Golden text: Revelation 22:14*
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
II Samuel 5:17-25
When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. But David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. 18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 19 And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” 20 And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim. 21 And the Philistines left their idols there, and David and his men carried them away.
22 And the Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 23 And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 24 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 25 And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer.
21st Century Science and Health**
Study metaphysics and look deep into realism, instead of only accepting the superficial, illusive sense of things. Be elevated in thought in every situation. Can we gather peaches from a pine tree or learn from disorder the order of being? Continue to recognize the nothingness of illusions—stay on the path Science is walking—and the ingrained illusions of human beings will be replaced with reality.
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.
We are all capable of more than we do. The action of Soul confers the freedom that explains excellent impromptu speeches, admirable movie scripts, or meaningful texts.
Material energy is neither intelligent nor creative. The tree is not the inventor of itself.
We hear it said: “I exercise every day and take vitamin C so I won’t catch a cold. Yet, I always get a cold, have a runny nose, and cough non-stop.” Admitting this is a first step to opening the mind to the futility of constantly paying attention to the material body. Futility often nudges us to look in other more effective directions for cause and cure.
The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has her home in the fir trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.
21st Century Science and Health
Knowledge gained from limited senses or sciences is figuratively represented in Scripture as a tree yielding the fruits of chaos, vulnerability, and destruction. Why not judge the knowledge obtained through incomplete perspectives as dubious and dangerous, since “the tree is recognized by its fruit”?
Truth never destroys God’s idea. Truth is eternal substance and maintains the true reflection. Temporal sense, or error, may seem to hide Truth, health, harmony, and Science—as the mist obscures the sun or the mountains—but Science, the sunshine of Truth, will melt away the shadows and reveal celestial peaks.
If we were solely creatures of the physical senses, we’d have no infinite Principle. We’d be mirages. We can’t draw correct spiritual conclusions from the finite senses which have no true appreciation of infinite Principle or of infinite image.
Many years ago, I made a spiritual discovery, the scientific evidence of which has accumulated to prove that the divine Mind produces in us health, harmony, and spirituality. Gradually this evidence will gather momentum and clearness until it reaches its culmination of scientific statement and proof.
The temporal and unreal never touch the eternal and real. The mutable and imperfect never touch the immutable and perfect. The inharmonious and self-destructive never touch the harmonious and self-existent. These opposite qualities are the weeds and wheat which never fuse, though to mortal sight they grow side by side until the harvest. Science separates the wheat from the weeds through the realization of God as ever present and individual beings as reflecting the divine likeness.
Reformation and moderation are results of mental healing, which cuts down “every tree that does not produce good fruit.” The conviction that there is no real satisfaction in thinking and acting against Life, Truth, and Love, is one of the most important points in the theology of Christian Science.
[Jesus said] “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
21st Century Science and Health
People who do right, and those who do wrong, get their full reward, but not always in this world. The followers of Christ drink from a full cup. Ingratitude and persecution fill the cup to the brim. While drinking from this cup, however, the riches of God’s love permeate our understanding and feelings, giving us the strength and spiritual reward we need.
Offenders are seen, “flourishing like a green tree in its native soil;” but looking further the Psalmist could see an end—the destruction of wrongdoing through suffering.
Prayer is not to be used as a confession, as if wrongdoing can be canceled out while yet leaving intact the chance to repeat wrongdoing. Such an error holds back true religion. Shady, sinister thoughts and activities are forgiven only when replaced by Truth and Life. If prayer enables the thinking that human beings are made better merely by praying, prayer is an evil. Those who imagine that prayer can be used to excuse wrongdoing, will worsen.
An apostle said, “The reason the Son of God [Christ] appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” We can follow Jesus’ divine example and permit spirituality to replace all ill-doing—even disease.
“God is love.” We cannot ask for more than infinite Love, we cannot go farther, and we cannot look deeper. To think that God forgives or punishes, whether we pray or not, is to misunderstand Love. Prayer is not a loophole for wrongdoing.
Audible prayers can be impressive and give instant gratification and awe. But do they produce any lasting advantage? As we think about this more, we see that zeal “not based on knowledge,” can tempt reactions unfavorable to spiritual growth or clearheaded resolve. Lip service distorts healthy perceptions of our Godlike responsibilities. Pay attention! Make sure that the motive for prayer doesn’t embrace the desire for human admiration, but instead encourages pure sentiments.
Before healing, Jesus uncovered and rebuked that which opposed God, Life. To the crippled woman, he said that Satan kept her bound. At another time, Jesus told his disciple, Peter, “You are a stumbling block to me.” Jesus taught and showed us Life’s power to dissolve anything that opposes unlimited Truth. He said, “Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down.”
It is physical emotionalism, and not Soul, that triggers a nervous passion for God. Allow spiritual sense to guide your higher experiences, because fanaticism and self-satisfied devotion do not promote spirituality. God is not influenced by human beings. The divine ear is not an auditory nerve. The Divine is all-hearing and all-knowing Mind, recognizing and supplying our every need.
When human beings realize they no longer want to believe in physical suffering, they turn from the body to Spirit and call on divine sources outside themselves.
The Bible contains the recipe for healing. “The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Sin and sickness are healed by the same Principle. The tree symbolizes our divine Principle which is equal to every emergency. Love offers full salvation from sin, sickness, and death. Sin will submit to the Science of Christ when, in place of customs and routines, the power of God is understood and demonstrated in the healing of human beings both mind and body. “Perfect Love casts out fear.”
The Science of being uncovers misperceptions, and spiritual perception assisted by Science reaches Truth. Then that which is unlike God disappears. Sin and sickness will diminish and seem less real as we approach the scientific period in which limited sense is subdued and all that is unlike the true likeness disappears.
The struggle for Truth makes one strong instead of weak, restful instead of weary. If the belief in the cycle of mortal life and death was obliterated, and the understanding obtained that existence is ongoing, this would be a “tree of life,” known by its fruits.
The tree that produces good fruit must be good itself.
We are sometimes led to believe that darkness is as real as light. Science affirms darkness to be only a human sense of the absence of light. But, darkness loses the appearance of reality in the presence of light giving us reason to understand that sin and sorrow, disease and death are the supposed absence of Life, God, and lose their appearance in the presence of truth and love.
*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.
 Matt. 12:33; Luke 6:44
 Scientific statement of being defined on page 304
 Eph. 4:24
 Matt. 13:24–30
 Matt. 3:10; Luke 3:9
 Matt. 20:23; Mark 14:23; Luke 22:17; I Cor. 11:26
 Ps. 37:35
 I John 3:8 (Brackets added by Mary Baker Eddy)
 I John 4:8
 Rom 10:2
 Luke 13:16
 Matt. 16:23
 Matt. 3:10, 7:19; Luke 3:9
 Rev. 22:2
 I John 4:18 (ESV)
 Gen. 2:9; Rev. 22:2