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Jamaicans of Ethiopian Origin and the Rastafarian Faith

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Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: Ras InI 7 Sent: 12/24/2016 12:29:24 PM


by Bro Karl Phillpotts Naphtali

Today in Ethiopia and throughout the world there are many misconceptions regarding the Rastafarian faith. These misconceptions or distortions may have been brought about by some who are not of Ethiopia who wish to keep the people from understanding the truth about our faith.

Centuries ago over 100 million Africans were kidnapped from their native home and enslaved by European and Arab slave traders. Although most of these Africans were stolen or sold from West Africa, it is important to note that slaves were taken from as far as MT. Kenya in Africa. In 1961 (Western calendar) when a delegation of Jamaicans visited Ethiopia, they were told by the late Abuna Basillos that the people were taken were told by from Ethiopia and brought to the Western world centuries ago. When His Imperial Majesty Emporer Haile Selassie I visited Jamaica in 1966, he told us that "Ethiopians and Jamaicans have a relationship going back for a very long time," and that "Jamaicans and Ethiopians were brothers by blood." Furthermore, during the time of the Emperor Lalibela there was a great war, and many supporters of the Solomonic Dynasty were exiled. Some reached the Caribbean. Our forefathers have left us history from the 18th Century A.D. of their support for the Royal House of Solomon. This spirit and tradition has survived to the present time. Therfore, we believe that our heritage has it's roots in the union of the Royal House of Solomon and Sheba and even beyond that point.


During the African's enslavement, the Euopeans made vicious attempts to sesrtoy our language and religion. We were told that the land of our forefathers was a land of savages and uncivilized people, and that we were taken from Africa to become Christians and be civilized by the so-called superior white man. This brainwashing process was done to break our foreparents' spirit and to make the humble and willing slaves. They also claimed to be teaching our people about the bible.

When a few of our forefathers learned and began to read in English they took up the Holy Bible and read it for themselves. and behold, in the very first book of Genesis, Chapter 2 vs. 13 they read that out of the garden of Eden there flowed a river which seperated into four parts. One of these was the river Gihon which flowed over the land of Ethiopia. Our fathers wisely concluded that Ethiopia. Our fathers wisely concluded that Ethiopia must logically be part of the Garden of Eden, the cradle of mankind. How then could we be inferior to whites when man originated in our country?

It must be noted that slaves were not permitted to read, and therefore they had to secretly read the Bible. Being inspired and enlightened, our forefathers read on and came upon a story of Moses and his marriage to an Ethiopian woman,(see 12). Aaron and Miriam, (Moses' brother and sister) were upset and spoke against Moses' marriage because his wife was an Ethiopian. Jahvah punished and afflicted Miriam with leprosy for criticizing Moses. Moses pleaded with Jahvah to forgive them, and Miriam was cured.

The Bible described a land to our forefathers that resembled the land of their fathers, and the Bible customs, names and stories sounded all too familiar. In the Psalms of David ch 68 vs. 31 they read that Princes and Princesses would come out of Egypt(Africa), and that Ethiopia would soon stretch her hands unto God. This gave our fathers hope because they knew they were once Princes in Africa and were now sure that God would deliver them. In the book of Amos, ch9 vs. 7, they read how the children of Israel were likened unto the children of Ethiopia by God. Also in the book of Acts of the Ethiopian Jew who was on his way to Jerusalem to worship. These constant references to Ethiopa inspired African people to form their own churches and to give their churches Ethiopian names. For example in southern Africa and in the Caribbean there emerged over 200 independent African churches with Ethiopian names. The Ethiopian Zion Church, the Ethiopian Baptist Church, the Ethiopian Methodest Church and the Abbyssinia Coptic Church are just a few names adopted by our forefathers to identify with Ethiopia.

As literacy in the English language increased among Africans in the late 19th century, brilliant scholars of Ethiopian history emerged. Such names as Casely Hayford, Edward Blyden and Marcus Mosiah Garvey are to be noted for their contribtions. They provided others historical materials written by Greek historians, who referred to all Africa as Ethiopia, not only the present day geographical boundries. These scholors found that the Greeks spoke of Ethiopia as "the land where the Gods loved to be" and of Ethiopians as the "blameless race." They provided other literature that showed that civilization "came down the River Nile," from Ethiopia to Egypt and then to Greece and then to Rome." These revelations about Ethiopia came at a time when all other African people, inside and outside of Africa were under White rule. Only Ethiopia had never been conquered by the white man. Ethiopia was the independence and pride.

More inspiring events took place in 1896 when Italy's army was utterly defeated by the armies of Emperor Menenlik II on Ethiopian soil. This news managed to leak out to Africans under colonial rule. There was great rejoicing by Africans everwhere, and the hope of freedom was rekindled.


It was out of this rich and fertile tradition of love for Ethiopians that the Rastafarian faith was born. In 1930 news came of the crowning of an Ethiopian King. This was not merely another King being crowned. This King was crowned His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God, Light of this World, King of Zion. This King was reported as being the 225thth restores of the Solomonic Dynasty. It was attended by many nations, including the Duke of Gloucester, the representative of the British Crown who returned the Emperor the sacred scepter stolen from Ethiopia many years before.

African Christian people now began asking many questions. The throne that Haile Selassie I represented was the oldest throne on earth, over 3,000 years old. The throne of the Royal House of Britain, the colonial sovereign of Jamaica was less than 500 years old. It was not only that African people saw that they had an African King exceeding all over colonial sovereigns in royal status and antiquity, but this King's throne represented the throne of God on earth, established by a covenant between God and King David as recorded in the Old Testament (IISam ch7).

Our people earnestly searched the scriptures and the prophecies concerning this throne in Ethiopia. In the book of Genesis(ch49 vs. 18-12), they read that God had promised the custodianship of his Kingdom of the Tribe of Judah. Moreover, God had mad an eternal promise to King David and King Solomon, that their throne and Dynasty would endure as long as the moon and the sun, and that David would never be short of a man-child to sit on his throne (see psalms 89). It must also be emphasized that the kings dynasty were not only the kings of Ethiopia, but the kings of the whole earth; representing the justice and judgment of God in human affairs (see Psalms 72). When God's people sinned He told them that He would punish them by famine, pestilence and the sword, and he would be ruled by a foreign power and be servants to other nations. But when they returned to God with all their hearts He would rise up one from the family of David and Solomon who would re-gather His people back into their own land, (see Ezekial 37, Isaiah 43, Jerm. 23, and 33). Then God promised that by the seed of David, the Tribe of Judah, He would set up His promised Kingdom on earth, which would be a light to the world. His people would be returned to their land and no more would they suffer.

H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I, born July 23, (the beginning of the astrological sign of the Lion), by the dignity of His stature, the discipline of His character, and eyes that reflect a sense of purpose and mission, was seen by Bible students as the promised Messiah from the House of Judah. His titles fit only man on earth "worthy to open the book and to loose the seven seals" of Revelation Chapter 5. Known before his Coronation as Ras Tafari, our people who saw him as the long awaited Messiah, began calling themselves by his name, Rastafarians. To the Rastafarians, this King was the one promised from the House of David, who would re-gather them from their lands of captivity and bring them again into their own land.


I would like to stress a very important point to my Ethiopian brothers and sisters. The belief that the throne of Ethiopia was given by God is part of your own history and tradition. This history of Solomon's and Sheba son Menelik I, the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant to Axum and the 12,000 sons of Israel's nobles and high priests who returned to Ethiopia with Menelik, was a great historical significance to the Orthodox Church and gave legitimacy to government. Before Jesus Christ and His disciples (except John) were murdered, Christ's gospel was about His Father's Kingdom. This was the key message foe which Jesus and all of the prophets were martyred. Was it not the clergy in the time of Jesus Christ who had sold out to Rome not to preach to the people about the Davidic Covenant and settle for semi-autonomy and a life of comfort? Because of the popularity of Jesus Christ, who taught the people as the prophets did about His Promised Kingdom, the puppet Jewish Clergy informed Rome that Jesus said that He was the promised King of the Jews. Jesus was arrested and charged with sedition against Rome.

For many years the early Christian Church was persecuted because of their belief in Jesus Christ's message, ie: God's coming Kingdom on earth. Soon most churches left out this teaching in their sermons. It was seen as political propaganda because it suggested an alternative government of righteousness and truth. Only the Ethiopian Church preserved this teaching until the invasion by Rome in 1936. These different invasions were attempts to be destroy the seed of David (as Herod attempted to do at the birth of Jesus) and to take possession of the Ark of the Covenant, sacred manuscripts and documents of Ethiopia. Then as they planned, this promise of a Kingdom of God to our people, Would be put away forever, (see Psalms 2). So what Ras-Tafarians are really representing is what the Orthodox Church and the early Christians once stood for.


We believe as the Bible teaches that God is a Spirit. However, this spirit manifested in and represented by our King H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I, who the nations of Babylon have conspired against, (see Psalms2). This spirit of God, through the grace of Jesus Christ also lives in the hearts of all believers. There is no other name by which man receives salvation but through the name and belief in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ was a direct descendant of King David. This family of King David is represented today by the Ethiopian Solomonic Dynasty bearing Ethiopian and Shemetic physical characteristics. Any artistic representation of Jesus Christ should therefore logically bear similar physical characteristics of living family members descended from this Royal House. We therefore reject Michaek Angelo's painting representing Jesus and Mary with Blonde hair and blue eyes. This misrepresentation of the racial characteristics of Jesus and Mary by European artist (which defies geography) is significant in that it can affect the national pride and self denied of this joy and dignity in accepting the reality that Jesus and Mary were people who looked like us. The psychological damage to Africans in perpetuating the myth of the past and coming white redeemer may be that of seeking outside of their own kith and kin for a solution of their condition.

We believe ourselves to be the original Lost Tribes of Israel that were once scattered, but now found because of the preservation and appearing of Judah, David's seed, in the person of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I. We will be returned to Ethiopia by God's will and power.

In concluding, it is hoped that this attempt to throw some light on the faith of Rastafarians will not have been in vain. I hope it will encourage Ethiopians to examine and study their rich history and culture and make a careful study of the Bible.

Ethiopia yesterday, today and FOR-IVER!

Bro Karl Phillpotts Naphtali is a Rastafarian and resides in Washington D.C. This article was printed in Feb./march 1995 in "Caribbean Lifestyles" magazine.

Messenger: Ras InI 7 Sent: 12/25/2016 9:28:57 AM

The Testimony of Bro Karl Phillpotts Naphtali

What I Testify as My Understanding of the Growth and Development of the Theology and Faith of Rastafari – Followers of H.I.M Haile Selassie I, by Karl Phillpotts Naphtali.

1.We accept the Holy Bible, from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, as the inspired Word of The Most High, The Father of the Universe.

2.We accept that God is a Spirit, the Creative Word, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, for the Father seeketh such to Worship Him. (John4vs23-24)

3.We accept that man's body is the Temple of the living God, and therefore is His Chief instrument. (1Corinthians3v16, 6v19)

4.We accept and proclaim with all our heart, soul, mind and strength that Jesus, (known in our Hebrew tongue as Yeshua) who trod the earth 2000 years ago, is The Messiah, The Christ, The only begotten Son of The Father and The Saviour and Redeemer of Mankind. That He lived the perfect life and paid for our redemption from the curse of the Law, by His innocent blood (Hebrew9vs11-15, 22) And because no sin was found in Him, in that He was obedient to the Father even unto death, it was impossible for Death, the curse of the Law, to have dominion over Him. He therefore died for our sins and rose for our justification, laying down mortality and putting on immortality. And as such, being the first fruits of them that slept (Romans5v19) and restored to the original form that Adam was created, (i.e. immortal) it is Him Jesus who has fulfilled the seed that would come (Genesis3vs15) to bruise the head of the serpent, the devil, and will restore mankind to immortality and the Creation to perfection, in the Age to come. When he returns to overthrow the existing social, political, economic, and religious disorder and establish Gods Righteous Kingdom here on the earth (Daniel 2 vs44, Isiah54vs21-2). He will reign from the throne of David, from a New Jerusalem, and the resurrected Saints and the living Faithful will reign with Him as Kings and Priests upon the earth (Rev5 vs10).

5. We accept that Until then, as the Scripture teaches, The Kingdom of God will remain in the hands of the Sons of David, (2nd Chronicles 13vs5,8) to whom it was given by an everlasting Covenant, (Davidic Covenant, 2nd Samuel 7) as long as the Sun and Moon endure. This throne of God, established in the Royal House of David and King Solomon (2nd Chronicles 9 v 8) was transmitted to the Ethiopian Royal House via the Queen of Sheba who carried the Royal Seed from Solomon to Ethiopia.

6. The Kings of Ethiopia, descended from King David and King Solomon through Menelek1 are therefore of Divine origin, meaning that their throne was established by The Eternal Himself, when the children of Israel asked for a King, mainly because with their `fleshy' minds they could not understand that the Eternal was their King. (1Samuel 8vs1-9)(Psalms10vs16)(1Tim 1v17)

7. We as Rastafarians of the Twelve Tribes of Israel will never relinquish the Divinity of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie1. By this we mean that according to the anointing he has received, according to the Royal tradition, (1Samuel16vs12-13) the Spirit of The Most High rests upon him and His Words are in his mouth and speaks by his tongue. (2ndSamuel 23vs2-3) We accept His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie1 to be the 225th restorer of the Solomonic Dynasty. Therefore according to the Messianic Anointing he has received, His Imperial Majesty represents the Father and His Christ. We therefore hold that The Eternal Word, Manifested in Our Lord (Master) Jesus the Christ (Anointed) has been revealed to us the Rastafarian brethren and sisters of the twelve tribes of Israel through the personality of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie1.

8.As we accept that God is a Spirit, in the physical absence of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie 1, the throne as promised will continue in the hands of the sons of David UNTIL Shiloh comes. Let it be noted that as His Imperial Majesty has appointed Crown Prince Zere Yacob Asfa Wossen Haile Selassi1, (14th April1974) his successor to the throne of David, we accept that the throne is now in his hands. (See last two formal pronouncements of Emperor Haile Selassie1 in Edward Ullendorff's Journal of Semitic Studies, Vol.22, 1977;pp209-210) And this Monarchy, wherever residing, will continue as a Light to the fact that the House of David will hold, preserve, and be custodians of this throne in the earth until Shiloh, comes.

9. We accept that the Scepter, that is, the Divine Authority to rule in God's stead or Custodianship of God's throne will not leave the House of Judah, Until Shiloh comes (Genesis 49vs10). Kings from this House have come and have gone, but the one whose right it is (Shiloh) will be seated upon the throne from everlasting to everlasting, not temporarily or over a temporary dispensable Kingdom (St.Luke1vs31-32). This means that He that is to come will be the immortal King ruling eternally. He is the Lamb that was slain, (Rev 5vs 9–10) 2000 years ago in Jerusalem, and rose from the grave and He whom the Heavens must retain, ((Acts3vs 20-21) UNTIL the restoration of all things spoken of by the Prophets since the world began (Acts 3vs 25-26). It is this same Jesus (Hebrew13v8, Acts1v11) the Lamb of God that was found worthy and is now seated at the right hand of the Father Until He Has put all enemies under His feet. It is He Jesus, the non-cohabited body of Christ who will inaugurate the Kingdom of God in the Age to come, the Millennium, the reign of Christ for a thousand years. His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie1 and the Royal House is the cohabited body of Christ who holds the throne until Shiloh comes.

10. We believe that what has been preached in the name of Christ and in the name of Christianity by most Churches, has too often been a doctrine about Jesus but not what Jesus taught. (Galatians1vs6-8). We believe that when the Roman and Greek mind took over the interpretation of the Scriptures, instead of the Hebrew mind, the world was deceived into believing in another Jesus, the image of a Greek god, rather than the historical Jesus, the Son of God. (Rev.12vs9) Jesus was sent by His Father to proclaim or herald the Good News about the coming Kingdom of God to earth and that we were to repent and believe in this message for the Kingdom was at hand or near. (Luke 4v43, Mark 1vs14-15). When we accept this Word, this seed, this message, we conceive and new life, a new birth occurs in us, (born again) and `quickens' us towards immortality in the Age to come. It is in understanding and belief upon the Words that Jesus spoke that gives life, the seed of immortality. (Luke 8vs11-12). And we must also accept that it is His blood that paid the ransom to open the gates of immortality once again as it was in the beginning before the fall of Man. So shall it be in the end, when all the Saints that sleep will be awakened, or resurrected with an immortal glorious body and the creation restored to its glorious state, as it was in the beginning (Philippians3vs20-21) (Acts24vs14-15, & 26vs28-23)

11. Those who embrace this Hope, this Faith that the Twelve Tribes of Israel waited earnestly for day and night, have the Faith of Abraham and all the prophets of God. Those are therefore the seed of Abraham and therefore inheritors of the promises made to Abraham. This is the Promise of a land - grant, not in the sky but right here on earth where the Meek shall inherit the land or earth. It is promised to the Faithful, IRRESPECTIVE OF RACE, NATIONALITY, OR GENDER. These are the Israel of God, the New Israel. To them will be given the disputed land when Messiah returns. Those who have suffered for this faith in Messiah (Christ), in the regeneration, they will be given twelve thrones, Judging (administering) the 12 tribes of Israel. (Luke22v29-30)

12. Until then we believe that Ethiopia is our place of refuge, as Jacob took refuge in the tents of Ham. We accept the legitimate right of all African descendants to Repatriate to the land of our forefathers, Africa. The land given to us by our King in Shashamane should be developed to sustain ourselves during the Great tribulation. This is also part of the Holy Land.

13. We accept that as followers of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie1, (whose pre- coronation name was Ras Tafari) we MUST study and obey His teachings and follow his example and not the traditions, sayings of anyone which are contrary to his words or the Holy Bible. His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie 1, Himself a follower of Jesus, and holding the title of Defender of the Faith and leader of the most ancient Christian Nation on earth, Ethiopia, has commanded us to: "…arise with the spiritual zeal and earnestness which characterized the Apostles and early Christians and let us lead our brothers and sisters to Our Saviour Jesus, Who only gives life in its fullest sense". If we claim to love Him we should follow His example and Teachings.

14.We also declare the Prophet Gad as the Rastafarian who pointed us to the Holy Bible, The Historical Jesus, The identity of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, Jerusalem, Shashamanne Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Royal Family. Glory be to the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 12/25/2016 9:45:45 AM

PLEASE WATCH 12:40 - 13:10

'I wasnt influenced by the Bible..... I never see Haile Selassie inna no bible' - ELDER RAS PROF-I

For some balance

Messenger: Ras InI 7 Sent: 12/25/2016 10:21:41 AM

I have heard Prof-I speak before. He seems to be one of the few elders that weren't inspired by the Bible. Karl Phillpotts Naphtali makes a good point though when he mentions that even earlier there was Ethiopianism.

I would never deny that there are other expressions of the Rastafari faith though. There's diversity within Rastafari and some, probably like yourself, holds more to the view of Prof-I.

Messenger: I-Man Sent: 12/26/2016 1:36:13 PM

Prof I said very interesting ting but he is a different rastaman, he no smoke ganja also

Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 12/27/2016 4:16:30 PM

NUFF rastaman dont smoke ganja. What is different?

Messenger: Sister Ifua Sent: 2/4/2017 8:04:10 PM

If smoking ganja makes a rastaman there would be millions and millions of rastas in the world... I myself usually don't smoke. Now am I less a Rastawoman?

But to come back to the topic of the thread, it's very very typical for the Twelve Tribes to speak generally, like "WHAT RASTAFARIANS BELIEVE", or "We accept..." "We believe..." "We declare..." as if they are the only ones and had been given authority by every single brother or sister in the world to speak out for them.

This is not greatness, it is simply showing how they see themselves: As the center of the rastafarian universe, IF for them there exists any group or individuals exept them AT ALL.

TTI worldview could never convince me.

Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 6/14/2017 6:27:46 AM

Me neither.... and you are right sister I notice that too

Messenger: ras deus Sent: 9/14/2017 2:21:42 PM

Seem! Him should ah seh Twelve Tribes Rastafarians not Rastafarians.

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