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GEMS to expose fables and so reverse their curses with Love's factual blessings!
Insights from Cobbey Crisler, Ken Cooper & others for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Are Sin, Disease and Death Real?"
for October 11, 2020

prepared by Warren Huff, CedarS Executive Director
warren@cedarscamps.org 314-378-2574


GEM#1a: In bite-size pieces, swallow up death in victory and rejoice in salvation!
Cobbey Crisler on Isaiah 25:8, 9 (Golden Text & citation B16, I Cor. 15:54 as in GEM#9)

In Isaiah 25:8 & 9: Just to see how the peak of prophetic insight, namely Isaiah’s great thought, dwells upon this concept of healing. Does that sound familiar to you at all? It talks about God doing what? “Swallowing up death in victory.” That’s where Paul gets that concept. He mentions it [in 1 Corinthians 15:54, citation B16]. It’s from Isaiah. “Swallowing up death in victory; the Lord GOD wiping away tears from off all faces;” and the beautiful statement that “the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth.” That goes way beyond just physical healing. It’s totally whole, nothing left fragmented. Certainly, the radical statement of “swallowing up death in victory,” swallowing is not always at once, is it? It’s bite-sized pieces, victory, after victory, after victory, swallowing up the effects of death.”
[Bonus: And the next verse along with promises to waiters from Isaiah 51:5 (from the Responsive Reading) and Isaiah 64:4 (citation B4) are perfect encouragements for all who feel their patience being tested by recent periods of waiting. Isaiah 25:9 reads: “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” [Note how Mary Baker Eddy in part defines “SALVATION…. sin, sickness, and death destroyed.” (Science & Health 593:27)]
“Heal the Sick: A Scriptural Record,”
by B. Cobbey Crisler**


GEM#2: Wait for harvesttime to totally uproot every viral seed and weed! This parable Jesus originally told to ~5,000 people without a P.A. system in a recently audio-tested amphitheater. [Cobbey Crisler on Matthew 13:1-3, 24-30 (B8) and spiritual insights on the tares & wheat from S&H citations S7 (595:5) &S8 (535:1):]
“Chapter 13 begins eight parables.
Verse 1 starts out where Jesus is preaching on the side of the Sea of Galilee…
[Verse 2] “He went into a ship and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.”]
First of all, when you’re standing in a ship without a public address system, can you be heard? This is one of the things that I (Cobbey Crisler) questioned, and received grants from two foundations to explore… We took an acoustical expert to Israel from… an acoustical firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts… We had a hundred pounds of equipment. We tested every area where it said in both Old and New Testaments a single individual addressed hundreds, if not thousands of people without the aid of public address systems. We came back with very definite evidence that there seemed to be acoustical phenomena at these places which permitted such sound to carry. Of course, none of the gospels tell you where it is exactly.

But outside of Capernaum there is this little cove, and in the middle I stood holding seven red balloons. I had to pop one balloon at a time while my acoustical-colleague was on the slope of this natural amphitheater measuring it with his electronic instrument…

Interestingly enough, we measured how many people could have been in that area. Five to seven thousand people could have stood or sat there and seen and heard anyone in the vicinity of the rock where I was standing. My suggestion is that these four parables, where Matthew records as having been said here, have an unusual emphasis on the acoustical element.

Listening and being receptive…

Parable number one…Verse 3. Here is the great parable of the sower. What is it all about, but listening?…

…count up the number of times ears or hearing, or anything acoustical, is mentioned there, as well as the visual. Because it was an audio-visual environment. Right there in that very spot today you can see the sower parable come to life. You will see the tares and wheat right there. The thorns. The stones. The rock. The fowls that come and eat the seed. We’ve seen them all right there at that spot.

What a classroom it must have been, for a Master to teach his prime students in, and those who would listen! They could look around to see the lessons. […like at CedarS Bible Lands Park] They could hear every word he said. But then he tried to uplift that vision up and uplift that sense of listening to a higher spiritual category.

Parable number two is the tares and the wheat beginning in Verse 24. When I had our high school students over there, we actually experimented with details of the parable where the tares are very difficult to pull up. They bring the wheat right up with them because the wheat has a softer root, and this fits in exactly with the details of the parable as Jesus gave it.”
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master” by B. Cobbey Crisler


GEM #3: Expunge old lies – and new ones! Wake up to being held by “tender mercies!”
Make the psalmist’s prayers your own to:

  • “according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1, B9);
  • “Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies…” (Psalm 25:6);
  • crown me “with lovingkindness and tender mercies… unto (my) children’s children” (Ps. 103:4, 15);
  • let “thy tender mercies…quicken me…” (Ps. 119:156);
  • “let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us… and purge away our sins” (Ps. 79:8,9); and,
  • acknowledge “his tender mercies are over all his works… throughout all generations.” (Ps. 145:9,13)

“The human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged.”

“Retrospection and Introspection,” by Mary Baker Eddy, page 22:1

“I awake each morn to a brand new day… Tender mercies are holding me”
Words and Music by Susan Booth Mack Snipes, Hymn 500 in 2017 Hymnal (or 445 in spiral bound supplement) Click here for a Summer 2020 video of it sung as a guitar duet by David and Craig, two Christian Science Practitioners on the beautiful back porch of CedarS new Care House.


GEM#4: Get ready to feel God’s dear love for you, no matter past mistakes! Luke 19—the only gospel that mentions Zacchaeus—is not discussed by Cobbey Crisler that I can find. But, Ken Cooper, a creative, British writer whose weekly GEM contributor shine light on each Christian Science Bible Lesson, has written and read for us a YouTube monologue, "I AM GOD'S TREASURE." In this monologue we see story of a man made materially rich, but spiritually bankrupt, through a false understanding of what to treasure. By his encounter with the Christ, he is reformed for good as outlined by Mary Baker Eddy in citations S12 and S17 (SH 6:3-5 & 447:22-27). No matter your regrets for past choices and mistaken priorities, get ready to welcome re-formation and feel God’s dear love for you!

Another short video for kids that’s lifelong in its meaning for the childlike of all ages.is the story of Zacchaeus' conversion as told on YouTube by "The cast of the Little Clay Bible." They show Zacchaeus as a wee little man who was short on love, but in for a big surprise when he meets Jesus. To see it, click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHXqI1-RA1c


GEM#5: Hope in God (who alone can quench thirsty souls) to find a sure cure to depression (& ongoing fears & tears)! [Warren on Psalm 42:2 and Cobbey Crisler on Ps. 42:11]

[W: Psalm 42:2 starts with the psalmist acknowledging a thirst, lack, or seeming ‘hole in his soul.’ “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God…” This is manifested in “tears… day and night…” and in questioning the existence of God —“Where is thy God?” (Verses 3 and 10)

[Cobbey: “Psalm 42, Verse 11 is a refrain in this psalm and the next [Ps. 43.5]. It’s a question we all need to ask ourselves, "Why art thou cast down?” Depression, if not an economic fact, seems to be a mental one at present. "Why art thou cast down? Examine the reasons. "Why art thou disquieted within me?" That's getting mad in a sense. That's challenging what we are accepting without question. Why am I depressed? Why this disquiet? What's the reason for it? Then, notice the remedy. "Hope thou in God: praise God, hope in God. The health of our countenance is in God. "
“Leaves of the Tree: Prescriptions from Psalms,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

[Cobbey: “Verse 11 [of Psalm 42] is the effect of that [enemy] thought [of questioning the existence of God in verse 10]. Our “soul is cast down,” our whole identity depressed, “disquieted.” Only “hope in God” restored will restore “the health of our countenance,” showing the physical effect of the mental cause.”
“War in Heaven: Conquest of Inner Space,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


GEM#6: Like Jesus, stick with the only real power, the power of the Spirit!—
Cobbey Crisler on Luke 4:14 (B13)

“Luke indicates that he understands that this [Jesus’ period of temptations in the wilderness in the Easter Lesson Responsive Reading] has been a power test for Jesus. In Verse 14 he uses that word, "Jesus returned" not in any form of power that Satan had tried to impose upon him [“to take personal power, political power, and priestly power”]. But rather, "in the power of the Spirit into Galilee"— [“in the law that relates man directly to God, the source of the only power there is.]
“Luke the Researcher,”
by B. Cobbey Crisler**

Prayer Watch GEM#1b: These days when right activity seems to be on “pause — wait on God…” (Science & Health, 323:10). David Hohle, CSB, citing this passage, reminded us in his inspiring “Daily Lift” that waiting is not idleness, because there’s always something to do! Check out: https://www.christianscience.com/christian-healing-today/daily-lift/god-is-not-on-pause?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=christian-science-daily-lift&utm_content=

The idea of being a patient waiter, as if on God’s wait staff, means being ready to graciously wait and to do whatever is needed as a good host, and host of only good. This relates to this week’s lesson, specifically, to Section 2 when Jesus had finished 40 days of sheltering in place in the wilderness, he “returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee… and… their synagogues (churches) and laid his hands on everyone (at least symbolically) and healed them.” (Luke 4:14…, B7) Let us, like Jesus, as we come out of our wilderness, waiting experiences, stick with the only real power, the power of the Spirit!—
Cobbey Crisler on Luke 4:14 (B7)
“Luke indicates that he understands that this [Jesus’ period of temptations in the wilderness has been a power test for Jesus. In Verse 14 he uses that word, "Jesus returned" not in any form of power that Satan had tried to impose upon him [“to take personal power, political power, and priestly power”]. But rather, "in the power of the Spirit into Galilee"— [“in the law that relates man directly to God, the source of the only power there is.]
“Luke the Researcher,”
by B. Cobbey Crisler**

A Spiritual “Quarantine” is a great “Daily Lift” that is perfect for these days! Click to hear Elizabeth Bigbie, CS talk of turning our 40-day waiting periods into 40-day WAKING periods of spiritual growth!


GEM#7: Stand with purified humanhood no longer influenced by attackers claiming our mentality as theirs attempting to possess our thought. Science & Health calls this “disturbed harmony” (citation S22, 421:7,) “delusion” (S24, 348:9) and says, “Jesus caused the evil to be self-seen and so destroyed.” S19, 411:18)
Cobbey Crisler on "The Gadarene Healed" as in Mark 5:1-15 (&this week as in Luke 8:22, 26-35 (B14):
“In [Luke 8:22-35 and] Mark Chapter 5, Verse 1, we have the very strange incident in the country of the Gadarenes. The ancient texts vary all over the lot here: Gadarenes Gadara, Garisenes, Garis, Gurgesenes, or Gergesa? Gadara was a town. Gerasa was also a town. Neither of them were anywhere near the shore of the lake. But Gergesa is. Right on the shore and located, at least according to recent findings, at the only spot on the Sea of Galilee where the event could ever have happened anyway. The only spot where the sea-place approaches the shore. So, it’s probably Gergesa. Matthew has Gergesenes and Luke Gadarenes.

“Mark 5, Verse 2. (Luke 8, Verse 26)“Coming out of the ship.” He’s over in Gentile territory, by the way. This is not Jewish territory. It’s on the Eastern side. It’s where the Decapolis cities are, the confederacy of Greek cities. Today the Golan Heights is part of the region.

“Verse 3. “He runs into a man who is living in the tombs.” Interestingly enough, there are rock formations right smack at the point where the Heights approach the sea, where you would say they have the appearance of tombs. “This man had not the strong man bound.” We see the strong man is really mentality, not anatomy.

Verse 3. You and I may have seen some of the pumping-iron movies, and we begin to think anatomy is the strong man. Hardly. Here we have a man of above-average muscular development, but mentally so out of sorts with what is normal. This man has exceeded certain human limitations and “he is able to break iron fetters, chains.”

Verse 4. “Nobody could control him.”

Verse 5. This shows mentality unleashed, undisciplined, and filled with a dualism. He would even attempt to oppose God, or in some cases imitate or ape God. This man’s dwelling is at both extremes. Night and day are extremes. Mountains and tombs are extremes.

Of course, you and I don’t recognize this mental effect, do we? Or do we commute between our mountains and our tombs? Are we in the pits? We know of manic depression, sure. But what about the mountains? Do we have our moments of altitudinous thinking, as well? Really inspired thinking? There we are, buying round trips daily on the mountain-to-tomb local. We get off on occasion somewhere in between. This man had taken it too.

You can see what happens when the carnal mind can no longer take the extremes. The dual personality splits. The kingdom becomes divided against itself. That is being illustrated here.

And the drug effect. Look at the drug effect, the mountains and tombs where these highs and lows flourish. Uppers and downers where one gets captured by the whole necessity for this. It becomes something so addictive, that in order to feel high or low, we need chemical inducement. So, this is not an outdated, outmoded, human problem. This kind of insanity is everywhere attempting to rule human thinking, including within ourselves. Jesus knew this. He was in a Gentile territory. It’s even out of the Jewish context. Therefore, it has a universality about it.

Verse 7. The man with the unclean spirit knows the presence of the cure. Notice the great resistance to the cure that we see illustrated here. “What have I to do with thee, Jesus?” How often is that statement repeated in varying degrees by every single person on this globe? Everyone who has ever heard of the Christ message? Even those claiming to be followers. “What have I to do with thee?”

When we compromise ourselves, or when we lower our standards under pressure, is it not the equivalent of saying, “What do I have to do with thee, Jesus?” Do we resent the role model he represents to thought? “Don’t torment me.”

Verse 8. We’ve got three different treatments here. One, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit.”The word for man is anthropu, which is the root of anthropological. It is not so much a specific man as man in general. It’s a generic term for man. “Come out of manhood, unclean spirit.” He’s talking about impurity. Impurity doesn’t belong within God’s definition of manhood. There’s momentum, again, being applied. Is there a healing? No.

Verse 9. So, the second, “He asked him, ‘What is thy name?’” Jesus is trying to pinpoint or identify the problem. And we find out, it’s very difficult to pinpoint because it’s “Legion.” Remember, when the remedy id oneness or monism, you already know what the problem is. The problem is always the opposite of the remedy. So, you have this multiplicity of problems and psychological reasons for why we’re in the fix we are. “Fix,” as sometimes applied to drugs.

“My name is Legion.” That’s a definition of impurity, by the way, “legion.” Purity is an unmixed state. So, we know what we’re dealing with. Remember one of the Beatitudes mentioned Matthew 5:8, it’s “the pure in heart that see God.”

So, purity is what we need as our “anchor of the soul” as Hebrews 6:19 says. Remember, that later Jesus calls upon “legions of angels,” (Matthew 26:53). Also, “Michael and his angels,” Revelation 12:7, are fighting “the dragon and his angels.”

So, we actually have this conflict here of thoughts. This is a confused mentality. Obviously, it’s chaotic thinking. It has no discipline at all. It’s no “first the blade, then the ear, and then the full grain,” Mark 4:28. That orderly sense of discipline in thought. It has lost all connection or link to possible discipline.

The third treatment given by Jesus in this individual case is one that actually has aroused a great deal of compassion for the swine among its readers. It would not seem to be part of Jesus’ normal procedure to wipe out a herd like this to make a spiritual point. But there is indeed a spiritual point here. One that has to do with the definition of manhood. Remember, Legion is the problem and oneness is the remedy.

Does man’s thinking, as you and I define it, contain a swinish element or nature? What is capable of being agitated by erroneous mental influence? Can manhood be ever defined as calm and free in his thought, when he has elements within his thought, that still victimize him rather than see him as the victor? Perhaps, we are being told here, through this illustration and event, that one of the “no’s” we are to be saying mentally is to the swinish nature that has attached itself to our identity and called itself “Legion.” Perhaps we are subjected to many influences, a legion of influences, instead of God alone the One on the throne.

We know that human nature does commute between the mountains and the tombs. The swine are said, in Luke’s 8:32 version (B14) of this, to be nibbling on the mountains. Symbolically does the swinish nature nibble at our altitudinous and highest moments? There is a violence to this self-destruction that occurs at the only spot on the Sea of Galilee where it is possible. If nothing else, we certainly can conclude that swinish nature had no built-in defense to such mental invasions.

Verse 15. Yet manhood can be freed from such influence. For this man, now “clothed and in this right mind” no longer is under subjection to legion. If his right mind is in this sense of oneness, the other mental state obviously was wrong. What expressed that mental state is self-destroyed.

Before this incident, we might have concluded that man had no defense against such mental incursions. Therefore our mental hospitals are destined to be filled. But rather, we discover that man can separate himself out of swinish influences and still stand as a man. Yes, and stand humanly with a humanhood that has been purified. One that is no longer influenceable by the legion of attackers that would claim our mentality as its own in its attempt to possess our thinking without any rights of ownership.

When this incident begins to come to a close, we find that we can even see the sequence of things. Remember Mark 4:28, “first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn.” There’s more behind this blade. (That’s even the definition of animal later.)

Right now, as with everything else, we have the worldview upside down. You and I have been told that we are descendants of the animal kingdom. If that’s the wrong point of view, then the remedy is the opposite. Notice, animals and their natures belong to mankind, and can be found in the definition of man, rather than man finding himself in the definition of the animal.

That’s something we haven’t seriously considered in our twentieth century. Back in the first century, the notion that mankind may have descended from animals was considered absurd. But over time, the evolutionary theory suggested an entirely different kind of origin. This was the result of darkened and dualistic thinking. The mind that defines itself as coming from the animal realm, rather than the realm of the divine, becomes animal in concept. But divine revelation can clean us up. God defines man in a concept of holiness rather than unholiness. We need just to breathe in the Holy Spirit and take into thought what is holy.

I once heard a talk by Geith Plimmer. He recalled a biblical incident where, with such a compassion behind his expressed words, he discussed a dear man who was possessed. And he rejoiced with that idea of possession being used, because it showed that it didn’t really belong to him. He was possessed. The remedy he suggested was to dispossess. To dispossess is the remedy to possession.

Verse 19. How he loved those most glorious words humanly expressing love, “Go home to thy friends.” Here’s a man that had lived in the mountains and the tombs. How long has he had anyone whom he could call a friend? Where is his home? You see what Jesus is now defining as home and friends.

“Tell them.” Notice, he doesn’t tell him not to say anything. This is in a Gentile territory where he encourages the Word to go to other Gentiles. “Go home to thy friends.” Mr. Plimmer pointed out that here, when we first met him, he was a man that could be defined as completely irresponsible. Jesus not only heals him, but he restores the dignity of manhood, as he did in every healing. It was part of the healing. He also gave him responsibility. “Go home to thy friends and tell them.” He was one of the first Gentile disciples, if you could use that word, that took Christianity into that territory. What a prime responsibility for someone who couldn’t account for his actions not very long before! Even before Paul, this man went to the Gentiles.

Is there any record of what he did? There is none past this. But it’s interesting that when the Temple in Jerusalem fell to the Romans in A.D. 70, the Christians, having an advance awareness that this was happening, moved in Pella, part of the Decapolis area. A lot of preparation had been done.
What Mark Recorded, B. Cobbey Crisler**


GEM#8: Stop commuting between extremes—between the mountains & tombs, between peace & storms! Be suddenly made whole by an encounter with the radiant love and piercing peace of the Christ as was a self-pitying, hollow man in “The Gadarene”—a Ken Cooper’s YouTube monologue, read by Ken himself.

[Ken wrote:] Can the light ever ask darkness if it is real, can Truth comprehend its unlikeness? When we start with God, there is nothing else, there are no opposites. The mortal illusions of sin, sickness and death are not of God, and are no part of man’s existence as God’s reflection and expression of true Life, full of joy. God can only see what God is, for that is all there is. The life of Jesus was the manifestation of God’s Word made flesh, brought to our understanding, bringing with him healing and happiness. There was nothing that the Christ did not heal, because there is nothing apart from the Christ-presence, the message of heavenly joy to man, right now. Mortality would attempt to bury the treasure of what we are, but how can illusionary matter bury the substance of Spirit?

When Jesus saw the perfect man, he beheld the beautiful treasure of the kingdom of heaven within each of us. It didn’t suddenly appear. The perfection of man is always present, it has no material history, and this Truth gave him and gives us the authority to expunge error in its entirety. Sin, sickness, and death flee away faster than light removes darkness, for the flash of understanding is instant, revealing what is true.

Whereas in the story of Zacchaeus, “I AM GOD'S TREASURE,” we see a man who was made rich through a false understanding of treasure, with The Gadarene,” we see a man consumed with self-pity. Jesus did not ask for their material history, for in his eyes, they had none, and he could only see what God had created. The only history of error is the vacuity of a dream. We don’t have to hold on to the dream. When we wake its nothingness is apparent. The Love that Jesus expressed woke up both these individuals to the recognition of present good. The outpouring of the unconditional love of Jesus changed their lives, for that love continued to flow through them, and past errors were washed away into oblivion. The rebuke upon them was no more, for their new sense of love became their new identity.

God’s grace, Truth and Love are right now. They give gladness and joy, and flow through each one of us in lives constantly renewed and refreshed, in glory to God.

The printable PDF versions of this offering (for color and black printers) are located under Downloads in the upper right of CedarS GEMs webpage.


GEM#9: Get out of a limited, mortal shell – stop believing in the fable and curses of an egg origin! In bite-sized pieces, victory, after victory, after victory “swallow up death in victory.” “Put on” the total wholeness of “incorruption…” and “immortality.” Abide “in heavenly love… (where) no change my heart shall fear.” (Hymn 148)

[Cobbey Crisler on] I Cor. 15:50, 53 (verses in citation B16)
“Another conclusion is coming through Paul’s receptivity. He presents two views, one with man within an egg origin, one out of an egg origin. A chicken takes 10,000 pecks to get out of its shell of limitation. Bible pioneers like Paul worked hard to get out of their limited, mortal shells and they communicated this to us. [Mary Baker Eddy says, “Mortals must emerge … They must peck open their shells with Christian Science…” (S&H 552:14, S6)

I Corinthians 15, verse 50 “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”
One might ask “Why are we trying to drag flesh along as if it’s a party?” [This relates to Mary Baker Eddy’s observation: “Being in sympathy with matter, the worldly man is at the beck and call of error, and will be attracted thitherward.” [S&H 21:25]
“Take up your bed and walk—Mind suddenly takes on the glow of our original, incorruptible glory.”

I Corinthians 15, verse 53 “…this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

I Corinthians 15, Verse 54, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

As mentioned in GEM#1 about our Golden Text from Isaiah 25:8, plus bonus verse 9:

[Cobbey Crisler writes:] “In Isaiah 25:8 & 9: Just to see how the peak of prophetic insight, namely Isaiah’s great thought, dwells upon this concept of healing. Does that sound familiar to you at all? It talks about God doing what? “Swallowing up death in victory.” That’s where Paul gets that concept. He mentions it [in 1 Corinthians 15:54, citation B16]. It’s from Isaiah. “Swallowing up death in victory; the Lord GOD wiping away tears from off all faces;” and the beautiful statement that “the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth.” That goes way beyond just physical healing. It’s totally whole, nothing left fragmented. Certainly, the radical statement of “swallowing up death in victory,” swallowing is not always at once, is it? It’s bite-sized pieces, victory, after victory, after victory, swallowing up the effects of death.”
From notes in the margins of Warren’s Bible from a talk by Cobbey Crisler**


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