Bible Study From February 15th, 2020 | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Bible Study From February 15th, 2020

Nehemiah’s Strong Stand, Part 3

This week’s Lesson Sermon Subject: Soul

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Bible Study Questions and Readings

To Nehemiah came the oppressive cry of the people in regard to a lack of sustenance. Hearing their complaints of the selfish exactions of corn, money, and usury by the nobles and rulers, Nehemiah was righteously indignant and administered a sharp rebuke to this selfishness and greed. He did not weakly submit to the injustice, but unveiled these negative qualities before the wrong-doers who were trying to operate against the harmony of the community. His rebuke was effective, and wrung from the extortioners the promise of restitution and reformation; whereupon Nehemiah called for written agreements and witnesses thereto, that the promises of reform should be fulfilled. Many earnest servants of God are robbed of their just proportion of the fruits of the earth, or of their industry which should provide the sustenance to which they are entitled, because the necessary firm rebuke to selfishness and greed is withheld. All earnest, working Christian Scientists have divine rights as children of the Lord of the whole earth, and these rights surely include all that is needed to sustain them in God’s service. To withhold the necessary rebuke of those who are insistently unjust and continuously selfish is to encourage wrong-doing, and thus to tip the beam on the scales of justice against the side of God, Christian Science, and humanity.

from “Protection in God’s Work” Christian Science Journal, March, 1912, by Ernest C. Moses

Topic:The Wisdom of Nehemiah part 3

Moderator: Mike from NY

Bible Readings: Nehemiah Chapters 1-13

Optional Bible Readings: Ezra Chapters 1-10

Questions:

  1. How were the rulers and nobles of Jerusalem treating the people they ruled and how did Nehemiah react to this situation? (Nehemiah 5:1-19)
  2. What were the duties and actual performance of the following people on the religious life in Jerusalem? (Eliashib – Nehemiah 13: 4, 7, 28); (Ezra – Ezra chapters 6-10, Ezra 9:1-3, Nehemiah 8:1-18); (Nehemiah – Nehemiah 8:9); and (Levites – Nehemiah 13:10-13)
  3. What was the issue of the Jews intermarriage with non-Jews and the solution applied by Nehemiah? (Nehemiah 13:1-3,23-31)
  4. Why did Nehemiah have the public reading of the Law of Moses? (Nehemiah 8:13, 9:38, 10:27-39)

Notes from the Discussion




Walls protect against invading foriegn thoughts.

— from Bible Study




The Bible is our moral guide and keep us clear.

— from Bible Study




We must be willing to stand and face the heat as Christian warriors.

— from Bible Study




Watch your thoughts, and see whether they lead you to God and into harmony with His true followers. Guard and strengthen your own citadel more strongly. Thus you will grow wiser and better through every attack of your foe, and the Golden Rule will not rust for lack of use or be misinterpreted by the adverse influence of animal magnetism.

 

From “Ways That Aer Vain” in Miscellany by Mary Baker Eddy, page 213




Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city;

— Ecclesiastes 9: 15 from the King James Bible




And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him;

— Nehemiah 6: 12 in the King James Bible




If you walk in the fear of God, you will not be either covetous of worldly gain, or cruel toward your brethren. Nothing exposes religion more to reproach, than the worldliness and hard-heartedness of the professors of it.

— from Matthew Henry Bible Commentary, Nehemiah Chapter 5, by Matthew Henry




Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

— Matthew 4: 10 from the King James Bible




Enemy without enslaves to extract the fruits of our labor.

— from Bible Study




For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

— Ezra 7: 10 from the King James Bible




There is a healthy re-appraisal going on today in many religious denominations. There is a willingness to look more deeply at the outward signs of faith and how it could be accomplishing more or what might be holding back greater progress. Members may be saddened as the outside trappings of a religious organization that has been revered begins to disintegrate, and the numbers of its adherents grow fewer. Perhaps it could be seen as a blessing in disguise. It could be a sign that there is a necessity to seek for the real signs of progress. ​Grandeur, outward glory, and numbers don’t mean that real, solid individual understanding is going on. Are the adherents showing outward signs of inward spiritual growth by manifesting more faith in God than in man? Is more emphasis being put on each individual’s sincere study and prayer, building a living spiritual consciousness, rather than financing a larger material structure? Let us take special care that we are not worshipping the symbols of our faith. Concentrating on the kingdom of heaven within us is by far a greater occasion for gladness and gratitude. “…the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (I Sam. 16: 7)

— from The Comforter Physics to Metaphysics by Yvonne Reus




CHURCH. The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle. The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick.

— from the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, page 583




Kingdom of Heaven. The rein of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme.

— Citation 15 from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, page 590: 1-3




Steps of Nehemiah:

1. He had righteous indignation because this was an offense to God.
2. Nehemiah 5: 7, “Then I consulted with myself,” (He took time to pray.)
3. Rebuke the lords and nobles.
4. He called a great assembly against them, witnesses.
5. He appealed to their conscience, reasoned with them. Nehemiah was an elequent speaker.
6. He pressed them to do right, he did not stop.
7. Then he got a promise from them.
8. Lastly he “took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.” He made them follow through.

— from Bible Study




Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way.

— from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, page 454




For the joy of the Lord is your strength.

— Nehemiah 8: 10 in the King James Bible




The idea is that inside each of us is a “God-shaped hole” — a place inside of our hearts that only God can fill. If we try to put anything else in there, it won’t fit (meaning, it won’t fill the need we have inside of our heart/soul).

— from Bible Study




Turning to God is the only way to solve the fear of climate change.

— from Bible Study




Those who came to hear Nehemiah really wanted God, they made a covenant with God. Nehemiah helped people really want God.

— from Bible Study




Children should by taught the Law of God as part of their education.

— from Bible Study




The Book of Nehemiah Chapters 1-13 ​

Nehemiah plays a great part in this story of the broken-down walls and burned gates. Prophets intuit spiritual symbols in what the eyes see. Isaiah thus gives us the spiritual meaning of walls and gates: “Thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.” (Isa. 60: 18) The people sing a great many praises during this work. Spiritual praise magnifies God to such an extent that nothing else remains in consciousness. (I believe that is what happened in my testimony about the apparently dead hummingbird. I sang heartfelt praises to God for at least 20 minutes, not thinking of the hummingbird at all. When I looked at him, he flipped over and flew off.) ​We could say that it is not so much a wall that is being built but a paean of praise that is being offered to God, Mind, for its creation, for understanding the Truth about creation is the means of universal salvation. Mrs. Eddy writes: “It only needs the prism of this Science to divide the rays of Truth, and bring out the entire hues of Deity, which scholastic theology has hidden. The lens of Science magnifies the divine power to human sight; we then see the supremacy of Spirit and the nothingness of matter.” (Mis. 194: 13) The “prism” of Science is the seven-fold nature of God, learned through the seven synonyms. (In physical science, a prism breaks down light into its seven separate colors.) Salvation comes to us through praising what we know is the image of God in its completeness, both as the center and circumference of individual and world consciousness.

— from The Comforter Physics to Metaphysics by Yvonne Reus




Imagine yourselves in a poorly barricaded fort, fiercely besieged by the enemy. Would you rush forth single-handed to combat the foe? Nay, would you not rather strengthen your citadel by every means in your power, and remain within the walls for its defense? Likewise should we do as metaphysicians and Christian Scientists. The real house in which “we live, and move, and have our being” is Spirit, God, the eternal harmony of infinite Soul. The enemy we confront would overthrow this sublime fortress, and it behooves us to defend our heritage. How can we do this Christianly scientific work? By intrenching ourselves in the knowledge that our true temple is no human fabrication, but the superstructure of Truth, reared on the foundation of Love, and pinnacled.

— from “Dedicatory Sermon” in Pulpit and Press, by Mary Baker Eddy, page 2




I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

— John 17: 15 in the King James Bible







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