Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

SATAN'S "LOVE TRAP"

by David Wilkerson | July 15, 2015

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When the devil's one-world church finally trumpets its message throughout the earth, millions of lukewarm Christians will be deceived. They'll reason, "This all-church union must be okay. Its leaders talk so much about Jesus. Anybody who speaks of Jesus this much has to have a legitimate Christian faith."

They couldn't be more wrong. The very mantra of Satan's devilish union will be, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." Today, evangelical leaders are already asking, "Why can't all groups be one in Jesus? After all, Jews acknowledge Jesus as a prophet. Muslims see Him as a good man and a great teacher. Even Sikhs and Hindus respect Jesus."

Let me stop here to make something clear: I'm thankful for the national unity that rose from the tragedy of September 11, 2001. I'm grateful that Americans of various faiths were able to stand together as a nation united and I prayed that that unity would remain long after our grief subsided.

But the unity of religions we are about to see will involve something much different. What I foresee is contained in Jesus' prophecy, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?" (Matthew 7:22).

Almost all religions perform exorcisms. And certain churches claim great successes in exorcizing demons. But many such churches do their exorcisms, teachings and good works in a different Jesus' name. As Christ points out, these people will claim at the judgment, "Lord, we did all these things in Your name. We were Jesus people." But the Lord will answer, "Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (7:23).

Jesus will tell them, "I don't know you and you certainly don't know Me. I was the living Son of God, but you told everybody I was just a man. You tried to take away the power of My gospel. You've got the wrong Jesus. Now, depart from Me for you have no part in My Kingdom."

THIS FINAL WAR

by David Wilkerson | July 14, 2015

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The issue at the center of this war is the divinity of Jesus. Is He the Christ, the only begotten of the Father, God in flesh, the Savior of the world? Or, was Jesus just another prophet who went about doing good? Was He an ordinary man, not divine, not the resurrected Savior who sits with God in glory?

The apostle Peter testified to the exclusiveness of Christ: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Peter makes it absolutely exclusive: no other name under heaven provides eternal salvation. Jesus alone is the Messiah, the divine Son of God. And He will not share that glory with any other entity.

Likewise, Paul declares, "What is the exceeding greatness of his power . . . which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come" (Ephesians 1:19-21). Paul then adds that Jesus is the exclusive head of all things: "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body" (verses 22–23).

Paul also points out that one day every creature will acknowledge Jesus as Lord exclusively: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11).

Every tongue in creation is going to testify, not that Mohammed is Lord, nor Allah, nor any of Hinduism's million gods, but that Jesus Christ is the one and only Lamb of God. That is the issue at the heart of this war. Yet, don't be mistaken: The final war isn't over a name. It's over the divinity of Jesus, the resurrected Lord.

BRING THEM HOME TO GLORY

by Gary Wilkerson | July 13, 2015

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The heavenly Father wasn’t willing to lose His beloved creatures to the powers of hell so He formed a rescue plan for us. “Thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people” (Psalm 89:19). The Father said to His Son, “Humankind is going to grow weak and miserable because of their sin, helpless to find their way back to Me. I appoint You as My holy one to help bring them back into My favor.”

We hear the Son’s own covenant words: “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). Everything Jesus did on earth was in fulfillment of His terms of the covenant: “I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (John 12:49).

The Bible states these terms clearly. Jesus was to divest Himself of all heavenly glory, taking on a human body: “[He] made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). He was to endure reproaches and suffering, “a man of sorrows” acquainted with grief. He was to grow up undesirable to the world: “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). After all this, He was to submit Himself into the hands of wicked men, and in great agony lay down His life as an offering for humankind’s sin. In making atonement He would have to endure God’s wrath for a season.

God then laid out the type of ministry His Son would undertake to redeem humankind. He told Jesus, “Your ministry is going to be that of a priest. I’ve known all My children from the foundation of the world, and now I give them as a flock for You to shepherd.” Jesus testified on earth, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

Finally, the Father instructed His Son, “If You choose to go, these works will be required of You: Preach good tidings to the meek; bind up the brokenhearted; proclaim liberty to the captives. Open prison doors to those in bondage; bear with the weaknesses of the frail; bear tenderly with the ignorant; supply their shortcomings with Your strength. Feed the flock; carry them in Your bosom; gently lead the young; lend Your strength to the weak. Guide them all with Your counsel; promise to send them the Holy Spirit to carry on the work of their freedom; and bring them home to glory with You” (see Isaiah 61:1-3).

GOD’S MIGHTY PEOPLE

by Jim Cymbala | July 11, 2015

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The list of David’s mighty warriors in 1 Chronicles 11:22 introduces us to Benaiah, whose exploits included overcoming two of Moab’s best men. He also killed a lion in a snowy, slippery pit. Perhaps most amazingly, he took on an Egyptian tall enough to be a starting forward for the Chicago Bulls. This seven-and-a-half-foot giant wielded a spear with a shaft as sturdy as a lead pipe while Benaiah had only a wooden club.

Even so, Benaiah “snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada. . . . He was held in greater honor than the Thirty” (1 Chronicles 11:23-25).

It was not a Ph.D. degree that brought honor to a person in those days. Honor did not necessarily flow to the person with money or leverage or media access. Honor came as a result of doing exploits for the king.

Who is doing exploits for God today? Where is the enemy being driven back? That is the great yearning of all spiritually minded people. They are not enchanted with polished sermons and slick organizational technique. Where are the mighty men and women anointed by God to truly make a difference?

I think I know at least one of God’s mighty people. Rina Gatdula, a Filipino lady, is like a sister to my wife, Carol, and me. God sent her in the early days of the Brooklyn Tabernacle with a valiant spirit that proved to be a tremendous blessing. When our ushers were intimidated by the occasional drunk or hostile person who wandered in, Rina would confront them with a head-on fearlessness granted by the Holy Spirit.

Although not especially gifted as a public speaker, she had a ministry of prayer and intercession that helped to carry us through many battles. Whether it is the need for a larger building or the need for a backslider to return to the Lord, she has the spirit of Benaiah. She will not let go of God when needy people come to the altar seeking help. She knows the fine art of “praying through” with people; many have found deliverance in Christ because she has stood with them at the throne of grace.

Today Rina travels among the churches the Brooklyn Tabernacle has begun, both in this country and overseas, reminding them of the exploits they can do through God. She always seems to spark a spirit of prayer. Whether in Harlem, San Francisco, or Lima, Peru, she is a living example of a heroine of faith.

 

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 and a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences sponsored by World Challenge throughout the world.
 

GOD SENT WAKE-UP CALLS

by David Wilkerson | July 10, 2015

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The Lord's first wake-up call to Israel came in an invasion by Assyria. This archenemy attacked two Israelite provinces, Zebulun and Naphtali. Fortunately, the attacks were limited to these two points, and the damage was minimal. Yet God was clearly speaking to His people. The Lord's chosen nation lost their sense of security and missed the message God was speaking.

Israel then received a second wake-up call and this one was very severe. Two nations whom Scripture calls the "enemies of Israel"—the Syrians and the Philistines—combined forces for a sudden attack. According to Isaiah, this attack came from both "before, and . . . behind" (Isaiah 9:12). This means the invaders came from the east and the west, surrounding Israel. And their sudden attack was totally devastating.

After the attack on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, most Americans were asking: Where was God in this sudden invasion? What were His people to make of the disaster that had come upon them? Isaiah tells us God was faithful to speak to His people in Israel’s day: "The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel" (Isaiah 9:8). God spoke a clear word and He sent the message to the whole nation.

Beloved, this verse tells us something very important at our own time of devastation. It says simply, "God always sends His word." Never in history has the Lord left His people clueless in a time of calamity. He has never abandoned us and forced us to figure out things on our own. He always provides a word of understanding.

Even now the Lord is raising up godly watchmen to speak for Him in these times. These shepherds are grieving, weeping and repenting as they seek God's face. And I believe they're hearing and understanding the Lord's message behind the present events. Moreover, they're not afraid to proclaim dire warnings, because they know they've heard from God. They're compelled to speak of His purposes behind our calamities.

WE MUST NOT MISS THE MESSAGE

by David Wilkerson | July 9, 2015

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Ministers and theologians everywhere are saying, "God has nothing to do with disasters. He wouldn't allow awful things to happen." Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. This kind of thinking is causing our nation to rapidly miss the message God wants to speak to us through tragedy.

The fact is, we have to have a word from God. Like many pastors, I've wept and grieved over awful calamities. I've sought the Lord in prayer and through His Word. And I want to tell you, I've experienced a grief that's even deeper than the mourning for innocent people dying. It's a grief that says if we miss God's message, if we turn a deaf ear to what He is loudly proclaiming, then much worse is in store for us.

The prophet Isaiah speaks directly to what we've experienced. If you object to using the Old Testament for examples, consider Paul's words on the subject: "All these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Corinthians 10:11). Paul makes it clear that the examples of the Old Testament reveal just how God moves in times like ours.

At the time that Isaiah prophesied, God had been dealing patiently with Israel for about 250 years. The Lord had sent "light afflictions" upon His people, calling them to repentance. He was trying to woo them out of their brazen idolatry and back into His blessing and favor.

All the prophets throughout the years had spoken to Israel the same essential word: "Humble yourselves." Scripture says, "They served idols . . . yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes" (2 Kings 17:12-13).

But God's chosen nation rejected His call to repentance. "They would not hear, but hardened their necks" (17:14). These people mocked the prophets who called them to humility. And, instead, they "followed vanity, and became vain . . . and they left all the commandments of the Lord their God . . . and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord. . . . Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel" (2 Kings 17:15-18).

FULLY PREPARED

by David Wilkerson | July 8, 2015

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I want to be a soldier who is fully prepared for the battlefield. I know that victory is won long before the battle begins. It's won in boot camp, in training and conditioning. When the enemy suddenly comes at me, I'm going to need all available ammunition, and that ammunition is supplied by the powerful Word of God as I hide it away in my heart. So, the next time the devil attacks, I'm confident I'll have reserves to draw on. I'll have won the battle alone with God, prior to the battlefield.

Are you a committed soldier, believing that God is equipping you even now? If so, then you're fulfilling three requirements:

1. You're a diligent reader of God's Word.

As you study Scripture, you're beginning to understand how much God loves you. If you're not convinced of His absolute love, you won't be able to handle any crisis that comes. And you become convinced of His love only by devouring His Word.

2. You're cultivating intimacy with God daily, through time in quality prayer.

Our Lord wants us to cry out to Him in our times of crisis. But prayer during our hardships isn't enough. We have to seek our Father in good times as well. Our faith isn't meant to be merely situational. It has to come from a developing relationship with the Lord.

3. You're trusting that God won't allow you to face any trial without making a way for you to endure it.

Should a great trial come upon you, you don't have to worry whether you'll be strong or faint. Our Father gives grace when it's needed. And if you've developed a close, intimate relationship with Him, He'll pour His enduring grace into you when you need it.

God invites you to enter into His rest—today.

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

ENTERING GOD’S REST

by David Wilkerson | July 7, 2015

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To enter into God's rest, we must renounce our own efforts and sweat. Faith alone admits us into this perfect rest: "For we which have believed do enter into rest" (Hebrews 4:3). Simply put, we are to set our hearts to believe that God is faithful to deliver us in every circumstance, no matter how impossible it may seem.

"For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his" (Hebrews 4:10). When we are at rest in Christ, we no longer try to put on a brave face in times of trouble. We don't pump up some phony acceptance of our crisis. And we don't worry that we might cave in to fear and begin questioning God's love. In short, our "works mentality" has ceased to drive us. Now we've learned simply to trust the Lord.

How do we develop such trust? We seek the Lord in prayer, meditate on His Word, and walk in obedience. You may object, "But those things are all works." I disagree. They are all acts of faith. As we observe these disciplines, we are trusting that the Holy Spirit is at work in us, building up a reservoir of strength for our time of need. We may not feel God's strengthening going on inside us, or feel His power being built up in us. But when our next trial comes, these heavenly resources will become manifest in us.

This is the foremost reason I seek the Lord diligently—fasting, praying, studying, looking to obey His commandments through the power of the Holy Ghost. It's not because I'm a minister who wants to set an example. I do these things because I know I still have many trials ahead of me. As long as I'm serving the Lord, the devil will never give me rest. I'm going to face intense warfare, surprise attacks. And, in spite of all the victories and peace I have already experienced, I'll always need heaven's resources to help me endure.

TAKING HOLD OF THE NEW COVENANT

by Gary Wilkerson | July 6, 2015

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“My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips” (Psalm 89:34). The term “covenant” plays an integral part in the Christian faith. Yet I have never heard a preacher or teacher adequately describe the significance of “covenant” in a Christian’s life. The Bible itself is divided into two Covenants (or Testaments), Old and New. Throughout the Old Testament, God makes one covenant after another with humankind. What are all these covenants about? More importantly, what do they have to do with us today?

A covenant is an agreement or pledge between two or more parties, like a contract. It contains terms or duties each party must perform to fulfill the agreement. Such covenants are legally binding, and once they are finalized each party can be penalized for not fulfilling its respective terms.

In creating the New Covenant, God puts His amazing love for humankind on full display. Yet the church has been blind to this incredible doctrine for decades. As a young Christian I was taught that “covenant theology,” focusing on the New Covenant, was a licentious doctrine. The prevailing thought was that the New Covenant is so marvelously freeing that people might misuse it, indulging in permissive lifestyles.

Yet the more I understand the New Covenant, the more I’m convinced we need its assurance in these perilous last days. Its pledge has the power to release in God’s church all the overcoming strength we need to be more than conquerors in any situation.

The New Covenant is a formal contract between Father and Son. And today we, the seed of a spiritual Israel, are brought into this covenant by faith. “Now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Hebrews 8.6).

“My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him” (Psalm 89:28).
 

REFUSING TO BE DENIED

by Carter Conlon | July 4, 2015

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The Bible tells the story of a man who went to his neighbor late at night and asked for bread because a visitor had just arrived and he had nothing to feed him.

“And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. And I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needs” (Luke 11:7-8).

Importunity means that he simply would not go away. Today it would be the one who prays, “I know this generation needs bread, but I don’t have a sufficient supply. My knowledge is not good enough; my strength will fail me. My compassion is too meager; my courage is conditional. I don’t have the measure of the Holy Ghost that I need in order to make a difference in this generation. But I know that You have it, and I am not leaving until I get it!” That is the kind of prayer God is looking for!

Jesus continues the telling of this story: “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Luke 11:9-10).

How many receive? Everyone! Not just a few superstars, not just the occasional Elijah or Elisha—everyone! And that means you!

Keep in mind that the Lord is not referring to a casual asking. When the 120 disciples went into the Upper Room, they were not casually asking God for His Spirit. They were well aware that stepping outside and facing the hostile crowd could result in death. Nevertheless, they also knew that Jesus had given them a promise that they would be His witnesses—and so they began to pray, refusing to be denied.

 

Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world.

 

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