Apostle Anselm Madubuko is one of God’s most dependable and reliable generals. The founder and general overseer of Revival Assembly Church, with headquarters in Ogba, Lagos, he trained as an architect at the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus, before yielding to the call of the Almighty. A father of three and a native of Ihiala, in Anambra State, the respected preacher granted audience to YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, AZUH ARINZE. This was on Friday, July 9, 2021, and as would be expected, quite a number of issues concerning his forte were discussed and dissected. Excerpts…
The 19th edition of your annual Azusa Conference will hold between the 19th and 25th of July, 2021. Could you tell us a little about Azusa?
Thank you! First, I just want to say thank you, Azuh; you’ve always been there from the beginning to push publicity, I’m very grateful. May God bless you (Amen!). The gospel must be preached no matter what happens, no matter the situation or economy of the country. We are here for that purpose, and the state of the church now is very terrible. The true preachers are suffering while the charlatans are flying. People are mistaking the charlatans as the true preachers and it’s so unfortunate. The devil fights them (true preachers), he makes sure they don’t have money so that people won’t hear the truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ, whereas the fake ones are loud and everywhere with a lot of money. So, people are looking at those ones as the ambassadors of the gospel, which has affected the gospel. But we choose to remain focused, we choose to stay on the right path, the old path, we choose the ancient line of our fathers , we choose to stay and keep the gospel the way it should be. What made us to begin Azusa Revival Conference? It’s not like any other conference, it’s a revival conference, an awakening conference, for us to take our eyes off the prosperity being preached all over the place. We are making so much noise and our focus is on Jesus and to think about souls, think about heaven, think about hell; these things are real. Every day people are dying, going to hell, nobody seems to care and they don’t even understand, they don’t even know what to do. Some people think they are Christians because no one is hearing the true gospel anymore, nobody hears about repentance, nobody hears the main matter about Christianity, we are now exalting the unimportant matters. Sensationalism has now affected the gospel. If you want to be popular, you have to rise up and say something that doesn’t belong to the gospel and you trend. We need to cry to God to come and help us, bring his church back; the time is short, Jesus is coming and it’s no more a crusade, it’s just the truth – the signs are everywhere.
This world doesn’t have many more years to go before Jesus comes. So, our job is to wake up a sleeping church. We are not for party, entertainment and disco and all these things we are seeing in churches today, we are for the full gospel of Jesus Christ, giving all to the Holy Spirit who is our leader in this dispensation. Jesus said when He’s gone back to heaven, He will send the Holy Spirit to us. You know what? We don’t even know who the Holy Spirit is, we don’t even recognize him, we don’t even remember him, but Christ spoke… So, this is a serious cry for the church to return to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, let us go back to how it was, how church was done 2000 years ago, let’s go back to the beginning and bring the Holy Spirit to His church back. The gospel has become politicised. They preach what people want to hear just to stay in the system. Jesus Christ is the one we preach, even if no one is listening. Most times people are not listening to what you are saying because you are not saying what they want to hear. If you are in that line, you will be very busy and people will be telling you all their problems. Such is not even in the gospel. We are taught to endure, there are some things you can’t change or pray out; we just have to wait and people don’t want to wait, they want a quick fix…
Where exactly is this year’s Azusa holding?
It’s taking place at the Revival Assembly and also online. We are trying to establish a viable online presence because of the Covid virus. Normally, we do have people from South Africa, USA, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, but they can’t come because of the virus. Although, they connected online last year. It was 100 percent online last year, but this year it’s both online and offline. We are at Cocoa bus stop, Revival Close, off Cocoa Industrial Road, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos.
Who are the guest speakers coming for this year’s conference?
I believe one can’t be an island. I can’t speak at all the sessions, so we are having a total of 22 sessions. We have Dr. David Ogbueli, Apostle Tony Olukoyede, Bishop Bernard Ojemeni, Pastor Theodore Effiong from Calabar. Azusa is not a carnival, it’s the most recognised revival here on earth since Jesus left. Azusa Street is a place in Los Angeles, the revival in that street was burning day and night, people were healed of sicknesses and it lasted for three and a half years. It was led by a one-eyed black man, at a time when racism was at the peak.
What should the attendees be expecting?
It’s not a show, it’s a pure gospel conference. We want the sound and ordinance of God. The whole country needs help. In fact, the whole world needs help. We have missed it, but God loves the church. He’s not happy with the church, it’s like He’s at one side watching us and we want to bring Him back, we want to say Lord, forgive us, revive us, set us on fire again. When I got saved in the early 80s, people were on fire. All that fire is gone, all my friends were saved, they couldn’t resist the burning furnace. We want that revival again. Those days, there were no buses to bring people to church, they had to find their way, but now church has to provide buses, money, food, all to drag people, which is not the way it should be.
What is the most memorable miracle that has happened at Azusa in the last 18 years?
There is this Azusa twins. There was this barren couple, the woman came to Azusa crying to God, He heard her and she gave birth to two boys (Azusa twins). But in Azusa, we don’t look for miracles, we are here for God. When you get God, miracles will follow. God has revived backsliding people. Many souls that had gone astray were revived, ministries and lives kicked up again. When your life is revived, everything will revive.
What exactly is going on in the Christendom? There seems to be new alignments and realignments. Those that people hitherto criticized, including pastors, now seem to be occupying the front row… What exactly is going on?
I don’t want to go political and get involved in all that talks, but the Bible said the wheat and tares will grow together, nobody knows the wheat and tares, so everybody will be growing together until Jesus himself does the separation. That’s all I can say.
What exactly is Prophet T.B Joshua’s offence. A lot of preachers seem not to have forgiven him or want to have anything to do with him, even at death…
I don’t know him… When he was alive, never met him, we don’t have any common friends, so there was no need to visit or minister with him. Not only him, but many people…
As a Christian, how did you feel about his death?
I won’t be happy about anybody’s death; anybody can die…It’s God’s secret, anybody can die and no one was happy he died.
With the benefit of hindsight, how do you know a true man of God?
You can know a true man of God by observation; by discernment you will know a true man of God. It’s a spiritual thing, it’s not about clothes, money, but about Jesus. Every child of God must have salvation.
How does one ascertain a true church?
It’s not by observation; some are air-conditioned and call Jesus. Again, it’s by discernment. A pastor that can sell water, oil, ask you to pay for counseling, so many things ring alarm. When Jesus is not the main stay of the ministry, people won’t be led to Christ. Money, politics, prophecy not the gospel. The gospel is Jesus, repentance. You have to have your own relationship with Jesus, but fake pastors want you to be dependant on them. A true believer can heal the sick, but fake pastors put people in fear, they want to control the minds of people, their finance, marriage. That’s not the gospel. When people don’t have the ability to think, that’s control.
Why are people crazy about miracles?
Even when Jesus was here, He knew people were following him because of miracles. But God hates miracle seekers. We follow God for who He is, not what He does. He is a God of wonders, worship Him for who He is – the Most High. He has to be given His place. Some miracles are connected to your calling, timing, practice and body for something, so don’t end up in frustration. Just worship God and wait for your time. People are ignorant and believe pastors would give them a miracle. Even the devil does that. God is a God of all season and time. You can’t force God to do what He wouldn’t want to do, not even with your tears.
When Adam fell, God had the power to repair it, but it still took Him years from the time of Adam, even when He has the solution in His hands. Repentance is the hallmark of the gospel, not miracle.
How does one identify a true miracle?
True miracles must be certified by a doctor. For instance, if a woman is healed of cancer, she has to go back to the same hospital and recheck, by running a test. Many things are going on in the church… Drama, acting, fake miracles!
Apostle Anselm Madubuko has been pastoring Revival Assembly for over 30 years now. What has kept you going?
It’s God’s grace that has kept me going; the fact that I’m not in competition with anyone and my heart is with Jesus. I don’t bother about what I have and what I don’t have. I’m focused on my calling and it’s apostolic – Go ye into the nations and build the gospel. I’m called to build lives and prepare people for the coming of Christ.
What is the biggest temptation you have encountered as a man of God?
We are still here in the flesh and out of God’s grace and mercy we are pulling through. Temptation is part of life. For as long as you’re alive, your are tempted.
What are the best ways to overcome temptations?
Prayers, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit; at times He whispers to us. If you know when He talks and you adhere, you’re free from temptation. Also, prayer helps, with fasting; it helps bring the body under subjection.
One of the biggest temptations that most Christians face is the issue of fornication and adultery. What is the solution to it as a Christian?
To be prayerful, careful…The Bible says flee and you sit, then you are looking for trouble. You have to tell yourself the truth – if you feel uncomfortable when someone is around you, stop being around the person. It’s a spirit and the spirit is stronger than the flesh.
Those unable to control themselves and fall into temptation, what should they do?
What does the Bible say? We have an advocate. So, if you fall, get up in faith and pray not to fall again. It’s a great hindrance to destiny.
As a servant of God, how often do you communicate with God?
24 hours! I don’t have to go to the mosque to pray nor far east, north, west to pray. Everywhere I am, my mind is with God. As I’m here with you, my spirit is talking to God. I don’t have to kneel down to pray. If I’m driving, my spirit is talking to God.
What are the elements of a good prayer? How does one know that his or her prayer is okay and answered?
When you pray according to the will of God. The effective way to pray is in the spirit. The Holy Spirit searches the mind; the things we see happening in the physical had been concluded in the spiritual realm. When you have the Holy Spirit, He would bring it to your mind to pray. You don’t pray and miss. It’s spirit to spirit. When you pray according to His will, He hears you.
Who exactly is God?
God is He who began everything Himself, but has no beginning; He Himself is a master of all creations, the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God. He is the God of glory, He’s the one that keeps and makes alive. He’s the one that says nothing is too hard for Me to do. When He lifts you, no one can bring you down; merciful yet all powerful, full of love and compassion. God is love. In Him there is no darkness at all.
What do you like most about God?
The fact that He can’t be predicted. That’s my excitement. Anything can happen at anytime. Walking with Him is exciting.
What don’t you like about God?
He doesn’t come when you want Him. He comes when He wants. There are things I want Him to do now, now… If you read the book of Psalms, David said I have been calling you, you didn’t answer. The Bible said He is a God who hides Himself. It’s not easy to deal with a man that hides himself.
Finally, and as an individual, why do you think I should attend Azusa 2021?
The Bible says seek ye first the kingdom of God…Everything is important, but God is more important. The Bible also said do not forsake the assembly of yourselves together. Also, for the purpose of revival, restoration, it’s worth it. No second in the presence of God is wasted. Azusa is not a jamboree to come and feel good, it’s a place to hear true gospel, hear the word that would touch your spirit and cry out to Him to be where you are. This is that meeting for people addicted to God’s word. Many want miracles, instant answers, but God doesn’t do that business…