Near-Fatal Jellyfish Attack Turns Kiwi Atheist Into Evangelist

by | Nov 30, 2002 | Charisma Archive, Uncategorized

“Heathen” Ian McCormack claims to have died after being attacked in the Indian Ocean and says God’s love sent him back
Ian McCormack claims to have died–and had a vision of heaven and hell–before returning to life. Now the former self-proclaimed atheist is promoting a fresh vision for revival and shared his testimony on a recent tour of Great Britain.


It was while living on Mauritius, an island paradise in the Indian Ocean, that McCormack had his life-changing experience in 1982. While diving at night for lobster and fish, he was horribly stung five times by the highly venomous Box Jellyfish. The Sea Wasp, as the jellyfish also is known, has a bell-shaped body and tentacles so transparent as to be almost invisible. A fully grown specimen (about the size of a basketball) has enough poison to kill 60 adults.


“It felt like thousands of volts of electricity,” McCormack said. “My forearm was swollen like a balloon, and where the tentacles had stung, there were burn-like blisters across my arm. I felt on fire as the poison began moving round my body.”


McCormack was in complete paralysis by the time an ambulance arrived to transport him. Within a few minutes of reaching the hospital, it was too late for medicine to save him. A nurse who treated him discovered that McCormack had no pulse and that his veins had collapsed. He later would be told by hospital staff that he was clinically dead for 15 minutes before he revived without medical intervention.


While in that state, McCormack claims he saw startling visions of heaven and hell–even though he was an atheist, a self-proclaimed “full-blown heathen” at the time. Not surprisingly, the doctors and nurses recoiled in shock when he came back to life.


“I had an experience that totally transformed my life when the tangible love of God came into my heart. It brought me to tears,” he said.


Since then, McCormack, a 45-year-old New Zealander, has been a pastor in the Assemblies of God, a missionary among the poor of Asia, and now travels the world sharing his story. His strange and chilling testimony has gone around the world via audiotape and videotape. He has found British Christians to be hungry to win souls and already beginning to see “quite a number” of young people turning to Christ.


He became aware of how recent renewal movements have emerged from former countries that once were British colonies, such as Canada, South Africa and Australia. “Wherever England planted, those nations are still lighthouses for Christendom,” he told Charisma.


Pointing out that many of today’s key revivalists also came from parts of the British Commonwealth, McCormack said he believes the old empire will strike back–no longer colonizing nations by force but “colonizing with the gospel.” He has shared his own remarkable experiences with audiences in a range of locations across England and Scotland–from pubs and restaurants to churches and concert halls.


While traveling around the country from the fall of 2001 to spring 2002, McCormack noticed that a much greater emphasis was being placed on evangelism than in the mid-1990s when the Toronto Blessing was hitting the nation’s churches.


“That was a time of healing for the body of Christ…a time of real closeness to Jesus,” he explained. “Some of the churches have progressed from that–and are now in a position where they want to reach out.”


He cites the London-based Pentecostal church Kensington Temple as an example of a new English “fire.” The church had booked the city’s world famous Royal Albert Hall for an Easter Sunday outreach–but the guest speaker could not make it in time. Kensington Temple senior pastor Colin Dye invited McCormack to step in.


“Thousands of people turned up to the meeting, and 200 got saved. Colin Dye ministered, and a bunch of miracles took place,” McCormack said. The event also was recorded for later transmission to other countries.


“I got to speak to more people on Easter Sunday than I would in two months of ministry across the United Kingdom,” McCormack said.


Touring the United Kingdom has encouraged him that a wave of revival could flow from Great Britain. “Some of the greatest moves of God I’ve seen have been in England,” he said. “I feel the U.K. has a great place in the kingdom of God.


“It’s still going to be a sending place of ministries to the world–and it has a depth of maturity, character, and of people and resources that can be powerfully used.”


More about McCormack’s dramatic physical recovery is available at his Web site, www.aglimpseofeternity.org.
Clive Price in England

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophecy: A Window of Time Has Opened for Believers to Preach the Truth

I was rejoicing and praising God on Friday, June 24, 2022, for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, knowing that an ungodly decree was overturned and one national curse was broken. I heard by the Holy...
The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest