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The Book of Revelation
Chapter Twenty-one
One Bahá'í's Concept

CONCEPT BOX

This chapter is about the 'nature' of Fulfillment. The world cries for peace and in the very first 'Glad-Tidings' below, in a message of great pertinence to Jews, Hindus, Muslims with their Jihad and Christians with their crusades, Bahá'u'lláh abolishes 'holy war'. In His Laws He also establishes grievous penalties for terrorists. Hopefully, humanity will soon turn unto the bountiful guidance of its Lord.

    In this day a festival is taking place in the realm above, for whatsoever was promised in the sacred Scriptures hath been fulfilled. This the Day of great rejoicing.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p.78)
    O people of the earth! The first Glad-Tidings which the Mother Book hath, in this Most Great Revelation, imparted unto all the peoples of the world is that the law of holy war hath been blotted out from the Book. Glorified be the All-Merciful, the Lord of grace abounding, through Whom the door of heavenly bounty hath been flung open in the face of all that are in heaven and on earth.

    The second Glad-Tidings It is permitted that the peoples and kindreds of the world associate with one another with joy and radiance. O people! Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. Thus hath the day-star of His sanction and authority shone forth above the horizon of the decree of God, the Lord of the worlds.

    The third Glad-Tidings concerneth the study of divers languages. This decree hath formerly streamed forth from the Pen of the Most High: It behoveth the sovereigns of the world -- may God assist them -- or the ministers of the earth to take counsel together and to adopt one of the existing languages or a new one to be taught to children in schools throughout the world, and likewise one script. Thus the whole earth will come to be regarded as one country. Well is it with him who hearkeneth unto His Call and observeth that whereunto he is bidden by God, the Lord of the Mighty Throne.

    The fourth Glad-Tidings

    Should any of the kings -- may God aid them -- arise to protect and help this oppressed people, all must vie with one another in loving and in serving him. This matter is incumbent upon everyone. Well is it with them that act accordingly.

    The fifth Glad-Tidings

    In every country where any of this people reside, they must behave towards the government of that country with loyalty, honesty and truthfulness. This is that which hath been revealed at the behest of Him Who is the Ordainer, the Ancient of Days.

    It is binding and incumbent upon the peoples of the world, one and all, to extend aid unto this momentous Cause which is come from the heaven of the Will of the ever-abiding God, that perchance the fire of animosity which blazeth in the hearts of some of the peoples of the earth may, through the living waters of divine wisdom and by virtue of heavenly counsels and exhortations, be quenched, and the light of unity and concord may shine forth and shed its radiance upon the world.

    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 21)

Bible Verses

[1] And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

One Bahá'í's Concept

V.1 John saw a whole new religious system and a new world order as the old order had passed away. There was also no more sea, which indicates no more separation as seas separate continents and dwelling places of humanity. A world government will unify all the countries while a world religion will begin to unify the cultures.

    Give ye ear and be not of the heedless. The sun is calling out: O concourse of the divines! The heaven of religions is split and the moon cleft asunder and the peoples of the earth are brought together in a new resurrection.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 247)

[2] And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

V.2 John saw the New Jerusalem, a new law ordained by God, which was free from dogma symbolized by the bride adorned for her husband. The subject of Jerusalem is a very deep one. See the appendix at the bottom of this chapter.
    O God! Verily, Thou hast made this century radiant, and in it Thou hast manifested Thy merciful effulgence. Thou hast effaced the darkness of superstitions and permitted the light of assurance to shine. O God! Grant that these servants may be acceptable at Thy threshold. Reveal a new heaven, and spread out a new earth for habitation. Let a new Jerusalem descend from on high. Bestow new thoughts, new life upon mankind. Endow souls with new perceptions, and confer upon them new virtues. Verily, Thou art the Almighty, the Powerful. Thou art the Giver, the Generous.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
    p. 276)
    O ye beloved of God! O ye children of His Kingdom! Verily, verily, the new heaven and the new earth are come. The holy City, new Jerusalem, hath come down from on high in the form of a maid of heaven, veiled, beauteous, and unique, and prepared for reunion with her lovers on earth. The angelic company of the Celestial Concourse hath joined in a call that hath run throughout the universe, all loudly and mightily acclaiming: This is the City of God and His abode, wherein shall dwell the pure and holy among His servants. He shall live with them, for they are His people and He is their Lord.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
    p. 12)

[3] And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

V.3 John heard a great voice from heaven, saying that the tabernacle of God (Bahá'u'lláh) is with men, and that God will dwell with them. Isaiah describes the 'tabernacle of God' as Zion, a place of broad rivers and streams which indicates a pleasant place, full of the knowledge of God (see Isaiah 33: 20-22)
    Behold, a light hath shone forth out of the Morn of eternity, and lo! its waves have penetrated the inmost reality of all men.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    The Kitáb-i-Íqán,
    p. 102)

[4] And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

V.4 And God shall wipe away the tears from their eyes. There shall be no more death, sorrow, pain nor crying as this is a new day. The former things have passed away. We have all seen the growth of knowledge surge during the past hundred years. New methods of healing, new technology and new attitudes toward moral values are happening. People will still die, however the meaning of death will be different, as we know life continues in the next life. Our purpose in this life is to know God and to worship Him, and prepare, by doing good deeds for the eternal life that is to follow.
    "Through his ignorance man fears death, but the death he shrinks from is imaginary and absolutely unreal; it is only human imagination."
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
    p. 88)

[5] And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

V.5 He that sat upon the throne is Bahá'u'lláh telling us, "Behold I will make all things new". He told John to write to tell us that all these words are 'true and faithful'. The Christian prayer, "Thy Kingdom come", has been answered.

[6] And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

V.6 He told John, "It is done". He again announces that He is the 'Alpha and the Omega', the First and the Last, as He said in the first chapter. He has completed the message, and fulfilled His divinely appointed task. He promises to give the fountain of life and knowledge freely to all.
    The 'Beginning and the End' bore allusion to one blessed Word and that hath come and it become manifest That Word is the same Alpha and Omega prophesied of by John. Verily He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden!
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Bahá'í Scriptures,
    p. 117)
    Through the movement of Our Pen of glory We have, at the bidding of the omnipotent Ordainer, breathed a new life into every human frame, and instilled into every word a fresh potency. All created things proclaim the evidences of this world-wide regeneration. This is the most great, the most joyful tidings imparted by the Pen of this Wronged One to mankind.

    Wherefore fear ye, O My well-beloved ones? Who is it that can dismay you? A touch of moisture sufficeth to dissolve the hardened clay out of which this perverse generation is molded.

    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 84)

[7] He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

V.7 To those that overcometh, they shall inherit all these promises described in the first three chapters.

To the early church 'Sabean' He gives the promise:

    Rev 2:7 To him that overcometh I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
To the Hindu Faith, the promise:
    Rev 2:11 He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
To the Jewish Faith, the promise:
    Rev 2:17 To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
To the Zoroastrian Faith, the promise:
    Rev 2:26And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him I will give power over the nations:
    Rev 2:27 And he shall rule over them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
    Rev 2:28 And I will give him the morning star.
To the Buddhist Faith, the promise:
    Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
To the Christian Faith, the promise:
    Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
To the Islámic Faith, the promise:
    Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my father in his throne.

[8] But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

V.8 The second death is existence without spiritual life. To be spiritually dead is just to be dead - even though one continues eating, drinking, walking.
    Today all people are immersed in the world of nature. That is why thou dost see jealousy, greed, the struggle for survival, deception, hypocrisy, tyranny, oppression, disputes, strife, bloodshed, looting and pillaging, which all emanate from the world of nature.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá
    Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
    p.206)
    The first life, which pertaineth to the elemental body, will come to an end, as hath been revealed by God: "Every soul shall taste of death."
    But the second life, which ariseth from the knowledge of God, knoweth no death, as hath been revealed aforetime: "Him will We surely quicken to a blessed life.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Gems of Divine Mysteries: Verse 65)
    His Holiness Jesus Christ has pronounced them dead inasmuch as they have no portion of the divine spirit. He says: "Let the dead bury their dead." In another instance He declares: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit." By this He means that souls though alive in the human kingdom are nevertheless dead if devoid of this particular spirit of divine quickening. They have not partaken of the divine life of the higher kingdom; for the soul which partakes of the power of the divine spirit is verily living.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Bahá'í World Faith,
    p. 261)
    Observe: those who in appearance were physically alive, Christ considered dead; for life is the eternal life, and existence is the real existence. Wherever in the Holy Books they speak of raising the dead, the meaning is that the dead were blessed by eternal life; where it is said that the blind received sight, the signification is that he obtained the true perception; where it is said a deaf man received hearing, the meaning is that he acquired spiritual and heavenly hearing. This is ascertained from the text of the Gospel where Christ said: "These are like those of whom Isaiah said, They have eyes and see not, they have ears and hear not; and I healed them."
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Some Answered Questions,
    p. 101)

[9] And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.

V.9 Having dealt with the angels in order, this is now the Seventh Angel which is identified with Islám. The vials with the seven plagues refer to the seven spiritual deficiencies of the world described earlier in Chapter 16 by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. In summary they are:

1. The power and influence, of leaders -outwardly looking good but inwardly deceitful.

2. The learned people of the world, the philosophers, and leaders of thought who taught without deference to the Teachings of the Prophets.

3. The indifference, bureaucracy, of the administrators, officials and managers, applying rules of human law rather than God's principles of justice.

4. The oppression and unreasonable application of power by those in authority.

5. The darkness of complete submersion into the struggle of coping with the materialism and tinsel of day to day living.

6. The absorption of the masses into total ignorance with their being completely preoccupied with the frivolous in entertainment such as personalities, sports, clothing styles, fads, appearances and so forth, which consequently gives their rulers more power over them.

7. The complete daily lawlessness, insecurity, fear, threats from scams, crime, diseases and terrorism brought on by the breakdown of society and which is spread to the whole of the world as through the
air (Rev 16:17) (airwaves and communication)
to bring about what will be a world wide catastrophe. The above is a catalog of the internal, spiritual nature of the plagues that are a cause of a plight that dwellers of Babylon understand not, neither as to its nature nor its source.

The Angel also wished to show John the Bride for the Days of Fulfillment, which is the Law of God for the New Day and Age.

    The Law of God is also compared to an adorned bride who appears with most beautiful ornaments, as it has been said in chapter 21 (verse 1) of the Revelation of St. John: "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Some Answered Questions,
    p. 68)
    .the Kitáb-i-Aqdas .the principal repository of that Law which the Prophet Isaiah had anticipated, and which the writer of the Apocalypse had described as the "new heaven" and the "new earth", as "the Tabernacle of God", as the "Holy City", as the "Bride", the "New Jerusalem coming down from God", this "Most Holy Book", whose provisions must remain inviolate for no less than a thousand years, and whose system will embrace the entire planet, may well be regarded as the brightest emanation of the mind of Bahá'u'lláh, as the Mother Book of His Dispensation, and the Charter of His New World Order.
    (Universal House of Justice,
    Kitáb-i-Aqdas,
    p. 12)
[10] And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

V.10 He carried John away in a vision to a great high mountain (a great new institution). John was shown the Holy City Jerusalem descending out of the heaven from God, (not descending from the sky, but coming from God, into earth's existence). This is a whole new era which has been described in all the Writings of all the religions.
    "Verily the heaven into which the Messiah rose up was not this unending sky, rather was His heaven the Kingdom of His beneficent Lord. Hence it is clear that His heaven is beyond all directional points; it encircleth all existence, and is raised up for those who worship God. Beg and implore thy Lord to lift thee up into that heaven, and to give thee to eat of its food, in this age of majesty and might."
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
    p.167)
The following verses in italic have been explained by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in one presentation, the translation for which is taken from "Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá",
p. 165-167. [Other quotes are interspersed in regular face.]
    Thou didst ask as to the tenth to the seventeenth verses of the twenty-first chapter of Saint John the Divine's Revelation. Know thou that according to mathematical principles, the firmament of this earth's brilliant day-star hath been divided among twelve constellations, which they call the twelve zodiacal signs. In the same way, the Sun of Truth shineth out from and sheddeth its bounties through twelve stations of holiness, and by these heavenly signs are meant those stainless and unsullied personages who are the very well-springs of sanctity, and the dawning-points proclaiming the oneness of God.

[11] Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

V. 11 With the Holy City came the 'Glory of God'. Jerusalem is as a light and a gem most precious. Bahá'u'lláh calls this 'a century of light', and the gem, the jasper stone is crystal clear, like the message which Bahá'u'lláh brings.
    Consider how in the days of the Interlocutor (Moses), there were twelve holy beings who were leaders of the twelve tribes; and likewise in the dispensation of the Spirit (Christ), note that there were twelve Apostles gathered within the sheltering shade of that supernal Light, and from those splendid dawning-points the Sun of Truth shone forth even as the sun in the sky. Again, in the days of Muhammad, observe that there were twelve dawning-points of holiness, the manifestors of God's confirming help. Such is the way of it.

[12] And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

V.12
    Accordingly did Saint John the Divine tell of twelve gates in his vision, and twelve foundations. By 'that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God' is meant the holy Law of God, and this is set forth in many Tablets and still to be read in the Scriptures of the Prophets of the past: for instance, that Jerusalem was seen going out into the wilderness.

[13] On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

V.13
    The meaning of the passage is that this heavenly Jerusalem hath twelve gates, through which the blessed enter into the City of God. These gates are souls who are as guiding stars, as portals of knowledge and grace; and within these gates there stand twelve angels. By 'angel' is meant the power of the confirmations of God -- that the candle of God's confirming power shineth out from the lamp-niche of those souls -- meaning that every one of those beings will be granted the most vehement confirming support.

[14] And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

V.14
    These twelve gates surround the entire world, that is they are a shelter for all creatures. And further, these twelve gates are the foundation of the City of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and on each one of these foundations is written the name of one of the Apostles of Christ. That is to say, each one maketh manifest the perfections, the joyous message, and the excellency of that holy Being.

[15] And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

V.15
    In brief, the Scripture saith: 'And he that talked with me had a rod made out of gold, that is, a measure, wherewith he measured the city and the gates thereof and the towers thereof.' The meaning is that certain personages guided the people with a staff grown out of the earth, and shepherded them with a rod, like unto the rod of Moses. Others trained and shepherded the people with a rod of iron, as in the dispensation of Muhammad. And in this present cycle, because it is the mightiest of Dispensations, that rod grown out of the vegetable kingdom and that rod of iron will be transformed into a rod of purest gold, taken from out the endless treasure houses in the Kingdom of the Lord. By this rod will the people be trained. This reed is a Perfect Man Who is liked to a reed, and the manner of its likeness is this: when the interior of a reed is empty and free from all matter, it will produce beautiful melodies; and as the sound and melody do not come from the reed, but from the flute player who blows upon it, so the sanctified heart of that blessed Being is free and emptied from all save God, pure and exempt from all attachments of all human conditions, and is the companion of the Divine Spirit.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Some Answered Questions p.45)

[16] And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

V.16 The city is described in measurement, by the reed. The four sides and height are equal, which shows balance. Each measurement is twelve thousand furlongs (a furlong being about 220 yards). When we multiply the measurement 12,000 x 12 (tribes of Israel) it is 144,000 which when added together equals nine; the number of the Bahá'í Faith. The thousands being a symbol of multitude. However, the essential point is that not a physical city - but rather spiritual attributes are being described.
    We are told in the Holy Scripture that the New Jerusalem shall appear on earth. Now it is evident that this celestial city is not built of material stones and mortar, but that it is a city not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Paris Talks,
    p. 84)
    Note well the difference: at one time the Teachings of God were as a staff, and by this means the Holy Scriptures were spread abroad, the Law of God was promulgated and His Faith established. Then followed a time when the staff of the true Shepherd was as iron. And today, in this new and splendid age, the rod is even as pure gold. How wide is the difference here! Know, then, how much ground hath been gained by the Law of God and His Teachings in this dispensation, how they have reached such heights that they far transcend the dispensations gone before: truly this rod is purest gold, while those of other days were of iron and wood.

[17] And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

V.17 When he measured the wall it was 144 cubits. A cubit is about 18 inches, the length of the forearm from the elbow to the end of the middle finger. However the '144' again adds to nine - the symbol of Bahá or Bahá'u'lláh. (See Abjad letter/numeric system at the end of chapter 17).
    This is a prophetic symbol, meaning the coming again of the Divine Teaching to enlighten the hearts of men. It is long since this Holy Guidance has governed the lives of humanity. But now, at last, the Holy City of the New Jerusalem has come again to the world, it has appeared anew under an Eastern sky; from the horizon of Persia has its effulgence arisen to be a light to lighten the whole world.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Paris Talks,
    p. 84)
    This is a brief answer that hath been written for thee, because there was no time for more. It is certain that thou wilt forgive me. The handmaids of God must rise to such a station that they will, by themselves and unaided, comprehend these inner meanings, and be able to expound at full length every single word; a station where, out of the truth of their inmost hearts, a spring of wisdom will well up, and jet forth even as a fountain that leapeth from its own original source.
    (End of italicized quotes from:
    'Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
    p.165-167)

[18] And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

V.18 The building of the wall was like jasper stone, clear as crystal, and the city was like gold: precious and divine. The great city is the building of the New Jerusalem, the Bahá'í Faith.
    We see in these days the fulfilment of the Divine Prophecy. Jerusalem had disappeared. The heavenly city was destroyed, now it is rebuilt; it was razed to the ground, but now its walls and pinnacles have been restored, and are towering aloft in their renewed and glorious beauty.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Paris Talks,
    p. 84)

[19] And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

V.19 The 'foundation of the wall' is garnished with all manner of precious stones- which symbolizes the principles:

The first is jasper, showing clearness, the hue of the heart is one; bringing mankind into a oneness.

The second was sapphire, a blue gem, for truth and seeking it yourself, independently.

The third a chalcedony gem is white, a symbol of purity and understanding, as all the religions are one.

The fourth, an emerald of the color of green, is for thoughts of harmony, unity, and peace for all mankind.

[20] The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

V.20 The fifth stone is sardonyx, a variety of onyx containing layers of chalcedony (white) and other colors, which as in the rainbow shows the harmony of different colors of science and religion as they must be in accord with each other.

The sixth stone is sardius, which has layers of white and red and corresponds to the equality of men and women in this age.

The seventh is chrysolite, a clear stone, a symbol of truthfulness, sincerity and selflessness, bringing the world together with the abolition of all prejudices.

The eighth stone is Beryl, sometimes a pale clear bluish green, and other times a clear light sand color both of which relate to a foundation of universal peace.

The ninth stone is topaz which is a hard stone with tints of yellow and orange, for the foundation of education and knowledge.

The tenth stone is chrysopasus, an opaque chrysolite, for clear spiritual solutions of the economic problem which includes such spiritual principles as honesty and justice.

The eleventh stone is Jacinth, which is like jasper, is a reddish orange gem, and is for the foundation of unity of mankind through a universal language.

The twelfth stone is Amethyst, a violet color, for An International Tribunal, a Parliament of Man, to achieve a healing of mankind.

These Principles are the "sure foundation" upon which the New Jerusalem will be built for all mankind.

[21] And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

V.21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, or twelve holy souls. 'Abdu'l-Bahá explains that these souls are like the Disciples of Christ, symbolizing their high spiritual attributes. Pure gold symbolizes the pure spiritual laws and values on which the whole city is built on. The New Jerusalem is Spiritual Law.
    The descent of the New Jerusalem denoteth a heavenly Law, that Law which is the guarantor of human happiness and the effulgence of the world of God.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
    p. 59)

[22] And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

V.22 John did not see a temple there, as no temple is needed, with the Light of the teachings of God from Bahá'u'lláh and the Lamb.
    Material civilization alone will not satisfy; it cannot meet the conditions and requirements of the present age; its benefits are limited to the world of matter. There is no limitation to the spirit of man, for spirit in itself is progressive, and if the divine civilization be established, the spirit of man will advance. Every developed susceptibility will increase the effectiveness of man. Discoveries of the real will become more and more possible, and the influence of divine guidance will be increasingly recognized. All this is conducive to the divine form of civilization. This is what is meant in the Bible by the descent of the New Jerusalem. The heavenly Jerusalem is none other than divine civilization, and it is now ready. It is to be and shall be organized, and the oneness of humankind will be a visible fact. Humanity will then be brought together as one. The various religions will be united, and different races will be known as one kind. The Orient and Occident will be conjoined, and the banner of international peace will be unfurled. The world shall at last find peace, and the equalities and rights of men shall be established.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
    p. 101)

[23] And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

V.23 There is no need of the sun or moon, as the Light is the truer and more real spiritual light, which we will experience.
    O living flame of Heavenly love! Thine heart hath so fired with the love of God that from ten thousand leagues afar its warmth and radiance may be felt and seen. The fire lit by mortal hand imparteth light and warmth to but a little space, whereas the sacred flame which the Hand of God hath kindled, though burning in the east, will set aflame the west and give warmth to both the north and south: nay it shall rise from this world to glow with the hottest flame in the realms on high, flooding with light the Kingdom of glory.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Selected Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
    p.205)

[24] And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

V.24 The nations which are saved, will walk in its light, and the kings of the earth will show honour to this spiritual light that the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh brings.
    A Great City hath descended from heaven, and Zion trembleth and exulteth with joy at the Revelation of God, for it hath heard the Voice of God on every side. This Day Jerusalem hath attained unto a new Evangel, for in the stead of the sycamore standeth the cedar. Jerusalem is the place of pilgrimage for all the peoples of the world, and hath been named the Holy City. Together with Zion and Palestine, they are all included within these regions. Wherefore, hath it been said: "Blessed is the man that hath migrated to 'Akká."
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,
    p. 145)

[25] And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

V.25 The gates to the New Jerusalem will not be closed. Darkness is when we are separated from the spiritual light, but in the spiritual world there is always light, and it is always available to us.
    Amos saith: "The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter His Voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither." Carmel, in the Book of God, hath been designated as the Hill of God, and His Vineyard. It is here that, by the grace of the Lord of Revelation, the Tabernacle of Glory hath been raised. Happy are they that attain thereunto; happy they that set their faces towards it. And likewise He saith: "Our God will come, and He will not be silent."
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,
    p. 145)

[26] And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

V.26 Glory and honor go to the Nations that have recognized the high values of justice, truth and honesty.
    In this Day the New Heaven hath appeared and the earth is renewed.

    Were ye to gaze with pure eyes, ye would behold the New Jerusalem; and were ye to turn with attentive ears, ye would hear the voice of God.

    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Bahá'í Scriptures,
    p. 116)

[27] And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

V.27 Bahá'u'lláh has brought us a Covenant, which if followed, will protect against defilement of the laws. Those who abide by the Covenant will be written in the Báb's book of life.
    O ye beloved of God, know that steadfastness and firmness in this new and wonderful Covenant is indeed the spirit that quickeneth the hearts which are overflowing with the love of the Glorious Lord; verily, it is the power which penetrates into the hearts of the people of the world! Your Lord hath assuredly promised His servants who are firm and steadfast to render them victorious at all times, to exalt their word, propagate their power, diffuse their lights, strengthen their hearts, elevate their banners, assist their hosts, brighten their stars, increase the abundance of the showers of mercy upon them, and enable the brave lions to conquer.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Bahá'í World Faith,
    p. 357)

Chapter Twenty-one Appendix
Jerusalem and the 144,000

Jerusalem is mentioned in the King James Bible 747 times and in the authorized Bahá'í Writings 200 times. While some of these almost one thousand references are to the literal city, which undoubtedly has both great historical significance and an important destiny, many of the references are of a spiritual nature. Jerusalem is referred to as the City of God, The New Jerusalem which comes down from Heaven, Zion, The Bride Adorned, and in various other ways.

The references to 144,000 are references to Jerusalem in Rev. 5:4 and Rev. 14:1 as explained in the commentary there and the additional commentary in Rev. 7:8,9 and Rev. 14:3 and Rev. 21:16,17. These discuss how the number relates to the tribes of Israel and the believers in all the nations of the world who are truly the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem and who are signified by its measurements.

In the Scriptures there is such a large amount of information about The Destiny of Jerusalem that it deserves a book on its own.

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