Golden text: Ezekiel 18:27*
Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life.
I Samuel 4:2, 5-11
Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines.
5 As soon as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded. 6 And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, “What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” And when they learned that the ark of the Lord had come to the camp, 7 the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “A god has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before. 8 Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness. 9 Take courage, and be men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; be men and fight.”
10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his home. And there was a very great slaughter, for thirty thousand foot soldiers of Israel fell. 11 And the ark of God was captured, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
21st Century Science and Health**
The law of mortal belief battles the facts of immortal Life.
Human beings must have trials and self-denials, as well as joys and victories, until all erroneous mindsets are killed.
What then is the human personality which suffers, sins, and dies? It is not God’s image and likeness but a counterfeit, an inversion, a misinterpretation, calling itself sin, sickness, birth and death. The incongruous natures of Spirit and spirits, Mind and flesh, uncover the contradiction that assumes human beings are the image of God, intelligence.
Is God a physical personality? Spirit is not physical. The mindset insisting a material body is person will be forced to advance out of itself. The time comes when mindsets give way to a diviner sense of intelligence and its manifestations through the better understanding of divine Principle and idea.
Immortal and divine Mind presents the idea of God: first, in light (enlightenment), second, in reflection, third, in spiritual and immortal forms of beauty and goodness. This Mind creates no element or symbol of disorder and decay. God did not create a thought that can go wrong. Spirit did not order a life of mortality. Truth did not design a truth that can mutate into something untrue. Principle did not reveal a love that can be uncertain.
I Samuel 4:12-22
A man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes torn and with dirt on his head. 13 When he arrived, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told the news, all the city cried out. 14 When Eli heard the sound of the outcry, he said, “What is this uproar?” Then the man hurried and came and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes were set so that he could not see. 16 And the man said to Eli, “I am he who has come from the battle; I fled from the battle today.” And he said, “How did it go, my son?” 17 He who brought the news answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has also been a great defeat among the people. Your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” 18 As soon as he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backward from his seat by the side of the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.
19 Now his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant, about to give birth. And when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. 20 And about the time of her death the women attending her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have borne a son.” But she did not answer or pay attention. 21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”
21st Century Science and Health
The human mind experiences can’t always be attributed to the one divine Mind, although they can lead to more expanded knowledge. The Near Death Experience (NDE) oftentimes shows the effects of compassion versus fear produced on human mind. Author, Larry Dossey, M.D., explains that researchers have subdivided NDEs. The categories include: near-death, near-death-like, nearing-death experience, and, “Another variant is the fear-death experience, which is associated with the acute fear of imminent death.” Can fear cause death?
Can there be any birth or death for the spiritual image and likeness of God? Instead of God sending sickness and death, Spirit destroys them and brings to light spirituality, of which there is no sickness and death. Omnipotent and infinite Mind made all and includes all. This Mind does not make mistakes and subsequently correct them. God does not cause us to sin, to be sick, or to die.
Physicians whom the sick employ in their helplessness should be models of integrity. They should be wise spiritual guides to health and hope. To the frightened patient on the brink of death, physicians can be prepared to share an understanding of the Truth which is Life and perpetuates being. When the soul is willing and the flesh is weak, the patient may be willing to plant their feet on the rock of the true idea of spiritual power.
I Samuel 5:1, 6-11
When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.
6 The hand of the Lord was heavy against the people of Ashdod, and he terrified and afflicted them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory. 7 And when the men of Ashdod saw how things were, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for his hand is hard against us and against Dagon our god.” 8 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” They answered, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be brought around to Gath.” So they brought the ark of the God of Israel there. 9 But after they had brought it around, the hand of the Lord was against the city, causing a very great panic, and he afflicted the men of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out on them. 10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. But as soon as the ark of God came to Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought around to us the ark of the God of Israel to kill us and our people.” 11 They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, that it may not kill us and our people.” For there was a deathly panic throughout the whole city.
21st Century Science and Health
We cannot deny that Life is self-sustained and we should never deny the everlasting order of Soul, simply because to physical sense there is seeming disorder. It is a disregard of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent imbalance, while a correct regard of God restores balance. Truth will ultimately compel us all to exchange the pleasures and pains of fleshly sensations for the joys of Soul.
Sin, sickness, and death are not transferable or scientific.
Question. What is Life?
Answer. Life is divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit. Life is without beginning and without end. Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life, and time is not a part of eternity. You know Life when you stop knowing time. Time is finite; eternity is forever infinite. Life has nothing to do with boundaries of any kind. Spirit doesn’t know the stuff called matter. Soul includes in itself all substance and is Life eternal. Matter is an inconsistent human concept or invention. Life is divine Mind. Life is not limited; death and limitation are unknown to Life. If Life ever had a beginning, it would also have an ending.
Mark 8: 34-35
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, [Jesus] said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
21st Century Science and Health
The Science of creation, so conspicuous in the birth of Jesus, not only inspired his wisest and least understood sayings, but was also the basis of his marvelous actions. Christ is the offspring of Spirit, and spiritual existence shows that Spirit does not create a wicked person or a human being who lapses into sin, sickness, and death.
In Isaiah, we read: “I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things,” but the prophet referred to divine law dawning on human consciousness, causing evil and wrong thinking to surface before being reduced to its common denominator, nothingness. The infected system needs to be scanned entirely in order to clean the hard-drive. During moral purification, when the symptoms of evil and illusion are aggravated, we might ignorantly think that the Lord brought about the evil. Thinking it through metaphysically, we ascertain that the discovery of God’s law uncovers so-called sin and its effects only that Truth may annihilate all sense of evil and all power to sin.
The truth preached by Jesus was more than just talk and robotic behavior. A life of spirituality is requisite.
The life of false egos is found to have no resemblance to divine Life. Its false claims are fickle implications of an existence which ends in quitting. Mistaken mentalities charge their lies to Truth and repeats: “The Lord knows false egos and allowed dysfunction.” But, what’s happening here is that error is participating in its own nature, regurgitating its own false nature. If we believe dysfunction is a part of God’s eternity, our spiritual path will be full of obstacles. If we regard Mind as both reliable and unreliable, then every sin or fleeting pain and pleasure seems normal.
Truth has no starting point. Divine Mind is our Soul and gives us unending dominion to image forth good. We were not crafted from an indefensible basis. We were not commanded to obey human laws which Spirit never made. Our sphere is in the higher law of Mind.
We reach the Life that is Truth and the Truth that is Life by bringing forth the fruits of Love—driving out error and healing the sick. The cup is the cross.
We approach God, Life, as our fidelity to Truth and Love expands; and in that ratio, we can know all human need and discern the thought of the sick and the sinning for the purpose of healing them. Error of any kind can’t hide from the law of God. Paul said, “The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”
*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.
 Gen. 2:2
 Gen. 1:31
 Isa. 45:7
 Rom. 8:6