One morning of September 2004, just over 13 years after the departure of Simeo Ondeto, I was confronted by the gravity of the Legio Maria belief that Simeo Ondeto is Messias (Black Messiah). It was on a hot Saturday afternoon when I was in the company of other boys and engaged in our childhood arguments that one of the boys called Isaac asked me a blunt but seemingly innocent question.
“Tobias, I have seen you guys kneel before the images of Ondeto severally. Do you people worship him?”
Before I could answer his question, the entire group of boys had turned their attention mockingly at me. And while his question was never meant to turn the heat on me, that is exactly what I received. Torrents of scorns, jokes and outright insults were hurled at me and I was not given the chance to explain what Ondeto was to me and to Legio Maria. When the heat was about to die down, I made my belated response to Isaac with only a few words: “Ondeto is our God and that is all I can say.”
It was an emotional moment for a young boy. But my reply did not spare the insults either. The boys trolled and laughed. Some called me ignorant, others silly while many more shouted pitifully at me, reminding me of how terrible I was lost. I was taken through a narrative of what the true and the living God is supposed to be; and Ondeto was denounced by every boy in that bully crowd in turns, with each of the boys calling him a dead man unworthy of the deification that he had been accorded by Legio Maria. Of course all these boys belonged to different Christian denominations and they had all been taught in their Saturday and Sunday bible lessons just how Jesus is the only son of God worthy of worship. And time and time, again during their denunciations of Simeo Ondeto, they picked out verses from the Christian Bible to justify their points.
That hot afternoon stuck in my mind and it will live in my memory forever. It made me a more inquisitive member of the Legio Maria faith and it forced me to read the bible frequently in order to investigate Jesus Christ’s story. And from that day on and with each time I pick up the bible into my hands, that moment of derision has always been with me, reminding me to ask God for more spiritual insight and making me ever keener to read between scriptural lines. And with every reading of the Bible, my faith in Simeo Ondeto has grown stronger and I have been made a more empowered believer who can better face similar moments as that hot afternoon in September of 2004.
Second Christ: What Does It Mean?
The word Christ comes from the Greek word “Christos” which means the “chosen one” or the “anointed one”. Christos is a Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word “Mashiach” for “Messiah”. Christ is not the name of Jesus, but the title that was used for him to imply that he was a “king and deliverer”. Thus, when Legio Maria calls Simeo Ondeto the “Messias=Messiah”, they mean he is king and deliverer. And often, because of Ondeto’s black race, the title “Black Messiah” is used to refer to him. But when Legios call him the Second Christos (Second Christ) or Second Messias, they mean that Ondeto is the same person as Jesus, who was also called the Christ. They also mean that Ondeto existed as Jesus in the past and had the title Christos (Messias) during that early existence. And they distinguish that earlier existence on earth from the second existence on earth by adding the words first and second respectively before the title Christ.
Indeed, Legio Maria believes that Jesus and Ondeto is the same son of God, the same deliverer, the same king and the same person who has incarnated at different ages of human history to fulfill God’s purpose and plans for humanity. Therefore, Simeo Ondeto is called by seven names, e.g.
a. Messias: meaning “the anointed of God”
b. Melkio: meaning “the eternal king”
c. Hosea: meaning “the spiritual deliverer”
d. Enure: meaning “the promised one”
e. Lodvikus: meaning “the glory of God”
f. Laurida: meaning “the supreme advocate”
g. Santa Maria: meaning “the holy one of Mary”
And when Legio Maria says Simeo Messias, or Simeo Christo, they mean Simeo the anointed one or Simeo the Messias. And they are referring to Simeo as the Messias who was supposed to come for the glory of God to be revealed. They also mean that Simeo Ondeto is the son of God who has been sent to bring God’s glory on earth as part of the running history of God’s involvement in the redemption of humanity.
Simeo as the Glory of God: He Came with His Angels and Saints
Prior to Simeo’s coming on earth, there was a grand meeting in heaven, in which God revealed his plan for Christ’s second coming on earth. In that meeting, the holy Virgin Mary requested that when the son of God returns on earth, he should come as a black Christ to elevate the lowliest race of humanity. Mary’s request in the meeting of TORENTE was granted and the son of God came on earth as a black man. The spiritual son of God, angels and saints did not descend on earth as flesh and blood, but they came as spirits, unseen and unknown by humans.
Simeo Ondeto took up flesh among the Luo of Kenya, becoming a child, and son of man. He grew up and lived a holy youthful life of service to humanity, even choosing to live far away from his parents’ home in Kano, Angoro Awasi. But shortly after meeting with Virgin Mary, who had also taken up flesh and become a woman among the Luo people of Kenya, the holy angels and saints were revealed in song, rupture and ecstasy at the home of John Baru in Suna Migori, on March 9, 1962, marking the official revelation of Simeo Ondeto as the second Christ.
The day of Simeo Ondeto’s public revelation (also called the Second Pentecostal Day) saw over 1000 people gathered in the home of John Baru taken into rapture and into seeing the heavens open and the angels and saints of heaven descending upon the clouds and worshipping Ondeto. Simeo Ondeto was seated on his glorious throne of heaven, passing judgment on the living and the dead, and reigning as the everlasting king. And it is the Holy Spirit received by over 1000 people who experienced the Second Pentecost that spoke out and declared Simeo Ondeto as the anointed one of God, the son of God and the second coming of Christ.
The Messiah Has Come: A Puzzling Truth
Simeo Ondeto is the second Christ and he has fulfilled all the biblical prophecies about the Second Coming of Christ. Well, to learn that Ondeto has fulfilled all prophecies of the second coming of Jesus may be disturbing to people who have been reading the bible and making literal predictions or harboring hopes for a physical occurrence of many of the events described in scriptures. But in truth, God has fulfilled his prophecy and his messiah has returned. Humans may have their own formed opinions about their expectations, but it is God almighty who decides how his promises to humanity must come to pass. God is a true sovereign and we cannot control how he makes his promises to come to pass.
When he said that Abraham’s descendants would be enslaved and he would deliver them from their captivity, the Hebrews did not know how and when this would come to pass. And even when the brothers of Joseph sold him out, they did not know that they were partaking in the fulfillment of God’s plans. It was only later, when famine had come upon them and they had moved to Egypt and were enslaved soon after Joseph’s death that they realized that the promise of God had come to pass. Yet, even when Moses went to the Hebrews and told them that God had sent him to deliver them, they could not believe Him. And even their deliverance never seemed real to them as they labored through the thirst and hunger of the wilderness and longed for a return to Egypt. God’s promises are fulfilled in bewildering ways.
When Jesus was born among the Jews, it was a time when his people were expecting their deliverer to come soon. Yet, they did not expect the coming of the Messiah to be so unobvious and unbelievable. Therefore, they denied Jesus because he did not seem to have the promised and prophesied traits of the Messiah. Unfortunately, they were wrong and did not know that they were wrong. But their misjudgment was aided by their unspiritual reading of the scriptures and their sectarian views of what should and what should not occur when the messiah comes. They expected a temporal king and deliverer who could send the Romans running away in fear, yet Jesus was a harmless preacher who could be arrested and killed without a fight.
They expected peace during the reign of the Messiah, and yet they only experienced war, terror and rumors of war during the time of Jesus. The High Priests could not find anything in Jesus that proved he was the Messiah. And when they were tired of hearing his “blasphemous” claims, they found an insider called Judas who could betray this “liar and imposter” and help them to keep him quiet forever. The Jews did not reject Jesus Christ just for the sake of it; but they did so because they truly found nothing in him that proved his claims right. But they were wrong. God’s promises are never fulfilled as we think. He fulfils his promises in ways that are only suitable to his plans of redemption. So the scripturalists of the past, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, the teachers of the law and the high priests: all got it wrong on the question of the messiah’s coming.
The same scenario has re-occurred. God has fulfilled his son’s second coming in a way that not many Christians, pastors, preachers and priests who wait for him have discerned. When pastors and priests look for him to appear in the clouds with angels blowing trumpets and the dead splitting fields of land to wake up as Christ comes, he has come as a thief revealed only to marginally known prophets (Silvester Okweto and Wilfrida Gorreti) who saw him appear in the clouds of heaven, in hailstorm and thunderstorm, and whose visions are only known to a few people. When preachers and pastors cruised through scriptures to predict his coming and to preach loudly about the signs of his coming, he has been revealed to over 1000 people at once in a memorable Pentecostal Day. Surely, the ways of God run deeper than the scriptures!
Modern scripturalists may debate. Like the Pharisees of old, they can describe how the great tribulation will occur, how the rapture will take place, and how the dead will rise from their graves at the sound of trumpets. Like Sadducees of old, modern scripturalists (the pastors, teachers of the bible, priests) may make their notes on the signs of his coming and refute everything that has occurred. But just like the Pharisees of Old, the teachers of the law of Old, the Sadducees and the high priests of old, they cannot stop God from fulfilling his promises according to his wish. Let them debate as that is what keeps them going. But God who is sovereign and almighty, God who is beyond scriptures and earthly temples has sent his messiah. And his messiah, his second Christ, his glory, is Simeo Melkio Lodvikus Messias Ondeto.