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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 214-216

Prophecies about the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh

According to the Bahá’í interpretations, the prophecies which speak of “the time of the end,” the “last days,” the coming of the “Lord of hosts,” of the “everlasting Father,” refer especially, not to the advent of Jesus Christ, but to that of Bahá’u’lláh. Take, for instance, the well-known prophecy in Isaiah:—
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. … For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son 215 is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The might God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.—Isa. ix, 2–7.
This is one of the prophecies that has often been regarded as referring to Christ, and must of it may quite fairly be thus applied, but a little examination will show how much more fully and aptly it applies to Bahá’u’lláh. Christ has, indeed, been a light-bringer and Savior, but for nearly two thousand years since His advent the great majority of the people of the earth have continued to walk in darkness, and the children of Israel and many other of God’s children have continued to groan under the rod of the oppressor. On the other hand, during the first few decades of the Bahá’í era, the light of truth has illumined the East and the West, the gospel of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man has been carried into all countries of the world, the great military autocracies have been overthrown, and a consciousness of world unity has been born which brings hope of eventual relief to all the downtrodden and oppressed nationalities of the world. The great war which from 1914 to 1918 convulsed the world, with its unprecedented use of firearms, liquid fire, incendiary bombs and fuel for engines, has indeed been “with burning and fuel of fire.” 1 Bahá’u’lláh, by dealing at great length in His Writings with questions of government and administration, and showing how they may best be solved, has “taken the government upon His shoulders” in a way that Christ never did. With regard to the titles “everlasting Father,” “Prince of Peace,” Bahá’u’lláh repeatedly refers to Himself as the manifestation of the Father, of whom Christ and Isaiah spoke, whereas Christ always referred to Himself as the Son; and Bahá’u’lláh declares 216 that His mission is to establish peace on earth, while Christ said: “I came not to send peace but a sword,” and as a matter of fact during the whole of the Christian era wars and sectarian strifes have abounded.
1. The Second World War further demonstrated the fulfillment of this prophecy, culminating in the use of the atomic bomb.   [ Back To Reference]