Edna Lister’s Sermons 1960, Part II.


















Realization Through Praise

Edna Lister sermon outline; June 26, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Philippians 4:4-19.

"Rejoice in the Lord always: And again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonika ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." – Philippians 4:4-19.

Paul wrote the Philippians, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." – Philippians 4:12. To abound means "to be copiously supplied; to be rich, to overflow." To abase means "to depress, to humble, to put down, to lower." Kipling said it differently:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch.

Paul is teaching balance in this Epistle. His people had forgotten him and he had been hungry. Yet, he calls them his joy and his crown. When you truly love, someone you do not blame, and therefore have nothing to forgive. He tells them, "Let your requests be known" through prayer, supplication and thanksgiving, three ways operating as one. We are bound together in Spirit, first with rejoicing, to which we add perfect vision:

"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." – Philippians 4:8. Under prayer, you finally realize that only God can ever satisfy you. Rejoicing so fills your soul with longing for Light that your desire becomes too big for your body to contain.

The resultant explosion is prayer. You must talk to God. To "be careful for nothing" means to become so absorbed in the love of God that nothing else counts. Then your realization of God's glory grows until God becomes real to you, and you know that love can convert hope and plans into outer miracles.

You know that only love can bridge the abyss from the past across the now into the future of added things. You know that your love's capacity determines the miracles you have. Supplication is not begging or pleading for favors, but is how you petition God for His help as more Power and strength. Supplication is invoking Light and an outpouring of Power. Under supplication comes the quiet and confidence that are peace in action.

Yet first comes understanding, which is "to stand under the Light." To have an inspiration is standing under the Light. To have a desire is to stand under the Light. To look up in consciousness is to stand under the Light. To have a great longing, you must be under the Light.

Understanding releases the first Power that brings peace, which is composed of quiet and confidence. Quiet says, "Be still, and know that I am God." – Psalm 46:10. The One who says, "I AM God," also says, "I AM now ever ready, ever available."

Quiet brings you up in consciousness to peace. Be quiet a while. Rest and abide a while, under the shadow of the love of Almighty God. The "knower" within takes time to be quiet, to love, to stand still and to see the salvation of God.

Confidence means "the mental attitude of trusting in or relying on a person or thing; firm trust, reliance, faith, assurance, boldness, fearlessness, arising from reliance on oneself, on circumstances, on divine support, etc., and is synonymous with trust."

The difference between success and failure depends on your confidence. Failure comes when self feeds the soul the sedatives of doubt and fear. Fear of failure puts soul to sleep, shuts it in the dark office at night, or in the golf bag Sunday evening.

Self says, "If I'd only had his advantages. If I had only been given a chance." When self lowers soul to half-mast, it wanders, wanting to die and leave it all behind, all the disappointments and the joy. Success demands great things of soul in confidence, but not in self-confidence. First, have confidence in the power of God's love, which is bracing and building.

Soul moves up in consciousness from the Valley of Dread into the sunlight of praiseful thanksgiving. You can then use the now perfectly because soul ignores the past. Thanksgiving is high praise. Praise sets spiritual substance into action to form your abundance "according to His riches in glory." Spiritual substance pours forth to fill your prayer molds.

Some praise looks like a long strand of sausage links, fat and squeezed together, sometime made happy by life, sometimes tied down by people. If your love and praise are weak, the opposition wins. If love and praise are strong, the opposition weakens and dies. Is your praise the sausage variety, or is it outstanding? Does your praise invoke the whole beauty of God's universe?

Dare to love beauty, hold it close and feed your soul on it. Dare to praise and invoke that beauty, for you are the sum total of your kingdom of Light, love and beauty. Nothing outside can touch you if you feel beautiful inside.

Dynamic love and praise are vital, energetic and soul-satisfying. Today's praise is tomorrow's glory. Your realization of God's love is poise. Your realization of the praise of God is Power itself.

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Realization Through Praise

Edna Lister sermon transcript; June 26, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Edna Bender, Ruth Johnson, Irene White. Scripture: Philippians 4:4-19.

"Rejoice in the Lord always: And again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonika ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-19.

Paul wrote the Letter to Philippians, who had not supported him, but left him to starve. He wrote in thanks that they had finally remembered him so he could eat again. "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." – Philippians 4:12. Abundance is wealth, abasement is a lowered vibration, to be diminished, and Paul knew both. Kipling said you must reach the place where neither praise nor blame affects you:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch.

Peter taught a gospel of love. Paul, who had come up through a hard school, laid down law, but was gentle about it in greeting the Philippians: "My beloved and longed for brethren, my joy and crown." – Philippians 4:1. These people had forgotten him, yet Paul could say this, which showed that no blame lay under his surface. He had no need to forgive because he attached no blame. Paul really knew the love of God.

"Let your requests be made known to God" means to ask, not demand of God. Supplication and thanksgiving were Paul's kind of prayer. They knew Jesus' formula for prayer, which is based on love of God. They knew about Power and the descent of the Holy Spirit, so they prayed for greater comprehension of law.

Two dynamic laws, rejoicing and praise, encompass this. Rejoicing raises your rate of vibration. Joy ascends you to a high point of appreciation, realization that God is all joy. If you want to pray the kind of prayers that bring answers, rejoice and ascend to this place of glory. You may not be full of care or doubts when you "come to Me." Ascend in consciousness, and love brings everything into outer expression.

Rejoicing, which opens all doors and lifts everything, ascends you above the world's idiocies, to a high point of appreciation for the answers to come through. God becomes real to you and rejoicing fills you so full of illumination that your body simply does not contain it. You invoke an explosion of Light from the toes upward during prayer. You can touch this ecstasy of knowing God, and reach illumination only under rejoicing.

"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." – Philippians 4:8.

If you are to pray the prayer that gets things done, prepare the way by rejoicing, just because God is. Think of God as your Father, as Jesus said, someone who understands you in all you do, good, bad or indifferent, even when you miss the mark of your high calling. Go up, up, up in bursting glory where prayers are efficacious. That is prayer.

"Be careful for nothing." God says, "Do not be anxious, full of cares, worries, doubts or fears when you come to Me." Ascend in consciousness when you feel yourself slipping, and grab your armor of Light. Surrender the anxieties, ascend and think of God, not outer concerns, even when someone reviles or despitefully uses you.

"It is impossible but that offenses will come." – Luke 17: 1. People offend you when they are not doing what you want. Do not expect one who always forgets birthdays and anniversaries to remember them. God gives humanity free choice. Weeping over another's offenses is useless.

Go up in consciousness on praise, which is your only chance to relieve the world of evil. Have joy enough to ascend above it, and your prayer lifts the evil from way up there next to God. You cannot lift when you are wishy-washy. The Father must use the Light-Substance you release to lift you, and each gives according to what is in his heart. Love enough brings forth every dream and hope of life, and you will watch love transform others before your eyes. Be alive.

Your prayers must broadcast the love of God. If someone needs a promotion or an increase in salary, a good treatment is, "Get ready. Here comes Name, ready to receive her raise. Her increased paycheck is on its way." For example, to treat for an election, say, "Get ready. God is on the march. Justice shall prevail."

Make a joyful declaration. "Watch out below! Love bombs are falling!" Love carries you from the past into a future of Power and illumination. The minute you sink down in consciousness, nothing happens. Love works only if you let it.

The old idea of supplication prayer was to beg, wheedle and entice, which says you need more Light, joy and love, even outer added things. A perfect prayer of supplication is a petition: "Let Your Power fill me to overflowing for every need and my service in the world. Let Light fill me with more illumination, more health. Lord, help my unbelief. Let Thy Light wipe out my doubts and fears."

If you want God to sign your petition in His heart, present it in love, backed with peace. Paul identifies the "peace of God, which passes all understanding." This means that peace is above understanding, which is the Light descending. Peace is the essence of inner quiet and confidence, not stagnation but a "do something" peace.

When you work for peace from the outside, you get more conflict to conquer, but when you ascend to peace, it descends on you. Your desire starts a vibration of activity. If you really want peace, start a vibration of giving.

Understanding means "I stand under the Light. As Light descends, all things come to me." Stand squarely under the Light, in the quiet and confidence of God's life, as a rod of Power.

Your very desire to have something immediately puts you under the Light. How much Light descends depends on the quality and quantity of your enthusiasm. How great is your desire for the Light? How greatly do you desire to have the full Light of God flow through you?

Most people have little time for prayer or God. To many, prayer is a lifeless daily repetition. Take time to be quiet, not to go blank, but to wait upon the Lord. Stop and consider the beauty of the Lord.

"Be still and know that I am God. – Psalm 46:10." Be quiet and the Light will descend, more or less, depending on you. Give it a chance, just a little more rejoicing and love as it sweeps away the debris and frees you.

Light gives you great confidence and trust in your ability to stand and know. When you stand at the point between the outer vibration and ascension, the Power and love show, they shine from you.

People may call you egotistical because they misunderstand the Power. When you release more love with the Power, love is all they see. The Power of God touches everyone, wherever you go. Fill all your destinations with a sun center of Light.

The difference between failure and success is soul-confidence versus self-confidence. You move from self-confidence into trust in God and the power to become like Him. "I am created for Power to use. The greater a servant of Power I am, the more Power moves through and uses me." Confidence in God assures you that He is doing the work.

Those who lack soul-confidence begin to grow a sense of failure. They come home disgusted with their day's efforts, lock half their souls in the office for the weekend, and are so full of care, they have nothing left to give at home. Treat your whole office daily until it is a sun center of Light. Declare that everyone is held in a sphere of Light: "God is touching your brain cells to be alive."

When you golf, play soul golf. As you address the ball, see it going 300 yards. Reach for the feeling of soul coordinating with the physical. You need coordination for the soul-confidence of God. Move through confidence to a place of automatic thankfulness. Be grateful for what has been, what is, and for what is to come.

You have praised and prayed, and offered your petition of supplication. Now, under under thankfulness, know the truth, the honor of God above all things, the justness of God. Look on only the good.

When you receive something negative, do not blame the other fellow. You can receive only what you send forth. You sent forth the vibration, and it came home to roost. The law of God is just and perfect. The reaction is perfect and complete.

Were it not for God's forgiveness, none of us could bear the weight of our blame or self-righteousness. It does not pay to live with your soul at half mast. Escape is no help. Only moving up to confidence in Power, to "I AM loves you," sets you free. Praise and rejoicing will lift your soul, and you can see the other fellow ascend in consciousness as you say, "I AM is lifting you."

Are you a sausage-linker when you praise, or do you praise constantly? The love of God is yours now. Are you afraid to invoke the power of beauty into your life, the symphony of nature, all good? You can love beauty wherever you are. Meditate on beautiful things.

When you hold this beautiful feeling inside, people begin to seek you. Power puts the right words on your lips and all things good are added, promises fulfilled. A cloud of loveliness and beauty forms for every good thought or deed. Light is all beauty. The minute you recognize that beautiful feeling, call your sheep by name. You have so much past good out there, haven't you redeemed enough ugliness? Call home the sheep of your love and beauty, not the black sheep of negativity.

Paul said, "Rejoice in the Lord always: And again I say, Rejoice." Stand under the Light in the quiet and confidence of the life of God, and you will be full of peace. You can get peace only by standing under the Light, not by working on the outside or all you get is more tests to try you. Ascend under the Light and your gift is peace. You will have confidence in the love of God, the Light of God. Best of all, you will no longer call yourself a single name.

"God shall supply all your need according to His riches." – Philippians 4:19. Prayer is love that catches you up in its arms today and lands you safely tomorrow. Today's praise is tomorrow's glory. Our God is a God of riches according to His glory to bestow upon you, so ask. Praise is the Power of God Himself moving through your affairs. As Christian Larson said, "All things respond to the call of rejoicing; all things gather where life is a song."

Cover your family with Light, and call them "my joy and my crown." Say, "Here I come. God fills this house with glory. The Christ mind of 'I AM' is enveloping them. Dear God, build the Light around them so thickly that all I will see is the Master's face on the Mount of Transfiguration."

So, Father, we come to You this morning with love and joy, and we are crowned. We walk in such poise and glory. This world is Yours. You still hold it in the hollow of Your hands, despite humankind and what they have done in selfishness to destroy it. Yet, O Father, we know that love wins.

Watch out, evil! The Father is marching! Good shall result when your praise is strong. Love always wins. In this we can have confidence and trust, which we know from that quiet place of soul, where we entertain only beauty. Lift us and use us, in thy name, Master.

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Increase Through High Prayer

Edna Lister sermon outline; July 3, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Acts 16:25-35.

"At midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light and sprang in and came trembling and fell down before Paul and Silas and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house. And they spoke unto him the word of the Lord and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. And when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, Let those men go." – Acts 16:25-35.

Tell the story of the girl with a spirit of divination, and how Paul commanded it to come out of her. Her masters, losing their profit, brought Paul and Silas before the magistrates, accused them of being Jews who were corrupting Romans. The court had them stripped and beaten with rods. They were thrown in prison and their feet locked in stocks.

Paul and Silas wasted no time weeping or blaming. That is the first outstanding factor in this story. They got together and agreed as one. Together they opened an irresistible vibration, as a violin can be played to create a crystal-shattering note. All healers who use music in their work take advantage of this law.

Paul and Silas prayed, praised and sang until they triggered an earthquake. The jail's walls fell down, the doors opened and the stocks sprang open. The vibration shook the jailer and his whole family into the kingdom of heaven.

This earthquake happens with your first illumination. It jars the walls self built, the barriers of self fall, and the doors to self-imprisonment open. Remember, not one prisoner escaped. All were saved in the kingdom of God. All the old subconscious content is lifted up into soul substance.

Until the earthquake of illumination, self is always in argument and opposition to soul. When illumination strikes, soul takes charge and moves self up, into agreement with God. When soul is weak, self's opposition grows fat and strong, and wins. When soul is strong, self's opposition weakens, shrivels and dies.

All increase comes under the great principle of faith. Soul faith in the good is strong and aggressive, a powerful challenge to all self's weaknesses and world ideas. Self, using faith inverted as negative and passive, causes good to shrink until it disappears. You have no increase of the good under self.

When soul love takes over, the barriers fall. "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?" – Jeremiah 32:27. What, then, is high prayer? The question presupposes a low point in prayer, which does exist. You can be a half-and-halfer, someone who had an almost perfect day, who says, "Well, I feel pretty good."

High prayer is a combination of prayer, praise and singing. High prayer is loving God with all your heart's desire, mind's thinking and soul's vision. When you use ordinary metaphysical statements, you bind yourself north, south, east and west under an intellectual dome. What do you desire? Do you think that prayer is just a bunch of statements for self and others?

A cool statement is a low prayer. Self is a very low point of intuition and illumination where one believes a God, a Power may exist. From such a point of self, even prayers for others are low. "I am so good. I do pray." They sit, thinking of statements by the mile while their subconscious mind wanders all over the world without ever leaving the basement of consciousness. No one can ever reach a state of soul ecstasy in such self-centered worship.

Intellect worries, "Will this work? Will the money come? If it doesn't, what will I do?" All statements are weak in conviction when compared to the way Jesus prayed: "Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth! And he that was dead came forth." – John 11:41-44.

"Father, You always hear me." Remember his prayers in Gethsemane. Prayer is the soul's strong desire uttered or unexpressed. Only praise can give you a strong conviction that faith works now. The quality of your praise determines the height to which your prayer ascends. When praise takes over, you are not thinking about it, but communing with God.

Praise sends the principle of faith into action, and increases the flow of love's power. Light's action through praise shrinks evil and darkness. Good expands and increases, and opens every creative power. Praise endows principles, laws, your faith and words with authority and conviction. Your praise may not be lukewarm or indifferent, never "I'm trying" or "I'm thinking about it."

But oh! Singing! There is the glory. Singing opens the greatest of all Power builders, vision. Soul vision starts a glory of healing love flowing from the original life sparks to the outer cells. Singing transforms and renews your vision, pushing it up and out front. When soul vision drops below eye level, you start slowly dying. When you get up in the morning, full of aches and pains, your vision has dropped.

High vision is high prayer without words. It transforms you, body, heart, mind and affairs, and renews your strength, hour by hour. Singing opens the way for perfect use of all you are and all you have in talents, love, time and effort. When you praise and sing fervently, God moves in with lavish increase.

Look around for darkness, anything to lift to a cloud continent of Light, not to name it, but to lift. Sing your prayer treatments. Make prayer pay you dividends. Sing everything into a high point of Power. With prayer, praise and singing, build an earthquake to shake down the barriers between you and your own. Sing yourself to a high point, then hold fast to your high point of glory.

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Edna Lister sermon transcript; July 3, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribe: Ruth Johnson. Scripture: Acts 16:25-35.

"At midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light and sprang in and came trembling and fell down before Paul and Silas and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house. And they spoke unto him the word of the Lord and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. And when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, Let those men go." – Acts 16:25-35.

This chapter of Acts is among the greatest in the New Testament. Paul's letters to the churches are the records of his growth and ascension from his years of hate. He had asked to enter jails and lash Christians in the past, and here the Romans lashed him with rods, a most painful punishment. Paul did not have the privilege of being with Jesus, as the disciples had. He fumbled at times, but always came through on a point of glory.

Paul had chosen Silas to accompany him. At Thyatira in Macedonia, where they were staying with Lydia, a convert, they had attracted the attention of a young slave girl "possessed with a spirit of divination." She was not completely possessed, but just enough of a medium to make a profit for the syndicate who had reared her and took the money she earned.

She followed Paul and Silas for days, begging them to release her from the possessing spirit and declaring that they were men of God. "Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." – Acts 16:18. This angered the syndicate, who could make no more money through her. They dragged Paul and Silas to the marketplace before the magistrates and accused them of preaching falsely. They stripped, lashed them and threw them into prison in stocks. They charged the jailer on pain of death to keep them from escaping.

Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God. What happened was the outcome of the truth that "If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." – Matthew 18:19-20.

The angel, who appeared to Abraham, wanted only twenty men who were good enough to save Gomorrah. Christians would lift evil from earth if every church in this city prayed together for twenty-four hours.

The vibration of praise and singing can shatter any evil earth can produce, but it works only if you have no doubt. A great earthquake shattered the prison walls, opened the doors and loosed the prisoner's stocks, but it injured no one. Though the jail door was opened, no one tried to leave. The Light was so great, they had no desire to run. The earthquake shook the jailer into the kingdom of heaven and frightened the magistrates into releasing them.

A spiritual earthquake is illumination that loosens the bonds of self when you stand and worship God. The prisoners symbolize the small parts of the little self, and each has "little self" conflicts boiling below the surface. If soul consciousness is strong, these conflicts subside, but little self must surrender all its negativity. Soul moves into the background until self surrenders.

You need unconquerable faith, invincible joy and show soul conviction in the outer world. Paul said, "They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed. Let them come themselves and get us out." – Acts 16:37. And the magistrates released them.

Paul and Silas stood on their dignity as bishops in the Master's new kingdom. You must know and stand on "Behold, I am here, O God of all Israel, waiting to serve Thee." Too many are half-and-halfers, half believing and half doubt-ridden. Do you look around the corner after you pray to see if it happened? Do you say, "Well, today I'm pretty good"? You must wholly convince your self, or you get nowhere. You reach out for miracles, establish long lines, then cut them with the scissors of little self.

High prayer consists of praise, prayer and singing. A statement is good, but puts nothing into action because it does not have the Light and glory of high prayer. Sitting in a chair and just speaking is good, but is not enough. Statements are good, they show you believe in God, they can bring peace, but will not bring you to the exaltation of high prayer.

Low-vibration prayer to the self is just above the creature stage. Thousands of miles of statements through weeks or months can eventually bring a miracle, but you can have an instant miracle through high prayer, when you love God with all your heart, mind and soul. The heart's desire must flame and burn.

Jesus declares, "Lazarus, come forth!" in a loud voice. "With all your soul" means your vision is focused on heaven, not earth. So, your mind and thinking cannot be on outside trivia, but on God. Every strong, vitalized, quickened thought, every burning desire is a prayer.

Love moves in through prayer, praise and gratitude, and quickens faith. Praise opens the vibration of activity for a miracle. All the substance required is in your Oversoul Star, which the Father fills from your first moment of yearning.

A firm statement such as, "Father, You always hear me. Glorify me with that glory that was in the beginning. Let these words come to life," vitalizes and quickens the prayer. Praise starts the life sparks in the fire body whirling to affect the physical body until you stand on the Mount of Transfiguration and your face shines like the sun.

To gain this conviction, use praise and song as Paul and Silas did. A vibration to shatter glass or walls must be continuous. A cool statement or even a fervent one will not do it. It takes fervent praise.

Do you praise and thank God daily for each body member? "Thank You, Father. You are building new eyes." One day your glasses will throw you away. It works the same with cigarettes or any habit.

Praise absorbs subconscious opposition. Praise starts pouring the substance from your Oversoul star into your molds. Praise pulls the starter cord on the motor of your life and affairs. You may sputter along for a while, but enough praise automatically bursts into singing as the glory of God made manifest.

You can praise and sing in your soul to bring forth high vision. Evil shrinks, for nothing on earth can resist the power of a singing soul, which is God Himself in action. The walls collapse, and the bonds of self fall apart as you become untouchable and immovable under the Light of God.

The prisoners symbolize the small aspects of the little self. Yet nothing bothers God, who is deathless, ageless and abiding, nor bothers you when your soul is singing. All negativity dissolves.

You are as deathless, ageless and abiding as God is when your soul is singing. When you awaken aching, your high vision has descended overnight. When a patient does not respond to prayer, sing your prayer and praise.

Finally, your wordless song rises to the Source. The Father's o'ershadowing, everlasting arms uphold you, a wondrous feeling. Fervency, love of God, praise, singing, and music opens the door to heaven. Praise is the glory and singing takes you to the Source. Nothing bothers a singing heart and soul. Expect the Father's o'ershadowing. Expect His everlasting arms to uphold you.

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Miracles Through Comprehension

Edna Lister sermon outline; July 10, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: James 1:17, James 1:5-8, Philippians 3:9-14.

"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. 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 1:5-8.

"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.

"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 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

Edna Lister sermon transcript; July 10, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Ruth Johnson, Virginia Whitehead. 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.

"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. 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 1:5-8.

"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.

"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 your 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.

Go and pray your "maybe it could happen," if you must. But 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. Others 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, "That I may know him… if, by any means, I might attain… not that I have already attained… but I press on, that I may apprehend… I do not count myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do… I press toward the mark." 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 make it 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 a grade A 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 "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 you 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. Setting His promises aside is impossible, but you can shut them out of your life 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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The Four Faiths

Edna Lister sermon outline; September 11, 1960, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: James 1:17, John 1:1, ;Romans 8:38-39.

"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.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." – John 1:1.

"I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." – Romans 8:38-39.

"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 plural word "lights" holds the secret of all miracles. Supernal spiritual Light is the basis for man's illumination. The Christed "I AM" consciousness of each soul looks up to its Source, reaches up and touches the I AM THAT I AM of God. The result is an explosion called illumination.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." – John 1:1. The illumination is a vibration of Light which is the Word that was with God, and was God. The Word still is God's substance, called faith. The Word as Mind is Christ consciousness in man. One illustration of the Word becoming form is how you send a vibration over a wire that then becomes a telegram. You can translate vibration into outer words direct, but it is still God as the medium and the Word.

Everyone knows what love is. Faith is as important because it is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." The four phases of faith seem obvious when named. First, faith is the pioneer. Second, faith is the coordinator. Third, faith is man's vision. Fourth, faith is your challenge. Men and women founded our nation on faith as pioneers, unwavering, untouchable, and courageous.

The Founders did not sit on Plymouth Rock and rationalize away their courage with, "Will this work?" Today's Plymouth Rock faith is like an overstuffed chair. You can sit in comfort while making miles and miles of statements assuring God of your faith in Him. They did not expect God to come down and clear this land and build their houses. They hustled every minute, just as the lily bulb spends its days and nights.

Then came the second faith. They coordinated their lives into communities, then drew up laws for the common purpose of good for all. A new thought stepped in as the third faith. It was a new vision of hope and freedom from creeds and dogmas, soul freedom for and through each individual. Here man learned to obey certain definite laws to produce miracles. For example, your obedience to law determines the size of your "added things," or miracles.

Believing to see brings you to the fourth faith, the challenge of law. Religion is not for show, but to serve God. You seek God to be used by His Love and Power. You ask through the faith of God. You hold your gains through the love of God.

Faith has proved itself. It is. Your faith of God must be great enough to condition your whole world. The Elect creator gods are the new space pioneers. Men have created the ENIAC and UNIVAC computers.1 God created you with your own personal UNIVAC, only your keyboard is above. You touch the switches as the Light. Your faith unlocks the computer. Your "I AM" Christed consciousness presses the keys.

Dare you invoke this Light by faith? To use you? Are you bold in your love of God? Faith, in all four phases, is an unconquerable faith.


1^ ENIAC and UNIVAC: ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer), built between 1943 and 1945—the first large-scale computer to run at electronic speed without being slowed by any mechanical parts. For a decade, until a 1955 lightning strike, ENIAC may have run more calculations than all mankind had done up to that point. The UNIVAC I (Universal Automatic Computer) was the world's first commercially available computer. The first UNIVAC I was delivered on June 14, 1951. The machine was 25 feet by 50 feet in length, contained 5,600 tubes, 18,000 crystal diodes, and 300 relays. It utilized serial circuitry, 2.25 MHz bit rate, and had an internal storage capacity 1,000 words or 12,000 characters. It utilized a Mercury delay line, magnetic tape, and typewriter output.

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Here and the Hereafter

Edna Lister sermon outline; October 9, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: 1 John 5:1-14.

"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us." – 1 John 5:1-14.

So many who follow the Master express a keen interest in a life "hereafter," and most people believe that religion is a kind of insurance policy for a far-off afterlife. Instead, they should realize that everyone makes his or her own hereafter in the now. Your whole life is a preparation to live "hereafter." As the Begotten Son instructed, "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter." – Revelation 1:19.

Each day, everyone is preparing some kind of accessible hereafter, holidays and birthdays are examples. In the same sense, then, you are preparing for that far off, yet ever near hereafter.

With the many, the masses, religion is an insurance policy taken out for the hereafter, meaning, of course, after death. In the fourteen verses of this Epistle chapter, John has written our insurance policy.

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" – 1 John 5:4-5. These verses identify you, give you identity. If you believe that Jesus Christ is the First Begotten Son of God, you hold this policy. Then, your policy is witnessed both on earth and in heaven.

Before you came to earth, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit signed your life policy. Those who seek reassurance need only read the following, which is a covenant, a guarantee, a signed insurance policy for your life after death of the body:

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one." – 1 John 5:7. In this passage, the Holy Spirit refers to the Son of Energy, and contains all that God, the Father-Mother, has sent forth. This Trinity of the Father, Word and Holy Spirit includes the Mother of Love as the loving spoken Word of "let." The Father of Wisdom plans, the Mother of Love says, "let." The Son, as the Holy Spirit, supplies the energy. The Son contains all that the Father and Mother are, for they bestow it on him. Thus, the Holy Spirit bears witness to this record.

"And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." – 1 John 5:8. So three are in heaven and three also on earth. The Father then has written and signed this covenant that first, He has witnessed your life record. Second, He will be forever deathless. Third, He will forever send you forth and draw you back on the River of Life under divine Wisdom, the planning principle of Mind.

You sign that covenant when you really believe that Jesus the Christ is the Begotten Son of God, which gains access to the highest form of spiritual substance for your creations. You are going home. Never plan how, just keep visualizing your completed high vision. You cannot stop. The heaven you go to will depend on how much ballast you carry, your doubts, fears, opinions, prejudices. You can go no higher than your ballast of self will allow.

The silver cord is your line of Light to the Oversoul that God provides in your insurance policy. No matter how often or far you slip, the door is always open. Even if contaminated, you receive healing when you witness and sign your earthly record and cast off the ballast. Many, for instance, give every part of self to God, except their eyes and the need for glasses. You can have 100 percent miracles if you give it all to God. All is one God, Love and Substance, the Father, Mother and Son.

You make your payment when you sign the record with water, blood and Spirit. Water represents the Mother blue of Love. The amount of water in the human body ranges from 50-75 percent.1

Nothing could flow through the universe without the etheric currents, which are the "waters from above." When the etheric inflow thickens, the body sickens. The "blood of the lamb" represents Energy, the red hue of the Christed Son. Faith, as the Son in action, signs and seals you through the water of Spirit, which is the full Substance of God. It takes the action of Spirit to fill a mold. So you sign an agreement acknowledging that your body is composed of God's Substance.

You sign your record with a promise to believe in Jesus the Christ, so the insurance policy works for you to fulfill miracles. Each must visualize his desires for material things, miracles of abundance and healing for loved ones. After you have agreed and promised God, you declare, build a creative mold and move into the hereafter.

What kind of hereafter are you going to make? You cannot live Friday on Sunday, but you can live your hereafter now if you give up the ballast of self, all the selfishness that is not square with God. You can draw the hereafter into the now, and live right. God's commandments are grievous only when they conflict with something self wants, and you buck them and Him. When you recognize that the law and the compassion of God are really worthwhile, you make yourself a miracle.

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." – 1 John 5:12-13. Do not argue about what you cannot accept. Put it on a shelf of Light and Light will resolve it at the right time.

Project yourself into an orbit of joy riding a three-stage rocket: The first stage is love, the second is praise, the third is joy, to "be joyous about everything." God will grant anything you ask according to His will, if you "have confidence in Him." Jesus the Christ guarantees your insurance policy. Jesus' way, the Via Christa, is your guarantee of comprehending the love of God. You write in water, blood and Spirit.

Knowing that all good and perfect gifts come from God, you vow to keep His commandments and orbit him in joy. Not considering the things that are grievous, the greatest shock can be a powerful booster rocket lifting you into joy, which is ascension. You cannot straddle the fence by trying to live today and tomorrow at once. The way of the Christ life is to live in the now, and the next day will be good.

Always surround your house with life and fill the sun centers of every room within it. Fill chairs, rooms, offices, and the driving route to and from work with Light. To prepare the way to your hereafter, make your office, desk and chair into sun spots of Light each evening so that only God remains, not the day's negativity. If you open your soul ears, you can hear the Father speak:

"Sons and daughters of Light, be thou confident in our powers. Walk thou as Light comprehending that thy service is love. I hold the stars and planets in the hollow of My hands and no harm shall come unto thee. The Elect's prayers have been heard and shall be satisfied. I give angels charge over thee. I keep that covenant strong, vital and supreme. On earth, love shall grow and prevail. The love of God shall lift all darkness and Light shall prevail. Let earth rejoice and pray prayers of love. Thy service is under the commandments of God. So shall all the earth come speedily according to the desire of My sons and daughters on earth."

When your heart's desires are flaming to let the full Power of God use you for success, God gives you success. As you let yourself be caught up in the ascension of Spirit, you bear witness, you are open, and you are the Word. Beloved ones, prepare your way. Sign your contract now. Start practicing joy consciousness constantly, and do not consider any of God's commands burdensome.


1^ Guyton, Arthur C. (1976). Textbook of Medical Physiology, "water in the human body." 5th ed., Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders. p. 424.

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Here and the Hereafter

Edna Lister sermon transcript; October 9, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Ruth Johnson, Ross and Virginia Whitehead. Scripture: 1 John 5:1-14.

"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us." – 1 John 5:1-14.

So many who follow the Master express such keen interest in a hereafter that this seems the right and proper time to say to those who seek reassurance, "Read 1 John 5, verses 1 through 14." They are a covenant, a guarantee, a signed insurance policy for the life after death. These verses identify you, give you identity. If you believe that Jesus Christ is the First Begotten Son of God, you hold this policy, witnessed both on earth and in heaven.

Before you came to earth, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit signed your life policy. The Father therefore has written and signed this tripartite covenant: First, He will be the same today, yesterday and forever. He will be deathless, ageless and abiding. Finally, the River of Life, on which everyone rides forth, will bring everyone back home.

In this scripture, the Holy Spirit refers to the Son of all Energy, which contains all that the Father-Mother God has sent into manifestation. The Three signed the policy as personality. You add your signature to that covenant or contract when you really believe that Jesus the Christ is the Begotten Son of God.

The Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit promised that the River of Life would return to the Source. They covenanted that no life spark of spiritual substance should ever be lost or destroyed, although a soul may lose identity through practicing evil. They promised that there would always be a line of Light from the heart of the soul to the heart of God at the Source. God neither slumbers nor sleeps. Angels, as personality, will always be watching over you to direct you on your path

You cosigned an agreement to obey law and live the Christed life after you descended to earth. Then, three more witnesses signed your policy of eternal life: God, as all Mind, Substance and Power, signed by the water, the blood and the Spirit. Spirit used etheric "waters," a ray of energy to build the form in which you dwell. Spirit is the pure vibration of the Word, the Mother, and truth, the Father, as the Son, acting under divine law to condense substance into form.

"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." – 1 John 5:12-13. Thus, these verses establish your identity, which validates your signature on your hereafter contract. When you sign your policy, keep the third verse as a vow: "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous." – 1 John 5:3.

You believe that Jesus was the Son of God, your way-shower, your Light and salvation. Jesus is your guarantee that your life policy is good, and eternal life guaranteed. Most people believe that religion is a kind of insurance policy for a far off hereafter. Yet they should realize that everyone makes his own hereafter in the now.

Each day, everyone is preparing some kind of accessible hereafter, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, or their next birthday. In the same sense, you prepare for that far off hereafter right now. What kind of hereafter are you going to make? Bring your hereafter into the now and live right, remembering that God's commandments are grievous only when they conflict with something you want.

Don't straddle the fence between the hereafter and the now. Recognize that the love of God and the comprehension of God are really worthwhile. What must you do now? Make your own miracle. Project yourself into an orbit of joy by riding a three-stage rocket.

You need to perfect your three firing stages to put your guided missile in a new ascension orbit. The first booster is love, the second is praise and the third stage, joy, lifts you to your new higher orbit.

Most people try to live their here and hereafter now, which is the wrong way. If you worry, fret and seek to force the answers for tomorrow, next week or next month now, you are tearing down the hereafter your good has built. Yet a perfect way to live both your here and hereafter every hour of every day does exist. Promise yourself. As soon as you make the promise or covenant, time becomes your hereafter on the promise. Do you keep it?

Be joyous about everything. When you are joy-filled, God will grant anything you ask in accord with His will, providing you have "confidence in Him."

Everyone goes to some kind of heaven. The ballast you carry, fears, doubts and prejudices, determines the heaven to which you ascend each day. Yet no matter how often or far you slip back, the door is always open.

Consecrate your life in surrender to God. Do you defile your consecration? In one hour, you are living in your hereafter. Open a new vibration of immortality in your new joy orbit.

"This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us." – 1 John 5:14. Beloved ones, prepare your way, sign your contract now. Start practicing joy, and consider not one of God's commands grievous.

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Here and the Hereafter

Edna Lister Prayer Circle speech outline; November 14, 1960, Washington, D.C. Scriptures: 1 John 5:1-4, 1 John 5:14, 1 John 3:1-2, Romans 8:38-39.

"Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loves Him that begat loves him also that is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith." – 1 John 5:1-4.

"This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us." – 1 John 5:14.

"Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore, the world knows us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as He is." – 1 John 3:1-2.

"I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." – Romans 8:38-39.

You hold this precious newborn hour in your hands. How shall you give it life, growth, maturity and make it pay God dividends? You do so through your faith and love.

People spend their whole life in a preparation to live "hereafter." Parents buy insurance policies for their child's college education, annuities to provide security for their old age, and insurance pensions, to say nothing of those who save for a rainy day.

Every hour of the future is a hereafter, here and now. With many, religion is but an insurance policy taken out for the hereafter, meaning death, of course. Faith is the name of your insurance policy, and it guarantees that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is deathless, ageless and abiding. Nothing can be lost or destroyed. God is always available, always sending Light. His angels have charge over you. He guarantees eternal life.

How do you pay the premiums on your faith policy? "Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and everyone that loves Him that begat loves him also that is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith." – 1 John 5:1-4.

"This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us." – 1 John 5:14. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you love God and your neighbor as yourself, and keep God's commandments, which are not grievous. His commandments are grievous only when you hold onto opinions, prejudices, pride of self and act as a know-it-all.

Steadfast faith overcomes the world. Yet, how can you hold fast? "Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore, the world knows us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as He is." – 1 John 3:1-2.

You must know your identity as a son or daughter of God. You could fill a volume with God's promises to you in payment for keeping His commandments and loving your neighbor as yourself. If you are willing to accept the terms of this policy, which define your relationship to and with God, you sign your contract with God. Paying your faith premiums means security against fear, darkness and illness.

Then you can build new prayer molds for your hereafter now. Every hour of every week of every month of the year is your hereafter. You cannot live one hour of it now or answer one question about it now. Trying to live both here and hereafter simultaneously is impossible.

Live now gloriously, and build beautiful prayer molds for your next hereafter. Then, when that hereafter becomes the present, you will have the answers and the faith-substance will fill your molds. Once your prayer ends, your hereafter begins. Stop dragging your now into your hereafter.

People have so many approaches to faith and different types of faith. For example, a paralyzed woman dreamed for twenty years of dancing on a cloud. You need a three-stage rocket to boost you into an ascended orbit of faith. In the first stage, faith looks up and soars. In the second stage, faith looks around to serve while loving its neighbor. The third stage sets you forever in your new orbit of joyous faith, unconquerable and victorious. Increased faith gives you a new feeling of Christed immortality now.

"I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." – Romans 8:38-39.

Nothing can separate you from God. This is your glory, your assurance, your confidence that God is over all. His everlasting arms are beneath you, our nation and the world, and His almighty o'ershadowing wings cover everything and everyone in protection.

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Joyous Praise, the Soul's Exaltation

Edna Lister Prayer Circle newsletter article; November 1960, Washington, D.C. Scriptures: John 15:11, 1 Peter 5:13, Romans 15:13, Psalm 43:4.

"These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." – John 15:11. You might well ask yourself: What have I done with this extra joy our Lord left with me? How have I used my share of joy? Do I share this gift of a joyous Spirit with the world?

"But rejoice … that when his glory shall be revealed ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." – 1 Peter 5:13. To rejoice raises the cells of the physical body, and the fire of fervency awakens the glory within the heart into a flaming desire to reach for the stars.

"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope through the Power of the Holy Spirit." – Romans 15:13. When joy takes over, the Holy Spirit always descends. The Holy Spirit fills the molds of your desires with the Substance of God and begins to attract everything you need for your outer expression. Joy is the active energy of all creation. Joy is the "live wire" of omnipotence.

"Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: Yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, O God, my God." – Psalm 43:4. Joy is your open sesame to life. The door of life swings wide for you to enter into the joy of the Lord.

A song of joy awakens full soul confidence and you walk your path of destiny in glory. Your whole life then becomes an outer expression of the rapture of the soul.

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The Brotherhood of Man

Edna Lister sermon outline; December 4, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Hebrews 2:1-7, Ephesians 1:10.

"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will? For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands – Hebrews 2:1-7.

"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him." – Ephesians 1:10.

We must found the brotherhood of man under creative spiritual values. No matter what the work, such a foundation would make the individual a better, larger person with higher ideals.

The Vision: To serve God and follow the Master, to lead the world to follow, requires people who believe the words of Jesus' message without doubting. Such servants must make themselves as perfect as possible to be able to truly hear, heed and obey. 1 a dedicated person, has devoted her time to service. She says, "The greatest thing in the world is to go out and be." When people stop building fences and start building bridges between people and organizations, we will have a heaven on earth.

When you know that nothing limits God's love, and the Spirit of the living Christ has no boundaries to hold, prevent or block, then you welcome each struggle. Just because you did not pass the exam does not mean that God changed His mind. All your difficulties come from repudiation of law, getting scared, weary or bored.

Boredom is a lack of life. Life is bracing and glorious. Death is boring. Stop following your old worn out opinions and prejudices. Gather together all things in Christ, both in heaven and on earth, through love.

God gave His Son, which reveals a nearly impossible superhuman love. Jesus was this love, for he, too, was God and became a greater part of Him as he lived and served.

To erase a record from a UNIVAC computer, they use an immense charge of electrons, which are one form of God's Power. Like Saul, after his illumination on the road to Damascus, your task is to erase old ideas from the world. To do this, you must release an immense charge of love. You must reach this seemingly impossible love and be and act from there.


1^ Louise W. Eggleston, daughter of a Methodist minister and an author, teacher, philanthropist and religious leader, said, "It was more important to feed our souls than the physical body."

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The Gift of Discernment

Edna Lister sermon outline; December 11, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Matthew 16:13-28, Ephesians 6:19-20, 2 Corinthians 5:20.

"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." – Matthew 16:13-28.

"[Pray] for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." – Ephesians 6:19-20.

"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." – 2 Corinthians 5:20.

"I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." – Matthew 16:19.

We are ambassadors for Christ. An ambassador is a permanent minister between countries, someone who acts on behalf of his nation, and has the power to sign treaties.

This beautiful chapter of Matthew opens with Jesus' exclamation, "O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" – Matthew 16:13.

It is the same today. Some people are still demanding proof and signs. The greatest thing is hidden in between: "And he left them, and departed. And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread." – Matthew 16:4-5.

Tell the story of the sixth to the twelfth verses. "Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." – Matthew 16:6-12.

Thus, he taught them, "Do not run around to listen to everyone who talks or you will become confused." In other words, stick to Jesus' teachings.

Then he dealt with the doctrine of many lives, reincarnation. "Whom do men say that I am?" When they answered, "John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets," he said, "But who do you say that I am?" How gently he led them into the mysteries.

Peter, whose name symbolizes the enduring power of rock, answered that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Explain how Jesus would build his church on the rock of faith and vision, not the man. He made Peter responsible for the vision.

Then it entered a new phase, as Jesus explained his mission. Peter repudiated what the Master was saying. He was loving, impulsive, protective and vulnerable, which you cannot afford to be.

"Get thee behind me, Satan" is a phrase whose common meaning is, "Do not tempt me." Jesus knew that listening to enemies weakens, softens you and drags you down in consciousness.

This chapter contains seven distinct steps: "Take up your cross and follow me." It does not say to climb on the cross and be nailed to it. Integrate this with "My yoke is easy, and my burden is Light." – Matthew 11:30.

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." – Matthew 16:25. An example of this is someone who fears losing his vision. Fearful earth consciousness says, "Save my eyes," while heaven-focused God consciousness says, "Lord, use my eyes."

What price shall a man give in exchange for his soul? God will give your soul eternal life and immortality. "Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." – Matthew 16:28. This refers to the gift of discernment. It takes keen discernment to penetrate the shell and see the seed of God behind the outer appearance, ready to burst into life.

Your difficulty is that you see only what you believe you will see. Stop viewing life as light versus dark, loss versus gain, or weakness versus glory. God life, His gift to you is the Light, gain and glory.

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The Gift of Discernment

Edna Lister sermon transcript; December 11, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Ruth Johnson, Virginia Whitehead. Scriptures: Matthew 16:13-28, Ephesians 6:19-20, 2 Corinthians 5:20.

"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." – Matthew 16:13-28.

"[Pray] for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." – Ephesians 6:19-20.

"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." – 2 Corinthians 5:20.

I love this chapter, which has eight distinct types of expressions, and opens that many vibrations. Every word you speak opens a vibration of blessing or cursing that pushes your creative powers over the line from dormancy into activity. Early in this chapter, the Sadducees and Pharisees had demanded that Jesus show them a sign from heaven. He called them hypocrites, a wicked and adulterous generation, and told them they could not read the signs of the times.

Matthew 16:4 says he left them and departed across the water. The next verse says his disciples came to the other side, but they had forgotten to bring bread. Jesus had disappeared between verses four and five, but his disciples knew where to find him. "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees" he tells them, speaking of the leaven of criticism, doubt and hatred that would spoil everything mixed with it. They thought he was talking about the bread that they had forgotten.

He tells them, "O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the 5,000 and how many baskets you took up?" He meant for them to beware of talk against him.

Jesus asked them, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" They gave him various answers, so he asked them again, "But whom do you say that I am? Simon Bar-Jonah had the illumination and answered him, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus named him Peter, which means "rock" and "power." Jesus wanted his church built on what Peter's name represented, not on Peter himself.

"The gates of hell shall not prevail against it" includes the world's "isms," such as communism, imperialism, materialism, rationalism and vibrations of the Antichrist. Do you believe it? You can turn your back temporarily, but you are going home. Civilization is coming up. The dirty crust on earth is surfacing and being cleansed.

"From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day." – Matthew 16:21. Peter was vulnerable when Jesus told of his coming death, and exclaimed, "Far be it from you, Lord; this shall not happen to you!" Jesus answered saying, "Get behind me Satan!" — meaning, "Do not tempt me."

Jesus must have wondered if he'd had enough time with his disciples, knowing that he may not have gotten his message across in three years. He may have wanted more time. He told Peter, "You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." He was still training the disciples in obedience to law, because love becomes soft when it forgets to accept and obey law. Peter had no right to say it would not be.

The law is, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." – Matthew 16:24. Take up your cross, balance it, start walking, and declare that whatever comes is good. I know of no verse in the Bible that says you must go all the way to be nailed to the cross. You can make your cross of worldly or family criticism into Light, declare it good until it becomes lighter, disappears. You will wonder why you were upset. Choose to appear to take things lightly under joyous lifting. Say, "My yoke is easy and my burden is Light."

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" – Matthew 16:26. What price do you put on your soul? If you lay your cross down irresponsibly, you can lose your own soul or part of it. Rewards come to each according to his works, and you are credited according to your ability. Everyone always makes his vows from the teeth out at first. Yet you must accept and continue.

"Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." – Matthew 16:28. A ray from the Source illumines every picture of the Master. All who believe do see the Master before death, and the disciples did see him.

Discernment is insightful perception. Your soul vision must penetrate through the appearance into the seed of God that is in everything earth produces, down to the tiniest mustard seed. Can you see the God seed? If your love has become a true vibration of law, the seed will burst from within. You see nothing that you do not believe you will see. If you believe that you see the Master before you, you will see him.

Solomon asked, and God gave him understanding to discern judgment. Malachi said discernment was judgment, or common sense. To me, judgment means a "just appraisal." For example, when you see someone on the street who looks gray, you know he needs lifting.

You must discern to penetrate the appearance of time to use it well as it comes. You can use time as it passes, but you cannot make it hurry. When seeking to penetrate time, you must desire to give it your greatest expression. Flow smoothly with time, without conflict.

"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." – 2 Corinthians 5:20. A nation's ambassador has power to sign treaties for his government. However, an ambassador of Light has authority to speak for God. God puts the right words on your lips at the right time. Yet you must be conscious of it to know what agreements you have signed.

"[Pray] for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." – Ephesians 6:19-20. Before you speak, think, "I am an ambassador in bonds." A bondsman is a sponsor. When in bonds, you dare not speak without assuming full responsibility for every word. As an ambassador in bonds, God gives you the keys to the kingdom. Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever you bind in heaven is bound on earth. When you leave a high position above, it remains open to whoever has earned the right to it through honor and justice, not through covetousness. Only one who loves God more selflessly than you do may take your place.

"Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." – Matthew 28:20. The Master holds the same love for us that he always had. The Master has equal Power with the Father because of his great sacrifice, and only he can give us the keys of love, compassion and understanding to unlock the kingdom for the souls of children of men. It takes joy consciousness to push these keys through the rusty locks of heaven's doors.

When you go home as an ambassador in bonds to Christ, you do not need keys, for you are already there. You are an ambassador, honor-bound to give love, compassion and understanding to everyone whom you contact. So use these Keys of the Kingdom to unlock Heaven's Gates for humanity.

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The Ladder of Faith

Edna Lister sermon outline; December 18, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Matthew 6:5-15, Revelation 8:1-5.

"When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." – Matthew 6:5-15.

"And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake." – Revelation 8:1-5.

Incense represents darkness from earth that ascends with your prayers to the angel with a censer, who receives it. Its substance is then added again to God's Light as Mind, Substance and Power, as one. Mind, Substance and Power are like triplets with a shared umbilical line joining them. If Power and Substance are torn loose from Mind by the wrench of force, they must be redeemed the same way, through force.

The substance can be added this way at the altar. Power, however, must be redeemed by absorbing the force through an object, represented by the thunder, lightning and earthquake in this text. You do this through prayer. Thus, your ultimate reason for prayer is to reintegrate all separated Mind, Power, and Substance, which must be added to the whole again.

What is prayer? What does it do for you? Prayer is the only key to unlock the master switch to turn on the full Light of the Source of All Power. Without it, nothing happens. The proud Pharisees stood on street corners holding the gifts they were taking to the temple for everyone to see. Jesus pointed out that by doing this, they had their reward. Your reward is exact. You receive just as much as you put into your prayer. Skull bumper prayers are lukewarm. Ceiling bumper prayers are getting warm.

Some who pray get bored and go to sleep in the golden silence. People often complain that group prayers are boring. Do not listen to the words of others, but ride out on silent praise and devotion to see and hear spiritually. Prayer is the only way to really contact the Source. Do not try to take self into the silence with you. Lift the day's episodes onto a cloud of fire. One statement is enough. You need only a glance at the negatives, not pondering them.

Many use the silence to contemplate, analyze, and rationalize, which is the self. Yet the only way into the heart of prayer is through praise. Prayer opens on praise and ends on praise, never, ever on self or on needs. Praise forms a shaft of Light, direct from the Source, over your head, the same Light that protected Daniel in the lions' den.

If your mind is full of needs of self, sit down and write God a letter, telling Him all about it. Seal it, then mail it with a match. Burn it and say, "Thank You, Father." Then go sit in the golden silence, offering praise.

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

"Our Father which art in heaven." – Matthew 6:9. Our Father is the world sponsor of all humanity. He is all-inclusive, a shared Father, the One God, over all.

"Hallowed be Thy name." – Matthew 6:9. To hallow is to honor as holy. Approach God with awe, devotion, and honor, to stand on holy ground.

"Thy kingdom come." – Matthew 6:10. What kind of kingdom is this? Jesus spoke of the kingdom in the parable of the pearl of great price. He also said it was like a mustard seed, aggressive, like leaven, able to expand, and pervasive. To make bread, you must knead and mold it. Your results, light or dark, depend on the kind of leaven you use, of the soul or the self.

"Thy will be done." – Matthew 6:10. Wisdom operates as will in man. You have free choice as to how you use your will. A hair's breadth separates determination and personal force. There is no danger if you use "let" when you speak the Word. Then lay it on the altar and forget about it. Continue to thank the Father that you already have your desire. Proverbs 22:4 says that the rewards of humility and fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life.

"Give us this day our daily bread." – Matthew 6:11. Be thankful, and use what you have this day. "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." – Matthew 6:12. Give love for whatever comes your way. Then you will have no past because you have forgiven.

"Lead us not into temptation." – Matthew 6:13. You lead yourself into every temptation you choose to pursue. God uses every tempter to fulfill His purposes.

"Deliver us from evil." – Matthew 6:13. Your task is always to ask God to send Light. Light is the "ladder of faith." Prayer is an emotional outlet and your only way of adding Mind, Substance and Power together again. Prayer becomes your ladder of faith. When you pray without ceasing, your prayers build that ladder rung by rung.

Love is principle. Faith is the application of principle in the outer world. Faith is your expression of an inner love of God. Prayer will carry you any distance, up in consciousness and ascension, or to outer success. ascend in consciousness first, and consider the outer last, but your prayer must be continuous. Prayer is your jet engine. Faith is the Power to run it.

Faith is also the great finale to prayer. Some folks never listen to God. They never hear, never have time, but are just too busy to wait for the answer. Once you use praise to make your contact and God is on the line, remember to turn your switch to God and say, "Over." Then you will hear God's Voice.

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The Ladder of Faith

Edna Lister sermon transcript; December 18, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Ruth Johnson, Virginia Whitehead. Scriptures: Matthew 6:5-15, Revelation 8:1-5.

"When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." – Matthew 6:5-15.

"And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake." – Revelation 8:1-5.

We have never taught this portion of Revelation as part of our prayer formula, but it is. It gives us a universal reason to pray. Include yourself in prayer, because you are part of the whole. You get exactly what you fish for in the River of Life. Your fishing rod of divine Mind must be well baited with love of God or you catch nothing, your prayer brings no results. Unfortunately, some people feel self-important when they pray. Prayer must be well-nigh boiling with the love of God, or no answer comes.

"And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets." – Revelation 8:2. The angel trumpeters are agents of God, who sound the trumpets on January 12 and August 10, and life quickens. These verses mention thunder and lightning. Thunder heralds God announcing a new, increased vibration in the universe. Lightning symbolizes seven Light rays, which means God is revving up universal activity, rewinding the celestial clock to accelerate time or release new Light as Power. Time ticks faster when God releases Power. Time now seems accelerated, and it is. We are moving faster than ten years ago, and put more into a day, so we know the trumpets have sounded again.

"Another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand." – Revelation 8:3-4. These verses assure us that a divine personality always hears our prayers. We are those saints, the ascending Elect, whose prayers rise as incense before the throne.

To pray for someone who has misused law, lift his negativity as a dark cloud of "incense" that rises to an inner altar. God neglects no one. Your prayers of love for others ascend to the proper altar, which absorbs the substance as smoke.

"The angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth." – Revelation 8:5. The love of God within that fire cast to earth draws all similar force left on earth to itself. When you misuse law, you separate Mind, Power and Substance. Power and Substance fill your molds and churn Substance into visible manifestation. You can separate them only through misuse of Mind. Yet the result then is lifeless. For instance, negative emotions such as resentment, revenge motives, and criticism can emotionally tinge soul substance. A mother who says, "Just wait, my dear, some day someone will do to you what you are doing now," is expressing a revenge motive.

"There were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake." – Revelation 8:5. When you separate Mind, Power and Substance, the wrenching causes "earthquakes" of illness or accidents. Lift the "thunder and lightning" force, which describes spiritual debts contracted by personalities. Personality must lift force. You sent out the force, so it returns to you to endure and lift, to show you where you are remiss before God.

The meaning of the Golden Age is to live both sides of life, inner and outer at once, as Jesus did. Live in the world while you maintain consciousness of the golden silence, which you can enter only on praise. Praise God and lift all others to their own secret place.

"When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward." – Matthew 6:5. The Pharisees stood and prayed publicly on the street corners. Their reward was having others see them. If you take self into prayer, you get your reward, more self. Self is an illness. Get rid of it.

"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." – Matthew 6:7-8. You need not mention anyone's ills or needs, for God knows all needs. Say, "Father, please let my voice lift this force." Ascend into the golden Light where the angels stand, and lift that force in love and praise.

Most people tell God how they ache because others misunderstand them. You need not pray for self. If you must pray for self, write God a letter and burn it. Set a match to the kindling of self and let the incense of your prayers arise. Put the troublemakers on a cloud continent of Light, surrounded by fiery lights, saying, "Let the Power go forth, Father, to fill them and blanket earth."

Prayer is the flowing water of the River of Life. Prayer is knowing that God is, an assurance and confidence, the glory of soul expressing. High prayer is a glory. Your room of Light is right here, right now. Enter your temple of soul, close the door to the world and say, "Here they are, Father."

The eighth angel in the text from Revelation symbolizes the eight phases of the Lord's Prayer: "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." – Matthew 6:9. Every world religion has an equivalent of the Our Father. You invoke Him when you say, "Our Father which art in heaven." If the whole world talked about the Father, we could have no false gods. We are all one. With this phrase, you knock on the door to heaven.

"Thy kingdom come." – Matthew 6:10. What is your idea of being in heaven with the Father? Is it to be happy and make the other fellow good? Your job is to be good and make the other fellow happy. You can ask for a raise today but it may be a bad day for the boss. Fill the boss's office with a sun center of Light before entering. Ascend above the sidereal vibration, to the Source of God.

How big is your heaven? How big is your reward? Like a mustard seed that will grow into a mighty tree? Like leaven that causes a loaf to rise? Love fills a room like leaven. Love fills a family when you love enough. Leaven thoroughly permeates bread, as your Father permeates you.

You get leaven to work by kneading it, then deflating it so it can inflate again. You pummel it to mix it thoroughly and cause it to rise. When life pummels you, God is preparing you to expand. Life needs to deflate you before you are any good. This hurts, but it works to your glory.

"Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." – Matthew 6:10. The will of God is Wisdom expressing as absolute perfection, a principle flowing through the River of Life, and all the Power released by exercising free will. Choice is free, but your results will depend on what you choose. You can let your will express as the love of God, or love of self.

When you use your great faculties of determination and steadfastness, it stiffens your spine to bear the difficulties of earth, not like a rod of brittle iron, but like a strong yet pliable willow. The spine is your rod of Power. When someone injures his stiff and brittle back, he has used will for the self.

"Give us this day our daily bread." – Matthew 6:11. If you ask for something next June and not for this day, what will you have today? Nothing, for you will spread today's good thinly on next June's slice. Put your plans on clouds of Light, and arrange different prayer molds on different clouds. Keep your molds for future months separate from today's. Pray for today's good first. Do not let anything fog your molds as you pray for today's good. Keep your future molds polished and fill them at other times. Pray in steps, in the right order, or scattered prayer will delay your miracles.

"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." – Matthew 6:12. This phrase mentions debts and debtors. If you forgive the debts others owe you, your Father will forgive your debts. Pouring love on everyone is crucial. Live as the Christ would live and imagine that you are Christed.

God cannot forgive you if you still charge a debt of blame or guilt to yourself or others. If you cannot declare that Light absorbs the past, you have not forgiven your debtors. What you bind or loose on earth is bound or loosed in heaven. "Father, forgive my debts" is self-thinking that blocks your good. "Father, forgive me" is the prescription. Debts blossom when you want someone else to pay them.

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." – Matthew 6:13.God never leads you into temptation, but you lead yourself with self-thinking and devotion to self. Do not blame yourself for the past, just ascend high enough to lift the force you have created to the altar. Grab negative thoughts, ascend them, and change them into Light.

Every day you cry, "Father, deliver me." Every day God delivers you from something, from your one small inanity to your million stupidities. He delivers you from your self-created evils all the time. For everything you lift, He lifts you miles and delivers you. He makes you remember to return and finish what you have left undone. God speaks to you as your conscience.

"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." – Matthew 6:13. Prayer builds your ladder of faith, and you build another rung when you stand firm. Love is the principle. However, faith builds your love into visibility, and keeps it operating and working. Faith is the expression of love that makes things visible.

Prayer is too often a one-sided affair. Many reach the golden silence, and may stay there all day, but complain that they do not hear God's Voice. To see and hear spiritually, you must listen. High prayer tunes you to God's broadcasting station. You can train your ears until you rev your spiritual hearing up to a higher band. Say, "Here I am, God. Over," as aviators do, then listen.

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


Edna Lister


References

Louise W. Eggleston, author, teacher, philanthropist and religious leader, said, "It was more important to feed our souls than the physical body."

ENIAC and UNIVAC computers: The History of Computing Project

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

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).