Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Acts Chapter 1
Acts 1 (asv)
1:1The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, concerning all that Jesus began both to do and to teach, 1:2until the day in which he was received up, after that he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 1:3To whom he also showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing unto them by the space of forty days, and speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God: 1:4and, being assembled together with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, ye heard from me: 1:5For John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence. 1:6They therefore, when they were come together, asked him, saying, Lord, dost thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? 1:7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the Father hath set within His own authority. 1:8But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 1:9And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 1:10And while they were looking stedfastly into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 1:11who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? this Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven. 1:12Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is nigh unto Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey off. 1:13And when they were come in, they went up into the upper chamber, where they were abiding; both Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 1:14These all with one accord continued stedfastly in prayer, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
October 6, 1940: Acts 1:1
Who Was Theophilus? This name is of Greek origin, but nothing definite is known of the man aside from the writings of Paul. Theophilus means "lover of God," and the metaphysical meaning is "divine love" or "spiritual unity."
January 4, 1942: Acts 1:1-5
Did Jesus finish the work of expressing the Christ Spirit? Jesus finished the training of His disciples in the fundamental principles of expressing the Christ, but His work of expressing those principles was only begun. Luke tells of "all that Jesus began both to do and to teach."
How is this work of expression to be continued and for how long? It will never be finished, for since the Christ Spirit is eternal it must be eternally expressed. All who are inspired by that Spirit will continue to express it in greater and greater degree.
What is a prerequisite to expression of the Christ? Holy Spirit baptism is an absolute prerequisite. No one can express the Holy Spirit unless he is first filled with that Spirit.
Why are two baptisms mentioned? Are both necessary? Metaphysically they are. John's baptism is a symbol of self-denial or a washing away of wrong habits of thinking and living. The Holy Spirit baptism is a symbol of the burning up of all such dross in the fire of a living zeal for Truth, and an opening of the mind to the light of new and living ideas. The second baptism pours a flood of life-giving thoughts into the mind, so that the entire life undergoes a transformation and a reconstruction.
August 17, 1919: Acts 1:8
How do we receive the power of the Holy Spirit? By prayer and concentration. "They were of one "mind" in one "place," on the day of Pentecost.
December 5, 1948: Acts 1:8
How can we develop harmony in the world? First by claiming it as already here, realizing that it is one of the eternal realities, and next by working faithfully to bring it into manifestation.
How can we lay an enduring foundation for a progressive civilization? By realizing a wholesome regard for law and order and holding inherent Truth and goodness as a universal ideal. The power of the Holy Spirit thus expressed must underlie any civilization that is to last.
If spiritual unity is to be promoted in the world, what must we have? We must awaken a general desire for unity in the peoples of the world, together with the unselfish good will that makes possible the realization of the desire.
April 6, 1941: Acts 1:1-12
How does man realize power? By forming the habit of holding himself consciously poised and by developing a spirit of confidence that upholds him under adverse conditions.
What, was the work that Jesus only began "to do and to teach"? He began to make manifest the kingdom of God or realm of spiritual truth here and now. His disciples are to carry on this work to completion. He finished the overcoming of personality in Himself and entered into full consciousness of the spiritual realm.
Why were the disciples directed to remain in Jerusalem until they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Jerusalem represents peace, without which the Holy Spirit finds no lodgment in the mind and heart of man. He must first be established in the consciousness of peace.
How does baptism with water differ from that of the Holy Spirit? Water baptism represents denial, while the baptism of the Holy Spirit represent affirmation or the appropriation of divine substance.
Is it advisable for us to concentrate our efforts on expecting the Christ to become manifest in our physical sight? No, we should look into our mind and heart for evidence of the indwelling Christ.
What significance attaches to the statement that the mount called Olivet was "nigh unto Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey off"? Olivet means "exalted enlightenment," Jerusalem "peace." The connection between the two states of mind is very close, since the one leads to the other. A sabbath day's journey was little more than a mile.
What kingdom did Jesus come to restore? The kingdom of spiritual consciousness, of which men have allowed themselves to become unaware.
Jesus told his disciples, "I appoint unto you a kingdom, even as my Father appointed unto me." How was the kingdom appointed unto him? Jesus Christ earned his kingdom by His work in overcoming the personal consciousness and transforming His life until it expressed divine perfection.
July 26, 1914: Acts 1:1-14
COMPLETE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE SPIRITUAL BODY
SILENT PRAYER: I am thankful for this ascension of my understanding into my spiritual body.
Those who have entered into the Jesus Christ discipline are daily mentally going through the crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the "Man in Christ." This new man is born of a Divine Idea through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, and this Idea is that man is a spiritual being. He is a "Holy Thing," as was told Mary, the Soul.
This new and true idea of man enters the consciousness of the "new body in Christ." Paul said, "I die daily." It is the dying of the old and the resurrection of the new which is constantly going on that causes us such times of travail. But at each resurrection the New Body in Christ is a little stronger than before. Then there are the times of ascension in which we are received up into the heavens. Such an experience is nearly always followed by a descent of spiritual power into consciousness. In order to have this Holy Ghost baptism we must be looking for it; that is, our attention must be poised toward things spiritual. The "upper room" to which the disciples went is that high state of mind we assume in thinking about spiritual things. It may be attained through prayer, or going into the silence with true words, or in spiritual meditation. There are various methods for this attainment.
When we have these unusual experiences the thought invariably comes into mind, "It must be that I shall now come into an abiding spiritual state of consciousness." The disciples asked, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?" "And he said unto them. It is not for you to know the times or seasons, which the Father hath set within his own authority." We do not know when the final change will come when "this corruptible shall put on incorruption." We do find, however, that we get the consciousness of the descent of spiritual power which is witnessed in the uttermost parts of our earth, or body.
After a great spiritual illumination we find our minds and hearts reaching out for heavenly things until we almost forget our practical life. We continue to look steadfastly into heaven "until the two men in white apparel" (consciousness of Spirit within and without) call our attention to the fact that this New Man in Christ has not left us but will return in the same manner that he went, that is, in consciousness.
January 1, 1950: Acts 1:1-14
Did Jesus finish the work that He began? Yes, in that He showed His followers how they could have a practical working faith in the name of the Christ Spirit, and how by using this faith they could establish the kingdom of heaven on earth.
Was Jesus Christ's teaching complete in itself or was it partial? It was complete. He adapted the teaching to the needs of the age to which He gave it. After the Resurrection He gave the apostles further instructions, and each successive age has interpreted His teaching to fit its peculiar needs. While true in an absolute sense, the teaching of Jesus Christ is also adaptable to changing worldly conditions
How did Jesus Christ give His commandments to the disciples? Directly while He was with them.
When did the disciples receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? After the Ascension, while they waited together in Jerusalem as Jesus had instructed them to do. The faculties (represented by the disciples) receive spiritual illumination after they have undergone purification and cleansing.
Why were the disciples to wait in Jerusalem? Jerusalem represents a state of exaltation and peace. It is while in this exalted state that the faculties together become receptive to further spiritual illumination.
How were the disciples to prepare for the baptism of the Holy Spirit? They were to wait quietly and confidently in meditation and prayer, all united in expectation of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
What was the chief effect upon them of this baptism? They realized power to bear witness to the truth of the Christ life and work.
Where are we to look for the manifestation of the Christ? In our own mind and heart, in the exaltation that we realize through concentration in prayer and meditation. We are not to expect a visitation from the skies in any external manifestation.
June 26, 1949: Acts 1:4-14
Is there any other preparation necessary to those who wish to carry on the work of the Christ? Baptism, the cleansing of mind, heart, and soul, is a necessary preparation for the work of the Lord.
What does baptism signify? The baptism of John, water baptism, signifies denial. Spiritual baptism, which is the second baptism, is that of the Holy Spirit. It is a baptism of fire and signifies a purifying from the effects of old error thoughts.
Is denial a part of eternal truth? No. Denial must continue only so long as error remains to be dislodged from consciousness. As the soul goes forward toward perfection denial becomes correspondingly less important.
Is temporal power one of the objects of the exercise of Christ's authority? No, we are not to concern ourselves with the exercise of temporal power, but we are to witness to the Christ Spirit and the Christ mind in the work of peace (Jerusalem), of praise or the constructive attitude (Judea), of intellectual perception (Samaria), and of every phase of life and thought to be brought under the dominion of the Christ (the uttermost part of the earth).
What state of mind is conducive to the descent of the Holy Spirit (the whole Spirit of God) into the mind and heart of man? The state that is developed through prayer and praise. After the Ascension the disciples gathered together with the women and with the brethren of Jesus and "continued steadfastly in prayer." Pentecost followed.
August 27, 1950: Acts 1:14
What habit develops spiritual greatness? That of prayer and praise. The Bible story of Mary begins with her chant of praise, the Magnificat. The story ends with the statement that she, together with the disciples, "continued steadfastly in prayer." Prayer was habitual with her and gave her a consciousness of God that was deeper and closer than that of anyone else of whom we have a record except her Son, Jesus Christ.
In what spirit can we too commune with God? In the spirit of reverence and humility. Self-sufficiency closes the door to spiritual truth.
March 24, 1929: Acts 1:6-8
State the meaning of the question, "Lord, dost thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" and of the response, of Jesus Christ, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father hath set within his own authority." In His answer Jesus shows that spiritual activities are not governed by time or space or temporal conditions of any kind. He teaches us that we should affirm the present fulfillment in Spirit and not concern ourselves with the manifestation.
What is meant by the power of the Holy Spirit, as promised in verse 8? The power of the Holy Spirit is the realization that all power is given to man in every state of consciousness (Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, "and unto the uttermost part of the earth"), when he realizes that Spirit is the moving principle of his mind.
June 23,1935: Acts 1:6-8
Where is the kingdom of heaven? First of all, the kingdom of heaven is within the heart of man. As he learns to express this inmost but very real part of himself, the kingdom spreads to include his outer life and affairs, and finally pervades his entire environment.
Trace Christianity to its beginning and show how long a time the process of Christianization will require. Christianity began with Jesus Christ, and His work will continue until the whole race is lifted up to the standard of perfection.
Where does man do his first missionary work? He begins in himself, and as he patiently and persistently carries the message of Truth into every department of his being, including his mind, body, and affairs, he experiences conversion in the fullest sense.
Can the world be Christianized by the passage of laws and other repressive measures? It cannot. The goal will be reached only when the Christ Spirit has consciously entered every heart and become a part of the consciousness of all men.
What was the response of Jesus when His disciples questioned Him concerning the restoration of the kingdom to Israel? Jesus turned the attention of His disciples away from the material world to the world of spiritual forces. He told them they had work ahead of them in connection with His message, and that this work was of sufficient importance to engage all their thought. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation."
July 5, 1931: Acts 1: 6-9
When is the kingdom of God restored to Israel? The kingdom of God represents the realm of spiritual ideas, and Israel is the expression of those ideas in men. The kingdom is restored to Israel when the divine law is fully expressed.
Does this conjunction of Spirit and its expression have any relation to time or to seasons? No, spiritual ideas are expressed whenever the mind is lifted up and made receptive, regardless of time.
What evidence does the regenerating soul have of this union of spiritual understanding and quickening? An inner spiritual power quickens the whole man when he is lifted up into that "upper room" of the mind, and is enveloped in a consciousness of peace and poise (Jerusalem). His heart is then full of praise (Judea), and even the intellect (Samaria), and the whole body bear witness to the spiritual baptism.
Explain the meaning of verse 9: "And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." The Lord does not enter directly into the material activities of man. Spirit imparts to man's consciousness the Word, "When he had said these things." "As they were looking" represents that there was an intelligent perception of Truth, followed by a withdrawal, "he was taken up"; then a seeming obscurity and a darkening of the consciousness, "and a cloud received him out of their sight." This all describes in symbols the impartation by the Lord of His power and His Word, which man takes and uses in the manifest world.
July 5, 1936: Acts 1:6-9
How does man realize the coming of the Holy Spirit? When the Holy Spirit enters into man he realizes that the kingdom of God is come in truth and that it is within him.
What makes one conscious of the inner kingdom? One realizes the existence of the inner kingdom through concentration on peace, wisdom, love, and other qualities by which that kingdom is made known.
Of what is Israel a symbol? Israel symbolizes spiritual consciousness.
Is time of importance in the realization of spiritual consciousness? We gain the realization of the inner kingdom only as we fulfill the conditions that make spiritual consciousness possible. Time has nothing to do with these conditions. They are within us, and the consciousness is timeless.
What must one do in order to receive the power of the Holy Spirit? One must "repent" or change one's mental habits from negative to constructive, from personal to universal, from evil to good. One must then concentrate in meditation and prayer according to one's new and better understanding.
Name one attribute of the Holy Spirit. Love is one of the chief attributes of the Holy Spirit. God "is kind toward the unthankful and evil," and to entertain the Holy Spirit we must learn the same impartiality. If we cannot commend we can be impersonal, instead of criticizing and condemning others.
Transcribed by Dan Beckett on 9-6-2013.