Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Acts Chapter 18
Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 18:1-17
18:1After these things he departed from Athens, and came to Corinth. 18:2And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome: and he came unto them; 18:3and because he was of the same trade, he abode with them, and they wrought, for by their trade they were tentmakers. 18:4And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks.
18:5But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 18:6And when they opposed themselves and blasphemed, he shook out his raiment and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles. 18:7And he departed thence, and went into the house of a certain man named Titus Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue. 18:8And Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. 18:9And the Lord said unto Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace: 18:10for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to harm thee: for I have much people in this city. 18:11And he dwelt there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
18:12But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment-seat, 18:13saying, This man persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law. 18:14But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If indeed it were a matter of wrong or of wicked villany, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: 18:15but if they are questions about words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves; I am not minded to be a judge of these matters. 18:16And he drove them from the judgment-seat. 18:17And they all laid hold on Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment-seat. And Gallio cared for none of these things.
October 2, 1921: Acts 18:1-11
What is the metaphysical meaning of Paul’s going from Athens to Corinth? In individual consciousness, Paul’s going from Athens to Corinth means the withdrawal of the power of the Word from the intellectual center (Athens) and its entrance into the love center (Corinth).
What mental attitude is represented by Paul shaking his raiment and saying, “Your blood be upon your own heads”? This is a denial of the old ideas of the spiritual life’s being limited to the so-called “elect” (Jews). Spiritual life may be expressed on any plane of consciousness.
When this realization that the spiritual life is unlimited in its capacity of expression is established, what is the next step? Paul, the Word, goes into the house, or body consciousness, typified by Titus Justus; and speaks the word to many Gentiles.
What is the command of the Lord to this larger freedom of the ministry? “Be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace.”
What is the result of following the guidance of the Lord? Many people (thoughts) hear and understand the Truth, and begin to live according to spiritual law.
September 9, 1928: Acts 18:1-11
What is the meaning of “Corinth”? Corinth means “lovely, beautiful.” The Corinth of Paul's time contained a temple of Venus, which was dedicated to the worship of love. It was to the Corinthians that Paul wrote his matchless poem on love (I Cor. 13). Corinth represents the love center in man's consciousness, around which all his thoughts of love are grouped.
What do Aquila and Priscilla (the tentmakers of Italy, intellect) represent? Aquila and Priscilla represent the masculine and the feminine forces that construct the body (tent). They work and cooperate with Paul (the power of the Word) in building the body.
What is represented by Paul's reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuading both Jews and Gentiles to believe in Christianity? The word of Truth appeals to the higher understanding as well as to the intellect and is accepted by the whole man, when he is free from religious bias.
When one is deep-rooted in religious convictions, is he likely to be receptive to the truth that man is the Son or Christ of God? No. When one is rooted and grounded in certain religious dogmas, and especially in the teaching that the Messiah or the anointed of God is to come again in the flesh he opposes such teachings and calls them blasphemy, because he does not understand their spiritual import.
Should a spiritually-minded teacher continue to present Truth under such circumstances? No. When there is plain evidence of non-receptivity it is wise to withdraw and to begin the education of the Gentile or the more external realms of thought. As Paul said, “From henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.”
The Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace.” Do Christians in this day have experiences similar to this experience of Paul's? Yes. Christian teachers are being guided as never before by the Lord Jesus in visions and dreams and by direct inspiration, fulfilling the prophecy of Joel 2:28: “Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions”
October 25, 1931: Acts 18:1-11
What is the meaning of “Corinth”? Corinth means “lovely, beautiful.” The Corinth of Paul's time contained a temple of Venus, which was dedicated to the worship of love. It was to the Corinthians that Paul wrote his matchless poem on love. Corinth represents the love center in man's consciousness, around which all his thoughts of love are grouped.
What do Aquila and Priscilla (the tentmakers of Italy: strength of outer reasoning) represent? Aquila and Priscilla represent the masculine and feminine forces that instruct the body (tent). They work and cooperate with Paul (the power of the Word) in building the body.
What is represented by Paul’s reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuading both Jews and Gentiles to believe in Christianity? The word of Truth appeals to the higher understanding as well as to the intellect, and is accepted by the whole man, when he is free from religious bias.
When one is deep-rooted in regions convictions, is he likely to be receptive to the truth that man is the Son, or Christ, of God? No. When one is rooted and rounded in certain religious dogmas, and especially in the teaching that the Messiah, or the anointed of God, is come again in the flesh, one opposes such teachings and calls them blasphemy, because one does not understand their spiritual import.
Should a spiritual minded teacher continue to present Truth under such circumstances? No. When there is plain evidence of non-receptivity, it is wise to withdraw and begin the education of the external realms of thought. Paul said, “From henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.”
Do Christians in this day have experiences similar to this experience of Paul's? Yes. Modern Christian teachers are being guided as never before by the Lord Jesus in visions and dreams and by direct inspiration. Thus is fulfilled the prophecy of Joel 2:28, “Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”
What is the ultimate result of setting into operation the power of the Word (Paul) at the love center (Corinth)? Love is the great unifying power in spirit, soul, and body. When man is faithful in preaching the word at Corinth (love center), he quickens his whole consciousness. “And many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.”
September 8, 1935: Acts 18:1-3
What heals and restores the physical body? The healing forces of nature (symbolized by Priscilla, meaning “ancient,” “old”), working in connection with the illumined will (Paul) keeps the body in health and strength.
Paul, Priscilla, and Aquila were tentmakers. What does this statement signify? A tent symbolizes the body. Paul (the will), together with Priscilla and Aquila, who represent the healing forces of nature (Aquila represents the positive phase), work constantly to restore the body to its innate perfection.
October 25, 1936: Acts 18:1-4
What symbolism is contained in the account of Paul's departure from Athens and his entry into Corinth? The word of Truth (Paul) first enters the mind through the intellect (Athens), and afterwards is received into the heart (Corinth), where it arouses love.
How was love evident in the beginning? The healing forces of nature (Aquila and Priscilla) first gave evidence of love as subconscious motivation. Later it appeared in the heart of man as a conscious impulse toward service.
In this lesson, what represents the body of man? Man's body is represented by a tent. Paul, Aquila, and Priscilla were tentmakers by trade.
Is positive proof of the Christ love in the heart possible to man? Forbearance and kindness toward others and patience with oneself give proof to man of active Christ love in the heart. “Love suffereth long, and is kind ... is not provoked.”
Sunday, May 7, 1939: Acts 18:1
What metaphysical meaning is contained in the statement that Paul departed from Athens and came to Corinth? This statement signifies the withdrawal of the power of the divine word (Paul) from the love center (Corinth).
How does the realization that God is love affect man? It gives him a consciousness of peace and security. “I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to harm thee; for I have much people in this city.”
Explain the reference to Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue. That Crispus (circle) “believed in the Lord with all his house” indicates that Truth encompasses the whole man, more especially the love of man's soul (the many Corinthians mentioned with Crispus as hearing and believing the word of Truth).
May 7, 1939: Acts 18:4-11
Why is Paul represented as speaking and preaching at Corinth in a synagogue?A synagogue represents the phase of man’s mind that is given over to religious thought. The divine word inspires in man’s mind greater love for God by awakening him to consciousness of the Christ.
Why did the coming of Silas and Timothy from Macedonia stir Paul to testify anew to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ? Silas represents perception from on high, Timothy zeal, Macedonia the fervor of the soul. Under the influence of exalted thought the word of Truth (Paul) is impelled to proclaim that Jesus (I AM ) is the Christ, the saving power.
What meaning does the student find in Paul's act of leaving the synagogue for the house of Titus Justus? The name Titus (honorable, pleasant, pleasing) in verse 7 denotes the body consciousness. The word of Truth, by being spoken from the body consciousness, reaches many worldly thoughts (Gentiles).
Sunday, May 21, 1944: Acts 18:1-4
What metaphysjcal meaning is found in the account of Paul's departure from Athens and his entrance to Corinth? Athens represents the intellect, where the word of Truth (Paul) first gains entrance into the mind. After the mind receives the word of Truth the heart (Corinth: “ornamentation,” “beauty”) receives it in turn.
How does selfless love enter the heart? As a conscious impulse to serve without thought of return.
What do Aquila and Priscilla represent? They represent the healing forces of nature, Aquila being the positive pole and Priscilla the negative. Through the work of these forces, aided by the word of Truth (Paul) the redemption of the body (tent) is wrought. Paul, Aquila, and Priscilla were tentmakers.
September 5, 1948: Acts 18:1-3
How much of Truth does the intellect accept? What is logical in the light of reason and what appeals to the senses as being true to nature.
How do the healing forces of nature work most effectually? They work most effectually through love.
In the text of this lesson what symbolizes universal mind, Divine Mind? Pontus (the sea), the province from which came Aquila and Priscilla (the healing forces of nature).
What is the seat of the personal will? The head (represented by Rome).
How is the constructive work of the word of Truth and the healing forces of nature represented in this lesson? By Paul, Aquila, and Priscilla, who worked together as tentmakers. A tent represents the body.
February 26, 1950: Acts 18:1
Is unity in Christ the same as uniformity? Unity in Christ is not uniformity. Those who are one in Christ are united in the bond of spiritual brotherhood, acknowledging God as Father of all, but each member of the body of Christ retains his individuality and his freedom of approach to the Father.
From what must each one separate himself [before he can have] unity in Christ? Each one must separate himself in thought from sense consciousness and the interests that inhere in sense. Paul (the enlightened will) left Athens (the intellect) for Corinth (the love center in consciousness), where he pursued his teaching for a year and a half.
February 26, 1950: Acts 18:8-11
Is the intellect susceptible to the word of Truth, or the enlightened will (Paul)? It is in some measure, but it may become so imbued with materialism as to lose sight of all spiritual values and become dull and lifeless, dealing altogether in abstractions.
Why was Paul able to make many converts to Christianity in Corinth? Corinth represents the love center in consciousness, and love is the central faculty in life. “Love is of God,” and its power to attract is greater than that of any other faculty. Many of the Corinthians were drawn to the teaching of Paul, and an important church was founded in Corinth.
Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 18:18-23
18:18And Paul, having tarried after this yet many days, took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila: having shorn his head in Cenchreae; for he had a vow. 18:19And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. 18:20And when they asked him to abide a longer time, he consented not; 18:21but taking his leave of them, and saying, I will return again unto you if God will, he set sail from Ephesus.
18:22And when he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and saluted the church, and went down to Antioch. 18:23And having spent some time there, he departed, and went through the region of Galatia, and Phrygia, in order, establishing all the disciples.
August 1, 1909: Acts 18:1-22
GOLDEN TEXT: In the world ye have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. – John 6:33.
In studying these lessons in their symbolical aspect we should remember that the state of mind in which the Truth is going to and fro in us is unregenerate, which is typified as Gentile. But the most unregenerate have certain religious ideas, be they never so erroneous, so these Gentiles are described as having associated with the Jews, who had synagogues and established systems of worship. But these Jews were always the hardest to reach with the new thought. They were very set in their religion, and they usually refused to even listen to the Truth. So we find in ourselves that our religious convictions frequently stand in the way of our accepting the new revelations of Truth that come to us. The orthodox church has a very large number of people, who are truly spiritual and would quickly grasp the real import of Christianity, were they free from the restraints of religious habit in thought and worship and the established customs of the church.
Paul (the Truth) has small success in establishing the work in Athens (the intellectual center,) so a move is made to Corinth, forty miles to the west. Corinth means lovely, beautiful. It contained the Greek temple of Venus, which was dedicated to the worship of love. We easily discern that it was at the love center in consciousness that the Truth sought to do a work. Paul wrote his matchless poem on Love to the Corinthians. But this center was largely given over to licentiousness. Under the guise of religion the temple of Venus at Corinth had attached to it as assistants over a thousand courtesans, says secular history. Such was the Augean stable which the Truth sought to purify.
Through a misunderstanding of himself and his relation to the One Mind, man in his unregenerate state is constantly tearing down his organism. The heart center, the solar plexus, instead of being pervaded by thoughts of peace and harmony and a just appreciation of the divine law, is perverted to the basest thoughts and the most violent passions. But the patient, sustaining power within, is not wholly thwarted. When the body is lacerated, he sets his builders to work and they patch up the holes. We call this the healing force of nature. In every part of the organism are found these patient building forces, that constantly repair the ravages of the ignorant man. They are called the positive and negative forces of life. We are introduced to them in this lesson under the names of Aquila and Priscilla. Born in Pontius, and lately from Italy, Pontius means the sea, which is symbolical of the Universal Mind, and Italy means strength. Some perceive that these silent tentmakers within have their origin in God and that they are strong.
Paul, the Truth, is also a tent-maker. The Truth always builds up; it never tears down. So we find that when this realization of the Truth enters our minds that it joins itself to all the upbuilding forces there at work.
But the Truth is not content with mere physical upbuilding, tent-making. It would instruct the man how to build his own tent, or body, and he reasons to both Jew and Greek in the synagogue every Sabbath, that is, the center of spiritual thought in times of rest or meditation. When fired with perception (Silas) from on high, and zeal (Timothy), and the fervor of the soul (Macedonia), the Truth is pressed by the word to proclaim that Jesus (I AM) is the Christ (the saving power.) This always brings a climax, and the conservative thoughts oppose and blaspheme. The Truth then makes a sweeping denial of these resistant thoughts and concentrates all its power upon the receptive states of mind, which reveals Titus (pleasing), Justus (just), a worshiper of God. Crispus (circle), the ruler of the synagogue, who believed with all his house, indicates that the Truth really encompassed in a spiritual sense the whole man. The consolation and encouragement, which came from the Lord in a vision, indicates the fulfillment of the law in this movement of the Truth in its work of regeneration.
– UNITY magazine.
September 5, 1948: Acts 18:18-19
What city represents constructive thought? Ephesus (desire), where much good was done by Paul and his helpers.
Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 18:24-28
18:24Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the scriptures. 18:25This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spake and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John: 18:26and he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more accurately. 18:27And when he was minded to pass over into Achaia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him: and when he was come, he helped them much that had believed through grace; 18:28for he powerfully confuted the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
December 9, 1934: Acts 18:24-28
What is the metaphysical significance of Apollos? Apollos means “destroyer”, “the sun.” The Apollos mentioned in this lesson was a Jew, who had been converted to the teaching of John the Baptist, and who was zealous in getting rid of error. The intellectual conception of Truth tends to make one hard and destructive in one's judgments.
What do Priscilla and Aquila represent? Priscilla (“old”) and Aquila (“eagle”) represent the patient, sustaining power within man, that we are in the habit of calling the healing forces of nature. These healing forces have been in evidence since manifest creation began.
In what measure is God present in His creation? God is in every atom of His universe as unifying, constructive life, energy, love, intelligence, power, substance, and progressive influence.
In what way are intellectual doubts most easily dissolved? Intellectual doubts are most easily set at rest by a higher order of spiritualized intellect (Apollos), which interprets the Christ Truth as repeated in the Scriptures, or the recorded action of the creative word.
When the intellect is converted and stabilized by the quickened Christ mind, what follows? The intellect that is thus quickened into spiritual understanding becomes powerful in handling aright the word of Truth.
September 8, 1935: Acts 18:24-28
Why was it necessary for Priscilla and Aquila to instruct Apollos in the way of God more perfectly? Apollos (the sun) represents a religious intellectual thought in which the intellect predominates. The intellect is given to denial (the baptism of John). Before the intellect can serve man effectually it must embrace the constructive way of the Christ. This it does by cooperating understandingly with the healing powers of nature and life.
September 5, 1948: Acts 18:24-26
What does Apollos represent? Apollos (the sun) represents a religious intellectual thought that has been quickened by Spirit to an understanding of the Christ, that gives itself over to the work of firmly establishing Truth in consciousness.
Besides denial, what is necessary to establish truth? Affirmation, which is the constructive work of the Holy Spirit (the Christ). Aquila and Priscilla instructed Apollos in the way of the Christ, supplementing his teaching of the baptism of John.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-19-2013