“Now, Mary took her son, when he was forty days of age, up to the temple in Jerusalem, and he was consecrated by the priest. And then she offered purifying sacrifices for herself, according to the custom of the Jews; a lamb and two young turtle doves” (Aquarian Gospel 4:1, 2).
Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary took Him to the Temple to be consecrated, for the Law said: “Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord” (Luke 2:23). That is, if the firstborn child was male, he would be consecrated to God and considered of the priestly class (Levite) and allowed to teach in the synagogue. She also offered thanksgiving for having given birth without any mishap to her or the child.
“A pious Jew named Simeon was in the temple serving God. From early youth he had been looking for Immanuel to come, and he had prayed to God that he might not depart until his eyes had seen Messiah in the flesh. And when he saw the infant Jesus he rejoiced and said, I now am ready to depart in peace, for I have seen the king” (Aquarian Gospel 4:3-5).
According to ancient records Simeon, then a young man, had been among those chosen to translate the Hebrew scriptures into Greek at the request of Ptolemy, Pharaoh of Egypt, to be placed in the great library of Alexandria. The religious leaders in Jerusalem had initially refused to allow this translation, but when Ptolemy offered to free all Hebrew slaves that were then in Egypt, they agreed to it. Seventy scholars, one of whom was Simeon, went to Egypt and made the translation there. (Therefore it is called The Septuagint–The Seventy.) When the translators came to the words: “The Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14), Simeon objected to translating it, saying that the Egyptians would laugh at it. That night an angel visited him and told him that he would not die until he himself should see the virgin and child spoken of in the prophecy. Eventually all Israel knew of this, and every Passover looked to see if he was still alive. At the time of Jesus’ birth he was one hundred and fifty years old. So when he acknowledged the child as the promised Messiah all Israel came to know of that, too. When we consider all these things as well as the tremendous signs given in Jesus’ ministry of three years later on, it is astonishing that he was not only rejected but murdered. No wonder Saint John in his gospel:
“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25).
“And then he took the infant in his arms and said, Behold, this child will bring a sword upon my people, Israel, and all the world; but he will break the sword and then the nations will learn war no more” (Aquarian Gospel 4:6).
This is a prophecy of the two comings of the Lord Jesus. In His first coming He surely brought a sword. For those who believed in Him and followed His Way, he brought the sword of victory over all evil, the power to cut away all the bonds of ignorance that held them captive. To those that rejected (not just passively ignored and disbelieved) Him He brought the sword of cutting off for that and many lifetimes. He brought a sword of separation between the wise and the foolish, the just and the unjust, the faithful and the unfaithful, the believing and the unbelieving. For all nations He brought the sword of bewilderment to the eyes of the willfully ignorant and wayward and the sword of confusion to the dull of heart who could not comprehend His gospel. Christianity itself because a sword of destruction in the hands of the unfit and prideful to work their lust for power and conquest and riches. That which should have been a blessing became a curse unto the earth. All this came from His first coming as Son of Joseph. But in His return as Son of David He Himself will break all such swords and bestow peace upon nations as well as individuals so they “will learn war no more.”
Speaking further of Jesus, Simeon declared: “The master’s cross I see upon the forehead of this child, and he will conquer by this sign” (Aquarian Gospel 4:7).
It is thought that the cross is a Christian symbol, but it is more than that, being an ancient holy sign both to the Jews and to the Egyptians, the Jews calling it Tau (Mark), and the Egyptians calling it Ankh (Life). The Tau or Ankh is a T surmounted by a circle or an ellipse (oval) representing the mastery of materiality by the spirit–matter being represented by the T and spirit by the circle. Hence it is a symbol of eternal life–of the triumph of spirit life over material death. It is therefore a symbol of resurrection from death to life, not a symbol of sacrifice and death. The original Christians did not use the Roman implement of crucifixion as their symbol as that would be a declaration of the power of death over life. Rather, they used the crux ansata, the Cross of Life, the Tau/Ankh. Both Jews and Egyptians looked upon the Ankh as having the power to convey life. So it was also considered a symbol of Christ and of Jesus Who conquered death through Christhood. This cross was the mark of Christhood. The original Christians (Christines) used the Cross of Life, wearing it and drawing it upon the walls of their homes.
The Cross of Life is also a symbol of the Trinity. The circle is the Father, the horizontal bar is the Son, and the base is the Holy Spirit Mother. It also symbolizes the human being: the circle is the superconscious mind, the horizontal bar the conscious mind, and the base the subconscious mind. The circle is also considered to be the rising sun resting upon the horizon of the earth, a symbol of the dawning of spiritual-consciousness.
The Egyptians particularly looked upon the Ankh as having innate energizing power either by touch or by sight. This immediately reminds us of the cross which Moses made in the wilderness, the sight of which cured those bitten by poisonous snakes (Numbers 21:8, 9). In later times the gods were shown holding the Ankh by the circle to indicate that they were masters of spiritual consciousness–that this was what made them gods.
In the book of Ezekiel God speaks to an angel and says to him: “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark (tau) upon the foreheads of the men” (Ezekiel 9:4) that were righteous. For a great destruction was coming upon the people, but it would “come not near any man upon whom is the mark (tau)” (Ezekiel 9:6).
“And in the temple was a widow, four and eighty years of age, and she departed not, but night and day she worshipped God. And when she saw the infant Jesus she exclaimed, Behold Immanuel! Behold the signet cross of the Messiah on his brow!” (Aquarian Gospel 4:8, 9).
There must have been some esoteric lore among the Essenes, known to Simeon and Anna, which said that a Tau would be seen clairvoyantly upon the foreheads of the masters and of the Master of masters, the Messiah.
“And then the woman knelt to worship him, as God with us, Immanuel; but one, a master, clothed in white, appeared and said, Good woman, stay; take heed to what you do; you may not worship man; this is idolatry. This child is man, the son of man, and worthy of all praise. You shall adore and worship God; him only shall you serve. The woman rose and bowed her head in thankfulness and worshipped God. And Mary took the infant Jesus and returned to Bethlehem.” (Aquarian Gospel 4:10-14).
This is a most valuable lesson, since religious people continually break the command to have no other gods but God (Exodus 20:3). They substitute just about anything for God, some things being more ridiculous or harmful than others. Perhaps the last “idol” to be erected is that of enlightened beings that are Christs and Saviors–yet only by virtue of their total union with God. True, they are part of God, waves of the Infinite Sea, yet they are not God, and without God they would be less than nothing–they would not even exist.
When Paul and Barnabas were at Lystra the people thought they were the gods Jupiter and Mercury because of their miracles and their sacred demeanor. The priest of Jupiter even tried to offer sacrifice to them (Acts 14:11-18). But they called out to the people and said: “Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God” (Acts 14:15). On one hand this shows the laudable eagerness of the people to have contact with God, but on the other it shows their ignorance of the nature of God.
The proofs commonly set forth by exoteric Christianity as to the divinity of Jesus are really the proofs of His being a perfect Son of God, a Christ. Compared to ordinary men–and angels–Jesus certainly is a god. But He is not THE God, and so the master appeared and stopped Anna in her attempt to worship the Child. It is no honoring of Jesus to call Him what He is not and to use Him as an excuse to usurp the rightful place of God Who alone is worthy of worship. Rather, it is an attempt to turn Jesus in the “man of sin” who “as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (II Thessalonians 2:3, 4). It is an insulting attempt to turn Jesus from Christ into Antichrist however sentimentally and “reverently” it may be done.
During his vision recorded in Revelation, Jesus guided Saint John who tells us that toward its end: “I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). To accept the testimony of Jesus is to worship God alone.
When Jesus was in Bethany He had this to say about who and what He was and was not:
“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).
Nothing further need be said; but much must be done.
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Coming of the Wise Men