SOME NOTES ON BAHA'I PROOFS BASED ON THE BIBLE

© 1963 Baha'i Publishing Trust of the Baha'is of Central and East Africa.


"Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world". (Matthew 25:34)


1. When studying the Bible we must:

   (a) use our reason: (Thessalonians 5:20-21; Peter 1:13 and 3:15; Isaiah 1:18 and 41:21; Acts 17:2; II Timothy 1:6-7)


   (b) interpret the Bible spiritually not literally: (II Corinthians 3:6.)


2. Christ repeatedly said that He would come again at the time of the end. He told His followers to wait and pray, to prepare and watch for His second coming. Certain signs have been given in the Bible for that great Day. Let us study these signs, and let us not make the same mistake as the Jews in not discerning the signs of the times at His first coming: (Matthew 16:3.)


3. One of the signs of His Second Coming is wickedness prevailing in the World: (II Timothy 3:1-7.) Is not wickedness now prevalent in the world? Where is Christ then? Has He forgotten His promise?


4. Another sign of His coming is the preaching of the Gospel in the world: (Matthew 24:14.) The Gospel had already been taken to all the nations. Could He have forgotten His promise?


5. A third sign is the establishment of the Jews in Palestine [Israel:] (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:3-8; Amos 9:14-15; Exekiel 37:21-23; Luke 21:24 and 27; Acts 1:6-7; Romans 11:25-27.) This sign has also been already fulfilled, as the Jews are gathered and established in Israel. Where is Christ, then?


6. A fourth sign is material progress, increase in knowledge, much travelling and scientific development: (Daniel 12:4; Nahum 2:4 [cars]; Jeremiah 4:13 [aeroplanes].) These have also been fulfilled. If this is the time of the end, then, Where is Christ?


7. The only answer to all these is that Christ must have come already. Why doesn't everybody know this? It is because He Himself says that He shall come as a thief: (I Thessalonians 5:2; Luke 12:35-40; Revelation 3:3.) He also says that He will come when mankind is unaware: [knew not]. (Matthew 24:37-39.) Note that not only is He to come as a thief i.e. unexpectedly, but He is also to operate as a thief ["house to be broken through"].


8. The current concept of Christ's coming from heaven as the physical sky, and all eyes physically to see Him, should be understood spiritually not literally. The earth is round and rotating and therefore the sky is changeable. Furthermore, Christ said He also came the first time from heaven, although He was born of Mary: (John 6:38.) By "all eyes shall see Him", spiritual perception is meant. ["They have eyes but see not".] We have here the assurance that at His Second Coming the world will accept Him.


9. Let us now study the parable of the Vineyard: (Luke 20:9-16.) The symbols are as follows : The Lord of the Vineyard is the Father; His Son is Christ; The servants are the prophets before Christ; the husbandmen are religious leaders; and the Vineyard is the earth.


10. The above parable indicates that after the "beloved Son", the "Lord" or "Father" is to come. This point is further confirmed by Matthew: (16:27 and 23:29.) Hence the Second Advent is the return of Christ not as the "Son", but "in the Glory of the Father" - "the Glory of God". Hence the name: "Baha'u'llah", the founder of the Baha'i Faith, which means "Glory of God".


11. Such a spiritual return is best illustrated in the return of the Prophet Elias in the person of John the Baptist: (Matthew 17:10-13.) John the Baptist was not the return of Elias in the flesh, but He was the return of the spirit of Elias. let us learn from this lesson of Christ to understand His own return, and not make the mistake of the Jews.


12. in Acts 1:11 we read: "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven". The ascension to Christ to heaven, and His return becomes clear only when we read in John 3:3, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the son of man which is in heaven". The body of Christ did not come from heaven, but was born of Mary. It was His spirit which came down from heaven, ascended to heaven, and is to have its second return.


13. That the return of Christ should be through normal birth is further confirmed by repeated warnings of Christ on false prophets. If the true Christ is to come in a way different from other men, why did Jesus warn about false prophets?


14. There is still further indication that the promised Christ of the time of the end should be born: (Isiah 9:6-7.) The Christian Church interprets this promised "Child" in the prophesy of Isaiah to be Jesus. How could this "Child" to be born be 'Christ', in His first coming, when He disclaimed being the "Mighty God", when He called Himself "The Son of God". (John 5:18-47;) He disclaimed being the "Father", when He said "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28); He disclaimed being the "Prince of Peace" when He said "I came not to send peace, but a sword". (Matthew 10:34); and He disclaimed bearing "the government upon His shoulder" when He said My Kingdom is not of this world":(John 18:36.) This prophecy of Isaiah refers to none other but to the Coming of Christ, at His second Advent, as we find Him revealed in the Glory of God, Baha'u'llah.


15. There is another point in the parable of the vineyard referred to above, namely that the world (vineyard) shall not be destroyed. The current concept, however, of the church-goers today is that through the fall of the stars the world would be destroyed. Stars are spiritual stars. They are the spiritual leaders and churches. (Revelation 1:20.) Their fall is their spiritual downfall, their loss of spiritual light, power and popularity, which we see today.


16. There is yet another point of interest in the parable of the Vineyard. "The husbandmen" [priests and leaders] will be destroyed by the Promised Lord taking away the responsibility of the Vineyard from them and giving it to "others". This has been fulfilled by Baha'u'llah abolishing the institution of priesthood and the clergy, and giving authority instead to assemblies and bodies elected by and from the people themselves in every locality.


17. In II Peter 3:7-8 we read that the Day of Judgement could be even a thousand years. The word "day" does not mean just 24 hours, but a period of time. For example: Christ said "Abraham rejoiced to see my day"". (John 8:56). The events associated with the day of judgement, therefore, are not only to occur spiritually, but also gradually.


18. On that day, we are told, the sun will lose its light. Light and darkness are spiritual, not physical: (John 8:12; II Corinthians 4:6.) Darkness, therefore, would be wickedness and unbelief, as we see and witness around us today.


19. There is confusion in what the churches teach about the resurrection to take place on the Day of Judgement when Christ returns, and the individual resurrection of each person right after his death, which is our life in the next world.


20. Let us first take individual resurrection. This shall be of a spiritual nature, not physical: (I Corinthians 15;36-44.) It shall happen immediately after death: (I Corinthians 15:50-52 and Luke 23:39-43.) Notice the word "today". Our life in this world is like the life of the embryo in the womb of the mother. As our embryonic life is a preparation for this life, so is life a preparation for the next.


21. As to the dead rising at the time of the Return of Christ, this means that the people at the time of His return would pass from unbelief, which is spiritual death, to faith, which is spiritual life. (Matthew 8:21-22; John 5:24.)


22. Some churches even teach that everything dead will physically rise on the Day of Judgement. Reason proves this to be untrue.


23. The meaning of the prophecies and mysteries of the Bible were sealed up until the time of the end: (Isaiah 29:10-12; Daniel 12:4 and 9; I Corinthians 4:5.) How can the churches today while teaching that the time of the end has not come, yet claim that they have found out and know the true meanings of the Bible.


24. A new name has also been promised: (Isaiah 62:2 and 65:15; Revelation 3:12.) And in Zachariah 14:9 we read: "In that day shall be one Lord, and name one". That name is "BAHA'I". It is the same in all languages; and so is the name of "Baha'u'llah".



ADDITIONAL POINTS RELATED TO BAHA'I HISTORY


1. The Baha'i Faith started in Persia. Its Founder Baha'u'llah, and His Herald, the Bab, (meaning gate) {were?} both Persians. In Jeremiah 49:38 we read that the throne of God would be established in "Elam". Elam is the old name for Persia.


2. God foretold to Abraham that the Prophetic succession was to run through him: (Genesis 12:1-3). Baha'u'llah was descended from Abraham by his wife Katurah, thus fulfilling the prophecy that through Abraham would all the families of the earth be blessed.


3. The Baha'i Faith started in the year 1844.

    (a) The preaching of the gospel to the nations, one of the signs of the time of the end was completed in 1844. The last region to receive it was East Africa.


    (b) The late Archdeacon of Clonfert, George Townsend writes: "The strict exclusion of the Jews from their own land...was at last relaxed by the Edict of Toleration". This document, Townshend goes on to point out, was issued by the governing authorities, the Ottoman Turks, in the year 1844. The establishment of the Jews in Israel was another sign of the times.


    (c) The Morse electric telegraph, a symbol of progress and unity in our world, was discovered in 1844, another sign of the times!


    (d) In Matthew 24:15 Christ refers us to Daniel for the date of the time of the end. In Daniel 8:3 and 14 we are asked to 2300 "days" [which means years - a day for a year - see Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:16] from the date of the rebuilding of Jerusalem which was in 456 BC (see Ezra 7). The date we get again is 1844!


4. Baha'u'llah, not of his own free will, but as an exile and prisoner, was banished by His enemies to Akka, Palestine. [Israel]


The following prophecies thus came true: Isaiah 59:20 also 2:2-3; Ezekiel 43:1-2 also 4-5; Zechariah 2:10; and specifically regarding 'Akka (Achor): Isaiah 65:2; Hosea 2:15



HOW TO DISTINGUISH THE FALSE PROPHET FROM THE TRUE


1. Some churches teach that because of Christ's warnings that false prophets can deceive, we should not listen even to any claim, and refuse to investigate. They quote for example: "They shall say to you [referring to Christ's return] 'See here; or see there'. Go not after them, nor follow them". (St Luke 17:23). Such an interpretation would be wrong, because it would contradict Christ's other holy command to pray and "watch" for His coming. Furthermore the verse quoted above is quoted only partly. It continues thus:


"For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so also shall the Son of Man be in His day". (Luke 17:24). Therefore the verse in its full context reveals that the True Word of the True Christ, is not just an empty claim, but is like lightning, which would spread from East to West. Empty claims must of course be discounted. This is further confirmed by another verse: Matthew 7:19: "Every tree [prophet] that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into fire". This means that the Faith of false prophets cannot spread or prosper. The Baha'i Faith is nearly 120 years old; it is established in over 260 countries of the world. If it were false God would have hewn it long ago!


2. In Matthew 7:15-20 we are told that false prophets can be distinguished from the true by "their fruits". A study of the life of Baha'u'llah, His ethical and social teachings, the influence for good that He had on the hearts of men, the world community built in His name, knit together as one family, free from all racial, religious and class prejudices...will reveal to any inquirer the fruits of Baha'u'llah.


3. In Deuteronomy 18:21-22 we read that another criterion of the True Messenger of God is that His prophecies will come to pass. A study of Baha'i history will reveal how all His prophecies to the rulers and Kings of the world, and all His warnings to them came true.



PROGRESSIVE REVELATION


Divine teachings are of two kinds: spiritual and social. The spiritual teachings constitute the essential part of religion. They deal with spiritual truths, such as the existence of God, His unity, His power, etc., as well as moral and ethical teachings of conduct. These teachings are eternal, unchangeable, everlasting. It is to this part of God's religion that the Psalmist is referring when he says: "The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever; the thoughts of His heart to all generations". (Psalm 33:11) It was to this part of the Mosaic religion that Christ was referring when he said: "I am not come to destroy but to fulfil". (Matthew 5:17). It was again to this part of God's everlasting religion that He was referring when in anticipation of the future He said: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Luke 21:33).


    The second part of divine teachings have a social or material aspect. They deal with such matters as marriage, divorce, inheritance, community life, the week and its day of rest, laws of punishment, forbidden meats etc. These social laws, although always divinely-ordained, yet are changeable. They are adapted by God's messengers to the needs and conditions of each Age. For example: Abraham, God's prophet in His age (Genesis 20:7) allowed the marriage by man of ones half sister, the daughter of one's father as recorded in Genesis 20:12. conditions in the time of Moses, however, had changed. By divine authority He repealed the above law, as allowed by Abraham, as recorded in Leviticus 18:9. Furthermore, we see how Moses allowed divorce (Deut. 24:1), but Jesus condemned it (Mark 10:4). Likewise we see Moses instituting and emphasising the Sabbath (Exodus 31:16-17) but Jesus teaching a more liberal attitude about it (Luke 6:1-9), to the extent that He was breaking it (John 5:18). Every successive Manifestation of God confirms and amplifies the spiritual teachings of the former Manifestation to make them suit man's growing capacity. He also changes, with divine authority, the social laws adapting them to the changing needs of the times. That is why Christ taught: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bare them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth...and He will show you things to come". (John 16:12-13). The Spirit of Truth is Baha'u'llah. Jesus could not teach those around him principles of World Order, as all the world had not even yet been discovered.


WORLD UNITY WAS NOT POSSIBLE IN PAST AGES, BUT IT IS POSSIBLE NOW.



OTHER TEACHINGS OF THE NEW AGE—

AS PROMISED


The Oneness of Mankind:

Isaiah 11:6-9; Micah 4:2-3


World Peace:

Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:4-5; Isaiah 15:1-2; Joel 3:18


Unity of Religions

Zechariah 14:9 [...shall there be one Lord] Habakuk 2:14 [the earth...full of the knowledge...]


Universal language:

Zephaniah 3:9.



BAPTISM AND COMMUNION


Baptism:

Baptism, like circumcision in the law of Moses, is a physical symbol and part of the changeable part of God's Religion. As circumcision was superseded by the Gospel (Acts 15:; Gal. 5:2), so is the physical baptism by water superseded by God's Faith in this Day. As circumcision was to be "taken in the spirit" (Phil. 3:3), so is baptism today to be taken in the spirit, through the recognition of Baha'u'llah and declaration of Faith in Him.


It is interesting that Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16 indicate that baptism is possible only if a person is taught and believes, therefore he must be a grown up, and that Mary Magdalene was not baptised (Luke 7:50) nor was the good thief baptised (Luke 23:39-43) yet both were saved. Physical water does not save.


Communion:

In Matthew 26:26-29 we read that the Communion established by Christ is to last only until His return in His "Fathers Kingdom". Baha'is firmly believe he has now come. The "new drink that He has promised, is the same "spiritual drink" of I Corinthians 10:4. It symbolises God's holy teachings for this day.



FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHA'U'LLAH


"Followers of the Gospel, behold the gates of heaven are flung open. He that had ascended unto it is now come. Give ear to His voice calling aloud over land and sea, announcing to all mankind the advent of this Revelation—a Revelation through the agency of which the Tongue of Grandeur is now proclaiming: 'Lo, the sacred pledge hath been fulfilled, for He, the Promised One, is come!' The voice of the Son of Man is calling aloud from the sacred vale: 'Here am I, here am I, o God my God!'...whilst from the Bush breaketh forth the cry; 'Lo, the Desire of the world is made manifest in His transcendent glory!' The Father hath come. That which ye were promised in the Kingdom of God is fulfilled. This is the Word which the Son veiled when He said to those around Him that at that time they could not bear it...Verily the Spirit of Truth is come to guide you unto all truth...he is the One Who glorified the Son and exhalted His Cause..." "The Comforter Whose advent all the scriptures have promised is now come that He may reveal unto you all knowledge and wisdom. Seek Him over the entire surface of the earth, haply ye may find Him."