[Editor’s note: The following article contains excerpts from a keynote address delivered by Minister Farrakhan on Sunday, December 7, 2008, at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago, Illinois, which is Part 5 of the “America’s New Beginning” lecture series. To order this message in its entirety on CD and DVD visit store.finalcall.com.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
When Jesus was among us, his mission had a time limit. He knew the season; he knew the time that he would no longer be among the people, so all during his ministry, he was preparing those who would carry on his work after he was gone. Sometimes, when a great one has been and is among us, we get addicted to a personality, and that can become dangerous in a sense because then we form sometimes what is called a personality cult.
They thought that way about Jesus because his personality was so strong, so vibrant, so magnificent that he was like a magnet drawing people out of the world to his ministry, to his mission. Not just to his personality, but to his mission.
Listen to these words: “If any man would be my disciple, he must first deny himself.” That’s big, because when somebody is asking you to accept his mission, you might have one yourself. And you don’t mind praising him; you don’t mind adoring him, but you say, “Don’t trouble me to become a part of your mission.” So the first thing he [Jesus] taught Peter was: “Peter I know you’re a fisherman, but if you come and follow me, I will make you a fisher of men.” He asked Peter to deny himself and what he was doing to pick up the mission of his master.
When we were back in the choir room, and we were praying, the choir was singing so beautifully: “Jesus, Master. Jesus, Saviour.” When you are called by a master, he calls to make us masters. When you are called by a saviour, he’s calling to make us a part of his mission of salvation.
It’s not enough to just attend church—but we can’t survive if you don’t; so please, do attend. It’s not enough to sing his praises, but don’t stop because it certainly is magnificent. It’s not enough to clap your hands and feel the joy of the spirit of being in a congregation full of praise. That is wonderful, but Jesus said, “If any man”—not if some men. Any man—“would be my disciple, he first must deny himself.”
But then there’s something else! And what is that? “Pick up your cross.” And then, “Follow me.” That’s big. It’s nice to look at what he did on his cross. I mean, he died for us, but does that mean you don’t have a cross? Can we say we are with him and will not pick up our cross? Well, what is our cross?
It is to be as he was: Rejected of men. Many of us cannot stand being rejected. We cannot stand being evil spoken of for his name’s sake. We cannot stand being persecuted for his name’s sake. But in order to establish his truth, some had to die. The scriptures that we preach out of were established on the blood of martyrs. Nobody comes to God in ease.
People say I’m “controversial,” but I’m only controversial because the wicked know the truth of what I am saying, and they don’t want my people to hear The Truth that God and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad has placed in my mouth. To make me a “bigot,” an “anti-Semite”; somebody that is “anti-White”—who wants to be involved with somebody like that? So, the Minister has to walk through all kinds of negativity to get to speak a positive message to a people who suffer! Not because they are Black, but they suffer because of the lack of knowledge.
Jesus said, “If we followed him, they would hate us.” And he said “Some of you will be cast into prison,” and “some of you will even be put to death for my sake. He who seeks to save his life will lose it, but he who is willing to lose his life for my sake, shall gain eternal and everlasting life.”
I kind of like that man. He’s a man after my heart because he never failed to speak truth to power. And any time you and I call ourselves followers of such a noble man and are afraid to speak truth, then we need to check ourselves because something is missing in our faith.
This is a world that needs correction. This is a world that has gone all the way away from The Way of God.
In the third chapter of the Book of Romans, Paul is asking those who refer to themselves as “saved”: “What then are we better than they? No, in no wise, for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles that they are all under sin.”
“As it is written,” Paul talking, “there’s none righteous. No, not one. There’s none that understandeth. There’s none that seeketh after God. They are together become unprofitable. There’s none that doeth good. No, not one.” Paul is talking about the people of the world in which we live and who are trying to establish the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
He goes on: “Their throat is an open sepulcher and with their tongues they have used deceit. The poison of asps is under their tongue whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways and the way of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” That’s the kind of world that we’re living in right now.
We had to come through some mean streets to get to Christ Universal Temple today. We don’t know how many lost their lives last night in drive-by shootings. Many of you in here are mothers and fathers and grandmothers and grandfathers seeing our grandchildren dying and being buried before us. This is a world that has gone mad, and at the same time that the world is mad, God’s Hand, God’s Judgment, is now on the world.
You don’t think that what is happening in the world is just an accident, do you? The weather is not made by the president or the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Something strange is going on in the weather. You see fire on one side of the country; water on another. You see storms of tremendous magnitude. You see drought, the loss of water, people eating food that is death itself because the merchants of agriculture are merchants of death. They have literally taken the nutrients out of the earth and now you produce food that looks good, but then the nutrients that they took out of the earth they are now selling it to you in a pill.
So now, it’s a pill for everything. You can’t sleep? Take this. You’re having a sexual problem? Well, take this. You’re too fat? Take this. Everything to deprive the human being of discipline—self-discipline—so pills have to do what our will should do.
Jesus wanted to make some disciples that. He knew he would be crucified and then resurrected and ascended, he needed some workers on the earth that would carry out his mission. Now, Satan is always busy, would you agree? He loves to mess up the church. Don’t you know that Satan would not like to see religion carried out in the way that Jesus or the Prophets wanted it carried out?
In the Qur’an, which is the book of scripture of the Muslims, the devil and God are talking, and the devil says to God, “Respite me until the day when they are raised.” They who? The people who are in ignorance. Raised how? There’s a constant scheme to dumb down the American people and the people of the world because as long as you are ignorant, the people that rule and lie, deceive, cheat and murder can continue to do that. But when the masses wake up, then the game for Satan is over!
How does Satan work? He wants to keep the people asleep; keep the people engaged in foolishness. Are you going to the party tonight? Are you having anything in the “little brown bag? Let’s go to the club. Let’s have a drink. As long as Satan can keep us with our minds on sex, our minds on parties, our minds on foolishness, then Satan doesn’t care how much you attend the church—as long as the church is not going to disturb his world.
“And he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Father.” Well, how is He going to be called that if we just sit and pray and don’t work The Will of Him whom we praise?
When I met Rev. Colemon, I heard her talking about “Christ consciousness.” Reverend Helen Carey said “Jesus, the Christ.” What does it mean? If we take the word “Christ” and break it down, it’s a Greek word. Christ was not Jesus’ last name—Christ was his title, and his title was definitive of the nature of his work.
Christ means Him Who is anointed with power to crush the wicked. So when Jesus was walking among the people, he didn’t let the people know who he was. He made himself, the Book says, of no reputation; he was doing some work and at a certain time he met a woman that was full of demons. Remember that? And he cast the demons out of the woman, and as the demons were coming out, they were kind of cursing Jesus, asking him, “Why are you persecuting us before time?” But Jesus knew he was on time to cast out demons.
If you and I don’t work on our demons in his name, don’t tell me you’ve got a bad habit and can’t kick it. Not in “Christ consciousness.” We’ve got children that are messed up on drugs. We’ve got young people that are incarcerated because of demons. We’ve got broken homes, broken families, adultery, fornication, because of our demons. So if Christ is conscious in us, the more conscious we are of him, the more anointed we are with the power to cast out our own demons and be a good example of Christ consciousness to a world that calls his name, but does not really know him.
What does “Christ consciousness” mean on the next level? It means that we have allowed Christ to come in through the ear and the hearing of The Word. He knocks—if we let him in, he’ll stay with us. And if Christ comes in and is constantly fed by our constant feeding on his word, then the indwelling spirit of him is in our consciousness at all times. We lay down in him and we wake up in him. So the scripture says, “In him we live, we move and we have our being, our very existence.”
Jesus said in John 14, “I am the way, the truth, the light.” Just to say it is easy, but when we piece it apart to see what it really means, we see the words: “I am.”
Remember when Moses met with Jehovah in the burning bush? Moses said, “Who shall I tell them sent me?” God said, “Tell them I am that I am.” Then here comes a man in the scripture—this is not a spirit; not a spook—this is a human being, saying “I am the way.” Not a way, the way.
When God made Adam, he gave Adam what? He gave him the way. He wouldn’t put Adam in The Garden and not give him the way. He didn’t give him a religion, he gave him the way. That’s why Johnnie Colemon is not so much about the religion as she is about the Consciousness of God and His Christ.
What way did he give Adam? God said to Adam: “I made all of this that you see in five days, and I said it was all good; and I made you on the sixth day. Later on I said it was not only good, but very good. But with you, I’m giving you a chance to choose. I’m not making you like the sun. The sun can’t disobey, neither can the moon, nor the stars, nor can the creatures disobey”—they all follow the nature in which God created them. But man, He said, “I created you in my image, after my likeness so ye are all Gods”—potentially. If you submit your will to do The Will of Him Who created you, He will grow you up into Himself.
But Adam rebelled against the way. What is the way? “Obey My Will.” Obedience to God is The Way. Not a religion by this name or that name or the other name. Obedience to God is the way and because Adam rebelled, the scripture said, “death came on all men because all have sinned.” Sin is rebellion or transgression against the law. This is why Jesus is so important, because when he comes in the world he’s called “the second Adam.” The first one messed up, and that’s why we are messed up.
When Jesus comes and says, “I am the way,” what does that mean? Look at his words: “I come to do the will of Him who sent me. I’m not doing my will. I can of myself do nothing. Whatsoever the father bids me to do, that I do. He sent me into the world.” Well, the sent is not greater than the sender; nor is the sent equal to the sender.
Jesus never tried to take God’s place, but God raised him up into His place because of his perfect submission to The Will of God.
“I am the way.” If we say we know him, then we’ve got to be found practicing the way, which is obedience to The Will of God. If we really want life and truth and the way, then we must surrender, submit and fall down in obeisance to God, and let’s praise Him—but it is better praising Him by walking in His footsteps.
Here at Christ Universal Temple, and at the mosque and wherever there are conscious people, we cannot leave our people in the condition that they are in, and yet claim to be “Christ conscious.” We have to go from this house and affect the world outside of this house. And when you go out and you see the homeless person, are we middle class bourgeois Christians that we have forgotten the little man and woman that’s in the mud?
Don’t you know that the prostitute can be changed? Don’t you know the drug addict can be changed? The person in prison can be changed? Jesus didn’t come to redeem some. He came to get us all, and we are his helpers. So go out with your Christ consciousness, and bring salvation and redemption to our people.
With the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States, if he opens up all kinds of doors, our babies will not be able to take advantage of the opportunities if they are ignorant. We’ve got a job to do now. The whole world is looking now to us, and we must rise up so that the kingdom of this world becomes The Kingdom of our God and His Christ.