Revised Standard Version
(Unless Otherwise Indicated)

THIS next chapter was explained by 'Abdu'l-Baha in chapter 11 of the book Some Answered Questions, on pages 53-71. He explained it as applying to the past, to Islam and not to the Baha'i faith, likewise with chapter 12 of Revelation.

However, when meditating on 'Abdu'l-Baha's explanation of the 11th chapter, it becomes apparent that it applies word for word to the ones who violated against the Covenant after Shoghi Effendi died, and to their opposition to the Covenant. The violation against the Baha'i Covenant runs parallel to the violation that occurred in Islam which was explained in 'Abdu'l-Baha's commentary on chapter 11.

'Abdu'l-Baha knew that the real meaning of chapter 11 was applicable to the violation of the Baha'i Covenant, but he did not give that explanation. This was in accordance with verse 4 of chapter 10 where it said "Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down." So 'Abdu'l-Baha did not openly explain those seven meanings of the Covenant, and he did not write down the explanation of how the Baha'i Covenant would be violated, as that event was still in the future.

This means there are more explanations about chapter 11, such as other meanings for the three woes. Some of these will be given at that point in the text.

In the first verses of chapter 11 it says to measure the temple, the altar, and those who worship there, but to leave out the outer court and measure it not. When applying the meaning of this to the Greater Covenant, it refers to the measurements, or dates, given by Daniel for three appearances, or returns of Jesus, that is in 1844 as the Bab, in 1863 as Baha'u'llah, and again in 1963.

But there was a Manifestation who came after Jesus and before the Bab, who's coming was not prophesied, or measured, by Daniel. This was Muhammad who brought the Religion of Islam. Thus in terms of the Greater Covenant, the courtyard symbolized the coming of Muhammad and His Message—Islam.

When you investigate the tabernacle of Moses, which was a microcosm of the macrocosm, the meanings become plain. Here is a diagram of the layout of the tabernacle.

This courtyard surrounding the actual temple was open to the public, it consisted of an area surrounded by a fence made of cloth, and the temple was hidden from view behind this fence. When applying the meaning of this to the Lesser Covenant of Baha'u'llah it indicates that the veils on this Covenant would remain even after the other parts of this temple were explained, that is, despite the Covenant being explained, the veil on people's understanding of it would remain.

The courtyard is the area that one must pass through before reaching the temple. This area is defined by the veils surrounding it. Thus the courtyard corresponds to what the Baha'is must pass through before they attain to the true understanding and establishment of this Covenant. The tests to bring out the truth of the Covenant, and the events to occur before its establishment, were not measured, that is, they were not explained ahead of time. They were kept veiled. These events are depicted in the 11th and 12th chapters of Revelation and thus 'Abdu'l-Baha explained the nature of the events, but he described them as applying to the history of Islam, whereas their real application is to the Baha'i faith.

For instance, this can be seen in 'Abdu'l-Baha's explanation of the three woes. 'Abdu'l-Baha says,

"The first woe is the appearance of the Prophet, Muhammad, the son of Abdu'llah—peace be upon Him! The second woe is that of the Bab—to Him be glory and praise! The third woe is the great day of the manifestation of the Lord of Hosts and the radiance of the Beauty of the Promised One. The explanation of this subject, woe, is mentioned in the thirtieth chapter of Ezekiel, where it is said: "The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Howl ye, Woe worth the day! For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near."

"Therefore, it is certain that the day of woe is the day of the Lord; for in that day woe is for the neglectful, woe is for the sinners, woe is for the ignorant. That is why it is said, "The second woe is past; behold the third woe cometh quickly!" This third woe is the day of the manifestation of Baha'u'llah, the day of God; and it is near to the day of the appearance of the Bab."[1]

This shows that the first woe which is described in chapter 9 of Revelation is that of the violation during the cycle of Islam. Accordingly, chapter 11 should describe the second woe that occurs during the cycle of the Bab and chapters 12 and 13 should describe the third woe to occur during the cycle of Baha'u'llah.

But 'Abdu'l-Baha described chapters 11 and 12 as again applying to events in the cycle of Islam, and does not describe the Covenant-breaking that occurs during the Babi and Baha'i dispensations, that is, the violations of Yahya, and Muhammad-Ali.

'Abdu'l-Baha veiled the meaning of these chapters by explaining them as applying to the past, this is in accordance with chapter 10 where it says, "Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down."[2]

This chapter has another interpretation, which pertains to today. Therefore 'Abdu'l-Baha left it to be explained by the second coming of Jesus, the Lamb.

'Abdu'l-Baha said, "There are many meanings in each word of the Apocalypse."[3] And Baha'u'llah said, "Thus it is recorded: "Every knowledge hath seventy meanings, of which one only is known amongst the people." And again, "He also saith: "We speak one word, and by it we intend one and seventy meanings; each one of these meanings we can explain."[4]

So the general text of 'Abdu'l-Baha's commentary follows with modifications to apply it to the history of the Baha'i faith and its Covenant. The following commentary is based on 'Abdu'l-Baha's explanation in Some Answered Questions, pages 53-71.[5]


In the beginning of the eleventh chapter of the Revelation of St. John it is said:

Verse 1: "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

Verse: 2 "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."

This reed is a Perfect Man Who is likened to a reed,... Whatever He utters is not from Himself, but from the real flute player, and it is a divine inspiration. That is why He is likened to a reed; and that reed is like a rod—that is to say, it is the helper of every impotent one, and the support of human beings. It is the rod of the Divine Shepherd by which He guards His flock and leads them about the pastures of the Kingdom. This rod is the Covenant, in that the Covenant designates the reed who is that person who is to shepherd the flock. This person was Shoghi Effendi who was like a staff in the hand of God. Whatever he uttered was not from himself, but was a divine inspiration. These persons are also symbolized as the temple itself, as they are the ones inside of it, fulfilling its reality, which is spiritual. "The angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein"—that is to say, compare and measure: measuring is the discovery of proportion, that is, the relationships between things.[6] Thus the angel said: compare the temple of God and the altar and them that are praying therein—that is to say, investigate what is their true condition and discover in what degree and state they are, and what conditions, perfections, behavior and attributes they possess; and make yourself cognizant of the mysteries of those holy souls who dwell in the Holy of Holies in purity and sanctity. This temple is provided by the written Covenant which measures out the service at the altar, that is, the mission of the successors to Baha'u'llah who were in the station of sacrifice, and the identity of these successors was likewise openly given, 'Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi, and the UHJ.

Verse 2: "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles."

In the Temple of Moses, the courtyard was an area surrounding the sanctuary, and outside of it. This courtyard was open to all the regular people who weren't priests. Thus the courtyard symbolizes the body of believers. These believers circle around the Temple, that is, the leader of the Faith. This courtyard also signifies the administration that the mass of believers participate in as that is where they perform their service and make their offering. This courtyard is the rest of the administration outside of 'Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi and the UHJ; it is the Hands, the National and Local Houses of Justice and the other auxiliary institutions. This administration is not measured by the Covenant in that it is only mentioned that the Hands assist the Guardian, and that we will have National and Local Houses of Justice, but all the rest of the details concerning the functioning of the administration are not given in the strict text of the Kitab-i-'Ahd and the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha. Shoghi Effendi supplied most of these details of the administration, and he directed the Baha'is regarding the evolvement of the administration such as in his 10-year plan of 1953-1963. In this plan he guided them as to the raising up of spiritual assemblies, and gave many instructions relating to the administration and to outward or material things such as the purchase of land and the construction of Baha'i temple buildings.

In the beginning of this stage we are now in, which began after Shoghi Effendi's death, when the "Hands" conquered the Baha'is, the Covenant was outwardly preserved—that is to say, the house which Shoghi Effendi built; but outside of this the outer court was taken and given to the Gentiles. Here, Gentiles signifies those who were not faithful to the Cause of God, indicating the "Hands" of the Cause of God. 'Abdu'l-Baha warned of the fate of this house, and the Faith itself, if the Covenant was opposed:

"The well-built house will be razed to the foundation, it will become like a useless tomb, the commands will be delayed and the waves of the sea of favor will be retarded. The sea of assurance will be cut off, the Breath of Life will cease to blow, the sails of the life-boat will be destroyed, the bright dawn will become dark evening, the dawning-point of desire will be covered under the clouds of regrets; all these troubles will become useless and all this shedding of blood will be fruit-less; the pure blood of the martyrs will become defiled and the remembrance of the blessed Bab… will disappear from among men, and his influence will become non-existent. The whole fifty years of the troubles of the Blessed Perfection, the looting and plundering, the imprisoning and beating; the false accusing and injuring; the wandering and homelessness; the threatening by dagger and sword; the shackles and chains will become forgotten and without result. It will become the source of joking and quarreling among the enemies, the source of their gaiety and rejoicing."[7]

Verse 2: "And the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months"

The city is the Covenant, the temple and its' courtyard are found within this city of the Covenant meaning that the successor to Baha'u'llah and the existence of the Baha'i administration (but not the details) are both provided for in this Covenant. So, the "Hands" will take over and control the body of believers, for the city is the habitation of the believers, and they will take control of the administration.

They will trample the Covenant underfoot for three and a half years. During the first two years of their takeover, the "Hands" said they would remain under the guidance of Shoghi Effendi's instructions concerning the house—the Universal House of Justice—that is, they professed that they would honor this Covenant. At this time it was only the National Spiritual Assemblies, the rest of the administration, the general mass of believers and the properties and funds that they took over.

But in November of 1959 the "Hands" threw out Shoghi Effendi's instructions for the evolvement of his International Baha'i Council (IBC) into the Universal House of Justice. Three and a half years afterward these instructions would be resurrected by the faith of a Promised One meaning that after three and a half years this promised Defender would come forth in defense of the Cause of God.

This prophesies the duration of the rule of the "Hands" when they would have sway over God's people, during this time the Covenant was trodden under foot, which means that it lost its glory—but the Holy of Holies, which is the internal reality of the Covenant was preserved and safe-guarded by God and this internal reality would descend upon a Promised One in the year 1963.

This three and a half years is a prophecy of a Promised One, which took place in the year 1963, and when the period of three and a half years expired, the Covenant, the Holy City, began to prosper again. Anyone who examines the state of the Covenant at the hands of the Covenant-breakers thirty-three years ago, and who sees it now, will recognize how it is again honored.

This is the outward meaning of these verses of Revelation; but they have another explanation and a symbolic sense, which is as follows: this temple of God, the Covenant of God, is divided into two parts, the Holy of Holies and the Sanctuary or Holy Place. One is the fundamental basis which comprises all spiritual things—that is to say, it refers to the spirit and the divine force; this does not change nor alter: it is the Holy of Holies, which is the essence of the Covenant of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad, the Bab, and Baha'u'llah, and which lasts, and is established, in all the prophetic cycles. We cannot truly understand this essence, but we recognize it as Divine Guidance. It will never be abrogated, for it is spiritual and not material truth; it means infallibility. The successors to the Manifestation are inwardly in this spiritual condition.

This divine force, this eternal Covenant, will never be abolished; nay, it will last and remain established for ever and ever. This spirit will be renewed in each of the different cycles; for at the end of every cycle the spiritual Covenant of God—that is to say, the spirit—disappears from amongst those people where it once dwelt, and only the form subsists among them.

Thus among the "Hands," at the end of the ministry of Shoghi Effendi, which coincides with the coming of the promised Defender, the reality of the Covenant of God disappeared from their midst, only a form without spirit remaining. The Holy of Holies departed from among them, but the outer court of the Covenant—which is the expression used for the body of believers, the administration—fell into their hands. In the same way, the fundamental principles of the Covenant of Baha'u'llah, which are the greatest virtues of humanity, have disappeared; and only a lifeless and imperfect form has remained in the hands of the clergy, the "Hands."

The foundation of the Covenant of God, which is spiritual and which brings the virtues of humanity, cannot be abrogated; it is irremovable and eternal, and is renewed in the cycle of every Prophet.

The other part of the Temple, the Holy Place, the Sanctuary, refers to the material world, this comprises the individuality of the successor, that is, the actual person—this part of the Covenant of God, which refers to the outward form, changes in accordance with the times.[8]

So for instance the first successor of Baha'u'llah was 'Abdu'l-Baha. Then it was Shoghi Effendi, and afterwards it was to be Shoghi Effendi's son and successor, who is the International Baha'i Council, which would pass through four different forms or stages to finally evolve into the Universal House of Justice, which itself will be composed of different individual members over the passing of time.

Briefly, what is meant by the term Holy of Holies is the spirit of the Covenant which will never be modified, altered or abrogated, it is divine guidance and the protection of God; the Sanctuary means the earthly, or material aspect of the Covenant, the successor to Baha'u'llah, the person having the divine guidance. The courtyard means the administration and the believers and the City is the Covenant itself. And this Covenant, which is described as the Holy City, was to be trodden under foot for three and a half years.

Verse 3: "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth."

These two witnesses [9] are the Kitab-i-'Ahd, the tablet of the Covenant of Baha'u'llah, and the tablet of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha. That is, these two tablets comprise the book of the Covenant. The meaning of "a witness" is one by whose testimony things may be verified. The Covenant is the testimony [10] by which the identity of the leader of the Faith is verified, and thus the Covenant, which has two texts, is the witness. It is by the testimony of this Covenant that the presence of God on earth may be verified. Thus the purpose of these two tablets is to bear witness or testimony to the presence of God in the temple of God.[11]

Further, the meaning of a witness is one who is martyred, one who is in the station of sacrifice. The tabernacle of Moses was called the Tent of Witness, but it was also called the Tent of Martyrdom. The two witnesses are symbolized by two cherubim of glory looming above the Ark of the Covenant in the tabernacle.[12]

The Hebrew word for witness and testimony is 'ed, pronounced "ayd", the equivalent of this in Arabic is the word 'ahd, as in Kitab-i-'Ahd. Thus the Covenant is the testimony and witness. This is where Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha put their testimony of who was the successor after them, where the friends could find the presence of God.

"And they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three-score days" means: If we convert these "days" to "19 day" Baha'i months we get the exact date.

The commands of these two witnesses would be performed for a period of 1260 Baha'i months. This means that the Covenant would have effect for a period of sixty-five and a half years before the "Hands" would do away with it. Sixty-five and a half years from the passing of Baha'u'llah on May 29th, 1892, when Baha'u'llah's Kitab-i-'Ahd went into effect, brings us to December 15th of 1957. It was at this time the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha'i World began proclaiming allegiance to the Custodian "Hands" ending their allegiance to the Covenant and consolidating the usurpation of the "Hands." The Bible says you cannot serve both God and mammon (man). The NSAs decided to serve mammon and not God, when they decided to follow the "Hands." The Custodian "Hands" were elected by the rest of the "Hands" as the successor to Shoghi Effendi. This was to replace the successor Shoghi Effendi himself had appointed, which was his SON,[13] the first International Baha'i Council (IBC), which was the Universal House of Justice in embryo.[14] The 1260 months brings us to the time when these Custodians first began to take command of the Baha'i faith.

The meaning is that the Plan of the "Hands" is now in effect over the Baha'i faith, and the Plan of God has been supplanted, and no longer has any effect over these people. The effect of the Covenant is that it bestows life on the body of believers. When the Covenant ceases to have effect over the body, this life is withdrawn, the spirit disappears, and only the form subsists. The form that subsists is the body of believers and the administration and also that the "Hands" did not do away with Shoghi Effendi's IBC entirely; they kept it around, but prevented it from coming to life, and being born into the world of activity. They prevented it from taking command of the Baha'i faith as the real successor, who is the son of Shoghi Effendi. Thus in their hands, the IBC was an empty husk without spirit.

The Kitab-i-'Ahd was the root, and the Will and Testament the branch, like Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha. It is said they "are clothed in sackcloth":

In this Day, every believer who discovered the fragrance of the garment, and turned with a pure heart unto the Most High Horizon, is indeed recorded in the Crimson Tablet as of the people of Baha. (Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-'Ahd)

One meaning of "sackcloth" is that they, apparently, were to be clothed in old raiment, not in new raiment; this is because the Covenant is the same Covenant of the past which has been around for thousands of years, but the peoples of other religions did not know its meaning:

"This Covenant is the Ancient Covenant…. It is the Testament and the Covenant and it is mentioned in all the tablets and in all the early Books and in the later tablets... and in brief, it is the sum of all the sacred writings, ancient and modern!"[15]

Even the Baha'is did not comprehend the Covenant, or its importance, or its power. So, in other words, in the beginning, the Covenant would possess no splendor in the eyes of the people, nor would the Cause appear new.

Also sackcloth was a garment worn as a sign of grief; thus it is associated with mourning for the dead. The Covenant takes effect only at the death of the one who made it. Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha's deaths were received with much grieving and mourning on the part of the friends. Thus outwardly these texts of the Covenant are clothed in sackcloth, the garment of mourning. Again, the Covenant is described as being clothed in sackcloth in the book of Ezekiel where it refers to the Will and Testament as a book on which are written words of lamentation and mourning and woe.

Verse 4: "These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth."

These two are likened to olive trees because at one time all lamps were lighted by olive oil. Also because the olive branch is a symbol of the descendants of David in the kingly line seated on the throne of King David, and both Baha'u'llah, Who penned the Kitab-i-'Ahd, and 'Abdu'l-Baha who penned the Will and Testament, were descended from this line of kings seated on the throne of David.

The meaning is two books from which that spirit of the wisdom of God, which is the cause of the illumination of the world, appears. These lights of God were to radiate and shine. Therefore, they are likened to two candlesticks: the candlestick is the abode of the light, and from it the light shines forth. In the same way the light of guidance would shine and radiate from these two illumined tablets of witness.

"The lamp of the Covenant is the light of the world, and the words traced by the Pen of the Most High a limitless ocean." "The power of the Covenant is as the heat of the sun which quickeneth and promoteth the development of all created things on earth." ('Abdu'l-Baha, as quoted by Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 238-239)

"Can it be possible that after the dawning of the day-star [sun] of Thy Testament above the horizon of Thy Most Great Tablet, the feet of any one shall slip in Thy Straight Path?" (Baha'u'llah, as quoted by Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 250)

"Although to outward seeming the Sun of the Covenant has hidden Himself behind the clouds, and the Orb of the Testament is concealed, and on the holy horizon of glory, He has now set, and is lost to view—still His rays are shining from out His hidden place, and forever will His light shed down its splendours." (Shoghi Effendi, Bahiyyih Khanum, p. 140-141)

Then it is said: "They are standing before God." Meaning that they are standing in the service of God, and educating the creatures of God, such as the barbarous peoples of the entire world. Because of the Covenant, the Baha'is were educated in such a way that in those days they reached the highest degree of civilization, and their fame and renown became worldwide. 'Abdu'l-Baha said, "The light of the Covenant, in like manner, is the educator of the minds, the spirits, the hearts and souls of men."[16]

Standing before God, means also that these 2 are the bystanders, that is, the witnesses to the presence of God. That is, these 2 tablets of witness testify of the presence of God on earth in the persons of the successors to Baha'u'llah.

Verse 5: "And if any man would hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies."

That is to say, that no one would be able to withstand the Covenant—that if a person wished to belittle its teachings and law, he would be surrounded and exterminated by this same law which proceedeth out of the mouth of the Covenant; meaning that those appointed in the Covenant have the authority to expel Covenant-breakers from the Faith.

The fire is further explained in the Baha'i scriptures:

"This is the fire which, in one and the same moment, kindleth the flame of love in the breasts of the faithful, and induceth the chill of heedlessness in the heart of the enemy."[17]

And so everyone who attempted to injure, to antagonize and to hate the Covenant would be destroyed by a command which would come out of their mouth. And thus it happened: all the Covenant-breakers were vanquished, put to flight and annihilated.

Verse 6: "These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy,"

Meaning that during this time the Covenant itself would be the supreme commander. The law and teachings of the Kitab-i-'Ahd, and the explanations and commentaries of the Will and Testament, are a heavenly bounty; if the ones appointed in this Covenant 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.[18]

Then it is said:

Verse 6: "They have power over water to turn it to blood,"

In the days of Moses it is said that He turned the Nile to blood. The mission of the Kitab-i-'Ahd is likened to that of Moses leading the people to the promised land; and the power of the Will and Testament to that of Joshua crossing the Jordan, and actually taking them into that land. That is, the Kitab-i-'Ahd appointed 'Abdu'l-Baha who, with his explanations in the Will and Testament, leads them toward the promised land, and the Will and Testament appointed Shoghi Effendi who would have taken them into that promised land but the people chose not to follow him. When the people refuse this guidance it means their death. So, if they wished, they could turn water into blood, also means that, for those who deny the Covenant, that which was the cause of their life becomes the cause of their death. The Covenant is the source of life.[19]

The "Hands" were provided for in the Will and Testament, but it was this Will and Testament that they turned away from—that is to say, that which was the cause of their life, through their ignorance and pride, became the cause of their death. So the power of the "Hands," which was to bring the message of Shoghi Effendi to the Baha'is, and which was like a life-line for the Baha'is, became, because of the "Hands" opposition, denial and pride, the cause of the death, destruction, dispersion, degradation and poverty of the Baha'is.

'Abdu'l-Baha said these two witnesses have power to destroy the nations, meaning that the National Spiritual Assemblies were spiritually destroyed by declaring loyalty to the "Hands." The real power of this Covenant was to convert the man-made governments of the nations to the World Order of Baha'u'llah. Thus Shoghi Effendi's plan, the constitution of the UHJ, was to take his appointed IBC to the stage of an actual legal, officially recognized court, that is, an actual governmental body, having a sovereignty, and not just a solely religious body such as the ineffectual church councils of Christian religions. The "Hands" did away with this plan for the Kingdom of God on Earth. Because of this the nations of the earth will be destroyed in the catastrophe.

Then it is said:

Verse 6: "And smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will."

Meaning that the Covenant also would have the power and the material force necessary to educate [20] the wicked and those who are oppressors and tyrants; for to this Covenant God granted both outward and inward power that it might educate and correct the ferocious, bloodthirsty, tyrannical Nations who were like beasts of prey.

These plagues are also the plagues described in the Book of Revelation, which come to the people because of the violation of the Covenant. That is the force of the Covenant is such that when the people attack it great harm comes upon them. Sometimes this harm is so great others are swept into it.

Verse 7: "And when they shall have finished their testimony"

Means when the commandments of the Covenant have been performed, and the institutions have been set up and the divine message is delivered, the Law of God promoted, and the heavenly teachings propagated, to the extent 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, and complete development should be brought about among the Baha'is.

That is the whole purpose of this Covenant—to bring about the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth. The initial accomplishment of these things took place in the days of Shoghi Effendi. He set up all the institutions provided in the Will and Testament, and the message was being delivered all around the earth in his ten-year world spiritual crusade. So the entire Baha'i world was poised to enter into the promised land.

Verse 7: "The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them"

Means that the "Hands"—who attacked the Covenant from the pit of error, and who rose against the Kitab-i-'Ahd, and against the reality of the Will and Testament, in other words, the love of God—would create a beast, and this beast was their replacement for Shoghi Effendi's son. This beast was the 9 Custodian "Hands" that the full body of "Hands" elected to run the Faith.

It is said, "The beast made war against these two witnesses", that is to say, a spiritual war, meaning that the beast, the Custodian "Hands," would act in entire opposition to the teachings, customs and institutions of the Covenant, to such an extent that the virtues and perfections which were diffused by the power of the Covenant among the peoples and tribes would be entirely dispelled, and the animal nature and carnal desires would conquer. Therefore, this beast, making war against the Covenant, would seem to gain the victory—meaning, that the darkness of error coming from this beast was to have temporary ascendancy over the horizons of the world, and kill the two witnesses—in other words, that it would destroy the spiritual life which the Covenant spread abroad in the midst of the nations, and entirely remove the divine laws and teachings, treading under foot the Plan of God. Nothing would thereafter remain but a lifeless body without spirit.

This was all because the "Hands" had decided that, since Shoghi Effendi had left no will [21] and no genetic son, the passage in the Will and Testament, "after him will succeed the first-born of his lineal descendants", was left unfulfilled. Their concept is that the Covenant was changed by God Himself, and therefore they were free to institute whatever plan they found suitable for the future progress of the Faith. But this behavior towards God's Covenant—His testimony—has been exposed in Baha'i scriptures.

"Leaders of religion, in every age, have hindered their people from attaining the shores of eternal salvation, inasmuch as they held the reins of authority in their mighty grasp. Some for the lust of leadership, others through want of knowledge and understanding, have been the cause of the deprivation of the people. By their sanction and authority, every Prophet of God hath drunk from the chalice of sacrifice, and winged His flight unto the heights of glory. What unspeakable cruelties they that have occupied the seats of authority and learning have inflicted upon the true Monarchs of the world, those Gems of divine virtue! Content with a transitory dominion, they have deprived themselves of an everlasting sovereignty. Thus, their eyes beheld not the light of the countenance of the Well-Beloved, nor did their ears hearken unto the sweet melodies of the Bird of Desire. For this reason, in all sacred books mention hath been made of the divines of every age. Thus He saith: 'O people of the Book! Why disbelieve the signs of God to which ye yourselves have been witnesses?' And also He saith: 'O people of the Book! Why clothe ye the truth with falsehood? Why wittingly hide the truth?' Again, He saith: 'Say, O people of the Book! Why repel believers from the way of God?'[22]

It is evident that by the 'people of the Book,' who have repelled their fellow-men from the straight path of God, is meant none other than the divines of that age, whose names and character have been revealed in the sacred books, and alluded to in the verses and traditions recorded therein, were you to observe with the eye of God." (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, pp. 15-16)

Verse 8: "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."

Meaning that just as Jesus was crucified, Shoghi Effendi's plan was crucified. This plan was to be the fulfillment of Jesus' Covenant. Their "bodies" means the teachings of the ones appointed in the Covenant. These successors are the hollowed out reed, their teachings are the Plan of God, the Will of God Himself. From this hollowed out reed we get the leadership, instructions, guidance, training, directives, explanations, the law and command of God Himself. That is, the direction they give, the course they chart, their heading, their objective, goal, and intention, their entire purpose and mission is to lead the people to the promised land, and take them into the New Jerusalem, the Holy City, that they might abide there forevermore.

Divorced from the explanations of 'Abdu'l-Baha, and the instructions of Shoghi Effendi, the people don't have the correct understanding of God's Will, the Baha'i Covenant. So "their dead bodies" means the Plan of God was taken away from the people, (and taken out of the Baha'i administration) who remained like a dead body without spirit. This is because there is no spirituality without the Covenant, the people may have access to the Baha'i scriptures, but without the Covenant they will not receive the true meaning and thus the spirit of the believers is cut off. 'Abdu'l-Baha said,

"The Covenant of God in this day of manifestation is a lifeboat and ark of salvation. All true followers of the Blessed Perfection are sheltered and protected in this ark. Whoever leaves it, trusting in his own will and strength, will drown and be destroyed." ('Abdu'l-Baha, Ten Days in the Light of Acca, p. 48)

The ocean is the Baha'i Revelation, the people cannot cast themselves out of the Covenant and into this ocean and expect to survive, they cannot transmute the waters of that ocean into the breaths of life.

The "street" means in public view, or out in the street, meaning in the courtyard—the public area. It was in the courtyard that the plan was killed off when the "Hands" got control of Shoghi Effendi's 10-year Plan, because in getting control of that they got control of the Constitution for the Universal House of Justice (UHJ). Shoghi Effendi placed the Hands in charge of the 10-year Plan, and so this was very easy for them to pull off.

So the body of the IBC was kept in public view, meaning that the "Hands" kept mentioning it in certain messages, outwardly pretending to be proceeding with Shoghi Effendi's planned development of this IBC, but the spirit of this had already departed because they had secretly thrown out the Covenant.

The place "where also our Lord was crucified," was Jerusalem. God's Plan, or Covenant for the Kingdom of God on Earth is the Holy City, New Jerusalem; the temple of this city is the successors to Baha'u'llah. And the meaning of "Sodom and Egypt," is that when the "Hands" threw away this city of the Covenant, God's Plan for the Kingdom of God on Earth, the New Jerusalem, they replaced it with Sodom and Egypt. Sodom means the body of the Custodian "Hands," and Egypt is the next body they created afterwards. This was a body elected in 1961, and the "Hands" named it after Shoghi Effendi's IBC, and so outwardly it was the same entity as Shoghi Effendi's IBC but the resemblance was in name only. So there were two dead bodies lying in the street. The "Hands" took dominion over the Covenant; and it was at this time that the Plan of God and the divine teachings first disappeared, and a body without spirit remained.

Verse 9: "And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves."

As it was before explained, in the terminology of the Holy Books three days and a half signify three years and a half. The meaning is that for about three and a half years the nations, tribes, and peoples would look at their bodies—that is to say, that they would make a spectacle of the Plan of God: though they would not act in accordance with it, still, they would not suffer their bodies—meaning the Plan of God—to be put in the grave. That is to say, that in appearance they would cling to the Plan 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. This was because the "Hands," after they took over the Faith in November of 1957, professed over and over that their intention was only to carry out the instructions of the beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, and promised that they would do so, and the Custodian "Hands" continued this. However, in November of 1959 the "Hands" decided not to carry out the instructions of Shoghi Effendi after all, and altered the Plan of the evolvement of Shoghi Effendi's IBC into God's UHJ. The "Hands" killed off this plan for the body, but they continued with their own plans for the evolvement of an IBC into a UHJ, as if the plan of the IBC was still in existence when actually the plan was already dead from their Covenant-breaking.

So outwardly in appearance they were continuing with the Plan for Shoghi Effendi's IBC to evolve into God's UHJ by outwardly preserving its name and remembrance, but in reality they had abandoned the Plan of God for another plan of their own. These dead bodies—the Custodian "Hands" and the defunct "IBC"—like a corpse, have been exposed to public view for three and a half days, each day being counted as a year, and this period is the time from November of 1959 when the "Hands" threw out Shoghi Effendi's instructions for once and for all, until April of 1963 when the Promised One was to come forth.[23]

Those "peoples, kindreds, tongues and nations" signify those who are gathered under the shadow of the Baha'i faith, because at this time the Baha'i faith had spread to almost every nation (except the Soviet Union), people and tongue, to all tribes of the earth. These millions now going by the name of Baha'i were actually in allegiance to these "Hands" and not in allegiance to the Covenant. So they were not permitting the Cause and Law of God to be, in outward appearance, entirely destroyed and annihilated—for there are prayer and fasting among them, but the fundamental principles of the Plan of God, which are faith and belief, 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 people forfeited all that these two witnesses had established, which was the foundation of the Covenant of God, and destroyed the virtues of the world of humanity, which are the divine gifts and the spirit of this Covenant, 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; this condition has only grown worse for them. It was as if these two witnesses were dead, and two bodies were remaining without spirit.

Verse 10: "And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth."

"Those who dwelt upon the earth" means the other religions, such as the religions of Christianity and Islam, who, when they saw that the character of the Baha'i faith was entirely changed—the Covenant of God forsaken, the Davidic lineage discarded and the Executive Branch abolished (W&T, p.15), that the virtues, zeal and honor had departed from among them, and that their qualities were changed—became happy, and rejoiced that corruption of morals had infected the people of Baha, that they had become infected with the spiritual disease of Covenant-breaking, which is spiritual leprosy, and that they would in consequence be overcome by other religions. So this thing has come to pass. Witness this people, which had attained the summit of power, how degraded and downtrodden it is now.

The other religions "shall send gifts to one another," meaning that they should help each other, for "these two prophets tormented them that dwelt upon the earth"—that is, the two witnesses overcame the other religions of the world and conquered them, meaning that the other religions were jealous because the Baha'i faith was unique, in that it was the first world religion to have a clearly authorized Covenant written by the Pen of Its Founder. This Baha'i Covenant over spread the earth, and through its power masses of the followers of other religions converted to the Baha'i faith. But after Shoghi Effendi's death in 1957, Time Magazine (which is owned by the Catholics), published an article showing that there was a lot of secrecy over the successorship of the Baha'i faith, that different ones were arguing over the successorship, that the "Hands" were now running the Faith, and that this was not in accordance with what had previously been expected from the instructions in the Covenant, which was public knowledge even amongst non-Baha'is. So now the leaders of these religions rejoiced, claiming that the Baha'is were not any less corrupt than the rest, because it was apparent to everyone that there was some tricky business (hanky-panky) going on with this matter of the "Hands" becoming the leader of the Baha'i faith.

Verse 11: "And after three days and a half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them that saw them."

Three days and a half, as we before explained, is three and a half years. It is not the dead bodies that the "Hands" created which are to resurrect, but the 2 witnesses that are to resurrect in new bodies. In the resurrection, the bodies that died before do not resurrect, no these have rotted and decomposed and gone back into the earth, so the "Hands" body of the Custodians and IBC went on to rot as a headless body, a man-made government having the label of the Universal House of Justice, but in reality only a headless beast (monster—a body without a head).

Meanwhile in another place in the world the two witnesses were being resurrected. This resurrection was the same light returning in a different lamp, that is, the light returns to a new body. Those two witnesses are the Covenant and the Institutions that the Kitab-i-Ahd established, and the Will and Testament further explained and delineated, from which, however, the reality had departed, and only a mutilated form remained. The spirit came again into them means that those foundations and teachings were again established. In other words, the "Hands" changed the spirituality of the Plan of God into materiality, and virtues into vices; the love of God had been changed 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. Then after three days and a half, which by the terminology of the Holy Books is three and a half years, these divine teachings, heavenly virtues, perfections and spiritual bounties were again renewed by the appearance of the Promised One.

The 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 Covenants again became living, and illumined the world with the light of truth.

Verse 12: "And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven,"

This ascension is depicted in the following quotes:

"Finally they foreshadow, as the sum and summit of all, the 'hoisting of the standard of God among all nations'...." (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 316)

"Fear not if this Branch be severed from this material world and cast aside its leaves; nay, the leaves thereof shall flourish, for this Branch will grow after it is cut off from this world below, it shall reach the loftiest pinnacles of glory, and it shall bear such fruits as will perfume the world with their fragrance." (Shoghi Effendi, quoting 'Abdu'l-Baha, World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 146)

The Covenant is referred to as the "Standard," and here 'Abdu'l-Baha says it is the Branch.

"One of the great events which is to occur in the Day of the manifestation of that Incomparable Branch is the hoisting of the Standard of God among all nations. By this is meant that all nations and kindreds will be gathered together under the shadow of this Divine Banner, which is no other than the Lordly Branch itself, and will become a single nation...the One the Divine this cycle of the Lord of Hosts all the nations and peoples will enter under the shadow of this Flag." ('Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 65)

"Verily, the branch of command hath sprung forth from this root which God hath firmly planted in the ground of the will, the limb of which has been elevated to a station which encompasses all existence." (Baha'u'llah, Baha'i World Faith, p. 205)

Verse 13: "And their enemies beheld them. And the same hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: And the remnant was affrighted and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Verse 14: "The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly."

There are many meanings concerning this subject of woe. This woe is not the actual coming of the Manifestation, but in that day woe is for the neglectful, woe is for the sinners, woe is for the ignorant. The ignorant are those who oppose the Manifestation on His coming. The sinners are those who break the Covenant after His ascension. And the neglectful are those who remain unaware of His coming, and those who profess belief but who neglect His Covenant. These three conditions are in themselves three woes. 'Abdu'l-Baha has already explained the woe of those in opposition to the Manifestation at His coming.

The meaning of "woe is for the sinners" is the woe of Covenant-breaking that is mentioned in the second chapter of Ezekiel, where it is said: "And when I looked, behold, a hand was stretched out to me, and, lo, a written scroll was in it; and he spread it before me; and it had writing on the front and on the back, and there were written on it words of lamentation and mourning and woe." This scroll is the book of the Covenant which has two texts, the Kitab-i-Ahd and the Will and Testament. The front part is the Kitab-i-'Ahd which came first, this also is the part that is within, as it describes it in the 5th chapter of Revelation as a "scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals." The Will and Testament is the part written on the back as it comes after the Kitab-i-'Ahd and is sealed with seven seals. These words of lamentation, mourning and woe found in the Will and Testament refer to the violation of Mirza Muhammad-Ali, that is, 'Abdu'l-Baha's description of his violation in the Will and Testament. Baha'u'llah also used the term woe in reference to Covenant-breaking. He said of those who would oppose 'Abdu'l-Baha, "Woe, great woe, betide him that opposeth and injureth Thee... the fire of hell torment him who is Thy enemy."[24] 'Abdu'l-Baha, quoting Jesus, said, "Woe unto the world because of offenses, for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh. Wherefore if thy hands...offend thee, cut them off and cast them from thee…." And in the 21st chapter and 38th verse of the Gospel of Matthew, He says: "But when the husbandmen [stewards] saw the son, they said among themselves, this is the heir, come let us kill him and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him and cast him out of the vineyard and slew him."[25] This describes the violation of the "Hands," the woeful violation of the Covenant in the Baha'i Dispensation. This woe is mentioned in the Bible, it says of the conclave meeting of these "Hands" when they took over the Faith, "Woe to the rebellious children, says the Lord, who carry out a plan, but not mine; and who make a league, but not of my spirit,…."[26]

The woe of the neglectful indicates the trials that come to the people. For those who claim belief in the Manifestation, but neglect His Covenant, the woe is that they fail the test and succumb to the leaders of Covenant-breaking or fall into doubts and temptations. Those who are neglectful and remain unaware of Baha'u'llah's coming includes all the rest of the people on earth. These do not escape from woe by trying to stay out of it, the issues. Woe comes to the earth itself, because the violation on the part of those who were in heaven, the heaven of the Baha'i faith, sets up a negative vibration that affects even the material world.

An example of this is the earthly woe that occurred with the flood when the peoples who received the Covenant of Adam violated. They brought great destruction on themselves, but the other peoples on earth suffered also. Another example is that at the coming of Moses there was a great physical catastrophe that consisted of many plagues: the waters of the Nile were made foul and undrinkable, the plagues of the frogs, gnats and flies, the death of the cattle, the boils which became sores, the heavy hail, the locusts, the thick darkness and the death of the first-born of men and cattle. Likewise, 'Abdu'l-Baha explained that an earthquake occurred in Shiraz after the martyrdom of the Bab, that the city was in a turmoil, many people were destroyed and great agitation also took place through diseases, cholera, dearth, scarcity, famine and afflictions, the like of which had never been known.

In the 8th chapter of Revelation it says, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth...," and in chapter 12 it says "woe to earth and sea." So due to the three main violations during the Baha'i Dispensation there are three further woes that will afflict all the peoples of the earth after the 1st wind of destruction, WWIII. It says in Baha'i scripture that the earth will suffer for the woes that have been inflicted upon Baha'u'llah's Covenant, "May the world and all that is therein be a ransom for Thy woes."[27]

In this Book of Revelation it describes the woes of violation that occur in Islam, the Babi faith and the Baha'i faith as the bottomless pit and the pit of error. So in chapter 9 it says the pit is opened with smoke coming out; that there is an angel of this bottomless pit; and, then it says, the first woe is past and two woes are still to come. In this chapter, it makes war on the two witnesses, and then it says the second woe is past and the third woe is soon to come. Then in chapter 12:12 it says, "woe to earth and sea," meaning the next is a combination of woe to those who call themselves Baha'is—that is, it says the beast that ascends from the bottomless pit is, the sea—and woe to those who are on the earth—that is, those who are of other Religions. Thus in chapter 13, it describes a beast coming out of the sea and another coming out of the earth.

The woes are what happen to those that take the wrong path. God has set aside a great station for all of the believers. This station is so great that to have just a peek of it would so overwhelm a believer, so that he would commit suicide in order to obtain it, so God keeps it veiled from us. In order to get this very Great station, one must earn it, and pass all the tests. Those that go against the plan of God loose this great station, and in the next life are therefore in dispirit as they had lost everything. The Holy Scriptures call this condition Hell. These losers in this day are those that cling to the take-over of the Faith by the Covenant-breaking "Hands." It is like in the days of Baha'u'llah they clung to Mirza Yahya, and in the days of 'Abdu'l-Baha they clung to the take over of Muhammad-Ali, also.

Getting back to the violation of the "Hands," this in itself was three beasts and three woes. The body of the Custodian "Hands" is the first, the bogus "IBC" they elected in 1961 is the second, and the so-called "UHJ" they elected in 1963 is the third. That is why it is said, "The second woe is past; behold the third woe cometh quickly!"

So the water was turned into blood, meaning that the people were in opposition to the Covenant, but Jesus turned water not into blood but into wine, this is the wine of the New Covenant. That is, after all these violations of the "Hands" have occurred, Jesus was to return in 1963, and give a new understanding of this Baha'i Covenant. The only way to escape from the woes of this day is to find the Covenant and remain firm and steadfast.


Verse 15: "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever."

There are 4 angels holding back the four winds of destruction (Rev. 7:1). Ali, the establisher of Muhammad's Revelation, is the 5th angel. Quddus, the establisher of the Bab's Revelation, is the 6th angel; and Jesus on his second coming, Leland (the land), the establisher of Baha'u'llah's Revelation, is the 7th angel.

Daniel gave three dates for the return of Jesus: 1844 as the Bab; 1863 for the return of Christ, Baha'u'llah; and 1963 for the return of Jesus. He is prophesied by many titles: the Lamb, the High Priest after the Order of Melchizedec, the Knight on the white horse, the seventh angel, Blessed is he who comes to the 1335 days (1963). The 1335 years are from the victory of Muhammad in 628 AD 628 + 1335 = 1963 AD. These are just a few of his titles.

"the seventh angel blew his trumpet" means that he gives his explanations and commentaries, dispelling the misinterpretations and false teachings of all the religions of the world. After this the true Religion of God, which was revealed by Baha'u'llah, will be established. This is that Day of God when the Spiritual and Divine Kingdom will be established and last for ever and ever.

'Abdu'l-Baha tells us:

"The seventh angel is a man qualified with heavenly attributes, who will arise with heavenly qualities and character. Voices will be raised, so that the appearance of the Divine Manifestation will be proclaimed and diffused. In the day of the manifestation of the Lord of Hosts, and at the epoch of the divine cycle of the Omnipotent which is promised and mentioned in all the books and writings of the Prophets—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. For all the days which have come and gone were the days of Abraham, Moses and Christ, or of the other Prophets; but this day is the day of God, for the Sun of Reality will arise in it with the utmost warmth and splendor." ('Abdu'l-Baha, SAQ, p. 66)

When 'Abdu'l-Baha says that he will arise, this means that he will arise to combat the Great Violation of the Covenant-breaking "Hands," and reestablish back into the Faith the Plan of Shoghi Effendi, to have the International Baha'i Council go through the four stages to become the Universal House of Justice, with the descendant of 'Abdu'l-Baha's son, Mason Remey, seated as its president: the Davidic King.

Verse 16: "And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God.

Verse 17: "Saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, Which art, and wast, and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned."

"In each cycle the guardians and holy souls have been twelve. So Jacob had twelve sons; in the time of Moses there were twelve heads or chiefs of the tribes; in the time of Christ there were twelve Apostles; and in the time of Muhammad there were twelve Imams. But in this glorious manifestation there are twenty-four, double the number of all the others, for the greatness of this manifestation requires it. These holy souls are in the presence of God seated on their own thrones, meaning that they reign eternally.

"These twenty-four great persons, though they are seated on the thrones of everlasting rule, yet are worshipers of the appearance of the universal Manifestation, and they are humble and submissive, saying, 'We give thanks to Thee, O Lord God Almighty, Which art, and wast, and art to come, because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power and hast reigned'—that is to say, Thou wilt issue all Thy teachings, Thou wilt gather all the people of the earth under Thy shadow, and Thou wilt bring all men under the shadow of one tent. Although it is the Eternal Kingdom of God, and He always had, and has, a Kingdom, the Kingdom here means the manifestation of Himself;[28] and He will issue all the laws and teachings which are the spirit of the world of humanity and everlasting life. And that universal Manifestation will subdue the world by spiritual power, not by war and combat; He will do it with peace and tranquillity, not by the sword and arms; He will establish this Heavenly Kingdom by true love, and not by the power of war. He will promote these divine teachings by kindness and righteousness, and not by weapons and harshness. He will so educate the nations and people that, notwithstanding their various conditions, their different customs and characters, and their diverse religions and races, they will, as it is said in the Bible, like the wolf and the lamb, the leopard, the kid, the sucking child and the serpent, become comrades, friends and companions. The contentions of races, the differences of religions, and the barriers between nations will be completely removed, and all will attain perfect union and reconciliation under the shadow of the Blessed Tree." (SAQ, p. 68)

These twenty-four elders are 24 persons that are the apostles of the Lamb. They are seated in the International Baha'i Council. Twelve (12) of them are the gates that "the blessed enter into the City of God" (Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p. 166). And twelve of them are also Apostles that are the backup, or substitutes for the 12 gates, so that there will always be twelve gates in session.

Those "twenty four elders" are persons that are the twenty-four Apostles of Jesus the Lamb (Leland). These Apostles along with the Guardian are the members of the second International Baha'i Council. Twelve of them are the twelve gates. (Rev. 21:12-14)

'Abdu'l-Baha said: "The meaning of the passage is that this heavenly Jerusalem hath twelve gates, which the blessed enter into City of God. These gates are souls who as guiding stars, as portals of knowledge and grace; and within these gates there stand twelve angels. By 'angel' is meant the power of the confirmations of God—that the candle of God's confirming power shineth out from the lamp-niche of those souls—meaning that every one of those beings will be granted the most vehement confirming support. These twelve gates surround the entire world, that is they are a shelter for all creatures. And further, these twelve gates are the foundation of the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and on each one of these foundations is written the name of one of the Apostles of the spirit, Jesus." (Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha #142, p. 166)

Then the Lamb has 12 more Apostles, that makes twenty-four elders. They are backups to the twelve gates.

These elders "sit on their thrones," meaning that they are Apostles.

"In each cycle the guardians and holy souls have been twelve. So Jacob had twelve sons; in the time of Moses there were twelve heads or chiefs of the tribes; in the time of Christ there were twelve Apostles; and in the time of Muhammad there were twelve Imams, But in this glorious manifestation there are twenty-four, double the number of all the others, for the greatness of this manifestation requires it." (Some Answered Questions, p. 67)

Verse 18: "The nations raged, but thy wrath came,"

"And the nations were angry," for Thy teachings opposed the passions of the other peoples; "and Thy wrath is come," that is to say, all will be afflicted by evident loss; because they do not follow Thy precepts, counsels and teachings, they will be deprived of Thy everlasting bounty, and veiled from the light of the Sun of Reality. This includes the followers of the Covenant-breaking "Hands."

Verse 18: "And the time of the dead, that they should be judged"

"the dead" refers to those who are deprived of the Spirit of God. This is the time for them to be "judged" meaning that they must account for their deeds and receive their just deserves.

The righteous of God's people are referred to as "thy servants, the prophets and saints and those who fear thy name." They will be rewarded by God's endless bounty which He will shed upon the Holy Ones, causing them to shine on the horizon of eternal honour.

This means "that the time has come that the dead—that is to say, those who are deprived of the spirit of the love of God and have not a share of the sanctified eternal life—will be judged with justice, meaning they will arise to receive that which they deserve. He will make the reality of their secrets evident, showing what a low degree they occupy in the world of existence, and that in reality they are under the rule of death." (SAQ, pp. 68, 69)

Verse 18: "That Thou shouldst give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great"

"That is to say, He will distinguish the righteous by endless bounty, making them shine on the horizon of eternal honor, like the stars of heaven. He will assist them by endowing them with behavior and actions which are the light of the world of humanity, the cause of guidance, and the means of everlasting life in the Divine Kingdom." (ibid., p. 69)

"the destroyers of the earth" are those persons who are neglectful of God's Will. These will destroy one third of mankind in one hour of the oncoming thermonuclear war.

Verse 18: "And shouldst destroy them which destroy the earth"

"This means that He will entirely deprive the neglectful; for the blindness of the blind will be manifest, and the vision of the seers will be evident; the ignorance and want of knowledge of the people of error will be recognized, and the knowledge and wisdom of the people under guidance will be apparent; consequently, the destroyers will be destroyed." (SAQ, p. 69)

Verse 19: "And the temple of God was opened in heaven" means that the divine Covenant is found, and the Holy of Holies has become visible.

The people had been separated from the Will of God. The "Hands" went to look for Shoghi Effendi's Will telling the people they couldn't find it and that there was no will, whereas Shoghi Effendi had already given the Will of God to the people in a public cablegram [29] in 1951, six years before he died. It had been that they no longer knew what God's Will was, and this Will is symbolized by the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.

"The Holy of Holies, according to the terminology of the people of wisdom, is the essence of the Divine Law, and the heavenly and true teachings of the Lord, which have not been changed in the cycle of any Prophet, as it was before explained. The sanctuary of the Covenant is likened to the reality of the Law of God, which is the Holy of Holies; and all the laws, conventions, rites and material regulations are the city of Covenant, this is why it is called the heavenly Covenant. Briefly, as in this cycle the Sun of Reality will make the light of God shine with the utmost splendor, therefore, the essence of the teachings of God will be realized in the world of existence, and the darkness of ignorance and want of knowledge will be dispelled. The world will become a new world, and enlightenment will prevail. So the Holy of Holies will appear." (SAQ, p. 70)

"And the temple of God was opened in heaven" means also that by the diffusion of the divine teachings, the appearance of these heavenly mysteries, and the rising of the Sun of Reality, the doors of success and prosperity will be opened in all directions, and the signs of goodness and heavenly benedictions will be made plain. (SAQ, p. 70)

"And there was seen in His temple the ark of His Testament" that is to say, the Book of His Testament will appear in His Covenant [Baha'u'llah's], the Epistle of the Covenant will be established, and the meaning of the Testament and of the Covenant will become evident. This is through the explanations and commentaries of the Lamb.

"The renown of God will over spread the East and West, and the proclamation of the Cause of God will fill the world. The violators of the Covenant will be degraded and dispersed, [these Covenant-breakers are the "mainstream Baha'is"] and the faithful cherished and glorified, for they cling to the Book of the Testament and are firm and steadfast in the Covenant." (SAQ, pp. 70, 71)

These are those that "follow the Lamb wherever he goes" (Rev. 14:4).

"And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail," meaning that after the appearance of the Book of the Testament there will be a great storm, and the lightnings of the anger and the wrath of God will flash, the noise of the thunder of the violation of the Covenant will resound, the earthquake of doubts will take place, the hail of torments will beat upon the violators of the Covenant, and even those who profess belief will fall into trials and temptations (SAQ, p. 71)

The only person that is allowed in the Holy of Holies is the High Priest. Jesus the Lamb has returned as the High Priest after the Order of Melchizedec (Hebrews 6:20). He has gone into the Holy of Holies and taken out of the Ark of the Covenant, the Covenant of Baha'u'llah and the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha, and explained their meanings, so that those that are following Arch Covenant-breakers—who are Ruhiyyih Khanum and the "Hands," and are adhering to their headless (without the Executive Branch as the head), man-made House of Justice—so that they can come out from this dastardly violation of the Covenant.

Verse 19: "Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightening, loud noises, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail."

"the Ark of his Covenant", which is in the Holy of Holies, embodies the Covenant of Baha'u'llah and the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha, in which Jesus the High Priest is the only one allowed in the Holy of Holies. He then explains the Covenant to the World.

The temple in heaven "was opened" by the explanations of Jesus the Lamb, who promotes and protects Baha'u'llah's Covenant. This means that the Divine Teachings and heavenly mysteries are established and understood.

These things are also symbolic of what will take place in the world of matter when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet—this book. The "flashes of lightening" are the inter-continental missiles which will streak across the sky. "peals of thunder" symbolizes the exploding of the nuclear bombs. "heavy hail" is the fallout. "the loud noises" will be the sounds of destruction along with the groaning of the people.



Some Answered Questions, pp. 65-66. [back]

2 Baha'u'llah said that a time would come when the violation would be of such an extreme that none could be found who would be faithful to the covenant, but that this violation was not yet exposed: "O my friends! Call ye to mind that covenant ye have entered into with Me upon Mount Paran, situate within the hallowed precincts of Zaman. I have taken to witness the concourse on high and the dwellers in the city of eternity, yet now none do I find faithful unto the covenant. Of a certainty pride and rebellion have effaced it from the hearts, in such wise that no trace thereof remaineth. Yet knowing this, I waited and disclosed it not…." Baha'u'llah, Persian Hidden Words, p. 70-71. [back]

3 Baha'i Scriptures, #962, p. 500. [back]

4 The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 255. [back]

5 The explanation of this chapter follows the text of the King James Version, as this is what is followed in Some Answered Questions by 'Abdu'l-Baha. [back]

6 The temple is measured by the Covenant. The Covenant is the measuring-line mentioned in the Bible. For instance most of the book of Ezekiel describes the temple being measured with this line. In the book of Zechariah it says: "I have returned to Jerusalem with compassion; my house shall be built in it… and the measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.... I will be to her a wall of fire round about, says the Lord, and I will be the glory within her.... And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day,..." Zechariah 1:16; 2:5, 11; 4:9-10.
    The Covenant is called the firm cord in Baha'i Scripture: "Extolled by the writer of the Apocalypse as 'the Ark of His (God) Testament;'... glorified by Him, in other passages of His writings, as the 'Ark of Salvation' and as 'the Cord stretched betwixt the earth and the Abha Kingdom,' this Covenant has been bequeathed to posterity in a Will and Testament..." Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 239. [back]

7 'Abdu'l-Baha, Star of the West, Book 5, Vol. 8, #16, p. 213. [back]

8 These changes do not mean that God has changed His mind. God always fulfills His Covenant and we must never accept that God makes a promise only to break it. So in the Kitab-i-Ahd the material form of the second individual successor was changed from the identity of Mirza Muhammad-Ali to that of Shoghi Effendi, but the pattern remained exactly the same, there were two individual persons to succeed Baha'u'llah. This is how God fulfilled His Covenant; He didn't change His mind. His Covenant wasn't abrogated, but this was His plan from the beginning, that Shoghi Effendi would succeed 'Abdu'l-Baha. [back]

9 "Concerning the criterion of justness when proving some matter dependent on the testimony of two just witnesses." Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Aqdas: Questions and Answers #79, p. 128. [back]

10 "To this same Covenant He has in His writings referred as the 'Conclusive Testimony,' ...the 'Irrefutable Testament,' 'the all-mighty Covenant, the like of which the sacred Dispensations of the past have never witnessed...'" Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 238-239.
     "Is it not enough for them that We have sent down unto Thee the Book?" "This is the testimony which He, Himself, hath ordained; greater proof than this there is none, nor ever will be". Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 91-92.
     "Inasmuch as Muhammad hath confined His testimonies to His Book and to His Family, and whereas the latter hath passed away, there remaineth His Book only as His one testimony amongst the people." Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 202. [back]

11 "...the light of God's Covenant is kindled and comes from the presence of God..." 'Abdu'l-Baha, Star of the West, Book 5, Vol. 8, #16, p. 215. [back]

12 Hebrews 9:5 [back]

13 A non-biological son, who was his direct descendant. [back]

14 It was to go through four stages: infant, child, teenager and then blossom into an adult. The Covenant-breaking "Hands" did away with God's plan for a plan of their own. They went directly from embryo to the adult stage—without the head (the Davidic King) that Shoghi Effendi placed as the president—creating for themselves a headless UHJ, A MONSTER. [back]

15 'Abdu'l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 8, #16, p. 213-14. [back]

16 'Abdu'l-Baha, as quoted by Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 238-239. [back]

17 Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 205 [back]

18 'Abdu'l-Baha said, "The testament of Baha'u'llah is a Rain of Goodness, a Sun of Truth, Water of Life, the Holy Spirit. Thus open your hearts to receive the full power of His Beauty, and I will pray for you all that this joy may be yours." Paris Talks, p. 172. [back]

19 'Abdu'l-Baha said, "He hath… breathed into the hearts of those who stand firm in the Covenant and Testament the breath of everlasting life." Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p. 238. [back]

20 "The light of the Covenant, in like manner, is the educator of the minds, the spirits, the hearts and souls of men." 'Abdu'l-Baha, as quoted by Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 238-239. [back]

21 Shoghi Effendi was not to appoint his successor in a will, but during his lifetime, (W&T, p. 12), which he did, when in 1951 he set up the first International Baha'i Council. This was his son, that Shoghi Effendi indicated that the entire Baha'i world was to turn to upon his passing. Shoghi Effendi said that the constitution of this International Baha'i Council would endure for a half a million years, so where do these Covenant-breakers (Ruhiyyih Khanum and the Covenant-breaking "Hands") get off at, by doing away with it! [back]

22 Koran 3:70, 71, 99 [back]

23 There are exactly 1260 days from November 8th of 1959 to April 21st, 1963 (See Revelation, chapter 12 verse 6).[back]

24 Quoted by Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 243. [back]

25 Baha'i World Faith, pp. 431-432. [back]

26 Isaiah 30:1 [back]

27 "Ponder in your hearts that which He hath foretold in His Tablet of the Divine Vision that hath been spread throughout the world. Therein He saith: 'Thereupon she wailed and exclaimed': 'May the world and all that is therein be a ransom for Thy woes. O Sovereign of heaven and earth!' Reflect upon these most exalted words, and comprehend the purpose of this hidden and sacred mystery." 'Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p. 17. [back]

28 i.e., His most complete manifestation. [back]

29 "Proclaim National Assemblies of East and West weighty epoch-making decision of formation of first International Baha'i Council, forerunner of supreme administrative institution destined to emerge in fullness of time within precincts beneath shadow of World Spiritual Center of Faith... further functions in course of evolution of this first embryonic International Institution, marking its development into officially recognized Baha'i Court, its transformation into duly elected body, its efflorescence into Universal House of Justice... Hail with thankful, joyous heart at long last the constitution of International Council...." Shoghi Effendi, Cablegram, January 9, 1951, Messages to the Baha'i World, pp. 7-8. [back]

Part 2
Revelation Ch 14
Revelation Ch 15
Revelation Ch 16
Revelation Ch 17

Revelation Ch 18
Revelation Ch 19
Revelation Ch 20

2004 © Page 10 Publishers
All Rights Reserved