...of the devil
by Contender Ministries
The Baha'i faith has become a popular religion in an environment of ecumenism, inclusiveness and political correctness. Embraced eagerly by the United Nations and other interfaith organizations, Baha'i is a growing humanist influence on our world. There are currently 17,148 Local Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha'i faith in the world and 4,515 in the United States alone. Members claim a presence in 235 countries and their literature is translated into 700 languages with a total world membership estimated at 5,000,000. The following introduction is meant to be a brief overview Baha'i history, and is by no means an exhaustive history of Baha'i.
The popularity of Baha'i can largely be attributed to its attempts to unify all faiths, prophets and the entire human race. It embraces the humanist philosophy that all religions should be embraced equally because they are not contradictory and are merely successively updated versions of the same basic religious beliefs. They teach that all religions are the result of the same God and the differences stem only from the age in which they were revealed. They promote gender, racial, and economic equality; universal education; harmony between science and religion; balance between nature and technology; and the development of a world Federal system. Those who believe in absolute truths, such as those found in the Bible, are dismissed as intolerant and an obstacle to world peace.
Baha'i grew out of Islam, and is in fact a stepchild of the Islamic faith, albeit a despised one. Rather than naming Muhammad as the greatest of the prophets as the Muslims do, Baha'is hold Baha'u'llah to be the greatest of the prophets.
Baha'i was started in 1844 when Mizra Ali Muhammad ("the Bab" or gate) proclaimed he was the greatest manifestation of God yet to appear. The Bab is purported to be a direct descendant of Muhammad and he claimed to be the fulfillment of the scriptures of all of the world's religions. During his brief 6 year ministry, he taught of another manifestation that would follow (similar to the role of John the Baptist). This manifestation would be even greater than he, and in 1863 Mirza Husayn Ali proclaimed that he was the Great prophet the Bab had spoken of.
Mirza Husayn Ali took the title of "Baha'u'llah" (the Glory of God) and his followers were thereafter called Baha'is. In addition to claiming most favored prophet status, Baha'u'llah also claimed to be the second coming of Christ and the spirit of truth recorded in John 14:16. He viewed himself as the fulfillment of the coming of Maitreya, the Buddha from the Buddhist scripture, the Krishna for the Hindus, and a fulfillment of "the Day of God" from the Muslim Qur'an. In fact the Baha'is believe all of the world’s religions have pointed to the coming of Baha'u'llah, and that during his era, a promised reign of peace will be established.
Thirty years after proclaiming himself to be the fulfillment of all religions, Baha'u'llah died and leadership was passed to his son Abbas Effendi (also known as Abdul-Baha and "the Master") who worked as an interpreter for his fathers many writings. He is responsible for bringing the Baha'i faith to the U.S.
Abbas Effendi was succeeded by his grandson, Shoghi Effendi became the “Guardian of the Cause,” and during his lifetime, Baha’is agreed there would perpetually be such a guardian. However, Effendi died before appointing a successor. Consequently, six years after he died, the first Baha'i Universal House of Justice was elected to serve as the Guardian. It has since been the governing body of the Baha'i faith. The Universal House of Justice is a nine-person board that applies the laws of Baha'u'llah and is made up of elected representatives. The first UHJ was comprised of Baha'i who represented Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and came from 4 continents and several ethnic backgrounds. The Baha'i temple in Wilmette, Illinois is a nine-sided building representing the world's nine living religions and is a combination of synagogue, mosque, and cathedral, symbolizing the unity of all religions.
The goal of the Baha'i faith and its leadership is for the world to become a single super-state with Baha'i as its religion. It's no wonder Baha'i is promoted vigorously by the U.N. and plays a major part in all United Nations spiritual events.
Baha'i literature proclaims the following:
"National rivalries, hatreds, and intrigues will cease, and racial animosity and prejudice will be replaced by racial amity, understanding and cooperation. The causes of religious strife will be permanently removed, economic barriers and restrictions will be completely abolished, and the inordinate distinction between classes will be obliterated. Destitution on the one hand, and gross accumulation of ownership on the other, will disappear."1
Baha'i Claims to be Compatible with Christianity
The Baha'i faith incorporates many familiar Christian themes, words, and select scriptures into its beliefs, however, the Bible would have to be radically reinterpreted to fit Baha'i theology. Baha'is claim that the Bible has been misinterpreted and misunderstood by Christians for thousands of years, and therefore must be reinterpreted through Baha'i, which they believe is the true Christianity. Much like Mormonism, Islam and other religions founded by false prophets, Baha'i teaches that they have restored Christianity to its true form. Unlike Mormonism and Islam, however, they claim that Baha'u'llah was not just a prophet but the actual Messiah and a fulfillment of the prophesied Second Coming. This belief alone reveals serious flaws in their interpretation of the Bible. The prophecies of the Bible that are yet to be fulfilled before Christ returns are simply reinterpreted or ignored to support their belief that the Messiah has already returned. A look at other Baha'i beliefs further demonstrates the vast differences between the Baha'i faith and Biblical Christianity.
God is Unknowable
One goal of the Baha'i movement is to bring about an all-inclusive global faith under a federalist world government. Their views on the nature of God reflect this desire to include all beliefs, gods, and religions neatly into their belief system. In Baha'i thought, people can never really know God personally. They teach that God is so far beyond humans that no one can really know the essence of God. While Baha'i is clearly a monotheistic faith, an unknowable God means any god will fit the mold, whether it be Allah, Yahweh or Brahma. By ignoring what the Bible has to say about God, and putting him out of man's reach, they are free to worship anything and, in some cases, everything as God. By contrast, the Bible tells us that God reveals Himself to us (Hebrews 1:1-2), wants to be known (Isaiah 45:22-25; Hosea 11:1-11), and invites us into a relationship with Him (John 14:23; Revelation 3:20). He also makes false teachings about God evidence of a false prophet, and deserving of punishment (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).
Jesus Christ was a "Manifestation" of God
Baha'is view Jesus' as merely one of many manifestations or prophets of the divine. They also deny the deity of Christ and his miracles, and argue that Jesus never claimed to be God's only Son. They further deny that Jesus was God. In fact, Baha'i theology views Jesus as being inferior to Baha'u'llah, much as Islam views Jesus to be inferior to Muhammad. They argue that messianic passages such as Isaiah 9:2-7; 11:1-2; 40:1-5; and 53 are references to Baha'u'llah, and that the "Spirit of truth" that Jesus spoke of in John 14-16, was not the Holy Spirit, but was actually a reference to Baha'u'llah.
The Baha'is view Jesus death as insignificant and serving only as an example of self sacrifice. They don't believe that Christ rose from the dead, or that his death brought about salvation. They interpret the biblical account of Christ's resurrection as something that went on in the minds of the disciples, rather than a physical, literal resurrection. Abdul Baha said, "The disciples were troubled and agitated after the martyrdom of Christ...The Cause of Christ was like a lifeless body; and, when after three days the disciples became assured and steadfast...his religion found life, his teachings and his admonitions became evident and visible."1
In II Corinthians 11:4 the apostle Paul spoke of those who would believe in "another Jesus", other than the Jesus of the Bible. The Baha'i rendition of Jesus falls in this category.
Contrary to Baha'i beliefs, Jesus did refer to himself as God's "one and only Son" in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth on him shall not perish but have eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". The words "only begotten" in the Greek carry the idea of "unique" or "one of a kind". Jesus is the son of God and has a divine nature. The Bible further tells us that Jesus is God the creator: Col. 1:16 "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers of authorities; all things were created by him and for him" (Also see John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2; 1:10; Revelation 3:14). It is unavoidable and indisputable that when the disciples of Christ declared Jesus to be the one through whom all things were created, they were attributing deity to him (Isaiah 44:24).
Contrary to Baha'i claims, Jesus was an incarnation of God, not a manifestation (Isa. 7:14; John 1:1, 14, 18; Heb. 10:1-10; Phil. 2:5-11). The Bible says that to deny either the undiminished deity or the perfect humanity of Christ in the incarnation is to put oneself outside the pale of orthodoxy.
I John 4:2-3 "This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."
Paul further affirms that Christ is the fullness of the Deity in bodily form in Colossians 2:9.
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus is God the creator, the Immanuel, and God with us.
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel which means, 'God with us'". Matthew 1:23
Baha'u'llah in Biblical Prophecy
Baha'is claim that the Bible speaks of Baha'u'llah, however, the only reference to Baha'u'llah in the Bible is an indirect one when Jesus and the apostles warned of the coming of false prophets and false Christs (Matt. 7:15-16; 2 Cor. 11:13-15). The messianic verses from the Bible cited by Baha'is as referring to Baha'u'llah, can not truly support their claim because, among other things, Baha'u'llah was of Iranian descent, where the Messiah was to be Jewish (Matthew 1; Genesis 12:1-3; II Samuel 7:12-13). Also, the New Testament repeatedly cites the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecies in the person of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1; 3:14; 8:17; Luke 1:31; Revelation 5:5).
The second coming of Christ also can not refer to Baha'u'llah. Scripture indicates that the very same Jesus who ascended into heaven will one day personally return (Acts 1:9-11). The Bible also prophesies several dramatic and highly visible signs that will accompany the Second Coming (Matthew 24:29). None of these signs were present when Baha'u'llah arrived on the scene. He also didn't show up in the right place. Scripture clearly indicates that at the Second Coming the Messiah will come to Jerusalem and his feet will physically touch the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4). Baha'u'llah never did this.
The Spirit of truth in John 16:12-13 also can't be referring to Baha'u'llah. John 14-16 clearly identifies the Spirit of Truth as being the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17, 26). Jesus said that His promise of the Holy Spirit would be fulfilled "in a few days" (Acts 1:5), not in the 1800s when Baha'u'llah was born. That fulfillment came on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. The function of the Holy Spirit is to make known Jesus' teachings, not to replace them with the interpretations of another prophet. Jesus also said that the Holy Spirit would be with us forever (John 14:16). Baha'u'llah died in 1892 at the age of 75, far short of forever.
Ephesians 1:18-21 "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come."
Jesus is the Messiah and our salvation now and forevermore.
1. Boykin, "The Baha'i Faith," 32.
Baha'i and Christianity Comparison2
Scripture Writings of Bha'u'llah Bible alone God Unknowable Knowable and personal Jesus Manifestation of God Absolute deity Jesus' death No salvific value Atoned for sins of man Second Coming Baha'u'llah Jesus Himself Spirit of Truth (John 14:16) Baha'u'llah The Holy Spirit World religions Truth in all Only Christianity true Sin Man imperfect, not fallen Man fallen in sin Salvation Keep Baha'i law Trust in Christ alone
1. The Challenge of the Cults, Ron Rhodes, page 217
2. The Challenge of the Cults, Ron Rhodes, page 223
Ye Must Be Born Again!