GOD'S CALL TO THE CHRISTIANS
ordained that the Christians of the West shall be foremost among all the
peoples of the world in recognizing and acknowledging the second coming of
Christ in the glory of the Father and in carrying the glad tidings through the
The Kingdom of God has come! The Lord of Hosts has
appeared with all the prophesied tokens! His teachings have gone through the
earth and He has proclaimed His message to the kings and religious leaders. But
the Christians hesitate, the churches will not acknowledge not even
investigate. They do not heed nor understand the prophetic outline which Christ
in Palestine gave to the disciples on the nature of the first Christian era
— the period between the first and second coming — and of the
special dangers and difficulties which would beset the Church during the whole
of that time. He declared that there would be no certain knowledge of Christian
truth in those centuries, no agreement, but endless doubt and dispute and
difficulty. The enemies of the Church would not be open and notorious foes but
would be within its own ranks. The Christian community, He warned them, would
be like a ripening cornfield, infested with masses
1. Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet to Napoleon III. Shoghi Effendi, America & The Most Great Peace
of weeds growing so close and strong they could not be dug out but would have
to be left to do their evil work right through to the harvest time. Then they would reach their highest point.
The typical enemy of the Church would be the false prophet who would pervert
the true meaning of the Gospel and would mystify people's minds so cunningly
that he might even deceive the very elect, at the last, at harvest, when the
reapers would gather the weeds, bind them in bundles and burn them. The teaching position would become so bad
that men would fear the gates of hell might prevail against the true doctrine.
Christ reassured His little flock, bade them not fear because it was their
Father's good pleasure to give them the Kingdom.
The Christians of to-day and yesterday have not noticed
the accuracy of Christ's forecast, nor do they see that the very things of
which Christ warned them are happening to-day.
Now the promised change has come. This is the time which
Christ foresaw when He affirmed that He had many more things to tell the
disciples but He must withhold them because they were not mature enough to bear
them. At last the age of maturity has been reached. The time of
uncertainty and doubt, of self-delusion and idle fancy and vain imaginings has
gone by. The "Spirit of Truth" has come. A new heaven and a new earth
are spread before mankind and every man is required to "prove all
things" and "hold fast that which is good".
This book is written lest Christian men and women,
confused by past errors and falsities, should neglect to observe the newness of
the age, to heed the warnings of
1. Matt. xiii 24-30.
2. Mark xiii 22. Matt. xxiv 24.
Christ and should fall into the snare of which He told them so often and so
emphatically. Let them not, through lack of discernment or courage, play into
the hands of those who are bringing destruction.
This book is written to prove, from the undoubted facts of
history, what is the true interpretation of Jesus' prophecies about the
character of His era, to show the justice of His warning, especially at this
time when the events He foretold have reached the crisis of their fulfilment.
May the Father, in His mercy, grant that the Christians of
the West may be shaken out of their composure, may be moved before it is too
late to investigate the truth and may at last arise to meet the tremendous,
unprecedented emergency which opens before them.