VI
BAHA'I EVANGELISTS & THE 5 CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES
Specially trained teachers who teach Evangelical Christians the Faith based upon the Five Christian Principles

6. Bahá'í Evangelists

Problem: the Baha'i Faith, as it is presented today via the Standard Message (World Peace/Race Unity/Equality) is a total turn-off for Evangelical Christians, Mormons, and traditional Catholics. To these groups, the Faith sounds like a social-activist organization; not a religion. To try to convince Fundamentalists that the Faith is true via the Standard Message is like trying to convince Baha'is that Sun Myong Moon is the Messiah because "If we all accept Moon as the Messiah it means that will bring World Peace!" Absurd! Bahá'ís who try to explain the teachings to Fundamentalists are, 99 out of 100 times, frustrated, throw up their arms, and give up! This will continue as long as the Faith uses the standard "World Peace/Race Unity" message. It is almost impossible to attract or convert Fundamentalist Christians and Mormons to the Faith via the World Peace/Race Unity/Equality Message, and this fact will never change.

Solution: Decide: Do we want Evangelical Christians, Mormons, and Traditional Catholics in the Faith? If no, then write them off: now and forever! That simple If you decide yes, then: Create a cadre of Bahá'í Teachers who are trained on how to teach the Faith to Evangelicals. You can call them "Evangelists". The term means in Greek: "One Who Gives Good News". The "Good News of Bahá'u'lláh" is not "The Principles" but that He is the promised Spirit of Truth!

It is not practical, nor adviseable, to teach all of the Friends how to teach Evangelicals the Faith. Ask for volunteers to become Bahá'í Evangelicals (i.e.Teachers who specialize in teaching Evangelicals). Provide an online training course, a "test", and an attractive certificate of completion. Every Community should have at least "one" Evangelist. When an Evangelist becomes a Seeker, the Friends should refer him/her to the Evangelist. That simple.

All Evangelists must accept the following principles:

1)*Jesus was the virgin-born Son of God; begotten by the Holy Spirit.
2)*Jesus' shed blood on the Cross paid for our sins (was not merely a martrydom but an atonement for sin)
3)*Jesus performed literal miracles (i.e. He literally raised the dead, healed the blind, made the lame to walk---literally).
4) *Jesus literally arose from the dead--not in a physical body, but in an ethereal body that can only be seen in visions
5) Jesus ascended into a cloud on the Mount of Olives (seen in vision by His disciples---Acts chapter one).

Christian Principle number "4" is absolutly essential! Without it, you can "forget" about converting Evangelicals, Traditional Catholics, or Mormons to the Faith. Forget it! Not one in 100,000 will become Believers!

Please listen! To try to convince a Bible-believing Christian that the "Metaphor Only" view of Jesus' resurrection is true is like trying to convince a Jew that the Nazis were "good folks" or trying to convince African-Americans that the KKK were "good folks" or trying to convince Baha'is that Baha'u'llah DIED in the Siyah Chal and everything after that is merely non-historical parable!! Really! It will ___never....EVER___ work!

A few of the Friends say, "Oh, yes I used to be a Bible-believing Christian!" No! Most (99%) who say this never were Bible-believing Christians. They went to a Bible-believing Church (usually forced to by their parents), but no ("0") Bible-believing Christian would accept the "Metaphor Only" explanation of the Resurrection of Jesus.

And, I do not believe that 'Abdu'l-Baha adhered to the Metaphor-Only view. In Some Answered Questions He was giving ta'wil. For example, the ta'wil of Jesus' death is that the Body of Christ (His teachings and disciples) became as "dead" and were in the "tomb of unbelief" for three days. The ta'wil explanation is never meant to negate the literal fact that Jesus died and was placed into a tomb for three days. Ta'wil is never meant to negate the literal event. Jesus was "raised" in His ethereal body; which could only be seen in visions.Some Answered Questions. One must understand that 'Abdu'l-Baha was asked "What is the meaning of Christ's resurrection?" He was asked in His language: "What is the ta'wil [esoteric meaning] of Christ's resurrection?"

In Arabic, and Persian, ta'wil means "esoteric meaning" and zahir means "exoteric meaning". The ta'wil means the "hidden meaning" of some literal outward Verse or event. For example, the zahir of Bahá'u'lláh's sojourn in the Black Pit is this: He was literally chained for four months in a dungeon of blackness, and it stank horribly. The ta'wil of Bahá'u'lláh sojourn is this: The Cause of Bahá'u'lláh was enclosed by the chains of ignorance, and the Cause was in the darkness of dispair.

The ta'wil of the Execution of Christ is this: The Cause of Christ became as a dead man, and the disciples became troubled and agitated; so they entered the Tomb of Unbelief and became as a dead man for three days.

This does NOT mean that Christ was not killed, and that there was no literal tomb that contained his literal remains! Ta'wil is never meant to negate the literal meaning! Merely. it is to give a metaphysical interpretation.

There is aslo a ta'wil for the Martyrdom of The Báb; but it doesn't mean He was never martyred! The rule of ta'wil is that an esoteric meaning can never negate the exoteric meaning, and vice-versa.

'Abdu'l-Baha said:

"And they saw Christ living, helping, and protecting them." (SAQ pp.106-7)
This means that the ethereal body of Christ, the Reality of Chirst, appeared to His disciples after His death, and the "saw" Him...literally...but not "physically".

'Abdu'l-Baha said:

"It is manfest that beyond this material body, man is endowed with another reality which is the World of Exemplars constituting the heavenly body of man." ( Foundation of World Unity, p.110)

"Thus it is certain that in man there is a reality which is not the physical body. Sometimes the body becomes weak but that other reality is in its own normal state. The body goes to sleep, becomes as one dead but the reality is moving about, comprehending things, expressing them and is even conscious of itself. This other and inner reality is called the heavenly body, the ethereal form which corresponds [in shape and looks] to this [physical] body." ( ibid.)

Baha'u'llah mentions the "Ethereal body" in His tablet The Surah of the Sun (Baha'i Studies Bulletin 1990:4-22)

According to the Gospel of Peter (an ancient Christian Gospel later rejected by the Catholic Church), two angels took the body of Jesus away on Saturday night, hours before Mary Magdalene and the other women came to wash and anoit His dead body:

6:1 And then they drew out the nails from the hands of the Lord, and laid him upon the earth, and the whole earth quaked, and great fear arose.
2 Then the sun shone, and it was found the ninth hour:
3 and the Jews rejoiced, and gave his body to Joseph that he might bury it,
4 since he had seen what good things he had done.
5 And he took the Lord, and washed him, and rolled him in a linen cloth, and brought him to his own tomb,
6 which was called the Garden of Joseph [i.e. the Garden Tomb]
7:1 Then the Jews and the elders and the priests, perceiving what evil they had done to themselves, began to lament and to say, Woe for our sins:
2 the judgment hath drawn nigh, and the end of Jerusalem.
3 And I with my companions was grieved; and being wounded in mind we hid ourselves:
4 for we were being sought for by them as malefactors, and as wishing to set fire to the temple.
5 And upon all these things we fasted and sat mourning and weeping night and day until the sabbath.
8:1 But the scribes and Pharisees and elders being gathered together one with another, when they heard that all the people murmured and beat their breasts saying, If by his death these most mighty signs have come to pass, see how righteous he is, -the elders were afraid and came to Pilate beseeching him and saying,
2 Give us soldiers, that we may guard his sepulchre for three days, lest his disciples come and steal him away,
3 and the people suppose that he is risen from the dead and do us evil.
4 And Pilate gave them Petronius the centurion with soldiers to guard the tomb.
5 And with them came elders and scribes to the sepulchre, and having rolled a great stone together with the centurion and the soldiers, they all together who were there set it at the door of the sepulchre;
6 and they affixed seven seals, and they pitched a tent there and guarded it.
7 And early in the morning as the sabbath was drawing on, there came a multitude from Jerusalem and the region round about, that they might see the sepulchre that was sealed.
9:1 And in the night in which the Lord's day was drawing on, as the soldiers kept guard two by two in a watch, there was a great voice in the heaven; and they saw the heavens opened, and two men descend from thence with great light and approach the tomb.
2 And that stone which was put at the door rolled of itself and made way in part;
3 and the tomb was opened, and both the young men entered in.
10:1 When therefore those soldiers saw it, they awakened the centurion and the elders;
2 for they too were hard by keeping guard.
3 And as they declared what things they had seen, again they see three men come forth from the tomb, and two of them supporting [i.e carrying] one, and a cross following them [i.e. they carried out the cross afterwards]:
4 and of the two the head reached unto the heaven [i.e. they were very tall], but the head of him who was lead by them overpassed the heavens [i.e. he was even taller--see NOTE 1]. And they heard a voice from the heavens, saying, Thou hast preached to them that sleep.
5 And a response was heard from the cross, Yea. (Gospel of Peter chapters 8 through 10)
The Gospel of Peter was accepted as authentic by the earliest of Christians, but was later rejected by a vote at a Catholic council in the 4th century A.D.

The reason why the Garden Tomb was empty is because two angels came and took away the physical body of Jesus, as well as the cross which was buried with Him. What happened to the physical body of Jesus is unknown; we are not informed in the Gospel of Peter or any other known historical document. NOTE 1: The man on the Shroud of Turin is 6 feet 9 inches. The Shroud of Turin has not been proven a forgery as is popularly believed; since it has been discovered that the piece-of-cloth from which the Shroud was Carbon-14 tested was a 13th century rewieve and not part or the original Shroud. If the Shroud is authentic, then Jesus was 6 feet 9 inches tall; extremely tall especially for those living in 1st century Palestine.

The Ethereal Body is the reality of each human being. The physical body is called "accidental"; because it is not permanent, and thus not truly "real". The physical body dissolves alway NEVER to be resurrected, but the ethereal body (the REALITY of each person) is released from the physical body like a bird from a cage. The Subtle Body is not a "spirit" nor a "soul". It is a body of flesh and bone, but is made of heavenly elements and not earlty/material elements.

Yogananda, the author of Autobiography of a Yogi, the founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship, once wrote of his vision of his beloved master, Sri Yukteswar, who appeared to Yogananda in vision after his death:

Yogananda: ""But is is you, Master, the same Lion of God? Are you wearing a body like the one I buried beneath the cruel Puri sands?"

Yukteswar: "Yes, my child, I am the same. This is a flesh and blood body. Though I see it as ethereal, to your sight it is physical." (Autobiography of a Yogi, p.476)


Sri Yukteswar and Yoganda

Sri Yukteswar was not a Prophet minor or otherwise. He was one of those persons called "Chosen Ones" in the Holy Writings: those who have overcome and eliminated their own egos (the satan with us), and have become angelic souls, and angelic souls can appear to the living in ethereal bodies, like Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who has appeared to children and others throughout the centuries. The Chosen Ones are called Sants, Saints, Arahants, and Bodisattvas. They can appear to the living in ethereal bodies; which appear to those seeing the vision as physical bodies, as in the case of when Yogananda.

Yogananda thought that he was seeing the physical body of Sri Yukteswar, but he was seeing the ethereal body of that Sant.

'Abdu'l-Bahá said:

"Men behold in the World of Vision various images, communicates with them and recieves benefits, and in that World of Vision he thinks they are phsyical temples and material bodies while they are purely immateral." (Star of the West 2:15, Dec. 1911, p.6)
Jesus literally "arose" from the dead: not in His physical body, but in His ethereal body. What happenned to His physical remains is unknown and not recorded in any known historical document. This is why 'Abdu'l-Bahá said:
"For Christ had an elemental body and a celestial form. The elemental body was crucified, but the heavenly form is living and eternal, and the cause of everlasting life." (SAQ p.98)
By "elemental body" He meant the physical body.

By "celestial form" He meant the ethereal body.

Mirza Valiyyu'llah Khan Varqa (son of the Bahá'í poet Varqa) wrote:

"My father was much with Baha'u'llah. One night Baha'u'llah, as He walked back and forth in His room, said to my father:
'At stated periods souls are sent to earch by the Mighty God with what we call the Power of the Great Ether. And they who possess this power can do anything: they have all Power....Jesus Christ had this Power. The people thought of Him as a poor young man, Whom they had crucified; but He possessed the Power of the Great Ether, tehrefore He could not remain underground. This ethereal Power arose and quickened the world. And now look to the Master, for this Power is His." (The Chosen Highway 3:1)
In a recently translated tablet of Bahá'u'lláh we read Jesus speaking through Bahá'u'lláh about Bahá'u'lláh ("His Father"):
"The Kingdom of God circleth around Him and it is because of His Love that I adorned the Cross was adored with My body. Verily, I arose from the dead to complete my mention of His Name amongst men. O people of the Gospel! Do not make mention of Me (Jesus) when you have turned away from my Father, the All-Glorious." (Revealed on the Day of Ridwan, published in Tasbih-va-Tahlil, Bahá'í Publishing Trust of India, pp.142-155, provisional translation by Khazeh Fananapazir)
Jesus saying "I arose from the dead to complete my mention of His name" refers to the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus (in His ethereal body) to His disciples for forty days (Acts 1:1).

Jesus was able to "speak" through Baha'u'llah because the Spirit (Perfections, Qualities) of Jesus "returned" in Baha'u'llah. This is why Jesus was "in" Baha'u'llah. This is why Baha'u'llah said:

"O Jews! If ye be intent on crucifying once again Jesus, the Spirit of God, put Me to death, for He hath once more, in My person, been made manifest unto you." (Gleanings, pages 101-2)
Baha'u'llah meant this literally! He was the "return" of the "Spirit" of Jesus. Whenever 'Abdu'l-Baha speaks of the "return" fo the "Perfections" or "Qualities" He means the return of the Spirit, because "Pefections" and "Qualities" are Shaykhi code-words for a Name/Attribute of God, and the Names/Attributes of God are the "Spirits" (not Souls) of the Prophets and the "Chosen Ones".

Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i, the Seer who predicted the return of the Imaam Mehdi in the year 1260 A.H. (1844 A.D.), taught that the Prophets "return" in every Dispensation. Every human being includes four elements:

*Spirit (Ruh)
*Soul (Nafs)
*Physical Body (Jism A)
*Ethereal Body (Jism B)

The Seer taught that the physical body is never resurrected, but after death the ethereal body is released from the physical body like a bird from a cage. The elements that compose the physical body return to the earth never to be raised, but the ethereal body, the celestial form, continues to exist in the Unseen World for as long as it remains in that world.

The Báb claimed to be the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi, who, as a young boy, fell down a well near Qom, Iran, in 847 A.D. (260 A.H.). One thousand lunar years later, The Báb claimed that He was the "return" of the Imam Mehdi. But, The Báb also claimed to be the "return" of the Prophet Muhammad, and The Báb also claimed that Mollah Husayn, His first disciple, the first of the 18 Letters of the Living, was the "return" of the Prophet Muhammad!

How could Mollah Husayn, a non-prphet, be the "return" of the Prophet Muhammad?

Mollah Husayn was not an "ordinary" human being. He was a "Chosen One" (Musfafa). A Chosen One is not a Prophet, but is the "Soul" of a Prophet returned. Mollah Husayn was the Soul (not Spirit) of the Prophet Muhammad "returned" in a "cloud" (veil--new body and name).

Shaykh Ahmad taught that the Prophets have a Spirit (Ruh) and a Soul (nafs). The Spirit of a Prophet always returns as a Prophet, but the Soul (nafs) returns as a Mustafa ("Chosen One"). Thus, the Spirit ("Perfections") of Muhammad returned as The Báb, and the Soul (Nafs) of Muhammad returned as an ordinary human being (Mollah Husayn).

Human souls cannot "return" to this material planet, but the Prophets and Chosen Ones do not have "human" souls.

Jesus Christ was composed of a Spirit (Holy Spirit) and a Soul. The Soul of Jesus was not an ordinary human soul, but the WORD of God. Between the Names/Attributes and human souls there is the WORD of God; which is the Mediator between the World of God and the World of Creation. When Allah said "Be!" and created the Cosmos, the "Be!" is the WORD of God. The WORD is not a Name/Attribute, but His "command" ("BE!"). The WORD of God exists in the World of Command; which is between the World of God and the World of Creation.

The Holy Spirit is the Father Whose Name is Yehweh, or in Arabic al-Qayyoom; which means "Self-Subsistent". It is Yehweh (Jehovah) Who is the "Begetter of the Spirit (Jesus)" since Allah is He Who begets not nor is He begotten. Allah is the Essence of God Who does not beget, nor does He has any son or consort. Jesus is the Son of Jehovah (a Name/Attribute); not the son of Allah.

Jesus Christ was a combination of Holy Spirit and WORD of God. The Spirit of a Prophet always returns as a Prophet. The Soul of a Prophet never returns as a Prophet. This is why The Báb refers to Mollah Husayn (the First Letter of the Living) as the "return" of the Prophet Muhammad.

Nabil, the author of The Dawnbreakers, identifies Quddús, another Letter of the Living, as the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi:

"In this manner they reached the shrine of Shaykh Tabarsi. The first words that fell from the lips of Quddús after he had dismounted and leaned against the shrine were the following: 'The Baqiyyatu'llah will be best for you if ye are of those who believe.' By this utterance was fulfilled the prophecy of Muhammad as recorded in the following tradition: 'And when the Mehdi is made manifest, He shall lean His back against the Ka'bih and shall address to the three hundred and thirteen followers who will have grouped around Him, these words: "The Baqiyyatu'llah will be best for you if ye are of those who believe."'" (The Dawn-Breakers, pages 352-3)
Nabil identified Quddús, a Letter of the Living, as the Imaam Mehdi. How can Quddús be "the return" of the Imaam Mehdi if The Bab was "the return" of the Imaam Mehdi?

According to Shaykhi doctrine, a Prophet can "return" as two different individuals. The Spirit of a Prophet must return as a Prophet or "Chosen One" (such as an Imaam), but the Soul of a Prophet may return as another individual. Thus, The Báb was "the return" of the RUH (Spirit) of the Imaam Mehdi, and Quddus was "the return" of the NAFS (Soul) of the Imaam Mehdi. All this is in perfect agreement with Shaykhi doctrine.

In Western culture, "soul" and "spirit" and the same thing: the immortal part of a human being. But in Shi'ite Islaam, and the Shaykhi sect of Shi'ite Islaam, the RUH and NAFS are two different things, and, in Shakhi doctrine, the Spirit of a Prophet returns in every Dispensation, as does the Soul of a Prophet; not as one individual, but as two.

In like manner, Jesus Christ was composed of RUH and NAFS, or Spirit and Soul, and these two Divine Elements could return in two different individuals. Baha'u'llah claimed that Jesus returned "in My person". He meant that literally. The Spirit (of Jesus) returned "in" Baha'u'llah. But the Soul (Nafs) of Baha'u'llah was the "return" of the Imaam Husayn; the grandson of the Imaam Ali and great martyr. Shi'ite Muslims commemorate his martyrdom every year with great festivals.

But Who was 'Abdu'l-Baha? He was not a Prophet, but why is He referred to as "He" and not "he" and "Him" and not "him"? Baha'u'llah referred to His Son, 'Abdu'l-Baha, as:

"A WORD which God hath adorned with the ornament of His Own Self, and made it Sovereign over the earth and all that is therein." (The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p.135)
Jesus was called the "WORD" incarnate (John 1:1-2,14). Other titles of 'Abdu'l-Baha, such as "The Master" and "The Mystery of God" are also titles of Jesus found in the New Testament. You can read more about this in HE COMETH WITH CLOUDS: The Return of the Ruh and Nafs of Jesus Christ as a Major Prophet and Chosen One.

What made "Jesus Christ" a Prophet was not His Soul (Nafs), which was the WORD of God, but His Spirit (Ruh); which was one of the Names/Attributes of God. Baha'u'llah was "the return" of that Name/Attribute, but not the Soul (Nafs) of Jesus. The Name/Attribute of God that was "in" Jesus He called "The Father". This is why Jesus said, "The Father is in me, and I am in the Father". He meant that literally; not merely as a metaphor. The Father's Name is Jehovah, which in Hebrew means "The Self-Subsistent"; which is one of the Names/Attributes of ALLAH found in the Qur'an (Al-Qayyoom).

ALLÁH is the Essence of God Who has no son and no consort. Jehovah is One of the 99 Names (the Greatest Name)--the Self-Subsistent". Jehovah is "the Father". The WORD is "the Son". They were both "in" Jesus Christ as His Spirit and His Soul. This is why Jesus could say, "He who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:9), but He could also say, "The Father is greater than I." (John 14:28)

The Imaam Mehdi "returned" as The Báb and Quddús. His Spirit returned as The Báb, and His Soul (Nafs) returned as Quddús. This is what Babi doctrine actually taught. It is taught in various works by The Báb. Human souls do not return to this material world. But the souls of the Prophets and Chosen Ones are not "human" but Divine. In the Dispensation of Muhammad, the Spirit of Jesus "returned" in Muhammad, but the Soul of Jesus "returned" in the Imaam Ali. In like manner, Jesus Christ (the Holy Spirit and the WORD) "returned" in the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah; not as One Divine Person, but in Two. His Spirit returned as a Prophet, and His Soul (the WORD of God), returned as a non-prophet. The Father (Spirit) and the Son (WORD) returned as a literal "Father" and "Son".

Let us return to the meaning of Jesus' resurrection.

In the Gospels it says that on Sunday morning Mary Magdalene and two other women went to the tomb of Jesus to wash and anoint the body (a Jewish burial custom), and they found the tomb empty. All that was left was a burial shroud and a burial face-napkin (wrapped around the face to hold the jaw shut). They told the disciples, and Peter and John came to the tomb and found it empty; only a shroud and face-napkin (used to keep the mouth of the deceased closed) were found.

What happened to the body of Jesus? Christians will say that it had been resurrected, and His body ascended into Heaven on the Mount of Olives 40 days later. Bahá'ís will say nobody went to the tomb on Sunday morning, that the Gospels are "mere parables" after Jesus' death; not historical in any way.

In truth, according to the Gospel of Peter, an ancient Gospel once accepted by many Christians as inspired, two angels came down and carried the body of Jesus away; hours before Mary Magdalene and the other women came at dawn to wash and anoint His body; that is why they found the tomb empty.

Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene saying, "Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended unto the Father". Bahá'ís say this never happened, but is some sort of "parable" about Mary "realizing" that Jesus' soul was still alive after he died (i.e. all souls are alive after death). Mary and the Disciples had already believed that all souls are immortal, so Mary "suddenly" realizing that Jesus also had an immortal soul, and telling this to the Disciples, makes no sense at all! They already believed that all souls were immortal.

In fact, this is what happened. Jesus, in His ethereal body, appeared to Mary and other disciples for forty days after His death. This is what the Gospels accurately report. Not in his physical body; which had been carried away by "two men" in white (angels) according to the Gospel of Peter chapter 10.

Where the "two men" in white take the body of Jesus is not known. In Jerusalem there are not one but "two" purported "tombs" of Jesus: the Garden Tomb (which once had a large round stone for a door--which corresponds to the tomb mentioned in the Gospels), and a tomb which was once under the wall of Jerusalem which is now under the Church of the Holy Sepulcre.

What happened to Jesus' physical body?

We don't know. According to the belief of the Sihks of India, when Guru Nanak died they layed him on a funeral pyre and covered him with flowers, then a sheet. His Muslim disicples wanted to bury him according to Muslim law, but his Hindu disciples wanted to cremate him according to Hindu law. They reached a compromise; his Hindu disciples would cremate him then his Muslim disciples would buy him. They uncovered the sheet to take one last look at him, but only the flowers remained. His physical body vanished.

The physical body of Christ "vanished" but He appeared to His disciples, and to Saul (later: Paul) on the road to Damascus years later, in His astral body. The astral body is also called:

*The Ethereal Body
*The Heavenly Body
*The Subtle Body
*The Bardo (Tibetan: "Transitional") Body

Baha'u'llah appeared to the chief imaam of Akka just after His death while His physical body lay beneath the mansion of Bahji. Obviously, this appearance was in His ethereal body.

According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Bardo body has the wounds it had at death, and lasts for up to 49 days. According to the Gospels, Jesus went to the Unseen World for three days, then appeared to His disciples (off and one) for forty days, then ascended into a cloud (Acts chapter 1) on the top of Mount Olivet. That is 43 days. According to The Book of Mormon, after Jesus ascended He appeared to the Nephites (nee-fights--an ancient colony of Jews in America) for 3 days, then He appeared to the lost tribes of Israel (location not identified, but probably the Pashtoons of Kashmir--who claim to be descendants of the lost tribes of Israel) for 3 days: making a total of 49 days.

Shoghi Effendi called Joseph Smith a "Seer"; meaning a non-prophet who speaks with Angels (i.e. like Mary the mother of Jesus when Gabriel appeared to her telling her that she would be the mother of the Messiah). A Seer cannot be a religious fraud, but one who has real visions of angels.

The Bardo body contains all the wounds at death. This is why Jesus appeared with His wounds to the disciples after His death. But the Bardo body is not permanent, but only lasts up to 49 days.

The Bardo body is not immortal as is the Spirit and Soul.

Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i and Siyyid Kazim Rashti, the two Seers who prepared the way for The Báb, wrote extensively of the subtle body, which they called the Hurqalya or "Subtle" body.

What did 'Abdu'l-Baha mean in Some Answered Questions when He said that the resurrection of Christ referred to the body of believers being encouraged after three days and promulgating His teachings again after three days, and that Christ was not raised in a physical body that ascended into a material heaven?

He was just following Shaykhi doctrine. His teachers growing up were former Shaykhis, and taught Him how to read and write and taught Him the various Shaykhi-Babi doctrines. Baha'u'llah did not introduce new or different doctrines to the Baha'is. He simply abrogated some laws and introduced new laws. He did not change or negate what the Babis already believed, and they believed in Shaykhism.

What 'Abdu'l-Bahá was doing in Some Answered Questions was simply giving ta'wil (esoteric meanings) for the resurrection of Christ. But the esoteric meaning is never meant to negate the exoteric meaning. For example, the ta'wil for the death of Christ is that the disciples being agitated, and the Cause of Christ became as a dead body, and His body (disciples) for three days in the tomb of unbelief. This esoteric meaning does not negate the fact that Christ was killed, and His body was placed in a tomb for 3 days. The esoteric (batin) meaning can never negate (cancel-out) the exoteric (zahir) meaning. Christ was crucified on the eve of the High Sabbath (Passover); which fell on a Thursday. He was in the tomb for 3 days (Thursday/Friday/Saturday). Two "men in white" took His physical body out of the tomb on Saturday night before dawn; several hours before Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty. In the Jewish calendar, Saturday night is considered the Sabbath day (along with Sunday day).

About 98% of the Bahá'ís accept the "Metaphor Only" view of Christ's resurrection: that He died, was placed in a tomb, and remained there (and is still there today if there is anything left of His physical body), and that none of the disciples literally "saw" Christ after His death. They "saw" Him like a boy whose father has died imagines him in a crowd watching him play football: "sees" him in his imagination only. This is called the "Metaphor Only" view.

How many Bible-believers will accept the "Metaphor Only" explanation? About 1 in 100,000.

How many Bible-believers will accept the "Ethereal Body" explanation? About 1 in 10.

Do you want Evangelical Christians, Mormons, and Traditional Catholics in the Faith? Using the Standard Message (World Peace/Race Unity/Equality) you'll attract very few, and the great majority of the ones you will attract will never accept the "Metaphor Only" view of the Resurrection of Christ. Never!

But, if you use "The Spirit of Truth Message" and train a cadre of Bahá'í Evangelists who adhere to the "Five Christian Principles" (Jesus is the virgin-born Son of God, He performed literal miracles, He atoned for the sins of all mankind, He appeared to His disciples after His death in His ethereal body, He ascended into a cloud--in a vision--not in His physical body), then you'll attract many Christians to the Faith, and keep most of them.

The status quo, the way things are now, the way the Faith is promoted now, you will continue to attract only some social-activist types; most of whom are too liberal for the Faith.

The choice is yours.

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