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The Final Revelation
BLISS KNAPP, CSB


         The first man to suffer martyrdom in defense of the Christian religion, founded by Christ Jesus, was Stephen. He was brought to judgment before the high priest for doing miracles, and was charged with stirring up the people. His defense was addressed to the unbelief of Israel by calling to remembrance how Moses “said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear” (Acts 7:37). And they stoned Stephen for making the words of Moses applicable to Jesus.

         Why should there be such unbelief about the fulfillment of prophecy? Jesus said of this unbelief: “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me” (John 5:45, 46). Doubtless the unbeliever looks for a sign of his own making, instead of reading correctly the signs which God has already provided. Referring to these signs, Jesus said, “I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me” (John 5:36).

         Here is an admission that the Father had assigned definite work to Jesus which he had to finish. The nature of that work Jesus made plain to the messengers of John the Baptist by recounting his own works of healing. (Matthew 11:2-6). These miracles of Christian healing marked Jesus as the Way-shower to salvation, and these works of Christian healing provided proofs to the unbeliever that Jesus was God’s anointed; for he said, “Though ye believe not me, believe the works” (John 10:38).

         Now, let us compare the early words of Jesus concerning the works which the Father had given him to finish (John 5:36), with his later declaration, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). Think of what that statement implies! All the work which God had assigned to Jesus, he had finished! Then Jesus began to tell about a certain Comforter who should come after him. He spoke of the Comforter, not as a personality, but as the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17). From Jesus’ sayings, we learn that the promised Comforter would not come until after the departure of Jesus (John 16:7); and also that the “Spirit of truth” would guide “into all truth” (John 16:13); so there would then be no truth remaining which would be sealed or hidden. This was Jesus’ way of saying there would be one more revelation of Truth after him, and it would be the final or complete revelation.

         Again referring to the Comforter, Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). Although his own work on earth was completed, Jesus was required to foretell much more about this final revelation of Truth than the people were able to bear at that time. Much more must be said, and Jesus’ departure was imminent. Consequently, the final revelation of truth must be foretold some time in the future, according to the divine plan.

         About sixty years after the crucifixion, while John was an exile on the island of Patmos, the angel of Jesus Christ appeared, and told John all that is recorded in the book of Revelation. The opening verse of the book of Revelation reads as follows: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.” This Revelation of Jesus Christ must, then, contain the many things which Jesus had to say when the time was ripe, and John was made the recorder or transcriber.

         One should not overlook the fact, as recorded in the opening verse of the Apocalypse, that God gave this revelation to Christ Jesus. It must, therefore, be as unchanging as God, from whom it proceeds. Turning from the beginning to the end of this book, we read, “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city” (Rev. 22:18, 19). This solemn warning shows that the book of Revelation is God’s own Word; and that its constructive prophecies refer to work which had to be accomplished by a future prophet, but which was not included in Jesus’ assignment.

         Part of the work to be done after Jesus’ time is described in Revelation as the appearing of the “little book” (Rev. 10). This “little book” Mrs. Eddy calls “Truth’s volume” (marginal note, Science and Health, p. 559), and of it she asks the question, “Did this same book contain the revelation of divine Science?”

         How should professed Christians recognize the advent of the promised Comforter? Would it not be by the same works of healing which Jesus described to the messengers of John the Baptist? “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy states the rules of Christian healing so simply and clearly that multitudes of people have been healed by a careful reading of this book. The last chapter in the book entitled “Fruitage,” contains a hundred pages of testimonies by those who have been healed by the perusal of the “little book”.

         These cases of healing do more than record the works of Christian Science; they enable one to gain a better understanding of the author of Science and Health. For one to be healed of bodily conditions by the simple study of a book, enables one to understand the consciousness of the author, even as Mrs. Eddy has invited us to find her in her writings (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 120, 133). One case recorded in the chapter on “Fruitage” (p. 626) is the healing of an infidel of kidney trouble. His healing turned him unerringly to the Master’s words in the Bible, just as Jesus said the Comforter would do (John 15:26). Perceiving a new meaning in those words, this man accepted the whole Bible. Another case is the healing of the tobacco habit and the desire for strong drink (p. 643). The patient learned that what set him free “was the truth which Jesus Christ taught”; and as a result he gained “peace and confidence in God.” Yet another case is the healing of a condition said by the physicians to be incurable (p. 688). With the healing came the conviction that the author of Science and Health “was divinely commissioned to bring this spiritual message to a waiting world.”

         “By their fruits ye shall know them,” said Jesus (Matt. 7:20); and by the works of healing in this chapter entitled “Fruitage,” as previously indicated, we can discover the real nature of the mind or consciousness of the author who wrote Science and Health. Hypnotism has never been known to heal a man morally; but the reading of Science and Health heals morally as well as physically. This proves that the consciousness of the author must have been pure in order to have her writings heal the impure. Her consciousness must have been free from drug-forming habits, in order to have her writings heal the victims of such habits. Her consciousness must have been free from fear, in order to have her writings heal the consuming fear of consumptives; indeed, her mind must have been imbued with that perfect Love which alone casts out fear. Paul exhorted the Philippians, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). Inasmuch as the reading of Science and Health heals the same conditions as those which Jesus described to the messengers of John the Baptist, it is evident that the author of that book must have been inspired by the same Mind “which was also in Christ Jesus.” And such works of healing must be the signs to which Jesus referred when he said, as recorded in the tenth chapter of John, “Though ye believe not me, believe the works.”

         Another prophecy contained in Revelation relates to Church. Jesus explained to his disciples the mission of the Christian church as being a successful challenge to sin or hell (Matt. 16:18). To that end, the Christian Science church provides for a midweek testimony meeting, where the fruitage of Christian Science healing of sickness and sin is definitely proclaimed. Again let it be said of this church, “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matt. 7:20).

         It has been said that, inasmuch as this is Science, any spiritually-minded person could have discovered Christian Science, had he been listening for it. But God assigned definite work for Jesus to do, and Jesus finally finished his work. No one else was permitted to do it. In like manner, certain other work must be done, including the writing of the “little book.” According to prophecy, the work described in Revelation must be done by a woman.

         In the twelfth chapter of Revelation, which Science and Health fully explains, we read, “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev. 12:1). The text does not read as if it referred to woman in general; it refers to “a woman” — one with a specific identity and individuality — prepared to fulfill God’s purpose. The fifth verse tells how this woman “brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” The woman’s child is inseparably related to God and His throne, and is destined to perpetuate the type of rulership spoken of in the first verse (Miscellany, p. 343).

         Some have thought this “man child” referred to Jesus, and that his mother must be Mary, the mother of Jesus. But Jesus could not foretell his own birth; and the “man child” was described to John at least sixty years after Jesus’ crucifixion. Moreover, Jesus made it plain that the Comforter could not come until after he himself went away (John 16:7). The “man child,” who was to rule with a rod of iron, would naturally appear when the other works described in Revelation should appear.

         Science and Health explains the identity and rulership of this “man child” as follows (p. 565): “The impersonation of the spiritual idea had a brief history in the earthly life of our Master; but ‘of his kingdom there shall be no end,’ for Christ, God’s idea, will eventually rule all nations and peoples — imperatively, absolutely, finally — with divine Science.” Mrs. Eddy definitely states in Science and Health that she understands the Comforter to be Divine Science, (p. 55). Then if you or I were ill, and we were ruled by this “man child,” that is, by Divine Science, as by a rod of iron, we would be healed, and such works of healing are the sign of the “Spirit of truth” or divine Comforter.

         Science and Health informs us that the twelfth chapter of Revelation is the lesson of today; that it is prophetic of events destined to appear during the nineteenth century (pp. 559, 560). The nineteenth century has come and gone, and Mary Baker Eddy is the only woman especially identified with Divine Science, and she is the one who has brought to completion the work described in the final revelation — namely, the writing of the “little book”; the establishment of the Church of Christ, Scientist, of which she says in the Manual of The Mother Church (p. 19) that it is designed “to reflect in some degree the Church Universal and Triumphant,” including the writing of the Church Manual; and the completion of the holy city (Rev. 21:16), the fourth side of which is “divine Science’ (Science and Health, p. 575).

         The dawn of “a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebr. 11:10), appeared first to Abraham, and this city meant to him the “land of promise” (Hebr. 11:9). In our day, we behold the city “foursquare” (Rev. 21:16), and it never could have a fifth side. By completing the city’s fourth side (Science and Health, p. 577), Christian Science is shown to be the final revelation of Truth. The corollary of this fact must be that Mary Baker Eddy is the final revelator of Truth, according to Scriptural prophecy.

         The woman in the Apocalypse is described in Science and Health as a spiritual idea, variously portrayed. For example, she is described as a woman in travail; as a woman clothed in spiritual light; as generic man; besides revealing the motherhood of God (pp. 561, 562). These are but four points of view regarding the same idea; and to one who really understands the spiritual idea, they will all be found in agreement (p. 345: 12-17). This spiritual idea is prophetic of events that came to pass late in the nineteenth century, and one must now look for the visible idea, rather than its symbol. In fact, Mrs. Eddy makes it plain that it is the visible idea which we must seek and find before we can correctly understand its divine Principle (p. 560).

         Science and Health refers to the “immaculate idea,” Christ, as “represented first by man and, according to the Revelator, last by woman” (p. 565). This latter statement points unerringly to the one who wrote Science and Health. Indeed, our Leader makes it evident in her writings that she understands herself to be the one who was commissioned by God to finish the work described in Revelation, thereby fulfilling prophecy and representing the woman in the Apocalypse (Science and Health, p. 565). She has written (ibid., p. 271), “Christ’s Christianity is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God.”

 

"The Final Revelation" by Bliss Knapp, CSB
The Christian Science Journal, December, 1938
 

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