by Master Elijah Muhammad


     I looked at a little church once and from the outside, it sounded to me like they may
have been talking to at least 3 or 400 people. So I said, “Let me go in this church.” That was
in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I looked around and I didn’t see but about a dozen people or
less. I said, “What are they making all this noise for?” I went in and it was a sanctified
church. The pastor, as I realized, was a woman. I sat down and she started patting the
tambourines and what not, looking right straight at me. After a while, she came back when
she had them all in a high tune, and said, “Are you saved?” I said, “I don’t know; that’s a
mighty big question,” I said, “If I’m not saved, I’m in a terrible condition.” She didn’t know I
was talking about her church. So she said to me, “Well, you stay right there.” She got to
preaching. She had a stick in her hand and she started pointing it right at me. She came
back later and she said, “How do you feel now, do you feel like you’re saved now?” I said, “I’m
not too sure.” So, she told me, “You keep coming here and you will be saved.” I said, “Thank

     I looked at the poor woman and I said, “What a pitiful thing now. Our people have been
robbed so by the devil, that they go along and insult the God of truth and justice, the God of
wisdom, the God of understanding, the God of our Saviour, our God.
This lady, after she got through, asked me, “Will I accept Jesus.” I said, “May I have
something to say?” She beckoned to tell me to come on up. I said to myself, going up there,
“You think I’m coming up to join your church, but you’re mistaken.” Tell them whether you
are saved or not, tell them whether you want to join up with us or not. She started just
patting her hand and when they got quiet I said, “That’s a great thing to say that you are
saved as long as we are black people…” I told her, “…we are saved, but as long as we believe
in white people’s religion we are not saved.” So, she told me she wasn’t teaching white
people’s religion, and that she was teaching Jesus’ religion. I said, “Oh, thank you, that’s the
teachings I’m teaching.” So she started patting and beating pans again. She asked me, “How
long had I been save?” I said, “Ever since I’ve been born.”

     You can find a lot of things that our people, who have not the knowledge of themselves
and others, just don’t know. It makes you feel like crying, not laughing at them, but crying
over them.

     We are face to face with the judgment and if we don’t understand that we are face to
face with the judgment, we may be the losers. America stands before death. America is
doomed to death. America is bound to go to her doom, because of the way she has treated
us. America have mistreated the black man in America so long, that God cannot hardly wait
for us to choose our way. You can say yes or no, I don’t care. I’m perfectly independent of
what you choose.

     God came to me in 1931, in Detroit Michigan. He taught me for three years and four
months in person. I was not dreaming. I was looking at Him in person for three years and
four months. He taught me night and day. I use to be glad to get a little sleep. When He
would tell me, “I will be back,” I would say, “I hope it would be long enough for me to get a
little sleep.” He taught me what you hear me teaching you, three years night and day. I don’t
think I would be wise to say that I taught myself, and I taught you thus and thus. No, He
taught me thus and thus. I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know my name. I was calling myself
by the white man’s name. So, whatever you hear me say here this afternoon, it came from
His mouth in the way of Divine. Whenever you hear me talk about other than that, it was me;
but, the divine came from Him. He taught me about the non-divine and who the non-divine
was. I have been teaching it for 40 years. Think over that. I’m no boy. I’ve been teaching
Divine Wisdom in America for 40 years. I didn’t start when I was a baby. I’m an old man and
I’m ready for you.
Today we are here and we thank you for [reading] what I have to say, or rather, I should
make it clearer, [reading] what God has taught me.


[Excerpt from Theology of Time lecture series]