Jesus is not coming back'
LOZITHA – A theory perpetrated by a prayer group that is fast gaining popularity, especially within the Mbabane-Manzini corridor, rejects the notion of a pending event marking the end of the world.
Umkhobo Restoration Ministries, a Lozitha based religious establishment, believes that people have all along been misled about issues surrounding the return of Jesus Christ and ultimately a pending doomsday.
The church believes that there is no such thing; instead, the world has already undergone transformation.
Though believing in the existence of a supernatural being, the new church has some reservations about a looming disastrous event where everything on earth would be destroyed, marking the end of life as we know it.
This newspaper spoke to Phathizwe Dlamini who coordinates an ongoing awareness campaign by the church whereby the public is alerted of changes that have already taken place on the planet, suggesting that the eagerly awaited return of Jesus Christ has apparently taken place; or rather it happens to people individually whenever one establishes a relationship with the supernatural deity, as opposed to the prevailing opinion about a collective event that would apply to all inhabitants of the planet.
Dlamini’s church is behind advertisements that are currently running in the media, suggesting that "God is doing the new thing."
This is much against the widely held belief in Christianity circles – the dominant religion in the country – that there would come a day when Jesus would return to fetch all his followers and take them to a promised land, presumably heaven, while those who would have lived life not according to the teachings of Jesus Christ would be condemned to hell.
According to Dlamini, there is never going to be a particular date for Jesus to come back to planet earth but instead, the earthly return which is referred to in the bible is when an individual accepts Jesus’ teachings, as outlined in the Bible.
"Even then, people should not make a literal interpretation of the existence of Jesus as portrayed in known literature or the media," said Dlamini.
The view held by the church is that there is a God who controls everything on earth through the teachings appended in the bible but that there was a Jesus who supposedly lives in someplace elsewhere either than this planet, waiting for a particular date when he would return to the earth, was just a myth or something that has been inculcated into people’s minds through wrongful interpretation of the bible.
Jesus, according to Dlamini, is the word that is written in the bible. "So, if one accepts the teachings in the bible, that consequently translates into accepting Jesus – the word," he explained. He further suggests that the pending end of the world event that is being talked about was a wrong interpretation of the scriptures. He said if people were to be observant enough, they would realise that the world system had already been transformed into one dominated by spiritual living, as opposed to a physical past. In the advert, which cites verses talking about this apparent new thing, people are implored to spread this particular gospel. "Please pass this message to the next person," reads the advert in part.
When asked to shed some light on this supposed new thing which God was now doing, Dlamini said their interpretation was that a revolution in the prevailing world societal system had taken place, which he explained to mean that the end of the world, as we know it, has already taken place.
He said this meant that society was already operating in a whole new system, and people should begin to see things in a different light, or rather begin to acknowledge that prevailing perceptions of the world should change. "Forget the former things; do not dwell in the past. "See, I am now doing the new thing!" reads one of the cited verses in the mentioned advert!"
To amplify his point on the supposed change in the world societal system, Dlamini who is Coordinator of this new gospel campaign cited the major technological improvements that have taken place in the world as a pointer towards this purported change. Journalists from the Times SUNDAY visited the prayer group at Lozitha on Friday evening. This is where they normally hold their weekly prayer services. Those who were found next to the large tent used as a temple did not want to speak to reporters. They also declined to have their pictures taken, saying they were ‘not ready.’ They said only higher authorities of the church hierarchy could allow them to have their pictures taken.
These authorities were not present when reporters were then, between 6pm and 9pm.
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