The rain brings the harvest. This is an important theme in the Bible. On the literal level, the rain upon the land brings the fall and spring harvests. The harvest of the crops produces our food, which is needed to survive, and it also provides the firstfruits to bring in sacrifice at the temple. On the symbolic level, the rain of water from the river of life sustains our spiritual life. If we base our sustenance upon this water, it will result in the harvest or maturing of our souls. Therefore, the Bible uses the image of the fall and spring rain, the former and latter rain, to represent the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:23).
Early or Former Rain
Holy Spirit @ Pentecost
Holy Spirit in End Times
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Harvest of souls
The fulfillment of the "early rain" occurred at the birth of the church when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon those gathered to celebrate Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks, after the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. The Feast of Weeks foreshadows a time when sinful men will be redeemed, as represented by the loaves of bread with leaven which are presented before the Lord. Bread represents the body and leaven represents sin. When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon those present, they were "refreshed" and redeemed. This fulfillment occurred exactly on the feast day which honors and teaches this concept.
It is tempting to conclude that the
of the latter rain in the end times will occur on this same feast day.
Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all flesh which includes many
people, the leaven in the bread presented at the Feast of Weeks.
there are the 144,000 who will receive the seal of God at the
rain, thereby specially designating them to witness to the glory of God
the tribulation. They are found to be without spot or blemish, i.e.
sin. They are the best humanity is capable of producing. In a sense,
are the top 1% of the population when it comes to living a life of
Therefore, bearing the 144,000 in mind, perhaps the Feast of Unleavened
bodies without sin, is the appropriate feast for the latter rain. This
lasts seven days.
God speaks through His Holy Feast Days. When
we look back to the first coming of Christ, we see several feast days
fulfilled prophetically. First, of coarse, Jesus became the Passover
sacrifice on the very same day. We have also noted above that
Pentecost, the early rain of the Holy Spirit, occurred on the Feast of
Weeks fulfilling the redemption of sinful men. Sadly, most Christians
are not aware that the greatest miracle, the resurrection of our Lord,
occurred on the Feast of Firstfruits (not the feast of Ishtar). This
leaves the Feast of Unleavened Bread unfulfilled. Some say the body of
Christ fulfilled this feast. I disagree, because it does not fit the
structure of pointing to an event nor does it have scriptural support.
The fulfillment of the "latter rain"
will occur near the time the nations gather against Jerusalem (Joel
4:1-2 NAB; 3:1-2 KJV). God will pour out his spirit, the Holy Spirit,
upon all of mankind (Joel 3:1-2 NAB; 2:28-29 KJV). When Peter said this
prophecy was fulfilled in Acts 2:17-21, it was the minor fulfillment,
the early rain (Acts 2:33). Notice that the KJV of Joel 2:23 says the
was given "moderately". The complete fulfillment, one that covers the
whole planet, not just a group of people, will yet occur with the
rain in these same last days.
The KJV and NKJV further state that this will
occur in the
first month, which is the time of the spring rain, the latter rain.
Since Joel puts the Latter Rain in the first
month of the Jewish calendar, Abib, which is the right month for the spring rain,
and since the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the only feast not yet
fulfilled prophetically, it seems a safe conclusion that the Latter
Rain will occur on this feast in some future year.
In the Apparitions of the Mary one finds discussion of the latter rain, which is often referred to as the Second Pentecost. In the Apparitions, though, there is an added dimension called The Warning. The initial onslaught of the Holy Spirit brings an encounter of consciousness with The Creator. This will be a worldwide phenomenon in which everyone will experience a connection with Heaven. Considering the nature of the Holy Spirit and what happened to the apostles at the early rain, this added dimension makes a lot of sense.
However, something that profound, if it will happen, must be in the Bible. Yet, I don't recall being taught about a final worldwide warning in my Lutheran upbringing. Nor have I encountered this concept in all my study of eschatology until I found it in the Apparitions. If indeed true, it seems that modern mainstream Christianity has lost this concept.
I began to hunt around for this concept and eventually found it presented in one Christian sect, the 7th Day Adventists. (There may be others.) Their prophet, Ellen B. White, has an entire chapter on the subject in her book, The Great Controversy. The following quotes are taken from a 1950 edition, pages 611-612, at the end of the chapter entitled "The Final Warning":
When the final warning shall be given, it will arrest the attention of these leading men through whom the Lord is now working, and some of them will accept it, and will stand with the people of God through the time of trouble.
The angel who unites in the proclamation of the third angel's message is to lighten the whole earth with his glory. A work of world-wide extent and unwonted power is here foretold. ...
The work will be similar to that of the Day of Pentecost. 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.' Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.' Hosea 6:3. ...
The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. Here are 'the times of refreshing' to which the apostle Peter looked forward when he said: 'Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus.' Acts 3:19, 20.
In this light it is clear that the message in Revelation of the three angels to the world is the final warning and that it occurs with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Even though rain is not mentioned, it is implied by the harvest that immediately follows. Since the rain or spirit is not overtly mentioned, it somewhat disguises this concept, but the subsequent harvest is clearly the prominent theme. Here are the words of the three angels as found in Revelation 14:6-15:
Then I saw another angel flying high overhead, with everlasting good news to announce to those who dwell on earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people. He said in a loud voice, 'Fear God and give him glory, for his time has come to sit in judgment. Worship him who made heaven and earth and sea and springs of water.' A second angel followed, saying: 'Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, that made all the nations drink the wine of her licentious passion.' A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice, 'Anyone who worships the beast or its image, or accepts its mark on forehead or hand, will also drink the wine of God’s fury, poured full strength into the cup of his wrath, and will be tormented in burning sulfur before the holy angels and before the Lamb. The smoke of the fire that torments them will rise forever and ever, and there will be no relief day or night for those who worship the beast or its image or accept the mark of its name.' Here is what sustains the holy ones who keep God’s commandments and their faith in Jesus. ... Another angel came out of the temple, crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud, 'Use your sickle and reap the harvest, for the time to reap has come, because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.'
In summary, the angels have three messages for the world:
1. God exists and the day of the Lord is at hand.
2. Just before it is in our face, Heaven declares Babylon fallen.
3. Do not accept the mark of the beast.
The Lord's return is at hand. Beware of
the apostate world religion. Remain faithful to God. Don't participate
in the oppressive world
government. When is it that bad? A world government fulfills the
prophetic profile when a mark is required on one's body in order to buy
or sell. Its membership is also a religion, one that doesn't permit any
other faith. These are the main issues to be aware of, to
meaning for oneself. We will all face a critical decision: whether or
not to accept the mark of the beast and all the responsibilities that
come with that decision.
If this is indeed the time of prophecy, we are
not called to fight the beast, for the way of anger, fear and hatred
leads to antichrist. We are called to be faithful to God, to be led by the Holy Spirit, to live the way of love, the way of Christ. Our battle
is within, to strive to live a life without sin so that we may present
our first fruits to God, our bread without leaven. Who will rise to the
call and be ready to receive God's seal?
See also: Sacrifice and Oblation in Prophecy
Just think of what a tremendous and wonderful gift from God that the
Warning shall be. For those who struggle with belief in the spiritual
realm, confronted with the realities and demands of the material world,
a simple demonstration of Heaven and God's existence. For those who
struggle to understand the messages of prophecy, simple statements of
what is important. God will provide for those who strive to
reflect the love of The Creator. God always provides for our needs,
from basic survival to struggling to understand the Word. The Feast of
Tabernacles reminds us of this.
For Those Who Love the Law, the Latter Rain Brings Freedom from
Continue to: Encountering the Presence of the Lord Before the Tribulation
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First Posted: 6/14/97
Last Update: 5/14/08