I want us to approach this subject from the perspective of the question raised in Acts 26:8, “Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raised the dead?” In short, it is saying that raising the dead should not be a big deal at all – if you believe that with God nothing shall be impossible (Lk 1:37) and that with God all things are possible (Mat 19:26). If He asks us to do, then no big deal.
Looking through scriptures, we see many dead raised. Elijah raised the son of the widow of Zarephath by stretching himself on the boy’s corpse. Elisha raised the son of the Shunamite woman by laying on him (2Kg 4). Also the man whose corpse was abandoned in the tomb of Elisha came back to life on touching his bones (2Kg 13:20–21). In Lk 7:11-17, Jesus raised the son of the widow of Nain; also Jairus’s daughter in Lk 8:52-58. We saw the dramatic raising of Lazarus by Jesus in Jn 11 and the opening of graves that resulted in many saints rising when Jesus gave up the ghost in Mat 22:50-53. Peter raised Dorcas in Acts 9:36-43; Paul raised Eutychus in Act 20:7-12.
For many, when you mention cancer, they hear dead. Equally so, when they hear death, they give up, that is, until you get to Mat 10:8, where God command us to heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead and to cast out demons.
How NOT to Raise the Dead
- Don’t begin to beg God, thinking it’s your tears and pleading that will raise them.
- Don’t stretch over the corpse, dramatizing
- Don’t begin talking about how deserving the dead person is or his or her family is.
- Don’t ever call on the God of any Elijah or a super pastor
- Don’t even begin conjuring your super anointings.
Some examples of people that raised people from the dead:
Smith Wigglesworth, a man of uncommon ruthless faith. A family member of a member his had died and out of courtesy, Smith had gone with him to encourage them. The body was in the house. When they arrived there, Smith walked straight into where the body was, pulled it out and pinned him to the wall, stepped back and screamed a command, “In the Name of Jesus, Walk.” The body slid down. He went back, picked it up again, pinned it up and screamed the command again, but the body slid down slowly to the ground. Smith in fury pulled the body up, slammed it to the wall and screamed the command, “I say, Walk”, and the man rattled back into his body and together, he walked out with the man.
Benson Idahosa, another man of indomitable faith. At the age of 24, he was only a young man in the church when his pastor preached that God says the church should raise the dead. And so he took his bicycle riding through Benin City in search of where a crowd would gather, signifying that someone was dead. He started out at about 11am but didn’t find such a crowd until about 4:30pm. When he asked why they were gathered and they told him a girl was dead, he rejoiced and they wondered why and he said he was there to raise her. He went in with the crowd, tried several times to raise her but failed. Then he asked everyone out and at the call of that girl’s name, Inuaka in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, she came back.
I have had my own stint with this thing called raising the dead. A man, who had borrowed me his car came banging my door in desperation. I thought he wanted his car back and so I opened my door. Lo and behold, he dumped the lifeless body of his daughter of just a few weeks into my hands. What do I do? I started speaking in tongues and praying desperately. It couldn’t have been more than ten minutes but it certainly felt like ten hours, the girl sneezed and I tell you, joy filled the city of Sacramento and what was our then small church.
According to David Hogan, a man that has now seen over 600 people raised from the dead, his first dead-raising stands out clearly in his mind. A man had come to ask him to come and pray for his sick son. No problems, he said, but let’s finish church service first and we’ll go. By the time they finally got to the man’s house, the atmosphere revealed it all. The boy had died for a few hours. And so he went in to pray to raise him from the dead and went on for 45 minutes or so, he kept commanding until the boy came back. He has since seen several others come back to life as you can imagine.
If you will obey God and do as He has commanded by raising the dead, then these keys are critical:
- You must be unequivocally sure that God’s Word is true and that He has authorized and empowered you to raise the dead. If you doubt this, then don’t even try.
- You must have faith in God, His unfailing Word and in the authority of that Name, the Name of Jesus, which is higher than death. (Phil 2:9-11)
- You will not do this by an anointing or a special mantle. You will do it based on the fact that you have the resurrection power in you (Eph 1:18-19; 1Jn 2:27; Heb 13:5) and because you can manifest the power of God at will, anytime, anywhere. You don’t need a special atmosphere or to have the stage set right, because you will not get a notice to prepare for raising the dead. You’ve got to always be ready..
- You must have unshakable faith, without doubting, fear or unbelief. It’s one thing to have faith. But with fear, doubts, unbelief within, all your faith will be wiped out into a deficit, which translates into failure. Did you notice that Benson Idohosa and Smith Wigglesworth didn’t care. They had unwavering faith which is what moves mountains (Mat 17:20).
- When confronted with the corpse, you will be as militant, bold and angry as you can be, because it’s war. You will not be begging God. He will not do for you those things He has authorized and empowered you to do for yourself. You are the one that will resist the devil, not God (Jam 4:7). It is you that must issue the commands for death to leave and life to be restored – in the name of Jesus and when it happens, because it certainly will, all the glory goes to Him and of course a revival will break out to the glory of God. You are the one that will ignite it.
- Don’t follow no magical formula or code. Just know that we are spirit, soul and body (1The 5:23). Death is when the spirit and soul departs from the flesh. Command it to return into the body – in Jesus name. How you feel inside while doing this matters. You cannot do it doubting, fearing or unbelieving. You do it with absolute confidence.
- Sometimes the dead wouldn’t rise and it may take a while. I’ve heard of cases that lasted hours. You must therefore be very resolute and unflinching. You must be dogged and unyielding. Your determination must be unparalleled. You’ve got to stick with it till you get the answer, for with God - nothing shall be impossible (Lk 1:37).
- If you will raise the dead, change your language now. Let your yes be yes and no be no. Train your spirit to know that you always mean your words and don’t confuse it into believing you don’t mean your words. That means if you give people an appointment for 1 pm or 7pm, don’t go there late. Instead be ahead. Otherwise your spirit will not be ready when you are commanding life to be released. Your inconsistency will kill someone because you never mean what you say.
- Have the heart of a child. They don’t keep records of wrongs. You will need this because there will come a time when you just might not succeed. You’ve got to keep moving on. God never leaves you. So don’t entertain wrong thoughts. Forget yesterday. Today is a new day. Keep on raising the dead.
- You must be born again, spirit filled with evidence of speaking in tongues. Trust me, if you’re not, please dare try to do this!
Having said all these, it is imperative that you be warned that it is God’s word that He is confirming – Mk 16:20; Psa 107:20; Mat 10:8. If you’re born again, filled with His Spirit, and with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God on your lips, the burden is not yours to bear. Just do the Word.
In closing, let me pray for you. You will not lose your loved ones prematurely; through you, the destructive works of the devil will be reversed; you will bring many back to life; through you, there will be huge revivals – because when you raise the dead, the crowd will surge. I pray that pride will be far from you. Jesus said He will raise stones if you keep quiet (Lk 19:40). You will not be replaced.
Go and raise the dead (Mat 10:8).