[Editor’s note: The following article contains edited excerpts from the keynote address delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on Sunday, July 30, 2017 during an event honoring Reverend Willie Wilson’s 44 years of pastoral service at Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. To order this message in its entirety on DVD, CD and MP3, please visit store.finalcall.com or call 1.866.602.1230, ext. 200.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
To my dear brother, friend, companion, and pastor, Reverend Willie Wilson, to his dear wife and lifelong companion, executive pastor Mrs. Mary Wilson; to her daughter and family, and to the wonderful brother who played the soprano saxophone so magnificently … to my brother and friend and pastor, Reverend Walter E. Fauntroy, and to all of you, my beloved brothers and sisters, I greet all of you with the greeting words of peace. As-Salaam Alaikum (Peace Be Unto You).
Moses brought 10 commandments; Jesus only brought two. Jesus said that the first commandment was to “love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” (that’s everything), and the second command is like unto it, “Love your brother, or your neighbor, as you love yourself.” Therein is a great problem. Because the slave master of the Wilson family, and the slave master of the Johnson family, and the slave master of the Barry family, and the slave master of the Walcott family—and the slave master of the family whose name you wear, as a sign that you’re still connected to the slave master of your father: that’s a problem, because all the good that you do in life, you do it in their name.
The White slave master made sure, as Reverend said, that he was going to teach us a certain version of Christianity, a version that Christ himself would reject; because that version made White people God, that version gave you the wrong image of Jesus. That version gave us White people as a god beside God, and therefore they beat us into calling them “massa.” They mistreated us if we didn’t say, “Yessa! Yessa!”; and when they were walking the street, we had to get off the sidewalk into the street to let massa pass. So that version of White man’s religion made us a more fitting tool or slave, therefore we could not love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, neither could we love our brother because we had not true love for ourselves.
So, truly, Black folk need Jesus all right—but we need the right Jesus. Black folk need Jesus all right, but we need a Jesus that can save us from White people; we need a Jesus that saves from their corrupted culture: we need a Jesus that can save us from lesbianism and homosexuality, fornication, adultery, drug addiction and gambling. We need a Saviour.
So the Jesus that Dean Howard Thurman taught Rev. Wilson about was the real Jesus; that Jesus that could transform you from being a “nigga,” a “Negro,” and what I said the last time I was here that is put in the back of your collar (“Made in America”): We needed a Jesus that could save us from what White folk have turned us into. That Jesus was The Jesus that was to come. The Jesus that was here 2,000 years ago was a prophet; and the New Testament is 25 percent history of the Jesus of yesterday, but 75 percent prophetic of Jesus The Messiah Who would come at the end of the White man’s world. You can read the New Testament, but you just have to escape that version.
But if you don’t know how to escape that version, the New Testament is a trap for you, because it gives you the version that makes you a twofold child of hell.
My teacher, Elijah Muhammad, said if you took Christianity, and if it were a wet rag and you rung it out, every drop would say “slavery.”
My brother, Rev. Willie Wilson, being a true disciple of The Jesus, The Messiah, was always on the path of liberation for his people. He’s been at this work for 44 years. He was a strange kind of preacher—a strange kind. See, you have a lot of preachers, now, that can shout “Jesus,” can whoop “Jesus,” can sing “Jesus,” but they walk like Satan: duplicitous, full of envy, full of jealousy, full of strife, full of backbiting and slander. That’s why Rev. Wilson was a “stranger,” like Jesus was; like any righteous man is a stranger in a world like this. When you became a member of this church, you felt a liberating spirit, from a liberated man. He and his wife, and their family, have been Black preachers—not apologists for being Black.
It’s not easy to serve Black people for one day, but to serve us for 44 years? If he took off his robe and showed you his back, you would see the lashes of his own people that hated him for the Gospel that he preached, hating him for the example of his ministry. So when 40 years ago he invited me to his little church … I looked at the picture the other day, reverend: I had a Bible in one hand, the Qur’an in another; and in the pulpit there was like a rainbow, and it came down on both these books. And my brother accepted me as his brother, though I claimed to be a Muslim.
Well, I’m a different kind of Muslim. And I’m inviting my Muslim family to come up out of a tradition of people that enslaved Black people.
Satan’s work furthers division between the People of God
If Black people in America took a DNA test, you could see a connection to your former slave master—but your former slave master had no connection to The Originator of the heavens and the earth, because White folk were not here in the beginning. Now, you’re just going to have to deal with this: They are not you, and you are not them. They are not your kind; they are from an enemy of God. They are called, in the movies, “children of a lesser god”: The God that grafted them out of us was a lesser god (but, a god), and gave them a nature different from the nature of The Originator.
The Nature of God is obedience to His will: He obeys the law under which He created Himself. He had no mother or father; He is Self-Created, so teaches the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He said He created Himself “out of the material of the darkness.” They say matter can never be created or destroyed; it was always here, but it’s called “matter without purpose.” It couldn’t have purpose until God gave purpose to matter—then “matter” mattered. And because of the darkness of the matter, He was Black, from the beginning. He wasn’t a “spirit,” He had a spirit.
You spook worshipers: You keep pointing up, looking “up there.” So the White man developed telescopes that could see stars that are millions of “light years away.” It means light traveling at 186,000 miles per second has been traveling for millions of years, and they saw that star; and beyond that, they saw black matter. Today they call it “dark matter.” So when you say, “Black lives matter,” White folk get upset. Those who say, “Well, all lives matter!” But you didn’t say that when you were killing us. … So maybe your life doesn’t matter too much today to God.
You lovers of your enemy: You will either separate from them today, or go to hell with them. Because they are on their way to the hell that they righteously deserve for the hell that they have given to every human being on our planet, even to themselves.
I am a Muslim, but I ain’t that kind [milquetoast]. Let me get something straight here, about “Islam”: If “Islam” is The Nature of God, and the nature in which He created everything, how old is it? “Well, it came with Prophet Muhammad.” Stop. I don’t want no religion that came with him; he is just 1,400 years old. My people have been here, and we don’t know how long we’ve been here. What was that “old time religion” that they practiced? You see, The Nature of God didn’t have a name.
What is the natural sound that distinguishes man from birds, from bees, from the beasts of the field, from that which crawls on its belly? See, there is a nature in us, but you don’t call it “Christianity”; you don’t call it “Buddhism,” you don’t call it “Judaism,” you don’t call it “Zoroastrianism.” These are “isms”—asms from spasms, that jackasses had in their search for “God,” and they name Him; and name their religion after a wise man that came among them.
Your nature is The Nature of God. If you are left alone, you will practice your nature. But because you live in a world of religion, God had to name the “religion” so that you could compare the natural religion of man to that made-up crap that they put on man. You wouldn’t need a Qur’an if you hadn’t lost the way to yourself; you wouldn’t need a Bible if you had not lost the way to yourself. So when God raises a prophet, He gives him revelation that he may guide that segment of the human family back to the Natural Religion. Your religion is The Nature of God. And the Holy Qur’an says it like this: “Every human being is created in the nature of God except the rebellious devil.”
So you want to make White people into your own self? They are not you. Some of them study you, and practice being like you, because that’s the only way they can deceive you; they will act like a good person in order to trap you. That’s why the Bible tells Adam, “You can eat of all these trees, but that one, in the middle of The Garden—The Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil: You better leave that fella alone.” Because he knows good, but he also knows a system of tricks and lies that he has been taught by his maker so that he could bring the Black man (the Original Man) into subjection to him. And that subjection would last until the coming of God.
‘A strange work, an alien task’ that forces Satan out of hiding
“God’s coming,” the New Testament teaches, is “after the working of Satan.” (2 Thessalonians, 2:8-10) Satan had a work to do. And what was that work? To deceive as many of the members of the human family as he possibly could during the time of a respite given to him. What “respite”? In The Qur’an there is a conversation recorded between God and The Devil Don’t think that God is foolish: He will sit down with The Devil because He knows over time He is going to take him from the planet—but He first has to make him known. He has to manifest him, because he has been hiding, in religion; some call it “Islam,” some call it “Christianity,” some call it “Judaism,” but Satan: he is right there.
How did Satan get into the religion of God? Look at the conversation in the Holy Qur’an, (Surah 7, verses 11-18). He has been hiding, knowing that one day he is going to be discovered and uncovered. Isaiah the prophet said, “the cover too narrow, the bed too short” [Book of Isaiah, Chapter 28, verses 20-21]: “The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.
The Lord will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim, he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon—to do his work, his strange work, and perform his task, his alien task.”] Satan can’t hide anymore, because there is a “light shining in the darkness,” that same light that John the Disciple saw when he said, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God, and all things were made by God,” or, “made by the word”—wow—“and then the word became flesh.”
Beloved brothers and sisters, every human being has been under the blinding touch of Satan. And the last time I was here, I mentioned the scripture in Revelation 12:9: “He deceived” who? The whole world! Are you in the world? Do you think, as smart as you are, that you could have been deceived? Well, you have to look back at who is teaching you religion. It is the arch deceiver. So, (be mindful when) you quote some of the great White scholars of the version of “Christianity” that makes you a lover of the enemy and a hater of your own Black self.
In The Qur’an, God and The Devil are talking, and The Devil is asking God: “Would you please delay my destruction?” And The God gave him a “respite,” meaning a time. The Qur’an says for that rebellious Adam, “Go forth, for you in the earth is a time and a provision”—but the time will end at a certain time; and God said to Satan: “Surely, you are of the respited ones.” Well, if you were Satan, you’d take a sigh of relief (“He’s not going to kill me just yet. I deserve it right now, but He’s going to let me live.”). What does Satan say to God? “Because You have caused me to remain disappointed, because You have judged me as being erring,” making error, “well, I’m going to lie in wait for them in Your straight path.”
What is the “straight path” of God? It is the revelation of His truth. “Truth” is the Straight Path of God.” Satan said, “I’m going to lie right there; and I’ll come at them from before them, from behind them, from their left side, from their right side. I’m going to make all of them deviate.”…
The devil will always go “in front of” you to make your road rough in your coming, and then if you do good, he “follows up” your visit by talking against you behind your back; then he will come from your “right side” like he is your best friend, and then he’ll come from your “left side” as an enemy of yours. When you’ve got that kind of a White man coming at you, he’s got you coming and going.
The Qur’an lifts up Abraham, who was neither a Christian or a Jew. Do you have an argument for that? He was before the Torah, he was before the Injil (Gospel); but, he was “the friend of God.” What was his religion, since he was neither a Christian or a Jew, and you’re out here arguing and fighting? “Well, I’m a BAPTIST!” “Oh, shut your mouth… I’m a METHODIST!” “Ain’t none of you right. I’m a CATHOLIC—you all gotta come through me!” “Well, I found something wrong with the Catholics, so I’m PROTESTING…” Keep on going. Keep going! All you are doing is furthering the deception and the division, so that Paul (1 Corinthians, Chapter 1) had to come and ask the question: “Is Christ divided?”
Now look at you in that version of “Christianity”—or, your version of Islam, or your version of Judaism. Scripture teaches that “the sons of God” were hanging out with Satan, and they came to present themselves to God—and they didn’t know they were hanging out with the devil. So God looked in the crowd: “Hey! Whence cometh thou, Satan?” and Satan said, “Oh hell, He got me.”
No, he didn’t say it like that (smile), but that’s what he meant to say! When God said, “Whence cometh thou?” look at Satan’s answer: “I came from walking up and down, to and fro, seeking who I may devour I’ve eaten them all up.” The God said, “Have you considered My servant Job?”—and one of those servants is named Willie Wilson: “Have you considered him?” Satan said, “Yeah, I’ve considered him, but You’ve been having that hedge around him.”
“Have you considered Farrakhan?” “Oh, I consider him all the time. I mean, that nigga is upsetting my whole world.” And Satan said, “Well, uh, if you remove that hedge from around him, I’ll make him curse You to Your Face.” The God said, “Go ahead; I’m going to remove the hedge. The only thing I’m going to tell you is one thing you can’t do: You can’t take his life.”
‘If there was no Elijah’: Revelation versus so-called scholarship
The first time I invited the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to Boston where I was his little minister, in 1958, he came as a guest in my little home, and slept in my little used bed. He and his wife, Mother Clara, were in my bed: I couldn’t even afford to buy a new bed. [Before we moved into that home], my mother charged me $10 a week to rent the room in her house; she made me give her the money.
So my wife and I slept in the bed that I grew up in—and it wasn’t a full-sized bed (you talk about “being close”). After six weeks, we found a place; so, my mother brought me every dime that I had given her—she saved it, and added a few dollars with it. My wife and I went out and we saw an old bedroom set, and we bought it for $65; we cleaned up the mattress, disinfected everything.
When you’re poor, you make due. And, when you’ve got a woman by your side, like Reverend Wilson has by his side, like I had by my side: See, you can’t start with nothing, but when you have love, you have it all. But you don’t even realize that you’ve got it all. When you have God in your life, and a woman by your side, and love of God and love between you and that woman: you start with nothing, but you end up with it all.
So when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad came to Boston, we had his picture plastered everywhere, and he said at dinner that night in the dining room of the little house that we were living in: “Everywhere I went, brother, I saw myself.” He said, “One day, brother, they’re going to do this for you.” In 1958, he knew my future. Sure enough, when I see my picture plastered around, and the brothers running by my car like we used to run by his, I said: “Boy, he knew! He knew! He knew.” Now why I am saying this?
Because he spoke the next day, and I did not remember anything he said but these words—he’s talking to the government of America. He said, and I quote: “This fine suit that I have on is yours,” and he reached in his pocket and pulled out some money. He said, “Uh, that’s your face. This is yours the house that I live in, that’s your design; you built that—anytime you want it, you can come get it. You can come to the bank and take whatever money I’ve got. But me you can’t have.”
I have worked for 60 years in this ministry, and I’ve been 40 years absent my Teacher. When you are a teacher, sometimes you have to leave the classroom, so you’ll pick a monitor and say, “Well, I’ll be right back, so you all listen to ‘So-and-So’.” The children in the schoolroom are saying, “Teacher’s pet,” but when she leaves the room, that’s when hell breaks out.
That’s what happened when Moses left, that’s what happened when Jesus left, that’s what happened at the deathbed of Muhammad: They were arguing over “who” was going to sit in that seat. That’s what happened when Father Divine left; that’s what happened when Daddy Grace left: You have a group that are with you, but like the wolf, if they see any weakness in you they start calculating. “Nice church … the reverend worked hard to put it here. Who’s going to take it when reverend goes?” They start breaking apart. Envy is at the root of all these divisions.
You saw them help me up the stairs. See, time gets us all; no matter how good a man looks, there’s still a clock that’s ticking. Time brings you in, time takes you out. But the question for every great one: “What am I going to leave, and who will I leave it to, when death—that evil accident of time—claims my life?” Farrakhan has kept the faith of his Teacher. The last few times I’ve been here, Rev. Willie Wilson quoted from Dean Thurman. Evidently, Dean Thurman was a great teacher; and more than that, he was an example of what he taught. So every great teacher needs a student who will be faithful to the teacher—because if the teacher is of God, then characteristics of a great teacher don’t die when the teacher dies.
Brothers and sisters, many of you have been affected by the teachers that Elijah Muhammad made. That’s right. All of you revere the memory of Malcolm X; I come to your house, you have a picture of Malcolm on your wall. (You didn’t care too much for him when he was living.) See, many of these Negroes: When Malcolm was on the corner teaching, on the street corners of Harlem, some of the bourgeois Negroes would be on the other side, stealing a hearing. But when Malcolm was killed, it became “safe” to say he’s your man. So, you read his autobiography and a few speeches, and say: “That was a great man! Them damn Moslems killed him.” Some Muslims did do it. But who caused the split? The FBI, with their dirty hands; the U.S. government, with their dirty hands.
All the great ones that Elijah Muhammad made: At the end, they turned away from him. He made Brother Malcolm X. Malcolm was brilliant; Malcolm left school in the eighth grade, started criminal life like many of our young men. But, the Teachings of Elijah Muhammad found him in prison, and those Teachings brought out of Malcolm the greatness that lies within not only Malcolm, but every one of us. And every one of you, that are in prison or that are suffering: The greatness of Malcolm is your greatness; it just needs something to help bring it out. The real Teaching of Jesus will bring it out—but, not that version. Then came Muhammad Ali.
Muhammad, when he was with Elijah: Have you seen him on television taking White folk and whipping them? Then he grew up into what he believed was “real Islam”; so when he died, the name that he had that Elijah Muhammad gave him (Muhammad, “one worthy of praise” and Ali, “the most high”): those are wonderful names. He sold 80 percent of his name to White people for $50 million, and so every time his name is mentioned somewhere, or his picture shown, the family gets 20 percent, White folks get 80 percent. A student of Muhammad that denied revelation for Islamic scholarship. Then there was his son, Warithudeen Mohammed.
Brothers and sisters, understand that there would be no Wallace D. Muhammad, Imam Warithudeen Mohammed if there were no Elijah. No Malcolm X if there were no Elijah! No Muhammad Ali if there were no Elijah! No Louis Farrakhan if there were no Elijah! You love glorifying the student, but what about The Teacher? That’s like you’re saying, “I’m a follower of Peter/I’m a follower of Paul/I’m a follower of Matthew and Mark and Luke and John—and Judas.”
What about Jesus? See, if I stood before you like I was the author of what I teach, I would be a thief and a robber. If Rev. Wilson stood in front of you with his brilliant exegesis of what Jesus said: If Jesus didn’t “say,” he wouldn’t have nothing to exegete from. You mean to tell me you can’t lift up the person that helped make you who and what you are?
I am honored to lift up my Teacher. In fact, one day he said to me: “I want your mind. I want you to line your mind up with my mind that it will be one mind.” He didn’t say anymore. One day I was talking to another of the students, and I said, “Boy, he said he wanted my mind; how he want me to ‘line my mind up’ with his. How could I do something like that? How do you do that?” And the brother I was talking to said: “Oh brother, that’s easy. God will bring you along the same way that He brought him, and then you will grow up into his mind.”
As Rev. Wilson taught, Jesus was poor, Muhammad was poor, Moses was poor, in a bad condition—but God had a job for them. They came from strange circumstances. Elijah Muhammad was the worst of [the] students [of his Teacher], because he said: “I was so deep in the mud till only my eyeballs were shining out.” He went to the fourth grade—no school beyond that. The question you have to ask is: Who taught him, that he could make his students masters? I never received a degree from any college. I went to Mecca and confounded the scholars with what Elijah taught me; I reminded them, “I wasn’t taught in no school that you all set up. I didn’t come here to learn Islam, I came here with Islam—and you did not teach me.” I know their origin, I know their history; I can tell you when they came, because what I preach is revelation, not scholarship.
‘A Good Sendoff’ for a Journey: A Reward and New Wisdom
Whenever I have come to Union Temple, I was about to make a journey, a big journey, and Rev. Willie Wilson and this wonderful church sent me off from this place. The choir would sing songs, and I would be there wiping tears from my eyes. … I would speak, and then I would leave; and from here I went around the world several times, teaching. But, my sendoff was from this church.
I’m back again. You may ask, “What journey are you about to make now?”
I’m going to close with this: I know Jesus. I am not a man that talks about somebody that I don’t know. What gave me the strength to withstand the government of America, the Jewish powers of America, that were on my back for over 30 years? Some of you would think I’m crazy; some have said, “That nigga’s crazy, bothering them Jews like that!” But somebody has to pull the cover off of them. As the scripture teaches “God’s coming is after the working of Satan,” that He will destroy them “with the breath from His mouth” and “on the brightness of His coming,” there is a Word that Elijah Muhammad had in his mouth that was given to him by God.
You can take it or leave it! God promised that He would come after us. All the scriptures of the Old Testament bear witness to a time of The Visitation of God Himself. But you never thought that you were anything; that God wouldn’t send somebody after you, He would come Himself. He came among us. That’s why Malcolm was effective, from the eighth grade; that’s why Ali was effective, from the 12th grade. That’s why Farrakhan is effective from his third year in college; I don’t have any “letters,” but I definitely am learned.
I don’t represent a fake Jesus, because if what is in me was not greater than what was in the world, the world would have crushed me a long time ago. But the more you look at me, and the more you listen to me, you will know that there is a Power with me. And that same Power is with my brother Rev. Wilson; otherwise, they would have crushed him. So the real Power that kept him going for 44 years is the same Power that gives fuel to the sun.
Who gives fuel to the sun? It is the love of God Himself, and His Spirit, that energizes the sun. And that’s why in The Qur’an there’s only one or two prophets that were strengthened by “the holy spirit”—and one of them is The Messiah, Jesus. The Bible teaches in the Book of Zechariah 4:4-6, “…‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ saith the Lord.” You know, this crap that they call “knowledge” cannot transform human life.
It’s revelation from God, and the proper exegesis of scripture, that will transform our lives. So that when you really meet Jesus The Christ, and he lays his hand on you, you become a new creature. A “new creature” is not a new nigga that talks like the same old nigga, but he’s new: he does his new “nigga talk” in the name of the White Jesus; he compromises the Word of God.
I’m sorry, “reverend”: If you compromise the Gospel, the true Gospel of Christ, to win favor of the world, you’re no longer of Jesus. In fact, you probably never were; because if the Spirit of God is in you for that Word and for that Jesus, you have to stand on that Word.
So my next journey, we’ll have to answer The Question—I’m going to say it: I know that my Redeemer liveth. I know, I’m not guessing, that my Jesus is Alive. I know that my Redeemer liveth, and because he lives, I know that I, too, will pass through the portal of death, yet death will not afflict me. I say to The Devil: I know I have to pay a price for what I have been teaching all these years. You can have the money. You can have the clothes.
You can have the suit. You can have the house. But me, you can’t have. I have run the race. I have finished my course. And now is laid up for me a crown—and I go to my Father to get my crown. And my “crown” ain’t no physical crown, it’s The Wisdom of the next 10,000 years. You can take it, or let it alone. But I think I have earned my ticket to see the Father of my life and I am not talking about dying.
May Allah bless you all. As-Salaam Alaikum.