Signs of the Second Coming

Dec 2014
357
United States
As I was studying now a Baha'i website in Persian language, i found something interesting which made me want to ask a question now.
there it was written that when Jesus Christ came as the prophet to guide human beings, many Jews failed to realize His holiness and His great mission. why? because in Jew's holy book there are mentioned some signs which should be used to realize the coming of the promised one. among those signs are such things as:

-the world will be full of peace. at that time there would be peace even among animals so that lion, tiger, goats, sheep, hen and eagle will live together in peace.
-if a child puts his hands in an snake's mouth, this won't harm him.
-there will flow rivers of milk and honey from Jerusalem.
-the Promised one must be one of the children of David.
-He will continue spreading the laws of Torah without any change
-He should build the third temple
* at that time "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore."
-Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world—on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One".

these are only some few signs. yet there are many more signs and all of them are VERY similar to those signs promised in Bible and also In Quran.

now the question is IF Christians have not took the signs in Torah symbolically and if they have not simply followed the will of their ancestors then how is it that some Jews were successful in recognizing the truthfulness of the message of Jesus Christ and yet they cannot recognize exactly, exactly, exactly the same matter in Islam and then in Baha'i faith?

how is it that Christians nowadays reject Islam and Baha'i for the sake of exactly the same signs which they have rejected/found the truth of in Torah?

my question can be applied to the same extent to Muslims as well. those who for the sake of unfulfilled signs reject Baha'i.
I would be glad if any Muslim or Christians here can help me know the truth :)
Hi, Maryamr.

I think these are excellent questions which reflect some deep thought and contemplation on your part. Faith and reason must walk hand in hand.

From the Christian perspective, the signs you list above will not come to pass until Jesus returns in glory to rule the world as our King. While he has already defeated evil, sin, and death in eternity through his sacrifice, it will not be realized in time until his return. And it will not be realized until all of Israel recognizes Jesus as the Messiah.

This, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Paragraphs 671-674):

"Though already present in his Church, Christ’s reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled “with power and great glory” by the king’s return to earth. This reign is still under attack by the evil powers, even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ’s Passover. Until everything is subject to him, “until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God.” That is why Christians pray, above all in the Eucharist, to hasten Christ’s return by saying to him:5 Marana tha! “Our Lord, come!”

672 Before his Ascension Christ affirmed that the hour had not yet come for the glorious establishment of the messianic kingdom awaited by Israel which, according to the prophets, was to bring all men the definitive order of justice, love, and peace. According to the Lord, the present time is the time of the Spirit and of witness, but also a time still marked by “distress” and the trial of evil which does not spare the Church and ushers in the struggles of the last days. It is a time of waiting and watching.

673 Since the Ascension Christ’s coming in glory has been imminent, even though “it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.” This eschatological coming could be accomplished at any moment, even if both it and the final trial that will precede it are “delayed.”

674 The glorious Messiah’s coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by “all Israel,” for “a hardening has come upon part of Israel” in their “unbelief” toward Jesus. St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.” St. Paul echoes him: “For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?” The “full inclusion” of the Jews in the Messiah’s salvation, in the wake of “the full number of the Gentiles,” will enable the People of God to achieve “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” in which “God may be all in all.”


So, we believe these signs will accompany Jesus' return which is, among other things, why we cannot accept anyone claiming to be the Second Coming of Christ when all around us the world is in a state of war, injustice, evil, oppression, disbelief and defiance of God. If this is God's kingdom on earth, then we are in serious trouble.

As for Islam, the reasons are different. Christianity and Judaism are intrinsically linked. From the Christian perspective, the New Testament is hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New. The story of salvation history for the Christian cannot be separated from Jewish history and Jewish Scriptures, including the Torah. The Christian prophets are the Jewish prophets. Jesus is a descendent of the House of David, through Mary, a virgin, as prophesied by Isaiah. Our Lord and Savior was a Jew. The first Christians were Jews. The foundation of the Church was Jewish.

As you are no doubt aware, while worshipping the God of Abraham, Islam stops short of claiming worship to the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. Islam claims that Ishmael, rather than Isaac, was the child of promise, but as Genesis tells us, God promised a child through Sarah (Isaac), not Hagar, the mother of Ishmael.

"And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac." (Genesis 21:1-3)

Isaac later begot Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the Messiah (Jesus Christ), eventually came into the world through the nation of Israel, which we believe fulfilled the covenant which God had made with Abraham.

So Islam splits with Judaism early on. Muslims believe that God's covenant promises were meant for Ishmael's descendants, not Isaac's. Muhammad descended from Ishmael and so Muslims seek to lay claim to these covenant promises. Christianity, necessarily, must agree with the Jewish position as Jesus' genealogy has everything to do with the many of the prophesies he fulfilled, one of which is that the Messiah would be from the House of David. If Isaac was not the child of promise then Christ is not the Messiah. And it goes even deeper than this. If he was not the Messiah then he was a liar and a fraud. As you can see, the ramifications are profound.

These are very fundamental differences in belief which contradict each other, and not in some superficial way, but in the very foundations of the respective religions. As the Baha'i faith grew out of Islam, these issues affect it and its relationship, doctrinally, with Christianity as well. In short, both Ishmael and Isaac cannot both be the child of promise, therefore both Judaism and Islam cannot both be the true religion. This, among other things, is why I have great difficulty in giving them the same level of doctrinal and theological equivalence. The Jewish Scriptures, and therefore the Christian Scriptures, simply do not comport with the Islamic position.

In short, there is no reason that acceptance of the Torah by Jews or Christians would translate into acceptance of Muhammad or Baha'u'llah. Especially for Christians who believe that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Torah.

Sorry for the long post, and I hope I have come even close to answering your question.

God bless you, Maryamr.

Steve
 
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Dec 2014
357
United States
Steve - Been there done that have we not!

I will see what you post to Maryamr - God Bless and regards Tony

P/S - One day I had the intent to show my Mother in the Bible that Christ was Not God, a Trinity.

After reading the entire bible, noting all the passages that applied to this point and then much research, I had compiled over 3 x A4 pages of just passages marked in order of clarity. Many were marked Excellent Example.

I then sat down and started the reply, got about 2 lines and stopped. It then dawned on me that, if I had found so many passages with so an obvious meaning, what would be the use of this letter. It was already plain to see if one was inclined to look that way.

So all the research is still tucked into the front of the NIV study Bible and letter was discarded. :yes:
Pretty amazing then, that some of the greatest minds the earth has ever known, those who are experts in the ancient culture, languages and theologies in place at the time the Scriptures were written, have been studying these same Scriptures for roughly 2000 years and come to a completely different conclusion than you. How could this be?

So who's expertise would you suggest I trust? Tony or St. Thomas Aquinas? Tony or St. Augustine? Tony or St. Jerome? Tony or St. John of the Cross? Tony or St. Teresa of Avila...........?

Peace.

Steve
 
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Sep 2010
4,621
Normanton, Far North West Queensland
Pretty amazing then, that some of the greatest minds the earth has ever known, those who are experts in the ancient culture, languages and theologies in place at the time the Scriptures were written, have been studying these same Scriptures for roughly 2000 years and come to a completely different conclusion than you. How could this be?

So who's expertise would you suggest I trust? Tony or St. Thomas Aquinas? Tony or St. Augustine? Tony or St. Jerome? Tony or St. John of the Cross? Tony or St. Teresa of Avila...........?

Peace.

Steve
Dear Steve - This is not from me - You know the source of the answers to which I would have given.

I hear the echo of the Jew in your answer, would they have said much the same re Christ.

God bless and Regards Tony
 
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May 2013
1,786
forest falls california
The fisherman

Pretty amazing then, that some of the greatest minds the earth has ever known, those who are experts in the ancient culture, languages and theologies in place at the time the Scriptures were written, have been studying these same Scriptures for roughly 2000 years and come to a completely different conclusion than you. How could this be?

So who's expertise would you suggest I trust? Tony or St. Thomas Aquinas? Tony or St. Augustine? Tony or St. Jerome? Tony or St. John of the Cross? Tony or St. Teresa of Avila...........?

Peace.

Steve

. . . the simple fisherman . . .

. . . he defied the experts . . .

. . . it works that way . . .

. . . it always has . . .

. . . it always will . . .

. . . 2000 years ago it was Peter

. . . 170 years ago it was the sifter of wheat

. . . the divines are too busy divining

. . . they're like that, you know

.
 
Aug 2014
1,410
Blue Planet
Thank you SOOOO MUCH Steve for taking your time and trying to answer my question in such a complete way. much thx :)
well, your answer looks complete, I mean it probably contains all the reasons from the point of view of a Christian. but they are NOT satisfactory to a Jew, nor to a Muslim and nor to a Baha'i. so I would like to ask you for more explanations on some parts of the answer you have provided us with:

first you say:

From the Christian perspective, the signs you list above will not come to pass until Jesus returns in glory to rule the world as our King. etc, etc.

to be frank when i read that, I even got a bit disappointed to go with the rest of the reply. because this very first sentence has put aside the original question I have asked. I will explain it more now. Imagine that you are living in time before Jesus Christ and you are a Jew. then suddenly someday you hear that a Great Man has come who says that He is the new manifestation of God for humanity (or son of God or whatever you like; it is not very important at this point). now as a JEW you must look and see "if Jesus has fulfilled the singes which are mentioned in the old Testament ?" ... and I dare say that as a Jew, who has just heard about Christ, you WON'T be able to see the fulfillment of those signs.to continue with our story as a Jew you believe that ALL THOSE SIGNS have to be fulfilled and then you take a look at Old Testament. so for example one sign is:
-the world will be full of peace. at that time there would be peace even among animals so that lion, tiger, goats, sheep, hen and eagle will live together in peace.
so as a Jew you take a look around you and you find out that World has not reached such a peace yet. lions still eat deer and snakes still eat rabbits moreover at the same time there are many wars in some countries.you see a child puts his finger in the snakes mouth and the snake bites him. so you (a JEW) come with a conclusion that Jesus cannot be the promised one.

look, it is not the matter if some signs will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ come to this earth for the second time because even to accept Him at the very first time, you need to see the signs (in the Torah) fulfilled which is in fact the reason why some Jews don't believe in Christianity; because signs are not fulfilled. any ideas how you see those signs fulfilled in the first coming of Christ and then you don't see them fulfilled in say coming of Baha'ullah (which is to us the second coming of Christ)?

moreover you have said:

Christianity and Judaism are intrinsically linked. From the Christian perspective, the New Testament is hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New.

and then again this is what YOU say as a Christian but those poor Jews who have failed to see the fulfillment in the first coming of Christ , would disagree with you. they don't think that old testament is hidden in the new one (and nor the reverse).
moreover what you say (old testament hidden in the new one and the new one in the old) is what Muslims believe about bible being hidden in Quran and then Baha'is believe about all other past religions being covered in Baha'i sacred texts. so the fact that a Christian thinks old testament is hidden in the new one, is not a satisfactory reason for a Jew to accept Christianity.

these are the two points I wished to point out for the time being. I would be glad to hear your answer to them.
much thanks for your contribution :)
 
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Nov 2012
949
Florida
maryamr, I like what you said. The recognition of our unity is slowly coming about, not everyone sees it at the same time, but the promises and assurances have been made that it will happen. :)

"Is it not better for us to be loving and considerate toward each other? Is it not preferable to enjoy fellowship and unity, join in anthems of praise to the most high God and extol all His Prophets in the spirit of acceptance and true vision? Then, indeed, this world will become a paradise, and the promised Day of God will dawn. Then, according to the prophecy of Isaiah, the wolf and the lamb will drink from the same stream, the owl and the vulture will nest together in the same branches, and the lion and the calf pasture in the same meadow. What does this mean? It means that fierce and contending religions, hostile creeds and divergent beliefs will reconcile and associate, not withstanding their former hatreds and antagonism..."

"This is the spirit and meaning of Isaiah’s words. There will never be a day when this prophecy will come to pass literally, for these animals by their natures cannot mingle and associate in kindness and love. Therefore, this prophecy symbolizes the unity and agreement of races, nations and peoples who will come together in attitudes of intelligence, illumination and spirituality." – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p 369
 
Mar 2013
522
_
There is a good book I am reading called "Thief in the Night" by William Sears that discusses his journey for finding the "Second Coming." It reads like a detective novel. The results of his finding point to the Bab and Baha'u'llah. I really like the way it is read, and I would recommend it to anyone.
 
Oct 2013
1,208
United States
Steve is entitled to his beliefs about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please fellow Baha'is, let us not engage in disputation, especially not with someone of another Faith. There is a difference of opinion about religion - let us leave it there and not turn religion into an occasion for argument.
 
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Oct 2013
1,208
United States
Sojourner said:
Muslims believe that God's covenant promises were meant for Ishmael's descendants, not Isaac's.
Do you have a reference for this? Because Muslims certainly accept the children of Issac as followers of God and part of the prophetic lineage. Including Issac himself, Moses, David, Jesus and others.

both Ishmael and Isaac cannot both be the child of promise,
Why not?

As an aside, the Bab (and Muhammad) are said to be descendants of Ishmael, while Baha'u'llah's line is traced to Keturah, a third wife of Abraham.
So Baha'is actually believe that there were three children of promise!

There is actually a song I remember from my Baha'i childhood called "From the three wives of Abraham". :)
 
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Aug 2014
1,410
Blue Planet
dear Mattew
we are not disputing about anything here. the fact is that I am only interested to know the reasons for my original question because exactly the same question can be applied to Muslims whom I meet everyday.because Muslims too believe that they are waiting for the sun to lose light and for the stars to fall down from skies and then the sound of trumpets, too loud, that they would be heard from any place around the world. so it is interesting how Muslims too have seen the fulfillment of the signs talked about in Bible but they have failed to see the same fulfillment in Baha'i texts.
I respect anyone's ideas. there is no winner and looser. we ( I ) merely want to deepen my personal understanding.