Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Acts Chapter 2
Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 2:1-13
2:1And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together in one place. 2:2And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 2:3And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them. 2:4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 2:5Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 2:6And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language. 2:7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying, Behold, are not all these that speak Galilaeans? 2:8And how hear we, every man in our own language wherein we were born? 2:9Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, 2:10in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 2:11Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God. 2:12And they were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 2:13But others mocking said, They are filled with new wine.
December 2, 1923: Acts 2:1-4
What is the day of Pentecost? The day of Pentecost is a Jewish holiday; it is celebrated by the Jews as the "feast of first-fruits." It is the day on which the devout Jew is to remember his deliverance from Egypt into the freedom of the Promised Land.
What is the metaphysical interpretation of "the day of Pentecost"? In the unfoldment of the spiritual mind there are periods when the ideas that we have meditated upon and accepted as true, spring forth into consciousness, becoming living realities in our lives, instead of mere mental concepts. In this awakening we get the fruits of the ideas that we have planted in our minds; we have escaped from the darkness (Egypt), and have entered into light (Promised Land).
What state of mind will produce the Pentecostal baptism as described in this lesson? When we fill our minds with true ideas about God and man, we should gather our thoughts to one point or "place." That point or place is: "I am that which l conceive myself to be in Spirit."
When we thus concentrate, what result should we expect? If we proceed in an orderly manner, there will be an inrush of spiritual force from the higher realms of consciousness, which will fill the whole body, as described in verse 2: "And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting."
What is the meaning of verse 3: "And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them"? When we are assembled in a high state of spiritual illumination, we bring into expression the omnipresent intelligence to the degree that whatever is spoken is instantly transmitted to each one present in the manner fitted to his comprehension.
What is the spiritual meaning of: "They . . . began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance"? Metaphysicians find that every faculty of the mind is quickened by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Word stimulates language and understanding until one's words are so charged with spiritual power that even the intellects of the varied nationalities receive and understand the message.
April 27, 1919: Acts 2:1-8
What is the "day of Pentecost," and what is its spiritual significance? The "day of Pentecost" is the Jewish "feast of the harvest, when the devout Jew is to remember his deliverance from Egypt. To the one who is awakened to spiritual reality, it signifies that degree of mind action which brings to consciousness the presence of Spirit as Substance.
Explain "they were all together in one place." "They were all together in one place" means the concentration of all the faculties and activities of mind and body in acknowledgment and praise of Spirit.
What is the result of this concentration? The conscious (ordinary, thinking mind) and superconscious (perfect, Christ Mind) blend, and there is a descent of spiritual energies into the body ("it filled all
Explain "the multitude came together, and were confounded." Man's devotional nature often lifts him up in consciousness until he realizes within him the urge of the Spirit for expression. His conscious, reasoning mind does not understand what is taking place, and he may feel that the condition is the work of evil. But faith (Peter), cultivated through religious effort, gives assurance that all is well, and that the new experience is really a greater activity of Spirit in body-consciousness.
June 28, 1925
This is a review lesson, which does not cover any particular text, but contains good interpretation of the unfoldment of spiritual character, as given in the scriptures.
What is the day of Pentecost in individual consciousness? The day of Pentecost in individual consciousness is a day of harvest — a time when there is an outpouring of spiritual power upon one who has been diligent and faithful in the silence. Through prayer and meditation one establishes himself in the Christ consciousness and loosens the primal energy and intelligence that fulfill his desires. When one has established all the powers of his being in high spiritual consciousness, he is baptized in the Holy Spirit essence, which produces rapid growth in unfoldment.
What is the resurrection, in individual consciousness? The resurrection, in individual consciousness, is the raising of man's mind and body from mortal to spiritual consciousness, which is accomplished by the quickening power of the Holy Spirit. The resurrecting process is now going on in many people. It is a gradual change that brings about a complete transformation of the body through the renewing of the mind; spirit, soul, and body become unified with Christ mind, and body and soul become immortal and incorruptible. In this way death is overcome.
What is spiritual unity? In individual consciousness spiritual unity is a harmonious working together of all the powers of one's being. Divine love established in the heart brings about an understanding of omnipresent spiritual substance as man's inexhaustible, unfailing resource; therefore unselfish love is the unifying, magnetic power that draws to us our own. When one is established in this unifying, harmonizing power, he works in perfect harmony with all people everywhere.
Should one use wisdom in presenting Truth? Yes, one should always use wisdom in presenting Truth. The best way to present Truth is to live it. One who lives Truth is always established in the love and wisdom of Spirit, and he radiates the light and gentleness of the Master. In this way the intellect (which is usually is a contentious factor) becomes an aid of Spirit, and the argumentative, disputing attitude of mind is wiped out of consciousness.
Should man have dominion over his appetite? Yes, man should have complete control of his appetite. Back of appetite and passion is a great longing for the more abundant life of Jesus Christ; therefore these desires should not be killed out, but they should be raised up and satisfied on the spiritual plane of consciousness. A good word for spiritual realization is: "In the stillness of my own heart I touch the living substance that satisfies the desires of my soul; I drink of the waters of the wells of salvation, and I eat of the living manna which comes down from heaven."
What has the power of the word to do in redeeming man's consciousness? The power of the word is employed by Spirit to redeem man's consciousness. Through the power of the Christ Spirit, new understanding, new life, and new strength are imparted to the parts of the consciousness which have been impoverished by thoughts of weakness, barrenness, and lack.
How may the human will be disciplined until it becomes obedient to and blended with divine will? The human will naturally receives the necessary discipline in the process of the unfoldment of the spiritual man. Paul (who symbolized the human will) was a Pharisaical Jew, but he was sincere and was very zealous to do the will of God as he understood it Jesus Christ appeared to him in a vision and gave him the true understanding. He immediately became a very zealous worker for the Christian religion, which hitherto he had been opposing.
What is the mission of the faculty of divine faith? The mission of divine faith is to renew the whole consciousness, which includes the body. If man would realize the fullness of life and health he must have faith in the power of praise, gratitude, and thanksgiving. Appreciation of the blessings already received opens the channel for added blessings.
Is it possible for man to obtain spiritual guidance and understanding in visions and in dreams? Yes. Many of the prophets of old were continually guided in visions and dreams. When the mentality is still, as in sleep, then the voice of the Spirit of truth reaches the consciousness of the soul and mirrors its message on the imaging faculty of the mind in the form of thought pictures. Many of our metaphysicians today are receiving valuable instructions in spiritual unfoldment through visions and dreams.
What is the value of Christian cooperation? In unity there is strength. Cooperation gives strength, power, and durability to any spiritual organization. It prevents the scattering of the forces. It helps to sustain and to build up a work as a whole. This is a good prayer to hold for spiritual cooperation: I gladly cooperate in every way in the establishing of good.
July 5, 1936: Acts 2:1-11
What does the "day of Pentecost" mean? It was the Jewish feast of the harvest or "day of first fruits." To those who have come into an understanding of Spirit it represents the "day" or degree in mind where the presence of the Spirit is as substance to the consciousness.
What is spiritual concentration? It is putting the whole mind and heart on the thought of God, or thinking in harmony with Divine Mind.
How may one seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Through prayer and meditation. Faithfully practiced, prayer lifts man higher in consciousness so that he makes contact with the realm of Spirit. Spiritual energies then descend upon him, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is consummated.
What changes follow Holy Spirit baptism? New confidence and an assurance that one did not before possess are the first to be observed. A man's words command interest and attention although they may have gone unheeded before.
What effect does the quickening power of the Holy Spirit have on the conscience of man? To be quickened by the Holy Spirit is to "have a conscience void of offense toward God and men always." This is not a negative state, for it is one that is reached through unflagging zeal.
What is the gift of tongues mentioned in the lesson text for today? The still small voice within the heart is the universal tongue that each man hears in his own speech, and that all understand.
What do the Galileans represent? The commonplace experiences that speak to us of the mighty works of God, if only we are receptive and attentive to the inner worth of life, are represented by the Galileans.
May 15, 1927: Acts 2:12-14
What is the day of Pentecost? The day of Pentecost is a Jewish holiday; it is celebrated by the Jews as the "feast . . . of the first fruits." It is the day on which the devout Jew is to remember his deliverance out of the bondage of Egypt into the freedom of the Promised Land.
What is the metaphysical meaning of the day of the Pentecost? The day of Pentecost means a gathering of spiritual powers for the purpose of harvesting the first fruits of Spirit; furthermore it means a dedicating of these new forces of Spirit to unselfish service in the Lord's vineyard.
July 5, 1931: Acts 2:1-8
What is the day of Pentecost? The day of Pentecost is a Jewish, holiday; it is celebrated by the Jews as the "feast of first-fruits" It is the day on which the devout Jew is to remember his deliverance from Egypt into the freedom of the Promised Land.
What state of mind will produce the Pentecostal baptism as described in this lesson? When we fill our mind with true ideas about God and man, we should gather our thoughts to one point or "place," I AM Spirit.
When we thus concentrate, what result should we expect? If we proceed in an orderly manner, there will be an inrush of spiritiual energy from the Spirit, which will fill the whole body, as described in verse 2: "And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting."
What is the meaning of verse 3: "And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each them"? When we are assembled in a high state of spiritual illumination, we mentally touch omnipresent Intelligence to the degree that whatever is spoken is instantly transmitted to each faculty.
What is the spiritual meaning of: "They . . . began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance"? The mind is quickened by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Word stimulates every faculty by which spiritual intelligence is expressed.
August 2, 1914: Acts 2:1-11
Spiritual Unity Demonstrated
The "day of Pentecost" with the Jews was the great feast of the harvest or "day of first fruits." It was the day on which the devout Jew was to remember his deliverance from Egypt (Deut. 16:12) into the freedom of the promised land. To one who has come out of the ignorance of mortal thought into the understanding and freedom of the Spirit this has special significance. It represents that "day" or degree in the mind where the presence of the Spirit is as substance to the consciousness.
This state of mind is brought about through meditation and a massing or concentration of the spiritual ideas. "They were all together in one place." It is really a conjunction between the thinking mind, or what we term normal consciousness, and the superconscious or spiritual mind. When this connection is made there is a descent into the body of spiritual energies that produce a great and unusual commotion. "Suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting." This descent of the spiritual consciousness into the "house" or body often terrifies those who do not understand its significance, and they think it is the work of some spirit or malefic influence. The vibrations are sometimes very pronounced in the body. This is not to be feared. It is not mortal mind, spirits, nor any dangerous influence, when you have been sincerely asking for the presence of the Spirit of Truth.
It makes a great difference how this Spirit is received. If fear dominates, there will be fearful results, but if understanding and confidence is the prevailing thought, good will always follow. The gift of tongues is the ability to express Truth freely.
There dwell within us many "devout men," or subjective thoughts, of which we are totally unconscious until this Holy Spirit descends into our minds and we see good in the depths of our being that we never saw before. Then our Word of instruction and enlightenment goes into these darkened comers of our realm, and we preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all the people or thoughts that are there congregated, and they "all hear in our own tongues the mighty works of God."
Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 2:14-18
2:14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spake forth unto them, saying, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and give ear unto my words. 2:15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose; seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 2:16but this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel: 2:17And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams: 2:18Yea and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days Will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 2:19And I will show wonders in the heaven above, And signs on the earth beneath; Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: 2:20The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the day of the Lord come, That great and notable day. 2:21And it shall be, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
February 5.1939: Acts 2:12-18
Why were the devout Jews amazed and perplexed by what happened to the apostles at Pentecost? The devout Jews symbolize the deeply religious thoughts of man. Although this side of the spiritual man is exalted, unless he has made practical use of the exaltation, he is amazed at the evidence of perfect understanding that results from the union of faith with the intellect.
Why did those who mocked the apostles mistake the descent of the Holy Spirit for the effects of new wine? Those who were in sense consciousness saw the demonstration of Holy Spirit power as a manifestation of sense causes. Each man judged it according to his own consciousness and experience.
How does faith explain the coming of the Holy Spirit? Faith, represented by the apostle Peter, quickens man to see the fulfillment of prophecy taking place before his eyes. One of these prophecies is the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Why does faith connect the coming of the Holy Spirit with the prophesied coming of the Messiah? Through faith we see that the Holy Spirit, which shall come upon all flesh, came in its fullness to Jesus Christ, who was the Messiah by virtue of His complete devotion to the cause of Truth.
April 27, 1919: Acts 2:14-18
What is the ultimate result of this outpouring of the Spirit? The disciples (faculties of mind) receive new power to express the Truth, "speak with other tongues," and go forth proclaiming the salvation of God through Christ, until the whole man is renewed and regenerated.
Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 2:22-36
2:22Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know; 2:23him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay: 2:24whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 2:25For David saith concerning him, I beheld the Lord always before my face; For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 2:26Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; Moreover my flesh also shall dwell in hope: 2:27Because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades, Neither wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corruption. 2:28Thou madest known unto me the ways of life; Thou shalt make me full of gladness with thy countenance.
January 4, 1920: Acts 2:22-24
What beautiful truth is brought out in this lesson? The transformation of Peter. He no longer denies the Master, but in a strong, forceful, straightforward manner makes clear to "whosoever will" the Jesus Christ way of redemption. Peter, typifying faith and spiritual understanding, is the sure foundation (the rock) upon which the Christ Church is based.
February 10, 1935: Acts 2:22-28
What is given as a symbol of spiritual consciousness in this lesson? The word Israel furnishes such a symbol, and "men of Israel" denotes those who are destined to recognize their true nature as spiritual.
Does the day of Pentecost have significance for us today? It has, because it represents a concentrating of our spiritual powers to the end that we may gain understanding of how to use these newfound forces in our daily life.
April 17, 1938: Acts 2:22-36
What is the theme of this lesson? The development of the natural man into the divine: "Jesus of Nazareth, a man" became the Lord Christ as attested by the Resurrection.
What does Jesus Christ represent metaphysically? Jesus represents God's idea of man in expression. Christ is that idea in the absolute.
How does a person prove that he is of God? He proves his Sonship by his works, by certain unmistakable signs, and by things that are made manifest by virtue of his observance of spiritual law.
Why was Jesus Christ "delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God"? Jesus had to cross out or eradicate the personal element in order to give full scope to the Christ within Him. The living sacrifice was "a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh." The sacrifice was a voluntary one, as Jesus showed when He said, "I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself."
How did God raise up Jesus? Jesus kept the law of the indwelling God, the law of life, so completely that death could not overcome Him. By identifying Himself always with divine being He raised His consciousness to the divine. Thus God (life) raised Him up.
How was David able to foretell the resurrection of Jesus? David means "beloved." Since "love is strong as death," he in whom love is developed knows that death must yield to life in him who perfectly keeps the law.
Interpret the words "Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted." God's idea of man in expression becomes the Christ through the directive power of the Spirit or hand of God actively functioning within man.
How did Jesus become "both Lord and Christ"? Since God is both Being and the law of Being, Jesus became Lord through mastering the law of Being and Christ through bringing into manifestation the principle by which he identified Himself with perfect man.
Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 2:32-47
2:32This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses. 2:33Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear. 2:34For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 2:35Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. 2:36Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified. 2:37Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? 2:38And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 2:39For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him. 2:40And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation. 2:41They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls. 2:42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers. 2:43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 2:44And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 2:45and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. 2:46And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, 2:47praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved.
July 5, 1936: Acts 2:32-38
"I am the resurrection, and the life." Interpret this affirmation as it applies to each of us. Through the I AM we identify ourselves with dominion and power. When we claim the high, the true, and the good, we open the way for the Holy Spirit to descend upon us. Through affirming faith, love, discernment, will, and understanding we open the way to allow the kingdom of God to come into the inner realm of mind and heart.
February 10, 1929: Acts 2:32-39
What beautiful truth is brought out in this lesson? The beautiful truth that is brought out in this lesson is the transformation of Peter. He no longer denies the Master, but in a strong, forceful straightforward manner makes clear to whosoever will receive, the Jesus Christ way of redemption. Peter, typifying faith and spiritual understanding, is the sure foundation (the rock) upon which the Christ church is based.
Peter's exhortation took place on the day of Pentecost. What is the metaphysical meaning of "the day of Pentecost"? The day of Pentecost signifies a gathering together of the spiritual powers for the purpose of harvesting the first fruits of Spirit; in other words, it means a dedicating of the new-found forces of Spirit to unselfish service in the vineyard of the Lord.
Why was it possible for the Holy Spirit to descend upon the people with such power on the day of Pentecost? Spirit always manifests according to the measure of our faith and trust. When our people (thoughts) are gathered in the upper chamber (a place of high spiritual understanding) and are unified in thought and purpose (prayer), the way of the Lord is made straight. We receive the Gift of gifts—the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
May 15, 1927: Acts 2:32-41
What state of mind will produce the Pentecostal baptism as described in this lesson? The state of mind that will produce the Pentecostal outpouring is established by a realization of the prayer, "I am that which I conceive myself to be in Spirit." When one gets a realization of true ideas about God and man his understanding and his speech are stimulated until his words are so charged with spiritual power that they carry the message of the Holy Spirt even to intellects of persons of other nationalities.
Why did Peter proclaim, "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified"? The word "Lord" represents God's idea of man or, as stated in Genesis, God's image and likeness. "Christ" is the equivalent of the Hebrew "Messiah," and was manifested in Jesus. Jesus fulfilled the God idea in his spiritual consciousness and manifested it in his natural body, as Peter explained symbolically.
What was Peters advice to the Israelites when they understood Jesus' real character and were pricked in their hearts and asked, "Brethren, what shall we do?" Peter's advice was, "Repent ye [change your minds], and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
What is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the third active principle in the Trinity. It is God's thought at work in the affairs of men. Every man has access to God through Christ in
the Holy Spirit.
Is it possible for the people of this generation to receive such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the disciples received on the day of Pentecost? Yes. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever; his promises are for all generations.
August 9, 1914: Acts 2:32-42
What does baptism symbolize? It is symbolical of that cleansing of the mind which should precede the descent into it of Truth.
What is it to repent? To repent is to change the mind; to give up error for Truth.
What has baptism to do with receiving "the gift of the Holy Ghost"? Baptism washes away the old state of thought and dissolves all negative conditions, that we may be ready to receive the power of the Holy Ghost.
What is the "breaking of bread and prayers"? Stirring the inner substance into action in the consciousness, and concentrating the mind upon it as the real possession.
What will do away with the importance of temporal things? The appropriation in consciousness of the inner Substance from which all things are formed.
How should the baptism of the Holy Spirit be received? With joy and thanksgiving.
January 4, 1920: Acts 2:32-42
What is the metaphysical meaning of "the day of Pentecost"? "The day of Pentecost" signifies a gatharing together of the spiritual powers for the purpose of a harvesting of the first fruits of the Spirit, otherwise a dedicating of these new forces of the Spirit to unselfish service in the vineyard of the Lord.
Why was it possible for the Holy Spirit to descend on the people with such power in the day of Pentecost? Spirit always manifests according to the measure of faith and trust. When our people (thoughts) are gathered in the upper chamber (a place of high spiritual understanding) and are unified in thought and purpose (prayer), the way of the Lord is made straight. We receive the Gift of gifts—the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
What are the three symbols of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and what does each represent? The three symbols are "a mighty wind," a flame of "fire," and the "tongues." The wind typifies the all pervading breath of life; the flame, — the refiner's fire, — revealing the power of the Holy Spirit; the tongues, the many languages, signs and outer expressions by which the Gospel is spread.
What is Faith's ever-ready exhortation to all those who are seeking the Truth? 'Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
To whom is this promise given? To all people, throughout all ages. Truth is, God is unchangeable. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
February 5, 1939: Acts 2:36-41
When man realizes that he has "crossed out" or crucified the spiritual part of his nature, and left only the gross material man, what can he do about it? Knowing that the good is eternal and that Truth rises again after it has been crushed, man believes in the efficacy of a change of mind. After he has been convinced that he is in error in so doing, he knows that he need not continue in a course but that he can change.
What is the significance of repentance and baptism from the metaphysical viewpoint? Repentance means a change of mind and a corresponding reorientation of the entire man, Spirit, soul, and body. Spiritual baptism is positive, a taking on, an affirmation. All growth takes place through these two attitudes—a letting go and a taking hold, or denial and affirmation.
What is proved by Peter's statement that the promise of the Holy Spirit is to those who crucified Jesus Christ? This statement-proves that, the principle underlying the regeneration man is universal and unfailing in its scope, and that none need be shut out from following it and profiting by it.
Why was Peter's word powerful enough to convert three thousand persons in one day? When the Holy Spirit takes possession of a man's faith, it lends him the power of conviction. The Holy Spirit or higher self of faith left none who heard the word of Truth unmoved.
April 5, 1925: Acts 2:36-47
Why did Peter proclaim: "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified"? The word "Lord" represents God's idea of man, or, as given in Genesis, image and likeness. "Christ" is the equivalent pfr the Hebrew "Messiah," manifested in Jesus. Jesus fulfilled the idea in his spiritual consciousness and manifested it in his natural body, as Peter explained symbolically.
Explain: "Now when they [the Israelites] heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?" Peter represents the discerning eye of faith to which the quickened spiritual consciousness turns for guidance; hence the question to Peter and the rest of the apostles: "Brethren, what shall we do?"
What does the discerning faith of Spirit recommend? Peter's advice, given in response to the appeal of those seeking to be saved from their sins, points the way to peace of mind, health of body, salvation from sin: ''Repent ye," or change your rninds, and then "be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
What is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the third active principle in the divine Trinity. The Trinity consists of the Father (universal mind), the Son (universal idea of man and the universe--Christ), and the Holy Spirit (divine thought in action, the teacher, the comforter, the protector). The Holy Spirit is God's thought at work in the affairs of men.
What is "this crooked generation"? The "crooked generation" referred to by Peter is the adverse race thought which, in its ignorance, has built up a state of consciousness that seeks to function in the affairs of the world without asking for the guidance of God through the Holy Spirit.
What happens when men follow the advice of Peter, change their minds about God and their relation to God, and accept the cleansing power or the baptism of the Holy Spirit? The result is set forth is verse 41: "They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls." This represents the increasing capacity and the growth of the soul in Truth.
In those who were converted to the Christ life there was a change of mind or an elimination of hatred, selfishness, greed, and separateness from one another; following this change the converts' hearts were quickened with divine love, thoughts of universal good and the idea of universal brotherhood. What were the results of all these readjustment? The closing words of this chapter tell of the relations of the disciples and early followers of Jesus. Ferrar Fenton's translation sums up their status in these words: "And all the believers were united, and formed an organized community; and selling their estates and possessions, they distributed to all, according to the need of each. And they assembled daily in harmony in the temple, taking, however, their meals at home; partaking of their food with gladness, combined with humility of heart; praising God, and enjoying the respect of all the people. And the Lord united to them daily those who were for salvation."
February 10, 1935: Acts 2:36-41
Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit an experience possible to us at the present time? If so, how does it come? We receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit when we concentrate our thoughts (people) on the things of Spirit and unify out purposes through prayer, so as to make straight the way of the Lord.
On what is the church of Christ built? It is built on the faith that contains the power to develop into spiritual understanding. The church of Christ is the spirit of brotherhood in the hearts of men.
Explain the word "repent" in the 28th verse of this lesson. This word is a translation of the Greek word meaning to "change your mind."
Is the changing of the mind a simple or a complex process? It is complex in this way, that it entails first changing a mistaken thought for one more nearly in line with Truth, and then denying the error thought in order to be entirely rid of its effects.
Describe the metaphysical symbolism of baptism. Baptism is a cleansing of the mind from error thoughts and beliefs, in order that the way may be opened to truer thinking. Baptism is a symbol of the denial of the false in preparation for the gift of seeing the true.
Does faith apply only to the religious life? Faith applies to every side of man's nature, the secular as well as the religious. It is a faculty that he must develop and rely upon constantly on his journey towards a fuller understanding.
May 12, 1935: Acts 2: 41-45
Define the church from a metaphysical viewpoint. The church is a harmonious aggregation of spiritual ideas in the mind of the individual.
Why is a common interest desirable for men? Because a common interest makes for unity, in which state their strength becomes most effective. In the individual also one strong centralized idea makes for strength of will and purpose, and leads to greater achievement.
What state of mind makes the holding of property in common a success? There must first be a common faith and purpose before ownership of property in common can be successful. "All that believed were together, and had all things common."
November 18, 1934: Acts 2:41-47
How can selfishness be overcome? Through understanding and practice of the principle of love, man drops selfishness out of mind.
Without service to others, is it possible for man to realize his better self? No. The principle of cooperation in service to others is necessary to man's full and complete realization of his better self.
December 7, 1941: Acts 2:41-47
What does Peter represent, and why did the receiving of his word lead to baptism? Peter represents faith. He preached the necessity of "repenting" or turning away from sense consciousness to the Spirit of Christ. This change involves denial of the authority of the personal or sense mind. Baptism symbolizes denial.
What is the church in a metaphysical sense? It is an aggregation of spiritual ideas in the mind.
Has the statement that the disciples "continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers" any significance for the individual? For the individual this steadfastness is equivalent to concentration on Truth. When man concentrates his attention upon constructive activity he increases the range and effectualness of his faculties.
Did the fear that came upon every soul contribute in any way to the "many wonders and signs . . . done through the apostles"? Only in that it made those who felt it completely attentive to the apostles. Undivided attention is an aid to effective work whether that work is done by an individual or a group, whether it is the expression of one faculty or all working together.
Why were the believers able to have "all things in common"? Because their common faith made them disinterested and unselfish. What they believed was of more importance to them than what they had. "All that believed were together." Faith unites, and those who share a common faith are able to share their material possessions also.
May 9, 1943: Acts 2:37-41
How closely did Peter's early teaching follow that of John the Baptist? John and Jesus both began their ministry with the exhortation "Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Peter used the same exhortation, but expressed it in slightly different words.
To whom did Peter extend the promise of the Holy Spirit? To the Jews who had crucified Jesus. Peter had learned the lesson of forgiveness "until seventy times seven" times, and extended it to them freely. "God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified."
What is the meaning of repentance and baptism? Repentance means a change of mind from the habit of thinking negatively and erroneously to the habit of thinking constructively, in conformity with Truth. Baptism represents the denial of error and a clearing of the mind of the effects of past error.
Is a change of mind from the basis of sense to that of Spirit possible to all? Yes, the exhortation is to "repent . . . every one of you," and "you . . . your children, and all that are afar off" are to receive the Spirit as a reward for so doing. No one is excluded.
December 2, 1923: Acts 2:37-42
The preaching of Peter stirred and quickened the people, and they asked: "What shall we do?" What is the metaphysical meaning of Peter's reply as described in verse 38? "Repent ye" means "change your mind;" "be baptized" refers to the immersion of the soul in omnipresent Spirit, which cleanses one from sin or the result of broken law.
What is the meaning of Peter's appeal: "Save yourselves from this crooked generation"? Every thought expreased by the mind generates currents of life. Consequently every thought should be under the law of harmony as it is in divine mind. If man does not make contact in his thought with divine law, he sends out perverse and crooked thought currents, which produce discords and inharmonies of various kinds in mind and in body.
How should man save himself from this crooked thought generation? Man must understand the Truth as taught by the spiritually wise, and follow it in all his thinking.
What is the meaning of: "the breaking of bread and the prayers"? The soul has its substance side which is broken up under the quickening of the Holy Spirit, that it may again be gathered on higher planes of consciousness. By our prayers we lift up and readjust this inner substance and it becomes, through faith, the rock or foundation of a new body consciousness, which is symbolically the broken body of the Lord Jesus Christ.
July 6, 1919: Acts 2:37-45
What causes the forming of churches? People of a common religious belief band themselves together into an organization, and this organization is called a church.
What is the cause of differences between churches? Churches differ because of different construction that men place upon the Scriptures, and because of men's adherence to forms and creeds.
What will eliminate the differences? To eliminate the differences between churches, men must turn within to the Spirit of Truth, then there will be one church.
What is the Church of Christ? The Church of Christ is the great brotherhood which Jesus Christ established in Spirit. It is not made of creeds and forms, nor is it contained in walls of wood and stone.
Has the Church of Christ a place of habitation? Yes. Its temple is the heart of man.
February 20, 1927: Acts 2:42-47
How did the early disciples perform so-called miracles of healing and illumination? This is explained in verse 42: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers." When people get together in fellowship, have faith in Jesus Christ and his spiritual power, pray, and dispense freely the idea of the one universal substance, they are imbued with a superconsciousness that produces results which the unillumined call wonders and signs.
What are the results of man's being converted to the Christ life? The closing words of this chapter (Acts 2) tell of the results that naturally follow man's full conversion in the Christ life. Ferrar Fenton's translation sums up the results in these words: "And all the believers were united, and formed an organized community; and selling their estates and possessions, they distributed to all, according to the need of each. . . And the Lord united to them daily those who were for salvation."
January 15, 1950: Acts 2:42-47
What is the characteristic of dynamic faith? Steadfastness and loyalty to the teachings that inspired it, fellowship with others who are like-minded, union with them in prayer and in the associations of every day.
What is the "fear" that comes upon those who have firm faith in spiritual reality? The "fear of Jehovah," or reverence for God. Under the influence of this "fear" they are able to do "wonders and signs."
What is represented by the apostles who did many "wonders and signs"? They represent the faculties spiritually developed and put to practical
use until the believer becomes experienced and competent.
To what is a common belief conducive? To community of other interests. "All that believed were together, and had all things in common."
What justifies communal living? A common faith in God, in the same divine principles and ideals, and a strong desire to share what one possesses with others of like mind. Force or compulsion can never justify or encourage the holding of all things in common.
Does a dynamic faith protect its possessor from fear, doubt, and other negative emotions? Yes. Those who were together and who shared their possessions "took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people."
May 29, 1921: Acts 2:44-47
Would it be possible for people to live in a community, and have all things in common? Yes, if they "believe" that all things belong to God, and that men are merely his stewards, working for the common good of all.
Shall we ever have a successful community of this kind? The whole world must eventually become an organized cooperation, based upon the understanding and application of the laws stated by Jesus Christ.
Transcribed by Dan Beckett on 9-7-2013.