Why do you celebrate Azusa every year?
Azusa reminds me of the fact that we need to keep fanning the fire of revival. Man’s tendency is to forget the reason why we are here. The truth is that this country needs revival more than anything else. So, Azusa reminds us of the fact that we cannot enjoy our Christian walk without experien-cing real revival. It reminds us of the Azusa Street conference and the revival that broke out in 1906. So, at this time, we are out to fan the fire and flames of revival again.
What do you mean when you say Nigeria needs revival?
Revival is God coming to man. It is God taking over. Nigerians are enjoying church growth, large gatherings of people but no reviv-al. That is why both the Church and the people are not affected or changed by these large gatherings. It is not about the gatherings but about God’s presence. When His presence comes, people and the community are changed. Lives are transformed, robbery stops, evil stops. That is the effect revival can have on a nation. That is what we need.
Would you then say that Niger-ia shouldn’t worry about building a strong security network to com-bat crime since all we need is revival?
No! They need to know that God cannot do the work of man but when God steps into any matter, it will be easier for them as they will have little work to do. Revival comes through prayer and the whole idea is to keep reminding God that we need Him more than ever before. We need to keep pray-ing for revival to come.
A clergyman once suggested a prayer summit by all clerics of all religious groups if we must combat the crisis of bomb blasts and random killings in Nigeria. Do you agree with that?
The president does not need to bring together men and women of God before we can pray. We can do that on our own. People are suggesting such be-cause they want money. The church can set aside spe-cial days and time of prayer for the country’s probl-ems. The problem with Nigeria is that we have a lot of religion but little of God, we are pray-ing that we have more of God and less of religion. When we do this in truth and in Spirit, God will show up.
What are your expectations at this year’s edition of Azusa Conference?
We expect that God will come down in a special way and do great things. We are expecting the likes of Pastor George Adegboye from Ilorin, Pastor Alex Omokudu from London and Emmy Kosgei, a highly gifted gospel singer from East Africa. We normally set aside a day for praise and this year it is going to be on Saturday. We are going to have a host of gospel artistes like Sammy Okposo, Midnight Crew, Tope Alabi, Kenny Saint Brown and others to honour the Lord with us.
It’s commonplace in Nigeria today, to find many who, in the name of prophecy and quest for healing, have become fetish in practices and mode of worship. How do you see this trend?
Yes! There are many occultic pastors nowadays. In fact, we can count good pastors now by the fingers. The more reason why we all have to be careful. The fact that somebody claims to be seeing vision does not mean he is from God. Today, people are dabbling into occultism and playing some smart games. They get informat-ion about people and use such information as prophecy to get money out of them.
It’s for people who don’t understand the Word of God, who have itching ears, who want a quick fix, who don’t under-stand what it means to wait on God, who are not prepared to pra-yerfully wait on God to do what He wants to do at His own time. Sadly, these occultic pastors are the ones who have access to top government officials; so invaria-bly, they are the ones telling the rulers who to appoint to political offices, what to do and what not to do, all in the name of prophecy. Many governors are being mis-guided because they don’t know what exactly to do.
How can the Church be helped? How can helpless Nigerians differentiate between the fake and true prophets?
Like I said, people are in a hurry. They want to know that their mother-in-law is their problem and the reason why they don’t have a child. They want to hear things like; ‘the reason why you are not prospering is because somebody is withholding your star.’ With such information, people are set on edge and ready to fight. They also become desper-ate and ready to do anything or give whatever is required to get rid of their enemies. The Bible says we should pray for our enemies. These prophets tell them that man is their problem, but the Bible says we are not wrestling with flesh and blood.
There is a spirit behind the situation and that is what you are to deal with; not the man. When somebody curses you, you don’t kill him, you kill the curse. If you kill the man and the curse is not destroyed, the curse will still come back to torment you but if you kill the curse, the man can’t do anything. So, we have got to understand spiritual things, spiritual warfare and what it means to do warfare.
Many people are ignorant while many churches are not teaching the truth. We are busy raising up a bunch of people who just want to know how to make money; how to buy cars and live big. It’s all about here and not about hereafter.