"Beware of false prophets.... Ye shall know them by their fruits..... Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.... Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7: 15-20)
Christ also gave three promises which would mark out the time when His Spirit would return. These are: that His Gospel would be preached in every land, that the expulsion of the Jews from Palestine would be ended, and that Daniel's prophecy about the "abomination of desolation" would be fulfilled.
The early part of the nineteenth century saw the foundation of missionary societies which translated the Bible into many languages and began a huge operation to spread the news of Jesus into every remaining country. In 1842 missionaries reached China, and organised efforts to proclaim the Gospel in Central Africa began in 1844.
The Jewish revolt against Roman rule ended in A.D. 70, when Jerusalem fell to the Roman armies, and the Temple was destroyed. This was the start of the abomination of desolation, in which the Temple was "trodden down by the Gentiles". The Jews were expelled from Palestine, and this situation lasted up until A.D. 1844. In that year, the Turkish Empire proclaimed the Edict of Toleration, which allowed the Jews to live in their original homeland.
This refers to chapters 8 to 12 of the Book of Daniel where prophecies can be found which appear to give the dates for the first and second coming of Christ. Biblical scholars believe that every "day" referred to in these texts should be understood as meaning a year. One point of reference given by Daniel concerns the rebuilding of Jerusalem, long before the Romans again destroyed it. From 457 B.C., when the decree to rebuild Jerusalem went out, Daniel prophesies 70 weeks (490 days) until the "cutting off" (crucifixion) of the Messiah. The exact birth date of Jesus is unknown, but it is believed that he was crucified in about 33 A.D., which would be 490 years after the decree.
Daniel also prophesies 2300 "days" until the sanctuary is cleansed, and the abomination of desolation - the desecration of the Temple in Jerusalem - is ended. From 457 B.C., this arrives at A.D. 1844.
Ezekiel likewise looked to the East of Palestine:
"And the Glory of the Lord came into the house by way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east". (Ezekiel 43:4)
Bahá'u'lláh's own title, "The Glory of the Lord" or "The Glory of God", is prophesied by Isaiah, by Ezekiel and by St. John. Isaiah says:
"....Behold your God will come .....He will come and save you... the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the Glory of God." (Isaiah 35: 4,2)
On His last banishment, Bahá'u'lláh was sent to the Holy Land, to the prison city of Akka. This faces Mount Carmel, extolled by Isaiah as the "Mountain of The Lord", which overlooks the plain of Sharon. In His last years He was allowed a limited freedom, and dwelt on the Plain of Akka, even pitching His tent on Carmel. In all this, He was fulfilling prophecies of the Old Testament.
Those who have recognised the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh as fulfilling the prophecies of the Bible are known by the new name of Bahá'ís. The Book of Revelation states that there will be a "new name":
"I will write upon him (that overcometh) my new name." (Revelation 3: 12)
Bahá'u'lláh died in exile in the Holy Land, and His mortal remains are buried near Akka. The Bahá'í World Centre is established on Mount Carmel, near to the Shrine of the Báb. Pilgrims now flow here from all parts of the globe, in fulfilment of prophecy. They come from a Bahá'í community which is now several million strong, and is spread in every single country of the world.
"In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it." (Micah 4:1)
"The time foreordained unto the people and kindreds of the earth is now come. The promises of God, as recorded in the holy Scriptures, have all been fulfilled. Out of Zion hath gone forth the law of God, and Jerusalem, and the hills and lands thereof, are filled with the glory of His Revelation...This is the Day which the Pen of the Most High hath glorified in all the Holy Scriptures."
Approved by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United Kingdom,
27, Rutland Gate, London SW7 1PD.