I'll tell you a Mystery, the Gentiles are fellow heirs
--Paul (Ephesians 3:4, 6)
Our inheritance in the Kingdom is both a spiritual and material inheritance for both the individual and society. For 6000 years of written history people have awaited the fulfillment of the promise of peace on earth; social and economic justice for all and along with it personal salvation and reunion with God. For this reason, God gave us the intellect – power of abstract thought – so we can recognize the truth. With a heart that is pure we can then accept it!
People pray for peace on earth all the time, and so in answer to this Prayer for Peace God sends them the “Prince of Peace” who comes with the God-given Peace Plan. But then when the Prince of Peace appears amongst the people in answer to their prayer they reject Him and as a society we have more wars, more poverty, more ignorance, more prejudice, disease and famine, etc. Yet each one of as an individual has a way out to escape this viscous cycle of “births and deaths” – this vicious cycle of sins and error – and migrate right now at this very moment into the Kingdom of God which is now for the first time both a spiritual AND material reality.
This transformation takes place both within the heart, mind and soul of the individual and within the international community of the Covenant. As the majority becomes educated to this reality, wars, ignorance, and prejudice slowly disappear and fade into nothingness, even as the dark night is dispelled by the gradual rise of the bright morning star, the Sun, that rises in the sky. In reality it is the earth that turns toward the sun, so we must turn away from the darkness of error and turn toward the Sun of Reality, by receiving Our Inheritance in the Kingdom, and this Light and Heat of the Spirit of God will banish away the darkness of superstition and error, and remove the cold and clammy gloom of separation, replacing it with the warmth of the love, knowledge and reunion with the Divine.
The kingdom of God on earth, as spoken of in the Bible and other holy books, is a real kingdom with laws, subjects, and a king. It is the government of God ruling from the throne of King David. This Kingdom has been laid out in pattern since the foundation of the world and has been revealed. Its establishment is the only hope for mankind. This Kingdom first started in a promise, a promise that was given to Abraham as a dual inheritance thousands of years ago.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly." Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, "Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and 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.” (Genesis 17:1-7)
This covenant is an inheritance passed down to the heirs of Abraham as material and spiritual inheritance of great wealth and power bequeathed unto man by God Almighty Himself. This inheritance from the Will of God to man is a guaranteed unbreakable promise to all the heirs of the Promise, heirs of the Covenant through the descendants of Abraham. This inheritance is also called the “Mystery of the Kingdom”, because the gentiles of all the nations of the world (those not of the throne-line of David/Judah) are reckoned by God as fellow heirs through belief, adopted sons of God, both men and women alike, as the spiritual sons of God.
This Covenant therefore has two distinct parts: the kingship (the Blessing), and the multitude of nations (the Birthright). The Blessing refers to the father to son inheritance of the throne-line which was passed on down to King David. The Birthright (born again of the Spirit of God) refers to the prophecy that all people should be grafted into the Tree of Abraham as adopted sons and fellow heirs. This Birthright was accomplished through the coming of the Manifestations of God through the offspring of Abraham's three wives: through Sarah comes Moses, Jesus and Baha'u'llah; through Hagar, comes Muhammad and the Bab; and through Keturah that was sent East, comes Krishna, Buddha and Zoroaster, as well as the Bab and Baha'u'llah through Zoroaster through the female line. Through these Manifestations of God, sent to all the diverse peoples of the world, man has been educated to make the free choice to be “Born Again” of the Spiritual or not. It is especially and particularly through the Revelation of Jesus Christ that Paul informs us how all the people of the world are grafted in through the Covenant they have received from God via His mouthpieces sent to all the people of the world (Rom. Ch. 11).
At the time of Abraham, this Covenant was passed down in both parts to Abraham's son Isaac and then to his son Jacob. Jacob's name was changed to Israel (which means “he who strives or struggles with God”) and he had twelve sons. Jacob-Israel then passed the covenant in two separate parts creating a dichotomy – the part for the kingship was passed to Judah, which is a genealogy, and the part for the multitude of nations was passed to Joseph and then to Ephraim (1 Chron. 5:2 KJV). The covenant of the kingship was given to David who was chosen as God's anointed (anointed being “messiah” in Hebrew, and “christ” in Greek). This covenant to David is so strong that God states that He will never violate it, even transcending the behavior of the kings, themselves. The scriptures make it clear that this covenant will not be broken:
“I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build his seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
“IF his children FORSAKE MY LAW, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. NEVERTHELESS my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. MY COVENANT I WILL NOT BREAK, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.” (Psalms 89:4, 5, 35 KJV)
After David, starting with Solomon, his children did deviate and we had a succession of good king – bad king – good king, which brought about the curse of Moses spoken of in Deuteronomy Chapter 28 in which the people and the king were taken into captivity (Deut. 28:36). Here in captivity the kingship still continued seated on the throne in exile, known as Exilarchs (EXILed monARCHS of King David). This was fulfilled at the time of Nebuchadnezzar who, due to the people's violation of the covenant, sacked Jerusalem, burned down the Temple and took the then reigning King Jehoiachin (also known as Jeconiah or Coniah captive). The prophet Jeremiah foretold of the captivity of Jehoiachin and of the curse of God upon him, that none of his children would ever reign again in the city of Jerusalem or anywhere in the land of Judah and the throne of David would be removed from Jerusalem and Judah for ever, never to be established there in that city again (Jeremiah 22:24-30 KJV). Jeremiah also foretold that after the punishment of Jehoiachin forgiveness would be granted to Jehoiachin – that Jehoiachin would receive the PARDON of God, as the genealogy continues through him. Jeremiah further prophesies that the successors to the throne – now purified by captivity – would remain in exile and then later upon the return of the throne to the Holy Land it was prophesied to be in Akka (Hosea 5:2) and on Mt. Carmel (Is. 35) in the Far North (the prophesied place of the throne during the days of Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha) and not ever again in Jerusalem in the land of Judah. Jeremiah foresaw:
“And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan [not Jerusalem and Judah], and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim [the mountain of the Birthright of the multitude of nations] and Gilead. In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I WILL PARDON them [the King Jehoiachin/Coniah and his successors] whom I reserve.” (Jeremiah 50:19-20 KJV)
This vision of Jeremiah of both the curse and pardon upon Jehoiachin was fulfilled very clearly as Jehoiachin was thrown into the dungeon a prisoner by Nebuchadnezzar for 37 years, after which time one of Nebuchadnezzar's successors took Jehoiachin out of prison and set him back upon the throne of David and exalted his throne (throne of David) above the throne of the other kings that were in captivity:
“[He took] Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; and he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon; and changed his prison garments; and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life. And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.” (2 Kings 25:27-30 KJV)
The succession after Jehoiachin passes on to his son Shenazzar (in the Babylonian record) also known as Pedaiah (“God has Redeemed”) in Hebrew. The seal ring of Pedaiah, showing his authority as successor to the throne is extant; and archeologists also have the Babylonian rations list of Jehoiachin and sons spoken of in the Book of Kings and 1 Chronicles 3 as documented by W.F. Albright.
Purified through the catastrophe of violation that brought down Jerusalem, the Davidic Kingship remained faithful to God after that time and continues down unto today. The prophet Ezekiel further foresaw, as did Jeremiah, that after this captivity and at the time of the establishment of the kingdom, the line of kings themselves will be purified and true (Ezekiel 43:1-7).
The most famous of the Exiled Kings seated upon David's throne, the most famous of the Exilarchs was the Exilarch Bostanai. He was given the Land of Northern Iran (Persia) as an inheritance by the Persian Kings, the land in ancient times named after him Tabaristan and now known as the province of Mazindaran. Bostanai established the throne of King David in that land, in the area of Taq (now known as Takur) near Mt. Awrang, and it was preserved all the way down in a father to son inheritance until Baha'u'llah inherited this throne from His father as he had inherited this from his father before him. Baha'u'llah then made the strong Covenant appointing His eldest son 'Abdu'l-Baha to inherit the throne. In fulfillment of the Shiloh prophecy (Genesis 49:10) 'Abdu'l-Baha then adopted an American as his son, an aghsan, to inherit the throne of David after him. This then passed down to the grandson and now the great grandson of 'Abdu'l-Baha that is alive in the world today.
Though the Jewish people were included in the Birthright as natural branches of the Tree, Paul explains that through rejection of the Messiah – the throne-line of King David – they are cut off of the Tree of Abraham, and that the gentiles through belief in the continuation of the throne-line of King David – the christ – are grafted on in their place (see Romans 11). Paul goes on to explain that those grafted in to replace the natural branches should not be haughty for if it was easy to break off the natural branches, how much easier is it to break off the grafted branches and graft back in the natural ones. What Paul is getting at is that our inheritance in the Kingdom is dependant upon our faithfulness and belief in the provisions of the Covenant. More specifically Paul tells us in Galatians that we are dependant heirs while the living heir to David's throne – the “offspring” singular (Gal. 3:16) – is the independent and irremovable heir. Thus our inheritance in the Kingdom is dependant upon our acceptance and recognition of the living descendant of King David seated upon the throne alive in our specific day and generation.
This inheritance is called the Mystery of God. 'Abdu'l-Baha also had the title of “Mystery of God” (Sirru'llah) because he instituted the Mystery of the Kingdom in the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha. Paul explains:
“When you read this you can perceive my insight into the Mystery of Christ [Mystery of the Kingdom], which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that is, how the GENTILES ARE FELLOW HEIRS, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel [good news as adopted sons of God]. (Eph. 3:4-6 RSV)
Isaiah says the same: “THY SEED SHALL INHERIT THE GENTILES” (Is. 54:3 KJV) Thus, the gentiles are fellow heirs reckoned as adopted sons of the seed of Abraham. And when united with the heir of David, fulfills the promise of both aspects becoming one in the hand of God (see Ez. 37:19).
This Mystery is because the Will and Testament brings together two holy trees, which are the genealogies of the Bab and Baha'u'llah. The Bab's genealogy is symbolical of the Birthright or rod of Iron of the multitude of Nations, which are born again of the Spirit, along with that of Jesus and the rest of the manifestations sent out to all the nations of the world; and the genealogy of Baha'u'llah is symbolical of the rod of wood of the throne-line of King David which is a legal father to son inheritance that also passes on to the gentiles through adoption in the fulfillment of the Shiloh prophecy (Genesis 49:10). This is the fulfillment of the Covenant given to Abraham.
The Mystery of God is the dichotomy in the Covenant – its two different parts, and how they are one in the beginning, then separated in the middle, and finally united again in the end. This mystery has to do with the successorship.
This Tree of Life of the Covenant began in one family tree, which was that of Abraham (from Adam). The two parts of the Covenant, the wood and the iron, were included in this one tree and it passed down through Abraham's son Isaac, to his son Jacob and then to two of Jacobs's sons, Judah and Joseph, when they were clearly separated. This separation was for protection of the throne-line and promise from being exterminated by the other nations of the world outside the Covenant of God at that time. The part of the Covenant concerning kings, the rod of wood, went to Judah, which was a genealogy, and the part concerning the multitude of nations, the rod of iron, went to Joseph, which was a prophecy. See Genesis chapter 17; 1 Chronicles 5:2; and Ezekiel chapter 37, for more.
The Mystery of the Kingdom is the Plan of God to unite these two parts of the Covenant into one.
'Abdu'l-Baha outlined in His Will and Testament the inseparable functioning together of these Institutions: the rod of wood – the guardian/living Davidic King – the Executive Branch of the Universal House of Justice; and the rod of iron – the general body of members constituting the legislative branch of the Universal House of Justice. Together they are the Judicial Branch.
Shoghi Effendi proceeded with 'Abdu'l-Baha's plan, the Mystery of the Kingdom, and furthered its development in his announcement of the formation of the Universal House of Justice with 'Abdu'l-Baha's son as its president in the name International Baha'i Council on January 9, 1951.
These two parts of the Covenant come together in the Universal House of Justice: 1) the Covenant concerning Kings, the rod of wood, becomes the Executive Branch, and 2) the Covenant concerning the multitude of nations, the rod of iron, becomes the Legislative Branch. Together these two branches form the Branch of Gold. This Branch of Gold is symbolic of our inheritance – gold being the symbol of perfection.
Thousands of martyrs have willingly shed their blood and sacrificed their lives yearning to inherit this most wonderful blessing. These all died in faith, not having received what was promised. It is truly a wonder and blessing to live in this day! It is a day to rejoice, because God grants the opportunity to inherit His Kingdom, with all the blessings and wonders that come along with it. It is up to the people to have their third-eye open to both have and receive this blessing and promise.
Most people espousing religion today are under the misconceived idea that they will receive salvation through obeying the doctrines or rituals or laws of their religion. Thus they chant credos like having taken “Jesus into their heart as savior”. However Jesus explains: “Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21 RSV). The Will of the Father means using our intellect in the acceptance of the Covenant of God which continues through Baha'u'llah and his heirs and successors to the throne – the living descendant of King David in the world today.
Paul also is clear that mere lip service will not work, that this is NOT how one attains unto the kingdom. He explains that people get hung up on the law, the shibboleth of “salvation” through chanting formulas, and therefore are losing sight of the Promise. Every revelation has two aspects: the spiritual qualities and attributes that never change, and the laws and ordinances and teaching for an ever-advancing civilization. In every generation, people get stuck in the laws and rituals; create doctrines and creeds and “articles of faith” which they then recite as “formulas of salvation” when in fact these are all nothing more than excuses for why they are not firm in the Covenant of God. Thus Paul says they lose sight of the promise of the Kingdom, and find themselves separated into different religions and sects thinking they are receiving salvation by obeying particular laws and observing certain rituals and reciting certain word formulas “I accept Jesus Christ in my heart as Lord and Savior” – “Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom” (Matthew 7:21 RSV) for lip service, which is empty words, never saved anyone. It is not through the obeying the laws or rituals either that we have become heirs to the kingdom.
“Now it is evident that no man is justified before God by the law… that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Gal. 3:11, 14 RSV)
Paul explains that the law does not bring salvation anymore than saying a formula of words; we receive salvation through receiving what was Promised: “For ye have need of patience, that, AFTER ye have done the will of God, ye might RECEIVE the promise” (Hebrews 10:36 KJV). This is why those without the living Davidic King who are outside the Covenant of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha that follow something else (like the “Hands” or Christian clergy) are not saved, though they may practice all good works according to the law or the morality that they hold as common amongst them. This is all irrelevant. Doing the Will of God means using the Intellect to recognize the Promised One of our day, who fulfills the criteria of the Covenant as the successor to the Covenant and thereby become fellow heirs. Those who refuse to use their intellect to turn to the Covenant and see the explicit criteria are thus cut off and outside the Promise. Thus Jesus showed that he fulfilled the Criteria of the Greater Covenant as the Herald of the Kingdom by the prophecies he fulfilled, such as his prophesied name, his prophesied date, his prophesied address and his prophesied mission. Baha'u'llah fulfills this same Criteria from the Greater Covenant of God as well – His prophesied name, His prophesied date, His prophesied address and His prophesied mission. In the lesser Covenant we have the clearly defined appointment to the throne passing from father to son through the legal inheritance of the genealogy. An adopted son has all the rights and privileges of a natural son including the kingship. With this knowledge we are fellow heirs and then have the right – according to the plan – to elect the body of the Council and these two forces (wood and iron) executive and legislative (W&T, p. 15) form the single rod of Gold, infallible – freed from all error. This alone has the power to transform the souls of men and this darksome world into the paradise of light, turning satanic strength into heavenly power.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen” (Hebrews 11:1 RSV) According to the Bible, the Davidic Kingship will never come to an end (Psalms 89), that David's throne on earth will never lack a man to be seated upon it (Jeremiah 33:17).
“In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch ['Abdu'l-Baha and his sons: the Most Great Branch – Aghsan means 'branch' in Persian] to spring forth for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.' "For thus says the LORD: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel,..." The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: "Thus says the LORD: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their appointed time, then also my covenant with David my servant may be broken, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne...” (Jeremiah 33:15-22 RSV)
In the wisdom of the TEST of God, many theologies (excuses) have arisen as why the Davidic Kingship is absent from churches, congregations and religions. Indeed, every faith has its excuse of why they do not have the living descendent of King David, seated upon the throne of David, among them. However, in order to truly receive the promise of God, this is the one sign given that the people have entered God's Kingdom: the presence of the king.
“I will save my flock, they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince AMONG THEM; I, the LORD, have spoken.” (Is. 34:22-24 RSV)
In the book of Galatians, Paul explains that the Promise came into being FIRST and was the source of our Salvation. The law came into existence 430 years later because of transgressions, till the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made (Galatians 3:19). He explains, “Is the law against the promises of God? Certainly not; for if a law had been given which could make alive, then righteousness would indeed be by the law” (Galatians 3:21 RSV). The law does not bring salvation; rather, the law was unto the coming of the Promise. This is why it is explained in the Holy Writings that one could be the author of every good work and still not inherit the Kingdom. In order for one to inherit the kingdom, they must enter in. The “offspring” is the living Davidic King who is the living sign that one knows he is entering the kingdom. This is why Paul explains in Galatians 3 that the promise was for Christ and that through acceptance of him, we become fellow heirs – the guardianship being the KEY OF DAVID, that the guardianship is the “Christ of the Baha'i World Order”, the Davidic kingship seated upon the throne.
What is Paul talking about? Paul is telling us that there was a Promise made thousands of years ago. It began with the Covenant given to Abraham the mystery of which is that the gentiles are fellow heirs.
The fulfillment of the Promise included the coming of two Messiahs and the continuation of the Davidic Kingship. In a prophecy given to David, it is made clear, “I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13). Here in Samuel, it is clear that the true Kingdom of God is the one with the descendent of David.
“Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, And to offsprings, referring to many; but referring to one, And to your offspring which is Christ” (Galatians 3:16 RSV).
The word “Christ” is a Greek word that comes from the Hebrew word “messiah” and literally means 'the anointed descendant of King David'. All the Kings, seated upon David's throne including David and Solomon, were known as Messiah or Christ the King. Thus Christ refers to the Davidic Kingship and the living Davidic Kings of the throne line. Thus Paul is telling us that our receiving of our inheritance of the Kingdom of the grace of God is dependant upon our recognizing the living David King in the world today.
Why is this recognition so important?
There are about seven or nine or more groups that claim to be “Baha'i” and many more Christian sects (about 22,000) claiming their way is the path to the Kingdom. However, there is only one group that knows the meaning of “Christ”, “the Mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3: 4, 6): the true meaning of the guardianship, the Christ of the Baha'i World Order, which possesses the key of David as mentioned in the Book of Revelation, which is the living descendent of King David.
This recognition of the offspring – aghsan, the Christ of the Baha'i World Order is important because only then do we become fellow heirs of the Promise, fellow heirs of the Kingdom. Without this we are not in the kingdom, but rather some other gathering of man. Only Christ (the one seated upon the throne) is the heir to the promise of Abraham.
“And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)
It is through acknowledging the heir that we become fellow heirs to the Kingdom. The person of the living Davidic King, who sits upon the throne on earth, is the “Sign of God” on earth (Will and Testament, page 11) The Davidic King is how we distinguish the true Faith and the true UHJ from fakes. We don't receive salvation or absolution from him; rather, he is the president of the UHJ, the sign of God that we are actually in God's Kingdom and not someone else's; by accepting him as one of our fellow believers FIRM IN THE COVENANT we accept that which is from God. From God, comes salvation and with salvation absolution unto all mankind.
“How great the blessedness that awaiteth the king who will arise to aid My Cause in My kingdom, who will detach himself from all else but Me! Such a king is numbered with the companions of the Crimson Ark -- the Ark [true Universal House of Justice] which God hath prepared for the people of Baha. All must glorify his name, must reverence his station, and aid him to unlock the cities with the keys of My Name, the omnipotent Protector of all that inhabit the visible and invisible kingdoms. Such a king is the very eye of mankind, the luminous ornament on the brow of creation, the fountainhead of blessings unto the whole world. Offer up, O people of Baha, your substance, nay your very lives, for his assistance.” (Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Aqdas).
Our inheritance is as fellow heirs of this great promise in the Kingdom of God, an inheritance from which those who have envy or who are jealous shall be deprived:
“The jealousy of Ephraim [multitude of nations] shall depart, and those who harass Judah [Davidic kingship/the Guardian] shall be cut off; Ephraim [rod of iron] shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah [rod of wood] shall not harass Ephraim.” (Isaiah 11:13)
Through the education of all the people of the world to the Promise of God – as world events escalate as well – the Most Great Justice will be established, and upon the foundation of this Justice shall be established the firm Covenant of the Most Great Peace. Baha'u'llah fulfills prophecy for the second coming of Christ, the Everlasting Father seated upon David's throne. He has made this firm Covenant in fulfillment and continuation of the Everlasting Covenant which is the golden thread woven throughout all the scriptures of the world including both the Old and New Testaments.
“Today, the Lord of Hosts is the defender of the Covenant, the forces of the Kingdom protect it, heavenly souls tender their services, and heavenly angels promulgate and spread it broadcast. If it is considered with insight, it will be seen that all the forces of the Universe, in the last analysis serve the Covenant.” --'Abdu'l-Baha