Progressive Revelation

*The first 99% phase of human existence—a million or more years—saw humans gathering and hunting food.1] In contrast, the last 1% phase of human life on earth—some 10,000 years—has seen people steadily settling-down, farming fields, foddering flocks for food, and bonding and banding into bigger and bigger tribes, villages, towns, counties, countries, and now the globe.
This last 1% phase has also recorded serial Messengers sent down through the operation of the Divine Will and evolving the Religion of God.2] A major Prophet of God comes every now and again to start a new spiritual Era. After a time people forget his teaching and let it fade, and the time comes for a new Messenger to be born and start a new spiritual Era. So each Messenger ends a spiritual Era and begins a spiritual Era—just as Venus shines as both the Evening-Star and the Dawn-Star.
Each and every Messenger coming from the heaven of the same limitless past and the same immeasurable future teaches the same things in order to
liberate…men from the darkness of ignorance…ensure the peace and tranquillity of mankind, and provide all the means by which they can be established. Prophets of God have ever appeared in the ages of the past and will continue to appear throughout the ages of the future. Where was Adam when God was exercising his divinity? Where was this petty infinitesimal world of ours when God was bestowing his bounties upon this infinite universe? If we limit the number of his appearances through his prophets, it is equal to limiting God himself.[3]
God has many names, and so do His Messengers as Manifestations, Spirits, Revelators, Revealers, Teachers, Prophets, Delegates, Luminaries, Presences, Avatars, Words, Enthroned-Ones, and Founders. But, most commonly, Faiths call them
‘angels’, or holy beings who have sanctified themselves from every human limitation, have become endowed with the attributes of the spiritual, and have been adorned with the noble traits of the blessed.[4]
In regard to angel, both its Greek angelosand its Hebrew malach render equally well as Angel or Messenger (even their triconsonantal n–g–l and n–g–r roots are close).
The seven surviving Faiths of the Cycle of Prophecy maintain and sustain the teachings of God’s Messenger Angels Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. Their Faiths span time across six millennia and space across Asia:
The serial Messengers of Asia’s Fertile-Crescent were Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. The teachings of each folded into the teachings of the next. Adam’s teachings folded into the teachings of Noah. Noah’s teachings folded into the Sabaeanism of Abraham. Sabaeanism’s teachings folded into the Judaism of Moses. Judaism’s teachings folded into the Christianity of Jesus. And Christianity’s teachings folded into the Islam of Muhammad.
The serial Avatars of Asia’s Indian-Subcontinent were Matsya (The Fish), Kurma (The Tortoise), Varaha (The Boar), Nrisinha (The Man-Lion), Vamana (The Dwarf), Parasurama (The Axe), Rama, Krishna, and Buddha. The teachings of Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Nrisinha, Vamana, and Parasurama folded into those of Rama. Rama’s teachings folded into the Hinduism of Krishna. And Hinduism’s teachings folded into the Buddhism of Buddha.5] Now just Hinduism and Buddhism survive.
Asia’s Prophets of Persia were many…prior to the Dispensation of Zoroaster.6] All their teachings folded into the Zoroastrianism of Zoroaster.
Each Messenger Prophet fulfilled the promise of the One Who came before Him and, likewise, each announced the One Who would follow.…Abraham foretold the coming of Moses, and Moses embodied the Abrahamic statement. Moses prophesied the Messianic cycle, and Christ fulfilled the law of Moses.They all unfurled the standard of divine guidance, even though their words and utterances…appear to diverge and differdue to each of them having a distinct individuality, designated limitations, different name, special attribute, definite mission, and particular Revelation and specific station of distinction.[7]
Serial Messengers have been spiritual champions running the relay of God’s One Religion. Each of them has advanced it by the millennial stride of his own Era and Faith—taking up the torch of God’s truth from the Messenger before him, blazing it for his own Era, and passing it on to the Messenger after him. In this way a chain of successive Revelations…linked the Manifestation of Adam with that of the Báb.8] Prophetically, the Book of Revelation itself has run much of the relay—burning as a Jewish Apocalypse, flaming for Christianity, and blazing for later Faiths. The last New Testament Book Revelation closed the Christian Era and opened its successor Eras just as the last Old Testament Book Malachi closed the Jewish Era and opened its successor Christian Era. For Baha’is, the main Messenger of Revelation was Baha’u’llah just as for Christians the Malachi messenger (Malachi means My Messenger) was Jesus.
Each Cycle of Prophecy Messenger was charged to act in a manner that would best meet the requirements of the age in which He appeared,9] in guiding humanity through the growing-pains of its babyhood, infancy, early childhood, late childhood, puberty, and adolescence. The teachings of each Messenger matched the developmental level of his Era and were honed for a stage in the serial spiritual growth of the human species. Thus
the position of Adam…was in the embryonic condition.…In the time of Christ, the divine teachings were given in accordance with the infancy of the human race.…The teachings of Baha’u’llah have the same basic principles, but are according to the stage of the maturity of the world and the requirements of this illumined age.[10]
So Adam nursed humanity through its narcissistic babyhood, taught the existence of God, promoted family and work, and condemned murder and theft.11] Noah bore humanity through its egotistic infancy, and began courts of law. Abraham reared humanity through its early childhood, taught social laws, and banned idol-worship.12] Moses raised humanity through its boisterous late childhood, and imposed 613 commandments. Jesus guided humanity through its insecure puberty and stressed brotherly love. Muhammad disciplined humanity through its stormy adolescence, stressed social love, and polished Jewish and Christian laws. Now the teachings of the Bab and Baha’u’llah are training humanity though its early adulthood, uniting the burgeoning billions of the planet, and launching Millennial prosperity and divine civilization. Throughout, all God’s
Messengers have brought the message of love. None has ever thought that war and hate are good. Every one agrees in saying that love and kindness are best.The manifestation of the Messiah was synonymous with universal mercy. His providence was universal and his teachings were for all. His lights were not restricted to a few.…The light of Christ is evident. The candle of Buddha is shining. The star of Moses is sparkling. The flame ignited by Zoroaster is still burning.[13]
A Binary Sun System: The Twin Manifestations of God are a binary sun system blazing their new Faith. Each prior Messenger of God was a single spiritual sun who shone his knowledge for an Era and promised a successor spiritual sun for the next Era. But this opening Era of the new Cycle calls for a binary system:
All the peoples of the world are awaiting two Manifestations who must be contemporaneous.…In the Bible the Jews have the promise of the Lord of Hosts and the Messiah; in the Gospel the return of Christ and Elijah is promised. In the religion of Muhammad there is the promise of the Mihdi and the Messiah, and it is the same with the Zoroastrian and the other religions.…The essential fact is that all are promised two Manifestations…one following on the other.[14]
By definition, these Twin Manifestations came at the same time, as if Moses and Jesus had appeared together. In this way they fit all prophetic bills as:
Judaism’s Ancient of Days and Return of Elijah; or its King of Glory and Holy One of Israel; or its Messiah son of Joseph and Messiah son of David, coming as it were from a womb…encompassing two chambers…giving birth…to two Messiahs.[15]
Zoroastrianism’s Hushidar Door of Wisdom and Shah Bahram (Saoshyant Bearer of Benefit)
Hinduism’s Vishnu Yasha Ninth Avatar and Kalki Tenth Avatar
Buddhism’s Fourth Buddha and Maitreiya Fifth Buddha
Christianity’s Return of Jesus and Appearance of the Father
Sunni Islam’s Mahdi and Muhdi; or its Return of Christ and Messiah
Shi’i Islam’s Qa’im and Qayyum.[16]
Clearly, Baha’is identify them as the Bab and Baha’u’llah, who come uniting
all the Prophets and Messengers of God as one soul and one body, as one light and one spirit.…United in their message…they are like the sun; in different seasons they ascend from different rising points on the horizon.…Yet the sun of today is the sun of yesterday.…The sun of truth rises in each season from a different point of the horizon—to-day it is here, yesterday it was there, and to-morrow it will appear from another direction. Why do you keep your eyes eternally fixed on the same point? Why do you call yourselves Christians, Buddhists, Mohammedans, Bahais? You must learn to distinguish the sun of truth from whichever point of the horizon it is shining![17]
Nine Faiths (Religions) survive, and this number nine
[my emphasis].is symbolic of the perfection of the Bahá’í Revelation as the ninth in the line of…nine great world religions.The eighth is the religion of the Bab, and the remaining seven are: Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the religion of the Sabeans [sic]. These religions are not the only true religions that have appeared in the world, but are the only ones still existing There have always been divine Prophets and Messengers.…But the only ones existing are those mentioned.[18]
Baha meaning Glory has a numerical value of nine, and Baha’is have nine-member spiritual assemblies, nine-sided houses of worship, and a nine-pointed star. Revelation too has nine mentions of Almighty God,19] nine Messenger Angels, and nine sets of seven (churches, Spirits, Menorah-Lamps, stars, lanterns of fire, seals, horns and eyes, trumpet Angels, and pitcher Angels). As a wedge of divine swans, its Angels of the Seven-Churches winging their way over Asia have been Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. As an overlapping bevy of divine swans, its seven Trumpet- and Pitcher-Angels racing their route along the Fertile Crescent have been Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammad, the Bab, and Baha’u’llah. Now fused into a full whiteness of nine divine swans, all nine Messenger Angels can soar celestially across the sky of the One Religion of God.

[1] Dawkins 27
[2] Baha’u’llah,GWB31.74
[3] Liberate men, Baha’u’llah, GWB34.78–80; Prophets of God, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, DP7.170
[4] Baha’u’llah, KI81–82
[5] Bhagavad Gita 4.7–8
[6] Universal House of Justice, Lights 1691.2.502
[7] Prophet fulfilled, Abdu’l-Baha, PUP197–98
The standard of,Baha’u’llah, KI10
Words and utterances,Baha’u’llah, KI 176–78
A distinct individuality,Baha’u’llah, Aqdas78:48 &PB5;Tablet to Hardegg 10.5;DP 5.153; Tablet to Hardegg 10.5
Specific station, Baha’u’llah, KI 176–78
8] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP 197–98; Baha’u’llah, GWB 31.74
[9] Baha’u’llah, GWB34.78–80
[10] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 30.124, BWF400
[11] ‘A–D–M’, the Hebrew consonants of Adam, serve as the root of adam for human-being, adom for red, and adamah for earth
[12] One night Abraham smashed all his father’s idols except the biggest whom he mockingly accused next morning of destroying the others during the night!
[13] Messengers have brought, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 35; Manifestation of the Messiah, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity 106; Light of Christ, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP 346
[14] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 10.39, also Shoghi Effendi GPB92
[15] Zohar 32.36.214
[16] Riggs, Apocalypse Unsealed 47–48
[17] All the Prophets, Baha’u’llah, Gems 44.33
United in their, ‘Abdu’l-Baha in London 29;BWF400
Yet the sun of today, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 30.124, BWF400
The sun of truth, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, DP 14–15
[18] Is symbolic of the perfection, Shoghi Effendi Lights 1373.414 & 1374.414; there have always, Shoghi Effendi, Directives 141.51–52, Lights 1373.414
[19] Rev. 1.8, 4.8, 11.17, 15.3, 16.7, 14, 19.6, 15 & 21.22