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When Baha’u’llah describes the Manifestations, Prophets and Messengers of God, he says they are:

…one and all, the Manifestations of His Self, the Repositories of His might, the Treasuries of His Revelation, the Dawning-Places of His splendor and the Daysprings of His light. Through them are manifested the signs of sanctity in the realities of all things and the tokens of oneness in the essences of all beings. Through them are revealed the elements of glorification in the heavenly realities and the exponents of praise in the eternal essences. From them hath all creation proceeded and unto them shall return all that hath been mentioned. And since in their inmost Beings they are the same Luminaries and the self-same Mysteries, thou shouldst view their outward conditions in the same light, that thou mayest recognize them all as one Being, nay, find them united in their words, speech, and utterance. – Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 33-34.

These Chosen Ones of God share one soul. And each one, with both a human aspect and a Divine mystery, combines those characteristics and attributes in perfect harmony.

Prophets of God do not possess two natures, one dominant and one dependent, one Logos incarnate and one human. Because the Logos is not incarnate, there remains but one nature. It is a human nature, with human limitations, but it receives and reflects light in ways we cannot. That nature, and its heavenly station, is the Word of God. Continuing again from Abdu’l-Baha:

The third station is that of the divine appearance and heavenly splendor; it is the Word of God, the Eternal Bounty, the Holy Spirit. It has neither beginning nor end, for these things are related to the world of contingencies and not to the divine world. – Some Answered Questions, p. 151.

In this description the word “appearance” is key. It keeps us from thinking of an incarnation. This appearance, which, as mentioned above, is not transient, but constant; is how the statements of Christ: “The Father is in the Son” can be understood (Cf. John 14:11; 17:21). With this understanding, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith writes: “The Sonship and Divinity of Jesus Christ are fearlessly asserted” by the Baha’is. (The Promised Day is Come, p. 109.) Baha’u’llah writes:

And of all men, the most accomplished, the most distinguished and the most excellent are the Manifestations of the Sun of Truth. Nay, all else besides these Manifestations, live by the operation of their Will, and move and have their being through the outpourings of their grace. – The Book of Certitude, p. 103.

Sunlight reflectedWhen the Light of the Sun of God, moving by its ray, the Logos, strikes the Mirror of the Manifestation of God, the Word or Command of God is not only made known to us through the speech of the Manifestation of God, it reveals itself in the world of creation. This is why it is so important to study the words of the Manifestations of God because they are the only sure gateways to knowledge of what God has done and is doing.

In the last year of His earthly life, Baha’u’llah again sought to express the two stations of the Prophet of God. He writes of the station of divinity:

This station is the station in which one dieth to himself and liveth to God. Divinity, whenever I mention it, indicateth my complete and absolute selfeffacement. This is the station in which I have no control over mine own weal or woe nor over my life nor over my resurrection. – The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 41.

Again, the Chosen One, the Prophet of God, does not have two natures. Rather, He has two stations and one spiritual nature. In his station as a man, he has man’s spiritual nature, but he reflects God’s Logos so purely that his human reality is effaced and he speaks with the voice of God Himself.

Correctly stated, Christian understanding of the nature of God’s Manifestations and Baha’i understanding are not far apart. The Baha’i view, however, resolves some important spiritual issues and better preserves the unity of God. God appears as light reflected in the pure mirror of his Chosen Ones; He does not take on flesh.

4 Comments

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  • Neisan
    Apr 20, 2016
    a watered-down version
  • Neisan
    Apr 20, 2016
    multiple definitions of Manifestations, and multiple interpretation of their "holy books", have continually resulted in historic divisions and bloody conflicts throughout our planet.
    it is most unlikely, that a waterbed down version of a yet another Twelver Shia sect is the answer to erase the long trail of blood left throughout the short history of humanity.
    politically correct, and poetically beautiful Baha'i writings, even with the best of intentions are not enough to change the divisive reality of religion, especially with such close connections to Shia Islam.
    " in a world already torn apart by religion, more ...religion is not the solution"
    Read more...
  • Stephanie
    Apr 08, 2014
    I want to memorize this verbatim... lovely dearest Tom
    • ttaiseale
      Apr 12, 2014
      Ah Steph. I hold no candle next to you.