4. Acts Chapters 1 to 12
The following are metaphysical interpretations of the first twelve chapters of The Acts of the Apostles, gleaned from Elizabeth Sand Turner's Be Ye Transformed and the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary.
Acts 1:1-14. Rest in the Upper Room (Faith Center) in the City of Peace. Jesus told the disciples to stay put in Jerusalem until they were “clothed with power from on high.” Unity knows this as “the secret place of the most high” or “the Silence.” We stay “prayed” up to keep a consciousness of our oneness with God, to keep open the channels of the flow of spirit, and then, eventually, we will begin to express our divine nature.
Acts 1:15. Faith leads. “In those days Peter stood up among the believers.” Peter assumed leadership of the group. We have twelve powers and faith, the ability to perceive spiritual realities, is first and foremost. We call out to faith and rely on faith to lead our other powers.
Acts 1:16-26. Life force is lifted up. Matthias is chosen to replace Judas. Judas is one of our twelve powers, our vitalizing life force, that which acquires the substance of what we need to live. We must have this life force, but it must be in service to Christ, our higher nature. Matthias (given wholly onto Jehovah) is chosen by lot to replace Judas.
Acts 2. Transformation occurs. Pentecost. So far, in he unfolding of this story, Faith (Peter) has been placed in charge and the life force (has been placed in service to hour higher nature (Matthias). We are now poised for transformation. And transformation comes powerfully. Pentecost is the third great event in Cosmic Consciousness in the biblical story: the burning bush, the Transfiguration of Jesus and, now, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples.
Acts 3. Expansion of faith and love. Healing of the man lame since birth at the Beautiful Gate. Turner writes, “When faith (Peter) and love (John) are foremost in consciousness, we understand the life-giving power of the inner spiritual man.” Faith and love are two of our twelve powers. Faith perceives spiritual realities and love is our ability to embrace all things without judgment or resistance. What happens when we are filled with faith and love?
Acts 4. Dealing with doubts. The chief priests (thoughts of formalism) and the Sadducees (thoughts of materialism) arrest Peter (faith) and John (love). What doubts arrest our faculties of faith and love? Peter and John say “we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
Acts 5:1-11. Cleansing the mind. Ananias (conscious thought) and Sapphira (unconscious thought) attempt to find spiritual development while holding worldly thoughts. It doesn't work. The spiritual journey begins with another of the twelve powers, known as “elimination” and represented by the apostle Thaddeus. In Unity, the principle means of elimination is use of a denial, which is “the ability to release the energy and power we have invested in old, outworn, negative attitudes or incorrect beliefs.”
Acts 5:12-40. Allow the Spirit to speak! The Apostles stand up to power and win. The apostles place their spiritual calling ahead of fears and threats. Remember, this story takes place in our consciousness. We are standing up to internal, negative self-talk. In case you have reasonable doubts, look to Gamaliel. Turner writes, “Gamaliel represents a thought of fairness in the mind that is willing to give each idea a chance to prove itself. If an idea belongs to the mortal plane of consciousness,it will be destroyed as the individual progresses spiritually; if is a spiritual idea, it cannot be destroyed.”
Acts 6-7. Zeal can cause resistance. The zeal of Stephen (illumined intellect) and his stoning. Turner writes, “They do wonderfully effective work in those early stages — but their work is done in the enthusiasm of the intellect … The intellect is argumentative and often brings about friction … It is not necessary to be a martyr in the cause of Truth.”
Acts 8. Empowered language. “Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. “ Philip is one of the twelve powers. “Philip represents power, which is energy, vigor, might … when we are spiritually quickened, our power faculty becomes the means by which we speak the Christ word, first to our own consciousness and then to others.”
Acts 9:1-30. The great light of spiritual understanding. The conversion of Saul. Saul represents the human will (one of the twelve powers) … the conversion of Saul was preceded by a great light of spiritual understanding (another of the twelve powers) … The word Saul typifies the will in its personal dominance. After the discovery that there is a wisdom greater than the personal will, the name is changed to Paul, which means little, restrained, lessened, made small … when the will is acting in harmony with divine law, its work is gentle.
Acts 9:32-35. Strife will paralyze. The healing of Aeneas at Lydda. “Lydda” means strife. “Thought is the oversoul of every bodily function. If there is a part of the consciousness that has not been exercised rightly in harmonious thought, the bodily organ of which it is the oversoul will become paralyzed.”
Acts 9:36-43. Relax a bit, overwork will kill. The raising of Tabitha from the dead. Tabitha lived in Joppa (beauty), but the consciousness of the city was so mindful of failures and lost opportunities that it squeezed the life force from Tabitha. Joppa needs to chill out.
Acts 10-11. Oneness. No one (and no thing) is unclean. There is no separateness. The conversion of Cornelius. Cornelius represents “that in consciousness which, no longer bound by outer show and formality, truly searches after God.” “In this instance the message reveals … how to open the way for the light of spiritual faith, here typified by his sending for “Peter.” “The Jewish leaders … stand for religious thoughts that are bound by materialism and the forms and ceremonies of religion … Gentiles symbolize worldly thoughts … There must be a reconciliation between our spiritual and worldly thoughts … only Christ can break down the wall of separation … Faith (Peter) has to be convinced that there should be no barriers in the mind … all thoughts (Jew and Gentile) are unified in Spirit.” A consciousness of oneness requires humility: “The Roman centurion ‘fell down at his feet … Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality.”
Acts 12. Equanimity in times of trouble. Persecution by Herod and the killing of James, brother of John. “When grounded in faith and sustained by prayer, we are calm and at peace even in dire straits (Oneness) … Such a state of consciousness is a channel through which the Lord can move (Flow).”