If I knew for sure that I would die next month, part 4

By Gordy Arlin, a Bahái of Mukilteo | Aug 07, 2019

Editor’s Note: See parts 1, 2, and 3 of “If I knew for sure that I would die next month” at mukilteobeacon.com. They were published Aug. 15, 2018, Jan. 9, and May 29, respectively.

There’s an old saw that goes, “If you don’t learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it.” I think it’s true.

Given what you do know about how abominably God’s Prophets have always been mass-attacked in Their own times, why, exactly, does it always go so horribly badly, so consistently?

From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, all emphasis mine:

“Should you acquaint yourself with the indignities heaped upon the Prophets of God, and apprehend the true causes of the objections voiced by Their oppressors... the firmer will be your faith in the Cause of God.”

“Ponder for a moment, and reflect upon that which hath been the cause of such denial on the part of those who have searched with such earnestness and longing. Their attack hath been more fierce than tongue or pen can describe.”

“Thus hath it been revealed: ‘As oft as an Apostle cometh unto you with that which your souls desire not, ye swell with pride, accusing some of being impostors and slaying others.’”

“Reflect, what could have been the motives for such deeds? What could have prompted such behavior towards the Revealers of the beauty of the All-Glorious?”

It seems to me that the steadily reoccuring mass-attack of the new Prophet is simply man’s incorrect interpretations of enigmatically Written future-advent prophecy. Good old understandable predictable human error. Each anticipating community has had to deal with their own enigmatic advent prophecies, and each had hundreds of years to perhaps maybe get some parts of some of their understandings maybe not just totally ‘zactly right. (Cough.)

But each of these anticipating worshippers loves the Lord deeply; worships, prays and deeply rests upon God’s promises of unending guidance! With such sincere hearts, and loving God to their cores, how/where do their “accurate understanding/correct interpretation of Prophecy” projects begin to unravel? For the individual? For the body of that worshipping community as a whole?

Looking at the big picture, God confirms for us that the root of it is simply mortal man’s misinterpretations of Scripture.

From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:

“Sanctify your souls, O ye peoples of the world, that haply ye may attain that station that God hath destined for you...”

“The essence of these words is this: they that tread the path of faith, they that thirst for the wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of all that is earthly - their ears from idle talk, their minds from vain imaginings, their hearts from worldly affections, their eyes from that which perisheth. They should put their trust in God, and, holding fast unto Him, follow in His way. Then will they be made worthy of the effulgent glories of the sun of divine knowledge and understanding, and become the recipients of a grace that is infinite and unseen, inasmuch as man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge and wisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and favor, unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets.”

Back in the day, it was those same “mortal men” who began taking it upon themselves and deciding which words of prophecy were to be interpreted literally, and which other words were to be taken figuratively, allegorically, metaphorically. As symbols.

Bahá’u’lláh reveals that we must stop holding as sacred what mortal men have guesstimated to be true. He is correct.

Additionally, the Bible assures us that no human understands scriptural prophecy, and that absolutely everybody is guessing:

“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed... Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation.” (2 Peter 1:19-20)

The advents of the Manifestations of God always go so horribly badly so consistently because we invariably insist that our God reveal His new Prophet in exactly the manner that my friend here said that it’s gonna go down. My friend here is the one who taught me about God in the first place, so... he’s obviously “on his game!” so... he ‘s currently “batting one thousand” for me, so... I’m stickin’ with what he says that it’s gonna be like.

Error, error. The one who showed you the (exactly correct) meat And potatoes of Spirit life is going to be off about any adamant stand that they take re advent prophecy! Please review 2 Peter 1:19-20 above.

Additionally please: Given what you do know about how God’s Prophets have always been viciously assailed by the masses in Their own times, please, for any of these Advents to have gone well, what exactly would men have needed to do differently?

Well, let’s go to Scripture: They would have needed to cease (read: stop entirely) regarding “the words of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets.”

And/or they would have needed to heed, 2 Peter 1:20: “No prophecy of Scripture is of any (man’s) interpretation.”

I.E.: They would have needed to focus on the new Prophet’s message (read: His Words!!) as opposed to focusing so entirely on His marked On-Purpose humbleness, His physical appearance, circumstances, His gentle manner.

Thank you so much for considering! More to follow.

A colossal oak tree closely resembles a nuisance weed when it first breaks surface.

Its glory isn’t evident, but it is fully present.

Gordy Arlin has been a member of the Bahái faith for 44 years. Mukilteo’s Bahái community meets regularly in each other’s homes for worship. For more information, call 1-800-22UNITE.

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