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Home - The Aquarian Gospel Text - Part 3 of the Aquarian Gospel: Childhood and Early Education of John the Harbinger, and Childhood and Early Education of Jesus

Part 3 of the Aquarian Gospel: Childhood and Early Education of John the Harbinger, and Childhood and Early Education of Jesus

Hoffman's Christ in WhiteThe Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ
Transcribed from The Book of God’s Remembrance (Akashic Records)
by Levi H. Dowling (1844-1911)

––– Continued –––


Childhood and Early Education of John the Harbinger

Elizabeth in Engedi.  Teaches her son.  John becomes the pupil of Matheno, who reveals to him the meaning of sin and the law of forgiveness.

ELIZABETH was blest; she spent her time with John, and gave to him the lessons that Elihu and Salome had given her.
2. And John delighted in the wildness of his home and in the lessons that he learned.
3. Now in the hills were many caves. The cave of David was a-near in which the Hermit of Engedi lived.
4. This hermit was Matheno, priest of Egypt, master from the temple of Sakara.
5. When John was seven years of age Matheno took him to the wilderness and in the cave of David they abode.
6. Matheno taught, and John was thrilled with what the master said, and day by day Matheno opened up to him the mysteries of life.
7. John loved the wilderness; he loved his master and his simple fare. Their food was fruits, and nuts, wild honey and the carob bread.
8. Matheno was an Israelite, and he attended all the Jewish feasts.
9. When John was nine years old Matheno took him to a great feast in Jerusalem.
10. The wicked Archelaus had been deposed and exiled to a distant land because of selfishness and cruelty, and John was not afraid.
11. John was delighted with his visit to Jerusalem. Matheno told him all about the service of the Jews; the meaning of their rites.
12. John could not understand how sin could be forgiven by killing animals and birds and burning them before the Lord.
13. Matheno said, The God of heaven and earth does not require sacrifice. This custom with its cruel rites was borrowed from the idol worshippers of other lands.
14. No sin was ever blotted out by sacrifice of animal, of bird, or man.
15. Sin is the rushing forth of man into fens of wickedness. If one would get away from sin he must retrace his steps, and find his way out of the fens of wickedness.
16. Return and purify your hearts by love and righteousness and you shall be forgiven.
17. This is the burden of the message that the harbinger shall bring to men.
18. What is forgiveness? John inquired.
19. Matheno said, It is the paying up of debts. A man who wrongs another man can never be forgiven until he rights the wrong.
20. The Vedas says that none can right the wrong but him who does the wrong.
21. John said, If this be true where is the power to forgive except the power that rests in man himself? Can man forgive himself?
22. Matheno said, The door is wide ajar; you see the way of man’s return to right, and the forgiveness of his sins.

Matheno’s lessons.  The doctrine of universal law. The power of man to choose and to attain. The benefits of antagonisms.  Ancient sacred books. The place of John and Jesus in the world’s history.

MATHENO and his pupil, John, were talking of the sacred books of olden times, and of the golden precepts they contained, and John exclaimed,
2. These golden precepts are sublime; what need have we of other sacred books?
3. Matheno said, The Spirits of the Holy One cause every thing to come and go in proper time.
4. The sun has his own time to set, the moon to rise, to wax and wane, the stars to come and go, the rain to fall, the winds to blow;
5. The seed times and the harvest times to come; man to be born and man to die.
6. These mighty Spirits cause the nations to be born; they rock them in their cradles, nurture them to greatest power, and when their tasks are done they wrap them in their winding sheets and lay them in their tombs.
7. Events are many in a nation’s life, and in the life of man, that are not pleasant for the time; but in the end the truth appears: whatever comes is for the best.
8. Man was created for a noble part; but he could not be made a free man filled with wisdom, truth and might,
9. If he were hedged about, confined in straits from which he could not pass, then he would be a toy, a mere machine.
10. Creative spirits gave to man a will; and so he has the power to choose.
11. He may attain the greatest heights, or sink to deepest depths; for what he wills to gain he has the power to gain.
12. If he desires strength he has the power to gain that strength; but he must overcome resistances to reach the goal; no strength is ever gained in idleness.
13. So, in the whirl of many-sided conflicts man is placed where he must strive to extricate himself.
14. In every conflict man gains strength; with every conquest he attains to greater heights. With every day he finds new duties and new cares.
15. Man is not carried over dangerous pits, nor helped to overcome his foes. He is himself his army, and his sword and shield; and he is captain of his hosts.
16. The Holy Ones just light his way. Man never has been left without a beacon light to guide.
17. And he has ever had a lighted lamp in hand that he may see the dangerous rocks, the turbid streams and treacherous pits.
18. And so the Holy Ones have judged; when men have needed added light a master soul has come to earth to give the light.
19. Before the Vedic days the world had many sacred books to light the way; and when man needed greater light the Vedas, the Avesta and the books of Tao Great appeared to show the way to greater heights.
20. And in the proper place the Hebrew Bible, with its Law, its Prophets and its Psalms, appeared for man’s enlightenment.
21. But years have passed and men have need of greater light.
22. And now the Day Star from on high begins to shine; and Jesus is the flesh-made messenger to show that light to men.
23. And you, my pupil, you have been ordained to harbinger the coming day.
24. But you must keep that purity of heart you now possess; and you must light your lamp directly from the coals that burn upon the altar of the Holy Ones.
25. And then your lamp will be transmuted to a boundless flame, and you will be a living torch whose light will shine wherever man abides.
26. But in the ages yet to come, man will attain to greater heights, and lights still more intense will come.
27 And then, at last, a mighty master soul will come to earth to light the way up to the throne of perfect man.

Death and burial of Elizabeth.  Matheno’s lessons.  The ministry of death. The mission of John.   Institution of the rite of baptism. Matheno takes John to Egypt, and places him in the temple at Sakara, where he remains eighteen years.

WHEN John was twelve years old his mother died, and neighbors laid her body in a tomb among her kindred in the Hebron burying ground, and near to Zacharias’ tomb.
2. And John was deeply grieved; he wept. Matheno said,
It is not well to weep because of death.
3. Death is no enemy of man; it is a friend who, when the work of life is done, just cuts the cord that binds the human boat to earth, that it may sail on smoother seas.
4. No language can describe a mother’s worth, and yours was tried and true. But she was not called hence until her tasks were done.
5. The calls of death are always for the best, for we are solving problems there as well as here; and one is sure to find himself where he can solve his problems best.
6. It is but selfishness that makes one wish to call again to earth departed souls.
7. Then let your mother rest in peace. Just let her noble life be strength and inspiration unto you.
8. A crisis in your life has come, and you must have a clear conception of the work that you are called to do.
9. The sages of the ages call you harbinger. The prophets look to you and say, He is Elijah come again.
10. Your mission here is that of harbinger; for you will go before Messiah’s face to pave his way, and make the people ready to receive their king.
11. This readiness is purity of heart; none but the pure in heart can recognize the king.
12. To teach men to be pure in heart, you must yourself be pure in heart, and word, and deed.
13. In infancy the vow for you was made and you became a Nazarite. The razor shall not touch your face nor head, and you shall taste not wine nor fiery drinks.
14. Men need a pattern for their lives; they love to follow, not to lead.
15. The man who stands upon the corners of the paths and points the way, but does not go, is just a pointer; and a block of wood can do the same.
16. The teacher treads the way; on every span of ground he leaves his footprints clearly cut, which all can see and be assured that he, their master went that way.
17. Men comprehend the inner life by what they see and do. They come to God through ceremonies and forms.
18. And so when you would make men know that sins are washed away by purity in life, a rite symbolic may be introduced.
19. In water wash the bodies of the people who would turn away from sin and strive for purity in life.
20. This rite of cleansing is a preparation rite and they who thus are cleansed comprise the Church of Purity.
21. And you shall say, You men of Israel, hear; Reform and wash; become the sons of purity, and you shall be forgiven.
22. This rite of cleansing and this church are but symbolic of the cleansing of the soul by purity in life, and of the kingdom of the soul, which does not come from outward show, but is the church within.
23. Now, you may never point the way and tell the multitudes to do what you have never done; but you must go before and show the way.
24. You are to teach that men must wash; so you must lead the way, your body must be washed, symbolic of the cleansing of the soul.
25. John said, Why need I wait? May I not go at once and wash?
26. Matheno said, ’Tis well, and then they went down to the Jordan ford, and east of Jericho, just where the hosts of Israel crossed when first they entered Canaan, they tarried for a time.
27. Matheno taught the harbinger, and he explained to him the inner meaning of the cleansing rite and how to wash himself and how to wash the multitude.
28. And in the river Jordan John was washed; then they returned unto the wilderness.
29. Now in Engedi’s hills Matheno’s work was done and he and John went down to Egypt. They rested not until they reached the temple of Sakara in the valley of the Nile.
30. For many years Matheno was a master in this temple of the Brotherhood, and when he told about the life of John and of his mission to the sons of men, the hierophant with joy received the harbinger and he was called the Brother Nazarite.
31. For eighteen years John lived and wrought within these temple gates; and here he conquered self, became a master mind and learned the duties of the harbinger.


Childhood and Early Education of Jesus

The home of Joseph.  Mary teaches her son.  Jesus’ grandparents give a feast in his honor.  Jesus has a dream.  His grandmother’s interpretation.  His birthday gift.

THE home of Joseph was on Marmion Way in Nazareth; here Mary taught her son the lessons of Elihu and Salome.
2. And Jesus greatly loved the Vedic hymns and the Avesta; but more than all he loved to read the Psalms of David and the pungent words of Solomon.
3. The Jewish books of prophecy were his delight; and when he reached his seventh year he needed not the books to read, for he had fixed in memory every word.
4. Joachim and his wife, grandparents of child Jesus, made a feast in honor of the child, and all their near of kin were guests.
5. And Jesus stood before the guests and said, I had a dream, and in my dream I stood before a sea, upon a sandy beach.
6. The waves upon the sea were high; a storm was raging on the deep.
7. Someone gave me a wand. I took the wand and touched the sand, and every grain of sand became a living thing; the beach was all a mass of beauty and of song.
8. I touched the waters at my feet, and they were changed to trees, and flowers, and singing birds, and every thing was praising God.
9. And someone spoke, I did not see the one who spoke, I heard the voice, which said, There is no death.
10. Grandmother Anna loved the child; she laid her hand on Jesus’ head and said, I saw you stand beside the sea; I saw you touch the sand and waves; I saw them turn to living things and then I knew the meaning of the dream.
11. The sea of life rolls high; the storms are great. The multitude of men are idle, listless, waiting, like dead sand upon the beach.
12. Your wand is truth. With this you touch the multitudes, and every man becomes a messenger of holy light and life.
13. You touch the waves upon the sea of life; their turmoils cease; the very winds become a song of praise.
14. There is no death, because the wand of truth can change the driest bones to living things, and bring the loveliest flowers from stagnant ponds, and turn the most discordant notes to harmony and praise.
15. Joachim said, My son, today you pass the seventh milestone of your way of life, for you are seven years of age, and we will give to you, as a remembrance of this day, whatever you desire; choose that which will afford you most delight.
16. And Jesus said, I do not want a gift, for I am satisfied. If I could make a multitude of children glad upon this day I would be greatly pleased.
17. Now, there are many hungry boys and girls in Nazareth who would be pleased to eat with us this feast and share with us the pleasures of this day.
18. The richest gift that you can give to me is your permission to go out and find these needy ones and bring them here that they may feast with us.
19. Joachim said, ’Tis well; go out and find the needy boys and girls and bring them here; we will prepare enough for all.
20. And Jesus did not wait; he ran; he entered every dingy hut and cabin of the town; he did not waste his words; he told his mission everywhere.
21. And in a little time one hundred and three-score of happy, ragged boys and girls were following him up Marmion Way.
22. The guests made way; the banquet hall was filled with Jesus’ guests, and Jesus and his mother helped to serve.
23. And there was food enough for all, and all were glad; and so the birthday gift of Jesus was a crown of righteousness.

Jesus talks with the rabbi of the synagogue of Nazareth. He criticizes the narrowness of Jewish thought.

NOW, Rabbi Barachia of the synagogue of Nazareth, was aid to Mary in the teaching of her son.
2. One morning after service in the synagogue the rabbi said to Jesus as he sat in silent thought, Which is the greatest of the Ten Commands?
3. And Jesus said, I do not see a greatest of the Ten Commands. I see a golden cord that runs through all the Ten Commands that binds them fast and makes them one.
4. This cord is love, and it belongs to every word of all the Ten Commands.
5. If one is full of love he can do nothing else than worship God; for God is love.
6. If one is full of love, he cannot kill; he cannot falsely testify; he cannot covet; can do naught but honor God and man.
7. If one is full of love he does not need commands of any kind.
8. And Rabbi Barachia said, Your words are seasoned with the salt of wisdom that is from above. Who is the teacher who has opened up this truth to you?
9. And Jesus said, I do not know that any teacher opened up this truth for me. It seems to me that truth was never shut; that it was always opened up, for truth is one and it is everywhere.
10. And if we open up the windows of our minds the truth will enter in and make herself at home; for truth can find her way through any crevice, any window, any open door.
11. The rabbi said, What hand is strong enough to open up the windows and the doors of mind so truth can enter in?
12. And Jesus said, It seems to me that love, the golden cord that binds the Ten Commands in one, is strong enough to open any human door so that the truth can enter in and cause the heart to understand.
13. Now, in the evening Jesus and his mother sat alone, and Jesus said,
14. The rabbi seems to think that God is partial in his treatment of the sons of men; that Jews are favored and are blest above all other men.
15. I do not see how God can have his favorites and be just.
16. Are not Samaritans and Greeks and Romans just as much the children of the Holy One as are the Jews?
17. I think the Jews have built a wall about themselves, and they see nothing on the other side of it.
18. They do not know that flowers are blooming over there; that sowing times and reaping times belong to anybody but the Jews.
19. It surely would be well if we could break these barriers down so that the Jews might see that God has other children that are just as greatly blest.
20. I want to go from Jewry land and meet my kin in other countries of my Fatherland.

Jesus at a feast in Jerusalem.  Is grieved by the cruelties of the sacrificers. Appeals to Hillel, who sympathizes with him.  He remains in the temple a year.

THE great feast of the Jews was on, and Joseph, Mary and their son, and many of their kin, went to Jerusalem. The child was ten years old.
2. And Jesus watched the butchers kill the lambs and birds and burn them on the altar in the name of God.
3. His tender heart was shocked at this display of cruelty; he asked the serving priest, What is the purpose of this slaughter of the beasts and birds? Why do you burn their flesh before the Lord?
4. The priest replied, This is our sacrifice for sin. God has commanded us to do these things, and said that in these sacrifices all our sins are blotted out.
5. And Jesus said, Will you be kind enough to tell when God proclaimed that sins are blotted out by sacrifice of any kind?
6. Did not David say that God requires not a sacrifice for sin? that it is a sin itself to bring before his face burnt offerings, as offerings for sin? Did not Isaiah say the same?
7. The priest replied, My child you are beside yourself. Do you know more about the laws of God than all the priests of Israel? This is no place for boys to show their wit.
8. But Jesus heeded not his taunts; he went to Hillel, chief of the Sanhedrin, and he said to him,
9. Rabboni, I would like to talk with you; I am disturbed about this service of the pascal feast. I thought the temple was the house of God where love and kindness dwell.
10. Do you not hear the bleating of those lambs, the pleading of those doves that men are killing over there? Do you not smell that awful stench that comes from burning flesh?
11. Can man be kind and just, and still be filled with cruelty?
12. A God that takes delight in sacrifice, in blood and burning flesh, is not my Father-God.
13. I want to find a God of love, and you, my master, you are wise, and surely you can tell me where to find the God of love.
14. But Hillel could not give an answer to the child. His heart was stirred with sympathy. He called the child to him; he laid his hand upon his head and wept.
15. He said, There is a God of love, and you shall come with me; and hand in hand we will go forth and find the God of love.
16. And Jesus said, Why need we go? I thought that God was everywhere. Can we not purify our hearts and drive out cruelty, and every wicked thought, and make within, a temple where the God of love can dwell?
17. The master of the great Sanhedrin felt as though he was himself the child, and that before him stood Rabboni, master of the higher law.
18. He said within himself, This child is surely a prophet sent from God.
19. Then Hillel sought the parents of the child, and asked that Jesus might abide with them, and learn the precepts of the law, and all the lessons of the temple priests.
20. His parents gave consent, and Jesus did abide within the holy temple in Jerusalem, and Hillel taught him every day.
21. And every day the master learned from Jesus many lessons of the higher life.
22. The child remained with Hillel in the temple for a year, and then returned unto his home in Nazareth; and there he wrought with Joseph as a carpenter.

Jesus at the age of twelve in the temple.  Disputes with the doctors of the law. Reads from a book of prophecy.  By request of Hillel he interprets the prophecies.

AGAIN the great feast in Jerusalem was on, and Joseph, Mary and their son were there. The child was twelve years old.
2. And there were Jews and proselytes from many countries in Jerusalem.
3. And Jesus sat among the priests and doctors in the temple hall.
4. And Jesus opened up a book of prophecy and read:
5. Woe, woe to Ariel, the town where David dwelt! I will dismantle Ariel, and she shall groan and weep:
6. And I will camp against her round about with hostile posts;
7. And I will bring her low and she shall speak out of the earth; with muffled voice like a familiar spirit shall she speak; yea she shall only whisper forth her speech;
8. And foes unnumbered, like the grains of dust, shall come upon her suddenly.
9. The Lord of Hosts will visit her with thunder and with tempest, and with storm; with earthquake, and with devouring flames.
10. Lo, all these people have deserted me. They draw to me with speech, and with their lips they honor me; their hearts are far removed from me; their fear for me is that inspired by man.
11. And I will breathe upon my people, Israel; the wisdom of their wise men shall be lost; the understanding of their prudent men shall not be found.
12. My people seek to hide their counsel from the Lord, so that their works may not be seen. They fain would cover up their works with darkness of the night, and say, Who sees us now? Who knows us now?
13. Poor, foolish men! shall that which has been made say of its maker, He is naught, I made myself?
14. Or shall the pot speak out and say to him, who made the pot, You have no skill; you do not know?
15. But this will not forever be; the time will come when Lebanon will be a fruitful field, and fruitful fields will be transformed to groves.
16. And on that day the deaf will hear the words of God; the blind will read the Book of God’s Remembrance.
17. And suffering ones will be relieved, and they will have abundant joy; and every one that needs will be supplied; and it will come to pass that all the foolish will be wise.
18. The people will return and sanctify the Holy One, and in their heart of hearts, lo, they will reverence him.
19. When Jesus had thus read he put aside the book and said, You masters of the law, will you make plain for us the prophet’s words?
20. Now, Hillel sat among the masters of the law, and he stood forth and said, Perhaps our young rabboni who has read the word will be interpreter.
21. And Jesus said, The Ariel of the prophet is our own Jerusalem.
22. By selfishness and cruelty this people has become a stench unto the Elohim.
23. The prophet saw these days from far, and of these times he wrote.
24. Our doctors, lawyers, priests and scribes oppress the poor, while they themselves in luxury live.
25. The sacrifices and the offerings of Israel are but abomination unto God. They only sacrifice that God requires is self.
26. Because of this injustice and this cruelty of man to man, the Holy One has spoken of this commonwealth:
27. Lo, I will overturn, yes, I will overturn, it shall be overturned, and it shall be no more until he comes whose right it is and I will give it unto him.
28. In all the world there is one law of right, and he who breaks that law will suffer grief; for God is just.
29. And Israel has gone far astray; has not regarded justice, nor the rights of man, and God demands that Israel shall reform, and turn again to ways of holiness.
30. And if our people will not hear the voice of God, lo, nations from afar will come and sack Jerusalem, and tear our temple down, and take our people captive into foreign lands.
31. But this will not forever be; though they be scattered far and wide, and wander here and there among the nations of the earth, like sheep that have no shepherd guide.
32. The time will come when God will bring again the captive hosts; for Israel shall return and dwell in peace.
33. And after many years our temple shall be built again, and one whom God will honor, one in whom the pure in heart delights will come and glorify the house of God, and reign in righteousness.
34. When Jesus had thus said, he stepped aside, and all the people were amazed and said, This surely is the Christ.

After the feast.  The homeward journey . The missing Jesus.  The search for him. His parents find him in the temple.  He goes with them to Nazareth. Symbolic meaning of carpenter’s tools.

THE great feast of the pasch was ended and the Nazarenes were journeying towards their homes.
2. And they were in Samaria, and Mary said, Where is my son? No one had seen the boy.
3. And Joseph sought among their kindred who were on their way to Galilee; but they had seen him not.
4. Then Joseph, Mary, and a son of Zebedee, returned and sought through all Jerusalem, but they could find him not.
5. And then they went up to the temple courts and asked the guards, Have you seen Jesus, a fair-haired boy, with deep blue eyes, twelve years of age, about these courts?
6. The guards replied, Yes, he is in the temple now disputing with the doctors of the law.
7. And they went in, and found him as the guards had said.
8. And Mary said, Why Jesus, why do you treat your parents thus? Lo, we have sought two days for you. We feared that some great harm had overtaken you.
9. And Jesus said, Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s work?
10. But he went round and pressed the hand of every doctor of the law and said, I trust that we may meet again.
11. And then he went forth with his parents on their way to Nazareth; and when they reached their home he wrought with Joseph as a carpenter.
12. One day as he was bringing forth the tools for work he said,
13. These tools remind me of the ones we handle in the workshop of the mind where things are made of thought and where we build up character.
14. We use the square to measure all our lines, to straighten out the crooked places of the way, and make the corners of our conduct square.
15. We use the compass to draw circles round our passions and desires to keep them in the bounds of righteousness.
16. We use the axe to cut away the knotty, useless and ungainly parts and make the character symmetrical.
17. We use the hammer to drive home the truth, and pound it in until it is a part of every part.
18. We use the plane to smooth the rough, uneven surfaces of joint, and block, and board that go to build the temple for the truth.
19. The chisel, line, the plummet and the saw all have their uses in the workshop of the mind.
20. And then this ladder with its trinity of steps, faith, hope and love; on it we climb up to the dome of purity in life.
21. And on the twelve-step ladder we ascend until we reach the pinnacle of that which life is spent to build–the Temple of Perfected Man.

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