A FULLER AWAKENING TO THE CHRIST TRUTH
The missionary work of Paul and Barnabas is typical of what goes on in every individual who receives the word of Truth. Jesus said that the Scripture must be fulfilled. He did not mean the written Scripture altogether--the New Testament had not been written at that time. About the only Scripture that the Jews knew were the fifteen books of Moses, so he must have meant that this Scripture or law of man and his source of activity, his mind, the law, must be fulfilled. Now we understand that to mean that when an idea has once found place in our minds it works out under a law and that law has many side issues.
Sometimes we give a word of Truth free access to our minds, put aside our prejudices, our preconceived ideas, and it gets into perfect action and we get the perfect results; that scripture is fulfilled and the law of the mental man and physical man is expressed in divine perfection. But if we become narrow, intolerant and confine our religious thoughts to what we have acquired in the past and refuse to receive the progressive new ideas that are presented--then we are not fulfilling the Scriptures--the law is not fulfilled in us.
Paul and Barnabas preached for a time in Antioch teaching the Word. There is an unusual meaning in the Word, the Word of God which they were proclaiming. In an intellectual way we look upon all words as merely expressing ideas, but there is something back of the word and that something is spiritual quality. Jesus Christ said that his words were Spirit and they were life; that the heavens and the earth as man conceived them should pass away, but his word, the word which he expressed, should never pass away. He made a great claim there for his word.
As we search in ourselves we find that certain words have an unusual effect upon us, we remember them, they seem to appeal to us and if we dwell upon them sufficiently, if we eat them (and we do eat words with our minds) we shall get definite results, because the Word of God is quick and powerful. The Word of God as understood by metaphysicians, goes down into the very depths of being and transforms, makes a new creature in Jesus Christ. That is the mind of Christ; if we want to follow Jesus Christ in the regeneration, we should give attention to our words. I do not mean by that that we should search the Scriptures expecting to feel in ourselves a direct quickening through the living word which the Scriptures describe. To the Pharisees who quarreled with him for his interpretation, said: “Ye search the Scriptures because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of me; and ye will not come to me, that ye may have life.” Of what “me” was he speaking? Of the living spiritual me of which the Scriptures testify. The Scriptures are prized more today than ever before. Why? Because they express--not fully, but in a measure--the living Word, the Word that all Scripture writers are trying to tell about. The living word must be felt, to be understood.
When Paul and Barnabas preached this word in the synagogues, the Jews at first received it gladly, but when it got into their subconscious minds, there was a rebellion among their old ideas. When the new statement of Truth came--that through the living Word they could enter into eternal life—the old thoughts rebelled, were jealous.
It may be that we jealously hold to some of our preconceived ideas; that we argue for them and say they were good enough for our fathers and our mothers and they are good enough for us. Let us study ourselves a little bit. Are we defending our old ideas, jealous of our old ideas, the religion of our fathers? It may be that that jealousy--we may call it loyalty--is standing in the way of a new, progressive understanding. We progress in our religion. We do not worship the same God that we worshiped before we understood the real character of God as expressed by Christ. We have been taught that God is a man; now we see that God is Spirit, omnipresent Spirit. Jesus said: “The Father is in me and I am in the Father.” The Jews would not wholly accept that statement; nor would they accept the teaching of Paul and Barnabas, although it was trimmed in a large degree to meet their needs. Many of the religious people of today would not accept it; the statements to which the Jews objected.
The question of the descent of man has been brought to the fore by the famous evolution trial in Tennessee. We think that this question has been evolved since Darwin wrote his “Descent of Man,” but it is older than that. That very question caused the Jews to crucify Jesus Christ, whether man was evolved from the natural side of his existence or was the direct creation of God.
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. When John the Baptist came, baptizing and announcing that he was making straight the way of the Lord, the Sadducees and the Pharisees flocked to him and he said: “Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” They wanted to be cleansed and he told them they had to get a better understanding of their origin or descent. They claimed to be descended from Abraham and he said to them: “I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” The evolution question came up right there. John the Baptist told them that the natural man (the man to whom the Sadducees and the Pharisees were holding) did evolve, that he came up through a natural law. But is that the real man? Certainly not. That is the machinery which the real man is making. The real man is Christ, Son of the living God; Jesus proclaimed that to be true. The Jews crucified him because of it. This very question that we think to be a new one was settled nearly two thousand years ago.
Jesus said to the Jews: “I and my Father are one.” Then the Jews prepared to stone him. Jesus said to them: “Many good works have I showed you from the Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?” The Jews answered him: “For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” There was the question of evolution again. Jesus answered them: “is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If ye called them gods, unto whom the word of God (and the scripture cannot be broken), say of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do them, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father. They sought again to take him: and he went forth out of their hand.”
This all means that man has a double nature. We all know that Jesus Christ was divine. He was divine, hut he was human, too. He was Christ the divine and Jesus the human. When came that human element? From the natural side of man’s existence.
The first chapter of Genesis describes the creation of divine man; it describes the creative action of divine mind. Man’s mind can create only along the lines followed by the divine mind. When man invents, works out any scheme, he works it out in his mind first. That is the spiritual creation.
The second chapter of Genesis states that there was no man to till the ground or plant the field. In the second chapter Jehovah God--another kind of God apparently, but we discern metaphysically that it is the idea itself, God’s idea just as the idea gets to work and carries out all you have in mind conceived--this Jehovah God (our I AM) formed man out of the dust of the ground and he became a living animal. The mortal body is merely an animal. But how can we raise it up? Jesus Christ said that we can raise it through its divine original essence. Of course the substance, the life, everything that enters into the physical man, must have had its origin in the one mind source. How shall we restore it, lift up this form of man? By the power of the Christ word. That fact is brought out in the lesson.
Most of the Jews were so saturated with old ideas of their descent from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that they would not receive the word. “Then,” said Paul and Barnabas, “we will preach to the Gentiles.” That means that when the religious part of a man’s consciousness refuses to receive the word, it goes right out into the world, the outer, and the Gentiles receive it. Today the Gentile world is receiving spiritual knowledge. Scientists tell us that what seems to be matter is not matter; that it is a force similar to electricity. Every cell in the organism, everybody, everything that we have conceived to be matter, is made up of electrons. In their own terms, scientists are describing spiritual things. They are showing us the kingdom of the heavens. The wonderful world that we have thought of as being away off in the sky, is right here. It is within us. Scientists do not tell us how to get a better understanding of it, but Truth students know how to put two and two together. They open the new world; the kingdom of the heavens begins to come right down to practical life; they are teaching and preaching a doctrine that can be used right in this world--that the kingdom of the heavens can come right down into the earth and be set up here. Acts 13:48 says, in part: “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” However, the translation is incorrect. It should read, “such as were disposed to simian (not sure of this word, written in but doesn’t seem right) (age-lasting)life.”
The seers, the wise, have discerned that there are dispensations of great creative periods. The days mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis were periods, aeons, of time. Those mentioned by Christ as ages. In astrology you have doubtless read about the ages, this idea set up by people who believe in that something that pervades the astral world, that connects us with the ether. There is something in that. There is no doubt that we live today in the closing of a certain age or dispensation. Those ages are divided into large aeons and small ones. We are closing right now, we are told, an age of about 2,000 years and another age of 25,000 years. And that is what Jesus Christ referred to, that people are given a certain age, a certain time to acquire a Christ standard. This plan predicates the survival of the fittest (Darwin’s teaching). Those who do not receive the living word of God, do not incorporate it into their consciousness, fall back and go through the age of purifying fire that Jesus mentioned not hell fire, but a consciousness.
So we see that men were not made full-orbed sons of God physically and every other way when God pronounced his work complete. That was only the beginning. Creation is going on right now, and if we are cooperating with the invisible, omnipresent word of God and believing much farther than we can see, we are on the road to attaining the spiritual identity that Jesus Christ showed. So it is worthwhile to study this matter scientifically, not only because it has been taught by our religion, but if that religion is based on scientific facts and you can see the working of your own consciousness and see it carried out in Scripture, you have found the key. Keep that key within you, keep working with the invisible Presence and you will find that it has unlimited possibilities. Apply it to every detail of your life. There is no lock within or without but it will unlock. The master key of all is power of the Word. Think about that Word. Think of its activity in your mind, of its working everywhere in all things. That living word is now working in you as a quickening Spirit. It is working in the natural world as the restoring, healing agent. Your mind is inspired and your body is healed by the Word of God. Give the Word your attention and you will intensify its guidance in your affairs. Awaken it and it will open all the doors of your mind.
###Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on June 25, 2018.