Chapter 19: The End of the Age
IN ALL AGES and among all people, there have been legends of prophets and saviors and predictions of their coming. Anticipation of a messiah has not been confined to the Occident, for several of the prominent religions of the Orient have prophesied a messiah. The fact that all who believe in the principle of divine incarnation have long strained their eyes across the shining sands in an effort to catch sight of the coming of one clothed with the power of heaven, should make us pause and consider the cause of such universality of opinion among peoples widely separated. To dismiss the subject as a religious superstition is not in harmony with unprejudiced reason. To regard these prophecies merely as religious superstitions rules out traditions that are as tenable and as reliable as the facts of history. There is a cause for every effect, and the cause underlying this almost unanimous expectation of a messiah must have some of the omnipresence of a universal law.
In considering a subject like this, which demonstrates itself largely on metaphysical lines, it is necessary to look beyond the material plane to the realm of causes.
The material universe is but the shadow of the spiritual universe. The pulsations of the spiritual
forces impinge upon and sway men, nations, and planets, according to laws whose sweep in space and time is so stupendous as to be beyond the ken or comprehension of astronomy. But the fact should not be overlooked that higher astronomy had its votaries in the past. The Magi and the illumined sages of Chaldea and Egypt had astronomical knowledge of universal scope. It was so broad, so gigantic, so far removed from the comprehension of the common mind of their day that it always remained the property of the few. It was communicated in symbols, because of the poverty of language to express its supermundane truths. In the sacred literature of the Hindus are evidences of astronomical erudition covering such vast periods of time that modern philosophers cannot or do not give them credence, and they are relegated to the domain of speculation rather than of science. However the astronomers of the present age have forged along on material lines until now they are beginning to impinge upon the hidden wisdom of the mighty savants of the past.
There is evidence that proves that the ages of the distant past knew a higher astronomy than do we of this age, and that they predicted the future of this planet through cycles and aeons — its nights of mental darkness and the dawn of its spiritual day — with the same accuracy that our astronomers do its present-day planetary revolutions.
Jesus evidently understood this higher astronomy,
and He knew that His work as a teacher and demonstrator of spiritual law was related to it, yet not controlled by it. He co-operated with the "law ... and the prophets," as far as they went, but He knew the higher law of the Christ man and affirmed His supremacy in the words: "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth."
Jesus evidently understood the aeons or ages through which the earth passes. For example, in Matthew 13:39, our English Bible reads: "The enemy that sowed them is the devil: and the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are angels." In the Diaglott version, which gives the original Greek and a word-for-word translation, this reads: "THAT ENEMY who SOWED them is the ADVERSARY; the HARVEST is the End of the Age; and the REAPERS are Messengers." In this as in many other passages where Jesus used the word "age," it has been translated "world," leading the reader to believe that Jesus taught that this planet was to be destroyed.
So we see that the almost universally accepted teaching of the end of the world is not properly founded on the Bible. The translators wanted to give the wicked a great scare, so they put "the end of the world" into Jesus' mouth in several instances where He plainly said "the end of the age."
The Bible is a textbook of absolute Truth; but its teachings are veiled in symbol and understood only by the illumined. The old prophets knew that the
earth would become spiritualized in time, and they looked forward and saw it as a self-luminous planet. This is plainly stated in numerous places in the Scriptures.
Isaiah says: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee. ... Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, desolation nor destruction within thy borders ... The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but Jehovah will be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory" (Isa. 60:1)
John in Revelation also saw a like condition when he prophesied: "And there shall be night no more; and they need no light of lamp, neither light of sun; for the Lord God shall give them light" (Rev. 22:5)
"Canst thou lead forth the Mazzaroth ['the signs of the Zodiac' (margin)] in their season? ... Knowest thou the ordinances of the heavens? Canst thou establish the dominion thereof in the earth?" (Job 38:32-33)
In accordance with the prophecies of the ancients, our planetary system has just completed a journey of 2,169 years, in which there has been wonderful material progress without its spiritual counterpart. But old conditions have passed away and a new era has dawned. A great change is taking place in the mentality of the race, and this change is evidenced in literature, science, and religion. There is a breaking
away from old creeds and old doctrines, and there is a tendency to form centers along lines of scientific spiritual thought. The literature of the first half of the twentieth century is so saturated with occultism as to be an object of censure by conservatives, who denounce it as a "lapse into the superstition of the past." Notwithstanding the protests of the conservatives, on every hand are evidences of spiritual freedom; it crops out in so many ways that an enumeration would cover the whole field of life.
This is surely the coming of the spirit of Christ or Truth, just as was prophesied: "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions."
It is evident that Jesus and His predecessors had knowledge of coming events on lines of such absolute accuracy as to place it in the realm of truth ascertained, that is, exact science.
That knowledge of our planet is daily becoming more refined, is admitted by material scientists, but that it will ever become spiritualized, as was declared by the ancients, they do not yet admit.
The evidences of a radiant condition of matter on our planet, are so plain that even the most skeptical are loath to deny them, and they must eventually
be accepted by all scientists. The physicists are rapidly altering their viewpoint. They are working out their researches in the mental realm. Recently one of the greatest of them, Professor Robert Andrews Millikan, wrote that "matter is no longer a mere game of marbles played by blind men. An atom is now an amazingly complicated organism, possessing many interrelated parts and exhibiting many functions and properties — energy properties, radiation properties, wave properties, and other properties, quite as mysterious as any that used to masquerade under the name of 'mind.' Hence the phrase 'All is matter' and 'All is mind' have now become mere shibboleths completely devoid of meaning."
But these material evidences of a new era are not necessary to the sensitive ones who feel it in the very atmosphere and who are thrilled by the light of the Christ principle. To those who hunger after righteousness, this Christ principle is the elixir of eternal life; but those who are wedded to things material would better beware! The race is changing its vibrations to a higher rate, and the higher types of the race must keep the equipoise by unfolding spiritually or they will lose their hold. Cases of loss of mental poise are now getting so numerous as to attract the attention of the medical world, and these cases will increase in frequency in the future, unless there is a stronger development of the spiritual nature of men. Old things are passing away!
Do you belong to the old, or are you building anew from within and keeping time with the progress of the age? The "harvest" or "consummation of the age" pointed out by Jesus is not far off. This is no theological scare; it is a statement based on a law that is now being tested and proved.
Listen to your inner voice; cultivate the good, the pure, the God within you. Do not let your false beliefs keep you in the darkness of error until you go out like a dying ember. The divine spark is within you. Fan it into flame by right thinking, right living, and right doing, and you will find the "new Jerusalem."
That Jesus was the fulfillment in the flesh of the long-looked-for Messiah is accepted by those who have had spiritual illumination, and is believed by millions who have not had this illumination. Many have not lifted up the Son of man in themselves, but they have faith that Jesus did. Those who study the life of Jesus in its personal aspect, to the exclusion of the spiritual, sense the wonderful possibilities within man and the universe. One who does not develop his own spiritual nature cannot see the spiritual nature in Jesus or in other men who are following Jesus in the regeneration.
Man employs a divine-natural law of growth or evolution before he reaches the divine spiritual. Those under the divine-natural law are referred to in the Bible as the "children of God." However it is
possible for the "children of God" to forge ahead of the average in spiritual understanding and power, and to become those who are called "sons of God." All great spiritual leaders have been of the latter class. They see that
"The fault ... is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
What we all need is a fuller understanding of the spiritual laws lying back of the phenomena of existence. "It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing." Christians should seek the undying life and law of Jesus and the creative substance of His body instead of the historical man of Nazareth. Abstract Truth is good as a beginning for the aspiring man, but Truth incarnated through a great One is a dynamic booster, and we all intuitively unite with such a one as Jesus, and are set free from our human limitations by the vision and quickening that contact with the Christ gives us.
It is a strange fact that in attempts to get the world's estimate of great men the name of Jesus has seldom been suggested. One would think that the army of men and women teaching the doctrines of this greatest of men, would put His name at the head of the list. Our attention is always called to the classifications "secular" and "religious" to explain why Jesus is not included among the world's great men. In fact, Jesus is not considered a man but a god, and in this fact we find another of the many
separations that systematized religion has made between the spiritual and the material.
The secular world has been taught that Jesus was so superior to mortal man that He can be thought of only as a god. This removes Him from us all as a man whose character we may emulate and as an example of what we may become and places His attainments far beyond human possibilities.
But Jesus laid no claim to that superiority over other men with which the church so persistently invests Him. His teaching is that all who keep the divine law as He kept it will become like Him and His disciples. "Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me through their word." "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that thou didst send me, and lovedst them, even as thou lovedst me."
By separating Jesus from the rest of the race we close the door against the real man, the man that every personal man must progress into. "My little children, of whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you," said Paul. There is a great awakening, in all parts of the world, to the absolute necessity and immediate possibility of a race of men patterned after Jesus of Nazareth. Thus is germinating the seed of the new race that Jesus sowed. "Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth by itself alone; but if it die, it beareth much
fruit." Jesus taught the highest Truth ever given to the world, but in addition to His doctrines He gave the race His purified, glorified body. He purified and spiritualized the natural blood until it became a spiritual life stream, into which all may enter and be cleansed. He spiritualized the cells of His corruptible body and set them free in "the heavens," where we may all appropriate or "eat" them. The heavenly kingdom to which Jesus so often referred is the unlimited spiritual consciousness where mind and body are equal in all activities. When we come into the full consciousness of "the heavens," the body will respond instantly to every thought; then time, space, and all the limitations of matter will disappear. It is in this consciousness that Jesus now lives; His "second coming" will be the revealing to men and women everywhere that He has not been absent at any time. "Lo, I am with you always."
The heavenly signs of the second coming of the Son of man are in the cosmic ether, which is now known to science as interpenetrating all things. In the invisible ether, we shall eventually find a complete record of the history of the race, which spiritually developed man will be able to read as easily as he now reads the daily paper. Sir James Jeans in his book "The Mysterious Universe" says: "We must think of space as being drenched with almost all the cosmic radiation which has ever been generated since the world began. Its rays come to us as messengers
not only from the farthest depths of space, but also from the farthest reaches of time. And, if we read it aright, their message seems to be that somewhere, sometime, in the history of the universe, matter has been annihilated, and this not in tiny, but in stupendous amounts."
Jesus named God-Mind the "KINGDOM of the HEAVENS." According to the original Greek, as given in the Emphatic Diaglott, He said: "Reform! because the ROYAL MAJESTY of the HEAVENS has approached." Bible translators have not understood the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures, and they have nearly always translated the word "heavens" in the singular, making it read "heaven." This error has misled many into thinking that Jesus, in His many parables and comparisons, referred to a place called heaven. But it is apparent that in these parables and comparisons He was trying to explain to His hearers the character of the omnipresent substance and life that has all potentiality and is the source of everything that appears on the earth.
The coming in the clouds of the heavens of the "Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power," as Jesus told the high priest, is the "second coming," and we should look nowhere else for the advent of the risen Christ. Christ is today "sitting at the right hand of Power," which represents spiritual power expressed; the clouds of heaven being the obscurity in which sense consciousness holds the light of Truth.
Let us cease expecting Christ to come in bodily form; let us turn our attention to His risen body already with us. In this way we shall co-operate with Him in setting up the kingdom of the heavens on the earth. In Matthew 24-23-27 Jesus gave the strongest kind of warning against the idea of the personal appearance of the Christ. This passage concludes with these words: "For as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto the west; so shall be the coming of the Son of man." These are Jesus' own words, and they should have greater weight than Paul's theory that Jesus will appear with a great shout in the clouds of heaven, which has been interpreted literally as the personal appearance of Jesus in the sky.
The world needs the Christ consciousness. The need implies that the attainment is near at hand. There are men and women who gaze up into the heavens for Christ, as did the early disciples, instead of looking within their own heart and mind. "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven?" Only believe in the omnipresent Christ and you will behold Him sitting on the right hand of Power within your own being!
All who believe that Christ is here now should teach it and preach it with all possible zeal.
The people are longing and reaching out for the healing hand of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is great need of leadership under the Christ
whose banner is love.
The Prince of Peace should be invited to the peace conferences that are held by war-taxed and war-weary peoples.
Christ righteousness should be dominant in settling the differences between capital and labor.
Our schools in every grade need to teach the moral standard of Christ as fundamental to all true character.
When our children have the Christ Spirit pointed out to them as being within and as a living fount of health, wealth, and happiness, they will quickly accept it.
Then the ambition of men will be to compete in bringing forth Truth, goodness, and righteousness; and evil and sin, with its sickness and poverty, will disappear from the earth.