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Application GEMs to  BREATHE in the Spirit of BEING BORN from ABOVE!
Let God Expressed Meekly/Mightily in you sparkle brightly with new insights from Cobbey Crisler & others as inspired by The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for August 1 – August 7, 2022

 (Cobbey’s insights are shared with the blessing of Janet Crisler
by Warren Huff, CedarS Executive Director Emeritus,

Cobbey Crisler on
John 6: 62 – 7:6 (verses on both sides of John 6:63)

[Cobbey:] John 6:62, “What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before?” Nativity in the Spirit. There can’t be the magnetic pull back to earth if that connection has been severed or proved never to have been a real connection.

“In John 6:63 (the Golden Text) Jesus impinges upon what has been considered laws of physics because he views matter in a radical way. He makes the statement, “It is the spirit that quickeneth.” That is where you find life. So, if you want to talk about nativity anywhere, you better deal with origin and Spirit. “The flesh profiteth nothing.”

“You see how close one needs to be to Jesus in thought to understand what has been referred to as the Communion Supper. If he is accurate in saying, “the flesh profiteth nothing, “neither would symbolically eating it profit anything. So, it must not be the flesh he is talking about, but that great transformation that he is proving in his life to be possible to the Son of Man. John 1:14 refers to it as “the Word that was made flesh.” The Word connects us to Spirit, not flesh. Here is part of that Word underscoring the message that, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.”

“What happened in John 6:66? “Many walked right out,” as soon as he had this radical statement to say about matter.

John 6:67. Jesus had to turn to the twelve, and said, “Will you go away?”

“John 6:68. Peter had one of those classic remarks that he makes. It’s really a lovely one. He looks around to the alternatives and says, “Lord, where will we go? You have the words of eternal life. He got the message. The words of eternal life, not the flesh of eternal life. “You have the words of eternal life.

“Jesus’ brethren in John 7:3 try to persuade him to come out into the open, and hire a public relations firm. If you are what you think you are, then back it up in the world’s way.

John 7:5,“Neither did his brethren believe in him.”

John 7:6. He announces, “My time is not yet come.”  There’s an indication in Jesus own thought that he knew there would be a prophetic hour which must be fulfilled. The ingredients were not there yet. So, he indicates, “My prophetic hour is not yet come. Your time is always ready. “They did not have a solid understanding of prophecy.”
“Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


Cobbey Crisler & Mary Baker Eddy on Responsive Reading, Romans 8:1-17

Romans 8:1,2 “There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”)

[Cobbey:] “Remember the consistency of the Scripture. This is what turns us into students.  The consistency of the Scripture would force us to study in depth how we please God.  Here is ‘My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’  How do we please God? Do you remember any particular Scriptural statements on that?… One of the things that Paul says about it in Romans 8:8 is, ‘They that are in the flesh (they that are earthly minded, who obey the lower nature) cannot please God.’ “
“What Mark Recorded,”
by B. Cobbey Crisler**

 [Warren again: The preceding verses, Romans 8:5-7, with other translations shed more light on the challenge of earthly-minded body worship that seems prevalent today in obsessions with fitness, diet, revealing “selfies”…  (Verse 5) “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh: but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”  (“People who are controlled by the physical, think of what is physical: and people who are controlled by the spiritual, think of—give their attention to—what is spiritual.” Goodspeed (Verse 6) “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”  (“But to set the mind on the flesh brings death, whereas to set the mind on the Spirit brings life and peace.” The New Testament: A New Translation (Olaf M. Norlie)

These passages and many more from Mary Baker Eddy have helped heal body-worship and lots of resulting ills and issues: “Paul said, ‘Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ Sooner or later we shall learn that the fetters of man’s finite capacity are forged by the illusion that he lives in body instead of in Soul, in matter instead of in Spirit.”  (S&H 223:2)

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 immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.” (S&H 468:9)

These ideas from Miscellaneous Writings describe the form, color, light, and beauty of our world being loved promises and representatives “of the beauty, grandeur, and glory of the immortal Mind.” (Mis. 87)  “My sense of the beauty of the universe is, that beauty typifies holiness, and is something to be desired.  Earth is more spiritually beautiful to my gaze now than when it was more earthly to the eyes of Eve. The pleasant sensations of human belief, of form and color, must be spiritualized, until we gain the glorified sense of substance as in the new heaven and earth, the harmony of body and Mind…

“Even the human conception of beauty, grandeur, and utility is something that defies a sneer. It is more than imagination. It is next to divine beauty and the grandeur of Spirit. It lives with our earth-life, and is the subjective state of high thoughts. The atmosphere of mortal mind constitutes our mortal environment. What mortals hear, see, feel, taste, smell, constitutes their present earth and heaven: but we must grow out of even this pleasing thralldom, and find wings to reach the glory of supersensible Life; then we shall soar above, as the bird in the clear ether of the blue temporal sky.

“To take all earth’s beauty into one gulp of vacuity and label beauty nothing, is ignorantly to caricature God’s creation, which is unjust to human sense and to the divine realism. In our immature sense of spiritual things, let us say of the beauties of the sensuous universe: ‘I love your promise; and shall know, some time, the spiritual reality and substance of form, light,
and color, of what I now through you discern dimly; and knowing this, I shall be satisfied. Matter is a frail conception of mortal mind; and mortal mind is a poorer representative of the beauty, grandeur, and glory of the immortal Mind.’”
  (Miscellaneous Writings,
86:14- 87:14)]

In Romans 8:16  Paul tells the Romans and us that “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”

[In his comments on the following verse, Cobbey expands on this:] “Paul says in Romans 8:17 “We are joint heirs with Christ,” – inheritors of the divine being.  We are sharers, “partakers of the divine nature.”(2nd Pet. 1:4)

[W.] So, let’s be Part-takers in God’s Cast of children — typecast to be spiritual – with a natural spiritual sense mindset! 

 (Cobbey on Colossians 3:2) Have you heard the modern expression mind-set? Verse 2 is almost that literally in Greek.  “That our mind-set must be on things above.”  Can we have an inner spiritual sense entertained that provides the divine reason for our being, even when we’re living on the earth at a human level if we “set our mind on things above, not on things of the earth”?

(Verse 3) “For ye are dead.” That’s exactly what the body is.  If we are to be absent from the body, the body itself is now dead to our thought and our thought no longer responds to it. No longer worships it.  The Greek word means to be away from something, to be separated from.  “And your life,” we haven’t lost anything then.  “Our life is,” or literally, “has been hidden with Christ in God.”
[Warren: Hymn 370 echoes this verse: “
Hid with Christ in God, O gladness: / O the meekness and the might, / When the risen Christ has lifted / All our thoughts into the light, …”
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 370:2)

(Cobbey again on Verse 4,) “When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear,” what about us?  “We also will appear.”

“We will appear with him,” How? “In glory.”  In imperishable radiance.  That’s not an abstraction.  It is supersensible, but it’s concrete being.  It’s a sharing of the glorious liberty of the children who find it natural to be divine.”
 “Glory: Divine Nature in the Bible,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


transcribed from W’s notes on Cobbey Crisler talks on Genesis 1 (B2):
“Genesis chapter 1 was written in response to the Hebrew people’s crisis of exile.

“Verse 2 attempts to explain how creation occurred as well as how a new beginning could occur out of the vacuity of nothingness of exile.  To the post-exilic authors of Genesis 1 “the earth was without form and void” – or “Toe-who” and Boe-who” – the translated names of the Babylonian mythical leviathan-like, sea monster and their mythical behemoth-like, land monster. The modern day myth is that we evolved from the sea to be dry land creatures with a refined further way of animal thought and life.  Human thought was dark much like “darkness on the face of the waters.” … Spirit is the root of the whole word inspiration… No advance can occur in life without inspiration—so “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”… This happens also when Jesus is baptized, coming “straightway out of the water,” as part of a divine announcement.  He sees “the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon him.”  (Matthew 3:16)  Consequently, one recognizes that if Spirit represents the motive of his career, it’s an inspired career…

“It’s how the entire Bible begins (Genesis 1:2) because “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”  It’s almost as if in Jesus’ baptism, we’re getting this genesis of God’s creation, that first chapter, applied on earth.  The Spirit is moving on those waters in which Jesus is standing.  There is a Spirit genesis here.  Look at what happened in Genesis 1 in those brief verses when creation is depicted for us.” 

Verse 3 (from a bumper sticker that Barry Huff enjoyed seeing) The Big Bang theory: “Let there be light” and BANG! It happened!)  “Light (“or” in Hebrew, “phos” in Greek) was created before the stars…  The motif here is that of the creation of the world by the WORD and a differentiation between the light and light-bearers.”  Theological Dictionary of the New Testament

Verse 4 records the first Quality Control-check—“it was good.”

Application ideas:
“Any lack of originality is only a lack of knowledge about your true origin.”

Compare the development of any right idea in business or otherwise to the mental model of creation in Genesis 1:
Verse 3 = the dawning of the light or idea
Verses 4-6 = the analysis (compare and divide as on the first day)
Verses 7-10 = the decisive, solid manifestation of the idea (dry land appears)
Verses 11-12 = investment in the idea and its productivity
Verse 13 = exposing the idea to light universally, marketing it
Verse 14-31 = diversification (lights for seasons, living creatures multiplying, male & female)
Verse 2:1-3 = rest (not inertia, but success of the idea and its continuing yield)

DISCOVER THE INDIVISIBLE NATURE OF GOD’S CREATION from the end of Genesis 1 (citation B2) in notes from Cobbey Crisler talks as transcribed by Warren):

[Cobbey said:] “Searching the scriptures does require scuba diving or at least snorkeling because there’s a need for both clear vision and inspiration.
Verse 26 Here in a book noted for its monotheism we find plural words relative to God. (“Let US make man in OUR likeness…”) Father-Mother (F-M) must be together indivisibly or we have more than one God.  If there’s indivisibility in the original there must be indivisibility in the product.

Verse 27.  To have Male-Female (M-F) in the product means that it’s in the original.
On IMAGE, Clemet of Alexandria wrote: “In our view, image of God is not an object of sense, but a mental object, perceived not by the senses, but by the mind.”  But in Genesis 2:7 the mental model is dropped and in the material account of creation God forms man out of dust—the very OPPOSITE view.

This mimics the opposite view of male and female that is widely promoted in which sex promises us all satisfaction in physical unity—but does it deliver?  The very definition of sex is division, not indivisibility.  “The sensualist’s affections… and pleasures” would put one through lots of fitful, mental contortions that Mary Baker Eddy describes as “imaginary, whimsical, and unreal” (Science and Health, 241:8).
(Transcribed from notes taken by Warren Huff during several Cobbey Crisler talks from the margins of W’s Bible.)


To help prove the Noah’s Ark flood narrative a search team of Evangelical Christians found in Turkey on the side of Mount Ararat what they are “99.9% sure” (due to carbon-dating) is the shell of Noah’s ark. (See )
Regardless of the historicity of anything in the Scriptures, we are always have a sure and holy foundation “As adherents of Truth … (to) take the inspired word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.” (The 1st Tenet of Christian Science in Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures,  497:3)

FIND FRESH WAYS TO “SING UNTO GOD A NEW SONG.” (Ps 96:1 /cit. B10) even “…a new song in … praise unto our God.”  (Ps 40:3)

When we fully embrace Life’s forever newness, you and I will fully expect fun, un-outlined ways for God to supply answers to our every need. We have examples of this in the way that the ravens supplied Elijah (I Kings 17:1-6) and in how Jesus is giving “living water” to us like he did to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:7-26).  As our lives sing with new manifestations of “infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss,” (S&H 481) all their supposed opposites will naturally be ruled out of us enabling us to forever overcome every lie of limitation; every seemingly enslaving habit; every thought of inharmony, division and strife; and every unhappiness arising from disappointed human will.
What a relief to know that it’s by God’s will and “amazing grace”— not by any of our own efforts, other than leaning on God — that we are given lives “big with blessings.” As Mary Baker Eddy has proven and promised: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (vii:1) What could be bigger blessings than daily demonstrations that the newness of Life in God is ALL-inclusive: “Behold, I make all things new!” (Revelation 21:5).

Cobbey Crisler on Mark 1:32-41 (cit. B12) and Luke 5:12,13

[Cobbey:] “Then “at even,” Verse 32.  What that tells you is that it’s now after sunset and other people can come and be healed.  It was a Sabbath day we find out from another gospel.  They all come and the Sabbath is over and he heals a great multitude.  In fact, in Verse 34, “He [even] healed many who were sick of divers diseases.”  That’s not the bends.  That’s simply “diverse diseases and casts out many devils;”

“Verse 40.  A leper comes to him.  We already know what the early message in the Scriptures is about healing leprosy?  Notice what the patient does.  Study the patient’s role.  Then study the healer’s role, namely Jesus.  The leper comes, “beseeching, kneeling, and saying, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”   What does that show is occurring in his thinking?  Is he ready?  Again, there’s your key.  Receptivity is the key to healing.  You know, a leper was not supposed to approach anyone.  He was to remain at least six feet away and ringing a bell.  He was supposed, according to the Torah, to shout everywhere he went, “Unclean, unclean.”  Imagine the label one attached to oneself.  No winder it was incurable.  You never got off the subject.  Unclean, unclean.

“Here, he’s breaking through that ritually required barrier and saying, “If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”  Look at the difference just in thought there.  From “Unclean, unclean” [to] “if thou wilt thou canst make me clean.”  Jesus noticed how the healer here works. [Verse 41,]  “Moved with compassion, put forth [his] hand, and touched him.”   That’s a no-no.  You know what the ritual law said he had to do after that?  Go home and bathe.  And send out all his clothes to the laundromat and stay there for at least seven hours before he could even mingle with humanity again, because touching a leper made you unclean.  [Voice:”…took the serpent by the tail.”]  Took the serpent by the tail, good point.  No fear.

“Also, if we’re studying the healing method of Jesus.  If we’re saying that this course on Heal the Sick:  A Scriptural Record” is the record of how we, too, should heal the sick, if this is what Jesus had in mind, or what God is revealing to humanity through the Bible, then what else happened when Jesus touch that leper?

“Just ask yourself.  Put yourself in that leper’s position.  Then stand back and appreciate deeply Jesus’ humanity.  How long had it been since that leper had felt a human touch?  Did Jesus have to touch him humanly to heal him?  [Voice:  “No, he didn’t.”]  He’s proved in other cases he did not have to.  [Voice:  “I think he wanted to prove that he wasn’t afraid of leprosy, and nobody should be.”]  Alright, that’s also a good point.  But look at it from the leper’s point of view.  Did Jesus do everything from his own point of view?  In other words, like, “I’m gonna do this because I want to show you all I’m not afraid of this dread disease”?  No.  That’s part of it.  [Voice:  “Love”]  But that great love that saw the man’s need.  The love that meets the human need Jesus was expressing there.  That man must have just responded in such a way that he was healed immediately.

“Jesus makes him do something.  It’s a rare case where Jesus ever does it all for the patient.  He says, “Be thou clean.”   Whose responsibility?  [Voice: “His.”]  “Be thou clean.”

“Let’s remember now as we see these things occurring in the early moments of Jesus’ earthly career, that within them, this is not just something that’s springing full blown.  There is a continuity, isn’t there?  We’ve spend the whole morning with the continuity, the promise, the prophecy, the indications of healing to come up to Jeremiah’s [31:33] prediction of the New Covenant and it would be “written within on our hearts.”

“When Jesus touches this leper and heals him, there comes with it all that authority of God’s revelation behind him, nothing new, as old as God and His revelation to man.  Yet, don’t we hark, in a way, to some of the earlier records?  For instance, when Jesus tells this man in Verse 44 to go “to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded.”  Maybe behind that stands that statement of God to Moses [Exodus 4:8] that if they do not believe “the voice of the first sign that they will believe the voice of the latter sign,” or healing?  What greater evidence of one’s religion or understanding could you have than the evidence of a healed case?  Especially of one that could very well have been a form of incurable leprosy.”
“Heal the Sick”: A Scriptural Record, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

Cobbey Crisler on Matt 12:22-28/cit. B13

[Cobbey:] “Matt. 12:22/cit. B13). “Now we have someone brought possessed with a devil and healed.”

(Verse 25). Jesus talks about “a kingdom divided against itself ” which we have already discussed.

(Verse 26). “How could he use Satan to cast out Satan?”

(Verse 29). He makes a very interesting parallel in referring to a strong man’s house. “To enter into a house, and spoil the goods, you have to really render the strong man powerless.”

To do this means giving priority to the strong man before you begin to mess around in his house. Then the strong man would resist the healing. Was it mentality arrayed against the possibility, both in the environment and in that man? Did Jesus bind that mental resistance first, and then heal the case?”
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax-Collectors Report,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

Cobbey Crisler on Matthew 10:1 (cit. B14) plus verse 8, 16

 {Cobbey:] “We now come to Chapter 10.   We’ve had so much evidence that Jesus was an effective healer, but we haven’t yet had evidence that there could be healing via the instruction-route: that one could be taught to heal sent out like apprentices in some human trade or profession, and come back practicing the rules learned with results, namely, healed cases.

We find right after the prayer (Matthew 9:38) that God “would send forth more laborers into his harvest,” and what do we find?  A mandate to heal.

(Verse 1). “He called his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, to heal” What?  Only certain diseases?  “All manner of disease and all manner of sickness.”

The assignments given to the disciples would not be assignments they were incapable of doing, or Jesus would have been unwise.

(Verse 8). He said, “Heal the sick.” What do you expect them to do? He said, “Cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out devils.” Notice the sequence. The things he did. Even putting casting-out-devils at a higher level of what was required of prayer than raising the dead. Then stating, “Freely ye have received, freely give.”

Did the disciples do that? Even after Jesus was no longer with them personally? They certainly did.

(Verse 16). Remember, we are privy here to his personal instructions to his disciples in the first assignment to go out and heal the sick. These warnings would be just as timely and relevant to those who wish to follow his instructions in our century.

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be wise as serpents.” The wisdom of the serpent is to hide itself. “Harmless as doves.”
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master, A Tax-Collector’s Report”, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

Cobbey Crisler on John 3:1-13, 27 (cit. B22) & John 1:12, 13

[Cobbey:] “John 3:1 begins with an introduction to “Nicodemus.”  Nicodemus was a rather cautious man that ran around back alleys after twilight.  He didn’t want to be seen by his daytime friends.  Sort of like one of those captions in the Charlie Chaplin movie, where Charlie was a waiter during the day, but dressed up in the finest tuxedo at night.  The caption simply said, “Charlie’s friends of the evening didn’t know Charlie’s friends of the day.”  I think this is probably true of Nicodemus.

“John 3:2, “He comes to Jesus by night.”  He’s in a rather awkward position because he is a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Jews, that later convicts Jesus.  If what he says is accurate, it is an unfortunate commentary on the motives that led to the crucifixion of Jesus.  If he is really speaking for the Sanhedrin when he says, “We know that thou art a teacher came from God,” then that is a tremendous commitment.  If we know that you are a teacher come from God, where is the evidence?  What evidence do they use as proof?  Such semeia, or signs, or significant results, can’t happen unless God is with you.

John 3:3, “Jesus makes this comment, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  You know how popular that particular verse has become in our century.  Yet it’s based on a misapprehension of the original word.  We really don’t find John here using the Greek word “anothen” here in the sense of “again”.  It can suggest the idea of “again.”  But John uses it more in these terms, “from above.” 

“Anothen” means “from above.”  Now look at that statement that Jesus is making,

“Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom, or dominion, of God.”  This is a theological breakthrough that’s incalculable.  You can’t see the kingdom, which, by the way, he told us was not only within, but here, right here.  It wasn’t a future far-off thing. “But to see it one must be born from above.”  This is a definition of nativity which sounds totally impractical for us as human beings, and yet it’s apparently something that Jesus based his whole theology upon. And he got the results from the concept that man is born from above.

“We ran into that in the first chapter of John, Verses 12 and 13, when he said, “We all, if we will receive it, have the authority to become the sons of God.”[RR]  But to be God’s son means you’ve got to cut the animal connection, those links or roots in “blood, will of the flesh, and will of man.” Sever those links.

“A nativity higher, is that practical?

“John 3:4.  Nicodemus wonders about that himself.  He even goes to the extreme of saying, “How do you do that? Do you climb back into your mother’s womb, and get born all over again?”   This is obviously a negatively impossible event, so Nicodemus is somewhat laughing up his sleeve.

John 3:5. Then Jesus says, “Except a man be born of water, which was the usual way by which children were born in the presence of water, “and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”  The normal, natural biological birth is not going to do anything.  In order to enter the kingdom or dominion of God, something about nativity has to be understood.  A nativity that is higher and not tied into biology.  Why?

“Because of John 3:6 one of the most practical statements ever made in the Bible, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.”  And it’s not going to rise any high­er than its source.  Should we be doing something about recognizing origin in Spirit?  Is this what is behind the meaning, again, logos?  Get to the meaning.  Nativity in Spirit. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.”  It’s never going to go anywhere else.  That’s pretty clear cut.

“We’ve got to get out of that concept of flesh.  Again, is this really practical theology?  Or is it, again, pie in the sky?  If we have any concept of arising at some spiritual goal, then we’ve got to start as if we originated there.

John 3:9, “Nicodemus says, How can these things be?”

John 3:10, “Jesus said, You’re a teacher in Israel, and you haven’t grasped these things?”  Think of the average point of view when you’ve been dealing with the Bible all your life.  Then in John 3:13 he makes one of those magnificent statements that requires almost a lifetime search.

“No man hath ascended up to heaven.”  Isn’t that what practically every religion puts in the heart of its communicants?  Doesn’t everybody want to get to a destination labeled heaven?  “Ascended up to heaven,” but no one gets there, except “he that came down from heaven.”  The same thing, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit,”  John 3:6. You can’t get there via flesh.

“Apparently this critical awareness of man’s nativity as God’s child free from “blood, will of flesh, lust of the will of man,” is not just a nice theory.  Jesus is introducing it as the prerequisite for comprehending the kingdom of God and seeing it here and now.  The son of Man sees it humanly, “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the son of Man which is in heaven.”  Is it possible for humanhood to experience the kind of harmony on earth as it is in heaven?  There is the major challenge.

“It’s almost the same question that God asks Job 38:33, after all the mental argument is through for forty chapters or so, when God says to Job, “Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?”  Imagine being able to express the dominion of heaven right on earth.  Is that possible for the son of Man?  Or must we wait for some future event where we float up to the sky on a pink cloud somewhere with a harp from Angel Rent-A-Harp, Incorporated?  That’s a problem.  We often try to rent a harp instead of earn it.

“How practical this is, “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man already there.” Never moved. That claim, then, of heavenly nativity. It has to have something that is of major importance, John including it, and giving it so much space.”

In John 3:27, John the Baptist is confronted again.  John, using communication terms, says, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given to him from heaven.”  That’s almost the same concept in a way.  Receptivity is what’s already been communicated to us.  We’re not doing the communicating.  We’re tuning in to what’s been communicated.”
“Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

HERE’S A LINK TO THE AUDIO OF AN AUGUST 2, 2021 “CEDARS PRAC TALK BY DAVID PRICE, CS, ON “THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT” (Gal. 5:22/cit. B17) – as well as on the cashew tree.

In a Prac Talk last summer David told us of the massive size of cashew trees in Brazil and of how the cashew nuts we enjoy are really their fruit. He also shared the list of “the fruit of the Spirit” from the citation B17/Galatians 5:22, 23 and how we might find nourishment in this fruit throughout our day. For “list-lovers” like David “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”  (Galatians 5:22, 23, KJV) – or these fruitful qualities as translated in The New Living Translation are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (NLT)

(NO further text from CedarS Prac Talks is available, so give loving attention to the audio.)

Cobbey Crisler on Philip baptizing an Ethiopian @ Gaza
when he “said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God.” (Acts 8:26-39, cit. B19) plus surrounding verses

[Cobbey:]“Philip’s home town is Caesarea, and he’s probably at that point on the Mediterranean.

“And an angel of the Lord speaks to Philip saying, ‘Go to Gaza.’”  (Acts 8:26)

“Now, you have to understand that leaving Caesarea for Gaza is no decision that one would likely come by, even today.  And, therefore, obviously, it’s not Philip’s idea.  Human nature would have preferred to swing in its hammock looking out over the Mediterranean in Caesarea.  But the angel, ignoring human nature, suggests that Philip “get off his hammock” and head south for Gaza because there is some divine purpose to be fulfilled.  (Download map from upper right online.)  Well, Philip goes down to Gaza, and he still doesn’t know why he’s there.  And he’s “gazzing” around. 

“And, we find that, as he looks around, the landscape is only cluttered by one chariot, not moving, right there in the sands of the desert area.  And a black man – now you raised that point about whether other races are to be involved now, in this developing concept of church. 

“Here we have “a black man of Ethiopia.  And he’s very important.  He’s maybe second or third in the kingdom.”  (See Acts 8:27) …

“He’s under the queen of the Ethiopians in charge of the treasury, and he had come to Jerusalem to worship.” 

“There’s no way of knowing what link he might have had into the faith of Judaism but it’s fairly obvious that he was not a Jew by either race or nation.  So, that is a breakthrough, potentially.

“So, returning, he’s in his chariot, and he’s obviously wealthy because he can own a whole scroll of Isaiah.  And since they were laboriously hand copied, and mostly synagogues owned them, you can imagine how much it was valued.

“To give you a sense of proportion and chronology on this and to also increase your awareness of why The Dead Sea Scrolls are so important, we now possess – that is, humanity now possesses a copy of the Book of Isaiah almost in total.  That is, could be, as much as 200 years older than the one held in the hand of the Ethiopian here.  So, you can see how important that particular scroll is. 

“Now, the spirit says to Philip… And Philip is still standing there, like the chariot, but that’s a comfort: he’s standing there waiting for instructions.  Many of us would be running around; which is…remember how Peter got itchy during the transfiguration?

“He said while that was going on up there, “Is it okay Lord if I build three tabernacles down here”; he had to feel busy.  (See Luke 9:33)…

“Well, you know a lot of us kind of have to do that too.   

“But Philip is still waiting for his next instruction.  And, the spirit says, ‘Go and join yourself to the chariot.’”  (See Acts 8:29)  

“You’d think that was common sense; there’s nothing else out there…but, Philip hears him reading Isaiah out loud

“Now that’s the way they always used to do, even when they were alone.  I know you’d think that was weird today, but they’d would think you were weird if they came to you alone, and you were reading to yourself.  Somehow, that was kind of company, and they read it out loud.

“And hearing Isaiah, Philip knows it, and he said, ‘Do you understand what you’re reading?’”  (See Acts 8:30)…

“And the Ethiopian says, ‘How can I unless someone teach me, someone guide me?’”… “And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.”  (See Acts 8:31)  

“Now, get what’s happening in church, this concept of church, as it develops.
We’ve had the Samaritans included.  Here we have a black man and a white man in the fastest means of transportation known to man at that time, but which is standing stock still.  And both of them are traveling in an even more rapid rate through the scriptures – taking the “walk to Emmaus,” together, in the scripture. And Philip had arrived just when the spirit had planned for him to arrive because the eunuch had read through Isaiah, perhaps, or had just turned to the 53rd Chapter of Isaiah.  (similar to Acts 8:32)

And Acts 8, verse 32 he’d gotten to the point about “he was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb dumb before his shearers, opening not his mouth.”  (See Acts 8:32)   …

Acts 8:35   Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

“Whom?”  Do you have any doubt?  He says, Phillip is saying at this early date in the Christian church that Isaiah 53 refers to Jesus. 

“Now, what was this all about?  It seems like an awful lot of emphasis is being given to this.  Philip is up in Caesarea, probably, or Samaria.  He’s brought all the way down to Gaza because here this man is sitting in a chariot.  He’s reading Isaiah.  He arrived in time to hear him read something that Philip feels is a fulfillment of prophecy about Jesus.

“He gets that message from Philip.  He becomes a member through baptism of the Christian church, and off he goes, perhaps the first, representative of the black race included in Christianity.  And it was the Spirit’s idea.   

“And, way back, you know, in the history of the black race, there must be some very early tradition.  Certainly we know the heart behind Negro spirituals.  And we know that even up to our present age that Haile Selassie, the last Emperor of Ethiopia, was a Christian emperor and prided himself in that.  And how far back did those “roots” go?  Could they be found in Acts, Chapter 8, where the spirit had just announced that the Christian church embraced mankind?  And any other option, or concept, or opinion, or idea, was not God’s.

[Acts 8:36 “… and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? Verse 37: And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and “said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God.”

Now, in Acts 8, verse 39, “The spirit of the Lord catches away Philip, the Ethiopian goes on his way rejoicing, and Philip comes back to Caesarea.” 

Acts 8:40   But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

[Cobbey answering question from the audience: This is Philip the evangelist, right.  He had four daughters, four virgin daughters who in early Christian history (according to Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical history) are recorded to have even raised the dead, showing that women apparently were capable of healing at that level as well in the early Christian church. 

…(Another question How long did it take to get from Gaza back to Caesarea?)

Well, it just depends whether you’re walking or the spirit is moving you.  It’s much cheaper if the spirit moves you, even today the way air travel is going up.
…Here’s Caesarea here, and Gaza is down here.  (
Download map at bottom online.)
“After the Master What? The Book of Acts,”
by B. Cobbey Crisler**



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