As a young man I sat and listened to a preacher named Levi Burkhart. He was very sober, methodical, intelligent, and I loved to hear him talk. Each time I heard him speak he opened his sermon with “I need the prayers of all God’s people!” That has never left my heart. Levi Burkhart died and went to heaven in 1959 and is buried at Cherryvale Kansas.
Elliot Hodge referenced Levi when he was in the hospital in Pittsburg Kansas in 1926. After a serious gun accident Elliot had left his body once and saw heaven, came back and spoke to his doctor and dear friend Brother Timmons:
He (Brother Timmons) then asked me if there was anything he could do for me if anything should happen to me. I said, “I am not going to die.” He said, “Buddy, I am going to tell you the truth, you have just about an hour to live. The doctor said you would take another spell in about an hour, and you can’t possibly live over another one.
Do you want me to send for your wife?” I said, “When she comes, tell her I died praising God.” He said, Brother Hodge, I love you as my own soul; can’t you just give me something to do for you after you are gone?” I said, “Tim, if I die, have Brother Levi Burkhart preach my funeral; his text will be Psalm 26:9. Hold the service in the church at Arcadia, Kansas, and bury me in the Mulberry cemetery.” I told him about the great scene I had just witnessed and said I was ready to go or stay.
The doctor tried to keep me still; but I thought I had only a few minutes on earth and I wanted to tell people about God, so I just kept on talking. I told them about the great scene I had just witnessed, and of the wonder of it. When about an hour had gone by, I felt myself going again. Now, dear reader, I went the same flight as before and stood before the same gate in open space and looked into the gate, and there was everything that I saw before; the gate was open to meet me that time, and I saw farther in. Time and space would fail me to tell you all about the place God has prepared for us.
I stood and looked up the street that was made of gold that glittered like glass, and just in the horizon loomed the city John told us about in Revelation, twentieth chapter. The city was all aglow with the glory of God. There were no lights, but the city was a light itself. Oh, I wanted to go in! There is no use of my trying to tell you of its wonderful splendor; I can only say that it is there and that I am a witness of it.
After a space of time I was back in the hospital, and I looked into the doctor’s face and shouted the victory, and said, “Doctor, I didn’t go that time, did I?” He said, “Hodge, you surely have a lot of nerve.” I said, “Doctor, don’t call it nerve; call it grace.”
Psalm 26: 9 Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:
Servant and Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ