|by David Wilkerson | June 28, 2013|
Zechariah 12:10 refers to the promised latter rain that will precede the final harvest. The Lord is waiting patiently until His last rain is outpoured because it will produce the final harvest!
In the early part of this century, a Pentecostal movement began in Canada called the "Latter Rain Movement." It lasted perhaps forty or fifty years. Today, only a few "Latter Rain" churches remain. Yet those who were involved in that movement were convinced they were experiencing the Spirit's great, final outpouring. Many said, "This is it!" But the movement dissipated. And other such movements have come and gone also. Why? Because they were not focused on the harvest!
Many so-called Holy Ghost movements vanished quickly because they were man-centered—focusing on gifts, blessings, self-improvement, happiness. Dancing, laughing, roaring, or any other manifestation attributed to the Holy Ghost is all flesh unless it produces a broken heart for the lost and unsaved. If it is truly of the Spirit, it will result in a hunger and inclination to reach a lost and dying world!
Jesus tied the harvest to lost souls when He said, "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest" (Matthew 9:38).
Any true outpouring of the Holy Spirit will focus on this prayer of Jesus. And the few revivals documented as genuine all were blessed with great harvests of souls. There is no true revival without a great ingathering of lost souls!
Consider what happened as a result of Joel 2:28. At Pentecost, 3,000 people were saved in one day and souls were added daily afterward. These believers then were thrust out into all the world to witness Christ to the lost.
"Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest" (Isaiah 32:15). Isaiah is saying here, "When the Holy Ghost comes, He produces fruit for the harvest. Lost souls are won in abundance!"
|by David Wilkerson | June 27, 2013|
"And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil" (Deuteronomy 11:13-14).
The planting and harvest seasons in Israel were just the opposite of ours. The first rains, which softened the ground, fell from October to the end of December, just before planting season. The last rains fell from March through April, just prior to harvest, and those rains ripened the harvest.
It is important to note that these two outpourings always had to do with the harvest: "That thou mayest gather in . . ." (verse 14). And, beloved, if you want to judge any move of the Holy Spirit to discern if it is of God or of flesh, then use this criterion: The Spirit's work is always focused on the harvest of souls!
No matter what kind of manifestations you see in a so-called revival, it is not a true move of God unless it is focused on the harvest. The Holy Ghost rains always fall to produce an ingathering of souls.
God poured out His Spirit in the former rain at Pentecost to prepare and soften the ground for the gospel seed to be sown. Spirit-filled sowers were sent out from the Upper Room that day into all the world—to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
The church has now seen almost 2,000 years of sowing and growing—and it is harvest time! All who have died in Christ up to now represent the firstfruits, or the early harvest. But Zechariah prophesies a final harvest and that is the reason Jesus has not yet come (see Zechariah 12:10). The Lord has been waiting patiently for His final, mighty harvest of the earth!
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain" (James 5:7).
|by David Wilkerson | June 26, 2013|
"The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever" (2 Timothy 4:18).
The word preserve here means "to guard, protect, keep, make safe, hedge about." God is saying, "I'm going to guard you, protect you, keep you, make you safe, hedge you about so the devil cannot touch you. I Myself will deliver you into My heavenly kingdom."
Do you see what a liar the devil is? He says he is going to get you but all the while, God has promised to keep you!
Not long ago, I had an incredible experience. I had risen early to pray and was sitting in my living room with my Bible. Suddenly Satan began to intrude into my mind. He screamed vile, threatening curses at me: "You are going to be destroyed! You've spent a lifetime serving God for nothing and now I'm going to get you and cast you down in your final years."
I saw before me all the evangelists Satan had brought down in recent years. The devil shouted, "I got all of them and they loved Jesus just as you do. Why do you think you're so special? You're no good, nothing but a liar and a cheat, and I'm going to shut you and your ministry down for good!"
It was the most devastating attack I have ever felt in my life. I was overwhelmed—the attack literally took my breath away! But then the Spirit of the Lord came upon me and I stood up in a holy anger, bound Satan and cast him out of my presence.
"Devil, you're a liar and the father of all lies!" I rebuked him with God's Word—and God's Word delivered me from all fear!
Beloved, God wants to do the same for you. Will you let Him? Listen again to God's Word to you: "He preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked" (Psalm 97:10). The Lord will guard you, protect you, keep you, put a hedge all about you—until the day Jesus returns!
|by David Wilkerson | June 25, 2013|
Believe it or not, Peter says we are to earnestly desire the end of the present world. You may say, "That sounds morbid!" Yet the apostle writes that we are to anticipate the dissolving of this evil age: "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat" (2 Peter 3:12).
Now, this does not mean that when destruction comes we are to shout happily, "Look, it’s all burning!" No, Peter's words here are meant to sustain us. Whenever we become discouraged in this life, we are to rejoice: "It's all going to go up in smoke anyway!"
This truth also is meant to "stir us up" about the kind of people we are to be. "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness" (2 Peter 3: 11).
When you read these words about a great fire coming and a bright, new world where righteousness will reign, do you rejoice? Perhaps, instead, you cry: "Oh, God, I believe what Your Word says. I believe one day You are going to send Your fire to melt down this sin-cursed world. And I believe a new, holy world is coming. But I don't believe I measure up with all holy conversation and godliness! I don't feel I meet the standard Peter writes about. And I'm afraid I won't make it.”
Beloved, I have glorious news for you: I can show you, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that God greatly desires to preserve you for His coming world. You need His life-giving truth in your heart to sustain you when the enemy comes against you like a flood.
Here is what the Lord has pledged to do for you:
"The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore" (Psalm 121:7-8).
"For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever" (Psalm 37:28).
"He preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked" (Psalm 97:10).
"I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
|by Gary Wilkerson | June 24, 2013|
If you are a Christian who chooses to sit on the sidelines of faith, going to church for comfort only, you will not get much resistance from the enemy. But if you are determined to live for Jesus—if you have a vision for the hurting, the lost and Christ’s body—Satan will throw his entire arsenal at you. Your journey will be fraught with trials and perils that shake your soul.
Paul’s journey to Rome, as described in Acts 27, illustrates how some of us react to Satan’s buffetings. As the ship carrying Paul completed the first leg of the journey, we read: “Because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix . . . and spend the winter there” (Acts 27:12, ESV).
Paul was against this decision, not just because it took them out of the way to reach Rome but because the Spirit warned his heart about it. At the time, though, it seemed the most convenient decision to make. Later, the ship ran into serious trouble, nearly costing everyone’s life.
I point this out because when some Christians encounter the enemy’s resistance on their mission, they decide to “go to Phoenix for the winter.” Granted, all of us need vacations to refresh our spirits from constant ministry to others’ needs. But I’m referring to something different—to a condition of the heart that says, “Take your mission a bit easier. Pull back and cruise a little.”
When Christians do this, they are soon off course entirely. Their mission is no longer Christ but, rather, taking care of the ship—and that means steering it away from storms. In effect, they withdraw from the resistance that is thrown at them.
These believers don’t know it, but they have been robbed of their high calling. That is no small thing in God’s eyes. If I am sailing toward Phoenix instead of Rome, it means nobody is going to Rome with the mission God gave to me. A ship is being maintained and kept in working condition—but, ironically, the mission for that ship is not being fulfilled.
Comfort and rest are not the point of the kingdom. Kingdom living says, “My life is not my own—I have been bought with a price. Jesus guides me in everything and He supplies me with the grace to accomplish it, no matter what resistance may come.”
|by David Wilkerson | June 21, 2013|
You may be wondering, "Lord, why is my job so upsetting to me? Why do I always feel like an outsider? What's wrong with me?"
There is nothing wrong with you. God is at work! He is keeping you sick and tired of this dying world. He is saying, "You can't get too involved in 'making it' here because it is all going up in smoke. Set your affections on things above—on the new world that is coming.”
You answer, "But what a waste. I'm so full of energy. I have talent, ideas, a sharp mind, a desire to accomplish much. Yet I feel stifled, stymied. It's so frustrating.”
I have good news for you: When it all ends and your scoffing friends are cut off—their work melted to nothing, their careers dissolved, their money burned—your work is just about to begin.
You see, heaven is not a retirement center. Rather, our eternal home is a place of great action, full of new horizons and incredible plans. God is going to fully use all your gifts, talents and desires there. He is not going to waste a thing He has given you. On the contrary, your gifts will be magnified many times over. He is going to use you for His glory in eternity!
Jesus gives us several hints as to what this experience will be like:
"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods" (Matthew 24:46-47). The Greek word for ruler here suggests "an eternal appointment." We are going to be appointed by God as keepers over His goods throughout all eternity!
"His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things" (Matthew 25:21).
"And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities" (Luke 19:17).
Eternal appointments . . . ruling over His household . . . ruling over His goods . . . ruling over cities. We are going to rule and reign with Jesus in His kingdom—as kings and priests!
|by David Wilkerson | June 20, 2013|
"This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance" (2 Peter 3:1). Peter’s message about the end of the present world and the beginning of the new earth is meant to stir up a hope in us and keep us from being anchored to this world.
This is the truth meant to "stir up our minds": "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved" (2 Peter 3: 11). All that people hold precious, all that they labor a lifetime to keep and enjoy, is going to dissolve in a sudden burning!
Try to imagine it: All Wall Street firms, all corporate offices, all banks, all computer headquarters—gone! The United Nations will vanish. State and federal capitol buildings will burn to oblivion. Fort Knox and all its gold will disappear. There will not be any more manufacturing plants, skyscrapers, bridges, tunnels, airplanes, trains. There will not even be any ashes left! God's Word clearly says that all these things "shall be burned up . . . dissolved" (verses 10-11).
The Greek word for dissolved here means "to loosen, break up and melt down." In other words, God is going to break up the party! He will pry people loose from everything they lust after and then melt it all in intense heat!
I want to share with you a truth that will help you understand why the secular workplace will never fully accept you if you are devoted to Jesus. It doesn't matter where you work—at a bank, in a school, cleaning the streets, wherever—you probably experience much rejection, condescension and misunderstanding. You receive little or no credit for what you do. You are persecuted, ridiculed, talked about behind your back. And you realize you will never be "one of the guys" or "one of the girls." So you never feel comfortable or truly secure. Why is this so?
It is all the Lord's doing! He permits it so you will not become hooked on this transient, passing world. Many Christians get too comfortable in this world and end up turning away from the Lord. Prosperity, acceptance and recognition capture their hearts and minds.
|by David Wilkerson | June 19, 2013|
When the day of the Lord comes, none of the following will be allowed to enter: "The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars" (Revelation 21:8). In fact, all of these "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (same verse).
Think of the horror of the New Age deception! Millions of people today are totally convinced they will take part in a new world order. They believe that soon they will finally have peace and be fulfilled; that all guilt, fear and condemnation will vanish; that sin will no longer haunt them; that they will be able to freely indulge in homosexuality and fornication with no penalty, disease or retribution. They assure themselves, "Away with born-again religion! Away with all the condemnation that causes people to feel bad about themselves. We're going to have a new world where we can do as we please. No one will bother us or upset us."
They are about to face a tragic awakening. When they find themselves in a godless hell, a mocking devil will gleefully proclaim, "Welcome to your New Age. Welcome to your new world order!"
It is no wonder hell will be a place of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. There the lie will be exposed—in an eternal furnace of fire. Suddenly the damned will cry, "I've been deceived! The New Age that I was convinced was coming is an everlasting hell!" And the horror of the deception will continue to grow in intensity throughout all eternity.
Multitudes in America are turning to the occult: Hollywood executives, Wall Street tycoons, Broadway actors, government leaders, people from all walks of life. They are embracing the New Age's false gospels: Scientology, channeling, satanism, voodoo, astrology, all kinds of demonic religions of the east. They are blind, deceived—believing a lie!
The apostle Peter tells us the truth about the coming new world and what it will be like. He says the present world is going to dissolve; it is headed for a fiery meltdown that God Himself will bring about. Indeed, the Lord will unleash His reserved fire, to purge both the heavens and the earth:
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10).
|by David Wilkerson | June 18, 2013|
The Bible says that in the last days scoffers will appear, mocking the message that Jesus Christ is going to return to set up a new kingdom. Mockers are saying, "Where is Jesus? I don't see any evidence that He is coming. Everything continues as it has from the beginning!"
If you were to try to convince these scoffers that Jesus is coming to purge the earth with fire and set up a kingdom of eternal righteousness, they would call you insane. Many ridicule the very idea of a second coming of Christ. Yet, without batting an eye, these same mockers turn around and claim that a "new world order" is coming!
Such scoffers have bought into a lie from hell. Satan always manufactures a counterfeit just before the real thing comes. You see, he knows King Jesus is about to return and that His new world is at the door. The devil wants to keep his own children deceived by promoting a fantasy world, with every false hope. So now he has concocted a new, demonic doctrine of a coming New Age to keep people from accepting the reality of the coming Christ!
This most recent New Age counterfeit first appeared as the Age of Aquarius. The eleventh constellation was to move into a final, New Age kingdom, which would be known as the "new world order."
New Agers say this new world order is just about to dawn. They predict a catastrophic calamity will occur and a new world order will arise out of the chaos, ushering in a society of love, understanding and world peace. All diseases will be cured. Wars will cease. Poverty will be no more. And the only Christ that will exist will be a Christ-consciousness—a worldwide mindset of brotherhood. Self-love will be king, and pleasure will be the focus of all.
I have bad news for all such New Age scoffers. I am sorry but you have been hoodwinked by the devil. There is no such thing as the fantasy world he is pushing on humankind in these last days.
Oh, there is a new world coming, all right, but it isn't a "new world order" or a New Age. Rather, every kingdom of this world is soon to become our Lord's and all His enemies will become His footstool. Christ is coming back to establish His holy kingdom, and scoffers will not have any part in it: "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13).
|by Gary Wilkerson | June 17, 2013|
By the time he sailed for Rome (Acts 27), the apostle Paul had already led a full life of ministry. This man had accomplished incredible things, yet he still had a burning passion to pour out his life for the gospel.
Paul had been called by God as an apostle and had overseen churches throughout Asia and some parts of Europe. Yet he was also an evangelist and apologist who made the case for Christ before courts and kings. Paul had sacrificed all to serve in his Spirit-directed missions. Now he determined, “I want to take the gospel of Christ to the very epicenter of the world. I have set my vision on Rome, to preach to Caesar himself!”
Paul was so intent on this that he gambled with his own life to see it fulfilled. He was in prison at the time and had an opportunity to be released but he bypassed his release in exchange for the chance to appear before Caesar, to whom he appealed his case. If Paul lost, he could lose his life. It was a choice he made solely for the gospel’s sake (see Acts 25:1-12).
In his journey to Rome, Paul was taken aboard a ship that soon ran into resistance: “The winds were against us” (Acts 27:4). This was an obstacle of nature, but Paul might easily have seen it as a spiritual roadblock. The fact is, if you have set your face like a flint with a gospel vision, all hell will break loose against you.
That phrase could be used to describe Paul’s life to that point. He had endured many tribulations, from shipwrecks to beatings to assassination plots. Paul was able to endure it all because his mind was always set on his mission: living, preaching and serving Christ. You can endure a lot of suffering when your heart is set on a purpose, but if your heart is set on comfort, you cannot endure any suffering at all.
The Bible makes clear that we are called to proclaim the grace of God to a fallen, sinful world. We are called to love one another and worship together in true gospel community. We are called to minister to the poor, and by doing all these things we bring the light of Christ to a world in darkness. In short, we are called to deliver God’s love to others through our words and actions, that the world might be changed.