Transcript of Part One of the Covenant Fireside
Hello, welcome to part one of the Covenant fireside. Did you know that God has made a promise to mankind that he will never abandon us, or leave us all alone, but that he will send spiritual leaders and messengers to guide us. This promise of God is called his Covenant. It's His Will, it's His Plan for all of humanity and in this Covenant, there is a greater Covenant and there is a lesser Covenant. The greater Covenant concerns the coming of the Manifestations, and Promised Ones. For instance, in this Covenant, Baha'u'llah tells us that we should not expect another Manifestation until at least a thousand years have passed. The lessor Covenant is what the Manifestation leaves so that the people can receive guidance on whom to turn to after the Manifestation has left this earth. In this fireside, we will be going through Baha'u'llah's lesser Covenant, that's what we will be discussing in this fireside. The lesser covenant is God's plan for the Kingdom of God on earth. This is an actual government here on earth; it's the fulfillment of the Lord's prayer. Jesus told us to pray,
"Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven".
This is God's promise and He always fulfills His promise or His Covenant. Abdu'l-Baha said,
"Verily, God effecteth that which he pleaseth; naught can annul His Covenant; naught can obstruct His favor nor oppose His cause! He doeth with His Will that which pleaseth Him and He is powerful over all things."
Who could even think; who, that actually believes in the one, true, living God, could even think, that when God states that He is going to do something, that somehow He would not be powerful enough to fulfill this promise that He made to us? That He would not be powerful enough to follow through? Or that when He makes a promise that secretly He doesn't intend to keep it, like He's lying to us or something? Who could ever conceive of a God like that? Well, you've just gone through the proofs for Baha'u'llah, that's the greater Covenant and you see we have this whole new age, thousands of writings revealed by Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha. A whole new revelation of true knowledge to humanity. With this truth, humanity will be set free from the spiritual darkness of idolatry and materialism that has enveloped it for eons and we will enter into an age of universal peace and a world wide spiritual civilization.
But what is going to protect this truth, what is going to make it any different this time from all the other times when God sent His messenger to humanity, and after the messenger departed this world, the message became corrupted. This is the history of all the past religions that eventually they became corrupted. For instance, in the dispensation of Jesus, He left His apostles to guide the people after Him, but within sixty years after his crucifixion there were eighty different sects of Christianity, all having a different version of Christianity. Abdu'l-Baha said,
"In former cycles, no distinct covenant was made in writing by the Supreme Pen, no distinct personage was appointed to be the standard differentiating falsehood from truth. So that whatsoever he said was to stand as truth and that which he repudiated was to be known as falsehood. But in this dispensation of the Blessed Beauty, among its distinctions is that He did not leave the people in perplexity, He entered into a Covenant and Testament with the people."
It is very important to know what this Covenant is and I would like to present to you a very brief history (overview) of the Baha'i Faith. In the Baha'i Faith, in this century, a clergy arose and took over the Cause of God. This was in 1957 after Shoghi Effendi, the great-grandson of Baha'u'llah, died. At this time, his assistants, the hands of the Cause of God, took over the Baha'i Faith usurping the leadership of the Faith, the vast majority of the Baha'i's at that time went along with the takeover, they call themselves Baha'i World Faith. And they are now the largest Covenant-breaking sect of Baha'i's numbering approximately five million world-wide.
The hands that took over the Faith at this time, took this plan of God, the Covenant, and threw it out; replacing it with their own man-made plan. Shoghi Effendi had given instructions for how the House of the Lord, the Universal House of Justice, was to come into existence. This House has two essential elements that are it's composite parts, an executive branch and a legislative, judicial branch. And in the Will and Testament, it says very clearly that these two parts will come together in a union. The union of these two parts bring justice. Therefore, without the union of both of these parts there is no justice.
The hands separated out the executive branch, which is the head of the Universal House of Justice, from this composition and threw it away. So they don't have justice, all they have is a monster, a body without a head. Today, those 5 million Baha'i's turn to that monster for divine guidance. How can that monster give them divine guidance? It has nothing to do with God, it has nothing to do with God's Plan.
After the hands did this, almost all of the remaining Baha'i's who didn't go along with the violation of these hands gradually dispersed into other covenant-breaking sects, so what now? Is the Baha'i Faith all washed up? Has it already headed down that same road with all the other apostate religions that have no message for the world? No, what's different this time is that we have a clearly authorized Covenant direct from the manifestation Himself. It says in the writings that if only one person arises to promote and promulgate and defend this Covenant of God, that God will make that one person victorious even if all the people of the world are leagued against him.
This brings us to the purpose of the Covenant. The ultimate purpose of God's Covenant is that it is God's plan to insure that we will never again be seperated from the truth of His Message and that we will all be united under this truth. This Covenant designates the true leader of the Faith, who we are to follow after the Manifestation departs. It designates who has the true interpretation of the Message. Abdu'l-Baha said,
"The truth is unattainable except through the favor of the Holy Spirit. The light hath a center and if one desire to seek it otherwise but from the Center, he can never attain to it."
This is why the Covenant is referred to as the Tree of Life and it is also referred to as the Book of Life. We get our spiritual life through this Covenant. This is where we have our salvation. Abdu'l-Baha said,
"Today, the pulsating power in the arteries of the body of the world is the Spirit of the Covenant - the Spirit which is the cause of life. Whosoever is vivified with this Spirit, the freshness and beauty of life become manifest in him, he is baptized with the Holy Spirit, he is born again, he is freed from oppression and tyranny, from heedlessness and harshness which deaden the Spirit, and he attains to everlasting life."
This Covenant is the connection or bridge; the bond between God and man. There is no connection between God and man except through the Manifestation and there is no connection between mankind and the Manifestation except through the Manifestations Covenant. It is not enough to say you believe in Baha'u'llah, true belief in Baha'u'llah is shown by obedience to Him, by accepting and obeying His Covenant, by being firm and steadfast in it.
It says in the writings that if you separate from this Covenant, such as by opposing it in any way, then you are cutting yourself off spiritually. It's like a cloud that intervenes between you and the sun. The sun is like the light of this message. The covenant is like the light of the sun. It would be like a cloud coming between you and the sun. Does that mean the sun is no longer shining? No, it's shining, it's just that you're not able to perceive the heat and light of the sun because of the intervening cloud, so you would be deprived of the heat and light of the sun. That is, you're understanding of the Baha'i revelation would be clouded, maybe even completely obscured and you would be in darkness because of being separated from this Covenant. It is necessary to know the Covenant in order to be in the true Baha'i Faith.
This is how we tell the true Baha'i Faith from sects and false versions of the Baha'i Faith. The standard for this is the covenant. The covenant tells us what the true Baha'i Faith is. This covenant has been in existence since the beginning of God's plan. It's alluded to in Bible scripture but it was never openly explained in the past. It says though, in the book of Genesis, that the Tree of Life was taken away from the people, meaning that they never understood what this Tree of Life, this Covenant really was. But at the end of the Bible, in the book of Revelation, it shows the Tree of Life available to all the people, meaning at the end of the age, and today, we are in the end of the age, would be the time when this Covenant would be openly explained for the healing of the nations. This Covenant is the same Covenant as God gave to Abraham. It's referred to as the birthright or the inheritance in the Old Testament. It says in Genesis, chapter 17,
"Behold, my Covenant is with you and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. I will make nations of you and kings shall come forth from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting Covenant to be God to you and to your descendants after you."
So we can see that there are two parts to this Covenant, one part concerning kings that would come forth from Abraham and the other part concerning a multitude of nations. This Covenant passed down from Abraham to his son Isaac and to his son Jacob. Jacob became Israel; he was renamed the name Isreal, so Jacob Isreal. Jacob had twelve sons but this covenant wasn't to pass down to all of them but it was to pass down to two of them. The part of the kingship went to Jacob Isreal's son Judah, and the part concerning the multitude of nations went to Jacob Isreal's son Joseph. From Judah then we have the kings and this then passed down to King David and on down to all the Davidic kings who are descended from David. From Joseph, the other part concerning the multitude of nations passed down to his son, Ephraim and the name Ephraim is also a word and literally means "multitude of nations". And from there it skips and passes down to Jesus, the first Christ.
So this Covenant is also the Covenant of Jesus. In the New Testament, this Covenant is called the new Covenant. The reason it was called the new Covenant is that the people in the past didn't have a full understanding of what it was all about; but, with the coming of Jesus, He explained some new things to them so they had a new understanding of the meaning of this Covenant. A new understanding that the people before did not have.
There are three general points to keep in mind regarding the Covenant of Jesus and this new understanding of it. The first, is that Jesus received the birthright, the Covenant to Ephraim concerning the multitude of nations. The second point is that Jesus' Covenant provides for a new type of heir, non-genetic successors. Jesus didn't have any children, therefore he had non-genetic or what you might call spiritual successors. Before Jesus, the covenant had always been passed down through actual genetic successors.
The promise of the kingdom had only come to the Hebrews, and these Hebrews viewed themselves as the only chosen people who would go into the Kingdom while all the others would be shut out from the Kingdom. But Jesus explained to them that because of their faith, they were given this promise. That is, whoever would turn to Jesus because of their faith in Jesus and in His message, would be grafted in to receive this Covenant. It says in Galatians,
"It is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham."
It also says,
"In Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
And it says,
"For in Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God through faith."
"and If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise."
The gentiles were the people who were not genetically descended from Abraham but would be counted into this promise. And this brings us to the fourth point, which is the real point of Jesus' Covenant, the removal of sin. The Kingdom of God on earth, that Jesus told us to pray for, the government to be established at sometime in the future, was to be closely inter-related with God's plan for the perfection of humanity. In the book of Hebrews, it cites the verses of the Jeremiah chapter 31 verses 31-34 which describe the new Covenant of Jesus. When it says in that covenant,
"I will remember their sins no more."
It's talking about the forgiveness of sin and the true forgiveness of sin is when the sinning stops. God has an actual plan for the general state of sin in which humanity finds itself to come to an end. It says in the book of Romans,
"And this will be my Covenant with them when I take away their sins."
So the sins of humanity are to be taken away. It promised us this all the way back in Genesis. Did it not say in Genesis, that God would make man in his image? This image of God isn't a physical image, it's the spirituality, the spiritual qualities and attributes, the perceptions of love, mercy, harmony, generosity, fidelity, etc., an infinite number of spiritual qualities and attributes. Humanity is to take these on and this would be through this Covenant, but this Covenant for the conquest of sin was not fulfilled in Christianity. Its fulfillment is only in the Baha'i Faith, in the Baha'i Covenant.
The Covenant of Jesus returns as the Baha'i Covenant, which is God's plan for a system of government that will perfect humanity and remove its imperfection or sin. If we look at the world today, is sin removed from the world? No, it wasn't fulfilled in the days of Jesus, it's not fulfilled in Christianity. Its fulfillment in the Baha'i Faith, through the Baha'i Covenant.
There are many interesting things about this Covenant. For instance, there are two texts to the Covenant, The Kitab-i-Ahd and the Will and Testament. In this fireside, we will be studying the Kitab-i-Ahd. Kitab-i-Ahd is Arabic for the Book of the Covenant. Kitab is book, I is of, and Ahd is covenant. Kitab-i-Ahd, Book of the Covenant. This Covenant fulfills the prophecy by Jesus Christ in the fifth chapter of Revelation, in the first verse it says that there is a scroll written on within and on the backside and sealed with seven seals.
This scroll is the Covenant and the two texts of the Covenant are the within and the backside parts of the scroll. The Kitab-i-Ahd is the within part and the Will and Testament is the backside or outside part. The outside part is the part that has the seven seals on it. After Abdu'l-Baha died, they went to get the Will and Testament and open it up and read it and they found that it was sealed with seven signatures of Abdu'l-Baha, and that the original copy of the Kitab-i-Ahd was tucked inside the Will and Testament. Therefore, it's the scroll written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. The Kitab-i-Ahd is the within part and the Will and Testament is the backside or outside part.
This is the Covenant that all of the Baha'i's should follow. To be disobedient to any part of this Covenant is to be disobedient to God. Now in Baha'u'llah's Covenant, He continues His genealogy. You see Baha'u'llah is a descendant of King David in the royal line of Kings. In His Proclamation Baha'u'llah stated that He ruled on the Throne of David. Baha'u'llah's father was seated on the Throne of David, His father before him was seated on the Throne of David and his father before him and so on, all the way back in an unbroken line of male sperm descendants of King David all the way back to King David himself.
This is the line of Kings, the direct line from David to Solomon and so forth on down to Baha'u'llah. He was born on this throne, seated on the this Throne of David. Baha'u'llah cannot be the second Christ without this genealogy.
You just went through the fireside of the greater Covenant concerning Baha'u'llah and you see that he fulfills the prophesies for being the second coming of Christ. It wouldn't matter if he fulfilled all the prophesies in the world to be the second Christ, he couldn't be the second Christ unless he was actually, literally seated on the Throne of David. The covenant-breakers don't know this because they don't know that this is the genealogy of Baha'u'llah. This fact was deliberately kept secret for its protection.
If we look at the history of the world, there have been so many attempts to wipe out the Jews because of the promise concerning this Kingship which is in the tribe of Judah or the Jews. Therefore, it was kept secret that this was continuing from Baha'u'llah for its protection so that the people wouldn't try to wipe it out like Hitler during World War II tried to wipe out the Jews. Baha'u'llah continues this throne in His Covenant, this kingship is to continue in the Baha'i system as the president of the Universal House of Justice.
In Psalms 89:3,4, 27-37 it shows the promise to King David.
God says He makes this Covenant or promise to David that David will never lack a descendant and that the institution of this kingship symbolized by this throne will always last and it will never lack a descendant to sit on that throne. Who could ever say that this kingship could ever come to an end? Who's the liar? Is God the liar or all or these Covenant-breakers the liar? They say that it came to an end and they threw it out.
Also in this Covenant is the general plan for the spiritual leadership of the faith. In this plan, after Baha'u'llah, there were to be two individual successors who would be spiritual leaders and then after them, the Universal House of Justice. Now Baha'u'llah didn't come into the world to establish the guardianship or the Davidic Kingship. The Davidic Kingship existed for two to three thousand years before Baha'u'llah ever came into the world. What Baha'u'llah brings that is new is the Universal House of Justice. We will be getting into and actually reading the Book of the Covenant, The Kitab-I-Ahd.
"Although the Most High Horizon,"
Here Baha'u'llah refers to his Revelation as the Most High Horizon,
"is devoid of the trivial possessions of the earth, We have nevertheless bequeathed unto our heirs, a noble and peerless heritage within the treasure-house of trust and resignation."
These heirs and this heritage (heritage is the inheritance, it's the Covenant itself) is the two part Covenant of Abraham, as we explained before that has been passed down from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob Israel and then the kingship went to the tribe of Judah and the multitude of nations went to Ephraim and so forth. These are the two parts of this Covenant, the multitude of nations and the kings, these are provisions for a spiritual succession and for a genetic and a more material type of succession.
This Covenant went from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob and of the twelve sons again Joseph and then Ephraim after him received a part for what we might call spiritual successors that is, non-genetic successors and this is how we eventual come to Jesus and from there the part concerning the kings, this is a father to son hereditary kingship. This Covenant goes to Judah and eventually it comes to King David who was of the tribe of Judah and then it passes down in genetic succession, father to son, father to son all the way to Baha'u'llah. "We have left no treasure nor have we added to man's pain. By the life of God, in earthly riches fear is hidden and peril is concealed. Consider, then take warning by what the God of Mercy hath revealed in the Qur'an:-
"Woe unto those who malign and speak evil of their fellows; who hoard earthly goods and count their riches. Earthly possessions are unstable; wherefore whatsoever passeth or suffereth vicissitudes is unworthy of regard except in a limited measure."
"Whatsoever passeth or suffereth vicissitudes" is all the things in this physical world. Vicissitudes means changes and everything in this physical world is subject to change. Here it says it is unworthy of regard except to a limited measure and what this is, is that we were put here in this physical world for a reason. In order to stay here we have to physically maintain ourselves. We have to have food, shelter, and clothing; but, for the most part these things are unworthy of regard except in a limited measure and the limited measure is that we cannot survive without these things. We wouldn't want to disregard them to such an extent that we would separate ourselves from the world and go away like a hermit and live in a cave like an ascetic, these things are actually forbidden in the Baha'i Faith. We must maintain ourselves and go out into the world and interact with the world to meet these physical needs. We would never want these things to become so important to us that they become more important to us than our purpose for being here which is to know and love God. That is why we were created so we would never want to let these physical things become so important to us that they come between us and God. They have their place but this only in a limited measure.
"In bearing hardships and tribulations and in revealing verses and expounding proofs, it has been the purpose of this oppressed One to extinguish the fire of hate and animosity, that, happily the horizons of the hearts of mankind be illumined with the light of concord and attain real tranquillity. The light of the following utterance shineth from the horizon of the Divine Tablet, which should be observed by all: O people of the world! I counsel you to act in a manner that shall tend to elevate your stations. Cling to divine virtue and obey the divine law. Truly I say, the tongue is for mentioning that which is good; do not defile it by evil speech. God hath forgiven your past ways."
Once you come under this Covenant anything you did in the past is forgiven. The slate would be wiped clean once you come under this Covenant. It doesn't matter how horrible a crime or wrong you might have committed in the past. If the path that you were on lead you to this Covenant, then once you come under this Covenant and you accept it, all the past ways are forgiven. Once you reach the goal of the path you must leave the path behind, the path is of no use to you anymore.
The people when they come under this Covenant are held accountable for everything they do from then on, meaning everything you do from now on once you enter into this Covenant you are still accountable for. It's not your past ways if you are still doing it. Baha'u'llah said he was pledged to forgive no mans injustice. The real forgiveness of sin is when the sinning stops and it is in the past. We need to clean up our act, and have a true change of heart and make an effort to become real Baha'is in deed as well as in our hearts.
"You must henceforth speak that which is worthy. Shun reviling, maligning, and whatsoever will offend your fellowmen. Man's station is great. Ere this, the following exalted words have flowed forth from the Pen of Abha: This is a day great and blessed. Whatsoever was hidden in man is today being revealed. The station of man is great, were he to cling to truth and righteousness and be firm and steadfast in the Cause. Before the God of Mercy, a true man appears like unto heaven. The sun and the moon of that heaven are his sight and hearing and its stars are his shining attributes. His station is the highest and his signs are the educator of the world."
Here it talks of the true man and his station is the highest, this is people when their minds, that is their hearing and their sight, are open and receptive to the light of the truth of this message. Those that are receptive have eyes to see and ears to hear. It talks about this great station.
This great station is that of the angels. You hear about the angels in scripture, these were people that weren't supernatural creatures or something from outer space. They were people that were spiritual and were turning to the Manifestation of their day. This great station comes to the people when they enter into this Covenant. All throughout scripture and the writings of the past they were talking about the great station that people would be able to earn in the days of the end times of the second coming of Christ and of his forerunner the Bab. They were so excited about attaining their station that in the days of the Bab and the early days of Baha'u'llah they were willing to sacrifice their very lives. Many of the Babi's had just become Babi before they were called on to sacrifice their lives to testify to the truth of their belief. They were more than willing. They were happy and joyous to be given the opportunity to do this because they knew the greatness of this station, they had a clearer sight of it than sometimes people do today.
There were two that wanted to get an especially clear sight of it and this was in the days of Baha'u'llah. These two men came to Baha'u'llah over and over pestering him to let them see their great stations on the other side. He told them it was forbidden but they would not let up. One day they were in a gathering with other Baha'is and as usual they were pestering him to give them a concept of their station. Baha'u'llah gave in and told the crowd that God would forgive these two for what they were about to do. He waved his hand and they received a vision of their station. Immediately, they drew their swords and slit their own throats. Baha'u'llah said that they were forgiven for doing that because once they saw their station in the next life which was so great and so wonderful that they couldn't bear to be separated from it for one second longer. They immediately had to go there and experience this. They couldn't stand it, they couldn't help themselves. So they received their station and they were forgiven for committing suicide. One of them died immediately but the other one didn't and some people say that this one wandered for the rest of his life crazed.
This knowledge of our station isn't for this world. It is not for us in this world to try to comprehend what it is as it is for us in the next life. So we're not to worry what our station is or maybe what someone else's station is or try to compare what our station might be with what their station might be. All we are supposed to do is what ever we can in this world to earn our station in the next life. You see, we have to earn it. It is not handed to us on a silver platter. Our station is set aside for us. We don't receive it unless we earn it, and we earn it by doing what ever we are called upon to do to promote this Cause of God.
"In this Day, every believer who discovered the fragrance of the garment..."
Here Baha'u'llah refers to His Revelation as the garment.
Jesus said something similar. He said that if you have an old garment and the garment is wearing out, you don't put patches on it to the point that there is nothing left of the garment but the patches. He said that what you have to do is get a whole new garment and this is what Baha'u'llah does. He comes along when the Christians have this old garment that is covered with the patches that the clergy put on it of their false theologies and so forth. Baha'u'llah isn't going to take that garment and try to further patch it up. He sweeps away all of that. He sweeps away the old garment and he brings a whole new garment.
"In this Day, every believer who discovered the fragrance of the garment and turned with a pure heart unto the Most High Horizon is indeed recorded in the Crimson Tablet as of the people of Baha."
Here it mentions the Crimson Tablet and it says that the ones who turn to the Most High Horizon are recorded in that Crimson Tablet as being Baha'is. What is the Crimson Tablet? Well the Crimson Tablet is the Covenant. Crimson is the color of blood when it is fresh and first exposed to the oxygen. It is this bright red color. The Covenant is symbolized by blood.
If the body of believers don't have the Covenant--for instance if the body didn't have blood flowing through it, it would be dead. If the body of believers doesn't have the Covenant they are spiritually dead. It is those who have faith in this Covenant who have spiritual life. It's those who have faith in this Covenant that are counted as true Baha'is.
"Hold the chalice of My grace in My name. Then drain it in My mention, the Mighty, the Wonderful." This is that cup of the Covenant that Jesus said drink of the blood of my Covenant in this cup, this is this chalice; and it says to drink of this and drain it in My mention that is to drink of it by mentioning the one true God. It is not enough to simply accept this Covenant and believe in it, you have to go out and mention it and teach it to all the peoples of the world because this is for the healing of the nations. "Oh people of the world! The religion of God is to create love and unity..."
This is the purpose of religion, to create love and unity.
The word religion comes from the Latin religio and it means to bond together or to unite. Since this is the purpose of religion it also says not to make it the cause of enmity and discord and what this is talking about is that we should never fight over religion. Once religion leads to war, Abdu'l-Baha said it would be better not to have any religion at all. If religion was going to be used for hatred and war, He said it would be a religious act to leave such a religion.
"Do not make it the cause of enmity and discord. All that is regarded by men of insight and the people of the most lofty outlook as a means of safeguarding and effecting the peace and tranquillity of man, has flowed from the Supreme Pen".
Baha'u'llah, the Supreme Pen, has revealed everything that we need, the basics of how to establish peace, universal peace on earth. The covenant-breakers will never establish universal peace for humanity because they threw out what Baha'u'llah provided.
"But the ignorant ones who are the victim of self and desire, are heedless of the consummate wisdom of the truly wise One, and their words and deeds are prompted by fancy and superstition".
These Covenant-breakers are prompted by fancy and superstition by imagination; that is by their imaginations of a God that changes His mind and breaks His Covenant and makes promises that He doesn't intend to keep. This is all fancy and superstition.
"Oh ye chosen of God and His trusted ones! Kings are the manifestors of God's power and the source of His majesty and affluence. Pray ye in their behalf. The government of the earth has been vouchsafed unto them. But the hearts of men He decreed unto Himself."
Here Baha'u'llah provides for the continuation of kingship in this world order. In the fifteenth glad tidings Baha'u'llah says,
"Although a republican form of government profit all the peoples of the world, yet the majesty of kingship is one of the signs of God. We do not wish that the countries of the world would remain deprived thereof. If the sagacious combine the two forms into one, great will be their reward in the presence of God."
What this is saying is that as the countries of the world enter into the Baha'i World Order, if they want to have a monarch, a king or a queen such as they may have had in the past, they will be allowed to have this monarchy. Baha'u'llah said that the British system of government was good because it had both republic and kingship. In their system they have a prime minister and the prime minister is the head of the government, not the monarch who is the queen. But the queen does have a role to play, she signs the documents and when she signs them they become official. Abdu'l-Baha said, concerning the executive branch or the king,
"That the state is, moreover, based upon two potent forces, the legislative and the executive. The focal center of the executive power is the government. While that of the legislative is the learned."
What this is saying is that the executive power is the government, here He is talking about the Davidic Kingship which is the president of the UHJ. His role is to enforce the law. So this is different from what the people had in the past. In the past they looked upon these monarchs, these kings, queens, and emperors as being like gods. For instance, they turned to Caesar and when Caesar died they put him in a pantheon with the gods. They thought he was a god and they worshipped him. We aren't going to have the continuation of this type of thing in the Baha'i Faith. Here he says,
"but the hearts of men He decreed unto Himself."
So we're not going to worship these kings; we will worship God.
"We forbade conflict and strife--a rigid prohibition in the Book."
Would God forbid us from doing something without providing us with the means to change it? This system of government provided for in this Covenant is the means to do away with conflict and strife.
"This is the Decree of God in this most great Manifestation; and God hath preserved it from annulment and clothed it with the broidered garment of confirmation. Verily, He is the All Knowing, the All Wise".
The decree of God that is preserved from annulment is the Covenant itself. The Covenant is a decree preserved from annulment and especially certain aspects of this Covenant are preserved from annulment. For instance the UHJ with the Davidic King as its president, this is preserved from annulment, this isn't going to come to an end. This is in effect for the full five hundred thousand years of the Baha'i cycle that we are entering into; also, that this UHJ, the one with the Davidic King as its president, would be the one that would receive the spiritual guidance to be the successor to Baha'u'llah, that this would be guiding the people.
"It is incumbent on everyone to aid those daysprings of authority and sources of command who are adorned with the ornament of authority and justice."
This brings us to a paragraph in the Kitab-i-Ahd that has to do with the "daysprings of authority" and "sources of command," if we look into the Baha'i writings we can find who these are. In the 13th Glad Tidings Baha'u'llah says,
"The men of God's House of Justice have been charged with the affairs of the people. They, in truth, are the Trustees of God amongst his servants and the daysprings of authority in His countries."
and here he is using the word men' generically, So we can see that this is referring to the UHJ. Also, in the Eighth Ishraq Baha'u'llah says,
"This passage, now written by the Pen of Glory, is accounted as part of the Most Holy Book: the men of God's House of Justice have been charged with the affairs of the people. They, in truth, are the Trustees of God amongst His servants and the daysprings of authority in His countries."
We can see very clearly that the House of Justice is the trustees of God, this is what is meant when it says daysprings of authority and the sources of command.
"Blessed are the rulers and the learned among the people of Baha. They are my trustees among My servants and the manifestation of My commandments amidst My people."
What this is talking about is that the commandments are the laws. This is the legislative branch, the lawmaking branch of government. Also, in Tablets of Baha'u'llah, Baha'u'llah says,
"It is incumbent on the Trustees of the Houses of Justice to take counsel together regarding those things which have not been outwardly revealed in the Book, and to enforce that which is agreeable to them. God will verily inspire them with whatsoever He willeth, and He, verily, is the Provider, the Omniscient."
What this is talking about here is that this body receives the Divine Guidance, the inspiration from God, to come forth with the truth and with justice. In another place and this is in the Kitab-I-Iqan Baha'u'llah says,
"Those words uttered by the Luminaries of Truth must needs be pondered and should the significance be not grasped, enlightenment should be sought from the Trustees of the depositories of Knowledge that these may expound their meaning, and unravel their mystery."
The Luminaries of Truth are the Manifestations so what this is saying is that in the Revelation or scripture of the Manifestations, if you don't have a grasp of the interpretation or have an understanding of what it means, you should go to these Trustees for the interpretation that they may expound the meaning and unravel the mystery of it. So this shows that after the two individual successors of Baha'u'llah the UHJ has the interpretive authority.
"Upon them rest My glory, My blessing and My grace which have pervaded the world of being".
Here, glory refers to that light of Divine Guidance. Grace refers to what we call the conferred infallibility which I will be explaining shortly which is again on this protection or guidance. The blessing is that Covenant from which that glory and grace are conferred. This is the inheritance, it was first passed from Baha'u'llah to Abdu'l-Baha and then to Shoghi Effendi. This means that after Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi the heir to the Covenant is the UHJ and the infallibility and divine guidance conferred through that Covenant thus rests upon the UHJ alone. Consequently, the UHJ is the source of Divine Guidance to the Baha'i world, the guardian and his hands, every national and local House of Justice, the entire Baha'i administration and all the Baha'is world wide will be under the all encompassing shelter of Divine Guidance that emanates through(from) this universal institution.
"In this connection the utterances revealed in the Kitab-I-Aqdas are such that from the horizon of their words the light of divine grace shineth luminous and resplendent."
Before this would all come into effect, Baha'u'llah was going to decree that we would have intermediary successors to initiate this system for a transition period to the establishment of the UHJ in the world. The reason for this is because the people of that time were not ready to have the universal system of Baha'i government set up in the world, even the Baha'i's weren't ready for it. So there had to be a transition period, Baha'u'llah decreed that there had to be two successors who, as individuals, will lead the Baha'i faith.
"O My Branches".
Branches is the English translation of the Arabic word Aghsan' and this is a word that refers to the sons of Baha'u'llah; the family tree of Baha'u'llah and these branches are his sons. Baha'u'llah had several sons and in the book of Isaiah, in the eleventh chapter, it talks about a root that comes forth from Jesse and this root is Baha'u'llah. Then it says a branch comes out of this root and that the Spirit of the Lord would rest upon this Branch. This branch that comes out of the root of Baha'u'llah is Abdu'l-Baha. The Spirit of the Lord, which is the guidance, would go from Baha'u'llah to Abdu'l-Baha. Baha'u'llah also had other sons and one of these was to come after Abdu'l-Baha in this successorship.
"A mighty power and supreme potency is hidden in the world of being."
This mighty power and supreme potency is the Covenant and here it says it is hidden and concealed in the world of being. This is a human being and here it is talking about Abdu'l-Baha. That this Covenant first of all provides for Abdu'l-Baha and the power and potency of this Covenant would be in the world through Abdu'l-Baha.
"Focus your gaze upon it and upon the direction of its unity, not upon the differences which are apparent therein".
Here it is talking about the differences apparent in this Covenant. These differences are called the dichotomy, that is there are two different parts as I was explaining before: there is the kingship and the multitude of nations. This Covenant went to two different sets of heirs also. Throughout the history of this Covenant we can see that these different sets of heirs were then fighting and antagonistic toward each other. For instance, the kingship went to the tribe of Judah and eventually the Covenant of the multitude of nations that went from Joseph and then on to Jesus also went to Muhammad. Today, the Muslims and Jews are fighting each other over who is God's chosen people. In the whole history of this Covenant, people have been fighting over it and Covenant-breaking. It seems they are focusing on one part or the other of this Covenant and breaking the other part of it. We are not to do this, we are to look at the unity of this Covenant.
"God's Will and Testament enjoins on the branches, the twigs, and kinsfolk, one and all, to gaze unto the most great Branch. Consider what We have revealed in My book of Aqdas to wit: when the sea of My Presence is exhausted and the Book of Origin hath reached its end, turn you unto Him (Abdu'l-Baha) who is desired by God--He who is issued from this ancient Root. The purpose of this sacred verse is the most great Branch. Thus have We declared the matter as a favor on Our part and We are the Gracious, the Beneficent!"
Here it says to turn to the most great Branch and this is Abdu'l-Baha. Such a simple word, turn to Abdu'l-Baha. What does this mean, that we are to follow Abdu'l-Baha around or something? In one of Baha'u'llah's tablets, the Tablet of the Branch', He says this,
"There have branched forth from the Sadratu'l-Muntaha"
(the Divine and Sacred Lote Tree, the symbol of the Manifestation). He says there have branched from the Manifestation, Himself, this sacred and glorious Being, this Branch of Holiness, that is one of His sons. This is referring to Abdu'l-Baha.
Then Baha'u'llah says,
"Well is it with him that has sought His shelter and abideth beneath His shadow, verily the limb of the law of God hath sprung forth from this Root which God hath firmly implanted in the ground of His will and Whose Branch hath been so uplifted as to encompass the whole of creation. A word hath as a token of Our Grace gone forth from the Most Great Tablet (which is the Kitab-i-Ahd which we were just reading), a word which God hath adorned with the Ornament of His Own Self."
What Baha'u'llah is talking about is the word where Abdu'l-Baha is appointed as the successor of Baha'u'llah that's the word that I just read and Baha'u'llah goes on to say of Abdu'l-Baha,
"He is the most Great Favor unto you the most Perfect Bounty upon you and through Him every mouldering bone is quickened. Whoso turneth towards Him hath turned toward God and whoso hath turned away from Him hath turned away from My Beauty, hath repudiated my proof and hath transgressed against me."
This is the meaning of to turn to Abdu'l-Baha that to turn to Abdu'l-Baha is to turn to God. To turn away from Abdu'l-Baha is to turn away from God. Abdu'l-Baha has this perfection or this sinlessness what we call infallibility. To explain infallibility there is a whole chapter written by Abdu'l-Baha in Some Answered Questions and you want to read it. Infallibility is the immunity to the spiritual disease of sin. Abdu'l-Baha explains that there are two different types of infallibility. One is innate infallibility and only the Manifestations have this. Innate infallibility is something that is innate or essential to them as Manifestations. They have this from the beginning. This is the special equipment of what might be called the Holy Spirit that they have.
Its like the sun. The sun has rays and from these rays we get the heat or the light of the sun. If you separated out the rays of the sun, the heat and the light of the sun it would not be a sun. It would be maybe a planet or a gas cloud or a moon or something like that but it wouldn't be a sun. In order to be the sun it must have all those elements. So these rays are essential to the sun in the same way that the infallibility is essential to the Manifestation.
In addition to that there is another kind of infallibility Abdu'l-Baha explains. This is acquired infallibility which is not there automatically from the beginning and is not intrinsic to the ones who have it, it is something that they acquire. This is further broken down into two versions or kinds of infallibility, one is called learned and the other is called conferred. To explain learned infallibility Abdu'l-Baha gives the example of a doctor. He explains that the doctor goes to school for many long years to acquire this profession and expertise to be a doctor and when done in school must pass a state board examination and then they go on and become an intern but they are still under the supervision of other doctors and finally after many years of practice they acquire a certain degree of infallibility in their work but that doesn't mean that they are going to become so perfect in this that they wont occasionally lose a patient because of some mistake they might make.
Any professional in an art or trade or what have you can acquire a certain level of infallibility in their work but this is not from God but from their own effort and experience. This acquired infallibility isn't guaranteed or automatic. But there is a certain kind of infallibility which is automatic and this is conferred infallibility, and this means protection and guidance and this type of infallibility is conferred by the Manifestation through His Covenant.
This is the type of infallibility that Abdu'l-Baha had. He was under the protection and guidance of Baha'u'llah. It doesn't mean that it would be impossible for him to make a mistake or commit a sin. It means he is protected and guided by God so that he would not do these things. The reason is that as the leader of the Faith if Abdu'l-Baha was to do such a thing the people of the Faith would follow him in this error and the foundation of the Faith would be overturned and undermined. Abdu'l-Baha explains that God guides these one who are the leaders of the Faith from making a mistake and this is for the protection of the Faith.
Another way to explain the different degrees of infallibility is for instance with electricity you have a power generation plant and the very high voltage electricity leaving the plant in wires and over large pylons and when needed there are substations where the electricity is stepped down to a lower voltage that can be transmitted wires of a lower voltage and amperage capacity and thus to transformers that step the voltage down again in the neighborhoods where the end users are. From the transformers it goes into the house to the circuit breakers and then onto power supplies where it is further stepped down for the consumption in an end user device such as a stereo or computer etc. The high voltages leaving the generating plant cant be anywhere near your computer. Even the electromagnetic field can affect such a sensitive device if too near it.
The voltages have to be stepped down to a level where each of the stages that it travels through can accept it with out being overloaded and fried. Computers operate at as little as a fraction of a volt in the silicon rectifiers and chips. The amperage is very low as well. Likewise we don't tap into the infallibility that the Manifestations have directly. Even Abdu'l-Baha did not tap into it directly but received conferred (stepped down) infallibility. We by turning toward God and receiving our ray of the Holy Spirit can acquire a certain infallibility in the knowledge of the writings but it is not essential nor conferred and is capable of making a mistake or sinning. When we teach however we can be recognized as having acquired infallibility compared to the student who knows nothing.
"God hath verily decreed the station of the Great Branch next to that of the Most Great Branch"
Shoghi Effendi said that in the original Arabic text the wording could be
read as "beneath" not "next to" which is the station of
the Great Branch which is the other son that Baha'u'llah appointed.
Abdu'l-Baha is the foremost one and has the Greatest Station. And then
it is talking about the Great Branch (Baha'u'llahs son Muhammad
Ali) and the most Great Branch who is Abdu'l-Baha.
"Verily He is the Wise Ordainer. We have chosen the El Akbar after the El A'Sam as a command on the part of God the All Knowing, the Omniscient."
First Abdu'l-Baha and after Him Muhammad Ali. They will not rule together. First one having the conferred infallibility, the Divine Guidance to lead the Faith and then after him the other one who would assume the role of leadership.
"All must regard the other branches with affection, but God hath not decreed unto them any right to the peoples property."
This is an allusion to the Davidic kingship indicates that only these two Branches or sons of Baha'u'llah would receive the Davidic kingship and thus have a right to the peoples property. What is the peoples property? In the past in the days of the Davidic kingship the king was the head of the army. His purpose was to protect the nation of Palestine and its people the Hebrews against the marauding pagan nations that surrounded them. He protected the temple, the priesthood and the people. To do this there had to be an army and horses and their supplies. How was he to do this? The king collected a tithe from the people which they were very happy to pay because this meant that they would be protected.
Eventually the Davidic king was taken captive into Babylon but the people continued to pay the tithe to the king even though he was in captivity in Babylon and not able to protect them with an army. This Davidic kingship continued on down to Baha'u'llah and all that time the people under the king paid the tithe to the king. Baha'u'llah continues this tithe today and it is called the Huquq'u'llah or the Right of God. The purpose of the Huquq'u'llah today is not to support an army but to spread the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. This tithe was only paid to the Davidic king and when Baha'u'llah says that none of the other branches have a right to the peoples property or the Huquq'u'llah he is saying that none of the other sons have a right to this kingship. There is some more text to the Covenant and we will let you read that on your own.
Now is the time to explain what happened in 1892 when Baha'u'llah died. At this time His Covenant took effect and when Muhammad Ali, the younger son, Abdu'l-Baha's half brother saw that none of the other sons had a right to the kingship and that it was just him and Abdu'l-Baha he thought that he had Abdu'l-Baha boxed in. He thought that no matter what he did that Abdu'l-Baha could do nothing about his actions and thus remove him from the Covenant of Baha'u'llah. Right away Muhammad Ali started talking against the Covenant. As explained previously it is only through this Covenant that we are spiritually connected. Muhammad Ali spoke against the Covenant and thus was cut off from God by his own actions (hung by his own petard as it were). What did he do to be cut off? He went to Abdu'l-Baha and said,
"I'm written into our Fathers Covenant and would like to rule with you jointly at the same time".
Abdu'l-Baha replied that that was not possible its not provided for that way in the Covenant and we must be obedient to this Covenant or we will both be cut off and there won't be any hope for the Baha'is or for humanity. It says first me and then you but Muhammad Ali insisted that he did not like it that way and Abdu'l-Baha explained it to him that it was too bad and that Abdu'l-Baha wasn't free to change his Fathers Covenant. He himself was subject to the obedience of this Covenant and that both were on the order of servants or subjects that had to obey.
Muhammad Ali wasn't satisfied and said maybe I'll die before you and won't get my turn to rule after you thus showing in his heart that he wanted to be the head hancho looked up to by everyone and have this high status of being the Baha'i leader. That is what he was lusting after in his heart. Even though Abdu'l-Baha told him that he was several years younger than A/B and that he would probably out live him and get his chance to rule, M/A remained intent on taking the position of A/B. As it was A/B lived longer than M/A anyway by ten or twenty years. M/A had always been jealous of A/B and disobedient to B/A. Abdu'l-Baha was distinguished by his exemplary behavior and effort for the Cause. M/A on the other hand was troublesome and would not do what it took to have his veils removed. He felt he was owed something by B/A.
Baha'u'llah referred to A/B as the Master for no other reason than his achievement in the mastery of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. Baha'u'llah made A/B the exemplar of the Faith and told the believers in certain terms to follow his lead. Thus it was that A/B came to be handling the affairs of the Cause of God before B/A ascended. He was totally trustworthy and would only think of obeying God. Muhammad Ali was his antithesis and could only think of himself and his corrupt desires.
M/A went against the Covenant as described and thus his bond to it was severed and likewise the successorship provided for by his Father. B/A says that the evil do not announce their evil doings to the world but hide them. He lets us know that they speak with a honeyed tongue for their own cause and not that of the cause of God. M/A began to privately cut A/B down to the believers and even his family. Saying that A/B was claiming a station that wasn't his. He went to the leadership of the Ottoman Empire to convince them of a plot to overthrow the government and that A/B was behind it all. He produced the Tablets of A/B which made mention of gathering the army of God and claimed A/B was gathering weapons. He referred and rightly so to the shrine that was to be built to the Bab as the fortress of God and explained to the Ottomans that the shrine being built was a fortress from which the aforementioned army of God would fight the infidels of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans being Muslim hated the Baha'i Faith and began a plan to put A/B away in prison. M/A sunk to such depths that he could persuade others of a lie in order to capitalize on his own plan. He was so overcome by hatred and jealousy that he could see nothing else. None of his plans bore any fruit in the way of doing away with A/B. He further claimed that A/B was asserting himself as the Manifestation of God. He said that a passage in the Aqdas was about A/B.
"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 persists in his error God will assuredly send down one to deal mercilessly with him. Terrible indeed is God in punishing. Whoso ever 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."
Muhammad Ali accused A/B of claiming a Revelation direct from God and he contrived this as an excuse to attack A/B. When he went to the friends who were knowledgeable in the Baha'i Faith they would say to him, "What are you doing, we are not supposed to malign or speak evil. Why are you speaking against A/B." He would answer, "Look at this passage in the Covenant where it says that God will deal with any who claim a Revelation ere the passing of a full one thousand years and that if such a one persisteth in this error God will surely send down one who will deal mercilessly with him."
So if A/B doesn't abandon this claim to a Revelation he will suffer the consequences. M/A asserted that he was the one whom God had sent to deal mercilessly with A/B. This was the pretext he used to poison the friends against A/B though A/B was making no such claim. Though A/B was writing tablets, verses and prayers he never claimed that he got this directly from God. He explained that he was the servant of Baha'u'llah, his name means servant of Baha. He was serving the Revelation and giving deeper understanding of what Baha'u'llah revealed. Not directly from God but from his long tenure with Baha'u'llah as his servant and right hand man. A/B brings nothing new and the one after him who is Shoghi Effendi brings nothing new but both develop further the plan of Baha'u'llah in complete obedience to Baha'u'llah.
A/B is being confronted by a person who is intent upon gaining his own ends even if it is to the detriment of the Faith and to the harm of the believers. What will he do? Will he allow this traitor to the Covenant to persist. Not at all. According to the provisions of the Covenant such breakers of the Covenant are to be thrown out for their evil deeds. In A/Bs Will and Testament on page nine he states that M/A is cut off due to his Covenant breaking. He explains that M/A is a fallen branch that has been cut off from the Holy Tree. What right does A/B have to do that. Baha'u'llah said in his Covenant that if M/A deviated by even a hairs breadth he would be cut off (this should be a direct quote. I may have time to come back and do that later) and become utter nothingness. Did God change His mind where the Covenant was concerned or that the Covenant was not fulfilled.
The Covenant breakers believe that to be the case; that God changes His mind. This is the man made theology of the Baha'i World Faith. In their book The Covenant of Baha'u'llah by Adib Teherzadeh published in 1992 this idea that God changes his Covenant is expounded upon showing the acceptance of such a notion by the main body of Baha'is in the world. On pages 131-133 there is some discussion of M/As Covenant breaking and what they think of it. "We may ask ourselves two questions-Why did the provision in Baha'u'llahs Book of the Covenant for Mirza Muhammad Ali's successorship not materialize and why did Baha'u'llah grant such an exalted station to so perfidious a person? To resolve these puzzling questions it is necessary to meditate on the Covenant of Baha'u'llah and try to discover its distinctive and challenging features." Next comes a section on the power of Baha'u'llahs Covenant to put Gods plan into effect. This is their only attempt to explain how the Covenant is fulfilled.
"Thus we can be assured that due to the creative power of the word of God every event that Baha'u'llah has foreshadowed in his tablets has taken place already or will come about in the future." What they are saying is that once Baha'u'llah has stated it in his Covenant it has taken place already or will come about in the future. We are talking about the situation of the violation of the Covenant where M/A had to be removed. Did M/A fulfill his station in the Covenant? No, he was a Covenant breaker. Does M/A receive his station provided for in the Covenant in the next life? No, because he died a Covenant breaker. Is this provision to take place in the future, is Muhammad Ali to be reincarnated to come back in the future and take his place then? No, there is no reincarnation. It is not fulfilled at all in Muhammad Ali.
The Covenant breakers have no idea at all how the Covenant is fulfilled because they don't believe in the fulfillment of the Covenant. "Indeed a careful study of His writings reveals that many of his promises have been fulfilled. However there are many exceptions to this and these are related to the subject of the Covenant. The appointment of Mirza Muhammad Ali in the Kitab-i-Ahd is one of these exceptions whereby Baha'u'llahs purpose, His implied wish appeared not to materialize." When Covenant breaking occurs a cloud comes between the C/B and the light of the Revelation so that they can no longer see it. From the time of the breaking of the Covenant at Shoghi Effendi's death to when this book was written was over thirty years. They do not see the importance of Baha'u'llah. They have lost sight of the basic truths of the Revelation. It is as if the Manifestation is another ordinary person. He is a wise philosopher to them and not the Revealer of the Thought of God.
The Manifestations reveal the Thought of God. The C/Bs seem to think that the wishes of Baha'u'llah were something that He wanted and that it was not the Will of God. They do not know that what comes through Baha'u'llah is the Plan of God. "The main reason for the nonfulfillment of the certain provisions of this momentous document is that this Covenant like any Covenant is a reciprocal agreement between two parties. In this case one party is Baha'u'llah and the other His followers. In general the outcome of any agreement between two parties depends upon the manner in which each party fulfills his commitment. If one side fails to carry out his obligation as set forth in the contract the other side will no longer be bound to honor his." They are talking about the Contract that God has made with humanity and that one party has not carried out his end and so the other party to the contract is not honor bound to carry out his end of the deal. In other words humanity broke the Covenant with God and God is no longer bound to the agreement. Since Mirza Muhammad Ali didn't fulfill his end then God isn't bound to fulfill his end of the deal. This Covenant includes the Davidic kingship and in Psalms 89 God talks about what will happen if the humans involved in the Covenant don't fulfill their end. He says He will punish them but will not change his mind. Psalms 89:30-37--
"If his children (children of David, the kings) forsake my law and do not walk according to my ordinances, if they violate My statutes and will not keep my commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with scourges. But I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness. I will not violate My Covenant or alter the word that went forth from My lips. Once and for all I have sworn by my Holiness I will not lie to David, his line shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me, like the moon it shall be established forever, it shall stand firm while the skies endure forever."
Even if the kings in the line of David break the Covenant the plan will not be aborted or altered from its course. God is all powerful and completely, endlessly able to see that His Covenant is fulfilled. God sees present, past and future yet the C/Bs believe that God would make a promise he could not fulfill likening God and his ways to themselves and their ways in their abysmal ignorance. It appears that they believe that God is a trickster or a liar. Is God like that?
Again we will read from their book: "For example let us say that a landlord and a tenant draw up a lease. As long as the tenant pays his rent and meets his other responsibilities the landlord has no reason to cancel the contract. But if the former fails to discharge his liabilities the latter will have no choice but to cancel the lease and possibly institute eviction proceedings." The landlord is God and the tenant is M/A. M/A didn't fulfill his end so the contract is canceled. This lets God off the hook and He doesn't have to fulfill his agreement. They don't think it out far enough to see that the landlord doesn't destroy his own house if the tenant doesn't pay or otherwise abrogates his responsibilities. He simply rents to someone else. M/A is evicted just as Saul was evicted by God through his prophet Samuel. God in his Covenant with the house of David provided for this eviction in Psalms 89 as we saw above.
The position of successor to A/B provided for by Baha'u'llah in His Covenant must be filled as it is an integral part of the Covenant. Baha'u'llah tells us in no uncertain terms to obey A/B. A/B replaces M/A with a non Covenant breaking successor, Shoghi Effendi thus fulfilling the provisions of the contract/Covenant. Again from Teherzadehs book: "The Covenant of Baha'u'llah as formulated in the Kitab-i-Ahd also has two distinct sides, one side is the Almighty who provides the spiritual energies for the achievement of his purpose and who rules over his creatures. The other side is His servants, the recipients of His Grace who abide by His bidding. This Covenant necessitates an interaction between the two parties. As in the analogy of the landlord and the tenant if the followers of Baha'u'llah the recipients of His Grace had faithfully carried out what was expected of them in this Covenant then every provision of the Kitab-i-Ahd would have been fulfilled and the plan of God as ordained by Baha'u'llah would have materialized. But they did not. The Covenant was broken by no less a person than Mirza Muhammad Ali himself who rose up against the Center of the Cause. Consequently the Plan of God as envisaged (this phrasing alone indicates that they see Baha'u'llah as a fallible man) by Baha'u'llah was changed.
This huge error in their thinking shows that they are clouded from the light of the Revelation. They do show that after that Shoghi Effendi is the leader of the Faith. We do agree upon this point alone. "Consequently the plan of God as envisaged by Baha'u'llah was changed and Shoghi Effendi the eldest grandson of Abdu'l-Baha was appointed as guardian of the Faith to succeed Him." They do not then assert that the Covenant was fulfilled by Shoji's successorship. They say that the Covenant was changed. Why did they do this? They didn't usurp the power and break the Covenant in the days of M/A, they did this after Shoghi Effendi died. This was after A/Bs will and Testament was in effect. A/B is part of the Covenant of B/A and we are told to obey as if we are obeying God. Thus they have broken the provisions of the W/T as well. Their excuse for doing this is, again, that God changed his mind by not putting M/A on the throne. "The same argument may hold for the W/T of A/B in which the question of the successor of Shoghi Effendi did not materialize."
They are claiming that the provisions of the W/T weren't fulfilled. With this pretext they cover their own monstrous sin of Covenant breaking from the eyes of the Baha'is of the Baha'i World Faith. Their logic again fails and their pitiful grasp of the Divine Reality is further revealed. Did Baha'u'llah know that M/A would violate or not? Did Jesus know that Judas would violate? The testimony of Jesus foreknowledge of Judas violation is in the scriptures. So then why did Jesus appoint Judas? Jesus said,
"Iniquities must come but woe betide them by whom they come."
In other words Jesus had to be betrayed into the hands of the clergy and the Romans in order that he would be crucified. Jesus had to be crucified as prophesied on the very day the crucifixion took place. Someone had to betray him and Judas was the volunteer. In the same way Baha'u'llah being in possession of All Knowledge of the Plan of God knew that M/A would violate. In the book, Ten Days in the Light of Akka, it is recorded that he knew that M/A would violate. Why then did he appoint M/A? Baha'u'llah had to give M/A the chance to do the right thing and not violate. It wasn't Gods plan for M/A to be the successor to A/B. It was well known what M/A was made of. In the Covenant a slot was provided for a successor to A/B. This one would be one favored by God and obedient to the Covenant.
Sometimes it is our own understanding of the Covenant that isn't fulfilled and it says in the writings that when it seems like the provisions of the Covenant are not fulfilled we should question our understanding and not the Covenant itself. We must look for the fulfillment. It has been promised by the All Powerful Creator of the Universe. How could it not be fulfilled. God has ever and always tested the people so that we could see, if we cared to, where we were faithful and where we were not faithful to the Covenant and Commandments of God. God knows what is in our hearts. The tests are always for our edification. They are spiritual food. M/A was a test to the people. We don't have to look far for the fulfillment of the Covenant. A/B in his last tablet to the American believers where he is talking about the Covenant breaking says,
"Consider the Divine Gardener cuts off the dry or weak branch from the good tree and grafts to it a branch from another tree. He both separates and unites. This is that which His Holiness Christ says That from all the world they come and enter the kingdom and the children of the kingdom shall be cast out."
M/A being a son of Baha'u'llah was a child of the kingdom. He is the dry or weak branch that is cut off from the tree. That spot is not left vacant though and another branch that is good is grafted back on to the tree to fulfill the intention of the Divine Gardener.
Shoghi Effendi is this branch that was chosen to be grafted on to the good tree, into the slot that was left vacant by the Covenant breaking of M/A. He is referred to as the chosen branch in the W/T of A/B. Why didn't Baha'u'llah appoint Shoghi Effendi to begin with and avoid all the confusion? Shoghi Effendi wasn't born until four years after Baha'u'llahs ascension in 1892. 1896 was four years after his Kitab-i-Ahd went into effect. If Baha'u'llah had named Shoghi Effendi it would have caused trouble amongst the believers in that the weak would be naming their kids Shoghi Effendi. Not only that there would not have been the test of obedience to A/B.
Shoghi would have been part of the Greater Covenant in prophecy. He would have been foretold by name like Jesus, Baha'u'llah and Leland. Shoghi was part of the Covenant of administration or the set of instructions for us to follow in the absence of the Manifestation. Shoghi was part of the Plan to begin with but was not part of the Greater Covenant and so was M/A in his violation. God didn't make M/A violate but knew what was in M/As heart and that he would fulfill that role in the Plan. Shoghi Effendi is an Afnan which are the collateral relatives of the Bab and are counted as descendants of the Bab because he didn't have any offspring that lived. In this tablet from Baha'u'llah we can see that He knew of the coming of Shoghi Effendi. He says,
"O Afnan (descendants of the Bab) O thou that hast branched from my ancient stock, My Glory and My Loving Kindness rest upon thee.... Thy day of service has now come. Countless tablets bear the testimonies of the bounties vouchsafed unto thee."
This Afnan it is clear is descended from Baha'u'llah and The Bab. This shows it was Gods Plan for Shoghi Effendi to succeed Abdu'l-Baha. In this we can see that Shoji's accession to the throne was not accidental, that God was not making up the score as it was being played. Abdu'l-Baha says it was a well kept secret so that the people would not be able to come against it.
The switch from M/A to S/E is called the dichotomy. S/E is the grandson of Abdu'l-Baha through A/Bs oldest daughter Dahiyyih. A/B had one son who died in infancy and the rest were daughters. His daughter Dahiyyih married Mirza Hadi Afnan (descendant of the Bab) and their eldest son was S/E Only the male line can inherit the throne of David. S/E being from a daughter of the Davidic king is not through the male line and does not inherit the throne of David. This means there must be two graftings in, S/E having the conferred infallibility through the Covenant of Baha'u'llah and Mason Remey inheriting the kingship by virtue of the fact of his adoption as a son by A/B.
A/B adopted Mason according to Baha'i law which says that we must obey the laws of the land which is included in the Aqdas. A/B at the time, shortly after WW1 was living in Palestine which was a province of the Ottoman Empire. According to Ottoman law the adoption of a son was to be carried out in this way --the adopter was responsible to publicly declare the adoption of the adoptee. Were the adoptee to accept the adoption, a token was given to the adoptee by the adopter to seal the agreement. He would be given a token of what he was inheriting. For instance if the inheritance was a plot of ground he would be given a clod of earth as a token.
At the time of the sealing of the agreement the adopted son would by law attain to all rights of a natural born son. Whatever rights and privileges of birth that the father had would be passed on to the adopted son and the son would have whatever rights were specified by the law and the will to the physical property of the father. A/B made a public proclamation that Mason Remey that he was adopting Mason Remey as his son and into the successorship of the Davidic Kingship. The announcement came out in the Star of the West, a Baha'i publication at the time that was distributed throughout the Baha'i world. In Volume ten, number eight, page 144 it says this,
"To his honor Mr. Remey O my dear Son..."
In volume eleven, number 13 page 229, Recent tablet of A/B to Charles Mason Remey...."
O thou enlightened beloved Son".
Thus Mason inherited the throne of David from Abdu'l-Baha. In addition, in a book written by one of the early believers it says that in a letter from A/B to Mason it says,
"You are very dear to me. You are so dear that I think of you day and night. You are my real son, therefore I have an idea for you, I hope it may come to pass."
Abdu'l-Baha's idea for Mason the Davidic king was that he would sit at the head of the Universal House of Justice. A/B hoped that the UHJ would come into existence while Mason lived so that he could be the head of it.
This president isn't elected he inherits that presidency from his father. Abdu'l-Baha was this Davidic king and after him Mason Remey. This creates that dichotomy of the two different parts with Shoghi Effendi being the infallible head of the Faith itself and Mason being the future head of it or president of the UHJ seated on the throne of David. This shows that these kings are separate from the infallibility. They do not inherit the leadership of the faith, they do not inherit the infallibility. After Shoghi Effendi this conferred infallibility goes to the full body of the UHJ. Abdu'l-Baha had a token for Mason to seal the agreement, this was not given to Mason until after Abdu'l-Baha died. In March of 1922 Shoghi Effendi passed the token on to Mason Remey. The token was an envelope and inside of the envelope was another envelope which actually contained the token. On the outside envelope in Shoghi Effendi's hand writing was this note:
"Of all the remnants of Baha'u'llahs All Sacred Person, the Most Hallowed, the Most Precious confidentially delivered into the hands of my brother and coworker in the Cause of God, Mr. Remey",
Signed Shoghi, March 1922. Shoghi Effendi said that this token that was being passed to Mason was the most hallowed the most precious of all the things that they had received, the material things that they had received from Baha'u'llah of all the remnants of Baha'u'llahs All Sacred Person.
When the covenant breakers hear about this they try to say so what, so and so has Abdu'l-Baha's shoes, so and so has the writing case of Baha'u'llah or something like that. This token is the most precious according to Shoghi Effendi. On the inside envelope which was sealed closed with a glob of wax was another hand written note by Shoghi Effendi and this read:
"Coagulated drops of Baha'u'llahs All Sacred Blood and ringlets of His Most Blessed Locks presented as my most precious possession to Abdu'l-Baha's dear son Mr. Charles Mason Remey as a token of my Baha'i affection and brotherly love."
This is what that token was, it was the blood and the hair of Baha'u'llah, actual physical remnants of his person this is why it is the most precious certainly a piece of clothing can't compare to this and this statement by Shoghi Effendi shows that Shoghi Effendi knew that Mason was Abdu'l-Baha's dear son. This token has an important symbolism the blood symbolizes the blood line and the hair symbolizes the head, the head ship that is the bloodline is that of the royal line of the kings from David. The head is the presidency of the UHJ. Mason was adopted into the Covenant to David that Abdu'l-Baha had inherited from Baha'u'llah.
In the covenant to David in Psalms 89 God promised that David would never lack a man to sit upon his throne and that the throne the institution of kingship would always last. The blood is the blood line the descendant of David and the hair is the head that's the kingship the throne the institution which in the Baha'i Faith is the president of the UHJ. These kings serve as the president of the UHJ and it is by this king that Gods UHJ can be distinguished from all the false ones.
If there is anything out there claiming to be the house of the Lord the UHJ that doesn't have a Davidic King as its president, THE Davidic King as its president, its false, its not Gods plan its another man made plan. Some people might ask, this kingship for so long passed down in a literal blood line genetic sperm descendants father to son, father to son how is it possible that now it would pass to an adopted son. Well this also was Gods plan from the beginning. if we look into the King James Version of the Bible in the book of Genesis Ch. 49:10 we can see that this was Gods plan. In there it reads:
"The scepter shall not depart from Judah nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."
In the Revised Standard Version it reads
"nor the rulers staff from between his feet."
This scepter or the rulers staff is that of the kingship its a symbol for the kingship like the scepter that the king holds in his hand.
In Gen. 49 Its giving the blessings that come to the different tribes. A particular blessing is the one concerning the tribe of Judah. This is because that kingship would be in the tribe of Judah. King Dave was born in the tribe of Judah. When it says between his feet there is one Hebrew word that is translated as between his feet and it also means between the legs and this refers to the reproductive organs. That is it is referring to an actual genetic sperm descent from father to son, father to son. And it says it will pass from between the legs it will pass from the reproductive organs or the genetic line at a certain point in time. Note here it doesn't say the kingship will come to an end. It simply says that it will pass from the genetic line. And this is the prophecy that this kingship will eventually pass from a genetic line to an adopted line. It says that this will happen when Shiloh comes.
Shiloh was originally a place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept at one time, its a symbol of the Covenant. Shiloh though is a person and this person Shiloh was alive and in the world at the time that this adoption was taking place at the time that this kingship was passing from this genetic line to the adopted line when Abdu'l-Baha was adopting Mason Remey and we will be explaining more about Shiloh at the end of part two of the end of part two of the Covenant Fireside. This is why Baha'u'llah said that none of the other sons had a share in this kingship.
He knew that it would part from the genetic line. None of the other sons would have a share in this, only these adopted sons who are not genetic sons of Baha'u'llah or the adopted sons would have the kingship after Abdu'l-Baha. With this kingship being in a line of adoption it opens it up to all the peoples of the world. Mason was a gentile he was an American. America is called the great melting pot because of all the different nations and races and tribes of people that are represented here. And so this kingship is opened up to all the peoples of the world. You could be African, Chinese, Spanish, whatever and be adopted into this kingship.
This makes it universal and it has to be universal. It cannot be elitist or reserved for just one family only. This is absolutely necessary because this king is the president of the universal Government. This king is the president of the UHJ. So this is all very wonderful, we've got these two parts, we've got the kingship we've got the multitude of nations, the president , the body of the UHJ and so forth and prophecies of these two parts of the Covenant say they would be joined together at a certain time. In the 37th Ch. of Ezekiel it prophecies that the Covenant to Judah and the Covenant of Joseph would eventually be joined together into one Covenant by which God would shepherd the people.
Abdu'l-Baha was asked about the 21st Ch. of Revelations where it mentions a measuring rod of gold. A/B explained that this measuring rod of gold was formed by the coming together of a rod of wood and a rod of iron that these rods would be together transformed into a rod of gold. He doesn't say that the rod of wood becomes a rod of gold and the rod of iron becomes a separate rod of gold. He says they come together to form the rod of gold.
The rod of iron and the rod of wood are symbols of the two parts of this Covenant. The rod of wood symbolizes the covenant of the Davidic kings. The rod of iron symbolizes the covenant of the multitude of nations. These are two covenants referring to two family lineage's. The wood is the tribe of Judah with the Davidic kingship and the Davidic Kings descending all the way down to Baha'u'llah. The rod of iron, the part that went to Joseph and Ephraim it concerns the multitude of nations and then this was passed to Jesus. In the second Psalm it says that Jesus has the rod of iron and A/B explains that Muhammad after Jesus has the rod of iron and he also explains that the Bab had the rod of iron.
We have these two different parts of the covenant coming down to us from Baha'u'llah and The Bab. Shoghi Effendi descended from both B/H and The Bab and is the first rod of gold the coming together of the iron and the wood. This is a measuring rod of gold and the gold symbolizes a perfection an infallibility. It's perfect, its holy, its spiritual, its pure and its a measuring rod and what this means is that any plan that does not measure up to Shoghi Effendi's instructions for the establishment of the UHJ in the world is not the true plan. Any plan that does not measure up to S/E the rod of gold is not the true Plan of God and this is very important because we will be going into part two next and in there we will be explaining more and reading the Will and Testament and we'll be looking a little closer at S/E and we will be seeing what his instructions were for the setting up of the UHJ and we will be able to see that this plan was violated by the hands of the Cause of God so thank you very much for reading part one and we will see you in part two.