January 11, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Employed

Golden text: John 9:4-5*

We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

John 6:26-36

26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Jesus taught that the mortal senses shut out Truth and its healing power. By employing our spiritual senses, we change for the better and feel regenerated.

A clergyman once adopted a diet of bread and water to increase his spirituality. Finding his health failing, he gave up his asceticism and advised others never to try dietetics for growth in grace.

The fact is, food does not affect our absolute Life, and this becomes self-evident when we learn that God is our Life. Because sin and sickness are not qualities of Soul, or Life, we have hope in spirituality. Nevertheless, it would be foolish to stop eating a healthy balanced diet, or to stop exercising, until we gain perfection and a clear comprehension of the living Spirit. In that perfect day of understanding, we shall neither eat to live nor live to eat.

Human beings must have trials and self-denials, as well as joys and victories, until all error is destroyed.

I Corinthians 9:1-12

Am I [Paul] not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The medicine of Science is divine Mind, not human mind. The human attitudes of dishonesty, sensuality, greed, revenge, and malice, cannot heal the sick. Thoughts that try to control another person are crude tendencies and by no means the mental qualities which heal. The hypnotizer employs one error to destroy another. The mental mal-practitioner heals sickness through a belief, when it was a belief which originally caused the sickness. This is a case of a greater error overcoming a lesser. The greater error thereafter occupies the ground, leaving the case worse than before.

While dwelling on a physical plane, human terms must generally be employed to speak of the things of Spirit. It takes time for human thought to adjust to the higher meaning. Thought must be educated to perceive spirituality. To a certain extent, improved thought is necessary in all learning, even in that which is secular.

The terms divine Science, spiritual Science, metaphysical Science, the Science of Truth and Love, Christian Science, or Science alone, are employed interchangeably according to the requirements of the context. These synonymous terms stand for everything relating to God, the infinite, supreme, eternal Mind. It may be said, however, that the term Christian Science relates especially to Science as applied to humanity. Divine Science reveals God, not as the author of sin, sickness, and death, but as absolute Principle, Supreme Being, Mind, exempt from all evil. It teaches that materialism or limitation is the falsity, not the fact, of existence. Nerves, brain, stomach, lungs, and so forth, have—as matter—no intelligence, life, or sensation.

I Corinthians 9: 13-27

Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Your thinking can work against your health, so it is better to employ your thinking on the side of health. You make yourself sick through the false belief of sickness even before you rush after drugs, get blood tests, and avoid society for fear of germs.

Because human-made systems insist that we can become sick and useless, suffer and die, all in agreement with the laws of God, or nature, are we to believe it? 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.

Hebrews 6:7-12

For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Physicians, whom the sick employ in their helplessness, should be models of integrity. They should be wise spiritual guides to health and hope. To the frightened patient on the brink of death, physicians can be prepared to share an understanding of the Truth that is Life. When the soul is willing and the flesh is weak, the patient may be willing to learn of the ever-perpetuating Life, and plant their feet on the rock of Christ, the true idea of spiritual power.

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.

In the presence of a sick person, employ tender words and spiritual encouragement. Patiently remove all fears, without gushing theories, stereotyped clichés, and rigid arguments which are so many misrepresentations of divine Science, aflame with divine Love.

God did not need Jesus’ example to preserve the eternal harmony, however human beings did, and Jesus pointed the way.

[Jesus] explored the way and we all have the same cup of poignant effort to drink.

The Christ is bodiless, spiritual—the holy image and likeness, dispelling the illusions of the senses; the Way, the Truth, and the Life, healing the sick and driving out evils, destroying sin, disease, and death.

Light extinguishes the darkness— there is “no night there.”[2] To Truth there is no error, all is Truth.

*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] Rev. 21:25, 22:5

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August 31, 2016

bible study image Subject: Spiritual beings

Golden text: I Corinthians 2: 15-16*

 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Judges 4: 1-16

And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years.

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?” Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” And she said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 And Barak called out Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. And 10,000 men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him.

11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated from the Kenites, the descendants of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.

12 When Sisera was told that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera called out all his chariots, 900 chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. 14 And Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15 And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword. And Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Human beings 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.

It is a fight with the flesh, in which we must conquer sin, sickness, and death, either here or hereafter—certainly before we can reach the realm of Spirit or life in God.

Physical Sensation said that he knew man and woman, and that they were made in the image of God, but were criminals. This is foul slander on their Maker. It blots the fair insignia of omnipotence. It indicates malice aforethought, a determination to condemn man and woman in the interest of Physical Sensation. At the bar of Truth, in the presence of divine Justice, before the Judge of our higher tribunal, the Supreme Court of Spirit, and before its jurors, Spiritual Perceptions, I proclaim this witness, Nerve, to be destitute of intelligence and truth and to be assessed as a false witness.

We have no trials for sickness before the tribunal of divine Spirit. There, people are adjudged innocent of trespassing physical laws, because there are no such laws. Our statute is spiritual, our Government is divine. “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”[1]

Because Truth is infinite, error should be known as nothing. Because Truth is omnipotent in goodness; Truth’s opposite, error, has no power. Evil is only the counterbalance of nonexistence. The greatest wrong is supposing that there is an opposite of the highest right. The confidence inspired by Science lies in the fact that Truth is real and Truth’s opposite is unreal, is an error. Error is a coward before Truth. Divine Science insists that time will prove all this. Both truth and error have come nearer than ever before to the perception of human beings, and truth will continue to appear, as error is self-destroyed.

Mortal mind judges ever-changing evidence, false evidence, until Science wipes it out with spiritual evidence. A logic based on spirituality improves thought, takes a step out of error and encourages the next step in understanding the situation in divine Science.

Judges 4: 16-24

16 And Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left.

17 But Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 And Jael came out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord; turn aside to me; do not be afraid.” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19 And he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. 20 And he said to her, “Stand at the opening of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, ‘Is anyone here?’ say, ‘No.’” 21 But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand. Then she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple until it went down into the ground while he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died. 22 And behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Jael went out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” So he went in to her tent, and there lay Sisera dead, with the tent peg in his temple.

23 So on that day God subdued Jabin the king of Canaan before the people of Israel. 24 And the hand of the people of Israel pressed harder and harder against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

From 21st Century Science and Health

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.

During the sensualist age, absolute divine Science may not be achieved prior to the change called death, for we have not the power to demonstrate what we do not understand. The human self must be evangelized. This task God demands us to accept gracefully today, and to abandon so fast as practical the temporal, and to work out the spiritual which determines the outward and actual.

It is foolish to take a hesitant position or sit on the fence when it comes to our spirituality. Expecting to work equally with Spirit and matter, Truth and error, is not wise. There is but one way—namely, God and Truth’s idea—which leads to spiritual being. The scientific government of the body must be accomplished through the divine Mind. It is impossible to gain control over the body in any other way. On this fundamental point, cowardly conservatism is absolutely unacceptable. Only by advancing from the root of Truth can scientific healing power be realized.

Substituting good words for a good life, pretending to have a straightforward character, is a feeble change for the weak and worldly, who think the standard of divine Science too high.

As we triumph over erroneous views and allow Soul to hold the control, we shall detest and correct wrongdoing under all its disguises. Only in this way can we bless our enemies, though they won’t take it as a blessing.

Judges 5: 1-2, 15, 19-20, 31

Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day:

“That the leaders took the lead in Israel,
that the people offered themselves willingly,
bless the Lord!

15 the princes of Issachar came with Deborah,
and Issachar faithful to Barak;
into the valley they rushed at his heels.
Among the clans of Reuben
there were great searchings of heart.

19 “The kings came, they fought;
then fought the kings of Canaan,
at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo;
they got no spoils of silver.
20 From heaven the stars fought,
from their courses they fought against Sisera.

31 “So may all your enemies perish, O Lord!
But your friends be like the sun as he rises in his might.”

And the land had rest for forty years.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Theology and physics teach that both Spirit and matter are real and good, whereas the fact is that Spirit is good and real, and matter is Spirit’s opposite. The question, What is Truth, is answered by demonstration—by healing both disease and sin; and this demonstration shows that Christian healing confers the most health and makes the best men. On this basis Christian Science will have a fair fight.

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.

The universe of Spirit is peopled with spiritual beings, and its government is divine Science. Man and woman are the offspring of the highest qualities of 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, 5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

 

[1] Gen. 18:25

March 2, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Individuals and individuality

Golden text: I Corinthians 12:27

 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Genesis 42: 1-8

When Jacob learned that there was grain for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” And he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain for sale in Egypt. Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.” So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with his brothers, for he feared that harm might happen to him. Thus the sons of Israel came to buy among the others who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.

Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.

From 21st Century Science and Health

As human beings do not comprehend even mortal existence, they must be ignorant of the all-knowing Mind and of the creation of Spirit.

Physical sense creates its own forms of thought, and gives the forms imaginative titles, before worshiping and fearing them.

Human mind is unaware of its false ego or it could never be self-deceived. If this mortal mind knew how to be better, it would. When human mind tries to believe in something besides itself, it only promotes its own image as deity, thereby becoming an idolater. Out of the necessity to maintain its identity the human mind has other gods and believes in more than one Mind.

God doesn’t have a human personality, but is the One Person, reflected uniquely by individual ideas, therefore, a very close personal relationship can be felt. Our personal relationship with Principle is higher and grander than human mortal friendships which are often selective, exclusive, or fickle.

If we allow the same reality to discord as to harmony, discord has as lasting a claim on us as harmony. If evil is as real as good, evil is also immortal. If death is as real as Life, immortality is a myth. If pain is as real as the absence of pain, both must be immortal; and if so, harmony cannot be the law of being.

Only as the mortal, false mind yields to God or spiritual Mind, is our identity found in the image of Love.

You will not lose your identity through the understanding which Science gives. The possibility of a lost identity is more absurd than to conclude that individual musical tones are lost in a grand symphony.

Genesis 45: 1-15

Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.

So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Right and wrong, truth and error will be at strife in the minds of students, until victory rests on the side of invincible truth.

Individual characteristics are understood in, and formed by, Spirit, not by mortal genes and environments. Whatever reflects Mind, Life, Truth, and Love, is spiritually conceived and brought forth, but the statements that person is conceived and evolved eternally and temporarily, or by both God and human beings, contradicts that eternal truth. All the vanity of the ages can never make contraries true. Divine Science obliterates the illusion that life or mind is formed by, or is in, the temporal body.

Teach your students that they must know their own self before they can know others and minister to human needs. Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help. You uncover sin, not in order to hurt, but in order to bless the human being; and a right motive has its reward.

The consciousness and individuality of person is the reflection of God; the emanation of Person who is Life, Truth, and Love. Immortal person is not and never was humanistic, but always spiritual and eternal.

The spiritual universe, including individual person, is a united idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit.

Matthew 16: 13-19

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Jesus didn’t assume a mortal selfhood. It was his spirituality that made it possible for Jesus to heal the sick, drive out evil, and raise the dead. His spiritual identity was distinct from the unspiritual minded and this caused the selfish materialist to hate him.

Lack of immortal awareness, which is identical to intentional wrong, is not Science. Ignorance must be seen and corrected before we can reach harmony. Chaotic and contradictory beliefs commit identity theft, giving matter the identity of Mind. These beliefs also set their own imaginations up as all-important (even as heroes), and thereby isolate themselves to, or confine themselves in, what they create.

Some individuals realize truth more readily than others, but any student, who remains true to the divine rules of spiritual Science and becomes one with the spirit of Christ, can demonstrate Science, overcome error, heal the sick, and add continually to their supply of spiritual understanding, power, enlightenment, and success.

Jesus understood individuality, whose Life is God, to be spiritual. He knew that God’s children do not have an outer shell and an inner being, one to be destroyed and the other to be made indestructible.

Our individual expression of Soul manifests God’s attributes and power, just as the human likeness seen in a mirror repeats the color, form, and action of the person in front of the mirror. Our spirituality reflects Spirit.

The universe of Spirit is peopled with spiritual beings, and its government is divine Science. Man and woman are the offspring of the highest qualities of Mind. We understand spiritual existence in proportion to our understanding of Truth and Love. Humans must gravitate Godward. Humans will become more humane as their desires and aims grow spiritual. As sin and mortality are discardeddiscarded, human beings catch the broader interpretations of being and secure a lasting sense of the infinite.

The approach of divine Science is to recognize the spiritual identity of people and to see and understand God’s creation―all the glories of earth and heaven and its inhabitants.

There is but one I, or Us, but one divine Principle, or Mind, governing all existence; people unchanged forever in their individual characters, even as numbers which never blend with each other, though they are controlled by one Principle.