Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

A ROD OF IRON

by David Wilkerson | November 27, 2012

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The apostle Paul writes of Christ's ascension into heaven: "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:15). That's right! Staggering behind our Lord's triumphant procession was the prince of darkness himself, bound in chains. And behind the defeated devil — underneath the wheels of the heavenly hosts — were all the powers of darkness, bound and vanquished. They were being put to an open shame before all those who had died in faith before the cross.

“And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father” (Revelation 2:27). Jesus entered the gates carrying in His hand a scepter of righteousness, His "rod of iron" with which He rules all nations. Then, after His triumphant entrance, He took His rightful place on the throne in full possession of all power, authority and dominion.

What a glorious picture! Satan is not in control. Communism is not in control. Atheism is not in control. No, the enemies of Christ exist only by His permission. And right now they only continue to fill up their cups of iniquity. Jesus is in control of all things and one day, when He is ready, He will "break them with a rod of iron; [He] shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (Psalm 2:9).

Beloved, our understanding of Christ's victory over Satan and the dominion of sin cannot be a vague, confused theology. We must know and understand that Satan is totally defeated. He cannot hold us prisoner, and Christ has freed us by His blood from every bondage. Now He sits on His throne with all power and authority, offering us peace, joy and freedom.
 

A DIFFERENT SPIRIT

by Gary Wilkerson | November 26, 2012

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“But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit . . .” (Numbers 14:24, ESV).

What was it about Caleb that caused the Bible to say he had a different spirit?
Are you a man or woman who hungers and thirsts and cries out to God, “Make me a man or woman of a different spirit”? Or are you a middle-of-the-road Christian, willing to wander in the wilderness, willing just to spend your life in mediocrity?

What was it within Caleb and Joshua that set them apart? Why did they have a different spirit? What sets apart any man or woman who has a different spirit? Why do they not seem ordinary? What do they have and why do some of us not have it? How do these men and women get this different spirit? And the most important question of all, how can I get it?

A young man in our church has set his face like a flint to follow Jesus. When I am with him I say to myself, “Jesus, I want the kind of desperate spirit this young man has. I want more of that fire and that unction, that purity and that holiness.”

This young man says, “I have determined to follow Jesus, not in my own strength but in the power of the Holy Ghost.” His heart says to me, “I have determined to walk with clean hands and a pure heart.” In an age of compromise, he has determined to keep His eyes on Jesus. When others around him are willing to put on a light show with smoke and mirrors to draw a big crowd, he is crying out, “Lord, I don’t want that. Yes, I want to have thousands saved, but I’m hungry for something more of You.”

When I am around this young man of a different spirit, I am provoked to jealousy. The Holy Spirit allows us to be jealous or envious of someone who has more of Jesus!
 

JESUS IS OUR JUBILEE!

by David Wilkerson | November 23, 2012

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"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn . . . to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3).

We are familiar with this passage as a proclamation of Christ's victory over death and sin. Yet Isaiah is using the language of Jubilee here. He is saying, "Let the trumpets blast announcing the cheerful, joyous year of liberty our Savior has given us!"

This passage also refers to the scene of Christ's ascension into glory. The heavenly Father, after beholding the awful sufferings of His blessed Son, prepared for Jesus a glorious entrance into heaven. Indeed, as Christ made His ascension, He was escorted by a host of angels and multitudes of chariots: "The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. Thou hast ascended on high" (Psalm 68:17-18).

Our finite minds cannot begin to conceive of this glorious event. As Christ approached the eternal city of God, riding on His white horse, He was escorted by this huge procession. And as He entered the gates, the trumpets of God began to sound: "God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet" (Psalm 47:5).

This was the joyful sound—the trumpets blaring, announcing the believers’ year of Jubilee! The sound proclaimed to all humankind, "I have made provision for you to walk out of prison, to be restored to your family, and to have everything you need for a fulfilled life. You are free to live without fear of any enemy. Enter now into My joy!"
 

THE JOYFUL SOUND OF FREEDOM

by David Wilkerson | November 22, 2012

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When the year of Jubilee came, every debt was wiped out. All leases and possessions reverted back to the original leaseholder, which meant that the farmer would get his land and his family back. Read about it in Leviticus 25.

You can imagine the rejoicing that took place in Israel and Judah when the trumpets sounded. At that moment, on the tenth day of the seventh month, while the high priest was making atonement, every bondservant who had been sold into slavery was set free. And every person who had lost property was given back everything. Families were reunited. Homes were restored. It was a time of liberty, freedom, deliverance!

I picture destitute farmers standing along the demarcation lines of their old property, waiting to step over as soon as the trumpets sounded. They had been waiting ten years . . . then five . . . then one . . . and now they counted the minutes to hear the joyful sound. They must have thought, "I'm getting back everything I lost. It's mine again—because this is the year of Jubilee!"

There was to be no planting or harvesting during the year of Jubilee. Instead, the time was to be spent rejoicing. Jubilee was an entire year of Christmas every day, of praising God for His grace, provision and freedom.

Please understand, the liberty proclaimed at Jubilee was not some nebulous idea founded on faith alone. It was the law of the land. All a debtor needed to do to have the law enforced was to stand on it. The Levites acted as monitors, or sheriffs, so that everyone was assured justice.

Occasionally, a master might say to a bondservant, "You're not leaving; you're still my servant! Get back to your labors." But that servant could laugh in the master's face and say, "We both know what that trumpet sound means. It's the joyful sound of my freedom. You have no legal rights to me anymore. I'm free!"

How the people waited and longed to hear that joyful sound. It meant having the freedom to say, "Nothing in my past can be held against me. I've been delivered and no one can rob me of my inheritance." Yet the person in bondage had to act in order to take possession of his freedom or his lost property. He could dance and shout in the synagogue all he wanted, crying, "I'm free! Everything has been restored!" But until he stepped out and claimed his rights, he could not enjoy any of it. Do you see the significance here? Most Christians have not claimed the Jubilee that Jesus Christ has given them. Many think the "joyful sound" today is merely hand-clapping or dancing in an emotional time of praise. But it is so much more. God calls us to appropriate the freedom, peace and glory He has provided for us through the forgiveness of sins. We are to step out and claim it!
 

WHEN GOD SAYS “TRUST ME,” HE MEANS IT!

by David Wilkerson | November 21, 2012

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Think for a moment about all the ways God has met the needs of His people throughout history.

When Israel was in the wilderness, they had no supermarkets or grocery stores. There was not even a blade of grass in sight. But God rained down manna from heaven so the people would have bread, and He caused birds to fall by the bushel from the sky so they would have meat. He caused water to gush from a rock. And He supernaturally kept their shoes and clothing intact, so that they never wore out in forty years of use.

In the Old Testament, we read that a hungry prophet was fed by a raven. A barrel of meal and a bottle of oil supernaturally replenished themselves. And an entire enemy army fled upon hearing a strange noise—leaving behind enough supplies to feed an entire city of starving Israelites.

In the New Testament, we read that water was turned into wine. Money was found in a fish's mouth to pay taxes. And five thousand people were fed with only five loaves of bread and two fish.

All these miracles of supply cry out to us, "God is faithful. He can be trusted!" And in Leviticus 25, we read of another supernatural phenomenon—an especially ripe harvest in the year before the sabbath for the land.

Next, God commanded that the people observe seven consecutive cycles of sabbaths for the land: "Thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years" (verse 8). In other words: "You are to celebrate this sabbath every seventh year, for a period of forty-nine years—seven sabbaths times seven."

In biblical terms, the forty-nine-year period would comprise a whole generation. The implication here is that such a period would provide enough time for an entire generation to learn to trust the Lord. Over that time, parents and grandparents would build up a history of faith, so they could tell their children: "Yes, it's true! God supplied everything we needed the first six years, but when the seventh year came, many of us were afraid. Yet God's provision saw us through to the eighth year, and right up to the ninth. Sometimes it was frightening, but there was always enough. No one starved, and no one had to beg. Every need was supplied. God tested our faith—and He remained faithful!"

The point is, when God says, "Trust me," He means it!
 

FESTIVAL OF JUBILEE

by David Wilkerson | November 20, 2012

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The history of the Jewish festival of Jubilee is found in Leviticus 25. This observance begins with the Lord's command that Israel allow the land to rest from cultivation every seventh year. The seventh year was to be a sabbath year, in which the land would lie fallow. During that year, the people were to do no planting, picking of fruit or harvesting of any kind: "Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard" (Leviticus 25:3-4).

God was literally shutting down all agricultural activity for an entire year. That meant Israel would have to live for that period without any visible means of support. They would have to put their lives completely into God's hands, trusting Him for all supplies.

Of course, this required a lot of faith. Think about it: For an entire year there would be no intake of crops for food . . . no harvest of grain to feed cattle . . . no work for farmers . . . no labor for vineyard keepers. Most Christians today would panic after only a week of this, much less a year. Indeed, the Israelites wondered: "What are we going to do for food during the seventh year? How will we feed our families, our cattle? We'll use up everything we have in the sixth year, just prior to the sabbath year. Are we supposed to sit idly by while our children go hungry? Does God really expect us to watch the grapes rot on the vine? "

Yet God had a clear purpose in commanding a sabbath year for the land. It was meant to reveal His faithfulness to His people. "If ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years" (verses 20-21).

What an incredible promise! God was guaranteeing Israel a triple harvest (see verse 22): "If you will just step out in faith and trust Me, I will give you a harvest during the sixth year that will provide you with enough provisions for three years."

I believe the Lord is saying something important here. And that is, no matter what our circumstances, He always provides for those who trust and obey Him.
 

GOD IS AT WORK ON YOUR BEHALF

by Gary Wilkerson | November 19, 2012

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The city walls of Jerusalem were being rebuilt but Nehemiah saw sin, bondage and discouragement beginning to captivate the hearts of the people.

“As soon as it began to grow dark . . . I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath” (Nehemiah 13:19, ESV).

In this passage Nehemiah is a type of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of God is saying, “I know your propensity, I know the pulls. I know the temptation will be to take the Sabbath and make it unholy . . . and you will forget Me.” So even before it was dark, Nehemiah closed the gates.

Your heavenly Father is on the move in your life to solve your problem even before you know you have a problem. God is on the move on your behalf even before the sin sets in, even before it takes hold. God is working! The old Puritans called this a prevenient grace—grace at work before the temptation comes. Even before Adam and Eve got out of the Garden, even before sin began to take hold in the fruit, God said to the serpent, “The Son (He was talking of His Son, Christ Jesus) will crush your head” (Genesis 3:15, paraphrase mine). After deceiving Adam and Eve, before Satan slithered out and began to move throughout the whole world to deceive the sons of Adam and Eve, God said, “I have a plan in action.”

This is not God standing on the sidelines saying, “If you fall into that sin, come to Me and repent and I will forgive you again.” Yes, He does that, but it is so much more than that. God is working on your behalf even before that temptation ever comes to you, building up a wall in your life. He is building up grace and maturity in you, leading you through the spiritual process of your growing to where you are strengthened—line upon line, precept upon precept.

God is already planning for your victory!

 

DELIVERANCE FROM SODOM

by David Wilkerson | November 16, 2012

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Most of us think of Sodom as a type of modern-day wicked city such as San Francisco, New York or New Orleans. But the truth is, we need only to look at our own hearts to find Sodom. We are all born with a Sodomite nature—a heart that is exceedingly wicked, full of every evil thing. “Yea, in your heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth” (Psalm 58:2)

I believe the following passage reveals how God delivers us out of Sodom:

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2 Peter 1:3-4).

God comes to us in our deluded, bound condition with powerful promises of full and complete deliverance. He says, "I pledge to deliver you and keep you from iniquity. I will give you a heart to obey Me, so now let My promises lay hold of you."

What a wonderful, freeing truth. We are led out of our sin as we lay hold of God's promises. Think about it for a moment. Peter says the believers he was addressing in this epistle had "escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (verse 4). How did these Christians escape sin? They were given divine power—life and godliness—through their faith in God's promises.

Beloved, your Father wants you to know fullness of joy in Christ. That joy will break out only as you are freed from the power of sin. So, allow the Holy Spirit to go into the womb of your lusts and remove everything that is unlike Christ. Pray to the Lord right now:

"Oh, Father, I agree with You about my sin. The stench of my compromise has reached into heaven and I know it has to go immediately. Lord, I receive Your loving, divine ultimatum and I lay everything down before You. Set fire to everything wicked in me and let Your promises take hold of my heart. Lead me to the mountain of Your holiness."

MOVE ON TO FULLNESS IN GOD

by David Wilkerson | November 15, 2012

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Lot would have died in Sodom had God not taken matters into His own hands. The Lord literally grabbed Lot and his family and pulled them out of the city: "While he lingered, the men [angels] laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city" (Genesis 19:16).

What a glorious picture of grace! As Lot lingered on the brink of destruction, with no strength or will to deliver himself, God hand-led this confused, deluded, sin-bound man to safety. He was telling Lot, in essence, "I love you, and I'm not going to let you die in this holocaust. You're a righteous man, Lot, and I warned you. Now, come!"

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6). The literal meaning for without strength here is "without an ability or will." God says He is willing to act for us because we have nothing to give.

The Lord had one more directive for Lot: "Escape for thy life; look not behind thee . . . escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed" (Genesis 19:17). The mountain here represents God's presence, a place alone with Him. We see this image repeated throughout Scripture: It was on a mountain that Moses was touched by God's glory . . . that Christ was transfigured before His disciples . . . that Jesus sought His Father in prayer. All these things happened on a mountain.

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness" (Psalm 48:1). "Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths" (Isaiah 2:3). The message here is: "When God delivers you by faith in His promises, run straight to the mountain of His holiness!"

Lot still was not willing to run to God's presence; instead, he asked God to let him take a detour to Zoar. He said, "I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die" (Genesis 19:19).

God allowed it and Lot eventually came to the mountain, but once he was there, something worse than Sodom happened. Lot got drunk and was seduced by his two daughters, who bore sons from the incestuous acts. What a tragic picture! And it all happened because Lot—though delivered—would not move on to fullness in God.
 

STOP TRYING TO MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR SIN

by David Wilkerson | November 14, 2012

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"And they called unto Lot . . . Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them" (Genesis 19:5). Lot's day of reckoning finally came. A wild mob of Sodomite men surrounded his house, pounding on the door and shouting obscenities. They demanded that Lot send out the two angels who were staying there so they could rape them.

What a horrifying scene! Yet Lot's reaction was to try to strike a deal with the men. It appears that Lot was a judge in Sodom, because he sat at the city gates. He had a reputation to protect so he tried to reason with the mob. He even went as far as calling them "brethren"—proving he had taken Sodom's sin too lightly.

"I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing" (verses 7-8).

One theologian writes that Lot knew his daughters were not in danger because these men were homosexuals. Perhaps Lot reasoned to himself, "These men are partying sodomizers, looking to fulfill their perverted lusts. They're no threat to women. If I send my daughters out, they'll come home tomorrow morning unharmed."

How foolish! Even if that were true, Lot would have been trying to replace one sin with another. It is impossible to bargain with lust!

Lot, an example of what hidden sin can do to a righteous man, clearly was deluded. His sin had produced in him such a dangerous condition that he would give up everything—including his beloved family—to save face.

This man was not ready to face reality. He was dragging out his moment of reckoning, still wheeling and dealing, trying to delay God's deliverance in his life. And, beloved, that is the attitude of many Christians today. They convince themselves, "My God is a God of mercy. He delivered me from my sin before, and He'll do it again."

No! God is saying to you through this passage, "No more bargaining. No more trading a lighter sin for a heavier one. It all has to go!"
 

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