August 2, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Spirit Encounter

Golden text: Romans 12:2*

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Genesis 27:41-45

 Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42 But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran 44 and stay with him a while, until your brother’s fury turns away— 45 until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Spiritual beings, or God’s children in divine Science, are one harmonious family; but the children of human beings are discordant and oftentimes fake.

“Both The Social Theory and The New Genetics have proved in their different ways to be blind alleys, quite unable to deliver on their promise. Their failure is ‘The Fall’ of modern medicine.”[1] James Le Fanu, M.D., medical columnist, London.

People should not linger in the storm if the body is freezing, nor should they remain in a contaminated environment. Until a person is able to prevent bad results, it is best to avoid adverse situations. To be discouraged is to resemble a student who is at an elementary level of mathematics and yet attempts to solve a problem of Euclid, only to deny the rule of the problem because the first effort brought failure.

There is no hypocrisy in Science. Principle is imperative. You can’t mock it by human will. Science is a divine demand, not human. Always right, its divine Principle never repents, but maintains the claims of Truth by quenching error. Divine mercy pardons a mistake when the error is destroyed.

Genesis 28:10-17

 Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Jacob. A human being embracing duplicity, repentance, sensualism. Inspiration; the revelation of Science, in which rigid mortal mindsets yield to the spiritual attitude of Life and Love.

The Old Testament assigns different functions to the angels, or God’s divine messages. Michael’s characteristic is spiritual strength. He leads the troops of heaven against the power of sin (Satan), and fights the holy wars. Gabriel has the quieter task of imparting a sense of the ever-presence of ministering Love. These angels deliver us from the depths. When strong faith or spiritual strength wrestles and prevails through the understanding of God, Truth and Love are tangibly felt, even in times of anguish.

Genesis 31:2-3

And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”

Genesis 32:1

Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.

Genesis 32:9-11

 And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children.

From 21st Century Science and Health

There is too much animal courage in society and not enough moral courage. Students of Truth and Love must take up arms against flawed mindsets at home and abroad. They must wrestle with sin in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished the course. If they keep the faith, they will receive the honor of rejoicing.

Divine Science doesn’t get caught up in worldly evidence. If you haven’t advanced past sin yourself, don’t congratulate yourself for being blind to evil or for not living the good you claim to know. A two-faced attitude is far from Christianly scientific. “No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”[2] Every student’s mind should be strongly impressed by divine Science; by an exalted awareness of the moral, social, and spiritual qualifications requisite for healing, well knowing it to be impossible for error, evil, and hate to accomplish the grand results of Truth and Love.

Genesis 32:22-32

The same night [Jacob] arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Jacob was alone, wrestling with error—struggling with all his flesh was saying about pleasures and pains—when an angel, a message from Truth and Love appeared to Jacob and struck the sinew, or strength of the fleshly talk, until he perceived its unreality. Truth, being thereby understood, gave Jacob spiritual strength in this Peniel of divine Science. Then the angel said: “Let me go, for it is daybreak;”[3] that is, the light of Truth and Love dawns on you. But the patriarch, perceiving his faulty thinking and his need of improvement, did not loosen his hold on this glorious light until his nature was transformed. The angel asked Jacob what his name was. Jacob told him and the angel said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”[4] Jacob asked his deliverer, “Please tell me your name.”[5]  However, a specific name was withheld. The messenger was not a corporeal being, but a nameless, bodiless communication of divine Love—giving a spiritual sense of being which rebuked a materialist sense. Likewise, the Psalmist experienced this same touch of Love, and remarked that it restored his Soul.[6]

The result of Jacob’s wrestling became apparent. He had conquered the human mindset with the new understanding of Spirit and of spiritual power. This changed the man. He was no longer called Jacob, but Israel—a prince of God, or a soldier of God, who had fought a good fight. He was to become the father of those who through earnest effort followed his demonstration of the power of Spirit over the human senses. The people who followed his example were to be called the children of Israel, until the Messiah should rename them. If people stray and forget that Life is God, they are brought back through great tribulation. Suffering compels us to deny the temporal life perceptions and understand un-humanized, unlimited Mind. Don’t stray. We don’t want to neglect the divine power which heals the sick and sinning.

The trials encountered by prophet, disciple, and apostle, of “whom the world was not worthy,”[7] stalks every pioneer of truth.

When examined in the light of divine Science, we see beyond the surface of mortals and detect inverted thoughts and erroneous beliefs and learn not to be fooled by them. Or, in a circuitous manner, we borrow thought from a higher source than matter and reverse our thought process, to see celestial Truth replace error. Clothed in Spirit, appearance is “bright as a flash of lightning”[8]―like the garment of Christ. Even in this world, therefore, “always be clothed in white.”[9] “Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.”[10]

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health, 5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Le Fanu, James. The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2000.

[2] Prov. 28:13 (NRSV)

[3] Gen. 32:26

[4] Gen. 32:28

[5] Gen. 32:29

[6] Ps. 23:3

[7] Heb. 11:38 (Amplified)

[8] Luke 9:29

[9] Eccl. 9:8

[10] James 1:12 (The Message)