Exclusive with A/V/S/E John Maforikan
Testimony: I was dead. God revived me with the simple guidance of the Holy Spirit.
CW: We all know that CCC was founded by the power of the blood of Jesus, and because of these miracles do happen in the church. But not many people have had an experience quite as you have. Can you tell us the remarkable story around your birth?
JM: Halleluiah! Halleluiah!! Halleluiah!!! First of all, I need to thank God Almighty for His kindness, and for making me a product of Celestial Church of Christ (CCC). I was born in CCC in 1959 and the miracle surrounding my birth is phenomenal.
I sat my dad [Reverend P. S. Maforikan of blessed memory] and my mum down and we spoke. My dad first told me what happened the day I was born, and then later my mum also told me.
One day, my mum had issues with her stomach but she didn’t know what was going on. And on this particular afternoon, she suddenly felt like she needed to go to the toilet. In Port Novo there weren’t any toilets at that time, they had to go into the bush. When she got there, she found that something fell out of her body. She said that what fell out of her looked like a rat and she got scared. Straight away she went and told my dad. So, my dad came, and he said “Oh! This is dangerous. What is this? It’s quite strange. An animal?”They now dug a hole and put that thing which looked like a rat inside the hole and buried it. After they did that, they both went to church because it was within the church compound in Port Novo.
When they got to the church surroundings, there was one particular blind man lying down in the church – sleeping. But The Spirit woke him up. Then this man that was blind beckoned on my dad and my mum. He said “Come, come, come. Come over come over! The Spirit of God says that what you just did now, you have to go back and bring that thing that you buried.” So, my mum and my dad wondered how this man knew what they did in the bush. He now went on to say “What you just buried is a human being, and he is a man that I’m going to use. Go and bring him!”My dad and my mum went straight to where they buried me and other people followed them wondering what they did in the bush. So, they dug the hole and brought me out. And immediately – according to the story told to me by my parents – I started moving. Something was wrapped around me, so they took it off and I was able to cry. They said “Oh! What is this? Can it be a human being?”
They took me and wrapped me in a cloth, then they brought me into the church. This blind man said they should use holy oil to wipe my body. They used holy oil mainly to bring me back to life. Lo and behold – what really happened to me when I became a child that could differentiate between good and bad is that I could not see with one of my eyes. What happened is there was a kind of milkfish substance that always came out of my eye. And that particular eye cannot see until today. As I’m talking to you now, I can only see with one eye. But with that one eye that remains, I can see everything, anything.
Back then, they used to give me cotton wool to take that substance away from my eyes. My dad and my mum told me when I was born, both eyes were closed. That membrane covered both eyes. So, The Spirit now said they should use a blade to cut it. They cut that skin off, and it was then I was able to see properly – it took them three years before I could start seeing. Before then, I was in darkness.
CW: Just to clarify sir, for the first three years of your life you couldn’t see at all?
JM: I couldn’t see at all. I was in total darkness! So, when that came off my eyes, it was by the administration of the holy oil on my two eyes I was able to see – and one eye was completely damaged. Since then, I only have one [functioning] eye, until today.
I went to all the doctors back home in Port Novo. They said some people came from Germany – they were opticians – I went there, they could not treat me. I went to Togo where I studied for my Masters in Business Administration. I went to our doctors over there as well. They looked at it and said that the connection of the eye with my brain, that particular link was completely damaged – that’s why I could not see. I came to this country as well, the same thing. I went to several clinical surgeries.
Basically, what I want to deduce from this is that being a product of Celestial, the miracle surrounding my birth is one of somebody being dead! Dead, and how God revived me with the simple guidance of The Holy Spirit and the administration of the holy oil on my eyes. And today, I thank God that I am alive!
CW: Wow! That is a very powerful testimony, sir. It goes without saying, you must have been used to seeing great exploits in the church. Surely, back then it was normal for you? Your father, Reverend P. S. Maforikan, was a very close aide to Papa Oshoffa. And like the founder of the church, your father also did many exploits.
JM: Honestly, I really really witnessed so many miracles performed in CCC.
First, miracles performed by the Pastor-Founder, SBJ Oshoffa. I witnessed miracles then, and I will tell you at the age of 10, my dad took me and said: “John we are going to follow Pastor on a journey”. Then also, my junior sister Esther followed us but my mum did not go with us. So, we followed Pastor – I, my sister, my dad, and Pastor’s wife, Pastor’s children. So, we always went in a convoy. That is what we call a revival, from village to village!
I was in that convoy at that particular time, and next to the Pastor my dad is always there. So, they got to a V-shaped road and they didn’t know which way to go – either left or right. Pastor called upon my dad and said: “Oya Paul, go into spirit and tell us where to take”. Immediately, my dad went into spirit and showed us the direction.
CW: Hmmm, original satnav!
JM: Yes. All the convoy now followed the right direction that my dad said. I was just a small boy then – 10 years old. Everyone followed, and they were drumming and playing music to chase away the sorcerers [the witches and wizards]. We would be singing CCC hymn 266 “Egbe ni fun esu ati fun ise owo re, egbe ni fun esu ati fun ise owo re, Baba ti gegun fun, Omo ti gegun fun…”[translation: Woes be unto Satan and to all his handyworks, woes be unto Satan and to all his handyworks, he’s been cursed by Father, he’s been cursed by Son…].
So, we were going to that village and we got to a place where there was a massive Iroko tree. They said that’s where the witches and wizards held their meetings. Ah ah! I witnessed how the Pastor-Founder prayed and what surprised me is that we all saw how a light – we don’t know where it came from – but it started burning that big Iroko tree from the top! Not from the bottom where we were, not the base of the tree. But it started from the top and this tree continued burning for days.
When we left the place, the villagers brought one girl to us that they said was about to die. What happened to her is that she was going to the market with fish on her head [in a basket] that she couldn’t sell to make money. Then a bird flew straight to that girl and took one of the fishes – and that’s how the girl fainted. They brought her to us. The Pastor now laid his hand on this girl and he brought her back to life. That girl, with her parents, now followed us for the revival that the Pastor was doing from one village to the other.
Also, my dad. So many miracles! May God bless my dad. The man was a man that I personally love so much. Looking at the miracles that dad did; there was one pregnant woman who came to our church in Ibadan. She could not deliver and dad prayed for her. She then said she’s going to the toilet. When she went to the toilet, do you know what she delivered? She delivered a bird… She delivered a bird! She came out and cried saying “Ye! Look at this, ah! I delivered a bird!”. Then my dad went; immediately my dad took the bird, held it in his hand, and many people took pictures of it. Even radio of Ibadan came at that time to take pictures and did interviews. The bird was alive. This is part of the miracles my dad did that I witnessed.
Okay – other things I would like to tell you. My dad went on a journey and when he was coming back, they told us “There’s a roadblock, the thieves are operating over there!”. “Thieves are operating?”my dad asked. Every driver parked their car on the roadside, and my dad said to the driver “move, move, move – don’t worry – move, move, move”. And daddy got to the thieves. What surprised me is daddy was saying something with his mouth and he went to the thieves and touched their guns. And these thieves ran away. We went on our way, and immediately other cars started following us. They said “Oh, thank you, daddy, thank you, daddy. You saved us. Those people were about to kill us!”That is what I witnessed.
One that happened; that my junior brother told me and daddy recalled it back to us when he came here to my parish [CCC Covenant of God Parish, London] about five years ago. He went to [a parish in] Abuja. There were some people that had already organized some Hausa people with their swords to kill anybody that enters that place. Some people say that my daddy cannot enter a parish because he doesn’t belong to [Reverend EMF] Oshoffa – but he went there. All the entourage of daddy, they fled when they saw the swords of those Hausa people. My daddy went to the church and said “Oya, kill me! Kill me! Kill me!” And these people were wearing sutana, having swords in their hands. Do you know what happened? They all left their swords and ran away. That is what daddy told us.
My daddy was fond of curing those that were mentally ill. There’s one particular man that I, John, witnessed. A man called Jimoh. Jimoh came to the church through one of his family members. When daddy came back from his journey, we told him that they brought this mentally ill man and his family are here. Daddy said “Okay, bring him”, and they brought him. Daddy interviewed him and the man was just inaccurate in all his wordings, so daddy knew that this man needed serious attention. You know, I won’t lie to you. Daddy started praying for this particular man [JM pauses momentarily then laughs] … I cannot tell you how it happened, but this man that was mentally ill – a man that would be chasing people around the compound – let me tell you that today, as I’m talking to you now, this man that was werey [mentally unstable], now is a shepherd-in-charge in a church. Because from there he became my daddy’s son. Then he started recording messages for daddy. He can write Yoruba very well and he became the treasurer of my dad. He eventually bought land and built a church. Now today, he’s a shepherd-in-charge. When my dad was buried in 2016, he came to pay his last respects to my dad.
So, he [Reverend P. S. Maforikan] was fond of curing those who were mentally ill. He bought land and built rooms at the back of our church in Ibadan. That’s where he put them. Praying for them and curing them. Many of them.
CW: Many people doubt that great exploits can still happen in CCC today. They seem to suggest that since the patriarchs of the church [e.g. S.B.J. Oshoffa, P.S. Maforikan, etc] have passed on, the power went with them. What do you think about this, sir?
JM: My answer to this question is no, the power still exists! I know this because it is working miracles in my parish, Covenant of God Parish. Hear me very well – every week, every month, every year there’s a lot of testimonies in our church. Yes. I will tell you categorically that miracles are happening. Though, it is quiet now and it’s not like it was before, but the power still exists. It’s for us to know how to tap into that power to get that miracle.
Your righteousness before God matters. So does the way you communicate with God. The closer you are to God; the more miracles happen. Some people think if you use coconut and eggs [natural items with spiritual symbolism] that will make the miracles happen, but what reallyhappens is that you or the shepherd-in-charge encounter God because of your closeness to Him, and He speaks to us.
Everything that happens in Covenant of God parish is through the direction of God. He’ll tell me “John, use one candle”.Do this. “John, write this, this, this and put three candles, pray on it.”Or, “…give this person one half-burnt candle of Wednesday”.Miracles that are happening in this church.
Miracles are still happening in this church. I want Celestial Weekly to please interview one of my members. They’ll tell you what God has been doing. I have a member whose permeant stay was revoked, but through prayers, they received it back. Those that were looking for houses, God gave them. An evangelist’s wife that was barren, through prayer received a child. That child is now 10 years old today. It’s all God’s doing. I told you earlier, your righteousness matters and not using other [fetish] things with what Papa Oshoffa gave to us or laid down for us. I’m not going to use anything that is different from what my daddy taught me. That’s why I said to you I am a good product of Celestial because the only thing that Celestial uses, that is what I use. No strange powers or strange things that can’t help.
CW: Thank you, sir, that is all very encouraging to hear. So, in closing, what would you like to say to anybody that may have lost hope in CCC?
JM: Halleluiah! Halleluiah!! Halleluiah!!! Let me tell you, Celestial is still a powerful church. In CCC, we have a lot of things that we need to hope for. Those that have lost hope, I pray the Jehovah, Lord, will touch their hearts. Why they’ve lost hope, that’s the problem that we now need to solve. They’ve lost hope because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time – or they went to the wrong church. I’m sorry to say that. Or, they had an encounter with the wrong [type of] shepherd. The shepherd one way or another duped them and used other things that are notCelestial. And, it failed them.
I want to give you an example; Someone that went to a Celestial Church for the first time and had an encounter with a shepherd, a leader or a high personality in the church. And, instead of using the right thing for this particular person, they now say until when a prophet, leader or someone sleeps with you before your prayer is answered. This person will definitely lose hope in the church.
Another example; sorry to say this – but some people are very gullible. These people then have an encounter with a shepherd and one way or another they’ll use a one way to tell them that until you give a certain amount is when your prayer will be answered – that’s when you’ll have a settled marital home, your children will be successful, your husband will listen to you, your job will be secured. Or, they’ll say bring your car to church for sanctification – then it’s the shepherd-in-charge that will be using the car. What kind of church is that? These are evil practices, and somebody in that situation will definitely lose hope. Sorry to say this – you yourself will lose hope.
Now for those that have left CCC – or that have lost hope – I will tell them; please, please, please. You need your own direct contact with God. Celestial is still powerful. Let them come back because the calling matters. At the end of their journey on earth, what would happen?
I pray that every way we have gone astray from our calling, God will bring us back to our source. And all our destinies in this church, in Jesus name will be fulfilled. And in this church that I, I am; I am still here, I was born here, and I will still be here – in Jesus name I will not lose my focus. For those that have lost hope, God will find them. God will touch them. God will bring them back to where they belong to so that they can enjoy the benefit of Celestial. So, at the end of our journey, every one of us will have the crown of life and they will say to us welcome back my beloved son, my beloved daughter. That is my prayer for all of them.
May God bless Celestial Weekly.
Glory be to God
J.M ‘s life story he recalled in this interview is totaly true. His father late Elder P SM like his mother were all prophets and indeed the father who joined CCC since 1949; He was our sutana sowyer. We nicKnamed his mother “djanno” meanning “mother of Jean or John and he was well known at that time at the Suprem Headquarter of CCC in Porto-Novo because he John’s eyes problem.
He John might have forgotten maybe, about me but me no. We were the ones to nickname his late father “chapter tri” another story concernning those who you used to come by then to the annual pilgrinage at Sèmè beach.
Indeed Jean or John was one of the terrible wonders CCC God did in our life. I can tell more. If he John can remember papa YANSUNNU nicknamed “papa Côte d’Ivoire”” God bless His Holy Chruch
Elder LEVI M YANSUNNU one of the sons of late Nathaniel A. YASUNNU first historical Senior-Evangelist in CCC