A NEW LEARNING
There is a whole lot of scaring going on. There are so many websites and blogs written by professing Christians that are proclaiming the near end of the world. Recently a well known Christian pastor and leader, David Wilkerson, the pastor of Times Square Church in New York City, made a pronouncement that an earth-shattering calamity will happen and his comments focused upon New York City. He claims the Spirit told his spirit to publicize this prediction because the event is a demonstration of God’s wrath against wickedness.
The actual March 7 2009 blog entry says: “AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. IT IS GOING TO BE SO FRIGHTENING, WE ARE ALL GOING TO TREMBLE - EVEN THE GODLIEST AMONG US. For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires—such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago. There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting—including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God’s wrath.”
Written on his blog, this entry swept the internet like a prairie fire. It has incited concern, fear and bewilderment. It may also have resulted in some repentance which was Wilkerson’s chief intention of course. What are we supposed to do with this? I must confess that the cynic in me shouts to immediately dismiss the man and his prediction. But because I have noted many sincere people lining up in support of his prediction, I determined that I would be biblical and respectful.
I feel compelled to respond, so this is a bit of a heavy blog. If you hang in here, I will be interested to know what you think by the end of it. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you possess His Spirit. Wilkerson too is a Christian and he possesses the same Holy Spirit. With the same Holy Spirit, if the message is from God, shouldn't there be resonance? Does your spirit resonate with this prediction? Mine doesn't and that poses a problem for me. Here is a biblical prescriptive from 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21. “Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good." And that is what I want to do.
That means that I will not arbitrarily dismiss Wilkerson’s comments but I must test them and then hang on to what is true. I am testing for resonance and verifiability.
1. The segment of his prophecy which depends upon the Bible I do accept with unqualified sincerity. Canada and the United States have become secularized and the scripture informs us that rejection of Jesus Christ is punishable and may incur punitive calamity but also spiritual awakening (Romans 1:18-32; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8). God has already said this. One does not require special revelation for that which the Bible already pronounces. We have resonance here. This is authentic. It’s true. God said it. Hang on to it but understand that this isn’t new information.
2. Anything within the prophecy that goes beyond scripture should be evaluated by biblical criteria. This is where there is resonance deficiency for me. Wilkerson wrote in his blog, “First, I give you a practical word I received for my own direction. If possible lay in store a thirty-day supply of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials. In major cities, grocery stores are emptied in an hour at the sign of an impending disaster.” Now God may have told Wilkerson this, but I am suspicious because it has no time reference. What kind of counsel is that from God? No starting date. In 1992 Wilkerson made a similar sounding prophecy and used the word “soon.” It was coming soon. Now he is unclear about a time for these provisions to be collected. That lacks authenticity. Make a scary claim without a reference to time and the odds are that eventually something will happen.
3. And when a prophet cites scripture he is not permitted to mishandle it to support his prophecy. Wilkerson advises in that blog that his spiritual advice is this. “As for our spiritual reaction, we have but two options. This is outlined in Psalm 11. We ‘flee like a bird to a mountain.’ Or, 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’ (v. 4). This is not an authentic treatment of the verse. The verse is not a prescription of what David did in the face of calamity, so you do likewise. In fact, the words “he fixed his eyes” do not appear in the verse. Rather verse 4 is a categorical statement about God. “The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.” This is not a small point. My spirit does not resonate with manipulation of God’s Word.
4. The Snopes site investigates the authenticity of various claims. Janet Porter wrote several articles in the WorldNetDaily about David Wilkerson, his prior predictions and the most recent forecast of economic holocaust. WorldNetDaily is right of right wing journalism, so highly sympathetic to the Wilkerson communications. In one article Porter wrote that God gave Wilkerson a warning in early Fall 2001 with a command to make sandwiches, lots of them. She told how he and his church made 2000 sandwiches through the night of Sept 10 2001 and at 8:46 am in Sept 11 the first plane hit the Trade Center. Her closing sentence was “…when the guy who made the 2000 sandwiches on Sept 10 warns us: ‘AN EARTH SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN,’ I think we would do well to heed it.” Then later an editor’s note was prepended to the article saying that: “The story in this column about Times Square Church making thousands of sandwiches just prior to 9/11 is false. Janet Porter confirmed the story with a church staff member as she wrote the column, but was given incorrect information. WorldNetDaily regrets the error.”
5. Hold fast to the written Word of God.
- Video of Wilkerson preaching 10 days ago on the subject of catastrophe in USA.
- In this free online document Wilkerson teaches on his subject of “God’s Plan to Protect His People in the Coming Depression.” He forecasts this worldwide economic holocaust and the hope held out is that God’s children will be preserved.