Sermons and Bible Studies 1948 to 1949

By Edna Lister


























Sermons and Bible Studies 1948

Promises Fulfilled

This Edna Lister Truth Temple Luncheon Club speech outline is dated March 4, 1948, Tacoma, Washington, partly reused December 15, 1968. Scriptures: Job 22:28, Proverbs 18:16, and Isaiah 45:2-3.

"Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways." – Job 22:28.

"A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men." – Proverbs 18:16

"I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: 45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." – Isaiah 45:2-3.

God uses agents who have ears to hear with. Scripture is filled with proclamations of "Thus says the Lord," which are inevitably followed by, "And it came to pass." Something always happened between these two statements. Some person took action.

According to the laws of creators, you can apply what you know to what you do by three methods of: Love, praise, and joy. "You will decree a thing" implies that you must do something more than simply to speak the Word. If you want your decree to stand, you must love.

When you speak in love, the Power moving through your words causes an explosion, which is the Light, shining on your way. To do this, you must give enough love.

Love is perfect, and sees only perfection. Love considers only love, and love considers everything as itself. Love creates everything in its own image and likeness, since love begets only love.

What is the difference between pure soul love and pure self love? How can I know which love I have?

Decrees that you make from self love create indifferent results at best, and an explosion of negative evil at worst. Such a person loses friends, and finally his ability to "know," even while he is getting what his self wants.

Soul love gains everything, lifts everything up, and receives ten thousandfold in strength, success, beauty, compassion, and all the fruits of the Spirit. Self love ends with ten thousandfold minus, worse than nothing, a zero, frozen ice.

"A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men." – Proverbs 18:16. The Mind of God contains all the ideas, which you can praise into expansion. Praise opens all vibrations, and increases all gifts and talents.

You can use the same Mind as a blessing or a curse, but it always starts something. If you lack pure praise when you decree, you will not like the lukewarm result, and do not want it when it comes. If you give in to grief, you find nothing to praise or to be grateful about.

Today's answers are in a book that opens to your grateful praise. You can see, read and understand those answers for which you have praised enough. In other words, it does no good to become angry because you cannot find the answers in the back of the book.

The keys to deciphering today's problems are on today's page. The rest is not there, you cannot see it, for you are not ready.

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." – Matthew 6:33. Seeking God first becomes your challenge.

Imperfections come as a test and incentive to greater effort in praise, in doing. The use and expansion of your gift brings you before great men, to the attention of those who can help.

"I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel." – Isaiah 45:2-3.

Your love of God releases substance from the fastness of Spirit. All Universal Bank resources are available to you, and praise starts the never-ending flow. Joy recalls the substance, while lowering its vibration and making it visible, something you can see and touch. Without joy, everything hovers at the edge of visibility, but never becomes visible.

Joy, the accelerator, vitalizes and quickens any process. Christian Larson said, "All things respond to the call of rejoicing; all things gather where life is a song."[1]

Joy creates a singing heart, laughing eyes and an arresting and interesting face. A joyful personality is attractive and magnetic.

"Love fulfills the law," and your decrees of love cause an explosion. Praise increases the tempo of life, and expands as you use your gifts. Joy attracts your own home to you because you have become a creator, expressing. You are responsible for all that you say and do.

Your investments of love, praise and joy give you a life annuity of Mind, Substance and Power, according to your fervor. Mind constantly expands with new ideas. Power explodes constantly as energy for your use. Substance expresses as you constantly.

The past is a footstool on which you may stand while you hold God's hand and reach for the stars.

Endnote

1^ Christian D. Larson, Just Be Glad, New Literature Publishing Co., Los Angeles, California, 1912.

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Responsibility (a)

This Edna Lister Truth Temple Bible study outline is dated March 14, 1948, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Job 22:23-28.

"If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the [gold] of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways." – Job 22:23-28.

In our journey from the Source to become creators, Light as all Mind, all Substance and all Power had to be to move through us, using us freely, with no friction. Light as Mind, Substance and Power became our triple trinity of absolute completion, success and personal responsibility. Then explosion, expansion, and expression of God's Light fills our lives with activity.

You may ask what you will, and when you declare a thing, it will be established for you. You can ask for thousands of good things for all those on your lines of Light, or take deductions such as fear, worry, doubt, rebellion, and resentment. All gossip and idle words dissipate Light as Power.

Ask yourself, "Do I receive that which I vision? Have I received what I asked for? If not, why not?"

Carry out this idea as you examine and review all the beautiful ideas you can create personally. If you are unable to pray in that moment, your loving attitude will absorb all criticism. Your words to live by become, "I am. I have. I give."

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Responsibility (b)

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated May 30, 1948, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Job 22:23-28, Proverbs 18:16, and Isaiah 45:2-3.

"If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the [gold] of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways." – Job 22:23-28.

"A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. – Proverbs 18:16.

"I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." – Isaiah 45:2-3.

As a creator, your responsibility is to be the absolute trinity of Light as Mind, Substance and Power. You must become the activity trinity of explosion, expansion and expression. You must do according to the trinity of method, which is love, praise, and joy.

"Thou shalt also decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee." – Job 22:28. Light as Power and Love produces an explosion. Pure soul-love creates an explosion of complete illumination. How do you know when you have it?

Self-based love produces an explosion of negative evil, and indifferent results. Pure soul-love produces a ten thousandfold increase of "all things added," minus the dry ice of self-love.

"A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men." – Proverbs 18:16. Mind produces ideas. Praise increases your talents and gifts. Expansion starts something.

When you make your decree, you must praise the gift. If you receive half an answer, it is a challenge, and incentive to make a greater effort. The use of praise expands a man's gift.

"I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: and I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places." – Isaiah 45:2-3.

Light as love releases the substance, all resources in the Universal Bank, and from the fastness of Spirit, to create an explosion. Praise starts the steady stream of Light flowing forth in expansion.

So Light as substance and joy expand in their expression: Joy recalls substance while lowering its vibration, condensing it to visible substance. Without enough joy, you can almost feel, see and touch it, but it hovers on the edge, never quite visible.

To attain full personal stature as a creator, your love of God must be great enough to create an explosion of Light. Your praise of God must be great enough to create an expansion of Light, and your joy of God must be great enough to create a magnet of attraction.

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This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated May 30, 1948, Buffalo, New York. Scribes: Edna Bender and Ruth Bender Collord. Scriptures: Job 22:23-28, Proverbs 18:16, and Isaiah 45:2-3.

"If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the [gold] of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows." – Job 22:22-28.

"I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." – Isaiah 45:2-3.

To be is the keynote of the absolute trinity of the Logos, Wisdom and Love. To become is the activity trinity of explosion, expansion and expression. To do is the trinity of method, which is love, praise and joy.

First, "Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways." – Job 22:22-28. The power of love creates an explosion of Light. Pure soul love always creates an explosion of complete illumination.

How do you know when you have it? A pure self-love produces an explosion of negative evil, and indifferent results. However, a pure soul-love produces a ten thousandfold increase of "all things added," minus the dry ice of self-love.

Second, "A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men." – Proverbs 18:16. Mind produces ideas. Praise increases your talents and gifts. Expansion starts something. When you make your decree, you must praise the gift. If you receive half an answer, it is a challenge, an incentive to make a greater effort. The use of praise expands your gift.

Third, "I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." – Isaiah 45:2-3.

Love releases the Substance of Light, all resources in the bank universal, and from the fastness of Spirit, to create an explosion. Praise starts the steady stream forth in expansion.

Substance is joy in expression. Joy recalls substance while lowering its vibration, bringing it down to visible substance. Without enough joy, you can almost feel, see and touch it, but it hovers on the edge, never quite visible.

To attain full personal creatorship, your love of God must be great enough to create an explosion of Light. Your praise of God must be great enough to create an expansion of Light, and your joy of God must be great enough to create a magnet of attraction.

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Fulfillment

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated June 6, 1948, Buffalo, New York; she also used it June 20, 1948, in Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5.

"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." – 1 Thessalonians 5.

Paul's letter to the church in Thessalonika reveals that people then were pretty much as they are now, constantly in need of exhortation, weak and vacillating, selfish, and hiding something of self. How do we avoid this and go on to climb the Way of Ascension?

Often, Bible passages say, "Thus saith the Lord: And it shall come to pass," followed by "And it came to pass." Some story always appears between these two statements, illustrating the actions of some individual.

This individual action always expresses itself three ways: As an act of faith, followed by your deductions of self, and finishing with your chastening.

Elijah illustrated a superb act of faith when he said, "Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. And this is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hand. And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all wells of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones. And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water." – 2 Kings 3:16-20.

Elijah lifted his lines of Light up to God and held them there until God welded them to the Source.

The law of decrees is to "Ask what ye will," yet your decrees are subject to your deductions of self. For example, you may ask for a thousand dollars, but not get it, then ask why.

Your deductions of fear, doubt, worry, rebellion, gossip, self-pity and false pride all dissipate the Power of your decree. You do receive exactly what you envision, minus your own deductions – not God's.

Nearly everyone is familiar with the passage, "Whom the Lord loves, He chastens." – Hebrews 12:6, Proverbs 3:11. Yet we could restate this as, "Whom the Lord destines for a high position, He tempers, and molds to bear a great weight of Power."

God molds you in the divine fire to temper you. He hammers your spine, your rod of Power, to mold you into His desired shape for you. When such chastening comes, you ask, "How can I stand this lashing, whipping, hammering and fire?"

Put on the breastplate of faith and love. God uses agents who use their spiritual ears to hear with and eyes to see with, not to see self, but the stars.

Keep your lines of Light lifted up and welded to the Source. Do not cut them in the middle or let others snip them in two. If you cannot yet see the glory, ascend higher in consciousness, remain constant, hold without wavering, rejoice evermore and pray without ceasing.

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Getting or Letting: Self or Soul? (a)

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated June 27, 1948, Cleveland, Ohio; she also used it May 20, 1956, in Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: Micah 4:1-5, Isaiah 45:1-3, and 1 Corinthians 13.

"But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever." – Micah 4:1-5.

"Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." – Isaiah 45:1-3.

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, 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 love, 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 love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love 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. Love 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, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." – 1 Corinthians 13.

Hate is the sign of the creature, while love is the hallmark of a creator. The all-conquering Path of Ascension moves upward from creature to creator, from using the five physical senses, to "knowing" comprehension in three phases – explosion, expansion and expression.

You are always expressing through the trinity of activity, whether you use it from the point of creature or creator consciousness. You can either explode with hate, resentment and anger because you did not get what you want, or use the keynote "Let," and explode into creativity.

The expansion keynote is to do as God does. The expression keynote is to become as God is, perfect in love, joy, compassion and wisdom.

You can easily determine whether self or soul motivates your activity. Self is always on the getting, taking, hating side, while soul gives and loves, which is letting. You always have a choice when the explosion occurs: To give and to love, or to take and to hate – the former being soul expression and the latter being self expression.

With every explosion, you always have the energy to begin something. You choose whether you want dividends by giving up self, or to repeat initiations.

A proverb describes expansion: "A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men." – Proverbs 18:16. Your talents expand with use, and usually branch into new talents.

Under law, when you give up self-pity and enough other traits of self, you attract love. As you become love, you attract more love. As you experience this love, you decide to give more to the Father, to be noble – later you find the old situation has disappeared.

To take just one step toward using your talent or gift opens an expansion period. Remember, expansion means to do, to act. In which direction are you going, as a creature or a creator? Do you plan to grab for self, or to let soul use your self?

The first rule of expansion is to use what you now have. To let Power flow freely through you, with no block out or black out, is the first step toward expansion.

As you give, you receive, that is the law. Self is the only thing that blocks your oneness of vision with God.

Isaiah describes the difference between self and soul-direction: "I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." – Isaiah 45:2-3.

To love is to become pure law. Yet your love must be unquenchable and with no desire for self. When Light explodes, substance expands, which is an expression of love. When you synthesize your five senses, Light explodes within your consciousness, and you turn your senses upward from inducting darkness to release Light.

The creature inducts from the outer and through the subconscious phase of mind. The creator inducts from above, through the super-conscious mind. When you center all senses on giving up darkness to God, you draw more Light from above to give to men. The creature takes, but the creator gives.

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Getting or Letting: Self or Soul? (b)

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated June 27, 1948, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Lotus Landis and Ruth Johnson. Scriptures: Micah 4:1-5, Isaiah 45:1-3, 1 Corinthians 13.

"But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever." – Micah 4:1-5.

"Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." – Isaiah 45:1-3.

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, 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 love, 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 love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love 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. Love 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, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." – 1 Corinthians 13.

"But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever." – Micah 4:1-5.

The all-conquering Path of Ascension moves upward from creature to creator, from using the five physical senses, through knowing to comprehension in three phases — explosion, expansion and expression. You are always expressing through this trinity of activity, whether you use it as a creature or a creator.

Hate is the sign of the creature, while love is the hallmark of a creator. You can either explode in hate, resentment and anger because you failed to get what you want, or use the keynote "let," and explode into positive creativity.

The expansion keynote is to do as God does. The expression keynote is to become as God is — perfect in love, joy, compassion and wisdom.

You can easily determine whether self or soul is motivating your activity. Self is always on the getting, taking, hating side, while soul gives and loves, which is letting.

You always have a choice when the explosion occurs: To give and to love, or to take and to hate — the former being soul expression and the latter, self expression. Every explosion generates the energy to begin something, whether you choose dividends by giving up self, or repeat initiations.

The proverb, "A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men." – Proverbs 18:16, describes expansion of your innate talents with use, and they usually branch into new talents.

Under law, when you give up self-pity and enough other traits of self, you attract love. As you become love, you draw more love to you.

As you experience greater love, you decide to give the Father more, to be noble – later you find the old situation has disappeared. To take just one step toward using your talent or gift opens an expansion period. Remember, expansion means to do, to act.

Are you going in the direction of a creature or a creator? Do you plan to grab for self, or to let your soul use you? The first rule of expansion is to use what you now have. To let Power flow freely through you, with no block out or black out, is the first step toward expansion. As you give, you receive; that is the law.

Self is the only thing that blocks your oneness of vision with God. Isaiah describes the difference between self and soul-direction:

"I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." – Isaiah 45:2-3.

To love is to become pure law, yet your love must be unquenchable, with no desire for self. When Light explodes, substance expands, which is an expression of love. When you synthesize your five senses, Light explodes within your consciousness, and you turn them up from induction of darkness to release more Light.

The creature inducts from the outer. The creator inducts from above. The creature takes, but the creator gives. When you center all your senses on giving up darkness to God, you draw more Light from above to give to men.

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The Prodigal Son

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated July 4, 1948, Cleveland, Ohio. 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.

The prodigal son claimed his earthly inheritance, left home and spent all his money. Alone and hungry, he thought of his home and how well he had loved there. Now he was reduced to living with unclean pigs as a swineherd.

Starving, he thought of his father constantly. Finally, he declared, "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." – Luke 15:18-19. The young man declared it, then he did it. He did something about his sorry state. He had found out what wealth really is. He arose.

What is wealth? Do you feel like a millionaire right now? People usually answer these questions one of four ways. The most common answer is, "I don't know what being a millionaire feels like." This is the blame-type, who just soaks up what comes in life, like a sponge. Having no imagination, they remain lukewarm and indifferent to change. "Where there is no vision, the people perish." – Proverbs 29:18. They know nothing about arising.

The second most frequent answer is "Why should I want to be a millionaire? I'd have a lot of trouble managing that much money." The wisher-type can't seem to give up self or what self wants to do. They discount using their talents and abilities to accrue wealth because it's too much trouble. It takes too much hard work and long hours. "Why should I?" is the conclusion they reach. Yet in this stage, they are at least thinking about it and talking about it.

Some people say, "But I don't want to be a millionaire." These folks are the off-in-a-corner-type, who are seeking self-satisfaction. They would rather live in a hut on a mountainside, all alone, than deal with family, business or social affairs. They also say, "I like to study truth work by myself. Groups bother me." They cannot see why they need to arise, since they are already there.

Others say, "I wouldn't know what to do with so much money." This is the fearful-type. "Oh no! That much responsibility is not for me!" God already trusts you with money now, but when will you trust yourself?

When will you know that you have arisen? When you receive the robe, the ring and the shoes for following the Via Christa, the Way of the Christ. When will you feel wealthy inside? When you can declare, "I do feel like a millionaire" – and mean it.

Declare, "Each of my friends is worth a million. Each child is worth a million. Each new illness I hear about is worth a million. Each instance of conquering is worth a million. I AM a multimillionaire now."

I accept my robe of responsibility. I surrender to become the servant of all God's Power. I ascend to stand in the heart of the fire that purifies. I become so at one with the Light that I AM the Light reaching out as love.

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Sermons and Bible Studies 1949

Creative Imagination

This Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline is dated May 1, 1949, Tacoma, Washington; she also used it June 19, 1949, in Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Matthew 7:7-8.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." – Matthew 7:7-8.

Ask, seek and knock are very important words, but why do we use them with "imagination"? Imagination is soul "seeing," the kingly faculty of visualization, the faculty of visualization, of making mental pictures or images in the mind's eye.

To create is to be creative, to build, to give form to what is imagined. You use imagination to create, to build a mold and to give form to your desires.

The main idea is the proper use of imagination when asking, seeking and knocking. How are you visualizing the goal? What are you picturing? How are you approaching your asking, seeking and knocking?

You can use these verbs, ask, seek and knock, in three ways. First, the instinctive intelligence of the appetitive soul regards "ask, seek and knock" as the "gimmes" — "Gimme this" and Gimme that."

The creature says, "I will have it. I will ask it of others, and if they do not give it, I will take it from them." The appetitive soul of self seeks God just as nature, and so often ruthlessly appropriates its needs from the environment.

Intellectual reasoning asks, seeks and knocks while forever remaining buried in books, comparing philosophies, perhaps wanting "proof." The intellectual thinks about it but rarely acts.

Intuitive consciousness asks God, seeks first the kingdom, and knocks to penetrate the veil that separates the visible from the invisible. Such a person has that "upward look" toward God because they are always looking above the worldly appearance. They base their optimism and faith on a "knowing" assurance and confidence in God and His right answers.

If "finding" is merely the result of simply "asking, seeking and knocking," then everyone would have every desire fulfilled now. What you receive depends on where you seek, whom and what you ask, where you are knocking and what you do when that door opens.

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Mother Love (a)

This Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline is dated May 8, 1949, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13.

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, 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 love, 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 love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love 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. Love 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, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." – 1 Corinthians 13.

With the conditional exception of Roman Catholicism, which venerates Mary as a perpetual virgin, Western religion has denied the motherhood of God, recognizing the Father only. History proves that man has viewed a masculine God as being hard and cruel, one who punishes.

The emotional approach created God as a "person" made in man's image and likeness. The first step in the emotional approach is to be on your knees in devotion, following the premise that the lower the head, the greater the devotion.

The second approach is mental. The intellectual views God as principle, a conception arrived at during the Enlightenment, through intellectual reasoning, not through logic. This is the neutral God of science, often seen as cold and hard, remote and uncaring.

Having neither a Father nor a Mother with whom to relate, man lost his avenue of devotion for someone or something beyond the self. Statements based in psychology seemed to work for some, and soon the "little me" of appetitive soul began using the law as a whip for self gain.

The third approach is spiritual and includes the motherhood of God. Worshiping God as Father and as Mother is worshiping God as both principle and as personality. You worship through personality, but obey God as law through principle.

God as principle is Wisdom. God as personality is Love. Wisdom is the Father, and Love is the Mother. The Father of Wisdom created the plan, but Mother Love, which sustains and nourishes Mind's creations, fulfills the plan.

Balance dictates that you need equal shares of Light in both expressions, half Wisdom and half Love. Everything comes from the Light. You cannot leave anything out, but must enfold every cell of being back into the whole.

Mental science rightly worships God as principle. The churches offer their devotion to the Father, and they are right also.

Watch a person whose face appears loveless. Such a soul often uses force and his face seems hard and immobile. The face of a soul who worships God as love appears soft with graciousness and loveliness. A mother's face reveals a more universal love, not a self-centered love.

Jesus balanced love and wisdom in his life and his ministry. He was the Light of the world as a "person." The principle of love fulfilled the law through him.

Emotional love expresses as love of the self or as devotional love for God. Selfish emotional love reaches, snatches, and reaps without sowing. It will sit and wait for what it wants, but never serenely, only resentfully.

Selfish mental love always has a "reason," an excuse or justification for what it wants. It demands, "I will" and offers "I won't" as a challenge. Mental expression creates demand deductions by the thousands as "I think," "I fear" and "I created this."

The devotional approach creates a spiritual balance of love and wisdom, saying, "I give up self. I give selflessly of the Love of God. Mother love wins through permeating everything about it, as yeast leavens a barrel of flour.

Mother love is aggressive, ready to do anything necessary to raise a child. Pervasive love never stops pushing and seeking. Aggressive love never stops praising and loving. Aggressive, pervasive love creates balance.

Mother love is understanding, yearning and generous. Love covers others' transgressions, loves its neighbors, forgives its enemies and offenses seventy times seven, or until it forgets. Mother love fulfills the law, and only love can work miracles. Love can say yes when the time is right or no when the time is wrong. Love gives meaning to all life. Mother love is universal timing.

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Mother Love (b)

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated June 12, 1949, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13.

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, 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 love, 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 love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love 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. Love 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, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." – 1 Corinthians 13.

Love is the Mother's nourishing and sustaining ability. At Jesus' time, Judaism, as a religion, acknowledged only the masculine aspects of God as a Father. Women were thought of contemptuously.

Yet Jesus set a new keynote. He exalted women and motherhood from the cross of crucifixion. When manhood again exalts motherhood, we will attain the goal of world peace.

Emotional love is basically the love of self. Mental love is full of excuses for self. Purely devotional love always says, "I give my self up to God."

You may ask natural questions: What is the goal? How will I do it? How should I be using my resources? The answers are a combination of all three phases of love.

First, the creature consciousness seeks God by using instinctive intelligence. People ask of and take from others and the world in their search for God as nature. "I will have it my way," they say. They indulge laziness and find illness.

The second phase is seeking God through intellectual reasoning. When your eyes are continually fastened on the pages of a book, your thinking is trapped between its covers.

The intellectual is always comparing philosophies and teachers, pitting one against the other. He wants proof before he will believe.

In the third phase, you seek God from intuitive consciousness. You can penetrate behind the veil of life with an upward focus. Looking above the world, you know in sureness and confidence.

Asking, seeking and knocking is not enough. You must use every experience to grasp more life, to bridge the gap between talking and doing, between knowing and becoming. You have the ability to translate your experiences into success. A cat, for instance, could not write Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, or a dog the Revelation of St. John the Divine.

What is the difference between a weak man and a creator? The creature says, "It's too much effort." A creator asks greatly of himself. He conquers self to perfect his soul. He seeks new ways to serve, and insistently knocks at life's door for more life.

So, continue until your asking, seeking and knocking become an act of faith. Know you will find the answers you need. Potential Power is magnificent. As a creator, know that the Light is limitless, so great. God is waiting for you to earn your soul wings.

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Lay Up Your Treasures

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated July 3, 1949, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 6:19-21.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." – Matthew 6:19-21.

"Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." Where is "up"? Heaven is both a place and a state of consciousness. You cannot elevate a place, but you can raise your consciousness.

What are your treasures in earth and in heaven? People usually search first for the gratifications of earth: Monetary gains, fame and honor, admiration and credit from others.

Only when you satisfy these appetites, and find they are not enough, do you see the benefits of soul. You must seek above first, then all other things shall be added.

The rational embodied soul descends to the appetitive subconscious level, arises and ascends to the Oversoul. Eternal youth, a quickened mind and a beautiful body are among the results of soul conquering the self. Declare, "Fill me. Lift me. Use me."

Soul reaps profit and dividends from defeat. People waste so much time trying to love what other people do. You must love what people are, as the sons and daughters of God.

You must learn to let soul set the pace for your life, not self. So, declare, "I will arise and go to my father." – Luke 15:18. Hold to the facts that doing transcends the physical life, and becoming transcends the mental life.

You must hold to steadfastness of purpose to fulfill your great life plan. You can expect no peace of mind or clear thinking without conscious direction and control of your own consciousness.

Take time to live without straining toward the future or regretting the past. You have no time to use but the now.

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To Bear and to Forebear

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated July 10, 1949, 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.

This scripture paints a picture of a family with a father and two sons, but no mother. The older son is steady, conscientious and a hard worker. The younger son is lighthearted, like his mother had been. His father had indulged and spoiled him. He was usually in the wrong while a child, but got away with it, which irritated his older brother.

The elder son was remarkably self-disciplined, and expected everyone else to be so, too. The baby of the family grew tired of his brother's criticism, and the restraints on his freedom. So he asked for his share of the inheritance and left home for the city life.

He soon spent everything in living riotously among friends whom he would never have had as guests at home while he lived with his father. When the money ran out, so did his false friends.

Alone and penniless, he was reduced to manual labor, but being so inexperienced with work, failed with even that. Soon, the only work he could get was herding swine for a non-Jew, and living with the pigs. He had fallen about as low as he could go.

He never had enough to eat, so he resorted to taking scraps from the pig slop. The idea of food consumed him. He dreamed about how well the servants had lived back home, but here he was living with pigs and eating like one.

Finally, when he thought he really was starving to death, he said, "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." – Luke 15:18-19.

His father saw him coming and rejoiced. Secretly, he had kept watch on that road since his boy had left. Praying and hoping that his son would return, he had saved a robe, a ring and new sandals for him. The robe is a symbol of spiritual protection. The ring represents unity of heart and mind in devotion to God. The new sandals symbolize new-found understanding.

Without doubt, the older brother was a good man, who always did his duty. Yet he was selfish. What he did, the service he offered was for his own benefit. He appeared almost perfect in action, but worked from a selfish motive. He resented the fuss being made over his lazy spendthrift brother. He judged by the appearance and his own opinions and prejudice.

The younger son had repented of his choices and actions. He must have felt unworthy and embarrassed. Yet his relief at his father's forgiveness, mercy and love caused his heart to open, too.

Everyone knows people who are just like this father and his two sons. The question is, Which one do I resemble most? Declare, "I will arise and go to my Father." Your Father's House is always open to you when you repent.

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Treasures in Heaven

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated July 24, 1949, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Matthew 6:19-23.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" – Matthew 6:19-23.

Where do you lay up your treasure? Heaven is both a place and a state of consciousness. You cannot find or see heaven with your physical eyes and ears.

So, where do you find your treasures? You must seek them above first. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." – Matthew 6:33.

The things of heaven are of the soul, including eternal youth, all beauties of body, mind and heart, all heavenly gains. The things of earth urge you to save for a rainy day, to save string, paper, boxes, or to fear old age.

Soul virtues include faith, love, wisdom, honor and loyalty. "The eye is the light of the body." Is your eye single? If so, you have purpose, devotion and faith. If not, you have a heavy body, pushing 14 lbs. psi air pressure through the atmosphere.

Plan tomorrow for health and wealth. If your eye is evil, all is darkness in your whole body. "If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"

Light is the one way, the one path, the one glory of the Lord Jesus Christ triumphant. Reaching for the truth is not enough. You must respond and do. Usually, people ask only when they feel a fear or doubt.

When your act of faith becomes praise, you "see." You forever seek what is perfect. The soul must conquer the self. You finally learn that you must be happy, or at least appear to be, because no one stands and admires an approaching thundercloud or storm.

Man too often lays his treasures in a scientific tomb. A woman is always reaching to raise her family as an act of faith. Permit self no boredom, set no time limit, and do not accept denial or rejection. Knock on life's door and use your experiences to grasp life.

Experience bridges the gap between thinking and becoming, talking and doing, between knowing and becoming. Beethoven was dying as his Ninth Symphony was performed nearby in St. John the Divine Cathedral. The man died, but his creation lives, as does his name.

What is the difference between a weak man and a creator? What talent do creators have in common? They use their imagination to picture their goal. They ask greatly of themselves. They seek to serve and are always seeking new ways to do so. They knock insistently at life's door as an act of faith.

Edmund Burke[2] said that imagination is the kingly faculty in man, the power of a creator. How much power is packed in an atomic bomb? Consider the potential power around and within you, and ask yourself why you refuse to make enough of a sustained effort.

The life abundant asks, seeks and knocks. The Light is limitless. The Power is so great.

Endnote

2^ Edmund Burke. The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke. London, John C. Nimmo, 1887.

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The Three Temptations

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated July 31, 1949, Cleveland, Ohio; she also used it April 6, 1955, in Tacoma Washington. Scriptures: Matthew 4:1-11, Matthew 26:69-75, and John 21:15-17.

"Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." – Matthew 4:1-11.

"Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly." – Matthew 26:69-75.

"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." – John 21:15-17.

The three temptations always come at your weakest point, in the wilderness of low consciousness, as all temptations do. Life tempts you to use or potentially to misuse Mind, Substance and Power, or to be used by these great principles.

The first temptation, "Command that these stones be made bread," is the misuse of Substance. "Man does not live by bread (physical substance) alone, but by every word (spiritual substance) that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

The second temptation, to "Cast thyself down," tests you on the misuse of Mind. You cast yourself down from a high consciousness by using idle or lukewarm words. "Tempt not the Lord thy God."

The third temptation is "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." The condition, "if you fall down and worship me," is the misuse of Power. You may worship only God and Him only may you serve.

What are the modern forms of these temptations? First, gossip and idle words waste soul substance. Second, thinking ill of anyone is a misuse of Mind. Third, forcing a demonstration or exerting your will against another is a misuse of Power.

Every small thing is a test. How do you pass? Bless all below and praise all above. Success is as simple as this.

Open a new account with life now. What you put in you can draw out, but you must make the deposits before you make the withdrawals. Finish perfecting your kingdom now. Use the past as a ladder and reach for the stars.

Peter, when he was tempted, disobeyed three times. He did so from his love for Jesus, a desire to be part of his ordeal and to suffer for him.

Jesus showed himself to his disciples three times. At last, he said to Peter, "Do you love me more than these," and "Feed my sheep" twice. When he said, "Feed my lambs," Jesus helped Peter to wipe out his soul debt forever.

Afterward, Peter became the rock of unconquerable faith under the principles of Love and Wisdom, and the Christ principle of nonresistance. Absolute Wisdom, Love, and nonresistance become your relative will, desire, and action. The Father always pays your fare home, for the price of picking it up, which is your action.

You will never get home as long as you still make mountains out of molehills. Success will be yours when you make molehills out of earth mountains. You can do this by blessing everything below and praising everything above.

When Jesus fed the 5,000, he told the disciples to gather the leftover fragments, which filled twelve baskets. Pick up your fragments by seeing the good, hearing the good and picturing the good. This is how to use the past as a footstool while you reach for the stars.

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Forgiveness

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated November 13, 1949, Buffalo, New York. Scribe: Edna Bender. Scripture: John 8:3-11.

"The scribes and Pharisees brought unto [Jesus] a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." – John 8:3-11.

A surprise attack in a psychoanalysis can get at things quickly and truthfully. For instance, Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well about her private affairs, and she proclaimed him the Messiah. Jesus was a well-rounded teacher, who used all methods.

The scribes and Pharisees wanted him to condemn the Magdalene, but he stooped and wrote in the sand instead. What did he write? Events, secrets from the private life of each, things they did not want uncovered.

Jesus wrote "cheat," and one saw the widows and children he had defrauded of their inheritances. He wrote "murderer," and another saw the friend he had secretly slain for his money.

When he wrote, "adulterer," another man saw the women he had seduced. Each saw his own crimes and slunk silently away until none were left to accuse the one whom they were anxious to stone, and none threw the stone he held. This episode is a demonstration of reading minds, and hearts in psychoanalysis. You can do this, too.

By asking in faith in the name of Jesus Christ, it is yours and you have it in your hand. Then praise that he has already given you what you asked for, adding, "Let it come to pass. Let it become visible. Let it come into complete visibility. Let this heart beat in harmony with the heart of God. Let this business send forth such service that it draws unto itself its own."

When you obey these instructions in seeking the kingdom of heaven, you do not need to worry. You are then in the kingdom. Give, give, give, lift, lift, lift, and love, love, love.

You cannot pour out enough love on any day or on any given occasion or situation. The more you pour out, the more your capacity increases, then the more you will find to fill with love. You are always progressing upward in some degree.

Love is the fulfilling of the law, and is the great and definite law. Get the ability to expand into and surrender completely to the power of love itself.

The message of the mustard seed is surrender. The law of the lily is to grow today, to use everything in your life today, as if it were to be the last day of your life. Live each hour this way, and your days will be perfect. Praise God, always praise each other, praise everything.

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Agree and Adjust (a)

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated November 20, 1949, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Matthew 5:25-26 and Matthew 5:1-12.

"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." – Matthew 5:25-26.

"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." – Matthew 5:1-12.

These verses outline your relationship with God and with your fellow man. Your relationship with God is classed among the greater mysteries. Your relationship with others is a lesser mystery.

The Beatitudes are the first attitudes for man to hold. They are nine of the fifteen lesser mysteries. We call them the attitudes of being for creating the brotherhood of man.

Six creative mysteries belong to the Father and Mother. They deal with the release of Mind, Substance and Power and involve your imagination, will and desire. Nonresistance then becomes the greatest power of your life.

Jesus worked miracles through his relationship with God. Only love, joy and praise open the greater mysteries that lead to Ascension.

As we descended to earth, we rested at every level to become heavier in our rate of vibration. So must we rest in going up to ascend; we must become lighter.

Praise is the greatest key to balancing inner and outer. Praise enables you to act as nonresistance. The proof of your nonresistance appears in your ability to agree and adjust. You see your rewards when you can work without feeling the urge or having the ability to blame.

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Agree and Adjust (b)

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated November 20, 1949, Buffalo, New York. Scribe: Ruth Bender Collord. Scriptures: Matthew 5:25-26 and Matthew 5:1-12.

"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." – Matthew 5:25-26.

"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." – Matthew 5:1-12.

Resentment, rebellion and self-pity forever condemn you to needing to agree with God and adjust to man. If you ever allow a second of blame or the idea that the other party "had no right," then you need to agree and adjust. Agreeing and adjusting enables you to accept criticism, even reviling, and call it good.

Jesus taught these truths 2,000 years ago, but mankind is just beginning to grasp the essence of his message. Many of his teachings remain too mystical yet for the masses to understand, let alone to live by them.

Silence is golden, which is a reminder not to talk about offenses or to chew the emotional cud. This is how you work out your application of Christian principles. Yet the golden silence works only when you apply it.

If someone is devoted to having the "last word," let him have the first word as well. Why should you waste your time when you know he is going to do argue?

Apply the law to reach the golden silence and send Light to fill the situation. You can lift anything by using the love of God in purity of heart, while declaring it good.

Examining and studying Jesus' life and teachings provides half the picture. He opened the Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes, which are nine of the lesser mysteries. They are attitudes of being, nine ways to agree with and adjust to the adversary.

Jesus started his ministry by giving us the "how to" and explanation of our relationships with our fellow man. You do not yet have a full and loving relationship with God if you have poor relationships with others.

The one who says, "I didn't ask to come here," has usually spent all his soul credits and had to incarnate. His type does not try to ascend or work to lift self, but seeks an easy place to rest. No such place exists, however.

"Ye are gods" and it does not yet appear what you shall be when you learn your lessons. God sent Jesus with the nine Beatitudes for man's edification.

No one can change another person's disposition, not even God; it would interfere with their freedom to choose. Waving a magic wand cannot cure humanity. All you can do is to hold to the truth of knowing that Light can heal them, keep the Light on them, and call them perfect.

The only thing you can change is your own self. How long will it take you to learn this lesson? How much longer will you wait to learn it?

Remain silent with the one who loves to see others in tears. Smile, and see an open door to soul freedom instead of self's slavery as the so called adversary exercises his desire for Power. He will squirm when you have stood in the golden silence and declared him perfect long enough and often enough.

The only way such a fellow can graduate from his low class is for someone in a position of spiritual responsibility and inner authority to declare him perfect and to see him as perfect long enough for the Light to work completely.

It takes the faith and love of God to stand and hold and know unto completion. You must see him with the eyes of perfection. A miracle is to see "it" as being perfect, fervently enough.

You can find many ways to agree and adjust. Of the fifteen lesser mysteries, the Beatitudes are nine ways of agreeing and adjusting with others. The other six lesser mysteries deal with agreeing and adjusting with yourself creatively.

The first three mysteries are Mind, Substance and Power, which you apply as your tools of desire, thinking and imagination. To achieve a Godlike attitude is to be what the Beatitudes express. This is impossible unless you bring your will and determination to bear on the matter.

When the grouchy one grouches, when the shouter shouts, smile and say, "Sorry, I didn't hear you." Yet hold the door open to the Light. When you have mastered this, you will need to turn the other cheek only once.

Stand with the Power of God underpinning your will, desire and imagination. When you do, the six creative lesser mysteries surround you with the principle of nonresistance.

Nonresistance has now filled the world. Missionaries have taken the name of Jesus the Christ to all parts of the world, and he embodies the principle of nonresistance. Nonresistance has made some enemies think they could walk over others, yet nonresistance is the greatest ascension principle, next to praise.

The individual or civilization that refuses to ascend inevitably will die out. You either ascend or descend. When you descend, you live by self. When you ascend, you live by the three greater mysteries, wisdom, love and joy.

Love fulfills the law, and is the substance of God. Joy causes love to press forth into manifestation. Only the love of God can overcome your mental maladies of indecision.

You can do anything on the words, "How I love God" and "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." – John 12:32, while trusting in Jesus the Christ.

The trumpets have been sounded for the next 2,000 years. "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.

Back your praise with joy of soul. Let your enemies say what they like and you declare it good. This lifts it up and out of your life and leaves everything clean.

Praise God for everything you have and love Him with His own high love. Praise Him that He sends His Power to you. Walk with wings on your feet. God will renew you when you live by the Power of the revelation of mysteries.

When we, as souls, left our great heavenly home, we rested to prepare bodies to become heavy enough to incarnate. So we now have periods of rest here to continue ascending.

Nothing can withstand nonresistance, which is the greatest power principle. Together, we must lift every remaining bit of Power that has been misused as force on earth, back to God.

Thus you face tests and temptations, for only the pure in heart may be trusted with the great mysteries. Declare that love and joy take you through, and praise God that this is so.

You may have wanted to do something all your life, yet you must back your desires with experience. You are worthless without experience. Pure innocence alone is not enough. You must have the wisdom born of experience.

Declare that the love of God flows through your family, everyone and everything for complete lifting. You must agree and adjust. The time you have spent forgiving your enemies has robbed you of strength, health and success.

Call the enemy good and pour love on him immediately. "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison." – Matthew 5:25.

One you have condemned yourself to the prison of regret, it takes days to find freedom. You must change your attitudes. First, you must not be proud. Second, the meek are practicing nonresistance. Call on Light to do the work.

Just to think about these principles is not enough. Surrender to the Power of God so that the Power uses you. When you become the fully surrendered instrument of love, love itself will burn away every barrier.

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Power, Your Divine Inheritance (a)

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated November 27, 1949, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Hebrews 1:1-7.

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire." – Hebrews 1:1-7.

Power is the heritage of all Christed ones. You brought all the necessary powers of Mind to plan, and energy to execute the required actions, into this life with you. You must know your inheritance to form your plan, which is your course of action.

Jesus is the Only Begotten Son, a creator, clothed with the Father's glory, bearing the wings of the Holy Spirit, made in the express image and likeness of God. Angels are pure Spirit, substance and love. We, who are embodied souls, use substance either through the lower self of appetitive soul or as a creator.

You must have a plan for life, and you form that plan with your thoughts. To ascend successfully, you must be a "minister of flame and fire," the flame of all life and action. Fire always consumes, according to your thoughts, positive or negative.

Everyone can partake of the mysteries of Rebirth, Transfiguration and Ascension. The sons of God can hold angelic thoughts, but it is up to the ministers of flame and fire to give those good thoughts to the world.

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Power, Your Divine Inheritance (b)

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated December 11, 1949, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Hebrews 1:1-7 and 2 Kings 2:9-12.

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire." – Hebrews 1:1-7.

"Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof." – 2 Kings 2:9-12.

The first chapter of Hebrews reveals our inheritance, and outlines how we must expand in consciousness to ascend. First, you must know your inheritance, before you can make your plan or choose your action.

Your inheritance is all the potential powers, attributes and abilities of the Godhead. You form your plan using your creative tools of imagination, thinking and desires as a creator son or daughter of God. Your action is then the life of God moving through you, as you.

Your inheritance is like that of Jesus, the Begotten Son of God. Angels are the unembodied messengers between God and His Creation. They remind you of your plan, and hold for you when you forget that you are a minister, a flame and a fire, burning forever.

Every soul can partake of the mysteries of Rebirth, Transfiguration and Ascension. As sons and daughters of God, you can receive a double portion of Spirit as Elisha, and ascend in the spiritual chariot of fire as Elijah did.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971

The original Pioneering Mystic
minister, teacher, and author

Edna Lister


References

The Oxford English Dictionary. Weiner, E.S.C., ed, Compact Edition, 2 vols. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV), This work is in the Public Domain.

Burke, Edmund. The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke. London, John C. Nimmo, 1887.

Larson, Christian D. Just Be Glad. Los Angeles: New Literature Publishing Co., 1912.

Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 3rd ed. Springfield, Massachusetts, G. & C. Merriam Co., 1929.


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