October 22, 2014
As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
Acts 9:1-5, 8-11, 17, 18, 20
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. … And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
¶ And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. … And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
¶ And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
Acts 19:1-5, 8-11, 18-20, 23-27
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. … And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
And the same time there arose no small stir about that way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.
Acts 20:1, 17-19, 28-32
And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.
¶ And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
¶ Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
Rev 2:1 (to 1st ;), 2-5 (to ;), 7
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; … I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; … He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
SCIENCE AND HEALTH:
Anciently those apostles who were Jesus’ students, as well as Paul who was not one of his students, healed the sick and reformed the sinner by their religion. Hence the mistake which allows words, rather than works, to follow such examples!
Saul of Tarsus beheld the way — the Christ, or Truth — only when his uncertain sense of right yielded to a spiritual sense, which is always right. Then the man was changed. Thought assumed a nobler outlook, and his life became more spiritual. He learned the wrong that he had done in persecuting Christians, whose religion he had not understood, and in humility he took the new name of Paul. He beheld for the first time the true idea of Love, and learned a lesson in divine Science.
Paul was not at first a disciple of Jesus but a persecutor of Jesus’ followers. When the truth first appeared to him in Science, Paul was made blind, and his blindness was felt; but spiritual light soon enabled him to follow the example and teachings of Jesus, healing the sick and preaching Christianity throughout Asia Minor, Greece, and even in imperial Rome.
Medical schools may inform us that the healing work of Christian Science and Paul’s peculiar Christian conversion and experience, — which prove Mind to be scientifically distinct from matter, — are indications of unnatural mental and bodily conditions, even of catalepsy and hysteria; yet if we turn to the Scriptures, what do we read? Why, this: “If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death!” and “Henceforth know we no man after the flesh!”
Paul had a clear sense of the demands of Truth upon mortals physically and spiritually, when he said: “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” But he, who is begotten of the beliefs of the flesh and serves them, can never reach in this world the divine heights of our Lord.
We never read that Luke or Paul made a reality of disease in order to discover some means of healing it.
Uncover error, and it turns the lie upon you. Until the fact concerning error — namely, its nothingness — appears, the moral demand will not be met, and the ability to make nothing of error will be wanting.
Sin makes deadly thrusts at the Christian Scientist as ritualism and creed are summoned to give place to higher law, but Science will ameliorate mortal malice. The Christianly scientific man reflects the divine law, thus becoming a law unto himself. He does violence to no man. Neither is he a false accuser. The Christian Scientist wisely shapes his course, and is honest and consistent in following the leadings of divine Mind. He must prove, through living as well as healing and teaching, that Christ’s way is the only one by which mortals are radically saved from sin and sickness.
Christianity causes men to turn naturally from matter to Spirit, as the flower turns from darkness to light. Man then appropriates those things which “eye hath not seen nor ear heard.” Paul and John had a clear apprehension that, as mortal man achieves no worldly honors except by sacrifice, so he must gain heavenly riches by forsaking all worldliness. Then he will have nothing in common with the worldling’s affections, motives, and aims. Judge not the future advancement of Christian Science by the steps already taken, lest you yourself be condemned for failing to take the first step.
The serpentine form stands for subtlety, winding its way amidst all evil, but doing this in the name of good. Its sting is spoken of by Paul, when he refers to “spiritual wickedness in high places.” It is the animal instinct in mortals, which would impel them to devour each other and cast out devils through Beelzebub.
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.”
This error has proved itself to be error.
186:19-25 The (to 1st .)
The only power of evil is to destroy itself. It can never destroy one iota of good. Every attempt of evil to destroy good is a failure, and only aids in peremptorily punishing the evil-doer. If we concede the same reality to discord as to harmony, discord has as lasting a claim upon us as has harmony. If evil is as real as good, evil is also as immortal.
The wicked man is not the ruler of his upright neighbor. Let it be understood that success in error is defeat in Truth. The watchword of Christian Science is Scriptural: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.”
To ascertain our progress, we must learn where our affections are placed and whom we acknowledge and obey as God. If divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, matter is then submitting to Spirit. The objects we pursue and the spirit we manifest reveal our standpoint, and show what we are winning.
Abuse of the motives and religion of St. Paul hid from view the apostle’s character, which made him equal to his great mission. Persecution of all who have spoken something new and better of God has not only obscured the light of the ages, but has been fatal to the persecutors. Why? Because it has hid from them the true idea which has been presented. To misunderstand Paul, was to be ignorant of the divine idea he taught. Ignorance of the divine idea betrays at once a greater ignorance of the divine Principle of the idea — ignorance of Truth and Love. The understanding of Truth and Love, the Principle which works out the ends of eternal good and destroys both faith in evil and the practice of evil, leads to the discernment of the divine idea.
Mind produces all action. If the action proceeds from Truth, from immortal Mind, there is harmony; but mortal mind is liable to any phase of belief. … Never fear the mental malpractitioner, the mental assassin, who, in attempting to rule mankind, tramples upon the divine Principle of metaphysics, for God is the only power. To succeed in healing, you must conquer your own fears as well as those of your patients, and rise into higher and holier consciousness.
275:26 The (only), 27
The true understanding of God is spiritual. … It destroys the false evidence that misleads thought and points to other gods, or other so-called powers, such as matter, disease, sin, and death, superior or contrary to the one Spirit.
At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you. The cement of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity.
Christians must take up arms against error at home and abroad. They must grapple with sin in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished their course. If they keep the faith, they will have the crown of rejoicing.