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[Wield Truth’s sword to cut thru fables & decapitate them with facts!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

for January 20-26, 2020

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer

We are encouraged in this Lesson to arm ourselves with the sword of Truth, or Spirit, which is the Word of God, not be afraid of whatever evil suggestion may present itself, and vigorously go after it in order to eliminate it. Truth destroys error completely — leaving no residue. There is some mention of truth and sword in every section of this lesson, including the Golden Text and Responsive Reading. Have fun, as I did, letting your concept of this sword of Truth expand as you read.

Golden Text: I love this description of the Word of God being “alive and active [powerful], sharper than any double-edged sword.” A double-edged sword is very sharp and designed to pierce an enemy in battle. Synonyms of pierce include “penetrate, cut to the quick, comprehend, grasp, get to the bottom of.” So, no matter what issue we may be dealing with — from a physical challenge to a business or relationship problem, to politics and world conflicts — we can trust the Word of God to get to the bottom of it, cut through the clutter of mortal mind’s suggestions, and reveal a solution that brings healing and harmony for all concerned.

Responsive Reading: We are encouraged to lean on God’s truth and wisdom and humbly rejoice in His power because God takes pleasure in caring for us and leading us, His dear children. As we are praising God (acknowledging the allness of His mighty power) we are also to have a sharp, two-edged sword in our hand. Is this not pointing out the importance of not only holding to the truth of being, but also attacking (and destroying all belief in) the erroneous suggestions by denying their suppositional power? We are to wield the sword, while remaining protected from the enemy — every supposition of evil — by God, our “shield and buckler”.

Section 1: The flaming sword prevents the purity of Truth from being contaminated by error

Psalm 3 confirms the message of Genesis 1. (B1 & B2) Everything that was made was made by God and it was all good — like God! Those are the unchanging facts of being. And then comes the “but …” It is helpful, however, to view what follows in Genesis 2 as a parable (such as is referred to in Ps. 78.) (B3 & B4) Viewing things through the mist of mortal thought, dualism appears — a supposed mixture of good and evil and the temptations that go along with that belief.

In the story, Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden after they disobediently eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now the purity of the tree of Life needs to be protected. In the allegory (designed to teach us a lesson) the Lord God places Cherubim (a type of angel often associated with guarding holy places) and a flaming sword at the edge of the garden. The garden can be thought of as representing God’s holy presence. (B5) The man of God’s creation (the Genesis 1 man) is never separated from God. But there is no room in this realm of all good for a misty, false view of man, or of sin. It occurs to me that the message here may be that Adam and Eve (representing disobedience and mortality) were removed from the garden, not as punishment, but to be sure the elements of error — the sin of disobedience and lie of mortality — would never mingle with eternal life.

Mary Baker Eddy identifies the “tree of life” as the “idea of Truth” and the sword as “divine Science” which guards this Truth. (S1) She also speaks of the “cherub wisdom” being placed by Truth at the “gate of understanding to note the proper guest.” The sword of Truth “indicates the distance between Truth and error.” (S5) How grateful we can be that our consciousness (our understanding of our oneness with God) is being guarded by the sword of Truth so that no error can enter there. And this is true for ALL! Truth casts out impurities of thought and action in man as naturally as “light dispels darkness.” (S7) It is our privilege to bear witness to this cleansing action.

Section 2: The just sword of Truth uncovers and destroys error.

Science and Health defines sword, in part, as “The idea of truth; justice.” (S9) The Golden Text is repeated in this section, and extended. (B6) It is interesting to compare this verse in Hebrews to Psalm 139 which begins, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me.” This two-edged sword (the Word of God) discerns thought in order to penetrate it and separate out that which is detrimental, or not useful. The Word of God (or Truth) goes to the very core of a situation — beyond what the human senses can perceive — in order to uncover and destroy the conflict. God judges by cleansing thought and action and revealing a solution that is merciful to all involved. When faced with any situation involving conflict, or things just not seeming right, we can depend on the justice (or rightness) of Truth to correct the situation, rather than trying to battle it out on a human level. Error tries to hide behind all kinds of human disguises including pride and self-justification, or even self-doubt. But, this sword of Truth cuts through all of the selfs, separates the error from the person and destroys it. (S10)

Maybe we’re having a physical challenge and we’re tempted to search around looking for a “cause”. Understanding that it is the nature of error to hide, we shouldn’t waste our time trying to search it out, but become more conscious of God’s presence and watch the sword of Truth cut through the garbage, reveal the error and correct it. (S11) “Truth is demonstrable when understood ….” (S12) Don’t let that part about understanding throw you — or discourage you. Remember, God is the source of that understanding. As we practice what we know, — or do understand — Love reveals more to us. The sword of Truth (or Word of God) is merciful. It clears out the clutter, understanding increases, and demonstration follows.

Section 3: Truth, wielding the sword of Science, decapitates error

I’ve always loved the statement, “Truth decapitates error …” (S16) It is such a vivid description. Interestingly, that is literally what happened in the case of the Philistines’ god, Dagon (representing, of course, a false sense of worship.) (B12) Some backstory …. The Israelites and Philistines were engaged in battle. The Ark of the Covenant (representing God’s presence) was brought to the battlefield, but the Israelites were defeated anyway. After the defeat, the Philistines took the ark. Placing it next to their pagan god, Dagon, the power of God (Truth) caused Dagon (representing error) to fall. Furthermore, the Philistines were plagued with disease. Offering the ark to their neighbors, whoever had the it also suffered. Finally it was determined that the ark must be returned to Israel. As a result, Israel was strengthened and the worship of foreign gods cast out of Israel.

Joshua’s urging to the Children of Israel to “serve ye the Lord” wasn’t just for that time. (B13) How easy it seems for us to get caught up in the distractions of today and find ourselves leaning on “the supposed material foundations of life and intelligence.” (S14) But, just as Dagon fell in the presence of the Ark, “sickness and sin fall by their own weight” in the ever-presence of omnipotent Truth. (S15) No one chooses to have challenges, but they are valuable if they push us closer to God. Then we get to watch Truth wield the “the sword of Science” and decapitate error. (S16)

Section 4: Divine Science as the promised Comforter

The previous section ended with a reference to the “sword of Science.” Although modern dictionaries have developed more specific definitions of “science”, in Mary Baker Eddy’s day it was simply defined, in part, as “the comprehension or understanding of truth.” And the example was given in Webster’s 1828 dictionary, “The science of God must be perfect.” Indeed, this science is perfect … i.e. finished; complete; having all that is requisite to its nature and kind. Healing was an essential part of Jesus’ ministry. (B15) But, Jesus never claimed to have a corner on the market. He promised that another Comforter would come … “the Spirit of truth.” (B17) And he promised that this Spirit of truth would “guide [us] into all truth.” (B18)

Mary Baker Eddy describes Truth as “a two-edged sword, guarding and guiding.” This sword penetrates the darkness of mortal belief and reveals the reality of harmony. Jesus was known as Jesus, the Christ, because he so completely embodied Christ, Truth — the Word of God. Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” It heals the sick and casts out evils, including sin, disease, and death. (S20) This Christ is as alive and active today as it has ever been. And Christin Science lays out the rules (or principles) of divine metaphysics so that all may follow them and find the Comforter which heals and saves. (S22 & S24) Succinctly put, “By lifting thought above error, or disease, and contending persistently for truth, you destroy error.” (S23) I think that’s a great description of the action of the two-edged sword of Truth.

Section 5: Don’t be afraid of stirring things up

Jesus wasn’t afraid to stir things up. It could be said that it was his stirring up of things that got him crucified. But, without the crucifixion there would have been no resurrection — with all the lessons learned thereafter. Jesus faced Pilate without flinching. (B23) Jesus didn’t promise us a path of rose petals. But, he did show us how to navigate the challenges that come our way so we can emerge victorious.

I’m grateful that Mary Baker Eddy explained the verse from Isaiah that opens this section. It’s easy as a Christian Scientist to accept that “there is no God beside me.” But did this God create darkness and evil, as it also says in Isaiah? (B19) MAry Baker Eddy explains that the “prophet referred to divine law as stirring up the belief in evil to its utmost, when bringing it to the surface and reducing it to its common denominator, nothingness.” The imagery of stirring up a muddy river bed in order to purify it is helpful. The uncovering of error can feel very uncomfortable — and scary. But, as we stay focused on the fact that once uncovered, Truth is there to “annihilate all sense of evil and all power to sin,” we can maintain our confidence. (S25) Annihilate is a strong word — like decapitate. Once destroyed, the suggestion of evil has no way of reaching the “tree of life” and we become conscious of our safety in the realm of God. Our world seems to be a mess. But we don’t need to be afraid to take up “the cross” — face evil in all its many disguises. Through embracing the cross we will “win and wear the crown” — just as Jesus did. (S30)

Section 6: Take up the sword of the Spirit and eat of the tree of Life

The author of Ephesians instructs the reader to be strong in the face of challenges large or small. But, we don’t have to (and must not) depend on a human sense of strength. The power to resist evil comes from God. We are protected by the belt of Truth and the breastplate of righteousness (rightness and integrity). It is the Word of God (absolute Truth) that destroys error and it penetrates as a sword, piercing the darkness to get to the bottom of the problem, and destroying it (as only a fable). (B24) We just have to consciously wield this sword — holding steadfastly to Truth no matter how convincing the error seems to be.

We have a promise in the citation from Revelation. (B25) As we rise victorious, having conquered the opposition that tempts us to believe that there is a power other than God, we are rewarded by tasting the fruit of the tree of life. The Greek word translated paradise here can also be thought of as heaven, or the kingdom in which God reigns. Consciousness is freed from the false images of evil in all its various forms (posing as our own thought, experience and action, or the thought and action of another) and instead “man’s real existence as a child of God comes to light.” It is worth the fight because, as we learn in Christian Science, “Truth demonstrated (rendered certain or proved beyond the possibility of doubt) is eternal life.” (S32) The sword of Spirit, or Truth, destroys everything unlike Good completely!

Mine online for yourself Precious GEMs from C.A.M.P.! — (Christ’s Animating Mindset Practiced) as found in this week's Christian Science Bible Lesson. .[For more than two decades Warren Huff has enjoyed freely offering Christianly scientific application ideas from insights shared by Bible scholar Cobbey Crisler, poet Ken Cooper and others.] Blessings are bound to abound to all whenever we daily invite the application of priceless gems from God's Word to "enrich the affections of all mankind and govern them" ("Daily Prayer," Church Manual, Mary Baker Eddy).

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