Wednesday, November 30, 2011

THE LATTER RAIN!

“It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:9-10).

This prophecy from Zechariah is about a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will take place in the last days. A similar outpouring is described in Joel 2, which I believe to be Pentecost. That passage reads: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; and also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29).

This is exactly what happened on the day of Pentecost! The Holy Spirit came in like a flood as a spirit of prophecy at the Upper Room in Jerusalem.

This great outpouring also became a steady watering of the Holy Spirit that has lasted throughout the centuries. For nearly 2,000 years God has poured out His Spirit like showers on His people, daily watering His church and protecting it. Isaiah refers to it as: “A vineyard of red wine! I, the Lord, keep it, I water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I keep it night and day” (Isaiah 27:2-3).

The two outpourings of the Spirit are referred to as the first (or former) rain and the last (or latter) rain: “And it shall be that if you diligently obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil” (Deuteronomy 11:13-14).

The planting and harvest seasons in Israel were just the opposite of ours. The first rains, which softened the ground, were from October to the end of December, just before the planting season. The last rains ripened the harvest and fell from March through April, just prior to reaping.

It is important to note that these two outpourings always had to do with the harvest. The Spirit’s work is always focused on the harvest of souls!