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Wednesday: The Early and Latter Rain — 11 Comments

  1. In Australia, grain farmers are dependent on a somewhat fickle weather system that wanders erratically between El Nino and La Nina (droughts and floods). Typically these can last up to several years. The most powerful computers in the world are used for modelling these events in the hope they can predict them and take advantage of or compensate for them. Interestingly there are several models and little agreement. In the meantime, the farmers must survive and that is not always easy. Just knowing the name of the current weather pattern is not going to help.

    Spiritually we are in the period between the early and latter rain and while we have a reasonably good account of the early rain period and the development of the first-century church, we have yet to experience the latter rain. Part of the issue is that we have this expectation that it will be like the early rain, but like a lot of expectations, reality may be quite different.

    I suspect that the latter rain may change the status quo of the church and many of us are not going to be comfortable with that. Change causes discomfort and we become disoriented. One of the other events that we associate with this period is the "Time of Jacob's Trouble" a period of introspection about our relationship with God. It is possible that the "Latter Rain" and the "Time of Jacob's Trouble" are interrelated as those of us who have a long association with the church deal with the changes brought about by the Holy Spirit.

    And what should we be doing now? Referring back to the farming illustration, while waiting for the change of seasons between the sowing and harvesting, there is still work to be done and that is just as important as the "special" events. Jesus said, "Occupy till I come!"

  2. Sorry I have a question help please. What role does the latter rain pray in this week's Lesson?! Help plz.

    And also it is out of the topic but you can help me. The Bible say that no man has seen GOD, but it also say that Moses knew GOD face to face. What does it mean by saying Moses knew GOD face to face?! Did Moses talk to GOD face to face?!

    And we also say that, there will be no physical mark people will receive. But my question is how can they control people if there is no physical mark?! How can they stop people from buying and selling if there will be no physical mark?! Is this not saying that there will be some kind of physical mark?! Help

    And lastly, when Moses saw the back of GOD he started saying that GOD is merciful, loving, kind, holy etc- I wonder what did MOSES saw that makes him say that. I just want to know what did He saw?!

    Help plz.

    • Re The later rain. The simple answer is: the topic of this weeks lesson is Last Day Events. And from today lesson: “As the ‘former rain’ was given, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the opening of the gospel, to cause the upspringing of the precious seed, so the ‘latter rain’ will be given at its close for the ripening of the harvest. ” The latter rain is part of the last day events it appears to me. I heard an interesting concept by Esther on Hit The Mark for this weeks lesson. She said, "pray for the early rain, the latter rain will come later, we need the experience of the apostles had now." I hope I quoted her correctly. Lynn I hope this helps a little.

      As far as face to face let me give you a quote from Christ Object Lessons page 118.

      In Christ's day many heard the gospel, but their minds were darkened by false teaching, and they did not recognize in the humble Teacher of Galilee the Sent of God. But after Christ's ascension His enthronement in His mediatorial kingdom was signalized by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit was given. Christ's witnesses proclaimed the power of the risen Saviour. The light of heaven penetrated the darkened minds of those who had been deceived by the enemies of Christ. They now SAW Him exalted to be "a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." Acts 5:31. They SAW Him encircled with the glory of heaven, with infinite treasures in His hands to bestow upon all who would turn from their rebellion COL 118.3

      YES, they SAW Him. To me that is a figurative of face to face with Christ my Saviour.
      I Hope that helps.

    • Good Morning Lynn:
      Let us answer some of your questions one by one, using the scriptures to resolve some of these questions and apparent conflicts. The latter rain (Joel 2:23, Hosea 6:3)and the lamp oil in Matthew 25:1-13 both refer to the same event. ( Just as in pharaoh's dream of the seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine were portrayed by ears of corn and cows. Genesis 41:1-39). We know that the Bible often has two meanings when speaking of natural events. The former and latter rain may be talking about two rainy seasons, but let us take a moment to ponder the words of Jesus. As He looked at the crowd of Samaritans streaming out of the town to come and see Him, He said something poignant, "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." John 4:35 KJV. Thus we see a spiritual meaning to to what would be otherwise, a meaningless comment, if Jesus was merely speaking about a natural harvest of wheat.
      It is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will give the harvest of human souls the necessary strength to withstand the blast of the last fierce storm that will blow up on the earth. I hope that this explanation helps in enlightenment.
      Let us take a moment to ponder your second question about how can God speak to Moses face to face, and not be destroyed? God does indeed dwell in an an unapproachable light. Timothy 6:16, however the very first conversation between God and Moses is recorded in Exodus chapters 3 and 4.
      By carefully examining verse 14, "God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.'" KJV
      we see a clue on who exactly Moses was speaking to. John 8: 58,59 records a conversation between Jesus and the religious leaders about Jesus' father. The Jews claimed faithful Abraham as their Father, and Jesus then claimed who He was, "Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds." KJV Notice the fact that before Jesus slipped away that they pick up stones to stone him for blasphemy, indicating that they understood exactly what Jesus meant. (referring to Exodus 3:14)
      The beloved apostle John has some insight on how Jesus in the burning bush, and Jesus as a man makes it possible speak to God face to face and not be destroyed.
      "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14 KJV In short Lynn, the reason that God could speak to Moses face to face and not be consumed was that God's glory was veiled in the burning bush, and in human flesh.
      And now for your last question, I believe that your question refers to Exodus 34:6
      "And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” KJV Notice that it is the Lord that is describing himself, and not Moses describing God. God is telling Moses what He is like. Again these words are similar to the same description of the mission of Jesus in Luke 4:15. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised," KJV
      I appreciate your questions Lynn as it provided me with an opportunity to study my favorite book.

    • Oh hello again:
      I forgot to address your question about whether or not the mark of the beast
      in the hand or forehead
      (Revelation 13:16) is physical or spiritual, and how to tell them apart from the people who are sealed with the seal of God in their foreheads.
      (Revelation 7:3; 9:4)
      I am honestly not sure what method Mammon will use to differentiate God's people from the dragon's followers, but I am not so much concerned about exactly how they will know that God's people sealed with the seal of God in their foreheads, but I am more concerned that I am worthy of the grace of God, to be so sealed. If we make sure of this, then the other doesn't matter to us. We can leave that all up to God, in His own time, to reveal it.

  3. Re the mark. Recently my bank blocked my credit card because it saw transactions which it assumed weren’t done by me. The bank could also block my debit card. I would be unable to access any money I have in the bank. Also I believe that any true Christian is known by his/ her family and associates they would point out the Christian to the powers that be who would apply sanctions to the Christian. But have no fear God will protect His children .He may send angels to feed you as He did for Elijah. He provided manna for over one million 6 days per week for 40 years .

  4. Thank-you Horace for those encouraging words. You are right, the Lord has His Angles encamped about those who fear Him. Psalm 34:7. Psalm 91:10-11.

  5. When one lives a seventh day Adventist Christian life, you are carefully observed by the people of the world. Even in the supermarket, they noticed what is in your shopping cart, the way you dress, the way you speak etc. , so we will be identified my sister.

  6. In todays lesson, the author leaves out The Prophet Elijah's experience in 1 Kings 19:12. Elijah did not see God in the whirlwind, the earthquake, nor the fire. Up to this point Elijah thought he was the only one left in Israel that had been loyal to God. Then comes "The Still Small Voice," that tells Elijah he is not the only one left and also that Elisha will take his place to guide Israel as prophet for Israel. God still leads his true followers with that still small voice which is His Holy Spirit moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, year by year until Jesus shows up in the clouds of glory and steps into our "Church Politics, Govenment Politics, and takes over as High Priest, King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Praise be to God!

  7. Ellen G. White's quote: “As the ‘former rain’ was given, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the opening of the gospel, to cause the upspringing of the precious seed, so the ‘latter rain’ will be given at its close for the ripening of the harvest.”
    If the ‘early rain’ fell at Pentecost, and the ‘latter rain will be given at its close for the ripening of the harvest’, what is this ‘in between time’ we experiencing now used for?

    I think much ‘scattering of seeds’ is taking place right now – Matt. 13:3-9; 16-23, as the process of ‘scattering the seed to produce the harvest’ is ongoing since Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to all who seek after righteousness.
    Considering this, I see the Holy Spirit to be at work in the faithful believer’s heart right now. If He is given for the 'ripening of the harvest', would this not describe the time we are presently experiencing?

    Every day new believers are added to the family of God. The seed of faith and trust in God's kingdom is being planted and nurtured by the Holy Spirit and ‘germinate’ – 'ripening the harvest' - right now through faith; bringing forth much good fruit in many who believe God's Word and live in His kingdom.

    As we are experiencing right now the time of the four angels holding back the winds of strife for many more to be saved, maybe, as it was at Pentecost, a certain event might again bring a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit all at once to cause seeds to be planted for many to go out to spread the Good News in one last effort to save those that can be saved – Rev.7:1-3.

  8. Latter rain ripening the harvest made no sense. In Idaho, we plant grain in the spring as the ground is warming. Rains into early summer provided moisture to growing plants. As grain matured in late summer, rain was unwelcome. One could end up with either moldy or sprouting grain.


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