Study: Mysteries of John (Forward and Chapter 1)
This is a study of the work by Charles Fillmore, “Mysteries of John.” In this work Charles Fillmore discusses the metaphysical aspects of the Book of John in the New Testament. By metaphysical we mean the hidden meanings.
Who is Charles Fillmore
Charles Fillmore was born in 1854 (8/22/54) and was an early pioneer of the New Thought movement. The New Thought movement was a change in the way scripture (of all religions) was being treated. Rather than believing in literal translations of scripture, they looked deeper and found a mystic undercurrent of all religions that was united.
Charles Fillmore produced many books on New Thought (including the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary) and helped establish the Unity New Thought church organization.
Forward to Mysteries of John
Fillmore explains that the reason for a lot of the discontent we have in religion today, is due to interpreting it as a personal God, and in so doing we have created a belief of contradictions.
Men personalize good and evil in a multiplicity of gods and devils, but Truth students follow Jesus in recognizing the supreme Spirit in man as the “one God and Father of all.”
Fillmore, Charles (2013-05-19). Mysteries of John (Unity Classic Library Series) (Kindle Locations 46-47). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
In other words, by saying “God came in ‘this name’ and by that name only can one reach the Divine source, Father God,” we take the literal, rather than metaphysical aspect of spiritual teaching.
We begin with a quote from John Chapter 1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not.
Fillmore, Charles (2013-05-19). Mysteries of John (Unity Classic Library Series) (Kindle Locations 49-52). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
Fillmore describes the “one word,” the word by which creation was birthed. Creation is a great term for it. By saying “The World” we only consider the physical dimensions of existence. But creation encompasses all forms of existence: spiritual worlds and kingdoms, physical universes, etc. In greek the language for “word” is logos. Fillmore says that logos means more than just word, it also signifies wisdom, judgement and power.
The esoteric aspect of creation is that humankind can tap into the same creative process – manifesting things. This word of creation… this logos… is the Christ Consciousness.
John the Baptist represents the illuminated natural man. The natural man he describes as a nucleus around which the spiritual man builds.
Spiritual Man is the spiritual light that draws people.
6 There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light.
Fillmore, Charles (2013-05-19). Mysteries of John (Unity Classic Library Series) (Kindle Locations 86-87). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
In darkness people perceive existence only through their material thoughts. When a person is open to receive understanding of truth, he enters the state of John The Baptist (otherwise known as the intellectual perception of truth.)
This “intellectual perception of truth” is not the true light (Christ Consciousness) but bears withess of the light and prepares the mind for it’s birth in the consciousness of man.
9 There was the true light, even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not.
Fillmore, Charles (2013-05-19). Mysteries of John (Unity Classic Library Series) (Kindle Locations 92-94). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
Remember, the “True Light” is the “word” or Christ consciousness – we should also note that this is the light that existed within every person since the beginning and far into the future.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Fillmore, Charles (2013-05-19). Mysteries of John (Unity Classic Library Series) (Kindle Locations 99-100). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
Charles Fillmore gives a metaphysical explanation to the above passages… he distinguishes Jesus from “The Christ.” Christ is a title. Fillmore states that the truth that Jesus received (Jesus receiving The Christ) can be recieved by all of us, in a similar fashion… and as Jesus believed in the resurrecting power of The Christ, so too can we.
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.
Fillmore, Charles (2013-05-19). Mysteries of John (Unity Classic Library Series) (Kindle Locations 103-104). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
Fillmore describes this passage having a meaning of Jesus recognizing the Christ (the creative Word) as his true nature. That recognition birthed him into the state of Son of God.
Because Jesus held to this perfect image of the divine man, the Christ or Word entered consciously into every atom of His being, even to the very cells of His outer organism, and transformed all His body into pure, immortal, spiritual substance and life. Thus “the Word became flesh.” The resurrecting of His whole being included His body. Jesus entered alive and entire into the spiritual realm.
Fillmore, Charles (2013-05-19). Mysteries of John (Unity Classic Library Series) (Kindle Locations 106-109). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
15 John beareth witness of him, and crieth, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that cometh after me is become before me: for he was before me. 16 For of his fulness we all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Fillmore, Charles (2013-05-19). Mysteries of John (Unity Classic Library Series) (Kindle Locations 110-112). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
Moses has a metaphysical meaning of “the law.” By “Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” Fillmore interprets as the power that came to Jesus through the work he did – establishing a state of higher consciousness. for humanity.
19 And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent unto him from Jerusalem priests and Levites to ask him, Who art thou? 20 And he confessed, and denied not; and he confessed, I am not the Christ. 21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? And he saith, I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered, No. 22 They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet. 24 And they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why then baptizest thou, if thou art not the Christ, neither Elijah, neither the prophet? 26 John answered them, saying, I baptize in water: in the midst of you standeth one whom we know not, 27 even he that cometh after me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. 28. These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Fillmore, Charles (2013-05-19). Mysteries of John (Unity Classic Library Series) (Kindle Locations 120-126). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
Fillmore explains this as a state of regeneration that has two phases. The first phase is the state of mental cleanliness… John the Baptist represents the first phase – using baptism, and good works. The second phase is that of denial of self or ego. This second phase is described by Jesus, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself.”
They key here for Fillmore is to affirm our sonship (along with Jesus) with God. That we have the privileges and powers that come with that. To say otherwise is to limit our spiritual potential.
29 On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man who is become before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not; but that he should be made manifest to Israel, for this cause came I baptizing in water. 32 And John bare witness, saying, I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven; and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not; but he that sent me to baptize in water, he said unto me, Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him, the same is he that baptizeth in the Holy Spirit. 34 And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.
Fillmore, Charles (2013-05-19). Mysteries of John (Unity Classic Library Series) (Kindle Locations 143-148). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
Again, John the Baptist represents the natural man (but with illuminated intellect.) Fillmore ads a bit to the “word” (logos) by saying it also represents a person’s “I AM” identity.
He further relates the Holy Spirit as the “action or outpouring or activity” of the logos (Word.) In other words…
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the sign by which the natural man recognizes the divine. Jesus, who became the “Lamb of God” or perfect expression of God, baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Fillmore, Charles (2013-05-19). Mysteries of John (Unity Classic Library Series) (Kindle Locations 155-156). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
Lamb of God is a reference to the Christ Mind. The characteristics of are having no personal ambition; innocence, loving and obeying the call of God.
37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? And they said unto him, Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Teacher), where abidest thou? 39 He saith unto them, Come, and ye shall see. They came therefore and saw where he abode; and they abode with him that day: it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two that heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He findeth first his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah (which is, being interpreted, Christ). 42 He brought him unto Jesus. Jesus looked upon him, and said, Thou art Simon the son of John: thou shalt be called Cephas (which is by interpretation, Peter).
Fillmore, Charles (2013-05-19). Mysteries of John (Unity Classic Library Series) (Kindle Locations 167-172). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
As for the rest of John chapter 1, Fillmore goes into detail of what various names represent metaphysically.
Philip means “lover of horses” and represents vigor, power and vitality of the mind.
Bethsaida is the city that that Philip and Andrew are from, and it means “house of fishing.” Metaphysically it represents a group of thoughts in consciousness who deal with the manifestation into the outer realm of formation.
Nathanael represents the faculty of imagination, art and spiritual belief.
Fillmore makes an odd comment here. I’m not sure if perhaps he was still a product of his age (an age of more fundamentalist thought) or if I’m misunderstanding him… but he says about imagination… “Exercised without Christ understanding, the imagination becomes delusory. It is the image maker in the psychic; the clairvoyant may be deceived by its conjuring power.”
That sounds as though he’s condemning psychic and clairvoyant activities.
What I take away from Fillmore’s metaphysical analysis, is that Jesus and Christ are separate entities. Jesus was a man, the Christ a title referencing the Word of God that created all of creation. This word, is a word of power and wisdom. It was birthed in Jesus to create the “Son of God.”
The word of God is in each of us. As we recognize it, we move from the state of John the Baptist (natural man with the illuminated mind) to the Christ consciousness. Thereby we become equal with Jesus and join sons and daughters of the Divine source.