November 24, 2021

Subject: Heaven

Golden text: Luke 17:20-21*

Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, [Jesus] answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

II Kings 19:15-20, 29-31

 And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said: “O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 17 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands 18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 19 So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.”

20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:

29 “And this shall be the sign for you: this year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs of the same. Then in the third year sow and reap and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord will do this.

21st Century Science and Health**

Zeal. The reflected animation of Life, Truth, and Love.

God’s work is done.

To reach heaven, the harmony of being, we must understand the Principle of being.

Truth is immortal; error is mortal. Truth is limitless; error is limited. Truth is intelligent; error is non-intelligent. Moreover, Truth is real, and error is unreal. This last statement contains the point you will most reluctantly admit, although first and last it is the most important to understand.

Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the divine idea—the reflection of God—has come with some degree of power and grace to all prepared to receive the Messiah, or Truth.

Luke 9:23-27

And [Jesus] said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

21st Century Science and Health

Denying the claims of power in matter/energy is an important step to take toward the joys of Spirit, toward human freedom and the final triumph over the body.

There is but one way to heaven, harmony, and Truth in divine Science shows us this way. It is to know no other reality—to have no other consciousness of life—than good, God and Spirit’s reflection. Spiritual harmony, happiness, or Christ-likeness includes ascendancy over physical pain and pleasure.

Self-worship is denser than a solid body. In patient obedience to a patient God, let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the clotted mass of error. Let us work to bankrupt self-will, self-justification, and self-worship. Don’t invest in mortality with its errors that compete against spirituality.

The dream that human mind and error are real or permanent must yield to reason and enlightenment. Then human beings will perceive the insubstantiality of sin and sickness, and sin and sickness will disappear from consciousness. The harmonious will appear real and the inharmonious will become extinct. Erroneous perceptions are false gods, nonbeings; gods we do not desire to honor or fear.

When the medical field finds no biological or physical cause for symptoms of disease, various forms of psychotherapy have been known to improve the unhealthy condition. Psychosomatic illnesses or psychophysiological disorders are admitted to be problems caused by mental processes. They are problems in the mind, and once the mind is corrected, the symptoms vanish as illusions vanish. Mental conditions, such as severe stress, anger, anxiety, resentment, depression, and guilt have produced rashes, allergies, loss of hair, eating disorders, and pain, among other problems. So, why not approve of a cure which in effect makes any disease appear to be what it really is—an illusion?

Here is the difficulty: it is not generally understood how one disease can be just as much a delusion as another.

We can’t bring out the practical proof of spirituality which Jesus required while error seems as potent and real to us as Truth. We can’t make a personal devil and an anthropomorphic God our starting points—especially if we consider Satan as a being coequal in power with, or superior to, the Almighty. Such starting points are neither spiritual nor scientific and they can’t work out the metaphysical principles of divine healing. Divine principles prove the nothingness of error by demonstrating the all-inclusiveness of harmonious Truth.

Revelation 4:1-8

I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
    who was and is and is to come!”

21st Century Science and Health

While dwelling on a physical plane, human terms must generally be employed to speak of the things of Spirit. It takes time for human thought to adjust to the higher meaning. Thought must be educated to perceive spirituality. To a certain extent, improved thought is necessary in all learning, even in the secular field.

The major obstacle in conveying the teachings of divine Science accurately to human thought is that English, like all other languages, is inadequate to express spiritual concepts and intents. We have to use incomplete terms and symbols when dealing with spiritual ideas.

The self-contradictory belief that Spirit is finite as well as infinite has darkened all history. In divine Science, Spirit, as a proper noun, is the name of the Supreme Being. It means quantity and quality, and applies exclusively to God. The modifying derivatives of the word spirit refer only to quality, not to God. We are not God, Spirit, but are spiritual. If spiritual being was Spirit, then people would be spirits, gods. The belief that the infinite can be contained in the finite embodies a mortal spirit, tends to darken our perception of the kingdom of heaven, and disturbs the reign of harmony in the Science of being.

We disown the Almighty when we assign spiritual power to matter. Every time human theories give power to material elements, we presume the self-evolution and self-government of matter; or we assume that matter is the product of Spirit. The first presumption, matter as a power in and of itself, leaves the creator out of His own universe. The second assumption, regarding God as the creator of matter, automatically makes God responsible for all disasters; physical and moral. To empower matter is to announce infinite Life as the source of destruction and to make Spirit guilty of maintaining perpetual disorder, all under the name of natural law.

In one sense God is identical with nature, but this nature is spiritual and is not expressed in quantum or atomic structures. God is natural good and is represented only by the idea of goodness, whereas evil and destruction should be regarded as unnatural because opposed to the nature of Spirit, God.

In absolute Love, nature and God are one, law is spiritual and the natural order of heaven comes down to earth.

It is difficult for the narcissistic attitude to accept divine Science, because Science exposes the nonbeing of a separate self. The sooner error is reduced to its native nothingness, the sooner realness appears and our genuine being is understood. The destruction of error is by no means the destruction of Truth or Love, but is the acknowledgment of them.

When speaking of God’s children, not the children of human beings, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you;”[2] that is, Truth and Love prevail in the real man and woman, showing that spiritual being in God’s image is eternal and not fallen.

Heaven represents harmony. Divine Science interprets the Principle of heavenly harmony. The great miracle to human sense is divine Love, and the grand purpose of life is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in us. This goal is never reached while we hate our neighbor or get hung up on a person whom God has appointed to voice His Word. The message, not the messenger is crucial, and this correct sense allows us to see the highest visible idea and understand its divine Principle.

The Revelator tells us of “a new heaven and new earth.”[1] Have you ever pictured this heaven and earth, inhabited by beings under the control of supreme wisdom?

This kingdom of God “is within you,”[2] is within reach of our consciousness here and now, revealed by the spiritual idea.


[1] Rev. 21:22 (Brackets added by Mary Baker Eddy)

[2] Luke 17:21

*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] Rev. 21:1

[2] Luke 17:21

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