Hymns 332, 195, 416
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Ex 15:2, 6, 7
The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. … Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
Matt 4:1, 8-11 the
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. … the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
¶ No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
1Cor 8:2-6 (to ; )
And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him;
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
2 Cor 10:3-5, 7
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; … Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.
Eph 4:1, 4-6
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, … There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Science and Health
Question. — What are the demands of the Science of Soul?
Answer. — The first demand of this Science is, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” This me is Spirit. Therefore the command means this: Thou shalt have no intelligence, no life, no substance, no truth, no love, but that which is spiritual.
Divine Mind rightly demands man’s entire obedience, affection, and strength. No reservation is made for any lesser loyalty. Obedience to Truth gives man power and strength. Submission to error superinduces loss of power.
The only guarantee of obedience is a right apprehension of Him whom to know aright is Life eternal.
God. The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.
Finite belief limits all things, and would compress Mind, which is infinite, beneath a skull bone. Such belief can neither apprehend nor worship the infinite; and to accommodate its finite sense of the divisibility of Soul and substance, it seeks to divide the one Spirit into persons and souls.
Through this error, human belief comes to have “gods many and lords many.” Moses declared as Jehovah’s first command of the Ten: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me!” But behold the zeal of belief to establish the opposite error of many minds. The argument of the serpent in the allegory, “Ye shall be as gods,” urges through every avenue the belief that Soul is in body, and that infinite Spirit, and Life, is in finite forms.
Evil still affirms itself to be mind, and declares that there is more than one intelligence or God. It says: “There shall be lords and gods many. I declare that God makes evil minds and evil spirits, and that I aid Him. Truth shall change sides and be unlike Spirit. I will put spirit into what I call matter, and matter shall seem to have life as much as God, Spirit, who is the only Life.”
Truth has no beginning. The divine Mind is the Soul of man, and gives man dominion over all things. Man was not created from a material basis, nor bidden to obey material laws which Spirit never made; his province is in spiritual statutes, in the higher law of Mind.
Above error’s awful din, blackness, and chaos, the voice of Truth still calls: “Adam, where art thou? Consciousness, where art thou? Art thou dwelling in the belief that mind is in matter, and that evil is mind, or art thou in the living faith that there is and can be but one God, and keeping His commandment?”
Jesus urged the commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” which may be rendered: Thou shalt have no belief of Life as mortal; thou shalt not know evil, for there is one Life, — even God, good. He rendered “unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” He at last paid no homage to forms of doctrine or to theories of man, but acted and spake as he was moved, not by spirits but by Spirit.
Jesus presented the ideal of God better than could any man whose origin was less spiritual. By his obedience to God, he demonstrated more spiritually than all others the Principle of being. Hence the force of his admonition, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
It has been demonstrated to me that Life is God and that the might of omnipotent Spirit shares not its strength with matter or with human will. Reviewing this brief experience, I cannot fail to discern the coincidence of the spiritual idea of man with the divine Mind.
XVII. 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.
If we are sensibly with the body and regard omnipotence as a corporeal, material person, whose ear we would gain, we are not “absent from the body” and “present with the Lord” in the demonstration of Spirit. We cannot “serve two masters.” To be “present with the Lord” is to have, not mere emotional ecstasy or faith, but the actual demonstration and understanding of Life as revealed in Christian Science. To be “with the Lord” is to be in obedience to the law of God, to be absolutely governed by divine Love, — by Spirit, not by matter.
Dost thou “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”? This command includes much, even the surrender of all merely material sensation, affection, and worship. This is the El Dorado of Christianity. It involves the Science of Life, and recognizes only the divine control of Spirit, in which Soul is our master, and material sense and human will have no place.
Are you willing to leave all for Christ, for Truth, and so be counted among sinners? No! Do you really desire to attain this point? No! Then why make long prayers about it and ask to be Christians, since you do not care to tread in the footsteps of our dear Master? If unwilling to follow his example, why pray with the lips that you may be partakers of his nature? Consistent prayer is the desire to do right. Prayer means that we desire to walk and will walk in the light so far as we receive it, even though with bleeding footsteps, and that waiting patiently on the Lord, we will leave our real desires to be rewarded by Him.
The best sermon ever preached is Truth practised and demonstrated by the destruction of sin, sickness, and death. Knowing this and knowing too that one affection would be supreme in us and take the lead in our lives, Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters.”
We cannot build safely on false foundations. Truth makes a new creature, in whom old things pass away and “all things are become new.” Passions, selfishness, false appetites, hatred, fear, all sensuality, yield to spirituality, and the superabundance of being is on the side of God, good.
We cannot fill vessels already full. They must first be emptied. Let us disrobe error. Then, when the winds of God blow, we shall not hug our tatters close about us.
The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love. Christian perfection is won on no other basis.
II. God is what the Scriptures declare Him to be, — Life, Truth, Love. Spirit is divine Principle, and divine Principle is Love, and Love is Mind, and Mind is not both good and bad, for God is Mind; therefore there is in reality one Mind only, because there is one God.
Truth, Life, and Love are the only legitimate and eternal demands on man, and they are spiritual lawgivers, enforcing obedience through divine statutes.
Controlled by the divine intelligence, man is harmonious and eternal. Whatever is governed by a false belief is discordant and mortal.
The higher nature of man is not governed by the lower; if it were, the order of wisdom would be reversed. Our false views of life hide eternal harmony, and produce the ills of which we complain. Because mortals believe in material laws and reject the Science of Mind, this does not make materiality first and the superior law of Soul last.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus xx. 3.) The First Commandment is my favorite text. It demonstrates Christian Science. It inculcates the tri-unity of God, Spirit, Mind; it signifies that man shall have no other spirit or mind but God, eternal good, and that all men shall have one Mind. The divine Principle of the First Commandment bases the Science of being, by which man demonstrates health, holiness, and life eternal. One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, “Love thy neighbor as thyself;” annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.
From Love and from the light and harmony which are the abode of Spirit, only reflections of good can come. All things beautiful and harmless are ideas of Mind. Mind creates and multiplies them, and the product must be mental.
Moses declared as Jehovah’s first command of the Ten: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me!”
Having no other gods, turning to no other but the one perfect Mind to guide him, man is the likeness of God, pure and eternal, having that Mind which was also in Christ.
GET 2.5.14 First Commandment HERE