Here is another response received to the post titled Doctrines of Demons, and whilst every effort is made to address each point raised, failure to deal specifically with a portion or body of text must not be construed that the writer, Gary Crous, agrees with in part or in entirety with what has been commented by one Zandile, in that part or entirety of text.
Due to the lengthy response to the initial posting, we have decided to address the issues put forward in a posting of its own to canvass the points made. The format will be as follows:
- Ø The comment text by Zandile will be in the ordinary form of text; and
- Ø The Repent and Believe South Africa ministry’s responses will be in the shaded boxes to differentiate between the two parties.
Here is the response:
Zandile commented on Doctrines of Demons
This information might help you in understanding Shembe’s gospel.
The word ubuNazaretha derives from the word Nazarite, which comes from Hebrew language, Nazir. Nazir is a person whose whole life is dedicated to God and separates him or herself for a holy lifestyle.
In the olden days Nazaritism was not accepted as a religion, but was rather a particular lifestyle under Moses’ religion. It was not expected for everyone to be the Nazarite, reason being that, it was a vow between God and a person for a specific period of time. This vow together with other certain laws formed integral part to Mosaic law. People who took a vow of being the Nazarite were not governed by peculiar laws from those of the children of Israel, but it was merely an additional Mosaic law.
These laws were given to Moses by God, read Numbers 6:1-20. As time goes on, there born people who were the Nazarites from womb, their whole life was dedicated to God and their tenacious grip on this vow meant that they were going to separate themselves for God.
Jesus Christ the Nazarite
In the Bible we are being told of four people who were the Nazarites: In the Old Testament is Samson (Judges 13:5), Samuel (1 Samuel 1:9-10). The New Testament has the following people: John (Luke 1:15), Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:23, Jesus’ disciples were called Nazarites (Acts 24:5). Now it’s evident that the very first congregation of the Nazarites was that of Jesus Christ (Acts 24:5).
In accordance with the Holy Scriptures, it does not appear that John the Baptist is mentioned as a “Nazarite” in Luke1:15, however there does appear to be a cross reference to Numbers 6:3 in respect of “… and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; …”. What we do know is that John the Baptist was born into the Levitical family as we read in Luke 1:5: “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.“ However it is not true that the disciples – the very first congregation were called Nazarites in Acts 24:5, but a first mention principle appears in Acts 11:26 where it says “… And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” To understand what was meant by calling Paul “… a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: …” one must understand in context the accusations brought against the apostle Paul in a derogatory fashion. To base your religion on this premise is dangerous ground as the orator Tertullus had nothing good to say about Paul as he began to accuse him. Matthew Henry does justice in explaining “the sect of the Nazarenes” more concisely as we read from his Commentary at page 308, Volume 6 by Marshall, Morgan & Scott (1959 Edition), starting at:
“[2.] Paul was a peace-maker, was a preacher of that gospel which has a direct tendency to slay all enmities, and to establish true and lasting peace; he lived peaceably and quietly himself, and taught others to do so too, and yet is here represented as a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout all the world. The Jews were disaffected to the Roman government; those of them that were most bigoted were most so. This Felix knew, and had therefore a watchful eye upon them. Now they would fain make him believe that this Paul was the man that made them so, whereas they themselves were the men that sowed the seeds of faction and sedition among them: and they knew it; and the reason why they hated Christ and his religion was because he did not go about to head them in an opposition to the Romans. The Jews were every where much set against Paul, and stirred up the people to clamour against him; they moved sedition in all places where he came, and then cast the blame unjustly upon him, as if he had been the mover of sedition; as Nero not long after set Rome on fire, and then said the Christians did it.
“[3.] Paul was a man of catholic charity, who did not affect to be singular, but made himself the servant of all for their good; and yet he is here charged as being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes, a standard-bearer of that sect, so the word signifies. When Cyprian was condemned to die for being a Christian, this was inserted in his sentence, that he was auctor iniqui nominis et signifier – The author and standard-bearer of a wicked cause. Now it was true that Paul was an active leading man in propagating Christianity. But, First, It was utterly false that this was a sect; he did not draw people to a party or private opinion, nor did he make his own opinions their rule. True Christianity establishes that which is of common concern to all mankind, publishes good-will to men, and shows us God in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and therefore cannot be thought to take its rise from such narrow opinions and private interests as sects owe their origin to. True Christianity has a direct tendency to the uniting of the children of men, and the gathering of them together in one; and, as far as it obtains its just power and influence upon the minds of men, will make them meek and quiet, and peaceable and loving, and every way easy, acceptable, and profitable one to another, and therefore is far from being a sect, which is supposed to lead to division and to sow discord. True Christianity aims at no worldly benefit or advantage, and therefore must by no means be called a sect. those that espouse a sect are governed in it by their secular interest, they aim at wealth and honour; but the professors of Christianity are so far from this that they expose themselves thereby to the loss and ruin of all that is dear to them in this world. Secondly, It is invidiously called the sect of the Nazarenes, by which Christ was represented as of Nazareth, whence no good thing was expected to arise; whereas he was of Bethlehem, where the Messiah was to be born. Yet he was pleased to call himself, Jesus of Nazareth, ch. xxii. 8. And the scripture has put an honour on the name, Matt. ii. 23. And therefore, though intended for a reproach, the Christians had no reason to be ashamed of sharing with their Master in it. Thirdly, It was false that Paul was the author or standard-bearer of this sect; for he did not draw people to himself, but to Christ – did not preach himself, but Christ Jesus.”
Now let’s move to Shembe’s story. When God sent Shembe to establish the church of Nazareth, it was not a new religion, but a revival of the old church by Jesus Christ. Shembe reinstated laws of God by initiating the Nazarites congregation as we read in Acts 24:5. It might sound odd to people when we talk of the Nazarite, but these people existed even during the time of Jesus Christ, read Numbers 6:1-20. The Nazarites congregation has no black society background whatsoever, but has a biblical history. The laws of ubuNazaretha are merely based on Moses’ law. When Shembe first established the congregation of the Nazarites, he attached all his teachings to Moses’ law, and he wrote it clearly on verse 3-4 of the Sabbath liturgy which reads as follows:
3 “Fear Jehovah generations to generations, keep his commandments that He wrote through his Servant Moses, so that your worship will gladly be acceptable by the Lord of Hosts. 4. Failure to keep his commandments, He will never answers your prayers. He will not give you the blessings if ye disobey his commandments and do not keep them.”
It becomes very clear by now that the Nazarites congregation is the reinstatement of the old church by Jesus Christ as we read in Acts 24:5. In addition to that, the church of Nazarites practices the laws of Jehovah as are precisely spelt out in the book of Numbers 6:1-6. This simply means that, even though Shembe, first established the church of the Nazarites in KwaZulu-Natal, ubuNazaretha is firmly based upon Moses’ law. It is crucial for anyone who intends to study ubuNazaretha, to forage further gathering factual theology of our religion (ubuNazaretha).
The water is still muddy and it is by no ways “clear that the Nazarites congregation is the reinstatement of the old church by Jesus Christ as we read in Acts 24:5.” No command is given by the Lord Jesus Christ to reinstate His Church. He is the Head of His Church (see Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18, 2:19; 1 Peter 2:7).
In that case, ubuNazaretha is not attached into any ethnic religions, because it is far beyond that, and it’s merely a continuation of Moses’ religion that was later recommenced by Jesus. Shembe then resumed it here in KwaZulu-Natal, read Hymn 208 of the Nazarites.
Historic roots of ubuNazaretha
There are three historic roots of ubuNazaretha. Firstly, Mosaic law. UbuNazaretha is governed by Moses’ laws as Shembe explained in verse 3-4 of the Sabbath liturgy. This serves as our scriptural evidence showing that ubuNazaretha is also based upon the teachings of the Old Testament.
Secondly, ubuNazaretha is based upon Jesus’ teachings and his Apostles. In most cases when Shembe delivers his speech at the congregation he would quote so often from the teachings of Jesus and his Apostles. Hymns of the Nazarites show that particular significance to Jesus Christ, this is our further evidence showing that ubuNazaretha is also attached into the teachings of the New Testament.
If this is truly the case that the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ are taught, why then is Isaiah Shembe known as the messiah of the black man? This is contradictory to what you have said and amounts to blasphemy. There are many motor vehicles and taxis that drive around KwaZulu-Natal that have “Shembe is the way” stickers on them, when the Lord Jesus Christ says in His Scriptures, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
Shembe built the Nazarites congregation in accordance with the Zulu nation customs, which are not contrary to the laws of God. As we have mentioned early on, ubuNazaretha is built under the rigid laws of Jehovah that He wrote through his Servant Moses. Shembe stated very clearly in his teachings that when a person practices ubuNazaretha in contrary to Mosaic Law, God will never answers his or her prayer, and God will not pour blessings upon them. Look, when your prayers are not being answered and acceptably to God, what is the use of your faith then?
It is confusing at this point as it is unclear on a few points that you quote:
- “When God sent Shembe to establish the church of Nazareth, it was not a new religion, but a revival of the old church by Jesus Christ.”?
- “the Nazarites congregation is the reinstatement of the old church by Jesus Christ as we read in Acts 24:5.”?
- “Firstly, Mosaic law. UbuNazaretha is governed by Moses’ laws”?
- “Secondly, ubuNazaretha is based upon Jesus’ teachings and his Apostles.”?
- “Shembe built the Nazarites congregation in accordance with the Zulu nation customs,”?
So which of the items 1-5 above are applicable? For if they are “all applicable” then it is contradictory to what God’s Holy Word teaches. You cannot also say that “the Zulu nation customs, which are not contrary to the laws of God.” This is falsehood. In Zulu nation customs there is consulting with witchdoctors, sorcerers, diviners and even necromancers (those that speak to the dead) are prevalent. See what Deuteronomy 18:10-13 says on the matter:
10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
There are many Shembe followers that we address on the streets and in public and government places that clearly mix God’s Word with man’s traditions!
Thirdly, even though we are allowed to preserve and practice our customs, however we are warned not to practice those which are contrary to the laws of Jehovah. When it’s come to the laws of Jehovah, one should not for whatsoever reason compromise these laws with peoples’ customs or the teachings of any ethnic religion. People deliberately impose their customs into the Nazarine religion, which is unacceptable.
Scripture specifically tells us that we cannot speak to the dead which includes the Zulu tradition of consulting with the ancestors. For we read:
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; ~ 1 Timothy 2:5
Nowhere in Scripture does it say you can speak to one’s ancestors! The Lord Jesus Christ is your only mediator and He speaks to God on your behalf! We also see in Scripture that God warns that by man’s traditions and commandments you make the Word of God of no effect. Let us look at the Word of God as it is written:
6He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 10For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: 11But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. 12And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; 13Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. ~ Mark 7:6-13; and see Matthew 15:3-9
Ethnic religion enforces what is moral acceptably to those people of that particular culture and this kind of religion is built specifically on peoples’ practices which are mainly dominated by their believes, and has no instruction from God. When the time goes on, religions of this nature become a religion of the universe, because people adapt to it as their lifestyle.
The distinction between Nazaritism and any other religion is that, Nazaretism is built through the command of God, instructions from the Word of Heaven (Izwi leZulu). So the founder of Nazaritism is Isaiah Shembe who personally met with God, and God gave him laws which govern the church of Nazareth. Therefore, the will of God can’t be hindered by peoples’ beliefs, because ubuNazaretha just remains as God wants it to be, and should never be integrated to any cultural religion!
Isaiah Shembe could not have met personally with God to receive another set of laws which govern the church of Nazareth – which incidentally is the same church whose “founder of Nazaritism is Isaiah Shembe” (your quote) – as Scripture says that no man is to add to or take away from the words of the book of this prophecy (see Revelation 22:18,19). Therefore, if God gave a new revelation to the Shembe church then God cannot hold any person outside of the Shembe church accountable for their transgression of sins prior to the meeting Isaiah Shembe professes to have had with God. Even the Muslim prophet Mohammad says he received a new revelation, and so does the Mormons, and so does the Seventh-Day Adventists, and so on and so on…. This is how cults cover their tracks to make out that God has given them a “new revelation, a new book, new commands, new stories, new prophesies”, or He “is doing something new in the world”. This is a lie, because even in the Shembe church there are divisions as to who is right and who the rightful benefactor of the organisation is. It is all about money and power in man-centred religions. Another point is your e-mail address which is for a “new Nazareth baptist church”.
God said no person can see Him face to face and live. We read in Exodus 33:18-23 of the account of Moses requesting to see God’s Glory. No mere mortal can see God or meet with Him personally and live; that is why our Lord Jesus Christ said a man must be born again and receive the Holy Spirit to speak to the Father through our mediator Jesus Christ. We read the Moses account:
18And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. ~ Exodus 33:18-23
Cultural religion delves on preaching things that are totally incongruent to the teachings of Nazaritism , such as izulu lomndeni (Kinship Heaven). This means that after death, a person goes to a certain place where people are assembled in kinship groups. However, the church of Nazareth that is built through the teachings of the Bible does not teach anything of this kind, but it embraces one thing, Jehovah’s Heaven. Hymn number 10 of the Nazarites says:
1.The home of the Nazarites
Where we are going
Shines more brilliantly
Than the sun or the moon.
2. The Receiver of dues who is there
Is one alone,
It is Jehovah alone
The powerful King
Now, this hymn poses a challenge to anyone to take the Hymns of the Nazarites where we find Shembe’s teachings about one Heaven. Cultural religion says nothing about repenting from our sins and being judged by God. According to the cultural religion when people die, they go to a certain place whereby they will be grouped according to their clans and that place turns to be their heaven, where their forefathers judge them. According to God’s word, after death people get judged according to their wickedness. In Heaven the Nazarites stay with one another, wizards with one another, drunkard by drunkard etc.
Failure to draw a distinction between ethnic religion and ubuNazaretha and make the pair look the same impairs the true feathers of Nazaritism.
In Levi 19:31 Jehovah says: “Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead..” Therefore any person whose whole life is dedicated to God must not practice anything related to wizards and mediums. One cannot integrate Nazaritism with ethnic religion because the two are not the same. The ethnic religion is governed by its laws, so as ubuNazaretha is strictly governed by the laws of Jehovah.
Having said that the Nazarite should be someone who leaves holy lifestyle. The Nazaritism is for Jehovah as Shembe says in Hymn 73 of the Nazarites:
3.The beautiful rock
For the Nazarites,
That Jehovah elected for himself,
Because he loved it
4. He even adorned himself three times in a year
In this Nazarites,
Before all the Heavens
In One year.
In figurative terms the Nazarite can be described as the lovely and lavish apparel that Jehovah adorns himself in Heaven. Nazarite is one who is holy, and is very special before Jehovah and is expected to remain holy, and must not practice things that are totally against the teachings of Jehovah. These words are spelt out in Levi 20:26 “And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.” These words should always ring a bell to all the Nazarites, because they are the cornerstone of our faith.
God bless you. Amen
Fax: 086 528 1956. Find us on Facebook- New Nazareth Baptist Church
In closing kindly note that God has not commanded any body of believers to still continue under the old covenant of “running a church” according to the Mosaic Law. What you need to do is examine Hebrews 8 and 9 that sets out the new covenant that is through the Lord Jesus Christ who is our only High Priest after the order of but superior to Melchisedec (see Hebrews 7:1-10) and our Lord Jesus Christ is also superior to the imperfection of the Aaronic Priesthood that fell under the Mosaic Law (see Hebrews 7:11-28). Please read this body of Scripture text:
Heb 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
Heb 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
Heb 8:3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
Heb 8:4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
Heb 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
Heb 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Heb 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Heb 8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Heb 9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
Heb 9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
Heb 9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
Heb 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
Heb 9:5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
Heb 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
Heb 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
Heb 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
Heb 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Heb 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Heb 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Heb 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Heb 9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
Heb 9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
Heb 9:18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
Heb 9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
Heb 9:20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
Heb 9:21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Heb 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Heb 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
Heb 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
Heb 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
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