· TJEIJE C(Q)NID)II1f[(())N� JF(Q)JR JRJECJEJIWJIN� 1fJBIJE JLA1r1rJEIR. IRAJIN \\ Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10: 12. •;t-�· .�;/....i •'
1rIHtIB CC(Q)�TDJITJI(())JNS JF(())IR IP?JECJEJIWJING \"]fJH[JE JLA1f1fJEJR IRA[N Prcpnrccl by D. E. Wilson Ligfit :Bearers \"Present Truth\" Ministries P.O. Box 1888 Malo, WA 99150 U.S.A. Phone (509) 779-4444
First, Printing August 1988 (SM) Revised Second, Printing November 1988 (4M) All Rights Reserved. Permission is hereby granted to reprint this book, provided that it will be duplicated in its entirety without change or comment. For information or other requirements, please call or write to the publisher at the address listed below. © 1988 by Liglit 'Bearers \"Present Truth\" Ministries P.O. Box 1888 Malo, WA 99150 U.S.A. Phone (509) 779-4444 All Scriptural texts are from the King James Version of the Bible. Note: All quotations are from the Bible and the Testimony of Jesus unless otherwise stated. Most all emphases (CAPITALS, Bolds, or italics) and words in brackets are supplied. All indentation of paragraphs is to distinguish quoted material. In order to maintain concise and direct thoughts it is not always possible to include entire quoted paragraphs, therefore the author would strongly urge, if you need further clarification, that you go to the original source and read the quote in its context.
Conditions For Receiving the Latter Rain TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction.............................................................................................. 1 The Soul Temple Must Be Cleansed.................................................. 2 The Place of Health Reform in the Work of Cleansing..................5 Living in Obcdience................................................................................6 Cleansed of Defilement........................................................................10 Unfitted lo Receive the Latter Rain...................................................12 Receiving of Cod's Word.....................................................................13 The Early Rain Essential.......................................................................15 Fruit of the Early Rain..... .. No Rc1in for Those not Giving the Mcssage ....................................17 Unity in Christ Needed................................................ .......19 Self-Renunciation c1nd Prnyer.............................................................20 Counterfe iting the Work of God........................................................22 The Tragedy of Looking to the Latter Rain for an Experience..............................................................26
CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING A WORD OF INTRODUCTION Many Seventh-day Adventists are looking for the outpouring of the latter rain. Others believe it is already beginning to fall. What is the truth in this matter? Are their conditions that we as individuals and as a denomination need to meet in order that God can pour out His Spirit upon us, and by which we can judge between the true and the false? Before the final visitation of God's judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times.... The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he will make it appear that God's special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit. Under a religious guise, Satan will seek to extend his influence over the Christian world. The Great Controversy, p. 464. This prophecy is being fulfilled in the charismatic tongues speaking movement that crosses traditional denominational boundaries. In the mainline protestant denominations, as well as in the evangelical churches the following is taking place: But many of the revivals of modern times have presented a marked contrast to those manifestations of divine grace which in earlier days followed the labors of God's servants. It is true that a widespread interest is kindled, many profess conversion, and there are large accessions to the churches; nevertheless the results are not such as to warrant the belief that there has been a corresponding increase of real spiritual life. The light which flames up for a time soon dies out, leaving the darkness more dense than before. Popular revivals are too often carried by appeals to the imagination, by exciting the emotions, by gratifying the love for what is new and staitling. Converts thus gained have little desire to listen to Bible truth, little interest in the testimony of prophets and apostles. Unless a religious service has something of a sensational character, it has no attractions for them. A message which appeals to unimpassioned reason awakens no response. The plain warnings of God's word, relating directly to their eternal interests are unheeded. With every truly converted soul the relation to God and to eternal things will be the great topic of life. But where, in the popular churches of today, is the spirit of consecration to God? The converts do not renounce their pride and love of the world. They are no more willing to deny self, to take up the cross, and follow the meek and lowly Jesus, than before their conversion. Religion has become the sport of infidels and skeptics because so many who bear its name are ignorant of its principles. The power of godliness has well-nigh departed from many of the churches. The Great Controversy, p. 463. Two quotes from the following religious magazines will show that the Christian world is ripe for the receiving of a false spirit as outlined in Revelation 13
THE LATTER RAIN 2 and Revelation 16:13. According to Pat Robertson, \"We are in the midst of the most profound religious awakening in the history of mankind.\" The Forerunner, July, 1986. While Pollster George Gallup says the United States is facing \"a moral and ethical crisis of the first dimension...and needs to find spiritual answers to deal with the situation,\" he said, \"it was shocking to discover that church.attendance makes little difference in a people's ethical views and behavior.\" The Wanderer, May 7, 1987. Does Satan have a battle plan for Seventh-day Adventists? Yes, indeed he does! Satan knows better than to stake very much on deceiving Seventh day Adventists with open Spiritualism, and a far better plan is to introduce among us a false latter rain by getting the people to seek God for the latter rain on a basis which He does not authorize, and so receive something which they think is the Holy Ghost but which is not that. The Alpha and !he Omega of Apostasy, by Elder Julius Gilbert White, p. 38. The theory that the latter rain falls before victory over sin, is completely false, as well as is the modem teaching about righteousness by faith which attempts to save a person in a life of sinning instead of living a victorious life over it. Some modem teachings place the power of the latter rain before character development, and stress prayer for the latter rain without the necessary character preparation. Prayer is good, and to pray for the I Joly Spirit in latter rain power is right, but only if we are living by the conditions laid out in the Bible and the Testimony of Jesus. To pray for the latter rain while neglecting to comply with the necessary prerequisites is very dangerous; for it creates an opening for Satan to answer our prayers with a false spirit of revival. The teaching that the outpouring of the latter rain will give us victory over sin in our lives is a great deception, for most people will miss the real experience that God's people are 10 have today. blindly looking forward to the latter rain. And when the latter rain does fa ll, these people will find that the door has shut. (See Matthew 25: 10.) 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! Early Writings, p. 71. THE SOUL TEMPLE MUST BE CLEANSED May the Lord help His people to cleanse the soul temple from every defilement, and to maintain such a close connection with Him that they may be partakers of the latter rain when it shall be poured out. SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1055. Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. 'Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 214.
3 CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING 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. Acts 3:19. To understand what God is really calling us to, we need to examine this text very closely. To repent means, \"to think differently, to feel regret.\" Strong's Concordance. Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines repentance this way: \"Sorrow 01 deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of His holy law, and the basest ingratitude towards a being of infinite benevolence. This is called evangelical' repentance, and is accompanied and followed by amendment of life.\" \"Repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God.\" (Hammond) To think differently requires the creative power of God which alone is � able to renew our mind. (See Ephesians 4:23-24) Repentance includes sorrow for sin and a turning away from it. • We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we tum away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life. Steps to Christ, p. 23. Neither words nor profession, but fruits-the forsaking of sins and obedience to the commandments of God-show the reality of genuine repentance and true conversion. SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1 077. And to be converted means, \"to tum about, to tum back again, changed from a state of sin to a state of holiness, to change the heart and moral character from enmity to God and from vicious habits to love of God and to a holy life.\" Webster's 1828 Dictionary. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices, they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ. When men who claim to be Christians retain all their natural defects of character and disposition, in what does their position differ from that of the worldling? They do not appreciate the truth as a sanctifier, a refiner. They have not been born again. Review and Herald, vol. 2, p. 559. Real conversion is a decided change of feelings and motives; it is a virtual taking leave of worldly connections, a hastening from their spiritual atmosphere, a withdrawing from the controlling power of their thoughts, opinions, and influences. Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 82, 83. Webster defines conversion this way: \"A change of heart, or dispositions, in which the enmity of the heart to God and His law and the obstinacy of the will are sub.due.ct, and are succeeded by supreme love to God and His moral government, and a reformation of life.\" These statements clearly show us what true conversion is. Remember, we must experience repentance and conversion before the latter rain can be poured out upon us. It is only as our sins are confessed and forsaken now, going beforehand to judgment, that they can be blotted out at the time of the refreshing latter rain.
THE LATTER RAIN 4 After Christ's ascension, the disciples were gathered together in one place to make humble supplication to God. And after ten days of heart searching and self-examination, the way was prepared for the Holy Spirit to enter the cleansed, consecrated soul temples. Review and Herald, vol. 4, p. 422 or Evangelism, p. 698. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared forthe outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The same work, only in a greater degree, must be done now. Testimonies to Ministers, p. 507. You will notice that there are four steps that we must make today and every day to prepare for the latter rain. Prayer and confession are the steps most often written about in our publications and taught in our churches. But as a people we do not even know what true confession is. Confession will not be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. There must be decided changes in the Life; everything offensive to God must be put away. This will be the result of genuine sorrow for sin. Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 640. Notice, true confession leads to sincere repentance, which bears the fruit of a reformed life. Too often we have confessed and prayed but have not borne the fruits thereof. If we continue in this delusion we will surely receive an unholy spirit-a false latter rain. I was shown that if God's people make no efforts on their part, but wait for the refreshing to come upon them and remove their wrongs and correct their errors; if they depend upon that to cleanse them from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and fit them to engage in the loud cry of the third angel, they will be found wanting. The refreshing or power of God comes only on those who have prepared themselves for it by doing the work which God bids them, namely, cleansing themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 619. Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10: 12. This sowing or planting, means to \"receive with meekness the engrafted, [that is, the implanted] word\" which is to be \"infixed in the mind or heart as principles, planted for the purpose of growth,\" \"which is able to save your souls\" I that is, \"to rescue from the power and pollution of sin\"] James I :21. It is too late in the day for a superficial work. It is time to arise and shine for the glory of God has risen upon you. It is too late to play into the hands of the enemy. The plowshare must go deep; the fallow ground must be broken up. We need to have our hearts broken. We need to feel how offensive is sin before God. We are to keep the heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Review and Herald, vol. 2, p. 287.
5 CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING THE PLACE OF HEALTH REFORM IN THE WORK OF CLEANSING The health reform, I was shown, is a part of the third angel's message, and is just as closely connected with it as are the arm and hand with the human body. I saw that we as a people must make an advance move in this great work. Ministers and people must act in concert. God's people are not prepared for the loud cry of the third angel. They have a work to do for themselves which they should not leave for God to do for them. He has left this work for them to do. It is an individual work; one cannot do it for another. \"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.\" Gluttony is the prevailing sin of this age. Lustful appetite makes slaves of men and women, and beclouds their intellects and stupefies their moral sensibilities to such a degree that the sacred, elevated truths of God's word are not appreciated. The lower propensities have ruled men and women. In order to be fitted for translation, the people of God must know themselves. They must understand in regard to their own physical frames that they may be able with the psalmist to exclaim: \"I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.\" They should ever have the appetite in subjection to the moral and intellectual organs. The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body. Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 486,487. God requires of His people continual advancement. We need to learn that indulged appetite is the greatest hindrance tO mental improvement and soul sanctification. Testimonies/or the Church, vol. 9, p. 156. The S pirit of God cannot come to our help, and assist us in perfecting Christian characters while we are indulging our appetites to the injury of health,and while the pride of life controls. Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 57. The body is a most important medium through which the mind and the soul are developed for the upbuilding of character. Hence it is that the adversary of souls directs his temptations to the enfeebling and degrading of the physical powers. His success here often means the surrender of the whole being to evil. The tendencies of the physical nature, unless under the dominion of a higher power, will surely work ruin and death. The body is to be brought into subjection to the higher powers of the being. The passions are to be controlled by the will, which is itself to be under the control of God. The kingly power of reason, sanctified by divine grace, is to bear sway in the life. Intellectual power, physical stamina, and the length of life depend upon immutable laws. Through obedience to these law, man may stand conqueror of himself, conqueror of his own inclinations, conqueror of principalities and powers, of \"the rulers of the darkness of this world,\" and of \"spiritual wickedness in high places.\" Ephesians 6: 12. Prophets and Kings, pp. 488,489.
THE LATIER RAIN 6 All who would perfect holiness in the fear of God must learn the lessons of temperance and self-control. The appetites and passions must be held in subjection to the higher powers of the mind. This self discipline is essential to that mental strength and spiritual insight which will enable us to understand and to practice the sacred truths of God's word. For this reason temperance finds its place in the work .of preparation for Christ's second coming. The Desire ofAges, p. 101. The victory of or triumphant Head over the most subtle temptations during I!is forty days fast, and the glorious promise of reigning with Him in His throne, on condition that we overcome as He overcame established the fact that one of the highest attainments in the Christian life is to control appetite without this victory all hope of heaven is vain. Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p. 206. But thanks be unto Goel which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:57. Health reform not only involves diet, but is to encompass all eight laws of health lived out in our daily lives. For ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God's. I Corinthians 6:20. WE MUST BE LIVING IN OBEDIENCE TO RECEIVE THE LATIER RAIN God lists conditions to receiving His Spirit in latter rain power. Our Father does not do this arbitrarily, but because He loves us. To receive the Holy Spirit in latter rain power is to be filled with all the fullness of God, and \"our God is a consuming fire.\" (See J[cbrews 12:29) In all who submit to Jlis power the Spirit of God will consume sin. But if men cling to sin, they become identified with it. Then the glory of God, which destroys sin, must destroy them. The Desire of Ages, p. 107. The Lord gave an example to the early church, as well as unto us, \"upon whom the ends of the world are come,\" of the seriousness of seeking to be a partaker of God's Spirit while retaining a union with sin. In this example Ananias and Sapphira sought halfheartedly to take part in the early rain movement. They lied to the Holy Ghost, claiming to give their all while yielding only in part. Because victory over their selfishness had not been gained previously, both Ananias and Sapphira gave way to their corrupt nature, and were punished for their inconsistent course. Today, God in His mercy lays out before us conditions for receiving the promised blessing, lest we meet with the same end as these early professed disciples. (See Acts 4:31-5:11) And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him. Acts 5:32.
7 CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING The Bible clearly teaches that the keeping of the Sabbath, as well as the rest of the commandments, and maintaining reverence for God's sanctuary are specific conditions for receiving the latter rain. Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Leviticus 26:2-4. Ancient Israel forfeited the blessing of rain continually throughout their history. One of the principle reasons for this was because they maintained unsanctified men as ministers of the nation, causing God's people \"to err by their lies, anel by their lightness.\" (See Jeremiah 23:32) ln the same way we have forfeited the latter rain toelay. We are repeating the history of that people. Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 160. The lightness wameel against in Jeremiah 23:32 is translated, \"frivolity; which means, of very little worth or importance, no consequence.\" Goel's sanctuary is polluteel by jesting anel joking ministers; by ministers who preach self instead of Christ through messages·of very little worth that elo not stir the people of Goel to repentance, and a elesire for holy and righteous living. But of the Lord's messages we are tolel: Wherever the word of God has been faithfully preached, results have followed that attesteel its divine origin. The Spirit of Goel accompanieel the message of His servants, and the worel was with power. Sinners felt their consciences quickeneel.... Deep conviction took hold upon their minels anel hearts. They were convinced of sin anel of righteousness and of juelgment to come. They had a sense of the righteousness of Jehovah, anel felt the terror of appearing, in their guilt anel uncleanness, before the Searcher of hearts. The Great Controversy, p. 461. Also the sanctuary is defiled by Sunday Easter services, ecumenical prayer services, and by a rejection of the sanctuary message of victory over sin. Truly the place of His sanctuary is cast down by such disregard towards God. We lie to God, to ourselves, and to the world with the claim that we keep the cornmanelments of God and believe the testimony of Jesus Christ, while we perform the same abortions in our hospitals as are performed in the hospitals of the world and maintain a divorce rate almost equal with the world. We have so conformed to the worlel that it is difficult to discern between \"him that serveth God anel him that serveth Him not.\" Will we receive the latter rain in our present conelition? When Christ shall come, will he accept a people who are conformed to the worlel? Will He acknowledge them as His people whom He has purified to Himself? No, never. None but the pure and holy will I-le acknowledge as His. Only those who have been purified and made white through suffering will Christ accept. Review and Herald, vol. I, p. 344.
THE LATIER RAIN 8 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth [speech] they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. Ezekiel 33:31, 32. Thou art near in their mouth [speech], and far from their reins [mind]. Jeremiah 12:2. In vain do we seek the latter rain in such a \"wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked\" state. (See Revelation 3:17) lf any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions, the angels of God have the charge: \"They are joined to their idols, let them alone,\" and they pass on to their work, leaving these with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation. Testimonies for the Church, vol. I, p. 187. And it shall come to pass, ifye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather Lreceive] in thy com, and thy wine, and thine oil. Deuteronomy 11: 13, 14. The corn means \"increase;\" that is, the converts under the latter rain. The wine is representative of Bible truths. \"The teaching of Christ, though it was represented by the new wine, was not a new doctrine, but the revelation of that which had been taught from the beginning.\" The Desire ofAges, p. 279. \"But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever things I have said unto you.\" John 14:26. \"That oil is the righteousness of Christ. It represents character, and character is not transferable. No man can secure it fo1 another. Each must obtain for himself a character purified from every stain of sin.\" Testimonies to Ministers, p. 233. When living the life of obedience under the early rain experience, Goel will reveal the truths of Ilis word as the oil of His righteousness pours through the golden candlestick of His word, transforming us from \"glory to glory.\" Then are we prepared to receive the latter rain. Shall the Lord be compelled to say, \"Pray not for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for T will not hear thee?\" \"Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain.... Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?\" Review and Herald, vol. 3, pp. 69, 70.
9 CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING Why did the prophet of God ask this question? In this same article we read the answer. Of those who boast of their light, and yet fail to walk in it, Christ says, \"But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgement, than for you. And thou, Capemaum [Seventh-day Adventists, who have had great light], which art exalted unto heaven [in point of privilege], shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgement, than for thee.\" At that time Jesus answered and said, \"I thank thee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent [in their own estimation], and hast revealed them unto babes.\" Ibid. p. 69. Words in brackets by E. G. White. Continuing in this article, we find another reason why the latter rain will be withheld. The little sins that men think are so trivial a character that on their account they will not be brought into condemnation, are very offensive in the sight of God. Says one, \"You are too severe, a man must be allowed these little defects of character.\" Let us hear the words of Christ. He says, \"Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.\" People venture to commit sins that are grievous in the sight of God, and think that they are not to be called to task for them, because they say they are due to nervousness, to a peculiar temperament; but this is simply soothii:ig the conscience and crying, \"peace, peace, when there is no peace.\" Sin is sin, and it is the delusion of Satan to look upon it in any other light than that it is grievous. Ibid, p. 70.
THE LATTER RAIN 10 WE MUST BE CLEANSED OF EVERY DEFILE.MENT 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. Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, and who are willing to believe that their condition is far better than it really is, will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building. But there will be no time then to do it and no Mediator to plead their cause before the Father. Before this time the awfully solemn declaration has gone forth, \"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still.\"... I saw that none could share the \"refreshing\" unless t11ey obtain the victory over every bcsetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. We should, therefore, be drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord and be earnestly seeking that preparation necessary to enable us to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. Let all remember that God is holy and that none but holy beings can ever dwell in His presence. Early Writings, p. 71. The third angel's message is swelling into a loud cry, and you must not feel at liberty to neglect the present duty, and still entertain the idea that at some future time you will be the recipients of a great blessing, when without any effort on your part a wonderful revival will take place. Today you are to give yourselves to God, that He may make of you vessels unto honor, and meet for His service. Today you are to give yourselves to God, that you may be emptied of self, emptied of envy, jealousy, evil surmising, strife, everything that shall be dishonoring to God. Today you arc to have your vessel purified that it may be ready for the heavenly dew, ready for the showers of the latter rain; for the latter rain will come, and the blessing of God will fill every soul that is purified from every defilement. It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord-fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Selected Messages, vol. I, pp. 190, I 91. The Lord is soon to come; there must be a refining, winnowing process in every church, for there are among us wicked men who do not love the truth. There is need of a transformation of character. Will the church arise and put on her beautiful garments, the righteousness of Christ? It is soon to be seen who are vessels unto honor. \"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.\" \"Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall bum
11 CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings.\" Here are brought plainly to view those who will be vessels unto honor; for they will receive the latter rain. Every soul that continues in sin in the face of the light now shining upon our pathway, will be blinded and accept the delusions of Satan. Review and Herald, vol. 3, p. 239. Let there be a work of reformation and repentance. Let all seek for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. As with the disciples after the ascension of Christ,it may require several days of earnestly seeking God and putting away of sin. When God's people are worked by the Holy Spirit, they will manifest a zeal that is according to knowledge.... They will reflect the light that God has been giving for years. The spirit of criticism will be put away. Filled with the spirit of humility,they will be of one mind, united with one another and with Christ. My Life Today, p. 58. When the latter rain is poured out,the church will be clothed with power for its work; but the church as a whole will never receive this until its members shall put away from among them, envy, evil surmisings, and evil-speaking. Those who cherish these sins know not the blessed experience of Jove; they are not awake to the fact that the Lord is testing and proving their love for Him by the attitude they assume toward one another. Review and Herald, vol. 3, p. 399. You will need to make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. We are surrounded by the lame and halting in the faith, and you are to help them,not by halting yourselves, but by standing, like men who have been tried and proven,in principle firm as a rock. I know that a work must be done for the people,or many will not be prepared to receive the light of the angel sent down from heaven to lighten the whole earth with His glory. Do not think that you will be found as vessels unto honor in the time of the latter rain, to receive the glory of God, if you are lifting up your souls unto vanity, speaking perverse things,in secret cherishing roots of bitterness. The frown of God will certainly be upon every soul who cherishes these roots of dissension, and possesses a spirit so unlike the Spirit of Christ. L(fe Sketches, pp. 327, 328. We may talk of the blessings of the Holy Spirit, but unless we prepare ourselves for its reception, of what avail are our works? Are we striving with all our power to attain to the stature of men and women in Christ? Are we seeking for His fullness, ever pressing toward the mark set before us,-the perfection of His character? When the Lord's people reach this mark, they will be sealed in their foreheads. Filled with the Spirit,they will be complete in Christ, and the recording angel will declare, \"It is finished.\" Review and Herald, vol. 4,p. 423 or Our High Calling, p. 150.
THE LATTER RAIN 12 UNFITTED TO RECEIVE THE LATTER RAIN In the vision given me in Rochester, New York, December 25, 1865, I was shown that a most solemn work is before us. Its importance and magnitude are not realized. As I marked the indifference which was every-where apparent, I was alarmed for ministers and people. There seemed to be a paralysis upon the cause of present truth. The work of God seemed stayed. Ministers and people are unprepared for the time in which they live, and nearly all who profess to believe present truth are unprepared to understand the work of preparation for this time. In their present state of worldly ambition, with their lack of consecration to God, their devotion to self, they are wholly unfitted to receive the latter rain and having done all, to stand against the wrath of Satan, who by his i11ventions would cause them to make shipwreck of faith, fastening upon them some pleasing self-deception. They think they are all right when they are all wrong. Testimonies/or the Church, vol. I, p. 466. Numerous are the traps of \"worldly ambition\" and the \"inventions\" of Satan calculated to make shipwreck of our faith. The great downfall of ancient Israel was their desire to be like the nations of the world, and the adulterous relationships she entered into. This is made clear by the following passages: Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Isaiah 30: 1, 2. They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers [associationsJ; Yet return again unto me, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 3: I. The following are examples of adulterous associations we have fallen into: government subsidies for our schools and hospitals; worldly accreditation for our schools; seeking ecumenical alliances with fallen Protestantism, by following their examples and teachings in our church-growth programs; worldly investments in the stock market; and at least one college in the Northwest offering Visa cards so that the school can make a percentage from every credit card purchase. In joining am1s with the state in suing fellow Seventh-day Adventists appealing to the arm of Caesar we are divorcing ourselves from the God we claim to love. And most recentlyjoining hands with modem Egypt through thejoint publishing house being established in Russia that will require us to also print the literature of the fallen churches of Babylon. Oh that we would be like Jeremiah who said r\"mOhightht awtemepy head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain fountain of tears, that day and night for ...my people. (See Jeremiah 9:1) Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore [because of this] the showers
13 CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain, and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed [i.e. repent]. Jeremiah 3:1-3 (See Revelation 3:17-19) God's word says we have a whore's forehead. What does that mean? One of the definitions listed in Webster's 1828 Dictionary is the following: \"confidence, audaciousness, which means a contempt of law.\" But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, (See Proverbs 16:6) that giveth rain, both the former rain and the latter, in His season: He reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. Jeremiah 5:23- 25. As a people we are revolting against God, which means \"to turn away (morally).\" Strong's Concordance. To turn away morally means, \"an action which does not proceed from good motives, or a principle of love and obedience to the divine law and to the law giver.\" Webster's 1828 Dictionary. As a people we are seeking to conform outwardly to certain standards but are devoid of a deep love and appreciation of the Father and Son. We remain rebellious at heart. We cannot say to the world, \"fear God and give glory to Him,\" until we learn by experience that to fear God means to hate evil (Proverbs 8:13), and to walk in His ways (Psalm 128:1). For the \"fear of God is an holy awe or reverence of God and His laws which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character leading the subjects of it to hate and shun everything that can offend such a holy being and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience.\" Webster's 1828 Dictionary. May God in His mercy grant us the spiritual eyesalve to behold Hirn in such a way. RECEIVING OF GOD'S WORD PREPARES US FOR THE LATTER RAIN Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He hath given you the former rain [that is, a teacher of righteousness] moderately [or according to righteousness], and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. Joel 2:23. And who is this teacher of righteousness? It is the Holy Spirit whose work is to convict of sin and of righteousness and judgment. And how does He work? Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus he exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself. The Desire ofAges, p. 671. My doctrine [or teaching] shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass. Deuteronomy 32:2. Notice what God's word will do for us if we accept it.
THE LATIER RAIN 14 The law [doctrine] of the Lord is perfect, converting [restoring] the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7. If we reject God's purifying word we will be guilty of the murder of the Son of God even as the Pharisees of old. Jesus said, If ye continue [abide] in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed.... I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, [Why?] because My word hath no place in you. John 8:31, 37. We see here a condition of discipleship. We must allow God's word to abide in us. But what does this mean? He who by faith receives the word is receiving the very life and character of God. Christ's Object Lessons, p. 38. It is through the word that Christ abides in His followers.... The words of Christ are spirit and life. Receiving taem, you receive the life of the Vine. You live by \"every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.\" Matt. 4:4. The life of Christ in you produces the same fruits as in Him. The Desire ofAges, p.677. It is in not allowing God's word a place in our hearts that His word loses its regenerating power. And as the Jews of old in rejecting His word, became guilty of the murder of the Son of God, the same results will follow if we walk in the same path. This scene was repeated at Minneapolis as we neglected the testimony of God's Spirit. On many occasions the Holy Spirit did work; but those who resisted the Spirit of God at Minneapolis were waiting for a chance to travel over the same ground again, because their spirit was the same. Afterward, when they had evidence heaped upon evidence, some were convicted; but those who were not softened and subdued by the Holy Spirit's working, put their own interpretation upon every manifestation of the grace of God, and they have lost much. They declared in their heart and soul and words that this manifestation of the Holy Spirit was fanaticism and delusion. They stood like a rock; the waves of mercy were flowing upon and around them, but were beaten back by their hard and wicked hearts which resisted the Holy Spirit's working. Had this been received, it would have made them wise unto salvation,-holier men, prepared to do the work of God with sanctified ability. But all the universe of heaven witnessed the disgraceful treatment of Jesus Christ, represented by the Holy Spirit. Had Christ been before them, they would have treated Him in a manner similar to that in which the Jews treated Christ. Series A, No. 6, pp. 19, 20. Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel. After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them. And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain. I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army. Job 29:21-23, 25.
15 CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING Giving ear to God means to hear intelligently, or by implication, to attend to or obey. That is, not to argue or rationalize away the counsel in His word or through His prophet. Our experience is to be one of hungering and thirsting in this land where there is no water, where the living truths of God's word are made of none effect. But God has promised that if we walk in the light, He will come upon us as the latter rain. With minds yielded to His control, He shall sit as King in the midst of His Loud Cry army. Then we may sing: The temple has been yielded, and purified of sin; Let thy Shekinah glory now shine forth from within, and all the earth keep silence, the body henceforth be, thy silent gentle servant, moved only as by thee. The Church Hymnal, Hymn No. 279. RECEIVING OF THE EARLY RAIN ESSENTIAL TO RECEIVING THE LATTER RAIN Many have in a great measure failed to receive the former rain. They have not obtained all the benefits that God has thus provided for them. They expect that the lack will be supplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance of grace shall be bestowed, they intend to open their hearts to receive it. They are making a terrible mistake. The work that God has begun in the human heart in giving His light and knowledge must be continually going forward. Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The same work, only in a greaterldegree, must be done now. Then the human agent had only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work concerning him. 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 virllles, we shall not recognize the manifestations ofthe Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it. At no point in our experience can we dispense with the assistance of that which enables us to make the first start. The blessings received under the fom1er rain are needful to us to the end. Yet these alone will not suffice. While we cherish the blessing of the early rain, we must not, on the other hand, lose sight of the fact that without the latter rain, to fill out the ears and ripen the grain, the harvest will not be ready for the sickle, and the labor of the sower will have been in vain. Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work. There is no place for us to re�t in a careless attitude. We must never forget the warnings of Christ, \"Watch unto prayer,\" \"Watch,...and pray always.\" A connection with the divine agency every moment is essential to our progress. We may have had a measure of the Spirit of God, but by prayer and faith we are continually to seek more of the Spirit. It will
THE LATTER RAIN 16 never do to cease our efforts. If we do not progress, if we do not place ourselves in an attitude to receive both the former and the latter rain, we shall lose our souls, and the responsibility will lie at our own door. Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 507,508. We may be sure that when the Holy Spirit is poured out those who did not receive and appreciate the early rain will not see or understand the value of the latter rain. When we are truly consecrated to God, J-lis love will abide in our hearts by faith, and we will cheerfully do our duty in accordance with the will of Go d. Testimonies to Ministers, p. 399. 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 has fallen,there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection. Testimonies to Ministers, p. 506. WHAT IS THE FRUIT OF THE EARLY RAIN? There is to be \"first the blade, then the ear,after that the full com in the ear.\" There must be a constant development ofChristian virtue, a constant advancement in Christian experience. This we should seek wilh i111e11si1y ofdesire, that we may adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour. Testimonies to Ministers, p. 506. I-laving brought conviction of sin,and presented before the mind the standard of righteousness,the Holy Spirit withdraws the affections from the things of this earth and fills the soul with a desire for holiness. \"He will guide you into all truth\" (John 16: 13), the Saviour declared. Jf men are willing to be molded, there will be brought about a sanctification of the whole being. The Spirit will take the things of God and stamp them on the soul. By His power the way of life will be made so plain.that none need err therein. Acts ofthe Apostles, pp. 52, 53. When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger,envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven. The Desire ofAges, p. 173. To those who keep the mind stayed upon Christ,He will come as the rain, \"as the latter and former rain unto the earth.\" And by constantly looking to Christ and patterning after Him, we shall grow up into Him in all things. Faith will grow; conscience will be sanctified. And the fruits of the Spirit in the life will be \"love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.\" Review and Herald, vol. 5, p. 526. Through the Spirit God works in His people to will and to do of His good pleasure. Phil. 2: 13. The Desire ofAges, p. 672.
17 CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING We should daily obtain a deep and living experience in the work of perfecting Christian character. We should daily receive the holy oil tlrnt we may impart to others. All may be light-bearers to the world if they will. We are to sink self out of sight in Jesus. We are to receive the word of the Lord in counsel and in instruction, and gladly communicate it. There is now need of much prayer. Christ commands \"Pray without ceasing;\" that is, keep the mind uplifted to God, the source of all power and efficiency. Review and Herald, vol. 3, p. 444. The mighty power of the Holy Spirit works an entire transformation in the character of the human agent, making him a new creature in Christ Jesus. When a man is filled with the Spirit, the more severely he is tested and tried, the more clearly he proves that he is a representative of Christ. The peace that dwells in the soul is seen on the countenance. The words and actions express the love of the Saviour. There is no striving for the highest place. Self is renounced. The name of Jesus is written on all that is said and clone. Review and Herald, vol. 4, p. 423 or SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1117. THE LATIER RAIN WILL NOT FALL ON THOSE WHO ARE NOT ENGAGED IN GIVING THE THREE ANGEL'S .MESSAGES Many who claim to be children of God are only a burden to the church. God has given them capabilities which, if properly used, would enable them to be a great help in His work. He expects them to be colaborers with Christ. Their inexcusable indolence is causing them to be recorded in the books of heaven as unfaithful servants. The \"well done\" will be spoken to those only who are earnest, faithful workers. Shall this state of indifference continue from year to year? Are we looking forward to the latter rain, confidently hoping for a better day, when the church shall be endued with power from on high, and thus be fitted for work? The latter rain will never refresh and invigorate the indolent, who do not use the powers God has given them. Is Christ always to be disappointed in the beings He has redeemed at an infinite cost? Review and Herald, vol. 5, p. 239. Every truly converted soul will be intensely desirous to bring others from the darkness of error into the marvelous light of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The great outpouring of the Spirit of God, which lightens the whole earth with His glory, will not come until we have an enlightened people, that know by experience what it means to be laborers together with God. When we have entire, whole hearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God. God cannot pour out His Spirit when selfishness and self indulgence are so manifest; when a spirit prevails that, if put into words, would express that spirit of Cain,-\"Am I my brothers keeper?\" If the truth for this time, if the signs that are thickening on every hand, that testify that the end of all things is at hand, are not
THE LATTER RAIN 18 sufficient to arouse the sleeping energy of those who profess to know the truth, then darkness proportionate to the light which has been shining will overtake these souls. There is not the semblance of an excuse for their indifference that they will be able to present to God in the great day of final reckoning. There will be no reason to offer as to why they did not live and walk and work in the light of the sacred truth of the word of God, and thus reveal to a sin-darkened world, through· their conduct, their sympathy, and their zeal, that the power and the reality of the gospel could not be controverted. Review and Herald, vol. 3, p. 377. If the lay members of the church will arouse to do the work that they can do, going on a warfare at their own charges, each seeing how much he can accomplish in winning souls to Jesus, we shall see many leaving the ranks of Satan to stand under the banner of Christ. If our people will act upon the light that is given in these few words of instruction, we shall surely see of the salvation of God. Wonderful revivals will follow. Sinners will be converted, and many souls will be added to the church. When we bring our hearts into unity with Christ, and our lives into harmony with His work, the Spirit that fell on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost will fall on us. Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 246. The first disciples went forth preaching the word. They revealed Christ in their lives. And the Lord worked with them, \"confirming the word with signs following.\" Mark 16:20. These disciples prepared themselves for their work. Before the day of Pentecost they met together, and put away all differences. They were of one accord. They believed Christ's promise that the blessing would be given, and they prayed in faith. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves merely; they were weighted with the burden for the salvation of souls. The gospel was to be carried to the uttermost parts of the earth, and they claimed the endowment of power that Christ had promised. Then it was that the Holy Spirit was poured out, and thousands were converted in a day. So it may be now. Instead of man's speculations, let the word of God be preached. Let Christians put away their dissensions, and give themselves to God for the saving of the lost. Let them in faith ask for the blessing, and it will come. The outpouring of the Spirit in apostolic days was the \"former rain,\" and glorious was the result. But the \"latter rain\" will be more abundant. Joel 2:23. The Desire ofAges, p. 827. The end of all things is at hand. God is moving upon every mind that is open to receive the impressions of His Holy Spirit. He is sending out messengers that they may give the warning in every locality. God is testing the devotion of His churches and their willingness to render obedience to the Spirit's guidance. Knowledge is to be increased. The messengers of Heaven are to be seen running to and fro, seeking in every possible way to warn the people of the coming judgments and presenting the glad tidings of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. The standard of righteousness is to be exalted. The Spirit of God is moving upon men's hearts, and those who respond to its influence will become lights in the world. Everywhere they are seen going forth to communicate to others the light they have
19 CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING received as they did after the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. And as they let their light shine, they receive more and more of the Spirit's power. The earth is lighted with the glory of God. My Life Today, p. 63. UNITY IN CHRIST NEEDED When we bring our hearts into unity with Christ, and our lives into harmony with His work, the Spirit that fell on the disciples on the day of Pentecost will fall on us. Review and Herald, vol. 4, p. 533 or Evangelism, pp. 697, 698. If God's professed people would receive the light as it shines upon them from His word, they would reach that unity for which Christ prayed, that which the apostle describes, \"the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.\" Ephesians 4:3 The Great Controversy, p. 379. We are to be brought into a sacred nearness with the world's Redeemer. We are to be one with Christ, as I le is one with the Father. What a wonderful change the people of God experience in coming into unity with the Son of God! We are to have our tastes, inclinations, ambitions, and passions all subdued, and brought into harmony with the mind and spirit of Christ. This is the very work that the Lord is willing to do for those who believe in flim. Our life and deportment are to have a molding power in the world. The spirit of Christ is to have a controlling influence over the life of His followers, so that they will speak and act like Jesus. Review and Herald, vol. 2, p. 315 or My Life Today, p. 252. We can talk about unity, but mere unity among ourselves or coming into harmony with one other is not what is needed. We must become united to Christ. As He was one with the Father so are we to be united to Him. Then Jesus' prayer to the Father can become a reality. \"The glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we arc one.\" John 17:22. Apart from true unity with Christ, we deceive ourselves in thinking that unity in the church can prepare us for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The fact is that the unity popular today is based on the spiritualistic deception of dwelling upon love \"but it is degraded into a weak sentimentalism, making little distinction between good and evil. God's justice, Ilis denunciations of sin, the requirements of His holy law, are all kept out of sight.\" The Great Controversy, p. 558. We have a testing message to give, and I am instructed to say to our people, \"Unify, unify.\" But we are not to unify with those who are departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. With our hearts sweet and kind and true, we are to go forth to proclaim the message, giving no heed to those who lead away from the truth. Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 412.
THE LATTER RAIN 20 SELF-RENUNCIATION AND PRAYER ARE ESSENTIAL TO RECEIVING THE LATTER RAIN The servants of God may wear out their lives in service for you without result unless you co-operate with them. Unless you make determined efforts for yourselves, the Holy Spirit will not come upon you, and the results seen after the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost will not be seen among you. Who now, I ask, will make a determined effort to obtain the higher education? Review and Herald, vol. 5, p. 514. Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field. Zechariah 10: I. We are to seek most earnestly to be of one mind, of one purpose. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, and nothing less, can bring us to this place. Let us by self-renunciation prepare our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit that a great work may be done for us, so that we can say, not, \"See what I am doing,\" but, \"Behold the goodness and love of God!\" Review a11d Herald, vol. 4, p. 422. \"Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain.\" Do not rest satisfied that in the ordinary course of the season, rain will fall. Ask for it. The growth and perfection of the seed rests not with the husbandman. God alone can ripen the harvest. But man's cooperation is required. God's work for us demands the action of our mind, the exercise of our faith. We must seek His favors with the whole heart if the showers of grace are to come to us. We should improve every opportunity of placing ourselves in the channel of blessing. Review and lferald, vol. 3, p. 443. Let the many ministers of Christ sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, and seek God while He is to be found. Call upon Him while you are now lying at the foot of the cross of Calvary. Divest yourselves of all pride anel as representative guardians of the churches, weep between the porch and the altar, and cry \"Spare Thy people, Lorel, and give not Thine heritage to reproach. Take from us what Thou wilt, but withhold not Thy Holy Spirit from us, Thy people.\" Pray, oh, pray for the outpouring of the Spirit of God! Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 189. But notice that prayer for the latter rain is not for victory over sin, but for power to present the message. We shoulel pray as earnestly for the decent of the Holy Spirit as the disciples prayed on the day of Pentecost. If they needed it at that time, we neeel it more today. Moral darkness, like a funeral pall, covers the earth. All manner of false doctrines, heresies, and satanic deceptions are misleading the minds of men. Without the Spirit and power of Goel it will be in vain that we labor to present the truth. Testimoniesfor the Church, vol. 5, p. 158.
21 CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING If the experience of victory is to be gained under the influence of the early rain, then for what purpose is the latter rain given? But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. J\\nd with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:31, 33. The Spirit of the Almighty is moving upon men's hearts, and those who respond to its influence become witnesses for God and His truth. In many places consecrated men and woman may be seen communicating lo others the light that has made plain to them the way of salvation tl1rough Christ. And as they continue to let their light shine, as did those who were baptized with the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, they receive more and still more of the Spirit's power. Thus the earth is to be lightened with the glory of God. Acts of the Apostles, p. 54. Servants of Go.ct, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given.... The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God.... Now the rays of light penetrate everywhere, the truth is seen in its clearness, and the honest children of God sever the bands which have held them. Family connections, church relations, are powerless to stay them now. Truth is more precious than all besides. Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number take their stand upon the Lord's side. The Great Controversy, p. 612. Many such will be seen hurrying hither and thither, constrained by the Spirit of God to bring the light to others. The truth, the word of God, is as a fire in their bones, filling them with a burning desire to enlighten those who sit in darkness. Many, even among the uneducated, now proclaim the words of the Lord. Children arc impelled by the Spirit to go forth and declare the message from heaven. The Spirit is poured out upon all who will yield to its promptings, and, casting off all man's machinery, his binding rules and cautious methods, they will declare the truth with the might of the Spirit's power. Multitudes will receive the faith and join the armies of the Lord. Review and Herald, vol. 3, p. 275 or Evangelism, p. 700. As the time comes for it !the message of the third angel] to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the
THE LATTER RAIN 22 words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism,the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power-all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. The Great Controversy, p.606. Under the showers of the latter rain the inventions of man, the human machinery, will at times be swept away, the boundary of man's authority will be as broken reeds, and the Holy Spirit will speak through the living, human agent, with convincing power. No one then will watch to see if the sentences are well rounded off, if the grammar is faultless. The living water will flow in God's own channels. Se/erted Messages, vol.2,pp. 58,59. I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. Many had been bound; some wives by their husbands, and some children by their parents. The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it. All fear of their relatives was gone, and the truth alone was exalted to them. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth: it was dearer and more precious than life. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, \"It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.\" Early Writings, p. 271. COUNTERFEITING THE WORK OF GOD In the early part of this century, in the midst of the alpha of apostasy, Ellen White penned the following prophesy which reaches down to our day and the omega of apostasy. The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the piliars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure. Series B, No. 2, pp. 54, 55 (1904); or Selected Messages, vol.!, pp. 204,205.
23 CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING Would not large accessions into our churches constitute the fulfillment of the prophecy \"go into the cities, and do a wonderful work?\" Should programs such as the \"1000 Days of Reaping\" and \"Harvest 90\" cause us to rejoice because God is working mightily for us, or should it cause us to weep? To answer this question let us read the inspired history of the Advent movement during the proclamation of the First and Second angel's messages. Everywhere the searching testimony was heard, warning sinners, both worldlings and church members, to flee from the wrath to come. Like John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, the preachers laid the ax at the root of the tree and urged all to bring forth fruit meet for repentance. oTfpheeaircestainrrdinsagfeatpyptehaaltswweerreehienarmdafrrkoemd contrast to the assurances popular pulpits; and wherever the message was given, it moved the people. The simple, direct testimony of the Scriptures, set home by the power of the Holy Spirit, brought a weight of conviction which few were able wholly to resist. Professors of religion were rousedfrom their false security. They saw their backslidings, their worldliness and unbelief, their pride and selfishness. Many sought the Lord with repentance and humiliation. The affections that had so long clung to earthly things they now fixed upon heaven. The Spirit of God rested upon them, and with hearts softened and subdued they joined to sound the cry: \"Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.\" Sinners inquired with weeping: \"What must l do to be saved?\" Those whose lives had been marked with dishonesty were anxious to make restitution. All who found peace in Christ longed to see others share the blessing. The hea,1s of parents were turned to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents. The barriers of pride and reserve were swept away. The Great Controversy, p. 369. Like a tidal wave the movement swept over the land.... It bore the characteristics that mark the work of God in every age. There was lillle ecstaticjoy, but rather deep searching of heart, confession of sin, and forsakillg of the world. A preparation to meet the Lord was the burden of agonizing spirits. There was perseverillg prayer and unreserved consecration to God. The Great Controversy, pp. 400, 401. But many of the revivals of modem times have presented a marked contrast to those manifestations of divine grace which in earlier days followed the labors of God's servants. It is true that a widespread interest is kindled, many profess conversion, and there are large accessions to the churches; nevertheless the results are not such as to warrant the belief that there has been a corresponding increase of real spiritual life. The light which flames up for a time soon dies out, leaving the darkness more dense than before. Popular revivals arc too often carried by appeals to the imagination, by exciting the emotions, by gratifying the love for what is new and sta1tling. Converts thus gained have little desire to listen to Bible truth, little interest in the testimony of prophets and apostles. Unless a religious service has something of a sensational character, it has no attractions for them. A message which appeals to unimpassioned reason awakens no response. The plain warnings of God's word, relating directly to their eternal interests are unheeded.
THE LATTER RAIN 24 With every truly converted soul the relation to God and to eternal things will be the great topic of life. But where, in the popular churches of today, is the spirit of consecration to God? The converts do not renounce their pride and love of the world. They are no more willing to deny self, to take up the cross, and follow the meek and lowly Jesus, than before their conversion. Religion has become the sport of infidels and skeptics because so many who bear its name are ignorant of its principles. The power of godliness has well-nigh departed from many of the churches. The Great Controversy, p. 463. It is a matter of record that the current church-growth programs are patterned after ideas from the School of World Mission and Institute of Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary. Also the current emphasis on Adventist awareness advertising is nothing less than a Spiritless, faithless reliance upon salesmanship and promotion based on man's mind, and not God's mind. How is it that Babylon can teach us how to give the three angel's messages? It cannot! How is it that by television and radio spots the advertising industry can give the three angel's messages? It cannot! My heart was saddened and my spirit troubled when one day I heard on the radio an advertisement telling parents to watch their infants, and warning them about electrical wall outlets and their danger to small curious fingers. A profitable public service announcement, but imagine my surprise when it ended with \"brought to you by the Voice of Prophecy and your friends the Seventh-day Adventists.\" What has happened to the warning of \"fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment is come?\" What has happened to the call to come out of Babylon? Have we surrendered our holy cause? Whereas... voted... departmental plan... to create a public image... set salvation within the reach of the multitudes. To share emphasis of the noncontroversial truths shared in common with all Christianity. Review and Herald, Dec. 18, 1969, pp. 16-20. God says: We are as a people in danger of giving the third angel's message in such an indefinite manner that it does not impress the people.... Our message is a life-and-death message, and we must let this message appear as it is,-the great power of God. Then the Lord will make it effectual. We are to present it in all its telling force. Evangelism, p. 230. Satan has devised a state of things whereby the proclamation of the third angel's message shall be bound about. We must beware of his plans and methods. There must be no toning down of the truth, no muffling of the message for this time. The third angel's message must be strengthened and confirmed. The eighteenth chapter of Revelation reveals the importance of presenting the truth in no measured terms but with boldness and power.... There has been too much beating about the bush in the proclamation of the third angel's message. The message has not been given as clearly and distinctly as it should have been. Evangelism, p. 230. The destiny of souls hangs upon the acceptance or rejection of the first, second, and third angel's messages. Truly the blood of souls is upon our hands. How does God view the present church-growth programs which lower the
25 CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING standards, and confuse the true message committed to us as a people to bring the world to judgment? The accession of members who have not been renewed in heart and reformed in life is a source of weakness to the church. This fact is often ignored. Some ministers and churches are so desirous of securing an increase of numbers that they do not bear faithful testimony against unchristian habits and practices. Those who accept the truth are not taught that they cannot safely be worldlings in conduct while they are Christians in name. Heretofore they were S atan's subjects; henceforth they are to be subjects of Christ. The life must testify to the change of leaders. Public opinion favors a profession of Christianity. Little self-denial or self-sacrifice is required in order to put on a form of godliness and to have one's name enrolled upon the church book. Hence many join the church without first becoming united to Christ. In this Satan triumphs. Such converts are his most efficient agents. Tes1imoniesfor the Church, vol.5, p. 172. It is the virtue, intelligence, and piety of the people composing our churches, not their numbers that should be the source of joy and thankfulness. Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 32. Conformity to the world is a sin which is sapping the spirituality of our people and seriously interfering with their usefulness. It is idle to proclaim the warning message to the world, while we deny it in the transactions of daily life. Evangelism, pp. 271, 272. Our numbers are constantly increasing, and our vigilance and zeal to keep the fort are steadily decreasing. If they will open their eyes, all may sec whither these things are tending. Testimonies for !he Church, vol. 4, p. 649. Success does not depend upon strength or numbers. God can deliver by few as well as by many. A large church is not necessarily a strong church. Some of its members may be cherishing selfishness, pride, or unbelief; some may be dishonest, others corrupt in heart and life. All these are a source of weakness to the church. They bring the frown of God upon llis people, and the great adversary will work through them to advance his own cause. Signs of the Times, vol. I, p. 239. Many who imitate the customs and fashions of the world claim that they do this in order to have an influence with worldlings. But here they make a sad and fatal mistake. If they would have a true and saving influence, let them live out their profession, show their faith by their righteous works, and make wide the distinction between the Christian and the world. Review and Herald, vol. 1, p. 344. How does the enemy of all truth view this matter? I saw a very large company professing the name of Christ, but God did not recognize them as His. He had no pleasure in them. Satan seemed to assume a religious character and was very willing that the people should think they were Christians. He was even anxious that they should believe in Jesus, His crucifixation, and His
THE LATTER RAIN 26 resurrection. Satan and his angels fully believe all this themselves, and tremble. But if this faith does not provoke to good works, and lead those who profess it to imitate the self-denying life of Christ, Satan is not disturbed; for they merely assume the Christian name, while their hearts are still carnal, and he can use them in his service even better than if they made no profession. Early Writings, p. 227. By God's grace may we seek for repentance and reformation. Let us again take up the three angel's messages, first by experience, and then by proclamation, for the true presentation of these life-and-death messages will alone answer to the harvest message. THE TRAGEDY OF LOOKING TO THE FUTURE LATTER RAIN FOR AN EXPERIENCE I was shown that if God's people make no efforts on their part, but wait for the refreshing to come upon them and remove their wrongs and correct their errors; if they depend upon that to cleanse them from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and fit them to engage in the loud cry of the third angel, they will be found wanting. The refreshing or power of God comes only on those who have prepared themselves for it by doing the work which God bids them, namely, cleansing themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Testimonies for the Church vol. 1, p. 619. Many have in a great measure failed to receive the former rain. They have not obtalned all the benefits that God has thus provided for them. They expect that the lack will be supplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance of grace shall be bestowed, they intend to open their hearts to receive it. They are making a terrible mistake.... If we do not progress, if we do not place ourselves in an attitude to receive both the fom1er and the latter rain, we shall lose our souls, and the responsibility will lie at our own door. Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 507, 508. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Proverbs 11 :30. On the other hand, there are some who, instead of wisely improving present opportunities, are idly waiting for some special season of spiritual refreshing by which their ability to enlighten others will be greatly increased. They neglect present duties and privileges, and allow their light to burn dim, while they look forward to a time when, without any effort on their part, they will be made the recipients of special blessing, by which they will be transformed and fitted for service.... But unless the members of God's church today have a living connection with the Source of all spiritual growth, they will not be ready for the time of reaping. Unless they keep their lamps trimmed and burning, they will fail of receiving added grace in times of special need. Acts of the Aposlles, pp. 54, 55.
27 The consistent refusal to enter in by faith into all the preceding experiences will lead us to the point where light will become darkness to us. The baptism of the Holy Ghost as on the day of Pentecost will lead Lo a revival of true religion and to the performance of many wonde1ful works. Heavenly intelligences will come among us, and men will speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Spirit of God. But should the Lord work upon men as He did on and after the day of Pentecost, many who now claim to believe the truth would know so very little of the operation of the Holy Spirit that they would cry, \"Beware of fanaticism.\" They would say of those who were filled with the Spirit, \"These men are full of new wine.\" The time is not far off now when men will want a much closer relation to Christ, a much closer union with His Holy Spirit, than ever they have had, or will have, unless they give up their will and their way, and submit to God's will and God's way. The great sin of those who profess to be Christians is that they do not open the heart to receive the Holy Spirit. When souls long after Christ, and seek to become one with Him, then those who are content with the form of godliness, exclaim \"Be careful, do not go to extremes.\" When the angels of heaven come among us, and work through human agents, there will be solid, substantial conversions, after the order of the conversions after the day of Pentecost. Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 57. The third angel's message will not be comprehended, the light which will lighten the earth with its glory will be called a false light, by those who refuse to walk in its advancing glory. The work that might have been done, will be left undone by the rejecters of truth, because of their unbelief. Review and Herald, vol. 2, p. 397. There is to be in the churches a wonderful manifestation of the power of God, but it will not move upon those who have not humbled themselves before the Lord, and opened the door of the heart by confession and repentance. In the manifestation of that power which lightens the earth with the glory of God, they will see only something which in their blindness they think dangerous, something which will arouse their fears, and they will brace themselves to resist it. Because the Lord does not work according to their ideas and expectations, they will oppose the work. \"Why,\" they say, \"should not we know the Spirit of God, when we have been in the work so many years?\" Bccause they did not respond to the warnings, the entreaties of the messages of God, but persistently said, \"I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.\" Review and Herald, vol. 2, p. 454. In the light of the king's [Jesus] countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain. Proverbs J 6: 15. De patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord clraweth nigh. James 5:7, 8.
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· TJEIJE C(Q)NID)II1f[(())N� JF(Q)JR JRJECJEJIWJIN� 1fJBIJE JLA1r1rJEIR. IRAJIN \\ Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10: 12. •;t-�· .�;/....i •'