JESUS RAISES THE DEAD - YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND FOREVER

Upon hearing the Word of God preached again about the resurrection of the dead (John 11:1-44), I am reminded of three stories from recent history.  These are stories of God using His children to speak the word of faith into a situation in order to raise the dead.  These stories confirm, yet again, that Jesus is the resurrection and the life - the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Below are links to each of these accounts.  We are INFINITELY blessed in the fact that all things are possible with God! (Hebrews 13:8 & Matthew 19:26)

The following study has helped me to grow in faith in Christ Jesus.  I pray that it helps and encourages you as well as many others in the days to come.

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Account # 1:  Africa Crusade - CFAN - Reinhard Bonnke


Account # 2: United States - Medical Doctor Chauncey Crandall


Account # 3: United States - North Carolina State Patrol Officer Sam Wagner


REFERENCE TEXT: John 11:1-44

John 11:1-44
Before the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus said: "This illness does not lead to death.  It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it." (John 11:4) 

It is amazing that this particular illness "not leading to death," actually led to life and life more abundant through the sharing of this testimony of Jesus Christ over the course of thousands of years.  

Jesus always leads to life.

In fact, Jesus is life (John 14:6). Hallelujah!

Let us look at how Jesus used this particular sickness to bring glory to God.

At surface level, one may be tempted to think that God placed this sickness on Lazarus in order to kill him and later bring him back to life.  However, a deeper look into the scripture will reveal that sickness doesn't originate in The Kingdom of Heaven.

First, let us further consider the story of Lazarus.

Consider how different the story would have been if Jesus hadn't raised Lazarus. 

What would the story be if Jesus couldn't raise Lazarus? 

To who's glory would the sickness of Lazarus have been if he had remained dead?

If Lazarus hadn't been raised, death would have been glorified above Christ.  Jesus would have been proven unable to perform His very word.  Travesty!

To proceed further, think about it another way.  Would it ever have been correct to say: "Glory to God, Lazarus is dead forever?"

Of course not.

Instead, Glory to God, Lazarus is raised to life in the MIGHTY name of Jesus Christ!

Jesus came preaching and demonstrating The Kingdom of God with power.

What kind of power?

Did Jesus, while in the flesh, demonstrate His power to kill and destroy people?

List some examples:  _______________________

Did Jesus, while in the flesh, demonstrate His power to resurrect and restore (heal) people?

List some examples:  _______________________

Compare the lists.

What do these lists reveal about the nature of God?

Jesus in the flesh was our visible image of the invisible God.  Jesus is our example.  Our example is recorded in The Word of God.
"Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves."
~ Jesus of Naareth (John 14:10-11)
What kind of works did Jesus do?

Did He go about making people sick?

God forbid!

Did He go about killing people?

No!  In fact, when His disciples suggested such a thing; He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.  For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”  (Luke 9:55-56)

It doesn't get much plainer than that.
Luke 9:55

Here's a simple question to ask yourself: "Does God want me to live or to die?"

What does God's word say about it?

"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;  (Deuteronomy 30:19)

God wants us to choose life.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."(Romans 6:23)

And what of sin and it's wages?

Is it to the glory of God that Adam sinned and brought death into the world?

Of course not.

Is sin allowed in The Kingdom of Heaven?

We can know the answer by considering the case of Satan (Lucifer).

Jesus declared:   “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." (Luke 10:18)

According to this and other scripture, Satan is removed from The Kingdom of Heaven.

Away (excluded - thrown down - removed) from The Kingdom of Heaven, is the kingdom of Satan.  In Satan's kingdom (the rejected kingdom) exist all forms of sin, rebellion, lies, temptation, witchcraft, killing, and destruction. These are the nature of the fallen.  (John 8:44-45, John 10:10, 1 Samuel 15:23, Matthew 4:3)

Does Satan's behaviour (or the behaviour of those with him) bring glory to God?

Of course not.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ (Isaiah 14:12-14)
Luke 10:18
Is it to the glory of God that Satan wanted to exalt his throne above the stars of God?

God forbid!

There is no glory in rebellion, temptation, and sin.

And where do these lead?

Rebellion, temptation, and sin lead to death.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:13-15)

Therefore, if there is no glory in rebellion, temptation, and sin (and there is not) how can the fruit of sin (death) bring glory to God? 
It cannot.

Galatians 6:14
The Glory of God is in God's righteousness.

The Glory of God is in God's resurrection.

The Glory of God is in God's life.

The Glory of God is in Christ Jesus!

The glory on the cross (death as the result of persecution) was not simply that Christ suffered.

The glory is in His righteousness - that He did not deserve to suffer - but He did anyway - willingly for us and for the glory of God.  The glory of the cross is not death.

The glory of the cross is in the resurrection and the life:  Christ Jesus the righteous!
1 Peter 2:21-24 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
By whose stripes you were made sick?

God forbid!

"By whose stripes you were healed!"

Today, as in the days of old, some are concerned of strange beliefs creeping into the body of Christ. I share this concern.

For example, it is very strange to think that Jesus makes people sick. And yet, some seem to believe that Jesus has brought sickness upon them for His glory.

1 Peter 2:24
Isaiah 53:5
By the stripes of Jesus, you are made sick?

God forbid!

By the stripes of Jesus, you are healed!

Does the presence of Jesus, and His Kingdom, bring with it sickness and death, the fruit of sin?

God forbid!

The presence of Jesus and His Kingdom brings with it healing and life, the fruit of righteousness.

Is it for the glory of God that humans get sick and die? If it is, then we should all be praying for sickness that we glorify God. Let's all pray that we suffer sickness for the glory of God?

Absurd! God forbid!

Simple rule: If it is not something to pray for, then it is something to pray against.

We are called to pray for one another.  We are called to pray against sickness and death.
"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.  Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."  (James 5:13-16)
This prayer MUST be a prayer of faith.

For a double-minded man should not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.
"But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)
For this reason, it is CRITICAL to understand (without a single doubt) that sickness does not originate, nor remain, in the Kingdom of God.  Belief otherwise, destroys (hinders) the prayer of faith.  It is of the utmost importance to be STABLE in faith.  To TRUST in the fact that GOD is for us, not against us.

GOD IS GOOD!

Be encouraged through worship of The Righteous King:  Christ Jesus!

The King My Heart
Worship Song by Stephanie Gretzinger

REJOICE!  GOD IS GOOD!
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
There is much more to say of this matter. However, in closing, one more example is offered. This is a story of a woman, her son, and a debilitating illness.  Life on earth isn't all flowers and roses.  But that should never stop a person of faith from believing and seeking breakthrough.

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:8-9)
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I'm certain that we can continue to learn much and grow together in faith.  Greater things are possible in Christ.

In fact, Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)

God bless you!

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