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Christ and Baha'u'llah

by George Townshend

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Chapter 2


      THE story of the coming of the Kingdom runs through the whole Bible. It is the climax and consummation of God's grand redemptive scheme. The attainment of the Kingdom at the end is promised in the beginning, and gives to the Bible its note of confident expectation, of success and triumph.

      Jesus made mention of Noah and Abraham as Divine Prophets and Revelators in the succession of those Who had guided mankind towards the Kingdom; but their teachings apparently have been lost and are not given in the sacred text.

      It is, therefore, not until the wonderful and famous prophecy of Moses in Deuteronomy 30 that the real story of the coming of the Kingdom of God to earth begins in the Bible. A prophecy in the full sense of the word means much more than any mere prediction. It refers to-a foreview of the future seen by an inspired Prophet by the light of eternity and is a vision of the future purpose of God laid up beyond mortal ken.

      Abraham had already been told of the coming of one of His descendants in whom all the families of the earth would be blessed and Jacob similarly had foretold (Gen. 49) the coming of Shiloh. Moses' prophecy was more full and more exact. He foretold that, in the distant future, the

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Israelites whom He was now leading from Egypt towards the Promised Land would, for a dreadful crime, be plucked out of that land, and be utterly dispersed among the nations. They would live in misery and humiliation until, in the fullness of time, the Lord God, moved with compassion, would “return and gather" the Israelites and restore them as His converted subjects, to the ancient land of their fathers, there to live in lasting peace.

      "And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee,

      "And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice, according to all that I command this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul,

      "That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee." (Deut. 30)

      Moses' prediction provided the Jewish Prophets with one of their favourite and most famous themes. It was the chief subject of the greatest of them all, Isaiah, of which he wrote in his most exalted and powerful manner. Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Zechariah, Joel, Micah, Nahum, Habbakuk, Zephaniah shared his enthusiasm and filled out the enraptured picture which he gave of the future restoration. Moses' prophecy of the return

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became synchronized with the final coming of the Kingdom of God through the appearance of the Supreme World Redeemer, the Lord God, the Lord of Hosts. The world was to be unified and the Jews in the Holy Land were to hold a central place which would give them a position of honour and make them the envy of mankind. The world in that day would be, as the Prophets saw it, transformed inwardly and outwardly; human character would be changed and uplifted.

      "I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you . . . that they may walk in my statutes . . . and they shall be my people, and I will be their God." (Ezekiel xi 19-20)

      "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh . . ." (Joel ii 28)

      "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." (Jeremiah xxxi 33)

      " . . . the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah xi 9 and Hab. ii 14)

      "And the Lord shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His Name one." (Zech. xiv 9)

      Peace will reign everywhere through the earth. Men shall learn war no more. Security, tranquillity of mind and

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plenty will follow peace. (Isaiah ii 4; Micah iv 4-5; Isaiah xxxv 1-2; Joel iii 18).

      "He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; . . ." (Micah iv 3)

      "Righteousness and peace have kissed each other" adds the psalmist. (Psalm lxxxv 10)

      The character of men shall be recognised for what it truly is:

      "The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful." (Isaiah xxxii 5)

      In the midst of this community of peaceful and friendly nations the Prophets placed the Holy Land in a position of privilege pre-eminent. In legislation, in religious instruction and in the execution of government and of justice she stands unique.

      ". . . out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isaiah ii 3)

And again

      ". . . Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths . . . and he shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people . . ." (Isaiah ii 3-4)

      ". . . and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,

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The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

      "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." (Isaiah ix 6-7)

      Little wonder indeed that the Jewish people from the time of Isaiah till the present hour should find solace and pride in the thought of the restoration of their people at the time of the coming of the Kingdom, and should read and re-read with happiness the prophecies of the coming of the Lord of Hosts.

      Another great picture of the glory of the Kingdom is given in the Bible in the Revelation of St. John the Divine, bringing the Bible to its climax and its end. Belonging to the Revelation of Christ this naturally is of a highly spiritual order. It promises the presence of God as actually present in the Kingdom and dwelling among men.

      "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away . . . And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no

1. see pages 27-8.

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candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation xxi 3-4, xxii 4-5)

      Since it is written (Rev. xxi 24)

      "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it",

one must infer that the reference to God's presence alludes to the earthly Kingdom and the Holy Land.

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