Golden text: Colossians 2:18-19*
18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come. 2 “Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob, listen to Israel your father. 3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the firstfruits of my strength, preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power. 4 Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it—he went up to my couch!
From 21st Century Science and Health**
Reuben (Jacob’s son). Corporeality; sensuality; delusion; mortality; error.
The human attitudes of dishonesty, sensuality, greed, revenge, and malice, cannot heal the sick.
Evil is conspicuously broadcast today, bloating itself in consumerism, materialism, and sensualism. Evil is struggling against the advancing spiritual era. The world may lack spirituality, and people may not be able to keep a promise or make a home happy, but human minds are demanding spiritual understanding and reformed attitudes.
As with any reform, a transition period will be felt. Transition periods are often unsettling and undesirable, however, why buck the trend when the reform compels us to find permanence and peace in a more spiritual devotion?
Human belief (the limited sense of life) and immortal Truth (the spiritual sense) are the weeds and the wheat, separated by progress.
A mortal sense of things is forever silenced by immortal Spirit.
Genesis 32:1-2, 5-7, 16-25
Now the people of Reuben and the people of Gad had a very great number of livestock. And they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and behold, the place was a place for livestock. 2 So the people of Gad and the people of Reuben came and said to Moses and to Eleazar the priest and to the chiefs of the congregation
5 And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.” 6 But Moses said to the people of Gad and to the people of Reuben, “Shall your brothers go to the war while you sit here? 7 Why will you discourage the heart of the people of Israel from going over into the land that the Lord has given them?
16 Then they came near to him and said, “We will build sheepfolds here for our livestock, and cities for our little ones, 17 but we will take up arms, ready to go before the people of Israel, until we have brought them to their place. And our little ones shall live in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return to our homes until each of the people of Israel has gained his inheritance. 19 For we will not inherit with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance has come to us on this side of the Jordan to the east.” 20 So Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will take up arms to go before the Lord for the war, 21 and every armed man of you will pass over the Jordan before the Lord, until he has driven out his enemies from before him 22 and the land is subdued before the Lord; then after that you shall return and be free of obligation to the Lord and to Israel, and this land shall be your possession before the Lord. 23 But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out. 24 Build cities for your little ones and folds for your sheep, and do what you have promised.” 25 And the people of Gad and the people of Reuben said to Moses, “Your servants will do as my lord commands.
From 21st Century Science and Health
Be attentive, sober, and vigilant. The way is straight and narrow which leads to the understanding that God is the only Life. It is a fight with the flesh in which we must conquer sin, sickness, and decay, either here or hereafter—certainly before we can reach the realm of Spirit or life in God.
Instruct the sick that they are not helpless victims. If they will accept Truth, they can resist disease and fight it off as positively as they can the temptation to sin. This fact of divine Science should be explained to invalids when they are in a fit mood to receive it, otherwise, they will turn against the new idea. The fact that Truth overcomes both disease and sin reassures depressed hope. Truth imparts a healthy stimulus to the body and regulates the system. Truth increases or diminishes the action as the case may require, better than any drug or feel-good stimulant.
Mind is the natural stimulus of the body, but human thinking taken at its best, does not promote health or happiness. Tell the sick that they can meet disease fearlessly, if they only realize that divine Love gives them all power over physical actions and conditions.
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. 5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. 7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
From 21st Century Science and Health
Red Dragon. Error; fear; inflammation; sensuality; manipulation; hypnotism; jealousy; revenge.
Revelation 12:7–8. And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.
The Old Testament assigns different functions to angels, to God’s divine messages. Michael’s characteristic is spiritual strength. He leads the troops of heaven against the power of sin or Satan, and fights the holy wars. Gabriel has the quieter task of imparting a sense of the ever-presence of ministering Love. These angels deliver us from the depths. When strong faith or spiritual strength wrestles and prevails through the understanding of God, Truth and Love are tangibly felt, even in times of anguish. There is no contest for Gabriel. To infinite, ever-present Love, all is Love and there is no error, no sin, sickness, or death. The dragon can’t war for long against Love because it is killed by divine Principle. Truth and Love prevail and the conflict between flesh and Spirit ends.
Selfishness pushes the weight of human existence toward the side of error, not toward Truth. Denial of the oneness of Mind causes our energy to veer into the gutter of mortality, rather than stay on track with Spirit, good.
14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
From 21st Century Science and Health
The beliefs of isolatable powers, the fight-and-flight nature, or morphing substances are flimsy propaganda, yet mesmerizing. So we ask, who will deny that these are the errors which Truth must and will annihilate? Scientists of reality must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out from the indefinite world and be dedicated. We must renounce aggression, oppression, and the pride of power. Christianity, with the crown of Love on her brow, must be our queen of life.
Christian Science reveals Truth and Love as our motive-powers. Human will—selfishly exclusive, negligent, and head-strong—cooperates with idleness and hyperactivity. From this cooperation arises the evil of human willfulness. From this also comes the powerlessness of mortal will-power, since all power belongs to God, good.
Angels are not otherworldly mortal-like beings traveling on physical forces. Angels are heavenly visitors traveling on metaphysical forces. Angels are pure thoughts from God, having diverse individualities. Angels are empowered by Truth and Love. Angels are spiritual. Their symbols embody an unseen quality or condition, similar to Michelangelo’s David.
Angels are exalted thoughts, glowing through cracks to the depth of darkness where human thinking has buried its worthy hopes. Exalted thoughts lead us to new and glorified trusts, to higher ideals of life and joys. Angels are God’s representatives.
With divine Science, you must spare no effort to purify thought before and after death.
The true sense of being and its eternal perfection should appear now, even as it will hereafter.
*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.
 Matt. 13:29
 Michelangelo, di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 – 1564), painter, architect, and sculptor of marble statue, David.