April 19, 2017

bible study imageSubject: One Spirit

Golden text: I Corinthians 12:13

 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

Numbers 11:16-30

 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. 17 And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone. 18 And say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing of the Lord, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was better for us in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. 19 You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20 but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the Lord who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why did we come out of Egypt?”’” 21 But Moses said, “The people among whom I am number six hundred thousand on foot, and you have said, ‘I will give them meat, that they may eat a whole month!’ 22 Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, and be enough for them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, and be enough for them?” 23 And the Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.”

24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.

26 Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

From 21st Century Science and Health

As we become better acquainted with the Science of being, we are better able to communicate with the divine Mind. Spiritual knowledge not only allows people to foresee and foretell events which concern the universal welfare, but it also inspires people divinely to reach the dimension of unfettered Mind, Spirit.

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, people 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 which is in alignment with this Mind, to know the past, the present, and the future.

Mark 1:21-27

 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath [Jesus] entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

There is but one Spirit. We are never God. Our spirituality is made in the likeness of Spirit. We reflect God. In this scientific reflection, the Ego and the divine Parent are inseparable. The assumptions that human egos are spirits, or that there are good and bad spirits, are mistakes.

Jesus cast out evil spirits, or false beliefs. He did his own work by the one Spirit. Jesus said: “My Father has worked [even] until now, [He has never ceased working; He is still working] and I, too, must be at [divine] work.”[1] The Master never described disease, as far as can be learned from the Gospels, but he healed disease.

Spirit being God, there is but one Spirit, for there can be but one infinite and therefore one God. There are neither spirits many nor gods many. There is no evil in Spirit, because God is Spirit. The theory that Spirit must pass through a human being to be individualized would reduce God to dependency on matter and establish a basis for pantheism.

Luke 4: 14-21

 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

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 mind.

There is only one spiritual existence, the Life of which physical senses can’t grasp. Divine Principle speaks through spiritual sense. If a material body—in other words, a mental embodiment of mortality and materialism—were permeated by Spirit, that body would disappear to fleshly sense, would be deathless. A condition precedent to communion with Spirit is the gain of spiritual life.

I Peter 1:1-12

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

From 21st Century Science and Health

In divine Science, person is the true image of God. The divine nature was skillfully personified by Christ Jesus, who shed light on a powerful concept of God. He shifted the people’s thought to experience something better than what they had been trained to think was normal. Jesus served to remove the stereotypical view of people as sinners, destined to be sick and dying.

Heaven. Harmony; the rule of one Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; happiness; the atmosphere of Soul.

When the divine precepts are understood, they reveal cooperation between creatures, because we all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source, compatible to the Scriptural command: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”[2] We, and our Maker have a reciprocal relationship in divine Science, and real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God

God is the one and only Spirit, never trapped in the flesh. We are images of Spirit.

 

[1] John 5:17 (Amplified)

[2] Phil. 2:5

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February 3, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Of the Spirit

Golden text: John 3:8*

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Matthew 3:1-3, 13-17

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The Teacher easily read the thoughts of humankind, and this insight better enabled him to direct those thoughts usefully. What would be said today of an irreverent blasphemer who hints that Jesus used his power to hurt others? Jesus read human minds on a scientific basis, that of the omnipresence of Mind. Readings that resemble Jesus’ readings indicate spiritual improvement and a unity with the infinite capacities of the one Mind. Jesus could injure no one by his Mind-reading. The effect of his Mind-reading was always to heal and to save, and this is the only genuine Science of reading human mind. Jesus’ holy motives and aims were blamed and condemned by the sinners of that period, as they would be today if Jesus were personally present. We approach God, Life, as our fidelity to Truth and Love expands; and in that ratio we can know all human need and be able to discern the thought of the sick and the sinning for the purpose of healing them. Error of any kind can’t hide from the law of God. Paul said, “The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”[1]

Whoever reaches the spiritual point of moral culture and goodness can’t harm others, and must do them good. The greater or lesser ability of a Mind-reader to discern thought scientifically depends upon his or her genuine spirituality. The special characteristic of spiritually intuitive mind-reading is not clairvoyance, but is important to success in healing.

We welcome the increase of knowledge and the end of error, because even human invention must have its day.

The nature of spirituality is peaceful and blessed. In order to enter into the realm of Spirit, the anchor of hope must be thrown past the veil of matter into the Shekinah that Jesus showed us. This advance beyond superficial thinking comes through the joys and triumphs of the righteous, as well as through their sorrows and afflictions. We must leave mortal impressions of fleshly being, and advance into immortal expressions of spiritual being.

Acts 16: 1-15

16 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

From 21st Century Science and Health

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

The physical ear does not really hear. Sound is a mental impression made on human belief. Divine Science reveals sound as communicated through the senses of Soul—through spiritual understanding.

Because Spirit is not physically tangible, it doesn’t communicate through tangible electromagnetism or physical energy fields.

God is Spirit; therefore the language of Spirit must be, and is, spiritual. Divine Science attaches no physical characters and significance to the Supreme Being and manifestation.

It is better to make our minds and bodies available to follow God’s rule, because we then can receive Love’s blessing and work out our own salvation.

Progress removes the restraints imposed on human beings. The finite must yield to the infinite. Advancing to a higher level of activity, consciousness pierces the materialist view and discovers the spiritual view. Thought shakes off the scholastic and mortal and moves toward the inspirational and immortal. All things are created spiritually. Mind, not matter, is the creator. Love, the divine Principle, is the Father-Mother of the universe, including person.

Happy is the person who sees the need of others and supplies it, seeking his or her own supply in someone else’s good.

Psalms 51: 7-12

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

From 21st Century Science and Health

If we follow Christ on all moral questions, but are in darkness as to the physical exemption which spirituality includes, then we must have more faith in God on this subject and be more alive to Spirit’s promises. It is easier to cure the most malignant disease than it is to cure sin. I have revitalized the dying, partly because they were willing to be restored, while I have struggled long, and perhaps in vain, to lift a student out of a chronic sin. Under all modes of pathological treatment, the sick recover more rapidly from disease than does the sinner from sin. Healing is easier than teaching, if the teaching is faithfully done.

Every law of physics or the body, supposed to govern people, is rendered null and void by the law of Life, God. Unaware of our God-given rights, we allow unjust decisions and make excuses for imperfection. Our education system is biased, expounding homogeny and marketing a resignation to poor choices. Become aware metaphysically. Be no more willing to suffer the illusion that you are sick or that some disease is developing in the system, than you are willing to suffer giving into a sinful temptation on the ground that sin has its necessities.

The eternal Truth destroys what human beings have learned from error, and our real selfhood comes to light. Truth lived is eternal life. Human beings can never advance from the temporal debris of error—belief in sin, sickness, and death—until we learn that God is the only Life. We progress out of the thinking that life and sensation are in the body by understanding what constitutes ourselves as the image of God, and then Spirit will have overcome the flesh.

Science reveals Spirit, Soul, as reflected by spiritual beings. God is not in a body, but God is reflected by spiritual beings. The belief that the eternal can be constrained in the temporal is an error that creates problems. A leading point in the Science of Soul is that Principle is not controlled by its idea. Spirit, Soul, has never been confined to human beings, and is never in matter. If we reason from effect to cause, we will believe God created matter, and sure enough, material existence becomes a mystery. We cannot interpret Spirit, Mind, through matter, because matter does not really see, hear, or feel. So, improve the thought process; reason from cause to effect and Spirit will be found giving the true mental idea.

Reasoning from cause to effect in the Science of Mind, we begin with Mind, which must be understood through the idea which expresses it and cannot be learned from matter.

Question. What is the scientific statement of being?

Answer. There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is divine Truth; 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 person is not mortal, but is immortal.

*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] Rom. 8:6

August 12, 2015

bible study imageSubject: Spirit

Golden text: Matthew 5:3*

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 12: 22-32

Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to [Jesus], and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” 25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. 30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The would-be healer is obligated not to bring hypocrisy, stupidity, inhumanity, or bad habits into the patient’s environment. If these traits were present, the environment would be converted into a “den of robbers.”[1] The un-Christ-like practitioner does not give to mind or body the joy and strength of Truth. Vanity and negativity desecrate the temple of the Holy Spirit, and the patient’s spiritual power to resuscitate themselves is damaged. The poor suffering heart needs its spiritual nutriment, such as peace, patience in distress, and a priceless sense of the dear Father-Mother’s loving-kindness.

The custom 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.”[2] Faith, if only belief, is like a motor piston shifting between nothing and something, having no fixity. Faith, advanced to spiritual understanding, however, gains evidence of Spirit. The evidence rebukes mistaken mindsets of every kind and establishes the claims of God.

It may seem vain to share our love with someone who doesn’t give it back, but it isn’t a waste as long as we allow spiritual Love to enlarge, purify, and elevate the circumstance. If spite, revenge, and arrogance do uproot and scatter our affections, this separation of fleshly ties serves to unite thought more closely to God, for Love supports the struggling heart until it ceases to sigh over the world. Love recognizes the spiritual cosmos.

Romans 8: 2-12

[T]he law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Flesh. An error or mistake of physical belief; misinterpretation of life, substance, and intelligence; a false impression; a belief that matter has sensation.

We must leave mortal impressions of fleshly being, and advance into immortal expressions of spiritual being.

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.

Spirit. Divine substance; Mind; divine Principle; all that is good; God; that only which is perfect, everlasting, omnipresent, omnipotent, infinite.

God is the one and only Spirit, never trapped in the flesh. We are images of Spirit.

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. There is but one Spirit. We are never God. Our spirituality is made in the likeness of Spirit. We reflect God. In this scientific reflection, the Ego and the divine Parent are inseparable. The assumptions that human egos are spirits, or that there are good and bad spirits, are mistakes.

Proverbs 16: 16-24

How much better to get wisdom than gold!
To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
17 The highway of the upright turns aside from evil;
whoever guards his way preserves his life.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor
than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20 Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good,
and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.
21 The wise of heart is called discerning,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
22 Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly.
23 The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

From 21st Century Science and Health

When sufficiently advanced in Science to be in agreement with the truth of being, people 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 which is in alignment with this Mind, to know the past, the present, and the future.

As we become better acquainted with the Science of being, we are better able to communicate with the divine Mind. Spiritual knowledge not only allows people to foresee and foretell events which concern the universal welfare, but it also inspires people divinely to reach the dimension of unfettered Mind, Spirit.

Thinking from the position of a beginning and an end will never do justice to Truth in any direction. Finite beliefs would compress Mind, which is infinite, into a skull bone. Such belief can’t understand or worship the infinite. Moreover, in an effort to accommodate beginnings and endings, it breaks up Soul and substance. It tries to divide the one Spirit into persons and souls.

Spirits. Human beliefs; physicality; evil minds; supposed intelligences, or gods; the opposites of God; errors; fantasies.

Question. What are spirits and souls?

Answer. To human belief, they are personalities composed of consciousness and unconsciousness, life and death, truth and error, good and evil. Divine Science reveals how those contrasting terms don’t agree or conform to one another. Truth is immortal; error is mortal. Truth is limitless; error is limited. Truth is intelligent; error is non-intelligent. Moreover, Truth is real, and error is unreal. This last statement contains the point you will most reluctantly admit, although first and last it is the most important to understand.

The terms souls, spirits, or human beings are as unsustainable as the term gods. Soul or Spirit signifies infinite Being and nothing else. There are not finite souls, spirits, or beings. Soul or Spirit means only one Mind, and cannot be rendered in the plural. Mythology and human philosophies have perpetuated the fallacy that intelligence, soul, and life can be divided and thus materialized. Idolatry and ritualism are the outcome of all human-made beliefs. The Science of spirituality comes with the tool in hand to separate the chaff from the wheat. Science will declare God aright, and Christianity will demonstrate this declaration and its divine Principle, making humankind better physically, morally, and spiritually.

*“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, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Jer. 7:11; Matt. 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46

[2] James 2:17