Question: If the world is a training school and we must all evolve some time, why was it necessary for Christ to die for our salvation? (Vol. II, #100)
Answer: If you have studied the Western Wisdom Teachings, you will remember that at different periods in the development of the world there were certain stragglers who did not come up to the requirements and needed to go into the next class, as it were. This is on the same principle that we see in our schools of today. In every class of children there are some who do not apply themselves as much as others, and therefore, when the time of examination comes, they are not ready to go into a higher class and must consequently be left behind. Under the regime of Jehovah egoism was instilled into early mankind to evolve humanity. In early Atlantis the Spirit had just entered the body, and all felt universal kinship as children of the great Father. However, they were designed to conquer the world and evolve individuality, and to this end they were divided into nations and families.
Having been given dominion over all things, they were encouraged to acquire possessions. Material favor, increase of children, of cattle, and of land, were given to them as rewards for obedience to the dictates of their various Race Spirits who were regarded by them as messengers of God. Contrariwise, if they transgressed and disobeyed the commandments of Jehovah, they must pay in famine, pestilence, or other material calamity. There was under the regime of Jehovah no promise of a heaven, for it was said that "even the heavens are the Lord's but the Earth has he given to the children of men." Furthermore, they were told that they would be rewarded with long life to dwell in their land, if they were obedient to His commandments. Thus, by degrees egoism and self- seeking were made paramount, and the good deeds which are the basis of heaven life, where spiritual progress is made, were neglected. The more intelligent the people became the more their cunning, and covetousness were exercised to lay up treasure on Earth, but never a thought bestowed on the treasure in heaven, so necessary to spiritual advancement. The body also crystallized more and more by this method, and had it been pursued indefinitely, evolution would have come to a standstill. Humanity builds both the Earth and their own bodies in the Second Heaven, between two lives, and they would have crystallized the Earth and themselves in their grasping egoism, until it would have become like the Moon.
To escape such a calamity another influence was necessary, and the seer who can read the Memory of Nature sees that ages before the actual advent of Christ His benefic influence was exercised from without. He was preparing to act as Indwelling Spirit of our planet and thereby raise the vibration so as to purify the moral atmosphere and change the motto, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," to "Love your enemies." Jehovah is the ruler of all the satellites in our solar system. In order to stir the backward class of Spirits which are contained on these moons, it is necessary to use the most strenuous means indefinitely, but as soon as a sufficiently enlightened stage has been reached by the people on a planet the Cosmic Christ takes them in hand to save them from the law by love. He generates in them and the planetary atmosphere the altruistic vibrations of brotherhood.
Sinking His consciousness in such low and material conditions with sufficient concentration to effect His object involves a temporary death to the higher, spiritual realms; but this is necessary, and therefore Christ must die to save the world.
Question: Can you prove from the Bible that the Ego is born and reborn until it is fit to be in God's presence? (Vol. II, #104)
Answer: There are some people who believe that the Bible is absolutely true, word for word, from cover to cover. Moreover, in controversy they seem to argue as though it had originally been written in English and every word meant just what is said and nothing else.
As a matter of fact, the Bible has been translated, transcribed, edited, and re-edited so many times that interpolations have, of course, crept in. Some have been inserted unintentionally, due to the fact that a copyist will make a slip with the pen occasionally. There have also been cases where interpolations were put in to support a certain doctrine in which the copyist believed and which was not clearly enunciated. Among scholars it is well recognized that only a general outline of the original teachings remains with us today.
In all religions an exoteric side was always given to the multitude. This contained the more elementary teachings, but a deeper place was given to those who had fitted themselves by their lives for understanding the deeper mysteries. We may take the counsel of Christ to His disciples: "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens but unto these parables," as an indication that there is a similar arrangement in the Christian religion.
Among these mysteries was the doctrine of rebirth, which you will see He must have taught from the following conversation. He asked them: "Who do men say that I, the son of man, am?" They answered and said: "Some say that you are John the Baptist, some Elijah, and some that you are Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." These personages had all died and their bodies must have decayed in the grave. Yet we find people believing that Jesus was one of them reborn. If this principle of rebirth had been wrong, it would have been His duty as a teacher to have set His disciples right, and He would probably have said: "What nonsense! How can I be one of those? They have been gone for centuries." Instead He asks, "Who do you say that I am?"
In the case of Elijah He taught this doctrine outright, for He said to His disciples concerning John the Baptist: "This is Elijah if you will receive it." There is no equivocation, but a straightforward statement: "This is Elijah." This statement was reiterated later on when they left the Mount of Transfiguration, for on that occasion Christ said to His disciples: "Elijah has come and they have done to him as they listed." Then they knew that He spoke of John the Baptist.
This article was adapted from "The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers, Vol. II," by Max Heindel.