An Urgent Message

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to send out an urgent message to friends and to church leaders we have met all over the world. An earth-shattering calamity is about to happen. It is going to be so frightening that we are all going to tremble, even the godliest among us. We are under God’s wrath. In the psalms, it is written, “For look! The wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow on the string, that they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:2-3, NKJV).

In Psalm 11:6, David warns, “Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup.” This is a righteous judgment, just as in the judgments of Sodom and in Noah’s generation.

The prophet Jeremiah pleaded with wicked Israel, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.’” (Jeremiah 18:11). Instead of repenting, though, “They said, ‘That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart.’” (Jeremiah 18:12).

God is judging the raging sins of America and the nations, but what about God’s people? What shall the righteous do?

For our spiritual reaction, we have two options. This is outlined in Psalm 11. We can “flee like a bird to a mountain” (v. 1); or do as the psalmist did: “In the Lord I put my trust” (v. 1) because “He loves righteousness; his countenance beholds the upright” (v. 7).

I will say to my soul, “No need to run. No need to hide. This is God’s righteous work. I will behold our Lord on his throne with his eye of loving kindness, watching over every step I take. I will trust that he will deliver his people even through floods, fires and calamities of all kinds.”

I do not know when these things will come to pass, but I know it is not far off. I have unburdened my soul to you. Do with the message as you choose.

Preparation for the Perfect King

Gary Wilkerson

There is a repeated pattern throughout the history of the Old Testament where God set up a shepherd over a household or a family, but that shepherd failed to lead completely righteously. It can seem so confusing at first, but God has a point. First, though, let’s look at the leaders he raised up.

You have Adam, the first shepherd over his family. In his silence and passivity, he allowed his wife to go off into sin. Instead of rebuking and correcting her, he entered into that same sin with her. He wasn’t a faithful shepherd.

You go on then to Noah. A lot of us say Noah was a righteous man. He faithfully built the ark and led his family through a world-wide flood. A rainbow appeared. God gave them a great promise, and what happened next? Noah was in his tent, getting drunk then naked. Was he a faithful shepherd? God said no.

How about Moses? He was charged with making sure the people of Israel witnessed and trusted God’s promises and victory. Moses got the whole nation to the Promise Land border, but because of his unbelief and outburst of anger, he couldn’t go in himself. Someone else had to do it.

David did a pretty good job, except for adultery and murder and a couple of other problems. At one point, he offered to build this beautiful tabernacle for the Lord, and the Lord said to him, “You’re not the kind of shepherd that I want to build my house; your hands aren’t clean.”

All throughout history you see God raising up shepherds. Some of them do a decent job, but none of them are completely righteous or good. They aren’t able to get people into the place God longs for them to be. It seems hopeless, but the prophet Jeremiah tells us that this was part of God’s glorious intention from the foundation of the world. The imperfect pastors and leaders would prepare us to see why God needed to send the perfect shepherd, Jesus Christ. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land” (Jeremiah 23:5, ESV).

Only Christ’s leadership is perfect. Only he can shepherd us along the right path. Jesus is the only way and truth which brings out abundant life in our hearts.

Success that Leads to Failure

Jim Cymbala

King Asa had some godly influences in his family line, and he started off good. King Asa was actually one of the best kings in the Bible, and he prayed one of the greatest prayers found in the whole Old Testament (see 2 Chronicles 14:11).

When he became king, he tore down idols and destroyed Baals that his father and grandfather had brought into Judah. He was courageous and brought reformation, preached God’s Word to the people and strategically built up the cities. Thirty-six years into his reign, though, he made this deal with Syria and won a battle.

While everyone was high-fiving, a prophet approached the king with a message of judgment. “Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, ‘Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you…. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.’ Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the stocks in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time” (2 Chronicles 16:7-10, ESV).

This army invaded, and King Asa wasn’t praying. He wasn’t trusting God. He got smart in the last couple years, and in getting ‘smart,’ he became a fool. No prayer, no humbling himself, no God in the decisions. The man who once believed “They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31), that wasn’t Asa anymore. He was ‘advanced’ now; he was going to figure out a really hot marketing plan, and guess what? It worked.

The things that work for us away from God, though, often don’t work out in the long run, not really. Asa’s smart strategy paid off, but he was the loser in the end.

Sometimes, we’ll trust God with big things, but otherwise, we try to figure it out ourselves. Those medium sized problems are what often indicate where we really are with the Lord. We depend on money, strategies or formulas. We just try to keep people happy, and it can work…for a little while, and then we’re left with nothing.

The truth of our trust in God will always come out in the end.

Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.

Getting to Know the Father

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

I believe our natural children get to know our nature and character toward them most during their times of crisis. When they’re in the midst of pain, suffering and need, they recognize our deep care and provision for them.

When my children were growing up, I didn’t have to lecture them about what I’m like. I never had to say, “I’m your father. I’m patient, kind, full of mercy and lovingkindness toward you. I’m tenderhearted over you, ready to forgive you at all times.” It would have been ludicrous for me to make this kind of proclamation. Why? My kids learned about my love for them during their crisis experiences. Now, as they’re grown and married with children of their own, my sons and daughters are getting to know me through a whole new set of experiences. They’re learning even more about me by my attitudes and actions toward them in this new time of need in their lives.

It is the same with us as we get to know our heavenly Father. From the time of Adam down through the cross of Christ, the Lord gave his people an ever-increasing revelation of his character. He didn’t do this simply by proclaiming who he is. He didn’t try to reveal himself by merely announcing, “The following names describe my nature. Now go and learn these, and you’ll discover who I am.”

The Hebrew expressions and names for God do describe the wondrous glories and provisions that are wrapped up in our Lord’s nature. However, God revealed these aspects of his nature to his people by actually doing for them what he promised. He saw his children’s needs, foresaw the enemy’s strategy against them and intervened supernaturally on their behalf.

I urge you to get to know your heavenly Father slowly, purposefully, on a heart level. Ask the Holy Spirit to recall to you the many facets of heavenly provision God has given you during your times of need. Ask the Holy Spirit to build into you a true heart-knowledge of I AM, the God who is everything you need at all times.

The Making of a True Worshipper

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

A true worshipper is one who has learned to trust God no matter what his situation in life. This person’s joy isn’t just in his words but in his whole way of life. His world is always at rest because his trust in God’s faithfulness is unshakable. He isn’t afraid of the future because he’s no longer afraid to die.

Gwen and I saw this kind of unshakable faith in our twelve-year-old granddaughter Tiffany. Sitting at her bedside in her final days, we beheld in her a peace that surpassed all our understanding. She told me, “Grandpa, I want to go home. I’ve seen Jesus, and he told me he wants me to be there. I don’t want to be here anymore.” Tiffany had lost all fear of death and deprivation.

That is the rest God wants for his people. It’s a confidence that says, like Paul and like Tiffany, “Live or die, I am the Lord’s.” This is what makes a completely sold-out follower of God. God wants his people to have a faith that declares, “He who began this miracle for us will finish it. He has already proven to us he’s faithful."

A true worshipper isn’t someone who dances after the victory is won. It isn’t the person who sings God’s praises once the enemy has been vanquished. That’s what the Israelites did. When God parted the Red Sea and they arrived on the other side, they sang and danced, praised God and extolled his greatness. Yet, three days later, these same people murmured bitterly against God, at Marah. These weren’t worshippers; they were shallow shouters!

I pray that all who read this message can say in the midst of their hardships or worries, “Yes, the economy may collapse. Yes, I may still be facing a sickness or failing relationship, but God has proven himself faithful to me. No matter what comes, I will rest in his love for me.”

As we look back, we will see that all our fears are wasted. We will see that God desires only to do good to us. We’ve seen his power and glory on our behalf. Now we must be determined to no longer live in fear. Live or die, we are the Lord’s.