Here is David Wilkerson's message that was referred to earlier in this thread:
THE REPROACH OF THE SOLEMN ASSEMBLY
(Transcribed from the tape. Sermon preached at Times Square Church, New York, USA on April 11, 1999)
The message I am going to preach to you this morning, I am afraid, will cause maybe a handful of people never to come back to this church again. I mean it. I am not trying to be theatrical. Its because I know that there are some people who are still in this Body, who come to Times Square Church, who are involved in the kind of thing I am talking about, because they have handed me tapes and books. I know they are involved in the kind of things that I want to expose this morning with the help of the Holy Ghost.
I want to talk to you about The Reproach of the Solemn Assembly.
Lets go to Zephaniah the third chapter. Folks, this is serious business this morning and I want you to pray that the Lord will give me the brokenness to preach this the way He wants it preached - not out of arrogance, but out of brokenness before the Lord. There is something that is burning in my heart. I have been asking God to let me deal with this for a long time. And He has released me to do so this morning.
Zephaniah 3:18. This is an amazing prophecy by the prophet Zephaniah: I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of this was a burden.
Heavenly Father, I know that You have burnt this into my soul, and that Ive got to have a broken spirit and a contrite nature - that this is not preached in any kind of arrogance or self-centredness. Lord, You are going to accomplish a purpose this morning. I ask You to anoint me in a special way. Let the fire of God come forth this morning and ignite the word of the Living God. Dont let any of us try to put away or put off anything that is heard or spoken from this pulpit this morning. Lord, I am asking that You will give me the courage to speak it right and boldly. And I pray Lord that You deal with any of these issues that are in this church this morning that we are dealing with. I pray in Christs Name. Amen.
I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden (Zephaniah 3:18).
Now this is a dual prophecy by Zephaniah. It has to do with the children of Israel (that is Jerusalem) and also with spiritual Zion (which is the church of Jesus Christ of the last day). First of all, he was speaking to Jews that God was going to gather together, who had been dispersed to all the nations. But he was only going to bring back those who had a broken heart for the sad condition of Israel, who carried a burden for restoration, who (were burdened) over the sins of Gods apostate people. And He would remember all who carried the reproach of all the shame, all the blasphemy, all the horrible things that were going on in Gods house - those who shared the burden, all those who were sorrowful and grieving in heart over the condition of the Body. He said, I am going to gather you. And He made great promises to these. Ill show you what they are in a moment.
This prophecy is primarily for the church of Jesus Christ in the last days. In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were called to their festivals for seven days. On the eighth day was the solemn assembly. That was when they put everything aside and focused worship and praise to the Heavenly Father. The Scripture says, On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly. Youll find this solemn assembly all through the Old Testament, representing the congregation that is separated unto God needing to meet the Lord. This is the church of Jesus Christ in the last days.
According to Zephaniah, the house of God in the last days is going to be under reproach. And the Hebrew word here means shame and disgrace. There is going to be shame and disgrace in the house of God. Now, we are not talking about the backward, liberal, modern church. I am not talking about the
. Church the church that has recently taken the cross down saying, Jesus is in all of us and we are the cross! Thats a church that glorifies homosexuality and abortion and is an absolute apostate church. I am not talking about a church where the minister doesnt believe in Christ anymore, doesnt believe in heaven, doesnt believe in hell. I am not talking about the
.Church, the apostate church, the homosexual denomination.
Some of the worst blasphemy in the world is not coming from atheists. It is coming from the pulpits and the pens of backslidden, ungodly preachers. We are not talking about that kind of church. That is not the solemn assembly. So save your grief. I dont shed a tear and I have no burden for that kind of church. The Lord said that on the judgment day, He is going to deal with that kind of church. We can pray for them, but we are not to spend any of our grief on that which is not really the church.
According to Zephaniah, God is looking for a people who will sorrow and grieve over the reproach that is being fostered on the church of Jesus Christ in these last days.
I am talking about the church that was born at Pentecost. I am talking about the church that was born in the teaching of the apostle Paul and the apostles - the church born in the doctrine of the Godhead of Jesus Christ. That church, that born-again church is under attack. That born-again church is suffering reproach.
It has been prophesied that in this day of reproach, of shame and disgrace, God is going to raise up a holy remnant who are going to grieve and weep over this defilement - a people to whom the reproach of it has become to them a burden.
I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, God says, I am going to have a remnant who are not going to sit idly by when all of these things invade the church. I am going to have a people that are not be satisfied with going their merry way and just ignore what is happening, as charlatans and money-mad prophets are coming into the house of God and destroying everything in sight. No. He says, I am going to gather a people who grieve over this. I am going to have a people who have taken this as a burden. Theyre not going to be complacent any more.
If you truly love the Lord and you love His church, you cannot look honestly at what is happening today (and I am going to name these reproaches this morning), and if after you hear what I have to say about this reproach, you can walk out of this church and just say, Well, I just thank God for Matthew 16:18 The gates of hell can not going to prevail against the church - I am not going to worry about it. God has everything under control thats not enough. God uses people to perform His work. He doesnt send angels. Angels weep over it, but God doesnt use angels to accomplish His purposes. He uses burdened, broken-hearted, weeping men and women.
The prophet Joel cried out, Call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God and cry unto the Lord. Alas, for the day of the Lord is at hand. As a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Joel is saying, Judgment is at the door. Jesus is coming. The Day of the Lord is at hand. Wake up elders, wake up pastors, wake up shepherds, take a look at the church. Get the burden. Carry it.
Now, why should we take on the burden of the reproach of the solemn assembly?
Joel said because theres a rotten seed being planted. A gospel is being preached that is withering everything that is in sight. Everything that is green and godly and pure is being withered. He said the seed is rotten under the clods, the corn is withered, the storehouses of the right gospel are barren and desolate. There is a famine of hearing the pure word of the Lord. The cattle (in other words, the sheep, the congregations) are perplexed, because there is no pasture. The flocks are desolate and hungry. The rivers are drying up. A strange fire is devouring the pastures. And if you listen to Ezekiel, he is saying that the shepherds are trampling down the good pastures and eating the best for themselves.
Joel 2:15: He cries, Gather together the congregation, the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep in sorrow. Get the burden. Cry. Pray, O God, spare Your people. Dont give Your holy church to reproach. Dont let the heathen rule over your flock.
Now, what is this reproach of the solemn assembly? What are the shameful, disgraceful things that are happening in the church of Jesus Christ today?
First of all it is the rotten seed that is being preached by covetous shepherds.
This is known as the prosperity gospel. This is one of the greatest reproaches that the church of Jesus Christ has ever perpetuated since Christ. This perverted gospel is poisoning multitudes in China, Africa and all over the world. It is an American gospel invented and spread by rich American evangelists and pastors.
It alarms me that so many people can hear the tapes and see the videos that are coming out of these prosperity conferences and not weep over them, and not get the burden for what is happening to the church. This poison has spread all over the world. Cuba is about to open and they are itching to get in there right now with their prosperity gospel to tell them, "You have been poor enough. Now God wants all Cubans to be rich."
This past week I was given a video-tape, recently recorded this past January in Kenneth Copeland's meetings. And I listened to the speakers and I was dumbfounded.
Folks, if you read the New Testament, you will find that Paul the apostle named those he believed were false prophets. He warned - and he named their names. And I am telling you now, that if you can listen to what I am about to tell you and not be grieved, then you are blind, you are spiritually blind, you have a hard heart.
You know what a hard heart is - a heart with a shield on it - so that the gospel, the pure gospel cannot penetrate it. The mind has been so saturated with this unbalanced gospel that you cannot talk to many of them. You cannot preach the truth. You cannot show them anything else from the Scriptures because they have a shield over their hearts - hardhearted.
Some of you will not receive this. If you have been feeding your soul on Copelands tapes, or Hagins tapes, youll not like what you hear.
But folks, I am a shepherd, I've been called by God. I made this church and this Body a promise: As long as we are in this pulpit, if we saw wolves in sheep's clothing coming to rob the flock, we would stand up and cry out against it. Now, it is up to you to do something about it.
And I say this with a broken heart. I have sat this week and listened to the speakers in the conference and I was so shocked, I was so hurt. Weeping, the burden of the Lord came on me and that is why I am preaching this message.
I quote word for word what was said. First of all, all the speakers could hardly get by because all the people were running up and stuffing their pockets with money. The reason they do that is because of a new doctrine that has just come out that says, "If you want to be blessed, you have to find the most blessed evangelist or pastor you can find because he that has been given much receiveth much. He that has little, even that which he has will be taken from him. You find the most blessed prosperous preacher and if you give him money, then you will be blessed. The more blessed is he who gives to the most blessed. - A pyramid scheme!! If these men were in the secular world, they would be in jail. Ponzi schemes! Pyramid schemes! The man at the top who appears to be the holiest and speaks the loudest - hundreds of people were running up to him until his pockets were bulging. The sinner says, "Is this the free gospel? Is this the gospel - dollar bills?
Listen to what was said. The speaker got up and said, "If a poor widow on welfare hands you five dollars, you better take it. Elijah took the widow's last meal. You are the anointed one, you deserve it, you take it.
The same speaker said, "I live in a 8,000 square-foot house. I am going to build a bigger one now - one that King Solomon would be proud of. I just paid $15,000 for a dog. You see this gorgeous ring on my finger, I was in Jamaica and just paid $32,000 for it. He said, I want you to know that when the people in my town come past my mansion and they see my Rolls Royce sitting in the driveway, they know there is a God in heaven.
Now you tell me thats the gospel! You tell me you can't weep over that!
One of the speakers got up and said, "We made a covenant along with Brother Copeland that for the next year - 365 days - none of us are going to suffer for a single day. We will not know a moment of discouragement. We will never be sick or in need. We are going to enjoy all the blessings. We reject all suffering, all pain, all financial problems."
That is fine if you are on the top of the heap.
Here is what grieves me most. This was preached: The Holy Spirit cant be poured out upon you till first you are in the money flow. Until you are prospering the Holy Ghost cannot do His work.
Think of it. How does this affect you? What does it do to your spirit when you see poor people who are living from pay check to pay check and suddenly he says, "Run for the money and keep on running." And people are running wildly everywhere and they say as they run, "They are claiming the riches".
Then I see people slithering like snakes out of their seats onto the floor. I see the evangelist going up and Hiss, hiss
- hissing like a snake - and people falling everywhere. Folks, what is going on?
The reproach of the solemn assembly! Do you know what the prophet called them? He said theyre "greedy dogs, ungodly watchmen." Folks, if you had the heart of God and the burden of the Lord, you would be crying out with Isaiah, "They are blind watchmen, ignorant, dumb dogs, sleeping, loving to slumber, yea, greedy dogs which can never have enough."
"Ive got 8,000 square foot, but I am going to build one that King Solomon could live in!! - Never getting enough!!
He said, "Shepherds that cannot understand, they all look to their own way, every one for his own gain from his quarter." Jeremiah spared no words. He said, "My people are lost sheep. Their shepherds have caused them to go astray."
Go to Ezekiel 34 please. Listen. You say, "Pastor, you have no right to speak so strongly on this subject." If you think I'm strong, you listen to Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 34,verses 1 through 10: And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD to the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? Ye eat the fat, (Hes talking to shepherds) ye clothe you with the wool.
You take the five dollars from a widow and you buy a 15,000-dollar dog. You take the pay-check from the widow and the poor and you tell them that they do not have enough faith - that that is why they are not prospering. And you take the very wool from off the back of the sheep.
The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost.
You are not after souls, you are after money.
But with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. Tthey were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill. My flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord, As I live, saith the Lord God, Surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not the flock. Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I am against the shepherds and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more, for I will deliver My flock from their mouth that they may not be meat for them any more.
I am going to deliver my flock from the teeth of these men. My God! Help us!
Number Two. The misrepresentation of the blessed Holy Ghost.
What a reproach! This is the worst reproach that should make us fall on our faces the way and the manner in which the Holy Ghost is being represented to the whole world. Sad to say there is so little discernment left in the church among so many pastors and even church leaders, that they dont even know when the Holy Ghost is being misrepresented or blasphemed. There are thousands of Christians who go to church, they go to crusades and healing crusades and they see things that they think is the Holy Ghost and they dont even know. Theyre clapping and theyre praising God, while a man stands there blaspheming and misrepresenting the Holy Ghost - and they dont even know it.
Entire charismatic denominations, including the Assemblies of God, are being torn apart, literally torn apart by pseudo-revivals. All kinds of things are happening. And there is something new being introduced almost every week. And the leaders don't know whether to embrace it or to curse it. They don't know what to do. Pastors write to us. We get letters from hundreds and hundreds of pastors from all over the world. They say, "What is right and what is wrong? Where are the leaders? Where is somebody to tell us?
Today, in what is called Revivals, things are happening that are attributed to the Holy Ghost that cannot be found in Scripture. Anything that cannot be found in this Book has to be rejected outright. It has to be totally rejected.
I weep when I see these videos that are sent to me from all over the country - whole groups of bodies jerking out of control, falling on the floor, laughing hysterically, staggering around like drunkards, rising like snakes, howling like wild animals. We have evangelists who stand and blow upon people to knock them down - as if the breath of the Holy Ghost is now incarnated him. He throws his (designer) jacket at people and says, That is the hand of the Lord.
Now a new gospel has just hit South America. Folks, it is very rude and crude, but I have to tell you. Its the newest thing now.
When you get into this kind of thing, when you get away from the parameters of Scripture, when you just get up and say: "Oh, it is a new thing. God is doing a new thing? I don't understand it. It is not in the Scripture, but I don't want to stand against the Holy Ghost". Folks, if it is not in this Book, you must stand up against it.
And now the "new thing" is that you can't enter the kingdom of God except you come as a little babe. And now the people come with diapers under their outer clothing so that they can defecate and urinate in the meetings! This is the new thing. Folks, where does it end?
A pastor said he heard a preacher the other day say, Is it come down to this, that one day some evangelist stands up and says, I've got a revelation from the Lord. It is time to add Mary to your worship. That is what it is going to come to.
An evangelist calls himself the Holy-Ghost-Bartender. He says, "Belly up to the bar and take a drink of the Holy Ghost." And they call it drinking the new wine. And folks, I hear ringing in my ears the prophet that said, "The day of the Lord is at hand. Wickedness abounds. Weep between the porch and the altar. Put on sackcloth. Fast and mourn for the backsliding of my people."
Jesus is about to come and the masses are unreached. When I see Christians belly up to what is called The Holy Ghost bar, staggering like drunkards, Joels words come to me loud and clear Awake you drunkards, and weep all you who are drinking new wine because the harvest in the fields is perished.
He said, souls are dying by the thousands. All over the world people are dying. What are you laughing about? Anything that is of the Holy Ghost must work anywhere on the face of the earth. You have to be able to take it into the most vile, wicked places. You have got to take it to the poor nations. You have to take it to the dregs of humanity and it has to work there. It can't work just in prosperous America. It has to work everywhere on the face of the earth.
I dare these men to take this gospel, the laughing gospel, into the Balkans now. Go into those refugee camps where wives are crying because they saw their husbands shot. Their daughters have been raped. Their children are hungry. They have lost their homes and they are homeless. Go in there and ask them to "Belly up to the bar. The Holy Ghost wants you to laugh. And this so-called revival is coming to Madison Square Garden (New York) this summer (Summer of 1999). Knowing what you know about the Scripture, carrying the grief and the burden for the solemn assembly, how can you even conceive of embracing such a doctrine?
Let me tell you who is laughing. The world, the ungodly, the heathen. It has become a spectacle. In a time so close to the coming of the Lord, when the church of Jesus Christ ought to be shut away in a secret closet of prayer, where it ought to be weeping for the lost, where it ought to have the desire to forsake all and follow Jesus, where there should never be a mention of the dollar bill - the American god, the American idolatry - we have the world looking at this foolishness. And do you know what they are thinking now? That the Holy Ghost is a Circus-Ringmaster. It is a charismatic circus!
I don't care what anybody thinks any more. I don't care if people drop off the mailing list. I do care for their souls. I care for the fact that many are into this blindness. But I have a duty before God to stand before the congregation that He has called me to minister to and warn you and tell you that these are the reproaches of the solemn assembly. And the Bible says that you are to be sorrowful about it. He said the elders are to be sorrowful about it, the congregation, the pastors, the ministers and the evangelists. And we should be praying down these strongholds.
Finally, the reproach of downgrading depravity in the church.
Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light and light for darkness. They put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
Jeremiah 23:14: I've seen in the prophets a horrible thing. They commit adultery, they walk in lies, they strengthen also the hands of evildoers and none returns from his wickedness.
Let me explain and illustrate: I got a letter this past week from a terribly irate Christian woman. She said, "My husband, who is supposed to be a Christian, is a big time gambler - in the millions." She said, "I've been so concerned with the crowd he is with and the danger he is in. And I thought, I'll urge him to go to the pastor. Brother Wilkerson, you will not believe what happened. I am so angry, I am so hurt and confused. I sent my multi-million-dollar-gambling husband to my pastor. He had heard about this man who had been in the church. I dont know if he was enjoying the tithing of it or what! But he said, I have searched the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation and I can't find one thing in Scripture against gambling. I see no sin in it. Enjoy yourself.' Or words to that effect." She said she was dumbfounded. She said, "How can a man of God say such a thing to my husband?" She estimated that shes just lost him for good.
This is exactly what Jeremiah spoke of. The pastors strengthen the hands of evildoers that none doth return from his wickedness. And he explains why. They have downgraded depravity in their congregation. Why are they calling evil good and good evil; and bitter, sweet and sweet, bitter? Because he said, "The prophets themselves have committed adultery and are walking in lies." Any man that has got sin in his life is not going to get up and talk about sin in the camp, because he is convicted by his own adultery and his own sin in his own evil mind.
I am not painting every minister in the country with this brush. No. The majority of ministers are on fire for God. There are young ministers so clean and so pure in this wicked day and age. I've met many of them and I thank God for them. Even in this city, I've met some of the most righteous preachers I've ever met in my lifetime. And multitudes of ministers feel just like I feel this morning and they are looking and waiting for voices to expose that which is evil.
"If they had stood in My council and had caused My people to hear my words. If they were speaking what I really have in My heart. If they were speaking the mind of God, they should have turned the people away from their evil ways and from the evil of their doings".
You can tell a man of God. You can tell if a man knows the Lord and if he has been shut in with God.
God says, I didnt send them, I didnt speak to them. They speak their own mind, out of their own imagination - out of the evil of their own hearts. They speak a vision of their own heart. I sent them not. I have not spoken to them. They say unto them that despise me, 'The Lord said, "You shall have peace and they say unto every one that walks after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. Dont worry. Everything is OK.
It used to be that sinful men who wanted to appease their conscience, went to the psychiatrist. Now they go to certain churches!
I believe like the Puritans - like the godly, holy Puritan pastors. I quote one: A godly person has to be more deeply concerned, more burdened over the reproach of the church than any other evil in the world. The reproach upon the solemn assembly should be the greatest sorrow to every one that loves Christ and His church. This should be the greatest sorrow in our hearts, these reproaches on His name and on His church.
Now you may be saying Well Pastor Dave, I just dont see it that way. I am of a more positive, mental attitude. Youve got that more prophetic kind of thing like the Old Testament prophets. This may be your thing, but it is not my thing, because I see things brighter. I see the church as a great blessing. I believe God is going to bless His church. I believe the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
I know all of that. I believe it with all of my heart. But what do I do about this Scripture? What do I do about the prophet Zephaniah who said that in the last days God is going to raise up a people and gather them together and they are going to have a sorrowful heart over the conditions. And they are going to bear the reproach. They are going to take the reproach of Christ, they are going to know the heart of God.
You get into the presence of God, you shut yourself in with the Lord in diligent prayer, and He is going to burden your heart. You are going to weep over the condition of the church. He is going to show you the condition. He is going to open your eyes to it. Who is as blind as My Servant? Who is deaf as the messenger I sent. They see many things, but they never observe. In other words, they dont do anything about it. He says, You dont even hear.
Now folks, I want to show you a Scripture that I didnt understand until this past week when the Lord put this message on my heart.
Go to Zephaniah again, the third chapter. I am going to close here in just a moment.
I want to prove to you that this matter of taking on the burden of the reproach of the solemn assembly is so close to the heart of God. It is so much His mind. I fought demonic powers to get to this pulpit this morning to preach this. I had the devil hound me and say, I am going to make you pay for this your health, your family and everything else. I listened to his hundred lies and had to overcome them through faith.
Ill be under attack. But I want you to know that I am on such powerful, Scriptural grounds. And I am telling you right now that while I am preaching, the Lord Jesus Himself is rejoicing and dancing. And when you take your stand, when you take on this burden of the Lord, and you take on that burden by fasting and praying over it, our weapons are mighty through God in pulling down the strongholds. These are strongholds in the church. You have got to stand up. We need to do it corporately, we need to do it privately. Every child of God needs to be praying against this, that God will first open the eyes of the false prophets who are preaching this, open their eyes, deliver them from this snare, and be merciful to them, be kind to them and that everybody that is in this snare will be delivered.
We need to be praying that. But more than that. Dont touch it. Dont go near it. Leave it alone. Because it will grab you if you are not strong in the Lord. You are weak. New believer, if you go in out of curiosity, it will grab you, because it appeals to everything of the flesh. Until you know how to deal with the flesh in the power of the Holy Ghost, stay away from it.
The Puritans said, Grief is the daughter of love. In other words, if you really love Jesus, youre going to share His grief.
Let me show you this scripture in Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord thy God, in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in his love, He will joy over thee with singing. Why? Because He will gather those who are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. He is singing over those who share His burden.
And I stand before you now on a rock without one iota of fear in me. I have delivered the mind of God. And I tell you now in the power of this wonderful word in the prophet Zephaniah The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in his love, He will joy over thee with singing. Why? Because He has found a people who are sorrowful over the things that sorrow His heart, who carry the burden that He carries - the reproach of the solemn assembly.
I tell you in closing, with everything in me. You and I need to be praying that God will raise up leaders, that He will raise up voices, fearless voices, heart-broken voices that have nothing to prove, who stand up against this, because of where it is going to end. And let me tell you where this is going to end. Unless we begin to pray, its going to end in a love-trap. This is what they are saying now. Youll hear these people sound so loving, We love everybody. It doesnt matter what you preach. It doesnt matter whether you are in prosperity. It doesnt matter what your gospel is - or anything else. God is love. Let us all get together and embrace one another.
But God says, "How can two walk together unless they be agreed". How can you walk with them, when you don't agree with their un-Scriptural practices. You cannot. That is a love-trap. They say, "Don't condemn anybody. Don't judge anybody." Oh no, no, no. Thats not what the Bible says. It says we are to judge with righteous judgment and to reprove and reprove with all longsuffering.
I am not on a soap-box. I am on a Rock. God is trying to save you, church.
I dont know what they do with the Scripture where Jesus said, I know you are so poor, but you are really rich. What are the riches of God in Christ Jesus? The peace of God, the wisdom of God, the nearness of Christ. All that is in Christ is ours.
One of the pastors (not at this convention I mentioned), was trying to tell his congregation that that seamless robe of Jesus was one of the most expensive robes you could buy. Isnt that something? He would bring even Jesus in to this doctrine. Folks beware, beware. Have I scared you?
Are you ready to take on the burden of the Lord? You cant do that in your own flesh. You have to do as I have done. I have gone alone with God and I said, Lord, tell me what hurts You. I want to feel Your pain. You know we preach a lot of love and grace and mercy in this church. The time has come now to call a solemn assembly.
Will you stand.
Let me tell you what the invitation is about this morning: If Times Square church is your church and if you believe what I preached this morning, then if youve got any of these tapes or books, get them out of your house. Dont give them away. Burn them. If somebody invites you to go to these things, say, Im sorry. I dont want a famine of the Word. And I dont want my heart to wither and dry. I want the pure word of the Lord that will cause me to grow. I dont want any message that is going to appeal to my flesh, or to foster covetousness in my spirit.
Some of you who are here right now are saying, Brother Wilkerson, Im suffering financially and I need help, I need a miracle. O God does supply.
God is a miracle working God. Yes. But He is going to do it only His way. Not by misappropriating and not by misusing the Scripture, not by taking it out of context, but by preaching a balanced message.
Go and look at all the rich men in the Old Testament, I have listened to them say, Job was rich, Abraham was rich, Solomon was rich, David was rich. These were all men who were rich in the Old Testament.
Well, take a look at Samuel on his donkey. Take a look at other men. Listen to Abraham. He says, I dont want any of this. I am looking for a city whose Builder and Maker is God.
I dont want a big house down here. I dont want all these things. I am looking to get home. Im looking to be with my Saviour and my Lord. Hallelujah.
Heavenly Father, You have truly borne me up this morning. Otherwise I would have been weak-kneed, and not been able to stand. I thank you Holy Spirit. Lord, if there has been one word I have spoken out of order, forgive me and cleanse me. But Lord, I thank You for the Word. I believe in my heart that You rejoice, when we take a stand against those things that grieve Your heart, things that are so contrary to the Word of the Lord and contrary to Scripture. Lord, if we get away from Scripture we are on dangerous ground. Lord, keep us in the Word. Lord, keep us fastened to the Word of God. Let us dig deep until we have discernment and we know what is right and what is wrong. Lord, give us pastors and shepherds who will take a stand and who will keep their flock, Lord, from being swallowed up by wolves in sheeps clothing.
Now I am going to give an invitation this morning for those who first of all have a backslidden heart, who say, Pastor Dave, I dont have the fire burning in my heart. If I have preached the word of the Lord this morning, He will confirm it. And the way He confirms it is by bringing conviction to your heart. First of all He will convict you on the word that you heard. If you have been lusting after a gospel that would give you the keys to get rich, or to be prosperous, I am telling you, you need to repent. If your heart has been going out to that kind of thing, I have tried faith. I have tried everything, I have got to get something in my hand now to teach me or show me how to get money. If money is the object, if prosperity is the object, you have missed the cross, you have missed the gospel. You have got to repent. Come up here and repent say, God forgive me. I am going to keep my eyes on Jesus, and on the cross. And come what may, I am not going to go that way.
We have had a number walk out. I am sorry for that. But you are here and God is doing something. And sometimes still waters run the deepest. And He is doing a deep work in our hearts of conviction and speaking to us. He is speaking to me - to get rid of my timidity, to speak prophetically when He speaks, and not to be ashamed to expose what is evil.
I am asking everybody in this congregation if you are not right with God, if there is a coldness in your heart, or if you are not saved, to come forward. I want you to say right now, I dont want to be deceived by the devil. There may be other kinds of deception - somebody talking to you on the phone, trying to either gossip to you or speak some word of death that gets into your ear and into your heart and your mind. Say, O God, I dont receive this. I come now and I repent. Give me clean ears. Give me a clean heart.
If there is sin in your life that has bound you, say, I want to be free from this sin. Nobody needs to know what it is. Come because the Holy Ghost draws you. The Lord wants to change your life. He wants to work the miracle in your life that you have been praying for - a freedom and deliverance from lust, freedom and deliverance from false doctrine, and to strengthen you in the Lord. If you feel you are weak this morning, you need to be strengthened by the Holy Ghost.
Come. The Holy Spirit is here to meet every need thats in your life - every need in your body, soul and spirit. He is here to minister to you. I cant minister to you. The Holy Spirit has to do that. The Holy Spirit has to do the work and He is here. He is willing and He is waiting right now for you to give Him your confidence and your faith. Thats all He is asking of you right now to believe that if you confess your sins, He will forgive you, that He hears the cry of your heart and sees your sincere desire to follow Him. If you cry out now for power to live the overcoming life, He will give you that power. That is the work and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible says, He who has begun a good work in you, will finish it. Hell continue it and Hell finish it till the day of the Lord. He is going to keep you till Jesus comes. Isnt that wonderful? Say this, The Holy Ghost is going to keep me until Jesus comes.
I want you to pray with me this prayer from the innermost part of your being:
Jesus, I come to you now in my need. I cant solve my problems. I cant forgive myself. I cant change myself, but You can change me. You can forgive me. You can give me a new heart. Lord I confess that I need You. I confess that I cant make it on my own. And I give You my heart, my sins, my doubts, my backslidings, my lust, I give it all. Now Holy Spirit, I believe the word. The word tells me that if I will believe and call on the Holy Ghost, He will come and inhabit my body and give me power to live for Christ and to overcome the dominion of sin. I believe and I receive. Now in the name of the Lord Jesus, Im secure in Christ, according to His holy Word.
Now let me pray for you:
Father I pray that you break the chains that bind. I come against every spirit of lust, every habit that is evil, everything unlike You Jesus, and every preoccupation with self. Lord I come against false doctrines. I come against those doctrines that lay hold of the mind that cause people to believe a lie to be the truth. I bind that in the Name of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Lord, take down the shield that has covered the hard hearts and Lord, soften their hearts. Give them a heart of flesh. Let the sword of the Lord and the arrows of the truth penetrate their hearts and bring healing. Take out the poison of the system now, Lord. And Father, we pray for Your church. Lord, we know You are going to prevail, we know there is going to be a glorious church that will come forth without spot or wrinkle. We know the devil will never defeat Gods eternal purposes. Lord Jesus, give us the burden of the Lord. Let us carry this burden, because You said, I will gather them that sorrow for these things. Lord, we ask You for that godly sorrow. And even in sorrow we rejoice. We have that rejoicing because we know that You are going to prevail against all that is unlike You in Your house. Lord we love Your church, because it is Your body. And we love it and we pray for it. And Lord, we will stand with You in it. God, give this church that burden we pray. Let Times Square church be a church that carries the burden of the Lord. Hallelujah, thank you Jesus.
Give the Lord thanks.
(For private circulation only)
Copyright © 1999 - World Challenge, Inc., Lindale, TX, USA
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