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Armageddon and the revealing of unstoppable good

From the May 21, 2018 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


Google the word Armageddon and you may find that the top news searches cover serious world threats, from fears about climate change to rising and falling anxiety about some nations’ nuclear weapons programs. One might presume it’s only a matter of time before some apocalyptic event takes us out.

One factor that may contribute to the looming fear that the end of the world is upon us, is the common misunderstanding of the Bible’s book of Revelation—also called the Apocalypse. Revelation is commonly viewed as a dark book detailing how God’s wrath will ultimately destroy those who oppose God and His Christ. But, there are other ways to understand what constitutes an apocalypse. While “annihilation” may be a contemporary definition, the word actually comes from the Greek apokaluptein, meaning “uncovering, revealing.” Mary Baker Eddy found that the Bible, when understood from a spiritual standpoint, gives us a road map for the ultimate destruction of evil and the salvation of humanity through the full revealing of the power of Love, the unstoppable goodness that is God.

The Hebrew word for Armageddon, which could be considered a synonym of the word apocalypse, is used only once in the whole of the Scriptures—in Revelation—and while its original meaning is unclear, scholars’ best efforts indicate that it means the “mountain of Megiddo.” Megiddo is an Old Testament location where many decisive battles were fought. Interestingly, some feel that its mention in Revelation is more symbolic than literal. One Bible commentary states that the name Megiddo is “indicative of battle ... and intimates the complete overthrow in store for the dragon and the kings of the earth, which is described later on (Revelation 19)” (Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice, Joseph S. Exell, and Edward Mark Deems, eds. The Pulpit Commentary). 

In the Bible, mountains are often scenes of revelation, inspiration, and transformation where a better understanding of God is gained. In one such story, the prophet Elijah perceives God as speaking in “a still small voice” where destructive forces had seemed to be (see I Kings 19:8–12). In another, Christ Jesus delivered his Sermon on the Mount. So if we view the Scriptures from an inspired standpoint, one way to look at the reference to Mount Megiddo in Revelation is as a figurative reference to a higher, or inspired, understanding of God as all powerful, which the Scriptures reveal God to be, indicating the inevitability of divine Love definitively disposing of any, and ultimately all, evil.

God’s harmonious government cannot be forever hidden.

Perhaps there is a lesson to be found in the difference between the contemporary view of an apocalypse as destruction, and its original meaning of “revealing.” We might consider that such a misguided view as the former is the result of a fascination with the signs and symptoms of evil’s destruction, which would distract from the spiritual fact of the superiority of God, good, under every circumstance. Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, want and woe, sin, sickness, and death, which assume new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances will continue until the end of error, when all discord will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth” (p. 96). The important thing is to not become fascinated with the “disturbances” we might see around us, but to keep our thought on spiritual Truth, assured that God’s harmonious government cannot be forever hidden.

Christian Science reveals God as divine and universal Love, the infinite Mind and intelligence of all—the source and maintainer of all life, and the fount of unstoppable good. Understood in this way, life and good are seen as permanent and indestructible in God and His creation, because nothing is more powerful or more real than God’s love. This correct sense of God also enables us to see the book of Revelation as a love story—rather than a tale of horror—leading to the spiritual perception of “a new heaven and a new earth” (21:1), and the fact that good must, does, ultimately triumph over evil.

So the issue isn’t a battle between so-called equal forces called good and evil. Rather, it’s the conflict in human consciousness between the unassailable truth that good is the only reality and the belief that evil is real. While that might sound abstract and philosophical, the metaphysics of Christian Science—the study of true being, knowing, identity, and reality as the product of Mind, God—gives us the tools we need to prove in our own lives that evil, having no basis in God, has no basis in reality. 

Each proof we give of evil’s powerlessness, however small, is a powerful light.

This was proved to me when a breast tumor threatened my life. Through prayer and dedicated Bible study, I came to understand more of the indestructibility of God’s love for us all and of good as the substance of my life. I saw that evil isn’t a real and tangible force. I understood that instead, evil has no place or reality in God, and thus no presence or control over me or anyone else. When this is understood, the nothingness of evil is exposed, and this destroys it. I increasingly recognized how divine good is the permanent substance of my being. Though the disease symptoms were compelling, I turned from them and clung instead to God’s revelation of supreme good that I found in my study of Christian Science. I was at peace. The illusive condition and all the physical symptoms disappeared decisively and permanently.

This healing taught me that we each have a contribution to make in overcoming the world’s belief in evil. We each have work to do—work we can do—to overcome the belief in the reality of evil with the understanding and evidence of good in our own present experience, thought by thought and act by act. Each proof we give of evil’s powerlessness, however small, is a powerful light, waking the world to the present, unstoppable power of good.

In a brief Christmas message included in her book Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “Metaphysics, not physics, enables us to stand erect on sublime heights, surveying the immeasurable universe of Mind, peering into the cause which governs all effects, while we are strong in the unity of God and man” (p. 369).

From this mount of the revelation of divine good, we see God and His creation as perfect and intact. This is the true Armageddon—or revealing—of unstoppable good that decisively destroys the claims of evil and conclusively protects us all.

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