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Jesus Christ: The Names of God

Maya Bohnhoff | Jan 2, 2014

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Maya Bohnhoff | Jan 2, 2014

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

Torah, Bible and KoranThis is Part 5 in the Jesus Christ in His Own Words series:

All the teaching of the Prophets is one; one faith; one Divine light shining throughout the world. Now, under the banner of the oneness of humanity all people of all creeds should turn away from prejudice and become friends and believers in all the Prophets. As Christians believe in Moses, so the Jews should believe in Jesus. As the Muhammadans believe in Christ and Moses, so likewise the Jews and the Christians should believe in Muhammad. Then all disputes would disappear, all then would be united. Baha’u’llah came for this purpose. – Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 40.

Earlier in this series I mentioned being raised with the belief that Jesus Christ was God’s final word to the world. Yet, when I searched the scriptures myself, they challenged that belief at every turn. In the same way that Moses foretells Christ’s appearance in the words “a Prophet like Me” (something that makes understanding exactly what sort of Prophet Moses was pretty important), Christ also speaks of future manifestations of the Divine Light.

Specifically, Jesus speaks of the “Spirit of Truth”, whom He also refers to as “another Counselor” or “another Helper” in several places in the Gospel record. In John 16:12-15, He says:

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

The Finding of Moses

The Finding of Moses by Nicholas Poussin

Reading this carefully, I was struck by what Christ was saying about this Spirit of Truth: that He would possess “all that the Father has” just as Christ, Himself did. This passage essentially says that “God will raise up a Prophet like Me,” at some future time, who will speak God’s word, prophesy, glorify Me and declare My message. In another passage (John 14: 26), Christ says the Spirit of Truth will “bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you”—just as Christ reminded those He taught of Moses’ teachings, often quoting Moses when He was asked to impart divine wisdom.

Thus, God continues to speak to mankind through these precious Souls, like He has spoken, as Peter said, “since the world began”. God has never stopped speaking to mankind; mankind simply has selective hearing.

The Book of Revelation contains further confirmation of the idea that God sheds on us the same Light through different Lamps. The Spirit John writes of in the Apocalypse refers to Himself as the “Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last” (compare to Krishna’s “I am the beginning, the middle, and the end of all things”). He also makes a puzzling prophecy:

He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. 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 out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Revelation 3:12.

Here, Christ does say he will have a different name, a new name. And while I, too, was taught that Jesus is the name of God, there is no verse in any book of the Bible that states that, nor does Jesus so much as suggest it.

When my Baha’i friend announced to me that “Christ has returned and His new name is Baha’u’llah,” I was outraged, terrified, stunned, fascinated, and, finally, galvanized, because I no longer found Christ’s prophecy puzzling. The new name, Baha’u’llah wrote, was “the Glory of God” — “Baha’u’llah” in Arabic, “Baha-ela”, in Hebrew. And the New Jerusalem, the City of God, was His book — the body of God’s teachings, renewed with the appearance of each Messenger.

I have come to believe, just as Moses referred to a future Manifestation of God when He spoke of “a Prophet like Me”, that Christ refers to His return in a different human form with a new name — the same Light in a different Lamp.

Scriptures tell us that God wants us to obey Him out of love, not out of fear. Wouldn’t this amazing, loving God Christ reveals show that love from the beginning that hath no beginning to the end that hath no end? Would God reveal Himself briefly only once in history and then fall silent? Christ says no.

I began this series by noting that I followed the thread of revelation from Moses to Christ and beyond in trying to disprove Baha’u’llah. What I found instead was evidence to support Baha’u’llah’s claim to be “another Helper” sent from God, another Manifestation of the Spirit of Truth. I invite readers to read Christ’s words about the Spirit of Truth and prayerfully ponder their connection to the relationship between Moses and Christ.

What reason have we to believe that God’s revelation will ever end, least of all when we need it most?

Read the previous article in the Jesus Christ series – Jesus Christ: The Way of God

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