Chris E. Kwakpovwe: Manna on Easter Morning
By Jemi Ekunkunbor
Bishop (Dr.) Chris E. Kwakpovwe, Ph.D is a Pharmacist, Prophet and the General Overseer of the Manna Prayer Mountain (MPM) Worldwide.
The husband of Rev. Dr. Mrs. Ejiro Kwakpovwe, he is also the author of several books including, the popular daily devotional, Our Daily Manna.
With millions of followers to his teachings and preachings, his ministry’s impact is not only felt in Nigeria, but also, in several other countries across the globe.
On this Easter Sunday, the revered man of God sheds light on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the impact of his death, the significance and import of the blood that was shed and sundry issues relating to the work of ministry.
It’s Easter Sunday today. Before it gets referred to as mere a holiday, could you share with us the significance of Easter to Christians?
Easter represents the bases and foundation of the Christian faith. Jesus was born but if he did not die and resurrect, his birth will be useless. Christmas is actually useless without Easter. Easter was the reason for His coming and the original plan of God for the ultimate deliverance of man. When Jesus rose from the dead, that was the day Christianity began.
Why does it appear that this significance as well as the resurrection power is being lost on Christians?
We are in the end time, iniquities are abounding. People are no more deep in the word of God. The old time religion has been lost. People are worldly now and more after ephemeral things. Jude 3:3b says: You should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. The resurrection power is a little down in today’s church because people have lost the love and the biblical way of the life of old.
Today, you have fraudsters in churches, believers who don’t pray or read the bible. There is so much gossiping, in-house fighting, ministers fighting one another, jealousy, envy, competition etc. and all these, watered down the power of God in the church.
The sacrifice and the shedding of the blood of Jesus once held strong relevance to the Christian faith, but even that has become something we chant casually and comedians even use for their jokes. Is the church losing relevance in this digital age?
It is a pity that most churches are now jokers. I will call them Jokers Chapels. Majority of believers are now after the things of the world and not after the original power of God.
You asked me whether the church is losing significance in this digital age, I would say yes. Jesus said in Mathew 24 that because iniquity will abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Why we have unbelievers joking with us is because the love of many has waxed cold. People are now after money, children, marriage etc. If truly we want to experience the power of God as of old, then we need to go back to our first love and the old time religion.
In recent times, the kingdom of God has suffered violence; men of God have brought reproach to Christ while the genuine ones have also suffered reproach because of the activities of false prophets. How can false prophets be identified to save the flock from being scammed and God’s honour restored?
We will always have bad eggs, fake ministers in our midst but I think one of the ways we can bring back God’s honour, is to seek first, God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and preach more of salvation messages than prosperity. What has brought reproach to the body of Christ in most cases has to do with occultists. There are lots of magicians on the altar than real pastors.
The real men of God should stand in the gap and pray. Let the world see Christ in us, let them see miracles on our altars so they don’t run to the fake pastors. We must preach Christ, holiness, purity and when the world sees this, I think the fake can be easily separated from the body of Christ.
Also, by the fruits of the fake ministers you shall know them. When a minister spends more time on money, and whatever that is not in the Bible, you will know he is fake no matter how he tries to interpret it. If it is not biblical, it is a no-go area. The Bible is the revealer of what is true or false. Every believer should study his or her Bible like the Berean Christians, to verify whatever their pastors tell them.
Some men of God are called by God, others call themselves. Using your experience, can you share with us how you knew, you were called.
If you are called, you will not rush into ministry. Check those who rush into ministry, something is wrong somewhere. When God called Moses, he tried to reject the calling. When God called me, I said no I am a pharmacist, that I will support pastors, pay my tithe, or just be assistant pastor, but I can’t do it full time. The Lord told me that if I do not leave pharmacy, He would kill me and God afflicted me with epistaxis, that is, bleeding of the nose.
The day I resigned from my pharmacist job was the same day the bleeding stopped. I went right from the hospital to the church altar. I left my books and lab coat in the office. I never went back. It was much later that my late boss brought them to me.
What aspect of this work of ministry do you find most challenging?
Dealing with human beings; you cannot trust them. You can trust a mango tree to bring forth fruits at a particular time, likewise a pawpaw tree; but you cannot understand human beings, that’s my biggest challenge. They can tell you “yes” in the morning, and tell you “no” in the evening. They betray, deceive and are unfaithful. I have learnt to trust God alone.
Elijah after killing the prophets of Baal ran from Jezebel and prayed to die. What should pastors do when they get to their wits end?
Take time off. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; just take time off and trust God. The Bible says He is the present help in trouble. Go back to God, leave the work. There are times that you need to leave the altar. A pastor that is always on the altar will begin to loose power. There are some days you should be off the altar for prayers. We all go through it. People get betrayed, disappointed and sometimes, things do not go the way you planned it. Seek the Lord. The Bible says in quietness and confidence you shall find your strength. Such a challenging time is for you to be still. Don’t forget that still waters run very deep.
At such moments, what kind of support system does a pastor crave?
The support system you need at such a moment is that of your wife if you are married; otherwise, it’s the Holy Spirit. Also, go to God in prayer and if you have mentors and friends that can tell you the bitter truth, you can confide in them.
How has life been as a preacher?
It’s been challenging. Being in the limelight draws attention; both good and bad. Being a preacher provokes envy-my greatest battle. Pastors rising and using people against me. I have heard some pastors said: ‘Are you sure this man of God is using genuine power? ‘
There are people who believe that once you are a pastor in Nigeria, you have money. So, they come around expecting to get money from you. If you are not careful, they can even kidnap you.
There has been an attempt to kidnap my child before. These are some of the challenges that I face as a pastor.
If it were possible, would you do it again or you’ll choose a career path?
I would never choose another path. This is the path created for me and I believe God has an agenda and greater plans ahead for me.
When you are not preaching, where do you like to go to rest?
My house. Where else would I go? Well, maybe if it’s summer, I will go abroad for a week or two and that is the way I rest. But most times, I am just indoors alone with God and my family.
Beside the Holy Spirit, who are your mentors in faith and why?
When I got born again many years ago in the Scripture Union, I worked with Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of Word of Life. I served in the Soldier of Christ and I helped his late wife (Stella ) with house chores because I was a small boy then. Late Archbishop Benson Idahosa was his Pastor then. I got filled with the Holy Spirit through Idahosa and he was also one man that moved me. Pa S.G Elton of Ilesha was somebody that I learnt a lot from when I was at the university of Ife. We went to his house every weekend as members of the school fellowship. Pastor Kumuyi brought me up in the area of holiness as a young believer.
These are people I learnt from and I used their materials and sometimes worshiped with them.
What won’t you be caught doing as a pastor?
I won’t be caught committing sin, preaching false doctrines, deceiving people in order to receive miracles. I won’t be caught following women or pursuing money.
If you were Jesus who flogged out the money changers in his days, what category of people would you weed out of the church today?
The hypocrites and the snakes in the church and they are many. Some are pastors who are there to kill even the General Overseer to get a position. Such people should be exposed. I’ll weed out politicians who come to use us to win elections and at the end, they dump the church.
The third kind of people are those who are in churches to steal. They are not pastors or politicians but church members. Their aim is to steal, kill and destroy. Some women come to set up pastors, some come to plan kidnapping.
The Bible says the heart of man is desperately wicked. Of my 45 years in the Lord, I’ve seen that those you think are sincere are evil. I will advise that pastors should go on their knees and ask God to shake the church. God knows how to do it best. God knows how to weed them out. He might even start from those you think are actually good.
To the sick, homeless, hungry, and hopeless, what would you say to them this Easter and what should the church be seen to be doing?
I will say to the sick, homeless and the hungry that there is hope.They should hold on and trust God they will make it.
To the sick, there is healing; to the homeless, there will be shelter, the same for the hungry and the hopeless.
Look at a man like me that wanted to commit suicide, before I discovered Our Daily Manna. I felt all hope was lost. But look at me today. They should hold on, after the pain, tears and the agony, triumph is coming. The same would happen to any man or woman who waits or endures. The Bible says in Isaiah 49 verse 23 ‘..for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.” Whether you are sick, hungry, homeless, or abandoned, falsely accused, envied, betrayed, etc, wait upon the Lord and you will never be ashamed.
The church should physically feed the hungry, cloth the naked. The church of Jesus Christ should go back to Jude 3- church is not just about building. One of the disturbing factors today is the way churches are trying to outdo one another in architectural designs. Wanting to have the biggest building in the world, in my view, is a mistake no matter who is doing it.
Today, we have 500,000,000 auditorium, all these are structures that will come and go. Let us go back to the days of raising the dead, signs and wonders, purity, holiness. This madness of the biggest church in the world, my building must be more colourful than your building is flesh.
The Apostles of old met in homes and miracles, testimonies were happening. They talk the talk and lived the life. I think we should go back to that.
Unfortunately, our big fathers in the Lord are the ones encouraging us to begin the competition for properties and church buildings and that to me, is carnality creeping into the church. ____________________________________