Edna Lister’s Sermons 1946

Quickening Spirit

Edna Lister sermon outline; January 20, 1946, Tacoma, Washington; also used February 5, 1956, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: John 3:1-11, John 3:16-17.

"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." — John 3:1-11.

"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 3:16-17.

Through the ages, humanity has called the wheel of fate the treadmill, whereon we face the same situations and experiences repeatedly. In this state of being and consciousness, you live by the instinctive urges and creature nature desires. This animal consciousness feels no need to explain itself.

The first awakening from this state is the realization that you own a body: "I am a body." Thus, the evolution of a physical consciousness comes first. In this stage of development, faith is instinctive and unconscious, just existing as a body. This faith is not yet "born again" into consciousness greater than self.

The second awakening of consciousness deals with the emotions, and says, "I love" and "I hate." This is the first step in consciousness of self as being more than a body. Such persons express their emotions and feelings, not their thinking, as intensely personal and subjective. When those who dwell in emotional consciousness let go of self-restraint, they use their "human nature" as an excuse for their verbal and physical excesses.

The third awakening is mental. Nicodemus came to Jesus privately, secretly in the night. Jesus’ teachings attracted him, but he was stuck intellectually. Jesus told Nicodemus, "I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Jesus added, "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." — John 3:8. The wind describes the power of an invisible birth. This leads to the first spiritual quickening, which rouses the consciousness from the "sleep" of physical and emotional self-satisfaction. At the spiritual awakening, you ask three questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?

"I don’t understand" is the first glimmer of realization that intellectual knowledge may not be enough to answer life’s questions. With this awakening, you become a mental searcher, examining everything around you. "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.

Once you have unfolded the answers to the questions of who, what, when, where, how and why, you are reborn. Rebirth is the resultant action of your quest. You are reborn as a creator god, living by character, not reputation. You assume all personal responsibility and accountability as you enter the spiritual fourth dimension. If you sit and wait for peace, you could starve and die waiting. Or, you can choose to work hard and be strong. To stop, look and listen to the self takes too long and causes you to go to seed. You end as a cabbage head gone to seed, just the same.

You step from creature consciousness to God consciousness through a quickening of Spirit. You can broadcast enough praise, prayer and singing to cover millions of miles and fill the earth with Light. When you preface every declaration with "let," as you face a challenging vibration, God reserves your place and sets your portion aside. You can release dynamic power with the declaration of "let." Yet you must consciously see and envision the kingdom quickened and born again in Spirit every hour.

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The Glory of the Holy Spirit

Edna Lister sermon outline; July 7, 1946, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: John 20:19-31.

"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." — John 20:19-31.

Today’s need is for less self and more God. What is the Holy Spirit? How do we find out?

The original Creative Fiat, "Let there be Light," brought forth all original substance of Light, which gave rise to everything, all the original cells of Light, expressed through the trinities, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Father, Mother, and Son.

The Mother was "hidden" in the darkness and blindness of chaos. Science and religion advance, side by side and thus, we have rediscovered the Mother. The Roman Catholic "Mother of God" ascended from earth to heaven. Truth teaches that the Mother portion of the Godhead first descended.

The Holy Spirit is the Father and Mother expressing as the Son’s personality, and through the Holy Spirit as principle. Principle is Mind, Substance and Power as one, equal and balanced in operation as one.

The disciples were in hiding from the authorities when Jesus appeared in their midst. Thomas, who had not been with the other disciples the first time that Jesus appeared to them, doubted that the Lord had risen from the dead. The second time, he saw the wounds for himself and believed.

To remit sins is to forgive them. To retain sins is to blame. He told them to "receive the Holy Spirit," and breathed on them. Where did the Holy Spirit originate? In the Godhead, the fount of all life.

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The Broad Highway

Edna Lister sermon outline; July 21, 1946, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Acts 12:1-16.

"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." — Acts 12:1-16.

The broad highway is life itself. Life is always broad at the start. It narrows in some places for bridges and guard rails.

When the road is crooked, some wail, "I can’t see the way ahead!" When life’s highway runs straight, others cry, "It takes so long." To some, life always seems wrong, never right.

Peter’s story in this scripture is full of examples of the difference between the truth of appearances and the truth of reality. Peter’s appearance so astonished the servant girl, Rhoda, that she forgot to open the door. Everyone else thought she had seen a ghost.

Even Peter thought he was dreaming his release from prison. He had been held bound between two soldiers, who represent world ideas and world economics.

World ideas are always revolving around, "What do they think?" World fears about economics always prompt thoughts such as, "I can’t afford it." The world’s ideas and fears can squeeze you to death between them.

How do you break free of all this? Seeing the beauty in life, feeling happiness or devotion is difficult when your love is on crutches, your faith is crucified and your joy is buried.

You grow in faith when you participate in group prayer. Life’s highway is easier to traverse when you take your fair share of the burdens with the glories. You never quit, but stand on truth and hold fast to God.

You cannot build a log cabin from a pile of toadstools, and even a spineless jellyfish moves around to eat. So, you must become a collaborator with God.

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The Golden Rule

Edna Lister sermon outline; September 22, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: Exodus 22:21-23, Deuteronomy 24:19-22, Matthew 7:1, Matthew 25:32-41.

"Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry." — Exodus 22:21-23.

"When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing." — Deuteronomy 24:19-22.

"All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets." — Matthew 7:1.

"All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And he will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me: then the righteous will answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or naked and clothe you? Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you? And the King will answer and say to them, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me. Then he will also say to those on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." — Matthew 25:32-41.

The world greatly needs to understand the Golden Rule and what it really means. A rule is a formula for the application of law.

The worldly idea of a formula of law requires that you curb passions and emotions, to control them. This way, you can do as you please as long as no one else finds out about it.

The Golden Rule must be different. Gold is a precious metal, the "best." Golden Light is the rule of pure Light. The Golden Rule must be the rule of pure law.

In the world of God’s Love, conquering self is doing as the Christ principle dictates. You must become a living ensample of law, an expression of divine law. This will lead to your perfect health, strength and joy.

"Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry." — Exodus 22:21-23.

People oppress and vex others as the result of their own pride and arrogance. Bullies specialize in mistreating those who have no recourse.

"When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing." — Deuteronomy 24:19-22.

Greed grows from fear and selfishness. The law requires that you share the leftovers with those less fortunate.

The Golden Rule tells us, "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets." — Matthew 7:1. This perfectly expresses the great law of action and reaction.

Giving and receiving are not based in the world of self, but in the divine world. Jesus also said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." — Matthew 25:40.

"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." — Matthew 22:39 is the law of neighborliness. As you become law, you become a greater instrument of Light.

Self expression leads to contraction, all weakness and darkness. To live by self is to live by a less-and-less plan of life.

Selflessness leads you to expansion, more of God’s love and faith. You become an ever-increasing instrument for Light when you live by this more-and-more plan of life.

Love fulfills all law. Love, which burns out all the dross of selfishness, is forever victorious. Faith is unconquerable strength. Love is an unquenchable fire. These are the conquering soul’s Golden Rules.

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The Love of the Christ

Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; September 29, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. 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! What is it? Love is the Mother principle, one facet of the threefold divinity. Wisdom is the Father principle, and you express both as the Son of Christ consciousness: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." — Philippians 2:5.

The love of Christ is full of energy. Christed love is universal cosmic love in action, complete and absolute, perfect now.

You must love your so-called enemies. An enemy is one who threatens danger. Who and what is your enemy? The greatest of all enemies is the "little me" of the self or creature consciousness.

You may ask, How am I an enemy? You become an enemy of your own soul through self’s lukewarmness and indifference.

This scripture text says that you must do five things to eliminate enemies. First, you must love your enemies, including your self. Second, you must return blessing for the curses, which include blame, criticism and condemnation.

Third, you must do good to those who hate you. You never return ill for ill, for whatever you do returns to you in the end.

Fourth, pray for those who despitefully use you. Cleanse your own place, keep it clean, and do not dirty the airwaves with idle words.

Finally, pray for those who persecute you. If you rejoice in prayer and praise for the one who persecutes you, you will learn your lessons quickly and completely.

Plato told the story of a room in heaven through which passed all the souls departing for earth. The room was filled with lighted candles, and each soul claimed the amount of Light he or she felt would be needed on earth.

The Light you claim determines the degree of your love. You can afford no more part-time efforts, love or selflessness, but must practice seeing and hearing as Christ’s disciple to be a conqueror now.

When you have lifted your self-desires and self-will to become one with your soul desires and the free will of God, they fuse as the Love and Wisdom of God.

Divine Love and Wisdom function as the I AM consciousness, through your soul faculties as intuition and illumination. The Oversoul I AM consciousness then becomes the interpreter of vision.

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Identity From Self to Soul

Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; October 6, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Acts 22:6-21.

"Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me, and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? So I answered, Who are you, Lord? And He said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting. And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of him who spoke to me. So I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do. And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus. Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, came to me; and he stood and said to me, Brother, Saul, receive your sight. And at that same hour I looked up at him. Then be said, The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know his will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance and saw him saying to me, Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning me. So I said, Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him. Then he said to me, Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles." — Acts 22:6-21.

This text contains Paul’s story of his conversion from Saul of Tarsus. Though Saul was born a Jew, he was a citizen of Rome under Roman law, immune to local prosecution, untouchable except by a Roman court. People listened to Paul because he was a well-educated Jew, who knew Hebrew, and Greek as well as any Roman.

Saul represents the subconscious mind of "little me," the self, with intellect ruling. Paul the Roman represents the high soul, ruled by Christ consciousness.

Saul’s conversion to Paul illustrates the spectrum of consciousness from self to soul. When you are in bondage to self, you suffer its persecution. It feels as though the walls are falling in, squeezing you to death.

When you completely identify with self, all you can do is to hunt, strive, struggle, and seek for an identity higher and greater than self. Like a newborn chick, you cannot return to the shell.

Each new freedom of the soul becomes bondage when you fill it full. Soul creates expansion and reflexively, you ascend. Expansion of soul causes ascension.

Each hears the truth on his own road to Damascus. You may be blind for a time, or all may appear as dull gray. Then, Light dawns and your sight is restored.

Desire, the choice for the Christ awakens, and looks on. Choice moves on. The Christ lives on.

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The Will Awakened to Truth

Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; October 13, 1946, Tacoma, Washington; also used October 23, 1955, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Acts 27:12-44.

"And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west. And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For 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. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island. But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under color as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off. And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea. And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hind part was broken with the violence of the waves. And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land." — Acts 27:12-44.

"But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, "Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For 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.’ Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island." But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; and sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day." — Acts 27:21-29.

On the fourteenth night, the ship and its crew were desperate. Fourteen symbolizes what we call the Path of Choice and Separation, which implies a choice for and separation from. You always have a choice as to your future conduct, and the chance for separation from the negative past.

First, you swim against strong tides, and bold currents. Then you find "boards" to keep you afloat. Finally, you hold onto the broken pieces.

"Be of good cheer for there stood by me this night an Angel of God whose I am and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul. Thou must be brought before Caesar.’ — Acts 27:22-23. At last, you know that you must go home to God, into the Light, under ascension of consciousness.

Ascension requires your understanding, willingness, and zeal. You must learn to hearken, heed, and obey.

"Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee." — Acts 27:25.

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The Immaculate Conception

Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; October 13, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Luke 1:26-37.

"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible." — Luke 1:26-37.

The Bible tells several stories of couples conceiving and women giving birth at a physically "impossible" age. Such couples include Abraham and Sarah (Isaac’s parents), Elkanah and Hannah (Samuel’s parents), Joachim and Anna (Mary’s parents), and Zacharias and Elizabeth (John’s parents). Mary’s story is slightly different. She was a virgin, her conception immaculate, which means she was faultless, without sin and untouched.

We can explain both types of miracles in the same scientific way: Just as baby stars are born of a whirling nucleus of condensed star dust in the Milky Way, so God can condense Light into the actual physical substance of a babe within the womb. An analogy is the way butter, a solid, is condensed and separated out from the liquid milk by churning it.

The one Holy Breath contains seven degrees or grades of substance within itself. You inhale the four lower degrees of substance through your lungs, and the three higher degrees of substance through the crown of your head.

The degrees of breath flow through spinal channels in the desire body spine, at the molecular grade of substance. The negatively charged lunar energy flows up and down the spine through the left-hand channel. The positively charged solar energy flows up and down the spine though the right-hand channel. The creative fire ascends and descends the spine though the central spinal canal.

The soul draws the magnetic currents of earth up through the feet, and inhales the etheric currents through the crown of the head. The higher and lower grades of substance meet and mingle at the solar plexus, where they form the "seed of life."

The seeds of life ripen in twenty-eight days, then ignite from the whirling action. One seed travels upward through the spine to the pons of the medulla oblongata at the base of the brain. From there it waters the brain cells with life and vitality, building the phosphorescent tips of the cells that form the base of the mental body’s thousand-petaled crown lotus.

The other seed of life descends the spine to the sacrum plexus for physical creation or procreation. This process accounts for how a genius can be born into a family of illiterates.

If two rays of Light can meet, burst and ignite the heart of a star dust body, then similarly, two rays focused into "ark of the mother," the womb, can produce one perfect seed of wisdom, the Father seed of life.

The only necessity for Jesus’ birth was a mother, Mary, who could see and hear spiritually to know that she was the perfect chalice for the descent of the Holy Spirit. The three-in-one, the Father, Mother and Holy Spirit o’ershadowed her as a ray of Light to produce the divine seed of life that created the immaculate conception.

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Doing the Work of the Christ

Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; October 20, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: Acts 9:19-22, Acts 11:25-26, Galatians 1:17-24.

"And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ." — Acts 9:19-22.

"Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." — Acts 11:25-26.

"Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; and was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. 1:24 And they glorified God in me." — Galatians 1:17-24.

The story of Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul, covers four phases of expression, which are four stages of growth. In the first, young zeal is slumbering. This is the "leave me alone" stage. The second phase is "the awakening," or the "you are wrong" stage. In the third phase, will and intellect are ruling in the "do it my way" stage. The fourth phase is the crucifixion of will, where you follow the Christ of God.

These are the four stages in the unfolding of Saul’s life into Paul. Of what use is such unfolding? Will it give me freedom? If so, what is freedom? Who am I? What is "myself"? You can say, "I am a great salesman, attorney, doctor, musician, painter, judge, financier or merchant," but that is not enlightening. It is not what you are. It is only what personal little "I am" does. Some days I am blue, weak, ill, petty, tired and mean. Other days I am happy, strong, joyous and singing.

People say, "You really put me on a spot. That just took the heart out of me." You must be stouthearted to do. Why do you indulge such up-and-down-ness? Ask yourself, Which one am I? Which do I want to be?

We all start on the first phase, which is selfish, always asking, What will this do for me? Here the self is indifferent and satisfied to live in the City of Tranquility and Complacency. This is the "leave me alone" stage where young zeal is slumbering.

You move to the second phase, the awakening or the "you are wrong" stage: "I know more than you do. I can do it better. I am better than you." This represents Saul, persecuting and tearing down the works of the early Christians.

In the third phase, you use will and intellect, which is the "do it my way" stage. Here Saul saw the Light for the first time. The Jews, whom he offended, grew to hate Saul. He used force in applying the law. He was self-righteous and told them to "do as I say."

The fourth phase is the crucifixion of will, where you follow the Christ of God. Here Paul served in purity of heart, mind and purpose under surrender of will. For this surrender, God changed Saul’s name to Paul in the Book of Acts, the thirteenth chapter. Thirteen is the number that symbolizes the Via Christa, the Path of Christ. It represents selfless, sacrificial service where the law uses you.

Your body is like a weaver’s bobbin; divine Mind as Light is wound around your faculties to weave a new, perfected pattern of life. Your attitude before God is an expression of the attributes of God.

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Awakening to Understanding

Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; October 27, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Acts 13:1-13.

"Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister. And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul (who also is called Paul) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. And said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem." — Acts 13:1-13.

The five men mentioned here are prophets, teachers for the soul, Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen and Saul, who became Paul. The only method for expansion or ascension from self to soul expression is the straight and narrow way. The five men represent illumination, intuition, imagination, faith and understanding. "They ministered to the Lord" means that they rendered aid and served.

John represents mothering love, which descended from above through the five faculties, nourishing and sustaining their zeal, instructing them and keeping their lights bright and burning. This is the full awakening to truth, the descent of love into "soul" and ascending upward again.

Understanding is standing under the Light, and the crown of the head fully open. Faith, expressed through active works, becomes unconquerable. Constructive imagination enables one to fish on the right side of the boat. Intuition is perfect hearing and doing of the law, hearing the voice and knowing. Illumination is the light of unity or oneness of soul.

Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" Jesus answered, "He who is of the truth, recognizes the truth." Five prophets from five faculties operate through intellect. If you dwell on truth, you must become and be the truth. Knowing truth is not enough, you must become the truth. Becoming truth is becoming a "living ensample like unto Christ."

First it is flaming, burning love possessing all that you are. Second, it is vivid, thrilling, ecstatic imagination, and third, it is acting as if, and ministering unto mankind in service to the Lord.

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The Price of Freedom in Christ

Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; November 3, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: Acts 15:23-29, Galatians 5:13-18.

“They wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” — Acts 15:23-29.

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” — Galatians 5:13-18.

What is freedom? We have reached the point of the vast cycle of time in which the hedonistic influence is again on top. Searching for freedom individually, and insisting that one’s own way is the only right, causes all human suffering. Therefore, harmony must arise from cooperation. This scripture tells the story of three factions getting together in a conference, consulting to find a common meeting ground, one that was best for all. Out of many ideas, they desired to find one that would hold them together.

The three factions in the conference each represent a phase of individual mind. The apostles represent the super-conscious mind. The elders symbolize the conscious mind. The brethren signify the subconscious portion of mind.

The apostles knew Jesus personally, and had been at the Last Supper. They represent your super-conscious spiritual faculties, including illumination, intuition, imagination, faith, and understanding. The elders also knew Jesus and were among his followers. They represent the intellectual faculties of man’s mind, such as logic, reason, judgment, discernment, discrimination, and discretion. The brethren are "of the world" seekers, who represent the instinctive subconscious urges, and the creature soul traits of pride, arrogance, opinions, and prejudices. They believe what is "plausible."

The apostles are guardians of the flame of life and the agents of God on earth. The elders, to judge rightly must discern and discriminate against the enemies of God. To be discrete in speech requires discretion in emotions and thinking, with no idle words. The brethren must ascend the tendency toward relying on the plausible excuses of the subconscious, and the justification for doing what little self pleases.

The enemies in the subconscious mind are the stamping ground of opinions and prejudices, always in contact with the base, low-level world mind. You must decide whether you will bow before them, get on your knees and weep or stand and take it as you persevere. As long as you remain in bondage to the subconscious mind, you cannot ascend. The tears that self weeps can create a mud puddle or a lake if you let it. Your spiritual faculties are always seeking to lift you up, while the creature soul urges are dragging you down.

How can you be free? What is the price of freedom? What is the basis of your soul freedom? Faith unconquerable, love unquenchable, and wisdom inexhaustible and limitless form the basis of your soul’s freedom. You can be free by letting your imagination, your kingly faculty, be an apostle of balance among your illumination, intuition, faith and understanding.

When you allow your self to be dragged down by instinctive creature urges, you remain subject to illusion, delusion, fear, doubt, and death. When your spiritual faculties have lifted you up, you open the all-seeing eye, the mystic eye of the mind. The Light of the apostles flows down through the elders, into the brethren and out into the world. The price you pay for freedom is the choice you make to let the apostles and elders rule your consciousness, not the creature self.

True freedom causes you to expand and ascend into Light. Embrace the Light with exaltation by spreading the wings of your mind and arms of your heart. The price of soul freedom is your choice for soul ascension.

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Perfecting Your Expression of the Soul Faculties

Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; November 10, 1946, Tacoma, Washington; also used May 27, 1956 Tacoma, Washington; June 17, 1956, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Acts 16:11-15, Philippians 2:5-11.

“Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; and from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.” — Acts 16:11-15.

“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; ad that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” — Philippians 2:5-11.

This is the greatest tribute ever written to our Master. He was "obedient unto death," an ignominious death. He was our way-shower, a mediator who gave law, lived law and became law. To give law is easy. To live law until you become that law is another thing.

To perfect your spiritual faculties, you must let the Light shine down through them. Also, you must lift your mental faculties. The first step is awareness of God as your Father, and your likeness to Him. It is not robbery to know this. The second step is recognition of your need to become perfect. You make yourself "of no reputation" to take on the "form of a servant."

The third step is acceptance of your full responsibility to do and be the law. This is how you humble the self. The fourth step is surrender of the self to be possessed by the Power as the servant of all. This is how you attain the form of a servant. The fifth step is obedience to the laws of the Christian, of the Spirit and of the Christos Degree. This is how you become obedience unto death.

Christian obedience to law is usually just to think about it, to plan to become it, and to talk about it. Spiritual obedience is to pray, to lift and to give "it" to God. Christos Degree obedience is to become fully unselfish. What stops you from attaining the full stature of the Christ? You must hold the solemn conviction that you can ascend your body. Work harder.

An English clergyman had returned to England from Africa, after long service there. He had made no converts. On hearing him speak, one boy took him by the hand and said that he wanted to become a minister. The old gentleman trained him, and he later went to Africa as a missionary. He returned to England twenty-five years later as the famous missionary, Robert Moffat.

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Aggressive Christianity

Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; November 17, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: Acts 17:1-7, 1 Thessalonians 1:2-8.

“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonika, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few. But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.” — Acts 17:1-7.

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost. So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.” — 1 Thessalonians 1:2-8.

Chapter 16 of the Book of Acts of the Apostles tells the most interesting story of how Paul and Silas cured a slave girl who was possessed with a "spirit of divination." Her Roman citizen owners called them Jews, and had them stripped and beaten by the magistrates, the city leaders.

At midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God in prison, and an earthquake occurred. The prison keeper was swept into the kingdom of heaven with his household. He washed their stripes and fed them. The magistrates freed them immediately. Paul demanded that they be freed by the magistrates themselves, and they did so. Then they asked Paul and Silas to leave quickly. This story illustrates outstanding faith. Paul did not argue with them when they arrested him. Agreement with the adversary creates a miracle. Any argument offered is opposition by the self. All agreements are expressions of love by the soul.

Aggressive Christianity is based in love. If your love is weak, the opposition wins. When your love is strong, the opposition weakens. What is the aggressive point of love? A boy brought a stray dog home, begging his mother to let him keep it. She refused and meant to be adamant. Then she happened to look into the dog’s eyes and the love she saw there melted her heart.

At your high point of faith and love, any barrier is burned away, the walls are shaken down, and bonds broken. “Behold! I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for Me?” — Jeremiah 32:27. All opposition fades in the face of prayer, praise and singing. Declare, "Move over Father. Here I come. I come to stay with You now."

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The Unknown God

Edna Lister Truth Temple Thanksgiving Service sermon outline; November 24, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: Acts 17:22-28, Acts 18:1-4, 1 Corinthians 1:22-25.

“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 worshiped 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.

“After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; and found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tent makers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” — Acts 18:1-4.

“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” — 1 Corinthians 1:22-25.

We have a magic wand that can take us into the future. It is the year 3046, and from here we can read history as it might have been written. Since prehistory, every civilization has been founded in some type of bloodshed. Our great nation, the United States of America, seemed different.

The Old World, Europe and Britain, had become a bloody religious battlefield. They imprisoned and burned religious martyrs at the stake. First one faction, then another, took power. Finally, to escape such persecution, Protestant Christians met together in hidden rooms and cellars. They planned to cross the mighty ocean in vessels we would scorn to use today.

Our nation was founded on prayer and thanksgiving. Men and women came together in prayer, not for greed, power or wealth, but as strong sons and daughters of God who prayed for protection in their new home. Even then there was bloodshed as they fought with Indians.

Women helped to conquer the New World. They brought their feet to walk, hands to build, and hearts to stand and hold. One thing they had, resolution, and the time and strength to make the effort. In time, we conquered coast to coast. Then something happened. Until then, people thought, “What can I give the nation? What can I do to help?” Then the cry changed. Many offered no more prayers of praise and thanksgiving. Women wanted freedom to have “equal rights.” Men already exalted them as sweethearts, wives and mothers.

Again, altars have been erected to “Unknown Gods.” We have built palaces in which to dine, and for pleasure only. Many of our churches have become cathedrals, filled with gold plate. The faithful go to church not to pray in gratitude, but to show off their wealth. We have lost our devotion and humility, and buried our gratitude.

The romance is gone, and men no longer exalt womanhood. Young men no longer say, “I love you,” but, “I want you.” People think, “What can I get,” not “What can I give.” We could rewrite this history as though it had never happened. We can write a history free of this selfishness.

What is the answer? Today, we no longer have any Unknown God. We know God as the Source of life, joy and supply. We must spend time and effort again pushing up in consciousness, not pushing out in conquering the world. Women are slowly regaining their romance. Feminine graciousness and loveliness causes men to exalt the feminine ideal. Women must lead the way in devotion to the One God through praise and thanksgiving.

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The Word Made Flesh

Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; December 1, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: John 1:1-14.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth." — John 1:1-14.

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." — John 1:14.

The Word is both life and Light. The Word establishes the principle of Light, and your identity with God as the Light. The Word is your method of knowing who you are.

Your life is in the Word, and that life is the Light of men. The Word establishes your identity, as John says of himself, "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe." — John 1:6-7.

The Word was made flesh as the "only begotten of the Father." Thus, the Word establishes you by naming the principle, your identity and your method — speaking the Word.

You are born again by baptism in the water and fire of God, spiritually. Jesus is still walking with you, blessing you. He is still pointing the way you must follow.

You must bear witness of the Word, which is a vibration of glory, grace and truth. How strong can you be? How great must you become?

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Spiritual Appropriation

Edna Lister sermon outline; December 8, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 11:20-27, Romans 13:13-14, Ephesians 5:18-21.

“When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” — 1 Corinthians 11:20-27.

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” — Romans 13:12-14.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” — Ephesians 5:18-21.

An appropriation is something set aside for or devoted to a certain special purpose. Spiritual appropriation is how you draw into yourself the Mind, Substance and Power of the Bank Eternal, the Source of All. Imagine that you are a passenger in the stagecoach of life. Your coach team mates, Will and Desire, start the journey by pulling together as one. Imagination is the driver.

You can see the city of Success across from the foothills of laughter and joy as you make your way down into a valley, singing. The valley, you find, is a soggy meadow filled with ruts and puddles. You are still singing as you enter the forest. At the forest’s verge stand two dirty ragged tramps, Fear and Doubt, who can go no farther because they have no shoes. You take them on as passengers.

Farther along the road you meet the Misses Sorrow and Tears, who are in a hurry. Their buttons are all gone, their shoes not matched and their hair is straggling and messy. Feeling sympathy, you give them a ride. Next you meet Mrs. I Don’t Care, with her daughters, I Can’t and I Won’t, and her young sons, Why and I’m Trying. With them is Mr. Worry, who has such a long beard and hair. His clothes are too large and he looks so hungry, always wanting more to eat. You make space for them, too.

Then you meet the twins, Intolerance and Pride, who pull their skirts aside, and push Sorrow and Tears off their seats. Just a few steps farther is old man Hate, brother to Greed and Avarice. He is on crutches and cannot walk. He cannot see well either and wears dark glasses. They pile onto the coach. Just when it seems the coach can hold no more, you stop for old lady Gossip, with her large bag, acting furtively. With her is little Miss Envy, so pushy and quarrelsome. The city of Success is hidden from view. The crowd you travel with is so noisy, and you are so tired that you cry, “Be still!”

Suddenly the highway opens out onto a broad plain. Ahead lies the city, with golden gates. Just then you meet Miss Delight, Mrs. Love and Mr. Joy. You stop for them, but the load you are already carrying pushes them off, making fun of them. You are ashamed, but the crowd’s din scares the teammates, Will and Desire, who run to the gates. The gate attendant refuses you entrance because we have no card signed by Love and Joy. He tells you to take your motley crew and return to your own place. Yet you cannot return to the city of Success without Love and Joy.

Before you start again, you call on Reason and Judgment to put the moochers off your coach. Then you stop to paint and repair everything, putting in new seats.

This time, you drive past all the hitchhikers. You stop for Mr. Joy and the Love family, with their twins, Peace and Patience. You have plenty of room for Mr. Faith, Power, Strength and Poise, and Miss Understanding and Beauty. You arrive at the gates of the golden city of Success again, which open instantly. All your friends have made room for you to appropriate all that you need.

Renounce “I can’t afford” and “When I have time or the money.” No task is too long. No service is too hard. You can do anything because you have everything you need as a creator.

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Brotherhood Through Forgiveness

Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; December 15, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Philemon 1:4-20.

"I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord." — Philemon 1:4-20.

We may sum brotherhood in one thought: One for all, and all for one. We gain brotherhood through forgiveness.

The "bowels," mentioned in verses seven and twenty, represent elimination, but also your depth of determination. When you are holding for self, pride, intolerance, opinions and prejudices cause a contraction of the abdominal muscles.

Yet, you must gird up your loins to hold against anything, even against another, emotionally. You must remember that what you bind on earth, you bind in heaven. Forgiveness cleanses the subconscious mind and lifts the creature soul.

Forgiveness has three phases: First, "I forgive him, but he’d better never do that again." Second, "Father, forgive him because he does not know what he’s doing." Third, "Father, forgive me for having done or said anything to cause my brother to stumble."

You could not build stairs by being lazy and leaving bricks out of the structure, or the stairs would crumble. You can build a beautiful staircase one step at a time, using everything you have been given and helping one another.

Your task is to forgive by taking on the burden of blame as a sacrificial gift to the Father. This is the greatest forgiveness of all.

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The Divine Gift

Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; December 22, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: John 3:16, Ephesians 3:14-21.

"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.

"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." — Ephesians 3:14-21.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son." — John 3:16. Christmas is really a verb that represents giving. God sent His Son, who embodies the Christ Spirit, to show us how to seek the Light. All phases of life, from plant to creature to man to the Son of God, all are seeking the Light. Our search is symbolized in our aspiration toward, faith in and devotion to something greater than self.

Christmas is synonymous with Light. From the winter solstice, the longest night, to the rising Light at Christmas is a symbolic three days. The Light, visible and spiritual, increases. Man must have the Light to comprehend the love of God. "A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. — Proverbs 18:16. Smiles of joy are your greatest gifts to the Father.

How you affect your family and the world either denies or makes room for you to comprehend the love of God. The Father’s love "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us," and is unlimited, "according to the riches of His glory."

The love of the Christ child is open, joyous, innocent and expectant of all good. Christmas is the divine gift of the Only Begotten Son. God opened the way into the world for the Christ Spirit, then sent His Son to open the Gates of Light. So open your soul to the richness of the divine gift.

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Edna Lister Truth Temple Bible study outline; December 22, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25.

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus." — Matthew 1:18-25.

Two thousand years ago, the earth was bound in darkness and the Gates to Heaven were closed. The children of Israel were scattered abroad and many were living in slavery.

The tribes of Benjamin and Judah in Judea were vassals to the Roman Empire. Rumors and stories abounded about a messiah who was to come and free them.

Three wise men came seeking this child king who was to be born. They went to the court of King Herod, who entertained them as guests in his palace. They remained virtual prisoners while he attempted to find out when and where this prodigy would be born.

Meanwhile, the Annunciator Archangel Gabriel had appeared to Mary, the daughter of Anna and Joachim. He had earlier appeared to Zacharias, husband of Elizabeth, who was to bear Jesus’ cousin John, who became the Baptist.

Mary knew that she was to bear the Christ, as we know that we must become like him. Joseph and Mary were married, and traveled to Bethlehem.

The wise men, whom Herod had released, did not return to their homes, but followed the star. They, with the shepherds, were first to see the Savior.

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Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline; December 29, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Acts 23:11.

"And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome." — Acts 23:11.

The idea of transformation enfolds two other ideas, change and a plan. What will you transform? Why should you transform? How will you transform?

You must change your life, and to do so, you must change your plans. To be different, you must dare to do something new. Again you ask what, why and how.

Life and a plan must become a life plan. What is a life plan? Why do I need a life plan? How do I make one? You must plant next year’s seeds now. First, you must find the right soil and make your vows to plow up the old crust, tilling and watering your new, planned crop.

Years are beautiful, so don’t be in such a hurry. If you are too hasty in your action, you will never know what beauty you may still draw from where you are. Learn to stop a while, now and then, to restore your sense of beauty, to capture and hold it. Then you must nourish and feed it until you may feed upon it. This is how you can dare to be beautiful. You must become enthralled with God’s gift of life and the beauty of more life.

Clean house now to make room for your beautiful new life. Then you will be enthralled with love, not with self. Thus, you become a searcher for beauty, a collector of beauty until your very voice expresses a beautiful quality, inflection, and tone.

Walk in joy as you transform your life plan, to rebuild your body of star dust until you have stars in your eyes. When you are beauty, walking and talking, you know how to dare to do and to be.

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Out of the Dark

Edna Lister sermon outline; Candle Lighting Service December 29, 1946, Tacoma, Washington; December 25, 1955, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: Genesis 1:3, Isaiah 60:1, Psalm 119:105.

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." — Genesis 1:3.

"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." — Isaiah 60:1.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." — Psalm 119:105.

I had a dream. Each of you held a shuttle 1 for weaving in your hands. Your bodies were like great Light-filled bobbins that held threads of Light streaming to you from above.

Everyone was weaving a garment; sadly they had no seam allowance for shrinkage, were too tight for one side of life, no room for growth, and soiled hems from dragging them in the dust.

From the past darkness, you come up into the Light. Lighting your candle and making new soul vows reminds you of this and your need to do better.

1^ A weaver’s shuttle is a wooden device with two pointed ends holding a bobbin, used for carrying the weft thread between the warp threads in weaving.

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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


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

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV). Public Domain.

Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 3rd ed. Springfield, Massachusetts, G. & C. Merriam Co., 1929. This work is in the public domain.