Testimony 2: Once a Member of a Christian Cult A False Prophet before A Unique Conversion
Introduction: My Religious Background
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep him keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27.
I was born into a nominal Christian home about four decaded ago. My parents were denominationally separated as my mother remained an Anglican until she died in 1969 during the ‘Biafran' civil war, while my father was ‘Christopaganistic'. He was a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses sect but he also worshipped other gods. As a traditional man who believed in his ancestors, he often addressed ‘ Ndichie ' which means people of the former generations (ancestors). He performed rituals and had idols representing the following gods among others: Kamanu (god of Thunder), Agwu (god of Madness), Oke-Igwe (god of Iron), Ofor (power titles).
In the mid-seventies, I joined the Roman Catholic Church in Ibadan , Oyo State of Nigeria . I was so churchly and consumed with religious activities that I was able to bring my younger siblings into the Roman Catholic Church.
In the Church Parish to which I belonged, I held the following positions: first president of the Block Rosary Crusade 1975 to 1981, member of Legion of Mary, and an altar boy (mass-servant). I was one of those who served the priest during the mass or special service.
Nevertheless, pure religion , as stated above, was not exhibited in all ramifications because I put on godliness, self-righteousness and religiosity as my whole armour of God. My religion was not pure. It was defiled and spotted, contrary to James 1:27 . I had party spirit in me; I was a heavy drinker, smoker, liar with feigned characteri-stics and angelic behaviour. In fact, I deceived the priests and all the brethren. My regular confessions to the Reverend Fathers (priests) before receiving the Holy Communion sacrament or other sacraments could not stop me from performing my unrighteous acts due to the fact that I had no personal encounter with Jesus Christ. My rosary, scapular, catena and ‘Hail Mary' (praying in the name of Mary) were my last resort. The scripture clearly pictured my former condition as having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: 2 Timothy 3:5.
I joined an Aladura Church
In 1982, I joined the Aladura Cherubim and Seraphim Church (White Garment) at Ibadan . I later served as a church warden, choir member and prayerist (intercessor). They call prayerists spiritualists.
What led me to this church? I needed a job and also wanted to re-sit my West African School Certificate examination in the year 1982. These were the two problems which took me out from the Roman Catholic into C&S Church . My elder sister persuaded and motivated me to join them. Many so-called soul winners
these days present their churches or leaders as ‘problem solvers' to new converts who easily fall prey to the devil, instead of presenting Jesus Christ to them as Lord and Saviour.
Tutorials from the Leader at Ibadan
During the period I spent there, I learnt a lot from the prophet/leader of the Church who always took me out to parties, visits where we normally drank beer and enjoyed our day. On one of the special tarry nights , I was in the auditorium when the prophet sneaked out from the mission house into the vestry where his spiritualist prophetess whom everyone respected normally stayed, and he slept with the woman. They thought nobody was in the Church but I was under the ‘Cathedral' chair observing the seven days prayer with fasting which was prescribed for me, and must be carried out in the Church.
If the prophet who had three wives could still pounce on a widow ‘prophetess' I thought, there was no offence to do whatsoever one liked in the Church. Was he really a good model to me?
I learnt through him how to spend adequate time praying for the rich, while the poor are partially neglected because they have no money or material wealth. I remembered a day the prophet prayed for someone who failed to give a huge amount of money with the ‘other side of the tongue' (negative prayer). He used to force people to pledge or make a vow before he prayed for them. He put fear on them whichever way he knew that would make persons, even members, treat him like a god. He demanded for special offerings which must be in envelopes in these categories: 1 – 3 – 7 – 9 – 14 – 21 etc. You put money inside them, drop them in the offering boxes in the church. He might ask one to buy clothing materials, or do tangible things in the church and for the church, such as building, buying a vehicle and a host of other things. In most cases, one could be asked to use small denominations of money to rub one's body, renouncing all evil and place them on the money. They were told to give the money to blind beggars and cripples they find on the streets all in the name of deliverance. Special people who are wealthy were always taken to the river for bath, also in the name of deliverance. Pretty women were bathed without number. He bathed them naked at will. The use of candles, perfumes, water, red clothes, white materials, olive oil, special psalms, special hours of reciting some angelic names they called Jehovah's redemptives and some other points of contact things were most of the things I learnt in Ibadan before I left for Lagos, where I became a champion in the hands of the devil.
In the year 1985, I left the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan where I worked as a casual labourer for Lagos in search for a better job. I immediately secured a job at a shoe care centre in Ikeja, the same day I arrived in Lagos .
When I got the job in Lagos , I kept the news to myself since the prophet might not want me to leave his church to work outside Ibadan . Few days to my time of departure, I told him about the new appointment but never disclosed facts about the job, nor when exactly I was to leave for Lagos . The prophet conjured some invisible forces, and suddenly he was slain in the spirit. His countenance changed; he moved toward my direction and spoke:
My dear people in the Lord, peace be unto you and may his grace be multiplied unto you all. This message comes to the young man who wants to travel to Lagos . If you don't want them to return your corpse from Lagos to us in Ibadan , you need special prayers ( deliverance ) for three days. Buy an earthen pot, go to the river at exactly 1:00 a.m., fetch water with it and return to the church without looking back, or talking to any persons on the way. This water must stay outside the auditorium in order that dew will fall on it. You'll bath with it and on the last day (3 rd day), around 1:00 a.m. after bathing, carry the pot on your head and go to Ojoo, Iwo Road (on your way to Moniya) ‘T – junction' and smash the pot there. As you go, don't look back, and when you return to the church, don't look back too, neither talk to any person. Moreso, after this, you need to give 21 ALMS of N5.00 notes, put into twenty-one envelopes before you can succeed in Lagos . Mind you, you must come on Sundays from Lagos to worship with us …
Initially I was scared. I thought ‘A jobless man like me, where do I get N 5.00 notes in 21 places?' My friends encouraged me to embark on the ritual which I did exactly but I will never forget the last day I set off to smash the pot as instructed. I wore my long robe that night. My long hair stood erect and scattered after the bath. Immediately I smashed the pot, as I turned to return to the church bearing in mind not to talk to anybody, but unfortunately for me, I met some group of young men with sharp objects, axe and cutlass smoking cannabis (Indian hemp) tagged Igbo in Yoruba dialect. They halted me: Stop there! Where are you coming from? Release the money with you or else … Remember the instruction I should not look back, neither talk to anyone. Suddenly, a flash of idea dropped within me: Why not behave like the deaf and dumb ? It worked as I groaned, gesticulating with my hands (signing with my hands). One of them kicked me on my buttocks with his leg and said: This is a fresh mad man, allow him to go! They made use of their hands to tell me to go. I pretended as if I did not hear but the moment I was released, in less than few minutes I was in the church panting as my heart was pounding. I could not afford another sum of one hundred and five naira ( N 105.00) which was to be distributed into twenty-one envelopes.
After this incident, I took courage and left for Lagos . I found a church the day I arrived there – a place of refuge and last resort, to protect myself from the evil pronouncements of the prophet of doom.
Warm Reception at New Church
On my first day in Lagos , I paced up and down the street, in search of a similar Aladura church which would appeal to me. From afar off, I heard the drum beat with songs oozing from one street in Ishaga, Lagos which arrested me. It was during an evening programme of a church in Iju Water Works area. Although the service had gone half-way, as I approached the entrance to the church, ushers welcomed me into the congregation and the moment the woman – founder with her staff got wind that I came all the way from Ibadan to settle in Lagos, they were exceedingly excited and praised the Lord.
The founder who is the General Overseer with the full title of Rt. Rev. Mother, Primate and Prophetess that night called for the record book where all the prophecies were recorded. She read to me several places which read prophetically that someone was coming from Ibadan who would carry the burden of the very church on his shoulder. It further read that the visitor would be ahead of other ministers and everybody in the church. He is a messiah , the one they had been expecting.
Brethren, I submitted to the leadership and the entire church, and became a bonafide member of the sect. In due course, I became assistant choir-master, as well as founder and brigade commander of Omogun Igbala . This department became the most powerful arm of the ministry. I was receiving training from one Apostle at Ketu – Alapere area, and Agege, all in Lagos in order to enhance development, train and retrain members of the church. The semi-military regalia of the group was designed by me, together with ranks and flag. I taught them some brigade drills, parades, spiritual strategies on how to defend the leadership of the church, and the performance of ceremonial operations. Below is one of our group photographs.
My Initiation into Soul Travel
Some call this trance . Traditionally, the ( Aladura ) white garment believers call the phenomenon Lilo si Ori-Oke or Wiwo Inu Emi . One in trance or in the spirit would be lying down in the church with prayer, fasting, without food (and water in my own case), although some took some used to take beverages or fruits. It is a spiritual excursion (journey) whereby one's body is laid down and the spirit man leaves the body and goes into another realm, where one operates and moves about with a spirit body. The spirit leaves and enters the body lying down on earth at will. The trance duration could be a day, two, three, seven, fourteen, twenty-one days or more; the higher the number of days, the higher the power and position in the church
It was a woman called Iya Osegbe who took me along the first time. She and other people who were spiritualists were always relating their previous experiences. They always told me that while in transit, they often saw the founder in the spirit realm with Jesus who would kiss her as she sat on his laps. I thought: this woman is nothing other than a holy angel in human form . In a nutshell, during one service, I fell on the floor heavily and spoke in an unknown tongue they tagged hayah that is, rapping in the spiritual tongue as if one is singing. It lasted three days. I saw the founder in the counterfeit heaven appea-ring and disappearing. What a deception! I thought it was the real heaven. In fact, that was the genesis of my soul travelling business. Altogether, I must have been on trances or soul travel twenty-seven (27) times between 1985 and 1988.
The stories of persons who had gone on trances gave me a kind of zeal, motivation and persuasion to project my faith toward soul travel. Gradually, I started going at will, taking people there and I became registered as a spiritual tourist. In the spirit world, I had two houses – one for me as prophet, and the other as ‘Commander General' of the spiritual warriors. As the Holy Michael of our church I had wealth; riches, mansions, a black Mercedes Benz car, and servants who served me each time I lodged in the spirit world. There were other ungodly benefits I derived, such as controlling whom-soever I wanted to control.
Encounter with the Jesus of our Church
On one occasion, I had just finished a 7–day dry fast programme which graduated to a 21–day trance. I found myself with the founder of the church in the spirit realm standing before a throne with red carpet, and angels surrounding the throne. Before my encounter with the Jesus , there was a time the prophetess lured me into sexual immorality as point of contact to seal a 21–day covenant we both made with our divining rods which we kissed, and we swore not to betray each other. She made me her real husband in the spirit realm and in the physical, the second-in-command after her as founder. We built the congregation the way we wanted it, not the Christ pattern.
Members were encouraged to pick anybody as husband or wife and most of the marriages were conducted in the spirit realm consciously or unconsciously.
In the encounter with the Jesus , the prophetess who was reported to have been seen seated on her master's lap, introduced me officially to her Jesus after we had sealed up our covenant through sexual activities. She said: This is your son I promised to introduce to you some day . Here he is ! Her master replied: Good servant, well done! I will make him great. Don't worry. He will not betray you or me … . I was on my knees immediately. He laid hands on me and called one of his angels Oligah about 8 to 10 feet tall, to take me round the spirit world. In fact, it was very interesting but deceptive. Satan is full of falsehood and has counterfeited the Kingdom of God with what I saw. My journey began and Oligah showed me the following places and persons: Garden of Eden, River Jordan (which I drank from), Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Elisha, David and Solomon. We talked together and they gave me acco-mmodation. Written in front of my house was Prophet Samuel Oke and a host of armies was given to me who were on horses, with trumpets and swords in their hands. I was decorated as a super-man. I could fly and destroy thousands at a go in the realm. Each time the trumpet sounds, it indicates there is war; be at alert. I was busy fighting on behalf of our congregation which was on earth (the Spiritual Flock). I made a vow to live there, serve there and should I die, they should bury me in the church premises which comprises the children's church, cathedral, mission house and farm land. Christians who call themselves believers should be strong in the LORD and put on the whole armour of God ( Ephesians 6:10-18 ), because of my past experiences. All the people (my opponents) whom I cut as if they were grass (killed) in the spirit realm would subsequently live in the physical realm as good-for-nothing people. If your spirit man is killed at war in the realm, you are finished in the physical. You will live without purpose fulfilment in life. You are like a roaming ghost with a beautiful or handsome face. . In the spirit realm, I always held the legs of human beings together and used them as cutlass to kill my enemies.
The devil so empowered me that the water I brought from River Jordan in the spirit realm, with the salt water I collected from Bar Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos when mixed together and after reading some dangerous psalms into it and pronouncing some demonic names, were very effective for healing. I learnt how to prepare all colour of candles, incense, divining rods and use the zodiac oil or candles with their names and psalms attached to them. This special water called omi malomo or omi oloyi that is water, if sprinkled or taken would make members converted not to leave for other churches, while the latter helped to hypnotize or make the people during special service to be filled with the so-called ‘spirit' which shakes and quakes them. Moreso, I could enter into one's room spiritually before the person gets there. I could also see ladies underwear while walking on the street or road, even in a public vehicle. Anybody I prostrated to greet as in the traditional Yoruba way of reverencing elderly ones, that person would run mad immediately.
Other Deceptive Occult Practices
We were nothing but sorcerers and magicians like those in the scriptures such as those King Pharaoh consulted ( Genesis 41:24-44 ), Jannes and Jambres (two magicians) who withstood Moses and Aaron ( 2 Timothy 3:8; Exodus 7:11; 8:19; 9:11 ); the unnamed witch of Endor ( 1 Samuel 28:7-25 ) and others.
However, in those years when I saw the Jesus and a host of other beings in the spirit world, my thought was that they were all divine, but it was all deception. My encounters were with these demonic personalities who
feigned and disguised as beings from the holy of holies . So, I behaved also like these beings through my operations in the church.
Deception, each time we go on trance (soul travel), members who were subject to us and the leadership, believed we were with Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Had we really seen Christ? Were we really with Him and had encounters with Him? It was nothing but falsehood.
What were other deceptions? We strongly believed that nobody must wear shoes into the church and without your white garment ( soutane ), you are yet to become a full–fledged member of the ministry. Also, the use of incense, candles of various colours and sizes were held in the highest esteem as well as the use of water or taking people with problems to rivers for special bath. Soap with perfumes and zodiac oil were recommended to members or persons who called at our secretariat for special counselling and prayer. Moreover, we normally saw vision for people to put money of various denominations into envelopes for alms, and in order to quicken the answers to their prayers.
‘Holy names' such as Eloi-Eloi Jirah-Jah and a host of others were called occasionally to affect peoples' lives. I had more than two hundred demonic names I used for healing, deliverance or miracles. Each of these names represents a ministering spirit we tagged malaika that is, angels in charge of the various departments.
I had a spiritual store close to the church which was jointly established by two of us: myself and the founder (the General Overseer). In this particular store were displayed the following items: rods for divination of various lengths and sizes, image candles (Adam and Eve), ordinary candle of various colours (e.g. black, red, green, blue, yellow, white), needles, special soaps prepared by me, special perfumes, olive oil, sash (loins), white garments with caps for leaders, special water (salt water), crucifixes, rosary, incense, incense pot, candle stand, special literature books for special prayers, special sponge, angelic or Jesus posters, etc.
I practised spiritism and mysticism along with church activities ignorantly as some leaders do today, believing they are serving God. I was very religious and possessed by the spirit that hardly could we recognize other leaders with their members from other churches that were not white garment churches. I recognized all white garment worshippers more than the so-called born agains of those years because of the power we were carrying. Healings, miracles, deliverance, signs and wonders were in opera-tion. All these made it difficult to convert the Aladura .
This was one of the greatest weapons of evangelism given to me by the devil after one of my soul travel experiences of about fourteen to twenty one days without food, water and eyes closed throughout the period. The day I returned from the spiritual journey, I became insane for months and I could no longer speak my dialect ( Igbo ), neither Yoruba nor English. However, after series of special prayers which lasted some weeks, I resumed, but speaking
only American slang as if I was born in the US or resident there for twenty years. My biological father, in-laws, and my siblings are very much alive as witnesses to the above fact. The American slang deceived many and attracted crowds into the congregation. I became a small god who everybody feared.
The soul travel business lured me into many fake things which were cultic and deceptive. I saw a fake heaven, fake angels and a fake Jesus. I was deceived by these pictures which formerly I thought were glorious. However my encounter with the devil generated further havoc which nearly claimed my life.
The first marriage was conducted in the spirit world with the woman General Overseer who claimed Jesus used to carry her on his laps each time she travelled (spiritually). She lured me into travelling with her both physically and spiritually. She initiated me into an ungodly activity which was a marriage covenant that was sealed with kissing and sexual intercourse. Our divining rods were symbols for the covenant. She vowed that the day this secret was exposed, I was going to die. The relationship continued for some time. She was about fifty something years then, while I was between twenty-five and twenty-six years yet, she added that I was her spiritual husband, while her earthly husband was just a figure-head in the physical world. I ruled and reigned over the family with my power. The woman made her husband and children to submit themselves to my unseen powers. Not only her family, all the church members and leaders were in my control as she promoted me physically and spiritually. I became arrogant, swollen-headed and uncontrollable. The entire congregation gave me the title Holy Michael, Commander or Ajagun (warrior).
In the covenant, she did not want any lady to come close to me to the extent that she promised to choose a wife for me anytime I would like to settle in life as a married man. This was the genesis of what I call Dark Marriages . Nike, Mary and Idowu were recommended to me by the woman leader. Christian leaders, be careful; do not scatter your congregation with marriage or recommending spouses to your members.
This is my story. Nike was about completing her secondary education, and was a member of Christ Apostolic Church (C A C) in Lagos , before she started coming to our church. One day, my General Overseer called me and said: The LORD revealed to me that Nike is your wife … take a step of faith and claim her. Love at first sight! I started developing interest. One day, I invoked the soul travel spirit upon her, and she fell to the floor. There she was on the floor for three days without food or water! Her people were informed and could not react because we had settled the matter in the spirit realm. The day the young girl went on trance (soul travel), I joined her there at will and both of us wedded there. The General Overseer too came to the spirit world to join us together as husband and wife. The ceremony was very interesting. When both of us finally returned to the
physical world, now in the church vestry, the leader gathered together officers of the inner circle who prayed for both of us as ‘newly wedded couple' from the realm. After a few months, the lady's parents heard a rumour about the marriage, waged war and removed their daughter from the church. She was delivered from our hand by the new church she later joined at Lagos .
Second was Mary; she hailed from Ghana and there was a prophecy again from the woman leader who said… your wife will come; she's tall, dark in completion and the day she will come to the church hall, only three people will be present … Remember, the angels of darkness do appear like angels of light. That somebody sees visions or prophesied and it came to pass does not make the person a godly minister. This very revelation came to pass. We were there one Tuesday evening in the Church. I saw her, spoke to her and we took off with the relationship on Friday before the Night Vigil. She agreed with me and was coming on weekends. I brought her to Ibadan from Lagos to show members of my family and to consider whether she would be good for wife. They approved the relationship which later hit the rock the day we were at a river to wash clothes in the outskirts of Lagos (near Ogun State ).
That fateful day, Mary and I were at the river one cool afternoon and after washing our clothes, she decided to have a bath. I challenged her not to do so because people in the neighbourhood might visit the stream and see her nakedness. But she said, … don't you know that I am in my mother's house? … nobody will come until I must have finished bathing … you and your mummy are prophets. You see visions! That's right but you only saw one side of my life …' Behold, I pretended as if I was not afraid; she sat on a tree in the water and bathed. Her skin was totally transformed, shining and threatening.
Before this event, she had already taken me to a place I could not recognize where everybody was bowing before her as queen. The people there were hostile to me in their appearance, and she introduced me to them as king. I was supposed to have shown the security men my I D card before entering into the places her staff took me round. When we both returned from the river, I told the woman leader my experience and decided not to go further into the relationship. I told the lady not to come to my house again but to meet me only in Church. One day, as she was coming, I quickly ran into the spirit and stayed there on the floor for three days. I spent the three days in the realm to spoil the covenant. I told her off, while she wept and leaders of the sect consoled her; they saw her off to the bus stop. After this encounter, War ! She often appeared on the altar and would sit on my chair. All my flowing robes were condemned because she afflicted me for breaking the relationship.
How I got my power
Every power which does not come through Jesus Christ of Nazareth is fake, faulty, faithless and powerless. Why I use the word faithless is because when genuine faith finishes, you resort to fate and one is tempted to acquire powers from unreliable sources which become the resources one uses in pursuance of physical or spiritual realities.
The following ways were sources of my power:
Through the woman-founder who initiated me by kissing, anointing oil, water, sex and invocation. Also, gifts she gave me such as money, clothes, and food were good points of contact things to enforce the covenant and curses.
Through the ordination conducted in the spirit world by the Jesus to whom the founder introduced me.
Through my meetings with the fake Moses, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha and drinking from the fake River Jordan .
Through the 27 trances (soul travels) I made between 1985 and 1988 as a type of retreat for empowerment, and spiritual reactivation which would help me retain my titles Holy Michael, Ajagun. Commander, Prophet and stand in the church; moreso, as head or leader in charge of the 21 new branches nation-wide proposed by the founder.
Through the mixture of rain water, sea water from the Bar Beach (salt water), coconut water, well water and morning dew from the sky. Special psalms are read into them with special demonic names. I had more than two hundred names I formerly used for miracles or healing.
Through a physical means by going to mountain tops at Ibadan , spiritual houses and impartation from other men Satan uses, but who pretend to be men of God.
References on the C&S Church
Fabiyi, E.A. 1998. Can the Seraphs Ever Unite? in Seal of Life, Vol. 1, No 1. pp 90-94. Lagos . Nigeria
Famodimu, E. O. 1990. Moses Orimolade Tunolase, Supreme Founder Cherubim and Seraphim Worldwide , Nigeria .
Freeman, Hobart E. 1974. Every Wind of Doctrine . Faith Ministries Publications. Warsaw , Indiana USA .
Omoyajowo, Akin 1975. The Cherubim and Seraphim Church in relation to Church, Society and State. A Golden Jubilee Publication 1925 – 1975
Omoyajowo, J. A. 1982. Cherubim and Seraphim. The History of an African Independent Church . Nok Publishers International Ltd. New York , USA .
Peel, J. D. Y. 1968. Aladura: A Religious Movement Among the Yoruba . Oxford University Press, London
Prince, Derek 1998. They shall Expel Demons . Matthew Christian Publications, Lagos , Nigeria .
(Articles on the Cherubim and Seraphim Church published on the Internet are sources of additional information).