Ed VandenDool is a sincere practitioner of the Baha'i faith
He wrote this document in an effort to help Christians understand his religion.
Keep in mind that on several point, his representation of Christianity is incorrect, but valuable being from the Baha'i perspective.
As can be seen from the graphic, Baha'i believes in progressive revelation and that it is the latest, highest and best revelation from God for this current age.
Keep in mind that Baha'i grew out of Islam.
Baha'i is to Islam, what Mormons and Jehovah's witnesses are to Christianity.
The Baha'i Faith: A brief history & notes on progressive revelation
The following is a compilation of notes and ideas designed to help Christians who are investigating the Baha'i Faith. I chose to approach the Faith from a Biblical perspective because Christianity was my reference point for religion. The Baha'i teachings encouraged me to retain my Christianity and helped me to understand, clarify and reinforce my Christian beliefs. There are many who have discovered the Faith from different backgrounds, some with limited bible knowledge, others with extensive knowledge in areas pertaining to religion and spirituality. As many streams lead to one ocean, so many paths to the Baha'i Faith.
Baha'i History and the Administrative Order
Principle People, Dates and Institutions of the Faith
· Nov 12, 1817 Birth of Husayn Ali in Iran. Baha'u'llah (Glory of God)
· Oct 20, 1819 Birth of Siyyid Ali Mohammed in Iran. The Bab (Gate)
· May 23, 1844 Declaration of the Bab in Shiraz, Iran 1260 Muslim calendar
· May 23, 1844 Birth of Abdul 'Baha, son of Baha'u'llah
· July 9, 1850 Execution of the Bab
· Apr 11, 1863 Declaration of Baha'u'llah 1280 Muslim calendar
· May 29, 1892 Death of Baha'u'llah
· Mar 1, 1897 Birth of Shoghi Effendi grandson of Abdul 'Baha & Guardian of the Faith
· Nov 28, 1921 Death of Abdul 'Baha (son of Baha’u’llah)
· Nov 5, 1957 Death of Shoghi Effendi (grandson of Abdul’ Baha
· Apr 21, 1963 Election of the first Universal House of Justice
· May 1970 Baha'i International Community granted consultative status with the UN
· Nov 1992 Secod World Congress held in New York commemorating 100 years since the death of Baha'u'llah; attended by 30,000 Baha'is.
· May 23, 2001 Opening and dedication of Baha’i Gardens and Terraces on Mt. Carmel in Haifa, Israel
· NSA National Spiritual Assembly- Nine member body elected annually
· Baha’i Council Regional elected council that promotes teaching activity within the Faith
· LSA Local Spiritual Assembly- Nine member body elected annually on April 21st
Universal House of Justice
Nine member body elected every five years, serving the Faith globally from the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, Israel
There is no clergy in the Baha'i Faith. Individual members are encouraged to explore the revelation of God and to decide on the issues of life through prayer, study of sacred writings, reflection and consultation with others. The Baha'i writings have been translated into over 800 languages. If questions arise concerning the application of specific laws within the Faith, members look to their local or national spiritual assembly or, in the event that an issue cannot be resolved at this level, they turn to the Universal House of Justice, which is considered the supreme authority on Earth.
Elected councils, called Spiritual Assemblies administer the affairs of the Faith at both local and national levels. All adult believers are equally eligible for election to the Assemblies, and election is by secret ballot and plurality vote. Electioneering is strictly forbidden.
The financial needs of the Faith are wholly supported by voluntary contributions from its members. The Faith does not accept contributions from non-members.
The Baha'i World Centre
The World Headquarters for the Baha'i Faith are located in Haifa, Israel on Mount Carmel. Buildings include the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, The Shrine of the Bab, International Archives Building, International Teaching Centre, the Centre for the Study of Texts, and the Terraces Project. The site is a major national tourist attraction in Israel and is often included in tours of holy places which include ancient Jewish, Christian and Muslim points of interest. Construction of the Terraces and Arc Project was completed in the year 2000.
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom... The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the Glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come
Some common Baha’i terms
Progressive Revelation Process whereby God’s will is revealed to mankind through a succession of divine Messengers known as Manifestations
Manifestation An incarnation of specific attributes of God, (i.e. Jesus – the incarnate Word) Who re-affirms the spiritual teachings of a previous Manifestation, fulfils prophecies of the previous dispensation and dispenses new social guidelines for humanity.
Dispensation The period of time following the appearance of a new Manifestation, directly affected by the pouring out of a new revelation
Principles of the Baha'i Faith
1. Oneness of God
2. Oneness of Humanity
3. Independent investigation of truth
4. Science and religion must agree
5. Equality of men and women
6. Elimination of prejudice
7. Universal education
8. World peace
9. Spiritual solutions to economic problems
10. An international auxiliary language
Baha'i individual obligations
Recognition of the Manifestations
1. The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the kingdom of His cause and the world of creation.
2. Opening text of the Most Holy Book (Kitab-i-Agdas) - Baha'u'llah
3. Obedience to the laws of God
4. Pray - one of three daily obligatory prayers
5. Noon day Prayer
6. I bear witness Oh my God that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee.
7. I testify at this moment to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth
8. There is no other God but Thee, The Help in peril the Self Subsisting
9. Read from the sacred writings of the Faith morning and evening of every day
10. Fast from March 2 through March 20 during daylight hours
11. Contribute to the Baha'i fund
12. Abstain from the use of alcohol and non medicinal drugs
13. Refrain from gossip
14. Teach the Faith
15. Obey the laws of the government, but avoid partisan politics
The Bible records some of the history and events associated with the establishment of two of the world’s major religions: Judaism and Christianity. Christians believe that the two religions are linked by the promise of the coming Messiah. The nature of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity can be partially explained by a concept known as Progressive Revelation. This concept is an important part of Baha’i teaching, and while it is not unique to the Baha’i Faith, the Baha’i interpretation of progressive revelation is unique in that it links all major world religion through a cycle of prophecy and fulfillment. It therefore suggests that the Bible contains prophecy concerning the Prophets who would appear after Christ, and religions that would be established after Christianity.
To gain a full understanding of how Bible prophecy includes religions other than Judaism and Christianity we must examine the promises of God to Abraham. The Bible tells of a covenant established by God with Abraham, and extended to the descendants of Abraham's son, Isaac, who became the nation of Israel and followers of Judaism.
...your wife Sarah will bear you a son and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you; I will surely bless him. I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant, I will establish with Isaac whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.
Genesis 17: 19-21
This covenant with the descendants of Isaac, did not exclude other people from the blessings of progressive revelation of God. It simply spelled out terms of the covenant that applied to the descendants of Isaac, stating that as long as they were obedient to God and demonstrated their obedience by circumcising their males, they would inherit and inhabit the land lying between the River of Egypt on the northeast side of the Sinai Peninsula, and the Euphrates River. In a vision, God told Abraham that this would not happen until after the Israelites had served as slaves for 400 years. Prior to the establishment of the covenant however, God calls Abraham and tells him:
I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you... and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
Genesis 12: 2...3
As for Me, this is my covenant with you. You shall be the father of many nations.
Years later when Christ appeared and the descendants of Isaac failed to acknowledge Him, Jesus identified himself as a rejected Manifestation with the words of the Psalmist
" 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone' (corner stone)... therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed".
italics text – Jesus quoting Psalms 118:22
Indeed the descendants of Isaac lost their inheritance as Christ had foretold. Within 50 years of this prophecy Jerusalem was destroyed and the people of Israel scattered. By the second century AD the Christian church was composed almost entirely of Gentiles.
The people of Israel had failed to meet the terms of the covenant established by God with Isaac and were therefore no longer permitted to occupy the holy land. This does not mean that God failed to keep his promise to Abraham. Aside from the covenant established with Isaac, God promised Abraham he would become "the father of many nations", and his spiritual legacy was passed on through three branches of his descendants. Each of these branches produced individuals who embodied or made manifest certain
attributes of God. For example, Christ was the incarnate "Word" of God. Baha'is believe that the founder of their Faith was the incarnate "Glory" of God and he is therefore recognized by the title Baha'u'llah, which means Glory of God.
For this reason Baha'is refer to these Prophets as Manifestations, and acknowledge Their eternal oneness with God by virtue of Their spiritual composition. By applying this concept exclusively to Christ, Christians have developed the theory of the Trinity. By virtue of this concept, Baha'is recognize the divine station of the Manifestations of God. Each of the Manifestations discussed in this compilation became the founder of an independent religion, thereby making Abraham the "Grandfounder" of five religions.
Religion Founder Year Place Descendent of
Judaism Moses 1400 BC Sinai Abraham & Sarah's son Isaac
Christianity Jesus 30 AD Galilee Isaac - King David
Islam Mohammad 622 AD Arabia Abraham & Hagar's son Ishmael
Babi Ali Mohammad 1844 AD Iran Ishmael - Mohammad
Baha'i Husayn Ali 1863 AD Iran Abraham & Ketura
There are three prophetic eras outlined in the Bible that help us understand the timing and reason for the establishment of these religions. These eras span a period of time beginning with a prophecy pertaining to Judaism, Christianity and Islam respectively, and culminating at the beginning of the Baha’i era on May 23rrd, 1844. The duration of each dispensation is foretold with astonishing accuracy. These three eras are known as:
The Grand Gentile Era
The Grand Sanctuary Era
The Gentile Era
Each day a year
Examination of these eras and the prophecies outlining them requires understanding of the day/year theory that states within the language of bible prophecy, 1 day is often used to represent 1 year.
I have appointed thee each day for a year Ezekiel 4:6
The concept is complicated by the fact that a year on some calendars is calculated by the relationship of the earth to the sun resulting in a 365 day "solar" year, but in other cultures a year is determined by the earth's relationship to the moon, resulting in a 360 day "lunar" year. Since Bible prophecy applied to events that would take place in accordance with different calendars, a method of distinguishing had to be implemented.
In Daniel 8 we read the desolation of Israel would last "2300 mornings and evenings". A "morning and evening" is a time unit equal to one day which of course is based on the earth's relationship to the sun, therefore if one day represents one year, this prophecy is referring to 2300 solar years.
In Revelation 11 we are told of a period of time in which the nation of Israel would be "trodden under foot for.... a time, two times and half a time, or as it is later expressed, for 42 months or 1260 days. This indicates that the 42 months referred to are months of 30 days each; therefore the time, two times and half a time represents a year, two years and half a year expressed in time periods that are determined by the earth's relationship to the moon, making them lunar years of 360 days each.
When solar or lunar time periods are specified in a biblical prophecy, it indicates that the prophecy concerns events that occur within the Christian or Islamic dispensations respectively or within geographic areas that are predominantly Christian or Muslim respectively.
It is interesting to note that the prophecy concerning the Grand Gentile Era recorded in Leviticus 25, which was given by Moses and affected the followers of Judaism, was expressed in time units that were based on weeks.
Count off seven Sabbaths of years- seven times seven years so that the seven Sabbaths of years amount to a period of 49 years. (used to determine the year of Jubilee)
The laws of Judaism are heavily focused on Sabbath observance, and therefore this is appropriate, but we also know that this prophecy covered a period of 2520 solar years even though the calculation used to arrive at 2520 involves lunar years of 360 days each. This is because the duration of the Grand Gentile Era had its starting point during the Judaic dispensation but spanned a time period in which prophecies applicable to both the Christian and Islamic dispensations were presented using numbers derived from the 2520 year Grand Gentile Era prophecy.
For example, we read in Daniel 9 that seventy sevens would be decreed for his people; a 490 year prophecy pointing to the time of Christ. Daniel also speaks of a 1260 year prophecy pointing to the time period in which the Holy land would be under Islamic control; a time period equal to one half of the duration of the Grand Gentile Era. The mathematical relationship between these figures creates a connection between Solar year and Lunar year prophecy. This "numerical cross referencing" is a recurring phenomena when examining important dates of various dispensations.
Old Testament prophesy concerning the Judaic dispensation
Before allowing the nation of Israel to enter the promised land after their exodus from Egypt and wandering in the wilderness, Moses revealed specific instructions concerning land management and obedience to the laws of God. If the people of Israel failed to obey these laws, this punishment would follow:
The Grand Gentile Era... 2520 days/years
I will punish you for your sins seven times over Leviticus 26:18
I will multiply your afflictions seven times over Leviticus 26:21
I will ... afflict you for your sins seven times over Leviticus 26:24
I will punish you for your sins seven times over Leviticus 26:28
Then the land will enjoy its Sabbath years Leviticus 26:34
Seven times = 7 years x 360 days = 2520 days/ years
The starting point of this prophecy was fulfilled with the captivity of Israel under King Manasseh.
The Lord said through his servants the prophets, "Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him, and has led Judah into sin with his idols. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.....They will be looted and plundered by all their foes because they have done evil in my eyes and have provoked me to anger from the day their forefathers came out of Egypt until this day".
2 Kings 21:10-12,14,15
According to Encyclopaedia Judaica, Manasseh ascended the throne at age 12 and reigned for 55 years from 698 to 643 BC. Israel was taken captive in the 22nd year of his reign, namely in 676-677 BC (after the capture, Manasseh was allowed to reign in subjugation).
Israel did not have the opportunity to regroup as an independent nation until 2520 years later when the rulers of the Ottoman Empire signed the Edict of Toleration on March 21st, 1844
Old Testament prophesies concerning the Christian dispensation
There has been much discussion and many theories concerning the biblical account of the story of Noah and the great flood. Some scientific evidence supports the idea of the flood but it is impossible to determine the extent to which it covered the earth and how many perished or survived. The story of the flood is recorded in other ancient legends with origins in the far-east and among North American Natives.
The historic accuracy of the biblical account of the flood is hardly relevant because the story expresses a timeless theme; one man living a good life surrounded by a world of moral decay. He becomes aware humanity is on a path of self-destruction and, inspired by God, calls them to repentance and provides a vehicle for their salvation. As a result, he becomes the subject of ridicule and severe persecution by those whose lives he seeks to save. Sound familiar? The theme of this story can be applied to Joseph, Moses, Elija, John the Baptist, Jesus, Mohammed, the Bab and Baha'u'llah.
The story of Moses draws an even more detailed parallel to the themes of Christianity. Both Moses' and Jesus' lives were threatened by a royal order to kill all Hebrew babies. Both found protection in the land of Egypt. Both were pressured by expectations to be a political deliverer for the Hebrew people. Both were faced with the task of nurturing the long lost spirituality of a nation back to health and made enormous sacrifices in the process. Both suffered for the sins of their followers. During Moses’ life his followers were introduced to the Passover lamb, the serpent on the tree, and the parting of the red sea, symbols of the promise of spiritual salvation that was the central theme of the teachings of Jesus. During the Judaic dispensation, the daily sacrifice was instituted as a prophetic symbol pointing to Christ who fulfilled and abolished it.
Perhaps the most intriguing Old Testament Prophecy concerning the Christian dispensation is recorded in Daniel 8 and 9. It uses symbolic "weekly" time units to accurately predict the death of Christ, as well as "solar" time units which point to events that would occur during and after the time of the Christian Dispensation.
Then I heard a holy one speaking and another holy one said to him, "How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled- the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host that will be trampled underfoot? He said to me "It will take 2300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be re-consecrated
"The vision of the evening and morning that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision for it concerns the distant future". I Daniel was exhausted and lay ill for several days. Then I got up and went about the kings business. I was appalled by the vision; It was beyond understanding.
Daniel understood that the 2300 mornings and evenings represented 2300 years, not 76 months or as some Biblical scholars have suggested, 38 months. Daniel understood that this prophecy represented a period of time that was much longer than the 70 years indicated in the following verse in which he expresses confusion over seemingly contradictory prophecies.
I, Daniel understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. (as recorded in Jeremiah 29:10) so I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition in fasting and in sackcloth and ashes.
While I was still in prayer, Gabriel the man I had seen in the earlier vision came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me "Daniel I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to
Pray, an answer was given which I have come to tell you. (cont’d)
"Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One , the ruler, comes there will be seven 'sevens' and sixty two sevens.... after the sixty two sevens the Anointed One will be cut off".
So here we have a prophecy concerning the timing of the death of Christ that will occur “Seventy ‘sevens’ after the issuing of a decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Most Christian scholars agree that the starting point of this prophecy is in 457 B.C.
In 536 BC a decree was issued by Cyrus to rebuild the temple. Ezra 1: 1-4
In 519 BC the decree was re-issued by Darius Ezra 6:1-12
In 457 BC a decree was issued by Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem Ezra 7
(Ezra left Babylon in 457 BC on the first day of the month of Nisan
on the Jewish Calendar, to fulfil this decree).
In 444 BC this decree was confirmed by Artaxerxes Nehemiah 2
Seven sevens and sixty two sevens equals 483 days/years which when added to 457 BC brings us to 26 AD. The Seventieth Seven would then represent the years 26 AD through 33 AD, containing the events marking the beginning of Christ's ministry and the death of Christ or the "cutting off" of the "Anointed One".
What then do we do with the original part of this prophecy which spoke of 2300 years? If we add 2300 to the same starting point, 457 BC we arrive at the year 1844. This year bears remarkable significance as we shall examine in the rest of this compilation.
Malachi Predicts the Return of Elijah before Christ
In the book of Malachi a prophecy is presented concerning the re-appearance of the great prophet Elijah.
See I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.
The Jewish people understood this prophecy concerning the "great and dreadful day of the Lord" would be fulfilled prior to the appearance of the promised Messiah and took it literally as we read in Matthew 17:10-17. When the Disciples of Christ began to realize Jesus was the promised Messiah they immediately asked:
"Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first"? Jesus replied "To be sure Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you Elijah has already come and they did not recognize him, but have done to him every thing they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands". Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist
Jesus had hinted at this earlier as recorded in Matthew 11:13-14, but the disciples had failed to grasp it.
"For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. He who has ears let him hear."
This prophecy and its fulfillment prior to the ministry of Jesus demonstrated Israel's inability to recognize the arrival of a promised prophet. Notice the intentional confusion of tense used by Christ when referring to the re-appearance of Elija; "Elija comes and will restore" is said in the same breath as "Elijah has already come". Is it possible that Christ was hinting that the fulfillment of this prophecy was in accordance with a recurring theme that suggested the future re-appearance of a prophet that would announce the coming of subsequent Manifestations? When Christ says “Elijah has already come” , it is clear to the disciples that He is referring to John the Baptist. But when Christ says in the same breath “Elija comes and will restore”, he is referring to a Manifestation who will appear in the future.
Is it possible that Christ's eternal perspective placed the occurrence of any event beyond the confines of time or at least our linear concept of time, rendering each event in history essentially concurrent from His point of view?
Old Testament prophesies concerning the Islamic dispensation
The followers of Islam trace the lineage of Mohammad back to Ishmael, the son of Abraham's maidservant Hagar. Abraham's wife Sarah was jealous of Hagar and Ishmael, and forced Abraham to send them away.
God said to Abraham "do not be so distressed about the boy and your maid servant, .... I will make the son of the maid servant into a nation also because he is your offspring.
Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba. When the water was gone she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down nearby about a bowshot away, for she thought, I cannot watch the boy die.
God heard the boy crying and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, What is the matter Hagar? Do not be afraid, God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand for I will make him into a great nation.
Genesis 21: 18
In Daniel 12 a vision is recorded concerning "the time of the end".
But you Daniel close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end... Then I Daniel looked and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. One of them said to the man clothed in linen...." How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?" The man clothed in linen.... lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and I heard him swear by him who lives forever saying " It will be for a time, two times and half a time"
The significance of these prophecies may not be immediately obvious with respect to their application to Islam. Once they are examined within the context of additional New Testament prophecy and the history of Islamic control in the Holy Land, their meaning becomes apparent.
New Testament prophesies of the Islamic Dispensation
The Gentile Era
In Luke 21 beginning at verse 7 the disciples asked Jesus about signs concerning the end of the age. Jesus gave a lengthy reply and description of the times to come and stated in verse 24
"They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled"
In Rev 11:2 we read
"the Gentiles will trample on the holy city for 42 months. And I will give power to my two witnesses and they will prophecy for 1260 days clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the earth.... Now when they have finished their testimony the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days men from every people tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.... but after three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them and they stood on their feet.
A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. (A) dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter; and her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1260 days.
The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time
three and a half days = a time ,two times and half a time = a year, two years and half a year = 42 months of 30 days = 1260 days = 1260 years.
So here we learn that Jerusalem would be trampled under foot for 1260 years. We have encountered this prophecy before in the Old Testament book of Daniel where we read of the "desolation of the....sanctuary and the host that will be trodden under foot. It will take 2300 mornings and evenings" or as Daniel understood, 2300 years. So which is it 1260 years or 2300 years? Actually it’s both. The 2300 year prophecy contains the 1260 year prophecy concerning the desolation of Israel and the 490 year prophecy concerning the time of Christ, but the 2300 year prophecy does not give a specific starting point for the desolation of Israel. It simply states that the desolation will end 2300 years after the edict to rebuild Jerusalem was given which was in the year 457 BC.
We know from this that the 1260 year period in which Israel would be "trodden under foot" by gentiles would end in the year 1844. We also know that the prophecy of 1260 years is based on "lunar" time units, and if we travel back 1260 lunar years from the year 1844 we find ourselves at year one of the Islamic calendar.
The Prophet Mohammad declared his mission in the year 622 of the Gregorian Calendar and as a result the Muslim (Lunar) calendar begins at this date. The year 1260 of the Muslim Calendar coincides with the year 1844 of the Gregorian calendar which occurs 2300 years after 457 BC
In 1844, Israel was under the control of the Ottoman Empire which was predominantly Muslim. The Edict of Toleration was signed allowing the people of Israel to legally occupy their homeland once again. It was signed March 21st, 1844 the first day of the month of Nisan, in the Muslim year 1260 exactly 2300 years to the day after Ezra set out to fulfill the decree to rebuild Jerusalem in 457 BC.
Old Testament prophecies of the Baha'i Dispensation
Abraham took another wife whose name was Keturah (she bore six sons).... Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. But while he was still living he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east. Genesis 25:1...6
The Baha'i Faith was founded among the descendants of Keturah in Iran , a land which lies east of Israel.
The Grand Sanctuary era
He said to me "It will take 2300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be re-consecrated
Seventy sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy.
Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One , the ruler, comes there will be seven 'sevens' and sixty two sevens.... after the sixty two sevens the Anointed One will be cut off".
In 457 BC a decree is issued by Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem. Ez. 7 (On the first day of Nisan)
As noted earlier if we count ahead 2300 years from 457 BC we arrive at the year 1844, the year the Baha'i Faith was founded.
The following is a Bible prophesy that predicts the travels of Bahá'u'lláh. The amazing thing about this Bible Prophecy in regards to Bahá'u'lláh is that while some could argue that He may have been aware of ths prophecy and set out to intentionally fulfill it - He was actually taken on this journey as a Prisoner. Not His choice.
"In that day also He shall come even to thee from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain".
Micah 7: 12
he shall come from Assyria.
At that time Assyria was a large area. Bahá'u'lláh and His family lived in the part that was Persia, now Iran, in the city of Tehrán.
and from the fortified cities
Bahá'u'lláh was banished from city to city: After being released from the Síyáh-Chál dungeon in Tehrán in 1852 He, His family and companions had only a short time before being sent to the fortified city of Baghdád. While living in Baghdád, He gained such a large following that the enemies where shocked. Right away He was banished again, this time to the fortified city of Istanbul (Constantinople at the time). Again He amazed people with His insight and profound knowledge.
The Governor of the city refused many times to fulfill the orders that he received to banish Him again. Finally forced to follow orders, Bahá'u'lláh again was banished to the fortified city of Adrianople (now Edirne) in Turkey. Each time the walk was in winter and in mountainous areas.
The authorities urged the people to humiliate Bahá'u'lláh on the way, but the opposite occurred. He was honored and praised, and shown respect everywhere, until He was finally sent to the most horrific of all places, the fortress of 'Akká, where it was expected that He would succumb to the terrible conditions. The honor and welcome that He had received in other cities did not appear. For a period of two years He went
through hard times, but finally was released to better living conditions, and given great honor, however still a prisoner.
and from the fortress even to the river,
It was while in Baghdád that the Tigris river became a special place, as Bahá'u'lláh crossed it to the Ridván Garden. This day was the fulfillment of prophecy, as that was when Bahá'u'lláh declared to those around Him, His Station as the Manifestation of God. The irresistible Force of God carried Bahá'u'lláh to infinite wonders that day, as all the prophecies of all the religions were realized. It was April 21, 1863.
and from sea to sea,
After His banishment in Baghdád, His exile was by way of the Black Sea. Still a prisoner He crossed the Black Sea from Sinope on His way to Constantinople (Istanbul). After the banishment in Adrianople (Edirne), He crossed the Mediterranean Sea from Gallipolis in Turkey, embarking at Alexandria, Egypt, then on to the fortress of 'Akká, the most desolate of cities, (In Israel).
and from mountain to mountain,
The time in Baghdád was turbulent with opposition. Bahá'u'lláh to protect His family and companions went to the Kurdistan mountains. There He lived in poverty, but the area was magnetized by His presence. The news of this wonderful figure captured the countryside. After two years, He was persuaded to return to Baghdád.
The other mountain was in Israel, Mount Carmel, where He had docked before His final journey to 'Akká. Later He had a chance to return to Mount Carmel, to pitch His tent. Here He wrote the 'Tablet Of Carmel', surrounded by pilgrims looking for the return of Christ to descend from heaven. Now it is the headquarters of the Bahá'í Faith.
New Testament prophesies of the Baha'i dispensation
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us" they said "when will this happen and what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age. Jesus answered.... when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation' spoken of through the prophet Daniel... immediately after the distress of those days 'the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
Jesus was referring to Daniel 12:11 an "end time" prophecy in which we read
"From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1290 days.
Baha'u'llah, founder of the Baha'i Faith, declared his mission in the year 1863, which coincides with the year 1280 of the Muslim calendar. Mohammed declared his mission 10 years prior to the establishment of the Muslim Calendar. The declaration of Baha'u'llah occurred exactly 1290 years after Mohammad declared his mission.
Three Days of Denial
The year 1844 or 1260 of the Islamic calendar coincides with the completion of three eras of Biblical prophecy:
The 2520 year Grand Gentile (677 BC - 1844)
The 2300 year Grand Sanctuary Era (457 BC - 1844)
The 1260 year Gentile Era (622-1844 / 0-1260 (Muslim calendar)
Within each of these prophecies is contained information concerning the three dispensations that have occurred since Christ, namely those of Mohammad, the Bab and Baha'u'llah. The failure by Jews and Christians to recognize the validity of these three manifestations is illustrated in various ways through New Testament accounts of events that prophetically parallel the history of progressive revelation since the time of Christ.
Referring to the end of the age Jesus told his disciples:
Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back; whether in the evening or at midnight or when the rooster crows or at the dawn. If he comes suddenly do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you I say to everyone: Watch!
Two days later during the last supper Jesus used very similar language when he predicted Peter's denial.
I tell you the truth... today - yes tonight- before the rooster crows twice you yourself will deny me three times .
By using this "end times" language, Christ transformed his prediction of Peter's denial into a prophecy of the church's denial of three subsequent manifestations of God.
Later that evening Jesus took his disciples to Gethsemane and asked them to "Stay here and keep watch" while He went to a place in the garden where He could be alone to pray. In spite of their nervousness over Christ's impending arrest the disciples fell asleep. Christ interrupted His prayers to wake them, not once but three times. Three times Christ went away to be with his Father and three times he returned, only to find his followers asleep.
"Simon... are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak".
Even though all of Christ's disciples who were with Him in the garden had fallen asleep, Jesus directed his admonition to Peter, the rock "on which I will build my church". In doing so was Christ warning members of the future Christian church not to be asleep at the time of his return in the form of subsequent Manifestations? Three times?
After Christ's resurrection the book of John, chapter 21 records a most unusual discussion between Jesus and Peter.
"Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these"? "Yes Lord," he said, "you know that I love you". Jesus said, "Feed my lambs"
Three times Jesus asked the question, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" Three times Peter answered ", Lord, you know that I love you". Three times Christ commanded Peter to "take care of" or "feed my sheep". Then Jesus added:
"I tell you the truth, when you were younger, you dressed yourself and went where you wanted but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go".
Christ was warning Peter (the Church) that as time passed, the Church would come under control of those who would lead it down a path which its founder would not have approved of. Why did the warning come after three commands to Peter to care of Christ's followers? Was Christ asking the church to confirm its commitment to him by recognizing his spiritual return three times even as Peter was acknowledging the spiritual presence of the resurrected Christ?
Betrayal, Denial & Doubt
The actions of Judas, Peter and Thomas during the unfolding of the Christian revelation, symbolize the actions of humanity's response to progressive revelation and subsequent manifestations .
Judas' betrayal resulted in Christ's arrest and crucifixion. Judas' actions represented the Jews of Jesus' day who welcomed Christ on palm Sunday, in anticipation of political deliverance from the Romans, only to betray him shortly after by calling for His crucifixion.
Shortly after the arrest of Jesus, Peter denied knowing Christ because he feared he too would be arrested and risked loosing his life. Peter, the representative of the future Christian Church denied Christ three times just as modern Christians have denied the validity of manifestations who have appeared since Christ three times. The reason is the same. Christians fear that by acknowledging these manifestations, they reject Christ and will therefore lose their eternal life.
Thomas doubted that Jesus had returned after his death as a resurrected being and demanded
physical proof before he would believe. Thomas doubted that Jesus was in their midst just as modern day Christians have doubted the spirit of Christ was in our midst in the person of Baha'u'llah. Their reasons are
the same as Thomas'. Just as Thomas wanted the physical proof of Jesus wounded hands and side, so modern day Christians expect the physical return of Jesus Christ.
Christ's explanation that Elijah had returned in the person of John the Baptist is a clear example, completely contained in the Bible, of an expectant people failing to recognize the re-appearance of a promised prophet because the re-appearance was spiritual in nature rather than physical. Jesus must have been painfully aware of the possibility that humanity would fail to recognize future manifestations, just as many had failed to recognize Him and the spiritual return of the prophet Elijah. He tried many times to warn us.
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Mat. 12: 38-40
Many believe that Jesus was making a prophetic statement about his own death and resurrection but Jesus didn't spend three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. He was crucified and died on Friday before 6 PM and rose early on Sunday morning... at best two days and two nights.
Baha'is believe that the three days and nights Christ referred to were the nights preceding the dawn of three new "days" or dispensations of revelations which would come after his death; those of Mohammed, the Bab and Baha'u'llah.
"Where-unto shall I liken the Kingdom of God? It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." Luke 13:21 KJV
What are the three measures in which are hidden the leaven of God's kingdom? Could they be the three revelations that have occurred since Christ?
Jesus answered them " Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days"
The temple was a temporary dwelling for God among his people, and symbolized a time when God would establish his Kingdom on earth and dwell permanently among his people. Was Jesus telling us that the establishment of God's Kingdom on earth would come about after three days? Could these days be the dawning of three revelations to come between the time of Christ's crucifixion and the establishment of God's kingdom on earth.
The Bible tells us that when the promise of Christ's return is fulfilled that he would come bearing a New Name in the same way that Elijah returned bearing the new name "John the Baptist."
To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it Revelation 2:17
He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new
Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name
Say, Oh followers of the Son! Have ye shut out yourselves from Me by reason of My Name?
Baha'u'llah "Letter to the Christians of the World"
The Nature of Christ's resurrection
Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?" And he said, "Who are you Lord"? And He said, "I am Jesus,"
For I (Paul) delivered to you as of the first importance what I also received , that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me.
1 Corinthians 15:3-8
If Paul saw "a light" and "heard a voice" during his experience with the resurrected and ascended Christ, and since he includes his experience with all the other post resurrection appearances, what does this imply about what the other disciples saw?
(The Spirit of Truth by Dann May)
Baha'i position on Jesus & Salvation
As to the position of Christianity, let it be stated without any hesitation or equivocation that its divine origin is unconditionally acknowledged, that the Sonship and Divinity of Jesus Christ are fearlessly asserted, that the divine inspiration of the Gospel is fully recognized.
For the Faith of Baha'u'llah -- if we would faithfully appraise it-- can never, and in no respect of its teachings, be at variance, much less in conflict, with the purpose animating, or the authority invested in the Faith of Jesus Christ.
.... those who turned toward the Word of God (Jesus) and received the profusion of His bounties- were saved from this attachment and sin, obtained everlasting life, were delivered from the chains of bondage and attained to the world of liberty.
This is the true sacrifice: the offering of oneself, even as did Christ, as a ransom for the life of the world.
No man can obtain everlasting life, unless he embraceth the truth of this inestimable, this wondrous and sublime (Baha'i) Revelation.
"body is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body."
1 Corinthians 15:42-44
Some other topics and questions
Characteristics of the Antichrist
Denies that Jesus is the Christ 1 John 2:22
Denies that Jesus came in the flesh 1 John 4:3, 2 John 1:7
Former Christians 1 John 2:19
Already in the world during the
writing of the epistles of John 1 John 2:19
Other Religions in the Bible
"other sheep I have which are not of this fold" John 10:16
Wise men Magos or magi - Zoroastrians Matthew 2:1-2
(Cyrus 600-529 BC.) Issued first decree in 536 BC. "His Anointed" Isaiah 45:1
(Darius 558-485 BC) Daniel 6:25-28 recognized the God of the Jews
There is no evidence available to the writer to suggest that the Zoroastrian religion was established among descendents of Abraham, however its significance in terms of progressive revelation and the effect that Zoroastrian leaders had on the history of the people of Israel are worth noting,. It is generally believed that Zoroastrianism came into existence around 600 B.C., although some theories suggest it was established much earlier, and that three prominent Persian kings who were Zoroastrians had a profound effect on the history of Israel. Between 600 and 400 B.C. Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes ruled an empire which had previously captured and enslaved the nation of Israel. Under the direction of these rulers Israel was restored as a nation, encouraged to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple and to eventually re-settle the Holy Land.
The Zoroastrians believed in freedom of religion and valued knowledge of the other cultures. The Magi who visited Christ at His birth, were in all probability Zoroastrian priests who had become aware of Christ's birth through in depth study of astronomy.
Prophecies of other religions about the Baha'i Faith
Twelve Stars: Eleven Imams & The Bab Rev 12: 1-2
Woman clothed with the sun and moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.
In the book of Dinkird which was written by Zarathustra, who founded the Zoroastrian Faith over 500 years before the birth of Christ, and over 1000 years before the establishment of Islam, we read: When 1260 years have passed from the Arabian Faith, it will be in such a state that if it is shown to its Messenger, He will not recognize it. At this time Hushidar will appear and the land of Iran will again become the land of Faith, to lead the world... then the Iranians will kill Him
By Ed VandenDool