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Lesson Application Ideas on “Truth”  July 19-25, 2004

By Gary Duke, C.S., St. Louis, Missouri   

 Golden Text (Firm and Unchangeable):  “…thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” (Isa.25:1)  Firm and unchangeable are substituted for faithfulness and truth in one Bible commentary. (Researched Bible Guide ~ RBG)  As many have said, the Ten Commandments weren’t titled the Ten Suggestions!  What other counsels of old can you think of which are firm and unchangeable?

 Responsive Reading (Mercy, Endurance, Praise):  Psalm 117 with only 2 verses is the shortest of all Psalms yet one scholar wrote 8 pages of analysis and Martin Luther devoted 36 pages! (RBG)  Let’s begin our much abbreviated look at verse 2, “For his merciful kindness is great toward us:  and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.  Praise ye the Lord.”  God’s merciful kindness toward us ~ in what ways? (Hint:  see 3rd Tenet S&H 497:9 ~ how about other ways?)  Truth endureth ~ what laws would be difficult to follow if variable?  Praise the Lord ~ how?  

 Section 1 (Light):  Even though we think we know God or the Word (“reason” in Greek; B1), haven’t we all felt at times like the “earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep?” (B2)  What’s the remedy?  Light!  “This light is not from the sun nor from volcanic flames, but it is the revelation of Truth and of spiritual ideas.” (S2)  Even though material light travels over 186,000 miles per second, it is no match for the light of Truth/spiritual ideas which are instantaneous and heal. (S4)  Divine Mind then “measures time according to the good that is unfolded.” (S5)

 Section 2 (Prophecy):  “PROPHET:  A spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth.” (S6)  Approximately 700 B.C. Isaiah prophesied the coming of the Messiah, saying he shall minister to the world (Gentiles) and be a champion of the underdog (those that are bruised ~ “a bruised reed he shall not break”; and those whose are not shining lights ~ “the smoking flax he shall not quench” i.e. dimly burning wicks) and truth shall prevail (“bring forth judgment unto truth”). (B5)  Approximately 700 years later, a devout man named Simeon received direction from the Holy Ghost (divine Spirit or Comforter) that the babe Jesus was the Messiah.  Mosaic law required two witnesses for every important matter (Deut.19:15) and Anna, an elderly prophetess, fulfilled the role as the second witness. (B6)  Most thought of the Messiah as a military ruler who would restore Israel to self-rule and the former glory of King David.  Instead, Jesus restored self-rule to individuals in their dominion over sin, disease and death. (B7, S8, S9)     

 Section 3 (Devil):  In section 2, examples of true witnesses are presented in Simeon and Anna.  In section 3, examples of false witnesses are presented in the Pharisees, a ruling party of the Jews, whom Jesus said, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.  He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” (B11)  Very bold of Jesus to say especially because he knew the Pharisees wanted to kill him!  But Jesus was unafraid because he knew truth makes man free and the devil is no part of truth, therefore it is powerless.  “DEVIL:  Evil; a lie; error; neither corporeality nor mind; the opposite of Truth;” (S12)  Remember when Jesus was tempted of the devil right after his baptism and wilderness experience?  The devil couldn’t make Jesus command the stones to turn into bread or push Jesus off the pinnacle of the temple or force Jesus to worship him, he could only tempt or suggest. (Matt. 4:1-11)  Isn’t that the same with modern day devils ~ whatever we are serving apart from God?  Do drugs, liquor, cigarettes, illicit sex, etc. force us to partake or merely tempt us?  Are anger or any obsessions (looks, money, sports, etc.) actual powers or are they suggestions which are accepted and gather mastery until we become their servant and prisoner?  “Error is a coward before Truth.” (S15)   

 Section 4 (Spiritual Perception):  The blind in Jewish society during biblical times definitely qualified as the bruised reed and the smoking flax (see Section 2 above) as they were social outcasts by those who thought that blindness (or any dis-ease) was punishment from God.  Two blind men followed Jesus shouting out, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.”  Jesus said, “Believe ye that I am able to do this?”  They responded, “Yea, Lord,” and he rewarded their faith by restoring their sight. (B14)  “BELIEVING.  Firmness and constancy (see Golden Text); not a faltering nor a blind faith, but the perception of spiritual Truth.” (S16)  The blind men had belief, were firm and constant in their petition, and perceived spiritual truth by giving Jesus the title of Son of David or Messiah.  Spiritual perception from S&H: “Plead with an honest conviction or truth and a clear perception of the unchanging, unerring, and certain effect of divine Science;” (S18) and “Spiritual perception brings out the possibilities of being…” (S19)

 Section 5 (Love Our Neighbor):  There’s a billboard which reads, “You know that ‘Love thy neighbor’ thing?  I really meant it ~ God.”  Apparently John meant it too when counseling churches who were quarrelling, “Again, a new commandment (not suggestion!) I write unto you…He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” (B17)  How do you interpret “none occasion of stumbling in him?”  Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “be no divisions among you…Is Christ divided?” (B18)  And to the Colossians and the bickering Philippian women (Euodias and Syntyche) he gave direction how to love better ~ be humble, forgive, focus on the example of Christ Jesus, etc.  He also said, “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are…” and then he listed 8 qualities to “think on these things.”  What are those qualities? (B20)    Notice what Paul mentioned first and presumably felt was most important, “…whatsoever things are true…”  According to one Bible commentary, “Truth for Paul always has its focus in God and the gospel of Christ.  To deny the truth means to deny the Creator in favor of the lie of idolatry.  All truth is God’s truth; conversely, God’s truth in Christ describes the world as it truly is or is meant to be.” (Black’s New Testament Commentaries)  Mrs. Eddy’s method of loving our neighbor boils down to, “When we realize there is one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves is unfolded; whereas a belief in many ruling minds hinders man’s normal drift towards the one Mind, one God, and leads human thought into opposite channels where selfishness reigns.” (S23)  

 Section 6 (Supremacy):  The book of Revelation includes a pep talk/rebuke to seven churches John is ministering, prophesies the overthrow of Rome and Satan (sin, disease and death), and shares the heavenly vision of New Jerusalem.  It is written symbolically so as not to incur further oppression.  With the assistance of Bible commentaries, let’s start deciphering! 

(B21 ~ Rev.19)”…behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True (Jesus)…and the armies…clothed in fine linen, white and clean (loyal Christians comprise the heavenly army dressed not in fatigues but in white linen, not having to fight because the battle is the Lord’s whose weapon is the sword of Truth, the Word of God)…on his thigh a name written…” (Jacob’s thigh was touched by God and his name changed to Israel; Jesus Christ is the ultimate or true Israel).

(B22 ~ Rev. 21) “…seven vials (bowls) full of the seven last plagues (1. Sores;  2. Death of all sea life;  3. Rivers and springs turned to blood;  4. Scorching fire from the sun;  5. Darkness and pain;  6. Euphrates River dried up;  7. Lighting, shouting, thunder, earthquakes.  Do these plagues remind us of those in Egypt?)…the bride (New Jerusalem), the Lamb’s (Jesus’) wife…”

(B23 ~ Rev. 22)  In New Jerusalem, God reigns for ever and provides all light.  The verse ends similarly to the Golden Text, “These sayings are faithful and true;”

The citations in Science and Health expound upon the theme of Truth overcoming error with the two-edged sword guarding and guiding (S26), no more fear of sickness and death (S27), understanding divine Love (S28), supremacy of Truth (S29), no error – all is Truth (S30).

 Section Summary Benediction:  Truth is firm and unchangeable and also includes mercy, endurance and praise.  The light of Truth provides inspired prophesy, defeats devilish suggestions of sin, disease and death.  Loving God and our neighbor are the two great commandments which prove the supremacy of Truth in our daily experience

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