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The Temple of God

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 89 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

The misunderstanding multitude and the defiled temple
The Jewish paschal feast time came and Jesus left his mother in Capernaum and journeyed to Jerusalem. And he abode with one a Sadducee, whose name was Jude. And when he reached the temple courts the multitudes were there to see the prophet whom the people thought had come to break the yoke of Rome, restore the kingdom of the Jews, and rule on David’s throne. And when the people saw him come they said, All hail! behold the king!

“But Jesus answered not; he saw the money changers in the house of God, and he was grieved. The courts had been converted into marts of trade, and men were selling lambs and doves for offerings in sacrifice” (Aquarian Gospel 72:1-6).

The people had no idea what Jesus really was. They thought he was going to be a political hero, and after he began working miracles–especially the multiplication of food–they figured he was going to establish a welfare state as well, with nobody having to work and earn anything. They thought he would serve their selfish, greedy, and lazy egos. When he did not, then he had to die. This is the way of today in relation to religion: if it gives people what they want then it is wonderful, but if it not only does not give them everything they want, but says that some of what they want should be laid aside for their own good, they denounce it as evil. Things never really change.

The temple staff was equally material and greedy. Nothing could be offered that was not purchased from the temple itself. The temple made its own money, and so everyone had to change their money into temple money at a cut-throat rate of exchange. Then if any money remained to them after their offerings, they had to change the temple money back into regular money at an even more cut-throat rate. It was shameless racketeering. Wealthy people found themselves robbed in this way, and poor people could make no offerings at all. Any person with a conscience would be outraged at this situation. As a vegetarian Essene, Jesus was even further outraged at the slaughter of sentient beings in the name of God.

Confrontation

“And Jesus called the priests and said, Behold, for paltry gain you have sold out the temple of the Lord. This house ordained for prayer is now a den of thieves. Can good and evil dwell together in the courts of God? I tell you, no.

“And then he made a scourge of cords and drove the merchants out; he overturned their boards, and threw their money on the floor. He opened up the cages of the captive birds, and cut the cords that bound the lambs, and set them free. The priests and scribes rushed out, and would have done him harm, but they were driven back; the common people stood in his defense.

“And then the rulers said, Who is this Jesus you call king? The people said, He is the Christ of whom our prophets wrote; he is the king who will deliver Israel” (Aquarian Gospel 72:7-13).

Good and evil cannot dwell together in us who are temples of the Holy Spirit lest the evil destroy the good. The Communists used to burble on hypocritically about “peaceful coexistence” and so do hypocritical religionists in relation to good and evil in the lives of their supporters. But the wise know that evil must be eliminated thoroughly from their minds, and set about to do so–not by gentle, compromising diplomacy, but by a head-on attack and expulsion of evil and folly from every aspect of their life. The ego, and those who are slaves of ego, will be horrified at this and challenge it in hope of stopping it, but the worthy will keep right on till they are purified in life and heart.

Jesus’ defense

“The rulers said to Jesus, Man, if you be king, or Christ, then show us signs. Who gave you right to drive these merchants out?

“And Jesus said, There is no loyal Jew who would not give his life to save this temple from disgrace; in this I acted simply as a loyal Jew, and you yourselves will bear me witness to this truth.

“The signs of my messiahship will follow me in words and deeds. And you may tear the temple down (and you will tear it down) and in three days it will be built again more glorious than before. Now Jesus meant that they might take his life; tear down his body, temple of the Holy Breath, and he would rise again.

“The Jews knew not the meaning of his words; they laughed his claims to scorn. They said, A multitude of men were forty and six years in building up this house, and this young stranger claims that he will build it up in three score hours; his words are idle, and his claims are naught” (Aquarian Gospel 72:14-20).

These verses tell us a significant truth. “The signs of my messiahship will follow me in words and deeds” carries a very important message. Many people have a deluded idea about their spiritual status and many more simply lie, claiming to be enlightened and even incarnations of God. (The “avatars” I have met have all been mentally unbalanced but managing to not be locked up.)

A great deal of evil and foolishness is covered up by the claim that ordinary people cannot understand highly evolved beings who are beyond the comprehension of unenlightened people. “Crazy wisdom” is a term coined by the contemporary scoundrels in America who pass themselves off as enlightened “advaita” or “non-dual” teachers. But Christhood is revealed in a Christ’s words and deeds. And it must be the same with us who seek Christhood. We should examine our thoughts and actions carefully to detect our actual spiritual status. That is why Jesus said: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:15-20). And this applies to us, as well.

Philo’s intervention

“And then they took the scourge with which he drove the merchants out, and would have driven him away; but Philo, who had come from Egypt to attend the feast, stood forth and said, You men of Israel, hear! This man is more than man; take heed to what you do. I have, myself, heard Jesus speak, and all the winds were still. And I have seen him touch the sick, and they were healed. He stands a sage above the sages of the world; and you will see his star arise, and it will grow until it is the full-orbed Sun of Righteousness. Do not be hasty, men; just wait and you will have the proofs of his messiahship” (Aquarian Gospel 72:21-25).

Philo was the greatest of Jewish philosophers. His home was in Alexandria, which after the destruction of Jerusalem became the center of Christianity. His spiritual writings are still available in English translations. Actually, they set the tone for subsequent Christian writings in which the scriptures are seen as both historical and symbolic, the symbolic being the most important as it reveals the development of the questing consciousness and the principles to be followed in that quest.

Jesus’ response

“And then the priests laid down the scourge, and Jesus said, Prepare, O Israel, prepare to meet your king! But you can never see the king while you press sin as such a precious idol to your hearts. The king is God; the pure in heart alone can see the face of God and live.

“And then the priests cried out, This fellow claims to be the God. Is not this sacrilege! away with him! But Jesus said, No man has ever heard me say, I am a king. Our Father-God is king. With every loyal Jew I worship God. I am the candle of the Lord aflame to light the way; and while you have the light walk in the light” (Aquarian Gospel 72:26-31).

Prepare, O Israel, prepare to meet your king! But you can never see the king while you press sin as such a precious idol to your hearts. The idea that preparation is necessary for sustained spiritual life and experience is not new in the Aquarian Gospel, but here we have the crux of spiritual blindness: the love and fostering of wrong. And wrong need not be some glaring faults or evil deeds, but such things as selfishness, pettiness, jealousy, material attachments, and such like. Whatever clouds our inner spiritual vision is a great evil, however small it may appear to the world and our ego-moulded mind.

The king is God; the pure in heart alone can see the face of God and live. Yogananda often spoke of the absolute necessity of purifying and developing our inner consciousness and also our physical bodies. He said that just as a high voltage current will destroy a low-wattage light bulb, in the same way the body of one who is not prepared and purified would be incinerated if God was just touched momentarily.

Sri Ramakrishna gave exalted spiritual experiences to those who were purified. One day a priest of the Kali temple where he lived demanded that he give him some experience as well. Because the priest kept insisting and would not lieae him alone, Sri Ramakrishna reached out and touched him. Immediately the priest fall down and began rolling around screaming: “I’m burning! I’m burning!” Sri Ramakrishna touched him again and the priest stopped thrashing around and screaming. With a smile, Sri Ramakrishna said: “Perhaps in another life.” In Eastern Christian theology it is said that eventually God will withdraw the veil of material existence that hides the Face of God and each person will react according to his spiritual status–that the same Light that will be the rejoicing of the saints will be the fire of hell to the wicked. That God will not be punishing them at all–their torment will be entirely of their own doing.

And then the priests cried out, This fellow claims to be the God. Is not this sacrilege! away with him! But Jesus said, No man has ever heard me say, I am a king. Our Father-God is king. With every loyal Jew I worship God. Here we see the truth about Jesus. He is not God but god–as are we. When Saint Paul wrote: “Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (I Corinthians 15:29), he was speaking spiritually, not about the resurrection of Jesus’ body. All humanity sleeps “the sleep of death” (Psalms 13:3) until they awake and arise into “newness of life” (Romans 6:4) through spiritual resurrection as did Jesus. That is why Saint Paul also refers to human beings as Jesus’ brothers (Hebrews 2:17).

I am the candle of the Lord aflame to light the way; and while you have the light walk in the light. Jesus, being illumined by the Light of God, shows us the way to the same enlightenment, saying: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The Beloved Disciple said: “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (I John 2:6), and said that “we walk in the light, as he is in the light” (I John 1:7). This is a high ideal, but it is really only the natural conclusion when we realize that we are essentially part of the Divine Life, as a wave is part of the ocean. This is the Christine Gospel, the Good News of Christ.

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: What Is A Messiah?

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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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