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Spirit’s GEMs to inspire you to express— “infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss.” (#3)
insights from Cobbey Crisler, Ken Cooper & others from the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Spirit”
for Sunday, February 7, 2021

prepared by Warren Huff,
CedarS Executive Director Emeritus warren@cedarscamps.org


GEM#1: Wear Christ's invisibility-cloak mind-set of spiritual sense! Find it natural to be divine!
Cobbey Crisler on citation B6. Romans 8:17 and verses around it, plus Colossians 3.2-4 & Hymn 370) (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.”

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

“We are joint heirs with Christ,” Paul says [in Romans 8:17, near cit. B6], inheritors of the divine being. We are sharers, “partakers of the divine nature.” “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**


GEM#2: Use freedom’s power to “do as we ought…for the purpose of service… in the interests of love,” NOT “to do as we like” to find ourselves in “the deeper bondage to the flesh.” The Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes. Vol. 10, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians. Nashville: Abingdon, 1951–57.

In our Bible citation B7 from 2nd Corinthians 3 verse 17, Paul puts it, "Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." II Corinthians 3:17 New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved; Buttrick, George Arthur, Nolan B. Harmon, et al., eds.

From a Bible Lens published in The Christian Science Sentinel:
“To Paul, liberty goes beyond release from physical bondage, Roman occupation, and the restrictions of Jewish law to the freedom of serving God. As a Bible authority explains, “True liberty is not the freedom to do as we like; it is the power to do as we ought.… [U]nless we use our liberty for the purpose of service,in the interests of love, we shall find ourselves in a deeper bondage, the bondage to the flesh.” The Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes. Vol. 10, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians. Nashville: Abingdon, 1951–57.


GEM#3: Find fresh, holy ways to express the liberty and “Spirit of the Lord” and to experience “God’s being …(of) infinity, freedom, harmony and boundless bliss.” (S7, 481:2)

[Warren:] As our lives sing with new manifestations of “infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss,” all their supposed opposites will naturally be ruled out of us thereby enabling us to overcome: every lie of limitation; every seemingly enslaving habit; every thought of inharmony, division and strife; and every unhappiness arising from disappointed human will.

And, what a relief to know that it’s by God’s will and “amazing grace”— not by any of our own efforts, other than that of 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” (cit. S31, vii:1) What could be bigger blessings for us than daily demonstrations that the newness of Life in God is ALL-inclusive: “Behold, I make all things new!” (Revelation 21:5).


GEM#4: Let God’s face shine on us & the symptoms! And, always pay your bill by giving praise!
Cobbey Crisler on Ps. 107:1-22 (cit. B11) including verse 15 (not in cit. B11)

[Cobbey:] “I'm going to give you an assignment in Psalm 107 because it's a very rewarding one to work with. In the first 22 verses, for example, when you are studying this independently at home, work out the steps that are being given us, the symptoms, the appointment with the Great Physician, the treatment, the complete remedy, and then paying your bill. That happens to be a refrain, "Pay your bill. Pay your bill." In this particular Psalm, in Verse 8, [and Verses 15, 21, 31] "Oh that [men] would praise the LORD [for] his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" Follow that all the way through and you'll find three different sets of prescriptions and treatments that can be quite relevant to our own experience.”

[Cobbey’s transcribed-from-audio response to an audience question:]
“The appointment with the Great Physician and then, of course, when you're in front of the Physician, that's face-to-face, seeing God's face, get the treatment, let His face shine upon thee, then the remedy, go out and have the prescription filled. The remedy solves the whole problem; then pay your bill. Follow that through and see what comes.”

“Leaves of the Tree: Prescriptions from Psalms,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


GEM#5: We can affirm with Paul and with Mary Baker Eddy that we “live and move and have our being” in Spirit, God. (Acts 17:28, quoted in SH 536:11, cit. S9) Mary Baker Eddy further commented on this Pauline passage and connected it to her Scientific Statement of Being:
St. Paul said to the Athenians, ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ This statement is in substance identical with my own: ‘There is no life, truth, substance, nor intelligence in matter.’ It is quite clear that this great verity has not yet been fully demonstrated, but it is nevertheless true. If Christian Science reiterates Paul’s teaching, we, as Christian Scientists, should give to the world convincing proof of the validity of this scientific statement of being. Having perceived, in advance of others, this scientific fact, we owe to ourselves and to the world a struggle for its demonstration.”
Retrospection & Introspection, 93: 17, Mary Baker Eddy’s quote & comment on Acts 17:28.

Dr. Albert Einstein is said to have called Mary Baker Eddy’s “Scientific Statement of Being” (SH 468:12+) “the most profound statement ever uttered by mankind.” In this “most profound statement” that we should struggle to demonstrate for ourselves and for others who haven’t yet perceived it, Mary Baker Eddy modeled an affirm-and-deny pattern of prayer. Using it will fling open doors that limited views had previously closed and allow us to achieve new goals TODAY! — You and I can deny the claims of life and intelligence in matter! We can perceive and affirm our God-like nature and PROVE these scientific facts to be true!

The following 12-word portion of “The Scientific Statement of Being” (the whole which concludes every Sunday School and Sunday church service) as well as the end of the Statement below, shows the alternating cadence of the whole, 60-word statement between
(Affirmation) “Spirit is the real and eternal;
(and Denial) “matter is the unreal and temporal.” and its conclusion as follows

It concludes with:
(Affirmation) “Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness.

(and Denial) “Therefore, man is not material;
(& affirmation) he is spiritual.”

This affirmation/denial pattern follows the method used by rowers in a row boat who reach their desired destination only by pulling equally on both oars. (When they just pull on one oar, they go in circles!)
As united Global Prayer Watchers & Demonstrators, let’s be alert to follow her system of both affirming the facts and denying the fables. Such balanced prayer will enable us to reach the desired goal of demonstrating “a higher and more permanent peace”—in ALL conditions.


BONUS GEM#6: You can demonstrate the all-knowing, divine Mind, like Joseph did when he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream (cit. B16, Gen. 42:1-57). Like his thought, your thought can be “in rapport with this Mind, to know the past, the present, and the futureto commune more largely with the divine Mindto be divinely inspired, yea, to reach the range of fetterless Mind.” (citation S13, 84:11-18)
[Warren Huff:] The story of Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dream and that line from Science and Health in this week’s Bible lesson, will always remind me a precious time when they appeared in a Christian Science Bible Lesson as an answer to prayer for me during physical and academic testing times for me at the end of my Freshman year at Princeton University.

Somehow all 15 hours of my five 3-hour finals were scheduled only a lunch-break or dinner-break apart for the first two days of exam week. On top of that, due to daily football practice and working several jobs, I had already fallen behind on heavy reading assignments in a couple of the courses. So, on the Saturday morning before these finals, I felt pressured and inadequate, “How am I ever going to be ready to humanly read, study and prepare for these exams with no real study time between them?”

Just as I started to ponder my seemingly impossible situation, a dull pain in my right side that I’d been aware of overnight suddenly became very sharp and did not go away. A roommate, whose dad was a doctor, suggested that it looked like my appendix had burst and that I was having an appendicitis attack. I chose to handle this suggestion with prayer, just as I’d had done successfully to meet many other challenges — from making hard decisions to experiencing very quick healings of broken bones, severe wounds, sprained ankles, torn cartilage… When this very aggressive problem refused to yield quickly to my own prayers, I struggled to get to the privacy of a pay phone booth on campus … (this was B.C.— Before Cell phones) to call for prayerful support from a distance—like that which Jesus provide in citation 20 (Matthew 8:5-13, GEM#8). I was seeking the uniquely powerful, prayerful support known as a Christian Science treatment which is given with professional warmth and principled love by wonderful Christian Science practitioners (who are normally readily available worldwide as you can see in this online, listing of Christian Science Journal listed practitioners that was not available during my college years).

When none of the practitioners I knew from camp and from church answered their phones, and no human help seemed to be readily available, I hobbled my way – still doubled over in pain— to a nearby Christian Science Reading Room on Nassau Street. Its “quiet precincts” were a perfect place to reach out directly to God for angel messages and my healing.

For several spiritually supported hours that Saturday I was the only visitor to the private study area in the back of the Reading Room. That sacred secrecy enabled me to feel free enough to stretch out on the floor whenever sitting wasn’t comfortable… Whenever I physically struggled, I spiritually snuggled up to apply passages that the Comforter was indelibly teaching me from that week’s Christian Science Bible lesson. I kept coming back to an uplifting assurance in a sentence near the end of page 57 in Science and Health. This promise reads: “… Love supports the struggling heart until it ceases to sigh over the world and begins to unfold its wings for heaven.” I saw clearly that as long as my heart was sighing (moaning, groaning, complaining…) over the world—over exam-based concerns, time-based pressures and body-based pains… or over today’s worldwide virus and economy concerns — it could not begin “to unfold its wings for heaven” and healing.

Part of my beginning to unfold the wings of my heart for heaven was cherishing other profoundly significant truths about the infinite possibilities of being at one with all-knowing, divine Mind. Included in the lesson was the account of Joseph’s divine intuition that enabled him to know and share the humanly unknowable dream of Pharaoh (Genesis 41:1-57, cit. B16). I reasoned that this was mine too and that God would give me the healing, angel insights I needed to cherish as well as what I needed to study and what to write on my upcoming exams. I loved that Joseph shared how the way to humbly do this by telling Pharaoh, “it is not in me: God shall give … an answer of peace.” (Genesis 41:16, cit. B16).

I also distinctly remember feeling great relief in affirming for myself the truth that, “When man is governed by God, the ever-present Mind who understands all things, man knows that with God all things are possible.” (SH 180:25) More lessons from the Comforter that I cherished during my Reading Room study came back to bless me big-time after I got my healing and was taking my finals.

That private Reading Room study area also gave me a perfect place to feel free enough to seek and find the Comforter’s comfort by wholeheartedly singing some favorite hymns. I knew by heart all of Mary Baker Eddy’s hymns from years of singing them in Sunday School, plus scores of others from CedarS Hymn Sings every Sunday night. [You can see why I cherish CedarS Hymn Sings so much and especially the current series with enriching background on Mary Baker Eddy’s hymns as provided by Longyear Museum representatives!] This unconventional way to study for my exams, by being forced to put first my one-ness with God by cherishing each word of every hymn that came to me, turned out to the best possible exam prep that I’ve ever had.

I’ll always remember that, as spiritual sense gave me more and more peace, I closed my healing, Reading Room hymn sing by cherishing each word of “Christ My Refuge” and poem and hymn (254-258) by Mary Baker Eddy. My tears of pain changed to tears of joy! The pain lifted as I let my heart sing the following laws, “O’er waiting harps strings of the mind, there sweeps a strain, Low, sad, and sweet, whose measures bind The power of pain… And wake a white-winged angel throng of thoughts illumed By faith, and breathed in raptured song, With love perfumed. Then His unveiled, sweet mercies show Life’s burden’s light. I kiss the cross, and wake to know A world more bright… I see Christ walk and come to me and tenderly divinely talk. Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock (Matt. 7:24-29, B12) … whereto God leadeth me. (Christian Science Hymnal #254)

With renewed freedom, I was inspired to RUN back to my Dodd Hall dorm room, to eat normally and prepare with peaceful inspiration Saturday night and Sunday for my first four final exams (12-hours worth) on Monday and Tuesday morning. I felt divinely inspired to review just what I needed to know and felt great and full of gratitude to God about my first four exams.

However, when I turned over the fifth exam on Tuesday afternoon, my heart dropped as I read all the exam questions which asked me to compare and contrast several books that I had intended to read over the weekend but did not because of the healing time I needed to spend in the Reading Room. I was seriously tempted at first to just go up to the exam proctor and turn in the exam with a note that I’d had a health challenge and was unable to adequately prepare for the exam and to ask to take the course on a Pass-Fail basis so that my good work going into the final could at least get me a "Pass" on my transcript for this sociology course.

Then, I remembered the citations from the Christian Science Bible lesson that I’d mined in the Reading Room as cherished gems to apply to myself. This included the account of Joseph humbly knowing it was not in him, but in God to give the right answer. (Genesis 41:1-57, B16)

As I stood up with the intention to walk up and humanly give up, rather than try to write about books that I hadn’t even read, an angel message stopped me saying “I am the same Mind that made this test and that wrote every book and I am with you to take this test and tell you everything you need to know.”
I gained confidence from this angel message and from remembering other ideas from the Bible lesson I’d cherished and made my own during my healing time of study in the Reading Room.

They included these passages from Science and Health:
“It is the prerogative of the ever-present, divine Mind, and of thought in rapport with this Mind, to know the past, the present, and the future. Acquaintance with the Science of being enables us to commune more largely with the divine Mind… to be divinely inspired, yea, to reach the range of fetterless Mind.” (84:11-18, cit. S13)

“A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms. It raises the thinker into his native air of insight and perspicacity.” (128:14)

“Spirit imparts the understanding uplifts consciousness and leads… This understanding is not intellectual, is not the result of scholarly attainments, it is the reality of all things brought to light.” (505:16, 26-28, cit. S14)

I sat back down with a joyous, confident motive to glorify God by being a clear transparency, a scribe under orders. I was determined not to try to make up myself what I humanly didn’t know, but to merely make it welcome. Ideas flowed and I effortlessly wrote them down. At the end of the three hours I handed in the exam with a sense of inspired joy; and, the next day I found out that my grade in the course actually improved! All glory to God alone!! What cannot good do for you too when you, like Joseph, know that “it is not in me. God shall give (me every) … answer” that I need, and I know it! Mary Baker Eddy assures us that “Impossibilities never occur.” (245:27), so accept such a demonstration as a very real possibility for you every time you have no clue humanly how to answer any question or problem!
All we ever need do is be “Looking unto (Christ) Jesus the author and finisher”! (Heb. 12:2)
[A rough draft of a testimony that will be into the Christian Science periodicals]


GEM#7: [W.] Like Jesus, stick with the only real power, the power of the Spirit!
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…, B18) 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, 40 (cit. B19)
“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.]

“In Luke 4, Verse 40 as healing increases, we find that many healings occur, especially around the Sea of Galilee. Is it any more difficult for Jesus to heal collectively than it is individually? It doesn’t seem to take much more time, does it?

Who does Jesus say is responsible for the healing? If God is responsible for the healing, does He love all His creation as instantly as he loves each individual part of His creation? Can that love reach collectively? Is it present collectively? If that's the basis for Jesus healing, then we see that healing a multitude was just as normal and natural as breathing, and as healing an individual.

What is the atmosphere there? If the Holy Ghost is there, then we all can breathe that same air simultaneously.

The healings were apparently permanent. There was no standing in line. Jesus didn't say, "All right, all the ears, eye, nose, and throat people over here." He didn't deal with them as a specialist would deal with them. He dealt with them as a general practitioner, as if he could be consulted and he could join with others in prayer and to be at-one with God, whether it was one individual or hundreds or thousands. Remember, he fed thousands from that same point of view.”
“Book of Luke: Luke the Researcher,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


GEM#8a: To demonstrate healing at a distance, exercise Christ’s proven force of the prayer of feeling Love’s ever-presence. Cobbey on Jesus healing paralysis remotely (John 8:5-13, cit. B20):

(Verse 5) The second healing in this chapter is the centurion’s servant. This is a healing of palsy. Palsy is paralysis. This healing occurs over a distance. It’s almost as if Jesus were saying to the physical scientists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, “Alright, gentlemen, you say in your list of things that represent action-at-a-distance, there can be light, magnetism, sound, and electricity.”

“Recognize that prayer is also action-at-a-distance and can out distance all on your list. You do not have to be present physically to heal the sick. God is present with the one in need of healing as he is present with the one who is the channel for the healing or transparency.

You don't have to move physically to heal spiritually. This is a tremendous breakthrough in a concept for healing which can occur even today, when it is considered that one must be at the bedside of a patient in order to accomplish anything. Jesus did not do that in every case. Remote healings required receptivity in the thought of those with whom he was dealing.

Here we have a centurion, who was not even a Jew. He is a Roman, a noncom officer in a sense over a hundred men. That's why he's called a centurion. He has enough concept of authority to say, "All you have to do, Jesus, if you’re good at what you're doing, and a professional, just say, 'Give the order,' and those orders will be obeyed. That's what happens in my profession," he said.

(Verse 10) Jesus makes the comment that he has not “found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” One wonders if he would find that kind of faith today?

(Verse 13). He says "to the centurion, as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour." We get a better view of it in the gospel of John [4:46-53], if it's the same incident which it undoubtedly is, where the nobleman's son is healed. The nobleman goes back home to check.

It's a day's travel. He's half way there and his servants have come to meet him. His servants say; "Everything's fine." The nobleman said, "What time?" And the servant said, "The seventh hour." So, the nobleman asked about the time and it was the same hour that Jesus had said, "Go thy way. Thy son liveth."

It’s a day’s travel for the centurion. He’s halfway home and his servant have come to meet him. … The healing got to the centurion’s home before the centurion got there. Which shows what is possible and how primitive we are in exercising the spiritual forces available to us. It may turn out that Jesus is the most important scientist in the history of the world in the sense of demonstrating his theory and proving it.”
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master, A Tax Collector’s Report,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

** Bible Talks by Cobbey Crisler: Both audio recordings and transcripts of Cobbey Crisler’s popular Bible talks are now available from the Crisler Library at Oxford. You can contact the library at office@crislerlibrary.co.uk or contact Janet Crisler directly at janetcrisler7@gmail.com.


GEM#9: Stop being “a tenant in a tomb by being at home in the body!” Instead be at home in the ‘new man’ to “make all things new!” Cobbey on II Cor. 5:1-8 (citation 21), 16-17:
II Cor. 5, verse 1. Where we are now is a tabernacle, which if “dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens…” (We look out of heavenly consciousness—every window has a heavenly view. We worship where we live — Our bodies are our ultimate idols, if we are living there.

Verse 4. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened:” Jesus said take my yoke upon you for my yoke is easy and my burden light.”…

Verse 6. It’s not what we see but what we know that matters: “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.” This is one of the most radical statements in the whole Bible that is virtually skated over.

It is foolhardy to adapt ourselves to live in corporeality. You are a tenant in a tomb if at home in the body. Why be so satisfied with data coming to us from the 5 channels of the corporeal senses?
Jesus said “Take no thought for your body.”

Verse 8. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord.”

Socrates said “The dead body will not be me. Don’t let him talk about burying Socrates. Say only that you are burying the body.”

Ishmael (In Moby Dick said “My body is but the lees of my better being.”

Verse 16. “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh:”
The ultimate objective is to know no man (or woman) after the flesh, according to fleshly information. Our divine nature or anyone’s true, divine nature is not conveyed or confined by anything fleshly from “the old man.” As Jesus beheld, we are to behold the “new man” and in so doing make not just some things but ALL things new.

As Verse 17 says, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.*
Transcribed from marginal notes in Warren’s Bible from a talk by Cobbey Crisler**


GEM#10: Find oneness with God “as a humble ray of sunlight that is one with the sun” from citation S19, p. 26:10-12 (& 361:16) and as sung in “I and My Father” Music Video on YouTube

Below is a YouTube link to an inspiring song by a CedarS mom and award-winning Country Music artist, Cherie Brennan. It emphasizes the “ and my Father are one” mindset of Christ Jesus and mentioned in this week’s Bible Lesson citation S19, 26:10-12. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZMNlpZavkA

You can learn more about Cherie and buy her CD “You are Loved” (“I and My Father” is the 4th song) on her website through Spotify at: https://open.spotify.com/album/3Ii5CBrdNs6f8Y3t4l5XHl

Or, on Watchfire Music by CedarS friend, Peter Link, — LISTEN TO A SAMPLE of “I and my Father are one” SUNG by Mindy Jostyn and BUY IT and the SHEET MUSIC for SOLOISTS at: https://watchfiremusic.com/shop/recordings/songs/i-and-my-father-are-one-2/


GEM#11a: Treat yourself & all as “born from above”
Cobbey Crisler on John 3:1-13, 27 and John1:12, 13 (cit. B22).
“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**


GEM#11b: Hear on YouTube two, custom Ken Cooper poems related to this week’s Bible Lesson. They are called "The Breath of Spirit" and “Bear Witness As God’s Child”

[Ken wrote:] “In the depth and height of the pandemic, we can know that Spirit is always deeper and higher, and as light removes darkness, in the realm of Spirit there is no place for its unlikeness. When God gives us of His Spirit (per Golden Text), the infinity of this gift of goodness utterly removes its unlikeness , matter, from all experience. We cannot have what God does not give, and more positively, we only have what God gives and is. Paraphrasing from Genesis: “And God saw what he had made, and behold it was spiritual and very good and there was nothing else”. This is our source of joy and praise. See The Breath of Spirit (Christian Science Sentinel shared view)

The world of matter is not the world of Spirit. It is not a world at all. We live in the kingdom of heaven, as the expression of good. The world of matter is a temporal dream. The description perfect matter is an oxymoron because matter has a beginning and an ending. Perfection never changes from perfection. Spirit existed before time began because time is a matter-concept. Man is immortal because man is spiritual, he is perfect because he is the spiritual body of God expressed. If God was not perfect, God would not be God. The gifts of God are the natural infinite expression of what He is, abundant and overflowing, which is what man expresses. “God’s being, [man] is infinity, harmony, and boundless bliss” (SH 481:3-4)

Nicodemus sought the Truth. He acknowledged Jesus came from God, and he yearned to understand more about this prophet. Jesus read his thoughts, and encouraged him to see man as spiritual, escaping the bondage of the flesh. In the poem “Bear Witness As God’s Child” we hear Nicodemus describing his meeting with Jesus, and its transformative effect upon him, moving from may have been self-centred to clearly God-centred. It is only when we drop all sense of the flesh that our true nature and witness shines through. Jesus’ requirement to “Repent” is to “Be born again” because perfection is not possible in matter. This was a revelation to Nicodemus, that he could indeed be born again.

Spirit removes all claims of matter. Man is seen as at one with God, and therefore shares as the abundance of Love, reveling in the joy of Life, the freedom of Truth. What gifts we have from our Father!

The related PDFs of Ken’s Lesson-customized offerings are attached to CedarS online Met version as upper right Downloads. **


GEM#12: Do the “imperative commands*” Jesus knew we disciples are capable of when he commanded us to do them! [*summarized by Mary Baker Eddy in SH 37:25 (cit. S32) with Cobbey Crisler insights on: 1) Matthew 5:48; 2) Acts 2:16, 17 on Mark 16:15; 3) Matthew 10:8.]

  1. Mine the GEM of obeying Jesus’ 1st “imperative command”—See & Be Your Perfect Self! (SH 37:27, cit. S32—and Cobbey Crisler on Matthew 5, Verse 48]

[Cobbey:] “Jesus’ final summary … "We should be perfect," he said. According to what measurement? How does he regard when he got the revelation from God that Jesus was the Son of God? Did that mean for Jesus that he was the only Son of God? Notice the same relationship goes beyond, to us. Because he said it's a mandate, "Be ye therefore perfect." Why? "Even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." If the original is perfect, the image must be.

Again, we can compare how Moses viewed this. He had somewhat the same to say. But he didn't say it in the strength of the present tense that Jesus did. In fact, in Deuteronomy 18, (Verse 13), Moses is recorded as saying, "Thou shalt be perfect before the Lord thy God." Same point but different tense. Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect."
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax-Collectors Report,” B. Cobbey Crisler**

  1. Mine the GEM of obeying Jesus’ 2nd “imperative command*”— “Go ye into all the world, and preach…” [Mark 16:15 in *SH 37:27, cit. S32—+ Cobbey Crisler insights on Peter’s keeping this universal preaching command by Jesus in his first public lecture (Acts 2:16, 17) by citing further scriptural justification for his universal outreach of preaching to all.]

[Cobbey:] “…what is Peter’s method? He goes where? To the scripture. You see, it goes back to “the prophet Joel.” (See below, Acts 2:16)

Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

Here is again a use of scripture as fulfillment! Here is prophesy, and here is fulfillment, dovetailing – all, subordinate to the Holy Spirit.

And, the prophecy we read about is about “pouring out the Spirit of God on all flesh.” (See below, Paraphrased) Please note that Acts 2, verse 17, included “not only sons, but daughters, shall prophesy.” (See below)

Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

And this free, uninhibited, and still disciplined, access to the one Spirit by all nations, peoples, sexes, social levels, economic status, characterizes Christianity from the very beginning – not necessarily in the member’s thought, but that’s what the Holy Ghost is communicating, whether the members believe it or hear it, even today.

The separation into denominationalism was not the Holy Spirit’s idea. The embracing of universal humanity was. And here, we find even the ability to prophecy, both sexes, and not necessarily limited to nationality.”
“After the Master What? — The Book of Acts” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

  1. Mine the GEM of obeying Jesus’ 3rd “imperative command*”— “Heal the sick!”
    (*SH 37:27, cit. S32—and Cobbey Crisler insights on Matthew 10, Verse 7, 8]

[Cobbey:] "Say," Look at the first words there to say. Is that a coincidence, or is that essential? Where have we run into that statement before? "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Who said it? It was Jesus' first statement (Matthew 4:17) after "Repent."

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."
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax-Collectors Report,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

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