Home Columnist Signs of occult churches: A review of Church Mafia (2)
Church Mafia

Signs of occult churches: A review of Church Mafia (2)

by Church Times

By Moses Oludele Idowu

This Review continues from the previous edition published two weeks ago.
Makhado made arrangements to visit Nigeria to collect this power that the prophets promised existed. From his description, it is certain that he visited first Yorubaland because the gods or demons he described show the traits of divinities in the Yoruba pantheon. He mentioned gods of iron, thunder, and lightning and from the nature of sacrifices, he made it certain he was referring to these Yoruba gods. After his initiation here they travelled further to what probably seemed like the Midwest Nigeria where he was also initiated to the Marine gods.
In all these places the priests assured him that their major clients are priests, pastors, businessmen, and politicians and he has nothing to fear. And he also paid money in each of these places. In some places, demons appear as if they were summoned by the priest or priestess.
He returned to his country in South Africa to practice what he has learned. But though he made money through all manner of manipulation and gimmicks it would ultimately land him in prison where he repented and recovered himself like the prodigal son. South Africa has a functioning government and judicial system and you can’t mess up with their law before it catches you, unlike one nation that I know where even justice can be bought.
There are many useful lessons in this book that exposes the secrets of the Occult and churches. It is that aspect of exposure I want to emphasise in this piece.
Makhado based on his experience named about 18 signs by which one can recognize an Occult church or church of secret societies. Sure they are not foolproof but they give a sufficient clue for anyone.
I will mention some of them here:

* *A False Way of Worship*

One of the signs of the Occult church according to Makhado is that they focus on false things rather than the substance which is Christ. He mentioned forensic prophecy, miracles, and “testimonies derived from the consumption of holy oils/ water and many items sold in the church.” ( p.136)
Some of our churches today and false prophets use “forensic prophecy” derived from information gathered by their ushers from first comers which are then transferred to the “prophet” before his arrival to use as prophecy. A Niger Delta prominent pastor has just been accused by his own wife of using the same thing. This also goes with “miracle money” through credit alerts on the phone which Makhado also mentioned. Johnson Suleiman, who has been accused by several women and even former members of his church is fond of propagating this heresy in his meeting.
 Then even the practice of drinking oil sold in churches was a common practice with Winners Chapel in the mid-1990s when they first began in Lagos. This is a fact and their old videos conclusively confirm this. I don’t know what it is now.  Another former Occult Grandmaster now in Christ, Nathan Iyke Uzorma spoke about the occultic nature and manipulation of the use of oil and especially drinking of oil as one of the means of occultic manipulation. Thanks to people like Pastor Tunde Bakare who raised a cry against this practice then, perhaps it would have been universal by now.

* *Fast Growth*

Another evidence mentioned by Makhado of possible evidence by which an Occult church can be identified is the fast growth and increasing rate of these churches on the landscape. A church of barely six months or 2 years controlling thousands when a revival is not going on except the Occult Revival that we see is proof that something – something sinister is driving the growth especially when there is no message behind these churches.

* *We and We Alone*

Another sign of an Occult church is that they always believed they are superior to others, that only they have breakthroughs, blessings,  and miracles and other churches are not as good as they are. Once a church or leadership feels they are the only one and no other church preaches like them, prays like them, … Know that it is an Occult church. False exceptionalism is another sign.

* *Strange Names* 

“Many churches have strange names because most Occult societies insist on a church name that is in line with what the secret society stands for, …” ( p 139)
Likewise, some “societies insist the churches use their symbols and colours in the church’s logo”.
  What do you see today when you look at the logo of some churches? How about their colours, symbols, and architecture? One particular notable church in Ota, Ogun State has been found to use similar symbols and architecture like Freemasonry. Another uses purple and black. These are symbols of deep spiritual meanings.

* *Total Control over Church Members*

Another sign of the Occult church is the total control the leaders have over their members. Chidubem too mentioned this. Once you see a church where members cannot do anything without permission from a leader or pastor or bishop; where the pastor has total control over the thoughts and lives of the members, that is an Occult church.
 If the leaders ask them to bring their wives they cannot object, or their money or their daughters. They have no minds of their own. They have become slaves to their General Overseers and can no longer think on their own. They cannot disagree because to do that you must be able to think for yourself.
  I used to wonder how some pastors and leaders sleep with married women in their churches; don’t these women have sense in accordance with their marital vows to their husbands? In point of fact, I understand from eyewitnesses that even married women and ladies fight each other to be chosen by their Occult pastors to sleep with them. That is the level of enslavement. They have been deprived of their senses, they are enslaved and slaves have no minds of their own.
They are more loyal to their pastors than to Christ and to His Word. And soon they will suffer the same judgment as their pastors.

* *Antichrist Teachings*

Another sign of the Occult church is the Antichrist Teachings propagated by their founders. They regard the words of their General Overseers or pastors as superior to the Bible and the Words of CHRIST which means they have become Antichrist. Anyone who exalts the words of a man above the Words of Christ is an Antichrist whether he calls himself pastor or bishop or Apostle or General Overseer or whatever. Once a person is initiated into this church he becomes “more loyal to the spiritual leader and even protects the leader when attacked by others…” ( p.140) Have you wondered why some would fight for their denomination and defend their General Overseers but not the Gospel or Truth or Christ? And you want Muslims to buy your gospel, they won’t because they know you worship man, not God.

* *Warning members from visiting other churches*

Another sign of the Occult church is they discourage their members from visiting or having anything to do with the other churches. They are the only ones. Only what their bishop says is the truth and is inspired by the Lord. You will never see them in the gathering of other believers or Christians except their own.

* *Easy to Join but difficult to leave* 

Jesus made it difficult for outsiders to join Him but very easy to leave. But the Occult church does the opposite.
Another sign of the Occult church is they make it difficult to leave once you become a member. Those who left without permission had to come back when the poverty was too much.  They are a cult and you cannot leave a cult freely without a fight. Bisola Johnson, former anchor person of T. B. Joshua, Synagogue Church said this much which she branded an Occult church.  Several allegations of frustrations of former members and ministers have been made against MFM, Winners, etc by former members and ministers and they are all over social media. This much is true.
Makhado says: “It is true that some even threaten their members physically and also with some spiritual attacks or curses. This practice is one of the reasons why Occult churches are always full of people who are bound.” ( p.143)

* *Use of dangerous spiritual items*

Occult rings are worn by many Christian pastors, prophets, and bishops. These rings have Occult power that gives the pastor/bishop power over the congregation and unquestionable authority. ( p.145). Through this miracles are performed by the bishops. The power of the ring is demonic and through this many are enslaved in bondage.
Hear Makhado again: ” Those who are prayed for or prophesied on in the presence of the ring, while the prophet is wearing the ring, will be affected; the demon from the ring will then multiply itself within the souls if those people who received the prophecy and are being prayed for by the hand…” ( p.146)

* *Use of White Handkerchief*

Another sign mentioned by the author of the Occult church is the use of the White Handkerchief which is “usually tied at one corner with special muti to control people’s lives spiritually.” He said again: ” The preacher will keep on wiping his face now and then to evoke those spirits. In other churches, those miracle white handkerchiefs are sold to members who are going for interviews, business, etc..”
Many Lagos churches in the 1990s were fond of these. But there was none so notorious for this practice as the Winners Chapel, then at Raji Oba Street, Iyana Ipaja. Virtually every member had a white handkerchief which they called “mantle” and which some tie at corners of their houses or shops. In point of fact, you may know a member of Winner’s with this emblem then.
Some other Lagos churches used this to some degree but not like Winners. With this Makhado insight and illumination who was not privy to this history, there is a need for a further investigation of these churches, their origins, standing, and fidelity to the true Gospel of Apostolic Christianity.

* *Miracle Water*

Makhado also mentioned that Occult churches use water because certain spirits dwell inside water and that through this they use Marine spirits. We are aware in our days of Occult pastors who contract Covenant with the Marine lady/ mammy water through sex for empowerment – all these through Covenant with water.
  We know that when God raised His servant Joseph Ayo Babalola. He gave him the sign of water to use as an Instrument of cure for all diseases. There was no selling or buying, each person came with his own water from home which they raised for Babalola to bless and mysterious things happened through them. There are still extant newspaper clippings of these miraculous events.
  It wasn’t long before Satan started his own counterfeits using also water. It began when that monstrous Occult church, the Celestial Cult of the Christless (CCC) first came to introduce what they call “miracle water, green water” etc. The downward spiritual trajectory of Nigeria since then is unmistakable.

* *Holy Oil*

This is another sign Makhado mentioned. I always asked myself why Nigerian churches especially Lagos churches always doing anointing services. Unjustified use of holy Oil in different mixtures and compositions.
In some churches, they are sold to businessmen, and career officers. Breakthrough services are usually ended with anointing services with oil. Several havocs have been done by this oil which I cannot go into.
 It is also used as a witchcraft instrument of control and domination to monitor the movement of members and even their thoughts when they are not in church. This is why leaders of Occult church can tell where their members are and where they have been. Uzorma too confirmed that through oil drinking a person’s movement and activities can be monitored.
* *Collections of photos, clothes, and personal items*
Another trick of Occult pastors and prophets through which they try to dominate is through pictures of their viThey deliberately asked for a passport photo to be submitted by intending participants during programs. They use the photo as an Instrument of control. Through pictures and photos, they can control a person’s fortune.

* *Preaching of Materialism*

Go into most Pentecostal churches today and ask what do they dwell on mostly? Riches, blessings, abundance, prosperity, success, etc. Not the Cross, Holiness, Righteousness, Sanctification, Reconciliation, etc. That is why I am afraid. Even Deeper Life Ministries has changed its emphasis if you are observant. Even the Apostolic Churches have also changed their bearing to this- worldly issues as against other- world. The Early Church preached Christ and the Cross. Read the Book of Acts. The Monks, Mystics, Franciscans, Benedictines,  Waldensians, Lollards, Quakers, Anabaptists, Reformers, Puritans, Methodists…preached the Christ and the Cross. Babalola preached that Christ and His soon coming Kingdom…
Today, what do we preach? Prosperity, success, earthly riches, victory over imaginary enemies, etc. Boy, I dey fear O.  And no generation of Christians in the whole History of CHRISTIANITY has produced more failures than us, none has seen so much poverty as this generation. We left the Source of prosperity, true prosperity to seek after shadows. There are other signs of Occult churches, but the wise will find them.
You’re blessed
© Moses Oludele Idowu
         June 18, 2022
     All Rights Reserved

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