Proof of the Afterlife, by Br. Gary Joseph, the account and lessons of a member of the Servants of the Father of Mercy who had a near-death experience in 2005 and since claims conversations with God about life and the afterlife! Featured by the U.S. bishops' news service; reviewed by the office of Cardinal Roger Mahony. What happens when we die, why we should not fear, how Catholics prepare for it. click here 


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For our discernment:

DID THE PASTOR OF A CHURCH IN NIGERIA LAY DEAD FOR TWO DAYS BEFORE A 'RESURRECTION'?

A minister in Nigeria allegedly recovered to full health after a declaration of death -- and even attempts to embalm him.

Reverend Daniel Ekechukwu is from a city called Onitsha in Nigeria, where he was the pastor of Power Chapel Evangelical Church. His story only now comes to us.

Ekechukwu, it is reported, physically died in the late evening of November 30, 2001, and was devoid of biological signals for at least forty-two hours.

During that time, it is further asserted, Ekechukwu "visited" both Heaven and hell, until he was "raised" from the dead (between 3:50 P.M. and 5:15  p.m. on December 2, in the basement of another church, Grace of God Mission, in Onitsha) and made a total recovery. We submit it for discernment.

There are skeptics. Notes one website: "The fact that Ekechukwu purportedly died in an ambulance, unobserved by medical personnel, and that the death certificate was issued in the middle of the night by a doctor who did not know the victim after a cursory examination, brings the central event of the story into question. Did Ekechukwu really die?" 

As related on a Christian website, BibleProbe, apparently quoting from a book about the incident, "On Thursday, December 29th, 2001, Pastor Ekechukwu and his wife, Nneka, had a misunderstanding that degenerated into an argument that resulted in her slapping him. He was greatly offended by this incident, to the point of not acknowledging her greeting the next morning, which was, according to what pastor Daniel said to me, an attempt on her part to begin to reconcile. Pastor Daniel admitted that throughout the day of November 30th, he angrily thought about how he would put his wife in her place when he returned home. He would not, however, make it home that Friday.

"As he was driving home that evening, the brakes on his 20-year old Mercedes 230E failed as he was heading down a steep hill, and his car crashed into a concrete pillar that was built to prevent cars from going over a steep embankment. He was not wearing a seat belt (few Nigerians do), and his chest hit very forcibly against the steering wheel and its knob, apparently doing damage to his internal organs, as he was soon vomiting up blood and having difficulty breathing (not to mention that he soon lost all signs of life)."

Daniel was unable to escape the car, but frantic on-lookers yanked him out.

Taken initially to a hospital there in town, he was soon transferred by ambulance to Umezuruike Hospital at Owerri. That was a drive of fifty miles but closer to where his family doctor practiced. It was while on the way, in an ambulance, allegedly, that he clinically died.

"As [his wife] was speaking [to him], Daniel saw two large angels who were completely white, including the pupils of their eyes," says the report on BibleProbe. "The angels were so large that Daniel later wondered how they fit inside the ambulance. One was as big as the ambulance. Daniel tried to speak to the angels, but one held his finger to his lips, motioning for his silence. The angels lifted him on either side, and Daniel realized that there were now two of himself. The angels were holding him under each arm of his spirit man (which was perfectly whole), while his broken body was lying below. Once they left the ambulance, Daniel became oblivious to the natural world."

By now he had been declared dead. There was no breathing, heartbeat, or pulse, and Danielís pupils were fixed. At 11:30 p.m. on November 30, a death certificate was issued.

"They then drove Danielís corpse to his fatherís house in a nearby village, and naturally Danielís father and other family members were heartbroken at the sight of Danielís dead body, weeping profusely," says the report. "Danielís father instructed them to take his body to Ikeduru General Hospital Mortuary, not far away. They arrived there around 1:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. The resident mortician, Barlington Manu [left], received the corpse. The primitive Nigerian mortuary where Danielís body was taken had no cold storage facilities, and so the mortician injected embalming chemicals between Daniel ís fingers and into his feet. The full embalming would be administered in the morning. With the help of a staff member he laid Danielís body on a mortuary slab between two other corpses.

"The next morning, when the mortician attempted to cut Danielís inner thigh in order to insert a tube by which he could inject more embalming fluid, he experienced a strange shock that pushed him away from the corpse. This did not surprise him, as he had experienced similar forces before and attributed them to occult powers (such things are widely practiced in Africa and highly respected by most African pastors whom I know). After a second attempt and a second shock, he concluded that Daniel must have been a member of a powerful secret society. He assumed, however, that after some occult sacrifices and incantations the powers in the corpse would subside, and he could then complete his work. (This mortician, of course, was not a Christian, but converted after Danielís resurrection.)"

It's said that folks could detect the smell of embalming chemicals for two weeks after Ekechukwu's "resurrection."

"Around 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning, the mortician, who lived next to the mortuary, was disturbed by songs of worship coming from inside his mortuary, which stopped as soon as approached the mortuary doorway. Upon searching for the musicís source in his mortuary, he noticed light emanating from the face of Danielís corpse. This completely unnerved him.

"Later on Saturday, he again attempted to cut Danielís inner thigh in order to insert an injection tube, and met with the same resistance as before. That night the sounds of worship again emanated from the mortuary."

Danielís body was taken to Grace of God Mission, where, apparently, a well-known charismatic evangelist named Reinhard Bonnke was preaching.

As congregant prayed, it allegedly was noticed "that Danielís corpse twitched, and then irregular breathing started. The attendant believers began praying fervently, and because his body was stiff and cold, they began massaging his neck, arms and legs. When those in the sanctuary got word that a dead man below was coming back to life, the basement room was soon jammed with people. Suddenly Daniel sneezed and arose with a jump." Slowly he became coherent over the next several hours.

Most impressive -- it is claimed -- is what Daniel saw in the afterlife.

After he was lifted from his body by the two angels in the ambulance, we are told, he was joined by a different angel, who told him that they were going to Paradise -- and instantly they were there.

"Daniel stood with the angel and watched a multitude of worshipping people who were dressed in sparkling white garments. He immediately thought they were angels, but the escorting angel told him that they were human beings who, 'while they lived on earth, served God and had their faith focused on Christ Jesus and lived righteously.' These people were all ageless and without race. That is, none appeared to be young or middle-aged or elderly, and none had any racial distinctions in their appearance. All were focused on a very bright light, and all worshipped in perfect unison.

"Daniel longed to join the worshippers, but the angel told him that there were other things Daniel needed to see. He told Daniel they would next go to see Jesusí promise to His followers, the mansion He had prepared for those whom 'He would find righteous on the last day.' Immediately they were there.

The Nigerian claims it was made of something that was transparent like glass, and the floors appear to be made of light. The angel supposedly told him, "The mansion is ready but the saints of God are not. Jesus is being delayed because Christians in the church are not ready yet."

It wasn't all positive.

There was also hell to witness apparently. Or so we are asked to consider.

In hell, Daniel saw a gate.

"When the angel lifted his hand and let it fall again, the gate opened, and Daniel could immediately hear the awful sounds of people screaming and weeping, but everything in hell was in total blackness. Then a bright light shone from the angel, and Daniel could see many groups of people in anguish. He told me of three specific groups that went through endless cycles of torment, forever reaping in hell what they had sown on earth."

The escorting angel informed the pastor that "if your record is to be called here, you will in no doubt be thrown into hell." Daniel defended himself protesting that "I am a man of God! I serve Him with all my heart!" But a Bible immediately appeared in the angelís hand, and it was opened to Matthew 5 where Jesus warned that if one calls his brother a fool he is guilty enough to go into the hell of fire (see Matthew 5:21-22). Hel knew he was guilty for the angry words spoken to his wife. The angel also reminded him that Jesus promised that God will not forgive our sins if we do not forgive others (see Matthew 6:14-15) because we will reap what we have sown. Only those who are merciful will obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7). Or so it is claimed. The angel told Daniel that the prayers he prayed as he was dying in the hospital were of no effect, because he refused to forgive his wife even when she attempted to reconcile on the morning of his fatal accident.

Pastor Daniel wept at this revelation, but the angel told him not to cry, because God was going to send him back to the earth. The angel said that Danielís resurrection would serve as a sign and be "the last warning for this generation."

For our discernment.

There were certainly many witnesses. And medical documents.

"As you may imagine, pastor Daniel greatly emphasizes in his preaching the need to forgive those who have wronged us, lest anyone suffer the fate he almost suffered. How important it is that we obey Jesusí commandments regarding forgiveness and walking in love toward each other, as well as all the rest of His commandments.

Keep in mind that Ekechukwu, it is pointed out, did not stand condemned just because of his one sin of unforgiveness. There apparently were other sins he had confessed in the hospital as he was dying, but his unforgiveness annulled his prayers in which he was asking for forgiveness. If we expect God to forgive us, we must forgive others.

That is what Jesus said.

[resources: After Life and The Other Side]

[See also: Louisiana and Missouri]

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