October 4, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Spiritual progress

Golden text: II Cor. 13:11-13*

And that’s about it, friends. Be cheerful. Keep things in good repair. Keep your spirits up. Think in harmony. Be agreeable. Do all that, and the God of love and peace will be with you for sure. Greet one another with a holy embrace. All the brothers and sisters here say hello.

Gen. 49: 1, 19

Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather around. I want to tell you what you can expect in the days to come.”

19 Gad will be attacked by bandits, but he will trip them up.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Gad (Jacob’s son). Science; spiritual being understood; acceleration toward harmony.

Some students may set out to practice Truth’s teachings only in part, dividing their interests between God, and a preoccupation with worldly knowledge and wealth. Substituting their own views for Truth they will inevitably reap the error they sow. Whoever would demonstrate the healing of spiritual Science must precisely follow its rules, pay attention to every statement, and advance from the rudiments laid down. This task is not difficult or tiresome when the way is pointed out; but persistence, sincerity, and a denial of selfishness, wins the prize, as they usually do in every department of life.

Systematic teaching and the student’s spiritual growth and experience in practice are requisite for a thorough comprehension of the Science of Mind-healing. Some individuals realize truth more readily than others, but any student who remains true to the divine rules of spiritual Science and becomes one with the spirit of Christ, can demonstrate Science, overcome error, heal the sick, and add continually to their supply of spiritual understanding, power, enlightenment, and success.

I Sam. 13: 5-7

The Philistines rallied their forces to fight Israel: three companies of chariots, six companies of cavalry, and so many infantry they looked like sand on the seashore. They went up into the hills and set up camp at Micmash, east of Beth Aven.

6-7 When the Israelites saw that they were way outnumbered and in deep trouble, they ran for cover, hiding in caves and pits, ravines and brambles and cisterns—wherever. They retreated across the Jordan River, refugees fleeing to the country of Gad and Gilead. But Saul held his ground in Gilgal, his soldiers still with him but scared to death.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The way through which immortality and life are learned is not ecclesiastical but divine, not human but holy, not physical but metaphysical, not material but scientifically spiritual. Human philosophy, ethics, and superstition afford no demonstrable divine Principle by which human beings can escape from sin and mortality; yet to find safety in Love is what faith demands.

Let us rid our self of the belief that we are separate from God, and obey only the divine Principle, Life and Love; here is the launching pad to all true spiritual growth.

Any conclusion pro or con, deduced from mortal consciousness leads to legitimizing the testimony of physical senses and disease. But we can reverse the testimony of physical senses.

NASA changed the world view when launching into outer space. Setbacks happened, but courage set the precedence. Technology is also changing our world views. What’s happening? We are outgrowing philosophies based on what physical senses say. The physical law of gravity can’t define us. Exploration, thought expansion, bravery, invention, and open-mindedness, continues.

Albert Einstein[1] recognized and made public the general theory of relativity. Time, space, and mass are relative, or in other words uncertain, but since they’ve been better identified, facts are more correctly studied and scientific corrections and modifications continue.

Chaldean Wisemen read the future in the stars. However, bleak horoscopes can’t keep us from seeing a bright earth and heaven. Birds and blossoms are thankful in God’s perennial and happy sunshine, golden with Truth. Although we have goodness and beauty to cheer the heart, the hypotheses of mortal perceptions, unexplained by divine Science, make us believe we are mere wandering comets—or as Maya Angelou wrote:

Manless and friendless
No cave my home
This is my torture
My long nights, lone.[2]

Science shows that appearances are often mistaken, leading to false judgments and conclusions. To correct the mistakes, we follow the simple rule that the greater controls the lesser. For example: the infinite controls the finite. New discoveries are brought to light as the idea of infinity discounts the mistake of a finite or static universe.

I Sam. 22:1-5

1-2 So David got away and escaped to the Cave of Adullam. When his brothers and others associated with his family heard where he was, they came down and joined him. Not only that, but all who were down on their luck came around—losers and vagrants and misfits of all sorts. David became their leader. There were about four hundred in all.

3-4 Then David went to Mizpah in Moab. He petitioned the king of Moab, “Grant asylum to my father and mother until I find out what God has planned for me.” David left his parents in the care of the king of Moab. They stayed there all through the time David was hiding out.

The prophet Gad told David, “Don’t go back to the cave. Go to Judah.” David did what he told him. He went to the forest of Hereth.

From 21st Century Science and Health

We don’t need to despair of an honest heart, but there is little hope for the phony prayers of people who randomly face their faults only to try to hide those character flaws.

The divine Principle and idea constitute spiritual harmony—heaven and eternity. In the universe of Truth, unpredictability and error are unknown. Finiteness and limitation have no universe. Divine Science, the Word of God, says to the darkness over the face of error, “God is All-in-all,” and the light of ever-present Love illumines the universe.

I Cor. 14: 18-25

18-19 I’m grateful to God for the gift of praying in tongues that he gives us for praising him, which leads to wonderful intimacies we enjoy with him. I enter into this as much or more than any of you. But when I’m in a church assembled for worship, I’d rather say five words that everyone can understand and learn from than say ten thousand that sound to others like gibberish.

20-25 To be perfectly frank, I’m getting exasperated with your infantile thinking. How long before you grow up and use your head—your adult head? It’s all right to have a childlike unfamiliarity with evil; a simple no is all that’s needed there. But there’s far more to saying yes to something. Only mature and well-exercised intelligence can save you from falling into gullibility. It’s written in Scripture that God said,

In strange tongues
and from the mouths of strangers
I will preach to this people,
but they’ll neither listen nor believe.

So where does it get you, all this speaking in tongues no one understands? It doesn’t help believers, and it only gives unbelievers something to gawk at. Plain truth-speaking, on the other hand, goes straight to the heart of believers and doesn’t get in the way of unbelievers. If you come together as a congregation and some unbelieving outsiders walk in on you as you’re all praying in tongues, unintelligible to each other and to them, won’t they assume you’ve taken leave of your senses and get out of there as fast as they can? But if some unbelieving outsiders walk in on a service where people are speaking out God’s truth, the plain words will bring them up against the truth and probe their hearts. Before you know it, they’re going to be on their faces before God, recognizing that God is among you.

33  When we worship the right way, God doesn’t stir us up into confusion; he brings us into harmony. This goes for all the churches—no exceptions.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Paul asked the megalomaniacal leaders the same question we ask today concerning healing and teaching, “You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?”[3] Jesus annulled fleshly law by healing contrary to those human laws. We have the gospel. We propose to follow Jesus’ model by obeying spiritual law which can overcome material law. Two essential points of Truth’s law are that Life and spiritual being do not die, and that God is not the author of sickness.

The major obstacle in conveying the teachings of divine Science accurately to human thought is that English, like all other languages, is inadequate to express spiritual concepts and intents. We have to use incomplete terms and symbols when dealing with spiritual ideas. The elucidation of Mind-science resides in its spiritual sense and students need first to recognize their spiritual senses in order to grasp the meaning of divine Science. Out of this condition grew the prophecy concerning the apostles, “They will speak in new tongues.”[4]

While dwelling on a physical plane, human terms must generally be employed to speak of the things of Spirit. It takes time for human thought to adjust to the higher meaning. Thought must be educated to perceive spirituality. To a certain extent, improved thought is necessary in all learning, even in the secular field.

Scientifically speaking, there is no human mind out of which to make incomplete beliefs proceeding from illusion. This misnamed mind is not an entity. What we call human personality or mind is only a false sense of substance, since its substance has no sensitivity. The one Mind contains no human opinions. All that is real is included in spiritual Mind.

Millions of unprejudiced minds are waiting and looking for rest and drink. They are simple seekers for Truth, weary wanderers thirsty in the desert. Give them a cup of cold water[5] with Christ’s attitude and never fear the consequences. But watch out, because the old dragon may cause a torrential uproar to drown the Christ-idea. However, the dragon can’t destroy “an instrument through which only truth can speak.”[6] The truth of being will be understood. The earth will help. People who are ready for the blessing will give you thanks. The river will be calmed, and Christ will command the wave.

There is only one spiritual existence, the Life of which physical senses can’t grasp or manipulate. Divine Principle speaks through spiritual sense. If a material body—in other words, a mental embodiment of mortality and materialism—were permeated by Spirit, that body would disappear to fleshly sense, would be deathless. A condition precedent to communion with Spirit is the gain of spiritual life.

*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, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Albert Einstein, (1879–1955) German-American physicist.

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

[3] Rom. 2:23

[4] Mark 16:17

[5] Matt. 10:42

[6] Peace Pilgrim, Her Life and Work in Her Own Words. New Mexico: Ocean Tree Books, 1982.

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