is what Gushgalu told us,” I said. “We felt its vibration when we walked over the spot where it appears to be buried. But since we found an unseen entrance to another world at the back of the cave, I wonder if my father and Joe had found this as well. Did they ever speak of another world that they had found?”
The Chief studied my face for a moment and said, “Yes, they did find another world. I have never spoken of it, because they did not want anyone to know of their discovery. Only the chosen ones can find the passage, but Thomas and Joe did not want to cause a sensation that might bring many curiosity seekers to this area. As you may have guessed, our existence as a tribe or band is quite unknown to the outside world. We want to keep it that way for as long as possible. If rumors leaked out about a portal to another world, this would attract too many unwanted visitors.”
“I can understand that,” I said, “and I am glad that this story was never told to anyone. My father kept it secret from me as well. But since the passage was opened to us, we found ourselves on a mission from the Creator in another time and place. There we met a man of God who became our friend. He gave us a parting gift when we returned.”
With that, I brought out the ephod-bracelet from my pack and gave it to the Chief. “This is for you,” I told him, “a gift from the past. It seems to match the one you are wearing.”
Chief Tivdatsi took the gift, and as he looked at it, his eyes widened with wonder. “This is the missing bracelet!” he said. “I knew that originally a second bracelet had been crafted, but no one knew what design was on it. The one in my possession pictures a lion, for it represents the Dominion Mandate of a King. It is a sacred relic of our tribe, but no one today remembers anything about its origin. This second one pictures a High Priest’s ephod.”
“Well,” I said, “as a set, it must represent the Melchizedek Order, which unites Kings and Priests into a single calling. The man who gave it to me was sure that it was one of a set, but he was unable to locate a second bracelet. That puzzle is now solved! The two callings are again reunited. I believe that you are the lion pictured on the first bracelet, and now you also wear its companion with the ephod. I am privileged to bring them together once again.”
The Chief was nearly moved to tears, and it was apparent that this gift had enormous value to him.
“Your father swore me to secrecy about his mission on the far side of the cave, but he also said that if someone brought me the matching bracelet, I would know that he was the one worthy to learn the details of his mission. I have told no one about this to this very day,” the Chief said tearfully, “but I am getting old, and it seems that the time finally has come to pass down the story to you. And, if you feel it is appropriate, my grandson too should hear this.”
“Yes,” I said, nodding. “Gushgalu has been part of our mission, for he guided us to the cave. He is certainly trustworthy and should know this secret.”
“It is agreed, then,” the Chief said approvingly. “Your father told me that he and Joe came through the portal in the cave, and they followed the tunnel to a large vault containing an immense treasure of gold and silver artifacts. After examining the treasure, they turned and followed the tunnel to see where it might lead. He and Joe then came to a staircase, which ascended to a closed door.”
“A staircase?” I asked with a puzzled look. “Are you sure of that? We saw no staircase.”
“Yes,” he said, nodding his head. “The staircase ascended to a door, and when they opened the door, they entered a house through a secret trap door. In fact, they interrupted a family of four eating their evening meal. It was dark outside, and the house was illuminated by a few oil lamps.”
“It seems, then, that the tunnel through the mountain led them to a different place than it led us,” I said. “Yet we too saw a treasure.”
“Needless to say,” the Chief continued with a laugh, “the family was surprised and quite alarmed to see them, for the door was hidden and was a closely guarded secret, as was the tunnel and the treasure room. The family had seen no one walk past them and go into the cavern—which was under their temple—but yet two strange men had just come out of it and had stepped into their room! Thomas and Joe soon learned that the man living in that house was the guardian of the treasure that Judah’s kings had accumulated over the years.”
“That must have been quite a shock to them,” I said. “Were they able to speak the guardian’s language?”
“Yes,” the Chief answered, “that was a surprise to them, too. They found no problem communicating with the man and his family. The guardian pressed upon them the importance of telling no one of the treasure house nor of the entrance to it, for if the king had learned of it, their lives might have been forfeited. And if the treasure had become generally known, other nations would have heard the rumors, sending armies to steal the wealth for their own use.”
“Did my father speak of his mission there?” I asked. “Did he tell you why the portal had opened to him? It is apparent that the Creator had a reason for allowing him access to this treasure house.”
“The guardian,” he said, “realizing that his unexpected guests had already seen the treasure, knew that there was no further reason to try to keep it a secret from them. He told your father that the treasure originated in Egypt, and that for some centuries it had been stored secretly in another place—the tomb of Joshua. Centuries later, when David became king of Israel, the Chief of the tribe of Ephraim showed him the treasure and gave it to him for the building of the temple.”
“David, however,” I said, interrupting him, “was not allowed to build the temple, but I suppose that he used the treasure to purchase all the materials needed for its construction.”
“Yes,” the Chief affirmed, “and then his son Solomon used some of it to invest in commercial ships to search for gold and silver around the world. His mining ventures paid off handsomely, and much more treasure was put into the secret vault than had been taken. But the people of Judah had a problem with idolatry, and some of the kings used this gold and silver to construct man-made idols. So God brought judgment upon them in the days of King Zedekiah in Jerusalem, and the temple was destroyed.”
“But the treasure was never discovered,” I said, leaning back in the soft chair. “Who was my father sent to meet? What was his mission?”
“He did not talk to King Zedekiah,” the Chief said. “Instead, he was sent to talk to the prophet Jeremiah and to encourage him, because he faced much opposition over the word entrusted to him. As you know, no great message of truth is believed by the majority, nor does its messenger go long unpunished. The prophet already had suffered much persecution, but your father was called to strengthen him with a clearer understanding of the times in which he lived, and to tell the prophet of another mission to a far-off land that he was to accomplish in the winter years of his life.”
“I have read of Jeremiah’s mission with the king’s daughters,” I mused aloud. “It fell to him to plant the king’s seed in a new land, where many Israelites had settled. Yes, I know that history. It was Yahweh’s way of repairing the breach between Zarah and Pharez, the two sons of Judah. King Zedekiah’s daughter, who was of the line of Pharez, married the far-off king who was of the line of Zarah.”
“The Babylonians were soon coming to destroy the temple and the city,” the old Chief continued, “and when your father’s mission was done, and when it was time to return home, Jeremiah brought him and Joe back to the guardian’s house. The guardian then led them through the secret door and through the corridor and the stairs to the treasure room. There Jeremiah was led by the Spirit to a golden table at one side of the room.”
“Judah’s signet ring lay upon that table,” the Chief said, “and the prophet did not want to risk having it fall into the hands of the Babylonians. Nebuchadnezzar was given the land, but he would never have the calling represented in this ring. So he gave it to your father for safekeeping. Your father brought it here and gave it to me with clear instructions to hold it in secret until the appointed time. He said I would know what to do with it when the time was right, but that in the meantime I was to hide it from everyone. I could not even tell Chief Hiamovi or my own family of its existence.”
“Was it a gold ring with the insignia of a lion upon it?” I asked. “Was it similar in style to the signet ring of Joseph that Chief Hiamovi gave me to wear on this mission?” I gave the ring to Tivdatsi, and he examined it for a moment.
“Yes,” he said, “the style is the same. Hiamovi’s ring is not a secret, but I could say nothing of the ring of Judah until the missing bracelet was given to me.” He then rose to his feet with a thoughtful look and slowly made his way out of the room into another part of the house. I looked at Sipporah apprehensively, since the ring had been entrusted to me by Chief Hiamovi, and I did not want to lose sight of it. But soon Tivdatsi returned, not only with the ring of Joseph, but also with another ring.
The Chief again affirmed, “The two gold rings are nearly identical. The only difference is each insignia.” He handed me both rings, and I looked at them carefully. It was the same ring that Boaz had worn when I met him at the Tribal Council.
“It is clear now,” Tivdatsi said, “that your father intended for me to give you the matching ring when you would give me the matching bracelet. The appointed time has come to reunite ephod with scepter, as well as the rings of Dominion and Birthright. The two callings that these rings signify, and your mission through the Timeless Mountains proves your worthiness to receive this ring. It is the appointed time. It is yours.”
“This is a great treasure indeed,” I said. “My wife is of the Zarah line of Judah, and so the ring is her inheritance. We are one, and because we are in unity, we benefit from each other’s calling.”
I took Sipporah’s hand and slipped the ring on her finger. “I love you,” I said, looking into her eyes.
“I love you, too,” she replied. After a thoughtful pause, she added, “Let’s build a Kingdom for our heavenly Father!”
“Yes, indeed,” I said. Turning to the others, I continued, “I knew from the start that we would find hidden treasure, but only now do I know what that treasure is. It is the lost scepter of Judah that is now being reunited with the lost birthright of Joseph—two callings, each forming its portion of what is needed to establish the Kingdom of our Creator.”
“The two rings,” I added, “were separated for thousands of years, each apparently lost in the sands of time, and yet within a single generation they have come within a day’s ride of each other. The missing ring was in the hand of a guardian who knew how to keep a secret, but the time has now come to uncover the two mysteries of the Kingdom and to reunite the two brother-rings.”
“Indeed,” said the Chief, “together they will empower the chosen ones to exercise dominion for the benefit of all men and to fill the face of the world with fruit. The world will now become a better place to live. What God creates, man tends to destroy. God creates reality, and man’s counterfeits create illusions. But now the light will shine on the illusions of men, exposing the darkness inherent in their works. All hidden things will be brought to light, both good and evil, where they can be examined by eyes that are healed and hearts that understand.”