The Baptism of Jesus (Rabel)

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METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Part of Lecture 3 given on January 16, 1976

The next time we encounter Jesus in the Gospels, He is probably somewhere near 30 years of age, and He is very near to the time when He will embark upon His great mission, the Christ ministry, the ministry of Christ to the human family on this planet. He does not launch into the ministry right away, even though He had probably reached the point in time and so forth. He does not begin His ministry ministering, He begins it with some other activities and one of these is an encounter with John the Baptist, found in the third chapter of Matthew, "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan unto John to be baptized of him. But John would have hindered Him, saying, 'I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?'" This is perfectly true. John here shows a true understanding of the metaphysical symbolism of what is involved here. It sort of supports the theory that John was an occult initiate and was deliberately taking a role in the Christ drama, which was less than he was capable of but served the grander purpose. This is always a helpful thing to do. "But Jesus answering, said unto him, 'Suffer it now, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.'" You see? The grander purpose, the grander purpose more and more important than the specific occasion of the moment. "Then he suffereth Him, and Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway from the water; and lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, coming upon Him, and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'"

For many persons, the significance of this incident is nothing more than the fact of a water baptism performance, that is it; for many persons the significance lies in that and that only. Jesus did it, heaven approved of it, that automatically means that if you want to be a Christian, if you want to be saved, you must duplicate the physical act involved here. Allow a qualified person to dip your body in water, but there is so much more to that than that. On the cosmic level of meaning, (notice how often I am breaking my vows here, but there is a reason, I am sure) it is a very reasonable assumption, I think, which is held by the Edgar Cayce Group, and I assume, by many other cosmically aware persons, that this could very well be the point: the moment when Jesus, the vehicle, the personality, became one with the Christ, it is quite logical that is the meaning on the cosmic, when the divine and the human became one in Jesus Christ, since it is so near to the start of His ministry. That is all very interesting and very lovely, and I am in full harmony and agreement with it, but I am still more interested in the metaphysical interpretation which has to do with the inner life of every human being regardless of time, place, or circumstance.

Something happened here which caused the ethers to actually vibrate at a rate which could be audibly heard as approval. There is nothing so terrifically strange about this, folks; vibratory law is subject to higher laws of intelligence, and something that Jesus had done was strong enough, great enough, that it caused heavenly vibrations of approval to be understandable as audible words of approval. If that sounds too far out, you just are going to have to live with it; but really, I am still skirting the real, the main idea that this contains for you, which is what is it that He did that was so great that could win heavenly approval, to be so strong and so definite that it became earthly approval - words, heard words, what was it? This is enough to win cosmic approval, folks, any time you and I do anything in any circumstances in which we put before everything else consideration and kindness toward another person's sensibilities, whose sensibilities in this case? John the Baptist; John was an important person, but even he knew that he was really not as important as Jesus, so the best thing to do would be the kind and considerate thing, not the grandiose opportunism that so many of us would cash in on. Does the shoe pinch? Yes, it does, because we do this constantly. We cash in on our opportunities for image-building. We do this, and each time we do, we lose our real opportunity. We do not win what we really would like to win when we better another person by displaying a more important image. We gratify only one thing, ego, and gratification of ego never brings down cosmic vibrations into audible feelings of approval. In any man, this can be duplicated in an infinite variety of ways, folks, in any number of situations.

When, through spiritual awareness in us, we are willing to assume a place that we know that it is not necessary for us to take that particular role but we would take it for the sake of righteousness or for the sake of the right thing to do toward another human being, and we go through that, though we may not gain much ego gratification or even build up our image, so to speak, in the eyes of other people, but the one who sees secret, which means the one who reads the movements of the heart rather than the actions of the body or the words of the mouth, that one who seeth in secret will reward us; and the rewards of the spirit are felt first as a sense of approval. Then comes the real reward, which is a growth in consciousness.

Q. Am I hearing you say in essence that in one sense, Jesus did not really get anything out of the experience of being baptized of water by John, I mean in the sense of receiving the Holy Spirit or whatever this means.

A. It was not the water itself, in and of itself, that did that. Something happened, obviously, and the reality of that is that He entered the fullness of Christ Consciousness at that moment. Yes, that is the point in the biographical sequence where it happened, but nobody really would want to say that it is the water that did it, that it was John's touch that did it. It was all the factors combined that did it, but that extra dimension that Jesus brings in here, the non-grandiose that He brings in with His loving consideration for John's feelings. These are John's people, this is John's ministry, and the spotlight is on John, and he is doing the best he can. Now Jesus could come up there and instead of baptizing them with water, have done something quite spectacular; but then the people's attention would have left John, and how would he have felt? It is just like if you were invited to be a guest speaker in the Unity Center of Indianapolis. You have this great charisma that has made you so irresistible during your student days here, and you have a lot of E.S.P. so that a counselee can come up to you, and you read that soul just like the palm of your own hand, and here we go, you understand what I am driving at. O.K. You go down to Indianapolis to do a substitute speaking job for Charles Roth. Charles is depending on you to do this for him, and to help his work by doing it. You go down there, and instead of doing the job that you were invited to do, thinking of Charles and the work and the fact that Charles is going to have to come back next week and be the minister, you think, here is my opportunity to rule and reign supreme and display my superiority over what these people are getting week after week. Now, you understand I am talking about motive, not about the quality of your speech. Make that the best, and you will be doing the right thing, but I am talking about what is in your mind and heart, the intent, the motivations so you give the best speech possible. That is what Charles got you there for, and you know what? Those people will not only praise you and your speech, but guess what? When Charles comes back, they will praise him for giving them the treat of exposure to you, and Charles is still the minister in their minds and hearts. But you go down there and possibly give the best speech in the world; do you know what God has heard? Spirit knows what is in your mind and heart, and that is what God has heard, and you will be surprised. Your brilliant speech will not have the effect that you expected it to have, and Charles is still the minister.

These are the things to think about; these are the things that you can read between the lines of Scripture, especially after you have learned of the basic metaphysical pattern that runs through. These are after-thoughts, these are extra-dimensional insights into these various passages; so the thing that Jesus did was the great thing that spiritual awareness enables us to do, to rise in any given moment above the temptations for ego aggrandizement and competition for people who are in the spiritual type of work; all we need is individual excellence, not competition, and"This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."

Q. It seems to me that many of the baptismal ceremonies, and I am not speaking only for the traditional ceremonies but also when you have something to say for them, that actually it is almost a self-defeating thing because it seems that a lot of times people do that, it is to make known to the others that they have reached this point of spirituality. This is something that has always stuck in my head.

A. Yes, as it has to many other persons who come into Truth, which is exactly the reason why we have to remember a ceremony like baptism, laying on of hands, confirmation, holy communion, all of these rights and things have their value because of the fact that "as you have believed so be it unto you". Now, these people who are involved in this and get what they feel are benefits from them, will come to understand eventually that the benefits which they are receiving are really coming from that great power called belief rather than from the event. You see, most of these people are programmed about what to believe if they get involved in the rite, in the sacrament, in the ceremony; so they believe it, and almost always they are programmed to expect something good. Because of their belief, they have a good result from it; but again, they give the credit to the wrong thing, to the rite itself. Just as if you are really totally committed to Spirit, and if you really do believe in the reality of Superconscious or Christ Mind within, that commitment and that belief will cause the Christ or Superconscious Mind to always bestow upon you whatever knowledge or guidance or insight is needful for you in any circumstance or situation in your life. You will always perceive that portion of knowingness from that Superconscious or Christ Mind into your conscious mind that is needful for you; however, along with that inner event, there will always be an outer event which will outpicture this or represent it. You will find the right book, you will hear the lecture, you will witness some kind of demonstration, but something will happen because of the law of mind action which is, everything that occurs in consciousness will have its counterpart in the outer. Like attracts like and like begets like. Alright, the inner thing that has occurred is your commitment to Spirit, your belief in the reality of Christ Mind or Superconsciousness as a result of your receiving a greater insight, a greater degree of knowingness or divine guidance. Along with that in the outer will be a phenomenon of some kind that outpictures that which has occurred within, and if you are not alert to this, if you are not aware of this sort of thing, what mistake might you make? You might call that duplication, the outpicturing, the source of your knowing: this book taught me that, no it didn't, the book implied it or verified it or strengthened it in its representation. How often have you come across things you are reading in a book of Truth or hearing in a lecture of Truth, and you might say something like, "But I know that, I believe that", but hearing it said or reading it in print simply reveals on the conscious level that which has already occurred from the Superconscious, and the danger you get is that if you believe that this outer representation of your revealings from your Christ Mind, you subtly change your commitment if you are not careful. You might find yourself putting your commitment and your belief on people and things and books, on the shadows instead of the source and the substance which is within yourself. Always know that the all-knowing Mind of Christ as your Superconsciousness is on the job, because you have made the commitment and given the belief that it will never let you down, but all the time you are free to shift your commitment as far as your divine freedom. You are wise if you keep the commitment here, but the enjoyment and the appreciation for the outher thing: which symbolize that.

Q. Isn't this the danger of many of our prosperity classes which are outer directed, that you get results but only for a period of time?

A. That is right. I am glad you brought that up. In the case of building any kind of consciousness of spiritual nature, and in this I have three categories: health, prosperity, human relations. These are the main fields of human needs: healing, prosperity, human relations; now, all of us want to build a more powerful consciousness in these three area: and the thing to do is to remember your Lessons In Truth training, that divine ideas are the source and the cause of all human desires. They are also the source and the cause of all fulfillment of man's desires, so that when you are attempting to build a more powerful consciousness of any of these three things, you must not give your commitment to or your belief to the good things this kind of consciousness produces but to that which is the source of these things. In the case of the healing consciouness, for instance, you do not want to build that consciousness by giving your commitment and your priority of belief to healing activities, to healing cases but to the divine idea of health itself. Your divine idea of health makes the healing consciousness possible, and it is that which creates the desire for us to be healed. It is the divine idea of health itself as the reality, then, from that commitment and that point of basic belief. Then all of the healing works come as a matter of development.

Q. We are talking about healing, prosperity and human relationships as three different consciousnesses. Are we saying that they are three different, or are you saying that they are kind of three areas in which you can define within, the idea of seeking the kingdom?

A. Yes, they constitute the three main areas of all human desires. There is no arguement about that, and we use the word "healing consciousness, prosperity consciousness, human relations consciousness" only to define the area in which consciousness is working at any given moment. They are not three separate consciousnesses, but they are three areas of effort.

Q. Do you feel that all three could be built simultaneously in just going to that secret place within and know that it is happening?

A. No,they are not built simultaneously; however, in the realm of just thought, only one thought can occupy the mind at a given moment. So, then we have, a thought of healing, a thought of prosperity, the thought of love just for a while. The momentum is too big.

Let us come back to prosperity. If you want to build a more powerful consciousness to be involved in prosperity demonstrations, here is a danger that has been brought out. It is so fascinating to contemplate the results of a prosperity consciousness: treasure map - dangerous, dangerous unless kept under control, dangerous unless seen in its true perspective which is an effect, a technique, not in any sense the real thing. We envision ourselves giving all the time. "I am going to be a great giver", that is an effect. If you want to build the real powerful consciousness of prosperity work, go back to the idea which is the cause of the desire in the first place. It is the idea of substance, of God's substance, of God's will for good for all His children, the divine idea; to live in it, commit yourself to it ,and then watch. Through consciousness, through that commitment will come all kinds of opportunities and all types of abundance to share.

Third: human relations - we all long for a consciousness of right human relations but in working, strengthening such a consciousness we must not put our primary commitment and our true belief in all that give and take of the realm of human relationships and personality characteristics and things like that, and especially the sex thing. Be careful, do not put your commitments there and your primary beliefs there. These are to be products, they will be results, the divine idea which causes your desire for right human relationships. Make that your first commitment, make that your strongest belief, the divine ideas of love, oneness, brotherhood; work on that, the divine idea, because that is of spirit, then witness and participate in the results which will be a type of rapport and harmony and understanding and comradeship such as you might never had dreamed possible. It is only a matter of recognizing the divine idea in back of the desirable results and things, and begin your consciousness-conditioning work with those ideas that are in the Mind of God, and the results simply have to be. It simply has to be, because you have followed Jesus' most pregnant instruction, which is "seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things shall be added as well." The Kingdom of God is the availability of all the divine ideas in God's Mind.

Q. When you were talking about the idea of having this inner awareness of ideas accompanied by this outer corresponding external demonstration like finding the right book, the right lecture, etc. I kept thinking about how many times people say, "Well, Unity did this for me or hasn't Unity done so much for this person" that for me is the same kind of idea that people begin to worship Unity as a movement or organization as opposed to what actually Unity is teaching, which is to go to the prize or Divine Mind. I keep seeing this quite often.

A. It is, up to a point; but you are leaving one very subtle but very important factor out of it, and I think if you take this into what you are just saying here, it will reassure you. Jesus said, "No man cometh unto me except the Father who sent me to draw him." Now, let's equate that with the Unity movement. The Unity movement is not proselytizing, nor is the fact that if a person is born to parents in the movement, automatically means that that kid has got it. The great majority of people in the Unity movement are there by choice, which means that they were ready for it. They had attained a certain level of unfoldment in their evolutionary plan, and therefore these persons are wise to certain things that we are often worrying about that they might not be wise to. I think we are doing them a discredit. I think that many of the things we worry about might happen in the Unity movement is simply a result of not realizing that it is the same degree of awareness that draws us all together. Now, the very fact that you are aware of this kind of thing automatically means that so is everyone else, because everyone here is very much on the same evolutionary levels and have a lot of soul affinities and ties. This is why it is so difficult to keep a secret in this movement. You cannot even sleep with any other guy's wife without everybody seeming to know somehow. But this is good; this is very helpful. This means we are all in tune, and the dangers that you see as possibilities, you can know that at the same moment there are a thousand persons in the movement also aware of that dangers, so these things never seem to materialize quite the way we are afraid they might.

Text of the original transcript from paragraph 2 on page 16 through paragraph 3 on page 20.
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on August 8, 2013


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