Thoughts by Paul:
While it’s never my style to heap praise on an individual, I do want to acknowledge a great man of God when warranted. Even though there were times I really didn’t agree with his harshness or viewpoint, if anyone in recent times fits the description of a ‘prophet’, he did in my mind anyway. He went against the mainstream of religion to say what he felt God wanted him to say, much like the prophets of old. It wasn’t always very popular. More on that further in this writing.
We are inundated with what I would define as ‘false prophets’ today. Just turn on the televison to a religious channel and it doesn’t take long to find one. I’m not saying that all TV evangelists (and their cronies) fit this description, but there are too many who do. This shouldn’t surprise us though based on scripture. As a starter, 2 Timothy 4:3 says: “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” We have an easy ability to gather teachers around us through all the available media channels. And we like to hear positive things that appease our itching ears. Look at the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:24: “For false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
One of my ‘bad habits’ is when I hear about a certain ‘powerful’ ministry, I quite often will go onto their website to see what they are all about. It always amuses me to see how the accolades flow about their own giftings and annointings, usually including a statement like ‘with signs and wonders following’, this being the real clincher as to their special position with God. I’m quite sure they write their own divine statement. Somehow the words of Jesus in John 3:30 stating “he must increase and I must decrease…” eludes these ‘annointed’ ones. Or the fact of God saying that “He won’t share His glory with any man.”
A couple of old testament scriptures reveal the heart of God on this matter of false prophets. Jeremiah 23:26 reads: “This is what the Lord Almighty says; ‘Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.” Lamentations 2:14 reads, “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin…”
David Wilkerson was not afraid to expose sin, both of the nation and of the church. He was never included in the circle of ‘prophets’ that have been so adored here in our nation, primarily because he never catered to the itching ears of the church. He just didn’t always have something wonderful to say that made me feel better. Of course, men like Elijah and Jeremiah and Isaiah didn’t give soothing words that often either.
A word to the wise from the apostle John, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
David Wilkerson’s death reminded me of these deeply rooted thoughts. I salute him for being a faithful servant and voice of God in the midst of a sketchy church world.