Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

JESUS IS COMING WITH A SHOUT!

by David Wilkerson | October 24, 2014

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“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

In Greek, the word “shout” means to incite by word, to awaken, excite, spur to action. The voice of the archangel will be heard by all overcomers. “He is at the door! Come, beloved! He whom you love has come to take you away.” This is no discreet coming, quietly done in a corner. No! Jesus is coming with trumpet blasting, with hosts of angels, with a shout, with a cry of the archangel. The dead in Christ will arise first to meet Him in the air. They will embrace Him first. Do you think they will be silent? With new bodies? Eternally redeemed and at long last home with Jesus? Beloved, there will be thunderous rejoicing! And while they are rejoicing, He will send His angels into all the world and gather His children. What a welcome that will be.

But here is the meaning of His coming, distilled in a few words: “And so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). How foolish it is to argue whether we will be living on earth or in some heaven. Heaven will be wherever Jesus is. Some are so determined we will never leave this earth, that Jesus will come down to us and set up a world kingdom. All I want is this: “So shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Do you desire to ever be with the Lord? Did you know that it is also His desire to be with you? “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory” (John 17:24). Leave the times and seasons in the Father’s hands and live every day of your life as if Christ were coming within the hour. But remember, until He comes there is much work to be done.
 

HIS COMING WILL BE A GREAT CELEBRATION

by David Wilkerson | October 23, 2014

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For us who make up the bride, there must be no fear when He appears. “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:13).

Never forget that He will not surprise those who expect Him, who are “looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:12). Those who are looking and expecting His coming are “redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). They are not sitting in front of the TV, wrapped up in selfish dreams and foolish ambitions! They are busy adorning themselves as a bride-in-waiting, occupying until He comes. That day will not “overtake” those who are prepared. He will not come as a thief in the night to the expectant!

It will also be the Lord’s day of gladness because He is anxious to be with His bride: “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me” (Song of Solomon 7:10). We forget about His excitement, His joy, His expectancy. Yes, He yearns for His bride! He rejoiced after the disciples returned from casting out devils (see Luke 10:17-22). He is man glorified, partaking of all our feelings, and full of joyful anticipation of having His bride, of claiming her, and of drawing her to Himself!

He has promised to show Himself to those looking for His coming. “Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). This time He does not come to atone for sin, but to reveal His glory to His bride. That manifestation has already begun as He is showing forth His power and glory to His holy remnant. They will be caught up in its magnetic pull. He is no trickster; rather, He is wooing, cleansing, calling, and drawing us closer.
 

WE WILL SEE HIM!

by David Wilkerson | October 22, 2014

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“This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

A flesh and bone body was laid in the tomb, and it was a resurrected flesh and bone body that Thomas touched (see John 20:26-29). He touched His hands and put his hand in His side. This was truly a man—glorified—who ascended to the Father! Jesus did not vaporize before them; He was lifted in a cloud until He was out of sight. What an awesome sight it had to have been: Jesus glowing—radiant with glory—face heavenward—slowly lifted above them. The apostles had to have fallen on their knees!

They saw the whole advent with their eyes fixed on Him: “While they looked steadfastly toward heaven” (Acts 1:10). They did not blink an eye and He was gone! It is true that we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye: “We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). Paul is talking about our bodily change when we are “caught up together with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). He will come quickly, suddenly, and we will be changed bodily in a moment.

The writer of the book of Hebrews suggests God’s people will see the day approaching: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together . . . but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). “But we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him” (Revelation 1:7). “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4). Stephen, “being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). Stephen is a type of those living in the last days—“full of the Holy Ghost”—who will be given open eyes and an open heaven. We will see Jesus coming in glory with all the holy angels and we will see the train of His glory!

 

PREPARING TO GO OUT TO MEET HIM

by David Wilkerson | October 21, 2014

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“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. . . . And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:6-7, 9-11).

Jesus gathered together those who were chosen to see Him ascend to the Father—“being assembled together with them” (Acts 1:4). About 120 were called together by Jesus Himself to the Mount of Olives. I don’t think they knew or grasped what was about to happen. He had tried to prepare them for His return to the Father: “I go to my Father, and ye [shall] see me no more” (John 16:10). How could a finite mind comprehend such words? How would He be going? Would He die again? Would angels take Him? Would a chariot come as it did for Elijah or would He suddenly vanish into thin air? It was something Jesus had warned them about: “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father” (John 14:28). They said, “What is this that he saith, A little while? We cannot tell what he saith” (John 16:18).

In the same way He gathered the disciples, Jesus will again gather His people to prepare us for His return. But will we understand? God has always had a people, but just prior to His coming He will do just as He did before He left. He is doing it now, in fact! It is happening here in Times Square Church and all across America, China, Europe, Poland, Russia. By the call of the Holy Spirit, small companies and larger groups are coming together to “go out to meet Him.” They have heard the trumpet! They have heard the cry, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6).
 

CHRIST HAS SET US FREE

by Gary Wilkerson | October 20, 2014

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Think of all these blessed things: intimate prayer with the Lord; reading His wondrous Word; sharing His gospel joyfully. They are all wonderful practices that make for a joyful, fulfilling life. Yet we often make merit-based works out of them—arduous, duty-bound labors. By doing so, we neglect “so great a salvation”—a saving grace that does not fail. You see, even when we fail, the New Covenant does not. According to Paul, that truth should set us free, not enslave us.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1, ESV). Throughout this epistle Paul asks believers, “Why would you ever go back to an Old Covenant of works? That system will only re-enslave you. You’ve been given the New Covenant, which sets you free to love and serve God in perfect liberty.”

Paul hammered this home to the Galatians, saying the gospel empowers us in the Spirit through grace. But the Galatians kept trying to live out the gospel through a lens of works. They were convinced, “If I do this, I’ll get a blessing. If I don’t, I’ll get a curse.”

We may not see this in ourselves, but we tend to do something similar today. Our attitude is, “I’ll do my best to obey God’s commands and then He’ll have to bless me.” But God says differently through the New Covenant: “I have blessed you already, before you even attempt to obey My commands. I also know you can’t keep my Word perfectly, so I will empower you to keep it through My Spirit. My grace will be the power behind your works, not your own strength.”

This is the core of the gospel: God does it all! Therefore, when we are told to “pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1), it doesn’t mean we’re to pay greater attention to rule-keeping. Instead, we are to pay attention to the gospel of grace that has set us free.
 

MERCY IS CONTAGIOUS

by Nicky Cruz | October 18, 2014

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“When Jesus . . . saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34, NIV).

In Oslo, Norway, our ministry teamed with a large Lutheran church. It was one of the few churches willing to help us. Their kids were deeply committed to the Lord but were caught completely off guard by our methods of evangelism. European Christians are quiet, humble people who usually keep their faith to themselves. The idea of preaching on a street corner in the middle of a neighborhood took them far from their comfort zones. At first they didn’t want to go with us, but within a few weeks we couldn’t stop them. They developed a fire in their guts for evangelism—a genuine soul obsession.

Many of them travelled by train for two or three hours each morning to help us, then travelled home again late in the evening. They couldn’t get enough. And they were so thirsty to learn more about our kids from New York. When we told them that many of our kids were former gang members and drug addicts, they had a hard time believing it. They were astonished by what Jesus had done in their lives—what He was still doing.

But what attracted them most was the genuine compassion our kids had for others. When someone was hurting, our kids would cry with them, hold them, pray with them. Every morning began with several hours of prayer and worship at the church building, and the Lutheran kids couldn’t get enough of it. The love our kids exuded for them and one another was beyond anything they had ever experienced. And they soon caught that enthusiasm. It spread like wildfire throughout the hearts of everyone working with us.

By the time our crusade ended, the kids from Norway couldn’t bear to see us leave. They had become so attached to our group, so in love with our kids, that they cried for hours at the airport before our plane left. Our kids made lifetime friends on that trip and made an indelible impact on the lives of those we left behind.

That’s the beauty and nature of compassion. It is one of the most endearing and contagious of all human emotions. It cannot be faked, and its impact cannot be explained, yet it is so real. And so very powerful!

 

Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.
 

A FRESH WORD EVERY DAY

by David Wilkerson | October 17, 2014

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God is speaking a fresh word every day to all who will hear, but many cannot hear it because their hearts are growing hard. In Hebrews we read, “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:7-8). God’s voice is a “today” voice. He wants us to hear an up-to-the-minute voice.

Jesus warned us about stony-ground hearers: “These are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended” (Mark 4:16-17). This refers to the ones who love to hear, who receive all God says with gladness. But the Word does not sink in. God’s voice does not change them. They remain unbroken with their hearts turning to stone. Where are the stony hearts? In prison? On the streets? Sadly, the hardest of hearts can be found in God’s house among those who don’t even know they are getting hard!

Let me tell you how Christians develop hard hearts. They refuse to allow God’s voice to smash their stubborn will. They hear God’s voice in His Word, in preaching, and sometimes even in the still, small voice. Yet, they will not obey it! The Word cannot take root. And there is something even worse. Every day God is calling His people to the secret closet of prayer because He wants to speak. He wants to talk about obedience, about problems, about the future, and give guidance. “I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not” (Jeremiah 7:13). Each time we refuse that call and go instead to our own interests and business, putting other things ahead of God—every time we miss a day of hearing—every day we refuse to listen—our hearts grow colder and colder. Every time we listen to another voice rather than waiting to hear His voice, we grow a little harder.

When we refuse to discipline ourselves to be alone with God to hear His voice, we become strangers to that voice. It is shameful to observe what is happening in so many churches today with many who can no longer recognize God's voice. The Lord sees them getting hard, but He cares and loves them still. So He turns His Holy Ghost light upon them, bringing a scorching, penetrating word—a voice of thunder—to awaken them up. But the Word offends them; the very Word God meant to deliver them offends them and they get angry and dry up! “When the sun comes up they are scorched and wither” (see Matthew 13:6).
 

IT’S TIME TO CLOSE THE DOOR

by David Wilkerson | October 16, 2014

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“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6).

God’s voice is heard by those who meet with Him in secret prayer. God is very careful to whom He speaks. It is only to those who value His voice so much that they shut out the whole world to get alone and wait for Him.

God says to us, “If you want to hear My voice, shut yourself up in the secret closet of prayer. Pray to Me in secret and I will reward you.” Busyness, lusts, covetousness, and the cares of life choke out the voice of God. Jesus gave us a warning against becoming too busy to stop and hear His voice. In the parable of the sower, “the word” is His voice: “These are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful" (Mark 4:18-19).

I fear that some reading this right now have been choking the voice of God. Choke here means “to crowd” or to drown out His voice. God once spoke clearly to you and it was such a joy. You still love Him, but you have less and less time for Him. Your busyness now calls you—your riches, your cares, your problems, and all the other things consuming your time! The voice of God now grows dim. He is calling you, wooing you, warning you: “Keep this up, and you will totally drown out My voice in you!”

You can become so busy, so bogged down with problems and cares, that it would do you no good to hear His voice because you would not listen. Jesus said it would be unfruitful (verse 19).

“[But] these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred” (Mark 4:20).
 

DOES GOD STILL SPEAK?

by David Wilkerson | October 15, 2014

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Samuel heard God’s voice clearly, so clear that “the Lord . . . let none of his words fall to the ground” (1 Samuel 3:19). “For the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord. And the word of Samuel came to all Israel” (1 Samuel 3:21-4:1). David heard God speak and he, in turn, spoke with God! God's voice was his joy and life. David said, “God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice” (Psalm 60:6).

Many today do not believe that God still talks to men. They say He speaks only through His Word, that all He ever wants or needs to say is locked up in the canon of the Scriptures. Certainly God will never speak a word contrary to Scripture, but “God . . . hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2). And His Son is still talking to His children! He said His sheep know His voice and that another’s voice they will not heed. We know God spoke to men in the Old Testament. But what of the New Testament? What of the last days?

God spoke to Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus: “Suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 9:3-4). For the rest of his life, Paul testified, “I heard His voice.” Before King Agrippa he said, “I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue . . . Rise . . . for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose” (Acts 26:14 and 16).

Peter heard and obeyed the voice of God. In prayer, he heard God speak: “And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. But I said, Not so, Lord. . . . But the voice answered me again from heaven. . . . And this was done three times” (Acts 11:7-10).

Jesus calls the last Laodicean church to hear His voice and open up: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

 

HIS VOICE

by David Wilkerson | October 14, 2014

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One of the greatest blessings a true believer has is hearing and knowing the voice of God. It is possible to hear God’s voice today as certainly and clearly as Abraham and Moses did—as clearly as did Samuel and David—and Paul, Peter, the apostles, and John on the Isle of Patmos! God has promised to make His voice clearly known for one last time during these end days. He has given us a promise and a warning about hearing His voice. God is going to bring together a holy, separated remnant into spiritual Zion and make His voice known to them. “But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22).

God has this message for all who have been called out: The voice of God that has shaken the earth in past generations will be heard in power again in one last shaking! “Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven” (Hebrews 12:26). Here is God’s warning to His holy, believing children. “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven” (Hebrews 12:25).

Why is God gathering together a people out of the dead churches? Why is the Spirit crying, “Come out of Babylon, my people! Partake not in her sins”? It is because God must have a people (a Zion people) in these troubled last days who are not confused by false doctrine. These are sheep who do not follow false teachers, who know their Master’s voice. God speaks to them clearly and certainly, and they live by His voice! They are directed by His voice, comforted by His voice, guided in all things by His voice! The one great characteristic of a holy people is that they are not mistaken about God’s voice. They know it—they hear it—they are governed by it. It is sure, steadfast, and unmistakable!
 

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