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Will there be another Guardian of the Faith?

Discussion in 'Baha'i Faith DIR' started by InvestigateTruth, Jan 22, 2022.

  1. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    Looking at what Abdulbaha said in His Will and Testament:

    "O ye beloved of the Lord! It is incumbent upon the Guardian of the Cause of God to appoint in his own life-time him that shall become his successor, that differences may not arise after his passing. He that is appointed must manifest in himself detachment from all worldly things, must be the essence of purity, must show in himself the fear of God, knowledge, wisdom and learning.
    Thus, should the first-born of the Guardian of the Cause of God not manifest in himself the truth of the words:—“The child is the secret essence of its sire,” that is, should he not inherit of the spiritual within him (the Guardian of the Cause of God) and his glorious lineage not be matched with a goodly character, then must he, (the Guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to succeed him."


    Shoghi Effendi did not have a child neither He chose anyone in His life to succeed Him. I see a similarity between this, and what happend in the past, regarding Jesus and regarding the twelve Imam:



    Abu Basir narrates from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.) who has said the following:

    "Allah sent revelation to ‘Imran saying, "I will grant you a perfect and holy son who would cure the blind and the lepers and bring the dead back to life by Allah, the permission of Allah and I make him a messenger to the israelites." ‘Imran then said it to his wife, Hanna, mother of Mary all about it When she conceive with the baby Mary and she thought to herself that the baby will be a boy. When she give birth to Mary she said, "Lord, I have given birth to a girl and boys are not like girls. A girl can not be a messenger. Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most gracious, has said, "Allah knows to who have you given birth. When Allah, the Most High, granted Jesus to Mary he was the boy promised to ‘Imran. He promised Jesus to ‘Imran. When we would say something about a man from us and that thing would be found in his sons or grand sons then you must not deny it."

    The Quranic evidence for this Hadith is in verse 3:36,
    “But when she delivered her, she said, "My Lord, I have delivered a female." And Allah was most knowing of what she delivered, "And the male is not like the female…..”

    3:35-36


    In this Hadith, Abu Abdallah (Aka Imam Hussein), is saying that God had said to Jesus grandparents they will have a Son, who will be a Prophet, but that did not happen in that generation, instead it was postponed to the next generation. Likewise, Imam Hussein is saying, though we, Imams have said the 11th Imam will have a child who will be Mahdi, this may be postponed to future generations, and if He appeared later, you must not deny Him.
    Now, Abdulbaha said there will be a next guardian. But this did not happen right after Shoghi Effendi. If we follow same logic, it would happen in a future generation. But seems to be a difficult Test, for believers to accept Him, if it happens.
     
    #1 InvestigateTruth, Jan 22, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
  2. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    No. That is established.

    Sometimes you are quite out of the box. I do recognize you are very knowledgeable about Hadiths and the Qur'an.
     
  3. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    The next Manifestation could be first the next Guardian of Faith, similar to how the Bab was first the 12 Imam of Islam. Then, it is upto Him what He wants to do with Universal House of Justice. He could have a new system to replace Universal House of Justice. Something we cannot possibly know now.
    The verse that "every people have an end", is applicable in all times.
    It is said there is a similarity between we, Bahais and the Christians. And people of Islam similar to Jews. Religion of Moses lasted relatively long time, more than 1500 year. Islam lasted 1000 years. The Christian Faith lasted only 500 years. We are similar to Christians.

    Bahaullah wrote, what happend in previous dispensation, is going to happen now.
     
  4. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    The Guardian is subservient to the Manifestations. The Bab gradually revealed His station, he never said He was the 12th Imam, He said he was the Qa'im. Look it up. They are not the same thing. I took the course on Shi'i Islam at the Wilmette Institute and Moojan Momen has us read his book "An Introduction the Shi'i Islam". The 12th Imam itself is suspect, did he exist or not? I have concluded he did not. I quote from his book:

    The usual miraculous accounts of his talking from the womb, etc. (see p. 23) may be passed over to the only occasion on which he is said to have made a public appearance. This was in 260/874 when the Eleventh Imam died. It appears that none of the Shi'i notables knew of the birth of Muḥammad and so they went to the Eleventh Imam's brother, Ja'far, assuming that he was now the Imam. Ja'far seemed prepared to take on this mantle and entered the house of the deceased Imam in order to lead the funeral prayers. At this juncture a young boy came forward and said: 'Uncle, stand back! For it is more fitting for me to lead the prayers for my father than for you. ' After the funeral,Ja'far was asked about the boy and said that he did not know who the boy was. For this reason, Ja'far has been vilified by generations of Shi'is as Kadhdhab, the liar.
    The boy was seen no more and Shi'i tradition states that from that year he went into occultation. At Samarra, beside the gold-domed Shrine of the Imams ‘Alí al-Hádí and Ḥasan al-'Askari is a mosque under which there is a cave. The end of one of the rooms of the cave is partitioned off by a gate which is called Báb al-Ghayba (Gate of the Occultation) and was built on the instructions of the Caliph an-Nasir in 606/1209.

    The Lesser Occultation

    Those Shi'is who followed the line of the Imams were thrown into confusion by the death of Ḥasan al-'Askari. Ja'far remained unshakeable in his assertion that his brother had no progeny and some gathered around him as the Imam. Others asSerted that the Twelfth Imam had not yet been born but would be born in the Last Days just before the Day of Judgement. Others asserted that it was the Eleventh Imam, Ḥasan al-'Askari, who had gone into occultation. Thus the Shi'a were fragmented into several factions (for a fuller account of these sects see pp. 59 60). It is difficult to assess at this distance in history and with the bias of the sources available what proportion of the Twelver Shi'is of the time accepted the position of 'Uthman al-'Amri which was to become the orthodox Twelver position. Al-'Amri claimed that Muḥammad, the son of Ḥasan al-'Askari, did exist and was in occultation and that he, 'Uthman, was the intermediary between the Hidden Imam and the Shi'a.
    Moojan Momen, "An Introduction to Shi‘i Islam"

    Doesn't this claim by Al-'Amri look suspect to you? It appears self-serving.

    Also:

    It was probably also at about the end of the Lesser Occultation that the Twelfth Imam came to be identified with the figure of the Mahdi.
    Moojan Momen, "An Introduction to Shi‘i Islam"

    I can also be out of the box.
     
    #4 Truthseeker, Jan 24, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
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  5. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the Bab did not change any of the Laws of Quran, did not reveal any new Laws, until year 5, when He wrote Bayan.
    It was only after this point that, the Babi's realized the Babi Faith is separate from Islam. In the conference of Badasht, there was a disagreement if this was a new Faith, or it is just reformed Islam. Then at that point, they realized it was a new Faith. So, in the beginning of His Revelation, the Bab did not say explicitly that He is a Manifestation of God. The Qaim, in Shia is the 12th Imam. Because in their Hadithes, it is said, the twelve one is the Qaim.
    So, He gradually revealed His station. In the beginning, the Bab even said, He is a door to the hidden Imam. Not even the Qaim Himself!. He was just preparing people gradually. Bahaullah later wrote, the Bab did not want to disturb them. So, although He was Manifestation of God from beginning, He appeared as a door to Qaim. Similarly Jesus, was a teacher who was teaching Jewish Faith in the beginning. So, all manifestations in the beginning, appear as a follower of previous Law, and gradually creat a new Faith. I think the next One will be doing the same.
     
  6. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    In the Quyyam-i-Asma, He said all sorts of things. He implied strongly He was revealing a Revelation. The ulama knew this, and thought this was heresy. He said something about being the representative of the Qa'im also. The Shi'is, in my opinion, falsely identified the 12thy Imam with the Qa'im or Mahdi. The Bab in the Quyyam-i-Asma didn't say anything about representing the 12th Imam, just the Qa'im. The Quyyam-i-Asma has not been translated, but ask Todd Lawson, who is the leading Baha'i expert about the Quyyum-i-Asma. I have heard him speak of that initial work more than once. Whether the 12th Imam existed or not in reality, the whole story of the greater occultation is fiction. I don't think I should have led my post with my doubt about the 12th Imam. That's not really the point.

    What the Sunnis believe about the Mahdi is actually closer to the truth, I was told in my Shi'i Islam course by leading Baha'i scholars on this. Ask Todd Lawson about the Quyyam-i-Asma and the Qa'im. His website is here:

    Professor Todd Lawson

    This website includes his Email address.
     
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  7. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    Yet this was offered on the day of the Bab's Declaration in Mecca at the most Holy Place of Islam.

    “I am, I am, the promised One! I am the One whose name you have for a thousand years invoked, at whose mention you have risen, whose advent you have longed to witness, and the hour of whose Revelation you have prayed God to hasten. Verily I say, it is incumbent upon the peoples of both the East and the West to obey My word and to pledge allegiance to My person.”
    – The Bab

    Regards Tony
     
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  8. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    There was a letter written to an individual on this topic by the Universal House of Justice, it needs to be read in full.

    This is an extract.

    "Future Guardians are clearly envisaged and referred to in the Writings, but there is nowhere any promise or guarantee that the line of Guardians would endure forever; on the contrary there are clear indications that the line could be broken. Yet, in spite of this, there is a repeated insistence in the Writings on the indestructibility of the Covenant and the immutability of God’s Purpose for this Day.

    One of the most striking passages which envisage the possibility of such a break in the line of Guardians is in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas itself:

    The endowments dedicated to charity revert to God, the Revealer of Signs. No one has the right to lay hold on them without leave from the Dawning-Place of Revelation. After Him the decision rests with the Aghṣán [Branches], and after them with the House of Justice—should it be established in the world by then—so that they may use these endowments for the benefit of the Sites exalted in this Cause, and for that which they have been commanded by God, the Almighty, the All-Powerful. Otherwise the endowments should be referred to the people of Bahá, who speak not without His leave and who pass no judgment but in accordance with that which God has ordained in this Tablet, they who are the champions of victory betwixt heaven and earth, so that they may spend them on that which has been decreed in the Holy Book by God, the Mighty, the Bountiful.

    The passing of Shoghi Effendi in 1957 precipitated the very situation provided for in this passage, in that the line of Aghṣán ended before the House of Justice had been elected. Although, as is seen, the ending of the line of Aghṣán at some stage was provided for, we must never underestimate the grievous loss that the Faith has suffered. God’s purpose for mankind remains unchanged, however, and the mighty Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh remains impregnable. Has not Bahá’u’lláh stated categorically, “The Hand of Omnipotence hath established His Revelation upon an unassailable, an enduring foundation.” While ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá confirms: “Verily, God effecteth that which He pleaseth; naught can annul His Covenant; naught can obstruct His favor nor oppose His Cause!” “Everything is subject to corruption; but the Covenant of thy Lord shall continue to pervade all regions.” “The tests of every dispensation are in direct proportion to the greatness of the Cause, and as heretofore such a manifest Covenant, written by the Supreme Pen, hath not been entered upon, the tests are proportionately severe.… These agitations of the violators are no more than the foam of the ocean, … This foam of the ocean shall not endure and shall soon disperse and vanish, while the ocean of the Covenant shall eternally surge and roar.” And Shoghi Effendi has clearly stated: “The bedrock on which this Administrative Order is founded is God’s immutable Purpose for mankind in this day.” “… this priceless gem of Divine Revelation, now still in its embryonic state, shall evolve within the shell of His law, and shall forge ahead, undivided and unimpaired, till it embraces the whole of mankind.”

    (7 December 1969 – [To an individual])
    www.bahai.org/r/267899094

    Regards Tony
     
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  9. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    This part specially.
     
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  10. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    I read some of the Qayyoom Alasma, in Arabic.

    In it the Bab mentions, or appears to confirm Muhammad son of Askari. This is what Shia believed. In the Tafseer of Surrah Kossar, the work of the Bab that was written for the Vahid Darabi, the Bab appears to confirm the four deputy of the 12th Imam. Now, Abdulbaha said the 4 deputies were liars. But the Bab appears to confirm them in the beginning of His mission. That's how Manifestations appear. They speak in the level of understanding of people, and gradually teach them more. I don't think The next Manifestation will be any different.
    My intention was to share my thoughts on how possibly next Manifestation appear. I suggest He is first the next Guardian.
    The Universal House of Justice, as a whole is infallible with regards to their duties as layed out in the Writings of Bahaullah. But as individuals, they are not infallible. So, when the next Manifestation comes, the acceptance and recognition of Him, is an individual effort and success. Manifestation comes, when the guidance is vanished. If the guidance is still there no need for a manifestation to appear.
    Seems to me, there will be difficult tests. There must be as always been.
     
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  11. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    I see our greatest test and ultimate error will again be translation. We seem to have an insatiable need for knowledge and as such can easily think we know more than we do.

    The faith has many issues that attack the very core of the Covenant, so I wonder how it will all unfold. We do know every faith faces its winter, but we are still in very early spring.

    Regards Tony
     
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  12. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    I think the Test of a people are when God makes things appear in a way most people did not expect.
    for example, Bahaullah says, for Muslims, the term, Seal of Prophets was the greatest test, as they did not expect any revelation.

    I always think where we are at this point. Are we in early spring, summer, end of summer, early Fall.
    Bahaullah did set certain events, that are the victory. Shoghi Effendi, explained more that there will come a time, that there will be entry by troops. Many people will enter the Faith. Abdulbaha likewise said there will be a time all earth believe. He said Iran becomes so excellent that all world envy.

    So, based on this, we get the impression that we are just in the beginning, because non of it happend yet, and are not happening anytime soon.

    I believe, we will be tested by these same promises, as Baha'u'llah said people of Noah were tested:

    "Among the Prophets was Noah. For nine hundred and fifty years He prayerfully exhorted His people and summoned them to the haven of security and peace. ...
    Long afterward, He several times promised victory to His companions and fixed the hour thereof. But when the hour struck, the divine promise was not fulfilled. This caused a few among the small number of His followers to turn away from Him, and to this testify the records of the best known books. "

    When I read this for first time, I thought how could God say something but does not fulfill it. What could be His purpose?

    I never could figure it our, and when I read the Iqan, I did not find the answer.
    But later when I read the Book several times, I noticed Bahaullah answered the question just in the same paragraph:

    "Moreover, what could have caused the nonfulfillment of the divine promise which led the seekers to reject that which they had accepted? Meditate profoundly, that the secret of things unseen may be revealed unto you, that you may inhale the sweetness of a spiritual and imperishable fragrance, and that you may acknowledge the truth that from time immemorial even unto eternity the Almighty hath tried, and will continue to try, His servants, so that light may be distinguished from darkness, truth from falsehood, right from wrong, guidance from error, happiness from misery, and roses from thorns. Even as He hath revealed: “Do men think when they say ‘We believe’ they shall be let alone and not be put to proof?”


    I believe same tests will happen to Bahais. The next Manifestation comes when, none of the victories Baha'u'llah had said happend. He comes when no entry by troops happend, no greatest peace, and most people are disbelievers.
    Most of us expect that, before next Manifestation comes, the Summer must have come. So, we say, how could it be, a Manifestation comes while the fruits of summer has not come yet!
    But, the fruits of summer may have already come. Just when we compare our world today and compare it with 19th century, we see how the world is more advanced and changed. Couldn't this have been the fruits of summer, and we are really in early Fall season?
     
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  13. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    That is very sound reasoning.

    I personally agree about the tests, as I also see that is very clear in the passage you have quoted and I see there are many Baha'i that have yet to grasp this aspect of Faith. That once you say you believe, the test are tenfold.

    The best prayer to me is "May God's Will be Done". No matter what we see or think might happen, we live life in full acceptance of what we face, that God’s is showing us the way and enabling us to make better choices.

    In offering that, I personally see the world will go through great change, I do feel this is now necessary, as we are overpopulated and biblical prophecy may still unfold as to the amount of humanity that is cut from this world.

    Regards Tony
     
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  14. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    This is all very interesting! Obviously you read Arabic. Are you from Iran and moved to Canada at some point?

    Anyway, I have come to the conclusion myself that on some occasions the Prophets speak to the understanding of the people of that time and place, even though it is later revealed that it is inaccurate. This is summed up for me in this Hidden Word:

    O Son of Beauty! By My spirit and by My favor! By My mercy and by My beauty! All that I have revealed unto thee with the tongue of power, and have written for thee with the pen of might, hath been in accordance with thy capacity and understanding, not with My state and the melody of My voice.
    Bahá’u’lláh, "The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh", a67

    Also came across this:

    “Certain matters are in reality just stories, but the Divine Manifestations bring them out as though it were truth and discourse upon them.” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Amr va Khalq Volume 2, p. 211, provisional translation from the Persian)

    I don't see Him as claiming to be the next Guardian, though. There is this passage from Baha'u'llah I hadn't thought about earlier:

    Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt, forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things. Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies. Nay, rather follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise.
    Bahá’u’lláh, "Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh", 166

    There is no wiggle room here. The "obvious meaning " means it cannot be metaphorical. It has to be 1000 years. I can't imagine after that long the next manifestation would claim to be the next Guardian. There is good reason for the 1000 years. I believe the reason Baha'u'llah said this was so that the world would be united for a long time. He didn't want a split over a "possible" Manifestation before the 1000 years was up. If there's a split after that, so be it.

    It's not worth arguing over, anyway. It's all hypothetical and we are not presented with this now. It's not a practical concern for me.
     
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  15. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    To me it depended on the occasion what He claimed. It depended on the capacity of the listener and other circumstances. On this occasion the proclamation of Who He really fitted the situation and was a kind of fulfillment.

    However, very good quote for this occasion.
     
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  16. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    Yes, I just quoted in this thread:

    Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt, forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things. Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies. Nay, rather follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise.
    Bahá’u’lláh, "Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh", 166
     
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  17. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I am Iranian who came to Canada.

    There are two things that comes to my mind regarding this 1000 years.

    Bahaullah has another statement similar:


    "Should a man appear, ere the lapse of a full thousand years—each year consisting of twelve months according to the Qurʼán, and of nineteen months of nineteen days each, according to the Bayán—and if such a man reveal to your eyes all the signs of God, unhesitatingly reject him!"
    (Baháʼu'lláh, quoted in World Order of Baháʼu'lláh)


    Now, there is this belief, that the Prophets sometimes speak of something impossible, but they intend to test us.
    There is a story that when Bahaullah or the Bab (I don't recall) was child, He went to a school. The teacher narrated a tradition from Islam. No body was able to answer. Then Bahaullah said, this is an allusion to something impossible.
    So, the conclusion of the story was, a Prophet could actually say something that logically is impossible, but we need to recognize that, or we could get mislead.

    So, in this example Bahaullah says, if a man shows all signs of God before your eyes you must reject him.

    I wonder this is also a test for us.. if God, reveals His signs from a Man, that Man is Manifestation of God. So, could this be a test for us, just as previous Messengers tested their followers?

    Another thing comes to my mind, is God had said:

    "Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever"
    Exodus 31:16

    So, I am thinking if God could abrogate something that He said before to be kept forever, could God, abrogate this particular verse about 1000?


    Thus, “What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm: for with Him is the Source of Revelation.” Iqan

    Or is there a limitation on what God would abrogate or confirm?
     
    #17 InvestigateTruth, Jan 26, 2022
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  18. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    It would indeed be a great test to reject a man that showed all the signs of God, considering all past scriptures has told us that is how to determine a true prophet.

    That passage has always been one that I have not yet reconciled, yet I now note that it is saying reveals all the signs of God to our eyes, it may be the heart will let us know.

    Technology may advance to an extent that men can be seen as God's.

    Regards Tony
     
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  19. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    I just think that, at some point previous religions started having some beliefs that later caused them to reject the next manifestation.
    In the beginning of Islam, some Muslims believed Islam was the Last revelation and some Muslims believed it is not the Last. But eventually the belief that it is Last became dominant and eventually caused them to reject the new Faith.
    Likewise, in the beginning of Christianity, the Trinity, and the idea that Jesus was God, was not agree on. Some did not think that way, but eventually the idea that Jesus is God became dominant.
    I think, in Bahai Faith, perhaps some ideas becomes dominant that would lead to rejection of the next Manifestation.
    Although I am not going to be on earth at that time, but I like it that the Bahai community does not set on certain things, but rather considers the possibility that God can always mean something we didn't think, or God could alter what He said before.
     
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  20. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    Religion:
    Baha'i
    We can know that we will get things wrong, even if that was not the intent, that is why the Messengers will continue to come. All dispensations have their winter.

    There was 1260 years between Muhammad and the Bab and only 621 years between Jesus and Muhammad. So the 1000 could be literal, but as you offered, it most likely not be a test we face.

    Our biggest issue in this age is the test of self, as materialism is very, very deep and the vast majority of Baha'i are in the middle of it all, they did not leave the cities.

    I have no idea as to how hearts will change to initiate the Lesser Peace?

    All the best, Regards Tony
     
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