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Jesus knew it was his destiny to be rejected and killed—but he said his death itself would be a sacrifice that would allow humanity to attain salvation.
He also told of a second advent, when God’s kingdom would indeed be established on Earth:
… I go away, and come again unto you. – John 14:28.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever …. – John 14:16.
Jesus and the book of Revelation also revealed signs of Christ’s second coming:
… the stars shall fall from heaven … then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds …. – Mathew 24:29-30.
… every eye shall see him …. – Revelation 1:7.
In the Bible we also find that Christ’s followers will be given a “new name.” – Revelation 3:12.
The Bible also advises Christians to be watchful, for “… the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night ….” Christ admonished, “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” In another place he said, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” – 2 Peter 3:10; Luke 12:40; Luke 21:36.
The Bible offers specific instructions as to how to identify a true prophet. One qualification is that the Prophet must be able to disclose things to come. For example, we read:
Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous?” And in another place it is written, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done …. – Isaiah 41:26, 46 9-10.
In 1 John we find another test that a “true spirit” must pass:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God …. – 1 John 4:1-4.
Jesus also declared that true prophets can be distinguished from false prophets by their “fruits”:
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. – Mathew 7:16-20.
The Bible also indicates that the mysteries of the establishment of God’s Kingdom will not entirely be understood until after the advent actually occurs. In the book of Daniel we find that God bids Daniel to “seal up the vision and prophecy.” – Daniel 9:24.
From the perspective of two millennia it is easy to appreciate the achievements of Jesus Christ. Today there are hundreds of millions of people who turn to him as their Lord and Savior. The growth and spread of Christianity is taken by many today as evidence of Christ’s divine power, a belief confirmed in the Baha’i writings. Abdu’l-Baha said:
Consider how Christ, alone and single-handed, with no helper or protector, with no legions or armies, and with the utmost meekness, raised aloft the banner of God before all the peoples of the world; how He withstood them; and how at last he subdued them all, even though outwardly he was crucified. Now, this is an absolute miracle which can in no wise be denied. Indeed, the truth of Christ stands in no need of further proof. – Some Answered Questions, newly revised edition, p. 114.
Today Christians readily accept a set of beliefs that were extremely challenging when Christ first taught them. It is important to appreciate that he not only fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament but also reinterpreted them, opening the door to new spiritual understandings.
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