Jesus’ witnesses about John
“The news reached Galilee, and Jesus with the multitude went down to where the harbinger was preaching at the ford. When Jesus saw the harbinger he said, Behold the man of God! Behold the greatest of the seers! Behold, Elijah has returned! Behold the messenger whom God has sent to open up the way! The kingdom is at hand” (Aquarian Gospel 64:1-3).
Jesus is referring to the first verse of the third chapter of the prophet Malachi: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” Jesus tells the people that John is the reincarnation of Elijah–something they had been looking for as a prelude to the appearance of the Messiah. So obliquely he is telling them that the Messiah is at hand.
John’s witnesses about Jesus
“When John saw Jesus standing with the throng he said, Behold the king who cometh in the name of God!” (Aquarian Gospel 64:4).
Minutes before opening the computer file to begin commenting on this verse, I came across a website about the Sinai Codex, the oldest complete text of the Bible that was written over three hundred years after the birth of Jesus. The site rhapsodized about what an important text this was and how necessary it was that the complete text be made available to scholars throughout the world. One of the main reasons given for its importance was that fact that it was “heavily corrected.” What it should have said was “heavily altered”–in other words, corrupted. The Aramaic Bible, the Peshitta, is a similar result of outrageous “corrections” to hide the original teachings of Jesus. For example, in all earlier texts the Holy Spirit is referred to as “She,” but in the Peshitta the Holy Spirit gets a sex change. After all, how could God be a female? Never! The words of Emily Dickinson certainly apply to the textual vandals and their admirers: “What confusion would cover the innocent Jesus to meet so enabled a man!”
In Dostoyevsky’s story The Grand Inquisitor the head of the Inquisition meets Jesus, who has reappeared on earth, and tells him that it has taken centuries to correct his religion and make it acceptable and workable. Therefore he will have Jesus executed as a heretic. So it is.
Here we see that John calls Jesus “king,” but he does not mean “king” in the contemporary Christian meaning of the word when applied to Jesus. Rather, he means that Jesus is the ruler of his own inner kingdom, just as each one of us must become master of his own being, not servants or slaves of anyone. Jesus taught: “Ye are gods” (John 10:34), but “corrected” Christianity teaches: “Ye are sinners.”
“And Jesus said to John, I would be washed in water as a symbol of the cleansing of the soul. And John replied, you do not need to wash, for you are pure in thought, and word, and deed. And if you need to wash I am not worthy to perform the rite. And Jesus said, I come to be a pattern for the sons of men, and what I bid them do, that I must do; and all men must be washed, symbolic of the cleansing of the soul. This washing we establish as a rite–baptism rite we call it now, and so it shall be called. Your work, prophetic harbinger, is to prepare the way, and to reveal the hidden things. The multitudes are ready for the words of life, and I come to be made known by you to all the world, as prophet of the Triune God, and as the chosen one to manifest the Christ to men” (Aquarian Gospel 64:5-10).
I come to be a pattern for the sons of men, and what I bid them do, that I must do. If we were not all gods, as Jesus said, how could he be a pattern for all humanity? Many years ago, when I was in grade school, I attended a Sunday evening “youth meeting” at my parent’s church. The subject of forgiveness came up, and when I pointed out that Jesus even forgave those who killed him, an older girl snapped at me: “Jesus was divine, we are human beings!” What a convenient rationalization for not accepting Jesus’ example. No wonder she eventually quit coming to church and indulged her “humanity.”
Jesus is our pattern because he is exactly what we are: an individual spirit. He has finished his evolution and manifested his divinity, whereas we are still working toward what he has achieved. But we will all get there eventually. That is why Jesus consistently referred to himself as “son of man” even though he had perfected his eternal status as Son of God. Saint John wrote: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (John 3:2, 3).
Right now we are essentially divine, but we need to develop and manifest that divinity. When those who are disciples of the Master Jesus meet him face-to-face they will not find that he is infinitely beyond them, that he is holy and they are not, pure and they are not. No. Saint John tells us that we shall find that we have become exactly what he is, for we shall not only “see him as he is,” we will see ourselves as we are, and see we are the same. We will not be “sinners saved by grace,” we will be gods revealed by grace. That is why in the mass rite formulated by Bishop James Wedgwood, who believed in non-dual reality, the priest says: “Under the veil of earthly things now have we communion with our Lord Jesus Christ; soon with open face shall we behold Him, and rejoicing in His glory be made like unto Him. Then shall His true disciples be brought by Him with exceeding joy before the presence of His Father’s glory.” For Jesus was acting as our example when he prayed: “O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). The “self” of God is our Self, otherwise this petition would be nonsense. We are all Christs in essence, which is why Saint Paul wrote about “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). If we were not already Christs in our inner nature, these words would be meaningless.
All men must be washed, symbolic of the cleansing of the soul. This washing we establish as a rite–baptism rite we call it now, and so it shall be called. Immediately after his declaration that we are sons of God, just as Jesus, the Apostle John continued: “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:3). Simple washing in water is meaningless if there is no internal cleansing. The act of will which we make when choosing to be baptized itself begins the purificatory process, but it must go on long after the rite has been done. Jesus is speaking of those who shall be his disciples. Later on, in chapter seventy-eight, Jesus will refer to baptism as a pledge of discipleship. It is not discipleship itself–that is the purification we must all engage in until we are pure “even as he is pure.”
Your work, prophetic harbinger, is to prepare the way, and to reveal the hidden things. For those of us who seek the revelation of our own Christhood, this is our work as well. We must prepare the way through purification of our inner and outer life. That purification will result in a clarity of awareness in which the “hidden things” become revealed. Esoteric consciousness is dominant in the Christine (one seeking Christhood), whereas exoteric consciousness is not just secondary, it is reduced to a minimum that is always subordinate to the spirit. That is why Saint Paul wrote: “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Galatians 5:16, 17). The Greek word epithumia is better translated as “desire” or “craving,” and is the equivalent of the Sanskrit word raga which means intense desire and attraction for external objects. Only in the spirit are the fires of craving extinguished, for total satisfaction is to be found in the spirit alone.
I come to be made known by you to all the world, as prophet of the Triune God, and as the chosen one to manifest the Christ to men. The Trinity is not just a dogma of belief, but a principle of reality. Both God and man are triune in their nature. God is managing all right, but human beings have lost control of their nature and need to understand just what it is if they are to regain mastery of it. Original Christianity taught that human beings have three parts to their present incarnate status: physical being, psychic being, and spiritual being. One of the reasons the Western religions are so hopeless is their dualism, the insistence that there is only spirit and matter. The theology that follows from this is simplistic, blinding and destructive. For spiritual practice to be effective we must be aware of all three aspects, and the practice must transform the physical and psychic aspects in order to reveal and liberate the spirit. So Jesus did not come to teach a doctrine but a practical understanding of both divine and human natures.
Jesus is a Christ, but his mission was “to manifest the Christ”–both the divine Christ-aspect of God and the inner Christ that is the true Self of all sentient beings. Jesus himself will explain this more fully in chapter sixty-eight. Here is the essence of what he will say: “Men call me Christ, and God has recognized the name; but Christ is not a man. The Christ is universal love, and Love is king. This Jesus is but man who has been fitted by temptations overcome, by trials multiform, to be the temple through which Christ can manifest to men. Then hear, you men of Israel, hear! Look not upon the flesh; it is not king. Look to the Christ within, who shall be formed in every one of you, as he is formed in me” (Aquarian Gospel 68:11-13).
Divine witness about Jesus as Christ
“Then John led Jesus down into the river at the ford and he baptized him in the sacred name of him who sent him forth to manifest the Christ to men. And as they came out of the stream, the Holy Breath, in form of dove, came down and sat on Jesus’ head. A voice from heaven said, This is the well-beloved son of God, the Christ, the love of God made manifest. John heard the voice, and understood the message of the voice” (Aquarian Gospel 64:11-14).
We, too, must hear and understand.
“Now Jesus went his way, and John preached to the multitude. As many as confessed their sins, and turned from evil ways to ways of right, the harbinger baptized, symbolic of the blotting out of sins by righteousness” (Aquarian Gospel 64:15, 16).
It is not enough to stop evil ways; we must live in the ways of right, for spiritual life is positive good, not just an absence of evil. It is we ourselves who must blot out sin by our righteousness, by turning from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to the Light, from death to Immortality.
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Self-Examination and Temptation