December 5, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Festivals

Golden text: Matthew 13:33*

[Jesus] told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”

I Corinthians 5:6-8

 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

21st Century Science and Health**

Divine Science doesn’t get caught up in worldly evidence. If you haven’t advanced past sin yourself, don’t congratulate yourself for being blind to evil or for not living the good you claim to know. A two-faced attitude is far from Christianly scientific. “No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”[1] Every student’s mind should be strongly impressed by divine Science; by an exalted awareness of the moral, social, and spiritual qualifications requisite for healing, well knowing it to be impossible for error, evil, and hate to accomplish the grand results of Truth and Love. Pursuing instructions opposite to absolute divine Science will always interrupt scientific demonstration.

If the student stays true to the teachings of Christ’s Science, not daring to break its rules, the person cannot fail to succeed in healing. It is divine Science to do right and nothing short of right-doing has any claim to the name. To talk the right and live the wrong is foolish deceit, doing one’s self the most harm. Captivated by sin yourself, it is difficult to rescue someone else from the prison of disease. If your own wrists are handcuffed it is hard to remove someone else’s handcuffs. A little leaven causes the whole mass to ferment.[2] A grain of divine Science does wonders for human beings, so omnipotent is Truth, but more of Science must be gained in order to continue in well doing.

Doing wrong to other people will react most heavily against yourself. Right adjusts the balance sooner or later. Think it “easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,”[3] than for you to benefit yourself by mistreating others. Your morals confirm your healing ability and fitness to teach. You should practice skillfully the good you know and you will then advance to the extent of your honesty and fidelity—qualities which assure success in this Science. It requires a higher understanding to teach this subject correctly, than it does to heal the most difficult case.

The harmful effect of lousy friendships is less seen than felt. The inoculation of negative human thoughts ought to be understood and guarded against. The first impression made on a mind, whether good or bad, is a capable detective of individual character. Certain minds meet only to separate through simultaneous repulsion. They are enemies without the preliminary offence. The impure are at peace with the impure. Only virtue is a rebuke to vice. A proper teacher of divine Science improves the health and morals of the student if the student practices what is taught, and unless this result follows, the teacher is a Scientist only in name.

There is a large class of thinkers whose excessive prejudice and conceit twist every fact to suit themselves. Their creed teaches belief in a mysterious, supernatural God and a natural, all-powerful devil. Another class, still more unfortunate, are so depraved that they appear to be innocent. They repeat empty talk while looking you placidly in the face, and they never fail to stab their benefactor in the back. A third class of thinkers build with steel beams. They are honest, generous, noble, and open to the approach and recognition of Truth. Teaching Christian Science to this mindset is not a chore. Pure thought does not incline longingly to error, whine over the demands of Truth, nor play the traitor for place and power.

Matthew 16:1-6

And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test [Jesus] they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed. When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

21st Century Science and Health

Jesus warned his disciples to “be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”[4] He defined this yeast as human doctrines or teachings. Jesus’ parable of the “yeast which a woman took and mixed with three measures of flour till it was all leavened,”[5] contains an implication far above the merely ecclesiastical and formal applications of the illustration. It implies the Science of Christ and its spiritual interpretation as mental yeast.

Did this parable have a moral that brings attention to prophecy? Did it foretell the second appearing in the flesh of the Christ, Truth, hidden in sacred secrecy from the visible world?

Ages pass, but this yeast of Truth is always at work. It must destroy the entire mass of error, and so be eternally glorified in spiritual freedom.

Divine Science silences human will, disables fear with Truth and Love, and illustrates the unlabored motion of the divine energy in healing the sick. Self-indulgence, envy, emotionalism, arrogance, hatred, and revenge are dissolved by divine Mind which heals disease. The human will which makes and works a lie, hiding the divine Principle of harmony, is destructive to health and is the cause of disease rather than its cure.

There is great danger in teaching Mind-healing indiscriminately, thus disregarding the morals of the student and caring only for the payments. Recall words that have been credited to Thomas Jefferson concerning slavery, “I tremble, when I remember that God is just.”[6] I tremble whenever I see a person, for the petty reward of money, teaching his or her slight knowledge of Mind-power—increasing the probability of communicating the teacher’s own bad morals. This sad state deals pitilessly with a community unprepared for self-defense.

A thorough examination of my publications has healed sickness. Sometimes the patient’s condition seems to worsen when they read this book. The discomfort may come about because the physician is alarmed or the disease is reaching a crisis point. Perseverance in truth-seeking has generally completely healed such cases.

Whoever practices the Science I teach, through which Mind pours light and healing on this generation, cannot practice from sinister or malicious motives. Dishonesty destroys not only the practitioners power to heal, but also his or her own health. Good must dominate in the thoughts of healers or their demonstrations are prolonged, perilous, and impossible in Science. A wrong motive involves defeat. In the Science of Mind-healing, it is imperative to be honest for victory rests on the side of immutable right. To understand God strengthens hope, advances faith in Truth, and verifies Jesus’ word: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”[7]

Resisting evil, you overcome it and prove its nothingness. Not human clichés, but divine beatitudes reflect the spiritual light and might which heal the sick. To insist on exercising the human will is to bring on a mesmerized attitude, detrimental to the health and integrity of thought. So, be observant and guard against strong mortal mindedness. Do not protect or cover up iniquity because it only prevents prosperity and the ultimate triumph of any cause. If you are unaware of the error to be eradicated, it will sometimes abuse you.

Evidence drawn from the five physical senses relate to human reason, and human reason dimly reflects and weakly transmits true light. Truth is a revelation.

Psalms 42:1-4

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.

21st Century Science and Health

Instinct is better than misguided reason, even as nature declares. The violet lifts her blue eye to greet the early spring. Tree leaves clap their hands in the wind. The snowbird sings while securing a summer residence, never minding wet cold feet. Human beings on the other hand, overlook instinct and make things difficult. Earth’s atmosphere is kinder than the atmosphere of human mind—kinder than the milieu crowded with thoughts of perfectionisms, flus, and allergies. Sun spots, contagion, and sickness are produced solely by human theories.

Human mind procreates its own phenomena and then credits them to something else—like a kitten glancing into the mirror at itself and thinking it sees another kitten.

The mistake of thinking that either fasting or feasting makes us better morally or physically is one of the fruits of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” concerning which God said, “you must not eat from.”[8] Human mind forms all conditions of the human body and controls the organs, bones, genes, cells, blood, etc., as directly as the determination or will moves the hand to lift a glass of water.

Asceticism can take form in the practice of self-immolation, rigorous abstinence, or extreme religious regiments, none of which guarantee growth in grace or spirituality.

Not materially, but spiritually we know God as divine Mind, as Life, Truth, and Love. We become more respectful and caring as we get to know the divine nature better and love Soul understandingly. The struggle over physicality will be replaced by a rejoicing in the affluence of our God. Religion will then be of the heart and not of the head, and humankind will no longer be tyrannical from lack of love—straining out gnats and swallowing camels.[9]

We worship spiritually only as we cease to worship materially. The devotion to Spirit is the soul of spirituality. Worshipping through the medium of human personalities is not productive. Human-made rituals are but types and shadows of true worship. “The true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.”[10]

*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] Prov. 28:13 (NRSV)

[2] Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:21; I Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9

[3] Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25

[4] Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1

[5] Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:21 (REB)

[6] Jefferson, Thomas (1743–1826) Political philosopher. Founding Father. Principal author of Declaration of Independence. The third President of the United States.

[7] Matt. 28:20

[8] Gen. 2:17

[9] Matt. 23:24

[10] John 4:23

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