THE BREAD OF LIFE
Prophetic Word For Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit“ - Isaiah 14:12-15 (KJV).
BREAD OF LIFE
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” – John 6:35 (KJV). These are Words of eternal life from the Eternal One: The LORD Jesus Christ. This is the Bible verse that Jesus breathed His life upon in 1980, when I was a 15-year-old Methodist boy. It happened one evening as I read the scripture from what must have been my student Bible. It was the first experience that I had of this type - the "quickening", or overwhelmingly life giving moment - that I will forever remember. It was only after I had surrendered my life to the LORD in 1995, that I experienced the LORD Jesus personally, as he called me to His service through the scripture passage of Jeremiah 1:5-10 (“I have called you to be a prophet to the nations”).
It was 10 years before I gave my life to God through the convicting power of His Word and His Spirit, that I was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. The impact of the accident left me with a spinal cord injury and paralysis of both legs. The condition that I was diagnosed with is paraplegia, which was acquired from the trauma. So I have had to adjust my lifestyle to the physical limitations that became a part of my everyday life. So in a way, I can relate to the handicap that has affected Ali, later in this life, which most know is Parkinson’s disease. Ali is a person who has known the suffering of disease, but he has surely experienced great personal victories as a Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the world, which many of us have marveled at the sight of, as modern media technology has afforded us to be able to share in.
This message has been published for your reading during this first half of April, 2006, which marks 3 notable Judeo-Christian Anniversaries, that He has given Believers to celebrate, at this time of the year: The first is the 264th Anniversary of the debut performance of George Frideric Handel's MESSIAH, that was first performed in Dublin, Ireland, on April 8th, 1742 (Muhammad Ali happens to be 64 years old, this year). The second is the 100th Anniversary of the first 7 Believers in Jesus receiving the mighty "baptism in the Holy Spirit" with the evidence of speaking with other tongues, at the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, on April the 9th, 1906. And the third and by far most historic of the three, happens to fall on the 13th in April, this year (2006) on the Roman calendar (versus the Hebrew calendar) that is commonly used around the world. It is the Passover, which for the Jews and many Christians is a memorial and a celebration of the deliverance of the nation of Israel - God's people - from the bondage of slavery and servitude to the Egyptian Pharoah, approximately 3500 years ago. And their freedom from the bondage of slavery is symbolic of the freedom that GOD has made the provision for, that all people may overcome the bondage of sin that befell man at the beginning of time.
ALI: THE EARLY YEARS
Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 17, 1942. His father was named Cassius Clay and his mother was named Odessa Clay. The words of Ali, the man who many are convinced was the greatest boxer of all time, declare that the beginnings of his life were about as great as parents could hope to deliver to a young man. He can remember being blessed with the affection and the instruction that every young person needs to have a strong foundation for life. Most importantly, because Ali’s mother and father had him to attend church regularly as a child, his life was built upon the Rock - the Truth of God: The true love of God, the true nature of God, and the true Person of God: Jesus Christ.
Ali recently wrote an autobiographical book called "Soul Of A Butterfly". * In the chapter of this book called "The Foundation Of Life", he gives his parents praise for the love and support that they sowed into his life, as he was growing up.
Ali called his mother "Mama Bird", because he thought she had a tiny little bird nose. She would wake him and his brother up on Sunday mornings, by whispering, "Wake up, Tinky baby, wake up, Rudy. We're going to thank the LORD!"
Ali's mother was a Baptist and his father was a Methodist, but they always went to his mother's church. She taught them everything she believed was true about God. Cash used to say that he let Mama Bird raise us her way, because she was a good Baptist, and that a woman is better than a man, so they should follow their mother. Ali said that his mother was a gentle lady.
Ali said that he learned a lot from his parents while he was growing up. He noticed how they remained dignified in the face of injustice. He saw how they responded to the people around them; he witnessed how his mother would forgive, and not hate. And how his dad, Cash, always held his head high and he worked hard. Growing up, they were poor in terms of money, he said, but they were rich to have had so much love and pride in their household. They were raised with strong values and learned the importance of integrity and compassion. More important than the words, he said he learned by their example.
Ali also said that his father raised him well. That he made sure that the family was surrounded by good people, taught them to always confront the things that they feared, and to try to be the best at whatever they did. And after delivering this advice, he would say, "These are the things my father said to me, and you don't learn them by accident, they have to be taught". Ali’s said that his dad was "...One of a kind; he was full of life and energy. He loved hugging, kissing, talking, and debating. He was my father and my friend."
Ali said that his parents were loving, affectionate people. And that his father was always "hugging and kissing us". He had a happy home life and that he knew that he was loved, and his parents made him feel special. Ali felt blessed, for he had been given such a "strong foundation, growing up". And he spoke of and remembers his father, because, "What he said has always stuck with me". Cash helped Ali to receive sound wisdom and the truth of God into his life.
Ali said that when he was in junior high school, he applied for a job cleaning the blackboards and desks and doing odd jobs, at Spalding College in Louisville. Sister James Ella gave him the job. He said he made a few dollars a week, working under the direction of Sister Ann. She showed him how to clean shelves and sweep the floor. Though she has recently passed away, Ali will always remember her, he said. Sister Ann was another Godly blessing in Ali’s life.
Ali said that he had a good childhood. Again, he was raised with the love of God. Yes, there were obstacles, and hardships, but he remained on the straight path. He kept his values in mind, and his faith remained strong. Although his religion would change later in his life, he said, "God was always in my heart". Ali said that his mother would tell him that his confidence in himself made her believe in him. But it seems funny to him, because it was her confidence in him that made him believe in himself. Indeed, Ali was blessed to receive the love and instruction of Godly parents and mentors during his formative years.
Ali began his boxing career after his bicycle was stolen off of the street, one day. An Irish-American policeman named Joe Martin taught Ali his first boxing lessons. Ali has been a man endowed with remarkable gifts from God. One of them was the a highly unorthodox style that served him so well, as a heavyweight boxer - carrying his hands at his sides, rather than the orthodox boxing style of carrying the hands high for defense. Even as a youth, he achieved great success with this fighting stance and style, due to his extraordinary reflexes and footwork to keep him away from his opponents' blows. **
Ali got his opportunity at the Heavyweight Boxing Crown on February 25, 1964, after he became the number one contender for the title that Sonny Liston held at that time . Liston was greatly feared, and some have said that he was the Mike Tyson of his era. Almost no one gave the young boxer a chance of beating Liston. Ali was extremely agile, quick, and had amazing ability to move around the ring, for a heavyweight boxer. In Ali’s latest book, he also said that when he was a kid growing, he exercised and demonstrated his quickness by telling his brother Rudy to throw rocks at him. His brother did so - but said that not one of those rocks ever hit him. Ali showed the same quickness and agility in the Championship fight with Liston. He used his superior footwork to bob and weave through the attempts that Liston made to land blows to his body and head, along with his reach to land his jab effectively enough to open a cut under Liston's eye, in the third round. After Ali apparently had ointment smeared into one of his eyes, in the fourth - possibly from the doctoring to the cut on Liston's eye - but recovered and dominated Liston with combinations in the fifth and sixth, and Liston did not continue the fight. Ali had become Heavyweight Champion, at the age of 22. **
Following his undisputed claim to the Heavyweight Championship, he also became famous for other reasons: he revealed that he was a member of the Nation of Islam, and changed his name to Cassius X, discarding his surname as a symbol of his ancestors' enslavement, as had been done by other Nation members such as Malcolm X. He was soon given the name "Muhammad Ali", by the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad. **
(Picture - Muhammad Ali and Elijah Muhammad)
ELIJAH MUHAMMAD AND THE NATION OF ISLAM
(Strife, hate, and "salvation" – through separation)
"For if He that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him...For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light" - 2 Corinthians 11:4,13,14 (KJV).
Elijah was born Elijah Poole in Sanderville, Georgia, in 1897. He was one of the 13 children of share croppers at that time, and in 1923, he move to Detroit, Michigan. He and his wife had 8 children, who were suffering during the Great Depression of those years. In 1930, Elijah met a man named Wallace Fard and became both the trusted follower and chief understudy of Fard, who he came to regard as God incarnate. ***
In Elijah Muhammad's book, "Message To The Black Man", he wrote about his God, saying, "Allah (God) came to us from the Holy City Mecca, Arabia, in 1930. He used the name Wallace D. Fard, often signing it W.D. Fard. In the third year (1933), He signed his name W.F. Muhammad, which stands for Wallace Fard Muhammad. He came alone. He began teaching us the knowledge of ourselves, of God and the devil, of the measurement of the earth, of other planets, and of the civilizations of some of the planets of the earth." ****
The Nation of Islam was founded by Fard, after his arrival in the black ghetto of Detroit. Fard founded the Temple of Islam in Detroit, and his religious organization eventually came to be known as the Nation of Islam. But what Fard called Islam had major differences with orthodox Islam, which asserts that Judaism and Christianity are corrupted forms of God's original message that the prophet Muhammad reaffirmed. Fard taught that Islam was the original religion of man, and that man was a black man. This was a theory held prior to Fard, by Timothy Drew (Noble Drew Ali) at the Moorish Temple Of Science, who taught that all non-European people were part of a unified Asain race, which he called "Moorish".
Fard taught against the concept and the reality of the existence of a personal God and a personal devil. Instead, that God and the devil are both human beings. God is the black man, and the devil is the white man. The black man was created righteous, and 6,000 years ago by a black renegade scientist by the name of Yakub created the white man, "a race of devils", who are without hope of salvation.
Elijah Muhammad had witnessed innumerable evils that were perpetrated by whites upon black men and women, during his years as a young person. The violence that he experienced, expressed by the portraits of black men hung at lynchings, could be seen hanging at the podiums at the temples of Nation of Islam. ***
Elijah taught that the black man can ONLY find salvation through following the teachings of the Nation of Islam. In particular, separating from the white man. A reliable test and a sure mark of a religious cult is to look into their belief on the matter of salvation. If salvation can only be found through strict adherence to them - their doctrine and organization - then the leader has become God.
A documentary aired on television in 1959, called "The Hate That Produced Hate", produced a firestorm of controversy in America. As the title of the program implies, the fear, hate, and aggression that was inflicted upon blacks by whites, was turned around. The hate and racism of White Supremacy was responded with equal hate and anger, in Black Supremacy, as taught by Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. If whites said blacks were inferior, they would say instead that whites were the inferior ones. If whites said blacks were evil, they would say instead that whites were evil. If whites said "black" was associated with evil, they would say instead that "white" was associated with evil.
"And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses..." - Mark 11:25 (KJV). Bitterness and unforgiveness toward others is a method Satan uses to keep us physically and spiritually sick, in bondage, and hell bound. Elijah Muhammad and his associates have been used to ensnare many precious black prison inmates, who are very vulnerable to the message of hate that is the heart of the Nation of Islam.
Elijah Muhammad was ruled by hate. His life was used as a conduit for racism and also racial attacks on the Jewish people. For in His book "Message To The Black Man", he claimed that "He [Jesus] having knowledge of both Fathers [God, and the devil], knew their Father [the devil, father of white men] before his fall and before he had produced his children [white men], of whom THE JEWS are members…"
Elijah Muhammad taught that the first man was a black man, out of his hatred for the white man. But through studying the Bible, we learn that this is not a true statement.
The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions dictionary gives us the meaning for the Hebrew name, that we translate “Adam”, in the English language: Adam = "red".
The following is a word of commentary on the phrase in the Bible, "…Let Us make man in our image, after our likeness…" (Genesis 1:26), from Matthew Henry's Commentary On The Whole Bible:
"God said, Let us make man”, and immediately it follows, “So God created man”; he performed what he resolved. With us (God) saying and doing are two things; but they are not so with God. He created him male and female, Adam and Eve - Adam first, out of earth, and Eve out of his side… God made but one male and one female, that all the nations of men might know themselves to be made of one blood, descendants from one common stock, and might thereby be induced to love one another [1 John 4:11]".
Adam was not a black man or a white man. According to scripture, the Holy Bible, the first man was a RED man. For Adam was the original man, and God's greatest creation. And the Hebrew word that translates into the English word "Adam", means "man, red, ruddy (reddish), and earthy". It is Satan that is the author of lies, fear and hate. And Satan found an instrument he could use, in the "Messenger" Elijah Muhammad. Satan has an especially passionate hatred for the nation of Israel and the JEWISH people. For it was Israel that served as the "womb" of Jesus, the Saviour, and Israel serves as God's "timeclock" - she must be a nation for the fulfilling of Bible prophecy, at the time of the second coming of Jesus Christ, in power and great glory.
THE JEWS: “GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE”
The Jews have been hated by all nations, with a greater hatred that any other people have suffered. They are God's chosen people, in that they were chosen to be the "womb" for Messiah (the “Anointed One”). And this is why anti-Semitism (hatred of the Semitic and Jewish people) is the height of hatred that an individual can be a part of. Satan used Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in an attempted to abort the salvation of the nation of Israel, through genocide. But the raging madman was stopped, and in 1948 Biblical prophecy was fulfilled, through the rebirth of the Jewish nation. For when Jesus replied to the disciples' question, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus spoke a parable of the fig tree...When his branch is tender, and putteth forthe leaves, ye know that Summer is nigh..." So two thousand years after Jesus spoke theses words to his disciples and died, was buried, and rose from the dead, we have been witnesses to the amazing events surrounding Israel, in our generation..."So likewise ye, when ye see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily, verily, I say to you, This generation shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled..." - Matthew 24:33-34 (KJV).
BIBLICAL PROPHECIES ARE FULFILLED IN MESSIAH JESUS
Man has broken every covenant and every law that has ever been made by God. This is because man is sinful by nature, and has moral failings. So in order for God to give man a way to maintain covenant and fellowship with Him, God had to become a Man. He did this by sending the righteous Seed of "His only begotten Son" into the womb of a virgin. This Man who had an earthly mother and a heavenly Father would become Jesus the Messiah, the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world".
There are 332 specific prophecies concerning the Messiah, given prior to the birth of Jesus Christ, which for-told the events of the life of Messiah, and sacrifice, redeeming His people, Israel, and also the rest of the world. It has been calculated that the odds of any one man fulfilling only 8 of these Messianic prophecies spoken by the Jewish prophets of the Old Covenant, are 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 (1 followed by 17 zeros). As an aid to get a better idea of these odds, here is an example: If the State of Texas (which covers approximately a quarter of a million square miles) was covered over with silver dollars to a depth of three feet, and a single man attempted to pull out the one and only double-sided silver dollar (a "two-headed" coin) out of the immense number of coins, he would have approximately the same chances of pulling that one coin from the others, on the first attempt, as one man would have of fulfilling just 8 of these Messianic prophecies. Jesus Christ of Nazareth fulfilled each and every one of these 332 Messianic prophecies, which are recorded in the New Testament.
There are three outstanding types of the Cross of Calvary's Hill (where Jesus made his life-giving sacrifice for mankind), which both foretold, and various ways demonstrate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. They are 1) The Passover, when the firstborn of the Hebrew children were protected from the death angel, by the blood of the passover lamb (a type of the Cross of Jesus Christ) at the time when it killed the firstborn of the Egyptians. And 2) The account of the bitter waters of Marah that were made sweet when the "tree" (a type of the Cross of Jesus Christ) was cast into the water, and the waters were made sweet (healing for the wounds of the soul). And 3) The account of the Israelites' murmuring against the LORD and against Moses, that they had not the bread and the water that they desired, when he fed them in the desert, with manna. The LORD sent serpents among them in His anger. Then Moses responded to the cries of God's people by praying unto the LORD, and the LORD commanded Moses to erect a serpent of brass upon a pole (a type of the Cross of Jesus Christ). And the LORD instructed Moses to tell the people that whosoever of the children of Israel looked upon the serpent of brass would live.
One of the great prophecies concerning Messiah that was spoken after His birth is found in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Luke, following the account of the birth of Jesus: "And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." - Luke 2:25-35 (KJV).
What is the heart of Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali? His heart is revealed to us in the path that he took to regain the World Heavyweight Boxing Title, on the road to “The Rumble In The Jungle”.
THE RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE
(Who do you trust – and who do you serve?)
Over the course of his amazing career, Ali fought in some great boxing matches. Possibly his most publicized fight was heralded as "The Rumble In The Jungle". A documentary movie called "When We Were Kings" tells the story of the people and the events surrounding this world-famous fight. It featured Muhammad Ali challenging George Foreman to regain the title of Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the world. It took place in 1974. Foreman was the Champion at that time, and Ali was the challenger. Foreman was 26 years of age, and Muhammad Ali was 32. The match was scheduled to take place in Zaire, West Africa, on September 25th of that year. But as Foreman was training one day he sustained a cut over his eye when the sparing partner raised his elbow to defend himself from one of Foreman’s punches. And due to this, an agreement was made to reschedule the fight for October 30 (six weeks later). This would allow time for Foreman's cut to heal. So the two heavyweights and their teams remained in Africa during that time.
Africa is a continent known by many for its witchcraft and the powers of darkness that are in operation there. The country of Zaire has been known for political unrest and civil war, and that was certainly the case at the time of this Heavyweight Championship title fight. In the movie "When We Were Kings", it is said that "the political pattern was changing with kaleidoscopic speed”. And strongman Colonel Mobutu Seso Seto had seized power from pro-Red (Communist) Premiere Lamumba, prior to this Championship fight. Norman Mailer, a writer who appeared in "When We Were Kings", commented on the atmosphere at the stadium in Kinshasa, Zaire, where the fight took place: "Now this stadium was a true arena for gladiators. It's floor - the floor - you could not see beneath the floor, [it] was covered with blood. That blood had been washed away, but the effect of the blood was still there. It [the blood] was part of the atmosphere..."Thus, the chant of "Ali, bu mu yaa" (which means, "Ali, kill him"), was appropriate the atmosphere in Zaire, Africa.
During a particular scene in 'When We Were Kings", Ali gave commentary in the movie, declaring, "...I am God's [Allah’s] tool... me...my God rules the universe." And that scene shifts immediately to another with African witchdoctors in a ritual dance to music, one of which displays the cheeks of his mouth pierced through with what appear to be hunting arrows. These are ritual piercings of the flesh employed to conjure the spirits that empower witchdoctors to perform their magic and healings.
Norman Mailer's friend, and fellow writer, George Plimpton, was also interviewed for the movie, and offered this commentary: "I was very interested in people called 'fetishir'. They are witches, soothsayers, and in Western Africa almost everybody has one. It's like a witchdoctor, and you go to the doctor, like you would go to a dentist. Muhammad Ali had been to Mobutu's fetishir, and, uh, he had said, the fetishir had said, that a 'woman with trembling hands' [a succubus, that drains the energy out of a man] would somehow get to Foreman: a succubus. And that impressed me, enormously..."
Ali and strongman Mobutu Seso Seto were in league with Lucifer (Satan), in meeting and consulting with his fetishir - a warlock, or witchdoctor, with devilish, demonic power. This is in reality is the author of Islam and every other world religion: Satan - the one that "comes not but for to kill, to steal, and to destroy" (John 10:10) - continues to be Ali's lord. He, sin, and self, are the false gods whom Ali has chosen to serve, and continues to serve.
The six weeks delay of the fight was vitally necessary, in order that the succubus had time to perform her witchcraft on Foreman. This fight began the night of October 30th, when Ali forsook his highly effective jab, and instead began leading with his right hand - a "right hand lead". Foreman would not have expected this being a normally slow and obvious move. Ali had such fast hands that he could get away with it, and made Forman furious as he did so - playing "rope-a-dope" by leaning far back on the ropes. Ali absorbed everything Foreman could throw at him, whilst only occasionally throwing counter-punches and taunting Foreman to throw more and harder punches.
George Plimpton commented on Ali's approach: "You don't go to the ropes. And there he was, leaning way back. I wrote about it. I think I said it was like a man leaning out his window, trying to see if there was something on his roof (puts his hands up in front of his face, as to show that Muhammad took this defensive stance as he leaned on the ropes). But you couldn't really see...but here were these great broadsides going at him, it was though he was being set up for the kill. It happened so quickly and so abruptly, that, I said, I shouted to Norman, that 'The FIX is in'. You know that somehow he's supposed to go down in the 1st or the 2nd...brought this house halfway to the floor. It just looked as though he [Ali] had to cave in...” Plimpton continues, saying, “[Then] Muhammad Ali hit him with a right, and you could see the sweat just pour off, just like a fountain, come off Foreman's face. And you suddenly realized there was some design to this madness. Though I then turned to Norman, I remember, he must have been puzzled, but I said, 'The succubus has got him', referring back to the 'woman with the trembling hands', who I'd been told by the witchdoctors, were going to touch Foreman, and destroy him."
And this was what the "succubus" and Mobutu and Ali accomplished during the weeks they worked together. They had an "operation" going on! "The woman with the trembling hands" - the "succubus"- who Mobutu and Ali's fetishir had consulted with, had worked against Foreman, in destroying the Champion, in "The Rumble In The Jungle". Ali resorted to black magic to secure a victory for him, and further his boxing career. This further demonstrates that Ali's God is not the God of Heaven, but is the same god that the succubus serves: that same old liar - and the father of lies – Satan (John 8:44). "When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There 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, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For 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. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observer of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do" - Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (KJV).
George Plimpton's spoke of seeing Foreman take the loss in the fight, with the words, “ I think one has mixed emotions when you see the end of a fight. I always feel enormous empathy for the man who's losing it. You just can't help but to feel, to see, really a titanic, formidable figure just suddenly on the ground".
Norman Mailer’s face lit up, as he has witnessed Foreman’s comeback since that day: “And now, when we see George on television and know that after that knockout he went through two years of the deepest depression. He almost didn't come out of it…it would be hard put to find anyone in American life who's more affable than George Foreman. Foreman's become a fabulous person in American life”.
Amazingly, the witchcraft that Ali and Mobutu conspired to, that served to give Ali the win in Zaire, took Foreman into a deep depression. But GOD allowed this so that Foreman might be saved from his sins - through the precious and sinless Blood of Jesus.
IF YOU CAN BELIEVE
The world has known of Muhammad Ali’s affliction with Parkinson’s disease. And we have recently heard that the disease has taken his ability to speak. Mr. Ali must now know that his affliction is a trial and an affliction allowed by the LORD God, in order to humble him, that he might seek the True and Living God for help in life, bringing him back into the one true faith. The LORD God is the One who brings true healing from God, which is included in His eternal salvation (healing on Earth can be seen as a “down payment” on heaven). And He makes us this promise: “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” - Mark 9:23 (KJV).
As it also applies to Ali, God revealed truth for my life through this verse (Mark 9:23), which is, that if I can “believe” Him by worshipping Him with my life, laying it down for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I can even walk again (my legs have not carried me since I was injured in the motorcycle accident, 20 years ago). Jesus also said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it” – Mark 8:34-35 (KJV).
The ministry that I represent has been supporting Jimmy Swaggart Ministries for many years. Mr. Ali has also been touched by that ministry - so much so that Jimmy Swaggart was invited to visit Ali at his home, which he did. And one of the scripture passages that Jimmy Swaggart preaches on, that’s very important for Ali’s life at this point, is the following:
"...For if I [Jesus] do not go away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on me: Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more: Of judgment, because the prince of this world [the one who sinned in his pride that entered into man] is judged” - John 16:7-11 (KJV).
First we read in the above scripture, the nature of man is “sin”. Secondly, we read, the nature of God is “righteousness”. And thirdly, we read, because God is righteous and holy, He therefore must be a God of “judgment”. These are two opposing natures, that of righteousness, and that of sinfulness. And since the two natures cannot coexist, something, as they say, has “got to give”.
Well, thank God that GOD “gave”: For the Cross is an image of God and man coming together, being reconciled to each other. The horizontal beam of the Cross of Christ represents man. “Depression”, depravity, and sinfulness. While the vertical beam of the Cross of Christ represents God. “Uprightness” (erect, straitness) and holy (see the FMHCCI sermonet, “#19”, for more on the “upright” walk through the “depression” of this world). “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” – 2 Corinthians 5:18 (KJV).
This is what Jesus Christ the LORD has called me to do with this message. To preach liberty and reconciliation to Muhammad Ali, and to “whosoever will” hearken to God’s gospel, as He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, as His Holy Spirit is here to so minister…
Mr. Ali, Satan has bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently set forth, and crucified before you (Galatians 3:1). You were raised with the love of God, to forgive - not to hate - as the false religion of the Nation of Islam taught you. But thanks be to God for parents that instilled the truth of the name of God and the nature of God, when you were a child.
Forsake the lies of the devil and his counterfeits. Be set free from your prison of sin and pride: For "The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow" - Proverbs 15:25 (KJV). What caused Lucifer (Satan) to fall like lightning from Heaven, was pride. Because he said “I will, I will, I will…” He became independent of the Most High God, and was self-willed, for he said “I will be like the Most High”. And because of that, he shall be condemned to hell for all eternity. But since his fall, he has been able to trick and deceive millions of others through the same treachery and sin that caused his fate.
Dear Mr. Ali, Jesus is calling you home. Ask the LORD to forgive you. For there remains but one sacrifice for sin: Jesus Christ, the One who was crucified for one and all. Surrender your life to the Almighty God in Heaven. If you will do this, He will surely forgive you, and He shall reveal Himself to you. You will come to experience His awesome and overwhelming love that he has for you, and for all men.
"And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world" - 1 John 4:14 (KJV). Amen.
Keep the faith in the Author of Life, Jesus Christ. For many be called, but few chosen. Praise the LORD.
Brother Alan Richardson
* “Soul Of A Butterfly”, copyright 2004, Simon & Schuster
** “Muhammad Ali”,Wikipedia, April 2006
*** “Elijah Muhammad”, Wikipedia, April 2006
**** “Message To The Black Man”, chapter 8, part 5
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