Over 20 years ago my father introduced me to a controversial and thought-provoking book circulating in the Christian community: “The Vision” by David Wilkerson. Christians may recognize the author from his work with gangs in New York City in the late 50s and 60s described in his book “The Cross and the Switchblade.” Others might recognize him as the founder of the ministry World Challenge. He is currently senior pastor at the Times Square Church in New York City. (You can read his sermons by visiting the World Challenge Pulpit Series website.)
“The Vision” was written in 1973 and describes 5 future end-times calamities that Pastor Wilkerson believed God had shown him in a vision. In this article I am going to give an overview of the first calamity Pastor Wilkerson describes in chapter 1, titled “economic confusion.” I am a Christian and do believe that God has given Pastor Wilkerson a vision of what is to come, so you will find, of course, this bias in my article. Obviously I don’t expect all my readers to have that same bias or belief. It is my hope that I give you just enough of a taste of what Pastor Wilkerson has written that you will be intrigued enough to want to read the book for yourself and dig deeper into what he has written. As this book was written over 35 years ago we have the test of time to see how will his predictions have lined up with current events, as well as an intriguing look at descriptions of future events not yet occurred.
As I read through this 29-page chapter, here are the statements that are jumping out at me and catching my attention:
“It is not really a depression I see coming – but a recession of such magnitude that it will affect the lifestyle of nearly every wage earner in America and around the world.” (On Yahoo! News you can read here about how the world is moving into a ‘Great Recession.’)
“The world’s greatest economists will be at a loss to explain the confusion, and an international crisis of fear will develop.”
“In spite of all the danger signs around us of impending economic disaster, the next few years (from 1973) will be among the most prosperous in the history of mankind. They will be fat and flourishing years.” (Here Pastor Wilkerson is describing those prosperous years leading up to the coming recession.)
“I believe we are going to witness the bankruptcies of some of this nation’s major and most popular corporations… Thousands of small businesses will also be forced into bankruptcies. (As an online bookseller almost once a week I learn of an online bookseller either going out of business or drastically reducing their online presence because of lack of sales.)
“Tight money will trigger a wave of uncertainty and fear. Those who have money will hold it in reserve.” (I have read commentary recently from booksellers specializing in the more expensive, hard to find books. Several have commented that they are seeing a definite drop in their sales, as they tend to cater more to the wealthy. As one who sells less expensive books, my sales haven’t been quite as affected.)
“The United States government is going to ‘overreact’ to the confused economical developments. I see a flurry of near-panic decisions being made by various government agencies – but these hasty efforts to shore up the economy will backfire. The President of the United States will make one, and possibly two, national and radio and TV appearances to reassure the nation that all is well, and that the best of economic times is just ahead… People will distrust these statements, and their fears will lead to a revolution at the polls.” (This passage gave me the shivers when I reread this recently and helped direct me to write this article. Doesn’t this sound just like our government’s “stimulus” and “bail-outs” packages and plans?)
“There will be a sudden rush to buy farms, ranches, and homes in the country. Thousands will attempt to flee from cities, hoping that a return to the land and nature will provide security.” (Hey, I’d love to do this myself, if I could afford it!)
“Unions will face new pressures not to strike… The government is going to take a hard line against strikes, and striking union members will no longer be able to get food stamps and other benefits once allowed… We may soon experience the most devastating strikes of all times.”
“Believe it or not – even gold will not hold its value. Gold hoarders are going to get hurt – badly. This is one of the most significant predictions in this book.” (Pastor Wilkerson makes it clear that though gold will go through an incredible rise in value, it won’t sustain itself and that putting ones trust in gold is a big mistake. Silver won’t be any better.)
“The economic confusion that is coming will lead to a backlash against strictures imposed by environmentalists on the business community. The environmentalists have been well accepted and admired when they have dealt with generalities. But when they begin to affect the pocketbooks of the men and women of this nation, they will come into disrepute.” (I don’t personally think this has happened yet; there seems to be a general feeling that being “green” is good right now. However, as we are a nation that tends to be motivated by money, I think Pastor Wilkerson’s prediction makes perfect sense. Once it does start hitting people’s pocketbooks, being “green” won’t matter much.)
“Social aid programs are going to be cut back and curtailed, and minority groups are going to be affected the most. These cutbacks, along with the curtailment of many government projects, will cause widespread unemployment among these groups.” (This makes sense to me, too, as the government is going to have no choice but to cut social aid programs; they simply won’t have the money to continue to support them at the current levels.)
I would like to finish up my overview with one last quote from “The Vision”:
“There may be a full recovery from the coming recession, and there may still be another cycle or two of fat and lean years…. I seem to see a picture of a partial and almost completely recovery from the coming recession… From this day on, there will hang over the entire world a sense of fear and uncertainty about future economic conditions.”
If you would like to learn more about what Pastor Wilkerson wrote about a future economic crisis, I can recommend another one of his books, “America’s Last Call: On the Brink of Financial Holocaust” written in 1998. On page 23 of this book, while discussing a Bible passage from Jeremiah, he makes the following statement almost in passing: “In a modern setting, this passage would read something like, ‘In the last year of President So-and-so’s second term, on October 10th, God laid siege on the American economy and lifestyle…'” When I reread this recently, I couldn’t help thinking about what happened in this country on October 10th, 2008… which just so happened to be the last year of President Bush’s second term. Wasn’t there a major stock market crash or something?
Something to think about, huh?
David Wilkerson. The Vision.
David Wilkerson. America’s Last Call: On the Brink of Financial Holocaust.