Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

IS THE LORD AMONG US?

by David Wilkerson | December 10, 2013

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Who were the people Paul was describing in 1 Corinthians 10:8-10, the thousands who “fell in one day,” the masses who were killed by snakes, and others who were “destroyed of the destroyer”? These were not Moabites, Canaanites, Philistines or any of the other heathen surrounding Israel. No, Paul was speaking here of believers—people of God’s own choosing!

In the wilderness God’s people witnessed incredible miracles. They had been fed spiritual food by supernatural means and had drunk spiritual water from a rock Paul says was Christ Himself. They were well taught and well taken care of. Yet, many of these same people were consumed by God’s fiery wrath and destroyed by serpents.

The apostle tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:5 that these Israelites so displeased God that He “overthrew” them in the wilderness. The Hebrew word used here means, “He cast them out of His hand, scattering them to the ground like so much dust.”

What does this mean? The Lord was telling Israel, “I will not accept this from you. If you were innocent—if you weren’t well trained, or hadn’t received spiritual food from My hand or seen evidence of My glory—then I would deal with you. But in spite of My many blessings to you, you have chosen lusts and idols. So, now I am going to scatter you and cast you out of My hands completely.”

How could this be? Why would the Lord deal so severely with His own people after they had benefited so fully from Him? Paul tells us very clearly in verse 9 that they tempted Christ! “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted.”

What does Paul mean when he says we are not to “tempt the Lord”? He is referring to an episode in Exodus 17 when the Israelites had just experienced the miracle of manna—a white wafer containing all the nutrition they needed to sustain them. This “small, round thing” appeared on the ground in their midst every day. The people did not earn or merit this supernatural food; the Lord fed it to them by His grace alone and all they had to do was gather it up. But then they had no water. They came to a place called Marah, where the water was too bitter to drink, and once again they were in a crisis, facing yet another test.

Immediately, the people began chiding their leader, Moses, accusing him of being a heartless liar who had led them into the wilderness to destroy them. And then we see in verse 7 that “they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?”

 

HAVE YOU BEEN SET FREE?

by Gary Wilkerson | December 9, 2013

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I want to ask you a very simple but important question: Have you been set free? At first the answer might very easily be yes, but in reality many of us are living in some form of fanciful, make-believe world. We have been set free; we have been washed; we have been redeemed and made holy; we are pure, clean, washed and living for God in some sort of otherworldliness that is somewhere in the shadow lands behind our understanding.

In reality, in our day-in and day-out, nitty-gritty existence where heaven meets Earth, so to speak, we begin to have a different feeling about our life. Have I really been set free? Many of us are pleading with God and daily beseeching Him, “Lord, please liberate me! Set me free from bondage, set me free from the power of sin, set me free from these habitual patterns and addictions.” We are constantly asking God to deliver us.

The truth is, if you have already met Jesus Christ, if you have been washed by the blood of the Lamb and cleansed by His precious blood, you have been made free in Him. You are victorious and a new creation in Christ Jesus!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18, ESV).

You do not have to come to the altar and beg and plead and wallow in despair and guilt and cry, “Oh, God, set me free! God, please change me!” No, because He has already changed you. He has already made you new. He has already convicted you of unrighteousness and planted His righteousness inside of you. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you cannot compel Him to make you righteous but if you have met Him, He has already made you righteous and and complete. Hallelujah! That is good news!
 

THE NEW BEGINNING

by Jim Cymbala | December 7, 2013

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Over one hundred years ago Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great British pastor, said in a sermon, “The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings.”

On our first Tuesday night prayer meeting at Brooklyn Tabernacle, fifteen to eighteen people showed up. I had no agenda laid out; I just stood up and led the people in singing and praising God. Out of that came extended prayer. I felt a new sense of unity and love as God seemed to be knitting us together.

In the weeks that followed, answers to prayer became noticeable. We were joined by new people who had talents and skills that could help us, and unsaved relatives and total strangers began to show up. We started to think of ourselves as a “Holy Ghost emergency room” where people in spiritual trauma could be rescued. So week after week, I kept encouraging the people to pray.

We were not there to hear one another give voice to eloquent prayers; we were too desperate for that. We focused vertically, on God, rather than horizontally on one another. Much of the time we called out to the Lord as a group, all praying aloud in concert, a practice that continues to this day. At other times we joined hands in circles of prayer, or various people with special burdens to express spoke up. The format of a prayer meeting is not nearly as important as its essence—touching the Almighty, crying out with one’s whole being.

In those early days in our church, as people drew near to the Lord, received the Spirit’s fullness, and rekindled their first love for God, they naturally began to talk about it on their jobs, in their apartment buildings, at family gatherings. Soon they were bringing new people.

From that day to the present there has never been a season of decline in the church, thank God. By His grace we have never had a faction rise up and decide to split away. God has continued to send people who need help and often we never find out how they learned of us.

 

 

Jim Cymbala began 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.
 

FALSE PEACE

by David Wilkerson | December 6, 2013

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America today is under the seductive power of a satanic lie. Yet, before I say anything more, please know that what I speak here has nothing to do with politics but everything to do with spiritual truth. The fact is, our nation’s leaders have cast aside God’s Word completely, showing no respect for biblical truth. And now the Lord has allowed a deception to fall upon us.

The demonic lie blanketing America today is a false peace. It is the idea that we can do whatever we please with no fear of consequences. We have already crossed a line in this deception and now judgment is inevitable.

Paul lays out this divine judgment in Romans 1. He speaks of those who once held to biblical truth but later tried to retain the truth in unrighteousness. In short, they wanted God’s Word and their lust at the same time. So the Lord turned them over to reprobate minds. They wanted to believe a lie and He sent a strong delusion upon them.

This is the very state of our nation right now. One of our recent Presidents told the entire country, “I did not commit this sin,” but later was exposed for committing the very act he named. Today, eighty percent of Americans have turned a blind eye to both his sin and his lie, saying none of it matters. As prophesied, truth is fallen in the streets.

Americans are gambling on the stock market like drunken sailors—and prospering. In addition, a survey says sixty-five percent of college students cheat and think there is nothing wrong with it. People of all ages are treating God’s laws casually, thinking, “What I’m doing must be okay, because I’m getting away with it.”

We constantly hear lies, cover-ups and manipulations from our nation’s capital. But the strong delusion our nation is under is not simply about the sordid mess in Washington, D.C. No, Satan’s deceiving power goes far beyond those treacheries and depravity. His big lie is an outpouring from hell against God’s people.

Paul warns, “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables [lies]” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Who are these deceived masses Paul is talking about? They are deceived Christians! He wrote this letter to the Thessalonian church—addressing born-again believers! These people had sat under biblical teaching and had known God’s truth, yet they held on to their lusts and sought out heresies that would comfort them in their sins.
 

MYSTERY OF INIQUITY

by David Wilkerson | December 5, 2013

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In a letter to the Christians at Thessalonica, Paul speaks of a future event he calls “the day of the Lord.” He writes: “We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).

I believe that Paul is speaking of Christ's second coming and he states that His return will not take place until two things happen:

  1. A great apostasy will occur. Many who once knew God will fall away from the truth of the gospel they have known.
  2. The Antichrist, or man of sin, will be revealed.

A “falling away” is already taking place. Many believers today, as well as Christians throughout the past few decades, have grown cold in their love for God. With that in mind, I will focus on Paul’s second point, that the day of the Lord will not come until the “man of sin is revealed.”

Is Paul saying here that Jesus will not come back until the Antichrist has been enthroned as a world ruler and we all know his identity? I don't think so. Paul knew that Christ could return at any moment and Jesus Himself said He will come when least expected, in the twinkling of an eye.

We find a key to Paul's meaning in his use of the word “revealed.” The Greek meaning is “uncovered.” I believe Paul is saying, “Jesus will not come until the Antichrist’s full plan and agenda are exposed, and the church is made aware of it.” The Antichrist’s plan has already been exposed in Scripture. Paul declares, “The mystery of iniquity doth already work” (2 Thessalonians 2:7). He is saying that a mysterious form of sin, even now at work, will usher in the Antichrist. Apparently, a spirit of iniquity will fall upon lost humanity, gripping people’s hearts so powerfully that the man of sin will ascend to power quickly.

Yet there is another meaning to this phrase, “mystery of iniquity.” It comes from a Greek root meaning “silent initiation.” Paul is talking about a secret initiation into the cult of the Antichrist—a subtle, demonic influence he saw taking place in his own day.

Right now, this same mysterious spirit is at full seductive power, preparing masses of people to receive the man of sin. Thousands daily are being brainwashed, silently and in secret, to be initiated into his fold. And this satanic work is happening so fast and so efficiently, the man of sin could ascend to power in the not-too-distant future.
 

BRING LIFE!

by David Wilkerson | December 4, 2013

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I wish I could have met Paul in the final, mature days of his walk with the Lord. I would have asked him, “Brother, what kept you from fainting and giving up? You were constantly pressed down on all sides.”

I believe Paul would have answered, “Yes, I was pressed down, but I wasn't distressed by any of it.”

“But you write so often of being perplexed by your trials,” I would say.

“True, but never once did I give up in despair,” he might answer.

“You were also persecuted more than anybody.”

“Yes, I was. But the Lord never forsook me through it all.”

“You were struck down often, with infirmities and troubles.”

“Sure. But none of it destroyed me.”

Today Paul testifies to the whole world, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). He wants God’s people to know, “All your troubles are light, momentary afflictions. And they are producing in you an eternal weight of glory, far beyond your comprehension” (see verse 17).

Paul tells us, “Death worketh in us, but life in you” (2 Corinthians 4:12). The apostle states very plainly, “Here is the reason God hands us over to death. He does it so the life of Christ will flow out of us to others! If we allow death to complete its work, a manifestation of the Christ-life will come forth in us. And our testimony will produce life in all who hear it!”

Remember that when financial problems hit, when physical pain strikes, when your name and character are being defamed, all eyes are on you. Your co-workers, your family members, your brothers and sisters in Christ, even strangers are watching and waiting for your reaction.

What do they see flowing out of you in such times? Do they see faith, trust, surrender? Or do they see a despairing, murmuring Christian who will not entrust himself to the resurrection power of Jesus? Beloved, let death finish its work in you! Let it remove everything that hinders the flow of Christ’s life out of you to others.

Say to the Lord, “Father, I know these troubles aren’t happening to me because You are angry with me but because You are trying to get at something in my soul. Deal with it, Lord. Bring it to death, and out of that death, bring life!”
 

I’M NOT QUITTING!

by David Wilkerson | December 3, 2013

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I am sure that in the early days of his walk with Christ, Paul endured terrible times. And, like most of us, he probably hoped that if he just trusted the Lord enough, he would be protected from all trouble.

The first time Paul was thrown into jail, for example, he might have cried out for deliverance: “Lord, open these prison doors. Get me out of here for the sake of the gospel!” Likewise, his first shipwreck probably tested his faith severely. And his first beating might have caused him to question God’s ability to keep His word: “Lord, You promised to protect me. I don't understand why I'm enduring this horrible trial.”

But things just kept getting worse for Paul. Scripture gives little evidence that the apostle ever saw much relief from his troubles.

I believe that by his second shipwreck, Paul must have thought, “I know the Lord abides in me and so He must have a reason for this trial. He has told me that all things work together for those who love God and are called according to His purposes [see Romans 8:28]. If this is His way of bringing forth a greater manifestation of Christ's life in me, so be it. Sink or swim, my life is in His hands.”

By the third shipwreck, Paul probably said, “Look at me, all you angels in glory! Look at me, all you vile demons of hell. Look at me, all you brothers and sinners. I’m going down once again into deep, dark waters and I want you all to know that death can’t hold me! God has told me I’m not finished—and I’m not quitting. I will not question my Lord about why I am being tested this way. I just know that this death situation is going to end up in great glory to Him. So, watch how my faith will come forth as pure as gold!”

Simply put, our death situations are meant to be the end of certain personal struggles. Our Father brings us to a place where we realize we have to depend on Christ completely, or we will never get through. He wants us to say, “Jesus, unless You deliver me, it’s hopeless. I put my trust in You to do it all!”
 

ARISE, GO TO ZAREPHATH

by Gary Wilkerson | December 2, 2013

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The prophet Elijah was told by God to prophesy that a famine was coming on the land. That is not a ministry that will make you very popular but Elijah was obedient to the Lord. The Lord protected him and sent him to a place beside a brook called Cherith. This is a beautiful name for a brook, although we do not know if it was as beautiful as it sounds. But nevertheless, after a while the brook dried up (see 1 Kings 17:3-7). Everyone can go a considerable amount of time without eating but after a few short days without water, life cannot be sustained. So I imagine Elijah became concerned when his water supply dried up.

The word of the LORD came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath . . . I have commanded a widow there to feed you” (verses 8-9). Elijah, who seemed to have very little provision, trusted and obeyed God yet he was being sent to a poor widow. “So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks” (verse 10).

Elijah asked her for a jar of water and a morsel of bread and she responded, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug” (verse 12).

This widow was responding to him out of her hurt. She and her son were starving and Elijah had come and said, “God sent me here to have you feed me.” She is looking at her resources and thinking, “This is impossible!” And then she said to him, “Now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die” (verse 12).

Elijah’s response was rather strange: “Do not fear; go and do as you have said” (verse 13).

Why would he say that? Because he knew that God was not going to abandon this woman and her child. He knew that as she obeyed God and blessed others through the little bit that she had, she would become blessed herself. The more she gave away, the more God increased what she had (see verses 14-16).

Obey God and you will see the windows of heaven open. God will not withhold His hand from you. He longs to pour out His blessings on you, to show you His favor.
 

GOD MEANS WHAT HE SAYS

by David Wilkerson | November 29, 2013

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Do you sit under strong preaching that lovingly exposes your sin? If so, do you allow that word to convict you? Or, do you go right back to your sin without grieving at all?

If you are rejecting the warnings of the restraining Holy Ghost—disobeying God time after time, without any heart-grief—then you are being recruited for the cult of Antichrist. The devil is silently initiating you into his “mystery of iniquity” and when the promising, miracle-working Antichrist comes along, you will be swept up in his lies and given over to a delusion!

Listen to what Paul says about compromising believers who refuse to love and obey God's Holy Word: “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:12).

Here are the ominous results of not believing and acting on God's truth:

  1. The heart becomes hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
  2. Satan works on the hardened heart to justify itself, so that it is relieved from all fear of penalty.
  3. The believer becomes blinded by the lie that says there are no wages for sin and no Judgment Day, and that he can get away with his lustful pleasure.
  4. The believer falls prey to doctrines of demons, thinking evil is good and good is evil.
  5. He eventually drifts so far from Christ and the truth, he becomes blinded to who the Antichrist is—and he ends up worshiping and serving him as a god.
  6. On Judgment Day, God will say to such a person, “Depart from Me, you worker of iniquity!”

Beloved, it does not have to be this way for any of us. God has made a covenant promise to remove all delusion from us and give us victory over sin, through the power of Christ’s cross. All He asks is that we declare war on our sin, saying, “I won't make peace with this habit. I refuse to abide it. Deliver me, Father, by Your Spirit.” When He hears this prayer, He will send such Holy Ghost power and glory from heaven, the devil will not stand a chance!

Pray right now that God implants in you a great reverence for His Word. Ask Him to help you be disciplined in your reading of the Scriptures and ask the Spirit to help you take to heart what you read and believe that God means what He says!
 

TO THOSE WHO DON’T OBEY

by David Wilkerson | November 28, 2013

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Throughout Scripture, God gives us a clear picture of how important it is to obey His Word. We see one such example in the life of King Saul. God gave Saul clear, specific commands through the prophet Samuel: “Go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass” (1 Samuel 15:3).

Did Saul obey this command from the Lord? Scripture tells us, “Saul smote the Amalekites . . . and he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive. . . . Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them” (verses 7-9).

God had spoken to Saul in crystal-clear terms. Yet after Saul went into battle, he obeyed the Lord only in part. Rather than destroying everyone and everything, he spared King Agag and he even kept some of the spoils of battle.

Samuel was stricken with grief at this. He told Saul, “The Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?” (verses 18-19).

At this point, Scripture gives us a grievous, chilling word: “Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments” (verses 10-11).

Does this describe your life? Has God told you in no uncertain terms to deal with a certain habit in your life, yet you keep clinging to it, refusing to cut it off? His Spirit may be speaking to you right now in a kind, wooing voice, saying, “Your sin stands between us, interrupting our communion. I can no longer bless you while you persist in it. Trust My Spirit to help you, My child.”

Samuel told Saul, “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king” (verse 23). God rejected Saul for his disobedience.

God is telling us through this passage that He means what He says. He is saying, “I’m showing you how I feel about your obedience to Me. I want all of your heart, not just a halfhearted obedience!”
 

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