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The Zoroastrian Religion
One Bahá'í's Concept from
The Book of Revelation

Chapter Two

CONCEPT BOX

One of the astonishing things that one should note in going through the "Messages" to the "Seven Churches" is how each part of the message fits the nature and particular characteristic of one of the World's Seven Major Historical Religions and how each of "Seven Churches" (religions) addressed appeared in the same order in history as they repeatedly appear in that same order in the Book of Revelation.

It is also interesting to note that just as the John the Baptist and the Sabean religion was mentioned in connection with Jesus in the Bible, so also was the Zoroastrian religion in that the "Three Wise Men", that "came from the East" at His birth, are reputed to have been Zoroastrian kings. As one delves into these histories, other similar connections are found.

The Parsee Zoroastrian religion is often associated in the Book of Revelation with the Sun. Sometimes people have erroneously been referred to as Sun Worshippers. The religion is located mainly in Persia which is now modern day Iran.

ZOROASTRIAN

THE GREEK WORD THYATIRA MEANS "SACRIFICE"

900-1000 B.C.

REVEALER ZOROASTER

Bible Verses

[18] And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

Thyatira - Zoroastrian - Commentary

V.18 John is told to write to the angel (star) of the church of Thyatira. Thyatira is now in ruins, but a small commercial center called Akhisar is in its place. When John was teaching there, apparently there was a woman who led church members away with her evil influences, who earned the code name 'Jezebel' (see V.20).

The Greek word Thyatira symbolizes 'sacrifice' which we relate to the Zoroastrian Faith. Zoroaster like Jesus, the 'Son of God' is given a description of eyes like unto a flame of fire. He could read your very soul and His feet are like fine brass -meaning that He was firm in His mission as a Messenger from God in spite of tribulations. He, like Bahá'u'lláh, is the same Spirit that is for all the Major Prophets or what are now called Messengers from God or Manifestations of God.

[19] I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

V.19 He Commends:

He knows their works and commends the Zoroastrians for their charity, service, faith, and patience. He especially commends them for their works. The Zoroastrians are a very close-knit community in which they support one another.

[20] Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

V.20 He Condemns:

He condemns them for following in lustful inclinations away from the truth that He compares to Jezebel, the temptress of the Bible, who calls herself a prophetess to commit fornication. This is a symbol here of their misdeeds. Those who do not repent, He promises great tribulation.

[21] And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

V.21 Because Persia was where both the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh appeared there was a great opportunity for the followers of the Zoroastrian religion to recognize them, and indeed a few did, but on the whole, just as the Jews failed to recognize Jesus during His presence so did the Zoroastrians fail to recognize the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh when They walked among them.
    To His Dispensation the sacred books of the followers of Zoroaster had referred as that in which the sun must needs be brought to a standstill for no less than one whole month. To Him Zoroaster must have alluded when, according to tradition, He foretold that a period of three thousand years of conflict and contention must needs precede the advent of the World-Savior Shah-Bahram, Who would triumph over Ahriman and usher in an era of blessedness and peace.
    (Shoghi Effendi,
    God Passes By,
    p. 95)

[22] Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

V.22 The Threat:

He is giving a warning to those who commit adultery, which is called the way of Jezebel, and which is therefore materialism and immorality. He says that those who follow this path will suffer great tribulation if they don't reform their ways.

    As regards the inculcation of morality and the development of human virtues, there is no difference whatsoever between the teachings of Zoroaster, Jesus and Bahá'u'lláh.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
    p. 168)

[23] And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

V.23 He says that He will kill their children with death, which means spiritual death. He searches the hearts, we are judged by our works, not our words. Indeed, although even more historically recent than either the Jewish or the Hindu Faiths - the Zoroastrian Faith is much fewer in number and relatively little heard of today. It does no proselytizing and dies off with its children.

[24] But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

V.24
    This physical world of man is subject to the power of the lusts, and sin is the consequence of this power of the lusts, for it is not subject to the laws of justice and holiness. The body of man is a captive of nature; it will act in accordance with whatever nature orders. It is, therefore, certain that sins such as anger, jealousy, dispute, covetousness, avarice, ignorance, prejudice, hatred, pride and tyranny exist in the physical world. All these brutal qualities exist in the nature of man. A man who has not had a spiritual education is a brute.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Some Answered Questions,
    p. 119)

[25] But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

V.25 He tells them to hold fast to the teachings of Zoroaster, until they receive the new message that He, Bahá'u'lláh will bring.

[26] And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

V.26 The Promise:

"He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him I will give power over the nations:"

Bahá'u'lláh is a descendant of Zoroaster, so the power refers to Him, especially when it says He rules with a rod of iron.

    A great Bahá'í scholar, Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl, through extensive historical research has verified that Bahá'u'lláh was descended from Zoroaster and the Sasaniyan kings of Persia, thereby fulfilling certain traditions that the great Redeemer of mankind would be of pure Persian lineage. Bahá'u'lláh was also descended from Abraham through His third wife Katurah, thus uniting in His own person two branches of the Aryan and Semitic religions.
    (Adib Taherzadeh,
    The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh v 1,
    p. 7)

[27] And he shall rule 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.

V.27 Besides here, the ruling with a rod of iron is mentioned in Psalms 2:9, and Rev.12:5 and Rev.19:15. It is of course not a literal refererence. The problem for many people in recognizing their Lord has been that they have taken the Scriptures in a literal sense. Consider this sign and some of the reasons why the Jews rejected Christ.
    When Christ appeared, twenty centuries ago, although the Jews were eagerly awaiting His Coming, and prayed every day, with tears, saying: 'O God, hasten the Revelation of the Messiah,' yet when the Sun of Truth dawned, they denied Him and rose against Him with the greatest enmity, and eventually crucified that divine Spirit, the Word of God, and named Him Beelzebub, the evil one, as is recorded in the Gospel. The reason for this was that they said: 'The Revelation of Christ, according to the clear text of the Torah, will be attested by certain signs, and so long as these signs have not appeared, whoso layeth claim to be a Messiah is an impostor. Among these signs is this, that the Messiah should come from an unknown place, yet we all know this man's house in Nazareth, and can any good thing come out of Nazareth? The second sign is that He shall rule with a rod of iron, that is, He must act with the sword, but this Messiah has not even a wooden staff. Another of the conditions and signs is this: He must sit upon the throne of David and establish David's sovereignty. Now, far from being enthroned, this man has not even a mat to sit on. Another of the conditions is this: the promulgation of all the laws of the Torah; yet this man has abrogated these laws, and has even broken the sabbath day, although it is the clear text of the Torah that whosoever layeth claim to prophethood and revealeth miracles and breaketh the sabbath day, must be put to death. Another of the signs is this, that in His reign justice will be so advanced that righteousness and well-doing will extend from the human even to the animal world -- the snake and the mouse will share one hole, and the eagle and the partridge one nest, the lion and the gazelle shall dwell in one pasture, and the wolf and the kid shall drink from one fountain. Yet now, injustice and tyranny have waxed so great in His time that they have crucified Him! Another of the conditions is this, that in the days of the Messiah the Jews will prosper and triumph over all the peoples of the world, but now they are living in the utmost abasement and servitude in the empire of the Romans. Then how can this be the Messiah promised in the Torah?'
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
    p. 44)

[28] And I will give him the morning star.

V.28 The morning star is the light that precedes the new day. Since The Báb preceded Bahá'u'lláh, He is referred to here as the 'morning star'. The Zoroastrian Faith flourished at the time of Christ in Persia, which is now Iran. The Báb was born in Persia in 1819 near the birthplace of Zoroaster.
    His Holiness the Báb gave the glad tidings concerning the appearance of the Manifestation of God, and His Holiness, the Blessed Perfection, was the Promised One of all the nations and religions. The Báb was the Morning Star heralding the glorious Dawn of the Sun of Reality. Now all of us are under Its shadow and receive the refulgent bestowals from It.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í Scriptures,
    p. 284)

[29] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. V.29 The Refrain:

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: Bahá'u'lláh tells them to listen to the new message.

    He (Zoroaster) foretold that a period of three thousand years of conflict and contention must needs precede the advent of the World-Saviour Sháh-Bahram, Who would triumph over Ahriman and usher in an era of blessedness and peace.
    (Shoghi Effendi,
    God Passes By,
    p.95)

Chapter Six

Bible Verses

[7] And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

V.7 The Báb opened the fourth seal, specifically related to the Fourth Angel and the Zoroastrians, but again universal in application, and John heard the fourth ruler say "come and see". The 'beasts' as mentioned here and in the next verse, and indeed generally throughout the Book of Revelation refers to rulers and those with sovereignty.

[8] And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

V.8 The horse that he saw is pale, which indicates that it has become anemic of spiritual power, and indeed of all the Seven Religions we do find the Zoroastrians with fewest followers at 'the time of the end'. While, as discussed at Rev.19:18, the Zoroastrians did have a particular association with death, it is the universal application in the "last days" to the people of the whole world to their being killed by the sword, or with hunger and starvation, and terrible sicknesses, especially in a fourth part of the world - therefore in what has been called the Third World countries or the undeveloped countries.

Chapter Eight

Bible Verses

[12] And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

V.12 The fourth angel sounded:

The fourth angel, in the historical order, was Zoroaster. This verse continues the description of the spiritual darkening and dying of all the religions in the last days. The continuing theme is this dying of all the old religions in all the cultures about the world, but there remain some viable remanents of each of the religions.

    The flame ignited by Zoroaster is still burning.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
    p. 346)
A third part of the sun, moon and stars were smitten and darkened, describing the spiritual darkness that took over the land, all because of the leadership of many political and religious leaders, that were interested more in the material ways of life.

    In former days, in the time of the Buddha and Zoroaster, civilization in Asia and in the East was very much higher than in the West and ideas and thoughts of the Eastern peoples were much in advance of, and nearer to the thoughts of God than those of the West. But since that time superstitions had crept into the religion and ideals of the East, and from many differing causes the ideals and characters of the Eastern peoples had gone down and down, lower and lower, while the Western peoples had been constantly advancing and struggling towards the Light.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    'Abdu'l-Bahá in London,
    p. 69)
    Had the Zoroastrians comprehended the reality of Zoroaster, they would have understood Moses and Jesus. Alas! the majority of men attach themselves to the name of the mediator and lose sight of the real purport.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Divine Philosophy,
    p. 32)

Chapter Fourteen
Bible Verses

[15] And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

V.15 Another angel, being in the order of religions - the religion of Zoroaster, appears to say that it is time to reap, that the harvest of the earth is ripe. This is known as the judgement day. Bahá'u'lláh tells the people of the world:
    O YE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD! Know, verily, that an unforeseen calamity followeth you, and grievous retribution awaiteth you. Think not that which ye have committed hath been effaced in My sight. By My beauty! All your doings hath My pen graven with open characters upon tablets of chrysolite.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    The Persian Hidden Words No. 63)
These events may well be identified with Zoroaster because His Religion is identified with the religion of Persia which is modern day Islámic Iran. One might speculate on the "sharp" sickle in light of current day events regarding nuclear inspections in Iran, but time will tell. This is the only series of Angels that does not conclude with the Seventh Islámic Angel and this is the only connection to Islám in this series, which is noteworthy because it may thus identify one specific Islámic country.

Chapter Sixteen

Bible Verses

[8] And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

V.8 The fourth vial poured upon the sun is the rule of tyrannical leaders that sear the very souls of men.
    "The fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun. The sun here means an Eastern potentate or king, because we call the sun the Eastern Planet. The heat of the sun signifies his rule and authority and the people will be scorched or burnt through the fierceness of his rule."

[9] And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

V.9 Future times may also see application of these verses in Iran (the descendants of the Zoroastrian culture) and events surrounding nuclear weapons which use the very energy of the sun.
    "This Eastern king was the Sultan Mahmoud who ruled the Turkish people, and he was very unjust. Once he slew many thousands of soldiers in one day. But, in spite of these events and trials, the people did not repent, and did not come to themselves."
Sultan Mahmoud, reigned from 1808-1839, and the 'Reign of Terror' began between the Greeks and the Turks in 1820. Iran and Turkey have in past history ruled the same lands and parts of modern day Turkey were at one time a part of Iran and parts of modern day Iran were at one time a part of Turkey.

Chapter Nineteen

Bible Verses

[17] And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

V.17 John saw an angel, standing in the light of heaven, calling us as "fowls that fly in the midst of heaven", to come together to partake of the supper of the great God. This Angel is identified with the Fourth Angel which is the Angel of the Zoroastrian Religion which of the seven religions is the one most identified with the sun.

The supper refers to the consequences (which will continue for many years) of the greatest war which mankind has ever known and which will then require mankind's utmost and long effort to reconstruct the world.

    They must put away the weapons of war, and turn to the instruments of universal reconstruction.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,
    p. 30)
    Great is the station of man. Great must also be his endeavours for the rehabilitation of the world and the well-being of nations. I beseech the One true God to graciously confirm thee in that which beseemeth man's station.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 174)
[18] That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

V.18 This verse has another unusual symbolic parallel to the Zoroastrian Faith in consideration of its practice of leaving the dead in "Cities of the Dead" for their flesh to be eaten by birds of prey. The deeper meaning, of course, has to do with spiritual significances.
    The peoples of ancient Persia believed that earth-burial was not even permissible; that such burial, to a certain degree, would block the coursings and journeyings required by nature. For this reason they built Towers of Silence open to the sky, on the mountain tops, and lay the dead therein on the surface of the ground. But they failed to observe that burial in the earth doth not prevent the natural travellings and coursings which are an exigency of creation -- that rather, earth-burial, besides permitting the natural march of phenomena, offereth other benefits as well.
    ('Abdu'l-Bahá,
    Summon up Remembrance,
    p. 175)
[19] And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

V.19 John saw the beast, those who oppose Bahá'u'lláh. God is very angry all through the Writings about the cruelty of those who inflicted harm to His loved ones. This is about the opposition that was raised against Bahá'u'lláh. Many who refused to accept His authority like the Persian prime minister, as well as the false prophet Karim Khan (see Rev.16:13), and the many kings and rulers that Bahá'u'lláh wrote to tell them of His station, and what would happen to their kingdom if they did not respond. All met with disaster.
    Ye are but vassals, O kings of the earth! He Who is the King of Kings hath appeared, arrayed in His most wondrous glory, and is summoning you unto Himself, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Take heed lest pride deter you from recognizing the Source of Revelation, lest the things of this world shut you out as by a veil from Him Who is the Creator of heaven.

    By the righteousness of God! It is not Our wish to lay hands on your kingdoms. Our mission is to seize and possess the hearts of men.

    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 211)
[20] And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

V.20 The beast was taken and with him the false prophet Karim Khan, (a symbol of all the false teachings we see in the world) to be thrown out. People no longer will put up with the lies and injustice that they see. All this is thrown into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

As pointed out several times before, the "mark of the beast" is the character of those who commit themselves to the image of religion profaned.

    Erelong they will perceive the consequences of what their hands have wrought in the Day of God." "This is the Day," He again has written, "whereon the earth shall tell out her tidings. The workers of iniquity are her burdens. The Crier hath cried out, and men have been torn away, so great hath been the fury of His wrath.
    (Bahá'u'lláh,
    quoted by Shoghi Effendi,
    The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 194)

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