Chapter 11: The Central Revelation Prophecy

 

11.1Now there was handed to me a reed like a rod saying:
Now there was Baha’u’llah assigned to me as a bearer of divine inspiration and a guide saying:
Come and measure the Temple of God, the Altar, and the worshipers in it.
Come and reveal the One Religion of God, the Bab’s sacrifice and my love, and the worshipers in its Faiths.
2But leave out the courtyard outside the Temple. Do not measure it, for it has been given over to gentile nations. They will trample the holy city for 42 months.
But ignore the Faiths’ rituals of God’s One Religion. Do not reveal them, for they have been assigned to gentile nations. They are pounding unique Jerusalem and her Faiths for the 1,260-year Muslim Era from AH 1 to 1260 (CE 622–1844).
3At the same time,I shall appoint my two Witnesses.
At the same time, I have appointed Muhammad and Ali as my two Delegates.
They will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth, 4these men are the two olive trees and the two lamps that stand in front of the Master of the Universe.
They are revealing Islam for the 1,260-year Era from AH 1 to 1260 (CE 622–1844), reviving the Old and New Testaments, Muhammad and Ali are Arabia’s anointed Prophets and Islam’s Founder and Promoter who champion the service of the Master of the Universe.
5If anybody wants to hurt them, fire flames from their mouths and consumes their enemies. If anybody should want to hurt them, this is how he is doomed to die.
Whenever Umayyads hurt them, teachings shoot from their mouths and demolish their enemies. Whenever Umayyads try to hurt them, this is how they get converted to Islam.
6These men have the power to shut off the sky, so that rain may not fall during the days of their prophesying.
Muhammad and Ali have Elijah’s power to curb the passage of spiritual knowledge, so that its full bounty is being restricted during the years of them revealing Islam.
They also have power over the waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the land with every type of affliction as often as they like.
They also have Moses and Aaron’s power over teachings to turn them violent, and to punish the barbarous Arabian tribes with every kind of affliction as often as they need.
7But when they end their testimony, the beast rising from the bottomless pit will wage war against them.
But as Muhammad and Ali finish testifying for God, the brutal Umayyad Caliphate rising in its endless error wages jihad against their true Islam.
It shall defeat them and shall kill them, 8with their corpse strewn across the main-square of the great city that is called spiritually ‘Sodom and Egypt’, where also their Lord was crucified.
It corrupts their true Islam and destroys it, with its spiritless shell spread across the public domain of the central region of the Umayyad Empire that had spiritually tested Abraham at Sodom and Moses in Egypt, where also Jesus, their Lord too, was crucified in Jerusalem.
9For days, folk from the peoples, tribes, language-groups, and nations are viewing their corpse and will not let their dead bodies be buried in a tomb.
For the 1,260-year Era from AH 1 to 1260 (CE 622–1844), Muslim peoples, families, language-groups, and nations are making a spectacle of their Islam’s spiritless shell and are not letting their rituals of prayer and fasting fade.
10At this, the people living on the earth are rejoicing over them. They will be glad and will exchange gifts, for those same two Prophets have tormented these people living on the earth.
At this, folk dwelling in Europe and Asia gloat over them. They make merry and go crusading together, for what was done in Muhammad and Ali’s names has afflicted these folk dwelling around the Middle East.
11But after these days, a spirit of life from God entered them. They stood back on their feet, and deep dread fell on those who were watching them.
But after these 1,260 Muslim years, a spirit of life from God revives them as the Bab and Quddus in the Persia of 1844. They champion justice again, and deep dread strikes the Persian officials who are beginning to recognize them.
12Next, they heard a loud voice from the sky commanding them:
Next, they hear the God of their Baha’i Revelation command them:
‘Rise up here!’
‘Arise from Persia!’
At this, they rose into the sky, on that cloud, as those enemies of theirs were watching them.
In 1849–50, they arise as martyrs for their Revelation in clouds of smoky glory, as those rulers and clergy hostile to them have begun to recognize them.
13On that there day a large earthquake erupted. One tenth of the city fell and 7,000 individual human-beings were killed in this earthquake. The rest were terrified, yet glorified the God of heaven.
At that particular time, earthquakes erupt in Shiraz and Istanbul. One tenth of Shiraz falls and many people in the Faiths are converted during this earthquake. The rest are terrified, yet celebrate the Glory of God’s Baha’i Revelation.
14This second Trump-Ta-Ra has faded.
The Bab’s second Era has wrought change.
Listen! The third Trump-Ta-Rais coming soon.
Listen, Baha’u’llah’s third Era shall wreak change in 1863.
15At this, this seventh Angel trumpeted, as loud voices rose in the sky, saying:
In 1863, this Messenger Baha’u’llah warns all the Faiths, as their Proclaimers acclaim his Baha’i Revelation, saying:
Launched is the kingdom of the world-order of our Lord and His Messiah. He shall rule into the eras of the eras.
Launched is the reign of the world-order of God and of His Messiah Baha’u’llah. They are leading the old Cycle of Prophecy into the new Cycle of Fulfillment.
16Then the 24 elders seated on their thrones before God fell face-down and worshipped God, 17saying:
Then the 24 Baha’i founders serving God submit fully and worship God, saying:
We thank You Almighty Lord God,
We thank You, Almighty Lord God,
‘THE-IS’ and
THE-GOD-PRESENT in later Faiths and
‘THE-WAS’
THE-GOD-PRESENT in earlier Faiths
That You have assumed Your great power and have begun to rule.18Meanwhile, nations have grown angry. Consequently, this anger of Yours has come, as the time
That You have engaged the great power of your teachings and have taken control. Meanwhile, nations have acted punishingly. Consequently, this punishment of Yours has come, as the time
For the dead to be judged,
For the dead in spirit to be judged,
To award the reward to Your servants the Prophets, to the faithful, and to those who honor Your name—people both humble and important, and
To award Baha’u’llah to Your worker Messengers, to the faithful, to folk who honor You in many names—folk both humble and important, and
To ruin those who ruin the planet.
To strip abusers who strip the planet.
19Then the Temple of God in the sky opened up. And within His Temple appeared its Ark of His Covenant.
In 1863 the One Religion of God is revealed. And within His One Religion ‘Abdu’l-Baha appears as its Custodian of God’s new Baha’i Covenant.
Lightnings, voices, thunders, an earthquake, and heavy hail broke out.
The anger of God flashes as voices rise against His Baha’i Revelation, as violations shake it, as doubts quake it, and as severe torments beat down upon its Covenant-Breaker heretics.
Comments:
11.1–19: ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s 1918 Commentary on the Eleventh Chapter of the Revelation of St. John[1] addresses all of Chapter 11 and supplies most of the citations that follow.
11.1: The Perfect Man Who is likened to a reedemptied from all save God.…Whatever He utters is not from Himself, but from the real flute player, and it is a divine inspiration.…That reed is like a rod.…the helper of every impotent one, and the support of human beings.…the rod of the Divine Shepherd.[2]
11.1: This Altar, though not gold, appears within the Temple. So by default it interprets as a generic Sacrificial-Altar or Gold Incense-Altar.
11.1–2: The One Religion or Law of God is divided into two parts. One is the fundamental basis which comprises all spiritual things.…The second part…refers to the material world. Measuring is the discovery of proportion.…Compare the Temple and the altar and them that are praying therein.…Investigate…their true condition and discover in what degree and state they are, and what conditions, perfections, behavior and attributes they possess.… In the beginning of the seventh century…when Jerusalem was conquered…the outer court was taken and given to the Gentiles,and the Muslims went on to govern and control Jerusalem forty and two months, signifying twelve hundred and sixty days; and as each day signifies a year…twelve hundred and sixty years…prophesies the duration of the Dispensation of Islam when Jerusalem was trodden under foot.…As the period of twelve hundred and sixty years has expired, Jerusalem, the Holy City, is now beginning to become prosperous, populous and flourishing. Anyone who saw Jerusalem sixty years ago [1844], and who sees it now, will recognize how populous and flourishing it has become, and how it is again honored. The ‘cleansing of the Sanctuary’, prophesied by Daniel…had been accomplished.¼The ‘forty and two months,’ during which the ‘Holy City,’ as predicted by St. John the Divine, would be trodden under foot, had elapsed. The ‘time of the end’ had been ushered in.[3] While the main times of the gentiles was the 1,260–year Muslim Era (AD 622–1844), other gentiles—Roman, Byzantine Christian, and Persian Zoroastrian—had occupied Jerusalem for six centuries before the Muslims.
11.3: Where it mentions two witnesses, it refers to Muhammad and Ali, Muhammad…the root, and Ali the branch, like Moses and Joshua…clothed in old raiment.…Nor would their Cause appear new; for Muhammad’s spiritual Law corresponds to that of Christ in the Gospel, and most of His laws relating to material things correspond to those of the Pentateuch, so that the Quran was the truth confirming…the Torah and the Gospel.[4]
11.4: Muhammad and Ali were two souls…likened to olive trees…Lamps were lighted by olive oil…from whom that spirit of the wisdom of God…the illumination of the world, emanates.…The candlestick is the abode of the light and from it the light shines forth…from these illumined souls…standing in the service of God, and educating…the barbarous nomad Arab tribes of the Arabian peninsula…in such a way that…they reached the highest degree of civilization, and their fame and renown became worldwide. The Old Testament predicted a prophet like Moses interpreting as Muhammad, and two olive trees interpreting as Muhammad and Ali.[5]
11.5: The power of Muhammad and Ali was such that no one would be able to withstand them.…If a person wished to belittle their teachings and their law, he would be surrounded and exterminated by this same law which proceedeth out of their mouth; and everyone who attempted to injure, to antagonize and to hate them would be destroyed by a command which would come out of their mouth.[6]
11.6: They would be like kings. The law and teachings of Muhammad, and the explanations and commentaries of Ali, are a heavenly bounty; if they wish to give this bounty, they have power to do so. If they do not wish it, the rain will not fall.…In this connection rain stands for bounty. The prophethood of Muhammad was the same as that of Moses, and…the power of Ali was the same as that of Joshua: if they wished, they could turn the water of the Nile into blood, so far as the Egyptians and those who denied them were concerned.…The cause of their life, through their ignorance and pride, became the cause of their death, just as the kingdom, wealth and power of Pharaoh and his people…became, through their opposition, denial and pride, the cause of death, destruction, dispersion, degradation and poverty. Hence these two witnesses have power to destroy the nations.…‘Smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will’ means that they also would have the power and the material force necessary to educate the wicked and those who are oppressors and tyrants…educate and correct the ferocious, bloodthirsty, tyrannical nomad Arabs, who were like beasts of prey.[7]
11.7–8: ‘When they shall have finished their testimony’ means when they…have delivered the divine message, promoting the Law of God and propagating the heavenly teachings, to the intent that the signs of spiritual life might be manifest in souls, and the light of the virtues of the world of humanity might shine forth, until complete development should be brought about among the nomad tribes. ‘The beast’…means the Umayyads who attacked them from the pit of error, and who rose against the religion of Muhammad and against the reality of Ali—in other words, the love of God. The beast made…spiritual war, meaning that the beast would act in entire opposition to the teachings, customs and institutions of these two witnesses, to such an extent that the virtues and perfections which were diffused by the power of those two witnesses among the peoples and tribes would be entirely dispelled, and the animal nature and carnal desires would conquer. Therefore, this beast making war against them would gain the victory—meaning that the darkness of error coming from this beast was to…kill those two witnesses…destroy the spiritual life which they spread abroad in the midst of the nation, and entirely remove the divine laws and teachings, treading under foot the Religion of God.[8]
11.8: City and country are overlapping semantic concepts, just as the Hebrew medinah meaning country overlaps with the Arabic medineh meaning city. Polis means city/town, may mean country,[9] and interprets broadly as region.
11.8-9: ‘Their bodies’ means the Religion of God, and ‘the street’ means in public view. The meaning of ‘Sodom and Egypt’, the place ‘where also our Lord was crucified’, is.…this region of Syria, and especially Jerusalem, where the Umayyads then had their dominions.…Here the Religion of God and the divine teachings first disappeared.…like a dead body without spirit.…The nations, tribes and peoples would…make a spectacle of the Religion of God: though they would not act in accordance with it, still, they would not suffer their bodies—meaning the Religion of God—to be put in the grave.…In appearance they would cling to the Religion of God and not allow it to completely disappear from their midst, nor the body of it to be entirely destroyed and annihilated. Nay, in reality they would leave it, while outwardly preserving its name and remembrance. Those ‘kindreds, people and nations’ signify those who are gathered under the shadow of the Qur’án, not permitting the Cause and Law of God to be…entirely destroyed and annihilated—for there are prayer and fasting among them—but the fundamental principles of the Religion of God, which are morals and conduct, with the knowledge of divine mysteries, have disappeared; the light of the virtues of the world of humanity, which is the result of the love and knowledge of God, is extinguished; and the darkness of tyranny, oppression, satanic passions and desires has become victorious. The body of the Law of God, like a corpse, has been exposed to public view for…the cycle of Muhammad. The people forfeited all that these two persons had established, which was the foundation of the Law of God, and destroyed the virtues of the world of humanity, which are the divine gifts and the spirit of this religion, to such a degree that truthfulness, justice, love, union, purity, sanctity, detachment and all the divine qualities departed from among them. In the religion only prayers and fasting persisted…as if these two persons were dead.[10]
11.10: Other nations and races, such as the peoples of Europe and distant Asia…saw that the character of Islam was entirely changed, the Law of God forsaken…became happy, and rejoiced that corruption of morals had infected the people of Islam, and that they would…be overcome by other nations.…This people which had attained the summit of power, how degraded and downtrodden it is now. The other nations…‘send gifts to one another,’ meaning that they should help each other, for ‘these two prophets’…overcame the other nations and peoples of the world and conquered them.[11]
11.11: After…twelve hundred and sixty years…the teachings and the law that Muhammad established and Ali promoted…were again established. In other words, the spirituality of the Religion of God had been changed into materiality, and virtues into vices, love…into hatred, enlightenment into darkness, divine qualities into satanic ones, justice into tyranny, mercy into enmity, sincerity into hypocrisy, guidance into error, and purity into sensuality.…These divine teachings, heavenly virtues, perfections and spiritual bounties were again renewed by the appearance of the Bab and the devotion of Quddus.…Holy breezes were diffused, the light of truth shone forth, the season of the life-giving spring came, and the morn of guidance dawned. These two lifeless bodies again became living, and these two great ones—one the Founder and the other the Promoter—arose and were like two candlesticks, for they illumined the world with the light of truth.[12]
11.12: Then they heard the voice of God, saying: You have performed all that was proper and fitting in delivering the teachings and glad tidings; you have given My message to the people and raised the call of God, and have accomplished your duty. Now, like Christ, you must sacrifice your life…and be martyrs. And that Sun of Reality, and that Moon of Guidance, both, like Christ, set on the horizon of the greatest martyrdom and ascended to the Kingdom of God.…Many of their enemies, after witnessing their martyrdom, realized the sublimity of their station and the exaltation of their virtue, and testified to their greatness and perfection. In 1849 a crazed crowd tore Quddus apart alive and burnt him in a death which even Jesus Christ…had not faced in…His greatest agony.[13] In 1850, the Bab was executed by firing-squad. At the very moment the shots were fired a gale of exceptional violence arose and swept over the city. From noon till night a whirlwind of dust obscured the light of the sun, and blinded the eyes of the people.[14] The cloud signifies both their glory and the smoke that engulfed them each at death.
11.13: The day after the execution, a large earthquake struck Istanbul. A later earthquake occurred in Shiraz after the martyrdom of the Bab…Many people were destroyed.…All the remnant lamented and cried day and night, and were occupied in glorifying and praying to God. This 1852 Shiraz…‘earthquake,’ foreshadowed in no less weighty a Book than the Revelation of St. John…threw the whole city into turmoil and wrought havoc amongst its people…greatly aggravated by the outbreak of cholera, by famine and other afflictions.The final death-toll was about 13,000, fitting an immediate traumatic death-toll of 7,000.[15]
11.14, also 8.13, 9.12, 12.12, 18.10, 16 & 19: The three Trump-Ta-Ras are the last loudest three trumpetings of the three Manifestations of God succeeding Jesus as the Son of Man [who] hath sent His angels with the sound of the great trumpet,[16] who heralded the three following Days of their religious Eras:
The AD622–1844 Muslim Era of Jesus’s Paraclete Helper Muhammad. By this ‘trumpet’ is meant the trumpet call of Muhammad’s Revelation. This first woe is the appearance of the Prophet, Muhammad, sent as a warning.[17]
The AD 1844–63 Babi Era of Jesus’s Door the Bab. This second woe is the appearance of the Bab[18] as the Blast…blown on the Trumpet of the Bayan.[19]
The AD 1863 Baha’i Era of Jesus’s spiritual Father Baha’u’llah. This third woe is the day of the manifestation of Baha’u’llah, the day of God…near to the day of the appearance of the Bab. This Trumpet…is none other than [His] Pen of Glory, and a stunning trumpet-blast…loudly raised,to which St. Paul…alluded as the hour of the ‘last trump’…of God’. [20]
11.15: Baha’u’llah, the seventh angel is a man qualified with heavenly attributes, who will arise with heavenly qualities and character.…In that day of God, the Spiritual and Divine Kingdom will be established, and the world will be renewed; a new spirit will be breathed into the body of creation; the season of the divine spring will come; the clouds of mercy will rain; the sun of reality will shine; the life-giving breeze will blow; the world of humanity will wear a new garment; the surface of the earth will be a sublime paradise; mankind will be educated; wars, disputes, quarrels and malignity will disappear; and truthfulness, righteousness, peace and the worship of God will appear; union, love and brotherhood will surround the world; and God will rule for evermore—meaning that the Spiritual and Everlasting Kingdom will be established. Such is the day of God.[21]
The Kingdom is God’s…invested with radiant sovereignty—where by ‘kingdom’ as recorded in Revelation…is intended…a religion. The Kingdom here means the manifestation of Himself; and He will issue all the laws and teachings which are the spirit of the world and everlasting life…subdue the world by spiritual power…by true love…promote these divine teachings by kindness and righteousness…educate the nations and people that, notwithstanding their various conditions, their different customs and characters.…will…like the wolf and the lamb, the leopard, the kid, the sucking child and the serpent, become comrades, friends and companions.…‌Barriers between nations will be completely removed, and all will attain perfect union and reconciliation.[22]
11.18: God’s teachings opposed the passions of the other peoples.…Because they do not follow [God’s] precepts, counsels and teachings, they will be deprived…veiled from the light.…Those who are deprived of the spirit of the love of God…will be judged with justice, meaning they will arise to receive that which they deserve.…He will distinguish the righteous by endless bounty.…He will entirely deprive the neglectful.…The ignorance and want of knowledge of the people of error will be recognized.…Consequently, the destroyers will be destroyed.[23]
11.18 & 16.5, also 1.4, 1.8 & 4.8: The term THE-IS and THE-WAS’ has now shed THE-IS-COMING that the advent of Baha’u’llah has made passé.
11.19: The Temple or sanctuary of Jerusalem is likened to the reality of the Law of God, while the laws,Model of the Temple, seen from northeast conventions, rites and material regulations are the city of Jerusalem. ‘There was seen in His temple the ark of His Testament’—that is to say, the Book of His Testament will appear in His Jerusalem, the Epistle of the Covenant will be established, and the meaning of the Testament and of the Covenant will become evident.…The Cause of God will fill the world. The violators of the Covenant will be degraded and dispersed, and the faithful cherished and glorified as firm and steadfast in the Covenant. ‘Abdu’l-Baha is extolled by the writer of the Apocalypse as ‘the Ark’, in order to denote the rank and station…designed by the Lord of the Covenant Himself to shield and support, after His ascension him who became the appointed Center of His Faith, as indicated bythe title Center of the Covenant given him by Baha’u’llah and later taken by ‘Abdu’l-Baha.[24]
 
 
 


[1] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.45–61
[2] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.45
[3] Is divided into, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.46–48; measuring is, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1919), SAQ 11.46–48; the cleansing of, Shoghi Effendi, GPB 58
[4] Where it mentions, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, SAQ 11.49; Muhammad…the root, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.48–49; the truth confirming, Quran 3.2
[5] two souls…likened, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.49; a prophet like Moses, Deut. 18.18, also Quran 73.15 & 61.5–6, Zech. 4.2–3 & 11.14
[6] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.49–50
[7] They would be, IKings 17.1; ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.50; the prophethood, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.50
[8] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.51
[9] Liddell-Scott, Greek-English Lexicon 570–71
[10] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.52–53
[11] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.53–54
[12] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.54–55, also Shoghi Effendi GPB 58
[13] They heard the, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.55; a death which, Shoghi Effendi, GPB 49–50
[14] Shoghi Effendi, GPB 53
[15] The day after, Alexis Perrey, Note sur les tremeblements de terre, Academie Royal des Sciences des letters et de Beaux Artes Bulletin 18.4.291–308, 1st series, 1855, cited by Riggs, Apocalypse Unsealed 310; earthquake occurred, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.55; Shiraz…‘earthquake’, Shoghi Effendi, GPB 53–54; the final death toll, Nasser Engheta, Editor Sobhe Emruz, 1999, personal communication, Los Angeles
[16] Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 1.145
[17] Paraclete Helper, John 14.16, 26, 15.26, 16.7 & 13–14, Shoghi Effendi, Letters from the Guardian to Aust. and N.Z. 41; & Lights ‘Paraclete’ refer to Muhammad’s Revelation; ‘trumpet’ is meant, Baha’u’llah, 494, stating that New Testament references to KI 116; first woe, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.56; sent as a, Quran 33.45
[18] Shoghi Effendi, GPB 95–96, also ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA 3.13
[19] Tablets of Baha’u’llah 17.244, also 8.118 & 131
[20] Third woe, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.56, also GPB 92; Trumpet…is none, Tablets of Baha’u’llah 6.61; stunning trumpet-blast, Tablets of Baha’u’llah 8.117; St. Paul…alluded, Shoghi Effendi, GPB 96
[21] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.56–57, also Shoghi Effendi, GPB 92
[22] The Kingdom is God’s, Baha’u’llah, GWB 17.42; by ‘kingdom’, ‘Abu’l-Fadl, SW 7.3.23, April 28 1916; the Kingdom here, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11. 58
[23] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 58–59
[24] Sanctuary of Jerusalem, ‘Abdu’l-Baha SAQ 11.60; ‘there was seen’,‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.59–60; extolled by the, Shoghi Effendi, GPB 239; as indicated by, Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah 15.221–22