Golden text: Matthew 16: 27-28, The Message, copyright by Eugene Peterson
“Don’t be in such a hurry to go into business for yourself. Before you know it the Son of Man will arrive with all the splendor of his Father, accompanied by an army of angels. You’ll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift. This isn’t pie in the sky by and by. Some of you standing here are going to see it take place, see the Son of Man in kingdom glory.”
In the eighth month of the second year in the reign of Darius, God’s Message came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah, son of Iddo: “God was very angry with your ancestors. So give to the people this Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: ‘Come back to me and I’ll come back to you. Don’t be like your parents. The old-time prophets called out to them, “A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: Leave your evil life. Quit your evil practices.” But they ignored everything I said to them, stubbornly refused to listen.’
5-6 “And where are your ancestors now? Dead and buried. And the prophets who preached to them? Also dead and buried. But the Message that my servants the prophets spoke, that isn’t dead and buried. That Message did its work on your ancestors, did it not? It woke them up and they came back, saying, ‘He did what he said he would do, sure enough. We didn’t get by with a thing.’”
7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month in the second year of the reign of Darius, the Message of God was given to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah, son of Iddo:
8 One night I looked out and saw a man astride a red horse. He was in the shadows in a grove of birches. Behind him were more horses—a red, a chestnut, and a white.
9 I said, “Sir, what are these horses doing here? What’s the meaning of this?”
The Angel-Messenger said, “Let me show you.”
10 Then the rider in the birch grove spoke up, “These are the riders that God sent to check things out on earth.”
11 They reported their findings to the Angel of God in the birch grove: “We have looked over the whole earth and all is well. Everything’s under control.”
12 The Angel of God reported back, “O God-of-the-Angel-Armies, how long are you going to stay angry with Jerusalem and the cities of Judah? When are you going to let up? Isn’t seventy years long enough?”
13-15 God reassured the Angel-Messenger—good words, comforting words—who then addressed me: “Tell them this. Tell them that God-of-the-Angel-Armies has spoken. This is God’s Message: ‘I care deeply for Jerusalem and Zion. I feel very possessive of them. But I’m thoroughly angry with the godless nations that act as if they own the whole world. I was only moderately angry earlier, but now they’ve gone too far. I’m going into action.
16-17 “‘I’ve come back to Jerusalem, but with compassion this time.’
This is God speaking.
‘I’ll see to it that my Temple is rebuilt.’
A Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
‘The rebuilding operation is already staked out.’
Say it again—a Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies:
‘My cities will prosper again,
God will comfort Zion again,
Jerusalem will be back in my favor again.’”
21st Century Science and Health
Human reason and religion come slowly to the recognition of spiritual facts. Human belief systems continue to call upon matter to remove the error which the human mind alone created.
Resisting evil, you overcome it and prove its nothingness. Not human clichés, but divine beatitudes reflect the spiritual light and might which heal the sick. To insist on exercising the human will is to bring on a mesmerized attitude, detrimental to the health and integrity of thought. So, be observant and guard against strong mortal mindedness. Do not protect or cover up iniquity because it only prevents prosperity and the ultimate triumph of any cause. If you are unaware of the error to be eradicated, you will sometimes be abused by it.
The idols of domestication are far more fatal to health and longevity than are the idols of the undomesticated. The idols of domestication call into action less faith than the doctrines of a human deity. Village Guardians and Shaman restore health by incantations as consciously as do modern practitioners by their more sophisticated and esteemed methods.
Is civilization only a higher form of idolatry, where humankind makes gods out of massage, drugs, diet, exercise, or vitamins? Nothing except divine power is capable of doing more for human beings than we do for ourselves.
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”—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.
I, John, with you all the way in the trial and the Kingdom and the passion of patience in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of God’s Word, the witness of Jesus. It was Sunday and I was in the Spirit, praying.
Revelation 7: 1-12
Immediately I saw Four Angels standing at the four corners of earth, standing steady with a firm grip on the four winds so no wind would blow on earth or sea, not even rustle a tree.
Then I saw another Angel rising from where the sun rose, carrying the seal of the Living God. He thundered to the Four Angels assigned the task of hurting earth and sea, “Don’t hurt the earth! Don’t hurt the sea! Don’t so much as hurt a tree until I’ve sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads!”
I looked again. I saw a huge crowd, too huge to count. Everyone was there—all nations and tribes, all races and languages. And they were standing, dressed in white robes and waving palm branches, standing before the Throne and the Lamb and heartily singing: Salvation to our God on his Throne! Salvation to the Lamb! All who were standing around the Throne—Angels, Elders, Animals—fell on their faces before the Throne and worshiped God, singing: Oh, Yes! The blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving, The honor and power and strength, To our God forever and ever and ever! Oh, Yes!
21st Century Science and Health
Human imagination draws angels with superstitious outlines but they have no reality except in the artist’s own observation and “[secret] chambers of [idol] pictures.” Angels are not otherworldly mortal-like beings traveling on physical forces. Angels are heavenly visitors traveling on metaphysical forces. Angels are pure thoughts from God, having diverse individualities. Angels are empowered by Truth and Love. Angels are spiritual. Their symbols embody an unseen quality or condition, similar to Michelangelo’s David.
Angels are exalted thoughts, glowing through cracks to the depth of darkness where human thinking has buried its worthy hopes. Exalted thoughts lead us to new and glorified trusts, to higher ideals of life and joys. Angels are God’s representatives. These ascending beings never lead toward selfishness, sin, or materiality, but guide to the divine Principle of all good, where every real individuality, image, or likeness of God, gathers. Resolved to pay attention to these angelic spiritual guides they stay with us and we entertain “angels without knowing it.”
The “mighty angel,” or message, which comes from God, represents divine Science.
Using spiritual vision, John the Revelator saw an “angel standing in the sun.” The angel, or purity, was the symbol of Life and Love, energy.
The Revelator exposes and explains the embodiment and awful character of all evil, but he also sees its nothingness, or in other words, he sees the allness of God, good.
Through symbolism and metaphor, the Revelator, that immortal scribe of Spirit and of a true idealism, furnishes the mirror in which mortals may see their own image. In significant figures, the thoughts held in human mind are depicted. The conceit of sin is rebuked and its doom is characterized beforehand. With his spiritual strength, the Revelator opened wide the gates of glory and illumined the night of religious opinions with the sublime grandeur of divine Science, outshining the lust, sin, and hypocrisy. The Revelator removes from office all idolatry; advances pure and undefiled religion; and lifts on high only those who have washed their robes white in obedience and suffering.
Walking in the light, we are accustomed to the light and require it; we cannot see in darkness. But eyes accustomed to darkness are pained by the light. When you outgrow the old, do not fear putting on the new. Your advancing course may provoke envy, but it will also attract respect. When error confronts you, do not withhold the rebuke or the explanation which destroys error. Never breathe an immoral atmosphere, unless in the attempt to purify it. Modest intellectual discoveries, gained with contentment and virtue, are better than the luxury of learning with egotism and vice.
Right is revolutionary. Teachers must know the truth themselves; they must live it and love it or they cannot impart it to others. We dirty our garments with conservatism, and afterward we must wash them clean. When the spiritual sense of Truth unfolds its harmonies, you take no risks in the policy of error.
Heaven represents harmony. Divine Science interprets the Principle of heavenly harmony.
Animals and mortals metaphorically present the development of human thought advancing in intelligence, taking form in androgynous, masculine, feminine, or bi- gender. The birds, which fly above the earth in the open expanse of heaven, correspond to aspirations soaring beyond and above limited concepts to the understanding of the unlimited and divine Principle, Love.
There is divine authority for believing in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance.
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.
We bow before Christ, Truth, to receive more of Spirit’s reappearing. We commune silently with the divine Principle, Love.
 Rom. 13:12
 Ezek. 8:12 (Amplified)
 Michelangelo, di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 – 1564), painter, architect, and sculptor of marble statue, David.
 Heb. 13:2
 Rev. 19:17
The Lord’s Prayer with a Christian Science interpretation (in italics) from 21st Century Science and Health:
Our Father in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious,
Hallowed be Your name,
One sacred nature,
Your kingdom come,
Your government is come; You are ever-present,
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Enable us to know—as in heaven, so on earth—God is omnipotent, supreme.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Give us grace for today; feed the famished intentions.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And Love is reflected in love.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
And God does not lead us into temptation, but delivers us from sin, disease, and death.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All.