Raising the Dead
This is an article I wrote in 2006. I have wanted to post it on Fire On Your Head for some time, but I have failed to do so because of the intensity of its content. I am on a journey to be a revelation of the things to come, even calling souls from death into life.
Resurrection is our identity as believers in Jesus. It is the framework of who we are. Death is unanswerable apart from the One who gives life. And if the One who gives life resides in us, then we have the answer the world is in search of. The quest of kings and the hope of the homeless, eternal life and power from death. The assurance of the Christian and the secret escape for the atheist, the hope to keep living, even beyond death.
But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!” (Acts 23:6)
Other than for this one statement which I shouted out while standing among them, ‘For the resurrection of the dead I am on trial before you today.’ (vv 24:21)
According to these texts, the primary reason Paul was put on trial is that he preached the resurrection of the dead.
What kind of person can make such a report or share such good news as this? It is like saying:
“I have the answer the world longs to hear. You no longer have to worry about death. A man called Jesus overcame death. And he ascended to heaven and is sitting at the right hand of God, even now. So if you believe in Him you will not have to face death, but there is eternal life through Him!”
There can only be two responses to this: 1) Life invades the hearts of those who hear it; 2) Death rages against it. But, praise God, Jesus overcame death!
Jesus’ friend Lazarus had fallen asleep and died. When Jesus arrived they were upset and said “only if you had been here, he would not have died.” They believed in resurrection of the dead, but they did not realize the enormity of what was about to happen.
Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die, Do you believe this?‘ (John 11:25-26)
They believed in resurrection but failed to ascertain that the Resurrection Himself had arrived on the scene.
So they led Jesus to where they had laid him. And this was His response.
Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days. “Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. ”I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me. “When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him. (John 11:39-44)
Jesus did not just speak into Lazarus’ tomb, nor did he simply speak to those who could hear. His voice broke a barrier! The sound waves traveled through the boundaries of life and death. He spoke into death and called Lazarus back to life.
His response? He smashed death. He eradicated its powers rendering it useless, null and void. He is the giver of life. What was His declaration before? “I am the resurrection… He who believes in me will never die.” We believe in Him. The result: we never die. What does this mean?
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:8)
He has called us to do the same things that He did, and even greater:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. (John 14:12,emphasis mine)
Jesus is no longer on the earth physically. But, as John 14-18 states, He did not leave us alone. He sent His Spirit to live in us. And through the Holy Spirit, in Jesus name, nothing-NO-THING-is impossible.
My wife just got a bracelet that says: “Make the Impossible Possible.” She wears it everywhere she goes. It is a constant declaration of the God that can do anything, lives inside her, ready to use her to do the impossible.
Jesus is the Sacrifice, the Resurrection, and the Ascension! It is significant and vital for us to understand all three. The cross, awesome as it is, is useless without the resurrection and ascension. Yes, the cross is the payment of our sins, but without the resurrection there would be no life, no power over death. Hallelujah! It did not end in death! The resurrection is life yet still, it did not end there, either. Not only did He rise again, He ascended. This is the part most of us leave off the list. His ascension means that He has sent us His Spirit, empowering us, just as the Father empowered Him.
Our God is alive and He is doing the same things today as He did when He walked the earth, only today, He is using us to accomplish it.
He did not just want to be a superhero to one generation for all time. Just as Elijah went to heaven and left his mantle to Elisha, and Elisha walked in a double portion; Jesus left us His super-cape and said that we would be better superheroes than He was because He sent us His Spirit and sends us out-now that is the definition of apostolic. This is the people and the church the world longs to have revealed.
For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)
The First and the Last
So in 2006, this is how I started this blog:
“Recently at work, I came in and told two of my coworkers that i was bummed because Steve Irwin, ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ had died. I then said. ‘I pray that he will be raised from the dead.’ One responded by seemingly ignoring me and the other looked at me like I was crazy.”
As previously mentioned, death is something the world cannot overcome. Once all of men’s resources have been exhausted and all medical help has been utilized, and the person still slips away causing hopelessness to set in with the feeling that all is lost, what more can be done? Life has left and the spirit has departed.
The answer to the problem is Jesus. Remember He is the “Resurrection and the Life.”
Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last and the living One: and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Rev 1:17b-18)
Death is defeated forever!
Which He brought about in Christ, when He raised him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:20-21)
Nothing is over Him, He is one with the Father, He has complete power, and all things are subject to Him. Verse 2:6 states that we are seated right next to Him in these heavenly places, therefore we have access to His authority, in His name.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:19)
We can open the doors that no one else can! We have His keys. We have access to all of his power. We have the power and the right to advance the kingdom of heaven in the earth! This includes raising the dead.
We have received life and are commanded to give life (ref. Matt 10). Jesus is the One who is in control of their spirits when they die. Thus, He is the only One who has the power to return their spirits to their bodies. And, He tells us to raise the dead, meaning that it is His will and desire for us to raise them up. He would not command us to do this if He were not willing to respond on His part. He would not tell us to do something if he did not want to do it.
We Must Believe!
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
[Moses] endured as seeing Him who is unseen. (Heb 1:27)
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. (Heb 11:1 KJV)
Faith proves that what we cannot see does exist.
…God who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. (Romans 4:17)
The world does not see life in death, but we know the Author of Life, and have the power to restore life when death comes.
So should we look for death? No, we should look for life everywhere we go, and as we go we will find life even in the midst of pain, sickness, and death.
In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (John 1:4)
In 2002, I was in Africa. We were deep in the bush and a little boy had died of Malaria. We prayed for him for 4 hours and he did not rise up. This is my only experience this close with the matters we have discussed. I am not deterred. I know that He raises the dead, which is why I am writing this. I shared that to be real. I will walk in this, the Bible says so. I am sharing a vision with you to inspire you to believe.
The previous year my friends Avi and Bryan were there. They were in a service and a lady brought a dead baby up to Bryan’s father. They prayed for the baby and it came back to life. As this happened, another lady, whose baby had died the night before ran home to get the body. When she got back she handed the baby to Bryan. He did not know what was wrong with the baby. He said that is stunk real bad and looked like a dead animal, not moving. So he took the baby and lifted it up to heaven, and prayed in Jesus name. Then he handed it back to her and the child was now moving. Six months later when he was back in the States, it was confirmed a dead raising, the child now healthy and in church.
This an attempt to stir and ignite a fire in you to go for it. RAISE THE DEAD!
David Hogan a missionary in Mexico has seen over 458 people raised from the dead in the ministry in the last 30 years. Heidi Baker has been in Mozambiquq for over 7 years and seen over 100 raised from the dead. They are not doing it themselves, they are teaching the people to do it.
For an article on resurrection, visit here.
Boy raised from the dead in Ohio, click here.
Here is a video testimony of recent dead raisings–God using people like you and me.