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Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“[N]Everlasting Punishment”
October 23-29, 2017

By Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, Colorado
ccern@mac.com / 720.331.9356

INTRODUCTION: Defining terms

We’re in the middle of what I think of as the “refuting sin” series of Bible Lessons. Its kind of funny that each of these lessons actually teaches us the opposite of what their titles suggest…

1) Doctrine of Atonement -> we are already at-one with Divine Love
2) Probation after Death-> we only have eternal Life
3) Everlasting Punishment -> God does not punish
4) Adam and Fallen Man -> Man is not fallen
5) Mortals and Immortals -> we are not both mortals and immortals

Each lesson corrects a false idea, specifically

1) the false idea that we could be separate from Divine Love

2) the false idea that Divine Love judges people when they die

3) the false idea that Divine Love purposely tempts us and then punishes us

4) the false idea that we have “fallen” away from Divine Love

5) the false idea that both a limited (sinful) and unlimited (sinless) version of us exists

All five of these false concepts are encapsulated in the idea of “sin.” People often explain sin as “missing the mark,” which, in this context, would mean missing the mark in our understanding of our absolute Oneness with Divine Love. Sin is a belief of separation from infinite and everpresent Spirit, of two-ness, that there’s more than one substance when in fact God is All. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “Sin was, and is, the lying supposition that life, substance, and intelligence are both material and spiritual, and yet are separate from God.” (Ret 67:6)

We may wonder why Mary Baker Eddy devoted so many of the Bible Lessons to correcting sin. But it makes perfect sense when we realize how crucial it is to correct a false belief of two-ness as we strive to discover our Oneness. I’ve found that correcting the false belief of two-ness results in healing physical issues, and the two types of healing overlap. Yet Mary Baker Eddy states the hierarchy of healing clearly, “Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. It is only the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite goodness. The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin…” (Rud 3:9, my underlining)

Most of us don’t like the word sin. And, yet, those of us who desire to feel our connection to Love more deeply and have a greater awareness of our innate health need to understand it. Once we get past the wrongheaded idea that sin makes us feel guilty, we will make steady progress correcting it. Guilt is the guile of the sneaky serpent that tries to make us believe that we are separate from God. Guilt, the guile of the serpent, tries to make us feel bad when there is actually only good. God is good and good is All. Therefore, we can say “shut up” to guilt that tries to make us feel bad. There is no bad to feel. God is good and good is All. There is no such thing as a talking serpent.

Note: I find it helpful to define in my own words terms that come up a lot in our Bible Lessons. We read them so often that we may stop thinking about what they mean. My solution to the tendency to gloss over words is to insert the definitions as I read. Here is one way to define some relevant terms in this lesson (please feel free to come up with your own definitions!):

Atonement = Oneness, all one substance, Love

Christ = the power that enables us to be aware of our at-one-ment with Love

Christ Jesus = the way-shower, the one who best understood Christ and was most aware of our at-one-ment with Love

Healing = awakening to our innate perfection and at-one-ment with Love

Redeemed = to be rescued, recovered, refined, or delivered from the false belief of separateness

Sin = belief of two-ness, or a belief separation from Love, Truth, Life…

Sinning = actions that seem to make us feel separate from Love, Truth, Life. For example, lying may us feel separate from Truth, but we cannot actually be separate from ever-operative Truth.

Sinners = those who believe that they are separate from Love, Truth, Life…

Sinlessness = purity, the state of being absolutely aware of our at-one-ment with Love


This week’s lesson helps us realize the "emphatic purpose" of Christian Science. For me, the theme of this lesson is that Divine Love knows our purity, and the power of Divine Love, Christ, helps us discover this innate purity. The Golden Text states this theme clearly—“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged.” In other words, God’s love (mercy) and true view of us (truth) get rid of our belief of separation.

Right away, the GT helps us see that guilt, the guile or the serpent, has no role in healing sin. The GT, as interpreted by the message, reads, “Guilt is banished through love and truth.”

I’m still working on proving this in my practice, but I suspect that overcoming guilt is prerequisite to healing sin and is 99% of the effort. Don’t feel guilty for not handling guilt; just see guilt as the serpent’s voice, not yours, and let love and truth expunge it.

In the RR, we learn more about love and truth: God’s love—“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” And we learn about God’s truth, the pure view of us, which enables us to let go of false ideas of separation. The RR has three clear metaphors for how mercy and truth purify us:

1) though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
2) And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:
3) I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins

These purification metaphors recur throughout this lesson. Through Love's purification process, each of our false beliefs are cleaned as wool, refined as gold, and blotted out, and we are redeemed. Redeemed means to be rescued, recovered, or delivered from a false sense of evil, or separation from good. Mercy and truth are our rescuer, recoverer, and deliverer. God says, “I, even I, am he that comforteth you.” (RR)

SECTION 1: Divine Love does not cause the false belief of separation from good

The first section explains that just as the fining pot refines silver, and the furnace refines gold, so God “trieth the hearts.” (B1) As we come to desire this purification process, we become willing to let go of a false belief of two-ness, or separation from Love. We are willing to let go of a lie and yield to Truth. We are asking God to search our hearts, and help us to see if we’re holding onto any false ideas. (B2)

The more we are willing to be purified, the more we are tuned in to our Oneness with God, and find direction (our steps are “ordered by the Lord”) and we find dominion and authority (“the law of his God is in his heart”) and we find that we make fewer and fewer mistakes or missteps (“none of his steps shall slide”). (B3)

Divine Love does not try to make us do or think wrongly. God does not trick us. God does not tempt us. We are Love’s child and Love would never treat us badly. This is stated clearly in I John, “Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.” (B5, NLT)

Getting rid of the false belief of separation from Love happens as we realize our “indestructible relationship” with Love. (S1, marginal heading) In truth, we come from one source, and this source is good. We have no “basis for wrong-doing” or wrong-thinking. (S2)

Here’s an example of how I might insert definitions for words into citations from Science and Health as I’m reading:

• “The real man cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom man is evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to [believe that we are separate from God]. (S4)
• “The perfect man — governed by God, his perfect Principle — is [free from the false belief of separation from Love] and [is] eternal. (S6)

SECTION 2: We can feel comfort and reassurance about removing the false belief of separation

Again in Section 2, we find the metaphor of God refining us, like silver is refined. (B6) Its a wonderful metaphor because the silver is already pure, and the refining process gets rid of stuff that doesn’t belong in the silver.

We don’t need to be afraid of Love's refining process because Love is a gentle parent. The author of Proverbs encourages us to accept Love’s refining and reassured and comforted: "My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” (B7, NLT)

The refining and purifying process is not punishment. It is not harsh or painful. The refining process uncovers the truth about our innate perfection and purity, and is a joyful experience full of freedom. Cleaning a window to see the beautiful view is not painful. We are all pure and perfect. And Divine Love delights in us. The refining process makes sure that we see this truth clearly.

Again, it is not a cruel and harsh authority that helps us become free of sin. Instead, "Divine Love corrects and governs man. Men may pardon, but this divine Principle alone reforms the [person who believes that they are separate from Love]. (S7)

As we learn to let go of our false belief of separation, we can at any point “turn like tired children into the arms of Divine Love” (S8). How reassuring! And, "Through the wholesome chastisements of Love, we are helped onward in the march towards righteousness, peace, and purity, which are the landmarks of Science." (S8) Note the constant encouragement of gentle correction.

Here, for the third week in a row, our Bible Lesson includes a tenet of Christian Science as found at the end of the chapter “Recapitulation.” [S9 and the evolution of the Tenets as posted in attachment at upper right] That so many of the tenets of Christian Science speak to the correction of sin is not surprising when we remember that "The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin…” (Rud 3:9, my underlining) I

Here’s the third tenet, along with some word substitution:

We acknowledge God's forgiveness of [the false belief of separation from Him] in the destruction of [the false belief of separation from Him] and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal. But the belief in [the false belief of separation from Him] is punished so long as the belief lasts. (B9)

SECTION 3: Christ—our awareness of our at-one-ment with Love—removes the false belief of separation from Love

The third section introduces the idea that Christ heals sin. In other words, Christ, the power that makes us aware of our at-one-ment with Divine Love, heals the false belief that we are not at one with Love. Or, as Mary Baker Eddy states succinctly, "Christ came to destroy the belief of sin.” (S11)

Christ’s power to remove false beliefs and uncover our purity was prophesied accurately in the book of Malachi: “'Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,' says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies….For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord." (B11, NLT)

And, as promised in Malachi, we have the manifestation of Christ, the remover of sin, with the ministry of Christ Jesus, the way-shower. Christ Jesus is the one who best understood Christ and was most aware of our at-one-ment with Love. In this section, we are reminded that Christ Jesus taught that mere religiosity is not enough to make us feel our purity and at-one-ment with God. We must instead strive to purify ourselves constantly of anything that would distract us from the truth that we are in fact at one with Divine Love. We must resist any actions that seem to make us feel separate from Love, Truth, Life. (B13, B14)

As Paul wrote to the Romans, "Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires…. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the [limited human law]. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” (B15, plus a little more)

We find our true happiness when we acknowledge and feel our harmony and oneness with Divine Principle and Love, and to do this, we can follow the example and instruction of Christ Jesus. (S14)

SECTION 4: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save [those who believe that they are separate from Love, Truth, Life…]"

The fourth section reiterates the fact that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save [those who believe that they are separate from Love, Truth, Life…].” (B16)

The story of Mary Magdalene at the Pharisee’s house shows us how Christ Jesus removed sin. Christ Jesus did not chastise Mary Magdalene for her past indiscretions. He did not make her feel guilty. He welcomed her affection, and saw her purity plainly. Christ Jesus was not impressed with the religiosity of the Simon, the Pharisee, who did not show respect or adoration for Christ; however, Christ Jesus did see Mary Magdalene’s penitence and love, and acknowledged that her “sins are forgiven.” (B17)

As I see it, as Christ Jesus forgave Mary Magdalene's sins, he was acknowledging the removal of her false belief that she was separate from Divine Love and Principle. As she bowed herself to Christ, her sin was healed. In other words, as she bowed herself to the power that enables us to be aware of our at-one-ment with Love, she discovered that she was at one with Love.

We have seen how much emphasis Mary Baker Eddy placed on healing sin, the “emphatic purpose of Christian Science,” so it should come as no surprise that the first several pages of the chapter on “Christian Science Practice” are an exegesis on the meaning of Christ Jesus healing Mary Magdalene of the belief of sin. The first few pages of "Christian Science Practice” are key to understanding how to heal sin, and thus heal sickness too. Reading these 4-5 pages is a great complement to this week’s lesson. What stands out to me most this week is Jesus’s kindness as he removed sin in a perfectly loving way: "Did Jesus spurn the woman? Did he repel her adoration? No! He regarded her compassionately.” (S15)

Again, Christ Jesus did not heal this woman of sin by making her feel guilty. Only the lying serpent uses guilt/guile. Christ Jesus healed her through “flood-tides of Love.”

You may have seen the video that I made a few years ago on “flood-tides of Love” in which I flushed a dirty glass of water clean with water from a hose. My motivation for making that video was that I noticed that a lot of us tend to pick at ourselves and feel guilty for not being “good enough,” which doesn’t help at all when we’re trying to feel pure. When we’re busy feeling guilty for not being pure enough, that belief of guilt just adds more dirt, which makes it harder and harder to feel clean. It is so important to get rid of guilt—the guile of the serpent—when extracting false beliefs of separation from Love. This is the way to find “Christian perfection.” (S17) Here’s a link to the video about “flood tides of Love”: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=00F9CMNU

I love this last citation of this section: "The design of Love is to reform [those who believe that they are separate from Love].” (S18)

SECTION 5: As we remove the impurities of sin, we are ready for physical healing

I mentioned earlier that I’ve found that correcting the false belief of sin results in healing physical sickness, and the two types of healing overlap. The fifth section makes it clear that I’m not the only one who’s seen this overlap between healing sin and healing sickness.

In this section, we again see the theme of refining silver: "Remove the impurities from silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith.” (B18, NLT) The way this reference to refining silver is phrased makes me consider that as we remove the impurities of sin, we are now ready for physical healing. In other words, as we remove the belief of separation from Divine Love, we are ready to awaken to our innate perfection and at-one-ment with Love.

The healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda illustrates the idea that as we remove sin, we are ready for physical healing. Christ Jesus saw the man, who seemed to be existing in a state of thought in which he believed he had no one who loved him and no access to help. This man saw himself as separate from healing, separate from Love. But Christ Jesus had compassion on the man, and knew that the man was not separate from Love. “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.” (S&H 476) Christ Jesus’ pure view of the man as inseparable from Divine Love healed him.

When Jesus found the healed man in the temple later, he said “sin no more.” (B20 and Cobbey PS) In other words, he reminded the man not to forget he's the loved of Love.

Physical healing gets our attention, and makes us inclined to accept the healing of sin. Most sinners are reluctant to let go of sin. Most false-believers are reluctant to let go of their false beliefs. But physical healing is the “bugle-call to thought and action” (Rud 3:9) Physical healing makes us open to healing sin. Mary Baker Eddy explains, "Now, as then, signs and wonders are wrought in the metaphysical healing of physical disease; but these signs are only to demonstrate its divine origin, — to attest the reality of the higher mission of the Christ-power to take away the sins of the world.” (S20)

The healing of sin and physical healing are entwined. "Instruct the sick that they are not helpless victims, for if they will only accept Truth, they can resist disease and ward it off, as positively as they can the temptation to sin….The fact that Truth overcomes both disease and sin reassures depressed hope..” (S24)

The fifth section’s citations from Science and Health explore the connection between healing sin and physical healing, and are well worth studying. But again we need to let go of any sense of guilt, listening to the serpent’s guile about us being separated, if we want to heal either sin or disease. The man at the pool of Bethesda did not need to feel guilty for “missing the mark”, but instead was able to hear Christ Jesus’ healing message clearly, with no guilt. Likewise, we can be guilt free as we read these passages in Science and Health about healing sin. We are not sinners. We are at one with Love. We are the loved of Love, and we need not listen to the sneaky snake trying to use guile to make us feel guilty, and thus continue to feel separate. It is only the guile of the serpent that would make us feel badly about being loved. There is no such thing as a talking serpent.

SECTION 6: Let’s celebrate each victory over the false belief that we’re separate from Divine Love!

The sixth section concludes the lesson with an exclamation point on the fact that we are pure and perfect in the eyes of Divine Love. And since Divine Love knows us the best, we can trust this truth. We are “pure as gold." (B23, NLT) And, "The furnace separates the gold from the dross that the precious metal may be graven with the image of God.” (S27) We need not fear that the refining process will reveal that we are impure. No. We are “pure as gold."

Each and every time we overcome the false belief that we are separate from Divine Love, we can rejoice. We should clap and cheer and celebrate! When we overcome sin, we have won and proved our purity. We are “pure as gold." As Mary Baker Eddy writes, "For victory over a single sin, we give thanks and magnify the Lord of Hosts. What shall we say of the mighty conquest over all sin? A louder song, sweeter than has ever before reached high heaven, now rises clearer and nearer to the great heart of Christ; for the accuser is not there, and Love sends forth her primal and everlasting strain.” (S28, S&H 568 and **PS#7 below) What an awesome victory!

**Warren's PS#7: Let's continue to sing this collective song of victory by collectively praying together with the 10 pages past this last citation to the end the chapter in Science and Health on "The Apocalyse". This key to the Scriptures will "open the seals" for us of the priceless revelation of "a new heaven and a new earth" wherein man is "no longer regarded as a miserable sinner, but as the blessed child of God." (573) Let's stand fast collectively as Christ's worldwide, angel army and church triumphant to "Hold the Line!" with this inspired thought arm-in-arm with all who attended the Revelation Bible Study with Madelon Maupin at CedarS last weekend. See pictures as upper right downloads on this Met webpage.]

Click here for the rest of Warren Huff’s additions of insights by Cobbey Crisler and The Mary Baker Eddy Library on some citations in the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Everlasting Punishment” for October 29, 2017.


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