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Sabbath Wisdom

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 105 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening


“Another Sabbath day had come and Jesus and the twelve walked through a field of ripened wheat. And they were hungry and they took the heads of wheat and in their hands threshed out the grain and ate. Among the men who followed them were Pharisees of strictest sect, and when they saw the twelve thresh out the wheat and eat, they said to Jesus, Sir, why do the twelve do that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day?

“And Jesus said, Have you not heard what David did when he and those who followed him had need of food? How he went to the house of God and from the table in the Holy Place took of the presence bread and ate, and gave to those who followed him? I tell you, men, the needs of man are higher than the law of rites. And in our sacred books we read how priests profane the Sabbath day in many ways while they are serving in the Holy Place, and still are free from guilt” (Aquarian Gospel 93:1-8).

It is only natural, and even inevitable, that those who focus their attention on external things will adopt a religion with the same focus. Such people usually have very few if any true beliefs, but rather are interested in the material aspects of the religion and rules of external behavior. For example, they will quite happily cultivate defilement of mind, but be obsessed with ceremonial purity. Such people, being merely physical, practically speaking (Origen called them “somas”–bodies), will interpret everything in material terms and will on occasion be incredibly insistent on extremely minor things.

Jesus was faced with these people all the time, and here he encounters them among those who were following him–not in mind, but physically. Such people are always watching for lapses and transgressions in the externals that are the only righteousness they are aware of. The more external their involvement, the more fervent and even rabid is their reaction to transgressions of what they think are spiritual principles.

Right perspective on religion

“The Sabbath day was made for man; man was not made to fit the Sabbath day. The man is son of God and under the eternal law of right, which is the highest law, he may annul the statute laws. The law of sacrifice is but the law of man, and in our law we read that God desires mercy first; and mercy stands above all statute laws.

“The son of man is Lord of every law. Did not a prophet sum the duties of the man when in the book he wrote: In mercy follow justice and walk humbly with your God?” (Aquarian Gospel 93:9-12).

True religion is not for God’s benefit or glory, but for the purification and upliftment of humanity. Therefore that which elevates us is godly and necessary, and that which does not elevate, or even degrades us, is ungodly and to be shunned. Religion is not about pleasing or placating God, for that implies a lack on his part. Rather, it is about our healing and restoration to the divine image inherent in each one of us. Only when approached in this way will religion be a benefit to mankind and not the curse that so many religions have become. As Jesus indicates in this last verse: the purpose of religion is communion–and union–with God.

More Pharisaism

“Then Jesus and the twelve returned to Galilee, and on the day before the Sabbath day they reached the home of Jesus in Capernaum. And on the Sabbath day they went up to the synagogue. The multitudes were there and Jesus taught.

“Among the worshippers was one, a man who had a withered hand. The scribes and Pharisees observed that Jesus saw the man, and then they said,What will he do? Will he attempt to heal upon the Sabbath day?

“And Jesus knew their thoughts and he called to the man who had the withered hand and said, Arise, stand forth before these men. And Jesus said, You scribes and Pharisees, speak out and answer me: Is it a crime to save a life upon the Sabbath day? If you had sheep and one of them fell in a pit upon the Sabbath day would you do wrong to take it out? Or would it please your God to let it suffer in the mire until another day? But his accusers held their peace” (Aquarian Gospel 93:13-21).

We need to occasionally ask ourselves: Do I belong to and serve God, or do I belong to and serve a religion? Am I a good member of a religion or a consciously living and growing son of God? Here we seen the difference between Jesus who is living in, and as, God, and those that are servants of their own spiritual narcissism.

The true and the false

“And then he said to them, Are sheep of greater value than a man? The law of God is written on the rock of Right; and Justice wrote the law, and Mercy was the pen.

“And then he said, Man, raise your hand and stretch it forth. He raised his hand; it was restored” (Aquarian Gospel 93:22-24).

Nothing is more valuable than a conscious, living being. Any religious, philosophical, social or political system that puts anything whatsoever–including itself–above a single conscious being is evil and should certainly be avoided and even opposed if need be.

The Law of God is not a book or document, but the Truth and Right that is the fabric of the creation itself, for it, too, is made in the image of God. We look to reality, not a card-house of ideas thought up by human beings. God alone inscribes the Law. If human laws are in accord with the universal Law, that is good, but if they conflict with it, then they are bad. Right, Justice and Mercy are the three aspects of Divine Law, and we should order our lives according to those qualities. That Law is the true knowledge, the true science. All else is speculation, and usually harmful or foolish.

Unholy reaction

“The Pharisees were filled with rage. They called in secret council the Herodians, and they began to plot and plan how they might bring about his death. They were afraid to publicly accuse, because the multitudes stood forth in his defense.

“And Jesus and the twelve went down and walked beside the sea, and many people followed them” (Aquarian Gospel 93:25-27).

Just see this! The Pharisees not only were not willing to help an afflicted human being, they wanted to kill his healer. Hatred was their response to mercy. Evil people are always cowards unless they have numbers, money or political authority on their side. So they plot their evil in secret, even cooperating with those they hate so they can harm those they hate even more. (The Pharisees loathed the Herodians, but joined with them to harm Jesus.) Such people try to keep the truth from being known about their intentions and ways. Things have not changed. Just look at the contemporary political scene around the world and see what thuggery and hypocrisy is going on behind closed doors until exposed. And then they just regroup and keep right on plotting against humanity.

In contrast, the righteous do not fear their enemies, but keep on doing that which is right and teaching others to do the same. Good lives in the light and evil lives in the dark. That is why Jesus said to his accusers: “I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple; and in secret have I said nothing” (John 18:20).

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Prayer and Good Deeds

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The Aquarian Gospel—Commentary and Text

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

  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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