Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Exodus Chapter 20
Metaphysically Interpreting Exodus 20:1-21
20:4Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 20:5Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me, 20:6and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
20:8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 20:9Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; 20:10but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 20:11for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
20:13Thou shalt not kill.
20:14Thou shalt not commit adultery.
20:15Thou shalt not steal.
20:18And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off. 20:19And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20:20And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not. 20:21And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
Metaphysically Interpreting Exodus 20:22-26
20:22And Jehovah said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 20:23Ye shall not make other gods with me; gods of silver, or gods of gold, ye shall not make unto you. 20:24An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt-offerings, and thy peace-offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in every place where I record my name I will come unto thee and I will bless thee. 20:25And if thou make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stones; for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. 20:26Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not uncovered thereon.
April 27, 1952: Exodus 20:1-6
How do we obey the commandments to worship the I AM (Jehovah) before all else? By identifying ourselves with God and letting the divine faculties of life, love, wisdom, faith, and power be expressed in and through us. We worship God by putting spiritual values first, and by taking them as our guide and motive power.
What is signified by graven images? They signify an erroneous or limited conception of God. Any negative human belief to which we ascribe power over our life becomes for us a graven image.
Over what faculty do we need to keep constant, careful watch? Over our imagination, for it is through the activity of this faculty that the mind is sometimes impressed and swayed away from Truth, unless we are careful to keep it steadfast to the good.
Why is Jehovah represented as a jealous God? Because God is the Supreme Being, the Absolute, the principle from which there may be no deviation. As we keep the law, we reap the reward of spiritual freedom in ourselves. As we fail to keep it, we reap the effect of that failure in some form of suffering, hardship, or bondage, until such time as we learn to put ourselves in accord with it again.
August 22, 1926: Exodus 20:1-11
What is the meaning of verses 1 and 2 of this lesson, in which God says that he is Jehovah God, who brought the children of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt? In the original Hebrew, God is called “Elohim,” meaning the original God mind. Jehovah means “I AM that I AM.” Jehovah is the identification or centralization of Elohim. Jehovah may be termed the nucleus in and through which Elohim is centralized, expressed, imaged. Jehovah is superman as created by Elohim.
How can man identify himself with and express Jehovah, or the superman? Man can identify himself with God by affirming that the attributes of Elohim are in his I AM consciousness: “God is love, I am love;” “God is life, I am life;” “God is wisdom, I am wisdom;” “God is power, I am power.”
How does man image other gods and bow down and worship them? Through the formative power of mind man can make thought forms in his consciousness. These thought forms take on the power of Spirit, and man thinks that they are greater than he is. Thus he comes to worship the creations of his own mind.
Are the mental forms which man makes ever set up as objects of worship in the material world? Yes. A thought of a personal God finds expression through the ingenuity of man, and material images representing God are formed out of matter, to which many of the devout give obeisance.
In verses 5 and 6 it is written: “for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.” Explain. The word jealous is evidently a loose translation. It would be more in harmony with the context if it had been written thus:
“I am an exact lawgiver. A transgression or lapse from my law is always followed by certain effects. If you resist or hate me and my law, you set into action destructive mental forces that go on generation after generation; if you keep my laws and recognize me, I will show you my love in thousands of ways.”
How does man take the name of Jehovah in vain? In his early experiences man found that he could call down the power of God through his word and in ignorance he has used his word to destroy and to make others miserable. The profanity of men has originated in the consciousness that man has the power through God to curse or condemn. This power of the I AM applies to every thought that we think and to every word that we utter. Man is held accountable for his lightest word.
August 7, 1932: Exodus 20:1-11
What is the power that sets man free from all error and bondage? God, through Jehovah, the Christ, or the I AM, is the power that sets man free from all error and its resultant bondage.
Is it possible for man to have gods other than the one supreme God? There can be but one supreme mind, “over all, and through all, and in all.” But since we manifest or express Divine Mind in numerous ways and in varying degrees, it is possible for man to have other gods.
Name some of the gods that man may build up in consciousness. The family god, the money god, the god of pride and ambition, and other deities of lower degree are among those which man builds up in his own consciousness.
Should man image God as an individual? Man should not image God as having a material form or location in substance. God is Spirit, “without body parts or passions,” transcending all forms and forces of human consciousness, both visible and invisible.
“For I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me.” Explain. Through the just law of cause and effect man is blessed by his righteous thoughts and acts and is punished by his sing. This realm, in which good and evil are apparently warring against each other is where the jealousy of God seems to be expressed. Spiritual understanding reveals it to be only a just working out of the law.
Is heredity true? Mind is the only place where heredity is carried over from parent to child. Memory is necessary to heredity, and only mind remembers. Bodies are the ground in which mind sows its seed, and that seed is the thought, or word. “The seed is the word.” What the parents think, whether it be good or evil, the children bring forth, unless there is a superior thought interposed. Jesus taught that one should acknowledge God as Father and thereby escape the sins of heredity.
If one holds wrong ideas of God, what is the result? If one holds wrong ideas of God, he will suffer the consequences in his body and affairs. God does not punish anyone; each one is punished by his own erroneous thoughts.
What is the Sabbath day, in mind action? The Sabbath day in mind action is the consciousness of completeness that should follow every declaration of Truth. The six days of labor symbolize six degrees of realization, which are revealed to the mental worker. When these steps have been taken, one should declare the work finished and then rest in the assurance that the law has been fulfilled and one’s work completed.
August 15, 1937: Exodus 20:1-17
What is the import of the first commandment? This commandment emphasizes the necessity of complete faithfulness to the spiritual side of life and concentration of thought on that side in order to produce the fruits of Spirit in the individual life. The principle of Truth tolerates no lapses, and he who aspires to know the one true God must keep his eye single to the good.
How does one take the name of Jehovah in vain? When a person speaks this name with no real appreciation of its meaning or significance and no care in that regard, he takes it in vain. The person who uses it merely to emphasize whatever he may be saying also makes vain use of the name, and reaps an undesirable reaction in his own consciousness.
What is meant by the Sabbath day? This term means a regular period of rest, meditation, and worship of God. Either one entire day of the week or a proportionate part of each day of the week alike may be observed as a Sabbath. The intention is to allow us complete separation from business and material cares, selfish pleasures, and all other distractions of the sense plane so that we may cultivate consciousness of God.
How do we insure long life to ourselves by honoring our father and mother? Our attitude towards the life expression of others reacts upon our expression. If we love life not as we alone feel and seek to express it, but as those who have expressed it longer than we, we study the life principle and devote ourselves to its manifestation wherever found. In so doing we achieve length of days.
Why are the commandments with respect to murder, adultery, and theft brief and unqualified? These acts are universally understood to be violations of law, both divine and man-made. They therefore require no special emphasis or interpretation. Jesus included them all under the constructive commandment to love one's neighbor as oneself.
Explain the commandment on bearing false witness against our neighbor. This is much broader than the giving of false testimony under oath. It includes accepting and reporting another's human or mortal nature, including his shortcomings and failures, as his true self. Also when we magnify transitory phases of our neighbor's expression as though it represented the real man, we bear false witness.
Explain the action of covetousness in the consciousness. Covetousness springs from extreme selfishness and self-centeredness, and may lead to murder or theft. The condition is an insidious one not always realized by the one who harbors the feeling; therefore the commandment is specific on this point.
If God freely gives us all things, how is covetousness contrary to the divine law? The divine law requires us to recognize that we have already received freely, and it inspires in us a desire to give freely in return. Covetousness reverses one's attitude by causing one to desire to receive more and give less.
January 20, 1946: Exodus 20:1-17
Why should we worship and serve God only? God is Truth, and the Spirit of truth is implanted in the heart and soul of man. As we are true to the best that we know and as we seek to conceive of yet higher principles of Truth and give them expression, we unify our powers and become true men and women. In this way we worship the God of Truth and right.
What is the ideal of the full-grown man of Christ? To be true in himself. To express Truth is the destiny of the man of God.
Why can no graven image truly represent God? Because nothing in the realm of the formed can fully express the Infinite, which is without limits or boundaries. The Spirit of God is like the wind; it “bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof but knowest not whence it cometh and whither it goeth.”
Does this mean that we worship a capricious or unpredictable God? No. It means rather that the Spirit of God within a man frees him from man-made limitations and fills him with divine inspiration and power. God is unchanging principle. “His ways are everlasting.”
What is represented by the “jealousy” of God? The immutability of principle that furthers our efforts as long as we truly express it, but that as impartially hinders and obstructs them when we work counter to it.
What effect on a keeper of the law has his faithfulness in obeying it? He enters easily into the heritage of loving-kindness that is involved in its requirements, and his children and grand-children, if they follow him in obeying the law, enter into the same blessings. Evidences of loving-kindness on every hand convince the obedient person that he is walking in the way of Truth and right.
When is the name of Jehovah taken in vain? When it is used carelessly or thoughtlessly with no recognition of its power or when it is used to express negative, adverse judgments of disapproval or a desire for retribution; also when it is invoked without any faith that invoking it will prove effectual.
Why is the keeping of the Sabbath important? Because no one can know God without spiritual communion and time must be taken for such communion. Meditation and prayer are essential to the development of the inner life, and the Sabbath sets aside a definite time for these.
How did Jesus Christ condense the last six commandments of the Decalogue? In the words “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The last six commandments have to do with our relation to our fellow men, and whoever loves his neighbor as himself keeps them all without exception.
October 2, 1938: Exodus 20:2-3
Interpret the statement “I am Jehovah thy God.” In the creative process Divine Mind idealizes itself as Jehovah, meaning “I AM the ever living, He who is eternal.” In claiming his birthright of perfection through the agency of the I AM man is able to manifest his true nature as a son of God.
What is represented by the land of Egypt and the house of bondage? The land of Egypt represents sense consciousness, the house of bondage, the body of man in its unredeemed state.
What is the meaning of the commandment “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”? “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” means that we are to recognize no power other than good (God). We identify ourselves with good through affirming our oneness with it.
July 14, 1946: Exodus 20:3-6
What is the import of the commandment “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”? This commandment emphasizes the necessity of complete faithfulness to the spiritual side of life and concentration of thought on that side in order to produce the fruits of Spirit in the individual life. What is the significance to us of graven images? They represent an erroneous or limited conception of God. No conception of God that attempts to limit or define Him can truly represent Him, for God is Spirit, the Spirit of truth, and Truth is a principle of life, not a form.
Why do we need to renew our covenant with God frequently? To strengthen ourselves in the way of divine wisdom and power so that we may live by the Spirit, and not permit ourselves to come under the domination of the “mind of flesh.” By keeping our covenant with God we learn to demonstrate Truth.
Why is Jehovah represented as a “jealous God”? Because God is the Absolute, the principle from which there can be no deviation in Supreme Being. Any deviation on our part from following the principle of Truth must sometime be corrected. Such deviation entails suffering and hardship, until we put ourselves in tune again with principle.
October 10, 1943: Exodus 20:3-7
What does the commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” mean? It means that we are to give all our allegiance to the one God, the living Spirit. There is no room for any other.
Is it possible for anyone to make what corresponds to a graven image? Anyone can make such an image in his mind. Whoever becomes obsessed by an idea impresses a corresponding image on his subconscious mind, and it remains there to claim his inner thought and allegiance. This is the equivalent of making a graven image.
How can we avoid this practice of forming idolatrous mental images? By worshiping formless Spirit and remaining true to the spiritual conception of God. Anyone may understand this conception by observing the spirit that moves him toward those whom he loves, the spirit of compassion that he feels for the weak or so-called helpless, the spirit of forgiveness that he entertains for an offense that he overlooks or condones, the spirit of zeal for what is right, just, or uplifting.
Is it difficult or easy to place ourselves in harmony with the various aspects of the divine Spirit? It is easy when we open our mind and heart to the influx of the universal life, for the universal remakes us in the divine image as we give it free sway in our thinking and feeling.
In what sense is God a jealous God? In the sense that Divine Mind is the one and only enduring reality. Hence there is no room for any lesser conception of God. Thought is the offspring of mind, and whatever is substituted for thought in the direction of our life substitutes another god for the one Jehovah.
How can a person make the law work constructively and to his advantage in applying it to his affairs? By obeying its requirements wholeheartedly anyone can work in harmony with the law to his very great advantage.
Aside from profane language how do people take the name of God in vain? By using the I AM to claim anger, resentment, vindictiveness, greed, dishonesty, ignorance, or error of any sort. Whoever claims for himself what is untrue of him as a son of God or the offspring of Divine Mind makes vain use of the name.
February 24, 1918: Exodus 20:3-11
20:3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. -- The One Supreme God should always have first place, and all else held in consciousness subject to Divine Mind and its laws.
20:4Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. -- When man places any idea of limitation upon God-Mind, he is making a “graven image” of God. God is Spirit, transcending all form.
20:5Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me, -- The “Lord” is the Law and measures unto man according to his consciousness. The warring between good and evil, or the consciousness where action and reaction holds sway, is the realm of the “jealous God.” The “seed is the word,” and ideas of Mind are perpetuated even unto the “third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”
20:7Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain; for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. -- Man takes the name of the Lord in vain when he holds in Mind wrong ideas about God, These erroneous ideas work as inharmony in the consciousness. The Lord (Law) will not “hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
20:8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. -- The Sabbath day is the idea of completeness that should follow every declaration of Truth. It must be kept holy, that is, free from thoughts of doubt, anxiety, etc.
20:9Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; -- The six days of “labor” represent the six degrees of realization that precede a demonstration.
20:10but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: -- In the seventh day, or Sabbath, all related states of consciousness, represented by the son, daughter, etc, should be at rest, awaiting in silence the fulfillment of the Word declared.
20:11for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. -- The Law expresses itself scientifically and systematically always. All who intelligently cooperate with it are blessed with its harmonious expression in mind, body and affairs.
October 9, 1938: Exodus 20:4-6
To a metaphysician what is the force of the injunction against a graven image? The metaphysician sees in this commandment the necessity of keeping the thought of God in the realm of the formless and the infinite, instead of visualizing the external effects that he may desire.
Explain the reference to a jealous God. God is not jealous in any personal sense. Principle admits of no variation from the changeless constancy of its action. Spiritual worship leads man to see that he reaps always as he has sown.
What proof does this lesson afford of the truth that good is eternal, but that evil is transitory? The fact that the influence or aftereffects of evil extend only to the third and fourth generation proves that it is not lasting, whereas the statement that loving-kindness is shown to thousands (of generations) of those who love God indicates the lasting nature of the good.
October 16, 1938: Exodus 20:7
What is meant by taking “the name of Jehovah thy God in vain”? The name of Jehovah is “I AM that I AM.” To take His name in vain is to use the I AM to identify oneself with sickness, poverty, or other negative condition, or in any way that is not in accordance with His law of good.
July 28, 1946: Exodus 20:7
How does a person take the name of Jehovah in vain? By using it profanely to give emphasis to his words and also, more importantly, by using wrongly the I AM or divine principle within him. Each time a person, using the words “I am” identifies himself with sickness, lack or any other negative condition he takes the name of Jehovah in vain.
Is the I AM a means to the realization of spiritual power? It is when we identify ourselves only with what is constructive and upbuilding, instead of negative. To use the I AM constructively at all times requires strength of purpose, faith, and loyalty of a high order.
May 4, 1952: Exodus 20:7
Why do some persons speak or write the name of God or Jehovah irreverently or profanely? They try thus vainly to emphasize or add power to their words. The inner conviction of the speaker gives his words whatever power they possess. Power cannot be added to them by coupling them irreverently with the name of God.
March 17, 1929: Exodus 20:8-11
Is the Sabbath day of rest a certain siderial day fixed in the natural world, or is it a division of time established by man? The Sabbath day is fixed by man to fulfill the natural need of a rest every seventh day from his labors.
Does it make any difference what day of the week man selects as his day of rest? Resting one day out of seven is for the convenience of man and he may select the day that best suits his needs. For a long time in the early history of the Christian church two Sabbaths were observed: the seventh day in deference to the custom of the Jews, and the first day in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now the popular day of rest is Sunday, the first day of the week.
What did Jesus Christ teach concerning the observance of the Sabbath? Jesus taught that the Sabbath was for the convenience of man, that man's necessities come first. “The Son of man is lord of the Sabbath.” When a man is hungry he should be allowed freedom to eat food, regardless of the day of the week. Jesus and His disciples went into the grainfields on the Sabbath and gathered what they needed to eat.
How did Jesus further illustrate that the needs of man are greater than Sabbath-day restrictions? Jesus called the attention of the Pharisees to the eating of the showbread in the temple by David and his companions; He also called attention to the fact that priests do their work on the Sabbath and are guiltless.
What did Jesus mean when He said, “I say unto you that one greater than the temple is here”? Jesus taught that spiritual man is greater than his environment, and is even greater than his temple, his body.
What did Jesus mean when He said, “But if ye had known what this meaneth, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless”? In the verse quoted, Jesus sought to convey the truth that God forgives those who in their need break the law, and to teach that God does not expect sacrifice or repentance on the part of man, if man in his necessity transgresses some of the ceremonies of religious observances. In other words, Jesus taught that the soul and body of man are of first consideration. If either the soul or the body is being restricted, or warped, or in any other way limited by religious rites, such limitations are not sanctioned by divine law.
August 4, 1946: Exodus 20:8
What is the true meaning of the Sabbath? The Sabbath represents the consciousness in which we have peace of mind, rest of soul, and inward stillness. Metaphysically it has nothing to do with any day of the week, but it denotes the refreshing that comes to those who have fulfilled the divine law in both thought and act.
October 23, 1933: Exodus 20:8-11
What does the Sabbath symbolize? By Jewish custom the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week. Metaphysically a Sabbath is a consciousness that we have fulfilled the divine law in both thought and act.
What is the purpose of the Sabbath? The purpose of the Sabbath day is to give opportunity for communion with God, so that we may have rest and replenishment and gain strength for renewed activity.
What is the meaning of the term “a Sabbath unto Jehovah thy God”? This is a state of inward rest and stillness which gives us time for reverie and the contemplation of spiritual things.
What blessing does such a Sabbath bring? The blessing of peace which comes from the realization of the presence of Jehovah (the I AM).
What commandment is correlated with the Sabbath commandment? The commandment to labor the remaining six days. “Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work.” We are not to neglect our work or be slothful but are to use diligence and dispatch in completing it so that we may be ready to enter this period of spiritual adjustment.
Metaphysically what are the six days of labor that precede the Sabbath? They refer to six degrees of realization in the mental realm. The first degree is the dawning of light or intelligence, the power to discern analogies and resemblances, and to make clear that what appears is an out-picturing of an inner cause.
How does God “rest”? There is a ceaseless rhythm expressed in all creation, animate as well as inanimate. In the mental realm this rhythm is expressed alternately by reverie and by active thought. In the outer this alternation banishes monotony and lends zest to life.
How did Jesus Christ keep the Sabbath? Jesus always did good without regard to established tradition. He refused to recognize or keep the man-made Sabbath, when observing it would have worked a hardship or suffering on any other creature. His rest was in communion with the Father.
October 17, 1943: Exodus 20:8-11
What is the involved in the meaning of word “Sabbath”? The word “Sabbath” (rest, or return to a former state) involves the thought of separation from all worldly cares and harassing thoughts for the purpose of meditation and the cultivation of the inner life.
What alone makes a season of rest imperative? Whole-souled labor or the expression of energy in the realm of externals makes necessary a period of physical, mental, and spiritual recuperation. The Sabbath provides this. Inaction is not always rest. More often a complete change of thought or activity is what is required to bring rest and refreshing.
May 11, 1952: Exodus 20:8-11
What is the purpose and intent of the Sabbath? The “sabbath was made for man,” because of his need for the opportunity to commune with God, and to have rest and replenishment and gain strength for renewed activity.
What does the Sabbath symbolize? By Jewish custom the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week. Metaphysically a sabbath is a consciousness that we have fulfilled the divine law in both thought and act.
What is the meaning of the term “a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God?” The sabbath is a state of peacefulness and of complete laying aside of worldly cares. It is an opportunity for us to commune with God in the inner quiet of our own souls.
Does the habit of meditation and prayer tend to give us poise and confidence in facing our daily problems? Yes, moreover by means of it we gain the consciousness of the divine indwelling presence through which we keep our faith serene and untroubled at all times. As we stay our souls on the mighty God we find our support unfailing.
To what do the six days of labor that precede the Sabbath refer? They refer to six degrees of realization in the mental realm. The first degree is the dawning of light or intelligence, the power to discern analogies and resemblances, and to understand that what appears is but the out-picturing of an inner cause.
“Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.” What is the metaphysical meaning of these words? Creative Principle establishes a state of consciousness in which soul and body are in harmony with Divine Mind. The body consciousness (the earth) is distinct from the former as well as the great realm of unformed and unexpressed thoughts and ideas containing all potentiality (the sea), and the inevitable increase of thoughts and ideas that follows upon the first degrees of realization (“all that in them is”).
November 6, 1938: Exodus 20:12
What is the connection between honoring one's parents and achieving long life for self? In honoring one's parents one pays homage to life, and life responds by manifesting itself in the individual.
October 24, 1943: Exodus 20:12
Why is it necessary for us to learn obedience? Because no one is sufficient unto himself. Everyone is dependent on someone more developed than himself. The young of animals is dependent on the grown animal. The human child is dependent on his parents; the parents in their turn are dependent on God, whether they are conscious of this dependence or not. The child must learn obedience in order to profit by the care and protection of the parents, whose experience compensates for its helplessness and lack of wisdom. The parents and adults in general must be obedient if they wish to gain understanding and the higher wisdom that comes through prayer and communion with God and that fits them to meet and cope with their daily tasks and duties.
What is implicit in our thought of God as Father? That our true nature is divine, that we spring from a divine source.
August 11, 1946: Exodus 20:12
How does the honoring of our parents insure long life for us? The state of mind induced by honoring and loving our parents promote harmony and well-being in us, and this tends to length of days.
July 20, 1902: Exodus 20:12-17
20:12Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee. -- Jesus said, One is your Father, even God. The spiritual man always recognizes God as his Father. This gives length of days in the land and eternal life everywhere.
20:13Thou shalt not kill. -- If we apply the same rule to this commandment that Jesus did to the seventh, we shall be guilty of murder if we in our hearts condemn to death any man or woman. It is quite common to hear the reader of the daily crime calendar say of some heinous murderer, “That man ought to be hung.” Thus the murderous thought goes forth on the wings of that all-pervading thought-stuff in which we live, and may find lodgment in some susceptible mind and cause him to commit crime. Be careful what you think. That which is thought in the closet shall be declared upon the housetop.
20:14Thou shalt not commit adultery. -- Jesus said that whoever looked upon woman to lust after her had already committed adultery. This is metaphysical enough to satisfy the most abstract interpreter. It reveals the grasp the Master mind had upon formative processes. The thought is of first importance in every issue. If one never thought evil, he surely would never do evil.
20:15Thou shalt not steal. -- A mother whose son became a great thief admitted (in Secret Life of an Unborn Child) that before his birth she had often planned to take the money she needed from her husband's pockets while he slept; but she said she never carried her plans out. She stole just the same, and her son committed again and again the acts which she merely conceived in mind. The one who plans crime yet never carries out his designs is frequently the guilty one, though the act may be committed by another who has no idea where the impulse came from that moved him to do wrong.
20:16Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. -- We bear false witness against our neighbor, when we pass judgment upon him from the material viewpoint instead of the spiritual. The personality is but a very small part of the real man, and we cannot base upon it any true estimate of character. “Our neighbor” is not necessarily the one next door; our nearest neighbor is our own personality. We should be careful not to bear false witness against it. “Judge not according to appearance.” Find the true spiritual estimate of yourself, and hold to it as the real.
20:17Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's. -- To covet a thing is to desire it regardless of whether we are entitled to it or not. One who understands the law of absolute justice knows that disaster is sure to follow the possession of anything which has not been earned by the possessor. The one safe affirmation is, “My own shall come to me.”
August 29, 1926: Exodus 20:12-21
What is the first step a metaphysician lakes in establishing the right relation with his fellow men? As all laws originate in the one Mind, we should seek it when we desire to know how to act toward our parents and our neighbors. If we think of the loving Father as always with us, our parents will never complain of our ingratitude or of our lack of loving obedience.
How does the metaphysician interpret the command, “Thou shalt not kill”? Man should never even think of killing anybody or anything. Some people think destructive thoughts and do not execute them, because they know that their execution would be against the law of the land. But those same thoughts go out into the race consciousness and may be executed by some receptive mentality. Be careful in your thinking. That which is thought in the “inner chamber” shall be proclaimed upon the housetop.
Where does adultery originate? According to the teaching of Jesus, adultery originates in the mind. Jesus said that whoever looked upon a woman to lust after her had already committed adultery.
Where does stealing originate? Stealing originates in the mind. A mother whose son became a notorious thief admitted that before his birth she had often planned to take from her husband’s pockets, while he slept, the money that she needed. She had never carried out her plan, but in her mind she had stolen, and her son committed again and again the acts which she merely had conceived. The one who plans a crime, yet never carries it out, is guilty of the crime.
How do we covet? We covet by desiring other people's possessions without giving an equivalent for them. Those who lay hold of “easy money” by gambling and graft are criminals in the sight of both the divine and the natural law. We take possession of our own by giving an equivalent for it.
How does man bear false witness against his neighbor? Whenever one passes judgment upon another from a material viewpoint instead of from the spiritual, he is bearing false witness. The only true estimate of man is of his spiritual character. No man has a right to call another to judgment or to proclaim another's guilt. When tempted to cast stones at the guilty, remember what Jesus said to the woman who was a sinner: “Neither do I condemn thee: go thy way; from henceforth sin no more.”
What thought will cover errors of judgment? Metaphysicians use various statements, but they all recognize that there is a light, “even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world.” This light is the light of spiritual understanding. It always shines for those who seek it. “Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Make this your oft repeated affirmation, both silently and aloud: The divine law is fulfilled in my understanding and is carried out in all that I do.
August 14, 1932: Exodus 20:12-21
What is the first step that man must take in order to make his observance of the Ten Commandments easy? When man establishes a right relation with God through prayer and meditation he finds it easy to observe not only the divine law, but all laws.
What is it to “honor thy father and thy mother”? Our earthly father and mother represent our Father-Mother God; consequently we should reverence and respect them, and give them due honor as the avenues through which God has made possible our advent into the manifest world.
How broad is the command, “Thou shall not kill”? This command should be applied by man not only to his actions, but also to his thoughts. Jesus said, “Every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Whosoever mentally affirms the destruction of man starts a current of thought that will somewhere find its outlet in the overt act.
Are we warranted in killing animals for food? “Thou shalt not kill” covers every phase of manifest life. “If any man shall kill with the sword, with the sword must he be killed.” Thus man is bound to protect life in all its forms, to the end that the life forces in his body may be perpetuated.
Where is the beginning and the end of adultery? As taught by Jesus, adultery first takes place in our thoughts. The imaginations of the heart work out in promiscuous mixture of bad and good thoughts which pollutes the whole mental atmosphere.
Are those who commit overt acts of crime the only criminals? No. The one who plans crimes, even though he may never carry them out, is nevertheless guilty of those crimes. The overt acts may be committed by susceptible persons who have no inkling of the source from which they received the impulse towards wrongdoing.
What is stealing? Stealing is taking what does not belong to one, or trying to get something without giving its equivalent. There are plenty of bandits in high places who are planning to get money without earning it.
What is it to “bear false witness”? We hear false witness against man when we measure him by anything less than the spiritual standard. Jesus said, “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
What is covetousness? To covet is to long for the possessions of others.
Why were all the people afraid of the vibrations that were set up in the ether by the voice of Jehovah? When the super mind flashes its high standard of Truth into the consciousness there is a great commotion in both mind and body, and sometimes fear takes possession of those who make this spiritual contact. The people that “stood afar off” represent entities inhabiting bodies of flesh which have not yet been raised to spiritual consciousness. Through Moses (the law) they come in contact with the kingdom of the heavens of the mount of spiritual understanding.
November 13, 1938: Exodus 20:13
What is the scope of the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”? The taking of human life has always been considered the subject matter of this commandment, but since it is without limitations and since all life is of God, there are those who believe that the commandment is a prohibition of the taking of any life whatsoever.
November 7, 1943: Exodus 20:13
Can the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” be violated in more than one way? The body can be killed; this is the meaning of the original commandment. The inner life also can be “killed” by anger, scorn, or implacable hatred.
May 25, 1952: Exodus 20:13
Is the commandment “Thou shaft not kill”, a broad or a narrow one? It is broad, and includes every phase of life, those expressed by the mind and soul as well as the physical life expressed by the body.
November 20, 1938: Exodus 20:14
What is essential to the peace and happiness of the home? Faithfulness on the part of those who have vowed single-mindedness in the marriage relation is absolutely essential. A broken vow disrupts the happiness of the home.
What is the teaching of Jesus on adultery? Jesus taught that adultery is first in thought.
June 1, 1952: Exodus 20:14
What place does the home have in modern civilization? The home is the foundation of our civilization. The rights of the individual and of society in general rest on the home as a stable and enduring institution. The ideal of the home must be treasured and developed in order for civilization to be strong and progressive.
November 14, 1943: Exodus 20:14
As far as the individual is concerned is the act of adultery more reprehensible than the thought that precedes it? The teaching of Jesus is that the two are one and the same in their effect on the individual. The evil thought is the forerunner of the evil act.
Why is drastic action in ridding the life of impurity justifiable? The whole man is greater than his members. If we are to grow spiritually and manifest our divinity in the highest degree, it is important that we keep ourselves free of self-condemnation and blame.
August 25, 1946: Exodus 20:14
What aids us in keeping pure in heart and mind? Singleness of mind and the impersonal outlook both aid us in keeping our mind and life pure.
In consciousness how is thought related to act? The thought precedes the act. The impure thought leads to the impure act.
What is the way of wisdom for us in living? The following of all that puts us in harmony, with universal law.
November 20, 1943: Exodus 20:15
What causes one to steal? Covetousness or the uncontrolled desire to possess something to which one is not entitled.
Can more than goods or property be stolen? Yes. Theft can occur in the mental and spiritual realms as well as the material. One may steal the affections that have been pledged to another. By insidious words or acts one person may steal the peace of mind of another person.
Should we practice honesty from principle or from policy? The honest person is true, sincere, and straightforward in all his dealings as a matter of principle. He who is honest from policy is so because he sees that it pays to have the respect and confidence of his fellows.
June 8, 1952: Exodus 3:15
How is dishonesty overcome? By a change of heart and a reorientation of the life from self to service. The temptation to be dishonest disappears when a person enters into the Christ Spirit and transforms the desire to possess into the desire to give or to share.
Of what are we all stewards? Of Truth. We are in charge of the riches of the inner kingdom, and to be just stewards we must spend these riches faithfully and use them aright.
Is honesty a principle or a policy? It is both, but it is foremost a principle, reaching down to the roots of character. To be honest is to be true in our thinking and in all our dealings.
What statement helps us to hold ourselves steadfast in honor and honesty? The statement of Jesus, “I am ... the truth.” As we affirm it we should hold the ideal of truthfulness in word, thought, and deed.
Is the realization of honesty needed more urgently today than usual? It is needed now as much as it ever was at any time, but the fact that dishonesty in high places as well as in low is being brought to light and made public in the press and being broadcast to the world at large is a hopeful sign. A resurgence of honor and of honesty is seen to be imperative if our civilization is to survive or be worthy of surviving.
November 27, 1938: Exodus 20:15
What is honesty, and what is stealing? Honesty is individual integrity, freedom from fraud and insincerity. Stealing is taking what does not belong to one, or getting possession of something without giving an equivalent.
Of what does the average man or woman need to take thought in order to be honest in all things? It is not through actual thieving that the average person offends against the eighth commandment, but through dishonest petty personal acts that pass current with the majority as things that “everybody does.” Many acts that are winked at by most people are insidious temptations that must be recognized by the average person for what they are and be overcome by claiming the Truth of Christ as one's standard of conduct.
December 4, 1938: Exodus 20:16
How does the Truth student speak of his neighbor? The Truth student sees his neighbor as worthy of his true thought and word, and thinks of him in terms of health, strength, love, and wisdom. Next he speaks words that faithfully express his constructive thought. He does not bear false witness against his neighbor by saying that the latter is ill or weak or that he looks bad.
November 28, 1945: Exodus 20:16
How can the speaking of the truth only concerning our neighbor be made easy for us? By loving our neighbor as ourselves, in which case we instinctively speak only good of him; or by having the Spirit of truth within us actuating us. Either of these makes it easy for us to speak well of our neighbor, and to speak well is to speak truly. “Well and truly” is the law.
Sunday, June 15, 1952: Exodus 20:16
What does the term “false witness against thy neighbor” include? It includes not only false testimony in court, but any untrue report or statement privately or publicly made by one person against another, as well as negative remarks attributing to another person sickness, weakness, or evil of any kind. To say that a person is poor, sick, unhappy, unfortunate, or in danger of death or disaster is to speak contrary to what is true of him in Spirit, and is therefore to bear false witness against him.
Why should it be easy for us to speak the truth concerning others? Because we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves, and we find it easy to think and speak the truth about ourselves, when it is at all favorable to us. Even when it is not altogether favorable we are inclined to put a favorable construction on our words and acts. We should be as ready to extend the same consideration to others.
September 8, 1946: Exodus 20:16
Why are we warned especially against bearing false witness against our neighbor? A person may be untrue to himself without realizing that he is so, but he cannot be false to another in his heart without intention. Neither can he be true to himself so long as he does not speak the truth to others or about others. He learns objective truth first, then subjective truth.
September 15, 1946: Exodus 20:17
What do the words “Thou shalt not covet” mean in the language of today? They mean that we are not to allow ourselves to desire what does not belong to us or what we are unwilling to earn, and thus rob ourselves of that greatest of gifts, a law-abiding consciousness. We are to keep ourselves from covetousness by developing in our heart the right attitude toward others.
What does covetousness include? It includes all inordinate desire for material things, not only of those which belong to other persons, but even of those to which we may be entitled under man-made law.
June 22, 1952: Exodus 20:17
Is the commandment “Thou shalt not covet” one that concerns the inner man or the outer man? It concerns the inner man or the thoughts of the heart.
How do we avoid coveting “anything that is thy neighbor's”? By forming the habit of contenting ourselves with what is our own, and resting in the assurance that what is our own comes to us under divine law.
Should we be overzealous in obtaining what we consider to be our rights? No, we should not put emphasis upon the self. As we become faithful in observing the rights of others, our rights will be granted us without strife or struggle. The divine law rewards our faith, not our selfishness.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-08-2014