FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
July 11, 2014Nathaniel Fajardo
Are We Preparing for the Latter Rain?– Part XXXVIII
Summary on Preparing for the Latter Rain
We conclude this series on the seven conditions to be met in order to receive the promised latter rain. There are, of course many more details to each. The purpose was to awaken heightened awareness and encourage prayerful re-examination of this vital subject in the light of rapidly unfolding events in our world today. Once more, these are: (1) an enlightened people (2) a victorious people (3) a loving people (4) a praying people (5) a working people (6) a temperate people (7) a true Sabbath keeping people
No one is assured to be alive tomorrow. All time prophecies ended at the termination of the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8: 14 in 1844. The successive proclamation of the first, the second, and the third angels’ messages of Revelation 14 has been swelling since then. No precise time is given as to when the latter rain will be poured out, or the mark of the beast enforced, or the final loud cry will go forth, or for the close of earth’s probation or for Christ’s glorious Second Advent.
Diligent students of Bible prophecy discern in the signs of the times that: “The Spirit of God is being withdrawn. Disasters by and by land follow one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property . . . . but in them all, God’s purpose may be read. They are among the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.” (E.G. White, Prophets & Kings, p. 277). The last few unfulfilled prophecies following the chronology of the end-time scenario laid out in the closing chapters of Daniel and Revelation will soon take place. It is our privilege to hasten the coming of the Lord!
Thus, we are to victoriously live each day by making Christ first, last, and best. Some charge this as fanaticism. Others say it is impossible because our minds, time, and energies are also occupied with essential temporal matters. There is absolutely no conflict or contradiction here. The life of Enoch illustrates this. He lived at the time when the earth was ripe for destruction by the Flood. See Gen 6. 5.
Jesus said the same condition would be obtaining just before His promised return. Matt. 24: 37-51. Enoch, the first man translated to heaven without tasting death is the first prototype of the 144,000 who will be similarly translated in the last days. Rev. 7: 1-8; 14: 1-5. Elijah was the second. 2 Kings 2: 1-15. Both men had a special work, message, and mission to accomplish in their lives and among their fellowmen and so do we! Firstly,
“Enoch was a representative man, but he is not praised, he is not exalted; he simply did that which every son and daughter of Adam may do.”- E. G. White, Youth’s Instructor, May 21, 1903, par. 12.
“Enoch’s walk with God [Gen. 5: 21-24; Heb. 11:5] was not in a trance or a vision, but in all the duties of his daily life. He did not become a hermit, shutting himself entirely from the world; for he had a work to do for God in the world. In the family and in his intercourse with men, as a husband and a father, a citizen, he was the steadfast unwavering servant of the Lord.
His heart was in harmony with God’s will; for ‘can two walk together, except they be agreed?’ Amos 3: 3. And this holy walk was continued for 300 years. There are few Christians who would not be far more earnest and devoted if they knew that they had but a short time to live, or that the coming of Christ was about to take place. But Enoch’s faith waxed the stronger, with the lapse of centuries.” – Ibid., Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 85: 1- 2.
“Many regard Enoch as a man to whom God special power to live a life more holy than we can live. But the character of the man who was so holy that he was translated to heaven without seeing death is a representation of the character to be attained by those who will be translated when Christ comes in the clouds of heaven. Enoch’s life was no more exemplary than may be the life of everyone who maintains a close connection with God.” – Ibid, Signs of the Times, Oct. 12, 1904, par. 1.
“The soul who really believes the truth will carry out in his life the principles revealed in the life of Christ. Of Enoch it is written that his ways pleased God; and without faith it is impossible to please God. Not a thread of coarseness or selfishness was woven into the web that this servant of God was weaving in his daily life. And of him we read: [Gen. 5: 24 quoted].” – Ibid, Review & Herald, Sept. 30, 1901, par. 4.
Will the latter rain be poured out sporadically and individually or corporately?
As Jesus promised His disciples before His crucifixion (John 14: 16-18; 15;26; 16: 7-14), the Holy Spirit in a “mighty rushing wind” descended as “cloven tongues of fire” upon the 120 disciples simultaneously, including Mary the mother of Jesus. They heeded the command of the resurrected and glorified Savior and prepared until they were “in one accord” in an “upper room” in Jerusalem. Jesus quietly returned from heaven on the same day after presenting Himself to the Father and spent 40 days giving them final instructions. He was seen by upwards of 500 of His disciples. See Acts chapters 1, 2; 1 Cor. 15: 3-9. Pentecost inaugurated the Christian dispensation, ending the Jewish dispensation as pinpointed in the seventy-week prophecy of Daniel 9: 24-27.
The former rain was poured upon a prepared group of disciples for a specific purpose; the latter rain must likewise be poured out upon a character-prepared people for a specific purpose. The preparation is individual, even as salvation is individual as Christ is a personal Savior. It is a living experience of seeking perfect conformity to God’s will in these closing hours of earth’s probation in order “to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:19).
If the Revelation 18 angel is the final movement of the final loud cry of the fourth angel empowered by the latter rain, what precedes it?
“Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times . . . The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit.
In those churches which he can bring into his deceptive power he will make it appear that God’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit. Under a religious guise, Satan will seek to extend his influence over the Christian world.” – Ibid., Great Controversy, (1911), p. 464.
The counterfeit revival and movement has been fulfilling before our very eyes especially since the emergence of the Charismatic, Pentecostal “speaking of tongues” Movement (in gibberish, that is), in the so-called “baptism of the Holy Spirit” that has crossed over the denominational divide (Anglican, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Eastern orthodox, Reformed churches, and Roman Catholic. Wikipedia also says, “A minority of Seventh-day Adventists today are charismatics.
They are strongly associated with those holding ‘progressive’ Adventist beliefs. In the early decades of the church, charismatic or ecstatic phenomena were commonplace.”). Among Protestants, the movement began around the 1960s. (See Azusa Street Revival). Among Roman Catholics, it originated around 1967 after the Vatican II Ecumenical Council (1962-1965). Its earliest beginnings, however dates back to the early 1843-1844 and into the early 1900s (See “The ‘Holy Flesh’ Doctrine,” Vol. 2, Selected Messages, pp. 31-9) which quickly revealed its fanatical and spiritualistic nature. (See “Charismatic Movement” on Wikipedia). The following prophecy says it all:
“Many of the revivals of modern times have presented a marked contrast to those manifestations of divine grace which in earlier days followed the labors of God’s servants. It is true that a widespread interest is kindled, many profess conversion, and there are large accessions to the churches [such as “mega churches”]; nevertheless the results are not such as to warrant the belief that there has been a corresponding increase of real spiritual life. The light which flames up for a time soon dies out, leaving that darkness more dense than ever before.
“Popular revivals are too often carried by appeals to the imagination, by exciting the emotions, by gratifying the love for what is new and startling. Converts thus gained have little desire to listen to Bible truth, little interest in the testimony of prophets and apostles [particularly the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation]. Unless a religious service has something of a sensational character, it has no attraction for them. A message which appeals to unimpassioned reason awakens no response. The plain warnings of God’s word, relating directly to eternal interests, are unheeded.
“With every truly converted soul the relation to God and to eternal things will be the great topic of life. But where, in the popular churches of today, is the spirit of consecration to God? The converts do not renounce their pride and love of the world [1 John 2: 15,16]. They are no more willing to deny self, to take up the cross [of self-sacrifice and self-denial], and follow the meek and lowly Jesus, than before their conversion. Religion has become the sport of infidels and skeptics because so many who bear its name are ignorant of its principles. The power of godliness is well-nigh departed from many of the churches.”– Ibid, p. 463.
David Wilson correctly observes that:
“The theory that the latter rain falls before victory over sin is completely false, as is the modern teaching of righteousness by faith which attempts to save a person while still willfully sinning. Some modern teachings place the power of the latter rain before character development, and stress prayer for the latter rain without the necessary character preparation. Prayer is good, and to pray for the Holy Spirit in latter rain power is right, but only if we are living by the conditions laid out in the Bible and Testimony of Jesus.
“To pray for the latter rain while neglecting to comply with the necessary prerequisites is very dangerous; for it creates an opening for Satan to answer our prayers with a false spirit of revival. For if we neglect to seek God in humility, satisfied with an outer court experience, not going on to perfection in the Most Holy Place, our prayers for the Holy Spirit in latter rain power will be answered by Satan. Says the prophet, ‘I saw them (the deceived ones) look up to the throne and pray, Father, give us Thy Spirit. Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence.’ –Ibid, Early Writings, pp. 55, 56.
“The teaching that the outpouring of the latter rain will give us victory over sin in our lives, is a great deception, for most people will miss the real experience that God’s people are to have today, blindly looking forward to the latter rain. And when the latter rain does fall, these people will find that the door has been shut (See Matt. 25:10). . . .
“The experience each one of us need today is one that is Holy Spirit inspired. This is our greatest need as a people. The experience we need to seek for now is outlined by God as one of deep soul searching and purification of heart. It is a spirit of anguish and humility, that yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness [Heb. 12: 11]. This spirit is called a shaking. It is this experience born of the Holy Spirit that we must have before the latter rain is poured out.
None but those who yield to God, and by their own diligent effort seek this experience [in the seven listed conditions above in the early rain experience], are fitted for the outpouring of the Spirit of God. Those who avoid this heaven-inspired life will be left in darkness because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved [2 Thess. 2: 10]. (SeeTestimonies, Vol. 1, pp. 179-181).
“May we carefully examine our lives, comparing them with the standard of righteousness given to us in Inspiration. We must realize that none but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of God will be able to stand the delusions of the enemy. May we note carefully and prayerfully the [former rain] experience God is offering us today that we might be fitted to receive all the fullness of God in latter rain power.” Conditions of Receiving the Latter Rain, pp. 3, 4, Light Bearers Present Truth Ministries, P.O Box 1888 Malo, WA 99150.
E. G. White wrote: “I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of ‘refreshing’ and the ‘latter rain’ [see Acts 3: 19] to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter!” – Ibid, Early Writings, p. 71.
The Unwonted Great Power of the Latter Rain. The apostle Luke says of the former rain: “With great power gave apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon the all.” Acts 4: 33. Of the final movement under the latter rain, John writes: “After these things I saw another angel come down with great power, and the earth was lightened up with his glory.” Rev. 18:1 (see verses 2-24).
“What was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit [at the Day of Pentecost]? Thousands were converted in a day. The sword of the Spirit [Eph. 6: 17], newly edged with power and bathed in the lightning of heaven, cut its way through unbelief, overcoming Satanic agencies and magnifying the Lord as possessing supreme power.” –Ibid.,My Life Today, p. 61.
“The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the former rain, and glorious was the result. But the latter rain will be more abundant.”- Ibid, Signs of the Times, Feb. 17, 1914.
“Near the end of the of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of the spiritual grace is promised, to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man. This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that Christians are to send their petitions to the Lord of the harvest ‘in the time of the latter rain.’ In response, ‘the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain.’ ‘He shall cause to come down. . . .the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain.’ [Zech. 10:1; Joel 2: 23].”- Ibid, Acts of the Apostles, p. 55.
“Then, as the Pentecostal season, the people will hear the truth spoken to them, every man in his own tongue . . . Thousands of voices will imbued with the power to speak forth the wonderful truths of God’s word. The stammering tongue will be unloosed, and the timid will be made strong to bear courageous testimony to the truth. May the Lord help His people to cleanse the soul temple from every defilement, and to maintain such a close connection with Him that they may be partakers of the latter rain when it shall be poured out.” – Ibid, Review & Herald, July 20, 1886/ 6BC 1055.
“The latter rain is coming on those that are pure—all then will receive it as formerly. When the four angels let go [Rev. 7: 1-8], Christ will set up His kingdom. None receive the latter rain but those who are doing all that they can.” – Ibid.,Spalding Magan Unpublished MSS Testimonies, Mar. 18, 1852, p. 3.
So near his expected death, Paul said, “This one thing I do.” He allowed nothing to divert him from the one great purpose since his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus. Acts 1: 1-19. In all the busy activities of his life thereafter, he ever kept before him his one great goal—“to press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4: 13, 14. May this be our goal too, “to be filled with all the fullness of God” in these closing hours of earth’s probation in preparation for the promised latter rain. Only thus can we overcome even as Christ overcame! Rev. 3: 21.