From The Dead" by Reinhard Bonnke
by Sandy Simpson
This article is an initial reaction to the video "Raised From The Dead!" by Reinhard Bonnke, the testimony of Daniel Ekechukwu on the CfAN site, and the Charisma News Service story. For further information on the background of Reinhard Bonnke, go here. We will continue to investigate this claim and bring you news as it develops.
Here's the Charisma News Service story:
CHARISMA NEWS SERVICE Wed, Feb 20, 2002 Vol. 3 No. 231
A Daily News Update from the editors of Charisma magazine
LEAD STORY: by Andy Butcher
Reinhard Bonnke Video Documents Modern-Day Lazarus
Nigerian certified dead, but revived days later at evangelist's meeting
The dramatic documentary of a modern-day Lazarus has been released by international evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. The German preacher who has led crusades in Africa for 30 years says that the remarkable resurrection of Daniel Ekechukwu is so well-documented that no one can be unaffected by the report.
Bonnke's Christ for All Nations (CfAN) ministry has released a 45-minute video of Ekechukwu's testimony, and also reported at its Web site how the Nigerian pastor had been certified dead and injected with embalming fluids before reviving three days later at a Bonnke meeting.
Ekechukwu's wife was so sure that God would bring her husband back to life after he was fatally injured in an auto accident that she persuaded the local mortuary to allow her to take his body to the church where Bonnke was preaching.
There pastors lifted Ekechukwu from the coffin in which he had been laid, and were amazed when the man started to breathe again as they prayed for him. The CfAN video includes footage of Ekechukwu beginning to stir, and later returning to the mortuary where his body had been laid out.
The "Raised from the Dead" report, subtitled "A 21st Century Resurrection Story," features interviews with one of the doctors who certified Ekechukwu dead, and the mortician. "It's shocking," one of them tells the video team. "Seeing a dead man, someone that was once dead and is now alive...it is very shocking. To God all glory should go."
Nneka Ekechukwu says that when her husband was pronounced dead after last November's accident, she remembered promises God had given her that she would not suffer any more misfortune. "I said: 'This can't happen. I must do something, to prove God again.'"
On the third day after the accident, Ekechukwu's body was taken in its coffin to a church in Ontisha, where Bonnke was preaching at a service. The body was taken out of its coffin and put on a table in the church's conference center, where several pastors began to pray.
Senior pastor Pat Nwachkuw Sr. tells the CfAN documentary makers that when members of the church learned about Ekechwuku's resurrection, a woman who had been on crutches threw them away and started running, and her husband ran to the church altar to ask God to forgive him his sins.
Interviewed by CfAN, Ekechukwu says when he was being taken to the hospital in the ambulance, he was visited by two angels and taken to heaven. There he saw a "multitude" of people dressed in white who were singing and praising God. Then he was taken to hell, he says.
The angel told him that he had "another chance" to go back, and that the rich man's request to Lazarus -- to warn those still alive about hell -- had been "granted to this generation." Ekechukwu said that he had been told he could return to the living to give "a last warning to this generation."
In commentary on the video, Bonnke says that the testimony -- which has been reported in Nigerian newspapers -- spoke of "stubborn faith and the miracle power of Jesus." Ekechukwu's story is a "sign from heaven," he says.
Rather than post the full story from the CfAN site, you can read it at the following location:
There are a number of things patently suspicious and even wrong with this story. Further investigation is needed, but I smell a rat!
(1) The death certificate,
which was very hard to read on the CfAN English Bonnke site, reads "Rev.
Dan Eke". Here's a better copy we obtained:
What church does he pastor? After further investigation, Daniel Ekechukwu (Dan Eke?) is indeed a pastor of the Power Chapel Evangelical Church of Ontisha, Nigeria. Because of this fact I have to posit a very distinct possibility of collusion. Isn't this just too much of a coincidence ... for a church that Bonnke is involved with in Nigeria to have its pastor allegedly die in a car accident and then get raised from the dead by Bonnke, all at a very opportune moment to validate Bonnke's ministry in the face of suits and bad press?
(2) The apparent progression of this bizarre case was:
(a) Transported by ambulance from accident scene(3) His wife was summoned to the Federal Medical Center in Boromyuo, the second stop in his whirlwind tour. Was she with him when he had his accident in the Mercedes? Or did she have to travel 1 1/2 to 2 hours from her home in Ontisha? In either case, why was this not mentioned?
(b) to Federal Medical Center in Boromyuo. Then after Dan Eke protested and said he wanted to be taken to his hometown hospital he was granted this insane request in his alleged condition
(c) and transported over bumpy roads 1 1/2 to 2 hours to Owerri Regional Hospital. Looking for the Eke family doctor, they apparently
(d) moved Dan again to Eunice's Clinic to be declared "dead" by Dr. Jossy Anuebunisa, Danielís uncle's (Okoronkwo Emmanuel) doctor who lived near the hospital. Why was a death certificate not given by the Owerri Regional Hospital by the "member of the medical staff" (English CfAN/Charisma story) or "doctor" (German CfAN story) there who allegedly indicated he was dead? Was he really dead OWH? He was then
(e) moved again to his father's house (who is a Mormon) and then
(f) transported to the Ikeduru General Hospital Mortuary. From there he was subsequently
(g) taken to the Bonnke meeting. This guy really got a tour of Nigeria!
(4) If he had embalming fluid injected into him and he was not dead would it kill him? Not necessarily, according to literature. Embalming fluid is now even being laced with marijuana and shot up by drug addicts because it produces "visual and auditory hallucinations, euphoria, a feeling of invincibility and increased pain tolerance. The high lasts from six hours to three days. " (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_1459000/1459973.stm) Could this be the source of his dream? Could it be that the embalming fluid (or some other "harsh substance"?) put him in a trance and alleviated his pain, then when he was moved all around and to the church he finally came around? Could he have been injected with something else?
(5) The CfAN picture of the casket shows it is likely
not a "sealed casket" as is claimed in their article.
If he was supposedly left in a sealed casket his body would have decayed badly over the course of a few days, even with a little embalming fluid injected. (http://www.funerals-ripoffs.org/-1aTot-1.htm) It would have smelled to high heavens! But there is no mention of that. It is likely the casket was not sealed and he could have breathed in it from the mortuary to the church if he were alive and in some catatonic state. Also note the very small size of this casket. Could this big man have fit into what is pictured here?
(6) Was the Bishop's son, Paul an authority on rigor mortis? If not, then that should have been left out of this story that Bonnke claims is not being "sensationalized". Yet the title of the article on the CfAN site is "From Rigor Mortis Corpse to Resurrection Man".
(7) Why aren't any scars
evident on Daniel as a result of his head allegedly breaking the windshield
of his car? In the pictures directly following the alleged "dead
raising" there is no evidence whatsoever that his head went through a windshield.
There is no mention of head injuries prior to, during, after the accident, in the morgue, or in the alleged resurrection in the church. Why not?
(8) Bonnke used this dead
raising claim on the Benny Hinn show to validate both of their ministries,
even though Bonnke was not even present when it allegedly happened. Also,
it happened before ANYONE prayed for him except his Daniel's wife. The
fact that Bonnke and Hinn were panned by HBO on their show "A Question
Of Miracles" aired 4/15/01, exposing them as fraudulent "faith healers"
has a lot to do with the fact that both of these guys were on Hinn's show
trying to vindicate themselves. Bonnke, on the Hinn TV show stated
that the "dead raising" was to God's glory, yet he also held up the following
newspaper article that claimed Bonnke raised Daniel from the dead.
Is this giving the glory to the Lord or to Bonnke? If Bonnke had nothing to do with this incident, then why is he using it to justify his ministry? If they claim that simply bringing Dan Eke into the presence of the "anointed" Bonnke effected his resurrection, then why did it effect the death of countless others?
(9) MANY people have died at Bonnke and Hinn crusades. Go to the following articles at AllAfrica.Com to read about the many who have died at Bonnke crusades:
Many have also died and been hurt at Hinn's crusades in Nigeria, as evidenced by this scene that played out after Hinn claimed Jesus Christ would appear physically on stage with him at this 2000 crusade in Nigeria:
The Vancouver Sun
May 4, 2000
"4 Kenyans die waiting for miracle-cure man: The victims, including two young children, were hoping to be cured by a visiting American evangelist.
NAIROBI -- Four Kenyans, including two young children, died at a religious meeting while they waited for miracle cures from a visiting American evangelist, a paper said Wednesday. Police told the Kenya Times the four had been released from hospital to be cured at Benny Hinn's ''Miracle Crusade'' in the Kenyan capital on Sunday, but they died before Hinn could pray for them. The dead included a four-month old baby girl and a three-year old girl who was reported to have been suffering from a heart complaint. Ten other people suffered serious injuries including broken jaws after falling from trees they had climbed to get a view of the American preacher, who was reported to have attracted up to a million people to his two-day weekend meeting. Hinn regularly preaches to vast audiences across the United States and his shows are broadcast on Kenya's terrestrial religious channel every night. Preachers promising miracle cures from ailments ranging from AIDS to blindness have become increasingly popular in recent years in Kenya, a country where health care is out of the reach of many ordinary people and living standards have been gradually falling for years."
In fact, Bonnke has had many lawsuits to fend off in the past over people dying at his meetings. This dead raising incident comes at a time when he desperately needed to vindicate himself. This casts a pall of suspicion on this whole story that cannot be ignored. Also, why are there never dead raisings in America where medical histories and authorities can be easily contacted? Why aren't these guys helping out in hospital and morgues? Where were they on September 11, 2001?
Ekechukwu's near-death vision from heaven is patently unbiblical. This is what made me suspicious of this whole incident because we are now being led to believe the God had a purpose in Daniel coming back to life ... to deliver the following message to mankind:
"He (Daniel) was visited by two angels and taken to heaven. There he saw a "multitude" of people dressed in white who were singing and praising God. Then he was taken to hell, he says. The angel told him that he had "another chance" to go back, and that the rich man's request to Lazarus -- to warn those still alive about hell -- had been "granted to this generation." Ekechukwu said that he had been told he could return to the living to give "a last warning to this generation."
First of all, is a Christian pastor going to be taken to heaven then to hell? Isn't hell only for the unregenerate? Even Lazarus didn't go to hell. If Daniel did go to hell then why would God give him a second chance to come back and give a message that is already warned of in God's Word? If he didn't go to hell then he is either a liar or deluded by the enemy. Second, the request to Lazarus will never be granted. No one in hell will ever get a drink of water or be saved. Third, the warning of hell from the Bible is strong and consistent. Is the Gospel message not enough for people to believe without angels having to allegedly take people on a tour of hell, which has never happened in the Bible? If not then God should have been sending people back from hell all along. What is God allegedly warning us about in "this generation"? That was not specified. If the warning is about hell then this is a warning that has gone out to ALL generations.
I suspect that if this were a true vision that God would be warning us about apostasy in the church and to stay away from false teachers like Reinhard Bonnke and false prophets like Benny Hinn. But no such warning is forthcoming. Instead this whole incident is ready made for Bonnke to use to promote his ministry. It is also bound to bring a further delusion and judgment on those who follow false teachers.
We can be thankful that Daniel Ekechukwu revived. But if he was dead and came back to life it has NOTHING to do with Reinhard Bonnke, the church staff at the Onitsha church, or Benny Hinn.
Let's be sure to keep our facts straight!
All I can say to Daniel Ekechukwu is this: if God did raise you from the dead then don't let your faith be shipwrecked and destroyed by hanging around false teachers and false prophets who have a great record for apostasy and death, not sound doctrine and life. Remember: you can gain your life only to lose your soul!