The Only Hope in the Coming Storm!
By Reverend David Wilkerson
GOD promised the prophet Zechariah that in the last days, he would be a protective wall of fire around his people: “For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about…” (Zechariah 2:5).
Likewise, Isaiah testifies: “For thou has been a…shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall” (Isaiah 25:4). “There shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain” (Isaiah 4:6).
These promises are meant to comfort us beforehand – because all the prophets warn of a great storm coming in the final days, which will beat against God’s wall of protection with ferocity!
Indeed, Jesus says this coming storm will be so frightful and overwhelming, people’s hearts will fail them as they see it developing (see Luke 21:26). Now, if Jesus says this storm is going to be ferocious, we can know it will be an awesome moment in history. Yet, the Bible assures us God never sends judgment on any society without first revealing to his prophets what he plans to do: “Surely the Lord will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). This is a marvelous expression of our Lord’s great love for his people. And if you study the biblical prophets’ writings carefully, you’ll see that God acts this way consistently. Just prior to an impending storm of judgment, he always commands his prophets to warn the people to return to him: “I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and…by the ministry of the prophets” (Hosea 12:10).
Moreover, God is faithful to speak in times of prosperity, just before the fury of his judgment strikes. While the storm clouds are still gathering, he raises up prophetic voices all over the land. And, according to scripture, whenever a sinful nation was prosperous and at peace, God told his prophets to warn that the good times soon would end: “…the Lord hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity…” (Zechariah 7:7).
At times God made his message so strong, he instructed his spokesmen to issue cutting, searing warnings: “Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth…” (Hosea 6:5). In other words: “The word I bring will be so clear, it will smite you if your heart is open at all. It will cause you to fall on your face and repent!”
We always have to keep in mind, God’s only purpose in lovingly calling us back to himself is to protect us in such times of storm. Yet often in biblical history, when he gave these warnings, the people refused to listen: “He sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear” (2 Chronicles 24:19). Almost always, God’s people grew weary of these warnings. This was especially true if a prophet cried out about a coming storm over a period of years, but the society only continued to be prosperous and at peace. Over time, the people simply switched off the prophet’s voice. They simply didn’t want to hear it anymore.
We see this in the Israelites’ response to the prophet Isaiah. They told him: “…Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:10).
Can you imagine ever falling to such a condition? These people knew Isaiah was telling the truth – that a great storm was coming – but they got tired of hearing about it! They preferred to hear “smooth things.” And the Hebrew word for “smooth” here means “pleasant, unperturbed.” They were telling Isaiah, in other words: “Don’t preach anything to us that will upset the status quo or make us nervous!”
This very condition is creeping into the church of Jesus Christ today. Believers who have been devoted to Jesus for years now turn on their television sets only to see more horrible reports of violence, disasters, hunger, crime, immorality. After a while, their minds become satiated with all the bad news, and their hearts become hardened to it. To them, even the worst news reports are “just another news story.”
I often wonder: Can anything move us anymore? We’ve already heard every type of bad news we could possibly hear. What disaster or calamity is left that could shock us?
Beloved, God is appalled by this kind of response among his people! We see this in the warnings of the prophet Ezekiel. At the time Ezekiel prophesied, Israel was prosperous and at peace with the surrounding nations. Yet the Lord told Ezekiel to give the people this message: “I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountain of Israel shall be desolate…because of all their abominations which they have committed” (Ezekiel 33:28-29).
The prophet went up and down the land, preaching God’s warnings over several years. But the people grew weary of listening to him. After all, over the years not one of Ezekiel’s words had come to pass. On the contrary, the nation only grew more prosperous!
Over time, Ezekiel’s prophecies became a source of entertainment for the people. They began calling him names behind his back – names that were probably similar to the ones I’ve been called over the years: “Doomsday preacher,” “The man who never smiles,” “Mr. bad news.” Finally, Ezekiel finally got fed up and said, “Lord, you’ve deceived me. Nothing you told me has come to pass. And now everyone’s mocking me!”
“…(Israel is) saying, “Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after covetousness…they hear thy words, but they do them not. And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (Ezekiel 33:30-33).
Let me ask you: Have you come to the place where you’ve said in your heart, “I’ve already heard it all! I don’t want to hear any more!” If so, beware!
As It Was With All Past Societies and Church Bodies, The Church Today Is in No Mood to Receive Bad News!
The majority of churchgoers today soundly reject all prophetic warnings of a coming storm. Indeed, the American church today is the most blatant “feel good” church in all of history. But, like Israel, we’re only experiencing the calm before the storm!
While Moses spent forty days on the mountaintop, Israel indulged in a spirit of lawlessness. The people wanted to play and relax, so they abandoned all godliness. You remember the result: It ended in a drunken, naked orgy around a golden calf.
Likewise today, Christians by the multiple thousands are casting off the yoke of Christ, tossing aside all limits and restrictions. This attitude is prevalent in many of the books and magazines you find in Christian bookstores. It’s almost as if our leaders are saying, “Relax! God isn’t hard. He’s our Daddy, we’re all his kids, and we’re meant to have a good time. Don’t let anyone disturb your fun!”
A few years ago, three pastors of large charismatic churches publicly stated they believed God would use rock-and-roll and rap music to bring in the next great revival. One of these ministers even declared that God used the Beatles to open people’s hearts to the Holy Spirit. No – never! Those young men glorified sex and drugs. How could that ever be the work of the Holy Spirit?
One Christian magazine predicted that the next big movement in the church would be a “nightclub” approach – including services that feature dancing, “near-beer” alcohol, and comedians. One pastor told me this is already happening in churches throughout England and Europe. The churches can’t hold the people’s interest – so they turn them into nightclubs!
In addition, many “sinner friendly” churches in America now serve coffee during their morning services. The people sit with their feet propped up on chairs, never standing up for worship. At one such church, a visiting gospel singer was advised not to sing anything that mentioned sin or Christ’s blood, because it might offend the visitors. That church’s leaders were trying to create a “comfort zone” for sinners!
You may find it hard to imagine the Israelites dancing naked around a golden calf. But don’t for a second think the same thing couldn’t happen in the church today. Soon we’re going to witness lewd, sensuous, blasphemous forms of religion, straight out of the pits of hell. Indeed, the Bible says a time is coming when God’s people will no longer blush. And right now, the church’s blush is gone – because we’ve seen and heard so much already. yet this is just the beginning!
You may ask – why are so many ministers and believers being deceived? Why is there so little discernment in God’s house? Why do the most bizarre, worldly movements attract so many followers? I believe the answer lies in a prophecy form Amos:
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). Notice, this verse doesn’t say there will be a famine of preaching. The fact is, God would never hold back his warnings from his church – because only his truth can set us free. That’s why he sends his prophets, teachers and evangelists to speak truth to us.
No, Amos’ prophecy is not about all the shallow, light preaching we hear today; it isn’t saying there will be a shortage of truth. Rather, what the church today is experiencing is a famine of hearing! There is an unwillingness to hear the true word of God. Instead, people are closing their eyes and ears, hardening their hearts, and saying, “I don’t want to hear any more!”
Editor’s Note: If you want to hear more we will be printing the last half of this prophetic word from Brother Wilkerson in the next issue of the Digest. It is entitled: Experiencing the Calm Prior to The Greatest Storm America Has Ever Suffered. Also, we have Bro. Wilkerson’s latest prophetic book called America’s Last Call available in our CHAPEL BOOKSTORE .
This word was taken from The David Wilkerson Times Square Church Pulpit Series which is sent out every three weeks free-of-charge by regular mail and by e-mail subscription. E-mail subscription instructions are available on the Subscription Instructions Page through the internet ministry of Times Square Church Pulpit Series. David Wilkerson’s ministry does NOT have an e-mail address for correspondence.
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Topic: Messages to the Church: Hope in the Coming Storm
Related Topics: What the Bible Says about False Prophets; Lying Signs & Wonders; God’s Gift of the Holy Spirit; Prayer; Speaking/Praying in Tongues; Travailing Prayer