1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,Some of the Friends will say, "Ah, this never happened! The disciples were not on the top of the Mount of Olives! Jesus did not appear to them. He did not ascend into a cloud! Two men did NOT appear and tell them that Jesus was returning as He left (i.e. in a cloud). This is a non-historical parable, a metaphor of something! I disagree.
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion [death] by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and incSamaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. (Acts chapter 1)
Luke was writing of what actually happened. The disciples were gathered on the top of the Mount of Olives, just outside old Jerusalem. Jesus appeared to them in a vision. Mary had a "vision" of a "man" (Gabriel) who told her that she would be the mother of the Messiah. This does not mean that Gabriel had a physical body. In like manner, Jesus appeared to them in a "vision"; in an ethereal body that can only be "seen" in divine visions.
Jesus ascends into a "cloud" and two men say that "this same Jesus" shall come again "in like manner". That means "in a cloud".
Baha'u'llah interpreted "clouds" to mean "veils" like clouds "veil" the Sun. In other words:
*The Imaam Mehdi returned in two "clouds" (i.e. with two new bodies and two new names--The Báb and Quddús--for Quddús was the "return" of the soul of the Imaam Mehdi and The Báb was the "return" of his spirit).
*The Prophet Muhammad returned in a "cloud" (i.e. a new body and name--Mollah Husayn Bushru'i--who was the "return" for of the Soul of that Prophet).
*The Imaam Husayn returned in a "cloud" (i.e. as the soul or "nafs" of Baha'u'llah)
*Jesus returned in a "clouds" (plural): as the spirit (ruh) of Baha'u'llah and the soul (nafs) of 'Abdu'l-Baha.
Let me explain.
Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i, the Seer of Behrain, taught the concept of RA'JA (Arabic: "return"). He taught that in every Dispensation, the Prophets and Chosen Ones ("Moostawfeen") "return" as new people. He taught that the ruh (spirit) and nafs (soul) of the Prophets and Chosen Ones return (ra'ja) in new bodies, born of new mothers. He taught that the "Manifestations of God" are the incarnations of His Namse and Attributes. He taught that the Manifestations of God include the Prophets and the Chosen Ones. The 12 Imaams were not "Prophets" but they were "Chosen Ones".
He taught that Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, was the "return" of Mary the mother of Jesus, and that Mary was the "return" of Maryam, the sister of Moses. Tahirih claimed to be the "return" of Fatimah!
He taught that Muhammad was the "return" of Ruh (Spirit) of Moses, and the Imaam Ali (the husband of Fatimah) was the "return" of the Nafs (Soul) of Jesus! This is why the Imaam Ali referred to himself as "The WORD". In his Sermon on the Gulf the Imaam Ali said:
"I am the WORD through Which all things are consummated and through which the Universes are brought into being." (Sermon of the Gulf)The Imaam Ali also said:
"I am the Jesus who heals the blind and the leprous, creating birds and dispersing clouds. Christ is the Qa'im bi'l-haqq, and the king of this world and the next. The Qur'an itself confirms this in the verse: Peace be upon me the day I was born, and the day that I die, and the day that I am raised up alive. [19:33] Thus Isa ibn Maryam is of me and I am of him, and he is the Most Great Word of God (kalimat allah al-kubra) and he is the witness and I am the one testified to." (Kitab al-Kashf)When ALLÁH said "KÚN!" (English: "BE!") and created the Cosmos, the creative WORD "KÚN!" (BE!) took on its own Being, and became the Creator and Mediator between ALLÁH and His creation.
The Names and Attributes exist in the World of God. The WORD exists the World of Command. The creation exists in the World of Creation.
This is why Jesus is called the "MONOGENES" (Greek: "Unique/One-of-a-king") Son of God, because He was a Prophet (Name/Attribute/Spirit) and the WORD (Soul) in one body. The other Prophets had a Name/Attribute instead of a human spirit, but their Souls were NOT the WORD! This is why "Jesus Christ" is unique among the Manifestations of God.
The WORD created the world, and the world had rebelled against the Creator, so the Creator had to "atone" for the sins of the world.
Jesus Christ was NOT merely "one among 9" but held a unique station among the Prophets.
The Holy Writings of the Faith cannot be properly and fully understood without knowing and understanding the works and theology and terminology of the Shaykhis.
In Some Answered Questions 'Abdu'l-Baha denied the existence of reincarnation for human souls. He said that human souls cannot return to this material planet anymore than we can return to the wombs of our own mothers.
But, 'Abdu'l-Baha never denied that incarnation on other material planets was possible for human souls; one incarnation per planet. This is called consecutive incarnation. Consecutive incarnation is taught in The Urantia Book; a revelation of a Seer named Wilfred Kellogg in the 1920s.
Also, the Manifestations of God do not have "human" souls. Their souls are either Powerful Souls or Divine Souls.
Malak means "Angel".
Jabar means "Power".
Lah means "Divinity". (Al-Lah means "THE Divinity").
Malakoot is the "Realm of Angels".
Jabaroot is the "Realm of Powers".
Lahoot is the "Realm of Divinities".
The "Divinities" (plural) are the "Perfections" of ALLAH; His Names and Attributes.
ALLÁH is the TOTALITY of Divinities. That is Why He says "WE" and "OUR" and "US" throughout the Qur'an. This is the meaning of "Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness." A colony of bees are not hundreds of bodies with individiual minds, but ONE MIND with many different bodies all working according to the ONE MIND that all share. The ONE MIND of the Manifestations of God is ALLÁH ("THE" Divinity).
The Holy Qu'ran lists 99 Names/Attributes of ALLÁH. The Names are also Attributes. The Prophets are the "incarnations" of the Names/Attributes. The Essence of God does not incarnate, but His Names/Attributes do. The Names/Attributes of ALLÁH; which are also called His "Perfections" or "Qualities" of "Quiddities". Whenever the Holy Texts say "perfections" or "qualities" these Verses refer to the Ruh (Spirit) of a Manifestation of God. But not the Nafs (Soul) of a Manifestation.
The Names have existed for eternity past (azal). They had no beginning; because God has no beginning. In fact, ALLAH is the TOTALLY of His Names/Attributes. This is in the Qu'ran ALLAH says "WE" and "US" and "OUR". This is why it says in Genesis: "Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness". ALLAH is the plurality of His Names and Attributes.
The Manifestations of God also have a SOUL (NAFS); which is the "individuality" of the Man.
Can the "Perfections" and "Souls" of the Manifestations of God "return" to this material planet?
Yes, of course! According to Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i, They can and do! He called this ra'ja (Arabic: "return"). Not only the "Perfections" but also the Souls. Not only the Souls of the Prophets, but the Souls of the "Chosen Ones" as well. This is what he meant by "ra'ja" (return). The Prophets and Chosen Ones "return" in every Dispensation like actors return in new roles. Human souls do not reincarnate on this planet, but the "Manifestations of God" (he coined the phrase) "return" in every Dispensation. For example, Fatimah (the daughter of Muhammad) was the "return" of Mary the mother of Jesus, and Mary the mother of Jesus was the "return" of Maryam the sister of Moses, etc.
The Báb declared that He was the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi; who "disappeared" in 857A.D. (260 A.H.); either be going into an underground cave, or falling down a well near Qom, Iran. The Imaam Mehdi was just a small child. He was probably playing when he fell down the well and died down there. The Shi'ites believed that the Imaam Mehdi was in a "state of occultation" (hiding), and that he would appear in the last days to establish the True Faith. They believed that God was keeping the Imaam Mehdi in hiding, and that he was still alive, and would live until the last days when he would return as a mature man and lead the Shi'ites to victory over the world.
The Báb claimed to be the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi. To the Shi'ite this was blasphemy; since The Bab was born in 1819! He obviously was NOT the Imaam Mehdi whom Shi'ites believed had never died. But, to the Shaykhis, the Imaam Mehdi was to appear 1000 lunar years from 260 A.D. (1260 A.H./1844 A.D.) He would be the "return"; which was a word that Shaykhis knew to mean the "return" of the "spirit" (not the soul) of the Imaam Mehdi.
In English, the word "soul" and "spirit" are interchangeable. They mean the same thing: the "immortal" part of a human being. But, in Arabic, the words RUH (spirit) and NAFS (soul) are not interchangeable, and do not mean the same thing. The RUH (spirit) is one thing, and the NAFS (soul) is different. According to Baha'u'llah (Surah of Sorrows 8), humans consist of the following four parts:
Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i wrote extensively on the spirit, soul, physical body, and ethereal body. He wrote that the Imaam Mehdi died down the well. God is not hiding him somewhere. The Imaam Mehdi would "return"; not in his physical body, but his RUH (spirit) would return.
The Shaykh also taught that the spirits of the Prophets and the Chosen Ones were "the Manifestations of God". He invented the term "Manifestation of God". That term did not exist before him.
Siyyid Kazim Rashti founded a new sect of Shi'ite Islaam, called the Shaykhi sect, based upon the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i; who was a Muhaddas ("Seer"--a non-prophet who sees angels).
Shaykh Ahmad taught that the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi was not the "return" of the physical body of the boy who fell down a well near Qom in 260 A.H., but the "return" of the RUH (spirit) and NAFS (soul) of the boy; two Men who would be born of other mothers and have new bodies and new names.
The Spirit (RUH) is not the Soul (NAFS). The soul means our individual personality; that which makes us totally unique. The Spirit is not the Soul. The Spirit of a Prophet or Imaam is a Name/Attribute of ALLÁH. But the NAFS (Soul) means the individuality.
According to Shaykh Ahmad, the RUH (Spirit) of the boy Imaam Mehdi will "return" 1000 lunar (nor solar) years from 260 A.H. (the year he fell down the well). That brings it to the year 1260 A.H./1844 A.D. In that year, the Shaykhis awaited the advent of the Imaam Mehdi. They did not expect the Imaam Mehdi to be the "return" of the boy who died 1000 lunar years previously. They expected the "return" of the Spirit of the Imaam Mehdi.
In 1844 (1260 A.H.), Siyyid Muhammed Ali Shirazi, a disciple of Siyyid Kazim Rashti, claimed to be the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi. To orthodox Shi'ites this was utter blasphemy. They expected the Imaam Mehdi to return as a 1000+ year old man; the same boy who fell down the well would return in a mature, but strong and sprite, male body because Allah had hidden him away but strengthened him and caused him from dying or aging too much! But, to the Shaykhis, the notion that the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi would be in a new body, born of new parents, was entirely possible and consistent.
The first of the Shaykhis to accept The Báb was Mulla Husayn Bushru'i. The Báb declared the Mulla Husayn was the "return" of the Prophet Muhammad; the Messenger of God. This presents a delemma! How can Mulla Husayn be the "return" of a Manifestation of God, when Mulla Husayn was not a Manifestation?
In what "way" was Mulla Husayn Bushru'i the "return" of the Prophet Muhammad?
*Mulla Musayn Bushru'i was not a Prophet nor did he claim to be.
*Mulla Husayn Bushru'i wrote no book of laws.
One has to understand the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad to understand how Mulla Husayn Bushru'i can be the "return" of the Prophet Muhammad.
' The Shaykhi meaning is this: the Prophets have a Spirit and a Soul; both of which may ra'ja (return) to this material world (naw-soot).
If this interpretation is true, it would mean that The Báb was the "return" of the RUH (Spirit) of the Prophet Muhammed (Bayan II:11), while Mulla Husayn Bushru'i was the "return" of the NAFS (Soul) of the Prophet Muhammad. This is, in fact, what the Bayan claims. And it is perfectly consistent with Shaykhi doctrine.
In Shaykhi nomenclature, another name for the Spirit of a Prophet is His "Perfections" or "Qualities" or "Quiddities". Whenever the Central Figures write of a Prophets "Perfections" or "Qualities" They are referring to His Spirit (not His Soul).
In like manner, The Báb was the "return" of the SPIRIT (RUH) of the Imaam Mehdi, while Quddús was "the return" of the SOUL (NAFS) of the Imaam Mehdi. This is why Nabil wrote:
"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 wrote that Quddús fulfilled a particular Shi'ite prophecy concerning the return of the Imaam Mehdi! How is this possible?
Remember, before becoming Bábís, the Bábís were Shaykhis, and Shaykh Ahmad taught that the Prophets "return" in every Dispensation. One Prophet can "return" as two different people: since the RUH (Spirit) of the Prophet can return as one person, and the NAFS (Soul) of the Prophet can return as a totally different person.
This concept of "return" was well understood by the early Bábís and Baha'is; most of whom had been Shaykhis before becoming followers of The Báb.
THE BÁB="the return" of the Spirit (RUH) of the Prophet Muhammad and the Spirit (RUH) of the Imaam Mehdi who fell down a well in 260 A.H.
QUDDÚS="the return" of the Soul (NAFS) of the Imaam Mehdi.
MULLA HÚSAYN="the return" of the Soul (NAFS) of the Prophet Muhammad.
By "return" no "mere metaphor" is meant! The Báb was the literal "return" of the RUH of the Prophet Muhammad and the Imaam Mehdi. Quddús (khud-dooce) was the literal "return" of the NAFS of the Imaam Mehdi. Mulla Husayn was the literal "return" of NAFS of the Prophet Muhammad.
While reincarnation is impossible for human souls; it is quite possible for the Manifestations of God; Who "return" in every Dispenation. For example, Moses and Joshua "returned" during the Dispensation of Christ as John the Baptist and Jesus, John and Jesus "returned" during the Dispensation of Muhammad as Muhammad and Ali, and Muhammad "returned" during the Dispensation of The Báb as The Báb and Mulla Husayn. His RUH returned as The Báb, and His NAFS returned as Mulla Husayn. This may sound strange or confusing to us, but to the Shaykhi point-of-view, all this was perfectly logical and consistent.
Even Tahirih claimed to be "the return" of Fatimah; the daughter of Muhammad and husband of Ali.
In the Gospels it is recorded that Jesus appeared to John the Baptist, who was baptizing people in the Jordan River, for the remission of sins. Jesus appeared, and John told Him that He should baptize him (John) instead of the other way around. Jesus said He had to be baptized "to fulfill all righteousness". Christian scholars have tried to understand that phrase for 2,000 years. If Jesus was sinless, they argue, why would he need baptism; an ordinance for sinners.
John dips Jesus below the waters of the Jordan, and then a voice comes from Heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, today I have begotten thee". Then Johns sees a "Spirit" land on Jesus like a dove.
What is the meaning?
The meaning is this: Jesus son of Mary had a NAFS (Soul), but not a RUH (Spirit). In order to get a RUH (Spirit) He had to become a clean and sinless "vessal" for the Spirit to dwell. He repented of all His sins, and was baptized, and received the Spirit of God for a spirit. The Holy Spirit "dwelt" in Jesus from His baptism until just before His death on the Cross. When the Spirit left Jesus, He cried:
"My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46)In other words, the NAFS (soul) of Jesus was His own individuality. The RUH (Spirit) of Jesus was the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God; One of the Names/Attributes of God. Jesus was the SOUL and the Holy Spirit was the SPIRIT.
Thus, "Jesus Christ" was a combination of TWO Beings: the SOUL of Jesus (the WORD of God), and the HOLY SPIRIT of God.
The Spirit of God is the "Begetter" of Jesus. The Gospels say that He Who begot Jesus was the Holy Spirit (also called "Holy Ghost"). But the Qur'an says that ALLÁH does not beget, nor is He begotten. The Qur'an says that ALLÁH has no son nor consort.
How can this contradiction be explained?
The meaning is this: 1) Jesus was a combination of SOUL and SPIRIT.
2) The SPIRIT "begot" the SOUL.
3) The SPIRIT is the Begetter; the One Who is called "Jehovah" in the Old Testament.
4) In Hebrew "Jehovah" means "The Self-Existing". In Arabic it is Al-Quyyoom: one of the Names/Attributes of ALLAH.
5) ALLAH did not "beget" the soul of Jesus, but His Own Spirit (Jehovah) did.
6) Jehovah is called "The LORD of Hosts" or "the Holy Spirit". He incarnated as Baha'u'llah.
7) Baha'u'llah is the Father, the Begetter of Jesus.
The phrase "He cometh with clouds" is for Baha'is, to mean that when Christ returns He will return "in a cloud"; not riding upon a cloud, not literally in a cloud in the sky, but in a "veil". By "cloud" is mean a new human body and name.
Baha'u'llah wrote in the Kitab-i-Iqan that He was the "return" of the Imaam Hussein; the son of the Imaam Ali who was martyred. Again, most Baha'is would see this as a "metaphor" meaning that Imaam Hussein was innocent, but persecuted, so Baha'u'llah was innocent but persecuted: not any more meaning than this. But, it means much more than that.
Baha'u'llah claimed that Jesus "returned" in Him. He wrote:
"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, p.101)Baha'is think that Baha'u'llah was the "return" of Jesus in some "metaphorical" way, like Jesus taught race unity, so did Baha'u'llah, thus, He was the "return" of a "quality" of Jesus.
But that is not Shaykhi doctrine, which says that the Prophet are the "return" of the "Perfections" (i.e. the Name/Attribute which is the Spirit of the Prophet).
The "Spirit" of a Prophet is not a human spirit, but a Name/Attribute of ALLAH; which are also called His "Perfections" or "Qualities" or "Quiddities".
Now, was He referring to the RUH or the NAFS of Jesus? The RUH of Muhammad returned as The Báb Who was a Prophet. The NAFS of Muhammad returned as Mulla Husayn Bushru'i; a totally separate person who was not a Prophet but a "Chosen One".
Obviously, since Baha'ullah was a Prophet, it was the RUH (Spirit) of Jesus Who returned in the Person of Baha'u'llah. This is why He wrote that "the Spirit of God" (Jesus) had "returned" in His Person.
But the Spirit (RUH) is not the "individuality". The "individuality" of a person is their Soul (NAFS). In their last vision of Jesus, the disciples are gathered on the Mount of Olives, and they "see" (in vision) Jesus ascend up into a cloud. Two "men in white" then appear and say to the disciples that "this SAME Jesus" will come again in like manner (i.e. in a cloud).
A "vision" is literal, and historical, but it is NOT material/physical. Jesus "literally" appeared to His disciples in "vision" on the Mount of Olives. This was not a "physical" event, but a "literal/historical" event. It was NOT a "mere metpahor" or non-historical parable.
The phrase "this SAME Jesus" means the individuality, or NAFS (soul) of Jesus would return "in a cloud". By "cloud" is meant a "veil"; by "veil" is meant a new body and new name, born of a new woman.
The NAFS (soul) of Jesus would return; not as a Prophet. The RUH (Spirit) of Jesus was Divine: a Name/Attribute of God. But the NAFS (Soul) of Jesus was ___--NOT--__ a Name/Attribute of God, but the WORD of God.
What is the "WORD" of God?
Most Baha'is have heard of the phraise "WORD of God". Many think it refers to the Bible, or perhaps the Qu'ran, or both. In the Gospel of John, chapter one, we read:
"In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God.The ancient mystical Jews believed in a Mediator between God and the Cosmos they called "Metatron" or "The WORD". God uttered a "word" and created the Cosmos. God did not deal directly with His creation, but via an Intermediary called "The WORD".
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
14 And the WORD was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-3,14)
In the Qu'ran, it says that ALLÁH said "Be!" (Arabic: "Kún!") and created the Cosmos. The "Be!" is "THE WORD". The WORD is also called the Primal Will, or the Universal Will.
The WORD of God is not a Name/Attribute of God! The WORD is not among the 99 Names/Attributes of ALLAH mentioned in the Qu'ran. The Names/Attributes are from the World of God. The WORD of God exists in what is called "The World of Command". The World of Command is "between" (mediator) between the World of God and the World of Creation:
The Three Worlds is typified by the ringstone symbol:
The ringstone consists of a top horizontal letter B, then a horizontal letter H in the middle, then a bottow horizontal letter B, then a vertical letter H that forms a cross which "connects" all three Worlds:
The top "B" represents the World of God.
The middle "H" represents the World of Command
The bottom "B" represents the World of Creation.
The horizontal "H" represents the WORD of God; which intersects (reconciles) all three Worlds.
Most Baha'is today have been taught that the top B means God, the middle H means the Prophets, and the bottom B means the world of creation or Humanity. This interpretation is false! It goes against the explanations of 'Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi! The Middle H (verticle and horizontal) represent the World of Command, and the WORD of God (verticle H) which intersects all Three Worlds; forming a Cross.
Jesus son of Mary had a RUH (SPIRIT) and a NAFS (SOUL). The Spirit was a Name/Attribute of God. the NAFS was the WORD of God. The WORD of God is NOT a Name/Attribute, but the Creative WORD, the "Be!", the "Kun!", the Mediator between the World of God and the World of Creation.
Abbas Effendi (1868)
Many of the early Western Baha'is, and even His own personal secretary, believed that 'Abdu'l-Baha was the reincarnation of Jesus. They wrote:
"Abbas is the heir and Master of the Kingdom. He was on earth 1900 years ago as the Nazarene." (Lou Getsinger, Notes at Acca, p.24)Assadullah was the personal secretary of 'Abdu'l-Bahá; His greatest friend and companion. 'Abdu'l-Bahá did not seem at first to counter the belief that He was Jesus returned, but that changed when the the American and British Bahá'ís starting referring to Him as "The Christ". 'Abdu'l-Bahá wrote:
"He has come again in the Kingdom of His Father." (Thorton Chase, Before Abraham I Was, p. 46)
"He is the Son of God, the only Door, the Lord of Mankind." (Assadullah, Sacred Mysteries, p.74
"You have written that there is a difference among the believers concerning the `Second Coming of Christ.' Gracious God! Time and again this question hath arisen, and its answer hath emanated in a clear and irrefutable statement from the pen of `Abdu'l-Bahá, that what is meant in the prophecies by the `Lord of Hosts' and the `Promised Christ' is the Blessed Perfection (Bahá'u'lláh) and His holiness the Exalted One (the Báb). My name is `Abdu'l-Bahá. My qualification is `Abdu'l-Bahá. My reality is `Abdu'l-Bahá. My praise is `Abdu'l-Bahá. Thraldom to the Blessed Perfection is my glorious and refulgent diadem, and servitude to all the human race my perpetual religion... No name, no title, no mention, no commendation have I, nor will ever have, except `Abdu'l-Bahá. This is my longing. This is my greatest yearning. This is my eternal life. This is my everlasting glory." (World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p.139)'Abdu'l-Bahá never denied He was the "return" of Jesus, but strongly rejected the title of "The Christ". He was not "The Christ". The title of "The Christ" was bestowed only upon Seven Manifestations of God (incarnations of the Name and Attributes of God), and He was not a Manifestation of God. He was something more than a mere human being, but something less than a Manifestation. He was not "The Christ".
Bahá'u'lláh referred to His Son 'Abdu'l-Bahá as "the Mystery of God" (a title used for Jesus--1 Colossians 2:2) and also called Him the "WORD" (another title of Jesus--John 1:1-2,14). Bahá'u'lláh wrote that His Son 'Abdu'l-Bahá was--
"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 Bahá'u'lláh, p.135)'Abdu'l-Baha is "The Return" of the NAFS (Soul) of Jesus, Who is the WORD of God! That is why He is called "He" is not "he". That is why He had super-human abilities but was not a Prophet. That is why He has a "unique station" between the Prophets and Humans. HE IS THE WORD OF GOD incarnate!
Shoghi Effendi (or perhaps his secretary) wrote:
"That `Abdu'l-Baha is not a Manifestation of God, that He gets His light, His inspiration and sustenance direct from the Fountain-head of the Baha'i Revelation; that He reflects even as a clear and perfect Mirror the rays of Baha'u'llah's glory, and does not inherently possess that indefinable yet all-pervading reality the exclusive possession of which is the hallmark of Prophethood; that His words are not equal in rank, though they possess an equal validity with the utterances of Baha'u'llah that He is not to be acclaimed as the return of Jesus Christ, the Son Who will come "in the glory of the Father"..." (The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p.139)This statement means:
a) 'Abdu'l-Baha is NOT the return of the Son in the Glory of the Father (not metaphorically nor literally).
b) 'Abdu'l-Baha is NOT to be acclaimed (proclaimed) as the return of Jesus Christ, the Son Who will come "in the glory of the Father",... because that will present Him as the Messenger for our Day, when in fact He is not a Prophet and the Father is greater than He, and He is is not a Manifestation of God.
Either interpretation is possible! Was Shoghi Effendi denying 'Abdu'l-Baha was the return of the WORD, or was He admonishing the Friends to simply NOT to "acclaim" that?
Shoghi Effendi seemed worried that the Friends were exalting too high the station of the Master to a Manifesation of God. He wanted that stopped. He told them NOT TO ACCLAIM that the Master was the Son come in the glory of the Father. Did he want this directive to last for all time?
I believe that 'Abdu'l-Baha _IS_ the Son returned in the Glory of the Father. But should Baha'is "acclaim" that?
Is this directive of Shoghi Effendi "eternal" or "conditional". We don't know.
Jesus Himself once asked His disciples "Whom do the people say that I am?" Some said "a Prophet". Others said "John the Baptist". Other said "Elijah". Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of God". Jesus replied:
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." 15He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. 19"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." 20Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. Matthew 16:13-20 (New American Standard Version - NAS)Does that mean:
a) Jesus was NOT the Christ, the Son of the Living God?
b) Jesus was telling His disciples it is not the right time to acclaim Him as the Christ and Son of God.
The correct answer is "b".
In like manner, I don't think the Guardian was saying that the Master was not the Son (WORD) returned. We must look at the context of his directive. At the time, many of the Friends were making 'Abdu'l-Baha the equal of Baha'u'llah, and calling Him a Prophet and "The Christ" and a Messenger of God. Some of the Friends were telling others that 'Abdu'l-Baha was "the return of Jesus Christ". But "Christ" (the Spirit) returned "in" Baha'u'llah. "Jesus Christ" was a combination of Spirit (Christ) and Soul (Jesus). Baha'u'llah was the "return" of Christ.
The Cable signed by Shoghi Effendi was not written by him, but by a secretary. I don't believe that the infallible of the Guardian means his secretaries were also "infallible".
Even the Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, did not claim for his secretaries "infalliblity". Some of the Friends believe that the Guardian was infallible and all communications authorized by him via his Secretaries are infallible. I don't believe that. The secretaries are not infallible. Only the Infallible Pen, and that Pen must be wielding by One Who is Infallible. The "Pen" of the Manifestations of God are Infallible, as are the Chosen Ones.
In my opinion, no cable or letter by Shoghi Effendi can be declared "infallible" unless written (not just signed) by him.
Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i taught invented the phrase "Manifestation of God". Before him, nobody referred to Prophets as "Manifestations of God". He did not limit the term to Prophets. He said that the "Prophets and Chosen Ones" were both "Manifestations of God".
A "Chosen One" (Arabic: Moos-staw-faw) is a man, or a woman, Who is (according to Shaykhism), the "return" of the soul (nafs) of a Prophet. Thus, the Imaam Ali was the return of the soul of Jesus. The Qai'iym (Riser) would be the "return" of the spirit (ruh) and the soul (nafs) of the Imaam Mehdi. He prophesied tha the Qai'iym (Riser) would "arise" in 1260 A.H. (1844 A.D.); 1000 lunar years from 260 A.H. (847 A.D.) when the real Imaam Mehdi, as a young boy, "disappeared" (i.e. fell down a well and died).
Two Men proclaimed to be the Qai'iym: The Báb and Quddús. One was the return of the ruh (Perfections) of the Imam Mehdi and the other was the return of his nafs (soul/individuality).
It says in Genesis chapter two:
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.According to this the LORD God said "Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness." It says that ADAM was originally composed of "male" and "female" and ADAM was given "dominion" over the entire planet by Jehovah. ADAM was the rightfully appointed King/Sultan/Sovereign/Lord of our material planet!
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the dearth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis chapter 1)
Sometimes, the nafs (soul) of a Prophet can return as a woman! 'Abdu'l-Baha said that Adam was the spirit (ruh) of Adam, and Eve was the soul (nafs) of Adam (SAQ p.122). What does this mean?
I've asked the Friends this question since 1983, and not one of them have a "clue" what 'Abdu'l-Baha meant by this! Not even a guess!
But, we must understand that 'Abdu'l-Baha was raised a Bábí, and the Bábís were Shaykhis (or taught by the Shaykhis), and the Shaykhis believed that a Prophet could "return" as two different people--the return of the Ruh and the Nafs. And the Nafs of a Prophet could even return as a woman!
Adam was the return of the RUH (Spirit) of the "Original Adam" (who was born about 4,000 B.C.) and Eve was the "return" of the NAFS (Soul) of that same Prophet!
'Abdu'l-Baha also taught that Adam did NOT have a father and mother. He said:
"If being without a father is a virtue, Adam is greater and more excellent than all the Prophets and Messengers, for He had neither father nor mother." (Some Answered Questions, p. 89)I have asked the Friends since 1983: "How did Adam enter this world without a Father and Mother as 'Abdu'l-Baha said?"
"O handmaid of God! It is with the Lord Christ even as with Adam. Did the first human being who came into existence on this earth have a father or mother? It is certain that he had neither. But Christ lacked only a father." (Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha 139:6)
First, they don't believe He said it! Then, when I show them where He did, they all give me "THE LOOK" (of total bewilderment). They look like I've just asked them if they would like to eat mollusks with me on Pluto! They give me "THE LOOK" and then walk away in a daze while shaking their heads.
What did 'Abdu'l-Baha mean when He wrote that Adam had no mother or father?
a) Adam was created from clay in 4004 B.C. just as the Creationists believe. He was not born of a woman. Eve was made out of one of his ribs just as the Bible says.
b) Adam existed in Paradise (Jawr-bawr-root), which is a Dimension that exists in our space, but it is invisible. In that Dimension, he had no mother or father. He later was "born" into our Dimension (naw-soot), as a man and a woman. His RUH (Spirit) became a man, and His NAFS (Soul) became a woman (Eve).
Which do YOU believe? Do you agree with "A" or "B"? In Shaykhism, the correct answer would be "B". Adam was created by God in another Dimension, without father and mother, and "fell" (was born) into our dimension, as a man and a woman. The man (Adam) was a Prophet, and the woman (Eve) was a Chosen One.
It is possible, in my opinion, that the Prophet "Adam" was Aye of Egypt, and "Eve" was His wife "Khiyah"; a name close to the Hebrew name for Eve which is "Khivah". The Prophet Aye was the advisor to Pharoah Ankenaten, the husband of Nefertiti. When they died, Tutenkhamun became Pharoah. He died, and Aye became Pharoah, and married the sister of Tutenkhamum, who was called "Khiyah". Aye build a glorious garden on the east banks of the Nile called "The Garden of Aten". It had a "Tree of Life" and a "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil". Aye and Khiyah were real, flesh and blood, historical people. They lived in a real historical "Garden of Aten". They were "born" of mothers just like we are.
In my opinion, Aye was the "spirit" of Adam, and Khiyah was the "soul" of Adam. Adam "sinned" in that He partook of "forbidden fruit" with Khiyah; who was tempted by the "serpent". The serpent means "attachment to the human would". The cobra-serpent was a symbol of divine wisdom, by which the Pharoahs ruled. In Genesis, the serpent says to Eve: "Partake of the fruit, you will not die!" Eve then offers the "fruit" to Adam.
Khiyah was "tempted by the serpent" meaning she wanted the riches, power, and authority of the Pharoah. She could only get that by marrying Aye. By "forbidden fruit" the meaning is that which hangs from the human tree and contains fruit, and is delicious to the taste. Khiyah was the grand-daughter of Aye; which is the meaning that the LORD took a "rib" out of the side of Adam to make Eve. The meaning is a metaphor.
In Hebrew "rib" is tsela, and it can mean either "rib" or "penis". Tsela can mean "rib" or "penis" in Hebrew just like "bone" or "wood" in English also has two meanings; one regular meaning an one metaphorical meaning.
The metaphor of "Eve" being made from Adam's "rib" means Eve was a descendant (from the "rib") of Adam. Anyone living at the time Moses wrote that would have "gotten" the meaning. But the metaphor became lost over the millennia. Later generations came to incorrectly believe that Eve was made from a literal "rib" of Adam; that after Eve appeared Adam was missing a rib. That is not (IMO) what Moses was trying to convey! He was trying to tell a true story of two real historical people who "sinned" gravely; in a way that adults of His generation would understand, but children would not "get" until they got older.
"For the spirit and the soul of Adam, when they were attached to the human world, passed from the world of freedom into the world of bondage, and His descendants continued in bondage." (SAQ p.124)In other words, the Celestial Adam in Paradise and gave Him "dominion" (Lordship) over this planet. According to Shaykhism, the Celestial Adam, created in the World of Exemplars, was "split" by God and came to into our material dimension as "two" people: a Man (Prophet) and a Woman (Chosen One). Eve was taken from Adam's "rib". "They" became attached to the human world (i.e. Adam's lust for power and "forbidden fruit" and Eve's lust for power and wealth---like almost ALL men and women today!) caused them to "fall". This was the "Original Sin". Adam would have to return to this material dimension to "atone" for sin. The "glory" (station) of ADAM (male and female) was taken away, and would have to be restored after atonement.
Is the Garden of Eden "mere myth" or based upon a historical place? Ankhenaten built the "Garden of Aten"; a huge garden complex with four canals named after the four great rivers known to the ancient Egyptians. In my opinion, the writer of Genesis turned "Garden of Aten" into "Garden of Eden". In Hebrew, it says does not say "Garden of Eden" but "gan A-Den". Gen means "garden". In Hebrew "Eden" is pronounced "Ey-den" and NOT "Ee-den". It was the "Garden of Ey-den". The writer of Genesis took the "t" and changed it to "d". Thus, "A-ten" becomes "A-den". When translating Egyptian names, the Hebrews commonly replaced the "t" with a "d". Pharoahs commony built for themselves "Garden" areas along the Nile (a small one to the right). The Garden of Aten was many times larger than the Nile garden depicted in the drawing above, and had a "Tree of Life" in the center. The "serpent" was the cobra-crown.
How then was Adam the "first human being"? Did 'Abdu'l-Baha believe as the Creationists, that Adam was molded from clay 6,000 years ago and there were no humans before Him? Again, one must look to the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad! The Celestial Adam is the Archtype of humans in the World of Archtypes. In that Dimension, every species has an intelligent archtype who govern the evolution of the species. For example, the archtype of the horse governs that species, the archtype of the ant governs that species, and so forth. When "Nature" experiments, it means the Archtypes are experimenting. The Celestial Adam is the "Archtype" for humans, the "first human". But He exists in the World of Exemplars, not our material dimension. But, He entered our dimension (Naw-soot); not as one man, but a Man and a Woman.
Aye and Khiyah were NOT the first humans on Earth! But the Celestial Adam existed before any humans did; because He is the Archtype in the World of Exemplars (Jaw-bawr-root).
How is Adam "the spirit of Adam" and Eve "his soul"? This makes no sense at all unless Shaykhism is true, and Adam and Eve were the "spirit" and "soul" of the "First Adam" (Heavenly Adam) Who was created whole in another Dimension (Jaw-bawr-root), but entered our dimension (Naw-soot) as a Man (Prophet) and a woman; born in the normal way.
You can read more about the "Celestial Adam" in the works of the mystics of Islaam and in the Kaballah. He is created by God as a Hermaphrodyte in Paradise (Jaw-bar-root), but is turned into a man and woman when He comes into "our" world (Naw-soot). This is also in the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i; whose writings and teachings are the "key" to unlocking the obscure Verses in the Holy Texts, but whose writings and books are ignored by 99.99% of the Baha'is.
The author of the Story of Adam and Eve was Moses, who was born in Egypt, and grew up in Pharoah's Court. He would have known about the story of the Prophet (and later Pharoah) Aye and Khiyah! The name Khiyah is Egyptian is very close to the Hebrew word for Eve which is "Khivah".
The Manifestations of God are capable of sin, but if They sin they are no longer Manifestations. Jesus was "tempted in all things" (Hebrews 4:15), but He did not sin. I believe that Aye and Khiyah had to "return" to this world to atone for HIS "original sin". Adam and Eve not have "human" souls; so they can return.
Adam (male and female) disobeyed God (sinned). Adam (male and female) had to return to atone for sin. After that Soul atoned, the "glory" would be restored to it. Jesus said:
"Father, the time has come. Give glory to your Son so that the Son can give glory to you. 2 You gave the Son power over all people so that the Son could give eternal life to all those you gave him.3 And this is eternal life: that people know you, the only true God, and that they know Jesus Christ, the One you sent.4 Having finished the work you gave me to do, I brought you glory on earth. 5 And now, Father, give me glory with you; give me the glory I had with you before the world was made. (John 17:1)Before this planet was formed, Jehovah (A Name/Attribute of God), formed the Celestial Adam in the World of Exemplars, and commanded the angels to worship Him. All did save Iblis, who refused. In the Apocalypse, it says that the "Great Dragon" rebelled against God, and he and his angels were "cast out" to Earth. By "Iblis" is meant the Archtype of reptiles. Being "cast out of heaven" refers to being cast out of the World of Exemplars to our world; which explains why the reptiles ruled our physical world for hundreds of millions of years. They were in "rebellion".
The Celestial Adam had great glory from the Father. But He lost it. In order to regain what He had "before the world was made" He had to suffer for the sins of this world.
Jesus was the Prodigal Son.
Shoghi Effendi was undoubtedly a MÚHÁDDÁTH (Seer); an ordinary human soul who had prophetic abilities. He saw the Holocaust before it occurred. He saw the Internet long before it was reality. But, he did not have supra-human spiritual insight. Had he such, he would have made provisions for succession in a Will. He did not. In my opinion, he was not a Mustafa ("Chosen One"). He did not know he would die without writing a Will. He made no plans for his succession, which led to confusion. He worked on the House of the Guardian, but did not know he would be the last Guardian. He had divine authority, and prophetic ability, but he was not a Musfafa.
I believe that 'Abdu'l-Baha was a MUSTAFA (Chosen One); the return of the Soul (Nafs) of a Prophet or Chosen One. According to Nabil, in The Dawnbreakers, Quddús identified himself with the Imaam Mehdi. The Báb also identified Himself with the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi. In Shaykhism, the Spirit (Ruh) of the Imaam Mehdi (a Chosen One) would return as a Prophet, but his soul (nafs) would return as a "Chosen One". The Báb was a Prophet, and Quddús was a "Chosen One". BOTH were the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi.
A Mustafa (moo-staw-faw) has supra-human spiritual insight, as did 'Abdu'l-Baha. That is why He refused to take the Titanic to America. That is why He ordered the planting of extra crops a year before the great famine of 1918 in Palestine. He was a "Chosen One".
Actual Montreal Daily Star front page
In 1912, in Montreal Canada, 'Abdu'l-Bahá predicted World War I, and the Spanish Flu edidemic (1914-1918). In 1920, He was knighted by the Queen of English for saving thousands from a famine in Palestine in 1918. In 1917 He ordered extra crops to be grown; saving most of northern Palestine (the great majority of whom were Arab Muslims and Druze) from the 1818 famine that devastated the rest of the Middle East.
In 1912, while in San Francisco, 'Abdu'l-Bahá was speaking at a Unitarian Church which was attended by the Japanese ambassador (who was visiting the city at that time) Viscount Arakawa. 'Abdu'l-Baha warned him of a new "power" that would prove destructive to his country:
"Scientific discoveries have increased material civilization. There is in existence a stupendous force, as yet, happily undiscovered by man. Let us supplicate God, the Beloved, that this force be not discovered by science until spiritual civilization shall dominate the human mind. In the hands of men of lower nature, this power would be able to destroy the whole earth." ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Japan Will Turn Ablaze, p. 51)A Mustafa can be a Man or a Woman. They have supra-human spiritual insight. No Prophet can come for 1000 years after 1863, but Musfafas can appear on this planet any time. I can think of St. Francis, Guru Nanak, and Kabir, and Ramakrishna, Ba'al Shem Tov, and Sai Baba of Shirdi, and Doctor Dahesh of Lebanon, to name a few.
"The Prophets and Chosen Ones [moos-staw-feen] have been commissioned by the One True God, magnified be His glory, to nurture the trees of human existence with the living waters of uprightness and understanding, that there may appear from them that which God hath deposited within their inmost selves." (Gleanings, p.287).
Now, Dear Reader, I think you are finally prepared for me to introduce this true story, as recounted by Bahá'í historian H.M. Balyuzi, in his book 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The true story is of one American woman living in New York City in 1911 who had recurring dreams where Jesus appeared to her and told her that He had returned. The woman wanted to see Him in person. She had this dream over and over again for many nights. But the woman did not know what to make of it, and thought perhaps Jesus had returned to Jerusalem, but was not sure. She told her little seven year old daughter about the dreams, and she told her daughter that she would go meet Jesus if she only knew where He was. Balyuzi continues:
" At home her little daughter had asked her what she would do should the Lord Jesus return to the world. She would rush to seek Him, she had said, only to be told [by her child] that "Lord Jesus is here!" [the girl's finger was on France on a globe they had in their living room]. How did she know, the mother had inquired. The child reported that the Lord Jesus had told her Himself. Some days later the mother was reproached for not doing what she had said she would do [i.e. travel to France to see Him]. Twice the Lord Jesus had told her that He was here, the little girl insisted. But she did not know where to look, the mother told her child. That afternoon, on a walk, the little girl suddenly stopped and, excited and ecstatic, pointed to a kiosk where magazines were displayed. Prominent there was the photograph of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. "There, there!" the child shouted, was the Lord Jesus. The magazine which contained the photograph of 'Abdu'l-Bahá [a French magazine] led the way to Paris, and the American lady, taking the first available boat to cross the Atlantic, sailed that very night." (Balyuzi, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p.109)
It is my belief that Jesus Christ has returned in "clouds" (new bodies and new names). The RUH of Jesus returned as Baha'u'llah. The NAFS of Jesus returned as 'Abdu'l-Baha. This is why Baha'u'llah called Him "The Mystery of God" and "The WORD" and "The Master". These are titles of Jesus found in the New Testament, and Baha'u'llah was very familiar with that book.
"Jesus Christ" was a combination of SOUL (WORD of God) and SPIRIT (Holy Spirit). The WORD (Jesus) returned first as the Imaam Ali, then as 'Abdu'l-Baha. The SPIRIT (Christ) returned twice as well! But, how could both The Bab and Baha'u'llah be the RUH (Spirit) of Christ when they both lived at the same time? Is anything too hard for God? In the Book of Revelations, the Christ is called the "Lamb of God" and the Angel of Jesus (who shows John the vision) shows him a Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes; Who are called "The Seven Spirits of God". Thus, "Christ" is not One Ruh only, but Seven Spirits! Seven Messengers of God!
According to the Bible (Genesis chapter one) and the Qur'an, ADAM (One being composed of male and female) was appointed Sovereign over this material world. Baha'u'llah wrote that 'Abdu'l-Baha was a "WORD" from God Who "made it Sovereign over the earth and all that is therein." (The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p.135).
This, I believe, is the meaning that Jesus Christ would return in "clouds". Not one "cloud", but TWO! This is why it says in the Apocalypse:
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (Rev. 1:7)In a vision on the Mount of Olives, the Disciples of Jesus saw Him ascend up into a "cloud" and two angels appeared telling them "this SAME Jesus will come again" in the same manner (i.e. in a cloud). By "cloud" is meant a new body and a new name. In the Dispensation of Muhammad, the WORD was His cousin and son-in-law, the Imaam Ali ibn Talib. The WORD would return again in every Dispensation.
The Gospels are narratives from beginning to end. They are not "historical" until Jesus' death, then turn into "mere (non-historical) parables" after His death! Jesus was raised from the dead, NOT in His physical body, but in His ethereal body which could only be seen in visions. Jesus literally/histocially appeared in vision for forty days after His death. Visions are "literal" and "historical" but they are not "physical" or "material" in nature. Visions are NOT "mere parables" but historical events.
According to Luke (a disciple of Paul) who wrote The Book of Acts (a history of the acts of Jesus' apostles--mostly Peter and Paul), Jesus appeared to His disciples, off and on, in visions for 40 days after His death. A "vision" is NOT a physical/material event, but it is a literal/historical event. A "vision" is NOT a "mere metaphor" or non-historical "parable". These visions were LITERAL, but they were not "physical". The final vision was when the Disciples had gathered on the top of the Mount of Olives, just outside Old Jerusalem. They see Jesus ascend into the sky; disappearing into a cloud. Two "men in white" then appear to the Disciples on the Mount. The "two men" tell the Disciples "This SAME Jesus will come again in like manner as ye have seen Him ascend into the sky." (i.e. into a cloud). The meaning is that "this SAME Jesus" (i.e. His soul, nafs, individuality) shall appear again "in a cloud"; meaning with a new body and new name. He shall appear again "in a cloud" in every Dispensation. His "soul" is the WORD of God!
Abbas Effendi ('Abdu'l-Bahá) was born on the very Day that The Báb made His Declaration in 1844. This is not a mere coincidence! The WORD OF GOD (Kalim'u'llah) "returns" in every Dispensation. The Prophets and Chosen Ones (not us!) ra'ja ("return") in every Dispensation. But there is no ra'ja ("return") for human souls to this material planet. Human souls have one life per planet. Human souls shall go far away from this planet, to another material planet, and experience "the second death" (to die again). And that process continues until a human soul becomes an angelic soul (Mal-law-koot). But, the Prophets and Chosen Ones do not have "human" souls (Naw-soot). They have Divine Souls (Prophets=Lawhoot) or Powerful Souls (Chosen Ones=Jaw-bar-root).
1) Jesus Christ was a combination of two Divine Beings: the Spirit of God from the World of God and the WORD of God from the World of Command. The Spirit was His RUH, and the WORD was His NAFS. The New Testament calls Jesus Christ the MONOGENES (greek: "one-of-a-kind") Son of God. Why? Because He was both a Prophet and the WORD.
2) According to the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i, a Shi'ite Seer who taught in the early 1800s, every Manifestation of God has a RUH (Spirit) from the World of God (a Name/Attribute of God), but also a NAFS (Soul); which is the "individuality" of that Manifestation of God. The RUH and NAFS can return as two different individuals; as a Prophet and a "Mustafa" (Chosen One). Shaykh Ahmad was not the founder of a sect or school, but he left an extensive body of writings.
3) In 1840, Siyyid Kazim Rashti codified the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i, and founded the Shaykhi School of Twelver Shi'ite Islaam. He taught that the Imaam Mehdi was going to "ra'ja" (return) in the year 1260 A.H. (1844 A.D.); according to the prophecies of Shaykh Ahmad. He taught that the Prophets and Chosen Ones (not us) "return" (ra'ja) in every Dispensation.
4) Siyyid Muhammad Ali Shirazi, a young Shi'ite merchant from Shiraz, otherwise known as "The Báb", was a disciple of Siyyid Kazim Rashti, and made His declaration in 1260 A.H. On the very day of this Declaration, Abbas Effendi was born.
5) The Báb taught that Mollah Husein Bushru'i, the first Letter of the Living, was the "return" of the Nafs (individuality) of the Prophet Muhammad.
6) Janib-i-Quddús, another Letter of the Living, proclaimed at Fort Tabarsi that he was the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi (i.e. the return of the NAFS/Soul/Individuality of the Imaam Mehdi).
7) Baha'u'llah proclaimed that He was the "return" of the Imaam Husayn (martyred son of the Imaam Ali) and also the "return" of the Spirit of God (i.e. the return of the RUH of Jesus).
8) 'Abdu'l-Baha denies the title of "Christ"; saying His only title and glory should be "Servant of Glory". He does not actually deny He is Jesus "returned". Rather, He rejects the title of "Christ". Baha'u'llah refers to His Son as "the Mystery of God" and "The Word" and "The Master"; known titles of Jesus found in the New Testament.
9) On September 28th, 1912, 'Abdu'l-Baha knocks on the East Door of the Salt Lake Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. Not being a Mormon, He is denied entry. According to Mormon prophecies, Jesus will "suddenly" (unexpectantly) come to His Temple before the generation living in 1832 were all dead, wearing red apparel. His photo is printed in The Salt Lake Tribune, and one Mormon woman, Xorol Richards Oliver, believes He is Jesus reincarnated. She becomes the first Mormon to become a Baha'i.
10) 'Abdu'l-Baha was not a Prophet lesser or otherwise, but He was greater than an ordinary human being. He had a "unique station" between the World of God and the World of Creation (i.e. He is from the World of Command and is the "Mediator" between God and Mankind).
The time was not right in 1934 to acclaim the true station of 'Abdu'l-Baha, the WORD and Master and Mystery of God. The Friends were not ready. The World was not ready. I believe the Friends and the World-at-large are now ready. But, are you?
Aenon E. Moss