April 18, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Earth Day

Golden text: Genesis 1:11*

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so.

Zechariah 14:1-3, 13-14

Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.

13 And on that day a great panic from the Lord shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other. 14 Even Judah will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be collected, gold, silver, and garments in great abundance.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

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?

When the clouds are heavy, they block the sun’s light and heat from earth. But clouds can disappear. Likewise, as the clouds of physical knowledge dissolve, then divine knowledge reaches our consciousness and experience. Earth has little light or joy before Life is spiritually learned. Every agony of mortal error helps error to destroy itself and we perceive immortal Truth. This is the new birth going on hourly, by which human beings may entertain angels, the true ideas of God with an unlimited sense of being.

Dynamic 21st-century research, and altering social environments provide increasing data and evidence to contradict conventional scientific theories concerning our origin. Instead of debating the old theories, we can bless the human race by understanding why we are more than flesh and blood and why we can detach ourselves from limited concepts.

Natural history is richly endowed by the labors and genius of great people. Modern breakthroughs, biotechnology, in vitro fertilization, and cloning, have brought to light important facts in regard to supposed embryonic life. But, to suppose life germinates in anything other than Mind is a blunder. All theories within the material realm never reach past the temporal. They will finally give place to higher theories and demonstrations.

To suppose that God constitutes laws of turmoil and uncertainty is a mistake. Balance and peace are supported by nature and divine law, even when everything else says otherwise.

We ask, can we eat and live without natural laws and agriculture? The answer is no, and yet the Scriptures inform us that sin or error, first caused the condemnation of humankind to till the ground.[1] Can obedience to God remove the necessity to rely on material food, air, or technology? Truth never made error necessary nor devised a law to perpetuate error.

Adversity teaches human beings not to lean on collapsible crutches. Spiritual development doesn’t come from planting seeds in the dirt of materialist views. Those seeds rot whereas Love nurtures the higher joys of Spirit which have no taint of earth.

Zechariah 14: 16-17, 20-21

16 Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. 17 And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them.

20 And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the Lord.” And the pots in the house of the Lord shall be as the bowls before the altar. 21 And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the Lord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them. And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Conventional views do not reveal the facts of existence, but immortal perceptions lift human consciousness into eternal Truth. Humanity advances slowly out of old thought patterns. The unwillingness to learn all things correctly, binds spiritual understanding in chains.

Love will finally mark the hour of harmony, and spiritualization will follow for Love is Spirit. Before error is wholly destroyed there will be interruptions of the general human routine. Earth will become dreary and desolate, but summer and winter, seedtime and harvest (though in changed forms) will continue to the end—until the final spiritualization of all things. C. S. Lewis illustrates the idea of Spirit’s force in his novel, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[2] Main character, Aslan, was killed in lieu of Edmonds. His sisters, Susan and Lucy, saw the dead Aslan and felt miserable, as if life had stopped. Until Lucy noticed light appearing in the horizon revealing lively modest activity going on around Aslan, eventually to prove that Life and Love never end.

This material world is becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be disorder and disappointment; on the other side there will be Science and peace. The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, deficit and depression, sin, sickness, and death, assuming new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances will continue until the end of error when all disorder will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth.

Mortal error will vanish in a moral reaction. The reaction of mental turmoil has begun and will continue until all errors of belief yield to understanding. Belief is changeable, but spiritual understanding is changeless.

To break this earthly spell, human beings must get the true idea and divine Principle of all that really exists. The understanding of what governs the universe harmoniously is comprehended slowly and it comes with doubts and disappointments, as well as successes.

As a physical, theoretical life-basis is found to be a misinterpretation of existence, the scientific and divine Principle of our spirituality dawns upon human thought. Consciousness is guided to “where the child was”[3]—even to the birth of a new-old idea, to the spiritual sense of being and of what Life includes. Thus, the whole earth will be transformed by Truth as enlightened thought displaces the darkness of error.

The human thought must free itself from self-imposed materiality and bondage. Don’t take the effort to ask the genome, heart, or lungs: What are our prospects for life? Ask Mind about life. Mind is not helpless. Intelligence is not mute before non-intelligence.

Not by their own determination does a star proceed to shine, or a leaf unfold its fair outlines, or a flower open.

Matthew 6:19-21

[Jesus said] “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The physical senses can’t tell us of what is real or what is delusive, whereas the revelations of divine Science unlock the treasures of Truth.

Gravitational pulls, the stars, and electromagnetic forces do not have power over us, just as they have no power over our Maker. God governs the universe. We reflect God’s power and have the dominion not to be influenced by the planets, by earth and its mortal people.

The universe of Spirit reflects the powerful creativity of the divine Principle or Life, which reproduces the multitudinous forms of Mind and governs the increase of multifaceted spiritual being. The tree and herb do not yield fruit because of any propagating power of their own, but because they reflect the Mind which includes all. A world with mindlessness implies a human mortal mind as creator. The scientific divine creation declares immortal Mind and the universe created by God.

Divine Spirit blesses its own ideas and causes them to multiply—to manifest Love’s power. We were not made to cultivate limited and negative concepts. We were not made to dominate; our dominion is to image forth, respect, and care for all the symbols of God. This is the Science of being.

Mark 4:26-29

 And [Jesus] said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Through spiritual understanding, we enter the universe of Truth on earth and learn that Spirit is infinite and supreme.

We treat error through the understanding of Truth, because Truth is error’s antidote.

Some critics think that Christian Scientists are deluded or in a vacuum, because they aspire to reveal anything unlike God, good, as unreal. For instance, a Christian apologist, attempting to interpret the teachings of divine Science, says of Christian Scientists, “Their religious worldview teaches that sickness and pain are an illusion; they do not exist. But this belief is valid only by rejecting the fact that truth corresponds to reality.”[4] The fact that truth corresponds to reality is not rejected in Christian Science. Instead, Christian Science reveals that much of the reality before the human perceptions is not actually true, for example the earth isn’t a motionless solid mass, but consists of forces in constant motion. Truth, reality, has no unreality, no error; therefore, disbelief in error destroys error and leads to discernment of Truth. Our own realities aren’t always true.

We can understand and see the form, substance, and color of spiritual thoughts, without material objectifications, because God is self-acknowledged Mind and expresses all.

The sun is unaffected by the spinning earth. Divine Science reveals Soul as unaffected by human life. In the system of Mind, Soul is the central Life and intelligence around which circles all thoughts harmoniously.

*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] Gen. 3:17

[2] C. S. Lewis. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: HarperCollins

[3] Matt. 2:9

[4] Taken from Christianity on the Offense: Responding to the Beliefs and Assumptions of Spiritual Seeker © 1998 by Dan Story. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

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