We Are God’s in Life or Death

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Because God loves you, he will work to cleanse you, but it is a loving chastening upon those who repent and return to him. You may feel God’s arrows in your soul because of your past and present sins, but if you have a repentant heart and want to turn from error, you can call upon his chastening love. You will not feel his wrath as the heathens do but rather the rod of his discipline, applied by his loving hand.

When you know you have arrived at your lowest point, it is time to seek the Lord in brokenness, repentance and faith.

When you cry out to God, he pours his strength into you. “In the day when I cried out, you answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul…. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you will revive me; you will stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; do not forsake the works of your hands” (Psalm 138:3, 7–8, NKJV).

One of the most difficult things for Christians to accept is the suffering of the righteous. There is an erroneous doctrine that says if you are in agreement with God, you will never suffer. It claims, “Just call out to God, and he will come running and solve everything immediately.” This is not the gospel! The heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11 all had close relationships with God, and they suffered mocking, torture and violent deaths (see Hebrews 11:36–38). Paul himself, who walked closely with God, was shipwrecked, stoned, whipped, left for dead, robbed, jailed and persecuted. He suffered the loss of all things.

God wants to plant something in our hearts through our trials. He wants us to be able to say, “Lord Jesus, I believe you rule over the events of my life. If anything happens to me, it’s only because you allowed it, and I trust your purpose in doing it. Help me understand the lesson you want me to learn from it. If I walk in righteousness and have your joy in my heart, my living and dying will bring glory to you. I will say, ‘Jesus, whether I live or die, I am yours!’”

God Gave Me an Unexpected Message

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

One night during a prayer meeting, God told me something about our church I was not expecting to hear. The Lord whispered to me, “This church needs shock treatment! Too many have grown satisfied and complacent. You feel safe and secure from all the winds and waves of false doctrines sweeping over the land, but you are not prepared for what is coming!”

Beloved, having the Spirit’s witness functioning in you is a matter of life and death. If you don’t have the witness of the Holy Ghost in these last days, you’re not going to make it. You’ll give in to the coming spirit of the Antichrist.

You need the Holy Spirit's power every day on the job, at school, in your family. This is what Jesus was trying to tell us about the foolish virgins who ran out of oil for their lamps. They had a supply of the Holy Ghost, but they didn’t have his witness at the final moment. Don’t end up a foolish virgin! If you are running out of oil—trusting your church or your pastor to keep your soul—then repent.

Humble yourself and search your heart; cry out to God to rid your soul of all anger and bitterness. Confess your sins and forsake them. Depend on God once again for everything. Get the peace of God in your heart, so you can have a Holy Ghost witness. Ask the Father for a greater indwelling of the Spirit. Invite him to be your witness and guide in everything.

We face a cost of going all the way with Jesus, but we also will receive great rewards. First and foremost, we will have the blessing of having Christ stand with us. There are many other rewards as well, which Christ pointed to when he said, “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29, NKJV).

The cost of following Christ was clear in the lives of the men of God in the Bible, and if we are going to be like our master, we must embrace this cost as well. Enduring it becomes a joy because Jesus promises to stand with us in every situation.

We can face anything or anyone when we know the Lord stands with us. Count the cost and know that your reward is the precious presence of Jesus Christ.

The Lord Will Provide

Gary Wilkerson

History tells us that the mountain Abraham took Isaac up onto was in a land owned by a king named Melchizedek. He was the king of Salem, the king of peace. Abraham had already met with him before, but the Patriarch is back on this mountain in the land of a man who ruled in Salem. Abraham called this place The Lord Will Provide.

Now I’m no Hebrew scholar, but this name has a beautiful word in Hebrew. ‘Provide’ here is pronounced “Yireh.” Have you ever heard that word before? In church, we say Jehovah-Jireh or Yahweh-Yireh, which means the Lord Provides. Abraham uses that word when he names the mountain where God provided a sacrifice substitute for Isaac. When the Hebrews took over Salem and renamed it Jerusalem much later in scripture, they pointed to that mountain and remembered the story of God’s provision. They remember how he always makes a way out of a test. This nation was essentially founded on a test and the victory that produced a great faith.

Centuries later, Jesus goes into a garden and prays in great distress, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42, ESV). That was his prayer in preparation for this test. Soon he would be taken just outside of the city and be put up on the cross, the test of tests. There he cries out to declare his ultimate submission to God: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46).

Imagine God were to tell you, “I’m going to send you through a severe test, but the result of this test will be such an elevation as you’ve never seen before. It will lay the foundations of a new city, a new ministry, a new faith, a new work of God, a new lifting up of your heart.”

Would you respond, “Yes, Lord. Not my will but thine”?

There are people right now who are going through the most severe test they’ve ever had in their lives, and they’re wondering when it will ever end? When will the true king of Jerusalem come? Where is Jehovah-Jireh?

There’s good news for you, though, that your test is working on your behalf to do something new in your life and your walk with God, to take you to new levels.

Joy that Radiates in Your Home

Claude Houde

I would like to share with you a simple principle that is powerful and yet often forgotten or neglected: A strong and radiant family is a family whose members have fun and know how to laugh together.

I want to highlight the spiritual gift of joy. Scripture tells us, “I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 8:15, ESV).

When the writer of Ecclesiastes refers to ‘the days of life under the sun’ in the Bible, he’s not talking about an all-inclusive vacation in the tropics. Joy should not be dependent on context or circumstances but rather a disposition of the heart. This is a pertinent biblical reminder — beyond our responsibility to work, to contribute to the needs of our family and to instill in them values ​​and principles of life and faith — that we are called to spread joy and to nurture a beautiful atmosphere in our homes.

Unfortunately, joy is too often the missing ingredient in families that are too serious, too busy, too structured or too demanding.

Let me gently remind you of three things.

  • • Your family is not a military training camp. You are not a sergeant, and your children are not soldiers to be broken in.

  • • Your family is not a research lab either, and you are not scientists looking for the conclusive formula for a perfect family and children.

  • • Your family can and should take the essentials of God's life seriously without taking themselves too seriously.

I can tell you a timeless truth: there is no such thing as a perfect family! Our children are not perfect, and they never will be. The ultimate recipe for family perfection does not exist. So let's learn to laugh at our imperfections. Here are some good questions to ask yourself: Do you play together? Are you laughing together? Are you contributing to bringing and maintaining an atmosphere of joy in your home? One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy. Our responsibility as adults is to learn for ourselves, and show our children, that the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Claude Houde is the lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.

The Witness of the Spirit

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

The Holy Spirit abides in us to reveal what is true and what is false. He speaks with a still, small voice, deep within the heart. Many of our holy forefathers believed in this operation of the Spirit within believers. They preached much about “having the witness.” I don’t hear this truth being preached much anymore. In fact, the witness of the Spirit is virtually unheard of in most churches today!

Believers need the Spirit’s witness as never before, and we’re going to need it more and more as the day of the Lord draws near. Satan has come brazenly as an angel of light to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect of God (see Matthew 24:23-25). His evil seductions are going to flourish in the form of false doctrines and false teachers.

If you sink into sin and do not confess it or deal with it, your heart will start feeding you a steady stream of lies. You’ll hear teachings that make you at ease in your sin. You’ll think, “My problem couldn’t be that bad. I don’t feel convicted.” However, you will be totally led astray. Isaiah speaks of a people who went out claiming to desire the true counsel of God. They said, “Let him make speed and hasten his work, that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, that we may know it” (Isaiah 5:19).

These people had deceit in their hearts, and they ended up perverted in all their counsel. Sin had perverted their judgment. As a result, they weren’t able to discern evil. The things that were holy and pure, they called unrighteous. Isaiah said of them, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

When your peace is disturbed, you can be sure the Holy Ghost is speaking to you. When your spirit is troubled and there’s a shaking and turmoil deep inside, God is telling you that something is false. You will feel his grief and anger. The Spirit’s inner witness operates on the “principle of peace.” The peace of God is the greatest thing you can have.

When it comes to God giving you direction — that is, the still, small voice that tells you what to do and where to go — he will not operate in an unclean vessel. Let the Spirit speak to you to correct you; he will deal with sin in your life.