This week I have spent time in an older book - a powerful book - written by David Wilkerson. His name is known to most of us from his long, enduring ministry as pastor of Times Square Church in New York City. Before he died, David wrote several prophetic books regarding future events in America and even though this book, God's Plan in the Coming Depression, was written and published in 1998 (22 years ago), his words speak volumes of truth for the time we are in RIGHT NOW. So, I wanted to share it with you, hoping that his words might bring you peace in this tumultuous time.
He writes, "I have faithfully warned of a soon-to-come worldwide economic holocaust. I have warned that Christians are going to suffer - that there will be great loss and hardship. But none of these things is the focus of my energies and ministry. No, the deepest expression of my soul is to proclaim the love of God the Father and tender mercy of our Savior Jesus!
"I know the stock market is going to blow. I know the American lifestyle and the lifestyles of all prosperous nations are about to change permanently. I know everything is going to reel and shake. But I don't get up in the morning worrying, "What are we going to eat? What are we going to wear? What about heat, light, security?" Jesus warned us not to do that. So when I go to bed at night, I sleep like a baby. I know I'm not God and that He alone is in control of all these things. I simply do what the prophet Isaiah did: he put his mind to rest by fully trusting in his Lord. He said, 'Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee.' (Isa. 26:3).
"Isaiah was a man of prayer. And because he spent time in the Lord's presence, he could say with confidence, 'I see frightful judgments and terrible shakings falling on the nations. I tremble at the sight of so much suffering, with multitudes overwhelmed by fear. Yet, there are even more judgments to come, which are almost unspeakable. However, none of these things dominates my thinking. None of them can remove me from the perfect peace I have' in the Lord. In the midst of all this turmoil, I've been waiting on Him, drawing nigh to Him. And the more time I spend with Him, the more I look back and remember all His faithfulness and miracles of the past. That's why I'm not consumed by thoughts of all these terrible judgments. My mind is totally consumed by my God!'"
Dear friends, this is what I am striving for: a mind totally consumed by my God. I ask Him daily to "take every thought captive for Christ" so that my mind will be bound to His mind, my thoughts to His thoughts, my heart to His heart. Then I shall have the mind of perfect peace. The Hebrew word shalom is made up of four Hebrew letters, which spell out this meaning: Destroy the Authority that Establishes Chaos. Yes! That is what a mind filled with Messiah's Shalom does; it destroys chaos and fear and the one who authors it.
Like Isaiah and like David Wilkerson, I too am greatly saddened that I do not see a great move of REPENTANCE and RETURN to the Living God in the midst of this Corona Virus. But in my view, a very powerful way of doing this will be to keep the Passover. Why do I say that? Because Exodus 13:8-10 tells us, "On that day tell your son, 'I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.' This observance shall be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the Torah of the LORD is to be on your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with His mighty hand. You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time, year after year."
Beloved, there IS a "mark of God." We are marked in the keeping of the Passover; the remembrance of ancient Israel's deliverance through the Red Sea and the remembrance of our own deliverance through the Blood that Yeshua shed on the cross. Observing this holy and powerful Feast of the LORD, and teaching it to our children, is marking us as a people whom the Destroyer cannot touch (see Revelation 9:4). It is marking us as those who are trusting in the LORD and who are made righteous by the Blood of the Lamb on the doorposts of our hearts. This year, secluded in your own homes like the ancient Israelites, keep the Passover and trust that the plague WILL pass over and you will know His perfect peace.
Perhaps you've never kept a Passover Seder together. Maybe you'd like to this year, but you don't have a Haggadah order of service and don't know what to do. I humbly offer you a service I put together for my family last year. It is not like the traditional three-hour service the Jewish people do (and many believers do also). It is less than an hour in length, but packed with the rich and deep understandings of the keeping of this Feast. It is designed for a small group or family to simply share in the home. If you would like a copy, please email me and I'll send it right out to you as an email attachment.
Shalom with love,
So where are we in the cycle of this plague? To get the answer from God's way of thinking, we have to look to Scripture. On the Hebrew calendar we are on the 2nd day of Nisan. Exodus Chapter 12 outlines for us what the LORD spoke to ancient Israel concerning this time of year. Exodus 12:1-7:
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, "This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the 14th day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lamb."
We have heard our President and his task force speak about a 15-day period leading up to a time when things should "open up again." When he made this assessment, the 15 days put us right at the time of PASSOVER; the time when the terrible Plague of Death passed through Egypt and PASSED OVER those who had the blood over their doorframes.
I am really seeing this in the spiritual realm. I am seeing the Glory of God even in the midst of this terrible plague. We know from the books of Matthew, Luke, and Revelation and from many of the prophets, that these things must happen before the "end" comes. And I am one who believes that what God has done before He will do again. "Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God calls back the past." (Ecclesiastes 3:15). I believe we are in a very similar spiritual period as the Israelites were in during that very first Passover. God is testing minds and hearts to see who is covered in the Blood of the Lamb. He is granting a time of "hiding" in our houses, in the quiet, where He can speak to the people of the earth and call them to repentance and to return to Him. He says through the prophet Isaiah, "Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until His indignation has passed by." (Isa. 26:20). We are under "STAY AT HOME" orders!
Once again we are led to Psalm 91, where the LORD makes this promise: "You will not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right had but it will not come near YOU. If you make El Elyon your dwelling, even the LORD, who is my refuge - then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent."
Will we use these remaining 12 days before Passover to get really close to God and to PRAY that he will protect and bring many through these rough times as they bring this Spotless Lamb into their hearts (their homes) and allow Him to "cover them with His blood"?
April 8 at twilight will be the time we gather to keep the Passover and this year I am breathlessly anticipating that God is going to show miracles as He delivers His people through this plague called Coronavirus. Exodus 12:12 says, "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn - both men and animals - and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. NO DESTRUCTIVE PLAGUE WILL TOUCH YOU WHEN I STRIKE EGYPT."
Egypt is a metaphor for "the world" and the flesh. God is calling His people to come out of the ways of the world, seek Him, and find true riches and true shalom. He is getting ready to bring us into the Promised Land. And He taught us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory. Amen."
Kelly Ferrari Mills