Day 14 - Who Receives the Latter Rain of the Spirit?|
Because of the absolute necessity of God’s last-day remnant people experiencing the latter rain of the Spirit, Satan has worked hard at confusing the issue. He knows that God’s people must grow into the fullness of Christ under the early rain baptism of the Holy Spirit in order to benefit from the latter rain of the Spirit. Because of Satan’s success in causing this confusion it is important we take a closer look at what the Bible and Ellen White says about being prepared to receive the latter rain of the Spirit.
Peter understood the experience in Christ that was necessary for Christians to benefit from the latter rain of the Spirit. “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 Christ, which before was preached unto you:” Acts 3:19-20
The times of refreshing Peter referred to is the latter rain of the Spirit. Those who have committed their life 100 percent to Christ and have experienced Christ as their deliverer from sin are the ones who will benefit from the latter rain. Ellen White clarified what true conversion is by contrasting it with the characteristics of the unconverted Christian. “Often the question arises, Why, then, are there so many, claiming to believe God's word, in whom there is not seen a reformation in words, in spirit, and in character? Why are there so many who cannot bear opposition to their purposes and plans, who manifest an unholy temper, and whose words are harsh, overbearing, and passionate? There is seen in their lives the same love of self, the same selfish indulgence, the same temper and hasty speech, that is seen in the life of the worldling. There is the same sensitive pride, the same yielding to natural inclination, the same perversity of character, as if the truth were wholly unknown to them. The reason is that they are not converted.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 99 (emphasis added)
Hence, Ellen White clarified what it means to be the “converted” Christian that Peter referred to in his sermon. The only truly converted Christians are those who are victorious over anger if their plans are opposed, over an unholy temper, over harsh-overbearing words, self-love, selfish indulgence, sensitive pride that is easily wounded, and yielding to natural inclinations to sin. These are the truly converted Christians who will receive the latter rain of the Spirit.
Ellen White on numerous occasions expressed her concern that God’s people understand the experience they must have in order to receive and benefit from the latter rain. "I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful, and were looking to the time of 'refreshing' and the 'latter rain' to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord, and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God." Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen White, p. 112 (emphasis added) "I saw that none could share the 'refreshing' unless they obtained the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action." Ibid.113 (emphasis added)
Understanding and experiencing the baptism of the Holy Spirit and righteousness by faith are essential for the Christian to enter into the mystery of union with Christ; and be prepared to receive the latter rain of the Spirit. Victory over every temptation and sin is to take place under the early rain baptism of the Holy Spirit as the Christian allows Christ to live out His righteous obedience in their life. Expecting the latter rain to bring about this change in the life will prove tragic to all who fall into that deception. "The latter rain, ripening earth's harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man. But unless the former rain [baptism of the Holy Spirit] has fallen, there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers [baptism of the Holy Spirit] have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection." The Faith I Live By, p.333 (emphasis added)
Ellen White clearly associated the former rain in the above quote with the "sanctification" of the church stating without it "no seed" will come to "perfection." In the following quote she associates the baptism of the Spirit with the "sanctification" of the church when she wrote: "Impress upon all the necessity of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the sanctification of the church, so that they will be living, growing, fruit-bearing trees of the Lord's planting." Testimonies Vol. 6, p.86
Why has Satan worked hard to confuse the biblical teaching on the early rain baptism of the Spirit and the latter rain of the Spirit?
What experience in Christ did Peter say the Christian must have to receive the latter rain of the Spirit?
How did Ellen White define the converted Christian?
Describe the Christians who will not be ready to receive the latter rain of the Spirit.
What did Ellen White say should be impressed upon all Christians?
- Ask God to:
- Fill you with His Spirit
- Enable you to experience Christ fully in order to receive the latter rain of the Spirit
- Bring revival to you and your church
- Bless those on your prayer list