FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
January 31, 2014
Are We Preparing for the Latter Rain?– Part XV
TEACH US TO WISELY NUMBER OUR DAYS
Many merely lament that the holidays went by like a blur. Time on the wings of flight seems to be fleeing instead of merely picking up speed. January barely blew in, and is on its way out today, never more to return. There is this sense urgency, but for what?
Psalm 90 is a prayer of Moses the man of God, not of David the man after God’s own heart, as is commonly thought. Moses prayed: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it soon cut off, and we fly away . . . So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Ps. 90: 10, 12, K.J.V.
Moses died with strength unabated at the age of 120. Deut. 34:5-7. The long-lived wicked antediluvian generation was given 120 long years to hear Noah’s warning messages to repent while simultaneously witnessing the ark being built. Gen. 6: 1-3. The flood finally came on the 17th day of the second month of Noah’s 600th year (Gen. 6: 6-12). He died 350 years after the flood at the age of 950. Gen. 9: 28, 29. Moses likely prophesied of David’s death at the age of 70, and no matter how we cut it, the average life span of man is still 70 years. In 2 Sam. 5: 4, 5 we read: “David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years”– a total of 70 years.
In this most solemn and important period of earth’s history—the judgment hour–we should be pleading Moses’ prayer “to number our days that we may apply it unto wisdom,” adding David’s own psalm of repentance, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. And take not Thy Spirit from me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.” Ps. 51: 10, 11. The Spirit of God is gradually but surely withdrawing from the earth as it was in Noah’s day!
“Our time belongs to God. Every moment is His, and we are under the most solemn obligation to improve it to His glory. Of no talent He has given will He require a more strict account than of our time. The value of time is beyond computation. Christ regarded every moment as precious, and it is thus that we should regard it. Life is too short to be trifled away. We have but a few days of probation in which to prepare for eternity. We have no time to waste, no time to devote to selfish pleasure, no time for the indulgence of sin. It isnow that we are to form characters for the future, immortal life. It is now that we are to prepare for the searching Judgment. – Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, Pacific Press Publishing Company, p. 342.
“A message that will arouse the churches is to be proclaimed. Every effort is to be made to give the light, not only to our people, but to the world . . . Those who eat the flesh and drink blood of the Son of God [study His Word and adopt His self-sacrificing life] will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit.
They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed. The lips of [even] children will be opened to proclaim the mysteries that have been hidden from the minds of men . . . .Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history is to be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth.”- Ibid, Maranatha, Review & Herald Publishing Asso., p. 30.
This acceleration is not really of time per se but of earth’s latter day frenzied activity, restlessness, unparalleled idolatry, immorality, covetousness, etc., (Matt. 24: 37-51; 2 Tim. 3: 1, 2, 5). It should quicken the pulse of all Christian pilgrims who have been patiently watching, waiting, praying, and working—diligently performing their appointed part to hasten the end of “the time of the end” that begun in 1798 at the termination of the 1200 years of the Dark Ages.
Daniel described its post period then, till now, as: “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12: 5. The sealed portions of the book of Daniel, particularly the time prophecy of the 2300 day/years that ended in 1844, the true spiritual/religious nature of the conflict, the end-time main players being “the beast, his image, and the false prophet,” are progressively being unmasked to the world in the three angels’ message of Revelation 14.
The Latter Rain Ripens Earth’s Harvest Preparing it for the Sickle
In Christ’s mini apocalypse recorded in Matthew 24 and Luke 21, He declared, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matt. 24: 14. Succeeding the Industrial Age, the dawn of the Digital Age (also known as the Computer Age, Information Age, or New Media Age), “from the advent of the personal computer in the late 1970s to the Internet’s reaching a critical mass in the early 1990s,” ushered in to those 60 years and older what was classed in the realm of science fiction. While creating unheard-of new problems such as identity theft, cyber warfare, etc., in the right hands by the Holy Spirit’s guidance, this technology is also “uber” hastening earth’s final harvest and final sunset!
The parable of the wheat and tares describes earth’s final harvest, Matt. 13: 24-30. Answering the request of His disciples to explain it further, Jesus said, “the field is the world” and “the harvest is the end of the world” (vs. 36-43). In Revelation 14 the beloved disciple gives a quick prophetic summary, describing what concludes this harvest, after the proclamation of the three angels’ successive messages (verses 6-14). John says: “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. . . . And He that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” See verses 14-10.
The true final global revival movement empowered by the Latter Rain described in Revelation chapter 18 is Christ’s last merciful plea to the churches. John writes: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Wherefore come out of her My people that yepartake not of her sins and receive of her plagues for her sins have reached unto heaven.” Verses 4, 5.
As in the type and literally, during Palestine ’s harvest season: “The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain and prepares it for the sickle.” – Ibid, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 506. “As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit themoral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ.” – Ibid.
To all who desire to conform to Christ-likeness, now in the time of the Latter Rain, and in preparation for it, will find strong encouragement from the following:
“Christ has given His [Holy] Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His character upon His church.”- Desire of Ages, p. 671. “The Word destroys the natural, earthly nature, and imparts a new life in Christ Jesus.” – Ibid, p. 391.
“We need not retain one sinful propensity.” – Ibid, Faith I Live By, p. 23. “As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character”– Ibid.
“Christ came to this world to show that by receiving power from on high, man can live an unsullied life.” – Ibid, p. 98.
“As soon as we sincerely desire conformity to God’s likeness, the Lord, by His Holy Spirit, begins to transcribe that likeness on the heart.” – Review & Herald, Oct. 25, 1895; 7BC 943; FILB 23. “By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ.”- Ibid, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 506.
Apostle Paul says: “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove (demonstrate, margin) what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” See Romans 12: 1, 2, K.J.V.
What does the Bible mean by mind? It’s from the Hebrew metalepsis, “participate; accept; partake; receive.” In the New Testament, it comes from three Greek words, 1) phroneo, “entertain; sentiment; opinion; set affection; be the same.” 2) nous, “intellect (divine, human); thoughts; feeling; will; understanding.” 3) dianoia, “deep thought; faculty; disposition, its exercise through imagination/ understanding.”
The spiritual renewing of this mind in this yet-mortal body is the Early Rain experience. Since it is mind over matter, moral character perfection is through sanctification—a lifetime of habitual yielding the will to Christ—be it short or long, even 70 years or more.