Baha’u’llah wrote, “The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System — the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.” (GWB, p. 136) Some people hear Baha’is talk about a ‘World Order of Baha’u’llah,’ and they are reminded of Hitler’s speeches of a ‘New World Order;’ conspiracy theories of secret societies trying to dominate the world; and evangelical end-of-the-world scenarios that have associated the phrase, ‘World Order,’ with fantastical prophesies.
When Baha’is speak of Baha’u’llah’s World Order, this does not need to sound frightening. As Shoghi Effendi wrote, “Leaders of religion, exponents of political theories, governors of human institutions, who at present are witnessing with perplexity and dismay the bankruptcy of their ideas, and the disintegration of their handiwork, would do well to turn their gaze to the Revelation of Baha’u’llah, and to meditate upon the World Order which, lying enshrined in His teachings, is slowly and imperceptibly rising amid the welter and chaos of present-day civilization. They need have no doubt or anxiety regarding the nature, the origin or validity of the institutions which the adherents of the Faith are building up throughout the world. For these lie embedded in the teachings themselves, unadulterated and unobscured by unwarrantable inferences, or unauthorized interpretations of His Word.” (WOB, p. 23)
There are prophesies in the Baha’i Faith that an eventual world super-state will come into being. This world super-state, Baha’is believe, will be the ultimate fulfillment of humanity’s collective development as a species. It will be a world where war is outlawed and where everyone considers themselves world citizens. Baha’is believe that this will happen gradually as the world awakens to the Message of Baha’u’llah and as humanity begins to realize the wonderful and glorious future that awaits us all. Shoghi Effendi wrote, “And as the Baha’i Faith permeates the masses of the peoples of East and West, and its truth is embraced by the majority of the peoples of a number of the Sovereign States of the world, will the Universal House of Justice attain the plenitude of its power, and exercise, as the supreme organ of the Baha’i Commonwealth, all the rights, the duties, and responsibilities incumbent upon the world’s future super-state.” (Shoghi Effendi, WOB, p. 6).
Baha’is do not see this as a plan for dominating the world, but rather as the glorious fulfillment of prophesies that promised a wonderful age of peace, prosperity, justice, and hope for all mankind. They see the Order brought by Baha’u’llah as the foundation of God’s promised New Jerusalem that was to be sent down from heaven. As the Bible states, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 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.” (Rev. 21:2-7). Baha’is have a spiritual interpretation for these prophesies that explain their unfoldment. For example, the world without death can mean a world where all the people are full of a spiritual awareness that lasts beyond the death of our physical bodies. This coincides with other Bible prophesies where Jesus tells His followers to let the dead bury the dead. (Luke 9:60), where Jesus refers to true life being
Furthermore, Baha’is believe that the prophesies of where the Law of God will come from is Mt. Carmel, where the Baha’i Universal House of Justice is situated, have been fulfilled. As is stated, “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isa 2:2-4)
Baha’i prophesies clearly state that the new world system will not take authority by force. Baha’is believe that the New Jerusalem must be built in the hearts of men first. As the Bible states, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21-22). Therefore, Baha’is believe that their sacrifices and services for the work of building the Baha’i Administrative Order is part of this process of creating a heaven on Earth and fulfilling the prophesies that “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10). Therefore, to be a Baha’i is to be part of this great endeavor.
Baha’is cannot do anything to undermine governments. In fact, Baha’is are actually obliged to follow the laws and ordinances of their local governments. As the Baha’i Writings state, “…Thou hast made it incumbent upon us to obey the rulers and kings.” (Abdu’l-Baha, SWA, p. 217). Baha’is are told to pray for our leaders and be obedient to our governments—as long as they are not asked to deny their personal faith or do anything that contradicts their fundamental beliefs in the worth and dignity of all human life. Baha’i prophesies for the future are not a secret. It is all out in the open and can be read by anyone who is curious. As the Baha’i Universal House of Justice put it, “In the same way that Baha’u’llah assured the monarchs of His day that “It is not Our wish to lay hands on your kingdoms”, so the Baha’i community has no political agenda, abstains from all involvement in partisan activity, and accepts unreservedly the authority of civil government in public affairs.” (UHJ, Century of Light, p. 94)
Additionally, Baha’is can never make war on the world. As Baha’u’llah wrote, “Know thou that We have annulled the rule of the sword, as an aid to Our Cause, and substituted for it the power born of the utterance of men.” (GWB, p. 303). And in another place He wrote, “We have decreed that war shall be waged in the path of God with the armies of wisdom and utterance, and of a goodly character and praiseworthy deeds.” (ESW, p. 24). Also, Baha’u’llah commanded Baha’is to “shed not the blood of anyone.” (ESW p 54). And lastly, Baha’u’llah wrote, “…ye have been forbidden to engage in contention and conflict.” (ESW p. 24). Clearly then, no one should fear the Baha’is doing anything but trying to make the world a more peaceful and happy place. Therefore, we might ask ourselves when investigating the Baha’i Faith, is this dangerous to the world? Are the fruits of this tree good, or bad?