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Jesus Christ: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away."


Jesus: The Last Great Initiate
"Jesus, feeling his end near, thus explained to astonished disciples the lofty perspectives which from bygone times had formed part of the doctrine of the mysteries, but to which each religious founder has always given personal form and colour. To engrave these truths on their minds and facilitate their propagation, he summed them up in such images as were characterised by extreme boldness and incisive energy. The revealing image and speaking symbol formed the universal language of the ancient initiates. Such a language possesses a communicative virtue, a power of concentration and duration lacking in the abstract term. In using it, Jesus merely followed the example of Moses and the prophets. He knew the Idea would not immediately be understood, but he wished to impress it in letters of flame in the simple souls of his followers, leaving to succeeding ages the task of generating the powers contained in his word. Jesus feels himself one with all the prophets of the earth who had gone before, as he had done, messengers of Life and of the eternal Word. In this sentiment of unity and solidarity with immutable truth, he dared address to his afflicted disciples the proud words: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away."

"Jesus knew that his hour was nigh, but he did not wish to fall into the hands of the Sanhedrim, so he withdrew to Bethany. As he had a predilection for the Mount of Olives, he came there almost daily to converse with his disciples. From the summit the view was magnificent. The range of vision embraces the rugged mountains of Judea and Moab, with their purplish-blue tints, whilst away in the distance could be caught a glimpse of the Dead Sea, like a leaden-hued mirror from whose surface rise dense sulfurous mists. At the foot of the mountain stretched Jerusalem, the Temple, and the citadel of Zion towering above all other edifices. Even in these days, as twilight descends on the dark mysterious gorges of Hinnom and Jehoshaphat, the city of David and of the Christ, protected by the sons of Ishmahel, rises in imposing majesty above these gloomy valleys. Its cupolas and minarets reflect the fading light of the heavens and seem to be ever awaiting the angels of judgment. It was there Jesus gave the disciples his final instructions regarding the future of the religion he had come to found, and the destiny of mankind, thus bequeathing them his promise—at once terrestrial and divine—intimately wedded with his esoteric teaching.

Evidently the writers of the synoptic Gospels have handed down to us the apocalyptic sayings of Jesus amid a confusion which renders them almost impenetrable. Their meaning only begins to become intelligible in John's Gospel. If Jesus had really believed in his return on the clouds, some years after his death, as is admitted according to the naturalistic interpretation; or if he had imagined that the end of the world, and the last judgment of men would take place in this manner, as orthodox theology believes, he would have been a very ordinary visionary indeed, instead of the sage initiate, the sublime seer every word of his teaching and every action of his life proclaim him to have been. It is evident that here, specially, his words must be understood in their allegorical signification according to the transcendent symbolism of the prophets. John's Gospel, the one which has most fully handed down to us the Master's esoteric teaching, emphasises this interpretations, so perfectly in accord as it is with the parabolical genius of Jesus, when he relates the Master's words: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now... These things have I spoken unto you in parables, but the time cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in parables, but I shall show you plainly of the Father."

The solemn promise of Jesus to the apostles embraces four objects, four increasing spheres of planetary and cosmic life: the individual psychic life; the national life of Israel; the earthly evolution and end of humanity as well as the divine. Let us take one by one these four spheres through which radiates the thought of the Christ before his martyrdom, like the setting sun, filling with its glory the whole terrestrial atmosphere right to the zenith, before shining on other worlds.

1. The first judgment signifies the ultimate destiny of the soul after death. This is determined by its own inner nature and the acts of its life. I have already expounded this doctrine, with reference to Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus. On the Mount of Olives he says to his disciples: "Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." And again: "Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh."

2. The destruction of the temple and the end of Israel."Nation shall rise against nation... They shall deliver you up to be afflicted... Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled."

3. The terrestrial aim of humanity which is not fixed at some definite epoch, but must be reached by a graduated series of successive realisations. This aim is the coming of the social Christ or the divine man on earth; i.e. the organisation of Truth, Justice, and Love in human society, and consequently, the pacification of the nations. Isaiah had already foretold this distant epoch in a splendid vision beginning with words: "For I know their works and their thoughts; it shall come that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see my glory. And I will set a sign among them"Etc... Etc... Jesus completing this prophecy explains to his disciples what this sign shall be; the complete unveiling of the mysteries or the coming of the Holy Ghost, whom he also calls the Comforter or"The Spirit of Truth which shall lead you into all truth." The apostles shall have this revelation beforehand, the mass of humanity in the course of time. But whenever it takes place in an individual consciousness or among a group of men, it pierces through and through."For as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Thus, when the central and spiritual truth is kindled it illumines all other truths throughout creation.

4; The last Judgment signifies the end of the cosmic evolution of humanity, or its entrance into a definitely spiritual state. This is what Persian Esoterism had called the victory of Ormuzd over the Ahrimanes, or of Spirit over Matter. Hindu Esoterism named it complete re-absorbtion of matter by Spirit, or the end of a day of Brahma. After thousands of centuries a period must come when, through series of births and rebirths, incarnations and regenerations, the individuals composing a humanity shall have definitely entered the spiritual state, or been annihilated as conscious souls by evil, i.e. by their own passions symbolised by the fire of Gehenna and gnashing teeth."Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven .... They shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds." The Son of Man, a generic term, here signifies humanity in its perfect representation, i.e. the small number of those who have raised themselves to the rank of Sons of God. His sign is the Lamb and the Cross, i.e. Love and Eternal Life. The Cloud is the image of the Mysteries which have become translucent, as well as of the subtle matter transfigured by the spirit, of the fluidic substance which is no longer a dense obscure veil, but a light transparent garment of the soul, no longer a gross obstacle, but an expression of the truth; no longer a deceptive appearance but spiritual truth itself, the inner world instantaneously and directly manifested. The Angels who gather together the Elect are glorified spirits, who have themselves sprung from humanity. The Trumpet they sound symbolises the living word of the spirit, which lays bare the real nature of the soul, and destroys all lying appearance of matter.

Jesus, feeling his end near, thus explained to astonished disciples the lofty perspectives which from bygone times had formed part of the doctrine of the mysteries, but to which each religious founder has always given personal form and colour. To engrave these truths on their minds and facilitate their propagation, he summed them up in such images as were characterised by extreme boldness and incisive energy. The revealing image and speaking symbol formed the universal language of the ancient initiates. Such a language possesses a communicative virtue, a power of concentration and duration lacking in the abstract term. In using it, Jesus merely followed the example of Moses and the prophets. He knew the Idea would not immediately be understood, but he wished to impress it in letters of flame in the simple souls of his followers, leaving to succeeding ages the task of generating the powers contained in his word. Jesus feels himself one with all the prophets of the earth who had gone before, as he had done, messengers of Life and of the eternal Word. In this sentiment of unity and solidarity with immutable truth, he dared address to his afflicted disciples the proud words: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.""

Edouard Schure, Jesus: The Last Great Initiate
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing; Facsimile edition (March 1997)




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