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Bible Independent Study Module No. 27

   "The Bible has been given to the Western World by the Recording Angels who give to each and all exactly what they need for their development."
  —Max Heindel

Miscellaneous Interpretations [continued]

  References: I Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 6:20; 7:1-28; 11:28; Job 19:26; Mark 16:15.

The Christian Feasts: The feasts of the year have a very deep esoteric significance. From the material point of view, the planets are but so many masses of matter revolving in their orbits in obedience to so-called blind laws, but to the esotericist they appear as Great Spirits, moving about in space as we move in the world.

  When a man is seen gesticulating, we attach a certain significance to his gestures. If he shakes his head, we know that he is negativing a certain proposition, but if he nods, we infer that he agrees. If he beckons, having the palms of his hands turned toward him, we know that he is motioning for someone to come to him, but if he turns the palms outward, we understand that he is warning someone to stay away. In the case of the universe, we usually do not think that there is any significance to the altered position of the planets, but to the esotericist there is the very deepest meaning in all the varied phenomena of the heavens. They correspond to the gestures of man.

  Krishna means anointed, and anyone who had a special mission to perform was so anointed in olden times. When, in the winter time, the Sun is below the equator at the nadir point of its travel, the spiritual impulses are the greatest in the world. For our material welfare, however, it is necessary that the Sun should come again into the northern hemisphere, and so we speak of the time when the Sun starts upon its journey northward as Christmas, the birthday of the Savior, anointed to save us from the famine and cold which would ensue if he were to stay at the nadir point always.

  As the Sun passes toward the equator, it goes through the sign Aquarius, the water-man, at that time the Earth is deluged with rain, symbolizing the baptism of the Savior. Then comes the passage of the Sun through the sign Pisces, the fishes, in the month of March. The stores of the past year have been all consumed, and the food of man is scant, hence we have the long fast of Lent, where the eating of fish symbolizes this feature of the solar journey. Then comes the Passover, when the Sun passes over the equator. This is the time of Easter, when the Sun is at his eastern node, and this crossing of the equator is symbolized by the crossification or crucifixion, so called, of the Savior; the Sun then goes into the sign of Aries, the Ram, and becomes the Lamb of God, which is given for the salvation of the world at the time when the plants begin to sprout. In order that the sacrifice may be of benefit to man, however, he (the Sun) must ascend into the heavens where his rays will have power to ripen the grape and the corn, and so we have the feast of Whit-Sunday and the Ascension of the Savior to the Throne of the Father, which is at the summer solstice in June. There the Sun remains for three days, when the saying "Thence he shall return" takes effect as the Sun commences his passage towards the western node. Thence he passes into the sign Leo, the Lion of Judah, and we have the feast of the Assumption on August 15, in Leo. Next he traverses the sign Virgo, the Virgin, the nativity of the virgin, who seems, as it were, to be born from the Sun.

  The Jewish Feast of Tabernacles occurred at the time when the Sun was crossing the equator on its passage into the winter months, and this feast was accompanied by the weighing in of the corn and the harvest of the wine, which were the gifts of the solar God to his human worshipers. Thus all the feasts of the year are connected with the motions of the stars through space.

  Melchizedek: We are told that Melchizedek was king of Salem and also a high priest. We are told that his priesthood was far above that of Aaron, for it was unchangeable, while that of Aaron and the Levites was subject to frequent change.

  During the times of which we have record in history, there has always been a division of the temporal and the ecclesiastical powers. Moses was the temporal ruler and leader of the Jewish people, while Aaron was the priest who looked after their spiritual welfare. Down the ages this division of the church and the state has ever been apparent, at times causing great strife and bloodshed, for their interests seem ever to be diametrically opposite. However, at the time of this Melchizedek, king of Salem, which interpreted means "peace," there was no such division, the two offices were combined in one individual. The story of Melchizedek, a being without earthly pedigree, refers, of course, to the time in early Atlantis when humanity had not yet been divided into warring nations, but were one vast, peaceful brotherhood, and the leaders of the people were Divine Beings, who were both kings and priests.

  The later division of the church and state has been one of the most fruitful sources of enmity and war among humanity, for each of these powers has striven for supremacy over the other, while in reality there should be no prejudice, for no one who is not as spiritual as a priest should be is fit to rule as a king, and no one who is not as wise and just as a king should be is fit to have the spiritual guidance of humanity as the priests have. When these qualities are combined in one leader again, the reign of universal peace and brotherhood will become a fact. The Christ has been heralded as such a leader, capable of uniting church and state as king and priest after the order of Melchizedek. His Second Coming inaugurates the millennium, the age of peace and joy, where the symbolical New Jerusalem, the city of peace (for Jerusalem means "there shall be peace") reigns over the nations of the Earth, united into one universal brotherhood.

  The Apostles' Creed and the Resurrection of the Body: The Apostles' Creed was not composed until centuries after they had passed away, and then it was taken to embody what they had believed. Neither they nor the Bible teach the resurrection of the body. That phrase is not to be found in the Good Book at all. In King James' version we read (Job 19:26) that "though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God"; and this passage is the chief reliance of those who endeavor to establish that absurd doctrine. However, the translators appointed by King James were poor Hebrew scholars, and most of them died before the translation was completed. In the Revised Version you will find another interpretation as follows:

  "And after my skin, even this body, is destroyed; then without my flesh shall I see God." Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; therefore what in the world would be the use of having a body such as we have now? Furthermore, this body must be perpetuated at the present time, and we hear that in the resurrection there shall neither be marrying nor giving in marriage, another argument that shows that a vehicle of a different kind from the flesh will be used. Besides, it is a well-known, well-established scientific fact that the atoms in our bodies are constantly coming and going. Now, if there is to be a resurrection of the body, which set of atoms is to be that which shall come forth in this resurrection? Or, if every atom that ever was in our body from birth to death is to be in that resurrection body, would it not be an enormous conglomeration, for we should then have immense bodies composed of layers; in fact, it would be a scientific conundrum. Now, as Paul says, the seed is put in the ground each time to gather a new body. (I Cor. 15.)

  "Go ye all into the world and preach the gospel to every creature.": The meaning of the Christ's words obviously rests upon the interpretation of the word "world." If by that word we understand the whole Earth, it may be right to send missionaries to foreign countries; but the Bible tells us that the disciples to whom the command was given returned after having accomplished their mission, showing that word of command could not have been meant to include the whole Earth. In this connection the word "world" should rather have been given the interpretation "polity," which will also be found in some of our dictionaries as another meaning for the word.

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  At the time of Christ people did not know the whole world. We find even to this day the westernmost cape of Spain called Finisterre—the end of the Earth. Therefore this term at the time when Christ spoke His command could not have included the whole Earth as we know it today. The statement is, therefore, not contrary to Bible teachings. It is wrong to send missionaries out to the people we call "heathen," for their development is as yet such that they cannot understand a religion which preaches love to one's neighbor, a religion which even we have not yet learned to practice. Besides, if the great Recording Angels who have charge of man's evolution are capable of judging our needs, and placing each one in the environment where he will find the influences most conducive to progression, we must also believe that they have given to each nation the religion most salutary to its unfoldment. Therefore, when a man has been placed in a country where the Christian religion is taught, that religion holds the ideal which he should strive for, but to try to force it upon other people who have been placed in a different sphere is to set our judgment up as greater than the judgment of God and His ministers, the Recording Angels. It is safest to rest in the religion of our country, to study and practice that, leaving to other nations the privilege of doing the same in respect to their own religions.


Questions:

  [You are welcome to e-mail your answers and/or comments to us. Please be sure to include the Independent Study Course name and Module number in your e-mail to us. Or, you are also welcome to use the answer form below. (Java required)]

1. What is the true nature of the planets?
2. Explain the esoteric significance of the Christian feasts.
3. To whom did the Bible historians refer when using the term "Melchizedek"?
4. Describe the conditions which will exist when another "king and priest after the order of Melchizedek" comes.
5. Explain how it is impossible for the physical bodies of the dead to be "resurrected."
6. What has been the Bible reference used by advocates of foreign missionaries as a basis for their attitude?
7. What is the correct attitude toward foreign missionary work? Why?


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