Two for a March Tuesday


2 for TuesdayWhile I don’t usually have anything to do with the cult of Christian Science (an oxymoron if there ever was one), their Monitor news service remains insightful. Still, it comes as a bit of surprise to see them running an article by the iMonk, Michael Spencer, about the collapse of Evangelicalism based, in part, on numbers from a recent study. I have to agree with the conclusions. Read the whole thing, as they say.

David Wilkerson, one of the few remaining voices of sanity within the modern charismatic movement, has issued a stark warning about impending doom coming to major cities across the globe. It doesn’t seem to me that he’s calling this the end of the world exactly, but it’s pretty strongly worded. I have a lot of respect for Wilkerson, and he doesn’t ordinarily go off half-cocked, so his warning has got me thinking. He’s successfully foreseen a lot of error, craziness, and world events in the past, so even though he’s tended to be grim more often than positive, I wouldn’t discount him too quickly. We shall see.

25 thoughts on “Two for a March Tuesday

  1. Brian

    First, I’m curious to know if you think the two items are related. I’m not sure myself.


    This is the first time I’ve heard of Wilkerson. I’m a little surprised to see you post his statement. I’m a bit skeptical about it.

    I’m curious what evidence you have that supports this statement, “He’s successfully foreseen a lot of error, craziness, and world events in the past…”

    Its also unclear what part of this warning is coming from the Lord and in what fashion its coming in. I don’t see anywhere in the statement that he had a vision, dream or still small voice. Therefore it is unclear what part we are to judge as prophecy.

    From what I can discern as being prophetic — fires and riots in cities that move to New york city — we must be careful how that is interpreted. Is it literal or symbolic? Note he even says himself he has been warning of this for ten years.

    If its literal and his interpretation is accurate then I guess we will see if fire and rioting occurs across the global that will shake us to our core.

    But lets say its symbolic. Could it be the current financial crisis with the housing market (fires in cities) moving to New york (Wall Street) which then spread across the world through the credit market?

    Or perhaps he is incorrectly interpreting a true dream or vision. Meaning, in the spiritual realm we see certain things and judge them to be bad — fire — as we think of them in the physical realm. Fire in nature though is important, its cleansing. Fire can be the candle stands of our hearts — fervency for God. Is this a revival? Hard to equate riots with revival, or is it?

    • Brian,

      You’ve never heard of The Cross and the Switchblade? Or Teen Challenge? Man, I must be getting old.

      I’ve read a lot of Wilkerson over the years. His track record on just about everything is exceptionally good. Plus, he’s far from being a charismaniac, being one of the most Word-anchored preachers/teachers out there.

      We’ll see how accurate this is. Time always tells.

  2. Brian

    Just read over Wilkerson’s home page. Couple of thoughts. He has a follow up statement to this warning that is more comforting about what would happen. Its titled “A further Word.”

    There are several other posts prior to the warning on his home page that suggest he is reading through exodus or are at least themed to coming through dire circumstances. Are we sure this isn’t charismania?

    Also, under the photo it says that his ministry started in New york. Coincidence or preconditioning the prophecy?

  3. David

    Ah, a Woot! aficionado, I see…

    I read Wilkerson’s blog on Saturday when it came out, and was rather surprised to see what he had written. I can see something like this happening under a certain series of events…like Barney Madoff walking away with a slap on the wrist. Honestly, the world is teetering on the razors edge, and it wouldn’t take much to push us over.

    The question of the collapse of Evangelicalism is rather moot, in my mind. Christians have made themselves into cultural police, and people resent that. Blamed for the ills of the world, it wouldn’t take a lot of imagination to turn Christians into the Jews of the 21st century. Like Peter, it will be a question of stand with Christ or deny Him for the sake of peace with the world. Babies are not known for their gutsiness in times of trial, and so of course there will be the inevitable falling away. Leaving behind a small, dedicated, persecuted Body.

    It’s when you take in both blogs and add them together that one realizes a need to take a hard-nosed look at one’s own belief.

    So stock up, folks! And remember to stock up for your neighbors as well. But more important, read up, pray up, and get to know your God. If Mr. Wilkerson is right, we might be meeting Him soon.

    • David,

      Christians ARE the Jews of the 21st century. I think that’s a given already.

      I can only speak for myself, but I don’t have the gutsiness I should. You read the story in the book Jesus Freaks of Christians in North Korea being run over by steamrollers and it’s easy to notice how little “freakiness” exists in the Western Church. Mollycoddling has done nothing good for us, and persecution may take down even the most supposedly stalwart of us.

      I wish I could stock up, but we don’t have the financial reserves anymore to do so. We live more by “Give us this day our daily bread.” It makes you feel even more exposed to the vicissitudes of life, but then most people in the world can’t stock a bunker, either. As they say, the just shall live by faith. And the poorer you are, the more faith you gotta have.

      • David

        I think what God asks of us is impossible, which is why we need to be completely dependent on Him. What Chris wrote is interesting; the idea that we will be given the strength we need when we need it. I don’t think anyone is ready to be put under a steamroller, or burned at the stake, or beheaded, or put in a log and sawn in half, or crucified upside down.

        Who could be ready for that?

        Jesus said we need to “count the cost”

        He also said “You will be arrested and judged. Don’t worry what you should say. Say the things God gives you to sat at that time.

        So perhaps instead of stocking up, maybe we need to take stock? But at the same time, be confident that we will be able to endure more than we could imagine.

        Those two seeming extremes, “fear and trembling” and “being confident in this very thing…” makes me wonder what I have put myself up for…

  4. Diane R

    I’ve followed David Wilkerson for 35 years including reading his seminal book, The Vision. I find that while is is more accurate than the Thrid Wave Charismatic “prophets,” Wilkerson’s timing is often off. At times he will use words like, “soon,” “impending,” and so forth. But then these things don’t happen for 20 or 30 years. That is hardly “soon” or “impending.” This time he uses the word “impending.” I have to say I don’t feel that timing in my spirit. However, I do not discount the word overall. I just perused through The Vision (pub. 1974) again and it is amazing how so many of his prophecies back then are coming true today. But, I also saw that he would often used phrases like, “we have only a few years to prepare.” I don’t consider 35 years a”a few.” Again, I don’t mean to criticise Wilkerson and I think we should take his words seriously BUT we all idividually need to go to God to ask if these things are going to happen real soon, and if so, what actions should we as individual Christians and churches take in response? And, of course, if they ae going to happen far off, we need to ask the same questions of ourselves and our churches too.

    • Diane,

      Time is an oddity, even in the Scriptures. I think that most of the early Church thought Jesus would return in their lifetimes, yet here we are a couple millennia later. Revelation ends with “Yes, I am coming soon.” How soon is soon?

      I don’t know why time seems so fluid. It seems to me that things always take longer to play out than the prophetic words seem to imply. Perhaps that is humanity’s great weakness, that we cannot estimate time, even when it is revealed to us. Put someone in a bare room with no windows and have them announce to you when an hour has gone by. We are severely limited in our ability to comprehend time.

      How does that work with revelations? I don’t know. God may put something clearly into a person’s spirit and have no sense of time attached to it. Or maybe He conveys a sense of time, but it is beyond our understanding. Some things are unutterable. Or perhaps timejust isn’t all that important to God, while it is to us. I wouldn’t doubt if a person tried to attach a time to an event that God, who is outside of time, reveals, just so it can be framed from our vantage point.

      So I don’t put a lot of stock in trying to assess time. Seasons are probably a better way of referencing time, and God uses that idea a bit in the Scriptures.

  5. Dave Block

    Well, I remember The Cross and the Switchblade — Nicky Cruz, the Mau Maus, etc.

    John Piper wrote this take on Wilkerson’s message:

    The Bible says, “Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).

    David Wilkerson will cause a good many hearts to pound faster with his pronouncement that “AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. New Yorkers especially will swallow hard: “It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut.

    What shall we make of this? The part that depends on the Bible we should take with absolute seriousness. You don’t need to have special revelation to know that the rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord is the norm in America. Therefore, we stand under the judgment of God and it is only a matter of time till the present judgments (Romans 1:18-32) give way to spiritual awakening or punitive calamities (2 Thessalonians 1:6-8).

    But the part of the prophecy that goes beyond what the Bible says, we measure by biblical standards. Two things give me pause in Wilkerson’s extra-biblical specifics.

    First, it does not resonate with my spirit when he claims that God told him to “lay in store a thirty-day supply of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials because when disaster comes “grocery stores are emptied in an hour. God might have said this. But it doesn’t smell authentic to me. Too prudential. Too reminiscent of the embarrassing Y2K excesses.

    Second, my confidence level drops when the Scriptures are not handled carefully. Wilkerson says, one way we can respond is: “As David says, †˜He fixed his eyes on the Lord on his throne in heaven—his eyes beholding, his eyelids testing the sons of men’ (Psalm 11:4).

    This does not have the feel of authority to me because what Psalm 11:4 really says is: “The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.

    So my take on this prophetic word is that the scare will probably do good for a lot of people. The Bible is a scary book. And the future that is coming on unbelievers is scary beyond anything any preacher could conjure up.

    But my own effort to be discerning says: Stick with the Bible, David. It is scary enough. And it is absolutely true. And your credibility will never fall.

  6. For whatever it’s worth, this message confirms several prophecies that came to my church a couple weeks ago, one to myself. Understand, I am not one to call myself a prophet, and I greatly fear saying I speak for God on any occasion. This is the first time I have ever predicted a future event in front of the congregation. I was crying, short of breath, and slightly trembling. Most of what I said came without forethought on my part. So for myself, I accept the heart of this word, even if I’m skeptical about specifics or timing.

    As to being weak and pampered…I whole-heartedly agree, but let me share something Spurgeon once preached. He was talking about the passage that states that no soldier goes to war at his own expense, and related it to trials and suffering. He used this illustration: if a child asks their father for money to buy some necessity, does the father give the child the money a month ahead of time? A week? No, he gives it to them when they leave to make the purchase. No matter how strong, no human being could willingly endure the kind of persecution that is levelled against Christians in their own strength. So, if it is God who provides that strength, provided we’re willing to accept it, then we need only have faith that, when the time comes to stand firm, He will provide the strength to do so. I hope that blesses you as much as it has me.

    • Dave Block

      Chris, although I posted Piper’s thoughts, I don’t discount Wilkinson’s prophecy or yours. Would you care to elaborate on yours?

      • Hey Dave! I was going to expound here, but for the sake of not hijacking the thread, I decided to just write in a little detail on my blog. You can read the post here if interested. Ask any follow-up questions you’d like on there; it’s kind of hard to take 2 years of dreams and impressions that you’ve bottled up and organize them comprehensively. Thus, the post leaves much to be desired.

    • Chris,

      What then to make of people who are not able to endure? Were they never believers in the first place? When your arm is broken by an evil oppressor, does it hurt less if you are a Christian?

      I guess the only way to know the real answers is to endure the persecution firsthand.

      • Heh, I see the dilemma there, and it’s kind of hard to explain how it plays out in my head. I don’t think it means that they were never believers, only that they purposely resolved to do whatever necessary to spare their own lives. I guess it’s like, if you resolve in your heart that you want to have the strength to endure, He will give it to you. But if instead you say in your heart, “no way am I going to go through that”, then you can’t receive the strength, because you don’t want it. Make sense? It’s a hard concept to communicate. In any event, it wasn’t meant to be a stumbling block for anyone. I found it encouraging and thus shared it. If it doesn’t encourage anyone, may they discard it. Like you said, the only way to know for sure is to endure it firsthand.

      • David

        Will God allow someone to suffer more than what they can endure? God knows our limits, so if we are handed over to be sifted like wheat, what should we think?

  7. I notified people of Wilkerson’s warning. I wondered, too, why more arsons do not happen, like in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Even when Prop 8 opponents surrounded Mormon churches, I do not recall a single church being set ablaze. But I also wondered: Sure, Wilkerson could predict for fires and riots, but if the fires were caused by mobs, well, that would seem too suspicious, as if people were trying to make the prophecy come true. So I wondered what else could cause mass fires? A meteor storm! If a massive storm of meteors made it through the atmosphere, this could cause widespread fires.

    Well…here is what I saw via Drudgereport just now:

    Westchester ‘Boom’ Believed to Be Meteor

    Okay, so meteors fall from the sky and blow stuff up. Why would there be riots, other than the usual opportunistic criminals? Well, if there are enough meteors, satellites, broadcast towers, and cell towers could be knocked out. Power plants could be destroyed. No power and no communications. Even if local news stations could broadcast, they may have no satellite feeds and no phonelines open.

    I think that could lead to mass panic, riots, and looting.

    • David

      So could an assassins bullet, or a military strike on a certain target, or a simple accident involving a crane at a holy site.

      The world is a tinderbox, waiting to explode, and the only thing holding the cap on is Gods hand.

      About the meteor thing…It’s believed in some astronomy circles that the great Chicago fire was not caused by Mrs O’Leary’s cow, but by an airburst of a broken-up comet, due to the knowledge that several large fires broke out across the shores of Lake Michigan at the same time.

      But it is also worth noting that Catherine O’Leary was an easy target to blame because she was an immigrant and she was Catholic.

      Fires come in all shapes, forms, and causes.

  8. Brian

    Dave and Diane, I appreciate your assessments as they are similar to mine.

    I have been in the news and information business for a bit of my life. I have had the chance to see professional critics or experts as they are often subtitled. If you say something is going to happen long enough chances are eventually it will happen. This information is based on some analysis the expert has done on the particular subject. This is not prophetic “foretelling”.

    If out of wisdom you say its better to do x rather than y and x winds up being a better course of action. This information is based on experience and or research. But this is not prophetic “foretelling”.

    Prophetic “foretelling” is to describe an event in some degree of detail before it ever happens. And you arrive at this information in some divinely inspired manner.

    The problem we have today is that these three “I knew before hand” methods of determining future events are often blurred. Or the third method is sometimes so vague or shrouded in symbology its very hard to interpret if or when it actually happened. As I already described, could it be the housing market that is this fire? He’s been saying it for ten years, which can fit a political decision making timeline on this subject (not perfectly of course).

    I too have given prophecies of impending “fire of judgement.” But I have found those to come to pass in very different ways than what I expected, i.e. I went through something difficult.

  9. michael thompson

    Wilkerson is a Godly man. But he has no new prophetic insights, nor does he have any clue regarding timing. All “prophecy” – 100% of it – since Holy Scripture – is either redundant or false. Wilkinson falls into the redundant category, amplified with a little hysteria. What he says will happen could happen tomorrow or it may not happen until 75 years from tomorrow. But there are thousands who see it coming – Wilkinson’s observations aren’t God-breathed EXCLUSIVELY to Wilkinson. I do respect him as a man with a heart for God, but this is no special prophecy. This info was in the Word thousands of years ago and is still there for anyone who has ears to hear.

  10. I’ve met Wilkerson.
    Kind, humble, even tempered.

    Not related to meeting him –
    I covered a story (on scene) where a young man who was seriously mentally ill read an old book of Wilkerson’s – I think it was called The Vision.
    He then set fire to a boarding house and 11 people died. It’s rare people burn, they succumb to smoke inhalation. But I’ve not forgotten the smell of the bodies…the fireman were laying them in an alley as they kept going back in to try to find life.
    The young man was found a few blocks from the fire he set sleeping peacefully, Wilkinsons book in his hands. I worked that story 72 hours with only cat naps.

    That having been said, The Reproach of the Solomn Assembly is a heck of a good sermon.

    You look back at Wilkinson’s stuff, he’s old fashioned holiness theologically. He’s churned out a lot of books. He’s not nuts like most pents, but he gets obsessed with America being destroyed from time to time. His imagery favorite is fire.

    Slow news day, if Drudge hadn’t dredged it off WND it wouldn’t have been picked up or hit the sweet spot.

    • BD,

      I always hate to hear when a good man has his good work misused by someone who is mentally ill or demon possessed. Satan does that trick for a reason.

      And yes, The Reproach of the Solemn Assembly is a good sermon. Very representative of Wilkerson, too, especially of his brimstone types of messages.

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