Understanding Prophecy - 1st Coming of Christ - David Yamartino - 9 Para

CHAPTER 8:
THE RETURN OF CHRIST

(59:1)

Having demonstrated in the previous seven chapters, by the authority of the Bible, that prophecies can only be understood after they have been fulfilled and only by those who already believe, I would like to return to the theme of the introduction to this book. (59:2)

On the day that Jesus approached Peter and Andrew, as they were casting a net into the sea, Jesus had come to them with no outward signs that He was the Messiah. His name was not Immanuel as promised by Isaiah (Isa 7:14), He was not a literal ruler (Mic 5:2) or king (Jer 23:5), Elijah had not literally appeared before His Coming (Mal 4:5), He did not sit upon a throne (Isa 9:7). (59:3) see

How fortunate were Peter and Andrew that the promises of the Bible had not become an obstacle to them. Jesus appeared in a manner that ran counter to everyone's expectations - His humble position in life, His call to self-sacrifice and love, His command to forgive even one's enemies, His emphasis on the life eternal over this mortal world, were unforeseen characteristics of the Messiah. The Coming of the Messiah was for the joy of the world, and there were some who simply responded to Him with joy (59:4)

The reality is, according to the Bible, that God carries out His Plan in ways that surpass our understanding. Though the claim that the Christ has already returned, and that the building of His Kingdom on earth is well underway, may seem impossible, it is no more impossible than that the Son of a carpenter was the Son of God (59:5)

And so, it is to the peoples of the world, in this day, that the opportunity is given, to respond with the joy befitting the Advent of the Holy One of God (59:6)

The Person whom I speak of is the Persian Nobleman of the 19th century, known to history as Baha'u'llah, the Glory of God. He appeared at a time when movements throughout the Christian world were confidently announcing Christ's imminent Return. Baha'u'llah's credentials were historic. He was a direct descendant of King David, fulfilling the ancient promise that the Messiah would sit upon David's throne. He willingly endured forty years of imprisonment and exile for proclaiming that He was the One promised to all religions. From His prison, He addressed letters to the world's kings, rulers, and religious leaders calling upon them to hearken to the Word of God, to establish peace, and to accept Him. He warned them in explicit language of the consequences of their actions, and predicted their fates with an accuracy that can only be understood as prophetic. Thousands were called upon to give their lives for Him, as the religious leaders and government arose to snuff out the new Faith. The farther He was exiled from His native land, the greater the number of those who recognized him and arose to teach His Faith. He had sacrificed the wealth, comfort and social position that were His by birthright. Though innocent of any crime, He was beaten, poisoned, stoned and maligned. Yet, He feared no one, and never wavered in His proclamation of the Word of God. He wrote extensively of the need to establish world peace, the unity of religions and races, the need for a universal language and script, the necessity for a supreme court for the entire world, the equality of women and men as well as many other far-sighted necessities for the establishment of a thriving, spiritual world civilization - the Kingdom of God on Earth. He called upon His followers to purify their hearts, to consecrate their lives to the betterment of the world, to prefer others before themselves, and to associate with all peoples and religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship (59:7)

All these are facts of history, open to everyone for examination (59:8)

There were many - and firsthand and eyewitness accounts are well documented - who responded to Baha'u'llah in the same manner that Peter and Andrew followed Jesus: they instantly believed and devoted their lives to Him. That same divine love, and that same surrender to that love is seen through the life of Baha'u'llah. And since that time, the Faith that He established has encompassed the planet, to the extent that it is now the second-most geographically widespread (after Christianity) religion in the world (1992 Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year) (59:9)

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Understanding Prophecy - 1st Coming of Christ - David Yamartino