Dave Wilkerson, the pastor of Times Square Church in New York City, has spoken out once again concerning God’s impending judgment upon this country.
He has called on Americans to stock food and water in preparation for “an earth-shattering calamity” that will cause even the most godliest among us to tremble. Once again, as he has done several times before, he tells of visions he has experienced in which he has seen New York City burning, as well as other major cities across the United States.
Many have called or written to ask what I think of Wilkerson’s alarming warning.
First, let me say that I have the highest respect for Dave Wilkerson. His track record over the years of service in the Lord’s Kingdom has shown beyond doubt that he is a man mightily anointed by God’s Spirit. The accomplishments of his amazing ministry in New York City are beyond human capability.
And although he is a Pentecostal, he has spent a good portion of his ministry speaking out against the emotional excesses and doctrinal errors of both the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements.
I personally began supporting Dave Wilkerson’s ministry in 1974 and have continued to do so to this day, for 35 years, by sending him a donation each month. It is the only ministry I have supported that long. After the 9/11 attacks, our ministry raised over $30,000 for emergency relief, and we sent all the money to Dave Wilkerson’s church.
For years Wilkerson was the darling of the Pentecostal Movement because of the fame that came his way through his remarkable book, The Cross and the Switchblade — the story of how God worked through him to convert one of the violent gang leaders of New York City.
But in 1974, many Pentecostals and Charismatics washed their hands of him because he published a hard-hitting book called The Vision in which he condemned the sins of America, called the nation to repentance, and warned of God’s coming judgment if we failed to repent. He was immediately condemned as a “doom and gloom” prophet. Those church leaders who were seeking pillow-prophets with only a positive message decided to pull Wilkerson’s books from their church book stores. And the non-Pentecostal and non-Charismatic community wrote him off as some sort of nut case.
Since that time his detractors have harped over and over on two points: 1) His visions concerning America’s destruction have not come true, and 2) There is no need for prophetic words apart from the Bible.
My first response to these criticisms is to point out that seldom ever did the prophecies of biblical prophets come true in their lifetimes. For example, many of the prophecies of Isaiah, such as those pertaining to Babylon, did not come true until 150 years after his death. Some were fulfilled 700 years later during the lifetime of Jesus. And most are still waiting for fulfillment 2,700 years later and will not be fulfilled until Jesus returns.
My second point is that the Bible teaches that God never pours out His wrath on a nation without warning, and He warns in two ways — through prophetic voices and remedial judgments.
I believe Dave Wilkerson is God’s Jeremiah to the United States, and I believe we should pay close attention to his warnings. Wilkerson believes that our nation has reached the critical point where God has decided — because of our continuing stubborn rebellion — to deliver us from judgment to destruction.
The Bible says that in the end times God will give visions to many people, both male and female, young and old (Joel 2:28-29). All such visions must be tested against the Word. The visions God has given to Dave Wilkerson showing our major cities burning, with civil rioting in the streets, do not violate any biblical principle. In fact, such destruction and rioting could be the product of any of the end time scenarios I have outlined for America in my book, America the Beautiful? The United States in Bible Prophecy.
I think Wilkerson’s warnings are biblically sound. I think we should heed his warnings to prepare for the worst, and I believe we should respond to his call to pray as we have never prayed before for our nation and our leaders.
We need to pray also for our churches. We are living on the threshold of the Tribulation. Jesus is at the very gates of Heaven waiting for His Father’s command to return. The signs of the times are shouting from the heavens that our time is short. Yet, the average church is totally oblivious to the fact that we are living on borrowed time. Rather than preaching repentance, the preaching is focused on feel-good themes in response to the desire of people to have their ears tickled.
I am not a Pentecostal or a Charismatic, but I am a person who knows God’s Prophetic Word and how God deals with nations. Dave Wilkerson’s warnings are right on target, and we would be foolish to dismiss them out of hand. I praise God for Wilkerson’s courage to proclaim an unpopular message. He is being crucified in the press — even by Evangelicals. That’s exactly what happened to Jeremiah, except that his people tried to go one step further by attempting to kill him. True prophets are never popular.