Chapter VI: The Promise of Salvation
Genesis 15-18 Spiritually Interpreted
For whom is the promise of salvation?
THE PROMISE of salvation is for everyone. But man must attain it. Man must be like a child at school. He must study the lessons and pay attention. Those who are following Jesus find that they have lessons every day, in mind must listen to inspiration, and like Jesus, must pray all night when the big problem comes up. If they are faithful to the Spirit they always gain the victory. The teacher is the Holy Spirit, and all get their lessons in their own way, some through inspiration, some through dreams, some through visions, some through flashes of understanding. Spirit uses the avenue most accessible and open to the student.
What avenues does Spirit use in imparting real understanding?
This avenue may change. In fact it often does as man unfolds. The majority of students get understanding through the quickening of their own spiritual mind, but as a rule they do not have faith enough to make it powerful. Here the Spirit comes to the rescue and confirms the new understanding in dreams, sometimes in visions. As one cultivates a knowledge of the symbols and a regular word is established the leading becomes definite. All doubts are erased from consciousness. Thousands of persons in this age and day have attained a state of mind in which they commune regularly with Christ.
When and how do we attain the kingdom of the heavens?
To be saved according to the standard set up by
Jesus we must sit with Him upon His throne in the kingdom of heavens. This kingdom is to be attained, not after we are dead but while we are still in the body.
Why is the history' of Abraham and his experiences significant for us?
Faith in things spiritual is not born full-orbed and perfect. It has its stages of growth in man. The parable of the mustard seed is applicable in this as in many other instances. Up to the time of Abraham man had a primitive consciousness of Spirit. The story of Abraham shows us how the consciousness of soul and of the soul's relation to God dawns in the race mind, beginning a long period of growth that reaches perfection in the Christ demonstration on the part of Jesus. Therefore Abraham's history and his varied experiences are to be read as having to do with the evolution of the soul. The early stages of this soul growth are symbolized in the experiences of Abraham, the typical man of faith.
What is symbolized by the nomadic life of Abraham's time?
The earliest growths of faith are not deeply rooted. We find Abraham at first living in a tent, which indicates that faith had not yet become an abiding quality in the consciousness of man. Through certain activities of the mind faith takes a firmer hold and finally establishes the "firmament" mentioned in the 1st chapter of Genesis.
Abram and Sarai, as they were called before their names were changed to Abraham and Sarah, were both old and had no children. Symbolizing faith and soul, respectively, they were as yet without visible fruit (manifestation). Deep within his heart Abraham cherished an intense desire for a son as heir to his own growing faith and the perpetuation of his own spiritual vision. This desire was later to lead to a test of his
faith in the reality of the unseen and in the power of Spirit to bring the unseen into visible manifestation.
What is the deeper import of God's promise of a son to Abraham?
Not only was Abraham to be himself blessed and given a great name, but he was to be a blessing to the race in turn. This required something positive of him; namely the establishment of a faith in the invisible good as being present and active to the exclusion of a negative faith in or acceptance of appearances. Thus the promise of God to Abraham was not alone the promise of a son to gratify his personal desires; it was a promise that, with a spiritual background to his life, the impossibilities confronting the natural man would no longer exist and were to be put out of mind. Abraham was the founder of the faith that "with God all things are possible."
How is Christ, the Son, formed in the individual? How is the seemingly barren soul (Sarah) made to bring forth fruit?
Abraham's son and the great nation that he was to father were thus first formed in Abraham's mind by faith in the all-potency of Spirit. The formation of the Christ, the Son, in the individual follows the same law and involves the whole man, spirit, soul, and body. The changes that take place in the mind and in the body of one who begins to exercise the faculty of faith should occasion no surprise. Sense states of mind have formed groups of cells and fixed them in consciousness in certain relations that are not in accord with spiritual law. The activity of faith in mind and body breaks up these crystallized cells, builds up new combinations and establishes them in the body in divine order and harmony. Thus the soul (Sarah) that seems barren of fruit is by faith in Spirit made to bring forth joyously (Isaac).
Preceding Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 129-138: Genesis 14 Mysteries of Genesis
Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 142-146: Genesis 15 Mysteries of Genesis