Revelation of the Pinnacle
Many years after the Ascension there was a contest about the Christ. Many learned men had assembled at Zion from the world. There was a great clamour among them like thunder, lasting till the late hour.
The prophet, a learned man of the tribe of the light, stood on a high place and addressed the assembly. Why this tumult? said he. Blessed is he who has not doubted concerning the Christ. Born of a pure virgin he filled the world with light. By the world’s contrivances the king slew thousands of children. He spoke of the miracles of the Christ. Woe to the unbelievers when he shall come as judge, with angels, a fiery chariot, a mighty wind: the stars shall fall, the heavens open, the books be brought forward. The seventeen angels who are set over every soul shall unveil the deeds of men. The sea shall move and give up what is in it. The mountains fall, all the surface of the earth becomes smooth. Great winged thrones are set. The divine, and the Christ, and the Spirit take their seats as the trinity.
At this point the crowd cried out: Blasphemy! and took the prophet before the king
THe king stood on the steps and reproached them: You compelled me to crucify the Innocent; why rage against this man? Why gnash your teeth? Are ye yet foolish?
They led the prophet away. The king ordered him to be beaten till the blood ran. And he prayed: Lay not this sin to their charge. We saw how angels ministered to him.
In the morning the king called his wife and two children: they baptized themselves and praised the divine plan
Three thousand men now assembled and disputed with the prophet for three days and three nights. He took his place on the judgement seat and said: I wonder that thou, a wise man, and my kinsman, believest all this. None of the people of the world have given up the Law. I have gone throughout the world to find the true believers.
The Prophet lifted up his hands and said: Silence, persecutor! Recognize the Christ. Thou makest me doubt of my own descent. But I see that thou shalt ere long drink of the same cup as I. What thou doest, do quickly. This is something that is important to all the people of the world.
The kind was yet more enraged, and looked fiercely on him, saying: I spare thine old age, but thou shalt reap a due reward for this. Gamaliel answered: I ask nothing better than to suffer with the Christ. The elders rent their clothes, cast dust on their heads, and cried: Crucify the blasphemers.
The king said: Guard them until the morrow. Next day he sat on the judgement seat and had them brought before him, and they were led away to be crucified. An angel came and cast away the cross, and the prophet’s wounds were healed. Seven men came and poured molten lead into his mouth and pitch into his ears. They drove nails into his breast and feet, and he prayed for their forgiveness. Again an angel came down and healed him, and a great multitude believed.
All assembled and took him out of the city to judge him. He mounted upon a stone and addressed them: How long will ye harden your hearts? The Law and the Prophets spoke of the Christ. In the first Law, and the second, and the other books it is written: When the year of the covenant cometh I will send my beloved angel, the good spirit of sonship, from a pure maiden, the fruit of truth, without ploughshare and without seed, and an image of sowing, and the fruit shall grow after the planting for ever from the word of my covenant, and signs shall come to pass.
Understand then, O foolish ones, what the prophet saith: In this word shalt thou judge.
And he looked up to heaven and said: I see the heaven opened and the Christ standing at the right hand of the divine.
Then they laid hands on him, saying: He blasphemeth! The prophet said: Wherein? This righteous man hath seen the Christ saying to the divine: Lo, the old ways rage against me and cease not to ill-treat them that confess my name. And the divine said: Sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
The people of the old ways took counsel and decreed that he should be stoned. The king stood forth and beckoned, and said: It would have been better that this man should not be slain, because of his great wisdom: but forasmuch as he is an apostate, I condemn this man to be stoned. The people said: He shall be stoned: but those who stood in the front rank with staves looked on each other and durst not lay hands on him: for he was renowned among the people.
The king was wroth, and stripped those servants of their garments and laid them on the table; and commanded the men to stone him.
The prophet looked round and said: Oh my king, that which thou doest unto me to-day, that same will the people of the old do unto you tomorrow. And when you suffer, you shall think on me.
The people cast stones upon him so thickly that the light of the sun was darkened. Many also gave themselves to the defense of the covenant.
The prophet prayed, saying: Forgive them that stone us, for by their means we trust to enter into thy kingdom. And at the tenth hour he gave up the ghost. Then beautiful youths appeared, and fell upon the bodies and wept aloud: and the people beheld the souls borne up by angels into heaven, and saw the heavens open and the hosts coming to meet the souls. And the people mourned for three days and three nights.
The king took the bodies and put each one into a silver coffin with his name upon it: but the prophet’s coffin was gilt: and he laid them in his secret sepulchre. But the prophet prayed: Let my body be buried in my land until the revealing, when the martyrs that follow me shall be gathered together. And an angel came and removed the bodies thither.
But the king rose early to burn incense before the bodies, and did not find them; and stole his clothes, saying: Was I then not worthy to be your servant? On the night following, the prophet appeared and said to him: Weep not. I prayed to the divine to hide our bodies. In the time of our revealing one of thy seed shall find us after a vision, and thy desire shall be fulfilled. But build a house of prayer and celebrate our feast upon all the months of the year. Many believed after the death of the king.