Thursday, August 10, 2006

Seven Women Will Lay Hold of One Man...

Always interesting to see how other folks apply Scriptures that I'm looking to preach on. David Wilkerson, of the Times Square Church in NY (I assume this is the same guy as in Cross and the Switchblade) is just such an "other folk." You can read his sermon on Isa 4:1-4 here. Now, I don't really agree with his interpretation of vs 1, since it seems to me that it really belongs to the judgment of Judah description in the previous chapter, and sort of unfortunately got bumped up to the beginning of chapter 4. Chapter & verse markings aren't inspired. However, his use of the "seven women, one man" image to critique what he sees in the modern church is certainly worth reading. It's one of those, "That's a great sermon; just not from that text" kind of things.
I truly love his insight into the revival mania going on in the mid-1990s, when this sermon was written!

Often people come to me and say, "Brother Wilkerson, you've got to go with us. A great revival has broken out in such-and-such a church. It's marvelous. People are falling down left and right."
Now, I'm not against manifestations. I worked for five years with Kathryn Kuhlman, and I saw people in her meetings fall under the power of the Holy Ghost in a way that was absolutely awesome. There was no manipulation involved; it was a genuine work of the Spirit.

But if people want to tell me a great move of God is going on somewhere today, my first question will be: "Is God's Word being preached there with consuming fire? Are people falling under conviction for sin? Is the cry of the people there for the purging of the spirit of this world?
"Is holiness the result? Is there a strong message of reproof? Does it drive people to Jesus? Does everything focus on Him? Is Christ the sum of it all? Is there a new compassion for lost souls? Are hardened sinners repenting?"
That is the work of the Holy Ghost! He comes to reprove the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. So, if you're going to tell me the Holy Ghost has come down, then these things had better be happening. If not, then judge it for what it is - flesh!

Exegesis aside, Wilkerson offers here a fine challenge to the American Church in his message.

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