The Vision of John Unveils the Bahá'í Faith

What does John unveil? The immediate topical answer is the present financial crash occurring amid the struggle between Muslim Militarism and Malignant Materialism is heading towards a Greatest Depression but then towards a wholesome economic recovery generated by spiritual economics.

But more broadly, the vision of John unveils the new Baha’i “Glory” Faith (Baha means Glory). It is the Bahá'í Faith’s extensive Scriptures that contain the fresh interpretations that interpret Revelation verses and symbols for this book. Given the importance of the Book of Revelation, its Baha’i interpretations deserve to be widely read.
 
I write New Revelation Codes as a friend of the Baha’i Faith, and disclaim representing it or any of its agencies in any official way. New Revelation Codes simply presents my best good-faith reading of Baha’i Writings that in various ways interpret Revelation. A Baha’i conference invited me as a guest lecturer to present an early draft of this book. Its mostly Baha’i audience—many converted from Christianity—welcomed the subject and were pleased to hear just how many Baha’i Writings do interpret Revelation.
 
As the successor of the seven surviving monotheistic Faiths of Sabaeanism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, the Baha’i Faith is
the most recent of the world’s religions and the second most widespread religion after Christianity. Its founder Baha’u’llah brought an essential message of unity, teaching that there is only one God, one human race, and that all the world’s religions have been progressive stages in the revelation of God’s will and purpose for humanity. Baha’u’llah declared that humanity’s long-awaited stage of maturity is at hand, an age when the oneness of humankind will be recognized and established. He laid down principles, laws and institutions for a world civilization, including: abandonment of all forms of prejudice, full equality between the sexes, recognition of the common source and essential oneness of the world’s great religions, elimination of the extremes of poverty and wealth, universal compulsory education, right and responsibility of each person to search independently for truth, establishment of a world federal system, recognition that faith must be consistent with reason and that science and religion should be in harmony. The Baha’i Faith has no clergy and its affairs are administered through a system of elected councils at the local, national and international levels. There are currently over 180 national councils and more than 12,000 local councils around the world. The international governing body, known as the Universal House of Justice, functions from its seat at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa. All the costs associated with the activities of the Baha’i World Centre are covered by voluntary contributions from Baha’is around the world. No donations are accepted from other sources.[1]
A Baha’i monarch, Queen Marie of Rumania, niece of Queen Victoria, likened her Faith to
a wide embrace, gathering together all those who have searched for words of hope. It accepts all great Prophets gone before, it destroys no other creeds and leaves all doors open.¼Baha’i teaching brings peace to the soul and hope to the heart. To those in search of assurance, the words of the Father are as a fountain in the desert after long wandering‌.¼It is a wondrous message that Baha’u’llah and His son ‘Abdu’l-Baha have given us. They have not set it up aggressively, knowing that the germ of eternal truth which lies at its core cannot but take root and spread¼.It is Christ’s Message taken up anew.¼If ever the name of Baha’u’llah or ‘Abdu’l-Baha comes to your attention, do not put their writings from you. Search out their books, and let their glorious, peace-bringing, love-creating words and lessons sink into your hearts as they have into mine.[2]
As Judaism validated the teachings of Adam, Noah, and Abraham, as Christianity fulfilled the Judaism of Moses, as Islam expanded the Christianity of Jesus, and as Buddhism satisfied the Hinduism of Krishna, so the Baha’i Faith validates, fulfills, expands, and satisfies
the first and everlasting principles that animate and underlie the religions that have preceded it. The God-given authority, vested in each one of them, it admits and establishes as its firmest and ultimate basis…as different stages in the eternal history and constant evolution of one religion, Divine and indivisible, of which it itself forms but an integral part.¼Its unalterable purpose is to widen their basis, to restate their fundamentals, to reconcile their aims, to reinvigorate their life, to demonstrate their oneness, to restore the pristine purity of their teachings, to coordinate their functions and to assist in the realization of their highest aspirations. These divinely-revealed religions¼are doomed not to die, but to be reborn.¼Does not the child succumb in the youth and the youth in the man; yet neither child nor youth perishes?[3]
The Parallel Interpretive Apocalypse Texts that follows embraces every available Bahá'í interpretation of Revelation that I could find. It keeps my own interpretive glosses separate. It teases out John’s hidden Greek and Hebrew codes. It follows a taxing parallel format that favors and commits to one main interpretive flow. And for modern times, it focuses on the beast of Muslim Militarism and the crash of the financial Babylon of Malignant Materialism.[4]
 
New Revelation Codes follows a mainstream tradition of other Baha’i-based books interpreting Revelation from cover to cover. Moffett’s zealous New Keys to the Book of Revelation led the way. Riggs’ Apocalypse Unsealed delved into diligent detail and shared the cryptic astronomical, astrological, and numerological insights of its space-scientist author. Schreiber’s Chaining of the Dragon focused on recent Faiths and their history. Beach’s Book of Revelation, One Bahá’í’s Concept presented many Baha’i sources. Clark’s Understanding the Revelation to Saint John explored Faiths from Sabaeanism to Islam. Beebe’s Logic of the Revelation of St. John reasoned its own cogent case. In addition, other Baha’i-based books have interpreted parts of Revelation, for example, Motlagh’s I shall Come Again; Sears’ Missing Millennium; Sours’ Understanding Biblical Prophecy; Maudes’ Servant, General and Armageddon; and Tai-Seale’s Thy Kingdom Come.
 
Baha’i Writings commend prophecy generally, declaring that
the allusions made in the Scriptures have been unfolded…for this wondrous Day,
Then they extol specifically Revelation, declaring
What truth [is] greater than…the Revelation of St. John the divine, urging: Reflect upon the words of John because there are many meanings in each word of the Apocalypse that produce wonderful effects in the minds and thoughts of men and cause their hearts to be attracted.…Revelation is allusively very rich and offers abundant material for study…making it a very important book in teaching the Baha’i interpretations of certain biblical passages to devout Christians.[5]
The Revelations of St. John are not to be taken literally, but spiritually as the mysteries of God, since it is not the reading of the words that profits you; it is the understanding of their meanings.[6]
John intimated to the souls of men, through veiled allusions and hidden symbols, the glad-tidings of the One Who was to come after Him, saying ‘His eyes were as a flame of fire’, and ‘brass-like were His feet’, and ‘out of His mouth goeth a two-edged sword’. How could these words be literally interpreted?…Yet, shouldst thou reflect upon these statements, thou wouldst find them to be of such surpassing eloquence and clarity as to mark the loftiest heights of utterance and the epitome of wisdom.[7]
(Official English translations of older Baha’i Writings deliberately use “Olde English”, like that seen in the King James Bible, in order to capture the original elevated Persian and Arabic style of Baha’u’llah and his son ‘Abdu’l-Baha. Please bear with it!)
Baha’i Writings do not interpret Revelation from beginning to end any more than Jesus, say, revealed the whole Old Testament. Instead they reveal choice parts, as other Baha’i Writings reveal choice parts of Daniel and Isaiah. Doing so lets interpretations of one verse unlock other verses. For exabmple, interpreting 1,260 days[8] in v. 11.3 explains it also in v. 12.6. Interpreting Trump-Ta-Ra in v. 11.14 explains it also in vv. 8.13, 9.1, 12, 12.12, 18.10, 16 & 19.
 
Further, you are encouraged to sincerely interpret prophetic gaps in Revelation, so that you may
unaided, comprehend these inner meanings and expound at full length every single word.¼A spring of wisdom will well up, and jet forth even as a fountain that leapeth from its own original source.
 
Generally, in regard to interpreting prophecy,
what scholars...say...the individual is free to accept, or refute. By discussion of...statements by scholars, the truth will ultimately be found, but at no time should their decision be considered as final.[9]
 
In addition, some Baha’i-based interpretations shed light on odd Revelation language. For example, they
show that v. 4.6’s four Living-Beings can be positioned oddly at the center of the Throne and around the Throne as simply two parties on the Throne and two parties guarding it
echo that v. 9.12’s two Trump-Ta-Ras is still coming are simply a grammatically singular duo of Prophets proclaiming simultaneously (as if Moses and Jesus had heralded together)
explain that v. 10.7’s servants the prophets are simply two accusative-case Prophets who are the direct object of God joyfully proclaiming (not the notional dative-case indirect object conjured up by most translators as God joyfully proclaiming to his servants the prophets).
 
Revelation through a Baha’i Kaleidoscope
The Parallel Interpretive Apocalypse Texts—the original Revelation text in one column and its Baha’i-based interpretation in another column, with Comments—follow the Introduction. Even though putting the horse of these parallel texts in front of the cart of the Discussion and Translation sectionsmakes sense to, the cart still contains the food of the horse, meaning text explaining the parallel texts. Therefore, an aperitif preview summarizing the Parallel Interpretive Texts now follows, in order to prepare you for them, chapter by Revelation chapter:
Chapter 1: Revelation’s main Angel interprets as the Messenger of God called Baha’u’llah.
Chapters 2–3: Its Seven-Churches addressed by his messages are the seven monotheistic Faiths of Sabaeanism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, whose seven Angels are God’s Messengers Abraham, Moses, Zarathustra, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and (yes) Muhammad.
Chapter 4: Its Door is the Bab, its Enthroned-One is Baha’u’llah, its four Living-Beings areBaha’i Primary-Figures, and its 24 elders are Baha’i founders.
Chapter 5: Its scroll is the Book of Revelation itself. Its Ram is the Bab, the lesser Baha’i Messenger heralding Baha’u’llah.
Chapter 6: The seven seals of its scroll are more messages for the seven Faiths.
Chapter 7: Its four Angels are the Middle East Messengers Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad welcoming the Bab and his new Faith.
Chapter 8: Its seven Trumpet-Angels are the four Middle East Messengers Abraham, Moses, Zarathustra, and Jesus recapping the history of Christianity.
Chapter 9: Its fifth Trumpet-Angel is the first Woe’ (Trump-Ta-Ra) Muhammad recapping the militaristic early history of Islam. Its sixth Trumpet-Angel is the second Woe Angel who is the Bab.
Chapter 10: Its mighty seventh Trumpet-Angel is Baha’u’llah ready to herald.
Chapter 11: Its two Witnesses are Muhammad and Ali returned as the Bab and his lead follower in 1844, after 1,260 days, 42 months, or 3½ days/seasons, closing the Cycle of Prophecy and opening the new Cycle of Fulfillment. Its seventh Trumpet-Angel is the third Woe who is Baha’u’llah.
Chapter 12–15: Its beasts are Muslim Militarism’s Umayyad and Ottoman Empires crippling the true Islam of Muhammad. Its Temple is the One Religion of God and its Angels are the Presence of God.
Chapter 16: Its seven Pitcher-Angels are Abraham, Moses, Zarathustra, Jesus, Muhammad, the Bab, and Baha’u’llah influencing the 1800–1900s that opened these end times for Persia, the Middle East, and the globe.
Chapter 17: Its beast with horns confronting the whore of Babylon is Muslim Militarism attacking Malignant Materialism.
Chapter 18: Its Babylon Confusion is Malignant Materialism falling in a Greatest Depression.
Chapter 19: Its wedding banquet of the Ram represents spiritual economics that leads to sharing world’s material wealth between everybody.
Chapter 20:Its Millennium is the Jewish Seventh Millennium. Its Gog and Magog is a far future global dictatorship that follows the Millennium.
Chapter 21: Its New Jerusalem is the divine civilization of the Millennium.
Chapter 22: Its Tree of Life is the wisdom of the One Religion of God.
The Parallel Interpretive Apocalypse Texts, their Comments, the Discussion, and the Translation Section develop these interpetations, each in its way.

As for Baha’i Writings, they speak with their own powerful lucid authority. So I cite them directly, in order to let them speak for themselves, rather than paraphrasing them and lessening their thrust unacceptably.


[1] Baha’i Universal House of Justice Pamphlet 2003
[2] Queen Marie cited by Shoghi Effendi in Summary Statement to UN—1947, Special UN Committee on Palestine#47–0701, http://statements.bahai.org/pdf/47–0701.pdf (last accessed 20060701), which also cites other leading figures publicly praising the Bahá'í Faith, namely Leo Tolstoy, President Masaryk, Rev. T. K. Cheyne, Viscount Samuel of Carmel, Professor Norman Bentwich, Professor Benjamin Jowett, and Professor Lewis Campbell
[3] Shoghi Effendi, WOB 114
[4] Aune, 52C1267–87
[5] The allusions,Baha’u’llah GWB 16.39 & PB111–112
  What truth, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 16 July, 1896 SWA3.12, One of First General Messages to the Baha’is of America. SW 14.12.358 1924/3; also ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA 3.12, Child of Covenant 240 & Má’idih-i-Ásmání 2.82
  Reflect upon the words of John, Baha’u’llah, Scriptures, Tablet to the Jews 47.117
 Because there are many meanings, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Scriptures 962.500
 Produce wonderful effects,‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 71.253
 Revelation is allusively, Shoghi Effendi, Letter to Ruth Moffett 1944/8/13
Making it, Shoghi Effendi, Letter to Ruth Moffett 1952/6/8
[6] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP459, also 199
[7] Baha’u’llah Gems 72.52–53
[8] Beginning to end, Shoghi Effendi, Letter 1944
Interpreting Daniel and Isaiah, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ10.36–44 for Dan. 9.24 & 12.6–7 & 12.61–65 for Isaiah 11.1–10)
Interpreting 1,260 days,‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.46
Interpreting Trump-Ta-Ra,‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 11.56
[9] Unaided, comprehend, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA142.167; what scholars, Shoghi Effendi, Letter to Mrs. Shahnaz Waite, February 23, 1933 Lights 1620.486 & USBN 77, 1933/9