February 13, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Forgiveness

Golden text: Psalm 86:5*

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.

Jeremiah 18:1-8, 18-23

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it

18 Then they said, “Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words.”

19 Hear me, O Lord,
and listen to the voice of my adversaries.
20 Should good be repaid with evil?
Yet they have dug a pit for my life.
Remember how I stood before you
to speak good for them,
to turn away your wrath from them.
21 Therefore deliver up their children to famine;
give them over to the power of the sword;
let their wives become childless and widowed.
May their men meet death by pestilence,
their youths be struck down by the sword in battle.
22 May a cry be heard from their houses,
when you bring the plunderer suddenly upon them!
For they have dug a pit to take me
and laid snares for my feet.
23 Yet you, O Lord, know
all their plotting to kill me.
Forgive not their iniquity,
nor blot out their sin from your sight.
Let them be overthrown before you;
deal with them in the time of your anger.

21st Century Science and Health**

Supposing that the potter is subject to the clay is like saying the genetic engineer is subject to, or constrained by, the genetically altered organism. When God isn’t understood as our source, attempts are made to reduce truth to the level of error where the sensible is required to be made manifest through the insensible.

Resisting evil, you overcome it and prove its nothingness. Not human clichés, but divine beatitudes reflect the spiritual light and might which heal the sick. To insist on exercising the human will is to bring on a mesmerized attitude, detrimental to the health and integrity of thought. So, be observant and guard against strong mortal mindedness. Do not protect or cover up iniquity because it only prevents prosperity and the ultimate triumph of any cause. If you are unaware of the error to be eradicated, it will sometimes abuse you.

Good must dominate in the thoughts of healers or their demonstrations are prolonged, perilous, and impossible in Science. A wrong motive involves defeat. In the Science of Mind-healing, it is imperative to be honest for victory rests on the side of immutable right. To understand God strengthens hope, advances faith in Truth, and verifies Jesus’ word: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”[1]

A sinner is afraid to throw the first stone. Some sinners say as a subterfuge, that evil is unreal, but to know it, they must demonstrate the statement. To assume that there are no claims of evil and yet to indulge them, is a moral offence. Close-mindedness and self-righteousness clamp onto iniquity.

Human mind is the worst enemy of the body, while divine Mind is its best friend.

The heavenly law is broken by trespassing on our neighbor’s individual rights of self-government. We have no authority in divine Science and no moral right to attempt to influence the thoughts of others except to benefit them. In mental practice, you must not forget that erring human opinions, conflicting selfish motives, and ignorant attempts to do good may render you incapable of knowing or judging accurately the real need of those who you are helping. Therefore, the rule is to heal the sick when called on and save the victims of the mental assassins.

To say that there is no sickness, does not heal the sick. You have to know there is no sickness. Ignorance, subtlety, or false charity does not forever conceal error; evil will in time uncover and punish itself. A balanced system and mind, mentally sustained by Truth, goes on naturally. When sin or sickness—the reverse of harmony—seems real to fleshly sense, calmly and honestly encourage the patient with truth and spiritual understanding, which destroy disease. Expose and denounce the claims of evil and disease in all their forms, but realize no reality in them. Sinners are not reformed merely by assuring them that they cannot be sinners because there is no sin. To put down the claim of sin, you must detect it, remove the disguise, point out the deception, and thus get the victory over sin and prove its unreality.

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.

Divine Science doesn’t get caught up in worldly evidence. If you haven’t advanced past sin yourself, don’t congratulate yourself for being blind to evil or for not living the good you claim to know. A two-faced attitude is far from Christianly scientific.

Matthew 6:7-15

[Jesus said] “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

21st Century Science and Health

Do we have empty thoughts of Deity? We admit theoretically that God is good, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, and yet, we try to give information to this infinite Mind. We may even ask for undeserved forgiveness or benefits

Calling on Mind to forgive our unfinished or negligent work is useless. To repeatedly ask for forgiveness, yet repeat lousy behavior, is unreasonable.

Suffering is a means of destroying limited thinking and wrongdoing. Every material pleasure will come with a measure of pain until spiritual life is taken on. To reach heaven, the harmony of being, we must understand the Principle of being.

“God is love.”[2] We cannot ask for more than infinite Love, we cannot go farther, and we cannot look deeper. To think that God forgives or punishes, whether we pray or not, is to misunderstand Love. Prayer is not a loophole for wrongdoing.

We can rather ask, “Do we really appreciate the good we’ve already received?” If so, then we will put to good use the blessings we have and be prepared to receive more.

The website designer is not in the website. The website is the designer’s thought objectified. Human beings fancy themselves able to actualize limited things and images because they believe they are creators. These things are nothing more than human mind-force, vulnerable to mistakes and crashes. The divine potter is not in the clay[3] to mistake or crack. We can understand and see the form, substance, and color of spiritual thoughts, without material objectifications, because God is self-acknowledged Mind and expresses all.

When we understand that our God-given spiritual energies and resources can’t wear out or be trespassed upon by mortal laws, we are refreshed by the assurances of immortality, opposed to mortality.

People shouldn’t die young because they occupy the most important positions and perform the most vital functions in society. Think of Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackelton[4] and his expedition crew, all who survived overwhelming adversity in their 1914–1916 Antarctic expedition. Persons who act on integrity and goodness do not pay severe penalties. By adhering to the realities of spirituality—instead of reading studies on the inconsistent assumption that death comes in obedience to the law of life and that God punishes people for doing good—one cannot suffer as the result of any labor of love, but grows stronger because of it. It is a mental law in so-called human mind, misnamed matter, which causes all things discordant.

The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on us by our heavenly Father-Mother. Omnipotent Mind gives us faith and understanding whereby to safeguard our self, not only from temptation, but also from bodily suffering.

Study metaphysics and look deep into realism, instead of only accepting the superficial, illusive sense of things. Be elevated in thought in every situation. Can we gather peaches from a pine tree or learn from disorder the order of being? Continue to recognize the nothingness of illusions—stay on the path Science is walking—and the ingrained illusions of human beings will be replaced with reality.

The complicated mis-creations must finally give place to the glorious forms which we sometimes glimpse through the eye of divine Mind when the mental picture is spiritual and eternal. Take the time to look past the fading, sensational pictures. Gain the true sense of life. Rest your gaze on the unsearchable realm of Mind. Look ahead and act as possessing all power from Truth and Love in whom you have your being.

*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. 28:20

[2] I John 4:8

[3] Isa 29:16; Isa 64:8; Jeremiah 18:6; Romans 9:26

[4] Ernest Shackleton (1874–1922) Irish explorer.

February 6, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Holy Sabbath

Golden text: Isaiah 5:15-16*

Man is humbled, and each one is brought low,
and the eyes of the haughty are brought low.
16 But the Lord of hosts is exalted in justice,
and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.

Exodus 20:8-11

 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

21st Century Science and Health**

Day. The illumination of Life; light, the spiritual idea of Truth and Love.

“And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”[1] The objects of space, time, waves, particles, and temporal impressions disappear in the illumination of spiritual understanding, and Mind measures time according to the good that is revealed. This unfolding of good is God’s day, and “there will be no night there.”[2]

Genesis 1:31. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

The divine Principle, or Spirit, comprehends and expresses all, and all must therefore be as complete as the divine Principle is complete. Nothing is new to Spirit. Nothing can be novel to eternal Mind, the author of all things, who from all eternity knows His own ideas. Love is satisfied with Her work. How could that which is complete be unsatisfied? The spiritual creation is the result, the outflow of Father-Mother’s infinite self-containment and immortal wisdom.

Genesis. 2:1. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

Science reveals infinity and the fatherhood and motherhood of Love, therefore, the ideas of God in universal being are complete and forever expressed. Human ability is slow to perceive and realize God’s creation and the divine power and presence which go with it, demonstrating its spiritual origin. Mortals can never know the infinite until they throw off the old self and reach the spiritual image and likeness. What can fathom infinity! How can we describe God, Life, “Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ”?[3]

Genesis 2:2. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

God rests in action. Imparting has not impoverished and can never impoverish the divine Mind. As understood in divine Science, no exhaustion follows the action of this Mind. The most satisfying and sweetest rest, even from a human standpoint, is in holy work.

To discern the rhythm of Spirit and to be holy, thought must be purely spiritual.

Mark 3:1-6

Again [Jesus] entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

21st Century Science and Health

Experience has proved the fallacy of material systems in general. The theories of human systems are sometimes destructive, and it is better to keep that fact in mind. Would you urge people to let evils overcome them? Would you assure a person that all misfortunes are from God, against whom human beings should not fight? Will you tell the sick that their condition is hopeless unless it can be aided by a drug, operation, or different environment? Are human means the only refuge from fatal chances? Why tell people a religious creed will save them? Don’t we rather have divine permission to conquer disorder of every kind with harmony, with Truth and Love?

We should remember that Life is God and that God is omnipotent. To forget that God is our Life can unconsciously enable suffering. Not understanding divine Science, the sick usually have little faith in it until they feel its altruistic influence. This shows that faith is not the healer in such cases. Instead of admitting the reality of afflictions, deny them any reality. Contradict suffering. We should stand up against the testimony of the deceitful senses, while maintaining our spirituality and ongoing likeness to God.

Christ Jesus was an excellent example. Like him, the healer should speak to disease as having authority over it, leaving Soul to prevail over the false evidence of the physical senses and to assert Spirit’s claims over mortality and disease. The same Principle cures both sin and sickness. When divine Science overcomes faith in a fleshly mind; and faith in God destroys all faith in mortal thinking and methods of healing, then sin, disease, and loss will disappear.

Jesus perceived in Science the flawless person, who appeared to him where flawed mortals appeared to worldly thinkers. In the perfect individual, the Savior saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man and woman healed the sick. Moreover, Jesus taught that the realm of God is intact, universal, and that being is pure and holy. People are not material habitations for Soul. Soul is seen in nothing incomplete nor mindless.

Anything in the human mind is incomplete and therefore insensible. To the five physical senses, a person appears to be unconscious flesh and conscious mind united. Divine Science reveals our true identities as the idea of ever-conscious God. Science supports the fact that the physical senses are capricious and illusory. Divine Science shows that it is impossible for congealed atoms to be person even though interwoven with matter’s higher echelon called brain and misnamed mind. The genuine and whole person, the spiritual idea of being is indestructible and eternal. If it were otherwise, we would be annihilated.

II Corinthians 6:1-13

Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,

“In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. 13 In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.

21st Century Science and Health

At first, Truth leads the few and faithful free thoughts of Truth. As time marches on, those unrestricted thoughts move forward with the motto of freedom. The powers of this world will react and the old-guard will try to stop truth, will try to make it submit to their human standards and systems, but Science is not distracted by threats or assaults, and continues to unfold. There is always some chaos; however, a mobilization to truth’s standard is inevitable.

Improvement and progress come as mindsets improve. World history illustrates the might of Mind and shows human power to be proportionate to its embodiment of right thinking or spiritual clarity. Words and actions breathing the omnipotence of divine justice and wisdom, are powerful to break the barriers of human ideologies, fear, and caustic practices. Terrorism and oppression won’t go down in blood, and the breath of freedom doesn’t come from the mouth of a Patriot missile-launch battery. Love is the liberator.

Legally to abolish terrorism in the world is difficult, but the elimination of mental terrorism is a more difficult task. The overbearing 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.

To achieve divine Science and its harmony, it pays to regard life more metaphysically.

Evil is conspicuously broadcast today, bloating itself in consumerism, materialism, and sensualism. Evil is struggling against the advancing spiritual era. The world may lack spirituality, and people may not be able to keep a promise or make a home happy, but human minds are demanding spiritual understanding and reformed attitudes.

Truth cannot be contaminated by error. The statement that Truth is real necessarily includes its correlation, that error, Truth’s unlikeness, is unreal.

Truth and error seem to be in conflict. The contention of truth and error is only the mental conflict between the evidence of the spiritual perceptions and the testimony of the human imprints. Through faith in, and the understanding of divine Love, the battle between Spirit and flesh will settle all questions.

Superstition and understanding can never unite. When the final physical and moral effects of divine Science are fully understood, the conflict between truth and error, understanding and belief, spiritual sense and physical sense, will cease and lasting harmony will prevail, as was predicted by the prophets and introduced by Jesus. During the conflict, the lightning and thunderbolts of error burst and flash but the clouds will clear and the tumult will die away in the distance, for the raindrops of divinity to refresh the earth. As St. Paul says: “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God [of Spirit].”[4]

The bedrock of the temple of Christian Science is found in the following postulates: that Life is God, good, and not evil; that Soul is sinless, not found in the body; that Spirit is not, and cannot be, humanized; that Life is not subject to death; that the spiritual individual of God has no birth, no temporal life, and no death.

Science reveals the glorious possibilities of our spirituality, forever unlimited by the mortal senses.

*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] Gen. 1:5

[2] Rev. 21:25

[3] Eph. 4:13

[4] Heb. 4:9 (Brackets added by Mary Baker Eddy)

January 30, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Heart

Golden text: Matthew 9:2*

And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”

Lamentations 1:20-22

“Look, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my stomach churns;
my heart is wrung within me,
because I have been very rebellious.
In the street the sword bereaves;
in the house it is like death.

21 “They heard my groaning,
yet there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my trouble;
they are glad that you have done it.
You have brought the day you announced;
now let them be as I am.

22 “Let all their evildoing come before you,
and deal with them
as you have dealt with me
because of all my transgressions;
for my groans are many,
and my heart is faint.”

21st Century Science and Health**

How can we be relaxed, and then all of a sudden break out in a nervous sweat? Because the thought of something frightening can quickly lead to a disturbed body. In the same way thought increases or diminishes blood pressure, mutates the genes, or affects the lungs, bowels, and heart. The muscles, moving quickly or slowly and impelled or palsied by thought, represent the action of all the organs of the human system, including brain and viscera. To remove the error producing disorder, you must calm and instruct human mind with spiritual Truth.

[But] Sickness is neither imaginary nor unreal, that is, to the patient’s frightened perception. Disorders and problems are more than fancy, they are solid convictions of fear or unawareness and therefore need to be dealt with through an accurate comprehension of the truth of being. If Soul-healing is abused by those who boast in their own pious conceit, their treatment becomes an irksome trouble maker. Instead of scientifically affecting a cure, these posers in Science start petty crossfires over those who are disabled and sick. Humanity should not be knocked around with superficial and heartless remarks like: It’s all in your head; matter is not real; be more spiritual; you really are perfect.

The Science of being reveals individual spirituality as based on Soul. Physical sense defines humanity as based on matter and from this premise infers the mortality of the body.

The human thought must free itself from self-imposed materiality and bondage. Don’t take the effort to ask the genome, heart, or lungs: What are our prospects for life? Ask Mind about life. Mind is not helpless. Intelligence is not mute before non-intelligence.

We are scientists of Spirit only as we quit our reliance upon that which is false and grasp the truth. We are not metaphysical Scientists until we leave human opinions for spiritual Truth. Human attitudes come from the hearing of the ear, from physicality, instead of from Principle. Limited perceptions come from the mortal, instead of from the immortal. Spirit is not separate from God. Spirit is God.

The stomach, heart, colon, and lymph nodes don’t inform us that they are nauseous, diseased, cancerous, or invaded by malignant tumors. If this information is conveyed, human mind conveys it. Negative information certainly doesn’t come from immortal Mind and it can’t come from mute organs and cells. God’s “eyes are too pure to look on evil,”[1] and physical things have neither intelligence nor sensation.

Truth has no consciousness of error. Love has no sense of hatred. Life has no partnership with death. Truth, Life, and Love are the law of annihilation to everything unlike themselves, because they declare nothing except God.

John 7:37-52

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. 40 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people over him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is     accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

21st Century Science and Health

The Pharisees of old shoved the spiritual idea and the man who lived it out of their synagogues, and returned like leeches to fasten themselves tighter to their contradictory and materialist beliefs about God. Jesus’ approach didn’t receive support or approval from religious or health-care systems, and it is still generally not accepted today. As before, blind belief is unconscious of the reappearing of the spiritual idea, thereby shutting the door in its face and condemning the cure of the sick and sinning if it is accomplished on any but a doctrinal or physical theory.

Must Christian Science come through the Christian churches as some people insist? Divine Science has already come after the manner of God’s appointing, but the churches don’t seem ready to receive it. Scriptures say, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”[2] Jesus once said: “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”[3] The spirit of Christ, which takes away the rituals and doctrines of human beings, is not accepted until their hearts are made ready for it.

We may revere Jesus and our heart may overflow with gratitude for what he did; however, our demonstration of love must be comparable to Jesus’ until all are redeemed through divine Love.

Not materially, but spiritually we know God as divine Mind, as Life, Truth, and Love. We become more respectful and caring as we get to know the divine nature better and love Soul understandingly. The struggle over physicality will be replaced by a rejoicing in the affluence of our God. Religion will then be of the heart and not of the head, and humankind will no longer be tyrannical from lack of love—straining out gnats and swallowing camels.[4]

God is the Principle of divine metaphysics. As there is but one God, there can be but one divine Principle of all Science. There must be rules for the demonstration of this divine Principle. The letter of Science plentifully reaches humanity today, but its spirit comes only in small degrees. The vital part, the heart and soul of divine Science, is Love. Without Love, the letter is but the dead body of Science—obsolete, constricted, and barren.

Here is a summary of four fundamental propositions of divine metaphysics. To me, they are self-evident. The propositions agree in statement and proof even if reversed.

  1. God is All-in-all.
    2. God is good. Good is Mind.
    3. God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter.
    4. Life, God, omnipotent good, deny death, evil, sin, disease—Disease, sin, evil, death, deny good, omnipotent God, Life.

James 5:4-12

Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you. Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. 12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

21st Century Science and Health

The goal, a point beyond faith, is to find the footsteps of Truth, the way to health and spirituality. Sincere effort is required to reach the Horeb height where God is revealed. The cornerstone of all spiritual building is purity. Spirit’s baptism washes the body of all fleshly impurities and shows that the pure in heart see God. We approach spiritual Life and its demonstration through purity.

Spiritual happiness lasts because it is constantly poured forth from Truth and Love. Genuine happiness is shared because it can’t exist alone.

It may seem vain to share our love with someone who doesn’t give it back, but it isn’t a waste as long as we allow spiritual Love to enlarge, purify, and elevate the circumstance. If spite, revenge, and arrogance uproot and scatter our affections, this separation of fleshly ties serves to unite thought more closely to God, for Love supports the struggling heart until it ceases to sigh over the world and unfolds its wings to soar for heaven.

The harmony and immortality of individuals are intact. We should keep our gaze on the spiritual record and not become entranced by the fluxing, changing creation. It is best to keep turning our attention to the spiritual record of revelation, to that which should be engraved on the understanding and heart, “with the point of a diamond”[5] and the pen of an angel.

*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] Hab. 1:13

[2] John 1:11

[3] Matt. 11:25–26; Luke 10:21

[4] Matt. 23:24

[5] Jer. 17:1, KJV

January 23, 2019

bible study imageSubject:  Temptation or Purification

Golden text: Daniel 11:33-35*

 And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. 34 When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, 35 and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.

Luke 4 1-4

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”

21st Century Science and Health**

Even at a young age Jesus knew he was in his “Father’s house.”[1] Jesus’ pursuits were different from the conventional pursuits of human beings. His master was Spirit, versus the world’s master of material energy. Jesus served God, as opposed to the world serving money. His inclinations were pure, whereas the inclinations of mortals are to indulge the flesh and ego. Jesus’ senses drank in the spiritual evidence of substantial health, holiness, and life.

The Scriptures say, “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”[2] This shows that Truth is our actual life; but humankind objects to making this teaching practical.

Human mind is the feeler and the feeling, the tempter and the tempted, the sin and the sinner, the disease and its cause. It is beneficial to be calm when dealing with sickness; to be hopeful is still better. However, understanding that sickness is not real and that Truth can destroy its seeming reality is best of all, for this understanding is the universal and progressive remedy.

Every test of our faith in God makes us stronger. The more difficult seems the fleshly condition to be overcome by Spirit, the stronger should be our faith and the purer our love. The Apostle John says: “There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!…he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].”[3]

Luke 4:5-8

And the devil took [Jesus] up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

21st Century Science and Health

It is to our advantage never to let sympathy and society tempt us to cherish error in any form, and certainly we should not be error’s advocate.

We cry because others cry, we yawn because they yawn, and we have the flu because others have it; but human mind, not matter, contains and carries the infection. When this mental contagion is understood, we will be more careful with our mental conditions. We will avoid continually talking about disease just as we would avoid advocating crime.

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

Illustrations can be found to show how contagion is fickle. Dr. Albert Schweitzer[4] has been quoted to say, “Serious illness doesn’t bother me for long because I am too inhospitable a host,” whereas some people will catch a contagious disease without coming into contact with disease inducing germs.

If a child is exposed to a contagious disease, the parent is frightened and says, “My child will get sick.” The law of human mind, and the parent’s fears, control the child more than the child’s mind. The sickness might have been prevented with different thinking.

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.

Why do drugs cause recovery? Because, according to the faith will be the effect. A mass general belief, culminating in individual faith, can appear to heal. Even if you take away the individual’s confidence in the drug, you have not yet divorced the drug from the collective faith. Mass consciousness—including the pharmacist, the chemist, the doctor, and the person on the street—equips the medicine with their faith in the drug and gives it the upper hand. To overcome the collective thinking, individual dissent or faith must rest on Science, otherwise the belief is governed by the majority, not the minority.

The universal belief in physics weighs against the high and mighty truths of spiritual metaphysics. The widespread belief in physics, which sustains medicine and produces all medical results, works against divine Science. The percentage of power on the side of this Science must mightily outweigh the power of popular belief in order to heal metaphysically a single case of disease. The human mind can offset the discords of matter and the ills of flesh by giving less power to physics and more to spirituality.

People who discern divine reality will hold crime in check, help banish error, maintain law and order, and cheerfully serve the certainty of completions.

Luke 4:9-13

And [the devil] took [Jesus] to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’

11 and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

21st Century Science and Health

The belief that we have an existence or mind separate from God is a dying error—met and corrected by Jesus. Because God bestowed glory on the anointed Jesus, temptation, sin, sickness, and death did not terrorize him.

Treat a thought of sickness as you would sin, with sudden refusal. Resist the temptation to believe in mortality as intelligent or as having sensation and power.

Leaving all for Christ includes forsaking popularity and gaining true Christianity. Any attempt to engage society’s friendship in order to gain dominion over humankind comes from worldly weakness.

Society is a foolish juror, listening only to one side of the case. Justice often comes too late to secure a verdict. 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.

Sects that endure the abuse of their predecessors, in turn, are tempted to treat badly those who are in advance of creeds. For Christianity, the cross is the central emblem of its history. It is the guiding star in the demonstration of Christ-like healing—the demonstration by which sin and sickness are overcome.

Material wealth, fame, and social organizations have no authority or influence in the presence of God. We attain clearer views of Principle as we break up cliques, level monetary wealth with honesty, and let worth be judged according to wisdom. We also get better views of humanity as we remove ourselves from biased personal perceptions.

Wicked human beings are not the rulers of upright neighbors. Let it be understood that success in error is defeat in Truth. The password of divine Science is Scriptural: “Let the wicked abandon their ways and the evil their thoughts.”[5]

To discover our progress, we must learn to what we are attached. What do we acknowledge and obey as power? If divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, then hate and fear are submitting to Spirit. The goals we pursue and the spirit we manifest reveal our standpoint and show what we are winning.

Nature voices spiritual law and divine Love, but the human mortal mindset misinterprets nature. Arctic regions, sunny tropics, coral reefs, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, flowering deserts, and galaxies—all point to Mind, the spiritual intelligence they reflect. The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity. Quantum mechanics, gravity, and the cosmos teach grand lessons. The stars make night beautiful and the leaf turns naturally toward the light.

Mind is perpetual motion. Its symbol is the sphere. The rotations and revolutions of the universe of Mind go on eternally. In the order of Science, in which Principle is above what it expresses, all is one grand agreement. Change this statement, suppose Mind to be governed by physical forces or assume that Soul is in the body, and we get continual disagreement.

Humanity moves toward good or evil as time passes. If mortals are not progressive, past failures will be repeated until all wrong work is erased or corrected. If there is any satisfaction in wrongdoing, we must learn to loathe it. If we are now content with spiritual idleness, we must become dissatisfied with it. Remember that humankind must sooner or later, either by suffering or by Science, be convinced of the error that is to be overcome.

“The Lord disciplines those he loves.”[6] A person who refuses obedience to God is chastened by Love, and individuals who know and obey God will run up against the hostility of envy.

The effort to unlearn false perceptions includes forfeiting those views completely. Then error will be submissive to Truth. The divine method of becoming responsible for every thought and action involves unwinding our snarls and learning from experience how to divide between the human and the spiritual.

The perfect Mind expresses perfection. God is meaningful Mind.

*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] Luke 2:49

[2] Deut. 8:3; Matt. 4:4 (The Message)

[3] I John 4:18 (Amplified)

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

[5] Isa. 55:7 (REB)

[6] Heb. 12:6

January 16, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Humility

Golden text: Proverbs 22:4*

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.

Daniel 4:4-5, 8, 13-16, 24-25, 33-36

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and the visions of my head alarmed me.

At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods—and I told him the dream, saying,

13 “I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. 14 He proclaimed aloud and said thus: ‘Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him.

24 this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, 25 that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months…

33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.

34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,

for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me.

21st Century Science and Health**

It would sometimes seem as if truth were rejected because humility and spirituality are the conditions of its acceptance, while Christendom generally demands so much less.

Praying fervently for humility doesn’t always mean humility is desired. If you turn away from people who have fewer advantages, you are not ready to be blessed by our divine Father-Mother who blesses everyone.

[P]eople are slow to understand truth because they are obsessed with fashion, pride, bodies, and opinions. Mortal fixations make us weary and old because they go against our higher nature. At some point, we will break through the fleeting and false and learn how Spirit, the great architect, has created us in Science.

The arrogance of being a church official is a ruler of this world. Arrogance has nothing in Christ. Humility, honesty, and charity have divine authority. Mortals think wrongly, consequently they seem to work against themselves and others. They think sickly thoughts, and so become sick. If sin makes sinners, Truth and Love alone can unmake them. If a sense of disease produces suffering and a sense of ease antidotes suffering, disease is mental. Logic has it that human mind suffers, and that divine Mind alone heals.

The effective prayer is a fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, humility, love, and good deeds.

If we feel the aspiration, humility, gratitude, and love which our words express, God accepts this.

Matthew 18:1-4

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. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

21st Century Science and Health

Jesus loved little children because of their freedom from wrong and their receptiveness to right. While adults hesitate between opinions or argue with false beliefs, youth makes easy and rapid strides toward Truth.

Our real identity is spiritual and immortal. We can lay aside the counterfeit version of God’s children as improper. Mortality is put off and spirituality is put on in proportion as human beings realize the Science of true identity and seek the true model.

Prophets looked for something higher than the systems of their times; hence their foresight of the new dispensation of Truth, but they lacked a systematic teaching of God in Truth’s more infinite meanings. The demonstration that overcomes sin, sickness, and death establishes the definition of omnipotence and maintains the Science of Spirit.

The apostles who were Jesus’ students, as well as Paul who was not his student, healed the sick and reformed the sinner by their religion. Hence the mistake which allows words, rather than works, to follow such examples! Whoever is first to press along the line of gospel-healing humbly and conscientiously, is considered a heretic.

Christian Science is sometimes disapproved of because it claims God as the only absolute Life and Soul, and person to be God’s idea—that is, Spirit’s image. However, Scriptures confirm the claim, saying that God created “man” (a generic term for person given in many Bible versions), “in our image, in our likeness.”[1] Is it sacrilegious to theorize that God’s likeness is not found in fleshly beings, sinful, sick, and dying? In reality, the person referred to as God’s image represents the normal, healthful, and sinless condition of individuals in divine Science.

Were it more fully understood that Truth heals and error causes disease, maybe opponents of a demonstrable Science would mercifully withhold their harmful misrepresentations. Until the opponents of divine Science test the efficacy of its rules, it would be fair to observe the Scriptural precept, “Do not judge.”[2]

Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), osteopathy, chiropractic care, and conventional medicine are employed to treat disease. However, Jesus did not need any of these methods. The divine method which he preached and practiced certainly healed and it should be presented to the whole world.

Why would a person refuse to investigate Jesus’ method of treating disease when it was shown to work? Why default to the conventional mainstream systems when surgeries, harmful drug reactions, and substance abuse cause complications? Is it because health insurance pays for those systems? Is it because orthodoxy is more fashionable?

In the Bible, the word Spirit is so commonly applied to Deity that Spirit and God are often regarded as synonymous terms; and Spirit is exactly how God is understood in Christian Science. It is evident that the likeness of Spirit can’t be what we call quanta, therefore doesn’t it follow that God can’t be in Spirit’s unlikeness and work through ever-fluctuating energy to heal the sick? When the omnipotence of God is preached and Spirit’s absoluteness is conveyed, the sick will be healed.

In his book, Healing and Christianity, Morton Kelsey presents a history of healing in the Christian church. Kelsey then points out that spiritual healing is often overlooked, because the connection between religion and healing is difficult to explain. Students of theology and philosophy may even criticize religious leaders who heal through Christ, Truth, to cover up their own lack of healing ability. Kelsey states, “There are some who, on the side, poke fun at the theological vagaries of Mary Baker Eddy.”[3] A person who understands divine Science can heal the sick via divine Principle, and this practical proof is the only feasible evidence that one does understand this Science well enough to pass judgment on it. The theology of divine Science, including Christian healing, is consistent. In this volume, there are no contradictory statements apparent to those who understand its propositions.

When we are able to perceive the inconsistency between God’s idea and poor humanity, we ought to be able to discern the distinction, made by Science between individuals made by God and the sinning race of Adam.

The apostle says: “For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves.”[4] However, the thought of human material nothingness enrages the human ego and is the main cause of its resistance to new ideas.

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. 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 scrupulous 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,”[5] 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.

Thought must stay open to metaphysical ideas in science, theology, and medicine. Thought cannot obsess or fixate on lifestyles, symbols, or a favorite rule; otherwise people will lose touch with reason and develop a narrow and blurred view of reality—they will make mistakes, errors. Consider a successful math student. The student can’t focus on only the rule of addition when working out a problem that also involves subtraction or division. Fixations cause confusion, the penchant to guess, and a lack of mental improvement. We must be receptive to all of the principles in Science and they need to be learned and applied in life’s situations, otherwise error will be an unbroken head-wind.

The Christ-spirit comes now as of old, preaching the good news to receptive minds, healing the sick, and destroying that which violates our dignity. Can materiality, human intellect, or any human invention, restore the essential element of spirituality—namely, apostolic, divine healing? No, the Science of Christ is restoring it and is the light shining in darkness, a darkness that does not overcome the light.

*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] Gen. 1:26

[2] Matt. 7:1; Luke 6:37; John 7:24

[3] Kelsey, Morton T. Healing and Christianity. New York: Harper & Row, 1973.

[4] Gal. 6:3 (NRSV)

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

January 9, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Courage

Golden text: Psalms 31:24*

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!

II Chronicles 15:1-9

The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress. But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”

As soon as Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord. And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.

21st Century Science and Health**

Universal facts naturally trigger anything false to work against its self, bringing error out from under cover. It requires courage to voice truth. The higher Truth’s voice is lifted, the louder error will scream until its inarticulate noise is forever silenced in oblivion.

Human beings assume that they can live without goodness, when God is good and the only real Life. What is the result? They understand little about the divine Principle which saves and heals, and they get rid of sin, sickness, and death only in the temporal imagination. These errors thereby are not really destroyed. All that is unlike God will taint and taunt mortals until here or hereafter they gain the true understanding of God in the Science which destroys human delusions, and reveals the grand realities of Spirit’s allness.

Spirituality is again demonstrating the Life that is Truth, and the Truth that is Life by the apostolic work of defeating error and healing the sick. Earth has no repayment for the persecutions which attend a new step in Christianity. The spiritual recompense of the persecuted is assured in the elevation of existence above the disorder, and in the gift of divine Love.

We learn that the demands of mortal knowledge are harsh, and have in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy.

Fear of punishment never made a person truly honest. Moral courage is requisite to meet the wrong behavior and proclaim the right. But how is the person, who has more animal courage than moral courage, reformed? How do we help a person who doesn’t have the true idea of good? Through human consciousness, convince the person it is a mistake to look for power and happiness through material means. Reason is the most active human faculty. Let rational thought guide the person’s feelings and awaken their dormant sense of moral obligation. By degrees, they will learn the nothingness of the pleasures of human sense and the greatness and happiness of spiritual sense. This silences the corporeal and the person will not only be saved, but is saved.

Mark 8:22-26

 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to [Jesus] a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

21st Century Science and Health

As the individual ideal of Truth, Christ Jesus came to help us unlearn false teachings and destructive behaviors. The purpose of Jesus’ earthly career was to point out and demonstrate the way of Truth and Life. Jesus showed the difference between the offspring of Soul and of fleshly sense, of Truth and of error.

As we triumph over erroneous views and allow Soul to hold the control, we shall detest and correct wrongdoing under all its disguises. Only in this way can we bless our enemies, though they won’t take it as a blessing. We can’t choose for ourselves but must work out our salvation in the way Jesus taught. With humility and spiritual courage, Jesus was found preaching the good news to the spiritually responsive. Arrogance and fear are unprepared to hold up the standard of Truth and God will never place it in such hands.

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

Christ-like experience teaches faith in the right and doubt in the wrong. We learn the value of working more diligently in times of persecution because that is when the work is really needed. The reward of self-sacrifice is great, although we may never receive it in this world.

Acts 28:11-16

 After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods as a figurehead. 12 Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13 And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14 There we found brothers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15 And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. 16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.

21st Century Science and Health

The fear of disease and the love of sin are the sources of people’s troubles.

Dis-ease is also caused by the fear that Mind is not only helpless to defend our life, but also incompetent to control it.

If you think weather harms health, your Mind-remedy is safe and sure.

Not understanding the cause or approach of disease is no argument against the mental origin of disease. You confess to an ignorance of the future and an inability to preserve your own existence, and as a result, this thinking helps rather than hinders disease. Such a mindset induces sickness. It is like walking in the darkness on a high narrow ledge. You cannot stop suspecting danger, so your steps are insecure because of fear. We must be aware of mental cause and effect.

Heat and cold are products of the human mind. Human mind produces bodily heat and then expels it by abandoning the thinking that caused it. Sometimes, human thinking is so extreme that it increases bodily heat to the point of self-destruction and calls the body dead. When the body is deprived of human mind, the body cools and then breaks down into simple atom structures. However, those very atom particles isolated from the body don’t produce heat or cold because it is human mind, not material atoms, which says, “I am hot,” or “I am dying.” Heat and cold would pass through the body as painlessly as they pass through a rock, if there was no belief that inflammation and pain must accompany the movement.

Chills and heat are often the form in which fever materializes itself. When treating fever, people may cover the body, take a pill, or change their diet. This produces a change in the mental state and the chills and fever may disappear. The patient says, “I am better,” but the patient believes changing matter, not mind, brought the relief. All unscientific mental practice is erroneous and powerless, and should be understood and so rendered fruitless. The treatment of Truth demonstrates that divine Mind heals, while a hypnotist deprives people of their individuality in order to control them. No person is benefited by yielding their mentality to any mental authoritarianism or control. The genuine practitioner is adding to patients mental, moral, and spiritual power, while restoring them physically through divine Love.

Paralysis is a belief that biological functions or brain controls human beings and can palsy the body, making certain portions of it motionless. Destroy the belief and find a cure by showing human mind that muscles have no power to be lost. Understand that divine Mind is supreme.

Cancer or tuberculosis patients often show great hopefulness and courage even when they are supposed to be in hopeless danger. This state of mind seems extraordinary except to the expert in divine Science. The attitude is misunderstood simply because it is a stage of fear so excessive that it amounts to fortitude or strength. The expectation of a horrific physical condition presents to human thought an image more terrifying than that of most other diseases. The patient turns unintentionally from the contemplation of the situation and is unaware that the concealed fear and despair of recovery remain in thought.

Along the same line, the greatest sin is subtle and does its work almost self-deceived. The diseases considered dangerous sometimes come from the most hidden, undefined, and insidious thinking. The anemic invalid, whom you declare to be wasting away with a blood deficiency, should be told that blood never gave life and can never take it away. Understand and say: Life is Spirit, and there is more life and immortality in one good motive and act than in all the blood which ever flowed through those mortal veins mimicking life.

If the body is organized dust, it cannot for that very reason suffer with a fever. But because the physical body is a mental concept and governed by human mind, it manifests only what that so-called mind expresses. Efficient remedies come about when defeating the patient’s misleading thought process by silently and audibly arguing the true facts of harmonious being—representing the individual as healthy instead of diseased. Show that it is impossible for material atoms to suffer, to feel pain or heat, to be thirsty or sick.

The truth and harmony of being are regarded as superior to error and disorder, and the metaphysician is rendered strong instead of weak to cope with the case. The mental scientist proportionately strengthens the patient with the stimulus of courage and conscious power. Both Science and consciousness are now at work in the economy of being according to the law of Mind, which ultimately asserts its absolute power and presence.

Give sick people credit for sometimes knowing more than their doctors. Always support the patient’s trust in the power of Mind to support the body. Never tell the sick that they have more courage than strength. Tell them rather that their strength is in proportion to their courage.

Moral courage is “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,”[1] the king of the mental realm. Free and fearless it roams the forest. Undisturbed it rests in open fields, in “green pastures…beside quiet waters.”[2] In the figurative passage of divine thought to human, diligence, promptness, and perseverance are likened to “the cattle on a thousand hills.”[3] They carry the baggage of stern resolve and keep pace with the highest purpose.

*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] Rev. 5:5

[2] Ps. 23:2

[3] Ps. 50:10

January 2, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Religion

Golden text: Colossians 3:9-11*

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Colossians 3:12-19

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

21st Century Science and Health**

Human-made theories make the same mistake regarding Soul and body that René Descartes[1] 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.”[2] Christian Science shows that mind is not subject to the brain or matter, and that soul is not in the body. The order of Science can’t be reversed, even by human theories that assign to matter the power and prerogative of Spirit—a bad assignment that causes people to become weak and pitiful creatures. Scientific blunders can’t affect the harmony of being.

The truth of Mind shows conclusively how it is that measurable units and forces seem to be, but are not. Divine Science, rising above physical theories, excludes matter, resolves things into thoughts, and replaces the objects of physical sense with spiritual ideas.

For this revelation, I introduced the term CHRISTIAN SCIENCE to designate the scientific system of divine healing. The revelation consists of two parts:

  1. The discovery. The discovery of Mind-healing through a spiritual sense of Scriptures and through the teachings of the Counselor,[3] as promised by Jesus.
  2. The proof. The proof by present-day demonstrations, that the miracles of Jesus did not specially belong to a privileged few or at a time now ended. Miracles illustrate an ever-operative divine Principle which indicates the ongoing scientific order and continuity of being.

Divine Science differs from the hard and soft sciences, but is preeminently scientific because it’s based on Truth, the Principle of all science.

The hard and soft sciences are human knowledge; beliefs; human inventions; a shaved Samson[4] without strength. When human beliefs lack organizations for support, their foundations disappear. Not having moral might, spiritual basis, or a holy Principle of its own, a belief mistakes effect for cause and seeks to find life and intelligence in symptoms, thus limiting Life and adhering to disorder and death. Human beliefs are blind conclusions made from baseless reasoning. A mortal sense of things is forever silenced by immortal Spirit.

We can interpret and understand the universe and its inhabitants through Science by its divine Principle, God. But, when explained on the basis of physical sense and represented as exposed to change, accumulation and decay, the universe and its inhabitants are enigmas.

Gravitational, electromagnetic, and nuclear forces are properties of Mind. They belong to divine Principle and support the equilibrium of that same thought-force which launched the earth in its orbit and said to the proud wave, “this far you may come and no farther.”[5]

Spirit is the life, substance, and continuity of all things. We move on forces. Human knowledge calls the forces electromagnetic or physical, but withdraw them and creation must collapse. Divine Science restores the forces by classifying them spiritually and declaring them inherently and wholly to belong to divine Mind.

The elements of the physical world and the functions of the physical body will change as human mind changes its beliefs. What is now considered the best condition for biological and functional health may no longer be found indispensable to health in the future. Moral conditions will always be found harmonious and health-giving. Biological inaction and over-action is not beyond God’s control. People will be found normal and natural as mortal thought grows out of the phases which human belief creates and sanctions.

As human thought changes from one stage to another, from conscious pain to painlessness, from sorrow to joy, from fear to hope, and from faith to understanding, the visible manifestation will at last be self-governed by Soul. Reflecting God’s control, you are no longer controlled by physical sense or mind. When subordinate to divine Spirit, we cannot be controlled by sin or death, and material theories about laws of health lose their hold.

Mark 7:14-23

 And [Jesus] called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

21st Century Science and Health

You confess to having a materialist heart and ask that all negativity be revealed, but don’t you already know more of this heart than you are willing to have your neighbor see?

It is important to examine our inclinations and intentions. Mental examination is the way we learn who we honestly are.  If a friend informs us of a fault, do we listen patiently to the criticism and reconsider our attitude?

Wordy prayers and long prayer sessions may give us a quiet sense of self-justification, but they only feed hypocrisy. We don’t need to despair of an honest heart, but there is little hope for the phony prayers of people who randomly face their faults only to try to hide those character flaws. The deceit holds secret fellowship with sin but can’t ultimately be hidden as Jesus noted, they are, “like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.”[6]

Metaphysics is above physics. Materialist thinking does not enter metaphysical premises or conclusions. Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul.

Psalms 96:1-9

Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
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!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!

21st Century Science and Health

Human reason and religion come slowly to the recognition of spiritual facts.

Our motives and inclinations are paramount in religion. However, when rituals and ceremonies are the crux of religion, the motives and inclinations of a person are concealed by formal procedures and human routines. Jesus, as modest as he was mighty, rebuked this hypocrisy. Hypocrisy offers long petitions for blessings on physical rituals, but veils the crime, latent in thought, which is ready to spring into action and crucify God’s anointed. The martyrdom of Jesus was the culminating sin of Pharisaism. Jesus’ crucifixion rent the veil of the temple. It revealed the false foundations and structures of superficial religion, tore from bigotry and superstition their coverings, and opened the tomb with divine Science—immortality and Love.

A reversal of Scripture shows the distinction between theological and ritualistic religion.

For some cultures, worship began with muscularity, but the law of Sinai lifts thought into the song of David. Moses advanced a nation to the worship of God in Spirit instead of matter and illustrated the grand human capacities of being bestowed by immortal Mind.

Worshippers more interested in religious ceremonies than in the principles behind the religion, will believe that a ritual, person, place, or thing is necessary for the salvation of their soul. Doctors and pharmacists who believe drugs have power will think their prescription will save life. The belief that ceremonies will save the soul is a delusion. The belief that drugs will save life is a medical mistake.

I advise students to be charitable and kind, not only toward differing forms of religion and medicine, but to the very people who hold these differing opinions.

The commitment of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible. Exceptions only confirm this rule, proving that failure is occasioned by a strong faith in failure.

If athletes believed it impossible to accomplish record-breaking feats, they could never do it. Their belief that they can achieve something spectacular gives their thought forces, called muscles, the flexibility and power which the unscientific might attribute to adrenaline or genes. Fear must disappear before the power of putting resolve into action can appear.

The self-styled human soul or spirit is not the divine infinite Spirit. In other words, the physiological and genetic view of spirit is diametrically opposed to Spirit—the flesh warring against Love. These mortal limited views must yield to the infinite Spirit, named God.

A vital religion allows us to understand and share the glory of eternal 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, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

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

[2] 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)

[3] John 16:7

[4] Judges 16:19

[5] Job 38:11

[6] Matt. 23:27