Used with Permission some text emphasized -Joel Smith- 44 Para

Here's the story. Two thousand years ago the Jews were expecting to see one of their most beloved prophets return from heaven. They were looking for the return of the Old Testament Prophet Elijah. Here's why. According to the Old Testament account, about eight hundred and fifty years before Christ was born, Elijah the Prophet had ascended "into heaven" in a "chariot of fire." (see: II Kings 2) Then, about four hundred years later, the Prophet Malachi promised that Elijah will return from heaven before the Christ appears (72:1)

Malachi's prophecy reads "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and... all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch... And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do (this), saith the LORD of hosts.... Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD" (Malachi 4:1-5) (72:2) see

The Jewish religious leaders of Jesus' day were well aware of this Malachi prophecy. That's why they asked how Jesus could possibly be the Messiah since it was obvious that Elijah had not yet returned from heaven. Jesus replied: "They are right. Elijah must come and set everything in order.... In fact, he (Elijah) already has come, but he wasn't recognized, and was badly mistreated by many... Then the disciples realized he was speaking of John the Baptist." (Matthew 17:10-13 (Living Bible - Catholic Edition) also see: Mark 9:11-13) (72:3) see

Jesus clearly taught that John the Baptist truly was the fulfillment of Malachi's 'return of Elijah from heaven' prophecy (72:4)

Notice that Malachi doesn't say anything about Elijah's return being in some mysterious, unrecognizable way. Neither does he say that some other man is going to be born hundreds of years later and that this man will somehow be the return of Elijah. Malachi clearly says that it's going be Elijah himself who is going to return. That's not too difficult to visualize. Elijah ascended into heaven in a chariot of fire. And he's going to come back. Visibly. Physically. In the flesh. Or so they thought (72:5)

According to Jesus, however, these people were mistaken. Jesus said that John was the fulfillment of this prophecy. How could this have been possible? No one had seen Elijah literally, physically descend from heaven in the flesh as most expected. Instead, Jesus explained that Elijah's return was the appearance of yet another totally separate and distinct Prophet of God. (Yes, Jesus did refer to John as a Prophet.) (72:6)

The return of Elijah prophecy had been fulfilled. But, it was fulfilled unexpectedly, in a way that people could not see and in a way that could not be objectively verified. Elijah had returned from heaven in the "spirit". John went "on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah." (Luke 1:17 (KJV)) (72:7) see

The same is also true with the other half of Malachi's prophecy. This section clearly states that both John's and Jesus' enemies would be totally burned up and shall be ashes under the soles" of their feet... (72:8)

Malachi wrote that their opponents "shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up... it shall leave them neither root nor branch... ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet..." (72:9)

Ask yourself, in what way did Jesus or John ever burn up anyone like "chaff" "with unquenchable fire" to the extent that they were "ashes under the soles of (their) feet..."? Like the 'return of Elijah prophecy' these associated 'burning up their enemies' prophecies were also not fulfilled in any kind of literal, physical way. Just like the unexpected fulfillment of the 'return of Elijah prophecy', these 'burning up' prophecies were also fulfilled in a non-literal, spiritual manner (73:1)

Later, John the Baptist speaking of Jesus, said: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and (with) fire: Whose fan (is) in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Matthew 3:11) (73:2) see

Malachi said that the Christ's enemies "shall be stubble (chaff): and the day that cometh shall burn them up...." And here John the Baptist said that Jesus "will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Once again, none of these prophecies were fulfilled in any kind of literal, visible, verifiable way (73:3)

Have people today learned anything from these important lessons from the past? Two thousand years ago people were expecting to see a spectacular, supernatural event which no one could mistake or misinterpret. However, what they actually got was the appearance of an entirely new Prophet... one who appeared with the same "spirit and power" of God which had, in centuries past, also descended upon Elijah. Is there a lesson to be learned from these examples that most modern Christians still haven't grasped yet? (73:4)

Today we find that most Christians believe the exact same things that the Jews believed two thousand years ago. Back then, the Jewish people were expecting to see the visible return of Elijah from heaven who would burn up his enemies like chaff. Today we find that most Christians are also expecting to see the visible return of Jesus from heaven who is also going to burn up his enemies like chaff. Jesus informed us that the Jews of his era were dead wrong. What's the difference between then and now? (73:5)

God's principles governing how the Prophets return from heaven have been clearly explained- twice. Both Jesus and Elijah came down from heaven... although not in the way that most people expected. Jesus' coming down from heaven the first time he appeared was not a fleshly occurrence. Neither was John's (73:6)

Today we have the identical situation that we had 2000 years ago (73:7)

Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Baha'i Faith, explicitly claims to be the fulfillment of the 'return of Christ from heaven' prophecies. Could Baha'u'llah's claims actually be true? Ask yourself, did Baha'u'llah come down from heaven? Yes! In exactly the same way that John the Baptist and Jesus came down from heaven two thousand years ago. Baha'u'llah came unexpectedly, like a thief in the night, to a people who were fast asleep... just as promised. The long promised Messiah of the "last days" truly has come.. (73:8)

To Build the Kingdom (75:0)

The Kingdom is now being established on the earth because Christ has returned: (75:1)

1.".. and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose." (isa 35:1-2) (75:2) see

2."He will feed His flock like a shepherd.." (isa 109:11) (75:3) see

3."In that day.. he shall come.. from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and.. According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt (40 years) will I shew unto him marvelous things." [Coming out.. Egypt = 40yrs & Bahá'u'lláh's tenure = 40 yrs. ] (mic 7:12-15) (75:4) see

4."Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.." (rev 21:3) (75:5) see

"Christ will come like Lightning": Christians use the prophecy in Matthew about 'lightning' to indicate Him coming instantly, but disregard its counterpart in Luke. It is helpful to see them together: (75:6) 81

From Matthew 24:27: "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." (75:7) see

From Luke 17:24-26: "For the Son of Man in his day will be like lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other."But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation (class of people)". Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man." (see Note above) (75:8) see

House on top of Mountain (75:9)

But in the last days it shall come to pass, [that] the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. (mic 4:1) (75:10) see

And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (mic 4:2) (75:11) see

And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (mic 4:3) (75:12) see

The Universal House of Justice, the administrative head of the Bahá'í Faith presently resides on Mt. Carmel in the Holy Land."The Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh must in no wise be regarded as purely democratic in character inasmuch as the basic assumption which requires all democracies to depend fundamentally upon getting their mandate from the people is altogether lacking in this Dispensation." (wob 153:1) (75:13) see

"Nor can the Bahá'í Administrative Order be dismissed as a hard and rigid system of unmitigated autocracy or as an idle imitation of any form of absolutistic ecclesiastical government, whether it be the Papacy, the Imamate or any other similar institution, for the obvious reason that upon the international elected representatives of the followers of Bahá'u'lláh has been conferred the exclusive right of legislating on matters not expressly revealed in the Bahá'í writings..

The abolition of professional priesthood with its accompanying sacraments of baptism, of communion and of confession of sins, the laws requiring the election by universal suffrage of all local, national, and international Houses of Justice, the total absence of episcopal authority with its attendant privileges, corruptions and bureaucratic tendencies, are further evidences of the non-autocratic character of the Bahá'í Administrative Order and of its inclination to democratic methods in the administration of its affairs." (wob 153:2) (75:14) see

Explicit Acts of returned Christ (82:0)

There are many explicit actions predicted in John chapters 14-16. A brief sampling of the fulfillment by Bahá'u'lláh is given below for each criterion: (82:1)

Unseal the Books: (82:2)

"O Daniel, shut up the Words and Seal the Book, even to the Time of the End.." (Dan 12:4) (82:3) see

".. then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?" "And he (the Lord) said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and Sealed till the Time of the End".. (Daniel 12:8-9) (82:4) see

"And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a Book that is Sealed.. which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed." (Isaiah 29:11) (82:5) see

".. judge nothing before the time until the lord come, who.. will bring to light 'the hidden things of darkness'.".. (I Cor 4:5) (82:6) see

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 show you things to come. (John 16:13) (82:7) see

[These seals would be opened only by the Spirit of Truth at His Second Coming] (82:8)

Feed His Flock with Teachings: (82:9)

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:11) (82:10) see

[His Flock has received approximately 100 Volumes of Teachings on almost every conceivable Subject] (82:11)

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