Symbolism over Substance
Bahá'í's believe that Jesus resurrection was symbolic not a literal raising from the dead. That it was an event for the Church to be raised up in belief.What if I said I dont believe any of what Bahá'u'lláh said happened to him literally. Its all symbolic they are all spiritual sayings. His suffering, his leading the people, being put in jail, are spiritual not real literal events. To say this to a Bahá'í' they would think you are denying the facts. So why is it that the Bahá'í' are not denying the facts when it comes to the resurrection? Its all a matter of interpretation. Thats right, one view is taking the testimonies as true, literal, historical accounts, the other is trying to spiritualize literal events to explain it all away. Why? Because the resurrection annihilates any one else who came after Christ claiming God's authority. It is the proof of God's approval on his last messenger for all ages as the last days began with Jesus' coming..
Heb. 1:1-2: " God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds."
Whenever a Bahá'í' finds a biblical passage that clearly states that Jesus will return at the end of the age in a way contrary to Bahá'u'lláh's arrival, the Bahá'í' simply dismiss it by saying we shouldnt take the passage literally, its spiritual. So they change the meaning of it.
As Francis Beckwith points out on this method of interpreting biblical prophecy Bahá'í''s employ circular reasoning (in which the arguer assumes what he or she is trying to prove). Because the Bahá'í' accepts Bahá'u'lláh's claim to fulfill Christ's second coming, he (or she) thinks he is justified in interpreting biblical prophecies symbolically which, if taken literally, would disprove Bahá'u'lláh's claim, but if taken nonliterally can be used to prove it (Esslemont, 222-26; `Abdu'l-Baha, 110-12). Thus, probably without even realizing it, the Baha'i is assuming the very point that he is trying to prove in his citing of biblical prophecy. ("Bahá'í'-Christian Dialogue: Some Key Issues Considered" Christian Research Journal, Winter/Spring 1989, p.15 by Francis J. Beckwith.)
Abdu'l-Baha explains the meaning of the resurrection as: "The disciples were troubled and agitated after the martyrdom of Christ. The Reality of Christ, which signifies His teachings, His bounties, His perfections and His spiritual power, was hidden and concealed for two or three days after His martyrdom, and was not resplendent and manifest. NO, rather it was lost; for the believers were few in number and were troubled and agitated. The Cause of Christ was like a lifeless body, and, when after three days the disciples became assured and steadfast, and began to serve the Cause of Christ, and resolved to spread the divine teachings, putting His counsels into practice, and arising to serve Him, His religion found life, His teachings and admonitions became evident and visible. In other words, the Cause of Christ was like a lifeless body, until the life and the bounty of the Holy Spirit surrounded (Ferraby, p. 178.) This is what the Jesus Seminar teaches, Christians consider them enemies of the truth of God. I hope no Bahai who has respect for Jesus would agree with them.
10 of the 11 apostles died horrendous deaths for a non- literal event! Each of the disciples faced the test of torture and martyrdom for his statements and beliefs. Are we to believe all 11 and thousands afterward died for what they know is only a symbolic teaching!
The explanation for the empty tomb by the disciples means absolutely nothing since Bahá'í believes it did not really happen. If the authorities had the body in their possession or knew where it was, why, when the disciples were preaching the resurrection in Jerusalem, didn't they explain, "Wait! We have Jesus see, He didn't rise from the grave?"
Such an action would have destroyed Christianity putting it to an immediate stop. But there was a very simple solution to their problem. All they had to do was explain to the people its not literal, he didnt rise physically and stop getting so excited. The Bahá'í's unfortunately follow their Persian predecessors view in Islam by trying to explain away the resurrection. There is no way to change a literal event to a symbolic one to find a spiritual meaning in it. From conversing with them I found that they believe like the Jesus seminar, that the resurrection was the whole Christian community raised up in belief, that there was no literal raising a physical body of Jesus from the dead.
There were at least 11 separately recorded appearances that shocked people. One of which Paul states 500 at one time had seen a resurrected man called Jesus.1 Cor.15:1-19.
With this interpretation which they consider superior they call all the Christians who were there liars. But it was for this very reason that Jews became converts because of the irrefutable fact that it occurred in their generation.
The facts show even hostile witnesses became converts. Saul despised Christ and was on his way to persecute more of Christ's followers; his life was shattered as Christ appeared to him. The fact of a dead man rising was proof enough for him to stop being an enemy. He later becomes the apostle Paul, one of the greatest witnesses for the truth of the resurrection.
The concept of raising from the dead ( resurrection) is not foreign to Judaic teaching II King 4:31-35; Isaiah 26:19; Hosea 13:14"I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Job 19:25-27; Dan. 12:2. Numerous prophetic books have mention of the resurrection, it is the main teaching in Judaism and was their hope. As Mary said to Jesus when he came for Lazarus who had been dead for 4 days, "I know he will be raised up on the last day." Bahá'ís always change the original teachings of the major religions so they can amalgamate them together to make them as if they agree. With this they unknowingly (some not) do violence against the resurrection and make even Christ a liar. All the eyewitnesses say, Jesus said this to them previously, so there should be no questioning to the clear statements of Jesus himself.
Matt. 17:22-23 Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, 23 "and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up." And they were exceedingly sorrowful.
Mark 10:33-34 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; "and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again." Mark 14:28 "But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."
Luke 9:22 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day." John 21:13-14"Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead."
Rom.1:3-4 "declared the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead."1 Tim.3:16 Was manifested in the flesh. Here used to describe the incarnation (en sarki=flesh) of Christ (answering the Docetic Gnostics who denied God can come in the flesh). The verb is used by Paul elsewhere of the incarnation (Romans 16:26; Colossians 1:26) as well as of the second coming (Colossians 3:4). In other words he came in the flesh and rose in the same flesh.
The apostles offered Jesus 'post resurrection appearances as "many convincing proofs" (Acts 1:3). The Resurrection was the catalyst for their powerful fearless preaching of Christ as the Son of God (Acts. 2:22-36; 4:2,10; 13:32-41; 17:1-4,22-31).
They laid down their lives having complete confidence in the truth of their message. But the Bahais want everyone to believe they went around saying it was a spiritual event.
"The resurrections of divine manifestations are not of the body his resurrection from the interior of the earth is also symbolic like wise his ascension to heaven is a spiritual not material ascension." (Abdul Baha Questions, pp.199-120)
But when it comes to the 2nd coming they change their position and say it is a literal event found in their new manifestation Bahá'u'lláh, only he didnt come from heaven like Christ said he would.
Speaking of Bahá'u'lláh,"He is the Promised One of all Religions, whose coming was foretold in all the sacred scriptures," (Welcome to the Bahá'í House of Worship, p. 2). "Bahá'u'lláh claims that he is the teacher from God for this day, that he is the return of Christ." (The Return of Christ p.2)
Another argument is that Bahá'u'lláh is seated on David's throne. Let's get this straight, they claim he is the 2nd coming of Christ and died! So Christ (who they think is Bahá'u'lláh) is not ruling the Kingdom and subduing the earth ruling with a rod of iron. Outrageous! The Scripture is absolutely clear on this. To be seated on the throne of David means one came from his lineage (means he is Jewish) this alone eliminates Bahá'u'lláh. Rom.1:3-4: "Concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh and declared the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead." According to his flesh, he is called the "Son of David"( from his lineage) According to his person of nature he is the "Son of God." (of the same nature as his Father).
Jesus said of himself in Rev. 1:18 "I am he who lives and WAS DEAD and behold I AM ALIVE FOREVER MORE." How can Jesus be Bahá'u'lláh if he died and the Bible says he is ALIVE FOREVER?
According to the Bible in Mt.25 when He (Jesus the Messiah) comes (which Bahá'í's believe he has) He will separate the sheep from the goats and rule for one thousand years, there will be peace and all the wicked are destroyed. This has not happened in any shape or form through Bahá'u'lláh. It also means he would rule on earth at the 2nd coming through the Millennium, (1,000 years) not die, (the Bible says He cannot die again). The book of Daniel 7 he the Son of man is given: A dominion of everlasting length v.14 this correlates with Isa.9:6-7 in which the Son will rule. That people of all nations and languages would serve him v.18, 27 this correlates with Rev.22:3-5 "His servants will serve him. Acts 1:6 "Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" He told them it is not for them to know times or seasons... We find in v.11 Jesus goes upward to where he came from before, (Jn.6:38, 17:5,24) and the angels tell the apostles He will come back in exactly the same way. Now ask yourself, is being born on earth as a sinful man (as Bahá'u'lláh was) coming back from heaven the same way Christ left? Absolutely not! It is completetly different and to claim to to a man who has already died is to blind onself to what the bible actually teaches.
In Acts 1 it states He will come back in like manner. The phrase for like manner is tropos
in Greek meaning mode or style (even) as, the very same way. But the context bears
it out, the way they had seen him leave is the way we will see him return.And this is what
it says how Jesus comes back to earth "and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
To all the religions that use Jesus in their teachings or claim their prophet is the 2nd coming; the question that needs to be answered by them is: How can you trust your life after death to a person who is still dead? Would it not be prudent to trust the one who rose from the dead and has the power over life and death!