MENU:  HOME » Religion » Revelation: Content : Previous Chapter : Next Chapter

The Book of Revelation
Chapter Seven
One Bahá'í's Concept

CONCEPT BOX

The purpose of religion is to bring harmony and unity between God and man, and between men and man. In the Bahá'í teachings it is said that it is better that there be no religion than a religion that causes disunity. Particularly, at this 'Time of Fulfillment', unity is the prime purpose of the Bahá'í Faith to bring all the tribes of the earth together and to unify them into One. Some individuals from all nations, races and cultures awaken to this consciousness first and are persecuted by others who do not yet recognize, accept and devote themselves to the Throne of Religion Renewed and its New World Order.

The change from the old to the new does not come about without travail and here there is introduced another new symbol and concept - that of the:

    • 'The Four Angels of the Euphrates'
This new concept of 'The Four Angels of the Euphrates' is discussed in the appendix at the end of this chapter.

Bible Verses

[1] And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

One Bahá'í's Concept

V.1 John saw four angels holding back the four winds of the earth, the forces of destruction that will be brought from all corners of the earth.

The Four Angels of the Euphrates (see Rev.9:14 and the appendix at the end of this chapter) are connected with a worldwide event that becomes a prominent theme in the following chapters.

The holding back is the time needed to get the Bábí Faith, (and now the Bahá'í Faith) established; a chance to proclaim to those who will listen.

    O HOUR of the Dawn! Ere the resplendent glory of the divine Luminary sheddeth its radiance from the Dayspring of this Gate, call thou to mind that the appointed Day of God will indeed be at hand in less than the twinkling of an eye. Thus hath the decree of God been issued in the Mother Book.
    ( Selections from the Writings of the Báb,
    p. 68)
[2] And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea.

V.2 John saw another Angel, ascending (rising) from the East with a seal in His hand. This was the Seal of the Living God, and indeed Muhammad is considered the Seal of the Prophets. The Seal is the end of the 'Prophetic Age'. He cried to the Four Angels who were in charge of the destruction (see Rev.9:18).

The Islámic Faith began in Saudi Arabia and spread to Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Israel and Iran; which is the area of the Sabean, Jewish and Zoroastrian Faiths as well. The area of the Euphrates is where civilization began and is considered the location of the Garden of Eden.

[3] Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

V.3 This angel is saying, "Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees", is asking for protection, and time, to find those souls 'the chosen ones' who have received the seal of the living God.

    Before man's spirit becomes quickened, his days pass in mere existence: but when he grasps the reality of things and their profound inner truths, he grows in perception, understanding and radiance. Only when his soul becomes afire with the Holy Spirit and he arises to serve, then is he sealed in the forehead with the seal of the living God.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    The Promulgation of Universal Peace p.330)
[4] And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

V.4 John heard that 144,000 were sealed. This number is a symbol; the digit numbers add to nine, which is related to the Bábí and the Bahá'í Faith. The symbol of the Faith is a nine-pointed star; the temples are built with nine sides. In the station of the Prophets, Bahá'u'lláh is the ninth. Nine also designates a completion and the unity of all the religions and has numerous symbolic references and usages in the Bahá'í Faith such as there are 9 members of the Local and National Spiritual Assemblies and the Universal House of Justice.

The unified number here also relates to those in every land who became the first to recognize the New Religion. These hundreds of thousands of individuals world wide were a special blessing to mankind for their insight and willingness to suffer what was often the persecution and ostracizing by their societies in order to bring the new light that would unify mankind.

[5] Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

V.5 Many found this Faith and are considered to be faithful and devoted to the Cause. The twelve tribes of the children of Israel are listed all being sealed, each with the number being 'twelve thousand'. The tribes of Juda, Reuben and Gad, are each sealed twelve thousand.

In reading these verses one needs to look at the whole picture rather than being overly concerned with the individual dots. It is as when you look at a painting up very close. You can examine then each dot - but the picture loses its meaning.

[6] Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. V.6 The tribes of Aser, Nephthalin, and Manasses are each sealed twelve thousand.

While each of the twelve tribes are being named in these verses it is best to not become too literal or specific about the particular tribes or the numbers assigned to them. ALL twelve tribes represent ALL the peoples and cultures of the earth to which the Hebrew were scattered. There are an equal number from each, representing cultural equality.

    The world of humanity is like unto a rose garden and the various races, tongues and people are like unto contrasting flowers. The diversity of colors in a rose-garden adds to the charm and beauty of the scene as variety enhances unity. Why should we not look upon the human world with rose-colored vision?
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Divine Philosophy,
    p. 183)
[7] Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. V.7 The tribes of Simeon, Levi, and Issachar are each sealed twelve thousand.

The Book of Revelation is written in symbolisms but one can become overly involved in regards to each specific symbol, such as the meaning attached here to each tribe, when what we are trying to see is the overall picture.

[8] Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

V.8 The tribes of Zabulon, Joseph and Benjamin are each sealed twelve thousand. The twelve tribes are listed, which are representative of all the nations of the earth. The Faith has spread to every country and cline, to every race and every religion. Since the twelve tribes were lost, intermarried and dispersed, twelve thousand is also is a symbolic number, 12 X 12,000 is 144,000 meaning nine, the largest all encompassing single digit possible, and the thousands is a symbol of the magnitude, rather than a specific limiting number.

The central point, both from the gathering of all the dispersed tribes and the magnitude of the number, is that it is indicative of the unifying of the peoples of the earth and that it is an encompassing number. While the number of "sealed" individuals, or early recognizers of the Faith, were a finite number, the number used here is not a specific quantitative number as some have imagined. This number, as all references in the Book of Revelation, is symbolic.

[9] After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

V.9 John now saw a great multitude, which no man could number, from all nations, all races and all tongues. This symbolizes that beyond the 144,000 eventually most of mankind will take up the 'Cause of God' with heart and soul. They will stand before The Throne of Bahá'u'lláh and before the Báb, (the Lamb) clothed with white robes of purity, with palms in their hands showing their dedication.

    The sea of the unity of mankind is lifting up its waves with joy, for there is real communication between the hearts and minds of men. The banner of the Holy Spirit is uplifted, and men see it, and are assured with the knowledge that this is a new day.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    'Abdu'l-Bahá in London,
    p. 19)
[10] And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

V.10 The multitude cried with a loud voice, saying "Salvation" to Bahá'u'lláh, the Glory of God, and to the Báb.

In time, the whole world will become aware of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh and will recognize Them as the Source of the spiritual power that has unified mankind.

[11] And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

V.11 All the angels stood around the throne of Bahá'u'lláh, and the elders and the four beasts knelt before the throne, showing their love and gratitude in prayer.

As the world becomes unified, peaceful and prosperous the leaders, as led by the first four rulers (beasts) will show their allegiance to the Source by visiting and honoring the Shrines at the center of the Faith.

Mankind will come to recognize that it requires the Wisdom and Guidance of God to lead it.

[12] Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

V.12 They worshiped God, saying 'Amen'.

    The breeze of nearness and communion hath been stirred, and the soil of the heart is refreshed with the waters of joy and gladness. We offer thanksgiving unto God in all circumstances and cherish the hope that He -- exalted be His glory -- may through His gracious providence guide all who dwell on earth towards that which is acceptable and pleasing unto Him.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 163)
[13] And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

V.13 One of the elders asked about the ones arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from. As shown in the next verse - he knows the answer, because there eventually becomes the recognition that the world is led to its salvation not by those who were worldly wise but rather instead by those who have turned their hearts to God and serve Him in humility and dedication.
[14] And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

V.14 These (in the white robes) are the ones who had great trials, just as the twenty thousand souls that gave up their lives for their belief in the Báb. Their robes were washed, meaning that they have detached themselves from the materialism and immorality of this world. These are the ones among mankind who live their lives in complete dedication to the Lord and have overcome such attitudes as nationalism, racism, and religionism.
[15] Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

V.15 They serve before the throne of Bahá'u'lláh, serving His Cause day and night, and always sensing the presence of His Spirit.

The temple is the religion of God and these believers have become so detached from the world that they think on every moment as how to serve God.

[16] They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

V.16 They thirst not, nor do they hunger for the things of this world, for they have a wonderful spiritual life, and are no longer subject to the distractions, cares and attractions that daily torment the worldly.
[17] For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

V.17 The Lamb is the Báb and the living fountains of waters that He shall lead them to is of course Bahá'u'lláh. We struggle with fears in this earthly plain to arise above earthly attachment and to achieve spiritual detachment. Our Lord guides us on our individual paths. His assistance and the assistance of the Holy Concourse is with every soul that seeks to turn to Him and serve Him. Eventually each one that does so arrives at a life of joy!

    O ye servants of the Sacred Threshold! The triumphant hosts of the Celestial Concourse, arrayed and marshaled in the Realms above, stand ready and expectant to assist and assure victory to that valiant horseman who with confidence spurs on his charger into the arena of service.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá
    Selections of the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
    p. 264)

Chapter Seven Appendix
The Four Angels of the Euphrates

The Four Angels of the Euphrates (Rev.9:14) are the four of the Seven Religions that are centered in the Middle East. They are the:

    • Sabean
    • Jewish
    • Zoroastrian
    • Islámic
While the Holy Land is also where Christianity, identified with the Sixth Angel, arose, Christianity centered in the West and is now considered a "Western Religion".

The remaining two of the Seven Religions, the Hindu and Buddhist are thought of, and are usually characterized, as Far Eastern Religions. The Buddhist religion descended from the Hindu much in the same way as did the Christian from the Jewish and later in Chapter Nine we see the interaction between the Buddhist Religion in Japan and the Christian Religion in the West.

Here, in Chapter Seven, the Four Angels are bound but later in Revelation 9:14 the Sixth Angel (the Angel of the Christian Religion) is ordered to release the Four Angels of the Euphrates. They then bring to a climax the destruction begun by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

It is astonishing how closely all this parallels modern events. The armies of the followers of the Sixth Angel (Christianity) do indeed descend upon the Euphrates (which passes through Baghdad, Iraq) where most of the remaining Sabeans are concentrated (in Iraq and Iran) along with the Persian descendents of Zoroaster in Shiite Muslim Iran, and along with Arabic Sunni Muslims in the countries surrounding Saudi Arabia, and the Jews in Israel, the latter only once again having gathered there in numbers subsequent to the Edict of Toleration in 1844 and more greatly still after the re-establishment of Israel itself in Palestine after the Second World War.

Even now, at the time of this writing, the winds of war stir in the four corners of the earth, centering on the events occurring around the Euphrates. When the Sixth Angel does finally release the fury of the Four Angels of the Euphrates it will involve the whole of the world including the Angels of the Far East.

MENU:  HOME » Religion » Revelation: Content : Previous Chapter : Next Chapter