The Inner Light Rising
Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
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Inner Light

     Consider how all created things eloquently testify to the revelation of that inner Light within them. Behold how within all things the portals of the Ridván of God are opened, that seekers may attain the cities of understanding and wisdom, and enter the gardens of knowledge and power. Within every garden they will behold the mystic bride of inner meaning enshrined within the chambers of utterance in the utmost grace and fullest adornment.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitáb-i-Iqán, p.140

     We [Bahá'ís] must look to the example of the Master ['Abdu'l-Bahá] and follow our "Inner Light", adapting our message as best we can to the capacity and "ripeness" of the one we are seeking to teach....
     Man 's spiritual digestive powers have similar laws to those that govern physical digestion.  When people are spiritually hungry and thirsty they must be given wholesome and suitable spiritual food, but if we give too much at a time or too rich food for the digestive powers, it only causes nausea and rejection or malassimilation.
-- From a letter, dated October 20, 1925, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to two Bahá'ís and published in Guidelines for Teaching, p.306

     In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
-- John 1:4

     I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
-- Words attributed to Jesus in John 8:12

     ... if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.
-- Words attributed to Jesus in John 11:10

     While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.
-- Words attributed to Jesus in John 12:36

     Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.
-- 1 John 2:10

     Now the Lord hath opened to me His invisible power how that every man was enlightened by the Divine Light of Christ; and I saw it shine through all, and they that believed in it came out of condemnation and came into the Light of life, and became children of it, but they that hated it, and did not believe in it, were condemned by it, though they made a profession of Christ. This I saw in the pure openings of the Light, without the help of any man, neither did I know where to find it in the Scriptures, though afterwards, searching the Scriptures, I found it. For I saw in that Light and Spirit which was before Scripture was given forth, and which led the holy men of God to give them forth, that all must come to that Spirit, if they would know God or Christ or the Scriptures aright, which they that gave them forth were led and taught by.
-- George Fox, founder of the Religious Society of Friends

     God gives to every human being who comes into the world — regardless of race, religion, gender, or station a measure of the divine spirit as a living witness and an eternal Light to be inwardly guided by on a daily basis. That Inner Light is supernatural, personal, universal, saving, eternal, persistent, and pure. The chief end of religious life is to learn to listen to and act upon the promptings of this Light under the authority of God and within the bonds of human community. Those who learn to heed the promptings of this Light come to be "saved" that is, they come into fullness and wholeness of life and right relationship with God, themselves, the universe and one another. Those who resist, ignore, or otherwise deny the workings of this pure spirit within them, though they profess themselves to be religious, are "condemned" that is, they become alienated from God, from themselves, from the universe, and from one another.
     That’s it. That’s the whole enchilada. There is no other requirement or belief that takes precedence over this core belief in the Religious Society of Friends.
-- Samuel D. Caldwell, former General Secretary, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

Peace Testimony

     The Great Being, wishing to reveal the prerequisites of the peace and tranquillity of the world and the advancement of its peoples, hath written: The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized.  The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world's Great Peace amongst men.  Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquillity of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him.  If this be done, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories.  This will ensure the peace and composure of every people, government and nation.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, page 249

     True civilization will unfurl its banner in the midmost heart of the world whenever a certain number of its distinguished and high-minded sovereigns - the shining exemplars of devotion and determination - shall, for the good and happiness of all mankind, arise, with firm resolve and clear vision, to establish the Cause of Universal Peace.  They must make the Cause of Peace the object of general consultation, and seek by every means in their power to establish a Union of the nations of the world.  They must conclude a binding treaty and establish a covenant, the provisions of which shall be sound, inviolable and definite.  They must proclaim it to all the world and obtain for it the sanction of all the human race. This supreme and noble undertaking - the real source of the peace and well-being of all the world - should be regarded as sacred by all that dwell on earth.
-- 'Abdu'l-Bahá:  The Secret of Divine Civilization, page 64

     I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
-- Words attributed to Jesus in John 16:33

     We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretense whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world.... Therefore, we cannot learn war any more.
-- George Fox, Declaration to Charles II

     There is no schism, nor division, nor contention, nor strife in heavenly Jerusalem nor in the body of Christ; it is a spiritual house, composed of living stones. Christ is not divided, for in Him there is peace. Christ says, "In Me you have peace;" He is from above and not of this world. But in the world below, and in its spirit, there is trouble. Therefore, keep in Christ and walk in Him.
-- George Fox, The Sealed Epistle

Christian Praxes

     You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.
-- Words attributed to Jesus in Matthew 4:10

     Not everyone  who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'
     Everyone then who hears these words of mine, and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat against that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
-- Words attributed to Jesus in Matthew 7:21-27

     And behold, a man came up to him [Jesus], saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."
-- Matthew 19:16-17

     The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent ....
-- Acts 17:30

     Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
-- 1 John 5:21

     So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever enters God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
--  Hebrews 4:9

     Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother." (this is the first commandment with a promise) ....
-- Ephesians 6:2

     What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet."
-- Romans 7:7

     The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
-- Romans 13:9

Bible verses are from The English Standard Version.
Copyright © 2001 Crossway Bibles, Wheaton, Illinois.

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