Edna Lister's Sermons and Lectures on Apprehension

Apprehension is "the physical act of seizing or taking hold of; seizure; the act of grasping with the intellect; the contemplation of things, without affirming, denying, or passing any judgment; intellection; perception; the faculty by which ideas are conceived or by which perceptions are grasped; understanding; anticipation, mostly of things unfavorable; dread or fear at the prospect of some future ill."

While apprehension is usually defined as "anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen," as we apply it here, apprehension is a mental faculty, "the contemplation of things, without affirming, denying, or passing any judgment; intellection; perception; the faculty by which ideas are conceived or by which perceptions are grasped."

Apprehension serves as the mental foundation for the mystic's intuition and perception. The Oxford English Dictionary defines mysticism as "immediate consciousness of the transcendent or ultimate reality or God, and the experience of such communion as described by mystics. A belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible by subjective experience."














Edna Lister on Apprehension

While "seeing" means to see with the physical eye, it also means to "apprehend as with the eye, to visualize, to understand and comprehend." – Edna Lister, Healing the Seat of Vision, May 10, 1950.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14. To apprehend is to fully understand. "One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind" I love enough, "reaching forth to those things which are ahead," my new goals and aspirations, I press on without lagging or dawdling, with active faith and love, using joy to attain the prize, beauty, health and perfection in all ways. – Edna Lister, Aspiration and Prayer, June 19, 1955.

Intuition is "a quick perception of truth, without conscious attention or reasoning, truth attained through apprehension, also instinctive knowledge or feeling," which you induct from the five senses. Perception is "the act or power of perceiving intuitively, to become aware through the faculties, or instinctively through the five senses." Apperception is the kind of perception in which the conscious mind is active during the process of perceiving. Apperception includes the addition of recognition and interpretation, all powers of the intellect used in acquisition and elaboration of that which is perceived. – Edna Lister, Intuition or Hunch, September 18, 1955.

You take four steps toward any goal, from apprehension through faith into knowing through growth, into comprehension. Apprehension is dual: It gains understanding while suffering from dread. It also means to grasp. So, one need is to grasp without seeking to possess. It means that you must surrender to be a servant of all Power while "I AM" consciousness is teaching you law. – Edna Lister, Follow Thou Me, November 29, 1959.

You climb from faith into knowing, and further into comprehension. Apprehension has the facts at hand, Light unveils the truth, and you know instantly. The definition of apprehension includes "dread" and "grasping." Most people grab at the world's pleasures, or clutch others to possess them. Too many are afraid of new truths, or dread taking new positions. Some truth teachers dread to speak of what intuition reveals to them, fearing criticism if it does not come to pass.

We all grasp at truth while we are learning to become law. You must hold the new firmly enough while you need it, yet let go of the lesser as your understanding grows. Stop trying to drag third grade studies into the fourth grade. Apprehension, as the faculty of pure miracles, says, "I am becoming law." It includes comprehension, which opens the soul's vision, the mystic "all-seeing eye" that reads the Book of Life. – Edna Lister, Follow Thou Me, November 29, 1959.

Understanding is the insight you gain by applying the mental faculties. The quickest way to understand anything is to stand under the Light as you study the problem. Intuition is immediate mental apprehension without the intervention of any reasoning process. It is absolute "knowing" without suspicion or rationalization. Illumination is the soul faculty you attain when Light penetrates and permeates every cell of the body until you can "see" and "know." – Edna Lister, Is it Right to Ask for Myself? June 14, 1960.

One Light, the Three-as-One manifesting as life sparks forms all the trinities. Light is the Source of apprehension, comprehension and vision (we cannot see without Light). Seeing is God in action as you. – Edna Lister, Is Faith Enough? June 21, 1960.

You are sons and daughters of God, destined to become living ensamples to stand before the world and witness. Seek to attain this to apprehend, to apply what you know to what you do. If you start to apprehend, God will supply what you need. – Edna Lister, Comprehension and Nonresistance, June 25, 1967.

Mysticism is the belief in the possibility of union with the Divine Nature, and trust in spiritual intuition as a means of acquiring knowledge of mysteries inaccessible to intellectual apprehension. Mysticism is the study of God as personality. – Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

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I AM THAT I AM 1

Edna Lister created this sermon outline for November 4, 1951. Scripture: Philippians 3:8-17.

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. – Philippians 3:8-17.

This text outline forms the four steps to apprehension: First, do it now. Second, forget those things which are behind. Third, reach forward to those things which are ahead. Fourth, press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul desired to "apprehend" the mysteries of Christ. To know a mystery only partly brings dread and fear. Apprehension is still a mental process.

Paul was not yet far removed from his agnosticism as Saul, before his conversion. Yet the illumination of that vision on the road to Damascus was great enough to give him the key to all creations. To do, you must forget the past, and to reach the goal, you must press forward.

The several different earth personality types approach apprehension in various ways. The eager type obeys the law, the lukewarm type obeys sometimes, but the indifferent one never obeys. The fanatic forces his opinions with cursing and hate.

How can you avoid these negatives? Strive for comprehension, which is a broad grasping of facts to include everything, ever seeking the higher calling of God, to know the Power of the Resurrection.

Take full responsibility for a redeemed life and be willing to be or do anything God requires. Your motto then becomes, "No task is too hard or too long."

One key log holds every log jam in place. In terms of consciousness, your key log is always "I AM," which holds your integrated consciousness together. You are part of the greater "I AM THAT I AM" of God.

Fearful apprehension must release you in the face of this pure knowledge of your identity with your Source of All Life. "I AM THAT I AM!" How dare you dither or follow darkness for even one moment? All you need is to remember that "I AM sends me." Dwell in immunity, in the House of the Lord, the temple not built with hands. Your own emotions and thinking affect your desire body.

Declare, "My kingdom is Light!" I AM become Power because I comprehend. I include all "THAT" I AM. I send I AM THAT I AM to creature soul, to heal and to lift it. I AM that majestic, splendid, glorious life. I AM awake. I AM aware. I AM free. I do know. I do reach for the stars. I do press on. My goal is the high calling of God. I AM redeemed."

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I AM THAT I AM 2

Edna Lister created this sermon outline for November 25, 1951. Scripture: Philippians 3:8-17.

Apprehension means "perceiving law, knowing." When he wrote this Letter to Philippians, Paul was still struggling with traces of his past as Saul of Tarsus. He still operated on the remains of his former agnosticism. His method was still mental, and he thought he could reach full apprehension through it. Instead, he was still entertaining doubt and the shadows of fear.

Despite his intellectualism, he provides a four-step approach. First, do it now, second, forget the past, "those things behind," and third, "reach for those things before," the future, while forth, pressing on.

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. – 1 Corinthians 13:12. Paul knew he saw "through a glass darkly" now. Yet he knew that in the future he would see Him face to face.

To do, you must forget the past. To reach your goal, you must press forward. This approach will gain you positive, vital progress somewhere. Where are you going? You are on your way to win "the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Your second step must be comprehension, which includes everything, a broad gasping of all facts. You reach comprehension through the "power of resurrection." You must resurrect your dead past because what you have buried drags you back to an old lesser state of consciousness. To forget the past, you must be united to the present by love. The "high calling of God in Christ Jesus" is love.

"I AM THAT I AM" is the full name of every living soul. The first "I AM" represents the throat center. "THAT" symbolizes the mystical third eye of spiritual vision. The final "I" represents the pineal body of illumination, and the final "AM" represents the pituitary gland of intuition.

The third eye, pineal body and pituitary gland together form the mystical Mind, Substance and Power in one. "I AM" sends you to stand on your Mount of Transfiguration.

"I am unwavering Light. I am become transfigured. I reach for the stars. I am become as perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect. I am perfect as I stand on my Mount of Transfiguration. There I am unmoved in a world of outer change."

God's everlasting arms of Love uphold you. "Not I, but the Father does the work" as you stand upon unconquerable faith.

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I AM THAT I AM 3

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated November 25, 1951. Scribe: Ruth Johnson. Scripture: Philippians 3:8-17.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14. In writing this, Paul establishes a mental-intellectual formula for how to apprehend law. He had not moved far from his agnosticism as Saul, yet he provides a key for stepping from creature to creator status.

Paul's words are difficult to understand: Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. – Philippians 3:15. God will show you when you are being indifferent, fanatical, proud, prejudiced or blasphemous. Your words are either blessings or curses, perfect or otherwise-minded.

First, forget the past, which always arises to trip you. You cannot relive the past to correct your errors, so you must seek further while you keep your plans for the future intact on a cloud continent of Light. Strive to do better now. "I press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." You may be blind to the prize, but hold to your vision of Light and declare a miracle of God.

If you examine the Master's life, you find that love is the keynote of his teaching, to love your brother as you love yourself. You may not hate the self, which is still part of God, but you may dislike what you do.

God's love fulfills all law and plans. You will hold the miracle in your hands when you love enough. If the miracle is incomplete, you have short-changed God on love. You must ascend your selfish desires, and you may not lower God's will to the self. Desire, as love, must ascend to the crown center.

You must discipline the mind. Paul's formula helps you to achieve full apprehension of law, but does not preclude fears and doubts. Comprehension cleanses otherwise-mindedness. It teaches how to apply what you know to what you do, to forget hindsight and earn the strength of foresight. You can attain "the prize of the high calling of God" only through comprehension, which is grasping all facts.

Many think this high calling means living a saintly life, but cloistered sainthood limits the fullness of life. You must know how to live the full life with your family, friends, religion and the world.

God did not create you to use law for yourself, but created you for the law to use, to surrender to become the servant of all Power. Wisdom planned the form of the universe through which the River of Life, containing that "mind that was in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5), still flows.

Divine Mind plans for you when you let it, yet does not provide success. You must fill the mold with Love-Substance, and release Power through it to bring it into form.

Surrender to the high calling, ascend to God and say, "Father, please use me to bring this plan into expression." Use Christed stature as your ensample, not the heaviness of your past performance. The joy of Christ consciousness invokes God's Power to fill your body with strength and energy.

When Paul said, "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak," he used an excuse the world has adopted wholesale, but which does not put on the armor of God. You would be perfect today if you wore your armor.

Jesus said, "Not I, but my Father does the work," which means that "Power moving through me does the work." When you understand this, you truly follow the Master's Path. For instance, you may lose business, but you cannot lose God. You can open a new business only when you have unconquerable faith, instead of insurmountable doubts. Paul says that his righteousness is from the law in verse nine, but that the faith of Christ is the righteousness of God.

Nine is the number representing humanity's universal brotherhood under the Father. Nine salivary glands are arranged in a V-shape along below the chin at the throat center. As love ascends to the crown center, it may become "I-me-my" self-conscious, at the throat center. Any remaining self distorts your speech and chemically affects the food you eat through the salivary glands.

As you apprehend the "resurrection of the Lord," you see how you have buried self-pity, and condemnation of self and others. Love is the high calling of Christ Jesus, not sentimentality, but a firm rock on which to establish your life. Love forms a tunnel of Light to your Source, then moves through the person or situation you lift, changing all into itself to make everything perfect.

You make your first marriage of the Lamb when your surrender is honest. The power of your desire ascends to mate with will, opening the pineal body, pituitary gland and optic chiasma of the thalamus for vision. You receive a "new name" of the all-seeing God: "I AM THAT I AM."

The open pineal body is "I," representing the Father, and the open pituitary gland is "AM," the Mother. "I AM" stands for the unity of Father and Mother God descending to the throat center to melt, dissolve and absorb the remnants of self.

Love's Light heals the dry rot created by the acid that formerly dripped from your tongue. Light must descend to absorb it and wipe the page clean, so you cleanse your Book of Life of past misuse and record your new life of love.

Declare your creations good. Fill heaven with gifts of praise, and God can return them as miracles. Once you have seen God face to face, you cannot return to your former life.

When you lift and ascend your "otherwise-mindedness," Light fills all past voids with love, levels the low places and past duties done grudgingly. Step up and stand.

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The Golden Chalice 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated September 21, 1952. Scribe: Ruth Johnson. Scripture: Philippians 3:7-17.

Saul had acted vindictively toward Jesus' followers, but after his conversion on the road to Damascus, he wanted to "know him and the power of his resurrection." As Paul, he then said, "I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." – Philippians 3:13.

Apprehension is the ability to understand what is approaching, and to recognize it as light or darkness. You are apprehensive or fearful about the future if you live by the truth of appearances, yet you can apprehend that truth if you ascend in prayer to the truth of reality. Paul ascended using comprehension and faith to reach apprehension and resurrection.

Apprehension plants your feet on the road to resurrection. You resurrect your past when you turn to good, yet bury your Godlike qualities under pride, resentment and emotional negatives if you swing on life's pendulum like some victim of fate.

Many people touch their high point briefly, but fall back on the old, worn-out belief that God made law for their use. Finally, you must grasp the pendulum's rod of power to climb to perfect faith.

Gradually, you begin to have miracles without making statements invoking them because you now seek the kingdom of heaven. In seeking the kingdom fervently, you find that all things you need are added.

After demonstrating your faith, showing it off for others to see, you know and just let the miracles happen because you comprehend that law is perfect and God made it to use you.

You must overcome through faith, and live by the love of God, not love for God. Ultimately, you live by the faith of God, not faith in God or unimportant words.

Some people say, "I've done enough for him. Now he can do it on his own. I'm finished," which is a great curse, an intellectual sophistry. Did God ever turn off His Power and Light to you?

Once you put your hand to the plow, keep it there. Love God enough to do the work, and love the person or situation enough to heal it.

You can release so much Light that the other fellow works, or leaves if he cannot stand the Light. You heal persons and situations by wrapping them in a blanket of love, and watching the Light do the work.

God is all Wisdom, Love and Energy. When you call someone good, you are calling him God, because good is His action on earth. Your forgiveness is incomplete if you still bear a heavy cross after forgiving your enemies ten times. Love your enemies until your burden becomes Light.

All your difficulties in life come between your high points of happiness. Self is vulnerable to dark suggestions, even while soul consciousness is high, until you fully cleanse it. So, the tests must come until you lift all remaining darkness. Lift every self-expression, which is the only way to become a conqueror. Otherwise, you must return to earth to cremate your dead past. To bury it is not enough, for you could still dig it from the grave to enjoy it.

The dead past stinks, and you can choke on what you leave unburned. Yet nothing will remain to wallow in if you call on God's divine fire to cremate the past. Since you must become pure untouchable, immovable Spirit, exalt the past. Your credits build the rungs of your ladder to Light, so reach to build a new rung, then press on. Look at the Master and tell him, "I love you," instead of reviewing some past ugliness.

Let us, as many as are perfect, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. – Philippians 3:15-16. How do you apply this? Decree, "I apprehend the power of Resurrection and comprehend the full power of Ascension. This one thing I do now, I see the glory of the kingdom of heaven." God will establish it for you.

Never limit the time ascension takes, for every hour holds an eternity of glory and brings new strength. "Forever" is a flexible term that includes the duration of your current experience, an hour, a day or however long it takes.

Climb the ladder of Light in the fullness of atomic ascension power. Swing your bat of light at the ball of darkness and hit a home run seeking the kingdom. You ascend when you have no further desire to return to the bullpen.

Your soul's goal is to shine the full Light of ascension on all your past. God needs you in the full Light to lift earth, so never waste a minute in the futility of blaming yourself or others.

What if you stumble? God never tires of your tardiness or mistakes, but says, "Come to Me." God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and His Power is yours to express. We could lift the world's chaos if all prayer groups stood on this standpoint of Light for one month.

We are lifting darkness. Exposés plague governments and businesses because we are lifting their foundations, and washing earth's dirty laundry. Let it come up, ascend it, and burn it in the everlasting fires of divine love. Call it good because this is the way of soul ascension.

The Power of God's Love is pouring through you, overflowing into the world. Look up in consciousness and become a golden chalice full of Light.

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Let Go and Let God 1

Edna Lister created this sermon outline for January 8, 1956. Scripture: Philippians 3:8-17.

This text holds two outstanding ideas. First, Be found in [Christ], not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection. – Philippians 3:9-10. Paul is not seeking to understand through law, but through the faith of God, which expresses high vision in action.

Then Paul hastens to add that he has not already attained this knowing, and is not yet perfect. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12. "Apprehend" is a word poorly understood. To apprehend means "to grasp or to lay hold on," but also means to "know and to understand."

Apprehension in this case is the ability to distinguish between what you let Light consume and what you must resurrect. Paul seeks to apprehend the power of faith and the power of resurrection, not that they exist, but to understand the full Power behind them. He wants to know. To attain this, he says, But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14.

How do you forget the past? By burying it, or not thinking of it anymore? No. To forget is to forgive, and forgiving is true forgetting. No other way works.

To resurrect the buried past, put it on a cloud of consuming fire in your heaven to burn out all dross. Only the fires of love can do this. If you leave the past buried on earth, the subconscious will never be free of it. Put it where you must look up to see it. The fire hides it as it consumes it. You then resurrect the glory of spiritual lessons you have learned.

Evil feeds on un-forgive-ness and un-forget-ness, the "un" in both being soul blindness, and "ness" being a state of consciousness. To think you have forgotten. not enough The forgiving and forgetting are inseparable twins.

You must let go of the past, but how? Are you satisfied with last year's effort and diligence? You cannot discount last year's losses until you take inventory.

Have you already used this year's days, or have they just drifted by? Have you wasted them in indifference or self-indulgence?

Let go of the past. Let God's "cosmic urge" move in and possess you. God planted the same cosmic urge toward all good in every soul – to conquer, to succeed, to love enough, to praise enough to finish cleansing all evil. Are you wasting time giving any thought to your weakest hour, your most self-indulgent day?

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:14. Build your pattern from your highest hour of illumination – that's your goal.

Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. – Philippians 3:16-17. An ensample is a pattern. Use your strongest hour as your pattern.

You can do anything. You fashion your tomorrow from today's thinking and planning, your forgetting of yesterday, your pressing on, your comprehension of the Power in faith and the Power using you to resurrect all the good from your past.

When did you last unload the old cargo from your ship of dreams? You'll find much of it is spoiled, useless and unwanted, worn out, moth-eaten, old-fashioned rusty dreams. Give it an annual cleaning, reload, burn the discards – hurts, grief, opinions, prejudices, rebellion, "enemy" ideas – in love's fires.

Resurrect the past good and add glory to it. Refit your ship with new streamlined jet-propelled engines, everything you want in the visible – credits, rewards and abundance. Let God become the divine tempter, an enticing power in your life. Devote one hour a day to resurrecting the old, and invest in the faith of God in all new things. Let go of the past. Let God use you.

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Miracles Through Comprehension 1

This Edna Lister created this sermon outline is dated July 10, 1960. Scriptures: James 1:17, James 1:5-8, Philippians 3:9-14.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. – James 1:17. Only good and perfection can come from above. The Father casts no shadow, for the Light goes before Him. His Light is invariable, constant and steady as it descends from above.

Ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not. – James 1:5. If you ask, why, then, do you not always receive? But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. – James 1:6. Ask in faith unconquerable, which is not wind-tossed or wavering, or you can receive nothing. Unstable means you are allowing other people and life experiences to condition you. A double-minded person makes up his mind tonight, but unmakes it in the morning.

People ask, "Is this good for me? Does God really want me to have it?" Here your rational soul must move in and take charge to change conditions and stop allowing them to change you.

And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith. – Philippians 3:9. What is the Christ faith? What is this Christed crowning? You need faith in "the power of his resurrection."

To apprehend means to perceive. Also, apprehension means fears, worries, suspicions and anxiety. Sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down in consciousness. Paul's whole story is like this, a history of his rise from self to soul. He found it exactly as hard as we do. What good is it then to seek to apprehend?

Apprehension is the first step upward to full comprehension, which is above knowing. Comprehension is the faculty of understanding, an all-inclusive power to grasp the Christed crowning from above. It is the good gift, the perfect gift. To attain this good and perfect gift, examine your purpose, aim and goal. Your purpose may be selfish or universal. Your aim may be high or low. Your goal may be good or evil.

Your purpose is your intention, the thing you intend to do. Purpose may take you up to soul or down to self. Soul has a universal purpose. You are here to learn lessons, to accept the place you occupy, to ask by faith and to hold through love. Your aim may be high or low in its direction and control of your life. It requires coordination of thought and body, eyes, nerves, muscles, etc. You aim to condition your life, not to allow life or your fellow man to condition you.

Back your aim by desire, the liaison officer between your ideas and words. Your desire must become a flaming challenge to Power so that Power can move and act through you with a deathless determination to hold all gains. Your goal is to become a crowned Christed one, to know, to practice and to act as a Christed one.

Every man's words become either his burden or his wings of glory. Every practice is a step in preparation for the renunciation of self, which you must sacrifice to soul. Self must renounce all idle words, all darkness in thought, word and deed. Every act must ascend you one step higher in becoming as the Christ. The measure of your obedience to law determines the measure of the Power that can use you.

How great is your idea of God's perfect gifts? How great is your idea of God's all for you? An adulterated, diluted or weak approach to faith's asking means ineffectual, small gifts in return. An all-conquering unconquerable faith brings all good gifts. By your works, wrought in faith, others know you. Make your new proclamation as a crowned and Christed one:

"I AM of royal birth. I AM now from the crowned ones. This is the 'I' of me. This is what I AM. Before me is set an open door, and no man can close it. I AM ascending in comprehension. I AM my own miracle!"

This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14.

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Miracles Through Comprehension 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated July 10, 1960. Scribes: Ruth Johnson and Virginia Whitehead. Scriptures: James 1:17, James 1:5-8 and Philippians 3:9-14.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. – James 1:17. This verse is a complete creed, all-inclusive – it even has "This is good." You cannot receive the "good and perfect gifts" until you give lavishly of yourself and of your love. Can you expect to receive more than you give?

How often have you asked, "How could he do this to me? I've been so good to him?" You always collect the interest you have earned and receive pure justice under God's balanced law. God balances the scales, and if you scales tip, you had better get busy.

This creed is definite as to the source of all good, "from above," not below. All you are and all you have is in your head. The universe is in your head. You have everything you need in your computer mind, the brain, but you must push the buttons and issue the commands.

You take in God's ideas from above, from the "Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Light moves through the Father whenever He has form, and it always goes before Him. If this is your creed, why do you not use it?

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. – James 1:5-6. If you lack wisdom, go higher and ask. Solomon first asked for wisdom, then for understanding. Wisdom is a great vibration that includes God's Love and Energy.

When you ask for Wisdom, you ask for the heavens above and the earth below, and God gives you all. You get it, if you ask in faith without wavering, and listen long enough to hear it. Put your lines of Light up to the Father.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. – James 1:6-8.

Too often you give your works to God, then take them back. You try to do it yourself instead of leaving it to gestate with Him. Leave it to God to gestate, not to wonder if it will happen.

Pray your "maybe it could happen," if you must. First, lay your doubt-gift on the altar and go pay your debts. You spend days, weeks, months putting up prayer lines to the Father, then cut those lines of Light with shears of doubt. Some souls stand on the same step, at one point for incarnations.

A double-minded man is unstable, ambivalent, changes his mind repeatedly. He says, "I can't make up my mind. I must have asked for the wrong thing. I guess God doesn't want that for me." Be daring enough to accept the answer, even if you were wrong. Decide never to waver again, pay your debts, and have the good sense not to doubt it again.

Paul wrote to the devout at Philippi, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:9-14.

Paul was right, but he slipped more often than anyone. He filled his letters with accounts of his trials and tribulations, and often used personal pronouns, since he was I-minded. Paul never knew Jesus, but suffered with a leftover guilt complex about his life as Saul. He returned for several incarnations with the same complex, which he has lifted.

Paul knew he had to live the law, at first, his own idea of it. Later, he sought to live up to Jesus' teachings "that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection." Were it not for the Resurrection, none of us would be strong enough to return to God. The power of the Resurrection is the soul's desire to work.

Paul knew he had to be resurrected from his past. When you say, "I've learned my lesson on this. It will never happen again," you fool yourself and challenge God. You may say, "I have learned this law at this level," then ask to ascend in consciousness. Resurrect your past, do not drag it along with you.

I press on, that I may apprehend that for which Christ Jesus has also apprehended of me. – Philippians 3:12. To apprehend is "to doubt, to be suspicious" or "to perceive," and Paul went up and down the pole on it. You simply must not demand or challenge the law on this. Fearful apprehension results in a "rain" of spiritual debts, every two hours as a new sign rises over the horizon.

Paul meant "I perceive" in this passage. He did a great job of lifting, and his immortal words will last, for they are a history of his struggle from self to soul surrender. Paul's story of his struggle is our history, too.

What good is it to apprehend? Apprehension is the first step toward comprehension, a state of knowing in the Light above, a step toward perceiving truth.

To have Light shine on what you know is like Saul's illumination on the road to Damascus. Comprehension represents the thirteenth Via Christa Path of glory. Comprehension gives you perfect grades in your Ascension scholarship skills, to earn your Christed crown. Comprehension is a necessity.

To walk the Via Christa, you need a purpose, an aim, and a goal. Your purpose is an intention to bring something great to the world, either for self or at a universal level.

To ascend, ask, "What is my purpose?" Learn every earthly lesson the best you can, to accept responsibility and law, to live by law, and hold through love. Faith asks, and love holds. You ask by faith, and hold through law. The love of God opens when you hold to the simplest statements you have: "This is good. Let there be Light." Love enough will awaken the memory cells.

Aim takes coordination of thought, eye muscles and nerves. Thought is the liaison between the idea and its expression, or action. Aim your thoughts upward and outward. The switch to press on your brain cortex, your computer, is marked "aim," which comes under your conscious direction and control, so your aim will be true. If you stand above your universe, and press your switch from above, you will remember.

Your words become either your burden or wings of glory. You can lose or spoil a whole day of joy with two or three idle words as you get out of bed in the morning. You forget to bite your tongue because you fail to love enough. Watch your words so you need not pay debts. Your thoughts must aim your words and actions with conscious control.

Your goal is to ascend to be crowned with the white wings of the Christ. How will you get there? The measure of your obedience to law is the measure of the Power that goes through you. Be the servant of the Power, not to use it, but be used by it. Further, you must want to be the servant of Power by your purpose and aim.

The measure of "added things" and "good gifts" will be according to your obedience to law. Your flaming desire challenges the Power until it all moves through you. When desire reaches that point of white heat, it challenges darkness. It goes into action under your words of rejoicing, but decreases when you are not flaming joy. When good gifts come, your desire has been flaming.

Be determined to hold all your gains, every foot of ground that you attain. First, learn to know that the Father is good, and that your words do go to high thrones, whether you see them or not, when you stand immovable. So practice perfection, act in coordination, stand and know. Then comprehension moves in and ties you safely to God's limitless Love and Power lifeline.

Give up the idle words. Renounce self in favor of soul. Every time you give up idle words or actions, you take one step farther in rejuvenating self. The Power is not in the self, but comes from above, from the Father of Lights.

God's promises go into action when you stand without weakness. You close out the Power only when your faith becomes double-minded, wavering and weak. It is impossible to set His promises aside, but you can render them useless if you turn off the Power to your computer mind. God's Power works only under complete faith, burning desire, and standing.

What is your idea of the Power of God? What composes your love? What is your degree of faith? Ordinarily you live by your own laws of righteousness now, but how about moving up to the full comprehension of the love of God? The greatest love you can give God is little in comparison to what you could give Him.

Declare, "I am of royal birth, a princess, prince, queen or king in and under Christ Jesus." Forget those things that are behind and reach to what is ahead. Press on to the high mark of God, which is all good and perfect gifts. God then establishes anything you ask because you have ascended to the Crown of Christ. Comprehend God's glory, and ascend to the realm of miracles.

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Apprehension in the New Testament

I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. – Philippians 3:7-17.

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Etymology of apprehension: "perception, comprehension," from Old French apprehension "comprehension, something learned" or directly from Latin apprehensionem (nominative apprehensio), noun of action from past participle stem of apprehendere "take hold of, grasp" physically or mentally.


References

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, 1913 edition. Springfield, MA: G. & C. Merriam Company, 1913.


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