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. Part of a lecture given on September 12, 1975
Gen. 2:1-4, pp.24-26 of transcript.
Sabbath and Jehovah God
We go into the second chapter of Genesis and we read “the heavens and the earth were finished.” That is, all potentials of inner and outer expression are. They’re all here; finished. Not in the sense of finished as done with, but in the sense of completion and totality. Yes, it’s all here.
Then, on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work, and here we’re introduced to the symbolism of the number seven, which is almost always used to designate completion of a cycle of manifestation, even though nothing is manifested here, yet it will be in the next step. But preceeding manifestation, is the seventh day and the resting of God on the seventh day. Now this is purely symbolic, purely symbolic; it merely refers to something. It doesn’t describe anything, it refers to something; and it refers to that point in active creativity where involution is now ready to evolve. Where all that is involved into this principle called creativity is finished, and there is a moment of rest. There is an interval, but don’t put time in this. It has nothing to do with time; this has to do with direction rather than time.
This has all been involution culminating in the great climax of all spiritual involution, which is man, spiritual man, Christ, is the climax, is the epitome of all creative action of God. Involution is the action of God. All that God is involved into His own image and likeness, the only begotten son. The Son is destined to be a created being, along with the Father, the Father is already finished. A created being has been formed, still in the mind of God. And the resting of God on the seventh day is that interval where creation has now been turned over from Almighty God, creator, to the creative idea, the creative principle. From now on, it becomes man’s making.
Now we’re still not dealing with self-conscious human beings, personality, otherwise, none of this would make sense; but we’re still dealing with the abstract. Remember, folks, that every book in the Old Testament, and especially the metaphysical hooks of the Old Testament, are for us completely backward looks, totally backward looks, retrospection, backward glances of how we all got to be the way it is.
Jesus, then, stops that backward looking, ancestor-pushing type of religious thinking, how it all got the way it is, and Jesus teaches what to do about the way it is. Where do we go from here, not how did we all get here. Both are equally valuable and interesting; but in Unity we put the greater emphasis, of course, on the New Testament, on the truth of Jesus Christ, which is starting from here. You see, before Abraham was, I Am. Let’s go from here, Jesus is saying. I am the Way, the Truth and the Light, which takes you from where you now are to where you can be. The Old Testament, which Jesus also knew thoroughly, is a backward looking analysis of “what’s this all about that got us to be like we are and were we are.”
Therefore, it is a perfect setting for our religion, but it is not our religion. The Old Testament and Jehovah worship is not our religion, but it provides the beautiful background and setting for our religion; and that’s why we study it.
Observing the Sabbath later becomes a command in the book Exodus, and the way it is to be observed is to realize, take a moment to realize this interval between involution, which was all God Almighty, Creator or the father’s doing, and my place in creativity, which is to become evolution or expression.
To realize this, to take a moment of rest from externalizing yourself, and take a moment of internalizing yourself and knowing the truth and where you stand in this, this is observing the Sabbath and keeping it holy. You will always be aware, then, of your holy purpose in life. Why was I born, how many people have asked this. Why did I have to become me? Why couldn’t I be Lana Turner instead of her being Lana Turner? I heard a girl say that once in Pittsburgh when I was a kid. She said, “Why did she have to be Lana Turner, why couldn’t I have been?” You all know who Lana Turner is? We all get these why me feelings. Why Am I Me? If you can remember this attitude, you are you because only you can create in the very unique way you have designed and shaped all your creative abilities. There are things which you can produce which only your consciousness can produce because of who you are. You Have Divine Assignments Coming All The Time, and to fulfill them is the greatest privilege in the world.
I have researched very extensively the Jehovah God-thought, not only in the Bible but in many different types of religious thinking, and they all pretty much agree with what I have concluded from that research, which is that the Jehovah God-thought, even though it does often transcend itself in the Old Testament, for the most part it remains pretty constant. The Jehovah God-thought is primarily, generally speaking, an earthbound spirit; He is a spirit, He is earth-bound. Who is almighty; king of nature, the ruler of nature. And I use that word nature in a very broad sense. Not just trees and flowers and cows and sunsets, but nature even more than that, nature in the sense of the movement of the observable planets, nature in the realm of biology, chemistry, even arithmatic, nature in its broadest implication. The functioning of humanity on earth, all that relates to that; this is Jehovah’s job.
Q. Jehovah is the earth-bound spirit, isn’t he?
A. Jehovah God-thought, it is the thought of God as an earth-bound spirit who is mighty king of all nature.
Q. So he is not an entity?
A. Well, isn’t God an entity? He’s certainly written about as an entity, spoken of as an entity, but whether in the minds of his worshippers he is an entity or not, you have to go to each one of those worshippers and find out. That’s not important. What’s important is What Is God In Your Mind?
We’re dealing in the Old Testament with a God-thought, a God-symbol representing that which the Hebrew people chose to worship as supreme. It served His purpose; that God-thought served it’s purpose; it preserved a culture, a civilization, and a religion. It preserved, guided them, protected them until somebody came along who was able to transcend that. It kept the Hebrew religion and the Hebrew culture a forward-moving thing, a constantly improving movement, religiously, culturally and physically; and it provided a proper setting, which no other group on earth at that time could have provided for this incarnating one, this soul, this consciousness, Jesus Christ.
So this is the logical reason why Jesus incarnated into the Jewish religion and culture in that part of the world, because it had the right ingredients and the right direction for such a one. But then he did not come to preserve the status quo, because he knew that good as it was, it wasn’t good enough, that there was a better God-thought that the world was now ready for, that the Jehovah-thing had outworn itself, and that the human family were now ready for a truer God-thought to worship, and he came to give us that God-thought, and he chose to call it—never does he ever refer to God as Jehovah, not once, but always as either God or father within, our Father, my Father, your Father. In another place he says, “For God Is Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” And this spirit, the Father in-dewelling, is not earth-bound. He is Omnipresence.
Transcribed by Bill Nelson on 01-12-2015