Editor's Note: This is the seventh of a nine-part series, with a new installment presented every day in Charisma Digital Daily. You can access the previous story here. These articles are excerpted from Stephen E. Strang's God, Trump and COVID-19, which is now available to purchase. Click here to learn more.
David Wilkerson shared an amazing 30-year old prophetic word with my friend Mike Evans, who happened upon it only recently. Mike told me he picked up his Bible one day, and a handwritten note about his conversation with the late evangelist David Wilkerson fell out. The message it contained shook Mike to his knees.
Wilkerson became famous on the mean streets of New York in 1958, when he began ministering to gang members and drug addicts. He later started Teen Challenge, which now has 1,400 affiliate centers in over 129 nations around the globe. But despite his beginnings, Wilkerson is better known today as a prophet who warned people in a bold and unafraid manner about the truth of God's Word in order to draw them to Jesus. He had a unique gift mix-a prophet with the heart of an evangelist—which made for a radical, soul-winning, weeping prophet.
I followed his ministry closely over the years, having been impacted as a teenager by reading his best-known book, The Cross and the Switchblade. I also know that not all of his prophecies came to pass. But I was deeply moved when Mike, founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, told me about a prophecy of Wilkerson's that came to light recently-nine years after his death.
The handwritten note was from a meeting Mike had with Wilkerson—or Brother Dave, as Mike refers to him—at the Embassy Suites near the Dallas-Fort Worth airport in 1986.
It was a prophetic word Wilkerson gave Mike, who wrote it down and stuck it in the Bible he used at the time. It stayed there until Mike found it not long ago. The prophecy said: "I see a plague coming on the world and the bars, church, and government shut down. The plague will hit New York City and shake it like it has never been shaken. The plague is going to force prayerless believers into radical prayer, into their Bibles and repentance will be the cry from true men of God in the pulpit. And out of it will come a third Great Awakening that will sweep America and the world."
Mike did a widely distributed video sermon telling about this prophecy and then included it in his book A Great Awakening Is Coming which released on April 16, 2020. Immediately people online began saying Wilkerson never said it. There was no proof. It was a private conversation. Someone told me some of Wilkerson's family members were making it seem as if Mike made it up. So I decided to email his son Gary, whom I've known over the years. He replied: "I have read the post and we at World Challenge have no written quotes exactly like the one circulating widely, [though] I do feel it could very well be something my father would have said." That was good enough for me to include in this book, especially since Mike Evans and I have been good friends for many years, and I absolutely trust his word.
But how could something so terrible lead to an awakening of that magnitude? Mike said this is how God often works. The first two Great Awakenings came around times of hardship.
"The two Great Awakenings that America has [had that shook] the entire nation happened around the time of the American Revolution and the Civil War," he said. "The pilgrims came to this country on fire for God, but their children didn't. Their children became cold in their souls. And America started pushing away. And then all of a sudden, here comes this manifested Great Awakening that shook the nation. And then you had the American Revolution. You had another one, and you had the Civil War. And I thought, 'Wow, [Wilkerson] said there's going to be a third Great Awakening."'
Could it be that this COVID-19 pandemic we're experiencing is the trial that will usher in the next Great Awakening? Mike said for that awakening to happen, God needs to uproot idols from this nation.
"People have taken and allowed things to become their idols; money and materialism has become an idol; their success and ... reputation has become an idol," he said.
He believes that for some in America who strongly support President Trump, their devotion to him has become like an idol. Even this must go. God demands our whole hearts and nothing less. "I think that God is shaking us because He's taken all of our security away," Mike said. ''All the things that [made us] comfortable [must be] removed."
Outside certain Christian circles, few pay much attention to prophecy, but these times are different. Even Fox News reported in March 2020 on a prophecy from rising prophetic voice Shawn Bolz, who said at the time that the Lord had shown him the end of the coronavirus. I reported on March 9 about what I considered Fox's evenhanded treatment and was shocked it was my biggest podcast ever—by more than double.
Later when I did a second podcast and interviewed Shawn, he told me that the response to the story about him on Fox News had been incredible. If nothing else, this shows that people are hungry for God, perhaps even more so now that COVID-19 is wreaking havoc.
Shawn's prophecy had two major points. The first is that the enemy will flee as the church rises up. God has called the church to respond to COVID-19, not sit back passively and merely let it happen. "God's going to turn the tide of this thing," he said.
The second point of the word is that millions will not die from this. Fox News chose not to report this, Shawn told me.
"I prophesied that this will not become a pandemic with pandemonium and millions dying," he said. "Tens of millions won't die worldwide, and millions won't die in America."
When we talked, Shawn said that almost every day major news sources were citing a health professional who claimed between twenty million and sixty million people worldwide would die from COVID-19. Long before the medical experts began lowering their estimates of the death toll, Shawn said this will not happen. Time will tell how many lives will be lost as a result of COVID-19, but as I write this in April, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the president's Coronavirus Task Force, says it appears the US death toll will be well under one hundred thousand, a far cry from the more than two million deaths predicted without social distancing.
"You have people who work alongside the World Health Organization (WHO) ... saying, 'We're going down the doomsday road,"' he said. "Then you have the prophetic community and the church saying, 'That's not where we're going. That's not God's story for our generation.' And that's even more important than how fast it turns, is that God has a story for our generation, and it's not to take out a whole generation of people to purge or do something. That's not a prophetic word from God or God's desire."
Shawn said WHO doesn't have the full equation. God wants to bring medical and scientific advancements that will move society forward. That could even include a cure for cancer.
But how will this pandemic affect the church? Shawn believes it will only serve to give the church greater ground.
"The church has been last in line [in the media space]," he told me. ''And God wants to give the church media space and social media space and internet real estate. That's just as important as their natural places they meet in. This is a training ground right now for the church to respond."
Instead of churches just putting information up online, God is going to move churches to actually engage, build community, and foster connection online, Shawn said. Churches that want to remain only information-focused in the online space will eventually disappear.
"It's a preparation for an entire revival that we would have all of our technology in order and the practice that we need because God's going to bring half of the revival-it's going to happen virtually," he said. ''And the second thing is that I believe right now there's about to be an economic upturn, not downturn. I believe the Lord showed me that Trump would win another term in office.
"I saw the financial condition of our economy," Shawn said. ''And in the second or third-by the end of the second year and beginning of the third year of [Trump's] next four years in office, we're going to hit one of the greatest times, if not the greatest time, of economic stability in our history. That's setting us up for the next twenty years."
To be continued in God, Trump and COVID-19. To purchase the full book now, click here.
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