To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

All research or scholarship questions
Baha'i Warrior
Posts: 753
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:07 am
Location: U.S.A.

To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:43 pm

(Note: This post is directed to any Christian friends that may be visiting this forum, but Baha'is are free to comment.)

As you know, Baha'u'llah, the prophet-founder of the Baha'i Faith, returns in the spiritual fulfillment of the prophecies of the major world religions, including Christianity. The "Kingdom of God" that you have been awaiting has finally come! It is perhaps not as materially glorious or triumphant than you thought it would be (and indeed certain prophesies such as the ones given in Revelations were not fulfilled literally), but just look at the accounts of the prophets of the Old Testament and you will see that when a Promised One reveals Himself, the majority miss Him because they are veiled from His truth on account of the importance that they have attached to the literal interpretation of prophesies!

Recall the story of Noah, how everyone with the exception of his family rejected Him (at least according to the literal interpretation of the story). God could make the return of His messenger instantly obvious to everyone on the planet if He wanted to (or at least every believer), but has He ever worked that way? No. Indeed, your forefathers thought that their promised one's return would be so clear that all the believers would instantly recognize Him, but this was never the case. So the first step in recognizing Christ's return (if He did indeed return), is admitting that God does not constrain Himself to work in the ways that men think He should work, or will work, for He is exalted above our human limitations. He didn't make it obvious to our forefathers; how much better are we than them that He should treat us any differently?

The Baha'i Faith teaches that when a seeker is searching, he should drop all preconceived beliefs and, with an open heart, investigate the claims made by the world religions.

The following is a provisional translation of an exerpt of one of Baha'u'llah's writings revealed during His visit to the Garden of Ridván (22 April 1863), close to Baghdad. He was there for twelve days. Here He declared that He was God's Messenger for today, and stated His mission. During one of these twelve days, Baha'u'llah revealed the Words of Jesus Christ Himself, intended especially for Christians.

Here is the provisional translation of this Tablet (though I think the translation itself is well done and effective). Again I encourage Christians to, before reading it, empty from their minds any the thoughts that might keep them from recognizing Christ's Words, such as that Baha'u'llah is a "false Prophet." Only through an open mind/heart will the seeker be able to determine, with the soul, that these, indeed, are Christ's own Words (I have marked Christ's words in red):

    Nuzzila fi al-Yawm ir-Ridwán (Revealed on the Day of Ridwán).
    _____________________________________________________

    This is the Day in which the Spirit [Jesus] proclaimeth from the zenith of heaven: “O Concourse of creation! Verily, the Sovereign of the world hath appeared and all that which was in the Kingdom of my Lord is fulfilled. Verily, the One Who was the beloved of my heart, the One who aided me in my Cause, hath come. Follow Him, and do not be of those who turn away. This is the Day in which all veils have been lifted and thy Lord, the Almighty, the Most Bountiful hath made His appearance. Because of His Advent, all that which I promised thee hath been perfected and fulfilled. Haste ye then to His resplendent, most luminous Beauty!...

    “O Priests! Tell the servants that they should not ring the bells any longer except in His Name the Gracious, the most Transcendent. This is the Day in which every thirsty one hath attained unto the river of everlasting life, and every eager one can behold the Beauty of the All Merciful. In this Day, every humbled one can attain dignity and every poor one wealth. The ailing can obtain healing, the deaf can hear His melody, and the blind have obtained sight. Render thanks unto God and be not of those who join partners with Him. The kingdom of God circleth around Him and it is because of His Love that I adorned the cross with my body. Verily, I rose from the dead to complete my mention of His Name amongst men. O people of the Gospel! Do not make mention of Me (Jesus) when you have turned away from my Father, the All- Glorious. It is His love that transformed the fire to be a light for Abraham. He that tarrieth after Him is in manifest error. Haste ye, therefore, to the river of mercy, flowing from the presence of your Lord, the All-Merciful. Beware lest ye deprive yourself of this gushing river. Verily, We have trained you for this Day. Peruse ye my words so that ye may obtain what my intention was in making mention of Him. Truly, I did not come but for His cause and I did not appear but to give the glad tidings of the advent of the Kingdom of God.”
    Thus doth command you the Spirit, Who sacrificed His spirit to give life to the world and so that He may manifest what the sublime Purpose is. He, verily, hath appeared in truth. Follow Him then, and adhere not to what ye possess of the accounts of ancient times.

    —Bahá’u’lláh


Source: http://bahaistudies.net/kf/ridwan.html#fn1

Ahsan_al_Hadees
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:46 am
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Ahsan_al_Hadees » Tue May 27, 2008 4:44 am

Hi Bahai Warrior,

Did Bahaullah explicitly claim to be the Promised Messiah? Any reference from Kitab-e-Aqdas?

Did he even claim to be a Prophet/messanger explicitly in any of his tablets?

Regards,
Ahsan

BritishBahai
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 1:21 pm
Location: UK

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby BritishBahai » Tue May 27, 2008 2:53 pm

Ahsan_al_Hadees wrote:Hi Bahai Warrior,

Did Bahaullah explicitly claim to be the Promised Messiah? Any reference from Kitab-e-Aqdas?

Did he even claim to be a Prophet/messanger explicitly in any of his tablets?

Regards,
Ahsan

Since youre muslim, you should read:

"Islam and the Bahai faith" by the famous scholar "Dr Moojan Momen"

its a fantastic and amazing book
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

Ahsan_al_Hadees
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:46 am
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Ahsan_al_Hadees » Tue May 27, 2008 3:46 pm

Dear British Bahai,

Thats a wonderful piece of advice. I am already working on it and am in touch with Dr Moojan as well.

Regards,
Ahsan

brettz9
Posts: 1360
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby brettz9 » Tue May 27, 2008 8:02 pm

Baha'u'llah's claim was quite clear. See for example: http://bahai-library.com/writings/bahaullah/tb/1.html#2 ...

The Bab too, even in the presence of the heir to the throne, boldly proclaimed:

"I am, I am, I am, the promised One! I am the One whose name you have for a thousand years invoked, at whose mention you have risen, whose advent you have longed to witness, and the hour of whose Revelation you have prayed God to hasten. Verily I say, it is incumbent upon the peoples of both the East and the West to obey My word and to pledge allegiance to My person."

(Dawn-Breakers, p. 315)

Brett

Ahsan_al_Hadees
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:46 am
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Ahsan_al_Hadees » Wed May 28, 2008 6:08 am

Dear Brett,

Again, can you specifically paste the reference/references where Bahaullah explicitly wrote that "I am the Promised Messiah" or "I am Jesus" or "I am the Prophet" or "I am the Messanger" as we see in the case of previous Prophets. Their claims are explicit not implicit.

Regards,
Ahsan

brettz9
Posts: 1360
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby brettz9 » Wed May 28, 2008 11:06 am

For starters, there is this:

I am the One Whom the tongue of Isaiah hath extolled, the One with Whose name both the Torah and the Evangel were adorned.

(Baha'u'llah, Súriy-i-Haykal)


Brett

Ahsan_al_Hadees
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:46 am
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Ahsan_al_Hadees » Thu May 29, 2008 4:06 am

Dear Brett,

Any reference from Kitab-e-Aqdas and Kitab-e-Iqan?

Do you know about the biblical verses which Bahaullah is referring to?

Regards,
Ahsan

brettz9
Posts: 1360
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby brettz9 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:17 am

As far as the Aqdas, by giving laws and equating them as coming from God, I think it should be more than clear that Baha'u'llah claims to be the Promised One. He does not state so explicitly here though, as this is His book of laws written for His followers, rather than an exegesis for non-believers.

While the Iqan ranks next in importance to the Aqdas and is an exegesis, the claim of Himself in the Iqan was more indirect, as Baha'u'llah's main purpose at that time was offering a proof of the Babi Faith for Muslims (yet He quotes from the Bible and states that "all the Scriptures and the mysteries thereof are condensed into this brief account."). Both Islam and the Baha'i Faith make clear the concept of progressive Revelation. At the beginning of His ministry, Baha'u'llah made His claim more indirectly, yet this gradually grew until in Adrianople (now Edirne), Baha'u'llah boldly proclaimed His mission to the kings and rulers of the world, and in such a challenging challenge, for a Prisoner no less. See http://bahai-library.com/writings/bahaullah/slh/ and http://bahai-library.com/index.php5?fil ... _bahaullah for some of these Tablets.

Anyhow, one book which is an exegesis and where Baha'u'llah does apparently explicitly outline His claims to be Him Who God Will Make Manifest, the Promised One expected by the Bab (as the Bab was, most immediately, the first of the Promised Ones expected by Islam), is the Kitab-i-Badi, but this is not yet translated into English. But as the quote I provided already makes clear (and many others if you read the context), Baha'ullah certainly claimed to be the Promised One of all religions. He may use the majestic "We", etc., but it is more than clear. And His interpreters also put this into clear language as well.

best wishes,
Brett

Martha Keltz
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:10 am

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Martha Keltz » Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:56 am

Dear Baha'i Warrior,

I do not know to what extent the following esoteric Christian teaching is known to Baha'is or whether or not it has been discussed in the past, but it seems to me that this major teaching of Rudolf Steiner (Ref. Lectures: "From Jesus to Christ" -- see RS Archives online) on the differences between Jesus and Christ would cast welcome light on many mysteries and difficulties.

In accordance with the teachings of the Anthroposophy or Spiritual Science given by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), Jesus was a reincarnated Master or Messenger of Christ, but was not the Christ or Messiah Himself. He prepared the bodily sheaths into which the Christ (Son of God) descended at the Baptism of John, Baptist, at the River Jordan. The Ego of Jesus withdrew from the sheaths at that time and the Christ descended into those sheaths. The physical body was then 30 years old. The Christ ("I AM") then walked the earth as a human being for three years before being crucified on Golgotha. At the death of Christ on the cross, when the Blood from the wounds flowed into the earth, Christ the Messiah entered into the Spirit of the Earth, and then and at the Resurrection, into humanity. The Resurrection was in the spiritual body (which somewhat resembled the physical body - recall that Mary Magdalene mistook Him for the gardener, and that the Disciples shared bread and fish with the Resurrected Christ, Ref. Gospel of John). The Return or Parousia occurred in the mid-twentieth century, beginning with the year 1933 and extending on into the future and increasing in power over time. Spiritual awareness, new revelation, would also have preceded the Parousia in time. This is not a physical return, but a spiritual return, in the sphere of the "life body" or "etheric body," so that Christ must be perceived spiritually, not physically. This calls upon us to develop spiritually, so as to be able to perceive Christ in the spiritual world. He came physically only once, but manifests continually, especially so since the onset of the Parousia in the mid-twentieth century.

If Baha'u'llah stated: "Jesus was not the only-begotten Son of God come down from Heaven, crucified and resurrected, nor the unique Savior," this would be "technically" correct. Not Jesus but Christ was/is the Savior or Messiah, and the Event of His Death and Resurrection is unique in history. Nothing like it before or since has ever occurred. Christ had never before been incarnate, for He is the Son of God and the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Whereas Jesus, who prepared the sheaths for the physical descent of Christ, was a Master, a great Messenger, who had reincarnated many times. Baha'u'llah would seem to me to be correct in referring to himself as like Jesus, as a Messenger of God, and in stating that he manifested Christ. But "manifest" does not mean to "be" in English.

Hoping this will be helpful,

Cordially,

Martha Keltz
Christian Seeker

Ahsan_al_Hadees
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:46 am
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Ahsan_al_Hadees » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:38 am

Dear Brett,

I have gone through all the links you provided. I could not see anywhere that Bahaullah is claiming explicitly. e.g. "I am the Prophet", "I am the Messanger" and "I am the Promised Messiah".

Sorry if I missed. Can you provide me with his explicit claim from any of his tablets/surahs?

Dear Martha! Are you differentiating between Jesus and Christ in terms of two personalities or in terms of two phases of life?

Regards,
Ahsan

Martha Keltz
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:10 am

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Martha Keltz » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:44 am

Ahsan_al_Hadees wrote:Dear Martha! Are you differentiating between Jesus and Christ in terms of two personalities or in terms of two phases of life?

Dear Ahsan,

Two different individualities or entities. Although this is only a comment on the use of language, I do not believe that Christ can be referred to as a "personality," although perhaps by the end of the three years, when He had become, through His sacrifice, fully human. However Jesus can be regarded as a personality.

These revelations or teachings regarding the preparation of the bodily sheaths by the spiritual world (Ref. Matthew 1) and Jesus, and the descent of the Christ, are very deep and have many sides, nuances or aspects that were offered or revealed throughout the entire lifework of Rudolf Steiner in many different books and lectures. It really requires thorough and long-term study for best understanding.

During the lifetime of Baha'u'llah we still see the influence of the Time Spirit or Zeitgeist, Gabriel. The regency of Michael as reigning Time Spirit began in 1879, but the Gabriel influence would still have extended somewhat beyond this time.

Martha

Ahsan_al_Hadees
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:46 am
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Ahsan_al_Hadees » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:21 pm

Dear Martha,

I searched on internet and found these websites

http://www.rudolfsteinerweb.com/Rudolf_ ... _Works.php

His Photographs

http://www.rudolfsteinerweb.com/Rudolf_ ... ctures.php

and the one you mentioned the RS Archives

http://www.rsarchive.com/CV/city.php?cvc=Karlsruhe-19

Regards,
Ahsan

Martha Keltz
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:10 am

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Martha Keltz » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:04 am

Dear Ahsan,

You've found it.

We need to find and search deeply within all genuine spiritual sources that can supplement and strengthen our religious beliefs and build unity and understanding between the different religions. We're being called upon to do much more and to understand much more. The answers are there, the higher truths are completely accessible to us, to an extent in our time as never before.

Abdu'l Baha: "Humanity has emerged from its former degrees of limitation and preliminary training. Man must now become imbued with new virtues and powers, new moralities, new capacities."

The Promise of the Counselor:

"These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you these things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." John 14:25.

If you have questions or would like to discuss anything from these sources, I'll be happy to be of help or assistance.

Martha

Ahsan_al_Hadees
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:46 am
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Ahsan_al_Hadees » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:44 am

Dear Martha,

You wrote:

We need to find and search deeply within all genuine spiritual sources that can supplement and strengthen our religious beliefs and build unity and understanding between the different religions.


Please tell me how such a philosophy can strengthen our religious beliefs and build unity and understanding between different religions.

You quoted John 14:25 which we the Muslims take as one of the prophecies of Holy Prophet Muhammad ( Peace and Blessings of Allah be on Him ) foretold in the Bible.

The Promised Comforter of the Gospel

The prophecy runs as follows:

"If ye love me, keep my commands. And I will pray to the Father and He shall give you another Comforter. That he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth." (John 14:15-17)

"But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.." (John 14:26)

Again:

"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." (John 16:7)

"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me." (John 16:12-14)

John 14:26 says that the Holy Ghost is the Comforter. This claim is contrary to the plain and unambiguous words of John 16:7, wherein Jesus says that his going away, i.e., the death of Jesus is inevitably necessary of the coming of the Comforter. The New Testament says that John was filled with the Holy Ghost even before he was born (Luke 1:14), and speaks of Jesus himself as receiving the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove (Matthew 3:16)

Thus, the Holy Ghost was wont to visit men before Jesus (as) as well as in his own time. To what, then is the reference in the words, "If I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you." Surely not to the Holy Ghost; for it is a matter of common knowledge that the Holy Ghost was co-existing with Jesus (as), and it would be sacrilegious to think for a moment that Jesus (as) was without the Holy Ghost. So, the Comforter was someone other than the Holy Ghost.

This also supports our assertion that there have been many interpolations in the existing Christian Bible. It is quite obvious that the Comforter cannot be the Holy Ghost, as Jesus (as) uses the pronoun "he" instead of "it" in connection with the Comforter.

Comforter Was To Bring Complete Teachings

According to the prophecy: The Comforter, the Spirit of truth, "will guide you into all truth".

The Holy Prophet Muhammad was the only prophet who claimed to have brought the complete teachings through the Holy Quran about which Devenport Says:

" The Quran is the general code of the Muslim world; a social, civil, commercial, military, judicial, criminal, penal and yet religious code; by it everything is regulated; from the ceremonies of religion to those of daily life; from salvation of the soul to the health of the body; from the rights of general community to those of society, from morality to crime, from punishment here to that of the life to come."

According to the prophecy: the Comforter would not speak of himself but "whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak". The spirit descended upon the Apostles at Pentecost was not the Comforter who should not speak of himself, for this spirit broke even the body in which it dwelt. "Me, I, my, we, ourselves" were words uttered by Peter, John, Phillip, James, and by twelve when they assembled together. Hence, the words of prophecy cannot be twisted to the Holy Ghost, which was given to them already as is clear from John 20:22 -- "And when he (Jesus) had said this, he breathed on then, and saith unto them. Receive ye the Holy Ghost."

Moreover, the Holy Ghost, being the third person of the Trinity, is a co-partner in the God-head and has a fair claim to at least one third of it. Why, then should it be reduced to the status of a recipient, hearing anything from any other person. It is, on the hand, the active agent imparting words to others who should communicate them to mankind. Obviously, the passage refers to a man inspired by God, who will transmit to others nothing beyond what is revealed to him. "He doth not speak of himself, but it is the word of God that is revealed to him" says the Holy Quran (53:4-5).

The Comforter is repeatedly spoken of in the Bible as the "Spirit of Truth" and it may be observed here in passing that the word Comforter cannot, by stretch of fancy, be twisted to fit in with the Holy Ghost, for nowhere in the Bible is the latter called the Spirit of Truth. Furthermore, Jesus speaks of Him as another Comforter. Jesus himself, of course, was one Comforter. The other Comforter foretold, therefore, must also be mortal like himself.

The Quranic picture is the same in this respect when it proclaims the advent of the Holy Prophet thus: "Qul Jaa'al Haqqo Wa Zahaqal Baatilo, Innal Baatila Kaana Zahooqa" -- Say, the Spirit of Truth is come and falsehood is vanished. (Al-Quran 17:82)

It is futile to object that the Holy Prophet was a man and not a "Spirit". The Bible itself has used the word "Spirit" in a large variety of senses, as for example: "The Spirit is willing but flesh is weak" where it signifies the spiritual part of man. Again, it is also used to stand for God, both in the Holy Quran and the Bible, as descending upon the righteous, and yet again it signifies a holy person: That which is born of the spirit is spirit". The Christian contention that the word "spirit" cannot apply to corporal being is therefore without basis.

Hadhrat Muhammad Cleared Jesus of All False Charges

Another function of the Comforter is: "He shall glorify me," which implies the presence of a human being to bear evidence. What the Holy Ghost can, at best, do is no more than to install into human minds. This, however, is anything but glorifying. Even granting, for the sake of argument, that the Holy Ghost did actually bear witness through human beings, the question arises whether he did purify Jesus (as) of the false charges laid at his door.
The Jews heaped curses upon him and alleged that he had died on the cross, which they regarded according to the Scriptures as an accursed death. Did the Christians, inspired by the Holy Ghost, clear him of this? No! On the contrary, they assisted the Jews in their blasphemous propaganda, by admitting his death on the cross. Furthermore, they imputed to him the most abominable offense, namely, that he called himself the son of God in the literal sense.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of God be upon him) alone fulfilled these prophetic words of the Gospel. He it was who emphatically pronounced the divine word: "I shall purify thee (O Jesus) of all the false charges imputed to thee by the disbelievers." (Al-Quran 3:56) How far the Holy Prophet succeeded in achieving this can be judged from the fact that every Muslim looks upon Jesus (peace be upon him) as the righteous servant of God, as His Prophet. Belief in Jesus forms a part of Muslim's faith.

Another characteristic of the Promised Comforter, as set forth in the Gospel, has proved another stumbling block to the Christians. "That he (the Comforter) may abide with you for ever" gives them the erroneous impression that the Comforter, in order to be immortal, must need be a "spirit" and not a human being, which betrays their ignorance of the Bible itself.

The very words of Jesus in this connection will suffice to remove this erroneous idea: "He shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you for ever", clearly indicate that the Comforter will abide for ever in a certain sense in which Jesus himself shall not.

As a matter of fact, when Jesus spoke of the cessation of his own life and the continuation of that of Comforter, he implicitly referred to the duration of their existence through their teachings and their spiritual influence on mankind.

When a Prophet is raised up for the reformation of a people, he is equipped with a two-fold weapon - a code of laws wherewith to regulate the life of man, and a personal magnetism exercising an ennobling influence upon whomsoever he may come in contact with. In both these respects, Jesus (as) has ceased to exist long since, while the Holy Prophet of Islam lives on to this day and shall live on for ever.

Jesus (as) came with a set of laws and spiritual force, whereby he effected a considerable reformation among his own people for a time. But, by and by the laws that were suited to the stage of society ceased to be of practical utility when found with the subsequent growth and development of that society, and the spiritual force that had wrought miracles of old, lost its efficacy and vanished. Thus arose the need for another Comforter who should bring with him a perfect law, not for a particular clan or clime but for the whole of the human race.

Civilization was, by this time, sufficiently grown up, to receive teachings which went far beyond the mental capacity of the Jews of his time. A perfect law to regulate the whole human society was thus required to replace the inadequate code of Jesus (as). Hadhrat Muhammad was raised to meet the need in reference to which the Holy Quran says: "And We have not sent thee but as an embodiment of mercy for all the worlds (i.e., for all peoples and all ages)". (Al-Quran 21:108)

Regards,
Ahsan

Martha Keltz
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:10 am

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Martha Keltz » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:56 pm

Dear Ahsan,

I cannot delve, with any prolonged detail, into such profound and spiritual subjects and meanings as "Comforter," "Holy Ghost" or "Holy Spirit" on an online discussion forum such as this, nor is my knowledge of the teachings of the Qu'ran sufficient. In order for me to begin to "tell" you how such a philosophy can strengthen unity of religions, you will need to study it or at least read some portions of it, such as "From Jesus to Christ," or, since this Gospel has been quoted, the lectures of RS on "The Gospel of John," then there could be some limited discussion of this online. Many teachings of RS require some knowledge of "basics," and there are several books referred to as the "basics," (see Archives) including "Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment."

Regarding the subject of the "Holy Spirit" this is one of the most difficult concepts and teaching that can be imagined, from whatever genuine source, and I'm sure you know one could spend the better part of a lifetime on this subject alone. Insofar as I understand, the Holy Spirit sustains and has always sustained physical and spiritual life as we know it. I believe what Christ Jesus is saying in John 16:7 is that His Death and Resurrection will be essential, all critical, from those moments in time onward, and that the nature of the Holy Spirit as a result of the Deed of Golgotha, often referred to in the spiritual scientific literature as the "Mystery of Golgotha," will change or be re-enlivened. Christ is saying that the Crucifixion and Resurrection are necessary; that these must happen, no matter how very difficult to understand, how painful to even begin to comprehend. The nature of the Comforter will then change; everything will be changed, empowered, re-enlivened. RS once said that if one could have perceived the Earth spiritually, at the moment of Christ's death on the cross, an immense change would have been seen within its spiritual "aura," for the Second God of the Holy Trinity, the Son of God, had entered into Earth and into humanity. Prior to these moments He dwellt outside of the Earth and outside of humanity. (The Laws of Moses were given from without, as Commandments. Now the Commandments must arise in our hearts and souls, from within, and be obeyed with complete, inner moral freedom; not dictated from without, but accepted inwardly, out of love.) All spiritual power, since that time, has arisen from the Deed of Golgotha.

Also said Christ, from John, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." One of the things was the distinction between Jesus and Christ. I think we need to bear considerably more now, however, in the third millennium after Golgotha, and after the onset of the Parousia. This is what Abdu'l Baha is saying in the quote noted in the previous post.

One more quote from John here, 21:25: "But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."

Regards,

Martha

brettz9
Posts: 1360
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby brettz9 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:59 pm

Hello Martha and all,

Just wanted to give you a belated welcome to the board.

We believe that there are often multiple meanings in the Scriptures, so if the Messenger of God, the Christ returned, is to say that there was a Resurrection or was not a resurrection, Christ was the Son of God or not a "son" of God, that He was crucified or was not crucified, that He was unique or not unique--all of these can be true depending on the interpretation.

It is argumentation--admittedly based on a commotion stirred up by God Himself but which we are given the choice to stop perpetuating--which keeps us from finding harmony among the religions, such as between Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the Baha'i Faith (and even among the essential teachings, now often distorted, but still inspirational, of Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and Hinduism).

warm regards,
Brett

brettz9
Posts: 1360
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby brettz9 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:19 pm

Oh, and besides my last post just now to Martha, I might add to Ahsan (sorry for the long delay), the quote I provided earlier in the thread is quite clear I'd say. Paragraph 35 and 88 of the Kitab-i-Aqdas do the same in so many words.

Here is another:

O followers of the Son! We have once again sent John unto you, and He, verily, hath cried out in the wilderness of the Bayán: O peoples of the world! Cleanse your eyes! The Day whereon ye can behold the Promised One and attain unto Him hath drawn nigh! O followers of the Gospel! Prepare the way! The Day of the advent of the Glorious Lord is at hand! Make ready to enter the Kingdom. Thus hath it been ordained by God, He Who causeth the dawn to break.


and another:

Say: O people! We have commanded you in Our Tablets to strive, at the time of the promised Revelation, to sanctify your souls from all names, and to purify them from all that hath been created in the heavens or on the earth, that therein may appear the splendours of the Sun of Truth which shineth forth above the horizon of the Will of your Lord, the Almighty, the Most Great. We have, moreover, commanded you to cleanse your hearts from every trace of the love or hate of the peoples of the world, lest aught should divert you from one course or impel you towards another. This, verily, is among the weightiest counsels I have vouchsafed unto you in the perspicuous Book, for whoso attacheth himself to either of these shall be prevented from attaining a proper understanding of Our Cause. To this beareth witness every just and discerning soul.

Ye, however, have broken the Covenant of God, forgotten His Testament, and at last turned away from Him Whose appearance hath solaced the eyes of every true believer in the Divine Unity. Lift up the veils and coverings that obscure your vision, and consider the testimonies of the Prophets and Messengers, that haply ye may recognize the Cause of God in these days when the Promised One hath come invested with a mighty sovereignty. Fear God, and debar yourselves not from Him Who is the Dayspring of His signs.


best wishes,
Brett

Martha Keltz
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:10 am

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Martha Keltz » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:21 pm

Dear Brett,

Thank you for your response. I respect all religions, believe that much is subject to interpretation and that dialogue between differing faiths and religions, and unity, are needed. I plan to study the Bahai faith further and am especially interested in learning more about its relationship with Islam. What is of most importance is how one's faith or beliefs are demonstrated in life, in goodness, in kindness to others, and in many other virtues and strengths.

However, the Crucifixion and Resurrection are not subject to interpretation in the New Testament, these are clearly described in all four Gospels. No true Christian would deny this, or believe that anything else could have been meant.

I'll close these communications now and hope that my suggestions for further study in Anthroposophy may prove fruitful.

Regards,

Martha

brettz9
Posts: 1360
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby brettz9 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:27 pm

Thank you for sharing with us your thoughts and we welcome any contributions or questions you may have.

However, the Crucifixion and Resurrection are not subject to interpretation in the New Testament, these are clearly described in all four Gospels. No true Christian would deny this, or believe that anything else could have been meant.


Human language is very limiting. You are probably aware of the blind men who are touching different parts of an elephant and arguing about what its features are? We believe that is what is happening with different religionists of the world today, and if we don't open ourselves to the possibility of different understandings, we cannot find Truth (which also always brings the other virtues of God such as Unity).

While we would certainly never deny that the Crucifixation took place, we do believe that reference in the Qur'an to Christ not having been crucified was true in the sense that His persecutors could not crucify His Spirit (not that a literally different person was crucified instead of Jesus). While a human being may wonder how God could word things within one Scripture or across different religions' scriptures in such a way as to flout our common (human) maxims of discourse (to use academic terminology), it is, as the Book of Job, so beautifully and powerfully indicates, not ours to question His mysterious ways. Thankfully, the "seal" of the prophecies has been broken and the differences made reconcilable by Baha'u'llah.

As far as the Resurrection, I recommend your reading http://bahai-library.com/file.php5?file ... tion_bible and/or http://bahai-library.com/file.php5?file ... turn_jesus . There is no doubt that the apostles emphasized the reality of the Resurrection, but we believe there was a reason for this, and that it was not to indicate a literally physical Resurrection.

all the best,
Brett

Martha Keltz
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:10 am

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Martha Keltz » Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:07 pm

Dear Brett,

Thank you and I will read what you have advised regarding Bahai resources on the Resurrection.

Yes (as I tried to indicate in my first post, however inadequately) the Resurrection would not be (was not) literally physical, but was of the spiritual or "etheric" body, etheric meaning the spiritual world closest to the physical and sustaining of the physical body and world - the elemental world. What happened to the physical body? - According to "The Fifth Gospel," by Rudolf Steiner, the physical body was received by the Earth during the earthquake of that time; the Earth opened up and received/"consumed" the physical body, then again closed; it had great need of this unprecedented and perfect physical body that had been so carefully developed down through the generations (Ref. Matthew 1). This is why the Hebrew people in ancient times closed themselves off from other groups and peoples and protected their bloodlines; after Jesus, and today, they no longer need to do this. The Earth is a living Being. The Parousia has recently occurred in the etheric world, beginning in the time of one of the darkest periods of human history, the twelve years between 1933-1945, and extends on into our own materialistic times, and of course beyond. There will also be, in the very distant future, a return in the astral world, and astral body, and then, even more distant in time, in the Ego. Each of these returns is like another "crucifixion" of Christ, requiring another Sacrifice.

So Anthroposophy or "Spiritual Science" offers new knowledge of these deepest Mysteries, and such new knowledge is needed by all humanity in our times. Real answers to real questions, as science provides.

I look forward to studying the resources you have suggested. It's difficult for me at this point, as I need to study further in the Bahai faith, and Islam, for other than somewhat one-sided contributions, from the side of Anthroposophy and of course Christianity, and it must be said, from what I understand of them thus far.

Martha

Martha Keltz
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:10 am

Re: To Any Christian Seekers on this Board

Postby Martha Keltz » Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:26 pm

I would like to add to this: a portion of Christ did not experience the Crucifixion. An aspect of the Cosmic Christ fled, Mark 14:51: "And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body; and they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked."

Christ departed from the body of Jesus before the body died on the cross, and this body cried out, then, to the departing Christ: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" - Matthew 27:46. "Eli, Eli, la'ma sa-bach-tha'ni?"


Return to “Discussion”