Q. I heard that David Wilkerson issued a prophecy warning to readers on his mailing list and to churches worldwide in 2009. Do you think he could be right about a massive calamity coming in the new future?
False Prophets Preach Transfer of Wealth Coming
Most of the time we ignore messages from self-proclaimed "prophets" within our churches - especially those who appear on Christian television. Lately, we have seen some of them preaching a great transfer of wealth to Christians during these hard economic times. Of course, this will only happen if viewers send donations to their self-serving ministries.
Old Timer with a Spotless Record
However, David Wilkerson was a different story. He considered himself a "Watchman," not a prophet. But, if you don't know of him, Wilkerson authored The Cross and the Switchblade which was made into one of the first, successful Christian movies around forty years ago. He served as pastor of Times Square Church and founded Teen Challenge, the acclaimed drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
9/11 Type Disaster Prophesied
On August 19, 2001 Pastor Wilkerson preached a message called, "An Hour of Trouble is Coming." He and his staff cancelled all events including a Missions Conference and Youth Convention. Then they got on their knees and went into four nights a week of prayer. Three weeks later Islamic terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City.
In 1973 Wilkerson authored, The Vision, which many read - even unbelievers took an interest in his prophecies. As one of the non-believers at that time I read his book and remembered his forecasts.
In his original prophetic book Wilkerson saw severe future economic problems in Japan and then in the United States, Canada, and many other nations. He saw credit busts and the bankruptcies of major corporations. He saw auto industries folding and union failures. He saw major airlines having severe problems.
He predicted so many natural disasters that insurance companies would become depleted of funds. He envisioned interest-only loans, and an "eco backlash" against environmentalists. He saw social-aid cutbacks due to resentment of illegal immigrants, and a vicious anti-American stance by France and then by other nations. He envisioned a militaristic organized group of homosexuals grabbing power to infiltrate churches and corrupt our youth.
This is just a taste…need I say more? In 1973 many of us thought his book made for interesting, futuristic reading. But, we never imagined it would come true in such specific detail! You might want to purchase the original book from Amazon.com. Or, order David Wilkerson's newer book called The Vision and Beyond - a 2003 reprint of the 1973 original with an extra chapter of updates.
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When He Spoke I Listened!
Due to the surprising accuracy of Wilkerson's visions, when David Wilkerson spoke, I listened! That is because as far as I can tell there is no expiration date on the "gift of prophecy" mentioned in the New Testament. So I present this to you for you to evaluate for yourself.
An Urgent Message
On March 29, 2009 Wilkerson sent AN URGENT MESSAGE to readers and churches on his mailing list. In it he warned that "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."
Wilkerson continued, "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. In Psalm 11 it is written,
'If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?' (v. 3).
God is judging the raging sins of America and the nations. He is destroying the secular foundations."
Wilkerson didn't leave us "hanging," however. He shared what he believed the Holy Spirit directed him to do. He said, "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."
As far as spiritual preparation he noted "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). 'In the Lord I take refuge' (v. 1)."
"I will say to my soul: No need to run…no need to hide. This is God's righteous work. I will behold our Lord on his throne, with his eye of tender, loving kindness watching over every step I take - trusting that he will deliver his people even through floods, fires, calamities, tests, trials of all kinds."
He finished with these words: "I do not know when these things will come to pass, but I know it is not far off. I have unburdened my soul to you. Do with the message as you choose.
God bless and keep you."
Of course, David Wilkerson passed on recently. But, he left a legacy for his followers that won't soon be forgotten. And perhaps, just perhaps, we should heed his warning…
Wilkerson, David. 2009. AN URGENT MESSAGE. 3-23-09. World Challenge, Inc. Available from: www.worldchallenge.org.
—- 1974. The vision. N.Y.: Pyramid Books.
—- 2003. The vision and beyond. Lindale, TX: World Challenge Publications.