June 8, 2022

Subject: Safety of the Holy Spirit

Golden text: Psalm 18:3 The Message copyright Eugene Peterson

I sing to God, the Praise-Lofty, and find myself safe and saved.

Acts 20:16-38

Paul had decided to bypass Ephesus so that he wouldn’t be held up in Asia province. He was in a hurry to get to Jerusalem in time for the Feast of Pentecost, if at all possible.

17-21 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus for the leaders of the congregation. When they arrived, he said, “You know that from day one of my arrival in Asia I was with you totally—laying my life on the line, serving the Master no matter what, putting up with no end of scheming by Jews who wanted to do me in. I didn’t skimp or trim in any way. Every truth and encouragement that could have made a difference to you, you got. I taught you out in public and I taught you in your homes, urging Jews and Greeks alike to a radical life-change before God and an equally radical trust in our Master Jesus.

22-24 “But there is another urgency before me now. I feel compelled to go to Jerusalem. I’m completely in the dark about what will happen when I get there. I do know that it won’t be any picnic, for the Holy Spirit has let me know repeatedly and clearly that there are hard times and imprisonment ahead. But that matters little. What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God.

25-27 “And so this is good-bye. You’re not going to see me again, nor I you, you whom I have gone among for so long proclaiming the news of God’s inaugurated kingdom. I’ve done my best for you, given you my all, held back nothing of God’s will for you.

28 “Now it’s up to you. Be on your toes—both for yourselves and your congregation of sheep. The Holy Spirit has put you in charge of these people—God’s people they are—to guard and protect them. God himself thought they were worth dying for.

29-31 “I know that as soon as I’m gone, vicious wolves are going to show up and rip into this flock, men from your very own ranks twisting words so as to seduce disciples into following them instead of Jesus. So stay awake and keep up your guard. Remember those three years I kept at it with you, never letting up, pouring my heart out with you, one after another.

32 “Now I’m turning you over to God, our marvelous God whose gracious Word can make you into what he wants you to be and give you everything you could possibly need in this community of holy friends.

33-35 “I’ve never, as you so well know, had any taste for wealth or fashion. With these bare hands I took care of my own basic needs and those who worked with me. In everything I’ve done, I have demonstrated to you how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You’re far happier giving than getting.’”

36-38 Then Paul went down on his knees, all of them kneeling with him, and prayed. And then a river of tears. Much clinging to Paul, not wanting to let him go. They knew they would never see him again—he had told them quite plainly. The pain cut deep. Then, bravely, they walked him down to the ship.

21st Century Science and Health, copyright Cheryl Petersen

The Apostle Paul explains the enmity or warfare between the idea of divine power which Jesus presented, and human thought which diverts attention away from Spirit.

Paul says in his epistle to the Romans: “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.”[1]

Any human error is its own enemy and works against itself. It does nothing in the right direction and much in the wrong. If human mind is cherishing wrong ambitions and malicious purposes, it is not a healer but a procreator of disease and death.

Faith in the truth of being is communicated mentally and can destroy that which is unlike God, however, if this communication causes a mental reaction (as when an alkali is destroying an acid), it is because the truth of being must transform the error to the end of producing a higher manifestation of truth. This reaction should not aggravate the disease, but should be as painless to people as to a fluid, since matter has no sensation and human mind only feels and sees in belief.

I term the reaction, chemicalization. It is the upheaval produced when spiritual Truth is destroying erroneous materialistic thinking. Mental chemicalization brings unspiritual thinking and behavior to the surface and forces those impurities to pass away, as in the case of distilling.

The effects produced by medicine are dependent on mental states. When the mind is gone from the dead body, could you produce any effect upon the brain or body by applying a drug? Would the drug improve the heart or restore will and action to the cerebrum and cerebellum of a corpse?

Until the advancing age admits the supremacy of Mind and its power to produce an effect, it is better for Christian Scientists to leave surgery and the adjustments of broken and dislocated bones to the fingers of a skilled surgeon. The mental healer can restrict himself or herself chiefly to mental reconstruction and to the prevention of inflammation.

Divine Science silences human will, disables fear with Truth and Love, and illustrates the unlabored motion of the divine energy in healing the sick. Self-indulgence, envy, emotionalism, arrogance, hatred, and revenge are dissolved by divine Mind which heals disease. The human will which makes and works a lie, hiding the divine Principle of harmony, is destructive to health and is the cause of disease rather than its cure.

There is great danger in teaching Mind-healing indiscriminately, thus disregarding the morals of the student and caring only for the payments. Recall words that have been credited to Thomas Jefferson concerning slavery, “I tremble, when I remember that God is just.”[2] I tremble whenever I see a person, for the petty reward of money, teaching his or her slight knowledge of Mind-power—increasing the probability of communicating the teacher’s own bad morals. This sad state deals pitilessly with a community unprepared for self-defense.

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. Truth is made known. It needs only to be practiced.

Human belief is all that enables a drug to cure mortal ailments. Anatomy admits that mind is somewhere in human beings, though out of sight. Then, if an individual is sick, why treat the body alone and administer a dose of despair to the mind? Why savor the image of disease as if it is sweet candy on the tongue, by holding it before the thought of both physician and patient? It is useful to understand that the cause of disease obtains in the mortal human mind and its cure comes from the immortal divine Mind. Delete the outlines of disease already programmed in the minds of human beings and prevent other images of disease from taking form in thought.

When there are fewer prescriptions and more thought is given to moral and spiritual subjects, there will be improved metabolisms and less disease. A hundred years ago, who ever heard of AIDS, Autism, and Attention Deficient Disorder?

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.

Isaiah 50:4-8

4-9 The Master, God, has given me a well-taught tongue, So I know how to encourage tired people. He wakes me up in the morning, Wakes me up, opens my ears to listen as one ready to take orders. The Master, God, opened my ears, and I didn’t go back to sleep, didn’t pull the covers back over my head. I followed orders, stood there and took it while they beat me, held steady while they pulled out my beard, Didn’t dodge their insults, faced them as they spit in my face. And the Master, God, stays right there and helps me, so I’m not disgraced. Therefore I set my face like flint, confident that I’ll never regret this. My champion is right here. Let’s take our stand together

21st Century Science and Health

We may be able to hide from the world our neglect of putting into practice our spiritual power; however, negligence and hypocrisy have no part in the success of Science and in our demonstration of spiritual good.

In divine Science, the mortal identity is shut out from the presence of God. The fleshly senses can’t cognize Spirit. The knowledge filter of human mind—filtering out what doesn’t fit into its personal paradigm—can’t come into the presence of God, and must live in fantasyland until mortals arrive at the understanding that limited life, with all its sin, sickness, and death, is an illusion against which divine Science is engaged in a warfare of extermination. The great verities of existence are never excluded by falsity.

All error proceeds from what the physical senses have been convinced to accept as real evidence. If people originated from protocells, then someone can say we are primarily chemicals. If we are metabolic, then someone can say we are consumers or consumed. Even the theory of evolution, promoted by Charles Darwin, can be confusing, although it shows our kinship with other animals, it doesn’t show the origin of life. In divine Science, evolving minerals and vegetables are found to be creations of erroneous thought, not of matter. People did not originate from a blast of chemicals and energy. Spirit, Mind, made all and didn’t leave anything for matter to create. Ideas of Truth alone are reflected in the many manifestations of Life, and consequently, we perceive our identities are solely from Mind. The belief that matter supports life would make Life, God, mortal.

Following the spiritual revelation, the text, “The Lord God made the earth and the heavens,”[3] introduces the history of problematical existences of random minds and bodies, but Spirit did not participate in the material creation, wholly apart from God. In God’s existence, ideas are productive and obedient to Mind.

Spiritual Life doesn’t consist of mortal isolated feelings, yet is does consist of spiritual feelings

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.

[1] Rom. 8:7–9

[2] Jefferson, Thomas (1743–1826) Political philosopher. Founding Father. Principal author of Declaration of Independence. The third President of the United States.

[3] Gen. 2:4

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