MUOKA: Mgbidi Crusade 2016 Is Going To Be The Greatest
Pastor Lazarus Muoka is the founder and General Overseer of the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries, Worldwide. As the church holds its yearly programme, known as Mgbidi Crusade between January 2 – 4, in Mgbidi Imo State, the man of God spoke with CHRIS IREKAMBA on the event and other key issues pertaining to the church.
WHAT should Nigerians expect in the New Year, as you begin this programme in Imo State?
CONCERNING the Mgbidi crusade, God is advancing us. This Mgbidi 2016 crusade holds on January 2 to 4, at the Chosen International Secondary School, along Oguta Road, Mgbidi, Imo State, at 8am daily. The crusade is going to be the greatest by God’s grace. And with the three-power packed event, we shall be praying for Nigerians and the country. We are believing what God has determined for this nation shall be fulfilled in 2016 and beyond. God is going to manifest His power through signs and wonders.
He is going to save souls and prepare men and women for His kingdom. It is one of the crusades that will bring answers to the myriad of problems the country is facing. As Nigerians attend and pray together, the programme with the theme: “What God has determined shall be done” shall serve many purposes such as manifesting His purpose for the country. What He has determined for the families and participants shall be done for them in 2016.
We know that God is in charge and He is the Owner of Nigeria. We know that whatever he has proposed nobody can annul it. As I look at this programme, God is also going to bring men and women and those in authority and by the time we would have finished praying, we believe there is going to be changes in Nigeria for the better.
Who are those expected at the crusade; and why did you choose the same topic as that of 2015?
That is why the ministry is unique in every ramification. We are led by the Spirit of God to go back to last year’s topic. People should be able to know that situations are not in the hands of any man, especially what we have in the country presently. They are in God’s hands. We believe that is the reason for God giving us same topic this year; and we understand that same topic may even continue for some time to come.
Concerning personalities expected at the crusade, we are actually expecting all Nigerians. We are expecting President Muhammadu Buhari, his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and other governors. By God’s grace, our invitation has to gone to them.
Besides, we are also expecting invitees from all over the world including America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, African countries and all the congregation of Chosen members. They are all coming to Mgbidi 2016 Crusade.
Recently, the church marked 13 years of existence and people had expected that drums would be rolled out to mark the event. But it was rather low key…
By the special grace of God, we don’t have to sound a trumpet as regards the church’s 13th anniversary. What we have to do and which we have done was to celebrate it within the church, thank God and appreciate what He has done for us. We have to do everything in conformity with what we are preaching. We want to ensure that everything is done moderately to God’s glory. Within us, we know that He has done wonderful things for us during the years. We knew why He has called us and everything that we do must be within that limit.
When was the church started?
On December 24, 2002, the Lord’s Chosen was established and on that day, we held our first service.
What have been the challenges and how have you been able to overcome them?
There were lots of challenges, for an organisation like ours, established on the standard with which we have been able to get to where we are today. But by God’s grace, we have not compromised and we are not going to compromise those standards because they are the bedrock of this church. These challenges include, for instance, getting the right leaders that can move the ministry forward. There is also the challenge of finance, as well as ensuring that everyone is following the standard. These are serious challenges to contend with. The fact that not everyone is ‘born again’ also poses a serious challenge.
According to God’s word, among the 12 Disciples of Christ, there was one Judas. What then can you say of a church that has thousands of worshippers, if not millions? So, there are bound to be many Judas among them and they pose a lot of challenges to the church. But the ministry is God’s; so God Himself has taken care of all the challenges and by His grace, we are moving forward to His glory.
What prompted some members to leave the church?
Why should people leave a church like this? I think the reason is very simple: their lifestyles are not in conformity with what we preach. Some of them came with a mindset that the church is a kind of business organisation, where they can make profit. But when they discovered that we are only interested in winning souls and fulfilling our vision and mandate, which God has given to us to ensure grassroots revival all over the world; and revival of the apostolic Christian experiences among the body of Christ, revival of heaven’s consciousness in the heart of believers all over the world and the 10 billion souls mandate, they are bound to be uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, however, there are people who do not understand this vision and mandate. So, they came purposely for selfish reasons. Since there was no room for such mundane things, they realised this is no place for them. That is why they must find one excuse or the other to leave. Some of them were uncomfortable with the type of messages and preaching here, which sent them away.
For instance, there was one message I preached some years ago, that Jesus Christ entered into the temple and drove away people who were selling and buying. He drove the people away and cleansed the altar. I made it clear to them that in this environment, nobody should be selling; that we only come here to worship God. That statement did not go down well with some people, especially those who came here to establish their businesses. That alone caused the greatest crisis we had in this church. Those affected started to fight the church and by God’s grace, the Owner of the church was able to overcome them.
If you had followed this church from the beginning, you would have discovered that in this church, we preach the truth and we keep to it. It is only in this church that we tell people that if your business is not genuine, you don’t give us your money in the form of tithe or pledges; that we don’t need such money. This we preach everyday and everywhere. But those that came looking for money are discouraged. This has made some people to stop coming.
Beside, this is a church where we preach holiness and righteous living, and we encourage people to keep to the standard. We also let people know that indecent dressing is not allowed in this church. When coming to the church, you must dress well, and you don’t expose your body because the God you are coming to worship is a holy One. You don’t dress anyhow; no make-up, attachment or weavon and you don’t wear trousers, if you are a woman. You don’t wear skirt and blouse as a man because that is forbidden before God and we have preached this truth all over the world. The people that came purposely to live anyhow were not able to cope and so they left. All these made people with ulterior motive leave the church. They are just very few individuals, but people that know the truth are still with the church and more are still coming into the church because they are thirsty for the truth.
People believe that very soon churches such as yours that preach holiness and uprightness will face serious challenges, as opposed to modern-day churches that are more liberal. What is your take on this?
There is something that is very important and this is that we are dealing with God. Before this ministry was established, it was like all others had given up on preaching the truth. And when we came on stream, this ministry took over. I want to let you know that except the Lord builds the house, the builder builds in vain. We have heard such things you are saying now before. Before the emergence of this church, there were churches that were doing anyhow, trying to copy the Western style of preaching and standard. And when we came on board, we took over the radio, television, the newspapers and before you know it, they ran away and shut down.
For us at the Lord’s Chosen and with the standard we have, nobody will tell you we are unstoppable. Because we have the truth and you can see the fire of truth and the power of God’s word. If you are gathering people and there is no power to save, heal or deliver them, when someone with the power comes up to preach, all the people you have gathered will be convinced and they will leave you one after the other.
And that is what has happened in most of these places. We try to make people become genuine Christians in accordance with will of God, and by His grace, it will stand the test of time. It cannot die. The Bible says, ‘you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.’ So, I want to let you know that this truth is going to take over, no matter where they are coming from.
In this church, we have heard testimonies of people regretting going to other churches, where the truth is not preached. But as they came here, listened to the truth and gave their lives to Christ, they discovered that fornication is sin, prostitution is sin, adultery is sin and happily they surrendered to the will of God and their lives are transformed. The truth is that God’s standard will stand forever.
What happened to Juliet Idu popularly known as Chosen Mopol, who used to be a member of this church? It was rumoured that the church killed her because nothing has been heard of her for sometime now?
I don’t believe that churches kill in any part of the world. Even fake churches don’t kill. And even those not preaching holiness are still afraid of God. How much more the church, where holiness is being preached and righteousness is being practicalised? In the Christian religion, killing is forbidden in whatever form — be it abortion or any for that matter.
There are these issues of contention and strife and persecution. People would label you as evil, though they know that you are preaching the truth. They do this to stop people from coming to your church. Also those churches that are losing their members would want to paint you black and call you names.
I read in the news that the woman you are talking about was arrested last week for an offence. In fact, I heard that she ran away because she was declared wanted for defamation of character. When she ran away from the country was when it was rumoured that the church killed her. It is not possible. Right now she is in detention.
You should use it as a yardstick for judging every other thing you have been hearing about this church. The woman was among those people we said should leave because they were selling here and then she flared up and went about accusing the church falsely. She was boasting that she had the backing of the police and army. She even threatened that she was going to close the church, but we know that the church cannot be closed by man, especially with false allegations.
When is your university kicking off?
Ours is a situation whereby, you have to take time to do so many things, especially when you are preaching holiness. We bought a parcel of land and some people claimed to be the owners. The issue has been a case. On several occasions, we paid money over and again yet the people involved are unbending. So, we are still on the issue. But as soon as we are free from this problem, we are going to pursue our vision as far as that university is concerned by God’s grace.
So, if an influential personality dresses improperly, will you send him/her away?
We don’t send anybody away from church. Rather, we preach the truth, which makes individuals try to leave behind their improper lifestyles. Whoever comes to the church will be convicted by what he or she is seeing.
In fact, most of the time, people always comment positively about this church. When you come here and see the lifestyle of members, their dressing, you will be forced to change, without any anybody driving you away. You will begin to adjust and amend your ways and live right. That is where God’s mystery comes in.
The message is not meant to send people away, but to convict them in the areas, where they are not living right to the point that they will say, ‘I am sorry.’ So, the message is meant to bring conviction and establish people in the word of God.
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