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Better late than never to bless all mankind! Give convincing-proof GEMs of who God made you to BE!
insights from Cobbey Crisler, Ken Cooper & others from the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Matter”
for Sunday, March 21, 2021

shared by Warren Huff, [sorry for priorities that prevented an earlier sharing!]
CedarS Executive Director Emeritus warren@cedarscamps.org


GOLDEN TEXT GEM: Follow the Bible-based pattern of consistently QUESTIONING the reality of a dust-man version of your origin! I enjoyed working with Kathy Fitzer in CedarS Met for this week to point out the Christian Science Bible Lesson Committee’s brilliant pattern this week of opening the Golden Text and Responsive Reading with a series of questions and answers (Q&As) that lead us to consistently question life’s deepest meanings and to find satisfying answers that truly un-limit and bless you and yours and all.

To open her Met/aphysical application ideas this week, Kathy connects, which for use by Sunday School teachers (Church Manual, 63:4) and used in “Just as the Scientific Statement of Being (citation S1) starts with a “what” question, so does our Golden Text. What good will it do you if I am in the grave? Once I have turned to dust, how can I praise you or tell how loyal you are?” (Psalm 30: 8,9, Contemporary English Version)
As we call out to God [why?] for help, let’s know [what?] that it is His/Her will that we live — [where?] in Him/Her, [how?] as His/Her image and likeness — [when?] now and eternally.”

Bonus on the teaching value of a Q&A approach:
Mary Baker Eddy obviously highly valued the Socratic method of teaching with questions and answers as illustrated by the 24 Questions and Answers, one of which about the this week’s Bible Lesson is patterned after. These twenty-four Questions and Answers comprise her closing chapter of Science and Health called “Recapitulation.” (It’s right before the Key to the Scriptures and Fruitage portions of Science and Health. “Recapitulation” ends by answering with the six “tenets of Christian Science” the “Question – Have Christian Science any religious creed?” “Recapitulation” is also named in the Church Manual on “Teaching Christian Science” (Manual, 86:18-24) as a primary “Basis of Teaching” both Normal Class Instruction and the only curriculum for Primary Class Instruction in Christian Science.

RESPONSIVE READING GEM: Kathy Fitzer also wrote in CedarS Met for this week:
“SAY NO TO MATTER & YES TO GOD AS THE SOURCE OF ALL GOOD!

“Note that the answer to the “Question—What is the Scientific Statement of Being?” starts by saying what it is not — saying no to matter as the source of life, of truth, of intelligence and of substance. In like manner, our Responsive Reading opens by repeating not several times. We are to “give glory… not to us … not to us…but to your name” (to God’s nature). It continues denouncing the common idols of money (“silver and gold”); of humanism (“the work of human hands”)… and material body parts (“mouths …do not speak; eyes…do not see; …ears…do not hear; noses…do not smell; hands…do not feel; feet…do not walk…throats…do not make a sound.” (Psalm 115:1-8) The psalmist here is giving glory to God and denouncing idols (and what society often thinks most of) that have no life in them. But he also humbly acknowledges the human struggle to not be drawn in by the idolatry of the physical senses.

Even though the human mind seems mesmerized by the claims of matter (“clings to the dust”) we pray for God to reveal that we have been fashioned by God and we will be given “understanding that [we] may learn [God’s] commandments.” (Psalm 119: 73)
The opening line of 1st John 3, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us” assures us that it is God’s delight to reveal His truth to us!

Every week, in every Christian Science church, in every corner of the earth, the service concludes with the reading of the Scientific Statement of Being from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, followed by the reading of the Correlative Scripture from I John, chapter 3 that forms a Biblical foundation for this powerful statement. Sunday School also ends with the Scientific Statement of Being. When we find ourselves struggling with an urgent challenge, a mental “go-to” is often a repetition of the Scientific Statement of Being. The question is … are we really accepting the healing message of this statement, or simply repeating the words? Admittedly, simply repeating the words is better than rehearsing an injury or some other problem. But, this week we have the opportunity to dig deeper and really rejoice in the freedom that is being communicated in this amazing statement, as well as the 1st John scripture it is based on.

Additionasl helpful excerpts for Kathy Fitzer Met on SECTION 1:
PROVE THESE REMARKABLE AND RELATED STATEMENTS THIS WEEK!

The first section consists solely of these two statements, standing on their own. So, I’m going to start by simply including those here with some similar wording and patterns highlighted … to set the tone that the rest of the Bible Lesson follows.

The Bible

Citation 1: John 3:1–3 [Questions often include words like who, what, when, where, why and how. Check out the highlighted, bolded, italics in these two citations & throughout this Lesson.]

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, [why?] that we should be called [who?] the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, [why?] because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, [when?] now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be [what?] like him; [why?] for we shall see him as he is. 3 And [who?] every man that hath [what?] this hope in him purifieth himself, [how?] even as he is pure.

From the New International Version:

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, [a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

Citation 1: page 468:8–15

Question. — What is the scientific statement of being?

Answer. — There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual." (SH 468, cit. S!)

Notice the present tense running through both (now; is). Notice, also, that the Bible verse speaks of being like Christ when Christ appears, because we will “see him as he is”. “… Accepting these statements as present reality means seeing harmonious reality now — no delay!"
Master matter by seeing All is Mind – CedarS Camps Met by Kathy Fitzer for March 21, 2021


GEMs, NOT from the Scientific Statement of BECOMING, BUT from the Scientific Statement of BEING! [W.] Follow an affirm-and-deny pattern in prayer to achieve your goals TODAY! — Affirm your God-like nature; Deny the claims of life & intelligence in matter! Perceive & PROVE these scientific facts!

Dr. Albert Einstein is said to have called Mary Baker Eddy’s “Scientific Statement of Being” (SH 468:8-15, citation S1) “the most profound statement ever uttered by mankind.”

The cadence of this whole, 60-word statement alternates between
(Affirmation) “Spirit is the real and eternal;
(and Denial) “matter is the unreal and temporal.” (citation S29) and its conclusion as follows

(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 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.

Mary Baker Eddy further said of 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, p. 93: 17, Mary Baker Eddy’s quote & comment on Acts 17:28.


Ken’s GEMs: Hear on YouTube Ken Cooper poems “What is matter and “Now is come Salvation” both related to this week’s Bible Lesson.

[Ken wrote:] “A common phrase we hear is “What’s the matter?”, – meaning “What’s the problem?“ The answer is often “Nothing” because the respondent doesn’t want to confess to what’s wrong, and often, if they eventually do, a list of problems may well come forth. When people in need went to Jesus for healing, their thoughts mostly focused on the healing of matter, but Jesus never asked them “What’s the matter?” He did not need to. He knew the answer really was “Nothing”. Jesus just proved what he knew. He said to the Samaritan woman at the well “God is Spirit”, and this truth dismisses for all time any claim of matter. As Mary Baker Eddy noted, Jesus never made extensive enquiries into what the problems seemed to be, – he saw through them, to see the man of God’s creating, – the present perfection of good, without history or fear of the future. It is a simple fact that nothing can interfere with the Allness of God and man’s reflection of the infinite.

The Poem “What is matter is very descriptive, revealing exactly what Jesus saw through, and is the challenge for mortal man to drop all false belief for what is true. When we accept the Allness of God we have to accept the nothingness of matter, – this is the repentance required, that reveals the kingdom of heaven within us, unfettered by the false gods of materiality. Nothing can affect the entirety of man at one with his Father. As the poem concludes, “Behold! The Allness of God is the nothingness of matter.”

Understanding the nothingness of matter is indeed salvation. Webster 1828 defines salvation as “the act of saving”, “the redemption of man from the bondage of sin and liability to eternal death, and the conferring on him everlasting happiness.” Everlasting happiness takes place in the everlasting now; it is the now of the kingdom of heaven, in which there is no matter, the now of infinite Spirit. The final section of the lesson gives the victory of good over evil, – this is not a temporary victory either. It is the absolute recognition that evil and all its accompaniments are forever dismissed, cast out for ever, as a present fact, for evil never had an existence. It is the father of itself, an attempt to be a god that only illusion can maintain. God has never been troubled by nothing, and nor can we be.

When we align ourselves with God, infinite Spirit becomes our experience, and it is shared by all those around us. “Now is come Salvation” traces the attempts of wrong thinking to ensnare us, but rejoices in the recognition of present salvation, – the presence of Love embracing our very being. As the “now” is always perfect, we need never be concerned with the past or the future. The poem finishes with the words “In Love I am held”, – this is the present reality, and there are no exceptions. The power of love embraces everyone, and shines from us all. It reaffirms the words and the love of the father in the parable of the prodigal son, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." There is nothing else to have.

When we know that man is spiritual, that is all we need to know, for that is all there is to know. Man was never of the dust, was never material. No particle of error exists in infinite Mind, and man can only manifest Mind, the one Spirit. That is our present salvation, the now of true being.

PDF copies of the poems in color and B&W are available on the top right as Downloads at the top right of CedarS metaphysical article for this week


GEM of an Intro to John’s Gospel: Start & stay in the absolute with affirmations & denials! [Scientific Statement of Being also does, SH 468, cit. S1] Cobbey Crisler on John 1:1-3 (citation B2) and referenced in cit. S3, 335:8-12) “In the beginning was the Word… without (the Word of God) “was not anything made that was made.”
“John 1:1. John starts off unlike any of the preceding gospels. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He starts off, as a matter of fact, as only one other book of the Bible begins. Notice Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. " Do you think the early readers of his gospel would have recognized that? Do you think that was John's intent? That it should be recognized?

“There is something that is a major clue to studying the Bible. That is, when you get the remotest hint of an Old Testament verse in the New Testament, don't ignore it or put it aside. It’s there for a very deep reason. It probably holds the key to the meaning of the New Testament event, or the author would not have included it. By no means make the mistake which Professor Davies, Professor Dodd, Professor Albright and many others of our top New Testament scholars say we often make. That is, when you find a verse in the New Testament which comes from the Old Testament, either an exact quote or a paraphrase, don’t just go back to that verse. Read the context around it. Study the environment; get deeply involved in the thought and intent of the Old Testament passage. You may be more closely at-one with what the author in the New Testament means. In other words, what do you have? You have a blend of the whole Bible that way. You find that Old and New Testaments become inseparable, which is virtually the view, I think, that the authors of the New Testament take. The account of the "Walk to Emmaus" in Luke 24: 13-35 shows how much Jesus and the apostles used the Old Testament to show how much the New Testament fulfills Old Testament prophecies.

“It also seems clear to me that Jesus, in his approach to mankind, from his outlook, his acts, his attitudes, his words as well as works, embraced universal humanity. You'll find hints of it passed down from his early students to their students, and so forth. But more than this, Jesus of Nazareth was a Bible student to surpass all Bible students. Therefore, if he knew in his own thought when an event affecting him or others of his period were the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy, or a lesson should be learned from a new/old truth that came out of the reservoir of the Scriptures, then he would so state it.

“But sometimes he allowed it to remain hidden. It would force his hearers, as well as his readers in this century, to become Bible students with him if they wanted to understand what he was saying. He embraces universal humanity. He addresses and communicates particularly to Bible students. As far as Jesus' comprehension of the word "Christian" is concerned, it probably would be fair to say that he would insist that Christians become Bible students just to comprehend what the word meant. What does that say to us today? Does that mean we should be reading these books, this collection, this library called the Bible? Specifically, our focus today is on the New Testament and one of the gospels? Should we be reading it as if it were a novel? Is that how Jesus felt his life and mission should be conveyed?

“Should we weep real tears because of the suffering and the lack of understanding and the persecution that occurred to him? And then wipe our eyes and go about our business because we've read a very deeply moving story, as we might have turned on a televisions set? Is that the kind of surface research that Jesus expected of his followers? When he said in John 5:39, "search the Scriptures,” I doubt you could ever apply that to television. Who wants to search television? There is obviously an object in view which Jesus knew would not benefit him, but would be enormously rewarding. The yield on that kind of investment would leap out of the page into the lives of those who did it. Therefore, "the word would be made flesh,” (John 1:14).

“John 1:1 starts his gospel off, "In the beginning was the Word.” The Greek is, en arche hin ho logos. Does arche look familiar to you? It is the root word in "archeology." It's an exciting word. It doesn't just mean when things begin or when they have started in a human way, so much as, translated by some scholars, as "the first principle" of things.

“For instance, when Jerome, in about 400 A.D. translates the Greek Bible into Latin, here’s how he does those opening words. "In principio," which, of course, is our root of our word "principle," in principio. He could have used another Latin expression which is "ab initio, " which would have meant at the initial phases of things, but instead he chooses a Latin word which has a dual meaning which could be "principle," the first principle, the origin, the basis of things.

“If we choose that particular Greek meaning for the opening of both Genesis and John, then it gives it an entirely different connotation. If, in principle, God created the heaven and the earth, or in principle, was the word, it starts out like many mathematical or scientific textbooks which start out with the statement of principle. Everything else derives from it.

“But then we come to a word which John uses in the first chapter and uses again in successive chapters but never with the same connotation. It stands out in its uniqueness and it is so emphatically important to the author that we have to just dwell on it somewhat and see what it might mean.

“Let me give you a partial history of the word. What automatically occurs to you as the meaning of logos? We take this word, "Word," and identify it with logos. This is likely being written at some point during the 1st century A.D. Way back in the 6th century B.C., Heraclitus at Ephesus was attempting philosophically to explain continuity amid all the flux around him. He resorted to logos as the eternal principle of order in the universe, the kind of reliable, unchanging law and order. This is several centuries prior to John's use of it. (Interestingly enough, people think that the Gospel of John may have been written there.)

“From that period we can trace the word logos through many, many different concepts. Zeno (of Elea, c 490 – c 430 B.C.), a Greek philosopher used it in the connotation of right reason, of reality within the mind, pure thought. Which leads me to what Professor Dodd has said, "It is only in Greek that a term is available which means both thought and word, and that's logos." Only in Greek have you that term that can convey both thought and word. So, when you’re talking about logos, even from the standpoint of word, if we are not giving to it what really is behind it, we're losing something of the message, aren't we?

“Why does the additional concentration on thought add to the definition of word? When you go behind the word to the thought, you're dealing with ideas, concepts, and the meaning. It is where all human languages finally give up their fragmentation and meet, and become one, in a Pentecostal day of infinite communication. The "word" is but an instrument which we must meet at the thought or at the meaning. Then, no barriers, especially language barriers, can stand between us and comprehension of one another, of the universe, its laws, and the source of those laws.

“Dodd continues: "In Origen’s commentary on the 4th gospel which is being written, again very early in the history of the Christian church. In reading Origen's commentary, there are interpretations in there, in the Greek that he's writing, which absolutely depend upon taking logos not only in the sense of word, but it alternates without warning with the other sense of rational principles. So, the continual indication of this word principle is something that is significant."

“Do you know where we use logos in the English language? Biology, physiology. Logos is the one that has been used to define the sciences in the English language. This was the comprehension at least of the lexicographers who developed our own language of the Greek term. Look how it's lasted even in our language. We use it all the time without realizing it, taking it for granted. Is there a scientific connotation, then, that "In the beginning,” "In the first principle of things,” there is a scientific unvarying, inalienable, order that's ruling. And that it's not only being uttered as an expression or word, but behind it is the immense thought that also must be based on the same principle. Notice in Verse 1of Chapter 1 that it all related with and to God.

“John 1:3 continues with a statement that is quite absolute, "All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Is there any reservation for qualifications? "All things were made by him. That is [an] enormous commitment to make at the beginning of a book. The theology of this book is therefore committed right squarely on what principle if we're now defining the theological principle on which the Bible is based? Not only oneness of God, but the fact He's one, also means He's all. "All things were made by Him.” Everything is created by Him. That also poses problems, because all we have to do is open our eyes and look around us. And what we see, we'd rather not think was created by God. But as of now, we've just started the book. So, let's see what the style of the author is and his theological commitments. "All things were made by Him.”

“He doesn't leave it there. The very next sentence adds, “Without him was not any thing made that was made." Why is he saying that? Doesn’t “all things were made by Him” take care of the other part? What is the difference? What’s the distinction that he is implanting in his readers' thought right at the beginning of the book? "All things were made by Him.” What would you call that? That kind of statement is an absolute, but is it also an affirmation. It's a real solid plus. This is a plus of the theological view of John. "All things were made by Him."

“What have we got now? Denial. Here is how we're going to deal with the minus element. The minus element is without Him, "without him was not any thing made that was made.” Any hint of a minus existing after the all-things-were-made-by­him being declared, is removed, because it is the other side of the same coin.

“The plus, the minus, the affirmation, the denial is a mathematical approach. Dealing with the plus, dealing with the minus and ending up with one, not dualism. One, so there’s no doubt that the key to the gospel is monotheism. It challenges the reader’s thought to see if he’s there at that altitude before he continues any further in the gospel. It forces the reader to get to that height in order to remotely communicate with what's in the gospel.”

“Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


Another GEM from John captured in Jesus’ talk with the woman at the well in Samaria.
Cobbey Crisler on John 4:it. B21, cit. S27, 234:4 “giving living water to the thirsty”)

[Cobbey:] John 4:23, ''The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. “Look at the definition of worship. “Worship is spiritual," not structural, not geographical, not ritualistic. Why? Because worship of God can only properly be done by partaking of God's own nature.

John 4:24 tells us that "God is Spirit. Therefore, worshiping Spirit can only be done spiritually." There's no other way to do it. How basic. By the way, when you see "a Spirit" in there. It shouldn’t be there.

Listen to what God says about it. Notice the strong tenor of his words. To translate "God is a Spirit" is the most gross perversion of the meaning. "A Spirit" implies one of a class of "pneumata," the Greek word for it. There is no trace, in the fourth gospel, of the vulgar conception of a multitude of spirits. “God is Spirit.” Mathematically one can only derive from Spirit included in it. Namely, spirituality is the derivation. Worship must be that.

Notice what is done as this woman's thought. Women weren't supposed to discuss the Scriptures. There was a first century rabbi, Eleazar, who said, "To teach a woman Scripture was like teaching her lasciviousness." That's some extreme. That was the kind of thought that was at some rabbinical extremes in the first century, not necessarily the general Jewish view, but Eleazar is considered quite a great rabbi.

Jesus is discussing intellectual problems of Scripture with a woman. This is unheard of!

“John, The Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


A Malachi 3 GEM: Be grateful God’s time is NOW to reverse the curse and pour-out blessings!
Cobbey Crisler on Malachi 3:10, 11 (cit. B6) plus verse 12
Malachi 3: Verse 10 The blessing that God promises in verse 10— to “pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it”— is God saying to the lie “it is enough”. The deluge is to show the infinite supply that is able to pour through you. [no blessing will be held back] The deluge is to show the infinite supply that is able to pour through you.

Verse 11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, for he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.” This promises that God’s time is now; our grateful acknowledgement of that is essential.

Verse 12 “And all nations shall call you blessed” (praise you—creative ideas); for ye shall be a delightsome land” (empty or devoid of fear, inertia).
Comments from B. Cobbey Crisler as recorded in Warren Huff’s Oxford wide-margin Bible


Jesus’ GEM of a radically different view of matter: John 6:62, "What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before?" Nativity in the Spirit. There can't be the magnetic pull back to earth if that connection has been severed or proved never to have been a real connection.

In John 6:63 (cit. B7), Jesus impinges upon what has been considered laws of physics because he views matter in a radical way. He makes the statement, "It is the spirit that quickeneth.” That is where you find life. So, if you want to talk about nativity anywhere, you better deal with origin and Spirit. "The flesh profiteth nothing.”

You see how close one needs to be to Jesus in thought to understand what has been referred to as the Communion Supper. If he is accurate in saying, "the flesh profiteth nothing, "neither would symbolically eating it profit anything. So, it must not be the flesh he is talking about, but that great transformation that he is proving in his life to be possible to the Son of Man. John 1:14 refers to it as "the Word that was made flesh.” The Word connects us to Spirit, not flesh. Here is part of that Word underscoring the message that, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.

“Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


GEMs to pass your tests of hunger for divine identity: Be Jesus-patterned & recite God's Promises when “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebr. 4:14, Unity of Good, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 58:15)
Follow Jesus by memorizing (paying loving attention to) God’s Bible-based commands and promises to pass your wilderness, divine identity tests like he did!

Bible-based Blog
Facets surrounding Jesus’ words & deeds in Matthew 4:17, 23 so they shine even brighter:
Cobbey Crisler on Jesus’ temptations, Matthew 4:
1-11, 23 (citation B17):
“There is what we might call an identity-crisis test in Chapter 4 (of Matthew). The Anglo-Saxon word “tempt” has almost picked up a theological meaning. It really means “test.” That’s what the word means. It’s a test. (Verse 1) So, “Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness” to be tested on the fact that had recently been revealed (directly from God in Matthew 3:17 (and Mark 1:11) that Jesus was God’s “Beloved Son”).
Verse 2. “After forty days and nights he’s hungry.”
This reminds me of Moses. He, too, had that testing period (Exodus 24:18) just prior to receiving the Ten Commandments. For forty days and forty nights. This Chapter in Matthew is just prior to the Sermon on the Mount or the Beatitudes. This preparation is the same. And there is a test.
Verse 3. “When the tester comes,” here it is, question Number 1: “If you are the Son of God.” Why would that even have emerged if we had not had Verse 17 in the preceding chapter? “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The test question is, “If you are,” then what? “Command that these stones be made bread.”

How does Jesus respond to this test question? He quotes Scripture. Notice how Jesus responds to temptation. If this is the way Jesus elects to respond to it, what about you and me? How eloquent might you or I try to get when we respond to temptation? Make up original sermons, choose our words carefully, perhaps?

Jesus decided the best defense was Scripture. This verse is taken from Deuteronomy 8, Verse 3. Deuteronomy is a law book. In fact, the word in Greek deuteros nomos is the second law or the repetition of the law. How did he regard this test by Satan? What was going on in Jesus’ thinking here? Had he isolated it completely?

“First of all, what does Satan mean in Hebrew? Accuser. It is also the term for prosecuting attorney. If he has the prosecuting attorney accusing in thought, Jesus in his defense cites what? The law. He quotes the law book. He doesn’t need to do anything original. The law is the law and it never varies. Therefore, what is being suggested her by Satan, or the prosecuting attorney is illegal. It is illegitimate. He proves it by citing the law. That’s a marvelous technique for us in the middle of temptation.

“Our consciousness is like a law court. And the plusses and minuses that occur there have to be dealt with, as in a law court. Where are the accusations coming from? The prosecuting attorney or Satan. Where do we get the information? The law book or the defense attorney.

“You know that Jesus promised that something would come after he had left. It’s been translated “the comforter” in the gospel of John. The Greek word is parakletos, sometimes transliterated as paraclete. In Greek it can be the technical term for defense attorney.

“Verse 4 (cit. B8) So, where did Jesus turn for his protection and defense, the defense of his manhood, the defense of his sonship with God, which is a spiritual fact revealed directly to him by God? How does he defend it? By citing the law book, utilizing the Comforter or defense attorney against the arguments of Satan. If Jesus had to do that, can we do anything less? “Man shall not live by bread alone,” Jesus said, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Deut. 8:3) That is a great statement for survival in an emergency….

“All those temptations that hit human nature… We are in the wilderness at some point along with Jesus having the exact same tests applied to us. How are our responses to those exam questions? Do we pass with flying colors?…

Verse 10. We find that Jesus answers and that the only thing he says that’s original, “Get thee behind me Satan.” He dismisses the prosecution in thought, “for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shall thou serve.” That’s kind of a combination of Deuteronomy 6, verse 13 and Deuteronomy 10, verse 20.

Verse 11. Look at what happens. “The devil leaveth him.” No longer is there dualism in thought. “Angels came and ministered unto him.” True communication completely governed his thought, no longer a divided kingdom. The false communication is dismissed.”

Verse 23. And “healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” Here are human problems that had defied solution, and Jesus solved them all based on his concept of theology, namely the kingdom. Remember a kingdom is not chaos. It’s an ordered government of heaven and harmony at hand.”
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master, A Tax Collector’s Report,”
by B. Cobbey Crisler**


A bounce-back resilience GEM: Keep the kingdom as your core & your all! (cit. S11, 262)
Then, even if thrown down hard, you won’t fall apart like an egg! You’ll bounce back even higher like a golf ball! Jesus tells us clearly “the kingdom of God is within you!” (Luke 17:21) Mary Baker Eddy adds:

  • “These clearer, higher views inspire the God-like man to reach the absolute centre and circumference of his being." (S&H 262:15, citation S11)
  • “God is at once the absolute centre and circumference of being." (S&H 203:32-1)

A few decades ago when one of these citations was also in the Christian Science Bible Lesson, I decided to dissect a golf ball to explore its circumference and its center to see what made it thrive and bounce back so resiliently in the “hard-knock life” that it led. I clamped one in a vise and hack-sawed it in half. I found it had an inner rubber ball wrapped tightly in a bunch of rubber-bands that snapped as they were cut. (My dissected golf ball is shown as the first Download in the upper right of this GEM online.)

Spiritual sense and resilience are especially valuable in changeable and tough times, because we and the team we’re on can ill-afford to have us “go all to pieces” like a broken egg—or to have others have to “handle us with kid-gloves” because if they don’t, we might fall apart or “fly off the handle.” The Golf Ball versus Egg analogy relates to the testing and proving of one's spiritual resilience "to reach the absolute centre and circumference of his being." (S&H 262: 15, cit. S11) It helps us spiritually perceive that “God is at once the centre and circumference of being.” (S&H 203:32-1)

I have reasoned many times since then with myself and with Sunday School students, campers and counselors (all who got to handle the cut-up ball), that, like rubber bands, we, as spiritual ideas, are made to be stretched. And, I usually remind them (and myself), "whatever stretches you, blesses you."

These “clearer, higher views inspire the God-like man" (you!) to resiliently bounce back from all kinds of hard-knocks and throw-downs. In fact, like a golf ball, you as a spiritual idea knowing that God’s kingdom reigns over and within you and all, will bounce back higher the harder you are thrown down. (The best higher-bounce-back example is Jesus’ hardest throw-down of the crucifixion followed by his highest bounce back of the resurrection and ascension!)

On Easter I usually illustrate the contrast between the resilient characteristics of a bouncy, vinyl-shell golf ball with a fragile, raw egg and its easily broken shell (circumference) and its squishy yoke (centre). The harder an egg is thrown down, the more it splatters! On Easter (egg) Sunday, we always discuss how the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy tell us of our Genesis 1 spiritual origin instead of an egg origin or dust origin. I usually quip that "If you think that you started out as an egg, you're very likely to end up scrambled."

Then, to turn things into thoughts and to "strengthen our shells" so as to not crack easily, we often read together "Taking Offense" where Mary Baker Eddy counsels against having a fragile, easily-ruffled or touchy disposition. (Miscellaneous Writings, page 223:24.)
To live love resiliently, Paul tells us, "Love is not easily provoked"… or splattered (
I Corinthians 13). Whenever you become easily provoked, one might say, "the yoke's on you."


Accept the GEM of healing as prophesy fulfilled: Behold at your Lystra a leaping lame man! Cobbey Crisler on Acts 14:2-7, 8-10, 11-47 & Paul seeing/being the Isa 35:6 prophesy fulfilled
Acts, Chapter 14 begins with [the prequel of] “the unbelieving Jews” in Acts 14, verse 2, “stirring up the Gentiles.” … And we find now that this is close on the heels of all the success the church makes – a step forward and then a counter step trying to resist and destroy what has been achieved. … So, the “stirring up occurs.” Acts 14, verse 4, shows you a “division in the city, an actual assault is made” in Acts 14, verse 5, “to stone them.”

“And they leave the city going to Lystra and Derbe, and to the surrounding region to preach the gospel.” (Acts 14:6, 7) …

“In the midst of all this persecution and conflict, “there is a man at Lytra, a cripple, and born that way. He never had walked.” (Acts 14:8, cit. B15)

Acts 14:9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,

“Now you remember what we said when Jesus looked at someone? “And Peter beheld someone.” … Here it says, “Paul, stedfastly beholding him.” The author means much more that staring at him, doesn’t he? “Stedfastly beholding him, perceiving” – you see it’s an inner sight – “perceiving he had faith to be healed.” (Acts 14:9, cit. B15)

“Now, if he hadn’t [perceived that he had faith], the implication is what? They were many that needed healing there, but receptivity – the patient has to be part of it apparently. Just as Jesus did not physically lift people to their feet so much as he said, “Pick up your bed and walk…stretch forth your hand” and so forth here.

“Paul, perceiving that he had faith to be healed “Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. (Acts 14:10, cit. B15)

“You notice that the first thing this man does also is what? He leaps before he walks. He never had walked, and “the first thing he did was leap.” …
And Isaiah, if you will recall the prophecy, it indicated “the lame man shall leap as an hart.” (Isa 35:6) … It is a fulfillment of prophecy. Therefore, it’s God’s idea, you see, not man’s healing.”

[“Chapter 14 ends with the exciting sequel of Paul being worshipped and then being stoned and raised by prayer and returning to where he was stoned….] … That shows you the extremes of human nature. You’re a god one moment, and they stone you the next. And that’s exactly what happened to Jesus if you recall the triumphant entry into Jerusalem – and one week later. So avoid triumphal entries if you can at all help it.

“So, “Paul is stoned.” (Acts 14:19) … Now, remember later in a list of the things that he gives that he’s been through; he says he was stoned once, and this is the only record that we have of it. “They drag him out insensible, looking as if he is dead.” (Acts 14:19)

“The disciples, instead of running, stand around about him.” (Acts 14:20) “Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.”

“Now, I don’t know whether anybody in this room would have had the courage Paul did. Even if we rose up from the dead, would you have run back into the city? Didn’t you get the idea that you weren’t wanted?

“He comes back into the city. He would not be thrown out. He then leaves with Barnabas the next day,” normally, “to Derbe to preach there.” (Acts 14:20)

Acts 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch

“And Acts 14, verse 22, the last three lines, he indicates that “we must through great tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

… “But he’s establishing churches as he goes. And think of the influence of his example in stamping the example to follow Christ in that early church. So, as he creates churches as he goes along, he comes back through. He retraces his steps and returns to Antioch in Syria, not the Antioch of Pisidia. He’s back home again

Acts 14:26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.

“If you want to know how the church responded to the results of this first mission; they hold a special corporate meeting and “rehearsed” in Acts 14, verse 27, “all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.” Look at that news, “the door of faith has been opened to the Gentiles.” …

“That says something about the corporate body, especially if the New Testament remark “that the church is the body of Christ is correct. You can’t divide that body. If you try, you’re trying to break the body of Christ in that sense. This was tried on the cross.

“And collectively man is at one under one God if the Biblical theme is accurate. And that must include the Gentiles; it must even include those we may count among our enemies. And Paul’s approach here is a pioneering one.”
“AFTER THE MASTER, WHAT?” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


GEMs on fighting any mental war going on within you:
Cobbey Crisler from Revelation 12:7-12
(citation B16):
“There was war in heaven” the Bible (Revelation 12:7) tells us.We find that the protagonists and antagonists are clearly described as angels. The war, then is a mental one. It is going on within… Vers 8 shows us that “the dragon and his angels prevailed not: neither was their place found more in heaven.” That’s an uninvaded heaven concept. That’s a wholeness. That’s not a divided sense.

… the Ten Commandments are our defense. We know what not to do. That’s what the Commandments (in Exodus 20:3-17) have told us. We know what to do. That’s what the Beatitudes (in Matthew 5:3-11) have told us.

That ability of being able to say “yes” and “no” is the simplest mental defense that we have… When to say either or both. Mental defense and Commandments and Beatitudes ready made, spiritually given to us so that we may never be in doubt as to what to say “no” to and what to say “yes” to. But the beast would break up our commitment to such a standard. It’s only the standard that resists the flood of the enemy, even by the Spirit of the Lord.”
“War in Heaven: Conquest of Inner Space,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


A Grit to “*Pearls*” GEM! — Turn Trash into Beautiful Treasures of Truth and Love! CedarS 2020 Theme in cit. S32 in Science & Health, by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 265:3-15:

"Man understands spiritual existence in proportion as his treasures of Truth and Love are enlarged. Mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual, they must near the broader interpretations of being, and gain some proper sense of the infinite, in order that sin and mortality may be put off. This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggest man's absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace."

We invite you to join us in "gravitat[ing] Godward." A CedarS-like camp setting, whether actual or virtual, is the perfect place to discover and enlarge your treasures of Truth. Every "met" (inspirational sharing before activities), every breakfast Christian Science practitioner talk, every Bible Lesson study, every Hymn Sing, every Sunday School class, and testimony meeting offers campers nuggets of Truth to make their own. And each activity offers opportunities to apply these Truths and prove their value – to really turn them into treasures for life!

The list in this passage is such a beautiful promise of the blessings realized through spiritual growth:
Enlarged individuality
A wider sphere of thought and action
A more expansive love
A higher and more permanent peace

We see this list as so contemporary, as so on-target, and as so timeless. This is as exactly what today's youth needs – and exactly what today's world needs.

*Pearls* are wonderful examples of the “treasures of Truth” and how they grow. A pearl grows in an oyster only because an irritant has entered its shell and the oyster responds by secreting on it layer after layer of an irritantsoother (the way that spiritual sense and love heal whatever irritates us and others). Let’s take that as a challenge to be like the oyster and turn everything that looks negative and ugly into a string of beautiful pearls by applying layer upon layer of love and spiritual sense to grow our treasures of Truth and Love!

Enlarging your treasures of Truth and Love will soon make you “debt-free” by cancelling the debt — “cancel culture” with a God’s eye view! St. Paul simply describes this higher view of ultimate “debt-forgiveness program” of Love that freed him—as it will free you. It is to: “Owe no man anything, but to love one another” (Romans 13:8). Saul voiced this as one who “owed” Christ and all Christians BIG-time by being known as their most enthusiastic enemy and persecutor. Saul made up for it as Paul by becoming Christianity’s most advent advocate and most eloquent missionary after he was converted by a “virtual” meeting with Jesus. (So, don’t underestimate the power of virtual camp sessions, hymn sings or church services when the Christ is welcomed in!)

If you visit Saul’s road to Damascus in CedarS Bible Lands Park, you will be reminded to be like Ananias of the Damascus Christians. Like Ananias, you will be asked to stop “owing” any former enemy or persecutors and to stop “bearing false witness against” any and all Saul-like characters in your life—and instead to see them as if they’ve been on their “road to Damascus” and changed for good by the Christ. In the words of a young Sunday School student “Forgive us our “trash-passes” as we forgive those who “trash-pass” to us.”

Had Ananias held Saul in a position that he’d outgrown after his “virtual encounter” with the Christ – if he had NOT obeyed God’s command to forgive Saul’s trash-passing and to restore his sight, the born-again Paul would not have become the most productive, treasure-passer of Christianity that the world has known. “Those unpretentious, yet colossal characters, Paul and Jesus(Misc. 360:6-8) both did all they could to pass along the rich treasures of their resilient spiritual sense of oneness with God. May we each do the same with all the treasures of Truth that spiritual sense constantly gives us!

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