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Sunday: Waiting for “Rain” — 12 Comments

  1. This lesson looks at the latter rain in positive terms only. While I think we should do so we also need to be aware of the negatives:

    It is God who began the work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ. But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it. (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p 507)

    After all, the Jewish leaders were completely oblivious to the presence of the Messiah and when the Holy Spirit eventually left the temple and the Jewish Nation as a whole they didn't even notice the difference. Besides that, throughout all of history the prophets were routinely rejected as being completely wrong in many cases even when they were recognized as God's ambassadors.

  2. Christ's Object Lesson explains:
    Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church, but He has not committed to us the work of judging character and motive. He knows our nature too well to entrust this work to us.
    There is in the Saviour's words another lesson, a lesson of wonderful forbearance and tender love. As the tares have their roots closely intertwined with those of the good grain, so false brethren in the church may be closely linked with true disciples. The real character of these pretended believers is not fully manifested. Were they to be separated from the church, others might be caused to stumble, who but for this would have remained steadfast.
    The Redeemer does not want to lose one soul; His experience with Judas is recorded to show His long patience with perverse human nature; and He bids us bear with it as He has borne. He has said that false brethren will be found in the church till the close of time.

    • I agree with you completely Shirley. Christ's words are becoming evident that the church will have false brethren.

      I recently heard an elder make the comment he didn't think Christ was tempted like we are because of His divinity, rendering Him more able to overcome temptation than we. As well as other similar statements contrary to Scripture.

      As Paul stated, we are to hold fast to the doctrine we have heard from the beginning, "sound doctrine".

      I think the best advice (and I'm directing this to myself as well) is to pray for wisdom, courage and conviction to stand firm in the Word. This must take study and time spent in prayer as well as daily walks with Him.

      The false brethren mark themselves as such, we don't have to cast judgment upon them. If we listen and observe they reveal themselves. In my observations the traits of the serpent appear evident, so that may be a lesson to safeguard us when encountering deception.

      Also, because they are still brothers we must be strong in compassion as well with them to try to bring them back to the truth.

      This will be a perennial lesson for a lifetime, I think.

    • There is a theoligical element out there that pushes the idea that just like the Holy Spirit gave the Apostle Peter in the book of Acts the power to pronounce a death sentence to Ananias and Zaphira, God will also give His true SDA servants that power to slay the false SDA's to purify His Church. They even go as far as to say that the Prophet Ezekiel was shown something to that fact in the 9th chapter of that book. Yet EGW clearly indicates that this work is not left to humans and also that God uses the seven last plagues for this very work of His and Him only.

    • Judas is a good example of one "in the church" whose motives were known only to Jesus and whose behavior was not openly a problem until the night before His crucifixion.

      I appreciate the balance reflected in the quote from Christ's Object Lessons. There must be "church discipline" for those who, having been confronted with the seriousness of "open sin", still persist in their choice. At the same time, we cannot write them off as lost; we don't know but that through discipline they might be brought to repentance. I personally know of one who didn't repent until after church discipline was enforced. In that case, she simultaneously knew the disapproval of the church for her sinful acts, and the love of the church members for her as a person. In her case, discipline was redemptive.

      • How wonderful to hear of a case where discipline became redemptive. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to happen very often.

  3. My grandfather was quoted as saying, "You have to know how to use the hand tool before you are ready for the power tool." I see a parallel in the early and latter rains. We must be converted (having received the early rain in our hearts) before we can be empowered (by the latter rain) for the glorious end-time work that God has promised will happen just before Jesus returns to reap His harvest. May God help us to experience that full conversion which will prepare us to be entrusted with His demonstration of more publicly powerful grace.

  4. "To work for the Lord, we should be motivated to do more, and pray more, for a better disposition to be used in every way possible." I think this quote was written at a earlier study of the Sabbath school lesson. I just translated it from Spanish to English. However, it is true. We must be motivated to do more and pray more while studying the word of God at early hours of the day so that we can grow more spiritually each day.

  5. Thought provoking lesson, it then means rhat as the stages that lead to ripening from the first to the later rain, it is important to note that we all will receive our rainy seasons, what we do to allow the moistening effects of these rains throughout our life depends on what type of soil we choose to be. Because, God causes His rain to fall on both the wicked and righteous, but the righteous understands and allows him (the Rain) to make them fruitful.

  6. It is clear that only those seek shall find. Without the early rain the latter rain is in vain.
    let's live out our faith which was kindled by the former rain and then we shall be partakers of the latter rain.

  7. I see the context of James 5:7 (waiting for the rain) to be that of patience with those who are unjust ie considering the previous and subsequent verses. Our reaction to unjust people today has a place in our life hereafter or eternity. Therefore our patience in the current issues draws it's motivation from the knowledge of the reality the coming of the Lord.

    The duration of this patience is as long as the farmer waits for both the early and latter rain. For me, God has made provision for our escape from sinning even through reactions to the unjust except we ought to be patient to receive that capability to escape.

    We may not have to wait for the end of time to obtain strength to handle the unjust or to carry out disciplinary actions we face today but patience "slow to speak" will save us from sinning thru reacting badly. Patience for latter rain which the farmer does not even know wen it comes teaches us patience even to stand the horrible works of the unjust while committing it to prayer, waiting for an opportune time as clear as the presence of (latter) rain to ripen our acts/reactions.

  8. I have heard different explanation regarding the earlier and latter rain. One is that, the latter rain came around 1844 when the church was founded. But my understanding and i stand to be corrected is that, the earlier rain came as the holy spirit after Jesus ascended to heaven. The latter rain comes after we have heard the word of God. What we choose to do with it will only be certain when we die, which i equate to the harvesting season where the good is separated from the bad.


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