Volume Eight, Issue Six
May the Lord bless you all and lead you to maturity in Christ!
The feature for this DITC e-Newsletter is called "A Rich Man's Prayer Answered?" by Mike Oppenheimer, Let Us Reason Ministries, 3/08/02 This is a follow up piece to the one in the last newsletter about the video that Reinhard Bonnke has been promoting on TBN and all over the world. Was a dead man raised because he was near Bonnke's anointing? New info has come forth that seems to send a monkey wrench into this whole story. There is also an additional article on those who interviewed Dan Eku, the man who claims to have come back from the dead. The actual facts of the case all very divergant, according to those who have interviewed Bonnke and Eku. The vision Eku saw is patently unbiblical. Bonnke said on TBN that Eku was taken to heaven and hell in his vision, there was a welcome sign over the gates of hell, he talked to dead people, and the reason he came back to life was to fulfil Lazuraus's brother's request. Since the vision is unbiblical, in fact obviously born out of false Word-Faith doctrines, since Bonnke has lied before about raising the dead and alleged miracles, since they are both false teachers, why are so many people believing this story? This is a call to place your faith in Jesus Christ who can raise the dead, but not in false teachers who try to use lying wonders to promote their ministries and justify what they a
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A Reinhard Bonnke video being sold for a minimum donation of $35 is being promoted in which the account of a Nigerian hyper Pentecostal pastor, Daniel Ekechukwu ("Eku"), being raised from the dead at a Bonnke meeting in Nigeria is portrayed complete with a medical testimony and mortuary testimony. The episode is being trumpeted by Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and as usual, Elim's George Canty.
After a television expose on bogus faith healers naming both Bonnke and Hinn, reactions were voice by Berean Call's David Mc Allister, the Truth or Fiction.com investigative web site, and Tony Pearce of Messianic Testimony who fell victim of false assertions about his statement and his beliefs by Canty, whom Moriel can only regard as a deceiver who teaches a form of the ancient Docetist heresy, teaching that "Jesus Christ had no Jewish blood", and from the promotion by Elim and its Kensington Temple of Morris Cerullo, And a host of money preachers ranging from Hinn, John Avanzini, and Roberts Liardon (recently found in homosexuality), Elim can be regarded as having become nothing more than a cult. But this story is curious.
Bonnke is being sued in Nigeria for the deaths of people crushed in human stampedes at his so called crusades. None of the many killed have been raised from the dead, and a leading African pastor attributes Bonnke's popularity to his use of African tribal religious style practices. With the litigation for such deaths In the eye of the media, the timing of this claimed miracle is interesting. Mr Theophilus Osagiede, brother of Efremesise, one of the victims, has a massive 60 million Niara litigation against Bonnke and his organizers at the Benin High Court.
Canty's Elim has also been at the center of media public scandals surrounding attempts to raise the dead. In Belfast, Elim and its leader, Eric Mc Comb were featured in a headline reaction to people at an Elim church screaming at a casket containing the body of an infant to "Get Up In The Name of Jesus" to the devastation and upset of the family. Crown Coroner, Sir Montaque Levine, also delivered a synopsis of a coroner's report of a young woman who the report said would be alive, had she not attended a Morris Cerullo meeting , which was promoted by Elim. Hinn had likewise been sued for the death of someone injured as a result of his 'slain in the spirit' hypnotics which cheaply counterfeit the fairly rare biblical phenomenon.
The story is that this pastor simply called 'Eku' died while taking a goat as a Christmas present to his father who is a Mormon had an automobile collision due to brake failure, and with chest injuries left the nearest hospital for another some distance away in serious condition against the advice of the physicians and then died but was revived at a Reinhard Bonnke meeting.
It is understood that the patient was pronounced dead on the basis of stethoscopic and ocular response examination only. There was no autopsy report documenting post mortem histological necrosis and encephlogramatic indication of what is clinically called "brain death" and other more modern and accurate diagnostic methods of determining death are not commonly available in Nigeria.
There are also conflicting accounts of the details surrounding this alleged event, concerning whether or not the corpse was embalmed and the time which the patient was dead, which vary from 42 hours to 3 days, and the role of his father who is a member of the Mormon Latter Day Saints cult.
One question being asked is why did the Federal hospital (the second one they went to) not issue a death certificate, if as reported, the medical staff said he was already pronounced dead on arrival and instructed his remains be taken to a morgue? Instead a death certificate was issued at St Eunice clinic signed by a Dr Josse Anuebusisa, a physician who is family friend of the pastor's uncle which said he died November 30th, 2001, listing no time of death. Moreover, how could the victim have spoken to his wife during this journey as it initially appeared to have been claimed if he was deceased, and why did they rush him to a third medical facility, a St Eunice clinic, if, as stated, he was already dead and were told to deliver his remains to a mortuary? As matters stand, although we cannot conclusively determine anything on the basis of existing evidence, upon even a cursory amount of scrutiny, too much simply fails to add up. In addition to the absence of an autopsy report, there is no known coroner's report, no recorded time of death, and why has no police accident report of an accident involving a fatality been produced?
These questions regarding verifiable authenticity however are, for us, not the chief concern. In the absence of a post mortem performed under the supervision of a qualified forensic pathologist included in a formal coroner's report, by the accepted standards of the modern world, we are not in a position to absolutely conclude one way or another if or not there was an actual clinical death. The first and foremost things any independent judicial inquiry or forensic investigation would want to see is the autopsy report and forensic protocols, a coroner's report on cause and time of death, and the police accident report with any witness statements. None of this documentation, that would be standard in any inquiry, has been furnished nor even seems to exist and without it no one can confirm the veracity of anything.
The Third world of course is not the first world, but they do have accident reports and post mortems. If it was a real death, a mere near death where vital signs appeared non responsive (which the medical journals document as having varying degrees of precedent), or simply bogus - cannot be determined by modern forensic and juridical standards. Again, without an autopsy we don't know and can't know for sure what if anything actually happened, but no police accident report or coroner's report has been forthcoming either.
Jesus of course had no autopsy either, but this episode is plainly not like the crucifixion of Jesus where modern research crucified cadavers and determined the clinical impossibility of survival due to the combined effects of pericardial effusion, cardiac respiratory systemic failure compounded by diaphragmatic incontraction/inexpansion, vascular hemorrhage, and hypervolemic shock. Trauma victims on the other hand may lose most vital signs but still retain neural metabolism only diagnosable by brave wave monitoring , in some cases, even where there appears to be fixed ocular dilation, palpatative non response, and no manually detectable pulse.
Our real concerns however are first of all a biblical examination of
the accounts of Pastor Ekechukwu of his death or near death
experience. He claims that hell had a "welcome sign". More seriously however, he claims that the rich man's prayer of Luke 16 :19-31 was answered in his experience where in response to the rich man's prayer, he was sent back to warn people to repent and believe. This however contradicts the direct teaching of Jesus in his interpretation of the parable that even if someone did return from the dead, such people would not believe, so God refused to answer this very same prayer according to scripture. Whose interpretation do we accept, Pastor Ekechuwu's or Jesus? A proper exegesis of the Word of God of course seems to mean nothing to a Copeland or a Hinn and much less to an Elim minister like George Canty
Almost as alarming is that Pastor Ekechuwu's wife said that she was somehow led to believe that "the anointing" was so powerful at Reinhard Bonnke's preaching, that she would receive her husband back from the dead. In an interview however, Pastor Ekechuwu said that Mr Bonnke was not even present, but had already left. So even if he did raise from the dead (and it is by no means anything like certain that he did) , by his account, Reinhard Bonnke was not even present . In fairness Mr Bonnke told heretical False Prophet Benny Hinn that he (Bonnke) had nearly no role in it, (although Bonnke's publicity machine and web site create a somewhat different impression), but if in fact he was not even there , he had no involvement at all.
Mr Bonnke always had certain unbiblical doctrinal beliefs , such as his contra scriptural claims of anointing transference from Elim founder, George Jeffries, who taught that the Anglo Saxon and Celtic nations are the lost tribes of ancient Israel. Scripturally, Exodus 30 calls it an abomination to try to transfer an anointing. While we have known for some time on the basis of our own ministry in Africa, that his reports were often embellished, we reserved any criticism of Mr Bonnke as long as was preaching the gospel. Once he teamed up with proven apostates like Benny Hinn, money preacher Kenneth Copeland, and 'Holy Ghost Bar Tender' and drunken hysterics guru, Rodney Howard Browne however, we were compelled to disavow any endorsement of Mr.Bonnke's ministry.
Bonnke joined Rodney Howard Brown in the catastrophic Madison Square Garden failure in New York, biblical Pentecostals like David Wilkerson denounced as evil.
While reluctant to accept the death claims of Eku on face value, especially in the face of so much apparently contrary evidence, Jacob Prasch & Moriel however are not cessationist and we do not doubt that a sovereign God can and sometimes does do miracles today. Mr Bonnke's cooperation with heretical enemies of the cross however, cannot be defended. Moreover, when a God who does not change and who does not contradict His own Word does do miracles today, they agree with scripture - they do not contradict it.
Whether or not Eku did die and raise from the dead cannot be said, but even if he did, one interview said Bonnke was not even there when it happened and what Eku said he experienced in hell directly contradicts the clear teaching of Jesus and the bible. One would have to be mad to accept the say so of anyone from the Elim cult whose Barry Killick promoted the "gold teeth & gold dust" hoax. Elim has sponsored the promulgation of every heretical deception imaginable from the Toronto lie to Morris Cerullo and his twenty five pound sterling Holy Ghost miracle patches of cloth to remove debt, even when autopsy reports blamed Cerullo crusades for deaths and Cerullo engaged in the sin of simony - selling The Holy Spirit for a registration fee "to ensure your part in the move of The Spirit". From the Elim leader in New Zealand found in immorality while orchestrating the Toronto Experience to the Elim leader on The Isle of Man sent to prison for having sex with a minor in the church nursery, to the homosexuality of its leader in the English North West, scandal and public shame has defined Elim in the thinking of many of its former members. But Canty's involvement in the Eku affair is pressing even Elim to new heights.
We believe that Mr Bonnke, while never wrapped too tight doctrinally, did begin as a sincere evangelist. The disappointing result of his poorly managed 'Minus to Plus' venture was probably, if nothing else, well intended and less gimmicky than Elim's "JIM Challenge" letdown. But getting involved with figures like Hinn, Copeland, Canty, and Howard Browne has been the demise of his credibility.
Although it can not be established if or not Eku ever died and came back to life due to a shortage of medical and legal evidence, what has been both legally and medically established beyond the pale of any doubt whatsoever is the death of 14 Bonnke devotees crushed to death at just one of Bonnke's African crusades alone, and the pending law suite for 60 million Niara that goes with it. It is too bad Bonnke didn't raise any of these victims from the dead.
For a more detailed inquiry into the Eku affair: please refer to the article on http://www.letusreason.org/popteac13.htm