A company of Pharisees came up to speak with Jesus and they said, Rabboni, we have heard you say, The kingdom is at hand. We read in Daniel that the God of heaven will form a kingdom, and we ask, Is this the kingdom of the God you speak about? If so, when will it come?
And Jesus said, The prophets all have told about this kingdom of the God, and it is just at hand; but men can never see it come. It never can be seen with carnal eyes; it is within.
Lo, I have said, and now I say again, None but the pure in heart can see the king, and all the pure in heart are subjects of the king.
Reform, and turn away form sin; prepare you, O prepare! the kingdom is at hand. (Aquarian Gospel 145:1-6)
The Kingdom of God is in the spirit. Religionists do not usually like this because they want to say that their sect is the Kingdom of God on earth, implying that no one is in the Kingdom of God except the adherents of their organization. Bigots really detest the idea that no one can judge who is in or out of the Kingdom because it is purely spiritual in nature. Christian bigots equally dislike the idea that various institutions are branches of the Christian Church which is also purely spiritual in constitution. What no one seems to ponder is whether an exclusionary attitude is itself a sign that a person is separating himself from the Church, though claiming to be part of all that is really the Church. Sri Ramakrishna told the story of a sectarian Hindu who was so bigoted that he would not even touch anything sacred to those outside his particular group. The form of God he claimed to be so dedicated to appeared to him and said: “You can have nothing to do with me as long as you hate.”
The truth is this: God is the Kingdom. And we are all living in God at every moment. Nothing is outside God. That is why in the esoteric Mass rite used in our monastery the Creed begins: “We believe in God, the undivided Unity, embracing all in oneness. We believe in the Holy and all-glorious Trinity, who pervades the whole universe, who dwells also in the spirit of man.” Absolute unity is implied in these words. No one is outside the Kingdom; all are part of it. Some are more aware than others, but the creation itself is a great school for evolving consciousness, and it is to be expected that all sentient beings within creation will be manifesting a vast range of degrees of consciousness from zero to one hundred percent. And all are moving onward to the single Goal of union with God.
Also implied here is that only those who live inwardly can be aware of the Kingdom. Purity of heart and mind fits us for the life of the Kingdom. Those who reform themselves, transmuting their consciousness through deep spiritual practice, especially meditation, will certainly enter into and possess the Kingdom, living in God.
And then he spoke to his disciples and he said, The seasons of the son of man are past. The time will come when you will wish above all else to see again one of these days; but you can see it not. And many men will say, Lo, here is Christ; lo, there is Christ. Be not deceived; go not into their ways. For when the son of man will come again no man need point the way; for as the lightning lights the heavens, so will the son of man light up the heavens and earth. But, lo, I say, that many generations will have come and gone before the son of man shall come in power; but when he comes no one will say, Lo, here is Christ; lo, there. (Aquarian Gospel 145:7-11)
A Kingdom and a Christ that need to be pointed out are not the true Kingdom or Christ. Jesus is telling us that when he comes again those who are ready for entry into the Kingdom will know it from within. None of the worthy will need to told where and how. Their spirits will illumine their minds and show them the way.
But as it was before the flood in Noah’s day, so shall it be. The people ate, they drank, were filled with merriment and sang for joy, and did not know their doom until the ark was done and Noah entered in; but then the flood came on and swept them all away. So, also, in the days of Lot; the people ate and drank; they bought, they sold, they planted and they reaped, they went their ways in sin, and they cared not; but when the righteous Lot went from their city’s gates the earth beneath the city shook, and brimstone fires fell from heaven; the gapping jaws of earth flew wide, and swallowed up their homes, their wealth, and they went down to rise no more. So shall it be when comes the son of man in power. (Aquarian Gospel 145:12-17)
This is extremely severe, but Jesus has spoken it. The worthy will not need to be told of his second advent and the unworthy will be incapable of knowing it. Indeed he implies that they will be swept away in some manner. This deserves serious consideration.
I charge you men, as I will charge men then, Seek not to save your wealth, or you will lose your lives. Go forth, and look not back upon the crumbling walls of sin. Do not forget Lot’s wife. (Aquarian Gospel 145:18)
The message is: Flee for your life and take nothing of your old life with you. Remember Lot’s wife who simply looked back to the place of her old life and remained there forever as a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). When Jesus the Messiah comes again we must run to him for the saving of our lives and souls, caring for nothing else. It will apparently be a time of great upheaval.
Whoever tries to save his life will lose his life; whoever freely gives his life in serving life will save his life. (Aquarian Gospel 145:19)
Those who dedicate themselves to the helping of others will themselves be saved, but those who selfishly think only of themselves will perish. Frankly, this is always the truth at any time. “Thy neighbor as thyself” is the immutable law.
Then comes the sifting time. Two men will be in bed; one will be called, the other left; two women will be working side by side; one will be snatched away, the other left. (Aquarian Gospel 145:20)
This indicates that only half will be saved (survive). Whether this means half of the total population or half of those that could be saved is not clear. But that we need to act quickly and rightly is very evident.
And his disciples said, Explain to us this parable; or is it not a parable?
And Jesus said, The wise will understand, for where the bread of heaven is, there you will find the pure in heart; and where the carcass lies will gather all the birds of prey.
But lo, I say, before these days will come, the son of man will be betrayed by one of you into the hands of wicked men, and he will give his life for you and all the world.
Yea, more; the Holy Breath will come in power and fill you with the wisdom of the just.
And you will tell the wondrous story in Judea and in Samaria and in the farther lands of earth. (Aquarian Gospel 145:21-25)
Those whose lives are centered in the invisible Presence of Christ, especially in the sacred Eucharist, will be drawn to Jesus when he comes again. But much has had to happen before them, as Jesus describes. Even now, awaiting his advent, we must tell the Wondrous Story to all who will listen: not in the sectarian sense but in the esoteric sense of the need to realize and manifest our own Christhood.
I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His heav’nly love to me;
He from death to life hath brought me,
Son of God with Him to be.
(Philip P. Bliss)
And then to teach that men should pray and never faint, he told this parable: There was a judge who feared not God, nor yet regarded man. There was a widow who oft implored the judge to right her wrongs and to avenge her foes. At first the judge would hear her not, but after many days he said, I fear not God, and I regard not man, yet, lest this widow wear me out by pleading every day I will avenge her on her foes. When the disciples asked the meaning of this parable, the Lord replied, The wise can understand; the foolish have no need to know. (Aquarian Gospel 145:26-31)
What a marvelous statement of spiritual wisdom: The wise can understand; the foolish have no need to know. May we be wise.
There is a profound esoteric principle here regarding the controlling and shaping of our life. Often what is required to obtain something is a building up of psychic energy on the inner planes. When the amount, the critical mass, is reached, then the desired effect follows inevitably. The widow in this parable invested her life energy in her insistence to the judge. She built up a thought-form in the etheric levels and when it was substantial and strong enough then even the unjust and uncaring judge was compelled to comply with her demands. Sometimes, even oftentimes, it is not a matter of “God’s will be done” but “My will be done.” For we are the sons of God, are we not?
And then to teach a lesson unto certain of his followers who trusted in themselves and thought that they were holier than other men, he told this parable:
Two men went to the synagogue to pray; one was a Pharisee, the other was a publican. The Pharisee stood forth and prayed thus with himself, O God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, who are extortioners, unjust, adulterers; not even like this publican. I fast two times a week, and I give tithes of all I get.
The publican came not a-near; he would not lift his eyes to heaven, but smote his breast and said, O Lord, be merciful to me; I am a sinner in thy sight; I am undone.
And now, you men, I say to you, The publican knew how to pray, and he was justified. The Pharisee knew how to talk, but still he went away condemned.
Lo, every one who lauds himself shall be abased, and he who does not praise himself shall be exalted in the sight of God. (Aquarian Gospel 145:32-40)
Humility and a clear seeing of our erroneous ways is necessary for purification. Again, we are not to loathe ourselves and condemn ourselves, but we are to reject the idea of continuing in our mistaken thoughts and deeds and pray fervently for help from God, Christ, the angels and the saints. Then mercy shall come to us and our souls will be healed. Those who acknowledge their weakness shall gain the strength of God. Humility is the most precious treasure of the soul.