Heavens rolled up.
200. Heavens rolled up. The Heavens shall be rolled up: This is a warning that I thought was strictly New Testament fire and brimstone, revelations kind of stories, but what I found out is that all of the religions of God seem to have similar stories of things that will take place in the heavens that describe similar kinds of events, and some of these events seem to have already happened in the past and the world failed to take notice. I would assume this is because the events being talked about were, in reality, spiritual, symbolic events and not real world ending catastrophes that the holy writings seemed to indicate. Judaism: Isaiah 34:4 “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.” It is not the physical heaven that is being talked about here, but the spiritual, symbolic heaven of religion. Whenever a new manifestation of God comes to this earth the religious teachings, the laws and sacraments are out dated and the heaven of the old faith is symbolically rolled up and a new heaven of laws like a new earth of beliefs are laid down in its place. With the rolling up of the old and the laying down of the new there comes great consternation in the world. Isaiah 34:4 “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.” With the rolling up of the previous religion traditions, sacraments, practices, laws etc…. there is a great increase in anxiety and confusion on the part of the adherents to the previous religion. The people want to hold onto what is familiar but the teachings just don’t seem to be in sync with the day and times. It seems that the laws and practices just don’t seem to fit with the problems that the people are facing. It is at such times that God renews his covenant with mankind so that His teachings remain a benefit to mankind. Christianity: Hebrews 8:13 “A new covenant he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Hebrews 8:7 “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” It is with the coming of the new covenant that the heavens of the older religion, that is being replaced, are rolled up and a new heaven is laid down in its place. Revelations 6:14 “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together.” Judaism: Isaiah 65:17 “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Christianity: Revelations 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” Revelations 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelations 21:5 “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 217)
BABI RELIGION: “He rolleth up the whole world of existence.” “As it hath been revealed: ‘Almost might the heavens be rent and the earth be cleft asunder and the mountains fall down in fragments. And yet how much harder than these mountains their hearts must be to have remained unmoved! Indeed no paradise is more glorious in the sight of God than attainment unto His good-pleasure.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, pp. 96 and 101)
It is with the laying down of the new laws and the new teachings that the consternation from the people arises. People are familiar with the religious teachings they grew up with, and to change their belief causes anxiety in their hearts. Some people over come their confusion but for others there is only conflict. Some people are so rooted in their belief structure that they would rather fight and persecute the adherents of a new faith rather than let the religion blossom. They did this in the time of Jesus Christ harassing Christ to no end until finally crucifying him on a cross. Christianity: Luke 23:33 “they crucified him,” And, his followers also faced persecution and death at the hands of these people. John 15:21 “But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake.” It was like this at the time of Christ, it was like this in the time of the Báb and it was also like this in the time of Bahá’u’lláh, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
BAHA’I FAITH: “The nature of the tests which confront the believer may vary from age to age. In the days of the Báb, Bahá’u’lláh, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, tests were mainly in the form of persecution and martyrdom. The believers were often faced with situations in which they had either to recant their faith in public or give their lives.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 3, p. 48)
The followers of the new faith face persecution because of the rolling up of the old and the laying down of the new. It has been this way throughout the eons past and it hasn’t changed today. With the falling away of the old laws and religious practices, traditions and sacraments fall to the wayside like dust falling off an old carpet that is being rolled up. Judaism: Isaiah 34:4 “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.” With this falling away of the old comes the confusion and persecution we saw at the birth of this faith when the Báb and twenty thousand of his believers were put to death.
BABI RELIGION: “There followed large-scale persecutions of the Bábís in which ultimately more than 20,000 people lost their lives.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Misc Baha’i, Brittanica article, p. 2)
We see this same kind of persecution of the faith today in which property is confiscated children are denied education and some people are still imprisoned and put to death. This is what happens with the rolling up of the old heavens and the laying down of the new. This is one of the signs that the revelation brought to the earth by The Báb and Bahá’u’lláh is from God and is not a creation out of the minds of men. Islam: 30. “Ah! alas for (My) servants! There comes not an messenger to them but they mock Him!” (The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 36) This is one of the proofs a prophet is from God according to what we see in the writings of Muhammad.
BAHA’I FAITH: “Soon, He declared, ‘will the present day order be rolled up and a new one spread out in its stead.’ Since the ascension of Bahá’u’lláh in 1892, in the Holy Land, the rolling up of the old order has become the daily experience of mankind and no abatement of this process is discernible.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, The Proclamation of Baha’u’llah, p. ix)
Baha’i Faith: “Verily, verily the new heaven and the new earth are come. The holy City, new Jerusalem, hath come down from on high in the form of a maid of heaven, veiled, beauteous, and unique, and prepared for reunion with her lovers on earth. The angelic company of the celestial Concourse have joined in a call that hath rung throughout the universe, all loudly and mightily acclaiming: ‘Hail, O City of God! Abide Thou, and make Thy habitation with the pure, virtuous and holy servants of Thine; for they are Thy people, and Thou art their Lord.”’
(Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 350)
(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 44)
BABI RELIGION: “The light of the people of the world is their knowledge and utterance; while the splendours shed from the glorious acts of Him Whom God shall make manifest are His Words, through whose potency He rolleth up the whole world of existence, sets it under His Own authority by relating it unto Himself, then as the Mouthpiece of God, the Source of His divine light — exalted and glorified be He — proclaimeth: ‘Verily, verily, I am God, no God is there but Me; in truth all others except Me are My creatures.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 97)
This kind of persecution this rolling up of the old world order and laying down of the new is one of the characteristics of the religion of God and is therefore part of the warnings, in the writings of the other manifestations of God Islam: 104. “The Day that we roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books (completed) — even as We produced the first Creation, so shall We produce a new one: a promise We have undertaken: truly shall We fulfill it.”
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 21)
ISLAM: 4. “To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: and He is Most High, Most Great. The heavens are almost rent asunder from above them (by His Glory): and the angels celebrate the Praises of their Lord, and pray for forgiveness for (all) beings on earth: Behold! Verily Allah (God) is He, the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And those who take as protectors others besides Him, Allah doth watch over them (as well); and thou art not the disposer of their affairs.”
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 42)
(Islam, Hadith, Bukhari Vol 6, Book 60, # 336)
ZOROASTRIANISM: 4. “Rise up and roll along! thou in whose rising and growing Ahura Mazda (God) made the aerial way. ‘Up! rise up and roll along! thou swift-horsed Sun, above Hara Berezaiti, and produce light for the world (and mayest thou [O man!] rise up there, if thou art to abide in Garonmanem (heaven), along the path made by Mazda.”
(Zoroaster, The Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Vendidad 21)
Zoroastrianism: 8. “For by these actions they put us in fear, in which peril is for many — in that the stronger puts in fear the weaker one — through hatred of thy commandment, O Mazda.” 9. “These men of evil action who spurn the holy Piety, precious to thy wise one, O Mazda, through their having no part in Good Thought, from them Right shrinks back far, as from us shrink the wild beasts of prey.” 4. “Yea, we send it forth (the word) for the encounter with, and for the overthrow of the murderers of the saints, and of those who hate and torment us for our Faith, and of those who persecute.” 1. “Mindful of your commands, we proclaim words unpleasant for them to hear that after the commands of the Lie destroy the creatures of Right, but most welcome to those that give their heart to Mazda.”
(The Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Yasnas 31, 34 and 61)
(The Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Vendidad 21)
(Hindu, Upanishads vol. 2, Svetasvatara-Upanishad)
Hinduism: 171. “Let him, though suffering in consequence of his righteousness, never turn his heart to unrighteousness;” 8. “Let him be always industrious in privately reciting the Veda; let him be patient of hardships, friendly (towards all), of collected mind, ever liberal and never a receiver of gifts, and compassionate towards all living creatures.”
(Hindu, Laws of Manu chapters 4 and 6)
(Hindu, Upanishads vol. 2, Svetasvatara-Upanishad)
BUDDHISM: 15. “Let us live in joy, not hating those who hate us. Among those who hate us, we live free of hate.” “23. “Even so will I endure abuse.” Like the events that come with the rolling up of the previous religion.
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 2 and 3 (tr. J. Richards))
SABEANISM: “Thy name, (O) Life (God), is excellent: its glory is great, its light abundant, Its goodness came over (or overflowed), inaugurating the First Mystery, life which proceeded from Life and Truth which existed before the beginning. This is a wellspring of life which sprang forth from the Place of Life: we drink thereof, of this Fount of Life which Life transmitted was established in the House of Life, which crossed worlds, came, cleft the heavens and was revealed.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 45) As I stated the destruction of the heavens seems to be part of the process of the coming of a new religious order and pretty much none of the religions of God have been immune.