September 19, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Mind

Golden text: Romans 8:6*

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Matthew 21:23-27

And when [Jesus] entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

21st Century Science and Health**

We are susceptible to believe in more than one supreme ruler, or in some power less than God. We imagine that Mind can be imbedded in a sensuous body.

Jesus discovered the eternal Ego and proved that he was inseparable from God and God’s reflection. The Teacher gained the solution of being and demonstrated the existence of but one Mind without a second or equal.

He related to one Mind and didn’t argue for material based power. Jesus must have known that the Ego was Mind instead of a bodily personality or human knowledge. He must have known that the world’s energy and evil were not Mind.

According to Christian Science, the only real senses are Christ-like and come from divine Mind through revelation. Thought passes from God to us. Sense and information do not go from brain to Mind.

When understanding modifies the standpoints of life and intelligence from a material to a spiritual basis, we gain the reality of Life. Spirituality allows us to experience the control of Soul over mortal sense and to perceive Truth in its divine Principle. This must be the climax before our harmony and immortality is felt and our capabilities revealed. It is highly important—in view of the immense work to be accomplished before this recognition of divine Science can come—to turn our thoughts toward divine Principle, so that limited belief may be prepared to relinquish its error.

Matthew 21:28-32

 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

21st Century Science and Health

People with mental work before them have no time for gossip about false law or testimony. To reconstruct timid justice and place the fact above the falsehood, is the work of time.

If humankind would stop believing that God makes sickness and destruction, or makes man and woman capable of suffering on account of malevolence, the games of error would no longer be played and error’s destruction would be guaranteed. Seriously, if we accept that disease and destruction are God’s will, why do we try to fight or avoid disease and destruction? We can admit that God isn’t testing us, because God’s will is good and only producing goodness.

Looking at history, we can learn that the popular and misleading perceptions about the divine Being and character have originated in the human mind. Wrong notions about God do not originate in immortal Truth. As there is in reality but one God, one Mind, mistaken impressions of God eventually fade, as did St. John’s vision in the book of Revelation.

Let us work to bankrupt self-will, self-justification, and self-worship. Don’t invest in mortality with its errors that compete against spirituality.

The time is nearer than we think, when human-made theologies, such as a superior race, everlasting damnation, or fundamentalisms, will diminish, and equality, mindfulness, and individual responsibility will increase.

The scientific relationship which exists between us and God must be worked out in life-practice. The will of God must universally be done.

II Corinthians 2:1-11

For I [Paul] made up my mind not to make another painful visit to you. For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.

Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

21st Century Science and Health

The genotypic and physiological mortal humanity fills itself with thoughts of pains and pleasures, gains and losses.

The brain can give no idea of God’s child. It can take no cognizance of Mind. Grey and white matter are not the organ of infinite Mind.

The time it takes for us to stop embracing delusive pleasures and pains will be drawn out or shortened, depending on the tenacity of error.

As human beings give up the delusion that there is more than one Mind, more than one God, spiritual individuality, ever connected to and in God’s likeness will appear. Our eternal identity includes no illusive elements.

Divine Mind can and does purge false beliefs from human mind.

I Peter 1:13-16

 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

21st Century Science and Health

Obedience to the physical laws of health has not diminished sickness. Diseases multiply when theories based on material realities take the place of spiritual truth.

Permit the stomach and bowels to act in obedience to nature. Give the gospel a chance to be seen in its glorious effects upon the body. Dismiss the ghastly collection of diseases paraded before your imagination. Keep to “sermons in stones, and good in everything.”[1] When the mechanism of the human mind gives place to the divine Mind, selfishness and sin, disease and death, will lose their grip.

Divine Mind rightly demands our entire obedience, affection, and strength. No reservation is made for any lesser commitment. Obedience to truth gives us power and strength. Obedience to error coincides with loss of power.

Truth reveals universal healing, a method available to everyone, through spiritual law giving sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, voice to the dumb, feet to the lame.[2] If Christian Science dishonors human belief, it honors spiritual understanding and the one Mind.

Divine Mind acts on the human mind through truth, leading humankind to relinquish falsities. Our spiritual mindedness understands divine Mind as the only Mind and the healer of bad-will, disease, and lack. This process of higher spiritual understanding improves humanity and displaces error until nothing is left which deserves to perish or be punished.

Spiritual unawareness, which is identical to intentional wrong, is not Science.

The would-be healer is obligated not to bring hypocrisy, false hopes, inhumanity, or bad habits into the patient’s environment. If these traits were present, the environment would be converted into a “den of robbers.”[3] The un-Christ-like practitioner does not give to mind or body the joy and strength of Truth. Vanity and negativity desecrate the temple of the Holy Spirit, and the patient’s spiritual power to resuscitate themselves is damaged. The poor suffering heart needs its spiritual nutriment, such as peace, patience in distress, honesty, and a priceless sense of the dear Father-Mother’s loving-kindness.

To cure a patient, the practitioner must first dismiss their own moral evils. Purification allows the practitioner to attain the spiritual freedom and ability to drive physical evils out of the patient. Healing will not radiate from someone who is so spiritually unproductive that they are unable to give drink to the thirsty or reach the patient’s thought. Mental poverty alienates faith and understanding.

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.”[4] Not having spiritual goodwill, the physician lacks faith in the divine Mind and can’t recognize infinite Love which alone confers the healing power.

Have a mindful interest in one another’s progress and reciprocate appreciation in a relationship.

It should be thoroughly understood that all people have one Mind, one God and Parent, one Life, Truth, and Love. The fulfillment of real identities will be realized as that fact is understood.

*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, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Shakespeare, William, (1564–1616) As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 1.

[2] Matt. 11:5

[3] Jer. 7:11; Matt. 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46

[4] I John 4:20 (NRSV)

September 12, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Interest

Golden text: Philippians 2:4-5*

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.

Nehemiah 1:1

The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah.

Nehemiah 2:11-12, 16-17

So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem.

16 And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work.

17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.”

Nehemiah 5:1-3, 6-10

Now there arose a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers. For there were those who said, “With our sons and our daughters, we are many. So let us get grain, that we may eat and keep alive.” There were also those who said, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards, and our houses to get grain because of the famine.”

I was very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. I took counsel with myself, and I brought charges against the nobles and the officials. I said to them, “You are exacting interest, each from his brother.” And I held a great assembly against them and said to them, “We, as far as we are able, have bought back our Jewish brothers who have been sold to the nations, but you even sell your brothers that they may be sold to us!” They were silent and could not find a word to say. So I said, “The thing that you are doing is not good. Ought you not to walk in the fear of our God to prevent the taunts of the nations our enemies? 10 Moreover, I and my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Let us abandon this exacting of interest.

21st Century Science and Health**

Searching for the origin of people, who are the reflection of God, is like inquiring into the origin of God, the self-existent and eternal.

An inquirer once told me: “I like your explanations of truth, but I do not comprehend what you say about error.” This is the nature of error; the mark of ignorance is on its forehead, for it neither understands nor can be understood. Error would have itself received as mind, as if it were as real and God-created as truth, but Christian Science attributes neither entity nor power to error, because error is neither mind nor the effect of Mind.

It is interesting to note that the less complicated animal forms are less sickly than the more complicated organisms, especially those of the human form. This indicates that less disease accompanies less intense or sensitive mortal mind force. A fair deduction from this observation might be that it is the human thinking, and not divine decision or physical susceptibility, which brings organisms into the clutches of disease. Health attends the absence of mortal mind.

Can material wave/particles commit a crime and be punished? Can you separate the mentality from the body over which courts hold jurisdiction? Human mortal mind, not matter, is the criminal in every case; and human law rightly estimates crime, and courts reasonably pass sentence according to motive. Courts and juries judge and sentence human beings to restrain crime, prevent violence, or punish the wrongdoer. To say that these courts have no jurisdiction over the human or mortal mind would be to contradict precedent. It doesn’t make sense to admit that law is restricted to physical forces and bodies, while the real outlaw, human mortal mind, defies justice and is recommended to mercy.

Our civil laws take cognizance of mental crimes and no longer apply legal rulings entirely too physical offences, and it will go down in history that how we think or what we think, directly or indirectly affects actions, including the actions of what we call physical bodies. The medical field is even somewhat recognizing the power of metaphysics. Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., a pioneer in integrative medicine, testifies that, “Meditation is a wondrously powerful medical modality…the meditation that I teach employs not just patients’ mental energies, but also their physical energies”[1]

Whoever uses their developed mental energies or powers to commit opportune atrocities is never safe. God will arrest those people. Divine justice will confine them. Their sins will be heavy and inescapable burdens about their necks, weighing them down to the depths of disgrace and death. The aggravation of error foretells its doom and confirms the ageless axiom: Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

Far from divine Science is the practice of conventional medicine advocating for drugs, even harmful drugs. But as we learn the dangers or the uselessness of intrusive medicine, we look in new directions for healing. Humanity begins to understand the power of mind over matter and the usefulness of better thinking. Be aware: some thought influences can pretend to be good or in our best interest, but are just as dangerous as harmful drugs. This is mental malpractice and is criminal, working against common humanity, honesty, and justice. Divine Science-practice requires human mind to yield to and unite with the divine consciousness moving heavenward.

Evil thoughts and aims reach no further and do no more harm than one’s thinking permits. Lusts and malicious purposes can’t move around like wandering pollen from one human mind to another if virtue and truth build a strong defense.

The cornerstone of all spiritual building is purity.

Luke 19:11-26

[Jesus] proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

21st Century Science and Health

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. If “faithful with a few things,”[2] we will be put in charge of many things. The neglected or unused talent rots or is lost.

Truth should emanate from the pulpit, but never be strangled there. A special privilege is commissioned in the ministry. How will it be used? Sacredly, in the interests of humanity, not of self or sect.

I Corinthians 7:32-35

 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

21st Century Science and Health

Relationships are blessed, or not, according to the expectations involved and fulfilled. Happiness is gained as we interact with individuals adapted to elevate existence. The desire to improve should be the motive of society. Unity of spirit gives new energy to a sense of joy, whereas lame or unreasonable expectations drag joy through the mud.

Musical notes can be arranged to make harmony. Tones of the human mind are just as diverse as musical notes, and harmony is apparent as tones of unselfish ambition, noble life-motives, and honesty blend properly. Spiritual harmony constitutes individual and collective happiness, strength, and permanence.

Moral freedom is found in Soul. Guard against narrowness and jealousy because they restrict productive behavior. Home is not a boundary of the affections, but is a framework from which to grow spiritually. Do not desire all your partner’s attention and time. Circulate happiness and compassion in the home and community to promote the sweet interchange of confidence and love, but be sure not to generate a wandering desire for incessant amusement outside the home circle.

In his book, Survival in the Killing Fields,[3] Haing Ngor, survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime, acknowledges the special trust between he and his wife, which did not include quibbling. Hard feelings are avoided when spouses use common sense, have respect for one another, and do not become extravagant or lazy. Having money and possessions may remove some barriers to a happy marriage, but nothing can replace the loving care in a union.

Fully recognize your ongoing responsibilities before entering matrimony. Success is guaranteed when both spouses are pleasant. Have a mindful interest in one another’s progress and reciprocate appreciation in a relationship.

Mutual compromises or a prenuptial agreement, will often preserve an arrangement which might otherwise become unbearable. Agree on a realistic intent of 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.

Unselfish attention to detail in what promotes the success of your spouse, and gentle words, will prove valuable in prolonging one another’s health and smiles. Don’t practice stolid indifference or resentment. Remember, a simple heartfelt word or deed is powerful enough to renew the romance.

It is backwards to complain about incompatibility. Do not deceive yourself, or one another, as to why you are getting married or staying married. Deception is fatal to happiness. Honesty allows you to understand a sensible motive for marriage, if not before, then after the legal union.

The frequency of divorce shows that the sacredness of this relationship is losing its influence. Serious mistakes are undermining the foundation of marriage. Separation need not take place if both husband and wife genuinely put into practice spiritual rules of Truth and Love. Spiritual knowledge inevitably lifts one’s being higher in the scale of harmony and happiness. When the moral obligations are kept intact, why annul the nuptial vow?

Similar tastes, intents, and aspirations are necessary to form a loving and permanent companionship. The beautiful in character is also the good, securing indissolubly the links of affection. From the logic of events we learn that selfishness and impurity are short-lived, and that wisdom ultimately will separate what she did not join together.[4]

Be accountable, hope and work, willingly act on divine guidance, not private interests. Divine guidance will either force a graceful change or calm the enraged atmosphere.

*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, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] From Pain Cure, The by Dharma Khalsa. Copyright ©. By permission of Warner Books, Inc. All rights reserved. To purchase copies of this book, please call 1-800-759-0190.

[2] Matt. 25:23; Luke 19:17

[3] Haing Ngor, with Roger Warner, Survival in the Killing Fields.  (New York, NY: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003)

[4] Matt. 19:6, Mark 10:9

September 5, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Persevere

Golden text: James 1:25*

[T]he one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Psalm 86

Train me, God, to walk straight;
then I’ll follow your true path.
Put me together, one heart and mind;
then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear.
From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord;
I’ve never kept secret what you’re up to.
You’ve always been great toward me—what love!
You snatched me from the brink of disaster!
God, these bullies have reared their heads!
A gang of thugs is after me—
and they don’t care a thing about you.
But you, O God, are both tender and kind,
not easily angered, immense in love,
and you never, never quit.
So look me in the eye and show kindness,
give your servant the strength to go on,
save your dear, dear child!
Make a show of how much you love me
so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed,
As you, God, gently and powerfully
put me back on my feet.

21st Century Science and Health**

God never punishes us for doing right. Love never penalizes us for honest labor or deeds of kindness even if we are exposed to fatigue, cold, heat, and contagion. If we seem to incur a penalty, this is but the false-ego or human mind’s conclusion. Unfair repercussions are not established by wisdom, and our nonconformity to injustice can nullify the penalty. Through this action of thought and its results upon the body, students will prove to themselves by small beginnings the grand verities of divine Science.

If you think weather harms health, your Mind-remedy is safe and sure. If you are a scientist of Spirit, symptoms of sickness are not apt to follow exposure to certain weather. However, if you believe in laws of mortality and their fatal effects when transgressed, you are not fit to conduct your own case and destroy the adverse effects. But, you can pierce the façade of false laws and destroy the fear and conviction of ill-effects. You can gain the spiritual conviction that you have broken no law of mortal health. In Science, this is an established fact which the evidence before the fleshly senses can never overrule.

Sickness, sin, and destruction must at length recoil before the divine rights of intelligence, and then the power of Mind over the entire functions and organs of the human system will be acknowledged. It is proverbial that Mother Teresa,[1] and other philanthropists engaged in humanitarian work, have been able to undergo without weariness and danger, that which ordinary people could not endure. The explanation lies in the support which they derived from the divine law, supreme to the human law. The spiritual demand crushes the material demand and supplies not only energy but also endurance. Spirituality surpasses all other aid and forestalls the penalty which our beliefs would attach to our best deeds. Let us remember that the eternal law of right, though it can never annul the law which makes sin its own executioner, exempts us from all penalties but those due for wrongdoing.

Hard work, deprivations, exposures, and all troublesome conditions, if without sin, can be experienced without suffering. Your true responsibility can be fulfilled without harm to yourself. If you sprain the muscles or wound the flesh, your remedy is at hand. Mind decides whether or not the flesh will be discolored, painful, and inflamed.

You say that you have not slept well or you have no self-discipline. You are a law to yourself. Saying this and believing it, you will suffer in proportion to your certainty and fear. Your sufferings are not the penalty for having broken a biological law, for it is a law of human mind which you have disobeyed. You say or think, because you have eaten salty food that you must be thirsty and you are thirsty accordingly, while the opposite thought would produce the opposite result.

Any information coming from limited resources and claiming to be truth is an illusion of human mind—one of its dreams. We must realize that evidence given by the physical senses is not to be accepted as reality, in cases of sickness, sin, or health.

Matthew 7:1-6

1-5  [Jesus said,] “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

“Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege.

21st Century Science and Health

If selfishness has given way to kindness, we will regard our neighbor unselfishly and pray for our enemies;[2] but this great responsibility is never accomplished simply by asking that it may be done.

Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Spirit. Each day we must express spiritual awareness, and persevere to align our thoughts and actions with the divine character. Then we are made new, until we wake in Love’s likeness. The Science of Christianity is experienced while we mirror the divine nature, but in a wicked world goodness will “be spoken of as evil.”[3]

Audible prayers can never do the works of spiritual understanding. Spiritual understanding regenerates. Awareness, silent heartfelt prayers, and sincere obedience to divine Love clear the road for us to follow Jesus’ example. Wordy prayers, superstition, and dogma, interrupt the communications of Love and disguise religion in human forms. Whatever defaces worship is an obstacle to spiritual progress and keeps us from demonstrating our power over error.

Sorrow for wrongdoing is only one step toward reform, and the easiest step. The next and great step required by wisdom is the test of our sincerity—namely reformation. During the reformation process, we are placed under the stress of circumstances. Temptation will pressure us to repeat the offense. Heartache for backsliding may be felt until we are no longer tempted. This is the way it goes until we learn that there is no discount in the law of justice. We must pay “the last penny.”[4] “The measure you use, it will be measured to you,”[5] and it will run over and “be poured into your lap.”[6]

To the ritualistic and hypocritical church authorities, Jesus said, “The tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”[7] Jesus’ history made a new calendar which we call the Christian era, but he established no ceremonial worship. He knew that people can be baptized, take sacrament, support the ministry, study Bible lessons, make long prayers, and yet be corrupt and sensual.

Matthew 25:1-13

1-5 “God’s kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep. “In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bride-groom’s here! Go out and greet him!’ 7-8 “The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’ “They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’ 10 “They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked. 11 “Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Master, we’re here. Let us in.’ 12 “He answered, ‘Do I know you? I don’t think I know you.’

13 “So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.

21st Century Science and Health

Oil. Dedication; altruism; gentleness; prayer; heavenly inspiration.

The beliefs of isolatable powers, the fight-and-flight nature, or morphing substances are 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 indefinite world and be dedicated. We must renounce aggression, oppression, and the pride of power. Christianity, with the crown of Love on her brow, must be our queen of life.

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. They must not only seek but strive to enter the narrow path of Life, “for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.”[8] 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.[9]

Every conscientious student and teacher of the Science of Mind-healing knows that human-will is not divine Science. This fact must be recognized and lived to maintain immunity against this infectious human-willfulness. Teachers are morally obligated to open the eyes of students that they may perceive the nature and methods of error of every sort, especially any subtle degree of evil, deceived and deceiving. All mental malpractice surfaces from ignorant or malicious intent. Malpractice is the injurious action of one human mind controlling another from wrong motives, and it is practiced either with a mistaken or a wicked purpose.

Show your student that mental malpractice tends to blast moral sense, health, and the human life. Instruct students on how to bolt the door of their thought against the seeming dark power of mental malpractice—a simple task when the pupil understands that in reality evil has no power. Help to guard against incorrect reasoning which leads to practical error. It is favorable to arrest the wrong thought before it has a chance to manifest itself.

Walking in the light, we are accustomed to the light and require it; we cannot see in darkness. But eyes accustomed to darkness are pained by the light. When you outgrow the old, do not fear putting on the new. Your advancing course may provoke envy, but it will also attract respect. When error confronts you, do not withhold the rebuke or the explanation which destroys error. Never breathe an immoral atmosphere, unless in the attempt to purify it. Modest intellectual discoveries gained with contentment and virtue, are better than the luxury of learning with egotism and vice.

*Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

**Text from 21st Century Science and Health can’t be reproduced in part or as a whole without the written permission of Healing Science Today

[1] Mother Teresa (1910–1997) Albanian Roman Catholic nun.

[2] Matt. 5:44

[3] Rom. 14:16

[4] Matt. 5:26

[5] Matt. 7:2; Luke 6:38

[6] Luke 6:38

[7] Matt. 21:31

[8] Matt. 7:13 (NRSV)

[9] Gal. 5:22

August 29, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Adoption

Golden text: Ephesians 1:3-5 (The Message)

How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.

Act 7:2-8 *

And Stephen said:

“Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’ Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child. And God spoke to this effect—that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years. ‘But I will judge the nation that they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.’ And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs [including Joseph].

21st Century Science and Health**

The whole human family can be redeemed through the excellence of Christ—through the perception and acceptance of Truth. For this magnificent result, Christian or divine Science lights the torch of spiritual understanding.

The Scriptures are sacred. Our aim must be to have them understood spiritually, for only by this understanding can truth be gained. The true theory of the universe, including person, is not in material history but in spiritual development. Inspired thought, call it mental evolution or ascension, relinquishes changeable, superficial, mortal theories of the universe and adopts the spiritual and immortal.

It is this spiritual perception of Scripture which lifts humanity out of disease and death and inspires faith.

Acts 7:9-13

 “And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him 10 and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 11 Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit. 13 And on the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh.

21st Century Science and Health

Right and wrong, truth and error will be at strife in the minds of students until victory rests on the side of invincible truth. Mental freedom follows the explanation of Truth and an improved state is won; but with some individuals the morbid moral or physical symptoms constantly reappear. I have never witnessed so decided effects from the use of temporary remedies as from the use of spiritual.

We dirty our garments with conservatism and afterward we must wash them clean. When the spiritual sense of Truth unfolds its harmonies, you take no risks in the policy of error. Expect to heal simply by repeating my words, by right talking and wrong acting, and you will be disappointed. Such a practice does not demonstrate the Science by which divine Mind heals the sick.

Acting from bad motives destroys your power to heal from the right motive. On the other hand, if you had the inclination or power to practice destructively and then should adopt divine Science, the wrong power can be destroyed. We do not deny the mathematician’s right to distinguish between correct and incorrect mathematical answers; we do not refuse to believe the musicians ability to distinguish harmony from discord; in like manner, it should be granted that I understand what I am saying.

Acts 7:14-22

14 And Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all. 15 And Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, he and our fathers, 16 and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17 “But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt 18 until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph. 19 He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive. 20 At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, 21 and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. 22 And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.

21st Century Science and Health

From the infinite One in divine Science comes one Principle and its infinite idea. From this infinite one Source comes spiritual rules, laws, and their demonstration. It is “the same yesterday and today and forever.”[1]

Divine Science is demonstrable. There is one suitable arrangement of ideas in its teaching. Those who depart from this approach forfeit their claims to belong to its Science. A student of Christian Science does not adhere to a doctrinal system, and does not adhere to teachings peculiar to a human organization or philosopher. In other words, there is no adherence to, or adoption of, the opinions of Socrates, Plato, Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault, or some other thinker. Although the opinions of great thinkers have gleams of divinity, borrowed from that truly divine Science which eschews human-made teaching practices, these opinions remain human in their origin and tendency and are not scientifically Christ-like.

Truth has furnished the key to the kingdom, and with this key Christian Science has opened the door of the human understanding. None may pick the lock or enter by some other door. The secular teachings are material and not spiritual. Christian Science teaches that which is spiritual and divine. Spiritual sense is unmistaken; whereas, human personal perceptions make mistakes.

Bear in mind, people who adopt New Age techniques, mysticism, or hypnotism, may be more spiritual than individuals who shun or avoid their practices. Therefore, my contest is not with those practitioners, but with the false systems. I love humanity, and will continue to labor and to endure.

Acts 7:37-40

37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’ 38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us. 39 Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us.

Psalms 77:16, 19-20

When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.

19 Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

21st Century Science and Health

The loss of earthly hopes and pleasures brightens the spiritual path.

The life of false egos is found to have no resemblance to divine Life. Its false claims are fickle implications of an existence which ends in quitting. Mistaken mentalities charge their lies to Truth and repeats: “The Lord knows false egos and allowed dysfunction.” But, what’s happening here is that error is participating in its own nature, regurgitating its own false nature. If we believe dysfunction is a part of God’s eternity, our spiritual path will be full of obstacles. If we regard Mind as both reliable and unreliable, then every sin or fleeting pain and pleasure seems normal.

The term Lord, as used in the Old Testament, is often synonymous with Yahweh, and expresses a rudimental human concept not yet elevated to deific understanding through spiritual transfiguration. Yet the word Lord gradually approaches a higher significance, as the human mind’s concept of God yields to diviner meaning. The human mind’s sense of personality admits a more expansive thought of God and us as the infinite Principle and infinite idea—as one Father-Mother with a universal family held in the gospel of Love. The Lamb’s wife presents the unity of male and female as no longer two wedded individuals, but as two individual natures in one; and this compounded spiritual individuality reflects God as Father-Mother, not as a physical being. In this divinely united spiritual consciousness, there is no impediment to eternal happiness, no inhibition to the perfectibility of God’s creation.

What establishes Life? Does Life begin with human mind or with divine Mind? Is Life sustained by material molecules or by Spirit? Certainly not by both, since flesh wars against Spirit and the flesh can take no cognizance of Spirit. At no point does the theory of mortal life resemble the scientific record of spiritual beings, as described in the first chapter of Genesis. Did God at first create one person unaided, but afterward require Adam or the union of the two sexes to produce more children? Did God then require In Vitro Fertilization to sustain the human family? No! God made and governs all.

Truth has no starting point. Divine Mind is our Soul and gives us unending dominion to image forth good. We were not crafted from an indefensible basis. We were not commanded to obey human laws which Spirit never made. Our sphere is in the higher law of Mind.

The calm, strong forces of true spirituality are manifest as health, purity, and a magnanimous self. Spiritual mindedness must expand the human experience until the beliefs of temporal being are clearly exposed as impositions. Confusion, danger, and disorder will then give everlasting place to the scientific demonstration of divine Spirit and to God’s radiant offspring.

*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, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Heb. 13:8

August 22, 2018

Subject: Joy

Golden text: Jude 1:24-25*

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.

Luke 19:1-10

[Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

21st Century Science and Health**

With due respect to advanced thinkers in all fields of study and work, here are some statements to consider:

“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]

“The Starting Point of Biblical Theology: We have already observed that every scholarly endeavor inevitably is based upon presuppositions.”[2] HarperCollins Bible Dictionary.

“We physicians do not fully understand the relationship between mind, body, and that intangible element known as spirit…Medical educators have often taught that religion is an irrelevant or even detrimental factor in physical and emotional well-being. But a growing body of research has established that religious people, both young and old, often enjoy the psychological and physical benefits of a positive emotional outlook.”[3] —Harold G. Koenig, M D., Director of Duke University’s Center for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and Health.

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 human mind alone created.

Should all cases of fleshly disease be treated by a doctor, and the Christian Scientist use truth only in cases of hysteria, hypochondria, and hallucination? One disease is no more real than another. All disease is the result of education, and disease can carry its ill-effects no farther than mortal mind plots out. It is the human mind, not matter that supposedly feels, suffers, and enjoys. Hence decided types of acute disease are quite as ready to yield to Truth as the less distinct types and chronic forms of disease. Truth deals with the most malignant contagion with assurance.

I have demonstrated beyond doubt, that the human mind produces diseases and disorders of the flesh as certainly as it produces hysteria, and that it must relinquish all its errors, sicknesses, and sins. The evidence of divine Mind’s healing power and orderly control is to me as certain as the evidence of my own existence.

John 16:21-24

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

21st Century Science and Health

Human beings must have trials and self-denials, as well as joys and victories, until all erroneous mindsets are killed.

Happiness is won as good has ascendency over evil and the spiritual rules the animal. The attainment of this spiritual condition improves our progeny, diminishes crime, and gives higher aims to ambition.

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.

Effort spent living in the past, pursuing superficial goals, or showing off, is effort wasted.

Happiness can’t be defined by personal perceptions. The perceptions of human beings confer no lasting enjoyment. Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy our cravings. 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.

Act 8:4-8

Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in that city.

21st Century Science and Health

The nature of spirituality is peaceful and blessed. To enter the realm of Spirit, our 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 impressions of spiritual being.

Our heavenly Parent, divine Love, did not demand us to worship the personality of Jesus. The phrase “serving the Lord” doesn’t mean public worship. Serving the Lord means work, but God is not authoritarian. It is joyously essential to follow the example of the Teacher and his apostles.

The Christ is bodiless, spiritual—the holy image and likeness, dispelling the illusions of the senses; the Way, the Truth, and the Life, healing the sick and driving out evils, destroying sin, disease, and dying.

Isaiah 12:3-6

 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.

“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

21st Century Science and Health

I knew a person who when quite a child adopted a whole wheat and vegetarian diet to cure indigestion. For many years, he ate only bread and vegetables and drank nothing but water. His dyspepsia increasing, he decided that his diet should be more rigid. So, he ate only one meal every twenty-four hours, a meal consisting of only a thin slice of bread. His physician recommended that he should not moisten his parched throat until three hours after eating. The person passed many weary years in hunger and weakness, almost in starvation. The skill of the doctors was exhausted and they kindly informed him that death was indeed his only alternative, so he finally made up his mind to die. Then divine Science saved him and his health was restored without a reminder of the old complaint.

This person learned that suffering and disease were the self-imposed beliefs of mortals and not the facts of being. He recognized that God never decreed dis-ease—never ordained a law that fasting should be a means of health. Hence semi-starvation is not acceptable to wisdom and is equally far from Science, in which being is sustained by God, Mind. These truths opened the sufferer’s eyes, relieved his stomach, and he ate without suffering, “giving God thanks.” Disciplined by self-denial and divine Science, he never enjoyed his food as he imagined he would back in the day when he was constantly hungry.

This new-born understanding that neither food nor the stomach, without the consent of human mind, can make us suffer, brings with it another lesson, that self-indulgence, gluttony, or bulimia, are sensual illusions and can’t give satisfaction. These phantasms disappear as we better understand our spiritual existence and walk the line of a balanced life.

Denying the claims of power in matter/energy is an important step to take toward the joys of Spirit, toward human freedom and the final triumph over the body.

Even if you cling to a sense of personal joys, spiritual Love will force you to accept what best promotes your spiritual growth. Friends will betray and enemies will slander until the lesson is learned and you are exalted; for “man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”[4] I speak from experience. We are learning to lay down our fleshliness and gain spirituality by ridding our self of a mortal identity. Universal Love is the divine way.

Saints make their own heaven by engaging Life, Truth, and Love. Wrongdoers make their own hell by doing things which avoid Life, Truth, and Love. Wrongdoers are self-deceived; they believe they are happier when being slothful or negative, and this is evil aiding evil. They believe they are saints when they are hypocrites, and this is selfishness aiding selfishness. Do not be deceived by twisted human conclusions.

Following Jesus’ sayings and demonstrations, we help our self to overcome the flesh. The sordid and narrow beliefs which originate in mortals are hell. Spiritual individuals are the idea of Spirit, reflecting the presence of virtue and illuming the universe with light. Spirituality is deathless, above sin or frailty. We do not cross over into the vast forever of Life, but we coexist with God and the universe. Complete and infinite Mind ordained is heaven.

*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, 6th edition, 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] HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Paul J. Achtemeier, General Editor, With the Society of Biblical Literature (HaperCollins Publishes, New York: 1996)

[3] Koenig, Harold G. The Healing Power of Faith: Science Explores Medicine’s Last Great Frontier. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1999.

[4] Quote attributed to John Flavel, (1627–1691) English Presbyterian.

August 15, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Dreams

Golden text: Psalms 90:4-5*

 For a thousand years in your sight [God] are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning.

Genesis 28:10-22

 Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

18 So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house..”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The time required for this dream of material life to disappear from consciousness, “No one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”[1] The time it takes for us to stop embracing delusive pleasures and pains will be drawn out or shortened, depending on the tenacity of error. Of what advantage is it to prolong the illusion either of a catatonic soul or of a dying sufferer trapped in a body? What is better, to add years to mortal life, or to add life to years?

A higher and more practical Christianity, demonstrating justice and meeting the needs of human beings in sickness and in health, stands at the door of this age knocking for admission. Will you open or close the door upon this angel visitor? Will you welcome the angel who comes quietly and unpretentiously?

Science corrects the grave mistakes that suppose separable entities are part of the reality, or that suppose personal mortal minds commune with the divine Mind. The sensualist can’t be made the mouthpiece of the spiritual, nor can the finite become the channel for the infinite. There is no communication between that which is subject to death and that which is not.

Different dreams and different awakenings signify different frames of mind.

Suffering can waken human mind from its fleshly dream and therefore is better than the false pleasures which tend to perpetuate unsustainable dreams. Only sin brings death, for sin is the element of destruction.

Isaiah 29:5-8

[T]he multitude of your foreign foes shall be like small dust,
and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff.
And in an instant, suddenly,
    you will be visited by the Lord of hosts
with thunder and with earthquake and great noise,
with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
all that fight against her and her stronghold and distress her,
shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.
As when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he is eating,
and awakes with his hunger not satisfied,
or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he is drinking,
and awakes faint, with his thirst not quenched,
so shall the multitude of all the nations be
that fight against Mount Zion.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Do material atoms have intelligence? Do the material organs cause the eyes to see and the ears to hear? If so, then when the body dematerializes these faculties must be lost. But think different. Mentally dematerialize the faculties and conceive of them as immortal. Our immortality is in Spirit.

Nerves are not the source of pain or pleasure. We suffer or enjoy in our dreams, but this pain or pleasure is not communicated through a nerve. What about phantom limb? A limb is felt, but there are no nerves. If the feeling can return or be prolonged, why can’t the limb reappear?

Why, after pulling a bad tooth can we sometimes still feel the toothache? Because the memory of pain is more vivid than the memory of pleasure. When the nerve is gone, which we say caused the pain, and yet the pain remains, it proves sensation to be in the human mind, not in matter. Reverse the process; take away the personal mind’s claim instead of a piece of the flesh and the nerves have no sensation.

Our wisdom finds no satisfaction in misconduct since God has sentenced negative behavior to suffer. The fascinations of yesterday, predicted today’s obsessions or mesmerized thinking. The drunk thinks it is enjoyable to be intoxicated. You cannot make the inebriate leave the drunkenness until their temporal sense of pleasure yields to a better sense. A drunk, however, may wake and get on the wagon to recovery, just as the startled dreamer wakens from a nightmare due to the stress of distorted sense. A person who likes to do wrong—finding pleasure in it and refraining from it only through fear of consequences—is not moderate or reliable.

Because all the methods of divine Mind are not understood our conclusions are inconclusive.

Matthew 27:11-19, 24-26

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. 15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.”

24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The power of human mind over its own body is not understood very well. Human beings have “made a mess of things,”[2] not realizing yet that divine knowledge can save from the dire effects of knowledge. If materialistic knowledge is power, it is not wisdom. Human knowledge and gene modification are but vain forces. They mutate.

Because God bestowed glory on the anointed Jesus, temptation, sin, sickness, and death did not terrorize him. Let people think they had killed the body! Afterward, he would show it again as unchanged. This demonstrates that in Christian Science the true individual is governed by God, by good, not evil, and is immortal, not mortal.

The belief and dream of mortal being is entirely separate from the Life divine. Immortal Life reveals spiritual understanding. Life reveals the consciousness of our dominion over that which is earthbound. Life reveals our ability to overcome error and heal the sick. God reveals the understanding to speak “as one who had authority.”[3]

Psalms 90:1-6

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Is there any more reality in the waking dream of human existence than in the sleeping dream? There can’t be, since whatever appears to be a human being is a mortal dream. Take away the mortal human mind and the body doesn’t know if it is a person or a bird. The immortal, real individual is spiritual, always conscious.

We treat error through the understanding of Truth, because Truth is error’s antidote. Error is like a dream, and when a dream stops it is self-destroyed and the terror is over. Take pain. Many times over, pain disappears as dreams do. It may seem absurd to say pain is an illusion (dream), however, what else could it be? Human beings have forever been at odds when measuring pain levels. The same painful condition to one person isn’t even noticed by another person. More bizarre is the fact that pain to one human being is actually pleasure to another. Pain has even been proven to be an error on the physical level. When a supposedly pained human mind is distracted, unconscious, or drugged, where is the pain? Pain is an error, sometimes a terror. Error has no part of Truth and this is an antidote that removes terror.

God expresses divine consciousness in us. God did not give us an animal or human consciousness to lose control of or control.

Consciousness in the likeness of Truth is inevitably 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, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Matt. 24:36 (ESV)

[2] Eccl. 7:29 (The Message)

[3] Matt. 7:29

August 8, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Beauty

Golden text: Psalm 96:4-7*

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!

Esther 1:10-12

On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him.

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Psalms 27:4-6

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The same power which heals sin also heals sickness. The “beauty of holiness,”[1] is Truth healing the sick, casting out evils, even the evil of disease.

Become committed, “pray continually,”[2] and go forward with a pure heart to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. Such prayer is answered insofar as you put your spiritual desires into practice. Christ Jesus’ guidance is that we pray in secret and let our lives confirm our sincerity.

You can rejoice in secret beauty and abundance, hidden from worldliness but known to God. Constant prayer spiritualizes thoughts and causes the mortal selfhood to be less demanding and distracting. A mindful practice has the ear and right hand of omnipotence and assuredly calls upon infinite blessings. Trustworthiness is the foundation of enlightened faith. Without a fitness for holiness, we can’t receive holiness.

Although we have goodness and beauty to cheer the heart, the hypotheses of mortal perceptions, unexplained by divine Science, make us believe we are mere wandering comets—or as Maya Angelou wrote:

Manless and friendless
No cave my home
This is my torture
My long nights, lone.[3]

Love never loses sight of loveliness. Its halo rests on its object. Isn’t it amazing that a loyal friend is always beautiful!

Isaiah 28:1-6

Ah, the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,
and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome with wine!
Behold, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong;
like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,
like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters,
he casts down to the earth with his hand.
The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim
will be trodden underfoot;
and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
which is on the head of the rich valley,
will be like a first-ripe fig before the summer:
when someone sees it, he swallows it
as soon as it is in his hand.

In that day the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory,
and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people,
and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Measuring life by solar years steals from our prime and gives ugliness to age. The radiant sun of virtue and truth coexists with being. Manhood and womanhood is its eternal noon, undimmed by a declining sun. As the physical and material—the transient sense of beauty fades—the radiance of Spirit illumines spiritual sense with bright and imperishable glories.

Beauty, as well as truth, is undying. The beauty of material things passes away—fades and vanishes as mortal beliefs. Tradition, education, and fashion form the illusive standards of human beings. Spirituality, exempt from decline or decay, has a glory of its own—the radiance of Soul. We can be models of spiritual sense. Our spirituality is designed by complete Mind and reflects those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all false conceptions.

Good looks and poise are independent of physique. Being possesses its qualities before they are perceived humanly. Beauty is a thing of life. It dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the living God in expression, form, outline, and color. It is Love which paints the petal with countless hues. It is Love that pours in warm sunbeams, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers the earth with loveliness.

Cosmetic surgery, Botox, and tattoos are inadequate substitutes for the attractiveness of spirituality. Our spiritual nature is stunning and substantial. It outperforms the aging process.

The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul. Retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in body and advance into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony.

James 1:1-18

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:

Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Mind is not necessarily dependent on the education process. Mind possesses of itself all eloquence, beauty, and poetry. Mind has the power to express prose. Spirit, God, is heard when the human mind’s noise is silent. We are all capable of more than we do. The action of Soul confers the freedom that explains excellent impromptu speeches, admirable movie scripts, or meaningful texts.

It is recorded that Mahatma Gandhi[4] said, “When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the

beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator.” Spirit would be a nonentity if it was separated from spiritual being. Similarly, people would lose their entity if divorced from Spirit, however there is, there can be, no such separation for real being is coexistent with God.

Suffering, self-destructive, dying beliefs are unreal. When divine Science is universally understood, the negative consciousness will have no power over us, for we are spiritual and live by divine authority.

The sinless joy is the perfect harmony and immortality of Life, possessing unlimited divine beauty and goodness without a single bodily pleasure or pain. Our real being embodies sinless joy. This state of being is scientific and intact. It is a state of conscious completion discernible only by those who have the final understanding of God’s idea in divine Science. Death can never produce immortality or spirituality for death must be overcome, not submitted to, before immortality appears.

The recognition of Spirit and of infinity does not come all at once but throughout eternity. Haba na haba, a Swahili phrase for little by little, or step by step, has relevance. Human beings do not change from error to truth in an instant.

Existence continues to be a perception of divided body energies until the Science of being is reached. Erroneous methodologies and belief systems bring their own self-destruction both here and hereafter because mortal mind creates its own mortal conditions.

The testimony of Spirit, Soul, maintains: I am Spirit. Individuals, whose perceptions are spiritual are my likeness, reflecting the infinite understanding, for I am Infinity. The beauty of holiness, the completion 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 the unlimited source of good ideas, for I am Mind. I am the substance of all, because “I AM WHO I AM.”[5]

All things are fashioned by, and after, God’s own likeness. Life is reflected in existence, Truth in truthfulness, God in goodness. They impart their own peace and permanence. Love, fragrant with unselfishness, bathes all in beauty and light. The grass beneath our feet silently exclaims, “Happy are those who claim nothing, for the whole earth will belong to them!”[6] The modest lilac sends her sweet breath to heaven. The great rock gives shadow and shelter. The sunlight flows into the church and prison cell, glides into the sick room, brightens the earth, beautifies the landscape and blesses the galaxy. Children of God, made in Soul’s likeness, possesses and reflects God’s dominion to bless the environment. We are coexistent and eternal with God and forever reflect in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God.

*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, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Ps. 29:2, 96:9 (NKJV)

[2] I Thess. 5:17

[3] The Traveler. from “And Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.

[4] Gandhi, Mahatma, (1869–1948) Political and religious leader of India.

[5] Ex. 3:14

[6] Matt. 5:5 (Phillips NT)