Like the early rain was needed to make the crops grow in Biblical times, the latter rain had to fall so there could be a good harvest. The same is true today in our spiritual walk. The good news of the gospel of Christ will germinate in our hearts when we repent of our sins and are converted. We are then promised the early rain baptism of Jesus dwelling in our hearts by His Spirit. As we daily pray and ask for this living water from The Word, the only begotten Son of God pours down a fresh supply so that we may walk in newness of life and be empowered to go forth and plant more seeds that will bear the fruit of His Spirit.
There has been so much talk about the Latter Rain that I felt impressed to do a Scripture study on the subject. I wanted to understand how the Latter Rain relates to the Early Rain baptism of the Spirit of Christ that was poured out on the disciples and believers on Pentecost. More importantly I wanted to discover if Scripture could tell me why it isn’t happening now when so many are praying for it. The admonitions from the Old Testament coupled with the experience of those post Pentecost believers gives us many insights, and the council found in Scripture is just as relevant today as it was then.
We know we cannot receive the Latter Rain unless we’ve had the Early Rain first, but are we ready and willing to let Jesus have full control of our hearts and minds? Our Saviour is looking for a rich harvest and to accomplish this He wants to pour out His Spirit in greater measure on those who are prayerfully seeking it. Do we truly want the anointing of Christ, or have we substituted a false “winged rain god” in His place?
To glean Scriptural truths two Bibles, a King James and New King James with references was used. Word studies were added from Stong’s Concordance and Thayer’s New Testament Greek Lexicon. There is very little commentary so The Word can speak directly to our hearts. This is not comprehensive by any means, but there’s a good foundation with which to build on if we are truly willing to humble ourselves and let our Saviour lead.
Test the spirits and search the Scriptures preserved and handed down by the church in the wilderness to see if these things are so. For discernment, reading and study of Scripture should always be preceded by prayer. May you be richly blessed as you study His Word. Remember we must decrease and He must increase.
To begin, there are nine texts in Scripture that specifically mention the Latter Rain. Seven are in the Old Testament and one in the New. Here are the verses.
"Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field." - (Zechariah 10:1)
"And it shall come to pass, if ye 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 the rain of your land in His due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil." - (Deuteronomy 11:13-14)
"And they waited for Me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide for the latter rain." - (Job 29:23)
"In the light of the king's countenance is life; and His favour is as a cloud of the latter rain." - (Proverbs 16:15)
"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." - (Hosea 6:3)
"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." - (Joel 2:23)
"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." - (James 5:7)
"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, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in His season: He reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest." - (Jeremiah 5:23-24)
"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." - (Jeremiah 3:3)
Early – Greek 4406; dawning, showering, early
First/Former – Hebrew 3138; a sprinkling, first rain (autumnal showers) former (rain). From H3384; to direct, point out, teach, instruct, throw water, rain.
Latter – H4456; spring rain, latter rain, eloquence (fluent and persuasive discourse. the ability to persuade with discourse; spoken or written expression, conversation, written or spoken discussion of a subject.). From H3953; to gather, glean, the after crop. Compare H3954; latter growth, aftermath (second crop in the same season).
Latter - G3797; later, as in vernal; relating to or happening in the Spring (showering), latter. From G3796; late in the day, after the close of the day, after a long time (at) even, in the end. From G3694; with enclictic of direction, preposition of time or place, after, afterwards, of time: after.
Scripture establishes a Divine Pattern with “Of Whom” source and “By Whom” channel. “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” - (1 Corinthians 8:6) Watch how this pattern is followed leading up to the Early Rain refreshing.
"I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put My words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." - (Deuteronomy 18:18)
"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, thou be little among the thousands of Judah. Out of thee shall He come forth unto me to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." - (Micah 5:2)
“His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call Him blessed. - (Psalm 72:17)
"His Name shall be for ever: His Name shall be as a Son to continue His Father’s Name forever: and shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call Him blessed." - (Psalms 72:17 marginal reading)
"He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers water the earth." - (Psalms 72:6)
"Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of My mouth. My doctrine (teaching, instruction) shall drop as the rain, My speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: because I will publish the Name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, His work perfect: for all His ways judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He." - (Deuteronomy 32:1-4)
"When the ear heard, then it blessed Me; and when the eye saw, it gave witness to Me: because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon Me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed Me: My judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out. My root spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon My branch. My glory was fresh in Me, and My bow was renewed in My hand. 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 for the latter rain." - (Job 29:23)
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow (untilled) ground: for time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you.” “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." - (Hosea 10:12 & Galatians 6:8)
John the Baptist said, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and fire:" - (Matthew 3:11)
"And, being assembled (eating together with-margin), (Jesus) commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which ye have heard of Me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence…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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." - (Acts 1:4-5,8)
"And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." - (Luke 24:49)
"For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak." - (John 12:49-50)
"For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand." - (John 3:34-35)
"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him." - (John 5:19-23)
"It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the Words that I speak unto you, are Spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray Him." - (John 6:63-64)
"Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I Am, and I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things. And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him." - (John 8:28-29)
"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." - (John 14:10)
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me…And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; 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. - (John 14:6 & 16-18)
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. - (John 14:23)
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me:” - (John 15:26)
Proceedeth - G1607; origin, depart, to come forth, out of, to issue, to proceed out of, to flow forth as a river, to project, from the mouth of one. From G1537; that comes from God, the point whence motion or action proceeds, of power emanating from the body, out of the power of one, of the place forth which one does something, released from, set free from, of generation, birth, race, lineage, after verbs of begetting, being born, in a supernatural sense, from the divine nature, works of which My Father is the author which I, endued with My Father’s power have wrought, is not of earthly origin or nature, who had been dead and were alive again, completion. (Thayer’s Lexicon)
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance…But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;…and it shall come to pass, whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning Him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance…This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear." - (Acts 2:1-4, 16, 21-28, 32-33)
Shed - G1632; to pour, to pour forth, to bestow, gush, pour out, shed, shed abroad, shed forth, spill. From G1537; denoting origin (the point whence motion or action proceeds), from, out (of place, time or cause), by the means of, exceedingly, abundantly above, forth, heartily, heavenly.
"Thou preparest a table before Me in the presence of Mine enemies: Thou anointest My head with oil; My cup runneth over." - (Psalms 23:5)
"Behold, how good and how pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore." - (Psalms 133:1-3)
Precious - H2896; beautiful, valuable, pure, best, bountiful, fine, glad, goodliest, goodly, pleasant, sweet smelling, wellfavoured.
Ointment - H8081; olive oil, often perfumed, for anointing, the dew of Heaven, fruitful.
Dew - H2919; something covering by spreading or scattering, something spread abroad or dispersed.
Hermon - H2768; sanctuary, something set apart, consecrated, removed from contact with others.
Zion - H6726; sunny place, mountain, monumental or guiding pillar, sign, waymark, solitary place.
Life - H2416; flowing, fresh (of water), reviving (of the springtime), breath of life, tree of life, alive, nourishment, preservation, quickening, restoration.
What a blessing the Father, as the source of all, has bestowed upon us through His Son.
"Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. 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." - (Joel 2:21-23)
“Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He hath given you a Teacher of Righteousness, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first." - (Joel 2:23 marginal reading #1)
“Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He hath given you the former rain according to righteousness, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first." - (Joel 2:23 marginal reading #2)
“And you children of Tsiyon, be glad and rejoice in Yahuah your Elohim, for He shall give you the Teacher of Righteousness, and cause the rain to come down for you, the former rain and the latter rain as before. - (Joel 2:23 “The Scriptures” translation.)
"Thou visitest the earth, after though hadst made it to desire rain (margin): Thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: Thou preparest them corn, when Thou hast so provided for it." - (Psalms 65:9)
"Thou gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not Thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst." - (Nehemiah 9:20)
"And it shall come to pass afterward, 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." - (Joel 2:28-29)
“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. - (Titus 3:3-7)
"So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for Me, this is My covenant with them, saith the Lord; My Spirit that is upon thee, and My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever." - (Isaiah 59:19-21)
So how will we receive the early rain in preparation for the latter rain? To be continued.