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Who speaks for the Creator? The Baha’i teachings say that the Creator sends messengers and prophets who deliver the word of God to humanity, such as Moses, Buddha, Christ, and now Baha’u’llah:
From time immemorial the divine teachings have been successively revealed, and the bounties of the Holy Spirit have ever been emanating. All the teachings are one reality, for reality is single and does not admit multiplicity. Therefore, the divine Prophets are one, inasmuch as They reveal the one reality, the Word of God. Abraham announced teachings founded upon reality, Moses proclaimed reality, Christ established reality and Baha’u’llah was the Messenger and Herald of reality.
That word of God – the powerful creative force which shapes reality – lives on in the holy scriptures of religion. But Christianity has become clouded by all sorts of speculations about the meanings inherent in the teachings of Jesus Christ – and those theological assumptions prevent the understanding and acceptance of the truth of the Baha’i Faith.
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In modern Christianity little now remains of the conviction that the only reliable source of guidance is the revelation of Jesus Christ. Even Christ’s statement on the subject from John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” – is taken not as an expression of the limitations of the human soul, but only as a kind of defiance of the claims of other great Faiths.
As the Gospel of John 1:14 also says, Jesus Christ is the word of God made flesh. This manifestation of the word of God in Jesus, born of the substance of God Himself, is “the way, the truth and the life.” But before appearing in any form, the word of God existed in perfect beauty and splendor, sanctified from time, everlasting and eternal: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God …” – John 1:1.
This word of God makes its appearance in every age. The word of God spoke to Moses through the burning bush. The Word of God told Abraham his children would outnumber the stars. In story after story, the Bible recounts the various ways God makes His word manifest.
When Jesus came out of the baptismal waters of the Jordan, he saw the heavens open and the Holy Ghost descend like a dove upon him. At that point, he became the chosen recipient of the outpouring grace of the Almighty. Before this transformative event, Jesus was only human. Becoming the Christ, literally the Anointed One, means the perfection of divine virtues were made manifest in him.
So, because Jesus Christ is the word of God made flesh, this affirmation of the greatness of Christ tells us that when Christ’s return occurs the word of God will again be made manifest. It is not the body of Christ himself that returns, but rather the spirit of Christ, the spirit of truth, the word of God again made flesh, that represents the return, as explained in this passage from John 16:
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. How be it 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 shew you things to come.
The fairest fruit of that manifestation, the return, is a new revelation from God.
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Baha’is believe that revelation has appeared, revealed by Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, who wrote:
The Revelation which, from time immemorial, hath been acclaimed as the Purpose and Promise of all the Prophets of God, and the most cherished Desire of His Messengers, hath now, by virtue of the pervasive Will of the Almighty and at His irresistible bidding, been revealed unto men. The advent of such a Revelation hath been heralded in all the sacred Scriptures. Behold how, notwithstanding such an announcement, mankind hath strayed from its path and shut out itself from its glory.
One of the proofs of the claim of Baha’u’llah to be that spirit of truth is the renewal of the word of God in the Baha’i writings, where Baha’u’llah said:
This thing is not from Me, but from One Who is Almighty and All-Knowing. And He bade Me lift up My voice between earth and heaven … This is but a leaf which the winds of the will of thy Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised, have stirred … His all-compelling summons hath reached Me, and caused Me to speak His praise amidst all people.
When you read the writings of Baha’u’llah, that word of God can have a profound impact on your soul, your heart, and your consciousness. When you read the writings of Baha’u’llah, you can hear the voice of the Creator speaking to humanity once more.