April 17, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Revival

Golden text: Hebrews 4:12-13*

God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

Mark 15:42-47

42-45 Late in the afternoon, since it was the Day of Preparation (that is, Sabbath eve), Joseph of Arimathea, a highly respected member of the Jewish Council, came. He was one who lived expectantly, on the lookout for the kingdom of God. Working up his courage, he went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate questioned whether he could be dead that soon and called for the captain to verify that he was really dead. Assured by the captain, he gave Joseph the corpse.

46-47 Having already purchased a linen shroud, Joseph took him down, wrapped him in the shroud, placed him in a tomb that had been cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the opening. Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of Joses, watched the burial.

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.

If human transgressions, vulnerabilities, and losses were understood as nonbeing, they would disappear to the reality of good which naturally banishes evil, just as acts of kindness make self-pity go away. One must hide the other. How important, then, to choose good as the reality! We are secured by God, Spirit, and by nothing else. God’s being is infinity, freedom, balance, and boundless happiness.

In Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English, the word faith and its corresponding words have these two definitions: trustfulness and trustworthiness. One kind of faith trusts one’s well-being to others. Another kind of faith understands divine Love and how to “work all the more strenuously at your salvation with reverence and trembling.”[1] “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”[2] This expresses the helplessness of blind faith; whereas the directive, “Believe…and you will be saved,”[3] demands self-reliant trustworthiness, which includes spiritual understanding and confides all to God.

The Hebrew verb to believe means also to be firm or to be constant. This certainly applies to Truth and Love understood and practiced. Rigidity in mistaken mindsets will never save us.

We need to become familiar with original Bible texts and be willing to give up misinterpretations established by hierarchies or instigated by the worst human passions. Familiarity with texts opens the way for divine Science to be understood and makes the Bible the map of life where the healing steps of Truth are pointed out.

Mark 16:1-7

1-3 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they could embalm him. Very early on Sunday morning, as the sun rose, they went to the tomb. They worried out loud to each other, “Who will roll back the stone from the tomb for us?”

4-5 Then they looked up, saw that it had been rolled back—it was a huge stone—and walked right in. They saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished.

6-7 He said, “Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see him there, exactly as he said.”

21st Century Science and Health

Humans can’t figure out the nature and quality of God’s creation by diving into shallow materialist beliefs. The efforts to find life and truth in human knowledge is tentative, therefore we must improve the effort and pay attention to spiritual knowledge and the immortal idea of substance. Spiritual, clearer, higher views inspire the Godlike person to reach the absolute center and circumference of reality.

It takes effort not to bury the spirit of divine Science in the burial clothes of its letter. If we would open the prison doors for the sick, we must first learn to bind up the broken-hearted. If we would heal by the Spirit, we must not hide the talent of spiritual healing behind ostentatious policies, ritualistic activities, or even somber piety. In the presence of a sick person, employ tender words and spiritual encouragement. Patiently remove all fears, without gushing theories, stereotyped clichés, and rigid arguments which are so many misrepresentations of divine Science, aflame with divine Love.

Mark 16:9-20

9-11 [After rising from the dead, Jesus appeared early on Sunday morning to Mary Magdalene, whom he had delivered from seven demons. She went to his former companions, now weeping and carrying on, and told them. When they heard her report that she had seen him alive and well, they didn’t believe her. 12-13 Later he appeared, but in a different form, to two of them out walking in the countryside. They went back and told the rest, but they weren’t believed either.

14-16 Still later, as the Eleven were eating supper, he appeared and took them to task most severely for their stubborn unbelief, refusing to believe those who had seen him raised up. Then he said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned.

17-18 “These are some of the signs that will accompany believers: They will throw out demons in my name, they will speak in new tongues, they will take snakes in their hands, they will drink poison and not be hurt, they will lay hands on the sick and make them well.”

19-20 Then the Master Jesus, after briefing them, was taken up to heaven, and he sat down beside God in the place of honor. And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.]

21st Century Science and Health

Truth will be to us “the resurrection and the life”[4] only as it destroys all error. Truth dissolves the belief that Mind can be shackled by a body. Life can’t be controlled by death. A nihilistic, sick, or dying human is not the likeness of God, the perfect and eternal. God is the only source of our spirituality.

Material energy is the primitive belief of human mind, because that very mind has no cognizance of Spirit. Human perceptions are limited and vague, therefore dependent on the limited and vague.

Explaining the origin of human being and mind, Jesus said: “Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”[5]

The carnal human mentality, misnamed mind, is mortal. But the idea of resurrection and ascension, shows that a mortal creature is not our real essence. Our real essence can’t be annihilated because of the indissoluble immortal connection between God and us. In divine Science, mortality disappears in the presence of reality.

The disparity between our spirituality representing Spirit, and the materiality representing a losable life and intelligence, shows the pleasures and pains of temporal life to be myths. Humans shove God away by claiming those myths are real and part of us, whereas, our genuine selfhood is recognizable only in what is good and true. We are neither self-made nor made by human beings. God revealed, and continues to reveal, us.

The inebriate believes that there is pleasure in intoxication. The thief believes something is gained by stealing, and the hypocrite thinks no one notices their deceit. The Science of Mind corrects such mistakes, for Truth proves the fallacy of error.

God creates and governs the universe, including us. The universe is filled with spiritual ideas, which Love evolves. Ideas are obedient to the Mind that makes them. Human mind would convert the unlimited into the limited and then think to recover the original self in order to escape from the mortality of the limited. Human beings are not like spiritual beings, created in God’s own image. Infinite Spirit is, therefore human consciousness will succumb to the scientific fact and disappear in place of spiritual consciousness. The real sense of being, perfect and forever intact, will appear.

The manifestation of God through human beings is as light passing through the window. The light and the glass never mingle, but as matter, the glass is less opaque than the walls. The human mind through which Truth appears most vividly is that one which has lost much materiality—much error—and has become a better transparency for Truth. Human mind is a cloud melting into thin vapor, no longer hiding the sun.

The human consciousness, often named brain, is the exact opposite of real Mind. Mortal consciousness is made up of errors. We learn in biology and neuroscience that the brain registers suffering and then dies. We learn in theology that our human consciousness is resurrected after death. These erroneous teachings are basically saying that consciousness is born of matter and returns to matter to be later resurrected from dust; whereas divine Science reveals our perpetual spiritual consciousness unaffected by the brain or death.

I think Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific human being that ever walked the earth. He systematically looked past the symptomatic material causes to discover and put into practice the spiritual cause. Because the people around him had immature ideas of spiritual cause, and his disciples possessed a limited degree of spirituality, Jesus used terms familiar to the people of the time. He spoke of, “flesh and bones.”[6] Jesus himself had to advance past believing in his own separate ego. As his understanding of Spirit increased, Jesus no longer felt attached to the world. The resurrection proved conclusively that his body was raised from dead concepts, and that his substance was Spirit. His body was no more perfect because of death and no less material until his consciousness was further spiritualized in the ascension. Jesus discovered the eternal Ego and proved that he was inseparable from God and God’s reflection. The Teacher gained the solution of being and demonstrated the existence of but one Mind without a second or equal.

Progress comes from experience. Humanity is improved as the mortal is dropped for the immortal. Either here or hereafter, suffering or Science must replace all illusions regarding life and mind. Material sense and self must be regenerated. The old self with its practices must be dropped. Nothing fleshly or sinful is spiritual. The death of fleshly perceptions and habits, not the death of material organisms, is what reveals spirituality and Life—harmonious, real, and eternal.

*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] Phil. 2:12 (Moffatt)

[2] Mark 9:24

[3] Acts 16:31

[4] John 11:25

[5] John 8:43

[6] Luke 24:39

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