Edna Lister’s Sermons 1961, Part I.





















Forgiveness

Edna Lister Good Friday sermon outline; March 31, 1961, Baltimore, Maryland. Scripture: Romans 8:35-39.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For 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 8:35-39.

From the creature to the creator, all souls are learning how to be conquerors. The creature moves up in consciousness for God to bestow the first portion of a living soul, then climbs in the long slow process to become a son or daughter of men.

As you accept that you must pay obedience to the Christ laws, and assume the attendant responsibilities, you become a son or daughter of God. Then, and only then, can you learn how to become a creator.

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do." – John 14:12. When you live by the laws of love and compassion, your devotion to Jesus the Christ begins to show as the greater works in your daily life, through your body, face, eyes and words. All of Jesus' teachings have outlined this as the Way of the Christ.

His seven Words, which are proclamations he spoke from the cross, have mystical meanings, and practical ones as well. They represent seven ways or attitudes you must assume in your daily life. They are the seven ways you can and must walk on the Via Christa, the Way of the Christ.

The first way is forgiveness. "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." – Luke 23:43. The second way is consideration for others, and responsibility to people. "Woman, behold your son. Behold your mother." – John 19:26-27.

The third way is the fruit of repentance, which opens the gates to heaven, both here and hereafter. "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." – Luke 23:43. Repentance does not pay your debt, but makes it possible to pay your debts.

The fourth way is surrender, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" – Matthew 27:46. The Supreme had fully o'ershadowed Jesus from the Mount of Transfiguration on. He had to withdraw all this Light, which had imbued his soul substance, before he could leave earth. Yet you must surrender self so that Light can move in to possess you. Later you must surrender your self-centered will to lighten your soul to ascend.

The fifth way is, "I thirst." – John 19:28. Jesus' thirst was physical, but yours must be a soul thirst for spiritual waters to cleanse and wash away all taints of earth.

The sixth way is, "It is finished!" – John 19:30. You end self's reign when you let go of your need to control, and let God rule. The seventh way is the complete surrender of self to do God's will. "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." – Luke 23:46.

Easter morning opens the forty days to Ascension Day, which must be forty days of soul ascension for you. The sacrifices of self that you make during Lent are supposed to create enough space in your mind and heart for the Holy Spirit to pour in, which is the Power of God using you.

Yet sacrifice is only half of what you need. The other half, the first law of forgiveness is the secret of your preparedness. You pass through three stages of forgiveness as you ascend. First, you have a faint glimmering of the need to forgive, where you say, "I'll forgive him, but he'd better never do it again." You offer no excuse for the other fellow.

The enemy-idea binds you fast on earth because you are still enemy-conscious. You must reach the fringes of the second stage before you even consider giving up the enemies you so cherish. Get off your cushion of self-righteousness, and look in the mirror. If you hate what you see in the little self, you are blaming yourself for failures and shortcomings.

Blaming the self is just as wrong as blaming another. So you learn to say, "Father, may You forgive them, for they know not what they have done." Consider this — you are still blaming them, but are beginning to excuse them. Still, an inner conflict is continuing between little me and "I AM" Christed consciousness. Each day you must choose who is starting your day, "I AM" or little me. This conflict of who-takes-whom-where rages, subsides, then flares again.

Yet one day you can say, "Lord, please prepare a table for me in the presence of my loved ones" instead of "my enemies." You no longer give anyone or anything in the world power over you. Family, friends or the world can no longer condition your life.

You reach up to the third stage and say, "Father, forgive me, lest I cause my brother to stumble." Something happens! A glory floods you and rapture fills your soul. You no longer sag at the soul-seams. Gather your years of experience in recollection and delight in their beauty. Tune in on the miracle station, "Life Unlimited."

Every day is a new adventure when you have fallen in love with God. You have traveled from being a son or daughter of man to being a son or daughter of God, and have now become a creator of miracles, doing the greater works. Know that Jesus walks beside you and holds your hand. He has promised to be with you "even unto the end of the world" of darkness. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" – Romans 8:31.

Please let me share with you a picture of him as he is today: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For 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 8:35-39.

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A Formula for Daily Living

Edna Lister Prayer Circle newsletter article; April 1961, Washington, D.C. Scripture: John 3:2.

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be." – John 3:2.

Love, faith and praise are the three most important keys to the kingdom of heaven. They are limitless cosmic principles that you are supposed to contact and use lavishly all your earth life.

God sent us here with the power of choice in using love, faith and praise. What you think about them, the use you make of them is yours alone. How you use them today determines what your tomorrow will be. What you think, feel and say about today will appear tomorrow as your life's expression.

The quantity of your love determines the quality of your faith. If the little daily frustrations of life dilute your love, your life will not filled with greater love and joy tomorrow. If you dilute your faith by doubts and fears, you will delay your miracles.

Since praise is the motive power behind every miracle of your life, it follows that it sets both love and faith into action. Therefore, the more you praise, the more vitalized and quickened your love and faith will become.

If your molds of desire are well planned and built, and by praise you keep the substance of love and faith flowing continuously into them, nothing should delay your speedy results.

Praising God keeps love flowing to touch everything about you with its transforming magic. Praise is your only hold on your own constancy and alertness. Praise increases the warmth of God's love to hold the fires of faith burning at the white point of heat in your crucible of life.

Pure love, held constantly, melts all obstacles and barriers this world can produce between you and your fulfilled dream desires. Yet you must constantly feed your molds with the substance of love and faith if they are ever to be filled and so become visible.

When your praise is weak or fades through neglect, allowing love to cool, and faith to falter, you do not grow in greater strength and courage with comprehension of God's bountiful laws unfolding for you.

Only praising can hold the vibration of love and faith high enough to keep them flowing, unchanged in quantity and quality. Unless you hold the vibration steadfastly, the wavering in your love and faith will create thin spots in your prayer molds, which will leak, causing delay.

To know that nothing can separate you from the love and faith of God brings miracle after miracle. To praise and name everything that comes to you by God's name on earth, good, gives principle a chance to transform any darkness into Light.

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be." – John 3:2. Thus, "all things work together for good to them that love God" enough. Then shall it appear that you truly are a son or daughter of God. It shall then also appear what you can do and be when you love God enough.

When your faith is constant and strong enough to overcome things of the world, praise will be your companion, day and night. Beloved, now we are the sons of God and it does appear that we are doing the greater works and becoming the outer fulfillment of joy.

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No Shadow of Turning

Edna Lister Prayer Circle sermon outline; May 1, 1961, Washington, D.C. Scripture: James 1:17.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, or shadow of turning." – James 1:17.

Everyone can see the wonders of spring. Every bush, every tree is bursting with new leaves and blossoms. Breathtaking beauty comes from the cold and darkness of winter. Do you actually believe this beauty has come into being overnight? You know better.

The Master hinted at what has been going on in the invisible realm when the trees looked dead: "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." – John 14:10. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." – John 5:17.

A quiet process has been happening underneath the apparently dead surface, the process of appropriation. The process of appropriation has three phases, expansion, explosion and expression.

The bulb appropriates nutrients, expanding until it bursts into a shoot. The tree appropriates vitality all winter, until it bursts into buds. Each living thing is reaching, pushing upward to the Light and to its particular expression of "added things." Nature meets the challenge of the sun by expanding the life in all living things.

How does this apply to your life? You can appropriate from three sources only, Mind, Substance and Power. Further, you have three tools with which you can appropriate, your imagination, thinking and desires, or emotions. How you use your tools determines how much you desire to appropriate.

Under expansion, your imagination should broaden your horizon with every lecture you attend, book you read, and idea you hear. Every truth to which you are exposed, every prayer you offer will expand your imaginative faculty.

When your love has grown great enough, appropriated enough Light as Mind, Substance and Power, an explosion must result. What happens when your present shell reaches a bursting point?

Do you reach for the sun, more love, and more Light? Or do you weep over the loss of the old shell? No one can return to yesterday any more than the chick can return to its egg, which is the metaphysical explanation of Humpty-Dumpty. A lost paradise is an outgrown shell. An angel with a flaming sword stands guard against your return to the past.

"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.

Let your expression now blossom. A lost paradise always appears after the highest illumination you've had, the highest prayer you've ever offered. Your explosion into Light uncovers your formerly hidden weaknesses.

Do not hunt the bomb shelter of self to hide from God or man. Never pout or sulk because God has not done what you have demanded. Self looks backward, saying, "I have given," and demands more. Soul looks upward and onward, declaring, "Let me give more" in love and compassion.

"My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." – John 5:17. Do the next thing next. Redouble your fervency, your joy. Take a firm grip on your rudder of life, steering imagination, thinking and desires as emotions.

If you're tired of sailing blind, put in a new instrument panel. Label your controls No Variableness, No Wavering, No Shadows of Self, No Turning from the Light. See God as Light.

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Edna Lister sermon outline; June 4, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 1:17-23.

"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.

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." – Ephesians 1:17-23.

When is prayer at work? All the time. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." – John 5:17. These may be just words unless you put a deep, inner conviction behind them. Your results depend on the depth of your convictions.

How do you know that your prayers are working? Are there any guidelines? How do you know what is good to pray for? Is there any way to be sure?

In the past, people tried to ensure that their prayers would get to God by self-flagellation, starvation, wearing hair shirts, and punishing the body to save the soul. Even today, some sects ban movies, dancing, card games, or wearing jewelry. Doing these things as self-torture is just one step from forcing others to become "good" according to some particular doctrine. Today they call it brainwashing, but it is still the use of force.

The Western world experienced a wave of revulsion against self-inflicted cruelty and torture after the Medieval Era. Yet again, various meditation practices have swept the United States from the Orient. Fakirs walk on hot coals, and sleep on beds of nails, and swords.

The first thing they teach is to relax, to get comfortable and let go of all conscious thought. Complete inactivity, to become peaceful and quiet, is a preparation for sleep and death, not a better life. Forcing your focus on nothing instantly lowers the vibration of body cells, and a dying down of all active vibration. The result of which, of course, is to go to sleep.

You can let go either down or up in consciousness. A lower vibration is a colder vibration, which tightens the nerves until you huddle to remain warm. When you settle inside the body, you close the mental body lotus petals to any new thinking. Ascend in consciousness to warmer nerves, not a sunken slackening, but an ascending relaxation. The nerves expand as you think up in consciousness, let go of all tension, and lift it into Light, giving it to God.

Meditation teachers instruct their followers to take a mantra, a formula of words with them into the silence, to meditate on them. Such mental action starts an inner conflict of association and comparison. The mantra is still for the little me because the self is still interested in thinking about and considering only its relationship to God. Self is still dwelling on self.

Prayers work at the vibration level of the prayer. Each prayer is working on a set level, a level set by self or by soul. If you ask for peace, it provides no energy, no activity, because peace operates as quiet, sleep or death. Even if you ask for strength, saying, "Father, please fill me with strength," the prayer goes forth according to the fervor behind your words.

Such prayer is still on the level of my relationship to God, and further lowers my vibration. Prayer based on the level of God's relationship to you, raises your vibration, which explains "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." – John 5:17. The right way to pray must be something else. How do you know what is good? Are your prayers spiritually legal?

First, ask yourself, Do I really want what I have asked for, or is it something I think I want? One story illustrates this point. As a youth, St. Augustine caused his mother great anxiety. He was a wayward son, rebellious, disobedient, with no interest in the Church. He wanted to leave home for the big city, Rome. His mother prayed novenas, lit candles to all the saints to keep him at home. God did not answer her prayers. She wanted her son saved, yet worded her prayers based on the self and her will for her son. Augustine went to Rome, and somehow met St. Ambrose, who trained him. Eventually, he became St. Augustine, a wonderful man, who saved many souls. Yet, God had ignored his mother's spoken prayers. God instead answered her heart's deep desire to save her son.

Prayer, to be right, must be purged of self. To be legal, prayer must be selfless, and for the world. God looks into the hearts of those who pray. What is not answered, is not good for your soul growth. Say instead, "God, please take my weak, ineffectual prayers, and throw them into the scrap basket. Please give me Your prayers for me."

Second, ask yourself, "Are my prayers selfish, or are they for everyone?" God is only interested in the best for everyone. He has an inexhaustible supply of legal blessings, so climb the ladder of prayer.

Third, ask yourself, "Will I declare everything good? Am I willing to become what God wants me to become? Do I want to be the kind of person for whom God answers prayer?"

Do you still want your way without giving up self, just paying lip service? When you surrender self to be used by the Power, nothing of self or darkness can withhold God's Light, life or abundance from you. God cannot restrain Himself from giving you all good things for doing so would contravene His laws for Creation. God is always ready and available, and He always says yes.

Stand in your own shaft of Light right now. No one is too insignificant to be answered. No one is greater than another. When you follow law, you experience no delays in life. However, you must know that your answer is always there, waiting for you. Declare, "I do know that my own good is there all the time, waiting for me." Remain mentally and emotionally still until you can feel the Light. This is how to "wait upon the Lord."

Will you hear a Voice? Perhaps, but no matter, wait until the abundance of Light convinces your sense of knowing. After you ask, you should experience a feeling of warmth, a glow while waiting in the Light. This is the right way, the "up" way. If you doubt, you will feel no warmth, for it is a "no."

Then, change your form of asking. It does not mean that your desire is illegal, but that your form of asking is illegal. Also, you can substitute praise for asking that your desire be fulfilled. Stand, praise, and wait in the Light.

One moment of fervent praise is worth an hour of lukewarm armchair meditation. Use contemplation in the Light instead of meditation on self-centered words. "Be ye raised up from the dead" of your overstuffed chair. The "first death" is a lowered vibration. The "second death" is sinking lower in vibration to loss of identity with your Source.

Whatever you declare good is named and numbered Good above. A miracle is a desire to which you have given enough life to act on earth. Jesus said, "Some here shall never see death," meaning that they would never have a lowered vibration.

Ordinary meditation lowers the vibration to descend in consciousness. If the crown lotus petals close, it drives the Oversoul from the body. It shuts out life, and you cannot contact God. Create a quiet time in which to contemplate life and Light, and to ascend. You will know that your prayers are at work.

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When Prayer Is at Work

Edna Lister sermon transcript; June 4, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Margaret Pratt Doan, Ruth Johnson, Ross and Virginia Whitehead. Scriptures: Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 1:17-23.

"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.

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." – Ephesians 1:17-23.

Prayer is at work all the time. Our Father neither slumbers nor sleeps. Use these verses as your mottoes: "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." – John 14:10. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." – John 5:17. This is all you need, yet these declarations may be just words without a deep conviction underneath. The power of your words, your results depend on the depth of your convictions.

Most people ask several questions regarding prayer: How do I know if my method of prayer is working? What guidelines should I use? How do I know what is good to pray for? Is there any way to be sure? Prayers work at the vibration level of the prayer. Each prayer works on a level you set with your fervency of desire and devotion when you begin to pray.

"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." – Romans 8:28. So, continue praising no matter whether your prayer seems to be working. To be successful, offer your prayer on a love vibration, because Light as Mind, Substance and Power works on the level of your consciousness. In former times, people practiced flagellation and starvation. They lay on nails, swords, and walked on hot coals. Such practices began in India where certain fakirs mutilated and immolated themselves.

Later the early Christian world held the idea that anything enjoyable or pleasing was the work of the devil. They wore hair shirts, meted out punishments for pleasure and practiced self-mortification to kill self and save the soul. Self-torture historically has degenerated into torturing others to convert them or to make them more religious. Even today, some sects refuse to dance, play cards, see movies or watch television.

All modern brainwashing and cruelty spring from such practices and the use of force. Self-torture is a repulsive idea, so the pendulum then swung to Oriental forms of meditation. Meditation has two phases, high and low. On the low pole, meditation is just concentration, which tightens the nerves and takes you nowhere fast. That's why we call it "ceiling bumping."

Some methods tell you to be comfortable, in the right position, to relax and let go of all conscious thought. They recommend complete inactivity, peacefulness and quiet, which are the preparations for sleep or death. This instantly results in lowering the body cells' vibration, and causes all active vibrations to die down to nothing. People, of course, go to sleep.

Others tell you to take a personal mantra, a formula of words into the silence to meditate on them. Mental action creates an inner conflict, because the word-formula is still for little me. Self is interested in and thinks about its relationship to God, which is still self-centered.

Some schools of meditation tell you to ask for peace, a vibration that lacks energy or activity besides the quiet of sleep or death. You can enter the silence seeking peace and you may get it, but when you seek peace for the self, it is inactive. Your vibration dies as you meditate on words such as peace, because you have now named peace as your goal. Thus, and you shut out the mainstream of the River of Life. To seek peace is selfish.

Other schools tell their followers to ask for strength, so they ask, "Fill me with strength." Yet strength is a powerful quality and you cannot get it from meditation. Prayer is different from meditation. Prayer goes forth according to the fervor behind the words.

Prayer on the level of your relationship with God lowers your vibration. Prayer based on God's relationship to you raises the vibration, since it expresses the law of "My Father works hitherto, and I work."

A lower vibration is a colder vibration that tightens the nerves. You huddle to get warm and your mental body lotus petals close. Einstein taught that when mass accelerates in energy, it becomes light. Nerves can relax only under love's warmth, but become numb while you concentrate on cold peace.

When you ascend in energy, you call it ascension, which results in warmer nerves, not a sunken but an ascending relaxation. Think up in consciousness, let go of all tension, and lift self and self's problems to a cloud continent of Light. You either can let down or go up in consciousness.

Enter the golden silence to relax your nerves. Add love, and the vibration increases. When you try to escape life, you lower your vibration. Add more life to meditation, and leave out self to ascend. When you ascend on a high vibration to meditate, you establish God's relationship to you, not yours to God.

How do I know what is good? Are my prayers spiritually legal? Do I really want what I ask for, or is it what I think I want?

The story of St. Augustine illustrates all these questions. He was a wayward son, rebellious, disobedient and would have nothing to do with the Church when he was in his early teens. Instead, he wanted to leave home for the big city, Rome. His mother prayed novenas and lit candles to all the saints to keep him at home. Yet God did not answer her prayer. God does not answer any prayer to make you feel good or to satisfy your self-centered desires.

Augustine went to Rome, somehow met St. Ambrose, who made a man of the callow youth and trained him. Augustine became one of the greatest of saints, a saver of many souls. His mother's prayer went unanswered, because she worded it for the self, dictating to God, playing God, though she wanted her son to be saved. Instead, God answered this mother's deepest desire.

God always answers the sincere prayer of the soul, when purged of self. Prayer, to be right and legal, must be selfless and for the world. God looks into the hearts of all who pray and answers only the good.

The world needs activity. Prayer always works according to the state of your consciousness. Power requires something to work with, and it works on the vibration you establish.

Do you really want what you are praying for? Are you wording your prayer as a thank-you? Say to God, "Father, please pray for me and through me so that Your Power expresses as me." Declare that the Power of God is filling you.

Are you praying for what you think someone else should have? Put each person on a cloud continent of Light, declare perfection and all that God wants for him. Declare, "Let illumination move through him to awaken his mind and heart." If you look around to see if God is answering your prayer, you tear it to pieces. Leave it to God.

Do you know when your prayers are spiritually legal? They are when you pray for God to do the work and preface your requests and declarations with "let." Are you a person whom God can trust with answered prayers? No matter how God answers your prayer, despite the form it takes, if you can stand and say, "Thank You, Father, this is good," you are a person for whom God can answer prayer.

Are you willing to give up man-made ideas of good and bad to say, "This is good," to each blow? "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." – Romans 8:28. God gives you time to pick up the obstacles your cross-vibrations created. When you have had an answer to prayer, God has gathered all things up as one in Christ.

How can you have perfection in your life? The Psalmist said, "I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever." – Psalm 23:6. The Master said, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." – John 14:2. You each have a room there — the mansion of soul, the golden bowl, the crown lotus, your head. When you live in the higher creative center, it frees you of earth's bedevilment.

Some people say, "Don't bother God with little things." Yet, this attitude is abortive since nothing is small. How can you bother God? Do you bother the water company when you ask them to turn on the water? Turning on light does not bother the power company, so how can you bother God? God pours forth His Love.

Ascend in consciousness to your upper room and stand under the Light in the House of the Lord. Your nerves expand in the warmth of the love of God. Declare, "This is my way of life. I know prayer works." Stretch out your arms, saying, "Father, please touch everyone on my list."

You have the power of choice in meditation. "I stand in the Light, not to meditate but to contemplate God's goodness and greatness while Power is doing the work." Sitting in a chair, relaxing while praying is good, but remain spiritually active, positive, loving and selfless in God. Do not force your will.

Name the person you would treat, not from meditative peace, but from on high, covered in Light as you speak the Word. Light from the Source then moves through you to stretch your nerves and to heal you and those for whom you pray. Always pray from "up there." You can speak the Word from anywhere, or pray while you work. When you come to a rest period, pray and rest up as God holds you in the Heart of the Almighty.

Leave it all to the Father in your prayers. Pray from a vital point of Light, until you feel warm, and know the work is done because Power goes forth to heal. Live in a state of poise, a high contemplative point of serene poise, not armchair peace.

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Know That God Takes Charge

Edna Lister sermon outline; June 11, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: John 10:25-42.

"Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God. If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, and went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. And many believed on him there." – John 10:25-42.

In the past, men built bridges level with the banks of rivers. To meet the needs of tall ships, they began to build drawbridges; they built three over the Wilamette River in Portland, Oregon. Then came the "jack-knife" bridges that fold up, built on great pylons and piers. Next they built towering arch bridges, such as the Washington Bridge over the Hudson River (1888), which is so massive that it approach begin blocks away from the bridge itself.

The great dream was the Golden Gate suspension bridge from San Francisco to Oakland, towering high. I watched them for several years drilling for rock on which to set the pylons. The five-mile Bay Bridge across the Chesapeake soars so high that the tallest ships can pass under it easily. The Holland Tunnel and the Lincoln Tunnel are also marvelous feats of engineering. All these structures were built under hardships and at great cost and delay. All the while, many said, "It cannot be done."

Nearly four hundred years ago, Leonardo da Vinci dreamed of flight. The Wright brothers caught the vision and put the dream into action in 1903. In just sixty years, we progressed from bi-wing airplanes to jets, to rockets and satellites. In Africa, tribes whose immediate ancestors were cannibals and headhunters, are building new cities and colleges. They have emerged from the Stone Age in mere decades. All these works and more have been done by men and women who had a vision great enough to carry them past the obstacles and through the opposition of scoffers. Who but God could do such works? Not puny humanity, alone.

A man with a donkey sees himself owning a pack train. A man building a barn sees himself heading a construction project. All these ideas are one process: Imagination looking upward, grasps a concept in divine Mind, then, through pondering and thinking (which is the use of the mental faculties), you bring the "vision" into the realm of ideas.

Every creation translates from an invisible vibration into a final concrete fact. Vision is a concrete picture in that grade of substance, and becomes an idea only when you bring the faculties to bear on it. Every abstract theory begets a picture as the thinker ponders it. The vision becomes concrete when a person lowers the substance in vibration and fills that vast mold. An abstract theory requires an experiment to make it visible.

Mystical miracles are easy. Scientific miracles are hard work. At some point in this process, God takes charge. That point is where the person's love, courage, faith and devotion become great enough to match his new vision. The vision you ponder releases the Power needed to fulfill itself. All creation is subject to delays. Failure is frittering away the Power though fear and doubt.

God can take charge when your courage, love, faith and obedience grow great enough to match the size of your vision. Delays are breakdowns in your vision. Delays come because you are not yet big enough to match the size or grow up to your vision. Delays come because of your weaknesses.

God's life is unlimited, with plenty left over every day. You can draw on all the life you can imagine or need. Yet you never do draw enough life until you accept full authority over your own life, for responsibility is the mother of appropriation.

First, before you act, prepare to welcome the changes your newly exercised responsibility brings. Avoid getting bogged down in the swamp of despair others create with their intolerance and criticism. Avoid the chasm you dig with idle words, which lull your brain cells to sleep. Mark Twain wrote, "The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter — it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."1

When Jesus said, "My sheep know my voice," he meant those who heard the truth he spoke. You mean your words, or you would not say them. Idle words wreck your prayer molds. Your words travel around the world, attracting everything like themselves, and return to you. Your words are your soul's nourishment, and they feed you.

Are you feeding yourself poison, sedatives, or tranquilizers? Speak high, positive nutritious words continually, to feed yourself properly and sufficiently. Then, how can you truly know that God has taken charge? The wrinkles in life, your problems, smooth out and disappear. Your business, life and relationships become successful. Why? Because your "works" bear witness that you live by His Name.

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." – John 10:27. Your sheep know your voice when you accept truth, stand and know. You mean your words, spoken from the high place of your soul vision, and they return to you as fulfilled miracles. Your own love, faith and joy call your words back to you. When you give them eternal life, they can never perish. No one can pluck them from you or from God's hands.

What are your high words? "I and my Father are one." – John 10:30. "Ye are gods." – John 10:34. What bears witness to your works? Your body. What do you do with it? You smile, eyes shining with the Spirit of truth, the deep mysteries revealed through praise. Dare to believe that God is your life. Be enthralled with life. Feed on life. Capture life, and hold it close with both hands. Love it, praise it, and hug it to you. This is faith in action. This is an aggressive, strong faith, a creating, conquering faith.

Charles H. Spurgeon, a London minister in the late 1800s, said, "I am on fire for Christ. And when I preach, people come to watch me burn." The blaze in one man's heart can set you afire from within. When the love of God begins to set you afire, then God has taken charge.


1^ Mark Twain in a letter to George Bainton, October 15, 1888.

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Know That God Takes Charge

Edna Lister sermon transcript; June 11, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Ruth Johnson, Irene White, Virginia Whitehead. Scripture: John 10:25-42.

"Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God. If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, and went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. And many believed on him there." – John 10:25-42.

Sometimes a great man's work dies for lack of someone with the vision to continue and expand it. Many innovations have begun as abstract ideas in divine Mind, but inventors later introduce them in the world as facts, such as telegraph, telephones, radio, and television.

Many people said the Holland Tunnel, Golden Gate and Brooklyn bridges could not be built. Leonardo da Vinci and later the Wright brothers shared a vision of flight, and now we have jets, missiles and satellites. They accomplished these seemingly impossible marvels when God took charge.

No one can do marvelous things unless God takes charge. In all these cases, the approach and process are the same. Turn imagination upward until it becomes soul vision.

Your mental antennae can grasp a vision of divine Mind, draw it down as a vibration to touch your brain cells, and transform it into outer form. The first breath of doubt may blow this tenuous substance away. Too often your mental antennae quiver and quake — you talk to God but get no answer. You must let go and let God.

The scientific approach to God as principle is different from the devotional approach to God as personality. Anyone can draw on a concept in divine Mind, but one who uses the devotional approach in love sees a vast picture. The concept vibration is lowered just enough for him to see it in application.

Those who limit themselves to the scientific approach get the concept, but no picture. They believe in the limitations of the material reality. Occasionally they bring forth the formula.

When you combine both personality and principle, the physical and the metaphysical, you cannot fail. You can contact this life of divine Mind for anything you want to do, but at some point, God must take charge. You reach that point when your love of God ascends to match the size of your vision.

Moment by moment, God holds you in His love. When an individual fails, he simply lacks the ability to ascend high enough in consciousness to become the vision. His faith, devotion and courage must expand to equal the size of God's vision.

Love is the only answer. Only prayer and the love of God can do this. You move from having to see to believe to believing to see. Thus, you can fill the prayer mold with invisible substance that will become form.

When you see an idea manifest as an invention and say, "I thought of that five years ago," you had the vision. Yet your faith did not rise high enough to expand the vision. The other fellow, who had more courage and faith, took that concept from divine Mind and did the job.

All this is just having enough of God's life moving through, and being unafraid to ask the ultimate of Him. Do not ask for signs. Asking for that consumes Power that would be filling your molds instead.

When you experience delay, add more vision to expand your mold. I add a building each year to the College of Ascension I have in mind. Do not stop asking, or you die out at the top. When you decide to push through your doubts and hesitation, unafraid, you do. This is the difference between failure and success.

If you reach into the world for your answers, it drags your vibration down until you can do nothing. Don't let your vibration drop just because someone says no. Let God take charge. Dig down, pick up the vibration, and take it to the next agent. Never leave an idea for anyone to trample. Do not let the vibration sag, but reach up in consciousness. Light will carry your vibration up and you will be twice as powerful.

God gives you an unlimited account with life. What do you want? How much are you drawing on it? How large a check will you write on life's bank account? How much God-Substance are you appropriating? Don't be afraid to ask the ultimate of God. You can have faith, glory, abundance, health and strength.

The Power comes through with the vision, so use it to fulfill the vision. Never fritter it away by wallowing in idle words. Mark Twain wrote, "The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter — it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." 1

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." – John 10:27-28. "My sheep hear my voice" means that your words express your thoughts. They hear your mental voice and go forth as your sheep. You can send out the highest words and they leave a trail of Light that your sheep use to follow you home.

All your words return to you, so use them wisely to nourish and sustain every soul vision. What kind of nourishment are you giving them? Are you excusing your idle words, which drain the energy and vitality from your prayer molds? You can starve your sheep with lukewarmness and no enthusiasm. Do you speak more words of joy and glory, or are you putting people to sleep? Only you can give your sheep eternal life.

Jesus' words give the world eternal life. Do you feel immortal today? Do you feel immortal now? "I and my Father are one." – John 10:30. These are high words, and when you speak them, your Father takes charge.

How many substances are there? How many powers do you believe in? Only one Mind, one Power and one Substance exist. When you pray, you must know that God is One, Light as Mind, Substance and Power. You cannot pray to six different versions of what you think God is.

"Ye are gods." – John 10:34. Why do you not accept this? God takes charge in your life when you accept the authority He has given you over your body and affairs. The body is the primary manifestation of your works and how you bear witness to the Power. When you accept this fact, you are immortal now.

God's Bank of Life is limitless. When you draw upon His Mind, Substance and Power, and believe these things, you finally accept your responsibility to have authority over your body.

When you inflate your atomic body, you will feel immortal. Reach out for more life, and accept it as a divine gift. Declare, "My body is Light, beyond this outer sheath. I accept it as a gift." Atomic radiation raises the vibration of fruits and vegetables. The lymph system is the body's irrigation system and it needs plenty of water. Drink enough water daily to inflate your mental body and meet the challenge.

You are an individualized expression of God, and can expand as greatly as you choose. If you owe soul debts, pay up. Pay your debts in joy, knowing that you are immortal. Charles Spurgeon said that he was a man is on fire with a vision of Christ, and people came to hear him and to see him burn. Even the scorners and scoffers may yet come to see you, in turn, be set afire.

Grasp immortality as a gift. Just ascend in consciousness, accept the possibilities and your responsibilities. Know that you will see the way, the complete soul vision. Grow up into your original vision, in devotion. Accept, ascend and let God take charge by growing into His original vision for you. This is faith unconquerable.


1^ Mark Twain in a letter to George Bainton, October 15, 1888.

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Without Shadow of Turning

Edna Lister sermon outline; June 18, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: James 1:5-17.

"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 wavereth 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. Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. 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 1:5-17.

We have just come through the period of increasing Light, watching the miracle of spring. Breathtaking beauty has burst forth from complete barrenness, from cold darkness. Does anyone think all this just came overnight? Down in the darkness, underneath the dead surface, in the quiet darkness, something was happening. "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." – John 14:10. The process of growth was working under the phases of expansion, explosion and expression.

In the bulb, the bush, the tree, the process works the same. Nature has been meeting the challenge of the sun. The rate of growth in any living thing is determined by its ability to appropriate life as Light. The nature of the bulb, for example, is to follow the unconscious urge to become, according to the pattern written in its being. It appropriates from and uses earth's magnetic and etheric currents, moisture and minerals.

God has given man consciousness and the personal equipment, the tools with which to appropriate. Individually, you meet the challenge of the Light coming down from above. Man reaches forth with his God-given tools and appropriates from this abundance of life. Man's desires, thinking and imagination appropriate from Mind, Substance and Power, which are free and limitless.

The size of the portion of your heart that you give to love, devotion and seeking, determines how much you appropriate. Love expands that portion you have devoted to desire, so that the amount you appropriate depends on the degree and kind of your desire, its size, and heat. Nothing limits your appropriation of Mind, Substance and Power, save the eagerness of your prayers. You are the limit you place on your own thinking, desire and imagination.

Under expansion of your desire to learn and to know, you appropriate from every lecture, book and idea you experience in the world. Every prayer and inner illumination pushes your limits, until you become over-full. Finally, you burst forth from the old, shedding the old bonds with an explosion. Sometimes it is so great that it drives you from an old paradise.

Like Humpty-Dumpty, you fall off the wall you built, break the shell and cannot put it together again in the same old pattern. Imagination and desire have expanded and extended your horizon, so you can move to a higher cloud of Light, lift the souls for whom you are responsible, and help those less capable onto small new clouds of their own.

"What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." – Mark 11:24. You may begin with half-way surrender, half-way love and have half-way faith, but eventually, you learn that faith is the actual possession of your desires right now.

Experience will teach you the difference between a declaration and a demand. A demand is always forceful, a grim determination that only thinks it has given up control and surrendered self. People who are stuck here say, "Well, I want it. I have prayed and I have sacrificed enough." Beware of using "I," anywhere, anytime. The "I-me-my-mine" expressions are nothing but self.

Self says, "I've already given." Soul says, "Let me give more." A declaration begins with, "Let there be," and you name the object of your desire, the goal. Then you reach up and out for that feeling of "rightness." Spend time loving God. Fuel the faith fires to keep them going.

Your tools are thinking, desire and imagination, your steering wheel of life. If you are tired of flying blind, put in a new instrument panel with new control switches labeled Ask, Faith, Endure, and Single-minded.

"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 wavereth 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.

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." – James 1:12.

"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.

Your reward for your newly expanded soul identity is a crown of life. You gain the identity that "Ye are gods." – John 10:34. Your way of life is to follow the Light.

"He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." – John 14:12. Your service to do the greater works of Jesus Christ.

Everything moves up, expands and gives up its old life to create the new, without shadow of turning. It takes heat to cause expansion, and the warmth of your love and joy are an irresistible combination.

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Without Shadow of Turning

Edna Lister sermon transcript; June 18, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Edna Bender, Ruth Johnson, Irene White, Virginia Whitehead. Scripture: James 1:5-17.

"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 wavereth 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. Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. 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 1:5-17.

Do you believe that God is invariable, and never turns from His creation? We have watched the glories of spring, unfolding great incomparable beauty. Did that beauty come overnight? Deep in the darkness of winter, when earth looked barren and dead, something was happening. Our Father was working. Spring is our proof that despite us, deep within, something is happening. If you lack wisdom, turn to God and ask in faith, believing.

Satan had decided that if he could bind the soul of man, he would win the world. Satan wanted God to hide man's soul in the depths of the ocean. The heavenly council refused. He proposed hiding it in the bowels of the earth. Again the council refused. Then Satan said, "Hide it deep within man himself, then he will never find it." And he almost won, for only prayer has saved humanity.

The Light of God is saving the world through us. God has released enough great Light through us to conquer darkness. Your physical equipment releases the Power. God sent you here with this equipment ready to use, but your potential is largely asleep. You must awaken it. A few great minds in our age have used their potential to give us modern marvels, jet planes, missiles, satellites, etc. Yet, the potential has always been there.

A deeply buried flowering bulb appropriates its degree of truth through an implanted divine urge, and reaches up to the sun. A bulb unconsciously calls on earth's magnetic currents, minerals, and moisture in the air to grow up to Light and produce its flower.

Man's equipment and creative tools are different. You do not have this flower bulb urge, but you do have brain cells and faculties, including thinking, desire and imagination. With these creative tools, you may consciously appropriate everything you need from God's Mind, Substance and Power to condense Light into energy and substance dense enough to fill your prayer molds. This is yours to use.

How much of your heart have you devoted to the love of God? The size of your love donation determines how much you can appropriate from your divine heritage. Say, "Here I am Father. Move in and use me." Your potential is limitless. You can awaken forty-four great soul faculties but usually use only three or four; Einstein used five. You can awaken every faculty and quality to express completely, but use them only to God's honor and glory.

First, you must awaken your burning desire, which is your personal sunshine and heat, and then must radiate God's love as compassion for humanity. Love is brisk and firm, stands on law, and is compassionate, without blame.

You can reach the point of knowing that when you pray in faith believing, you have it. However, you can have only what is yours, according to the amount of soul substance in your Oversoul star.

Also, you must learn the difference between forceful demands and declarations. You can declare that you will have a car, but not demand a certain car, because that is selfish. You receive the car that your unselfish mold builds.

Declare, "Oh, how I would love that car. Think how many friends I could take out in that car." See yourself giving others pleasure with your new car. Do not say, "God must answer this prayer." No tantrums! You can have only what is yours. This is true for everything.

If you want to save your eyes, see God's perfection and good. Love Him enough for this to manifest. Then healing can come, but not if you continue to see and declare illness, limitation or evil. You already have health in the invisible reality, so act as if you have it in the visible world of appearances. Do everything possible for your body's good. See yourself dancing on a cloud. This is how to possess health.

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." – James 1:12. Focus your imagination up there, with God's reality. Make yourself good while you make others happy, and do not try to reform them. The Father of all lights puts the right words on your lips, and you can even say no, gently yet firmly.

A flower bulb represents the triple principle of expansion, explosion and expression. Ascend in consciousness to God. The instant you begin appropriating from God's almighty love, it expands your heart in understanding and you explode into growth.

If you expand too quickly, you can explode, like Humpty Dumpty, and be left holding only the pieces in self-pity. Yet even an explosion can turn out well if you pick up the pieces and go ahead. Lift your lines of Light and responsibility and open a new paradise, greater than any you have ever conceived or imagined.

Have you expanded enough to give the world greater gifts than you did twenty years ago? How much can you desire? God's Power is so great that it can produce more miracles than you can imagine because you can draw on Light from above in unlimited qualities, if you choose. However, if you let your vibration die, you will wind up on the skids, resting yourself to death. No one will want you then.

As you use your potential powers to mature and ascend, you expand, explode and express, which lights your way from one paradise to the next. You can see how great and vast this ascension is in comparison to the silly self-pity or fear to which you cling.

When you think up in consciousness, you discover that God really is everywhere evenly present and available. Ask to have divine Mind's vibrations translated into words, believing you already have it, with gratitude to God.

Expansion, explosion and expression are your set of standards, the code of principles by which you hold your point. Then, where you glance, the other fellow desists. Ask God in prayer, believing you have it to receive, and enjoy it emotionally and mentally. You need ask only once. The rest is daily gratitude, praise and faith, which pours divine substance into your prayer molds and makes them overflow into glorious outer manifestation.

Have the sense of possessing something wonderful in the imaginary world, which is where all great things originate. You do not need to see how God engineers the vibration, but leave God's work to God! Have a single mind, perfectly focused. A double-minded man cannot receive anything from the Lord. Make a choice and stick to it.

If what comes is not what you want, say, "God, I love this. Now I'm waiting for the real thing." Life is generally an endurance race. To endure means to stand as love. Complying with the law of endurance is believing that Power works through you. Even an evil man who believes he can do something, has faith in that.

Your crown of life is your conscious identity with God. You know the Power you can draw on, and who you are. You know that you have credits and debts to pay both here and on the inner. As a son or daughter of God, you are an heir to the kingdom if you comply with law. This is your heritage.

"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. Abiding by law is wearing your crown of life and Light, which means you do know the way. You are a creator god, ascending according to your love, faith, forgiveness and your desire to do good deeds to help others.

Lift and help wherever you can without drawing your skirts aside. This is your service, according to your Light, faith, and desires. Climb and ascend to the place of "no variableness or shadow of turning." The law of appropriation will provide all the strength you need. Do not walk in your strength, but reach up and plug your power line into the eternal Source of Power.

Move from fear into a complete, satisfactory and beautiful way of life. Accept God's Word and get into action. Love God more. Call it good, and you will discover a new paradise. Open your heart wide to love and compassion, and use them as stepping stones to God. Move into this place from where every good and perfect gift descends.

"Father, we walk with Thee. Let all the love that can encompass every individual fill every cable of Light, move through us now and into our projects. Father, we thank Thee. We are vitalized with Thy Light and glory."

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Invisible in a Mist

Edna Lister sermon outline; June 25, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: John 1:1-14, Matthew 5:16, Matthew 6:22-23.

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

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." – Matthew 5:16.

"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" – Matthew 6:22-23.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." – John 1:1. The Word is a vibration containing all principle and potential. "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." – John 1:4. Light was penetrating, permeating, pervading all things, all creations of Light.

The Word is Light and life. Every soul is lighted, and given power to become the son or daughter of God. What is a son of God? How does he act? What does he do? A son or daughter of God is always seeking to penetrate the mists of matter, which are the veils of illusion. How do you qualify to do this?

Do you know that God is stronger than you are? Examples of this abound. Two young women, in the midst of a house fire, carried a heavy trunk downstairs. The next day, they could not lift it. A man and his son were cutting timber in the woods when a log rolled on the boy. The man lifted the log enough to release his son. Yet when they returned the next day, it took three men to move the log.

"Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow." – 2 Samuel 23:20. This verse presents a succinct story of strength. Where did that strength come from? It came from the Light, as energy, from God above.

What price must you pay for such strength? Declare, "I accept," and surrender self. Let the Light shine through you to do the work. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." – Matthew 5:16.

"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" – Matthew 6:22-23.

Light is love in action, not bondage. Love does not dictate, demand, drive, whip, lash or force another to make him do your will. How do you qualify for such strength? Become the captive of Light, love and life, and let them use you. Your desire body expands to strengthen the physical, unless you are satisfied with weakness.

When you learn law, you cannot hide from God or responsibility, because you find that you have no place else to go. Let the love-as-Light penetrate, permeate and pervade you with steadfast acceptance, constant expectancy and all-possessing fervor until your miracle becomes visible.

When you lift another into the Light, he cannot escape the Light's penetration. "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do." – John 14:12. Your gift to God in return for this strength of Light, life and love is to prune your shoots of self or life will prune you. He who is believing on Jesus and doing the greater works is pruning his self.

Right now, you stand on holy ground. So, take off your shoes of opinion and prejudices in the face of the divine. Only this way can you maintain an adequate balance in your account with God's Universal Bank. Today's deposit is the amount on which you may draw for tomorrow's needs. So, maintain a large account balance since you never know how much your next cashier's check on invisible Power will need to be.

How do you stand steadfastly and constant in your faith? The Israelites marched with their priests and the Ark of the Covenant around the impregnable walls of Jericho once a day for six days, and seven times the seventh day. Seven is a mystical number, meaning to stand in obedience to God's law until the miracle you have prayed for becomes visible.

Working on the Adept Degree, you can manipulate the truth of appearances to demonstrate phenomena. Yet on the Priest Degree you can only stand on God's Word, untouchable and immoveable. So stand as a high priest. Our high priest is Jesus Christ, who knew how to draw Power through the mists of illusion shrouding the Invisible. By the spoken Word, he started a vibration of Light, moving into energy, which became form.

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Invisible in a Mist

Edna Lister sermon transcript; June 25, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Irene White, Virginia Whitehead. Scriptures: John 1:1-14, Matthew 5:16, Matthew 6:22-23.

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

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." – Matthew 5:16.

"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" – Matthew 6:22-23.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." – John 1:1. As it was at first, so shall it ever be, the Word is still God and contains all that is. The Word is the vibration that moves forth as Light, carrying the subordinate principles of color, tone, number, name and form. Within the many words you use to communicate are a vast number of vibrations, which are combinations of these lesser principles. The spoken Word is your master key of desire that unlocks your equipment, so speak the Word to use it.

No one can rightly say that love is just a word. The Word is a name for God in action. It does not deal with personality, but with God as principle. Personalities express love as a principle that they personalize. The spoken Word, which is like unto God, goes forth, and sets into action the wholeness of God. It acts through you, whether you are upside down or right side up.

"All things were made by him [the Word]; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men." – John 1:3-4. The Word made all things. "In him was life" was the first arrangement of Light, as personality. "The life was the Light of men." Light is the first arrangement of God in action as life.

"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." – John 1:6-9.

John was stepped off from the Light as a forerunner, to bear witness of the Light. This is the original model from which Plato took his story about every soul taking a candle to light its way through life. The truth of the Word is "the true Light, which gives light to every man coming into the world," whether he is a creature or a descended creator god.

Instinctive intelligence and three urges — eating, sleeping and mating — rule the creatures that have just come up the scale through evolution of consciousness. The Father must bestow a living soul upon them. God adds soul substance to you as you grow in consciousness life after life. The capacity of your soul's equipment is the size of your thinking, imagination, and desire.

"For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. – Matthew 25:29. From him who has no desire, the little he has shall be taken away. Ascend, and grow. The outside world offers plenty of stimuli to wake up anybody on earth. Believe that God never grows old. To him who has great desire, more is added. Age has nothing to do with it. It is never too late. If it has not happened yet, it is just too soon.

"As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." John 1:12. Ponder this passage, which has great meaning. Depend only on the credits you have stored in your bank account with God. "To them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." – John 1:12-13. The ones who just believe on his name have opportunity because they create opportunity through their faith.

A son or daughter of God is someone who receives and accepts the Light, and believes that Jesus is the Begotten Son. Anyone who surrenders to become the Light and wants to exercise the power of the spoken Word is a son or daughter of God. Stop using idle words. The spoken Word of love that builds can also destroy if misused as criticism or nagging. It works for every word you speak. Write in letters of fire within your mind, "I act, do, and speak like a son of God."

War cannot destroy this earth because God holds it in His hands. When you ascend in consciousness, you can see the truth of this. The Light of God became the Light of men, which pervades earthly life. The Light of God permeates every cell with life. Light becomes energy. Atomic power is the life of God.

Einstein showed us how light, energy and mass exchange states endlessly. God's universal plan constantly reuses the Light as photons and rays. Everything becomes energy that powers you. You are constantly shifting your energy state up or down in rate of vibration. Ascension of consciousness continually increases your rate or holds it steady for stability.

Do you believe that God's Power is filling and energizing the atoms of your body, quickening your affairs? Get busy and act on it without spending years just thinking about it. What price do you pay for this? From where does the Light come? Ascend to the source of Light.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." – Matthew 5:16. Let your share of this original Light so shine. This is the original Light from which God created you and with which He has endowed you. Your spoken Word releases that original vibration that is God. You go to the place you have created for yourself.

Many embodied soul must have a symbol for the soul vision that sees beyond the limits of the physical eyes. So, you paint word pictures to entice them. For example, the Invisible is in a mist, hidden in the mists of matter. Point people to the Light. Declare for them, "Let your Light come forth, to be a living ensample of God's potential."

Be grateful the Father has you to use as His instrument. He is waiting for your lights to shine, to see the life as it becomes the Light in you. Your family will criticize you, but who cares? Just let your Light so shine.

"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" – Matthew 6:22-23. Focus your eyes singly on the Light, and you will not see people being fuzzy in their focus. Let love rule as the Light shining through your eyes.

Reach out with more Light to help someone on their point of challenge. In Light is no darkness. Be so busy with the Light that the world cannot bother you. Be compassionate and loving without paying attention to darkness or to what is happening on earth. Pay attention only to lift people and situations into the Light.

Light transforms everything into itself, into love. How can you transform Light into love? The love of God does not dictate, demand, or whip another, but is steadfastly expectant of good. Declare, "I am the Light." Let it shine. Stay up in consciousness. Wear your rose-colored glasses to expectantly color things with Light, and let it shine on the real thing.

Peering through the mists of matter carries a responsibility with it — to lift everything you see. You cannot change law, but you can give the Father a gift when you accept the law and live by it. You cannot hide from your responsibility, erase it or avoid it. When you live in the Light, it works right now, and shines out into the world. Climb high enough.

You are the Word made flesh. Speak the Word to put it into action, and having done all, stand when you meet delay. Know that God has something greater than you've asked for. Say, "Please, show me, Father."

After Israel marched seven times around Jericho, the walls fell. With that degree of focus and persistence, stand on the Word after you speak. The spoken Word fills your molds, and builds the soul of the thing.

First, work out your salvation. Once you have visualized and spoken the Word for something, it comes to you. The price is to stand in obedience to law and faithfulness to your word.

The Light of God pervades everything around you. Grab the wheel of life, Light and joy. Declare everything good. Declare your life good. Your words create your desires, but only love can bring Light down into form.

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The Man, God High

Edna Lister Prayer Circle sermon outline; September 25, 1961, Washington, D.C. Scripture: John 1:1-4.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men." – John 1:1-4.

I declare that In me is life, and the life is the Light of men. To be God-high, you need life equal to His. Do you believe this? How much life is there? Life is limitless in God. If your personal master switch is set on low, you will not have enough Power to run your furnace, range or lights. Yet your free choice allows you to do this.

To be effective, turn on your master switch at the Powerhouse of God. Are you afraid of too much life? If the little you have hurts so much, why seek more? Just before an illness is finished, a crisis comes, during which you may feel much worse. A cut or sore hurts worse just before you are healed. When you have sunk below the level of God's life, returning to health hurts, as though your arm or leg was asleep.

So, how much life is enough? How much life does it take to make you God-high? How high is God, not in the sense of distance, but in being instantly available? All divine potential qualities are available to you, to do with, to act for you, through you and as you. Do you know that you can be of the stature of God-likeness now?

"My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." – John 5:17. You work not by running around and turning on one little light after another, but by turning on your master switch. As a son or daughter of God, you must stretch up to meet His stature. You must be convinced that "This means me." If you sink inside your wall of self, you have no conviction of this truth.

My idea of God's stature is all love, all joy, all wisdom, all good and all glory. Must you be convinced of this? You are on holy ground now, because wherever you walk, God is. You are treasured and cherished in His love.

You have no doubt that when you switch on the electric light, it will come on, or turn the faucet and water will flow. When you walk to God, to make use of His height, you just reach for Him and turn on the full Power of the Source.

When you reach, a thrill moves through you. You breathe up, stretch and reach in an ecstasy of expectation. When you are in high fervor, you can move mountains of darkness, as Light lifts it from earth.

Miracles come from one such moment of joyous exaltation. Somewhere someone will receive a prayed-for miracle. Perhaps it will not be your personal need that is met, but somewhere someone always receives a miracle.

Dare to believe that God is your life. Be enthralled with life. Hold life close and feed on God-high life, moment by moment. Prayer is answered according to your fervency when you capture life with your mind, heart, and hands. When you are afire, ablaze with God's life, you become God-high.

When God's life takes charge, everything else gets up and moves out of the way. You do not need to tell it to leave. This a man, God-high in action. This faith is creative and conquering. Declare, "God, You are so wonderful. How I love You."

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The Key to Right Action

Edna Lister sermon outline; October 1, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Matthew 5:39-48.

"But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." – Matthew 5:39-48.

Jesus' whole message was about right action. He planned to break through the bondage of the soul to the little self, and to lift the lower part of the soul up to serve the higher part of the soul. The beauty of the song of Spirit running through all his words was to lift forever from earth all conflict between Light and worldly dark, good and evil, between the lower self and the higher soul. Man must be at one within himself before he can become one with God.

"Again I say unto you, 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. Today's word for agreeing is integration, which means to mix or enfold diverse elements as one. The three must meet on the highest possible level, not the lowest. No integration is possible in darkness, where each individual unit wants to have its own way.

In these verses are two words, nonresistance and give, which you can later synthesize into one. Nonresistance is not a passive state, but an active, dynamic principle of God. To give means to pour forth, but what?

Nonresistance is a good overall title for the Sermon on the Mount, which covers every emotional need, and includes an attitude to meet every emotion prompted by darkness. Stand, face whatever it is, and you can be serene under difficult situations. Wait before answering, and smile. Face front, in quiet and in confidence, with no urge to fighting or internal conflict.

Let us consider giving. You give two ways, consciously or unconsciously. You unconsciously radiate pictures from imagination, emotions from desire, and thoughts from your thinking. People understand you, and you understand them back without a word spoken. You may consciously give others a piece of your mind, or free advice, though this is often unwise.

You have a divine flight instrument panel in the brain. You can push its buttons and flip the switches anytime, anywhere. The instrument panel is divided into two sections, one for low altitude world-limited flights, the other for high altitude soul flights. The first section is devoted to human nature, the instinctive intelligence that is just one step up from the animal kingdom. The other section is attuned to the one divine Mind. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." – Philippians 2:5.

You push one button, and tune out the heavy physical earth noises. You push another and tune out earth's sound waves, the composite world mind, and mental suggestions. You push yet another to tune out thought waves from others' mental concentrations. Finally, you push the button that tunes in your own high frequencies in the deep golden silence.

"All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. … There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven." – 1 Corinthians 15:39-40, 44-47.

In ascension, you lift your vibration from the heavy outer body to your finer inner or soul body. Paul called the first the natural body, and the other the spiritual body. He also speaks of them as a terrestrial body, and a celestial body.

The golden silence is the source of your contact with life, strength and glory. In this place, time begins to fit itself into space, as you achieve full integration between the soul and God. Nothing can disturb the soul's devotion. You cannot even clutter it with your feeble attempts to use words.

The golden silence is the soul's house of life, the "secret place of the Most High" within you. It is the place of perfect nonresistance and of perfect giving because nonresistance and giving integrate as love, which is the one and only key to right action in living.

You find all your "missing parts" in the golden silence. Some you have allowed to rust, others you have thrown away, used up, or they are still waiting for you to use them. God is all potential attributes, qualities, Power, Mind and Substance. If you have less than all, you need to integrate your missing parts. You have not yet been able to see the master switch, marked Love.

You become God-high in the golden silence. How high is God? Divine height is not a distance, but an inner stature, an exalted consciousness. At birth, God gave you two master switches, one on the human nature panel, the other on the divine Mind panel. The divine Mind master switch was turned to full, the highest setting.

You choose what degree you turn on your human-nature switch of love. If you choose low, you lack the vitality to run your body and affairs. It is your choice. Early teachers of metaphysics taught to treat only one person at a time, to run from John to Mary and back again, which scatters your efforts. Turn on the master switch, and radiate life over them all at the same time.

Love integrates ample life, life to overflowing, with enough left over to feed you all night. One moment of thrilling ecstasy in the golden silence always means a 100 percent miracle. It may not always be yours, but somewhere a miracle is granted.

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." – Matthew 5:48. How do you become perfect? Sacrifice and surrender of self is the only process by which you can lift yourself up to God. How perfect is God? He is all Power, all joy, all glory … ALL! Turn on the master switch, and the result is an exaltation of shining glory, transfiguration, and soul ascension.

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The Key to Right Action

Edna Lister sermon transcript; October 1, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribe: Irene White. Scripture: Matthew 5:39-48.

"But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." – Matthew 5:39-48.

Do you know the true magnificence of Jesus' teachings? His entire theme was on right living and right action, which frees the soul from bondage to the little self to become part of the greatness of God again. He foretells the triumph of Light in the conflict with darkness, as the little self and soul become one.

The one keyword of this Christed Age is integration, and you must unite your rational soul and Oversoul to become one. Jesus' immortal Sermon on the Mount provides all the necessary laws to overcome every negative emotion and action, and places great emphasis on giving.

The power of nonresistance is now running the universe in equilibrium, harmony and balance. Nonresistance is the one great law of life that will lead you straight back to God. Nonresistance means to stand up and become an adult. It grants the fortitude to stand and face whatever comes from the outer, without flinching, fearing or moving. Stand serenely confident, waiting upon the Lord under the Light, and the waves of life's ocean of experience cannot hurt you.

Whom do you want to be right now? Your nonresistance must be from the toes up, as the royal attitude of a creator with God. Give consciously of what is inside you, what you have now, without willfulness or resentment. Nonresistance is God in action. Integrate your will and desire into the key that opens all doors, and you can if you stand serenely poised, immovable, and irresistible.

God created you with two switchboards, one for dealing with the world and its constant conflict, the other a master switchboard, given you as a creator. You can choose which one you use. When you set the gain to low on your little self instinctive creature switchboard, you tune in the world's conflicts.

When you begin to ascend in consciousness, you learn to use the master switchboard on your divine instrument panel. First you turn a switch to close out noises of earth, which includes the clatter and chatter of those who express at the lowest levels. Your desire to ignore them turns the switch and silences their noise.

Your desire of intention forms a sheath of Light around you to close out the noises of earth, to ban them from your aura. Otherwise, the first blow strikes, then seven more follow because the force circles earth seven times before it dies. If you react with an "I'm hurt" attitude, you turn the switch off, leaving you with no protection, and you must restart it. Turning the second dimensional switch closes out sound waves, and you can ascend higher in consciousness. Agreeing and adjusting is easier from here.

The third dimensional switch is marvelous because it closes out thought waves, world thoughts, and builds a fiery sheath of protection around you as you stand still and wait upon the Lord. The fourth dimensional switch is love, the substance of the sheath surrounding you. When you turn this switch, God's power-of-love flows through you.

God gave you this fiery body, created in His image and likeness, a celestial, spiritual body, protective and divine. It fits into the space around you. The sun stands still for you, divine Mind puts the right words on your lips, Light lifts old ideas, and the situation opens. Do not blame anyone else when you leave a detail unattended. Learn to turn your switches to high, enter the golden silence, and close out all outer confusion.

Finally, you know the silken smoothness of God's Power and cannot bear to lose your contact with it. God Himself opens the master switches to His omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience for you. To turn the fourth dimensional key, you must love your service to God. Suffering it or just liking and enjoying it is not enough. You can't boil water if you set the heat on simmer. Nonresistance stands in stable perfection, and absorbs every earthy vibrations within its Light-range.

The Father sent His Son Jesus to show us this. Ascend, God-high, and stop acting like a worm crawling in the dust. Every moment can be a thrilling ecstasy, because a miracle has flowed through you.

Batter down the barriers of self. Every time you say, "Father, I love You," a miracle happens on earth. When you need a miracle that much, you will have it. Someone else's prayer may be your miracle, and your prayers can supply miracles for others.

Turn on the master switch, say prayers for one person, take care of him, and he has a miracle. "Take care of him, Father" is your prayer. If you can think of half a dozen people to pray for at once, God can think of a thousand. You will never run out of people and situations for which to pray.

Declare, "My Father in heaven is the Source of all perfect glory, love and joy." Move to where all His glory and perfection move through you. What do you want? The master key is love. No man can steal your keys or block your access to the divine instrument panel.

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Your Contact With Cosmic Power

Edna Lister sermon outline; October 8, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Philippians 3:9-14, 1 John 5:1-8.

"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.

"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." – 1 John 5:1-8.

Cosmic derives from cosmos, which means the greater overall universe as a complete, harmonious system. Therefore, cosmic Power is universal Power. Only the one Power exists, which is stepped down from its absolute potential state to become all subsequent states of kinetic energy, in atoms and molecules. Power includes lightning, electricity, jet fuel and all other physically perceivable forms of energy.

"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." – Philippians 3:9-11.

This passage from Paul's Letter to Philippians speaks of "the power of his resurrection." Resurrection of what, and from what? How can you know this power of resurrection? "Mine own righteousness, which is of the law," means obedience to principle, which can degenerate into nothing more than rigid dogma. If this is the height of your performance, you cannot contact enough cosmic Power for full Resurrection.

How then may you do so? Apply that "righteousness which is of God," given to all, through the faith of Christ, not mere faith in Christ. Your goal is to attain unto the "resurrection of the dead." Yet what is "the dead?" It is every old, buried picture of imagination, thought and emotion that has crystallized in the body.

The first death is not to believe that Jesus the Christ is the only Begotten Son of God. You cannot contact the cosmic Source of all Power without this. To be resurrected from this death is the raising of the lower self vibration to the higher Christed cosmic vibration. Yet just to believe this is never enough. You must add something else. You must love God, the Father who begot the Son. You must love the Creator, then you must love His creations.

First you have to choose between being a vessel or an instrument. A vessel just goes somewhere to be filled. It can only contain or hold something. An instrument submits itself to be acted on, and gives forth. Just being filled gains you nothing, for it is the giving that overcomes the world. Again, you may choose what you are giving, as you pass through several stages.

The whiny-needy stage comes first. "Do not scold me. Don't tell me I'm wrong. I live only on praise. Tell me I'm wonderful, or I'll know you do not love me." Here, you are a noble martyr who accepts being loved in spite of your not-so-pleasant traits. Next is the unconscious imitation stage: You may try being sly, like a fox, or show royal arrogance, like a lion. Some people spend lifetimes doing this. Yet, finally, you must use your thinking faculties to be "born of God" and to "overcome the world."

What do you want to use cosmic Power to do, and how do you use it? The only right answers are to be resurrected from the old ways of living, and to overcome death. This is the victory. You can gain this cosmic victory only through love, which is the greatest quality in cosmic Power. Use love to cover the transgressions of others with Light. Cover what they do until you can see what they really are.

To set a tombstone debt of blame on another's darkness only buries it deeper until he feels ever more perfect where he is. Your darkness of blame, added to his misdeed, hides it until it can fester in the darkness. To cover another's darkness with the power of cosmic love absorbs his darkness and his debt stands uncovered. Sometimes you miss the mark because your sacrifice of hurt or blame is only mental, because your righteousness is merely "of the law."

Your only true contact with all cosmic Power comes through repentance, contrition and devotion through love. Then your righteousness is through the faith of the Christ, in God. Nothing can move you from your place in line at the banker's window of heaven when you stand steadfastly.

You must know that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God by the water of baptism and the blood of crucifixion of self. Then your witnesses are the three in heaven, the Father as Light, the Word as energy, and the Holy Spirit as mass or substance. The Word, in this context, is feminine, for only love can make the contact or speak the Word for miracles — which is why many women talk so much. On earth, the three witnesses are Spirit, water and blood, or Light, energy and mass. They appear on earth through Oversoul, soul and self. The Spirit moves on the face of the waters.

Then, keeping the commandments is not burdensome, severe, a task, but a joy. At last the "greater you" emerges victorious. "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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Your Contact With Cosmic Power

Edna Lister sermon transcript; October 8, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Ruth Johnson, Irene White, Virginia Whitehead. Scriptures: Philippians 3:9-14, 1 John 5:1-8.

"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.

"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." – 1 John 5:1-8.

What is cosmic power? The word cosmic comes from the term cosmos, which means the greater overall universe as a complete, harmonious system. So this universal Power is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Science is still seeking the ultimate infinitesimal substance, which we call life sparks. Mind acts upon the life sparks, which congregate and ensheath themselves within a coating of other life sparks of Shekinah glory. You also bring together your life sparks, which are named and numbered with your unique vibratory rate, to form your body vehicles, and sheath yourself with that coating of glory.

You cannot separate any life sparks from God's absolute substance. Even the atomic bomb is just an assembly line of life sparks condensed and combined for one purpose. Life sparks form the substance in fire, electricity, atoms, molecules, cells and inanimate matter everywhere. Light, as Mind, Substance and Power, is absolute before its phases become relative in manifestation.

God has given man the power of choice, direction and control of substance, thinking and planning via mind, and by releasing His Light as power. As individualized beings, most souls, in their fantastic egotism, have divided and separated their consciousness regarding Light as Mind, Power and Substance.

The physically-oriented faction of those who worship God as principle say, "Worship the Christ within," then proceed to worship the self. When opinions and prejudices taint you, you become crystallized and object to new ideas. As groups of us originally descended to earth, we shed our soul substance life sparks to form the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, from mineral to man. We invested portions of our soul substance to make all these things.

This same soul substance forms your creature-like appetitive soul today, which is why your subconscious memory carries every experience earth could produce from the atom through the animal kingdom. You ushered your own unconscious life sparks into the cells of the vehicle you formed for this life.

Imagine how many improvements it took to climb from the gaseous mass-stage to form this temple within which to dwell. Your body is yours, but you are more than just your body. "Ye are gods!" We, the descended creators, are all one, forever.

God has given soul three phases of expression to live among men — appetitive soul as subconscious mind, rational soul as conscious mind, and Oversoul as super-conscious mind. The appetitive soul forms the body. Your conscious rational soul applies mental faculties such as logic and reasoning to live in the world of men. Oversoul maintains your contact with God.

The little self may misuse the Power. If you persist in human nature or descend to downright evil, you can draw on and waste your own soul substance, but can never touch your Oversoul. Instead, you hit a wall of law that you cannot move or penetrate. You may not use universal cosmic Power for evil, but some embodied souls often do use their own soul substance. The little self cannot touch Oversoul for evil unless you misuse so much soul substance that it destroys your integrity.

Cosmic power contains love, wisdom and all other qualities, attributes of the Godhead. Think of it this way: when power is dominant, it also contains love and wisdom; when love is dominant, it also contains power and wisdom; when wisdom is dominant, it also contains love and power. The predominant vibration varies according to how you use love, wisdom and power for creating. One at a time, each serves as the dominant vibration. How can you successfully seek contact with this cosmic power?

"Be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law." – Philippians 3:9. History proves that a faction can form that obeys only principle, which means that opinions and prejudices may crystallize into mere dogma. Emerson said, "Don't hold me accountable for yesterday's truth." Today's truth is always greater than yesterday's because you see more of it, more clearly.

The law of Moses is pure and rigid justice. You may not set law aside. When necessary, invoke it for justice. Yet Jesus says that you cannot contact cosmic Power through the consciousness that is set forth by law. He said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." – Matthew 5:17.

Philippians 3:9-14 outlines your personal responsibility, and the way to obey law. You are now responsible for obeying higher law, which includes every lesser outer law. Jesus the Christ filled Mosaic law full of the love of God, and the Elect must do so also.

"That I may know him and the power of his Resurrection." – Philippians 3:10. You do not, even through worship, truly know Jesus the Christ or comprehend the power that he invoked to resurrect the dead. Paul is not referring merely to resurrection of a dead body and returning a soul, but to resurrect one's less than perfect self from the lost past to live by complete perfection in the love and glory of the Christ.

Any static parts of the body, created by the irritations, resentments, hurts of the emotional life or imagination, are dead. People drag the dead past with them everywhere, and air dead issues in cycles of argument. All this needs resurrection. Fear, condemnation and intolerance grow from consorting with the dead past. What good does it do to bring up the same dead issue, dead past, dead fear, or condemnation? People rehash these things like a static-filled recording played repeatedly.

Resurrect every old life spark that came with you through the animal kingdom to purify and ascend the lesson learned. Resurrect the little self, bathe it, clean it up, and ascend its good to make it part of the whole soul again.

The Bible speaks of the first and second deaths. The first death is to deny or blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, or to refuse to accept that Jesus is the only Begotten Son of God. Yet only that high Christ Power can resurrect the dead. Eventually, all souls must accept that Jesus is the firstborn, the only Begotten Son to whom the Father ever gave the full scepter of Power to speak the Word of God as God with Him. The Father sent His Son to earth knowing he would sacrifice, love and speak the Word of God perfectly. Love, mercy and compassion are all-important as you wield a big stick of Power. You must add the Love of God to righteousness.

"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." – 1 John 5:1. Who are the begotten? Is it enough to love the original begotten? The Love of God loves everyone.

Life sparks compose everything in the universe. God begot every life spark as a part of Himself, and you must love them, no matter what form they may take. Sometimes loving the form the life sparks take is hard. Love the begotten life sparks in those who walk the earth, and declare the life sparks are the original Substance of God.

"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments." – 1 John 5:2. So what if another is guilty? Your darkness of opinion covers his dark treasure and buries it deeper. You could bury his debt so deeply he can never see it until you become perfect and blameless, a mirror in which he may see his debt.

Don't stop to say, "He knows not what he does." Pour love on it. Let Light absorb it until the other fellow sees what he has done. This pays the greatest dividends. If you become so involved in hurt feelings about what grieves you, you descend to the eye-for-an-eye stage. The you will be the one required to apply repentance and contrition to make it whole and good again.

"Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." – 1 John 5:4. What is born of God? Light as faith, love, wisdom and power — faith is power so you must be faith as power, wisdom as power, and love as power. God's Light as Power is faith and love, so you must see God as your clothing, money, and substance. God is your faith, love and wisdom because you have accepted Jesus as the first Begotten Son of God. Those who do not accept him are not yet resurrected from the dead.

Your freedom ends where the other fellow's ribs begin, so if you cherish your freedom, do not step on his toes. The law of the love of God invokes the laws of repulsion and protection. Hate draws evil things to you, but when you love, you stand serenely confident and nothing of evil can touch you.

Overcoming the world means blaming no one else, and never justifying the self. Everyone has dead things to resurrect, to call back from the dead, and the big one is blame. When you blame, you indulge in your smelliest darkness, which carries its own dead vibration. Those who cling to this layer of darkness will say that you are to blame when they first see their fault.

When Jesus said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do," he invoked their soul debts but took it with him through the Gates of Light; he did not let it dangle. Yet when you say you forgive ironically or sarcastically, you take on their spiritual debt. If you are prone to let it dangle, you pay.

When you become perfect and blameless, you pour out love and Light absorbs the fault so the other fellow can see. If you can see his faults and blame him, you are taking it on yourself. When you allow things to hurt you, you are living by the old Mosaic revenge law of an eye for an eye, the point where everyone went wrong before. You must add repentance, love and sacrifice.

Stand before heaven's windows shining with the bounty of God's glory until you are born of blood and water, as Jesus was. His mystic Rebirth was Baptism by Water, and Crucifixion by blood for death. When John baptized Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended. He resurrected earth by the Spirit.

"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. They form your contact with cosmic Power and bear witness on the soul record of your own platelets and memory cells in the higher creative center, your higher consciousness. The Father is pure Light, the Mother is energy and the Holy Spirit is the mass. The Light is first energy, then mass.

"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. The Mother is always hidden, so in this context, the Word is the feminine Mother. The Father is pure Spirit above, the Mother is Light above, the Holy Spirit is energy above. The Father is Light on earth, the Mother is energy on earth, and the Son is the blood, the mass, the cells of the body, the temple of the living God.

Oversoul is pure Spirit. The rational soul walks on water. The appetitive soul is the blood that suffers the tortures of giving up, having resurrected dead emotions. Every idle word separates the three-as-one Light of Mind, Power and Substance. You can lift the dark clouds that remain by reintegrating the force the hard way by accidents, stubbed toes, or by transforming force as the righteousness of the Resurrection of the dead.

"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." – 1 John 5:3. When you keep God's commandments, they are not burdensome. You no longer suffer, but obey in joy, standing before God, resurrected. You have added the lower self of appetitive soul to rational soul and Oversoul, which rules with Wisdom. I AM is the Christed name of the original creator god that you are.

Then you understand "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. "Before" is your cosmic beginning. The prize is yours for living in complete righteousness under the Christed laws, not just believing in but standing with Christ.

When you cover others' transgressions so completely in Light, you no longer see what he does. You see him as he is and nothing limits the cosmic Power that you can release. You stand in Light, walk on the water of your emotions and resurrect all the dead parts. Declare healing for all those who are in need. "As I free everyone else, I free the path to my door, so miracles may enter."

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The Tree of Life

Edna Lister sermon outline; October 15, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Genesis 2:7-9, Genesis 2:21-22, Genesis 3:1-7, Genesis 3:22-24, Revelation 2:7, Matthew 13:1-23.

"And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man." – Genesis 2:21-22.

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." – Genesis 3:1-7.

"And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." – Genesis 3:22-24.

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." – Revelation 2:7.

"The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." – Matthew 13:1-23.

At the close of a Day of Creation, God withdraws Light from the planets, which then continue to whirl on in their courses. The animals and the masses of humanity fall asleep in a Night of Rest and Assimilation. When the dawn of a new Day comes, the people and animals awaken, unconscious that any time has passed.

The Adamic civilization opened in the regular way. The creator gods descended to an actual Garden of Eden, while the masses of humanity lived elsewhere, in the "land of Nod," which means "wandering."

Great creator gods, dual, masculine and feminine, descended in their own spheres of Light, conjoined by a cord of a thousand strands of rainbow lights. They, too, fell into a deep sleep, their cord was severed, and they were clothed in separate spheres of Light. As their spheres of Light faded, they needed "clothes," so their outer sheaths — the physical body — became heavier.

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." – Genesis 2:7-9.

The temptation story of Eve and the serpent describes the "Fall of Man," which is the descent from higher cosmic magnitudes to the lower outer planets. The creator gods descended to gain experience and to redeem their life sparks by building physical bodies for the life sparks to fill and take form. Many of the Bible's "angel" stories describe high creator gods coming to teach the families of the masses of humanity.

Thus, in one sense, the entire Book of Genesis is a metaphor. The woman represents love and the emotions. The man represents wisdom and the intellect. The serpent represents the unrestrained emotional and physical desires for pleasure and excess, subtly entwining and enslaving the soul.

The "fall," from eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, represents the emotions tempting intellect to misuse the creative fire. When the soul had reached a requisite point of knowledge of good and evil, the right and wrong ways to love, God closed the Garden of Eden.

Human Geography: Humanity climbs in consciousness from lower to upper Egypt, into the Promised Land, and finally into the Garden of Eden. Entering the Garden of Eden describes the soul in its expression beyond self, reaching for the Tree of Life. When humanity could finally tap the Tree of Life, God closed access to the higher creative centers in the head, the doors to intuition and spiritual illumination, so man could not misuse them in service to the self.

The creative fire rises from lower Egypt, the sacrum plexus, to the throne of Pharaoh in upper Egypt, which is the solar plexus, the seat of self-centered personal will. Then the individual must lift the creative fire to the heart center in the Promised Land, and to the throat center.

The pons of the medulla oblongata, which lies at the base of the physical brain, is the crossing out point of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. [The pons, part of the brainstem, links the medulla oblongata and the thalamus. At the pons, nerve fibers from one side of the body cross over to the opposite side in the brain.]

The angel with the flaming sword stands guard here, at the gate to the Garden of Eden, to prevent the soul's reentry with taints of earth. The flaming sword represents the divine creative fire, concentrated at the pons. Any remnants of misused creative fire will manifest as migraine or cluster headaches. Pray to lift this.

God trusts you to a point with free will. When you have become conscious of good and evil, yet are ready to make a poor choice, He puts His foot down, saying, "Thus far, but no farther." You have no immortality of consciousness until your right choices personalize your own Tree of Life, the medulla oblongata — you have to earn immortality of consciousness.

The Book of Genesis teaches mankind's involution into the outer darkness of experience. The Revelation teaches our evolution back to God and the Light. The fulfillment of all God's promises depend on you and me, our open eyes and open ears. Many sank so far that they have no memory of what the Tree of Life means. Such knowledge was forbidden while the soul roams the darkness, but now is the time to open such memories to return to the Light.

God sends teachers to awaken you. For example, the Master taught parables to those who had refused to open their eyes and ears. "Whoever has, to him more will be given." Has what? Open eyes and ears. "Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."

"The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." – Matthew 13:1-9.

You can go wrong in three ways, and only one way is right, the open way. "Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed," because they are afraid to see and hear spiritually, "Lest they should understand with their hearts, and turn, so that I should heal them" of self. To "turn" means to repent.

"Some seed fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them." Many people are afraid that if they repent they will lose either their will or identity. Fearful souls do not hear truth because they cannot hear anything but the sounds that excite their fears. The indifferent ones let their minds wander, and so fail to hear.

The seed that falls on stony ground represents the curious seekers, those who may only pretend to get it. They receive each new lesson of truth joyously, but grow only shallow roots. They are always seeking something new rather than to develop mastery of the older lessons.

The sower planted the third seed among thorns, which sprang up and choked it. People who grow thorns just never give up self. They try for a while to clear out their jungle of self, but it's just too hard, so they forget. The jungle wilderness entangles them again.

The only fruitful seed is that which falls on good ground. Good ground is an expanding consciousness, awareness of an expanding universe, being ready to receive. You find that only one right way to focus attention exists; ascend in consciousness to become God-conscious.

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." – Revelation 2:7. The promise to those who overcome the self is to eat of the Tree of Life. The Garden of Eden includes all endocrine glands, and paradise refers to the pineal body and pituitary gland in the golden bowl, the higher creative center in the head. Opening the pineal body to function fully as the Light is picking up your precious pearls of wisdom. Inviting love to rule your desires opens the pituitary gland, after you have lifted the five physical senses to serve the soul.

You have only one set of senses, but can direct them either down into the outer or up toward the inner. When you lift the senses, they become your aids to spiritual seeing and hearing. To strengthen your use of the senses as spiritual faculties, declare, "I see this. I hear this. I can feel this. I can just taste it. I can certainly smell it."

The Tree of Life roots in the outer physical body, and feeds on the magnetic currents of earth. The tree blossoms in the head, in the lotus centers, which draw Light from the Source into the Garden of Eden, which becomes paradise. To cling to some outer paradise closes the new paradise waiting to be added to your being.

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The Tree of Life

Edna Lister sermon transcript; October 15, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Ruth Johnson, Irene White, Virginia Whitehead. Scriptures: Genesis 2:7-9, Genesis 2:21, Genesis 3:1-7, Genesis 3:22-24, Revelation 2:7, Matthew 13:1-23.

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." – Genesis 2:7-9.

"And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man." – Genesis 2:21-22.

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." – Genesis 3:1-7.

"And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." – Genesis 3:22-24.

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." – Revelation 2:7.

"The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." – Matthew 13:1-23.

The relationships within these verses is amazing. These divine principles stand as the basis of our life and soul conquering. The truth has always been there, but it has taken time for man to discern it. In the beginning, so much is happening at once. First, God speaks Light into being. At the end of a day of expression, He begins to withdraw the Light slowly.

Astrophysicists tell us that we live in an expanding universe. Some star systems are traveling so rapidly that they are gone from our view in fifteen minutes, which is an outer proof that God is enfolding us. These systems are among the first whose life has been ascended. Their Light has been withdrawn and they are being absorbed into the wholeness of God.

When the Light has been withdrawn, a night of rest and assimilation begins. When this happens to our galaxy, the Milky Way, we will already have been withdrawn into Sagittarius, a constellation that lies near the center of the galaxy. Consciousness will go to sleep and live on the fifth degree of breath, in a sort of suspended animation, but life will continue to exist through the night of rest.

When our Adamic civilization opened, 12,000 creator gods, who are androgynous beings, masculine and feminine as one, descended to earth in great spheres of Light to open a great Day of Creation. Explorers and archeologists have found traces of the race in some of the most remote areas of the world. The mythological histories of Adam and Eve, Isis and Osiris, reveal what happened. The Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden, implying that the whole planet was a heaven-like garden. "Eastward in Eden" meant the civilizations were to the west. This referred to an actual place, like the legend of Shangri-la hidden in the Himalayas.

The leaders, great creator gods of Light, condensed a sheath of Light around themselves as they descended. Each Holy Pair had their own sphere of Light within which they were connected by an umbilical cord with a thousand strands of rainbow light. When the time came for the process of gestation, a deep sleep fell on the androgynous beings. The heavenly Watchers severed the umbilical cord of each pair, separating them from each other. The cord of 1,000 strands of Light was wrapped and coiled into the sphincter muscle around the navel, symbolic of the rib taken from Adam to make Eve.

As they awakened on earth, the high Light of the sphere around them faded and they saw they were naked, but they were not ashamed. First they wore leaves, then skins, which means these first creator gods had descended and now wore physical bodies. Every soul uses the body to redeem the mass of his soul substance life sparks, to return them to his Oversoul star. This is the meaning and reason for the so-called fall from the high place to earth. "If you eat of the Tree of Life, you will surely die" means you will die to the self and selfish use of the creative fire. To live the right way, the soul must conquer the physical appetites to assume personal responsibility, and to become conscious of and avoid evil ways. Each soul must choose to do this.

When the subtle serpent arrived, he used sophistry, a plausible argument that eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil would not cause them to die. In truth, the soul is immortal and cannot die. However, the soul surely does die to self and selfishness through the creative power. The knowledge of good and evil is knowing and understanding the nature of them. To know a thing means that you take on responsibility for lifting it into the Light, which is the death of ignorance and innocence. If you become conscious of evil ways, you take on responsibility to heal them.

The woman represents love's expression on earth. Man represents the wisdom side of life. When the creative fire descends the spine, the appetitive soul, using the creative love-center can get the rational soul into difficulties ranging from minor to great. You use the creative fire for all expressions, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You can misuse it sexually and all the other ways. People misuse the outer creative fire as promiscuity, but more often as idle words, cursing and gossip. You are responsible for every word you speak. Some day you will be required to give an accounting of your use or misuse of the creative fire.

The woman tempting the man means love desire tempts wisdom to descend and experience physicality. The serpent represents the emotional life, physical appetites and sensation. The caduceus, the symbol of Hermes, featuring two serpents twined as a double eight around a winged staff represents love mated with wisdom. Only the one creative fire exists in you, which you call on as a creator god.

Jesus said, "Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself." – Luke 4:23. The physician's staff of twined serpents, the caduceus, symbolizes the mating of love and wisdom. A serpent sometimes represents temptation through the emotional life, as well as wisdom. In the beginning, love, as physical desires, tempts wisdom to descend to the physical. At the end of a Day, love in its spiritual expression entices wisdom to ascend.

"And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." – Genesis 3:7. Knowing that they were naked means that they had lost their ignorant innocence, but were as yet unexperienced. When the Lord condemned them to leave the Garden behind, He made them coats of skins, and clothed them, which means the descended creator gods were then fully in physical sheaths or bodies. They came to redeem their life sparks so other souls related to them could be born into a physical body. The so-called fall was the descent from their high home.

"The eyes of them both were opened" describes their realization of how deeply involved they had become in the world of matter and material form. The world's masses, the children of earth, have no innate contact with the higher degrees of universal power, nothing beyond appropriating it as vitality. Further, they have no ideas beyond their degree and kind and are thus satisfied with living according to the pattern society sets for them. If anyone rises up from the masses, he is undoubtedly a descended creator god, usually with a mission to uplift the group among whom he was born. Only the creator gods have that inborn contact with Light as cosmic power, which we call the moral compass. Earth's masses did not originally misuse power but followed those who did and fell under the weight of resulting soul debts.

With opened eyes, the creator gods began to realize the condition of their existence as sweet, pure, lovely, and boring. How can you know you are good if you do not know what good is? You learn what good is through eating of Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which makes you conscious how good God is and how good you could be. They were ready to progress, but were taken with the same selfish curiosity that plagues people today. Adam and Eve were ready to act on their own selfish desires, but once they ate of the fruit, they became aware of how much self they still had to sacrifice. That was why they were ashamed of their nakedness.

They had to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because taking personal responsibility was the next step in soul conquering. They had reached the point where they could take from the Tree of Life and become immortal, but they lacked the experience and had not yet earned the wisdom or the right to take what they had not earned. They were not ready then to become immortal and so had to leave the garden and go out in the world. You earn the right to ascend higher by taking responsibility for everything at your current level of experience.

The history of the human races is reflected in the history of the individual soul of man. Every time the soul attains the point where it could eat of the Tree of Life, it slips back into mists of matter and misuses power — this has happened to hundreds of thousands of souls repeatedly. The angel with a flaming sword stands at the gate to bar you from Tree of Life until you have again sublimated self and earned the right to eat of the Tree of Life. This is protection, for if the soul is too crystallized, the greater Light as Power will damage its life sparks of soul substance.

This is the history of the human race. The history of the individual soul of man is just as important. The conditions of both apply to you, for you have both the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life within you. You have both trees within you hidden within your central nervous system and your endocrine system. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is the human spine, from its base at the sacrum up to the pons at the base of the skull. Inside the pons, the nerves from one side of the body cross to the other side of the body at the medulla, the pyramidal decussation atop the spine. The Garden of Eden rules the whole earthly body through the endocrine system's ductless glands and the central nervous system's afferent and efferent nerves. Further, it is the anteroom to the Tree of Life, which is the universal Christ consciousness, the mind that was in Christ Jesus.

"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them." – Matthew 13:10-17.

Matthew tells us how to get to the Tree of Life. You cannot force your way through, but must ascend in consciousness to awaken every endocrine gland and nerve to earn immortality of consciousness. Migraines are caused by trying to force your way there. Matthew tells how we became involved with the materiality of earth, which we call the involution. Wisdom brought us out from the Light, holding us in a chalice of love which is our anchor in the Source of All Light. Involution brought us out here to experience the contrast between good and evil. At the half-way point, the dominant vibration of wisdom changed poles to that of love, and wisdom becomes the chalice held by love, the soul's magnet of return.

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." – Revelation 2:7. Genesis teaches you involution. Revelation teaches you soul evolution and how to return to God as the Tree of Life and Light. Jesus' teachings bridge the abyss between Genesis and the Revelation. He came to fill Mosaic law full of love. Instead of demanding an eye for eye, he taught us to cover blame and guilt with love and to lift them into Light.

Your desires ascend as you die to the old ways of being and living, and that causes self to suffer. Self tightens its grip because soul threatens its freedom to express physically. Jesus often mentioned having eyes to see with and ears to hear with — he was talking about your soul's faculties. You can see the fulfillment of every promise in the Bible if you have open eyes and ears. Unfolding the secret of ascension into immortality depends on open spiritual eyes and ears. The secret of ascension depends on where you focus your eyes and ears. Man sank so far into earth's illusions that he forgot even the memory of the Tree of Life. Yet you must remember it when you ascend in consciousness into Light again.

"For whoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath." – Matthew 13:12. All power is yours to draw on but you have choice as to what you will do with it. He who has no desire to open his eyes and ears will not have much left. God meant for you and I to become conscious of our immortality. All the Power and glory and life is ours to draw on for miracles and ascension.

His disciples asked Jesus why he spoke in parables. He said it was "because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." You can fail to die to the old and go up in consciousness several ways. To be deaf and blind spiritually prevents the soul from being converted and healed; in other words, the soul is afraid to leave self behind to live by soul. The refrain of self is, "I must have free will. I won't let you force me into believing your ideas." The appetitive soul will not voluntarily surrender to the Light, yet this fear is an underlying acknowledgment that the rational soul has already eaten of the Tree of Life.

"Blessed are your eyes and ears." – Matthew 13:16. Many have desired to see what the disciples saw, but want to force their way in without dying to self and giving up the old patterns of appetitive soul. The communion is to make the body a living sacrifice and oblation for the Lord by eating of the Tree of Life. This is dying to little self and to hear those things you have not before.

The parable of the sower features those who can hear but will not listen to truth — they nonchalantly go on their way. Some run to every teacher and sop up truth like a sponge, but their consciousness is so porous that truth oozes out and is lost. It reaches the heart but cannot take root because they are so dry inside — they do not want to eat of the Tree of Life, and thus die to self.

Religion frightens some people who then claim the truth is lies because they do not want to work to ascend. When tribulation arises, the truth he has heard offends him, and he blames the teacher in fear of the Tree of Life. He receives seed but the cares of this world choke it out. He who receives the word among thorns, just chokes the life from what he hears, rationalizing it to death, and no root grows within him.

Under constant soul ascension, when next you seek, the angel with the flaming sword is gone because you truly are killing little self. Take away the past and go on. Some teachers have eaten of the Tree of Life without raising their cells, and have lost their lives. "But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." – Matthew 13:23. Once you get a good-sized bite of the Tree of Life, you will be so hungry for more. You need another bite, and because it has such a fascinating flavor, you need more. When the Tree of Life is opened to you, you have miracles and added things to encourage you.

The process of soul ascension is lifting the five senses into soul faculties. Inducting through the five senses of the outer world turns your life focus to earth. But when you lift those senses and ascend in consciousness, you see and hear spiritually, and have miracles. You open the pineal body, pituitary gland and other gland-like structures within the brain, feel the Light and feel close to God. However, you cannot smell the roses of heaven if your nose is in someone's garbage can. When you smell roses or perfume from above, you have ceased to poke your nose into evil. You can taste the flavor of heaven as well as feel it. Smelling, tasting and feeling form the trinity that upholds you if you keep your pons and medulla oblongata open to ascend in consciousness to heavenly ways. So stay in the beauty, and taste the flavor of heaven.

"To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." – Revelation 2:7. We have all lived in the Garden of Eden, and once we have created the full brotherhood of man, we will live in the Garden of Eden again. When you desire to eat of the Tree of Life and do not regress to the Tree of Knowledge, you will have ascended to change Eden into Paradise. When the Elect ascend in consciousness, the world will become Eden again.

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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

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

The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV).