April 12, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Life everlasting

Golden text: Psalm 103: 15-17*

As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,

Matthew 20: 17-22

17 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.”

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Prayer can be dangerous if it tempts us to voice desires that aren’t real or to assume we are more spiritual than we really are.

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.”[1] Never condemn rashly. “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also,”[2] because if you refrain from retaliation, you will be struck again.

Bear in mind, people who adopt New Age techniques, mysticism, or hypnotism, may be more spiritual than individuals who shun or avoid their practices. Therefore, my contest is not with those practitioners, but with the false systems. I love humanity, and will continue to labor and to endure.

The time for the reappearing of the divine healing is throughout all time. Leaving all our earthly things at the altar of divine Science, we will drink from Truth’s cup and be provided with the spirit and power of scientific Mind-healing.

Obeying his priceless precepts—following his demonstration so far as we understand it—we drink of his cup, share his bread, and are baptized with his purity until at last we can rest and sit down with Christ in a full understanding of divine Principle, which triumphs over death.

Matthew 27:35

 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots.

Luke 23: 44-49

44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” 48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.

From 21st Century Science and Health

As light destroys darkness and in the place of darkness all is light, so in absolute Science, Soul, or God, destroys mortality and in the place of mortality all is immortality. We are sometimes led to believe that darkness is as real as light. Science affirms darkness to be only a human sense of the absence of light. Darkness loses the appearance of reality in the presence of light. So sin and sorrow, disease and death are the supposed absence of Life, God, and vanish before truth and love.

With its divine proof, Science reverses the evidence of limited sense. Every quality and condition of mortality is swallowed up in spirituality. Mortals are the opposite of immortals in origin, in existence, and in their relation to God.

Luke 24: 1-7

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

We are outgrowing the pedantic theology that regards Jesus’ crucifixion as an immediate pardon for all sinners who ask for it. Divine Science shows we are responsible for ourselves and can follow Jesus’ example of goodness. Divine Science also shows that Jesus’ death wasn’t meant to prove spirits can go in and out of bodies to return to earth. We are images of Spirit, unseen by flesh.

The crucifixion was effective because of the practical tendencies and goodness it demonstrated for humanity.

The fear and negativity which possess us at the instant of death do not cease but endure until the death of the fearful and negative thoughts.

The body is as materialistic as the mind and vice versa. To be wholly spiritual, we must be Godlike and we become that way only when we reach spiritual purity.

Jesus taught the way of Life by demonstration so we may understand how this Principle heals the sick, drives out mistaken mindsets, and triumphs over loss. Jesus presented the ideal of God better than any person whose origin was less spiritual. By his obedience to God, Jesus demonstrated the Principle of being

Luke 24: 13-31

13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The people who first saw Jesus after the resurrection observed the final proof of his teachings, but misinterpreted the event.

On the road to Emmaus,[3] it was Jesus’ spiritual interpretation of Scripture and the breaking of bread that made him known to his friends. The divine Spirit which identified Jesus centuries ago, has spoken through the inspired Word and will speak through it in every generation and milieu. Spirit is revealed to the receptive heart and is again seen driving out evil and healing the sick.

Truth will be to us “the resurrection and the life”[4] only as it destroys all error. Truth dissolves the belief that Mind, the only source of our spirituality, can be shackled by a body. Life can’t be controlled by death. A nihilistic, sick, or dying human is not the likeness of God, the perfect and eternal.

The resurrection indicates that mortal mindsets die, while spiritual mindsets live; it indicates full evidence of immortal being and metaphysical science, evidence so important to mortals. The belief that we have an existence or mind separate from God is a dying error—met and corrected by Jesus. Because God bestowed glory on the anointed Jesus, temptation, sin, sickness, and death did not terrorize him. Let people think they had killed the body! Afterward, he would show it again as unchanged. This demonstrates that in Christian Science the true individual is governed by God, by good, not evil, and is immortal, not mortal. Jesus taught the Science of this proof. He enabled his disciples to test his mysterious saying, “Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.”[5]

The resurrection advances individual and collective consciousness. It moves thought out of spiritual dullness and blind belief into the perception of infinite possibilities.

*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] John 7:24

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

[3] Luke 24:13

[4] John 11:25

[5] John 14:12

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April 8, 2015

bible study imageSubject: Ascending to discipleship

Golden Text: Ephesians 4:7-8*

Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”

Acts 1:1-11

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, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He 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. 10 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.”

From 21st Century Science and Health*

The spiritual growth that allowed Jesus to rise from the dead was increased even more to allow him to ascend. Jesus was “the way;”[1] that is, he marked the way for humankind. The final display, called the ascension, closed the earthly record of Jesus, and this world’s human minds and physical senses could no longer detect Jesus.

His body was no more perfect because of death and no less material until the ascension, when his consciousness was further spiritualized. Thus Jesus discovered the eternal Ego, and proved that he and the Father were inseparable as God and God’s reflection. The Teacher gained the solution of being, demonstrating the existence of but one Mind without a second or equal.

The human temporal concept, or Jesus, disappeared during his ascending transformation, while the spiritual self or Christ, continues to exist in the eternal order of divine Science. Christ-spirit takes away the sins of the world, as always, even before the human Jesus was incarnate to human eyes.

Acts 1:12-26

 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

15 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. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “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

The Scriptures are sacred. Our aim must be to have them understood spiritually, for only by this understanding can truth be gained. The true theory of the universe, including person, is not in material history but in spiritual development. Mental evolution, or ascension, inspires thought to expand to a higher awareness and relinquish a changeable, superficial, mortal theory of the universe. The spiritual and immortal are then adopted through metaphysical improvement.

In Latin the word disciple signifies student, a learner. The power of healing was not a supernatural gift to those learners, but the result of their cultivated spiritual understanding of the divine Science which their Teacher illustrated by healing the sick and sinning.

As followers of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.

The Mind scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death.

Acts 2:1-21

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants[c] and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

From 21st Century Science and Health & Mary Baker Eddy’s Preface to her Science and Health

After Jesus’ ascension, his students received the Holy Spirit. Meaning, that by all they had witnessed and suffered they were wakened to a clearer understanding of divine Science. The scientific spiritual interpretation and understanding of Jesus’ teachings and demonstrations gave them a faint conception of the Life that is God. This allowed them to stop interpreting people through human knowledge and turn their thoughts instead to divine knowledge. Through the Holy Spirit they gained the true interpretation of their glorified Master and became better healers, leaning no longer on matter or human mind, but on divine Principle. The appearance of light was sudden, likened to the overwhelming power on the Day of Pentecost.

The reappearance of divine Science repeats itself now.

It is divine Science to do right, and nothing short of right-doing has any claim to the name. To talk the right and live the wrong is foolish deceit, doing one’s self the most harm.

The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural. They are the sign of Immanuel, or “God with us,”—a divine influence ever present in human consciousness and repeating itself, coming now as was promised aforetime,

To preach deliverance to the captives [of sense],

And recovering of sight to the blind,

To set at liberty them that are bruised. (Luke 4:18, KJV)

*The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2011. Text from 21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] John 14:6

April, 1, 2015

Subject: Resurrection

Golden Text: Psalm 93:1-2*

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure. Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.

John 18: 28-31

Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”

30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”

31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”

“But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected.

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Pilate stupidly went along with the demands of the crowd. His horrible choice against human rights and divine Love showed his ignorance—an ignorance that had no consequence to God, Life. Jesus took the advantage, and demonstrated what life is, and what the true knowledge of God can do for us.

Never fear the mental mal-practitioner, the mental assassin, who, in attempting to rule humankind, tramples upon the divine Principle of metaphysics, because God is the only power.

John 19: 1-7, 12-16

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”

13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.

“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Jesus was mocked at the cross by the religious authorities, the same authorities before whom he humbly and courageously walked. Contempt was thrown in Jesus’ face by the people to whom he had given clear-cut proof of divine power.

Are we to believe an authority which denies God’s spiritual command relating to perfection—an authority which Jesus proved to be false? Jesus did the will of the Father. He healed sickness in defiance of what is called physical law, but in accordance with Mind’s law.

Material wealth, fame, and social organizations have no authority or influence in the presence of God. We attain clearer views of Principle as we break up cliques, level monetary wealth with honesty, and let worth be judged according to wisdom. We also get better views of humanity as we remove our self from biased personal perceptions.

Humbly, Jesus confronted the ridicule thrown at him. His magnificence was unrecognized. Such indignities as he received, his followers will endure until spirituality’s last triumph. Jesus earned perpetual respect. He overcame the world, the flesh, and all error, thereby proving their nothingness. He affected a full salvation from sin, sickness, and death. We need “Christ and him crucified.”[1] Human beings must have trials and self-denials, as well as joys and victories, until all error is destroyed.

Luke 24: 1-8, 36-43

4 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The people, who first saw Jesus after the resurrection, observed the final proof of his teachings, but misinterpreted the event. Even his disciples called him a ghost, for they believed his body was dead. Jesus replied: “A ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”[2] The reappearing of Jesus was not the return of a spirit. He presented the same human body that he had before his crucifixion, and so sanctified the supremacy of Mind over human mind.

Jesus’ body was the same before and after death, proving the mortal body is not the pith of being. The resurrection points to immortal being and a metaphysical science. The resurrection indicates that mortal mindsets die, while spiritual mindsets live. This testimony is important to mortals, because it shows that the true person is governed by God, by good, not evil. Jesus showed that temptation, sin, sickness, and death have no terror in the presence of the wondrous glory that God lavishes on us. Let people think they had killed the body! Afterward, he would show the people that Life-principle is not in, or of, the body.

The resurrection advances individual and collective consciousness. It moves the people’s thoughts out of spiritual dullness and blind belief into the perception of infinite possibilities.

Ezekiel 20: 39-42

39 “‘As for you, people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go and serve your idols, every one of you! But afterward you will surely listen to me and no longer profane my holy name with your gifts and idols. 40 For on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord, there in the land all the people of Israel will serve me, and there I will accept them. There I will require your offerings and your choice gifts, along with all your holy sacrifices. 41 I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will be proved holy through you in the sight of the nations. 42 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your ancestors.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The human consciousness, often named brain, is the exact opposite of real Mind, or Spirit. Mortal consciousness is made up of error. Biology or neuroscience teaches that mortals are created to suffer and die. Furthermore, we can be taught that when we die our human consciousness is resurrected from death and mortality. These erroneous theories are basically saying that spirit is born of matter and returns to matter, and that people have a resurrection from dust; whereas Science reveals the continuum of our spiritual selfhood, unaffected by the brain or death.

To relinquish all faith in death and the fear of its sting,[3] would raise the standard of health and morals far beyond its present elevation. Fearless spiritual understanding would enable us to hold the standard of spirituality high, with unflinching faith in God, in Life eternal.

*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®. Text from 21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] I Cor. 2:2

[2] Luke 24:39

[3] I Cor. 15:55