The Latter Rain

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We are clear in our understanding that the third and other angels have everything to do with the former and the latter rain. The third angel has very much to do with the latter rain.

At no point in our experience can we dispense with the assistance of that which enables us to make the first start. The blessings received under the former rain are needful to us to the end. Yet these alone will not suffice. While we cherish the blessing of the early rain, we must not, on the other hand, lose sight of the fact that without the latter rain, to fill out the ears and ripen the grain, the harvest will not be ready for the sickle, and the labour of the sower will have been in vain. Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work. Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain. Do not rest satisfied that in the ordinary course of the season, rain will fall. Ask for it. The growth and perfection of the seed rests not with the husbandman. God alone can ripen the harvest. But man’s co-operation is required. TM 508

Let us, with contrite hearts, pray most earnestly that now, in the time of the latter rain, the showers of grace may fall upon us. At every meeting we attend our prayers should ascend, that at this very time God will impart warmth and moisture to our souls. As we seek God for the Holy Spirit, it will work in us meekness, humbleness of mind, a conscious dependence upon God for the perfecting latter rain. If we pray for the blessing in faith, we shall receive it as God has promised. TM 509

Submitted: October 29, 2009

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Submitted: October 29, 2009

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What is the latter rain and what has it to do with the third angel’s message?  We recall one of our previous studies, the very first study of the first angel’s message Angels Preaching to the Earth http://imssdarm.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/angels-preaching-to-the-earth/ where we read;

Zechariah 4:1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep. 4:2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: 4:3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.

4:4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, what are these, my lord? 4:5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, this is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

We learnt how the angels are connected with the Holy Spirit.  This vision of the olive tree and candlestick was a vision to describe the method of God’s work upon human beings.  Namely – not by might nor by power but by my Spirit. 

Zechariah 4:11 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? 4:12 And I answered again, and said unto him, what be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? 4:13 And he answered me and said, knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. 4:14 Then said he, these are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.

Immediately our minds go to the Ark of the Covenant, the Shekinah glory around the throne of God and the two angel’s one on each side. The oil that runs through the pipes to the candlesticks causing the light to glow in the burning of the oil is something that is channelled from the two angels that are right beside the throne of God. The oil has to do with the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that is flowing from God through the angels on each side of the throne into the candlesticks.  The Holy Spirit is signified by another symbol; 

Joel 2: 23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

What is he talking about? 

Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 2:29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.  2:30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come. 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

This is a description of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the terminology of the former and the latter rain. It is in a period of time when there will be wonders in the heaven and earth – blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before that great and terrible day of the Lord come. 

In our study of Matthew 24 we saw those signs.  The darkening of the sun and moon, the falling stars, the warfare of blood and fire and pillars of smoke which have been taking place ever since those heralds of the morning before 1798 and towards the time of 1844. This is the time the three angles were to come and proclaim their messages immediately after these happenings. 

Those signs pointed to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit through those angels. The two angels shed and pour the oil through themselves into the candlesticks.  In our past studies we touched on the fact that the candlesticks were the church and that the Holy Spirit would flow from the angels to the church to illuminate the world, as a candlestick does.

Notice during the time of such events portrayed in Joel that the angels were giving their messages hence they will eventually be linked to the latter rain. That is how the latter rain is linked with the three angel’s messages. It is the Holy Spirit that flows from the angels to the people on the earth who then conveys the Holy Spirit because they have the oil in their vessels thereby illuminating the world with light. This is all a part of that scenario. 

We are clear in our understanding that the third and other angels have everything to do with the former and the latter rain. The third angel has very much to do with the latter rain. 

At no point in our experience can we dispense with the assistance of that which enables us to make the first start. The blessings received under the former rain are needful to us to the end. Yet these alone will not suffice. While we cherish the blessing of the early rain, we must not, on the other hand, lose sight of the fact that without the latter rain, to fill out the ears and ripen the grain, the harvest will not be ready for the sickle, and the labour of the sower will have been in vain. Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work.  Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain. Do not rest satisfied that in the ordinary course of the season, rain will fall. Ask for it. The growth and perfection of the seed rests not with the husbandman. God alone can ripen the harvest. But man’s co-operation is required. TM 508

Let us, with contrite hearts, pray most earnestly that now, in the time of the latter rain, the showers of grace may fall upon us. At every meeting we attend our prayers should ascend, that at this very time God will impart warmth and moisture to our souls. As we seek God for the Holy Spirit, it will work in us meekness, humbleness of mind, a conscious dependence upon God for the perfecting latter rain. If we pray for the blessing in faith, we shall receive it as God has promised. TM 509

The very message of Zechariah then comes into focus; 

The continued communication of the Holy Spirit to the church is represented by the prophet Zechariah under another figure, which contains a wonderful lesson of encouragement for us. The prophet says: The angel that talked with me came again, and waked me. TM 509.

The very concept of the angels with the oil flowing from them to the candlestick has to do with the latter rain.  It has to do with the time of the three angel’s messages and especially the third angel. 

We must not wait for the latter rain. It is coming upon all who will recognize and appropriate the dew and showers of grace that fall upon us. When we gather up the fragments of light, when we appreciate the sure mercies of God, who loves to have us trust Him, then every promise will be fulfilled. [Isa. 61:11 quoted.] The whole earth is to be filled with the glory of God.  I have no specific time of which to speak when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will take place–when the mighty angel will come down from heaven, and unite with the third angel in closing up the work for this world; my message is that our only safety is in being ready for the heavenly refreshing, having our lamps trimmed and burning. 7BC 984

The time is the loud cry of the third angel which comes as we will study in our next study – The Loud Cry.  It is in direct consequence of the latter rain. The loud cry of the third angel is as a result of the latter rain. 

The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it. All fear of their relatives was gone, and the truth alone was exalted to them. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth; it was dearer and more precious than life. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel. EW 271 

Here is the purpose of our study – the third angel’s message under the latter rain is directly connected with the third angel.  The angels receiving the oil pour it into those who are to receive the message on earth. They in turn let it shine with their lamps burning bright. 

Joel 2:23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month].

The Latter Rain Is In Connection With The Third Angel. 

We read in Joel “for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month].” What is meant here? 

In the margin it says a teacher of righteousness according to righteousness. 

Deuteronomy 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: 32:3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.  

Under the work of this angel a teaching goes forth.  What is the rain? My doctrine. Doctrine is teaching.  We see that the latter and former rain are teachers of righteousness according to righteousness whose doctrine shall drop like the rain. 

Zechariah 10:1 Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

Ask for the doctrine in the time of the latter rain. Not just to a corporate body but every grass is to absorb the rain, the doctrine and the teaching. The teacher and the doctrine. Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as just that.

 

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

 

As Jesus speaks about the Holy Spirit He presents Him precisely in the way in which these other Bible texts have just been collating the rain with the teacher and the doctrine. He will teach the doctrine. This is enlarged; 

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 16:8 and when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 16:9 of sin, because they believe not on me; 16:10 of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 16:11 of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

A teacher of righteousness according to righteousness. He will reprove the world, or as it says in the margin convince, and convict the world of sin.

 

There is a principle in regards to the latter rain. This teacher of righteousness was sent to the apostles back then which was the former rain. Ever since that time the Holy Spirit has been leading the people and talking of Jesus and showing it unto them. Not just with us but in us applying the doctrine within our own heart. That’s why He is a teacher of righteousness according to righteousness as he is not just teaching you on the surface but deep inside.  How can he be a teacher of righteousness according to righteousness?

 

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 2:11 for what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The Holy Spirit is going to work in a manner which will be unnatural to us.  The Holy Ghost teaches. Where does He teach? Inside. This is the reason the oil which runs inside the angels are poured inside of us.  In the picture we studied in the beginning, the Holy Spirit runs from one instrument to the other.  The Holy Spirit needs to work inside us because;

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

 

We cannot know the way God is thinking except by the teaching of the Holy Spirit. If we let Him inside of us, He will teach us the deep things of God. That’s the manner in which the Holy Spirit works.

 

Those that receive the latter rain, which is the out pouring of the Holy Spirit from the third angel into the hearts, during the time of the third angel’s message, in the time of the end, will think as God does.  That time has been going on ever since 1848 when the third angel came in. Now is the time we are to ask for it from back there through to now. As the three angel’s messages are being proclaimed it is the time of the latter rain because the three angels are doing their work not only to bind up the harvest in bundles.  The Holy Spirit will pour upon the grass so that it can come to the harvest. It’s all part and parcel of the same exercise. 

While the latter rain is being poured the harvest ripens. As soon as it is fully ripened, it is harvested. That’s all apart of the work since the beginning of the three angel’s messages, the time of the harvest. It’s just before and during it. 

The latter rain or the swelling of the third angel’s message is here contained. The people who receive the outpouring of this message, this teaching of the third angel are then prepared to stand in the heat of the summer sun at the close of probation. They gain the victory over the world, over the flesh and over the mark of the beast.  

Look ye! My attention was then turned to the company I had seen, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping and praying in agony of spirit. The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, like a company of soldiers. Their countenances expressed the severe conflict which they had endured, the agonizing struggle they had passed through. Yet their features, marked with severe internal anguish, now shone with the light and glory of heaven. They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude and holy, sacred joy.  I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power.  EW 271

Here are they who had gained the victory. It calls from them the deepest gratitude.  They speak forth the truth with great power; it is the latter rain that makes this change.  The first, second and third angels are the people that are proclaiming that message.  Under the third angel the outpouring of the latter rain causes them to speak the message because as it pours from the angels of heaven into their hearts it causes them to be able to understand the doctrine because He is a teacher of righteousness according to righteousness. As they receive the doctrine from within, they cannot help but proclaim that doctrine.The oil, the Holy Spirit comes with a clear message to all around. 

The third angel’s message is swelling into a loud cry, and you must not feel at liberty to neglect the present duty, and still entertain the idea that at some future time you will be the recipients of great blessing, when without any effort on your part a wonderful revival will take place. . . . Today you are to have your vessel purified, that it may be ready for the heavenly dew. EV 702

We are called to absorb the message and prepare our vessels so that we can understand it, we must be purified to understand the message. Many people hear it but they don’t understand it because their vessels are not prepared for it.

 

…ready for the showers of the latter rain; for the latter rain will come, and the blessing of God will fill every soul that is purified from every defilement. EV 702

 

You can hear a message but if your life and your mind is not able to concentrate because of all this other material going on in your brain, you cannot get the deep things of the kingdom of heaven cemented deep inside of you.  That’s what is involved in this time of the latter rain.  We are called upon to receive the message not merely as an external doctrine but as a doctrine that we absorb.

It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord–fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. EV 702. 

It is not just a whoosh of a spiritual sensation. We are to be fitted to receive the teacher of righteousness according to righteousness. 

Instead of living in expectation of some special season of excitement, we are wisely to improve present opportunities, doing that which must be done in order that souls may be saved. Instead of exhausting the powers of our mind in speculations in regard to the times and seasons which the Lord has placed in His own power, and withheld from men, we are to yield ourselves to the control of the Holy Spirit, to do present duties, to give the bread of life, unadulterated with human opinions, to souls who are perishing for the truth.-EV 702

This is very weighty material. People can study into all sorts of Biblical material but it is a waste of time.  We are to embrace the truths the Lord wants us to put into practice rather than just to speculate where we are. 

The apprenticeship of the first angel’s message is to be graduated in the third angel’s message. We studied the principle of the whole process of changing of life under the first angel’s message, the everlasting gospel. 

By the time the third angel’s message has come to its full impact we have become graduates of the first angel’s apprenticeship message. It is under the message of sanctification and justification that we are overcoming every defilement for the final touch of the doctrine of perfection under the third angel – the Holy Spirit. The people who have gained the victory are then sealed.  As they are sealed under the work of the latter rain there are others yet under the third angel’s message which contains the latter rain power that also need to be brought into this and be sealed. That is where the loud cry comes to them.

The people who receive the three angel’s messages and become ministers of that message must themselves have graduated through the apprenticeship exercise. Then a grand final call is given by them in the loud cry. 

Amen.


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