By David Wilkerson
I am convinced the Lord is trying to break through to his people as never before. As Scripture predicts, the devil has come down with great wrath, knowing his time is short. And right now God’s people need a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, a supernatural touch even greater than the one at Pentecost.
Think of it: Jesus’ followers at Pentecost didn’t have to fear nuclear weapons. They didn’t face gay marriages in mainstream society. They didn’t tremble as the brink of collapse. It is clear we need Holy Ghost power to face these last days, it’s that simple.
Indeed, the cry that’s called for today was heard in Isaiah’s day: “0 that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence…to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!… For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, 0 God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him” (Isaiah 64:1, 2-4).
Where did this cry come from? It was uttered by a prophet grieving over the lethargy of God’s people, a man who knew clearly what was needed: a supernatural visitation from the Lord. Isaiah was saying, “Lord, we can’t go on as we have, with the same dead religious routine. We need a touch from you like we’ve never known.”
This cry came during a time of powerful prophetic preaching.
Isaiah’s prophetic messages were heard throughout the nation. It was a time of great religious gatherings, complete with choirs and orchestras and people filling the synagogues. The people were well versed in the Scriptures and kept all the ordinances of the church. Yet, in spite of all this activity; all the teaching, pageantry and good works, the atmosphere in the synagogues was dead. Doing God’s work had become drudgery to the people, for one reason: There was nothing of his presence in their rituals.
The prophet Micah spoke for God: “0 my people, what have I done unto thee? And wherein have I wearied thee? Testify against me” (Micah 6:3). The Lord was prodding his church, “Tell me, what have I done to weary you? I challenge you to testify of what I did to cause your lethargy.”
As Isaiah looked around the lifeless church, he was moved to say, “There is that calleth upon thy stirreth up himself to take hold of thee…. Thy holy cities are a wilderness” (Isaiah 64:7, 10). Essentially, Isaiah was saying, “Lord, you’ve blessed us with good teachers, music and programs. But we don’t have your presence, your fire, your Holy Ghost power. I see no one calling out to you. Lord, rend the heavens, come down and give us your touch.”
Beloved, I suggest to you: What a picture of Christ’s church today. We have been blessed with more tools for evangelism than any other generation. We have more media outlets’for the gospel �more books, web sites, TV and radio shows; than ever before. And now ministers and congregations are more educated than ever. We have more knowledge about the Bible, humankind and ourselves than at any time in history.
Yet in nation after nation, a Christian can walk into a Bible-believing church and come away without experiencing the presence of Jesus. It is still rare to come out of a service saying, “I was revived, made alive again, by being in God’s house.” Simply put, there is very little Holy Spirit power operating in much of the church. In my opinion, we are missing Isaiah’s cry: “Lord, reveal yourself. Touch your people once more.”
Centuries later, the same cry was heard among another remnant.
The same cry was uttered by 120 believers who had gathered in a rented room in Jerusalem. It was a time much like Isaiah’s day, a period of great religious observance, with multitudes flocking to the temple from all over Israel. There was great pageantry, and the synagogues teemed with religious people. Yet these assemblies were lifeless. The people were going through the motions, merely observing the rituals.
You may wonder, “How could this be? This was the generation that had sat under the fiery preaching of John the Baptist. It was a generation that had beheld God in flesh “Jesus” walking among them, working miracles.” Yet they were lifeless, dry, and empty.
Jesus himself had wept over these highly religious people. He cried, “You have the very appearance of godliness, and you go about doing charitable things. But inside you’re dead. You are devout in your rituals, but in your hearts there is no life at all.” They weren’t stirred by the signs and wonders Jesus performed. They weren’t moved when he cast out demons, freeing people who had suffered demonic bondage for years. In the end, they rejected him, turning away from God’s offer of grace.
Yet the Lord never gave up on his people. Jesus prophesied to his 120 disciples, “I am going to rain down my Spirit on all flesh.” To prepare them for this, he instructed, “Go to Jerusalem and tarry there until I come.”
Christ’s message to his followers was essentially this: “When you’re together, fire is going to fall on the whole gathering, and your hearts will melt. My supernatural fire is going to remove all mountains � in your neighbors, your fellow Jews and in all nations. Mountains of hardness and unbelief will dissolve, with thousands saved in one hour. The very mention of my name will convict and convince multitudes.”
As those 120 disciples gathered faithfully at the Upper Room, they weren’t just waiting for a date on the calendar. The Bible says, “They were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). This means they had come together as one body for one purpose: with the hope of seeing Jesus’ promise fulfilled. Their cry was the same as in Isaiah’s day: “Lord, rend the heavens and come down. Let all mountains of opposition, human and demonic, melt at your presence, so the lost may be saved.”
We know what happened: The Holy Ghost fell, with visible fire appearing on the disciples’ heads. This holy outpouring took them to the streets of Jerusalem, where thousands of lifeless religious people saw and heard what was happening. Immediately the Spirit fell on that crowd, melting every mountain of opposition. Peter stood up to preach, and suddenly those who had rejected Jesus, masses who had hardened their hearts, melted at the mention of Christ’s name. And 3,000 people cried out to be saved.
Consider what God was doing in that moment. All around the world at that time, there were wars, uprisings, empires invading nations, a time of great darkness. Multiple millions were busy with commerce, as cargo ships and trade caravans traversed the globe. Yet God’s interest and focus was on 120 humble, praying saints gathered in a small, rented room. What does this tell us?
Simply put, when God strikes a match, there must be kindling for it to catch fire. As his Spirit blew on those saints at Pentecost, a flickering flame became a fire that soon would cover the whole earth.
Once again, the same cry is rising all over the world today.
Our Lord has a holy remnant in every nation. And right now he is preparing a people who have stirred themselves to lay hold of him. In small churches and gatherings all over the globe, in China, India, Europe, Africa, North and South America, a cry is rising, and it’s getting more intense: “Oh, God, tear open the heavens and come down. Send your Holy Ghost fire. Melt away all flesh and manifest your presence.”
They know that Jesus’ words to his disciples apply to them as well: “My Spirit will change everything, in a moment’s time. All mountains of hardness and unbelief will melt away, and everyone who has stood against you will now come flocking.” When this happens, there will be no advertising of the event, no TV cameras, no featured evangelist, no organizers staging a “revival.” Instead, there will be only a desperate, hungry people waiting on the Lord to reveal himself in his glory and saving power.
God’s people know he is the only sustaining source in these troubling times, and soon the world is going to know it. As the economy sinks deeper worldwide, as Iran and Russia become more threatening, and global calamities occur, people won’t tolerate a message of self-fulfillment. They’ll demand to know the reality of God in a world spinning out of control.
And the promise that God gave to Isaiah applies today as well: “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, 0 God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him” (Isaiah 64:4, my italics). God is going to do new and fresh things, things unheard of before, things even his people couldn’t perceive. And `Paul says we are going to experience these wondrous things: “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:10).
Who will receive this promised outpouring? “(Them) that waiteth for him.” The word for “wait” here means “bind together,” “gather together.” In this case, God’s people are gathered together and bound together in one purpose, holding onto one promise: that he will come down with his presence and melt all hearts.
Already, there are evidences God is rending the heavens and coming down by his Spirit.
In addition to the growing hunger I see in Christ’s body, here are other evidences:
1. There is an outbreak of gladness even as things grow darker.
Here is one of the surest evidences the Holy Spirit has begun to move supernaturally. A spirit of joy breaks out over God’s people, and they praise him triumphantly in the midst of dark times:
“Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness” (Isaiah 64:5).
This joy is going to be the source of our strength in the days to come. Our ministry receives reports from all over the world describing how the church is experiencing supernatural joy in the worst of condition. And it is happening among ordinary Christians who have prayed for the Lord to stir them. Their mountains of fear are melting like wax, and they are now shouting with gladness.
2. When the Holy Spirit comes as a torrent of rain, he will awaken the bride of Christ with a cry. What will be the Spirit’s cry? “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6).
Tragically, the message of Christ’s Second Coming has nearly disappeared from pulpits today. The current generation of pastors, evangelists and writers seldom mention Jesus’ soon return. Even on the Internet, where countless message boards are filled with talk about the church, there is not a sound about Christ’s coming. Yet John says the cry of the church in the last days will be: “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).
Tell me, where are the voices crying, “Come, Lord Jesus”? Christ warned his church, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42). “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man cometh” (24:44). “His wife [bride] hath made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7). Where is the church that is watching, waiting, yearning for Jesus?
Jesus had strong words for those who would scoff at his soon return: “(The) evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin…to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware Of (Matthew 24:48-50).
I ask you, has there ever been a time when humankind was so wrapped up in covetousness? The party is over, the economics of the entire world are shaking, yet multitudes, including many in the church are in denial about it. Right now, the Holy Spirit is being poured out to wake a slumbering church to prepare for his coming: “This world is not your home. Now, stir yourself. Get ready to meet your Bridegroom!”
No power in hell or on earth can hinder the Holy Spirit’s moving when he comes.
I know the Bible says Satan has come down in these last days with great wrath. But I can’t conceive of God allowing Satan and his forces to freely assault the church without the Holy Spirit coming in greater power and manifestation.
I know the Bible says evil men will grow more and more wicked, and that there will be a great falling away. I know it says the love of many will grow cold and the faith of many will be shipwrecked. I know it says false preachers will come to deceive many and that people will love pleasure more than God. I know it says even God’s elect will be greatly tempted. And I know many churches will grow lukewarm as the coming of Christ draws near.
But, beloved, none of these things can hinder the work of the Holy Spirit. Nothings can silence the shout of victory he brings. Nothing can hold back the great, swelling tide of triumphant praise that is coming. Nothing can put out his fire or stop his rain from falling.
Dear saint, I urge you: be ready for those in your workplace to come asking, “I know you’re a Christian. I’m so troubled by what’s going on in the world. Please, tell me what you believe.” To every humble pastor of a small church, and to every leader of an unseen prayer group, I urge you: Wherever you may be called, the Holy Ghost wants to come into your midst, touch you and revive you. Will you believe it?
The only thing those 120 disciples in the Upper Room had to hold onto was a promise from Jesus that he would come. And he did come, with power unseen in all of history. Likewise today, all we have to hold unto is a promise from our Lord. He pledged to all who would follow him, “I appoint unto you a kingdom” (Luke 22:29)
Right now, the Lord is hearing his people’s cry, all over the world. And he is pouring out his Holy Spirit with his own cry: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus”
(Revelation 22:20). As the Spirit falls and stirs our hearts, let this be our cry also: “Behold, Jesus is coming. Let us go out to meet him!”
From, “World Challenge Pulpit Series”,www.worldchallenge.org / March 2, 2009, by David Wilkerson
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