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The Rich Man and Lazarus (Fillmore)

Lesson Eleven. Luke 16.

Unity Interpretation of
The Rich Man and Lazarus
Luke 19 to end of the chapter
"Home of the Soul After Death"

Given by
March 18, 1942

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Our lesson today is a rather gruesome one. It is the lesson given by Jesus about the condition of some persons after they are dead ... after they leave the body probably.

Abraham Lincoln, our great president, always tried to see something happy in every condition, especially a gruesome condition. So we find that in our experience, when things look darkest, then the daylight is just ahead. Our poet Riley said, "Every cloud has a silver lining and I turn my clouds inside out to see them shining." So like old Job, "When they say unto you, there is casting down, thou shalt say, lift it up." So today I say our lesson is rather gruesome, but we are going to sing a song that can be used as an angle that "Spring has come!" (laughter) We are going to sing about it. You may not all be familiar with this song. It is Number 273, "Beautiful Season of Joy."

1. Beautiful season of joy everywhere;
Earth is awakening, heaven is near;
Voices of nature with rapture declaire
Springtmie, glad springtime is here.

2. Beautiful flowers all sparkling with dew,
O'er all the beauty of skies smiling clear;
Springtime, glad springtime is here.

3. Music of brooklet and praise of birds,
This is the these of the song without words
Rings in the woodland, carols of cheer...
Springtime, glad springtime is here!

Very well done!...after a hard winder. (Laughter). All join now in the Lord's Prayer.


This is the eleventh lesson in the course "MYSTERIES OF THE FOUR GOSPELS". Our subject this afternoon is one that we believe everyone in this room is interested in — we might say, people everywhere. Our subject is "HOME OF THE SOUL AFTER DEATH" — "The Condition of the Soul after Death."

Today our lesson is based on the 16th Chapter of Luke, 19th Verse to the end of the chapter. We read from the Ferrar Fenton translation:

There was once a man who was rich and arrayed himself in purple and fine linen and who every day lived in pleasure and luxury. And there was a beggar named Lazarus, who covered with sores, was laid before his gate, and he longed to feed on the broken pieces which were thrown from the rich man's table; but, instead, the dogs came and licked his sores. By-and-by, however, the beggar died and was conveyed by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and he was buried. And, in the spirit land, being in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And, streiking out, he said, "Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus thither to dip the top of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in torture in this flame!"

"Child," said Abraham, in reply, "remember that you exhausted your pleasures during your lifetime; and Lazarus in the same way, his sufferings; but now here he is comforted while you are agonized. Besides all this, a huge chasm lies between us and you; so that those who might desire to go from here towards you cannot do so; neither can any come to us from where you are."

"Then I beg of you, Father," replied the other, "to send him to my father's house for I have five brothers; that he may entreat them; so that they may not come into this place of torment."

"They have Moses and the prophets," replied Abraham, "let them listen to them."

"Not so, Father Abraham," was his answer, "but if someone would go to them from the dead, they would change their minds."

"If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets," was his reply, "neither will they be persuaded even if one were to rise from among the dead."

Now here we return to the first picture: "There was once a man who was rich and who arrayed himself in fine linen, purple and find linen, and who every day lived in pleasure and in luxry." We know this man well, do we not! Greedy and selfish, desiring continually to satisfy his animal soul or his appetites. We know him well, because he is in everyone of us. Loves his own creature comforts.

On the other hand, we see Lazarus. Now the word "Lazarus" means "Grace of God." "He who helps." Now this represents within us a religious state of consciousness and in this particular instance a religious state of consciousness that is not given a charge for spiritual unfoldment because the selfish greed of the physical man or the animal soul, which the rich man represents, is crushing the life out of the force symbolized by Lazarus.

You see the picture very clearly, the rich man is really the animal soul. Lazarus represents the spiritual soul.

Now imagine Lazarus, if you can, spiritual consciousness, neglected, full of sores. He is lying in the gate of the rich man, wanting to eat the crumbs from the table. Here the higher soul life is put out of consciousness and is being fed to the dogs. Spiritual consciousness is utterly neglected.

Then death comes. What happens after death? The great mystery. In death, we know these two states of consciousness are thrown wide apart. A great chasm between them. Of course, the body, even the animal soul is thrown out of its body and the animal soul of course receives satisfaction through the animal body. Therefore there is anguish. The rich man who lives for creature comforts has no physical avenue through which to express and is anguished. He lifts up his eyes and finds he is in Hades.

Lazarus, the spriritual soul, no longer held a slave by the animal soul, no longer hampered by the physical, is carried away by the angels (high spiritual thoughts) to Abraham's bosom, which means a "celstial state of consciousness" in which the spiritual soul rests. This is according to a certain networking of the law. So we see these two different states of consciousness are in entirely different environments.

Then the rich man begs the Father of Life to send Lazarus (high spiritual consciousness) even to minister to hi[m], even to moisten his lips with cold water, he is in such anguish. But here the Father of Life explains that there is a mighty gulf between them. We know this mighty gulf is occasioned by the disintegration fo the physical body. Because of this great chasm, the Father of Life has shown we cannot go to them and they cannot come to us. The states of consciousness are remote, far apart until the time for the next reincarnation, when soul and body will again reunite to take up the life to try it at another time.

"Then I beg you to send Lazarus to my father's house for I have five brothers there." Of course, we know that those five brothers are five senses which are mental, and which the animal soul would save. But again the Father Abraham explains by saying, "They have Moses and the prophets, if they would not listen to Moses and the prophets, they would not listen even to one who was sent from the dead."

What is the great lesson in this scripture for us? We believe the great lesson is that we are Spirit, soul and body. That we are a trinity: In spirit, soul and body, we are unified in Christ. We must know under all circumstances that spirit is dominant in consciousness and do not let creature comforts, physical appetites dominate our lives. "GOD FIRST" always. Realize continually, in spirit, soul and body we are unified in the living Christ. Make that a grand issue in our lives.

Now we may go into the silence and realize this truth.

Every soul here is a trinity: spirit-soul-body. Let us enter that spiritual zone, the state of consciousness Jesus established where here on earth, and lay hold of the very life and substance of Spirit. Lay hold of that spiritual substance that will bridge us over any gulf, any chasm. Spiritual substance. Let us realize that our body temples are spirit substance. For a moment let us think how precious, really precious, really important the body temple is. A temple of the Living God.

Is God a living Presence with the soul? Do we realize life and substance even in the flesh? "Yet in my flesh shall I see God." For a moment let us bless the body temple. Tell it how pure it is, how holy it is, how the spirit of Truth dominates every function, every organ. Under the light of Spirit, every function and every organ of the whole soul and body temple is pure — pure as Jesus Christ is pure. So let us see ourselves as God sees us, a spiritual soul — as spirit, soul and body united, unified in Christ. Let us know we control the appetities, that we feed on spiritual words; that Christ dominates our whole lives.

We take this thought: "THROUGH CHRIST, I AM UNIFIED IN SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY." Together: (Repeat). Let us see Lazarus, spirit-soul, no longer a beggar, but the loading power within our lieves, ministering lovingly to all the needs of soul and body consciousness. We are spiritual creatures even as Jesus Christ is spiritual. Amen.


Mrs. Fillmore read Ferrar Fentorn's translation of this text. I am going to read you from the Revised Version of the Bible. [TruthUnity note: the version that Charles Fillmore is referring to is the American Standard Version] That's the one that we use here at Unity, and as I read, you remember just what you got in the Fenton translation, and see the contrast.

Now you know that our Bible was originally written in Greek and Latin. Jesus spoke in the Aramaic, and it has gone through many translations; and as students, we should be more or less familiar with these translations and measure them up to the standard in which they were originally given. Get at the real spiritual meaning.

I am going to read this from the Revised New Testament. (Luke 16:19-31):

16:19Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day: 16:20and a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, full of sores, 16:21and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table; yea, even the dogs come and licked his sores. 16:22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels into Abraham's bosom: and the rich man also died, and was buried. 16:23And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 16:24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame. 16:25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things: but now here he is comforted and thou art in anguish.16:26And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that they that would pass from hence to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from thence to us. 16:27And he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house; 16:28for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.16:29But Abraham saith, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 16:30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one go to them from the dead, they will repent. 16:31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, if one rise from the dead.

This has always been interpreted to mean that those who worshipped — well, the worldly things — would go to hell, a place of torment; and the "poor" who had but very little and had to worship God would go to heaven, Abraham's bosom. But we metaphysicians who know that all those are really present, and it isn't a state of geography; after the soul leaves the body it doesn't go places, but it is in a different state of consciousness.

Now when man, when the soul leaves this body, it simply changes its environment. Don't change its mind, it has the same mind but not the same outlet for its activities. For example, this rich man represents, as we have been told, the sense consciousness, those lower attributes of the soul in which we enjoy eating and drinking and all those avenues in which the animal man takes pleasure. And the poor man in this case represents the spiritual man. The man who desires higher things and would stimulate us in the search for these things, but on account of the domination of the animal, it has no opportunity to express; it is illustrated here as "lying outside the gate". Well the "gate" represents, of course, the "door" the "I am" there, and this animal has occupied all the space in the consciousness, and he doesn't let in the spiritual man, and then there is always an end to that state of consciousness. That really explains our present condition as a race, that we have given ourselves up to the animal mind. We have dropped from the spiritual plane to the material plane and here we are now striving to get back into the spiritual consciousness again.

Let us remind you, we don't go anywhere — that we are RIGHT HERE. You know the old theologians wrote volumes we are told on whether an angel could occupy the point of a pin. In other words, good sound reason throws us right back into metaphysical propositions, and we can see ideas don't occupy any space; and "angels" are God's ideas. Consequently meaning we are all really angels, that is we are God's ideas. We are manifestations from the One Mind going forth for a purpose. What is that purpose? Why, to demonstrate the possibilities that are innate in us.

God has given us all possibilities, all powers, to express ideas, and these ideas are primarily God-ideas and we are seeking to express them in our own way.

Then the question comes up, why it is so necessary to have a body to express through? Why isn't a man better off when he leaves his body? That brings in a proposition which could only be solved by the analogy, we will say, in the natural world. We see in the continuation of all things there has to be what is called a "binder", something to hold it together. We are made up of ideas. How do those ideas operate? Altogether in the mind? No. They have to have a binder, something to bring them together. That is what we call the world of substance. This material world is a grosser expression of it. We don't see the real substance. Let us understand that that real substance is of a higher grade. It is a substance that that is radiant. But we do have a binder. We couldn't have a highway without a binder. Well what does that highway bind — what is it binds the highway? We say it is a mixture of limestone and sand and there has to be cement to hold it together and solidify it. There's the realm of nature and the binder in the natural world below. In the electrical world they also have a binder. What is it? The magnet, the lodestone drawn electricity and stores it up. Now bring your analogy right up into the mind and you find you have to have a binder. You have to have something that will let you unify your ideas, and that is the divine substance, and this material would that we live in is the binder, and that's the reason that the mind of man when it leaves this binder, this substance, it flies apart. The higher principle goes to its plane, and the lower to its plane.

Now there you find these conditions, and we have the reaping there of what we have sown in our lifetime, and we know it is — well — out of order to leave the body because the minute we leave the body it begins to go back to its original elements, its gases and its essences; and the soul goes on to another plane of consciousness. It doesn't go anywhere geographically considered, but that this flies apart in place of unifying. Our place is the consciousness we should be unified in spirit, soul and body. That is the teaching of Jesus Christ, and he does in this particular lesson; this text, gives us an idea of what our condition is after we leave this body. And as we find, the body we can see is a very important part of our being. Yes, it is an important part of the being of man, and it shouldn't be ignored.

We should find out just where we stand in this divine plan of evolution of man, that is in the development of himself. When man leaves that body he leaves a great vacuum, we might say, in his development. There is a great gulf, we are told between the soul and body in this separating, so they can't get together. They have to reincarnate again.

When Edwin Markham was at Unity a couple of weeks several years ago, I talked with him several times. He told me one of the finest pieces of imagery he ever gave forth in his poem was that in which he told of Lincoln the man of people and he imaged this note or this truth, he called it "THE LONESOME PLACE AGAINST THE SKY." Here's a little extract. He called attention to this when Lincoln fell. When he fell, Edwin Markham said, "he went down as when the lonely cedar, green with boughs, goes down with a great shout from the hills, and leaves a lonesome place against the sky." That's exactly what occurs when man dies: he goes down and leaves a lonesome place against the sky, and the lonesome place is the great gulf between the higher principle, his spiritual mind that Lazarus means "one who receives God", — he presents godliness, that part of the soul that is representative of spiritual ideas — and the rich man who lives in worldly ways, who had everything he wanted to eat, drink, wear, and he reveled in the senses. But that man doesn't get very far either alive or dead. But he can't be dead — you can't kill man, but you only separate them. There is where the tragedy comes in. In death, you go thru separation, you can't get together. We say, "I like to pull myself together once in a while."

If you allow yourself to leave the body, give yourself up to sensation and the pleasures of the senses to the extent you can't keep the body going indefinitely, it will die on your hands. There is separation comes in and there you are. You leave just "a lonesome place against the sky."


Let's take our blessing. Together please: DIVINE LOVE THROUGH ME BLESSES AND MULTIPLIES THIS OFFERING. Amen. ... Blessing the offering: Father, we thank Thee for this generous outpouring and place upon it our word of blessing and know the givers and receivers are both blessed. In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


CHARLES FILLMORE: May we all join in our healing meeting. Remember this power of spirit is always ready to administer its good to us. And it is good to heal your body, restore your body to its divine status. God created man with a perfect body, and everybody should measure up to that. Don't let this lesson depress you and feel that those things seem to be so dark. Remember right before you is the shining light of Spirit. They try to make us believe that things are going downhill ... old Job says they are coming up. Everything is coming up. Be happy about it. Don't let it excite you.

In the King James Version, it is stated, "Moreover dogs came and licked" the beggar's sores. We remember once a man named his dog "Moreover". When asked where he got the name, he said "In the Bible". Where in the Bible? "Moreover, the dog came and licked his sores". (Laughter).

Now the healing consciousness always is happy, always thinking about health right here; Radiant Health.

Now we are going to take for our health thought today, that dominant idea we carry of the Christ spirit everywhere. "CHRIST IS RIGHT HERE GIVING YOU ABUNDANT HEALTH." WE can declare that. That is one great advantage of teaching, discussing and thinking of Christ because Christ is really a spiritual atmosphere; comes right down from the crown of the head, penetrates your whole body. Whatever you do, think about Christ and he will be now with you, because we can't think of only the personal, but in giving up that first, it shall be given that which you shall say. It is a promise, a true promise. Let us think about this Christ Principle, this Christ Presence. We are inspired and empowered through the Christ consciousness. That Christ mind is inspiring everyone of us to do something, something good, something beautiful, something we never did before, doing it better today. Speak the healing word: "SPEAK THE WORD ONLY AND MY SERVANT SHALL BE HEALED."

Now realize this. Close your eyes, ears, close all the senses, and open your mind to this Christ Mind. "JESUS CHRIST IS NOW HERE INSPIRING US WITH HEALING POWER." ... power to heal ourselves: power to heal other people.


CORA: Illumines and guides you. Protects you.

CHARLES: Now let us say that word aloud and then silently for all these names we have. Let us say to them: THE SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST PROSPERS AND HEALS YOU. Speak it aloud (repeat). FEEL that Christ Spirit within you doing its perfect work.

Let's speak that word for ourselves; get right down within yourselves and say: THE SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST HEALS AND PROSPERS YOU. All together (Repeat).

Now let us say:


We are in the spirit and we can speak in the spirit words of truth. This healing Mind is in the spirit anywhere. Think of people anywhere you want to help. We have many testimonials of people who have been healed and helped in the these meetings. Think of anybody anywhere.

CORA: We have the names of some of the Unity boys in the forces of the United States and for the boys in the service wherever they are: WE KNOW THE SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST UPHOLDS THEM, PROTECTS THEM, GUIDES THEM, DIRECTS THEM IN ALL THEY DO." THE SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST PROSPERS AND KEEPS THEM HEALTHY. ABOVE ALL THEY ARE DOING THE LORD'S WORK.

CHARLES: Let us say the word to heal the WORLD: THE SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST HEALS, PROSPERS AND PROTECTS YOU. Speak it aloud and then hold it in the silence. (Repeat). Let us rise please.

BENEDICTION: The great idea, our great healing, prospering and protecting thought is JESUS CHRIST. The SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST HEALS, PROSPERS AND PROTECTS EVERYBODY.



Let us make this our central thought when we want to heal people: THE SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST HEALS, PROSPERS AND PROTECTS. Amen.

Transcribed by Virginia Urban on September 27, 2016.