KNOWLEDGE OF GOD Baha'is believe that all knowledge of God comes only from His appointed Messengers. The term "Manifestation of God" is used to denote these messengers because they "manifest" or demonstrate all of the attributes of God. We use the term "Manifestation of God" to refer to all the Prophets of God such as (but not limited to): Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Zoroaster, Buddha, the Bab, and Baha'u'llah. Baha'u'llah is the Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith and the Bab is the Prophet-Forerunner of Baha'u'llah. In order to arrive at an understanding of our knowledge of God on the one hand, and those who Baha'u'llah calls "Manifestations of His Divine Essence," the "Treasuries of Divine knowledge," the "Repositories of celestial wisdom," the and "Embodiments of Divine mysteries," on the other, one must begin by seeking an example: if one gazes at the sun, one can truly say, "That is the sun, I am in direct contact with the sun, I can feel its heat, though I can not bear to even look into its light because it is the sun" and this would be quite true in meaning, whereas in fact it is not true because all we experience of the sun comes through its rays which reach us so far from their source, albeit with such power that we say we are in contact with the sun. Suppose we ask this visible orb, this globe of rays, "Are you the sun?" It could truthfully reply, "I am the sun" because it is the perfect conveyor, the perfect vehicle of the sun's light and heat. But it could equally say, "No, I am not the sun at all, the sun is millions of miles away, and you can never know it for you and it are incompatible, but through me, its rays, you know the sun, therefore, to you I am the sun." This explains the term "Manifestations of the Sun of Truth," Those Who are the Divine Exemplars of God. God, Baha'u'llah states, "...hath ordained the knowledge of these sanctified Beings to be identical with the knowledge of His own Self. Whoso recognizeth them hath recognized God. Whoso hearkeneth to their call, hath hearkened to the Voice of God, and whoso testifieth to the truth of their Revelation, hath testified to the truth of God Himself. Whoso turneth away from them, hath turned away from God, and whoso disbelieveth in them, hath disbelieved in God. . . They are the Manifestations of God amidst men, the evidences of His Truth, and the signs of His glory." So profound is this mystic union that links God and His Manifestations that Baha'u'llah testifies: "Glory be to Thee, O my God! My face hath been set towards Thy face, and my face is, verily, Thy face, and my call is Thy call, and my Revelation Thy Revelation, and my self Thy self, and my Cause Thy Cause, and my behest Thy behest, and my Being Thy Being, and my sovereignty Thy sovereignty, and my glory Thy glory, and my power Thy power." This is the aspect of identification of the Manifestation with God. But there is another equally profound aspect which is the complete singleness of the Creator: "God," Baha'u'llah categorically declares, "the unknowable Essence, the Divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress." The Manifestations of God, "Who are the Quintessence of knowledge, are but the creation and instruments" of His purpose. "Far, far are They Who are related to Thee", He testifies, "above the conception of such relationship!" It was in this mysterious relationship of the ray to the sun that Jesus Christ declared "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father" and "No one cometh unto the Father but by Me," and that "God spake unto Moses." What does this mean except that, as in our example, the ray was connected with the sun, conveyed the sun's qualities, became the channel for the manifestation of the characteristics of God? Baha'u'llah repeatedly testified to the inadequacy of words to convey concepts which are beyond our comprehension. In His writings, God is not only the Creator, but also the "Maker of Earth and Heaven," both the tangible and the spiritual. God is also the "Fashioner of the universe" which conveys a sense of artisanship, of a direct conscienceness which He calls the "Ancient Being," interested in His handiwork, not an anthropomorphic Being, but an "Infinite Essence," an "unknowable Essence," Who is "the Source of all things."