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

CONCEPT BOX

The relationship between Christianity and Islám and then between Islám and Bahá'í is explained further in the appendix to this chapter. In this chapter we begin to see the transition from the Islámic religion to the Báb (The Forerunner) and the Bahá'í Faith. It was four years after the Báb laid down His life for this great Announcement, that Bahá'u'lláh became aware of the Mission that He was to take.

    One night, in a dream, these exalted words were heard on every side: "Verily, We shall render Thee victorious by Thyself and by Thy Pen. Grieve Thou not for that which hath befallen Thee, neither be Thou afraid, for Thou art in safety. Erelong will God raise up the treasures of the earth -- men who will aid Thee through Thyself and through Thy Name, wherewith God hath revived the hearts of such as have recognized Him."
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,
    p. 21)

Bible Verses

[1] And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

One Bahá'í's Concept

V.1 John saw a "Another" MIGHTY angel. (Previously mentioned in Rev.8:3-5 and mentioned several times more after this point.) This angel was clothed with a cloud (see explanation at Rev.01:7), meaning that the world would have trouble recognizing Him. There was a rainbow upon His head. The rainbow symbolizes the different wonderful religions of the world to which His mission would be addressed. His face was as the sun, and His feet like pillars of fire. This Mighty Angel is Bahá'u'lláh.

    A fire from the Kingdom hath been kindled in the heart of the world, in the Blessed Tree, whose flame shall ere long set aglow the pillars of the earth and its rays illumine the horizons of the nations.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Bahá'í World Faith,
    p. 354)
[2] And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

V.2 The Books are open! (See Rev.5:2, Rev5:5, Rev.5:7 and Rev.5:9) Bahá'u'lláh has the Book in Hand and has set His right foot on the sea, and His left foot upon the earth, which is symbolic of the world-wide establishment of the unity that will be brought by this Message (Book) for the world's people.
    XCII. The Book of God is wide open, and His Word is summoning mankind unto Him. No more than a mere handful, however, hath been found willing to cleave to His Cause, or to become the instruments for its promotion. These few have been endued with the Divine Elixir that can, alone, transmute into purest gold the dross of the world, and have been empowered to administer the infallible remedy for all the ills that afflict the children of men. No man can obtain everlasting life, unless he embraceth the truth of this inestimable, this wondrous, and sublime Revelation.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 183)
    .a Revelation destined to blossom forth, in a later period into the flourishing institutions of a world administrative System.
    (Shoghi Effendi,
    God Passes By,
    p.60)
    Lauded and glorified is He Who hath called the creation into being. He is the sovereign Truth, the Knower of things unseen. The Mother Book is revealed and the Lord of Bounty is established upon the most blessed seat of glory. The Dawn hath broken, yet the people understand not.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 75)
[3] And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

V.3 The Message which Bahá'u'lláh roared is acknowledge by The Seven Thunders, the Seven Revealers of the seven religious systems, who also utter their voices (symbolic of Their Books, Scriptures, Revelations) in recognition of the importance of the New Message. What is being said here is that all the Seven Religions contain prophecies in Their Writings regarding the 'last days' and the coming of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh.

    These glad-tidings of the Bayan and of the Books of former times have been repeatedly mentioned under divers names in numerous  books, that perchance men might judge equitably that which hath arisen and shone forth above the horizon of the will of God, the Lord of the Mighty Throne.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,
    p. 151)
    XXXI. Contemplate with thine inward eye the chain of successive Revelations that hath linked the Manifestation of Adam with that of the Báb. I testify before God that each one of these Manifestations hath been sent down through the operation of the Divine Will and Purpose, that each hath been the bearer of a specific Message, that each hath been entrusted with a divinely-revealed Book and been commissioned to unravel the mysteries of a mighty Tablet. The measure of the Revelation with which every one of them hath been identified had been definitely fore-ordained. This, verily, is a token of   Our favor unto them, if ye be of those that comprehend this truth
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 74)
This Message is also that of the Mighty Angel (The Báb) because it is given to Him by Bahá'u'lláh, Who is described as sitting in heaven on the Throne - see Rev.5:7 - and from Whom the Báb received His Book / Message. All the Prophecies, Books, Scriptures and Revelations pointed towards this 'Time of Fulfillment'.
[4] And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

V.4 What the Seven Revealers (Thunders) uttered in Their Scriptures / Books were, however, also sealed up - meaning that they were expressed in spiritual symbolic language that would be seen as proof of the New Message once It was revealed (and the Books were opened). This particularly applies to the Book of Revelation which John was told to Seal (not explain or write down the meanings) when he wrote it - but now in our day it has been opened by the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh and is seen as 'proof' of Their Revelations.
    The followers of all religions have been expecting the coming of a promised one and have longingly prayed for the dawn of the sun of truth.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Divine Philosophy,
    p. 170)
    In all the revealed world religions the coming of the Kingdom is identified with the appearance of the Supreme world Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts, the returned Christ, the Qá'im, the new Buddha. "One fold end one shepherd" is to replace the many conflicting and separated groups of men.
    (George Townshend,
    Christ and Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 9)
[5] And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

V.5 This Angel (Bahá'u'lláh) that John saw, standing on the sea and the earth, lifted His hand to Heaven. His 'Declaration of His Mission' occurred in the Garden if Ridvan on an island in the congruence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Baghdad, Persia (now Iraq) in April 1863.
    "Well it is with him who fixeth his gaze upon the Order of Bahá'u'lláh, and render thanks unto his Lord, for He will assuredly be made manifest. God hath indeed irrevocably ordained it in the Bayan". (The Mother Book revealed to the Báb.) "People of the west - issue forth from your cities and aid the Cause of God". The Book also contained a warning to the peoples of the world of the 'terrible, the most grievous vengeance of God, threatens the whole Islámic world with the 'Most Great Fire'.
    (Shoghi Effendi,
    God Passes By,
    p.25)
[6] And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

V.6 The power of God is very great. He created Heaven and all things that are in earth and the sea. God is in command, and the Mighty Angel Bahá'u'lláh was fearless in His proclamation of the Word of God. The Day and Age promised to all mankind, through all the religions of the world, had come.
    The prophets of God have ever appeared in the ages of the past and will continue to appear throughout the ages of the future. Where was Adam when God was exercising his divinity? Where was this petty infinitesimal world of ours when God was bestowing his bounties upon this infinite universe? If we limit the number of his appearances through his prophets, it is equal to limiting God himself.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Divine Philosophy,
    p. 170)
    Isaiah:
    55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
    55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
[7] But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

V.7 This verse says but in the days of the Seventh Angel (which was the Revealer to the Seventh [Islámic] Church) and is talking about what will happen in His Day. This is a shift from discussion about the Mighty Angel that we have been discussing since Verse One. The Seventh Angel (Revealer) was Muhammad and when He sounded - the 'mystery of God' was finished. Muhammad's Book was the last Book of prophecy about the 'Time of Fulfillment', and He was the 'Seal of all the Prophets', as is often repeated by Muslims. The completion of His Sounding - that is the 'Fulfillment' by the next Manifestation continues in Rev.11:15 and Rev.16:17 with both the benefits and woe that it brings.

Yes, the "time of prophecy" about what was to come and what was to be expected by ALL the religions ended with the Seal of the Prophets - and thereafter the New Books would be for the 'Time of Fulfillment' as brought by the Mighty Angel (The Báb) in the Book that He received from Another Mighty Angel Bahá'u'lláh (the One who sits on the Throne in Rev.5:7) and is called in Rev.14:6 and Rev.18:1 "Another Angel" when He brings His (the Ninth) Revelation.

[8] And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

V.8 The Voice from Heaven is Bahá'u'lláh commanding John to take the Book from the hand of the Second Mighty Angel that is standing on both the earth and the sea (see Verse 2). It is this Ninth Angel (and not the Seventh Angel mentioned in the previous verse) which has the Open Book (see Rev.5:1 and Rev.5:5).

The First Mighty Angel (the Eighth Angel) had also received and opened the Book (Rev.5:7). Because One Person has received the opened Book does not mean that another cannot. Indeed everyone is invited to NOW receive the opened Book of Revelation, the opened meanings of their Scriptures no matter what religion they are in, and the 'Little Book' - the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh.

The standing upon both earth and the sea is a symbol of universal unity.

    The Mother Book hath lifted up its Voice, but the people are bereft of hearing.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 244)
[9] And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

V.9 John said to the Angel "Give me the little book". The book being held by the Angel was taken, and the command was to digest it; this is more than reading, but finding the spiritual truths, the whole new message from God.
    Whilst in the Prison of 'Akká, We revealed in the Crimson Book that which is conducive to the advancement of mankind and to the reconstruction of the world.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 89)
    Were men to strictly observe that which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed in the Crimson Book, they could then well afford to dispense with the regulations which prevail in the world.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 90)
The 'Little Book' (only 190 verses long) but which Bahá'u'lláh refers to as His 'Most Mighty Book' is the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, The Book of Laws unto this day and age. It is in fact the plan and blueprint for God's Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, which mankind has to build. The Holy Words are sweet. Is the very thought not as sweet as honey? But then when one comprehends what is required of them in understanding and implementing it - they are tested, which is the bitterness in their belly.

    CLV. The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Day Spring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His  laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof, hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of Divine inspiration.

    They whom God hath endued with insight will readily recognize that the precepts laid down by God constitute the highest means for the maintenance of order in the world and the security of its peoples. He that turneth away from them, is accounted among the abject and foolish. .

    O ye peoples of the world! Know assuredly that My commandments are the lamps of My loving providence among My servants, and the keys of My mercy for My creatures. .Observe My commandments, for the love of My beauty. .

    Whenever My laws appear like the sun in the heaven of Mine utterance, they must be faithfully obeyed by all, though My decree be such as to cause the heaven of every religion to be cleft asunder. He doth what He pleaseth. He chooseth; and none may question His choice. Whatsoever He, the Well-Beloved, ordaineth, the same is, verily, beloved. To this He Who is the Lord of all creation beareth Me witness. Whoso hath inhaled the sweet fragrance of the All-Merciful, and recognized the Source of this utterance, will welcome with his own eyes the shafts of the enemy, that he may establish the truth of the laws of God amongst men. Well is it with him that hath turned thereunto, and apprehended the meaning of His decisive decree.

    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh)
The trials of life are difficult, however the Word of God is consoling and gives us strength. The members of every religion have this difficulty in accepting the New Prophet and the New Message - so for every one of them, while the words are sweet in their mouths it causes them bitterness in their cultures.
[10] And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

V.10 The message in the book was Glorious, a message of Peace, Love and Beauty. However those who didn't recognized this message rejoiced, as they would continue in their old ways. What both the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh had to endure was bitter.
    As ye have heard of the former times, when Christ -- glory be to Him! -- appeared, a storm of trials arose, afflictions appeared, the winds of tests blew, the thunder of temptation descended and hosts of people surrounded the houses of the friends; then the weak ones were shaken and were misled after once being guided; but the disciples withstood the hardships and endured the storms of ordeals, remaining firm in the Religion of God.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Bahá'í World Faith,
    p. 395)
    The essence of religion is to testify unto that which the Lord hath revealed, and follow that which He hath ordained in His mighty Book.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 155)
    "By My life, if you knew what We have desired for you in revealing Our holy laws, you would offer up your souls for this sacred, mighty and lofty Cause." " This Book is none other than the ancient Lamp of God for the whole world and His undeviating Path amongst men. Say, it is verily the Dayspring of divine knowledge, did ye but know it, and the Dawning-place of the commandments of God, could ye but comprehend it." "Say, this is the spirit of the Scriptures breathed into the Pen of Glory, causing all creation to be dumbfounded, except those who are stirred by the vitalizing fragrance of My tender mercy and the sweet savours of My bounty which pervade all created things."
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Synopsis and Codification of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas,
    p. 7)
    Not long ago this most sublime Word was revealed in the Crimson Book by the All-Glorious Pen: 'The heaven of divine wisdom is illumined with two luminaries: consultation and compassion'. Please God, everyone may be enabled to observe this weighty and blessed word.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 242)
    5 Think not that We have revealed unto you a mere code of laws. Nay, rather, We have unsealed the choice Wine with the fingers of might and power. To this beareth witness that which the Pen of Revelation hath revealed. Meditate upon this, O men of insight!
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    The Kitáb-i-Aqdas,
    p. 21)
[11] And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

V.11 In truth, John's vision, The Book of Revelation, has spread throughout many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings. This has indeed been an amazing fulfillment of prophecy in that it started from a small obscure sect in a remote corner of the world. What is even more amazing is how, now that The Book has been "opened", we can see how it is applicable to ALL people, nations, cultures, and religions.

Chapter Ten Appendix
Islám in the Book of Revelation

The Jewish people find it difficult to accept that there were prophecies in the Old Testament that were about Jesus. The Book of Revelation, the most prophetic book in the New Testament, is now a test for Christians because a significant part of it is prophecies about Muhammad whom the Muslims (and Bahá'ís) believe to be the Prophet that came after Jesus in fulfillment of the prophecy by Jesus regarding the "Paraclete".

    John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever.

    John 14:26 But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.

    John 15:26 But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me.

    John 16:7 But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

    Douay-Rheims (Catholic version of the Bible)
For the explanations given in this and the following chapters, at least a brief history of the Islámic Faith is needed. The Islámic calendar dates from the Hegira, that is the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, the City of the Prophet, in Arabia in 622 C.E Arabia was at that time the spiritually darkest country of the world. It was made up mostly of barbarous tribes, where illiteracy, deceit and cruelty were the norm. Muhammad was chosen by God as a Prophet to bring spiritual nourishment to these people. The Islámic Faith flourished as the power of the New Teachings spread. However, like the Báb, He had difficulties. One of His uncles had a very prosperous business selling idols to the many pilgrims traveling through to Mecca, to observe with reverence the stone which Abraham had placed there.

At first Muhammad's relatives tried to persuade Muhammad to stop teaching, especially about not having idols any longer, but when they were unsuccessful in that they then formed armies to fight His Cause. That also didn't work and the Islámic Faith continued to flourish in spite of their opposition. Finally, the opposers decided that it was to their advantage to join the Islámic Faith instead. At the beginning Muhammad had His followers pray facing towards Jerusalem, but then one day He suddenly turned and faced Mecca. This separated the believers from the unbelievers.

The Islámic Faith spread broadly through many parts of the world, into Africa, China and the Far East where today there are hundreds of millions of Muslims. There are presently twenty-two countries that are predominately Islámic. The Islámic Faith became the basis of flourishing cultures and the development of science in many countries. The Islámic Faith had great influence on Europe which was largely backwards and barbaric until the time of the Crusades. The first university in Europe was Islámic and the Islámic influence became the basis for European common law, the Renaissance, western art culture, European philosophy and western science which is based upon the Arabic numeral system.

Muhammad had distinctly told people that Ali, His son-in-law, would be His successor. When Muhammad died, there was no written announcement that Ali was the one to carry on the Cause. A tribe called the Bani-Umayya fought to take over the reigns of authority. It took only four short months after Muhammad's death for Ali to be killed and Mu'awiyah of the Bani-Umayya tribe to become the first Caliph of the Islámic Faith.

While there are many sects of Islám the great division is between the Sunnis, which formed among the Arabs of Arabia, and the Shiites (the followers of Ali), which centered initially in the non-Arab country of Zoroastrian Persia among what are now the Iranians. There are numerous smaller sects of Shiites, categorized as the Twelvers, or believers in the expected return of a Twelfth 'disappeared' Imam after Ali. The Bahá'í Faith has its lineage from among these.

Bahá'ís consider Muhammad to be the "Seal of the Prophets" in the sense that He was last Prophet of the 'Cycle of Prophecy' and that the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh then opened the 'Cycle of Fulfillment' with the return of Christ as expected by both the Christians and Muslims. The point of adoration towards which Bahá'í's turn is the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh in 'Akká Israel.

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