Why it is important to raise the dead
April 8, 2010
Destiny. Fulfillment. Life.
God has a plan, a desire: fullness for every single life. This is a plan for flourishing.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Sometimes when people die young, those around say, “she died before her time” or “he was too young to die” or “he had such a bright future.” In our core, in our spirit, we know an injustice has occurred.
Many people have collections of prophetic words over their lives: “you will lead a band of youth in taking Russia for Jesus,” “you will see the salvation of your family,” “I see you owning your own business,” “you are called to be a missionary.” These words carry weight. They are the truth of heaven. They are God’s desire for that individual.
Moreover, one of the promises poured out over and over from God’s heart into the ears of His people is, “you will enjoy long life.” In Deuteronomy 1:1-2 it reads,
These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you,
and so that you may enjoy long life.
God intends long life for us. So, why don’t we all live a long life?
Because the enemy, satan, is a thief.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
Death came as a result of the fall, it is part of the curse.
And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Consequently, in Genesis 3:22 it says,
“And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
Whereas prior to the fall, Adam and Eve were established in perfection and eternal life, the fall placed them under the curse of death.
The good news is: Jesus bore the curse for us. We are released from the curse of death and decay.
Revelation 1:18 beautifully proclaims,
I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!
And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Jesus conquered the grave FOR us!!! He holds the keys!! His victory is OUR victory!!! The very power that rose Jesus from the dead LIVES in us!!!!
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
With this power ALIVE in us, we have the authority of Jesus. We have authority over death. It is ALREADY in us. We simply need to believe and act in line with that belief (which is the reflection of real belief). It is already finished.
This reminds me of a metaphorical story of a family who made a voyage across the seas to a new life. They ate only bread and cheese the entire journey in order to avoid having to pay for food in the dining room. At the journey’s end the captain asked them why they had never joined everyone for meals. When the man explained why, the captain replied, “but your meals were included in your voyage.” Abundance is included in what Jesus paid for!
We must line up with heaven’s joy and heaven’s abundance!!! Not only is it RIGHT and true, it’s also where the most FUN and ease are!
Jesus commanded us to align with heaven’s reality when he said,
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.
Freely you have received, freely give.”
It is not merely a suggestion, it’s a command. And the power is already in us! We don’t have to go get something we don’t have. We already have the authority!!! I believe Jesus. All his words are true,
“And the words of the LORD are flawless,
like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.”
Paul once addressed the religious leaders who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead with these words,
“Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?”
Hahahaha!!!! It’s easy! Not only was Jesus raised from the dead, he raised others from the dead:
Then Jesus said,
“Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
And look at the results of that one dead-raising!!! It got the attention of “the whole world!”
Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere.
Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
There is a global shaking underway. It is a resurrection insurrection. A revolution of LIFE. It is a move which includes divine healing (the healing of sickness & disease), and moves onward into divine life (not getting sick at all), and it expects to raise the dead. It is a radical, unstoppable juggernaut of FAITH that will believe God at all times, despite the way things “appear.” We believe God is good. We believe all of heaven is on our side. We believe landslide victory is already ours. We can relax because it is ALREADY done. And we can be unreasonably HAPPY as we are plugged into the constant JOY of heaven. We are wildly lovesick and fearless.
Jesus words regarding Lazarus were,
“Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
I believe. We believe.
As I write this I am in expectation for my valiant brother Haven to sit up from his sleep. Some would say he died Saturday, but I believe heaven has a different opinion. He is not dead, merely sleeping.
It certainly isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened:
While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”
Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Thursday I got back from a missions trip to La Paz, Mexico. The previous Sunday I spoke at the church in La Paz about resurrection and birth – it was simply what I felt God was blazing in me- to call the church upward into their own calling to raise the dead: including dead dreams. Upon my return I found out three year old Haven was in the hospital in Sacramento. I drove down the next day with two friends to declare life and drip heaven’s joy and promises onto Haven. Very early saturday morning I got a text message from Haven’s powerful mom, Chloe, to pray for resurrection. He went to sleep at 6:45am. And so began the joyful journey of the last 6 days. The majority of most of my days have been at this family’s house – in worship, in declaration, and in JOY-FILLED expectation, no other thought but RESURRECTION faith.
In my own cultivation of resurrection expectation: I’ve seen a baby pronounced dead in the womb come back to life in Bethlehem when some friends and I prayed; I’ve laid in Lazarus’ tomb in Cyprus to receive an impartation to raise the dead – having no idea at the time that my own grandfather had died that very day. (2 kings 13:21 is a great example of how glory stays on graves). Additionally, at the start of 2010 I felt like God said the year was about resurrection and birth. One day I was driving to school with some friends and there was a huge cloud resting upon Mt Shasta. I noticed it looked like a massive bird, a phoenix. My friend Sam said, “what do you think that means?” Without thinking about it, I replied, “it’s resurrection touching down.” A loaded silence punctuated in laughter filled the car. That day during worship I was lying on the floor and I heard God say, “yell ‘resurrection’!” I did so, sheepishly at first, and then LOUDLY. I heard God again, “now get up and yell it!” I did. And in that moment something powerful, unyielding, and electric ripped through my body. I was in shock over the violent presence of God that overtook my body.
After worship I was walking in the back of the room and a friend stopped me with, “Dawn, I think I have a word for you.” He proceeded to speak the word God gave him for me and immediately Holy Spirit flung my body to the floor. He knelt down and went on to say, “And I have something that I feel like you are supposed to pray for with me.” “Yes?” I said. “Well, my sister is pregnant and the doctor just informed her the baby has died and she has an appointment to have it removed soon.” Again the force of heaven rushed through me. I laughed. “Do you know that I have prayed for a baby dead in the womb and it came back to life?” “No,” he answered, “That’s crazy. I definitely did not know that.” I went on to tell him about seeing the phoenix cloud that morning and yelling “resurrection” during worship. Holy Spirit was giving me stairsteps to a mountaintop encounter with God and a new attention to resurrection. It was incredible. I prayed for his sister’s child. Sadly, it was not raised from the dead. Still, the moment was part of a growing momentum. Months ago, in agreement with the momentum, my housemate and I named our house “Anastasia” which means “resurrection.” (I have a habit of naming things, as I find it draws out identity and appreciation. My car is Joshua. My guitar is Jehoshaphat (see 2 Chronicles 20:22. ) )
Ironically, when I left Mexico last week the parting words of Pastor Esther Nava in La Paz were, “tell me as soon as you raise the dead because I know you are going to.” Little did she know how soon I would cash in those words.
The path of the last 6 days has felt extremely natural. It just makes sense. One morning a group of us got up at dawn and went to the funeral home to worship and declare God’s promises over Haven. One afternoon four of us went to a hilltop overlooking Redding and blew a shofar (a ram’s horn), shook a tamborine, and beat a djembe. We proclaimed breakthrough over our whole city! Tuesday Haven’s body was brought to our church (Bethel Church) for a resurrection service. Church leaders prayed over the body for a time, followed by us close friends, and then the larger friend circle piled in for worship and agreement that Haven’s destiny will be fulfilled. This is about BELIEVING Jesus. And standing up on Haven’s behalf for the beautiful impact He will have on this earth and the crucial part he has in the body of Christ. He’s my brother. I want him to fulfill his calling as much as I want to fulfill mine. We are all in this together. His flourishing adds to mine, my flourishing adds to His. And all this adds to Jesus getting His full reward throughout the universe!!!!!
Wednesday Haven’s victorious parents prayed over Haven’s body for three hours at their house, Thursday the same. Several days ago during their prayer hour over his body at the funeral home several earthquakes hit California. This was confirmation to the declarations of a number of us that the earth would quake on behalf of Haven’s raising, just like it did when Jesus defeated death. Last night we gathered to worship from 6pm-3am and waited in joyful expectation for Haven’s waking. The glory of God is so thick in this house. When Haven walks in it’s going to explode!!!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!!
I am convinced that Haven will be raised. He will fulfill the destiny set out for him. He will live out the two albums of prophetic words spoken over his life that his parents have assembled over his three years. He is the first fruits of a revolution of resurrection!!!! His breakthrough is global breakthrough!!!! His triumph is triumph for our city (Redding), our nation, and all of creation!!! Haven was born for such a time as this.
Blessings to your internal volcano of faith as you grab hands with Heaven. It’s time to have limitless faith and contend for dead-raising. It’s time to stick up for one another’s destinies. It’s time to be courageous and EXPECT great and miraculous things from God in every situation. It’s time to 100% take God at his perfect word. It’s time to raise the dead.
In the words of Paul,
““that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Haven himself said, “raise the dead.”
Haven’s mom Chloe’s journey of faith: http://www.facebook.com/notes/chloe-casselberry/havens-destiny-fulfilled-the-goodness-of-god-revealed/383779142380