FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
November 8, 2013
Are We Preparing for the Latter Rain?– Part IV
THE SCRIPTURAL FOUNDATION
(All from the King James or Authorized Version unless otherwise indicated)
The gospel prophet defined the basic rule and diagnostic tool for ascertaining Bible truth and distinguishing it from the counterfeits of the “sayings and commandments of men” or by the “traditions of the elders” or by the “wisdom of this world.” He declared: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8: 20.
The means and process by which Bible truth is established and engraved in the heart and mind of true believers is not by “the popular will of the majority by surveys” or by the enforcement of church decrees by the civil power but by patiently gathering the preponderance of a “Thus saith the Lord” or “It is written” as Jesus Himself set the example in His battle with the devil.
Matthew 4: 1-11. Truth bears in itself evidence of its heavenly origin. John 7: 17. To His accusers, He said, “Search the Scriptures,” which they believed assured them eternal life. “for they testify of Me” (John 5: 39). Christ was referring to the Old Testament for the New had not yet been written when He declared these words to the Jews. (See verses 1-38).
“Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; for with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people. . . . But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared and taken.” Isaiah 28: 10-13.
Thus from the Old Testament or “the law and the prophets” (Matt. 7: 12, etc.) we exhibit the following prophecies pointing to the outpouring of the former (or first) rain and the latter rain, at the beginning and toward the close of the New Testament:
Deuteronomy 11: 13, 14: “And it shall come to pass, if ye hall 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, that that first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn [grain,], and thy wine [new wine, NKJV] , and thine oil.”
Job 29: 22, 23: “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.”
Proverbs 16: 15: “In the light of the King’s countenance is life; and his favor is as a cloud of the latter rain.”
Jeremiah 3: 3: “Therefore the showers have been witholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, and thou refusedst to be ashamed.” [see verses 1, 2 as to why the latter rain is witheld].
Jeremiah 5: 20, 21, 23- 31: “Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:. . . . . But this people hath a revolting and rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter rain, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.
Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have witholden good things from you. For among My people are found wicked men: they lay wait, and he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.
They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this? A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: so what will you do in the end thereof?”
Hosea 6: 3: “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning, and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and the former rain unto the earth.”
Joel 2: 23: “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you, the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
Zechariah 10: 1: “Ask ye 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.”
We now gather from the New Testament Scriptures Christ’s promises of the coming of the Holy Spirit as in the outpouring of the former rain and the latter rain:
John 13: 33-36: Jesus said to His disciples: “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. . . . Simon Peter said unto Him, Lord, whither goest Thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow Me now; but thou shalt follow Me afterwards.”
John 14: 1-4: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I got to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
John 14: 8-12: “Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long with you, and yet has thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seem Me hath seem the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?
The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works. Believe in Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.”
John 14: 16-20: “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.”
John 14: 23-25: “Jesus answered and said unto him [Judas], if a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father would love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings: and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.”
John 16: 7-15: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world [Satan] is judged.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He [the Comforter, the Holy Spirit] shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you.” [See also 2 Cor. 2: 10-14].
James 5: 7: “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the Husbandmen 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; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”
E. G. White thus wrote: “The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false teachers and the delusive powers of spirits of darkness. . . . We need to be guided by the Spirit of truth.” – Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4 (1884), pp. 411, 419.
(To be continued next week)