Bulgarian Preacher Raised from the Dead

Bulgarian Preacher Raised from the Dead

Zlatka, Haroutyun, and Len

I was in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in May 2012, and had the pleasure of spending time with my friends Haroutyun (pronounced “HARRY-tyoon), who is Armenian, and his wife Zlatka at their home.  I asked Haroutyun to share his testimony with me once more about how he died nine years ago, and was raised from the dead.

He told me that on December 18, 2000, at age 50, he died for 9 minutes.
The problem was that for no reason he had internal bleeding in his stomach. All of his organs were bleeding arterial blood into his stomach.  The doctors thought he had bleeding stomach ulcers, so they cut out two-thirds of his stomach. However, it was no use.
Just before he died, when the doctor said things are out of control, the devil came to her and said with persistent thoughts, “Don’t worry. You’re young. You’re pretty. You can manage a house. You’ll find someone else soon.” Even the nurse said to her, “He will go to a better place.” But thankfully there were many people praying and calling on the phone to encourage her. The whole church was united in fervent prayer for him.
When Haroutyun passed away, the doctor took the wedding ring off and gave it to Zlatka. “We did our best, but, sorry.” She didn’t feel well. In fact, she almost died of shock right on the spot, but the Holy Spirit came upon her with power and she said, “I demand he come back to life in the name of Jesus!!” At that same moment, he came back to life. They saw his pulse in his neck!

That woman had faith!  We are reminded that Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.  Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”  (Mar 11:22-24)

After he was raised from the dead, his feet were freezing cold, he could not see or hear well, but was conscious.
He prayed, “Lord, if it’s your will to take me, then I’ll go. But I have a family back at home to take care of.”
Then the Lord spoke two sentences to him in an audible voice.  It was a very, very quiet voice like a whisper.
The Lord said, “You could see what My Body would do with one soul that had a need of healing.” Then the Lord paused. Haroutyun felt very strongly the sadness and love of Jesus. Then he continued. “And how much I need from My Body to be in unity in prayer for a soul who needs salvation.”
He heard this audible voice, but didn’t believe it. He always had similar thoughts in his mind. As the Scripture says, “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luk 15:7).

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He had always felt people emphasize healing but not salvation. If he said “the Lord is here to heal us,” he would hear many “Amens” from the congregation. But if he said “the Lord is here to save us,” maybe five “Amens.” Since he always had thought like this, he doubted it was the Lord.

The Lord read his thoughts, and said, “For twenty-four hours I will give you assurance that it was truly Me speaking to you.”
Haroutyun started counting the hours. At the sixteenth hour, two sisters came to the hospital and (though forbidden to visit him in the ICU, even for nurses and doctors) they came. Three fellow patients passed away before his eyes and they expected Haroutyun to be the fourth. Nobody saw how the two ladies came into the room. After they shared the message they left undetected.
They knew him. The first lady said, “I have a Word from God for you.”
He replied, “Yes, I know”
She said, “Haroutyun, you will not die, but live and share…”
As she spoke, he thought, “Oh, I know this verse.” I expected something different from Habakkuk or Zachariah.”
But then she continued saying, “…And you will share and spread what the Lord gave you yesterday.” That hit him.  It was the first confirmation that the Lord had spoken to him after he was raised from the dead.
The second sister said, “The Lord told me to go by you a new winter coat, the size is right for you.” He needed one, but thought, “I am dying. Why do I need a coat?”
She said, “I took the coat to your wife, but now I’m telling you that you will go home victoriously and will put on the coat and spread everywhere what the Lord has done for you.”
The same day the ladies visited him, a representative of the municipality came to his wife, Zlatka at their apartment. For thirteen years, the municipality had not allowed them to build an apartment building, although they owned the land. All their applications for a building permit were denied. But now the official told her to go to municipality and receive the paperwork to build the apartment building along with the other two property owners.
She thought, “Today should be my husband’s funeral!” Yet they were receiving the long-awaited permission to build the apartment building on the land they owned next door. They needed a bigger apartment building due to their growing family. So they got the permit and took two years to build it, before they could move in.
While he was in the hospital, 37 people heard the gospel from him and he gave them all a Bible.
Six days later, he needed another surgery. Both the first and the second were unsuccessful. The doctor said, “We cannot do anything else.” After the second one, he was still unstable.  Brother Ivan Vrachev went to hospital and was shocked when he saw how bad Haroutyun looked. He had lost 70 pounds (32kg) in 20 days. And all the equipment that was attached to him was startling.
Brother Ivan said, “Oh, you look like a Christmas tree now.” Then he said, “I will add something that you have not received here.” He took out anointing oil and said, “You have prayed for many for healings, but now you need prayer. Do you believe you will be healed, now?”
Haroutyun replied, “I have no choice!”
The pastor prayed and it immediately felt like he swallowed a dry piece of bread that went down slowly. Something bigger than usual. His hemoglobin level was 75. Anything less than 85 is dangerous. Six hours after anointing and prayer, his hemoglobin went up to 95 without adding blood artificially. By the next day it was 105. He could sit up in bed. He had been lying down for three weeks.
On December 27, 2003, the children prayed, “Lord, our father was not home to decorate the tree. Make it possible for him to be home for New Year’s Eve.” Everyday, something good (progress) was happening from the time they prayed. On December 31, the doctor asked, “Do you want to go home? If so, collect your stuff and your family will be here to pick you up.” At 4PM he was discharged, and he left wearing his brand new winter coat. He felt like a colonel in God’s Army walking out of there.
He later testified to many people how the Lord raised him from the dead and what the Lord said to him afterward.  And he did this while wearing that new coat just as the dear sister said he would.  Amazingly, his name Haroutyun means “resurrection” in his native Armenian language.
It was not until a year after he was released from hospital that the doctors said the problem was all his other organs were bleeding into his stomach. It was arterial blood, bright red. They had initially thought it was an ulcer, and did not determine the correct diagnosis until a year later.

When he finally put on weight two or three years later, he realized his stomach was miraculously restored to normal size.  Now he can eat whatever he wants.

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Jesus said, “All things are possible with God.” (Mar 10:27b)

Praise the Lord for the mighty work He has done in Haroutyun’s life.  But let’s remember the Lord’s message to Haroutyun.  The Lord spoke to him with sadness and love about the lost, and indicated that He needs His Body to come together in unity to pray for their salvation.  The Lord wants us to join together in prayer with the same passion, unity, and faith for the salvation of the lost that we have when we pray for a sick friend.  Let’s begin to do that in obedience to the Lord.

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”  (2Pe 3:9)

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