Come Now, Let Us Reason Together
Let Us Speak the Truth In Love
“Come now, let us reason together,” saith the Lord.
Prove all things; hold that which is good.
I Thessalonians 5:21
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
I Peter 3:15
I myself will give you power of utterance and a wisdom which no opponent will be able to resist or refute.
Christ (Luke 21:15)
Come Now, Let Us Reason Together and its sequel
Let Us Speak the Truth in Love are written in response to objections raised by a pastor to certain Bahá’í beliefs and principles. He expressed his objections in a letter after reading One God, Many Faiths; One Garden, Many Flowers; and its sequel Heaven’s Most Glorious Gift two introductory books I have written about the Bahá’í Faith.
These two volumes respond to questions many people ask about the Bahá’í Faith. You can find the author’s response to most of those question in “Pamphlets” on
this Website: www.globalperspective.org
Come Now, Let Us Reason Together
I have quoted the pastor’s entire letter under the “Questions and Comments” in this volume, and then presented my responses to his objections. Let Us Speak the Truth in Love offers further facts in support of this volume.
This book is not addressed to just one pastor, but to all faithful Christians, leaders and laity alike. The pastor’s letter presents a cross section of questions and objections raised by many Christians.
You deserve much credit for taking the time to read my book. This is a rare phenomenon! For this achievement, I offer you my deepest gratitude and most profound appreciation.
Please do not be surprised by my lengthy response. The questions you have raised are critical. They represent the thinking of millions of other sincere and thoughtful Christians like yourself. They deserve the most serious attention. I have done my best to respond to your questions and concerns with courtesy and gentleness. I have tried to follow these admonitions:
How blest are those of a gentle spirit How blest are the peacemakers.
Christ (Matt. 5:5,9)
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
I Peter 3:15
What kind of answer do Peter and Paul ask us to give?
What I am saying is true and reasonable.
At no time have I asked you to accept a point, how
ever insignificant, without offering both biblical
references and logical reasons. To be dependable,
faith must be sustained by evidence, otherwise
every impostor is as right as every true believer.
Reason must prevail. God Himself asks us to use
that very gift:
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord.
“Present your case,” says the Lord. “Set forth
your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.
Prove all things
I Thessalonians 5:21
It was by the power of proof that St. Paul spread
the message of Jesus to the Jews and Gentiles
(Acts 17:2,17; 18:4).
Did God give us the gift of reason for no reason?
But reason alone cannot move the hearts. The
mind is sublime, but without the support of the
heart, it remains powerless. I have tried to blend
love and reason in a balanced dose.
let us speak the truth in love.
Because of my intense desire “to see right prevail”
(Matt. 5:6), I have made a strong appeal to your
conscience to continue your investigation of
Bahá’u’lláh’s message and to listen with a new
heart. The cost of failing to investigate is enormous; the eternal life is at stake. Can you afford
to risk that most precious of all gifts?
No man can obtain everlasting life, unless he
embraceth the truth of this inestimable, this
wondrous, and sublime Revelation.
My reason for the strong appeal is my love for
truth. My intention is to inform you of the most
abundant outpouring of grace in this great day of
the Lord. My motive is to inspire you to reach
out while there is yet time, before opportunities
How blest are those who hunger and thirst to
see right prevail; they will be satisfied.
Christ (Matt. 5:6)
If at times you feel I have passed my limits,
please forgive me. My purpose is not to exert
pressure, but to inspire. I always enjoy an open
dialogue an exchange of ideas with freedom,
kindness, and respect.
Let me assure you that I have no desire to turn
you, or anyone else, into a reluctant believer.
Believing is an act of free will; it should never
be burdened by pressure. The following quotations
from both the Bahá’í and Christian Scriptures
eulogize the principle of freedom:
Consort with all men, O people of Bahá, in a
spirit of friendliness and fellowship. If ye be
aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel,
of which others are deprived, share it with
them in a language of utmost kindliness and
goodwill. If it be accepted, if it fulfill its purpose, your object is attained. If anyone should
refuse it, leave him unto himself, and beseech
God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly
with him. A kindly tongue is the lodestone of
the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit,
it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the
fountain of the light of wisdom and under
I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears
My voice and opens the door, I will come in to
him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Christ (Rev. 3:20)
As you can see, Jesus promises to knock gently
at the doors of our hearts, but not to knock them
down. As He knocks at the doors of our hearts,
so must we knock at the door of His Kingdom
until it is opened:
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you
will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Christ (Matt. 7:7)
Let me assure you further that I have absolutely
no desire to win an argument; that stands contrary
to God’s guidance:
Beware lest ye contend with any one, nay, strive
to make him aware of the truth with kindly
manner and most convincing exhortation.
A fool’s lips enter into contention
shun every form of dispute.
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and
stupid arguments, because you know they pro
duce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not
quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone,
able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose
him he must gently instruct, in the hope that
God will grant them repentance leading them
to a knowledge of the truth
II Timothy 2:2325
Instead of quoting all of your letter at once, and
then offering answers, I have divided it according
to the topics you have raised in the order you
raised them. In each case I have first quoted you,
under the subheading “Questions and Comments,”
and then offered my response.
I hope and pray that you will give me the honor
of continuing this dialogue with you as long as
faith, hope, and patience endure. May God fill
your life with grace and an abundance of blessings.
Bahá’í Faith A Brief History
If you are unfamiliar with the Bahá’í Faith, its
claims, and its mission, a brief introduction to its
Central Figures will prove helpful.
The Bahá’í Era began in 1844, with the declaration of a young man called the Báb (the Gate).
The Báb was born in Shíráz, in southern Persia,
in 1819; declared His mission in 1844; and was
martyred in 1850, at age 30.
The Báb said He had been called to an exalted
and glorious Mission: to proclaim the dawning of
a new day in the spiritual history of the world,
the long cherished and awaited Day of the Lord,
the approach of the age of restoration and renewal,
when “all things are made new” (Rev. 21:5).
Verily this is none other than the sovereign
Truth; it is the Path which God hath laid out
for all that are in heaven and on earth. Let him
who will, take for himself the right path unto
The Báb’s Message spread swiftly, like the glimmerings of dawn, summoning the seekers of the
Kingdom and preparing them for the rising of the
Sun. Before long, the light of the Lord would
unveil its countenance, shining with unmatched
glory and dazzling splendor.
The Báb’s Message threatened the establishment.
Religious and political leaders alike set out to
destroy Him. His triumph meant the decline of
their powers. They were the same kind of people
to whom Christ came, and they felt and acted in
the same way.
During His brief ministry on earth, in spite of
imprisonment and exile, the Báb revealed an
abundance of scriptures, unveiling mysteries, offering new hope and knowledge, and paving the way
for the advent of a divine Teacher who would
disclose even greater treasures of truth.
Although an independent Messenger, the Báb
served primarily as the Gate to Bahá’u’lláh’s
Revelation. His prime mission, like that of John
the Baptist, was not to found a new Faith but to
awaken the seekers of truth, and to prepare them
for the advent of the long expected world Savior
The Báb asked His followers again and again to
be ready, to be receptive to the call of the next
Redeemer, and to give Him their full allegiance.
For He knew that the advent of Bahá’u’lláh would
pose a severe test to His own followers:
Take ye heed, therefore, lest ye deprive your
selves of attaining the presence of Him Who is
the Manifestation of God...and be ye careful
lest ye be deterred from attaining unto the
ocean of His good pleasure...
The Báb praised Bahá’u’lláh in the most exquisite
and enchanting terms, expressing utter humility
toward Him. The following passage shows how the
Báb viewed Himself in relation to Bahá’u’lláh:
Consecrate Thou, O my God, the whole of this
Tree [the Báb] unto Him, that from it may be
revealed all the fruits created by God within
it...By Thy glory! I have not wished that this
Tree should ever bear any branch, leaf, or fruit
that would fail to bow down before Him...And
shouldst Thou behold, O my God, any branch,
leaf, or fruit upon Me that hath failed to bow
down before Him, on the day of His Revelation, cut it off, O My God, from that Tree, for
it is not of Me, nor shall it return unto Me.
To show His humility, the Báb likened Himself to
a ring on Bahá’u’lláh’s hand. The metaphor is the
quintessence of beauty and simplicity:
I myself am, verily, but a ring upon the hand of
Him Whom God shall make manifest glorified
be His mention! He turneth it as He pleaseth...
The humility expressed by the Báb toward
Bahá’u’lláh is comparable to that expressed by
John the Baptist toward Jesus:
After me comes one who is mightier than I. I
am not fit to unfasten his shoes...
As the Scriptures reveal, Elijah was to appear
twice, once before the first advent of Jesus a
prophecy fulfilled by John the Baptist and again
before the second advent, a time distinguished and
described as “the great day of the Lord:” “Behold
I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great
and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5). The
Báb’s advent thus accorded with the preceding
prophecy, fulfilling the promise of the Scriptures
that a Messenger would once again herald the
dawn of the New Age.
The new Revelation came into being in Shíráz, in
the land of Elam, The Báblical name for a district
now in southern Persia, a land prophesied in the
Scriptures to become the seat of God’s throne in
the last days: “I will set my throne in Elam...saith
the Lord” (Jeremiah 49:38).
The teachings of the Báb challenged, threatened,
and soon began to uproot the established dogmas
and superstitions of the day, leading to turmoil
and opposition throughout the land. As a result of
the collaboration of the religious leaders and the
state, exactly as in the time of Jesus, the Báb was
imprisoned, exiled, and eventually executed. His
ministry lasted slightly over six years.
About two and a half years after the Báb’s martyrdom, Bahá’u’lláh received the first intimation
of His Revelation. He declared Himself the One
promised by all great religions of the past. In an
Epistle to the king of Persia, He describes His
spiritual transformation by the divine power:
O King! I was but a man like others, asleep
upon My couch, when lo, the breezes of the
All Glorious were wafted over Me, and taught
Me the knowledge of all that hath been. This
thing is not from Me, but from One Who is
Almighty and All Knowing. And He bade Me
lift up My voice between earth and heaven, and
for this there befell Me what hath caused the
tears of every man of understanding to flow.
He compared Himself to a frail leaf stirred by the
This is but a leaf which the winds of the will of
thy Lord, the Almighty, the All Praised, have
stirred. Can it be still when the tempestuous
winds are blowing? Nay, by Him Who is the
Lord of all Names and Attributes! They move
it as they list...His all compelling summons
hath reached Me, and caused Me to speak His
praise amidst all people. I was indeed as one
dead when His behest was uttered. The hand
of the will of thy Lord, the Compassionate, the
Merciful, transformed Me.
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...
Bahá’u’lláh, born to one of the most distinguished
families in 19thCentury Persia, was expected to
follow in the footsteps of His illustrious father.
Instead of living the princely life, He endured and
accepted a life of anguish and affliction, of tests
and trials. He chose 40 years of imprisonment and
exile in place of earthly joys and riches. A
humble life in prison held more glories than the
pomp of kings; poverty excelled the pursuit of a
princely life, and self sacrifice surpassed “the ease
and pleasures of a passing day.”
Like His Herald, the Báb, Bahá’u’lláh encountered
severe opposition and oppression from the onset of
His ministry to the very end, especially from those
who feared the loss of their powers. And in spite of
grave danger to His life, Bahá’u’lláh declined to live
in concealment. Instead of escaping afflictions, He
welcomed them; instead of mourning, He rejoiced;
instead of grieving, He gloried and exulted. To
a cruel, cunning, and powerful religious leader,
who had tortured and put to death some of the
most distinguished disciples of the new Faith,
Thinkest thou that We fear thy cruelty? Know
thou and be well assured that from the first
day...We offered up Our souls, and Our bodies
...in the path of God, the Exalted, the Great,
and We glory therein amongst all created
The masses, religious leaders, and the state com
bined their efforts and powers against Bahá’u’lláh.
They said, “this man wishes to suppress and destroy
the religion, the law, the nation and the empire.”
But the persecution of the new Faith in the land
of its origin could not obscure the radiance or
suppress the love and devotion of its determined
believers; on the contrary, the oppression and
cruelty intensified the ever spreading flame of
faith among the heroic followers. It also activated
the dormant curiosities of the masses, strengthening the determination and enflaming the desire of
multitudes of devoted seekers athirst for truth.
The oppressors had to find a new solution
banishment. They banished Bahá’u’lláh from city
to city, and from country to country, each time
hoping that the next destination would prove fatal,
would at last stifle or extinguish Bahá’u’lláh’s
overwhelming and ever expanding influence. But
it was a vain hope. Exile, like a wind, carried His
message to the lands beyond.
At last, His adversaries found an ideal city, one
which they thought would unquestionably contain
the influence of the charming and persuasive
prisoner. The city was ‘Akká, “a solitary desert,”
an extremely desolate and remote place in the
Holy Land, governed by the most deadly elements.
So they banished Bahá’u’lláh for the fourth time;
but they failed again. Bahá’u’lláh’s influence could
not be contained; it continued to spread with an
eve increasing tempo. He prevailed over all adversities, all suppressions and oppositions.
In response to the efforts of His oppressors,
Though the forces of the nations be arrayed
against Him, though the kings of the earth be
leagued to undermine His Cause, the power of
His might shall stand unshaken.
In a talk given in Chicago in 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,
Bahá’u’lláh’s Son and appointed interpreter of His
teachings, described the suffering as well as the
mission of Bahá’u’lláh:
For the betterment of the world Bahá’u’lláh
endured all the hardships, ordeals and vicissitudes of life, sacrificing His very being and
comfort, forfeiting His estates, possessions and
honor all that pertains to human existence
not for one year, nay, rather, for nearly fifty
years. During this long period He was subjected
to persecution and abuse, was cast into prison,
was banished from His native land, underwent
severities and humiliation and was exiled
four times. He was first exiled from Persia
to Baghdad, thence to Constantinople, thence
to Rumelia and finally to the great prison
fortress of ‘Akká in Syria, where He passed the
remainder of His life. Every day a new oppression and abuse was heaped upon Him until He
winged His flight from the dungeon to the
supreme world and returned to His Lord. He
endured these ordeals and difficulties in order
that this earthly human world might become
heavenly, that the illumination of the divine
Kingdom should become a reality in human
hearts, that the individual members of mankind
might progress and the happiness of the
world of humanity be assured.
Although a prisoner and exile, Bahá’u’lláh enjoyed
unexampled freedom and honor during His later
days in ‘Akká. People marveled at His powers to
overcome His enemies, to rise above all obstacles.
They said: “This man is a prince, not a prisoner.”
After Bahá’u’lláh’s exile to the Holy Land, many
came to recognize the significance of the move.
For it fulfilled the myriads of Scriptural prophecies
pointing to the Holy Land as the seat of the Lord
of the last days, and specifically to ‘Akká (or Achor)
as “the solitary place” which shall “rejoice, and
blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:35), as “a door of
hope” (Hosea 2:15), and as “a resting place for all
those who seek God” (Isaiah 65:10). They noted
with wonder and awe that the prophecies had
been fulfilled, not by Bahá’u’lláh’s own choosing,
but by the cunning of His adversaries, who had
planned and plotted to extinguish His light.
Was it chance or destiny that Bahá’u’lláh should
have been sent to the Promised Land as a prisoner,
not of His own free Will but by the will of those
who had sought to destroy Him and everything
He stood for? Is this how God chooses to fulfill
His promises? Regarding the blessedness of the
Holy Land, Bahá’u’lláh wrote:
This Holy Land hath been mentioned and ex
tolled in all the sacred Scriptures. In it have
appeared the Prophets of God and His chosen
Ones. This is the wilderness in which all the
Messengers of God have wandered, from which
their cry, “Here am I, here am I, O my God”
was raised. This is the promised Land in which
He Who is the Revelation of God was destined
to be made manifest. This is the Vale of God’s
unsearchable decree, the snow white Spot,
the Land of unfading splendor. Whatever hath
come to pass in this Day hath been foretold in
the Scriptures of old.
Bahá’u’lláh’s final place of banishment, the Holy
Land, is now the World Center of the Bahá’í
Faith, fulfilling the words of the Holy Ones of the
past. On the slopes of Mt. Carmel adjacent to
‘Akká stands the seat of the Universal House of
Justice, the source of guidance and inspiration for
the Bahá’í world and, in the future, for the entire
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be
established on the top of the mountains, and
shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations
shall flow to it. Many people shall come and
say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain
of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk
in His paths” They shall beat their swords
into plowshares, and their spears into pruning
hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against
nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
Here on the slopes of Mt. Carmel, Bahá’u’lláh
(meaning Glory of the Lord) pitched His tent
with the utmost glory and grandeur, fulfilling
Isaiah’s prophecy that Carmel (literally, the Vine
yard of the Lord) “shall see the glory of the Lord
and the excellency of our God” (Isaiah 35:12).
Bahá’u’lláh’s sojourn in the Vineyard of the Lord
further fulfilled and made evident the purpose of
Jesus’ prophetic words, pointing to the advent of
the Lord of the Vineyard in the last days (Matt.
Jesus’ prophecy reached full realization when the
remains of Bahá’u’lláh’s martyred Herald, the Báb,
were laid to rest on the slopes of Mt. Carmel. For
He, too, had assumed a title similar to that of
Bahá’u’lláh, namely Rabb, meaning the Lord.
In the following passages, Bahá’u’lláh exalts
Carmel, also known as the Mountain of the Lord,
in the most majestic and moving terms:
Rejoice, for God hath in this Day established
upon thee His throne, hath made thee the
dawningplace of His signs and the dayspring
of the evidences of His Revelation. Well is it
with him that circleth around thee, that pro
claimeth the revelation of thy glory...Seize thou
the Chalice of Immortality in the name of thy
Lord, the All Glorious, and give thanks unto
Him, inasmuch as He, in token of His mercy
unto thee, hath turned thy sorrow into gladness,
and transmuted thy grief into blissful joy.
Bahá’u’lláh also glorified Christ in the most moving terms:
Know thou that when the Son of Man yielded
up His breath to God, the whole creation wept
with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself,
however, a fresh capacity was infused into all
created things Blessed is the man who, with
a face beaming with light, hath turned towards
Note Bahá’u’lláh’s compassion for the sufferings
Jesus endured, and also the supreme titles by
which He glorified the Son of God:
Reflect how Jesus, the Spirit of God, was, not
withstanding His extreme meekness and perfect
tenderheartedness, treated by His enemies. So
fierce was the opposition which He, the Essence
of Being and Lord of the visible and invisible,
had to face, that He had nowhere to lay His
Example has more followers than reason. We
unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and
approximate to the characters we most admire.
The gap between the ideal and the real often is
too wide to be filled in by the workings of the
mind: concrete examples are required. Sometimes
a simple story, demonstrating a noble act of ser
vice, can do more to stir and inspire the human
spirit than countless pages of pronouncements.
Bahá’u’lláh left not only the supreme legacy of His
Words but also a Son ’Abdu’l-Bahá who gave
life to the Words by living them with absolute
and unfailing devotion, One who transformed the
ideal into the real, One who served as the perfect
Model or Exemplar for the teachings of the new
‘Abdu’l-Bahá Servant of Glory served as a per
fect Exemplar, as a link between the reachable
and the unreachable, between the actual and the
ideal, as the model of purity and nobility for all
In the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, we can find the limits
of human potential, the farthest bounds to which
the human mind can soar. We can see man fully
unfolding the divine in himself by casting off
every trace of darkness; we can see man perfect
and saintly, hallowed and heavenly; we can see
the self set ablaze with love and rapture, utterly
humbled before God and man; we can see the
heart made holy and radiant; we can see the spirit
sanctified with service, forgiveness, pain, and
patience; we can see the flesh made subservient
to the spirit, the human soul reaching out to the
divine; we can discern man in his angelic image,
as the purest and most wondrous fruit of creation,
as the mirror of providence, as the source of
every human virtue, as the loftiest and most
splendid fulfillment of the words, “Blessed be
God, the most exalted Creator.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá fulfilled this divine directive more
than any other human being:
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father
Christ (Matt. 5:48)
Never before has such a legacy been conferred
upon the world. To know the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,
or even to glimpse His grandeur, is an achievement filled with unimagined dramas and ecstasies,
a task worthy of anyone’s endeavors. For it portrays
simply and plainly the full profile of the human
potential, the exalted destiny ordained for us if we
but turn to the Light, and attune our souls to the
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If
anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I
will come in to him and dine with him, and he
with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant
to sit with Me on My throne, as I also over
came and sat down with My Father on His
throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what
the Spirit says to the churches.
Christ (Rev. 3:2022)
Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait
for their master, when he will return from the
wedding, that when he comes and knocks
they may open to him immediately. Blessed
are those servants whom the master, when he
comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to
you that he will gird himself and have them sit
down to eat, and will come and serve them.
Christ (Luke 12:3537)
“Questions and Comments”
from the Pastor, and
“Response” from the Author
Questions and Comments
Bahá’í teachings certainly contain lofty goals
for peaceful relations among humanity, which is
admirable. Unfortunately, from what I have read
of your understanding of the Bahá’í worldview, a
fundamental problem exists in the foundation of
all that the Bahá’í Faith bases its claims upon.
This is the belief that all religions are, in essence,
from the same source, and that the great teachers
of these religions are authentic Messengers from
I am rather surprised that an educated person such
as yourself would acknowledge such an obvious
falsehood. It is evident that these religions have
greatly varying opinions as to what is the nature
of God, why do we exist, what separates us from
God, how do we atone for our sin, and other foundational differences that cannot be harmonized. In
fact, these various religions are so different in their
foundational principles and worldviews that they
cannot all be true at any one time in history or
even throughout all of history. It is possible that
one of them is true, and if that is the case, then
the rest are false. You cannot in good conscience
declare that all are authentic Saviors or Redeem
ers from God.
You indicate that there are foundational differences
between the great religions of the world. Let me
start with an analogy. Suppose you had never seen
the sun, but suddenly saw it through a multicolored
glass. What do you think you would conclude?
You would be puzzled and confused. You might
conclude that there were several suns with various
colors. But as soon as you removed the glass, you
would recognize the oneness of the sun. That is
how the followers of each of the great faiths see
themselves and others. They look from behind the
screen of ancestral beliefs and traditions. I have
prepared a test, which contains brief quotations
from various religions on several topics. Readers
are asked to guess where the quotes come from.
Those who take the test say it is impossible to tell
any difference. Following are a few examples
selected from that test:
Identify the source of each of the following
statements by circling the code letter for each
source in the left column. After you have com
pleted the test, check your responses against
the key in the footnote.
Codes: J: Judaism; C: Christianity; I: Islam;
B: Bahá’í Faith
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
1. Through knowledge shall the just
2. Let the wise listen and add to
3. O my Lord, increase knowledge
4. Let him then who will, take the
way to his Lord.
5. Whoever is thirsty, let him come.
6. Our God and your God is one.
7. The Lord our God is one Lord.
8. Truly your God is but one, Lord
of the heavens and the earth.
9. Is there any God beside Me, or
Come Now, Let Us Reason Together
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
10. Glory to God.
11. Glory be to God!
12. The heavens declare the glory of
13. All things...declare His glory...yet
ye understand not.
14. The angel said, “O Mary! Verily
God announceth to thee the Word
from Him: His name shall be
15. O Mary! Verily hath God chosen
thee above the women of the
16. No one is good except God alone.
17. God is the source of My being.
18. I call only upon My Lord.
19. I can of My own self do nothing.
20. My sole work is preaching from
God, and His message.
21. I only follow My Lord’s utterances to Me.
22. This is God, My Lord: in Him do
I put My trust.
23. There is no power nor strength but
in God alone.
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
J C I B
24. The source of all evil is for man
to turn away from his Lord and
set his heart on things ungodly.
25. True knowledge...is the knowledge
26. For every one of you his paramount
duty is to choose for himself that
on which no others may infringe
and none usurp from him. Such a
thing...is the love of God.
27. For everything there is a sign. The
sign of love is fortitude under My
decree and patience under My trials.
28. The source of all glory is acceptance of whatsoever the Lord hath
bestowed, and contentment with
that which God hath ordained.
References: (1) Proverbs 11:9; (2) Proverbs 1:7; (3) Qur’án
30:113; (4) Qur’án 73:19; (5) Revelation 22:17; (6) Qur’án
29:45; (7) Mark 12:29; (8) Qur’án 37:45; (9) Isaiah 44:8;
(10) Luke 2:14; (11) Qur’án 12:108; (12) Psalms 19:1; (13)
Qur’án 17:44; (14) Qur’án 3:40; (15) Qur’án 3:37; (16) Luke
18:20; (17) John 8:42; (18) Qur’án 72:20; (19) John 15:5;
(20) Qur’án 72:23; (21) Qur’án 7:202; (22) Qur’án 42:8; (23)
Bahá’u’lláh, The Book of Certitude, p. 252; (24) Bahá’u’lláh,
Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 156; (25) The Báb, Selections from
the Writings of the Báb, p. 89; (26) Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings
from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 261; (27) Bahá’u’lláh,
The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh (Arabic), no. 48; (28)
Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 155.
If you associate intimately with Bahá’ís, Muslims,
Buddhists, Jews, or Hindus, you will discover that
a good Muslim lives exactly like a good Christian,
and a bad Muslim exactly like a bad Christian.
The same is true with the followers of other
faiths. Remember that Jesus did not say, “Ye shall
know them by their theology.” He said, “Ye shall
know them by their fruits.” According to St. Paul,
“fruits” are spiritual attributes such as “love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness,
and self control” (Gal. 5:22). The obstacles that
make you see differences between the great religions are the colored glasses: theological theories
and beliefs, which have divided all faiths into
sects and denominations. All great faiths teach the
same virtues; they bear the same fruits.
You have raised a few specific questions to show
different worldviews among great religions. Let
me offer the Bahá’í answers to those questions.
Question: What is the nature of God?
Answer: As The Bible teaches that God is love, so
do the Bahá’í Scriptures. The same attributes
All Knowing, AllWise, etc. found in The Bible
about God are also found in Bahá’í Writings. I
am unaware of any differences.
Question: Why do we exist?
To know, to love, to worship, and to glorify
To develop our potential, to become as perfect
To become worthy of the Glory of God and fit
for everlasting life.
To create a world of love, justice, peace, and
prosperity; to build God’s Kingdom, to bring
heaven to earth.
Question: What separates us from God?
Answer: Our lack of desire for fellowship with
Him; our inclination toward our selfish desires,
which leads us to sin and separation from God
and His great Redeemers.
Question: How do we atone for our sins?
By turning to God and opening our hearts and
souls to Him; by standing before Him with
absolute love, humility, and trust, praying for
His grace, and asking Him with all sincerity to
forgive our sins.
And then supporting and proving our sincerity by loving all His creatures, obeying His
commandments, and acknowledging His latest
You, of course, believe that only Jesus can forgive
our sins. Statements like this are found abundantly
in Christian publications:
No other religious leader claimed to have the
power to take away our sins
But it was God who gave Jesus the power to for
give sins. “By myself I can do nothing” (John
5:30), Jesus said. That same God gave that same
power to both the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh and to all
the other great Messengers.
All forgiveness floweth, in this Day, from
God, Him to Whom none can compare, with
Whom no partners can be joined, the Sovereign Protector of all men, and the Concealer of
Beware that ye deny not the favor of God after
it hath been sent down unto you. Better is this
for you than that which ye possess; for that
which is yours perisheth, whilst that which is
with God endureth. He, in truth, ordaineth
what He pleaseth. Verily, the breezes of forgiveness have been wafted from the direction
of your Lord, the God of Mercy; whoso turneth thereunto, shall be cleansed of his
sins, and of all pain and sickness. Happy the
man that hath turned towards them, and woe
betide him that hath turned aside.
Whosoever acknowledged His truth and turned
unto Him all his sins were remitted and for
If ye follow the Cause of God, We will forgive
you your sins, and if ye turn aside from Our
command, We will, in truth, condemn your
souls in Our Book, unto the Most Great Fire
[of remoteness from God].
Many Christian teachers speak as if the idea of
being saved by grace is taught only in the Gospel.
They make this assumption without investigation.
Statements like this are found abundantly in
Grace is what God may be free to do for the
lost, after Christ has died on behalf of them.
Grace is that unmerited favor of God towards
fallen man for the sake of Christ
Did not God show His grace to the people of
Israel by bringing them to the Promised Land in
spite of their unrighteousness (Deut. 9:56)?
the Lord God merciful and gracious
show me now your way, that I may know
you, and that I may find grace in your sight.
Has God shown His grace also through His other
great Messengers? Bahá’u’lláh’s Writings contain
countless references to the grace of God in fact,
many times more than you find in the Gospels.
Here are a few examples:
This is the Day in which God’s most excellent
favors have been poured out upon men, the
Day in which His most mighty grace hath
been infused into all created things.
The whole duty of man in this Day is to attain
that share of the flood of grace which God
poureth forth for him.
That hour is now come. The world is illumined
with the effulgent glory of His countenance.
And yet, behold how far its peoples have strayed
from His path!...Its grace is being poured out
upon men. Fill thy cup, and drink in, in His
Name, the Most Holy, the All Praised.
Look not upon the creatures of God except
with the eye of kindliness and of mercy, for
Our loving providence hath pervaded all created things, and Our grace encompassed the
earth and the heavens.
O people! In this blessed, this glorious Day,
deprive not yourselves of the liberal effusions
of bounty which the Lord of abounding grace
hath vouchsafed unto you. In this Day showers
of wisdom and utterance are pouring down
from the clouds of divine mercy. Well is it
with them who judge His Cause with fairness,
and woe betide the unjust.
This is how the Qur’án begins:
Praise be to God, Lord of the world! The com
passionate, the merciful! Guide us on the
straight path, the path of those on whom thou
hath bestowed thy grace
verily to you God is most kind and merciful.
The Qur’án teaches that if it were not for the grace
of God, not a single human being would remain
alive. According to Dr. Huston Smith, author of
The World’s Religions, the Qur’án contains 192
references to “God’s compassion and mercy
against 17 references to His wrath and vengeance.”
These are the attributes he quotes from the Qur’án:
The Holy, the Peaceful, the Faithful, the Guard
ian over His servants, the Shelterer of the orphan,
the Guide of the erring, the Deliverer from
every affliction, the Friend of the bereaved, the
Consoler of the afflicted; in His hand is good,
and He is the generous Lord, the Gracious, the
Hearer, the NearatHand, the Compassionate,
the Merciful, the VeryForgiving, whose love
for man is more tender than that of the mother
bird for her young.
Can you see any differences between the God of
The Bible and the God of the Qur’án?
What foundational differences can you find between
Bahá’í and biblical teachings? Different theologians
may have their own varying versions, but all the
preceding worldviews or principles declared in the
Bahá’í Writings are supported in The Bible.
Let me clarify a few points. We should recognize
that the teachings of past religions have been altered through the centuries. Further, the Scriptures
of several religions have been lost altogether.
Consider this question: Do you believe that the
beliefs of all Christian denominations currently
reflect your worldview? The Christian Broadcasting Radio often refers to several major Christian
denominations such as the Mormon Faith and the
Worldwide Church of God as cults. If churches
within Christianity deviate from what Jesus taught,
should we not expect similar deviations in other
religions? Is it not true that some Christians consider the Popes infallible while others have called
them the Antichrist?
Consider this statement from a Christian denomination. It shows how one religion with one book
and one Savior can lead to such conflicting and
almost every major doctrine taught in the
churches today is not found in The Bible.
As the differences between Christian churches
point to deviation from what Jesus taught, much
of the differences between various religions also
point to deviations of their followers from the
original teachings of their Messengers. Whatever
made Christians stray from the original teachings
of Jesus has also made the followers of other
faiths stray from the teachings of their Messengers.
I am quite certain that between The Bible and the
Bahá’í Scriptures there are no differences concerning fundamental issues. The differences lie only
in human interpretation and understanding. And
that is what has always divided past religions,
Consider the extent of misunderstanding that prevails today about the true essence of religion from
the present belief and practices of the followers of
two of the great faiths of the world: Hinduism
and Buddhism. Christians have one Bible, Jews
have one Torah, Muslims have one Qur’án. What
about Hindus and Buddhists? They have:
a rich and often contradictory library of literally thousands of texts, many of which have
formed the basis for various sects and subdivisions of adherence to the original teachings on
which they were based. Buddhism, for example,
differs radically in both practice and doctrine
from Sri Lanka to Tibet, from Thailand to China,
from Burma to Japan. Hinduism contains the
teachings of Manu alongside the heroic legends
of the Mahabharata, and embraces the sermons
of the Bhagavad Gita together with the lyric
poetry of the Upanishads.
The Bible uses the metaphor of “Shepherd” for
God’s Voice as spoken by His great Messengers,
“sheep” for the ones who must hear and obey their
commands, and “flock” or “sheep pen” for a group
of people who live in a specific geographical area
with specific social needs under a divine Shepherd.
The people of Israel were an example of a flock
among many others. To them, God sent Moses,
the prophets, and finally Jesus. Consider this
statement from Jesus:
I was sent only to the sheep of Israel.
Note the use of the word “only,” which points to
the uniqueness of each age and the flock or group
of people for whom a Messenger is sent. Other
wise why would Jesus say “only”? Up to now,
each Shepherd has come for only one “flock” of
people. For instance, Krishna came primarily for
the people of India, Buddha mainly for the residents of East Asia, Muhammad mostly for those
of Arab countries. Although every one of the past
religions had the potential to become universal, it
could not achieve that purpose for reasons such as
Now notice this statement from Jesus:
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and
my sheep know me just as the Father knows
me and I know the Father and I lay down
my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that
are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them
also. They too will listen to my voice, and
there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
Who are the “other sheep” that did not belong to
the Jewish flock? People like the Arabs, the Hindus, the Persians, the Chinese, and the Native
Americans. And who is the “I” that speaks? The
divine Voice in Christ. The One who is the first
and the last, the Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 1:8).
Please remember that the One who owned the
Jewish flock, also owned other flocks. He loved
them also and guided them to the paradise of His
presence. A good shepherd not only gives his life
for his sheep, he also refuses to show favoritism
toward some of them. He loves equally every
sheep in his pasture.
Will the Shepherd’s various flocks remain separate
forever? No! When the time is ripe, as Jesus declared, they will be gathered together and unified
under one supreme Command. All the sheep of
the earth will hear and recognize the heavenly
Voice. From then on, “there shall be one flock
and one shepherd” (verse 6).
We can hear the same divine Voice giving us the
same message found in the Hebrew Scriptures:
I will save my flock, and they shall be ravaged
no more...Then I will set over them one shepherd to take care of them...
We can see how clearly Jesus predicted the coming of a faith that will bring together all these
flocks all these diverse religions under one
supreme Command. Bahá’ís believe that the divine
Shepherd that Jesus spoke about has come. He
invites the followers of all faiths to set aside their
misconceptions, their sense of superiority, and
join together under one universal faith:
We, verily, have come to unite and weld together all that dwell on earth.
O contending peoples and kindreds of the
earth! Set your faces towards unity, and let the
radiance of its light shine upon you...There can
be no doubt whatever that the peoples of the
world, of whatever race or religion, derive
their inspiration from one heavenly Source,
and are the subjects of one God. The difference
between the ordinances under which they abide
should be attributed to the varying requirements and exigencies of the age in which they
were revealed. All of them, except a few which
are the outcome of human perversity, were
ordained of God, and are a reflection of His
Will and Purpose. Arise and, armed with the
power of faith, shatter to pieces the gods of
your vain imaginings, the sowers of dissension
amongst you. Cleave unto that which draweth
you together and uniteth you.
Hebrew prophecies clearly lend support to the
prophecy of “one fold and one shepherd:”
On that day the Lord shall be one and his
name the one name.
And I...am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see
Note the use of “My glory.” Whose glory? The
Glory of God, the English translation of the word
Bahá’u’lláh. Christ also said that He will come in
the glory of His Father (Matt. 16:27). If we re
place “Father” with “God,” we get “Glory of God.”
At first, the name Bahá’u’lláh sounds strange to
many people. And yet it is found many times
throughout the Scriptures. The reason it sounds
strange is this: Bahá’ís do not translate the name
into various languages. To make “Bahá’u’lláh” a
familiar title to all nations, we would have to
translate it into hundreds of languages. If you
heard the name Jesus Christ in some other languages, you would not recognize it. Since this is
the age of oneness, the name of Bahá’u’lláh is
also the same in all languages, as Hebrew Scriptures predict that His name shall be one.
When St. Paul presented his message to the people
of Athens, they called him a “babbler” because
the name Jesus Christ sounded foreign to them.
“What is this Bábbler trying to say?” Others
remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign
But the open minded among the people of Athens
May we know what this new teaching is that
you are presenting? You are bringing some
strange ideas to our ears, and we want to
know what they mean.
Let us once again go back to the message of
universality taught in the Scriptures.
Is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the
God of Gentiles also?
Who are the Gentiles? Those who lived outside
the Jewish flock, either before the advent of
Christ or after. The word may refer to any nation
beyond the scope of the Jews.
Consider also this verse:
God does not show favoritism but accepts men
from every nation who fear him and do what
If God failed to send Messengers to all nations,
would it not imply favoritism? How many centuries did it take before Native Americans, Chinese,
and Indians heard about Jesus? Why would God
ignore so many people for so many centuries?
The idea of universality is found throughout the
Scriptures, yet theologians for the most part ignore
it. Instead of acknowledging the oneness of religion,
they look for verses that, on the surface, imply a
message of superiority and separation. Perhaps the
most widely quoted verse from the Gospel is this:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through me.
Christ (John 14:6)
The only interpretation offered for this verse by
theologians is that Jesus is the only Savior past,
present, and future. Never have I seen any view
that even slightly differs from this. Let us now
examine Bahá’u’lláh’s interpretation, the One who
claims to be the Lord the only One who, as
Paul confirms, has the right to interpret the Word
of God: “Therefore, judge nothing before the ap
pointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will
bring to light what is hidden in darkness” (I Cor.
4:5). Bahá’u’lláh’s Writings clearly indicate that
the “I am” in that verse and similar verses refers
to the divine Voice in Jesus, who speaks in every
age and utters the same message. We hear His
Voice through various Messengers and Names,
but the Speaker is always One and the same:
This is the way [to God]; walk in it.
I am the way, the truth and the light.
I am the way and the truth and the life.
Christ (John 14:6)
Just this path, there is no other.
Follow me: this is the right way [to God].
Muhammad (Qur’án 43:61)
This is the Way of God for all the inhabitants
of earth and heaven and all that lieth betwixt
them. No God is there but Me, the Almighty,
the Inaccessible, the Most Exalted.
This is the Way of God unto all who are in the
heavens and all who are on the earth.
The one Speaker is both the Beginning and the
O ye that have strayed and lost your
way!...Behold, He is now come...He Who is
both the Beginning and the End...is now manifest before your eyes.
For they [the great Messengers] are all but one
person, one soul, one spirit, one being, one
revelation. They are all the manifestation of the
“Beginning” and the “End,” the “First” and the
“Last,” the “Seen” and “Hidden” all of which
“Say” in this context is an equivalent to The Báblical phrase:
“Thus says the Lord.”
pertain to Him Who is the innermost Spirit of
Spirits and eternal Essence of Essences.
That same divine Voice spoke the same message
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the
Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is
to come, the Almighty.”
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning
and the End.
Every sacred Scripture contains and repeats an
everlasting and evolving truth:
This [the Qur’án] is that which is written in
the former Books.
And it is in the Books of the former.
God’s way has been and always will be perfect:
His way is perfect.
Is not Bahá’u’lláh’s interpretation more reasonable?
Does it not support the principle of universality
proclaimed by Paul? Does it not also establish
God’s justice by showing no favoritism towards
any one of His many flocks? Further, who has
given the theologians the right to interpret God’s
Word? Are they infallible? Are they not asked to
postpone their judgment, and to wait for the Lord
to come and decode the mysteries (I Cor. 4:5)?
It is amazing how a single misinterpreted idea can
lead to such divisive consequences among the
followers of the great religions. It is amazing how
it has closed the hearts and minds of millions of
Christians to a truth so evident, to a principle so
reasonable: the progressive revelation of truth.
Questions and Comments
For example, it sounds as if the major tenet of the
Bahá’í Faith is the investigation of truth. It sounds
as if correct knowledge is all that is required. In
Christianity, the major tenet is following the Truth
that Jesus claimed to be. This is found in John
It is not merely head knowledge
as if this were a class assignment but absolute
obedience to the One who claimed to be God in
the flesh. The Truth is not merely a set of teachings or philosophy but the person of Jesus Christ.
Just as it is in Christianity, the major tenet in the
Bahá’í Faith is following and loving the truth.
Independent investigation of truth is what leads
us to the truth. The goal is the truth; investigation is the means. What you are implying is that
you need not investigate the truth; you already
know it. The question is this: If you did not investigate, then how did you know? If we eliminate
investigation, then every person on our planet is
as right as every other person.
Was it not for a failure to investigate the truth that
the Pharisees denied Jesus? Note ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
explanation of this point:
Had they [the Pharisees] investigated sincerely
for themselves, they would surely have believed
in Him, respected Him and bowed before Him
in reverence. They would have considered His
manifestation the greatest bestowal upon man
kind. They would have accepted Him as the
very Savior of man; but, alas, they were veiled,
they held to imitations of ancestral beliefs and
hearsay and did not investigate the truth of
[The Pharisees] paid no heed to His [Jesus’]
splendors and regarded not His proofs. Else
would they have acknowledged His words,
and borne witness to the verses He revealed,
confessed the truth of His utterances, sought
shelter under the protective shadow of His
banner, learned of His signs and tokens, and
rejoiced in His blissful tidings.
You state that the Truth is “the person of Jesus
Christ.” You are absolutely right. Bahá’u’lláh often
compares Himself and other Redeemers to the
sun. How can we recognize the sun? By seeing it:
The proof of the sun is the light thereof, which
shineth and envelopeth all things.
How can we see the light of Jesus and Bahá’u’lláh?
How can we know? Anyone can make a claim;
only by evidence can we separate the deceptive
from the divine. Jesus said, “by their fruits you
will know them” (Matt. 7:20). That statement
obviously applies to Jesus Himself. How can we
tell Jesus Christ is divine? By His works by what
He said, what He did, and what He produced.
Christians, for the most part, do not investigate the
Bahá’í Faith. They feel certain that, according to
their theology, such a Faith cannot be true in any
way. Why? Because they firmly believe that Jesus
will come from the sky. They have absolutely no
doubt about this conviction.
As you know, many Christians also believe that
Jesus will come to lift them suddenly and mysteriously to heaven. This is called “the rapture,” that
literally means “to snatch away.” The majority
of Christians act as if “seek and ye shall find”
(Matt.7:7) has no relevance to the Second Advent.
They feel as if their only role is to wait and per
haps to watch the sky. The Heavenly Thief, they
theorize, is Powerful and All Seeing. He will find
them. Thus they reverse the two roles. Instead of
believing that it is their responsibility to look for
the Thief, they act as if it is His responsibility to
look for them. This belief has taken all initiative
away from the majority of Christians. It has made
them self satisfied and complacent.
This seemingly simple but glamorous view of the
heavenly descent of Christ and the heavenly ascent
of Christians violates the most fundamental principle that binds us to our Creator: our freedom of
choice. God has so much respect for the gift of
freedom He has bestowed on human beings that He
has consistently allowed them to torture, humiliate,
and kill the Ones He loves the most: the supreme
Manifestations of His glory, His great Messengers.
This literal interpretation of prophecies indicates
that human freedom will suddenly be violated
that, for the first time in history, God will alter
Consider the consequences of the theory of
physical descent and ascent never mentioned
by theologians. Who are the ones who will be
raptured to heaven? All of them, we are told, will
be Christian. Being a true follower of Jesus, theologians assert, is the only line of distinction that
will be drawn. If you are in good standing as a
Christian, then you will be lifted to heaven. If you
are in bad standing, you will suffer on earth and
be destroyed. If you belong to any other religion
or to no religion, then your destiny will be destruction. What are the implications of this theory?
One of them is that God’s standard for taking
people to heaven or destroying them on earth will
be controlled mainly by chance, by which geo
graphical part of the planet a person happens to
be born in, and by what choices one’s ancestors
happened to make centuries ago.
Which race, which people, will have the best
chance of being raptured to heaven? As we know,
Christians live, for the most part, in Europe,
America, and Australasia. Thus, a person has a
much better chance of being raptured if he or she
happens to be born in one of those three continents. A person will also have a better chance of
going to heaven if he or she is white, because
those continents are populated mainly by Caucasians. As you can see, this implies that God is a
racist an evil quality for which we condemn
even fallible human beings. Prominent Christian
authors even offer estimates of the number of
good Christians who will be raptured to heaven!
Christian theologians present this theory as if it is
the absolute truth, without ever asking the critical
questions raised here. Believing in this theory is
the first and foremost stumbling block to the
commandment that the true believers in Jesus must
seek and search, that they must always be ready
and never lose sight of watching for the heavenly
Thief, as the five foolish maidens did (Matt. 25:1
13). As that parable teaches, the Bridegroom came
and left, but those maidens missed Him. And
because of their negligence, they were not allowed
to enter the banquet of the Kingdom.
And what is the theory of heavenly descent and
ascent based on? On two assumptions:
Assumption 1: Virtually all prophecies of the
Second Advent are literal.
Assumption 2: Christian theologians are infallible in making Assumption 1.
That is all! Are not these exactly the same assumptions the Pharisees made? Should not their example
awaken all sincere Christians from the dreams of
waiting to be snatched away? And where in the
Bible does God tell us that all His prophecies are
literal? Nowhere! On the contrary, we are told
that He speaks in parables and that His Word
must be understood spiritually (I Cor. 2:14). Is it
then wise to build one’s eternal destiny on such
unfounded assumptions made by fallible people?
Do not the enormous consequences justify and
even require a full investigation of Bahá’u’lláh’s
The topic of the “Independent Search for Truth”
gave you the false impression that “correct knowledge is all that is required.” You then add that in
Christianity “the Truth is not merely a set of
teachings or philosophy but the person of Jesus
Christ” and obedience to Him.
You are in perfect agreement with Bahá’í teachings. The Spirit of God in His great Messengers
and Redeemers is “the living waters.” That Spirit
is the source of all life, both physical and spiritual. But how can we discover that source of life?
By knowing and following a map. Knowledge is
God is both our true Lover and Beloved. Our
goal is not to simply fall in love with the map
that leads us to our Beloved. Our goal is always
God as He manifests Himself and makes His love
reachable to us through His supreme Saviors and
Redeemers. The Glory, the Light, the Love, and the
Perfection of God in a humble Man called Jesus
Christ, who in this age is called, Bahá’u’lláh,
the Glory of God, is the very Object and Goal
of all creation. Consider these statements from
Bahá’u’lláh, who refers to the Spirit of God in
Himself as “the Object of all knowledge:”
Arise in the name of Him Who is the Object
of all knowledge, and, with absolute detachment from the learning of men, lift up your
voices and proclaim His Cause.
We beseech God to strengthen thee with His
power, and enable thee to recognize Him Who
is the Source of all knowledge, that thou
mayest detach thyself from all human learning,
for, “what would it profit any man to strive
after learning when he hath already found and
recognized Him Who is the Object of all knowledge?” Cleave to the Root of Knowledge, and
to Him Who is the Fountain thereof, that thou
mayest find thyself independent of all who
claim to be well versed in human learning...
Lo! He Who is the Object of all knowledge is
come Every revelation of grace, every evidence
of goodly gifts emanateth from Him and unto
Him doth it return.
We have decreed, O people, that the highest
and last end of all learning be the recognition
of Him Who is the Object of all knowledge;
and yet, behold how ye have allowed your
learning to shut you out, as by a veil, from
Him Who is the Day Spring of this Light,
through Whom every hidden thing hath been
As a rule, our relationship with God starts with the
mind, but always ends with the heart. Our ultimate
purpose is to love God, but we cannot love Him
unless we know Him. Seeking is knocking on the
door. Unless the door is opened, we cannot see
our eternal Lover and Beloved.
Loving God and His creation is not only the central
teaching of Jesus Christ but also of Bahá’u’lláh.
Consider these statements from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:
In the world of humanity the greatest king and
sovereign is love.
Love is the greatest law in this vast universe
The essence of Bahá’u’lláh’s Teaching is all
embracing love, for love includeth every excellence of humankind. It causeth every soul to
go forward. It bestoweth on each one, for a
heritage, immortal life.
Love is heaven’s kindly light...the living link
that uniteth God with man...Love is the most
great law...Love is the spirit of life...
Until love takes possession of the heart no
other divine bounty can be revealed in it.
Questions and Comments
Let me turn your attention to some of the truth
statements you have made in your book. To begin
with, you declare that miracles are not important to the truth or validity of a Messenger, then
you go on to say that the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh
performed miracles to prove their authenticity to
their first followers. Is this not a contradiction? If
miracles are not important, why did the Báb and
Bahá’u’lláh perform any at all? If they did per
form them, why is it that you refer to them as
proof of the authenticity of their message? Is not
this a sign that they are counterfeits? How can you
refer to miracles performed as “only historically,
and not as evidence” and have this not be a
proof texting of the validity of the founders of the
To say that miracles are only important to “awaken
the truth seekers” is only so much double talk. If
the miracles did not happen, then even to refer to
them at all is dealing in falsehood and deception
and the promulgation of a lie. If they did happen,
then they are vitally important, whether people use
them to come to faith or not. You cannot make
this distinction of awareness versus belief. Actions
cannot be separate from the person as if our actions have no bearing on who or what we are.
The Báb and Bahá’u’lláh did not perform miracles
to prove their authenticity. Does the sun shine to
prove anything? The sun shines because of its
nature. At no time did I refer to miracles as proof
of the authenticity of the message of the Báb
and Bahá’u’lláh. In the book, I discussed the
martyrdom of the Báb, and then indicated that I
referred to it not to show a miracle, but to present
a significant event in history. Although the Báb’s
martyrdom appears miraculous, it can be attributed
to chance. I left the reader free to come to his or
her own conclusions.
What I did indicate was this: If miracles are to
serve any purpose, it is to awaken the truth seekers, to get their attention. This was my personal
deduction based on my own understanding of
what purpose miracles may serve. Let me offer an
example to show the difference between using
miracles as evidence and using them as a means
of awakening. Let us say you are a teacher and
you want to motivate your students to learn astronomy. Perhaps you produce a beautiful poster
for your topic. The poster does not prove anything;
it only gets your students’ attention. That is the
purpose miracles should serve.
You indicate that we cannot separate an action
from a person, but can we not attach different
meanings to what a person does? For instance,
can we not say an individual is charitable either
for selfish or unselfish reasons? Similarly, we
have a choice to attribute different meanings to
A danger of using miracles as proofs is that there
is often no clear line between a miracle and magic.
Note the remarkable similarity between the two as
defined in the dictionary:
Miracle: an action or event that is impossible
according to ordinary laws of nature.
Magic: having special powers that are not nor
mal or natural, so that you can do impossible
things; a secret power used to control events
or do impossible things, by saying special
words or performing special actions.
A man from India, known as Sai Bába, has many
followers who attribute miracles to him. In my
travels, I met a few of them who glorified him
and testified to having witnessed his supernatural
powers. If miracles are the true standard, how can
we separate a Christ from a Sai Bába? How can
we distinguish the work of our Creator from such
a leader who claims to be God?
As the book of Exodus reports, Aaron performed
some incredible miracles, far more difficult than
the phenomenon of the empty tomb. “But the
magicians did the same thing by their secret
arts” (Exodus 8:7). What value has a faith that
rests on such a fragile foundation, on one that can
be copied by magicians?
Note what Jesus says about “signs and wonders,”
which are the same as miracles:
For false christs and false prophets will rise
and show great signs and wonders to deceive,
if possible, even the elect.
But can you find any verses in the Scriptures that
warn us to watch, “for false christs and false
prophets who will arise and show wonderful
fruits and teachings so as to deceive, if possible,
even the elect”? No, deceivers can produce “great
signs and wonders” but they can never bring
words and teachings that match or even come
close to the Word of God. Jesus downgrades the
value of miracles as a dependable proof, but He
never downgrades, however slightly, the station of
“fruits” or the Word of God as the evidence of
truth, as a reliable means of separating a true
Christ from a false Christ.
If signs and wonders can deceive even the elect,
who have keen insight, what will be the deceptive powers of those wonders over the masses of
Christians whose inner spiritual guide falls short
of that of the elect? Why, then, do people believe
exactly the opposite of what Jesus teaches? Why
do they disobey or downgrade a commandment
or a sign that specifies the most distinguishing
feature of a true prophet or a true Christ?
You will know them by their fruits. Do men
gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from
thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good
fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good
tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree
bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear
good fruit is cut down and thrown into the
fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know
Christ (Matt. 7:1620)
Many reasons account for people’s love for signs
Belief in miracles as evidence takes all responsibility away from the believers. They do not
need to take the time to read volumes or go to
meetings. All they need to do is to wait and
wish. When the Lord comes, they will see Him.
Why, then, waste precious time?
It is exhilarating to see a most magnificent and
dramatic display of glory and power in the sky.
It feels so good to be on the side of the saved,
to see the fulfillment of one’s dreams and wishes
in a moment of glory.
These tendencies, found in all human beings, have
been strengthened through centuries of reinforcement. They have created a state of absolute self
satisfaction, complacency, and self righteousness.
They have destroyed all initiative, and all curiosity.
Consider these verses:
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If
anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I
will come in to him and dine with him, and he
with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to
sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame
and sat down with My Father on His throne.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
says to the churches.
Christ (Rev. 3:2022)
What do you think the Spirit says to the churches?
I will knock at the door of your heart. I will invite you to My banquet.
You must overcome your complacency, which
prevents you from opening your heart to My
From the message of “knocking,” Jesus moves to
the message of “overcoming.” It is clear the two
are related. They indicate that His church will
have the freedom to deny Him; it will have the
choice to close its door to Him. Jesus’ prophecy
ends with, “He who has an ear, let him hear.” Do
the churches hear this message? Will the custodians of the church continue to keep their hearts
and the hearts of their congregations closed to the
knocking of their Lord? Will they continue to tell
people not to look anywhere except in their own
denomination? Will they continue to tell them to
wish and wait until Jesus comes from the sky to
take them away?
The following verses from Luke support the need
for knocking, exactly as do the verses of Revelation:
Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait
for their master, when he will return from the
wedding, that when he comes and knocks
they may open to him immediately. Blessed
are those servants whom the master, when he
comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to
you that he will gird himself and have them sit
down to eat, and will come and serve them.
Christ (Luke 12:3537)
In both passages, Jesus promises to have food
with those who are watchful and humble, who
open their hearts and invite Him into their lives.
What is the promised food? It is the Word of
God, “the fruits of Spirit.” God’s greatest and
most wondrous gift to us is His Word or His
Revelation, known also as “the Bread which
cometh down from Heaven:”
That which is preeminent above all other gifts,
is incorruptible in nature, and pertaineth to
God Himself, is the gift of Divine Revelation.
Every bounty conferred by the Creator upon
man, be it material or spiritual, is subservient
unto this. It is, in its essence, and will ever so
remain, the Bread which cometh down from
Heaven. It is God’s supreme testimony, the
clearest evidence of His truth, the sign of
His consummate bounty, the token of His all
encompassing mercy, the proof of His most
loving providence, the symbol of His most
Ponder the inner meanings of these verses:
And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son
of God, command this stone to become bread.”
But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written,
‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by
every word of God.’”
Seeking physical miracles, these verses imply, is a
demonic act. It is worthy of the devil. We see the
fulfillment of this principle in the prevalence of
cults who deceive people by all kinds of miraculous deceptions and claims. Why did Jesus call
Peter who was the Rock of His Church Satan
(Matt. 16:23)? Because at that moment Peter
shifted his thinking from the divine to human
desire: winning by the sheer imposition of miraculous powers. Why did Jesus choose such a strong
word to describe a beloved disciple? Because of
the supreme significance of the principle involved.
Because of the impassioned longing of human
beings for miracles and the evil consequences of
that longing. It was the desire for miracles that
caused the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus. That
is how evil this seemingly innocent desire can
be. In spite of all His instructions and insights,
Jesus’ disciples were so attached to worldly victory that, even up to the point of the resurrection,
they continued to believe that somehow Jesus
would destroy His enemies and set Himself free
with a sudden burst of divine power. They could
not abandon the idea of a supreme King reigning
with great glory and power, just as today most
Christians cannot detach themselves from a similar belief.
God’s greatest gift to us is His Word, sent by His
Messengers. Consider the first verse of a parable
Jesus used to remind Christians of the manner of
Now when one of those who sat at the table
with Him heard these things, He said to him,
“Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”
What bread is worthy of the Kingdom of God?
Earthly or heavenly? Is it a blending of flour,
water, and yeast, or a blending of the thoughts of
God? Note how Bahá’u’lláh describes this bread:
This is the food that conferreth everlasting life
upon the pure in heart and the illumined in
spirit. This is the bread of which it is said:
“Lord, send down upon us Thy bread from
heaven.” This bread shall never be withheld
from them that deserve it, nor can it ever be
O the pity! that man should deprive himself of
this goodly gift, this imperishable bounty, this
everlasting life. It behooveth him to prize this
food that cometh from heaven, that perchance,
through the wondrous favors of the Sun of
Truth, the dead may be brought to life, and
withered souls be quickened by the infinite
Ponder how Bahá’u’lláh exalts the Word of God:
Each one of these verses is unto all the peoples
of the world an unfailing testimony and a glorious proof of His truth. Each of them verily
sufficeth all mankind, wert thou to meditate
upon the verses of God.
Miracles are of two kinds: material and spiritual.
Material miracles are the function of scientists;
spiritual miracles the work of Saviors of God’s
supreme Messengers. Computers, cars, telephones,
and airplanes these are material miracles. Thou
sands of scientists are involved daily in performing them. Spiritual miracles, on the scale that God’s
great Saviors perform, are extremely rare. We have
had just a few Figures, since the beginning of
history, such as Abraham, Noah, Krishna, Moses,
Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad, and in
this age, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. What miracle
do these Messengers perform? Take Jesus Christ,
a man from a rather poor family, born in a little,
unknown town, with no worldly distinctions. Yet
that poor man has influenced the world more than
all the scientists who have ever lived. This miracle
is a million times more of a miracle than discovering a cure for cancer or flying in the air.
For without love, it doesn’t matter if people get
cancer or not. Without morals, it doesn’t matter
if people live or die, walk or fly.
See how many conquering kings there have
been, how many statesmen and princes, powerful organizers, all of whom have disappeared,
whereas the breezes of Christ are still blowing;
His light is still shining; His melody is still
resounding; His standard is still waving; His
armies are still fighting; His heavenly voice is
still sweetly melodious; His clouds are still
showering gems; His lightning is still flashing;
His reflection is still clear and brilliant; His
splendor is still radiating and luminous; and it
is the same with those souls who are under
His protection and are shining with His light.
The material miracle says: I will impress you
with my visible and overwhelming powers. The
spiritual miracle says: I will invite you by my
invisible and spiritual powers. Which miracle is
worthy of God?
If you wanted to discover who were your true
friends, how would you go about it? Would you
put yourself in a poor and humble position, or
would you put yourself in a rich and powerful
position? What kind of friends would you attract
if you were poor? Only the sincere ones. What
kind would you attract if you were rich? Many
kinds of people with many motives. If this example
makes sense to us, why should it not make sense
to God? God always conceals His great glory in
a humble human being who knocks at our hearts
to test our loyalty and sincerity. The sincere do
not look at His material poverty, they look at His
spiritual riches: His Word.
Does God have the right to test us? Do we have
the right to test Him?
Thou shalt not test the Lord your God
So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give
us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do
you quarrel with me? Why do you put the
Lord to the test?”
Is not anticipating miracles the same as testing
Miracles should not be considered a reliable proof
of divine authority. God Himself tells us that He
sometimes allows a deceiver to perform miracles
in order to test the faith of His true believers:
If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams,
appears among you and announces to you a
miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or
wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and
he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you
have not known) “and let us worship them,” you
must not listen to the words of that prophet or
dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to
find out whether you love him with all your heart
and with all your soul.
Consider this scenario. Suppose the year is 27
A.D., and you are a Jew living in Palestine. Jesus
comes to you and says, “I am the Messiah, the
Christ.” How would you respond to Him? What
would you say? How would you know He is the
One? Please take as much time as you need to
write your response. The purpose of writing is to
bring you as close to reality as possible.
Here is a question: If you told Jesus that He must
prove Himself by a miracle, have you not violated
God’s clear commandment that we should not test
Him? And if you asked for a miracle, and He did
perform it, would you be ready to accept Him?
Would you not think in your heart that He may
be a clever magician or a sly psychic?
What then is the answer? It is this: God has always
proved His presence in His Saviors by spiritual,
rather than physical miracles. That is the only
way we can know Him, and that is the only standard He uses to know us. Everything about the
lives of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh is a spiritual
miracle far beyond the reach of any human being.
These miracles number in the thousands. The only
way you can find out about them is to read
Bahá’í history. Here are few references you may
wish to review:
God Passes By, 412 pages.
This is a comprehensive history of the first century of the Bahá’í
The DawnBreakers, 685 pages.
detailed account of the life of the Báb and some
of His followers.
Release the Sun, 250 pages,
and Hour of the
Dawn, 212 pages.
These books basically offer
a summary of The DawnBreakers.
Bahá’u’lláh, the King of Glory, 539 pages.
This title presents a detailed account of the life
of Bahá’u’lláh and some of His followers.
Robe of Light, 230 pages,
and Day of Glory,
These books offer brief histories of
Bahá’u’lláh’s life and some of His followers.
Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 238
This offers many inspiring stories about
the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Memorials of the Faithful, 206 pages.
brief account, from the pen of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, of
the lives of some of the early Bahá’ís.
The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, four volumes.
This contains a record of many significant
events in Bahá’í history.
Many people have been blessed to recognize
Bahá’u’lláh through dreams and visions. Their
whole lives have been transformed by one spiritual
miracle: a clear, meaningful, and unmistakable
dream. In spite of their great numbers, they are
still the exception rather than the rule. But they
may offer a response to your heart’s desire for
miracles. In Bahá’í literature, you can find many
examples of such dreams. Most of them are not
translated into English. Perhaps the best sources
in English at this time are A Wondrous World,
Stories from the Life of Bahá’u’lláh, and Stories
from the Delight of Hearts.
To base one’s faith on miracles is to build one’s
spiritual destiny on one’s eyes rather than on one’s
mind, heart, and soul. Which is more reliable and
testable? A magical act that vanishes or a magnificent miracle the Word that endures? The eyes
see physical miracles such as works of magic; the
heart sees spiritual miracles, such as the Word of
God, and the life of the One who utters them.
Which is more worthy of God? In the following
verse, the Báb asks us to acknowledge the evidence
that our Creator Himself has established as proof
of His presence, and not to prefer our own selfish
desires based on illusions:
It is incumbent upon a lowly servant to acquiesce to whatever proof God hath appointed,
and not to follow his own idle fancy.
If we are humble, then we must accept what God
Himself designates as the proof of His presence in
His Messengers; otherwise we have shown pride
Why did Jesus ask His disciples not to talk about
His miracles (Matt. 9:30; 8:4)? Because He did
not want to be recognized by His miraculous
powers. He wanted to express His love for the
sick; He wished to help people, but not to put
on display His supernatural gifts. Jesus’ desire to
keep His miracles a secret indicates that, even
when God demonstrates His supreme powers over
natural laws, He tries to hide them. He does not
feel “proud” of “impressing” people in this way.
He does not want to be known as the Supreme
Magician of the universe. He wants us to find His
great glory and power in His magnificent Word,
uttered by humble and lowly human beings who
endure poverty, imprisonment, torture, and death
at the hands of His meanest and most wretched
We can be proud when we discover God’s glory in
such seemingly ordinary people. Here lie the beauty
and wonder of our relationship with our Creator.
We search for Him and discover His divine splendor in a seemingly ordinary person born in a little
town like Nazareth in Palestine or a city like
Tihrán in Persia a country steeped in religious
prejudice and known mostly for revolution, persecution, war, and violence. This is the challenge
and wonder of life, always presenting us with
newer and bigger surprises. It is like discovering
a vast cache of riches not in a guarded museum
in London, Paris, or New York, but in the slums
of Calcutta or Rio de Janeiro; treasures that have
been showered not upon the powerful, the rich,
and the famous, but upon the poorest of the poor.
Who discovered the heavenly riches concealed in
Jesus? The poor or the powerful? The prominent
leaders or the prostitutes?
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax
collectors [people of low status] and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead
The same happened with John the Baptist:
For John came to you to show you the way of
righteousness, and you did not believe him, but
the tax collectors and the prostitutes did.
Christ (Matt. 21:32)
If there were no other verses in the Gospel, these
two references about the kind of people who accepted John and Jesus should awaken every true
lover of Christ, every sincere Christian. Why
would astute and educated scholars reject the Son
of God, but prostitutes who held perhaps the
lowest position in society accept Him? This fact
should transform the thinking of every pastor and
priest, every seminary student, every Bible scholar
and teacher. Why did the established people,
prominent leaders, and teachers fail to see the
light of God in Jesus, but the prostitutes saw that
light? Does this not indicate that knowledge often
creates pride; that education crystallizes people’s
thinking; that being in a position of power has no
relevance to knowing the truth; that seeing God
comes from insight, not outsight; that degrees
Ph.D.s, D.Th.s, and D.D.s do not make a per
son more spiritually qualified; and that lowly
people should not depend on the powerful?
Who were Jesus’ distinguished disciples? As
The two great apostles, St. Peter and St. John
the Evangelist, were once simple, humble
workmen, toiling for their daily bread. By the
Power of the Holy Spirit their souls were illumined, and they received the eternal blessings
of the Lord Christ.
Today, who would resemble John and Peter? Not
professors at Dallas Theological Seminary but auto
workers in Detroit and Lansing; not a famous TV
evangelist but unknown fishermen in Florida; not
a well known theologian in the Vatican but simple
and pure hearted farmers in Michigan and un
skilled laborers in Arkansas and Alabama.
It was this contrast a humble, poor Savior sup
ported mostly by ordinary people like fishermen
and prostitutes that made the story of Jesus so
memorable, such a source of wonder and inspiration for so many generations. A similar contrast
characterizes the history of the Bahá’í Faith.
A humble person from Persia claims to be the Lord
of the new age and the Herald of One greater than
Himself. He endures torture, imprisonment, and
exile. He offers His life as the Lamb of God, with
absolute love and devotion, to someone He has
never met. A few years later, another person,
equally humble and seemingly helpless, claims to
be the One promised not only by the Báb but
by all the great Messengers of the past. He, too,
suffers, with absolute devotion to God, every
humiliation and pain for the rest of His life. Two
great Beings claim to manifest the Spirit of God,
the Word by which the universe came into being;
and they accept suffering and humiliation at the
hands of the most wretched people. It is this
contrast that makes the story of the Báb and
Bahá’u’lláh so dramatic and memorable, a tale
that will be told and retold for ages to come.
There is still another mystery and miracle in the
divine drama: Those who arise to uproot the
heavenly Flower, like the gust of a strong wind,
only serve to spread its fragrance. As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
We know that all the falsehoods spread about
Christ and His apostles and all the books writ
ten against Him, only led the people to inquire
into His doctrine; then, having seen the beauty
and inhaled the fragrance, they walked ever
more amidst the roses and the fruits of that
Questions and Comments
In The Bible, Jesus talks to the people and says
that even if you don’t believe in me because
of my words, believe in me because of the
miracles that I perform (John 10:3738). Now
if miracles are not important to believing in
Jesus, one of many Messengers from God in
your opinion, why would Jesus say such a
thing? Jesus, this great Teacher and Manifestation of God, is in contradiction with Bahá’í
teaching, for He wants you to look to the
miracles as a starting point for believing in
Him. Both cannot be true.
You refer to John 10:38 to show that Christ used
miracles as evidence of His mission. I checked
nine translations in my possession (ASV
NIV). Among all those
translations, only one The New International
Version uses the word “miracle.” All other translations use “works.” The Revised English Bible
and The New English Bible use the word “deed”;
The New Testament in Modern English uses “in the
things that I do”; and The Everyday Bible “what I
do.” Obviously there is a difference in translation
between these thirteen versions versus the
I then checked The
Study Bible, which has extensive footnotes. The footnote indicates that the
literal meaning of the Greek word is works. To
justify the use of “miracle” in place of “works,”
the translators add this statement: “The miracles
were [part] of Jesus’ works.” In other words, they
selected only one part of Jesus’ works, and used
that one part as the meaning of the word in the
text! Why not use the exact word Jesus used? It
has an excellent equivalent in English: It is
After using the word “miracle” in place of
“works,” the authors of The
Study Bible add
this statement: “It was Jesus’ quality of life, not
peoples’ inability to explain his marvels, that he
primarily spoke of here.”
As you can see, after
using an inadequate word in the text, the authors
have tried to do justice to Jesus’ statement by
acknowledging what He really meant by that
word: the quality of His life. Why make a poor
translation, and then explain the truth in the foot
note of a study guide few people buy?
The Amplified Version offers the major or essential alternatives in English for each Greek word
used in the Gospel. Those alternatives shed some
knowledge on the various shades of meanings of
the original Greek. In relation to the word “works”
in John 10:38, it offers no alternative. Apparently
“works” or “deeds” covers the meaning of the
original Greek word quite adequately. Are the
translators trying to inject their theology into the
text of the Scriptures?
Questions and Comments
You also refer to the resurrection of Jesus as
being irrelevant to the truth of who Jesus is.
The physical resurrection of Jesus is fundamental
to Christianity, and those who say there is no
resurrection are not Christians. In I Corinthians
15:1219, Paul says “that if Christ is not raised
...then we are still in our sins,” and that, “if our
hope is only for this life, then we are to be pitied
more than all men,” for our hope is in the physical resurrection of the body. This is fundamental
to Christianity, and I realize that the Bahá’í Faith
believes only in a spiritual afterlife, which means
that the two are in contradiction with one another
and only one can be true.
You indicate that anyone who does not believe in
physical resurrection of Jesus is not Christian. In
support of that statement you quote St. Paul:
...if Christ is not raised...then we are still in
I Corinthians 15:17
In the verses you quoted, St. Paul does not specify
whether he means physical or spiritual resurrection. After quoting Paul, you blend your own
thought and theology in the same sentence with
his words by adding, “for our hope is in the
physical resurrection of the body.” Nowhere does
Paul attach the word physical to resurrection. If
you read further in the same discourse, you will
find that he does just the opposite. Because the
topic of resurrection is so fundamental to Christians, let us study Paul’s pronouncement verse by
verse. After referring to the supreme significance
of resurrection, Paul poses this question:
But someone may ask, “How are the dead
raised? With what kind of body will they
come?” How foolish! What you sow does not
come to life unless it dies.
I Corinthians 15:3536
Here Paul declares that resurrection can take place
only after death. We both agree on this point.
Then he offers an example of transformation to
show how something changes into something else:
When you sow, you do not plant the body that
will be, but just a seed...
I Corinthians 15:37
A body is not planted in the womb, but rather an
egg and a sperm, which have the potential to turn
into a body.
But God gives it a body as he has determined,
and to each kind of seed he gives its own
I Corinthians 15:38
God gives each person a unique body. The seeds
may appear alike, but the physical form of each
person is unlike any other.
All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of
flesh, animals have another, birds another and
fish another. There are also heavenly bodies
and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor
of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the
splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The
sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another
and the stars another; and star differs from star
I Corinthians 15:3941
There are different kinds of animals with different
flesh and bone structures. For instance, different
species have different kinds of cells. There are
various creatures on this planet, some advanced,
some primitive. (Human beings and bacteria are
both physical beings.) But there is another category
of differences, declares Paul, between the earthly
bodies and the heavenly. The splendors of heavenly
bodies are much greater.
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.
The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised
imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised
in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in
power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised
a spiritual body. If there is a natural body,
there is also a spiritual body.
I Corinthians 15:4244
As there is an immense difference between physical beings, so is there between the physical body
and the spiritual body. The physical body is sown
or planted on this earth as a perishable substance.
But when it dies and is resurrected, it is raised as
a spiritual substance that is imperishable. Com
pared to the spiritual, anything worldly and physical has no value, no honor. Only the spiritual can
carry glory and honor. Why? Because our body is
not our true essence. The eventual destiny of all
flesh that of both human beings and animals
is to turn into dust. That is not true of our spiritual
essence. It is the spirit that reflects the image of
God. It is the spirit that recognizes, loves, worships,
and glorifies God. That is our precious essence,
which is preserved and raised imperishable. We are
born into this world physically, and then born into
the next world spiritually.
Once again note how clearly St. Paul confirms the
duality of human nature and links our eternal life
to our spiritual nature:
...it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is
also a spiritual body.
I Corinthians 15:44
Jesus clearly confirms the principle of duality:
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and
that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
After clarifying the dual nature of humans, Paul
refers to the spiritual advancement of humanity,
then offers this remarkable and definitive conclusion:
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood
cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does
the perishable inherit the imperishable.
I Corinthians 15:50
Could a statement be more clear or more conclusive? Christ’s divine splendor radiated from His
Soul, not His body. The final destiny of the body
is the dust. It does not have the capacity to contain
the imperishable bounties and gifts of God.
In Chapter 7 of Romans, St. Paul confirms again
the insignificance of the flesh compared to the
mind and the soul:
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh)
nothing good dwells
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law
of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Note the perfect harmony between the words of
Jesus and Paul:
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for
nothing. The words I have spoken to you are
spirit and they are life.
Christ (John 6:63)
In this passage, Jesus once again confirms the
dual nature of reality: spirit and flesh. He also
equates the Spirit with His Word. Finally, He
undermines the value of anything material, which
would include material miracles.
What Jesus is saying is this: Seek My true miracles
in My Word, not in anything that pertains to the
perishable world of flesh. By far Jesus’ mightiest
miracle was His Word. His Word had such creative
power, it breathed new life into the world.
As St. Paul declares, the physical body is subject
to corruption (I Cor. 15:42, 44), and the eternal
existence of that body stands contrary to the message of this verse:
God raised Him from the dead, never to
Everything seen by physical eye is subject to disintegration and corruption:
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on
what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.
II Corinthians 4:18
Examine also this verse according to The Amplified Bible and The New English Bible:
In His human body He was put to death but
He was made alive in the spirit.
I Peter 3:18
Most translations read, “by the spirit:”
He was put to death in the body but made
alive by the Spirit
Which translation is more reasonable? According
to a Christian source:
In the Greek text the words “flesh” and
“spirit” are put in contrast to each other, and
both are in the dative case; so, if a translator
uses the rendering “by the spirit” he should
also consistently say “by the flesh,” or if he
uses “in the flesh” he should also say “in the
Such a usage in English is called parallel. The
verse declares that Jesus died in the body, but
lived in the spirit. Further, Jesus did not need to
be brought back to life by the Spirit. He was the
Spirit of God. That Spirit never dies. At resurrection, it simply detached itself from the physical
According to a Christian source, after the crucifixion, Jesus appeared to His despairing disciples
in a “materialized” body to give them full confidence in His divine powers and supremacy. Such
“materialized” appearances also occurred before
the advent of Jesus. According to this source:
in the past, angels had materialized in order to
be seen by men; they had eaten, and some had
even married and fathered children (Gen. 6:4;
If we accept this possibility that spiritual beings
can appear in material form, a fact confirmed
by noted author Dr. Küble rRoss
we may understand how Jesus could pass through physical
obstacles, why His appearance changed from time
to time, and why some of His disciples did not
The story of Lazarus is among the richest and
most instructive stories of The Bible, yet seldom
are its lessons recognized or appreciated. Let us
review this wonderful story and the lessons it
There was a rich man who was dressed in
purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every
day. At his gate was laid a beggar named
Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat
what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the
dogs came and licked his sores. The time came
when the beggar died and the angels carried
him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died
and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away,
with Lazarus by his side.
Here is the rest of the story a dialogue between
Abraham and the rich man:
The rich man: “Father Abraham, have pity on
me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger
in water and cool my tongue, because I am in
agony in this fire [of remoteness from God].”
Abraham: “Son, remember that in your lifetime
you received your good things, while Lazarus
received bad things, but now he is comforted
here and you are in agony. And besides all this,
between us and you a great chasm has been
fixed, so that those who want to go from here
to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from
there to us.”
The rich man: “Then I beg you, father, send
Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five
brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will
not also come to this place of torment.”
Abraham: “They have Moses and the Prophets;
let them listen to them.”
The rich man: “No, father Abraham but if
someone from the dead goes to them, they will
Abraham: “If they do not listen to Moses and
the Prophets [to the Word of God], they will not
be convinced even if someone rises from the
dead” (Luke 16:2431).
What lessons does this marvelous story teach us?
All people survive death, even evil people.
The human soul remains conscious of its past
Every human being will face the consequences
of his or her deeds.
Hell (remoteness from God) and heaven (nearness
to God) are true; an impassable gulf separates
the people of heaven from those of hell.
The choices we make are critical. They will lead
us either toward the light of nearness to God or
toward the fire of remoteness from God.
The time to make a choice between hell and
heaven is now, while we enjoy an earthly life,
while we are being tested. After death, everyone
will know “the answer,” everyone will want to
go to heaven. But after “the answer” is known,
it will be impossible for those who have failed
in their earthly test to pass through “the impassable chasm” that separates hell from heaven.
The Word of God is a greater miracle than the
resurrection of a dead person from a grave.
Physical miracles have little if any value. Those
who are not spiritually receptive will not be
convinced, even if they see with their own eyes
a dead body rise out of a grave.
Note how this verse from the Qur’án clearly sup
ports the message of the Gospel:
Even if We [God] opened to them a gate from
heaven, toward which they [the deniers] could
ascend, they would say, “Our eyes have been
intoxicated; we have been bewitched by sorcery.”
The story of Lazarus completely undermines the
significance of resurrection as proof or evidence.
It teaches us this critical lesson: The place to look
for proof is not in a grave but in the beautiful
garden of the Word of God. The spirit must be
motivated through spiritual, not material miracles.
The power of God’s Word is mightier than all
other forces in the universe, than all other miracles.
It was through that Word that the universe came
The lessons this story teaches are confirmed in
Bahá’í sacred Scriptures. Using miracles as evidence of divine power is so unworthy of God
and so demeaning to His glory that He Himself
condemns it in the strongest words.
An evil and adulterous generation seeks after
Christ (Matt. 12:39)
Would God use as evidence of His truth some
thing that He condemns so vehemently? Could
God choose a stronger word to communicate His
We must be loyal to what the Creator Himself has
established as the ultimate evidence of Himself:
His Word. His Words are so distinguished, so
supreme, they shine brightly as the sun among the
works of others.
God shows His most awesome and miraculous
wonders in His Word. Consider the Báb. His
ministry only lasted about six years (from the age
of 25 to 30), yet He wrote about 20 volumes in
the most beautiful style with the most profound
meanings, mainly in a language other than His
mother tongue. His speed of revealing and recording the sacred Word was limited only by the speed
of His hand. He made no revisions, changes, or
corrections in His Writings, and sometimes, while
His pen was moving with astonishing speed, He
would hold a conversation with those around Him:
The rapidity of the Báb’s composition, and the
force and originality of His style, had excited
his [a scholar’s] surprise and admiration. He
was amazed to find that, whilst revealing His
commentary, and without lessening the speed
of His writing, He was able to answer what
ever questions those who were present were
moved to ask Him.
Dependence on resurrection as evidence of Jesus’
divine distinction is an example of the human
desire to defy the laws of nature. This longing for
miracles is so strong that it even conquered the
soul of St. Peter, perhaps Jesus’ most distinguished
disciple. Jesus’ disciples did not want a suffering
Savior who would be crucified; they wanted a
conqueror. It was for this unshakable belief that
Jesus rebuked Peter:
Then Jesus turned and said to Peter “ you are
a stumbling block to me. You think as men
think, not as God thinks.”
“You are a stumbling block to me; you do not
have in mind the things of God, but the things
No wonder Jesus said:
What is highly valued among men is detestable
in God’s sight.
What do human beings value? Anything that is not
spiritual: money, comfort, glamour, and entertainment. What is the difference between a miracle
and a popular entertainment we call magic?
To see the difference between the body and the
spirit, consider the analogy of the heavenly and
the earthly bodies cited by St. Paul:
the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one
kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is
I Corinthians 15:40
Paul then likens the spirit to the sun and the body
to the moon. What happens to the moon when the
sun withholds its splendor? It turns to darkness.
The same happens to the body when the spirit
departs. After that analogy Paul concludes:
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.
The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised
imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised
in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in
power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a
spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there
is also a spiritual body.
I Corinthians 15:4244
Bahá’u’lláh also uses the analogy of the sun:
Consider again the sun when it is completely
hidden behind the clouds. Though the earth is
still illumined with its light, yet the measure of
light which it receiveth is considerably reduced.
Not until the clouds have dispersed, can the
sun shine again in the plenitude of its glory.
Neither the presence of the cloud nor its absence can, in any way, affect the inherent
splendor of the sun. The soul of man is the
sun by which his body is illumined, and from
which it draweth its sustenance, and should be
Although the soul is the most marvelous creation
in the universe, it can manifest its supreme potential only if it turns to God:
Know thou, of a truth, that if the soul of man
hath walked in the ways of God, it will, assuredly, return and be gathered to the glory of the
Beloved. By the righteousness of God! It shall
attain a station such as no pen can depict, or
tongue describe. The soul that hath remained
faithful to the Cause of God, and stood
unwaveringly firm in His Path shall, after his
ascension, be possessed of such power that all
the worlds which the Almighty hath created
can benefit through him.
As Paul declares, and Bahá’u’lláh confirms, all the
glory goes to the soul. Observe how Bahá’u’lláh
describes the soul:
Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God,
a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned
of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery
no mind, however acute, can ever hope to un
ravel. It is the first among all created things to
declare the excellence of its Creator, the first
to recognize His glory, to cleave to His truth,
and to bow down in adoration before Him. If
it be faithful to God, it will reflect His light,
and will, eventually, return unto Him. If it fail,
however, in its allegiance to its Creator, it will
become a victim to self and passion, and will,
in the end, sink in their depths.
As we noted, Jesus Himself confirms the supremacy
of the spirit and utter insignificance of the body:
The spirit gives life, the flesh is of no avail.
Christ (John 6:63)
Our capacity to think, to reason, and to understand
comes from our spirit:
But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the
Almighty, that gives him understanding.
Christ’s and Paul’s glorification of the spirit is
in perfect harmony with Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings.
As Paul implies and all sacred Scriptures declare,
at death, the spirit returns to God, and the body
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it
was: and the spirit shall return unto God who
Verily, we are God’s, and to Him shall we re
Our body is only a cage; when it dies, the spirit
returns to God:
...as long as we are at home in the body we
are away from the Lord...and would prefer to
be away from the body and at home with the
II Corinthians 5:69
Christ clearly stated that He came from heaven:
I have come down from heaven..
Who is the “I”? His body or His Spirit? Did
people understand His spiritual message? They
did not (John 6:42). What then came from heaven?
the reality of Christ, the Spirit of Christ, the
perfections of Christ all came from heaven.
Consequently, by saying He was the bread
which came from heaven He meant that the
perfections which He showed forth were divine
perfections, that the blessings within Him were
The capacities of His [Christ’s] human body
were limited but the strength of His spirit was
vast, infinite, immeasurable. Men asked, “Why
does He say He is of God?” If they had under
stood the reality of Christ, they would have
known that the body of His humanity was a
cloud that hid His Divinity. The world only saw
His human form, and therefore wondered how
He could have “come down from Heaven.”
Even today, many mistake the real Jesus.
The reality of Christ is ever living, everlasting,
eternal. For that divine reality there is no beginning, no ending, and, therefore, there can be no
The reality of Christ was always in heaven and
will always be. This is the intention of the text
of the Gospel. For while Jesus Christ walked
upon the earth, He said, “The Son of Man is
It is not Bahá’ís alone who believe in the spiritual
resurrection of Jesus. Bishop John Shelby Spong,
an astute scholar of The Bible, has written an entire
book, Resurrection: Myth or Reality?
that the Resurrection was indeed spiritual. He
goes into details that are beyond the scope of this
response. Here is what he states about the discourse of St. Paul, from which you quoted to
show the significance of resurrection:
For Paul there were no empty tombs, no disappearance from the grave of the physical
body, no physical resurrection, no physical
appearance of a Christ who would eat fish,
offer his wounds for inspection, or rise physically into the sky after an appropriate length of
time. None of these ideas can be found in
reading Paul. For Paul the body of Jesus who
died was perishable, weak, physical. The Jesus
who was raised was clothed by the raising God
with a body fit for God’s kingdom. It was
imperishable, glorified, and spiritual.
Paul was the earliest author in what we now
call the New Testament, and in his writings
there was no resurrection of a physical body.
Indeed Paul specifically denied that claim.
It was not a “flesh and blood” body fit to in
habit this earth. It was rather a “spiritual body”
designed for life in the kingdom of God. That
is a vast difference. “Flesh and blood cannot
inherit the kingdom of God,” Paul asserted,
“nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (I Cor. 15:50). I do not know how Paul
could have been any more specific.
According to The Bible, God is Spirit, and Jesus
sits at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19). Imagine
for a moment, the combination of Spirit and body.
To think that God is Spirit, but Jesus is both body
which carries no honors and Spirit is to demean
His divine station. St. Paul describes Christ as “the
radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being” (Hebrews 1:3). How can we have
Spirit on one side and body and Spirit on the other,
and describe them as “the exact representation”?
If we accept the traditional beliefs of physical
resurrection, we have to make all kinds of assumptions about “the requirements of flesh” in the
spiritual world. Such thoughts and assumptions
serve only to lower the supremacy of the Spirit
of Christ, whom Bahá’u’lláh calls the Lord of the
visible and invisible.
The following statements from St. Paul should be
written in gold, framed, and displayed in every
home and house of worship:
This is what we speak expressing spiritual
truths in spiritual words the things that
come from the Spirit of God are spiritually
I Corinthians 2:1314
the letter kills, but the Spirit [spirit KJV and NKJ] gives life.
II Corinthians 3:6
Why is Paul’s statement so significant? Because
ignoring it has been the prime cause of the denial
of all the great Messengers. It was strict adherence
to the letter of the prophecy and the law that crucified Christ. Consider this example. The punishment for breaking the Sabbath, according to the
laws of Moses, was death. In that law alone the
Jews could have found an excuse for condemning
Jesus to death. The letter of the law can be that
powerful and dangerous.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá confirms St. Paul’s declaration that
the Word of God must be spiritually discerned:
All the texts and teachings of the holy Testaments have intrinsic spiritual meanings. They are
not to be taken literally. I, therefore, pray in
your behalf that you may be given the power
of understanding these inner real meanings of
the Holy Scriptures and may become informed
of the mysteries deposited in the words of the
Bible so that you may attain eternal life and
that your hearts may be attracted to the Kingdom of God. May your souls be illumined by
the light of the Words of God, and may you
become repositories of the mysteries of God,
for no comfort is greater and no happiness is
sweeter than spiritual comprehension of the
Let us continue to put literal mindedness to the test.
At the point of leaving His body, Jesus declared,
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.
What happens at death to the body and to the
spirit? The first goes to grave, the second to God:
the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
Jesus promised to the humble thief that they
would be in paradise that same day. According to
the theory of physical resurrection, Jesus stayed in
heaven for three days in Spirit, and then His
Spirit returned to the earth and claimed its body!
Was Jesus’ Spirit not adequate for Him during
those three days? If the thief did not need his
body, why would Jesus need His? Is Jesus the
only person with a body in heaven?
Literal mindedness creates another discrepancy in
Jesus’ promise. He told the thief that they would
meet in paradise on that day of crucifixion. If
Jesus waited three days before being raised from
the dead, how could He keep His promise of being with the thief on that first day? Now consider
the complexities of dealing with this question
alone. Let us see how noted theologian and author
Dr. Archer Gleason, Professor of Old Testament
and Semitic Studies and Acting Dean at Fuller
Theological Seminary, resolves this riddle. Here
are the main components of his theory:
Jesus told the thief they would meet that day
Friday in paradise. He did not say in heaven.
Paradise and heaven are separate places.
For the first three days, Jesus and the thief stayed
in a place called infernal (hell like) paradise.
Before the time of Jesus’ resurrection, infernal
paradise was located somewhere in hell.
After staying three days in infernal paradise,
Jesus ascended to heaven.
When Jesus made this journey, He took the
“hell like” paradise with Him to heaven.
Before Jesus made this journey, all the saints,
Messengers, and Prophets had lived in infernal
When Jesus made His journey, He lifted not
only the infernal paradise to heaven but also all
those saints, Messengers, and Prophets.
Therefore, Jesus and the thief went to paradise
on Friday, and then left together for heaven on
It may be helpful to read Dr. Gleason’s complex
theory in His own words:
Luke 23:43 records Christ’s promise to the
repentant thief who hung on an adjacent cross:
“Truly I say to you, today you will be with
Me in paradise.” But was it not until the following Monday that Christ rose from the grave
and ascended to heaven? If Christ Himself was
not in paradise until Sunday, how could the
repentant thief have been there with him? The
answer lies in the location of “paradise” on
Apparently paradise was not exalted to heaven
until Easter Day It was not yet lifted up to
heaven but it may well have been a section of
hades [hell], reserved for believers who had
died in the faith but who would not be admit
ted into the glorious presence of God in heaven
until the price of redemption had been actually
paid on Calvary.
Doubtless it was to the infernal paradise that the
souls of Jesus and the repentant thief repaired
after they each died on Friday afternoon. But
then on Easter Sunday, after the risen Christ had
first appeared to Mary Magdalene (John 20:17)
and her two companions (Matt. 28:9), presumably He then took up with Him to glory all
the inhabitants of infernal paradise (including
Abraham, Lazarus, and the repentant thief)
Presumably He led the whole band of liberated
captives from hades (i.e., the whole population
of pre-resurrection paradise) up to the glory of
the highest heaven, the abode of the Triune
Behold the complexities, the costs, and the astonishing consequences of trying to defend a literal
reading of the Gospel. When a person believes in
the truth of a doctrine, his or her imagination
creates a world in which that doctrine appears true.
Consider the incredible assumptions Dr. Gleason
makes, such as saying that paradise was located
in hell, and then Jesus moved it to heaven! Consider also his astonishing assertion that all the
Messengers, Prophets, and loved ones of God were
sent to helllike paradise until Jesus arrived and
If we honor St. Paul’s declaration that the Word of
God must be discerned spiritually (I Cor. 2:1314),
nothing stands out of place. This simple solution
makes everything fit with perfect precision. Like
a master key, it unlocks and resolves all the mysteries of the Scriptures.
Let us continue our test of literal reading. According to the Gospel, at the time of Jesus’ death,
many others came out of their graves:
At that moment The tombs broke open and
the bodies of many holy people who had died
were raised to life. They came out of the tombs,
and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the
holy city and appeared to many people.
First question: Who were the many? We do not
have a single reference to the identity of even one
of them. “Many” people rising out of their graves
is perhaps the biggest and the most astonishing
news in all of history. What happened to the
raised? What news did they bring from the other
side? How did they behave? What was their mission? And how did they die again? Such an event
is so awesome, so astonishing, it would cast terror
in the hearts of the most apathetic and complacent
people. It might turn every atheist into a timid
believer, and every sinner into a fearful servant of
God. How could such incredible news have gone
unnoticed by the historians of the time? How could
it not shake the religious and political leaders of
that age? Aside from this, those who rose out of
their graves were people who had died years,
decades, or perhaps centuries earlier. They were
not Christians, yet they accomplished what some
believe to be the ultimate proof of Jesus’ greatness, the distinguishing mark of His mission.
Would not the realization that many non Christians
also rose from the dead undermine that belief?
Would it not undermine the arguments that try to
establish Jesus’ greatness or uniqueness on the
miracle of His resurrection?
God has given us a mind with which to reason.
“Let us reason together, says the Lord.” If one story
about the resurrection is literal, the others must
also be literal. This is just one example of the
problems and pitfalls of being literal minded. Once
again, if we follow the guidance of the Gospel
that the Word of God must be viewed in the light
of the spirit of the Scriptures, not in the dark
closet of its “letters,” then everything fits. If we
remove that light, then the letters fall in disarray.
Trying to approach the Word of God with a literal
mind is like having a manuscript of a thousand
pages scattered by the wind. You keep running
after one page, and the moment you grasp it, the
wind blows more pages from your hand. It is an
everlosing game. The odds against winning are
astronomical. The most astute minds of the ages
have tried to collect those “scattered pages” over
the course of 2,000 years, and as the example of
Dr. Gleason shows, all they have accomplished is
to submit more pages to the wind.
Only when literal truth is challenged are we
able to float in the profound and limitless sea
of ultimate truth.
What is the purpose of believing in bodily resurrection? To show that Jesus overcame death, that
He was divine, all powerful, the Word by which the
universe came into being. Bahá’ís acknowledge
all of these. Why, then, disagree about “the letter
of the law” (how Jesus went to heaven), which
divides us, when we are in perfect agreement
about “the spirit of the law” (Jesus is divine and
alive)? Why should this difference of views pre
vent you from looking at the thousands of signs
and evidences that testify to the divine station
Suppose Bahá’u’lláh confirmed the physical resurrection of Jesus. Would that make any difference
in your attitude towards Him? Would that make you
open your heart to Him? Assume that archaeologists suddenly discover the crucified body of Jesus.
Would you deny Jesus because of this discovery?
Is it wise to build one’s faith on an empty tomb
when we have the Word of God by which He
created the entire universe?
Many Christians use the resurrection as a convenient way to absolve themselves of their awesome
responsibility to look into Bahá’u’lláh’s claim and
the monumental evidence He presents to prove it.
By focusing only on the resurrection, which is
physical, at the expense of who Christ really was,
they ignore the Spirit. For Christ was the Spirit
of God, and that is what matters.
Would you call Bishop Spong a non Christian
because of his belief in the spiritual resurrection
of Jesus? Would God close to him the door of His
Kingdom because of that belief? Suppose you are
wrong in your views about resurrection. Would
God prevent you from entering His Kingdom for
If a Jewish person looks for excuses to deny or
ignore the first Advent of Jesus, he can find many.
The same holds true for Christians who build
their faith on physical resurrection and the letters
of the name JESUS, instead of His Spirit
which manifested itself in Bahá’u’lláh with great
glory and power. In fact, the idea of finding excuses
to stay out of God’s banquet is clearly predicted
A certain man gave a great supper and invited
many, and sent his servant at supper time to
say to those who were invited, “Come, for all
things are now ready.” But they all with one
accord began to make excuses. The first said
to him, “I have bought a piece of ground, and
I must go and see it. I ask you to have me
excused.” And another said, “I have bought
five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test
them. I ask you to have me excused.” Still
another said, “I have married a wife, and
therefore I cannot come.” So that servant came
and reported these things to his master.
Since literal mindedness lies at the root of all
differences between Bahá’í and Christian interpretation, let us continue to put it to the test of
both reason and the Scripture. Let us apply St.
Paul’s instruction that the Word of God must be
discerned spiritually to his own word. Consider
And God raised us up with Christ and seated
us with him in the heavenly realms
Consider the spiritual language. Paul is alive, yet
he is speaking in the past tense, saying that al
ready he has been raised up. Literally speaking,
the statement makes no sense. How can a person
be resurrected from the grave before going to the
grave? Spiritually speaking, the statement makes
perfect sense. Without the life of the Spirit, we
are dead, lying in invisible coffins. The breath of
the Holy Spirit raises us from the gloom of the
grave to the paradise of joy and peace, from the
grief of darkness to the glory of God, from the
hell of death to the heaven of loving and living.
Without the knowledge of God, we are as perish
able as flowers that bloom and soon vanish:
My people perish for want of knowledge.
Instinctively, we know that when Paul says, “God
raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him
in the heavenly realms,” he is speaking in spiritual
language. But when we read something about the
future, about the Second Advent, we somehow
shift from the spiritual to the literal. This shift in
thinking is mostly subconscious; it comes from mental conditioning. Consider this verse, which is
almost always taken literally:
For my Father’s will is that everyone who
looks to the Son and believes in him shall
have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the
When is the last day? It is our day. How can a
person be lifted? By making his or her soul as
light and pure as the air in the forest. The humbler and lighter we are, the higher we will rise.
The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the
wicked down to the ground.
See also Psalms 113:7; 18:48
What does God lift? The body or the soul?
The Lord brings down to the grave and
brings up He brings low and lifts up. He
raises the poor from the dust and lifts the
beggar from the ash heap, to set them among
princes and make them inherit the throne of
I Samuel 2:68
Whom does God lift and set among the princes?
The humble, “the poor in spirit:”
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven.
Christ (Matt. 5:3)
St. Paul understands Jesus’ language. He asks us to
interpret His Word by spiritual standards, because
he is well aware of people’s instinctive and strong
tendencies towards literal mindedness. Ponder the
meaning of this message uttered by Jesus:
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will
draw all peoples to Myself.
Christ (John 12:32)
Can we attach a literal meaning to this statement?
“All peoples” include Chinese, Japanese, Russians,
and Native Americans, who at that time knew
nothing about the First Advent. Yet Jesus “drew”
Consider also these verses from St. Paul:
But everything exposed by the light becomes
visible, for it is light that makes everything
visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O
sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will
shine on you.”
Who is the “sleeper” and why is he asked to
“wake up” and “rise from the dead”? The sleeper
is the one deprived of the light of God. He is
invited to awaken and to behold the Sun of Truth
shining high on the horizon. No wonder Jesus
uttered two seemingly opposite prophecies. He
compared His coming both to an invisible thief in
the night and to a bright sun descending from
above, a sun so brilliant, no “eye” could miss it.
A sleeper cannot tell the sun from a thief. His
world is surrounded by “darkness” and his life is
filled with “dreams.” The sun is invisible to him.
What about the awakened one? Can he not behold
the beauty of the sun? Can he miss what the
The heavens declare the glory of God
I have heard so many Bahá’ís make statements
such as these:
I can’t understand why I did not “see” Bahá’u’lláh
at the beginning of my search.
Why did it take me so long to know Him, to
“see” the truth of His Word?
Why can’t others “see” Him?
Now it is so obvious who Bahá’u’lláh is. Why
wasn’t it before? Why did I not “see” Him earlier?
Let me acknowledge my own spiritual transformation. Earlier in my life, I too was in a similar
position. At the beginning, I could not “see” the
Thief; now I “see” Him as brightly as the sun.
This phenomenon of “visibility and invisibility”
is complex, mysterious, and miraculous. The only
explanation I have is this: The gift of “seeing” the
glory of God is so precious that the Creator, in
His infinite Wisdom, protects it and even conceals
it from us until we can appreciate it. He wants to
keep that gift precious. He is intimately involved
in allowing a soul to “see” Him or not to “see”
Since literal mindedness is the first and foremost
obstacle that prevents Christians from examining
Bahá’u’lláh’s supreme Revelation, let us continue to
put it to the test of both reason and the Scripture.
Let us assume you own a Buick Special, which
you like, but it is rusting and falling apart. You
hear about a new model of the same car and go
to a car show to see it. When you face the car,
you have three choices:
Look for differences.
Look for similarities.
Look for both differences and similarities.
Which is the best choice? The last one, of course.
What will happen if you look for differences and
pass judgment on that basis alone? Suppose the
new model differs from the old because of its
looks, which you don’t like. And because of this
difference you say, “This car is not for me.” This
simple analogy illustrates how the majority of
Christians approach and assess the Bahá’í Faith.
They keep looking for a difference until they find
one. Then they say, “This Faith is not for me.”
What will happen if they take a little time and go
beyond looks and labels? They will find hundreds
of similarities between the Bahá’í Revelation and
Christian Revelation. For instance, Bahá’ís ac
knowledge the divine and infallible station of
Jesus Christ. They believe in His conception by the
Holy Spirit. They accept and confirm the truth of
the Gospels. They differ with orthodox Christians
only in this: They attribute to the Scriptures more
spiritual meanings than literal; we might say, they
are more symbolic minded than literal minded.
Amazingly, any reason a Christian can find for
rejecting Bahá’u’lláh can be traced to this one
You now have a choice, as does every other
Christian, to search either for differences, for
similarities, or for both. If you search for differences, you do not need to read a single verse
from the Bahá’í Scriptures. You can reject
Bahá’u’lláh on account of only His name. But if
you search for similarities, you will discover a
vast spectrum of common beliefs. Against such a
vast spectrum of harmony, you will find only this
one symbolic difference: Some of The Báblical
verses that traditionally have been considered
literal are declared to be symbolic. The difference
is only symbolic because, by becoming a Bahá’í,
you will lose nothing. You will continue to love
Jesus Christ as much as before, and even more.
You will love Him more because you will find
that all His promises have been fulfilled. You will
continue to read and love The Bible as much as
before, and even more because you will “hear”
that same “Voice” in the Bahá’í Scriptures. You
will continue to love God as much as before, and
even more because you will experience His awe
some and splendid presence in Bahá’u’lláh. You
will lose absolutely nothing. All you will do is
shift your emphasis from material miracles to
spiritual miracles; from being literal minded to
spiritually minded. That is all! There is no other
difference. Is it wise to reject this supreme Revelation because of only one symbolic difference?
Bahá’u’lláh offers as much forgiveness of sin as
does Jesus. He has come with the same Spirit and
the same authority. Bahá’u’lláh offers as much
truth and life as does Jesus. He has come with the
same Spirit, He is the same One, the Word, the
Logos, only with a new name Bahá’u’lláh, the
Glory of God.
What does Jesus offer? He offers Truth, the Way
to God, forgiveness of sin, grace, and everlasting
life with the Lord in heaven. Bahá’u’lláh offers all
those heavenly gifts:
The Way of
This is the Way of God unto all
who are in the heavens and all
who are on the earth.
This, verily, is the truth, the certain truth.
He Who knoweth all things, Him
self testifieth to the truth of these
The Sun of Truth
shineth resplendently, at the bidding of the
Verily, the breezes of forgiveness
have been wafted from the direction of your Lord, the God of
Mercy; whoso turneth thereunto,
shall be cleansed of his sins, and
of all pain and sickness. Happy
the man that hath turned towards
them, and woe betide him that
hath turned aside.
We, verily, have come for your
sakes, and have borne the misfortunes of the world for your salvation.
This is the Day in which God’s
most excellent favors have been
poured out upon men, the Day in
In the Concordance to the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, there are
over 440 references to true and truth.
Behold God’s reassurance to you and to all those
who fear that by accepting His new Redeemer
they may lose something:
And this is the will of him who sent me, that
I shall lose none of all that he has given me,
but raise them up at the last day.
Christ (John 6:39)
It seems everything that happens now has also
happened in the past. Note what Jesus said to the
new wine must be poured into new wineskins.
And no one after drinking old wine wants the
new, for he says, “The old is better.”
The Tree of
which His most mighty grace
hath been infused into all created
O the pity! that man should deprive himself of this goodly gift,
this imperishable bounty, this
Verily this is that Most Great
Beauty [of God], foretold in the
Books of the Messengers, through
Whom truth shall be distinguished from error and the wisdom of every command shall be
tested. Verily He is the Tree of
Life that bringeth forth the fruits
of God, the Exalted, the Powerful, the Great.
Now read what the Christian scholar F. F. Bruce
wrote about that statement by Jesus:
Jesus compares his message of the kingdom
of God to new wine, which cannot be contained in old wineskins that have lost their
elasticity. The old wineskins were the rules
and forms of traditional religion New teaching is disturbing; it forces people to think, to
revise their ideas and attitudes. Religious people
tend to be conservative, to suspect innovations
Jesus found that much [of the] resistance to
accepting his message, on the part...of well
intentioned and pious people, arose simply
from this attachment to old ways and old ideas.
They had stood the test of time; why should
they be changed?
The fundamental truths never change; they are
repeated in new ways, according to our maturity.
Love, truth, eternal life, grace, and forgiveness
never cease, because they reflect God Himself.
The wine of eternal life may come in various
bottles, but it has the same intoxicating essence.
Bahá’u’lláh repeatedly invites us to drink of this
new heavenly wine. The wine comes from the
fruits of God’s celestial garden.
Each of these statements reflects God’s great power
and glory. They cannot be produced except in the
That hour is now come. The world is illumined
with the effulgent glory of His countenance.
And yet, behold how far its peoples have
strayed from His path! None have believed in
Him except them who, through the power of
the Lord of Names, have shattered the idols of
their vain imaginings and corrupt desires and
entered the city of certitude. The seal of the
choice Wine of His Revelation hath, in this
Day and in His Name, the Self Sufficing, been
broken. Its grace is being poured out upon
men. Fill thy cup, and drink in, in His Name,
the Most Holy, the All Praised.
The Bes tBeloved is come. In His right hand is
the sealed Wine of His name. Happy is the man
that turneth unto Him, and drinketh his fill,
and exclaimeth: “Praise be to Thee, O Revealer
of the signs of God!” By the righteousness of
the Almighty! Every hidden thing hath been
manifested through the power of truth. All the
favors of God have been sent down, as a token
of His grace. The waters of everlasting life
have, in their fullness, been proffered unto men.
Every single cup hath been borne round by the
hand of the Well Beloved. Draw near, and tarry
not, though it be for one short moment.
The people of the left hand sigh and bemoan.
The people of the right abide in noble habitations: they quaff the Wine that is life indeed,
from the hands of the All Merciful, and are,
verily, the blissful.
Say: Is there any doubt concerning God? Behold
how He hath come down from the heaven of
His grace, girded with power and invested
with sovereignty. Is there any doubt concerning His signs? Open ye your eyes, and consider
His clear evidence. Paradise is on your right
hand, and hath been brought nigh unto you,
while Hell hath been made to blaze. Witness its
devouring flame. Haste ye to enter into Paradise,
as a token of Our mercy unto you, and drink
ye from the hands of the All Merciful the Wine
that is life indeed.
Ascend unto My heaven, that thou mayest obtain the joy of reunion, and from the chalice of
imperishable glory quaff the peerless wine.
Cleanse thyself from the defilement of riches
and in perfect peace advance into the realm of
poverty; that from the wellspring of detachment thou mayest quaff the wine of immortal
Turn not away thine eyes from the matchless
wine of the immortal Beloved, and open them
not to foul and mortal dregs. Take from the
hands of the divine Cupbearer the chalice of
immortal life, that all wisdom may be thine,
and that thou mayest hearken unto the mystic
voice calling from the realm of the invisible.
Cry aloud, ye that are of low aim! Wherefore
have ye turned away from My holy and immortal wine unto evanescent water?
The Jews had the same concerns and fears that you
have now. Jesus reassured them of His heavenly
Do not think that I have come to abolish the
Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Every gift that God offered to humanity through His Word, the Anointed One, Christ, is being offered again through that same Word, but with a
new name, the Glory of God, Bahá’u’lláh. How
incredible that a few letters have concealed such
an awesome glory! How amazing that, for one
symbolic difference, so many people refuse to
investigate the message of Bahá’u’lláh! How astonishing that they disregard hundreds of similarities
between the two great Redeemers, yet see the one
In Lord of Lords, the sequel to I Shall Come
Again, you will find a list of 86 similarities between Jesus and the Báb. That book presents
countless literal prophecies to prove a perfect
parallel between biblical predictions and Bahá’í
history. The parallels are astonishing. Is it then
wise, is it biblically sound, to ignore all these
evidences for that one symbolic difference?
I think God has offered us mountains and mountains of evidence, and one excuse for those who do
not want to see those mountains. It is amazing
how that one symbolic difference, like a thick and
gloomy cloud, has concealed the brilliant Sun of
This Cause is too evident to be obscured, and
too conspicuous to be concealed. It shineth as
the sun in its meridian glory.
Say: “The True One is come evident as the
shining sun; O pity that He should have come
into the city of the blind!”
Even if you fail to study those hundreds of fulfilled prophecies in the Bahá’í Revelation and
look only at Bahá’u’lláh’s Word, you will see it
shine with the splendor of the sun:
Say: “O people! The Sun of Utterance beameth forth in this day, above the horizon of bounty
Purge and sanctify your breasts, and your hearts,
and your ears, and your eyes with the living
waters of the utterance of the All Merciful,
and set, then, your faces towards Him.”
the Word which is uttered by God shineth
and flasheth as the sun amidst the books of
men. Happy the man that hath discovered it,
and recognized it, and said: “Praised be Thou,
Who art the Desire of the world, and thanks be
to Thee, O Well Beloved of the hearts of such
as are devoted to Thee!”
The following is a statement addressed to a religious leader. Ponder how serious it is to deny
Bahá’u’lláh. To deny Him, He states, equals denying all the Messengers of God.
O thou who art reputed for thy learning! Bid
men to do that which is praiseworthy, and be
not of such as tarry. Observe thou with a keen
eye. The Sun of Truth shineth resplendently,
at the bidding of the Lord of the kingdom
of utterance, and the King of the heaven of
knowledge Repudiation hath not veiled it,
and ten thousand hosts arrayed against it were
powerless to withhold it from shining. Thou
canst excuse thyself no longer. Either thou
must recognize it, or God forbid arise and
deny all the Prophets!
Here is another statement with the same message:
Be thou assured in thyself that verily, he who
turns away from this Beauty [Bahá’u’lláh]
hath also turned away from the Messengers
of the past and showeth pride towards God
from all eternity to all eternity.
Jesus said, “When a man believes in Me, he does
not believe in Me only, but in the one who sent
Me” (John 12:44). The reverse is also true. Denying Christ or Bahá’u’lláh is the same as denying
Bahá’u’lláh is the Spirit of Jesus. How can you
believe in Jesus and deny Bahá’u’lláh? They are
one; they are the Logos, the Word of God made
flesh (John 1:14). How can you believe in the
Sun and deny the Sun? How can you believe in
the Son and deny the Father?
Since literal mindedness is the straw to which
many Christians cling, let us put it to further tests.
Consider the literal meaning of the following
passage as a way of justifying the cruel death of
But the prophet who presumes to speak a word
in My name, which I have not commanded
him to speak, or who speaks in the name of
other gods, that prophet shall die.
The fact that Jesus was killed, the Jews could
argue, is clear evidence of His falsehood. The
contemporaries of Jesus who were attached to the
“letter” of the Scriptures also could use the literal
meaning of this passage to discredit Him:
For Moses truly said to the fathers, “The Lord
your God will raise up for you a Prophet like
me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in
all things, whatever He says to you. And it
shall be that every soul who will not hear that
Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among
The Jews living in the first century could say,
“We did not ‘hear’ Jesus and we are not destroyed.
Thus Jesus cannot be the Prophet promised by
Moses.” This is how perilous the LETTER can
be. One verse, devoid of the spirit, can exterminate the eternal life of a nation.
But how does “the letter” kill? It narrows the
range of thinking. It lets the believer be controlled
by the appearance rather than the inner essence of
ideas. Concern for appearance becomes such a
dominant force in the hearts of the literal minded,
that they lose sight of the Spirit. That is exactly
what happened to the Pharisees. Can it not also
happen to Christians? Spiritual traps are easy to
fall into. Even Jesus’ dear disciples were vulnerable. Thus He warned them:
Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.
Christ (Matt. 26:41)
Traps of tradition and temptation are always concealed. Can Christians not fall into the same trap? If it is not easy to fall into a trap, why are we
asked so often to be watchful? What kind of a
snare requires watchfulness?
But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be
weighed down with carousing, drunkenness,
and cares of this life, and that Day come on
you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare
on all those who dwell on the face of the
whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always
that you may be counted worthy to escape all
these things that will come to pass, and to
stand before the Son of Man.
Christ (Luke 21:3436)
Can Catholics say, “We are an exception, the trap
will not catch us”? Can Baptists or Methodists or
Mormons say, “We are an exception. We have the
right doctrine. We will not be entrapped”? No, the
snare, Jesus declares, will entrap “all who dwell
on the face of the whole earth.”
A snare is always kept hidden. Only the insane
would fall into a visible trap. What keeps people
away from the Son of Man is hidden. Christians
do not see it. This is in perfect harmony with the
metaphor of a thief in the night and the command to be watchful and alert. People must first
look for the hidden snare that keeps them away
from the Thief. Once they free themselves, they
must look for the Thief, who is also hidden from
What makes a good trap? A good trap is one
that is hard to detect and easy to fall into. In the
preceding passage, Jesus offers two significant
examples of entrapment. One is concern for
worldly cares or material needs and demands; the
other is drunkenness, or a state of unawareness.
One (the world) comes from without; the other (a
sleepy self) comes from within. This is exactly the
state of the church today. It is totally unaware of
the “unexpected coming of that Day” and totally
unaware of its unawareness! What can we expect
from such a state of mind? Can we expect any
response other than apathy and a lack of interest
in the news of the coming of the Master? Jesus
also asks us to pray “to escape all those things.”
What are those things? The things that entrap us.
The state of unawareness or drunkenness is induced
by these deficiencies and powerful tranquilizers:
Complacency and apathy
The joy of staying in one’s comfort zone. (I
am quite happy and pleased with what I
The countless millions of leaders, scholars,
and ordinary people who are on one’s side.
(Security is in numbers.)
Fear of the loss of love, popularity, power,
and material interests.
Lack of faith
Illusions of supremacy
Desire for a miraculous display of power and
glory by one’s own Redeemer against His
powerful enemies and outsiders.
Clinging to the letter of the law, for it is
easier to understand.
As stated in King of Kings:
Reasons for denial are extremely complex,
interrelated, and circular. For instance, people
deny because of ignorance. But what causes
ignorance? Perhaps laziness. What causes laziness? Perhaps lack of purpose. What causes
lack of purpose? Perhaps ignorance.
Can we find deeper reasons for ignorance? Yes,
ignorance can be purposeful. Why? Perhaps
because of fear. Why? Because the believer
fears the loss of his spiritual possessions. Why?
Because he lacks faith. Why? Because he keeps
himself intentionally ignorant.
The same rule applies to the strategies people
use to remain ignorant. Instead of investigating,
a person may depend on religious leaders. Why?
Perhaps he does not want to take the time to
investigate. Why? Because he is worldly. Why?
Because he lacks faith. Why? Because he is
ignorant. Why? Because he depends on religious leaders.
Why do religious leaders deny? By far their
most common strategy is literal mindedness.
Why? Because they have been taught by their
theology professors. Why are the theology
professors literal minded? Because of tradition.
Why? Because it is easy to stay on the track.
Why? Because they keep themselves ignorant.
Why? Because they lack faith.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he
find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8). At that
time many will turn away from the faith
(Matt. 24:10). The love of most will grow
cold (Matt. 24:12).
Jesus knew the immense obstacles His followers
would face in recognizing Him in His Second Ad
vent. He knew the awesome powers of the invisible
trap of tradition, and the passionate desire to be
loyal to religious heritage. He knew His beloved
followers would face mountains of illusions and
attachments. To move them into action into detachment, humility, and love for truth He offered
the most magnificent gifts, the most glorious
blessings to those who arise, climb with all their
might, and overcome those mountains:
I am coming soon
Him who overcomes
Will inherit all things (Rev. 21:7).
I will be his God and he will be my son
I will give the right to sit with me on my
throne (Rev. 3:21).
I will give the right to eat from the tree of
life which is in the paradise of God (Rev. 2:7).
I will make him a pillar in the temple of my
God (Rev. 3:12).
I will...give him the morning star (Rev. 2:28).
I...will acknowledge his name before my
Father (Rev. 3:5).
I will never erase his name from the book
of life (Rev. 3:5).
I will write on him the name of my God
I will write on him...the name of the city of
my God (Rev. 3:12).
I will also give him a white stone with a
new name (Rev. 2:17).
I will also write on him my new name. He
who has an [spiritual] ear, let him hear what
the Spirit says to the churches (Rev. 3:12).
A person can find countless excuses in “the let
ters” of the Scriptures to deny or discredit the Spirit
who revealed them. That is why so many believers
become atheists and agnostics. That is why, at one
time, the church persecuted scientists. That is why
Christians were prevented from translating the
Bible, and a few faced death for attempting it.
That is why millions of people have slaughtered
one another in the name of God. That is what has
divided the one church of Christ into hundreds,
perhaps thousands of denominations.
Note what the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh declare to religious leaders who care more about the letter of
the law than the Law Giver:
Ye spend all your days contriving forms and
rules for the principles of your Faith, while
that which profiteth you in all this is to comprehend the good pleasure of your Lord and
unitedly to become well acquainted with His
They cleave to the obscure intricacies of
knowledge, when He, Who is the Object of
all knowledge, shineth as the sun. They see the
sun with their own eyes, and yet question that
brilliant Orb as to the proof of its light.
Adherence to the letter can kill not only the spirit
but also the body. What are the consequences of
taking these verses literally?
When you walk through the fire, you will not
be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
How many Christians have died from drinking
poison and playing with dangerous snakes, because
they took the words of the Gospel literally (Mark
16:18)? Literal mindedness is so dangerous that
it caused an eminent Christian scholar and Bible
interpreter Origen of Alexandria to mutilate his
body with terrible consequences. He took Matthew
Consider one more example of literal mindedness
that poses the greatest obstacle to Christians, that
prevents them from making even a cursory examination of Bahá’u’lláh’s claim: the coming of Jesus
on the clouds. If you take Jesus’ coming from the
sky literally, you must take all other prophecies
about His return literally, for instance, this one:
the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven
with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking
vengeance on them that know not God, and
that obey not the gospel
II Thessalonians 1:78
Will Jesus, the gentle, loving Shepherd, come to
burn His sheep? It is easy to form an abstract,
impersonal view of killing and burning, as some
generals speak of the glory of war and the exhilaration of victory. It is also easy to think of
strange, faraway people scorched to death. Let us
bring this idea closer to home. Think about the
people you know. Write the names of a few of
your friends, relatives, and neighbors who deserve
to be scorched. Please descend from theory to
reality. Does your loving conscience allow you to
engage in this cruelty? Would you do it? Why,
then, would Jesus, who is the essence and embodiment of gentleness and love, engage in what you
Even if Jesus decided to destroy these millions of
mostly ignorant people, why would He need to
set fire to them? Is Jesus not All powerful? Could
He not simply make them disappear from the face
of the earth? Is it in His nature to torture people
before putting an end to their misery?
Forget for a moment the followers of other faiths.
The prophecy indicates that all those who fail to
obey the Gospel must face the fire. Christians are
included. What percentage of Christians obey the
Gospel? Statistics gathered by Christian researchers
indicate that they cheat as often and as much as
the rest of the population. The differences, if any,
I can give you countless other examples showing
the numerous contradictions and absurdities that
result from literal mindedness. Why insist on this
one point, when by making a transition from
literal to spiritual, from the letter to the spirit,
everything falls into place like a perfect jigsaw
puzzle? Why set reason aside and follow imagination and tradition?
Look at the Gospel of the Lord Christ and see
how glorious it is! Yet even today men fail to
understand its priceless beauty, and misinterpret its words of wisdom.
Consider this analogy. Assume that the entire
human population is a class in which a thousand
students are registered. The teacher gives this
class a test with 100 questions. What scores do
you think the students will receive? From 0 to
100. There will be students at every point of the
distribution. Some will have 100, some 99, some
98, and so on. As a teacher, you have no problem assigning grades to these scores. A bad grade
does not mean the end of the world or the end of
a student’s life. He or she can try again for a
better grade, or simply drop out of school. Now
assume that the punishment for a low score is not
a bad grade, but death. Again, you would have to
draw a line somewhere. You would have to choose
a cutoff score. What should it be? Should the
cutting point be 39 or 40? Should it be 38 or 37?
Let us assume you settle for 40. The difference
of one point would determine whether people
would live or die. Would your conscience allow
you to engage in this cruelty? Is this not exactly
what the literal interpretation of Paul’s prophecy
Whom would Jesus kill? At what point would
He spare lives? How many Chinese would He
kill? How many bushmen from Africa? How
many Native Americans? How many Muslims?
How many Jews? How many Hindus? How many
Bahá’ís? Where would He draw a line? Would He
spare 15yearolds or 14yearolds? Would He kill
old people? Would He kill people in hospitals?
Would he kill people with low IQs?
The idea that Jesus will come to kill thousands of
millions of people is the most astonishing and
incredible belief! It raises Jesus to the ranks of the
most cruel and despotic rulers on earth. And yet
this is what millions of literal minded Christians
continue to believe.
Consider this verse:
I have come to set fire to the earth
Christ (Luke 12:49)
Was Jesus a global arsonist? Why then did He make
that statement? Because God speaks in a unique
language. By “setting fire,” Jesus meant destruction of the old ways of thinking and the old order
of things. Bahá’u’lláh uses “fire” with a similar
Be thou as a flame of fire to My enemies and
a river of life eternal to My loved ones, and
be not of those who doubt.
With His divine declaration, Jesus set fire to
the established empire of illusions built by the
people of Israel over the course of 1,500 years.
Bahá’u’lláh has engulfed the world in the same
raging fire. With a stroke of His pen, He has
uprooted the gigantic tree of theological theories
that were carefully cultivated and displayed as the
truth theories that are rooted in 2,000 years of
tradition and imitation. Only God has such a
power. Only He has the Vision and the Wisdom
to accomplish such a marvelous miracle.
We must understand God according to His standards, not our own ways. Spiritual truths must be
discerned spiritually. It was the refusal to under
stand God’s Word by His standard that caused the
Pharisees to condemn Jesus. Has history repeated
itself? Are not the majority of Christians following
in the footsteps of Pharisees? Please keep pondering the following words day and night until they
penetrate the depths of your heart and soul:
The letter kills, but the spirit gives life.
II Corinthians 3:6
The things that come from the Spirit of God
are spiritually discerned.
I Corinthians 2:1314
The topic of resurrection deserves further discussion. Here I have tried to respond to the brief
passage you quoted from St. Paul, in the context
of the rest of his discourse. A book written by a
Bahá’í (The Wine of Astonishment) has an excellent
chapter on resurrection.
Questions and Comments
As to miracles in the apostolic age, Jesus said
before He ascended back to heaven that His followers would perform miracles. They would cast
out demons and heal the sick (Mark 16:1718). The
Book of Acts is full of miracles that the followers
of Jesus performed. Even today, miracles take
place when the Good News of Jesus Christ is
preached. These are both the outer and the more
sublime inner miracles of regenerated lives that
are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Bahá’ís do not deny miracles; miracles occur all
the time. When God is in power, miracles are
inevitable. Over the years I have heard about
many miraculous events in the lives of Bahá’ís.
People of many faiths witnessed the miracles of
Bahá’u’lláh. The following is an example of His
healing miracles, recorded in Memorials of the
Faithful, a book written by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá about the
life of a few devoted disciples of Bahá’u’lláh:
Another of those who emigrated to Baghdad
was Shaykh Sádiq...His detachment from the
things of this world and his attachment to the
life of the spirit are indescribable. He was love
embodied, tenderness personified. Day and
night, he commemorated God. Utterly unconscious of this world and all that is therein, he
dwelt continually on God, remaining submerged
in supplications and prayers. Most of the time,
tears poured from his eyes. The Blessed Beauty
[Bahá’u’lláh] singled him out for special favor,
and whenever He turned His attention toward
Sádiq, His lovingkindness was clear to see.
On a certain day they brought word that Sádiq
was at the point of death. I went to his bedside
and found him breathing his last. He was suffering from ileus, an abdominal pain and swelling.
I hurried to Bahá’u’lláh and described his condition. “Go,” He said. “Place your hand on the
distended area and speak the words: ‘O Thou
I went back. I saw that the affected part had
swollen up to the size of an apple; it was hard
as stone, in constant motion, twisting, and coiling about itself like a snake. I placed my hand
upon it; I turned toward God and, humbly
beseeching Him, I repeated the words, “O
Thou the Healer!” Instantly the sick man rose
up. The ileus vanished; the swelling was carried off.
Here is another story from the same book:
Mirza Ja’far was patient and longsuffering, a
faithful attendant at the Holy Threshold. He was
a servant to all the friends, working day and
night. A quiet man, sparing of speech, in all
things relying entirely upon God. He continued
to serve in Adrianople until the banishment to
‘Akká was brought about and he too was made
a prisoner. He was grateful for this, continually
offering thanks, and saying, “Praise be to God!
I am in the fullyladen Ark!”
The Prison was a garden of roses to him, and
his narrow cell a wide and fragrant place. At
the time when we were in the barracks he fell
dangerously ill and was confined to his bed.
He suffered many complications, until finally
the doctor gave him up and would visit him
no more. Then the sick man breathed his last.
Mirza Áqá Ján ran to Bahá’u’lláh, with word of
the death. Not only had the patient ceased to
breathe, but his body was already going limp.
His family were gathered about him, mourning
him, shedding bitter tears. The Blessed Beauty
[Bahá’u’lláh] said, “Go; chant the prayer of Yá
Shafi O Thou, the Healer and Mirza Ja’far
will come alive. Very rapidly, he will be as well
as ever.” I reached his bedside. His body was
cold and all the signs of death were present.
Slowly, he began to stir; soon he could move
his limbs, and before an hour had passed he
lifted his head, sat up, and proceeded to laugh
and tell jokes.
He lived for a long time after that, occupied
as ever with serving the friends. This giving
service was a point of pride with him: to all,
he was a servant. He was always modest and
humble, calling God to mind, and to the highest
degree full of hope and faith. Finally, while in
the Most Great Prison, he abandoned this earthly
life and winged his way to the life beyond.
You may say, “How do I know ‘Abdu’l-Bahá did
not make up these stories?” First, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
did not write them to prove Bahá’u’lláh’s divine
powers. He simply recorded them as a part of
history. Second, there were other witnesses involved. And third, we have numerous testimonials
from many people about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s character.
He was as perfect a human being as anyone can
ever be. His love, selfsacrifice, and nobility stand
beyond anyone’s understanding. For His humanitarian endeavors during World War I, He was
knighted by the British government. Much literature is available about His saintly life.
Dreams and visions are the most common and
direct links of communication between God and
human beings. Our Creator always has given us
evidence of His supreme powers by guiding us
through the miracle of dreams and visions.
thou spakest in vision to thy saints
There are several books in print about people who
have had dreams and visions about Bahá’u’lláh. Let
me cite a few examples. Mirza Muhammad Taqí
was a nobleman who suffered beyond measure for
his beliefs. He was one of the early disciples of
the Báb, and was once attacked and beaten so
severely that his survival seemed a miracle. After
he was left for dead, somehow he managed to
drag his mangled body to the outskirts of the city,
where he dropped to the ground and fell asleep.
Here is what happened next, in his own words:
While sleeping, I dreamed about the Ancient
Beauty [Bahá’u’lláh]. Even though I had never
seen Him, yet I was certain that this was He,
and that He was in Baghdád. He addressed
these words to me: “Despite the injuries heaped
upon you, We extended Our protection that
you might remain alive. Be not grieved, and
come to Me in Baghdád.”
“But I have no money,” I replied, “nor am I
able to stand on my feet.”
“You do rely upon God?” were His next words,
to which I replied, “I have always relied upon
At this point I awoke, and to my great amazement saw that a caravan had set up camp on
the banks of the very river beside which I
have been sleeping. It turned out that they
were pilgrims traveling to Karbilá, many of
whom had come on foot from Kirmán.
Someone emerged from a tent and, to my great
surprise, came straight over to me and asked
me to follow him. Overcome with astonishment,
I remained rooted to the spot. He repeated his
words. I followed him and we entered the tent.
There I saw that several people were attending
a man of striking appearance who, as a sign of
respect to me, arose and then seated me next
to himself. “During the night,” he told me, “I
dreamed that the Imám Husayn [a saintly and
highly revered Figure in Islám] had entrusted to
my care a person with the same appearance and
features which I behold in you, and he told
me, ‘This Hájí is my guest. He should accompany you to Karbilá.’” So, you are my guest as
far as Karbilá.
And so, without the usual formalities of introduction, this distinguished gentleman took me
with him, and he would often remark: “The
Imám has guided you to me, and has emphasized that you be shown the utmost hospitality.”
When we reached Baghdád I told him, “This
is where we part.” He replied that I was to
accompany him as far as Karbilá, but I
plained that “the same blessed Personage Who
entrusted me to your care also came to me in
a dream and invited me to come to Baghdád.
Therefore, I shall remain here, and will not
continue the journey to Karbilá.”
My host paled as he heard these words, and
in a very apologetic manner replied: “To be
truthful, the Imám Husayn had directed me to
take you as far as Baghdád.” And, with the
utmost kindness, he bade me farewell.
When I came into the presence of the Blessed
Beauty, I recognized Him as that same holy
Personage Whom I had seen in my dream, and
I was favored with His limitless grace.
Recently more than 200 Bahá’ís in Iran were
given a choice to deny their Faith or die. They
chose to die. Among them were a man named
(Yad’u’lláh) and his 18year old daughter, Mona
(1965-1983). Mona was one of more than 20,000
Bahá’ís who have chosen the honor of dying for
their Lord rather than the shame of denying the
truth. These martyrs represent a cross-section of
society. Many of them were highly educated.
How could people who loved life choose death?
They were among the noblest citizens of our
planet, the kind who stand by their principles no
matter what the cost. God also intervened: Many
of them received inspiration and support through
dreams and visions. Let me quote a dream Mona
had before she was martyred:
Beginning at the age of 13, Mona had begun to
dream and write about her father’s death in a
startling way. Some of these writings are now
preserved among her papers. Ten months before
she was killed, Mona had another extraordinary
dream which was later related by family and
She had been saying prayers at her home with
a small group of friends for several hours.
After they left her home, she was so moved by
the prayers that she went into the living room,
meditated quietly and then fell asleep.
In her dream she saw Bahá’u’lláh entering the
room. The Blessed Beauty [Bahá’u’lláh] went
out into an adjoining chamber and brought
out a box containing a beautiful red cape. He
unwrapped it in front of her, saying, “This is
the cape of martyrdom in my path. Do you accept it?” Mona was speechless with happiness.
Finally, she said, “Whatever pleases you.”
Bahá’u’lláh put the cape back in the box and
returned to the adjoining room bringing back
with Him a second box, containing a black
cape, which he unwrapped and said, “This
black cape symbolizes sorrow in my path. Do
you accept it?” Mona replied, “How beautiful
are the tears shed in Thy path.”
He put the cape back in the box and again
returned to the other room, emerging with yet
a third box containing an elaborately beaded
blue cape of the same design as the others.
Without a word of hesitation, He placed the
cape around her shoulders, and said, “This is
the cape of service.”
Then He seated Himself in the chair and said
to Mona: “Come and take a picture with Me!”
Mona was breathless with astonishment at the
bounties being showered on her and could
hardly walk. She looked up and saw a man
sitting behind an old fashioned camera covered
by a cloth. Bahá’u’lláh repeated his instruction,
but Mona could not move.
Then Bahá’u’lláh took her arm, saying [to a
photographer], “Mehdi, take our picture.” And
he took a picture of them together. The flash
of the camera wakened Mona abruptly and she
pleaded tearfully to be able to finish her
dream, and then fell asleep again. At this time
Bahá’u’lláh had left the room. Only the photographer, Mehdi, remained, carrying the tripod and
camera on his shoulder as if to leave. Mehdi
turned around and asked Mona to convey his
love to his children. But Mona could not tell
which “Mehdi” he was, since there were many
people by that name in the long history of the
Bahá’í Faith and even in her own community.
But still he looked familiar to her. [At this
point] Mehdi noticed that Mona did not recognize him. As he was leaving the room he turned
to Mona and said, “I am Mehdi Anvari.” Mona
instantly recognized him as one of the Bahá’ís
of Shíráz who had been recently martyred.
Mona was among ten women from the city of
Shíráz who were hanged on the same day. Among
them was another young lady named Zarrin. She
was distinguished not only spiritually but also
intellectually. She had earned many honors, such
as graduating as the valedictorian of her high
school. She had committed to memory an entire
volume of Bahá’u’lláh’s works. Her knowledge
and devotion astonished the Muslim religious
leaders, who tried to force her to deny her Faith.
In spite of her distinctions, she felt unworthy of
God. “For two years Zarrin was troubled by her
failure to serve the Cause by the standards she
had set for herself. Night after night she would
pray and weep until finally she had a dream,
which she described in this way:”
I dreamed that Bahá’u’lláh came to the
blessed house of the Báb [in Shíráz], and all
the friends...were coming to visit. I also went,
but I had not the courage to enter. I stood at
the door of the house of the Báb. I saw
Bahá’u’lláh and the friends approaching Him
one by one and then leaving. Then there was
no one else, and I was still standing at the
door. I saw that Bahá’u’lláh stood up and began
to mount the stairs to the room of the Báb. In
my heart I said, “O my God! Woe is me! Even
now there was an opportunity to meet Him, but
I was unworthy.” Suddenly Bahá’u’lláh turned
His beautiful face and said, “Come in.” I entered and attained His Presence. He embraced
me; He laid my head on his blessed chest;
then He held my head and asked, “Why are
you so upset? You will finally achieve that
which you desire.”
Shortly before her death, Zarrin had also this vision:
Believe me with my own eyes I beheld the
and there the nearby angels
were sprinkling flowers on those bodies so that
this area of the celestial garden became the
envy of Paradise. The divine musicians were
playing the heavenly harps, and the souls of
the martyrs sang out in glorious harmony. The
messenger angel of the Invisible World pro
claimed, “By My beauty! to tinge thy hair
with thy blood is greater in My sight than the
creation of the universe and the light of both
This dream was published in a Bahá’í magazine,
One of the young Bahá’ís of the city of
Kirmán [in Iran] had just started his mandatory
military service in his town when one day he
was approached by one of the mullás [Muslim
religious leaders] who are resident at military
garrisons and provide spiritual guidance to the
soldiers. This mullá was referred to as “Haji”
and when he found out that this young man
was a Bahá’í, he approached him and instructed
him to publicly announce at next morning’s
Literally, the Most Glorious Kingdom. It refers to paradise
or the heavenly kingdom.
The quotation comes from The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh.
prayer assembly that he is a Bahá’í, so that
everyone would know. The young Bahá’í obeyed
and agreed to comply with this instruction. So
the next morning when all the soldiers assembled
to pray and to receive the day’s instructions,
the young Bahá’í went in front of the crowd
and announced that he had been instructed by
Haji to tell everyone that he is a Bahá’í in case
anyone would wish not to associate with him.
When he returned back to his duties, the Haji
approached him again and with great anger
said, “I told you only to say that you are a
Bahá’í. I didn’t ask you to give a lecture and
tell them why and now you have to be punished.” So the Haji instructed the other men to
throw the young Bahá’í into a toilet room and
keep him locked there until further instructions.
So they locked him in a washroom and, except
for giving him a little food and water every
day, they kept him locked up. Almost two
weeks of his detention had passed when one
night this young Bahá’í soldier had a dream
of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. In the dream ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
addressed him with these words: “You have
passed your test very well.”
The next morning, some soldiers opened the
washroom door and in great hurry took him to
meet the Haji. When they entered the room,
the Haji seemed very shaken and upset. With
a trembling voice he said, “The reason I re
leased you from detention is that last night I
had a very vivid dream in which a turbaned
siyyid (holy man) addressed me and said, ‘Why
have you imprisoned my son? You have only
three days to release him and ask for his forgiveness.’ So I am releasing you,” Haji said,
“and I am begging for your forgiveness, and I
will not go until you have forgiven me.” The
young Bahá’í soldier forgave him.
Exactly three days later the Haji died. Just
before he died, he told the story to his wife
and children and said to them, “Follow the
way and example of this youth the rest of your
In recent years, I have noticed that most of the
people who investigate the Bahá’í Faith in our
community receive certain clues in their dreams.
Let me quote the latest one. Recently I gave several
books and a video to a lady who expressed an
interest in learning about Bahá’u’lláh. She said she
loved God and had constantly prayed since the
age of 11. She is a student and quite busy, yet she
managed to read several pages every day from
one of the books and to pray for guidance. A few
weeks after starting her search, she related this
I found a treasure chest. When I opened it, I
saw a scroll, partly opened. The scroll contained
material, which I recognized to be from the
writings of Bahá’u’lláh. I tried to read it, but
could not. Suddenly someone from behind
whom I did not see tapped on my shoulder
and said, ‘In due time you will understand.’
Over the years I have been blessed by a number
of wonderful dreams. On the basis of these dreams
and a few others by my friends and family members, I am convinced Bahá’u’lláh knows our most
Let me cite a dream I had recently. Bahá’u’lláh
has revealed a prayer for those who face difficulties. Just before going to bed, I read that prayer
for a relative who qualified for the purpose for
which this prayer was revealed. That same night
I saw ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in front of a small audience,
speaking and showing a few small posters. When
He finished His talk, I went toward Him and saw
two posters on the table. I said, “You did not
show us these posters.” He then picked the one on
the top and said something like, “This contains
the destiny of the world.” As He spoke, His face
glowed with such love, joy, and radiance that profoundly affected my soul. This feeling continued
for a while after I woke up.
Somehow in my mind I connected this dream with
the request I had made to God. The obvious link
was the timing. I had the dream the same night I
read the special prayer and asked Bahá’u’lláh to
Is there a link between these two posters and
what happened? It is extremely difficult to know;
dreams are intentionally made symbolic. Here is a
possibility. The two posters may symbolize human
destiny. One poster may portray that which is
already predetermined, such as the advent of great
Redeemers at specific times in history; this is
unchangeable. The other poster may symbolize
that which is not predetermined, such as how we
respond to God’s call to bring peace and prosperity to this planet. Granting of my request may
have been of this kind. It is also possible that
the incident was not predetermined and would
have taken place as it did. I was simply given
a clue in advance of the outcome. This dream
by itself does not prove anything, but when we
realize that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’u’lláh, and the
Báb have appeared thousands of times to thou
sands of people, then we must acknowledge that
they are not ordinary beings, but endowed with
I believe early Christians who gave their lives for
Jesus were also inspired and sustained by dreams
and visions. Even today we have evidence of
Jesus’ divine power to appear in people’s dreams
and visions. Over the course of centuries, He has
communicated with millions of Christians; a volume of such dreams has been published. I have
quoted two dreams about the “thief like” coming
of Jesus dreamt by Christians. One of them is
cited in I Shall Come Again, the other in Seek
and Ye Shall Find. Both of these dreams confirm
the Bahá’í interpretation that, to those who are
asleep, Jesus in His Second Advent has remained
as invisible as a thief in the dark of the night, but
to those who are awake and aware, with “eyes” to
see, He has shone and will continue to shine as
brightly as the sun with supreme glory and power.
There also is a video by Reinee Pasarow, in which
she presents the astonishing neardeath visions
that guided her to Bahá’u’lláh. You will find her
story extremely credible. I have not known any
one who has doubted her. Enclosed is a copy of
that video. Please take the time to view it.
Let me point out once again that I do not present
the stories of healing miracles and dreams and
visions to prove the station of Bahá’u’lláh, but
rather to satisfy your curiosity and interest in the
Questions and Comments
You profess that the Bahá’í Faith is to be the
unifying and allen compassing religion in this
world and yet at the same time we see many paths
to the One God. If all the religions listed in your
diagram can bring us to God, why then do we
need a new religion? Are they not good enough
to bring about peace in this world? The Bahá’í
Faith cannot be the harmonization of all these
religions, for to do so would be to ignore the
major tenets of these various religions that are in
conflict with each other and make them less than
they really are. The Bahá’í Faith then becomes
merely another religion claiming that it has the
In the past, God has sent Redeemers to specific
geographic areas for specific times and groups of
people. At the time of Jesus, America was beyond
the reach of Asia; each nation was an “island.”
Only now is the world connected as one community. Because of this new capacity, Bahá’u’lláh
has come to unify all those “islands” under one
divine Kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven:
Verily I say, in this most mighty Revelation,
all the Dispensations of the past have attained
their highest, their final consummation. Thus
counselleth you your Lord, the All Knowing,
the AllWise. Praise be to God, the Lord of all
All great religions of the past are good and per
fect, but they were not designed for this age. What
first graders learn is perfect for first graders, but
not for twelfth graders. Every religion is “the way,
the truth, and the life” designed for a specific age.
When that age passes, God sends a new teacher
with new instructions adapted to new learners.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but
when I became a man, I put away childish
I Corinthians 13:11
Each of the great Messengers came with a unique
name, background, and Scripture, yet they all
manifested and were empowered by the same
There are diversities of gifts, but the same
I Corinthians 12:4
The fundamentals of all great faiths of God are one.
Only when we see them through colored glasses
do we see differences. Much of the conflicts come
from personal theological perspectives of previous
learners who felt comfortable in their grade. This
is exactly how the Jews felt at the time of Jesus.
Jesus accomplished the goal of unity, but within
a smaller scope. He attracted diverse groups with
various beliefs and unified them. The Jews who
became Christians did not renounce the fundamentals of their Scriptures. The same is true with
those who become Bahá’ís. A Bahá’í loves the
Bible and tries to practice its counsels as much as
a Christian does. Virtues never change:
The counsel of the Lord stands forever
But as time goes on, people forget the everlasting
counsels. The new Redeemer reminds them and in
spires them to remember and live up to their covenant with God. Jesus confirmed the virtues Moses
proclaimed. Bahá’u’lláh has come to promote
those same virtues. He has asked us a thousand
times and more to live a saintly and sacred life:
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor,
and look upon him with a bright and friendly
face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher
to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy,
a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be
fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech.
Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to
all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in
darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the
thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder
and defender of the victim of oppression. Let
integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine
acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the
suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive.
Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto
the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the
countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of
fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness,
a breath of life to the body of mankind, an
ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above
the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the
human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on
the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the
firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the
tree of humility.
Questions and Comments
Perhaps you don’t realize this, but the belief that
all religions are unified and point to the same God
is a separate religious belief in and of itself that
may or may not be true. It is a faith statement.
The belief that all great religions come from God
is not merely “a faith statement.” As stated earlier, it is both a biblical and rational principle.
The Bible mentions the names of some Messengers
like Noah, Abraham, and Moses, but omits others
like Krishna, Buddha, and Zoroaster. But does this
mean that anyone whose name does not appear
in The Bible is false? This is only an assumption
theologians have made and people have accepted
without questioning. Think of this example. Sup
pose you write your memoirs. You have four
uncles, but for some reason, you write about only
three of them. Does this omission prove that the
fourth uncle did not exist?
We cannot simply assume that The Bible contains all
the basic facts of history. As we know, only parts
of Jesus’ teachings were recorded and preserved.
God’s justice demands that all His children be
guided to His presence, that all of them have a
chance to know Him and to love Him. To show
God’s universal love for us, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá quotes
this verse from the Gospel:
He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the
good, and sends rain on the righteous and the
Christ (Matt. 5:45)
‘Abdu’l-Bahá then interprets the verse:
The meaning of this declaration is that the
mercy of God encircles all mankind, that not
a single individual is deprived of the mercy of
God, and no soul is denied the resplendent
bestowals of God.
Is God less than the sun, an object of His own
creation? Would He reveal His glory to the people
of Palestine, but not of Persia? Would He manifest His splendor to residents of Europe, but not
to Native Americans?
Another evidence that testifies to the truth of great
religions such as Hinduism, Zoroastrianism,
Buddhism, and Islam is their endurance. God
allows broken and abused branches in His garden,
but He promises to uproot or burn a tree that He
Himself does not plant:
Every plant that my heavenly Father has not
planted will be pulled up by the roots.
Christ (Matt. 15:13)
Beware of false prophets You will know them
by their fruits Every tree that does not bear
good fruit is cut down and thrown into the
Christ (Matt. 7:15,16, 19)
if this plan or this work [of Jesus] is of
men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of
God, you cannot overthrow it; lest you even be
found to fight against God.
See also Deuteronomy 18:20
This passage also testifies to the endurance of a
religion as an evidence of its divine origin:
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from
heaven, and do not return there, but water the
earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it
may give seed to the sower and bread to the
eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from
My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but
it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall
prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
The Qur’án confirms the same principle by the
same analogy. This statement may be a reference
to the words of Jesus:
Have you not seen that God has compared a
good word to a good tree? Its roots are firmly
fixed, and its branches reach out for heaven. It
gives its produce every season by the leave of
its Lord. Thus God cites examples that people
may understand and remember. And a bad
word is like a bad tree. It is uprooted and not
allowed to endure.
Consider Hinduism, with more than 700 million
followers. Its origin goes back as far as 1500 B.C.
Could such a religion have survived without God’s
blessing? You may say, “But the Hindus worship
many Gods.” The belief in multiple Gods is obviously a deviation from the divine teachings. Some
spiritually enlightened Hindus acknowledge this
fact. We can find similar deviations in all religions.
Some authorities believe that the Hindu belief in
multiple Gods started with the idea that every being, every atom, reflects or manifests the Creator.
That idea is similar to David’s declaration that
“the heaven declares the glory of God” (Psa.19:1). Since people have a strong imagination, the
Hindus began to stretch this truth beyond its limits, to the point of believing that almost every
thing is a God. Did not the Jews at some point
become idol worshippers? Did they not worship
Let us consider another example. You may attribute
the prevailing violence in the Middle East to Islam.
But can we not find similar examples of violence
in the history to Christianity? It is believed that
more Christians have been killed by Christians
than by any other group. Who were the prime
players in the last two world wars? What do these
wars say about Christ? Only that some Christians
deviated from His teachings.
God does not allow a new religion to take root
and prosper without His permission, but He has
allowed each of the world’s great religions to
decline, deteriorate, and be divided into denominations, sects, and cults. Atrocities committed in
the name of religion is an evidence of this. Every
religion, like a tree, has a life cycle. It starts with
a small beginning, like a mustard seed; it continues to grow, and finally it declines. Broken,
fallen, and rotten leaves and branches on the
ground are part of the plan. This is a universal
law that describes all past religions.
Unfortunately, human beings become strongly
attached to the ancient tree. Branches keep breaking and falling, but people keep reattaching them
to the tree. According to Christianity Today, the
one church of Christ has been divided into 25,000
denominations, sects, and cults. Do you believe
they all represent the true teachings of Jesus?
In almost every page of the Qur’án, God is exalted
and glorified. There is a book called God’s 99
Names. The title comes from the 99 names in the
Qur’án that glorify God. Every verse of the Qur’án
is attributed to the one Creator of the universe.
Would God allow such a Faith to prosper in His
name, without His permission? Would He allow
Muhammad to establish, without His blessings,
one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever
known? Would He allow a false prophet plant a
tree in His name a tree that would endure for
more than a thousand years? Would He allow an
impostor to deceive thousands of millions of people
by the power of God’s name? If we truly believe
in The Bible, this is absolutely impossible.
What did Muhammad say about Jesus? According
to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Qur’án states that:
Christ was the Word of God, that He was the
Spirit of God, that Jesus Christ came into this
world through the quickening breaths of the
Holy Spirit and that Mary, His mother, was holy
and sanctified. In the Qur’án a whole chapter is
devoted to the story of Jesus.
Why, then, do most Christians deny the truth of all
great faiths except Judaism? Because of tradition.
People, for the most part, do not investigate the truth
for themselves. They accept whatever their parents
and pastors teach them. Their loyalty to family
and religious tradition is a far more powerful
force than their thirst for truth.
To prevent people from thinking and questioning,
the theologians of all religions repeatedly emphasize what people already believe and would like
to hear, and ignore what fails to fit their theories
or what makes people wonder. For instance, I
have never seen the scriptural references about
endurance such as, Matthew 15:13; 7:19, and
Isaiah 55:1011 applied to the great religions
of the world. Nor have I seen them applied to
Christian faith. Those verses are simply ignored
in favor of the ones that imply exclusiveness and
superiority. Any thoughtful person who hears
about endurance as evidence of the truth of Christianity may say, “What about Islam, or Hinduism,
or Buddhism?” If people raised that question,
what answer would theologians give? What answer
would you give?
Emphasis on the superiority of one’s own faith is
practiced in virtually all past religions. This may
explain why almost every person born into a
Christian culture remains a Christian, every person
born into a Jewish culture remains Jewish, every
person born into a Muslim culture remains a Muslim. People simply imitate their beliefs, just as
they imitate their mother tongue and local accent.
That is why investigation of truth with an open
mind and a humble heart is the key to true
knowledge and the very heart of heaven.
Questions and Comments
It is also possible that there may be an even newer
revelation or manifestation from God that is yet
to come that will surpass the Bahá’í Faith, if I
understand your worldview correctly. It would
be rather egotistical to think that the Báb and
Bahá’u’lláh were the last pointers to God, if I
were a Bahá’í. For, if there have been many
manifestations of God throughout the ages, then
it stands to reason that there will continue to be
more to come.
You are perfectly correct. Bahá’ís believe that
God will continue to send new Manifestations or
Messengers to humanity. The process of progressive revelation of knowledge and truth will never
end. Apparently I did not make this point clear
enough in the book. The following passage from
the Báb clarifies this point:
Indeed no religion shall We ever inaugurate
unless it be renewed in the days to come. This
is a promise We solemnly have made. Verily
We are supreme over all things...
Questions and Comments
[In Heaven’s Most Glorious Gift] you seem to be
implying that Christianity is a cult, and that the
Bahá’í Faith is the true religion. How can you then
claim that the Bahá’í Faith is in agreement with
the truth of Christianity? If you go to a Christian
under the guise of supporting the tenets of the
Christian faith and yet really believe that Christianity is wrong, you are being duplicitous and
dishonest in your dealing with Christians. This is
certainly not something that the Báb or Bahá’u’lláh
would condone, is it? You cannot say that the Báb
and Bahá’u’lláh are in agreement or are the fulfillment of the Christian faith but then really believe
that Christianity is a false religion, for then you
make the two founders of the Bahá’í Faith to be
liars and the fulfillment of a lie.
In the section entitled “What Is the Difference
Between Religion and Cult?” I did my best to
show that there is a clear and conclusive difference
between what great Messengers of the past have
taught and what their followers practice in their
name. In no way did I imply that Christianity, as
taught by Jesus Christ, is a cult. To imply that
message in any way is sheer blasphemy. As indicated in that section, my intentions in introducing
the topic were as follow:
To show that the Bahá’í Faith is not a cult.
To demonstrate what happens to the pure teachings of a religion, such as Christianity, as time
To show that every religion is designed for a
specific span of time; when a religion’s span or
age ends, then some of its social teachings, such
as rules of marriage and divorce, become out
dated, irrelevant, and impractical.
And to indicate why we need a new Revelation
from God to restore religion’s lost purity and
Take the first point. As you may know, some
Christian leaders have accused the Bahá’í Faith of
being a cult. They have attributed to the Bahá’í
Faith what you have assumed I have attributed to
Christianity, which I did not.
If you were falsely accused of something, would
you not defend yourself? Would you not present
every bit of evidence to absolve yourself of the
accusation? That is exactly what I did. I compared
Christianity and the Bahá’í Faith as they are
practiced today. In each of the categories listed,
I showed that in this age the Christian lifestyle
is closer to cultish practices than the Bahá’í life
style. My point in Heaven’s Most Glorious Gift was
to demonstrate that if the word “cult” describes the
Bahá’í Faith, it describes today’s Christian churches
even more closely. What is unfair about this comparison? Would you not do the same if I accused
your church or your religion of being a cult?
My intention was not to show that Christianity is
a cult but rather demonstrate the fulfillment of
biblical prophecies concerning the decline of the
church in the last days. The evidence of the decline
is widespread apathy, conformity to tradition, and
a lack of genuine interest in critical thinking and
independent investigation of truth. Let us examine
some of these prophecies. To whom is this prophecy directed?
People will be always learning but never
able to acknowledge the truth
II Timothy 3:27
When has there been so much learning as today?
When have there been so many universities and
seminary schools? When have there been so many
books about the Second Advent? If one part of
the prophecy (people will be always learning) is
true, cannot the other part (but never able to ac
knowledge the truth) be true also?
To whom is this prophecy directed?
their religion is but the precept of men,
learnt by rote.
The prophecy is not directed at atheists and agnostics; it is directed at religious people! But who are
“they”? Are they not the ones who go to churches,
synagogues, and mosques? Can a denomination be
exempt from these and other similar prophecies?
Can any evangelist, bishop, or scholar claim an
exception? Is not the fact that no one claims to be
the object of these prophecies in itself an evidence
of their fulfillment? How does a person learn “by
rote”? Simply by imitating and repeating as children
learn the alphabet. Rote learning does not require
rational thinking. The teacher utters a sentence,
and children repeat it. Is not this a perfect description of the way most people learn and accept the
dogmas and beliefs of their church, synagogue, or
mosque? Is it not the way they learn to look down
on other belief systems? Is it not the way they
learn that they must accept their religion by faith
rather than by reason? Is it not the way they learn
not to investigate other religions? Note what a
Muslim scholar says about the way Muslims learn
and understand their faith:
Generally, Muslims are taught not to use their
minds in religious matters Purportedly, the
use of the mind in religious matters would
lead us astray. If the mind may not be used in
religious matters, why may it be used in other
matters? On the contrary, the teachings of the
Qur’án give the mind a noble place. God deems
human beings who do not use their minds
worse than animals! (Qur’án 7:179). God bars
those who do not use their minds from the
fold of the faithful (Qur’án 10:100).
To whom is this prophecy addressed?
For the time will come when men will not put
up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their
own desires, they will gather around them a
great number of teachers to say what their
itching ears want to hear. They will turn their
ears away from the truth and turn aside tomyths.
II Timothy 4:34
Who are they? Does not they refer to Christians?
A person must first be on the true path to be able
to turn away from it.
Consider also this prophecy from Jesus:
At that time many will turn away from the
Christ (Matt. 24:10)
What faith do people turn away from? Is it not
faith in God and the Word of God? Are Christians
excluded? Does not the statement refer also to
religious leaders? What happens when people lose
their faith? Do they remain receptive to the truth?
Can you find a religious leader who will say,
“Yes, this prophecy refers to me”? Then to whom
does it refer? Are religious leaders humble enough
to say, “We are in the same position as were the
Pharisees at the time of Jesus”?
Why was Jesus rejected? Was it not because people
had lost their faith? Note how Jesus addressed the
people of His time. One word refers to a lack of
faith, the other to a lack of character or integrity:
O faithless and perverse generation, how long
shall I be with you and bear with you?
If the lack of faith led to the denial of Jesus in His
First Advent, could not the same condition lack
of faith lead to the same consequence: denial of
Jesus in His Second Advent?
What is the spiritual state of our time, and how
can it be measured? Our moral values are the best
indicators of our faith and thermometers of our
soul. Hundreds of statistics can be given about the
moral decline of our age. But let me limit myself
by citing only a clue about the moral state of the
religious leaders of our time, who must serve as
models of virtues for others. As you may know,
several books such as Lead Us Not Into Temptations have been published, and several TV
documentaries have been aired concerning the
sexual involvement of priests with children, and
the hundreds of millions of dollars the church has
paid to settle lawsuits. According to an expert
interviewed on 20/20, at any given time, 50
percent of American priests are sexually active.
What about Protestant pastors? According to a
study quoted in Focus on the Family, a highly
respected Christian magazine, 37 percent of pastors
“confess to having been involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with someone in the church.”
Another study indicates that 40 percent of pastors
admit involvement in pornography.
psychologist, Dr. James Dobson made this statement on a Christian broadcasting station, “Up to
90 percent of pastors are struggling with sexual
frustrations and temptations.”
Let us be a little more humble, let us not start
with age old assumptions that may be untrue. Let
us keep our hearts soft, and our minds open:
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden
your hearts as you did in the rebellion.
Why has the world not seen this bright and
beautiful Light of God? Why has it ignored such
a splendid revelation of God’s glory? Here,
Bahá’u’lláh singles out lack of “independent investigation of truth” as the cause:
For the people are wandering in the paths of
delusion, bereft of discernment to see God
with their own eyes, or hear His Melody with
their own ears Thus have their superstitions
become veils between them and their own
hearts and kept them from the path of God,
the Exalted, the Great.
What prevented the people of Israel from recognizing Jesus? Prevailing superstitions, false assumptions, and delusions. As Bahá’u’lláh declares, the
same holds true today.
My second reason for introducing the topic of
cults was to show that certain social teachings of
Christianity are outdated, as were some of the
social teachings of Moses at the time of the First
Advent. Take the law of a tooth for a tooth and
an eye for an eye. Did not Jesus abrogate that
law? Why did He abrogate it? Because the times
had changed. The same holds true today. When a
social teaching or a law becomes outdated or irrelevant, God sends a new one to replace it. Please
think of this one example: The New Testament
does not forbid slavery. It indicates that it is okay
to have a slave, as long as you treat him or her
kindly. Is that practical today?
When humanity is ready to take a step forward,
God sends new teachings to help us make the
move. At the time of Jesus, the world was not ready
to abandon slavery; at the time of Bahá’u’lláh, it
was. Tolerating slavery does not make Christianity
a cult. It reflects the progressive nature of humanity and God’s wisdom in offering only the teachings
that our souls and societies can “bear.” This is
why Jesus said:
I have much more to say to you, more than
you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of
truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.
He will not speak on his own; he will speak
only what he hears, and he will tell you what
is yet to come.
Bahá’u’lláh declares Himself the Spirit of Truth,
prophesied by Jesus:
Verily, He Who is the Spirit of Truth is come
to guide you unto all truth. He speaketh not as
prompted by His own self, but as bidden by
Him Who is the All Knowing, the All Wise.
In seminary schools, professors of theology teach
that “the Spirit of Truth” does not point to a
person who comes in human form. They say it
refers to a Spirit the Holy Spirit. Is their assumption valid? “Let us reason together, declares the Lord” (Isaiah1:18). How can the Holy Spirit communicate with us? How can it teach us truths so
lofty that even Jesus did not teach them? How
can it tell us “what is yet to come”? Please note
that Jesus refers to the Spirit of Truth as an individual who comes. He says, “when He the Spirit
of Truth is come.” The Holy Spirit is always
present. It does not come and go. Jesus said, “I
am always with you to the end of age” (Matt.
28:20). Was not the Holy Spirit always present in
Jesus? And was not Jesus always present in the
lives of His true believers?
Further, we have about 2,000 years of Christian
history. Can you name even one person who
qualifies for the honor of teaching us truths that
even Jesus did not teach? Can you name one
person who has guided us “into all truth”? Can
you name one person who has told us “what is
yet to come”? Bahá’u’lláh has fulfilled all these
requirements. He wrote a hundred volumes. He
revealed truths we need for the next thousand
years and more. He predicted the downfall of the
kings and rulers of the earth with perfect accuracy.
Christian authors and teachers try to explain or
clarify only the truths Jesus taught. What would
happen if one of them added something, if he
went beyond what Christ proclaimed? Will he not
instantly lose his credibility?
Consider this example: Bahá’u’lláh declares a
truth which, as your letter testifies, you are unable
to bear. That truth is the fundamental oneness and
divine origin of all great religions. Today most
Christians are still struggling with that truth.
To recognize the truth of this one teaching of
Bahá’u’lláh, consider this passage from The Bible:
“God does not show favoritism” (Acts 10:34).
How can God send only one religion to only one
geographical part of the planet, and not show favoritism? How would you feel if your parents
taught your brothers and sisters about Jesus, but
neglected you? Would that not be favoritism?
When we sacrifice reason at the altar of tradition
and theology, then religion becomes myth and
superstition. It violates the clear principles of
justice and truth. It moves the believer toward
cultish practices and beliefs. That is what has
happened to all past religions. This is what the
Gospels predicted would happen to the teachings
of Jesus. And that is why Bahá’u’lláh has come:
to bring us into a new and beautiful garden laden
with fruits of reason, justice, love, and truth.
Consider this statement from Jesus:
For the Son of man came to seek and save
what was lost.
What was lost, and what did Jesus restore? Faith
in God and the practice of what that faith requires.
This is why He called the people of His time “a
faithless and perverse generation” (Luke 9:41).
Jesus has come again, and for the same reason He
came 2,000 years ago, but with a new name. He
has come to bring us the blessings of an abundant
life, to crown our days and destiny with joy and
freedom. As Jesus gave His life to redeem us, so
did the Báb, and so did Bahá’u’lláh sacrifice all
His worldly comforts. They accepted a life of suffering, imprisonment, and exile:
The Ancient Beauty [Bahá’u’lláh] hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind
may be released from its bondage, and hath
accepted to be made a prisoner within this
most mighty Stronghold [‘Akká prison] that the
whole world may attain unto true liberty. He
hath drained to its dregs the cup of sorrow, that
all the peoples of the earth may attain unto
abiding joy, and be filled with gladness. This is
of the mercy of your Lord, the Compassionate,
the Most Merciful. We have accepted to be
abased, O believers in the Unity of God, that
ye may be exalted, and have suffered manifold
afflictions, that ye might prosper and flourish.
Bahá’u’lláh sacrificed His earthly life to give
heavenly life to the world and to unify its con
tending nations and religions under one Kingdom,
the Kingdom of God:
As My tribulations multiplied, so did My love
for God and for His Cause increase, in such
wise that all that befell Me from the hosts of
the wayward was powerless to deter Me from
My purpose. Should they hide Me away in the
depths of the earth, yet would they find Me
riding aloft on the clouds, and calling out unto
God, the Lord of strength and of might. I have
offered Myself up in the way of God, and I
yearn after tribulations in My love for Him, and
for the sake of His good pleasure. Unto this
bear witness the woes which now afflict Me,
the like of which no other man hath suffered.
Every single hair of Mine head calleth out that
which the Burning Bush uttered on Sinai, and
each vein of My body invoketh God and saith:
“O would I had been severed in Thy path, so
that the world might be quickened, and all
its peoples be united!” Thus hath it been de
creed by Him Who is the All Knowing, the
Questions and Comments
You are faced with either accepting that Christianity is true and that the Bahá’í Faith is false or
visa versa. They cannot both be true or the one
be a fulfillment of the other, for their foundational
worldviews are at odds with each other. You are
faced with a decision to make; either profess that
the Bahá’í Faith is true and stop pointing to
Christianity as a proof text for Bahá’í, or follow
Jesus and renounce the Bahá’í Faith as false. To
continue to point to The Bible as proof of the truth
of your Faith is to be dishonest.
You are giving me two choices. Why can I not
believe in both Christ and Bahá’u’lláh? Could not
a Jew present you with a similar question? Could
he not say, “Either profess that Christianity is true
and stop using Judaism as a proof test for it, or
follow Moses and renounce Christianity as false”?
And could he not add, as you did, “To continue to
point to Hebrew Scriptures as proof of the truth
of Christianity is to be dishonest”? How would
you respond? Would you not say, “All Scripture
is by inspiration” (II Timothy 3:16)? Would you
not point out that God gave the prophecies in
the Hebrew Scriptures to help the Jews recognize
His promised Messiah? Would you not say, “God
would not allow those 300 prophecies to be fulfilled by Jesus, if He were a liar”? Would you not
conclude that it would be utterly unjust to allow
a deceiver to fulfill God’s prophecies?
Let me ask you this: How could a just Creator
punish people for accepting someone who fulfills
His prophecies? The Báb and Bahá’u’lláh have
fulfilled some 1,800 prophecies from The Bible
alone. Asking me to stop using the fulfillment of
biblical prophecies as an evidence of the Bahá’í
Faith is like denying the commandment and the
guidance of The Bible itself:
...for prophecy never came by the will of man,
but holy men of God spoke as they were
moved by the Holy Spirit.
II Peter 1:21
Did not Christ use prophecies to prove his own
Then he [Jesus] began with Moses and all the
prophets, and explained to them [the Jews] the
passages which referred to himself in every
part of the scriptures.
These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Christ (John 5:3940)
See also Acts 28:23
Surprisingly, in your letter you referred me to
You diligently study the Scriptures because you
think that by them you possess eternal life.
These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
As you can see, once again Jesus declares Hebrew
prophecies an evidence of His divine station.
Why did the Jews deny Jesus? Because they lacked
faith in what they professed to be the Word of God:
Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes
are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since
you do not believe what he wrote, how are
you going to believe what I say?
Christ (John 5:4547)
Have not Christian scholars written thousands of
volumes to show that Jesus Christ fulfilled the
prophecies of Hebrew Scriptures? Then why do
you object to my using biblical prophecies as an
evidence of the Bahá’í Faith?
Does not our Creator invite us to reason?
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the
Test all things; hold fast what is good.
I Thessalonians 5:21
do not despise prophetic utterances, but bring
them all to the test
I Thessalonians 5:2021
Is not disregarding biblical passages that the Báb
and Bahá’u’lláh have fulfilled the same as despising those passages? Did God give us the gift of
reason for no reason?
Neglect not the gift that is in thee.
I Timothy 4:14
You have had a copy of I Shall Come Again for
more than a year. In your letter you made no mention of that book. Have you read it to discover the astonishing array of biblical prophecies
the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh have fulfilled? If not,
why not? Christians have been praying for the
Second Coming of Christ for 2,000 years. Now
that He is come with manifest proofs, why are
you hesitant to investigate His claim? Your main
reason is probably this: Bahá’u’lláh has not fulfilled your expectations. He has not fulfilled the
prophecies the way you interpret them. Please
respond to the following question. Please indicate
for what purpose was the following verse given?
Perhaps you wish it did not exist. Please look at
it; it glows as clearly and brightly as the sun:
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed
time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring
to light what is hidden in darkness and will
expose the motives of men’s hearts.
I Corinthians 4:5
Because of its prime significance, let us use another
translation of the same verse:
So do not make any hasty or premature judgments before the time when the Lord comes
[again], for He will both bring to light the secret
things that are (now hidden) in darkness, and
disclose and expose the (secret) aims (motives
and purposes) of hearts. Then every man will
receive his (due) commendation from God.
I Corinthians 4:5 (The Amplified Bible)
Why was the preceding commandment given?
And to whom is the following guidance directed?
...no prophecy of Scripture is of any private
II Peter 1:20
Is not your interpretation or that of any other
Christian a private, personal interpretation? Is not
every human being fallible? Then what makes
you believe that your interpretation is accurate?
Why do you not obey the command of the Scripture that you should let the Lord bring to light
what is hidden in darkness? Bahá’u’lláh is the
Lord, the One who knows all mysteries.
Do not the conflicting interpretations indicate that
Christian leaders and interpreters of the Word of
God lack wisdom to understand the true meaning
of prophecies? If prophecies are not “hidden in
darkness,” then what is? Were they not also hidden
in darkness at the time of the First Advent?
Do you believe in all The Bible, or only in the
verses that support your theology?
Much of The Bible was destined to remain closed
(Dan. 12:9). Bahá’u’lláh has brought to light what
was hidden in darkness. He has opened the Book:
Bahá’u’lláh spread the Cause of Christ and
opened the book of the Christians and Jews.
Consider the past. Did not all Jewish leaders at
the time of Jesus misunderstand the prophecies?
What difference is there between the Christians of
today and the Jews of the time of Jesus? What
biblical evidence proclaims them to be infallible
in interpreting the Word of God? To whom do the
preceding commands apply? Who can fairly claim
to be exempt from them?
Do you expect Christ in His Second Advent to
conform to your interpretation, when you are told
not to make any premature judgment, but to wait
for the appointed time of the Lord? If you know
the meaning of the Scripture, then why should
Everything that happens now has happened before.
Every day, every year, every century, every millennium teaches us lessons. We can grow only by
learning these lessons, just as we can grow individually from our personal experiences. Consider
what a Jewish woman said in the first century, how
Jesus responded, and how relevant His response
is to this century:
The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah
is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He
comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said
to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
How relevant is this brief exchange of ideas to
our time! What a wonderful lesson it teaches us!
The task of explaining everything is given exclusively to the One sent by God, whether He is
called the Anointed One (Christ) or the Glory of
God (Bahá’u’lláh). That is one of the reasons He
comes. He comes to explain to us what everything
means. He does not come to hear our explanations,
illusions, and false assumptions. How obvious is
this lesson! How evident is this truth! How clear
is this principle! Why do so many have difficulty
learning and accepting this simple lesson?
Consider the authority with which Bahá’u’lláh
addresses religious leaders, who act as if they
possess the truth; as if the One who comes must
conform to their standards of interpretation:
Say: O leaders of religion! Weigh not the Book
of God with such standards and sciences as are
current amongst you, for the Book itself is the
unerring balance established amongst men. In
this most perfect Balance whatsoever the peoples
and kindreds of the earth possess must be
weighed, while the measure of its weight should
be tested according to its own standard, did ye
but know it.
Say: O leaders of religion!...The eye of My
Loving kindness weepeth sore over you, inasmuch as ye have failed to recognize the One
upon Whom ye have been calling in the daytime
and in the night season, at even and at morn.
O ye leaders of religion! Who is the man
amongst you that can rival Me in vision or
insight? Where is he to be found that dareth to
claim to be My equal in utterance or wisdom?
No, by My Lord, the All Merciful! All on the
earth shall pass away; and this is the face of
your Lord, the Almighty, the Well Beloved.
We have decreed, O people, that the highest
and last end of all learning be the recognition
of Him Who is the Object of all knowledge;
and yet, behold how ye have allowed your
learning to shut you out, as by a veil, from Him
Who is the Dayspring of this Light, through
Whom every hidden thing hath been revealed.
Could ye but discover the source whence the
splendor of this utterance is diffused, ye would
cast away the peoples of the world and all that
they possess, and would draw nigh unto this
most blessed Seat of glory.
Bahá’u’lláh’s declaration is in perfect harmony
with the words of the Gospel. When Jesus reinterpreted the purpose of the Sabbath, the Jews
objected. How did Jesus respond? He simply relied
on His authority as the Lord:
Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made
for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son
of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Jesus owned the Sabbath. He was the sovereign
authority, the One who revealed that law. It was
all His, and He could do with it as He pleased.
No Pharisee, no scribe had any right to object.
Bahá’u’lláh manifests the same Spirit that appeared in Jesus. He is the Lord of the Scriptures.
He owns them. He is the One who revealed them.
He can interpret His Word any way He pleases.
If you were a Jew at the time of Jesus, and heard
Him proclaim that He was the Lord of the Sabbath,
what would you say? Please take a moment and
write your response. Writing will make you more
Further, how can any theologian assume that he
is right, when there are several thousand Christian
denominations in the world that disagree even about
the most fundamental truths of the Gospel? Please
ponder the following quotation from a devoted
Christian scholar (Dr. Robert Lightner, Th.D.),
who has written a book in an attempt to bring peace
among warring factions or schools of prophecy:
Through the years, differing methods of biblical
interpretation have led to various explanations
of The Bible’s prophetic passages. And Christians
who may agree on all the essential doctrines of
the faith have been locked in verse by verse
combat over who is right and who is wrong in
the great eschatological debate...You have a right
to know why men of God who agree on all the
essential fundaments of the faith differ so widely
and battle so tenaciously over prophecy.
Why do theologians differ? Dr. Lightner identifies
and explains the following reasons: applying different methods of interpretation, traditionalism,
multiple and diverse understanding of non prophetic truths, current world events such as the birth of
Israel, stubbornness or “bullheadedness,” prejudice,
ignorance, selfishness, spiritual pride, escapist mentality (the desire to escape the pains and sufferings of the great tribulation), martyr complex
(the desire or lack of desire to suffer for Jesus),
overstatements and misrepresentations, honest
exegetical problems, misinterpreting the views
of other scholars, misstating the views of other
Ponder what Jesus said to the literal minded
Pharisees who objected to His divine interpretation and assertion that John the Baptist was the
return of Elijah:
And if you are willing to receive it, he [John
the Baptist] is Elijah who is [prophesied] to
come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
But to what shall I liken this generation? They
are like children sitting in the marketplaces
and calling to their companions, and saying:
“We played the flute for you, and you did not
dance; we mourned to you, and you did not
Christ (Matt. 11:1417)
Do you not see a parallel between Jesus’ description of literal minded Pharisees of yesterday and
Dr. Lightner’s description of Christian interpreters
of today? Do they not act today like children as
they did in the days of Jesus? Does not each school
of prophecy play and dance to a different tune?
If you were living at the time of Jesus and heard
Him say that John the Baptist was the return of
Elijah, would you not object? Would you not say,
“Elijah must come from heaven,” as you say,
“Christ must come from heaven”? What evidence
did Jesus present to prove His statement that John
the Baptist was the second coming of Elijah, except His own divine authority? Once again, the
literal minded Pharisees could have denied Jesus
for this reason alone. For, according to Hebrew
Scriptures, Elijah went to heaven. If He went to
heaven physically, he must have come down from
heaven physically. As you know, that did not hap
pen. Once again, we can see why we are told,
“the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” How
can we see the fulfillment of Hebrew Scriptures
about the second coming of Elijah before Christ?
Through spiritual eyes. For as St. Paul said, the
Word of God must be spiritually discerned.
Remember the past; human nature does not change.
How was St. Paul, the great teacher, treated?
Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and
baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving
that Jesus is the Christ He talked and debated
with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill
Acts 9:22, 29
Observe how history repeats itself. Over 20,000
followers of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh willingly
offered their lives as a testimony to their Lord at
the hands of the same kind of people who killed
The list Dr. Lightner offers reminds us of a truth
everyone knows and experiences almost every
day: Human beings are fallible and subject to
every weakness imaginable. Please respond to
If biblical interpreters, who have been raised in
the same faith, suffer from so many handicaps
in relation to The Bible, a Book they have read
all their lives, can they claim freedom from those
same handicaps when they face God’s interpretation of His own Word in a new Book they
have never read?
If biblical interpreters suffer from prejudice,
stubbornness, ignorance, and all the other weak
nesses in relation to scholars educated in their
own faith, can they be free from those same
weaknesses when they encounter an interpretation offered by their new Redeemer?
Did not the Pharisees suffer from the same weak
nesses? What makes the people of this age different? Should not the realization of this truth make
every interpreter of prophecy as humble as a child?
This is the kind of humility and innocence we need
to become worthy of God and His Kingdom:
Let the little children come to me, and do not
hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven be
longs to such as these.
Christ (Matt. 19:14)
Humility is the key to the Kingdom of Heaven;
without it, every door remains closed:
Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your
paths; guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is
in you all day long...He guides the humble in
what is right and teaches them his way.
Psalms 25:45, 9
Deliver me, O Lord, I beseech thee...The Lord
preserves the simple hearted; I was brought
low and he saved me.
Psalms 116:4, 6
Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you
who do what he commands. Seek righteousness,
seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on
the day of the Lord’s anger.
...the Lord has anointed me to preach good
news to the poor [the meek].
See also Luke 4:18
Can you be humble if you start with the assumption that you are right, and that no evidence can
convince you to change your position? Only by
being humble can we find God:
Humble thyself before Me, that I may graciously visit thee.
Humility is the wing that lifts hearts to heaven.
Without it, we remain wrapped in utter darkness.
Every soul that walketh humbly with its God,
in this Day, and cleaveth unto Him, shall find
itself invested with the honor and glory of all
goodly names and stations.
O thou dear one! Impoverish thyself, that thou
mayest enter the high court of riches; and
humble thy body, that thou mayest drink from
the river of glory
They who are the beloved of God, in whatever
place they gather and whomsoever they may
meet, must evince, in their attitude towards God,
and in the manner of their celebration of His
praise and glory, such humility and submissiveness that every atom of the dust beneath their
feet may attest the depth of their devotion.
Humility exalteth man to the heaven of glory
and power, whilst pride abaseth him to the
depths of wretchedness and degradation.
At the dawning of every dispensation, people fail
to recognize the divine Teachers, because they
refuse to listen to new Knowledge with humility.
What would happen if they did not claim the
position of infallibility, if they believed in this
selfevident truth: “Maybe we are wrong”?
Had they sought with a humble mind from the
Manifestations of God in every Dispensation
the true meaning of these words revealed in
the sacred books they surely would have
been guided to the light of the Sun of Truth,
and would have discovered the mysteries of
divine knowledge and wisdom.
There is no haven, no place to hide or rest. We
must stand with utter humility before God:
Wert thou to speed through the immensity of
space and traverse the expanse of heaven, yet
thou wouldst find no rest save in submission
to Our command and humbleness before Our
Please remember this promise of Jesus:
People will come from east and west and north
and south, and will take their places at the
feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are
those who are last who will be first, and first
who will be last.
See also Mark 10:31; Matthew 19:30; 20:16
Who are the last people who will be first in the
Kingdom of God? The humble ones who refrain
from making an assumption of infallibility about
their knowledge, for they know it is human to err,
it is human to misinterpret the Word of God. Who
are the first who will be last? The self assured and
closed hearted ones, who say, “I am confident of
my scriptural position. I know my literal interpretation is sound. I will continue to wait and wish
to see Jesus Christ on the clouds.” In the First
Advent, the last in the eyes of people were tax
collectors and harlots; the first in the eyes of
people were the elite religious leaders. Was not this
prophecy fulfilled also in the First Advent of Jesus?
This shows the awesome powers of humility and
pride. The first leads to the presence of God, the
second to His absence.
I invite you with all my heart and soul to read the
Writings of Bahá’u’lláh with an open heart, detached
from all preconceived notions, empty from all
theological theories you have learned. Only then
will you be ready to recognize the Spirit of Truth
in the Glory of God, Bahá’u’lláh. Only then will
you hear the voice of Jesus in every sentence that
Bahá’u’lláh utters. I have enclosed a copy of The
Book of Certitude and a copy of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Epistle to Christians for your investigation. Ponder
what Bahá’u’lláh declares in The Book of Certitude
concerning the requirement of recognizing Him.
Please read this statement repeatedly until its truth
penetrates and shines in your innermost soul:
No man shall attain the shores of the ocean of
true understanding except he be detached from
all that is in heaven and on earth. Sanctify your
souls, O ye peoples of the world, that haply ye
may attain that station which God hath destined
The essence of these words is this: they that
tread the path of faith, they that thirst for the
wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of
all that is earthly their ears from idle talk,
their minds from vain imaginings, their hearts
from worldly affections, their eyes from that
which perisheth. They should put their trust in
God, and, holding fast unto Him, follow in His
way. Then will they be made worthy of the
effulgent glories of the sun of divine knowledge
and understanding, and become the recipients
of a grace that is infinite and unseen, inasmuch
as man can never hope to attain unto the
knowledge of the All Glorious, can never quaff
from the stream of divine knowledge and wisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality,
nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and
favor, unless and until he ceases to regard the
words and deeds of mortal men as a standard
for the true understanding and recognition of
God and His Prophets.
Bahá’u’lláh asks you to detach yourself from every
thing you have learned. Because if you start with
the assumption that your learning is the absolute
truth, then you begin searching not for truth but
for “reasons” to justify your beliefs and to discredit Bahá’u’lláh, exactly as the Pharisees did to
Do not put your eternal destiny in the hands of the
theologians from whom you have learned your
interpretation of the Word of God, who in turn
have learned their interpretation from those before
them. Repetition creates tradition, and tradition
masquerades as truth. Theologians come and go;
they change their views but the Word of God
stands forever. May I ask you to put everything
you have learned aside for only a few weeks, and
to start reading the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh as if you
were born on this day. The information that you
have gained in the past interferes with hearing the
voice of Bahá’u’lláh just as certain wavelengths
interfere with a voice coming from a radio station.
Only by shutting out those multiple voices can
you truly hear the divine voice in Bahá’u’lláh.
Please read this sentence from the preceding pas
sage once again and ponder its meaning:
man can never hope to enter the abode of
immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine
nearness and favor, unless and until he ceases
to regard the words and deeds of mortal men
as a standard for the true understanding and
recognition of God and His Prophets.
As long as you use as your standard of judgment
“the words and deeds” of fallible human beings,
you will be unable to recognize Bahá’u’lláh as the
promised Savior and Redeemer of our time.
Ponder how precisely Christ’s statement to the
Pharisees applies today to the masses of Christians:
You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own
Christ (Mark 7:9)
Before reading any further, take a piece of paper
and list the commandments that the Pharisees set
aside, and the traditions that they followed.
What are the commandments of the Gospel for
Seek and search with all your heart and soul;
watch and investigate (Matt. 7:7).
Do not judge the meaning of prophecies on your
own. Do not depend on your private personal
interpretation (II Peter 1:20).
Recognize that the Word of God must be discerned spiritually. The letter kills, but the spirit
gives life (II Cor. 3:6).
Pray fervently (I Thess. 5:17).
Are you practicing these four commandments? If
not, why not? Please compare your position with
that of the Pharisees:
They paid no attention to what Jesus said. They
either ignored Him or opposed Him without any
They judged the meaning of prophecies on their
own terms. They depended on their private, personal interpretation.
They were literal minded. They did not believe that the Word of God must be discerned
They did not pray for guidance, because they
were sure they were right.
On many occasions you have turned to God,
prayed, and hoped to be worthy of entering the
Kingdom of Heaven. Note the condition Jesus set
for attaining that blessed hope:
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,”
will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he
who does the will of my Father
Christ (Matt. 7:21)
If you walk in the way of Pharisees by following
“the traditions of men,” if you fail to set aside
that which tradition has imprinted on your heart,
and if you continue to believe what fallible people
like you and me have discovered and presented as
the truth, have you obeyed God’s Will?
Consider this example of tradition among the
people of Israel. Many Old Testament prophecies
indicated that the Jewish Messiah would be a king.
Not once is the word “spiritual” mentioned in any
of them. Why was it not used? I have never seen
Christian theologians answer this question. All
that the Jews needed was the insertion of the
word “spiritual” before the word “king.” Instead
of saying that the Messiah would be a king, or a
king like David, the prophecies could have simply
said, “He will be a spiritual king.” But why didn’t
they? Bahá’u’lláh tells us the reason. He states
that God uses symbolic language to test the
sincerity of the believers. This strategy worked
perfectly in the First Advent. That strategy is
accomplishing the same purpose in the Second
Advent. Many Christians are stumbling on the
same test: failing to jump from the literal to the
spiritual, from the letter to the Spirit.
Did Jesus in His First Advent fulfill all the Hebrew
prophecies literally? In Lord of Lords I have offered numerous examples to show that He did not.
Let me quote one of them here. Chapter 53 of
Isaiah is devoted entirely to Jesus, especially to
His suffering. Virtually every significant book of
prophecy attributes that chapter to the First Advent
of Jesus. Here is a verse from that chapter:
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and
cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes
his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring
and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord
will prosper in his hand.
The NEB translation reads “so shall he [the Messiah]
enjoy long life and see his children’s children.” As
we know, Jesus neither enjoyed a long life nor had
any children. Obviously the prophecy refers to the
spiritual life and the spiritual children of Jesus.
But why is the word “spiritual” not included in the
prophecy? Christian theologians take the word
“offspring” symbolically. They believe that it refers
to the church. Once again a Jew in search for
truth must be humble and open minded, otherwise
he or she can readily turn this one prophecy into
a stumbling block and fall. (For further examples,
please see Lord of Lords.)
Why then use double standards? If Jesus in His
first advent did not fulfill all prophecies literally,
why should He in His second advent? Who decided
that God should or will change His standards?
“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ saith the
God in His infinite Wisdom endows His great
Messengers with the most convincing evidence.
But He also leaves room for those who look for
excuses to say no to them. He wants to separate
the sincere from the insincere, the daring from
the fearful. If anyone looks for excuses to deny
Bahá’u’lláh, he or she can find many, among them
are the thousands of books written by theologians
about the meaning of prophecies, the hundreds of
friends who warn him or her, and the millions of
other Christians with their personal and private
beliefs and expectations.
The Jews did not have a definitive statement concerning their right to interpret the Word of God.
Perhaps we can excuse them. What about Christians? Are they not clearly commanded to wait for
the Lord to come and reveal the mysteries to
them? Do they not also have the lesson of the
First Advent to learn from?
Still another advantage Christians have over the
Jews is the number of prophecies about the Second
Advent. According to Christian scholars there are
about six times more prophecies about the Second
Advent than about the First. All of them have
been fulfilled by the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, either
literally or spiritually. I invite you once again to
read I Shall Come Again, which took me, along
with the other five volumes in the series, over
thirty years to write.
How can you ignore, with a clear conscience, the
fulfillment of 1,800 prophecies in the advent of
the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh? How can you brush aside
all these proofs by the power of tradition? How
can you feel comfortable disobeying the commandments of the Gospels?
Questions and Comments
Perhaps you have never had the Good News of
Jesus Christ adequately explained to you. I will
try to do so now, and since you are an investigator of the truth, I hope you will find the Way, the
Truth, and the Life.
Jesus came, born of a virgin, when the Holy
Spirit overshadowed Mary and she became pregnant. This Jesus is fully God and yet fully human.
In theological circles, it is called the incarnation.
He lived a blameless life and was without sin.
Not only did He teach the truth of God and our
relationship with God with words, but He also
demonstrated God’s presence and power through
the many miracles He performed.
Jesus knew what lay ahead of Him regarding His
death, for that was why He had come. We are
separated from God by our sin and the only way
to bridge the distance between God and humanity
is through the atoning and substitutionary death of
Jesus on the cross. Jesus became a curse for us by
hanging on the cross and somehow taking upon
Himself the sins of the world. He could do this
because He was sinless and could be the righteous
sacrifice to take away our sins and allow us to
draw near to God.
His death on the cross cleared the way so that we
can receive the forgiveness of our sins by placing
our faith in Jesus. It is by faith that we are saved
and not works, for our works can never be enough
to make us right with God.
Jesus’ resurrection, both physically and spiritually,
gives us hope for both today and the future, for we
will be with Him for eternity to share with Him
as coheirs of our heavenly Father. If there is no
physical resurrection, then faith in Jesus is a false
hope, for He said He would rise and to not have
done so makes Jesus a liar.
If you have any questions about being a disciple
of Jesus, please write or call me.
You have invited me to be a disciple of Jesus. I
assure you with all my heart and soul that I am
as much a disciple of Jesus as that of Bahá’u’lláh.
Is it by chance or by divine destiny that, at the
time when I am writing this letter, I had a dream
that responds to your invitation? Last night I found
myself in a crowd. I spoke with several people on
topics I cannot remember. Then I found myself in
a meeting sitting next to a Christian who invited
me, as you have, to accept Jesus Christ. In response,
I made this clear and emphatic statement: “No
one in the world loves Jesus Christ more than I
do.” After saying this, I woke up. That is why I
can remember my response so well.
As you know, we believe Bahá’u’lláh is the return
of Christ. Then how can a Bahá’í not love Jesus
Christ as much as he or she loves Bahá’u’lláh?
Recently a Bahá’í friend of mine said that he
would freely give his life for Bahá’u’lláh. I asked
if he would make the same offer to Jesus. He
responded with a firm, “Yes!” He then explained
that to be willing to die for one and not the other
is hypocrisy. We believe that Christ and Bahá’u’lláh
are one, that they differ only in their names and
physical forms and features. One received the title
of Christ, which means the Anointed One, the
other Bahá’u’lláh, which means the Glory of God.
The same Spirit was, is, and always will be present
in both of them.
When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was in New York City, some
one asked Him, “Are not all Christians Bahá’ís? Is
there any difference?” This is how He answered:
When Christians act according to the teachings
of Christ, they are called Bahá’ís. For the
foundations of Christianity and the religion of
Bahá’u’lláh are one. The foundations of all the
divine Prophets and Holy Books are one. The
difference among them is one of terminology
only. Each springtime is identical with the
former springtime. The distinction between
them is only one of the calendar 1911, 1912
and so on. The difference between a Christian
and a Bahá’í, therefore, is this: There was a
former springtime, and there is a springtime
now. No other difference exists because the
foundations are the same. Whoever acts completely in accordance with the teachings of
Christ is a Bahá’í. The purpose is the essential
meaning of Christian, not the mere word. The
purpose is the sun itself and not the dawning
points. For though the sun is one sun, its dawning points are many. We must not adore the
dawning points but worship the sun. We must
adore the reality of religion and not blindly
cling to the appellation Christianity. The Sun of
Reality must be worshipped and followed. We
must seek the fragrance of the rose from what
ever bush it is blooming whether oriental or
western. Be seekers of light, no matter from
which lantern it shines forth. Be not lovers of
the lantern. At one time the light has shone
from a lantern in the East, now in the West.
If it comes from North, South, from whatever
direction it proceeds, follow the light.
Here ‘Abdu’l-Bahá declares that if Christians practiced the teachings of the Gospels, there would be
no need for a new Revelation:
If the followers of the Lord Christ had continued
to follow out these principles with steadfast
faithfulness, there would have been no need
for a renewal of the Christian Message, no
necessity for a reawakening of His people, for
a great and glorious civilization would now be
ruling the world and the Kingdom of Heaven
would have come on earth.
You state that perhaps the Good News of Jesus
Christ is not adequately explained to me. Let me
assure you once again that I believe that Christ is
the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Before accepting
the Bahá’í Faith my parents were of the Jewish
Faith; they did not believe in Jesus. Once they
recognized Bahá’u’lláh, they also accepted Jesus
as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Had they not
investigated the Bahá’í Faith, the divine station
of Jesus Christ would, most likely, still be hidden
I give my parents much credit for giving me the
gift of an open heart and mind. Instead of forcing
me to accept a set of beliefs, they encouraged me
to look at all great religions. Their attitude of
impartiality gave me a sense of freedom to think
for myself and do my own search. Had they not
encouraged this freedom, I might still be denying
the divine station of Jesus.
Please respond to this question as fairly as you
can: What would have been your chances of being
a disciple of Christ if you had been born to an
orthodox Jewish family in Israel? Just think about
this one question as long as you can. Your answer
may open your heart to Bahá’u’lláh.
Bahá’u’lláh has brought the sweetest and most
luscious fruits of spirit peace, love, and joy. He
has fulfilled hundreds of literal prophecies. Further,
He endured imprisonment and exile for almost
forty years to show His sincerity and dedication
to the divine. He has told us what is yet to come.
What, then, is holding you back from acknowledging Him? The only thing I can think of is your
private, personal interpretation of prophecies. Is
this not what held the Pharisees back? Should not
their example be a lesson for us? If you believe
your theology and your interpretation of the Scriptures are correct, please answer these questions:
Are you infallible?
Which of the hundreds of interpretations offered
by Christian theologians is correct? Which school
of interpretation should we follow? And how can
we know which one offers the truth?
Why do you violate the command of the Scriptures that you should leave the explanation of
mysteries to the Lord? Is it wise to allow your
theological theories or positions to prevent you
from acknowledging the greatest gift that God
bestows on humankind? If you were asked in the
next Kingdom, “Why did you deny Bahá’u’lláh?”
what would you say? Would you say, “He did
not conform to my theological positions”? Would
you say “I depended on scholars who had more
knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic”?
Consider the past. Even a law as simple as the
law of the Sabbath needed interpretation. The
Jews had developed all kinds of misconceptions
about what they could or could not do on the
Sabbath. Only Jesus had the wisdom to clarify
and interpret that law for them. He taught them
to be spiritual minded rather than literal minded.
He showed them that holier than “serving” the
Sabbath is serving a sick person. They suffered
from the same disease most people have today:
thinking mostly in literal terms.
Interpretation of prophecies is much more difficult
than interpretation of doctrines. For prophecies,
like dreams, are often couched in metaphors and
symbols. You are well aware that Christian theologians have changed, and will continue to change,
their position on various doctrines. Consider the
following acknowledgment from a denomination:
As regular readers of this magazine know, the
Worldwide Church of God, sponsor of The Plain
Truth, has changed its position on numerous
Long held beliefs and practices during the past
Our flawed doctrinal understanding clouded
the plain gospel of Jesus Christ and led to a
variety of wrong conclusions and unscriptural
practices. We have much to repent of and
We were judgmental and self righteous
condemning other Christians, calling them “so
called Christians” and labeling them “deceived”
and “instruments of Satan.”
Hundreds of millions of copies of The Plain Truth
were distributed throughout the world. When the
leadership in the denomination changed, so did
“the plain truth” into another version of “truth!”
To show that such misjudgments are not unique,
the magazine published a long list of apologies
from many other denominations.
The news media recently reported that the Church
of England has changed its position on hell. It no
longer believes in physical fire and torture. It
finds the traditional concept of hell appalling, for
it can damage the impressionable minds of young
people. One of the members who produced the
report continues to disagree with the report! He
still believes in literal fire!
Such changes of position should surprise no
one. They document a fact we know too well: It
is human to err and fall short of the glory of
God (Romans 3:23). As you know, Bahá’u’lláh
means the Glory of God. The point is this: If
the theologians the boards of directors who
run denominations make such critical errors about
the doctrines of the church, how can they be so
confident of their interpretation of prophecies,
which are far more difficult to decode than doc
trines? Should not this observation alone lead
them to a state of absolute humility? Do they not
transgress their limits when they insist on the
accuracy of their literal thinking?
To transgress the limits of one’s own rank and
station is, in no wise, permissible. The integrity
of every rank and station must needs be pre
served. By this is meant that every created thing
should be viewed in the light of the station it
hath been ordained to occupy.
I am writing this response because of my love for
you and for all humankind. To judge you or look
down upon you or anyone else is contrary to my
fundamental beliefs. I know deep in my heart and
soul that if it was not for the spiritual environment
my parents provided, I would most likely be standing among the ranks of deniers, among those who
have failed to recognize Bahá’u’lláh. I sympathize
with you and am well aware of the immense obstacles you face in recognizing the Heavenly Thief
in this gloomy night of confusion, complacency,
and conformity. As a psychologist, I am well aware
of the power of emotions in human life. I am also
aware of the social consequences of accepting a new
religion. All these obstacles make the recognition
of a new Manifestation a most challenging task.
But the difficulties in the path of the search for
truth do not take away our supreme responsibilities
to God. Recognizing a new Redeemer is a most
heroic act. All such acts require courage, detachment, and dedication. The Beauty of God was
manifest in Jesus with full splendor. That same
Beauty is now manifest in Bahá’u’lláh. God has
given to every soul the capacity to recognize His
awesome and unmistakable Splendor. In His court
of justice, no one can present any reason, any
excuses for failing to recognize His supreme glory
and power. Ponder the divine authority with
which Bahá’u’lláh speaks:
Tear asunder, in My Name, the veils that have
grievously blinded your vision, and, through
the power born of your belief in the unity of
God, scatter the idols of vain imitation. Enter,
then, the holy paradise of the good pleasure
of the All Merciful. Sanctify your souls from
whatsoever is not of God, and taste ye the
sweetness of rest within the pale of His vast
and mighty Revelation, and beneath the
shadow of His supreme and infallible authority. Suffer not yourselves to be wrapt in
the dense veils of your selfish desires, inasmuch as I have perfected in every one of you
My creation, so that the excellence of My
handiwork may be fully revealed unto men. It
follows, therefore, that every man hath been,
and will continue to be, able of himself to
appreciate the Beauty of God, the Glorified.
Had he not been endowed with such a capacity, how could he be called to account for
his failure? If, in the Day when all the
peoples of the earth will be gathered together,
any man should, whilst standing in the presence of God, be asked: “Wherefore hast thou disbelieved in My Beauty and turned away
from My Self,” and if such a man should
reply and say: “Inasmuch as all men have
erred, and none hath been found willing to
turn his face to the Truth, I, too, following
their example, have grievously failed to recognize the Beauty of the Eternal,” such a plea
will, assuredly, be rejected. For the faith of
no man can be conditioned by any one except
Please read the preceding passage again and
again. Read it carefully, think about every word,
every sentence, and every thought; think about the
answer you will give to God, when you are asked,
“Why did you deny Bahá’u’lláh?” If possible,
write down your answer. Writing will make you
You have received the knowledge of the new
Revelation. With that knowledge comes an awe
some accountability before God:
But the one who does not know and does
things deserving punishment will be beaten
with few blows. From everyone who has been
given much, much will be demanded; and from
the one who has been entrusted with much,
much more will be asked.
Christ (Luke 12:48)
See also John 15:22
Bahá’u’lláh invites you and all the truth lovers to
come to His beautiful garden. He asks you to come
to the paradise of His presence, to behold the
Beauty of the Beloved, and breathe the fragrance
of the everlasting Flower. This is the most awe
some, the most glorious, and the most joyous
news the human race has ever heard:
He Who is the Best Beloved is come! He hath
crowned Himself with the glory of God’s Rev
elation, and hath unlocked to the face of men
the doors of His ancient Paradise. Let all eyes
rejoice, and let every ear be gladdened, for
now is the time to gaze on His beauty, now is
the fit time to hearken to His voice. Proclaim
unto every longing lover: “Behold, your Well
Beloved hath come among men!” and to the
messengers of the Monarch of love impart the
tidings: “Lo, the Adored One hath appeared
arrayed in the fullness of His glory!” O lovers
of His beauty! Turn the anguish of your separation from Him into the joy of an everlasting
reunion, and let the sweetness of His presence
dissolve the bitterness of your remoteness from
Behold how the manifold grace of God, which
is being showered from the clouds of Divine
glory, hath, in this day, encompassed the world.
For whereas in days past every lover besought
and searched after his Beloved, it is the Be
loved Himself Who now is calling His lovers
and is inviting them to attain His presence.
Take heed lest ye forfeit so precious a favor;
beware lest ye belittle so remarkable a token
of His grace. Abandon not the incorruptible
benefits, and be not content with that which
perisheth. Lift up the veil that obscureth your
vision, and dispel the darkness with which it
is enveloped, that ye may gaze on the naked
beauty of the Beloved’s face, may behold that
which no eye hath beheld, and hear that which
no ear hath heard.
Hear Me, ye mortal birds! In the Rose Garden
of changeless splendor a Flower hath begun to
bloom, compared to which every other flower
is but a thorn, and before the brightness of
Whose glory the very essence of beauty must
pale and wither. Arise, therefore, and, with the
whole enthusiasm of your hearts, with all the
eagerness of your souls, the full fervor of your
will, and the concentrated efforts of your entire
being, strive to attain the paradise of His presence, and endeavor to inhale the fragrance of
the incorruptible Flower, to breathe the sweet
savors of holiness, and to obtain a portion of
this perfume of celestial glory. Whoso followeth
this counsel will break his chains asunder...will
attain unto his heart’s desire, and will surrender his soul into the hands of his Beloved.
Bursting through his cage, he will, even as the
bird of the spirit, wing his flight to his holy
and everlasting nest.
Night hath succeeded day, and day hath succeeded night, and the hours and moments of
your lives have come and gone, and yet none
of you hath, for one instant, consented to detach himself from that which perisheth. Bestir
yourselves, that the brief moments that are still
yours may not be dissipated and lost. Even as
the swiftness of lightning your days shall pass,
and your bodies shall be laid to rest beneath
a canopy of dust. What can ye then achieve?
How can ye atone for your past failure?
The everlasting Candle shineth in its naked
glory. Behold how it hath consumed every
mortal veil. O ye mothlike lovers of His light!
Brave every danger, and consecrate your souls
to its consuming flame. O ye that thirst after
Him! Strip yourselves of every earthly affection,
and hasten to embrace your Beloved. With a
zest that none can equal make haste to attain
unto Him. The Flower, thus far hidden from the
sight of men, is unveiled to your eyes. In the
open radiance of His glory He standeth before
you. His voice summoneth all the holy and
sanctified beings to come and be united with
Him. Happy is he that turneth thereunto; well
is it with him that hath attained, and gazed on
the light of so wondrous a countenance.
Note the authority with which Bahá’u’lláh speaks.
Do you not hear the Voice of God in His Voice?
Say: O concourse of priests! Leave the bells,
and come forth, then, from your churches. It
behooveth you, in this day, to proclaim aloud
the Most Great Name among the nations.
Prefer ye to be silent, whilst every stone and
every tree shouteth aloud: “The Lord is come
in His great glory!”?...He that summoneth men
in My name is, verily, of Me, and he will show
forth that which is beyond the power of all
that are on earth...Let the Breeze of God awaken
you. Verily, it hath wafted over the world.
Well is it with him that hath discovered the
fragrance thereof and been accounted among
the wellassured O concourse of priests! The
Day of Reckoning hath appeared, the Day
whereon He Who was in heaven hath come.
He, verily, is the One Whom ye were promised
in the Books of God, the Holy, the Almighty,
the All Praised. How long will ye wander in
the wilderness of heedlessness and superstition? Turn with your hearts in the direction of
your Lord, the Forgiving, the Generous.
Please recite these verses again and again:
Wake up!...I will come like a thief.
Christ (Rev. 3:23)
Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he
who stays awake...
Christ (Rev. 16:15)
After reciting them, ask yourself: “Why did Christ
say, ‘Wake up’? ‘Wake up’ from what?” Once
again ask yourself, “Why did Christ say, ‘I will
come like a thief’”? A thief comes in disguise!
What is the disguise? Could it be His human
form, which conceals His divine glory?
‘Abdu’l-Bahá indicates that Jesus, in His First
Advent, also came on the clouds. When Jesus said
He came from heaven, the Jews objected (John
6:42). Why did they object? Because the clouds
of His physical form concealed His true reality:
The capacities of His [Jesus’] human body
were limited but the strength of His spirit was
vast, infinite, immeasurable the body of His
humanity was a cloud that hid His Divinity.
The world only saw His human form, and
therefore wondered how He could have “come
down from Heaven.”
May the world be for you no obstacle hiding
the truth from your sight, as the human body
of Christ hid His Divinity from the people of
I hope and pray that this response will awaken you
from the popular dream of “being suddenly raptured to heaven” cherished by many Christians. I
hope it will awaken you from the dream that there
is not much that you can do except keep waiting
and wishing. I hope it will help you realize that
God will never take our freedom of choice away
from us, that He will always allow us to accept
or reject His truth. I hope it will move you away
from “the clouds” of seeking and finding safety in
numbers. I hope it will lift “the veil of the letters”
and let you see “the shining light of the spirit.” I
hope it will awaken you from the ancient dream
of assuming that salvation can be found in only
one of the names of God, only in Christ (the
Anointed One of God), but not in another name
of God, Bahá’u’lláh (the Glory of God).
Dear friend, the Heavenly Thief has come! He invites you to search for Him. If you fail to look
for Him, you will not find Him:
...unto them that look for him shall he appear
the second time...
In your letter you indicated that you are sure you
are following the truth and you need not look
beyond the parameter of your present beliefs.
Please ponder for a few moments. Put yourself in
the place of devout Pharisees at the time of Jesus.
They were as sure of the correctness of their
theology as you are. What was the consequence?
Their sense of certainty ”I am sure I am right
and no one can tell me otherwise” closed their
hearts and minds. They looked at Jesus but did not
really see Him. They listened to His Word but did
not really hear Him. They had only one interest:
to prove Him wrong. “You may hear, and hear,
but you will never understand” declared Jesus
(Matt.13:14). They allowed their sense of certainty
to deprive them of divine knowledge. You may be
sure in your heart that Bahá’u’lláh is not the true
Return of Christ. But does your sense of certainty
make you right? It does not, for this reason:
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes...
All the ways of a man are pure in his own
Note how the Qur’án confirms the same principle.
To those who denied Him, Muhammad said:
They have taken the devils as their masters,
yet they believe they are guided.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’u’lláh’s Son and authorized
Interpreter of His teachings, after His release from
prison came to the United States to proclaim the
Advent and the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. In a talk
delivered on August 6, 1912, in New York City,
He discussed the same point:
When Christ appeared with those marvelous
breaths of the Holy Spirit, the children of Israel
said, “We are quite independent of him; we can
do without him and follow Moses; we have a
book and in it are found the teachings of God;
what need, therefore, have we of this man?”
Christ said to them, “The book sufficeth you
not.” Is it possible for a man to hold to a book
of medicine and say, “I have no need of a doc
tor; I will act according to the book; in it every
disease is named, all symptoms are explained,
the diagnosis of each ailment is completely
written out, and a prescription for each malady
is furnished; therefore, why do I need a doctor”?
This is sheer ignorance. A physician is needed
to prescribe. Through his skill the principles of
the book are correctly and effectively applied
until the patient is restored to health. Christ
was a heavenly Physician. He brought spiritual
health and healing into the world. Bahá’u’lláh
is, likewise, a divine Physician. He has revealed
prescriptions for removing disease from the body
politic and has remedied human conditions by
Therefore, mere knowledge is not sufficient for
complete human attainment. The teachings of the
Holy Books need a heavenly power and divine
potency to carry them out. A house is not built
by mere acquaintance with the plans. Money
must be forthcoming; volition is necessary to
construct it; a carpenter must be employed in
its erection. It is not enough to say, “The plan
and purpose of this house are very good; I will
live in it.” There are no walls of protection,
there is no roof of shelter in this mere statement; the house must be actually built before
we can live in it.
Briefly, the teachings of the Holy Books need
a divine potency to complete their accomplishment in human hearts.
Many Christians who hear about Bahá’u’lláh refuse
to investigate His claim, saying, “I am quite comfortable with my beliefs.” The implication is this:
“I already have the truth. Why should I look else
where?” Once again, let us go back to the time
of Jesus. As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stated, the Pharisees
also felt content with what they had. They believed
they were full of truth and wisdom. But what did
Jesus tell them?
Woe to you who are well fed now, for you
will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
Bahá’u’lláh offers a similar warning to “infidels,”
the ones who deny His divine glory:
The souls of the infidels, however, shall and
to this I bear witness when breathing their last
be made aware of the good things that have
escaped them, and shall bemoan their plight,
and shall humble themselves before God.
One’s sense of contentment is extremely deceptive.
No one should use it as an excuse for a failure
to investigate God’s new Redeemers. Indeed, a
prophecy predicts this prevailing sense of ease and
contentment among the peoples of the world, and
God’s anger at their complacency:
I am very angry with nations that feel secure
[at ease, NEB].
In the Book of Revelation, Christ refers to the
same sense of contentment and complacency. The
following passage is not about material riches, but
Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become
wealthy, and have need of nothing’ I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the
fire, that you may be rich; and white garments,
that you may be clothed, that the shame of
your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint
your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As
many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. There
fore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at
the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice
and opens the door, I will come in to him and
dine with him, and he with Me. To him who
overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My
throne, as I also overcame and sat down with
My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Repent from what? From complacency, from
thinking that one is rich, when one is poor. Jesus
declares that He knocks on the door of our hearts.
He promises to invite us in, exactly as Bahá’u’lláh
does. He asks us to hear His voice, exactly as
Bahá’u’lláh does. Then He states, “To him who
overcomes ” Overcomes what? His sense of
complacency, his belief that he is rich. The pre
ceding verse is addressed specifically to those who
say, “I feel quite comfortable with my beliefs,” to
those who are spiritually poor yet believe them
selves to be rich. Pharisees were rebuked for the
But woe to you who are rich, for you have
received your consolation [comfort or relief].
Christ (Luke 6:24)
A person who feels he has received his consolation will not look beyond his comfort zone. This
sense of complacency is dangerous; it is like being
drugged. Several prophecies predict that the people
of our time will be drunk:
the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated.
Christ (Rev. 17:2)
Drunken are the eyes of those men that have
openly refused to behold the face of God, the
All Glorious, the All Praised.
A drunk person feels comfortable and even exhilarated, and yet he is at risk, because of his lack of
awareness. A selfsatisfied believer is like a person
who dreams of being lifted to heaven, then suddenly
wakes up when faced with the humbling reality.
As it is said, the moment we feel we are ripe, we
begin to rot. It is our sense of poverty that moves
us forward, not our sense of complacency:
The essence of understanding is to testify to
one’s poverty, and submit to the Will of the
Lord, the Sovereign, the Gracious, the All
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven.
Christ (Matt. 5:3)
This station is the dying from self and the living in God, the being poor in self and rich in
the Desired One. Poverty signifieth being poor
in the things of the created world, rich in the
things of God’s world.
This state is that poverty of which it is said,
“Poverty is My glory.”
As we noted, Christ said “woe” to the Pharisees
who laughed, and felt comfortable and rich, but
He blessed those humble souls who mourned,
who were not complacent and selfsatisfied.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be
Christ (Matt. 5:4)
What a person thinks may have no roots in reality.
Were not the Pharisees sure of having eternal life?
In the following verse Jesus refers to this illusion:
You diligently study the Scriptures because you
think that by them you possess eternal life.
These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
They thought that just by reading their Scriptures,
and by going to their synagogues and listening to
their rabbis they had received the master key to
the gate of heaven. They would not even listen to
the words of Jesus. The similarities between the
way the Pharisees believed and behaved and the
way most Christians believe and behave today are
What message do these verses convey?
While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house,
many tax collectors and sinners were eating with
him and his disciples, for there were many who
followed him. When the teachers of the law who
were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners
and tax collectors, they asked his disciples:
“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It
is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the
sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but
Who were “the righteous”? They were the self
righteous Pharisees. A righteous person is as much
in need of God as a sinner. What happens to the
medicine given to a sick person who believes
himself to be in perfect health? Is it wise to offer
advice to the one who is sick of hearing it? Jesus
wanted to help the hearts that thirsted for His living waters, the souls that mourned because of
their separation from God, and sought the comfort
of His presence; not the ones who felt satiated and
selfsatisfied, not the ones who were immersed in
the surging seas of dreams, illusions, and fantasies.
Building our spiritual lives on our sense of contentment is laying the foundation of our eternal
destiny on sand. As you know, Jesus compared
the state of the world at His coming to the days
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be
at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the
days before the flood, people were eating and
drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up
to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew
nothing about what would happen until the
flood came and took them all away. That is
how it will be at the coming of the Son of
Like most of us today, people in Noah’s time were
busy and contented with what they had. If not,
they would have paid attention to the invitation to
come on board.
When excited passengers stepped onto the Titanic,
did they know their destiny? Were they not sure
they were stepping onto the safest ship in the
world? Were they not surrounded by exquisite
luxuries? Did they not feel content and comfort
able in that gigantic vessel?
To see the uppermost limits of the human potential
for deception, consider the example of the Romans
who threw the Christians before hungry lions. Were
they not content with their state of mind? Did they
not think they were enjoying a sport, just having
fun getting rid of a few “worthless” Christians? As
the helpless believers were torn and devoured, they
laughed and shouted in excitement. Surely this
example is extreme, yet it dramatizes the grave
dangers of complacency and selfsatisfaction. It
demonstrates the awesome powers of selfdeception
in human beings.
The zealous and fanatical Muslims who recently
hung ten innocent Bahá’í women in Iran were sure
they were doing the will of God. Whatever we do
appears right in our eyes. “Every way of a man is
right in his own eyes” (Proverbs 21:2). The power
behind this possibility making everything look
right to us is our imagination, which can be
controlled, manipulated, shaped, and reshaped in
We all feel comfortable in our comfort zone; that
is to be expected, otherwise we will look elsewhere.
But God wants us to be daring, to step out. That
is what the parable of the talent teaches (Matt.
25:1430). Our Creator wants us to invest our
potential, even if it means taking a risk.
Was not Peter comfortable with his beliefs as a
Jew? Was it not the biggest risk to follow a poor
man named Jesus instead of a prestigious Jewish
leader called Annas? Nothing can be more dangerous than feeling comfortable with what we have
and refusing to look beyond.
We are all prisoners of our selfimposed limitations and surroundings. The problem is this: Until
we have stepped out, we do not know we are
prisoners. Unless we are awakened, we do not
know we are dreaming.
Perhaps the most deadly and common disease
afflicting the church today is complacency. It is
especially severe among today’s evangelical Christians. The disease can be recognized by any or all
of the following symptoms:
I am right, and no one can tell me otherwise.
I am the first.
I know I am saved, and I do not need to investigate any belief beyond my own.
What happens to those who believe, without investigating any other faith, that they are the favored
ones, that they are the first? Fortunately, we have
Jesus’ own response:
So the last will be first, and the first will be
Why would the first become the last for any reason
other than by becoming lulled by complacency
and selfsatisfaction, a feeling that would keep
their hearts and minds closed? And why would the
last become the first for any reason other than
humility a virtue that would keep their minds
and hearts open to the news of the coming of the
Master, the Thief who comes from above?
How astonishing it will be for those who have believed themselves to be the first, but suddenly, at
the point of death, find themselves to be the last!
Many Christian authors declare that the church is
afflicted with complacency, yet those same authors
refuse to awaken to the call of Bahá’u’lláh. They
manifest the same malady that they attribute to the
church! They detect it in the institution but not in
Consider the following prayer. Ponder how
Bahá’u’lláh refers to His own selflessness before
God and then asks God to help us, so that we
may feel the same way toward the Manifestation
of God, Bahá’u’lláh Himself:
Lauded be Thy name, O my God! I am so
carried away by the breezes blowing from Thy
presence that I have forgotten my self and all
that I possess. This is but a sign of the wonders
of Thy grace and bountiful favors vouchsafed
unto me. I give praise to Thee, O my God, that
Thou hast chosen me out of all Thy creatures,
and made me to be the DaySpring of Thy
strength and the Manifestation of Thy might,
and empowered me to reveal such of Thy signs
and such tokens of Thy majesty and power as
none, whether in Thy heaven or on Thy earth,
Uncover before them, O my Lord, the majesty
of Thy Cause, lest they be led to doubt Thy
sovereignty and the power of Thy might. I swear
by Thy glory, O Thou Who art the Beloved of
the worlds! Had they been aware of Thy power
they would of a certainty have refused to utter
what Thou didst not ordain for them in the
heaven of Thy will.
Inspire them, O my Lord, with a sense of their
own powerlessness before Him Who is the
Manifestation of Thy Self, and teach them to
recognize the poverty of their own nature in
the face of the manifold tokens of Thy self
sufficiency and riches, that they may gather
together round Thy Cause, and cling to the
hem of Thy mercy, and cleave to the cord of
the good pleasure of Thy will. Thou art the Lord
of the worlds, and of all those who show mercy,
art the Most Merciful.
Our sense of contentment is not a reliable compass
by which to direct the course of our eternal destiny.
What then is the standard by which we can know
the truth? That standard is reason; only reason can
separate truth from falsehood. There is no other
dependable way. That is what St. Paul used in
synagogues, when he preached the Message of
Jesus to the Jews:
...he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
Our Creator invites us to use our minds, to apply
the power of reasoning He has given us:
“Come now, and let us reason together,” saith
What did Jesus mean by this promise?
For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which
all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.
Can utterance have any power without the support
of reason? Can “wisdom” be unreasonable? What
is it that people cannot refute? It is the power of
proof. If I am wrong, show me by evidence how
and why I am wrong. This is your divine duty:
Always be prepared to give an answer to every
one who asks you to give the reason for the
hope that you have. But do this with gentleness
I Peter 3:15
May I invite you to read I Shall Come Again?
That volume presents 16 time prophecies from the
Bible that point to the time of the Second Advent
of Christ. All of them point to the same exact
year: 1844, when the Báb declared the dawning of
the Day of the Lord. That volume alone will resolve
at least 90 percent of your questions about the
prophecies of the Second Advent and their fulfillment by the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. That is only one
of several volumes containing biblical prophecies
fulfilled by the Bahá’í Faith.
In that work, I have used the laws of chance to
prove that fulfillment of hundreds of literal prophecies in the lives of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh could
not have happened by chance. Christian scholars
have used the same procedure to prove the divine
station of Jesus. If one is true, cannot the other be
true? Why accept the prophecies about the First
Advent and deny those about the Second? As mentioned in I Shall Come Again, the “probability
figure” for the fulfillment of literal prophecies
about the advent of the Bahá’í Revelation is
. This figure equals 4.10
times the estimated number of elementary particles in the
known universe! What more do you expect?
May I invite you to devote some of your time to
the study of Bahá’u’lláh’s works? Only by reading
His Word can you hear the divine Voice; you will
hear it in every sentence He utters. Can anyone
recognize the divine station of Jesus without reading and pondering His Word? How then can you
recognize Bahá’u’lláh if you fail to listen to His
Voice? Have you ever heard anyone speak with the
authority with which Bahá’u’lláh speaks? Please
read and ponder these verses by Him:
The Word which the Son concealed is made
manifest. It hath been sent down in the form
of the human temple in this day. Blessed be the
Lord Who is the Father! He, verily, is come
unto the nations in His most great majesty. Turn
your faces towards Him, O concourse of the
righteous...This is the day whereon the Rock
(Peter) crieth out and shouteth, and celebrateth
the praise of its Lord, the AllPossessing, the
Most High, saying: “Lo! The Father is come,
and that which ye were promised in the Kingdom is fulfilled!...” My body longeth for the
cross, and Mine head waiteth the thrust of the
spear, in the path of the All Merciful, that the
world may be purged from its transgressions...
I am the One Whom the tongue of Isaiah hath
extolled, the One with Whose name both the
Torah and the Evangel were adorned. The glory
of Sinai hath hastened to circle round the Day
Spring of this Revelation, while from the heights
of the Kingdom the voice of the Son of God
is heard proclaiming: “Bestir yourselves, ye
proud ones of the earth, and hasten ye towards
Him.” Carmel hath in this day hastened in
longing adoration to attain His court, whilst
from the heart of Zion there cometh the cry:
“The promise of all ages is now fulfilled. That
which had been announced in the holy writ of
God, the Beloved, the Most High, is made
manifest.” By the one true God, Elijah hath
hastened unto My court and hath circumambulated in the daytime and in the night season
My throne of glory. Solomon in all his majesty
circles in adoration around Me in this day,
uttering this most exalted word: “I have turned
my face towards Thy face, O Thou omnipotent
Ruler of the world! I am wholly detached from
all things pertaining unto me, and yearn for
that which Thou dost possess.”
O people, if ye deny these verses, by what
proof have ye believed in God? Produce it, O
assemblage of false ones. Nay, by the One in
Whose hand is my soul, they are not, and
never shall be able to do this, even should they
combine to assist one another.
Please listen to Bahá’u’lláh’s “Voice” with all
your heart and soul to see if you hear the voice
of God, the same voice that you hear in Jesus:
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them,
and they follow me.
Christ (John 10:27)
How can you remain unmoved by this incredible
revelation of divine power? How can you ignore its
supreme Author who speaks with such authority?
O My servants! There shineth nothing else in
Mine heart except the unfading light of the
Morn of Divine guidance, and out of My mouth proceedeth naught but the essence of truth,
which the Lord your God hath revealed. Follow
not, therefore, your earthly desires, and violate
not the Covenant of God, nor break your
pledge to Him. With firm determination, with
the whole affection of your heart, and with the
full force of your words, turn ye unto Him,
and walk not in the ways of the foolish.
Seize, O friends, the chance which this Day
offereth you, and deprive not yourselves of the
liberal effusions of His grace. I beseech God
that He may graciously enable every one of you
to adorn himself, in this blessed Day, with the
ornament of pure and holy deeds. He, verily,
doeth whatsoever He willeth.
In conclusion, I urge you not to take Bahá’u’lláh’s
invitation lightly. The consequences of saying
“yes” or “no” are enormous and everlasting. The
following warning applies not only to the First
Advent but to the Second as well:
Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will
also acknowledge him before my Father in
heaven. But whoever disowns me before men,
I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
Christ (Matt. 10:3233)
God is full of grace, but He is also just:
He Who is the Lord of Lords is come over
shadowed with clouds, and the decree hath
been fulfilled by God, the Almighty, the Un
restrained...He, verily, hath again come down
from Heaven even as He came down from it
the first time. Beware that thou dispute not
with Him even as the Pharisees disputed with
Him (Jesus) without a clear token or proof. On
His right hand flow the living waters of grace,
and on His left the choice Wine of justice...
The One who was born as a Báby declared:
I have come down from heaven...
Christ (John 6:38)
Could He not make that same claim the second
I have come in the shadows of the clouds of
This is your Lord the Glory of God the Logos,
the One whose Word you have preached and
glorified, to whom you have prayed day and
night. This is the same Word, once made flesh in
the name of Jesus, whose Return you and all
Christians have been expecting for 2,000 years.
How did the people treat Him? They exiled Him,
put Him in prison, shut the doors on Him, and
began to slaughter His followers! The world was
prevented from seeing Him and knowing Him.
Note how clearly this is prophesied:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give
you another Counselor to be with you forever
the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept
him, because it neither sees him nor knows
Ponder this brief passage from Bahá’u’lláh’s
Prayers and Meditations, written while He was an
exile in the Holy Land, in a prison He called the
Most Great Prison:
They finally banished Him from the land of His
birth, and caused Him to dwell within the most
desolate of Thy cities, though all the world had
been built up by Thee for His sake. Within this,
the Most Great Prison, He hath established His
seat. Though sore tried by trials, the like of
which the eye of creation hath not seen, He
summoneth the people unto Thee, O Thou Who
art the Fashioner of the universe!
Observe Bahá’u’lláh’s supreme patience and love
for God and for all human beings:
As these tribulations, however, were sustained
in Thy path and for love of Thee, they who
were afflicted by them render thanks, under all
conditions, unto Thee, and say: “O Thou Who
art the Delight of our hearts and the Object of
our adoration! Were the clouds of Thy decree
to rain down upon us the darts of affliction,
we would, in our love for Thee, refuse to be
impatient. We would yield Thee praise and
thanksgiving, for we have recognized and are
persuaded that Thou hast ordained only that
which will be best for us. If our bodies be, at
times, weighed down by our troubles, yet our
souls rejoice with exceeding gladness. We swear
by Thy might, O Thou Who art the Desire of
our hearts and the Exultation of our souls!
Every trouble that toucheth us in our love for
Thee is an evidence of Thy tender mercy, every
fiery ordeal a sign of the brightness of Thy light,
every woeful tribulation a cooling draught,
every toil a blissful repose, every anguish a
fountain of gladness.”
Whosoever, O my Lord, is impatient in the
tribulations befalling him in Thy path, hath not
drunk of the cup of Thy love nor tasted of the
sweetness of Thy remembrance...
The tenderness of Thy mercy, O my Lord,
surpasseth the fury of Thy wrath and Thy
grace excelleth Thy justice...
I swear by Thy might, O my God! Wert Thou
to regard Thy servants according to their deserts
in Thy days, they would assuredly merit naught
except Thy chastisement and torment. Thou art,
however, the One Who is of great bounteousness, Whose grace is immense. Look not down
upon them, O my God, with the glance of Thy
justice, but rather with the eyes of Thy tender
compassions and mercies. Do, then, with them
according to what beseemeth Thy generosity
and bountiful favor. Potent art Thou to do
whatsoever may please Thee. Incomparable art
Thou. No God is there beside Thee, the Lord of
the throne on high and of earth below, the Ruler
of this world and of the world to come. Thou
art the God of Bounty, the EverForgiving, the
Great Giver, the Most Generous.
Bahá’u’lláh has fulfilled every promise made in the
Scriptures. He has come with every conceivable
evidence. The only thing He has not done is agree
with your interpretation. Is it prudent to deny Him
for that reason?
The most burning fire is to question the signs
of God, to dispute idly that which He hath
revealed, to deny Him and carry one’s self
proudly before Him.
If Bahá’u’lláh is, indeed, the return of Christ and
you deny Him, you will deprive yourself of the
most abundant grace and the most exalted glory
and honor that God may bestow on human beings.
Please take your time to read with an open mind
at least one of Bahá’u’lláh’s works available in
English. I will be delighted to send you as many
volumes as you are willing to read.
Please read this passage from Bahá’u’lláh every
day. Ponder its profound meaning, and consider
the love and compassion He expresses for you
and for every sincere Christian:
O concourse of Christians! We have, on a previous occasion, revealed Ourself unto you, and
ye recognized Me not. This is yet another
occasion vouchsafed unto you. This is the Day
of God; turn ye unto Him...The Beloved One
loveth not that ye be consumed with the fire
of your desires. Were ye to be shut out as by
a veil from Him, this would be for no other
reason than your own waywardness and ignorance. Ye make mention of Me, and know
Me not. Ye call upon Me, and are heedless
of My Revelation....O people of the Gospel!
They who were not in the Kingdom have now
entered it, whilst We behold you, in this day,
tarrying at the gate. Rend the veils asunder by
the power of your Lord, the Almighty, the All
Bounteous, and enter, then, in My name My
Kingdom. Thus biddeth you He Who desireth
for you everlasting life...We behold you, O
children of the Kingdom, in darkness. This,
verily, beseemeth you not. Are ye, in the face
of the Light, fearful because of your deeds?
Direct yourselves towards Him...Verily, He
(Jesus) said: “Come ye after Me, and I will
make you to become fishers of men.” In this
day, however, We say: “Come ye after Me,
that We may make you to become quickeners
[lifegivers] of mankind.”
Bahá’u’lláh states that on another occasion He
revealed Himself to you. He is referring, of course,
to His First Advent as Jesus, the Spirit of God.
We know Jesus revealed Himself to Jews, not to
Christians. Why, then, does Bahá’u’lláh state that
in His First Advent He came to Christians? Because
those who live at the dawning of divine Messengers believe and behave the same way. They are
the same kind of people with the same attitudes,
needs, biases, and weaknesses. Jesus spoke in the
same way. When addressing an audience of Jews,
He said, “It was because your hearts were hard
that Moses wrote you this law” (Mark 10:5), as
if the listeners had lived at the time of Moses,
some 1,500 years earlier. God has a unique way
of expressing Himself, quite distinguished from
ours. Failure to recognize this difference is the
root cause of much suffering.
Jesus reminded the Pharisees that the people of
low status, such as tax collectors and prostitutes,
entered the Kingdom of God, while they hesitated
(Matt. 21:31). Bahá’u’lláh presents a similar message. He wants to move Christians out of their
composure and comfort zone into the Kingdom of
Please read the preceding passage again and again
and try to remember if you have ever heard or seen
anyone speak in that way. Think about almost
15,000 days of Bahá’u’lláh’s ministry (1852
1892), during which He endured every adversity
imaginable. Read the preceding passage in that
context, with a heart pure from personal desires
and concerns. If you do this, you will discern in
every sentence the power of God and His exalted
dominion. In every word, you will discover His
limitless love and supreme compassion. In every
phrase you will see the face of God glowing with
the splendor of the sun. Please continue to read
the passage until its power penetrates “the clouds”
on which Christ is promised to come, until it
opens your heart and soul to this most splendid
revelation of God’s glory and power.
Let me, with a heart filled with love, appeal to
your desire for eternal life with the Lord. Let me
ask you once again to continue your investigation
of Bahá’u’lláh. Let me encourage you to read one
of His books and listen with your heart and soul
to see if His Voice sounds familiar. What harm
can come from reading? Take Gleanings from
the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. Every night, before
going to bed, read only 10 pages until you come
to the last page. As you read, follow Christ’s ad
monition that you should pray in order to become
worthy of standing before Him when He returns
(Luke 21:36). Ask God to guide you, to help you
know if Bahá’u’lláh is the One you have been
waiting for. As you read, also ask yourself,
“Could any human being speak like this?” The
Voice of God in Bahá’u’lláh’s Works is so loud
and clear, you will not be able to ignore it. You
must completely close your inner hearing to pre
vent yourself from hearing that Voice.
Every tree, every leaf, every atom declares this
message: “Don’t cling to the past, a new Day has
dawned. Don’t cling to the branches, a new rose
has sprung. Don’t cling to the letter, the Spirit has
come.” Millions of Jews are still clinging to the
past. They stop at Moses and the prophets. What
benefit have they gained from waiting and wishing? What benefits can you gain from closing
your heart to Bahá’u’lláh?
The spiritual choice we make now will continue
into the life beyond and for all eternity. Is it wise
to take this choice lightly, without a thorough investigation, without doing everything within our power
to see if Bahá’u’lláh is the One He claims to be?
Come, Lord Jesus.
He, verily, is come with His Kingdom, and all
the atoms cry aloud: “Lo! The Lord is come
in His great majesty!”
In conclusion, let me quote a warning from
Bahá’u’lláh. It is addressed to you and to every
other resident of this planet:
We have a fixed time for you, O peoples. If ye
fail, at the appointed hour, to turn towards
God, He, verily, will lay violent hold on you,
and will cause grievous afflictions to assail
you from every direction. How severe, indeed,
is the chastisement with which your Lord will
then chastise you!
Every individual should say, “Sooner or later, the
appointed Hour will come. Am I willing to ignore
this warning as if I never heard it?” Every truth
seeker and lover of God should ask, “Am I willing
to face the consequences of my negligence? Am
I willing to fail to do my share in preventing the
grievous afflictions that await the human race?”
These are the most urgent questions everyone must
ask. For the consequences of not asking them are
enormous, especially for those who have a chance
to make a difference, but fail to do so.
Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art
summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded,
shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called
to give account for thy deeds.
Let me invite you to act by the principles declared
in a verse that summarizes the spirit of all the
And what does the Lord require of you? To act
justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly
with your God.
To act justly requires you to examine, as an impartial judge, the astonishing evidence Bahá’u’lláh
presents to prove His divine declaration.
To love mercy requires you to have compassion for
your soul and the souls of all Christians who look
up to you for spiritual inspiration and guidance.
To walk humbly with your God requires you to
acknowledge your utter helplessness in unveiling
“that which is hidden in darkness.” It requires you
to say, “I am a sinner and a fallible servant of God.
How can I be sure that I am right, when I know I
have been wrong so many times about so many
things, in so many ways? How can I be sure which
prophecy is literal, which prophecy is symbolic?”
To walk humbly with your God requires you to
listen with all your heart and soul to the Voice of
the divine as it speaks through Bahá’u’lláh the
long awaited return of the Son in the glory of His
Father. For the evidence He presents to prove His
divine station is unparalleled in all history.
In the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:1430),
Jesus compares Himself with a King who goes on
a long journey. Upon His return, He discovers that
one of His servants, instead of investing his God
given “talents,” has hidden them in the ground.
When asked to explain his reason for not investing his talents, he says, “I was afraid.” The King
rejects his response, for it shows an absence of
faith. The King rebukes him for allowing his eternal destiny to be controlled by unjustified fears.
The following story supplements the message of
Jesus’ parable. It shows the resistance many Christians display today to their King, who has now
completed His long journey and returned.
A young couple were separated during World
War II. While the father was gone, the mother
gave birth to a Báby girl. The months passed
and the mother kept a large picture of her
husband on the desk so that the little girl would
grow up knowing what her daddy looked like.
She learned to say “Daddy” and associated the
name with the picture on the desk. Finally the
day came when her father returned home from
the war. The whole family gathered to watch
the little girl when she saw her father for the
first time. Imagine their disappointment when
she would have nothing whatever to do with
him. Instead, she ran to the photograph on the
desk, saying, “That’s my daddy.” Day after day
the family had to blink back the tears as they
saw the young father on his knees trying his
best to get acquainted with his little daughter,
explaining as simply as he could that he was
her daddy. But each time she would shake her
head, then run to the picture on the desk and
exclaim, “That’s my daddy.” This went on for
some time, but one day something happened.
The little girl, having gone repeatedly to the
picture on the desk, returned to her father and
looked carefully into his face. Then she went
back to the picture on the desk and studied it.
The family held their breath. After several trips
the little face lit up as the child exclaimed
excitedly, “They’re both the same daddy!”
How long will Christians continue to look at the
drawings of Jesus upon the walls of their homes
and houses of worship before turning their faces
to their King who has now returned from His long
journey? How long before they will open their
hearts and their souls to the glory that awaits them?
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any
one hears My voice and opens the door, I will
come in to him and dine with him, and he with
Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit
with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and
sat down with My Father on His throne. He
who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
says to the churches.
Christ (Rev. 3:2022)
Open the doors of your hearts We, in truth,
have opened unto you the gates of the Kingdom He Who is the Desired One is come in
His transcendent majesty. Say, Lo! The Father
is come, and that which ye were promised in
the Kingdom is fulfilled!
Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait
for their master, when he will return from the
wedding, that when he comes and knocks
they may open to him immediately. Blessed
are those servants whom the master, when he
comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to
you that he will gird himself and have them sit
down to eat, and will come and serve them.
Christ (Luke 12:3537)
This response is getting too long. What more needs
to be said? Let me conclude my comments and
thank you once again for reading and responding
to my book. I have the highest admiration for you
and for all those who serve God. I offer you my
deepest gratitude and warmest greetings for taking
time from your busy schedule to study a religion
other than your own, a practice quite uncommon
among pastors and religious teachers and leaders.
I will be honored to hear from you and to continue
the correspondence as long as love, hope, reason,
and patience endure.
May the world be for you no obstacle hiding
the truth from your sight, as the human body
of Christ hid His Divinity from the people of
May your days be filled with jewels of joy and
grace, and your life be crowned with service to
The Hour of His Judgment Has Come
I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt
not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Christ (Rev. 3:3)
The Hour which We had concealed from the
knowledge of the peoples of the earth...hath
come to pass.
Bahá’u’lláh’s Tablet to Christians
Bahá’u’lláh wrote an Epistle containing His strongest and most urgent appeals to Christians to
investigate His claim. This chapter contains most
of Bahá’u’lláh’s Epistle called The Most Holy
Tablet along with biblical references offered by
the present author in the footnotes. You may wish
to read the Epistle twice, once without looking at
the footnotes and again with the footnotes.
As you read it, see if you can remember anyone
who has spoken with the power and authority
with which Bahá’u’lláh speaks. Look through any
sacred Scripture and see if you can find any epistle
like it. It is endowed with an unprecedented
power and authority. Only God speaks in this
Fear, emotionalism, and attachment to names and
numbers cause two shortcircuits; one in the heart,
the other in the mind. The shortcircuit in our
hearts prevents us from responding with our
“spiritual instinct” to the Word of God. The short
circuit in our minds prevents us from reasoning or
thinking in a rational way. Mending these short
circuits are the two challenges every seeker of
The Word of God is so supreme, so distinguished,
that it shines as brightly as the sun. Can anyone
with good eyes fail to see the sun? Bahá’u’lláh
testifies to the distinction of divine Word:
Behold, how lofty is the station, and how con
summate the virtue, of these verses which He
hath declared to be His surest testimony, His
infallible proof, the evidence of His allsubduing
power, and a revelation of the potency of His
will. He, the divine King, hath proclaimed the
undisputed supremacy of the verses of His
Book over all things that testify to His truth.
For compared with all other proofs and tokens,
the divinely revealed verses shine as the sun,
whilst all others are as stars. To the peoples of
the world they are the abiding testimony, the
incontrovertible proof, the shining light of the
ideal King. Their excellence is unrivaled, their
virtue nothing can surpass. They are the treasury
of the divine pearls and the depository of the
divine mysteries Through them floweth the
river of divine knowledge, and gloweth the fire
of His ancient and consummate wisdom.
Bahá’u’lláh did not attend school, yet He wrote the
equivalent of a hundred volumes, without hesitation or a change of mind! This is not a secret or
private miracle, but one visible for all to see for
Once again, Bahá’u’lláh points to the Word of God
as the ultimate evidence:
Therefore, should a person arise and bring
forth a myriad verses, discourses, epistles,
and prayers, none of which have been acquired
through learning, what conceivable excuse could
justify those that reject them, and deprive
themselves of the potency of their grace? What
answer could they give when once their soul
hath ascended and departed from its gloomy
temple? Could they seek to justify themselves
by saying: “We have clung to a certain tradition,
and not having beheld the literal fulfillment
thereof, we have therefore kept remote from
the law of God?”
Read the following Epistle from Bahá’u’lláh with
your heart and soul. Ponder its meaning. Allow
your “spiritual instinct” to respond. Let your soul
bask in its beauty, power, and uniqueness. Try to
remember if you have ever heard or seen any
human being speak in this language.
The Most Holy Tablet
In the name of the Lord, the Lord of great
Say, O followers of the Son!
Have ye shut
out yourselves from Me by reason of My
Name? Wherefore ponder ye not in your
hearts? Day and night ye have been calling
upon your Lord, the Omnipotent, but when He
[Bahá’u’lláh] came from the heaven of eternity
in His great glory, ye turned aside from him...
Consider those who rejected the Spirit
He came unto them with manifest dominion.
How numerous the Pharisees who had secluded
themselves in synagogues in His name, lamenting over their separation from Him, and yet
when the portals of reunion were flung open
...they disbelieved in God, the Exalted, the
Mighty. They failed to attain His presence,
notwithstanding that His advent had been
promised them in the Book of Isaiah as well as
in the Books of the Prophets and the Messengers. No one from among them turned his face
The footnotes do not belong to the original text. They
are added by this author as an aid to those who may wish
to study the links between Bahá’u’lláh’s Words and the
3. Perhaps a reference to the passage: “No one knows the
Son [Jesus] except the Father...” (Matt. 11:27).
4. The Spirit of God, a title bestowed on Christ, in both the
Islamic and the Bahá’í Scriptures.
towards the Dayspring of divine bounty except
such as were destitute of any power amongst
men. And yet, today, every man endowed with
power and invested with sovereignty prideth
himself on His Name. Moreover, call thou to
mind the one who sentenced Jesus to death.
He was the most learned of His age in His own
whilst he who was only a fisherman
believed in Him. Take good heed and be of
them that observe the warning.
...We, verily, have come for your sakes, and
have borne the misfortunes of the world for
your salvation. Flee ye the One Who hath
sacrificed His life that ye may be quickened?
Fear God, O followers of the Spirit, and walk
not in the footsteps of every divine [religious
leader] that hath gone far astray. Do ye imagine
that He seeketh His own interests, when He
hath, at all times, been threatened by the swords
of the enemies; or that He seeketh the vanities
5. Most likely Bahá’u’lláh refers to Annas, who was the
most prestigious, influential, and learned religious leader
among the Jews at the time of Jesus. He served as the
high priest and had several sons who also occupied that
position. His soninlaw (Caiaphas) was the presiding
high priest at the trial of Jesus. Because of Annas’
prestige, Jesus was first led to him for a preliminary trial
and then to Caiaphas. Annas and Caiaphas pronounced
the same verdict: death. Caiaphas said: “it is better for
you that one man die for the people than that the whole
nation perish” (John 11:50).
of the world, after He hath been imprisoned in
the most desolate of cities? Be fair in your
judgment and follow not the footsteps of the
...Say: We, in truth, have opened unto you the
gates of the Kingdom. Will ye bar the doors
of your houses in My face? This indeed is
naught but a grievous error. He, verily, hath
again come down from heaven, even as He
came down from it the first time.
ye dispute that which He proclaimeth, even as
the people before you disputed His utterances.
Thus instructeth you the True One, could ye
but perceive it.
...the Burning Bush calleth aloud: “He Who is
the Desired One is come in His transcendent
majesty.” Say, Lo! The Father is come,
that which ye were promised in the Kingdom
is fulfilled! This is the Word which the Son
concealed, when to those around Him He said:
“Ye cannot bear it now.”
And when the appointed time was fulfilled and the Hour had
7. Most likely Bahá’u’lláh refers to these verses:
I [Jesus] have come down from heaven, not to do my
own will, but the will of him who sent me...They [the
Jews] said, “Surely this is Jesus son of Joseph; we
know his father and mother. How can he now say, ‘I
have come down from heaven?’” (John 6:38,42).
8. “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his
Father...” (Matthew 16:27).
9. “I [Jesus] have yet many things to say unto you, but ye
cannot bear them now” (John 16:12).
struck, the Word shone forth above the horizon
of the Will of God. Beware, O followers of
the Son, that ye cast it not behind your backs.
Take ye fast hold of it. Better is this for you
than all that ye possess. Verily He is nigh unto
them that do good. The Hour which We had
concealed from the knowledge of the peoples
of the earth and of the favored angels hath
come to pass.
Say, verily, He hath testified of
Me, and I do testify of Him.
Indeed, He hath
purposed no one other than Me. Unto this
beareth witness every fairminded and under
Though beset with countless afflictions, We
summon the people unto God, the Lord of
names. Say, strive ye to attain that which ye
have been promised in the Books of God, and
walk not in the way of the ignorant. My body
hath endured imprisonment that ye may be
released from the bondage of self. Set your
faces then towards His countenance and follow
10. “I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know
what hour I will come upon thee” (Revelation 3:3, Also
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the
angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”
11. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send
unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which
proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John
not the footsteps of every hostile oppressor.
Verily, He hath consented to be sorely abased
that ye may attain unto glory, and yet, ye are
disporting yourselves in the vale of heedless
ness. He, in truth, liveth in the most desolate
of abodes for your sakes, whilst ye dwell in
...Lo! He is come in the sheltering shadow of
Testimony, invested with conclusive proof and
evidence, and those who truly believe in Him
regard His presence as the embodiment of the
Kingdom of God. Blessed is the man who
turneth towards Him, and woe betide such as
deny or doubt Him.
Announce thou unto the priests: Lo! He Who
is the Ruler is come. Step out from behind the
veil in the name of thy Lord, He Who layeth
low the necks of all men. Proclaim then unto
all mankind the gladtidings of this mighty,
this glorious Revelation. Verily, He Who is the
Spirit of Truth is come to guide you unto all
truth. He speaketh not as prompted by His
own self, but as bidden by Him Who is the
All Knowing, the AllWise.
12. “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you
into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but
whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak...” (John
Say, this is the One Who hath glorified the
and hath exalted His Cause. Cast away,
O peoples of the earth, that which ye have and
take fast hold of that which ye are bidden by
the All powerful, He Who is the Bearer of the
Trust of God. Purge ye your ears and set your
hearts towards Him that ye may hearken to the
most wondrous Call which hath been raised
O concourse of priests! Leave the bells, and
come forth, then, from your churches. It behoveth you, in this day, to proclaim aloud the
Most Great Name among the nations. Prefer ye
to be silent, whilst every stone and every tree
shouteth aloud: “The Lord
is come in His
great glory!”? Well is it with the man who
hasteneth unto Him. Verily, he is numbered
13. “...when he, the Spirit of truth, comes...He will bring
glory to me [Christ]...” (John 16:1314).
The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the
profoundest learning which any mind hath unfolded,
the arts which the ablest hands have produced, the
influence exerted by the most potent of rulers, are but
manifestations of the quickening power released by His
[Jesus’] transcendent, His allpervasive, and
We testify that when He came into the world, He shed
the splendor of His glory upon all created things.
Bahá’u’lláh (Gleanings from the
Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 8586).
14. “Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you
will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who
comes in the name of the Lord’” (Luke 13:35).
among them whose names will be eternally
and who will be mentioned by the
Concourse on High. Thus hath it been decreed
by the Spirit in this wondrous Tablet. He that
summoneth men in My name is, verily, of Me,
and he will show forth that which is beyond
the power of all that are on earth. Follow ye
the Way of the Lord and walk not in the foot
steps of them that are sunk in heedlessness.
Well is it with the slumberer who is stirred by
the Breeze of God and ariseth from amongst
the dead, directing his steps towards the Way
of the Lord. Verily, such a man is regarded, in
the sight of God, the True One, as a jewel
amongst men and is reckoned with the blissful.
Say: In the East the light of His Revelation
hath broken; in the West have appeared the
signs of His dominion.
Ponder this in your
hearts, O people, and be not of those who have
turned a deaf ear to the admonitions of Him
Who is the Almighty, the All Praised. Let the
Breeze of God awaken you. Verily, it hath
wafted over the world. Well is it with him that
hath discovered the fragrance thereof and been
accounted among the wellassured.
O concourse of bishops! Ye are the stars of the
heaven of My knowledge. My mercy desireth
15. Revelation 2:15; 21:27.
16. “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to
the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man”
not that ye should fall upon the earth. My
justice, however, declareth: “This is that which
the Son hath decreed.” And whatsoever hath
proceeded out of His blameless, His truth
speaking, trustworthy mouth, can never be
The bells, verily, peal out My Name,
and lament over Me, but My spirit rejoiceth
with evident gladness. The body of the Loved
One yearneth for the cross, and His head is
eager for the spear in the path of the All
Merciful. The ascendancy of the oppressor can
in no wise deter Him from His purpose. We
have summoned all created things to attain the
presence of thy Lord, the King of all names.
Blessed is the man that hath set his face to
wards God, the Lord of the Day of Reckoning.
O concourse of monks! If ye choose to follow
Me, I will make you heirs of My kingdom; and
if ye transgress against Me, I will, in My long
suffering, endure it patiently, and I, verily, am
the Everforgiving, the All Merciful
I never passed a tree but Mine heart addressed
it saying: “O would that thou wert cut down
in My Name, and My body crucified upon
17. Most likely Bahá’u’lláh refers to this prophecy: “...and
the stars shall fall from heaven...” (Matthew 24:29).
Bahá’u’lláh states that stars symbolize religious leaders.
They “fall” when they fail to turn to the new Source of
Light. For biblical evidence, see In the Clouds of Glory.
Say: Blessed the slumberer who is awakened by
Blessed the lifeless one who is
quickened through My reviving breaths. Blessed
the eye that is solaced by gazing at My beauty.
Blessed the wayfarer who directeth his steps
towards the Tabernacle of My glory and majesty.
Blessed the distressed one who seeketh refuge
beneath the shadow of My canopy. Blessed the
sore athirst who hasteneth to the softflowing
waters of My lovingkindness. Blessed the in
satiate soul who casteth away his selfish desires
for love of Me and taketh his place at the banquet table
which I have sent down from the
18. “Be alert, be wakeful. You do not know when the moment
comes. It is like a man away from home: he has left his
house and put his servants in charge, each with his own
work to do, and he has ordered the doorkeeper to stay
awake. Keep awake, then, for you do not know when the
master of the house is coming. Evening or midnight,
cockcrow or early dawn if he comes suddenly, he
must not find you asleep. And what I say to you, I say
to everyone: Keep awake” (Mark 13:3337).
19. “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a
wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to
those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them
to come, but they refused to come. Then he sent some
more servants and said, “Tell those who have been
invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and
fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is
ready. Come to the wedding banquet.” But they paid no
attention and went off one to his field, another to his
business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them
and killed them” (Matthew 22:26, see also Matthew
“Blessed is the man who will sit at the feast in the
kingdom of God” (Luke 14:15).
heaven of divine bounty for My chosen ones.
Blessed the abased one who layeth fast hold on
the cord of My glory; and the needy one who
entereth beneath the shadow of the Tabernacle
of My wealth. Blessed the ignorant one who
seeketh the fountain of My knowledge; and the
heedless one who cleaveth to the cord of My
remembrance. Blessed the soul that hath been
raised to life through My quickening breath
and hath gained admittance into My heavenly
Kingdom. Blessed the man whom the sweet
savors of reunion with Me have stirred and
caused to draw nigh unto the Dayspring of My
Revelation. Blessed the ear that hath heard and
the tongue that hath borne witness and the eye
that hath seen and recognized the Lord Him
self, in His great glory and majesty, invested
with grandeur and dominion...Upon him rest
My mercy, My lovingkindness, My bounty
and My glory.
Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 917
1. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 183.
2. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 15.
3. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 279.
4. Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 210.
Bahá’í Faith a Brief History
1. Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 41.
2. Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 137.
3. Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 155156.
4. Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 168.
5. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 11.
6. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 1112.
7. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 21.
8. Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 209.
9. Some Answered Questions, p. 30.
10. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 214
11. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 322.
12. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 344.
13. Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 4.
14. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 85
15. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 57.
1. Heeren, Fred. Show Me God, Wheeling, IL: Search
light Publications, 1995, p. 250.
2. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 36.
3. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 4647.
4. The KitábiÍqán, p. 113.
5. Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 61.
6. Unger, Merrill F. Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Chicago:
Moody Press, 1985, p. 430.
7. Tenney, Merrill C. (editor). The Zondervan Pictorial
Bible Dictionary, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Publishing House, 1977, p. 322.
8. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 6.
9. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 8.
10. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 12.
11. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 33.
12. Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 85.
13. Smith, Huston. The World’s Religions, San Francisco:
Harper San Francisco, 1991, p. 237.
14. Reasoning from the Scriptures, Brooklyn: Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 330.
15. Neiman, Carol and Emily Goldman. Afterlife, New
York: Penguin Books, 1994, p. 81.
16. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 24.
17. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 217.
18. Leedom, Tim C. (editor). The Book Your Church
Doesn’t Want You to Read, San Diego: The Truth
Seeker Company, 1993, p. 3.
19. Sours, Michael. Jesus Christ in Sacred Bahá’í Litera
ture, Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 1995, p. 3. (I
am indebted to this source also for offering several
quotations from Bahá’í sacred writings used in this
20. Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 35.
21. The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 98.
22. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 168.
23. The KitábiÍqán, p. 179.
24. Sours, Michael. Jesus Christ in Sacred Bahá’í Literature, Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 1995, p. 78.
25. Sours, Michael. Jesus Christ in Sacred Bahá’í literature, Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 1995, p. 80.
26. The KitábiÍqán, p. 209.
27. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 84.
28. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 176
29. Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 245.
30. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 199.
31. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 256.
32. Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, vol. III, p. 525.
33. Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 66.
34. Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 27.
35. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 15.
36. Longman Dictionary of English, England: Longman
Group Ltd., 1995.
37. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 195.
38. The KitábiÍqán, pp. 2223.
39. The KitábiÍqán, pp. 209210.
40. Some Answered Questions, pp. 152153.
41. Shoghi Effendi. God Passes By, Wilmette, IL: Bahá’í
Publishing Trust. 1957.
42. The DawnBreakers, New York: Bahá’í Publishing
43. Sears, William. Release the Sun, Wilmette, IL:
Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1995.
44. Perkins, Mary. The Hour of the Dawn, Oxford:
George Ronald, 1987.
45. Balyuzi, H.M. Bahá’u’lláh: the King of Glory, Oxford:
George Ronald, 1980.
46. Ruhe, David S. Robe of Light, Oxford: George
47. Perkins, Mary. Day of Glory, Oxford: George
48. Honnold, Annamarie. Vignettes from the Life of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Oxford: George Ronald, 1991.
49. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Memorials of the Faithful, Wilmette,
IL: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1971.
50. Taherzadeh, Adib. The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh,
Oxford: George Ronald.
51. Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 122.
52. Paris Talks, p. 59.
53. Paris Talks, p. 104.
54. Barker, Kenneth (General Editor). The NIV Study
Bible, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Bible Publish
ers, 1985, p. 1617.
55. Reasoning from the Scriptures, Brooklyn: Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 334.
56. Reasoning from the Scriptures, Brooklyn: Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 335.
57. Guggenheim, Bill and Judy. Hello from Heaven, New
York: Bantam Books, 1996, pp. 78.
58. The DawnBreakers, New York: Bahá’í Publishing
Committee, p. 436.
59. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 155.
60. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 161.
61. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 158
62. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 345.
63. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 450.
64. Paris Talks, p. 44.
65. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 395.
66. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 245.
67. Spong, John Shelby. Resurrection: Myth or Reality?,
San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1994.
68. Spong, John Shelby. Resurrection: Myth or Reality?,
San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1994, p. 51.
69. Spong, John Shelby. Resurrection: Myth or Reality?,
San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1994, p. 50.
70. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 459460.
71. Gleason, Archer. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties,
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House,
1982, pp. 367368.
72. Spong, John Shelby. Resurrection Myth or Reality?,
San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1995, p. 40.
73. The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 98.
74. The KitábiAqdas, p. 63.
75. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 14.
76. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 119.
77. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 4647.
78. The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 92.
79. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 6.
80. The KitábiÍqán, p. 23.
81. Bahá’í Prayers, Wilmette, IL: Bahá’í Publishing
Trust, 1991 edition, p. 211.
82. Bruce, F.F. The Hard Sayings of Jesus, Downers
Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983, pp. 4041.
83. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 12.
84. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 34.
85. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 4041.
86. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 45
87. The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, (Arabic), no. 61.
88. The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh (Persian), no. 55.
89. The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh (Persian), no. 62.
90. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 104.
91. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 161.
92. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 65.
93. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 4243.
94. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 119.
95. Bahá’í Prayers, Wilmette, IL: Bahá’í Publishing
Trust, 1991 edition, p. 213.
96. Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 140.
97. The KitábiÍqán, p. 208.
98. Bruce, F. F. The Hard Sayings of Jesus, Downers
Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983, pp. 8384.
99. Paris Talks, p. 48.
100. Bahá’í Prayers, Wilmette, IL: Bahá’í Publishing
Trust, 1991 edition, p. 212.
101. Memorials of the Faithful, pp. 4344.
102. Memorials of the Faithful, pp. 157158.
103. Furútan, A. Stories of Bahá’u’lláh, Oxford: George
Ronald, 1986, pp. 1718.
104. The Story of Mona, Canada: National Spiritual As
sembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada, 1985, pp. 89.
105. World Order, Spring/Summer 1986, p. 32.
106. World Order, Spring/Summer 1986, p. 30.
107. Deepen Magazine, no. 10, vol. 4.1, 1996, pp. 78.
108. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 340.
109. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 285.
110. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 444.
111. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 201.
112. Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 159.
113. Submitters Perspective, March 1996, vol. 12, no. 3.
114. Focus on the Family, May 1996, p. 7.
115. The study was announced by a pastor on Christian
Broadcasting Station in an interview with Dr. Dob
son, October 28, 2002.
116. Bahá’í Prayers, Wilmette, IL: Bahá’í Publishing
Trust, 1991 edition, pp. 212213.
117. Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 12.
118. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 99
119. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 5253.
120. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 212.
121. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 198.
122. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 198.
123. The KitábiAqdas, pp. 5657.
124. Lightner, Robert P. The Last Days Handbook, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990, back cover.
125. Lightner, Robert P. The Last Days Handbook, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990, pp. 156169.
126. The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh (Arabic), no. 42.
127. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 159.
128. The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys, p. 28.
129. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 7.
130. Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 64.
131. The KitábiÍqán, p. 28.
132. The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, (Arabic), no. 40.
133. The KitábiÍqán, pp. 34.
134. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 247248.
135. Paris Talks, p. 32.
136. The Plain Truth, March/April, 1996, p. 1.
137. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 188.
138. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 143.
139. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 319
140. Shoghi Effendi. The Promised Day Is Come, Wilmette,
IL: Bahá’í Publishing Committee, 1951, pp. 101102.
141. Paris Talks, p. 44.
142. Paris Talks, p. 45.
143. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 248249.
144. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 170
145. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 44.
146. Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 155156.
147. The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys, p. 36.
148. The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys, p. 37.
149. Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 4647.
150. The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 8485.
151. Shoghi Effendi. The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh,
Wilmette, IL: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980, p. 105.
152. Bahá’í Prayers, Wilmette, IL: Bahá’í Publishing
Trust, 1991 edition, p. 212.
153. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 328.
154. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 206.
155. The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 83.
156. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 101.
157. Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 200
158. Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 135
159. Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 156.
160. The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 91.
161. The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 27.
162. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 214.
163. The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, (Arabic), no. 31.
164. Graham, Billy. How to Be Born Again, Waco, TX:
Word Books, 1977, p. 105.
165. Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 11.
166. Paris Talks, p. 45.
The Hour of His
Judgment Has Come
1. Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 11.
2. The KitábiÍqán, p. 205.
3. The KitábiÍqán, p. 220.
Appendix I: Bahá’í Scriptures
Available in English
Appendix II: Other Books by the
Available in English
Seek ye out the book of Jehovah and read...
Gleanings from the
Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
The most complete and comprehensive reference
on Bahá’u’lláh’s Works available in English. This
book, which is a compilation from the Writings of
Bahá’u’lláh, covers a wide spectrum of precepts
ranging from the purpose of man’s creation, his
duty and destiny, to the manifold mysteries of
Prayers and Meditations By Bahá’u’lláh
Bahá’u’lláh has left a rich repository of prayers
pertaining to every human hope and aspiration,
dream or desire. Thus, in this dispensation, the
seekers of serenity, guidance, and inspiration can
select and recite prayers and meditations revealed
and blessed by the Pen of the Redeemer of the
age, the revealer of divine Purpose.
Bahá’u’lláh has also written many prayers expressing His own supplication and servitude before
God. Such prayers offer an intimate knowledge of
Bahá’u’lláh’s own self His indomitable spirit,
His unswerving love for the Creator and for humanity, His steadfastness in His claim, His determination before the onrush of adversities, His
absolute trust in God, and His loving counsel to
all those athirst for truth.
The Hidden Word sof Bahá’u’lláh
No other of Bahá’u’lláh’s works so succinctly offers the reader as complete and as representative a
sample of the ethical fruits of the new Revelation
as The Hidden Words. It is a small book filled
with gems, a treasure house of celestial Wisdom,
a divine guide to the unfoldment and ennoblement
of the human spirit.
All the requirements for attaining purity and self
fulfillment are stated in the most exquisite and
lofty language. Everything that the soul must seek
or surrender, everything that a spiritual seeker
must know or must do to direct the course of his
or her spiritual destiny is concisely and clearly
revealed and set forth by the pen of the Supreme
Messenger the Revealer of hidden wisdom and
The Seven Valleys
and the Four Valleys
Perhaps the most mystical of Bahá’u’lláh’s works
available in English. It unfolds and enumerates the
stages of seeker’s journey towards God; revealing,
in a language at once poetic and perplexing, his
potential for attaining perfection and nobility, and
his sublime and celestial destiny, if he but turns
to the light instead of darkness, seeks the gems of
divine wisdom instead of the perishable joys of
flesh, and undertakes to tread the long but wondrous and enchanting path of purification and
Epistle to the
Son of the Wolf
Addressed to a cruel and cunning Muslim clergy
man who, along with his father, inflicted death,
distress, and torment on some of Bahá’u’lláh’s
most beloved and most distinguished disciples.
Though addressed to a symbol of denial, it is a
call to humanity as a whole. This weighty volume
covers and clarifies many illuminating and inspiring arrays of precepts.
The Summons of the Lord of Hosts
Contains some of Bahá’u’lláh’s Epistles or Tablets
addressed to the kings and rulers of the world, to
its religious leaders, and to humanity in general.
These Tablets comprise Bahá’u’lláh’s most emphatic words on His claim and on His station as
the supreme Savior of humankind, the King of
Kings, the Glory of the Lord, the Desire of the
Nations, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of
Peace, the Lord of the Vineyard, Christ returned
in the Glory of the Father, the Inaugurator of the
Cycle of Fulfillment, and the Promised One of all
ages and religions.
The Book of Certitude
This book responds to questions raised by a
seeker of truth. It unseals “the sealed Wine of
mysteries,” and unveils the symbolism and the
essence of all the scriptures of the past, indicates
how the seeker of truth can rise above the prevailing perplexity and confusion, how he or she can
move from doubt to certitude, and from unbelief
It offers proofs of divine Revelation, portrays in
a moving language man’s refusal to accept and
acknowledge, in every age, the gift of divine Guidance, and conveys in a unique tone and style the
dramatic story of the unfoldment of the perennial
Faith of God, the unveiling of the eternal Truth.
Also known as The Kitáb-iÍqán.
Other Bahá’í Writings Available in English By Bahá’u’lláh:
The Most Holy Book
Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh
By the Báb:
Selections from the Writings of the Báb
Some Answered Questions
Foundations of World Unity
The Secret of Divine Civilization
Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
The Promulgation of Universal Peace
A Traveller’s Narrative
Predicting the Advent
of the Bahá’í Faith
That is the day when I come like a thief.
Happy the man who stays awake.
Christ (Rev. 16:15)
Do not let Him find you sleeping. What I
say to you, I say to everyone: “Watch!”
Christ (Mark 13:36)
Did you know that The Bible contains 16 time
prophecies concerning the year of the Second Ad
vent? No wonder so many scholars discovered the
same date. Did you also know that all those 16
prophecies point to the same year: 1844? Bahá’ís
believe that the promise of the Second Advent has
already been fulfilled, precisely as predicted. Christ
did return in 1844, “like a thief,” in a way that the
News of His coming did not draw much attention. And as the Book of Revelation predicts, God
gave Him a new name: Bahá’u’lláh, meaning the
Glory of God.
Obviously we expect you to be very skeptical,
but we invite you to stay spiritually awake, to
I Shall Come Again
“watch,” to pay close attention, and to investigate
this most glorious News. How can you do this?
Start your search by examining the evidence
presented in I Shall Come Again, the first of a
six volume series on the fulfillment of biblical
prophecies by Bahá’u’lláh, the Glory of God.
I Shall Come Again, written after three decades
of research, takes you step by step through 16
prophecies that point to 1844, and hundreds of
other prophecies, concerning the return of Christ.
It proves how these prophecies, without exception, were fulfilled by Bahá’u’lláh (the Glory of
God) and His martyred Herald, the Báb (the
Gate), who appeared in 1844. I Shall Come
Again is one of the most fascinating books of our
time. If you have faith in God’s promises and a
desire to know the truth, you will receive incomparable joy and hope from reading it.
Imagine if the News of the Return of Jesus is
true and you choose not to investigate and not
to know Him! Imagine also if the News of His
Return is true and your investigation leads you
to recognize Him!
I shall come again and receive you to myself,
so that where I am you may be also.
Christ (John 14:3)
“He, verily, is come with His Kingdom, and
all the atoms cry aloud: ‘Lo! The Lord is
come in His great majesty!’” “Behold how
He hath come down from the heaven of His
grace, girded with power and invested with
sovereignty. Is there any doubt concerning
Bahá’u’lláh (the Glory of God)
This volume presents hundreds of biblical prophecies concerning the Central Figures of the Bahá’í
Faith the Báb, Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as well
as Shoghi Effendi (the Guardian of the Bahá’í
Faith), the Universal House of Justice (the supreme
administrative body in the Bahá’í Faith), the Bahá’ís
(the followers of Bahá’u’lláh), the Bahá’í teachings,
and the Book of Bahá’í Laws (The KitábiAqdas).
Lord of Lords presents six fulfillments for Daniel’s
prophecy of 1335, and shows their connection to
the Bahá’í Faith. The book also presents 86 similarities between Jesus and the Báb, who is called
“One like a Son of Man.”
Christian scholars often apply the statistical laws
to the prophecies of Hebrew Scriptures to prove
the divine station of Jesus. Lord of Lords applies
the same laws to the prophecies of both Hebrew
and Christian Scriptures to prove the divine station
of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.
Lord of Lords shows that the probability of biblical prophecies coming true in the Bahá’í Faith by
Lord of Lords
chance alone is about 1 in 10
. The number 10
equal to the number of atoms in the known universe! What does this evidence indicate? It indicates that if anyone could pick a specific atom in
the universe by chance, he could then claim that
The Báblical prophecies fulfilled in the Bahá’í Faith
also happened by chance! The proof presented in
this volume is so compelling it can convince even
the most skeptic seeker!
...the desire of all nations shall come...
He who is the Desired One is come in His
transcendent majesty...Better is this for you
than all ye possess.
Bahá’u’lláh (the Glory of God)
For the Son of man shall come in the glory
of his Father...
Christ (Matthew 16:27)
I have come in the shadows of the clouds of
glory, and am invested by God with invincible
Bahá’u’lláh (the Glory of God)
This is the third of the six volume series. This
volume also presents hundreds of biblical prophecies concerning the advent of the Bahá’í Faith.
King of Kings
Four of its chapters show that, contrary to what
most people both Christians and Jews believe,
The Bible predicts suffering and severe persecution for the Redeemer of our time. King of Kings
also presents many prophecies, in the course of
two chapters, to show that according to both
testaments, the title of the Redeemer of our age
(known to Christians as the Second Coming of
Christ and to the Jews as the Messiah) is “the
Glory of God,” the English translation of the
original title “Bahá’u’lláh.”
A chapter discusses the many reasons why people
deny and persecute their promised Messenger and
Redeemer in every age, and then later claim that
if they had lived at the time of His Advent they
would not be among the deniers!
Many Christians expect the coming of the Anti-christ. King of Kings presents two chapters to
show the fulfillment of this expectation by two
deceptive figures who opposed Bahá’u’lláh, the
Glory of God, with all their might, and tried in
vain to destroy Him and establish themselves as
the Central Figures of the Bahá’í Faith.
I Shall Come Again, Lord of Lords, and King of
Kings prove that once again God has spoken to
humanity, that He has fulfilled His promises, and
has manifested His great glory and power by sending two supreme Messengers and Redeemers
Bahá’u’lláh, and His martyred Herald, the Báb to
guide our bewildered world to unity, peace, and
justice, and to lead our wandering souls to His
heavenly Mansions. Not investigating this Message
of hope and fulfillment is to deprive yourself of
the very source of all wisdom and the very purpose
of coming to this world.
I have come down from heaven...
Christ (John 6:38)
Say, God is my witness! The Promised One
Himself [Bahá’u’lláh] hath come down from
heaven...with the hosts of revelation on His
right, and the angels of inspiration on His
Bahá’u’lláh (the Glory of God)
Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who
Christ (Revelation 16:15)
Blessed the slumberer who is awakened...
Blessed the ear that hath heard, and the eye
that hath seen, and the heart that hath turned
Bahá’u’lláh (the Glory of God)
What do others say about:
I Shall Come Again, Lord of Lords,
King of Kings?
King of Kings?
King of Kings?
King of Kings?
King of Kings?
A scholarly work of meticulous research. Appealing to reason and applying the scientific
method to prophetic scripture, it demonstrates
that God has once again revealed Himself to
humankind and has provided hope for unity
and peace on this planet.
John Paul Vader, M.D.
Author of For the Good of Mankind
A book with a message of hope and fulfillment, a message that can transform our planet
into a place of peace, into a kingdom that has
been the dream and hope of humanity since
the dawn of history...a scholarly, comprehensive, and fascinating work that has been long
overdue. No wonder it took over three decades
to complete it.
Hon. Dorothy W. Nelson
Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
A story with an incredible ending that is made
credible by the sheer weight of evidence. It is
a must for anyone interested in the proofs of
the advent of the Promised One of all ages.
Former Chief of Budget and Planning
Division, International Monetary Fund,
Author of The Earth Is But One Country
a treasure house of great value for both
Bahá’ís and seekers.
Author and Scholar
I am in awe at the extent of research you
Writer and Editor
Your work never fails to astound me. The ef
fort and breadth of your knowledge both of
The Bible and other literature as well as the
depth of your understanding of Bahá’í Scripture is truly amazing. Also, a hallmark of your
work is your thoroughness. Anyone who believes in biblical prophecy, and reads these
volumes with an open mind, cannot fail to be
Dr. Tom Rowe
Professor of Psychology
Your work is the best I’ve seen on biblical
prophecies and proofs of Bahá’u’lláh’s Rev
elation. You offer so much information in
relatively few pages. Your many references
prove clearly the book’s central claim. Your
language is simple and exciting. You take the
reader through a complete spiritual and prophetic adventure. Your approach is modest,
yet dynamic. I pray it will excite all your readers as it has excited me.
Bible Scholar, with a Degree in
Eschatology and Soteriology
There are few works by a single author that
can rival Dr. Motlagh’s in their sheer scope,
depth and thoroughness of scholarship. With
out doubt, future Bahá’ís will thank Dr.
Motlagh for his achievements, that are, in my
opinion, not only astonishing they are heroic.
An important work that will be referenced by
future Bahá’í scholars for millennia to come.
Robert F. Riggs
Aerospace and Marine Scientist, Inventor,
Author of The Apocalypse Unsealed
By writing these volumes Dr. Motlagh has
made a momentous contribution to our un
derstanding of biblical prophecy. As a former
Baptist minister, I urge all Christians to in
vestigate the news of the return of our Lord
as presented in I Shall Come Again, Lord of
Lords, and King of Kings. “Arise, shine, for
your light has come, and the glory of the Lord
rises upon you” (Isa. 60:1).
Former Baptist Minister
Other Books by
the Same Author
On Wings of Destiny is based on a dialogue be
tween two friends. Reading it is like joining a
circle of friends and participating in a “fireside
The prime purpose of the book is to inspire you
and anyone else who values his soul and spiritual
life to recognize that in this world you have an
awesome responsibility: you must choose your
everlasting destiny. That choice has unimaginable consequences that will endure beyond death
for all eternity. Failing to make a choice is also
a choice. This book invites you to make every
effort to discover God’s plan for you and to follow that plan.
On Wings of Destiny shows that the only way
you can attain true joy and happiness in all the
On Wings of
worlds of God is to cultivate your spiritual potential and to draw nearer and nearer to God. If you
value your soul and wish to choose your destiny
in the light of knowledge and freedom, take the
time to listen to this inspiring “fireside chat” to
discover how the Bahá’í teachings can help you
attain contentment, fulfill your life’s purpose, and
discover your divine destiny: Heaven’s most glorious gift to you.
A Messenger of Joy is the most comforting and
positive book ever written on death and the after
life. In consoling and uplifting the souls of the
grieving, it sets a standard that is not likely to be
surpassed for a long time.
This book portrays death as a message of joy and
hope, and not as the news of sorrow and despair.
It lifts the veil to show that death is not the end
of life, but the beginning of an everlasting and
most glorious journey toward God.
A Messenger of Joy
Most people leave their destiny to “chance.” What
ever their parents happen to believe, they believe.
This book shows that our “destiny” is God’s most
precious gift to us. Should we throw this gift to
the wind? Should we allow “chance” rather than
“choice” determine our destiny?
The Bahá’í Faith has come to give us spiritual in
sight and to help us choose our destiny in the light
of reason and true knowledge, rather than in the
darkness of tradition and conformity. The knowledge contained in Choosing Your Destiny can
liberate us from past prejudices and illusions and
set our souls free. It can help us become spiritual
by developing “the divine image” in our soul.
Appendix II: Biblical Prophecies Predicting the
Advent of the Bahá’í Faith
One God, Many Faiths; One Garden, Many
Flowers shows that in God’s garden there are
many fragrant flowers, planted and nourished by
the same Gardener. The Bahá’í Faith has come to
help us recognize the beauty of the garden, the
harmony of the flowers, and the oneness of the
When we realize that we are all one people, on one
planet, under one God, with one common destiny,
the walls of prejudice that divide God’s beautiful
garden will crumble. Only true knowledge and
love can reveal this beauty and bring about this
wonder. The Bahá’í Faith is that knowledge and
that love. It penetrates the hearts and souls of
humankind to dispel all shadows of prejudice and
separation. It connects our hearts and reveals the
beauty and splendor of our souls in the light of
oneness. One God, Many Faiths, One Garden,
Many Flowers offers you the knowledge that can
change your destiny.
One God, Many
Faiths; One Garden,
It is absolutely essential to know why we believe
in Jesus. Where can we find the answer? Only in
the Words of Jesus Himself. Glory of the Son of
fers a brief summary of all the reasons Jesus not
His followers gave to substantiate His claim. This
is a book that every Christian should read. It will
also be of great value to those of the Jewish faith
who have a desire to know the evidence for their
glorious King and Redeemer: Jesus Christ.
This is the sequel to Glory of the Son. It applies
the same standards to Bahá’u’lláh that The Glory
of the Son applies to Jesus Christ.
The Glory of
The Glory of
The book presents 35 standards by which the seeker
of truth can compare the Glory of Jesus with the
Glory of Bahá. It also contains a brief summary
of some of the prophecies about the advent of the
Báb and Bahá’u’lláh as presented in Lord of Lords,
and King of Kings.
True seekers will find this book very convincing,
because it shows the absolute oneness of Jesus
Christ, the Anointed One of God; Bábu’lláh, the
Gate of God; and Bahá’u’lláh, the Glory of God.
It proves that they are identical Celestial Roses,
a Bouquet of beauty and fragrance sent as a gift
from heaven to humankind.
Will Jesus Come from the Sky
or as a Thief?
Be always on the watch!
The day of the Lord will come like a
thief in the night.
I Thess. 5:2
In the mid19th
century many Christian scholars
had discovered that, according to numerous biblical prophecies and promises, Christ would return
in 1844. Thousands of Christians around the world
expected His Return in that year. Why did so many
discover the same date? And what piece of “the
prophetic puzzle” did they miss? Let us explore
this critical question.
Jesus declared that He would return “like a thief.”
He also repeatedly warned us to “Watch!” How
does a thief come? Secretly. A thief does not want
to draw attention to himself. This is his foremost
concern. How can we catch a thief? By being awake
and “watchful,” by “paying attention” to his coming. Jesus’ warning that He would return “like a
thief,” and His recommended strategy for recognizing Him by staying awake and by “watching”
for Him, are complementary:
The warning: I shall come like a thief!
The way to recognize me: Watch, pay close
attention! Do not be complacent!
What, then, did Jesus mean by warning us repeat
edly and emphatically to “Watch!”? He meant:
“Pay close attention to the news of My coming!”
How did Jesus come the first time? Like a thief.
He walked among the Jews. He knew every one
of them, but with a few exceptions, they did not
know Him. Jesus concealed His supreme glory
from “the strangers,” from all those who were
unworthy of seeing the Spirit of God in Him (John
12:40), from all those who “may look and look
but see nothing” (Mark 10:12). Only the spiritually sighted paid close attention to Him, only
they “watched” with their hearts and souls, and
only they saw the glory of God in Him. Jesus did
not allow the spiritually blind to witness His divine glory.
By the vivid expression “like a thief” Jesus instructs us to expect a repetition of the way He
came the first time. He further confirms this fact
by predicting that people will respond to the News
of His coming the same way that they responded
to the News of the coming of Noah. They will
be complacent, non-attentive, negligent, and spiritually asleep!
What piece of “the prophetic puzzle” did Christians (who expected the Return of Christ in 1844)
miss? The same “piece” that the Jews had missed
18 centuries earlier and are still missing! That
piece is the word “SPIRIT:”
The “missing piece” for Jews:
He will come as a “king” means: “His
Spirit will come as a king.”
The “missing piece” for Christians:
He will come from heaven means:
“His Spirit will come from heaven.”
Jesus Himself decoded the word “sky” or “heaven”
several times. Compare the following two verses,
one from Jesus Christ, the Anointed One of God;
the other from Bahá’u’lláh, the Glory of God:
I [the Spirit of God, Christ] have come down
Christ (John 6:38)
He [the Spirit of God, Bahá’u’lláh], verily,
hath again come down from heaven, even as
He came down from it the first time.
Bahá’u’lláh (the Glory of God)