Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 Testimony Meeting
Theme: Trials are proofs of God’s care
Read by Bruce and Dede
Jeremiah 26: 1-19
1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the Lord, saying,
2 Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:
3 If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.
4 And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,
5 To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened;
6 Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
7 So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord.
8 Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.
9 Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.
10 When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king’s house unto the house of the Lord, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the Lord’s house.
11 Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.
12 Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard.
13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.
14 As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you.
15 But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth theLord hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.
16 Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets; This man is not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.
17 Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying,
18 Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.
19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear theLord, and besought the Lord, and the Lord repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls.
Jeremiah 30: 1-3 (to 5th ,) (and), 4
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
2 Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.
3 For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah,… and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.
4 And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
Luke 15: 11 ( A )- 24
11 … A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
106: 22 – 27
It has long been a question of earnest import, How shall mankind worship the most adorable, but most unadored,—and where shall begin that praise that shall never end? Beneath, above, beyond, methinks I hear the soft, sweet sigh of angels answering, “So live, that your lives attest your sincerity and resound His praise.”
107: 4 – 17, 29 – 28 (next page)
Christianity is not superfluous. Its redemptive power is seen in sore trials, self-denials, and crucifixions of the flesh. But these come to the rescue of mortals, to admonish them, and plant the feet steadfastly in Christ. As we rise above the seeming mists of sense, we behold more clearly that all the heart’s homage belongs to God. More love is the great need of mankind. A pure affection, concentric, forgetting self, forgiving wrongs and forestalling them, should swell the lyre of human love. Three cardinal points must be gained before poor humanity is regenerated and Christian Science is demonstrated: (1) A proper sense of sin; (2) repentance; (3) the understanding of good.
Without a knowledge of his sins, and repentance so severe that it destroys them, no person is or can be a Christian Scientist.
Mankind thinks either too much or too little of sin. The sensitive, sorrowing saint thinks too much of it: the sordid sinner, or the so-called Christian asleep, thinks too little of sin.
To allow sin of any sort is anomalous in Christian Scientists, claiming, as they do, that good is infinite, All. Our Master, in his definition of Satan as a liar from the beginning, attested the absolute powerlessness—yea, nothingness—of evil: since a lie, being without founda- tion in fact, is merely a falsity; spiritually, literally, it is nothing.
Not to know that a false claim is false, is to be in danger of believing it; hence the utility of knowing evil aright, then reducing its claim to its proper denominator,— nobody and nothing. Sin should be conceived of only as a delusion. This true conception would remove mortals’ ignorance and its consequences, and advance the second stage of human consciousness, repentance. The first state, namely, the knowledge of one’s self, the proper knowledge of evil and its subtle workings wherein evil seems as real as good, is indispensable; since that which is truly conceived of, we can handle; but the misconception of what we need to know of evil,—or the conception of it at all as something real,—costs much. Sin needs only to be known for what it is not; then we are its master, not servant. Remember, and act on, Jesus’ definition of sin as a lie. This cognomen makes it less dangerous; for most of us would not be seen believing in, or adhering to, that which we know to be untrue.
109: 8 – 18, 26 – 12(next page)
Examine yourselves, and see what, and how much, sin claims of you; and how much of this claim you admit as valid, or comply with. The knowledge of evil that brings on repentance is the most hopeful stage of mortal mentality. Even a mild mistake must be seen as a mistake, in order to be corrected; how much more, then, should one’s sins be seen and repented of, before they can be reduced to their native nothingness!
Ignorance is only blest by reason of its nothingness; for seeing the need of somethingness in its stead, blesses mortals.
To understand good, one must discern the nothingness of evil, and consecrate one’s life anew. Beloved brethren, Christ, Truth, saith unto you, “Be not afraid!”—fear not sin, lest thereby it master you; but only fear to sin. Watch and pray for self-knowledge; since then, and thus, cometh repentance,—and your superiority to a delusion is won.
Repentance is better than sacrifice. The costly balm of Araby, poured on our Master’s feet, had not the value of a single tear.
Beloved children, the world has need of you,—and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives. You need also to watch, and pray that you preserve these virtues unstained, and lose them not through contact with the world. What grander ambition is there than to maintain in yourselves what Jesus loved, and to know that your example, more than words, makes morals for mankind!