BY: David Wilkerson
Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the twin towers of New York City were
destroyed. Five days later right outside the door, you can still see the
smoke pouring out of the ruins. I looked out my window because when I
prepared this message in my study I overlook the whole scene and the smoke
this morning was drifting over the Statue of Liberty and all over New
I stood there last night weeping and begging God for mercy. Mercy for the grieving families who lost loved one. Mercy for those still digging in the ruins, retrieving bodies and mostly body parts. Mercy on the workers, the police, the fireman, the volunteers who openly weep at the indescribable destruction.
Times Square Church was given a site at ground zero. Pastor Carter tells me that the tents were put there? This church was the closest to ground zero and to the disaster. Workers were working and are still working 24-hours around the clock and still working, feeding and ministering and being there in this time of horror.
But you see, Times Square Church was warned a calamity was coming. We are now in the seventh week of a visitation of the Holy Spirit and if you have been coming to this church you know that even weeks before that the Holy Spirit moved on the pastoral staff here to cancel everything.
We cancelled the Mission's Conference, we cancelled the Youth Conventions, and we cancelled every speaker. We cancelled everything to come and call this body to prayer. We started with two weeks of prayer and those weeks of meetings continue this week again. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and stopping only when God says to stop.
But something indescribable has been happening in this church in this past seven weeks. Every service, as you witness today, a holy hush, a silence from the throne has come to this auditorium. There was one night when we sat for one hour in total silence and nobody could move. I remember putting my hands on my knees to stop them from trembling because of the awesome pres ence of God.
As the pastors began to pray and you remember if you've been here, you've seen the pastors weeping and wailing. I've seen pastor Neil laying here crying out to God. We were repenting. We were crying out to God and then the Holy Spirit spoke clearly that it was happening because a tragedy was coming, a calamity was coming to this city and to the nation and we didn't know what it was. Suddenly a calamity struck the nation and especially here in New York City.
One network anchorman said this, and I quote him, "Just think of it. Our two symbols of power and prosperity have been smitten in one hour." He didn't know he was quoting from Revelation 18:10, "Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come."
One of the police officers from this church who is working at this site spoke with us, the pastors, on Friday night and he said his fellow officers who know he's a Christian are asking, "What's this all about?" Police officers and fireman are sitting down and just weeping and crying like children. Others are being asked now, "Where is God in all of this? Where is God?"
There's a lady from this church who moved to California, she was active in this church, and I know her by name. She's been gone about two years, she attends a church in California and she called this week, yesterday I believe it was, to a sister here in this church who then called me and said, "Please tell the pastors of the church to keep on warning and preparing the people because since I sat under ministers who were warning I was prepared and ready. Everybody in the church where I attend now is losing it. Everyone is weeping and they are going to the pastors saying, why didn't you warn us? Why didn't you prepare us?"
She said, "Please don't stop warning."
Now understand where God is in this calamity. You've got to absolutely believe in this book. You have to put everything - all your faith in what God says in His book. Not experts, not those who are called "the talking heads on television or radio" no, what God's word says! If you are ready to hear that we'll begin to understand where God is in all of this.
I can assure you God wasn't taken by surprise. I can assure you that every thought of man is known by the heavenly Father. He reads every thought. Every ruler, every despot, every terrorist - God knows when he sits down, when he rises, he knows where they are at.
Very soon they'll be in hell because God deals with them. He knows every thought. Nothing on the face of the earth is done without His knowledge, without His permission and even sometimes by His doing.
Years ago, in 1973, God gave me a prophetic word called, The Vision. I distributed it in a book and when the Lord gave me that vision is was so frightful I begged with God, "Please, I can't deliver this word without some hope." You've got to give me some hope. I feel hopeless by what I see coming. If you want me to, you have to give me something. And the Lord did. It was five words, "God has everything under control."
Having received that word is the only way I could release the message. I say again today, God has everything under control.
Now if you are a praying, Bible believer, you know instinctively in your heart that God is trying to speak to this nation and the world through this. God is trying to send us a message. Theologians and pastors all over the country even around the world are saying to their congregations, "God had nothing to do with these calamities. God would not allow such a thing to happen."
Because of that thinking and because of that preaching, we are quickly losing the message and missing what God is trying to say. We are missing it.
Beloved, we need a word from heaven. I've wept and grieved just as others have but deep within I've experienced this week a deeper grief than just those who have been lost in this catastrophe. I'm going to show you how God weeps. I'll show you how God grieves over it and I'll show you how God has no pleasure in the death of anybody.
It's the grief that if we miss the message He's trying to proclaim to us, if we turn a deaf ear to what God is loudly proclaiming, much worse is in store for us.
I found the word of God, the prophet in Isaiah spoke directly to what is happening today, right now. He spoke clearly to this experience. If anyone here objects to my using and Old Testament story as an example of God's work today then you need to be reminded of what Paul the apostle said.
"Now all these things? (In other words, everything that happened in the Old Testament, happened unto them for examples)? they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the worlds are come."
Isaiah went through a similar experience in his nation. So similar that it's similar yet we get from it how God moves in times like this.
For nearly 250 years God patiently dealt with Israel. Patiently wooing and sending light afflictions, as they were called at first. Light afflictions, trying to woo back into his blessing and into His favour and into His love.
They were called to humble themselves before the almighty hand of God. All the prophets came to them speaking the same word, humble yourself. Turn from your wickedness, turn from your wicked ways. But the scripture says instead they served idols. That the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah by all the prophets saying, "Turn ye from your evil ways. Keep my commandments and my statues. They would not hearken but they've hardened their necks."
This chosen nation, this so blessed nation of God, was called to repentance. Instead they began to mock their prophets. They began to follow vanity, they became vain, and they left all the commandments of the Lord their God. They sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel.
God sent wake-up calls to Israel. One of the first was the Assyrian invasion of two provinces, Zebulon and Naphtali. Only the coast was touched in two places. This was the first wake-up God gave to Israel.
Suddenly Israel lost its sense of security. It had never happened in this measure before. But it was limited damage. Their heartland wasn't touched. It was limited to two places. But in it, God was speaking to Israel and Israel missed the message. Israel was given a second wake-up call and this one was very damaging, very severe. Isaiah makes it very clear, and I'll show it to you in just a minute where it's located, that the enemies of Israel, they were called the enemies of Israel, Assyria and the Philistines - combined their forces and suddenly attacked Israel. The attack is said to have come from before and behind. From the east and from the west.
Now we come to the heart of what I want to talk to you about. Where was God in the sudden invasion of his chosen land of Israel?
I'm going to go to the word and I'm going to show you from the 9th chapter of Isaiah, the prophet Isaiah. I want you to look at verse 8 with me please. In the midst of all of this turmoil and chastening by the hand of God - verse 8. "The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel."
Look at me please. Never in the history of mankind has God left his people clueless during a time of disaster. Never. He's never left us clueless. He's never left us trying to figure it out on our own. He's always given an understanding.
God spoke to his people in a time of calamity. Even now while I stand here God is raising up prophetic messages today in pulpits all across America and around the world. They are preaching just what I'm preaching to you this morning.
I received a call from a pastor, a friend of mine from the West, last night. He said, "Pastor Dave, I have to deliver a message tomorrow to my people and I'm scared to death. It's so against what everybody seems to be telling people today. I'm scared to death and I want to run it by you."
When he ran it by me I said, "Well my friend, that's what I'm preaching tomorrow."
All over the country because these men have heard from God and they weep and they grieve, they repent, but still they know that they have to proclaim what God's word says and to bring the message home to our hearts.
I'm going to give you a word that I don't think? I really don't want to hear, in my flesh, and most of you don't want to hear. It's going to sound heartless to some and cruel and untimely and like unkindness in a time of grieving. But if we don't hear it, if we don't face it, the nation is doomed. Absolutely doomed.
"Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together" (Isaiah 9:11)
"For the people turned not unto him that smite them, neither do they seek the Lord of hosts." (Verse 13)
The Lord himself set up the adversaries. The people did not turn unto him that smite.
Now let me tell you what God uses. For Israel during Isaiah's time God used the enemies of Israel to rod, to chasten and warn them to repent. God had to use it as a last resort to bring them back into his heart; to bring back the blessing and to destroy their enemies and to put up walls of protection.
You read Isaiah 5. He said because of the sin God let the walls down. God used Assyria - let me read it to you - as a rod to correct Israel.
"Oh Assyria, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is my indignation. The weapons in their hand are my indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets." (Isaiah 10:5, 6)
He said, I'm going to take an evil nation and I'm going to use it as a rod, as a last resort to bring my people to repentance and to my heart. I make provisions and I provide for it and I protect it but they've turned their backs upon me. As soon as he was finished with Assyria, he destroyed it.
Now let me tell you what is going to happen to the terrorists.
Please look at chapter ten, Isaiah 10, verses 12 through 15.
God is saying, yes, now you've lifted yourself with pride and now I'm going to destroy you.
I can assure you that it won't be long until everyone is in hell. God is going to do it. God himself is going to deal - in some miraculous way He will deal with all these adversaries and the terrorists. You can mark it down. God will deal with this. God will deal with it.
Suddenly as the Assyrians come and God in his love is chastening Israel, suddenly the buildings are collapsing. The Bible says in chapter 9, verse10, the bricks are falling down. Look at it, "The bricks are fallen down, thy sycamores are cut down but we will change them into cedars." In fact, the forests were on fire, buildings were on fire. Israel was in flames.
But I ask you a question, now listen to me closely please. Did Israel repent? Is there any national acknowledgement that God was warning? Did any of those who were rulers seek God in the calamity?
No, because it's very clear from the Scripture the initial fear gave way to a flood tide of national pride.
Look at verse 9: "And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria [you see, this is the heartland] that say in the pride and stoutness of heart." The word "stoutness" there in Hebrew is "a sense of greatness".
A sense of greatness in their pride and a sense of greatness of heart and they are saying the bricks are falling down but we will build with huge stones.
"The bricks are fallen down, thy sycamores are cut down but we will change them into cedars."
Here's what they were saying by their actions and listen closely please. These calamities are just fate. An unfortunate disaster that can't be explained. "Aw, but we're a great people. We're a mighty nation unbending. We are proud people. Let the world know we will build it up bigger and better. Where there were bricks we will rebuild with impregnable stones. Where there was cheap construction destroyed, the sycamores will build with better materials. We'll build with cedar. We are a blessed nation, proud and powerful. We will come through this trouble better than ever."
But you see, no one was asking, "Is God saying something to us? Is God trying to speak to us?"
Does this sound familiar? God himself sent a covert chastisement on Israel to wake them up and to bring them back to himself to protect them but they don't even once acknowledge His working in it. They don't heed the message.
But they use this disastrous occasion to defy the very thought that such a proud, great nation could ever be humbled or chastened by God.
Now folks, I thank God for a moral President. We prayed for him before this happened. Remember we were pleading and interceding, "God give wisdom to this President. God something is about to happen. Give him wisdom."
We have prayed and interceded for him. Thank God for the Christians in high places. Thank God that, at least temporarily, there is a turning to prayer around the nation and around the world.
Do you remember the Gulf War? Do you remember how packed all the churches were in New York? Do you remember a whole three days of prayer? Then the next week New York City came apart with parties?
Do you remember? A whole nation called to prayer. Thank God President Bush, Sr., spent the night with Billy Graham on his knees and that's probably why it was successful in that occasion.
Thank God for people who are sober and beginning to re-think their lifestyle. And we're to pray for our leaders and thank God we live in a land of freedom but still we're missing the message.
We have moments of silence and we call that repentance? We see politicians on the steps of the government building singing "God Bless America" and we call that turning back to God?
We applaud the NFL for calling for a moment of silence at halftime and we call that a spiritual experience. Is that all that's going to come out of it? One moment of silence and back to the painted faces, back to jugging beer and screaming for their favourite team?
Back to sitting in front of the television laughing with Leno?
This morning I turned on the radio to hear what was happening and they were re-playing as the Senators and Congressman on the Congressional Building steps were singing, "God Bless America, stand beside us, lead us, guide us?"
I wept and cried, I could hardly stand it because God was saying, "David, don't you understand? There's only a handful that believe that. These are the same men that have ruled me out of their society. They are trying to remove my name from the schoolbooks. They have aborted babies. And now they're singing God stand beside us!"
These politicians pontificating about God now. The very ones that are protecting abortion rights.
You see when a nation is under divine correction it will do one of two things. It will humble itself as did Nineveh or it will give God lip service and then turn to it's own strength and power to rise above the correction.
The cry is rising now, "We have the strength and the power, the ability, the resolve to endure any disaster because we're a proud and great nation."
Now thank God for patriotism. Thank God for the American flag. I thank God for the temporary national unity and folks, that's what it is. It's temporary.
I thank God for the incredible heroic efforts and sacrifices we've witnessed. The world wonders at the fortitude and love of the New Yorkers in this time, and the Americans in general, in Washington, D.C. and everywhere. But folks, we face now the same danger of missing God's message, as did Israel.
We're at the same crossroad now that Isaiah spoke of.
If you and I lived in Jerusalem and Judah at the time of this prophet, I have a sense that many of us would have walked out on him. We wouldn't have listened. We wouldn't have heeded it because the nation refused to believe that Jerusalem, their favourite city, or the nation of Judah could be brought low. And here comes Isaiah preaching while all the false prophets were preaching peace.
He said, "Shall not God as he has done to Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?"
He said, "What makes you think you're exempt Jerusalem? " Don't you know that I have just destroyed nations all around you for their idolatry? This same idolatry that you are practicing?
And he comes now with this message, "Shall not God as he has done to Samaria and her idols, so do also to Jerusalem and her idols?" What makes you think your nation is exempt?
All across America now we hear of prayer and remembrance meetings. Prayer and remembrance.
Now folks, we've got to remember those who died. That's scriptural, that's honourable. Thank God for what's happening. But why do we find it so impossible to call for prayer and repentance meetings? Why?
Is it remembrance and revenge? This has to be dealt with. I'm for that 100%.
But where is the call for turning back to God in America? Where is the call? Where is anyone hearing the message? Let me give you the message God is trumpeting. Time is running out.
I've sent you prophets and watchmen. You've been warned over and again. I prospered you above all nations. I endured your worship of gold and silver. I endured your shameless sensuality. I endured your mockery, your continuous shedding of innocent blood and murdering of babies. I've endured your timeless efforts to eradicate my name, even from your history books.
Now I've stricken in hopes of saving you, that you would repent and turn from your wicked ways so that I could heal your land and I will destroy your enemies.
Now folks, show me where that's not scriptural. Prove to me from God's word that He will not judge America as He's judged Sodom, Rome, Greece and now Russia.
I just returned from Russia a few months ago and walking through St. Petersburg and Moscow I was shocked at the total depression. The average wage is $50 a month. Nothing but broken down infrastructures. Everywhere men are lying on the streets drunk on cheap vodka. Drug addicts everywhere now. Such devastation.
I broke down in front of the ministers and wept and wailed.
We met at a hockey arena in Moscow because they tried to out rule God out of their society. They went down the same road we're going down and God said, "That's enough." Russia is under severe judgment. He's turned it into a Third World nation.
Here's the message from the prophet Ezekiel.
"Cast away from you all your transgressions whereby you have transgressed. Make you a new heart, a new spirit, for why would you die, O house of Israel? I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, says the Lord God. Wherefore turn yourselves and live."
Folks, God knows the pain and sorrow of the death of the innocent. Who could be more innocent than his own son? Who is more innocent? God laid the sins of the whole world on the back of his own Son and let wicked men kill him! So don't tell me that He's not a feeling God. That He doesn't feel pain.
He said, "I take no pleasure in this?"
And I'll tell you why God bottles tears because they are his own tears He's retrieving. He weeps through those who are His beloved children. Every tear you shed as a believer in Jesus, and lover of Christ, those are the tears of God. Jesus is still a man and he weeps and He weeps through His children. It's the only evidence He can give.
I tell you now, Jesus has been weeping. God pity's and He weeps but his justice and his righteousness force Him to restrain his pity and carry out righteous judgments as a last resort. His justice demands that He lay these sins on His son and that an innocent son of God would die.
Oh yes, so many innocent people have died. Not that there was personal judgment on them. Many righteous died. But God's trying to save a nation.
Now what's going to happen if this nation misses the message and we don't turn back to the Lord? The window of opportunity is very short now. What's going to happen if abortion continues and we end up killing born babies for research purposes?
If we continue rubbing the precious name of Jesus out of our American history? That's what they're trying to do now. All of the schoolbooks are being re-written, the majority of schoolbooks are being re-written to remove God's name from American history. Right now.
What happens if we re-build bigger and better only to enrich ourselves even more? And all the talk I hear now is that somebody is going to build the towers bigger and better than ever.
What's going to happen if we don't trust God now instead of trusting our armed might?
Let me answer that question, not out of my own heart, not out of speculation, but the word of Isaiah clearly tells us what follows the rejection of His call to repentance and turning to pride and boasting of greatness.
The Bible says there will be devouring fire mounting to the heavens, darkness over the land, national disunity, a stricken economy, every man out for him self to survive.
Now listen to the scripture. "For wickedness burns as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. "Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother." (Isaiah 9:18, 19)
It will be every man for himself.
"He shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry?"
God's going to touch the economy.
"And he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm." (Verse 20)
That means he's going to protect his little world and God help you if you try to get near the flesh of his own arm.
Let me read to you a message I delivered from this pulpit. It was September 7, 1992. It's entitled, "A Prophetic Warning to New York City". Some of you where here, perhaps, in 1992. Let me read this. This is from this very pulpit.
Right now, I believe God is speaking a warning to New York City and I wrestled with His severe word as I prepared this message and I prayed, Lord, is this really going to happen?
Again and again I heard this still small voice, "Preach it and warn the people. Those who want the truth will receive it."
This warning is not meant to scare you. It's meant only for you to take to the Lord and pray. This is what I believe the Lord has shown me.
Thirty days of chastisement will fall on New York City such as the world has never seen. God's going to let down the walls. Unimaginable violence, looting, a thousand fires will be burning at the same time throughout the city and it's Burroughs.
Times Square will be ablaze and the flames that ascend into the heaven will be seen for miles. Fire trucks will not be able to handle it all. Trains and buses will be shut down. Billions of dollars will be lost. Broadway shows will stop completely. It will cause businesses to flee the city in an unstoppable haemorrhage.
The violence will be ferocious. It will shock the whole world. Our streets will be lined not just with National Guard but the militia. The Los Angeles fires were confined to a few sections of their city but New York will be ablaze and its Burroughs.
Such things are expected in Third World countries but not in a civilized nation like the United States. Yet in not too long a time afterward New York City will go bankrupt. The city's Queen city will be cast into the dirt. A city of poverty.
You ask, when will all this happen? All I can say is, I believe I will be here when it happens. When it happens, no matter where we are, in your apartment or on the job, God's people are not to panic or fear."
I've been asked - so many calls in our Texas office. "Brother Dave, the web sites are covering this all over the United States. Is this what you saw?"
My answer is, "No, it's not. Not at all."
What I see is far more, far more severe. The heartland won't be spared. Because you see, if we turn away from God now, if we don't have voices rising, then this is what happened to Israel. The whole nation came under economic collapse.
You see I don't like to hear this. Folks, we didn't want to hear it then [in 1992] and it's happened and now we weep.
You say, "Well can't any of this be avoided?"
Absolutely yes. Yes!
If this President proves to be a Josiah, a man who sought the Lord with all his heart according to God's pattern or the tracks of the Holy Spirit we may be given a reprieve for as long as we have a godly man who does not turn to the right or to the left but completely trembles at the word of God.
Turn to 2 Kings and I'll give you that hope if you will. If you want to know what to pray about, folks, this is it. Pray that God will cause President Bush to tremble at the word of God, that he will stay on his knees and not be turned aside by advisors.
God said, as long as you are in power, as long as you weep before me, as long as you don't turn to the right or to the left, as long as you tremble at my word, you will not see what is coming. It will not come under your rule. It will not come in your time.
My prayer is that we would pray that desperately and event his morning before we close this service, to call this church to pray that God give the spirit of Josiah in the White House.
Our Attorney General Ashcroft is a Pentecostal believer full of the Holy Spirit. There are prayer meetings every day in the White House. We need to plead with God that the spirit of Josiah, the same spirit that rested on him?
Folks, not that we should be afraid of what is coming but to give us some time to evangelise. There seems to be a visitation of the Holy Spirit that is running in parallel with these judgments. There seems to be God speaking all over the land.
Churches in Dallas, churches in Denver are being packed with people. This is happening even before? Prayer meetings? and these are the Christians; these are the believers that are coming together. There's a temporary pull and call among those who are not believers.
But folks, this is the hope and here's what the prophet Zechariah said, "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, turn ye unto me, saith the Lord, and I will turn to you."
... God said if you would just turn.
We can't reach the world from this pulpit. But you see, yes, I pray that the nation repents. But my most intense prayer is for my own heart. Lord, let me be holy turned to you. Let me have a repentant heart. Let me judge my sins that I may not be judged before the throne. I'm not looking at somebody else.
Folks, you can't find anywhere in this particular thing where God blamed sinners. He didn't blame homosexuals, he didn't blame those. He said it's because of your pride and your cry of greatness. In your troubled times and in your grief you didn't turn to me with all your heart. You didn't come against yours sins but you turned to your own strength and you turned because you were wounded in pride. Your pride rose up.
God says, if you will turn to me with all your heart I will repent of what I had planned for you.
We can't repent for the rest of New York but we can repent for ourselves and our repentance this morning can rise to high heaven and touch the throne of God. We can move the heart of God I believe that with everything in us.
Folks, listen to me please. We want to remember in prayer our President. President Bush, when he was a candidate, one of his first speeches was given at our Teen Challenge Centre in Lubbock. We have a copy of his speech and he said, "I was an alcoholic and Jesus saved me not only from alcoholism but from sin. I've given my heart to Jesus Christ."
Now folks, we're to pray for our leaders even if they were evil. How much more for those that have been placed in the power and such a strategic time? You may not agree with his politics but folks, if you're a Christian, forget politics right now and let's lay hold of God.
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