May 16, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Faith

Golden text: Acts 15:7-9*

Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.

Judges 9:6-20, 22-23

 And all the leaders of Shechem came together, and all Beth-millo, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar at Shechem.

When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on top of Mount Gerizim and cried aloud and said to them, “Listen to me, you leaders of Shechem, that God may listen to you. The trees once went out to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my abundance, by which gods and men are honored, and go hold sway over the trees?’ 10 And the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 11 But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go hold sway over the trees?’ 12 And the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 13 But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my wine that cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?’ 14 Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 15 And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade, but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’

16 “Now therefore, if you acted in good faith and integrity when you made Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house and have done to him as his deeds deserved— 17 for my father fought for you and risked his life and delivered you from the hand of Midian, 18 and you have risen up against my father’s house this day and have killed his sons, seventy men on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his female servant, king over the leaders of Shechem, because he is your relative— 19 if you then have acted in good faith and integrity with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you. 20 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and devour the leaders of Shechem and Beth-millo; and let fire come out from the leaders of Shechem and from Beth-millo and devour Abimelech.

22 Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. 23 And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem, and the leaders of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech,

From 21st Century Science and Health**

When people are being influenced by peer pressure or persuasions, or when they get caught up in groupthink, or obsessed by some image or activity, they are “mesmerized.”

Any seeming benefit derived from mental manipulation is proportional to one’s faith in magic.

The tradition of telling people that if they take one doctrine and have total faith in it, they will be filled with the Holy Spirit, receives a strong rebuttal in the Scripture, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”[1] Faith, at the level of belief, is like a motor piston shifting between nothing and something, having no fixity. Faith, advanced to understanding, gains evidence of Spirit. Spiritual evidence rebukes groundless beliefs of every kind and establishes the claims of God.

In Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English, the word faith and its corresponding words have these two definitions: trustfulness and trustworthiness. One kind of faith trusts one’s well-being to others. Another kind of faith understands divine Love and how to “work all the more strenuously at your salvation with reverence and trembling.”[2]

Human thoughts have their degrees of comparison. Some thoughts are better than others. A belief in Truth is better than a belief in error, but no mortal belief is founded on the divine rock. Mortal testimony can be shaken. Until belief becomes faith, and faith becomes spiritual understanding, human thought has only a marginal connection to the actual or divine.

Effective prayer comes from enlightened understanding, from divine Mind, not human mind. Human thinking changes indefinitely, so turn to divine Science and spiritual understanding for prayers.

The test of prayer is found in the answers to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of our prayer? Or, are we satisfied with prayerful words, without giving evidence of living consistently with those words? If selfishness has given way to kindness, we will regard our neighbor unselfishly and pray for our enemies;[3] but this great responsibility is never accomplished simply by asking that it may be done. Improvement of mind, body, spirit needs to be tangible before we can experience the achievement of our hope and faith.

Praying from the standpoint that God is part and parcel of the sophisticated, flimsy, pleasant, cruel human existence, affects the sick like a drug. Unmindful prayers and drugs have no efficacy of their own, but rather borrow their powers from human faith and belief. Drugs don’t ultimately or permanently do anything on their own because they have no intelligence. It is human belief, not the divine Principle, Love, that causes a drug to be either poisonous or remedial.

Human policies, scholastic theology, and inconsistent health care systems, divide and scatter faith and spiritual understanding. Divine Science comes to the rescue and our birthright of sole allegiance to our Maker asserts itself.

The goal, a point beyond faith, is to find the footsteps of Truth, the way to health and spirituality. Sincere effort is required to reach the Horeb height where God is revealed.

Matthew 8: 5-13

When [Jesus] had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.

From 21st Century Science and Health

There are many instances where the heart of divine Science is meeting our desire for spirituality. The John Templeton Foundation seeks to promote a deeper understanding of the influence spirituality, beliefs and values can have on human health. By promoting collaboration and clinical research into the relationship between spirituality and health, and by documenting the positive medical aspects of spiritual practice, the Foundation hopes to contribute to the reintegration of faith into modern life. That example advances spiritual discovery and helps to offset the world’s tendency to attribute physical effects to physical causes rather than to a spiritual cause.

The explanations of divine metaphysics reverses perverted and physical hypotheses concerning God, just as physical science explains optical illusions.

The ordinary appeal to have faith in the world’s ways and means must yield to faith in the all-might of infinite Spirit.

To love our neighbor’s spiritual nature as we love our own innate identity is a divine idea; but this idea can never be seen, felt, or understood through the physical senses. Physical senses mix with excitable emotions such as adoration and religious faith, or their opposite, disgust. These effects, however, do not proceed from spirituality or spiritual phenomena. Both, idolization and irreverence, are spin-offs of mortal belief.

Mark 5: 24-34

And a great crowd followed [Jesus] and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Recovery is a struggle, not between material methods, but between human minds and spiritual Mind. It makes no difference what temporal method a patient may adopt, whether it is faith in drugs, counseling, a trust in physical therapy, Reiki, or a reliance on time. The victory will be on the patient’s side only as spiritual Mind through Christ, Truth, subdues the human belief in disease.

Critics who attack faith should be careful not to confuse spiritual faith with blind faith. Faith is necessary in science, medicine, and religion. Consider the researcher or scientist who is trying to find a cure for cancer; they obviously have faith that a cure exists; otherwise they would not even try. People who cannot distinguish between blind (ritualistic) faith and that of spiritual faith are easily misinformed. They can make unfortunate statements such as: “If your beliefs are those of a Christian Scientist, obliging you to forgo all medical interventions, you may even have collaborated with God by refusing to give your child antibiotics.”[4] Christian Science does not “oblige” any particular human action as if people are androids.  A student of Christian Science does not collaborate with God as if God is a separate mind. In Science, there is no attitude of give-and-take; there is no human element that says, “If you do this, I’ll do that.” Do physicists collaborate with the law of gravity in order to go to the moon? No. Scientists study the principles of physics, they have the faith those rules will work, they apply the principles, and they go to the moon. Comments and criticisms based on a lack of research obscure any good points being made.

A patient’s belief is molded more or less by the doctor’s belief in the case, even if the doctor says nothing. Giving belief another direction to faith, the physician prescribes drugs until the flexibility of human thought, by chance, causes a vigorous reaction upon itself and reproduces a picture of health and harmony. The physician’s and patient’s thoughts commingle, and the stronger thoughts rule the weaker. This is why it is important for doctors to study and practice the universal law of Truth and Love.

As human thought changes from one stage to another, from conscious pain to painlessness, from sorrow to joy, from fear to hope, and from faith to understanding, the visible manifestation will at last be self-governed by Soul.

Faith should enlarge its borders and strengthen its foundation by resting on revelatory Spirit instead of on repetitious humanity.

*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] James 2:17

[2] Phil. 2:12 (Moffatt)

[3] Matt. 5:44

[4] Harris, Sam. The End of Faith. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005.

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May 9, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Mother’s Day

Golden text: Matthew 12:48-50*

But [Jesus] answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

Proverbs 30:1, 11-14, 32-33

The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, his utterance. This man declared to Ithiel—to Ithiel and Ucal:

10 Do not malign a servant to his master,
Lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.

11 There is a generation that curses its father,
And does not bless its mother.
12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes,
Yet is not washed from its filthiness.
13 There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes!
And their eyelids are lifted up.
14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords,
And whose fangs are like knives,
To devour the poor from off the earth,
And the needy from among men.

32 If you have been foolish in exalting yourself,
Or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth.
33 For as the churning of milk produces butter,
And wringing the nose produces blood,
So the forcing of wrath produces strife.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Bear in mind, the higher nature of a person is not controlled by the lower more baneful nature; if it were, the order of wisdom would be reversed. Our immature views of life hide eternal harmony and produce the problems of which we complain.

The divine Principle of Science reverses the testimony of the physical senses and reveals our harmonious existence in Truth.

The human consciousness, often named brain, is the exact opposite of real Mind. Mortal consciousness is made up of errors. We learn in biology and neuroscience that the brain registers suffering and then dies. We learn in theology that our human consciousness is resurrected after death. These erroneous teachings are basically saying that consciousness is born of matter and returns to matter to be later resurrected from dust; whereas divine Science reveals our perpetual spiritual consciousness unaffected by the brain or death.

Do not let mortals interfere with God’s natural order of existence by thrusting in laws of mistaken human perceptions.

Progress comes from experience. Humanity is improved as the mortal is dropped for the immortal. Either here or hereafter, suffering or Science must replace all illusions regarding life and mind.

While there is sin, there is penalty. Science removes the penalty only by first removing the sin that incurs the penalty. My interpretation of divine pardon is that God destroys sin. It is foolish to think our own sins will be less sinful if we attack someone else who we believe is sinful.

Galatians 4:21-26

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

From 21st Century Science and Health

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 elucidation of Mind-science resides in its spiritual sense and students need first to recognize their spiritual senses in order to grasp the meaning of divine Science.

Progress removes restraints. The finite must yield to the infinite. Advancing to a higher plane of action, consciousness moves from the limited sense to the unlimited, from the scholastic to the inspirational, and from the mortal to the immortal. All things are created spiritually. Mind, not isolatable energy, is the creator. Love, the divine Principle, is Father-Mother of the universe and us.

To attend properly the birth of the new child, or divine idea, be sure to detach mortal thoughts from the human conceptions so that the birth will be natural and safe. As the child gathers new energy, the divine idea cannot injure its useful surroundings in its spiritual birth. There is not a single element of error in a spiritual idea, and this truth properly removes anything that is offensive. The new idea, conceived and born of Truth and Love, is clothed in white garments and includes a humble beginning, a sturdy growth, and a renewing maturity. When this new birth takes place, the infant is born of the Spirit, born of God, and can cause the mother no more suffering. By this we know that Truth is here and has fulfilled its perfect work.

We have less pain and sorrow as we have more love and spirituality. When the haze of human mind clears, the curse will be removed which says to woman, “With pain you will give birth to children.”[1] Divine Science rolls back the clouds of error with the light of Truth, and reveals person as never born and as never dying, but as coexistent with the Almighty.

Jerusalem. Ever-changing human principles and knowledge gained from the physical senses; the pride of power and the power of pride; sensuality; envy; oppression; tyranny. Home, heaven.

John 3:7-8

[Jesus said,] Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

The Greek word for wind, pneuma, is also used for spirit, as in John’s Gospel where we read, “The wind [pneuma] blows wherever it pleases…So it is with everyone born of the Spirit [pneuma].”[2] Here the original word is the same in both cases, yet it has received different translations (as have other passages elsewhere in the New Testament). This shows how the Teacher had constantly to employ words that were significant to humanity in order to unfold spiritual thoughts. In the record of Jesus’ death, we read: “Jesus breathed his last.”[3] Indeed, what Jesus gave up was air, an etherealized form of matter, for he never did give up Spirit, or Soul.

Physicality can’t be made the basis of any true idea of infinite God. Physical eyes and ears have not seen or heard Spirit.

We lose sight of our spiritual individuality because of limited perceptions and the blinding belief that soul is in the body. Human personality is myth; it is not the reflection or likeness of Spirit. To think that flesh can tell us how to feel is not bliss, but bondage. For true happiness, man and woman must harmonize with Principle, and the child must synchronize with the Father-Mother and be in conformity with Christ. According to divine Science, person is as complete as the Mind that forms. The truth of spiritual existence makes us harmonious and fulfilled. The error of material existence makes us discordant and unfulfilled.

The vital part, the heart and soul of divine Science, is Love. Without Love, the letter is but the dead body of Science—obsolete, constricted, and barren.

Here is a summary of four fundamental propositions of divine metaphysics. To me, they are self-evident. The propositions agree in statement and proof even if reversed.

  1. God is All-in-all.
  2. God is good. Good is Mind.
  3. God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter.
  4. Life, God, omnipotent good, deny death, evil, sin, disease—Disease, sin, evil, death, deny good, omnipotent God, Life.

Which of the denials in proposition four is true? Both are not, cannot be, true. According to the Scripture, I find that God is true, “though every human being is false and a liar.”[4]

The divine metaphysics of spiritual Science, like the method in mathematics, proves the rule by inversion: eleven plus three is fourteen, and fourteen minus three is eleven; there is no pain in Truth, and no truth in pain; there is no temporal sensations in Mind, and no mind in temporal sensations; there is no illusion in Mind, and no mind in illusion; there is no mortality in Life, and no life in mortality; there is no matter in good, and no good in matter.

Conventional thinking classes both evil and good together as mind. To be understood, I call sick and sinful humanity human mind—meaning by this term the fleshly turmoil, opposing Spirit. The human mind and evil resist divine Mind, or Truth and good. The spiritually unscientific definition of mind is based on the evidence of the physical senses, which makes minds many and calls mind both human and divine.

We can’t be separated for an instant from God when reflecting God. Divine Science shows spiritual being intact.

The plethora of material forms are not more distinct or real to the physical senses than are the Soul-created forms to spiritual senses. Our spiritual senses are undisturbed even amid the jarring testimony of the mortal senses. Christian Science is consistently revealing to human beings the perpetual divine Principle. We can sense the unfolding Life and universe, ever present and eternal. Our sense of Spirit cognizes Life as permanent.

In Science, Mind is one, including noumenon and phenomena, God and Mind’s thoughts.

Mother. God: divine and eternal Principle; Life, Truth, and Love.

Day. The illumination of Life; light, the spiritual idea of Truth and Love.

*Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

**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. 3:16

[2] John 3:8

[3] Luke 23:46; Mark 15:37

[4] Rom. 3:4 (Amplified)

April 25, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Anger

Golden text: Proverbs 14:29*

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

Mark 3:1-6

Again [Jesus] entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The spiritual ability to comprehend thought and heal by the Truth-power is won only as we are found reflecting the divine nature. Self-glorification, arrogance, anger, and the like, are not found in Truth healing.

As the true knowledge of God becomes evident, the dated concept of God as a mighty hero, lord, or king, will continue to vanish. But, creeds and rituals still need to wash their hands of religious lore and stop opposing truth, whether by sword and spear as in times past, or in today’s more modern ways when idolatry, anger, envy, arrogance, egotism whispers, “Crucify! Crucify!”[4]

“Work out your salvation,”[1] is the demand of Life and Love, for to this end God works with you, “Until I come back.”[2] Be patient, and “Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right.”[3] Don’t go back to error, and don’t become apathetic or offended even though you are trying hard and there are no immediate rewards. The rewards will come.

Justice requires reformation. Mercy cancels the debt only when justice approves. Revenge is unacceptable. Revenge only placates anger, whereas anger needs to be destroyed. Wisdom and Love may require many sacrifices of self to save us from sin.

When the difficult time has passed, you will experience a fullness of the good you have practiced. You will receive according to your efforts. Love is not in a hurry to rescue us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tested and purified.

Final deliverance from error is not reached by taking the easy way. There are no shortcuts. Deliverance is also not experienced by attaching our faith without works, to someone else’s effort. Whoever believes that violent anger is justified or that divinity is appeased by human suffering, does not understand God. In our deliverance, we rejoice in peaceful honor, immortality, and spiritual freedom.

 Psalm 30:4-5

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

From 21st Century Science and Health

When governed by God, the ever-present Mind who understands all things, we know that with God all things are possible. One example of this way to living Truth which heals the sick, is found in the Science of divine Mind as taught and demonstrated by Christ Jesus.

Every medical method has its advocates. The preference of human mind for a certain methodology creates a demand for that method, and the body seems to require such treatment. You can even educate a healthy horse to believe it will catch a cold without a blanket. Whereas, wild animals left to their instincts, sniffs the wind with delight. The outbreak of a cold is a humanly evolved ailment.

Reports in psychiatry, physiology, and genetics—sustained by what is termed material law—promote sickness and disease. It should not be true that if you read medical reports you will be sick.

It is constructive for physicians, therapists, and practitioners to know and act on the truth that Mind is existent. Healers should not take the position that matter is the only cause.

Doctors can take note that it is better not to implant disease in the thoughts of your patients by declaring disease to be a fixed fact, even before you go to work to eradicate the disease through the material faith inspired. Instead of furnishing thought with fear, try to correct the turbulent emotion by the influence of divine Love, which removes fear.

II Corinthians 12: 15, 19-21

 Here for the third time I, [Paul] am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The nothingness of error, which is in proportion to its wickedness, is seen when we are conscious of Truth. People, who touch the fringe of Christ’s garment[5] and master their illegitimate convictions, their angers, and their fight-or-flight reactions, will rejoice in the proof of healing—in a sweet and certain sense that God is Love. It is a sad day for the person who professes to practice and be faithful to divine Science but fails to strangle the serpent of sin as well as of sickness! They are still living in their self-sabotaging comfort-zones and human passions. They are in the turbulent sea of error, not struggling to lift their drowning heads above the enveloping waves of hypocrisy, blind faith, sloth, and egotism.

Evil thoughts and aims reach no further and do no more harm than one’s thinking permits. Lusts and malicious purposes can’t move around like wandering pollen from one human mind to another if virtue and truth build a strong defense. It is important to be aware of your mental environment so as not to be a naive receptor of evil thoughts. You would rather choose a doctor who has the flu to treat you than be treated mentally by a metaphysician who isn’t obeying the requirements of divine Science.

Character development should be strongly fortified with virtue. It is not so much academic education as ethical and spiritual learning which improves the character.

Micah 7:18-19

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in steadfast love.
19 He will again have compassion on us;
he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Reform comes by gaining an affection for good according to Science which reveals the immortal fact that pleasure, pain, appetite, and emotionalism can’t be kept alive either in or of human mind. Divine Mind can and does purge false beliefs from human mind.

Malice or hate, finding satisfaction in revenge, is pathetic. Evil is sometimes believed to our right until we learn its self-destructiveness. As pleasure in wickedness is lost, the wrongdoing becomes a torment. The way to escape the misery of sin is to stop sinning. There is no other way. Sin is the image of the beast to be wiped out through mental improvement. It can be an agonizing ordeal. Don’t fall into the moral foolishness that rushes around chaotically, makes annoying demands, or loud complaints. We can become secure in civility and goodness.

Experience teaches us that we do not always receive the answers we ask for in prayer. Some misunderstanding as to the source and means of all goodness and blessedness keeps us from receiving credible answers. The Scriptures say: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”[6] What we desire and what we ask for is not always the best to receive; however, infinite Love knows what to grant. Do you ask Soul to remove sin’s self-punishment? Then “you ask in quite the wrong spirit.”[7] Without punishment, sin would multiply.

What is God’s image and likeness? Is it fleshly human being? Is it that which can become corrupt, complaining, and sad? Can human mind’s creation recognize divine Mind? Can infinite Mind recognize human mind’s creation? Can the eternal dwell in the temporal or know anything unlike the infinite? Can Deity be known through the physical senses? Can the physical senses, which receive no direct evidence of Spirit, give correct testimony as to spiritual life, truth, and love? The answer to all those questions must forever be in the negative.

To the physical senses, the strict demands of divine Science seem final. However, humanity is quickly learning that Life is God, faithful good. We learn that the demands of mortal knowledge are harsh and have in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy.

Fear of punishment never made a person truly honest. Moral courage is requisite to meet the wrong behavior and proclaim the right. But how is the person, who has more animal courage than moral courage, reformed? How do we help a person who doesn’t have the true idea of good? Through human consciousness, convince the person it is a mistake to look for power and happiness through material means. Reason is the most active human faculty. Let rational thought guide the person’s feelings and awaken their dormant sense of moral obligation. By degrees, they will learn the nothingness of the pleasures of human sense and the greatness and happiness of spiritual sense. This silences the corporeal and the person will not only be saved, but is saved.

*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] Phil. 2:12

[2] Luke 19:13

[3] Gal. 6:9 (Amplified)

[4] Mark 15:13–14; Luke 23:20; John 19:6

[5] Matt. 9:20

[6] James 4:3

[7] James 4:3 (Phillips NT)

April 18, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Earth Day

Golden text: Genesis 1:11*

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so.

Zechariah 14:1-3, 13-14

Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.

13 And on that day a great panic from the Lord shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other. 14 Even Judah will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be collected, gold, silver, and garments in great abundance.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Evil is conspicuously broadcast today, bloating itself in consumerism, materialism, and sensualism. Evil is struggling against the advancing spiritual era. The world may lack spirituality, and people may not be able to keep a promise or make a home happy, but human minds are demanding spiritual understanding and reformed attitudes.

As with any reform, a transition period will be felt. Transition periods are often unsettling and undesirable, however, why buck the trend when the reform compels us to find permanence and peace in a more spiritual devotion?

When the clouds are heavy, they block the sun’s light and heat from earth. But clouds can disappear. Likewise, as the clouds of physical knowledge dissolve, then divine knowledge reaches our consciousness and experience. Earth has little light or joy before Life is spiritually learned. Every agony of mortal error helps error to destroy itself and we perceive immortal Truth. This is the new birth going on hourly, by which human beings may entertain angels, the true ideas of God with an unlimited sense of being.

Dynamic 21st-century research, and altering social environments provide increasing data and evidence to contradict conventional scientific theories concerning our origin. Instead of debating the old theories, we can bless the human race by understanding why we are more than flesh and blood and why we can detach ourselves from limited concepts.

Natural history is richly endowed by the labors and genius of great people. Modern breakthroughs, biotechnology, in vitro fertilization, and cloning, have brought to light important facts in regard to supposed embryonic life. But, to suppose life germinates in anything other than Mind is a blunder. All theories within the material realm never reach past the temporal. They will finally give place to higher theories and demonstrations.

To suppose that God constitutes laws of turmoil and uncertainty is a mistake. Balance and peace are supported by nature and divine law, even when everything else says otherwise.

We ask, can we eat and live without natural laws and agriculture? The answer is no, and yet the Scriptures inform us that sin or error, first caused the condemnation of humankind to till the ground.[1] Can obedience to God remove the necessity to rely on material food, air, or technology? Truth never made error necessary nor devised a law to perpetuate error.

Adversity teaches human beings not to lean on collapsible crutches. Spiritual development doesn’t come from planting seeds in the dirt of materialist views. Those seeds rot whereas Love nurtures the higher joys of Spirit which have no taint of earth.

Zechariah 14: 16-17, 20-21

16 Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. 17 And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them.

20 And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the Lord.” And the pots in the house of the Lord shall be as the bowls before the altar. 21 And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the Lord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them. And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Conventional views do not reveal the facts of existence, but immortal perceptions lift human consciousness into eternal Truth. Humanity advances slowly out of old thought patterns. The unwillingness to learn all things correctly, binds spiritual understanding in chains.

Love will finally mark the hour of harmony, and spiritualization will follow for Love is Spirit. Before error is wholly destroyed there will be interruptions of the general human routine. Earth will become dreary and desolate, but summer and winter, seedtime and harvest (though in changed forms) will continue to the end—until the final spiritualization of all things. C. S. Lewis illustrates the idea of Spirit’s force in his novel, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[2] Main character, Aslan, was killed in lieu of Edmonds. His sisters, Susan and Lucy, saw the dead Aslan and felt miserable, as if life had stopped. Until Lucy noticed light appearing in the horizon revealing lively modest activity going on around Aslan, eventually to prove that Life and Love never end.

This material world is becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be disorder and disappointment; on the other side there will be Science and peace. The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, deficit and depression, sin, sickness, and death, assuming new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances will continue until the end of error when all disorder will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth.

Mortal error will vanish in a moral reaction. The reaction of mental turmoil has begun and will continue until all errors of belief yield to understanding. Belief is changeable, but spiritual understanding is changeless.

To break this earthly spell, human beings must get the true idea and divine Principle of all that really exists. The understanding of what governs the universe harmoniously is comprehended slowly and it comes with doubts and disappointments, as well as successes.

As a physical, theoretical life-basis is found to be a misinterpretation of existence, the scientific and divine Principle of our spirituality dawns upon human thought. Consciousness is guided to “where the child was”[3]—even to the birth of a new-old idea, to the spiritual sense of being and of what Life includes. Thus, the whole earth will be transformed by Truth as enlightened thought displaces the darkness of error.

The human thought must free itself from self-imposed materiality and bondage. Don’t take the effort to ask the genome, heart, or lungs: What are our prospects for life? Ask Mind about life. Mind is not helpless. Intelligence is not mute before non-intelligence.

Not by their own determination does a star proceed to shine, or a leaf unfold its fair outlines, or a flower open.

Matthew 6:19-21

[Jesus said] “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The physical senses can’t tell us of what is real or what is delusive, whereas the revelations of divine Science unlock the treasures of Truth.

Gravitational pulls, the stars, and electromagnetic forces do not have power over us, just as they have no power over our Maker. God governs the universe. We reflect God’s power and have the dominion not to be influenced by the planets, by earth and its mortal people.

The universe of Spirit reflects the powerful creativity of the divine Principle or Life, which reproduces the multitudinous forms of Mind and governs the increase of multifaceted spiritual being. The tree and herb do not yield fruit because of any propagating power of their own, but because they reflect the Mind which includes all. A world with mindlessness implies a human mortal mind as creator. The scientific divine creation declares immortal Mind and the universe created by God.

Divine Spirit blesses its own ideas and causes them to multiply—to manifest Love’s power. We were not made to cultivate limited and negative concepts. We were not made to dominate; our dominion is to image forth, respect, and care for all the symbols of God. This is the Science of being.

Mark 4:26-29

 And [Jesus] said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Through spiritual understanding, we enter the universe of Truth on earth and learn that Spirit is infinite and supreme.

We treat error through the understanding of Truth, because Truth is error’s antidote.

Some critics think that Christian Scientists are deluded or in a vacuum, because they aspire to reveal anything unlike God, good, as unreal. For instance, a Christian apologist, attempting to interpret the teachings of divine Science, says of Christian Scientists, “Their religious worldview teaches that sickness and pain are an illusion; they do not exist. But this belief is valid only by rejecting the fact that truth corresponds to reality.”[4] The fact that truth corresponds to reality is not rejected in Christian Science. Instead, Christian Science reveals that much of the reality before the human perceptions is not actually true, for example the earth isn’t a motionless solid mass, but consists of forces in constant motion. Truth, reality, has no unreality, no error; therefore, disbelief in error destroys error and leads to discernment of Truth. Our own realities aren’t always true.

We can understand and see the form, substance, and color of spiritual thoughts, without material objectifications, because God is self-acknowledged Mind and expresses all.

The sun is unaffected by the spinning earth. Divine Science reveals Soul as unaffected by human life. In the system of Mind, Soul is the central Life and intelligence around which circles all thoughts harmoniously.

*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] Gen. 3:17

[2] C. S. Lewis. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: HarperCollins

[3] Matt. 2:9

[4] Taken from Christianity on the Offense: Responding to the Beliefs and Assumptions of Spiritual Seeker © 1998 by Dan Story. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

April 11, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Go with God

Golden text: Mark 8:35*

[Christ Jesus said] For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

Genesis 24:1-4

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

By attributing more and more intelligence to spirituality, and giving less and less power to physical laws and human beings, we promote wisdom and health. The divine Mind which forms the bud and blossom, will care for the human body even as it clothes the lily.[1] Do not let mortals interfere with God’s natural order of existence by thrusting in laws of mistaken human perceptions.

Until it is learned that God is Father-Mother, marriage will continue. Let not mortals permit a disregard of law which might lead to a worse state of society than now exists. Sincerity and virtue ensure the stability of the marriage promise. Spirit will ultimately claim its own, and all that really is, as the voices of physical sense are forever silenced.

Learn from experience. Learn virtue, respect, self-control, patience, and a reliable happiness that comes from spiritual growth. May Christ, Truth, be present at every bridal altar to turn the water into wine[2] and inspire your life with the vision of a serene and immortal existence.

Genesis 24:10-18

 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. 11 And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”

15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.” 18 She said, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly let down her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Human minds have not completely outgrown their superstitions. Human mindsets embody ghostly beliefs and time is required before reaching eternity, spirituality, or complete reality. All the real is eternal. Rightness underlies reality. Without rightness, nothing is completely real. Wrongness will continue to be outgrown until spiritual fulfillment appears and reality is reached. Old-wives-tales, even new old-wives-tales, need to become a thing of the past. We must not continue to be impressed by superstitious thinking, but we must be wise and let go of all misdirected reverences. When we learn that error is not real, we are ready for progress, “forgetting what is behind.”[3]

Science reveals infinity and the fatherhood and motherhood of Love, therefore, the ideas of God in universal being are complete and forever expressed. Human ability is slow to perceive and realize God’s creation and the divine power and presence which go with it, demonstrating its spiritual origin. Mortals can never know the infinite until they throw off the old self and reach the spiritual image and likeness. What can fathom infinity! How can we describe God, Life, “Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ”?[6]

Materialism never helps human beings understand Spirit. Through spiritual sense only, we comprehend and love the Almighty. Physical sense convolutes the Science of Mind, however, the unseen, intact Truth remains unchanged.

Spiritual comfort blesses the human family, feeds the unsatisfied, and gives living water to the thirsty.

Genesis 24:53-58

53 And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments. 54 And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.” 55 Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.” 56 But he said to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.” 57 They said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.” 58 And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

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

If human transgressions, vulnerabilities, and losses were understood as nonbeing, they would disappear to the reality of good which naturally banishes evil, just as acts of kindness make self-pity go away. One must hide the other. How important, then, to choose good as the reality! We are secured by God, Spirit, and by nothing else. God’s being is infinity, freedom, balance, and boundless happiness. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”[4] Like the archpriests of long ago, we are free “to enter the Most Holy Place”[5]—the realm of God.

Matthew 8:18-22

Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19 And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 21 Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 22 And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

A genuine sacrifice of the temporal must precede advanced spiritual understanding. The highest prayer is not just faith, but faith and demonstration. Such prayer heals sickness and overcomes sin and death.

On our spiritual journey, if we sympathize with mortality, we will be at the beck and call of error and follow a zig-zag course getting nowhere. If we travel with the worldly minded, we get sucked into a nasty cycle. A good example of this is randomly walking around the shopping mall, making feel-good purchases and eating junk food with friends. We return home, thinking we had a good time and feeling satisfied. However, when re-thinking the situation, we realize that too much time and money was wasted. So, we repeat the trip to the mall but buy books on time and financial management or on dieting.

As for sickness and unprogressive mindsets, divine Science says in the language of the Teacher, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”[7] In other words, let disorder of every name and nature be heard no more, and let the harmonious and true sense of Life and being occupy human consciousness.

Our moral and spiritual progress is monotonously slow if we constantly bounce back and forth between futile habits and the hope of forgiveness. Selfishness and stupidity cause constant retrogression. We must wake up to Christ’s demand; however, the waking generally causes suffering. We may even feel like we are drowning and struggling to stay above water. Through Christ’s precious love our efforts are rewarded with success.

“Work out your salvation,”[8] is the demand of Life and Love, for to this end God works with you, “Until I come back.”[9] Be patient, and “Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right.”[10] Don’t go back to error, and don’t become apathetic or offended even though you are trying hard and there are no immediate rewards. The rewards will come.

You will receive according to your efforts. Love is not in a hurry to rescue us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tested and purified.

Final deliverance from error is not reached by taking the easy way. There are no shortcuts. Deliverance is also not experienced by attaching our faith without works, to someone else’s effort. Whoever believes that violent anger is justified or that divinity is appeased by human suffering, does not understand God. In our deliverance, we rejoice in peaceful honor, immortality, and spiritual freedom.

Although the great Teacher proved his control over sin and disease, he didn’t relieve others from proving their own spiritual power. Jesus worked as a guide, that people might also demonstrate the power of divine Principle. Smothering Jesus with emotional affection, or claiming to be his devoted follower, will never alone make you like him. You must “go and do likewise,”[11] or you are not improving the great blessings that he worked and suffered to offer. The spirituality of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus.

We may revere Jesus and our heart may overflow with gratitude for what he did; however, our demonstration of love must be comparable to Jesus’ until all are redeemed through divine Love. Jesus reached his glory alone, in speechless agony. He explored the way and we all have the same cup of poignant effort to drink. We are not spared a single experience if we follow faithfully.

A mindful practice has the ear and right hand of omnipotence and assuredly calls upon infinite blessings. Trustworthiness is the foundation of enlightened faith. Without a fitness for holiness, we can’t receive holiness.

Become committed, “pray continually,”[12] and go forward with a pure heart to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. Such prayer is answered insofar as you put your spiritual desires into practice. Christ Jesus’ guidance is that we pray in secret and let our lives confirm our sincerity.

*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] Matt. 6:28; Luke 12:27

[2] John 2:9

[3] Phil. 3:13

[4] II Cor. 3:17

[5] Heb. 10:19

[6] Eph. 4:13

[7] Matt. 8:22; Luke 9:60

[8] Phil. 2:12

[9] Luke 19:13

[10] Gal. 6:9 (Amplified)

[11] Luke 10:37

[12] I Thess. 5:17

April 4, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Ascension

Golden text: I Corinthians 15:21*

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

Acts 1:1-6

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”So when they had come together, they asked him, “L    ord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Knowing that God was our Life, Jesus could restore the individualized manifestation of existence which seemed to vanish in death, plus present himself unchanged after the crucifixion. Truth fosters the idea of Truth and displaces the belief in illusion or error. That which is real, is sustained by Spirit.

The fact that Christ, Truth, overcame and still overcomes death proves the “king of terrors”[1] to be but a mortal belief or error. The spiritual evidence of Life wipes out the mortal illusion of final ends. What appears to be death is an impression that can be overcome, for to our real identity and the real universe there is no death-process.

Mortals must break out of this mental cycle of thinking that material life is all-in-all. They must think outside of the box with divine Science and look to the infinite cosmos. Be aware though, that thought which escapes the box and has not yet been instructed by the Science of Truth and Love, may become wild with freedom and so be self-contradictory.

Divine Science understood, is the prism and praise of Truth. An honest view of divine Science enables you to heal by its means. Science has for you a light greater than the sun, for God “is its lamp.”[2] Its fiery legs are the foundations of Love and Truth. It brings the baptism of the Holy Spirit, whose flames of Truth were prophetically described by John the Baptist as consuming error.

 

 

Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life.”[3]  If we follow the direction of Jesus, we can depend less and less on bodily conditions, structure, or economy. We can be masters of the body, dictate its features, and form and control it with Truth.

There is no power apart from Mind. Omnipotence has all-power and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God. The humble Nazarene overthrew the assumption that sin, sickness, and death have power; he proved them powerless and restored dignity to experience. It should have humbled the arrogance of the priests when they saw the demonstration of spirituality excel the influence of their dead faith and ceremonies.

Acts 1:7-9

[Jesus] said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The events of spiritual ascension are the days and seasons of Mind’s revelation, in which beauty, magnificence, purity, and holiness (the divine nature) appear in spiritual beings and the universe, never to disappear.

Acts1:10-12

 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.

From 21st Century Science and Health

God requires perfection, but not until the battle between Spirit and flesh is fought and the victory won. To stop eating, drinking, or being clothed materially before the spiritual facts of existence are gained step by step, is not legitimate. When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, Spirit directs our thought and action. Imperfect human beings grasp the ultimate of spiritual perfection slowly; but to begin aright and to continue the strife of demonstrating the great problem of being is doing much.

Acts 1:15-16

 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The world’s ingratitude and hatred toward Jesus brought persecution. Judas Iscariot conspired against Jesus and chose to betray him when the people were in doubt concerning his teachings. The traitor’s reward was thirty coins and the smiles of the Pharisees.

Judas Iscariot’s awareness of Jesus’ goodness was a wedge between the two men. The spiritual distance compounded Judas Iscariot’s envy and the wedge split deeper. Because the world generally loves a lie better than Truth, Judas had only to kiss Jesus and let those bent on revenge take the division from there. The greed for money strengthened Judas’ ingratitude and for a time quieted his guilt. His scheme to betray Jesus was intended to gain popularity and promote himself, but Judas Iscariot’s dark strategy fell to the ground and the traitor fell with it.

In vain, mortals try to kill Truth with neglect, slander, and bullet. However, the sword of Spirit topples error. Martyrs are the human links that connect one stage with another in the history of religion. They are earth’s luminaries, serving to enlighten and refine the atmosphere. Martyrs permeate humanity with godly ideals. Consciousness of right-doing brings its own reward, but merit is not seen and appreciated by onlookers.

Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned. The doctrine of absolute divine Science, which strips all disguise from error, is the great truth that evil or human imprints do not have intelligence, substance, or power.

Acts 1:20-26

 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “‘Let another take his office.’ 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Christian Science requires us to improve our intentions. Hatred is made extinct through kindness. Lust is conquered with purity. Revenge is triumphed over with charity, and deceit is defeated with honesty. Starve errors in their early stages if you would not cherish an army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success. Mental traitors will deliver you to the judge, the arbiter of truth against error. The judge will deliver you to justice, and the sentence of the moral law will be executed upon human mind and body. Both will be manacled until the last penny[4] is paid—until you have balanced your account with God. “You reap whatever you sow.”[5] We can overcome our fear of sin. It is sin’s necessity to destroy itself. Spirituality in action demonstrates the government of God, good, in which there is no power to act against life, truth, and love.

Mind demands spiritual thoughts to the end that they produce harmonious results. Human mind tries to repeat the immortal ideas, but gets it wrong because it starts with a mortal self.

The study of divine Science helps eliminate the human mind’s faulty process. Reasoning that begins with imperfection will end with imperfection. Reasoning that begins with perfection will arrive at perfection. A sculptor can’t perfect contours and shapes while concentrating on an imperfect model. The painter can’t depict the features and appearance of Jesus while thinking about the character of Judas Iscariot.

The perceptions and realities of mortal thought either die or give way to the spiritual discovery of completeness and eternity. Through many generations, human beliefs reach diviner conceptions and the immortal model of God’s revelation is finally seen as the only true concept of being.

The bedrock of the temple of Christian Science is 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.

Science reveals the glorious possibilities of our spirituality, forever unlimited by the mortal senses. The Christ-element in the Messiah made him the Way-shower, Truth and Life.

The eternal Truth destroys what human beings have learned from error and our real selfhood comes to light. Truth lived is eternal life.

*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] Job 18:14

[2] Rev. 21:23

[3] Matt. 6:25; Luke 12:22

[4] Matt. 5:26 (NRSV)

[5] Gal. 6:7 (NRSV)

March 21, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Crucifixion

Golden text: II Corinthians 13:4*

For [Jesus] was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

Matthew 20:17-19

 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The ancient prophets received their foresight from a spiritual, metaphysical position, not by predicting evil and mistaking fiction as fact. Reading the future from the premise of fleshly and human belief is not scientific foresight. When sufficiently advanced in Science to be in agreement with the truth of being, individuals become seers and prophets involuntarily. Prophecy is not controlled by spirits, demons, or quantum entities, but by the one Spirit. It is the prerogative of the ever-present divine Mind, and of thought in alignment with this Mind, to know the past, the present, and the future.

Jesus’ earthly cup of bitterness was drained to the dregs. He had only a few unpretentious friends who stayed by his side and followed a religion that was something more than a name. A vital religion allows us to understand and share the glory of eternal life. Jesus said that those who follow him shall drink of his cup, and history has confirmed the prediction.

As mass consciousness advances to a perception of the invisible God, Mind-healing as instructed by Jesus is liable to misinterpretations; however, misinterpretations don’t affect the invincible facts of Truth.

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. During the conflict, the lightning and thunderbolts of error burst and flash but the clouds will clear and the tumult will die away in the distance, for the raindrops of divinity to refresh the earth.    

John 18:1-9

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Jesus could have withdrawn himself from his enemies. He had power to put aside a human sense of life for his spiritual identity in the likeness of the divine, but he allowed people to attempt to destroy the human body so that he might furnish the proof of spirituality. Jesus could give his temporal life into his enemies’ hands because he knew that matter had no life and that real Life is God. He could no more be separated from his spiritual Life than God could be extinguished. When his earth-mission was accomplished, his spiritual life, indestructible and eternal, was found forever the same. Nothing can kill our Life.

Jesus’ example was all-inclusive; not only was his life’s work carried out to the end for himself, but his demonstration also shows us how to work out our own deliverance. We must do what he did and what he taught us to do. His purpose in healing was not just to restore human health, but to demonstrate his divine Principle. He was inspired by God, by Truth and Love, in all that he said and did. His persecutors were motivated by arrogance, envy, cruelty, and vengeance, inflicted on the physical Jesus, but aimed at the divine Principle, Love—the same Love that rebuked their unspiritual mindsets.

When navigating aircraft through a storm the pressure is shifting, the wind is shrieking, and air pockets are hiding in the air currents. We ask the pilot: “Do you know your course? Can you aviate safely among this turbulence?” Though brave, the dauntless aviator is not sure of safety because even aeronautical science is not equal to the Science of Mind. Yet, acting on his or her highest understanding, the pilot doesn’t avoid responsibility but keeps working, ready to act on divine guidance. This example of behavior can be useful in any stressful relationship, including a seething marriage. Be accountable, hope and work, willingly act on divine guidance, not private interests. Divine guidance will either force a graceful change or calm the enraged atmosphere.

Know yourself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Love is a protective covering. Wear it! Wrapped in love, human hatred can’t reach you.

John 18:12-14

12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

From 21st Century Science and Health

In some way, sooner or later, people must overcome the cycle of mortal life and death, and suffering is often the divine agent. “In all things God works for the good of those who love him,”[1] is the dictum of Scripture.

Scientists may call on one another for metaphysical treatment. However, if the callers don’t receive relief or help, they can be confident that God will guide them to use appropriately the temporary and eternal treatments. Step by step, as we trust Spirit, we will find that “God is our shelter, our strength, ever ready to help in time of trouble.”[2]

I advise students to be charitable and kind, not only toward differing forms of religion and medicine, but to the very people who hold these differing opinions. Let us be faithful in pointing the way through Christ as we understand it, but let us also be careful always to “stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”[3] Never condemn rashly. “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also,”[4] because if you refrain from retaliation, you will be struck again. If ecclesiastical sects or medical schools turn a deaf ear to the teachings of divine Science, then part from these opponents as did Abraham when he parted from Lot, and say in your heart: “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers.”[5] Spiritual beings, or God’s children in divine Science, are one harmonious family; but the children of human beings are discordant and oftentimes fake.

Teachers must make clear to students the Science of healing, especially the moral and ethical principles—that all is Mind and we align to the will of good. Teachers must thoroughly prepare students to defend themselves against sin and the attacks of the would-be mental assassin, who attempts to kill morally and physically. No hypothesis as to the existence of another power should interject a doubt or fear to hinder the demonstration of divine Science. Teachers do not indoctrinate, but shed light on the student’s hidden energies and capabilities for good.

John 18: 19-24

The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Humanity moves toward good or evil as time passes. If mortals are not progressive, past failures will be repeated until all wrong work is erased or corrected. If there is any satisfaction in wrongdoing, we must learn to loathe it. If we are now content with spiritual idleness, we must become dissatisfied with it. Remember that humankind must sooner or later, either by suffering or by Science, be convinced of the error that is to be overcome.

Error strikes the heel of truth, but cannot kill truth. Truth crushes the head[6] of error—destroys error. Spirituality lays open siege to materialism. On which side are we fighting when material theories cease and Science unveils the mystery and solves the problem of being?

The understanding that the Ego, I AM, is Mind, and that there is but one Mind or intelligence, begins at once to destroy the errors of human sense and to supply the truth of spiritual sense.

John 18:33-36

So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Do you say that the time is not yet here in which to recognize Soul as substantial and able to control the body? Remember Jesus, who over twenty centuries ago demonstrated the power of Spirit? He was accounted to say, “Whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself,”[7] and, “The time is coming, yes, and has already come, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in reality.”[8] It is also a privilege to read Paul’s words, “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”[9]

Divine reason and revelation coincide. If we believe otherwise, we may be sure that either our logic is a fault or that we have misinterpreted revelation. Good never causes evil and good doesn’t create anything that can cause evil.

Good does not design a mind susceptible of causing evil or of being confused, for evil and confusion contend with creation. Destructive energy is not the outcome of infinite good. Whatever contradicts the real nature of the divine esse, though human faith may cover the contradiction in angelic costumes, is without foundation.

Kingdom of Heaven. The rule of harmony in divine Science; the domain of the unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme.

Jesus taught but one God, one Spirit, who makes spiritual being in the image and likeness of Love, of Mind—not in the likeness of human love or mind. Individuals reflect infinite Truth, Life, and Love.

Question. What is the scientific statement of being?

Answer. There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in separate minds. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is divine Truth; divisible matter is human error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and we are Spirit’s image and likeness. Therefore, individuals are not things, but ideas of one Mind.

*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] Rom. 8:28

[2] Ps. 46:1 (JB)

[3] John 7:24

[4] Matt. 5:39; Luke 6:29 (NRSV)

[5] Gen. 13:8

[6] Gen. 3:15

[7] John 14:12 (JB)

[8] John 4:23 (Phillips NT) (Italics added by Mary Baker Eddy)

[9] II Cor. 6:2 (Italics added by Mary Baker Eddy)