April 3, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Unraveling intent

Golden text: Ecclesiastes 12:14*

And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.

II Samuel 14: 1-21

 Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king, deep down, still cared for Absalom. So he sent to Tekoa for a wise woman who lived there and instructed her, “Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in black and don’t comb your hair, so you’ll look like you’ve been grieving over a dead loved one for a long time. Then go to the king and tell him this . . .” Joab then told her exactly what to say. The woman of Tekoa went to the king, bowed deeply before him in homage, and said, “O King, help!” 5-7 He said, “How can I help?”

“I’m a widow,” she said. “My husband is dead. I had two sons. The two of them got into a fight out in the field and there was no one around to step between them. The one struck the other and killed him. Then the whole family ganged up against me and demanded, ‘Hand over this murderer so we can kill him for the life of the brother he murdered!’ They want to wipe out the heir and snuff out the one spark of life left to me. And then there would be nothing left of my husband—not so much as a name—on the face of the earth. 15-17 “So now I’ve dared come to the king, my master, about all this. They’re making my life miserable, and I’m afraid. I said to myself, ‘I’ll go to the king. Maybe he’ll do something! When the king hears what’s going on, he’ll step in and rescue me from the abuse of the man who would get rid of me and my son and God’s inheritance—the works!’ As your handmaid, I decided ahead of time, ‘The word of my master, the king, will be the last word in this, for my master is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil.’ God be with you!”

The king said, “Go home, and I’ll take care of this for you.”

“I’ll take all responsibility for what happens,” the woman of Tekoa said. “I don’t want to compromise the king and his reputation.”

10 “Bring the man who has been harassing you,” the king continued. “I’ll see to it that he doesn’t bother you anymore.”

11 “Let the king invoke the name of God,” said the woman, “so this self-styled vigilante won’t ruin everything, to say nothing of killing my son.”

“As surely as God lives,” he said, “not so much as a hair of your son’s head will be lost.”

12 Then she asked, “May I say one more thing to my master, the king?”

He said, “Go ahead.”

13-14 “Why, then,” the woman said, “have you done this very thing against God’s people? In his verdict, the king convicts himself by not bringing home his exiled son. We all die sometime. Water spilled on the ground can’t be gathered up again. But God does not take away life. He works out ways to get the exile back.”

18 The king then said, “I’m going to ask you something. Answer me truthfully.”

“Certainly,” she said. “Let my master, the king, speak.”

19-20 The king said, “Is the hand of Joab mixed up in this?”

“On your life, my master king, a body can’t veer an inch right or left and get by with it in the royal presence! Yes, it was your servant Joab who put me up to this, and put these very words in my mouth. It was because he wanted to turn things around that your servant Joab did this. But my master is as wise as God’s angels in knowing how to handle things on this earth.”

21 The king spoke to Joab. “All right, I’ll do it. Go and bring the young man Absalom back.”

21st Century Science and Health**

Final deliverance from error is not reached by taking the easy way.

Wisdom and Love may require many sacrifices of self to save us from sin. One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin. The atonement requires the sinner constantly to swear off the mortal selfhood.

It is important to examine our inclinations and intentions. Mental examination is the way we learn who we honestly are.  If a friend informs us of a fault, do we listen patiently to the criticism and reconsider our attitude?

Through human consciousness, convince the person it is a mistake to look for power and happiness through material means. Reason is the most active human faculty. Let rational thought guide the person’s feelings and awaken their dormant sense of moral obligation. By degrees, they will learn the nothingness of the pleasures of human sense and the greatness and happiness of spiritual sense.

Whoever reaches the spiritual point of moral culture and goodness can’t harm others and must do them good. The greater or lesser ability of a Mind-reader to discern thought scientifically to heal, depends upon the reader’s genuine spirituality. It is not a matter of clairvoyance, but of honesty and openness to ever-revealing Truth.

Divine Science awakens the sinner, rehabilitates the self-deceived, and releases from pain the helpless sufferer. Science speaks the words of Truth to those who are lost and they answer with rejoicing.

We welcome the increase of knowledge and the end of error, because even human invention must have its day. We want that day to be prospered by divine Science and Christ-like reality.

John 11:45-54

 [Raising Lazarus from the dead] was a turnaround for many of the Jews who were with Mary. They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him. But some went back to the Pharisees and told on Jesus. The high priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish ruling body. “What do we do now?” they asked. “This man keeps on doing things, creating God-signs. If we let him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in him and the Romans will come and remove what little power and privilege we still have.”

49-52 Then one of them—it was Caiaphas, the designated Chief Priest that year—spoke up, “Don’t you know anything? Can’t you see that it’s to our advantage that one man dies for the people rather than the whole nation be destroyed?” He didn’t say this of his own accord, but as Chief Priest that year he unwittingly prophesied that Jesus was about to die sacrificially for the nation, and not only for the nation but so that all God’s exile-scattered children might be gathered together into one people.

53-54 From that day on, they plotted to kill him. So Jesus no longer went out in public among the Jews. He withdrew into the country bordering the desert to a town called Ephraim and secluded himself there with his disciples.

21st Century Science and Health

Jesus restored Lazarus by the understanding that Lazarus never died—not by believing his body died and lived again. Had Jesus believed that Lazarus died or lived in his body, the Master would have stood on the same plane of belief as those who buried the body, and could not have resuscitated it.

When you can waken yourself or others out of the belief that everyone must die, only then can you exercise Jesus’ spiritual power to reproduce the presence of those who believe they have died.

The moment during the transition of death is the only moment when those living on earth and those called dead can communicate. Also termed shared death experience, this is the moment when opposite beliefs blend. During the interlude when a person passes from one dream to another dream, the glad welcome or guidance from people who have gone before may be heard; a statement is made, similar to a statement made by someone standing before the Northern Lights with eyes open only to the wonder, forgetting all else and experiencing awe.

When being is understood, Life will be recognized as not material or finite but as infinite—as God, universal good—and the belief that life or mind was ever in a finite form, or that good is in evil, will vanish. Then it will be understood that Spirit never entered matter and therefore never came from unconscious elements. When advanced to spiritual being and the understanding of God, we can no longer commune with limited conditions or return to an outgrown state, just as a frog can’t return to a tadpole. Spiritual advancement matures into the already established view of individual consciousness, characterized by the divine Spirit as idea, not a physical unit.

Mortal theories make friends of sin, sickness, and death; whereas the spiritual scientific facts of existence include no aspect of that depressing trio.

Suffering, self-destructive, dying beliefs are unreal. When divine Science is universally understood, the negative consciousness will have no power over us, for we are spiritual and live by divine authority.

Human mind is the worst enemy of the body, while divine Mind is its best friend.

There is a law of God applicable to healing, and it is a spiritual law instead of physical. The sick are not healed by inanimate manipulations or drugs, as they believe they are. Such seeming medical effect or action is that of so-called human mind.

I have been told, “The world is benefited by you, but it feels your influence without seeing you. Why do you not make yourself more widely known?” Had my friends known how little time I have in which to make myself outwardly known except through my laborious publications—and how much time and toil are still required to establish the stately operations of Christian Science—they would understand why I am so secluded. Others could not take my place, even if willing to do so. I therefore remain unseen at my post seeking no self-aggrandizement, but am praying, watching, and working for the redemption of humankind.

If from an injury or any cause, a Christian Scientist were seized with pain so violent that the Scientist could not mentally treat themselves—and other Scientists had failed to relieve them—the sufferer can get temporary help. Then, when the belief of pain is quieted, the Scientist can treat his or her own case mentally. In this way we “test everything; hold fast to what is good.”[1]

In founding a pathological system of spirituality, I have labored to expound divine Principle and not to exalt personality. The weapons of bigotry, idolatry, spiritual unawareness, and envy, will fall before an honest heart. The mindset that adulterates divine Science is the mindset trying to void out Science. Falsity has no foundation.

Save yourself as Jesus saved. Strive. Advance spiritually. Constantly turn away from the objects of the human mind and look toward the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, you will be in earnest from the start and joyfully gain a little each day in the right direction. If persistent, you will make the transition from limited substance to the substantial unlimited.

*Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

**Text from 21st Century Science and Health can’t be reproduced in part or as a whole without the written permission of Healing Science Today

[1] I Th. 5:21 (NRSV)

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