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"test the spirits" The Holy Bible actually obligates the believers to "test the spirits" (1 John 4:1), in order to distinguish the True One. Otherwise,

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Presentation on theme: ""test the spirits" The Holy Bible actually obligates the believers to "test the spirits" (1 John 4:1), in order to distinguish the True One. Otherwise,"— Presentation transcript:

1 "test the spirits" The Holy Bible actually obligates the believers to "test the spirits" (1 John 4:1), in order to distinguish the True One. Otherwise, no tests would be given; the Bible would simply state that anyone claiming to bear a message directly from God is false, and you could discount him without any investigation. However, the test itself is a proof of the existence of the True One and obligates us to investigate. Every claimant must be investigated. The Bible gives many tests. Among them are these: Deuteronomy 18:18-22 and Matthew 7: "The good tree gives forth good fruit," is the more familiar of the two, but the one in Deuteronomy is worth deep study.18:18-227:15-18 “He could achieve it only by the permission of God.”) (Also see Luke 11:17 i.e., “He could achieve it only by the permission of God.”)Luke 11:17 The Proofs of Baha’u’llah are the same as those for Jesus, as “the Christ”

2 The Proofs of Baha’u’llah do meet he criteria of Moses – which was used both to prove and disprove Jesus was the Christ: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that [is] the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, [but] the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.“ "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that [is] the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, [but] the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.“ (Deuteronomy 18:18-22)

3 Miriam asks, "... hath he not spoken also by us?...." And God answers, "If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision... With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them... and Miriam became leprous, white as snow.... Numbers 12:2-10, wherein Miriam, the sister of Moses, is punished for presuming that she could speak for God. More than an extraordinary man: Peter could never have become the Christ

4 More than an extraordinary man, more than a saint, a psychic or a seer: Once a man makes the supreme claim to be “the Christ” – He must also have the Divine authority to carry out His intention. It is not enough simply to have good teachings or prophesy once He makes the supreme claim to be “the Christ.” God will cut him off and his works will come to naught. Consider these words of Moses: “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, …even that prophet shall die.” “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, …even that prophet shall die.” (Deuteronomy 18:18-22) Obviously this does not refer to physical death or Moses and Christ would Themselves be discounted. It means a false mission will die or fail. Christ Jesus was killed after only a few short years of teaching to only a few people in a remote corner of the world, and yet today the Divine Spirit within Him has conquered hearts the world over.

5 (1) self-deception, or (2) intent to deceive. Baha'u'llah is either who He claims to be or He is not. If He is not, then the fair investigator must be able to state why He is not before he can reject it. Logically it seems that there are only two conditions or possibilities if He is not: (1) self-deception, or (2) intent to deceive. In the first condition He would have to be either a fool or a madman. In the second condition He would have to be malevolent, or evil. Even a superficial examination of Baha'u'llah's Writings, and the life He lived in accordance with them (documented in 19th century history), will reveal that He is neither mad nor evil. Therefore, as Sherlock Holmes would say: "When you have eliminated the impossible, no matter how improbable, you are left only with the truth." If you cannot classify Baha'u'llah as an imposter using the two categories above, then He must be who He says that He is. The Proofs of Baha’u’llah are the same as those for Christ Jesus

6 "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against itself is a house that falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?... If by Evil I cast out devils... then by whom do your sons cast them out?... But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you." Among the foremost opposers of Christ in His day were the clergy. Intending to accuse Him of being a clever and intelligent deceiver, they called Him "Beelzebub," the chief of devils. His answer was simple: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against itself is a house that falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?... If by Evil I cast out devils... then by whom do your sons cast them out?... But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you." (Luke 11:17) The Proofs of Baha’u’llah are the same as those for Christ Jesus

7 Jesus said: “The good tree bears good fruits.” “A Cause which all the governments and peoples of the world, with all their powers and armies, cannot promulgate and spread, one Holy Soul can promote without help or support! Can this be done by human power? No, in the name of God! For example, Christ, alone and solitary, upraised the standard of peace and righteousness, a work which all the victorious governments with all their hosts are unable to accomplish. Consider what was the fate of so many and diverse empires and peoples: the Roman Empire, France, Germany, Russia, England, etc.; all were gathered together under the same tent -- that is to say, the appearance of Christ brought about a union among these diverse nations, some of whom, under the influence of Christianity, became so united that they sacrificed their lives and property for one another.”

8 The Christ Manifestation is always opposed by the people. He always foretells the coming of another after Him. Oppression envelopes the whole world. He is not educated in the schools of His time. Star will appear in both the visible and invisible heavens. He will produce a book of Divine Scripture unlike all else. His own Self and the “fruits of the His Spirit” (see next pg). Fearless in the face of persecution, opposition, rejection. Suffers at hand of religious and secular orthodoxy. Each is subject to hunger, poverty and yet possesses all the attributes of God and sovereignty over all things. (page 74 of Reaching Christians More Effectively manual) Book of Certitude Teaching “People of the Book” the Proofs of the Manifestation from the Book of Certitude (One can see the parallels between Christ and Baha’u’llah)

9 The Proofs of Baha’u’llah’s Mission His Person –Character, personality, knowledge, endured suffering. His Word (nature of Revelation, scope, impact) –His own explanations and prophecies come true. rebirth 10:17 rebirth 10:17 –Enables spiritual “rebirth” (Also see Bible: Romans 10:17)rebirth10:17 His Teachings (meets needs of the age) –Basis for individual and collective transformation singlemultiple singlemultiple –Impact on civilization (also see single and multiple slide PowerPoint )single multiple Interpretation of the Holy Books interpret John 16:12 interpret John 16:12 –Is able to interpret and fulfill promises in Holy Books. (John 16:12)interpret John 16:12 (Source: “The Proofs of Baha’u’llah’s Mission” – The Universal House of Justice)

10 Baha’u’llah testifies to the Divine reality of Jesus and the “subjective” influence of His Spirit on the hearts & minds (consciousness) of the entire world. subjective “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. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee. 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 transcendent, His all-pervasive, and resplendent Spirit. We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things... He it is Who purified the world. Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him.” (Baha'u'llah -- Gleanings..., p. 85 )

11 Today the world responds “unconsciously” His influence permeates all living beings “Unbeknownst to the great majority, His influence permeates all living beings. Indeed, no domain of life remains unaffected. In the burgeoning energy, the magnified perspectives, the heightened global consciousness; in the social and political turbulence, the fall of kingdoms, the emancipation of nations, the intermixture of cultures, the clamour for development; in the agitation over the extremes of wealth and poverty, the acute concern over the abuse of the environment, the leap of consciousness regarding the rights of women and racial equality; in the growing tendency towards ecumenism, the increasing call for a new world order; in the astounding advances in the realms of science, technology, literature and the arts -- in all this tumult, with its paradoxical manifestations of chaos and order, integration and disintegration, are the signs of His [Baha’u’llah’s] power as World Reformer, the proof of His claim as Divine Physician, the truth of His Word as the All-Knowing Counselor.” (UHJ)

12 Baha’u’llah’s prophesies include: lettersletters Downfall of certain kings in letters addressed specifically to them.letters His own release from prison and pitching His tent on Mt. Carmel. 1st and 2nd World Wars, Germany’s second downfall, etc. Humanity’s fiery ordeal including racial struggles in America. Social reforms and progress regarding women, racism, slavery, etc. Recognition of the Oneness of Humanity, rise of democracy. Wars -- The Lesser Peace near end of Century-- Most Great Peace The explosive acceleration of scientific and technological progress. The discovery of electricity, nuclear power and atomic bomb. Transmutation of chemical elements -- one element to another. The poisoning of the atmosphere and waters of the earth. Space travel, events in astronomy, new theories in physics. Failure of external and internal opposition to the Baha’i Faith.

13 Baha’u’llah’s prophesies include: His tablets to the Kings and Rulers of the world, calling them to God, indicting them and predicting their downfall.

14 Baha’u’llah’s letter to Napoleon III: In this He announces the coming of "Him Who is the Unconstrained," whose purpose is to "quicken the world" and unite its peoples; unequivocally asserts that Jesus Christ was the Herald of His Mission; proclaims the fall of "the stars of the firmament of knowledge," who have turned aside from Him; exposes that monarch's insincerity; and clearly prophesies that his kingdom shall be "thrown into confusion," that his "empire shall pass" from his hands, and that "commotions shall seize all the people in that land," unless he arises to help the Cause of God and follow Him Who is His Spirit.” (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 207)

15 Divine power is cause of His success One Holy Soul the office of justice.... "One Holy Soul gives life to the world of humanity, changes the aspect of the terrestrial globe, causes intelligence to progress, vivifies souls, lays the basis of a new life, establishes new foundations, organizes the world, brings nations and religions under the shadow of one standard, delivers man from the world of imperfections and vices, and inspires him with the desire and need of natural and acquired perfections. Certainly nothing short of a divine power could accomplish so great a work. We ought to consider this with justice, for this is the office of justice.... How can one solitary person without help and without support lay the foundations of such a noble construction? How can one solitary person without help and without support lay the foundations of such a noble construction? He must depend on the help of the spiritual and divine power to be able to undertake this mission.”

16 Through the power of a divine Revelation “Another proof and evidence of the truth of this Revelation, which amongst all other proofs shineth as the sun, is the constancy of the eternal Beauty in proclaiming the Faith of God. Though young and tender of age, and though the Cause He revealed was contrary to the desire of all the peoples of earth, both high and low, rich and poor, exalted and abased, king and subject, yet He arose and steadfastly proclaimed it. All have known and heard this. He was afraid of no one; He was regardless of consequences. Could such a thing be made manifest except through the power of a divine Revelation, and the potency of God's invincible Will? By the righteousness of God! Were any one to entertain so great a Revelation in his heart, the thought of such a declaration would alone confound him!” (Baha'u'llah, The Book of Certitude, p. 230 )

17 He could achieve it only by the permission of God “Were the hearts of all men to be crowded into his heart, he would still hesitate to venture upon so awful an enterprise. He could achieve it only by the permission of God, only if the channel of his heart were to be linked with the Source of divine grace, and his soul be assured of the unfailing sustenance of the Almighty. To what, We wonder, do they ascribe so great a daring? Do they accuse Him of folly as they accused the Prophets of old? Or do they maintain that His motive was none other than leadership and the acquisition of earthly riches?” (Baha'u'llah, The Book of Certitude, p. 230 )

18 Baha'u'llah "casts out evil" by enjoining upon humanity the most noble virtues -- that is, to love God, love humanity and try to serve it…. to work against "evil" and ignorance in the world, and to acquire divine qualities and a saintly character:

19 “Fruits of the Spirit” : “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.” “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.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 285)

20 More Fruits: “Beseech ye the one true God to grant that ye may taste the savor of such deeds as are performed in His path, and partake of the sweetness of such humility and submissiveness as are shown for His sake. Forget your own selves, and turn your eyes towards your neighbor. Bend your energies to whatever may foster the education of men. Nothing is, or can ever be, hidden from God. If ye follow in His way, His incalculable and imperishable blessings will be showered upon you. This is the luminous Tablet, whose verses have streamed from the moving Pen of Him Who is the Lord of all worlds. Ponder it in your hearts, and be ye of them that observe its precepts.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 9) “The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds; he whose words exceed his deeds, know verily his death is better than his life.” “The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds; he whose words exceed his deeds, know verily his death is better than his life.” (Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 155)

21 More Fruits: “Say: Let truthfulness and courtesy be your adorning. Suffer not yourselves to be deprived of the robe of forbearance and justice, that the sweet savors of holiness may be wafted from your hearts upon all created things. Say: Beware, O people of Baha, lest ye walk in the ways of them whose words differ from their deeds. Strive that ye may be enabled to manifest to the peoples of the earth the signs of God, and to mirror forth His commandments. Let your acts be a guide unto all mankind, for the professions of most men, be they high or low, differ from their conduct. It is through your deeds that ye can distinguish yourselves from others. Through them the brightness of your light can be shed upon the whole earth. Happy is the man that heedeth My counsel, and keepeth the precepts prescribed by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 304)

22 More Fruits: “Beautify your tongues, O people, with truthfulness, and adorn your souls with the ornament of honesty. Beware, O people, that ye deal not treacherously with any one. Be ye the trustees of God amongst His creatures, and the emblems of His generosity amidst His people. They that follow their lusts and corrupt inclinations, have erred and dissipated their efforts. They, indeed, are of the lost. Strive, O people, that your eyes may be directed towards the mercy of God, that your hearts may be attuned to His wondrous remembrance, that your souls may rest confidently upon His grace and bounty, that your feet may tread the path of His good-pleasure. Such are the counsels which I bequeath unto you. Would that ye might follow My counsels!” “Beautify your tongues, O people, with truthfulness, and adorn your souls with the ornament of honesty. Beware, O people, that ye deal not treacherously with any one. Be ye the trustees of God amongst His creatures, and the emblems of His generosity amidst His people. They that follow their lusts and corrupt inclinations, have erred and dissipated their efforts. They, indeed, are of the lost. Strive, O people, that your eyes may be directed towards the mercy of God, that your hearts may be attuned to His wondrous remembrance, that your souls may rest confidently upon His grace and bounty, that your feet may tread the path of His good-pleasure. Such are the counsels which I bequeath unto you. Would that ye might follow My counsels!” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 297)

23 More Fruits: “Let your principal concern be to rescue the fallen from the slough of impending extinction, and to help him embrace the ancient Faith of God. Your behavior towards your neighbor should be such as to manifest clearly the signs of the one true God, for ye are the first among men to be re-created by His Spirit, the first to adore and bow the knee before Him, the first to circle round His throne of glory.... God grant that your desires and unmortified passions may not hinder you from that which hath been ordained for you.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 316)

24 More Fruits: “In this Revelation the hosts which can render it victorious are the hosts of praiseworthy deeds and upright character. The leader and commander of these hosts hath ever been the fear of God, a fear that encompasseth all things, and reigneth over all things.” (Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 26) “All praise be to the one true God -- exalted be His glory -- inasmuch as He hath, through the Pen of the Most High, unlocked the doors of men's hearts. Every verse which this Pen hath revealed is a bright and shining portal that discloseth the glories of a saintly and pious life, of pure and stainless deeds.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 96)

25 More Fruits: “The fear of God hath ever been a sure defense and a safe stronghold for all the peoples of the world. It is the chief cause of the protection of mankind, and the supreme instrument for its preservation. Indeed, there existeth in man a faculty which deterreth him from, and guardeth him against, whatever is unworthy and unseemly, and which is known as his sense of shame. This, however, is confined to but a few; all have not possessed, and do not possess, it. It is incumbent upon the kings and the spiritual leaders of the world to lay fast hold on religion, inasmuch as through it the fear of God is instilled in all else but Him.” (Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 27)

26 More Fruits "Say, O friends! Strive that haply the tribulations suffered by this Wronged One and by you, in the path of God, may not prove to have been in vain. Cling ye to the hem of virtue, and hold fast to the cord of trustworthiness and piety. Concern yourselves with the things that benefit mankind, and not with your corrupt and selfish desires. O ye followers of this Wronged One! Ye are the shepherds of mankind; liberate ye your flocks from the wolves of evil passions and desires, and adorn them with the ornament of the fear of God. This is the firm commandment which hath, at this moment, flowed out from the Pen of Him Who is the Ancient of Days. By the righteousness of God! The sword of a virtuous character and upright conduct is sharper than blades of steel.” (Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 29) “Be pure, O people of God, be pure; be righteous, be righteous....” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 287)

27 More Fruits “Gird up the loins of your endeavor, O people of Baha, that haply the tumult of religious dissension and strife that agitateth the peoples of the earth may be stilled, that every trace of it may be completely obliterated. For the love of God, and them that serve Him, arise to aid this most sublime and momentous Revelation. Religious fanaticism and hatred are a world-devouring fire, whose violence none can quench. The Hand of Divine power can, alone, deliver mankind from this desolating affliction.... The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Day Star of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The one true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 287)

28 Fruits of the Spirit (Biblical criteria): “Live by the Spirit … the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.”“Live by the Spirit … the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.” (Galations 5:22-23) “Live as children of light-- for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.”“Live as children of light-- for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.” (Ephesians 5:9)

29 Unseal Unseal“Unseal” the “Hidden” meanings of the Sacred Texts of the pastUnseal Protective Center of the Covenant, as Interpreter of the God’s Word Creation of the Universal House of Justice and National Assemblies Means for reconciliation and unity between races, religions & nations Provide solid recommendations on how the nations can form some type of federated system of international laws and government as the path to a binding and permanent World Peace Prohibition against carrying of firearms except as necessity Exalt the status of women and require priority for their education Reconciliation between scientific truth and religious truth Prohibitions against slavery, backbiting, gossip, cursing, begging. Work performed in the spirit of service is elevated to level of worship Provide solid spiritual solutions to various economic problems Explain the necessity for a universal auxiliary language (Taken from “The Brilliant Proof” and BWF 192,199, , and FWU 83-44) New Teachings -- New Fruits

30 More fruits: (Baha’i laws & injunctions): Prohibitions against asceticism, monasticism, cursing, backbiting, begging, slavery, gambling, all manner of promiscuity, companionate marriage, and the use drugs or alcohol (unless prescribed by a physician). Prohibition against carrying firearms, arson and killing. Injunctions against prejudice of all forms. Truthfulness enjoined as foundation of all virtues. Over 2000 virtues mentioned and enjoined upon the followers, including charity, love, & trustworthiness. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”Obedience to laws are an article of faith, in keeping with the Christian tradition: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (Holy Bible, John 14:15)

31 More fruits “Such a chaste and holy life, with its implications of modesty, purity, temperance, decency, and clean-mindedness, involves no less than the exercise of moderation in all that pertains to dress, language, amusements, and all artistic and literary avocations. It demands daily vigilance in the control of one's carnal desires and corrupt inclinations. It calls for the abandonment of a frivolous conduct, with its excessive attachment to trivial and often misdirected pleasures. It requires total abstinence from all alcoholic drinks, from opium, and from similar habit-forming drugs. It condemns the prostitution of art and of literature, the practices of nudism and of companionate marriage, infidelity in marital relationships, and all manner of promiscuity, of easy familiarity, and of sexual vices. It can tolerate no compromise with the theories, the standards, the habits, and the excesses of a decadent age. Nay rather it seeks to demonstrate, through the dynamic force of its example, the pernicious character of such theories, the falsity of such standards, the hollowness of such claims, the perversity of such habits, and the sacrilegious character of such excesses.” (Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 30)

32 More fruits “All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. The Almighty beareth Me witness: To act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man. Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth. Say: O friends! Drink your fill from this crystal stream that floweth through the heavenly grace of Him Who is the Lord of Names. Let others partake of its waters in My name, that the leaders of men in every land may fully recognize the purpose for which the Eternal Truth hath been revealed, and the reason for which they themselves have been created.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 214) O SON OF SPIRIT! Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created. (from “The Hidden Words” of Baha'u'llah)

33 Typical presentation of the central teachings or “fruits” of His Revelation Oneness of God Oneness of Religion Oneness of Humanity Equality of men and women Universal auxiliary Language Elimination of all forms of prejudice Independent investigation of the truth Reconciliation of science and religion Spiritual solution to economic problems Universal Peace upheld by world government Elimination of the extremes of wealth and poverty Universal compulsory Education -- especially for women

34 Love and Unity: the greatest fruit Through each and every one of the verses which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed, the doors of love and unity have been unlocked and flung open to the face of men. We have erewhile declared -- and Our Word is the truth -- : "Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship." Whatsoever hath led the children of men to shun one another, and hath caused dissensions and divisions amongst them, hath, through the revelation of these words, been nullified and abolished. From the heaven of God's Will, and for the purpose of ennobling the world of being and of elevating the minds and souls of men, hath been sent down that which is the most effective instrument for the education of the whole human race. The highest essence and most perfect expression of whatsoever the peoples of old have either said or written hath, through this most potent Revelation, been sent down from the heaven of the Will of the All-Possessing, the Ever-Abiding God. (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 95)

35 Ultimate Proof Ultimate Proof “By sacrificing Himself... a fresh capacity was infused into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 85)

36 He sacrificed His life for us once again: "The Ancient Beauty 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 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. "The Ancient Beauty 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 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. He Who hath come to build anew the whole world, behold, how they that have joined partners with God have forced Him to dwell within the most desolate of cities!" 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. He Who hath come to build anew the whole world, behold, how they that have joined partners with God have forced Him to dwell within the most desolate of cities!" (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, Pages: )

37 He sacrificed His life for us once again: The Prison, in Akka (Akko or Acre), Israel. (lighter text is hypertext URLs) Just as the other Messengers from God were persecuted, Bahá'u'lláh was willingly imprisoned for twenty-four years in Akka, Palestine, then a Turkish penal colony. This period of His incarceration began in In 1868 Sultán `Abdu'-l`Azíz had Bahá'u'lláh sent to the fortress of St. Jean d'Acre (`Akká) in Ottoman Syria to live out the rest of his life there as a prisoner. By then, He had already been a prisoner for fifteen years — an imprisonment which began in the "Black Pit" dungeon, outside Tihran, Persia (Tehran, Iran, today). His confinement continued throughout His thirty-nine year exile from Persia. He endured successive imprisonments in Baghdad, Constantinople, Adrianople and finally in Akka. The far window in the upper right of the prison pictured above, is that of the cell occupied by Bahá'u'lláh, in which He was kept for two years, two months and five days.other Messengers from God were persecutedimprisonment"Black Pit" dungeonexile

38 He sacrificed His life for us once again: Poisoned three times. Tortured with the bastinado, stoned, made to walk in winter.Tortured with the bastinado, stoned, made to walk in winter. 100 pound chains around His neck cut into collar bone which left scars for the rest of His life. These chains kept Him on hands and knees with human excrement on the floor above His wrists – for four months. Watched His son and 40 of His companions die in prison.Watched His son and 40 of His companions die in prison. 20,000 of the early believers were killed.

39 His own description of the Siyah-Chal dungeon of Tihran: “We were consigned for four months to a place foul beyond comparison. As to the dungeon in which this Wronged One and others similarly wronged were confined, a dark and narrow pit were preferable. Upon Our arrival We were first conducted along a pitch- black corridor, from whence We descended three steep flights of stairs to the place of confinement assigned to Us. The dungeon was wrapped in thick darkness, and Our fellow-prisoners numbered nearly a hundred and fifty souls: thieves, assassins and highwaymen. Though crowded, it had no other outlet than the passage by which We entered. No pen can depict that place, nor any tongue describe its loathsome smell. Most of these men had neither clothes nor bedding to lie on. God alone knoweth what befell Us in that most foul-smelling and gloomy place!”

40 He sacrificed His life for us once again: "...Thou hast come to see a prisoner and an exile.... We desire but the good of the world and happiness of the nations; yet they deem us a stirrer up of strife and sedition worthy of bondage and banishment.... That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and differences of race be annulled — what harm is there in this?... Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the 'Most Great Peace' shall come.... Is not this that which Christ foretold?... Yet do we see your kings and rulers lavishing their treasures more freely on means for the destruction of the human race than on that which would conduce to the happiness of mankind.... These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease, and all men be as one kindred and one family.... Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind...." (Words spoken by Bahá'u'lláh, recorded by Professor Edward Granville Browne in 1891)

41 Sacrifice, ransom and atonement have been God’s method from Everlasting Atonement: reparation for an offense or injury; making up for something in the past. The reconciliation of God and man through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, according to Christian theology. Redemption: To buy back or “redeem” (trade, transfer, exchange) one thing for another, or retrieve something that was lost – as in something already spent. Oblation: Making an “offering.” Christ and Baha'u'llah "offered" Themselves as a Ransom (exchange) for our redemption or salvation. Salvation: Deliverance from ignorance, sin, destruction (death). Being “saved” from this ignorance and destruction.

42 Sacrifice, ransom and atonement have been God’s method from Everlasting “Know ye that trials and tribulations have, from time immemorial, been the lot of the chosen Ones of God and His beloved, and such of His servants as are detached from all else but Him… Such is God's method carried into effect of old, and such will it remain in the future.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 129) “O Jews! If ye be intent on crucifying once again Jesus, the Spirit of God, put Me to death, for He hath once more, in My person, been made manifest unto you.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 101) “Give heed to My warning, ye people of Persia! If I be slain at your hands, God will assuredly raise up one who will fill the seat made vacant through My death, for such is God's method carried into effect of old, and no change can ye find in God's method of dealing.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 224) "He, in truth, liveth in the most desolate of abodes for your sakes..." (Tablets of Baha'u'llah, page 12, in the tablet referred to as the Tablet to the Christians.)

43 Ransom and Redemption release, through this imprisonment, the necks of men from chains and fetters, make of this darksome tribulation a shield Such hath been God's method carried into effect in centuries and ages past “By God! Though weariness lay Me low, and hunger consume Me, and the bare rock be My bed, and My fellows the beasts of the field, I will not complain, but will endure patiently as those endued with constancy and firmness have endured patiently, through the power of God, the Eternal King and Creator of the nations, and will render thanks unto God under all conditions. We pray that, out of His bounty -- exalted be He -- He may release, through this imprisonment, the necks of men from chains and fetters, and cause them to turn, with sincere faces, towards His face, Who is the Mighty, the Bounteous. Ready is He to answer whosoever calleth upon Him, and nigh is He unto such as commune with Him. We further beseech Him to make of this darksome tribulation a shield for the Temple of His Cause, and to protect it from the assault of sharpened swords and pointed daggers. Adversity hath ever given rise to the exaltation of His Cause and the glorification of His Name. Such hath been God's method carried into effect in centuries and ages past.” (Baha'u'llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 133)

44 Ransom and Redemption ransom redemption “It is Our wish and desire that every one of you may become a source of all goodness unto men, and an example of uprightness to mankind. Beware lest ye prefer yourselves above your neighbors. Fix your gaze upon Him Who is the Temple of God amongst men He, in truth, hath offered up His life as a ransom for the redemption of the world.” (Baha'i World Faith, p. 137) – The “Temple” is a reference to Baha’u’llah.

45 Beware lest you become like those who resist the Holy Spirit. God tests the hearts of the sincere. Words of Jesus Christ: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!" (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34 & Parable of the Vineyard in Luke 20:20) Also, words of Stephen, the Apostle, in the seventh chapter of the book of Acts (verse ), as He was being stoned, he exclaimed the principle expressed in the verses above, in these words: "You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!"

46 God’s method is to test hearts for sincerity “Consider those who rejected the Spirit when 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 and the divine Luminary shone resplendent from the Dayspring of Beauty, 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 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 country, whilst he who was only a fisherman believed in Him. Take good heed and be of them that observe the warning Take good heed and be of them that observe the warning.“ -- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p.9-10

47 Greatest Proofs

48 Many more believed He was the Christ because of “His own Word” many morebecause of His own Word “And many more believed because of His own Word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know this is indeed the Christ that this is indeed the Christ.” (Holy Bible, John 4:41)

49 The proof of Moses was His staff. The proof of this Wronged One (Baha’u’llah) is His Pen. One must examine what He has written from His prison. The proof of Moses was His staff. The proof of this Wronged One (Baha’u’llah) is His Pen. One must examine what He has written from His prison. The Holy Bible actually obligates the believers to "test the spirits" (1 John 4:1)

50 The “City of God” come down from Heaven – “New Jeruslam” (Revelation: 21:2) That City is none other than the Word of God revealed in every age “How unspeakably glorious are the signs, the tokens, the revelations, and splendors which He, Who is the King of Names and Attributes, hath destined for that City! The attainment unto this City quencheth thirst without water, and kindleth the love of God without fire... That City is none other than the Word of God revealed in every age and dispensation. In the days of Moses it was the Pentateuch; in the days of Jesus, the Gospel; in the days of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, the Qur'án; in this day, the Bayan; and in the Dispensation of Him Whom God will make manifest, His own Book -- the Book unto which all the Books of former Dispensations must needs be referred, the Book that standeth amongst them all transcendent and supreme.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 269)

51 The Proof of His own Person God saith: “... I have manifested Myself unto men, and have sent down Him Who is the Day Spring of the signs of My Revelation. Through Him I have caused all creation to testify that there is none other God except Him, the Incomparable, the All-Informed, the All-Wise." He Who is everlastingly hidden from the eyes of men can never be known except through His Manifestation, and His Manifestation can adduce no greater proof of the truth of His Mission than the proof of His own Person.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 49)

52 “ Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths. Take heed that ye do not vacillate in your determination to embrace the truth of this Cause -- a Cause through which the potentialities of the might of God have been revealed, and His sovereignty established. With faces beaming with joy, hasten ye unto Him. This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath refused to seek it -- verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His creatures.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 136 ) Eternal in the past, Eternal in the Future...

53 “These are not days of prosperity and triumph. The whole of mankind is in the grip of manifold ills. Strive, therefore, to save its life through the wholesome medicine which the almighty hand of the unerring Physician hath prepared.... And now concerning thy question regarding the nature of religion. Know thou that they who are truly wise have likened the world unto the human temple. As the body of man needeth a garment to clothe it, so the body of mankind must needs be adorned with the mantle of justice and wisdom. Its robe is the Revelation vouchsafed unto it by God. Whenever this robe hath fulfilled its purpose, the Almighty will assuredly renew it. For every age requireth a fresh measure of the light of God. Every Divine Revelation hath been sent down in a manner that befitted the circumstances of the age in which it hath appeared. (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 80) The Religion of God…

54 “O friends! It behoveth you to refresh and revive your souls through the gracious favors which in this Divine, this soul-stirring Springtime are being showered upon you. The Day Star of His great glory hath shed its radiance upon you, and the clouds of His limitless grace have overshadowed you. How high the reward of him that hath not deprived himself of so great a bounty, nor failed to recognize the beauty of his Best-Beloved in this, His new attire. Watch over yourselves, for the Evil One is lying in wait, ready to entrap you. Gird yourselves against his wicked devices, and, led by the light of the name of the All- Seeing God, make your escape from the darkness that surroundeth you. Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self. The Evil One is he that hindereth the rise and obstructeth the spiritual progress of the children of men.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 94)

55 “Shake off, O heedless ones, the slumber of negligence, that ye may behold the radiance which His glory hath spread through the world. How foolish are those who murmur against the premature birth of His light. O ye who are inwardly blind! Whether too soon or too late, the evidences of His effulgent glory are now actually manifest. It behoveth you to ascertain whether or not such a light hath appeared. It is neither within your power nor mine to set the time at which it should be made manifest. God's inscrutable Wisdom hath fixed its hour beforehand. Be content, O people, with that which God hath desired for you and predestined unto you.... O my ill-wishers!” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 102)

56 “All praise to the unity of God, and all honor to Him, the sovereign Lord, the incomparable and all-glorious Ruler of the universe, Who, out of utter nothingness, hath created the reality of all things, Who, from naught, hath brought into being the most refined and subtle elements of His creation, and Who, rescuing His creatures from the abasement of remoteness and the perils of ultimate extinction, hath received them into His kingdom of incorruptible glory. Nothing short of His all-encompassing grace, His all-pervading mercy, could have possibly achieved it. How could it, otherwise, have been possible for sheer nothingness to have acquired by itself the worthiness and capacity to emerge from its state of non-existence into the realm of being?” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 67)

57 “Having created the world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him -- a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation.... Upon the inmost reality of each and every created thing He hath shed the light of one of His names, and made it a recipient of the glory of one of His attributes. Upon the reality of man, however, He hath focused the radiance of all of His names and attributes, and made it a mirror of His own Self. Alone of all created things man hath been singled out for so great a favor, so enduring a bounty….” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 67)

58 “These energies with which the Day Star of Divine bounty and Source of heavenly guidance hath endowed the reality of man lie, however, latent within him, even as the flame is hidden within the candle and the rays of light are potentially present in the lamp. The radiance of these energies may be obscured by worldly desires even as the light of the sun can be concealed beneath the dust and dross which cover the mirror. Neither the candle nor the lamp can be lighted through their own unaided efforts, nor can it ever be possible for the mirror to free itself from its dross. It is clear and evident that until a fire is kindled the lamp will never be ignited, and unless the dross is blotted out from the face of the mirror it can never represent the image of the sun nor reflect its light and glory...” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 67)

59 “And since there can be no tie of direct intercourse to bind the one true God with His creation, and no resemblance whatever can exist between the transient and the Eternal, the contingent and the Absolute, He hath ordained that in every age and dispensation a pure and stainless Soul be made manifest in the kingdoms of earth and heaven. Unto this subtle, this mysterious and ethereal Being He hath assigned a twofold nature; the physical, pertaining to the world of matter, and the spiritual, which is born of the substance of God Himself. He hath, moreover, conferred upon Him a double station. The first station, which is related to His innermost reality, representeth Him as One Whose voice is the voice of God Himself. To this testifieth the tradition: "Manifold and mysterious is My relationship with God. I am He, Himself, and He is I, Myself, except that I am that I am, and He is that He is." …. The second station is the human station, exemplified by the following verses: "I am but a man like you." (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 67)

60 “These Essences of Detachment, these resplendent Realities are the channels of God's all-pervasive grace. Led by the light of unfailing guidance, and invested with supreme sovereignty, They are commissioned to use the inspiration of Their words, the effusions of Their infallible grace and the sanctifying breeze of Their Revelation for the cleansing of every longing heart and receptive spirit from the dross and dust of earthly cares and limitations. Then, and only then, will the Trust of God, latent in the reality of man, emerge, as resplendent as the rising Orb of Divine Revelation, from behind the veil of concealment, and implant the ensign of its revealed glory upon the summits of men's hearts...” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 67)

61 “From the foregoing passages and allusions it hath been made indubitably clear that in the kingdoms of earth and heaven there must needs be manifested a Being, an Essence Who shall act as a Manifestation and Vehicle for the transmission of the grace of the Divinity Itself, the Sovereign Lord of all. Through the Teachings of this Day Star of Truth every man will advance and develop until he attaineth the station at which he can manifest all the potential forces with which his inmost true self hath been endowed. It is for this very purpose that in every age and dispensation the Prophets of God and His chosen Ones have appeared amongst men, and have evinced such power as is born of God and such might as only the Eternal can reveal...” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 67)

62 “Can one of sane mind ever seriously imagine that, in view of certain words the meaning of which he cannot comprehend, the portal of God's infinite guidance can ever be closed in the face of men? Can he ever conceive for these Divine Luminaries, these resplendent Lights either a beginning or an end? What outpouring flood can compare with the stream of His all- embracing grace, and what blessing can excel the evidences of so great and pervasive a mercy? There can be no doubt whatever that if for one moment the tide of His mercy and grace were to be withheld from the world, it would completely perish. For this reason, from the beginning that hath no beginning the portals of Divine mercy have been flung open to the face of all created things, and the clouds of Truth will continue to the end that hath no end to rain on the soil of human capacity, reality and personality their favors and bounties. Such hath been God's method continued from everlasting to everlasting.” “Can one of sane mind ever seriously imagine that, in view of certain words the meaning of which he cannot comprehend, the portal of God's infinite guidance can ever be closed in the face of men? Can he ever conceive for these Divine Luminaries, these resplendent Lights either a beginning or an end? What outpouring flood can compare with the stream of His all- embracing grace, and what blessing can excel the evidences of so great and pervasive a mercy? There can be no doubt whatever that if for one moment the tide of His mercy and grace were to be withheld from the world, it would completely perish. For this reason, from the beginning that hath no beginning the portals of Divine mercy have been flung open to the face of all created things, and the clouds of Truth will continue to the end that hath no end to rain on the soil of human capacity, reality and personality their favors and bounties. Such hath been God's method continued from everlasting to everlasting.” (Gleanings from… Baha'u'llah, p. 67)

63 If Christ, at the time of His “second coming” -- the coming of the “Spirit of Truth” -- promised to guide humanity to all truth -- in order to unite all the peoples of the world into “One fold” under “One Shepherd,”... if Christ came with the name of “Christ” how could the Buddhists, the Zoroastrians, the Hindus and the Muslims who all expect a “world redeemer” (a world educator) to come unite the peoples of the world at the so-called “end of time” recognize Him as their Promised One also? Names must change to meet the needs of the people. (see new name: Rev. 2:17, 3:12 & 19:13) The Bible says that the “Spirit of Christ” was in the other prophets telling of Jesus and the “Glory of God” after Him. (1 Peter 1:10-11) Why “new name” is necessary

64 The Promised One of all Religions To Israel He was neither more nor less than the incarnation of the "Everlasting Father," the "Lord of Hosts" come down "with ten thousands of saints"; to Christendom Christ returned "in the glory of the Father," to Shí'ah Islam the return of the Imam Husayn; to Sunni Islam the descent of the "Spirit of God" (Christ); to the Zoroastrians the promised Shah-Bahram; to the Hindus the reincarnation of Krishna; to the Buddhists the fifth Buddha.” (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 93)

65 New Name prophesies (Rev 2:17, 3:12) Also, this one: “He had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.... and his name is called... The Word of God.” New Name prophesies (Rev 2:17, 3:12) Also, this one: “He had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.... and his name is called... The Word of God.” (Bible, Revelation 19:13)


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