by Eric C. Wheeler

“The rise and fall” of a nation, person, or movement is a common phrase. Rarely though, would you ever hear it spoken in the reverse: “the fall and rise.” Yet, this is exactly what the Holy Spirit declared would happen to the people of God throughout Jesus’ Coming. The people of God would fall before they would be able to rise! Notice this intriguing prophecy:

“Then Simeon said, ‘Behold, this Child [Jesus] is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against… that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.’” (Luke 2:34-35).

The Bible describes Simeon as “a just and devout man who waited for the Consolation of Israel and who had the Holy Spirit upon him.” (Luke 2:25). I believe Simeon’s important prophecy is often overlooked and missed by many who passively read their Bibles. It profoundly reveals a detrimental truth that goes unnoticed and unheeded in most churches today. This truth being that before God publicly reveals His Son to the world (during His First Coming and also His Second Coming), He will first visit and humble His people so the thoughts of their individual hearts may truly be revealed and exposed. Consider this very deeply. During the first century, as the Lord’s Coming was “on the spiritual horizon” (remember that Jesus was still an infant at this point), God warned His people through the mouth of Simeon that they must first fall (be broken, humbled, and brought low) so that “the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Although they had the Scriptures, which clearly foretold Messiah’s Coming, almost all of the Israelites were completely caught off guard when Jesus showed up. He became a huge “stumbling block” spiritually designed to trip many up, especially His own people and their leadership (John 1:11). This tripping up of His people is most certainly going to happen again.

This stumbling (fall) is absolutely necessary because many Christians today, just like the Israelites of the first century, think they are already righteous and in right standing with God, just as it was written in Luke: “They trusted in themselves that they were righteous” (Luke 18:9). This is exactly the same apathetic and complacent attitude that Jesus ascribes His people (Christians) living in these last days: “Because you say, ‘I am [spiritually] rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked – I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire [tested faith], that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your [spiritual] nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent! 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. 3:17-20). Note here that Jesus is on the outside of individual hearts and churches, knocking to be let in.

Right now, the Lord is sending His servants the prophets into the churches to see whether or not they truly know Him! He is the Word of God (Rev. 19:13); and the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). That is, the Word of God (the Bible) is the tool – the sword – the Holy Spirit wields to do His work! The Word of God is called a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12). God is sending His servants with His Word in their mouths into all the churches that call themselves “Christian” to see whether or not they know Him. Remember, the Lord is the Spirit (II Cor. 3:17). And He is in His servants, both male and female, whom He is sending into every “Christian” church to see whether or not they recognize Him. These servants will be boldly proclaiming the Word of God! People will be caught off guard, and yes, MANY will be offended! Remember that this offending was also part of Simeon’s prophecy: “a sign which will be spoken against” (Luke 2:34). God said this visitation by Him through His servants would be “spoken against” (vehemently opposed). As Jesus said: “Whoever falls on this Stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder. And blessed are all those who are not offended because of Me” (Matt. 21:44; 11:6). When many were following Jesus, He turned to them and said, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” (John 6:53). “When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured about this, He said to them, ‘Does this offend you?’” (John 6:61); after which, “many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” (John 6:66). What about you? Are you going to be offended when these true servants of God appear in your lives or show up at your church? Be assured, they ARE coming! Perhaps they have already arrived and been turned away by you or your church.

I realize that many Christians think the Word of God is truly being spoken and taught in their churches. But truth be told, just like in the synagogues of Jesus’ day, the pastors and priests are only preaching and teaching the “comfortable” aspects of His Word. They pick and choose the soothing parts of God’s Word, preaching peace, personal happiness, and prosperity. For the most part, there is no focus on convicting the people of their sins! This is no new thing. They did this in Jeremiah’s day as well. As they preached peace and prosperity, God’s judgment and harsh sentence was gathering and looming just over the hill in the form of the Babylonian army (Jer. 6:13-15; 14:13-16; 23:11-40)! In Jesus’ day, the synagogues (the Hebrew word for assembly/congregation, i.e. “church”) were all busy speaking parts of the Bible, but NOT giving the full counsel of God. That is why when Jesus came they were all caught off guard! They never expected Him to come in the way and manner in which He did. Likewise, today, His servants – in whom He dwells – are visiting the Christian churches, and they are being refused, rejected, ignored, and silenced! I tell you the truth, according to God’s own Word, to refuse and reject them is to reject Christ and God Himself (Luke 10:16).

When you hear the Word of God in the mouths of these servants of God be quick to submit, believe, and repent. In some cases, you will only see and hear from them once! Yet entire churches will be in an uproar over them (see Luke 4:28-30). Initially, as is clearly demonstrated over and over again in Scripture, only a few will “hear” and receive these servants’ “offensive” words in their heart and be convicted. But those who do have “ears to hear” will earnestly repent and be baptized in water; many of them even being re-baptized, in order that they might receive the gift and powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit which they did not receive during or after their first baptism (see Acts 19:1-7). Simply because a person was previously baptized in water does NOT necessarily mean that they have received the Holy Spirit (see Acts 8:14-18). Some will only need hands laid on them by these servants of God in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, having already been baptized in true repentance earlier (Acts 8:15-17). In some cases, servants of God will also lay hands on certain God-chosen individuals who will now receive a commissioning from Him by the laying on of hands to the work which He has appointed them and been preparing them for (see Acts 9:17; 22:12-16; I Tim. 4:14; II Tim. 1:6; Col. 4:17); just as Jesus was commissioned by John the Baptist to begin His public ministry around the age of thirty when John laid his hands on Him. He baptized Jesus, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove, thus signifying the commencement of Jesus’ public ministry (Mark 1:9-10; Luke 3:21-23; John 1:32). Likewise, these people – both male and female – will be commissioned by God through the laying on of hands by these servants of God to begin their God-given end time ministries.

People of God, hear me: HUMBLE YOURSELVES before God, and receive His servants – those who come in His name – that you may be exalted. As it is written: “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” (I Pet. 5:6). As Jesus declared: “You will see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is he [or she] who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Matt. 23:39). Do not resist, nor be hard-hearted to your own peril, demise, and doom! “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself [or herself] will be exalted [lifted up]” (Luke 18:14). Hear the Word of the Lord!

Let me give you an actual taste of what this means and what it looks like: About ten months ago, a fellow brother in the Lord named Dave and I were sent to a church in Nevada, TX. We lived in Denver, but one day last summer, the Lord suddenly said to us, “I’m sending you to Nevada, Texas.” We, of course, said, “Yes, Lord. When?” He said, “Be there at the beginning of September.” Obediently putting all of our stuff in storage, and closing out our lease on our apartment, we set out for Texas, and arrived there on the first of September. The Lord specifically sent us to a church where six months earlier the pastor and his wife had humbled themselves, were re-baptized, received the Holy Spirit, and had eagerly asked us to help them serve the people. God had already indicated a number of months earlier that He had chosen this small church to begin a mighty work among them, if they were indeed willing. I told the pastor that before God pours out His Holy Spirit upon them, that He was first going to humble them and test them to see what was truly in their hearts. I warned him that the Lord was going to speak boldly to the people, and to not allow himself to personally become offended, for God was going to test the people’s hearts. (Scripture is very clear that God always shows up this way first to see who truly knows Him and His voice, and who doesn’t – see Heb. 12:18-29; Luke 4:16-30; John 6:41-71). When the Lord presented me the opportunity, as a servant of God, to speak to the people, I got down on my knees before the congregation in prayer, and said, “Oh, Lord, You sent me and Dave here to speak to them – Your people. You have chosen them, Lord, according to Your great mercy and kindness. Therefore, put Your words in my mouth so that I will know what it is that I am to tell them. I have no words of my own to speak; for I am Your servant, and I will do as You say. Therefore, great Lord God, please fill my mouth with what it is I am supposed to tell them from You. For You sent us here, and You have chosen them.” At that moment, I got up, and God immediately filled my mouth with what He wanted me to say to them. I don’t really have any recollection what He had me say; but apparently, He had me raise my voice with authority and speak boldly in His name. I was later told that I spoke for twenty-two minutes. I sat down, and the entire church was stunned, silent and sitting very still. After a few moments, another man swiftly stood up, walked to the front of the church behind the lectern with a prepared message and notebook in his hand, and quickly began denouncing me as a false prophet. Needless to say, it immediately put the church in an uproar, and over the next few days, both Dave and I were swiftly kicked out and told to not come back! It truly amazed and disappointed us how quickly the pastor and his wife, out of fear, gave in to the carnal majority – much in the same way that Moses’ brother Aaron weakly caved-in to the Israelite majority by helping to build a golden calf instead of strongly and courageously leading them to obedience, repentance, and salvation. Encouragingly though, there were a few in that church congregation who had “ears to hear” and who were convicted by what the Lord said, some of them even openly repenting and getting baptized. Dave and I lasted exactly thirty days there in Nevada, TX testifying to what the Lord was having us say, and preaching repentance and the Kingdom of God. Interestingly, everything we spoke was directly quoting the Word of God (the Bible), and most of the people were greatly offended by it! All, but a small handful of them, that is.

From there, the Lord then sent Dave and I to Houston. We have been here since October 1st ministering to those whom the Lord sends us to and/or brings us. As of three weeks ago though, the Lord told another brother and fellow worker in the Lord here, named Greg, that he and Dave were to start going into all the Christian churches here in Houston as a witness. I am sure that this same thing is happening elsewhere all around the world as well, just as it is written in the Bible that He and His disciples went into all the synagogues (churches), preaching and teaching, and baptizing, and proclaiming that the Kingdom of God was at hand. “And He called the twelve to Him, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits… So they went out and preached that people should repent.” (Mark 6:7-12). And “After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.” (Luke 10:1). The Lord always begins His visitation and arrival by sending out His servants beforehand to preach repentance and baptism – starting with His own people (Matt. 3:1-6; 10:5-6; 15:24; John 1:11-13; I Pet. 4:17)! Search the Scriptures and you will see that this is so.

As my brothers (and some sisters) are being sent into the churches – and you will see this happening all over the world to call people to repentance – the Lord has me writing these things as a clear witness and testimony to all who will listen! As it is written: “Surely, the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7). Wake up, people of God, oh house of Christendom, and “trim your lamps” (assess and evaluate your spiritual lives) and see whether or not you have enough oil in your lamps to greet Him! God wants to see whether or not you truly know Him and are able to recognize His voice in His servants who are openly declaring: “Behold, the Bridegroom is coming! Go out to meet Him!” (Matt. 25:6-7). “For he [or she] who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him!” (I John 2:4). As it is written: “He is destined for the fall and rising of many in [Christendom]… that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.’” (Luke 2:34-35).


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