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Are We Preparing for the Latter Rain?– Part II

Did we Remember October 22?

As of 2012, there are 11 federal holidays, 49 other religious, traditional and informal holidays, (for e.g., Dec. 8 is Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary Day). Then there are 28 other holidays celebrated locally, and 11 non-holiday yet notable days such as the Super Bowl and Tax Day, April 15.

Ah! There is more than enough to forget God Himself, to keep holy the one day He sanctified as the memorial of His power and authority as Creator, and the nine others, the keeping of which would have brought “glory to God in the Highest and on earth, peace, goodwill towards men” as the majestic angelic choir heralded to the humble shepherds in Bethlehem’s fields at Christ’s birth—in His first advent.

We need to continue remind ourselves of the truth that cannot be overemphasized, particularly in these last days of the unprecedented flood of information and disinformation demanding our attention brought on by the digital age, the internet, and social networking: this past Tuesday, October 22,marked the 169th year since Christ entered into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuaryto finish His closing work of mediation, atonement, and pre-advent judgment.

If we say we already know this precious truth but did not even remember this date and its significance as the momentous, pivotal event in Christ’s office and work as Intercessor according to the plan of redemption, much less mention it even in passing with all our emailing, facebooking, tweeting, and instagramming upon the most inane subjects and events, it merely demonstrates how fearfully successful the master deceiver has been in overshadowing this truth by his unnumbered schemes. But as good old Abe said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all of time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Let all adventists, from the word advent, generically defined as “a coming; approach; visitation; and when capitalized, Advent,” means “the coming of the Savior” (Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language, 1967), and all whose faith is focused on preparing for Christ’s second advent, given birth to by the great advent movement of 1840-1844 that peaked in the midnight cry, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him” of the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt. 25), proclaimed in the summer of
1844, as announced by the first angel’s message of Revelation 14: 6, 7 be reminded, once more, that:
“The scripture which above all others had beenboth the foundation and central pillar of the Advent faith was the declaration, ‘Unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ Dan. 8: 14. These had been familiar words to the believers in the Lord’s soon coming.” – E. G. White, Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, (1884), p. 258.
We continue our series, which finds its origin in the “former rain” or “first rain” in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost—fifty days after Christ’s resurrection and ascension,, followed by the Holy Spirit-empowered Midnight Cry in the summer of 1844, with a poem shared with me last week by a dear friend and classmate of PUCA Class ’67 and an avid student of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy:

The Splendor of Sunset, The Glory of Dawn
By Petronila-Biano Alcaide (revised 9/24-26/2013

As I watch the sunset with its myriad hues,
Those bright colors of red, orange, purple, and blues
Evokes the mixed feelings of awe, joy, and wonder,
From the heart springs gratitude for the Creator.

The splendor of sunset that heralds the dark night,
Is followed by the glory of dawn, then daylight;
We cannot hold time in our hands, it just goes on,
Like the splendor of sunset, the glory of dawn.

The sunset’s colors brings to mind the Sanctuary,
Where the Priest intercedes for a sinner like me;
I must confess and secure my salvation free,
Before Jesus, our Priest, leaves the place Most Holy.

Our life’s long journey leads us to the sunset years,
Being laid to rest means parting, sadness, and tears;
Weeping is but a night, then there is rejoicing,
When glorious dawn comes in the resurrection morning.

Our age we cannot peg, the years keep adding on;
Let’s make haste, redeem the time while there’s probation;
Time waits for no man and his gold, time rushes on;
Soon mercy’s door closes, the Spirit is withdrawn.

This had to be a product of inspiration and personal experience in the principles of the truths of the Sanctuary, the meaning of the Christian’s short life-journey and pilgrim’s progress on our sin-cursed earth as seen through the lens of the sunrise-and-sunsets of the fundamental time division of the 24-hour daythat the Creator, Life giver, Time giver, and Artist gives to each one.

When abiding in Christ and His word abiding in us, as the vine is to the branch, no matter the ominous forebodings of dark clouds gathering in the horizon, premonitions as it were of disaster, calamity, or death itself, thatday is glorious with hope as a new day of opportunity to learn more of God’s character and will for us by the experiences and divine provisions promised for that day’s needs and emergencies, as the literal daily manna was for Israel in their 40-year wilderness journey to the earthly Canaan. We are headed for the heavenly Canaan.

When each day, begun by a full commitment to God in morning worship, is lived for Christ, it ends in a sunset bathed in the splendor of knowing that God, not self, was glorified, His law magnified and made honorable, by being a blessing to someone by quiet, loving ministry in word or deed to those groping in the darkness of sin and ignorance of truth or to one who has lost his way and needs a helping hand to retrace his steps back to Christ, or are on the verge of ending life for want of love, comfort, hope, and assurance in these confusing and uncertain times.

Daily, thousands are passing on to graves clueless to the testing truths for this final generation. Who will God hold accountable for this failure, worse, deliberate attempts to suppress active discussion and deeper study of the nature of closing work of the Holy Spirit on earth before He is fully withdrawn, simultaneous to Christ ending His closing work as High Priest, Mediator, and Judge of all the earth in the most holy of the sanctuary in heaven.

The enlightenment and empowerment to accomplish the final preparation is the exclusive work of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead through the former rain experience that began on the day of Pentecost. On that day, 120 disciples, including Mary, the mother of Jesus (Acts 1: 14, 15) obediently followed Christ’s parting instructions during His appearance to them in His resurrected, glorified human body “not to depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father.” See Acts 1: 1-5; cf. 1 Cor. 15:1-8.

It took childlike trust and unquestioning obedience in these disciples to follow their Master’s instructions, for, after the stoning to death of Stephen by the Sanhedrin in A.D. 34, “there arose against the Christian believers in Jerusalem, a persecution so relentless that “they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.” These 120 disciples prepared themselves according to Christ’s specifications and thus received the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit which came down upon them in the upper room in the form of “divided tongues, as of fire.”

Thus in-filled with the Holy Spirit—the fullness of the Godhead spiritually, as Christ is the fullness the Godhead bodily (Col. 1: 15-19; 2: 9) they went forth to proclaim the good news of a victorious, risen Savior! In like manner, there is a special preparation to become candidates to receive the promised latter rain–the final outpouring of the Holy Spirit “without measure.” Before proceeding further we need to consider the following counsel and rebuke:

“In the teachings of Christ, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is made prominent. What a vas theme is this for contemplation and encouragement! What treasures of truth did He add to the knowledge of His disciples in His instructions concerning the Holy Spirit and Comforter! He dwelt upon this theme in order to console His disciples in the great trial they were soon to experience, that they might be cheered in their great disappointment . . . . The world’s Redeemer sought to bring to the hearts of the sorrowing disciples the strongest solace. But from a large field of subjects, He chose the theme of the Holy Spirit, which was to inspire and comfort their hearts.
And yet, though Christ made much of this theme concerning the Holy Spirit, how little it is dwelt upon in the churches!” – E. G. White, Bible Echo, Nov. 15, 1893. (Continued next week)