July 13, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Life

Golden text: I John 1: 1-3*

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Ezekiel 37: 1-6

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

If we did not exist before the fleshly organization began, we could not exist after the body is disintegrated. If we live after death and are spiritual, we must have lived before birth, for if Life ever had any beginning, it must also have an ending, even according to the calculations of natural science. Do you believe this? No! Do you understand it? No! This is why you doubt the statement and do not demonstrate the facts it involves.

Question. What is Life?

Answer. Life is divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit. Life is without beginning and without end. Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life, and time is not a part of eternity. You know Life when you stop knowing time. Time is finite; eternity is forever infinite. Life has nothing to do with boundaries of any kind. Spirit doesn’t know the stuff called matter. Soul includes in itself all substance and is Life eternal. Matter is a human concept or invention. Life is divine Mind. Life is not limited; death and limitation are unknown to Life. If Life ever had a beginning, it would also have an ending.

Mind is not bound by physicality. Mind is not dependent on the fleshly ear and eye for sound or sight. Mind is not contingent on corporeal muscles and bones for movement. To understand incorporeal Mind is to perceive that Mind is infinite. This perception of boundless Mind extends toward Mind-science and toward a perception of our true nature and existence, which does not include material personalities.

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.

Valley. Depression; humility; darkness.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”[1]

We are not the offspring of flesh (nothingness), but of Spirit. Because Life is God, Life must be eternal, self-existent. Life is the everlasting I AM, the Being who was and is and will be; the Being whom nothing can erase.

Ezekiel 37: 7-14

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Spirit blesses, but we cannot “tell where it comes from or where it is going.”[2] By Spirit the sick are healed, the stressed are comforted, and the sinning are reformed. These are the effects of one universal God, the invisible good dwelling in eternal Science.

As people think, so are they. Mind is all that feels, acts, or interferes with action. Unaware of this, or shrinking from its implied responsibility, the healing effort is made on the wrong side, and thus the conscious control over the body is lost.

A person may say that indigestion, fatigue, and insomnia cause distressed stomachs and aching heads. They have to consult their ever-re-wiring brain in order to remember the troublesome cause when the remedy lies in forgetting the earthbound experiences. Matter has no sensation of its own, and the human mind is all that can produce or feel pain.

Are attitudes, spirituality, or consciousness, found in matter? It is irrational to say that Mind is infinite, but dwells in the finite.

Allow unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, and love to control your mind and body. As the kingdom of heaven is found within then sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear.

The knowledge filter of human mind—filtering out what doesn’t fit into its personal paradigm—can’t come into the presence of God, and must live in fantasyland until mortals arrive at the understanding that limited life, with all its sin, sickness, and death, is an illusion, against which divine Science is engaged in a warfare of extermination. The great verities of existence are never excluded by falsity.

God has no limiting factor. Spirit is not in us or in matter. Mind and Mind’s expression, doesn’t grow from a limited chromosome. Infinite Mind can have no starting-point and will not go to dust. Spirit can never have borders nor be fully manifested through physicality.

Ezekiel 37: 15-23

 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 “Son of man, take a stick and write on it, ‘For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ 17 And join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. 18 And when your people say to you, ‘Will you not tell us what you mean by these?’ 19 say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am about to take the stick of Joseph (that is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, that they may be one in my hand. 20 When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes, 21 then say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. 22 And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The spiritual universe, including individual person, is a united idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit.

Through divine Science, Spirit, God, unites understanding to eternal harmony. The calm and enlightened thought, or spiritual perception, is at peace. Thus the dawn of ideas goes on, forming each successive stage of progress.

Philippians 2: 14-16

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Our immature views of life hide eternal harmony and produce the problems of which we complain.

Only by losing the false sense of Soul can we gain the eternal unfolding of Life as immortality brought to light.

The eternal Truth destroys what human beings have learned from error and our real selfhood comes to light. Truth lived is eternal life. Human beings can never advance from the temporal debris of error—belief in sin, sickness, and death—until we learn that God is the only Life.

We can discover the spiritual opposite of materiality. Even the way through Christ, Truth, allows us to reopen, with the key of divine Science, the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed. There will then be no need to consult reference books for the probabilities of life. It will be unnecessary to study DNA or neurons in order to learn the state of our substance and purpose.

When we fully understand our relation to the Divine, we can have no other Mind—no other Love, wisdom, or Truth. In the divine relationship, there is no other sense of Life and no consciousness of the existence of matter or error.

*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] Ps. 23:4

[2] John 3:8

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