April 15, 2020

bible study imageSubject: Constant ascension

Golden text: Psalms 50:22-23*

“Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
23 The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”

Acts 1:1-2, 21-26

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.

21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Acts 2:1-4

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

21st Century Science and Health**

“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. You will receive according to your efforts. Love is not in a hurry to rescue us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tested and purified.

Final deliverance from error is not reached by taking the easy way. There are no shortcuts. Deliverance is also not experienced by attaching our faith without works, to someone else’s effort. Whoever believes that violent anger is justified or that divinity is appeased by human suffering, does not understand God. In our deliverance, we rejoice in peaceful honor, immortality, and spiritual freedom.

Justice requires reformation. Mercy cancels the debt only when justice approves. Revenge is unacceptable. Revenge only placates anger, whereas anger needs to be destroyed. 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.

The atonement is a difficult problem in a theology that assumes God vented wrath against humankind, on Jesus. Divinely unnatural and mistaken teachings are destroyed with the scientific explanation that eventually both sin and suffering fall at the feet of everlasting Love.

The tradition of telling people that if they take one doctrine and have total faith in it, they will be filled with the Holy Spirit, receives a strong rebuttal in the Scripture, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”[4] Faith, at the level of belief, is like a motor piston shifting between nothing and something, having no fixity. Faith, advanced to understanding, gains evidence of Spirit. Spiritual evidence rebukes groundless beliefs of every kind and establishes the claims of God.

Acts 3:1-10

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

21st Century Science and Health

The magnitude of Jesus’ scientific work—his disappearance and reappearance before the physical eye—enabled the disciples to understand what he had said. Previously, they had only believed Jesus’ words, now they understood. Their spiritual enlightenment was parallel to the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecostal Day, the reappearance of divine Science repeating itself.

Divine Science, understood, coincides with the Scriptures and sustains logically and demonstratively every point it presents, otherwise it would not be Science and could not present results. Mind-science is not made up of paradoxical clichés or of the inventions of those who ridicule God. Science presents the calm and clear verdict of Truth against error, voiced and illustrated by the prophets, by Jesus, and by his apostles, as recorded in Scriptures.

Why are the words of Jesus more frequently cited for our instruction than his remarkable works? Is it because not many people know how important those works are to spirituality?

Is it likely that some people have more faith in a Christian Scientist, whom they have perhaps never seen and against whom they have been warned, than they have in their own accredited and orthodox leaders, whom they have seen and have been taught to love and trust?

Let a member of the clergy try to cure a friend through personal faith. Will the member be healed by his or her faith in the clergy? Yet Scientists can take the same case and healing can follow. Faith must be in God. I have healed unbelievers whose only objection to this method was that I as a Christian Scientist believed in the Holy Spirit, while they, the patient, did not.

Even though you insist that the physical senses are indispensable to your existence or entity, you must change the human concept of life and extensively know yourself spiritually and scientifically. The evidence of the existence of Spirit, Soul, is substantial only to spiritual sense.

Acts 6:1-7

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

21st Century Science and Health

The whole human family can be redeemed through the excellence of Christ—through the perception and acceptance of Truth. For this magnificent result, Christian or divine Science lights the torch of spiritual understanding.

Outside of divine Science all is relative. Earthly experience exposes the relativity of error, indirectly leading to the infinite capacities of Truth. Spiritual beings agree with the absolute and harmonious Principle of being. Immortality does not sin, suffer, or die and our spiritual experiences will multiply instead of diminish as God’s kingdom comes on earth. The spiritual way leads to Life instead of to death and we realize our God-given dominion to overcome temporal limitations.

Include moral as well as physical belief in your efforts to destroy error. Exclude all manner of evil. “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”[5] Speak the truth to error in its every disguise. Tumors, ulcers, acne, inflammation, tics, pain, deformed joints, are waking dream-shadows, dark images of human thought, which vanish in the light of Truth.

A moral issue may hinder the recovery of the sick. Lurking error, lust, envy, revenge, selfishness, malice, or hate will perpetuate or even create the belief in disease. Errors of all sorts gravitate downward. Your true course is to destroy the foe and leave the field to God, Life, Truth, and Love, remembering that God and God’s ideas alone are real and harmonious.

If your patient suffers a relapse, mentally and courageously treat its cause. Know that there can be no reaction in Truth. Disease itself, sin, and fear have no power to cause disease or a relapse. Disease has no intelligence with which to move itself around or to change from one form to another. If disease moves, it is human mind not the disease that moves it; therefore, be sure to move it out. Meet every adverse circumstance as its conqueror. Observe mind instead of body. Make sure nothing enters thought that is unfit for development. Think less of temporal conditions and more of permanent.

Mind produces all action. If action proceeds from Truth, from spiritual Mind, there is harmony; whereas human mind is liable to any phase of belief. A relapse cannot in reality occur in human beings or so-called human minds, for there is but one Mind, one God. Never fear the mental mal-practitioner, the mental assassin, who, in attempting to rule humankind, tramples upon the divine Principle of metaphysics, because God is the only power. To succeed in healing, you must conquer your own fears as well as those of your patients and advance into spiritual, pure consciousness.

If it is found necessary to treat against relapse, know that disease or its symptoms cannot change forms. The evidence of disease cannot go from one part of the body to another, for Truth destroys disease. There is no metastasis, no stoppage of harmonious action, and no paralysis in Science. Truth not error, Love not hate, Spirit not spirits, governs us. If students do not readily heal themselves, they should soon call an experienced metaphysical practitioner to help them. If they are unwilling to do this, they need only to know that error cannot produce this unnatural reluctance.

Instruct the sick that they are not helpless victims. If they will accept Truth, they can resist disease and fight it off as positively as they can the temptation to sin. This fact of divine Science should be explained to invalids when they are in a fit mood to receive it, otherwise, they will turn against the new idea. The fact that Truth overcomes both disease and sin reassures depressed hope. Truth imparts a healthy stimulus to the body and regulates the system. Truth increases or diminishes the action as the case may require, better than any drug or feel-good stimulant.

Mind is the natural stimulus of the body, but human thinking taken at its best, does not promote health or happiness. Tell the sick that they can meet disease fearlessly, if they only realize that divine Love gives them all power over physical actions and conditions.

If it becomes necessary to startle human mind to break its dream of suffering, urgently and forcefully tell your patient that they must wake up. Turn the patient’s gaze from the false evidence of physical sense to the harmonious facts of Soul and spirituality. Tell them that they suffer only as the mentally ill suffer, from false beliefs. The only difference is believing the brain is the problem rather than the body, but they both are disorders. Disorder is a word which conveys the true definition of all human beliefs in ill-health or disturbed harmony. Should you thus startle and awaken human mind in order to remove its erroneous belief, afterwards make known to the patient your motive for this shock. Show the patient that the mental jolt was to facilitate recovery.

If a crisis occurs in your treatment, you must treat the patient less for the disease and more for the mental disturbance. The patient’s thoughts are reacting and the mental reaction can be turbulent. Therefore, subdue the conviction that reactions cause pain or disease. Insist fervently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and that there is one cause. There is no disease. When the supposed suffering is gone from human mind, there can be no pain; and when the fear is destroyed, the inflammation will subside. Calm the excitement sometimes induced by mental reactions, which is the restorative method of Truth upon error, and sometimes explain the symptoms and their cause to the patient.

We acknowledge and respect one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge God’s child, one ideal; we acknowledge the Holy Spirit or divine Counselor; and recognize man and woman in God’s image and likeness.

*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] James 2:17

[5] Mark 16:15

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