Some people say absolutely yes! Their logic goes like this.
Matthew 10:7-8 says this
As you go, announce this: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, drive out demons. You have received free of charge; give free of charge.
(Matthew 10:7-8 HCSB)
And then they say Jesus told his disciples to teach others to do the same things
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 HCSB)
And they also point out that Jesus said
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12 NLT)
So the logic is.
- Jesus told his disciples to raise the dead
- Jesus told them to teach “all nations” to observe everything he commanded them
- Jesus said they would do even greater works
- Therefore: We should be doing the same works that Jesus and the disciples did today. After all Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
You can find this stuff all over the web. Here is just one example
God’s Command to Raise the Dead: Use Your Spiritual Authority Today and Every Day
Pastor and author Ruth C. Mertz uncovers the twofold purpose in God’s command to raise the dead. Citing example after example from the Bible, she provides a greater understanding of how Christians must use their authority to spread the gospel and thus bring those dead in their sins to life, but also to bring the physically dead to life, who may not be prepared to meet Christ in eternity.
So is your rebellious teenager who died in a car accident not ready to meet the Lord? Don’t let the coroner take them away. Step in with faith and raise them from the dead. After all we are to use our spiritual authority today and every day right?
On website believers.org does provide the following caution
But, obviously, raising the dead cannot be put in exactly the same category as healing the sick.
Scripture mentions only three people that Jesus raised from death, while multitudes were healed by Him.
Healing is God’s will for everyone who will receive it, but coming back to earth after dying is not the will of God for everyone. Notice that almost all the people raised from death in Scripture were young.
We should never try to raise someone from death unless we are sure it is the will of God. In this, we must be led by God’s Spirit. When we are certain of God’s will, we should command with authority and not give up.
Death is an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26), and at the Name of Jesus every knee must bow (Phil. 2:9-10).
Oh ok – probably can’t raise Grandma. We should just raise young folks.
While people love to quote Matthew 10:7-8 I wonder why they don’t include verses 5 and 6 which is the beginning of the command
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5-6 NIV)
What? Are they raising Gentiles? Samaritans? Obviously they are not following this command. I happen to be a Gentile so I guess I don’t qualify.
But wait a minute… In Matthew 28 Jesus sends them to “all nations” doesn’t that contradict Matthew 10:5 where he said to go only to Israel? And what about verses 9-14?
Don’t take along gold, silver, or copper for your money-belts. Don’t take a traveling bag for the road, or an extra shirt, sandals, or a walking stick, for the worker is worthy of his food. “When you enter any town or village, find out who is worthy, and stay there until you leave. Greet a household when you enter it, and if the household is worthy, let your peace be on it. But if it is unworthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town. (Mat 10:9-14 HCSB)
How many believers are walking town to town with no money, no bags, no extra shirt or sandals looking for a place to stay and shaking off the dust where they were not welcome? After all these directions were a part of the same message to the disciple in Matthew 10.
When you look at a bible passage, before you can assume that the directions apply to you some discernment is required.
- Who is talking?
- Who are they talking to?
- Why are they saying what they are saying?
Is it possible… yea even likely that Jesus commands in Matthew 10 were specific instructions to the disciples for that mission and not intended for every believer for all time? Jesus also said to the disciples
When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus then sent two disciples, telling them, “Go into the village ahead of you. At once you will find a donkey tied there, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to Me.
(Mat 21:1-2 HCSB)
Nobody is running around today looking for donkeys tied up with a colt are they?
Where Are The Raised Ones Today?
Why is it that all the stories about raising people from the dead occur in some far off jungle where there are no reliable medical records of what really happened? If Christians truly are raising the dead all the time wouldn’t there be thousands of documented cases over the last 2000 years? Sadly while the few supposed cases of people being raised from the dead are highly suspicious, there are many sad cases of failure to raise the dead and the devastating aftermath.
Waiting in vain for the pastors’ ‘second coming’
Faithful of a Nakuru church may now know it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for their two departed pastors to come back to life, like Lazarus in the New Testament.
Followers of Kingdom Seekers Fellowship (KSF) church came out on Saturday to attempt a feat no other church may have tried. Led by the churches overseer Apostle John William Kimani, they prayed all day in front of coffins containing the bodies of the deceased, hoping they would step out and walk.
The unprecedented drama palpitated with rising anxiety as the faithful were led by their leaders to believe the dead would sit up. Coffins were opened at different intervals but only the still, cold silence of dead bodies stared back at pall bearers who were told to close the lid and wait for a miracle as more prayers were offered.
Standard Digital News Kenya
William M. Branham
Branham died in 1965 after his car was struck by a drunk driver. For many days after his death several well known Latter Rain ministers prayed over his body in an attempt to raise Branham from the dead. . .obviously they failed.
The False Prophet – William Marion Branham
Anatketani’s story (screen name)
My Dad died when I was 13. The pastor of his church decided he would try to raise my Dad from the dead. At the funeral. With over 100 people in attendance. Guess what? My Dad didn’t come back to life. And the pastor was shunned and had to move away with his family. Take it from me. The dead cannot come back to life. Don’t encourage anyone else to make this horrible, psychologically scarring mistake.
Contrary to a recent claim that he has raised the dead, the Rev. Oral Roberts did not mention such a feat in his 1972 autobiography and Roberts’ biographer says he never ran into such a claim when researching the faith healer’s life.
Roberts said in Tulsa on June 25 that he once had to stop his service to revive a dead person before he could continue. Roberts’ son, Richard Roberts, who played a videotape of his father’s remarks the next day on his television show, recalled that during his own boyhood his father revived a dead baby brought up by a distraught mother during a service.
Richard Rawe, an independent religious researcher living in Soap Lake, Wash., pointed to the chapter in Roberts’ autobiography and said, “I think that if he had raised the dead, he would have mentioned it.” Such a case would have offered a positive contrast to the deaths that occurred during his crusades, Rawe said.
Pastor Tries To Raise Dead Wife
Well-wishers who attended a funeral at a church in Portland last Saturday were shocked when the husband of the deceased woman, a minister of religion, removed her body from the casket and started praying for her resurrection.
Some persons, who claimed to have witnessed the incident, alleged that the minister who has appeared on cable, ordered non-believers out of the church during the funeral, before he attempted to perform the miraculous act.
The witnesses said the minister then removed his wife’s body from the coffin and started praying fervently for life to be restored to it. And, although the first few rounds of prayer seemed to have failed, the clergyman’s faith was not discouraged as he continued making his supplication with more passion.
It was at this point, residents claim, that the police had to be called in, but even they were reportedly met with stiff opposition from the distraught widower, who, according to many, was overcome with emotion and caught up in the act of bringing his wife back to life.
Jamaican Pastor Tries to Raise Dead Wife
Missionary Fails To Raise Baby
My wife went over to the neighbor’s house to pay her respects. She came back weeping. Just seeing the baby lying there dead, seeing the mother sitting there alive yet devoid of any real life, any real hope, that is enough to make anyone weep, especially those of us who have the life of another and the hope of heaven. Next it was my turn. I went over to the house and saw the people gathered. It’s very reminiscent of what I’ve thought it would have looked like in Jesus’ day. Some people were surrounding the baby and others were attending to the physical needs of those gathered by cooking food. I shook hands with the men and then went in to see the dead baby and her mother. My heart broke. No, it shattered. Then, I prayed. In fact, I started praying once I heard the baby had died and kept praying up to that point.
My prayer asked God a simple question, “Should I?” Should I pray that this baby would be raised from the dead? After all, Jesus told us we would do greater things than He did. Miracles would be done according to our faith. So, my “should I?” was really a question about my faith. Do I have faith enough even to stick my neck out there and ask this woman if I could pray for her dead child to be raised to life??? We’re not talking about a pray-in-your-head thing here. I knew that wouldn’t do. So, should I? While standing there with tears in my eyes, I felt the Spirit say go ahead (or what I thought was the Spirit). So, after a moment’s hesitation, I spoke to the mother. I told her I believe there is a God that can raise the dead. I told her there is power in the name of Jesus. I asked her if she believed too and if I could pray for her baby. She said yes. So, with everyone looking on, I knelt before this beautiful, lifeless child and begged God to raise her from the dead in the name of Jesus. You know what happened? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I was left with only being able to say that no one understands the mind of God or His will…truly empty words in my mouth and heart (not to mention the mother’s).
So, here is where I am. I’m left with doubts, fears, and even anger. I prayed. I trusted. I put my neck out. What’s more, I put Jesus’ name out there and He didn’t show up. Yes, I’ve heard from others and even my own western theological mind to remember all the reasons we give why God doesn’t answer our prayers. ”It wasn’t His timing,” or “It wasn’t His will,” or “He has something better in store,” but all I hear is the scream of my heart asking, “Why didn’t You hear me?! You said You would! Where are You? Are You even there?!” The baby is still dead. The mother is still lost in hopelessness and despair. And now I look like a fool and the name of Jesus is a joke.
Signs and Wonders were given for a reason. Before the New Testament was completed, they authenticated the message and the messenger. For example when Paul was attacked by the false teachers at Corinth he said this.
The signs of an apostle were performed with great endurance among you–not only signs but also wonders and miracles.
(2Co 12:12 HCSB)
Apostles were foundational for the church. There are no new apostles today. The age of signs and wonders is over. If it were not there would be a lot of evidence. Even Nicodemus conceded that the signs of Jesus had a powerful effect on the Jewish leaders of his day.
This man came to Him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher, for no one could perform these signs You do unless God were with him.”(Joh 3:2 HCSB)
So next time you are at a funeral relax. You are not commanded to raise the dead.