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What Happened When The Worlds Most Famous Atheist Had A Near Death Experience.
National Post | March 3 2001 | William Cash

Posted on 02/04/2004 5:20:15 PM PST by catonsville

Did atheist philosopher see God when he 'died'? William Cash National Post March 3, 2001

"I haven't told this to anybody before," said Dr. Jeremy George, senior consultant in the Department of Thoracic Medicine at London University's Middlesex Hospital. On the table in front of him were the official hospital notes of "Sir Alfred Ayer, date of birth 29/10/10, of 51 York Street, London, W1." We were discussing the incident of June, 1988, when the eminent 77-year-old British philosopher, arguably the most influential 20th century rationalist after Bertrand Russell, famously "died" in London University Hospital. His heart stopped for four minutes when he apparently choked on a slice of smoked salmon smuggled in by a former mistress. Three months later, while recuperating at his house in the south of France, the atheist author of Language, Truth and Logic, whose more than 50-year career was devoted to ridiculing all metaphysical statements, especially all Christian doctrine, as nonsense, wrote a lengthy article for Britain's The Sunday Telegraph, titled What I Saw When I Was Dead, about his bizarre visit to the other side and how, as a humanist philosopher, it had affected his view of death.

Ayer's article, with his vivid memory of being pulled toward a red light, "exceedingly bright, and also very painful," his encounters with the "ministers" of the universe, and his frustration as he tried to "cross the river" -- which he presumed was the Styx -- bears a very curious resemblance to similar reports of near-death experiences recalled by 63 survivors of cardiac arrest at Southampton General Hospital, and published last week in the science journal Resuscitation.

Dr. Peter Fenwick. of the Institute of Psychiatry in London, a leading consultant who was involved in the findings, said the collected data is the first medical evidence that proves the mind can continue to exist after the body is clinically dead, and that a form of afterlife is now scientifically explainable. "Those who return all report that they have been changed," he said. "Those who were religious found their faith renewed. Those who had no faith often acquired at least a belief in some form of afterlife".

However, in his article Ayer concluded his experience had done nothing to weaken his belief that there is no God. In a second article, titled Postscript to a Postmortem, Ayer added a further denial that the experience had led him to alter his secularist view that "there is no life after death". Ayer, after all, had good reason to rebut any suggestion he had changed his atheist convictions. From the late 1940s, he had been employed by the BBC to take on such opponents as Hugh Montefiore, Bishop of Birmingham, and Jesuit priest Martin D'Arcy, a friend of Evelyn Waugh, and to broadcast his vigorously humanist views. But did intellectual pride induce Freddie -- as he was known to many -- to compromise his version of the truth of what really happened during the four minutes of his clinical death?

Last year, after I wrote a play for the Edinburgh Festival about Ayer's near death experience, I received a letter from Dr. Jeremy George, who had been senior registrar in charge of Ayer while he was in hospital. He told me he had some new information he thought I might find "very interesting."

Dr. George was the duty doctor when Ayer was first admitted on May 31, 1988, after falling seriously ill with pneumonia after a lunch at the Savoy. By a strange coincidence, Dr. George had been a student at New College, Oxford in the 1970s when Ayer was at the college as Wykeham Professor of Logic. Although he was not taught by Ayer, Dr. George had met him. When the young doctor saw this "crumpled heap in a corner of the private wing," he immediately recognized him as Britain's most celebrated living philosopher. "He was very pleased that somebody knew who he was" said Dr. George, "He looked very blue. His oxygen level was virtually incompatible with life." Dr. George gave Ayer emergency oxygen and put him immediately in the intensive care unit, where his condition improved. "He would not have survived the day. I was amazed how lucid he became. I think he made a joke in Latin."

During Ayer's week in intensive care, the nurses turned a blind eye to his private supply of smoked salmon in the unit fridge provided by an old lover who left him for Graham Greene in the early 1950s but remained a close friend. Indeed, the hospital staff had to put a ban on the number of his female visitors, among them his latest girlfriend, a married Canadian woman with whom he was planning an adulterous weekend in Paris the moment he was discharged.

In the early evening of June 6, Ayer later wrote, he "carelessly tossed" a slice of salmon down this throat. Choking as it went the wrong way down, he was clinically dead for four minutes. The hospital notes state: "cardiac arrest with bradycardia, and asystole, but was resuscitated". Having been alerted by the nurse, who administered emergency procedures, Dr. George looked down Freddie's throat. "I found a lot of secretions and sputum but the smoked salmon was a red herring. There wasn't any that I could see. But I suppose it made a better story". In order to ascertain whether Ayer had suffered any brain damage, Professor Spiro, the senior consultant, and Dr. George then had to subject Ayer to a general knowledge quiz to test his brain.

"I think we asked him who the prime minister was, and what day was it," said Dr. George. "The answers quickly shut us up. They were all correct. He blew us out of the water. There was absolutely no brain damage. He was very lucid. I think he wanted to be asked more questions, such as the name the players of the winning football team of the First Division. We had no idea if he was making them up or not, we just assumed he got them right."

That same day, having finished his rounds, Dr. George returned to Ayer's bedside. "I came back to talk to him. Very discreetly, I asked him, as a philosopher, what was it like to have had a near-death experience? He suddenly looked rather sheepish. Then he said, 'I saw a Divine Being. I'm afraid I'm going to have to revise all my various books and opinions.' "He clearly said 'Divine Being,'" said Dr. George. "He was confiding in me, and I think he was slightly embarrassed because it was unsettling for him as an atheist. He spoke in a very confidential manner. I think he felt he had come face to face with God, or his maker, or what one might say was God.

"Later, when I read his article, I was surprised to see he had left out all mention of it. I was simply amused. I wasn't very familiar with his philosophy at the time of the incident, so the significance wasn't immediately obvious. I didn't realize he was a logical positivist." "I am amazed," said his widow Dee Wells, after I related the extraordinary confession Dr. George had passed on to me.

Their son, Nick Ayer, who had been with his father in hospital throughout his illness, and had slept in Ayer's private room, was also silent for a second when I told him the story, and then added: "It doesn't sound like a joke. It sounds extraordinary. He certainly never mentioned anything like that to me. I don't know what to make of it. When he first came round after he was 'dead' he said nothing of any of this. Nothing at all."

Nick said that he had long felt there was something possibly suspect about his father's version of his near death experience. "All this stuff about crossing the River Styx -- it just sounds too good to be true. There was three months between his time in hospital and when he decided to write the article in France. He never mentioned any of that business once. And I was with him all the time. I always thought it sounded more like a dream." According to Freddie's article, his first recorded words after he came round in hospital were to exclaim to the audience gathered around his bed:

"You are all mad." But again, Nick Ayer has no recollection of ever hearing any mention of this until the piece appeared three months later. So can Ayer's memory or his own words really be trusted? Freddie always claimed he devoted his life to the pursuit of Truth. But as Dee Wells was quick to point out when I visited her at York Street, where she has continued to live since Freddie's death, the truth could rapidly become meaningless for Freddie when it happened to suit him -- with women, for example.

Certainly it does seem very odd that Ayer, in either of his two detailed articles, did not so much as mention his conversation with Dr. George about having to rewrite all his books and works; if only -- in his usual fashion -- to dispose of it with his usual logical clarity. According to Freddie, and his newspaper piece, the first conversation he remembered having was with his ex-lover Beatrice Tourot, who was sitting on his bed. They spoke in French, with Ayer saying: "Did you know that I was dead ? It was most extraordinary, my thoughts became persons."

Freddie was discharged from hospital on July 3, 1988. He died a year later, having remarried Dee Wells (who had been his second wife and then became his fourth). Despite declaring himself a "born-again atheist," his friends and family noticed that Freddie -- like the 63 patients interviewed for last week's report -- certainly seemed to change.

"Freddie became so much nicer after he died," said Dee. "He was not nearly so boastful. He took an interest in other people." Ayer also told the writer Edward St. Aubyn in France that he had had "a kind of resurrection" and for the first time in his life, he had begun to notice scenery. In France, on a mountain near his villa, he said, "I suddenly stopped and looked out at the sea and thought, my God, how beautiful this is ... for 26 years I had never really looked at it before."

What is also undeniably true -- and has never been reported on -- is that at the end of his life, Freddie spent more and more time with his former BBC debating opponent, the Jesuit priest and philosopher Frederick Copleston, who was at Freddie's funeral at Golders Green crematorium.

"They got closer and closer and, in the end, he was Freddie's closest friend," said Dee. "It was quite extraordinary. As he got older, Freddie realized more and more that philosophy was just chasing its own tail."

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To: catonsville
read later
41 posted on 02/04/2004 8:51:13 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: Grut
That said, accounts of NDEs from before they became so widely discussed do sound a lot like this...twenty years or so ago I was doing some counselling with a couple, both of whom were of limited intellect. The woman in fact had spent some time in an institution for the retarded, although whether she was really at that level of intelligence or more likely a "burned-out" psychotic was never clear. In any event she was not the type who spent much time if any reading or watching TV any more informative than the typical soap opera. But one day she recounted the story of how she had once been in a terrible automobile accident and was taken to an emergency room where she had to be resuscitated. And she included in her tale the most common elements of the NDE - rising from her body, seeing herself on the treatment table, and seeing a bright light far away toward which she felt drawn. She insisted that this had actually happened to her, and given her limited intellectual capacity I have trouble believing that she had read or heard this somewhere and would have been able to recall it in such detail. Sure has made me wonder.....
42 posted on 02/04/2004 9:17:14 PM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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To: WilliamofCarmichael
There may be no need to google search, let alone go to the stacks of the med school library. Merely read the article in Readers Digest about NDE's. The article describes how a reduction of blood flow to the left parietal area of the brain induces "the religious experience".

43 posted on 02/04/2004 9:22:34 PM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon liberty, it is essential to examine principles - -)
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To: Aeronaut
Lazarus was raised BEFORE Christ's Death and Resurrection which act was in part, responsible for the envy that drove the officials of that day to do the murderous deed... to Jesus.

HOWEVER. After the Ascension.
Peter raised "dorcas" in the book of Acts... a few years afterwords.
Paul also raised a guy who had died from a third story tumble during a LONG, HOT tiring sermon.

Some folks believe it. Others don't.

44 posted on 02/04/2004 9:37:06 PM PST by eccl1212 ( "anybody else wanna negotiate?")
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To: Aeronaut

There is a senior pastor in Mexico who will not even consider a candidate for a branch church until that candidate has a SERIES OF BONAFIDE RESURRECTIONS under his belt.

And I remember the story in China of a peasant woman who had a simple faith in God and her dead husband was laid out by her and relatives beside the road where the woman preached the gospel for 3 days including that her husband would be resurrected. And he was.

And Billy Graham checked out some such in Indonesia decades ago and concluded that the reports were credible.

Nevertheless, we will live to see such even on CNN and in a small town and large city and perhaps relatives and friends near you.

Resurrections will become virtually common place in our era.

Given the death that will be more common, they will be a source of HOPE in THE RESURRECTION.
45 posted on 02/04/2004 9:37:44 PM PST by Quix (Choose this day whom U will serve: Shrillery & demonic goons or The King of Kings and Lord of Lords)
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To: Jorge
I work in a nursing home. This is the last stop for these poor old souls before they go to the great beyond.

So I have been around many who were dying. I remember one lady on one of her last nights on earth reaching for the ceiling and saying "Pull me over, please pull me over."

My mother died in the hospital. She was riddled with cancer in her abdomen. The nurses told my sister that she asked them if she could leave now on the morning of her death.

46 posted on 02/04/2004 9:38:39 PM PST by 3catsanadog (When anything goes, everything does.)
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To: Oatka




Many saw Christ who had never heard anything about him at all. They knew in their NDE experience He was God's Son and by Him they received Salvation. But they had never heard anything about Him before their NDE.
47 posted on 02/04/2004 9:41:32 PM PST by Quix (Choose this day whom U will serve: Shrillery & demonic goons or The King of Kings and Lord of Lords)
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To: Zeroisanumber
You can read a LOT of stuff on it without getting the


picture from comprehensive research on it.
48 posted on 02/04/2004 9:43:45 PM PST by Quix (Choose this day whom U will serve: Shrillery & demonic goons or The King of Kings and Lord of Lords)
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To: RightOnline

I think he's at least connected with the Mexican head pastor I've heard of.
49 posted on 02/04/2004 9:44:41 PM PST by Quix (Choose this day whom U will serve: Shrillery & demonic goons or The King of Kings and Lord of Lords)
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To: Aeronaut; will1776
Lazarus was raised before the crucifixion, wasn't he?
Oops, I stand corrected. Sorry.

The difference is Lazarus went on to die again.
Jesus did not. He lives for ever more.
50 posted on 02/04/2004 9:53:14 PM PST by WKB (3!~)
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To: RightOnline
David's ministry is unique and important enough . . . I'm brazenly posting this from the website about his ministry. It's a bit long but full of interesting info on his ministry.


How can I get the "Fire of God" CD-ROMs? Can I download them?
Send me an email asking for them. I only send out one set per request because I don't have a large budget, but please feel free to make copies for others, as long as there is no charge. My email address is Please note that this email does not go to David Hogan. The CD images are not available for download due to the limit on how much traffic I can have on the site.

Why didn't I get a reply to my email?
I try to reply to all emails, but sometimes people have an email address that I am not able to respond to, meaning I get some kind of error when I send to it. I don't know why this happens, but when it does I have no way to respond and is very frustrating. Requests for the "Fire of God" CDs may not always get a reply, but I usually get the CDs out within a few weeks. If I get a request without an address and I am unable to respond, it may appear like I am being rude, but I am simply unable to respond. Include your mailing address and ZIP code (postal code) when requesting the CDs and I will send them out. The CD images are not available for download because they would take many hours to download, even with DSL or a cable modem, and there is a restriction on how much can be downloaded from the site.

Where can I get books or tapes of David preaching?
David does not make books or tapes himself. Various tapes are available from the churches where he has preached.
Check out this other link on my site for more information: Tapes, etc.

Are the recordings copyrighted?
David and his office staff have expressed multiple times that no one has the right to copyright his preaching. Any recording of his preaching can be copied. Some people have copyrighted tapes or videos because they can profit off of David's popularity by selling the recordings. David has expressed very strong negative feelings about these people. Here is what I have found regarding why these copyrights are not legal or moral:

It is not their own intellectual property; it is a recording of David Hogan
David didn't ask them to make the recordings or sign an agreement that this would be a "work for hire"
It is not a joint work; the church or individual only did the recordings, they did not participate in the content
David has not transferred in writing his natural ownership of the material
David and his office have expressed to me repeatedly that "No one has the right to copyright my preaching."
(For more information on copyrights, see

Who will vouch for David?
Christian Bible Fellowship
Pastor Scott Hornsby
Clinton. LA
Pastor Roy Stockstill
Bethany World Prayer Center
Baker. LA

Pastor Larry Stockstill
Bethany World Prayer Center
13855 Plank Road
Baker, Louisiana 70714
(225) 774-1700 phone

Pastor Truett Murphy
Living Word Church
Birmingham. AL

Pastor Paul Troquille
Magnolia Christian Center
Magnolla. AR

Pastor Rick Shelton
Life Christian Center
13001 Gravois Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63127

Pastor Harry Lilly
Pastor Billy Kirksey
Bethany Full Gospel Church
West Monroe. LA

Pastor Laverle Syverson
Maranatha Church
Princeton. MN

Why is Fuego de Dios a "dot com"? Doesn't that mean it is a commercial site?
No, it is not a commercial site.
Actually, typing ".org" or ".net" will work also for this site, but most people think in terms of ".com", so I figured it would be easier to remember that way.

How do you know this is all true? How do you know he isn't lying? Why isn't any of this on TV if it is real? Who can verify these things?
When I first heard about David, I had a similar reaction. I thought he was just another guy claiming things that were wild in order to get attention and money. Basically, I scoffed at the idea that anyone could raise the dead. A friend showed me a video of David speaking to a group of Christian students and not very long into the video, I had the definite sense that he was being honest. As I kept watching, that sense grew. Then my wife and I had the opportunity to see him in person. After meeting him, I told him of my first reaction and how I changed my attitude pretty quickly after hearing him preach. I have met him many times since and his message is consistent. I have also met many of his men that preach the gospel to the various tribes of indians in the Mexican jungles. These guys are solid, honest men and they lead hard lives. They don't have a lot of money and they don't live "high on the hog". They take their work and calling very seriously. While I have only visited Mexico and have not witnessed the many miracles they speak of, I have observed them and listened to them enough to form an educated opinion of their characters.

I have been receiving emails lately accusing me of blindly following a huckster. The tone has been shrill and derisive, indicating that the person who sent the mail is not asking me a question, but has already made up his/her mind that I am deceived and that David is a liar.
I have already admitted that I have not seen the miracles they talk about, but I have been present when a girl was raised out of a coma and when my wife's leg was healed of an injury that wouldn't let her foot extend fully. You can claim that it was coincidence, but I don't think so given the context of the meeting was to call on Jesus for healing. At least one website claiming to be a "discernment ministry" is writing slanderous things about David (and many others) and accusing him of everything from being a "pathological liar" to immorality. Not once is there any example of a lie or an immoral situation. Another email said "If you only knew the truth...he never should have gotten away with the things he has done." But they provide no examples, instead appealing to how well they claim to know him. He is a human with flaws, like the rest of us, and I'm not defending any of that, just as I don't defend my own weakness or sin. We are all in continual need of the blood of Jesus.

Integrity vs. Philosophy
I have met David and his men repeatedly. They all testify to the power of God being shown in their missionary endeavors. They eek out a living among some of the poorest people on the planet and spend the money they get from the U.S. on good strong equipment needed to get far into the jungle to reach these remote tribes with the gospel. They are not huckstering anyone, nor are they looking to get rich or have easy lives. They work hard every day and are treated to beatings, stonings, whippings, shootings, and martyrdom. It is a tough job and they are tough people, and they daily lay down their lives for the lost indians.

The "discernment ministries" that are attacking David usually have an anti-supernatural or cessationist theology, meaning that God stopped doing miracles after the apostles died and won't again until Christ returns. They teach that because we have the Bible we don't need any miracles, and that any desire for the power of God is "seeking for a sign". I feel that their theology is useless and without merit. If I have a need for healing I don't want a bunch of theology thrown at me, I want to be made well. Jesus told his followers to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons. Nowhere did he say "Stop healing and stop raising the dead." Nor did he say "After my apostles die, I will quit doing anything that might indicate that I am God." He keeps the whole physical universe together every moment, but we act like it stays together on its own power. He can alter it at will, but we show more faith in his creation than in Him.
People will write to me about this and want to argue ad infinitum about Greek verbs and such. I won't argue, so they resort to insulting me and saying I will end up in hell along with David and his "followers".

I have tested David's preaching and teaching based on my knowledge of the scriptures and by whatever discernment God has given me. His teachings are found in the Bible and he gives all honor to Jesus. He and his men seem totally above-board and honest about what they are doing. They take to heart the theology of "Put up or shut up!" I think that is a legitimate approach to following God. People can argue about the nuances of a Greek word and never get around to loving their neighbor or helping the people around them to escape hell. Too many Christians are self-absorbed and given to arguing philosophy and interpretation. The unsaved world honestly doesn't care about your theology, or your church, or who your pastor is, or what version of the Bible you read, or what tense a Greek verb is in. They want a God who is more than an imaginary friend. They want a God who is real and who loves them and took their hell for them. If you can't give them such a God, you should reconsider how you live, and whether or not you really know Him. Yes, be accurate in your translations, but be active in sharing the life of your God.

TV, Hospitals, Graveyards
"Why isn't this on TV?", "Why doesn't he go down to the morgue or hospital to do these miracles?" When Jesus walked the earth, he didn't seek out the sick, people brought them to Him. When He raised Lazarus, He left the rest of the people in their graves. When He raised the dead boy in the funeral procession, He didn't then rush down to the town graveyard. When He raised Talitha, He didn't announce it to everyone. On the contrary, He told the parents not to tell anyone. So why is it that people want David to not act like Jesus? TV is mostly evil anyway and David isn't interested in how Oprah, Jerry Springer, and Howard Stern can profit off him while mocking the gospel.

I have encountered the power and presence of God in some of the services where David has preached. I have also encountered this power when I worship God at church or with a small group of believers. I have tested the power that I feel with the test that the Apostle John gave us and have always felt that it was from God (I didn't receive a direct response). I have been in places where the power of the devil was present and it was distinctly harmful and distinctly unhappy with me being there. I have also felt the power of the tempter. So I am not a stranger to spiritual power. I know people who sense it much stronger than I do and have seen even unbelievers knocked out by the power of God. I have witnessed people who have never been in a Pentecostal church drop like rag dolls when touched by a preacher. The same preacher can touch me and nothing at all happens. I don't know why.
The power is real. Some people think that it is the devil because their theology doesn't let them believe otherwise. In the services where David preaches, the context is always the blood of Jesus and scripture. There is no whipped up emotion (it is hard to whip up my emotion anyway). I have been sitting there worshipping and suddenly power comes upon me. I don't know what for, or what is happening in the spiritual realm, but the context of my worship and the direction of the service tells me that the power is from God. Since the power started touching me, I have experienced much more stability in my walk and power over temptations like I have never known before. I take this to mean that God is changing me in ways I can't even understand. I can't make the power come, nor is it a product of ecstatic emotion. It is real, tangible, and wonderful.

My "testing" of David is based upon my interactions with him and from listening to well over a hundred hours of his preaching and teaching. Nothing indicates to me that he is a money-grubbing charlatan. On the contrary, he is an honest, serious man who loves Jesus and gives up his life to others by preaching nearly every day and working hard in the mountains to reach a lost and rejected people group. No, I have not seen the dead raised. I didn't see Jesus rise either. I believe the testimony of the apostles and prophets because I have met the same God that they preached about. He is the same God that David Hogan worships. That is why I trust David and his men.

If you still have questions about what happens in Mexico, please write to David's office in Texas. Try to meet him or his men and observe them in action. Don't rely on third-hand information.

-Jason Woodrow

Here is an excerpt of David talking about knowledge versus power and how Christians shouldn't be using their knowledge of scripture against other Christians in some puffed up manner. This recording is in RealAudio format. Click here to listen

"Did God forget how to do the impossible? You believe that a doctor can make someone well, but when God does it you want videos before you'll believe it. Haven't you read the book?" - Heidi Baker
That is the basic problem. People claim they believe in God, but when push comes to shove, they really don't. God is fine as long as He is a theory or just a character in a book, but when He actually shows up, those who don't believe paint Him like He is the devil or some kind of trick. They refuse to believe that God is actually real and is still in control of the universe. I want my faith to be at the level of trust I have when I sit in a chair. Normally, I have no doubt that the chair will hold me and I just plop down into it. But with God, there is still hesitation. That hesitation is unbelief, and it has to go so God's power can flow.

What about the verse that says "false Christs and false apostles will come with signs and wonders to deceive even the elect" (Matt.24:24)?
Yes, they will. However, not all who do miracles are from the devil. That is to say that the devil has power and God does not, which is foolishness. Peter and Paul both raised the dead, did that mean that they were from the devil? Of course not. Given the many things that Jesus said would mark those who follow him (Mark 16:15-18, Matt. 21:18-22, Matt. 10:8), it is entirely proper to expect God's power to be revealed through the body of Christ. We are his body and we have his Spirit, and we are to do the things that he did and greater (John 14:12-15). It requires, though, that we live a life truly submitted to God and that we love our brethren, neighbors, and enemies. It is not the "name it and claim it" baloney that lazy rich Americans want as an instant gratification of their lust for power and wealth. All of the apostles but John died as martyrs, and they tried to kill him, too. We should expect nothing less as we preach the good news of reconciliation to God through the blood of Jesus to a world that hates the idea that they are responsible for their sins against the holy God. Conversely, we should not excuse our lack of belief and invent a doctrine that God has ceased being God. It is easier to not believe God and to not submit ourselves entirely to Him. But Christian laziness and self-centeredness has cost untold numbers of souls. Those who come with false wonders will also come with false doctrine that will lead away from the cross of Christ. The cross demands our flesh be sacrificed for the sake of God. The cross will not pamper and indulge us. Our home is not in this world; we are strangers here and our job is to call the others around us to switch allegiance to our King. This can rightfully be done with a demonstration of His power, since we are His ambassadors. If He has no real power, then why fear Him? If He is a fairy-tale, dump Him!
Our faith stands apart from all other religions because our God is real and their gods are not (or are at best demons). We can either prove it or blend in with the rest. Jesus is alive! No more excuses to defend a powerless Christianity. If the power of God is not evident in my life, that is not God's fault, it is my fault for not submitting to the cross of Jesus. We cannot serve both God and our flesh. The two are at war with each other (Romans 7:22-23, Romans 8:5-). Jesus was annointed by God because he loved righteousness and hated wickedness (Hebrews 1). Too much of the church loves righteousness and loves wickedness. It is this very doublemindedness that will lead Him to say to many on the Day of Judgment, "I never knew you. Depart from me!" This doublemindedness will also be the cause of many following after false Christs and false apostles, because they will seem religious but tickle the pride, greed, lust, etc., that church people love to cling to.

I thought only Jesus could raise the dead.
Please see the section called "Raise the dead".

Why don't we see this kind of power in our church?
This is just my opinion, but there are three things that are at the root of it. One is unbelief, which I addressed above. Another is that the Lord Jesus emphasized the need to take the gospel to the poor and needy. It is a theme repeated throughout the scriptures. So many churches I see are putting their money into large facilities that costs millions to build and millions more to maintain. They may have a branch of "ministry" that does outreach to the homeless, but by far they seem more concerned with the pretty, the wealthy, and the healthy. Jesus linked ministry to the poor in with the rest of his miracles (Matthew 11:5, Luke 7:22). Jesus warned that those who are wealthy will find it almost impossible to enter Heaven, but most of the church thinks it can handle the wealth just fine and enter through the eye of the needle. Most of the church seems to want more stuff, including power from God. Getting our flesh to tremble in His presence is just one more thrill. The few I have encountered who truly get God's power to be with them are the ones who are giving up their lives for the poor and the destitute. God doesn't give His power to us so we can cling to it or make a name for ourselves. He is jealous for His glory and doesn't share it. So I don't understand the multi-million dollar "ministries" that seem to glorify a particular minister. People on TV sitting on velvet covered gold thrones asking for more money is the polar opposite from what I witnessed in Mexico and what I have seen taped from Mozambique.
We need to take the simple gospel more seriously and heed the warnings that Jesus spoke to us, not thinking that they always refer to someone else. I don't want to be one of those "many" that will think they are in the clear, only to find out on the day of judgment that I lived a vain self-centered life and am not known by Jesus. The gospel is giving, not receiving. It is suffering daily for the sake of others. It is not looking for a fleshly heaven, but longs for a Heaven where Jesus rules as absolute dictator King, with us in loyal submission to Him. That is where we get a better understanding of the extent of His love for us - that the King died for us, that He threw away His life for people who had no hope.

Everywhere we look in our society there are distractions, temptations, philosophies, and entertainment designed to keep us from spending hours on our face before the King ministering to Him. Jesus said that the way to show love to God is to obey Him. If we lavish praise on Him and have thriving ministries, but love our idols also - He will reject us in the end (Rev. 2:4-5). If you had a wife that you knew was cheating on you, would you enjoy her snuggles and love songs? Wouldn't they be even worse than her being silent? On the other hand if you know that she is faithful to you, they would only magnify the enjoyment of her love. The same holds true for the church. He does all He can do get us to leave the idols behind. He cares for us, warns us, entreats us, weeps over us, convicts us, forgives us over and over again. In the end, He wants us to be faithful and obedient to Him, to "love the Lord your God with all your heart". If we live obedient lives before Him, then we really love Him. Quit excusing sin and learn how to minister to God, rather than always looking for Him to minister to you. Obey Him and share the good news of Jesus with the poor. He will be with you in that, and will bring power to heal and deliver.

Heidi Baker says that the third thing that blocks the annointing of God is selfish ambition. We always want to be "somebody", to have a title like "Prophet" or "Apostle". God does not share his glory. And to the extent that we want a bit of glory, a bit of recognition, to that same extent we will lose the annointing. We want the blind to see and the lame to walk, but there is that nugget of self inside that wants people to look at us with awe or respect because of it. That nugget has to die. We have to let God kill us so He can give us His own life, and through us give others His life.
"Do we see what He sees? Do we feel what He feels? Can we hear the cry of His heart for the lost? This is poverty of spirit. God is calling us to be poor in spirit. When we are poor in spirit, we no longer compete. We no longer jostle for titles. When we have no drive to be noticed and known, we are not offended by lack of attention. We find no satisfaction in ministry status. Then we can walk in unity, preferring others above ourselves. Our only desire is to live the life of a humble servant lover of our Lord Jesus." (excerpt from the Baker's book There Will Always Be Enough)

And, of course, the sovereignty of God is still the deciding factor in whether or not someone is healed. Many people get prayed for that never get healed or raised from the dead. However, until God tells us that He isn't going to heal someone, we have to take the position that He will and pray for the sick like He told us to.

Who has been healed by the power of Jesus?
I was present when my wife's leg was healed and when a young girl was raised out of a coma. Here is a letter from a Chief Cardiologist about Jesus healing his son of leukemia (in Adobe Acrobat format): Letter (1.3MB)

Doesn't faith require that there not be signs?
Not at all. Faith is synonymous with trust or belief in the almighty God, not with a God who can't do anything. For some people, seeing these miracles produces faith since they can see the hand of God at work. For others it bounces off their hard hearts and fails to take root. In these scriptures, Jesus appeals to the miracles he has done as proof that he is telling the truth: Matt. 11:20-23, John 10:25-26, John 14:11, John 15:24. The very people that Jesus says are hating him and the Father are the ones that thought they were serving God the best. But they lacked the faith, the belief and trust in the living God and traded it for religious traditions and politics. So the signs can produce more faith in those who already believe, spur faith in those who are on the fence, and have no effect at all on those who are hard. Faith is not dependent on miracles, but trusts that God can help us in ways that no one else can.
The Israelites saw many miracles in the exodus from Egypt; plagues, the passover, the sea opening up and allowing them through while drowning their enemies, the pillar of fire and the pillar of smoke, manna, etc. Yet the writer of Hebrews says that they fell in the desert due to their lack of belief and hardness of heart (Heb. 3:7-19). But for some of them and for us these signs produce faith in our hearts. So miracles are tools in the hand of God both for the moment and for something to look back at to remember His provision, thus producing trust for the future.

But Jesus said that only a wicked and adulterous generation seeks a sign.
Yes, he did. But who did he say this to? Did he say it to the multitudes that came to be healed? Did he heal begrudingly? No, he said it to the Pharisees that were there to test him, to make him jump through some fancy hoop they constructed. Every day they saw him heal people, but they were not impressed. They wanted something really flashy, like a sign in the heavens. Jesus was angry at them for missing the obvious and wanting God to perform for them. As he told the church in the Revelation, they had left their first love (Rev 2:4) and so were adulterous and wicked, self-centered testers of God.
51 posted on 02/04/2004 10:00:47 PM PST by Quix (Choose this day whom U will serve: Shrillery & demonic goons or The King of Kings and Lord of Lords)
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To: Grut

Descriptions of NDEs have been so widely published for so long that no 'testimony' of this sort can be regarded, on the basis of choosing the simplest explanation, as anything except a false memory induced by urban myth.

How is the implantation of a false memory a simpler solution than that the accounts of the experience are genuine?

52 posted on 02/04/2004 10:13:11 PM PST by Sabertooth (Malcontent for Bush - 2004!)
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To: GladesGuru
Funny, I read a Readers Digest article that stated that NDE's are so common and impossible to explain, they are now an accepted medical event.

My article was recent, yours must have been old:)

53 posted on 02/04/2004 10:19:27 PM PST by bigjoesaddle (Shrug)
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To: Grut
Descriptions of NDEs have been so widely published for so long that no 'testimony' of this sort can be regarded, on the basis of choosing the simplest explanation, as anything except a false memory induced by urban myth.

Your statement makes no sense. Have you read any books about the subject? People from every walk of life, readers and non-readers, religious people and atheists, Christians and Hindus, people from various countries and cultures, all report such experiences.

Myth? The real myth is that death of the body means cessation of existence.

54 posted on 02/04/2004 10:27:04 PM PST by little jeremiah
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To: Grut
Descriptions of NDEs have been so widely published for so long that no 'testimony' of this sort can be regarded, on the basis of choosing the simplest explanation, as anything except a false memory induced by urban myth.

Or maybe it's due to a Jungian "collective subconscious." A more academic explanation than "urban myth." But no less lazy, irrational, and unscientific. What induced the "urban myth"? How far back in time can NDE's be attested? And how widely can they be attested, in both literate and non-literate societies?

55 posted on 02/04/2004 11:45:00 PM PST by Map Kernow ("I hold that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing" ---Thomas Jefferson)
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To: freemama; mc5cents; texgal; eccl1212; Quix
Thank you all for correcting the error that I made in post #10 - and acknowledged in post #14. With this level of reinforcement I am certain I will never make the same mistake again.
56 posted on 02/05/2004 2:08:23 AM PST by Aeronaut (In my humble opinion, the new expression for backing down from a fight should be called 'frenching')
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To: catonsville
I thought I was the World's most famous atheist.
57 posted on 02/05/2004 2:23:26 AM PST by 12B
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To: 12B
I don't believe in athiests.
58 posted on 02/05/2004 2:31:44 AM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: Sabertooth
How is the implantation of a false memory a simpler solution than that the accounts of the experience are genuine?

Remember all those 'recovered memory' cases of a few years ago that turned out not to be so? Like that.

I do owe people an explanation, though; I meant that no present-day NDEs can be easily believed because of all the publicity NDEs have received in the last thirty years, but I do find older reports to be strikingly consistent.

59 posted on 02/05/2004 4:33:44 AM PST by Grut
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To: Aeronaut
No harm was meant.
60 posted on 02/05/2004 5:40:43 AM PST by texgal (end no-fault divorce laws and return DUE PROCESS to our citizens))
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