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“Order, order,” the mayor called out to the gathered crowd. He paused as the noise died down and then said, “Our final speaker this week is Joseph, who is the most senior and most trusted elder of the tribe on whose land our town was built. He speaks in every way for the chief himself, but today he has come to share his revelation and gift from the Creator.”
Joseph took the podium and began to speak slowly and deliberately. “In the beginning the Creator told us to be fruitful and to multiply. 152 If Earthyman and his wife had not sinned, they would have been fruitful in the way that the Creator intended. Because they had been created in the image of the Creator, they would have borne children in the image of the Creator. But because they lost that image through disobedience, their children were borne afterward in their own fallen image. Like begets like, after its kind.” 153
Many in the crowd nodded. They knew the story well.
Joseph continued, “The history of the world has been a search to return to the image of the Creator, but the path was lost to all but a few. The time has come, however, for this secret path to be shared openly. This is the essence of the revelation that the three of us have received and which we are called to share with you.”
The people were quiet as they awaited long-lost truth to be distilled in their ears.
“Joshua has told you the difference between the two rainbow covenants. Anava has shared the revelation of the seeds of Elyon which have the power to beget a new creation man within you which is in the image of the Creator. I have been given water from the river of life to water that seed, that it may grow to maturity in order to bear fruit.”
A few of the people nodded in agreement. Most did not understand fully. All were silent.
Joseph spoke again. “This valley has been well watered by the river that flows naturally from the mountain. It is a river whose source is the first covenant, and it has made the valley productive. But I offer you water from the river of life that will make it fruitful. The food you have produced by natural means has been good, but you must eat every day, because it can never satisfy the inner hunger. The water you have drunk is good, but you must drink every day, because it can never satisfy the inner thirst. If you drink from the water that I give, it will become a spring of living water within you, and you will never thirst again.” 154
The people glanced at one another with puzzled looks and mostly in disbelief. “The water that we drink has come from the mountain and was given to us by the Creator,” someone responded from the crowd. “It was the Creator’s gift to us, and it is good enough for me!”
“You have been drinking from the water of the first rainbow,” Joseph answered. “It is good and has made you all productive, but it has not made you fruitful. Would you not rather fill the face of the earth with fruit?” 155
“The two rainbows are the same,” the old man declared. “The double rainbow is merely the double witness of the same truth. If the Creator has said that the first is good, who are we to despise it by declaring that the second is superior? Who are we to forsake the first and follow the second?” Many in the crowd agreed. 156
“I offer you the opportunity to fulfill the original mandate to be fruitful,” Joseph urged. “The path is through the new covenant, from which springs the water of life. Not only you as citizens of Newkirk may benefit from this water, but also those who formerly dwelt here when it was known as Kirk. People of other towns, too, are invited to drink of this water. The Creator loves all men equally and has extended this promise to all of them.” 157
“That is true,” the old man said loudly for all to hear, “but they must first repent of their refusal to become citizens of Newkirk. They must submit to our Town Council in order to please the Creator.”
“Anyone who has the desire within them to drink of the river of life already shows evidence of faith in the Creator. They will not be denied,” Joseph countered. “If they have such a desire, and you do not, who then is pleasing to the Creator?”
The old man bristled. “Are you accusing us of rebelling against the Creator?”
“Do you have faith in His vow, or your own? Have you received the seed of Elyon in your ears? Do you desire the water of life to make you fruitful? These are the things that please the Creator. You condemn yourselves if you do not have faith in Him and if you refuse His gifts. Those who refuse will enter into judgment, because it is the only way in which they will finally see the light. The Creator will be believed, for He has vowed to make it so, even if men must be corrected by His judgments. But I offer you a better path.”
Now the old man was angry. “How dare you accuse us of rebellion! We have followed the Creator all of our lives! We have placed our faith in His word, as interpreted by our revered sages of the past. Your interpretations do not conform to our long-held traditions; therefore, you are wrong!”
Joseph replied, “You have not followed your own law perfectly. None of you have met the requirements that you have set forth. 158 If you are honest, you know that you have failed. You think, however, that it is sufficient to pay fines and to do penance for outward acts of violating the law. No amount of penance can beget you with the seed of the Creator and turn you into a new creation. I tell you that the Creator is more interested in changing your nature than in disciplining your behavior. The Town Council has never been able to change men from the inside by enforcing the law through fines and penance.”
“You dare to blaspheme the Town Council?” the old man shouted angrily.
“I merely point out its limitations,” Joseph responded. “You believe that the duty of the Town Council is to uphold the vow that your forefathers made to be obedient to the law. The very fact that you must engage in law enforcement shows that human nature has not changed. You have had many years to succeed, but not one of you obeys the law by nature. This proves that you are not yet in the image of the Creator, for if you were, you would all obey the law. You would need no discipline or coercion to enforce obedience, because your hearts would be in full agreement with the law and would conform to its righteous standard all of the time.”
“Now you are telling us that the law itself is inadequate!” the old man said loudly, looking around at the crowd in order to press them to agree. “Yes indeed,” said another quickly.
Joseph continued, “No, I am saying that human nature is incapable of full obedience to the law. We both desire all men to conform to the law, but by different means. Under the first covenant, in which you have placed your confidence, the laws were given as commands. But under the new covenant the law was given as promises.”
“For example,” he said, “the law said, ‘You shall not steal.’ 159 As a command, it demands obedience from those who may want to steal and penalties upon those who do. But as a promise, the Creator has promised to change your heart so that you shall not steal. He has promised that all will obey this law, not from fear of punishment, but because the heart agrees and has no desire to steal. Is it not better that hearts agree with the Creator’s nature than to enforce obedience upon an unwilling soul who obeys only out of fear?”
Many in the crowd looked at one another with astonishment. They were surprised by the simple truth, but they feared the Town Council, which might punish them for insubordination.
“There is something else I must say,” Joseph stated with all seriousness. “The town of Newkirk was built on tribal land. Your traditions, therefore, are subject to the tribal land laws. We have long recognized that the land is owned by the Creator alone 160 and that we are mere stewards of His land. As a steward, I must remind all of you that your land is subject to the will of the Creator, and that the Creator has decreed the new covenant.”
“If you do not agree with His new covenant,” Joseph continued, “you will lose your right to live on His land. Up to now He has indulged your failed attempts to live up to your agreement under the first covenant. If you insist upon remaining under that covenant, then the Creator will hold you accountable to the vow made under that first covenant, and only perfected ones may remain on this land. How many of you are without sin?”
No one raised their hands. The old man turned a bright shade of red. Not only was he embarrassed, but he was now furious.
“So here is the deal,” Joseph said. “The Creator has no intention of renewing the first covenant, for it is a proven failure. We are coming into a new time. The new covenant was already ratified long ago, and Newkirk was given a long time to ingrain its understanding into the hearts of the citizens. Unfortunately, the Town Council has failed to do this—if, indeed, its representative here speaks for the whole Council.”
As he said this, Joseph pointed to the old man in the audience, who, by this time, was clenching his teeth and shaking with anger.
“The chief of the tribe has entrusted me with the enforcement of the tribal land laws, which supersede the traditions of Newkirk. If you recall your history, this was done once before when this town was known as Kirk. The inhabitants of Kirk who refused the new covenant were cast out for rebelling against the Creator. Newkirk was founded on the new covenant, but the Town Council has treated the new covenant as if the first covenant had been renewed. This is unacceptable. So you must all choose who you will serve, the Creator or the Town Council. 161 A new age is upon us. The Creator has begun to reclaim His land and intends to populate it with those who believe His promise, those who will receive the seed of Elyon in their ear, and those who will drink from the water of life.”
With that, Joseph stepped down from the podium and walked quickly down the aisle toward the door. Joshua and I followed him closely. We had no more stepped out of the Town Hall when a great earthquake shook the place, throwing many people to the floor. I say many, because those who had received the seed in their ear remained unshaken, including the three of us who bore witness to the truth.
Frightened, the citizens ran from the Hall, and many of them fell to their knees before me, begging to receive a seed to be implanted in their ears. I took out my cup of seeds and threw many of them into the air. They found their place in willing ears and thereby begat more sons of the Creator.
“Look! The mountain!” someone shouted. We all looked at the mountain, which seemed to be engulfed in smoke and dust from the earthquake. A large crack had appeared in its side, and a glow emerged through the rising cloud. “Run! The volcano is erupting!” someone shouted.
“No, do not fear!” Joseph shouted. “This is that which was spoken by the prophets, saying, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven.’ 162 A great shaking has begun that will cast down all things that do not conform to the Kingdom of the Creator, in order that a new order of the ages may be established. Turn now to the new covenant and become citizens of the new Kingdom that has come, and you will not be shaken.”
With that, the dozen men who had asked for further explanations the previous day came forward, and one of them, a spokesman, said, “We will leave all to follow you. We have seen your star, 163 we have received your seed, and we will drink of your water.”
“Come, follow me,” Joseph said.