By Pastor Jeff,
James 5:7, says ” Be 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.” Rain has always been very important in growing crops from the time Noah and his family came out of the Ark until now.
Historically in Israel the former rain was in late October, early November which would occur shortly after planting to start the germination process. Without this spring rain, they would be no hope of harvesting a crop in the fall. Many times when the nation fell into sin God would withhold the rain as judgment such as Jeremiah 3:3, ” Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.”
We also are aware that the bible is not just talking about the physical but also the spiritual, Hosea 6:1-3, ” Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. 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 former rain unto the earth.” On the day of Pentecost as the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the 120 we have others who have gathered wondering what had just happened so Peter stands up and quotes Joel 2:28-32, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered” This is what we identify as the “Former Rain”as many received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with speaking in other tongues in this beginning of the church.
Now the Latter Rain was also important for it would greatly enhance the crops right before harvest; we Apostolics’ look to the beginning of 1901 as a turning point as several people were gathered in a place called Stones Folly under the leadership of Charles Parham when the Holy Spirit was again poured out. It soon spread and in Los Angeles, California under William Seymour an outpouring soon began at 312 Azusa street in what we call as the “Former rain”. Pretty much every denomination has been affected by this pentecostal experience with estimates today of anywhere from 130 to 585 million people experiencing this phenomena!
But I want to look at another passage in Joel chapter 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.” Much of what we see in Joel has not come to pass for much of it talks to Jesus return to the nation of Israel during the endtimes. This passage of the rains being poured out in the same month I believe is referring to an outpouring that has not been seen yet. This will surpass both of these outpourings of the Holy Ghost that have already occurred. The time of the Gentile reign is fast approaching an end as God is getting ready to return to His people Israel. Let’s not wait for God is willing and able today to fill you with His precious gift of the Holy Ghost in Jesus name!
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