Miracles from Ethiopia: Part 2

The perspective of this ancient land called Cush, mentioned 37 times in the Bible, occupied a much larger land area than in today’s map of Ethiopia. It included part of current Sudan on the west and crossed over the Red Sea to the east to include part of what is today Saudi Arabia. Its 3000 years of recorded history saw the rise and fall of:

  • The Pharaohs of Egypt (in fact from the Sudanese part of Cush came the conquering Nubians, 730 BC, who ruled Egypt and restored much of its earlier glory during Egypt’s 25th dynasty)
  • Cyrus of Syria
  • Alexander the Great of Greece
  • Rise and fall of the Holy Roman Empire
  • Birth of Islam and its sweep AND its check
  • Discovery of the New World (by Europeans)
  • Ethiopia saw the black man enslaved and their subsequent freedom.

Most historians have never mentioned that Imperial Ethiopia – first called Cush and later Abyssinia, was a thriving flourishing culture that dominated the civilized world for 450 years.

Why was I almost 75 years old before I learned this? Is it because my world has been dominated by the Western branch of Christendom, the Protestant Reformation from the “Western” Roman Catholic Church and Greco-Roman cultural bias about what is important in history? Interesting indeed!

Ethiopia is the only country in Africa (and much of the world) which was never colonized or experienced a foreign yoke. Italy tried for five years and failed at the battle of Adowa where the white man’s invincibility was broken! Forty years later the Italians tried again and failed at the outset of WWII. You can imagine Ethiopians’ pride in this freedom in comparison to their neighbors in Africa.

Long before the rest of East Africa discovered the wheel, Ethiopians were recording their history in a written language, first in Ge’ez and, secondly, in Amharic, a Semitic language second only to Arabic in size. Ethiopia is the only country where Christianity (Alexandrian Orthodox Coptic – 30,000,000 strong) is indigenous and not imported by European missionaries! In broad terms, Ethiopians have accepted first Judaism, about 450 BC (the remnants are called Falashas), then Christianity (first Christian church in 340 AD), then Islam – all springing from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from the land we call the Holy Land. Ethiopians all believe they are the guardians of the Ark of the Covenant brought by the families of pious Jewish priests who fled with it during the apostasy of King Menasha and sons in Jerusalem.

The current Charismatic renewal in the world, less than 100 years old, but with a constituency of 650,000,000 adherents was first introduced in Ethiopia by Scandinavian witnesses before WWII. It had grown to about 500,000 adherents when the Dirge (Amharic for “army”) forced it to go underground in the 1970’s.  In the early 1990’s, when freedom of worship was restored, the church had grown to between three and four million! To this revival our church, the Assemblies of God, saw the great potential of a people turning to New Testament Christianity. An indigenous church is the healthiest when it is self-financing, self-governing, and self-propagating.  However, regrettable methods of individual churches turned Paul’s teaching upside down in what is called “Donor Based Missiology” where foreign funds lead to non-Biblical attitudes by local leaders. “When you take the cross out of ministry, you don’t get shepherds, you get hirelings.” Happily, the Ethiopian church has begun to turn this around, and if it perseveres, will join sister churches in Africa where the Church of Christ is flourishing in numbers and maturity. I believe there is a special destiny for this church.

Centuries ago, from across the Red Sea came culture, music, language, artisans, governments, and rulers in this part of the Horn of Africa. After almost 50 years relating to this vast continent, in my opinion, the church needs to cross back over the Red Sea. Ethiopians can get into Saudi Arabia without a visa! No other people I know of are better positioned, because of language and culture, to reach the sons of Ishmael than Ethiopians filled with God’s Spirit.

  1. Lorraine Del Rosario says:

    Dr. Tarr,
    Thank you for you’r reproof, I really need that! I need to have all of the information before me ( as I have just read) before I quickly open my mouth and judge another. Please forgive me for not “bridling my tongue”? Thank you for sending me back to your website to review, again. You have taught me a very “Valuable Lesson” today!!! I thank God for you & for what He is doing over there to build His Kingdom!!! And for all of the Soul’s being won to Jesus!!!
    Thank you again, i am grateful you took the time to help to educate me today, Dr. Tarr!!! God love you, Lorraine

    P.S. When is the Fasting going on?? I would like to participate!!!

  2. Did you design the layout this well with the default site tools? Your blog is incredible.

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