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Be alert to the suggestions of evil. Resist them by abiding in the Kingdom — and build!

Kathy Fitzer, Lake St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Be alert to the suggestions of evil. Resist them by abiding in the Kingdom — and build!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced”

for May 22-28, 2017

Prepared by: Kathy Fitzer, CS

314-323-4083 kathyfitzerCS@gmail.com

{Warren letting the TOP NEEDS OF THE WEEK be known.]

Golden Text: What a wonderful promise! God gives rest on every side! Solomon acknowledged this presence of God and the absence of evil soon after he was anointed king. Although his father, David, had dreamed of building the temple, he was unable to because of the constant wars he was embroiled in. Solomon experienced the quiet necessary for building.

Responsive Reading: In this week’s lesson we learn that we don’t have to wait for circumstances to change in order to quiet the warring influences, and build. Rather, as we put our complete confidence in God, abiding in the consciousness of God’s omnipotent care, we discover that He is our “rock and fortress” and is forever saving us from the attacks of evil. Psalm 71, which makes up the Responsive Reading, is believed to have been written by David when faced with adversity in his later years. It is been helpful to anyone struggling with affliction. David begins the psalm with prayers that God would deliver him and save him and not be far from him. The idea of not being “put to confusion” can be translated as not being “made ashamed.” Are we ever tempted to feel uncomfortable maintaining our trust in God when that trust isn’t shared by others in the group? We must be alert never to let our faith and gratitude be shaken by whatever is happening — or being said — around us! David prayed that his enemies would be confounded (ashamed, disappointed) — and so turn and run. He expresses his confidence in God and expresses his determination to go in the strength of God. We have here a wonderful model for prayer if we ever start getting discouraged. Turn to God!

Section 1: Leaning on God’s allness gives us the courage to face our adversaries

The story of Nehemiah gives us an amazing object lesson in how to face down evil suggestions — the mesmeric and hypnotic suggestions that would try to make us believe that there is a power other than God that can attack and overtake us. The story unfolds in the first four sections of this week’s lesson. Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II had destroyed the city of Jerusalem in 586 or 587 BC. The temple had already been rebuilt and was dedicated in 516 BC. But it was important for the wall to be rebuilt to provide the people protection and correct the appearance of being a conquered people. Nehemiah took on this project in 445/444 BC. The fact that the wall of the city was built in only 52 days gave a clear sign to Israel’s enemies that God was with His people. What can we learn from the first part of this story — here in the first section? These are some things I noticed. (1) Although Nehemiah had a respected position in the Persian court, he didn’t isolate himself from the needs of the Jewish people. How aware are we of the needs of others — and how willing to help — when we’re not in the affected area? (2) Nehemiah prayed before asking the King to allow him to go and help. Do we remember to trust “God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds”? (SH 1: 11) (3) Once in Jerusalem, Nehemiah took time to observe the situation and be guided by God. Do we remember to act according to God’s timetable rather than our own — to “pause, wait on God”? (SH 323: 10) (4) After sharing all that God had done for him, and letting the rulers know that the king had supplied the building materials, he asked for their help. As we start by acknowledging God as the source, prayer will lead us to know where and when to turn for help — whether the need is physical help or prayerful support. Pride or distrust can be a factor if we think we have to do all the work ourselves. (5) When confronted by the enemy, Nehemiah firmly stood his ground — asserting that the authority for the work was from God, and disavowing any power on the part of the enemy to stop the work. Do we remember to start and stay with God, refusing to be discouraged when opposition presents itself? (B4)
Science and Health helps us understand how to renounce the supposed power of evil, or animal magnetism. We start with the allness of God and understand that the belief of evil is based on the supposition that there is a power other than God. (S1 & S2) It may, at times, seem difficult to identify an adversary — especially if disguised as a friend. But, whereas God’s thoughts always take us up higher, the adversary leads us in circles and opposes without offering any constructive alternatives. (S3) Animal magnetism is a long name for an uncomplicated concept. It is basically the hypnotic suggestion that “evil is as real as good and more powerful.” (S4) I find this statement especially helpful: “animal magnetism, mesmerism, or hypnotism is a mere negation …” (S5) A negation is simply a statement of denial … saying what is not. When you know your addition facts, you’re not going to be at all concerned by someone saying 2+2 does not equal 4 — no matter how often it is repeated. Knowing that God is all, and the only power, you won’t be impressed by the suggestions of sin, disease, death — or of conflict of any kind. You will simply go forward, leaning on God, (“the sustaining infinite”) and demanding to see the blessings. (S7)

Section 2: Be vigilant; keep your armor on — ready to defend yourself against the enemy

The work on the wall was going smoothly. Progress was being made. Such are the times when it’s most important to stay alert and not let complacency set in! A threat can come from outside, or from within oneself. We have to be alert to both — as Nehemiah was. The work was hard, and the people were getting tired. The extent of the rubble seemed too much for them to deal with. (v. 10) And then it was reported that the enemies were planning an attack! Animal magnetism would sometimes try to stop us from going forward — with an attack either from within or without. We have to be alert to recognize discouragement and such feelings as being overwhelmed or distracted as not being our thoughts — but a hypnotic suggestion needing to be resisted and put down. And attacks from without — other people hindering our work — are also simply impersonal, hypnotic suggestions. Nehemiah understood that, and rallied the workers! They started with prayer as their first defense and then made plans which included setting a watch so the enemy couldn’t sneak in, being armed to put down the enemy if it did break through, and having a plan to band together if necessary. But, all the while, the work went on! (B6)
No matter what battle we seem to be fighting — no matter what name is given to the problem — all we are really grappling with is “the mortal belief in a power opposed to God.” (S9 & W’s PS#1) So, whether the problem seems relatively small or enormous, the solution remains the same. We must “take antagonistic grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of man, God’s image.” (S10) We start by casting out fear — recognizing it as having no foundation in Love, God, and so no foundation with which to build itself up in human consciousness. We must watch every thought — staying as alert as the Jewish builders were — and be ready to use our weapon of spiritual understanding to defeat the erroneous suggestions of evil. We can’t afford to observe the erroneous suggestion, wonder about it, or be amazed at it or frightened by it. No matter how little you think you understand of God, it is enough to lean on what you know. As we stick with the facts of Christian Science (the allness of God and nothingness of evil) we will “aid in the ejection of error …. maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection.” (S12) Cheerfully await! Nothing can take away our joy and conviction that all is under the control of God, good. Our job is to watch thought and be ready to resist erroneous belief!

Section 3: Stay focused and refuse to be tricked by distracting temptations!

Now that the wall has been finished, except for the gates, Nehemiah’s enemies are getting desperate to stop things. Their approach is to pull Nehemiah away from the project. I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly being tempted by distractions! And the distractions often pose as good things that need doing — like meeting with people to “discuss” things (as Sanballat and Geshem invited Nehemiah to do). When that didn’t work, a story was told in the hopes of scaring Nehemiah into coming away to defend himself. Even when we know something being said about us isn’t true [— is “fake news” — ], are we tempted to go and “deal with it”? Nehemiah’s response was to turn to God — trusting Him for direction. (B8) As we do that, we can discern when we should act and when we should be still and continue with what we’re doing. The Message paraphrases I Peter 3:13 this way: “If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped?” (B10) The key is to have it be your heart-felt desire to do the good that is God’s will, and confidently trust God to keep you safe. Nehemiah wasn’t distracted by fear.
The citations from Science and Health in this section teach us what we need to know: build a strong mental defense and refuse entrance of evil thoughts (S13); promptly and persistently oppose material, conflicting mortal opinions and beliefs (S14); refuse to fear the “mental assassin”, knowing that God is the only power (S15); always overcome evil with good and know yourself as God knows you, clothed “in the panoply of Love.” (S16 & W’s PS#2); “There is no power apart from God” and that is that! To “acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God.” (S17) We would never intentionally do that! With constant bombardment from news sources and conversations, how important to stay alert!

Section 4: Let God guide

Sometimes it’s easier to see an obvious enemy — like Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem — than a more subtle one — like Shemaiah. But, as we “submit” ourselves to God (surrender our will to His), resist evil and draw close to God, we will recognize devilish suggestions for what they are, not fall for the story being told, and feel God’s sweet presence . (B13) Once again, Nehemiah provides us with an example. Looking at the surface of things, there was no reason not to trust Shemaiah. He was a Jew, like Nehemiah. But, he had succumbed to bribery and was working for the enemy. His story may have worked to pull Nehemiah away except that Nehemiah knew he wasn’t allowed in the temple, being a lay person. He wasn’t willing to go against what he knew to be right, even if it meant losing his life. This obedience had always been (and continued to be) his protection. The wall, of course, was finished in record time and all who had witnessed the project realized that building the wall had been the work of God. (B12)
Mrs. Eddy refers to the subtle claims of animal magnetism, like the one Nehemiah faced at the end of his project, as “its aggressive features … coming to the front.” (S18) It could be said that Shemaiah was practicing what Christian Science calls mental malpractice. He could even be thought of as a “mental assassin.” He was clearly attempting to lead Nehemiah down the path of destruction. (S20 & S21) Following Nehemiah’s example, it is absolutely mandatory that we learn to detect and see through such suggestions — but never fear them. Our defense is knowing that there is no power other than God. There is no influence other than the divine influence. Be confident in your ability to be alert in order to detect and refute every false suggestion by recognizing it as that which would “blast moral sense, health, and the human life.” (S20) So, “rise in the strength of Spirit” — lean on the divine Principle of Love — in order to resist anything that would take you around in circles, or suggest you do something that you know in your heart isn’t the right thing to do, or lead you away from productivity, health, and compassion. (S23) “Be a law to yourself” by identifying yourself with the authority of Love. Then you don’t have to be afraid of the attack that may come when you’re ready for it or when you least expect it — when you’re awake or asleep to the possibility. (S24) [Like pausing for a “Met” before every activity at CedarS,] putting God first as you approach every task — large or small — keeps you alert and safe!

Section 5: Putting down the accuser

When Jesus healed the woman who had been bowed together for 18 years, he had the opportunity to rebuke two hypnotic suggestions. (B15 & PS#3) He freed the woman from the imposition of sickness, and he freed the leader of the synagogue from the imposition of hypocrisy. Both individuals were in the synagogue seeking God — but both had to be awakened from a false sense of God’s will. Perhaps the woman had accepted her condition as how things were to be for her. And the leader (ruler) of the synagogue had accepted a limited interpretation of the fourth commandment. Jesus “cast down the accuser” while perceiving the innocence of ones who had been deceived. (B16)

In this healing Jesus was able to “expose and denounce the claims of evil and disease in all their forms, but realize no reality in them.” (S26) How lovely that Jesus ended his remarks to the ruler by identifying the woman as “the daughter of Abraham.” Whatever false beliefs were weighing down the woman and making her feel weak were lifted off through correct identification. Jesus never set out to heal a “real” sickness. Jesus classified the sick as those “whom Satan hath bound” and freed them “physically and morally” by identifying them with Truth.” (S27) Everything Jesus did was with the expectation that others would follow his example. So, let’s be sure to not be tricked into believing that thought (including the thought we call body) can be bound by Satan (nothingness projecting itself as something). And respond with a strong affirmation of the “life-giving power of Truth” which sets man free! (S27) Refuse to get caught up by the lie! Be alert that nothing can interrupt the activity of building on the foundation of Truth.

Section 6: Nothing can enter the Holy City, in which God reigns

We learn in our study of Christian Science, that the holy city, New Jerusalem, as described by John in the book of Revelation isn’t a physical place, but a state of consciousness. It is a state of thought that is so aware of God’s omnipotence and omnipresence that it is clear that there is no place there for tears, death, sorrow, crying or pain. Those (along with all forms of discord) are suggestions of the devil (evil, animal magnetism, mesmerism and hypnotism, a lie and liar.) In this consciousness of harmony there is no night and no open doors through which suggestions of evil (distraction, discouragement, distress, etc) can enter. The Greek word for night can metaphorically represent “the time of death; the time for deeds of sin and shame; the time of moral stupidity and darkness.”

Additionally, nothing that pollutes thought, or leads to the worship of idols, or deceives can enter this kingdom. Because none of these errors are present in New Jerusalem (“Divine Science; the divine facts and harmony of the universe; the kingdom of heaven, or reign of harmony”), there is no need for protective gates to be closed around the city. God’s man is forever free to enter — and to move without fear or concern. (B17 & S28 & PS#4) John demonstrated that this state of consciousness is a present possibility. No matter how dark things seem, we can (and need to) respond with, “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (exercises the highest influence.) (B18) Acknowledging this takes away the fear that we — or others — can be wrongly influenced by something other than God. I love Mrs. Eddy’s reassurance that “the understanding, even in a degree, of the divine All-power destroys fear, and plants the feet in the true path ….” EVEN IN A DEGREE! We don’t have to understand it all — just hold on to what we do know! No mandate and no kingdom for hate. “Love is enthroned.” (S31) So, we need to accept our citizenship in the kingdom of heaven and know that the city foursquare is the only one in which anyone truly abides. No evil can enter there!


[Warren’s (W’s) PS#1 on overcoming the “belief in a power opposed to God” (S9, G.Text) “Mrs. Eddy (MBE) points out how conflicting states of the human mind and its prayers prevented the recovery of President McKinley when he was assassinated: “Had prayer so fervently offered possessed no opposing element, and President McKinley's recovery been regarded as wholly contingent on the power of God, — on the power of divine Love to overrule the purposes of hate and the law of Spirit to control matter, — the result would have been scientific, and the patient would have recovered.” (My. 293:21) So pray to be free from opposing elements, from letting inharmony seem normal. MBE also writes: “The real Christian Scientist is constantly accentuating harmony in word and deed, mentally and orally, perpetually repeating this diapason of heaven: "Good is my God, and my God is good. Love is my God, and my God is Love." Misc. 206:19

[W’s PS#2 –More on “Know thyself…”(S16) to “Rise to the Occasion”
In the next couple of days, "your assignment, should you choose to accept it," will be to simply do your part, know yourself spiritually, and watch God do Her part, to supply you with all the wisdom and occasions where victories are wanted. You may also enjoy highlighting in every lesson all of God's jobs in one color and all of yours in another.
A friend shed new light on our focus passage with this one-line insight:
"ABILITY (the wisdom) and OPPORTUNITY (the occasion) are coordinate ideas."
By accepting this divine law and knowing yourself spiritually, you will never have ability without being given opportunity to express it. (no unneeded bench-sitting) And, you'll also never be given opportunities (like the seven listed at this Met link) without having the God-given abilities to rise to the occasion!”

[W’s PS#3 – Cobbey Crisler on Jesus healing spinal difficulty (B17, Luke 13:11-17):
“A woman with spinal difficulty is in a synagogue. Notice that Luke doesn’t say she has an infirmity. Luke, who is reputed to have been a physician, doesn’t even diagnose it as an infirmity but as a ‘spirit of infirmity,’ a sense of infirmity, a concept, a spirit, a thought. ‘She was bowed together. She couldn’t lift up herself.’
Verse 12. Jesus comes and announces to womanhood something that could be applicable in many ways, not just this one time. ‘Woman, you are free from thine infirmity.’ Verse 13. ‘She’s made straight and glorifies God.’
Verse 14. Incredible, ‘the ruler of the synagogue’ in which this grand healing and correction in thought occurred ‘answered with indignation’.
Jesus’ explanation about the cause of disease is Verse 16. No longer should there be any room in Christian thought that disease stems from God or is God’s will when Jesus attributes it directly to anything that would oppose God. Only what would oppose God could impose something on man that God Himself never created in His whole man. Is this a new theology? Satan and disease linked, and not God as the cause of loss, or pain, or sickness?
Because if it is, Jesus defines Satan as a liar in John (8:44). Satan has bound this woman with an infirmity that has her bent over, and has accomplished this for 18 years (Luke 13:16). And Satan is ‘a liar and the father of it.’ Satan’s works must be lies as well. If they are, they can be corrected mentally, by a full recognition of what is true. Notice that Satan does the binding. Jesus said (John 8:32), ‘Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.’
It’s a contest between the truth and the lie about God and His theology, about man, about woman, about children and about disease. If Satan is a liar, he will never change his character. Our idea of God may have gone haywire, but God has never moved.”
Luke the Researcher, B. Cobbey Crisler]

[W’s PS#4 — “Extreme vetting” of “every thought to the obedience of Christ” (I Cor. 10:4)
A worthy goal this week and beyond is to demonstrate the kingdom of heaven within, the New Jerusalem (B17, S28) wherein “all is good, and nothing can enter that city which ‘defileth… or maketh a lie’” (S30) To “vet” every thought before it enters, play the knock-knock game! Like: “Knock-knock, this is anger (disguised as being right) can I come in?” (as the ruler in B15,


[TOP NEEDS OF THE WEEK:

1) $3.1k for a new ice-maker for the Dawn Lodge drink counter is needed! An alumni parent offered to donate the bin and 50% of the cost of a new air-cooled icemaker bringing it down from ~$8k to $3.1k. Thanks to God, to him and to you all who can help with this new need of the week!
2) $800 still needed (of $2k total) for a key repair (in $50 increments) to replace (recently discovered) deteriorating subfloor and tile in a large Settlers House bathroom.
(Matched!)
3) ~$8.3k still needed (of 9.7k total) for Bible Lands Park (BLP) upgrades: $2.2k for smaller BLP shade structure to replace by 19-yr old tent “Tabernacle in the Wilderness”; and $7.5k for scriptural pavers on “Paul’s Trail” so BLP visitors and Cable Skiers can hourly see and “Walk in the Way of God's Word”.

Thanks to earlier outpourings of love and support, the Sports Center sod is growing! And, CedarS is doing other needed Maintenance work before our 56th season, our "adopted" herd of horses are also being well cared for, AND a growing stream of campership applications are being granted. However, we still need donations of about $80,000 more to grant the campership requests that traditionally come during this season. We also need ~$12k to meet our $50k match for Adopt the Herd! (CedarS Adopt the Herd matching fund opportunity goes through the end of our fiscal year, 9-30-17.)

Thanks way beyond words and whinnies to each of you who are grateful for CedarS weekly metaphysical and Sunday School offerings as well as for our work. Especially helpful are your much-needed MONTHLY gifts, past and ongoing, that can be started and adjusted at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ]

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime to discuss current credit card and equity gifts as well as planned giving at our winter home/office by PHONE at 636-394-6162

or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps Office
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011

[THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT of CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!]


[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. But, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support.

[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp!
YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share.]

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