"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
References: Matthew 27, 28; Mark 15, 16; Luke 23, 24; John 19, 20, 21.
During the last 2,000 years much has been said about "the cleansing blood." The blood of Christ has been extolled from the pulpit as the sovereign remedy for sin; the only means of redemption and salvation.
But if the laws of Rebirth and Consequence work in such a way that evolving beings reap as they have sown, and if the evolutionary impulse is constantly bringing humanity higher and higher, ultimately to attain perfection — where then is the need for redemption and salvation? Even if the need existed, how can the death of one individual help the rest? Would it not be nobler to suffer the consequences of one's acts than to hide behind another? These are some of the objections to the doctrine of vicarious atonement and redemption by the blood of Christ Jesus. We will try to answer them before showing the logical harmony between the operation of the law of Consequence and the Atonement of Christ.
In the first place, it is absolutely true that the evolutionary impulse does work to achieve ultimate perfection for all; yet there are some who are constantly straggling behind. At the present time, we have just passed the extreme point of materiality and are going through the sixteen Races. We are treading "the sixteen paths to destruction," and are consequently in graver danger of falling behind than at any other part of the evolutionary journey.
In the abstract, time is nothing. A number of entities may fall behind so far that they must be abandoned, to take up their further evolution in another scheme, where they can continue their journey to perfection. Nevertheless, that was not the evolution originally designed for them and it is reasonable to suppose that the exalted Intelligences in charge of our evolution use every means to bring through in safety as many as possible of the entities under their charge.
In ordinary evolution, the laws of Rebirth and Consequence are perfectly adequate for bringing the major portion of the life wave up to perfection, but they do not suffice in the case of stragglers, who are lagging behind. During the stage of individualism, which is the climax of the illusion of separateness, all mankind needs extra help, but for the stragglers some additional special aid must be provided.
To give that special aid, to redeem the stragglers, was the mission of Christ. He said that He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He opened up the way of Initiation for all who are willing to seek it.
But not all are in need of salvation. Christ knew that there is a very large class who do not require salvation in this way, but just as surely as there are the ninety-and-nine who are well taken care of by the laws of Rebirth and Consequence and will reach perfection in that way, so there are the"sinners" who have become "bogged" in matter and cannot escape without a rope. Christ came to save them and to bring peace and good will to all, by raising them to the necessary point of Spirituality, causing a change in their desire bodies which will make the influence of the Life Spirit in the heart more potent.
His younger brother Sun Spirits, the Archangels, had worked as Race Spirits on the desire bodies of man, but their work had been from without. It was simply a reflected Spiritual Sun-force and came through the Moon — as moonlight is reflected sunlight. Christ, the Chief Initiate of the Sun Spirits, entered directly into the dense body of the Earth and brought the direct Sun-force, thus enabling Him to influence our desire bodies from within.
So it is with the spiritual impulses which help man to evolve. The reason why the Earth was thrown off from the Sun was because our humanity could not endure the Sun's tremendous physical and spiritual impulses. Even after an enormous distance had been placed between the Earth and the Sun, the spiritual impulse would still have been too strong had it not been sent first to the Moon, to be used by Jehovah, the Regent of the Moon, for man's benefit. A number of Archangels were given Jehovah as helpers in reflecting these spiritual impulses from the Sun upon humanity of the Earth, in the form of Jehovistic or Race religions.
The lowest vehicle of the Archangels is the desire body. Our desire body was added in the Moon Period, at which time Jehovah was the highest Initiate. Therefore Jehovah is able to deal with man's desire body. Jehovah's lowest vehicle is the Human Spirit and its counterpart is the desire body. The Archangels are His helpers because they are able to manage the spiritual Sun forces and the desire body is their lowest vehicle. Thus they are able to work with and prepare humanity for the time when it can receive the spiritual impulses directly from the Solar Orb, without the intervention of the Moon.
Upon Christ, as the highest Initiate of the Sun Period, is laid the task of sending out this impulse. The impulse which Jehovah reflected was sent out by Christ, Who thus prepared both the Earth and humanity for His direct ingress.
The expression, "prepared the Earth." means that all evolution on a planet is accompanied by the evolution of that planet itself. Had some observer gifted with Spiritual sight watched the evolution of our Earth from some distant star, he would have noticed a gradual change taking place in the Earth's desire body.
Under the old dispensation the desire bodies of people in general were improved by means of the law. This work is still going on in the majority of people, who are thus preparing themselves for the higher life.
The higher life (Initiation) does not commence, however, until the work on the vital body begins. The means used for bringing that into activity is Love, or rather Altruism. The former word has been so abused that it no longer conveys the meaning here required.
During the old dispensation of the path of Initiation was not free and open, except to a chosen few. The Hierophants of the Mysteries collected certain families about the Temples, setting them apart from all the other people. These chosen families were then rigorously guarded as to certain rites and ceremonies. Their marriages and sexual intercourse were regulated by the Hierophants.
The effect of this was to produce a race having the proper degree of laxity between the dense and vital bodies; also, to wake the desire body from its state of lethargy during sleep. Thus a special few were made fit for Initiation and were given opportunities that could not be given to all.
The Mission of Christ, in addition to saving the lost, was to make Initiation possible to all; therefore Jesus came from the common people, and though not of the teacher class, His teaching was higher than that of Moses.
Christ Jesus did not deny Moses, the law, nor the prophets. On the contrary, He acknowledged them all and showed the people that they were His witnesses, as they all pointed to One Who was to come. He told the people that those things had served their purpose and that henceforth Love must supersede Law.
Christ Jesus was killed. In connection with this fact, we come to the supreme and fundamental difference between Him and the previous teachers, through whom the Race Spirits worked. They all died and must be reborn again and again to help their peoples bear their destiny. The Archangel Michael raised up Moses, who was taken up to Mount Nebo to die. He was reborn Elijah. Elijah returned as John the Baptist; Buddha died and was reborn as Shankaracharya; Shri Krishna says, "Whenever there is decay of Dharma... and... exaltation of Adharma, then I myself come forth for the protection of good, for the destruction of evildoers, for the sake of firmly establishing Dharma. I am born from age to age.
When death came Moses' face shone and Buddha's body become alight. They all reached the stage when the Spirit begins to shine from within — but then they died.
Christ Jesus reached that stage on the Mount of Transfiguration. It is of the very highest significance that His real work took place subsequent to that event. He suffered; was killed — and resurrected.
Being killed is a very different thing from dying. The blood that had been the vehicle of the Race Spirit must flow and be cleansed of that contaminating influence. Love of father and mother, exclusive of other fathers and mothers, must go — otherwise Universal Brotherhood and an all-embracing Altruistic Love could never become an actuality.
When the Savior Christ Jesus was crucified His body was pierced in five places; in the five centers where the currents of the vital body flow; and the pressure of the crown of thorns caused a flow from the sixth also.
When the blood flowed from these centers, the great Sun Spirit Christ was liberated from the physical vehicle of Jesus and found Himself in the Earth, with His individual vehicles. The already existing planetary vehicles He permeated with His own vehicles and in the twinkling of an eye diffused His own desire body over the planet, which has enabled Him thenceforth to work upon the Earth and its humanity from within.
At that moment a tremendous wave of Spiritual sunlight flooded the Earth. It rent the veil which the Race Spirit had hung before the Temple to keep out all but the chosen few, and it made the Path of Initiation free thenceforth to whomsoever will. So far as concerned the Spiritual Worlds, this wave transformed the conditions of Earth like a flash of lightning, but the dense, concrete conditions are, of course, much more slowly affected.
Like all rapid and high vibrations of light, this great wave blinded the people by its dazzling brilliance, therefore it was said that "the Sun was darkened." The very opposite was what actually occurred. The Sun was not darkened, but shone out in glorious splendor. It was the excess of light that blinded the people, and only as the entire Earth absorbed the desire body of the bright Sun Spirit did the vibration return to a more normal rate.
The expression, "the cleansing blood of Christ Jesus," means that as the blood flowed on Calvary, it bore with it the great Sun Spirit Christ, Who by that means secured admission to the Earth itself and since that moment has been its Regent. He diffused His own desire body throughout the planet, thereby cleansing it from all the vile influences which had grown up under the regime of the Race Spirit.
Under the law all sinned; nay, more — they could not help it. They had not evolved to where they could do right for Love's sake. The desire nature was so strong that it was an impossibility for them to rule it altogether, therefore their debts, engendered under the law of Consequence, piled up to monstrous proportions. Evolution would have been terribly delayed and many lost to our life wave altogether if some help had not been given.
Therefore Christ did come "to seek and to save that which was lost." He took away the sin of the world by His cleansing blood, which gave Him entrance to the Earth and its humanity. He purified the conditions and we owe it to Him that we are able to gather for our desire bodies purer desire stuff than formerly, and He continues working to help us, by making our external environment constantly purer.
That this is and was done at the expense of great suffering to Himself, no one can doubt who is able to form the least conception of the limitations endured by that Great Spirit in entering the hampering conditions of physical existence, even in the best and purest vehicle possible; nor is His present limitation as Regent of the Earth much less painful. True, He is also Regent of the Sun, and therefore only partially confined to the Earth, yet the limitations set by the crampingly low vibrations of our dense planet must be almost unendurable.
Had Christ Jesus simply died, it would have been impossible for Him to have done this work, but the Christians have a risen Savior; One Who is ever present to help those who call upon His name. Having suffered like unto ourselves in all things and knowing fully our needs, He is lenient toward our mistakes and failures so long as we continue trying to live the good life. We must ever keep before our eyes the fact that the only failure is ceasing to try. Upon the death of the dense body of Christ Jesus, the seed atom was returned to the original owner, Jesus of Nazareth, who for some time afterward, while functioning in a vital body which he had gathered temporarily, taught the nucleus of the new faith which Christ had left behind. Jesus of Nazareth has since had the guidance of the esoteric branches which sprang up all over Europe.
In many places the Knights of the Round Table were high Initiates in the Mysteries of the New Dispensation. So were the Knights of the Grail — to whom was finally confided Joseph of Arimathea's Grail Cup, which was used by Christ Jesus at the Last Supper. They were afterward entrusted also with the Lance which pierced His side, and the receptacle which received the blood from the wound.
The Druids of Ireland and the Trottes of Northern Russia were esoteric schools through which the Master Jesus worked during the so-called "Dark Ages," but dark though they were, the Spiritual impulse spread, compared to the growing materialism of the last three hundred years, which has increased physical knowledge immensely, but has almost extinguished the Light of the Spirit.
(You are welcome to e-mail your answers and/or comments to us. Please be sure to include the course name and Independent Study Module number in your e-mail to us. Or, you are also welcome to use the answer form below.)
1. What is meant by "the sixteen paths to destruction"?
2. For whose "salvation" in particular did Christ come?
3. Explain how the coming of Christ made Initiation, or the higher life, possible for all.
4. What is the reason for the crucifixion of Christ Jesus.
5. Explain what actually took place at the crucifixion.
6. What has been the work of Jesus since the crucifixion?
7. What has been the great danger of humanity for the past three hundred years?