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The 12 Books of Abraham

    Chapter 11

    A Transformation

    The decision to be formally dedicated to Hanna was taken by Stan early in April after we were satisfied that she had made some real progress. Stan, Kasia, and I held a number of deliverance sessions with Hanna over the first three months of the year as we probed deeper into her psyche in order to uncover hideen sins that might have been the cause of the bisexuality she felt.

    There seemed to be no obvious cause for Hanna's bisexuality apart, perhaps, from the spiritual imbalances caused by the Armstrong cult, and we began to wonder if its cause was some inherited generational sin.

    Stan was of the belief that most sexual trouble is the result of some kind of idolatry, and that idolatry itself stems from what he called that "chief sin", pride. Pride, idolatry and sexual abberation were, he taught, all defilements of the soul and were a kind of unholy trinity.

    "Just like Joseph Smith of the Mormons, Mary Baker Eddy of the Christian Scientists, Ellen White of the Seventh-day Adventists, and any number of cultic leaders who held great power over their followers, Herbert W. Armstrong as the Pastor-General of the Worldwide Church of God, who wielded absolute authority, was the object of idolatrous adoration by his followers. He was the prophet and seer of the Church who had all the right answers, and such was the idolatry that when he made false prophecies they were simply glossed over by those caught up in the idolatry. Those not possessed of the idolatrous spirit rightly left his organisation.

    "I have seen this time and time again in the cults. When I was once talking to the Catholic Bishop of Białystok about all the monstrous abuses of the Catholic Church throughout history, instead of feeling deep remorse, he saw it as evidence that his Church was true because, he said, God was still able to use the Church in spite of these human failings!

    "There is, sadly, a similar cultic spirit of idolatry in much of the evangelical Church today. There are evangelists who get catapulted to great heights of power and popularity who are almost worshipped by their followers, and this turns their heads and leads the leaders themselves into great sin.

    "Idolatry is like a rod with two ends - idolatry always has two components: the one being idolised, and those idolising him. Both are responsibile to break that idolatry because if they don't, iniquity will be visited on both, especially if the one being idolised knows he is and does nothing about it, for he then becomes as much a part of the problem as the idolater. In my experience those who are idolised invariably fall into the sin of idolatry inasmuch as they start to fall in love with THEMSELVES.

    "Idolatry is giving the worship owned by Yahweh to a human being. One weakness of the genders is that women love to worship men, and men love to be worshipped. Women can get so fixated on men that they exclude the Lord altogether, and men can enjoy the attention and exaltation that female worship brings them that it can turn their heads and lead them to believe all sorts of fleshy nonsense about themselves. I can see that polygamy could create problems of this nature for men especially who must know how to receive love from several women without letting it turn his head and making him proud and boastful. A true polygamist man must cut off such idolatry in his own marriage. A sign of idolatry in his family is that worship of Yahweh starts falling off."

    Stan looked at Hanna intently. "When you first arrived here you possesed a lot of the idolatrous Armstrongite spirit. You were very defensive of WCG and of its late leader. When Armstrong died and was replaced by a man whom you considered a weakling and compromiser of your original faith, you - and probably tens of thousands like you - had no-one to idolise. You were looking for a substitute father-figure and when you discovered us you transferred all of that hero-worship on to me. Your lesbian tendencies caused you to find a female equivalent and you found that in Hélène, as you supposed. You became infatuated with both of us.

    "Idolatry has a strong sexual component. That short little ugly man called Adolf Hitler had a magnetic attraction for women who were sexually attracted to him. I remember watching a news reel from the German occupation of the Sudetenland in 1938. The women were looking up at their Führer with such adoration that they were crying, fainting and even going hysterical. He became a kind of carnal Messiah to them to whom they transferred their sexual energies. A lot of German women were arrested by the Gestapo after they sent sexually suggestive letters to their Führer.

    "Part of you looked upon me as a god and Hélène as a goddess. You saw in me the authority figure that you had missed in Armstrong and the female equivalent in Hélène whom you wrongly thought was my queen wife. When I resisted your idolatrous tendencies the demon that was manipulating you in this area provoked you to anger and to swearing. You went through large mood swings and treid to punish us for not giving you what you wanted by isolating yourself. You even once tried to provoke my jealosy by using poor Karl whom you knew was interested in you.

    "Evidence that your love of Hélène and I was of the flesh was the fact that you wished to demonstrate your love by giving your body to us sexually. Though a part of you was certainly always interested in, and believed, our teachings, the pride-idolatry-sexual side was in the dominance. If young Tytus hadn't come in the room when he did, you would have started making sexual advances on me, wouldn't you?"

    Hanna's cheeks flushed and she nodded ashamed.

    "The Mormon Joseph Smith polygamy arose out of that pride-idolatry-sexual triangle which is why I have always condemned it, and not because it was polygamy per se. And though many of his followers entered polygamy for more honourable reasons than their founder, its moving spirit was idolatry, because those early Mormons - as well as many contemporary fundamentalists - believed they could only become gods by entering the principle. The women, moreover, believed that they could not enter the highest Mormon celestial heaven without entering this principle. And finally, they believed that without their bogus priesthood, their polygamy would be utterly meaningless - a priesthood concept originated in the mind of Satan and used successfully, though in a different way, in the Papal system of the Catholic Church.

    "Christian polygamy saves no-one because salvation is through Yah'shua alone. A woman does not have to be married at all to be saved although it is true she will not obtain a fullness of joy as a single person. However, it may be that that blessing comes in the next life and not this one, so neither she nor a man should feel pressurised to get married for marriage's sake.

    "So you see, Hanna, you came to this family wanting mariage for all the wrong reasons. When I rejected you you were hurt and then got angry, which is always the response of Pride and Idolatry. Breaking that idolatry was therefore my prime objective. In a way, your bisexuality is a secondary issue. Though I still don't know the original cause of it, I do know that once you deal with the pride and idolatry issues that your same-sex attraction will slowly disappear as you find your full, spirit-centred sexual fuilfillment in your husband.

    "Because you can now see and understand more clearly the things I have just summarised, I am willing to enter into a Dedication with you in a week's time, but with the understanding that the fight goes on, because you are not entirely free from these problems yet."

    Hanna smiled happily: "Thank you for being so patient with me -- all three of you. I see now how Satan has had such a strong hold on me. I can see my idolatry and I'm very, very ashamed. But I can't help loving you so much - it's just so deep. I don't know how to stop it."

    "We don't want you to stop loving us, but we want you to love all the others as much as you love us, and then to love Yahweh even more," I said to her. "Finally, you have to transfer all your sexual attraction to Stan and off me."

    She was embarrassed by my last sentence.

    "It's got better," she said, "because I see now that I need the whole of my inner sexual life to be cleaned out. I'm struggling to let the spirit win over the flesh."

    We all knew what she meant.

    "Can you tell me what Paul means by crucifying the flesh?" Hanna continued. "Does that mean we have to kill off our sexuality or what?"

    "Paul, as you know, says there is a war between the spiritual and fleshy natures of man," continued Stan. "There are many, especially in Catholicism, who believe that he meant just what you have said. It's created all sorts of perversions and abnormalities in the Catholic Church. God declared the sexual relationship between man and woman to be good, healthy, and to the mutual building of their unity. Christ is not against sexual love. What He is against is when something good like a sexual relationship becomes idolatrous - when it becomes more important than our love for Him. That's why He said, illustrating the kind of depth of love we should have for Him, that our love for spouse, family and friend should seem like hate by comparison. He also said that if this becomes a problem, we should, if necessary, take drastic action to cut off the source of idolatry by if necessary entering heaven maimed rather than going to hell with a perfect body."

    "Does that mean that the Lord might want me to be celibate?" she asked with a look of horror on her face.

    Stan smiled. "If you can't quit the idolatry, quite likely, at least for a longer or shorter period of time. That's why I'm leaving this Dedication open-ended, without a date for Bethrothal. If I let you have your idolatrous wishes by admitting you to full marriage too soon, it will make it a hundred times harder to work through the problem, because once unredeemed sexual passion is aroused, it is a hard taskmaster, leading to an inordinate sexual appetite which will either burn you out if you try to fulfill it, or lead to frustration, bad temper, and apostacy if you don't get what you want. Since I have eight other wives who need me sexually, and since I do not possess the best health in the world, requiring a certain amount of self-control and sacrifice from everyone, I fear it would only lead you to frustration and possibly separation and divorce.

    "You would then probably try to find a man in a monogamous relationship who could fulfil your needs, though you'd probably destroy him spiritually unless he resisted you and that marriage broke up too. Or, if the worst came to the worst, you could live an immoral and self-destructive life leaping from one man's bed to another until you consumed yourself up in lust and started slipping down that slope which leads to eternal destruction. The trouble is, so long as you were possessed of that spirit of idolatry, you would forever be looking for the perfect man who does not exist, and would move from one marriage or relationship to another in your vain quest. What your soul most needs, and which you have not yet fully understood, is that the perfect relationship you seek can only be found in Yahweh. That vacuum in your soul can never be filled by a man but only by God."

    Stan had a way of portraying the gruesome effects of sin graphically and in a way that everyone could understand. And Hanna was left in no doubt what the options open to her were.

    "What do I do to overcome?" She saw the truth though perhaps did not understand what sort of a battle lay ahead of her.

    "A lot of time in prayer, Scripture Study, forgetting self, and serving the community here," said Stan unhesitatingly. "That means in effect that your desire for marriage and sex has to go to the very bottom of your list of priorities until the spirit has won ascendency in your life. When it is clear to me that the spirit is leading your flesh-nature, then the time for betrothal will have come, but not before. That doesn't mean you won't still be wrestling inside, for we all do that to different degrees and in different areas, but it does mean that the vicious cycle of habital sinning will have been broken. It means you will be able to look at Hélène without feeling sexually attracted to her, at me and knowing that you love the Lord far more than you do me, and at all my wives and loving them as much as you do Hélène. It means that you will find service a blessing and not a chore.

    "To help you in that path of discipleship you will enter a serious of progressive covenants with Christ and with the community which will be monitored by us. What this means in practice is that you will put on the clothes of righteousness, as Paul teaches, until these personality characteristics which are required of the Kingdom become natural to you. Sometimes you will fail the covenants in which case you'll retake them and keep trying. Some of these covenants may take several years to fulfill, others a matter of weeks. For example, if you lose your temper, you will be required to repent immediately to the person or persons concerned, and to make some sort of voluntary restitution. The fulfillment of some of these covenants will be required before I will betrothe you, and yet more before I will marry you completely. The remainder will be a part of your continuing discipleship in the Lord."

    "I don't know whether I'll manage," said Hanna looking dejected.

    "You won't," explained Kasia, "because in your own strength you will fail, just like the rest of us have from time to time. The only way to victory is in Yah'shua. If there is demonic pressure on you then we'll have regular deliverance sessions until you are free."

    "How long did it take you, Kasia?" asked Hanna, groping for some encouragement.

    "A long time," Kasia said soberly. "We all of us periodically go through some sort of deliverance ministry as we discover concealed sins. Generational sins are the hardest to uncover then we start interceeding for our relatives as well. As Paul said, life is a spiritual battle against invisible demonic principalities and powers, and it's getting harder as our world becomes more and more infested with devils because of the sinfulness of our modern generation."

    "Maria saw a vision some years ago of Raj." Stan remembered with interest one of the first visions his eldest daughter had had. "She saw Raj as an island in the sea and all around there was a ferocious war at sea and on land. But Raj was an island of tranquility and safety. It's a pretty good model of the world we live in and why communities like Kadesh-Naphtali are now so important.

    "A couple of Christian friends from Stockholm are moving to Leksand to get away from the oppressive spirit that is there and to be near us for followship," Stan reminded us. "The mother saw a vision of a huge swarm of locusts in the sky and when she opened the window of her flat for some air, thousands of them poured into the room. They were demons. Living in cities today is not at all unlike living in a fishbowl surrounded by swarms of evil powers so that you feel very cut off and vunerable from holiness. So she and her daughter are moving out here into the country."

    "Are they going to join us, do you think?" asked Hanna.

    "I don't know," replied Stan. "They're believers but from a different tradition. The Lord will take care of that matter. If He wants them to join us, I am sure they will. If not, we shall continue to befriend and minister to them as best we can anyway."

    The bell for dinner rang.

    "Well, Hanna, my dear, we must go and eat. I think I have laid the facts out before you as best I can for now. In a week's time we will be dedicated and you need to prepare for that. Above all, you must be completely clear in your own mind that you are willing to make the sacrifices required to be a part of this family and community. As part of that, you need also to consider baptism into the covenant because marriage in this family is inseparable from being a part of the theocratic Kingdom."

    We all stood up. Hanna wasn't sure what to do especially as she was under a covenant not to touch me.

    "I think we can all hug now, don't you?" beamed Stan, looking at me for confirmation. I nodded.

    Hanna went and embraced Kasia and I, and then Stan, gently putting her arms around his neck and resting her cheek on his. Stan motioned us with his two arms and we joined in the embrace as a foursome. For the first time I felt that Hanna was spiritually becoming a part of us for real. She had more of that "Królewiec spirit" and was slowly but surely fitting into our ways. We stood there for about thirty seconds, breathing deeply and contentedly. Then we all released one another. Hanna's eyes were moist.

    "I do love you all," she said, sniffing slightly. "I'm discovering a whole new world. Thank you for being so patient with me," and then gave Kasia and I a light kiss on the cheek.

    Because of training, Hanna very early on made use of herself as a kind of family doctor, and it was here that she felt herself to be the most useful. She attended us five new mothers diligently and helped Isabel convalesce by often looking after the babies for us. As the days wore by she became more and more absorbed in us and in a way that truly astonished me. Yah'shua said that the worst sinners often make the most diligent disciples and that was true of Hanna for sure. She somehow seemed so absorbed in all of us that I wondered if she forgot Stan altogether.

    One day, about a month after the dedication, we were sitting together in my room while I was feeding Tom, and I asked her how she and Stan were getting on.

    "I'm trying to keep away from him as much as possible," she said very gently, "because I want to serve you and not get completely absorbed in him."

    I was astonished and filled with admiration.

    "And how are you coping?" I asked, incredulous.

    "Oh, well, you know....." She looked up at me and had a look of happy resignation in her eyes. "I'm so in love with him that if I look at him too much by heart just wants to burst and I start crying like a lost child. I just can't control my feelings. I'm not angry any more because I've seen how that murders love, and I don't want to lose any of that love I feel for him ... ever. I've never met a man like him. He's unique."

    Tears began to well in my own eyes as I felt a sudden warm inrush of love filled my bosom. Hanna noticed immediately.

    "You love him as much as I do, don't you?" she asked tenderly and with a pinch of inquisitiveness.

    "Yes, I do," I admitted. I was now gushing with emotion myself. "I have never been so happy in my life. I've got everything I could possibly want. A deep relationship with God, opportunity to witness to and bless people in a meaningful way, a true and faithful husband, my own baby, and eight wonderful sister-wives who love me as much as I love them."

    I began to cry for joy and sniffed ungraciously into a kerchief. Hanna was crying too. When we saw each other we began to laugh at how silly we both looked.

    "Oh, I do so much want everything that you've got, Hélène," her voice full of intensity. "I now see that what the world offers is just cheap Christmas decorations and presents full of dirt. I wouldn't mind if I lived here forever and never saw the outside world again. I hated commuting to Borlänge and leaving Kadesh-Naphtali on Sunday evenings. It was like my heart was torn out. I'm glad I've moved to Mora but I still hate going to work there - I want to be here every day, all day, like the rest of you..."

    "You have a ministry in Mora too, Hanna," I reminded her. "And we still have responsibilities to those who aren't here with us, like parents, relatives and friends who don't know the Gospel. Stan said we should never seal ourselves off here hermetically. This isn't one of the final twelve end-time colonies..."

    Hanna sniffed a little, blew her nose, and started laughing again.

    "Yes, I know you're right, and I know you know I know why I must. But how do you develop patience, Hélène? Didn't you go crazy waiting for your marriage to Stan?"

    I remembered back, of the stupid mistakes I'd made, and how, after seeing the light, I was so eager to move to Raj.

    "Yes, Hanna, I did go crazy - a little bit, anyways. When you see something you really want badly, you can't think of anything else..."

    Hanna was staring pensively out of my window and out into the courtyard. She could easily drift away for a minute or two and then click back in where we had been before. I wondered how she was progressing with her bisexuality but daren't ask. She never brought it up when we were alone and I know she was struggling to work it out. But she seemed to sense where my thoughts were.

    "Stan made me covenant to say what I meant and not to play cat-and-mouse but I don't want to hurt you, Hélène.... Maybe I should just leave you now."

    She paused, not wanting to go, and I felt a responsibility to help her the best way I could.

    "It's OK. I do want to try and understand," I said apologetically. "Don't feel you have to go. We have to all help one another out as best we can."

    Hanna gave me a weak smile in appreciation for my forthrightness and consideration.

    "I don't suppose you can understand how I feel, really," she said softly, looking down onto the carpet. "Most of the time I see you as a dear and precious sister, and a lot more in the last three months. I don't always know where the feelings are coming from - sometimes I think it's carnal, sometimes I think it's spiritual. It's so hard to tell. When I'm not sure, I just try to push them aside and I pray: 'Lord, you know where these feelings are coming from. If they're not right, please either crucify them on your cross or transform them into something beautiful.'"

    "What happens when you pray that?" I asked.

    "It's funny - sometimes the feelings just evapourate, sometimes they linger a while, and sometimes they stay permanently. If they stay and they're obviously not carnal, I just accept them." Hanna paused. "Sometimes I just say to the Lord: 'Everything that is mine is Yours. Please take these feelings and just do what You want with them.' I'm learning to relax with myself, you see, Hélène. Stan said I just had to accept myself as I am and put everything at the feet of Yah'shua, and let Him sort them out. It's so much easier doing it that way."

    "What if you get sexual thoughts?" I asked, concerned.

    "I do the same," she said looking intently at me. "Just the same. I say: 'Lord, you made me with sexual feelings, so I give them back to you to kill or or clean out. Sometimes I see Stan in my mind's eye I wonder if I'm being chaste like I'm supposed to. Did you ever have sexual feelings before you got married?"

    Hanna was obviously not playing games anymore and was earnest. I was slightly embarassed still but knew she was doing her best to be Christ-centred.

    "Sometimes," I answered peevishly.

    "What did you do?" asked Hanna, intent on learning from me, but I'm not so sure I was such a good tutor in these things because I knew I had been less than perfect.

    "Well, not always what I should have done," I admitted, "and always too late." I blushed again. "I used to fantasise about him and then regret it later, and also not regret it."

    Hanna looked puzzled.

    "Mostly it was just in my thoughts. Now and then I had erotic feelings and had to keep them at bay."

    "How did you do that?" she asked insistently, as though she was looking for the missing piece in an important puzzle.

    "Oh, that's easy," answered, "I just imagined Stan was a little boy, then the desire disappeared as quickly as it had come. I always tried to think of something innocent. Stan says we should remember that our inner spirit looks very different from our outer physical body, that when it's in Christ, it looks pure and lovely. And when you see it, you don't usually think about sex at all. He says that when you're tempetd to sin in something you should substitute it for a person for whom having sex with would revolt you, like your brother, sister, or parent."

    "I guess the kind of feelings those of us with lesbian tendencies must revolt heterosexuals," said Hanna looking sad.

    "Yes, I'm afraid so," I said, "it makes me go cold inside."

    I saw fear in Hanna's face for a second, followed by deep shame.

    "I'm sorry I have made you feel that way. I truly never wanted to upset you..."

    "I know," I replied, "and I appreciate your love."

    Hanna beamed again. "So you don't mind me loving you, then?"

    I laughed. "Of course not! I treasure it!"

    Hanna went serious again. "I'm a bit afraid how I will feel when I lose all my lesbian tendencies -- I really believe I shall." She frowned. "You see, as a bisexual the thought of you or the others having sex with Stan doesn't bother me for some reason. In some ways it's almost as though being a bisexual makes polygamy easier. But when I lose that tendency, won't I start feeling deep jealosy? And how will I cope with it? How do you cope with it??"

    It was an interesting thought which had never occurred to me before. All women entering polygamy have to deal with jealosy at some time, some more than others, to be sure, but the idea of never being bothered by it seemed strange to me.

    "All I know, Hanna, is this - and it's the same experience that all of the others have had: that the closer you get to Christ, the more jealosy diminishes. But to get close to Christ you have to put your pride to death. It means you have to stop thinking like the world does which always wants to 'get', and to start thinking about how to 'give'. You have to do what Yah'shua said: you've got to lose your life in order to find it. Jealosy comes from the self and its desire to conquer - it comes from fear of losing. It comes from comparing yourself with others and worrying if someone is better than you are."

    Hanna thought for a while. "Do you think Stan loves me?"

    "Hasn't he told you?" I asked surprised.

    "Well, yes, he's told me he loves me like a sister but never anything more," she answered. "But I need to know if he loves me in the same way that I love him."

    "Stan is not like worldly men, Hanna, because he's attracted to single women in proportion to their dedication to the Lord. The closer you are to the Lord, the more deeply he feels love for a wife."

    Hanna looked dazed. "You mean, when you're spiritual, he gets turned on??"

    I had to admit it sounded funny the way she put it. "I guess so ... yes, that's true, although it sounds funny when you put it that way. What I should say it that he gets turned off if we get worldly. It's not our spirituality that 'turns him on', of course, because that sort of thing isn't sexual - he reacts to good looks and the way you present yourself like the next man. But if you were the most beautiful - and by worldly standards, sexy - woman in the world, and you were worldly, it would make him feel ill if you made a sexual advance to him."

    "Really??" exclaimed Hanna in half disbelief. "Is that possible?"

    "Oh yes, absolutely," I insisted. "I remember when I was with him in Lublin once and this real beauty started flirting with him in a local government office. She literally reeked of carnality and worldliness. Stan literally felt like puking - he told me afterwards how revolted he had been and just wanted to get out - that he felt her fantasising about him and felt defiled. That's the word he used - DEFILED.

    "When you get close to the Ruach haQodesh, you feel these things intensely. We were sitting in the University Park in Lublin one day and two homosexuals were kissing. Stan's face literally went red with rage and I really thought he was going to explode. His moral sensibilities are easily offended. Sometimes he goes too far and starts dropping caustic remarks when he sees such things. I think homosexuality is one of the things which that angers him the most."

    I paused.

    "No, wait, I stand corrected. Once he was reading an article about paedophiles in a magazine my parents had mailed me and he exploded, ripping the page out, and started walking round the room like a time-bomb ready to explode. I hate to think what he'd do to these people if he ever had the legal power of life and death over them. He's told us that if he becomes a judge in the millennial theocracy that he would unhesitatingly summarily execute any proven paedophile. Now Stan's a very gentle and mild man, and there isn't much that get's him going, but the abuse of children is one of them. He feels the same about rape too."

    "Wow," said Hanna, her mouth wide open.

    "Have you ever heard about the time when he chased a man away with a sword?" I asked.

    "No, I haven't. Please tell!" Hanna's eyes were wide open with excitement.

    "It happened back at Raj. A man wandered onto our property hawking something or other. Krzytina open the door while Stan looked through the living room window. The salesman started making sexual approaches to Kryztina and started touching her in an indecent way - he gripped her arm and might have done anything. Stan saw what was going on and in a flash grabbed a 16th century sword from the library, came charging out of the house wielding it high in the air and yelling at the top of his voice like a madman, 'YOU ARE A DEAD MAN, YOU FILTHY ADULTERER!' He chased him clean out of Raj and down the road for about 50 yards, threatening to slit his throat. Kryztina said she's never seen a more frightened man in her life, as though he had seen the devil himself. Stan is the sweetest, gentlest of men, but there are some things which make his blood boil over."

    Hanna was rolling in stitches on her chair. She tried to say something but just couldn't get the words out at first.

    "I can just see him waving that sword about," she spluttered, and went into another long session of uncontrollable laughter.

    "Murderers, adulterers, and paedophiles might just as well be vipers," I added, "as far as Stan is concerned. And he hates snakes too. I've seen him decapitate vipers in our garden in Poland. He shows them no mercy at all. You wouldn't think so looking at him, but he's a man of deep passion."

    "Is he a good lover?" asked Hanna, realy inquisitive by now.

    "You'll not find anyone here complaining," I answered, feeling it inappropriate to say any more. "If God calls you into a marriage it's because it's right and you don't need to know anything else. And what's right will give you all that you need." And with that Hanna ended the topic of conversation.

    Yet I had once asked the same question myself, once I had plucked up the courage to do so because it is not untypical for a women to feel she is tresspassing on sacred ground when asking another sister-wife about such intimate things. It is astonishing, though, how we create taboos about all sorts of different things, and oddly more about physical things than spiritual. For instance, how much should someone not married to a man know about his deepest spiritual thoughts? Where is the dividing line betwen what is private and personal and that which can be made public?

    I discovered that everyone had their own personal views on this subject, from Isabel who was the most closed about private matters to Sarah-Jane who was the most open. The possibility of treading on each other's toes was therefore great in this respect and we had to work hard trying to remember where individual sister-wives drew the lines. Though Stan wanted a consensus which we could all live by in order to make life simpler and less stressing, he never really got it.

    We had similar problems in knowing how much of what the Lord revealed to us privately should be shared with others. The Scriptures speak of Yahweh's mysteries being sealed until special times when they can be revealed. I've heard that those with the prophetic gift have big dilemmas in this regard and particularly in regard to visions and revelations one isn't sure about. As far as the latter are concerned, Stan said that keeping quiet was by far the safest thing to do, especially if it concerns the person you want to share it with.

    "Everything is so complicated," Maria had once moaned to me. "Why can't it all be simpler?" Coming from a teenager I could well understand her frustration. But life isn't simple. It is full of dilemmas, or unresolved and even unresolvable problems. It's like looking at all the tiny, intricate wheels and springs of an old-fashioned mechanical watch laid out on a table and wondering how on earth they're all put together. Only the watchmakers know, just as only a few spiritually well-trained, hard-working and disciplined servants of Yahweh seem to know the answers to some of life's harder questions.

    The older Stan got the more he used to say "I don't know" to all the questions hungry young souls like myself and Hanna had.

    "Much of what we think we know turns out to be raw faith," he had once observed, "making the word 'know' one of the most abused words in the English language. We live by faith far more than we care to admit. Believing that our faith is knowledge gives us a sense of inner security even though in reality it isn't there. You are forced to either retreat into illusion or to throw yourself into the arms of the Almighty because the soul has to have security to thrive. I sometimes wonder whether our vows and covenants are no more than souped up good intentions riding on the crest of an emotional wave.

    "When the emotions subside, then the good intentions start crumbling too. That's why we have to build upon the Holy Spirit and not upon feelings. Feelings are unstable and unreliable, which is why modern marriages are so rocky - they are built, for the most part, on passionate emotions which seem like a towering wall of stability but which soon crash like a collapsing wave on the beach to entirely disappear in the sand.

    "And yet trying to define the Spirit is about as difficult as holding on to a slippery feeling. The Spirit is either there or it isn't. Worse, from the point-of-view of the carnal man, most of the time you're not even aware of it. You'll find most Christians who speak of 'feeling' the Spirit are, in reality, just reacting to human feelings. They reduce the third member of the Godhead to a human level and then confuse fleshy emotions with the Ruach haQodesh's presence.

    "All I am sure of is that the Spirit and human feelings are two entirely separate entities, and whilst the Spirit certainly works on our feelings, it isn't those feelings themselves. Certain feelings may be evidence of the Spirit's presence, like peace, compassion, loving-kindness, mercy, and so on. Arrogance and cockiness aren't. So when people confidently assert that they have the Spirit and go around with their noses in the air I am pretty sure they haven't. When you possess the Spirit in any real depth you usually have a pretty humble opinion of yourself because the effect of having the Spirit rest upon you, or dwell in you, is to make you aware of just how little you are in comparsion to Deity whilst at the same time giving you a deep sense of being loved and cared for."

    These thoughts of Stan always helped me to get a proper perspective of things, especially in the marriage relationship which is so much full of strong feelings, especially amogst the wives. I shared these things with Hanna who listened with great intensity.

    Yah'shua said: "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Mt.18:3). I told Hanna that just as we do not receive salvation by bargaining or arguing, we cannot get into the true Spirit of marriage, with Christ as its Lord, unless we enter it in the same way.

    "Of course, we have to remove obstacles that lie in the way, just as you are trying to do right now," I told her. "Christian marriage, if it is to be under God's control, and if we are to be led into it by Yahweh's providence, has to be approached like a little child who desires something precious and needful. Marriage, like salvation, is a matter of faith - not about discovering every little detail about a person's personality or sexuality in order to be satisfied that the person is for us and that the marriage will work. Isaac and Rebekah are a perfect example of how Yahweh wants our marriages to be initiated, the couple knowing absolutely nothing about each other except that it was in Yahweh's will. You have to be as sure as you can be that Yahweh wants you married to Stan, and vice versa, by seeking His face in prayer. Once you have that assurance, God will sort all the details out and solve issues of mental, emotional and sexual compatibility. Only Yahweh can see into the future. The trouble with marriages initiated by human passion is that the couple only see each other as they are then and have no idea how they will be later on. Most marriages are founded on the passion of the moment and fail. That's what I believe, anyway, though I didn't always think this way."

    "And I guess that to be the greatest sister-wive in a plural marriage you have to become as humble as a small child, eh?" said Hanna winking, continuing the quotation I has started with from Matthew. I laughed.

    "And," I added, "if we want Stan to receive us, we have to be humble like that little child, since that is the virte he most looks for," remembering verse 5 of the citation.

    "That's pretty serious, then," said Hanna, "because Yah'shua goes on to say that 'anyone who offends one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sa' (v.6)."

    I gulped - Hanna had given me a new insight. Those wives who come into a polygamous marriage, where Christ is Lord, with a domineering and controlling spirit, offend those wives who are humble and like little children in terms of humility and love, and merit being thrown out of the marriage! Those who come in with a feministic Jezebel spirit are, in a way, chalking up a terrible condemnation for themselves. A marriage is a microcosm of the Kingdom of Heaven - of course - now I could see it! And a woman who brings in a destructive spirit is worthy only of death ... of being thrown out, because in reality she can't stay there.

    Yah'shua said: "Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" (v.7). My mind began to race as I saw the parallels with our marriage. The Lord then went on to teach how one should deal with these offences in draconian terms - of cutting of hands and pulling out eyes. The marriage is a miniature Body of Christ, and if one part of it is corrupting the whole, then the corrupting influence has to be brutally removed: "It is better to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire" (v.9).

    Hanna and I were stunned as the new realisation of the holiness of marriage dawned on us. We shared it with the others during supper time and they were as fascinated as we had been. There seemed to be a never-ceasing flow of new insights, and the more abundantly as more wives joined the family.

    "When you are in truth, that truth makes you free," Stan said. "And so long as you remain in it, Yahweh will continue revealing Himself through that truth, for He is the Truth. Polygamy is an integral part of the truth and once you're in it you will see more and more light. It is entirely inevitable. It is probably the last major Christian doctrine to be restored in the time immediately before the Saviour's return, and because of its return, the Body of Christ is going to be illuminated like no other time before. The attacks of the monogamy-only camp will get more and more feeble as time passes by and those who truly love the Word will see just how unconvicning their arguments are. The Body of Christ is undergoing a great winnowing and polygamy is going to be one of the end-time pitch forks that throws the unholy mix of truth and error into the air. But you just wait and see that holy, pure and power-filled Body that remains once the tares have been separated out!"

    Andreea's face was aglow with happiness, her bosom heaving with joy. "Oh, I see, I see!" she almost cried out. "The sifting of the wheat and the tares takes place in the air - in the realm of thoughts! "

    Everybody turned to face her. The atmosphere was excited as we all sensed a word of truth coming through her.

    "Don't you see? The battle to uncover the truth of polygamy is founded in the Word of God, in pure Word, in the thoughts of Yahweh. Yes, there are lots of emotions involved, but these are important only on a secondary level, just as Stan has always taught us. The winnowing fork is a long, sharp thing, and quite a good weapon too. That's the Holy Spirit throwing the unholy mess of confused doctrine of marriage into the air. The principle of separation is true on every level, whether it is the separation of true from false Christians before Christ returns, or the separation of true from false teachings, such as polygamy from monogamy-only. The monogogamy-only doctrines is a tare fit only for burning because it condemns so many women to hell - women who might have married godly men but who have been forced to marry unbelievers because there weren't enough godly men to go around. The monogamy-only doctrine consigns six-sevenths of all women to hell!!"

    We were speechless.

    "And that means that the monogamy-only teaching is a doctrine right out of hell ... literally!"

    A hush descended over us all as the battle for Christian polygamy suddenly assumed a new and horrible dimension. For we realised at that moment that in an indirect way polygamy was in fact a doctrine of salvation. I looked at Stan who was as stunned as the rest of us. His head suddenly bowed as though weighed down by guilt. It was then I understood what he was thinking, and fear began to grip me: we would have to go public.

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