The belief or non-belief in the Atonement of Christ as well as the scriptures in general has created a great chasm between those of New Age leanings and scriptural faith.
It is interesting to watch a debate between a "new ager" and a "born-againer" [Born Again Christian]. The "born-againer' will quote scripture after scripture to back up his beliefs and the new ager will smile as if the guy is from the stone ages and preach back his philosophy quoting no authority, but his heart. Consequently, the two are not speaking each other's language and both go away from the discussion feeling that the other is as far down the enlightenment scale as you can get.
One of the problems is that the sincere religious person has felt soul contact while reading the scriptures and because of this is not about to drop his belief in the closest link he has to the Spirit. On the other hand, many "new agers" have not even read the scriptures, or had them forced upon them while they were young, and do not identify with this feeling. Instead, many of them have received some spiritual contact while reading other books that teach enough truth to draw the inner voice.
What the true seeker must realize is that God has spoken to many different people in many different ways and even though the vocabulary and definitions may vary, the core truths are the same.
The Book of Mormon expresses this quite well:
7 "Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?....
9 "And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.
10 "Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.
11 "For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.
12 "For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it."
(2 Nephi 29:7; 9-12)
Now here is an interesting question for the Mormons, who of course accept the above words from the Book of Mormon. God here says He will "also speak to all nations of the earth and they shall write it." General Christianity believes that God spoke to prophets of one nation, and a past nation at that -- ancient Palestine. The Mormons go a step further and they have scriptures from basically two nations past -- America and Palestine. On the other hand, the Book of Mormon teaches that God will speak to "all nations." All nations are definitely more than two.
Where are these scriptures from the other nations?
The answer is quite simple. Every people of every nation have available sacred writings containing truths geared for the "salvation" of the people to whom they were given. These writings can range from the sacred teachings of the Hopi Indians to the "Koran" of Islam, to the "Bhagavad Gita," to the ancient Vedas to the writings of Confucius, to the sayings of Buddha -- just to name a few.
Notice what God says about these words of His to all nations: "I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written."
Thus those people who do not have the Christian scriptures, but have other words of God, will be judged by those words that are accepted by their own people.
Now we get to the synthesizing point. The Christian will say: "Those other books you call scriptures may be good, but they do not speak of Jesus Christ who is essential for salvation."
To this we answer: "Ah, but they do my friend..."
To this the astounded believer will ask: "Where?"
Remember what we have said about the belief of the ancients regarding names? Today when we hear a name we just hear the sound, but when the ancients spoke a name they heard the meaning. If you called an Indian Running Bear you were acknowledging that he could run with the strength of a bear. Among the Hebrews if you were called David it meant that you were a person with a good heart easy to love.
So what does it mean to be called Jesus Christ? As we stated before this name means "anointed to deliver." Jesus did not intend to keep the name just for Himself, but advised all of His followers to take the name upon themselves. All enlightened Souls are anointed to deliver those of a lower vibration. When we have been lifted up by someone above us, then it is our mission to lift or deliver others to higher ground also. There is a universal rule which tells us that we cannot go higher until we have given out what we have learned and assisted in lifting our brethren to where we are. When we have done this, then another will come along and lift us to higher ground. This is the principle behind the name of Jesus Christ. To believe on His name is to believe on this principle, that there are higher lives in the Universe waiting to help deliver, or "save" us when we are ready.
This salvation is a mutual effort of the student and teacher. The teacher does not actually do the saving, but provides the tools, example and the knowledge to the student. The student then has the choice to use those tools to take the next step or to stay where he is for a while longer. If he takes the next step he is "saved" from his past moves into a bold new future.
Now let us get back to our question: Where in these other inspired works is the mention of the name of Jesus Christ?
Answer: You do not look for the sound "Jesus Christ." If you were transported back 2000 years ago to ancient Palestine and asked for Jesus Christ even the apostles would not recognize the sound. The name then was pronounced something like "Yaysoos Christos." What you look for in the ancient writings is the meaning behind the name and you will find that the concept of the higher lending a helping hand to the lesser evolved or less fortunate is a principle taught in all sacred text and where this is taught the name of Jesus Christ stirs within the souls of men.
Those with greater knowledge and power lending a helping hand to those with less knowledge and power is the principle behind the name of Jesus Christ and is the principle of eternal salvation. (Joseph Smith called it "Eternal Progression.") One must pass along the knowledge that he receives before he will be given more. If you keep it welled up within you or "hide your talent buried in the earth" you will be damned. In other words, if you do not give out the light you have your channels of reception will be dammed up until cut off from the spiritual flow.
Christ was the greatest teacher and example of helping His brethren, and being "anointed to deliver," but it is the principle we must look to and not the man.
This is why, when a man called Him good, He replied: "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." (Matt 19:17)
He understood the principle in the scripture that teaches that one is cursed that trusts in the arm of flesh. (Jeremiah 17:5) Even trusting in the visible Jesus is thus trusting in the arm of flesh. Instead we must trust in the invisible Spirit and the teachings manifested through it.
Therefore when we take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ we commit to receive from sources verified by the spirit and then to send those teachings out for there benefit of all who are willing to receive.
Now let us cover the forgiveness of sins. Does this concept apply to modern people of today or was it just dreamed up by controlling old men in the past to dominate an ignorant people? Let us see how the Bible really handles this subject by examining the real meaning of the words involved.
The word sin comes from the Greek word HAMARTANO which means "to miss the mark." In other words when the Greeks 2000 years ago shot at a target with an arrow and missed they "sinned" (HAMARTANO) or missed the target.
Is this how the word "sin" is used today? Verily no. When the religious person thinks of sin in our age he generally thinks of being unclean and ridden with guilt.
Now when you shoot at a target and miss the bull's eye do you feel degraded and guilty to the extent that you feel paralyzed and even feel unworthy to shoot again? No, of course not. When you miss you may find it mildly irritating, but you generally can't wait to have another try at it.
Now, guilt has been identified with sin by those who have sought to control the souls of men, but among the enlightened prophets it was not always so. To them sin was seen as a human error and salvation from sin is the path that leads to a correction of error. The prophets in times past did not seek to control through guilt, but sought to shift consciousness from error to perfection as they saw it.
Now let us look at the second major word -- "forgiveness," for the scriptures always talk about the obtaining forgiveness of sins.
Forgiveness in the Bible is translated from the Greek APHIEMI. The trouble is that this word does not mean forgiveness as we understand the word today, even though it seems to when it is used in connection with the forgiveness of sins. But unknown to most, the real meaning of the word is difficult to decipher and is translated a number of different ways. Here are some verses where the word APHIEMI is used:
[Note: Capitalization and parenthetical information added.]
"For LAYING ASIDE (APHIEMI) the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do." (Mark 7:8)
"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have FORSAKEN (APHIEMI) all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?" (Matt 19:27)
"And every one that hath FORSAKEN (APHIEMI) houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life." (Matt 19:29)
"I will not LEAVE (APHIEMI) you comfortless: I will come to you." (John 14:18)
"Peace I LEAVE (APHIEMI) with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)
"I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I LEAVE (APHIEMI) the world, and go to the Father." (John 16:28)
"Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, YIELDED UP (APHIEMI) the ghost." (Matt 27:50)
Now if you substitute the modern word forgiveness in each of the above cases you will see that it just does not make consistent sense. For instance in Mark 7:8 do we forgive the commandment of God or in Matt 27:50 did Jesus forgive the ghost when he seemed to die?
If you go through the New Testament and examine all the places where APHIEMI is used you will see that the most consistent meaning of the word is "to give up, let go, yield or release."
In this light let us retranslate the Biblical term "forgiveness of sins." A much more accurate translation would be "the letting go or giving up of error."
So how about salvation from sin? What would that mean then?
Salvation comes from the Greek SOLTERIA which literally means "to rescue or deliver." Therefore salvation from sin is really a deliverance from error.
If one is taught the truth about guilt and its cause and release and the person accepts this teaching as correction then he is saved from sin or delivered from a great error in his thinking.
In the old days many people believed that the world was flat. But when Columbus proved to them that it was round it could be said that Columbus saved the world from its sin. In other words, he delivered (saved) the world from its error (sin) in thinking.
When it is said that Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world; the truth is that the world made a grave error in crucifying him.
When it is written that Jesus saved the world from its sins the meaning is simply that he left the teachings and example necessary to correct the world from its error in belief and thinking. Most people did not believe a man could rise from the dead. Jesus corrected this error by demonstrating power over death; thus, he saved the world from sin in this matter.
Does being saved from sin or obtaining forgiveness of sin (the giving up of error) nullify the Law of Cause and Effect or Karma? In other words if you robbed a bank in the past would the slate be wiped clean?
The scriptures do not bear this out. Concerning the law Jesus said:
"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled (accomplished)." (Matt 5:18)
The Law of Cause and Effect is one of the laws of God, and this will stay in place until heaven and earth pass away.
Paul also said it well:
5 "For every man shall bear his own burden.
6 "Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
Here we learn that every man will bear his own burden and reaps that which he has sowed. In other words, he will suffer an effect for every cause he initiates.
The words of Jesus ring true to this principle:
"Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." (Matt 5:26)
Every cause will be counterbalanced by effects to the uttermost farthing.
Now, if anyone should have had the effects of sin neutralized it would have been the severely persecuted saints in Biblical times. But of them it is written:
"And it was given unto him (the antichrist) to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." (Rev 13:7)
Here we are told that the dark powers overcame the saints and a few verses later we are given the reason for their suffering:
"He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." (Rev 13:10)
The saints were led into captivity because sometime in their past they led others into captivity. They were killed with the sword because sometime in their past they killed with the sword. This is why (says the scripture) the saints must have "patience" and "faith."
Even though these great souls were "saved from their sins," or delivered from error in thinking, they still suffered the effects of their sins or mistakes.
To forgive does not mean to neutralize the Law of Cause and Effect [or Karma], but it does mean that we let go of grievances for the holding of grievance is a great error in thought as taught in "A Course in Miracles."
Let us say that Jim was in a car accident that was caused by a mistake on his part and he ran into Rick, an innocent driver. Both of them were badly injured. For some time after the accident Jim was racked with tremendous guilt and cursed himself daily for making a stupid mistake. Rick also has problems for he feels a strong grievance toward Jim for the pain and suffering he has endured. Finally, Jim seeks to rectify the situation and visits Rick, explains his feelings and grief and asks for forgiveness. Rick is touched and lets the grievance pass. They hug each other and cry and both depart company feeling peace of mind again. Jim still realizes he made a dumb mistake, but decides to accept the fact that sometimes mistakes just happen. Rick realizes that Jim did not mean him harm and corrects his own thinking by letting go.
Now that forgiveness has taken place and both men are filled with peace has the actual physical effects been neutralized?
Are Jim and Rick's cars suddenly restored to their new condition?
Of course not.
Are the scars they bear removed?
Are the hospital bills miraculously paid?
All the effects of every cause still remain in place. But this is a good thing because love and forgiveness are causes which produce the effects of joy and peace and thus the Law of Dominating Good works through cause and effect for the long term benefit of all.
In Proverbs we read:
"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing." (Proverbs 25:2)
The master teachers and prophets down through the ages have often had to adjust the wording of their teachings so everything they literally teach is true, yet within these teachings are inner thoughts that are concealed to later be revealed by the Spirit of Truth.
This was the case with the parables of Jesus. The people heard them and thought that they were just sweet simple little stories, yet Jesus told His disciples "hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." In other words, He told them that there were deeper meanings in the parables than meet the eye.
This is also the case with many of the scriptures. For thousands of years people have read them and incorporated the obvious meaning. This obvious meaning spoke to their consciousness, culture and point in evolution, but the core meaning was often different than seemed to appear. The hidden meaning was generally an idea that their hearts were not prepared for, but would be someday.
Let us take for example the principle of punishment for sin which, in the true reality, is merely an effect of some cause.
In the Bible it was written this way:
"But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." (Mark 3:29)
Then the Mormon scriptures give a similar meaning:
"That ye may not be cursed with a sore cursing; and also, that ye may not incur the displeasure of a just God upon you, unto the destruction, yea, the eternal destruction of both soul and body." (2 Nephi 1:22)
"And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh." (2 Nephi 2:29)
"And he spake plainly unto them, that he had been deceived by the power of the devil. And he spake of hell, and of eternity, and of eternal punishment." (Jacob 7:18)
"And they that believe not unto eternal damnation; for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall, because they repent not." [Doctrine & Covenants (D &C) 29:44]
All of these scriptures make it sound as if the bad buys are going to suffer whatever damnation is for all eternity, but such is not the case. There are many who already know within their hearts that if God is truly a loving Father that He would torment no one for ever and ever.
The interesting point is that this point was clarified through the translator of the Book of Mormon himself. Here is a revelation Joseph Smith received:
5 "Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand.
6 "Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment.
7 "Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name's glory.
8 "Wherefore, I will explain unto you this mystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles.
9 "I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my rest.
10 "For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore--
11 "Eternal punishment is God's punishment.
12 "Endless punishment is God's punishment."
What are we told here? We are told that "Eternal" and "Endless" are two names that God uses and because He created the laws of cause and effect that all punishments (or effect) are Eternal because the creator of them is Eternal.
The explanation "is that it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment."
So what have we here?
Both the Bible and Book of Mormon are written in such a way to make it sound as if there will be punishment of eternal duration, but when the truth is revealed we learn that it was in the plan of God to allow it to sound that way to have an effect on the hearts of struggling humanity.
The same is true of reincarnation. There have been many teachers who have understood the truth of this teaching, but have written to make it sound like there is only one life. Such teachers have wanted to avoid the negative effect on the average person of turning apathetic in hope of waiting for his next life to make the great effort.
Even the recent book "A Course in Miracles" cleverly does this. It makes it sound like there is only one life, but if you read it carefully you will see that it is not really saying this at all. But to create the effect desired by the author, the doctrine of multiple lives had to be avoided.
Joseph Smith discouraged the belief in reincarnation to the masses yet veiled it in his writings calling it "eternal lives."
He also taught it privately as evidenced by the following:
"During our talks he (Lorenzo Snow) told me that his sister, the late Eliza R. Snow Smith was a firm believer in the principle of reincarnation and that she claimed to have received it from Joseph the Prophet, her husband. He said he saw nothing unreasonable in it, and could believe it, if it came to him from the Lord or his oracle." (Diary of Orson F. Whitney June 8, 1889)
Fortunately, humanity has evolved to the point that the major truths no longer need to be veiled in mystery, but can be plainly taught. I am indeed thankful to live in this time where we can learn with plainness and give out what we have received without fear of being thrown to the lions the next day.
So what have we established so far?
Hopefully we have created the point that what the scriptures seem to say, may not be what they are really saying.
It appears from the scriptures that there will be punishment of eternal duration.
There will be an end to any punishment or suffering.
It appears that Jesus "saved the world from sin."
He did, but not in the way people think. He merely demonstrated truths that will eventually deliver the world from certain errors.
It appears that when we have forgiveness of sins that effects disappear.
True forgiveness of sins as taught in the scriptures means to recognize your mistakes and cease making them. This dispels fear and guilt which are created by illusion and have no real existence, but effects which are real remain until they are neutralized by new cause.
Before we get to the core of the Atonement let us talk a minute about the sacraments of the church such as baptism, laying on of hands, the bread and wine or Eucharist.
Both the Bible and the Mormon scriptures make it sound like you must be physically baptized to enter the kingdom of heaven, but is this the case? Exactly what does a physical baptism accomplish and why do you suppose it was instituted by the prophets?
The standard answer is that God commanded the ordinance so we should just obey it and not question, but such an unthinking injunction is not good enough for the seeker of the coming age. The person of Light in this day and age wants to know why he is expected to do a thing. If the ordinance has no effect then perhaps we do not want to waste our time.
Concerning baptism Joseph Smith received an interesting revelation:
1 "Behold, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning.
2 "Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works.
3 "For it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in the days of old.
4 "Wherefore, enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God. Amen."
Read this and ask the question. Why was Joseph given the mission to restore a church very similar to the early Christian church with all of its ordinances including baptism?
"For it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in the days of old."
Because the people's minds were centered on "dead works" the church and ordinances were reestablished.
Interestingly, I have never met a Mormon who was taught this in church. Most of them believe that they have living works and the highest and the best that God has to offer.
Now the question is this. What would Joseph have been commanded to establish if the people's minds were centered on "living works?"
What is the difference between a dead and living work?
The physical act of baptism is a dead work. Taking a person and placing him under the water and bringing him out of it, by itself does nothing, even if you have all the authority of the hosts of heaven.
What then is the living work behind baptism?
The living work is the meaning behind the symbol and if a person understands this he could obtain all the benefits of baptism without baptism.
The scriptures basically tell us that we need to be baptized to be saved. If baptism itself is a dead work then what is it really telling us to do to become saved or delivered?
The basic meaning of baptism as many have been taught in church is to have our sins washed away, but if physical baptism is a dead work then what really washes our sins away?
We have learned that the real meaning of sin is error or "missing the mark" therefore the washing away of sin is the removal of error. But what is the error or errors that need to be removed?
The basic error that baptism helps to remove is this.
All except those who have the name of God in their foreheads (Rev 14:1) look for authority from a God without. Now when that God without speaks and we accept a great error is created. It is not long before we imperfectly follow the God without and as soon as we disobey, even in the slightest, guilt is created.
Now there are two ways to remove this guilt. The first is to satisfy the demands of an angry "God out there." But the trouble with this method is that it is not long before you break more commandments and guilt returns. The Catholic confession is a good method of alleviating this returned guilt, but this is a temporary measure and you are again dependent on a voice for God out there rather than the Spirit within.
What is the second and permanent way to remove the guilt?
The second way is to remove yourself from the voice of the outer God, or "the beast" as we taught earlier, and subject yourself to the one authority, the Spirit of God within.
This was the difference between the foolish and wise virgins in the parable. The five wise had oil in their lamps, or the Spirit of God in their hearts and this light of the Spirit lead them to the Christ. The five foolish had no oil and had to go buy some from the authorities, but the oil from the authorities without did not light the way and they "missed the mark" or sinned and were not able to find the Christ.
Thus we see that the true meaning of baptism is to remove the error of guilt, permanently, which guilt is caused by an error in thinking. True salvation is the removal of guilt. The scripture could have said: "Remove the cause of guilt, center yourself on the Spirit within and you will be saved."
Because the true salvation through baptism is the salvation or deliverance from guilt, does this mean that the physical act should not be done?
No. It does not. The ordinance of baptism was instituted because it does indeed serve a useful purpose as do all symbols. Many angelic lives that differ from human evolution, as well as higher aspects of ourselves communicate with symbols. Also the Masters largely communicate with symbols.
The act of physical baptism sends a communication to higher spiritual lives that you are attempting to enter into a higher spiritual life and this symbolic communication therefore sends a message to refined lives who can help you remove guilt and center yourself on living the life of Christ.
Let us pick two other ordinances.
After baptism, the early apostles laid hands on the persons and they were then supposed to receive the Holy Ghost.
Now the dead work was the laying on of hands. What was the living work or meaning?
Christ also instituted the act of sacrament or Eucharist by eating bread and drinking wine to take upon themselves the body and blood of Christ.
What is the living meaning behind this?
Concerning the "laying on of hands" Jina says:
"The 'living work or meaning of laying on of hands' would be not just to transfer the Holy Spirit, as you said, but also possibly signifying an acceptance into the 'brotherhood' of Jesus?"
"The physical act means nothing without the openness and purity of heart."
"I think the real meaning here is the transfer of spiritual energy or power by disciples. In the Bible to be touched by the hand of God was to receive the manifestation of His Spirit or divine strength. We know that the hand has chakras - or centres of power - and this power can be transferred through them to heal both physically and emotionally. This is evidenced not only by the healings of Jesus but by genuine healers today. When a disciple lays hands on someone, the door is opened for the power or Spirit of God to enter the recipient's life in a process that is unparalleled in its effects.
"As an aside, I once read that the hand is the synthesis of male and female. It is passive in what it contains and active in what it holds. It also differentiates man from all animals and serves to differentiate the objects which it touches or shapes. The hands can change lives through the power of touch."
To fully understand this it must be looked at in connection with baptism. Baptism is a symbol of the removal of error and making a change in life from the physical to the spiritual. This is such a dramatic change it is referred to as a symbol of a new birth. When one truly follows the living principle behind baptism he will enter the path of Spirit as guilt free as a new born baby.
I was present at the birth of all my children, and one thing I noticed is that the baby seems lifeless and does not appear alive until he takes his first breath. One of my children spent over a minute in this condition before he breathed -- and it made me quite nervous. I can imagine how a parent would feel with a stillborn.
Thus to complete the life of a new birth, the spirit from God must enter into the body.
In the days of the Apostles there was first a symbolic baptism followed by a short period of waiting for the Spirit, just as the parent waits for the spirit to enter the new baby. Then there was a laying on of hands, and through a living link to the "Tree of Life," the Spirit flowed stimulating new life from the crown chakra on down. All seven chakras vibrated a little higher according to the consciousness of the seeker and a new life of belonging to the body of Christ was created.
A number of churches use the "laying on of hands" today -- some claiming authority and some not. But even this sacred act will be a dead work if the process is all that is followed with no living connection and awareness of the link with the Spirit flowing through you as well as all the Brotherhood of Light.
The Spirit of new life flowing through the hands into the new disciple is usually necessary to create the baptism of fire mentioned in connection with Jesus. In this age the true baptism of fire is very rare and only comes through a high demonstration of faith. The reason it is rare is that the connecting link (as taught in the Molecular Relationship) is not currently secured on the earth. When it is the baptism of fire will become much more common as well as the return of miracles.
Now let us examine the meaning behind the bread and wine in communion.
After Jesus fed the five thousand with fishes and loaves and the crowds pressed toward him thinking that this miracle worker may be their meal ticket for all their needs, Jesus grew a little sad and impatient with their selfish thoughts so He shouted out: "Except a man eat my flesh and drink my blood he has no part with me."
This statement shocked and horrified many. Many concluded that He must have been doing miracles by the power of the devil to make such a statement and got away from Him as fast as they could. Some of His own Apostles doubted His sanity as He turned to them and asked: "Will you also leave me?"
Then Peter answered and said: "Lord, we have no where else to go. You have the words of eternal life."
Jesus explained to them that if one eats His flesh and drinks His blood then as the Father dwells in him through the Spirit so will Christ dwell in them. They thus all become part of one living body. Finally He clarified the true meaning of eating and drinking the flesh and blood of Christ.
"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63)
In other words, He was saying that the actual eating of real flesh would profit nothing. The true meat and drink that He was feeding them were His words for His words were life because they were in harmony with Spirit.
Thus if we go to church and eat bread and liquid in remembrance of Christ, the actual physical eating "profiteth nothing" as Jesus said for this by itself is a dead work. What does profit us is to take in the words of life as we eat and drink, or better still make the words of life themselves your meat and drink.
How this is done is one of the keys of eternal life leading to the overcoming of death, but in the meantime those who are ready will receive light from the Oneness Principle on the subject and much benefit can be derived therefrom.
Hopefully we can next cover the sacrifice of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The scriptures say that Jesus suffered such agony in the Garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion that He sweated blood. Most Christians believe this suffering was His bearing our sins. Others think it was a dread of the crucifixion. Do you think this is true? If not what do you suppose is the true cause of His agony as He prayed there?
Why would the word "blood" be used in connection with "sweat" here unless blood was involved?
If we translate this verse correctly we have additional evidence that something like sweating blood occurred. The word "drops" comes from the Greek THROMBOS which literally means "clot," another word associated with blood.
The literal translation is: "his sweat became as great clots of blood."
In the Gospel of the Nazarenes, taken from the oldest Christian manuscripts on earth we read:
"And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as if it were great drops of blood falling to the earth." (Chapter 77, verse 10)
The Aquarian Gospel (AG) also verifies this. It reads:
"In agony he prayed; the strain upon the human form was great; his veins were burst asunder, and his brow was bathed in blood." (AG 163:50)
In the Book of Mormon we read:
"And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people." (Mosiah 3:7)
In the writings of H. P. Blavatsky who had direct contact with the Brotherhood [of Light] we read:
"They make it clear that he would rather have lived to continue what he considered his mission, and that he died because he could not help it, and only when betrayed. Before, when threatened with violence, he had made himself invisible by employing the mesmeric power over the bystanders, claimed by every Eastern adept, and escaped. When, finally, he saw that his time had come, he succumbed to the inevitable. But see him in the garden, on the Mount of Olives, writhing in agony until "his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood," praying with fervid supplication that the cup might be removed from him; exhausted by his struggle to such a degree that an angel from heaven had to come and strengthen him."
All indications here are that Jesus was under tremendous stress that caused an appearance of sweating blood.
Keep in mind that Jesus created a "Human Molecule" of twelve units [or The Twelve Apostles] and I am here describing the stress caused by the temporary destruction of it by Judas.
Jesus Himself was severely affected by the betrayal. At the point in time when Judas completely decided to turn on his Master and was with the Jewish leaders Jesus had brought three of the apostles to Gethsemane. We are told that He "began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My Soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me." (Matt 26:37-38) Mark also described him as "sore amazed." (Mark 14:33)
Some of these words are not translated very accurately. "Sorrowful and heavy" come from LUPEO and ADEMONEO. "Sorrowful" is a fairly accurate rendering of LUPEO. It implies great sorrow, distress or grief. ADEMONEO implies a great distress of the mind or Soul. It could be translated as "anguish" or "depression." It most exactly means that the Soul of Jesus was saturated with a feeling of foreboding.
The second "sorrowful" comes from PERILUPOS. This has essentially the same meaning as LUPEO with the addition of the prefix PERI. This implies that the sorrow surrounded and completely permeated Jesus.
"Watch" comes from GREGOREUO which means to be awake or fully aware of what is going on. It implies the opposite of death or sleep.
"Amazed" comes from EKTHAMBEO which implies a state of mind that is astounded by what is happening and is in a state of wonderment.
What do we get from this? When Judas was in the process of betraying his Lord, Jesus was so completely overcome with a feeling of sorrow, heaviness, and distress of mind that He was astounded that such a thing could happen to Him, the greatest of us all. The feeling was so intense that He thought that if it became any worse, He would die before any cross would get Him. He was "sorrowful even unto death...."
The feeling was so bad He pleaded for His apostles to "watch" or be fully aware with Him so He could draw strength from them.
The pain became so great He asked His Father to remove the cup from Him "And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22:44)
Does this pain and heaviness that nearly killed Jesus have anything to do with the betrayal of Judas?
The answer is yes -- it had everything to do with it. A Human Molecule of eleven did not conduct the spiritual energy flow, nor did it produce the same results as did the twelve. When Judas withdrew his energy, the whole Molecule was shattered and the tremendous spiritual power that had been flowing through Jesus and the apostles had been interrupted. They were all affected, but Jesus felt the brunt of it since He was the focal point. They were all sustaining a strong spiritual flow and when it was cut off, it felt as if their very life was dissolving. Jesus almost died and the apostles could not stay awake. He only brought three of the eleven to Gethsemane. Perhaps the other eight were still back in the room of the Last Supper asleep through depletion of energy. Whatever the case, He hoped to create some Molecular flow between Himself and Peter, James and John. This would have returned Him some of His strength.
The effort failed. Three times Jesus tried to revive the three apostles to share awareness with Him and three times they fell back into a deathlike sleep.
Finally, He reached a point at which He could no longer continue on the physical plane without a recharge of energy. At this point:
"There appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." (Luke 22:43)
This angel was a member of the Molecule which existed in the Spiritual Hierarchy of which Jesus was a member. This angel then was able to re-establish in Jesus the spiritual flow He needed to continue His work. After this, He woke the apostles for the fourth time and this time they stayed awake. Jesus was able to recharge them so they could be themselves again.
We all know the story from here. Jesus was taken, crucified, and after three days He rose from the dead. Sometime after this later event, the eleven met together on the day of Pentecost. From the time of the betrayal to this time the apostles were just ordinary men, but now they were inspired to rectify this situation. They were going to add the additional Unit to their group to make the complete Molecule of Twelve. They chose Matthias and immediately after he (and his female partner who is not mentioned) joined the group to complete the mystical number of twelve their minds were united "with one accord in one place: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:1-4)
Now this was an agony separate from the taking on the "sins of the world."
Let us state the basic belief of most Christians concerning Christ in this regard. It goes something like this.
He came to redeem us from our sins, or to take upon Him the sins of the world. If we believe on Him or His name and repent our sins will be removed. Many believe that in the Garden of Gethsemane He took upon Him or suffered for the sins of the world and this was a payment made by God so that we would not have to pay for our sins ourselves if we have faith or repent.
Now we have already pointed out that in that age sin was error and the great error by the "unsaved" was guilt. As far as the result of our actions go Jesus did nothing to nullify causes and we must all deal with effects of past causes. After a manner of speaking though, He did take upon himself our sins.
Glenys accurately quoted Alice A. Bailey who stated that He established a thread or link to Shamballa in The Garden [of Gethsemane].
There is one thing that many do not realize about the higher centers of the earth and that is this. The relationship of the Masters such as Christ to the higher permanent inhabitants of Shamballa corresponds to the human relationship to the Masters. Just as it is very difficult for us to catch the attention of the Masters, even so is it difficult for the Masters to catch the attention of the Ancient of Days [See Daniel 7:13 & 22.] and His Council Chamber.
The inhabitants of Shamballa of course are aware of all the goings on within and on the earth but did not in the past respond directly to humanity because their energy was too powerful. One must remember that they are focused in the first ray energy of power rather than love-wisdom as are the Masters.
The Christ in Jesus was the first in human flesh of this earth to make a direct contact with the Shamballa energy, but in order to make that contact He had to face the "Dweller on the Threshold" for all humanity.
Our individual Dweller is a powerful thoughtform which is created by the negative energy of all of our fears, mistakes, "sins", guilt and illusions from all of our past lives rolled into one bundle. The disciple has numerous partial contacts with the Dweller before he comes face to face with it.
We talked earlier about when a person makes a step forward in his spiritual progression that within several days there seems to be a strong negative force pulling him away from the Path. Many see this as a direct work of the devil, but in reality it is our Dweller coming back to haunt us.
The Dweller is actually a low life form that is fighting for its life and as such will do everything within its power to survive. Fear is its main weapon for when the disciple overcomes his fears and faces the Dweller it begins to "die" and go back to its source.
The disciple must face the Dweller before the third initiation of transfiguration. Before Jesus was transfigured He had to face His Dweller. This happened when He went into the wilderness and faced the three famous temptations.
The Apostle Paul faced his Dweller and was temporarily blinded by it.
Some have had to face the Dweller over a long period of time.
Moses received a partial revelation of God in Egypt. This was what converted him to identify with the Hebrews for he did not fully believe it until it was revealed to him.
Later he fled Egypt and spent forty years herding sheep gaining the courage to face his Dweller. When he finally did face it, he then crossed the threshold and talked with God.
Joseph Smith had an interesting encounter with the Dweller:
"After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. " But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction -- not to some imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being -- just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me."
Joseph Smith was quite fortunate to have a single intense encounter with the Dweller as he entered into the Presence.
Even though many disciples mistake the Dweller for the Dark Brothers it is really a presence of our own creations. Nevertheless, when the disciple approaches the transfiguration initiation it will get the attention of the Dark Ones and in this case will do what they can to assist the Dweller.
Now facing our individual Dweller is a terrifying experience beyond the imagination of most seekers. Imagine what it was like for Christ who had to face the Dweller for all humanity in order to establish a link for us with the Shamballa energy. This Dweller He faced was the combination of all negative energies created by mankind since the first man. Even though it was written that He took upon Himself the sins of the world it may be more accurately stated that He faced and penetrated the sins of the world and established the link with the Planetary Logos [Ancient Of Days] which would eventually end all sin and guide mankind to relative perfection.
There were two entities involved in the mission of Jesus. The first was the man Jesus who was Joshua in a past life. The second was the Christ Himself who entered and shared the body of Jesus after His baptism. The Christ was the same as He who was Melchizedek.
Jesus suffered great pain because of the shattering of the molecule through Judas and the Christ suffered through the facing of the Dweller. Both of these experiences created such anguish for the body of Jesus that an angel had to appear and strengthen Him or He would have died right there.
Now the interesting thing is that Jesus going to the cross was the easiest part. The worst was over and some sense of relief was held. In fact, a fragment of the Gospel of Peter tells us that Jesus actually laughed on the cross.
He had power to cancel out the pain if He so desired. Perhaps He was amused that His disciples thought this was the tough part. Little did they know.
A student asks the following:
"If the Atonement removed the results of Karma then why did those who had received the Atonement continue to receive results of Karma?
"I know you revere Joseph Smith as a man who was righteous and received an atonement, yet he was tarred and feathered, kidnapped, placed in jail and finally killed all as a result of cause and effect. Why did not the Atonement protect him from this karma which you say should not exist?
"If the atonement does not remove karma which is cause and effect, then what does it do?"
The atonement removes guilt; and guilt often has more to do with imagined causes rather than real causes.
One always feels guilt when he violates the commandments of his religion no matter which one that may be. Judaism was a religion with a great number of laws, most of them manmade and there probably was not a Jew in the days of Jesus who did not suffer some guilt for some violation of what he perceived to be God's will.
If you feel that God has commanded you to not eat peas and you break His will and eat peas then you will feel guilt. Even though the peas cause no real harm you still need the guilt removed. But then if a savior comes along and reveals to you that your guilt is produced by illusion and reveals the truth, the guilt magically disappears. This is how the magic of the atonement works.
It is best expressed in these words of Jesus:
"You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."
The true atonement is a revelation of the truth so illusion passes away and guilt is lifted. Then real progress can be made.
Copyright © 2001 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved