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Paul summed up the Gospel like this:
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”(1 Corinthians 15:3-8).
As you can see, Paul thinks that at the core of the Gospel lies Jesus’ death for our sins, His burial and His resurrection. And among these three, the resurrection receives most attention. He lines up everyone he knows of that has seen the resurrected Jesus, including himself. Then he goes on discussing the resurrection in the rest of the chapter.
Likewise, Paul, Peter and others who preach the Gospel in the book of Acts often emphasize the resurrection even more than they emphasize the cross. This used to confuse me, since the atonement happened on the cross. It was on the cross that Jesus died for our sins and defeated the devil – the cross is at the core of all atonement theories. The resurrection is great of course, Jesus is alive hallelujah, but shouldn’t the death of Jesus be the focus of the apostles rather than His resurrection?
Half a year ago my pastor told me that there is a Chinese lady studying at Stockholm School of Theology called Ge Baojuan who has raised dead people back to life. Since this school isn’t exactly charismatic I was cheerfully surprised and went to Stockholm to do an interview. I asked her to share some miracles she had seen, and she didn’t disappoint me. She said that a lot of miracles are happening in China and that this is one of the major reasons why the church is growing so quickly there.
She told me about when she raised a child from the dead, when a girl with mental problems was healed, when tumors disappeared from a woman’s womb and when a lady miraculously survived a car accident. The two latter examples were from Sweden, so luckily the power of the Holy Spirit isn’t restricted to China.
I was so impressed by pastor Ge’s humility and faith. She has been a pastor for a long time and has done a huge impact for the Kingdom of God in Wuhan, and now she has come to Sweden to take a master of arts in theology. In my opinion, she should teach the Swedes how to be a Spiritual master.
From Eric Hatfield’s blog the Way?
The source of the first story is the heart surgeon involved, Dr Chauncey Crandall of Florida, a respected cardiologist in the US (as this summary shows) with over twenty years experience. He has performed heart operations in many hospitals and holds professorships in several universities.
The other 10 case histories come from the book The Miracles by Dr H Richard Casdorph an experienced doctor and medical researcher who has published more than a hundred research papers in a career that has spanned almost 6 decades. In the mid 70s he undertook a research project with a difference. He interviewed ten people who claimed to have been miraculously healed of serious conditions. He examined all the case histories – X-rays, medical reports, etc – and also submitted them to medical specialists for review.
In 2006 Jeff suffered a massive heart attack and was taken to hospital where an emergency team of doctors and nurses tried for 40 minutes to re-start his heart without success. They called in Dr Crandall as a cardiac specialist, to confirm Jeff was dead.
“As I entered the ER [emergency room] it was like a war zone. Here was this lifeless body on a stretcher.” Dr Crandall said later. “His face, his arms, his legs were pitch black with death.”
Dr Crandall confirmed what the team already knew, Jeff was dead. However then a “voice” in his head told him to pray for the man. Dr Crandall was sure it was God, so he prayed for Jeff, then stopped the surprised medical team who were preparing the body for the morgue, and directed them to give him one more shock with the paddles. His heartbeat returned almost immediately and Jeff subsequently fully recovered.
One of the most amazing books I’ve read is called Voice in the Night by Surprise Sithole. It’s an autobiography where Surprise tells about how the external, audible voice of God saved his life as a young man and called him to go and preach the Gospel in his homeland Mozambique as well as other nations nearby. He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the poor and planted churches, just as Jesus had told us to do. Later on he became a leader in Iris Ministries.
In the video above Surprise shares a few of the stories that can be found in his book. Not only has he raised eight people from the dead, he has also seen a lot of food miracles. Like many other saints, he combines signs and wonders with poverty reduction. I think he is a wonderful example of a humble and joyful leader with really strong faith and burning compassion. We need to listen more to these guys also in the Western church!