CAN OR SHOULD CHRISTIANS RAISE THE DEAD?

Posted: December 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

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I recently heard a preacher state that the church needs to return back to Pentecost – and I agree. But while I admire and support this man’s declaration, a return back to our Pentecostal roots should not be limited to only one mere aspect of Pentecost, namely speaking in tongues and one or all of the 9 specific gifts outlined in 1 Cor. chapter 12, it should reach far beyond that – which is signs and wonders.

Jesus made the statement in John 14:12 ““Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” What did that mean essentially? What Christ meant, in the literal sense is this, every miracle Christ ever did, from healing the sick, casting out demons, feeding a great multitude with only a small handful of meat and/or bread, will literally follow the believer IF they believe and walk by faith – including the raising of the dead. So why are we not seeing the dead raised today in our Pentecostal faith? It’s because it’s not being taught because preachers no longer believe miracles, signs and wonders are possible. That’s the short answer.

But can the believer raise the dead? The short answer? yes! The believer CAN raise someone from the dead – should they? That all depends on the situation and God’s perfect timing. Let me be very clear on this, I do NOT hold to the belief that we can raise anyone or everyone from the dead, because everything must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. However, if God leads a believer to move in such a way to restore life back into the body in a reasonable time frame, then yes, not only should we restore life back into someone who has died, we are commanded to! (read Mark 16:17-18)

About 2 years ago I stepped into a hospital room and looked upon the body of a man who preached the gospel for over 40 years or more, his name is Henry. Henry is in his 70’s, and he had a massive heart attack and died 5 times and literally, he was given up for dead, every heart doctor, every medical opinion was sealed, his wife Pat was told to make funeral arrangements because Henry was not going to live – fact. Standing by the bedside of this man of God, tubes virtually coming out of every part of his body, chest, throat and arms, the breathing machine all but keeping him alive, God impressed upon me to touch his body and I whispered “You shall not die, you shall live.” And with that I walked out of the room. 3 months to the day I stepped into the room of this great man of God, whom every medical professional had wrote off for dead, was up and walking, whom the doctors now call the “Miracle Man”.

My point is this, not every person who faces death is always meant to die right then and there. It takes someone of equal or great faith to believe in the power of the cross made possible because of the atoning work Christ did there – on the cross. But not every case is similar. Smith Wigglesworth saw 23 people raised from the dead.William Branham saw people raised from the dead under his anointing. The same of John G Lake, who saw many raised from the dead. So has God stopped raising the dead today? If he has, then other aspects of the gifts would also cease, but they haven’t.

The issue is not whether we can raise the dead or not, or if we should raise the dead, the issue is why aren’t we? I believe it’s due to one thing and one thing only – teachings, or the lack of proper Pentecostal, Bible teaching. If pastors are not preaching and teaching the gifts, miracles and what authority we have in Christ then it is impossible for the believer to exercise that authority they have in Christ because they simply were not, or are not being taught correctly. The blame returns back to its rightful place – the pastor or the preacher.

Not every soul who dies should be returned, there are very clear reasons why we should not pray for the restoration of life in the death of someone, namely the elderly, those who have reached an age where this life has reached a point where going home IS the best thing for those who have lived a long life. My grandmother is 92 years of age and is nearing death as I write this, but should I, at the time of her passing call forth life back into the body? Absolutely not! Why should I? To bring her back into a world full of misery, pain and heartache, that would be foolish and a misrepresentation of the authority and wisdom God has granted us. But there are many, many people, who have indeed died prematurely all because a believer did not step out in faith and call life back into the body. So why doesn’t God step in? We must go to the word, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” (Luke 10:19) 

Now, notice one thing Jesus said in the above verse, “Over all the power of the enemy.” Is not death an enemy of the cross? Is not death the enemy of the believer? If you say yes, then you understand your authority, if you do not, then you are still walking in unbelief and you need to come out of that thinking! We have been given authority while we have that life time span on this earth and until that time frame has been ended, we have every right, because of the cross, to hold back every enemy of the cross – including death.

The authority of the believer is a powerful one, but if the believer does not know or understand what they have in Christ, then we are walking only half full, half right and half in understanding. God wants us to walk in complete fullness and it’s all because what Christ did on the cross, once we grasp that, then nothing is impossible as long as we are lead by his spirit in all things – including in the realm of death.

 

Christopher

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