Note from the moderator: This is the final installment of a 3-part series.  If you missed any of the previous installments in this series, you can read all of the chapters in their entirety on our website at: As always, your thoughts, comments, questions, and/or rebuttals are always encouraged. Sharing the Way is intended to be an online open discussion forum.

By Eric Wheeler

“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:10)



God declared through the Apostle Peter that before He comes to judge the world, He is going to judge His household first (I Peter 4:17).  But how is He going to do that, one might ask?  By His Spirit and through His Word is the answer!  Let me explain.

The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17).  In other words, the Word of God is the tool through which the Spirit of God does His work in our lives.  For it is written, “The Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Heb. 4:12-13).  And we know that Jesus is the One to whom we must all give account (see Rom. 14:10-12; John 5:22).

Jesus, as the literal Word of God, emptied Himself of His divine nature, and became flesh like us taking on the form of a human being (John 1:14; Phil 2:5-8; Heb. 3:14-17).  In other words, Jesus was the incarnate (or embodied) literal Word of God here on earth.  While Jesus was here in the flesh, He said, “If anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him.  For I did not come to judge the world [at this time], but to save the world.  He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the Word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:47).  What does that mean?  Very simply put, God sent forth His Word in the form of His Son to be the embodiment of Truth for us.  But if anyone doesn’t believe Him to be the Truth, then God does not hold that person accountable now because they are blind to the Truth.  However, in the last day when that person is resurrected and finds himself standing before the judgment seat of Christ, he will then realize that Jesus as the Word was indeed the Truth, and he will then become convicted in his heart that His Word was indeed true.  In other words, God is not judging the “unbelievers” (the world) now.  He is only judging His own people (“the believers”) now.

The “believers” category includes any and all people who claim to be Christian or “followers of Christ”.  This includes anyone who knows Him; anyone who recognizes and acknowledges Him; anyone who has been instructed and felt called by Him; and anyone who believes that they have been enlightened by Him.  In other words, anyone who claims that they have had their “spiritual eyes opened” and therefore know and see Him.  He is coming to them to see if they really do know Him and recognize Him.  The Pharisees and Sadducees thought that they knew Him (God).  But Jesus told them that they didn’t (John 8:55).  They collectively called themselves “the people of God”, but they did not recognize Him when He came to them.  In fact, just like their forefathers had done to the prophets that God had sent to them, they opposed the Son of God, and murdered Him also.  Yet through it all, they professed to be enlightened and claimed they could spiritually see.  That is why Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see [spiritually] may see, and that those who see [claim to see spiritually] may be made blind.’ Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, ‘Are we blind also?’  And Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin.  But now you say, ‘We see.’  Therefore your sin remains.” (John 9:39-41).  Because we Christians say that we see and we know Him, we will therefore be tried and tested to see whether or not we are true.

That is why the Apostle Peter said, “If you are reviled for the name of Christ [because you are a Christian – a believer], blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.  On their [the unbeliever’s] part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.  But let none of you suffer [being a believer] as a murderer, a thief, and evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters … For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God” (I Pet. 4:14-17).  Only those who claim that they are followers of Christ (Christians) are being judged at this time!  Not the unbelievers.  For God is beginning to come to each of us who call ourselves Christians, in the power of the Spirit to see whether or not we are truly abiding in Christ [His Word].  For it is written, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of My mouth does man live” (Matt. 4:4). He is coming to us through His Word (Jesus) in various forms to see whether or not we are hot or lukewarm (see Rev. 3:15-16).  He is coming to us in Spirit!  Notice that this is what Jesus warns His people, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev.3:20).

He is not coming to the Church, His people, physically.  That is, He is not coming in a visible way where they can see Him coming in the clouds, and then make themselves ready to meet Him.  That is how He is coming to the world, not His Church!  His people better be ready to receive Him in an unexpected manner in which He chooses to reveal Himself.  He wants to find out if we are indeed staying vigilant and spiritually awake, and always prepared as He warned us to be (Luke 12:35-40).  Or have we fallen asleep spiritually, become complacent, and weighed-down with “carousing, drunkenness, and the cares of this life” (Luke 21:34)?  As we have discussed previously, He may come to us unexpectedly in the form of another person – through a prophet or a messenger.  He may come to us in the form of a child or as a beggar on the street.  He may speak to us through His written Word – the Bible, or through dreams, visions and personal revelations, or even an audible voice as He did with Peter and Paul and some of the other apostles and disciples.  One thing is for certain though – His Word shows that He will come unto His own people in a way in which they aren’t expecting!  He did this to His own people in the first century during His First Coming.  For it is written, “He came unto His own [people], but His own did not receive Him.  But as many as did receive Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:11-12).  No matter what form or body He chooses to visit us in, we need to be vigilant and spiritually awake because it could be Jesus in the Spirit speaking to us.  For it is written, “God who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things” (Heb. 1:1-2).


As was mentioned earlier, parts of the New Testament are going to be replayed again.  This is especially true in terms of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days.  Notice how the Apostle Peter referred to these prophecies when he witnessed the first public outpouring of the Holy Spirit in his day:  “Then Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd, ‘Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you.  Listen carefully to what I say.  These men are not drunk, as you suppose.  It’s only nine in the morning!  No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.  I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.  And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Acts 2:14-21).

Obviously, these prophecies were not yet fulfilled in their fullest sense.  The sun didn’t turn dark and the moon didn’t turn blood red during the days of the Apostles’ ministry.  This first public outpouring of the Holy Spirit was only a small prophetic type of what was to come.  It was “the former rain” prophesied to come by the prophet Joel.  “Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God.  For He has given you the former rain moderately [in measure], and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month” (Joel 2:23).  The final great outpouring of the Holy Spirit is yet to come.  Notice that it says, “He will cause to come down for you the rain, [both] the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month”.  The next great public outpouring of the Holy Spirit will far exceed the first one both in terms of scope and scale.  God says through His prophet Joel, that this first outpouring of the Holy Spirit as described by Peter was only the “former rain” given moderately, not abundantly.  The next great outpouring of the Holy Spirit will encompass both of these rains.  The prophet Hosea confirms this: “Come, and let us return unto the Lord.  For He has torn, and He will heal us.  He has smitten, and He will bind us up.  After two days [two millennia] will He revive us.  In the third day [third millennia] He will raise us up [restore us], and we shall live in His sight.  Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord.  His going forth is prepared as the morning.  And He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth” (Hos. 6:1-3).

Jesus said that the spirit of Elijah would truly come first, and “restore all things” before the Day of the Lord comes (Matt. 17:11).  And in another place it says that “I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you” (Joel 2:25).  In other words, God is going to restore to us the spiritual things that were taken away from us by spiritual “drought, famine, and pestilence”!  For it was written long ago, “Behold, the days come, says the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing of the words of the Lord.  And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11-12).  But thankfully, God promises that He is going to “restore all things” to us shortly.  And that in these last days He is going to “pour out His Spirit upon all flesh” (Acts 2:17), and that “all flesh will see the salvation [saving power] of God” (Luke 3:6).

Recently, God has been revealing to me by His Holy Spirit that the prophets have been “travailing” in childbirth for a long time now, and that it is time for the “children of the kingdom” to be born.  For it is written that the prophet Isaiah lamented, “As a woman with child who is about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we [prophets] in Your presence, O Lord.  We were with child, we writhed in pain, but we gave birth to wind.  We have not brought salvation to the earth.  We have not given birth to people of the world” (Isa. 26:17-18).

Yet God declares, “Before she goes into labor, she gives birth.  Before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son.  Who has ever heard of such a thing?  Who has ever seen such things?  Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment?  Yet no sooner is Zion [the Church] in labor than she gives birth to her children.  Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery? says the Lord.  Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery? says your God.  Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her.  Rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her.  For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts.  You will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance” (Isa. 66:7-11).  God is about to call many people to Himself in these last days.  The Church [the Body and Bride of Christ] is about to bring forth many children unto the Father!  And it says that all of creation itself waits in earnest expectation for these sons of God to be revealed (Rom. 8:19).  Are we spiritually ready to meet Him and to help bring in this harvest – the “firstfruits” of the Kingdom?

[To be continued in the future as the Spirit leads…]



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