Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of I Peter Chapter 4
Metaphysically Interpreting I Peter 4:1-11
4:1Forasmuch then as Christ suffered in the flesh, arm ye yourselves also with the same mind; for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 4:2that ye no longer should live the rest of your time in flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 4:3For the time past may suffice to have wrought the desire of the Gentiles, and to have walked in lasciviousness, lusts, winebibbings, revellings, carousings, and abominable idolatries: 4:4wherein they think strange that ye run not with them into the same excess of riot, speaking evil of of: 4:5who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the living and the dead. 4:6For unto this end was the gospel preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
4:7But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer: 4:8above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves; for love covereth a multitude of sins: 4:9using hospitality one to another without murmuring: 4:10according as each hath received a gift, ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God; 4:11if any man speaketh, speaking as it were oracles of God; is any man ministereth, ministering as of the strength which God supplieth: that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, whose is the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, August 10, 1913: I Peter 4:1-11
The question is often asked, “What is the greatest discovery of the twentieth century?” Among the many answers we fail to have seen the true one, “The greatest discovery of all the centuries is the power of thought.” The importance of this discovery is slow in reaching the external realms of human consciousness, but it is gradually getting there. Mesmer discovered that one mind could control another, or one man's will that of another. Human ignorance ridiculed him, as it always does those who think beyond accepted standards. His discovery has been resurrected and named hypnotism, and the experiments in this field will convince anyone of the formative power of thought on the body. Both in Europe and America the medical schools have finally accepted that it is a power beyond their comprehension. Subjects are paralyzed, blistered, made insensible to pain, and in hundreds of other ways moved to manifest the absolute control of the body by the thought.
There are also the many occult researchers who are experimenting with thought and its laws. They have photographed thought vibrations in anger, fear, sorrow, etc. Mental Science is proving the power of thought as a healing agent. Then the chemists, among whom Prof. Elmer Gates takes lead, are demonstrating the power of thought on the cells, tissues and salts of the organism. For example, an analysis of the perspiration of a man in melancholy mood is found to be entirely different from one in happy state of mind.
Thus in many fields of research this great discovery is being demonstrated. It is so universal and so complex that the accepted schools of intellectual science have failed to grasp it. It has not yet been tabulated and classified by them. But it will eventually dawn upon all men that the greatest discovery of any age is the power of thought. Thought is that process in mind by which substance is acted upon by energy directed by intelligence. Thus three factors are involved in every thought: substance, energy, intelligence. Spirit is not thought, but lies back of thought. Thought is the first emanation of Spirit. It is found that one of the laws of thought is that of like attracting and acting upon like. “Birds of a feather flock together.” So kindred thoughts gravitate together by a law divine and universal.
The apostle recognizes this power of thought in one who has overcome, and he says, “Arm yourself with the same mind.” We are powerfully moved by a strong mind that has suffered and triumphed. When we understand this law of thought to lift up all that harmonizes with it, we see how the triumphs of Jesus Christ have formed a mental battery, that lifts to higher states all those who align themselves with him.
The cry goes up continually from sin-sick souls everywhere for help, yet this mighty power always right at hand is overlooked. The simple prayer, “O Mind of Christ, enter into my mind,” will open the way. Then ask for spiritual understanding. Then affirm that you have understanding. “Pray believing that ye have received and ye shall receive.” There are many thought atmospheres in this realm in which we live. Two grand divisions are recognized by Christian writers, viz. the Gentile thought and Israel thought. The Gentile thought is the outer, the senses; and the Israel thought the inner, the spiritual.
The will of the outer realm is described in verses 3 and 4. When we change our thought centre from self to Christ, the lusts of the Gentile realm lose their hold upon us and a new state of mind begins. “The dead” in Scripture always means those who are unconscious of Truth. “The quick” are those who are just awakening but not yet in the light. The Truth itself is the “judge.” The Word of Truth, or “God-spell,” is silently and audibly spoken to this man without understanding, or “dead,” and he begins to “live” according to the Spirit.
The “end of all things at hand” is the dissolution in mind of that realm that believes in the reality of material things and conditions. When the Truth enters the consciousness, a great change begins in our viewpoint. The reality of body and its environments gradually dissolves in thought and we see the end of earth. Then our minds become truly sound, and we are sober and prayerful. When man even faintly realizes the love of God, he begins to love his fellowmen. There is a “fervent love” among Christians, that is not found among any other class of people. The Methodist love-feast, when from the Spirit, was a divine ordinance, and those who let the love of God pour itself out in charity do truly cover and forgive a “multitude of sins,” not only in themselves but others. Christian generosity is proverbial the world over. When Truth and love enter the soul, “hospitality one to another without grudging” is always in evidence.
– UNITY magazine.
December 9, 1917: 1 Peter 4:1-11
What is the healing balm for every inharmony in consciousness? The healing balm for every inharmony in consciousness is the understanding of the creative power of thought, and its relation to Mind within and manifestation without.
What is thought? Thought is that process in mind by which substance is acted upon by energy, directed by intelligence. Thought is movement of ideas in mind.
What are some of the fundamental laws pertaining to thought? “Like begets like,” and “like attracts like,” are two fundamental laws governing thoughts, as set forth by Divine Mind in the story of creation.
How is thought control established? Thought control is established through aligning the thoughts with the Mind of Christ, bringing every thought into a harmonious relation to eternal, unchangeable principles.
What, in consciousness, do the Gentiles symbolize? The Gentiles symbolize the thoughts pertaining to the external world; those thoughts functioning through the senses.
What in consciousness do the terms “dead” and “quick”, referred to in this lesson, symbolize? The term “dead” represents those thoughts unconscious of Truth. The term “quick” represents those thoughts just awakened, but not fully enlightened.
What in consciousness is the “judge,” referred to in verse five? The “judge” is Truth itself, with which every thought in consciousness must align and harmonize.
What in consciousness is the “end of all things at hand”, referred to in verse seven? The “end of all things at hand” is the dissolution in hand of that realm of thought built up through a belief in the reality of material things and conditions.
What follows the dissolution of error in consciousness? Dissolution of error in consciousness is followed by prayerful and sober consideration of Truth. Love often enters the soul and “hospitality one to another without grudging” is the result.
June 19, 1927: I Peter 4:1-5
What are the fleshly lusts that war against the soul? Fleshly lusts are the desires of the senses which have been stimulated beyond natural expression. Appetite may be set on fire by the use of alcohol. Man has devised ways of exciting to abnormal activity every one of the five senses and thereby producing in them what is called lust.
When a Christian resolves to do the will of God, does he still have sensual desires? When one subjects himself to the divine will and consecrates both soul and body to the Holy Spirit, he no longer finds pleasure in lasciviousness, lusts, winebibbings, and revelings. Instead of wasting his time in what formerly gave pleasure to the sense consciousness, he enjoys the study of the spiritual laws and their application to the redemption of mind and of body.
February 17, 1935: I Peter 4:1-5
How does faith promote temperance and good citizenship? Faith gives to character the stability that is an essential part of the temperate life. The good citizen is temperate in all things, reliable, and trustworthy, because he is a man of faith.
Is obedience to the law of the land easy to render? Obedience is easy to the good citizen, for the reason that he has learned to obey the law of his own being and has gained dominion over himself through the power of the indwelling Christ.
Who is the most highly accomplished person? He that knows the truth taught by Jesus Christ and lives according to his knowledge.
How do we learn to recognize our responsibility to both God and man? Through love and loyalty we come to know what part of our life belongs to God, and what part to man (Caesar).
February 19, 1939: I Peter 4:1-5
What is the result of living under the dominion of the senses? One who does not seek to overcome the sense world continues to experience physical inharmony that eventually leads to destruction of his physical body. The Truth student who steadfastly keeps his vision Godward eventually attains Christhood.
To whom or what is the metaphysician accountable? To the Spirit of truth, which it is his whole purpose to understand and entertain.
November 9, 1947: I Peter 4:1-5
How do we arm ourselves with the Christ mind? By disciplining ourselves in thoughts as well as in living.
Does a person realize more freedom through self-discipline than through an undisciplined state of his sense consciousness? Self-discipline frees us to express the will of God, instead of leaving us subject to the vacillations of the human will.
Metaphysically Interpreting I Peter 4:12-19
4:12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among you, which cometh upon you to prove you, as though a strange thing happened unto you: 4:13but insomuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory also ye may rejoice with exceeding joy. 4:14If ye are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are ye; because the Spirit of glory and the Spirit of God resteth upon you. 4:15For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as a meddler in other men's matters: 4:16but if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name.4:17For the time is come for judgment to begin at the house of God: and if it begin first at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God? 4:18And
if the righteous is scarcely saved,
where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?
4:19Wherefore let them also that suffer according to the will of God commit their souls in well-doing unto a faithful Creator.
July 26, 1936: I Peter 4:12-19
Are adverse experiences strange or mysterious happenings? All adverse experiences come about under law. In reality nothing is strange or mysterious. In the light of cause and effect everything is understandable.
What is it to suffer as a Christian? When the Christian finds himself reaping the fruit of error, he studies to understand the inner cause. Instead of holding others responsible for what has come to him, he uses suffering to clarify his understanding of the law. He fixes the lesson in his subconsciousness through the heightened emotion thus aroused, so that he may not have to repeat the experience.
How does one become tolerant? Tolerance is the result not of indifference but of broad understanding that sees the good of all as greater than the satisfied will of any one, and is willing to subordinate individual to general good.
What is implied in the prophecy: “Death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, anymore”? This is a prophecy of the end of all suffering as the result of man’s ultimate mastery of the laws of life. He will at last be able to demonstrate his ideal desires without struggle, failure, or disappointment over half performance.
August 17, 1941: I Peter 4:12-19
When trials come to a person and he does not look for the cause within his own mind or life, but thinks of them either as accidents or as undeserved visitations, what effect has such an attitude on his faith? It weakens his faith in God so that it becomes inactive and leaves him without means of making contact with the quick and powerful help that is always at hand. To look on misfortune as strange is to doubt the law that effect comes only in the wake of cause.
Is faith weakened or strengthened by suffering? It is strengthened, inasmuch as man's extreme need is the spur that arouses faith to its highest pitch of effectiveness. Smooth sailing leaves man's faith untried, and it tends to become inactive from disuse.
Is firm faith more difficult to realize under trial or when all is well with man? Firm faith is more easily realized under trial than under favorable circumstances. This is true because faith develops with use, and trials push us to the edge of our resources, where we must stand upon our faith or go down to defeat.
Why do trials come to those who are keeping the law of life? Trials are the manifestation of errors in thinking or acting that men and women allow to creep in before they accept Truth and undertake to follow it.
Why is anyone ever “reproached for the name of Christ”? Because they fail to understand the nature of the Christ, the materialist and the atheist reproach those who bear His name. With clearer understanding they will accept the teaching of the Christ instead of reproaching those who bear it.
What is the Christian’s attitude toward suffering? To the Christian suffering is incidental, not the supreme fact of life. Knowing that in the Christ consciousness he can turn to good all that comes to him, he concentrates his thought on the love and power of God and works with that thought in mind.
What is implied in the words “a faithful Creator”? That the spiritual universe is under law and that law requires faithfulness. Since God is faithful, man must have faith also if he is to claim divine sonship.
June 6, 1943: 1 Peter 4:12-16
What do “fiery trials” prove? They prove a person’s mettle and help him know whether he is able to stand fast under all conditions or whether he is in need of further discipline and development.
June 24, 1945: I Peter 4:12-16
Is suffering inevitable to those who are trying to live the ideal life of the Christ? As long as they are conscious of both the sense nature and the spiritual nature they must suffer, for “the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other.” As they succeed in transforming their nature to “walk by the Spirit” they overcome suffering and do away with it as a necessity.
Why is one blessed when he is “reproached for the name of Christ”? Because such a reproach is proof that the Spirit of the Christ is in the ascendant in him. A “murderer, of a thief, or an evil-doer, or ... a meddler in other men's matters” has lost the good fight of the faith and surrendered to the dominance of the sense nature. His reproach is testimony to his failure to keep the law. Those who obey the divine law no longer endure outward reproach for so doing.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-25-2013