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Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light Cover

Let There Be Light

Written by:

Elizabeth Sand Turner
Unity School of Christianity

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Let There Be Light

Introductions to books of the Old Testament extracted from Let There Be Light by Elizabeth Sand Turner.

Let There Be Light Forward

(Pages 5-10)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light (Gen. 1:1-3).

These majestic words give the key to the study of the Bible. Our earth, that is, our consciousness is indeed “waste and void” until we know that the Spirit of God within the depths of our being is moving in purposeful activity. Our great need is for light, which represents illumination, intelligence, wisdom. We can have no real comprehension of the Scriptures until we are aware that the Holy Spirit within us is decreeing light.

The Bible was written by men with spiritually illumined minds, and we can understand their words only as divine intelligence illumines our minds. “Let there be light.” This command is obeyed as we turn to the divine intelligence active in us. As we accept the light the obscurities of the Bible text are clarified, and a revelation of the supreme truths with which it is replete comes to our eager consciousness.

Whenever we open the Bible we should affirm, “Let there be light,” and close it with the grateful acknowledgment, “and there was light.” By this affirmation and acknowledgment we attune our minds to the Spirit of truth. Then wisdom scatters the darkness of limited human reason and supplants it with understanding. No longer do we read the Book and find it difficult to understand. With His light shining on its pages the Bible becomes a vibrant, living Word that guides us step by step along the path of spiritual unfoldment.

This book makes no claim to being an exhaustive study of the Old Testament. Rather it aims to give some high lights of the rich spiritual meaning of some of the characters and events, so that he “that runs may read,” and he who has the time and the inclination to delve deeper may use this book as a guide.

I have quoted profusely from the writings of Charles Fillmore, for his interpretation of Scripture is the basis of my work as a teacher at Unity School.

The historical data is based principally on “The Abingdon Bible Commentary”; “Essentials of Bible History,” by Elmer W. K. Mould; and “The Bible and the Historical Design,” by Mabel A. Dominick, Ph.D.

For many centuries the Bible has been a source of instruction and guidance to those seeking light along the way. The seeds of Truth that came to fruitage in the New Testament were sown in the Old Testament, and I doubt whether any seeker of God can fully understand and appreciate the words of the Master without a knowledge of the great teachings contained in the Old Testament. Jesus of Nazareth, the apostles, and Paul were steeped in them; and if we would find “a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens” (II Cor. 5:1), we should start with the fundamental idea, “In the beginning God” (Gen. 1:1). Only by knowing this can we ever enter into the realization of Jesus, “Thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee” (John 17:21).

In beginning the study of the spiritual interpretation of the Bible, the words of Origen, an outstanding scholar of Scripture in the third century of the Christian Era, are helpful. He defined the Bible as having a nature similar to that of man, composed of spirit, soul, and body. Charles Fillmore agrees with this. In Mysteries of Genesis (page 10) he writes: “As man is a threefold being, spirit, soul, and body, so the Bible is a trinity in unity. It is body as a book of history; soul as a teacher of morals; and spirit as a teacher of the mysteries of being.”

Every Truth student should know the historical events recorded in the Bible; he should also be acquainted with its high moral and ethical teaching. The one who would find his way to the “more abundant life” (John 10:10 adapted) must be able to go beyond that and perceive the Bible’s spiritual meaning. The writers of the sixty-six books of the Bible penned their words in the spiritual consciousness, and only in the spiritual consciousness can these books be interpreted. The spiritual import of the Bible is the treasure hid in a field; as we dig diligently, more and more of the profound spiritual meaning of the Book is unearthed until we stand awed and grateful to behold its beauty.

There are a few facts that are exceedingly helpful in starting the work of interpretation. Charles Fillmore provides a clue by stating that the Bible is the story of man’s generation, his degeneration, and his regeneration. Genesis begins on the high note of the creation of spiritual man, and in its second chapter moves to the activity of spiritual man in forming manifest man. Chapter 3 of Genesis records man’s departure from God, known as the “fall of man.” From there until the time of Jesus, we view man’s efforts in regeneration, his attempt to find the lost Eden. The life of Jesus represents spiritual man in expression, the man each of us is destined to be.

The characters and places in Scripture represent different phases of man’s unfoldment. We should project ourselves into the sacred narrative, for only in that way can we see in it our own personal experiences. The Bible is the story of our spiritual growth. It records how we were created, how we lost our divine heritage, and how we may regain it.

The Israelites represent the one who is looking toward God. The heathen tribes stand for various qualities predominant in the sense nature of man. The Israelites were not perfect by any means. Their varied experiences of defeat and victory depict the failure and success of every seeker after God. The effectiveness of their life was measured by their responsiveness to the commands of Jehovah. According to the Bible, no matter how successful the Hebrews were in outer ways, they were considered sinners when they failed to obey the Lord; and no matter if they were in trial outwardly, they received His blessing if they obeyed Him.

The Bible records faithfully what happens when we are in different states of consciousness. For example, when we begin to perceive something of value in things spiritual but are still largely in sense consciousness, we are likely to try to take the kingdom of heaven by storm instead of being content to progress gradually. The higher teaching is, “precept upon precept . . . line upon line . . . here a little, there a little” (Isa. 28:10). Jacob is a case in point. He was so impatient to receive the benefits of the birthright and blessing that he resorted to dishonest means to secure them. When we try to force an outer advantage before we have earned it, we repeat a trial similar to that which Jacob suffered when he was forced to flee for his life. We have been given the attributes of the Most High in order to express Him, not to get what we want at some particular time. We are often like Jacob was in his early years, when his discernment was only partially developed, and we must go forward as he did, gradually evolving to a higher state of becoming worthy to receive the name Israel, “a prince with God” (Metaphysical Bible Dictionary/Israel).

In our spiritual development we are sometimes like Daniel, who symbolizes judgment that looks to God for deliverance. At times we are like David, unifying our kingdom of thought and feeling under the impulse of love. Again, we are similar to the apostles, loving Jesus and willing to follow Him but having so little realization of the faith that endures that when a test comes we retreat and have to be instructed all over again. The more personally we can view the Bible story the greater its value is to us.

It is not “flesh and blood” that shows these things to us but our “Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 16:17). We learn the historical facts of Scripture as we learn to read notes in music, but we should not stop there. The fine musician plays not with hands alone but with depths of feeling and understanding. The artist in spiritual things keeps the history of the Bible in the background of his mind to be used whenever necessary; he concentrates his love on its spiritual meaning. Therein are food and drink for all who would know God. He who is growing “in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52) grows apace on this nourishment until he comprehends something of what Jesus meant when He said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25, 26).

With reverence and love may you again open your Bible, study it diligently with the hints given in this book, and join with the Psalmist in exclaiming, “O Jehovah, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” (Psalms 8:1).

   —Elizabeth Sand Turner

PUBLISHER’S NOTE—in this book, Bible references are given in the usual way (Gen. 1.1); references with page number to the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary are given (M.D. 23); and references with page number to Mysteries of Genesis are given (Mys. of Gen. 10).

Unless otherwise noted, Bible quotations are from the American Standard Version.

Let There Be Light was first published in 1954 This is the first printing.


Let There Be Light Contents

(Pages 11-280)

We have inserted the content of Let There Be Light (LTBL) into the individual books of the Old Testament. The following shows where the content of LTBL has been inserted.

Let There Be Light Epilogue

(Pages 281-282)

Jesus came into the complex religious and political situation that existed in Judea at the beginning of the first century A.D. His birth was unheralded by the Jews, who were waiting with longing and keen anticipation for the Messiah, whose coming had been foretold by their great prophets. There was indeed no room for Him “in the inn” (Luke 2:7), yet He was to bring to fruitage the profound and noble verities proclaimed by the spiritual seers of His race. He was to carry on and give wider scope and meaning to the words of Moses, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4 A.V.). He was to remember and use the counsel of His great predecessor, “Ye shall seek Jehovah thy God, and thou shalt find him, when thou searchest after him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deut. 4:29). He was to teach obedience to God’s command as given through Isaiah, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else” (Isa. 45 :22). He was to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah, “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, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).

The search for God is the sublime adventure of each man, and this the Bible records. In the Old Testament are given the steps to be taken in preparing the mind and heart for still greater truths to be found in the New Testament. From the time of Abraham to that of Jesus was a long period, approximately two thousand years by human reckoning. This brings to mind that the overcoming of the deficiencies of the human consciousness requires time—time to let faith, perseverance, and love for God and man permeate the whole man. Throughout our period of preparation may we remember that the righteous are never forsaken, that the light of Truth illumines our way. May we rest assured that obedience to the Highest brings all manner of good into our lives. May we, like David, be inspired to worship the Lord “in the beauty of holiness” (I Chron. 16:29 A.V.). All this establishes a foundation in consciousness upon which we can build an awareness of the ever-present kingdom of heaven. Surely the fulfillment of the supreme truth that man is made in the image and likeness of God comes in the triumphant declaration of Jesus Christ, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

At Moses’ command Aaron blessed the Children of Israel, whose spiritual descendants we are, with words that are ours to accept this day:

“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Introductions to the books of the Old Testament by Elizabeth Sand Turner, from Let There Be Light.