Running Out of Time
I was recently told in very blunt terms that David Wilkerson (now deceased) is a false prophet because in the mid-eighties he prophesied great calamity would come upon our nation, and the prophecy has proven false. I am assuming that the accuser assumes that all prophecies given must come to pass in the life time of the seer, or be deemed false.
I would put my readers in remembrance of a rather unfortunate fellow by the name of Jeremiah who once wrote: “O Yahweh, You have deceived me and I was deceived; You have overcome me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; Everyone mocks me. For each time I speak, I cry aloud; I proclaim violence and destruction, Because for me the word of Yahweh has resulted in reproach and derision all day long.” (Jeremiah 20:7-8) Jeremiah began prophesying of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity nearly forty years before it occurred. When judgment was delayed many began to revile and reproach Jeremiah. Jeremiah felt that God had set him up to be derided by the people. He became so vexed that God was slow about fulfilling His word that he determined to not speak such words anymore, but God caused the message to burn inside of him so that he had to speak it forth.
Many prophetic voices today have been decried as doomsayers. I am not so presumptuous as to claim for myself the title or office of “prophet,” however I have been very outspoken in my belief that the United States faces, in fact, already is under the heavy hand of judgment from God, particularly but not exclusively for the sin of abortion, and for such a position have been sternly censured as a “doomsayer” and in at least once case derided as nothing but a “grumpy old man.” I have read numerous unflattering reviews of David Wilkerson. Many charge him with being a fear-monger, as they do others who prophesy judgment. These things are not new, and history has a way of vindicating the true prophets of God. God is patient, but He will surely accomplish what He has declared He will do.
Allow me please to point you in reference to the words of the apostle Peter in II Peter 3:3-10 where he writes: “Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come…”
We are a generation of scoffers. Sadly, there are many scoffers found among the people of God. They love the prophesy of peace and prosperity, they hunger for gentle and soothing words that tell them how great they are and the greatness for which they are destined. They run from meeting to meeting seeking “prophetic words” – but always words of prosperity and success, shunning any rebuke or correction. They refuse to hear any word suggesting that God is angry with sin. These scoffers reject every declaration that God is incensed that His people have become as the Laodiceans, “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” They see themselves as “wealthy, increased with goods, and lacking nothing.” God just doesn’t “do judgment” anymore.
Another fellow to remember is Ezekiel. Ezekiel stood alone against all the false prophets of Israel. These prophets would have nothing to do with the message of righteousness and impending judgment. Instead, they prophesied an era of peace, ease and prosperity. Ezekiel 13 is the very word of Jehovah against preachers and prophets who accommodate people with flesh pleasing words they said were from the Lord. Their words were designed to make God’s people comfortable in the face of impending judgment. In fact, they were not satisfied to prophesy good times ahead from their great houses and ivory beds of ease – they sought to provide a pillow for every elbow (Ezekiel 13:18). “Woe to those who apply pillows unto all elbows…” “…Behold, I am against your pillows wherewith ye entice souls…” (Ezekiel 13:20). In Ezekiel’s day there was actually a cottage industry that grew up around the prophetic movement of that day. Women sewed pillows upon which the men could recline as they received the good news of great days ahead for the people of God. All the while Ezekiel’s voice, Jeremiah’s voice and other true prophets were ignored and maligned as the shadow of Nebuchadnezzar loomed on the horizon.
Ezekiel was disgusted in the face of prophets who were so skillful in making God’s people comfortable. The Lord had said, “My people have set up idols in their hearts; they are brazenly setting up stumbling blocks in iniquity; they are all estranged from me because of their idols” (Ezekiel 14:1-5). The true word of the Lord was, “Jehovah says – eat your bread with trembling, and drink thy water with grieving and fainting – and say unto the people, her land shall be emptied of its fullness, because of the violence – cities will be laid waste, the land made desolate – there shall be no more vain visions or flattering prophecies” (Ezekiel 12:17-24).
As Ezekiel went about calling the people to humility and repentance, trying to prepare God’s people for the soon coming judgments, these pillow prophets went about prophesying the dreams and imaginations of their own hearts. God had not spoken to them, even though they prefaced their predictions with, “Hear the Word of the Lord.” God said, “I did not send them: they do not speak for Me.” They carried with them fancy pillows to place under every elbow for all who flocked to hear their false prophecies. They placed handkerchiefs on the heads of every one of their disciples, a statement to others that meant, “Nothing but good times ahead. I see nothing ahead but peace and luxury.” They walked among the poor and sick, with a lace kerchief on the head, as a sign of their confidence in the message of the prophets of self indulgence and comfort.
Ezekiel thundered the Word of God at them, as the masses congregated to hear their pleasant words. “You see for God’s people a vision of prosperity, when there is no prosperity, saith the Lord Jehovah.”
“You follow after your own imagination – when actually you have seen nothing.” (Ezekiel 13:3)
The pillow prophets are still with us! They talk about the Word of God, about prophecy, and they salt their soothing messages with a lot of Scripture. But there is a falseness in what they preach. They are not preaching the Cross or holiness and separation. They make no demands on their followers. They seldom speak of sin and judgment. They abhor the very mention of suffering and pain. To them, the heroes of Hebrews were faithless cowards and penniless losers who were afraid to claim their rights. Like the pillow prophets of Israel, their one supreme desire is to promote luxurious lifestyles and make people comfortable in their pursuit of the good life. They are not speaking for God. All they are doing is passing out pillows. One for every elbow of every follower. No wonder the crowds flock to sit under their message – it’s painless. There is not the call of Christ to deny self and take up a cross.
I am not a pessimist but I am a realist. I am also a good reader and the handwriting is on the wall for this generation. The shadow of Islam is falling across the face of this nation, the certainty of economic collapse is established, and as one fellows has said, “Christians will be the Jews of the 21st century.” The vitriol toward Christ and His church is bubbling to the surface in America and our freedoms are being shaved away moment by moment. There are those who believe that all that is needed is a successful campaign in 2016. Get the right man in the White House and the right men in Congress and America will be back on the road to prosperity and happiness. What America needs is not an election — but spiritual renewal. We need the breath of God to blow across the face of our land with renewal power so that men’s hearts are pricked with contrition as on the Day of Pentecost. The message from the pulpit needs transformation from “being your best you,” to “Repent! And be baptized for the remission of sins.” A new president and a new congress will not stay the hand of God. Our problems are not political, they are spiritual. Our national heart is rotten, wicked to the core and we need as a nation to bend before God.
A member of my church recently said that he was sure that Barack Obama is bringing the judgment of God upon America. My response was to him shocking, but I believe true: “Barack Obama is not bringing judgement upon our land; Barack Obama IS the judgment of God upon a wicked nation that has turned its heart from God toward idols, that has murdered its children, and blasphemed the very God who brought us into existence and blessed us for so many years. Yes, just like the thundering hoofs of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian chariots represented the judgment of God upon His sinful children Israel, the godless government that rules over us now is but a taste of what is to come if we do not repent of our sin and turn to Him.
So, David Wilkerson is not a false prophet because did not live to see his prophetic words come to pass. It is simply a testimony to the patience and long-suffering of God who has given us every opportunity to repent and turn back to Him. I may not live to see my words come to pass, but friends — We are running out of time.