In this one we will see in just how many books, not included in most Bibles, that Our Lord and Saviour Manwele (Immanuel) actually quoted. Because He quoted several works that now is both overlooked and is generally not known by people. Now, this is because of a number of different reasons. Heresy is a word often used, but believe this, Roman Catholics have burned many a good man just for stating what he believed as something different then `accepted doctrine`. My oh My, how much blood is there on the hands of the large, ancient old churches !? But, rest assured, there will be a reckoning. Unless you want to be associated with any of these come the end or come the end of you and your beliefs, please read on.
You see, there was no New Testament or Old Testament back in the day, they just had Scriptures. Books like Enoch and Sira (even the Proverbs of Egypt and those that became Solomons Proverbs) was household reads back in ancient Southern Africa. So NiNis wisdom was much more spread and practised in the lands of Africa than what is today. Now we see, as many people are starting to understand, that religion is monopoly. Like money, most is withheld and available only to the few. So the truth is being held back and controlled by the largest institutionalised religions but also through different directions of Christianity. In these various directions and beliefs, there are certain ways you are suppose to behave (and even a certain way you are suppose to believe - believe it or not!).
It goes something like this: if you are a Catholic, you must believe so and so - the pope is God and you can make an effort into becoming righteous, Protestants well they are even to general to describe here, Seventh Day Adventist with their Saturdays and impending doom, Jehovahs Witness with their 144,000 being accepted into heaven, also must behave such and such. You have to behave like good person, not necessarily being one from within. A Muslim must be like this if not there is a chance you may be killed and a Buddhist is seemingly wise like this but perhaps not like that, and so on so forth.
This will surely be a great offence to someone out there belonging or identifying with any of the above, it is not my intention to offend, but to shed some light. Not to belittle, but to show you that there is more ! See the point is coming now !
What ever kind of Scriptures or text you hold dear to your heart is what will limit the understanding of a person. Wether you are simply following, having been told by the mentors and or elders what in fact, are the so-called `right books` or the only Bible version to read. What is accepted doctrine... And they all will tell you they have the answers. This is to be quite honest, a signature of deep ignorance. Inviting limited understanding, creative interpretations and impending chaos. And we know who is the author of chaos. Effectively cutting out any advice and guidance from the Spirit of Truth, THE only One that comes directly from So NiNi. And if you are willing, He will show you things you never thought possible or could even have imagined... Thats what He does... That is how The King works... Slowly He shows you what things are really like... Through His own created Spirit...
Now, His Spirit is ever so subtle... it does not impose itself on anyone or shake a person, nor is it ever boastful. But it is ever present. Some know it much, other less. And just like The King, Who created wisdom, she is ever understanding. This Holy Spirit sometimes lets you stand by her windows, looking in, feeling the warmth and calmness of truth found inside her chambers. If you have read Ben Sira, you would see that these are paraphrases from that particular book. Although sadly for most people, this spirit so amply described in Ben Sira, is like a deer in the forrest, that will flee a confused wanderer stumbling in on her. So then from the slightest sound or noise, she runs away. Letting only those that truly seek her, find her.
Now listen, and please do listen. Let no man tell you what is inspired of the Most High and what is not. There are all kinds of devils in the world doing their utmost to hide their sins from you and trying their best to hide them from So NiNi. Refusing to admit sins before The Most High, and instead of letting Him heal them, they continue down a path of lies and deceit. Placing sin upon sin. Some of these become priests and church leaders, others are consumed by despair of not being healed as they thought (having done no wrong in their mind), slowly loosing their faith or inventing their own, and perhaps going so far as having their conscience seared with a hot iron.... (Timothy 4:2). These ones seldom are brought back, or can be brought back with ease. Unless So NiNi should decide that such a one should be brought back for service unto the Gospel. Know this, He can bring anyone to repentance, it is all up to Him.
If He decides and He wills it, He will draw a person to Himself (John 6:44). This drawing and coming closer to So NiNI - includes things such as opening your mind to reading Scriptures and forgotten texts, then slowly coming to the understanding that every single church, all have a multitude of problems that contradict the Gospel and The Laws in the Old Testament. And most importantly every single one of them: Catholics, SDA, Protestants, Zion Christian Church, Jehovahs Witness, the various Old Testaments cults, etc - THEY ALL have their way of reading truth, like its somehow up for interpretation... Its not. The truth is simple and So NiNI knows, ask Him. Let Him show you. These beliefs systems all have they have their way of relating to the Gospel and also will dictate how you live your life. Please, wherever you have come from or what you believe now, think this....what if all of the big churches are wrong?? What if the Gospel is meant to set you free from all this indoctrination used against people? What if you are mean to be leaving all of that earthly stuff and that limited way of life. That limited version of the Gospel. Instead, learn to trust So NiNi. Leaving the earthly behind, in a dying world you in fact will not be living in for too long. But instead, focusing on the world to come. There, and only there will you live forever... So store up things for yourself in that place, not this one..
Now then, there are of course, hundreds of books out there, with regards to the message of the Gospel, that holds truth in them. We will collect only a few of these, that should be read or at least known by Christians today. This because the terminology used by Msindisi all over the New Testament books, seems to have found their way into old and very enlightening books. Works written by authors before and some after Christ.
Off course one could argue that the books written after Christ, which include the words of Christ and so on, are fictional works only written after the other books of the New Testament was published and made so only to lead people astray. And they was written to include various themes (beliefs) from pious religious groups trying to gain followers. These are the most prevalent arguments, often used by the very people afraid to even open them. Well, because you see the devil lives side them pages there.... dont read`em they say... the words will jump out at you. If you believe that, I would strongly argue against you even opening a Bible. The Spirit is the only one that can guide someone to understanding Scripture. Remember the Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch on the way from Jerusalem to Gaza (which was a south of Jerusalem), that could not understand a single word (read correctly) of Isaiah until he was baptised and had been given the Spirit of Truth (Acts 8,26-40). Then the Eunuch started laughing his head off, and then disappeared/ gone up and vanished straight before Phillips eyes....
Now look, we are not going dissect any of these books, done so by theologians or historical linguists and the like, adamantly telling you what should and what should not be. Always check what these people believe in before you take advice. Don`t listen to priests swearing to a shroud or a devout Catholic or even a Liberal Christian well especially not a liberal Christian. As most of these quite frankly devoid of wisdom. Before you listen to a person, at least discern wether this one comes with a hidden agenda, do they want to talk and think, or are they selling you a story / telling you what to think? Are they coming with theories of Dispensations and Creationism talk? Do they believe or are they showing you how much they do not believe? Ask yourself, Where are they in life... Does this person seem happy? Are they humble? Do they impose themselves on you? Have they become like children again in their faith? What they believe will shine on through if you talk with a person long enough. I mean, Manwele said it, look at their fruits, they never lie. Good trees and bad trees.... remember, you are either one or the other (Matt 12,33).
Now, think about this. If you, and I believe every person is to some degree, able to read these books. Especially now, with the internet becoming readily available to Africans. Then ask So NiNi simply: Is there truth here? And don`t be surprised if it takes a good number of years before you understand the answers given. You might not like them, most likely you wont like them - though they will nevertheless be true. Perhaps you must make sacrifices on the way to see the truth. And remember all that come to Him will be tested... ! And let me tell you He does not play around, neither can you fool the Most High. Your sins are always before Him. Wisdom is hard earned, and flees from a flimsy and dishonest person. It cannot stay with them for long.
Remember dear people, understanding takes time and in some sadly it simply will not take root. But you, readers of this blog, are not like that. So therefore enjoy the delicate dishes laid out before you, in the form of Immanuels immortal words, from the books He did quote. Remember this, wisdom is universal, it does not lie and those that sought it before Christ and found it, was seeking the very same thing we as believers have been given. We have a shortcut in gaining understanding in these sayings. A mediator, a priest that shortens the distance to The King, allowing us to come before him and plead that He forgives us our sins and leads us to repentance. We must being reading these books again... Masifunde kwakhona !
We begin with references to a personal favourite Ben Sira, The Son of Sira. A clear cut reference in Sira 28:2 to the Sermon on the Mount. Sira, was written, and was most likely collection of writings by the son of Sira some time before Christ. Originally in Hebrew, it was translated by the author’s grandson into Greek. This one is called the Deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament - which was included in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament used in the time of Christ...
Forgive your neighbour the hurt he has done unto you, so shall your sins also be forgiven when you pray.
- Sira 28:2:
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. - Matthew 6:12, 14-15 (Sermon on the Mount)
Manweles statement about laying up for yourselves treasure in heaven, from Matt 6,19-21 mirror Sira 29,11-15.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- Matt. 6:19-21
11 Lay up your treasure according to the commandments of the Most High, and it will profit you more than gold. 12 Store up almsgiving in your treasury, and it will rescue you from all affliction; 13 more than a mighty shield and more than a heavy spear, it will fight on your behalf against your enemy. 14 A good man will be surety for his neighbour, but a man who has lost his sense of shame will fail him. 15 Do not forget all the kindness of your surety, for he has given his life for you.
_ Sira 29:11
Matt. 7:16,20, and Immanuels ’ statement “you will know them by their fruits” follows Sira 27:6, the fruit discloses the cultivation.
16 By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.
- Matthew 7,16-20
Immanuel's teachings on those that are blessed, during the Sermon on the Mount, or the so-called ``Beatitudes'' (Matt. 5:2-11), were delivered in a way that testifies to the familiarity that Immanuel and His audience had with Sira 25:7-10:
" I can think of nine whom I would call blessed,
and a tenth my tongue proclaims:
a man who can rejoice in his children;
a man who lives to see the downfall of his foes.
Blessed is the man who lives with a sensible wife,
and the one who does not plow with ox and ass together.
Blessed is the one who does not sin with his tongue,
and the one who has not served an inferior.
Blessed is the one who finds a friend,
and the one who speaks to attentive listeners.
How great is the one who finds wisdom!
But none is superior to the one who fears So NiNi."
Now in content, the nine Beatitudes of Immanuel are quite unlike Ben-Siras list of nine (or ten rather) types of blessed individuals. And Christ intended a contrast in content, however on further inspection, besides the basic structure of nine beatitudes, these actually have much more in common than first meets the eye.
Moving on, still in Sira we find another instance where which a teaching from the Sermon on the Mount had been anticipated a long time before Immanuel actually said them.
`Turn away your eyes from a shapely woman, and do not gaze at beauty that belongs to another man; many have been seduced by a woman's beauty, and by it passion is kindled like a fire.''
- Sira 9,8
That is the essence of Jesus Christ's declaration in Matt. 5:28:
`any man who looks on a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.''
But wait, there is more... such as the interesting parallel found in Matthew 6,7
``When you pray, do not use babbling repetitions . . . .''
- Matt 6,7
and the words in Sira 7:14
"Do not babble in the assembly of the elders, and do not repeat yourself when you pray."
There is also an anticipation of the Golden Rule (Matt 7,12) found in Ecclesiasticus (The Dying words of Solomon some people say). We know that this saying is what most people, even those of other faiths, know Immanuel thought his followers, do unto others... But before Him this Rule had been said by Confucius (China), Philo Judaeus (Alexandria) and the author of Tobit (4,15). But yes, as you may already now know, Sira had his own version of the Rule:
"Judge your neighbour's feelings by your own, and in every matter be considerate.''
- Sira 31:15
Lets do one last one from Sira, although there are plenty more, in Mark 4:5,16-17 - Immanuels’ description of seeds falling on rocky ground and having no root follows Sira 40:15.
15 The children of the ungodly will not put forth many branches; they are unhealthy roots upon sheer rock.
- Ben Sira 40,15
Moving on, we find other cross references to books that are not in most modern day Bibles that comes without the Apocrypha. Below comes some of these verses:
In Matthew 9,36 the people were “like sheep without a shepherd” is same as Judith 11:19 - sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 12:42 - Immanuel refers to the wisdom of Solomon which was recorded and made part of the deuterocanonical books. I see references all over this one
Matthew 16:18 - Immanuels’ reference to the “power of death” and “gates of Hades” references Wisdom of Solomon 16:13.
Matthew 27:43 - if He is God’s Son, let God deliver him from His adversaries follows Wisdom of Solomon 2:18.
Matthew 24:15 - the “desolating sacrilege” Immanuel refers to is also taken from 1 Maccabees 1:54 and 2 Maccabees 8:17.
Matthew 24:16 - let those “flee to the mountains” is also in 1 Maccabees 2:28.
Mark 9:48 - description of hell where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched, references Judith 16:17.
Immanuels` golden rule “do unto others” is the converse of Tobit 4:15 - what you hate, do not do to others.
Matthew 11:25 - Immanuels’ description “Lord of heaven and earth” is the same as Tobit 7:18 - Lord of heaven and earth.
Matthew 22:25; Mark 12:20; Luke 20:29 - Gospel writers refer to the canonicity of Tobit 3:8 and 7:11, regarding the story of the seven brothers.