A Prophetic Witness to the Church Today
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Raising The Dead: Miracles For Tomorrow?
in the Church just love to argue! Sceptics argue about the miracles of
healing being performed in the name of Jesus. They argue about spiritual
gifts. They argue about doctrine. They argue about what God means in His
However, there is one thing
they cannot refute. Raising the dead!
When dead people come to
life, sceptics may like to argue, but they haven't got a leg to stand on.
Resurrecting a dead person is the ultimate miracle for us as mortal humans.
How can you convince a
sceptic of the existence of God? You can't unless he wants to be
convinced. Generally, unbelievers don't want to be convinced of anything,
except their own views. But, if there is one miracle that has greater power
of conviction than any other, it has to be raising the dead!
Only God can create life. The
One who holds life in His hands declares: "See now that I myself am He!
There is no god besides Me. I put to death and I bring to life" (Deut
It Has Happened Before!
Have you seen the dead
raised? I doubt it. Few have, although some have heard accounts of such
remarkable events. There are a few mentioned in the Bible.
When Jesus was resurrected,
some other saints who had died and been buried were raised out of their
graves and appeared to many people (Matt 27:52,53).
Why did this occur? As a
witness to the nation that Jesus was the Son of God
and that they should never have killed Him! It led some to repentance.
Never before had such an
unusual event occurred. It was unheard of. People don't ordinarily come back
to life after being buried! But it happened when Jesus died. The miracle
pointed to Him as God's servant, and more besides!
Apostles and prophets have
been given authority by God to bring dead people back to life on occasion.
Peter prayed life into Tabitha (Acts 9:40), and Paul prayed for Eutychus
In the Old Testament, Elijah
raised the widow's son (1 Ki 17:17-24), and Elishah prayed life into another
young boy (2 Ki 4:18-37).
Jesus, of course, the
greatest prophet of all time, raised Lazarus (Jn 11), the widow's son in
Nain (Lk 7:11-15), and the daughter of the synagogue ruler (Lk 8:40-46).
In recent times, there are
verifiable accounts of several people being brought back from death. In
Nigeria, at least six people have been resurrected through the faith of
believers in the late Benson Idahosa's church which numbers several
David Pytches reports 10
separate instances of the dead being raised, from various sources around the
world, in his book Come, Holy Spirit.
Smith Wigglesworth, noted as
the 'apostle of faith' earlier this century, raised at least 14 people from
the dead. He even called his wife back from death when she died. These
accounts are to be found in Albert Hibbert's Smith Wigglesworth, The
Secret Of His Power, and in other biographies of this remarkable man of
George Stormont relates this
incident: "Bishop Ronald Coady and his wife were ministering in New
South Wales, Australia, in 1950 where they met a Methodist deaconess called
'Sister Mary'. She brought them large quantities of tracts to use in their
"While there, they were
reading Stanley Frodsham's book, Smith Wigglesworth, Apostle of Faith.
The incident of his raising a young woman from the dead especially had
gripped them, and when Sister Mary came in, they read it to her, adding,
'How we should love to meet that lady!'
"She said, 'You know
"They protested that
they did not, but she persisted, 'You've known her for some time. I am that
"The three of them
laughed together with holy joy at God's 'coincidences'. She then told them
of being paralyzed from the waist down in 1922 and of being seriously ill.
Wigglesworth was holding meetings in her town, and her friends urged her to
let them take her to a meeting for prayer. However, she did not believe in
divine healing and did not wish to be prayed for.
"She soon became worse
and, in fact, was dying. Her friends asked if she would allow the evangelist
to pray for her if they brought him to the house. She finally consented, but
he was delayed. Before he arrived, she died.
"Sister Mary Pople
related that she went to heaven and was allowed in the throne room. She saw
the Lord Jesus sitting on His throne. She saw light such as she had never
seen and heard music such as she had never heard. [There are many similar
accounts today of experiences such as this.] Her heart was filled with
"As she looked at the
Lord, He pointed to the doorway by which she had entered, and she knew she
had to go back even if she did not want to. When she went through that door,
she heard a voice that later she knew was Smith Wigglesworth's.
"He was saying, 'Death,
I rebuke you in the name of Jesus.'
"Then he commanded Mary
to live. Her eyes opened, and those who had been weeping around her bed
began to rejoice. She arose and dressed, and there was a knock at the door.
Some girls from her Bible study group had arrived, thinking she was dead. To
their surprise and joy, Mary herself opened the door to them. She continued
in the Lord's service for many years. Not only was she raised from the dead,
but she was totally healed of her sickness that had been unto death and of
the paralysis that had bound her for years" (Wigglesworth, A Man Who
Walked With God, pp 55, 56).
What Is About To Happen
early 1993, Jesus spoke to my son Richard and told him that He is about to
do it again. Just as dead people were brought back to life and appeared to
many after Jesus' resurrection, to witness to Jesus, so He is about to
perform similar miracles.
seen the Lord three times, although he was not told of this forthcoming
miracle (or rather miracles, plural) during any of these occasions. Jesus'
appearing to Richard was an important part of his preparation for his
told Richard through words of knowledge that two boys known to us and who
died several years ago will be restored to physical life. Also, through a
dream and its subsequent interpretation which Jesus gave Richard, we were
informed that 50 people are to be raised from the dead in the foreseeable
future as part of the end-time witness.
dream, Richard saw a trailer loaded with mattresses 50 of them! He
wondered what this meant, and when he enquired, the Lord told him that those
who had been resurrected would be so busy telling the world what Jesus has
done for them that they won't need to sleep!
received much ridicule from unbelievers about this! I don't know of any
others who have been moved by the Spirit to prophesy such bizarre events,
but I would be interested to know if any have. We know resurrections are
confirmation came from Morris Cerullo, who prophesied on 8th August 1995 at
Mission To London in three statements:
will see the resurrection power of God again."
will see the dead raised."
will see such supernatural manifestations that the world will know
Why Does God Do It?
Restoring life is a
stupendous miracle from our human perspective. But to God it is 'nothing'.
He has life inherent. All He needs to do is speak the word and it will be
granted (Matt 8:8; Mk 9:23). But He doesn't play games. There is an
important purpose for every act of God.
He is drawing our attention.
Not to the ones used to perform such feats (they can do nothing by
themselves), but to their message.
Elijah was used to challenge
idolatry and apostasy in the nation of Israel. Elisha continued his work in
a time of gross spiritual deception. Jesus came with a new message from God
the gospel. And the apostles were being used to establish the Church.
All the resurrections from
the dead occurred at a time of spiritual reformation. God was doing a new
thing. He was exposing sin, proclaiming truth to ears that desperately
needed a fresh appreciation of the Word of God. Prophets and preachers were
'raised up' for that purpose. The miracles pointed to the prophets. They
authenticated backed up their message. They confirmed that God had
indeed given them the words they were proclaiming.
As the widow of Zarephath
declared: "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the Word of
the Lord from your mouth is the truth" (1 Ki 17:24).
The message God has given us
to declare to the established churches is not a palatable one. It involves
dramatic reform and will create great upheaval. But, though it seems
divisive, it is from God. Because of the depth of deception in the Church,
God will perform miracles of such magnitude to break through the walls of
prejudice and unbelief.
A prophet's function is to
direct the people to their God. Raising the dead does just that.
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(This article was first
published in Awake! Awake! Vol. 3 No. 8, Sept/Oct 1995.)