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Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced”
for May 22-28, 2023

by John & Lindsey Biggs, C.S. of Maryland Heights, MO
541 418 1176
541 460 3515


This week’s Lesson is all about the totality of God – and the power and authority that come from following God’s Word. From Joshua to Jesus we see many examples of how God gives power, strength, and clarity to those who follow him.

“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet…O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:4–6, 9)

Let’s see how we can live the authority and dominion that come from God this week.

Golden Text

”. . . I am the Lord that healeth thee.” Exodus 15:26

This passage reminds us that God is the Healer. God has the strength, power, and authority to govern us in every situation.

Here is a similar passage from Mary Baker Eddy:

“That individual is the best healer who asserts himself the least, and thus becomes a transparency for the divine Mind, who is the only physician; the divine Mind is the scientific healer.” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 59:26)

Responsive Reading

Bible Lens Research says:
“Joshua was Moses’ servant, a strong military commander and humble worshiper of Yahweh. As successor to Moses, he oversees the crossing of the Jordan River, the fall of Jericho, and the conquest of Canaan.” (Christian Science Sentinel)

We can learn much from the example of Joshua and his devotion to God. He served God with his whole heart and with utter obedience. He succeeded Moses as the new leader of the Israelite nation, and God promised to be with Joshua, just as he was with Moses, as the new commander in chief.

“And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.” (Joshua 3:7)

Although the book of Joshua is filled with many military conquests, it also includes many spiritual lessons about total obedience to God and the desire to eradicate forbidden idol worship.

After a city/country is defeated, God forbids the military from looting any of the goods, jewels, etc. from those towns, considering it an abomination since it is associated with the worship of idols.  Joshua is obedient to this request, even though one of his soldiers disobeys the order on one occasion.  Joshua immediately rectifies that situation. He understands that the power and glory come from God. He knows that gold, jewels, etc. won’t give him any real power or success. He trusts God completely and follows the Word of God with his orders.

God tells Joshua how to follow the Way – how to keep his thought in line with God:

“as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: …This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:5, 8, 9)

Can we, too, meditate on the “book of law” the Word of God day and night? Can we know that this is what gives us life, success, and harmony in our endeavors? Can we trust and know that it will cause us to be prosperous in the work that God has bidden us to do?

In these passages in the Responsive Reading, the Israelites remember all that God has done for them. They re-affirm their allegiance to God. They know that God has delivered them out of bondage and slavery, and they promise to obey God’s voice.

“The enslavement of man is not legitimate. It will cease when man enters into his heritage of freedom, his God-given dominion over the material senses.” (Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 228)


“And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.” (Bible citation B2, Luke 4)

Just as Joshua demonstrated power and authority of God through his military conquests, so Jesus commanded a spiritual power and authority from God through his healing ministry. He knew that anything that didn’t come from God could not control him. It had nothing to stand on.

He followed Isaiah’s statement: “I am the LORD, and there is none else…” Isaiah 45:5

Jesus saw that matter had no life, intelligence and sensation, and that it was nothing more than a belief. Jesus saw error as nothing and God’s goodness as all, and the authority that came from that spiritual understanding healed instantly.

Speaking of Jesus, Mary Baker Eddy wrote that he:

“… demonstrated the lifelessness of matter, and the power and permanence of Spirit. …If you will admit, with me, that matter is neither substance, intelligence, nor Life, you may have all that is left of it; and you will have touched the hem of the garment of Jesus’ idea of matter.” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 74)

Readers may enjoy reading the entirety of that article on page 74 of Miscellaneous Writings. It is a response to the questions: If God does not recognize matter, how did Jesus, who was “the way, the truth, and the life,” cognize it?

Jesus “annulled” error because it had no real authority to stand on.

The definition of annul means:

“To make void; to nullify; to abolish;…made void by competent authority.”
(1828 Webster Dictionary)

Mary Baker Eddy writes that we will do the same when we understand the nothingness of error and the allness of God, or good. (Science and Health citation S5, p. 450)

This chapter in Luke starts off with Jesus affirming his authority. He reads from the book of Isaiah in front of all the people in the synagogue about his power and holy mission from God. He knew who he was and his holy purpose. This understanding of his true selfhood – of his true identity – gave him spiritual power.

Don’t these passages in Luke affirm the standpoint that we want to have when we pray? Knowing who we are and the power and authority we have from God to command each situation?

“There is no power apart from God. Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God.” (Science and Health citation S1, p. 228)

To honor another power or authority is actually to dishonor God! This is what Jesus knew so clearly – he proved error to be powerless.


The Bible and Science and Health are pretty clear about the nothingness of the carnal mind. Since God, good, is the only Mind, there is no real mind apart from God. Therefore, all thoughts and activities can and should proceed from God, divine Mind, since God is the only real Source.

The definition of enmity includes this:
“A state of opposition; The quality of being an enemy; the opposite of friendship;”
(1828 Webster Dictionary)

So the carnal mind is not a friend of God, and should not be a friend of ours either!
We can think of Job’s “friends” in the Bible. Were they really friends? Were they really leading him to God? The Christ is our true friend. The Christ leads us to divine heights. It voices good! Divine Mind is the only one that is telling us what is real and true.

I have found two great articles in Miscellany helpful in seeing the nothingness of animal magnetism. The first is “Ways that are Vain”. It describes what animal magnetism is, what it tries to do and how. Here are a few excerpts:

It tries to impel mortal mind into error of thought
Tempts mortal mind into thinking or doing things that are foreign to our natural inclinations
It makes us suspicious and distrusting of others
It makes us feel confused
It disrupts unity
It spoils our disposition, etc.

The good news is that it is not actually our thought! We can be alert and awake to all the ways that animal magnetism tries to lead us astray. Our thoughts are good and pure, they lead us and guide us to God. The article goes on to tell us that animal magnetism tries to accomplish these things by causing us to fret, by confusing us, and by lying to us about who we are and who God is, until we aren’t sure which thoughts are the right way. We can know and pray that we don’t have a mind that can be hypnotized or mesmerized.

Mary Baker Eddy gives us a sure defense in the previous pages:

“… keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 210)

By keeping God and who we really are front and center in our thinking, we aren’t confused. So, Christ is the antidote. Our oneness with God is the antidote. Christ is the activity of good. Christ is the real attraction – attracting our consciousness to harmony, peace, love, and joy.

So, praying to have the mind that was also in Christ Jesus is really helpful. This keeps us seeing reality clearly. If thoughts are leading you to Christ, then you want to listen to those thoughts! If thoughts are leading you away from God, that’s a good sign that we don’t want to listen to those thoughts.

You may enjoy this recent podcast for more ideas on this topic:

What is animal magnetism and how can we deal with it?


You may have heard the expression that “Christian Scientists are not trying to talk someone into a healing.” This is a really important thing! Healing is the revealing of what God has done; God’s action is not dependent on human convincing.

In the May 23, 1988 issue of The Christian Science Sentinel, Allison “Skip” Phinney wrote a lovely editorial titled Healing is not a talking cure.” Certainly conversation, either in-person, over phone or text, or by email, may be part of the interaction between healer and seeker, but it is never a matter of trying to convince someone into a healing. That would be holding the healer up as a medium through which the healing happened, rather than the healer’s proper role as a transparency for God’s light, a window which the patient can sit in and be warmed by the light of God.

Mary Baker Eddy talks about this in Miscellaneous Writings, in a question and answer format:

“Is not all argument mind over mind?

”The Scriptures refer to God as saying, “Come now, and let us reason together.” There is but one right Mind, and that one should and does govern man. Any copartnership with that Mind is impossible; and the only benefit in speaking often one to another, arises from the success that one individual has with another in leading his thoughts away from the human mind or body, and guiding them with Truth. That individual is the best healer who asserts himself the least, and thus becomes a transparency for the divine Mind, who is the only physician; the divine Mind is the scientific healer.” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 59:18–29)

To put it very bluntly, healing is not a torturous process of one person talking another person into a healing. Healing is the action of heaven, which the healer and the patient both love to bear active witness to.

So, to the Bible story related here from Matthew 12. Beelzebub can be translated as “lord of the high places” or “lord of the flies,” and he may have been a carryover from a Philistine god or one of several iterations of the Canaanites’ Baal. He was believed to be part of enabling exorcisms and was in charge of lesser demons. All of this is to say that it’s fair to see Beelzebub as a personification of the belief in one mind controlling another mind. Jesus was so quick and immediate to make it very clear that it was neither a demon, nor his own personal power, which enabled healing. He stated in no uncertain terms that it was the Spirit of God which cast out evil.

One mind trying to control another mind, even for supposedly good purposes, ends up coming down to nothing but hypnotism. Nothing good can come from depriving thought of its own self-government. Again, while an interaction with a healer certainly may involve some conversation, the healing treatment of Christian Science does not come down to one person convincing another, or one person helping another person root through all their personal history (as in, “tell me about your mother”). Healing as Jesus taught it was the action of Spirit, waking thought to see more clearly what God is really doing here. That action is entirely effective and entirely present, right here. It’s a pleasure and privilege to bear witness to this – a healing activity that does not depend on human conversation or personal willpower over another.


 The story from Acts (8:5+), related in Bible citation 13, is a nice fit with our Lesson subject of handling mesmerism in all its forms.
Sorcery (what the Bible records Simon as practicing) is a branch of witchcraft. Let’s lump those immoral attempts at controlling others, in with other attempts to control others through charisma, predatory sales techniques, or mass-market-advertised fear-mongering about health, finances, and social issues. The core of the issue is, that only divine Mind is the true communicator. Mind communicates to Her ideas, through Her ideas, about Herself and Her ideas. Symphony, composer, audience, are all God and His manifestation. There simply is no other power.

That’s the core of the issue with Simon the sorcerer. He was used to gaining prestige from his charismatic approach to mesmerizing people; when he saw healing and true benefits being freely given from the Word of God that Philip was preaching, and then Peter and John, he was very shaken. It’s hard to have your worldview be so disrupted, and it’s interesting that instead of letting the Word transform him, Simon tried to fit the transforming power of God into his own lifestyle. He wanted to try to use God, instead of learning to let God use him.

The best way to find freedom from invasive influences is to delightedly give active consent to God, and God alone, as our All-in-all. You might enjoy the article Withdraw Your Consent from the Christian Science Journal (Jan. 1982 issue).


Bible citation 14 (Psalm 80:3) is a joyful prayer! “Turn us!” Let us see your holiness and goodness! Being surrounded by and illuminated in God’s light is what shows us who we truly are, and this fresh view heals and transforms us. We stop believing in the old story and we can rise as the free ideas of God that we really are.

In the previous section, (Acts 8:5+) we had Simon the sorcerer trying to convince people through charisma, and being very troubled by the simplicity and power of the apostles’ freely given gift. Now, in Bible citation 15 (Acts:3: 1+), we can see an example of this transforming power of God’s Word. Of course the man at the temple gate asked for money. This was how he made his living, how his safety was maintained, and frankly, possibly his only way of interacting with the world. Peter and John didn’t give him some lecture about bettering himself; they didn’t walk on by and refuse to engage; they didn’t have some list of requirements before he could receive help. They asked for his full attention, and, praying, they were all transformed, seeing more clearly what God had done. Now, this actually involved courage for the healed man as well! This was a big change…but he met this new opportunity, this new view of God and himself, with joy and dancing.

How willing are we, to let our views be changed and healed? How insistent are we on the legitimacy of human history? How willing are we to fix our full attention on God’s Word, and leap in praise for God’s love? For He does love us all, and we love to celebrate His perfect love!


We sum up this week’s Lesson with this wonderful benediction!

“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.” (Bible citation B18, I Chronicles 29:11)

God is infinite – so God is already all power. God exists for all time, throughout all space.

This is something we can rejoice in! God has no beginning and no end. So there is no beginning or end to God’s goodness and care. There is no end to God’s provision.

“God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Bible citation 19 / Philippians 4:19)

It is God who supplies all our needs according to His riches and glory. I love the addition of His “riches and glory”. This shows us that God has enough to do so! God doesn’t experience lack or limited resources ini trying to meet your needs. No! God has abundance. God has the ability to do so.

God is the Healer, the Mind, the power. God is the authority. God is all.

“God’s law is in three words, “I am All;” and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law.” (No and Yes, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 30:11–13)

 Have a blessed week!

Some GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas (from Cobbey Crisler & others) should be POSTED during the week and others will be added to the string and EMAILED together later in the week.  You can always check  for current GEMs at CedarS INSPIRATION website, whether or not you’ve  SUBSCRIBED here for this free, inspirational offering.

Also later in the week, look for Ken Cooper’s
contributions related to this Bible Lesson.

All campers & visitors will be blessed by your generosity, vision & LOVE!

Special A/V Appeal: In the next week before camp opens we find that $5,000 more IS NEEDED to meet a match to finish building a CHAPEL AV BOOTH that will protect donated, new equipment. (If you’re interested in helping please just call me (Warren) at 314-378-2574 with a pledge so the work can proceed.)

And, if you haven’t yet checked out the GIVING TREE, there are still plenty of other smaller areas of need before summer! Campers & staff will also be blessed bigtime by the donations made to additional areas of camp, including the horse program, activity equipment, camperships, and Christian Science nursing and practitioner services.

We are deeply grateful for EVERY GIFT of love and support,
The CedarS Team

P.S. For more about ways to keep CedarS operations ever more green and flourishing and/or to make a planned gift, a required IRA distribution or an ENDOWMENT GIFT (that will all be MATCHED), feel free anytime to call or text me (Warren Huff. Executive Director Emeritus and Project Manager) at 314-378-2574. I can put you in touch with our Financial Advisor/broker who donates all fee for stock transfers and sharing tailored, tax-advantaged giving approaches.

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