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John the Baptist Speaks of the Christ

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 96 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

Jesus–a competitor?
Now, John the harbinger, was at the Salim Springs where water was abundant, and washed the bodies of the people who confessed their sins. A Jewish lawyer went to John and said, Has not this man from Galilee, he whom you washed and called the Christ, become your foe? They say that he is at the Jordan ford; that he is building up a church, or something else, and that he washes people just as you have done” (Aquarian Gospel 79:1-3).

“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled” (Titus 1:15). In the same way, those that view religion as a business are always concerned about competitors. For this reason the scribe warns Saint John that Jesus is setting himself up in the same business. Like such people he is hoping to provoke anger and hostility in the saint, which is impossible, for Saint John himself said of himself in relation to Jesus: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Actually, John the Evangelist had been a disciple of Saint John, but he had sent him to become a disciple of Jesus (John 1:35-37)–something a worldling could never understand.

John and Jesus

“And John replied, This Jesus is indeed the Christ whose way I came to pave. He is not foe of mine. The bridegroom hath the bride; his friends are near, and when they hear his voice they all rejoice. The kingdom of the Holy One is bride, and Christ the groom; and I, the harbinger, am full of joy because they prosper so abundantly. I have performed the work that I was sent to do; the work of Jesus just begins” (Aquarian Gospel 79:4-7).

This Jesus is indeed the Christ whose way I came to pave. He is not foe of mine. There is no taint of ego in the Baptist; he knows his purpose, which is a great one indeed, for he is to prepare the way for the revelation of Jesus to Israel. For time beyond calculation, every year a crop of new Messiahs arose, usually at the Passover time in Jerusalem. Messiah-watchers never lacked for entertainment. But the prophets had said that before the Messiah came he would be preceded by the reincarnation of Elijah, and many did realize that John was Elijah returned–and therefore the authentic herald of the Messiah.

Elijah had one disciple: Elisha, the future Jesus: “And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

“And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho. And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

“And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.

“And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.

“And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.

“He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; and he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him” (II Kings 2:1-15).

Because of his master’s promise, the disciple attained twice that which his teacher had attained. In the King James translation we read that John said regarding Jesus: “This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not” (John 1:30, 31). But this not at all what the Greek text says. Rather it should read: “After me there comes a man who has become superior to me. And I did not recognize him because at first [protos] he was mine [mou]”–my disciple and less than me.

Jesus was certainly not an opponent or competitor of John, for they were cousins and had grown up together until Jesus left for India and John remained in the desert. Also they had been educated together by their mothers who had been trained for that by the Essene teachers in Egypt. Further, John was the Master of the Essenes, and all of Jesus’ family were Essenes, including most of his disciples who were also his cousins. Jesus was the very purpose of John’s incarnation, and not long after announcing Jesus to Israel John was executed. Once he had fulfilled the purpose of his birth he left this world. So Jesus was the beginning and end of his life.

The bridegroom hath the bride; his friends are near, and when they hear his voice they all rejoice. The kingdom of the Holy One is bride, and Christ the groom; and I, the harbinger, am full of joy because they prosper so abundantly. I have performed the work that I was sent to do; the work of Jesus just begins. John can now say to God as Jesus will later: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.…And now come I to thee” (John 17:4, 13).

Christ

“Then turning to the multitudes he said, Christ is the king of righteousness; Christ is the love of God; yea, he is God; one of the holy persons of the Triune God. Christ lives in every heart of purity” (Aquarian Gospel 79:8, 9).

Although it is proper to speak of Jesus (the) Christ, as already said more than once, the Master Jesus is a Christ, not the Christ. This distinction must always be kept in mind.

Christ is “the Son of God,” “the Only-begotten of the Father,” one of the divine Persons or Aspects of the Trinity. Christ is the creator of all and the ruler of all (Pantocrator), the Lord of Righteousness and Love. In Indian philosophy he is called Ishwara–the Lord. He is the link between the transcendent Father (Parabrahman) and the Holy Spirit (Mahashakti) Who is the Divine Light manifesting as all creation. Only the pure in heart can comprehend the Christ, for He lives in them. That is why Jesus the Christ said: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8)–the Christ.

Jesus

“Now, Jesus who is preaching at the Jordan ford, has been subjected to the hardest tests of human life, and he has conquered all the appetites and passions of the carnal man, and by the highest court of heaven, has been declared a man of such superior purity and holiness that he can demonstrate the presence of the Christ on earth. Lo, love divine, which is the Christ, abides in him, and he is pattern for the race. And every man can see in him what every man will be when he has conquered all the passions of the selfish self. In water I have washed the bodies of the people who have turned from sin, symbolic of the cleansing of the soul; but Jesus bathes for ever in the living waters of the Holy Breath. And Jesus comes to bring the savior of the world to men; Love is the savior of the world. And all who put their trust in Christ, and follow Jesus as a pattern and a guide, have everlasting life. But they who do not trust the Christ, and will not purify their hearts so that the Christ can dwell within, can never enter life” (Aquarian Gospel 79:10-18).

Buddha said that those who claimed he taught what he did not teach and denied that he taught what he did teach were not his friends but his enemies. It is the same with Jesus, and can also be extended to include claiming a status for him which he does not have and denying his real status and nature. Consequently it is no true praise to claim that Jesus is God the Creator of all, nor is it right to deny his true glory: that he has struggled up the ladder of evolution, conquering all obstacles and entered fully into his eternal, divine nature as a son of God, having attained such a total union with the Infinite Consciousness that he participates in the omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence of God–that he is a god in the truest sense, as are we all potentially. So Saint John is explaining the truth about Jesus.

Jesus who is preaching at the Jordan ford, has been subjected to the hardest tests of human life, and he has conquered all the appetites and passions of the carnal man, and by the highest court of heaven, has been declared a man of such superior purity and holiness that he can demonstrate the presence of the Christ on earth. Having perfected himself, Jesus was witnessed to by God at his baptism and transfiguration when God spoke to those present, saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5).

Lo, love divine, which is the Christ, abides in him, and he is pattern for the race. And every man can see in him what every man will be when he has conquered all the passions of the selfish self. Jesus shows us how we, too, must live and strive for perfection, and is living demonstration of what each one of us will be when we have complete the Path to Christhood and ourselves been revealed as perfect sons of God.

In water I have washed the bodies of the people who have turned from sin, symbolic of the cleansing of the soul; but Jesus bathes for ever in the living waters of the Holy Breath. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12). Through the spiritual means Jesus has given it is possible to be constantly renewed in spirit, “bathed” in the evolving Light of the Holy Spirit. In this way we literally live in God as part of God.

And Jesus comes to bring the savior of the world to men; Love is the savior of the world. And all who put their trust in Christ, and follow Jesus as a pattern and a guide, have everlasting life. Those who live the Christ life–not those who make a fetish of Jesus and think he will “save” them in exchange for their flattery and obsession–will enter into life eternal.

But they who do not trust the Christ, and will not purify their hearts so that the Christ can dwell within, can never enter life. So it is not a matter of Jesus, it is a matter of Christ. All Jesus can do is point us to Christ and be our example and helper, but we must make the journey ourselves. Jesus is the messenger, and Christ is the Message.

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: John Speaks Further About Jesus

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The Aquarian Gospel—Commentary and Text

The Aquarian Gospel for Awakening—A Commentary on the Aquarian Gospel
by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri)

  1. The Mother of Jesus
  2. Prophecies of the Births of Saint John the Baptist and Jesus
  3. The Birth of Jesus
  4. Revelations in the Temple
  5. Coming of the Wise Men
  6. Herod’s Reaction
  7. Revelations in Egypt
  8. The Two Selfs
  9. Deliverance From Gods and Demons
  10. About God the Tao
  11. From India to Chaldea
  12. The Wisdom of Buddha
  13. God and Prayer
  14. The Mission of Jesus and John the Baptist
  15. Sin and the Forgiveness of Sin
  16. The Universal Law of Man’s Free Will and the Divine Will For Man
  17. Understanding Death
  18. The True Teacher
  19. The Value of Ritual
  20. The Law Behind All Laws
  21. Opening To The Truth
  22. In the Temple at the Age of Ten
  23. Revelation to the Teachers and People in the Temple
  24. Jerusalem to Nazareth
  25. Nazareth to India
  26. What is Truth?
  27. What Is Man?
  28. What is Power?
  29. Understanding
  30. Wisdom
  31. Faith
  32. Healing and Healers
  33. Conflict Over Caste
  34. The Destiny of All Men
  35. God and Man
  36. The Voice in the Heart
  37. Seeing the Unseeable
  38. To God Through Man
  39. Who Is Jesus?
  40. The Real Versus The Apparent
  41. The Brotherhood of Life
  42. God…and Man
  43. Relating To God
  44. The Worthy Host
  45. Come to the Light
  46. The Kingdom Revealed
  47. The King Revealed
  48. Perspective On Death
  49. Fire and Sword
  50. Evolution: The Path of Glory
  51. The Real Heaven
  52. Getting to the Essence
  53. New Perspective on Religion
  54. In Tibet and Ladakh
  55. Words to the Worthy
  56. The Thirty-Eighth Chapter
  57. The Origin of Evil
  58. The Silence
  59. The Source of Healing
  60. The Fivefold Gospel
  61. Homecoming
  62. In Athens
  63. The Oracle of Delphi
  64. The Real God
  65. Return to Egypt
  66. First Steps to Wisdom
  67. Strong in Will and Intent
  68. Here Comes the Ego
  69. Blessed are the Merciful
  70. Claiming Our Freedom
  71. The Great Test
  72. Comprehending Death
  73. The Christ!
  74. The Asembly of the Masters
  75. The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – I
  76. The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – II
  77. The Declaration of Jesus
  78. John the Baptist – I
  79. John the Baptist – II
  80. John the Baptist – III
  81. Baptism – Jesus and John
  82. Self-Examination and Temptation
  83. The First Disciples Follow Jesus
  84. Jesus’ First Sermon
  85. The King and the Kingdom
  86. Dealing With Challengers
  87. The First Miracle of Jesus
  88. Kings and Kingdoms
  89. The Temple of God
  90. What Is A Messiah?
  91. The Laws of Healing
  92. Nicodemus Finds The Kingdom
  93. The Prince of Peace
  94. Dealing With Spiritual Opposition
  95. The Opened Gate
  96. John the Baptist Speaks of the Christ
  97. John Speaks Further About Jesus
  98. The Woman at the Well
  99. The Disciples and Samaritans at the Well
  100. Jesus in Sychar
  101. More Wisdom In Samaria
  102. The Imprisonment of John the Baptist
  103. In Jerusalem
  104. The Insights of Jesus
  105. Sabbath Wisdom
  106. Prayer and Good Deeds
  107. Divine Laws and Principles for Seekers of the Divine
  108. A New Understanding of the Ten Commandments
  109. Aspects of the Higher Law – 1
  110. Aspects of the Higher Law – 2
  111. Aspects of the Higher Law – 3
  112. Aspects of the Higher Law – 4
  113. Chapter One Hundred One
  114. Chapter One Hundred Two
  115. Chapter One Hundred Three
  116. Chapter One Hundred Four
  117. Chapter One Hundred Five
  118. Chapter One Hundred Six
  119. Chapter One Hundred Seven
  120. Chapter One Hundred Eight
  121. Chapter One Hundred Nine
  122. Chapter One Hundred Ten
  123. Chapter One Hundred Eleven
  124. Chapter One Hundred Twelve
  125. Chapter One Hundred Thirteen
  126. Chapter One Hundred Fourteen
  127. Chapter One Hundred Fifteen
  128. Chapter One Hundred Sixteen
  129. Chapter One Hundred Seventeen
  130. Chapter One Hundred Eighteen
  131. Chapter One Hundred Nineteen
  132. Chapter One Hundred Twenty
  133. Chapter One Hundred Twenty One
  134. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Two
  135. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Three
  136. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Four
  137. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Five
  138. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Six
  139. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Seven
  140. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Eight
  141. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Nine
  142. Chapter One Hundred Thirty
  143. Chapter One Hundred Thirty One
  144. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Two
  145. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Three
  146. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Four
  147. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Five
  148. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Six
  149. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Seven
  150. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Eight
  151. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Nine
  152. Chapter One Hundred Forty
  153. Chapter One Hundred Forty One
  154. Chapter One Hundred Forty Two
  155. Chapter One Hundred Forty Three
  156. Chapter One Hundred Forty Four
  157. Chapter One Hundred Forty Five
  158. Chapter One Hundred Forty Six
  159. Chapter One Hundred Forty Seven
  160. Chapter One Hundred Forty Eight
  161. Chapter One Hundred Forty Nine
  162. Chapter One Hundred Fifty
  163. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-One
  164. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Two
  165. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Three
  166. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Four
  167. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Five
  168. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Six
  169. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Seven
  170. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Eight
  171. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Nine
  172. Chapter One Hundred Sixty
  173. Chapter One Hundred Sixty One
  174. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Two
  175. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Three
  176. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Four
  177. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Five
  178. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Six
  179. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Seven
  180. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Eight
  181. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Nine
  182. Chapter One Hundred Seventy
  183. Chapter One Hundred Seventy One
  184. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Two
  185. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Three
  186. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Four
  187. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Five
  188. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Six
  189. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Seven
  190. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Eight
  191. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Nine
  192. Chapter One Hundred Eighty
  193. Chapter One Hundred Eighty One
  194. Chapter One Hundred Eighty Two

The Text of the Aquarian Gospel—by Levi Dowling

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