The Church Prepares the Way for The Millennial Kingdom
Most Mormons today believe that the LDS Church is the Kingdom of God on earth. Only it has the Priesthood; the authority of God.
In Jesus' day, the common people believed that the High Priests communed with God. They believed they were Prophets,Seers and Revelators. But God had not spoken with them in many generations. They put their TOTAL faith and trust in men instead of God.
Did not their high priests have divine authority? Were they not God's true priesthood-leaders on earth? Yes, and yes. However, they had no spirit of discernment. God was not speaking with them. He was speaking to others whom the Jews did not know.
Most Mormons believe that the Celestial Kingdom is on 'the other side of the veil'! This is true! But the Celestial Kingdom is on THIS SIDE of the veil too; as is the Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms!
According to D&C sec. 65:
"3 Yea, a voice crying Prepare ye the way of the Lord, prepare the supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom.The LDS Bible Dictionary (in the back of all LDS Bibles) says:
4 Pray unto the Lord, call upon his holy name, make known his wonderful works among the people.
5 Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his GLORY, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth.
6 Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN may come,..." (D&C 65:5-6)
"Kingdom of Heaven or Kingdom of God. These terms are used in various combinations and with various meanings. Generally speaking, the kingdom of God on earth is the Church. Is is a preparation for the greater kingdom~ the celestial or kingdom of heaven." (LDS Bible Dict. p.721)According to the LDS Bible Dictionary, in the back of every Bible printed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the purpose of the Church ("Kingdom of God") is to prepare the way on earth for "the greater kingdom"; which is the "Celestial Kingdom" and the "Kingdom of Heaven" which is to established upon this earth as it is in Heaven.
When Persian Bahá'ís first came to America in the year 1900 they created quite a scene while walking around New York City in their Fez hats and colorful Persian robes. Both The New York Times and The New York Herald decided to find out who these strangely dressed foreigners were.The New York Herald ran frontpage headlines such as "These Believe That Christ Has Returned To Earth" and "Strange Faith Has Attracted Many Followers". One article by Samuel Clemmons (Mark Twain) read as follows:
"Is Christ living in the world to-day? There are tens of thousands of person who believe that He is; that the Kingdom of Heaven has been established upon the earth, and that the prophecies of the Book of Revelation and the Koran are already in process of fulfillment. There are hundreds who claim to have looked upon the face and to have listened to the voice of the Divinity, and there are other hundreds who can exhibit personal letters said to have been transcribed by His own hand." (Mark Twain, New York Herald, Sunday, August 12, 1900, underline added)The Faith is the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth!
Joseph Smith prophecied ("and let it be written") that the "Son of Man" would come to the Holy Land and unveil His Face in the years 1890-91. Bahá'u'lláh did so. The D&C 133:48 says that the LORD would "be red in his apparel". After Bahá'u'lláh's house (and wardrobe) in Baghdad were burned by anti-Bahá'í mobs in 1863, female Persian Bahá'ís made Him a new wardrobe; all from red Persian Tarmi drapes. D&C section 65 says that the very purpose of the Kingdom of God on earth (the Church) was to prepare the way for "the greater kingdom"; that "the Son of Man" would come in the brightness of "his glory" to and bring the Kingdom of Heaven with Him to meet the Kingdom of God on earth!
Joseph Smith was promised that if he lived until he was 85 (1891) he would "see the Face of the Son of Man (D&C 130:15). He had plans to take His Anointed Quorum (a secret council of 9 men and their wives and children) with him to the Holy Land to await the coming of "The Son of Man" (the Holy Ghost Incarnate), but those plans were dashed at Carthage Jail on June 27th, 1844.
The term "face of the Son of Man" in Doctrine and Covenants section 130 does NOT refer to Jesus! Joseph Smith saw Jesus' face already in 1820, and again in 1836 (inside the Kirkland Temple). The "face of the Son of Man" refers here to the Holy Ghost incarnate; Who, according to Joseph Smith, was in "a state of probation" (living a mortal life) somewhere on Earth in the year 1843.
Baha'u'llah (Whom Baha'is sometimes refer to as "The Blessed Perfection") died in 1892 and was buried under His mansion at Bahji, just north of Akka (Acre), Israel. After His death, He appeared to the chief imam (Muslim clergyman) in Akka. One Baha'i at the time wrote:
"After the death of the Blessed Perfection, one day the chief of the Muhammadan priests of Akka came to our Lord ['Abdu'l-Baha] and said he had seen the door of his room open and the Blessed Perfection came into his room." (Dwight Barlow Collection, note 43-A online)Baha'is do not believe that the physical body is resurrected after death. Rather, the ethereal body is released at death like a bird being released from a cage. The ethereal body is invisible, and can only be seen in visions. It resembles the physical body at the time of death.
According to the Gospel of Peter (an ancient Christian Gospel once accepted as genuine), the physical body of Jesus was not resurrected, but was removed from the Garden Tomb by two angels just a few hours before dawn; when Mary Magdalene and the other women came to wash and anoint Jesus' body (a Jewish burial rite). What Mary Magdalene and the other disciples "saw" for forty days was the ethereal body of Christ, not His physical body. According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Bardo (ethereal body) lasts up to 49 days, and displays the scars of the physical body at the time of death.
Dust returns to dust (the physical body returns to the earth), but the Spirit returns to God (Ecclessiates 12:9). What the Disciples saw off and on for forty days after the resurrection of Jesus, was not His physical body, but His ethereal body which can only be seen in supernatural visions.
When the disciples were gathered upon the Mount of Olives, they saw, in vision, Jesus ascending into a cloud. Two men then appeared and said:
"Ye men of Galilee, why are you looking up into the sky? This same Jesus, who ascended into the sky, shall come again in the same manner He went up into the sky."Most Christians think Jesus was return riding upon a cloud, or perhaps hanging in the sky on a cloudy day. Baha'is do not believe that. We believe that Jesus will return in a "cloud"; meaning a new body and name. Just as a "cloud" obscures the Sun, so a "cloud" (new body and name) will "obscure" Jesus when He returns. Only those with acute spiritual insight (third eye open) will be able to "see through" the cloud and recognize Him. Perhaps only 2% of the people of Earth, perhaps less, have their third eye open!
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