Preparing the Church for the Coming Storm
By Mario Murillo
Yesterday Franklin Graham said: The Storm is coming. When Obama refused to say that the 21 people who were beheaded were Christians we crossed into extremely dangerous territory. The president of the United States will look the other way as Islam persecutes Christianity.
David Wilkerson saw a coming storm of persecution and violence. He saw devastation in New York with fire and massive death and rampant immorality. Few believed him because at that time, unemployment was less than 5% and because Disney had just taken over the seedy areas of Times Square area and made it family oriented. All of his words have come to pass.
In 1998 he predicted a coming storm and explains why the church would not listen to warnings:
David Wilkerson: “The majority of churchgoers today soundly reject all prophetic warnings of a coming storm. Indeed, the American church today is the most blatant “feel good” church in all of history. But, like Israel, we’re only experiencing the calm before the storm!
Likewise today, Christians by the multiple thousands are casting off the yoke of Christ, tossing aside all limits and restrictions. This attitude is prevalent in many of the books and magazines you find in Christian bookstores. It’s almost as if our leaders are saying, “Relax! God isn’t hard. He’s our Daddy, we’re all his kids, and we’re meant to have a good time. Don’t let anyone disturb your fun!”
However, he also said God gives advance warning and provides protection.
“Moreover, God is faithful to speak in times of prosperity, just before the fury of his judgment strikes. While the storm clouds are still gathering, he raises up prophetic voices all over the land. And, according to scripture, whenever a sinful nation was prosperous and at peace, God told his prophets to warn that the good times soon would end: “…the Lord hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity…” (Zechariah 7:7).
Beloved, if we’re going to face the coming storm, then we need to be prepared so nothing disturbs our spirit. And the only way to do that is to spend time in the father’s presence, beholding his face. We have to be shut in with him – on our knees – until we’re thoroughly persuaded he’s at our right hand!
God is clearly telling us, “Don’t be moved or agitated by anything you see. Keep your eyes focused on me – and you’ll retain your joy!” And according to David, Jesus testified, “…thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance” (Acts 2:28).
We always have to keep in mind, God’s only purpose in lovingly calling us back to himself is to protect us in such times of storm. Yet often in biblical history, when he gave these warnings, the people refused to listen: “He sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear” (2 Chronicles 24:19).
Almost always, God’s people grew weary of these warnings. This was especially true if a prophet cried out about a coming storm over a period of years, but the society only continued to be prosperous and at peace. Over time, the people simply switched off the prophet’s voice. They simply didn’t want to hear it anymore.”
In 1927 Smith Wigglesworth said a storm was coming that would cause many to fall away. This went against the grain of the roaring twenties giddiness and the heyday of Pentecostalism. He added that a remnant would know God as never before and who would practice extravagant asking.
So God means me to press you another step forward. Begin to believe on extravagant asking, believing that God is pleased when you ask large things.
Steve Hill saw vision of a coming storm that had the potential to destroy millions of Christians because of false teaching running rampant through the church.
Steve Hill: The Lord began to speak. I trembled. The fresh, new snow represented the false teaching that is steadily falling on the ears of the body of Christ. It has been, and is, a heavy snowfall. The skiers represented believers and non-believers, trusting the resort for a safe and memorable experience. As Christians, we have been warned to be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8). However, the present, awe-inspiring teachings have lulled many into a deeper sleep.
The layers upon layers of snow have been steadily covering the solid traditional truth of Christ. The truth is that foolish teaching in these days will become so fashionable even the most dedicated believer could become deceived (Matt. 24:24). It’s happening before our eyes. One spiritual leader said the other day: “You guys are old-fashioned ‘holiness,’ we are modern day ‘grace.’ You live in bondage while we can do anything we want.”
Pastors and teachers worldwide have succumbed to heretical teachings including universal reconciliation, deification of man, challenging the validity of the Word of God including His judgments, and even lifting any boundaries, claiming His amazing grace is actually “amazing freedom.” You are free to live according to your own desires. Sound familiar? “They had no king and did what was right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6). These popular self-proclaimed ministers of the gospel are covering the “slopes” and will be held accountable for the spiritual death of millions.
Kenneth Hagin: I looked at the scroll again, and again I looked to see what I had read about. I saw the skyline of a large city. Looking closer, I saw the skyscrapers were burned-out hulls. Portions of the city lay in ruins. It was not written that just one city would be destroyed, burned, and in ruins, but that there would be many such cities.
America’s Last Call
The scroll was written in the first person, and seemed as if Jesus Himself were speaking. I read, “America is receiving her last call. Some nations already have received their last call and never will receive another.”
Then, in larger print it said, “THE TIME OF THE END OF ALL THINGS IS AT HAND.” This statement was repeated four or five times. Jesus also said this was the last great revival. He went on to say, “All the gifts of the Spirit will be in operation in the Church in these last days, and the Church will do greater things than even the Early Church did. It will have greater power, signs, and wonders than were recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.”
Smith Wigglesworth: We have to see that these days have to come before the Lord can come. There has to be a falling away. I want to speak to you very exactly. All the people which are pressing into and getting ready for this glorious attained place where they shall not be found naked, where they shall be blameless, where they shall be immovable, where they shall be purified by the power of the Word of God, have within them a consciousness of the very presence of God within, changing their very nature and preparing them for a greater thing, and causing them to be ready for translation.
This is the day of purifying. This is the day of holiness. This is the day of separation. This is the day of waking. O God, let us wake today! Let the inner spirit wake into consciousness that God is calling us.
There are in the world two classes of believers. There are believers which are disobedient, or I ought to say there are children which are saved by the power of God which are disobedient children. And there are children which are just the same saved by the power of God who all the time are longing to be more obedient.
Up to this present time the Lord’s word is for us, “Hitherto ye have asked nothing.” Surely you people that have been asking great things from God for a long time would be amazed if you entered into it with clear knowledge that it is the Master, it is Jesus, who has such knowledge of the mightiness of the power of the Father, of the joint union with Him, that nothing is impossible for you to ask. Surely it is He only Who could say “Hitherto you have asked nothing.”
Oral Roberts was warning us about people who go to church only for themselves and of preachers who care nothing about reaching the world for Christ. How can we deny that this is true? We have reached the point where so many Christians are unteachable and Pastors are oblivious to the great commission.
Now let’s put all of these words together and allow God to show us what we are to do to be strong, to be effective and most of all not to be deceived by the storm that is upon us now.
David Wilkerson was trying to teach us that as God’s remnant in a storm of deception, violence and persecution we can be safe; we can even thrive.
Steve Hill placed a great deal of emphasis on the massive amount of false teaching that would rob the church of her preparation, blind her to the right choices she should make, and leave her vulnerable so that she alongside of the world is destroyed. But he also provided the hope that repentance and true submission to God would provide a shelter from the storm.
Kenneth Hagin was warning us that America had a final call. I believe we are at that call right now. He saw buildings burning and cities inundated by the judgment of God. However he also offered great hope that the people of God would even do greater things than the apostles did in the book of Acts.
Now listen with all of your heart, with all of your might and with zero distractions. This storm will damage every compromised carnal Christian. Jesus was calling the foolish man who built his house on the sand someone who had heard the words of Christ but would not do them. That is the key right now. All of these warnings are for Christians.
So what do you do to be prepared for this storm? What steps do we take to obey the words of warning that come to us first from the Bible and then from the prophets of God? Distilling the common threads that run through these four men’s prophecies I found these steps:
- Stop being stupid. Stop following preachers that are weakening you, using you, and denying the coming storm. Get out of the churches that look like nightclubs. Get away from the seductive teaching that denies hell, the blood of Christ, the inerrancy of the Bible and the urgency of the great commission. Don’t follow their teaching. For heaven’s sake do not give them any money. Do not fellowship with believers who condone drunkenness or immorality. This compromised Christianity is precisely the house built on the sand that the storm will destroy.
- Press into God. The common thread that runs through the messages of these 4 prophets is a call to intimacy with God, and that the result of that intimacy would be a special grace and power to live through anything in the last days.
Each one of them referenced a secret place in God that was available to us that would create a force field of peace and joy and boldness that would serve to deflect every lie, every threat, and every attack.
Every one of them spoke of a level of power that would be revealed to the last breed of Christian on the earth. They describe a time of great extremes where wickedness and righteousness would ripen together.
Those who choose to press into God will embody a faith that cannot be shaken by any threat or headline. They will have a presence of God continually on their life. Not just some of the time but all of the time. Disasters will go around them and regardless of how cataclysmic the events of the world become they will be conveyed safely into the kingdom of God.
- Enter the era of the extravagant asking. Wigglesworth’s reference to extravagant asking is a key to the final revival in the history of the world. He quoted Jesus who said “hitherto you have asked nothing, ask what you will and my father will give it to you that your joy may be full.” All of the prophets hold out a hope for America. They are trying to sober us up so that we can ask God to spare our nation. We do not have to have the fires, riots and the judgment that is well deserved.
We can ask and receive resources beyond anything we’ve ever seen before. We can preach with devastating conviction, conviction that can pierce the most heinous sins of our time. We can ask and receive signs and wonders that exceed what the apostles saw. We can watch God fill the coffers of anointed ministries beyond anything we can imagine or have ever seen before.
Finally: Truly God’s word is this, “I set before you life and death.” You can walk away from this message and continue the denial that pervades the church but I promise you this storm is coming. You can choose life, not just any life but the greatest life that God has offered any generation.