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 11, 1975
The books of the prophets, for the most part, are rather hard to read, because the predominant tone of them is negative. It's kind of hard for truth students to read books which are so loaded with negative overtones, and yet, within these books scattered throughout, are very, very worthwhile insights of both: a positive and negative nature. Here again, is where Mrs. Turner has done us a marvelous service, for which she's never been given credit. She has, obviously, thoroughly read all of the books of the prophets; and she has gone through them with a fine tooth comb and pretty much culled the gems, the wheat. She's gathered the wheat and presents it, you'll find that in the book the Bible quotes themselves, are written in bold-face, smaller type rather than the larger type of the rest of the book. By going through this section of her book, you get the cream of the crop, metaphysically speaking, from the books of the prophets.
Now, some she has overlooked, which were my choices, and perhaps she has overlooked some that might be among your choices, or she might have chosen some to spotlight, which you might feel would be better left alone. But, be that as it may, what she's done is a great foundation, outlining work for us to save us the trouble, if we don't want to, to go through all those books of the prophets and actually read them verbatim. I've done it, and I didn't like it; and I don't want to do it again, so I have this book. Be advised; however, I do understand now that the A.R.E. Society have in the works Mr. Cayce's readings concerning the books of the prophets, very much as they have done with his Million Years To The Promised Land, where he gives readings on very important excerpts from other parts of the OT.
I understand, now, that they have the readings on the books of the prophets in the works; and I will be eagerly looking forward to their publication, which might change my mind about re-reading the original material. Meanwhile, we'll go along with most of what Mrs. Turner has chosen. We're going to take excerpts, as she has, from the prophets, and I will give metaphysical commentary on it. It would be wise to copy down these references from the prophets, as we come to them, because you may want to use them in your work. You may not want to reproduce my commentary, but I think you'll want to know where these quotes are, because I think those are the ones you would be working with.
We'll start out with Isaiah, and the first quote is in Chapter 6, verse 8,
"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here am I, Lord. Send me.'"
This simple statement, I have found, constitutes one of the finest prayers of consecration and willingness towards God's purposes. "Here am I, God, send me," or the variation, "Here am I, God, use me." I feel, friends, that when this statement is uttered from the heart, it causes one to become a totally accepted and channel and instrument for whatever purpose God has for the moment, especially a Sunday morning devotional service in your Unity Church. Before stepping out before that congregation, what better words, really, than to remember this utterance of Isaiah, which led right into his great prophetic career. "Here am I, God, use me, send me. Speak through me. Think through me. Work through me. Bless me, and let me be a blessing to others." Because these words state one's willingness and one's commitment and one's cooperation so directly and so clearly and uncomplicatedly, that I have never really found an improvement on them for an affirmation of complete dedication of self to God's purpose at hand. "Here am I, God, send me. Here am I, God, use me."
Also from Isaiah, Chapter 26, verse 20 we have a rather negative insight, not completely, but slightly.
"Come, my people, enter into thine inner chamber and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself for a little moment until the indignation be past."
You see, there's a lot of implications there, what must have happened prior to this statement? Something has happened to cause indignation; an offense has been committed, obviously. Now that's going to happen all the time to all of us wherever we go. Offenses are going to be committed, and when they are, they engender a feeling of indignation. This is really a bit of spiritual psychology.
In this very gentle, poetic Bible language, it states a rather hard-boiled psychological principle, which is, unless you want things to get worse, don't react to negation with greater negation. Something that has happened, some offense that has been committed, intentionally or unintentionally, it doesn't really matter, has caused me to have a reaction which is called indignation.
There is one of two things can happen here. I can, within myself, do something which will help things get better, or I can do something within myself which will help things get worse. Now the indignation is already a fact, it's established, so there's no use saying, "It ain't there. It ain't there. Unity students ain't supposed to get indignant." It's no good. It doesn't work. That's the false teaching on denials.
The true teaching is, "I see this indignation. I feel this indignation, and God has given me the freedom to either help things get better or help things get worse. I have this moment of freedom. Which am I going to choose?" Here is what Mr. Isaiah advises: "Come, my people, or come my brother, or come my child", whichever you want, "into thy inner chamber. Shut the door about thee. Hide thyself for a little moment." Just take a moment. Just take a moment until the indignation has passed, not so much meaning it's going to vanish, but until it blows over in its violence; because if you don't, you are liable to react with an even greater degree of negativeness than heretofore has been in the picture.
In other words, if you make me indignant by some action, and I'm going to show you by responding with an even greater degree of something, nobody's better off for it. If a person can remember that in times of indignation, (you could use other words but we'll stay with it, it's a good word) that you really do have a moment of choice as to how you're going to handle it. You can do either what I've usually done in the past and have always been sorry for, "I have to. She said that, now I have to." That's not true; she said that, but I don't have to unless I choose to. And that's freedom. I can choose how I'm going to handle this. I don't fall for all the old beliefs about how I have to. I choose to; now, I might choose to knock her flat, but that's been my choice. I was free in that choice; or I might choose to completely not tamper with her. I might choose to forgive her. I might choose to do a lot of things, but if I'm in tune to Spirit, if I turn within and try to find God, what's 99.9% the chance that I'm going to choose? I'm going to choose to do the spiritual thing, the thing according to truth I know. I don't know in advance what that's going to be. I might call a cop and have her arrested, but if I do it by divine guidance, that's the spiritual thing to do. I might just grab her and kiss her. I don't know in advance what it will be, but if I turn within and get face to face with my own God presence, even for a moment, the chances are I'm going to do something to myself that will result in a better situation.
In my notes I have written, "If a person can remember this in moments of being tempted to react with violence or negativeness, he would save himself much unnecessary suffering. When we react to anything consciously and constructively, things will get better instead of worse, because this remaining conscious enables spiritual help to reach us, to flow through us."
In Isaiah, Chapter 9, verses 6 and 7,
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called 'Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.' Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end."
We've all heard this so many times. It's the first great messianic prophecy, which tradition says, has its outward manifestation as the actual word of the person, Jesus, and that's true; but its inward meaning, its metaphysical meaning does not have to do just with the historical advent of the person of Jesus.
Its metaphysical meaning is inner, and it is universal, and it's timely. The statement refers to that time when a new "child", that is child in parenthesis, shall be born in our individual consciousness. This child would refer, among other things, to the new awareness, new spiritual awareness, born into the very part of our human awareness. The stable, the manger, the housing place for animals represents the strictly human nature; but in that setting the new-born babe lies, the newly developed, the newly born dimension of us, symbolized by Jesus, as spiritual awareness.
In most persons this awareness comes first as a very timely thing and a very vulnerable thing for awhile, at a certain stage. But it will come; it comes to all, and just as its mundane meaning actually did become embodied in the person of Jesus Christ as a historical fact in the race history, so it becomes very much a fact in the individual life history.
You notice the description given to this newly born babe. Then he's called first a child, then a son, "then he shall be called 'Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.' Of the increase of his government and of his peace there shall be no end." When spiritual awareness grows and develops and begins to take over more and more, governs us more and more, it reaches that place where it is the only thing about ourselves that we call wonderful. I no longer call my good builds a wonderful thing about me. I got over that. Now the only thing that I, as Ed Rabel, feel I have a right to call wonderful about me is my degree of spiritual awareness. "Mighty God" really, as far as we're concerned, that's the mightiness of God embodied in us, our own spiritual awareness. That's as mighty as we can go; we can't go beyond that In ourselves, and the "everlasting Father" is permanent. It's not going to be taken away; it's your everlasting Father within, the Prince of Peace. I've left out the most important, "Counselor".
My prayer is for the day when Silent Unity succeeds themselves out of business, when the counseling going on in our Unity churches is so great, that there are no more counseling appointments to be made. That's the real success, when we realize for ourselves that the counselor that we need is our own spiritual awareness. It knows, and it reveals, it guides. Until then, of course, let's give thanks for our consultation appointment books. Until then. But, meanwhile, the goal is, let's put ourselves out of business so we can be about the Father's business. The "increase of his government and of his peace, there shall be no end." There are no limits as to what our own growing, developing, spiritual awareness is going to accomplish for us.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on February 6, 2015.