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Saturday, May 6, 2023

5-6-2023    Former and latter rain


Here are some passages referring to the ‘former’ and ‘latter’ rain.

Hosea 6:1-3 ESV   Early rain

Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Zechariah 10:1 ESV   early rain

Ask rain from the Lord in the season of the spring rain, from the Lord who makes the storm clouds, and he will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation in the field.

Luke 24:49 ESV early rain

And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Acts 1:4-8    early rain

But wait for the promise which you have heard from me.  Truly, John baptized you with water but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days from now.  It’s not for you to know the times nor the seasons for Father has kept this power for Himself.  But, you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you …  

Acts 2:1-47 ESV   early rain

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. ...

Deuteronomy 11:14 ESV   early & latter rain

He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil.

Jeremiah 5:24 ESV  early & latter rain        

They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.’

James 5:1-20 ESV  early & latter rain          

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Haggai 2:9 ESV latter rain

The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’”

Isaiah 41:14-20 ? God will renew us

… I am your redeemer … I will make you a new threshing instrument …  I will h hear the needy and open rivers in the high places and fountains in the valleys and make a pool of water in the wilderness …  and they will know that that the hand of the Lord, the Holy One of Israel has done this and created it.

Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV ? God’s Word refreshes 

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.     

Ezekiel 37:1-28 ESV  current situation pre latter rain

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. ...

End Times

Joel 2:1-32 ESV             

Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations. Fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but behind them a desolate wilderness, and nothing escapes them. Their appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like war horses they run. As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains, like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, like a powerful army drawn up for battle. ...

1 Timothy 4:1 ESV  falling away towards latter rain

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 ESV  son of perdition first

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? ...

Ephesians 5:26-27 ESV / sanctify and cleansing

That He might sanctify and cleanse it with washing of water by the word

So that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Acts 2:33 ESV 

Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.

So why do we even care about the early and later rains? 

The former and latter rains?  They are signs of the times.  The outpouring of the Holy Ghost.  Jesus promised us we would have a helpmate to guide us through life.  The first outpouring was when He gave the promise (John 14:16-18) with that reality being experienced by the disciples in  Acts 2. 

The latter rain started dribbling in in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s, the rise of the Pentecostal movement, gained some steam with the ‘Charismatic’ movement of the mid 1960’s and is now coming to a full blown reality of the Holy Ghost rising up in God’s children – big time.  Just as Jesus said in the gospel of John “Truly, I tell you, he who believes on Me shall do shall also do the works that I do and he shall do greater than these, because I go to the Father.”  Jesus had the fullness of the Holy Ghost in Him to accomplish His mission – the cross.  Now, He shares the Holy Ghost with all who will receive Him and allow Him operate in our lives.

Since the bible was made available to the common man (in ‘recent’ times), Father has been growing His children through the Protestant Reformation, at least 2 ‘awakening’s, Pentecostal Revival, Charismatic Revival and now a ‘Prophetic Awakening’.  All so the Holy Ghost can return to ‘active duty’ in each and all our lives!

Let’s go back and understand what the rains do.  The early rain prepares the ground for planting.  This, after the previous harvest and the earth has had a chance to settle down after the previous season.  For us, this would equate to spring, after the fall harvest and a ‘long winter’s nap’ for the earth.  In spring, the earth is softening up in preparation for the new-year’s planting season and the early rains enhance that softening by bringing moisture into the earth. 

The latter rain, again for us, comes just after the blossoming of the plants as they prepare to bring forth their fruit and, then, bring refreshing water to those seedlings so they can grow and mature, becoming ripe and ready for harvest.

In respects to the Holy Ghost, the early rain was when the apostles and disciples received the outpouring or baptism (if you will) in the upper room.  Note that in Acts 2, there were the 12 apostles plus 108 disciples (120 in all).  So, the Holy Ghost and the power that comes with Him is for all believers, not just a select few.  We just have to receive Him and allow Him to operate in us and through us. 

Don’t quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19)!  In other words, we need to yield control of our lives over to the guidance of the Holy Ghost.  We do that by asking His direction in all that we do.  Then do it! “Father, what should I do or say in this situation?”

Father has prepared and has been growing hearts since that early rain. 

Okay, the latter rain has also been happening – even today.  Not full blown yet, as we ae not yet experiencing the downpour into the latter house making it greater than the former.  But now, it is time to ripen or mature and truly live our lives in and for our Lord. 

Does not the Holy Ghost enter our lives when we ask Jesus to come into our hearts (save us)?  But, do we then allow the Holy Ghost full operation in and through us?  Too many Christians receive Jesus then put the Holy Ghost on a shelf or somewhere in a back room.  Maybe we put Him in a box and close the lid.  Hidden.  He can’t get out.  God, (the Holy Ghost) is a gentleman.  He won’t force His way into our lives.  He awaits our invitation (Josh. 24:15, Heb. 11:6, Rev. 22:17).  We need to ask.  We ‘quench’ the HG by not letting Him do His job in us and through us.

Father is ripening (maturing) His children so we can do His work in this world today.  We ARE in a time of Spiritual Explosion.  As Father’s children mature, the operations of the Holy Ghost will become more and more evident.  In other words, we will be doing the same things Jesus did and greater (John 14:12)!  How can this be?  We will be allowing the Holy Ghost more freedom to operate in our lives.  We will give the Holy Ghost more license to do work in us, as Father originally intended.  God’s love will become more and more evident, in our lives and to the world.  Because we will be yielding more of our life over to Him, following His lead, following the example Jesus has given us when He walked upon this earth, 2000 year ago.  

Paul give us direction in the church so the operation of the Holy Ghost has an assemblage of order so that the church doesn’t fall into disruption (1 Corinth. 14:26-33).  Yet Paul also speaks of the Holy Ghost building us up as individuals (1 Corinth. 14:5). “Tongues”, or God-given Spiritual language, is for communication between God and man and builds the individual.  There is nothing wrong exercising our personal prayer language.  It does give us a personal experience with God otherwise missed.   However, the idea is that when we are in the church, the goal is to have a God-given order so as to edify the whole church.

I know that some say the ‘tongues’ is not for today for when that which is Perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away (1 Corinth. 13:10).  A child perceives things as a child and a man should perceive things as a man.  We look through a glass darkly, seeing only in part, but when the Perfect is come, for then, I shall know as I am known (1 Corinth. 13:11-12).  Paul speaks of five gifts which are for the perfecting of the saints, for all the work of the ministry and to edify the body of Christ.  So the Holy Ghost should be in full operation Until all are united in faith and the knowledge of the Son of God.  We become the perfect men by measuring up to the example set by Jesus Christ (Eph. 4:12-13). 

So today, how do we measure up to the standards Jesus established, His example for living?  Point being, how many Christians are truly mature, operating fully in the will of God?  Allowing the full operation of the Holy Ghost to function in our lives?  Or do we still see only in part as we try to look through that tinted glass?  Of a surety, this question shall be answered when we are actually with Jesus – in eternity!

Read Paul’s letters to the churches and see how immature Christians act.  How do we stack up?  And some people still contend that the gifts are no longer necessary – fort he edification of the church.  Really?

We are now in the latter rains which will enable us to mature and be true reflections of God’s love.  We grow in God’s love by allowing the Holy Ghost to fully operate in our lives and we do that as we, piece by piece, yield all those negative actions, feelings and thoughts, to the Holy Ghost by allowing the Him more and more control over our lives.  That is listening to that small, still voice echoing God’s love in our ears and hearts and being obedient as we strive to live for Father as we follow the example of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

The apostles looked for Jesus to return 2000 years ago.  Are we any closer today?  Understand the conditions of the world –today.  What is happening around the world?  Has the church fallen away? 

The early rains have already come.  The latter rains have already started falling.  Lord Jesus, bring the downpour of the latter rain upon us.


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