I am again being greatly edified and inspired by the pen of Pastor David Wilkerson. I am reading his book titled Secure, published in 1998. It is astonishing what this prophetic man saw over twenty years ago. He clearly saw the day we are living in right now and he wrote about it as if he had written the book last month! This man spent so much time in his prayer closet with the Living God that he saw what was going to happen to the Church in the future, and even though he has been gone from us for years now, his words on these pages give us vital warnings for our time. He writes, "I believe that much of what is called the Church today is not recognized or accepted by God as HIS church. It is precisely this dead, sin-laden, cold church of man - not the church of God - that needs reviving. In the coming days, this backslidden church will be the target of God's purging and chastening. Man's church must first be brought to ruin before God can rebuild anything good and acceptable from it. "
I was transported back almost twenty years, when I was called to lead worship at a convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, California. It was the year they would vote on whether to stay in the Episcopal Church or leave. Each priest's decision was based mainly on whether they approved of ordaining (and marrying) homosexual people or not; and whether or not they really believed in the Virgin Birth of Jesus and in His resurrection from the dead. The Bishop asked the priests to line up single-file, pass through a small gate with their ballot in hand, drop the ballot in a basket and then go to the Left if they were voting to stay and to the right if they were voting to leave. Most of those voting to stay made the left turn in a gleeful arrogant gesture and then stood on top of their folding chairs, arms defiantly folded across their chests. I will never, ever forget the symbolism of what I was seeing. The goats went left, the sheep went right. They made their choices before God and all the rest of us. Just prior to this, in 1998, David Wilkerson wrote in this book, "Sadly, some denominations have been overpowered by the devil's weapons. How else could you describe what is happening in many liberal church organizations? Bishops are ordaining homosexuals. Ministers no longer believe the Bible is the living word of God. They say there was no virgin birth and no heaven or hell. They advocate abortion and loudly disclaim Christ's miracles. If this doesn't comprise a picture of the church being overpowered by the enemy, I don't know what does."
How bold was his witness! I continued sounding the alarm and calling people to the Truth in my traveling ministry until I could see that decisions had been made and few in those churches wanted to hear the Truth any longer. After that, in 2001, I took my first trip to Israel and there the Spirit of God opened up the Bible to me in living color and filled my heart and mind with new revelation and understanding of the Scriptures. For the first time in my life I opened the books of the Torah and studied them deeply, day and night for three full years, until I was amazed to find myself teaching these ancient paths of God in the churches that had ears to hear. Indeed, John and I were so blessed to pastor a Messianic congregation right here in our town from 2014 to 2017. Those were days of rejoicing with Hebrew dances and banners, deep, Spirit-filled worship and a loving community of believers who wanted to know Yeshua/Jesus and His Word in all its fullness.
Then came the season of hiddenness. John's health was declining and we had to lay down our leadership roles. I've struggled greatly during the past four years, mostly isolated in our home, wondering how it all ended up like this - doing so little for the Kingdom of God. But today, a friend of mine opened my eyes about this season; and her words came as a powerful confirmation of what I read in Wilkerson's book this morning. She said, "We are doing a bible study right now from a book that explores the seasons of Jesus' young life that are not even documented. What did he do as a little child, prior to his twelve-year-old moment in the temple? And what did he do after that, from age 12 to age 30? Those were His "anonymous" years, the time He was hidden in order to be taught by His Father, to 'grow in grace and wisdom,' as the Scriptures tell us." Her words had a great impact on me as I recalled what David Wilkerson had written of this season: "According to God's Word, judgment begins in His house. But will God revive His people in the time of purging and judgment? We can't answer that until we define what the Church is. I believe the true Church of Jesus Christ is alive and well and wide awake. It is not an organization but a HIDDEN BODY OF DEVOTED BELIEVERS WHO HAVE NOT WAVERED IN THEIR PASSION FOR CHRIST."
Oh, my friends, is this you? Does this strike a chord deep within you? Have you had trouble in these past few years finding a congregation where the Pure Gospel is taught and the worshipers are passionately seeking God's Presence through their repentance from sin? Have you found yourself avoiding the "church of man" and choosing instead to remain hidden, keeping Sabbath in your prayer closet, not wavering in your passion for Him and reaching others with His love? Then take heart! You are right where you're supposed to be! And I believe that the time is coming soon when we hidden ones will be released and sent forth once again to minister to the ones who have been shaken, deceived, bewildered and confused. Their "prosperity gospel" fairy tale didn't come true. The coffee bars closed down and the sounds of entertainment ceased. It is then, I believe, when we will understand why we have been hidden for a season. Like our Lord, we had to have a time to draw very near to Him, holding fast to Him, learning the truth of His word, growing in wisdom and grace." We've been anonymous, like He was before it was time for his true ministry to begin.
Even if you are hidden - like me - stay alive, stay awake and do not waver in your passion for your soon-coming King!
Kelly Ferrari Mills