Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Acts Chapter 14
Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 14:1-7
14:1And it came to pass in Iconium that they entered together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake that a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed. 14:2But the Jews that were disobedient stirred up the souls of the Gentiles, and made them evil affected against the brethren. 14:3Long time therefore they tarried there speaking boldly in the Lord, who bare witness unto the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 14:4But the multitude of the city was divided; and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. 14:5And when there was made an onset both of the Gentiles and of the Jews with their rulers, to treat them shamefully and to stone them, 14:6they became aware of it, and fled unto the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the region round about:14:7and there they preached the gospel.
February 12, 1950: Acts 14:1-3
Has the name Iconium both a favorable and an unfavorable significance? Yes. The name Iconium means "imagelike," "yielding." It signifies a group of thoughts of an imaging and receptive character, tending to negativeness in the emotional nature. It is susceptible to both good and error.
Can the religious instinct (Jews) affect the worldly thoughts (Gentiles) adversely? When the religious instinct is dominated by bigotry and fanaticism the secular or worldly thoughts likewise lose their quality of reasonableness and become surcharged with emotionalism. Mob violence is often the outcome of this state.
Can the word of Truth (Paul) and the creative imagination (Barnabas) demonstrate and express the good in the face of adverse conditions? Yes. Paul and Barnabas carried on their work boldly, and even in the face of opposition "signs and wonders" were done by their hands.
April 16, 1939: Acts 14: 1-7
What does the town named Iconium represent? Iconium (imagelike; breast of sheep) represents a group of thoughts of an imaginative and receptive characters. Paul (the will) and Barnabas (imagination) entered Iconium together and did good work there.
What is the metaphysical significance of the Jews inciting the Gentiles to oppose the "brethren"? Man's formal religious thoughts and convictions (Jews) influence his worldly or secular thoughts (Gentiles), and make them inimical to the Christ ideal ("the brethren").
What do the various towns mentioned as having been visited by Paul and Barnabas on this journey represent? They represent various phases of the realm of feeling in man.
Explain the stoning of Paul. In the man who is not fully awakened spiritually the religious as well as the worldly thoughts are prone to discord, and fail to establish him in peace. The Jews and the multitudes stoned Paul, leaving him for dead.
What does Lycaonia represent? It represents the emotional nature swayed by the undisciplined, devouring, unredeemed thoughts of the animal man.
Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 14:8-20
14:8And at Lystra there sat a certain man, impotent in his feet, a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked. 14:9The same heard Paul speaking, who, fastening eyes upon him, and seeing that he had faith to be made whole, 14:10said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped up and walked. 14:11And when the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. 14:12And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercury, because he was the chief speaker. 14:13And the priest of Jupiter whose temple was before the city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the multitudes. 14:14But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they rent their garments, and sprang forth among the multitude, crying out 14:15and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good tidings, that ye should turn from these vain things unto a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that in them is: 14:16who in the generations gone by suffered all the nations to walk in their own ways. 14:17And yet He left not himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts with food and gladness. 14:18And with these sayings scarce restrained they the multitudes from doing sacrifice unto them.
14:19But there came Jews thither from Antioch and Iconium: and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 14:20But as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and entered into the city: and on the morrow he went forth with Barnabas to Derbe.
September 6, 1936: Acts 14:8-13
In the work of salvation what part is played by the will? When man seeks to align his will with the divine, he first undertakes to transform his subconscious religious thoughts and impulses that are involved in the unregenerate state of the personal mind. These impulses and thoughts are represented by the Jews in Gentile country.
What do the Gentiles represent? They represent the unregenerate states of mind in man. These must be awakened to Truth and trained to understand its purpose.
Name the first step in the training of the emotion. The regeneration of the senses. It must be accomplished before man can control his emotions through the Christ Spirit.
How are adverse conditions made to disappear? Negative thinking causes adverse conditions to become manifest. These disappear under the influence of a change of thought from negative to constructive.
When faith in the power of Spirit to heal disease is supplemented by the will to use that faith, what is the result? Spiritual healing results.
What does Lycaonia represent? Lycaonia ("wolf land," "destructive") represents the emotional nature when it is allowed to get out of control.
Do emotions play a part in spiritual healing? Strong emotion is usually present in one who demonstrates spiritual healing. Emotion under control has great creative power.
When the emotions are not disciplined what is the outward result? Lack of emotional balance leads to the doing of irrational acts that often have a destructive tendency.
August 17, 1919: Acts 14:8-20
What does the man "impotent in his feet" represent? The feet are those members of the body which contact the earth. They are also that upon which we stand; metaphysically, the feet represent our understanding of earthly things.
When this understanding is not alive in us, what results? We have troubles of various kinds with our feet. This man never had used his feet. When the power of spiritual understanding was project into them, he stood upright, and "leaped up and walked."
What does the "multitude" represent? The "multitude" saying in the speech of Lycaonia means that all the undisciplined, unredeemed, and unconverted thoughts of the consciousness believed that something had been accomplished outside of natural law, and desired to make gods of the personalities through which the work was done.
When this thought presents itself what should one do? Declare the Truth of Being. Give all credit to the Divine Life manifest in heaven and earth through the Divine Natural Law.
Why did the Jews seek to kill Paul? Because he was the "chief speaker." People in bondage to the popular religious teaching, send forth hard thoughts of opposition against the Truth, which is to them new and strange doctrines.
Can the Truth be killed out in this way? No. When its disciples stand 'round about it, it rises up, as did Paul.
August 14, 1921: Acts 14:8-20
What general mental condition is expressed by the feet? The feet express the relation which the consciousness bears to substance.
In what state of mind was the man who was crippled in his feet, and unable to walk? He lacked confidence in his power to walk. According to the text, this thought of inefficiency was evidently inherited from his mother.
How is the thought of powerlessness to be healed? It is healed as Paul healed it; by realizing and affirming faith, even commanding that efficiency and activity be expressed. "Stand upright on thy feet."
When an apparently miraculous healing like this occurs, how is it received by the people? The natural and emotional link it with the gods, and desire to offer sacrifice, and worship its representatives.
What is the attitude of those of fixed religions? They are jealous of the power expressed by the new thought and incite the natural and emotional to destroy it.
How should we regard these marvelous exhibitions of a higher power? We should understand that such things are natural under the Divine Law. God is always present, doing good to those who, in faith and understanding, bear witness of this power.
August 5, 1928: Acts 14:8-20
What state of mind is represented by the man described in verse 8, "impotent in his feet, a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked"? The man described in verse 8 is the outpicturing of a subconscious thought of inefficiency, inability, and lack of understanding of the inner sources of life.
How is spiritual healing exercised in such cases? The essential for healing in such cases is that the patient shall have faith that he can be made whole. If he has faith, then the word of Truth, expressed through the will (represented by Paul), gives the audible treatment set forth in verse 10: "Paul . . . said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped up and walked."
What is the meaning of Lycaonia? Lycaonia means "wolfland," and represents the wild, uncultured, emotional, passionate, animal nature in man. The like Lycaonians were nature worshipers. They assigned gods to almost all natural objects – earth, air, wood, water – and men who exhibited superior ability were supposed to be incarnations of these gods.
What results when we allow our emotions and passions to dominate us? When we are swayed by emotions and passions and give way to the surface activity of the soul, we lose poise and detach ourselves from the quiet, peaceful inflow of Spirit.
What is represented by the Lycaonians calling Barnabus "Jupiter" and Paul "Mercury" (because Paul was the chief speaker), and proceeding to offer sacrifices to them, as if they were gods? The deification of one person by another is the expression of the emotional, animal mentality. When this emotional nature is released from the subconscious it is likely to pour out a flood of praise and adoration one moment and a whirlwind of censure the next.
In some schools of metaphysics the emotional and passionate nature is classified as the animal soul. When we feel the surge of this emotional and passionate enthusiasm, what discipline should we give it? To raise the natural man to the throne of dominion we should realize that the emotional and passionate nature must be restrained and disciplined by the superconscious or Christ mind.
Paul had been stoned and left for dead, but "as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and entered into the city." What healing lesson do we get from this incident? The disciples' standing about Paul represents a unified healing prayer with the central idea of the one resurrecting, restoring life.
April 23, 1944: Acts 14:8-20
What course does the will take in spiritual healing? It follows the course of the Christ as demonstrated by Jesus. Paul (no longer the Jew Saul, but the Roman citizen traveling in the Roman Empire) said to the lame man, "Stand up right on thy feet." He offered no audible prayer but gave the command and the lame man obeyed.
What preceded the command? Spiritual perception of faith. Paul saw that the man had faith to be made whole.
As physical beings what is the divine will for us? Health and wholeness.
What leads men into idolatry? Lack of true understanding makes them worship personality in the form of "great" men or women ("God . . . in the likeness of men").
Is emotionalism a channel for the expression of spiritual power? No. The Spirit of God is not thus expressed. It finds expression rather through poise, stability, good judgment, and understanding love.
Is emotion not a wholesome power? When it is disciplined and controlled it becomes a major power for good. Otherwise it may become destructive and negative in the extreme. "They stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead."
September 13, 1931: Acts 14:8-23
What state of mind is represented by the man described in the 8th verse: "impotent in his feet, a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked"? The man described in the 8th verse is the outpicturing of the subconscious thought of inefficiency, inability, and lack of understanding of the inner sources of life.
How is spiritual healing exercised in such cases? The essential for healing in such cases is that the patient have faith that he can be made whole. If he has that faith, then the word of Truth, expressed through the will (represented by Paul), gives the audible treatment set forth in the 10th verse: "Paul . . . said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped up and walked."
What is the meaning of Lycaonia? Lycaonia means "wolfland," and represent the wild, uncultured, emotional, passionate, animal nature in man. The Lycaonians were nature worshippers. They assigned gods to almost all natural objects – earth, air, wood, water – and men who exhibited superior ability were supposed to be incarnations of these gods.
What results when we allow our emotions and passions to dominate us? When we are swayed by emotions and passions and give way to the surface activity of the soul, we lose poise and detach ourselves from the quiet, peaceful inflow of spirit.
What is represented by the Lycaonian's calling Barnabus "Jupiter," and Paul "Mercury" (because Paul with the chief speaker), and proceeding to offer sacrifices to them, as if they were gods? The deification of one person by another is the expression of the emotional, animal mentality. When this emotionalism is released from the subconsciousness it is likely to pour out a flood of praise and adoration one moment and a whirlwind of censure the next.
In some schools of metaphysics the emotional nature is classified as the animal soul. When we feel this emotional enthusiasm, what discipline should we give it? To raise the natural man to the throne of dominion, we should realize that the emotional nature must be uplifted and disciplined by the superconscious or Christ mind.
Paul had been stoned and left for dead, but "as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and entered into the city." What healing lesson do we get from this incident? The disciples' standing about Paul represents an atmosphere of healing prayer unified with the central idea of the one resurrecting, restoring life.
September 6, 1936: Acts 14:19, 20
What instance of undisciplined emotionalism is furnished in the text for today's lesson? The Gentile multitude first wished to offer sacrifice to Paul and Barnabus as gods. Later under the influence of the Jews they allow the latter to stone Paul.
Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 14:21-28
14:21And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, and to Iconium, and to Antioch, 14:22confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God. 14:23And when they had appointed for them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.
14:24And they passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia. 14:25And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia; 14:26and thence they sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been committed to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled. 14:27And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all things that God had done with them, and that he had opened a door of faith unto the Gentiles. 14:28And they tarried no little time with the disciples.
October 22, 1933: Acts 14:19-23
Metaphysically speaking, what is the meaning of Antioch? Antioch means "formulated theology." This state of mind in us must be Christianized thoroughly. Our ideas of God and of man's relation to Him must undergo a great change before we can begin uplifting and unifying the whole man – Spirit, soul, and body – in life.
April 16, 1939: Acts 14:19-23
What type of actions in man are proof of an undisciplined will? Actions that reveal passion and prejudice, or that show first goodwill toward another and immediately afterward ill will, prove that the subjective nature or the emotions are not adequately disciplined.
What truth is symbolized by the statement that the "disciples stood round about" Paul after he was stoned, until he "rose up, and entered into the city?" The truth that the will can be revived, even when it seems to be crushed and inactive, if all the other faculties combine in constructive action to that end.
Paul and Barnabas commended new disciples "to the Lord." What does this statement imply? It implies that each individual must stand alone in the power of his indwelling I AM (or Lord).
February 12, 1950: Acts 14:19-23
And Lystra Paul was stoned by Jews from Antioch and Iconium and left for dead despite his healing of the lame man. Why was this? In ministering spiritually a worker must keep in mind the one Presence and the one Power, otherwise while engaged in the work of dissolving adverse thoughts and conditions he arouses antagonism and meets with opposition. Opposition comes from the personal consciousness and cannot be successfully overcome by counteropposition. It must be met by spiritual means.
Why was it possible to make many disciples in Derbe? The name Derbe means "harsh," "stinging." Derbe represents wounded feelings, self-condemnation, and the acute suffering and distress of mind that one experiences under certain conditions. Hence the freeing spirit of the Christ found ready acceptance there.
Can we enter into the kingdom of God only through many tribulations? No, we can enter under favorable conditions also, but tribulations have no power to hinder us from entering. The choice of whether to enter or to remain outside rests with us.
October 27, 1946: Acts 14:26, 27
Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch, "whence they had been committed to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled." What does the grace of God signifying this connection? The constructive power of divine love that infolds those to whom it is committed and that prospers all labors that are undertaken in the spirit of impersonal benevolence and co-operative goodwill.
How is work that is undertaken in the power of the Spirit to be viewed? As the work of God. "They rehearsed all things that God had done with them." It contains nothing of personality. "Not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
Transcribed by Dan Beckett on 9-22-2013