Baha’i Faith

By Reeves 

Brief Introduction

The youngest world religion, Baha’i, Originated in 19th century as an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam. Baha’i is a movement started by an Iranian wool merchant and a Shi’ite Muslim aimed to reform Islam.

On May 23, 1844, in Shiraz, Persia, a young man, Mizra Ali Muhammed, known as the Bab, said that God’s messenger was about to appear.

Babs work was to prepare a way for this messenger, he would be the living door or “the gate.” Bab’s teaching became widely known throughout Iran, but provoked opposition

He finally died by execution. One of Bab’s earliest disciples was Mizra Husain Ali, who was assumed the name of Baha’u’llah whan he renounced his social standing and joined the Babis.

He self-proclaimed that he was the long-awaited prophet. Baha’u’llah began organizing and composed many of the now known Baha’i scriptures for the movement, which became known as Baha’i.

Baha’u’llah died at Bahji and was succeeded by his eldest son Abd ul-Baha to be the leader.

Baha’i’s Holy Book

One of the most important scripture is The Most Holy Book containing the laws governing Baha’i. The writings and spoken words of the Babs (or Bobs), Baha’u’llah, and Abd ul-Baha form the sacred literature of the Baha’i Faith. Some of the most notable of the one hundred volumes of the Baha’i scripture are:

1. Selections from the writings of the Bab.

2. Tablets of Baha’u’llah, Kitab-i-Aqdes (considered to be the most holy).

3. Book of Certitude (kitab-i-iqan).

4. Baha’i Prayers.

Baha’i Beliefs

The basic Principles of the Baha’i Faith includes the oneness of the world of humanity; the foundation of all religions as one; the religion must be the cause of unity. This is so because according the Baha’i people,”all faith is unified in the eyes of God,” and that there are certain principles under which God intended us to live.” The laws and obligations of the Baha’i Faith are:

1. Pray daily

2. Read the holy writings from various religions

3. Fasting from sunrise to sunset

4. Contribute to Baha’i financial fund

5. Abstain from drugs and alcohol

5. Avoid gossip etc

Least we forget, Baha’i Faith is a monotheistic religion such Judaism and Christianity. Baha’u’llah taught that there is one God, the eternal Creator, who is essentially unknowable.

Baha’i is syncretistic, claiming that the world’s major religions are not contradictory or even competitive but equally true. Baha’i also teaches that Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad all of whom were valid manifestations of God. Yet Baha’u’llah claimed to be more of significance than all previous manifestations including Jesus.

The key of Baha’i beliefs must be highlighted, thus the following are:

  1. The Primacy of Love
  2. New Role for Humanity
  3. The Twelve Principles
  4. Oneness of God
  5. Foundation Beliefs
  6. Successive Revelations
  7. Basic Unity of All religions
  8. Religious Dialogue
  9. Prejudice
  10. Racial Unity
  11. Equality for Women
  12. Economic Justice
  13. Universal Education
  14. World Federal System
  15. Science

Baha’i Worship

Baha’i have no clergy, sacraments or rituals. Baha’i as such is pretty much individualistic; that is they are responsible for his or her own spiritual growth.

Baha’i Faith and Christianity

It is said that Baha’i people are committed follower of Jesus Christ, but denies what the New Testament declares as truth in the same process. Basic Baha’i faith are diametrically opposed to biblical Christianity. The Baha’i also rejects the fundamental teachings of the New Testament such as:

  1. The Trinity
  2. The Deity of Christ
  3. Virgin Birth of Christ
  4. The physical Resurrection of Christ
  5. Christ’s Atonement (the doctrine concerning the reconciliation of God and humankind,)
  6. Salvation by Faith In Christ Alone
  7. The Holy Scripture as Final Authority
  8. The Second Coming of Christ

This shows that what Baha’i faith followers follows in Jesus and embrace are only those they consider authentic teachings of Christ that are in accord with their principles. This means to say is they “pick out” the ones that agrees the teaching of Baha’u’llah.

This also means that only some part of the Bible is from God but this is contrary to what the Scripture says, “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).

Baha’i in its relativistic system teaches that all religions are valid way to God. Again, this goes against to what Jesus said namely that He is, “The Way, The Truth, The Life” (Jn. 14:6). As you can clearly see, Baha’i Faith is irreconcilable with Christianity. As Dr. Walter Martin said,

There is very little indeed that a true Christian can have in common with the faith of Baha’i. There is simply no common ground on which to meet…The Baha’i Faith is at its very core anti-Christian theology [The Kingdom of The Cult].

Did you know that centuries before Christ, the pagan Romans celebrated February 15 and the evening of February 14 as an idolatrous and sensuous festival in honor of Lupercus, the “hunter of wolves”? 

The Romans called the festival the “Lupercalia.” The custom of exchanging valentines and all the other traditions in honor of Lupercus – the deified hero-hunter of Rome- was also linked anciently with the pagan practice of teenagers “going steady.” It usually led to fornication. 

Today, the custom of “going steady” is thought very modern. It isn’t. It is merely a rebirth of an old custom “handed down from the Roman festival of the Lupercalia, celebrated in the month of February, when names of young women were put into a box and drawn out by men as chance directed.” That’s the admission of the Encyclopedia Americana, article, “St. Valentine’s Day.”

When Constantine (who lived as a pagan mostly of his life and died as an Arian sympathizer) made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire there was some talk in church circles of discarding this pagan free-for-all. But the Roman citizens wouldn’t hear of it! So it was agreed that the holiday would continue as it was, except for the more grossly sensual observances. 

It was not until the reign of Pope Gelasius that the holiday became a “Christian” custom. ” As far back as 496, Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia on February 15 to St. Valentine’s Day on February 14.” (p. 172 of Customs and Holidays Around the World by Lavinia Dobler). 

But how did this pagan festival acquire the name of “St. Valentine’s Day”? And why is the little naked Cupid of the pagan Roman so often associated today with February 14? And why do little children and young people still cut out hearts and send them on a day in honor of Lupercus the hunter of wolves? Why have we supposed these pagan customs in honor of a false god are Christians?

Why February 14? 

But why should the Romans have chosen February 15 and the evening of February 14 to honor Lupercus – the Nimrod of the Bible? (Remember that day in ancient times began at sunset the evening before.) 

Nimrod – Baal or sun god of the ancient pagans – was said to have been born at the winter solstice. In ancient time the solstice occurred on January 6 and his birthday therefore was celebrated on December 25 and now called Christmas. 

It was the custom of antiquity for, the mother of a male child to present herself for purification on the fortieth day after January 6 – Nimrod’s original birthdate – takes us to February 15, the celebration of which began on the evening of February 14 – the Lupercalia or St. Valentine’s Day. On this day in February, Semiramis, the mother of Nimrod, was said to have been purified and to have appeared for the first time in public with her son as the original “mother and child.” 

The Roman month February, in fact, derives its name from the februa which the Roman priests used in the rites celebrated on St. Valentine’s Day. 

The febru were thongs from the skins of sacrificial animals used in rites of purification on the evening of February 14. 

Cupid Makes His Appearance 

Another name for the child Nimrod was “Cupid” – meaning “desire” (Encyclopedia Britannica, article “Cupid”). It is said that when Nimrod’s mother saw him, she lusted after him – she desired him. Nimrod became her Cupid – her desired one – and later her Valentine! So evil was Nimrod’s mother that it is said she married her own son! Inscribed on the monuments of ancient Egypt are inscriptions that Nimrod (the Egyptians called him Osiris) was “the husband of his mother.” 

As Nimrod grew up, he became the child-hero of many women who desired him. He was their Cupid! In the Book of Daniel he is called the “desire of women” ( Dan. 11:37). Moffatt translates the word as Tammuz – a Babylonian name of Nimrod. He provoked so many women to jealousy that an idol of him was often called the “image of jealousy” ( Ezekiel 8:5). 

Nimrod, the hunter, was also their Valentine –  their strong or mighty hero! No wonder the pagans commemorated their hero-hunter Nimrod, or Baal, by sending heart-shaped love tokens to one another on the evening of February 14 as a symbol of him. Nimrod, the son of Cush the Ethiopian, was later a source of embarrassment to the pagans of Europe. 

They didn’t want an African to worship. Consequently, they substituted a supposed son of Nimrod, a white child named Horus, born after the death of Nimrod. This white child then became a “fair Cupid” of European tradition. It is about time we examined these customs of the pagans now falsely labeled Christian. 

It is time we quit this Roman and Babylonian foolishness – this idolatry – and get back to the faith of Christ delivered once for all time. Let’s stop teaching our children these pagan customs in memory of Baal the sun god – the original St. Valentine – and teach them instead what the Bible really says!

By Reeves

God’s Holiness

Mosaic window Too much pressures upon our teens today seen in our television commercials, popular teen magazines that teaches them what to wear, what to think, and how to become popular among their peers is quite daunting to say the least. No wonder that living a holy, righteous life is not so popular among teenagers today.

The modern mind superficially believes that life of righteousness of today’s generations is outmoded, and even out of touched with “reality.” Sadly, Christians are not exempted and have been deceived from the popular motto of being in touched with the modern world, and live and let live kind of philosophy. But what does the Scripture tells us about living a life of holiness? What does God tells us when it comes to live a life with/in Him? We will try to answer these questions.

Christians are unaware of the fact that God calls His children to sanctify themselves and live a holy life. Before we embark with out Bible study, we should first and foremost understand God as a holy being quite briefly. The idea of holy (kadosh) implies differentiation: entirely set apart  from the common, habitual, or the profane. The holy God, is awe-inspiring even terrible or dreadful (Neh. 1:5; Psa. 68:35).

The psalmist wrote, “The LORD our God is holy,” Similarly, Joshua said to the people, “Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.” (Josh. 24:19) And prophet Isaiah wrote, “But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.” (Isa.5:16) God is utterly holy, and this is what the biblical writers tells us about Him.

God Hates Sin!

What Christians sometimes fail to realise is that God is more than just a “God of Love,” HE is also holy. Yes, God is love, and this is true, but it is equally true that God is pure and holy, and therefore hates sin! God’s purity and holiness are not confined behind his love. To think of God nothing else but love is a false view about God. God is love, God is just, God is holy, these are His attributes (that ascribes His being as a whole) that neither confines or excludes the rest of His attributes.

When God is love but He is also just. When God is just, He is also mercy. When God is mercy, He is Also holy. Thus God is love, just, mercy, perfect, and holy with all His being. In addition, God’s love does not over ride his holiness nor his mercy over ride his perfection so on and so fort. Christians who has been chosen by God according to His will should know that God is holy and hates sin. We cannot ignore the fact that God cannot stand against sin and tolerate any kind of sin prophet Habakkuk wrote;

Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?” (Habakkuk 1:12-13)

 

Judah was chosen by God but because of their wickedness, because God cannot look at sin, He punished them severely by handing the ruthless Babylonian armies into them. What we can learn through out the Bible, is that God will still punish justly those who violates His holy precepts and commandments even those who He has chosen. No doubt, Israel was God’s chosen nation yet God punished His disobedient people several times. I do not think that God Has change since the Fall. He is still pretty the same as He was towards Adam and Eve. Speaking of Adam and Eve, God did not spared them after they committed sin, they died (spiritually) and driven away from the wonderful place of the Garden of Eden for all time. Never to return again. This was so because Adam violated God’s holiness, and obviously underestimated his Creator.

I can sometimes be under the deception that God favors me, and if I do commit sin here and there, He would not punish me. This is nothing but sophistry! The fact is God cannot stand sin. God’s judgment follows after committing sin, and it does not really matter who commits the sin, He will righteously judge believer or not. By sin, God punished, beside Noah and his family, the entire earth inhabitants by sending the Flood.

By sin, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah by sending fire and burning the whole city. By sin, God send plague upon the great Egypt, By sin, Moses was restricted to enter the Promise Land. By sin, Samson with all his strength died with those he sought to kill, by sin, David’s favorite son, Absalom died under pursuit by Davids own emperial army, by sin, God gave His life and died on the cross. These and many other examples that demonstrates God’s hate towards sin. God’s judgment against sin fell upon men who He himself has chosen to serve Him, yet because of their disobedience, God did not spare them from His righteous judgment.

Are we to think God would just somehow close His eyes while defiling ourselves with the things that God hates? God did not close His eyes when David committed adultery with Bathsheba the wife of his loyal general, Uriah. Nor did God told David___ by gone be by gone! No, God judge king David through prophet Nathan by telling him that the consequences of his sin will never depart from his house. David, did asked forgiveness unto his Lord Jehovah, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” (Psa. 51:1) 

Be Ye Holy!

There are two basic aspects to God’s holiness. One aspect is related to the eminence, exaltedness, and splendor of God as seen in Isaiah 6:1-4, where Isaiah saw God “high and lifted up,” and the seraphims cried “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.” The second feature of God’s holiness is the absolute purity of His goodness. God is untouched and unstained by the evil of the world. God’s holiness is the standard for our moral character, and the motivation for the way we are to live our lives.

Moses wrote, Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? (Ex.15:11). God is absolutely perfect in all His ways. There is not a single blemish or flaw in God’s character. God is never partial; He is never unfair; He never plays favorites. God’s perfection and holiness is emphasized by the kings, prophets and apostles. God told us that He is holy, but He also exhorted us to be sanctified, and holy. In the Old Testament, book of Leviticus 11:44 reads,

For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy…”

 

The Lord God of Israel commanded the Jews to sanctify themselves, (which means to “consecrate,”) and live holy (to be holy means “to be separated”) lives because He Himself, their Creator, is holy. God is holy, this means God is completely separated from anyone and from all not just from evil, and is therefore completely other. It is of significance to read correctly the commands of the holy God in being holy.

The Scripture does not command us to “merely look holy,” or “try to be holy” but emphatically commands His follower to, “Ye Be Holy.” Being holy includes everything in mind, heart, spirit, body and action. He or she cannot be holy only some part of his or her own being but the whole being must be sanctified and holy. “Ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves…and ye shall be holy,” edicted God of Israel to His chosen people of Israel.

Likewise, we read several passages in the New Testament of the holy Bible commanding the saints to sanctify and be holy. Apostle Peter wrote,

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter. 1:15-16)

 

What Peter is trying to tell us is this, since God has called us to Him who is holy, we ought to be holy in all manner. Christians are holy unto God by consecration (declare sacred). And since we are consecrated by God, we must also be holy outward in all manners.

Those who are in Christ Jesus are declared sacred by God and therefore holy. So, if Christians are holy (by the very meaning of it), they ought to separated themselves from any sort of uncleanness. The world is fill with uncleanness that defiles both mind and action such as, pornography, adultery, promiscuity, thief, cussing, homosexuality, drunkenness, disobedient to parents, and so fort.

These uncleanness of both mind and action ought not to be practiced by Christians who are consecrated and separated from it. In Ephesians 1:4 states, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” This verse is quite interesting. It says that “God chosen us out for Himself (in Christ) i.e. out of this world. Why would God chose us out of this world if there is nothing wrong with it?

If the world weren’t defiled, He would not have “pick” us out of it. Nay, Christians are not of this world, nor belongs to the world’s sinfulness. “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the worldhateth you.” (Jn. 15:19)

The saints in Christ was once a slave, and in bondage of sin, but has been transferred into the kingdom of God’s Son freed from the shackles and bondage of Satan and sin, has different joy, purpose, hope and love. This is so because God have chosen Christians out of the world system by Christ and now belongs to Him who is holy. Christians no longer belongs to this world, and because not only that Christians belongs to Christ’s kingdom, they no longer think, and conform to this world’s sinful system and therefore, due to their apparent differences between the set of mind of the world (carnal) and the set of mind of Christians: the world hates them.

Separation from the sinful system of the dying world is not enough. Christians who are chosen by God should separate themselves from the rest and live a holy lives and should no longer conform after the thinking pattern of this world. Apostle in his letter to the Romans wrote,

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (12:1-2)

Paul exhorts believers to present their bodies as a living sacrifice which means to say that believers should use their bodies whole heartedly to serve and obey God unconditionally since they have the newness of life, and set apart for the Lord’s use and pleasing to Him. In addition, Paul told his fellow believers not to conform or mold after this world’s (usually undertood as “age” or “era”) worldly, lustful and sinful values of this age. Christians, since they no longer belong to this world and is been set apart by God, they should also transform or better yet change by the renewing of the mind. Spiritual transformation starts in the mind and heart.

A Christian mind who continually conforms after the ideas or philosophy of this present ungodly world and its concern can easily fall prey back to his former miserable self. A self of ungodliness and lawlessness, and probably no hope for spiritual recovery. Christians who live a life of compromise usually end up worse than they were before. But the worst part is that they are not aware of their backsliding nature. They believe in their own deception that they are actually more holier than anybody else. However, if a Christian truly transform his mind and dedicate all his mind by focusing only to Christ, he or she will produce a life that can stand the test of time. Mind conformed after Christ stands stronger against the attack of the devil and will powerfully resist the temptations of this ungodly culture.

God commanded Israelites to be holy because He himself is holy. If Christians worships the same God as worship by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, and David who is separated from all, then it is only adviseable that those who worship Him should live a life of holiness. Not only God is holy, He demanded those who believe in Him to be holy.

God requires perfection, the new mind, the new heart, the new man, righteousness, purity, and holiness; and then you will start searching for how to arrive at what He requires from you: repentance, your bodies as a living sacrifice, crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, your sinful nature dead, and Christ’ spirit completely replacing the sinful nature in your bodies, to live in union with He and God in the Kingdom within, while on the earth, and then forever as a son of God. God sternly warns that, “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” (Ephesians 5:5-7)

The of message Ephesians qouted above is a solemn warning, and shows  that purity and a sinless state are required. Christians should strive in aiming to live sinless, and unblemish regenerated of God through Christ Jesus and establish Him in His rightful place which is in our heart and mind. An obedient, holy life in God, should make Him be our Ruler and King within our lives. He should be our foremost Comforter, Teacher, Guide, Government, Chancellor, Counselour, Judge, so on and so fort. As long as we live in our sinful nature, we are unruly and incapable of being ruled, governed, or led by a Lord or King. So, if you want Jesus to be your Lord and King, you must put to death the sinful nature by repentance to holiness. It is only by grace that we can become sinless and holy, but we have to go to Christ to receive his grace.  ___ Amen