February 10, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Immortal Soul

Have you heard of www.coursera.com ?

It’s a website that offers free college classes. One class is titled: Soul Beliefs: Causes and Consequences. The class is taught mainly by Professor Daniel Ogilve. The Professor brings in guest speakers who are quite informative. They discuss the history of soul as known to human beings, based on statistics.

A higher percentage of Americans believe in a soul than not. A high percentage of Americans also believe in miracles, generally associated with a soul.

The beauty of this class, Soul Beliefs: Causes and Consequences, is that both sides are presented, for and against a soul, however, the speakers treat the subject with sensitivity. They even point out that everyone has a right to their own beliefs and that no single disciplinary has a lock on truth. They encourage a willingness to test new ideas.

We can ponder, Does soul reside in the body? Do we have separate souls? Or is there one universal soul that images us forth?

Read Psalm 7: 1-2

The belief that we have a soul inside the body, naturally can be traced to the conclusion that our souls can be torn apart, like bodies.

Let’s examine some ideas in the book, Soul: Lessons and Soul Purpose, by Sonia Choquette. She explores the possibilities of knowing soul as a form of guidance and wellbeing.

Choquettte speaks on some of the challenges we face before experiencing a purposeful soul. She wrote, “You have blind spots, places where you are unable to see the bigger picture as a result of your upbringing, social conditioning, and even past lives. It is your soul’s lesson to remove these barriers to reason. Be willing to see what has been hidden from you. Where is your reason stymied due to the inability or resistance to looking at the greater scheme of things as objectively and accurately as possible? What habitual emotional responses close off access to your Inner Wisdom? Ponder these questions and your Greater Consciousness will show you the answers.”

On another page, Choquette wrote, “Your inner voice is not a personal one, but is instead your private connection to the Divine Spirit we all share. It is available to guide you at all times.”

When reading Choquette, I can appreciate her tone, though I would follow-up the words with an affirmation that we aren’t separated from Divine Spirit, even though it feels like it sometimes.

Let’s now look at even a bigger picture. In the not-too-far distant, people believed that animals did not have souls. This belief is shifting and more people today believe animals do have a soul. Do you believe your pet has a soul? Or, maybe we could ask, Do you believe your pet (if you have one or two or three) is connected to Soul, Love?

Read, I Peter 1: 13-25

I don’t think we each have our own soul, but that we each reflect the one Soul, God, in our own way.

When I ponder my soul-being as if it images forth the nature of God, Love, rather than mortals, I find my life-experience improves. My feelings improve.

From 21st Century Science and Health:

The educated belief that Soul is in the body causes human beings to regard death as a friend. The Bible calls death an enemy. Jesus defeated death and the grave, because death is not a steppingstone out of mortality, into immortality and bliss. Life and living is “the way.”[1]

Human-made theories make the same mistake regarding Soul and body that René Descartes[2] made regarding the brain as a complex fixed machine. Adherents of Descartes theories culminates in localizationism, the belief in a hard-wired brain in which each mental function has a strict location. However modern brain science is showing, “[Brain] plasticity is a normal phenomenon, and brain maps are constantly changing.”[3] Moreover, Christian Science is showing that mind is not subject to the brain or matter, and soul is not in the body. The order of Science can’t be reversed by human theories that assign to matter the power and prerogative of Spirit, a paradigm in which people become the most absolutely weak and pitiful creatures in the universe. Scientific blunders can’t affect the harmony of being.

The science of astronomy has reversed the deceptive evidence of a geocentric system that says the sun is moving around the earth. When we watch the sunrise, human beings rarely deny heliocentrism. We knowledgably admit the fact that the earth is spinning and circling the sun. So also, the Science of Mind reverses the delusive evidence that soul is in a body. We can admit the facts that Soul is not in a body and that the body is accountable to Mind. People are the humble expressions of calm Mind, though it seems otherwise to our immature perceptions. We will never understand spiritual facts if we don’t metaphysically reverse the outward appearance. Man and woman are not a dichotomy of non-intelligence and intelligence. We coexist with and reflect God, Soul, substance, unchangeable and intelligent.

If we pray to God as though God is a measurable unit, human doubts and fears rear their ugly heads and become obstacles. Because of the human minds unawareness of God as divine Spirit, there is an unawareness of divine Principle, Love. As a result, the Father of all is represented as a corporeal creator. Human beings then recognize themselves as merely physical and are ignorant of God’s image as eternal incorporeal beings. Corporeality is not able to grasp the wonders brought about by incorporeal spiritual Love, to whom all things are possible. The brains electrochemical functioning is ignorant of the world of Truth—not wired to the reality of our immortal existence—for the world of materiality is not cognizant of life in Soul.

Keep clearly in thought that we are the offspring of God, not of human beings; that we are spiritual, not material; that Soul is Spirit, never inside matter.

The identity or idea of reality continues forever. Soul is synonymous with Spirit, God; the creative, governing, infinite Principle, which is reflected by creation. Spirit is never inside a finite form.

Nothing is real and eternal—nothing is Spirit—except God and God’s idea. Evil has no reality. Evil is not a person, place, or thing, but is in the end a misinterpretation of reality, an illusion of human mortal perceptions.

Question. What are the requirements of the Science of Soul?

Answer. The first requirement of this Science is, “You shall have no other gods before me.”[4] This me is Spirit. Therefore, the command means this: You shall have no intelligence, no life, no substance, no truth, and no love, except the spiritual.

Soul has infinite resources with which to bless humankind, and happiness is more readily responded to and more secure in our keeping, if found in Soul.

Soul includes in itself all substance and is Life eternal.

 

[1] John 14:6

[2] René Descartes, (1596–1650) French mathematician, scientist and philosopher.

[3] The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science Norman Doidge, M.D. (Viking Penguin Books, New York, 2007)

[4] Ex. 20:3; Deut. 5:7

February 3, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Of the Spirit

Golden text: John 3:8*

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Matthew 3:1-3, 13-17

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The Teacher easily read the thoughts of humankind, and this insight better enabled him to direct those thoughts usefully. What would be said today of an irreverent blasphemer who hints that Jesus used his power to hurt others? Jesus read human minds on a scientific basis, that of the omnipresence of Mind. Readings that resemble Jesus’ readings indicate spiritual improvement and a unity with the infinite capacities of the one Mind. Jesus could injure no one by his Mind-reading. The effect of his Mind-reading was always to heal and to save, and this is the only genuine Science of reading human mind. Jesus’ holy motives and aims were blamed and condemned by the sinners of that period, as they would be today if Jesus were personally present. We approach God, Life, as our fidelity to Truth and Love expands; and in that ratio we can know all human need and be able to discern the thought of the sick and the sinning for the purpose of healing them. Error of any kind can’t hide from the law of God. Paul said, “The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”[1]

Whoever reaches the spiritual point of moral culture and goodness can’t harm others, and must do them good. The greater or lesser ability of a Mind-reader to discern thought scientifically depends upon his or her genuine spirituality. The special characteristic of spiritually intuitive mind-reading is not clairvoyance, but is important to success in healing.

We welcome the increase of knowledge and the end of error, because even human invention must have its day.

The nature of spirituality is peaceful and blessed. In order to enter into the realm of Spirit, the anchor of hope must be thrown past the veil of matter into the Shekinah that Jesus showed us. This advance beyond superficial thinking comes through the joys and triumphs of the righteous, as well as through their sorrows and afflictions. We must leave mortal impressions of fleshly being, and advance into immortal expressions of spiritual being.

Acts 16: 1-15

16 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The human form or physical structure can’t be made the basis of any true idea of infinite God. Physical eyes and ears have not seen or heard Spirit.

The physical ear does not really hear. Sound is a mental impression made on human belief. Divine Science reveals sound as communicated through the senses of Soul—through spiritual understanding.

Because Spirit is not physically tangible, it doesn’t communicate through tangible electromagnetism or physical energy fields.

God is Spirit; therefore the language of Spirit must be, and is, spiritual. Divine Science attaches no physical characters and significance to the Supreme Being and manifestation.

It is better to make our minds and bodies available to follow God’s rule, because we then can receive Love’s blessing and work out our own salvation.

Progress removes the restraints imposed on human beings. The finite must yield to the infinite. Advancing to a higher level of activity, consciousness pierces the materialist view and discovers the spiritual view. Thought shakes off the scholastic and mortal and moves toward the inspirational and immortal. All things are created spiritually. Mind, not matter, is the creator. Love, the divine Principle, is the Father-Mother of the universe, including person.

Happy is the person who sees the need of others and supplies it, seeking his or her own supply in someone else’s good.

Psalms 51: 7-12

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

From 21st Century Science and Health

If we follow Christ on all moral questions, but are in darkness as to the physical exemption which spirituality includes, then we must have more faith in God on this subject and be more alive to Spirit’s promises. It is easier to cure the most malignant disease than it is to cure sin. I have revitalized the dying, partly because they were willing to be restored, while I have struggled long, and perhaps in vain, to lift a student out of a chronic sin. Under all modes of pathological treatment, the sick recover more rapidly from disease than does the sinner from sin. Healing is easier than teaching, if the teaching is faithfully done.

Every law of physics or the body, supposed to govern people, is rendered null and void by the law of Life, God. Unaware of our God-given rights, we allow unjust decisions and make excuses for imperfection. Our education system is biased, expounding homogeny and marketing a resignation to poor choices. Become aware metaphysically. Be no more willing to suffer the illusion that you are sick or that some disease is developing in the system, than you are willing to suffer giving into a sinful temptation on the ground that sin has its necessities.

The eternal Truth destroys what human beings have learned from error, and our real selfhood comes to light. Truth lived is eternal life. Human beings can never advance from the temporal debris of error—belief in sin, sickness, and death—until we learn that God is the only Life. We progress out of the thinking that life and sensation are in the body by understanding what constitutes ourselves as the image of God, and then Spirit will have overcome the flesh.

Science reveals Spirit, Soul, as reflected by spiritual beings. God is not in a body, but God is reflected by spiritual beings. The belief that the eternal can be constrained in the temporal is an error that creates problems. A leading point in the Science of Soul is that Principle is not controlled by its idea. Spirit, Soul, has never been confined to human beings, and is never in matter. If we reason from effect to cause, we will believe God created matter, and sure enough, material existence becomes a mystery. We cannot interpret Spirit, Mind, through matter, because matter does not really see, hear, or feel. So, improve the thought process; reason from cause to effect and Spirit will be found giving the true mental idea.

Reasoning from cause to effect in the Science of Mind, we begin with Mind, which must be understood through the idea which expresses it and cannot be learned from matter.

Question. What is the scientific statement of being?

Answer. There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is divine Truth; matter is human error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and we are Spirit’s image and likeness. Therefore person is not mortal, but is immortal.

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health,5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Rom. 8:6

January 27, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Love

Golden text: Psalm 52:8*

I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

Joshua 22:1-6, 10-12

At that time Joshua summoned the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and said to them, “You have kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you and have obeyed my voice in all that I have commanded you. You have not forsaken your brothers these many days, down to this day, but have been careful to keep the charge of the Lord your God. And now the Lord your God has given rest to your brothers, as he promised them. Therefore turn and go to your tents in the land where your possession lies, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan. Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.

10 And when they came to the region of the Jordan that is in the land of Canaan, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of imposing size. 11 And the people of Israel heard it said, “Behold, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built the altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that belongs to the people of Israel.” 12 And when the people of Israel heard of it, the whole assembly of the people of Israel gathered at Shiloh to make war against them.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Do you “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”?[1] This counsel includes much, even the surrender of all mortal perceptions, restricted intentions, and materialistic worship. Loving God with all your heart is the Utopia of Christianity; it involves the Science of Life. The counsel of Love recognizes and respects only the divine control of Spirit, of which Soul is our master and mortal human mindsets have no place.

We must continue to work our way out of human systems and theories, whether time-honored or not, if we would gain the Christ, Truth, as our only Savior. Not in part, but totally, the great healer of human mind is the healer of the body.

When overstepping some supposed law, you say that there is danger. This fear is the danger and induces the physical effects. We cannot in reality suffer from breaking anything except a moral or spiritual law. The supposed laws of mortal thinking are destroyed by the understanding that the law of Soul is immortal, and that human mind cannot legislate the times, periods, and types of disease with which humans die. God is the lawmaker, but God is not the author of ruthless rules. In infinite Life and Love there is no sickness, no twisted good, no death, and Scriptures declare that in the infinite God “we live and move and have our being.”

The approach of divine Science is to recognize the spiritual identity of people and to see and understand God’s creation―all the glories of earth and heaven and its inhabitants.

Spiritual living and blessedness are the only evidences, by which we can recognize true existence and feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-engaging spiritual love.

Are you willing to leave all for Truth, and be treated like a criminal?

Joshua 22: 21-25, 30-33

21 Then the people of Reuben, the people of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh said in answer to the heads of the families of Israel, 22 “The Mighty One, God, the Lord! The Mighty One, God, the Lord! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith against the Lord, do not spare us today 23 for building an altar to turn away from following the Lord. Or if we did so to offer burnt offerings or grain offerings or peace offerings on it, may the Lord himself take vengeance. 24 No, but we did it from fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, ‘What have you to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? 25 For the Lord has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you, you people of Reuben and people of Gad. You have no portion in the Lord.’ So your children might make our children cease to worship the Lord.

30 When Phinehas the priest and the chiefs of the congregation, the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the people of Manasseh spoke, it was good in their eyes. 31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the people of Manasseh, “Today we know that the Lord is in our midst, because you have not committed this breach of faith against the Lord. Now you have delivered the people of Israel from the hand of the Lord.”

32 Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the chiefs, returned from the people of Reuben and the people of Gad in the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the people of Israel, and brought back word to them. 33 And the report was good in the eyes of the people of Israel. And the people of Israel blessed God and spoke no more of making war against them to destroy the land where the people of Reuben and the people of Gad were settled.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The healing Truth and spiritual idea of being are often disregarded at the pulpit, over the air, or through the internet. The curative mission (presenting the Savior in a clearer light than mere words), can’t be omitted from our spiritual education, even if it is ruled out of the church or temple.

When practicing Christian Science and educating your own offspring spiritually, know that you can educate others spiritually and not conflict with the scientific sense of God’s creation. One day, a child will ask, “Do you keep the First Commandment? Do you have one God and creator, or are human beings creators?” If you answer, “God creates human beings through human beings,” the child may retort, “Do you teach that Spirit creates materially, or do you teach that Spirit is infinite and creates spiritually?”

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.

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.

Matthew 22:34-40

[W]hen the Pharisees heard that [Jesus] had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

There is no hypocrisy in Science. Principle is imperative. You can’t mock it by human will. Science is a divine demand, not human. Always right, its divine Principle never repents, but maintains the claims of Truth by quenching error. Divine mercy pardons a mistake when the error is destroyed. If people understood the blessedness of their real spiritual source, they would struggle to return to it and be at peace. However, the more entrenched human mind is in error, the more intense its resistance to spirituality, until error yields to Truth.

The physician who lacks empathy for humanity is deficient in goodwill. The public then has the apostolic warrant for repeating: “Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.”[2] Not having spiritual goodwill, the physician lacks faith in the divine Mind, and can’t recognize infinite Love which alone confers the healing power. Such a so-called Scientist will “strain out a gnat”[3] while they swallow the camels of bigoted pompous learning.

Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Spirit. Every day, our thoughts and actions need alignment with the divine character. An honest, intense effort to assimilate the divine character will format and design us anew until we awake in Love’s likeness.

Matthew 18:1-4, 10-14

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. 12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

From 21st Century Science and Health

We cannot serve two masters, nor perceive divine Science with the physical senses. The basis of all health, purity, and spirituality is the great fact that God is the only Mind; and this Mind must be not merely believed, but it must be understood. To get rid of anything that opposes Love is to deprive the opposition of any supposed mind or reality, and never to admit the competitor can have intelligence or power, pain or pleasure. You conquer error by denying it validity. Our various theories will never lose their imaginary power for good or evil until we lose our faith in them and make life its own proof of harmony and God.

A text in the book of Ecclesiastes conveys the scientific mental thought, especially when the word duty is omitted. Quoting from Moffatt, “Stand in awe of God, obey his orders: that is everything, for every man.”[4] In other words, love God and keep Mind’s commandments: for this is the whole of man and woman in Soul’s image and likeness. Divine Love is infinite. Therefore, all that really exists is in and of God and manifests Truth’s love.

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health,5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27

[2] I John 4:20 (NRSV)

[3] Matt. 23:24

[4] Ecc. 12:13 (Moffatt)

January 20, 2016

bible study imageSubject: What is true?

Golden text: John 3:21*

whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.

Jeremiah 28:1-11

In that same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. I will also bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah who went to Babylon, declares the Lord, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”

Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to Hananiah the prophet in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord, and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord make the words that you have prophesied come true, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. Yet hear now this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes to pass, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.”

10 Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke-bars from the neck of Jeremiah the prophet and broke them. 11 And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all the nations within two years.” But Jeremiah the prophet went his way.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The God-inspired walk calmly on though with aching feet. Pampered hypocrites may ride on easy street here, but they can’t forever break the Golden Rule[1] and escape the penalty due.

Spiritual beings, or God’s children in divine Science, are one harmonious family; but the children of human beings are discordant and oftentimes fake.

People can learn to distinguish between fake happiness and true. We can feel the pleasure of loving unselfishly, working patiently, and conquering all that is unlike God as we highly value spiritual perceptions.

Truth spares all that is true.

The prophet of today sees in the mental horizon the signs of these times, the reappearance of Christianity’s essence which heals the sick and destroys error. No other sign will be given. Body can’t be saved except through Mind. The Science of Christianity is misinterpreted by a material age, because brain imprints and physical sense can’t comprehend Spirit. The healing influence of Spirit is discerned by spiritual sense. Creeds, doctrines, and human hypotheses do not express Christian Science; much less can they demonstrate it.

Beyond the frail premises of human beliefs, above the loosening clutches of human policies, the demonstration of spiritual Mind-healing stands a revealed and practical Science.

Jeremiah 28: 12-17

12 Sometime after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke-bars from off the neck of Jeremiah the prophet, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 “Go, tell Hananiah, ‘Thus says the Lord: You have broken wooden bars, but you have made in their place bars of iron. 14 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I have put upon the neck of all these nations an iron yoke to serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they shall serve him, for I have given to him even the beasts of the field.’” 15 And Jeremiah the prophet said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. 16 Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will remove you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have uttered rebellion against the Lord.’”

17 In that same year, in the seventh month, the prophet Hananiah died.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The medicine of Science is divine Mind, not human mind. The human attitudes of dishonesty, sensuality, greed, revenge, and malice, cannot heal the sick. Thoughts that try to control another person are crude tendencies and by no means the mental qualities which heal. The hypnotizer employs one error to destroy another. The mental mal-practitioner heals sickness through a belief, when it was a belief which originally caused the sickness. This is a case of a greater error overcoming a lesser. The greater error thereafter occupies the ground, leaving the case worse than before.

Divine Science awakens the sinner, rehabilitates the self-deceived, and releases from pain the helpless sufferer.

John 4: 5-26

[Jesus] came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.[a]

A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[b] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

A badly trained ear, not appreciating harmony, thinks noisy melodrama is normal. So human perception, untrained to discern true happiness, thinks unhappiness is normal. Divine Science will correct the misperceptions and teach us life’s sweeter harmonies.

Religious and medical systems treat physical pains and pleasures as if they are normal, but Jesus rebuked the suffering from any such cause or effect. The epoch approaches when true religion will be built on the understanding of the truth of being. However, people are slow to understand truth because they are obsessed with fashion, pride, bodies, and opinion. The fixation of materiality makes us weary and old because it goes against our higher nature. At some point, we will break through the fleeting and false and learn how Spirit, the great architect, has created men and women in Science.

Love is impartial and universal in its spiritualization and generosity.

SCIENTIFIC TRANSLATION OF SPIRITUAL DIVINE MIND

GOD: Divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Life, Love, Truth, Spirit.

PERSON (man and woman): God’s spiritual idea, individual, perfect, eternal.

IDEA: An image in Mind; “Synonyms idea, concept, conception, thought, notion, impression, means what exists in the mind as a representation (as of something comprehended) or as a formulation (as of a plan).”[2]

SCIENTIFIC TRANSLATION OF HUMAN MIND

First Degree: Spiritual unawareness.

PHYSICAL. Evil thinking, obsessions and negative appetites, fear, corrupt will, self-justification, arrogance, envy, deceit, hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease, death.

Second Degree: Disappearance of self-destructive thinking.

MORAL. Humanity, honesty, constructive inclinations, compassion, hope, faith, humility, moderation.

Third Degree: Understanding.

SPIRITUAL. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, holiness.

Truth is a revelation.

[1] Matt. 7:12 “Do to others what you would have them do to you.”

[2] By permission. From the Merriam-Webster OnLine,©2007 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated (www.Merriam-Webster.com).

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health,5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

January 13, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Life alive

Golden text: Ephesians 2:5*

God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

Numbers 14: 2-10, 20-24

And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the people of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” 10 Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel.

20 Then the Lord said, “I have pardoned, according to your word. 21 But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, 22 none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, 23 shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it. 24 But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Intent and action are not properly valued before they are understood. It is well to wait until those whom you would benefit are ready for the blessing. Science is working changes in personal character as well as in the temporal universe.

To obey the Scriptural command, “Come out from their midst and be separate,”[1] is to invite society’s disapproval; but this disapproval, more than approval, enables one to be spiritual. Pope John Paul II said, “We cannot live for the future without intuiting that the meaning of life is greater than temporality and is above it. If the societies and the men of our continent have lost interest in such a meaning, they must rediscover it.”[2]

Do not judge the future advancement of divine Science by the steps already taken, unless you yourself will be condemned for failing to take the first step.

Ezekiel 4 1-2, 10-17

“And you, son of man, take a brick and lay it before you, and engrave on it a city, even Jerusalem. And put siegeworks against it, and build a siege wall against it, and cast up a mound against it. Set camps also against it, and plant battering rams against it all around.

10 And your food that you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from day to day you shall eat it. 11 And water you shall drink by measure, the sixth part of a hin; from day to day you shall drink. 12 And you shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it in their sight on human dung.” 13 And the Lord said, “Thus shall the people of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations where I will drive them.” 14 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I have never defiled myself. From my youth up till now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has tainted meat come into my mouth.” 15 Then he said to me, “See, I assign to you cow’s dung instead of human dung, on which you may prepare your bread.” 16 Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, behold, I will break the supply of bread in Jerusalem. They shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and they shall drink water by measure and in dismay. 17 I will do this that they may lack bread and water, and look at one another in dismay, and rot away because of their punishment.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Spirituality lays open siege to materialism. On which side are we fighting?

The purpose and motive to live spiritually can be achieved now. Getting off to the right start, you have taken the preliminary steps in divine Science, and nothing but wrong intention can obstruct your advancement. Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way.

The body may object to the attitude that pays little attention to food.

The latest food fad is not a health law.

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.

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.

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.

Acts 20: 7-12

 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. 12 And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Suppose an accident happens to the eye, then the ear has a problem, then the taste buds can’t be stimulated, and so on, until every physical sense is lost. What is the remedy? To die, that we may regain these faculties? Even then we must gain spiritual understanding and spiritual sense in order to possess indestructible consciousness. In reality, spiritual beings never die. The belief that we die will not establish scientific harmony. Death is not the result of Truth but of error, and one error will not correct another. Every day on earth we must improve, discover, and utilize our spiritual faculties.

Students of divine Science, who start with its letter and think to succeed without the spirit, will either weaken their faith or get sadly off course.

We walk in the direction toward which we look, and where our gratification is, there will our heart be also. If our hopes and inclinations are spiritual, they come from enlightenment, not from trained thinking, and they produce the fruits of the Spirit.[3]

Our responses need improvement if we typically say things like, “You look sick,” “You must be tired?” or “You need a pill.”

Why do people run to a child who has fallen, and whine childishly “Oh, poor thing, I know you hurt”? The better and more successful response to adopt is: “You’re Okay, let’s think about what’s good.” Soon the child forgets all about the accident, and is directed to positive activity.

The divine Principle, or Life, can’t be practically demonstrated in length of days, as it was by the patriarchs, unless its Science is accurately stated. We must receive the divine Principle in understanding, and live it in daily life; otherwise, we can no more verify Science than we can teach and illustrate geometry by calling a curve a straight line or a straight line a sphere.

Luke 10: 1-2, 17-20

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

The belief and dream of mortal being is entirely separate from the Life divine. Immortal Life reveals not only spiritual understanding, but also the consciousness of our dominion over that which is earthbound. This understanding overcomes error and heals the sick, and with it you can speak “as one who had authority.”[4]

Empower yourself with the thought that substance is purely spiritual and the movements and transitions possible for the human mind will be found equally possible for the body. Being is alive.

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health,5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] II Cor. 6:17 (NASB)

[2]Excerpt from Day by Day with Pope John Paul II, edited by Angelo Pisani, Copyright © 1980 by Piero Gribaudi.

[3] Gal. 5:22

[4] Matt. 7:29

January 6, 2016

Subject: Communion

Golden text: Proverbs 21: 15-17*

15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers. 16 One who wanders from the way of good sense
will rest in the assembly of the dead. 17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.

Luke 7: 28-35

 I, [Jesus] tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 29 (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, 30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)

31 “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,

“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’

33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”

John 13:18-21

But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

“Despised and rejected by men,”[1] yet returning good-will for cursing, Jesus taught spirituality, even the nature of God. When mistaken human minds felt the power of Truth, betrayal and terror were ready to attack the great Teacher. Yet Jesus did not change direction, knowing very well that obeying the divine order and trusting God saves from backtracking and re-healing the same problems again.

Exposing error is necessary to guarantee not making more mistakes.

Who is telling humankind of the enemy in ambush? Does the informant see a foe? Listen and be wise. You can escape from error. You can also detect the unfaithful people who saw the danger and gave no warning.

At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good.

Jesus showed that temptation, sin, sickness, and death have no terror in the presence of the wondrous glory that God lavishes on us.

I Corinthians 11:23-34

 For I, [Paul] received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— 34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come

From 21st Century Science and Health

Our church is built on the divine Principle, Love. We can unite with this church only as we are newborn of Spirit. The Eucharist is spiritual communion with the one God. Our bread, “that comes down from heaven,”[2] is Truth. We reach the Life that is Truth and the Truth that is Life by bringing forth the fruits of Love—driving out error and healing the sick. The cup is the cross. The wine is the inspiration of Love, which the Teacher drank and commended to his followers.

Are you drinking his cup? Have you shared the persecutions that attend a new and higher understanding of God? Are you willing to take up the cross and leave all for the Christ-principle? Are you eating bread and drinking wine to honor Jesus, or just to remember him for a few minutes? Why assign the inspiration of Eucharist to an anesthetic ritual? Instead, we want to show that Truth has come to the understanding, by driving out error and making our bodies “holy and pleasing to God”?[3] If Christ, Truth, has come to us in demonstration, no other sign of remembrance is requisite. Demonstration is Immanuel, or “God with us.”[4]

A rule in Science is to fight against error and negate the human finite self with infinite Truth.

Legally to abolish terrorism in the world is difficult, but the elimination of mental terrors is a more difficult task. The domineering tendencies inherent in the human mind, and always germinating in new forms of tyranny, must be rooted out through the action of the divine Mind.

Mind-science has nothing to do with sitting-on-the-fence of impertinent knowledge, because Mind-science is of God and demonstrates the divine Principle, working out the purposes of good only.

Hebrews 10: 32-39

32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For,

“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

From 21st Century Science and Health

If prayer feeds the thinking that human beings are made better merely by praying, prayer is an evil. Repentance is needed. New thoughts are needed.

What happens when we don’t fight and destroy sin? What happens when we don’t destroy finite convictions or mortal status quos? Our mental and physical state will perceive suffering. The sin, which you think you love or is a part of you, comes back with accelerated force, for the devil knows its time is short.

The voice of God in behalf of the people is reverberating around the world as the spokesperson of the new crusade sounds the keynote of universal mental freedom. A fuller acknowledgement of the rights of man and woman as useful spiritual beings demands that the terrors of sin, sickness, and death be exterminated from the human mind.

Expose and denounce the claims of evil and disease in all their forms, but realize no reality in them.

Men and women of all environments and cultures are still under the control of terrorists and bullies, ignorant how to obtain their freedom. However, the rights of humanity are being vindicated as people fight for equal rights and remove dictators from office. This pro-action is prophetic of furthering the banishment of world-wide oppression found on higher planes of existence and under more subtle and depraving forms.

It is a fight with the flesh, in which we must conquer sin, sickness, and death, either here or hereafter—certainly before we can reach the realm of Spirit or life in God.

Once we’ve learned human mind’s tactics, we can expose its unconscious and subconscious ways in which it accomplishes iniquity. Paradoxically, many of us are willing to tell people about the power of good resident in divine Mind, but we hesitate to point out the evil in human thought.

The belief of life, substance, and intelligence in matter/energy, or in the fight-and-flight nature, or in morphing atoms, is flimsy propaganda, yet mesmerizing. So, we ask, who will deny that these are the errors which Truth must and will annihilate? Scientists of reality must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out from the material world and be dedicated. They must renounce aggression, oppression and the pride of power.

Be attentive, sober, and vigilant. The way is straight and narrow which leads to the understanding that God is the only Life.

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health,5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Isa. 53:3

[2] John 6:33, 50

[3] Rom. 12:1

[4] Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23

December 30, 2015

bible study imageSubject: God

We can learn about God, or we can understand God. The difference between learning and understanding is seen in the results. Learning is a process of accumulating data or information. It results in indifference toward our self, others, or God.

Understanding is an active knowing. It results in making a difference. We change, we help, we improve, we give goodness a strong foothold in the world.

But, if we are too busy “learning” about God, we have a difficult time understanding.

Holocaust survivor and author, Elie Wiesel, wrote in his book, “Night,” about his experience during World War II. After he and his fellow Jews were demanded to move, eventually to a concentration camp, Wiesel recalls his understanding was pushed to move. It seems, he realized he couldn’t just keep learning about God, he had to understand God, and himself, in order to live with meaning.

To incessantly learn about God, without understanding, is to daydream, to be like robots. It is to pray and worship with our favorite objects and books and words.

Wiesel wrote, “The beloved objects that we had carried with us from place to place were now left behind in the wagon and, with them, finally, our illusions.”

While imprisoned and praying with his fellow Jews, Wiesel apparently stopped trying to learn and actually understood a truth. He wrote, “My eyes had opened and I was alone, terribly alone in a world without God, without man. Without love or mercy. I was nothing but ashes now, but I felt myself to be stronger than this Almighty to whom my life had been bound for so long. In the midst of these men assembled for prayer, I felt like an observer, a stranger.”

It reminds me of Job. Please read in your Bible, Job 1:1-12

In the story of Job, it looks as though God and the devil make deals. It looks as though God is not infinite and all-powerful, because Satan has been given power.

Satan goes on to destroy Job’s family and heritage. But, verse 1:22 says, “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”

Chapter 2 talks about how Satan then attacks Job’s health. Three friends come to talk with Job as if it was a learning session. Job though, was trying to understand. Similar to Elie Wiesel.

Wiesel’s view of himself continued to expand. After being freed at the end of the war, he wrote his book, “Night,” and received a Noble Peace Prize.

Wiesel said in his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, 1986, “But I have faith. Faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and even in His creation. Without it no action would be possible. And action is the only remedy to indifference, the most insidious danger of all.”

God is understood to be a mind of active good. Our human minds need to change, to improve, to be activated by integrity and forgiveness, and spiritual courage.

Read Job 42:1-17

From 21st Century Science and Health*

As human beings do not comprehend even mortal existence, they must be ignorant of the all-knowing Mind and of the creation of Spirit.

Physical sense creates its own forms of thought, and gives the forms imaginative titles, before worshiping and fearing them. Often, the forms are attributed with abilities beyond themselves. Basically, the beliefs of the human mind commit self-robbery and self-enslavement and then charge the result to another illusive personification named Satan.

If the body’s physical senses were the medium through which to understand God, then paralysis, disabilities, blindness, and deafness would place people in a terrible situation, “Without hope and without God in the world.”[1] These calamities however often drive human beings to seek and to find a more secure sense of happiness and existence in Spirit.

Final deliverance from error is not reached by taking the easy way. There are no shortcuts. Deliverance is also not experienced by attaching our faith, without works, to someone else’s effort. Whoever believes that violent anger is justified, or that divinity is appeased by human suffering, does not understand God. In our deliverance, we rejoice in peaceful honor, immortality, and spiritual freedom.

The custom of telling people, that if they take one doctrine and have total faith in it, they will be filled with the Holy Spirit, receives a strong rebuttal in the Scripture, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”[2] Faith, if only belief, is like a motor piston shifting between nothing and something, having no fixity. Faith, advanced to spiritual understanding, however, gains evidence of Spirit. The evidence rebukes mistaken mindsets of every kind and establishes the claims of God.

The distinction needs to be clear between God’s ideal, person, and the human’s idea of person. God’s ideal is perfect, however, there is no perfect mortal human. In order to achieve the ideal of God, you must be careful not to fall into the human mind’s tendency to believe that a particular human routine or lifestyle will guarantee spirituality. To insist on a particular human way of life as a means of achieving perfection, doesn’t achieve God’s ideal. For example, someone who thinks, “We do not seek sex; we do not try drugs; we do not take medicine; we do not go to doctors,”[3] will be disappointed. To avoid sex, drugs, medicine, and doctors, is the same as robotically having sex, taking drugs, and going to a doctor. Neither are a means of reaching the spiritual ideal. The imperative point is to understand God’s ideal and let the divine understanding impel your thoughts and actions as a part of humanity. Our ideal directs our lifestyles, not vice versa. The teachings found in Science and Health, uncover spirituality and the understanding of God’s ideal.

God, divine good, does not kill humanity in order to give us eternal Life, for God alone is our life. It is evil that dies; good doesn’t die. No matter where you are in the universe, God is the center and circumference of existence.

The everlasting I AM is not bounded or compressed within the narrow limits of physical humanity, nor can Spirit be correctly understood through mortal concepts. The precise form of God is not very important. Ask rather; What is infinite Mind or divine Love?

Matter has no life to lose, and Spirit never dies. Matter did not originate in God, it is not absolute; therefore, not substantial, stable, or intelligent. Collaboration between matter and Spirit would ignore omnipresent and omnipotent Mind. The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind—that God is Love, and therefore Mind is divine Principle.

* Text from 21st Century Science and Health,5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Eph. 2:12

[2] James 2:17

[3] The Unseen Shore by Thomas Simmons. Copyright © 1991 by Thomas Simmons. Reprinted by permission of Beacon Press, Boston.