In memory of David Wilkerson

David WilkersonI was sad to read this morning of the death of David Wilkerson, founder of Times Square Church in New York, although I can also rejoice that he is in a better place. He was killed in a road accident in Texas, aged 79. His wife Gwen was with him and was critically injured. For more details see the articles by Charisma News and CBN. See also the thoughtful post by UK Methodist minister David Faulkner, who writes:

His life and ministry impacted millions. No appeals to his supporters for the money to buy a Lear Jet, just a guy who risked his life in the violent Projects of New York to show the love of Christ to gangs led by the likes of Nicky Cruz.

Wilkerson was best known to the Christian world in general for his 1963 book The Cross and the Switchblade, the story of his work with those New York gangs. He is best known to readers of Gentle Wisdom for my post last month David Wilkerson prophecy: earthquakes in Japan and USA, which has been the most read on this blog nearly every day since it was written, and is already well on its way to being my most read post ever. Perhaps it is a blessing for David that he has been spared seeing the fulfilment of his 2009 prophecy:

There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting—including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God’s wrath. …

Wilkerson was blogging daily devotions right up to his death, which can be found here and here. Here, from the end of his last devotion with the title When All Means Fail, are his last published words:

Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world.


33 thoughts on “In memory of David Wilkerson

  1. I personally have learned so much from this man of God. He will be sorely missed. He was the George Whitfield or Charles Spurgeon of our day. Take time to read some of his writings. You will be blessed.

  2. Ive always liked David Wilkerson but could his speaking against Benny Hinn have something to do with his violent death? God said touch not my anointed! King David understood this truth and would not touch Saul even though he was trying to kill him!

  3. Mark, I’m sure David would have paid appropriate tribute to Benny as well, even though they clearly had their differences, and might have got a bit carried away in these sermon extracts taken out of context.

  4. Are you kidding me Peter, he thought Benny Hinn was of the devil, u seem to have excuses for Wilkerson touching the Lords anointed and for Todd Bentleys nonsense about the Angel Emma. I suppose you condone the gold dust and gems that appear at his meetings as well!

  5. Mark, I find your support for Benny Hinn quite humorous when contrasted with the way you condemn others rather like him in just the same sorts of ways that others condemn Benny. Don’t you realise how wrong Hinn was to touch many of the Lord’s anointed ones by cursing them publicly as he was shown doing? But maybe that was taken completely out of context, as is usual with these video clips used as evidence by people who want to tear down the ministries of those whom God has raised up.

    Please can we have no more negative comments here about any Christian teacher, especially about one who has just died and not even yet been buried.

  6. PLEASE, Let’s bring back to focus. We just lost a man of God. that called in his church and made thousands of sandwiches and refreshments the night before 9/11 in New York City. Was he perfect? Only in Christ Jesus, he never claimed any righteousness of his own, neither did Benny Hinn. Paul, Peter and Mark had had disagreements and repented of them. He will be sorely missed. Please also remember that when one sees in the Spirit, sometines the manifestion is not see exactly the same in the natural, like 911 and Japan, but the fires of division are already burning in this country, divided we fall. We will miss David, but we still have the Holy Ghost.

  7. Thank you, Bert

    Surely we can all agree David Wilkerson knew the Lord and was a brother in Christ. The Lord used him powerfully and his voice will be missed. Flaws? I’m shocked 😉

  8. Peter,

    Thanks for linking to my post. I’ve only just realised as I saw this blog post come up via Facebook – the normal pingback notification from WordPress hasn’t arrived.

    As I said in my post, I have particular reason for gratitude to God for David Wilkerson’s ministry, since my sister became a Christian through his preaching. (She paid tribute to him on Facebook for that reason.)

    Whatever flaws he had I am sure I have many more, and I mourn the passing of a man of God.

  9. Hi interested in the ‘Touch not the Lord’s anointed’ debate. Surely that referred to the Kings of Israel ultimately fullfilled in Christ, not Benny Hinn. We need men of Wilkersons stature to challenge the outrageous claims and doctrines of the false teachers, Wilkerson has left a large gap to fill. May the Lord bless and comfort his family and church

  10. @ Andrew: Touch not the anointed apply’s to today’s anointed men and women of God and it’s a dangerous thing to speak against someone God has anointed. And when a person attributes the work of the Holy Spirit to that of Satan they risk blaspheming the Holy Spirit. I like what David said about people barking and what nought but if he had a problem with Benny Hinn he should have went to him privately as scripture states!

  11. Dave, thank you.

    Andrew, that’s a good question. While of course Jesus was the Anointed One, the Messiah or Christ, par excellence, the New Testament also teaches that all Christians have an anointing from the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:20). So it is wrong to “touch” anyone anointed by the Holy Spirit, whether Hinn or Wilkerson, you (if you are a true Christian) and me. I take that to include tearing down their ministry with destructive criticism, condemnation, curses etc, although there may be more to it than that. That is why I don’t allow this kind of tearing down on this blog.

    Yes, Mark, this ties up closely with the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

  12. Of course Paul rebuked Peter (to his face) in Galatians 2, isn’t that touching the ‘Lords Anointing ‘? Or is it different for Apostles? The problem is this phrase is used by people in a way it was never intended. And of course logically you would never take your pastor to task were he to preach error, many heretics have started of as orthodox, many pastors have fallen into sin but ‘touch not the Lord’s Anointed’ seems to let them get away with it.

    Also seems to run contrary to the Bereans experience in Acts 17 where they ‘examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. ‘ You never hear Paul saying ‘touch not the Lord’s Anointed’ and to be honest I’ve never heard any mainstream evangelical use it, Wilkinson included. It’s not blaspheming the Holy Spirit to rebuke someone who is preaching heresy, is it not pleasing to the Holy Spirit to challenge heresy?

    But of course, I don’t want to detract from the reason for theses posts, David Wilkerson, a great man.

  13. Andrew, that is interesting, but there does need to be a balance between proper discernment of error and throwing around curses and denunciations. I think I may well write a post about this.

  14. This touching of the Lord’s anointed gets into several things. First is the difference between heresy and apostasy. A heretic is a believer with some bad beliefs. An apostate is not a believer. We should cover both with prayer and by personal relationship. If there’s no personal relationship, I am learning to deal with it in prayer only.

    The key to us individually is to make sure that the log is out of our own eye. I have learned to not be too critical of other preachers and teachers unless I was there and I know the person and the exact situation. In this day of social media and media in general, it is very hard to trust what you have heard. In fact, unless I’m mistaken, doing things based on what I have heard comes dreadfully close to gossip.

    I remember several years ago watching a major speech at a Christian conference and then hearing and seeing the video from that conference as reported by the mainstream media. What the media reported was the exact opposite of what we heard the man say the night before.

    Wilkerson and Hinn don’t work for me. We received Wilkerson’s newsletter, but could no longer listen to Benny—HOWEVER that was our personal choice and we have not been charged by the Lord to lay our personal tastes on others. We need to make sure it’s the Lord and not our flesh or soul before we talk negatively about any believer. All believers have a judge, but it is certainly not me.

    Even quibbling about doctrine leads us into several strong statements by Paul in the Timothys and elsewhere. We are to build up: love, and edify. We can talk about doctrines that we believe are in error—but let’s keep the people out of it (though Paul certainly warned about specific people). Jesus and the Holy Spirit have that responsibility and it’s really none of our business unless the Holy Spirit specifically tells us to talk about something we witnessed.

    Now if it were only easier to see that log in my eye 😉

  15. Thank you, David. We should indeed be very careful of what we take from social media, even from video clips which can be taken out of context e.g. without the introductory “Those people say”. When teachers are wrong, they should be taken aside privately and corrected, as Priscilla and Aquila did with Apollos in Acts 18:26.

    On apostasy, see what I wrote a few years ago.

  16. Pingback: Touch not the Lord's anointed - Gentle Wisdom

  17. God has done a great work with David Wilkerson. Why get distracted. Let’s look at what he said and sought to teach us. He had some powerful prophecy. May we look at that and seek to get closer to Christ in all we do. I think we can begin by turning off the television and praying. Oh how that would please God in these last days.

  18. It has been almost a year now since we lost our Beloved brother & Pastor David Wilkerson. I miss him deeply as i am sure many others do also. But i too am very happy to know that he is with our Lord Jesus Christ and that he will not be here to see the things soon coming upon the earth. People can scoff but he was truly a Prophet.
    All the talk about him dying for having touched Benny speaking out against him… Well did anyone consider that perhaps Benny Hinn murdered Pastor Wilkerson by witchcraft.
    God him self will pronounce a curse upon those who touch His anointed… He does not need any one to verbally pronounce a curse upon another person… and the blood of that person will be upon the hands of the one who pronounced the curse. Lord help us.

  19. Thank you, Ayn. But I don’t think we ought to be accusing anyone else of murder, unless there is good evidence. Anyway surely God can and will protect his anointed from witchcraft. We can’t know why Wilkerson died, but God allowed it for reasons that only he knows.

  20. Hi all – still saddened by bro Wilkerson’s passing a year on. He and his mentor Ravenhill have taught me lots, love both mens’ passion. For those trying to suggest “touch not the Lord’s anointed” may have been the reason David died, that passage is not in reference to rebuke!

    When David found King Saul asleep, he was told by his men “I’ll spear him now” and David said “God forbid I should touch the Lord’s anointed”. He refused to harm Saul, but the moment Saul awoke He publicly rebuked him. Jesus likewise tore strips off false teachers and we read in Galatians that Paul confronted Peter.

    Let’s be very clear – we ought not to harm others, but we are called to defend the faith and at times that means pulling the false teachers or simply those in error into line. Peace.

  21. Mark, I unspammed your comments because I recognise that they are not spam. But I still consider them to be in bad taste, in a post in memory of a Christian who has died.

  22. Paul spome against super apostles. And I am certain the latter would have considered themselves super anointed and not to be touched. David Wilkerson had every right to measure the works and sayings of so called apostles. He was a true shepherd. What really steams my bean though is that we in thhe church allow ourselves to critique men and women outside the church, but those within are excused as a matter of taste. What a crock.

  23. Nick, no one is immune from criticism. But it is generally considered in bad taste to criticize a person who has just died, in a post written in their memory. This principle applies equally to Christians and others, to leaders and others.

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