Reality, Soul and
the Worlds of God
II. Three Conditions of Existence in Reality
D. Revelation: Originating in the Condition of Deity and Kingdom of Prophethood, Manifesting in Creation
[from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:]
He hath appeared amongst you invested with a Revelation so great as to encompass all things, whether of the past or of the future.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, paragraph 177, p. 84)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (no authority):]
Religion is the outer expression of the divine reality. Therefore, it must be living, vitalized, moving and progressive. If it be without motion and nonprogressive, it is without the divine life; it is dead. The divine institutes are continuously active and evolutionary; therefore, the revelation of them must be progressive and continuous.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace, “24 May 1912, Talk at Free Religious Association, or Unitarian Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, From Stenographic Notes”, p. 140)
Among the bounties of God is revelation. Hence revelation is progressive and continuous. It never ceases. It is necessary that the reality of Divinity with all its perfections and attributes should become resplendent in the human world. The reality of Divinity is like an endless ocean. Revelation may be likened to the rain. Can you imagine the cessation of rain? Ever on the face of the earth somewhere rain is pouring down. Briefly, the world of existence is progressive.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace, “26 October 1912, Talk at Assembly Hall, Hotel Sacramento, Sacramento, California, Notes by Bijou Straun”, p. 378)
[from the Writings of Shoghi Effendi:]
The fundamental principle enunciated by Bahá’u’lláh … is that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is a continuous and progressive process, that all the great religions of the world are divine in origin, that their basic principles are in complete harmony, that their aims and purposes are one and the same, that their teachings are but facets of one truth, that their functions are complementary, that they differ only in the nonessential aspects of their doctrines, and that their missions represent successive stages in the spiritual evolution of human society….
(Shoghi Effendi: The Promised Day is Come, “Preface”, p. v)
It should also be borne in mind that, great as is the power manifested by this Revelation and however vast the range of the Dispensation its Author has inaugurated, it emphatically repudiates the claim to be regarded as the final revelation of God’s will and purpose for mankind. To hold such a conception of its character and functions would be tantamount to a betrayal of its cause and a denial of its truth. It must necessarily conflict with the fundamental principle which constitutes the bedrock of Bahá’í belief, the principle that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is orderly, continuous and progressive and not spasmodic or final. Indeed, the categorical rejection by the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh of the claim to finality which any religious system inaugurated by the Prophets of the past may advance is as clear and emphatic as their own refusal to claim that same finality for the Revelation with which they stand identified. “To believe that all revelation is ended, that the portals of Divine mercy are closed, that from the daysprings of eternal holiness no sun shall rise again, that the ocean of everlasting bounty is forever stilled, and that out of the tabernacle of ancient glory the Messengers of God have ceased to be made manifest” must constitute in the eyes of every follower of the Faith a grave, an inexcusable departure from one of its most cherished and fundamental principles.
(Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, “The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh”, pp. 115-116)