December 12, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Fluidity

Golden text: Revelation 12:15-16*

 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.

John 6:16-21

 When evening came, [Jesus’] disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

21st Century Science and Health**

If you float on the quiet surface of error and are in sympathy with error, what is there to disturb the waters? What is there to strip off error’s disguise?

If you dare to launch your ship on the ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth, you will encounter storms. The good you do will be spoken of as evil. This is the responsibility. Be accountable. For in answering to Spirit you will win and feel the honor. Stranger on earth, your home is heaven; foreigner, you are the guest of God.

Human-made doctrines are failing, growing weaker in times of trouble. Void of Truth-power, how can human-made theologies illustrate the doctrines of Christ or the miracles of grace? Denial of the possibility of spiritual healing robs Christianity of the very element which gave it divine force and its astonishing and unequalled success in its first century.

The true Logos is demonstrably divine Science, the natural law of harmony which overcomes the pseudo-law of disorder. Science is not supernatural or superhuman, nor is it an infraction of divine law, but is the unchangeable law of God, good, overcoming disorder.

Mark 3:1-12

Again [Jesus] entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

21st Century Science and Health

Jesus’ reputation differed from his character. Why? Because his divine Principle and practice were misunderstood. Jesus’ words and works were alien to the world’s expectations and contrary to the popular religious views. Mortals believed in God as humanly mighty, rather than as divine infinite Love.

The human mind must struggle to interpret correctly the discomfort that Jesus inspired and the spiritual blessings that might flow from this type of discomfort that oftentimes produces a shock. Science shows the shock is produced because of a great distance between the individual and Truth.

Jesus represented Christ, the true idea of God. The true idea of God causes a battle to flare when up against perfunctory religion and the blindness of popular belief determined to kill the true idea by crucifying the flesh, but spiritual clear-sightedness wins the battle. The Christ-like character takes on greater heights and proves that Truth is the master of dying beliefs. Christ presents the indestructible person, whom Spirit forms, constitutes, and governs. Identifying our self with God, we feel our dominion to overcome worldliness.

The spiritual idea of God as presented by Jesus was scourged in person and its Principle was rejected. Jesus was misinterpreted, even considered a criminal, yet he proved God’s divine power by healing the sick, driving out evils, and spiritualizing consciousness. He also raised the dead—those dead in trespasses and sins, satisfied with the flesh. When resting on the sands of fluxing elements, we are blind to the possibilities of Spirit and its truths.

Body can’t be saved except through Mind. The Science of Christianity is misinterpreted by a material age because brain activity and physical senses can’t comprehend Spirit.

Our moral and spiritual progress is monotonously slow if we constantly bounce back and forth between futile habits and the hope of forgiveness. Selfishness and stupidity cause constant retrogression. We must wake up to Christ’s demand; however, the waking generally causes suffering. We may even feel like we are drowning and struggling to stay above water. Through Christ’s precious love our efforts are rewarded with success.

“Work out your salvation,”[1] is the demand of Life and Love, for to this end God works with you, “Until I come back.”[2] Be patient, and “Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right.”[3] Don’t go back to error, and don’t become apathetic or offended even though you are trying hard and there are no immediate rewards. The rewards will come.

When the difficult time has passed, you will experience a fullness of the good you have practiced.

Acts 27:5, 14, 27, 39-44

 And when we had sailed across the open sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra in Lycia.

14 But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land.

27 When the fourteenth night had come, as we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land.

39 Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore. 40 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach. 41 But striking a reef, they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf. 42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, 44 and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.

21st Century Science and Health

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. We forget this when life is fine. But when mortals belch, or the economy goes sour, or people think their partner is boring, the heart is pierced with sadness until we remember that sorrow can be therapeutic, forcing us to enter the domain of spiritual happiness and reliance. God will take care of us as we travel a trajectory unfolding new views of divine goodness and love.

When a relationship is going well, pay attention, otherwise an increasing dependence on one another may yank the rug out from under your feet. If, on the other hand, your relationship is rocky, don’t react, but hope, pray, and wait patiently on divine wisdom to point the way.

Husbands and wives should never separate if there is no Christian demand for it. The logic of events will reveal itself. In those cases, when one spouse is better than the other, then the better spouse is good company for the worse. Author and Pastor, T.D. Jakes, wrote in his book, Let it Go: Forgive so you can be forgiven, “For some marriages shattered by humiliation and public or private disgrace, all they have left is love. Sure it may be cracked by distrust, and the frame has been twisted by the harsh winds of unsuspected secrets. But the core of what matters, the portrait beneath the glass and within the frame, yet remains. Sometimes you don’t know what matters until you have lost all else. Many couples, finally free of secrets and forced by the storm to be totally honest, discover that rebuilding, though tedious and stressful, is yet possible.”[4]

Sorrow has its reward. It leaves us in a different place from where it found us. Unhappiness dissolves if our outlook is expanded and purified. The furnace separates the gold from the dross that the precious metal may be graven with the image of God. It is life-giving to learn the lessons God teaches.

I Peter 3:18-20

 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.

21st Century Science and Health

The miracle of grace is not a miracle to Love. Jesus demonstrated the inability of the human body as well as the infinite ability of Spirit, thereby helping mistaken human consciousness to abandon its own convictions and seek safety in divine Science. Reason, rightly directed, serves to correct the errors of fleshly sense. Sin, sickness, and death will continue to seem real (even as the experiences of the sleeping dream seem real) until the Science of our harmony breaks their illusion with the unbroken reality of scientific being.

What can we believe and accept concerning our individuality? Can we accept the mortal testimony, vulnerable, dying, and deceptive? Or, can we accept the good and real evidence, bearing Truth’s mark and flourishing with spiritual results?

Real thoughts flow from divine Mind. Unreal thoughts, coming from brains or personal auras, are extensions of the human mind; they are imprinted mortal beliefs and experiences. Illusive ideas or objects proceed from the physical senses and are vulnerable to death, whereas real thoughts are spiritual, harmonious, and eternal.

Geology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, cosmology, or biology, do not really explain nature’s patterns and relationships. There is no Scriptural hint that solar light preceded time, but there is an allusion to fluids (Genesis 1:2), tempting human minds to assume fluid energy could be congealed into matter or that thoughts could be restricted to material things.

Light symbolizes Mind, Life, Truth, and Love. Light is not a vitalizing property of matter. Science reveals only one Mind and this one shines by its own light and governs the universe, including spiritual beings, in perfect harmony.

*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] Phil. 2:12

[2] Luke 19:13

[3] Gal. 6:9 (Amplified)

[4] Jakes, T.D.  Let It Go: Forgive so you can be Forgiven, Simon & Schuster, 2002.

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