The Significance of the 84th Coronation of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie 1st
This publication written by Bro. Karl Napthali Philpott is a recommended read for all followers of Chirst, especially ALL pastors, specifically Black Pastors in the Western Hemisphere who have rejected their Ethiopian/Afican roots and have neglected to DEFEND the truth about the God and Christ of Ethiopia.
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour, Yeshua The Messiah, Jesus the Christ, Saviour of the World; who has revealed Himself to us through the personality (or Instrumentality) of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie 1, King of Kings, Lion of Judah, Elect of God.
Greetings through the Twelve Tribes of Israel, once scattered and now founded in the island of Jamaica, by our beloved Prophet Brother Gad.
Greetings through the Orthodox Faith, which is not one of writs and rites, but a function of the heart, acquired through a mystical incorporation of unity in One; in plain words, to be born again.
Greetings also through the Royal family of Ethiopia, represented in the person of His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Zara Yacob Asfa Wossen.
I give thanks to the Most High, the Eternal I Am, Who was, Who is, and Who is to come, for His mercies in allowing me the privilege of health, strength, and guidance to be able to sub-mit my thoughts about the significance of the Coronation of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie 1st. Give thanks that another door has been opened to Glorify and Magnify the Lord Most High and speak the truth; the Word as written, from which Faith is derived.
I thought deeply and prayed that The Most High guide my thoughts on such an important topic, especially as it relates to the 84th year of His Imperial Majesty’s Coronation. I even took the opportunity to look up the Thesaurus definition of what seemed to be a simple word; sig-nificance; as words are so deep and important. Definitions for the word significance that came up were: implications, meaning, consequences, importance, and impact.
I will focus on the latter Thesaurus definition of significance; impact.
The news of the Coronation of Ras Tafari Makonnen, as His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie 1st, King of Kings, Lion of Judah, Elect of God, kindled an indescribable energy of Messianic expectation amongst our early foreparents of the era and has never ceased to generate the growth of a movement surrounding the event.
The Holy Bible and its Scriptures became more relevant and real to a people experiencing over 400 years of earthly social, political and economic oppression as the children of Israel did. Just try for a moment, to imagine; a time when almost all Africa and their descendants in the Diaspora, with the exception of Ethiopia, was under colonial rule. Then suddenly, an African king being crowned with Messianic titles; a coronation ceremony with the precise blueprint reminiscent of the ceremony accorded to King David and His Royal House; an Ethiopian king recognized and identified with the tribe of Judah, the tribe of the Davidic Covenant; and the 225th descendant from a union of King Solomon of Jerusalem and the Queen of Sheba of Ethiopia.
Present at this Coronation, 84 years ago, were representatives from many nations, including the same colonial powers that had our people and countries elsewhere in bondage. They were there supposedly paying homage, to an African king, with Biblical roots that stretched back over 3000 years into Biblical History. The Duke of Gloucester, the son of King George of Great Britain, was present and restored to His Imperial Majesty, a scepter was that taken away years before. On the scepter was written, “Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God”. (Psalms 68 vs 31).
Instantly a connection to the Messianic prophecies in the Bible and its message of national liberation and redemption became connected with 20 Centaury circumstances in the theology and lives of many of our fore-parents. They had heard or read about it and a few had witnessed this spectacular event. It was an event that impacted their awareness, hopes and aspirations. Now the circumstances of the African Holocaust and bondage not merely resembled that of Israel but this Coronation event confirmed and affirmed an identity of our people with the lost dispersed tribes of Israel as recorded in the Holy Bible.
The Roman and Greek version of Christianity preached by White missionaries, offering freedom in death and somewhere off the earth, was shaken at its very foundation. The Original Gospel of the early followers of Jesus began to be restored in the minds and hearts of a people in bondage. The real message of a Kingdom to be restored and established on the earth, not in the sky or after death, became clear. The hope that the “meek would inherit the earth” in-stead was rekindled. Our foreparents had read in the Book of Daniel that the God of Heaven promised to set up here, on earth, a Kingdom that would break, (i.e. subdue and overthrow) the Satanic, Babylonish Governments that controlled the world.
God’s Covenant with King David, in Psalms 87 and 2nd Samuel Chapter 7, appeared to be manifesting itself before their very eyes in the 20th Century, in the Coronation of Ras Tafari Makonnen, as His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie 1st, 225th descendant of the Union of King Solomon and the Queen of Ethiopia, Sheba.
Historians, theologians, pastors, Bible scholars and the average person have not began to seriously consider or imagine what this event meant to a people longing for an end to oppression and restoration to their ancestral homeland. This event has kindled a flame and zeal among our elders and even today as never witnessed amongst indigenous religions in our island or the African Diaspora and amazingly today among many other races and nationalities.
The Progressive “Revelation”
The most widely referred to chapter and verses in the Bible that correlated with this Coronation and thus impacted the Rastafarian movement, were cited in the Book of Revelation Chapter 5 Vs 1-5.
Here John recorded in this book his being caught up in a heavenly vision and revelation from Jesus Christ “which God gave Him to show his servants which must shortly come to pass…” Rev1Vs 1.
1. Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3. But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”( REV 5 Vs 1-5)
His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie 1st was definitely crowned with the titles herein mentioned according to the Biblical tradition anointing the kings of the Royal House of King David. Hence the birth of the Rastafari movement, which saw this as the coming of the Messianic King from the lineage of King David: the one who would rescue the lost tribes of Israel from captivity and restore them to the land of our foreparents.
The Biblical Truth that will set us Free.
However today in our 21st Century, the numerous unresolved issues that persist in the world, even to a greater extent than ever before in human history; misery, poverty, oppression, injustice, broken homes, deaths, and wars in over 60 areas of the globe, have after these 84 years shaken these expectations. It has so much shattered these premature messianic hopes and aspirations to the extent that any honest Rastafari seeker of truth and scholar of the Bible must re-examine and re-visit these Scriptures with fear and trembling. The dispersion and exile is still with us. Babylon and its evil forces are still in charge. His Imperial Majesty has departed from the current scene of world affairs. These realities all being contrary to appearing of the Messianic Kingdom Age of peace, righteousness, justice and prosperity and last but not least the resurrection of the dead and the Judgement and slaying of the Anti-Christ. Satan has not yet been bound as should have been in the Millennium reign of Christ for 1000 years.
What is the real significance and positive impact of this Coronation on the lives of our people?
As Africans we have become aware of our direct connection to Biblical History through Ethiopian Kings of the Davidic and Solomonic House of Judah, (and thus having association with lost tribes of Israel ). We have also learned and witnessed this Davidic and Solomonic House being preserved by an everlasting Covenant, into the 20th and 21stCentury, in Ethiopia.
But what else can be drawn from this historic event that can impact our souls and lead us in The Way, The Truth, and The Light of Salvation as is promised to those who accept the Gospel about Jesus The Messiah, the Son of the Living God?
I propose that the answer to the real and key significance of this historical event to us and only answer for our Salvation as a people, can be found in God’s saving grace towards us. The Christian faith and the Bible was embraced in Africa as a national religion many years before any European nation including Rome. Those of early foreparents who became literate in the languages of their colonial masters were inspired by the Holy Bible and its message of freedom and national liberation, and never ceased to send up prayers to the God of the oppressed. And God, like in the times of bondage in Egypt, heard their cry and saw their affliction and visited us.
I am convinced that God, in His grace towards us, preserved a seed of the Royal House of David , as a light, and Ethiopia as the most ancient Christian nation on earth. This was an act of His Grace towards us, to lead us back to the true Christian faith in accepting the Bible and Jesus as Master and Saviour of the World. If our Rastafari Brethren and Sisters truthfully study the life, and teachings of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie1, and Empress Mennen, they will see that from their earliest age right up through their Coronation and their latter years they were devout followers of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Holy Bible . As Haile Selassie 1st said;
“ … All through my youth I had been taught to appreciate the Bible and my love for it increases with the passage of time”…All through my difficulties I have found the Bible a cause for infinite comfort” .
“…Today man sees all his hopes and aspirations crumbling before him. He is perplexed and knows not where he is drifting. But he must realize that the Bible is his refuge, and the rallying point of all humanity. In it man will find the solution for his present difficulties and guidance for his future action, and unless he accepts with clear conscience, the Bible and its great message, he cannot hope for salvation. For my part I Glory in the Bible.“
When someone by the Grace of God, repents and prays and accepts the Bible with a clear conscience, then God will remove the veil from before their eyes and let them take a more careful and enlightened look at Revelation Chapter 5. We must confess before the Most High that we had left off something of crucial importance to the understanding of God’s revelation and to the detriment of many who have died in their sin by not accepting Jesus as the one who saves from condemnation by his redeeming and atoning blood . We had failed to read further than the first 5 verses, thus taking them out of context to meet our urgent, man made will, and desire for immediate redemption from prevailing social, economic and political circumstances, but not from sin, selfishness and greed (the real enemy to be conquered).
After verse 5 we stopped quoting. The consequence is that today we see our hopes and aspirations crumbling and we as a people have became perplexed and know not where we are drifting. Our hopes and aspirations were based on a “half-truth”. This explosive admission of a student of the Bible and also His Imperial Majesty is profoundly brought out when we examine with a clear conscience the oth-er 5 verses, verses 6-10 The Whole Truth; The “revelation” in Revelation 5, Vs 6-10.
6. Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. 7. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
11. Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12. In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” ( emphasis color red, mine)
Now I must ask this question of my brethren and sisters. Who is this Lamb that was slain, that with his blood purchased men for God from every tribe, and language and people and nation, and who went and took the book from the hand of Him that sat on the throne?
Is not this one the Lamb, also the Lion of the tribe of Judah as depicted in the red, gold and green banner carrying the cross?
Who really is this slain Lamb, redeeming, atoning, conquering, through his death and resurrection and found worthy to receive the title deed to judge and rule the earth in the Age to come?
Who is this one now being retained in the Heavens “ the restoration of all things spoken of by the prophets since the earth began?”
I confess that it is no other than Jesus Christ, Yeshua, The Messiah.
His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie 1st, himself said, 54 years ago, and I quote:
“ I know I am saved , not by anything that is of character or work of the human heart, but by the blood of Jesus alone.” (see African Challenge Magazine, Nov 1960, 30th Coronation Anniversary of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie 1 of Ethiopia.)
*Note for future reference, this statement by Haile Selassie 1st, is the essence and summation of the Christian Faith in just a few words.
So what then about His Imperial Majesty being crowned with these titles? This is an obvious question arising from this earthshaking confession to my brothers and sisters.
My inspired answer to all is this. Firstly, these titles are associated with the throne and the Royal House of Judah from a blessing of Jacob thousands of years ago. “Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9. You are a lion’s cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10. The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. (Until; my emphasis) (NIV) I used the New International Version quote here as it breaks down the meaning of Shiloh as “to whom it belongs”.
Thus any descendant of the House of Judah who is Anointed or Christ-end King is allowed to bear, represent, and be custodian or standard bearer of the lion cub messianic title, as a shadow or reminder of He who is to come.
These Kings (descendants preserved in Ethiopia) fulfill a vision of King Solomon the night he lay with the Queen of Sheba, (as recorded in the Ethiopia Geez history of “The Glory of the Kings or “Kebra Negast.” ) which was interpreted by the High Priest Zadok. These descendants were to be that natural cohabited seed that departed to Ethiopia in the womb of Sheba. This however did not annul or neither did it replace the promise made in Genesis of the non-cohabited “seed of the woman” that would “crush the head of the serpent” fulfilled by the planting into the womb of the Virgin Mary in Jerusalem by the Most High God Himself His only begotten Son, Jesus. He was not born by the will of man, but by the will of God. This fact was also brought out in the record of the Kebra Negast concerning King Solomon’s vision that the spiritual seed was sent to Jerusalem via the womb of Mary, and a natural cohabited seed through the Queen of Sheba to Ethiopia. This is the Key of David, unlocking of this 84 year old door, to proper understanding. (I must note here that this ‘overstanding’ was made clear to me through the Grace of God by His Holy Spirit working through the prophet Bro Gad, founder of the 12 Tribes of Israel, in Kingston, Trench Town and as related in the Kebra Negast explained through the chief professor of Ethiopian religious history, Alika Ayeleu Tamru, a physically blind priest.)
The Kings of Judah born of natural fathers and mothers hold the ruler’s staff and this Divine right to rule made by a “covenant of salt” (2nd Chronicles 13 Vs 5). This was the covenant that the coronation ceremony recalled to a neglected history and enlightened us that Ethiopia and the Royal Family, were a legitimate offspring and living testimony to this eternal promise. That representational right and guardian-ship of the throne of David would not depart from them Until, He comes, to whom it belongs; i.e. Shiloh or The Master Messiah, Jesus. This promise confirmed by the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary (St Luke Chapter 1 Vs 31-33) that it is He, that head that was crowned with thorns, will be the one who would overcome death and would save His people from their Sin, by His spotless life, faith, obedience and innocent blood; the one who would be Great, and it is He who will be finally given the throne of His Father David on which he will sit and reign for a thousand years, at a coming unspecified date. This will not be a temporary transient occurrence or rule for 43 years. Hallelujah!
It is my earnest prayer that the Coronation’s Biblical titles that His Majesty was crowned with will, to the contrary of what has been misrepresented and misinterpreted, bring us, a people who were in darkness into the light of life. It is my prayer to the Most High that through His amazing Grace and love in Christ Jesus that His Majesty chosen by Yahweh, as the Elect of God, (not of himself) will eventually bring us into the knowledge of the true “Light of the World”. As one of our Rastafarian patriarchs the Hon. Mortimo Planno, had so eloquently and rightly put it, after returning from an eye opening mission to the “real” Ethiopia in 1961;
“Rasta, you gwine see you Church and deny it like Peter!”
It is by the preservation of the Davidic throne in the person of His Imperial Majesty, with these titles, that we have been resurrected into this marvelous light leading us back to the real historic Jesus of Nazareth, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World. Jesus, Yeshua is the man through whom God will Judge the World; He is the Son whom the Father has set down at His right hand UNTIL he has put all enemies under His feet.
Lastly, but not the least, we who claim affinity to Ethiopia must look carefully and prayerfully into the mystery and purpose of Jesus Christ. The concept of a suffering Messiah prophesied in Isaiah 53 Vs 4-12. has always baffled the Scribes of Judah and students of the Bible. Even to us, such a Messiah, a suf-fering and crucified Lamb of God, instead of the picture of a conquering Lion Messiah, seemed less desirable. Isaiah 53 describes him as the rejected Messi-ah. We were also directed to this chapter by His Imperial Majesty in His speech on the Bible when he said:
“…no doubt you have all read how Phillip baptised the Ethiopian Official. He is the first Ethiopian on record to have fol-lowed Christ, and from that time on-wards the word of God has continued to grow in the hearts of all Ethiopians”
This meeting of the Ethiopian and Phillip is recorded in Acts of the Apostles as the Ethiopian read from Isiah 53. Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Who really believed what we heard? Who saw in it the Lord’s great power? 2. He was always close to the Lord. He grew up like a young plant, like a root growing in dry ground. There was nothing special or impressive about the way he looked, nothing we could see that would cause us to like him. 3. People made fun of him, and even his friends left him. He was a man who suffered a lot of pain and sickness. We treated him like someone of no importance, like someone people will not even look at but turn away from in disgust.
4 The fact is, it was our suffering he took on himself; he bore our pain. But we thought that God was punishing him, that God was beating him for something he did. 5 But he was being punished for what we did. He was crushed because of our guilt. He took the punishment we deserved, and this brought us peace. We were healed because of his pain. 6 We had all wandered away like sheep. We had gone our own way. And yet the Lord put all our guilt on him.
7 He was treated badly, but he never protested. He said nothing, like a lamb being led away to be killed. He was like a sheep that makes no sound as its wool is being cut off. He never opened his mouth to defend himself. 8. He was taken away by force and judged unfairly. The people of his time did not even notice that he was killed. But he was put to death for the sins of his people. 9. He had done no wrong to anyone. He had never even told a lie. But he was buried among the wicked. His tomb was with the rich.
10. But the Lord was pleased with this humble servant who suffered such pain. Even after giving himself as an offering for sin, he will see his descendants and enjoy a long life. He will succeed in doing what the Lord wanted. 11. After his suffering he will see the light, and he will be satisfied with what he experienced.
The Lord says, “My servant, who always does what is right, will make his people right with me; he will take away their sins. 12 For this reason, I will treat him as one of my great people. I will give him the rewards of one who wins in battle, and he will share them with his powerful ones. I will do this because he gave his life for the people. He was considered a criminal, but the truth is, he carried away the sins of many. Now he will stand before me and speak for those who have sinned.”
The Ethiopian official was also baffled as he read these passages as he journeyed from Jerusalem where he had been to worship. This was believed to be approximately three months after the crucifixion of our Messiah. The Angel of the Most High ordered Phillip the evangelist , as recorded in the Book of Acts Chapter 8 Vs 26-36, to go on the Gaza road where he met an Ethiopian official returning from Jerusalem where he had been to worship. The Ethiopian was reading aloud from the scroll of Isaiah, the prophet. The Holy Spirit lead Philip to join the Ethiopian and to ask if he understood what he was reading, as he presumably was baffled by what he read in the passage in Isaiah. This is the very passage that the Jews and even many Rastafari brothers and sisters have not reconciled in our hearts, even to this very day. The Ethiopian replied; Acts 8 Vs 31-34.
31. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32. The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”
34. The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”
35. Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
The coming on the scene of a man born on the 1st of November, has done wonders to bridge the Gap in the understanding of the importance of His Imperial Majesty’s Coronation. This is the coming on the scene of The Prophet Gad, Vernon Carrington, who founded the Twelve Tribes of Israel in Kingston Jamaica. He encouraged us to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation a chapter a day, and we would find truth for ourselves. He told the brethren that there was no other name given whereby we must be saved, but by the name of Jesus Christ and enshrined it in our official greeting. He pointed always to the words of His Majesty as it pertains to the Bible and Jesus Christ.
In concluding, the significance of the Coronation to all has been elaborated upon. The Most High has anointed His Imperial Majesty “Instrument of The Power of the Trinity”, the 225 descendant of the House of King Solo-mon, as His Elect, in restoring us to accepting the Faith of Abraham and the eternal truth that there is but One God and One mediator between man and God; the man Jesus Christ.
His Imperial Majesty bore the titles of Defender of the Faith, and leader of the most ancient Christian nation. In researching His utterances he always stated that He followed Jesus Christ and encouraged us to do the same. We will never find salvation and peace until we repent and every knee bow and confess Jesus, as he did, as Lord and Saviour .
In honor of His Imperial Majesties 84th Coronation Anniversary I conclude with his words and significant advice to all who seek to follow his example.
…The love shown in Christ by our God to mankind should constrain all of us who are followers and disciples of Christ to do all in our power to see to it that the Mes-sage of salvation is carried to those of our fellows for whom Christ Our Saviour was sacrificed but have not had the benefit of hearing the good news.
…Therefore, O! Christians, let us arise and, with the spiritual zeal and earnestness which characterized the Apostles and early Christians, let us labour to lead our brothers and sisters to Our Lord and Saviour Jesus, Who only can give life in its fullest sense.
All Glory, Honour, Power, Praise, Thanks, Wisdom, and Wealth be to the Most High who rides upon the heavens by His name JAH.
Your Co-worker in Christ Jesus.
Karl Phillpotts Naphtali.
First Edition November 2012
Second Edition November 2014.
Graphics and photos supplied
by bro Adam Simeon.