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[P.S.S.T.: Listen for Angel messages all day and stand Porter at the door of thought!]

Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
“Ancient and Modern Necromancy, Alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced”

for November 30, 2014

By Tom Evans Jr., C.S., a former staff member and big fan of CedarS
with contributions from Tom’s 11th Grade Sunday School Class:
Dylan S. from Ballwin, MO; Katie P. from Orlando, FL; Olivia H.
from St. Louis, MO; Michael C. from Elsah, IL; and Liam A. from Elgin, IL

Katie asks, “What does the subject ‘Ancient and Modern Necromancy, Alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced’ have to do with Jesus’ resurrection?”

Can you define each of the terms in the subject of the lesson this week? It so important that we address this subject twice a year in the Bible lesson. Why is this? Have a discussion with your class concerning defensive work. Why should we work for ourselves each day? If error or mortal mind is unreal, why should we pray to see that these concepts and others are unreal?

Liam asks, “Why is it ‘ancient’ and what does the topic mean?”

P.S.S.T. for the Golden Text and Responsive Reading

Do you memorize the Golden Text (GT) each week? Memorization is a wonderful way to build your mental library of powerful Biblical verses to have at the ready.  Next best option: How about keeping a running document of favorites on your phone or in your email?

Paul is telling the church in Galatia, modern central Turkey, about Gifts of the Spirit.  Wow!  Think about spiritual fruits or outcomes for a minute. You just read through a list of Spiritual fruits in the opening ceremonies of Sunday School.  Now look closely at them again.  Do you express these qualities?  What sort of outcomes do they lead to?  What type of thinking is Jesus asking followers to be alert to in Luke 21:34, 36?  What is “Surfieting?”  Pull out the dictionary and read Luke 21:34 in another translation too.

Olivia asks, "Are you listening for Angel messages throughout the day and standing Porter at the door of thought?" "What distinguishes a God-like thought?" "God is always here, you just have to be ready, alert, and active in your pursuit!"

P.S.S.T. for Section 1

Michael asks, “Why did Balak want to curse the children of Israel?” (He was afraid of the hundreds of thousands of strangers gathered in his land.)

Did Balaam ever possess any power to curse? Look ahead to citation S25. What about you?  When someone starts gossiping how do you respond?  Do you ever look at others who have been judged and think “I have received a command to bless; [God] has blessed” (Num 23:20 NIV)?  It is easy to fall into the trap of gossip, but we know how God sees God’s creation: Perfect!  Citation B9 from Ecclesiastes is a great reminder: “14 I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this…” (Ecclesiastes 3:14, NRSV).  How about when you are watching a story on the news?  Growing up in Florida, I felt like the news was broadcasting big bad hurricanes and the rest of the world wanted to see them get bigger and more destructive because it was "cool".  When watching an event live on TV involving law enforcement and wanting to see more action, is that attitude like Balak?  How are you addressing the situation in Ferguson Missouri when you see it on TV?  Are you getting sucked in to fear and anger?  Living in St. Louis I work to know that "all, all is well" (Hymn 350).  We need to continue to work and realize as the hymn continues that, "Through the love of God our Savior all will be well."

Olivia asks, "When tempted to judge/condemn others we realize we are incapable of doing so because there is only one Mind and that Mind cannot condemn itself." A good reminder is found in Luke 6:37.

(B5) What can we learn from the fountain analogy? “Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water” (James 3:11, NASB)? How is this similar or different from the problem of serving two masters? (Jesus talks about this in Matt 6:26 or Luke 16:13)

Liam finds it helpful to recognize that good and bad cannot come from the same source!

P.S.S.T. for Section 2

Olivia asks, “Are you satisfied with your work and life? If not, take a moment to realign yourself with God and tap into your bank of resources (God's being – you are the reflection of).”

Liam and Michael ask, “What helps you the most from this story with Moses” (S8)?

How is Moses’ experience in citation B8 (Exodus 4) with the snake and rod or his hand appearing leprous (a dreadful disease) and then immediately whole again a scientific demonstration of spirit? (S7)  Look at citation S9 for an explanation: “When false human beliefs learn even a little of their own falsity, they begin to disappear.” What new understandings are leading you “dear reader” to a clearer picture of your divine rights? (S10)

P.S.S.T. for Section 3

Psalm 91 is so powerful. Often we overlook phrases because we are used to them. Read Psalm 91 together. Look at a new translation. This can bring new light to familiar verses. What is a snare? What is a fowler? See if your class can figure this out without help.

Liam asks us to, “Look up the definition of ‘Wilderness’ in the Glossary of Science and Health.  Can your class find the glossary?”

Look at the definition of ANGELS in citation S11.  With this definition in mind, what did Jesus experience at the end of his trial in the wilderness in Matt. 4:1-11?  How does Jesus dismiss the temptation from the character called “the devil” in citation B11?  His answers come from the book of Deuteronomy.

Olivia asks, “What are some temptations that might seem to add or take away your experience? “What is a pinnacle?” “Is there a difference between Satan and devil?”

Satan means “adversary” in Hebrew. There is no real adversary, but we need to defend our thought, right? Does God produce temptations for us to overcome? NO! See citation S13.

Dylan points out that citation B11 was Jesus’ last big test before starting his ministry. There are three major temptations and three is a Biblically significant number.  

As a class we looked at S&H p 442:30 where Mrs. Eddy writes:  “Christian Scientists, be a law to yourselves that mental malpractice cannot harm you either when asleep or when awake.”  How can you be prepared to withstand the false temptations of what appears to be an adversary in our thought?

Citation S14 states that temptations and illusions of all kinds had “no terror for Jesus.”  As his followers, what does it take for us to be unafraid of material suggestions?

In times of trial, we gain a clearer picture of Truth and Love. Why is this the case? See citation S17.

Katie asks, “How do angels in Section 3 relate to the subject?” What happens after false claims are “denounced”?

P.S.S.T. for Section 4

Read citation S18 then go back and discuss what Mary saw in citation B13 and what Jesus experienced during the resurrection in citation B13.  Why is the resurrection an example of denouncing material claims?

Remember Katie’s question from the beginning of this PSST, Katie asked, “What does the subject ‘Ancient and Modern Necromancy, Alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced’ have to do with Jesus’ resurrection?”

Dylan asks, “Is Jesus referring to himself when he says, ‘Destroy this temple and in three days, I [Spirit will raise it up]’?” See citations S18 and B13.

Olivia says, “Consider citation S21, ‘what are some qualities, actions, or spiritual ideas that you can embody like Jesus?’"

P.S.S.T. for Section 5

Citation B15 looks back at the GT.  Do you see any patterns?  How does this short, final section tie the lesson together from beginning to end?

Katie asks us to consider citation S24. "What is Animal Magnetism?”

Olivia asks "How can you be virtuous to those in your family and community?" (S24) "When recognizing God as infinite (S25), think of this citation from Miscellany 174:25-28 'An increasing sense of God's love, omnipresence, and omnipotence enfolds me.  Each day I know Him nearer, love Him more, and humbly pray to serve Him better".

When you watch the news what are you keeping in thought? Do not be like Balak trying to curse and hoping the picture gets worse. Are you promoting "affection and virtue in families and therefore in the community?" Look over (S24) once more. 

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