Will There Be A Depression? by David Wilkerson
There is a “survival panic” gripping this nation. Some economic experts warn Americans to flee the cities, buy a home or acreage in the country, hoard a supply of dried foods and ammunition, lay away a stash of gold or diamonds, and get ready for a terrifying depression. At this very moment, economic gloom is covering the nation like a dark, foreboding cloud. Unemployment is spreading, and, in some parts of the country, it is nearly as bad as it was during the depression of the 1930’s.
Everywhere I travel now, people ask me, “David, where is our nation headed? Is this the economic storm you warned about in your VISION book back in 1973? Are we going to have another great depression? What do you hear from the Lord about the present problem?”
Those who read my books and other publications know that I warned of a false economic boom that would be followed by a severe economic recession – and that was said when many others were predicting a collapse in 1973. We have experienced that false economic boom, and now a recession is raging throughout the land. Daily, I receive requests from people to update the message of THE VISION.
Let me begin by saying this: Even though I was one of the first of those warning Americans to prepare for an economic storm, the purpose of my warnings was to awaken children of God to His faithfulness in hard times. The theme of my message of warning has always been, “God has everything under control.” Never have I suggested people should take the matter of survival in their own hands.
Tragically, too many Christians are living in fear, as if everything was out of control. They worry that an influx of foreigners will cause further unemployment and that spies are being imported with the refugees. They worry that the nation is falling apart – spiritually, economically, and morally. They worry that the economy will collapse, that anarchy will break out and make our cities uninhabitable, that food will become scarce, that inflation will spin out of control, that their children will be left to face a world of total chaos.
Here is my message about current events!
1. The Fear Of Impending Calamities
Can Do More Damage
Than The Calamities Themselves!
The Bible says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Will there be a depression soon? Is this the economic storm so many ministers and economists have been warning of? Will the present recession turn into a deep, long depression? Or, is this another short-lived adjustment of the economy?
Frankly, I don’t know! And neither does any other human on earth. The economists are giving us terribly conflicting forecasts. So-called “prophets” are sending out all kinds of confusing warnings. Let me list a few of the recent warnings that have been sent to my office by self-proclaimed “prophets.”
Last year, hundreds of worried Christians wrote to me about a prophecy by a South American prophetess that most of Florida would be inundated by a tidal wave. Many Christians slipped out of Florida on the predicted date on a so – called “vacation” – just in case the lady was right. Florida is still with us!
Nine months ago, two sincere Lutheran charismatic gentlemen sent out warnings that a major earthquake would shake the Chicago area – that Russians would land in New York and invade the land, etc., etc. I was shocked by the numbers of Christians who were taken in by these so-called prophecies. Chicago still stands – the Russsians have not invaded.
A “prophet” from Texas told me in no uncertain terms that I must warn the nation that Jesus was coming at noon April 7, 1980. The deadline passed and the good brother is, no doubt, busy getting a new date.
Various groups around the nation are predicting that America will soon be overtaken by calamities – except in certain “safety zones. They warn other Christians to join them in these safety zones to save themselves from earthquakes, famine, enemy armies, and other horrible disasters. Of course, you are expected to sell all you have and bring the proceeds with you to their safety zones.
It is so sad, because most of these who preach such a message are sincere – and they mean well. But their messages are unscriptural, and they are in error. Christians today must not heed any fearful message that is not balanced by God’s promise to protect and keep, anywhere, at any time.
No human on earth knows when, how, or where God will send judgment. The times and seasons are all in His hands. God has dealt with me personally about using dates, names, or places; and, when I disobey God on this matter, I end up speculating, rather than truly prophesying. All true prophecy must offer hope and comfort to God’s people who live by faith.
There are some predictions that are contrary to the Word of God. For example, California simply cannot “break off and fall into the Pacific.” No matter how powerful an earthquake there may be on the West Coast, the boundaries are secure. The Bible says,
“He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end” (Job 26:10).
That sounds to me like a contract that is good until this earth is dissolved. The Bible also says,
“…who shut up the sea with doors… And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?” (Job 38:8,11)
Where do you live? In an earthquake zone, maybe near a fault line? Do you live in a city that could one day be strangled by wildcat Teamsters’ strikes? Do you live in a sprawling suburb that seems less secure as the days go by? Do you live in a crowded apartment – not a blade of grass or a cow in sight? No food stored up? No gold bars or coins to hedge against inflation? No garden to raise your own food? No country hideaway? No place to hide if anarchy breaks out? Nothing to fall back on if the economy collapses? Nothing to live on if you lose your job? Do you feel left out when others around you boast about their plans for the future?
Don’t panic! You have all you need if you will believe in our Lord’s promise of protection. Every child of God has an ironclad contract of survival. The more I read the words of Jesus, the more I believe He is asking for our childlike trust in Him – to keep us safe in every situation.
My advice is to stay put and quit listening to voices that speak warnings contrary to Scripture. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Paul refused to use dates or set times and seasons in relation to prophecy. “But the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you” (1 Thessalonians 5:1). Paul went on to say that Christ works “as a thief in the night… moving unexpectedly… when least expected.”
Jesus also warned against moving in panic when false prophecies go forth in the land. He said, “Wherefore if they say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not” (Matthew 24:26). Christ warned us to not believe men or women who claim a secret revelation about when and where Christ will strike with the lightning of judgment.
“Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken” (Proverbs 3:25,26).
2. Get Your Own Direction From God About The Future!
Don’t depend on David Wilkerson to tell you about the future. If you are a child of God, you can hear from Him just as well as I do! Don’t depend on Jim Baker of PTL or Pat Robertson of 700 Club. Don’t depend on someone you believe has a gift of prophecy to tell you about the future.
I was saddened a few years ago when ministers told me I ruined their building programs by my message of warning in THE VISION. One wrote to me and said, “My board vetoed our church building program because they think you predicted a depression.” Thousands of others read THE VISION and threw it down in anger. The trouble was, they didn’t take time to read my message to the Christian at the back of the book that “God has everything under control!”
I have businessmen contact me from all over the world, including bankers and industrialists, as far away as Japan. Even Jewish businessmen want my advice about the future. I don’t give anybody any advice! I say to Christians, “You know the Lord as well as I do. Go to Him; He will not keep you in darkness. He will show you what to do, specifically, for your own needs.”
I admit I have been wrong at times. I’ve been overzealous and, at times, have unknowingly slipped off into speculation. None of my books are infallible. They are honestly sincere, but they are not the Gospel. I am sure they contain mistakes, and no Christian should plan his life or future by what I or any other minister says. Obey the Word, yes. But, at the same time, learn to hear from God on your own. To have a “shepherd” direct your future plan is totally unscriptural and dangerous.
I don’t mind telling you what I think is happening at present. This is not inspired – it is not a prophecy – it is only what I personally believe will happen. I am less concerned about the present economic downturn than I was in 1973. I don’t think this is the big recession, yet – and the economy may well come back by the end of the year. We could yet see a quick turnaround and another false boom. I don’t know. This is only what I believe – and I could be dead wrong. But if the economy does come back, I think God’s people should be clearly warned by what we are seeing now – and use the false boom time to get everything in order. We know now how quickly a depression could be upon us. Could it be that God is telling us all to realize how fragile material things are and that we must get back to real values? Also, if God shakes this land much more with a deep and long recession, all this emphasis on prosperity preaching and materialistic faith will come to naught. Such ministers will face the censure of thousands of disillusioned Christians who are not prepared for suffering and difficult times. Somehow, God will force us back to humility, simplicity, and a zeal for missions.
If you are spending time on your knees in the secret closet of prayer, you are not worried about the future. God is doing a most wonderful thing for those who have turned to Him in simple faith and childlike prayer, looking for guidance. He is sending a revival of personal guidance. Do you need direction right now? Building plans? Business expansion? Questions about your next move? Personal problems? God can and will tell you what to do – when to do it – and how to do it! He delights in directing our step. God always gives specific directions to those who are willing to obey Him and who believe He is concerned about every detail of life.
I know there will be some who write to me and say, “David, who am I to believe? There are so many conflicting predictions and prophecies – and they all seem to come from men and women who appear to be very godly. Who are we to believe?”
You are to believe only what the Holy Spirit confirms to be the truth to your own heart, as you test it by the Word of God and diligent prayer. Actually, it is getting pretty ridiculous – with so many predicting so many conflicting things. All the more reason for each believer to be in contact with the Lord, personally. The praying Christian can listen to all these warnings, examine each one, accept what is worthwhile and be unmoved by all the rest. All true messages from God’s throne will be confirmed individually to each praying Christian.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5,6).
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye” (Psalm 32:8).
“I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins [heart or mind] also instruct me in the night seasons” (Psalm 16:7).
3. God Has Emergency Plans For
Every Believer During Crisis Times!
No matter how unsettled the world becomes, God’s people can relax and keep their joy flowing, because our Lord has promised special protection when it is most needed.
Didn’t God have an emergency plan for the children of Israel during the worldwide famine? He sent Joseph ahead to Egypt, promoted him to prime minister, filled the warehouses with enough grain to last out the famine – then transported his people within walking distance of those storehouses and fed them to the full all through the raging famine.
Didn’t God have emergency plans for Elijah? While his nation reeled under the impact of an economic collapse and food was scare because of severe famine – and a wicked king had a ransom on his head – God put His emergency plan for Elijah into effect. He hid him by a quiet brook and fed him by having a bird deliver his food. The survival plan also included a mysterious barrel of grain that never ran out.
What about Noah? What a detailed survival plan God had for him and his family! An ark – floating him and his family safely above all the death and destruction of a worldwide flood.
And Lot? God actually sent angels to personally pull him and his children out of the doomed city of Sodom. God’s hands were tied until Lot was safely out of the suburbs. It was more than a loss of his job, more than a collapse of the economy, more than a downfall of the government – it was total annihilation of his society. But Lot was delivered safely.
Paul proved God’s emergency contingencies over and again! This apostle was shipwrecked, chased by thieves, imprisoned, accused of treason, plotted against by assassins – yet, in every crisis, God had a contingency plan for deliverance. Only when God determined his race was over did He call in His last contingency plan. He called him to his resurrection.
We, too, have an emergency plan for survival – designed specifically for each believer,
Let there be no question about it. God will see us through every crisis. There is no crisis that Satan can throw against the children of God that can bring them down. Not depression, not famine, not a loss of job, not sickness or suffering of any kind. God will deliver His children with a high and mighty hand. There is not one single reason to fear.
In 1973 I wrote the following message in “THE VISION.” This message is just as relevant today, as it was then. It is the theme of my writings and my ministry – “God has everything under control!” The message of the Bible to all true believers is:
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).
Men’s hearts are failing them for fear over the things happening to this earth. People are hoarding up, saving up, and getting ready for the coming worldwide recession. Even devout Christians are getting caught up in this wave of fear and anxiety about the future. People are afraid the ship is sinking. Mankind is yearning for security, and it has led to an epidemic of “grabbing” for houses, land, money, and guaranteed income.
Does it all sound scary? Is the truth frightening? One thing is certain – everything appears to be falling apart, as far as the natural eye can discern. Even the most doubtful person on earth must, in his honest moments, admit that something apocalyptic is taking place in the world.
Along with the vision of calamities, God gave me a very special message of hope for all true believers. I desperately questioned God about all the things I saw coming. I asked Him to show me how Christians could do all they have to do in a limited time when so many were forsaking and going into hiding. How can Christians keep fear Out of their hearts? How can they face all the news reports and anticipate all the calamities and disasters without being afraid for their homes and children? Do they abdicate and turn this old world over to the devil and let him have his way? Do they pay off all their bills, salt away some reserves in the bank, then just try to ride it all out – hoping that a better day will come? Do they buy a farm or a piece of land and flee to the country – hoping they can escape the coming tragedies? Do they let their motivation die and surrender to fear? Do they abandon all their dreams and ambitions and become as hermits looking for truth?
Dear friend, hear what the Holy Spirit spoke to me. Just five little words, but so powerful that they awakened in me a glorious new hope and faith. Those five little words are: God has everything under control.
That is right – everything is under control! You and I, and everything that touches us, are under His control. It’s true! No matter how things look in this drunken world, all things are still working together for good to everyone who loves God and are the called according to His purpose [Rom. 8:28].
Let the dollar fall. Let depression or recession come with its unemployment and fear. Let pollution and inflation come. Let there be wars and rumors of wars. Let the fabric of society disintegrate. Let mankind go to the drunken brink of disaster. For the true child of God, everything is still under control! It really doesn’t matter – nothing can harm those who abide under the shelter of His almighty wings. The shadow of the Almighty is bigger than any fearful shadow this age can project. God’s children need fear no evil. His children will never beg for bread, and He will supply every true need up to the very last minute of time.
God has not promised to keep His children from suffering. He has not promised to keep us from facing an hour of need. We have no promise of world peace, tranquility, security, or continuous financial well-being. We are promised peace and security of soul and mind – the supernatural provision for every true need – and assurance that we would never have to beg for bread. God would rather we all come to the place Paul the apostle came to when he said,
“Having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (1 Timothy 6:8).
The future looks evil and foreboding. But David said in the Psalms, “I will fear no evil” [Psa. 23:4]. This is the message for believers today. The future is also under His control, so we need not fear. God has it all preprogrammed. He knows the exact moment Christ will return. The final tribulation, the judgment, and the battle of Armageddon are all on His calendar. The God who controls all of heaven and earth said:
“The nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance:
“…All nations before him are as nothing;… less than nothing” (Isaiah 40:15, 17).
God wants us to keep working until the return of Christ. That means simply that we are to work as though the end will never come, and live as though it were coming tomorrow.
God is still counting the very hairs on our heads. He is still counting the sparrows that fall. He is still hearing petitions before they are asked. He is still answering before being called. He is still giving abundantly more than we can ask or think. So why be afraid?
Prepared Christians, wake up! Everything is under control, and God is at work! He is saving, healing, baptising, and getting His house in order. To fear is to blaspheme. We are commanded to encourage ourselves in the Lord and to begin to sing and rejoice as we see the final hour approach. Do I hear someone ask, “But how can I rejoice when I see this old sin-cursed world falling apart?” My answer is the Bible answer:
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain… waiting the redemption” (Romans 8:22,23).
A woman in labor may scream because of pain; yet, in her heart, she rejoices because of the fact of new birth.
The kingdom of God is coming. The kingdom of Satan is falling. So the Christian can, wifh confidence, say: God has everything under control!