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And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, that
great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the
wrath of her fornication. -Rev 14:8

     The next angel [Buddha?] informs us of the downfall of
'Babylon.' The word 'Babylon' (<Heb 'Bab-el') means literally
'Gate of God.' 'Jerusalem' means literally 'Sacred Peace.' Both
names are sacred and symbolize the City of the Word of God.  The
Word of God, though originally the Holy City, through corruption,
becomes the Wicked City. '

How the faithful city has played the whore!"  REB: Isaiah 1:8  

     Jerusalem is transformed into Babylon and vice versa as the
Holy City decays and is renewed in successive Dispensations. 
      The use of Babylon as a symbol of the corrupted Word is
based upon the story of the Tower of Babel.{7} It was at this
place that the babble of tongues was supposed to have originated.
It requires the addition of only a single letter to convert
Bab-el = Gate of God, into Bal-bel = Confusion.
     Baha'u'llah reveals that the corruption of the Word of God
does not result from the conscious falsification or forgery of
the Sacred Texts, but from misinterpretation through idle
imaginings and vain desires. {8}
     Old Testament prophecies foretell that in the last days the
Word will be renewed at Babylon.{19} But Jeremiah prophesied that
the site of old Babylon will be a ruin. Baha'u'llah revealed His
mission and renewed the Word at the new Babylon, modern Baghdad,
in 1863. The word 'Baghdad' means literally 'Gift of God.' 


And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, if
any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in
his forehead, or in his hand,  The same shall drink of the wine
of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the
cup of his indignation: and he shall be tormented with fire and
brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence
of the Lamb. -Rev 14:9-10

     The third angel [Muhammad?] warns those who willingly accept
the validity of the Umayyad and 'Abbasid dynasties, and those who
willingly pay the taxes that are the hidden agenda of the
caliphate. They shall receive spiritual torments that cannot be
extinguished; their sufferings will be witnessed by the
immaculate souls in heaven in the presence of 'Ali, the
Sacrificial Hero.

And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever:
and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his
image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12 Here is
the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. -Rev 14:11-12

[REB: 12 This calls for the endurance of God's people, all those
who keep his commandments and remain loyal to Jesus.]

     When the illegitimate caliphate conquered the oecumene,
non-Muslim devotees such as Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and
Sabaeans, were given three choices: pay the business and head
taxes, leave the domain of the Muslim empire, or declare their
allegiance to Islam. Failure to choose one of these three
distasteful alternatives placed the devotee at great risk to
person or property.
    Those who chose the last alternative, who pretended to be
Muslims, were called the Mawali (Clients). The Mawali, who
"received the mark of his name," are also condemned, since their
acceptance of Islam was not based upon a sincere belief in the
teachings of the Prophet but was simply a matter of expediency.
In their failure to flee the Empire, Christian Mawali became
disloyal to Jesus and willing allies of the Caliph. Young male
Mawali often became warriors in the Muslim army.
      'Fire and brimstone' describes the unquenchable and
agonizing spiritual torment of remoteness from God. "Separation
from Thee, O Source of everlasting life, hath well nigh consumed
me, and my remoteness from Thy presence hath burned my soul." 
"Some have made haste to attain the court of the God of Mercy,
others have fallen down on their faces in the fire of Hell, while
others are lost in bewilderment."  "They hasten forward to Hell
fire, and mistake it for light."       "Smoke" is an obvious sign
of spiritual torment.  "The moon of idle fancy hath been cleft,
and the heaven hath given out a palpable smoke."  "What smoke
more dense and overpowering than the one which hath now
enshrouded all the peoples of the world, which hath become a
torment unto them, and from which they hopelessly fail to deliver
themselves, however much they strive?"  -BH {9}

And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed
are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith
the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their
works do follow them. -Rev 14:13

     To 'die in the Lord' means to die from self in order to live
in God. "He who hath attained this station is sanctified from all
that pertains to the world ... This is the plane whereon the
vestiges of all things are destroyed in the traveler, and on the
horizon of eternity the Divine Face riseth out of the darkness,
and the meaning of 'All on the earth shall pass away, but the
face of thy Lord ...' is made manifest."  -BH {10}
     The 'Spirit' is that Source of Divine power that transforms
mere humans into sons of God, and lifts the worldly wayfarer from
the abode of dust to the heavenly homeland. The 'dead in the
Lord' of the last days will be instrumental in bringing forth the
Revelation of Baha'u'llah.


14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one
sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown,
and in his hand a sharp sickle. -Rev 14:14

[NIV: 14 .... , and seated on the cloud was one "like a son of

     Baha'u'llah, the King of Glory and the Divine Reaper, is
described as one like a Son of Man, descending to earth on a
heavenly throne. 
     This echoes verse 1:12 {11} in which one "like a son of man"
comes with the "clouds of heaven." We have already discussed the
symbolism of clouds as representing glory, trouble, bounty and
veiled obscurement. The meaning of the 'Son of Man' may require
further explanation.
     The title was based upon the concept of a Divine prototype
or primordial Man. According to this belief, the true home of Man
is in heaven. At each Advent, God sends a Messenger, a Son of
Man, to redeem mortal man from his prison of worldliness and to
renew human history.{12}
     The Son of Man also calls himself the Shepherd, the Truth,
the Light, and other titles familiar to readers of the New
Testament. The concept of Man was important in Hebrew and Gnostic
theology and was even incorporated in the FOURTH ECLOGUE of
Virgil. In many ways, the concept resembles that of the Avatar of
Hindu theology, and implies a cyclicity of history that can also
be inferred from astrological theology.
     In the first century BCE, the return of the Son of Man was
widely anticipated. With his Advent, Jesus claimed the title as
his own, and prophesied another return of the "Son of Man in the
glory of his Father." {14} But the modifying phrase 'one like
unto' in verse 14:14 suggests that the title 'Son of Man' will no
longer be understandable in its original context at the end of
the Piscean Age. Indeed, today the title is not generally
understood, and most Christians would claim that the title
belongs exclusively to Jesus Christ. 
     It might be argued that the title does not rigorously apply
to Baha'u'llah, since He is not the Manifestation of the Son, but
of the Father. {15}


And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud
voice to him that sat on the cloud. Thrust in thy sickle, and
reap: for the time is come for thee to reap: for the harvest of
the earth is ripe.  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his
sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. -Rev 14:15-16

     The next angel requests Baha'u'llah to 'thrust in his sickle
and reap.' Mankind is likened to a vineyard as in the parable of
Jesus Christ. The parable of the vineyard is found in all three
synoptic Gospels. 

     In the Matthew (REB) version {13}, Jesus tells of a
landowner of a vineyard who lets it out to tenant vine-growers
and goes abroad. When the harvest season approaches, the
landowner sends his servants to the tenants to collect the
produce that is due to him. Each of his servants are abused, some
killed. Finally he sends his son, who is also killed. When the
Lord of the Vineyard returns from abroad, he will 'bring those
bad men to a bad end' and 'hand the vineyard over to other

     The Lord of the Vineyard, the owner of the vineyard of Man,
lets out His vineyard to the priesthood [tenant vine-growers]. He
disappears from the scene [goes abroad]. When the end of the
Dispensation arrives [the harvest season approaches], the Lord
sends his Messengers [servants] to the priesthood to collect the
souls of his devotees [produce] that is due to Him. Each of his
Messengers are abused, some killed. Finally he sends His son
[Jesus Christ], who is also killed. When the Lord of the Vineyard
[Baha'u'llah] returns from abroad, he will 'bring those bad men
to a bad end' and abolish the former priesthood' [hand the
vineyard over to other tenants].
     The World Center of the Faith of Baha'u'llah is located on
Mount Carmel in the Holy Land. The word 'Carmel' means the
'Vineyard of God,' and may be mystically correlated with the
parable of Jesus. Other prophecies in the Bible suggest that
Carmel will be connected with Baha'u'llah. For example, in
Isaiah, {16} the 'Rod out of the stem of Jesse,' and the 'Scion
from the root of Jesse' refer to Baha'u'llah; the 'Branch' refers
to 'Abdu'l-Baha; the 'holy mountain' refers to Carmel.
     In verse 14:14 above, an angel prompts the Divine Reaper to
reap the harvest of the Ages. Based upon the parable of the
vineyard, that angel is probably Jesus Christ. {17}

And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he
also having a sharp sickle.   And another angel came out from the
altar, which had power over fire, saying, Thrust in thy sharp
sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her
grapes are fully ripe. -Rev 14:17-18

     The angel with the sickle also has the power to reap the
harvest of the Ages; He clearly represents the Bab. The altar
angel with the power over fire, is probably Zoroaster.{17}  The
Zoroastrian Faith is noted for its fire altars, and is centered
in that part of Persia where the Bab was manifested. Also, in
verse 2:28, Zoroaster is connected with the "morning star," the
Herald of a 'new Day.'


And the angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the
vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the
wrath of God.  20 And the winepress was trodden without the city,
and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles,
by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. -Rev

[NIV: 20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city,
and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses'
bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.]

     Once again, the credulity of the literalist is put to the
test!  The literal conversion of 1,600 stadia is a distance of
about 180 statute miles. The metrical height of a horse's bridle
is about 60 inches. No other dimensions are given, but
optimistically assuming a width of the sea of blood to be only
one mile, the volume of this sea would require the deaths of
about 60 times the total number of men, women and children
existing on the surface of today's earth.
     Verse 20 must be recognized for what it is- a riddle. In
order to solve it, we first recognize that 1,600 is 40-times-40.
The number 40 appears many times in the Bible to signify extreme
tests of long duration. The squaring of a number is its
'perfection.' A stadium was an ancient measure of the earth's
surface. So, one implication of the riddle is that earthbound
humanity 'outside the city' of the renewed Word of God (the New
Jerusalem) will experience extreme spiritual tests over a long
period of time.
     Now consider the height of a horse's bridle. Astrological
constellations are frequently involved in the Apocalypse. In this
instance, the constellation of Pegasus, the Flying Horse, is
suggested by the verse. Pegasus has 7 'spans' of stars between
its hoof and its jaw. With this hint, we recall that the
canonical height of a horse's bridle is 7-spans, where a span is
the distance across the stretched hand of an adult, about 9
English inches. Remembering that 7 is the number of trial and
punishment, again we see that extreme tests of the spirit await
those excluded from the New Jerusalem.
     But why is the riddle expressed as a 'space of
1,600-times-7' ?  Look again. The archetypal value of 1,600 is
also 7. {18} Thus the occult dimension of the riddle is a 'space
of 7-times-7.'       7-times-7 equals 49. This is the period of
Divine Revelation, from the Declaration of the Bab in 1260 AH and
ending with the Ascension of Baha'u'llah in 1309 AH, a space of
7-times-7, or 49 lunar years.
     There are other correlations suggested by the riddle. 40
lunar years was the span of time of the Ministry of Baha'u'llah.
The span of time from the Declaration of the Bab until the
Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Baha was 70-and-7 solar year, styled by
Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian, as the Heroic Age of the Baha'i
                      CHAPTER 15- HIS NAME REVEALED


     The world stage has been set in Chapter 14. In this Chapter, 
the name of the Leading Actor is announced.
     7 more angels are introduced; these are the plague angels
who will support the Divine Reaper in the great drama of the End
of the Age.
     Those of the Piscean Age who managed to overcome the wicked
cunning of the Houses of Umayyah and 'Abbas are extolled. John
sees them standing in triumph as the choir on the Celestial
Pavilion and singing the eternal song, the Message from God, the
same song that was sung by Moses and Jesus during their own
     The sanctuary of the Tent of Testimony, alas, still existing
in the heavenly realm, is opened. The Glory of God, Baha'u'llah,
is also seen to exist in the sanctuary. Smoke from his power,
just as it did in ancient days, fills the Temple, and no one is
able to enter the Temple until the 7 plague angels empty their
vials onto the earth. 


And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven
angels having seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the
wrath of God. 2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with
fire; and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and
over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his
name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of gold. -Rev

[REB: 2 ... those who had been victorious against the beast, its
image, and the number of its name.]

     Once again John is permitted to observe the sea of glass
that represents the outermost surface of the firmament, the
Celestial Pavilion. This time it is mingled with fire to
symbolize the wrath of God and the Last Judgement. The angels
have the number 7, symbolic of trials and punishments.  Verse 2
extols those inhabitants of the heavenly realm who have overcome
the false doctrine of the Houses of Umayyah and 'Abbas (the beast
and its image), and the blasphemous deception of wrongly-guided
Caliphs (the number of its name).


3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the
song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works,
Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of
saints.  4 Who shalt not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?
for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship
before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. -Rev 15:3-4

[REB: 3 ...; just and true are your ways, O King of the ages.]

      The song of Moses and the Lamb is the eternal Message, the
Word of God, renewed and readorned in every 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'an; in this day, the Bayan (Book of the Bab); and in the
Dispensation of Him Whom God will make manifest (Baha'u'llah),
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." -BH {1}
     Verse 4 reflects the prophesies in Isaiah {2} regarding the
glorious abode of the Rod out of the stem of Jesse, Baha'u'llah. 


5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the
tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:  and the seven
angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed
in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with
golden girdles.  And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven
angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth
for ever and ever. -Rev 15:5-7

[REB: 5 ... the sanctuary of the heavenly Tent of Testimony was
opened, ...]

     John sees that the Tent of Testimony, authorized by Moses,
still persists in the heavenly realm, although its existence on
the earthly plane had long since faded. The sanctuary was that
portion of the tent where people were allowed to assemble and
worship. The Holy of Holies, in the shape of a perfect cube {3},
contained the Ark of the Covenant and was reserved as the special
abode of Jehovah.
     In a deeper sense, the 'Tabernacle' is the Revelation of God
descended upon man in the Temple of the Manifestation. "These
Tabernacles of Holiness, these Primal Mirrors which reflect the
light of unfading glory, are but the expressions of Him Who is
the Invisible of the Invisibles."  "Aid me, O my Lord, to
surrender myself wholly to Thy Will, and to arise and serve Thee,
for I cherish this earthly life for no other purpose than to
compass the Tabernacle of Thy Revelation and the Seat of Thy
Glory."  -BH {4}
      The seven plague angels are protected by golden girdles, a
symbol of a new Faith. Their white linens symbolize cleanliness
and holiness. 


8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and
from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple,
till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. -Rev

[REB: 8 The sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God
and from his power, ...]

     Verse 8 alludes to an ancient supernatural event that
occurred during the reign of Solomon: {6}

...; and the house was filled with the cloud of the glory of the
Lord. The priests could not continue to minister because of the
cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God. -REB: 2
Chron 5:13-14 

    "The symbolic term 'smoke' denotes grave dissensions, the
abrogation and demolition of recognized standards, and the utter
destruction of their narrow-minded exponents." -BH {5}  It is
this 'smoke' issuing from the spiritual power of Baha'u'llah, the
Glory of God, that must be dissipated from the 'sanctuary' before
the peoples of the world will be allowed to enter and worship
Jehovah by His new name, Baha'.  The seven last plagues must be
released before the smoke can be dissipated. 
     In Greek, 'Glory of God' has a literal value of 1389, which
has an archetypal value of 3. In Arabic, 'Baha'u'llah' has a
literal value of 75, which also has an archetypal value of 3. The
Greek word for 'Glory' has a literal value of 135 with an
archetypal value of 9, identical to the literal value of Baha'.
                     CHAPTER 16- THE END OF THE AGE


     After revealing the name of the Divine Reaper in the
previous chapter, the Apocalypse now summarizes the dramatic
events surrounding the Advents of the Bab and Baha'u'llah. The
time setting of the drama is the mid-19th century; the place
settings are in the regions of Persia, Turkey and Iraq. It is to
be revealed in 7 Acts, each supported by one of the plague
     The first plague is the religious controversy that befalls
those fanatics in the Muslim world who have been deceived by the 
'image of the beast,' the spiritual descendants of the House of
     The second plague befalls all of mankind, the spiritual
annihilation of the souls of 'every living creature' that must
precede the creation of a new spiritual world.
     The third plague befalls the corrupt clerics of every
religious Faith. Their teachings are transmuted from life-giving
'water' into death-dealing 'blood.'
     The fourth plague is the spiritual torment that befalls the
corrupt clerics of 19th century Persia, causing many to blaspheme
the name of 'Allah.
     The fifth plague is the spiritual torment and darkness that
befalls the corrupt clerics of the 19th century sacerdotal order
centered at Istanbul.
     The sixth plague is the loss of spirituality that befalls 
the Babi community exiled to Baghdad and its environs. This
plague is accompanied by diabolical deceptions characteristic of
the Umayyah; confusion is created among the Babi's by the claims
of the false prophet Mirza Yahya.
     The Advent of Baha'u'llah is announced. He enters and
departs the world stage 'unseen' like a thief in the night.
     The seventh and final plague is the 'piling up of sorrow'
that befalls the entire human race, caused by false teachings and
lies, the effects of which are being experienced today. Every
human being experiences the 'test of the talent' foretold by
Jesus Christ during his physical sojourn on earth. 

     [A detailed history of these events can be found in Shoghi
Effendi's masterpiece, GOD PASSES BY. This dark period of history
can hardly be visualized by the modern reader. Travelers {1}
described the region as technologically backward, and often with
despotic governments and corrupted priesthoods. Thanks to
progressive 20th century leadership, the conditions that abounded
there 150-years ago no longer prevail.]


And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven
angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God
upon the earth. -Rev 16:1

     The voice out of the heavenly Tabernacle is that of the
Divine Reaper, Baha'u'llah.


And the first went, and poured his vial upon the earth; and there
fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark
of the beast, and upon those which worshipped his image. -Rev

     Those with the mark of the beast refers to the Sunni
sacerdotal order, under the control of the caliphate seated at
Istanbul. Those who worshipped the image of the beast refers to
the independent Shi'ah sacerdotal order centered in Persia.
Recall that the first beast was the House of Umayyah, while the
image of the beast was the House of 'Abbas. The two mainstream
19th century sacerdotal orders were the spiritual descendants and
historical analogues of the beast and the image of the beast. 
     The noisome and grievous sore caused by the first plague
angel was the clamor of religious controversy and the sore of
spiritual distress that beset the Muslim world following the
Declaration of the Bab. Some estimates claim that more than 20-
thousand devotees of the Bab were martyred, a great many under
the severest of tortures.  


And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it
became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in
the sea. -Rev 16:3

     The second plague angel empties his vial upon the realm of
the spirit, and every living creature in that realm is caused to
     It is one of the great mysteries of history that each
Manifestation of God is the torchbearer of a new civilization.{2}
For example, Jesus brought a Christian civilization into
existence. In order for this to come about, the 'old world' of
classical civilization had to be destroyed, sacrificed, to make
way for a 'new world.' The inhabitants of the old world were
totally unaware of the cataclysmic event, but the event would
become apparent to future historians.
     In verse 3 we are informed of a much more profound
cataclysm- the 'death' of EVERY living soul in the spiritual
realm. This astonishing event will attend the Manifestation of
the Divine Reaper, and is apparently unique to history. 
"Consider the hour at which the supreme Manifestation of God
(Baha'u'llah) revealeth Himself unto men .... at the very moment
preceding His Revelation, each and every created thing shall be
made to yield up its soul to God. This is indeed the Day of which
it hath been written: 'Whose shall be the Kingdom this Day?' And
none can be found to answer."
     But following His Advent, a new world was created:  "Verily,
We have caused every soul to expire by virtue of Our irresistible
sovereignty. We have, then, called into being a new creation, as
a token of Our grace unto men. I am, verily, the All-Bountiful,
the Ancient of Days."  However, not every soul will necessarily
be endowed with 'life' in the new world. In a prayer He says,
"Praise be unto Thee, O my God! Thou art He Who by a word of his
mouth hath revolutionized the entire creation, and by a stroke of
His pen hath divided Thy servants one from another. I bear
witness, O my God, that through a word spoken by Thee in this
Revelation all created things were made to expire, and through
yet another word all such as Thou didst wish were, by Thy grace
and bounty, endued with new life."  -BH {3}


And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and
fountains of waters; and they became blood.   And I heard the
angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art,
and wast, and shall be, because thou hast judged thus.   For they
have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given
them blood to drink; for they art worthy.   And I heard
another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true
and righteous are thy judgments. -Rev 16:4-7

     The third plague angel empties his vial upon the mainstreams
of spiritual guidance- the corrupted clergy and priesthood.  They
are the secret oppressors of the saints and prophets, and their
teachings are transmuted from the water of life into the blood of


And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power
was given unto him to scorch men with fire.   And men were
scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which
hath power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him
glory. -Rev 16:8-9        

     The fourth angel empties his vial upon the land of Persia,
whose emblem is the sun. The bigoted and defiled among the
Persian clergy are made to feel the fire of spiritual torment.
Even so, they fail to repent of their malicious deeds and to
submit to the Will of 'Allah.      
     The Babi Revelation was born on May 23, 1844 in Shiraz,
Persia. The claims of the Bab, the turmoil caused in Islamdom,
and the rapidity with which the new Faith gained followers,
caused the corrupted clergy to react violently.  The help of the
Shah was enlisted in an attempt to destroy the Faith of the Bab.
The results were armed attacks upon His followers and popular
uprisings in Nayriz, Mazindaran and Zanjan. Mass persecutions,
torture and martyring were involved. Ultimately, the Bab was
martyred in the public square of Tabriz on July 9, 1850.  


10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the
beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed
their tongues in pain.  And blasphemed the God of heaven because
of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
-Rev 16:10-11   

[REB: 10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the
beast; ...]       

     The fifth plague angel empties his vial onto Istanbul where
both the caliphate and sultanate are seated. The regime of the
Ottomans now experiences the same spiritual pain and darkness
that had beset the regime of the Shah.      
     As a consequence of the martyrdom of the Bab and the severe
persecutions inflicted on the Babis, in August of 1852, two
obscure and demented Babis made a futile attempt on the life of
the Shah. The results were renewed persecutions and the
imprisonment of leading Babis, including Baha'u'llah. It was
during His imprisonment in the Black Pit of Teheran, 1852-3, that
the 'Maiden of Heaven' appeared to Baha'u'llah and He became the
Promised One of All Ages.
       On His release from the Black Pit, He was exiled to
Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq was then a Turkish province. Shortly
thereafter, the Sultan of Turkey and his ministers, as well as
the Sunni sacerdotal order, joined hands with the Shah and the
Shiah clericals of Persia and Iraq in an endeavor to stamp out,
once and for all, the Faith and all it stood for. The result was
a further wave of repressive measures.  


And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river
Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of
the kings of the east might be prepared. -Rev 16:12  

        The sixth plague angel empties his vial onto the region
of the Euphrates river. The water of spirituality is dried up,
clearing the way for the Kings of the East, Baha'u'llah and His
Successors. {4}
      Following His exile in Baghdad on the banks of the
Euphrates, the Babi community in exile lost its spirituality.
Because of internal conflicts and bickering, Baha'u'llah left the
Babi exiles and spent exactly two lunar years (1854-5) wandering
in the mountain wilderness of Kurdistan. The way was being
prepared for the return of Baha'u'llah and His public

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth
of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the
mouth of the false prophet.  For they are the spirits of devils,
working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and
of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great
day of God Almighty. -Rev 16:13-14  

       The 'frogs' allude to the curse of Moses on the land of
pharaoh, recounted in Exodus. {5} Although Moses and Aaron had
this power over Pharaoh, so did the magicians of Egypt.{6} These
unclean 'frogs' represent false teachings and deceptions.
Miracles are wonders; here they are not of divine origin.
       The dragon and the beast refer to those clerics of
Islamdom who will be under the influence of satanic forces. The
false prophet is introduced as yet another competitor for the
minds and souls of men.
      Although several would-be 'Prophets' arose to proclaim
themselves to be the One foretold by the Bab, "the One Whom God
will make manifest," the most notorious was the nominal head of
the Babi Faith, the false prophet Mirza Yahya. Through the
influence and intrigues of his henchman, the crafty and
diabolical Siyyid Muhammad-i-Isfahani, Mirza Yahya succeeded in
causing a serious breach in the ranks of the Babis-in-exile and
prevented many of the very elect from recognizing the new
Manifestation, Baha'u'llah. Reminiscent of the Surih of Joseph as
interpreted by the Bab, Mirza Yahya was a half-brother of
Baha'u'llah, and, as prophesied by the Bab, the plots of Mirza
Yahya and Muhammad-i-Isfahani ended in ignominious failure.      
     The Great Day of God Almighty is the Day of God, the
Dispensation of Baha'u'llah.  


15 (Ph) Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth,
and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his
shame. -Rev 16:15   

[REB: 15 ('See, I am coming as a thief! ... ')]

       The verse is parenthetical and calls for special
understanding. It refers to the prophecy by Jesus that the Son of
Man may return as a 'thief.' {7} A 'thief' is one who enters and
departs 'unseen.' It warns us that the Advent of the Divine
Reaper will not be apparent to the world at large, although,
ultimately, the historical facts will become known.
      The Babi community left behind in Baghdad continued to
decline in spirituality and prestige. Finally, after two years of
pleading by the Babis, Baha'u'llah was induced to return.
Following His return from the mountain wilderness of Kurdistan,
Baha'u'llah, through His teachings and spiritual power, was able
to renew the Faith of God. Hatred, fear, and jealousy of the
renewed vigor of the Babi community by the corrupt Muslim clergy
resulted in further persecutions and banishments of Baha'u'llah,
first to Istanbul, thence to Adrianople, and finally to the
prison city of 'Akka, near Mount Carmel in the Holy Land, thereby
fulfilling many prophecies. {8}
      However, before Baha'u'llah began His arduous journey to
Istanbul, He revealed himself as the 'One Whom God will make
manifest' foretold by the Bab. His public Declaration took place
at the Festival of Paradise, April 21 to May 2, 1863.
      It is interesting that He departed from the 'land of the
Euphrates' immediately thereafter, going into further exile and
virtual invisibility. Even His incredibly direct and powerful
Tablets to the rulers of the world revealing His mission went
unnoticed. Truly, Baha'u'llah, the Glory of God, like a thief,
entered and departed unseen.  


16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the
Hebrew tongue Armageddon. -Rev 16:16   

[REB: 16 These spirits assembled the kings at a place called in
the Hebrew Armageddon.] 

      The foul frog-like spirits that dominate the corrupt rulers
of the world will bring them and their followers to a great
'mountain of sorrow' like that which befell the Hebrews in the
valley of Megiddo.
       'Armageddon' is the compound of two Hebrew words 'Har'
('Mountain') and 'Megiddon' (poetic adaptation of 'Megiddo'). The
valley of Megiddo was the scene of great suffering by the Hebrews
during the reign of Josiah. Hence the 'Mountain of Megiddo' means
a great piling up of sorrow.
       The verse alludes to and amplifies the wording of

"On that day the mourning of Jerusalem will be as great as the
mourning over Hadad-Rimmon in the vale of Megiddo." -REB:
Zechariah 12:11

        The conflict of Armageddon characterizes the world-wide
sorrow and distress that will result from false teachings and
evil principles. The conflict follows the 'Hour' of Baha'u'llah
and the third woe.
      Since His Declaration in 1863, the world has indeed
witnessed a great piling up of sorrow. These sorrows follow from
the destruction of the old world that must precede the rebuilding
of a new world based on the principles and Divine Laws enunciated
by Baha'u'llah. Among the more notable sorrows have been
imperialism and economic exploitation; the Great Depression; two
world wars of unprecedented ferocity and suffering; numerous
smaller but deadly wars; the rise of communism, naziism and other
extremist movements; nuclear weapons; international crime
syndicates and drug trafficking; international terrorism; the
suffering resulting from class struggle, racial struggle, and
genocide on a massive scale; the collapse of marriage attended by
unbridled sexuality, the sufferings of children, and widespread
abortion; the world-wide pollution of the air, the soil, and the
oceans. These sorrows are by no means finished, and the testimony
of the righteous is not yet complete.       


And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there
came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, saying, It is
done.   And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and
there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon
the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. -Rev 16:17-18  

       The seventh plague angel empties his vial into the air,
meaning that the afflictions to follow will not be localized but
will be world-wide. John hears the voices of those who fall into
trials and temptations, the thunder of the violation of the
Covenant, and the lightning of the anger and wrath of God. There
is a great earthquake of doubts and disturbances in the world of


And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities
of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before
God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of
his wrath.   And every island fled away, and the mountains were
not found.   And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven,
every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God
because of the plague of the hail; for the plague was exceeding
great. -Rev 16:19-21  

       The great city is Babylon, the civilization of the
corrupted Word of God. Profane civilization will degenerate into
three parts personified as the 'three false gods,' Nationalism,
Racialism and Communism.{9}  Cities are institutions; islands are
places of refuge in a sea of chaos, that is, churches; mountains
are the great religions of the world.  "So blind hath become the
human heart that neither the disruption of the city, nor the
reduction of the mountain in dust, nor even the cleaving of the
earth, can shake off its torpor." -BH {10}
       The hail is a rain of great spiritual tests. The word
'talent' comes from the Greek 'talanton'- a balance, or a thing
to be weighed; hence it is a symbol of testing. Man will be
tested by the Book of God revealed by the Balance, the new
Manifestation of God: "In this most perfect balance (the Book of
God) whatsoever the peoples and kindreds of the earth possess
must be weighed."  "The All-Merciful is come invested with
undoubted sovereignty. The Balance hath been appointed, and all
them that dwell on earth have been gathered together." "Say: This
is the infallible Balance which the Hand of God is holding, in
which all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth are
weighed, and their fate determined, if ye be of them that believe
and recognize this truth." -BH {11}

      The 'talent' in verse 21 alludes to the Parable of the
Talents in Matthew. In Matt 16:21, the disciples of Jesus ask Him
to reveal the signs of His Second Coming and the time of the end
of the Age.  In 24:36, Jesus explains that He does not know WHEN
the Hour will occur, since only the Father knows that
information. Later, in 25:1, Jesus says (REB) 

'When the day comes, the kingdom of Heaven will be like this....' 

     Then, in verses 25:14-30, He reveals the extremely subtle
Parable of the Talents.
      In essence, the Parable warns the future devotee at the end
of the Piscean Age to risk all in order to gain salvation. The
man going abroad (verse 14) is the recurring Son of Man, the
Manifestation of God.  He disappears from the world stage for an
unknown period of time. But before He leaves, He entrusts His
capital (spiritual legacy) to His servants (devotees). The
distribution is unequal: to one servant He entrusts 5 talents; to
another 2 talents; to the third He entrusts only one talent.     
The servant with the greatest portion of the capital, the one
with 5 talents, risks (invests) the 5 and earns 5 more. The one
with 2 talents risks the 2 and earns 2 more. The servant with
only one talent plays it safe and buries his portion in the
      When the Master returns, the two servants who risked their
portions are rewarded (verses 21, 23): "Well done, good and
faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I
will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of
thy Lord." The one who had been entrusted with only one talent
and had buried his portion, explains (verses 24, 25): "Lord, I
knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not
sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was
afraid, and went and hid the talent in the earth: lo, there thou
hast that is thine."
      Alas, the Lord calls this man a "wicked and slothful
servant," confirms that he reaps where he has not sown and
gathers where he has not strawed (verse 26), and explains that
this should have been a warning to take a risk. He then takes the
talent from the slothful servant and gives it to the one who had
already gained 5.

       When the Son of Man returns in the "Glory of his Father"
{12}, he will reap where he has not sown and gather where he has
not strawed. This is the reason for the fear expressed by the
third servant, and the reason for the fear of those who reject
the Manifestation of the Aquarian Age. But we should remember the
admission of the Master [Jesus] that, he too, reaped where he had
not sown and gathered where he had not strawed. Those deprived
devotees who bury their small portion of the Master's legacy in
the ground of fear and narrow mindedness, will have even that
portion taken from them and given to others.  

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