This interview was first published on in Church Times NIgeria. It is being reproduced because we lost the first website where it was published.
Pastor Yakubu Abraham has been in the face of many Christians in recent time. Several years ago, 1997 precisely, he had an accident during which God showed him a vision of heaven. But it took him about four years after the revelation to start sharing the experience. And this happened after God had warned him against keeping the experience to himself. In an extensive interview with Church Times’ GBENGA OSINAIKE he throws more light on the divine encounter.
(He shared this experience on May 27 2011 the day it was predicted by yet another prophet based in the US that the world would come to an end.)
How come you bear Yakubu Abraham, could it be that you changed your surname after your conversion?
I’m from Kogi State. But I was born in Ile-Ife. I was born to a Muslim home. My Muslim name was Liasu. I was baptized in Gospel Apostolic Church in Emure Ekiti. I was an apprentice learning panel beating and my boss used to attend Foursquare Gospel Church. He was the one that led me to Christ on August 12 1975.
You are a panel beater by training. That means you did not have much of formal education. How come you speak good English?
It happened that after I left learning my trade, because of my Christian experience, I went to so many Bible institutes including Samuel Bible Institute. It was my exposure to Bible schools and the grace of God upon my life that enhanced my ability to communicate well in English.
Some people in the past have had similar experiences of going to heaven and coming back to relate their experiences in Nigeria. There was a man called Emmanuel Eni, I’m sure you must have heard about him. Did you read about him before your own experience?
I have heard a few of such testimonies before I started sharing mine. I have read about Emmanuel Eni, I have heard about Moses Ezekiel too. But all these experiences have nothing to do with my own experience though they are similar in a way.
What is peculiar about your own experience?
I don’t think my own is peculiar in any sense. I think it is the same experience. Heaven is heaven. Somebody who has that experience will definitely see some of the things that the Bible had already talked about. It is like somebody coming to Lagos for the first time who has to pass through Berger based on the description he had been given or based on what he has heard and there are places he may get to in Lagos that some other people might not have reached. It is like going to America and seeing some spots and not getting everywhere. What I’m saying is that I probably did not get to where some others got to during their experiences.
What happened in this instance of your being caught up to heaven?
I had an accident in 1997 December and God gave me the revelation in the course of recuperating from the accident. I was caught up to heaven and God showed me all that I’m now relating in my message to people and children of God. All this happened in the course of the accident. When I survived the accident, I related my experience to some people who told me it was a divine experience from God while some people did not believe me. I shared the experience with my wife and a few friends.
But how did you come about sharing the experience in Christian meetings?
I was having a crusade with Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in my area in Alagbole, Ogun State about five years ago. On the last day of the crusade, the Lord spoke to me and told me that I was not doing what he revealed to me. He now instructed me to begin a series of prayers which I did. For about one and half years I was waiting on the Lord in prayers and supplication and He now revealed himself to me again in a dream. That was about five years ago. I actually started sharing the testimony about four years ago. He gave me a book in the dream. In the book He wrote: go and preach salvation, healing and deliverance and the prophetic and give the testimony of what I revealed to you in heaven to the whole world.
And I said, Lord, concerning the instructions on preaching the gospel, I will do. But concerning the testimony about what you revealed to me in heaven, I don’t know how to go about that. I could not even remember anything again about the testimony since it happened in 1997. That was when the Lord laid His hand on my forehead. His hand was like a lightening on my head. Immediately, everything that happened to me in 1997 came back to my memory. I then called one of my pastors and told him about the experience and I reminded him about what I told him when I had accident in 1997. As I was relating it to him, he began to cry. And he told me that what I was saying was too much but that if it was true that God revealed what I was saying to him, then I must have offended God by keeping it to myself. He was the first person that told a church about it and they invited me to come and minister in that church. As I was sharing the testimony the people in the church began to cry. That was the beginning of my evangelical rounds concerning the testimony.
So you now had to put it in a CD?
Initially I did not have it in mind to put it a CD. The people that came to my crusades were the ones who recorded it and were selling. Initially I did not count it to be anything until I started receiving calls from far places that the cassette was too expensive. Some sold it as much as N5000. That got me worried and I went to prayers and God told me to go and put the entire testimony into two DVD which we now sell for N300 each.
But not all the churches are selling the CD at exorbitant prices. As a matter of fact there are people and churches like Gospel Faith Mission who on their own spend their money to copy the CD and distribute to people free. So I will not say it has been heavily commercialized.
What has been the nature of the inquiry that you have been getting from people who had listened to you?
Some people say it is too hard to believe. Some say if the testimony was like so, nobody would make heaven. But I used to tell them that to man it is impossible but to God nothing will be impossible. I tell them that if you are born again, you correct everything that you need to correct in your life and you are living holy by the grace of God, I believe you will make heaven.
You said it is by the grace and at the same time you are saying we have to correct every wrong before we can make heaven. Can you please reconcile these statements because some people will tell you since it is the grace of God that will take everybody to heaven, let me be doing what I know how to do?
Of a truth, nobody can make heaven on his own. That is why Jesus came to earth to die for our sins. He rose up the third day and by that He has been able to take away all our sins. Anybody that is being washed by the blood of Jesus and the person makes correction of all the areas of his life by the grace of God and he lives holy life; that person will make heaven. What I’m saying is that anybody that believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and takes Him as the Lord and saviour by confessing his sins and asking for forgiveness will may heaven. But the point must be made. It is wrong to live a careless life because we feel it is by grace that we are saved and expect to make heaven.
Some people have listened to your testimony and have continued to say there was no way they could make heaven. What do you think?
My advice to those who are born again is that they should continue to live for God with all the sincerity of their heart. They will surely get there.
Some of those who had similar experience like yours have come to say only a handful of people make heaven in a space of six months. They say perhaps only one person makes heaven out of every 100,000 persons that die. Don’t you find this incredible?
The question we need to ask ourselves is how that one person made heaven. If we can follow the step of that person and live our lives for God, we will surely make it.
Moses Ezekiel one of the pastors who also had similar experience of heaven and hell normally displays some hellish feelings whenever he gives his testimony. What do you think about this?
I know Moses Ezekiel. He is a man of God. I think he is doing what God asked him to do. His experience is just like that of Paul. There was a thorn in his flesh and he prayed to God to remove it and God told him that His grace was sufficient for him. I believe that when people see Ezekiel the way he demonstrates the impact of hell they would believe and come to the knowledge of God. I don’t have similar experience in my own case. But most of the time when I’m preaching I used to cry. There are times when I’m preaching it will get to a point when I will not be able to control myself.
But I have also found out that many of those who have this heaven shaking experience like you want to make a religion out of it. Now, you had an experience and a lot of people now rally round you. It has now become hub of discussion?
I used to tell people anywhere I go that they should not say because I had accident and went to heaven that I’m a super human being. I tell people in the crusade grounds that if I say because I have been to heaven and start living a wayward life, I would meet myself in hell. It is not about my person. It is about the kingdom of God. The fact that God gave me the grace to go there does not make me a saint. What makes someone a saint is you living the life of what the Bible says. People should hear God’s word and should not be carried away by my experience. What I experienced is just to testify to what the scriptures has already established.
In your testimony concerning the revelation you said those who perm their hair and ladies who wear earring did not make it. Can you throw more light on this?
In my journey to heaven I got to a hall and the name of the hall is called hall of worldliness and friendship with the world. In that place when you stand in the place of judgment, you will begin to see the television from the day you were born and it shows you how you lived your life. So if there is somebody who perms hair, a lady who wears and all kinds seductive dresses while on earth and never surrendered her life to Jesus, you will hear a voice from heaven that says depart and that means the person is being condemned to hell.
You mean those who wear earring and perm their hair?
Everybody that lived waywardly will be condemned to hell in the hereafter. I mean people who don’t put on Christian dressing are the ones that are condemned. You know there is a way Christians ought to dress.
So ladies should not wear earring. They should not perm their hair?
I will answer this way. It is not only earring that led to the condemnation of those I saw. I think it is a combination of many things. Earring could be part of it but I do not think it is the only thing that led them to hell. Those who had problem are those who dress like Jezebel, use attachments and have all forms of weird dresses. They were the ones that did not make it in that revelation.
But do you think God will condemn ladies who put on earring when in fact God asked the Israelites to go and collect the jewelries of the Egyptians and put them on (Exodus 3v22) before they left Egypt?
From what I saw anybody who wants to make heaven should be both pure outwardly and inwardly. A born again Christian sister should be known by her dressing. People should be able to point to you and say you are a Christian. In that my revelation, I saw it and it was clear, that anybody who dresses waywardly will go to hell.
What has been the reaction of people when you say such things especially churches where ladies are allowed to wear trousers, perm their hair and wear earrings?
Sometimes when I’m invited to churches to preach and when I get to the hall of worldliness in the course of explaining what I saw people change their mode of dressing the following day. When you come to that same church you will think you are in Deeper Life. Some tell me that after the message the Spirit of the Lord told them to remove the earrings they were putting on. I have heard over 100 of such cases. Some will say the Lord came to them in the dream and told them to remove their earrings.
Is it the use of it or the idolization of it that is the problem?
As far as I’m concerned, what I saw in the revelation, anybody who wants to make heaven should not use jewelries because we will be stepping on golden ground when we get to heaven. This gold will be like dust in heaven. Christians should dress for the Lord.
What about those who didn’t hear about the gospel what happens. Is there any insight into that?
I will answer the question as touching the saints that died before Christ and the saints that died in Christ, since the rapture has not taken place. I saw Abraham in heaven, I saw, all the apostles, I saw Peter and some of the saints of old. I was thinking in my mind about Abraham and I saw him, I was thinking of Elijah I saw him, I was thinking of Paul, I saw him. The moment I think of anybody that I feel should be in heaven I would see the person. Coming to Nigeria, I saw Moses Orimolade, I saw Babalola of the CAC. I saw the Josiah Akindayomi of the RCCG, I saw Rev. R. George of the Gospel Faith Mission and saw many other persons that I did not hear about before God showed me the revelation. It was after I came back that I saw some of those people in some almanacs. The New Testament and Old Testament saints are all in the heaven of now. But the Bible says there will be new heaven and new earth. But those who did not hear about Jesus before they die, I think God will deal with them based on their conscience. But those who heard it and rejected it, will not make it to heaven.
Is it that easy to see everybody in heaven the way you talked about the people you met?
The wisdom of this world is different from the wisdom of heaven. In heaven nothing is hidden. Immediately you enter that place you will understand everything. Immediately you think about somebody you will see the person.
What has it taken you to traverse the land sharing this message?
I started three and half years ago spreading this word about the revelation of heaven. But I have been in the ministry for over 20 years. The Lord has been helping us to do this work.
There was this prophecy that the world would end today, May 27 (when the interview was conducted) do you believe it?
I don’t believe the prophecy. The Bible has made it clear that nobody knows the end of age. Even the rapture is not the end of the world. The rapture will be the beginning of the end. Jesus made it clear that no man knows the date. I didn’t even waste time following it up when I heard it.
How come you are holding a programme tagged prepare to meet your God today (May 27) if you do not believe in the prophecy?
No. This programme was birthed by a revelation. It started three months ago. God showed me a revelation. I saw that rapture took place. In the process only 20 ministers of the gospel made it to heaven out of over 1 million ministers while only 400 were raptured out of about 10 million professed Christians. God began to speak to me that I should start a programme tagged, prepare to meet your God where people are reminded of the need to prepare for eternity.
It seems those who share testimonies like yours don’t stay long on the scene before we don’t hear about them again. Don’t you fear that you may fall into similar group?
The point is that if one is not sure of what he is doing one will be swept off. There has been discouragement in the sense that those you expect will take the word seriously are not doing so. But by and large the church has been very accommodating in that regard. I have had great support from many churches and believers are generally embracing the testimony and having a change of heart
Have you shared this vision with leading men of God in Nigeria like pastor Adeboye?
I have met some of them but I’ve not been able to meet Pastor Adeboye. I hope to meet him one of these days.
With what you have said so far, can we resign to the Yoruba saying that Orun lo me ni to ma la (only heaven knows those who will make it)
No. If you are going to heaven, you should be able to know from the kind of life you live on earth. My advice to people is that they should always wash themselves in the blood of Jesus and make amends always. They will make it.
What are the plans for this ministry?
The Lord talks to me everyday saying, Abraham you have done nothing. People are perishing. I’m praying that one billion souls will get to heaven through me.
What are the strategies?
We will keep holding crusades and evangelical meetings and use all available media like the internet, the television and radio to spread the Word of God.