Joseph Herrin (09-26-08)
What is the Spirit speaking to God’s people in regard to preparing for days of economic turmoil, civil unrest, and widespread cataclysms which will soon be upon the nations? There are some specific things Christians should be doing now. In truth, they should have been doing these things all along. The hour is very late, and the opportunity will soon be gone.
Let me begin by sharing a word from David Wilkerson that he sent out with his Times Square Pulpit Series less than two weeks ago. I received this just this morning from a sister in Christ (Thanks Dee Dee). If you are not familiar with David Wilkerson, he is a man whom God has used tremendously as a laborer in the kingdom of God. In 1963 he wrote the book The Cross and the Switchblade, recounting how God directed him to leave a position as pastor of a church in Pennsylvania to minister to prostitutes, gang members, drug addicts, and street people in New York City. David Wilkerson has remained focused upon this mission and is the head pastor at the Times Square Church where a vigorous ministry to the poor and hurting is carried on.
September 15, 2008
GOD IS STILL KING OF THE FLOODS.
The Psalmist writes, “The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves” (Psalm 93:3).
The floods represent the rising waters of afflictions, the overwhelming crises that are coming on the earth affecting multitudes. This is the flood of unemployment, housing nightmares, ever-growing financial difficulties. We now face a great flood of fear and confusion about what to do to survive the storm.
It tears my heart to have a single mother stop me on the street weeping, “Pastor, what am I going to do? I lost my job, and I may lose my apartment. I have nothing to live on. Where will I go?” Top-level executives are being laid off with no warning. Workers tell me they see bosses crying at their desks, asking, “What will I do? I’m broke. What about my mortgage? I have no benefits.”
Some terrible things are happening, even to some of the godliest believers. I ask God, “Lord, what do I tell them? They are in the flood.” I know these saintly people pray and read God’s Word. Indeed, they have learned to trust the Lord. But now their faith is being tested to the limit.
I get calls from some who are soon to lose everything. I can’t just give these people a pep talk and a few Scriptures and ask them to cheer up. I am not suffering the way they are. I still get paid, and I am not in danger of losing my home.
I ask you, please, hear my heart as I say this: The time is not far away before we all will be deeply affected by the economic flood coming to the whole world. Great trials are ahead for all of us who deeply love the Lord.
Here is what I am led to do by the Holy Spirit. I ask it of my family, all of whom work with the church body. I urge you to pray to see if the Lord is leading you to do the same:
1. No more buying of luxuries. Cut all spending except absolute necessities.
2. Sell every unneeded item. Turn it to cash and give it to ministries to the poor and needy.
3. Downsize as much as possible. Be willing to let it all come to this: “Having food and raiment [covering], let us be therewith content” (1 Timothy 6:8).
4. Build up your faith by reminding the Lord daily of his promises:
“The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever” (Psalm 29:10).
In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness” (Psalm 31:1).
In Christ, DAVID WILKERSON
Please note that David Wilkerson wrote, “Here is what I am led to do by the Holy Spirit.” These are not steps arrived at through human reasoning. Human reasoning would much more likely have directed him to conclude that he needed to store up supplies against the coming tide of woe. Instead, he has heard the Spirit say, “Give away all you can to the poor and needy.”
The kingdom of God is one of great paradoxes. George Warnock in his writing The Feast of Tabernacles (http://latter-rain.com/escha/warnock.htm ), which I highly recommend at this season, has stated:
Let us constantly bear in mind the rules and principles of Christian warfare; namely, that we conquer by yielding, we receive by giving, we overcome by being defeated, and we live by dying. There is no other way except the way of the Cross.
Yes, we receive by giving. Our Lord said,
"Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."
Do you want to be sufficiently provided for in days of calamity? The path to receive such a sufficiency from the hand of the Father is to give to others in good measure while you have the opportunity. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.
In the coming days many who were first will be last, and the last will be first. Many who thought only of themselves will find that God gives no thought to them at all. When they cry out in a time of need, God will not hear, for they did not listen to the cry of the poor when they had opportunity. Such a judgment is not my opinion. It is the word of God.
Two years ago the Lord impressed upon me the nearness of the coming judgment and He directed me to proclaim a message of using every opportunity we have now to share abundantly with those in need. You can listen to A Message for the End Times - Compassion’s Silver Lining, at the following link:
Let me share with you some of the Scriptures cited in that message.
"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.”
America and many other nations have been much like Sodom. They have had great abundance and have become careless in their ease. The church in these nations has turned inward, focused upon the next social gathering, the next entertainment. They have been building their own houses and feathering their own nests while ignoring the plight of the needy all around them. This was the reason for God’s judgment upon Sodom.
Do you suppose that God will act any differently in judging His people among the nations in this hour? If the judgment is coming because of a lack of love manifested toward the poor and needy, do you not think that this neglect should be remedied swiftly before the sword falls across the land? Solomon wrote the following proverb.
He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.
If you have not been caring for the needs of others around you, then you should tremble at these words knowing that economic collapse is at the very doorstep of the nations. Solomon also wrote:
One who is gracious to a poor man lends to Yahweh, and He will repay him for his good deed.
He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
People of God, these are promises, both positive and negative. If we give to the poor, if we are gracious to those in need, Yahweh will not forget us when we are in need. Let us therefore give generously while we have time, for the hour of our abundance is coming to a close in America. We will have times to share with others in a day of poverty, but let us take this opportunity while we have it and give to those in need.
David Wilkerson stated that the Spirit of Christ had directed him to speak to his family and church to sell everything they did not need, being content with just food and covering. This sounds radical, and indeed it is in a nation that is stamped with a spirit of greed and consumption. Do you not want God to act in a very radical fashion in protecting and caring for you in days ahead? By the measure you mete to others, it will be measured unto you. The apostle Paul instructed Timothy 2,000 years ago with these words:
I Timothy 6:6-8
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
I will assure you that in coming days all of your entertainments will do you no good. All your unnecessary luxury items, the pictures on your walls, the goods that are stuffed in your attic, cluttering your garage, and which fill your closets will be absolutely worthless. Sell them now and do as Christ advised the rich young ruler of His day.
Yahshua said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
One of the chief reasons that God is bringing economic collapse to America is that the Christians in America have had divided hearts. They have loved the world and the things in it when God called them to be devoted to Christ. They have been harlots in their affections when they were espoused to Christ as pure virgins. For this reason God will strip away all the things that compete for their attention. He will reduce them to only food and covering, and lead them to be content with such a condition, having set their love on Christ.
Resident of a tent city in California
If you freely surrender these things for the sake of Christ you will have treasure in heaven, even as Yahshua promised the young ruler. But if you wait for God to strip these things from your hands you will have no reward.
People of God, do not be deceived. Multitudes in the church think that God is pleased by their self-focused lives simply because they take time out on Sunday and Wednesday to go attend a church service, sing a few songs of praise to His name, and participate in the programs of their church. Some whom the church considers especially devoted even fast during the week. This is not what is pleasing to God. Listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah:
Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of Yahweh will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and Yahweh will answer; You will cry, and He will say, “Here I am.”
Do you want Yahweh to answer your cry in days of calamity? Then do those things He commands here. This is not the Old Covenant Law, this is a word of prophecy revealing the heart of the Father. Lest some should be contentious and ask where such an admonition is in the New Testament, I will provide some clear examples.
"Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him,’Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”
Notice that the sheep and the goats were not separated based upon their confession of Christ. They were separated based upon their actions. Did you clothe the naked? Did you feed the hungry? Did you visit those who were sick and in prison? Did you take the homeless and the stranger into your own house? Did you care for the widow and the orphan? Or was your life focused upon self, self, self? James tells us:
For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.
Have you been a channel of mercy, or did you look at the poor and hungry and say, “They probably deserve what they are receiving. Why should I take my hard earned money and share it with one whom I do not know?”
Homeless Street People -Los Angeles
The apostle Paul instructs the church in this way:
So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Yes, you should especially take care of the needs of those who are Christians, but do not neglect those who are outside the body of Christ. God causes His rain to fall on the just and the unjust. If God shows mercy every day to the wicked, and showers both good and evil alike with His blessings, should we not do the same? Paul said:
"But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Do you see someone whose life you despise? Do you see one who has given themselves to evil and has set themselves as the enemy of the righteous? Overcome evil with good. What a hammer blow it is to the unrighteous to have one they hate treat them with compassion and kindness. The apostle Paul was merely repeating the instructions of Christ when he gave this counsel.
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
People of God, the Spirit is testifying that the days ahead are going to be calamitous. Famine will stalk the land that once knew abundance. Grocery store shelves that once were crowded with goods will lie empty.
Such a day happened before in America’s history. Those who had known only the abundance of the roaring twenties were suddenly thrust into the Great Depression. Bread lines were seen in all the major cities, and men and women traveled across the land looking for any kind of work that they might have some food to put in their stomachs and to feed their families. The Spirit is testifying that what is coming to America will be worse than those days.
Natural reason would suggest that the proper course of action would be to hold onto what you have, to hoard up what you are able against a day of calamity. The kingdom of God operates on different principles. We are aliens and strangers in this world, and our operating principles should seem alien and strange to those in the world.
For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it... (Matthew 16:25)
Whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:25)
If you are living according to the flesh, you must die... (Romans 8:13)
If by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Give, and it will be given to you... (Luke 6:38)
These are the principles of the Kingdom of God. God will have a people who live according to His principles before the return of His Son. It will take a great and terrible shaking to lead many of His children out of the world’s embrace. However, you need not wait. There will be treasure in heaven for all those who freely give up the things of this world while it is in their power to do so.
Yahshua said, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel's sake, but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first, will be last; and the last, first."
So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
The early church in Jerusalem knew the joy and freedom of giving up their possessions. The Spirit of grace was upon them in abundance. They were held in high esteem by the people around them. How different this is from the church today.
And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own; but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Yahshua, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales, and lay them at the apostles' feet; and they would be distributed to each, as any had need.
This is the fulfillment of the royal law. Will not the Father act shower great grace upon all who fulfill this kingdom principle? I tell you, He will. In days ahead all His people will need His favor and grace. I urge you to act quickly that you might know His favor in days of need.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
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