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[Walk in the light of Spirit and please God to discover ever-present Life!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Probation After Death
October 17-23, 2016

Prepared by: Kathy Fitzer, CS 314-323-4083

This week’s lesson begins and ends with the direction to “walk as children of light” — to stay in the consciousness of Spirit and companion with the law of Life. The Holy Spirit brings the light of Christ to human consciousness. If it could, the supposition of darkness (a.k.a. matter) would hide that light. But, we can (and must) walk through the darkness of matter, remaining focused on the reality of the light of Spirit. To really live we have to give up all belief in death. Life continues forever — uninterrupted — as Jesus demonstrated. We don’t need to fear challenges as we accept the “testing” times as a call to draw ever closer to God — to Life itself. “In proportion as the belief disappears that life and intelligence are in or of matter, the immortal facts of being are seen, and their only idea or intelligence is in God. Spirit is reached only through the understanding and demonstration of eternal Life and Truth and Love.” (S4)

Golden Text: God’s kingdom is full of light. As God’s image, we dwell in that light. Darkness (fear, sadness, discouragement, disease, failure, deceit, etc — anything that’s not of God) can’t possibly co-exist with light. In fact, it is swallowed up and disappears. So, as we consciously “walk as children of light” — live in the light of Spirit — we find ourselves victorious over every suggestion of the darkness of matter. As we test (prove) every thought and action to see if it is in accord with the goodness of God — aligned with Love — we stay on the path of light and Life.

Responsive Reading: When we walk in the light, we’re doing so in response to how God made us to be! We are assured by Paul’s message to the Romans: “The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8: 2, The Voice) We can think of the “law of sin and death” as anything that would hide the light — any belief of limitation or stoppage of the expression of the fullness of Life! Life doesn't come and go. Paul encourages the “faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse" to “live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way: by producing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God;” (Common Eng. Bible) What a great model for measuring success. We can confidently do whatever we’re called to do because God has strengthened us to face every challenge with patient persistence and joy! CHRIST (the Son of God — the divine message that comes perpetually to the human consciousness) has freed us from the “power of darkness” and established us in the kingdom of LIGHT!

Section 1: Live by following the path of the inspired Word

What do we know about Enoch? He lived to be 365, but “didn’t see death.” He predated Noah — so way before Moses and the 10 commandments. We’re told he “walked with God; and he was not” and that he “pleased God.” (B3 & B4) The question is … what does it mean to walk with God and to please God? What is “the way of righteousness (rightness, moderation)” that “is life”? What is the pathway in which “there is no death”? (B2) God isn’t a person. Yet, we can (and must) get to know God intimately — take walks and have talks with Him, so to speak. Truly, God is our very life and we can only be separated from Him in belief! But we have to act that out in practice by living in accord with all that God is (with all that is good!) We’re told that “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” (B1) We don’t please God by just being humanly good, but by responding to God’s directing. The first tenet of Christian Science is, “As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.” (S1) The key is learning to view everything from a spiritual rather than a material perspective — and be guided by what Spirit reveals! (S3) The Greek word translated “pleased” comes from another word which means “fully agreeable.” What we call death is a supposition of the carnal (or mortal) mind that suggests man (the idea of God) can be separated from His origin — from Mind. Whereas life is found as we are “fully agreeable” or live in accord with Life. Life is never found through death. (S2 & S5) The fullness of Life is experienced here and now — and forever — as we strive to keep every thought and action in alignment with unlimited good — the eternal harmony that is God’s law of Life. As we maintain that desire, Love will lead us!

Section 2: Eternal life is the knowledge of Christ

Christ is the light in which we must walk. Simon Peter correctly identified Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Following Christ, we are able to comprehend and walk with the LIVING God, as Jesus did. Peter did not understand why Jesus had to be crucified. Jesus chastised him for his unbelief — even called him Satan — and told him to get behind him. (B7) One commentator (New Interpreter’s Bible) suggests that the command to get behind Jesus is also a command that Peter must follow in Jesus’ footsteps completely — including being willing taking up his cross with complete self-denial. Peter thought the success of Jesus’ mission would be measured according to familiar human terms — which would not include suffering. He didn’t understand the greater victory that would accompany Jesus’ willingness to succumb to death. Jesus — unlike Peter — understood that being nailed to a cross had no power to take away Life! And it provided the opportunity to demonstrate what he already understood — that Life is eternal and immortal (not tied to a limited form, called matter.) It was part of Jesus’ mission — to bring to human consciousness the understanding that Life is more than the human eye can behold. Jesus said that if we are to follow him we must “deny” ourselves. To deny is to disown or separate. So, we (as disciples of Christ) are being asked to disown a mortal sense of life and selfhood, and fully embrace a Life that is entirely spiritual — and thus immortal and eternal. Mary Baker Eddy explains that we must “live above corporeal sense and correct it.” (S8) Walking in a familiar area, even if it’s dark or foggy, you can make out your path by really focusing on the path you know you need to stay on. Even when we’re surrounded by the clouds of mortal sense that present everything turned upside down and murky, we can stay focused on the path of Spirit and make our way through the finite to the infinite. (S9) We must never trust the evidence presented by physical sense. Giving up all material beliefs (suggesting that both pleasure and pain are determined by mortal circumstances and condition), and admitting the immortal facts of being (even before they are apparent) we will see “evidence of man’s immortality.” (S12) It requires that we look through what seems to be — fluctuating human circumstances — to see what IS — the permanent facts of God’s harmonious being.

Section 3: Grace and peace prevail and reveal man as forever in the light — undying!

Paul begins his letter to the Corinthians as he began his letter to the Colossians (in the Responsive Reading) … “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” (B9) I love the mental picture of grace being like the waves washing away the footprints from the sand — leaving no material record. God’s grace brings eternal life — washing away the death record! The fact that Jesus was resurrected after having died on the cross proves Life to be deathless. Paul argues that because resurrection is accepted for Jesus, it must be accepted for all. The Corinthians weren't too sure about that one! They saw Jesus’ resurrection as a once and done that didn’t apply to anyone else. Paul explains that Christ had become the “firstfruits of them that slept” (or died.) Paul’s use of “firstfruits” refers to the scripturally based practice of sanctifying the whole crop by simply offering the “first fruits" to God. Jesus demonstrated what is true for ALL! Paul went on to say that all die in Adam but all are made alive in Christ. Adam represents the mortal and corruptible; Christ represents the immortal and incorruptible. We need to choose the Christ model — and to identify ourselves with incorruption and immortality. (B10) I find this statement encouraging: “Progress is born of experience. It is the ripening of mortal man, through which the mortal is dropped for the immortal.” (S16) So, no matter what challenges we face, we can’t let ourselves stay on the cross. We lean on God and insist that progress is all that can take place. Resurrection is defined in the glossary of Science and Health as: “Spiritualization of thought; a new and higher idea of immortality, or spiritual existence; material belief yielding to spiritual understanding.” (S&H 593) That’s something we can expect to have every day! We must defend ourselves from the lies of erroneous mortal mind that would try to convince us that decline and death are inevitable. Truth destroys the error “and man’s real existence as a child of God comes to light.” (S18) Stay in the light! Live!! And know that Life is all there is!!!

Section 4: Preaching the gospel with signs following

I’ve often wondered if I would have believed Mary when she ran to tell the disciples that Jesus had risen. If I’m going to be honest — probably not. And yet, though I obviously never saw Jesus with my own eyes (as Paul did not) I have felt the touch of the risen Christ and believe that he was speaking to us, as well as his immediate disciples, when he gave the instruction, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” The promise is that signs would “follow them that believe…” We’re told that, indeed, the disciples “went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” (B11) What enabled the healing to continue after Jesus was gone? What enables that healing to continue today? The Holy Spirit, or divine Science, isn’t dependent on a bodily presence. The Holy Spirit, also called the Holy Ghost, continues to rouse thought in order for the light of the eternal Christ to be received and responded to. It is this light that heals — that dispels the darkness of mortal error. We know that Enoch ascended, as did Elijah, and no body was ever found for Moses either. But, Jesus did something different. He appeared to his disciples in the “flesh” for 40 days before he ascended. At the end of this time the disciples were at a very different place in their understanding than they had been before. They were now truly ready to follow Jesus’ example — filled with the Holy Spirit. As they shared the good news of what their master had taught and demonstrated, healing followed. For most, following Jesus’ path meant that they would also endure the cross. But they had glimpsed the eternal nature of Life. They had demonstrated God’s supremacy in the healing of disease and even raising the dead. So they were undaunted! We can proceed with equal confidence as we face down the suggestions of error with the understanding gained from the Holy Spirit — divine Science. I was struck by the marginal note, “Salvation is through reform.” We must re-form our thinking — learning “not from matter, but from the divine Principle, God, how to demonstrate Christ, Truth, as the healing and saving power.” (S20) Only then will we be saved from the belief in and fear of death, and experience the disappearance of the “unreal material mortality in presence of the reality.” (S21) To me, the key is to understand that the power to heal is not in a person — nor does it come through the operation of mortal thought. It results from the operation of the Holy Spirit, rousing thought to shift from the material to the spiritual. Healing follows.

Section 5: Refuse to conform — rather be transformed — seek the path to liberty

There is a human tendency to think and act like we see those around us acting and thinking. We tend to draw conclusions based on the evidence of the physical senses. and accept what others believe as fact. But, Jesus challenged the thinking of his day. He challenged the very assumption of mortality. He healed the “unhealable” and presented himself alive after being hung on a cross. Paul advised the Romans who were striving to follow Jesus: “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (B12, The Message) Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The time for thinkers has come. … Contentment with the past and the cold conventionality of materialism are crumbling away.” (S&H vii:12) In order to know Life as Jesus knew it, we need to heed Paul’s advice to test every thought — examine every piece of evidence that comes to us — and only accept what is good, valuable, and worthy. (B14) Ask yourself … is this thought, suggestion, or piece of evidence (whether of pleasure or pain) leading me down the path of limited matter or unlimited Spirit? Then, choose to accept it or dismiss it — refusing to be conformed to general belief, but letting yourself be renewed! Life is of God. It is unbounded, whole, complete, free and eternal. But this sense of Life can only be realized as we follow the path Jesus’ laid out. We hold on to the good. We let the kingdom of heaven — unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love — reign within us. (S26) That means thought by thought we do the best we can to weed out that which is not productive, and hold on to what is! When times look dark and there seems to be no way out … embrace the renovation project (the renewing of your mind) that God is leading you through. The old, worn, and unwanted elements of thought must be thrown into the dumpster (as is done when a house is being renovated.) Sometimes, there are elements that are tempting to keep — ways of thinking or memories that are hard to give up. But, if they don’t fit with the new design, they must go. We are in the business of letting our lives be designed according to the specifications of unlimited Spirit and deathless Life. That’s a whole different model than the world holds before us — but it is awesome and freeing!!! Embrace the “straight and narrow, which leads to the understanding that God is the only Life.” (S24) It is never too hard and never confining, but rather liberating! Keep every thought and action consistent with God’s design of wholeness, uprightness, and genuine freedom! If you’re not sure if something fits, take it to God. ASK God to guide you — as you would seek the advice of an architect or designer in a home project. Love will answer and reveal to you the steps that will lead towards goodness, towards Spirit and to a departure from materiality. (S23) As we practice this examining of thoughts, it will feel natural to do so … and we will find the way to Life and liberty!

Section 6: Walk as the children of light and “please” (be reconciled to) Christ, Truth

Google maps gives options for getting from point A to point B. One is the direct way. Others are a bit more circuitous. It’s our choice which path to take — as it is in “life.” Ultimately we’ll all realize that Life is Spirit — and we’ll experience the glory of that Life as Jesus so completely demonstrated. Our choice is … do we stay in the light and keep our eyes open and focused on seeing the “risen Christ” — the ascended thought that has risen above all of the murkiness of mortal mind’s creation? (B15) Or do we let our eyes close and our thoughts wander so that we stumble in the dark or chase all kinds of distractions (suggestions of pain or pleasure in matter.) Paul told the Ephesians … “NOW are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” The Message paraphrases, “The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.” (B16) We started with Enoch walking “with God” because he “pleased God.” Proverbs 16:7 says, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” In this case, the Hebrew word translated please can be thought of as “reconciling self.” I find it helpful to think of pleasing God as reconciling ourselves to God. As we do that, we are clearly in the light of God. And because we are in the light, it makes sense that we walk in the light — keeping our eye on the model of Christ, Truth. Doing this, allows us to understand life spiritually. With this understanding we find ourselves (and all mankind) “in His likeness, perfect as the Father, indestructible in Life, ‘hid with Christ in God,’ — with Truth in divine Love, where human sense hath not seen man.” (S27) Life IS eternal — and completely spiritual. This is our only life. It can’t be taken away — or even interrupted — by what we call death. Just keep walking in the light — step by step — to gain clearer and clearer views of the Christ light which reveals the eternal life that Jesus demonstrated. Love is showing us the way. Life is living us and revealing Himself to us so that we can see what we truly are!

[Warren’s PS#1, Cobbey on citation B7, Matthew 16: 13-23, Peter declares Jesus as Messiah:
“Verse 13 of Matthew 16 has a very important question that Jesus raises himself. He says, Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am?" Do you think he was interested in the answer? He wouldn't have raised the question otherwise.

(Verse 14). He gets the answer right away. They all say he's some old prophet reincarnated. You can almost take your choice of prophets.

(Verse 15). Putting ide the general point of view, the average point of view, he says."But whom do you, my immediate students, say that I am?"

(Verse 16). Peter, once again, raises his hand, and says, "You are the Chris the Son of the living God.”

Remember what that would mean to a first century Jew. You are the Christ." The Christ was the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah. “You are the Messiah.” Where do you find the

Messiah? In the Old Testament. "You are the Old Testament prophesied Messiah." Was Jesus pleased with that answer? Yes.

(Verse 17)."He said, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona." He says two specific things. One, "That he didn't get that because a human had given it to him. He had gotten it directly from God." Jesus considered that he was prophesied about in Scripture.

(Verse 18). The second point is "that on that rock he would build his church." It is interesting the use of the two Greek words for "rock" there. Petros in Greek is "rock." But it's not the real Greek word for "rock." It's kind of a nickname. The Greek word is petra which is feminine. Petros is masculine. It shows that the church is founded on petra which is the bedrock and it has a feminine context. Petros, Peter, is like a chip off the rock. Petros in Greek is almost the equivalent of "rocky" in English. It's a nickname. The church is founded on the bedrock, or petra. What bedrock is he talking about?

Peter has just said, that he has recognized that Jesus was prophesied in the Old Testament. Is that important to the church? Because this is the first time Jesus ever mentions the word "church." He was probably waiting until the receptivity among his hearers warranted its mention. That receptivity would not be proved until whatever is necessary to be seen was introduced into the conversation. Peter apparently brings in that necessary ingredient by saying, "You are the prophesied Messiah." In effect, you are not a temporary phenomenon. You were appointed by God to do your job.

But what exactly does Peter mean by "your job?" Every Jewish child was brought up on the Scriptures. Brought up to consider that the Messiah was to come. But what kind of Messiah? What kind of Messiah did they expect?

The Jews expected a king, a political leader. How about a Messiah who would suffer and end up on a cross? I think about as accurate as we can be on the subject from this vantage point in the twentieth century is to give you an example. For instance, we even have modem Jewish scholars today writing things like this. "In Jewish Messianic thought of the Targum (a book or division of the Old Testament in Aramaic), there is no room whatsoever for a suffering and dying Messiah."

The Jewish Encyclopaedia reads on this same subject, "The Messiah was expected to attain for Israel the idyllic blessings of the prophet. He was to defeat the enemies of Israel, restore the people to the land, reconcile them with God, and introduce a period of spiritual and physical bliss. He was to be prophet, warrior, judge, king, and teacher of Torah (the Pentateuch). The early sources do not mention a suffering Messiah. How did Jesus look on the cross to a Jewish nation that had been brought up to regard a Messiah who would be victorious over eve0thing, not be crucified as a criminal."

So, you can see what Jesus was faced with on the cross. That was a pretty lonely position, among other things. Understanding who Jesus was to become is the one obstacle between Jesus and the formation of his church. So, for the first time, when Peter says, "You're the Messiah," it looks good as far as the progress of the church is concerned. But, let's analyze what goes on and discover what Peter meant by that.

(Verse 21). Notice, right after Peter says, "You're the Messiah," Jesus tells his disciples for the first time what? "That he must go unto Jerusalem, suffer, be killed, and be raised again the third day."

How did that look for what they had been brought up to regard as the Messianic fulfillment?

(Verse 22). Not very good, not even to Peter. "Peter rebuked Jesus and said, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee."

Peter has just taken a good portion of Scriptural prophecy and run the vacuum cleaner over it. What did Jesus have to say?

(Verse 23). Here's the same man that had said (in Matthew 16:18) "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." now saying, "You are an offence unto me: Get thee behind me, Satan, for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." That's the very opposite of what he just said before.

It's what Peter said that represented the rock upon which the church would be built in the first instance. It's what Peter said in the second instance that was Satan's attempt to distort and discount Scriptural prophecy.

So, perhaps, the greatest threat facing the church is the attempt to distort the role of its founder in Scriptural prophecy and the role of the church itself in the fulfillment of Scriptural prophesy. Because when Jesus says to Peter, "Thou art an offence unto me," that Greek word "offence" is skandalon, or our scandal. But it also has a meaning in Greek of "stumbling block." Do you see the play on words again? Peter was called petros, which was identified with the rock, only so long as he identified himself with the rock. When he did not, the rock became a stumbling block instead.”

Excerpted from a transcript of a talk by B. Cobbey Crisler entitled Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax Collector’s Report. To buy your own copy, see W’s PS#3.]

[W’s PS#2, CC on citation B11, Mark 16: 9-20: Risen Jesus upbraids and commissions us to bring results
“Most of the early copies, if not all the early copies of Mark, end with Verse 8. It ends on a rather uncertain note, “They were afraid." A longer ending from Verses 9 to 20 is included in other copies. Also there are excerpts appended here or there as if early editors didn't know where these belonged, but they were handed down as part of the Markan tradition.

After Verse 8 is an example. You can see this in the Revised Standard Version in a footnote. It reads, "But they reported briefly to Peter and those with him, all that they had been told. After then, Jesus himself sent out by means of them east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation."

One codex has this placed after Verse 14, "But they excused themselves, saying, this age of lawlessness and unbelief lies under the sway of Satan who will not allow what lies under the unclean spirits to understand the truth and power of God. Therefore, they said to Christ, Reveal your righteousness now. Christ answered them, The term of years for Satan's power has now expired. But other terrors are now at hand. I was delivered to death on behalf of sinners that they might return to the truth, and sin no more. That they might inherit that glory of righteousness which is spiritual and imperishable in heaven."

“That translation is by Moffett. It is an early one. It is one manuscript.

Verse 17. The gospel of Mark ends with deeds, not words. "These signs shall follow them that believe.” There's one of our foundational points again (Mark 1:15). Those who believe will have signs that follow. Otherwise we’re not believers.
“We can say all we want, "We're believers m Jesus Christ," but we're not unless signs are following. That is Jesus' own definition of a believer.

“All of these signs are fulfilled in the Book of Acts except the sign regarding poison. This was accomplished in an early Christian tradition by Barsebus. He was forced to drink poison and recovered without any problem. So, we have "the new tongues."

Verse 18. The ''taking up of serpents, the drinking any deadly thing,” even a poisonous chemical! Look at that in the environment today. "And be healed." It’s a sign that follows those that believe.

Why are we leaving our environment untouched by the Holy Spirit?

Why aren't we seeing the Spirit there, and therefore, liberty?

Verse 19. The ascension then is very briefly mentioned.

Verse 20. We find the apostolic works follow the apostolic words. They are inseparable. "They went forth, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.”

“Amen,” meaning this is the truth. And if it is the truth, we know it makes us free. That gospel can be freed from the page on which it is written and enter our own embodied lives, and be seen worldwide in results.

Satan, as Jesus was alleged to have said, “His term has expired.” Let's live like his term has expired and take joy in that exultant victory.

Yes, from that very shout on the cross. Some people think Jesus is shouting in pain. But one commentator says the Greek word is a shout of victory. That’s the gospel, the good news of victory.”

Excerpted from a transcript of a talk by B. Cobbey Crisler entitled What Mark Recorded. To buy your own copy, see W’s PS#3.]

[W’s PS#3: You can buy your own transcripts of most of Cobbey’s 28 talks at a new website: Email your order or inquiry to, or directly to Janet Crisler, at ]

[Although the recent outpouring of Fiscal Year End gifts was wonderful and greatly appreciated, GIFTS are still VERY MUCH NEEDED and APPRECIATED to cover a year FULL of BIGGER than anticipated maintenance and operating expenses that was HUGE with blessings for campers and staff. Your generous support will enable CedarS to be sustainable in its efforts to bless over 1200 Sunday School students each summer. The blessings of making one's own the love of Christianity and its scientific application are not only immediate and heartfelt, but they also last forever–as can be seen in our summer FRUITAGE. Please check back on this webpage in coming weeks for a gushing stream of new stories of blessings felt across the country and around the world–thanks to God and to your ongoing generosity! CedarS, your friend in need, is "a friend indeed!"

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