"This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
He that ears to hear, let him hear."
The prophecy to which Christ Jesus refers is given in Malachi 3:1: "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts."
The "kingdom of heaven" of which Christ Jesus spoke obviously refers to the new kingdom which He was inaugurating, a kingdom of higher ideals than the one immediately preceding. Concerning this new kingdom, Max Heindel wrote: "Christ, in Matthew 11:12, said that 'the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.' This is not a correct translation. It ought to be: The kingdom of heaven has been invaded (biaxetai), and invaders seize on her. Men and women have already learned through holy, helpful lives to lay aside the body of flesh and blood, either intermittently or permanently, and to walk the skies with winged feet, intent upon the business of their Lord, clad in the ethereal 'Wedding Garment' of the New Dispensation. This change may be accomplished through a life of simple helpfulness and prayer as practiced by devoted Christians, no matter with what church they affiliate, as well as by the specific exercises given in The Rosicrucian Fellowship. The latter will prove barren results unless accompanied by constant acts of love, for love will be the keynote of the coming age as law is of the present order." Another teaching was made plain at this time to him "who hath ears to hear": that of rebirth. This doctrine teaches that human beings, Spirits differentiated within God, are born again and again in gradually improving bodies to learn the lessons taught in God's great School of Life. Since man had to learn to conquer the material world, the doctrine of rebirth was held in abeyance, or taught in a veiled manner, until the mass of humanity was ready for it. That time now has come, and the teaching or rebirth now is being accepted by more and more people of the Eastern World. (Those of the East have never discarded this teaching.) In addition to the above definite statement by Christ Jesus: "This is Elias (Elijah), which was for to come," there are others. In Matthew 17:12 is the statement: "But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not." Then in the 16th chapter of Matthew, Christ Jesus asks His disciples: "Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" The reply came: "Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." Obviously, those who made such statements believed in the doctrine of rebirth.