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[Hold to the Supremacy of God that Silences the Devil’s Temptations!]

Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced
November 21-27, 2016

Prepared by: Kathy Fitzer, CS


Golden Text: The message is simple … hold to good, resist evil. Trust God to destroy all that is unlike Him. Petersen paraphrases the Golden Text this way in The Message: “I want you also to be smart, making sure every “good” thing is the real thing. Don’t be gullible in regard to smooth-talking evil. Stay alert like this, and before you know it the God of peace will come down on Satan with both feet, stomping him into the dirt.” No need to fret or be afraid. God’s got it under control!

Responsive Reading: To understand the message of the Responsive Reading, I had to do some research. Reference is being made here to the death of the king of Babylon, who had been holding Israel captive for 70 years. Lucifer has been identified as the power behind the king of Babylon. Initially a servant of God (the light-bearer), Lucifer was overtaken by pride and a lust for power, causing such boasting as, “I will be like the most High.” In other words, “I will take over heaven, I will be God.” The result? Prideful Lucifer (and the prideful king) fell — cast down by the true God. As a result, mankind was freed from war and servitude, oppression and terror. Since the 3rd century, a verse from Luke (10: 17-18) has been thought by some to refer to Isaiah 14. Here, the 70 that Jesus sent on a healing mission report that “even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.“ Jesus responded with, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” As a result, Satan started being known as Lucifer. What message can we take away from all of this? I’m sure you will find your own inspiration, but some things that came to me: (1) There is only ONE God — one authority. (2) What appears to be the source of the trouble is never a person (not the king of Babylon or the Assyrians or modern-day tyrants or any kind of plague (disease, famine, drought, fire, climactic extremes, division, etc., etc.) The culprit is always the pride of a suppositional evil suggesting it is capable of being stronger than God — capable of conquering good. Evil can boast all it wants. That pride of power will never last. Don’t be fooled by the outward appearance — don’t be gullible. God, good, is always the victor. God made man free! Stay awake. Focus on the Truth, which will uncover the lie. Evil must fall! Christ Jesus came to reveal the true light that can never fall or fade!

Section 1: The allness of God eliminates the possibility of anything unlike Him.

The promise continues … God reigns in His kingdom! (B1) God is above all! God casts out the enemy! (B2) Nothing can hide from God. (B3) God knows His children, and protects those who seek refuge in Him. And God completely destroys all that is unlike Him. Once truly destroyed, evil can no longer haunt. (B4) There can’t be anything more than all — more than omnipresent and omnipotent God. (S2) God being all, to honor another power is to dishonor God. We would never consciously dishonor that which is all good! (S1) So, where does all the evil that appears to be out there fit into this? “Evil is a suppositional lie.” (S3) Evil is illusion. (S5) Evil is nothing posing as something. It is the proverbial Halloween costume — a disguise stripped off by understanding the teachings of Christian Science — “that evil or matter has neither intelligence nor power.” (S6) No matter how real evil appears to be, it must be reduced to what it is — a hypnotic suggestion, or animal magnetism — the belief that there is a power other than God! It speaks with the pride of Lucifer, flaunting its supposed power. but it is forever crushed by Truth!

For more on the subject of where did evil come from, check out Misc. Writings 45: 21-9.

Section 2: Stay awake so the enemy can’t take you by surprise.

Comfort in matter, lazy thinking, taking life for granted, drifting along and not staying alert — those are the dangers that would leave us vulnerable to the attacks of error. We are then as likely to be overrun by an enemy as were the people of Laish. The tribe of Dan hadn’t been able to defeat the people who occupied the land they had originally been given. So, looking for a land they could call home, they found it easy to take advantage of the unprotected city of Laish. (B8) However, as we learn more of the story, the Dannites ultimately fell to Babylon as well. Evil can’t stand forever. The people of Laish had been lulled into a false sense of security because they were in such an isolated place. Their complacency prevented them from recognizing the enemy as it approached and/or from being prepared to respond when they did realize what was happening. Mrs. Eddy equates the tribe of Dan (one of the twelve tribes of Israel and the descendants of Jacob’s son, Dan) with animal magnetism. (S7) Dan represents the unannounced, subtle evil that sneaks up on us and defeats us when we’re not watching. We must remain watchful (sober and vigilant.) Be careful, though, not to confuse watching with watching out! Watching out accepts evil as a real power separate from God that poses a real threat. It is often accompanied by fear. To watch is to keep your minds “so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them.” (My. 210) It is always and only thought that needs watching. The key is to stay alert and not be lulled into complacency. (B9, S8) When commercials come on TV, or the news hypes the latest fear, dissatisfaction and complaint, do we just turn away? That’s not enough. To be truly vigilant is to recognize error as hypnotic suggestion and counter it — keeping thought too full of good to leave any room for the suggestion to take root in thought and grow unnoticed until it seems like an insurmountable problem. (S10) We have the privilege as Christian Scientists to play an active role in lessening “evil, disease, and death.” These aggressive suggestions will be overcome “by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good.” (S11) Just as we go in circles if we only paddle on one side, we must know both the nothingness of evil and the allness of God — the ever presence of good — as we alertly defend ourselves and our world from sneak attacks!!

Section 3: Call on Christ to resist the temptations of error (animal magnetism). [PS#1]

In contrast to the complacency exhibited by the people of Laish, Jesus Christ demonstrated the boldness and strength required to resist evil and silence the temptations of Satan. (B12, PS#1, S16) Soon after Jesus was baptized and identified as the Son of God, he was tempted. We will be tempted. But nothing can make us yield to temptation. We can call on Christ, Truth, to strengthen us, as Jesus did. What can we learn from the suggestions the devil — the false accuser — made to Jesus? In each case, it seems that Jesus was being tempted to use the power given him by God to promote his own well being rather than to honor and glorify God. How often are we tempted to believe we need something other than God to meet our human needs (as Jesus was tempted to turn stones to bread)? Are we ever tempted to do something reckless, “testing” God to see if He will protect us (as Jesus was tempted to jump off the pinnacle of the temple)? Or are we tempted to think that the possibility of getting something glamorous or impressive “out there” is worth compromising our standards and values, rather than depending on God to give us an abundance of good (as Jesus was tempted to worship the devil and be given control over a material kingdom)? When Jesus was tempted by these things, he responded with “the Word of God” as written in the Scriptures. We can respond to every temptation that comes to us with what we know of God’s will and His direction — trusting God to meet every need in the best possible way. Jesus finally ordered Satan to get “behind” him — so that he could stay face to face with God, without distraction! The Hebrew term translated Satan means adversary, accuser, or one who resists. The Greek borrowed the word and in the New Testament it literally means the “enemy of Christ.” Christ is Truth. What has been called Satan or devil (evil) is a lie. (S13) Truth destroys the lie every time. We can trust that. All we have to do is to “submit” ourselves to God and “resist the devil.” As we do, the temptations will flee. We will find our freedom. God is always at hand. As we simply turn our attention to Him (draw nigh to God) we can expect to feel His presence and power. (B13) Think about what happens when you get close to a fire or heater. You naturally feel the warmth. The heat is radiating, and God’s love is radiating. As we draw close, we are naturally touched by it! The mission of the “Son of God” was to “destroy the works of the devil.” (B11) Evil has no power! The more alert we remain, the easier it is to resist the temptation to respond or react to a non-entity (the devil) — whether it poses as something good or bad!

Section 4: Christ casts out evil and fear wherever it may appear. [See PS#2, CC on B14.]

Jesus had already definitively dismissed the authority of the devil to influence him (as we read in the third section.) Here, the devil challenges Jesus in a slightly different way: “I recognize you, you Son of God. You thought you could silence me? Well, here I am again — influencing the thought of someone else. What are you going to do about it?” Jesus was never impressed by the form taken by hypnotic error (or evil.) Nothing is nothing. So, with the same authority of Christ exercised earlier, Jesus commanded the evil spirit (devil) to “come out of” the man, and it did. (B14, PS#2) The man was innocent. The devil was attempting to use him — but Jesus saw right through that scam. As Jesus cast out evil and fear from others, we have the authority (the authority of Christ, Truth) with which to do the same — and we must! (S19) How important to separate the error from the person. The rest of the section spells out how we go about destroying the impositions of evil and fear of every kind. We must “stick to the truth of being …” (S20) and believe in the truth more than in the lie. It is the TRUTH that heals. We don’t have to fully understand Truth — we just have to refuse to back down from it! We’re told, “if your fidelity (veracity, or invariable expression of truth) is half equal to the truth of your plea, you will heal the sick.” (S20) That is a promise we can count on. No matter how impressive evil makes itself seem — no matter how large a shadow it casts, or how loud it screams, begs or cajoles you to believe its testimony and temptations — it cannot stand up to being constantly confronted with the “truth of being.” Human will can neither promote evil nor silence it. It is “the unlabored motion of the divine energy” (S22) that heals the sick and casts out all evil — sin, disease, death, and all that conjures up fear. Our privilege is to unite with the life-giving light of Christ, recognizing it as the only power — as Jesus did — and watch Truth free mankind from error and tyranny of every kind!

Section 5: Human will is powerless to exercise any influence over the divine Mind. [PS#3]

Barnabas and Saul (or Paul) were called by God to minister to the people of Cyprus. Are we as ready to respond as they were? On the isle of Paphos, the Roman proconsul, Sergius Paulus, was interested in learning more about what the apostles had to say. But one of his advisors (referred to as a magician and probably a Jewish false prophet) was doing his best to convince Sergius that he didn’t want to hear this “nonsense.” It is likely that Bar-Jesus (or Elymas) was worried about these newcomers undermining the relationship he had established with Sergius— though that was certainly not the intent of the apostles. Have you ever experienced interference like that? Someone appears to be interested in learning more about your understanding of God, but someone else interferes, for whatever reason — perhaps inserting their opinion that Christian Science is dangerous or crazy or something. One of the tactics of the devil is to blind mankind to the Christ, Truth! That is what the magician was trying to do … but it backfired as he was temporarily blinded instead. The New Interpreters Bible suggests that this blindness could be a “metaphor of the failure he and others like him have in blinding people to the course of God’s salvation.” Truth can’t be stopped! Result — the deputy saw the light and was converted! (B17, PS#3) Seems to me a lesson we can take from this is that we don’t have to be afraid or impressed by the opposition of world thought or stubborn human will. Ultimately, it is the divine Mind —rather than the human mind — that influences man. (S23) When we understand — or even just glimpse — that God, good, is the only Mind and that the opposite, called devil or evil, has no intelligence or reality at all, we are able to defend ourselves from the influence of this false mind and human will. (S24 & S25) Paul was undeterred by the opposition that has tried to stop the truth from being revealed to every age — as was Mrs. Eddy, and as we must be! (S27) What is the key to withstanding the attacks of those who are blinded to the law of God? Stay planted in Christ. (S28) Refuse to be dissuaded from your understanding (and your desire to share your understanding) of God’s law — whether the attacks come from other people or from our own bodies and thought, in the form of pain or apparent lack of healing. Whatever opposes the almighty God and the facts of Christian Science must fall!

Section 6: The accuser is cast down and Truth found to be supreme — Praise the Lord!!

Throughout the Bible, various names are given to describe the evil that presents itself as good — the error that presents itself as truth. It starts out as the serpent in Genesis and has blown itself up to a dragon in Revelation. In between it is the accuser, the tempter, the devil, demons, Satan, and more. Mrs. Eddy defines the red dragon as “error; fear; inflammation; sensuality; subtlety; animal magnetism; envy; revenge.” (S29) We can add to that list a lot of “subheadings” of forms error can take. But, regardless of how it is presented, the destruction of evil by the supremacy of the omnipotent God is assured. (B21) We must remember to always, always start and stay with the mighty God that is “in the midst” of us — in the midst (at the center) of all things! (B20) Our job is to be ever conscious of the presence of God’s Christ. It is the Christ, Truth (fully embodied by Christ Jesus) that enables us to refuse entrance of error into consciousness — to neither react with fear nor become complacent to the suggestions of the tempter. It is worth the effort of constant watching — of denouncing all that is unlike God, good — whether it comes in the form of a threat or a promise — of what matter can do to us or for us. As we do, we can sing with ever-growing conviction … “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth”. (B22) This statement from Science and Health is absolute fact and must not be forgotten, regardless of how loud the physical senses scream that there is a power other than God (good) that has a strong hold and influence over us: “God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power.” (S32; p. 473) NOTHING except permanent, unadulterated, irreversible good has any power to change or influence God’s creation — the only creation, that is here and now. The bigger the evil (error) seems, the more blatantly opposite it is to good (Truth). (S31) So, rather than being more impressed by it, its nothingness should become that much more apparent to us as we hold steadfastly to the supremacy of Truth — and become more and more conscious of the allness of good and reject the suggestion that “there is intelligence in matter either to benefit or to injure” anyone or anything. (S30) How grateful we must be that God is God — all good!! And evil is nothing!

[Warren’s (W’s) PS#1—Cobbey Crisler on Matt. 4:1-11 (B12)—Jesus’ temptations overcome

“There is what we might call an identity-crisis test in Chapter 4 (of Matthew). The Anglo-Saxon word “tempt” has almost picked up a theological meaning. It really means “test.” That’s what the word means. It’s a test. (Verse 1) So, “Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness” to be tested on the fact that had recently been revealed (directly from God in Matthew 3:17 that Jesus was God’s “Beloved Son”).
Verse 2. “After forty days and nights he’s hungry.”
This reminds me of Moses. He, too, had that testing period (Exodus 24:18) just prior to receiving the Ten Commandments. For forty days and forty nights. This Chapter in Matthew is just prior to the Sermon on the Mount or the Beatitudes. This preparation is the same. And there is a test.
Verse 3. “When the tester comes,” here it is, question Number 1: “If you are the Son of God.” Why would that even have emerged if we had not had Verse 17 in the preceding chapter? “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The test question is, “If you are,” then what? “Command that these stones be made bread.”

How does Jesus respond to this test question? He quotes Scripture. Notice how Jesus responds to temptation. If this is the way Jesus elects to respond to it, what about you and me? How eloquent might you or I try to get when we respond to temptation? Make up original sermons, choose our words carefully, perhaps?

Jesus decided the best defense was Scripture. This verse is taken from Deuteronomy 8, Verse 3. Deuteronomy is a law book. In fact, the word in Greek deuteros nomos is the second law or the repetition of the law. How did he regard this test by Satan? What was going on in Jesus’ thinking here? Had he isolated it completely?

“First of all, what does Satan mean in Hebrew? Accuser. It is also the term for prosecuting attorney. If he has the prosecuting attorney accusing in thought, Jesus in his defense cites what? The law. He quotes the law book. He doesn’t need to do anything original. The law is the law and it never varies. Therefore, what is being suggested her by Satan, or the prosecuting attorney is illegal. It is illegitimate. He proves it by citing the law. That’s a marvelous technique for us in the middle of temptation.

“Our consciousness is like a law court. And the plusses and minuses that occur there have to be dealt with, as in a law court. Where are the accusations coming from? The prosecuting attorney or Satan. Where do we get the information? The law book or the defense attorney.

“You know that Jesus promised that something would come after he had left. It’s been translated “the comforter” in the gospel of John. The Greek word is parakletos, sometimes transliterated as paraclete. In Greek it can be the technical term for defense attorney.

“Verse 4. So, where did Jesus turn for his protection and defense, the defense of his manhood, the defense of his sonship with God, which is a spiritual fact revealed directly to him by God? How does he defend it? By citing the law book, utilizing the Comforter or defense attorney against the arguments of Satan. If Jesus had to do that, can we do anything less? “Man shall not live by bread alone,” Jesus said, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” That is a great statement of survival in an emergency….

“Verse 5. But Satan isn’t through yet, is he? Next thing, take Jesus out of the wilderness, and move him into an entirely different environment. The sophistication of organized religion, ecclesiasticism. “Take him to the very pinnacle of the Temple.”

“Verse 6. Show him everything that could belong to him ecclesiastically if he would only go via the world’s route by following devilish suggestions. “If thou be the son of God,” the same test question again. “Cast thyself down.” Notice the suggestion is that Jesus do it himself. Apparently Satan knew that it would not succeed trying to cast Jesus down. If Satan couldn’t do it, the only way that it could be done would be for Jesus to do it to himself.” …

“In verse 6 we find that Satan is quoting Scripture, “It is written, He will give his angels charge concerning thee.” In fact, that is a very key attempt by Satan. Why? Satan discovered what Jesus’ defense was, namely Scripture. O.K., if that’s the way you want it, the devil can use Scripture for its purposes. But the devil doesn’t know much beyond the 91st Psalm and everybody knows that. So, Satan quotes, “It is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear you up.” You see, there is nothing to worry about, Jesus, even Scripture now backs you, so leap down.

“Verse 7. Jesus doesn’t react. It’s reaction in Judo that is taken advantage of by your opponent. Jesus doesn’t react. Simply quotes once again the law book. This come from Deuteronomy 6, verse 16. “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” You cannot test God and His revealed Word. The high quality of Jesus’ discernment and his thought is not sufficient to dismiss Satan after one temptation, or even a second one. How valuable is the quality of persistence! Supposed Jesus had given up after the second time, “I already covered this ground.” Or listened to Satan, but he doesn’t.

“Verse 8. The third charge or accusation occurs, “the devil takes him into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world.”

“All these things being offered to Jesus are to a degree a kind of power. He was offered personal power by changing stones to bread. Then he was offered priestly power if he’d go for the argument to be the head of ecclesiasticism. And he was offered political power by being shown all the kingdoms of the world.

“All those temptations that hit human nature… We are in the wilderness at some point along with Jesus having the exact same tests applied to us. How are our responses to those exam questions? Do we pass with flying colors?…

“Verse 10. We find that Jesus answers and that the only thing he says that’s original, “Get thee behind me Satan.” He dismisses the prosecution in thought, “for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shall thou serve.” That’s kind of a combination of Deuteronomy 6, verse 13 and Deuteronomy 10, verse 20.

“Verse 11. Look at what happens. “The devil leaveth him.” No longer is there dualism in thought. “Angels came and ministered unto him.” True communication completely governed his thought, no longer a divided kingdom. The false communication is dismissed.”

“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax Collector’s Report” , by B. Cobbey Crisler. To buy your own copy, see W’s PS#4.]

[W’s PS#2 from CC insights on Luke 4.14-15, 33-36 (B14): Jesus casts out unclean spirits
“Certainly, Luke's insight tells us this has been a power struggle. Where does power lie? Is it something that must be humanly grasped, something that Jesus has to seize? To take personal power, political power, and priestly power, and immediately cut a dramatic swath across the world? Or does he find another message in the law that relates man directly to God, the source of the only power there is?

“Luke indicates that he understands this has been a power test for Jesus because in

Verse 14 he uses that word, "Jesus returned" not in any form of power that

Satan had tried to impose upon him. But rather, "in the power of the Spirit into Galilee."

He appears in his hometown of Nazareth. Here is a hometown boy that has made good, locally, mostly in Capernaum, not far away. He comes back. "His fame has spread." …

Luke 4:33, this first specific healing is the one of the unclean devil. Many of these healings require steps. There is a sequence in healing, in many cases, three specific phases that Jesus goes through before the healing occurs.

“One asks the question, "Why? Couldn't Jesus heal instantaneously?" We know he did. But look at the value for us in having the method that he used preserved step by step.”

Book of Luke: Luke the Researcher”, by B. Cobbey Crisler. To buy your own copy, see W’s PS#4.]

[W’s PS#3—Cobbey Crisler on Acts13.1-12 (B17)Paul calls out devil, reaches influential people “We have certain members of the “church at Antioch” listed. Do you see that it says “Simeon that was called Niger” there? That, in Chapter 13 of Acts, actually some commentators translate that as Simon the black man. So it may very well indicate the mixture of races in this most liberal of the branch churches of Christianity. Antioch, where a lot is happening, a lot of action, the name Christians up there, you have a lot of Greeks, you have a mixture and many steps forward in breaking down the conservatism of Judaism. (See below)

“Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

“These missions in the field begin from Antioch rather than from Jerusalem. “The Holy Ghost is associated with every prompting and motivation here in the beginning.” (Acts 13:2 paraphrased)

“Here is Antioch, and we are leaving the coastal point of Seleucia and heading west now across the Mediterranean, and we’re arriving at Cyprus.” (Acts 12:4 paraphrased) …

“Now, what do we know about Barnabas? He came from Cyprus. So, it seems like a logical stopping place. Barnabas obviously would know people there. It was his native country. And so we are starting comfortable in a way, with some degree of familiarity in the spreading of the gospel on this journey.

“And when they get to Salamis in Cyprus, they are preaching, and a sorcerer is introduced here who has a great influence on the proconsul who is named Segius Paulus. {Summary of Acts 13:5-7) …

“We do know archeologically that Sergius Paulus was proconsul of Cyprus because an inscription dated A.D. 55 has been found at Paphos (on Cyprus) with the words “in the time of the Proconsul, Paulus.” So we do have archeological evidence that this man, and his position, which is an underpinning of the historicity of this account.

“And the sorcerer has occurred to him what had occurred to Paul, the blindness. “And he falls into that mist and darkness and had to be lead by the hand.” (Acts 13:11 paraphrased) …

The deputy however, the proconsul, in, “believes in Christianity.” (Acts 13:12 paraphrased)

There’s no mention of baptism at all. So we have no idea whether he became the symbol of joining in membership in this way, or whether he became a friendly influence. But this is one thing we know: Paul is now reaching into palaces and governor’s courts, and reaching people with influential public positions. This has not happened before. “

“After the Master, What? The Book of Acts”, by B. Cobbey Crisler. To buy your own copy, see W’s PS#4.]

[W’s PS#4: You can buy your own transcripts (and audio CDs) of most of Cobbey’s 28 talks at a new website: Email your order or inquiry to, or directly to Janet Crisler, at ]

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