ROSICRUCIAN CHRISTIANITY BIBLE COURSE:
"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."
LESSON NO. 21:
THE SACRAMENTS (continued):
REFERENCES: Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 14:16-35; Revelation 19:7
THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE: When stripped of nonessentials the argument
of the orthodox Christian religions may be said to be as follows:
First, that tempted by the devil, our first parents sinned and were ex-
iled from their previous state of celestial bliss, placed under the law,
made subject to death, and became incapable of escaping by their own ef-
Second, that God so loved the world that He gave Christ, His only begot-
ten Son, for its redemption and to establish the kingdom of heaven. Thus
death will finally be swallowed up in immortality.
This simple creed has provoked the smiles of atheists, and of the purely
intellectual who have studies transcendental philosophies with their nice-
ties of logic and argument; and even of some among those who study the West-
ern Mystery Teaching.
Such an attitude of mind is entirely gratuitous. We might know that the
divine leaders of mankind would not allow millions to continue in error for
millennia. When the Western Mystery teachings is stripped of its exceed-
ingly illuminating explanations and detailed descriptions, when its basic
teachings are stated, they are found to be in exact agreement with the or-
thodox Christian teachings.
There was a time when mankind lived in a sinless state; when sorrow,
pain, and death were unknown. Neither is the PERSONAL TEMPTER of Christian-
ity a myth, for the Lucifer spirits may very well be said to be fallen an-
gels, and their temptation of man resulted in focusing his consciousness
upon the material phase of existence where he is under the law of de-
crepitude and death. Also it is truly the mission of Christ to aid mankind
by elevating them to a more ethereal state where dissolution will not longer
be necessary to free them from vehicles that have grown too hard and set for
further use. For this is indeed a "body of death," where only the smallest
quantity of material is really alive, as part of its bulk is nutrient matter
that has not yet been assimilated, another large part is already on its way
to elimination, and only between those two poles may be found the material
which is thoroughly quickened by spirit.
We have in previous lessons considered the sacraments of baptism and
communion, sacraments that have to do particularly with the spirit. We
shall now seek to understand the deeper side of the sacrament of marriage,
which has to do particularly with the body. Paul preached in the 15th chap-
ter of I Corinthians, starting at the 35th verse, that in addition to the
body of flesh and blood we have a soul body, SOMA PSUCHICON (mistranslated
"natural body"), and a spiritual body; that each of these bodies is grown
from a different SEED ATOM and that there are THREE stages of unfoldment for
Adam, or man. The first Adam was taken from the ground and was without sen-
tient life. Soul was added to the SECOND ADAM; thus he had life within, a
leaven laboring to elevate the clod to God. When the potential of the soul
extracted from the physical body has been raised to the spiritual, the LAST
ADAM will become a life GIVING spirit, capable of transmitting the life im-
pulse to others directly as flame from one candle can be communicated to
many without diminishing the magnitude of the original light.
In the meantime the germ for our earth body had to be properly placed in
fruitful soil to grow a suitable vehicle, and generative organs were pro-
vided from the beginning to accomplish this purpose. (See INTRODUCTION to
Like other sacraments the institution of marriage had its beginning and
will also have its end. The commencement was described by the Christ when
He said, "Have ye not read that HE which made them at the beginning made
them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and
mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and twain shall be one flesh? Where-
fore they are no more twain, but one flesh." (Matthew 19:4-6) He also in-
dicated the end of marriage when He said: "In the resurrection they neither
marry nor are given in marriage, but are the angels of God in heaven."
In this light the logic of the teaching is apparent, for MARRIAGE became
necessary in order that BIRTH might provide new instruments to take the
place of those which had been ruptured by DEATH; and when death has once
been swallowed up in immortality and there is no need of providing new in-
struments, marriage will also be unnecessary.
Science with admirable audacity has sought to solve the mystery of fecun-
dation, and has told us how imagination takes place in the walls of the
ovary; how the little ovum is formed in the seclusion of its dark cavity;
how it emerges therefrom and enters the Fallopian tube; is pierced by the
spermatozoon of the male, and the nucleus of a human body is complete. We
are thus supposed to be "at the fount and origin of life"! But life has
neither beginning nor end, and what science mistakenly considers the foun-
tain of life is really the source of death, as all that comes from the womb
is destined sooner or later to reach the tomb. The MARRIAGE feast which
prepares for BIRTH, at the same time provides food for the insatiable jaws
of DEATH, and so long as marriage is necessary to generation and birth, dis-
integration and death must inevitably result. Therefore it is of prime im-
portance to know the history of marriage, the laws and agencies involved,
the duration of this institution, and how it may be transcended.
When we obtained our vital bodies in Hyperborea, the sun, moon, and earth
were still united, and the solar-lunar forces permeated each being in even
measure so that all were able to perpetuate their kind by buds and spores as
do certain plants of today. The efforts of the vital body to soften the
dense vehicle and keep it alive were not then interfered with, and these
primal, plantlike bodies lived for ages. But man was then unconscious and
stationary like a plant; he made no effort or exertion. The addition of a
desire body furnished incentive and desire, and consciousness resulted form
the war between the vital body, which builds, and the desire body, which de-
stroys the dense body.
Thus dissolution became only a question of time, particularly as the con-
structive energy of the vital body was also necessarily divided, one part or
pole being used in the vital functions of the body, the other to replace a
vehicle lost by death. But as the two poles of a magnet or dynamo are req-
uisite to manifestation, so also two single-sexed beings became necessary
for generation; thus marriage and birth were necessarily inaugurated to off-
set the effect of death. DEATH, THEN, IS THE PRICE WE PAY FOR CONSCIOUSNESS
IN THE PRESENT WORLD; marriage and repeated births are our weapons against
the king of terrors until our constitution shall change and we become as an-
Please mark that it is not stated that we are to become angles, but hat
we are to become AS ANGELS. For the angels are the humanity of the Moon Pe-
riod, they belong to an entirely different stream of evolution, as different
as our human spirits form those of our present animals. Paul states in his
letter to the Hebrews that man was made FOR A LITTLE WHILE inferior to the
angels; he descended lower into the scale of materiality during the Earth
Period, while the angels have never inhabited a globe denser than ether. As
we build our bodies from the chemical constituents of the earth, so do the
angels build theirs of ether. This substance is the direct avenue of all
life forces, and when man has once become as the angels and has learned to
build his body of ether, naturally there will be no death and no need of
marriage to bring about birth.
But looking at marriage from another point of view, looking upon it as a
union of souls rather than as union of the sexes, we contact the wonderful
mystery of Love. Union of the sexes might serve to perpetuate the race, of
course, but the true marriage is a companionship of souls also, which alto-
gether transcends sex. Yet those really able to meet upon that lofty plane
of spiritual intimacy gladly offer their bodies as living sacrifices upon
the altar of LOVE OF THE UNBORN, to woo a waiting spirit into an im-
maculately conceived body. Thus humanity may be saved from the reign of
This is readily apparent as soon as we consider the gentle action of the
vital body and contrast it with that of the desire body in a fit of temper,
where it is said that a man has "lost control" of himself. Under such con-
ditions, the muscles become tense and nervous energy is expanded at a sui-
cidal rate, so that after such an outbreak the body may sometimes be pros-
trated for weeks. The hardest labor brings no such fatigue as a fit of
temper; likewise a child conceived in passion under the crystallizing
tendencies of the desire nature is naturally shortlived, and it is a regret-
table fact that LENGTH OF LIFE IS nowadays almost a misnomer; in view of the
appalling infant mortality it ought to be called BREVITY OF EXISTENCE.
The building tendencies of the vital body, which is the vehicle of love,
are not so easily watched, but observation proves that contentment lengthens
the life of anyone who cultivates this quality, and we may safely reason
that a child conceived under conditions of harmony and love stands a better
chance of life than one conceived under conditions of anger, inebriety, and
According to Genesis it was said to the woman, "In sorrow shalt thou bear
children," and it has always been a sore puzzle to Bible commentators what
logical connection there may be between the eating of fruit and the pains of
parturition. But when we understand the chaste references of the Bible to
the act of generation, the connection is readily perceived.
Astrology will reveal the temper and tendencies of each human being; it
will enable two people to blend their characters in such a manner that a
love life may be lived, and it will indicate the periods when interplanetary
lines of force are most nearly conducive to painless parturition. Thus it
will enable us to drawn from the bosom of nature children of love, capable
of living long lives in good health. Finally the day will come when these
bodies will have been made so perfect in their ethereal purity that they may
last throughout the coming Age, and thus make marriage superfluous. The
love of our soul for soul, purged of passion in the furnace of sorrow, will
be our brightest gem in heaven as its shadow is on earth.
QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 21:
1. What are the basic arguments of the orthodox Christian religion?
2. How do these arguments compare with the Western Wisdom Teaching?
3. What is the mission of Christ?
4. Give the references in which Christ mentioned the beginning and the end
of the institution of marriage?
5. Briefly summarize the origin and necessity of marriage.
6. In what ways is humanity to become "as angels"?
7. How may Astrology be used regarding marriage?
"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."
LESSON NO. 22:
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION:
REFERENCES: Matthew 1:20-25; Luke 1;26-35.
The Doctrine of Immaculate Conception is one of the most sublime myster-
ies of the Christian Religion, and perhaps for that reason it has suffered
more from being dragged down into materiality than any of the other myster-
ies. It has suffered alike from the interpretation of its clumsy supporters
and the sneers of the skeptics.
The popular, but erroneous, idea is that about 2,000 years ago an indi-
vidual named Jesus Christ was born of a mother without the cooperation of an
earthly father, and THIS INCIDENT IS REGARDED AS UNIQUE IN THE HISTORY OF
THE WORLD. In reality it is not unparalleled; the immaculate conception has
taken place many times in the history of the world and will become universal
in the future.
The periodical ebb and flow of the material and spiritual forces which
invest the earth are the invisible causes of the physical, moral, and mental
activities upon our globe. According to the hermetic asiom, "As above, so
below," a similar activity must take place in man, who is but a minor edi-
tion of Mother Nature.
The animals have twenty-eight pairs of spinal nerves and are now in their
Moon stage, perfectly attuned to the twenty-eight days in which the Moon
passes around the zodiac. In their wild state, the group spirit regulates
their mating. Therefore there is no overflow with them. Man, on the other
hand, is in a transition stage; he is too far progressed for the lunar vi-
brations for the has thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves. But he is not yet
attuned to the solar month of thirty-one days, and he mates at all times of
the year; hence the periodical flow in woman, which under proper conditions
is utilized to form part of the body of a child more perfect than its par-
ent. Similarly, the periodical flow in mankind becomes the sinew and back-
bone of racial advancement; and the periodical flow of the earth's spiritual
forces, which occurs at Christmas, results in the birth of Saviors who from
time to time give renewed impetus to the spiritual advancement of the human
There are two parts to our Bible, the Old and the New Testaments. After
briefly reciting how the world came into being, the former tells the story
of the "Fall." We understand the "Fall" to have been occasioned by man's
impulsive and ignorant use of the sex forces at times when the inter-
planetary rays were inimical to conception of the purest and best vehicles.
Thus man become gradually imprisoned in a dense body crystallized by sinful
passion and consequently an imperfect vehicle, subject to pain and death.
Then commenced the pilgrimage through matter, and for millennia we have
been living in this hard and flinty shell of body, which obscures the light
of heaven from the spirit within. The spirit is like a diamond in its rough
coat, and the celestial lapidaries, the Recording Angels, are constantly en-
deavoring to remove the coating so that the spirit may shine through the
vehicle which it ensouls.
When the lapidary holds the diamond to the grindstone, the diamond emits
a screech like a cry of pain as the opaque covering is removed; but
gradually by many successive applications to the grindstone the rough
diamond may become a gem of transcendent beauty and purity. Similarly, the
celestial beings in charge of our evolution hold us closely to the grind-
stone of experience. Pain and suffering result, which awaken the spirit
sleeping within. The man hitherto content with material pursuits, indulgent
of sense and sex, becomes imbued with a divine discontent which impels him
to seek the higher life.
The gratification of that aspiration, however, is not usually accom-
plished without a severe struggle upon the part of the lower nature. It was
while wrestling thus that Paul exclaimed with all the anguish of a devout,
aspiring heart: "O wretched man that I am!. . .The good that I would I do
not: but the evil that I would not, that I do. . .I delight in the law of
God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring
against the law of my mind, and brining me into captivity to the law of sin
which is in my members." (Romans 7:19-24.)
When the flower is crushed, its scent is liberated and fills the sur-
roundings with grateful fragrance, delighting all who are fortunate enough
to be near. Crushing blows of fate may overwhelm a man or woman who has
reached the stage of efflorescence; they will but serve to bring out the
sweetness of the nature and enhance the beauty of the soul till it shines
with an effulgence that marks the wearer as with the halo. Then he is upon
the path of Initiation. He is taught how unbridled use of sex regardless of
the stellar rays has imprisoned him in the body, how it fetters him, and how
by the proper use of that same force in harmony with the stars he may
gradually improve and etherealize his body and finally attain liberation
from concrete existence.
A shipwright cannot build a staunch oak ship from spruce lumber: "men do
gather grapes of thorns"; like begets like, and an incoming ego of a pas-
sionate nature is drawn to parents of like nature, where its body is con-
ceived upon the impulse of the moment in a gust of passion.
The soul who has tasted the cup of sorrow incident to the abuse of the
creative force and has drunk to the dregs the bitterness thereof, will
gradually seek parents of less and less passionate natures, until at length
it attains to Initiation.
Having been taught in the process of Initiation the influence of the
stellar rays upon parturition, the next body provided will be generated by
Initiate parents without passion, under the constellation most favorable to
the work which the Ego contemplates. Therefore the Gospels (which are for-
mulae of Initiation) commence with the account of the immaculate conception
and end with the crucifixion, both wonderful ideals to which we must some-
time attain, for each of us is a Christ-in-the-making, and will sometime
pass through both the mystic birth and the mystic death adumbrated in the
Gospels. By knowledge we may hasten the day, intelligently cooperating in-
stead of as now often stupidly frustrating through ignorance the ends of
In connection with the immaculate conception misunderstandings prevail at
every point; the perpetual virginity of the mother even after giving birth
to other children; the lowly station of Joseph, the supposed foster father,
etc. We will briefly view them in the light of facts as revealed in the
Memory of Nature.
In some parts of Europe people of the higher classes are addressed as
"wellborn," or even as "highwellborn," meaning that they are the offspring
of cultured parents in high station. Such people usually look down with
scorn upon those in modest positions. We have nothing against the expres-
sion "wellborn"; we would that every child were well born, born to parents
of high moral standing, no matter what their station in life. There is a
virginity of soul that is independent of the state of the body, a purity of
mind without the taint of passion and enable the mother to carry the unborn
child under heart in sexless love.
Previous to the time of Christ that would have been impossible. In the
earlier stages of man's career upon earth quantity was desirable and quality
a minor consideration, hence the common was given to "go forth, be fruitful,
and multiply." Besides, it was necessary that man should temporarily forget
his spiritual nature and concentrate his energies upon material conditions.
Indulgence of sex passion furthers that object, and the desire nature was
given full sway. Polygamy flourished, and the larger the number of their
children, the more a man and a woman were honored, while barrenness was
looked upon as the greatest possible affliction.
In other directions the desire nature was being curbed by God-given laws,
and obedience to divine commands was enforced by swift punishment of the
transgressor, such as war, pestilence, or famine. Rewards for dutiful ob-
servance of the mandates of the law were not wanting either; the "righteous"
man's children, his cattle and crops were numerous; he was victorious over
his enemies and the cup of his happiness was full.
Later when the earth had been sufficiently peopled after the Atlantean
Flood, polygamy became more and more obsolete, with the result that quality
of the bodies improved, and at the time of Christ the desire nature had
become so far amenable to control in the case of the more advanced among hu-
manity that the act of generation could be performed without passion, out of
pure love, so that the child could be immaculately conceived.
Such were the parent of Jesus. Joseph is said to have been a carpenter,
but he was not a worker in wood. He was a "builder" in a higher sense. God
is the Grand Architect of the Universe. Under Him are many builders in
varying degrees of spiritual splendor, down even to those whom we know as
Freemasons. All are engaged in building a temple without sound of hammer,
and Joseph was no exception.
It is sometimes asked why Initiates are always men. They are not; in the
lower degrees there are many women, but when an Initiate is able to choose
his sex he usually takes the positive masculine body, as the life which
brought him to Initiation has spiritualized his vital body and made it
positive under all conditions, so that he has then an instrument of the
There are times, however, when the exigencies of a case require a female
body, such as, for instance, providing a body of the highest type to receive
an Ego of superlatively high degree. Then a high Initiate may take a female
body and go through the experience of maternity again, after perhaps having
eschewed it for several lives, as was the case with the beautiful character
we know as Mary of Bethlehem.
In conclusion, then, let us remember the points brought out, that we are
all Christs-in-the-making; that sometime we must cultivate characters so
spotless that we may be worthy to inhabit bodies that are immaculately con-
ceived; and the sooner we commence to purify out minds of passionate
thoughts, the sooner we shall attain. In the final analysis it only depends
upon the earnestness of our purpose, the strength of our wills.
QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 22:
1. State the popular idea in regard to the immaculate conception.
2. What brings about the birth of saviors?
3. Explain why we are now imprisoned in a dense body.
4. How may we hasten the process of becoming Christlike?
5. In what sense was Joseph a "carpenter"?
6. Why was Mary called a "virgin"?
7. Sum up briefly the interpretation of the immaculate conception as given
in this lesson.
"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."
LESSON NO. 23:
THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS; EVERLASTING SALVATION AND DAMNATION;
REFERENCES: Matthew 18:3; 23:14; Mark 3:29; Luke 1:69; 2:30; 22:32; John
4:22; Acts 4:12; 13:26-47; 15:3; 26:1-23; 28:28; Romans 11:11; 13:2; I
Corinthians 11:29; Ephesians 1:1-7; Colossians 1:14; Revelation 12:10.
THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.--The inability to believe in the forgiveness of
sins has caused many to believe exclusively in the law of cause and effect,
as taught in eastern countries under the name of KARMA. There are also many
who think that, because eastern religions teach that law, and the law of re-
birth, more clearly than the western religion, Christianity, these eastern
religions are better and more scientific than the western religion, which
teaches, as popularly interpretated, that the Christ died for our sins and
that, in consequence, belief in Him will bring us forgiveness.
As a matter of fact, however, the Christian teaching also enunciates the
doctrine that "as we sow so shall we also reap," and thus it teaches both
the law of cause and effect and the forgiveness of sins. BOTH of these laws
are vitally operative in the unfoldment of humanity, and there are good rea-
sons why the earlier eastern religions have only one part of THE COMPLETE
TEACHING WHICH IS FOUND IN THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.
In those early days when the religions of the East were given to human-
ity, mankind were still more spiritual in nature than the material beings of
the present-day Western World. They knew that we live many lives in differ-
ent shapes and forms here upon this earth. In the East today they are yet
thoroughly imbued with that idea, and as a consequence they are exceedingly
indolent. They are more concerned with thoughts of Nirvana--the invisible
world--where they may rest in peace and joy, than with taking advantage of
their present material resources for advancement. As a consequence, their
country is arid and waste, their crops are small and often destroyed by a
scorching sun and devastating floods. They suffer famine, they die by mil-
lions, but although they teach the law of cause and effect, they seem to be
unaware that their miserable conditions are brought about by indolence and
indifference to material things. For naturally, when they have not worked
here they have nothing to assimilate in the heaven life between death and a
new birth, and as an organ or limb that is disused gradually atrophies, so a
country that is not developed by the spirits incarnating therein gradually
atrophies and becomes useless as a habitation for mankind. It was necessary
to the evolution of humanity to enter this material world and develop all
Therefore, the Great Leaders have taken various means to cause us to for-
get temporarily the spiritual side of our nature. In the West, where
pioneers of the human race are found, they commanded marriage outside the
family. They gave to the West a religion that did not definitely teach the
doctrine of rebirth and the law of cause and effect as means of advancement.
They also originated the use of alcohol, with its paralyzing effect upon the
spiritual sensibilities of man. By these means we have in the West tempo-
rarily forgotten that there is more than this one life on earth, and in con-
sequence we apply ourselves with the utmost diligence to making the fullest
possible use of what we believe to be our only opportunity here. Therefore,
we have developed the West into a veritable garden; we have made for our-
selves, BETWEEN INCARNATIONS, a land that is exceedingly fertile and rich in
the minerals which we need in our various industries, and thus we are con-
quering the visible material world.
It is evident, however, that the religious side of man's nature must not
be entirely neglected, and as Christ, the great Ideal of the Christian reli-
gion, had been set before us for imitation, and we could not possibly hope
to become Christ-like in one life, which is all that we now have any knowl-
edge of, there must be given us a compensatory doctrine, otherwise we should
in despair cease to strive, knowing that it would be futile. Therefore the
Western World was taught the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins through the
righteousness of Christ Jesus.
It is equally certain, however, that no doctrine which is not a truth in
nature could have any uplifting power, and, therefore, there must also be a
sound basis behind the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins, which seems to
vitiate the law of causation. It is this:
When we look about us in the material world, we observe the different
phenomena of nature, we meet other people and have various transactions with
them, and all these sights, sounds, and scenes are observed by means of our
sense organs. Yet not all, for we are usually exceedingly unobservant of
details. It is exasperatingly true when it is said that "we have eyes and
see not and ears that hear not." We lose a great deal of experience on that
account. Besides, our memory is woefully lacking. While we are able to re-
call a little, most of our experiences are lost to us because we forget
them. Our conscious memory is weak. There is another memory, however. As
the ether and the air carry to the photographic plate in a camera the im-
pression of the landscape without, omitting not the slightest detail, so
also do the air and the ether which carry impressions from the outside to
our sense organs carry into the lungs, and thence to the blood, an actual
picture and a record of everything with which we come in contact. Those
pictures are stored in the minute seed atom resting in the left ventricle of
the heart, and that little atom may be considered the Book of the Recording
Angels, where all our deeds are inscribed. Thence it is mirrored in the Re-
flecting Ether of our vital body.
In the ordinary course of life, man passes into Purgatory at death and
expiates the sins inscribed upon that atom. Later he assimilates all the
good stored there in the First Heaven, working upon his future environment
in the Second Heaven. But a devout person realizes each day his shortcom-
ings and failures. He examines the events of this life daily and prays from
a devout heart to be forgiven for sins he has committed. Then the pictures
which have recorded the sins of omission and commission fade, and are wiped
out of life's record from day to day. For it is not the aim of God or na-
ture to "get even" as it would seem under the law of causation, which de-
crees an exact retribution for every transgression, as well as a reward of
compensation for every good act. It is the aim of God that we should learn
by experience here to do justly and well. When we have realized that we
have done wrong and determine to do better, we have learned the lesson, and
there is no necessity for PUNISHING us.
Thus the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins is an actual fact in nature.
If we repent, make restitution and reform, the sins we have repented of,
made restitution for and reformed from are forgiven and wiped out of life's
record. Otherwise they are eradicated by corresponding pains in Purgatory
after death. Thus the doctrine of Karma, or the law of cause and effect as
taught in the East, does not fully meet human needs, but the Christian
teaching which embodies BOTH the law of causation and the doctrine of for-
giveness of sins, gives a more complete teaching concerning the method em-
ployed by the Great Leaders to instruct us.
EVERLASTING SALVATION AND DAMNATION.--The orthodox religions say that
those who have done well in this life are saved, that is to say, they will
go to heaven not very clearly defined, and those who fail to reach this sal-
vation are plunged into hell of which not very much is known save that it is
a place of misery. The good and the bad stay in their respective places,
once they have been judged; there is no redemption for lost souls, and no
danger of a fall for those once saved.
Such an interpretation is radically wrong, if the Greek dictionary is
taken as authority, for obviously the meaning hinges upon the word trans-
lated "everlasting." That word is AIONIAN, and in the dictionary it is
translated to mean "an age, an indefinite period, a lifetime," etc. What,
then, is the true meaning of the passage quoted, we may ask ourselves, and
in order to find that meaning it will be necessary to take a comprehensive
view of life.
In the beginning of manifestation, God, a Great Flame, differentiates a
vast number of incipient flames or sparks, WITHIN Himself, not FROM Himself,
for it is an actual fact that "IN Him we live and move and have our being."
NOTHING CAN EXIST OUTSIDE GOD. So within Himself, God differentiates these
countless spirits. Each of them is POTENTIALLY divine, each enfolds all His
powers as the seed enfolds the plant, but as the seed must be buried in the
ground to bring forth the plant, so it is necessary that these divine sparks
should be immersed in material vehicles in order that they may learn lessons
that can be mastered only in such a separative existence as there is in the
The world may be regarded as a training school for the evolving spirits.
Some of them started early and applied themselves diligently to the task be-
fore them; consequently they progressed rapidly. Others started later and
are laggards. They are therefore left behind in the race; but all will ul-
timately attain the goal of perfection. In consequence of the foregoing
fact there are a number of classes of these pilgrim spirits, and before one
set, or class of spirits can be moved up another step in evolution, it is
necessary that they should have attained a certain standard of proficiency.
They are SAVED from a lower condition which they have outgrown. Once this
measure of efficiency has been acquired, they are promoted into another
race, another epoch. But among a large number there are always laggards,
and these are CONDEMNED to stay in the class where they were until they have
arrived at the stage of growth required for advancement. The plan is
similar to the method in which children in a school are promoted into the
next higher class AT THE YEARLY EXAMINATION if they have attained a certain
standard of knowledge; if not, they are condemned to stay behind--NOT FOR-
EVER, BUT ONLY UNTIL ANOTHER YEAR'S EXAMINATION PROVES THAT THEY HAVE
The foregoing is not a distorted or a wrong representation of the meaning
of the word AIONIAN. It has been used in other places in the Bible in a
manner which bears out our contention. For instance, in Paul's letter to
Philemon, where he returns to him the slave Onesimus with the words, "Per-
haps it was well that you should lose him for a time that he might be given
back to you FOREVER." The word "forever" is the same word AIONIAN which is
translated "everlasting" in connection with damnation and salvation, and it
will readily be seen that in this case it can only mean a part of a life-
time, for neither Paul or Philemon, as such, would live forever.
CONVERSION--There are conversions and conversions. There is the conver-
sion which takes place in a revival meeting to the beating of drums, the
clapping of hands, the singing of gospel hymns, and the insistent calling of
the revivalist to "come before it is too late." All these aids to conver-
sion produce an intense hypnotic influence, which works upon the emotional
nature of many people in such a way that these "sinners," so called, can no
longer remain in their seats, but are FORCED in the most literal sense to
obey the command and come forward to "the mourner's bench." That kind of
conversion is usually of very little worth. Revivalists find that it is ex-
tremely easy to convert people in this manner. The exasperatingly
difficult problem is, as one of them expressed it, "to make
it stick," for when the victim of the hypnotic revivalist leaves the
meeting, the influence gradually wears off, and sooner or later he relapses
into his original attitude. And though these "backsliders" may feel no pang
at all when backsliding, the next revival meeting draws them to the
mourner's bench again as surely as a magnet draws a needle. They are con-
verted repeatedly and backslide regularly every time there is a revival
meeting, to the disgust of the revivalist and the amusement of the commu-
nity, who are unaware that it is a simple case of mild hypnotism.
There is another conversion, however, always accompanied by planetary in-
fluences, and according to the strength of these influences the conversion,
or change in the life, will be more or less radical. It then shows that the
soul has reached a certain point in its pilgrimage where it feels attraction
to the higher life. The immediate cause of conversion may be a sermon, a
lecture, or a book, a verse in the Bible, or something in nature, but that
is only the physical cause of something which was already a fact spiritu-
ally. From that moment the man or the woman will commence to take a new
view of life, will lay aside the old vices, will follow new lines of thought
and endeavor. It may change his whole attitude toward life and also his en-
vironment. In fact, very often a journey has brought him out of the usual
environment for the time being, to give the proper condition for sowing the
QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 23:
1. What is the generally accepted understanding of the "forgiveness of
2. How are our "sins" really "forgiven"?
3. Why was the Western World taught the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins
through the righteousness of Christ Jesus.
4. Explain why the orthodox interpretation of "everlasting: salvation and
damnation is not acceptable.
5. Give the correct interpretation of this doctrine.
6. Describe the popular methods of conversion.
7. What is true "conversion"?
Continued with file "RC4012.TXT"
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