April 4, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Ascension

Golden text: I Corinthians 15:21*

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

Acts 1:1-6

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”So when they had come together, they asked him, “L    ord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Knowing that God was our Life, Jesus could restore the individualized manifestation of existence which seemed to vanish in death, plus present himself unchanged after the crucifixion. Truth fosters the idea of Truth and displaces the belief in illusion or error. That which is real, is sustained by Spirit.

The fact that Christ, Truth, overcame and still overcomes death proves the “king of terrors”[1] to be but a mortal belief or error. The spiritual evidence of Life wipes out the mortal illusion of final ends. What appears to be death is an impression that can be overcome, for to our real identity and the real universe there is no death-process.

Mortals must break out of this mental cycle of thinking that material life is all-in-all. They must think outside of the box with divine Science and look to the infinite cosmos. Be aware though, that thought which escapes the box and has not yet been instructed by the Science of Truth and Love, may become wild with freedom and so be self-contradictory.

Divine Science understood, is the prism and praise of Truth. An honest view of divine Science enables you to heal by its means. Science has for you a light greater than the sun, for God “is its lamp.”[2] Its fiery legs are the foundations of Love and Truth. It brings the baptism of the Holy Spirit, whose flames of Truth were prophetically described by John the Baptist as consuming error.

 

 

Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life.”[3]  If we follow the direction of Jesus, we can depend less and less on bodily conditions, structure, or economy. We can be masters of the body, dictate its features, and form and control it with Truth.

There is no power apart from Mind. Omnipotence has all-power and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God. The humble Nazarene overthrew the assumption that sin, sickness, and death have power; he proved them powerless and restored dignity to experience. It should have humbled the arrogance of the priests when they saw the demonstration of spirituality excel the influence of their dead faith and ceremonies.

Acts 1:7-9

[Jesus] said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

From 21st Century Science and Health

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.

Acts1:10-12

 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.

From 21st Century Science and Health

God requires perfection, but not until the battle between Spirit and flesh is fought and the victory won. To stop eating, drinking, or being clothed materially before the spiritual facts of existence are gained step by step, is not legitimate. When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, Spirit directs our thought and action. Imperfect human beings grasp the ultimate of spiritual perfection slowly; but to begin aright and to continue the strife of demonstrating the great problem of being is doing much.

Acts 1:15-16

 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The world’s ingratitude and hatred toward Jesus brought persecution. Judas Iscariot conspired against Jesus and chose to betray him when the people were in doubt concerning his teachings. The traitor’s reward was thirty coins and the smiles of the Pharisees.

Judas Iscariot’s awareness of Jesus’ goodness was a wedge between the two men. The spiritual distance compounded Judas Iscariot’s envy and the wedge split deeper. Because the world generally loves a lie better than Truth, Judas had only to kiss Jesus and let those bent on revenge take the division from there. The greed for money strengthened Judas’ ingratitude and for a time quieted his guilt. His scheme to betray Jesus was intended to gain popularity and promote himself, but Judas Iscariot’s dark strategy fell to the ground and the traitor fell with it.

In vain, mortals try to kill Truth with neglect, slander, and bullet. However, the sword of Spirit topples error. Martyrs are the human links that connect one stage with another in the history of religion. They are earth’s luminaries, serving to enlighten and refine the atmosphere. Martyrs permeate humanity with godly ideals. Consciousness of right-doing brings its own reward, but merit is not seen and appreciated by onlookers.

Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned. The doctrine of absolute divine Science, which strips all disguise from error, is the great truth that evil or human imprints do not have intelligence, substance, or power.

Acts 1:20-26

 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “‘Let another take his office.’ 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

From 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. Mental traitors will deliver you to the judge, the arbiter of truth against error. The judge will deliver you to justice, and the sentence of the moral law will be executed upon human mind and body. Both will be manacled until the last penny[4] is paid—until you have balanced your account with God. “You reap whatever you sow.”[5] We can overcome our fear of sin. It is sin’s necessity to destroy itself. Spirituality in action demonstrates the government of God, good, in which there is no power to act against life, truth, and love.

Mind demands spiritual thoughts to the end that they produce harmonious results. Human mind tries to repeat the immortal ideas, but gets it wrong because it starts with a mortal self.

The study of divine Science helps eliminate the human mind’s faulty process. Reasoning that begins with imperfection will end with imperfection. Reasoning that begins with perfection will arrive at perfection. A sculptor can’t perfect contours and shapes while concentrating on an imperfect model. The painter can’t depict the features and appearance of Jesus while thinking about the character of Judas Iscariot.

The perceptions and realities of mortal thought either die or give way to the spiritual discovery of completeness and eternity. Through many generations, human beliefs reach diviner conceptions and the immortal model of God’s revelation is finally seen as the only true concept of being.

The bedrock of the temple of Christian Science is found in the following postulates: that Life is God, good, and not evil; that Soul is sinless, not found in the body; that Spirit is not, and cannot be, humanized; that Life is not subject to death; that the spiritual individual of God has no birth, no temporal life, and no death.

Science reveals the glorious possibilities of our spirituality, forever unlimited by the mortal senses. The Christ-element in the Messiah made him the Way-shower, Truth and Life.

The eternal Truth destroys what human beings have learned from error and our real selfhood comes to light. Truth lived is eternal life.

*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] Job 18:14

[2] Rev. 21:23

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

[4] Matt. 5:26 (NRSV)

[5] Gal. 6:7 (NRSV)

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