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Never Believe the Tale of a Serpent!


Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Weekly Bible-Lesson for April 9-15, 2007

Subject:  Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S.  of St.  Louis, MO

Editor’s Note: The following background information and application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp!      BY EACH WEDNESDAY: CHECK  FOR A FREE TRANSLATION of this weekly “met” offered in FRENCH by Pascal Bujard of Switzerland AND NOW in SPANISH by Ana Arcioni of Spain.


The serpent, the great red dragon, the devil – different names for the same powerless nothing.   Its tale is never to be believed, feared, or run from!     It has been cast out of heaven.  Confront the serpent – alias sin, disease, and death; take off its disguise, reveal it’s nothingness.  Then exercise your God-given power over it as you confront the lie.  You will find your name – your nature – established in heaven, harmony and you are safe!


Golden Text: Don’t believe the tale of a defeated foe!

The great dragon is just a puffed up little serpent – the devil (evil) personified.   It is nothing but a deceiver – a cheat, an imposter – who argues on the side of error, in an attempt to make us believe the false and disbelieve the true.   Basically, it is a big fat nothing trying to be something.  Found out, it has been expelled from heaven.   The devil does its best to accuse and tempt, but it lacks authority or any real identity.  The dragon has been defeated.  Claim the victory.   Remember, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (John 4:4)  Once its fraudulent nature is uncovered, the dragon can no longer deceive!    We’re not going to believe the tale of a defeated foe – are we? 


Responsive Reading: Rejoice!     You have power and authority over Satan’s tale!

Look for the theme of rejoicing and gladness.   This is good news!     Knowing that he wouldn’t physically be with the disciples forever, Jesus introduced his disciples to the eternal Christ which gave them, and the seventy, and us the power to fearlessly tromp on the “serpent” – put evil’s claims under foot – whatever form they may take.  Up to this time the disciples had been able to do some healing, but they couldn’t “cast out demons.”  (The New Interpreter’s Bible) Now, though, they report that “even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.”  Jesus perceived Satan’s defeat.  (v.  18)  Christ had broken its supposed power – no more real enemy to overpower good!     REJOICE!!!     You’ve been given power over evil.   But MORE importantly, rejoice because you know God and are known of God.   You live in heaven, in harmony – and Satan doesn’t!    


Section I:  The ever-present I AM delivers us from the tale of the serpent!

Meet God.   He made everything by His Word, according to His specifications – good!     He sees everything He’s made – including you and me.  (B-1) And he takes care of His creation as He forgives, heals, redeems, and crowns.  (B-2)  Moses met God when it was time for a career change.   He had been shepherding sheep.   But, the children of Israel were in trouble, and the great I AM – ever-present Love – needed Moses to use those shepherding skills to lead His people out of slavery.  Uncertain, Moses asks God what he should tell the people?   And God makes it clear … The I AM – the ever-presence of God – would be leading.  (B-3) Science and Health explains that because God makes all and “sees” all, there is no separation between God and His creation – they coexist.  (S-1)  This good God (Love) frees us from what isn’t good – like Truth frees from error and light from darkness – just by being Truth and Love.  (S-2) Look at the four “self-evident propositions” Mrs.  Eddy spells out for us, decide which of the choices in number four is true and then base all conclusions about everything you do accordingly.  (S-3)  Stay with the logic — God can’t create evil, experience evil, or make His creation (including us) subject to evil.  (S-4)  So, evil is nothing but suggestion – the serpent’s tale.   Are you going to believe it just because you seem to see it?   Or will you understand sin, sickness, and death to be nothingness because God didn’t make it?   Choose rightly!    (S-5)


Section II:  Don’t run – Face up to and handle the serpent’s tale!

Who’s afraid?  Not you!    Because you’ve learned from Moses’ experience that you can follow God’s lead and trust the results.   I’ve wondered if one reason Moses was asked to throw down his rod was to learn that his new shepherding experience would require him to lean completely on Spirit – rather than on his own ability or material aids.   Moses still wasn’t sure about this new assignment – who’s going to help me, he asked God?   He was obedient, though.  Throwing down the familiar, he saw his rod become a serpent and he started to run.   No need to be afraid!   Pick up the scary suggestion (perhaps the belief of personal responsibility) and once you’ve faced your fears, you find that a new and improved rod is firmly in place again.  (B-4) Obviously, a rod can’t really turn into a serpent, but the illusion can be just as frightening.   Have you ever “seen” something really scary at night – only to discover that it was just something like a pair of jeans thrown over a chair?   Darkness plays tricks.   The key is right identification.   Don’t be tricked (deceived) into trusting something illusive (like pills, exercise, money, brain, or personality) or being afraid of a supposition (disease, lack, confusion).  (B-5&6) God is All-in-all.   Even just glimpsing the allness of All destroys the evidence of other gods or powers.  (S-6)   It wasn’t just that the serpent didn’t hurt Moses.   It stopped even looking like a serpent.  (S-6)  Serpents confront us all the time – claims of sin, sickness, and death appearing real.  (S-7)  How are you going to react?   Run in fear?   Be paralyzed by worry?  Search the internet for a solution?   Or recognize the illusion as an illusion – whether it looks like a diseased body, an empty checkbook, or a blank social calendar – and fearlessly face it.   Moses responded to God’s direction, picked up the snake like a staff, and it stopped looking like a snake.  (S-8) Stop staring at, or running from, the problem.  Cling to the fact that God is all and God is good and you will find the solution to your problem “materialize” before your eyes.  (S-9)  Love meets your needs – whatever those needs appear to be!     Refusing to believe the tale, you won’t be afraid to handle it!    


Section III:  God’s law uncovers and destroys the tale of sin

The children of Israel had been in the wilderness a long time.   The journey was difficult, the food not to their liking, and they were discouraged!    They held God responsible, and complained bitterly.   They needed a wake-up call.   Theirs came in the form of death by snake.  When we turn away from God – concerned about how hard (or unfair or scary) things are, or when we start thinking that we don’t need God because we have it all under control – we lose sight of His omnipresent blessing, and we find ourselves in trouble.   God doesn’t send the problem (or punish us), but just as we end up in darkness when we turn from the light, we end up in the darkness of error when we’ve turned from the light of God.  The people went to Moses for help.   God instructed Moses to put a bronze image of the serpent on a pole, and the people were told to look at this image in order to be healed.   Was it the bronze image that healed them?   Of course not.   Their healing came as their thought shifted from the temptation to sin (complain) to obedience (gratitude) to God.  The sin was uncovered, and both the sin and the effects of the sin destroyed!     (B-10) God doesn’t send sin, or cause us to sin, and then punish us for it with sickness or death.  (S-11&12)  The light doesn’t send darkness, or punish us for walking in the dark.   But, without light, we don’t recognize the dangers, and may stumble or fall.  As soon as someone comes along with a flashlight, or the sun comes up, or we open our eyes – the danger is uncovered, and we’re saved from stumbling.   God’s law of good uncovers the sin – just like the light uncovers the hazards of walking in the dark – AND its effects (the disease or stumbling)!    (S-13) We shouldn’t be afraid of sin, or wonder what we’ve done wrong if we’re faced with a problem.   Rather, we claim our superiority to sin, as God’s child, and act accordingly.  (S-15) God doesn’t send sin, disease, and death;  He saves us from them.   Obediently, gratefully, patiently keep your eye on God, not the tale!


Section IV:  The tale of sickness is as false as the tale of sin

The devil (the defeated foe) tries to close our eyes (blind us) and silence our praise (make us mute).   But, we’re not going to buy the devil’s tale.   It was believed in Bible-times that Satan attacked certain parts of the body (as in the ability to speak).   The Pharisees couldn’t deny that the man had been healed, but tried to attribute it to sorcery, or some sort of pagan practice.   It is suspected that Beelzebub is a variation of Baalzebub, a Phillistine god called the fly-god.   Many Jews of this period believed that heathen deities were demons.  (Harper’s Bible Dictionary.)  But, some scholars believe that Beelzebub did not refer to the “fly-god” but meant “enemy”, as in the enemy of God.  (Hastings Bible Dictionary) Jesus’ primary mission was to reveal to all that the kingdom of God had come.   He wanted the power of Christ to be recognized and all credit given to God.  And as the people witnessed Jesus’ healings, they started wondering if this could be the promised Messiah.   In an effort to explain things to the Pharisees, Jesus asked them to consider a couple of things.   First, if Satan were responsible for disease, how could Satan then heal disease?   And, if Jesus was a sorcerer, how did they explain healings that their own prophets or followers (children) had performed?   But, he pointed out, if God was the power behind the healing, then this was evidence that the promised Savior had come!     (B-13)  The lesson for us?   It is Christ (the divine manifestation) that heals.  If we acknowledge that the Mind of Christ is also in us, we will also heal as Jesus healed.  Because God is Mind, there is only one Mind.   The devil, evil, is a supposition – a liar – and has no mind, intelligence, or reality!    (B-14 & S-17) Further, one evil (or enemy) can’t destroy another evil (or enemy) without dividing its kingdom.  So, whether the supposition is a minor scrape or the belief of cancer, argue against it with Truth – as Jesus argued against the idea that a supposition could make someone blind or dumb.   Destroy evil with good.  We are told to be specific in our argument – recognizing as supposititious everything related to symptoms and the belief that disease has a course to run, as well as the possibility that a supposition can be entertained in Mind (and thus expressed on the body.)  Entertaining the spirit of Truth and Love (throwing a party in your consciousness, welcoming in the invited guests and throwing out the uninvited tales of disease), you can expect and demand healing!    (S-18)


Section V:  Shake off the tale of death

Jesus’ resurrection demonstrated that death is but one more tale of the serpent and is not to be believed!     Christ, the divine manifestation of Life, precludes death.   (B-18) Through Paul’s understanding of God’s saving power, he didn’t gawk at the serpent delivering a supposedly deadly strike.   He didn’t buy in on the belief of incurability – the belief that once the serpent bites it is there until it kills you.   He shook it off into the fire to be burned.  The error was destroyed and Paul was left unharmed – not just not dead, but unharmed!     (B-17) The viper came out of the fire – out of the heat.   Fear is part of the definition of fire in the glossary, and heat is part of the definition of fear.   Paul felt no fear – or at least didn’t consent to it — just like the three Hebrew boys who were also saved from the effects of fire (fear).   (S-20)  If we knew everything was going to be okay, there would be no reason to be afraid.   Well, doesn’t the fact that “man is immortal and lives by divine authority” assure us that everything WILL be (IS) okay?  (S-22)  “The body cannot die, because matter has no life to surrender.”  (S-21)  We have never lived in matter (mythology; illusion – see glossary).   What we call matter, with its threat of death, is just one more tale of the dragon.   And, remember, the dragon was cast down.  It doesn’t live where we live – in the kingdom of heaven, the consciousness of harmony.   We live by divine authority, and no unreal belief can change that!    (S-22)  Shake off whatever would try to grab hold of you, with the authority of Life, and cast that serpent right back into the fire to be burned.   Death has no tale to tell!


Section VI:  Salvation from the tale of the dragon

We’ve now come full circle from the Golden Text, back to the holy war that has broken out in heaven.   Here are the players: The dragon, a.k.a.  Satan, is the accuser – the prosecuting attorney.   His angels (his messages of destruction) fight against Michael (spiritual strength – the protector of the people) and his angels.  Michael is the advocate, the defense attorney, that pleads our cause.  (B-21 & S-25) The situation is this: The “angels” of the dragon, and their attempt to convince us of the reality of sin, disease, and death, have been defeated.   The kingdom belongs to God.  God’s Messiah (Christ) rules!     Salvation comes when deceit is thrown out!     No more tale to be told.  (B-21) So where does that leave Satan and his tales that seem so real to us?   According to the New Interpreter’s Bible, Satan is lord of a realm “outside of Christ” and is a constant threat to harmony.   So, it would seem obvious that as long as consciousness stays in heaven – in the presence of the Almighty – we are safe!     We’ve got to use spiritual sense to keep the human consciousness where it belongs, and not let imagination run away with it!     This “outside,” where Satan has been cast out, is the testimony of the physical senses.   The evidence of the physical senses reverses the SCIENCE (truth) of being and creates a reign of discord – with its accompanying sin, sickness, and death.   But, what are the facts????  Pick up the tale of the serpent by the tail.  Don’t run from it and don’t let it sit dormant in thought, until it decides to surface.  Uncover and destroy its lies with the “great FACTS of Life.” (S-26)  The basic claim of the serpent (of the lie) is that “there is intelligence in matter either to benefit or to injure men.” (S-24)  So, be sure you are as willing to be free from the tale of “good” matter as you are to be free from the tale of “bad” matter.   (S-23) No need to stand aghast, or to sit and stare at the dragon’s tale.   It’s nothing!    (S-23) Shake off the defeated foe!     “The power of Christian Science” – the law of God – “and divine Love is omnipotent”  (S-27) Salvation has come.  You are free of the tale!!!

Camp Director’s Note: The above sharing is the latest in a series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  This document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms.  * Originally sent JUST to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson “mets” are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson in the books.  The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied.  The citations referenced (i.e.  B1 and S28) from this week’s Bible Lesson in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.  (S1-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist.  The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world.  The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one.  We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.   Spirituality is your innate estate that connects you moment by moment with God.   (See S&H 258:30) Christ is the gift of light that Jesus gave.   This Christ light of spiritual understanding comes with and reveals infinite blessings.  So, have fun unwrapping and cherishing your very special, spiritual gift(s)!     Then, wherever you are, share them with all as big blessings that make the Infinite difference!

Warren Huff, Camp Director     (636) 394-6162
CedarS Camps Office (where you can now mail requests or support till the office moves back to camp in May)
1314 Parkview Valley
Manchester, MO 63011


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