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Chapter 3: Spiritual Obedience

Chapter 3: Spiritual Obedience
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Chapter III

I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm and spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that ought to be done by me. — CHARLES FILLMORE

ZEAL is the great universal force that impels man to spring forward in a field of endeavor and accomplish the seemingly miraculous. It is the inward fire that urges man onward, regardless of the intellectual mind of caution and conversation.

Paul, the zealot whose name was first Saul, metaphysically is a symbol of varied significance. He was born of Jewish parents in Tarsus, Asia Minor, a city of considerable culture and refinement. He was reared as a Pharisee and educated as a rabbi in schools in Jerusalem. His one conception of salvation did not go beyond that of obtaining it through a perfect performance of the works of the law. But in truth he was a man of deep religious character and worshiped the living God.

He was on his way to Damascus to persecute the disciples of Jesus, no doubt in one instant "breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord" and in the next swearing allegiance to the living God whom he worshiped. "As he journeyed ... suddenly there shone round about him a light out of heaven: and he fell upon the earth." Because of the great blaze of illumination he was

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struck temporarily blind.

Thus through the spiritual power of his own mind, apparently by accident, he broke into the ethers where his consciousness was flooded with spiritual light, and he heard the voice of Jesus saying: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? ... and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing; and they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus." This experience illumined, expanded, and enriched his whole being, and eventually led him into his life's work: preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole Gentile world.

Paul presents a tremendous outpouring of zeal; first on the intellectual plane as champion of the law and the prophets, afterward as a disseminator of the freeing doctrine of the Christ. He was a "chosen vessel" of the Lord, and "not disobedient unto the heavenly vision." Yet on several occasions he allowed his zeal to run away with his better judgment and as a result suffered many things.

Zeal should be tempered with wisdom. It is possible to be so zealously active on the intellectual plane that one's vitality is consumed and there is nothing left for spiritual growth. "Take time to be holy." Never neglect your soul. To grow spiritually you should exercise your zeal in spiritual ways.

As children of God our place is at the right hand of the Father. When man really realizes this, he calls down upon himself the baptism of the Holy

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Spirit. He soon learns that obedience to Spirit increases his power to control his thoughts and thus make his world conform to the divine standard.

When man is obedient to Spirit he will not suffer burdens. To trust Spirit he must know of its guidance by experience. By those who have not learned the guidance of Spirit, that experience must be acquired. Man is spirit and must find himself before he can communicate with universal Spirit.

Paul had his weak points, but he was a great apostle and made Jesus' doctrine live. No doubt the light of spiritual understanding with which his consciousness was flooded at the time of his conversion carried him a long way in his ministry. His fearlessness was the strong point of his character. To him the gospel came first and the things of the world second. This is what made him a great apostle of the Lord. When will and understanding are joined in consciousness man is equal to any emergency.

Without doubt the secret of Paul's great illumination at the time of his conversion is that in previous lives he had built up a spiritual consciousness, and on his way to Damascus he "stirred up" the gift that was within him. The new race that is now being born on this planet will develop these unused resources of the mind by realization, audible prayer, and thanksgiving and bring to the surface the riches of both the subconscious and the superconscious mind.

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Above all other Bible writers Paul emphasizes the importance of the mind in the transformation of character and body. In this respect he struck a note in religion that had been mute up to this time; that is, that spirit and mind are akin and that man is related to God through his thought. Paul sounds again and again in various forms this silent but very essential chord in the unity of God and man and man and his body. All Christian metaphysicians are indebted to him for many quotable Scriptures that fortify their position that the mind is the center of man's world around which, to him, all things revolve.

Spiritual realization changes things. In scientific prayer realization is the high point of attainment. With concentrated spiritual attention man can affirm in faith that God Spirit is present and that he, man, is one with the God presence.

That there is a certain unity also between the mind and the elements, mystics contend, and this is borne out by the power exercised by Jesus when He stilled the wind and stopped the storm.

The question is often asked, Does the race mind affect nature and to what extent? Some geologists surmised that exploding bombs might have been the cause of the Japanese earthquake following World War II. Science cannot verify this surmise, although it does teach the unity of all things.

When the scientific world investigates the so-called miracles of religion and discovers that they

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are being duplicated continually, the power of mind over matter will be heralded as of great importance to both religion and science.

Prayer gives spiritual poise to the ego, and it brings forth eternal life when spiritually linked with the Christ. "If a man keep my word, he shall never see death."

Jesus understood the realm of divine substance, and it was obedient to His word. He will continue to draw upon this omnipresent source of power and also include us in its life-giving energy if we will abide with Him in the Spirit. When we understand the innate capacity of the mind raised to spiritual dominion we cannot but have an increase of faith equal to doing the works of Jesus, and even greater works, as He promised.

Machines that measure the energy used by the mind acting on the brain cells have already been invented, but there is no account of the brain voltage of a person in prayer. When such measurements have been made we shall know something of the capacity of the mind in its highest range of expression. Jesus also called attention to the power of a group praying with Him. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

The first mention of this dynamic power of the Spirit is found in Acts 1 and 2, when the early followers of Jesus were gathered in the "upper chamber."

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They all became spiritual dynamos, as revealed in the Greek word translated "power." These disciples had been with Jesus for over three years, but did not have the inspiration or power that was poured out upon them at this historical gathering, which has ever since been an outstanding example of the marvelous spiritual experiences of those who are of one mind and heart in their group worship of Jesus the Christ. It is recorded that the Spirit came upon them like a wind and sat upon each of them in "tongues ... of fire."

To one who gains even a meager quickening of the Spirit, Christianity ceases to be a theory; it becomes a demonstrable science of the mind.

We must not anticipate better social and economic conditions until we have better men and women to institute and sustain those conditions.

Jesus said that He was the bread and substance that came down from heaven. When will our civilization begin to realize and appropriate this mighty ocean of substance and life? A finer civilization than now exists has been conceived by many from Plato in his "Republic" to Edward Bellamy in "Looking Backward." But a new and higher civilization will be developed only through the efforts of higher and finer types of men and women. Philosophers and seers have looked forward to a time when this earth would produce superior men and women, but save Jesus none has had the spiritual insight to declare,

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"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, until all these things be accomplished." The Greek word genea, here translated "generation," does not mean a little span of thirty-three years of life, but covers the whole race history in its multitudinous births and deaths, incarnations and reincarnations throughout the millions of years since we began to function in creative Mind. It is out of this race that the new race is to come forth. "Ye are the people." The time is at hand for those who are spiritually ripe to stand forth and realize their spiritual identity. Jesus pointed to this when He said, "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest? behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white already unto harvest."

Prayer, communion with God within, realization, awakens spiritual consciousness and develops true spiritual character. It is the only way to cleanse and perfect the mind and thus permanently heal the body. It is good to get still and think about the inexhaustible resources of infinite Mind; about its presence in all its fullness and its readiness to manifest itself when the law is complied with. Pray with persistence and pray with understanding. Be instant in prayer; and never allow anything to keep you from having your daily quiet hour of communion with God, your own indwelling Father.

One day little Billy and Johnny were climbing

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around in an old apple tree. Finally they walked out on a limb, and were holding to the boughs above them. But the limb on which they were standing proved to be rotten and gave way, and the boys came tumbling down to the ground. Johnny was hurt and began to cry. But Billy got up with a smile on his face and began brushing the dirt off his clothes.

"Why ain't you hurt?" moaned Johnny. "You was out further on the limb than me."
"I prayed," was the happy reply.
"You didn't have no time to pray," retorted Johnny.
"But it didn't catch me, because I was already prayed up ahead," explained Billy. "So I wasn't scared. I know'd I'd be all right."

"Behold, the man!" Jesus Christ is the type of a new race now forming in the earth. Those who incorporate into consciousness the Christ principles are its members. Sir Francis Galton, the father of eugenics, says: "There is nothing either in the history of domestic animals or in that of evolution to make us doubt that a race of sane men may be formed, who shall be as much superior mentally and morally, as the modern European is to the lowest of the primitive races." [TruthUnity note: I have reluctantly left this racist statement in the text not because I agree with it but because it reveals much about the limitations of our individual perspectives.] It is now being revealed in the renaissance of Christianity, which is pouring its light out upon the world, that this new race is forming in the souls of the spiritual-minded in every nation of the

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earth. These are "the called" of Scripture, who are being gathered together in spiritual consciousness, and will eventually come forth to rule the world with Jesus Christ. Emerson says: "Great hearts send forth steadily the secret forces that incessantly draw great events, and wherever the mind of man goes, nature will accompany him, no matter what the path."

Let us remember that God is Spirit and all that emanates from God is spiritual, including man. The dominion that God gave to man in the beginning, as recorded in Genesis, is a dominion over spiritual ideas, which are represented in the allegory by material symbols. Hence to exercise his dominion man must understand the metaphysical side of everything in existence. Mind is at the bottom of all life and substance. The mind was not "invented" by the brain, but it has evolved the brain as its most efficient instrument.

Divine Mind is the one and only reality. When we incorporate the ideas that form Divine Mind into our mind and persevere in those ideas, a mighty strength wells up within us. Then we have a foundation for the spiritual body, the body not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. When the spiritual body is established in consciousness, its strength and power is transmitted to the visible body and to all the things that we touch in the world about us.

In the economy of the future man will not be a slave to money. Humanity's daily needs will be met in ways not now thought practical.

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In the new economy we shall serve for the joy of serving, and prosperity will flow to us and through us in rippling streams of plenty. The supply and support that love and zeal set in motion are not yet largely used by man, but those who have tested this method are loud in their praise of its efficiency.