This article is a response to skeptical statements and a comparison chart concerning the resurrection of Daniel Ekechukwu that have been publicly posted at “Deception in the Church.” Because the creator of that website has taken the liberty to freely quote from my articles on Daniel Ekechukwu, I knew he wouldnt mind if I freely quoted from his articles.
My primary concern is that by discrediting a wonderful miracle performed by the power of the Holy Spirit, the message that Daniel Ekechukwu was divinely given to take to the church and the world will be missed by those who believe the false facts of skeptics.The creator of the “Deception in the Church” website has done no firsthand research, nor has he interviewed any eyewitnesses to the miracle. Even though I have sent him the results of my firsthand research done in Nigeria that exposes the many errors posted on his website, he continues to propagate his false facts and skepticism. He doesnt seem to care about the truth, but only that his own agenda be furthered. As it is, his agenda could hinder an important and very biblical message from being spread to people who need to hear it.
The “Deception in the Church” website has posted a comparison chart of seven different sources that have reported details of Pastor Ekechukwus resurrection (see www.deceptioninthechurch.com/ekechart.html). The introduction to that chart states:
This is a comparison chart noting the divergent details in five major sources of information regarding the alleged dead raising of Daniel Ekechukwu in Nigeria in a church where Reinhard Bonnke was visiting (emphasis added).
The author then immediately cites another web article on the story that he says contains details that prove this story is a fabrication (emphasis added). Amazingly, he believes that the entire story is a fabrication, but the only evidence he offers is a chart that supposedly shows the differences in how the story has been reported.
Most people realize, of course, that any time different sources report on the same incident, there are always some discrepancies. If there were no discrepancies from seven different sources regarding Daniel Ekechukwu, I would be suspicious that there was collaboration. Discrepancies prove there was no collaboration.
My first thought as I examined the comparison chart was how many harmonious facts are revealed by the comparison chart that actually help substantiate the story. The chart actually reveals much more harmony than disharmony among the sources cited.
My second observation was that the one negative source cited was the report of an atheist, Leo Igwe, whose article is found at the web site address www.secularhumanism.org/library/aah/igwe_11_3.htm. His article reveals his great bias against any miracles as well as against the existence of God. His stated bio is:
Leo Igwe is the director of the Center for InquiryNigeria, and the secretary of the Nigerian Humanist Movement. He is a strong skeptic and a long-time critic of German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, a favorite among Nigerian Christians.
In the article cited in the comparison chart, Leo Igwe calls the resurrections of Jesus and Lazarus folktales! I wondered why such a person would be considered a trustworthy source to be quoted by a Christian.
My third observation, when I read the actual source articles cited in the comparison study, was how harmonious all the articles were. I would say the facts presented in each article/interview were 98% harmonious among each other, if not more. Yet the creator of the chart looked for the tiniest scrap of a disharmony with the intention of disproving the miracle,and simply exposed his own bias.
My fourth observation, as I studied the chart further, were the obvious intentional misrepresentations of what was stated in the source articles. Numerous facts presented in the comparison chart are deceptive, which is not good for a web site that claims to be dedicated to exposing deception. I have reproduced that chart and added an additional column on the left that includes my comments on each of the comparisons. In those comments, I also expose the misrepresentations of what was stated in the source articles. Click here to see the chart I have reproduced from that web site.
In the same article, the author states:
The sale of the $35 video alone will bring in huge profits to the coffers of CFAN (multiply the number of videos likely to be sold–you do the math!). It will also make Daniel Ekechukwu a rich man and his church will have plenty of money to preach the Word-Faith gospel.
I dont doubt that CFAN has made money selling the video about Daniels resurrection. But it seems somewhat hypocritical for the creator of the Deception in the Church website to be so critical when he sells plenty of videos from his own website. If someone purchased everything he has for sale, it would cost hundreds of dollars. Moreover, I dont believe that the Bible states that making money legitimately is wrong. Rather, how it is spent is the issue, and CFAN requires millions of dollars a year in order to reach the millions of people it reaches with the gospel at every African crusade. Additionally, the CFAN video has not made Daniel Ekechukwu a rich man as the author states, which makes his statement a published lie. Daniel doesnt receive any royalties from the sale of the video. The truth is that, not too long ago, Daniel Ekechukwu was given a large sum of money from a wealthy American to purchase a very nice home in Lagos, Nigeria. He used the majority of the money, however, to purchase a PA system, a generator, lights, a platform and truck to use for his own evangelistic crusades where he calls sinners to repentance. Daniel says that earthly things now mean nothing to him. He lives in a crowded, dirty city in a Third World country, while the creator of the Deception in the Church website lives in Hawaii.
A second article found at the Deception in the Church website is also highly critical, titled, Raised From The Dead by Reinhard Bonnke Oh Really? (see www.deceptioninthechurch.com/bonnke2.html). The author first skeptically questions if Daniel Ekechukwu and the name Dan Eke that is written on the death certificate are the same person. The answer is, they are. Any Nigerian could have explained that to him had he bothered to investigate it.
The author then alleges collusion between Bonnke and Ekechukwu, stating that Bonnke was previously involved with the church that Daniel Ekechukwu was pastoring at the time. However, he offers absolutely no proof at all for his statement. It is pure speculation, and because it is not true, it is a published lie. The truth is, Bonnke never met Daniel until some time after Daniel was resurrected.
The author then makes many errors in recounting the story of Daniels body being taken to various medical facilities, and then asks questions based on his own wrongly reported information. For example, he wrongly states that Daniel was first taken to the Federal Medical Center in Boromyuo, and then asks concerning the report of Daniels wife coming to the hospital after his accident, 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 Onitsha? In either case, why was this not mentioned?
It was, of course, never reported that Nneka was with Daniel when he had his accident. Neither did she have to travel two hours from her home in Onitsha to Boromyuo to see him in the hospital because there is no place called Boromyuo nor was Daniel taken to a hospital there. Daniel was first taken to a hospital in Onitsha called the St. Charles Borromeo hospital, just a few minutes from his home and the place of his accident. And to answer why this was not mentioned is simple. There is no need to mention what didnt occur.
The authors speculations become almost comical as he continues. He suggests that perhaps the embalming fluid that was injected into Daniels body put him into a trance and also alleviated his pain until he regained consciousness two days later, or that perhaps Daniels body was injected with something else that put his body into a catatonic state! Moreover, from simply looking at a CFAN photo of resurrected Daniel and the mortician looking at the coffin where Daniels body was laid for several hours, the author skeptically questions if Daniel could fit into the coffin! (And the view of the coffin is from the foot-end panel!)
The author questions why Daniels body didnt decay and smell after two days. As I have stated in my reports from the facts of my firsthand research, there were obviously miraculous things happening to Daniels body while it lay in the mortuary. The mortician twice heard angels singing at night in his mortuary. Could they have been praising God for the great miracle He was about to do, and the important message that would be forthcoming? And is it not written in Scripture of Jesus body that His Father did not allow it to undergo decay while He was dead? (see Acts 2:27; 13:35). Is not the God who can resurrect a dead body also able to keep that dead body from decaying for two days?
The author asks if the Bishops son, Pastor Paul, is an authority on rigor mortis. If not, the author says, then the report of Daniels rigor mortis should not have been included in the CFAN report! I would suspect that it wouldnt take an expert on rigor mortis to determine if someones non-breathing body is stiff.
The author asks why there are no scars evident on Daniel after his resurrection as a result of his head allegedly breaking the windshield of his car. First, it has never been reported by anyone that Daniels head broke the windshield of his car. Secondly, I dont think his head did hit the windshield. Everyone I interviewed, including the mortician, never mentioned any cuts on Daniels forehead. They all said there was blood coming from his nose and mouth. Third, would it not be possible for God to heal those whom He raises from the dead? In fact, if God didnt heal those whom He resurrects, they would die from what originally killed them.
After admitting that Bonnke stated publicly on TV that the miracle was to Gods glory, the author then accuses Bonnke of seeking glory for the miracle because of a Nigerian newspaper headline he also showed on the same TV program that read, Bonnke Raises Man from Death in Onitsha. The author asks, Is this giving glory to the Lord or to Bonnke?
The answer, of course, is that Bonnke didnt write the headline on that Nigerian newspaper. And what continues to become evident is the authors absurd search to find the smallest fault with Bonnke. For example, he next asks, 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? He then goes on to list five web addresses for newspaper articles in the same African newspaper that report of people who have been trampled to death by the throngs of people who attended some of Bonnkes African crusades.
This kind of logic is amazing. First, no person has ever claimed that simply bringing Dan Eke into the presence of the anointed Bonnke effected his resurrection. Clearly it was Nnekas God-given faith that effected her husbands resurrection, and she believes she was divinely directed to take her husbands body to a church where Bonnke was preaching. She believed that the anointing would be so strong where Bonnke was preaching that it could raise her husband, just as we read in Scripture of a woman who believed that if she got her dead son to Elijah, he would be resurrected (see 2 Kings 4:18-37). She believed that Elijah was anointed by God, and her faith brought her son back to life.
Second, it was not because people were brought into Bonnkes presence that some were trampled to death. It was the result of crowds of people who, by their own choices, became uncontrollable. I would suggest that the responsibility for those deaths lies with those who started pushing against the crowds and the Nigerian authorities for not preparing for better crowd control. Having been to Nigeria many times, I know it is a lawless and dangerous place, and criminals abound. One of the newspaper articles cited in this article relates how ruthless men took advantage of the pandemonium and began raping helpless women right in public. Westerners have no conception of what can happen in Africa. It is very conceivable and even probable that certain persons intended and succeeded in starting a stampede that resulted in the deaths. It is quite possible in Nigeria for such a thing to be done for the expressed purpose of gaining bad press for Reinhard Bonnke.
Most Western evangelists would be afraid to preach in the kinds of places that Bonnke holds his crusades. But who in their right mind would place the blame on Bonnke for those deaths? We might as well blame the owner of Fords Theater for the death of President Lincoln. And what logical person would ever try to expose Daniels Ekechukwus resurrection as a fraud because of the fact that selfish people at some of Bonnkes crusades have become uncontrollable and crushed other people to death under their feet?
The author asks, Why are there never dead raisings in America where medical histories and authorities can be easily contacted? That is a question only God could answer. He is the only one who can raise the dead. I suspect that God knows, however, that few sinners in the U.S. would repent as a result of anyones resurrection. God cant even get alleged Christian ministers to believe in a resurrection that occurred in Africa that is overwhelmingly substantiated by many proofs.
Stooping to his lowest, the author asks where Reinhard Bonnke was on September 11th, 2001, as if Bonnke could have saved the lives of those who perished at the Twin Towers in New York! Bonnke has never claimed power to resurrect the dead. He readily admits publicly that he had nothing to do with the miracle of Daniels resurrection, and wasnt there when it happened.
Finally, the author claims that Daniel Ekechukwus near-death vision from heaven is patently unbiblical. However, he cites not a single scripture to show that Daniels experience was unbiblical. Rather he just asks some questions based on his own misunderstanding of the facts and his unusual logic.
He asks, First, is a Christian pastor going to be taken to heaven then to hell? Isnt hell only for the unregenerate?
I ask, Where does Scripture say that God will never take a pastor who has died, one whom He intends to resurrect, to show him heaven and hell? Arent heaven and hell two real places? Doesnt God want everyone to believe those two places exist? Arent they mentioned in the Bible repeatedly? Didnt Jesus talk about those places? Didnt Jesus Himself descend to hell (as Christians recite in the Apostles Creed) at some time after His death and preach to the spirits in prison (see 1 Pet. 3:18-20). But (to quote the author) Isnt hell only for the unregenerate? Then what was Jesus doing there? And didnt the apostle John see the future Lake of Fire (see Rev. 20:10, 14-15)? But, Isnt hell only for the unregenerate? And wasnt Paul caught up into the third heaven? What was God doing, taking these people to hell and heaven? Poor God didnt know He was bound by the rules of a discernment minister who lives in Hawaii.
The author says, Even Lazarus didnt go to hell. So? Is Lazarus experience binding on every other human? And incidentally, Lazarus did see into hell (just like Daniel) and saw the torment of the rich man. But isnt hell only for the unregenerate? the author asked. If this author is correct, then Lazarus must have been unregenerate, because people who get to look into hell like Daniel Ekechukwu must be unregenerate.
The truth is, being cast into hell is only for the unsaved. But why cant God take someone else to the gate of hell to look in?
The author says, 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 Gods Word?
If such logic is valid, then why should any preacher warn of hell, since it is already warned of in Gods Word? What kind of logic is this?
The message given to Daniel while he was dead was not only concerning the realities of heaven and hell, but of the desperate need of the church to get ready to stand at Christs judgment seat. Specifically, Daniel was given an important message concerning forgiveness, something Jesus solemnly spoke of and something that has been ignored by much of the church. Daniel was sent back because God loves us all, and He doesnt want anyone to die unprepared.
The author says, Second, the request to Lazarus will never be granted. No one in hell will ever get a drink of water or be saved.
Daniel Ekechukwu has never said that anyone in hell would get a drink of water or be saved. Additionally, the rich man didnt request to be saved, so the author misrepresents what Daniel has said and what the Bible clearly states.
The specific request that the angel told Daniel would be granted was the rich mans request that Lazarus, or someone, would come back from the dead and warn his five sinful brothers to repent. His request was denied because the five brothers all knew full well what Moses and the prophets had said, and Abraham knew that they would not repent if someone rose from the dead.
Obviously, when the angel told Daniel that the rich mans request was going to be granted to this generation, he did not mean that Lazarus would be resurrected for the sake of the rich mans five wicked brothers. Anyone could see that. Rather, he simply meant that Daniel would come back to life to warn the wicked people of his generation. And that is what he has been doing ever since, and people have been repenting by the thousands. If Daniel would not have had his experience, it is safe to say that the large majority of those people would not have repented.
The author writes, 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.
God has not limited Himself to only the written word of the Bible or the gospel message being preached in order to accomplish His purposes or to warn sinners. Many, many times He has given certain servants special supernatural experiences and callings to accomplish His purposes. He has also done many unusual things, miracles, to get peoples attention in order to get them to repent.
If one accepted the logic of this author, one could ask, Why would God need to speak to Moses through a burning bush, or give Ezekiel and Daniel wonderful and complex and sometimes incomprehensible visions? Why would God have to use a virgin girl to come into the world? Why would God need to shine a great light on Saul of Tarsus to get him to repent? Wasnt the Bible or the gospel message enough? Why was Jesus transfigured before Peter, James and John? Why did Jesus perform all those miracles? Wasnt just preaching the gospel enough? Why was John given those strange revelations he recorded in the final book of the Bible? And the list could go on and on.
Every miracle in the Bible is a special testimony often designed to get peoples attention. God has obviously never considered the Bible or the gospel message proclaimed to be enough. And dont forget, it is in the Bible where we read about all those miracles. If anyone should believe that God does miracles to accomplish His purposes or to get people to wake up and repent, it should be people who read the Bible. Yet so many who claim to believe the Bible, like this author, ignore or deny the clear facts of one of the greatest miracles God has done in a long time.
The author writes, 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
This, in one sense, is very true, and in fact, is what Daniels experience was all about. Daniel is now warning us about apostasy in the church. But he is not warning to stay away from false teachers like Reinhard Bonnke who, for example, said publicly during an interview with Pat Robertson regarding the message Daniel Ekechukwu is preaching:
It is true. I would say it this way. We have to say ‘yes’ to Jesus. Many have done that, but when saying ‘yes’ to Jesus, we must say at the same time ‘no’ to sin. Otherwise, that ‘yes’ to Jesus is invalid. We cannot walk in two directions at the same time. If we do, we fool ourselves. That would be very terrible, like that pastor that was witnessed there. Say ‘yes’ to Jesus from the bottom of your heart and turn around from unrighteousness. Repent of your sins and receive forgiveness by the blood of Jesus Christ. Then walk the path of righteousness. Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Bonnke hardly sounds like a false teacher, does he? He, in fact, has also been greatly impacted by what happened to Daniel Ekechukwu.
The kind of false teachers Daniel is warning about are those who, like so many today, preach a false gospel of false grace that requires no repentance and no holiness. He is warning against false teachers who say that there is nothing Christians can do to forfeit their salvation. He is warning the church that Jesus really meant what He said about the necessity of forgiveness, and that God will indeed reinstate our formerly-forgiven sins if we refuse to forgive others, just as Jesus promised (see Matt. 6:14-15, 18:21-35).
Unfortunately, the creator of the Deception in the Church website has taken a posture against Daniel Ekechukwu and what God is trying to say through Daniel Ekechukwu. He is calling the mighty, glorious, and holy work of the Holy Spirit in raising Daniel Ekechukwu from the dead to be only a fraud, and he has no evidence.