- the same Mount Zion where seven women will take hold of one man and ask to have their shame removed by being accepted as plural wives.
"You married women are richly blessed of the Lord - you have husbands. But what of women like myself who have been waiting for over ten years? Are you saying that we are less deserving than you? Are you perhaps more righteous than us?"
Again, nobody dared to answer.
"Are you telling us, Sister Elisa, that you would be willing to share a man with another woman?" asked Karl's wife.
"Yes, I would," Elisa replied affirmatively. "And gladly - if the Lord gave me an unmistakable witness that that was what I should do."
"And what if the the married woman didn't want to share her husband with you?" she asked again.
"Then I would conclude that either that was not the family I was supposed to be a part of or that she was very selfish and wanted to keep her husband all to herself against God's will," answered Elisa, hesitating slightly, as she had never before entered such a charged discussion.
"And how would that wife know whether it was, or wasn't, God's will?" asked Karl's wife, by now anxious of the conclusion of Elisa's line of argument.
The congregation was now getting very excited but it was at least calm, enabling the Spirit of God to work.
"In the same way that Abraham knew it was God's will that he offer his son Isaac up - by being willing to do it and waiting to see what the Lord answered."
Elisa was surprised by her own answers as she was led by the Spirit.
Karl's wife was momentarily taken aback. "But Yahweh refused the offer, didn't he?"
"He refused the human sacrifice, yes, but not the spirit of sacrifice. Though Isaac was not killed, he might just as well have been in the spirit because Abraham was willing to go through with it. Instead, Yahweh provided a substitute.
"It's the same for those entering polygamy. Because marriage is both a spiritual and a fleshy thing, sacrificing the fleshy part is really hard. But we have to die to the flesh, as Paul said. "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires". You can't actually be owned by your husband until you are willing to give him up to God in sacrifice. It's very painful. But once you've made the sacrifice in God's will, He returns your husband to you, and you appreciate and love him even more. Just as Yahweh provided an animal sacrifice, so God has offered up His Son, Yah'shua - Jesus - to take away the pain of sacrifing monogamy for something much better - better because it involves the kind of Abrahamic sacrifice I have just described. Abraham's relationship with God changed from that day on - it became infinitely deeper."
Elisa, along with Pastor Kuusberg and the rest of the congregation, became more and more amazed as she spoke under the anointing of the Spirit.
"Are you saying that my relationship to my husband would be better if I entered polygamy?" asked Karl's wife incredulously.
"Of course, so long as you truly were willing to do the Lord's will and sacrifice him, not making a pretense of it. Your carnal possessiveness would be burned out of you and your marriage would become purely spiritual," said Elisa, fascinated by what she was being taught by the Lord.
"Then your marriage would truly belong to the Lord and not to you, as you supposed. Then your marriage really would become eternal, because it would be in Christ. Right now you are trying to co-own your husband with the Lord. And that's impossible. He can't have two masters, as you know."
"But what if, after giving up my husband, God didn't want Karl to have another wife?" she asked.
"That's possible, of course, but you'd never know until you made the sacrifice, and you'd be tortured for the rest of your life not knowing one way or the other. In that respect polygamy - whether you practice it or not - is one of the best catalysts for sanctification in Christ that there is!" said Elisa
"And what if the Lord tells Karl to take another wife?"
"Then you will be blessed with a sister-wife to love and be loved by, and by a husband whose own love will grow and expand, and who will love you more in turn, and you will be doubly blessed."
Karl's wife seemed stunned and didn't know what more to ask.
"You can never know how strong your faith is until you have made an ultimate sacrifice - a sacrifice which seems terrible to the flesh but which is liberating to the spirit. Abraham didn't have to kill Isaac, but if he had, God would have brought him back to life again. The difference in the polygamous marriage situation is that what you're asked to sacrifice is actually no good at all - your carnal nature - it's not something the Lord will give back to you once you have crucified it in Christ. The real blessing of polygamy for the woman is that it is one of the best catapaults into the spiritual life for those who are seriously interested in following Christ."
"For the man, surrendering his money to the apostles, which he has laboured and sweated hard to earn, is an equivalent sacrifice. For most men it is a matter of pride and the source of their authority, although communism and feminism has taken a lot of that away from him by putting women into the job pool. But he too must make sacrifices in polygamy - he cannot be partial else his marriage will fall apart."
"How come you know so much about this, Elisa?" another woman asked.
"Because I've been studying it for the last two years and have been reading about the lives of Christian polygamists who have a lot of experience in it. It's because of the way they have come closer to Christ that had convinced me more than anything else that it's a godly principle. But it's true that it doesn't work unless you're willing to surrender everything to Christ. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is not a committed believer who wants to follow Christ all the way."
"And how can you know that?" piped in Karl's wife again.
"I believe - and I can only give my opinion since I'm not a polygamist myself at the moment - that the only way to know if you're ready for polygamy and able to live it joyfully is if you are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, namely, to die for your Lord if you are called to. Yah'shua said:
"The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life"10.
"I believe we must be absolutely sure in our own hearts that we are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice before contemplating polygamy, and I believe that is especially true of the husbands, since they are the leaders."
"So you wouldn't recommend polygamy to anyone not 100% committed?" asked one of the men.
"No, I wouldn't. And I know Stan would agree with me on that one. And that's why only a few are actually allowed to live it in the New Covenant right now."
"So this isn't something we should all start thinking about doing right now?" asked a worried Andrus Kuusberg.
"No, not at all," answered Elisa. "Only those willing to live the United Order of All Things in Common, amongst other things, are permitted in our Church to live this way. Those who are called into it will know. And the apostles will know if they are called by, amongst other things, observing how they live."
A great calm fell over the congregation.
Pastor Kuusberg stood up and thanked Elisa.
"I think I now understand why Satan was let loose amongst us for a while," said Andrus, "because he didn't want anyone to make such sacrifices. Because once we have made such a sacrifice, and Christ has taken control over us completely, then he will have no more power over us!"
The members began to nod in agreement. Even Karl's wife was pacified, much to his great relief.
"One thing is clear," said Andrus, "is that we have a lot more to learn. Thank you, Sister Elisa, for letting the Spirit use you to speak. We have all learned much today and can relax more in the Lord and let Him do His own work in His own way."
Karl's wife stood up, head bowed. "I want to publically apologise to my husband and to everyone here for my unchristian behaviour," she said remoursefully. "It was unforgivable. Satan seized control of my heart and I lost everything I had won in Christ for a moment. I'm truly sorry."
A wave of repentance swept over the congregation and Elise's heart was filled with joy. Was it possible that the Lord could work in such a quick way to soften people's hearts so? Stan had told her of congregations being torn apart by the polygamy issue with permanent acrimony between the two camps, with the pro-polygamists being excommunicated by the monogamy-only people, or of churches splitting clean in two.
Similar, though not so acrimonious, scenes had taken place in the early days of the New Covenant Church, but only because Stan had compromised with the "anti" camp to some degree, something he later regretted. He had said that polygamy was something that would characterise the Millennium but would play a negligent rôle in the days before it. But the moment he started practicing it, a faction arose within his own Church opposing it, and accusing him of being an adulterer. The result was that a good number of members were lost. Since that time Stan had made it a policy to call a spade a spade, and let the battle be fought and won sooner rather than later.
The miracle of the Tartu experience was that no-one left. Some continued to have doubts but they were honest enough to acknowledge that the problem was with themselves and not with the Scriptures. When Stan heard what had happened in Tartu he was amazed.
"I was sure that we would lose a minimum of 10% of the congregation," he had said, "if not a full third!"
But he had not taken into account the power of the Spirit that had been released in Tartu as a result of the awakening that had taken place there. The people had already seen too much. And even though Satan had momentarily taken a feverish grip on them, he had been defeated by the Spirit-filled preaching of Elisa who in that moment not only convinced the people that God was with her but that she was indeed called to be an Eldress and their Pastress.
Because the subject of polygamy was so new and "hot" Elisa and Andrus agreed that it was important to thoroughly talk it out so that the people would have a very clear picture of just what the Lord expected and what they should now do.
"I want you all to realise that polygamy is essentially a calling of certain members of the leadership," Elisa said in the Bible meeting they had the following Wednesday, and explained some of the teachings of Stan to them using the New Testament experience. "Polygamy is a model of the relationship between Christ and the Body, His allegorical bride consisting of believers. In our own fellowship, Pastor Kuusberg is the allegorical Bridegroom and we, the rest of the members, are the polygamous Bride, because we are all in spiritual subjection to his authority as leader. In the same way, Pastor Kuusberg and all the other Pastors in the New Covenant are an allegorical polygamous bride to the Apostolate, who are themselves a bride to Christ Himself. Polygamy is a divine principle, reflected on every level of creation. Similarly, the children of a family are an allegorical bride to their parents, who are a kind of bridegroom, and so on."
The members were fascinated by Elisa's depth of knowledge, Two years of study of Stan's webpage11 had paid its dividends, and she was now flowering in her ministry. After Stan himself in the Królewiec family, she would become the foremost authority in the subject, and in later years accompanied him on tours giving lectures, and even went off and gave lectures on her own. Stan called her his "female apostle on polygamy", a name she subsequently lived up to completely.
"Many of you thought that when Stan preached polygamy to you on his last day that you were all expected to suddenly become polygamous," she said.
Lots of heads nodded in the room and there were not a few wry smiles.
"But the fact of the matter is that no-one is actually called into polygamy. We are called to be married, and nothing more. The important thing is teaching a correct doctrine of marriage, namely, that marriage consists of one man married to one or more women. What this means is that everyone who gets married in this apostolic covenant is accepting in principle that they might be called by God to marry polygamously, or they might not. The important thing is accepting that fact and getting into the right mindframe. This means that we must teach our children these things, even if none of the members of this Fellowship actually live this principle. What we mustn't do is make this a controversial issue amongst us. We have to train our minds and hearts to think the biblical way and then let the Lord do the rest. Because closely connected to the New Covenant concept of marriage is that of divine providence."
"Excuse me, Sister Reifman," asked Karl's wife, "but does this mean we must allow God to choose our partners for us? And if so, how are we to know His will?"
"Thank you for that question, sister, for that was one of the most important ones we have had here this evening. Because in the same way that the married women are not to go around living in fear of new women coming into their families, so the men must not go chasing after women as though it was a cattle market."
There was chuckling in the room.
"The Christian Patriarch is not to be a woman-chaser like your carnal man in the world. In the monogamy-only Christian world, once a man had found his life partner, he was expected to cut off his ardour for more women and settle down with his one-and-only. In a way, monogamy made this both easier and more difficult for him. It was easier because it now meant that he could discipline himself to think 'monogamy-only' and to shut out attraction to other women. But it was more difficult because the monogamy-only mindframe did not solve what is an essentially spiritual problem - the problem of carnal lust.
"The true polygamist man does not have a radar on his head scanning every single woman he meets as a potential wife. Rather, he is living in the Spirit of Yahweh, subject to His will, living with his mind focussed on one purpose only: to love the Lord with all his soul, and to love his neighbour as himself. That is how Christ summarised the Ten Commandments which included marriage - and marriage did not appear in the summary as a primary, moving principle."
"So really, the men should just forget about another wife and just let the Lord sort things out?" asked one of the brethren.
"Yes," replied Elisa.
"And how does He do that in practice? Can you give us some examples?" he asked further.
Elisa paused, wondering how best to deal with this question. Should she reveal that she was about to be polygamously married? Nobody had asked whether Stan was a polygamist though she was sure some had cottoned on to the idea already. She prayed silently and quickly.
"Well, brother, I can only give you my experience in this, if that will help."
All eyes were upon her but no-one dared to ask her directly what she meant, but the look on their faces indicated that they were dead keen to hear. She took the cue.
"I'm quite new to your fellowship, as you all know, and was sort of 'thrown in' by the events of the revival when Stan visited with his wife Hanna. To be truthful, I probably wouldn't have joined the fellowship if I had met it before Stan had come because I wasn't completely sure what it was I was looking for until I was baptised in the Spirit. And I think something similar happens when it comes to God leading a person into polygamy. I also believe that it is wrong - a sin - to try and force something which may be right but at the wrong time. It would have been completely wrong for me to have joined you two months ago, and yet it is now completely right for me to be a part of you. The issue was therefore two-fold: first, it was one of preparedness. I wasn't prepared for you, and you weren't prepared for me; and second, it was one of timing - if I had said what I am saying now two months ago you would have thrown me out on the street!"
Everyone started laughing.
"It may be that some of you are called into polygamy, but it may also be that some of the same persons are not called into it now. It would be just as wrong for someone called to practice polygamy in five years' time to practice it now as it would be for someone called not to practice it to do so now or in the future. What would you have said if I had come to you two months ago and said that God has called me to be your Pastress? You would have quite rightly rejected my claim. The fact is that I had no idea that I was called to be a Pastress until a fortnight12 ago. And yet that was always, apparently, my calling. There was always that possibility, wasn't there? Indeed, any of you sisters might have been called to be the Pastress - it was always a possibility - but did you sit around brooding about it? No. Did you worry about it? Probably not.
"Our approach to polygamy must be exactly the same. It's something we shouldn't fret about but simply put into God's hands to take care of. He knows what is right and when it's right. We don't. And most often when we try to do things in our own power and will, we do them completely wrong, don't we?"
The message was beginning to sink in.
"And yet, it is true, polygamy is something new to us - it came as a big shock for most of you because you had been falsely taught that it was a sin and - even more of a problem - you had been brainwashed by communist propaganda to think as feminists. However, hasn't the Gospel required us to completely retrain our thinking processes?
"I came across polygamy completely by accident about two years ago when I was surfing on the internet. It was one of Stanislaw Królewiec's homepages. Like most people, I was initially outraged, but the more I read of Stan's writings, the less I could fault it. And what particularly attracted me to Stan's approach was the way he didn't try to apologise for polygamy as though he was some naughty school boy secretly doing something that was forbidden but bluntly said that polygamy was God's way for leaders, men and women alike.
"Stan originally came to Tartu to meet me and four other sisters who were interested in living this way. He had no idea there would be a revival here at all, yet Yahweh had other plans," she said, looking as Pastor Kuusberg who smiled and nodded.
"Though we did talk a lot about polygamy, he was mostly occupied with the revival, as you all know. So though he primarily came to talk about polygamy, it soon became a secondary issue when the Spirit told him to move in the missionary field. During the last ten days or so of his stay we hardly had time to talk about the subject. In the end, not only did I find a husband but I found a fellowship, and in that respect I have been doubly blessed."
The congregation "cooed" as they realised that Elisa would be a plural wife to Stan.
"Stan never made any advances on me - ever - and left all the initiative up to me. He came to Estonia with the full blessing of his other nine wives, of whom Hanna was the youngest ..."
There were gasps in the room as some repeated the word "Nine!" in hushed though emphatic whispers.
"I simply 'knew' that he was the man that Yahweh had called me to marry, and that realisation grew on me with each passing day, until there wasn't the slightest doubt. And both Stan and Hanna came to the same conclusion."
"What of the other three of you who were hosting Stan?" asked Karl's wife, deeply curious.
Elisa looked at Salme who nodded her approval.
"Both Sister Salme and I received the call. The other two did not though they both feel called into plural marriage."
"What did Hanna feel about the realisation that you and Salme would join his family?" asked another woman.
"She was overjoyed!" replied Elisa.
There was a brief moment of excited chatter between the members.
"Salme and I are planning to move to Sweden in December so I'm afraid our stay with you will be short, but I am sure I'll be back. I think you all know what Stan feels about you and Tartu. He loves you all very much and thinks of you as highly favoured of the Lord."
Andrus Kuusberg stood up. "I will say 'Amen!' to that, sister!" and thanked her for her testimony.
And so it was that the Tartu Fellowship grew daily stronger in the Lord as they were taught and put into practice the apostolic doctrines Stan had brought them.
Revelation 14:4; 5:9
John 12:25; see also Luke 9:24; 17:33; Mark 8:35; Matthew 6:25; 10:39
This page was first created in 2002
Last updated on 5 March 2009
No part of this work may be reproduced or stored on any
medium without the express permission of the publisher.
Violators of this copyright will be prosecuted
Copyright © 1987-2009 Chavurat Bekorot
All Rights Reserved | Alle Recht vorbehalten