May 13, 2020

bible study imageSubject: Spirit

Golden text: Matthew 4:4*

Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”

Acts 9:36-41

 Down the road a way in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, “Gazelle” in our language. She was well-known for doing good and helping out. During the time Peter was in the area she became sick and died. Her friends prepared her body for burial and put her in a cool room.

38-40 Some of the disciples had heard that Peter was visiting in nearby Lydda and sent two men to ask if he would be so kind as to come over. Peter got right up and went with them. They took him into the room where Tabitha’s body was laid out. Her old friends, most of them widows, were in the room mourning. They showed Peter pieces of clothing the Gazelle had made while she was with them. Peter put the widows all out of the room. He knelt and prayed. Then he spoke directly to the body: “Tabitha, get up.”

40-41 She opened her eyes. When she saw Peter, she sat up. He took her hand and helped her up. Then he called in the believers and widows, and presented her to them alive.

21st Century Science and Health**

Who will say that God’s children are alive today but may be dead tomorrow? What has touched Life, God, to such strange issues? Error strikes the heel of truth, but cannot kill truth. Truth crushes the head[1] of error—destroys error. Spirituality lays open siege to materialism. On which side are we fighting? Here theories cease and Science unveils the mystery and solves the problem of man and woman.

The earth’s orbit and the imaginary line called the equator are not substance. The earth’s motion and position are sustained by Mind alone. Empower yourself with the thought that substance is purely mental, and the movements and transitions possible for the human mind will be found equally possible for the body. Being is alive. Death is obsolete, although some insist that death is the necessary prelude to immortality.

A dreamer can find their self in distant places meeting friends. The dreamer’s body is carried through the air and over the ocean. But, the onlooker sees the dreamer’s body slumped in bed. This shows the possibilities of thought. Hallucinogenic drugs also may temporarily cause the user to mentally travel far and work wonders, yet their bodies stay in one place, showing a grave disconnect and loss of control. Hallucination, delusion, and uncontrolled states of consciousness point to illusory knowledge.

Admitting to our self that person is God’s own likeness sets us free to master the infinite idea. This conviction shuts the door on death and opens it wide toward spirituality. The understanding and recognition of Spirit must finally come and we may as well improve our time in solving the mysteries of being through an understanding of divine Principle. At this moment, we do not know our true individuality, but we certainly will know this when we reflect God.

Romans 8:9-15

But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

12-14 So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.

21st Century Science and Health

The Scriptures say, “Those who look to the Lord will win new strength, they will soar as on eagles’ wings; they will run and not feel faint, march on and not grow weary.”[2] The meaning of that passage is not perverted by applying it literally to moments of fatigue, for the moral and physical are as one in their results. When we wake to the truth of being, all disease, pain, weakness, weariness, sorrow, sin will be unknown, and the dream of dualism will forever cease. My method of treating fatigue applies to all bodily ailments, since Mind should be, and is, all.

In mathematics, we do not multiply when we need to subtract and then say the answer is correct. No more can we say in Science that muscles give strength, that nerves give pain or pleasure, that genes and chemicals govern, and then expect the result will be harmony. Material muscles, nerves, DNA, or bones are nothing without mind, but human mind keeps beating its head “against brick walls,”[3] trying to heal with incorrect premises. Divine Mind heals.

When divine Mind’s action is understood, we will never affirm concerning the body what we do not wish to experience. We will not call the body weak if we would have it strong. The belief in depression must infiltrate human mind before it can be made manifest on the body. Destroy the belief and remove its effects. Science includes no rule of disorder but governs harmoniously. “The wish,” wrote Shakespeare “is ever father to the thought.”[4]

We may hear a sweet melody and yet misunderstand the science that governs it. Those who are healed through metaphysical Science may not understand the Principle of the cure. They may even credit their recovery to change of air or diet, not rendering to God the honor due to Spirit alone. Entire immunity from the belief in sin and suffering may not be reached at this level, but we may expect a decrease in these evils and this scientific beginning is in the right direction.

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.

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.

Human mind procreates its own phenomena and then credits them to something else—like a kitten glancing into the mirror at itself and thinking it sees another kitten.

Asceticism can take form in the practice of extreme self-denial, self-mortification, rigorous abstinence, or exceedingly strict religious exercises, none of which guarantee growth in grace or spirituality.

The mistake of thinking that either fasting or feasting makes us better morally or physically is one of the fruits of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” concerning which God said, “you must not eat from.”[5] Human mind forms all conditions of the human body and controls the organs, bones, genes, cells, blood, etc., as directly as the determination or will moves the hand to lift a glass of water.

God’s thoughts are eternal, substantial, and alive. Human thoughts are temporal, frail, and doomed to death. Human thoughts lack a divine cause because God, Spirit, is the only cause and can only cause that which is eternal. The unspiritual is not a creation of Spirit. That which is unspiritual is a contradiction of the spiritual and eternal. Due to its contradicting nature, error must say, “I am true.” But by this saying, error, or the lie, destroys itself.

Insanity, inanity, sickness, and mental turmoil are comprised in human manifest belief, and do not belong to the divine Mind. They are without a real origin or being. They have neither Principle nor permanence but belong with all that is changeable and temporal. They belong to the nothingness of error, which feigns the creations of Truth. Creations of matter must return to dust, whereas Spirit’s creations are substantial and eternal. It’s an error to believe we are both mental and physical. Divine Science invalidates error and maintains our spiritual identity.

We call the absence of Truth, error. Truth and error are unlike. In Science, Truth is divine and can have no unlikeness. Did God, Truth, create error? No! “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”[6] God being everywhere and all-inclusive, how can the all-presence be absent? How can the absence of omnipresence and omnipotence even be suggested? How can there be more than all?

Neither understanding nor truth accompanies error, nor is error the outcome of Mind. Error, evil, calls itself something, when it is nothing. It says, “I am somebody, but I am not the image and likeness of God, Spirit;” whereas Scriptures declare that we were made in God’s likeness.

Error is illegitimate, a mirage, and lacks spiritual identity or support. It has no real existence. The assumption that life, substance, and intelligence are in human thinking, or of it, is an error. Human thinking is neither a thing nor a person, but merely the objective assumption of Spirit’s opposite. The five physical senses testify that truth and error, good and evil, are united in human mind. Their false evidence finally yields to Truth—to the recognition of Spirit and of spiritual reality.

Truth cannot be contaminated by error. The statement that Truth is real necessarily includes its correlation, that error, Truth’s unlikeness, is unreal.

Truth and error seem to be in conflict. The contention of truth and error is only the mental conflict between the evidence of the spiritual perceptions and the testimony of the human imprints. Through faith in, and the understanding of divine Love, the battle between Spirit and flesh will settle all questions.

Superstition and understanding can never unite. When the final physical and moral effects of divine Science are fully understood, the conflict between truth and error, understanding and belief, spiritual sense and physical sense, will cease and lasting harmony will prevail, as was predicted by the prophets and introduced by Jesus.

The bedrocks in the temple of Christian Science are found in the following postulates: that Life is God, good, and not evil; that Soul is sinless, not found in the body; that Spirit is not, and cannot be, humanized; that Life is not subject to death; that the spiritual individual of God has no birth, no temporal life, and no death.

The eternal Truth destroys what human beings have learned from error and our real selfhood comes to light. Truth lived is eternal life. Human beings can never advance from the temporal debris of error—belief in sin, sickness, and death—until we learn that God is the only Life. We progress out of the thinking that life and sensation are in the body by understandingwhat constitutes ourselves as the image of God, and then Spirit will have overcome the flesh.

*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] Gen. 3:15

[2] Isa. 40:31 (REB)

[3] Isa. 1:5 (The Message)

[4] Shakespeare, William, (1564–1616) Henry IV, part 2, act IV, sc. 5, line 91.

[5] Gen. 2:17

[6] James 3:11

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