Edna Lister’s Sermons 1935




























The Sunlit Way

Edna Lister sermon outline; January 6, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Matthew 7:1-2, Matthew 7:13-14

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” — Matthew 7:1-2.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” — Matthew 7:13-14.

The true climber on the Path of Ascension learns to judge righteously. How would you like to be judged? Based on one visit? One sentence? One opportunity? One moment of weakness? The follower of the Via Christa asks, What is my soul’s vision? Where will it lead me? Am I seeing only truth? Do I follow imagination instead of true vision?

The master of responsibility learns discretion and silence. What is discretion? Discretion is knowing when to speak and when to remain silent. You receive all instruction while in the golden silence, through impressions received directly within your mind. What is the golden silence? What is an impression? What do I know? What do I live? When I fail, do I get up?

Your only concerns are “Am I watching my step? Am I being an inspiration to others? Am I a radiant sun center of Light, an ambassador glorifying my Father?” Remain high in Christed consciousness and you never falter nor hesitate on your difficult path upward in ascension, despite downed timber or mountain streams to cross. Climb up from the valley of shadows until you reach the straight sunlit way.

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Peter’s Great Confession

Edna Lister sermon outline; January 13, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Luke 9:18-26, 1 Peter 2:5-6.

“And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” — Luke 9:18-26.

“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” — 1 Peter 2:5-6.

At a certain place in some professions, the law or the ministry, for instance, you are called upon to make an open declaration of loyalty to principle. You may wonder, “What does the world think? What do I think?”

When you reach the right place and find the right answer, the Master says, “Go, and tell no man.” Silence then becomes your vow.

Daily you must lift your cross of “little me” to ascend to Oversoul’s I AM consciousness. However, you “lose your life” when you cut off your contact with God.

If you are ashamed of the Christ, the heavenly reality will shame you. “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” — Luke 9:26. He sees little individual “I am” rational soul consciousness and is ashamed.

Where and what is the spiritual house for which God has laid the cornerstone? It is Zion, with its unobstructed view of sunshine and Light.

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Spiritual Discernment

Edna Lister sermon outline; January 13, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Isaiah 31:1-9, Isaiah 37:36-37.

“Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord! Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity. Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together. For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it. Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.” — Isaiah 31:1-9.

“…”Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.” — Isaiah 37:36-37.

Isaiah was the greatest of all prophets, and often announced God’s prophecies by saying, "Thus says the Lord: It shall come to pass." Here he was warning Israel that Egypt represents darkness.

To stay on their horses and trust in chariots represents depending on worldly power. Chariots represent the vehicle to fame, and horsemen represent the power of those in charge.

The leaders of Israel were not looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, or His wisdom. God cannot and would not set aside certain reactions to the misuse of law for those who refuse obedience. God will rise against the house of evildoers.

The Egyptians were men, not God, to dictate or dominate. The Lord of Hosts shall come down to fight for Zion. Just so, today’s civilization shall be saved. To preserve Zion, God will preserve Jerusalem. God’s fire is in Zion; His furnace is in Jerusalem.

God inspires high thoughts in man, to save him. The Power of the Spirit defends and delivers, which are mighty words. A defense is a deliverance.

An angel of the Lord went forth and smote the camp of the Assyrians until they were all dead, and it came to pass.

Nineveh represents freedom of Spirit. The Assyrian ruler, Sennacherib, who worshiped the moon god, Sin, was a great conqueror of earthly armies. Yet Assyria represents reasoning based on intellect, without inspiration or recognition of God’s Power.

The warning is to depend on the wisdom of the Holy One. God is not a man, and man’s wisdom is inferior to God’s. This verse describes what happens when you return home to God:

"For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof." — Isaiah 31:4.

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Learning to Be Great

Edna Lister sermon outline; January 20, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: John 13:1-17, 1 Peter 5:5-6.

“Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” — John 13:1-17.

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” — 1 Peter 5:5-6.

Jesus’ disciples followed him faithfully. He had clear-seeing eyes for true soul vision. Save for Judas, James, John and Peter, the rest were often lukewarm. The Master wanted to leave behind a symbol of his great love for them. Nothing could mean quite the same as washing their feet. It would stick in their minds as an indelible memory, to lead them to understanding.

To anoint anyone with oil, you must overcome any natural distaste, you must love the something or someone enough. They would forever remember his attitude, and his words: “Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” — John 13:12-17.

A disciple is a servant of a master. As a disciple, you must hold an attitude of willingness, of service to the Master of Masters. A child wants to help, needs to help, to be a grown-up in God’s service. Pride creates a great barrier. Peter asked the Master to wash his hands and his head.

No one can show you the way. You must do the rest for yourself, possibly even to betray a friend, like Peter did. You cannot assume willingness from the self, yours or another’s. You must offer real soul service through understanding. The reward of humility is a happy, active, life of doing.

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Edna Lister sermon outline; January 27, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Mark 14:27-31, Mark 14:54, Mark 14:66-72.

“Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.” — Mark 14:27-31.

“Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.” — Mark 14:54.

“And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.” — Mark 14:66-72.

The warning always comes from some direction, your Oversoul, the voice of conscience, a great guardian angel, a teacher or friend. The Master warned Peter that he would deny him three times before the rooster crowed twice.

A crowing rooster represents an arrogant attitude, the self-righteous feeling that you can do no wrong. If you issue a challenge of warning, you must make it good. When Peter said, “If I have to die with you, I will not deny you,” he was boasting.

First, he denied the Master to the maid privately. Second, he denied him before a few who did not understand. Finally, he denied him before a group of men who accused him, proving that the world hears and sees.

The first time Peter heard the cock crow. The second time, he was deaf to the sound. Finally, he blew up in anger toward the men. Peter then wept, as he recalled the Master’s words. “Blessed are those who mourn.” You weep, and your tears of remorse cleanse you.

Faith, followed intellectually, warms you at an outer fire, where you are tempted to deny. When you enter into faith, you are warmed at an inner flame, with no denial.

Christ warns that you will be offended: “It is impossible but that offenses shall come.” — Luke 17:1. Any offenses that you have left behind in the subconscious memory must come out for you to lift them into the Light. You have no other way to grow strong after being raised in soul consciousness.

Christ is always in charge, and you cannot get away, or escape. You are always raised up in the crucifixion of the self until you let the Light perfect you.

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Restoring Faith

Edna Lister sermon outline; February 3, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: John 21:11-19.

“Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.” — John 21:11-19.

The grieving disciples had fished all night, but caught nothing. Jesus appeared on the shore, built a fire, and cooked bread and fish. The first phase of this story deals with the outer world. Peter’s net was full to overflowing because he was about his Father’s business, doing the next thing next in the outer material world. If he had done wrong, the Master would have said so and advised him. The Master told them to come and eat, to break their fast. You must eat to build the body, which is your consecrated temple.

The story’s second phase is spiritual. Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?” Then he told him, “Feed my lambs.” A second and third time, Jesus asked if he loved him, and Peter again said yes. Jesus said, “Tend my sheep,” and “Feed my sheep.” Jesus presented the initiation three times in love. Peter had properly mourned and repented his betrayal of Jesus. He was ashamed and knew he deserved it. He ached because of his failure.

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.” — John 21:18. The young are usually selfish. When you are older in experience, you may go where the little self would not choose to go alone. To complete the death of your old appetitive soul-self, you must surrender to the Light-as-power, and put all your faith in God.

The Master bids you, “Come. Follow me.” It is always now in the Father’s House. The doors are always open. “Come.”

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Faith Opens the Christ Mind

Edna Lister sermon outline; February 10, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Acts 2:22-28 and Acts 2:36-41.

“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.” — Acts 2:22-28.

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” — Acts 2:36-41.

This text contains three significant verses. First, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you.” — Acts 2:22. God worked miracles, wonders, and signs through Jesus.

Second, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” — Acts 2:23. God used lawless men as agents of His will.

Third, “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” — Acts 2:24. It was not possible that death should hold Jesus because God made both Lord and Christ, law and principle. You are both law and principle, as Jesus was both.

You need to reach a clear understanding of Christed consciousness. You begin the long journey by first seeking the Christ Mind restlessly until you catch a glimpse of it. Eventually you repent of old ways in a change of mind and heart. When you reach the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you experience the cleansing power of Spirit, which possesses you to saturate and infuse your mind.

Denial may mean simply ignoring something or agreeing with God that this is good, and lifting the self. When you deny the self, you are ready to “follow me”; when you lift self, you so “follow me.” Your soul’s greatness is then 100 percent steadfast and glorious. God’s greatness is 100 percent joyously enduring.

How great shall you be when you add yourself to God and He adds Himself to you? You receive a thousandfold dividend, which is God’s 10 percent. The world looks on, perhaps thinking you have done this on your own power. No! God’s Power is forever the greatest, and you are only the channel for that Power.

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The Christ Standard

Edna Lister sermon outline; February 17, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: 2 Peter 2:13-21.

“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” — 2 Peter 2:13-21.

The keynote of the Christ standard of conduct is obedience to law. Obedience to what law? To surrender the self, to deny the self, to surrender to the Christ laws, and to the will of God. How? You must submit to every ordinance made by man, for your family, social, and business affairs are all governed by a standard of ethics and morals, which are laws.

You may choose between the freedom to seek pleasure and material things for self, or freedom to surrender the self, to obey law, to expand, to express your soul. You may choose to be free from bondage to all darkness yet not give offense. Walk with God, with glory, with radiance. Men shall forget whatever your past has been when you are joyful and filled with love. When others revile you, you can laugh.

In the time of adversity, think good thoughts. You can silence all harmful thinking when you are really staunch in discipline of the self. Nothing is eternally dark, so what in the temporal world can make you afraid? “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” — Jeremiah 32:27.

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Establishing Wholeness

Edna Lister sermon outline; February 24, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Acts 3:1-11.

“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.” — Acts 3:1-11.

Health means wholeness or soundness in all ways, in all things, with nothing left out or lacking. The young man at the gate of the temple was lame from birth, and he begged to earn a living. When Peter said “Look on us,” Look on us.Look on us. Expectancy creates togetherness.

Part of you is paralyzed from birth, which is the descent into the body, and lays (kneels) at the Beautiful Gate, the door of soul. Beauty of soul opens the inner kingdom temple of devotion and consecration. Yet you must always be expecting to receive, and looking for it on the outer.

Faith, symbolized by Peter, must always act with love, represented by John. Peter took the paralytic by the hand while John stood by and knew the truth of healing. Faith alone or love alone produces nothing. Together, they produce all things to the world’s amazement. With Christ as their cornerstone, the disciples needed no other name.

In the mountains, before refrigeration, our pioneer forefathers often built a spring-house over a nearby stream, a shed in which to store, meat, milk, cheese and other foods, to keep them fresh. We kept a pail in ours and daily carried it to water the garden. In this modern age, Christ is your refuge, your cool drink in a dry season. Together, with him, you are triumphant, glorious and victorious.

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Faith Discerns Deception

Edna Lister sermon outline; March 3, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Acts 5:1-10, Acts 8:18-24.

“A certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.” — Acts 5:1-10.

“When when Simon [Magus] saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.” — Acts 8:18-24.

The whole story of Ananias and Sapphira is an outline of the selfish misuse of principle. Wisdom is the Father God principle; the Mother God principle is love as the creative principle, and the Son is the Christ principle of selflessness. The name Ananias means “graciousness, compassion, favored of the Lord.” Sapphira means “beautiful, splendid jewel, a sapphire stone,” which is blue, symbolizing truth.

The first half of the story deals with using creative power to get material goods, or to succeed in worldly affairs. Ananias represents the positive principle of aggressive will, and the misuse of intelligence. Sapphira symbolizes the negative principle, truth misused as deception. They both died as the result of their misuse.

Peter, who represents faith, rebuked Simon Magus of Syria 1 for offering to buy the powers of high I AM, or Oversoul consciousness. He did so because it would have made the will of God the instrument of human will. Human will, exercised as deception, always causes death, often by shock and suddenly. The aggressive human will drives and harasses love, faith and intuition into misuse. Both Ananias and Sapphira must die to deception. Their sin was not against man, but against God.

Simon of Syria, who represents outer hearing and receptivity, lacks any spiritual understanding. Simon must hear, listen, and know. Intellectually wanting and the selfish desire to use God’s Power are not enough. You may place no price on love, wisdom, or selflessness, which operate in your life as all faith, compassion, and graciousness. Simon, when he knew the penalty of misuse, became receptive, and asked in pure faith for Peter to save him by prayer.

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One Faith

Edna Lister sermon outline; March 10, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Acts 10:1-20, Acts 10:44-48.

“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; and when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.

“On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, and called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” — Acts 10:1-20.

Cornelius was a gentile, a Roman centurion. Religiously and culturally, Romans remained aloof from the citizens of their client nations; nation did not mingle with nation. Yet, Cornelius the Roman experienced a waking vision, sent by God. Peter the Jew also had a vision while praying and heard the word of the Lord. When Peter awakened, three men had arrived from Caesarea with the centurion’s request. He gathered certain of his disciples and left with Cornelius’ men the next day.

Peter taught the centurion, his kinsfolk and friends in his home. He told them of Jesus, his works, his Crucifixion and Resurrection. While Peter spoke, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the Word.

“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.” — Acts 10:44-48.

The Jews, the circumcised, who had accompanied Peter, saw and marveled that the Spirit was also poured on the Gentiles. Peter had taught them that “God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” — Acts 10:34-35.

How do you become acceptable? You exchange pride for humility, selfishness and any unlikeness to God for love. A person’s rank or station in life cannot bar him from, nor include him in the kingdom of heaven. Only by giving loving service selflessly do you gain the kingdom. You climb to heaven on steps you build, to stand clothed in light and radiance.

“[Jesus Christ] commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” — Acts 10:42-43.

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Faith Freed From Materiality

Edna Lister sermon outline; March 17, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Acts 12:1-17.

“Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.

“And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

“And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.” — Acts 12:1-17.

Herod, who represents the personal or selfish will in man, had killed James, the brother of John, and put Peter in jail, bound in chains between two soldiers. An angel of the Lord, a messenger of law, smote Peter in the side saying, “Arise!” Peter’s bondage ended when he did so. To “gird yourself” first means drawing in a deep breath and lifting your “self” in faith into the Light. The sandals represent understanding. Peter’s “garment” represented truth, purity, and the lessons self must learn.

Peter thought he was asleep and only dreamed that the prison’s outer gates had opened. Yet, after accompanying him one street away, the angel left, and Peter “came to himself,” which means he returned to outer worldly reality. Peter then went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, where everyone was gathered, praying for him. He knocked at the gate and the maid, hearing his voice, was so glad to hear him that she left him standing outside! When Rhoda told them Peter had arrived, they answered, “It is his angel,” his soul returned after death. Peter knocked again and they finally opened the door, amazed.

Peter, here, represents faith, imprisoned by the personal will; the angel symbolizes his high soul, which always sends an answer. The gate to reality is always open, and that fact always surprises the multitudes. You must focus your attention and intention upward to become Christed. You may then become a “savior” to those who are like-minded. You do not need to be concerned about your sins or your own soul, but to lift it all into the Light, onto a cloud of Light.

When you walk on the heights, you shall know that your own soul is like the Father-Mother. See the Light. Declare, “I rise in victory, not in the glory of carrying a cross. I glory in the victory of following Christ.”

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The Life Powerful

Edna Lister sermon outline; March 24, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: James 2:14-26, 1 Peter 3:10-17.

“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” — James 2:14-26.

“For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” — 1 Peter 3:10-17.

Living by exact law is living by principle. To be called is to inherit the kingdom of glory, being always ready to serve. Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: — 1 Peter 3:15. This refers to fear of the Lord, not personal fear for the self. To suffer for well-doing is better than to pay for misuse. The fruits of the Christian life are compassionately loving one another as brethren, being tenderhearted and humble-minded.

What are you called to inherit? One day your eyes shall see a vision and your ears shall hear the Voice of God. You can see the face of God wherever you are looking — at the mountains of desire or the lakes of purity, in the sunset’s fire, you may see the gold of the Heavenly Alchemist.

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Faith Reconsidered

Edna Lister sermon outline; March 31, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: 2 Peter 1:2-11.

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” — 2 Peter 1:2-11.

Humility through devotion, and watchfulness lest you stumble are the actions of service. The tenets of truth are hard to understand because the world’s glamour draws your attention away from what is important. “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.” — Hebrews 3:19. You may see others prospering for a while through falseness or cheating, but eventually the fruits of their deceit will be destroyed. You are warned not to be carried away, for there is but one God.

Diligence means “careful or persistent work or effort." To be diligent means to be "spotless or blameless; showing care or conscientiousness in one’s work.” Glorification means “to be glorified, to be glorious and radiant with Light and life.” Your diligence in service to the Lord shall bring glorification and soul exaltation in due time.

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Your Spiritual Identity

Edna Lister sermon outline; April 7, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: John 14:6-21.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” — John 14:6-21.

Jesus had been teaching his disciples about the Oneness of the All comprising the visible and invisible worlds, when Philip asked him to show them the Father.

“Jesus said to him, Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; so how can you say, Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does the works.” — John 14:9-10.

The remainder of Jesus’ answer holds the six steps of the creator soul: First, “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me, or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.” — John 14:11.

Second, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” — John 14:12.

Third, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” — John 14:14.

Fourth, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” — John 14:15.

Fifth, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me.” — John 14:19.

Finally, “He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” — John 14:21.

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus knelt in prayer, seeing the charity, hope, and faith his disciples would need. He was preparing for his Ascension, as well as his Crucifixion and Resurrection.

You ascend forward and upward into glory divine, or regress backward into smallness. You ascend by assuming ever greater responsibility for a greater kingdom of Light on earth, which you call “my kingdom.”

“Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” — John 14:19-20. You shall know him. He shall abide with you. You shall be in him and he shall be in you. Christ in you is your hope of glory.

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” — Colossians 1:26-27.

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Saving Power of the Christ Mind

Edna Lister sermon outline; April 14, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: John 3:14-17, Romans 5:6-10, Philippians 2:5-11.

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” — John 3:14-17.

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” — Romans 5:6-10.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” — Philippians 2:5-11.

The first begotten Son of God was the first Creation of God, made in the form of God. He became the servant of Power under the necessity to go through all steps in ascension, to show us the way.

He emptied himself, and poured himself into an earthly form, just as any other soul coming into incarnation. He was "obedient unto death," which is the complete surrender and sacrifice of self.

Surrender exalts you into the highest sphere of consciousness you may attain at the time. Complete surrender takes you to God consciousness

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” — John 3:14. The “serpent lifted” represents sublimating the five senses into wisdom, from darkness into Light.

God gave His only Son to save sinners. The Son reconciled us first through his death by Crucifixion, and exalted us through life by his Resurrection.

Palm Sunday is a day of triumph, a day of glory. Jesus entered Jerusalem knowing that he was ready, knowing that he had nearly finished his mission.

Even more important is that Jesus was prepared to be exalted and ascended before they turned him over to Pilate for earthly justice. This earthly justice was no justice at all, but the means God used to prove that Ascension is possible through His Son.

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Eternal Life

Edna Lister sermon outline; April 21, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 28:1-10.

“In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.” — Matthew 28:1-10.

Throughout his life, the Master always “knew” the truth and saw the unseen. He was always open to the Light from above, conscious of his Father, and in direct communion with Him. His was a life of sacrifice, from beginning to end, never faltering, never hesitating. Jesus loved life. His last sacrifice was to give up his life at the height of his ministry’s success. Do you grasp the significance of his final suffering? Do you appreciate its meaning?

Jesus came to fulfill the law, and he taught obedience to all commands, beginning with the Ten Commandments. “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt honor thy Father and Mother.”

Do you follow him? On the day after his Crucifixion, his disciples awakened, surprised that he was not with them. They had lived together for more than three years. They remembered him telling them that all this would happen to him.

The women, who operated on intuition, accepted that he had ascended to his Father. He had gone on to prepare a place for them. They were still serving, being compassionate and loving. After the Crucifixion, they had passed through the Hall of Wisdom in the Temple, and looked at his perfect golden soul mesh. On the way there, you reach a crossroad where two meshes hang before you. Only one is perfect, the Master’s — the other is your own. Will you like your mesh? Deceit, such as white lies, for instance, will tarnish your weave, according to the depth of the deceit.

You judge yourself, hard or soft, tough or easy, according to your faith. If your judgment is hard, rigorous, your faith increases. If your faith is soft, with excuses for your lapses, you return to the lesser levels of illusion. You must judge yourself rigorously to ascend to the Father direct, to be able to travel on into greater glory. The Master is forever saying, “Come.”

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The Law of Well-Being

Edna Lister sermon outline; April 28, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Psalm 19.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” — Psalm 19.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” — Psalm 19:7-8.

Moses and the prophets brought God’s message through the veil and created a vast body of laws in the scriptures. They include teachings, reproofs, corrections, and instruction in righteousness.

The whole of Creation innately knows that God is the Source of all life. The trees, flowers, fish, birds and animals all trust God, and look up to Him to fulfill every need.

Only man errs with “presumptuous sins,” which begin in your thoughts, and which you misuse the Word to speak.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” — Psalm 19:14.

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Changing Your Mind

Edna Lister sermon outline; May 5, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Luke 15:11-24.

“A certain man had two sons: 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. 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. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 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! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 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. 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. 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: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” — Luke 15:11-24.

The parable of the prodigal son is a story all about sin, repentance and faith. You progress from being and doing to knowing. When you sin, you repent because of the loss or hurt you experience, resulting from the sin.

A lighthouse is a tower, usually situated on a shoreline to show sailors where the shoals, rocks, reefs or shallows lie. It has a huge spotlight, fog horn or bells, which sailors can both see and hear.

A ship has a captain, an engineer and a crew. They have regular duties, charts to read and schedules to follow. If the captain is like the unruly prodigal son, he will mislead the crew. If the captain is faithful, he will make an effort to obey. A wise man said, “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” 2 As your ship’s master and captain, you must steer the ship into dock, offload the cargo and any passengers.

Then you tend the ship, casting out ballast and keelhauling it if necessary to scrape away the barnacles that self gathers. Your ballast is self, and your barnacles are opinions and prejudices that slow your ascension to a crawl. Next, load your new cargo, new passengers and crew. When your freight is evenly balanced, you are ready to set sail.

“There stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.” — Acts 27:23-24.

When you serve God as your ship owner, you, too, save everyone on your ship. You are filled with life, Light and strength. All you need is to declare, “I will arise and go to my Father’s House.”

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Growing Up In Christ

Edna Lister sermon outline; May 12, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Ephesians 4:11-16, Revelation 21:15-17.

“And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” — Ephesians 4:11-16.

“And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.” — Revelation 21:15-17.

Mother’s Day symbolizes the first anticipation of motherhood, the desire to love, to sacrifice, to serve, to mold, and to create. Mother’s Day also represents a child’s growth, freedom and soul expansion in personal identity.

How you grow up depends in part on how you were trained from the beginning, even before your birth. Everyone receives rewards for his service. Everyone who “mothers” or nurtures people, friends, families or projects, is granted the reward of motherhood and is exalted as such in heaven.

“The measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” permits no possession of things or persons. As you grow into the fullness of the stature of Christ, you begin to understand that measureless gift of the Christ mind. When you have reached the full-grown stature of Christ, you receive the reward in soul glory.

To this end, children are your teachers. As in building a suspension bridge, you anchor them morally and ethically for the task of life, stretching out before them. Then observe how they bridge the abyss from your parenting to their future.

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The Paschal Lamb

Edna Lister sermon outline; May 26, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Exodus 12:1-14, Matthew 26:26-29.

“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.” — Exodus 12:1-14.

“As they were eating, Jesus took bread; blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, Take, eat; this is my body. Then he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you. For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” — Matthew 26:26-29.

The Passover is described in the tale of the angel of death passing over Egypt. The blood of the sacrificial lamb represents Mother Love covering the soul in protection. Passover is a symbol of how love appropriates everything to its use.

When you are in Communion with Christ, His body of flesh metaphorically represents wisdom, and his blood symbolizes love. Passover means passing over all darkness, passing up your own selfishness. You must pass on to partake of the Passover in the Father’s kingdom.

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Holy Spirit’s Work in Man

Edna Lister sermon outline; June 9, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Romans 8:1-17.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” — Romans 8:1-17.

When the Master left earth at his Ascension, he left the disciples alone, physically. Throughout life teachers leave you, and you leave teachers. You may study laws and the Bible in a group or with others for a time, yet each must pass his own tests on sin, righteousness, and judgment all alone.

During the days immediately after the Ascension, the disciples and apostles were waiting together in agreement, in one place. Because they really were “of one accord,” they experienced the descent of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Breath, the Holy Ghost.

“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption.” — Romans 8:12-15.

In his Letter to the Romans, Paul told them of the Holy Spirit within. You are a debtor, not to the flesh, but to the Spirit. You have not received the spirit of bondage to fear, but the Spirit of adoption as sons and daughters of God.

Because we are God’s children, we are also His heirs, joint heirs with Christ, if we suffer with him. To suffer is your call to come up in consciousness. When you do ascend to Christ consciousness, you receive the intercession of the Holy Spirit.

Thus, you are a debtor to God, through the Holy Breath, which is your life. You are a joint heir with Christ, the child of God, and His heir. Christ makes intercession for you, meaning Christ consciousness intercedes on your behalf when you arise and dwell in your tower room of consciousness.

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Sowing and Reaping Abundance

Edna Lister sermon outline; June 16, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11.

“But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” — 2 Corinthians 9:6-11.

Actively directing the divine substance is the right use of the absolute abstract principles of Wisdom, Love, and the Logos of selflessness. To use these principles rightly, you must remember God, who He is and who you are. Only then can all Power move through you.

To sow sparingly is to err by sowing too few seeds. To sow bountifully is likely to sow too many. You must sow just the right number and just the right kind of seeds.

What are you using God's Power to entertain and when? Do you host Mr. and Mrs. Woe, Mr. and Mrs. Greed, Mr. and Mrs. Grumble, and Mr. and Mrs. Doubt? Do you, like Mr. and Mrs. Justice, entertain important Mr. and Mrs. Gladness or Mr. and Mrs. Glory? What companions do you choose to have on your train of thought through cloud land? Let’s choose joy, peace, and harmony.

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Teach the Children

Edna Lister sermon outline; August 4, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:4, Luke 2:40-52.

“Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” — Exodus 20:12.

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” — Ephesians 6:4.

“And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” — Luke 2:40-52.

These texts deal with the relationships, those between parents and children, and the relationship between God and men. Every parent must teach their children what they themselves have learned — that the Ten Commandments provide ten crosses on which you can and will crucify self until you learn better. Eventually, you find that you could fashion a ladder from each cross to reach the kingdom of God.

You come to earth to express your soul talents and obedience to law as the Master did as a child. Jesus, during the “lost years” of his childhood and early youth, was trained and underwent temptation and trials in the denial and sacrifice of self until he became selfless in his sacrificial service.

He is still saying, “Come unto me all you who are weary, heavy laden. I will give you rest.”

Freedom is more than a license to do as you will and as you wish. True soul freedom arises from joy growing from your heart.

Invoke God’s Power, the white Light of Christ from the Heart of Being. Become a full ambassador in bonds to the Christ Light.

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Being and Doing

Edna Lister sermon outline; August 18, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Luke 10:38-42.

“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” — Luke 10:38-42.

The Mary and Martha idea illustrates two personality types, their approaches to life and effect on those around them. Martha represents service and execution, and she moved through life as a turbulent mountain stream. Mary, who represents intuition, was a seer, a prophet, a gently flowing meadow brook, quietly sustaining everyone.

A river receives both turbulent mountain streams and quiet meadow brooks. You need a balance of both types for success. Martha is the “I do, but do not want credit for what I do” type. Mary was content to be, and not to complain. Balance knows how to do and to be.

The Master could see through the appearance to the truth of both combinations. His answer was not critical of Martha, or condemning of Mary’s seeming neglect. The Master was always impersonal, pointing the way to the high road and the low road.

Youth believes it can overcome any obstacle with little or no effort. Middle age is more inclined to take the easier road, to avoid conflict or the unpleasantries of life. In old age, so many people simply stop. They are alive but no longer living!

God sent us His Son as the Way-Shower to Him. The Master says, “Come to me, child, and I will give you rest. I will bear your burden till you feel strong enough to take it up again.” Spiritual respite is only two steps ahead, only two. Anyone can take two steps up. Lay down the burden of self. Take up your cross and make it a ladder into God's glory.

Do you really know God the Father? Do you make Him your companion? Or do you still fear, tremble, and hide? Smile up at Him. Invite Him to be your constant companion along the Way.

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The Go-Getter 3

Edna Lister sermon outline; August 25, 1935, Buffalo, New York Scripture: Luke 15:11-32.

“A certain man had two sons: 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. 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. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 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! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 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. 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. 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: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” — Luke 15:11-32.

Life is immortal. Earth life is a school and a playground, but most importantly, earth life is the great personal soul developer. Life is exactly what you make it. You may accept or discard what life offers, which is your choice to exercise your free will. That is exactly what the prodigal son did.

Life is like a baseball game. One child, a go-getter, finds the players for the game. They must have like minds and the same desires. The kids assemble for the game. To play, they must learn all the rules and learn how to cooperate. Cooperation is all about learning how to agree and adjust. Otherwise, the team or group experiences dissension in its ranks.

Teamwork means, first, knowing that you cannot reach the goal alone. Each team member must be in his particular place, and be satisfied to play his own position. In baseball, for example, all the team members must watch the ball while remaining aware of what the other members are doing.

At this point, the team is ready to play the game itself. The bases are loaded. The man on third base is ready to make a home run. He has the attitude of a winner. To win, the go-getter who started the team must remain with the other players. The prodigal son had to live the life he had chosen after he made all his wrong choices and mistakes. Life then required that he become a go-giver instead of a go-getter.

You stand on third base, which is your position, with the spotlight on you. Your attitude, while you are there, is contagious. You must play the role of a conqueror. Your rewards are the splendors of glory. “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?” — Jeremiah 32:27.

Ask well, even if you must ask again. Accept all that comes and praise God. When you declare that you have received, you do receive joy, radiance, glory, life and victory.

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Consider the Lilies

Edna Lister sermon outline; September 8, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Matthew 6:28-33, Matthew 7:7-8.

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” — Matthew 6:28-33.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.” — Matthew 7:7-8.

Let us “consider” the lilies. To begin, the bulb is a seed that God places in the darkness of earth, which brings out its best feature, its flowering. First, it pushes up over all obstacles, to overcome and reach sunlight. This represents unwavering faith.

Second, the lily bulb “takes no thought” of what it will eat, drink, or wear because it knows that the Father knows best. Finally, the lily bulb “seeks first the kingdom of God,” while keeping its eye on the task, eye on Light, eye on the goal, of its desire. Finally, the lily bulb “asks” for what it needs.

You are like the lily bulb: In your hand you hold a tiny seed of Light. It may become whatever you desire. What that seed becomes depends on what you envision, and the prayer treatments you offer for it. You must feed your seed substance to nourish it. Then you watch it grow until it is full blown.

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” — Matthew 6:34. This verse describes the reaction of law, and the world’s darkness. All you need is plenty of Light, to grow into plenty of strength, and plenty of glory. You are a conqueror, a creator god!

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Prophecy and the Christ

Edna Lister sermon outline; September 15, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Matthew 24:9-12, Matthew 24:21-22, Matthew 24:27-30.

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” — Matthew 24:9-12.

“Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” — Matthew 24:21-2.

“For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” — Matthew 24:27-30.

The Old Testament is full of prophecies, full of warnings to special nations and tribes. It also contains prophecies for the future, which is now, since we are living in the Old Testament’s future.

The New Testament contains many prophecies made by Jesus the Christ, including those found in Matthew 24:9-10, 21-22, and 27-30. This entire chapter of the Gospel of Matthew is filled with warning and prophecy. People often overlook one verse: “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” — Matthew 24:22. In just this way, you also often overlook prayer, the answer to your difficulties.

One verse in the parable of the prodigal son is the most important, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee.” — Luke 15:18. You must arise and go to your Father, admitting your fault.

The text tells what will occur to nations and individuals. It will be nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom. Yet, how will it affect people? “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” — Matthew 24:10. They will deliver the individual up to be afflicted. Unbelievers may kill some of the faithful. Christians will be hated of all nations for the Master’s sake.

To us in the present, he says, “Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” — Matthew 24:11-12.

Individually, you must ask yourself three questions: First, How may I avoid this and be safe? You must choose to become one of the ones “set aside”: “He who endures unto the end shall be saved.” — Matthew 24:13.

Second, When may I look for an end? When “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” — Matthew 24:14.

Third, How do I know the end now? The first promise is “for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” The second promise is that a “sign of the Son of man” shall appear in heaven.

The nova flare in Hercules 4 began December 12, 1934, peaked at Easter 1935, and died out. Newspapers reported that it was like unto the star of Bethlehem. It flared again twice in June 1935, thirty times brighter. “For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” — Matthew 24:28. Each who accepts, or “elects” to see, sees. The promise holds true to all who “elect” to be true sons and daughters of God.

You must praise to open your eyes, praise to lift your sight, praise to create what you desire. Leave past behind. Declare, “This one thing I do now.” Step into the Light and lift all people. “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” — John 12:32. You must lift your consciousness and draw all people to you. The Christ has come. He does walk and talk with you.

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For God So Loved

Edna Lister sermon outline; September 22, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: John 3:1-21.

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” — John 3:1-21.

Nicodemus did not believe the earthly things Jesus had mentioned, so how could he accept the truths of higher realms? “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” — John 3:14-15.

“God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” — John 3:17-18.

If you believe not, you have already condemned yourself. The condemnation is that those who love darkness do things unseen. If you are a doer of truth, you come into the Light.

God so loved the world: How can you do this? By giving of your life in selfless sacrificial service. You can give to anyone, to your children, to your parents, to your brothers and sisters, to the stranger on the street whom you have never seen before.

How do you give? Do you give to just anyone? Do you give to the Master? He is your brother. God is both your Father and Mother.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” — John 3:16. Such compassion is perhaps beyond our ability to understand.

How do you love? Do you love to hold onto the object of your affection? Or do you love so greatly that you can give up what you love to fulfill the greater good? God so loved — this is how you must love to make it pay dividends for your sacrifice.

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Law: The Foundation of Life

Edna Lister sermon outline; September 29, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 7:21-29.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” — Matthew 7:21-29.

“Whoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.” — Matthew 7:24. Jesus’ sayings include his teachings on law. Your personal interpretation of law determines how you choose to meet life, your fellow men, and how you choose to know God.

Unfortunately, everyone is subject to misinterpretation of law. Each soul has a goal, which he pursues in his own way. Some are impatient in their desire to get there, perhaps to give to others. Most want to do it in the fastest, quickest way.

To build a house in the wilderness, you must choose a place in the sunlight, near water, which represents the water of life. When you erect a structure, you show your ability. If you work hard, you have lots to show for it.

Faith, applied like a cloak to the outside, is like a house of life built from theory. You may set all your foundation stones in the right place, but you must drive the foundation to bedrock or the house will not stand.

Love is praise and it fills your molds as substance. If you build on an infirm foundation, the sun shines and dries the sand underneath and around the house. This undermines the foundation, and unless you have mixed the cement with selflessness, it dries brittle and crumbles.

Wind lashes the waves into a fury, and blows away the sand. Even if you have all the right ingredients, unless you mix them with selflessness, the foundation will fail. When the foundation is gone, the house topples.

It takes time and hard labor to dig to the bedrock below. Your house may not go up as rapidly as others build. You may meet the same lesson repeatedly while others seem to play.

By building on the bedrock of law, your house will be solid. When the sun shines, it makes cement hard. It anchors the foundation more firmly to the rocks below. Wind blows away the fog and you feel safe. This all takes will and determination.

A great steam boiler is huge, but unless pipes conduct its steam away to be used, it will burst. Pipes are something constructive to be used. Will is forcing, but determination is letting.

Are you willing to listen to the sayings of Jesus today? What price are you willing to pay? Selfless, sacrificial, service is no sacrifice when others know that you are doing it. Or you use silence as virtue, S S S S = Silent, Selfless, Sacrificial, Service. Silence is golden and is a powerful virtue and protection.

Jesus commands us to heed his sayings. If an adversary demands that you to go one mile, go two. If he asks your cloak, give him your coat also. Agree with the adversary quickly.

Life is made up of so many silly, little, seemingly inconsequential things. How close do you stand to God right now? Are you sure of His mercy, or do you doubt?

Light must prevail. Light must reward. Light must conquer and overcome. Light reveals the broad highway to your goal, which is God.

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The True Vine

Edna Lister sermon outline; October 6, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: John 15:1-13, Genesis 1:9-13.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” — John 15:1-13.

“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.” — Genesis 1:9-13.

On the third day, God gathered the waters together to reveal dry land; some was moist, the remainder was crystallized or hardened. A vintner needs sandy land for grapes, not soil crystallized into clay or rock.

A vineyard experiences three stages in growth, which include leaves and tendrils, then clusters of grapes, and finally, packing the harvest. A vineyard is equipped with strong supports, posts that serve as pillars to brace the vines. Wires are strung from post-to-post to provide support for each year’s new growth. The white Light of the Christ represents action of the vintner. Annually, after the harvest, the vines are pruned, and some branches are cut back to the barren trunk.

The vintner takes away the branches that bear no fruit. The soul is made clean through the Word of Christ. The soul must be on the vine to bear fruit. The vintner casts every withered branch in the fire to be burned.

If you abide in Christ and his message of love and law, you may ask what you will and it shall be done unto you. When you do all these things, the Father is glorified.

Master Jesus is the true vine. The Father-Mother God cares for you. Your clusters of fruit all grow on one wire frame. Christ’s body is the trunk, and you must abide in his heart.

The white Light of Christ forms the trellis you climb as a vine. If the grapes are clean, they have the bloom of radiant Spirit. If one grape loses it bloom, the cluster is worthless.

You must abide on the vine to complete your growth, which is finished radiance. Yet, you are cast forth if you are withered.

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” — John 15:10. The Master is waiting for you to ask for his wisdom, and your request is a courtesy to him. How steadfast are you, how desirous of wisdom?

The Father is glorified when your cluster has a bloom on it, and you bear much fruit. You must care for your own cluster. If you are responsible, your rewards will be glory, the morning star shining.

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The Lord’s Prayer

Edna Lister sermon outline; October 13, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 6:9-13.

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” — Matthew 6:9-13.

The Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus taught, is known as the “Prayer of the Law” because it contains all the steps you need to make your prayers legal. “Our Father who art in heaven” acknowledges that God is everywhere evenly present, of all things, of all ways, in all places, meaning that God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Heaven is harmony, and hell is disharmony, or a lack of knowing truth.

“Hallowed be Thy name,” I AM THAT I AM, which is blessed, sacred and sainted. To sanctify or consecrate someone or some thing is to make it holy, to honor God.

“Thy kingdom come” must be restated as “Thy kingdom is come,” for it has. The kingdom is here, now. What is the kingdom? It is “all things added.”

Similarly, “Thy will be done” must be restated as “Thy will is done.” God’s will is Wisdom beyond dreaming. You must disintegrate the old to prepare a way, a place to rebuild in perfection.

“On earth as it is in heaven.” Earth is the outermost level of expression. Earth’s expression brings your life’s lessons, wherein you learn how laws work.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” You must forget tomorrow’s needs and use all that the Father gives you today.

“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” How have you forgiven, grudgingly or lavishly? Your prayers and their “tone” must reflect “as we have forgiven.”

“Lead us not into temptation” means that law reacts perfectly, bringing your needed lessons until you are a perfected creator god.

“Deliver us from all evil” refers to seeing or declaration of any darkness at all, such as “Oh! That’s awful!” “Thy kingdom come,” the song of God, unbound, unfettered, free. “Thy will is now done.”

The Kingdom is Thine. The Power is Thine. The glory is Thine. This outlines the proper method of prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer, is a model prayer that covers four great phases of life: Supply, forgiveness, deliverance from the reaction of law, and praise.

What is prayer? It is to identify, to discover, to realize, and to know. Prayer is then a state of consciousness of being a Christed one, always remembering that identity, having conscious identity with God, a state of consciousness. Prayer is man’s highest thought, and a treatment.

The first necessity is to assume the attitude of prayer, which is the attitude of a conqueror. It takes you into the fold, where the sheep are protected, which is a reason for giving up the outer.

Prayer leads to glory, sublime and triumphant. This is your compensation. The happiness of the outer world is pallid by comparison to this victorious spiritually glowing joy.

Lincoln ruled his life by the Lord’s Prayer. James Russell Lowell {Works} said, “There is dynamite enough in the New Testament, if illegitimately applied, to blow all our existing institutions to atoms.”

The Lord’s Prayer creates intelligence and truth, material and spiritual, receptivity. It is not easy, since easy things are boring. The possible bores us. The impossible is a challenge. The Lord’s Prayer reveals the glory of God in man.

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Are You Living or Existing?

Edna Lister sermon outline; October 20, 1935, Buffalo, New York; April 13, 1947, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Matthew 25:1-13.

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” — Matthew 25:1-13.

The parable of the ten virgins is all about the kingdom of heaven. A virgin is one who looks forward and backward on the path, choosing the upward climb. Five were wise, and always prepared, never trusting to luck. Five were foolish, putting it off until tomorrow, hoping others will do the work.

Midnight is the twelfth hour of complete understanding. Five were living each day, the other five were existing day by day.

Flowers unfold from a seed planted long ago. The grower must make sure they are nourished and sustained until he may deliver them to the distributor, who sells them to a retailer, who in turn sells them to the buyer, who places them on the altar.

The life of a bulb or a tiny seed is fraught with difficulties. Bulbs and seeds love their life and make something of it, if only happiness or appreciation in those who see them. The foolish, indifferent one makes nothing.

The “bridegroom” is wisdom, as positive fulfillment. Are you ready and waiting, or is the door closed? Are you prepared, and lamps filled for instant lighting?

The Psalms tells us that we are "dust," and to dust we shall return. Plato taught that we are "star dust." The Day Star is shining upon you. Yet you yourself must shine.

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A Child’s Prayer

Edna Lister Bible study outline; October 27, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 18:3.

“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 18:3.

Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
— A traditional English children’s bedtime prayer

“Now I lay me down to sleep.” How do you “lay me down”? What attitude do you hold, hopelessness, weariness and grief? Or do you lie down in childlike trust and anticipation, as if you were going somewhere? Do you rest down or up in consciousness, heavily or lightly? What is sleep? What happens while you sleep? Do you want to receive spiritual dividends? What were your dreams as a child?

“I pray the Lord my soul to keep.” The Lord is law, the Source. The keeper of your soul refers to Jesus’ arms, as the good shepherd. The embodied conscious soul withdraws in sleep to gain knowledge to know how to act the following day. What is prayer? Trust, confidence, love, devotion and praise.

“If I should die before I wake.” What is death? To the carnal mind it is the death of the physical body. To the Christ mind, death is transition from dust to stardust, earthly to heavenly. You take one breath here and the next over there, awakening more gloriously than you can dream.

“I pray the Lord my soul to take.” Commit your soul to Him to return to the Source, to a higher life and glory beyond compare. Death is the earthly entrance into life eternal.

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Your Brother’s Keeper

Edna Lister sermon outline; November 3, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Luke 17:1-4.

“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” — Luke 17:1-4.

Earth’s masses cry, “Freedom!” Yet freedom from what? Why do you need freedom? First, offenses will come, and you must face this fact now. Every offensive experience is an opportunity for advancement on the Path of Light.

“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” — Luke 17:1-2. You must watch your step, taking care in your choice of words especially.

“Take heed to yourselves” is the first step. If another offends, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him, even if he offends you seven times in one day.

The mantle of a messiah is a seamless, woven cloak. Its creation requires the thread, which you weave into fabric, until you have woven the finished article. Each soul is a thread in the divine mantle. Each is necessary in the kingdom.

You lift offenses by lifting them up to a cloud of Light and giving them to God. Say, “Here am I. Send me.”

God has saved all the souls who become stars in His crown. They become the glory of the kingdom through fire, in which He cleanses and purifies them. Mastery creates such glorious strength. You do the lifting, and He does the healing.

You must tempt and entice others, as God’s Light has enticed you, never pushing them away. Instead, grasp each offense as an opportunity to become more like the Master.

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Follow Me

Edna Lister sermon outline; November 10, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 16:24-28.

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever will save his life shall lose it: and whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” — Matthew 16:24-28.

Jesus told his disciples, If any man would follow me, he must do two things: Deny himself, and take up his cross. What are the inducements?

“For whoever will save his life shall lose it: and whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” — Matthew 16:25. How?

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” — Matthew 16:26. What can you give in exchange for a soul? You give your soul to God.

“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” — Matthew 26:27-28. Some who are standing here now, 2,000 years later, will see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Thousands of miles of threads are used to weave the fabric of your clothes. Those threads are of no use to you separately, but woven together they form a marvelous, wondrous whole.

Use the words of Christ, “Follow me,” as the shuttle to weave the threads of Light into the fabric of your life. You can never run out, for you are always filled again.

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See Jesus as He Really Is

Edna Lister sermon outline; November 17, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” — 1 Corinthians 13.

We must see Jesus as he really is, today. Yet how do you achieve this? You need to exercise faith, hope and charity.

Most people seek God only part-time, and part way. They offer part-time service that is only partly selfless, and part-way seeing through a glass darkly. The perfect time to see God is when you are seeing selflessly, as the Master does, having done away with the part-way approach.

You need to know how to achieve faith, hope and charity today. For example, a little child, who represents faith, writes a letter, which symbolizes hope, asking to see God, face to face. Charity is unconscious of anyone or anything, but is simply God-conscious.

The son of man, the Master, is constantly being betrayed, mistreated, and scorned by his beloved ones. If a friend or family member betrays your confidence, how do you feel? What do you do?

Each day can be a feast of love, joy, and life. Each night the kingdom of heaven is open to you, with no invitation needed. Every day you receive invitations from the world. What do you choose?

The Master cannot come to you unless you invite him into your life. When you do remember to invite him, he comes.

Creation turns its back on the Master of Masters daily. Yet he is always waiting for an invitation. He may get one nearly home to the Father, then the death of something treasured comes, then the soul asks, where is God? When you die to Him, you turn back to him. He sees, and he knows.

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The Eleventh Commandment

Edna Lister sermon outline; November 24, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 5:16-20.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 5:16-20.

To command is “to issue an order, a bidding, the exercise or tenure of authority.” A commandment is “any order backed by divine authority.” You always have free will to choose your path, but with no forcing. No one likes a gift that is forced upon him, even when given in love.

“Thou shalt not spend today what thou hast not, but must earn tomorrow.” Your first thought is of resources or money, “the least in the kingdom.” That is one of the followers of true living.

The eleventh command always refers to mastery, to balance, for the number eleven symbolizes mastery. To achieve mastery, you must redeem your misspent time, moments or years, which are uncut gems, all unpolished and waiting.

Redeeming time is so much easier to do here on earth. You can give up pleasure and diversion to make up the time you have wasted, the precious moments you have spent in negative thinking, desires and imagination.

If you are lavish in condemnation, criticism, gossip, anger and impatience toward God, yourself and others, you create soul debts. Yet you must cover tomorrow’s needs, and the evil you may have created by unwisely “spending” your soul substance today.

You are a creator, but of what? You need investments that will pay you the greatest dividends. To gain interest, for example, you put your money in a bank.

Put your love and joy credits in God’s bank, where you can call upon them for the rainy, dull, common and drab days. You can store up pleasant memories until you create a rosary of pearls. The Master is waiting for you to obey the command of justice, which is perfect balance.

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Come, Ye Blessed

Edna Lister sermon outline; December 1, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46.

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” — Matthew 25:31-46.

This parable refers to the embodied rational soul, that conscious part of you. The nations represent the faculties and organs of the physical body.

“When the Son of man comes” represents soul consciousness. Angels symbolize your higher thoughts. The throne represents the head centers of consciousness, the pineal body and pituitary gland, for example.

Sheep represent the faculties, meek, mild, and childlike, raised and freed from subconscious control. Goats are tough, worldly thoughts, or may symbolize actual rough conditions in life.

You inherit the kingdom because you have regularly cared for the stranger when he was hungry, thirsty, naked, sick or in prison. You caring must be customary.

So, you must minister to others so often and for so long that your service becomes an unconscious act of doing. Your motive must be that your love is of God for God, which is real charity.

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” — Matthew 25:41. "Cursed" represents negative thinking, desires, and imagination.

You may choose between everlasting punishment or eternal life, the life triumphant, the life victorious, life of the living. Your dreams do come true.

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The Unknown God

Edna Lister sermon outline; December 1, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Matthew 27:17-24, Acts 17:22-28.

“Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” — Matthew 27:17-24.

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” — Acts 17:22-28.

Pontius Pilate’s wife, Claudia Procula, was a recent convert to Judaism, according to “The Gospel of Nicodemus,” an Apocryphal book. When the Sanhedrin brought him before Pilate, “he knew that for envy they had delivered him.”

“When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.” — Matthew 27:19.

The true story of Pilate is found in The Report of Pilate to the Emperor Claudius. 5 His story illustrates how you pay for a thirst for universal power to use as personal power in petty ways.

Do you appreciate the challenges of Jesus’ life? His suffering? Imagine your personal mental agony just in leaving earth behind. His was a universal mission.

Do you really know God? Have you plumbed the depths of His abiding love?

In Egypt, Greece and in Rome, men built altars to the “unknown God.” Humanity has always been unconsciously seeking upward to find Him. Accept Jesus’ sacrifice and his promises. Make your sacrifice to the “unknown” but “knowing” God.

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Life’s Greatest Satisfaction

Edna Lister sermon outline; December 8, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 25:28-30,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30.

What is life’s greatest satisfaction? Does it dependend on the individual?

Whether you are the captain of a ship, the sailor working for him, the fisherman on shore, the moneyed magnate, the master of music or art, the laborer, the father, the mother, or the children, your satisfaction is in what you desire and where you want it.

What have you chosen? You can love blue birds, sunsets, rain, the bloom on fruit, to sail on the sea, music, and so on. You are free to choose anything that lifts you into the Light.

The Master’s command to “Come unto me” makes you light in terms of weight, light in darkness. The yoke of love is being meek and humble of heart, accepting anything that is offered, going on into the Light.

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Stepping Stones to Success

Edna Lister sermon outline; December 8, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Exodus 20:1-17, Genesis 14:18-20.

“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” — Exodus 20:1-17.

“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” — Genesis 14:18-20.

New Ten Commandments
Thou shalt love honor above all things.
Thou shalt love justice and live it continually.
Thou shalt live with thy neighbor as thou dost desire to live with thy Master.
Thou shalt not live by false pretenses.
Thou shalt honor thy Father and Mother Virtues, that in thy soul and heart they may be lived, and glorify thyself before thy Maker.
Thou shalt not kill: vision, lights, prayer or love.
Thou shalt not disturb by word or by action or by deed; by false prophecies or by false pretenses.
Thou shalt not steal one’s faith, ideals, hopes, aspirations or inspirations, for God will not hold him guiltless who disturbs a soul’s peace.
Thou shalt hold thy neighbor close: his joy shall be thy joy; his sorrow shall be thy sorrow, and the understanding of Christ in you shall see the Light to shed.
Thou shalt not desire another’s goods by look or by word or by action, such as: personal ideas, loves, friendships or the personal path each chooses to go on, for God will hold you responsible for their indirection from His directed path.
— Edna Lister, New Ten Commandments, 1933.

The Ten Commandments are stepping stones in life that represent solidity and security. You are born accepting, but use them with fear, caution, obedience, devotion and faith.

The Order of Melchizedek has thirty-three steps. Melchizedek, the King of Salem (Genesis 14:18-20), was not born, but was without beginning or end of days. The Ten Commandments are the beginning of those thirty-three steps.

Moses, though called by God to service, did not begin his work immediately. He waited a few years, until he was 104, which was not too late. Everyone who follows God’s calling must take the first step.

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me." — Exodus 20:3. Night serves as a fast, a feast for the soul while the body rests. You must break the fast, which is the origin of breakfast. It means, "Thou shalt love God first."

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” — Exodus 20:7. "Holy is His Name." Do not call on God to witness the trivial, foolish or silly things.

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” — Exodus 20:8. "Keep holy God’s day," which is every day.

“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work.” — Exodus 20:9-10. Labor six days in love and do your best before you rest.

“Honour thy father and thy mother.” — Exodus 20:12. Honor your Father and Mother, and do not cast your soul virtues aside.

“Thou shalt not kill.” — Exodus 20:13. God’s law permits no killing of faith in anyone at any time.

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” — Exodus 20:14. Law permits no adulteration of any high vibration.

“Thou shalt not steal.” — Exodus 20:15. Do not steal another’s time or reputation, for example.

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” — Exodus 20:16. You may not bear false witness, which is a perversion of truth and reality.

“Thou shalt not covet... any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” — Exodus 20:17. Law allows no covetousness; otherwise, you destroy your ability to see your good.

What are you doing toward making your own success a reality? Are you tearing down the steps ahead so that you have nowhere to go? The steps are waiting. Let’s climb!

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The Enemy Approaches

Edna Lister sermon outline; December 15, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 5:43-48.

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” — Matthew 5:43-48.

“Love your enemies.” What is an enemy? How does the enemy act? What do enemies do? How do you act? What do you do? An enemy is anything you do not like, approve of, or want. You believe they approach to change you, to make you do something you do not want to do, to force you.

This breeds rebellion and resentment, and blaming them becomes easy. Yet what about you? What about “me?” Am I an enemy to life’s limitations, darkness, or its unwanted hurts? If so, then I am an enemy of God’s life, by refusing to obey law. If you are not for it, you are against, which is lukewarm and indifferent.

In truth, you can have no enemy, on earth or in heaven. You are your own enemy, always. You become your own enemy when you want to hold anything against anyone, to grasp anything, to be swayed by things, people.

To be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect, requires graciousness, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Eternal Youth

Edna Lister sermon outline; December 15, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Genesis 3:19.

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” — Genesis 3:19.

The idea of age says, “It’s too late. You’re too old. It’s no use.” Yet your body is built of a substance designed to be renewed. This universal substance is the same as that of which trees, plants and fruit are made, and yes, the cells of your body, too. Where does this substance come from? Where does it go when you are finished with it?

Universal substance constantly assumes new forms. Just as leaves unfold, live for a season, and fall, they turn into mold or ashes, then become new earth, new soil to fertilize the land. The human body is 85 percent water, but 100 percent Light. My Godmother said that aging is turning your face the wrong side out.

Adam was made of star dust, as we all are, which is why the burial service says, “From ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” 6 The soul is eternal. The body is a vehicle, as solid as a chair. When the soul rules, its command is glorious, supreme and perfect.

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The Christian Home

Edna Lister sermon outline; December 22, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Luke 2:7-19, Ephesians 6:1-4.

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” — Luke 2:7-19.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” — Ephesians 6:1-4.

The greatest joy that you can experience is the joy of knowing that you are the sons and daughters of God. Jesus said, “This is life eternal that they should know the only true God.” Few have ever taken the orderly steps necessary to bring their divine nature into the perfect manifestation. Have you observed all the requirements of the divine law of being? By constantly inhaling soul substance through the Breath of Life and re-forming the spiritual image of perfection in mind, you shall make this perfect manifestation.

The birth of Jesus represents the new birth of Christ in your consciousness. A new idea, perceived by the mind, leads you to glorify God and feel at peace within yourself. Christmas: Did a word ever embody greater joy? Does any other word carry so great a sense of expectancy? Can there ever be one that so stirs up the Savior’s love and good will in the hearts of the people? What does Christmas mean to you? Have you asked it of children and read the answer of Christ within their hearts, in their glowing eyes and radiantly happy faces?

World affairs were chaotic when Jesus was born. Nevertheless, the hearts of many people were upheld by the expectation of release from burdens that was to come to them through the event of one who would come and be known as the Messiah. The Wise Men’s hearts thrilled within them as they discovered the star in the east, and the ecstasy of anticipation accompanied them across the desert miles. Wise men and shepherds gathered to give Jesus presents.

From that day to this, the momentum of Christmas giving has increased until it has grown to be a daily privilege of the many, instead of the one for whom it was reserved.

Christ was not born in a stable by accident. His physical birth serves to remind us of the truth.

Christ, reborn in you, descends into your animal or mortal nature and environment so that he may work through you to lift you up again to the perfection and wholeness of a son or daughter of God. This is his service of love to us, that by his love and wisdom, we may be fully redeemed, Spirit, soul and body.

When you are tempted to believe that your emotions and passions are too strong to master them, it is good to recall the Christ child, resting in the manger from which the animals were fed.

Remember the manger, in which Christ was born, symbolizes the lowly estate of your personal nature, into which he is reborn to develop in you and through you the virtue of the Son of God.


Endnotes

1^ Simon Magus, or Simon the Magician, was a self-styled “great one,” a sorcerer of Samaria.

2^ Invictus Out of the night that covers me,
   Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
   For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
   I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
   My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
   Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
   Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
   How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
   I am the captain of my soul.
— William Ernest Henley,

3^ Title from the short story “The Go-Getter: A Story That Tells You How to Be One,” by Peter B. Kyne, 1921.

4^ The Nova Herculis 1934 flared twice, in (a) March 1935 and (b) May 1935, after brightening by a factor of 60,000.

5^ "The Report of Pilate to the Emperor Claudius" is found in the Greek Acts of Peter and Paul and as an appendix to the Gospel of Nicodemus in Latin. The translation is from M. R. James as given in Quasten’s Patrology, vol. 1, p. 117.

Pontius Pilate unto Claudius, greeting.
There befell of late a matter which I myself brought to light (or, made trial of): for the Jews through envy have punished themselves and their posterity with fearful judgements of their own fault; for whereas their fathers had promises (al. had announced unto them) that their God would send them out of heaven his holy one who should of right be called their king, and did promise that he would send him upon earth by a virgin; he then (or this God of the Hebrews, then) came when I was governor of Judea, and they beheld him enlightening the blind, cleansing lepers, healing the palsied, driving devils out of men, raising the dead, rebuking the winds, walking upon the waves of the sea dry-shod, and doing many other wonders, and all the people of the Jews calling him the Son of God: the chief priests therefore, moved with envy against him, took him and delivered him unto me and brought against him one false accusation after another, saying that he was a sorcerer and did things contrary to law.
  But I, believing that these things were so, having scourged him, delivered him unto their will: and they crucified him, and when he was buried they set guards upon him. But while my soldiers watched him he rose again on the third day: yet so much was the malice of the Jews kindled that they gave money to the soldiers, saying: Say ye that his disciples stole away his body. But they, though they took the money, were not able to keep silence concerning that which had come to pass, for they also have testified that they saw him arisen and that they received money from the Jews. And these things have I reported (unto thy mightiness) for this cause, lest some other should lie unto thee (Lat. lest any lie otherwise) and though shouldest deem right to believe the false tales of the Jews.

6^ “Ashes to ashes” derives from the English Burial Service, adapted from Genesis 3:19 (King James Version). The 1662 version of the Book of Common Prayer indicated the manner and text of the burial service.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.


Edna Lister


References

Browning, Robert. Paracelsus, Part I. London, Effingham Wilson, 1835.

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

James, M. R. "The Report of Pilate to the Emperor Claudius." Found in the Greek Acts of Peter and Paul and as an appendix to the Gospel of Nicodemus in Latin. The translation is from M. R. James as given in Quasten’s Patrology, vol. 1, p. 117.

Lowell, James Russell. The Works of James Russell Lowell, Vol. 11. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, p. 181, 1892.

Webster, Noah. “Repentance,” Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828. This work is in the public domain.

“Diligence,” “Endure,” “Glorification,” and “Remission.” Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 3rd ed. Springfield, Massachusetts, G. & C. Merriam Co., 1929.