Acts 4 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation

Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Acts Chapter 4

Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 4:1-4

4:1And as they spake unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 4:2being sore troubled because they taught the people, and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.4:3And they laid hands on them, and put them in ward unto the morrow: for it was now eventide. 4:4But many of them that heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
December 5, 1948: Acts 4:1-4

What resurrection from the dead is it our immediate need to realize? The resurrection of spiritual truth from the materialism of the present time. We need to resurrect our faculties as individuals and at the same time to undertake the resurrection of the same spiritual faculties in society.

How can this be brought about? Through capable leadership in spiritual truth and through faithful following on the part of all others of the best light the leaders can give them.

Is this necessarily a long, laborious undertaking? Not at all. On the contrary, the word of Truth is quick and powerful, all the material aids of the present through which it can be published are well adapted to its speedy dissemination.

Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 4:5-12

4:5And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; 4:6and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest. 4:7And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, By what power, or in what name, have ye done this? 4:8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders, 4:9if we this day are examined concerning a good deed done to an impotent man, by what means this man is made whole; 4:10be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even in him doth this man stand here before you whole. 4:11He is the stone which was set at nought of you the builders, which was made the head of the corner. 4:12And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved.
July 12, 1936: Acts 4:5-12

What is the significance of a name? Man identifies himself in the inner realm by means of the I AM, and among men by his name. Through the right use of the I AM he builds up character, and when men hear his name they identify it with the character he has given it. Thus a name has power to characterize the one who bears it.

Jesus identified Himself with Truth and became one with divine power. How has His work affected His name? He "made himself the Son of God," as His enemies claimed, and became known as the Christ or the power of God and the wisdom of God. His name is therefore above every name.

Why do we claim health in the name and through the power of Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ is the way, the Truth, and the life, therefore by claiming health in His name we claim it in the name of eternal life, which cannot fail or be destroyed.

Can peace be realized in the name of Jesus? To affirm peace in the name of the Prince of Peace is to go to the source of Supply for that which we seek, and to receive what we ask.

Is the term "a holy war" illogical? A holy war is impossible as well as illogical, for the reason that peace cannot be invoked to further strife and discord.

For what do the names Peter and John stand for? For the healing qualities of faith and love. Most cases of healing begin in a quickened consciousness of these qualities.

Of what is the lame man who lay at the gate of the Temple called Beautiful a symbol? He symbolizes man when he fails to affirm his spiritual strength in the name of the Christ.

How does man save himself daily in the name and through the power of Jesus Christ? Man saves himself daily by identifying himself through the I AM with limitless capacity and power, claiming as his own the wisdom, love, faith, and discernment for which the Christ stands.

May 22, 1927: Acts 4:8-10

Why did the disciples demonstrate so wonderfully in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth? A man's acts are associated with his name. If he has done noble deeds others do noble deeds when they think of him. If he has done miracles in the name of the Most High "by faith in his name," others will be inspired to do likewise. The metaphysician believes that since Jesus Christ of Nazareth demonstrated the power of God and healed many who were weak in understanding, he can do the same. "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do."

February 24, 1935: Acts 4:8-12

Why should we affirm health? Because affirmations are mental food, and it is our duty to supply the mind as well as the body with nourishing and wholesome food. Affirming health gives mental soundness and this in turn is bodied forth in physical health.

What furnishes the most complete immunity to disease? Thinking of ourselves as spiritual beings makes us more completely immune to disease than serums and antitoxins can do.

"He that hath the Son hath the life." Explain this statement. We claim our health through the power of the I AM. Through this power we identify ourselves with the Christ life and know ourselves as sons of God.

February 12, 1939: Acts 4:8-12

Explain the statement "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth . . . doth this man stand here before you whole." This verse and verse 12 stress the healing power of the "name." The name means authority or that which unites the right and the power of control.

What added fact lends power to the name of Jesus Christ? The fact that Jesus Christ took upon Himself the sins of the flesh and demonstrated over them. By this victory He instilled into the heart of the race the understanding and the force that are leading mankind out of sin, darkness, and death into purity, light, and life
everlasting.

Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 4:13-22

4:13Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 4:14And seeing the man that was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 4:15But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 4:16saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been wrought through them, is manifest to all that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. 4:17But that it spread no further among the people, let us threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 4:18And they called them, and charged them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 4:19But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it is right in the sight of God to hearken unto you rather than unto God, judge ye: 4:20for we cannot but speak the things which we saw and heard. 4:21And they, when they had further threatened them, let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people; for all men glorified God for that which was done. 4:22For the man was more than forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was wrought.
July 12, 1931: Acts 4:1-14

When man's consciousness is opened to spiritual understanding, what may he expect? When man's consciousness is opened to spiritual understanding, and the light of Truth begins to shine in "the temple," there is apt to be a stirring of thoughts, and no little opposition. Man is a creature of thought habits, although he sometimes prides himself on his mental freedom. The most tenacious thoughts are those on religions teaching.

When a new relation between God and man is revealed, what usually results? When a new relation between God and man is revealed, and the priest or minister who has ruled hitherto as mediator between man and his far away Deity is found to be superfluity, there is an uproar in consciousness. The conventional thoughts lay hands on the illuminated ones and cast them into prison, or darkness and bondage. It is well to be informed about these movements of the mind, for may may thereby be saved much perplexity.

Explain the statement: "A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country." That man has originating capacity in religious matters seems beyond the comprehension of the average mind. People will not believe that an ordinary man, with whom they have associated, may be inspired of God, and he must go among strangers before his message will be received.

How does man sometimes grieve the Holy Spirit? Man often questions the Truth that comes from the inner kingdom. Thus he suppresses his God-given thoughts, and grieves the Holy Spirit. He wants some external authority to sanction his teaching, forgetting that every religious doctrine was in its beginning expressed by some so-called unauthorized one.

What is the very cornerstone of man's character? The spiritual I AM, which many have case aside, is the very cornerstone of man's character. The Christ in Jesus was the cornerstone of His character.

How is all spiritual healing accomplished? It is from God through Jesus Christ that all spiritual healing comes. "Be it known unto you all … that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth … even in him doth this man stand here before you whole."

Up to this time, has anyone performed the "greater works" prophesied by Jesus? No one has yet done the "greater works" that Jesus foretold, but the fact that he foresaw their accomplishment encourages man's faith in the possibility of these surpassing deeds.

August 23, 1914: Acts 4:5-20

SILENT PRAYER: The Christ Mind in me is my authority.

When Spiritual Understanding is opened and the light of Truth begins to shine in the Temple, there is a stirring up of thoughts, and no little opposition. We are creatures of thought, though we sometimes pride ourselves on our freedom. The most tenacious thoughts are those based upon religious teaching. A man will suffer more tribulations in defense of his religion than anything else. The religious martyrs of the past stand out as shining examples of what men and women will endure in the name of religion.

When a new. relation is revealed to us between man and God, and the priest that ruled as mediator between us and our far-away deity is found to be a superfluity, there its an uproar in consciousness. These thoughts lay hands upon the illuminated ones, and cast them into prison, or darkness and bondage. It is well to be posted about these movements of the mind, as it saves much perplexity. While this contention in the thoughts is going on there is sometimes agony and fear. This can be made of non-effect when we are warned in advance. This is the object of the Scriptures. The first question the scribes and Pharisees ask is, "By what power or by what name have ye done this?"

That man has originating capacity in religious matters seems beyond the comprehension of the average mind. Awe and mystery have so long been concomitant of spiritual things that the soul quakes in fear whenever there is a thought out of the beaten path. "A prophet is not without honor save in his own country." People will not believe that an ordinary man, whom they have associated with, may be inspired of God, and he must go among strangers before his message will be received.

Some question the Truth that comes to us from the kingdom within. We sometimes suppress our God-given thoughts, and thus grieve the Spirit. We want some external, authority to sanction our teaching, forgetting that every religious doctrine was in its beginning given out my some unauthorized one. Who told Moses to go forth on his mission? The I AM of God. That I AM has been recently manifested again unto us through Jesus. Some have crucified it in their consciousness. It is the very cornerstone of the character which many have cast aside. But "there is no other name under heaven, that is given among men, whereby we must be saved."

April 20, 1941: Acts 4:8-20

Has fear any hold on one who has entered the spiritual consciousness and gained the affirmative outlook on life that it inspires? No. The Holy Spirit, when it enters into a man, casts out all fear. Constructive thinking transforms a man's thinking process.

How is spiritual understanding represented in this lesson? By the door that is called Beautiful. An open door admits light. "The entrance of thy words giveth light." Light is a symbol of understanding.

Was the speaking of the healing word in the name of Jesus Christ the normal course for Peter and John? If so, why? It was, because the long-continued prayer and praise in which they had united had opened their minds to spiritual understanding and made them receptive to the power of the Christ. Therefore they had to but speak the healing word in His name.

Who is authorized to speak the healing word? Everyone who believes in the power of the indwelling Christ to heal disease and establish harmony in man is authorized to speak the word.

Why do those in sense consciousness refuse to accept what they cannot understand? Those in sense consciousness must reduce the new and untried to the level of the five senses before they can accept it.

February 24, 1952: Acts 4:13, 18-20

Do we overreach ourselves when we claim to be co-workers and co-sustainers of the universe? No; for we begin with ourselves by denying the dominion of personality and merging our consciousness in the sustaining mind of God. This is our first and greatest work, and we are no presumptuous in claiming power to accomplish it with the help of Christ.

What power resides in the name of Jesus Christ? The full power of the Christ to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils, all of which He commanded His disciples to do. He gave them authority to do these things, and unless we obey Him and follow up with these works we are not true disciples or even friends. "Ye are my friends, if he do the things which I command you." The Holy Spirit alone gives us the power to undertake the commission laid upon us by the Master of life without weakening it by making concessions to the accumulated misunderstanding of centuries of tradition.

Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 4:32-37

4:32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and soul: and not one of them said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 4:33And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 4:34For neither was there among them any that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 4:35and laid them at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto each, according as any one had need.4:36And Joseph, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of exhortation), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race, 4:37having a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.
January 15, 1950: Acts 4:31-35

How does the person of dynamic faith respond to adversity? He pursues his even course as though nothing untoward had happened, giving himself anew to prayer. "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken wherein they were gathered together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness."

What is the strongest bond between those who believe alike? Oneness of heart and soul. "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and soul," The believers did not care to stand out as individuals. They preferred to be identified with all those who thought and felt alike.

July 19, 1931: Acts 4:32-35

What idea is especially brought out in this lesson? Today's lesson plainly points to an economic period in the lives of the early followers of Jesus Christ. The economic life of the disciples during this period was based on the idea of community of interests. The individual relinquished all personal possessions, and everything was held in common.

Would a community patterned after the plan used by the early followers of Jesus succeed today? The progress of such a community would depend on two things: the unselfishness of its members, and confidence that the directive head of the community was guided by Jesus Christ.

In the disciples' cooperative community, who was the ostensible head? The apostles vigorously proclaimed the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the head of all their work. They asserted that His grace and His power were upon them, as set forth in the 33rd verse: "And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all."

Would such a community succeed if the members possessed the consciousness of spiritual abundance and carried, in thoughts and in works, the idea that all things were theirs in Spirit? Statistics show that the possessions of nearly every community, if evenly distributed, would meet the needs of every member of that community. The 34th verse of our lesson states: "Neither was there among them any that lacked."

July 19, 1936: Acts 4:32-35

What chiefly distinguishes spiritual from material interests in man? The fact that material interests tend to divide men and create discord and strife among them, while spiritual interests unite men.

Before men can successfully hold goods or money in common, what must take place? Men must first believe in the unity of life and must desire to realize their part in the divine oneness.

Name some signs of spiritual love and liberality in the world today. Acts betokening good will and unselfish service are more general in the world today than ever before. The relief of distress is world-wide, the care of the sick and wounded is undertaken by organizations national in scope, and spiritual healing is recognized and encouraged by the organized churches of some countries. One sign of spiritual progress in our country is a movement in which all religious faiths unite to revive interest in spiritual values.

Could good will and mutual aid be made to work to better advantage by man? By being put to work on the causes that underlie poverty, strife, materialism, and other negative influences that retard man's spiritual progress, good will and the impulse to help others could bring home to man the worth of constructive thinking, and lead him to heal these conditions in the civilization of the race.

April 27, 1941: Acts 4:32-35

How is oneness of heart and soul achieved? Those who have the same faith in common find it easier to realize oneness of heart and soul than those who differ in faith. Clear thinking and a desire to find a common ground of action are necessary to help men to an understanding of the benefits of united effort.

Does the right to decide what to believe involve any responsibility on man's part? It involves both a duty and a responsibility: the duty to unite with those of like faith with himself in putting forth the strength that comes from united effort; and a responsibility to put all his strength into the group action in order to carry his full share of the common load instead of adding to its weight.

Are power and grace closely connected in man's life? Grace is the result of man's consciousness of inner power. The morally or spiritually weak person does not command it.

On what basis were all things held in common by the disciples in the first century? On their complete willingness or desire to share their possessions. No compulsion whatever was brought to bear upon those who had possessions to induce them to share with those who had none.

April 19, 1925: Acts 4:32-37

What idea is especially brought out in this lesson? Today's lesson plainly points to an economic period in the lives of the early followers of Jesus Christ. The economic life of the disciples during this period was based on the idea of community of interests. The individual relinquished all personal possessions, and everything was held in common.

Would a community patterned after the plan used by the early followers of Jesus succeed today? The progress of such a community would depend on two things: the unselfishness of its members, and confidence that the directive head of the community was guided by Jesus Christ.

In the disciples' cooperative community, who was the ostensible head? The apostles vigorously proclaimed the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the head of all their work. They asserted that His grace and His power were upon them, as set forth in verse 33: "And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all."

Would such a community succeed if the members possessed the consciousness of spiritual abundance and carried, in thoughts and in works, the idea that all things were theirs in Spirit? Statistics show that the possessions of nearly every community, if evenly distributed, would meet the needs of every member of that community. Verse 34 of our lesson states: "Neither was there among them any that lacked."

August 26, 1923: Acts 4:36, 37 (Weekly Unity)

What does Joseph Barnabas represent in this lesson? Joseph represents the imagination expressing itself in conduction with the Word (Paul). No faculty works by itself alone. "For none of us liveth to himself." In the development of man's inherent powers as allegorically pictured in the Bible, we find continual association part of the great life drama.

What is the meaning of: "having a field, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet"? The imagination (Joseph) makes its thought form out of substance, represented by the "field." When it receives spiritual illumination, this faculty gives up its material concept of substance and brings its substitute (money) and lays it at the disposal of all the faculties.

Why are toe told that Joseph was surnamed Barnabas, which means "son of exhortation"? The addition to Joseph's name represents an added quality, "exhortation" (the word). The word symbolizes the avenue through which  the faculty of imagination expresses itself.

August 26, 1923: Acts 4:36, 37 (Unity Magazine)

In this lesson Joseph represents the Imagination brought into expression through association with the word, Paul. The apostles renamed him Barnabas, which they interpret In the text to mean "Son of Exhortation." As the Imagination is the molder of the flexible substance of mind, so we have in the beginning of the Bible history of Barnabas, symbols that relate him to substance in its various forms. He was a Levite; the Levites had charge of the offerings. He had a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles* feet. The "field," the "money," the "feet," all refer to the substance side of Being.

Barnabas was a native of Cyprus, a large island in the northeastern portion of the Mediterranean. Cyprus means "Fairland," and in the individual consciousness it is in close touch with intellectual reasonings (the Greeks) and formulated theology (Antioch). The faculty of imagination is located in the front brain. It must become allied to wisdom, to fair, honest logic and reasoning, in order to become the son of exhortation. Barnabas "was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith." We find Barnabas always broad-minded, big of heart, and generous of soul. He was the right companion for Paul, who represents the word of the Spirit of truth. Barnabas believed in Paul and persuaded the apostles at Jerusalem that his change of heart was sincere. Spiritual imagination and fairness of mind cause us to realize and acknowledge the changes which take place in our thoughts as we turn from the fighting, resisting attitude to one of receptivity to Truth. Paul (formerly Saul, the will) converted, becomes by the power of the word, the most active thought in the establishment of good throught our being.

August 25, 1935: Acts 4:36, 37

What faculty is represented by Joseph, and what does the surname Barnabas  represent? In this lesson Joseph represents the imagination, and the surname Barnabas given to him by the disciples signifies "Son of Exhortation." Imagination lends persuasive power to words.

In the work of helping others, what gift is indispensable? The ability to enter into the interests of others through imaginative sympathy and understanding is essential to success in helping them.

Has imagination any connection with substance? Imagination molds the formless substance of Being. Barnabas is mentioned several times in connection with substance.

Transcribed by Dan Beckett on 9-8-2013.