Let’s begin by reading Matthew 10:5-8, “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” This commission of the Lord was to the twelve disciples, and it was limited to the nation of Israel. At this point, it had not become evident that Israel would reject the Lord, so the ministry of the Lord was still limited to that nation. At His birth, the angel announced to Joseph that the Lord would come to save Israel. Matthew 1:21 says, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

We do not have a single instance recorded where any of the disciples ever raised anyone from the dead until the Lord had ascended back to Heaven. However, after the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord, we find the disciples exercising great power in the name of the Lord. In Acts 3:1-8, Peter and John healed a lame man. In Acts 8:6-7 we find Philip doing miracles and casting out demons. In Acts 9:36-41, Peter raised Dorcas from the dead. She was a disciple of the Lord. In Acts 9:10-18, a disciple named Ananias restored Saul’s sight to him. We have the record of the Apostle Paul performing several miracles. We read in Acts 19:11, “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul.” In Acts 20:7-12 we have the account of Paul interrupting his preaching service to raise Eutychus from the dead, who had fallen out of a third story window while listening to Paul speak.

  • When Peter and John healed the lame man, we see glory was given to God. Acts 3:9 says, “And all the people saw him walking and praising God.”
  • When Philip did miracles and drove out demons, great joy resulted. Acts 8:8 tells us, “And there was great joy in that city.”
  • When Peter raised Dorcas from the dead, we see it resulted in the salvation of others. Acts 9:42 says, “And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.”
  • When Paul raised Eutychus from the dead, it comforted the people. Acts 20:12 says, “And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.”

Of the two that we see being raised from the dead by Peter and Paul, both of them were already believers. Dorcas was called a disciple, and Eutychus had come to here Paul speak. These great miracles were done to manifest the power of the Lord. There is no account in the scriptures where an unbeliever was ever raised to be given a ‘second chance’ for salvation. All these miracles performed in the early church were for the glory of God, the benefit of the saints, and for the salvation of the lost. (157.4)