Pentecostal preacher David Wilkerson passed away in a tragic auto accident on 04/27/11. Click here for a CBN news item on his passing.
In memory of the late David Wilkerson (1931-2011), I am attempting to locate and post various sermons of his. Specifically, sermons regarding false teachers.
Following are excerpts from a Wilkerson sermon regarding traits of false teachers. I have emphasized certain points by bolding or [bracketing] them. The entire sermon is excellent; I had a hard time narrowing it down.
Note: I find it interesting that this sermon was preached in 1991, before the rise of Emerging/Emergent teachings. This sermon seems very relevant.
[World Challenge Pulpit Series]
Another Jesus, Another Spirit, Another Gospel
By David Wilkerson
October 7, 1991
… New doctrines, new revelations and new gospels are springing up almost daily. And it’s going to get much worse. The Bible clearly warns that in the last days strange doctrines will come forth – introducing another Jesus, another Spirit, another gospel!
The apostle Paul called together the elders of the church at Ephesus, and his final words to these beloved saints were: “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30)…
Beloved, my greatest joy in glory – along with Paul and every true minister of God - will be to hear each of your names called by the Lord, see you stand before Him overflowing with devotion and humility, and hear Him say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
That truly is the one desire of my heart. And that is why I preach with fire and zeal. If Paul were alive today and preaching from the pulpit of Times Square Church, he would say the same thing to us tearfully every time he spoke: “Beware! An invasion is coming! False teachers and false doctrines will bombard you from all sides. They will introduce to you another Christ. They will not be of the Holy Spirit, but of another spirit. And it will not be the true gospel – it will be another.” …
So often, a good-hearted, solid Christian will hand me a tape and say, “You’ve got to hear this teacher. The message is incredible, powerful! Everybody’s talking about it.” So I listen. And it sounds pretty good – anointed, new and fresh. But then the Spirit begins to churn inside me.
Does this ever happen with you? As you listen, you feel an uneasiness – so you wait, and you keep listening. You say, “I don’t hear anything wrong yet. But something does not sound right.” And if you stay with it, suddenly, there it is – error. Gross, total error – frightful heresy! Unscriptural interpretations, fanciful dreams, man’s own ideas, as if a mystery is being unlocked. But it does not line up with God’s Word.
Paul was amazed by how easily some of the Galatians were swayed: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-8)….
Paul was saying, “Don’t be so gentlemanly and ladylike about it. If it’s not the gospel you heard from me, it’s not of God. It’s accursed, rotten, deadly. It is serious business, and it will trouble you if you get caught up in it. So don’t take it lightly. Don’t bear with it, and don’t be nice about it. Let the one who preaches it be accursed!”…
How shall we know then what is the true gospel, and what is accursed?
… all false gospels have the same traits in common. God did not leave this important matter to guess-work. He has made it very clear, and there are absolute clues to watch for, which expose the teaching as false:
1. Any Teaching That Undermines the Fear of God is Accursed – Of the Devil!
All false teachers have this one message in common: “Relax, God cant’ be hard. He won’t hurt you–He loves you. A loving God wants you to enjoy life.” The enemy’s trick is to move you away from the awesome reverence and fear of a holy God who judges sin. All false doctrine has this one aim–to undermine the fear of God in you…
I’ve heard from godly, heartbroken youth pastors who have been fired from their churches or are quitting. They preach holiness and the fear of God to the teenagers, but the pastors and parents are complaining that they bring a bondage to the youth: “We don’t want you preaching that stuff to our kids.” These teenagers (some of whom are preacher’s kids) are living in total rebellion. They are disrespectful, fooling their parents, lusting after the world. And the messages about holiness and the fear of God are shaking these kids up because they’re never heard it before.
We have raised an entire generation that is totally devoid of the fear of God. They have never known anything about judgement. They’ve always had everything they’ve wanted. They say, “We want rock-and-roll,” and their parents say, “don’t upset them. Bring rock-and-roll into the church and give it Christian lyrics.” Or, “they’re going to have sex anyway, so let’s give them protection.” [I almost left out this "racy" statement, but I wanted to point out that I personally encountered this view of teenage sexuality almost thirty years ago - in a supposedly conservative evangelical denomination!]
These youth have never known God’s fear, because pastors and parents have made God out to be the great appeaser in the sky. Only a handful of Christian youth today walk in holiness. Why? Because pastors are too weak to preach the gospel in the pulpit–and because parents are living double lives, and their kids know it!
Some Christians have written to me, “Brother Dave, you preach so hard. Do you preach that way all the time in your church? Do the people take it?” My answer is this: We are called to preach the Word with such power and authority that it will produce a constant fear of God in every hearer. Those who won’t forsake their pet sins won’t stay, because they will be offended. They will turn away their ears from the truth and will seek out teachers to cater to their lusts (see 2 Timothy 4:1-4).
God’s Word says, “By the fear of the Lord men depart from evil” (Proverbs 16:6). Here is what I believe a true gospel message must produce in us:
1) A hatred for sin that allows no excuses or alibis.
2) A conviction for all spiritual laziness and compromise.
3) An inner knowledge that God does not wink at our sins.
4) A conviction that we will reap what we sow.
5) A righteous, holy fear of God.
6) A confidence that He will deliver us from every sin we hate and resist.
… Beware of any message that breaks conviction for sin, that produces a spirit of non-vigilance, that eases you back softly and whispers, “All is well.” All such tranquilizers are false gospels!
David Wilkerson then presented three more clues to look for in recognizing false teachers:
2. Beware of Any Gospel That Diverts You From Single-Minded Devotion to Jesus Christ
3. There Can Be No Devotion to Christ Without a Walk of Holiness
4. The True Gospel Is Concerned With Your Heart [and convicts your heart of sin] – for Out of It Come the Issues Of Life!
Click here for the entire transcript of David Wilkerson’s sermon.
This is a very important sermon; I pray you will read through the entire sermon carefully. Note – each of the clues to spotting false teachers is extremely important; each point could be covered in depth in a separate blog, respectively.