The Role of Islam in the Return of Jesus
With opposing Jewish, Christian and Muslim armies gathered in the Middle East, the stage is set for the thermonuclear Battle of Armageddon--the Hour of calamity foretold by Muhammad and the other Holy Prophets:
What is the Calamity?
Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Calamity is?
A day wherein mankind will be as thickly-scattered moths
And the mountains will become as carded wool.
Then, as for him whose scales are heavy (with good works)
He will live a pleasant life.
But as for him whose scales are light,
The Bereft and Hungry One will be his mother.
Ah, what will convey unto thee what she is!
(Sura 101; Pickthall).
Recognizing the return of Jesus is prophesied in the scriptures as the means by which the pure of heart will escape the awesome violence of the Hour of Calamity which is upon us. The Qur'an and the hadiths give us much crucial information about the day in which this calamity will occur. We especially need to know what role Islam plays in the second coming of Jesus.
In order to fully understand these matters we must establish Muhammad's role in the Plan of God. This is extremely important today. The two religious peoples most involved with the people of Islam in the trouble in the Middle East--the Jews and the Christians--totally lack an understanding of Muhammad's validity. Yet Muhammad's validity is in fact established by the Jewish and Christian scriptures--the Torah and the Gospel.
Christians and Jews accuse Muhammad of being a crazed poet, of being a false prophet who merely compiled the Qur'an from the previous scriptures. This belief is today and always has been the greatest obstacle to peace amongst the people of these great religions. But when we consider the matter rationally, we realize that all the Holy Prophets were accused of being false prophets by the people of Their day, Including Moses and Jesus Themselves. What the people of these religions need most then, is to know with absolute certainty how to distinguish the true Prophet from the false one.
If you want to know how hot it is you use a thermometer. If you want to know how fast you're going you use a speedometer. If you want to know how heavy something is you use a scale. If you want to know the atmospheric pressure you use a barometer. If you want to know what direction you're facing you use a compass. We have a criteria for just about everything. But the most important thing for the people to have is a criteria to tell the true Prophet from the false one.
The Qur'an tells us plainly what this criteria is. The true Prophet fulfills prophecy. Muhammad, like Moses and Jesus before Him, gave proofs that His advent was pre-recorded in the previous holy scriptures.
And remember, Jesus, The son of Mary, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the apostle of God (Sent) to you, confirming The Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of an Apostle to come after me, Whose name shall be Ahmad." But when he came to them with Clear Signs, They said, "this is Evident sorcery."
Here the Qur'an says that Muhammad was prophesied by name through the lips of the Prophet Jesus, alluding to the several prophecies for Muhammad in the Gospel of John. Yet when Muhammad came with clear signs such as this, the Christians turned Him down flat--even though He was Prophesied by name in their own book.
One of the pretexts, one of the excuses, the Christians gave for rejecting Muhammad was that they believed (and they still believe today) that Jesus was the last Prophet that would ever come. On what grounds did they say this? Jesus Himself had revealed the verse, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" no one comes to the Father, but by Me." (John 14:6)
At first glance, this line seems to say that there is no way to God except through the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore anyone claiming Prophethood after Jesus would be an obvious liar and a gross impostor.
However, when we read further in the gospel of John, Jesus adds, "But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness to Me: (John 15:24). Here Jesus plainly refers to the coming of another person, another Prophet-- the Counselor. Thus is incumbent upon all true Christians to accept this Counselor.
Of course, Jesus didn't speak English. He spoke Aramaic, and the original word that Jesus spoke in this verse was not "Counselor" but "Ahmad", which is one of the ways to say "Muhammad". Jesus foretold a Prophet would come after Him named "Ahmad", which is a cognate of "Muhammad". By the criteria of the prophecy of Jesus, it is incumbent upon all peoples to accept Muhammad.
What, then, did Jesus mean when He said that no one comes to God except through Him, considering that He also said another Prophet of God would come after Him? We can come to but one conclusion--Jesus meant that all the Prophets are simply mouthpieces for the same One True Invisible God. Jesus meant that there is no difference between the validity of His Message and the validity of the Message of the Holy Prophet to follow Him. When any Prophet speaks, it is the same Holy Spirit of God speaking to mankind through a chosen mouthpiece-- a Prophet.
When Jesus is saying "No man comes to the Father, but by me," He means by "me" the Word of God. Jesus means that we must accept the entire succession of Prophets--including Him and His successor Muhammad. To reject any of the Prophets is open blasphemy--as Their words are all the same Holy Spirit--the same Word of God--the same Voice of God speaking to mankind. When Muhammad came, He stressed over and over that all believers absolutely must accept the validity of all the Messengers of God, and the Qur'an specifically enjoins acceptance of 28 such prophets. No man cometh unto the Father except through Jesus. And Noah, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Ishmael, and Jesus, and Muhammad, and so on. To deny any one of them is to deny them all and to deny God-- since they are all mouthpieces for the same one true invisible God, and especially since they all prophesy the next Mouthpiece of God Who will appear.
Yet the blind Christian world, sincerely following their blind clergy, went down to hell and into the Dark Ages by clinging blindly to the verse that said, "no one cometh unto the Father , but by me." They ignored the words God had revealed concerning the Prophet to succeed Jesus. By what criteria could they be called followers of the One True God? They ignored the Word of God, and following a teaching carved by their own imaginations, they separated themselves from the plan of God which was plainly recorded in His scriptures.
Today in Islam, we have the exact same situation. The entire Muslim world is well acquainted with Muhammad's title "Seal of the Prophets." The Muslim world sincerely believes this to mean that Muhammad is the last Prophet because this is what the Muslim clergy teaches. Yet the Muslim world, both Shi'i and Sunni, know that Muhammad said Jesus would return. This fact appears in the Qur'an, the 43rd Sura, Gold Ornaments, verse 61 (YA):
And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of)
the Hour (of Judgement):
Therefore have no doubt about the (hour),
but Follow ye Me" this is a Straight Way.
Yusuf Ali's Quranic notes tell us that this verse "is understood to refer to the second coming of Jesus in the Last Days just before the Resurrection..."
Another Muslim commentator writes:
The second advent of Jesus Christ (peace be on Him) is true and finds corroboration from authentic traditions reported by no less authorities than Bukhari and Muslim. The rightly-guided Caliphs, the companions of the prophet, the pious Imams and jurists of Islam have all admitted this fact. Not the least controversy or even a semblance of controversy was raised by them about it. This is therefore an Ijma which is binding upon the Muslims.3
What have we here? We have the coming of a Great Prophet after Muhammad --the return of Christ. We know that the first time Christ came, He revealed a new dispensation of God's laws. When the return of Christ occurs, will the muslim world accept Him with open arms? What if He reveals a new book and new laws from God? Muhammad said that someone Who revealed new divine laws on His first coming --Jesus Christ--would return.
The return of Jesus Christ means the second coming of a great Prophet whose main characteristic was being the revealer of a new dispensation of the laws of God. The return of Christ beings with it the absolute fact of a Message from God after the Message of God which Muhammad gave. The title "Seal of the Prophets" veils the Muslim world from this fact, just as the verse "No one cometh unto the Father, but by me " veiled the Christians from the Revelation of the Counselor, Muhammad. God is putting the Muslims through the same divine test He put the Christians through. Consider how many Christians today continue to fail this test.
Muhammad was not the last Prophet that will ever come to guide humanity. He was the Seal of the Prophetic Age, the last prophet to prophesy of the return of Christ and His Forerunner and the setting up of the Kingdom of God on earth. And were anyone to deny one word of the Revelation of the return of Christ, he or she would be violating the teachings of Muhammad.
The criterion to accept the succeeding Prophet is not to weigh His Message by the learning current amongst us, nor to weigh His testimony by the standard of our own limited knowledge. God forbid us from making such a terrible mistake, as we know that the Messenger of God must bring a message which is different from what we already have in our possession. The Messenger of God always comes to bring us into a greater understanding that the understanding we already possess; otherwise, there would be no reason for God to send His Messenger.
Therefore, The first and foremost criteria to accept or reject a Prophet is not to see whether or not we agree with His Message. Our first responsibility, our first duty in judging the truth of the Messenger, is to see whether or not He Himself fulfills prophecy. If He is identified by the scriptures as the next Messenger of God, then we must accept Him and His words, even if these words were to rend asunder ideas to which our fathers have been accustomed for centuries. Even though Jesus had said "No one comes unto the Father, but by me," the true Christian would accept Muhammad, since Muhammad was prophesied in the Jewish and Christian scriptures. The true Christian, when faced with the fact that Muhammad was prophesied in the Torah and the Gospels, would put aside all of his previous misconceptions about the finality of Jesus' Revelation and would wholeheartedly embrace the heavenly teachings of Muhammad.
Will the people of Islam remain veiled to this truth, and fail to see that it applies to them every bit as much as it applies to the peoples before them?
Even as thou dost witness how the people of the Qur'an, like unto the people of old, have allowed the words "Seal of the Prophets" to veil their eyes. And yet, they themselves testify to this verse: "None knoweth the interpretation thereof but God and they that are well-grounded in knowledge." (Qur'an 3:7). And when He Who is well-grounded in all knowledge, He Who is the Mother, the Soul, the Secret, and the Essence thereof, revealeth that which is the least contrary to their desire, they bitterly oppose Him and shamelessly deny Him. These thou has already heard and witnessed. Such deeds and words have been solely instigated by leaders of religion, they that worship no God but their own desire, who bear allegiance to naught but gold, who are wrapt in the densest veils of learning, and who, enmeshed by its obscurities, are lost in the wilds of error.4
We cannot allow the evil leaders of religion to poison our minds with their spiritual disease. We cannot let them force us to judge the Prophet's message by the standard of their own limited or perverted religious and scientific knowledge. In fact, the Great Prophet always comes because the peoples/s religious and scientific knowledge is in dire need of divine guidance.
For instance, when Muhammad came, what did the Arabian people know of reading, of writing, of the order of the universe? What did they know of the many signs in history which reveal to us the absolute necessity of turning to the line of Covenants that God has made with man? What did they know of bringing forth the fruits of an ever-advancing civilization, in which day by day, man must increase in knowledge? What did they know of the One True Invisible God, or the intricacies of God's Faith, and the vital necessity of following His appointed representatives? What did they know of all these teachings which the Prophet Muhammad was about to bring?
The people were illiterate, they had not alphabet, they were immersed in tribal warfare, they polluted the Kaba by worshipping there the statues of hundreds of gods and goddesses, they were burying their infant daughters in the ground, exchanging and marrying their female relatives, sharpening their teeth in order to eat rotten meat as a great delicacy, and perfuming their beards and hair with camel's urine. No wonder those times are called the Days of Ignorance. When we consider, we realize that the time before any Promised One comes is a Day of Ignorance compared to what the Prophet is about to reveal.
Those who Judged the new Revelation of Muhammad by the meager standards of thought and behavior current amongst them rejected Muhammad. This proves we cannot weigh the Message of God by our own personal standards--all we can go on is whether or not the Messenger, the Prophet, fulfills prophecy in the holy scriptures. Those people who rejected Muhammad disregarded the fact that Muhammad fulfilled prophecy in the Torah and the Gospel.
The Qur'an tells us that we must base all of our knowledge on these holy scriptures, which have come down to us today in the same form they were in at the time of Muhammad. In Sura V (v.71-72; YA), The Table Spread, we read:
Say: "O People of the Book!
Ye have not ground to stand upon unless
Ye stand fast by the Law (the Torah),
The Gospel, and all the revelation
That cometh to thee from your Lord."
It is the revelation that cometh to thee from
Thy Lord, that increaseth in most of them their obstinate
Rebellion and blasphemy.
But sorrow thou not over (these ) people without Faith.
Those who believe (in the Qur'an),
Those who follow the Jewish (scriptures),
And the Sabians and the Christians,--
Any who believe in God and the Last Day
And work righteousness,--
On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
The reason why no one will grieve who truly follows the Qur'an and the truth of the Jewish and Christian scriptures is that these people will all come to the same conclusion--they will see in these three holy books the prophecies for the return of Christ and will accept Him as the Messenger of God that as the scriptures say will come before the Great Calamity which is upon us.
The above verse bears out an extremely important point. The Qur'an, in this verse, plainly testifies that the Torah and the Gospel are the books which provide the only possible ground for the people of God to stand on . It is important to remember that these books exist in the same form today as they did in Muhammad's day. It is providential indeed that the oldest surviving copies of both the Torah and the Gospel date from just before Muhammad's time. This adds a new dimension to Muhammad's title, "Seal of the Prophets"--this makes Muhammad an official government seal of the prophets, validation the authenticity of the holy books, the Gospel and the Torah.
And again, this authenticating Seal of the Prophets tells us the method by which we can recognize the Messenger of God.
This is from the 7th Sura (v. 157; Pickthall),5 the Heights:
Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong.
Here the Qur'an says that Muhammad is described in the Torah and the Gospel, the books which the Jews and Christians had in their hands when Muhammad came and which they have in their hands today. Thus the Qur'an gives the criterion to recognize the Messenger of God--He fulfills prophecy.
In fact, the prophecies are so specific as to give the promised One's date, address and mission. These are the same cardinal points which appear on a calling card or a business card. For example, a doctor's business card would have on it the doctor's name, the time his office is open, where he is located, and exactly what kind of a doctor he is. If you were in China and you needed to get to this doctor, let's say he was in Missoula, Montana, you could catch a plane to Missoula and take a taxi to his office's address. You could go up to his office, and if you came at the time frame it was open, you could walk in and talk to the receptionist. Up on the wall would be the doctor's certificates, proving he was certified in the particular type of medicine specified on his business card. When he came out, he would say, "Hi, I'm Dr. So and So." Would you call him a liar? Of course not .
He would have fulfilled the name, the date or time frame, the address and the mission or profession. No one else could fulfill these same four things. Not ten thousand people, not a thousand people, not two people.
Only one person in the enter world could fulfill the information on that business card. This is the type of accuracy God has in the scriptural prophecies for His promised Ones, such a Muhammad.
Where is Muhammad prophesied in these scriptures?
His name, as we have seen, is prophesied by Jesus, which was recorded in several places in the book of John. In the original Aramaic spoken by Jesus, He said that "Ahmad," on of the ways of saying "Muhammad," would come. This word was translated into Greek as "paraclytos," the Greek translation of "Ahmad," which means "Praised One." Paraclytos was then changed slightly to Paracletos, which means "Counselor." Some English versions of the bible have further altered the original word, translating it as "Comforter."6 Nevertheless, this prophecy for Muhammad remains in modern Bibles as the coming of the Prophet to succeed Jesus. The Counselor Muhammad is prophesied in John 14:16, 15:26, and 16:7.
Where was Muhammad Prophesied to come?
Arabia. In the blessing of Moses given before His death, He prophesied the places where the next Great Prophets would reveal a new Message after Him. The following blessing of Moses is from Deuteronomy 33:2:
"The Lord came from Sinai... "--this refers to Moses, who received His Revelation on Mt. Sinai.
"...and dawned form Seir upon us... "--this refers to Jesus, who taught in a locality in Galilee near Nazareth called "Seir," and Who spent His entire mission in Syria.7
"...he shone forth from Mount Paran..." Ishmael, the son of Abraham and the ancestor of Muhammad, was sent to the wilderness of Paran, which marks the northeastern geographical beginnings of Arabia (Genesis 21:21). Ishmael's arrival in Paran, teaching the religion of Abraham, signals the spiritual dawn of the Arabian peoples who received the revelation of God through Ishmael's descendant, the Prophet Muhammad. In addition, this prophecy refers to Muhammad. In addition, this prophecy refers to Muhammad and His followers marching to Mt. Faran near Mecca after peacefully winning the multitudes to Islam in 628 of the Christian era.8 ("Paran" and "Faran" are equivalent since there is no "p" in Arabic, and, moreover, the same character signifies "p" and "f" in biblical Hebrew). This march to Mt. Faran marked the Dawn of the Muhammadan era and the occasion for the Revelation of the Victory Sura. Thus the scriptures reveal the name and the location of the Arabian prophet-- Paran--which refers to Arabia in general, and specifically, to Mt. Faran on the outskirts of Mecca.
Regarding the time of Muhammad's coming, Jewish scholars know that Moses revealed 613 laws, and that the number 613 appears in the Torah in code form. Specifically, if one were to take every 50th letter of the passage of the Book of exodus referring to wonders in the land of Egypt (Exodus 7) and put these letters together into words, it spells "Mishneh" which means "second" or "repetition" in Hebrew. In these sections of the Torah, dropping down 613 letters form the letter "M" in the word "Mishneh" brings us to the word "Torah" which is the name for the Jewish holy book of Law. So the number 613 is interwoven with the word "Second Torah" ( in Hebrew="Mishneh Torah"). Here we have a most explicit prophecy for Muhammad, who publicly proclaimed His mission to reveal a Book of Law to the peoples of Arabia in the year 613 of the Christian era, just as Moses had revealed His Book of Law 2000 years previously. Thus Muhammad was prophesied to reveal God's Second Torah to the peoples of the Middle East by date--the year 613 of the Christian era.9
We also need to know some detailed information about Muhammad's prophesied mission.
In the prophecy for the coming of Muhammad in the book of John, Jesus says,
"...But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me..." (John 15:26).
Here Jesus says Muhammad is coming to bear witness to Jesus. He is coming to verify Jesus to the world, and firstly, to the people of Arabia.
These prophecies tell us still more. Jesus says:
...it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (John 16:7-11).
Here Jesus tells us that Muhammad is coming to make the world believe in Him, Jesus. Why would this be necessary--there were millions of believers in Jesus at the time of Muhammad?
The reason is this--the Christians had become pagan by turning Jesus into a god and making Him part of the pagan trinity, the pagan religion of Satan which comes form Babylon. When Muhammad came, He straightened the world out on this point, pointing out the folly of the trinity. The Holy Qur'an has convinced nearly a billion people, many of them former trinitarian Christians, that Jesus was not a god or the incarnate son of God, and that Jesus was really a Messenger of God like Moses and Muhammad (Qur'an 4:171; 5:73; Pickthall). What greater act in the true spirit of Christianity can possibly be conceived?
Convincing the world about Jesus is tremendously important. Since Muhammad convinced the world about the authenticity of Jesus, we must now consider the question, what was the message of Jesus, what was Jesus' mission that Muhammad bore witness to? in order to firmly grasp this concept, we must look at the Jewish scriptures which Jesus referred to constantly in explaining His own mission. Indeed, knowledge of both the Jewish and Christian scriptures is essential in understanding the plan of God. We must remember that the Quern itself tells us (5:71;YA)
Say: "O People of the Book! (which certainly includes those
who follow the Holy Book, the Qur'an)
Ye have no ground to stand upon unless
Ye stand fast by the Law (the Torah),
The Gospel, and all the revelation
That has come to you from your Lord."
Can we deny that the followers of the Qur'an are to be included as People of the Book? We certainly cannot deny this, so Muslims, too, fall under the divine injunction that unless we stand fast by all the Revelation that has come form God, we have no ground to stand upon. The Qur'an stresses to us this fact in undisputable calamity. The following is from the third Sura, the family of Iran (v. 84; Pickthall):
So (O Muhammad): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.
Thus Muhammad bore witness to the Revelation given to all the Prophets, and He stresses that He bore witness to the message of Jesus.
Jesus' message is the gospel of the kingdom of God on earth, a gospel which has its origins in the scriptures of the Jews. This gospel is the message of the coming of a great worldwide kingdom living in peace under the laws of God, which kingdom will be set up after a great burning calamity of fire.
The gospel of the kingdom starts in the Torah, the Jewish scriptures. This gospel presents the concept of a cycle of history, starting with Adam, at the end of which the Messiah will reign and mankind will live together in harmony in the kingdom of God on earth. This cycle is presented in the parable of the six days of creation, which is six thousand years long, as each day of creation is equal to a thousand years. We find this explained in the second Book of Peter (II Peter 2:1-10):
...You should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles. First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming (the return of Christ)? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation." They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years and one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.
Thus as each thousand years is one day in the annals of God, the 6 day cycle is to last 6000 years. Since Adam came in 4000 BC, we can see that this cycle will conclude in the year 2000 AD of the Christian calendar.
This exact same idea is confirmed and clarified in the Quern, which says that God created the heavens and the earth in 6 days, each day being a thousand years, and then He mounted the throne. This appears in Sura 32, the Prostration (v. 4; Pickthall):
Allah it is Who created the heavens and the earth, and that which is between them, in six days. Then He mounted the throne.
The Qur'an also tells us the following in Sura 22, the Pilgrimage (v. 47; Pickthall):
And they will bid thee hasten on the Doom, and Allah faileth not His promise, but lo! a Day with Allah is as a thousand years of what ye reckon.
In these verses, the Qur'an tells us that a day of God is a thousand years, thus confirming that we have a 6000 year cycle.
What is this 6000 year cycle?
The Qur'an tells us that it took 6 days, meaning 6000 years, to create the heavens and the earth. We know, scientifically, that the physical heavens and earth have been here much longer than 6000 years. Thus this 6 days or 6000 year cycle is a parable, the same parable the Bible gives us. The creation of the heavens, in this parable, is the coming of the Great Divine Revelations--which are the heavens....And here the creation of the earth refers to the world's great civilizations, all of which have developed form the teachings of the prophets of Go: the Islamic civilization from Muhammad, the Judeo-Christian civilization from Moses and Jesus, the Buddhist civilization from Buddha, the Hindu civilization from Krishna, the ancient Iranian civilization from the teachings of Zoroaster.
Adam, the prophet who began this cycle, was not the first man, but rather the first Prophet. He introduced the concept of the One Invisible God into history at the time when mankind was first able to grasp this concept. Abstract thought, which enables man to grasp the concept of an abstract God, came into human history at the time of Adam--4000 BC. This is the same time period that we know the first languages came about, with man representing his thoughts in symbols.
Symbols are intangible--the connection between the symbol and what it represents is abstract-- not something which can be seen, tasted, smelled, touched, or heard. Thus man's adoption of abstract symbols for language at the time of Adam proved man's mind could now receive the abstract concept of the invisible reality of God--the invisible Essence who cannot be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched, but Who is only accessible to he highest faculty of man--the conscious intellect.
The purpose of the Adamic Cycle is for all men to learn how to know an love the invisible God. At the end of this 6000 year cycle the Kingdom of God is established--at which time all men will recognize and worship the One True Invisible God. And according to the verses we have read form the Qur'an, God, at the end of the 6000 year Adamic Cycle, mounts the throne. What throne is this ? Is this a big chair in the sky?
According to the scriptures of the Revelation of Moses, which Muhammad tells us are true, and which we must obey, the throne of God is the throne of David.
The throne of David, according to the holy Bible, is the throne that will rule the kingdom of God on Earth. The throne of David is the everlasting continuation of a kingship which started with King David. This kingship ruled the ancient Kingdom of Israel starting in 1000 BC. The kingship of David and of Solomon after him was responsible for the unity and the greatness of the Israeli civilization. Most of the glory of the Israeli civilization appeared during the reign of these two kings.
In fact, God so loved David that he promised him that his kingship would last forever, and that there would always be a man descended from David to sit on and continue David's throne in the world. This fact appears most clearly in the Psalms, specifically Psalm 89. Here God makes an everlasting covenant that the kings descended from David will continue as long as there is life on this planet. According to God's everlasting covenant with David, if the kings break the laws of God, God will punish them, but the kingship will continue no matter what. Let us look at this Covenant from Psalms 89 (v. 3-4):
I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David My servant:
"I will establish your descendants forever
and build your throne for all generations."
The Qur'an bears witness to this covenant. In Sura 17, the Children of Israel, we read (v. 55; Pickthall):
And thy Lord is best aware of all who are in the heavens and the earth. And we preferred some of the Prophets above others, and unto David we gave the Psalms.
Here the Qur'an bears witness to the fact that David has been preferred because God Bestowed an everlasting dynasty upon him in the Psalms. Indeed, God made a Covenant with David, a binding promise regarding this everlasting throne. God does not break His Covenants. In Psalms 89 God says:
I will not violate my covenant, or alter the word that went forth from my lips. Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. His line shall endure for ever, his throne as long as the sun before me. Like the moon it shall be established for ever. It shall stand form while the skies endure. (Psalms 89:34-37).
The kings who sat on the throne of David were highly educated in the laws of Moses by the high priest of Israel. The high priest would anoint the new king with olive oil as a symbol to show that the king was spiritually illumined--he was anointed with olive oil because olive oil was then used to light the lamps. Since these kings were all anointed, they were called "Messiah," which is the Hebrew word for "anointed". The full title of the kings was "Messiah ben David," meaning "anointed son of David," as all these anointed kings were sons of David. The word "Christ" is simply the Greek translation of the Hebrew title "Messiah," or more fully, "Messiah ben David."
The Holy Prophets of Israel who came after Moses saw that there would be two times in history when an anointed descendant of David--a Messiah, or Christ--would also be a Great Prophet. In these two instances, the anointed son of David would be anointed directly: not by the high priest, but directly by God. At these two times in history, the Messiah ben David, or Anointed son of David, would be educated directly by God--meaning He would receive a Message or Revelation from God. Thus these two descendants of David would be anointed by an olive neither of the east nor of the west, but by an olive from the Tree of Life--the Tree of God's Revelations to man.
The concept of two Christ's or Messiahs--two different descendants of David Who are Great prophets--is not new. In fact, Christians acknowledge its validity. Christian author Hal Lindsey writes in The Late Great Planet Earth, "Two completely different portraits of a coming Messiah were described by the Old Testament prophets." He writes, "...They saw two different persons."10 Lindsey describes these two persons as a suffering Messiah who would be utterly rejected by His own people and a reigning
Messiah who would be an actual king that brings the kingdom of God on earth.
Therefore we see that the suffering Messiah and the reigning Messiah have two different missions--they are two different persons--two different descendants of David. As we will see below, only the reigning Messiah, not the suffering Messiah, continues God's promise in Psalms 89 that there will always be a man seated on David's throne: "I have sworn to David my servant 'I will establish your descendants forever, and build your throne for all generations.' "11
There are two different individual Christ's or Messiahs with two different missions--the suffering Messiah and the reigning Messiah. Those Christians and Muslims who fuse these two Messiahs into one person--Jesus of Nazareth-- and who expect the suffering Messiah Jesus to return physically from the sky as the reigning Messiah, are failing one of the first lessons Jesus taught.
When Jesus sent his disciples out to teach the Jews that He was the Messiah, these disciples were just ordinary people--fishermen, a bank teller, a tax collector, and so forth. The came up against the intelligentsia of the Jewish people--the rabbis, the priests, the lawyers, and the scribes. The scribes told the disciples that Jesus couldn't possibly be the Messiah. They pointed out that the book of Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, says that the prophet Elijah must return before the Messiah (Malachi 4:5). And according to the second chapter of the Second Book of Kings, Elijah ascended into heaven in a flaming chariot.
So the disciples came back to Jesus and asked Him, "How come it says right here in Malachi that Elijah the prophet is going to come first?" In other words, how can you claim to be the Messiah when we haven't seen Elijah (who lived nine hundred years before come streaking across the sky in a flaming chariot?
Do you know what Jesus told them? Jesus told them that John the Baptist is Elijah! The disciples were dumfounded. They said to Jesus, "John? John is your cousin; your aunt Elizabeth was pregnant with John when your mother Mary was pregnant with you. You grew up together, you played marbles together. How can this man John be Elijah?" (I'm paraphrasing here). Jesus said, "if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah." (Matt. 11:14). Well today the Christians accept that John the Baptist is the return of Elijah although he was a different person.
Jesus was looking at the light, and not at the lamp. For instance, Elijah was living in the desert, wearing a camel's hair coat, living on locusts and honey, and telling the people to repent and return to the Lord. Nine hundred years later, here comes John the Baptist, walking in the same desert, living on locusts and honey, and telling the people to repent and return to the Lord. If you looked at one, and you looked at the other, you couldn't tell the difference. They both had the same message--repent and return to the Lord. They were talking to a wayward people, calling them to have the sin of error washed away from them. Therefore, when the scriptures say that Elijah is going to return, it means that someone will come in the spirit and power of Elijah as the forerunner of the Christ.
Today the Christians accept that John the Baptist was the return of Elijah, because Jesus said so. But today the people are making the exact same mistake the Jews made. It says in the Bible that Jesus went up into heaven just as it says in the Bible that Elijah went up into heaven. And Jesus said He would return, just like the Bible says Elijah would return. Although the return of Elijah was John the Baptist--the Christians say, "no, it must be the same Jesus!" because they deified Jesus--made Jesus a god-- and because they don't understand a word of their own scriptures, just like the Muslims who think Muhammad being the "seal of the Prophets" means He was the last Prophet there will ever be.
So the Jews in Jesus' day knew from the scriptures that Elijah the prophet would return before the coming of a Messiah. Jesus taught that John the Baptist was the return of Elijah because he came in the spirit and power of Elijah. Today, to look for the same historical Jesus to return is to make the same mistake the Jews made in looking for Elijah.
The Christian clergy has miseducated the entire world into believing that the same physical person Jesus of Nazareth who fulfilled the role of the suffering Messiah will come again as the reigning Messiah. Most Muslims blindly believe this, too. Jesus, however, teaches us just exactly the opposite. He shows us that the return of a Prophet is the coming of another person who comes in the spirit and power of the Prophet that is to "return."
A further obstacle Muslims have in accepting the return of Jesus is their belief that Jesus was not crucified, and therefore He exists somewhere in a heaven in the sky, waiting to descend to the earth. This misunderstanding arises from the misinterpretation of the following verse from the Qur'an (Sura 4, v. 157; YA) which talks about the Jews:
That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus The son of Mary, The Apostle of God";- But they killed him not, Nor crucified him, But so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ Therein are full of doubts, With no (certain) knowledge, But only conjecture to follow, For of a surety They killed him not.
Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not." (John 6:63-64).
So what Muhammad is saying in the above verse is that the Jews did not kill Jesus' real life; Jesus' life is His Words, which is the Word of God. Jesus' Words exist today, despite the fact that the Jews wanted to do away with them because these Words exposed the hypocrisy and truthlessness of the Jewish clergy.
But the ones who really crucified Jesus were the Christians. They have crucified and killed Jesus' Words by doing away with their meaning and by turning His Message into a trinitarian pagan religion. Jesus' physical body was definitely crucified and killed, as this is what was prophesied to happen to Him. Jesus called His firmest apostle Peter "Satan" for denying that He was going to be killed! (Matthew 16:21-23). To say otherwise is to deny the scriptures, and Muhammad says we must stand steadfastly by all the scriptures. What greater blasphemy could there be that to deny that Jesus' physical body was crucified!
But Jesus' physical crucifixion is of no avail compared to the fact that His Revelation was crucified by the satanic trinitarian Christians. Why would Muhammad be talking about Jesus' flesh in the above verse when Jesus Himself--Who was talking the same Word of God that Muhammad was--says that the flesh is of no avail?! Muhammad is talking about the fact that the Jews didn't crucify Jesus' Message. It was the Christians who crucified Him.
Because they have not understood this verse, many ignorant Muslim clergymen have incorrectly put forth that the Gospels of the New Testament are false testimonies, containing grievous errors, because they include accounts of Jesus' crucifixion:
We have also heard a number of the foolish of the earth asset that the genuine text of the heavenly Gospel doth not exist amongst the Christians, that it hath ascended unto heaven. how grievously they have erred! How oblivious of the fact that such a statement imputeth the gravest injustice and tyranny to a gracious and loving Providence! How could God, when once the Day-star of the beauty of Jesus had disappeared form the sight of His people, and ascended unto the fourth heaven, cause His holy Book, His most great testimony amongst His creatures, to disappear also? What would be left to that people to cling to from the setting of the Day-star of Jesus until the rise of the sun of the Muhammadan Dispensation? What law could be their stay and guide? How could such people be made the victims of the avenging wrath of God, the omnipotent Avenger? How could they be afflicted with the scourge of chastisement by the heavenly King? Above all, how could the flow of grace of the All-Bountiful be stayed? How could the ocean of His tender mercies be stilled? We take refuge from God, from that which His creatures have fancied about Him! Exalted is He above their comprehension!12
We will elaborate upon this theme in the forthcoming pages. But to continue, the greatest proof of all the at the same Jesus of Nazareth who lived 2000 years ago will not physically return is the at He did not and cannot fulfill the prophecies for the Reigning Messiah. In fact He said so Himself. To see this more clearly, and to see where He said so Himself, let's look at the greatest prophecy for the reigning Messiah, which is found in the book of the prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah, circa 740 BC. saw the culmination of the everlasting covenant with the throne of David in the coming of the reigning Messiah seated upon the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6-7):
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty Cod, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
The suffering Messiah, Jesus, suffered to see His apostles lost in the misconception that He fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy of the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Jesus devoted much of His ministry to showing He was definitely not this reigning Messiah.
Isaiah says of the reigning Messiah, "the government will be upon his shoulder," and further, "of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end." Jesus purposely gave no instructions regarding government except "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" (Luke 20:25). And concerning peace, Jesus denied it was His role to establish it . He said to His apostle Peter, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on Earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division... (Luke 12:51)."
Jesus established that He could not be the Prince of Peace by demonstrating that He did not fulfill the essential requirement of the reigning Messiah--sitting upon David's throne. Jesus thwarted any misconception that He sat on David's throne by plainly stating, "My kingship is not of this world. If my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not of this world (John 18:36)."
In order for Jesus' kingship to be of this world, all of His male ancestors would have had to be kings through David's never ending dynasty. The genealogies Luke and Matthew present both show that He was descended from a non-reigning branch of the Davidic family tree.13 It is common knowledge that Jesus was not an earthly king, but rather a carpenter. Even if Jesus had been from David's royal line, he had no children to continue a family, not to mention a lineage that God promised would always endure.
Three days and three nights after Jesus was arrested and His body of followers deserted Him, His apostles realized they had misconstrued His role in the plan of God. They realized He was the prophesied suffering Messiah. He was not the reigning Messiah, the second Christ, but rather His herald. With this understanding the cause of Christ resurrected, and the apostles went out preaching the gospel of the kingdom--the promise of the second Christ who will bring the kingdom of God on earth.
The suffering Messiah Jesus revealed the Lord's prayer so that His followers would readily recognize the "Everlasting Father," the reigning Messiah who Isaiah saw will come with a divine kingdom of peace centered around the throne of David:
Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10).
The Son even revealed the hallowed name in which the Second Christ would come. Jesus said, "For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed when he comes in Baha'u'llah (the glory of the Father)..." (Mark 8:38). The word "Baha'u'llah" that Jesus spoke in the Aramaic language appears in the English bible as "the glory of the Father."14
The world in Jesus' day was unable to withstand the potency of the Everlasting Father seated on David's throne, bringing a divine government for the world. They could only withstand the potency of the suffering Messiah, the Son, who brought the promise of this kingdom. It is Baha'u'llah's mission to found the Kingdom of God on earth under the guardianship of the Davidic kings, now that the world is ready for it.
Thus there are two Christ's prophesied to come, the Son and the Father. These are titles referring to the potencies of their Revelations Baha'u'llah, the Father, brings the actual kingdom of God on earth that Jesus told the world to pray for, and therefore the Father is of a greater potency than the Son, Jesus.
Baha'u'llah's father sat on the throne of David. His grandfather sat on the throne of David. His great-grandfather sat on the throne of David, and so on, all the way back in an unbroken chain of male-lineage descendants of King David seated on his throne.
Call out to Zion, O Carmel, and announce the joyful tidings: He that was hidden from mortal eyes is come!...
The Most Great Law is come, and the Ancient Beauty ruleth upon the throne of David. Thus hath My Pen spoken that which the histories of bygone ages have related.15
History shows us that the Will and Testament of the Davidic Kings preserved, throughout the millennia, God's covenant that there will always be a descendant of David seated upon his throne. At first these Davidic kings ruled the kingdom of Israel. Then they ruled the Jews in exile as exilarchs (exiled Davidic monarchs) once the ancient kingdom of Israel was destroyed. After Exilarch Isaac ben Moses converted to Shi'i Islam in 817 AD, the Davidic kingship moved to Iran, the royal family living in a castle in the mountainous Persian province of Mazindaran. Baha'u'llah was born to this dynasty in 1817, 1000 years after the exilarchs first accepted Muhammad.
The genealogy of the Davidic Kings proves the authenticity of Baha'u'llah's mission to sit on David's throne as the reigning Messiah. His great-grandson Shoghi Effendi was familiar with this genealogy. In his book God Passes By, he confirms Baha'u'llah sat on David's throne and writes that Baha'u'llah was a descendant of the Persian King Yazdigird III and "moreover a descendant of Jesse."16 Jesse is the father of King David who Isaiah sees will be the ancestor of the reigning Christ.17
The Exilarch Bostanai, a descendant of Jesse through King David, married King Yazdigird III's daughter Dara in 657 AD. From the sons of this marriage have come all subsequent kings seated on David's throne through Baha'u'llah and down to today. Baha'u'llah has continued the everlasting throne of David in His Revelation, by appointing His son, 'Abdu'l-Baha, to succeed Him as the interpreter of His Writings. 'Abdu'l-Baha, in His Will and Testament, continues the throne of David in the institution of the Guardianship of the Baha'i Faith.
The Guardian is the interpreter of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. The Guardian, the appointed royal son of David through Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha, is to be the President of the Universal House of Justice, the democratically elected world legislative body outlined by Baha'u'llah which will maintain world peace once the Revelation of Baha'u'llah is established and accepted by the people of the world. Thus the Kingdom of God is an actual kingdom with laws, subjects, and a king. It is a worldwide democratic monarchy, under the everlasting throne of David.
Most importantly, the Qur'an, which was compiled in its final form within twenty year's of Muhammad's passing, and which has been extremely well preserved, bears witness to everything mentioned here by bearing witness to the Revelations that came before it. There is no greater witness to these facts that the Holy Qur'an, which verifies the messages of all the previous Prophets. The Qur'an tells us to make no distinction between the messages of any of the Prophets--they are all valid. And the Qur'an tells the people to turn to the Torah and the gospel, the same scriptures which were with the people in Muhammad's day and which are with us today.
Moreover, the Second Christ Baha'u'llah is prophesied in the Qur'an In the Sura of Light, which in Arabic is the Sura of "nur" which means "Light," the Qur'an gives a parable as follows (Qur'an 34:35; Pickthall).
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it . Light upon light, Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is Knower of all things.
This light or "nur" of God is Baha'u'llah, Who was from a village in Mazindaran, Iran, called Nur, and Who as a result was named Husayn Ali Nur-i. The light of Baha'u'llah's Revelation was kindled "from an olive neither of the East or the West." An olive oil was used to anoint the Davidic kings, the olive is an indisputable reference to Baha'u'llah's station as the Reigning Anointed descendant of David or Christ, the Reigning Davidic King who is anointed directly by God--thus, by an "olive neither of the East nor of the West." The statement "Light upon Light," or in Arabic "Nur ala Nur," refers to the great Light of God, Baha'u'llah, who literally came form Nur, and Who was named after Nur--He was born into the Nuri family. This verse of the Nur (Light) Sura is a prophecy for the name and the address of the second Christ, Baha'u'llah--Mirza Husayn Ali Nur-i.
So looking now at the broad pattern of the Plan of God we see that the ancient Kingdom of Israel was the microcosm for the coming Kingdom of God. While in the day of David, the Kingdom of God ruled a tiny nation in the Middle East, the throne of David is now to be the guardian of God's Word for the worldwide Kingdom of God. The revelation of Islam comes right in the middle of these two kingdoms--halfway in time between the ancient kingdom of Israel and the soon to be born world kingdom of God on earth. And Muhammad came to "bear witness" to the scriptures that went before Him, and thus to bear witness to the prophecies for the kingdom of God and the return of Christ which are to be fulfilled after Him. Thus the Islamic Revelation is a middle nation. In truth, we find this very thought presented in the Qur'an. In the second Sura, the Cow (v. 143; Pickthall), we read:
Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that ye may be witnesses against mankind, and that the messenger may be a witness against you. In his notes on this verse in his English translation of the Qur'an., Yusuf Ali admits that this verse refers to Islam having an intermediary role.
We find this same concept of Islam being a middle, intermediary nation in the prophecy for Muhammad from the book of the prophet Habbakuk (3:2-3; KJV):
O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.
Muhammad came "in the midst of the years" between the ancient Kingdom of David and the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth. This passage is confirmed to be about Muhammad by the mention of " the Holy One from Paran," which refers to Muhammad as we have seen, and by the verse "the earth was full of his praise," which refers to Muhammad, whose name means "Praised One." An additional confirmation is the mention of "Teman," an Arabian city which literally means "the south" according to Smith's Bible Dictionary. Thus "God came from the south"--Arabia, "in the midst of the years."
Muhammad also came with 12 princes who safeguarded the purity of His Revelation with their explanations and commentaries. These 12 descendants of Ishmael, the 12 Imams of the family of the prophet, are prophesied in the Book of Genesis (17:20) in God's blessing of Abraham's seed:
As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him and make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.
This refers to the great nation of Islam whose spiritual leaders were Muhammad and the 12 Imams, starting with Ali, who explained and elucidated His Revelation. The concept of 12 specifically spiritual leaders, or Imams, appears very clearly in traditions accepted by both Sunni and Shi'I commentators, such as the following tradition:
Jabar-b.-Samorah reported: I heard the Apostle of Allah say: Islam shall not cease to be glorious up to twelve Caliphs, every one coming from Quraish. And in a narration: The religion will continue to be established till the Hour comes as there are twelve Caliphs over them, every one of them coming from Quraish.18
Although the word "Caliph" is used in this tradition to refer to the 12 spiritual leaders of the Quraish tribe who were to follow Muhammad, the reference is clearly to the 12 Imams, who were in actuality the rightful Caliphs or governmental leaders in addition to their role as spiritual leaders.
Muhammad and these 12 Imams bore witness to the Revelations that God sent previously, and they protected the unfoldment of God's plan. Their intermediary role is confirmed even in the passage about the 12 princes quoted above from the Book of Genesis. The statement by God to Abraham reads more fully (Genesis 17:19-21):
...Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him and make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year.
Here the Revelation of Moses shows clearly that Sarah, the ancestor of David, is to bear a son, Isaac, who will continue the greatest Covenant of the Adamic Cycle--the promise of the Greatest Manifestation, the Second Christ Baha'u'llah, who brings the plans for the Kingdom of God on earth and thus brings the Adamic Cycle to a conclusion. Of course, Abraham's son Ishmael has a crucial in the plan of God, as He is to father a great nation with twelve princes--the divine middle nation of Islam--in which Muhammad and the 12 Imams bear witness to the coming Kingdom of God upon the throne of David.
We have already seen that the Qur'an specifically endorses the everlasting covenant with David's seed from the Psalms: "And we preferred some Prophets above others, and unto David We gave the Psalms" (Qur'an 17:55). The Third Imam, Ali's son Husayn, further confirms the covenant with David.
The Third Imam Husayn was asked: 'From what stems your authority?' He replied: 'We rule by the authority of the House of David, and if we lack anything then the Holy Spirit sends it to us.'19
Husayn means by his answer that the House of David is the supreme authority of the Plan of God, and the Imams are ruling on behalf of this authority, until such time as the House of David will become the God's supreme vice-regent or Khalifah on earth when the Kingdom of God is established. Such a role for the throne of David is foreshadowed in the Qur'an, the 37th Sura (Sad, v. 27; Pickthall):
"O David! Lo! We have set thee as a viceroy [In Arabic, 'Khalifah'] in the earth."
As previously mentioned, the institution which preserved the throne of David in exile for centuries was that of the exilarchs --the exiled Davidic monarchy of the Jews which continued the everlasting royal descendancy of David in Mesopotamia near today's Baghdad, Iraq. The middle nation of Islam and its appointed divine representatives bore witness to the importance of these descendants of David, from whom the reigning Messiah seated on the throne of David was to come.
A 12th century traveler to Muslim lands reported that an ancient law originating from Muhammad ordered that every Muhammadan or Jew, or one belonging to any nation in his [the Caliph's] dominion, should rise before him (the Exilarch and salute him....And every fifth day when he goes to pay a visit to the great caliph, horsemen, Gentiles as well as Jews, escort him and heralds proclaim in advance, "Make way before our Lord, the son of David, as is due unto him."... Then he appears before the Caliph and kisses his hand, and the Caliph rises and places him on a throne which Mohammed had ordered to be made for him, and all the Mohammedan princes who attend the court of the Caliph, rise up before him. And the Head of the Captivity is seated on his throne opposite to the Caliph, in compliance with the command of Mohammed to give effect to what is written in the Law--" The scepter shall not depart from Judah...."20
We also know that after the conquest of Persia, Ali arranged for the Exilarch Bostanai to marry the Sassanian princess Dara, thus uniting the royal family of the Jews with the royal family of the Sassanians. This marriage made possible the fulfillment of the prophecies of Judaism and Zoroastrianism that the reigning Messiah will be born from their respective royal families. So Ali bore witness to and assisted the plan of God for David's house to produce the reigning Messiah.
This example Ali set established the truth of Islam's role in the plan of God and caused the Muslim community as a whole to have immense respect for the Davidic covenant represented on earth in the exilarchs. Historian S.D. Goitein writes:
The Resh Galuta [exilarch] occupied a very honored position as the general representative of the Jewish community. According to a Christian source, he had precedence over the Christian dignitaries at the caliph's court... He was addressed by Muslims as "Our Lord, the son of David, " and as David is described in the Koran as one of the greatest prophets, naturally his office was surrounded by the halo of sanctity.21
The Eighth Imam, ar-Rida, converted the exilarch to Islam at a religious conference in Khorasan, Persia, in 817, a conference which was summoned at the request of the Caliph al-Mamun. At this conference, the Imam proved the authenticity of Muhammad to the exilarch by using many of the exact same proofs for Muhammad from the Torah that have been explained here. The exilarch, basing his faith in Islam on the proofs from the scriptures, became a great preacher of Islam. He converted six hundred Jews to Islam, and moved to the Persian province of Mazindaran, where he became the ancestor of the reigning Messiah Baha'u'llah, who was born in the village of Nur to the Shi'i exilarch's family, which continued the royal lineage of David.
Thus this Jew, by learning the proofs for Muhammad from the Torah, as explained by the 8th Imam, became one of the greatest preachers of Islam in history. Who else in history except perhaps the Prophet Himself and the Holy 12 Imams, may peace be upon Them, can be said to have converted six hundred Jews to Islam? What power resides in the signs of God!
The 12th Imam, who disappeared in the year 260 AH on the Muslim lunar calendar, returned as prophesied in the person of Sayyed Ali Muhammad, the Bab. The Bab, the Imam Mahdi, came exactly 1000 years after the occultation of the 12th Imam, in the year 1260 AH, which is 1844 on the Christian calendar. Upon His coming, He announced that He Himself was merely the forerunner of the arrival of the Great Prophet all religions awaitthe reigning King of Glory, the Messiah seated upon David's throne--the return of Christ.
The role of Muhammad and the Imams can be summed up as that of a handmaiden, and aid to the great marriage supper of God. As Muhammad and the Imams are descendants of Abraham's handmaiden Hagar (Genesis 16:1), as did these descendants act as handmaidens by being aids to the Davidic Kingship, shielding and protecting these in Islam against the corrupt pagan Christian world, and even arranging the marriage between Dara and the Davidic king in exile.
Thus we see that the role of Islam in the Second Coming of Christ is to bear witness to the Revelations that came before Muhammad, so that the return of Christ and the Revelations of the Kingdom of God on earth can be firmly established as the plan of God unfolds. The teachings of Muhammad and the Imams provide a trustworthy witness, and a solid confirmation, of the proofs for the reigning Messiah seated upon David's throne, and for the kingdom that he brings.
What I have presented above is obviously not accepted today by the peoples of Islam. The Muslim clergy, both Shi'i and Sunni, consider the Bab and Baha'u'llah to be crazed false prophets who merely compiled their writings from the previous scriptures. Does this sound familiar? This is exactly the same charge that is leveled at Muhammad by His deniers, as we saw in the beginning of this paper.
Although the Bab and Baha'u'llah came with clear proofs from the Bible and the Islamic Revelation, the people of Islam turned them down flat, and they even went so far as to execute the Bab, and they beat, imprisoned, and exiled Baha'u'llah, saying that these two Promised Ones of God were false prophets. Above, we have seen some of the prophecies from the Islam writings for the return of Christ--His family name is Nur, He comes form Nur, and He will arrive at the end of the 6000 year Adamic cycle to mount the throne of David. Thus Baha'u'llah fulfilled the name, date, address and mission prophecies for the return of Christ which appear in the Holy Qur'an!
We also see that the prophecies for the return of Christ form the Torah and the Gospel must be obeyed, as the Qur'an enjoins acceptance of all the Revelations form God. These prophecies are explicitly clear about the coming of Baha'u'llah in the prophesied name, date, address and mission of the second Christ.
Of course, the people are going by another criteria--that of their own conceptions of the way things should be. They cling to the title "Seal of the Prophets" just as blindly as the Christians still cling to the verse "No man comes to the Father, but by me." The hadiths are very clear that you can't expect much from the majority of the people, especially at the time of the return of Christ and the great calamity which is upon us. One tradition refers to the killing of the Mahdi, the Bab, by the Iranian Government and clergy. It reads:
Huzaifah reported that the Apostle of Allah said: the Hour shall not occur till you kill your leader and strike one another with your swords, and the worst of you will inherit the world.--Tirmizi, Baihaqi.23
Another hadith reads:
Saoban reported that the Prophet said: It is near that the nations will call one another against you just as the eaters call one another at their dishes. Some body enquired: Shall we be few at that time? He said: No, you will be numerous at that time, but you will be so many rubbishes like the rubbishes of a torrent. Allah will then certainly take away the fear of you from the minds of your enemies and will certainly throw weakness into your hearts. Some body enquired: O Messenger of Allah, what will be (the cause of) weakness? He replied: Love of this world and dislike for death.Abu Daud.24
Certainly the traditions provide a harsh outlook at the condition of Islam at the end of the Adamic Cycle--when Christ is to return and the Hour of calamity is to appear.
The following tradition sums up the cycle of Islam, from its greatness, to its decay, to the event that will bring the kingdom of God on earth:
Na'man b. Bashir reported from Huzaifah that the Messenger of Allah said: Prophethood will last among you till Allah wishes it to last, and then the Almighty Allah will raise it up. Afterwards there will be Khilafat according to the ways of Prophethood so long as Allah wishes it to last, and then the Almighty Allah will raise it up. Afterwards there will be imperialistic kingdom, and it will last so long as the Almighty Allah wishes it to last, and then the Almighty Allah will raise it up. Afterwards there will be Khilifat according to the ways of Prophethood. And then he remained silent.25
Here we see that the cycle of Islam is to go from the era of Prophethood--the time when Muhammad was upon the earth, to a time of divine leadership--the period of the Imams' rule. This period may be said to have lasted until the usurpation of the Imams' leadership by Mu'awiyya and the Umayyad Caliphs, who brought oppressive kingdoms with them. This resulted in a period of imperialistic kingdoms, one of the most recent being the Ottoman Empire. Finally, the tradition states that there will again be leadership, or "Khilifat," according to the ways of Prophethood. And this is as much as the Prophet will say on this subject-- "and then he remained silent." This last stage refers to the re-establishment of the Davidic Kingship, the kingship promised to rule the Kingdom of God in an everlasting covenant which is verified in the Qur'an This is the kingship the second Christ, Baha'u'llah, has made the center of His Revelation.
Indeed, at this point in His dialogue, there is nothing more for Muhammad, may peace be upon Him, to say. The setting up of the Kingdom of Godthe Revelation of Baha'u'llah--is the completion of the Adamic Cycle--when God mounts the throne--the throne of David. That Day, and that Hour, is here.
The following is considered to be one of the greater signs before the Hour:
Abdullah-b Amr reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah say: The first of the signs that will come out will be the rising of the sun in its place of setting and the coming out of the beast to the people at forenoon and whichever of these two comes to pass before its companion, the other will be near its footsteps.--Muslim. Mishkat-ul -Masibih, Book IV, p. 53.
Muslim, who reports this hadith, is the name of one of the most authoritative compilers of hadiths; he lived 821-875 AD.
The rising of the sun from the place of its setting means that the sun of truth, the sun of reality, will arise form the west to the people of the world. As the sun illumines the entire physical world, the spiritual sun of truth illumines the intellect of man and gives him great understanding and spiritual growth. Traditionally, religion has been established in the East and has made its way west, but now, in these last days before the Hour, the truth is prophesied by Almighty God to rise from the West.
This prophecy is in perfect accord with the Baha'i prophecy that Baha'u'llah's Revelation will be radiated around the world starting in the West. This is happening now, and this establishment is being led by one who was prophesied to come in Baha'i scriptures as the establisher of the Kingdom of God on earth. This person is establishing Baha'u'llah's Revelation in the world after Baha'u'llah, just as Ali established Islam in the world after the passing of Muhammad.
His Holiness Baha'u'llah fulfilled the prophecies for the return of Christ. The Greek word "Christ" means the same thing as the Hebrew word "Messiah," or more specifically, "Messiah ben David"--"anointed descendant of King David." As a direct descendant of King David and a High Prophet or Manifestation anointed directly with the thought of God, Baha'u'llah fulfilled the prophecies for the return of Christ.
However, the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament tells us that besides being a Christ (an anointed descendant of David) Jesus of Nazareth was also a High Priest in the same way that the ancient Melchizedec was a High Priest, that Jesus was a High Priest after the order of Elegized.
Elegized and Jesus were not High Priests due to being a descendant of a previous Jewish priest (that is, the Aaronic priesthood--descendants of Moses' brother Aaron), but instead Elegized and Jesus of Nazareth were High Priests by being the one person of Their day who was perfectly illumined with the knowledge of the one true invisible God (Hebrews 7:15-17), and who stood up against the trinitarian pagan religion of Satan. Today, the establisher of the Baha'i Faith has this role as the return of Jesus the High Priest after the Order of Elegized.
The establisher did not appoint himself a High Priest after the Order of Elegized, but God appointed him, just as he appointed Jesus of Nazareth (Hebrews 5:5-10). Just as Jesus of Nazareth, Muhammad, the Bab and Baha'u'llah could prove They were appointed by God by showing Their fulfillment of the holy prophecies of name, date, address and mission, the establisher proves that He is chosen by God by pointing out where he fulfills prophecy by name, date, address and mission.
A very important hadith regarding the return of Christ talks specifically about the role of Jesus the High Priest--
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: By One in whose hand there is my life, it is certainly near that the son of Mary will bring down to you justice and administration; that he will destroy the Cross, kill swines and abolish Jizya... Hurairah said: Read if you like: And there will be none from among the People of the Book who will not believe in him before his death (Qur'an 4:159). --Agreed. Mishkat-ul-Masibih, Book IV, pp.81-82.
Here it says that Jesus will bring down justice and administration, which refers to the Universal House of Justice which Baha'u'llah prescribed for the world and which the establisher, as Jesus the High Priest, is establishing. It also says that Jesus will return and destroy the Cross. The establisher, just as Melchizedec, is fighting against the corrupt religion of the trinity which goes back to ancient Babylon and which took over Christianity. He is doing away with the trinity forever, and thus he is abolishing the crucifix or Cross, which as a sign of the corrupted religion of Jesus is the sign of the Beast.
This hadith refers us to the Holy Qur'an itself, which tells us that everyone form the People of the Book will believe in the return of Jesus before his death. This could not refer to the return of Jesus as the Christ, because this return already happened in the coming of Baha'u'llah, and all people have not believed. Thus this refers to the coming of Jesus the High Priest, who is prophesied to bring all peoples into the kingdom of God on earth before the end of this century, that is all people who survive the day of Judgement: " ...and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.: (Qur'an 4:159).
All people in the world will recognize the establisher's proofs before he passes on to the next world, but many will wait until after the Hour of Doom to investigate. O people of the Book, investigate NOW!
1. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, trans. The Holy Qur'an. (Elmhurst,
NY: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc. 1938 edition).
2. The Yusuf Ali translation of the Qur'an will be abbreviated
Note: The following definition of "ijma" is taken from Cyril Glasse,
The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1989. Ijma
(lit. "assembly"). One of the usul al-fiqh, or principles of Islamic
law (shari'ah). Its basis is the hadith: "my community shall never be
in agreement in error". Ijma is a consensus, expressed or tacit, on a
question of law. Along with the Koran, Hadith, and Sunnah, it is a basis which
4. Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Iqan, from Writings of Baha'u'llah
(New Delhi: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1986), P. 139.
5. Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious
Koran (New York: New American Library).
6.Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an (Elmhurst, New York: Tahrike
Tarsile Qur'an, 2nd U.S. edition, 1988), P. 1540, note 5438.
7. It is certainly appropriate to take the resemblance of
the biblical word "Seir" to the word "Syria" as a prophetic
reference to Jesus' appearance in the land of Syria. We should consider the
following principle regarding the practice of finding symbolic meanings in
the very sounds of words: It assumes that any word has meaning in its very
"form" as sound, even if the word comes from a completely foreign
language. Traditional thinking looks upon this form or appearance, and its
resemblance's to known words, not as being arbitrary but rather as a providential
expression of a word's true sense. Thus, traditional etymology does not concern
itself with the history of a word, and analysis into its "causal"
origins, but takes it as it appears and sees in it something like a "revelation."
It seeks to recognize a resonance of thought in the immediate shape of the
word. The usefulness of these kinds of interpretation depends upon how much
intuition and understanding is brought to it by the interpreter. The process
mimics the development of language itself. --Cyril Glasse', The Concise Encyclopedia
of Islam, (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989), pp. 121-122.
8. Afzalur Rahman, Encyclopedia of Seerah, Vol. I (London:
The Muslim Schools Trust, 1981), p. 146.
9. An addendum is
forthcoming showing the specifics of this prophecy for Muhammad in the Hebrew
10. Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth (Grand Rapids:
Zondervan Publishing House, 1970), p.28.
11. Psalm 89:3-4 (RSV).
12. Baha'u'llah, The Book of Certitude (Kitab-i-Iqan, in
The Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 94.
13. Luke's genealogy of Jesus reports that He was descended
from the line of the Davidic family tree which branched from King David's
son Nathan (Luke 3:31, RSV). It was not Nathan but instead his brother Solomon
who received and continued in his progeny the Davidic throne. As a direct
male line descendant of Nathan, Jesus could not have inherited the throne
of David. Matthew's genealogy of Jesus shows that He was descended form King
Jehoiachin's grandson Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel (Matthew 1:12). W.F.
Albright indicates that it was not Jehoiachin's third son Shealtiel, but rather
his fourth son Shenazzar to whom Jehoiachin gave the throne of David. Says
Albright, "His [Jehoiachin's} three older sons, all born before 592 (as
shown by recently published cuneiform documents) were probably already dead
by this time, leaving his fourth son, who bore the well-attested Babylonian
name Sin-ab-usur (Shenazzar), to head the Davidic family..." (W. F. Albright,
The Biblical Period from Abraham to Ezra, New York: Harper, 1963, p. 86).
Thus Shenazzar's line, and not Shealtiel's, would have continued the throne
of David. As a direct male line descendant of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,
Jesus could not have inherited the throne.
14. The Aramaic root of the Aramaic word "baha"
(glory) can be found in David Cohen's Dictionnaire Des Racines Semitiques
(Paris: Mouton & Co., 1976), p. 49: BHR. The Aramaic word "elah"
meaning "God the Father" appears in -- Robert L. Thomas, ed., New
American Standard Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible (Nashville: A. J. Holman,
1981), p. 1489. Baha'u'llah confirms that His name appeared in the Old and
New Testaments, stating "I am the One Whom the tongue of Isaiah hath
extolled, the One with Whose name both the Torah and the Evangel were adorned";
The Proclamation of Baha'u'llah (Haifa: Baha'i World Centre, 1972), p.29,
form Tablet to Czar Alexander II.
15. Baha'u'llah, Proclamation, p. 89.
16. Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, 2nd ed. (Wilmette: Gaha'i
Publishing Trust, 1970), p. 94.
17. Isaiah 11:1 (KJV).
18. Al-Hadis, Book IV., p. 586.
19. Moojan Momen, An Introduction to Shi'i Islam, The History
and Doctrines of Twelver Shi'ism (Oxford: George Ronald, 1985), p. 149. (referenced
a sas-Saffar, Basa'ir ad-Darajat, Quoted in Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol.
25, p. 56, no. 22).
20. Salo Wittmayer Baron, A Social and Religious History
of the Jews (New York: Columbia University Press, 1957, 2nd ed.), Volume 5,
21. S.D. Goitein, Jews and Arabs (New York: Schocken Books,
1955), P. 120.
22. Norman A. Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands (Philadelphia:
Jewish Publication Society of America, 1979), pp. 176-177.
23. Al-Hadis, Book II, p. 769.
24. Al-Hadis, Book II, p. 771.
25. Al-Hadis, Book II, pp. 778-779.