Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 Testimony Meeting
At 8:15pm EDT every Wednesday, our Testimony Meeting features inspired readings from The Bible and correlative passages from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and Prose Works by Mary Baker Eddy, as well as testimonies of Christian Science healing and wonderful music. All are welcome to listen and participate!
Theme: Spiritual Baptism
Readings: Elizabeth from GA
Isaiah 40: 3
3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Malachi 3: 1
1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
John 1: 6-8
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Matthew 3: 3-17
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Galatians 3: 26-27
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Acts 22: 16
16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
John the Baptist prophesied the coming of the immaculate Jesus, and John saw in those days the spiritual idea as the Messiah, who would baptize with the Holy Ghost,— divine Science.
John came baptizing with water. He employed a type of physical cleanliness to foreshadow metaphysical purity, even mortal mind purged of the animal and human, and submerged in the humane and divine, giving back the lost sense of man in unity with, and reflecting, his Maker.
Metaphysically, baptism serves to rebuke the senses and illustrate Christian Science.
First: The baptism of repentance is indeed a stricken state of human consciousness, wherein mortals gain severe views of themselves; a state of mind which rends the veil that hides mental deformity. Tears flood the eyes, agony struggles, pride rebels, and a mortal seems a monster, a dark, impenetrable cloud of error; and falling on the bended knee of prayer, humble before God, he cries, “Save, or I perish.” Thus Truth, searching the heart, neutralizes and destroys error.
This mental period is sometimes chronic, but oftener acute. It is attended throughout with doubt, hope, sorrow, joy, defeat, and triumph. When the good fight is fought, error yields up its weapons and kisses the feet of Love, while white-winged peace sings to the heart a song of angels.
Second: The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the spirit of Truth cleansing from all sin; giving mortals new motives, new purposes, new affections, all pointing upward. This mental condition settles into strength, freedom, deep-toned faith in God; and a marked loss of faith in evil, in human wisdom, human policy, ways, and means. It develops individual capacity, increases the intellectual activities, and so quickens moral sensibility that the great demands of spiritual sense are recognized, and they rebuke the material senses, holding sway over human consciousness.
By purifying human thought, this state of mind permeates with increased harmony all the minutiae of human affairs. It brings with it wonderful foresight, wisdom, and power; it unselfs the mortal purpose, gives steadiness to resolve, and success to endeavor. Through the accession of spirituality, God, the divine Principle of Christian Science, literally governs the aims, ambition, and acts of the Scientist. The divine ruling gives prudence and energy; it banishes forever all envy, rivalry, evil thinking, evil speaking and acting; and mortal mind, thus purged, obtains peace and power outside of itself.
This practical Christian Science is the divine Mind, the incorporeal Truth and Love, shining through the mists of materiality and melting away the shadows called sin, disease, and death.
In mortal experience, the fire of repentance first separates the dross from the gold, and reformation brings the light which dispels darkness. Thus the operation of the spirit of Truth and Love on the human thought, in the words of St. John, “shall take of mine and show it unto you.”
Third: The baptism of Spirit, or final immersion of human consciousness in the infinite ocean of Love, is the last scene in corporeal sense. This omnipotent act drops the curtain on material man and mortality. After this, man’s identity or consciousness reflects only Spirit, good, whose visible being is invisible to the physical senses: eye hath not seen it, inasmuch as it is the disembodied individual Spirit-substance and consciousness termed in Christian metaphysics the ideal man — forever permeated with eternal life, holiness, heaven. This order of Science is the chain of ages, which maintain their obvious correspondence, and unites all periods in the divine design. Mortal man’s repentance and absolute abandonment of sin finally dissolves all supposed material life or physical sensation, and the corporeal or mortal man disappears forever. The encumbering mortal molecules, called man, vanish as a dream; but man born of the great Forever, lives on, God-crowned and blest.
Mortals who on the shores of time learn Christian Science, and live what they learn, take rapid transit to heaven, — the hinge on which have turned all revolutions, natural, civil, or religious, the former being servant to the latter, — from flux to permanence, from foul to pure, from torpid to serene, from extremes to intermediate. Above the waves of Jordan, dashing against the receding shore, is heard the Father and Mother’s welcome, saying forever to the baptized of Spirit: “This is my beloved Son.” What but divine Science can interpret man’s eternal existence, God’s allness, and the scientific indestructibility of the universe?
Beloved students, you have entered the path. Press patiently on; God is good, and good is the reward of all who diligently seek God. Your growth will be rapid, if you love good supremely, and understand and obey the Way-shower, who, going before you, has scaled the steep ascent of Christian Science, stands upon the mount of holiness, the dwelling-place of our God, and bathes in the baptismal font of eternal Love.