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The Baha’i Faith, Christian Prophecy, and the Promised Peace

Maya Bohnhoff | Apr 20, 2024

PART 1 IN SERIES Baha’is, the United Nations, and World Unity

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

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Maya Bohnhoff | Apr 20, 2024

PART 1 IN SERIES Baha’is, the United Nations, and World Unity

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

On a religious forum I ran across an essay on Baha’is and the United Nations in which a woman I’ll call “Jen” made a series of statements about Baha’i belief that she claimed she had drawn from  the 1985 message from the Universal House of Justice, The Promise of World Peace. 

I responded that, while she was entitled to her opinion about the relative merits of peace on Earth and goodwill toward all, her essay contained factual errors that she might want to rectify, if for no other reason than that anyone who goes to Baha’i sources will know they are untrue, and may feel she’d been misleading. 

RELATED: In An Increasingly Interdependent World, We Must Unite

I assured her that I knew her intent was to set forth the truth as she saw it, but I was hoping she’d retract or correct her misstatements like this one – her claim that Baha’is:

eagerly await the man who will usher in global peace (known to Christians as Antichrist), and hold as one of their central missions the establishment of a united global commonwealth that will control all things political, financial, and spiritual.

Not so. Baha’is believe that the one ordained by God to usher in global peace has already come. 

We believe Baha’u’llah (which means, in Arabic, “the Glory of God”), who is the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, to be that person. 

He is spoken of in Christian scripture not just as the Glory of God, but as the Spirit of Truth, and the Counselor. Baha’is believe his is the “new name” the Christ Spirit refers to in this prophetic New Testament passage from Revelation 3:12:

Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 

Baha’is are not waiting for anyone or anything. Instead, we are actively working for the Kingdom of God to permeate human society as described by Christ in the Gospel of Matthew, verse 13:

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches. …The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.

This expectation that world peace will be brought about through God’s will goes back millennia to prophecies in the Old Testament such as this one from Isaiah 2:25:

And it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and the nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us his ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the Law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their swords into pruning hooks:  nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  O house of Jacob, come, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

It seems clear, from all of the Judeo-Christian scriptures, that peace will be established by God, not an antichrist. Isaiah clearly says that this peace will be the result of the Law and the Word of God going out from Zion. 

I asked Jen if she was aware that the global center of the Baha’i world is on the slopes of Mount Carmel – the Mountain of the Lord – in Haifa, Israel. It is there because Baha’u’llah stood upon the slopes of Carmel and designated it as the center of his Faith decades before Israel became a nation.

RELATED: Trustworthiness: the Cause of Peace, Security, and Tranquility

Another relevant passage from Isaiah’s prophetic works (Isaiah 9:6-7) is this one, in which he makes clear who and what will cause this change in the fortunes of mankind:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end …  The zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall perform this.

Isaiah is emphatic: “The Zeal of the Lord of Hosts,” not an antichrist, will establish the world’s peaceful order. 

Baha’u’llah, who, with his own hand designed the governing administration of the Baha’i Faith, answered Isaiah’s prophecy directly and clearly, so there would be no confusion about the source of his authority:

The time foreordained unto the peoples and kindreds of the earth is now come. The promises of God, as recorded in the holy Scriptures, have all been fulfilled. Out of Zion hath gone forth the Law of God, and Jerusalem, and the hills and land thereof, are filled with the glory of His Revelation. Happy is the man that pondereth in his heart that which hath been revealed in the Books of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Meditate upon this, O ye beloved of God, and let your ears be attentive unto His Word, so that ye may, by His grace and mercy, drink your fill from the crystal waters of constancy, and become as steadfast and immovable as the mountain in His Cause.

All Baha’is happily ponder what is revealed in the Book of Isaiah, and are happier still to have seen that revelation fulfilled.

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Comments

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  • Bill Carsley
    Apr 23, 2024
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    Thank you for your reply, Maya. I look forward to reading your fuller treatment of this topic in a future article.
  • Bill Carsley
    Apr 21, 2024
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    Maya, I'm a Christian who agrees with you that popular prophetic theories about a future Antichrist promoting peace on earth and seeking to establish a New World Order is bad biblical interpretation. But I do find concerning the many Baha'i voices that have promoted the idea of a future Baha'i theocracy. Sen McGlinn's writings highlight that unfortunate history, though he interprets the Baha'i vision differently. Do you have an opinion on that subject?
  • Bill Carsley
    Apr 21, 2024
    -
    Maya, I'm a Christian who agrees with you that popular prophetic theories about a future Antichrist promoting peace on earth and seeking to establish a New World Order is bad biblical interpretation. But I do find concerning the many Baha'i voices that have promoted the idea of a future Baha'i theocracy. Sen McGlinn's writings highlight that unfortunate history, though he interprets the Baha'i vision differently. Do you have an opinion on that subject?
    • Apr 22, 2024
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      Thanks for your excellent question. I hope to go into more depth on this in a future article, but I have tried to offer a thumbnail sketch of my understanding of the subject in Comments.
    • Apr 22, 2024
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      The administration Baha’u’llah established is for Baha’is & those who are ready & willing to abide by Baha’i Law. Baha’i Scripture makes it clear that we can’t impose that Law on the unwilling. The purpose of faith is to transform hearts & strengthen the spiritual nature of those it touches so that they willingly abide by guidance they have come to see as beneficial—whether or not they accept its Divine origin. There are places where secular governments rely on Baha’i institutions for some things. Places where justice or socio-economic development or education are organized by Baha’is because they were asked ...to assume that role by the community. This is an organic process; our part is to keep kneading the leaven into the dough.
      Read more...
  • Bill Carsley
    Apr 21, 2024
    -
    Hello Maya, I'm a Christian who agrees with you that popular prophetic theories about a future Antichrist promoting peace on earth and seeking to establish a New World Order is bad biblical interpretation. But I do find concerning the many Baha'i voices that have promoted the idea of a future Baha'i theocracy. Sen McGlinn's writings highlight that unfortunate reality, though he interprets the Baha'i vision differently. Do you have a take on it?
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