July 29, 2020

bible study imageSubject: Flames

Golden text: Psalms 104:2-4*

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent 3and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.

Isaiah 54:11-17

[The LORD said] “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
your foundations with lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of sparkling jewels,
and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children will be taught by the Lord,
and great will be their peace.
14 In righteousness you will be established:
Tyranny will be far from you;
you will have nothing to fear.
Terror will be far removed;
it will not come near you.
15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;
whoever attacks you will surrender to you.

16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17     no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.

21st Century Science and Health**

Keep in mind the reality of being—that everyone is the image and likeness of God, in whom all being is painless and permanent. Remember that our perfection is real and unimpeachable, whereas imperfection is blameworthy, unreal, and is not brought about by divine Love.

Matter cannot be inflamed. Inflammation is fear, an excited state of human beings which is not normal. Spiritual Mind is the only cause; therefore, disease is neither a cause nor an effect. Mind in every case is the eternal God, good. Sin, disease, and death have no foundations in Truth.

The human mind directs internal organs as well as the arm. Think about it, when human mind quits the body, the heart becomes as inactive as the arm.

Anatomy and physiology require nerves to tell the mind to move the muscles. But what does anatomy say when the muscle cramps? Did human mind stop talking to the muscle? Did the mind tell it to constrict? Can muscles, bones, blood, and nerves rebel against mind in one instance and not in another? Can muscles spasm, despite a mental protest?

Unless muscles are self-acting at all times, they never are—never are capable of acting contrary to mental direction. Muscles are either self-directing all the time or never. So why do we consult anatomy or physiology to learn how muscles govern?

Are we a material fungus without Mind to help us? Are contracted muscles, tendinitis, or arthritis laws? Or, is God the only creator, creating laws of health?

What about food allergies? Isn’t it a form of abuse to say that food, the sustenance of God, can produce suffering! The presence of natural nourishment should encourage self-disciplined, grateful thought. It should discourage any sense of worry or inflammation. The thought that food can cause inflamed glands or hives, can be reversed.

If a random thought, calling itself indigestion, tries to tyrannize productive people, it is routed out by their independence and energy; because they don’t have time for selfishness, coddling, and sicko chit-chat. It has not been proven beneficial for humanity to concentrate on the exact amount of food the stomach can digest. The latest food fad is not a health law.

Damp atmospheres and freezing snow can give rosy complexions. For pulmonary health, you don’t have to indulge in the refinement of inflamed bronchial tubes. You don’t have to fear pneumonia, or depend on antibiotics, vapor therapy, or antihistamines. You can rely on something better than the fruit of the “knowledge of good and evil.”[1]

Sin launches deadly attacks at the Scientist of Spirit as ritualism and creed are summoned to give place to higher law, but Science will ameliorate human malice. The spiritually scientific person reflects the divine law, thus becoming a law to self. The Scientist does violence to no person. A Scientist does not falsely accuse. Scientists wisely outline their possibilities, and are honest and consistent in following the leadings of divine Mind. Scientists must prove, through living as well as healing and teaching, that humane spiritual mindedness is the only mindset by which human beings are radically saved from sin and sickness.

Permit the stomach and bowels to act in obedience to nature. Give the gospel a chance to be seen in its glorious effects upon the body. Dismiss the ghastly collection of diseases paraded before your imagination. Keep to “sermons in stones, and good in everything.”[2] When the mechanism of the human mind gives place to the divine Mind, selfishness and sin, disease and death, will lose their grip.

Hebrews 1

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”?

Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”?

And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.” But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” 10 He also says, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”

13 To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?

14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

21st Century Science and Health

The movement of thought, advancing past limiting standpoints is slow and warns the spiritual traveler of the long haul ahead. However, the angels of Love’s presence—the spiritual intuitions that tell us when “the night is nearly over; the day is almost here”[3]—are our guardians in the gloom. Whoever opens the way in divine Science is a pioneer and stranger, marking out the path for generations yet unborn.

The thunder of Sinai and the Sermon on the Mount are pursuing and will overtake evolving thoughts. In this course, all error is rebuked and the kingdom of heaven on earth is proclaimed.

The Old Testament assigns different functions to angels, to God’s divine messages. Michael’s characteristic is spiritual strength. He leads the troops of heaven against the power of sin or Satan, and fights the holy wars. Gabriel has the quieter task of imparting a sense of the ever-presence of ministering Love. These angels deliver us from the depths. When strong faith or spiritual strength wrestles and prevails through the understanding of God, Truth and Love are tangibly felt, even in times of anguish. There is no contest for Gabriel. To infinite, ever-present Love, all is Love and there is no error, no sin, sickness, or death. The dragon can’t war for long against Love because it is killed by divine Principle. Truth and Love prevail and the conflict between flesh and Spirit ends.

Spirit is symbolized by strength, presence, power, and holy thoughts winged with Love. These angels of Soul’s presence, which have the holiest charge, abound in the spiritual atmosphere of Mind and consequently reproduce their own characteristics. Their individual forms we know not, but we do know that their natures are allied to God’s nature; and spiritual blessings, thus typified, are the externalized, yet subjective, states of faith and spiritual understanding.

Faith should enlarge its borders and strengthen its foundation by resting on Spirit instead of mindless matter.

Evolve into the spiritual consciousness of Life as Love—as all that is pure, and bearing the fruits of Spirit.

The recognition of Spirit and of infinity does not come all at once, but throughout eternity. Haba na haba, a Swahili phrase for little by little, or step by step, has relevance. Human beings do not change from error to truth in an instant.

It’s the lack of spirituality which hides real beauty and strength, whereas purer mindsets see immortal goodness. Understanding this, Paul said: “Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God.”[4] This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love can’t be deprived of its manifestation or object; that happiness can’t be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of happiness; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind; and that life can’t result in death. God’s unspoiled child—governed by its perfect Principle—is sinless and eternal.

Harmony is produced, controlled, and sustained by Principle, forever.

*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, 5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

 

[1] Gen. 2:9

[2] Shakespeare, William, (1564–1616) As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 1.

[3] Rom. 13:12

[4] Rom. 8:38–39

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