The experience of Jesus illustrates the age-old battle of evil against good. It was the self-satisfied religious leaders—the chief priests, scribes, and elders—who bound Jesus and brought him before Pilate. It was they who incited the people to demand the release of Barabbas, the murderer, and the crucifixion of the blessed Way-shower and benefactor of mankind. Evil minds acting in the guise of good swayed the uninformed and ignorant populace to destroy the man who had devoted his life to their salvation from all of earth's ills.

The evil practices of the ages are being repeated today. Mortal mind vainly attempts to crucify the Christ, Truth, in the name of good. The Christian Scientist needs to defend himself daily against the seen and unseen efforts of error to draw him into the net of consciously directed evil propaganda. To do this, he may well consider the advice of the Apostle John, who writes (I John 4:1), "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." Here John admonishes his followers (and all men) to test any teaching or proposition that is put forth by individuals or groups before accepting it. And he tells, further, how to do this. He explains that we can always recognize true teaching if it is based on Christ, Truth, as demonstrated by the master Christian. Any other teaching, he writes, is anti-Christ—that is, erroneous.

To know definitely if any proposition is based on Christ, Truth, requires the exercise of discernment, or the true insight of spiritual understanding as it is revealed in Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy writes (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 298), "Spiritual sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality." To learn to separate error from Truth, and "try the spirits," one must pray daily for spiritual discernment. One must recognize and maintain that he possesses the quality of intuition, or the ability instantly to recognize the truth or to detect the lie in every situation. This requires consistent prayer.

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September 25, 1954

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