John Piper Responds to Wilkerson "Prophecy"

Discussion in 'Pneumatology' started by Dr. Bob Gonzales, Mar 11, 2009.

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  1. Dr. Bob Gonzales

    Dr. Bob Gonzales Puritan Board Junior


    Charismatic author David Wilkerson claims that the Holy Spirit has constrained him to utter a doom-oracle against New York city and other major metropolises in the United States. Although Pastor John Piper, like Wilkerson, believes that God still grants the gift of prophecy today, he questions the authenticity of Wilkerson’s prophetic word. To read more, especially Piper’s critique of Wilkerson’s “prophecy,” click the link below:

    David Wilkerson Prophecies Impending Judgment for Major US Cities: John Piper Replies, “Stick with the Bible, David”

    Your servant,
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  2. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'll probably get slated for this one, but here goes anyway...

    A number of years ago, I read an article that the church (times square) was 'forewarned' (to a degree) just prior to 9 11. I cannot find the original article but here is an article which aludes to some of the events.

    Heed David Wilkerson?s Prophetic Warning End Times Prophetic, Prophecy, Visions, Dreams, Revelation, Christian Blog

    I'm not saying Wilkerson is right, but he is far more reputable than other 'charismatic' (I think he would refuse that term) ministers.
  3. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    I LOVE Piper. But this is just dumb:

    First, it does not resonate with my spirit when he claims that God told him to “lay in store a thirty-day supply of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials” because when disaster comes “grocery stores are emptied in an hour.” God might have said this. But it doesn’t smell authentic to me. Too prudential. Too reminiscent of the embarrassing Y2K excesses.

    This has nothing to do with DW's alleged word, but what exactly is it about 100 nuclear devices missing from the USSR (detailed in the book One Point Safe by a journalist team), over 10,000 militant Jihad terrorists in the USA ( read Steve Emerson, American Jihad, or Paul Williams- several books), and the FACT that anybody can fill up a truck with conventional explosives, Tim McVeigh Style, lace it with a little bit of plutonium or cesium from the Russian stuff sold on the open market ( also detailed by Robert Baer and Ken Timmerman in books), and shut a city down. You don't even need atomic fission.

    What is it about just in time shipping, manufacturing, and our total dependence on the electric grid for food, water, heat, gasoline, trucking, and everything else that people just do not get?

    I don't need a "word" to know that anybody with any realistic understanding of Jihad ( or even solar flares and how they can bring down the electric grid like they did in the past) will have a few months of food stashed away- minimum. More to share would be the godly think to do. I am stashing up for us and all my friends as well.

    If this really was the holy spirit talking I tend to think God would be saying to get a year of food in every church, you need to be ready to feed the hungry.
    What is it about the fragility of the electric grid, the banks, and the food supply that Christians can't wrap their mind around? I just don't get it.

    This was on the main page of World Net Daily this morning..For what it's worth.

    In the fall of 2001, Pastor David Wilkerson, of Times Square Church in New York City, was warned by God that a calamity was coming. For six weeks they felt an intense burden and enormous heaviness. A critical need for intercession was so profound that Pastor Wilkerson canceled everything on the church calendar – mission's conferences, youth events and every guest speaker.

    For six weeks, there wasn't a sermon. Instead, there was intercession for our nation with weeping and repentance. They knew something was coming and that something was bad. And that something was soon. So they prayed. And prayed … and prayed.

    Then Wilkerson felt God telling him something that seemed rather bizarre. He felt God telling him to make sandwiches – lots of sandwiches. What were they for? Who would eat them? That part wasn't clear, but his church did what they believed God was telling them anyway.

    And on the 10th of September they stayed up all night making hundreds and hundreds of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. By morning they had about 2,000 sandwiches. At 8:46 a.m. the first plane hit the World Trade Center and Times Square Church was ready to feed and minister to rescue workers and victims of our nation's worst attack.

    Hey, if you want to live in NYC with nothing in the house but a couple cartons of yoghut in the fridge and some chips in the closet, go ahead. I think it would be smarter to remember that God gave some warnings to early reformers like Rutherford and others that turned out to be true. They were RARE, and NOT His usual means of leading and speaking. But they happened on rare occasion.

    edit to add- before the mods ban me for this alleged non cessationist quote about Wilkerson, somebody else started this thread to discredit him, and I think it is the righteous thing to do to allow this refutation to be added here if the original post is allowed here.
  4. steven-nemes

    steven-nemes Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think it is interesting that a person would "feel" like God is telling them something. Surely if it's God, he would know it to be so?
  5. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    I think it is interesting that a person would "feel" like God is telling them something. Surely if it's God, he would know it to be so?

    THAT IS THE POINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The nation is filled with thousands of charismatic idiots declaring thus sayeth the Lord like they are infallible. I know these people, I have wrestled in debate with them for YEARS. It is a sewer out there. It is unbelieveable, the arrogance and lack of humility. They think they have a hotline to heaven.

    Wilkerson KNOWS he might be wrong, he might be decieved by a lying spirit, he is infallible, and he expects nobody to put him on the level of canon. He repeats this over and over.

    He has a few doctrines I don't agree with but come on, give the guy a break for being humble and admitting his infallibility.
  6. steven-nemes

    steven-nemes Puritan Board Sophomore

    I would doubt it if I was told that any of the Old Testament prophets used the same language, as well as New Testament prophets. I don't believe him.
  7. SolaGratia

    SolaGratia Puritan Board Junior

    Looks like this is a Baptist Thing! :)
  8. steven-nemes

    steven-nemes Puritan Board Sophomore

    I suppose the optimistic postmillennialists aren't worried about the brother's "prophesy"...
  9. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    God never speaks a "maybe."

    We don't need fools telling us that "God told me" and then a week later "Whoops!"

    We need Scripture and more respect for Scripture. This dumb "thus maybe saith" is getting more press than the Scripture this week, and will be used to mock the living God when it does not come to pass.

  10. historyb

    historyb Puritan Board Junior

    and if it does
  11. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Then He should be treated like the money market fund managers who advised getting out of stocks.

    This is the same guy who "predicted" all the race riots that destroy NYC in the late 1990s. You know, the ones that never happened?
  12. steven-nemes

    steven-nemes Puritan Board Sophomore

    If it does come to pass, then [insert interpretation of proceeding events based on your eschatological affiliation]
  13. SolaGratia

    SolaGratia Puritan Board Junior

    Then the bible will be rejected, by most.
  14. historyb

    historyb Puritan Board Junior

  15. steven-nemes

    steven-nemes Puritan Board Sophomore

    My interpretation: "People won't need scripture; we have this prophet! We can talk to him!"
  16. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    Actually it'll work the opposite way. People will want to know what DW says, and they'll find out he is telling them to get into the word and prayer and serving God and stop wasting time and money on addiction to entertainment. And they will notice his rants against the prosperity gospel and his exhortations to give to missions. I think it'll be truly positive for the American church if we do have another 9-11 type event soon, and this gets big coverage. DW has the same sort of impact for missions and evangelism that guys like Piper and Alcorn have.

    He quotes guys like Spurgeon, John Owen, and Edwards all the time. Maybe some of the doctrinally challenged will even want to read the authors he quotes if something big happens.

    Its a moot point, really. You think 10,000 well funded Jihaders in the USA are just gonna roll over and leave us alone? Think again. I could be a prophetess myself without the holy spirit even entering into the discussion :lol: You think Kahn in Pakistan sold nuclear secrets to at least four nations (as well as maybe enriched uranium) and nobody is ever gonna float an old boat under a fake flag 12 miles off shore, open the hatch, and lob one over at a coastal city?
  17. steven-nemes

    steven-nemes Puritan Board Sophomore

    Something I've never understood, having grown up around a lot of Pentecostals and charismatics and dispensationalists, is why the heck is America so special? Why does God tell us that he is going to judge his people in America? Why is America his new Israel, his chosen country? Why aren't Christians in, say, Eastern European villages going to be killed by Islamic radicals in a massive nuclear attack? I don't see what is so special about America, and why God would bother letting his prophets in America know that the chosen country is going to be attacked en masse.
  18. historyb

    historyb Puritan Board Junior

    Why? Because we are a nation of freedom and the enemies of freedom would love to see us die
  19. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    John Piper Reponds to Wilkerson "Prophecy"

    Perhaps people might remember that episode with Jehosophat and Ahab and the false prophets that abounded in Israel.

    Did they receive revelation? You bet they did.

    From lying spirits.

    A nation with Christians too obsessed with their navels to read the Scriptures loves the kind of theology that turns our inner thoughts into Words from above.

    God judges in mysterious ways and might we even consider it a judgment to have lying spirits hardening hearts in their rebellion against the revealed Word by having them continually focus on the fantastic instead of the revealed? Let us not forget that even Christ taught in Parables to leave some men condemned and judged in their sins.
  20. Athaleyah

    Athaleyah Puritan Board Sophomore

    If he is a true prophet of God, his revelation IS infallible. Elijah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, all gave infallible prophesies because they were speaking directly for God. If you are wrong, even slightly wrong, even once, and claim to speak in the name of God, you are a false prophet. Do you not realize how serious it is to claim that God said something he did not say? Really think about this... it is blasphemy to say God said something he did not say. Would you take the risk of committing blasphemy is you are not absolutely sure what you are saying is from God?

    Personally I don't expect any further prophetic revelation from God. I think that prophets were sent for a particular reason to establish God's purposes in redemption and to establish the church. There was no need for them after the canon of scripture was established. God told us in the Bible what we need to know until the end of time, why would we want to listen to fallible men?
  21. Hamalas

    Hamalas whippersnapper

    Do you maybe mean "fallible" here?
  22. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    Hamalas..oops :)

    Just curious- would anybody here have problem with saying that you THINK God led you to a particular church, or God led you to marry a certain person, or you felt led to take a certain job? He leads us, He guides us, we use our brain and biblical principles, but don't you think He personally leads us to our vocations and so forth? Is it so hard to think you might feel led to prepare for a catastrophe?

    Steven, we are seen by the militant Jihad as supporting Israel. Thus the big satan and the little satan labels.

    If Hungary, or Estonia, or some dinky nation somewhere announced that they were going to give money and weapons to Israel, you can be sure that they would become a target too. This has nothing to do with dispensationalism. It is a realistic look at how much Islam hates any friend of the Jews.

    I assume London is targeted actually, maybe Paris. Maybe some big financial centers in the orient and India too. It isn't just the USA.

    I know a guy who knows one of the military guys who was there, at the Atlanta warehouse, where they found 2 dozen empty surface to air missile boxes (or whatever they come in.) Never been found. 5% of our cargo containers get checked- what do you think is coming in? Aztlan (Mexicans) wants to take back the American Southwest and is arming to the teeth, do you know what is happening with Mexico and weapons? It isn't just Islam.

    Hey, people can ignore warnings like this but a lot of folks here have babies. What harm is there in getting extra formula and diapers and baby food, and rotating it. What does it hurt to start rotating a big stash of pasta and spagehtti sauce, peanut butter and jelly, rice and beans, or whatever you eat? What is the downside?

    People think nothing has happened since 9-11 so it never will. One of these days I think some Mullah is gonna look at the planets and the entrails of a goat and decide it is the day for action in the USA. And when that day comes they are armed and ready. They'll shoot at airplanes, explode bombs, and do all they can to destroy. Their fatwa demands they pay us back for 4 million Iraqi dead, and they'll kill all they can.

    I lie awake begging God for mercy on His people. We live so frugally just so we can prepare a bit. I just don't get it that so many Christians don't see it coming at some point. Hey, all I can do is keep praying. People think stashing up month of food can't possibly be God's will? Like I said, I just don't get it.
  23. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    There is a HUGE difference between illumination and the guiding of the Spirit on one hand, and revelation and prophecy on the other. My disagreement is not with whether someone should stock up on food, but with someone who claims to speak for God. Either he speaks authoritatively where he should not, or he makes God speak "unauthoritatively" which is EVEN WORSE, because it encourages an ignoring of God when He speaks.

    I would have no problem if someone said (wisely, I would say) "looking at the Biblical accounts of hatred for Christ's people, and the historical information about Islamofascists, Americans would do well to be prepared for some kind of attack." That is worlds away (Biblically speaking) from "God told me that X was going to happen."

    The first man should be listened to, his ideas, analyzed, interacted with, and either agreed with or rejected based on Biblical principles of wisdom.

    The second man should be dismissed as a crank, and told to spend more time with the Bible.
  24. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Good point! There is also the occasion of the damsel with the spirit of divination who constantly followed Paul and his company and drew attention to them as the messengers of salvation. It was a grief to Paul because it associated his ministry with "divination."
  25. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Actually, check out Jeremiah. He would say 'the word of the Lord came to me' and later he would point to an event and would say 'this is how I knew it was the Lord'. My paraphrase...

    Acts Jerusalem council 'It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and us'...

    sorry, I'm writing in a hurry
  26. Jimmy the Greek

    Jimmy the Greek Puritan Board Senior

    I haven't read all the posts above, and am not inclined to do so. :cool:

    However, I find Piper's response amazing:

    First, it does not resonate with my spirit when he claims that God told him to “lay in store a thirty-day supply of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials” because when disaster comes “grocery stores are emptied in an hour.” God might have said this. But it doesn’t smell authentic to me. Too prudential. Too reminiscent of the embarrassing Y2K excesses.

    His criteria in evaluating Wilkerson's prophecy are (1) it does not resonate with my spirit , and (2) it doesn’t smell authentic.

    That is hysterical. :lol: But I guess that's what you're left with if the gifts continue today.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  27. steven-nemes

    steven-nemes Puritan Board Sophomore

    But Jeremiah and the apostles knew it was the Word of the Lord. This guy is saying it feels like it is.
  28. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    I saw that too, Jim. I was hoping that it was a stab at subtle irony. But I'm not so sure. . . .
  29. Dr. Bob Gonzales

    Dr. Bob Gonzales Puritan Board Junior

    Assessing Piper's Response to Wilkerson

    I, like others on this thread, am a cessationist. In fact, I inserted this brief article about Wilkerson and Piper in the midst of a series of blogs I’m writing entitled, “A Humble Argument for the Cessation of NT Prophecy and Tongues.” I just posted Part 6 in which I’ll address and endeavor to refute Wayne Grudem’s attempt to distinguish OT canonical prophecy from NT congregational prophecy.

    I’m sorry that Piper, an otherwise excellent preacher and theologian, has sided with Grudem on this debate. As a result, he has deprived himself of one important polemical weapon that might be employed against such self-proclaimed prophets as David Wilkerson, namely, the polemic that such revelatory gifts as prophecy have fulfilled their purpose and, therefore, have ceased.

    Nevertheless, one of the purposes of this post was to demonstrate that we should resist the temptation to lump all non-cessationists together. There is, in my mind, a significant difference between a John Piper and a David Wilkerson. Piper gives a much higher place to the Scriptures as the supreme authority for matters of faith and life than does Wilkerson. Moreover, Piper, unlike some non-cessationists, is willing to “test the spirits” and to say publicly when he thinks an alleged prophecy is wrong.

    Granted, as some have pointed out, Piper’s own view of prophecy, namely, that genuine NT prophecy is by nature potentially fallible, hinders him from issuing as strong a censure to Wilkerson as we might wish. But before we’re too hard on Piper, we need to thank God that He overrules many of our own inconsistencies. When I was once Arminian in my soteriology, I, nevertheless, prayed like a Calvinist because of my commitment to certain teachings in Scripture. "Thank you, God, for overruling my inconsistency!" And I’m almost 100% sure that I haven’t arrived at doctrinal perfection and consistency yet. Hopefully, God will overrule my remaining doctrinal weaknesses and cause me to be blessedly inconsistent in those areas. With that in view, I thank God that Piper’s commitment to the supremacy of Scripture has trumped his view of ongoing prophecy.

    There’s more I should say. A few of you have noted Piper’s use of subjective language. Piper is uncomfortable with Wilkinson’s prophecy because it does not “resonate with [his] spirit” and “does not have the feel of authority to [him].” Two things should be noted: first, sound epistemology recognizes that there’s no such thing as a purely objective human knowledge. That is to say, knowledge, discernment, evaluation, etc., necessarily involve the engagement of one’s subjective psychological faculties. Some may not like terms like “resonate” or “feels.” But is "know" or “think” any less subjective? According to Paul, man’s been created as the imago Dei with a sense of the Deity and conscience that “resonates” with God’s self-authenticating general and special revelation. Moreover, lest we’re too quick to fault Piper for failing to use stronger and more objective language, we need to acknowledge the the NT writers themselves sometimes used terminology that has a subjective sound to it, as one brother on the PB noted. For example,
    “For it has seemed [Greek dokeo] good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements [emphasis added]” (Acts 15:28, ESV).
    Of course, the point of this text is not to render the requirements uncertain or less binding. It's just to point that language like "it seems to me" or "I feel that" or "this doesn't resonate with my spirit" is not necessarily unbiblical or mere sentimental mishmash.

    Second, and this complements the first point, the title of Piper’s response to Wilkerson suggests that he’s trying to follow the biblical protocol “testing the spirits” against Scripture to see whether they’re of God (1 Thess. 5:21; 1 John 4:1-6). The fact that Piper quotes Scripture in his assessment of Wilkerson’s prophecy leads me to believe that he’s using canonical Scripture as the basis for his assessment, not a prophetic hunch or a mere personal opinion. Here I’m inclined to place the best construction on Piper’s words though I still disagree with the continuationist framework from which he operates.

    If you follow the rest of my posts on cessationism, I think you’ll find that I’m not justifying Piper’s own view of prophecy. Just want to be fair to the man and encourage Christians to resist the temptation of lumping men like him together with less principled and biblical oriented non-cessationists. For a chart that illustrates differences among non-cessationists, click here.

    Your servant,
  30. Jimmy the Greek

    Jimmy the Greek Puritan Board Senior

    The best response that Piper could have given about Wilkerson's prophecy is, "Consider the source." period. Nothing more need be said nor more effort expended.
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