METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Fall semester 1975 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on November 10, 1975
I Kings 17 through 1 Kings 32, pp. 252-256 of transcript.
Elijah and Elisha
From now on, many of the stories, the characters in the OT are not dealt with in strict sequence in the actual Bible itself, but they skip and jump into other books. Mrs. Turner has gathered all that and put it into a continuous, narrative form, giving the Biblical references for our convenience. The stories concerning Elijah and Elisha are found in I Kings, Chapters 17 through 32, II Kings, Chapters 1 through 14, and II Chronicles, Chapters 21 through 25. Now, what if you had to find all of that out for yourselves? What we did was spend a lot of time doing a lot of research and probably made a lot of mistakes; but Mrs. Turner has condensed all that information into a book which follows the pattern, while doing us the great favor of simplifying and condensing the main stream of the narrative and giving us beautiful, metaphysical hints along the way with quotations from Charles Fillmore and the MBD. I just really cannot understand why this book has remained so under-rated among the ministry. This is a mystery to me, and I can't figure it out. They'll recommend every other book, especially the great, big, expensive volume sets wonderful and just leave this wonderful little jewel sitting on the bookshelf.
These two great characters, Elijah and Elisha, although they are often referred to as prophets, are actually more than prophets. They are distinctly symbolic of characteristics which are forerunners of Jesus Christ. The word Elijah means Jehovah is God, and I wish it meant "Jehovah is a God Thought"; but Elisha, who is nearer the truth, nearer the Spirit, means God is salvation. Notice the difference? Even the difference in the dictionary definition of their names illustrates the difference in the temperament, in the consciousness of the two men. Jehovah is God: is that the truth? Partially. God is salvation: is that the truth? Absolutely. So that Elisha becomes a much more vivid figure of the truth, which later emerges in Jesus Christ; but both characters symbolize two phases of the same step toward development of spiritual consciousness.
Elijah, we will find, has more to do with producing proof, that is with works and demonstration for the sake of proof, and convincing, convincing results; while Elisha has more to do with works and demonstrations for the sake of the principle of good itself. There is a difference. There is a definement there that is important. We will first deal with possibly the most famous story concerning Elijah. This is the incident concerning the priests of Baal and Jezebel, etc. I'll just read you some excerpts from the Bible we will deal with.
In I Kings 18, Chapter 18, is a very vivid description of a victory in a demonstration by Elijah over the priests of Baal. Elijah challenges the priests of Baal to a contest to demonstrate the power of their respective Gods. These priests of Baal fail. Elijah, after arranging twelve stones around an altar gives such an impressive demonstration, that he is able to then persuade the people, the onlookers, to obey him. So he orders them to seize the priests of Baal and kill all 450 of them.
Then in Chapter 19 we have these excerpts,
"And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done and withal how he had slain all the prophets with a sword; then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah saying, 'So let the Gods do to me and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.' And when he saw that he arose and went for his life and cometh to Bersheba, which belongeth to Judah and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a Juniper tree, and he requested for himself, he might die. He said, 'It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am not better than my forefathers." And then he went to sleep, and then he had a dream, and an angel directed him to get something to eat. Then he felt better. "And he arose and did he then drink and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights into Horab, the mount of God.
And he came thither into a cave and lodged there. Behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said unto him, 'What doest thou here, Elijah?' And he said, 'I have been very jealous, for the Lord God of hosts, for the children of Israel have foresaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars and slain thine prophets with a sword.'"
What did he just do?
"And I, I only, am left to take it away." And He said, "Go forth and spend upon the mount before the Lord, and behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountain, dragging pieces of rocks before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind, and after the wind, an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. But after the fire a still small voice. And there was the Lord."
Now, we'll try to proceed on the metaphysical level of meaning here. You'll probably get tired of me harping on this, but remember when I talk about metaphysical level. I am always dealing with that which is true concerning the inner life of every human being, individually, regardless of time and place and circumstance. The word Elijah means "Jehovah is God." But we must remember, with our hindsight, just who and what is this Jehovah. He is not the Father-God indwelling of Jesus Christ. He is certainly not Elohim. He is not God Transcendent, Almightiness. He is a limited, but very necessary and very purposeful God-Thought, an aspect of Almighty God. Remember, I have said very necessary to a certain stage, of human evolution. Without it, we couldn't get to where we have gotten; but he is not the All-in-all God-Thought.
Elijah's outstanding characteristic, as you glean his story by reading the various parts of the Bible he appeared in, we find his main characteristic was his strength and his zeal in demonstrating the power of Jehovah. He was a strong, partisan advocate of the Jehovah-God-Thought that in the world of Elijah, the Jehovah-God-Thought should have been the supreme God-Thought. His whole life was dedicated to proving this, through works, through strength and zeal. So, metaphysically, he could stand for our own strong, enthusiasm for truth teachings. Although we are not serving the Jehovah-God-Thought so much, we're now serving the Jesus Christ, Father within God Thought and the truth teachings; yet, our soul runs parallel to this, on our own level, our own evolutionary era. So, he could stand for our own strong, enthusiasm for truth teachings and our eagerness to get busy and demonstrate them in the world, to prove that they work, to prove that we're on the right track. This can be, I think, clearly recognized in ourselves.
We're all for the truth; we love it. We know it works, and we may think everyone else ought to love it, as we do, and admit that it works as we do. This is a very strong tendency in truth students; so, we build up a great deal of zeal and enthusiasm in this cause. We dedicate much of our time and energy to the development of skill in demonstrating it, and often we have some very spectacular success in doing so, just as Elijah did for quite a long period in his life. But, friends, over the years I have observed something peculiar, that these very spectacular and very talked-about demonstrations usually occur in the earlier part of truth people's career; let's say Unity, that these kinds of things occur almost, well, I won't say always, because there are always exceptions; but the really big talked-aboutable demonstrations usually occur in a person's career in the earlier stages, when he's in the Elijah-phase of his enfoldment. He's that zeal and that enthusiasm and that genuineness of intent to prove in an outward way that these things work and that the Father within is certainly supreme in our world. You talk to retreatants, don't you? They always have something real big that they can tell you about that they were able to do In truth In the earlier stages of their careers, so to speak.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on February 8, 2015.