(First published in Pointers Magazine June 2003)
Because of the pressure on my time this week I wondered how I could fit in writing a Hashkama article. The answer came almost immediately when I happened across an interview I held with David Wilkerson after a meeting in London. Some of the points raised in the interview are still relevant today, so I thought it would be useful to share it once again. As always, time is of the essence and the questions that I will include at the end of the interview were on my agenda to ask, but we ran out of time. I have no answers to those questions but…perhaps you can provide some for yourself!
We go back thirteen years when the “Renew Your Passion For Christ” was the theme of the conference where David Wilkerson was the guest speaker. David came to the UK from Times Square Church in the USA in May 2003. His speaking itinerary took him to churches in Scotland, England, Ireland, and Wales. There was no over-all organiser and each venue was responsible for the meeting and arrangements with David’s PA, Bettina Marayag.
David Wilkerson spoke at the House of Commons on May 6th 2003. His address was on The Exclusiveness of Christ stating: “The issue that is before us now is the name of Jesus. I believe that a World Church is under way. I am not putting the ecumenical movement down, but I am telling you that the mantra of the coming World Church—the one thing that is going to bring them all together—is the name of Jesus.”
He went on to say, “There is going to be a defining moment coming very soon on the exclusiveness of Jesus Christ. It will be called religious bigotry. This issue will come from the press…business leaders – I believe it will be part of a satanic attack from Hell itself. You see, even the devil can handle a Jesus of the flesh. This is going to be the issue.”
Many lives were touched and transformed as David presented his message, simply, but passionately, without hype or show. Tears flowed as people listened to the message during the London meeting. “Preach it brother! Preach it!” shouted a young pastor who was seated nearby. One-thousand-and-fifty leaders attended during the day, and in the evening the church was full with about eighteen-hundred people. Most people in the church stood in response to the message at the end of the meeting.
I thanked David for taking time out to answer my questions, and expressed my gratitude to Bettina for kindly typing out the completed interview for me. The words in capital letters in some of David’s answers were the added emphasis David made, and not added by myself or Pointers Magazine.
Malcolm: It has been good to have you in the UK David. I attended the London meeting that had quite a large turnout, and the response to your call at the end of the evening session must have been a great encouragement to you. People just ran out of the meeting rooms at the back of the church to seek the Lord. Many of them were young people. Has this been the general response on your tour?
David: YES. THE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE HUNGRY FOR GOD.
Malcolm: Have there been any major surprises to you on the UK tour that you can share with us?
David: Everywhere we go we find young men and women who have no interest in religious hype, dead church services and dry doctrine. But they do have what the Song of Solomon calls a “lovesick heart.” They are missing God; they crave true relationship with Him. It’s a good sign they are not being taken in by all the hype and entertainment in the Church and are going right for the heart of God.
Malcolm: What have you found the most encouraging about the Church in Britain?
David: The young pastors. We’re encouraged by the serious, hungry, desperate cry of the young pastors. They long to bring their church, their city even their nation to the knowledge of God.
Malcolm: What has given you the greatest concern about the Church in Britain?
David: CHURCHES ARE CLOSING DOWN ALL OVER THE UK AND THE DEADNESS OF THE “OLD WINE CHURCHES.” AS ONE PASTOR IN SCOTLAND SAID – ALL THESE NEW METHODS OF HOW TO BUILD THE CHURCH HAS LEFT ME CONFUSED. THE CHURCH EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM THE PASTORS AND THERE’S BARELY ANYTIME LEFT FOR PRAYER.
Malcolm: You visit was primarily to the leaders of the Church in the UK. How have the leaders responded to what you have had to share?
David: WE HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING THE OVER-ALL IMPACT BUT WE HAVE SEEN A LOT OF BROKENESS AND HUNGER FOR THE WORD OF GOD. In every city hundreds of leaders gathered. We could see the hunger for God. Our message wasn’t about how we grew Times Square Church. We didn’t teach techniques or “how to’s”. It was all about Jesus and the feedback we heard was that is the message most needful. The call was to return to a heart of passion for Christ. The altars were filled with pastors returning to their first love.
Malcolm: Britain has and is moving away from its Judaeo-Christian heritage. What would you say are the dangers our nation is being exposed to as a result of this?
David: I CAN’T SPEAK ABOUT THE MOVING AWAY FROM ITS HERITAGE OR TO WHAT EXTENT. OUR GREATEST CONCERN IS MOVING AWAY FROM CHRIST AS LORD. HERITAGE SAVES NO ONE. THE UK IS BECOMING A PAGAN NATION ALONG WITH MOST EUROPEAN NATIONS. EUROPE AS A WHOLE IS INCREASINGLY JESTTISONING THE OLD PATH OF THE CHRISTIAN FATHERS.
Malcolm: What opportunities will the Church have to mature and grow in such an environment?
David: THE ENVIRONMENT IS GOING TO CHANGE VERY QUICKLY. ECONOMIC STORM IS COMING AND THE STRESS LEVELS ARE GOING TO INCREASE BECAUSE OF FINANCIAL WORRIES. THE CHOICE WILL BE TO FULLY TRUST IN CHRIST OR THE SETTING OF THE ANTI-CHRIST SYSTEM.
Malcolm: What relevance do you think the British Church is having on the world scene today…Are we affecting the world at all, and if so, is it in a good way or a bad way?
David: NO COMMENTS.
Malcolm: A large portion of the Church in the UK appears to line up with what has become known as Replacement Theology. Do you see this as a healthy stance to take or would you say that Israel still has a part to play in God’s plan and that His promises to Israel still hold true?
David: WE BELIEVE GOD HAS STILL A LAND COVENANT WITH ISRAEL. THERE IS A SPIRITUAL ISRAEL AND A NATURAL ISRAEL. GOD IS COMMITTED TO BOTH. NEITHER REPLACES THE OTHER. GOD’S COVENANT WITH THE CHURCH AND ISRAEL IS UNBREAKABLE.
Malcolm: Israel is consistently at the forefront of world news. Do you see any hope for a peace settlement in the near future?
David: THE CRY FOR PEACE WILL INCREASE ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE. THE PROPHET ZECHARIAH WARNS THAT ANY NATION THAT TOUCHES JERUSALEM WILL BE CUT OFF. THE KEY IS JERUSALEM. IF IT IS DIVIDED EVEN A PORTION GIVEN TO PALESTINIANS – WE WILL WITNESS GOD’S WRATH OUTPOURED IN A MEASURE UNKNOWN TO MANKIND. IF THE US SPONSORS OR DEMANDS SUCH A MOVE, AMERICA WILL BE IN A FINANCIAL DEPRESSION WORSE THAN THE 1930’S.
Malcolm: At your London meeting you mentioned seeing fires all over New York. This was a vision the Lord had given to you. Were these spiritual fires of the Church coming alive, or fires of judgement?
David: FIRES OF JUDGEMENT.
Questions we didn’t have time for were:
- The Government and people of Britain have had a close relationship with the United States for many years. Do you see this relationship continuing indefinitely?
- Is the rise of Islam foretold in Scripture?
- Do you believe that the Western nations have got to grips with terrorism or are we in for even more destruction?
- Why has God allowed terrorism?
- How should the Church respond to this new challenge?
- What do you see as the Church’s greatest challenge in the foreseeable future?
Blessings and shalom