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Find yourself safely hidden from evil suggestions of all kinds by recognizing and looking to good/God, and denouncing the lies!
Metaphysical ideas on the Christian Science Bible lesson on

“Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced”
for December 2, 2018

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

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As I approached the study of this week's lesson I realized I had a less than thoroughly clear understanding of what is meant by "necromancy". I knew it had to do with the dead, of course, but on looking up the definition, I was struck by the statement that it specifically refers to communication with the dead in order to reveal the future. Couldn't we see this as a form of looking to the past, ours or the past more broadly, to make our decisions and think how to proceed (especially since none of us is likely to try out literal necromancy any time soon)? Of course, there is much to be said for learning from our past but looking to God for how to proceed, thinking in terms of fresh and inspired ideas to bring us progress–this attitude yields safety, harmony, understanding, insight and joy. We find this idea born out in this Bible lesson as we discover that the thoughts from God, "angels", often provide us with safe and wise guidance and protection from evil. Another word that I looked up has a couple of meanings that work in this context. The word is "denounced", a pretty straight forward word. One modern definition says: "To condemn or censure openly or publicly." Since this definition didn't seem to fit as precisely as it could into the context of this week's subject, I looked it up in the Webster's 1800 dictionary and and other more archaic meanings and found it to mean "To announce or proclaim, especially as something evil or calamitous." This definition is a bit more useful here.

There are at least 17 references to forms of the word "hide" throughout this Bible lesson, including of course the Golden Text and Responsive Reading! As mentioned in the "my Bible Lesson" study version of the Bible lesson, the word "hidden" from the Hebrew, describes something covered so that it is disguised or difficult to find. This is not that different from how we think of "hidden", but the added dimension of "disguised" is useful. The idea of being hidden from evil implies that there is evil "out there". This lesson helps us to see more clearly that actually we are hidden, as in safe, within God's laws of purity, innocence, love, truth–and that these laws actually are the only power in the universe. All that appears as evil in our experience has no source but itself. It is a "…liar, and the father of it" as Jesus says in B18. Once we are clear in our understanding that evil has no true source, God, we find ourselves demonstrating the freedom that this fact establishes. Our lives truly are "hid with Christ in God". There is no safer place to be. We may experience scary events, accidents, disease, violence and find in their midst, as many in this week's lesson find, safety, peace and life. Or maybe we find that we are sometimes spared the experience altogether through angel thoughts that guide us wisely to take certain actions or steps that lead to more harmony. Either way, we are bearing witness to our safe hiding place with Christ in God.

Section 1: Good thoughts, God's angels, keep us safe and hidden in Good.

We are identifying thoughts this week. Are they thoughts from God? If not, we can be alert and quick to identify and denounce them as without influence, without power. They may seem convincing, but if we are diligent and willing to choose the good and stand by it, we find the universe of harmony and freedom open to us. Just a few weeks ago, when I was preparing to write last month's first Sunday CedarS metaphysical, I found myself struggling with a migraine headache. I had a little more than two hours before needing to pick up my kids at a couple of different activities and I took that time to just sit down and listen. My desire was to hear only God's voice, God's angel thoughts. Amusingly enough, this was not what I heard, not for a long time. Between declarations of truth on my part, quiet listening and prayer, my thought was punctuated by suggestions that I was sure sick of feeling this awful, and wondering about whether a pill would relieve the discomfort. "Hah!" I thought, "where the heck was that suggestion coming from?!!" I don't generally even dabble in that kind of thought. But I do have a dear and close person to me with whom I often have lively conversations, usually about religion and faith. She loves to rib me about my "choosing" to suffer with a headache rather than taking a pill as she does. It became clear that these thoughts about taking some kind of medication were not my own, not even my friend's influence really. They are the mass influence, the hypnotic world suggestion that we are made of matter and as such, should treat matter with matter to correct it or relieve its pain. It sounds simple, practical. Really it is a road fraught with fear and unsolvable problems. There is no moral right or wrong here. My choice to listen to what I hear from God about Her safety, provision of health, joy, and so on, is one that I have found to be reliable and powerful over and over again. As I sat in that chair, earplugs in, eyes closed, I was able to deny entry of that voice about the "pill". There was no overwhelming revelation, I didn't even get to start writing the met. But as I rose from the chair about 21/2 hours later, I was completely healed, no headache, no nausea. Since then, it has been exciting to check my thought with each call for help to see what is influencing a condition. Evil is not a power. We can sift through our thoughts as they come and identify them as powerful and from God, or powerless and having no source but the liar.

Section 2: Innocence and purity are powers that safely hide us from evil.

It can be tempting to be overwhelmed with suggestions of the power of evil. The story in this section, of Moses being hidden by his family and then saved and raised by Pharaoh's daughter includes an element of irony. Here Pharaoh was, trying to keep his country safe from what he deemed a threat of too many Hebrews, and his evil and violent law "causes" his own daughter to raise the very boy who eventually grows to lead the Hebrews away to freedom from their slavery in Egypt. Evil is not power. In one sense, we can see that Moses' innocence and purity as a baby, was a powerful protection. In another, we can see that his mother's pure affection reflected the power of God's Mothering love and purity and provided safety for the child in the midst of this genocidal law. "Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil." (S10) Moses' mother, and the midwives, "knew themselves". They knew that they were the chosen people of God–as we, mankind are. They knew that as such, they could overcome the fear of reprisal and trust God to supply the wisdom they needed to hide the baby. They knew that Pharaoh's law was not more powerful than their love. We too can know that we are safe in our trust of God. By knowing our true selves, God's man, we know that we are worthy of safety, protection from harm. We can know, even more, that we don't have to be sophisticated or "influential" to find this safety, only entertain God's thoughts of purity and innocence. In this way we can see that children are not an exception to the safety God provides.

Section 3: Love protects and hides us from hatred.

When we are conscious of the presence of Love, we find that whatever the circumstance, we can walk through any "valley"(S15) and out the other side in safety. David was close friend's with Saul's son Jonathan. This love served as a protection from Saul's envy and hatred of David. (You can read in this book of Samuel, exactly how Jonathan signaled David to keep him safe in one instance!) Hatred can seem a powerful enemy. It completely occupies thought whether you are the "hater" or the one hated. But as we identify Love as the true power and clothe ourselves in the "panoply of Love" (S12), we find Love being expressed in all sorts of places, keeping us safely hidden from the suggestion of this evil.

In one testimony shared in the online Wednesday service from the Mother Church last week, a woman spoke of being saved from such hatred when a man put a gun to her side and demanded she give him her purse. Rather than give him the purse she began to declare his nature as loved and loving (based on her knowledge of man as God's loved idea). He was apparently drunk and became angry and demanding. But within a short time he appeared completely sober, apologized and walked awhile with her while she shared some thoughts about God and Christian Science with him. She even gave him a periodical (which she was carrying in her purse) before he left. This is one example of many that you can find in periodicals over the years, where hatred was subdued and healed through the power of Love. Recognizing hateful and evil thoughts, denouncing them as powerless, and knowing that Love is the only power, erases the hatred and its seeming power.

Section 4: Truth keeps us safe. [In upper right Download Rahab monologue or hear it]

This section includes the story of Rahab, a "harlot", who saves Joshua's spies from certain death. Rahab was an independent woman (owned her own house), who also worked in other avenues, as we see, because she is processing flax on her rooftop. The fact that she was a prostitute made it not at all suspicious that strangers would enter her home, so she was in a good position to help these men. But her recognition of the Truth, of the rightness of their mission, was what kept her safe in the ensuing invasion of her city. This recognition prompted her to keep them and their mission a secret and to mislead the men of her city. When confronted with destructive thoughts or suggestions, we need to go to our "rooftop", our higher consciousness. Turn to the Truth, the peace that Truth brings. This Truth provides us cover and safety from the thoughts that are not our own. We find ourselves being given divine direction. Mary Baker Eddy's admonition in citation S20 to be a law to ourselves is one that we can daily follow. In so doing we can find ourselves safely delivered from evil and enemies of all sorts through the dawning awareness of Truth's constant government. Rahab recognized the spies as such. We can recognize the prompts of Truth, the angel messages and listen to their guidance. Thus we find ourselves in a position of power and of safety.

Section 5: Evil hides in mortal thought, Christ shines a light on it and destroys it.

Remember that evil tries to tell us it is a "person". It never is, and knowing this takes away its ability to influence us poorly. Citation S21 tells us that "Jesus said of personified evil, that it was "a liar, and the father of it." This allowed him to safely walk through a group that wanted to stone him. He was hidden in plain sight, he was "disguised" as the Hebrew word for hidden tells us. Animal magnetism, which Mary Baker Eddy describes as "…the action of error in all its forms…" in citation S18, will often cause human thought to either be apathetic, or indignant, two extremes of human thought. (S24) All we have to do is consider the political climate in many countries today to see a good example of this kind of animal magnetism at work. But on a daily basis we can reach out to the Christ consciousness, the one that is grounded in clarity, freedom, healing, to see that our true thoughts come to heal and clarify, never to stir up hatred or outrage. We can find our safety from these suggestions by watching our thought and what might be influencing it.

An analogy that might help comes to mind. Two of my boys are passionate about racing dirt bikes in hare scrambles. They race several series all over Missouri, sometimes in nearby states. Each time they return home they have a process they go through to eliminate problems in the next race. First, James is responsible for carefully washing the bikes and gear which are often completely caked in mud. Then Huck can see clearly to go over the bikes and look for broken parts, missing bolts, and anything that might need adjustment. They keep a log book of hours on each part of the bike–the pistons, the plugs, the brakes, the clutches and so on. They know, through experience, that if they replace the piston/parts of the clutch/brake, etc. by a certain number of hours of ride time, they are more likely to avoid breakdowns during a race. This is a form of denouncing the chaos that apathy or a haphazard approach might bring to their race days. It is a shame to spend so much time driving, packing up, and so on, only to arrive at a race and break down because you weren't alert to simple things that can be predicted. A clear Christlike consciousness gives us the freedom to live a more vibrant and unlimited life. This might seem a strange analogy to put with Jesus walking through an angry crowd, but if you think of the angry crowd as the world's thought that tries to occupy the space in our consciousness that should be dedicated to the peace of Christlike thinking, you can maybe see that this Christlike thought leads us to the ultimate in unlimited fun–much like we experience at CedarS Camps in the summer! Keeping thought humble and open to the new ideas that Christ brings always helps us to recognize what we need to see and correct, just as Huck and James are led to discover what needs repairing, maintaining and replacing before each race!

Section 6: We are hidden from even the most aggressive of lies, death.

It seems that there is some irony in at least a couple of the sections of this week's lesson! I mentioned the irony in Moses' story. In this section Jesus works out the issues of life eternal even while in the "narrow tomb" with "rock ribbed walls" of stubborn disbelief surrounding him (S27). Maybe this tomb is ironically similar to the ark in which Moses was set to float in the river for Pharaoh's daughter to discover? In the tomb Jesus experienced the safety and peace that allowed him to work out this most important proof of life eternal. He no doubt had to address the animal magnetic suggestions of hatred, envy, betrayal (all "personified evil"), and the seeming power of these suggestions over his life. He met them, and recognized that only Love, only Truth and only Life had power over his being.

For a modern experience of meeting and denouncing the claims of death you can check out this testimony from Bill and Amy Nisbet, our own CedarS Camps Property Manager and Housekeeping Director. ' Notice how Amy directly denounces the suggestion of death with that passage from Science and Health! We too can denounce animal magnetism's aggressive suggestions in whatever form. We can decide that we don't "have time" for fear! In citation B1 the Psalmist asks to be delivered from "fear of the enemy" and not "the enemy"? Often fear is the enemy itself, keeping us from experiencing the peace and clarity of the Christ consciousness.

Section 7: Rejoice in the hidden (to mortal sense) beauty and bounty of God.

I love this passage because God has given us only beauty and bounty. A bounty of health, life, joy. Citation B23 is referring to Israel's deliverance from captivity and the king that will appoint men/princes who will promote good so that we will be hidden from wind, tempest etc. This analogy is the perfect accompaniment to citation S31 as it depicts the bounty as" rivers of water in a dry place". God's goodness is apparent and experienced, we have only to denounce the lies that would say otherwise.

Section 8: Hid with Christ we are safe from evil.

Human sense cannot see the bounty, safety, health, joy that is ours as God's children. We can resist the temptation to listen to the parade of thoughts that come to human sense to spout lies of illness, sadness, resentment, whatever the current hypnotic suggestion. Maybe it would help to think of the fact that man is ever safe as God's reflection. The image cannot be "broken", even if the mirror seems to get shattered. That image isn't within the mirror. It is safe within God. Hypnotic suggestions about our fragility as material beings would put our lives within the mirror itself, rather than as reflection of the divine. When we look to Christ, Truth, for our assessment of health, joy, safety, we find ourselves right there, hidden in Good.

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