THE MAN S.B.J. OSCHOFFA OF CELESTIAL CHURCH OF CHRIST
Rev. Pastor Prophet and Founder SAMUEL BILEWU JOSEPH OSCHAFFA – SBJ Oschoffa – (fondly referred to as Papa was born on May 18th 1909 in Porto Novo in the Republic of Benin of fully Nigerian Parentage (in order words his father Joseph Oschoffa was the son of Pa Ojo and Ma Koshina both from Abeokuta in Ogun State of Nigeria. Papa’s own mother, Alake Iyabo hails from Imeko in Imeko/Afon Local Government area of Ogun State of Nigeria.
His birth was a commemorated one, being that his father like the biblical Hannah (1 Sam. 9:11) asked the Almighty God for him and made a vow to dedicate him to the services of God. This was because, though Pa Joseph married many wives, he had children all females by them and no male to be his heir, incidentally all the children except one died. He needed a male child to carry on the family name, since he never wanted the lineage of Oschoffa to be wiped out in the land where they sojourned. The answer to that prayer came in the birth of little Samuel Bilewu (meaning Bileayebawu Kogbe, sugbon mo mo wipe mo ti toro re lodo Olorun) which in English translation means (if you prefer to live in this world, then you are welcome but if you prefer to live above in heaven, then you are equally welcome, but l know l specially requested for you from God).
In fulfillment of the vow, Pa Joseph sent young SBJ Oschoffa at age of thirteen to the Methodist Church to work with the then Bishop, along side some other children of the Methodist faith. The children at a time revolted against the instructions of the bishop and they were all sent back to their parents. Despite Pa Joseph’s entreaties to return young SBJ back to the mission failed, as the Bishop refused to allow them. This annoyed him and as a sort of punishment he decided that SBJ should learn the carpentry trade which was his own profession. This marks the first deviation from the divine plans of SBJ. This also led to his having any formal Western type of education.
SBJ became a proficient Carpenter, was very good in his new found trade, turning ebony wood into fine wood work. He continued with this work until his father Pa Joseph died on June 15, 1939. By the death of his father, he had to bear added burden, by taking up the responsibility of caring for the whole family. He needed a more prosperous trade to be able to cope with the financial responsibilities. This led him to trade in Ebony wood. He became a logger and sold this at very high premium. He called it a very lucrative trade. He was a Christian all these while, so he knew how to pray and he read the Bible daily, but a great thing that was to later change the course of things in his life happened in one of his trip.
On the 3rd of May, 1947 few months after his venturing into Ebony logging trade, Papa SBJ Oschaffa was in the forest in search of Ebony; it was time as usual for prayers and he shut his eyes to pray and behold he heard a voice which said to him ‘LULI, the voice also said that LULI means the GRACE of JESUS CHRIST. He opened his eyes and behold before him stood these stationery animals.
(a) A white monkey with two teeth each top and bottom, with winged hands and feet like those of a bat – when it wants to fly, it flaps its wings forward.
(b) A coloured bird with yellow feet, yellow beak and long tail which sometimes fans out its fail like a Peacock.
(c) A short snake about a foot long which was coiled with its mouth puffed like a Cobra.
All these animals represented some of the hurdles the church will face in the Future.
After a while, the animals left the scene. Papa at this time after the voice felt a change in his entire body and was transformed, that he was not frightened by the present of animals should be.
Papa had gone to the forest as usual to purchase Ebony on this very memorable day of May 27, 1947 because apart from the fact that there was an Eclipse of the sum on that day, it was the day that Papa heard the voice calling LULI meaning the Grace of Jesus Christ. The transformation of that day, started manifesting in.
The Boldness was seen, when Papa had to toy with the snake without any fear and despite that, the snake puffed itself up signifying a sign to attack its prey, he was not afraid, because as a believer he has been given the power (Mark 16:17-18).
Power manifested when he laid his hands on the peddler of the canoe whom fell ill after stealing his food, healing him instantly. Faith manifested when, without a peddler and with no fore knowledge of paddling a canoe, he was able to find his way through the river, by just sitting inside the canoe which ferried him to safety. He lived on honey for 3 months. He was never ill throughout. So many works of Divine miracles happened during this period. Papa himself was surprised at this sudden transformation and manifestation of the work of the Holy Spirit in his life. The covenant of his Father, with God, vowing to surrender him to God for works in God’s vineyard, started in earnest. The gradual movement from human pursuit started the final return to Porto Novo from the forest with a lot of Ebony he bought after recruiting a new peddler. But this time the people in and around the area he went were already aware of the great powers of the Holy Spirit manifesting in Papa. He did not know that he was walking into a greater calling for the work of Jesus Christ the Savior of the whole world.
On the 29th of September, 1947, while Papa was praying in his house with some friends who have come to visit him, he saw a very powerful light that was so dazzling to the eyes and behold there appeared in the light a winged being whose body was like fire wit very tiny eyes flying towards him. As the being approached him, the beam of light shortened, the being now standing about a yard from him, then he said to Papa “God wishes to send you to the worked to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ for the purpose of returning backsliding Christians to him and winning souls for the Lord. The reason is that, there are many Christians and very religious but when they are confronted by the problems and difficulties of this world, tend to seek help from fetish priest, false prophets, powers of darkness, sorcerers and witchcrafts, but when they die, they will not be privileged to see the face of Jesus Christ because they have be there actions allowed Satan to leave a mark on them which automatically separates then from the Grace of Jesus Christ.
Papa was commissioned to preach the Gospel and give exhortation. Jesus Christ knew that the world will not believe unless they see signs and wonders, so Papa was anointed by Jesus Christ so that he will perform miraculous works and Healing through the name of Jesus Christ. These mighty works will testify to the fact that God Almighty has actually sent you and people will believe in your message.
A confirmation to this Divine visitation came almost immediately through one of the visitors who was present on that day by the name Marrie Zevenu who exclaimed that she saw in a vision the crucified Jesus came down from the Cross stretched his nail pierced hands and feet and showed his side that was pierced with blood oozing out. He took Papa into a room, which they both re-emerged, the woman continued that Papa was dressed in a white tunic full of bright shinning stars and his eyes were like blinding light that she couldn’t look at Papa in the eyes. Papa was transformed completed.
Papa couldn’t sleep throughout the night because he was visited by the Heavenly host. The women Marrie Zevenue, was also in trance through the night, speaking of so many strange revelations through the dictate of the Holy Ghost and managers which presently form parts of the Tenents of the Church. The Zevenue at this time were of the Roman Catholic Faith. Those who heard of this new change, came to Papa’s house for confirmation. There were so much crowds, that he had to contact the police for assistance to disperse them. It was awesome. The officer advised Papa to organise an open air revival. The revival further proved that Jesus Christ has really called Papa for the work of the Kingdom. There were so many present day Pharisees and doubting Thomases, Teachers of the law and the scriptures. They wanted to know by whose authority Papa was doing this great works. He told them that it was by no other power and Grace than Jesus Christ. He was accused by some using magical powers, others said he will soon be exposed if he was a fake. But Papa waxed stronger and stronger in the things of the Holy Spirit. By this Crusader, a lot of people gave their lives to Christ and they gave birth to a Church. This Church was later named the Celestial Church of Christ, a name so revealed by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:25, 26).
The Celestial Church of Christ has been revealed as the last ARK of Salvation which is totally different from the first ARK (i.e. Noah’s Ark). This first ARK was constructed by man and was limited in size thereby making it to accommodate only very few people, while the last ARK is constructed by God Almighty Himself, sending his only begotten son Jesus Christ to be the Captain and made it open and available for those who are willing and able to enter after qualifying to be passengers with the only required traveling documents which is – accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour , turning a new self because, old things would have passed away. It was known that the enemy will struggle into this ARK some dangerous passengers, they will only have teeth and fangs but they will not harm the Redeemed of the Lord. They will be in there until Jesus will come for Harvesting (Parable of the Wheat and weeds). To the Glory of God, the Almighty Celestial Church of Christ has today spread from the “sea to the ends of the earth”. The prophetic mission that it will spread and be established in many countries of the world, has come to pass with the congregation as more as the sand of the sea shores.
Not minding all the negative publicity and the seemingly distractions of enemies of Jesus Christ, the Church is growing in leaps and bounds with signs and wonder accompanying the believers.
Papa was told in the Divine order/Commission that he will be assisted in his work so that the world commissioned him by endowing him powers of miracle works, wonders as in particular Healing. The Testimonies to the great works of God can not all be mentioned here. There were Healings, Deliverance Raising the Deads, breaking Yokes and perfect peace. There was also an abundance of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit Grace in the Church. The gifts of God of enumerated in 1st Cor. 12.14 are abundantly endowed on members.
Amongst the first several Testimonies of the great works, were:-
1. The Paddler of the canoe healed from severe gastro pains.
2. Kudiho who was raised back to life a terminal ailment.
3. Emmanuel Mamyon – was raised from the dead.
4. Tinavie was also raised from dead.
5. Even his Apron & Handkerchiefs raised dead and healed the sick.
6. Stopping the ragging sea.
7. K/Lunatics received sanity.
8. The Barren received deliverance and became mothers to many Testimonies. This is still manifesting in the Church till this day.
God gave SBJ OSHOFFA unusual grace to carry out great works and missions :
A. An Apostolic anointing (to illuminate the dark continent of Africa and the world for God from idolatry, satanic bondage and slavery powers
B.Prophetic anointing (to testify and reveal to the people in darkness that there is a God that is greater than any other god in the country
C. Evangelistic auction to carry out the great mission of the church with signs, miracles, and works of healing to make people believe and accept the message
With these three anointing upon his head, he became a different person.
Papa SBJ Oschoffa spent his first thirty eight years in the usual human mundane pursuit of life as a Carpenter trying to make a living for his family, the second thirty eight years marked that of a Sheperd of the largest congregation in the History of the Church in Africa. With his complete break from the first thirty eight years, came the birth growth and spread of Celestial Church of Christ worldwide.
Papa was in his life time an embodiment of Celestial Church of Christ here on earth, with his master Jesus Christ assisting him. Even after his glorious exit from the face of the earth, the Lord Jesus Christ, the owner of the Church, who is the Author and Finisher of our faith has not left the Church. Satan has no powers over this Church, he has been defeated.
THE GLORY OF THIS CELESTIAL IS ONE.