I do not know Pastor Lazarus Muoka, the General Overseer of the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries, Lagos and I have never watched him preach on the television, but he is a cleric I admire from what I read in a Sunday newspaper last week Saturday, on the down – to – earth and uncompromising sermon he delivered 24 days or so ago on how to be a good Christian. Which shows that he is a genuine and honest priest of God and not a church leader after wealth at the expense of making Heaven and one who wants all Christians to behave well by keeping to the Lord’s law and teachings in order to make Paradise.
As any pastor would do, he preached against bribery, murder, kidnapping, terrorism, homosexuality, lesbianism, masturbation, adultery, fornication, stealing, fraud and Christians patronizing witchdoctors and carrying out pagan rituals and using charms. But what impressed me and the reason I am writing this about him is what he said on the other issues that most clerics shy away from. And which they do because they want a large congregation, be personally wealthy and for their churches to be financially buoyant and popular. Even though the Bible shows they are sinful acts that God will punish people for.
But unlike the erring priests and prophets, Pastor Muoka preached against women wearing trousers, miniskirts or dressing scantily and men who wear earrings and jerry curl their hair. He also told the people who acquired their wealth through criminal or fraudulent practices like armed robbery, bribery, stealing, embezzlement, kidnapping, terrorism, smuggling, human sacrifice or dubious internet transactions not to bring such money to his church. He advised them to “amend their ways and promise God that they will not return to the vices again,” because anyone engaged in abominable acts will not make the Kingdom of Heaven.
Laws are made for people to obey and there is punishment for those who don’t comply with any of them. In Deuteronomy 22:5 the Heavenly Father said: Women should not wear men’s garments, and men should not put on women’s clothing and in Leviticus 19:28 He warned people not to tattoo their bodies because He hates those who do such things. He also condemned homosexuality and lesbianism and because of this destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19: 1 – 29) and restated this in Leviticus 18:17.
The Lord equally condemned bribery, corruption and injustice in Exodus 23:8, Deuteronomy 10:17 and in Chapter 16: 18 – 20. He condemned kidnapping and terrorism in Exodus 21:16, while in the 10 Commandments He warned people against committing murder, adultery, stealing and worshipping idols and that He is a jealous God who will punish anyone who does and the descendants to the third and fourth generation.
Apart from Sodom and Gomorrah God punished other people in the Bible who disobeyed Him including His most beloved ones. Abraham, the only person He called His friend in the Holy Bible, did not have the covenant son (Isaac) until 25 years after the Lord’s promise. Because he followed his wife’s advice to impregnate her maid Hagar who bore him a male child they named Ishmael. It is the reason why till today the Israelis and the Arabs have been at loggerheads because the Lord said so in Genesis 16: 1 – 16 where He rebuked Abraham for his mistake.
Moses did not reach the Promised Land of Canaan (today’s Israel), because instead of just speaking to the rock in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, for water to come out for use by the Israelites, he struck it twice with his rod (Numbers 20: 1 – 13 and Deuteronomy Chapters 32, 33 & 34). It was because King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, that made God cause the son she had for him to die (2 Samuel 12: 1 – 23).
King Solomon was made the wealthiest person in the Bible by the Lord. But when he went to marry foreign women and worshipped their idols against divine warning, the Heavenly Father caused Israel to break into two kingdoms (1 Kings 11: 1 – 13 and 12: 1 – 33). If the Heavenly Father punished His beloved ones for committing offenses or sins, why would anyone in today’s world think he or she will not be dealt with in his or her lifetime and in the hereafter for going against the King of kings’ orders?
To be continued next Wednesday
Professor Anele’s faux pas on Bible authors (2)
In the first part of this article published two weeks ago I showed that Apostle Peter wrote the Books of 1 & 2 Peter and that Apostle Paul was the author of the 13 Books from Romans through Philemon because they introduced themselves in each of their letters. Today, I am out to begin providing proofs that Apostles Matthew and John were the authors of the Books that carry their names in the New Testament. That is Matthew, John, 1, 2 & 3 John and that the latter also wrote the Book of Revelation.
The first evidence that Apostle Matthew penned the Book of Matthew is that Matthew 9:9 – 11 shows that he was a tax collector, sitting in his office when Jesus called him to be his disciple. Tax collectors were people who dealt with the accounting or figures and money. This professional background of Matthew is said to have influenced his telling the parable of the unforgiving servant with figure and money (Matthew 18: 21 – 35).
This was when Apostle Peter asked Jesus how many times he had to forgive a brother who sinned against him? Instead of the seven times he mentioned, the Lord told him it was seventy times seven times. And went on to tell the story of a man who forgave a servant who owed him ten thousand talents (silver coins) when he pleaded for mercy.
For continuation next week