Was He Truly Imperishable?



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Image Source: Wikimedia Commons


“Our superiors don’t die. They are laid in that room to take a moment of meditation”

Dr Bijumiro-jumiro

I had never heard about him and his spiritual foundation – the Serulanda Spiritual Foundation until one of the media houses in Uganda broke the news of his death. In an article titled: Body of Serulanda Spiritual Foundation leader to be kept in a glass coffin, the secretary general of the spiritual movement confirmed his death saying; “We shall not give him the usual burial. His body will be embalmed and the process has started. The body will be put in a glass coffin which will be taken to our mausoleum where embalmed bodies are kept to rest” Dr Bijumiro-jumiro.

 Joseph Mugonza, the founder and ‘god’ of the Serulanda Spiritual Foundation (with about a thousand registered followers) claimed immortality. The spiritual leader who has reached the title of His Imperishable Glory (HIG) as his followers and or group refer to him is no more, he is dead. The claim of immortality couldn’t even be dislodged from this group after the demise of their leader—His Imperishable Glory. The group’s secretary general is being quoted by a local newspaper – the Daily Monitor saying:

“Our superiors don’t die. They are laid in that room to take a moment of meditation”—Dr Bijumiro-jumiro.

Although His Imperishable Glory Joseph Mugonza didn’t claim to be the messiah, his claim of immortality doesn’t make him any different from several other messiah claimants[1]. One of whom was Arnold Potter[2] (1804-1872), the founder of a schismatic sect in the Later Day Saint Movement. Arnold who claimed to be the Messiah and coined him the title or name “Potter Christ—The Living God—Morning Star” died on his attempted ascension to heaven before his followers as he fell from the cliff of a mountain on April 2, 1872. He was buried by his followers and never resurrected since then.

Now that His Imperishable Glory Joseph Mugonza of the Serulanda Spiritual Foundation has died early last week, I have found myself wondering; What happens when the ‘imperishable’ has died? Is it worth still referring to him as His Imperishable Glory? Hasn’t his Glory faded away?

Joseph Mugonza can but not make any claim that challenges the word of God which clearly describes mankind as mortals—perishables. Death was divinely decreed by God after the Fall of Man. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17 KJV2000).

The psalmists knew about the mortality of mankind, inspired by the Spirit of God, in the psalms they have written volumes about the mortality of man. One wrote:

“You carry them [mankind] away as with a flood; they are like a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which grows up. In the morning it flourishes, and grows up; in the evening it is cut down, and withers” (Psalm 90:5-6 KJV2000). And, another;

“As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone; and the place there shall know it no more” (Psalm 103:15-16 KJV2000).

One of the psalmists asked; “What man is he that lives, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?” (Psalm 89:48 KJV2000). Surely in his claim, Joseph Mugonza has failed to deliver his soul from the hand of the grave, he is fallen, he is dead, he is no more, he is a corpse. My condolence and prayers for his family, relatives, friends and followers.

Even the Son of God, Jesus Christ having come into this world in the form of flesh which is mortal succumb to this law of nature—he died in the flesh. However, unlike Mugonza, Arnold and many others, Jesus Christ was true to his claim of rising from the dead. He died, he was buried and he rose from the dead. As a man, he died in the flesh because all flesh born of a woman is but of few days, there is a time a man is born and, there is another when he dies.

There are only few individuals recorded in the scripture who didn’t die; “Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Genesis 5:24). And, prophet “Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind” until “Elisha saw him no more” (2 Kings 2:11-12). These were but only taken away by God but not because of their claim of immortality. The rest of us will have to die save those who will witness the second coming of the Lord Jesus while still alive.

Don’t therefore be deceived by any claim of immortality. God alone is immortal; all mankind is but flesh.

We’ll die and might rest in the grave for several years. But a time is coming when all of us will rise from our graves; the righteous to eternity with God, and the unrighteous in the eternal hell (John 5:28-29).

The claim of immortality by His Imperishable Glory (HIG) Joseph Mugonza is but only a vain claim. Instead of claiming immortality, we should acknowledge our sinfulness and seek to be justified through Christ Jesus, who alone died to give us abundant life. We should be able to draw to God, learn from him and live in his ways. Like one of the psalmist wrote; we should be able to pray: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 KJV2000). Rev. J

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[1] Further reading on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_claimed_to_be_Jesus

[2] A basic information about Arnold can be accessed from Wikipedia from here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Potter

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture Quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV) 2011.

Rev. Julius Izza Tabi is the founding Director of this online New Dawn Ministries. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues from the Norwegian School of Theology. Julius also is a pastor in the Anglican Diocese of Ma’di and West Nile of the Church of Uganda who believes that God’s timeless truth of salvation must be preached to all Nations. Help Donate here to support the New Dawn Ministries. You can also support this ministry by purchasing Julius’ popular books Triumphing Over Odds and Suffering and Pain? from Amazon. Thank you.

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