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Christ and Baha'u'llah

by George Townshend

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Chapter 1


      GOD has 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 earth.[1]

      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

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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.[1] 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.[2] 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.

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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.

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