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Enjoy CC Insights on select citations on “Reality” (the Christian Science Bible Lesson for Sept. 24, 2017)

B. Cobbey Crisler
Posted Monday, September 18th, 2017

Warren Huff's (WH's) proposed additional application ideas on select citations
from
the Christian Science Bible Lesson about “Reality” for September 24, 2017

from Bible talks by Christian Science Bible scholar B. Cobbey Crisler

WH's PS#1—Cobbey Crisler on Acts 1:1, 2 (B11) [& also Luke 24:13-32 (B12)]
“I’m sure you realize the Book of Acts is a second volume of a two-volume work, the first volume being, Luke, right! And the reason we know that: What’s verse one in the book of Acts tell us?

It starts out with…really giving us that information, doesn’t it? It says
Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

Now, why in that brief group of words do we have clues about the Gospel of Luke and similar authorship? Do you know?

Well, the Gospel of Luke, if you check the opening verses there, you will find that that Gospel is addressed to “Theophilus” as well. (See below)

Luke 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

Luke 1:4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

And here, we’re told in the opening verse of Chapter One of Acts, “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus….” (See Acts1:1 above)

So, it doesn’t take too much more than common sense to at least link the books in terms of the one to whom it was written and in terms of the author….

Now, Theophilus – who is he? No one knows, but translated from the Greek it means what? Do any of you know? What’s “Theo” like in theology, God and Logos. All right, it’s…well, not Logos, that was theology, but Theo-PHILUS, Philus meaning, like Philadelphia, love. So, God-loving, literally, which has again caused some to think that it might not be addressed to an individual named Theophilus; it could be to us if we qualify in that definition, collectively.

“O All those who are God-loving.” (See below, Paraphrased) Again that is conjecture, but something worth considering.

We know that the first treatise that Luke wrote had to do with – what does the first verse tell us? (Indistinct answer from audience) Right. What “Jesus began both to do and teach.” (See below, Partial)

Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

So, it really, it sounds like it was a gospel such as we have. And the progress of the gospel, narrative wise, would take us, according to Verse 2, “until the day in which he was taken up after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen.” …

Now, probably the most extensive use of the concept and phrase Holy Ghost is in the Book of Acts. So, we’re talking about not only church but a very close relationship to church of the concept of Holy Ghost. So, let’s review that a bit. The word Ghost in Greek is pneuma. …

But, pneuma is spirit, or ghost, or wind, or breath, or air – and very much associated with movement, isn’t it? For instance, you know how the Bible opens: “The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen 1:2)…

And then, look what happened in the next seven days, rather remarkable accomplishments. So the pneuma is/has something to do with movement.

And even the definition of prophesy, given to us in Second Peter in the first chapter, tells us that prophesy really is the result of holy men of God being moved by the Holy Ghost. Alright, now we’ll see several examples of that movement as we go through.

Acts 1:3 “To them he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days…” Reviewing the narrative in the gospel at the end, how many days between the resurrection and the ascension did Jesus have to get across to his students what they apparently had failed to get during the preceding three years? (Murmurs from audience) 40 days. Right.

All right, how many here have heard “The Walk to Emmaus”? (Luke 24:13-32, B12) A good portion? What happened, let’s just review, during that 40 day period in terms of the disciples’ radical change of outlook that had not existed in the preceding three years?

When Jesus came back from the resurrection, what did he find? Did he find a church? (“No,” from audience) In fact, some of his disciples had gone where? Back fishing, and where Jesus found them.

So, Christianity had taken a full circle from fishing boat to fishing boat. It was about to end where it began. And is really that what Jesus had spent all his time and effort in the preceding three years to accomplish? I would imagine he would have been tempted to be somewhat disappointed, don’t you think?

When he returned with all that victory over every obstacle that the world had presented to him, to find that his followers had progressed very little.

And as a matter of fact, you recall what state of mind the two disciples were in on that road to Emmaus? (Murmurs) “They were sad.” (See below, Paraphrased)

Luke 24:17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

Jesus actually is quoted as saying that in the last chapter of Luke, but they were more than sad, and they were more than disappointed, even possibly bitter, right!

And we know that because remember that when the stranger joins the two walking on that road, they don’t know who it is? Can you imagine how often they must have bitten their tongues (Laughter from audience) after they found out who it was?

But, they said, “We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel.”(Luke 24:21)

Now, it’s what’s not said in that remark that is worse than what’s said, “We trusted.” In other words, “We did our part.”


And the implication is somebody did what? Somebody let them down, or failed, or possibly even deceived some. That’s very strong, but it’s certainly within the capability of and the scope of that statement.

The next line, a part of that sentence, is even worse because it says “we trusted it had been he which should have redeemed Israel.” “Should have” (but didn’t). (See above, Luke 24:21)

Now, there is where Jesus’ movement was. Does it sound like much of a movement? And yet, would you and I have responded the same way? It’s very difficult to identify ourselves with the questionable characters in the Bible. We’re generally the ones that were always loyal, unshaken, unmovable, right there when anyone would need us, wherever we can find that in the Bible. We never identify with Judas, do we? Or Peter when he denied Jesus. Or, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Or Thomas who insisted upon seeing medical documentation that Jesus actually could be the same one who was on the cross. We never would be those people, would we? And so, we kind of often approach the Bible with a certain degree of haughty self-importance and miss a great deal of the message. Because the message is that human nature hasn’t really changed very much since the Bible was written. And, that’s a sad commentary, but whose responsibility is it? It really lies with us, doesn’t it?

And, when these two disciples felt that they were let down, I suspect all of us would probably have felt that too. We just committed our livelihood, our reputations, our homes, our families, and many other intricately involved things in that social society of the times, on the strength that this man, Jesus, would succeed, and where did he end up? On a criminal cross.

Now, why we’re reviewing this is because it’s important to see that it required the radical change of thought on the disciples’ part before a church could even be founded.

And the radical change had to do with what? Learning the scriptures – very important. Prophesy. How do we know that those worked emphatically? What Jesus had in mind, had to precede the foundation of church.

That’s the first thing he did talk about, wasn’t it, on the road to Emmaus. He immediately went back to their need to comprehend who he was!

Because, when they said “we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel,” what they really meant was “we thought he was what? The Messiah.” And what they weren’t saying, but they were indirectly, is “now, we don’t think he was. We doubt that he was.” (See Luke 24:21 paraphrased)

Now, what shaped their view, you see, of the Messiah? What were the Jewish expectations about the Messiah that Jesus did not fulfill in the disciples’ thinking?

That is the area where Jesus now worked. This is the unexplored territory. This is a pioneer breakthrough even in scriptural exegesis. Now Jesus is a pioneer in practically everything he touches, and here is one that may have been too ignored, namely in exegesis of scripture, or interpretation.
What could be more appropriate than for the one who was to fulfill scriptural prophesy, and that’s certainly what…everything we read in the gospel seems to tell us, that Jesus felt he fulfilled the role of Messiah. Correct?

Well, if he felt he did, how come his two disciples, having witnessed all these events, were doubting that he really had? There must be a difference of views about who the Messiah would be and what his mission was. Correct?

So, let me ask you. Where did the disciples’ view of the scriptural prophesy end, and where did Jesus’ view of it begin? Where is the dichotomy?

The Jews thought he was to be a king, a lion, and what kind of a leader then, what kind of a king? All right. Go back in their history, and he was probably be someone who would remind them of David, maybe Solomon -- the united monarchies probably, certainly not the divided monarchy that came after Solomon – one that would unite the entire purpose of the Jews.

And, do you get an idea that the main emphases in their expectation was on a spiritual leader? (“No.” from audience)

Now, before we entirely agree on that, let me just read to you what Professor Davies has written in The Invitation to the New Testament, a book published by Doubleday, about the subject of the Messiahship. He says, “It was scandalous enough to point to the figure of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, but the point to a crucified Jesus as such, was monstrous.”

Now, that gives us a clue. Once Jesus was convicted and executed on the cross, if what you are saying is correct, that the nation of Jews to a man, expected a Messiah who would be a king or a political leader to wipe out all of their enemies and bring the Jewish nation back into their historic ascendency that, at least, the united kingdom or monarchy had given the nation.

Then what would the crucifixion do to those hopes and that optimism? Destroy them completely!

Now, do we relate a little bit more to those two fellows walking on the road to Emmaus? And yet, don’t you think the disciples should have had a better view of the Messiah-ship than the Jews generally?

Does it look like it though when they say, “we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel”? (Luke 24:21)

(Unheard comment from audience) Who did? The disciples wanted a personal Messiah? Well, what, didn’t the others, didn’t the rest of the Jews? What I’m getting at is…What’s the difference? What’s the difference that we see here?

(Murmurs) All right. But, there is a difference, you see here, between the way the disciples viewed the Messiah and the Jews in general. There is one, specific, difference. And that is the Jews in general accepted a Messiah who would be a king and political leader. Where did the disciples depart? They believed Jesus had fulfilled it. In other words, here is the candidate. He is the one. And you remember how pleased Jesus was to hear Peter say “Thou are the Christ.” (See below)

But, I think we can understand that in his statement: “Thou art the Christ,” he was only embracing the general Jewish view about the Messiah, king and political leader.

Mark 8:29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

And, you know how we know that. Because after Peter says, “Thou art the Christ,” you remember what Jesus began to tell the disciples for the first time? (See below)

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

He said, “I’m going to be betrayed by the Jews, handed over to the gentiles, and I will be crucified, and I will suffer, rise again the third day.

And Peter says “Far be it from thee oh Lord that will not happen to you.” (See below, Paraphrased)

Mark 8:32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

Mark 8:33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

So, there is the difference as far as scriptural insight is concerned. Jesus apparently embraced a concept of Messiah which he saw in the Bible that no one else in his era had seen.

And when he came back via the resurrection, he not only had to overcome death, which is enough concentration, one would think, in a lifetime, he also had to do what as far as the view of the scriptures was concerned in his entire nation?

He not only had to completely reteach his nation, but in doing so, it would also give them a new concept of the Messiah. And they would understand what he was doing on the cross, why the suffering aspect would be associated with the Messiah.

Now, that’s hard for us to realize because we think we have seen quite easily in the Old Testament the prophesies of a suffering servant, in Isaiah, and Psalms, and so forth.

But, we’re talking about what they saw then. And before we start to rejoice over our great advancement and progress over the first century, let’s ask ourselves how adept and familiar are we really with inspired prophesy in the Bible?

Which (prophesy) may just not have ended because we get an idea that prophesy, according to the Book of Revelation, ends when time ends. And time hasn’t ended yet. Is there more in that Bible that we haven’t seen?

Paul, remember, looked out at his congregations and said that “those in Jerusalem had convicted Jesus, and yet they had sat every Sabbath Day and heard the same prophets read. And, usually, we all chuckle and laugh over that, “See they didn’t hear what they were…didn’t really listen to what they were hearing.”

And yet, I imagine all of us have a regular habit, at least once weekly, of showing up at some church, and the same prophets are being read to us. Are we really listening to what we are hearing, or is there more there, the spiritual insights, individually as well as collectively, should embrace in the scriptures? It’s just something, a question that we need to ask ourselves.

So, let me go one with Professor Davies quote here; he says “Most Jews had certainly not anticipated a Messiah who should suffer. No Jews, we may be certain, had anticipated a Messiah who should endure the shameful death of crucifixion. Such a death, in the light of Deuteronomy, placed Jesus under the condemnation of the law. To proclaim Jesus as Messiah was to proclaim that one whom the law had condemned was upheld by God.”

And let me read you a quotation from the Jewish Encyclopedia, the most recent edition, on the subject of the Messiah which will give us one additional bit of evidence.

“The Messiah was expected to attain, for Israel, the idyllic blessings of the prophet. He was to defeat the enemies of Israel, restore the people to the land, reconcile them to God, and introduce a period of spiritual and physical bliss.”

Now, those two disciples on the walk to Emmaus weren’t feeling much of a spiritual bliss, were they? And, if that were their expectation…in fact, they were running for their lives, rather than feeling a spiritual or physical bliss.

Then the Encyclopedia Judaica continues: “He was to be prophet, warrior, judge, king, and teacher of Torah, or the law.” And then adds a little later in the same article: “The early sources do not mention a suffering Messiah.”

Now, look at that great gap, you see, that’s being caused by the crucifixion itself. You know, Paul refers to the crucifixion as what for the Jews? “A stumbling block.” (See below, Partial)

I Cor 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

It was a stumbling block. Why? Why, perhaps, is that more explained now, after this discussion? Why would it be a stumbling-block for the Jews? (Murmurs) That’s right. They hadn’t embraced that, really, in their thoughts. They couldn’t conceive that their Messiah would be crucified.

And Paul said it was a “stumblingblock for the Jews,” and what for the Gentiles? “Foolishness.” (See above, paraphrased)

Stumbling block is another view for a rock. And remember that Jesus reaches back into the Book of Psalms telling us that “the stone which the builders rejected was to become head of the corner.” (Ps 118:22)

Remember that? Now he brings that out right from the Old Testament. Now, if Jesus is the student of the scriptures that we give him credit to be, pioneer insights, then that verse is worth our study. In fact, it’s worth comparing with some of the other things that he said.

When he talked about a rock with Peter, it was after Peter said “Thou art the Christ.”
“Thou art the Messiah of biblical prophecy” that we’ve been looking for. (Mark 8:29, Paraphrased)
And, immediately Jesus said two things: “My Father hath revealed it unto thee, not flesh and blood.” (Matt 16:17)

It came from God, and if that’s true, then guess what that means for you and me? No one in this room or anywhere else can really tell it to you. It must come, that revelation, if Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah of Bible prophecy, you have to find it yourself, and where? In the word which was revealed from God.

…that is one of the most (probably) ignored facets of Jesus’ approach to his students, including us – namely, Jesus forces you and me to become Bible students. Because he’s communicating to Bible students. He’s actually embracing all of humanity, but he communicates especially to Bible students.

So, when he said, to us as Bible students, presumably, “The stone which the builders rejected has become head of the corner.” (And, at the same time, in somewhat of a paraphrase (somewhat) of this Old Testament verse, he says to Peter, after Peter has said “Thou art the Christ,” that “The father hath revealed it to him.”

The second thing he said was “Upon this rock I will build my church….” Now, if that rock has something to do with “the stone that the builders rejected, that was going to be the corner stone,”( Ps 118:22) it’s rather important to find out what that is… What is that rock?

And Peter in saying, “You are the Messiah,” (Mark 8:29) brought out from Jesus, the first time, the mention of the word “church.” … It’s the first time he mentions it.

Matt 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

And, secondly, he tells them what is going to happen to him. And this again is for the first time, according to the Gospel of Matthew, that “the crucifixion would occur and the resurrection.” (See below, Paraphrased)

Matt 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

And that, as we find from the walk to Emmaus later, every step of that can be found in Bible prophecy. But, Peter, nor anyone else, at the time, had seen that, because they saw the King, the political leader, not the sufferer on the cross.

All right, now, if that’s the “stone, then that the builders are rejecting,” how would you summarize it? (Ps 118:22)

We should look somewhere, related to the rock on which the church is founded, what? The rock hasn’t moved; that’s the advantage of being a rock. But, what (unheard comment from audience) “stability” sure, that’s what a rock would stand for, but what was Jesus getting at when he said, that “upon this rock I will build my church.” (Matt. 16:18)
… And what is the acknowledgement of the Messiah? What was he needing to see emerge in the thoughts of his students, before his church could be built? (Unheard answers from audience) Well, he went to a great deal of effort to show that prophecy had included, really, every step in his career.
And the understanding of prophecy does what, according to that last chapter of Luke? When the two disciples in Emmaus first came into contact with these verses in the Old Testament which in detail described the crucifixion – you know you can practically do that? You can get Bible readings together describing in detail the crucifixion and never leave the Old Testament. Now, that’s something the human mind can’t really accomplish, isn’t it?

So, if that’s possible to do, and Jesus did that with his disciples for the first time on the road to Emmaus, and then, later when they were all meeting together, the first Christian church meeting, where he goes over the same scriptural passages with them again. If that is what was going on, and we’re following the line of church, the first time he ever mentions “church” is when Peter said, “You are the Messiah.” And then, “On that rock, I will build my church,” this comprehension of the scripture…. (Matt 16:16)

And then we find that the next time he goes into this prophetic understanding of scriptures is on the walk to Emmaus, and it turns into the first church meeting, the first Christian church meeting in history, in that last chapter of Luke. So, this comprehension of Jesus’ role in prophecy is, apparently, important.”
After the Master What? By B. Cobbey Crisler
[Click “The Walk to Emmaus” to order Cobbey Crisler’s complete 2-hour talk (audio) with Old Testament prophesies of the Messiah. Or read a transcript of it at the “Publications” tab at www.crislerlibrary.co.uk. Click: “The Master - The Walk to Emmaus - Song of the Lamb - The Gethsemane Decision - How Christ Jesus Saw Himself” (for 4 talks transcribed in one book)]

[W’s PS#2—Cobbey Crisler on Luke 24.13-32 (B12) –Take the Walk to Emmaus

"Jesus came out of that tomb and spent the entire rest of the day gathering up the lost sheep (Luke 24:15-31). Where you and I may have checked into a motel room, [made a] call home and then said don’t bother me for the next few hours. Jesus was on the road to Emmaus, talking to Simon and speaking to many receptive hearts. What happened? They all come back to Jerusalem and hold the first church meeting without realizing historically what they are doing (Luke 24:33)…

“Their hearts had been dead, and those men walking to Emmaus suddenly had their hearts on fire. Why? Because Jesus, beginning with Moses, and going through all the prophets, and through Psalms, explained who he was for the first time (Luke 24: 27). At least they listened.

“He tried to tell them many times. But for the first time they were ready to listen. They had seen what he had gone through. Jesus described every event they had witnessed that weekend, but used the Old Testament to do it. He found a description of his entire mission through the crucifixion, and the resurrection, all in the Bible.

“His disciples found who they were really following, that it was indeed someone whom God had anointed. Not a temporary phenomenon, he was the ideal representative of manhood on earth as in heaven. The one who said, “This is the way” (John 14:6) and “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19). The one who was able to prove every step of the way that what he had to share with humanity was not theory but solid fact that could be proved. And if we aren’t proving it, we are breathing in the Holy Ghost and doing nothing with it.

“That walk to Emmaus must be taken by every single Christian until our hearts are on fire. This is the result of discovering the founder of our church, backed up Scripturally. If the founder is there, then the church he founded must be backed up Scripturally.”
“Luke the Researcher” by B. Cobbey Crisler

[W’s PS#3—Cobbey Crisler on Revelation 21: 3-4 (B15)—no tears in the Holy City
“Revelation 21 and 22. We’ve already been over it, haven’t we? We’ve seen it in previous Scripture but we find that it is the chosen Scriptural summary, the peak, the ultimate, and Jesus is associated with it. How much purer could Scripture be, coming from God through Jesus to John to us? And John saw that “new heaven and new earth” [Revelation 21:1]. …
John saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem. We know its origin, coming from God prepared as a bride. Finally, the bride prepared, adorned for her husband. [Verse 2] The tabernacle of God with men, [Revelation 21] Verse 3.
“Verse 4, there is a check-off list in this Holy City. There’s no more tears, no more salty reminders of the sea in our bodies chemically. We’ve been told there’s “no more sea” in Verse 1. No more sea, no more tears, no more death, no sorrow, crying or pain, not in this consciousness. It’s the Holy City. That also means that it’s whole. There’s nothing that can fragment it. The tribes embrace it at the gates. The restored and regenerated tribes. The collective idea of you and me working together as chords under the divine principle of a grand music that fills the universe and all eternity….”
“The Holy City: Its Biblical Basis and Development,” by B. Cobbey Crisler

**You can buy your own transcripts and audio recordings of most of Cobbey’s 28 talks at a new website: www.crislerlibrary.co.uk Please email your order or inquiry to office@crislerlibrary.co.uk, or directly to Janet Crisler, at janetcrisler7@gmail.com]

Metaphysical

This is the day the Lord hath made! - ... examples in the third, fourth, and fifth sections...
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