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. Joel 2:23.
Under the figure of the early and the latter rain,
that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and
harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the
bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary
measure upon God’s church. The outpouring of
the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the
beginning of the early, or former, rain, and
glorious was the result…. But near the close
of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual
grace is promised to prepare the church for the
coming of the Son of man. This outpouring of
the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter
rain. The Acts of the Apostles, 54, 55.
The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest,
represents the spiritual grace that prepares
the church for the coming of the Son of man.
But unless the former rain has fallen, there
will be no life; the green blade will not spring
up. Unless the early showers have done their
work, the latter rain can bring no seed to
There must be a constant development of
Christian virtue, a constant advancement in
Every individual must realize his own necessity.
The heart must be emptied of every defilement,
and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. It
was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by
earnest prayer and consecration of themselves
to God, that the early disciples prepared for
the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day
of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater
degree, must be done now….
There must be no neglect of the grace represented
by the former rain. Only those who are
living up to the light they have, will receive
greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in
the exemplification of the active Christian
virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations
of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may
be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall
not discern or receive it.
70Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 506, 507. FLB 333.6