Muoka: In 20 years, God has manifested himself in our midst
On Saturday, December 24, 2022, The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries Worldwide will clock 20 years, but the celebration has been brought forward. It holds today at the church’s Headquarters in Ijesha, Lagos State. However, ahead of today’s celebration, the General Overseer, Pastor Lazarus Muoka, in a chat with newsmen spoke extensively on the birth of the church, the persecution that trailed its establishment, its vision, the 10 billion souls mandate, the Mgbidi 2023 Crusade, why retirement is not for born again Christians, and state of the nation, among others. CHRIS IREKAMBA was there.
The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries is two decades in the service of the Lord. How did it all begin and where is the ministry today?
By the special grace of God the church was established on December 24, 2002, in accordance with the leading of the Holy Spirit. Initially, some people didn’t believe in us, but we were not perturbed because we know who called us and gave us the three-fold vision, and 10 billion souls mandate. The vision given to us by God includes grassroots revival all over the world; the revival of the Apostolic Christian experiences within the body of Christ, the revival of heaven conscientiousness in the hearts of believers all over the world, as well as the 10 billion souls, mandate. However, people have been asking us how we arrived at the 10 billion souls mandate when in fact the entire population of the world is not up to 10 billion. But my explanation then was that even though the world’s population is not up to 10 billion people, generations come and go, so this mandate will continue to be explored till the end of the world. So, by the grace of God, the 10-billion soul mandate s will be actualised. This happened in 2002 when the ministry commenced with a few people in a very small place at No. 16, Odunike Street, IIasamaja, Lagos. God gave us the name of the church – The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Movement, but we ended up registering it as The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Church. God the owner of his church started directing people to the church in their thousands and it got to a point that the whole street where the church was located at IIasamaja was filled up with human beings. Be that as it may, the important thing was that the people arrived at the place where God wanted them to be, and so they never bothered to see who was preaching.
In fact, it was inconsequential to them. As people increased in their numbers, God granted us favour, the landlords/landladies, and schools in the area opened their compounds for the worshippers to sit down and listen to God’s message. Of course, some people were not happy with the development because they felt that we were disturbing them. So, we started to look for where to keep the multitude. It was not long before I knew our present location. When we came here in August 2003, we liked the place, and therefore paid for eight plots, and commenced building. And by the grace of God, the crowd started growing in leaps and bounds, and the place that we thought was large enough for the people could no longer contain the crowd that extended to the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
Meanwhile, one day in a revelation an old man came to me and asked if I have considered the plot of land behind the church building, which had been overtaken by weeds. After the revelation, we started looking for the owner of the land. God eventually led us to him. We discussed and finally settled with him. We went further to bargain with other persons that had property within the flank and they sold their land to us. Because most of those plots were waterlogged, we had challenges erecting structures on them. God by His grace helped us and today you can hardly recognised the place. So, in the area of accommodation, God has taken care and we can gladly say this is the church’s headquarters.
By the grace of God too, we are in over 100 nations of the world including Nigeria in less than two decades of operation, and I have travelled to these places in the course of preaching the gospel. What we are seeing in this ministry is just God’s hand and that is why this apron I’m wearing says, “Only God Can Do This,” that is the theme of our 20th anniversary because we have seen great wonders of the Lord these 20 years of operation, and it is worth celebrating.
This ministry has witnessed great testimonies having been used by God to prove that He exists, can do, and undo. God has used this ministry to save the lives of armed robbers, kidnappers, prostitutes, homosexuals, lesbians, native doctors, etc. He has also used this ministry to change them and they are now born again. The deaf, dumb, and blind have all been healed by God through this ministry.
Recently in Osun State, a 55-year-old man who has been deaf and dumb from birth got healed by God instantly. Right there, this man spoke clearly for the first time in his life. There was also another person who was deaf and dumb and the twins who have never spoken before spoke at the crusade for the first time. God has used this ministry to show his power.
During Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, God also proved His power because some people said that Africa would record the greatest number of casualties, and in this church, we called on God to intervene and He did.
When this ministry started many churches were losing their members and hospitals, were losing patients because as they came here, God was saving them as well as healing those who were sick. So, the persecution started, but it wasn’t our doing; they should be grateful to God that the people are born again and healed. We are not making noise about it, but God should be glorified. Unfortunately, people are only interested in the church, while we are interested in soul-winning.
So, what God has done for us these 20 years is so apparent and we give Him the glory. We did not fall from the moon, we started one day and here we are by the grace of God.
Embarking on a journey of this nature comes with immense anxiety, fear of uncertainty, etc. Did you at any time entertain such fears?
I didn’t entertain any fear because my confidence was absolutely in the Lord even before the ministry fully manifested physically. For instance, in a dream, God revealed to me what was ahead of me and I knew through that revelation that it was God. I believe in God because He is the One that called me into the ministry. I’ve also fought so many people whom I did not know in my dream, and the lion that was released to attack me was killed with the help of God. When this revelation happened, I shared it with the pastor that I was under his ministry then, and he said he doesn’t understand the revelation. And before this ministry came alive, God took me to various kingdoms/powers and I defeated them. God revealed so many things to me about this ministry. For example, I had a voice telling me of God’s plan concerning my life and this ministry, but I rejected it, saying it is not for me. That was before Isaiah Chapter 60 was given to me and in the process of reading it I woke up. All these things were at the back of my mind and when eventually the ministry commenced, I knew it was God. From what God has revealed to me concerning the future, my mind was prepared for that.
Do you see any link between the prophecy of the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa and the birth of the church?
I did not know anything about the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa’s prophecy concerning us. In fact, it was after many years of operation that some people told us what the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa said about us. Just like what they said that Reinhard Bonnke, also said about us, and in one of his crusades, which I attended he handed a microphone to me to pray for the people. I consider that whatever people said about us was an afterthought.
How do you intend to celebrate this unique occasion with your members all over the globe?
Normally, we celebrate the goodness of God with testimonies and dwell more on the word of God, and what He has done for us these 20 years of existence. We are inviting everybody to be part of the celebration.
Mgbidi 2022 Crusade was held in Lagos State and not Imo State, where is the next event expected to hold?
Our programme, “What God Has Determined Shall Be Done” will still hold in Lagos, and not in Imo State because of security challenges in the South East. We believe God that Mgbidi 2023 is going to be greater than that of the former years.
Orthodox churches have mandatory retirement age for their leaders, specifically, do you have a retirement programme in this ministry and how would you want to retire?
For born-again Christians, we do things as we are led by the spirit of God, and not by the flesh. The people of the world have their retirement age, but we are led by God to do whatsoever He wants us to do for Him. If God says that we should stop, we would stop, but if not, you would keep on preaching because God told Joshua that as you are old and well stricken in age, there are many lands to possess so don’t relax, go and possess the possessions. What happens with God’s children is that God renews them, revives, energises, strengthens, and renews their organs every year. We are doing everything as we are led by the spirit of God. If He says that I should go and rest for one week, I will go and rest for one week.
How is the church helping to curb security challenges bedevilling the nation, and how does it view preparations for the forthcoming general election?
Every one of us has a role to play in life. As human beings, we have different organs in the body. Some cannot be seen externally, while some can be seen, but each of them is serving their purposes. So, the church is playing its role by praying to God, and that is our area of operation. By God’s grace, we are playing that role effectively. In fact, if not for the church, so many people might not be saying what they are saying today. It is the prayer of the church that is sustaining the nation. For the forthcoming elections, we are also playing our role and we will continuously stand in the gap as God instructed us until there is an answer to that effect. We are praying for God’s intervention in the area of security challenges, and God will stop insecurity because we need peaceful elections and unity. He will do it for us. We are playing our part to sustain lives in this nation, even though we might not be known, or recognised.
The church is sometimes blamed for the political situation in the country, by not encouraging its members to get involved in politics. Do you agree with this?
The business of the church is soul winning and every other thing is a distraction. Going into politics depends on individuals, but for me, I don’t think I will encourage our members to go into politics because the Bible has a place for believers, and any believer that goes against it will suffer the effect. The Bible admonishes, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
And what communion hath light with darkness?” If you break that yoke the serpent will bite you. We cannot help God and whatever we want to do in life, we must be guided by God and let His will be done. If you say, ‘I want to help God,’ He will leave you because God is all-sufficient, all-wise and you have to work according to His will. If you go away from his word you will reap whatever you sow. The people that have done that have paid the price. If you are a politician and you come to church for prayers I will pray for you but God has the final say in your life. I cannot advise you to become a governor/president. The ways of the world are not the ways of God.