The Hope of Restoration

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

The days of the Gentiles are almost over. God has given us plenty of warning that the Spirit will not forever strive with the rebellious. But before this generation comes under the retribution of almighty God, a great restoration is prophesied.

“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, my great army which I sent among you” (Joel 2:25 NKJV).

The psalmist David said the righteous shall “be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit...whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3). However, that promise is only to those who refuse to walk in the way of sinners and are devoted students of God's Word. “The ungodly are not so,” said David (v. 4). They become weak and withered, blown about by every wind of doctrine. The compromisers are like withered trees, diseased and corrupted with every kind of worm.

This is a picture of many professing Christians in God's house today. They neglect their Bible reading; they become too preoccupied to pray and build themselves up in the faith; they become cozy with the ungodly and take their seat among the scornful.

An army of cankerworms has been eating away at the lives of these backslidden Christians. Outwardly they appear as trees planted by the water, but inwardly they are corrupted, weak and diseased. They are drying up spiritually and no longer bear fruit. Sin is eating away deep within those who have strayed from the presence of the Lord.

God has told us how he is going to bring about this great restoration. First, he will pour out his Holy Spirit in abundant ways that will bring health and strength back to all the trees in his forest. The worm of sin will begin to lose its power as God's people get back to Bible reading. A powerful revelation of the Lord's new covenant will make God's people as bold as lions. Yes, believe it! A revival of spiritual strength and divine health is going to be poured out from on high.

Boldness to Enter God’s Presence

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he consecrated for us, through the veil. …Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…” (Hebrews 10:19-20, 22, NKJV).

There are two sides to Christ’s work at Calvary. One is to the benefit of man, and the other is to the benefit of God.

We are well acquainted with the benefit on the human side. The cross of Christ has provided us with forgiveness of our sins. We are given the power of victory over bondage and dominion over sin. We are supplied with mercy and grace, and we are given the promise of eternal life. The cross has given us the means of escape from the terrors of sin and hell.

I thank God for this benefit of the cross and for the wonderful relief it brings. I rejoice that it is preached in churches all over the world, yet there is another aspect of the cross, one that benefits God.

We understand very little about the delight of the Father that was made possible by the cross. Many Christians have learned to come boldly before God for forgiveness, for supply of needs or for answers to prayer. Yet they lack boldness to come before him with the intent of simply communing with him, an aspect that is just as crucial in their walk with the Lord. He is delighted when a prodigal comes home or when his people just want to spend time with him in worship and meditation. His delight brings us liberty, rest, peace and joy.

The most glorious moment in history was when the temple veil was rent in two on the day that Christ died. It was at this moment that the benefit to God burst forth. In the instant that the temple veil separating man from God’s holy presence was torn asunder, something incredible happened. From that point on, not only was man able to enter into the Lord’s presence, but God could come out to man.

Healing for the Whole Person

Gary Wilkerson

To live the holistic life that God has designed for us, we sometimes have to first address the negative. I'm a pretty positive guy, but I think we need to get to the core of the issue.

Soren Kierkegaard called it existential dread. It's an anxiety that is not based on “my job is not going well” or “I wish my marriage was better.” Rather, it's something deep inside the soul which senses that something's missing. We in ministry hear this a lot. People will confess, “I feel like there should be more to life. It’s not as wonderful as I expected it to be.” It’s often true for new Christians. We receive God’s precious promises, yet the reality of our life is still far from perfect. It's an angst of soul and the opposite of joy, peace, contentment and happiness.

In America, we particularly suffer from this dissatisfaction with life. The gap is even wider because we are so prosperous and can access almost anything instantaneously. When we travel to some of the poorer countries around the world, we see that their expectations are simply to wake up and be able to breathe and have clean water. If those needs are met, they are content. I'm not saying high expectations are bad, but our expectations are unrealistic compared with life’s reality. It’s that glaring gap that causes this dread.

Because of our relative prosperity, we may hesitate to ask God to help us with our angst since it’s a “first world” problem, that it isn’t a valid need compared to other countries’ struggles for basic survival. We may even feel guilty for being anxious, but that isn’t how God sees it. The good news is that he understands that regardless of who we are or where we come from, we all experience the same human needs. His design is for us to be healthy in body, mind and spirit.

This is what our ministry is all about. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says the gospel is holistic: “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (NKJV).

God understands our complexities and limitations. No matter where we are broken, he can and will bring us into wholeness in him.

Here Is Your Powerful, Good God

Tim Dilena

A promise is never better or worse than the character of the one who's making it. A believer's faith can never rise higher than who he sees God to be. If we're sitting here singing songs that we're going to see a victory, then the blood shall never lose its power. If these are words and songs that we actually believe because we believe in the character of God, then our faith begins to rise up with that.

An inadequate view of God has to result in weak faith because faith depends upon the character of God, and that's why this is so important.

In the book of Isaiah, the prophet wrote that fear was beginning to fill the land. Isaiah knew the men who were stepping into power and that many of them were corrupt; the people didn't know what to do, and backsliding was taking place in their nation. They were being faced with outside enemies from Assyria and Babylon. With all of this mounting up, the people were starting to fear.

He said, “Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’” (Isaiah 40:9, ESV). In the next 20 to 25 verses, Isaiah began to unpack the greatness of God, saying stuff like “Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?” (Isaiah 40:10-12).

From verse 13 down, Isaiah listed over and over again how great and powerful God is, and this links back to our ability to trust God’s promises. Remember what Isaiah said in verse nine. "Do not be afraid. Here is your God.” When fear begins to grip our minds and hearts, this is how we respond. We lift our eyes to the great God who saves.

After pastoring an inner-city congregation in Detroit for thirty years, Pastor Tim served at Brooklyn Tabernacle in NYC for five years and pastored in Lafayette, Louisiana, for five years. He became Senior Pastor of Times Square Church in May of 2020.

Total Surrender to God

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

God has revealed to us a sure way to become holy and perfect in his sight, whereby all his children can live in absolute peace and joy, knowing God looks on them as pure.

“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:21-24, NKJV).

This is all a free gift! His gift of holiness can never be a reward for anything we have done. It is an unearned, undeserved favor. “Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Romans 4:4-5).

Submission is the only way into God's holiness, submitting to the righteousness of Christ through faith. To submit means “to surrender the power of your will.” With God there is no such thing as willpower; all power is his, and he will permit no other power than his own. God demands absolute holiness so that we will be humbled by this demand. He watches over our struggles to be holy with patience, waiting for us to fail so miserably that we will run to his throne, fall on our knees, and cry out, “It's hopeless! I am weak, sensuous, sinful. I have no good in me at all.” The kind of repentance that God is looking for is the confession of our futile efforts.

You can never be clothed in Christ's holiness until you fall on your face before God's throne. You must once and for all admit that you have nothing to offer the Lord but a broken-down lump of clay. You must be given holiness as a gift.

The greatest gift you can give to God is your faith that he will give you his holiness. We will exult then like Isaiah who said, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).