The “Fully Preached” Gospel

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

The apostle Paul said to his generation, “I have fully preached the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:19, NKJV), and he described the “fully preached” gospel as one of words and deeds. “For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed. In mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel” (Romans 15:18-19).

If Paul had preached and taught without signs and wonders following, his message would not have had its full impact. He said to the Corinthians, “Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds” (2 Corinthians 12:12).

Note Paul’s words in this verse: signs, wonders, mighty deeds. Most Christians today cringe when they hear these words. Why? Because the words have been given a watered-down spin by unscrupulous preachers and teachers. The great tragedy is that this has caused many God-fearing pastors, evangelists and laypeople to turn away from the truth of a fully preached gospel.

Beloved, God is still God, and he still works miracles. He is still our healer, and he wants to show himself strong on behalf of those who trust in him. Supernatural events took place in the New Testament church without any perversions, without advertising, showmanship or any person claiming all the credit. 

The ministry of Paul is an example. At Troas, while Paul was preaching a long message, a young man fell asleep while sitting on a windowsill and fell three stories to the ground. The Bible says the young man was “taken up dead” (see Acts 20:9-12). When Paul got to where the boy was, he quieted everyone. Then he lifted up the body, and suddenly life came back into the young man. The boy had been raised from the dead. What a mighty miracle!

After this happened, Paul didn’t send everyone out to spread the news that a miracle had taken place. No, everyone simply went back to the third floor, took communion, and Paul continued preaching. Scripture doesn’t mention the young man again. Why? Because the church expected supernatural works to happen! They preached a full gospel with signs and wonders following.

The Last-day Church

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

I believe God’s vision for his last-day church is based on his revealed Word. The Bible clearly outlines what the church of Jesus Christ will be like just before he returns.

The church in America is far from what God envisioned it to be. For the most part, entire denominations today operate without the Holy Spirit. They are devoid of the presence of Jesus and bankrupt of spiritual gifts. They practice a form of religion without any power, conviction or saving message. They are cozy with the world and are more political than spiritual. They appease sin and ridicule the supernatural without teaching about heaven, hell, repentance and judgment.

The New Testament believers made devils tremble. They prayed prison doors open and made rulers cringe in fear. They believed in the supernatural; they opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears and healed all manner of diseases. They even raised the dead!

I believe that God’s last-day church will be even greater than the first-century church. It will be stronger with a greater understanding of Jesus. God always saves his best wine for last. The prophet Daniel confirms this. He said that certain prophetic truths were locked up, only to be revealed in the last days. “For the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. …And none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:9-10, NKJV).

Today the Holy Spirit is revealing these things to spiritual, discerning believers. “It is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him.’ But God has revealed them to us through his Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

The Lord is preparing a humble yet powerful army of shepherds after his own heart and a church of hungry sheep who have turned away from the deadness and sin of the modern church. The scene is being set for that church which will be hot, not lukewarm; and it will rock the very foundations of hell. No power on earth will be able to ignore or despise it.

Trusting God in the Good Times

Gary Wilkerson

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me’” (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV).

How often in your life have you just bowed your head in desperation and said, “Lord, please help me. Please.” I’ve done it hundreds of times, probably thousands. During those times there was so much fear, so much unknown, that I couldn’t do anything but pull the emergency cord.

If we only understood that the no-strength-left giving up of all our own abilities is exactly where God wanted us in the first place. When we’re in a state of such weakness that we can’t even formulate a proper prayer, we are actually in a place of great promise. It’s where God can help us the most.

I wish I had learned this superpower of helplessness when I was young. I would have had so much more peace and confidence. I would have had more faith, more inner strength and more grace for others if I’d truly comprehended that everything comes from God. My job as his child is merely to walk with him, lean on him, obey the Bible, and trust that he will always take care of me and my loved ones. It is to be content even though I can’t see past the headlights.

The Lord’s words “My power is made perfect in weakness” are to be taken literally. What a concept! Normal thinking says, “I have to get desperate with God, or he won’t take me seriously.” God says, “I take you seriously when you let go of yourself and reach for me.”

Think of a specific time when you were out of options and had to utterly lean on God. Do you remember the feeling? This is where God desires us to be every day, to live with a level of trust that acknowledges, “You alone are in control, and I trust you without reservation.” Proverbs says to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). There is no better advice and no greater promise: “Trust me all the time, for everything. I will take care of you.”

Who Can Find a Godly Man?

Jim Cymbala

People who are ungodly find their pleasure in the things of this world, which change! I recently read about how Elon Musk went from the richest man in the world to number two. The richest man is now some guy in France. Musk lost something like 20 or 30 billion dollars. If your world is just money — whew! You’re in for a roller-coaster ride, but that’s how the ungodly live.

The ungodly not only live for the wrong things, they sneer at God. Sometimes there are ungodly people who storm out while I’m preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. They don’t pray; that’s one of the signs. The Bible talks a lot about the ungodly. God is going to judge the ungodly. They don’t just not care about spiritual things, they mock those who do.

One of the signs of godly people is they run to prayer and the throne of grace. Their priorities are God and the things of God. Yeah, they have a life, a job, vacations, raising kids, all of those things; but they’re also dedicated to worshiping with others, reading the Bible, serving God. They love what God loves; they hate what God hates. They are devoted to God. It’s a heart thing, not necessarily all of these actions. You can be a preacher and not devoted to God. You can do it for the money or attention or just to make a living.

‘Godly’ isn’t a word we use much anymore. When you read books from a hundred or two hundred years ago, they would say things like “Oh, that brother, he’s godly; that sister, she’s godly.” We should want that. Scripture says, “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. …But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:9,11, ESV).

If you’re saying, “I promise to be more godly this year!” Stop. Instead, ask God for the grace of consecration to a godly life. Constantly be asking God to rearrange your priorities. It’s a daily thing. 

Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.

Give Up on Measuring Up

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

“The people feared the presence of the Lord . . . and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God” (Haggai 1:12,14, NKJV). The Israelites were convicted of their self-interests and returned to work rebuilding the temple. They were back where they should be—building the house of God!

They stood before the foundation of the temple as the walls went up, but something was wrong, and many of the older people began to weep. Why? Because they had seen the splendor of Solomon’s temple sixty-eight years before, and this new one did not measure up. In comparison, it seemed as nothing.

The people began to talk of past glory, saying, “This temple has no ark in it, no mercy seat or cherubim. There is no consuming fire on the altar, no shekinah glory coming down on the house. After all our hard work, sacrifice and obedience, all our putting God’s interests first, we don’t measure up! This is nothing compared to what we once saw. Why go on when we see so little for all that we’ve done?”

A lot of God’s people today are giving up because they don’t think they’ll ever measure up. Like the Israelites, they’ve gone back to putting God first, seeking his will, building his house. When they look at their lives, though, they say, “I have so little to show for all my struggles. I have so little of God’s holiness and glory in my life. Compared to other Christians, I’ll never measure up. What’s the use of struggling? I’ll never have victory.”

I am convinced this is why many devoted Christians give up the fight. They compare themselves to other believers and become discouraged because they feel hopelessly inferior.

Beloved, you can mark this down because it is God’s promise to you. From the very hour you focus again on building up Christ’s body and set aside all thoughts of measuring up, you will begin to see his manifold blessing. You can literally mark it down! You will know that he is favoring you, smiling on you, rejoicing in you.