My Nazarite Church

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.”

“Did you see His face?” asked one person whom I told I had died and seen God.
“No. I was sitting in the sand holding my wounded hand. His back was to me. He was sitting on a rock with one foot in the sea and the other on the sand. He was wearing a deep blue robe full of stars. He had jet black hair, that was full of stars.”

Exodus 33:18-23
New International Version (NIV)

18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

Last night I played these two videos by themselves, and was amazed. Turn down the second video a tad.

After being evicted from Bible study by my minister who said this to my neighbors;

“Greg is on the mountain, but, will soon come down.”

I wrote on a piece of paper

“I am a Nazarite.”

I then went to the McKenzie River and baptized myself. Three weeks later I went to the Eugene library, got on the internet and found the Shembe Zulu Nazarite in South Africa. I composed a letter addressed to Shembe who was struck by lightning on his mountain, and had a near-death experience.

Three months before my self-baptism, I went to a gathering of Baba Lovers in Portland. Followers of the Avatar of our Age came from all over the world. On Sunday I met with fifty people in a rose garden located on a Catholic college. Rick Chapman had set up a camera and bid us to speak on the idea of founding a religion on the teaching of Meher Baba. He bid us to just open out mouths – and Baba would speak through us using our divine intuition. I was the first to speak. I used Baba’s own words to nix this – attempt. When I got home, my kindred offered me a new Bible. Here is Meher Baba;

There is a T.V. show about people who died, and came back to life. There is a website on near-death experiences, but, I have found no one who became a theologian, least a prophet. I am a prophet. For twenty five years I have been restoring the first church founded by John the Baptist, who allegedly prepared the The Way for the Jewish Messiah. It has to be a Jewish Messiah, because there is talk about how Elijah must come, first, before the terrible day of the Lord. Jesus says Elijah did come and John was his embodiment. John did not come to prepare the way for Jesus, the alleged Son of God, but, God Himself – and His terrible day!

Zephaniah 1:14 “The great day of the LORD is near–near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there.

Above is the cartoon Leonardo Da Vinci did of St. Anne, the mother of Mary, the alleged mother of Jesus. This cartoon never became a painting. Her hand is raised, her finger pointing skyward. This is not Anne, but John the Baptist whose mother’s name was Elisheba-Mirriam. This name means “Daughter of the oath of the bitter water”. Elizabeth-Mary took the vow of the Nazarite in order to conceive, as did Hannah, the mother of Samuel the Nazarite. Hannah and Anna are the same name. What we have here is a lineage of Nazarite Women. John the Baptist is a father. Who his wife is, is not clear. However, like all Jewish father’s he is overjoyed with his first born son, whom he praises even more then oneself. All first born sons are candidates for the Messiah, and the second coming of Elijah.

Meher Baba means “compassionate father” In this film we see Baba in South Carolina. In 1971, went and saw this film in Boston. My black neighbor, Shaheb, was wearing a turban with Gerka knife in is belt standing on the top of the stairs when I came home, dressed in my black cape. He was glaring at me as I passed. But, I was not afraid, because I have death in my pouch. When he learned about Baba the next day, he knocked on my door, and embraced me.

“Why didn’t you say who you were? Why didn’t you tell us about Baba. He is the one we have been looking for!”
And Shaheb embraced me.

“We were about to kill you!” said Shaheb who made a gre-gre doll of Satan because he was under attack from satanic witches who also lived on Beacon Hill. I have lived an interesting life.

Shaheb and his his wife, Sharema studied the Bible and talked much about Moses marrying a black woman, a Cushite. Who is this woman.

Above is Shembe’s Mountian in the Drakenberg range where the Arks come to rest in the movie 2012. God employs many, and many ways, to get his message across.

Repent!

Jon the Nazarite

Copyright 2012

Any of you who have seen the popular documentary “2012″ will know that when the catastrolypse strikes, worldwide devastation on an epic scale will ensue. Even a smaller catastrophe like a simple massive cometary impact could cause significant inconvenience to those living in the areas destroyed by hypersonic shock waves. What can you do to avoid either – and hopefully both – of these outcomes?
Where do researchers claim you can be safe?
Many researchers have posed their thoughts on where you can weather the death-a-palooza, then cheerfully emerge into a post-apocalyptic world not unlike the video game “Fallout.” Where do the authorities point us to?

The documentary “2012″ pinpoints the Drakensberg Mountains in the KwaZulu Natal of Africa as the place to survive the world’s end

Moses, a Jew, apparently married a black African and was approved by God.

We learn in Numbers that “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman” (Num. 12:1). A Cushite is from Cush, a region south of Ethiopia, where the people are known for their black skin. We know this because of Jeremiah 13:23: “Can the Ethiopian [the same Hebrew word translated “Cushite” in Numbers 12:1] change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.” Attention is drawn to the difference of the skin of the Cushite people.

The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist, sometimes called The Burlington House Cartoon, is a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci. The drawing is in charcoal and black and white chalk, on eight sheets of paper glued together. Because of its large size and format the drawing is presumed to be a cartoon for a painting. No painting by Leonardo exists that is based directly on this cartoon.
The drawing depicts the Virgin Mary seated on the knees of her mother St Anne and holding the Child Jesus while St. John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus, stands to the right. It currently hangs in the National Gallery in London. It was either executed in around 1499–1500, when the artist was in Milan, or around 1506–8, when he was shuttling between Florence and Milan; the majority of scholars prefer the latter date, although the National Gallery and others prefer the former.[1]

Contents
 [hide] 
1 Subject
2 History
3 References
4 External links
[edit] Subject

Preparatory drawing in the British Museum, London
The subject of the cartoon is a combination of two themes popular in Florentine painting of the 15th century: The Virgin and Child with John the Baptist and The Virgin and Child with St Anne.
The drawing is notable for its complex composition, demonstrating the alternation in the positioning of figures that is first apparent in Leonardo’s paintings in the Benois Madonna. The knees of the two women point different directions, with Mary’s knees turning out of the painting to the left, while her body turns sharply to the right, creating a sinuous movement. The knees and the feet of the figures establish a strong up-and-down rhythm at a point in the composition where a firm foundation comprising firmly planted feet, widely spread knees and broad spread of enclosing garment would normally be found. While the lower halves of their bodies turn away, the faces of the two women turn towards each other, mirroring each other’s features. The delineation between the upper bodies has lost clarity, suggesting that the heads are part of the same body.
The twisting movement of the Virgin is echoed in the Christ Child, whose body, held almost horizontal by his mother, rotates axially, with the lower body turned upward and the upper body turned downward. This turning posture is first indicated in Leonardo’s painting in the Adoration of the Magi and is explored in a number of drawings, in particular the various studies of the Virgin and Child with a cat that are in the British Museum.
The juxtaposition of two sets of heads is an important compositional element. The angle, lighting and gaze of the Christ Child reproduces that of his mother, while John the Baptist reproduces these same elements in the face of St Anne. The lighting indicates that there are two protagonists, and two supporting cast in the scene that the viewer is witnessing. There is a subtle interplay between the gazes of the four figures. St Anne smiles adoringly at her daughter Mary, perhaps indicating not only maternal pride but also the veneration due to the one who “all generations will call…blessed”.[2] Mary’s eyes are fixed on on the Christ Child who raises his hand in a gesture of benediction over the cousin who thirty years later would carry out his appointed task of baptising Jesus. Although the older of the two children, John the Baptist humbly accepts the blessing, as one who would later say of his cousin “I am not worthy even to unloose his sandals.” [3] St Anne’s hand, her index finger pointing towards the Heaven, is positioned near the heads of the children, perhaps to indicate the original source of the blessing. This enigmatic gesture is regarded as quintessentially Leonardesque, occurring in the Last Supper and St John the Baptist.

Vertumnus and Pomona (1518–1522) by Francesco Melzi
Cartoons of this sort were usually transferred to a board for painting by pricking or incising the outline. In the Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist this has not been done, suggesting that the drawing has been kept as a work of art in its own right.[4] Leonardo does not appear to have based a painting directly on this drawing. The composition differs from Leonardo’s only other surviving treatment of the subject, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne in the Louvre, in which the figure of the Baptist is not present. A painting based on the cartoon was made by a pupil of Leonardo, Bernardino Luini, and is now in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan.[5] The figure of Pomona in Francesco Melzi’s painting Pomona and Vertumnus in Berlin is based upon the Virgin in the cartoon.
[edit] History
The date and place of execution of the cartoon is disputed. The earliest reference to it is by the biographer Giorgio Vasari who, writing in the mid 16th century, says that the work was created while Leonardo was in Florence, as a guest of the Servite Monastery. Vasari says that for two days people young and old flocked to see the drawing as if they were attending a festival.[6] This would date the cartoon to about 1500.
A date of 1498-99 is put on the work by Padre Sebastiano Resta who wrote to Giovanni Pietro Bellori saying that Leonardo had drawn the cartoon in Milan at the request of Louis XII of France. While this date has gained wide acceptance, the association with Louis XII has not. More recent historians have dated the work as early as the mid 1490s and, in the case of Carlo Pedretti and Kenneth Clark, as late as 1508-10.[7] Martin Kemp notes that the hydraulic engineering in the preparatory drawing in the British Museum dates the composition to around 1507–8, when Leonardo was making similar studies in the Codex Atlanticus.[8]
In the 17th century the drawing belonged to the Counts Arconati of Milan. In 1721 it passed to the Casnedis, then to the Sagredo in Venice. In 1763 it was acquired by Robert Udny, brother of the English ambassador to Venice. By 1791 it was inventoried as belonging to the Royal Academy, London.[5] It is sometimes still known as “The Burlington House Cartoon”, in reference to the building housing the Royal Academy.
In 1962 the cartoon was put on sale for £800,000.[9] Amid fears that it would find an overseas buyer, it was exhibited in the National Gallery where it was seen by over a quarter of a million people in a little over four months, many of whom made donations in order to keep it in the United Kingdom.[10] The price was eventually met, thanks in part to contributions from the National Art Collections Fund. Ten years after its acquisition, John Berger wrote derisively that “It has acquired a new kind of impressiveness. Not because of what it shows – not because of the meaning of its image. It has become impressive, mysterious because of its market value”.[11] In 1987, the cartoon was attacked in an act of vandalism with a sawn-off shotgun from a distance of approximately seven feet. The shooter was identified as a mentally ill man by the name of Robert Cambridge who claimed he committed this act in order to bring attention to “political, social and economic conditions in Britain.” The blast shattered the glass covering, causing significant damage to the artwork which has since been restored. [12]

St. John the Baptist is an oil painting on walnut wood by Leonardo da Vinci. Completed from 1513 to 1516, when the High Renaissance was metamorphosing into Mannerism, it is believed to be his last painting. The original size of the work was 69×57 cm. It is now exhibited at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France.
The piece depicts St. John the Baptist in isolation. St. John is dressed in pelts, has long curly hair, and is smiling in an enigmatic manner which is reminiscent of Leonardo’s famous Mona Lisa. He holds a reed cross in his left hand while his right hand points up toward heaven (like St Anne in Leonardo’s cartoon The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist). It is believed that the cross and wool skins were added at a later date by another painter.
The pointing gesture of St. John toward the heavens suggests the importance of salvation through baptism that John the Baptist represents. The work is often quoted by later painters, especially those in the late Renaissance and Mannerist schools. The inclusion of a gesture similar to John’s would increase the importance of a work with a religious conceit.
The effeminate, androgynous portrayal of St. John where he is usually seen as a gaunt and muscular figure is unusual. A suggested reason for the darkened background is in reference to the description of St.John in the Bible as ‘a light that shineth in the darkness’.

Leonardo’s Last Supper is held as the ultimate proof of some kind of code in his works. The person sitting at the place of honor, at the right hand of Jesus looks like a woman, which is taken by Dan Brown and others as symbolizing Mary Magdalene. However, what is usually neglected is the fact that Christian art has traditionally shown the Apostle John in this manner; Leonardo was not the first to show Saint John with feminine characteristics. From Medieval paintings to gothic sculpture, Europe is filled with examples of a feminine Saint John that pre-date Leonardo’s work by centuries.However it would be foolish to think that Leonardo was so mundane and straightforward as there are some very puzzling aspects in his works that may allude to some sort of code. One of these mysteries is known as the “John Gesture” and is best shown in his androgynous John the Baptist, considered Leonardo’s last painting. This gesture, in which a character is shown with an index finger pointing upwards, can also be seen in the Last Supper as well as the background of Leonardo’s unfinished Adoration of the Magi. What this gesture means has been debated for centuries, but it may actually shed light on Leonardo’s religious views.
A currently popular theory suggests that the John Gesture symbolizes Leonardo’s belief in Johannism or Mandaeism; both are Gnostic/Dualistic sects that believe that John the Baptist, not Jesus was the true Messiah. Although some have used the theory to further their own version of the da Vinci Code, Leonardo’s personal belief in Johannism or Mandaeism does not mean he had any connections with secret societies. Also if Leonardo was a Johannite, it goes against one of the mysteries surrounding his Last Supper as Johannite doctrine does not believe that Jesus married Mary Magdalene.
Considering his legendary sense of humor, often at the expense of the clergy, if Leonardo did practice a heretical faith, then it may have been hidden in plain view in his works. The nuns of Milan’s Santa Maria della Grazie could have been completely unaware that the John Gesture figures prominently in the Last Supper. Even the subject of this famous painting, the moment where Jesus proclaims one of his Apostles will betray him, could be seen as symbolic of Johannite views of Catholicism betraying the real message. However, much of this symbolism could have been for his eyes alone as Leonardo kept his painting of John the Baptist and many of his commissions such as the Adoration of the Magi were left unfinished. These two controversial paintings as well as many others never hung in a church or convent; it seems that if Leonardo was trying to convey a message, or to secretly communicate with fellow believers, he would have made sure to finish more of his paintings. After all, messages and codes are useless if they are not seen by those who would understand them.

Matthew 17:10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

Matthew 17:12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”

Acts 1:6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

Acts 3:21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.

Matthew 17:9-13; Mark9:9-13; Luke 9:36

Matthew 17:9-13
Mark 9:9-13
Luke 9:36
9. And as they were going down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead. 10. And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first? 11. And Jesus answering said to them, Elijah indeed will come first, and restore all things. 12. But I say to you, That Elijah is come already, and they did not know him, but have done to him whatever they pleased: thus also will the Son of man suffer from them. 13. Then the disciples understood that he had spoken to them concerning John the Baptist. 481481     “Que c’estoit de Iean Baptiste qu’il leur avoit parle;” — “that it was of John the Baptist that he had spoken to them.”
 
9. And when they were going down from the mountain, he charged them not to tell any man those things which they had seen, till the Son of man had risen from the dead. 10. And they kept this saying among themselves, disputing with each other what was the meaning of the expression which he had used, To rise from the dead. 11 And they asked him, saying, Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first? 12. And he answering said to them, Elijah indeed will come first, and restore all things; and, as it is written, the Son of man must suffer many things and be despised. 13. But I say to you, That Elijah is come, and they have done to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.

Matthew 11:14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.

Matthew 17:10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

Mark 9:11 And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

Luke 1:17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous–to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

John 1:21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.”

Isaiah 40:3 A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.

Joel 2:31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

Zephaniah 1:14 “The great day of the LORD is near–near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there.

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.

The Shembe Church is well known for its spectacular dance festivals and the church’s structure is a fascinating mixture of Christian dogma and the tenets of Zulu culture. The founder of the church inculcated in his followers a belief that closely mirrors the traditional norms of social and moral behaviour among the Zulu people.
“Our rituals include baptism by immersion, the keeping of the Sabbath, observance of a seven day fast before Holy Communion, and the celebration of Holy Communion at night, preceded by feet washing ceremonies,” says Enoch Mthembu, spokesman for the Shembe Church. “Holy Communion is celebrated twice a year, during the January and July festivals.”
The January festivals, particularly the one held in mid-January, see Shembe followers, clad in traditional white garments, flock to the holy mountain of Nhlangakazi.

Shembe Maidens Dancing
Some worshippers travel very long distances to reach the holy mountain, where they participate in ritualistic song and dance. During the exodus to the mountain, the Shembe take part in a hypnotic, trance-like dance, with the men leading the way. The married women follow, carrying furled umbrellas and tiny ceremonial shields in the same colours as their church clothing. They are, in turn, followed by young maidens in full traditional regalia. A constant stream of vehicles and barefooted worshippers snakes along the dusty road to the holy site.
Praising the Almighty on top of the mountain, and executing traditional Zulu dances, the Shembe reflect an alternative version of Christianity, which has evolved based on the Old, rather than the New Testament. The festival has evolved into one of the most colourful spectacles in Southern Africa, and it attracts increasing numbers of tourists each year.
– ooo –
Vimeo Video

Click the Photo to View the Video
Mwelela Cele interviews Mr Ximba as part of the Memories of Inanda documentary, produced for the eThekwini Municipality’s Ulwazi Programme. Mr Ximba discusses the Shembe Church.
Nazareth Baptist Church (Alternatively called “The Nazarite Church” “iBandla lamaNazaretha”, or the “Shembe Church”) is an African Initiated Church founded by Isaiah Shembe in 1910.
It has approximately 4 million members. The religion bans smoking, drinking, and fornicating. It is seen as a mixture of Zulu tradition and Christianity. It reveres Isaiah Shembe as an African Messiah and emphasizes the Ten Commandments.

It is said that the late founder of the Shembe movement was alone on a hillside when struck down by lightning. The Voice of the Lord thundered the command: “Go south!”. Isaiah Shembe was carried, unconscious, to his hut. He was paralysed, and taken for dead. The women of his village wailed and ululated in hysterical fear.
Sangomas and witchdoctors were summoned, and rituals performed to revive Shembe. When he came to, he told his followers that he was among spirits who had instructed him to go south. He duly left on his pilgrimage, carrying his Bible, blanket, stick and precious gifts from his followers.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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