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The Latter Rain – Outpouring of the Spirit
Lesson 99

It is going to rain. The Bible is no hit-or-miss weather prophet. When the Bible predicts “rain,” it will come. The Bible predicts two rains, a rain of “powder and dust” (Deuteronomy 28:24), and “showers of blessing” (Ezekiel 34:26). The first rain the impenitent will receive; the second, the penitent.

The barometer of the Bible picture stormy times ahead. Of ancient Babylon, Jeremiah declared, “Thus said the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.” And again we read, “Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked… In the latter days ye shall consider it.” Jeremiah 25:32; 30:23,24. And with this latter-day whirlwind, which vents its fury upon the wicked, will come a strange kind of rain. “Thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be like iron. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust.” Deuteronomy 28:23,24. Such will be the lot of men today who harden their hearts against God’s Spirit. “A prudent man forseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” Proverbs 22:3.

However, another kind of wind will also blow, the fresh winds of the Holy spirit; another kind of rain, the latter rain outpouring of the Spirit; and another kind of harvest, the ripened fruit of a mature Christian experience. (Isaiah 4:2.)

“The everlasting gospel” is going with accelerated momentum ‘to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” (Revelation 14:6,7.) God has set His hand a “second time” to gather a remnant from the earth. (Isaiah 11:11,12.) When God sets His hand to do a work, it will be done. “For he will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.” Romans 9:28.

The thrilling climax of the plan of salvation lies just ahead when the whole earth will be lighted with God’s glory. (Revelation 18:1,2.) In Moses’ day God insisted, “As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” Numbers 14:21. Isaiah, though he foresaw a moral blackout in time’s last hour—also saw an awakening: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1,2.

What prerequisites must the church meet in order to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which will make manifest the glory of the Lord? The fullness of the Holy Spirit will come only after we have had an “upper room” experience similar to that of the disciples of Christ after His resurrection. (Acts 1:2.) Then we shall emphasize:

Revival and Reformation: revival calls for a turning from those worldly pursuits that displease God—a conscientious about-face to make God first in all things. God cannot give His Spirit in large measure to lukewarm people who are under the illusion that they are rich and have need of nothing.

Sin cannot be palliated, ignored, or excused. With contrition of heart, all must individually seek the hidden causes of their spiritual feebleness—such as pride of opinion, sensitiveness to slights, unholy ambitions, soul-and-body destroying lusts, and selfishness in its varied forms—and literally root them out of their lives. The repentance called for in Revelation 3:14-20 must be complete. We must loathe and despise our inconsistencies, our petty feuding, and our involvements with worldly amusements. With warmth, ardor, and a holy animation we will testify to the saving grace of Christ.

Christ our Righteousness: Instead of taking pride in personal attainments, seeking position, place or power, the heart yearning of everyone will be to exalt and extol the blessed Savior as the One altogether lovely. When God’s people truly glorify Christ, rivers of water will flow from them to bless all whom they contact. (John 7: 37-39.)

The theme of righteousness by faith will no longer be only a formal confession of faith. People will glow with the living experience that has brought them into intimate relationship with Jesus. They will detest the unclean garment of their own righteousness (Isaiah 64:6) and array themselves in the beautiful clothing of heaven (Isaiah 61:10). And as they “sow … in righteousness,” Jesus will “come and rain righteousness” upon them. (Hosea 10:12.)

Prayer: As earnest, prevailing prayer ascends to the glory courts, we may expect to receive the “later rain.” (Luke 11:13.) Those who do not pray for this blessing disqualify themselves to receive it, for they would not appreciate the gift if God bestowed it upon them. To encourage our petitions, God offers to pour upon His faithful people “the spirit of grace and supplications.” (Zechariah 12:10.) He admonishes, “Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain, then He promises, “So the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” Zechariah 10:1. God would have His people eager to receive the blessing He would give them to empower them to reveal the gospel to the whole world.

“Spare thy People: Specifically the entire church should pray, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach.” Joel 2:17. The ungodly have ridiculed, mocked, and derided the people of God because their lives did not harmonize with their high profession. The fruits of the Spirit so beautifully exemplified in the life of Jesus are yet to be seen in their fullness in the lives of His children. When in their distress God’s people plead for victory and persist until they get victory, the rain will come. (Verse 23.)

Bible Study: Part of the “restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” is the “refreshing” spoken of in Acts 3:19-21. When God’s people know a fullness of truth through their study of God’s Book of Truth, God will give them the “refreshing” promised.

Obedience: “The people in whose heart is my law” (Isaiah 51:7), those who diligently hearken “unto my commandments” (Deuteronomy 11:13, 14), are those who accept the Spirit in faith. “We are his witnesses; … and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” Acts 5:32. Thus, obedience plays a role in the reception of the Spirit.

Perseverance: God has no reluctance to fill His last-day disciples with His Spirit, but in faith (Galatians 3:14) they must follow through in order to receive the blessing. “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning: and he shall come into us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” Hosea 6:3. When like Jacob at Jabbok God’s last-day disciples wrestle with the angel, saying, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me,” the blessing will come.

Unity: Fellowship of the Spirit produces unity. The Spirit in one disciple could never be at war with the Spirit in another. When the 120 had achieved complete oneness, the Pentecostal showers fell. (Acts 2:1-4.) We may all expect the harvest rain to fall when God’s children experience the unity of the Spirit. (Ephesians 4:3-13.) “Thy watchman shall … see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” Isaiah 52:8. This unity of Spirit will unlock the floodgates of spiritual power.

Missionary Witnessing: What message do you have that is so important to the world that you must have the power of the latter rain to tell it? How has the message affected you? What is it doing in you and for you?

Are the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14: 6-12, the last messages of mercy to be heralded before Christ’s Second Coming (Revelation 14:14), like a burning fire shut up in your bones so that you feel distressed to remain silent and find relief only in heralding them abroad (Jeremiah 20:9)? The latter rain will fall on those who allow God to use them in any way He chooses.

What can we expect when the latter rain falls? Converts will flock to the church. Zechariah 8:23 predicts, “In those days … ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, … of him that is a Jew [that is, a believer], saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”  “The plowman shall overtake the reaper.” Amos 9:13.

Converts will not be of the mixed-multitude variety. Isaiah cried out, “Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion: …. Henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.” Isaiah 52:1. The church waiting for their Lord’s return will be “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” (Ephesians 5:27.) She will be “beautiful” and “comely,” “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” (Song of Solomon 6: 4,10.)


How will this be accomplished? Will it be by formulas, slogans, and catch phrases? By human wisdom, might, and power? The grand secret of success calls for something more: “Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6.

Thrilling days lie just ahead. What joy can be compared with that of being used by the Spirit to gather in earth’s harvest? “Showers of blessing” await total commitment.




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