Tuesday: Prerequisites for the Latter Rain
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What do the following texts tell us about the preparation needed in order to receive the Holy Spirit’s power in its fullness?

Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

Acts 1:14,Zech. 10:1Acts 3:18-204:31Ps. 119:25,John 6:63.

The Scriptures invite us to ask God for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). The disciples believed Christ’s promise, waited in unity, and prayed for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8,14). The reason that God asks us to pray for the Holy Spirit is not because He is unwilling to give us the Spirit but because we are not prepared to receive it. As we pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, God works on our hearts to lead us to deeper repentance. Praying in small groups with other church members draws us into a closer bond of unity and fellowship. Both prayer and Bible study prepare our minds to be sensitive to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

What is the natural result of spiritual renewal in our lives? Where does all spiritual revival and reformation lead? Ps. 51:10-13Acts 4:13205:338:4.

All spiritual revival and genuine reformation lead to a passionate desire to witness. When our hearts are filled with a deep appreciation for everything that Jesus has done for us, then, like Peter and John “‘we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:20, NKJV). The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early rain on the day of Pentecost empowered the disciples to effectively witness. Their witness was so powerful that a rebellious mob in Thessalonica screamed in fear that “‘these who have turned the world upside down have come here too’” (Acts 17:6, NKJV).

Just as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost enabled the disciples to be a formidable witness to their generation, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in latter-rain power will empower God’s church to reach the world in the final generation. It will take nothing less than latter-rain power to complete God’s mission on earth, and God offers nothing less. Heaven’s most precious gift is offered in infinite supply in order to accomplish the most urgent and important task ever entrusted His church.

The early disciples turned the world “upside down” with their preaching and witness. Why isn’t that said of us?

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Tuesday: Prerequisites for the Latter Rain — 28 Comments

  1. The last statement and question. "The early disciples turned the world "upside down" with their preaching and witness. Why isn't that said of us? First of all isn't it about God and not about us? I am 4th generation Adventist. Last week on Friday's questions is said something about our doctrines and teachings being an issue and then it said "Of course not". If we are going to talk about "Us" at issue with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, couldn't it possibly be about SOME of our teachings and doctrines? Jewelry? Women ordained? I believe until we are more inclusive than exclusive WE and I mean WE will not have that ourpouring of the Holy Spirit.

    Like(19)
    • One of my biggest struggles to spiritual growth is the obvious division/exclusion. I try to focus on my relationship with God, but it's hard witnessing as an SDA because we truly do- Them versus Us. Some of us get caught up in making sure people are following the doctrines versus loving as Christ did. I think the outpouring of the Holy Spirit truly is waiting on us to really go into "all the world" preaching Christ's name, not a "denomination.". As I've learnt, as you learn to love God more, you will want to serve and obey him. The changes in my life came from a closeness to him, and I pray will continue. Often however, I'm deterred by the focus. I've seen my ex leave bc the church bc of this religion v relationship. My prayer is that like the scriptures noted, we will pray for our hearts to be ready to receive the outpouring and we can witness as a true example of God's love

      Like(8)
      • Hello Tisome,

        You wrote, "One of my biggest struggles to spiritual growth is the obvious division/exclusion."

        But you can choose your focus. You can focus on what others do wrong - by being divisive and exclusive - or you can focus on what Christ has done for you and us. If you focus on Christ, you will be changed into his image. If you focus on what others do wrong, you will be changed into a negative image. It's your choice and mine, because by beholding we become changed.

        Like(8)
        • Yes we can be inclusive but not to the point of compromising the truth. As much as it is important to be united with others we need to be diligent. It should begin with each one of us as individuals with our eyes focused on christ alone. There's no way we can unite with others if we are not genuinely transformed. As Adventists we really need this transformation and we should pray about it.

          Like(3)
    • Yes, we should be inclusive, yet set apart! jewelry wearing isn't keeping people from receiving the word of God. its the heart of man, the deliverer not the message. a soul desperate for the truth will seek to understand Gods love and want to please Him, in all of His precepts and commandments. we are to be set apart, a city on a hill cannot be hidden, but when salt has lost its savor. . . when we began to look like the world, oh God help us! we shouldn't beat people over the head with doctrine, but let the holy spirit convict and lead. if the seed is planted on fertile grow. . . at just the right time harvest shall be reaped. Galatians 6:9 and women should be ordained. i cant understand how in this time of need and lack of surplus, we are rejecting another mouth piece of God! do we really think in these last day God wont allow a women to spread a most glorious message to a dying world, a world that God alone sent His Son to save, and 'man' says no because of sex and what if's, smh! God and God alone will weed out those who or not fit to cover His flock, His sheep are too important to Him. . .

      Like(9)
      • Wearing jewlries and ordination of women to me is like a Seventh Day Adventist Evangelist out there proclaiming the Three Angels Messages and smoking a cigar while preaching and a woman usurbing the role of a man in a samesex marriage. We claim to be Christians and so we also must model Christ outwardly for if Christ is abiding in the heart, Christ's character will show forth outwardly so that the world may see and praise and glorify God. The church is obligated by God to judge these righteously and pronounce the appropriate disciplinary action to preserve the holiness of Christ within the body of Christ. Until we achieved the unity of mind and soul upon Christ's given standards, we will never receive the power of God by the Holy Spirit the will enabled us to go forth with the 3Angles Messages. Some may say jewlries, women ordination etc. are minor issues that can be ignored and we can moveforward with the gospel and not to dwell on these issues. Well the truth is; God is demanding a whole hearted obediance and not a partial obediance. We must be in one accord with each other in accordance of God's will and all His commandments. This is the evidence of our readiness to receive the Out Pouring Of Tne Holy Spirit Power for the finishing touch of this final warning message to save those who will give their allegience to God and we can finally enter our eternal home and rest with Jesus forevermore. Let us consider God's will for us and realize our eternal hope in Jesus. Cheers!!!

        Like(3)
    • Larry..... I very much agree with you. I think WE get so caught up in Adventism. We often come across as haughty and arrogant people. TRUTH or not nobody wants a cold shoulder. I believe in these last days, Practical hands on ministry is going to be the main witness of Christ's love. Showing people compassion and forgiveness. We are just not known for being the nicest people, and it's a shame because so many of us are. We cannot live in the letter of the law anymore people, God is a God of order yes. But all too Often we are so focused on the message... but not the delivery.

      Like(5)
    • HI,
      Can You explain? What do You mean? with the statement of: "If we are going to talk about "Us" at issue with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, couldn't it possibly be about SOME of our teachings and doctrines? Jewelry? Women ordained?

      Now would You mean--by inclusive--that SDAs ought to wear jewelry, and have women (ordained) preachers?
      Because if so, SDAs have better 'know better', from OUR LORD GOD'S example, as with, Ruth, Esther, Saphira, Manoah's wife (Samson)--I mean countless examples of Women being sent! So, we ought to consider, for real, if that is what YOu were saying!

      Like(2)
    • I have read through your preface above and I looked back on Tuesday's lesson and I'm not sure I"m understanding the responses. The last question ask for the "natural result of spiritual renewal in our lives" and "where spiritual revival and reformation lead". However the responses are centered around "The early disciples turned the world "upside down" with their preaching and witness.

      The question to me is still not answered. What is the result of spiritual renewal and where spiritual revival and reformation lead?

      Like(2)
  2. I fully agree with Larry's input and would like to add some more reasons for the Lord withholding the Latter Rain. The humanity of Christ, His human nature after the fall of Adam, the nature of the Holy Spirit as a person not a power. The 6 day creation truth of the Genesis records. Though not advocated by the SDA medical authority, but practised by many SDA's medical professionals and by membership at large, I mean pseudo-occult medicine such as Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, to name just a few, there are more than 200 such practices which some us practice sincerely, thinking that it's Natural Medicine in harmony with the the Health Reform.
    We should pray for the leadership of the Church, specially for the G.C. President, Elder Wilson, that the Lord will tell him sa he did to Joshua, arise and sanctify Isreal, for there are forbidden things in tha camp. There are other examples in the Bible of the Lord reviving the spirit of Leadership: Moses, Daniel, Nehemiah and others.
    If we are really the final generation, we should meditate prayserfully on these issues, there may be others which the Holy Spirit will reveal to us to prepare us for this last great event: the empowerment of the Church by the Latter Rain.

    Like(3)
    • It is easy to make lists of things we think are wrong. I know some Adventists who eat ice-cream, and an Adventist couple who have sex on Sabbath. The list of unwanted behaviours and beliefs could go on and on until we have nobody in the church. Focusing on sins or the perceived sins that we have in the church is largely unproductive and I have seen people lose sight or what Christianity is about when using this approach.

      There are some things that we need to focus on and when we get it right the Church benefits. For example, someone forgot to tell the Chinese Adventists that they should not ordain women as ministers. Now most of their ministers are women and the Adventist church is moving from strength to strength in China. They focused on turning people Christ and apparently that is a winning formula. We need to understand that revival is achieved by looking to Christ and getting on with the Gospel task; not by fault-finding and finger pointing in the church.

      When the snakes invaded the camp of the Israelites they were saved by looking at the brass snake on the pole (a Type for Christ) that Moses held up for them, not by chasing and killing snakes.

      Like(13)
      • Jesus made reference to that incident in the wilderness in Jn 3:14 and applied it Himself as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29). To me one of the most interesting things to consider is why God commanded Moses to make a brass (bronze) snake rather than a dove or some other docile animal. What does that symbolism teach us about Jesus with respect to the great controversy? How does that impact our understanding of the judgment? (All questions to consider during the next quarter).

        Like(3)
        • We know from the words of Jesus that the brass serpent represented Him. He "became sin" (the brass serpent was an embodiment of the sin problem) for us. Just as the Israelites were to look at the symbol of the serpent to live, so we must focus on Jesus, the Sin Bearer, to have spiritual life. Otherwise, our "religious" lives are but a form without meaning.

          It is only as we focus on Christ Himself and become obedient to Him that we will be in a position to receive the latter rain.

          Like(3)
        • "We know from the words of Jesus that the brass serpent represented Him." That is what I thought I said in the first sentence but I see that I left out the word "to" but I still referenced Jn 3:14 in that sentence that quotes Jesus on the wilderness experience with the brass snake.

          "It is only as we focus on Christ Himself and become obedient to Him that we will be in a position to receive the latter rain." Exactly! And for that to happen we need the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which cleans us up just like it was with Joshua the high priest (Zech 3) and what Malachi spoke of, "For He is like a refiner's fire And like launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness" (Mal. 3:2-3 NKJV). That is a motif that is woven all through scripture. Without Jesus we can do nothing (Jn 15:5) which means that we cannot clean up our act by ourselves. Neither can we change our hearts - only God can do that!

          It isn't just a matter of focusing on Jesus as an example either, we need the power to change into that example otherwise it becomes a matter of our works instead of God's which will never do.

          Like(5)
        • this is in reference to " Jesus refers to the incident in the wilderness and applied it Himself as a the Lamb of God who takes away sins of the world" Moses did make a bronze snake for the israelites to look up once they are beaten by the snake in order for them to be healed. What is the difference between looking at the bronze serpent and looking at the altar a cross were Jesus nailed when we go to church and pray, is it not consider also as an idol worship?

          Like(0)
        • Edwin, I think a lot of people have questions about images in church. I think we need to remember that God commanded Moses to use images of angels and vegetation in the sanctuary (Ex 25:18-20; Ex 26:1; Ex 25:33). When we get to Solomon copious amount of images throughout his temple were used (1 Kings 6:29, 32, 35; 2 Chron 3:14; 4:3-4. Outside the temple building, on the carts of bronze he even had, "panels that were between the frames were lions, oxen, and cherubim" (1 Ki. 7:29 NKJV).

          An image by itself is not what makes it an idol. It is what we do with it that makes it sinful. The command against idols is, "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them" (Exod. 20:4-5 NKJV). The emphasis here is on bowing down to them and serving them otherwise both Moses and Solomon would have been in big trouble yet God said nothing to them concerning any violation of the Commandments.

          Like(1)
  3. the psalmist pray for a divine preparation for the formal rain was amazing. he shows total dependent on God for revival and the outpouring of the holy spirit. psa 51:10-13 we should pray with a unified mind like the psalmist for God to creat in us a clean heart and to make anew a steadfast spirit within us because as people waiting for the latter rain, our inner most heart needs to be pure, true and clean. by doing so, we creat a room for the holy spirit to dewell on us and use us as an instrument in converting a sinner. as the early apostles turned their world then upside down with their teaching, we to have to turn this present down side world up to Jesus.

    Like(20)
  4. I would like to pinpoint from the Scripture three three prerequisites for the latter rain, all starting with A. You can call them Triple A.

    ACKNOWLEDGE. One has to acknowledge that God has promised to give the gift of His Spirit more than parents would like to give good gifts for their children. Luke 11: 13

    ASK. Looking at the right picture of God, who is eagerly waiting to dispense His gift of the Spirit upon His children, should compel us to come before him and ask for it. Zech 10: 1

    ACT. A prayer of faith always leads to an action that demonstrates that we believed that we have received what we have asked for. In other words, when we ask for the latter rain, acknowledging that the Lord has promised it to give us power to finish the Gospel mission, we will also engage actively in the Gospel work. Acts 4: 31

    May God help us to Acknowledge, Ask and Act as we wait for the latter rain. And surely, it will rain in God’s appointed time.

    Like(7)
    • Prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the disciples were of one ACCORD (“together”). This may be another “A” that is presently missing in our church and is delaying the latter rain.

      Like(3)
  5. The early disciples turned the world “upside down” with their preaching and witness. Why isn’t that said of us? the early disciples they spend time together pray together and if we unit and set aside our differences we will receive latter rain and we will turn this world by the real teaching of 3 angel's message.

    Like(5)
  6. Before we can be instrumental in the later rain we must be focused on getting our hearts and relationship with God. The diciples spent 30 days in the upper room to get their hearts and mind in harmony with God.

    I would like to quote the Adventist World Magazine:
    World church president Ted N. C. Wilson, leading the worldwide Revival and Reformation initiative, describes heaven as “anxiously waiting for God’s people to awake and seek the blessing of God’s Spirit. God’s promise, ‘Ask and you shall receive,’ is sure,” Wilson says. “He will answer prayers for the outpouring of His Spirit. The finishing of God’s work will not come only because of more effort or different methods. It is the power of God’s Spirit working in the lives of His people that will effectively enlighten the world with the glory of God so that Jesus can return.”

    In 1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
    9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

    And

    Isaiah 42:5-7
    New King James Version (NKJV)
    5 Thus says God the Lord,
    Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
    Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it,
    Who gives breath to the people on it,
    And spirit to those who walk on it:
    6 “I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
    And will hold Your hand;
    I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
    As a light to the Gentiles,
    7 To open blind eyes,
    To bring out prisoners from the prison,
    Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.

    Like(7)
  7. This is such a powerful lesson! My pastor is always preaching that if we had the latter rain experience, we could turn this place upside down for Christ. Sylacauga, Alabama and surrounding areas would not be the same. Today's lesson is so timely, God could finish the work, but we are the ones who have been entrusted and instructed to make fisher's of men, we have been instructed to go and teach all nations and baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
    I can only speak for myself and ask myself, where is the passion that once burned within to be a true follower of Christ? That's what it comes down to, to be or not to be? Simply put, to be a witness for Christ, I will do all I possibly can to finish the work before He comes. Not to be, I will continue living day to day as if this is my final home. Father, please give me the passion and desire to be used by You to finish the work of the Gospel. Amen!

    Like(9)
  8. The Psalmist says in Psalm 51:10–13 “Create in me a clean heart………..” and in so doing gave the condition necessary for the outpouring of the latter rain by means of the Holy Spirit.
    If our desire is to make it to the kingdom of God, we will not be caught-up in trivialities to distract us from our focus as, God is always in control and will always take care of situations; that’s why the battles is His. Our job is to work on creating the clean heart necessary for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (latter rain).

    Like(7)
  9. A lot of times I think that we feel that we are in control when, in fact, it is God that is in control. It almost seems as though we do things in order to get God to do what we want Him to do, a kind of manipulation maneuver on our part.

    This war that we are in is between God and Satan, it is His battle even though we are involved. He calls the shots and when the conditions are right both inside and outside the church then and only then will He send the latter rain.

    I have pointed out before that the outpouring during Pentecost happened, "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come" (Acts 2:1 NKJV) which means that it was a timed event. I am sure the disciples were prepared days in advance but the timing wasn't right just as the Son of Man came, "when the fullness of the time had come" (Gal. 4:4 NKJV) or, "in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Rom. 5:6 NKJV). The timing is crucial for things to be done for maximum effect.

    What we can do is to prepare for the event and I believe that this quarter's lessons along with many comments have given us plenty of ideas about how this can be done.

    Like(5)
  10. The of the Gospel is not to close with a lesser display of power than the one which marked its start.But there are so many external and internal obstructions that are between us and this promise.Jesus showed that in these last days,some of the obstructions would be brought intentionally by the enemy.Luke 21:34.Let us TAKE HEED.

    Like(3)
  11. I would like to remind us that the Great Commission commands us to teach others to observe "all things" that I have commanded you. If our witness is to be true, then we must follow this counsel and teach others to observe All Things...

    Like(1)
  12. Thank you all for the robust discussion on this topic. I agree with most of you that it is un Christlike to focus on all the evils "others" are doing that are delaying the latter rain. Jesus message to each one of us is pointed and personal. Why am I not effective as a witness within the scope of my influence (school, work, etc.). In my perspective, our greatest flaw as it was with the disciples is lack of genuine love for each other. When Jesus in John 13:35 said "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." he meant business. Our church is loving to the extent individual members are. And this love is not exemplified by the class and racial/ethnic segregation we the members perpetuate. The spirit never came to our predecessors, until they could rise above these unnecessary strata.

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