February 17, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Knowing versus thinking

Golden text: Ecclesiastes 8:1*

There’s nothing better than being wise, Knowing how to interpret the meaning of life.    Wisdom puts light in the eyes, And gives gentleness to words and manners.

Ecclesiastes 8: 1-9, 14-15**

Who is like the wise?
And who knows the interpretation of a thing?
A man’s wisdom makes his face shine,
and the hardness of his face is changed.

I say: Keep the king’s command, because of God’s oath to him. Be not hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for he does whatever he pleases. For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, “What are you doing?” Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way. For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him. For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be? No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it. All this I observed while applying my heart to all that is done under the sun, when man had power over man to his hurt.

 There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. 15 And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.

From 21st Century Science and Health***

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.”[1]

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.

Many theories relative to God and creation do not make a lovable God or harmonious children. The beliefs we commonly entertain about happiness and life actually lack evidence of permanent joy and life.

The infinite never began and it will never end. Mind and its formations can never be annihilated. God’s child is not on a roller coaster, reeling between evil and good, joy and sorrow, sickness and health, life and death. Life and its faculties are not measured by calendars. The perfect and spiritual are the eternal likeness of their Maker. We aren’t struggling to rise from an imperfect origin to Spirit.

Linear thinking is destroyed by the law of God, which is the law of Life eternal instead of death, the law of harmony instead of disorder, the law of Spirit instead of the flesh.

I hope, as you read, you see there is no cause (outside of human imprints which are not power) able to make you sick, troubled, or sinful. I also hope that you are conquering human-egocentric thinking. Knowing the illusiveness of limited perceptions, you can assert your prerogative to overcome the belief in a worthless self, in disease, or mortality.

John 9:1-7, 14-15, 24-29, 34

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”

34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The Pharisees claimed to know and to teach the divine will, but they only hindered the success of Jesus’ mission.

Divine Science doesn’t act through blind belief. Science doesn’t act through human understanding. 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.

Nothing is more antagonistic to divine Science than a blind belief without understanding, for such a belief hides Truth and builds on error.

“The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well,”[2] says Scripture. What is this healing prayer? It isn’t begging. Summoning God to heal the sick has no power, since the divine presence is already at hand. Shallow prayers only produce shallow effects, even if sometimes they are beneficial. Shallow prayers remind us of blind faith, which only triggers the human mind to temporarily affect the body. Blind prayers only exchange one belief for another. For example, a belief in a supernatural humanlike but kind God who occasionally grants health, can temporarily replace a belief in sickness. Or, the belief in a trendy miraculous drug can replace the belief in a stubborn chemical imbalance.

John 9:35-41

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

From 21st Century Science and Health

A wicked human being is not the idea of God. Wickedness is little else than the expression of error. To suppose that stupidity, lust, hatred, envy, hypocrisy, revenge, have life abiding in them is a terrible mistake. Life and Life’s idea, Truth and Truth’s idea, never made children who are sick, sinful, or mortal.

Lust, malice, and all sorts of evil are diseased beliefs, and you can destroy them only by destroying the wicked motives which produce them. If the evil is overcome in the repentant human mind, while its effects still remain on the individual, you can remove this disorder as God’s law if fulfilled and reformation cancels the crime. The healthy sinner is the hardened sinner.

You uncover sin, not in order to hurt, but in order to bless the human being; and a right motive has its reward. Hidden sin is spiritual wickedness in high places. The masquerader in this Science thanks God that there is no evil, yet serves evil in the name of good.

A wicked person may have an attractive personality; therefore, human personality is not the true character of spiritual person.

Innocence and Truth overcome guilt and error.

Seeking is insufficient. Just saying you accept Christ Jesus is moot. An all-out effort to “do” enables us to change for the better and know eternalness. Spiritual achievements open the door to a higher understanding of divine Life.

The understanding and recognition of Spirit must finally come, and we may as well improve our time in solving the mysteries of being through an understanding of divine Principle. At this moment, we do not know what man and woman is, but we certainly will know this when we reflect God.

*Scripture take from The Message, by Eugene Peterson

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

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

[1] Isa. 55:7 (REB)

[2] James 5:15

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