Matthew 24:24: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
One of the leading lights in the Ugandan prosperity gospel movement, an ‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega (a man) was in Northern Ireland this week.
He dropped in to Fintona, of all places, and performed, for that is what it was, for two nights at the Ecclesville Centre on Monday and Tuesday, 2-3 July.
‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega has shot to prominence this past couple of years, having previously been employed in a bank in his homeland.
Targeting primarily young people, as most of the practitioners of the charismatic movement tend to do (such as the Vineyard Church, Emmanuel Church and Rev John Dickinson’s Carnmoney Presbyterian Church), ‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega has made a name for himself in the universities of Uganda.
On a website called ‘Campus Eye’, there is a gushing report on ‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega, whose ministry is called Phaneroo (meaning “making manifest”).
It tells us that ‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega claims he felt God calling him to “begin a fellowship targeting young people and answer the questions that Jesus left unanswered”.
What a blasphemous statement for him to make, as well as profoundly arrogant to claim he’s there to fill in the gaps Jesus accidentally left at His ascension.
This is a claim of some new revelation, but the Bible clearly tells us we have a full revelation within the Scriptures, God’s inspired, inerrant Word.
Revelation 22:18 says: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book”.
If there is anything we do not know, it is because Jesus has decided, in His all-knowing power, to keep it from us. He wasn’t waiting 2,000 years for ‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega to come along and fill in the blanks.
When the true Apostles asked Jesus just before His ascension when He would return, Christ told them they weren’t to know the time or date.
Acts 1:6-7 says: “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”
‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega, as already stated, is a prosperity preacher.
The article we have previously referred to unwittingly reveals this.
It says: “In his latest Mercedes-Benz, ‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega makes no apologies for this. He says God has called everyone to be rich and have a taste of heaven on earth. He proclaims that he can never die of disease neither accident.”
Uganda is not a country noted for its wealth, yet ‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega swans around in a fancy car telling his followers they are going to be rich too, if they just keep following him because, after all, he is the man of God, isn’t he?
It is a rather enticing prospect in a country which has suffered economically for decades, particularly to the young, who understandably would want to have a more prosperous life than their parents did, to have a man telling you that by listening to his notions, cloaked by religion, you will be wealthy.
The Bible does not promise wealth to followers of Christ.
Proverbs 23:4 tells us to: “Labour not to be rich”.
Hebrews 13:5: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
God should be enough for us. If God chooses to bless us with great wealth, as he did with Solomon, then very well, but it ought not to be our primary target.
And what did Solomon conclude of this wealth? We are told in Ecclesiastes 5:10,15: “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.”
‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega is encouraging his young followers to chase after that which does not profit.
The true Christian has a far greater reward awaiting them in heaven.
1 Peter 1:3-4: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you”.
The goods of this world lose their value, they fade away, they age, rot and decay, but not so on the golden streets of heaven where there are riches unimaginable and eternal.
Back to this ‘Campus Eye’ article, which says that “whatever Phaneroo is doing, it ought to keep doing it”.
The title of this article is: “Apostle Grace Lubega: The Phaneroo Man Leading Ugandan Campus Babes To God”.
It certainly is an unusual title, and why “Campus Babes” are being prioritised over all others is somewhat confusing.
The article says the “Phaneroo Fellowship is a revolution taking over the whole of Uganda, but especially the Ugandan campus girls.
“Every Thursday, the most beautiful girls around Ugandan campuses are seen strolling towards the MTN Arena in Lugogo for the Phaneroo Fellowship.”
Why should it be particularly desirable that young, attractive women should follow ‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega? What’s wrong with the “least beautiful” girls, if they are highlighting the “most beautiful” girls, though surely this is a subjective matter.
What’s wrong with the young men at university, at all levels of aesthetic appeal to those of the opposite gender?
The Bible doesn’t say that personal beauty is an end in itself.
1 Timothy 2:9-10: “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”
A Christian woman should be more focused on good works than good looks, and certainly not looking to be described as a “babe”.
This just serves to highlight the superficiality of the craze surrounding ‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega.
And what does his website say of him?
This is an extract of his own testimony. It says: “His message is the very substance of what he has experienced and of the places that he has walked in and by the spirit. He teaches divine healing and demonstrates divine healing; he teaches divine providence and demonstrates divine providence; he teaches supernatural expansion and growth of ministry and demonstrated how a ministry supernaturally grows and expands; he teaches the supernatural walk of the Christian. He is the message that he teaches.”
It really is a load of nonsense and doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.
Surely his message should be of the saving power of Jesus Christ. It should be of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It should be about what Christ has done, not “the very substance of what he has experienced”.
As for his ‘healing’, he claims that: “Tumours have disappeared, broken bones restored and deaf ears opened.”
Of course, there is no evidence offered of these cures, and his claim to be able to offer healing comes without Scriptural warrant.
Illness is a part of life, for the Christian and for those who are unsaved.
Quite often God uses this as a way of drawing us closer to him.
Hebrews 12:5-11 says: “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
God doesn’t promise healing from illness. Illness is a symptom of sin, brought about by the fall of man. Indeed, Paul didn’t receive healing from God, despite earnestly praying for it.
2 Corinthians 12:7-9: “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
God’s glory can be shown through our infirmities.
We understand there were several hundred in attendance in Fintona each night earlier this week and Fintona Presbyterian Church foolishly helped advertise it on its facebook page.
If you were in attendance at this event, please bear in mind the absolute absence of Scriptural warrant for ‘Apostle’ Grace Lubega’s ministry and reject his shameful prosperity gospel.
And if you know anyone who was in attendance or is perhaps an admirer of this character, please share this with them to warn them of the deceit he is propagating.
Rather than looking to a man full of his own notions, look to God and the Bible for a sure word as to how we are to worship Him.