Observations on life; particularly spiritual

A video entitled “Raised From The Dead” claims to be a 21st-century miracle resurrection story. Is it true?

This video, sold in bookstores and on the Internet, claims that in 2001, a Nigerian man died from injuries due to a car accident, and then came back to life two days later after being taken to a church. The man reported that during this time he had been taken by angels to heaven and hell, before God sent him back to warn people of hell.

The account is unusual because, although the man was said to be critically injured, after being taken to a hospital he was able to demand transfer to his hometown hospital, a 1.5 hour drive away. Then he was taken to a clinic, a mortuary and a church. No proof is given regarding the accident or the man’s injuries, and the only evidence of death is a clinic certificate and verbal report. Although the man’s family, a doctor and a mortician claim he was dead, the evidence is not conclusive.

The claim of being taken to heaven and hell goes against Bible teaching. As the man himself said on one occasion, “It may have been a dream.” Heaven is the eternal destiny of believers while hell is the eternal destiny of unbelievers. After death people go to one or the other, not both. The Bible says there is a great chasm between heaven and hell and no one from either side can cross over (Lk. 16:26). For example, Lazarus went to heaven and the rich man went to hell (Lk. 16:19-31). The reason the rich man was in hell was because he rejected the message given in the Old Testament.

The phrase, “women received back their dead” (Heb. 11:35), quoted in the video to support the alleged miracle, refers to events in the Old Testament such as the son of the widow of Zarephath and the Shunammite’s son (1 Ki. 17:17-24; 2 Ki. 4:18-37). On these occasions God used a prophet, either Elijah or Elisha, to raise a boy back to life.

Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter (Mk. 5:22-24, 35-43), the son of the widow of Nain (Lk. 7:11-17), and Lazarus (Jn. 11:1-44; 12:1-2). In the second case it occurred during the funeral and in the third case it happened after the burial. When Jesus died many godly men and women were raised from their tombs (Mt. 27:52-53). Three days later, Jesus was resurrected from the tomb (Jn. 20:1-31 ). Peter said, “We are all witnesses of this fact.” Paul said that Jesus appeared to more than 500 followers at the same time (Acts 2:32; 1 Cor. 15:6). Dorcas was raised after Peter prayed (Acts 9:36-42). Eutychus died after falling from the third story of a building, but came alive after Paul put his arms around him (Acts 20:9-12). All these New Testament instances of people being raised from death involved either Jesus or an apostle.

This video promotes a gospel of works. It states that a person is in hell for stealing, not for rejecting Christ’s work of salvation, and the man who died would go to hell because of angry words spoken to his wife. The video supported this with Jesus’ statement that God will not forgive our sins if we do not forgive others and only the merciful will obtain mercy (Mt. 5:7; 6:14-15). These verses are taken out of context; they do not refer to salvation, which is an unconditional gift received by faith in Christ, not a goal achieved by works (Eph. 2:8-9). Instead, they are part of the Sermon on the Mount giving the Lord’s disciples principles for daily living (Mt. 5:1,2). They teach that forgiveness is necessary for believers to maintain fellowship with God, and that believers will be rewarded according to their compassion displayed (1 Jn. 1:9; 1 Cor. 3:12-15). The man said to have been raised from the dead was afraid that he would sin again and not go to heaven. He had no assurance of salvation.

The video says that this miracle was a sign from God to lead us to Jesus. However, our faith in Christ is not based on modern miracles, but on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as documented in the Scriptures. The way to heaven is through believing the message of the Bible, not a so-called modern miracle.

Published, May 2006

One response

  1. Comment by Joseph Ako:
    1. George approached the question from a parochial and disbelief angle. The question is, did such a thing really happen? Yes or No. In fairness George is not a Nigerian and so should have enquire from reliable sources in Nigeria to authenticate the claims in the video rather than casting aspersions as if such a miracle cannot happen in our time. I believe in the bible miracle as well as contemporary ones that I witness. Jesus himself assures us of greater things than he did and it did not end with the early church apostles (John 14:12) what then makes the account unusual?

    2. That the claim of being taken to heaven and hell goes against bible teaching does not hold because the man in question didn’t end up there i.e. either of the destinations. It is only false if he had not come back because no one goes there and return. Remember he said the angels took him to the two places to see how they are and was told he was going to hell for his unforgiveness but was given another chance.

    3. The Hebrews 11:35 quoted is true to the situation because the wife prayed back her husband to life. This is from her live testimony. Unfortunately the detailed testimony of the man’s wife is not recorded in the video as I have it.

    4. He further insinuates that the “alleged” miracle video promotes a gospel of works. I don’t think it meant so because no one is saved by miracle in the flesh. But is George saying that there is no relationship between our believing in Christ by grace and conduct in life to inherit eternal life? I think there is.

    5. Moreover the man that was raised from death is a pastor and not a Christian novice.

    The video entitled “Raised from the Death” is not a story but real miracle. I am not saying this because the man is my brother in the flesh but because I saw and heard him and his wife with the baby in the womb as at the time of incident testified LIVE in the town where I live, in addition to the video which I also have. It true that our faith and salvation are not based on miracles whether modern or ancient but miracles encourage our faith for daily living because miracle is God’s intervention in the course of nature for man. Finally I want to say that whether you believe or not, miracle still happens everyday because God has not retired. What matters is your faith. The particular miracle was an answer to prayer of a woman that believed in the surpassing greatness of God. You too can experience a miracle.


    January 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

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