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Religion, Theology and Self-Improvement Sundays: What is Prophecy? Part XI

The Book of Joel Chapter 3: verses 1-7 poses a problem for theologians of the world's three major religions. Who are the people referred to, in those verses, as "the children of Judah"; "the children of Jerusalem"; and "Israel" that are described as going through an experience where they are taken from their homeland by one group of people and sold as slaves to another group of people in exchange for wine? Who are this people where the boys are sold for female prostitutes? Can any theologian, particularly a Christian or Jewish theologian, say that any people fit this description better than Black people taken from Africa and enslaved in the Western Hemisphere? Can any theologian explain how these verses are referring to the people in the Middle East today who live in the country known as "Israel"? If so, how have those people in the country of Israel fulfilled the description of Joel 3:1-7 better than Blacks in this country - America? Could Joel 3:1-7 been fulfilled by any historical experience other than the Triangle Slave Trade?

Here is Joel 3: 1-7 as it reads in the King James Version:

1 For behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,

2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.

4 Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? Will ye render me a recompense? And if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head;

5 Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things:

6 The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border.

7 Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your head:

And remember, this is predicted to happen in the "last days" or "latter days" which many theologians agree we are in today. Other theologians believe that the last days begin in the 6,000th year after Adam. They calculate, from the Bible, that we are in that time period or in the beginning of the 7th millennium now.

Yet only Blacks have a history of record that matches and corresponds perfectly with these verses. But theologians and teachers of Biblical prophecy never mention the connection of Blacks in the Western Hemisphere in connection with these verses. Why?

Could it be that to consider Blacks as the fulfillment of these verses would require all of the three major religions to readjust their teachings? Could it be that almost all of the volumes of scholarship and literature produced over the last 4,000 years pertaining to a "chosen people" would be discredited? Would it also mean that more than one group of people or person(s) have been written in the old Testament under the name "Israel", Judah" "Joseph" and the "Children of Israel"?

Not to mention the fact that if the nations of the world are to be judged by God according to their treatment of a scattered and enslaved people - in the last days - the rise and fall of nations would be determined by much more than just the quality of the fiscal and monetary policies or their foreign policies.

Politics in the world, as we know it, would be greatly altered, especially in America where the enslaved and chosen people reside - if Blacks in America are the centerpiece of these prophetic verses.

In addition, the fact that the Bible was kept from the hands of Black slaves by white slave masters, preachers and theologians, looks even more peculiar in light of the extensive coverage that the issue of slavery and God's response to it receives in the Bible. While slavery is an issue downplayed by American politicians, economists and journalists, it receives major attention in the scriptures.

The man who has made the most effective and cogent argument regarding the connection of Old Testament prophecy to the history of Blacks in Africa and the Western Hemisphere is the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the man who taught Malcolm X, Minister Farrakhan and Imam Warith D. Muhammad.

Though much has negatively been written about him and of him no scholar or theologian ever challenged his scriptural exegesis. Religious scholars and theologians have never dealt with his teaching, which has been called "hate" by many, in a public forum.

Even many of those who are sympathetic or fond of him and or Minister Farrakhan, Malcolm X or Imam Mohammed have not dealt with his teaching on scriptural interpretation or its religious, political and economic implications. They take other aspects of his teaching and program but leave what he said about scripture alone. Why?

They may be shocked to see the questions and challenges his scriptural exegesis poses to the world of religion and theology. Of part of Joel 3: 1-7, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad once wrote, " America has fulfilled this to the very letter and spirit with her slaves (the so-called Negroes) under the type of Israel."

Next week we will begin to look at this concept of "types" from the work of religious scholars, and the work of a theologian taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Cedric Muhammad

Sunday, August 13, 2000

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