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Raising the Dead

May 3, 2012

Sometimes as I teach I am intimidated by the faith or experience of my students.  Often, especially in academic circles, you have two kinds of students:  Those who know nothing and are taking the classes because it is all new to them, or those who are incredibly experienced, but are taking the class because they need some kind of additional credits for formal certification.   Currently I am in Southern Ethiopia where I am teaching leaders in church planting.  Most of the students are not new to doing evangelism, but they have never taken evangelism or church planting as a course.  There are a few students, however, who have vast experiences in church planting.  When such students are present I see my job as a teacher to help bring out their experiences for helping their less experienced classmates.

Today, in part of our discussions I talked about the fact that we need to know who we are in Christ and operate according to the royalty we are.  We have the full authority and power of Jesus. I mentioned that it even says that those who are followers of Christ will be able to do everything and even more than Jesus had done (John 14:12).  So then, to make it practical I asked, “How many of you have prayed for the sick and seen them get well.” A few raised their hands.  “Great,” I responded,  “that means you are walking in royalty.  You are doing what Jesus did.” So then I ventured further in my questioning, expecting a negative reply, and said, “How many of you have raised the dead?”

One hand on the front row slowing moved up.  “Really!” I said.  He confirmed that he had raised the dead.  At that moment, our class got a new teacher.  I became the student.  The story of him raising the dead is amazing and should be repeated:

Brother Alembrihan was in Northern Ethiopia where he was serving as an evangelist.  He was evangelizing in the town of Gebregurach which is on the main road which goes to the Nile River from the capital.  He was working among Animists (worshippers of various spirits in rocks and trees) and Ethiopian Orthodox.  One of the villages he was sharing the gospel in had a powerful witchdoctor who controlled much of that village.  People were fearful of him.  After much evangelism, the witchdoctor decided to become a Christian.  He prayed to receive Jesus and immediately went to the church to publicly profess his desire to follow Jesus.  The village was in a commotion about this witchdoctor becoming a believer.  At the church the elders embraced him and accepted him.  They prayed for him and he recanted his demonic practices publicly.  At that exact time, a lady in the village suddenly died.

The family gathered quickly at the news of the lady’s death.   They grieved and cried as they tried to discover what had happened.  She was not sick, nor old, but the family knew of something else.  She had gone to the village witchdoctor many times and when the witchdoctor professed Christ, the demons were expelled.  They believed that the demons, in revenge, killed this lady.

The family didn’t know what to do, so they sent a representative of their family to the church.  They requested that the church send their people to use their spiritual power, the same power which expelled the demons from the witchdoctor, to bring the lady back to life.  By the time Alembrihan arrived, the woman had been dead for six hours.   They had already prepared the body for burial and the body was wrapped in tight linen cloth and the arms and feet were bound to prevent rigor mortis from causing the arms and legs to flail or get stuck in an awkward position. None of the family members nor the deceased lady were Christians. They were not angry at the Christians for expelling the demons from the witchdoctor, but they were just pleading that the same power be shown to raise their loved one from the dead.

Brother Alembrihan just prayed.  He said he prayed normally.  Though he speaks in tongues, he said that he did not pray on tongues on that occasion.  He prayed just like he always does for people.  He did pray for an extended period of time, about 30 minutes.   It was the first time he had prayed for a dead person to come to life.  Suddenly she opened her eyes.  She was alive.  As her eyes opened the demon came out violently and screaming.  Her whole body thrashed about and horrible sounds were made from her mouth.  After the demon was gone, she spoke and said that she was hungry, so immediately they gave her food to eat.

After that Brother Alembrihan asked her and her family to come to the church. They would stay three days in the church to allow the brother Alembrihan and the elders to pray over the woman so that the demons could not come back and bother her any more.

Since that great miracle the lady is now a worship leader in her church.  Her husband, the former murderer who was in hiding, is now an evangelist and church planter.  Immediately after that lady was raised from the dead she prayed to receive Christ as well as more than forty family and neighbors immediately accepted Christ.  In that village, by the end of the year more than two hundred and ninety persons were added to the church.  Since that time seven years ago, there have been twenty-five new churches started in that area. The largest is more than five hundred people with the smallest church around two hundred.  Thousands have come to Christ out of that one miracle.

That is walking in royalty.  That is living a supernatural life.  That should be how we all live.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrew Rankin permalink
    May 3, 2012 12:26 am

    Incredible story. Humbling story as well. Keep walking in your royal anointing.

  2. Lyn permalink
    May 3, 2012 12:38 am

    Wow! Praise God!!!!!!

  3. chadattes permalink
    May 3, 2012 10:16 am

    What an incredible story! Just like we read of in scripture except it is in our own time. Thank you for sharing.

    God Bless

  4. May 8, 2012 9:20 pm

    Hi Steve: I am so encouraged by this story! I, too, have traveled the world as a missionary and long to see God’s people walking in the fullness of their identities: sons and daughters. Thank you for this post. Would you mind if I share on my blog? (With full credit, of course!)


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