April 24, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Soaring

Golden text: Revelation 16: 6-7*

I saw another Angel soaring in Middle-Heaven. He had an Eternal Message to preach to all who were still on earth, every nation and tribe, every tongue and people. He preached in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory! His hour of judgment has come! Worship the Maker of Heaven and earth, salt sea and fresh water!”

Luke 24: 46-49

[Jesus] said, “You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from Jerusalem! You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses. What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high.”

50-51 He then led them out of the city over to Bethany. Raising his hands he blessed them, and while blessing them, took his leave, being carried up to heaven.

52-53 And they were on their knees, worshiping him. They returned to Jerusalem bursting with joy. They spent all their time in the Temple praising God. Yes.

21st Century Science and Health**

Christ was imperceptible to the human personal senses, whereas Jesus appeared as a bodily existence. This dualistic personality of the unseen and seen, the spiritual and physical, the eternal Christ and fleshly Jesus, continued until his ascension. The human temporal concept of Jesus disappeared during his ascending transformation, while the spiritual self or Christ, continues to exist in the eternal order of divine Science. Christ-spirit takes away the sins of the world, as always, even before the human Jesus was incarnate to human eyes.

Through experience, the disciples became more spiritual and better understood what the Teacher had taught. Jesus’ resurrection was also their resurrection. The resurrection was a revival, for soon their dear Master would rise again in what has since been called the ascension, when Jesus was no longer heard or seen physically. Jesus’ ascension was the reward for his faithfulness. The resurrection advances individual and collective consciousness, it moves thought out of spiritual dullness and blind belief into the perception of infinite possibilities.

We celebrate Christ’s victory over death, his probation in the flesh, and his final ascension above matter or flesh.

Acts 2:1-4

When the Feast of Pentecost came, [the disciples] were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.

21st Century Science and Health

After Jesus’ ascension, his students received the Holy Spirit. Meaning, that by all they had witnessed and suffered they were wakened to a clearer understanding of divine Science. The scientific spiritual interpretation and understanding of Jesus’ teachings and demonstrations gave them a faint conception of the Life that is God. This allowed them to stop interpreting people through human knowledge and turn their thoughts instead to divine knowledge. Through the Holy Spirit they gained the true interpretation of their glorified Master and became better healers, leaning no longer on matter or human mind but on divine Principle. The appearance of light was sudden, likened to the overwhelming power on the Day of Pentecost.

Acts 3:1-9

One day at three o’clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their way into the Temple for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked him straight in the eye and said, “Look here.” He looked up, expecting to get something from them.

6-8 Peter said, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked.

8-10 The man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising God.

21st Century Science and Health

Why is it difficult to heal spiritually as Jesus did? Because people think miraculous healings are intended for particular time periods or for exclusive groups of followers. That thinking is pernicious, more pernicious than the old doctrine of predestination—a few to be saved while the others are damned. Human-made doctrines produce lethargy and so it is until broken by the demands of divine Science.

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.

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 events of spiritual ascension are the days and seasons of Mind’s revelation, in which beauty, magnificence, purity, and holiness (the divine nature) appear in spiritual beings and the universe, never to disappear.

Acts 3:12, 16-21

When Peter saw he had a congregation, he addressed the people: “Oh, Israelites, why does this take you by such complete surprise, and why stare at us as if our power or piety made him walk?

Faith in Jesus’ name put this man, whose condition you know so well, on his feet—yes, faith and nothing but faith put this man healed and whole right before your eyes.

17-18 “And now, friends, I know you had no idea what you were doing when you killed Jesus, and neither did your leaders. But God, who through the preaching of all the prophets had said all along that his Messiah would be killed, knew exactly what you were doing and used it to fulfill his plans. “Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus. For the time being he must remain out of sight in heaven until everything is restored to order again just the way God, through the preaching of his holy prophets of old, said it would be.

21st Century Science and Health

Jesus’ earthly mission was fulfilled with proofs of Truth, Life, and Love, by driving out error and healing the sick. Unfortunately, in the Christian church, the demonstration of divine healing was lost about three centuries after Jesus’ resurrection. Ancient and modern schools of philosophy, medicine, and theology don’t teach or demonstrate the healing of divine Science.

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. Every valley of materialism must be exalted and every mountain of selfishness must be brought low, that the highway of our God may be prepared in Science. The offspring of heavenly-minded parents inherit more intellect, better balanced minds, and more reliable health.

If unfortunate circumstances places promising children in the arms of gross parents, often these beautiful children wither like tropical flowers born in the snowy Alps. If by chance those children live to become parents themselves, they may pass along to their children the grosser traits of what they were taught when growing up. Society can ask: What noble ambition can inspire the child to overcome bad traits? What hope of happiness can be gained to head-off reducing the child to a hopeless wreck?

Raising children is a great responsibility, a more solemn trust than climbing the corporate ladder or accumulating material possessions. Take immense care not to transmit to children what is unworthy of perpetuity.

To advance humankind, the development of mortals must improve. The scientific essence of marriage is unity. Having sex is acceptable for the purpose of reproducing a higher human species, but every stage of child-bearing must be kept mentally pure with the sanctity of virginity.

Educate children to form habits agreeable to moral and spiritual laws. Children are better prepared to meet and master the limitations imposed by physical laws—especially the laws that breed disease and disorder—when they are obedient to moral and spiritual laws.

Parents, if you allow your children incessantly to play computer games, want stuff, or be picky, don’t complain later in life if your children are complicated or frivolous. Be accountable. Worry less “about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear,”[1] and pro-actively grow together in the understanding of man and woman’s higher nature. Children can still retain their innocence while maturing. You will do more than imaginable when you also mature along with the children.

By attributing more and more intelligence to spirituality, and giving less and less power to physical laws and human beings, we promote wisdom and health.

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

Some critics think that Christian Scientists are deluded or in a vacuum, because they aspire to reveal anything unlike God, good, as unreal. For instance, a Christian apologist, attempting to interpret the teachings of divine Science, says of Christian Scientists, “Their religious worldview teaches that sickness and pain are an illusion; they do not exist. But this belief is valid only by rejecting the fact that truth corresponds to reality.”[2] The fact that truth corresponds to reality is not rejected in Christian Science. Instead, Christian Science reveals that much of the reality before the human perceptions is not actually true, for example the earth isn’t a motionless solid mass, but consists of forces in constant motion. Truth, reality, has no unreality, no error; therefore, disbelief in error destroys error and leads to discernment of Truth. Our own realities aren’t always true.

The birds, which fly above the earth in the open expanse of heaven, correspond to aspirations soaring beyond and above limited concepts to the understanding of the unlimited and divine Principle, Love.

Hope is ever prophesying thus: The human mind will sometime ascend above all limited, restricted physical perceptions, exchanging them for spiritual perceptions and divine consciousness. Then we will recognize our God-given dominion and being.

*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] Matt. 6:25, 31; Luke 12:29

[2] Taken from Christianity on the Offense: Responding to the Beliefs and Assumptions of Spiritual Seeker © 1998 by Dan Story. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

April 17, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Revival

Golden text: Hebrews 4:12-13

God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

Mark 15:42-47

42-45 Late in the afternoon, since it was the Day of Preparation (that is, Sabbath eve), Joseph of Arimathea, a highly respected member of the Jewish Council, came. He was one who lived expectantly, on the lookout for the kingdom of God. Working up his courage, he went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate questioned whether he could be dead that soon and called for the captain to verify that he was really dead. Assured by the captain, he gave Joseph the corpse.

46-47 Having already purchased a linen shroud, Joseph took him down, wrapped him in the shroud, placed him in a tomb that had been cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the opening. Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of Joses, watched the burial.

21st Century Science and Health

Christian Science requires us to improve our intentions. Hatred is made extinct through kindness. Lust is conquered with purity. Revenge is triumphed over with charity, and deceit is defeated with honesty. Starve errors in their early stages if you would not cherish an army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success.

If human transgressions, vulnerabilities, and losses were understood as nonbeing, they would disappear to the reality of good which naturally banishes evil, just as acts of kindness make self-pity go away. One must hide the other. How important, then, to choose good as the reality! We are secured by God, Spirit, and by nothing else. God’s being is infinity, freedom, balance, and boundless happiness.

In Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English, the word faith and its corresponding words have these two definitions: trustfulness and trustworthiness. One kind of faith trusts one’s well-being to others. Another kind of faith understands divine Love and how to “work all the more strenuously at your salvation with reverence and trembling.”[1] “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”[2] This expresses the helplessness of blind faith; whereas the directive, “Believe…and you will be saved,”[3] demands self-reliant trustworthiness, which includes spiritual understanding and confides all to God.

The Hebrew verb to believe means also to be firm or to be constant. This certainly applies to Truth and Love understood and practiced. Rigidity in mistaken mindsets will never save us.

We need to become familiar with original Bible texts and be willing to give up misinterpretations established by hierarchies or instigated by the worst human passions. Familiarity with texts opens the way for divine Science to be understood and makes the Bible the map of life where the healing steps of Truth are pointed out.

Mark 16:1-7

1-3 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they could embalm him. Very early on Sunday morning, as the sun rose, they went to the tomb. They worried out loud to each other, “Who will roll back the stone from the tomb for us?”

4-5 Then they looked up, saw that it had been rolled back—it was a huge stone—and walked right in. They saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished.

6-7 He said, “Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see him there, exactly as he said.”

21st Century Science and Health

Humans can’t figure out the nature and quality of God’s creation by diving into shallow materialist beliefs. The efforts to find life and truth in human knowledge is tentative, therefore we must improve the effort and pay attention to spiritual knowledge and the immortal idea of substance. Spiritual, clearer, higher views inspire the Godlike person to reach the absolute center and circumference of reality.

It takes effort not to bury the spirit of divine Science in the burial clothes of its letter. If we would open the prison doors for the sick, we must first learn to bind up the broken-hearted. If we would heal by the Spirit, we must not hide the talent of spiritual healing behind ostentatious policies, ritualistic activities, or even somber piety. In the presence of a sick person, employ tender words and spiritual encouragement. Patiently remove all fears, without gushing theories, stereotyped clichés, and rigid arguments which are so many misrepresentations of divine Science, aflame with divine Love.

Mark 16:9-20

9-11 [After rising from the dead, Jesus appeared early on Sunday morning to Mary Magdalene, whom he had delivered from seven demons. She went to his former companions, now weeping and carrying on, and told them. When they heard her report that she had seen him alive and well, they didn’t believe her. 12-13 Later he appeared, but in a different form, to two of them out walking in the countryside. They went back and told the rest, but they weren’t believed either.

14-16 Still later, as the Eleven were eating supper, he appeared and took them to task most severely for their stubborn unbelief, refusing to believe those who had seen him raised up. Then he said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned.

17-18 “These are some of the signs that will accompany believers: They will throw out demons in my name, they will speak in new tongues, they will take snakes in their hands, they will drink poison and not be hurt, they will lay hands on the sick and make them well.”

19-20 Then the Master Jesus, after briefing them, was taken up to heaven, and he sat down beside God in the place of honor. And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.]

21st Century Science and Health

Truth will be to us “the resurrection and the life”[4] only as it destroys all error. Truth dissolves the belief that Mind can be shackled by a body. Life can’t be controlled by death. A nihilistic, sick, or dying human is not the likeness of God, the perfect and eternal. God is the only source of our spirituality.

Material energy is the primitive belief of human mind, because that very mind has no cognizance of Spirit. Human perceptions are limited and vague, therefore dependent on the limited and vague.

Explaining the origin of human being and mind, Jesus said: “Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”[5]

The carnal human mentality, misnamed mind, is mortal. But the idea of resurrection and ascension, shows that a mortal creature is not our real essence. Our real essence can’t be annihilated because of the indissoluble immortal connection between God and us. In divine Science, mortality disappears in the presence of reality.

The disparity between our spirituality representing Spirit, and the materiality representing a losable life and intelligence, shows the pleasures and pains of temporal life to be myths. Humans shove God away by claiming those myths are real and part of us, whereas, our genuine selfhood is recognizable only in what is good and true. We are neither self-made nor made by human beings. God revealed, and continues to reveal, us.

The inebriate believes that there is pleasure in intoxication. The thief believes something is gained by stealing, and the hypocrite thinks no one notices their deceit. The Science of Mind corrects such mistakes, for Truth proves the fallacy of error.

God creates and governs the universe, including us. The universe is filled with spiritual ideas, which Love evolves. Ideas are obedient to the Mind that makes them. Human mind would convert the unlimited into the limited and then think to recover the original self in order to escape from the mortality of the limited. Human beings are not like spiritual beings, created in God’s own image. Infinite Spirit is, therefore human consciousness will succumb to the scientific fact and disappear in place of spiritual consciousness. The real sense of being, perfect and forever intact, will appear.

The manifestation of God through human beings is as light passing through the window. The light and the glass never mingle, but as matter, the glass is less opaque than the walls. The human mind through which Truth appears most vividly is that one which has lost much materiality—much error—and has become a better transparency for Truth. Human mind is a cloud melting into thin vapor, no longer hiding the sun.

The human consciousness, often named brain, is the exact opposite of real Mind. Mortal consciousness is made up of errors. We learn in biology and neuroscience that the brain registers suffering and then dies. We learn in theology that our human consciousness is resurrected after death. These erroneous teachings are basically saying that consciousness is born of matter and returns to matter to be later resurrected from dust; whereas divine Science reveals our perpetual spiritual consciousness unaffected by the brain or death.

I think Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific human being that ever walked the earth. He systematically looked past the symptomatic material causes to discover and put into practice the spiritual cause. Because the people around him had immature ideas of spiritual cause, and his disciples possessed a limited degree of spirituality, Jesus used terms familiar to the people of the time. He spoke of, “flesh and bones.”[6] Jesus himself had to advance past believing in his own separate ego. As his understanding of Spirit increased, Jesus no longer felt attached to the world. The resurrection proved conclusively that his body was raised from dead concepts, and that his substance was Spirit. His body was no more perfect because of death and no less material until his consciousness was further spiritualized in the ascension. 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.

Progress comes from experience. Humanity is improved as the mortal is dropped for the immortal. Either here or hereafter, suffering or Science must replace all illusions regarding life and mind. Material sense and self must be regenerated. The old self with its practices must be dropped. Nothing fleshly or sinful is spiritual. The death of fleshly perceptions and habits, not the death of material organisms, is what reveals spirituality and Life—harmonious, real, and eternal.

 

 

[1] Phil. 2:12 (Moffatt)

[2] Mark 9:24

[3] Acts 16:31

[4] John 11:25

[5] John 8:43

[6] Luke 24:39

April 3, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Unraveling intent

Golden text: Ecclesiastes 12:14*

And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.

II Samuel 14: 1-21

 Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king, deep down, still cared for Absalom. So he sent to Tekoa for a wise woman who lived there and instructed her, “Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in black and don’t comb your hair, so you’ll look like you’ve been grieving over a dead loved one for a long time. Then go to the king and tell him this . . .” Joab then told her exactly what to say. The woman of Tekoa went to the king, bowed deeply before him in homage, and said, “O King, help!” 5-7 He said, “How can I help?”

“I’m a widow,” she said. “My husband is dead. I had two sons. The two of them got into a fight out in the field and there was no one around to step between them. The one struck the other and killed him. Then the whole family ganged up against me and demanded, ‘Hand over this murderer so we can kill him for the life of the brother he murdered!’ They want to wipe out the heir and snuff out the one spark of life left to me. And then there would be nothing left of my husband—not so much as a name—on the face of the earth. 15-17 “So now I’ve dared come to the king, my master, about all this. They’re making my life miserable, and I’m afraid. I said to myself, ‘I’ll go to the king. Maybe he’ll do something! When the king hears what’s going on, he’ll step in and rescue me from the abuse of the man who would get rid of me and my son and God’s inheritance—the works!’ As your handmaid, I decided ahead of time, ‘The word of my master, the king, will be the last word in this, for my master is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil.’ God be with you!”

The king said, “Go home, and I’ll take care of this for you.”

“I’ll take all responsibility for what happens,” the woman of Tekoa said. “I don’t want to compromise the king and his reputation.”

10 “Bring the man who has been harassing you,” the king continued. “I’ll see to it that he doesn’t bother you anymore.”

11 “Let the king invoke the name of God,” said the woman, “so this self-styled vigilante won’t ruin everything, to say nothing of killing my son.”

“As surely as God lives,” he said, “not so much as a hair of your son’s head will be lost.”

12 Then she asked, “May I say one more thing to my master, the king?”

He said, “Go ahead.”

13-14 “Why, then,” the woman said, “have you done this very thing against God’s people? In his verdict, the king convicts himself by not bringing home his exiled son. We all die sometime. Water spilled on the ground can’t be gathered up again. But God does not take away life. He works out ways to get the exile back.”

18 The king then said, “I’m going to ask you something. Answer me truthfully.”

“Certainly,” she said. “Let my master, the king, speak.”

19-20 The king said, “Is the hand of Joab mixed up in this?”

“On your life, my master king, a body can’t veer an inch right or left and get by with it in the royal presence! Yes, it was your servant Joab who put me up to this, and put these very words in my mouth. It was because he wanted to turn things around that your servant Joab did this. But my master is as wise as God’s angels in knowing how to handle things on this earth.”

21 The king spoke to Joab. “All right, I’ll do it. Go and bring the young man Absalom back.”

21st Century Science and Health**

Final deliverance from error is not reached by taking the easy way.

Wisdom and Love may require many sacrifices of self to save us from sin. One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin. The atonement requires the sinner constantly to swear off the mortal selfhood.

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?

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.

Whoever reaches the spiritual point of moral culture and goodness can’t harm others and must do them good. The greater or lesser ability of a Mind-reader to discern thought scientifically to heal, depends upon the reader’s genuine spirituality. It is not a matter of clairvoyance, but of honesty and openness to ever-revealing Truth.

Divine Science awakens the sinner, rehabilitates the self-deceived, and releases from pain the helpless sufferer. Science speaks the words of Truth to those who are lost and they answer with rejoicing.

We welcome the increase of knowledge and the end of error, because even human invention must have its day. We want that day to be prospered by divine Science and Christ-like reality.

John 11:45-54

 [Raising Lazarus from the dead] was a turnaround for many of the Jews who were with Mary. They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him. But some went back to the Pharisees and told on Jesus. The high priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish ruling body. “What do we do now?” they asked. “This man keeps on doing things, creating God-signs. If we let him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in him and the Romans will come and remove what little power and privilege we still have.”

49-52 Then one of them—it was Caiaphas, the designated Chief Priest that year—spoke up, “Don’t you know anything? Can’t you see that it’s to our advantage that one man dies for the people rather than the whole nation be destroyed?” He didn’t say this of his own accord, but as Chief Priest that year he unwittingly prophesied that Jesus was about to die sacrificially for the nation, and not only for the nation but so that all God’s exile-scattered children might be gathered together into one people.

53-54 From that day on, they plotted to kill him. So Jesus no longer went out in public among the Jews. He withdrew into the country bordering the desert to a town called Ephraim and secluded himself there with his disciples.

21st Century Science and Health

Jesus restored Lazarus by the understanding that Lazarus never died—not by believing his body died and lived again. Had Jesus believed that Lazarus died or lived in his body, the Master would have stood on the same plane of belief as those who buried the body, and could not have resuscitated it.

When you can waken yourself or others out of the belief that everyone must die, only then can you exercise Jesus’ spiritual power to reproduce the presence of those who believe they have died.

The moment during the transition of death is the only moment when those living on earth and those called dead can communicate. Also termed shared death experience, this is the moment when opposite beliefs blend. During the interlude when a person passes from one dream to another dream, the glad welcome or guidance from people who have gone before may be heard; a statement is made, similar to a statement made by someone standing before the Northern Lights with eyes open only to the wonder, forgetting all else and experiencing awe.

When being is understood, Life will be recognized as not material or finite but as infinite—as God, universal good—and the belief that life or mind was ever in a finite form, or that good is in evil, will vanish. Then it will be understood that Spirit never entered matter and therefore never came from unconscious elements. When advanced to spiritual being and the understanding of God, we can no longer commune with limited conditions or return to an outgrown state, just as a frog can’t return to a tadpole. Spiritual advancement matures into the already established view of individual consciousness, characterized by the divine Spirit as idea, not a physical unit.

Mortal theories make friends of sin, sickness, and death; whereas the spiritual scientific facts of existence include no aspect of that depressing trio.

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.

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

There is a law of God applicable to healing, and it is a spiritual law instead of physical. The sick are not healed by inanimate manipulations or drugs, as they believe they are. Such seeming medical effect or action is that of so-called human mind.

I have been told, “The world is benefited by you, but it feels your influence without seeing you. Why do you not make yourself more widely known?” Had my friends known how little time I have in which to make myself outwardly known except through my laborious publications—and how much time and toil are still required to establish the stately operations of Christian Science—they would understand why I am so secluded. Others could not take my place, even if willing to do so. I therefore remain unseen at my post seeking no self-aggrandizement, but am praying, watching, and working for the redemption of humankind.

If from an injury or any cause, a Christian Scientist were seized with pain so violent that the Scientist could not mentally treat themselves—and other Scientists had failed to relieve them—the sufferer can get temporary help. Then, when the belief of pain is quieted, the Scientist can treat his or her own case mentally. In this way we “test everything; hold fast to what is good.”[1]

In founding a pathological system of spirituality, I have labored to expound divine Principle and not to exalt personality. The weapons of bigotry, idolatry, spiritual unawareness, and envy, will fall before an honest heart. The mindset that adulterates divine Science is the mindset trying to void out Science. Falsity has no foundation.

Save yourself as Jesus saved. Strive. Advance spiritually. Constantly turn away from the objects of the human mind and look toward the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, you will be in earnest from the start and joyfully gain a little each day in the right direction. If persistent, you will make the transition from limited substance to the substantial unlimited.

*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] I Th. 5:21 (NRSV)

May 22, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Devotion

Golden text: Proverbs  10:7*

The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.

Joshua 7:2-12

 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai. And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.” So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.

Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?”

10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. 12 Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.

21st Century Science and Health**

Some invalids are unwilling to know spiritual facts. They don’t want to hear about the deceptions of temporal things and false laws. They even devote themselves a little longer to their material gods and cling to mortal life and knowledge. They expect this error to do more for them than they are willing to admit the only living and true God can do. Impatient at your explanation, unwilling to investigate Science, they embrace false thinking more fully and suffer the delusive consequences, while Mind-Science could purge the problems.

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

To obey the Scriptural command, “Come out from their midst and be separate,”[1] is to invite society’s disapproval; but this disapproval, more than approval, enables you to be spiritual. Pope John Paul II said, “We cannot live for the future without intuiting that the meaning of life is greater than temporality and is above it. If the societies and the men of our continent have lost interest in such a meaning, they must rediscover it.”[2] The Biblical Paul realized, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”[3]

Matthew 6:24-27

[Jesus said,] “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

21st Century Science and Health

The demands of God appeal to thought only; but the claims of mortality and what are termed laws of nature, appertain to thoughtless matter. Which, then, are we to accept as legitimate and capable of producing the highest human good? We cannot obey both biology and Spirit. We pay attention to one or the other. It is impossible to work from two standpoints. If we attempt it, we will, “be devoted to the one and despise the other.”[4]

We ask, can we eat and live without natural laws and agriculture? The answer is no, and yet the Scriptures inform us that sin or error, first caused the condemnation of humankind to till the ground.[5] Can obedience to God remove the necessity to rely on material food, air, or technology? Truth never made error necessary nor devised a law to perpetuate error.

The theories of human beings are antagonistic to Science and cannot mix with it. This is clear to those who heal the sick on the basis of divine Science.

Mind’s government of the body must supersede the laws set down in human minds. Obedience to supposed mortal laws prevents full obedience to spiritual law—the law which overcomes mortal conditions and puts matter under the feet of Mind. Mortals ask the divine Mind to heal the sick and then shut out the aid of Mind by using manmade means. Our God-given ability to demonstrate Mind’s sacred power is denied when we work against ourselves and against our prayers by vacillating between immortal Mind and mortal mind. Pleas for drugs and the latest health fad come from some sad incident or else from ignorance of divine Science and its transcendent power.

To admit that sickness is a circumstance over which God has no control is to presuppose that omnipotence is powerless on some occasions. The law of Truth makes all things possible to Spirit. The laws of human mind attempt to render Spirit of no avail and demand obedience to materialist codes, thus departing from the basis of one God, one lawmaker. To suppose that God constitutes laws of turmoil and uncertainty is a mistake. Balance and peace are supported by nature and divine law, even when everything else says otherwise.

Divine Science reveals that Mind is All-in-all and that the only realities are the divine Mind and its idea. This great fact is not seen to be supported by sensible evidence until its divine Principle is demonstrated.

For three years after my discovery, I pursued the answer to the problem of Mind-healing, using Scripture as a basis. Time and energy were devoted to discovering a positive rule. The search was sweet, calm, and buoyant with hope—not selfish or depressing. I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, inspiring faith. Wanting to know the Science of this healing, I won my way through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration. The revelation of Truth in the understanding comes gradually and apparently through divine power.

Before writing this work, Science and Health, she made copious notes of Scriptural exposition, which have never been published. This was during the years 1867 and 1868. These efforts show her comparative ignorance of the stupendous Life-problem up to that time, and the degrees by which she came at length to its solution; but she values them as parent may treasure the memorials of a child’s growth, and she would not have them changed.

The first edition of Science and Health was published in 1875. Various books on mental healing have since been issued, most of them incorrect in theory and filled with plagiarisms from Science and Health. They regard the human mind as a healing agent, whereas this mind is not a factor in the Principle of Christian Science. A few books, however, which are based on this book, are useful.

I Timothy 1:1-5

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

21st Century Science and Health

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.

While respecting all that is good in the Church or out of it, one’s dedication to Christ is more on the ground of demonstration than of profession. In conscience, we can’t stay in a mindset we have outgrown.

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.

A moral issue may hinder the recovery of the sick. Lurking error, lust, envy, revenge, selfishness, malice, or hate will perpetuate or even create the belief in disease. Errors of all sorts gravitate downward. Your true course is to destroy the foe and leave the field to God, Life, Truth, and Love, remembering that God and God’s ideas alone are real and harmonious.

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.

Measurable, divisible particle/waves do not express Spirit. God is infinite omnipresent Spirit. If Spirit is all and is everywhere, what and where is this limited so-called substance? Remember, truth is greater than error and we cannot put the greater into the lesser. Soul is Spirit, and Spirit is greater than body. If Spirit were once within the body, Spirit would be bound and therefore could not be infinite Spirit

Include moral as well as physical belief in your efforts to destroy error. Exclude all manner of evil. “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”[6] Speak the truth to error in its every disguise. Tumors, ulcers, acne, inflammation, tics, pain, deformed joints, are waking dream-shadows, dark images of human thought, which vanish in the light of Truth.

*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] II Cor. 6:17 (NASB)

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

[3] Rom. 8:31

[4] Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13

[5] Gen. 3:17

[6] Mark 16:15

May 15, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Fruitful ground

Golden text: Psalms 85:11-13

Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.
Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way.

Joel 1:1-2, 4, 10, 19-20

The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel: Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers?

4What the cutting locust left,
the swarming locust has eaten.
What the swarming locust left,
the hopping locust has eaten,
and what the hopping locust left,
the destroying locust has eaten.

10 The fields are destroyed,
the ground mourns,
because the grain is destroyed,
the wine dries up,
the oil languishes.

19 To you, O Lord, I call.
For fire has devoured
the pastures of the wilderness,
and flame has burned
all the trees of the field.
20 Even the beasts of the field pant for you
because the water brooks are dried up,
and fire has devoured
the pastures of the wilderness.

21st Century Science and Health

The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, deficit and depression, sin, sickness, and death, assuming new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances will continue until the end of error when all disorder will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth.

The tradition of telling people that if they take one doctrine and have total faith in it, they will be filled with the Holy Spirit, receives a strong rebuttal in the Scripture, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”[1] Faith, at the level of belief, is like a motor piston shifting between nothing and something, having no fixity. Faith, advanced to understanding, gains evidence of Spirit. Spiritual evidence rebukes groundless beliefs of every kind and establishes the claims of God.

When the medical field finds no biological or physical cause for symptoms of disease, various forms of psychotherapy have been known to improve the unhealthy condition. Psychosomatic illnesses or psychophysiological disorders are admitted to be problems caused by mental processes. They are problems in the mind, and once the mind is corrected, the symptoms vanish as illusions vanish. Mental conditions, such as severe stress, anger, anxiety, resentment, depression, and guilt have produced rashes, allergies, loss of hair, eating disorders, and pain, among other problems. So, why not approve of a cure which in effect makes any disease appear to be what it really is—an illusion?

Here is the difficulty: it is not generally understood how one disease can be just as much a delusion as another.

In Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English, the word faith and its corresponding words have these two definitions: trustfulness and trustworthiness. One kind of faith trusts one’s well-being to others. Another kind of faith understands divine Love and how to “work all the more strenuously at your salvation with reverence and trembling.”[2] “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”[3] This expresses the helplessness of blind faith; whereas the directive, “Believe…and you will be saved,”[4] demands self-reliant trustworthiness, which includes spiritual understanding and confides all to God.

Joel 2:12-13

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13     and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.

21st Century Science and Health

Pantheism starts from a limited sense of God. It seeks to find cause in effect. Principle is not in its idea, and life and intelligence are not in mortal knowledge.

Finite substance must be unknown to the infinite substance of Mind. Symbols, symptoms, and elements of disorder and decay are not products of the infinite, orderly, and eternal All.  From Love and from Spirit’s home of light and harmony, only reflections of good can come. All things beautiful and harmless are substantial ideas of Mind. Mind creates and multiplies them and the product must be mental.

The systems of human philosophies, doctrines, and medicines are more or less infected with the thinking that humanity has a life-code of its own, but this thinking contradicts spirituality, revelation, and progressive reasoning. Logical and scientific conclusions are reached only through the knowledge that there are not two bases of being, but one alone—Mind.

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.

It’s impossible to return to physical or mental human conditions after leaving them. An acorn, after having dropped to the ground and sprouted, will never return to its pervious condition. The germinated seed has a new form and a different state of existence. When here or hereafter the belief of temporality is extinct, the error which has held the belief dissolves with the belief and never returns to the old condition.

As we stop thinking that love and intelligence are in human minds or circumstances, spiritual facts of being appear. The idea or intelligence of spiritual facts is in God. Spirit is reached through the understanding and demonstration of eternal Life and Truth and Love.

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.

Matthew 15:32-38

Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” 33 And the disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?” 34 And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” 35 And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 38 Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.

21st Century Science and Health

A prayer grounded in Truth advocates spiritual understanding. Jesus’ humble prayers were deep and conscientious affirmations of Spirit—of man and woman’s likeness to God, and unity with Truth and Love.

God’s work is done. Prayer doesn’t motivate God to do what has already been done. The Infinite can do nothing less than give all goodness since God is absolute good, wisdom, and Love—the all-knowing Mind. God’s manifestation doesn’t appear simply on the ground of lip-service; however, modest fervent affirmations of God’s presence can kick-start prayer.

Physical laws would counteract the supremacy of Spirit and contradict the wisdom of the creator. There is no counteraction in Spirit. God never ordained a mortal law to annul the spiritual law. Jesus walked on the waves, fed the multitude, healed the sick, and raised the dead in direct opposition to mortal, physical laws. His acts were the demonstration of Science, overcoming the false claims of material law.

I Timothy 6:1-3

Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.

21st Century Science and Health

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

Society, advertisements, pharmaceutical companies, and the schools have made faith in drugs the fashion, rather than faith in God.

Error excludes itself from harmony. Error cultivates its own barren soil and buries itself in the ground, since ground and dust stand for nothingness.

By trusting misguided faith to destroy its own disorders, health and harmony have been sacrificed. Temporal systems are barren of the vitality of spiritual power by which physical sense is made the servant of Science, and religion becomes Christ-like.

Admitting to our self that person is God’s own likeness sets us free to master the infinite idea.

As the rules of scientific healing are discovered, practiced, and demonstrated you will become secure on the groundwork of divine Science. Your healing experiences will lift you high above fossilized human theories and enable you to grasp the spiritual facts of being, even if at first the facts don’t seem accessible or crystal clear.

The immortal creative thought is from Mind, not from the ground of mortal thinking. Mind makes all, so there is nothing left to be made by another power.

[1] James 2:17

[2] Phil. 2:12 (Moffatt)

[3] Mark 9:24

[4] Acts 16:31

*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.

May 8, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Mother

Golden text: Isaiah 66:1, 13*

Thus says the Lord,… As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;

Genesis 17: 3-5, 15-16

 Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations.
“No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham;
For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.

15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

21st Century Science and Health**

Until it is learned that God is Father-Mother, marriage will continue. Let not mortals permit a disregard of law which might lead to a worse state of society than now exists. Sincerity and virtue ensure the stability of the marriage promise. Spirit will ultimately claim its own, and all that really is, as the voices of physical sense are forever silenced.

Learn from experience. Learn virtue, respect, self-control, patience, and a reliable happiness that comes from spiritual growth.

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

A solid marriage is one that signifies a union of hearts. The time comes, however, when Jesus declared that in the resurrection “people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; but they will be like the angels in heaven.”[1]

Progress removes restraints. The finite must yield to the infinite. Advancing to a higher plane of action, consciousness moves from the limited sense to the unlimited, from the scholastic to the inspirational, and from the mortal to the immortal. All things are created spiritually. Mind, not isolatable energy, is the creator. Love, the divine Principle, is Father-Mother of the universe and us.

Matthew 10: 34-42

[Jesus said]  “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.

37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. 40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

21st Century Science and Health

The ancient prophets received their foresight from a spiritual, metaphysical position, not by predicting evil and mistaking fiction as fact.

As we become better acquainted with the Science of being, we are better able to communicate with the divine Mind. Spiritual knowledge not only allows people to foresee and foretell events which concern the universal welfare, but it also inspires people divinely to reach the range of unfettered Mind, Spirit.

The careless doctor, the nurse, and the curt visitor may be sympathetic, but do they know the thorns they plant in the pillow of the sick and the heavenly homesick looking away from earth? Oh, why don’t they know? Being aware of this unawareness would do much more toward healing the sick and preparing for the midnight call, rather than piteous cries of “Lord, Lord!” The benign thought of Jesus, found in such words as “Do not worry about your life,”[2] will heal the sick and so enable them to advance past the supposed necessity of taking thought for and doctoring the physical; however, the unselfish affections must be plentiful. Common sense and common humanity are to be highly regarded; otherwise, what mental quality remains with which to call forth from the extended arm of righteousness a satisfying healing or dignified passing?

If the Scientist reaches the patient through divine Love, the healing work will be achieved at one visit. In the presence of Love, disease and fear vanish into their native nothingness like dew before the morning sunshine. In any case, it is necessary for the Scientist to have enough Christly intent to win their own pardon and to receive praise similar to that which Jesus gave the woman who had lived a sinful life. Spirituality must be pure in order to practice scientifically and deal with patients compassionately. Results correspond to the spiritual intent.

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.

Matthew 20:20-23

 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”

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. 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.

God is individual and personal in a scientific sense, but not in any anthropomorphic sense. God’s children can’t lose their individuality. We lose sight of our spiritual individuality because of limited perceptions and the blinding belief that soul is in the body. Human personality is myth; it is not the reflection or likeness of Spirit. To think that flesh can tell us how to feel is not bliss, but bondage. For true happiness, man and woman must harmonize with Principle, and the child must synchronize with the Father-Mother and be in conformity with Christ. According to divine Science, person is as complete as the Mind that forms. The truth of spiritual existence makes us harmonious and fulfilled. The error of material existence makes us discordant and unfulfilled.

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.

The illuminations of Science give us a sense of the nothingness of error, and they show the spiritual inspiration of Love and Truth to be the only fit preparation for admission to the presence and power of the Most High.

John 3: 1-6

Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

21st Century Science and Health

Jesus pushed the boundaries when it came to fleshly ties. He said: “Do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”[4] Again he asked: “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”[5] Answering his own question, he pointed out that it is they who do the will of the Maker. Jesus recognized Spirit, God, as the only source and origin of all.

First in the list of divine responsibilities, Jesus taught his followers the healing power of Truth and Love. He attached no importance to dead ceremonies. It is the living Christ, the practical Truth, which makes Jesus “the resurrection and the life”[6] to all who follow his actions. Obeying his priceless precepts—following his demonstration so far as we understand it—we drink of his cup, share his bread, and are baptized with his purity until at last we can rest and sit down with Christ in a full understanding of divine Principle, which triumphs over death. For what did Paul say? “Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”[7]

The movement of thought, advancing past limiting standpoints is slow and warns the spiritual traveler of the long haul ahead. However, the angels of Love’s presence—the spiritual intuitions that tell us when “the night is nearly over; the day is almost here”[8]—are our guardians in the gloom. Whoever opens the way in divine Science is a pioneer and stranger, marking out the path for generations yet unborn.

Referring to the materiality of the age, Jesus said, “A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.”[9]

In spiritual knowledge, we are the offspring of Spirit, Mind. The beautiful, whole, and pure constitute our ancestry. Our origin is not like that of mortals, programmed to pass through human stages prior to reaching intelligence. Spirit is our primordial and ultimate source of being. God is our Father-Mother, and Life is the law of our being.

*New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960 – 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

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

[1] Matt. 22:30

[2] Matt. 6:25; Luke 12:22

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

[4] Matt. 23:9

[5] Matt. 12:48; Mark 3:33

[6] John 11:25

[7] I Cor. 11:26

[8] Rom. 13:12

[9] John 4:23

May 1, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Reappearing Christ

Golden text: Titus 2:11-14*

 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Acts 9: 1-9

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

21st Century Science and Health**

Truth encourages the elements of freedom. The Soul-inspired headline reads, “Terrorism Eliminated.” The power of God brings deliverance. No power can withstand divine Love. What or who is it that makes the rules of exploitation and depression? What is it that draws us away from Spirit? How do we become saddled by wants and whims? What is it that holds human beings in the clutches of sin, sickness, and loss? Truth makes us free.

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.

In the annals of Christianity, there are many sects but not enough spirituality. With pomp and ceremony, religionists called on an anthropomorphic God, but this is not the manner of truth’s appearing. Of old the cross was truth’s central sign, and it is so today. The modern whip is less material than back in the day, but it is equally cutting. Cold contempt, stubborn resistance, church opposition, state laws, and the press, still try to stop truth’s full-orbed appearing.

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?

Acts 9: 10-19

 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19 and taking food, he was strengthened.

21st Century Science and Health

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

Medical schools may inform us that the healing work of Christian Science implies a gullible mental state. We could also be told that Saul’s conversion to Paul indicates religious ecstasy. If we turn to Scriptures, what do we read? “If anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”[1] And, “Regard no one from a worldly point of view.”[2]

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.

Acts 9:19-22

For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. 20 And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.

21st Century Science and Health

Saul of Tarsus turned his attention to the way of Christ, Truth—only when his uncertain sense of right yielded to a spiritual sense which is always right. Saul was changed when his thought took on a more decent attitude and his life was spiritualized.[3] He learned the wrong he had done in persecuting followers of Spirit, whose religion he had not understood. In humility, he adopted the name Paul. He beheld for the first time the true idea of Love and learned a lesson in divine Science.

Reform comes by understanding there really is no lasting pleasure in ill-will. Reform comes by gaining an affection for good according to Science which reveals the immortal fact that pleasure, pain, appetite, and emotionalism can’t be kept alive either in or of human mind. Divine Mind can and does purge false beliefs from human mind.

The great miracle to human sense is divine Love, and the grand purpose of life is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in us. This goal is never reached while we hate our neighbor or get hung up on a person whom God has appointed to voice His Word. The message, not the messenger is crucial, and this correct sense allows us to see the highest visible idea and understand its divine Principle.

Abuse of the motives and religion of St. Paul hid from view the apostle’s character, which made him equal to his great mission. Persecution of all who have spoken something new and better of God has not only obscured the light of the ages, but has been fatal to the persecutors. Why? Because persecutors can’t see the true idea even if it’s right in front of them. Misunderstandings show an ignorance of the divine idea taught by the enlightened thinker, an ignorance that betrays a greater ignorance of the divine Principle of that idea—ignorance of Truth and Love. The understanding of Truth and Love works out the ends of eternal good and destroys both faith in and the practice of evil. Understanding leads to the discernment of the divine idea.

Acts 9: 23-27

When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill [Saul], 24 but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night in order to kill him, 25 but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket. 26 And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.

21st Century Science and Health

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

The voice of God in behalf of all people is reverberating around the world as the spokesperson of the new revolution sounds the keynote of universal mental freedom. A fuller acknowledgement of our rights as useful spiritual individuals, demands the terrors of sin and sickness be exterminated from the human mind. Spiritual freedom is gained, not through human warfare, but through spiritual Science.

God has built a higher platform of human rights, on divine claims. These claims are not made through human regulations or creeds, but in demonstration of “Peace upon earth among men of goodwill!”[4] Human policies, scholastic theology, and inconsistent health care systems, divide and scatter faith and spiritual understanding. Divine Science comes to the rescue and our birthright of sole allegiance to our Maker asserts itself.

The disabled, the deaf, the dumb, the depressed, the visually impaired, the sick, the sensualist, the sinner, can be saved from the terrors of their own beliefs. Don’t waste your years away by serving an unreal master telling you that the body governs you rather than Mind. You can break the bondage, however you must then press on with faith in God through an awful conflict, the Red Sea and the wilderness, as you trust Truth, the strong deliverer, to guide your thought into the land of divine Science. In this divine land or state of consciousness, limitations are overcome and your rights are known and acknowledged.

Oppressive civil laws are disputed and human beings are taught their right to freedom. From this same standpoint, backward mental laws can be disputed. All self-sabotaging mortal laws must be denied and succeeded. The law of the divine Mind must end human repression or human beings will continue to be unaware of their inalienable rights. People are prone to hopeless obsessions and anguish because public teachers permit an unawareness of divine power.

Discerning the rights of people, we can’t fail to foresee the doom of oppression. Trepidation and misery are not legitimate states of people. God made us free.

When using the light of divine Science, we see beyond the surface of mortals and detect inverted thoughts and erroneous beliefs so as not to be fooled by them. We also borrow thought from a higher source than human knowledge to look at cause rather than effect, to see celestial Truth replace error. Clothed in Spirit, appearance is “bright as a flash of lightning”[5]―like the garment of Christ.

We bow before Christ, Truth, to receive more of Spirit’s reappearing.

 

[1] John 8:51

[2] II Cor. 5:16

[3] Acts 9

[4] Luke 2:14 (Phillips NT)

[5] Luke 9:29

April 10, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Spiritual reward

Golden text: Proverbs 2: 9-15*

So now you can pick out what’s true and fair, find all the good trails! Lady Wisdom will be your close friend, and Brother Knowledge your pleasant companion. Good Sense will scout ahead for danger, Insight will keep an eye out for you. They’ll keep you from making wrong turns, or following the bad directions Of those who are lost themselves and can’t tell a trail from a tumbleweed, These losers who make a game of evil and throw parties to celebrate perversity, Traveling paths that go nowhere, wandering in a maze of detours and dead ends.

John 18:1-9

Jesus, having prayed this prayer, left with his disciples and crossed over the brook Kidron at a place where there was a garden. He and his disciples entered it.

2-4 Judas, his betrayer, knew the place because Jesus and his disciples went there often. So Judas led the way to the garden, and the Roman soldiers and police sent by the high priests and Pharisees followed. They arrived there with lanterns and torches and swords. Jesus, knowing by now everything that was coming down on him, went out and met them. He said, “Who are you after?”

They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”

5-6 He said, “That’s me.” The soldiers recoiled, totally taken aback. Judas, his betrayer, stood out like a sore thumb.

Jesus asked again, “Who are you after?”

They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”

8-9 “I told you,” said Jesus, “that’s me. I’m the one. So if it’s me you’re after, let these others go.” (This validated the words in his prayer, “I didn’t lose one of those you gave.”)

21st Century Science and Health**

Divine Science adjusts the circumstances as Jesus adjusted them. While there is sin, there is penalty. Science removes the penalty only by first removing the sin that incurs the penalty. My interpretation of divine pardon is that God destroys sin. It is foolish to think our own sins will be less sinful if we attack someone else who we believe is sinful. Did the excommunication of Martin Luther[1] make the hypocrisy of his enemies less criminal?

Was it fair for Jesus to suffer? No, but it was inevitable; otherwise he could not have shown us the way and the power of Truth. Remember though, another person’s suffering can’t lessen our own liability. If a career as great and good as that of Jesus could not avoid a felon’s fate, then students of Truth must endure without complaining. Rejoice, and enter into companionship with Christ through the triumphal arc of Truth and Love.

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.

John 18: 12-14

12-14 Then the Roman soldiers under their commander, joined by the Jewish police, seized Jesus and tied him up. They took him first to Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas. Caiaphas was the Chief Priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it was to their advantage that one man die for the people.

21st Century Science and Health

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.

Would life without friends be empty? Then the time will come when you will feel alone, without sympathy, but this vacuum is filled with divine Love. 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.”[2] 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.

John 18: 19-21

19-21 Annas interrogated Jesus regarding his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered, “I’ve spoken openly in public. I’ve taught regularly in meeting places and the Temple, where the Jews all come together. Everything has been out in the open. I’ve said nothing in secret. So why are you treating me like a conspirator? Question those who have been listening to me. They know well what I have said. My teachings have all been aboveboard.”

John 19: 6

When the high priests and police saw him, they shouted in a frenzy, “Crucify! Crucify!”

Pilate told them, “You take him. You crucify him. I find nothing wrong 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.

As changeable knowledge diminishes and spiritual understanding increases, real objects will be comprehended mentally instead of materially. As this consummation draws closer, those who have shaped their course in accordance with divine Science will endure to the end.

During this final conflict, nefarious minds will endeavor to find means by which to accomplish more evil. People who discern divine reality will hold crime in check, help banish error, maintain law and order, and cheerfully serve the certainty of completions.

John 19:23-24

When they crucified [Jesus], the Roman soldiers took his clothes and divided them up four ways, to each soldier a fourth. But his robe was seamless, a single piece of weaving, so they said to each other, “Let’s not tear it up. Let’s throw dice to see who gets it.” This confirmed the Scripture that said, “They divided up my clothes among them and threw dice for my coat.” (The soldiers validated the Scriptures!)

24-27 While the soldiers were looking after themselves, Jesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her. He said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother.

21st Century Science and Health

The God-inspired walk calmly on though with aching feet. Pampered hypocrites may ride on easy street here, but they can’t forever break the Golden Rule[3] and escape the penalty due. We reap what we sow.

Jesus’ earthly mission was fulfilled with proofs of Truth, Life, and Love, by driving out error and healing the sick. Unfortunately, in the Christian church, the demonstration of divine healing was lost about three centuries after Jesus’ resurrection. Ancient and modern schools of philosophy, medicine, and theology don’t teach or demonstrate the healing of divine Science.

Jesus foresaw that the Science of Truth would be disregarded before it was understood. His foreknowing wasn’t an obstacle. He completed his God-mission and then sat down at the right hand of God. Jesus’ apostles still went about, moving from city to city doing good deeds although they were envied, hated, and stoned. Jesus’s teachings were scoffed by religious elders because the teachings demanded more than the officials were willing to practice. It was enough for the elders to believe in a deity they could monopolize; but that belief, from their time to ours, has never made a disciple who could cast out evils and heal the sick.

From divine and scientific points of view, Jesus proved God is Love. The opposite insistence that God is a mighty potentate who loves and hates is the theology of a dualistic God, which gives no hint of the unchanging love of God.

The prevalent belief in death has no advantage. It is unable to make Life or Truth apparent. Death will eventually be found to be a human dream, which comes in darkness and disappears with light.

The “man of sorrows”[4] was in no danger because he lacked salary or popularity. Though entitled to honor, and endorsed by God’s approval, Jesus’ brief triumphal entry into Jerusalem was followed by the desertion of everyone except a handful of friends who sadly followed him to the foot of the cross.

Jesus’ example was all-inclusive; not only was his life’s work carried out to the end for himself, but his demonstration also shows us how to work out our own deliverance. We must do what he did and what he taught us to do. His purpose in healing was not just to restore human health, but to demonstrate his divine Principle. He was inspired by God, by Truth and Love, in all that he said and did. His persecutors were motivated by arrogance, envy, cruelty, and vengeance, inflicted on the physical Jesus, but aimed at the divine Principle, Love—the same Love that rebuked their unspiritual mindsets.

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.

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.

*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] Martin Luther, (1483–1546) Christian theologian and Augustinian monk whose teachings inspired the Reformation and influenced the culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions.

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

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

[4] Isa. 53:3