Acts 9 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation

Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Acts Chapter 9

Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 9:1-9

9:1But Saul, yet breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 9:2and asked of him letters to Damascus unto the synagogues, that if he found any that were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 9:3And as he journeyed, it came to pass that he drew nigh unto Damascus: and suddenly there shone round about him a light out of heaven: 9:4and he fell upon the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 9:5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: 9:6but rise, and enter into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 9:7And the men that journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but beholding no man. 9:8And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing; and they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9:9And he was three days without sight, and did neither eat nor drink.
August 9, 1931: Acts 9:1-9

What is the metaphysical meaning of the word "Saul"? The word Saul means "wished" or "affirmed"; in one of its phases it represents the activity of mind called the will. In man's evolution, King Saul, with his boundless ambition and erratic judgment, represents the last stand of the human will. King Saul was a warrior and at the same time a judge in Israel. He usurped the priestly function and drew down upon himself the reproach of the spiritual law (Samuel). An almost exact parallel is found in the life of Saul of Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus, "breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest"; that is, like Saul of old, he sought priestly authority for his destructive methods.

What is the meaning of the vision that came to Saul while he was on his way to Damascus? The word "Damascus" means intellectual activity, and is also associated with an ideal; the city of Damascus was called "the gem of the desert." Saul was intellectually striving to carry out a spiritual idea of religion, but he had misjudged Jesus and His teachings. The vision was a vision only to those who accompanied Saul; to Saul it was a real occurrence. Jesus actually talked to him out of the fourth-dimensional plane, or out of what modern scientists call the luminiferous ether.

Why did Saul see Jesus and hear his voice, while those who journeyed with him "stood speechless, hearing the voice, but beholding no man"? Saul was an intensely zealous and energetic Pharisee; he prayed often and long, and by the very intensity of his spiritual aspirations and prayers he broke through the intellectual religious consciousness into the true spiritual light, where Jesus Christ functions and lives. Clear seeing or fourth-dimensional sight is an attribute of the one who lives in the kingdom of the heavens or the spiritual realm. When a person is lifted into this realm his mind becomes illumined and, much as the x-ray penetrates the body, his mind penetrates the realm of thought and he sees and knows far more clearly than those who are limited to the material or three-dimensional realm.

Why was Saul so shocked by the message and the vision of Jesus Christ that he was blind for three days and "did neither eat nor drink"? Saul received a spiritual baptism like that received by the disciples who were in the upper room in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. It was so intense that he could not assimilate the tremendous spiritual energy that had come to him; the Lord sent him a healer in the person of Ananias, who laid hands on him and helped him to equalize the spiritual energy that had descended suddenly into his soul and his body. Similar experiences are quite common in this day among Truth workers; often they find it necessary to help one another to get mastery of their higher forces. The body is in many cases slow in responding to the swift vibrations of light; likewise a dazed condition of mind sometimes follows a great spiritual baptism. One who has attained poise and mastery is a most acceptable aid for helping to restore sight to blinded eyes.

August 9, 1936: Acts 9:1-9

What does Saul represent in this lesson? Saul represents the will and its dominance over the mind and heart of man.

When it is man's will to destroy those who disagree with him and to uphold his convictions through strife, does he find it easy to perceive spiritual truth? While contention and strife continue purely spiritual perception is impossible to man.

When does man first touch the realm of spiritual power? Man touches the realm of Spirit and opens his heart to conversion when he examines himself with a view to testing the sincerity of his motives, and looks without prejudice into the merits of the controversy in which he is engaged, to determine without fear or favor where right is found.

What does Damascus represent? Damascus ("activity," "alertness in respect to trade or possessions") represents the capacity of the intellect to engender strife and warring thoughts and conditions.

In such a consciousness what means of access to man does the Christ Spirit have? During a period of relaxed attention and meditation the Christ Spirit may gain entrance to the consciousness even of one who fights and contends about his faith, as long as his motive is sincere. Paul was sincere in thinking that he should persecute the Christians in order to uphold the Jewish faith.

What new conviction did the Christ Spirit bring to Paul to take the place of the old fighting spirit of the personal believer? The new conviction that came to Paul was that the way of Truth is followed and served best through love.

Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 9:10-19

9:10Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and the Lord said unto him in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 9:11And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus: for behold, he prayeth; 9:12and he hath seen a man named Ananias coming in, and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight. 9:13But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard from many of this man, how much evil he did to thy saints at Jerusalem: 9:14and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon thy name. 9:15But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel: 9:16for I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake. 9:17And Ananias departed, and entered into the house; and laying his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, who appeared unto thee in the way which thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. 9:18And straightway there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and he arose and was baptized; 9:19and he took food and was strengthened. And he was certain days with the disciples that were at Damascus.
May 17, 1925: Acts 9:1-12, 17, 18

What is the metaphysical meaning of the word Saul? The word Saul means "wished" or "affirmed;" in one of its phases it represents the activity of mind called the will. In man's evolution, King Saul, with his boundless ambition and erratic judgment, represents the last stand of the human will. King Saul was a warrior and at the same time a judge in Israel. He usurped the priestly function and drew down upon himself the reproach of the spiritual law (Samuel). An almost exact parallel is found in the life of Saul of Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus, "breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest;" that is, like Saul of old, he sought priestly authority for his destructive methods.

What is the meaning of the vision which came to Saul while he was on his way to Damascus? The word "Damascus" means intellectual activity, and is also associated with an ideal; the city of Damascus was called "the gem of the desert." Saul was intellectually striving to carry out a spiritual idea of religion, but he had misjudged Jesus and his teaching. The vision was a vision only to those who accompanied Saul; to Saul it was a real occurrence. Jesus actually talked to him out of the fourth dimension or out of what modern scientists call the luminiferous ether.

Why did Saul see Jesus and hear his voice, while those who journeyed with him "stood speechless, hearing the voice, but beholding no man"? Saul was an intensely zealous and energetic Pharisee; he prayed often and long, and by the very intensity of his spiritual aspirations and prayers he broke through the intellectual religious consciousness into the true spiritual light, where Jesus Christ functions and lives. Clear seeing or fourth-dimensional sight is an attribute of the one who lives in the kingdom of the heavens or spiritual realm. When one is lifted into this realm his mind becomes illumined and, much as the x-ray penetrates the body, his mind penetrates the realms of thought and he sees and knows far more clearly than those who are limited to the material or three-dimensional realm.

Why was Saul so shocked by the message and the vision of Jesus Christ that he was blind for three days and "did neither eat nor drink"? Saul received a spiritual baptism like that received by the disciples who were in the upper room in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. It was so intense that he could not assimilate the tremendous spiritual energy that had come to him; the Lord sent him a healer in the person of an Ananias, who laid hands on him and helped him to equalize the spiritual energy which had descended suddenly into his soul and his body. Similar experiences are quite common in this day among Truth workers; often they find it necessary to help one another to get mastery of their higher forces. The body is in many cases slow in responding to the swift vibrations of light; likewise a dazed condition of mind follows a great spiritual baptism. One who has attained poise and mastery is a most acceptable aid for helping to restore sight to blinded eyes.

October 8, 1933: Acts 9:1-12

In the study of the action of the will, what other faculty must also be considered? In conjunction with the will, the understanding must be considered also. The two faculties work together in perfect accord.

What does Saul on his way to Damascus typify? In this instance Saul typifies the will in action without a corresponding degree of active understanding.

To what does Damascus refer? Damascus ("activity"; "alertness" in respect to trade or possessions), to which Saul was going for the purpose of persecuting the Christians when he had the vision that converted him, refers to the capacity of the intellect to engender strife and warring thoughts and conditions.

What are the characteristics of the pure intellect? The intellect, of itself, is selfish; unsoftened by love and uninspired by spiritual truth, it always stirs up strife, because it's reasonings are hard, sharp, and contentious.

What was one of Saul's Redeeming qualities? Saul was sincere, and he was likewise intelligent. He had doubtless observed closely the conduct of the disciples of Jesus under persecution. The bearing of Stephen at the moment of his stoning must have impressed Saul deeply, and as he went about his subsequent task of rounding up other converts of the Way, he no doubt began to ponder their way of meeting life and to compare it with his own.

To what did this quality lead Saul? It led him into spiritual understanding. While he was nearing Damascus, light dawned on him in a blinding flash, and he saw the Christ as the foundation stone of the Way, and that Way as a life to be lived, a course to be followed without swerving.

What was the result? In submission and humility, Saul began the life of Paul. He was obedient to the inner voice. He began to study love instead of hate, tolerance instead of persecution, reasoned understanding rather than bigoted devotion to an inherited faith. Although his Christian beginnings were small, Paul's complete record as a Christian is a gigantic one.

April 2, 1939: Acts 9: 1–12

What is the meaning of the name Saul, and what does it represent? The name Saul means "asked for," "demanded," "wished." Saul represents the will of man.

Why was Saul said to be "breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord?" Saul represents the will actively engaged in championing man's convictions. The man who is not yet spiritually enlightened is especially active in fighting evil. To his mind whatever is not according to tradition in religion is without authority and therefore evil.

What is symbolized by the statement that Saul "drew night unto Damascus"? Damascus (sack of blood) refers to the capacity of the intellect to engender strife and warring thoughts and conditions. As man consciously wills to fight or oppose what he does not approve, he fixes himself in the consciousness of the bigot (draws near to Damascus).

What was the "light out of heaven" that shone roundabout Saul? The light of spiritual understanding that draws on one who, although bigoted, is sincere shown around Saul. The disciples in Damascus who knew of his approach and were praying to be delivered from him may have played a part also in the opening of his mind to the truth.

"I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and enter into the city." Interpret these words. The I AM of each individual is the will in the highest aspect of its expression. The will may be said to be the man. "I am Jesus" represents God's idea of man in expression, a will that transcends every other. "The city" is an aggregation of thoughts in the mind. To enter into these thoughts is to do mental work of a high order.

What caused Ananias to have a vision of Saul's need? Saul prayed to regain his sight, and saw Ananias coming to his aid. And Ananias was open to the inner life, receptive and obedient, and received the message of spirit direct.

May 18, 1941: Acts 9:1-16

The unconverted Saul was in personal consciousness. The personal man is willful in carrying out his desires and enforcing his convictions on others. He tries to preserve by force the authority to which he acknowledges allegiance. To his mind tradition has more weight than truth intuitively discerned.

Why was Saul on his way to Damascus to carry out his desires? Damascus (activity, alertness in respect to trade or possessions) refers to the capacity of the intellect to engender strife and warring thoughts and conditions. When it is not tempered by love the intellect is hard, sharp, and contentious, prone to stir up hatred because it makes man bigoted and narrow in his views.

What was one of Saul's redeeming qualities? Saul was sincere, and he was likewise intelligent. He had doubtless observed closely the conduct of the disciples of Jesus under persecution. The bearing of Stephen at the moment of his stoning must have impressed Saul deeply.

To what did this quality leads Saul? It led him into spiritual understanding.

What does the leading of Saul by the hand into Damascus signify? It shows the helplessness of the natural or personal man as well as the fallibility of the intellect when it is unenlightened by the Christ wisdom. The three days of physical blindness brought Saul to a realization of the weakness of the physical when it works against the inner or spiritual man.

What step in the transforming of the will follows man's realization of his helplessness while in natural or intellectual consciousness? Through prayer he perceives that he may be enfolded in divine compassion. In a vision Saul saw Ananias coming to help that he might receive his sight. The name on Ananias means "divine compassion."

Is divine compassion extended to all men without respect to persons? Yes, but it reaches only those who are sincere in following the light and who are receptive to and acknowledge the Christ or indwelling wisdom as the light of the world. These conditions were met in Saul's case, but  Ananias first made sure of them before obeying the call to baptize the former persecutor of the Christians.

What conviction was borne in on Ananias in his vision? That the will, once it is enlightened and made obedient by spiritual perception, can saturate the whole consciousness, physical (Gentiles), intellectual (kings), and spiritual (Children of Israel) with the Christ wisdom and power.

How is a man's command of the Christ power gauged? By his capacity to endure testing. "I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake."

April 18, 1909: Acts 9:1-19

The conversion of Saul is an example of the opening of the Higher Self in a great flood of Spirit force that for a time totally drowned out both soul and body. This occurs in degree in every conversion, but its effect upon the senses is usually less intense. This flood of spiritual light is the descent into consciousness of the thoughts about spiritual things in the individual, which connects with the Christ Mind, or "place" prepared by Jesus. These have accumulated in superconsciousness, as electricity piles up its force in the higher realms of the earth, to be turned suddenly loose in the lightning's flash.

Saul had been an intense thinker, and worked along spiritual lines and his mind was highly charged with thoughts about God. However mistaken he may have been in his zeal does not effect the result. Law is law in thought dynamics, as everywhere else, and when the mind is set on spiritual things, that part of the man gets the result of the generative energy. Jesus centered his thought upon the spiritual realm until he drew both soul and body into it, and that is where he was when he called Saul's attention to the futility of fighting his school of thought, which is so at-one with the Absolute Truth that it cannot be defeated. And let us reiterate right here, that Jesus is still present in this higher realm of mind and is constantly pouring out his power upon all who are sincerely seeking Truth. Saul was sincere, and that sincerity was the open way to the Christ Mind.

Saul received the Pentecostal baptism the same as those disciples in the "upper room" in Jerusalem. It was so intense that he could not assimilate it and the Lord sent him a healer in Ananias, who laid hands on him and helped him to equalize the tremendous spiritual energy that had descended suddenly into soul and body. This experience is quite common in this day among Truth workers, and we often find it necessary to help one another get poise and mastery of the higher forces. The body is often slow in responding to the swift vibrations of light, and a dazed condition of mind follows a special spiritual baptism. One who has attained poise and mastery is most acceptable in such cases and helps to restore sight to blinded eyes.

Jesus is still in our midst pouring out his spirit on chosen vessels. It is not necessary to have the Light come in such a blinding flood as it did to Saul. His was an emergency case, and his experience was like his religious zeal, very forceful. Yours may come like the gentle dew of heaven falling on the earth beneath so softly that it is not observed, but the effect is felt and seen in a new state of mind and body.

August 29, 1948: Acts 9:10-20

Explain the spiritual significance of Ananias's vision. In scriptural symbology a vision represents spiritual perception or intuition, and in this lesson the ministry of Arianias represents the spiritual response to prayer for healing.

Explain the significance of Saul's vision of Ananias. Saul had a spiritual awakening and was temporarily without sight, not knowing how to assimilate his new understanding. He prayed for healing and spiritually perceived the means by which God would answer his prayer.

Did Ananias obey the diving injunction without question? No; he pointed to Saul's previous record as a persecutor of the Christians. When God directs us to help someone in need, our human self is not always willing to obey without an argument. Humanly we hesitate to extend compassion toward a "sinner," and we try to argue with God about doing so.

What took place after Ananias had pointed out Saul's record? Ananias received definite instructions to town away from his biased human viewpoint and to behold Saul as a "chosen vessel . . . to bear my name" that is, to look upon him as a child of God and a brother in Christ in need of and receptive to spiritual ministrations.

What factors entered into the brotherly love extended by Ananias to Saul? Faith in Saul's sincerity and in the power of divine love, courage to put both to the test, and boldness to announce the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

How does the vision of the Christ that came to Saul contrast with the one that came to Ananias? Saul's vision, which reversed the whole tenor of his life, left him temporarily blind and powerless to orient his thought or conduct. Ananias's vision cleared his understanding, brought him to his feet, and sent him on an errand of mercy and healing in harmony with the meaning of his name, "compassion of Jehovah."

Does conversion mean the bestowal of the Holy Spirit on the convert? No. The baptism of the Holy Spirit follows the spiritual and moral change called conversion that a person undergoes when he comes in contact the Christ consciousness.

Did the descent of the Holy Spirit on Saul empower him to do the work that he was later to do? This baptism was Saul's authorization of apostleship. By it he was empowered to do God's work. "Straight-way in the synagogues he proclaimed Jesus, that he is the Son of God."

December 29, 1946: Acts 9:15

What is the important thing of us to do in life? To express our inmost convictions. This expression need not be by word alone. Sometimes acts are a truer expression of convictions than are words.

What is the effect of our failure to express our convictions in a way that is suitable and fitting? Dissatisfaction with ourselves and a state of mind that falls short of complete happiness and contentment.

August 9, 1936: Acts 9:17-19

How does one distinguish between the true and the false in the realm of ideas? One is able to tell the true from the false by concentrating all one's thoughts on the ideal of truth for truth's sake, and claiming the harmonious, peace-giving power that accompanies, understanding of the inner life (Ananias).

Are visions and revelations through dreams essential to spiritual development? Not every student has visions and dreams, therefore these cannot be absolutely essential to spiritual development. The thoughts of the heart, when they are put into practical use in daily life, promote spiritual development.

April 2, 1939: Acts 9:17-19

Why was Saul baptized as soon as his site was restored? When man's spiritual understanding is opened he sees the necessity of denying out of mind all personal willfulness and of becoming obedient to the higher will Spirit. This Saul did immediately. Baptism symbolizes denial.

The disciples at Damascus received Saul has one of themselves after his conversion. What does this fact disclose? That the spiritually awakened faculties of man allow him to see truth and to know sincerity from deception and falsehood.

Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 9:20-31

9:20And straightway in the synagogues he proclaimed Jesus, that he is the Son of God. 9:21And all that heard him were amazed, and said, Is not this he that in Jerusalem made havoc of them that called on this name? and he had come hither for this intent, that he might bring them bound before the chief priests. 9:22But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews that dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is the Christ. 9:23And when many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel together to kill him: 9:24but their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates also day and night that they might kill him: 9:25but his disciples took him by night, and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket. 9:26And when he was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: and they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. 9:27But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. 9:28And he was with them going in and going out at Jerusalem, 9:29preaching boldly in the name of the Lord: and he spake and disputed against the Grecian Jews; but they were seeking to kill him. 9:30And when the brethren knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. 9:31So the church throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being edified; and, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, was multiplied.
July 24, 1921: Acts 9:19-30

What effect is indicated by conversion, with the radical change of mind that attends it? Conversion indicates, and it is true, that the soul is immersed in a new and, to it, a strange thought atmosphere. It is actually baptized and immersed in cosmic consciousness, and perceived and feels like one reborn into a new world.

When this baptism takes place, what is the dominant idea in the mind? The dominant idea is, that man, represented by Jesus, is the son of God.

What becomes of the former consciousness which antagonized this truth? It is still in evidence; it fights, and tries to kill the new state of mind.

How is the Christ Consciousness built up and strengthened? By proclaiming Christ as the one reality, and, in spite of all opposition, holding loyally to his standards of truth.

How should one, who has had this baptism, and has taken this stand, meet the opposition? With a spirit of nonresistance. Do not fight evil, but hold firmly to the truth, and all those who are striving to live the life of righteousness will marshal their forces, visible and invisible, and you will be saved from all destructive thoughts.

July 22, 1928: Acts 9:19b-30

What lesson do we learn from Saul's zeal for the doctrine of Jesus Christ? All the Scriptures are for our instruction. Saul represents the zeal of the will to do the will of God. The will is one of our greatest faculties. Through it we blaze the way into new fields of activity for ourselves and for all other progressive souls.

What may we expect as a result of proclaiming the Truth revealed by Jesus Christ? The truth as revealed by Jesus was and is revolutionary. Up to the time of Jesus the Jews did not teach immortal life. It was taken for granted that life was continuous, but no proof was offered until the time of Jesus. "Jesus . . . abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light." The Jews did not believe in the divine sonship. They were taught that they were children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The new teaching of Truth always stirs up the antagonism and opposition of the old states of consciousness. These states of consciousness seek to destroy the will to do the will of God as it is in Christ Jesus.

How is the zealous will saved from destruction? Nonresistance is the most effective method of obtaining safety. The disciples of Saul took him by night and let him down through the wall in a basket, which represents a withdrawal of the will from the combative attitude. Saul's escape to Jerusalem (peace) carries out the idea of spiritual harmony which should be the ideal of every Christian.

Did Saul (symbolizing the zealous will) always adopt the peaceful method in presenting Truth? No. Saul was noted for his aggressiveness. Verse 29 is an epitome of his whole religious life: "Preaching boldly in the name of the Lord; and he spake and disputed against the Grecian Jews; but they were seeking to kill him."

What profit may we gain from the study of Saul's religious apostleship? We see in Saul, or Paul, the religious zealot, with marked ability, energy, and spirituality, having the qualities necessary to success in teaching and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, yet lacking one thing necessary to its full exposition: love. Paul saw love is the greatest asset of a Christian, but a close study of his life shows that he did not use it to overcome his enemies.

May 24, 1923: Acts 9:20-31

What lesson do we learn from Saul's zeal for the doctrine of Jesus Christ? All the Scriptures are for our instruction. Saul represents the zeal of the will to do the will of God. The will is one of our greatest faculties. Through it we blaze the way into new fields of activity for ourselves and for all progressive souls.

What may we expect as the result of proclaiming the Truth revealed by Jesus Christ? The Truth as revealed by Jesus was and is revolutionary. Up to the time of Jesus the Jews did not teach immortal life. It was taken for granted that life was continuous, but no proof was offered until the time of Jesus. "Jesus . . . abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light." The Jews did not believe in the divine sonship. They were taught that they were children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The new teaching of Truth always stirs up the antagonism and opposition of the old states of consciousness, which seek to destroy the will to do the will of God as it is in Christ Jesus.

How is the zealous will saved from destruction? Nonresistance is the most effective method of obtaining safety. The disciples of Saul took him by night and let him down through the wall in a basket, which represents withdrawal of the will from its combative attitude. Saul's escape to Jerusalem (peace) carries out the idea of spiritual harmony which should be the ideal of every Christian.

Did Saul (symbolizing the zealous will) always adopt the peaceful method in presenting Truth? No. Saul was notorious for his aggressiveness. Verse 29 is an epitome of his whole religious life: "Preaching boldly in the name of the Lord; and he spake and disputed against the Grecian Jews; but they were seeking to destroy him."

What profit may we gain from the study of Saul's religious apostleship? We see in Saul, or Paul, the religious zealot, with marked ability, energy, and spirituality, having the qualities necessary to success in teaching and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yet lacking one thing necessary to its full-rounded exposition--love. Paul saw love as the greatest asset of a Christian, but a close study of his life shows that he did not use it to overcome his enemies.

Would aggressiveness and a consuming zeal for produce a thorn in the flesh? All the emotions and energies of the mind express through the body. In Psalms it is written: "For the zeal of thy house hath eaten me up." Paul's fiery zeal in presenting Truth must have consumed his vitality. He undoubtedly had violent coughing spells, and a metaphysician's diagnosis would be that his "thorn in the flesh" was consumption.

What part does Barnabas play in smoothing out the turmoil and fear produced by the aggressive will? The name Barnabas means "son of exhortation." Barnabas represents the word of the Lord expressed in its pacifying, explanatory sense. He was always smoothing out the rough places, and in this respect was the harmonizer of the fiery zeal of Paul.

September 12, 1948: Acts 9:26-27

Does goodness leave room in a person's consciousness for distrust or suspicion? Goodness is void of distrust or suspicion, but the person who possesses it is not gullible. The truly good person is alert, clear-sighted, broad-minded, generous. He has good judgment as well as goodness of heart.

How is a good person's word accepted? It is accepted without question and relied upon by his associates as being fair, reasonable, intelligent, and trustworthy. When Barnabas vouched for Saul the other disciples received him as one of their own number.

Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 9:32-43

9:32And it came to pass, as Peter went throughout all parts, he came down also to the saints that dwelt at Lydda. 9:33And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had kept his bed eight years; for he was palsied. 9:34And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ healeth thee: arise and make thy bed. And straightway he arose. 9:35And all that dwelt at Lydda and in Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. 9:36Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. 9:37And it came to pass in those days, that she fell sick, and died: and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper chamber. 9:38And as Lydda was nigh unto Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men unto him, entreating him, Delay not to come on unto us. 9:39And Peter arose and went with them. And when he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. 9:40But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down and prayed; and turning to the body, he said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 9:41And he gave her his hand, and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.9:42And it became known throughout all Joppa: and many believed on the Lord. 9:43And it came to pass, that he abode many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.
February 8, 1920: Acts 9:32-43

1. When Faith (Peter), (that spiritual which quality realizes the reality of the inner life forces), begins it's work in consciousness and joins with the saints (consecrated thought forces) dwelling in Lydda (pool of past thoughts), there is a renewing of the life consciousness in both mind and body.

2. Aeneas,--that which is praiseworthy, full of thankfulness and gratitude,--no longer bound by cross currents of criticism, faultfinding and weakness, arises, and in the name of Jesus Christ proclaims life and health and freedom; all strife is turned into constructive, spiritual activity; all desert places in consciousness receive the redeeming power of the living Word.

3. Next, neighboring states of consciousness hear of the works of faith (Peter), and believe. Joppa,–a land of beauty,–is the dwelling place of Tabitha, which means "awakened soul-opulence in Christ."

4. When this spiritual force, represented by Tabitha, works too much in the outer consciousness, it loses connection with the one Life within, and falls sick and dies.

5. The "widows" who stand round weeping, typify mixed thoughts, only halfway established in Truth, and who, therefore, waste their substance in the without.

6. But when the radiant light of faith penetrates the darkness, then all is changed. The splendor and beauty of Spirit are again awakened, and Tabitha (spiritual benevolence) is made alive.

May 31, 1925: Acts 9:32-43

Explain the text: "And it came to pass, as Peter went throughout all parts, he came down also to the saints that dwelt at Lydda." This passage of Scripture symbolizes the power of divine faith (Peter) penetrating soul and body, beginning it's redeeming work.

What do "Lydda" and the "saints" represent? "Lydda" means "a pool, "and represents the fluids of the body that have become stagnant because of inaction. The "saints" at Lydda are the highest religious thoughts in consciousness.

Define the word "Aeneas." "Aeneas" means "praiseworthy." Aeneas "had kept his bed eight years; for he was palsied." Through the nonuse of praise the body becomes paralyzed. However, through spiritual faith the faculty of praise and thanksgiving is set into action and the body is renewed.

What words of Jesus' did Peter rely upon in healing Aeneas? Peter relied upon the promise found in John 14:13: "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that I will do." Peter said: "Jesus Christ healeth thee: arise, and make thy bed." And straightaway he arose.

What is the meaning of the word "Joppa"? "Joppa" means "beautiful, fair, lovely."

Define "Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas." "Tabatha," or "Dorcas," means "gazelle." Tabitha symbolizes a graceful, feminine force that has failed to appreciate the sublimity of Spirit. This power is active in doing good in its limited consciousness, but it gradually fades away: "She fell sick, and died."

Do good works such as caring for the needy, ministering to the sick, and clothing the naked, fulfill the law of love? No. One may use his substance and power in doing good according to worldly standards, yet starve the soul.

What is represented by the widows who stood by, weeping and showing their coats and garments which Dorcas had made? The widows represent half-truth; they worshiped Truth but in their consciousness separated from its spiritual source. The coats and garments represent the aura or clothing of the soul.

After putting the mourners "all forth," Peter knelt and prayed; then turning to the body, he said: "Tabitha, arise." What is the meaning of these actions? Putting those present "all forth" means denying the outer thoughts that believe in sorrow and separation and death. Kneeling and praying means giving obedience and making affirmations of Truth, actions which lift one's consciousness until the inner sight is restored. These requirements having been met, the soul sits up, clothed and it's right mind.

What is the meaning of the sentence: "And he gave her his hand, and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive"? The power of Spirit which is realized within is established without; then all the associated thoughts that have fallen into the error of believing in absence, separation, and death perceive the resurrected body, and it stands forth alive.

August 22, 1948: Acts 9:36-42

In what sense do persons who "lose" there life for the sake of Christ find it? The persons who lose the life that is centered in sense consciousness in order to live the infinitely rich life of Spirit find a new and deeper meaning in existence that is the equivalent of a new life.

What should be the purpose of our life? We should spend it in deepening and enlarging our consciousness of the Infinite and in helping and encouraging others to learn more of God and their relationship to Him.

Have we the the power to live a life filled with real values or a life empty of them? We not only have the power to do either, but we exercise it. We either live a life filled with real values by dedicating ourselves to serve, or we live for our personal pleasure or profit, and find life empty of all real satisfaction.

Why is it that we empty life of all real values when we live for ourselves but fill it with them when we live for others? Because the personal life is limited and evanescent, whereas the universal life, in which we live for others, is God and therefore eternal. As we enter into the universal life we realize its rewards.

How can we enter most readily into a consciousness of eternal life? By making ourselves useful in whatever work lies nearest at hand and by doing it with a cheerful good will, knowing that this is the work God has given us to do for Him.

Does service develop love? It develops love both in the one who serves and in the one who is served. Dorcas served out of love, and she was loved by the widows and others whom she served. She lived a life full of real values. "This woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did."

How do we reinforce faith for the task of renewing life? Through prayer in the silence of the inner being. "Peter . . . kneeled down, and prayed" after first putting out of the room all the sorrowing ones who accepted death as final.

When Peter turned to the body and said, "Tabitha, arise," did the body respond to his command? No, the I AM in Tabitha responded. Tabitha opened her eyes, recognized Peter, and sat up. Through the call of faith her body responded to the direction of the I AM in her.

What is represented by the saints and widows to whom Dorcas or Tabitha was presented alive? Saints represent the persons who dedicate themselves completely to the service of Truth. Widows are those who see only half Truth, Truth in it's outer aspect only.

Transcribed by Dan Beckett on 9-15-2013