August 20, 2014

bible study imageSubject: Society and God’s people

Golden Text: I Peter 2:16

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

Isaiah 2: 22

22 Stop regarding man
in whose nostrils is breath,
for of what account is he?

 I Peter 2:15

15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

Romans 12: 3-18

 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[i] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Whatever guides thought spiritually, benefits mind/body/spirit. We need to understand the affirmations of divine Science, dismiss superstition, and live truth according to Christ. The world is home to many representatives, living the virtue and healing power of Truth.

Human reason and religion come slowly to the recognition of spiritual facts. Human belief systems continue to call upon matter to remove the error which the human mind alone has created.

The idols of domestication are far more fatal to health and longevity than are the idols of the undomesticated. The idols of domestication call into action less faith than the doctrines of a human deity. Village Guardians and the Shaman restore health by incantations as consciously as do modern practitioners by their more culturally esteemed methods.

Is civilization only a higher form of idolatry, where humankind makes gods out of massage, drugs, diet, exercise, or vitamins? Nothing except divine power is capable of doing more for human beings than we do for ourselves.

Humanity should be free to help themselves and society.

Jeremiah 49:34-39

34 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah.

35 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might. 36 And I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven. And I will scatter them to all those winds, and there shall be no nation to which those driven out of Elam shall not come. 37 I will terrify Elam before their enemies and before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, my fierce anger, declares the Lord. I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them, 38 and I will set my throne in Elam and destroy their king and officials, declares the Lord.

39 “But in the latter days I will restore the fortunes of Elam, declares the Lord.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Beliefs that engender a national theology or political religion are the antithesis of true Christianity. Narrow systems and theories concerning God, human beings, health, and a religious society, are restrictive.

Promising relationships correlate with the motive to participate in activities adapted to improve society.

Abstinence from immoral sexual activity leads to an advanced state of intellectual and cultural development in human society, marked by progress in the arts, science, and religion. Without integrity there is no social stability and the Science of Life can’t be achieved.

We can discover the spiritual opposite of materiality. Even the way through Christ, Truth, allows us to reopen, with the key of divine Science, the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed. There will then be no need to consult reference books for the probabilities of life. It will be unnecessary to study DNA or neurons in order to learn the state of our substance and purpose. We can find our self not fallen, but upright, pure, and free.

Mind’s control over the universe and humankind is no longer an open question, but is demonstrable Science.

II Timothy 2:15-17, 19-26

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene.

God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

From 21st Century Science and Health

We cry because others cry, we yawn because they yawn, and we have the flu because others have it; but human mind, not matter, contains and carries the infection. When this mental contagion is understood we will be more careful with our mental conditions. We will avoid continually talking about disease just as we would avoid advocating crime. It is to our advantage never to let sympathy and society tempt us to cherish error in any form, and certainly we should not be error’s advocate.

Diseases appear like other mental states, through association. Erroneous thoughts connect to one another and the condition is classified as a disease. Some diseases are regarded as contagious. Contagion is a human activity where sick thoughts get copied-and-pasted from one mind and body to another.

Illustrations can be found to show how contagion is fickle. Dr. Albert Schweitzer[1] has been quoted to say, “Serious illness doesn’t bother me for long because I am too inhospitable a host,” whereas some people will catch a contagious disease without coming into contact with the disease.

The description of people as purely molecular, or as a mixture of molecules and spirituality—but in either case dependent upon their physical organization—is a can of worms. Opening up this can, we find all ills, especially depression. Materiality takes divine power into its own hands and claims to be a creator, but it is only a fabricated fiction. In this fabrication, idolatry and lust are so encouraged by society that humankind has caught their moral contagion.

There is too much animal courage in society and not enough moral courage. Students of Truth and Love must take up arms against flawed mindsets at home and abroad. They must wrestle with sin in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished the course. If they keep the faith, they will receive the honor of rejoicing.

 

*The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2011. Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Text from 21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

 

[1] Dr. Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965) Alsatian theologian, philosopher, organist, physical, and medical missionary.

August 13, 2014

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Subject: Marriage

Golden Text: Hebrews 13:4, (ESV)*

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

Ephesians 4:1-7

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

21st Century Science and Health*

The scientific spirit of marriage is unity.

Mutual compromises, or a prenuptial agreement, will often preserve an arrangement which might otherwise become unbearable. Agree on a realistic intent of the marriage and share the responsibilities to meet that intent. As you both fulfill the different demands of your united spheres, you will feel supported, confident, and thus sanctify the union of wellbeing in which the heart finds peace and home.

Sincerity and virtue ensure the stability of the marriage promise. Marriage won’t lose its luster as the love/hate emotions give way to the rejoicing of Soul.

Ephesians 4:17-24

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

21st Century Science and Health

If the starting point of your relationship is consistent with progress, the relationship will be strong and enduring. However, unions suffer confusing dysfunction. Divorces warn us that some fundamental error lingers in marriage. To achieve divine Science and its harmony, it pays to regard life more metaphysically.

Marriage should improve the human species, becoming a barrier against stupidity, a protection and encouragement to the spouses, and a nucleus for the expressed feelings. When marriage is used to blame, control, or prove one another wrong, spiritual growth is neglected. Effort spent living in the past, pursuing superficial goals, or showing off, is effort wasted.

If a spouse deserts the partnership, certainly the lone mate can single-handedly be self-reliant and independent. Women and men are equally capable to succeed in the business world, earn an education, own real estate, and care for the children and home, without interference.

To assume an alpha male or female attitude adds to one’s character is absurd. Through spiritual ascendency our Lord and Master healed the sick, raised the dead, and commanded even the winds and waves to obey him. Grace and Truth are potent beyond all other means and methods.

The lack of spiritual power in today’s demonstrations of popular Christianity does not put to silence the labor of the centuries. Spiritual, not material consciousness is needed. Men and women, delivered from conflict, disease, and death will epitomize the true likeness of God’s image.

Matt. 25:1-13

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

21st Century Science and Health

Adversity teaches human beings not to lean on a collapsible crutch. Spiritual development doesn’t come from planting seeds in the dirt of materialist views. Those seeds rot whereas Love nurtures the higher joys of Spirit, which have no taint of earth. We forget this when life is fine. But when mortals belch, or the economy goes sour, or people think their partner is boring, the heart is pierced with sadness until we remember that sorrow can be therapeutic, forcing us to enter the domain of spiritual happiness and reliance. God will take care of us as we travel a trajectory unfolding new views of divine goodness and love.

Husbands and wives, who keep empathy and generosity to themselves, will become tyrants. Do not let selfishness, suspicion, or bitterness control one another’s activities. Christianity includes humanitarian efforts to help people who are less fortunate, and we can assist others without becoming unfaithful to our partner.

When a relationship is going well, pay attention, otherwise an increasing dependence on one another may yank the rug out from under your feet. If, on the other hand, your relationship is rocky, don’t react, but hope, pray, and wait patiently on divine wisdom to point the way.

Mortals ultimately claim nothing in the end, and Spirit receives its own. Learn from experience. Learn respect, self-control, patience, and a reliable happiness that comes from spiritual growth. May Christ, Truth, be present at every bridal altar, to turn the water into wine[1] and inspire your life with the vision of a serene and immortal existence.

 

*The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2011. Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Text from 21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

 

 

[1] John 2:9

August 6, 2014

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Subject: Inventions versus wisdom

Golden Text: II Cor. 1:12 (ESV)*

For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.

Psalms 106:1-3, 7, 29-36, 40, 44-45 (King James Version)

Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise? Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.

Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.

29 Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them. 30 Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed. 31 And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore. 32 They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes: 33 Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips. 34 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them: 35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.36 And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.

39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. 40 Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.

44 Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry: 45 And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Natural history is richly endowed by the labors and genius of great people. Modern breakthroughs, biotechnology, in vitro fertilization, and cloning, have brought to light important facts in regard to supposed embryonic life. But, to suppose life germinates in anything other than Mind is a blunder. All theories within the material realm never reach past the temporal. They will finally give place to higher theories and demonstrations.

When will it be understood that the inventions of human mind have no intelligence, life, or sensation?

The realm of the real is Spirit. Anything unlike Spirit is a human concept. Matter/energy and time/space are incomplete concepts. Being incomplete, they lead to incomplete statements. Nothing we can say or believe regarding matter is reliable, for matter is modifiable. Matter is a human phenomenon, a human invention, sometimes beautiful, always erroneous.

Eccl 9:1, 7-10, 13-17 (ESV)*

9 But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God.

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do. Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

13 I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me. 14 There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. 15 But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16 But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard. 17 The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The belief that matter thinks, sees, or feels is not more real than the belief that matter enjoys and suffers. Human mind invented itself and called itself manand woman. The invented scenario goes on to say: “Matter has intelligence. Neurotransmitters and hormones govern us. Nerves feel. Brain thinks and sins. The stomach can make people edgy. Injury can cripple and matter can kill us.” These thoughts victimize human beings, taught, as they are by physiology, psychology, and pathology, to revere false testimony. Why do we respect the very falsities that are destroyed by Truth?

Should we look at a cell, or DNA, as the starting point of the most complicated bodily structures, including those which we call human? Unless this question is answered with some metaphysical consideration, material research will be random and open to vulnerability.

Drugs and DNA technology cannot successfully take the place and power of the divine source of all health and perfection. If God made people both good and evil then they must remain so. What can improve God’s work? Again, an error in the premise must appear in the conclusion. To have one God and to experience the power of Spirit, you must love God, spiritual good, supremely.

Ecc. 7:29 (Contemporary English Bible, CEB)*

29 See, this alone I found: God made human beings straightforward, but they search for many complications.

Psalm 116:6 (ESV)

The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.

Matt. 17:14-18 (ESV)

14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly.

From 21st Century Science and Health

With due respect, here are some statements to think about.

“The materials we need to reach a new level of discourse are in our grasp; we have only to abandon outmoded approaches/disciplines to achieve an enlightening beginning for a new science.”From The Anthropology of Medicine: From Culture to Method, Third Edition.[1]

“We physicians often pay lip service to the importance of the mind in health and illness, yet in practice we equate it with the brain. This is obvious in our reliance on drugs when mental problems arise…A refreshing contrast is alternative or complementary medicine, which has emerged as a major social force shaping medical care in the United States.” From Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind/Body to a New Era of Healing.[2]

The disparity between our spirituality representing Spirit, and the materiality representing the error that life and intelligence are temporal, shows the pleasures and pains of temporal life to be myths. As humans believe in myths, there will be mythologies, in which matter is represented as divided into intelligent gods. Our genuine selfhood is recognizable only in what is good and true. We are neither self-made nor made by human beings. God revealed, and continues to reveal, us.

Expecting to work equally with Spirit and matter, Truth and error, is not wise. There is but one way—namely, God and Truth’s idea—which leads to spiritual being. The scientific government of the body must be accomplished through the divine Mind. It is impossible to gain control over the body in any other way. On this fundamental point, cowardly conservatism is absolutely unacceptable. Only by advancing from the root of Truth can scientific healing power be realized.

*Contemporary English Version® Copyright © 1995 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2011. Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Text from 21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

 

 

[1] The Anthropology of Medicine: From Culture to Method, Third Edition. Edited by Lola Romanucci-Ross, Daniel E. Moerman, Laurence R. Tancredi. Copyright © 1997 by Lola Romanucci-Ross, Daniel E. Moerman, and Laurence R. Tancredi. Reproduced with permission of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., Westport, CT.

[2] Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind/Body To a New Era of Healing, by Larry Dossey, M.D. (HarperCollins, NY:1999)

July 30, 2014

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Subject: Food

Golden Text:

John 6:27 English Standard Version (ESV)*

27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

Genesis 1:29 (ESV)

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food

II Samuel 19:31-40

31 Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim, and he went on with the king to the Jordan, to escort him over the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. He had provided the king with food while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. 33 And the king said to Barzillai, “Come over with me, and I will provide for you with me in Jerusalem.” 34 But Barzillai said to the king, “How many years have I still to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am this day eighty years old. Can I discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or what he drinks? Can I still listen to the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant will go a little way over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward? 37 Please let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him go over with my lord the king, and do for him whatever seems good to you.” 38 And the king answered, “Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do for him whatever seems good to you, and all that you desire of me I will do for you.” 39 Then all the people went over the Jordan, and the king went over. And the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own home. 40 The king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him. All the people of Judah, and also half the people of Israel, brought the king on his way.

From 21st Century Science and Health

We are told that certain foods make us healthy, but that is a mistake. Yesterday’s diet would not cure today’s indigestion. With rules of health in the head and the most digestible food in the stomach, there are still digestive problems. Unwell bodies will become healthy as individual opinions improve and human belief loses some portion of its error.

The doctor’s mind reaches that of the patient. Doctors should suppress their fear of disease, or else their belief in its reality and fatality will harm their patients even more than the chemotherapy, radiation, or morphine. This fact is explained in that the human mind has in belief more power to harm humankind than its substratum, matter.

Food affects the body only as fleshly mind has its material methods of working. One method is to believe that proper food supplies nutriment and strength to the human system. Another method is to believe we have no self-control. The human mind’s recipe for health never gets it right, whereas Truth regenerates this fleshly mind and feeds thought with the bread of Life.

The error of thinking that we are growing old, and the benefits of destroying that illusion, has noticeable results. Most of us have met someone considered old, but very much young in mind/body/spirit. These people have been interviewed and questioned. Are they lucky? Is it their genes? Is it the food they eat? Maybe or maybe not, however, they usually always attribute their longevity to a positive and loving attitude.

Luke 12:22-25

22 And [Jesus] said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

From 21st Century Science and Health

Jesus never taught that drugs, food, air, and exercise could make people healthy. Jesus also didn’t teach or practice that drugs, food, air, and exercise could destroy human life. He assigned harmony to Mind, not to matter/energy.

The fact is, food does not affect our absolute Life, and this becomes self-evident when we learn that God is our Life. Because sin and sickness are not qualities of Soul, or Life, we have hope in spirituality. Nevertheless, it would be foolish to stop eating a healthy balanced diet, or to stop exercising, until we gain perfection and a clear comprehension of the living Spirit. In that perfect day of understanding, we shall neither eat to live nor live to eat.

Psalms 146:5-8

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
    who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
    the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Food has less power to help or to hurt us after our thought has transformed to the spiritual. Without the consent of human mind, food and the stomach can’t make you suffer. It is a human deception to believe you have to eat if you feel hungry. It is another deception to believe purging food will help you stay thin.

We cannot be mesmerized by the flesh or hypnotized by human mind while practicing the Science of Truth. Truth cannot be reversed, but the reverse of error is true. An improved conviction cannot retrograde. When Christ, Truth, changes a human mortal conviction of sin or sickness into a better conviction, then thought melts into spiritual understanding, and sin, disease, and death disappear. Truth, Love, gives human beings temporary food and clothing until the temporal, transformed with the ideal, disappears, and we are clothed and fed spiritually.

*The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2011. Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Text from 21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

 

July 23, 2014

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Subject: Habits and Traditions

Golden text: Matthew 15: 1-3 (ESV)*

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?

Numbers 22:1, 4-6, 18-30 (ESV)*

Then the people of Israel set out and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho.

So Balak the son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the people of Amaw, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are dwelling opposite me. Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

18 But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the Lord my God to do less or more. 19 So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the Lord will say to me.” 20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.” 21 So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. 22 But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Default thinking assumes that all revelation must come from a scholarly or ecclesiastical lineage, like kings crowned from a royal dynasty. Those assumptions disallow inspired understanding and the demonstration of God’s healing power. For this Principle there is no ecclesiastical monopoly, no human lineage of teachers, no successor. The priest is the spiritualized person. Immortal rulings are crowned.

Human beings habitually belittle divine Mind with immature perceptions. In league with physical sense, mortals take limited views of all things. That God is bodily or material, no person should affirm.

The human form or physical structure can’t be made the basis of any true idea of infinite God.

Surely we need to do more than preserve unreliable and useless dogmas, derived from religious traditions and stamped with human approval or authorization.

Love’s discipline is wholesome. As Love corrects us, we advance toward justice, peace, and purity, which are the milestones of Science. Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause—wait on God. Then we make every effort to improve for the better. Spiritualized thought feels creative, free, and inspired, touching the divine glory.

In order to understand more, we must put into practice what we already know. Truth is provable when understood, and good is not understood until proven.

Matt. 23:1-2, 13-15 (ESV)*

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat,

1“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

Matt. 9:9-13

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

A reversal of Scripture shows the distinction between theological and ritualistic religion. The truth preached by Jesus was more than just talk and robotic behavior. A life of spirituality is requisite. Few understand or adhere to Jesus’ divine precepts for living and healing. Why? We don’t emulate Jesus, because we don’t want to set aside personal agendas, human beliefs, habits, and learned information. In Bible terms, we don’t want to cut off the right hand[1] and gouge out the right eye.[2] It is requisite to leave all for Christ.

It is easier to desire Truth than it is to stop our bad habits. Human beings may seek the understanding of divine Science, but they will not be able to profit from Christian Science without applying the spiritual facts in their daily life. This endeavor consists of forsaking error of every kind and possessing no other consciousness but good.

If a person is an alcoholic, a sex or drug addict, or has compulsive behavior, meet and destroy these errors with the truth of being. Point out to the person the suffering that comes along with indulging in bad habits. Convince him or her that there is no real pleasure in false appetites. A depraved mind is manifest in a depraved body. Lust, malice, and all sorts of evil are diseased beliefs, and you can destroy them only by destroying the wicked motives which produce them. If the evil is overcome in the repentant human mind, while its effects still remain on the individual, you can remove this disorder as God’s law if fulfilled and reformation cancels the crime. The healthy sinner is the hardened sinner.

Research points to the frailty and inadequacy of human minds and brains. Professor Susan Greenfield reports online at www.dailymail.co.uk, that, “Today’s technology is already producing a marked shift in the way we think and behave, particularly among the young.” Specifically talking about pleasure, Greenfield continues, “For some, pleasure means wine, women and song; for others, more recently, sex, drugs and rock-n-roll; and for millions today, endless hours at the computer console.”[3]

These cases prove physical senses are beliefs formed by education or trained behavior. The hours and days spent in front of the computer video games would be appalling to the person who was enjoys a walk in the park. Sounds and sights from multichannel televisions and MP3 players that thrill some viewers, can convulse other people trained in an opposite direction.

The point to decide is whether human mind or spiritual Mind acts as the cause. It is much more productive to forsake the basis of matter for the metaphysical basis of Science and its divine Principle.

The effective prayer is a fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, humility, love, and good deeds. Constant prayer is the habitual struggle to improve always. The motive of meditation is made evident in the rewards it brings, rewards that, even if not acknowledged in audible words, confirm our worthiness to experience divine Love.

*The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2011. Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Text from 21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

 

 

[1] Matt. 5:30

[2] Matt. 5:29

[3] Greenfield, Susan, “Modern technology changing way brains work says neuroscientist,” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-565207/Modern-technology-changing-way-brains-work-says-neuroscientist.html#ixzz2xrjH2Ima Accessed 4/3/2014

July 16, 2014

bible study image

Subject: Peace

Golden text: John 14:27 (Living Bible)*

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives.

Genesis 26:16-33 (ESV)*

And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”

17 So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them. 19 But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. 21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah. 22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

23 From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 25 So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.

26 When Abimelech went to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army, 27 Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, seeing that you hate me and have sent me away from you?” 28 They said, “We see plainly that the Lord has been with you. So we said, let there be a sworn pact between us, between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you, 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord.” 30 So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 In the morning they rose early and exchanged oaths. And Isaac sent them on their way, and they departed from him in peace. 32 That same day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well that they had dug and said to him, “We have found water.” 33 He called it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Why do we imagine lack to be pervasive and good absent? Truth should not seem as surprising and unnatural as error, and error should not seem as real as truth. Sickness should not seem as real as health. There is no error in Science, and our lives must be influenced by reality in order to be in agreement with God, the divine Principle of all being.

When error is destroyed by divine Science, the false evidence before the physical senses disappears.

Love for God and humanity is the true incentive in both healing and teaching. Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way. Right motives elevate thought, giving strength and freedom to speech and action. Love is priestess at the altar of Truth. Wait patiently for divine Love to move the human mind and form the perfect concept. “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”[1]

The effect of this Science is to adapt the human mind to an improved attitude from which it may yield to the peace and order of divine Mind.

Luke 7:36-50 (ESV)*

One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

As the crude footprints of the past disappear from the dissolving paths of the present, we shall better understand the Science which governs these changes, and stand on firmer ground. Every sensuous pleasure or pain is self-destroyed through suffering. There can be painless progress, attended by life and peace instead of disorder and death.

The illusive evidence of physical sense certainly differs from the testimony of Spirit. Physical sense lifts its voice with the arrogance of reality and boasts: I am completely dishonest, and people don’t know it. I can commit adultery, cheat, lie, steal, and murder. I evade detection by pretending to be a victim. My tendency is irrational, my feelings are deceitful, and my purpose is fraudulent, but I aim to make my short span of life one big fling. Resistance to spirituality is fantastic! How it succeeds, where the good purpose waits! The world is my territory. I am popular, surrounded by materialism. However, a reality check, an accident, or the law of God may at any moment annihilate my peace, for all my fancied joys are fatal. Like bursting lava, I increase but to my own despair, because the over-rated mortal life is a consuming fire.

The testimony of Spirit, Soul, maintains: I am Spirit. Man and woman, whose perceptions are spiritual, are my likeness, reflecting the infinite understanding, for I am Infinity. The beauty of holiness, the perfection of being, and imperishable glory—all are Mine, for I am God. I give spirituality, for I am Truth. I include and impart all happiness, for I am Love. I give life, without beginning and without end, for I am Life. I am supreme. I am an unlimited source of good ideas, for I am Mind. I am the substance of all, because “I AM WHO I AM.”[2]

A scientific sense of being reveals a clearer distinct individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive inclusive love, and a more permanent peace.

 

* The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2011. Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Text from 21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

 

[1] James 1:4

[2] Ex. 3:14

July 9, 2014

bible study image

Subject: God’s creation

Golden text: Ps. 19:6 (ESV)*

So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Number 12:1-15 (ESV)*

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. And they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” And the three of them came out. And the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forward. And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed.

10 When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. 11 And Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, do not punish us because we have done foolishly and have sinned. 12 Let her not be as one dead, whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes out of his mother’s womb.” 13 And Moses cried to the Lord, “O God, please heal her—please.” 14 But the Lord said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut outside the camp seven days, and after that she may be brought in again.” 15 So Miriam was shut outside the camp seven days, and the people did not set out on the march till Miriam was brought in again.

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Science shows that appearances are often mistaken, leading to false judgments and conclusions.

Physical Sensation said that he knew man and woman, and that they were made in the image of God, but were criminals. This is foul slander on their Maker. It blots the fair insignia of omnipotence. It indicates malice aforethought, a determination to condemn man and woman in the interest of Physical Sensation.

Let us be faithful in pointing the way through Christ, as we understand it, but let us also be careful always to “stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”[1]

Matt. 1: 18-23

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Whether marriage or reproduction happen or not, God’s children, spiritual beings, already created, will be recognized as we awake to the truth of being. Spiritually to understand that there is but one creator, God, reveals all creation, confirms Scripture and brings the sweet assurance of no parting and no pain, which in turn exposes the deathless, perfect, and eternal ideal.

Union of the masculine and feminine qualities represents, not is, completeness. The qualities, regarded as feminine or masculine, reach a higher tone through a blending of certain elements such as courage, strength, and empathy. The harmony of spiritual oneness is felt as the differing elements join naturally with each other. All persons, regardless of gender, should be forgiving, chaste, bold, tender, and strong. The attraction between these spiritual qualities will be perpetual only as they are pure and true, being constantly renewed like the returning springtime.

The demands of the affections will never be satisfied if you pursue a sexy, rich, or sanctimonious partner, so make sure to engage with wisdom, sincerity, and open-mindedness. Spiritual happiness lasts because it is constantly poured forth from Truth and Love. Genuine happiness can’t exist alone, because it has to be shared.

Creation is a manifest impartation of divine Mind to man and woman and the universe. As human generation ceases, the unbroken links of eternal harmonious being will be discerned; and person, not of the mortal flesh, but coexistent with God, will appear.

[1] John 7:24