TWO PURPOSES OF THE LATTER-RAIN OUTPOURING

(Trumpet Ministries,Inc. / Words of Righteousness)

 

TWO PURPOSES OF THE LATTER-RAIN OUTPOURING Copyright Š 2006Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Scriptures point toward a latter-rain outpouring of God’s Spirit in the last days. This unprecedented revelation of Divine glory and power is symbolized by the two witnesses of Revelation, Chapter Eleven. The end-time revival has two purposes: to bear witness to every nation of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God, and to bring Christ to maturity in the saints.

Table of Contents

Introduction Bearing Witness to Every Nation of the Kingdom of God Revelation, Chapters Ten and Eleven Bringing Christ to Maturity in the Saints Revelation, Chapter Twelve Conclusion

TWO PURPOSES OF THE LATTER-RAIN OUTPOURING

Introduction

In the present hour many people are speaking of a tremendous revival that is at hand. The present author has stated on numerous occasions that we are on the edge of the most marvelous intervention of God in all history. The coming outpouring is the latter-rain revival spoken of in the Scriptures.

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)

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)

Ask ye of 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. (Zechariah 0:1)

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)

The reference is to the rain cycle of the land of Israel. The former, planting rain occurs in the fall after the six-month drought of summer. Then there are occasional winter rains. The harvest rain begins in March and is referred to as the "latter-rain." After the heavy harvest rains there must be hot sun to harden the heads of wheat to prepare them for threshing.

Because of the several references to the former and latter rain we conclude that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the Church Age will follow the pattern of the natural rain of the land of Israel. The spiritual fulfillment of the former, planting rain is described in the Book of Acts. Then there have been "mercy drops" during the "winter" of the Church Age. Now we are moving toward spring, so to speak, and the coming of the Lord. The several outpourings during the past three hundred years remind us that soon there will be an unprecedented deluge.

If this is true we are about to witness the mightiest outpouring of all time. The purpose of the latter (harvest) rain is to bring to maturity all that God has planted in the earth. After that there will come the burning sun of tribulation to harden the heads of wheat, that is, to prepare the saints to walk with Him who is the Consuming Fire of Israel.

There are two principal purposes to be accomplished by the latter-rain outpouring. The first purpose is to empower the saints to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to every nation for a witness. The second purpose is to bring Christ to maturity in the saints.

The operation of the first purpose is symbolized by the two witnesses of Revelation, Chapter Eleven. The operation of the second purpose is symbolized by the Son who is brought forth, as described in Revelation, Chapter Twelve.

Bearing Witness to Every Nation of the Kingdom of God

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)

Notice first that it is the Gospel of the Kingdom that will be preached. The Gospel of the Kingdom has been lost, it seems, for many centuries. Now the Gospel of the Kingdom is being restored to the churches. That the Gospel of the Kingdom has been lost, or nearly so, can be observed by glancing at the Statement of Belief of any Christian denomination. One might see few or no references to the Kingdom of God.

We have changed the Gospel of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the gospel of going to Heaven. Is this true?

Second, the Gospel of the Kingdom is to be preached in all the world. We often hear people saying this door or that door is closing to the Gospel. As far as man is able to work, this may be true. But when God the Father authorizes the opening of the doors to every nation on earth, they shall open and no power can hinder!

Third, the Gospel will be preached for a witness. God wants to restore to His churches the concept of witnessing. When the Holy Spirit baptizes us we are given power to bear witness. While it is necessary souls be saved, saving souls and bearing witness are not quite the same thing. It can happen that a true witness has been borne and no souls have been saved.

The problem with emphasizing the saving of souls is that the preacher may tend to water down the Words of God, the demands of discipleship, in order to "win people for Christ." We have seen this done with undesirable results.

The true prophet of God is to give the whole counsel of God. Then the Holy Spirit does His work of convicting sinners and bringing them to the Master.

It seems in America there is a great deal of ministry but in numerous instances a true witness is not borne. The love of God has been overemphasized and the wrath of God has been given little attention or ignored altogether.

We are not saying we should teach continually about Hell, for that is not how we are to feed the Lord’s sheep. However, we should be presenting both the goodness and the severity of God, the love of God and the wrath of God, and point out that the Christian who continues to live in the lusts of the flesh, who does not bring forth the fruit of Christ in his or her life, is in danger of being cut out of the Vine. There are many warnings in the New Testament directed toward the believer who neglects his salvation. And they are severe!

Fourth, the end shall come after the witness has been borne to God’s satisfaction. This is not referring to the end of the world but the end of the Gospel witness. After the latter-rain revival, and before the Lord returns, there will occur the burning sun of tribulation. The Gospel witness will be driven from the cities of the earth. The two witnesses will be "killed," so to speak. The remnant of saints will be forced into hiding until the Lord returns in the clouds of glory.

During this time there will be no Gospel witness in the major cities of the earth. It will be impossible to pray. The darkness will prevent people from coming to Christ for salvation or being filled with the Spirit of God. The only place where one can be saved will be where the remnant are hidden away under the hand of God.

And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain. (Isaiah 4:5,6)

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. (Joel 2:32)

It is the author’s opinion that during the latter-rain witness the greater part of earth’s people will make a profession of faith in Christ. Then God will withdraw the anointing in order that Antichrist may run his predestined course. Sin will become so readily available that the majority of those who had made a profession will fall away.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many [the majority] shall wax cold. (Matthew 24:12)

The falling away is necessary in order that the Church may become without spot or wrinkle. Every work of God must be tested with fire.

It is after the period of spiritual darkness that the Lord will return for His glorious Church.

This is the pattern of the promised latter-rain revival and the following tribulation, as we understand it.

During the latter half of the twentieth century there has occurred a number of spiritual activities and movements such as the charismatic renewal, the faith and prosperity emphases, reconstructionism, and lately the "laughing revival." There have been minor phenomena such as leg-lengthening, oil on the hands, and the filling of dental cavities.

These various spiritual expressions sometimes involve hundreds of thousands of people.

The indicators of true revival, as we understand it, are three in number. True revival is characterized by sincere, profound repentance. True revival includes an opening of God’s Word so new understanding emerges. True revival generates worldwide evangelism.

The latter-rain revival that is at hand will be marked by genuine, heartfelt repentance and righteous, holy behavior; by an opening of the Scriptures; and by worldwide evangelism.

It is our point of view that we are entering the spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical Blowing of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24). The spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Trumpets is portrayed by the seven trumpets of the Book of Revelation. We believe these trumpets will not be fulfilled in sequence, necessarily, but—as is true of the rest of the Book of Revelation—their fulfillments will take place in a general fashion without reference to specific calendar dates. The works of God often take place on a spiral staircase such that we keep returning to the same kind of fulfillment but at a higher level. Have you found this to be true as you have walked with the Lord?

Keeping in mind that the first six trumpets have not found complete fulfillment as yet, we would like to examine the tenth and eleventh chapters of the Book of Revelation to discover what we should be looking for during the days when the seventh and last angel is about to sound his trumpet. How can we tell when this period is actually occurring? Remember, when the seventh trumpet sounds the saints will be clothed with incorruptible eternal life.

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (I Corinthians 15:52)

We think in these two chapters we may discover facts that will enable us to recognize the true latter rain, distinguishing it from lesser spiritual events. We will not present an exhaustive study at this time but point toward highlights, since in other writings we discuss in detail the two witnesses and the ruling Son.

Revelation, Chapters Ten and Eleven

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: (Revelation 10:1)

This is the seventh angel and he has authority over the latter-rain testimony. He comes down from Heaven, for this revival will not be worked up by human talent, wisdom, or effort.

He is clothed with a cloud, speaking of the coming of the Lord.

The rainbow tells us that this revival will have the full authority of God’s throne.

His face as the sun means the latter-rain revival will be characterized by a great emphasis on righteous behavior.

Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Matthew 13:43)

His feet as pillars of fire is emphasizing that the last-day revival will bring judgment on all the works of man, beginning with God’s elect. Judgment has begun in the house of God!

And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, (Revelation 10:2)

The little book is the Word of God. It is unpretentious, just as Christ was born in a stable. The fact that he has one foot on the sea and one on the earth reveals the control of the planet that will be exercised by the saints during the latter-rain revival. This indeed is a mighty angel!

Notice that the little book is open. It is a day of small beginnings, so to speak.

For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet [plumb line] in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth. (Zechariah 4:10)

Blessed are those who are barren now. Blessed are those who remain patient during the small beginnings, who do not despise small things; for they will reign when the larger work of God appears. God is ready to move in our day but we must guard the word of His patience until He does.

And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. (Revelation 10:3)

There is too much sweetness in the Gospel preaching today. We hear of "beautiful Jesus." The writer has been a Christian for over fifty years and does not find the adjective "beautiful" to be realistic. No doubt Jesus is beautiful but He is as tough as steel. Each saint is a cup from which the King drinks, and His cups are burned in the fire (I think Saint Anthony said this).

The Lion of Judah is beginning to roar in our day. Can you hear His growl? Let the demons tremble in terror. Let the thunders utter their voices. Enough of this sweetness! It is like honey on an offering made by fire, and that is forbidden and a sticky mess.

No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the Lord, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the Lord made by fire. (Leviticus 2:11)

When people get sweet with their religion there often is the leaven of insincerity in it. Neither leaven nor honey is accepted.

And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. (Revelation 10:4)

"Seven thunders" symbolizes the fullness of God’s power. The reason their sayings were sealed is that God is hiding His power.

And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power. (Habakkuk 3:4)

During the present century the power of God has rested on several people, such as William Branham, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Kathryn Kuhlman. There have been awesome displays of God’s healing grace.

But the power given to the witnesses of the latter-rain revival will not only heal but also destroy. For this reason the power has been hidden until saints come forth who are dead to worldliness, lust, and self-will and who have the love of Christ in them. God will not trust to human beings the power of judgment until He is satisfied they have been crucified and Christ is living in them.

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time [delay] no longer: (Revelation 10:5,6)

There shall be delay no longer. The disciples of the Lord know what it is to wait patiently in a barren state. It is these—the ones who have waited for the Lord—who will experience the fullness of power of the latter-rain outpouring. They have waited a long time for God and so the Word is confirmed with a solemn oath.

Other believers may dash about and accomplish many things in Gospel work. But the end-time revival will sweep all else aside. God Himself is getting ready to move in a sovereign manner! Let those who have waited patiently for Him say Amen!

But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:7)

The mystery of God is Christ in you.

The blood atonement made by the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary is the most significant, the most crucial event of all eternity. But the blood atonement is not the mystery of the Gospel.

The bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the beginning of the new creation of God. Our faith is founded on the resurrection of Jesus. But the resurrection of Jesus is not the mystery of the Gospel.

"Christ in you" is the mystery of the Gospel and remains a mystery to the present hour. Although we speak of letting Jesus into our heart, the bulk of our thinking and speaking has to do with Jesus with us, not Jesus in us.

The writer has read several accounts of saints who have died, who have experienced visions of Heaven, and who then have returned. Never once has there been an emphasis on the forming and dwelling of Jesus in the individual. The account always focuses on mansions, Paradise, and seeing an external Jesus.

Now that we are moving past the spiritual fulfillment of Pentecost and approaching the climactic feast of Tabernacles, we will begin to understand that the central purpose of God is to fashion an eternal living temple for Himself. The mystery of Christ in us will unfold in the present hour. There shall be delay no longer.

We shall have more to say about this a little later on, God willing.

And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. (Revelation 10:8)

As we have said, every true revival brings with it an opening of the Book, of the revelation of the Lord. The Book of God is being opened today. That which has been hidden from kings and prophets soon will be clearly understandable to the inhabitants of Heaven and earth.

Searching what, or what manner of time the spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. (I Peter 1:11)

The Hebrew Prophets spoke mysteries in the Spirit. Those mysteries can be revealed only as the Lion who becomes the Lamb removes the seals.

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. (Revelation 5:5)

Notice carefully what happens to the little book, or scroll.

And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. (Revelation 10:9)

The Apostle John represents the Church. God wants the Church to eat the book, not just read the book but eat the book. It is time today to "eat" the revelation of God. Until we do we cannot possibly understand the mystery, which is Christ in you. Reading the Scriptures is of great importance. But if we do not eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Lamb we have no eternal life in us.

And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. (Revelation 10:10)

The revelation that is upon us is sweet in our mouth. We sing and rejoice because of the Glory of God now being revealed. But when the Word gets down into our inward parts it becomes bitter indeed. It brings the adamic man down to death so the new born-again inward man may live.

The latter-rain revival brings death to the adamic nature and life to the born-again inward nature. A revival that does not speak death to the old sinful nature is not that which we are looking for.

And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. (Revelation 10:11)

The latter-rain revival is the "again" prophecy. The Book of Acts describes the original prophecy. But the Book of Acts is not finished. The Church is to prophesy again in the last days.

The prophecy that is coming is not directed toward the saints to edify, exhort, and comfort them. Its purpose is not to build up the Body of Christ. Rather, the prophecy at hand is to "many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings" that they may be alerted to the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth, a kingdom that will subdue all other kingdoms and reign supreme on the earth.

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. (Revelation 11:1)

Before the Church can give the last-day witness it first must be judged. The key word today is judgment. The saints who are pressing forward in the Lord are learning of the fiery Nature of God. Their love of the world, the lusts of their flesh, and their personal ambition are being brought up for examination.

The "temple of God" is the Church. The "altar" that is mentioned is the Altar of Incense. The Altar of Incense was the next furnishing after the Lampstand. The Altar of Incense symbolizes the believers who are pressing past Pentecost (the Lampstand) to the place where they are totally consecrated to the Lord (the Altar of Incense). The Temple of God (especially the consecrated saints) is experiencing the judgment of God in our day in preparation for the last great outpouring of the Spirit of God.

But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. (Revelation 11:2)

The "court which is without the temple" refers to all of mankind with the exception of the Church and the consecrated saints. God is not ready at this time to judge the world, only those who are close to Him—His witnesses. The witness must be purified and prepared. Many members of mankind will be saved in the future, but in the present hour God’s attention is focused on the preparing of His saints to proclaim with power the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

The treading under foot of the holy city may signify that God will permit Israel once again to suffer problems at the hands of Gentiles.

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. (Revelation 11:3)

The wording of the verse implies that the two witnesses are already present but now are empowered or authorized to bear witness. Otherwise it would say something like, and I will raise up two witnesses, or two witnesses will come from Heaven, or two witnesses will be raised from the dead.

Given the fact that John was charged to prophesy again, and then the Temple of God and the Altar of Incense were measured, we believe these are the witnesses who were prepared and then empowered to begin their witness.

The "thousand two hundred and threescore days" refers to the first half of the seventieth week of Daniel, the last of the prophesied seventy weeks.

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (Daniel 9:24)

The first half of the week will include the latter-rain testimony. The last half of the week has been set aside for the great tribulation and the rulership of Antichrist.

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)

The ceasing of the sacrifice and the oblation refers to the fact that the spiritual darkness will be so heavy the citizens of the cities of the earth will not be able to touch God in prayer or be filled with God’s Spirit. This is the hour when no man can work, of which the Lord spoke.

The witnesses will be clothed in sackcloth, meaning they will live and act in a continuing attitude of humble repentance and will preach repentance, saying, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand."

These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. (Revelation 11:4)

The "two olive trees" speak of the double portion of God’s power that will rest on them, the "Elisha" anointing. These are the two wave loaves of the Levitical feast of Pentecost.

The "two candlesticks" are golden lampstands. Golden lampstands can typify only Christ and that which is of Christ. Only Christ and His churches are golden lampstands.

Since the fourth chapter of Zechariah describes only one lampstand, and now there are two, we believe the second lampstand is the Body of Christ, the holy nation that will be born "at once" in the last days (Isaiah 66:8).

The two witnesses, to our understanding, are Christ and His Body. The two witnesses will herald the sixth day of God, the day of reconciliation, the day when man is made in God’s image.

God sends two witnesses at the beginning of each eternal day.

Adam and Eve were the two witnesses who announced the day of form. They showed in themselves the form that people will have for eternity.

Abraham and Sarah portrayed the day of separation, the eternal division between the elect and the saved nations of the earth.

Moses and Aaron proclaimed the eternal moral law of God.

The Lord Jesus and His Father were two witnesses who revealed the Person of God and His Kingdom.

It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. (John 8:17,18)

The Apostles and the Holy Spirit brought eternal life to mankind.

And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Acts 5:32)

Now we are approaching the dawning of the Kingdom Age. The two witnesses are the Lord Jesus and His Body. All of God’s witnesses must show in themselves the nature of the age that is at hand. This is why great works of destruction will be performed by the sixth pair of witnesses. When the Kingdom of God invades the earth, destruction will follow.

And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. (Revelation 11:5)

As long as it is God’s will for the testimony to proceed, the witnesses will be invulnerable.

These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. (Revelation 11:6)

We have no doubt these plagues will have both a literal and a symbolic fulfillment. The point is, the Christian Church has never before possessed this kind of power. However, such a demonstration of power will be essential if a witness is to be borne to every nation of the last days. The wickedness of man has become exceedingly great, and the Christian churches have sometimes presented a less than adequate witness of the Nature of God and His Kingdom.

All of this will be changed during the latter-rain outpouring.

And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (Revelation 11:7)

One may wonder, how can Antichrist overcome and kill Christ and His Body?

They are "killed" in the sense that the testimony is driven from the major cities of the earth by various means.

First of all we must keep in mind that the Scripture prevents any power from separating the saint from the love of God.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ our Lord. (Romans 8:38,39)

However, both Daniel and Revelation teach that the testimony of the saints of the last days shall indeed be overcome. When the testimony of the saints is overcome, then, in that special sense, Christ Himself is overcome. When we are in prison He is in prison. When we are sick He is sick. Isn’t that the truth?

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (Matthew 25:35,36)

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (Daniel 7:25)

It reminds us of God turning over the righteous Job to Satan. God kept matters in total control. Also, the afflictions finally brought more good to Job than would have otherwise been possible. Nevertheless, Satan was in charge of Job’s welfare for a season.

The Christian testimony will be silenced long enough for Antichrist to be revealed. The Spirit-empowered saints will be removed from his path so wickedness may come to a head as a giant boil. It is necessary wickedness come to maturity in order that everlasting righteousness finally may be brought in.

Sometimes God allows sin to come to a head in our personality so it may finally be destroyed out of us. Has that ever happened to you?

And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. (Revelation 11:8)

"Their dead bodies shall lie in the street" means Antichrist will permit the Christian institutions to remain in operation, such as Christian churches and schools, but they will be void of the Presence of the Spirit of God.

To be overcome by Sodom is to be conquered by the lusts of the flesh.

To be overcome by Egypt is to be conquered by the love of the things of the world.

To be overcome by Jerusalem is to be conquered by religious pride, envy, and self-will.

In the last days the lusts of the flesh, the love of the things of the world, and religious pride, envy, and self-will shall destroy the Christian testimony in the cities of the earth. Then the godly remnant will be driven from the cities and forced to live in the wilderness areas of the earth until the Lord returns.

And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. (Revelation 11:9)

The "Christians" will continue to attend church. They will sing their traditional hymns. They will work together with Antichrist to assist the needy of the world. Antichrist will invite distinguished Christian ministers to serve in his cabinet. Only the praying remnant will be able to see the hand of Satan in the cooperation between the government and the Christian churches. The deception will be extremely subtle.

Today (1998) the president of the United States has installed and supports programs that many Christian people regard as sinful and abominable. The use of aborted chlidren for medical research is one such abomination. Yet he and his wife attend a Christian church. He meets regularly with a fundamentalist Christian pastor for counseling. Do the ministers who are speaking to him reason of righteousness, self-control, and judgment to come until he trembles?

And as he [Paul] reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. (Acts 24:25)

No doubt the Christian ministers believe they are serving the Lord just by associating with the ungodly. The author does not think they are correct in this.

And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. (Revelation 11:10)

The Philistines mocked the blind Samson. So will the people of the nations mock the powerless Christians of the last days, just as in our time they mock the television evangelists who beg for money and who do not live a righteous, holy life. The testimony of God in America has been largely overcome by fleshly lusts, the love of money, and ambition and self-seeking.

There will be a season during which the wicked of the earth will rejoice because the Christian prophets have been silenced. Herod and Pilate became friends when the testimony of the Lord Jesus was silenced.

And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves. (Luke 23:12)

How the wicked rejoice when the Christian testimony is overcome!

But notice:

And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. (Revelation 11:11)

At the end of the second half of the seventieth week, God’s witnesses of every age will stand on their feet. This is the first resurrection of the dead. The wicked of the earth will see them and scream in terror. The light of God will emanate from them as a blinding radiance. They are immortal, invulnerable, irresistible, eternal. These are God’s elect, His sons, the royal priesthood who will govern the nations of the earth forever.

And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. (Revelation 11:12)

After a time of fellowship they will be called up to meet their Lord. The peoples of the earth always have been and still are their enemies. Now the tables have been turned and their enemies no longer can harm them.

Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (II Thessalonians 1:6-10)

We understand, therefore, that one of the purposes of the latter-rain revival is that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God be preached to every nation for a witness. After the witness has been completely borne, the most powerful moral darkness the world has ever known will settle on the cities of the earth. This will mark the end of the preaching of the Gospel as we have known it.

Bringing Christ to Maturity in the Saints

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Colossians 1:27)

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (Galatians 4:19)

In the days of Zechariah the Jews were ready to bring forth the top stone of the restored Temple.

Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone [capstone] thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. (Zechariah 4:7)

In the days of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, there shall be delay no longer. The Father will speak and Christ, the chief Cornerstone and Capstone of the Temple of God, will come down to complete the Temple.

Isaiah tells us that a nation, that is the holy nation, the royal priesthood, will be born at once—as soon as Zion travails.

Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. (Isaiah 66:8)

The tares and the wheat are coming to maturity in our day. Christ is ready to face Antichrist. The latter rain is necessary to bring the wheat to maturity.

The feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34), the last of the seven feasts of the Lord, reveals to us that God’s eternal purpose is to create a living Temple for Himself. The Temple of God is Christ—Head and Body.

Before we come to the feast of Tabernacles we must experience the Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. The Blowing of Trumpets signifies the coming of the Lord Jesus to His churches to wage war against His enemies, and also to organize His saints into the Army of the Lord.

This is taking place now. The Lord is coming to His people before He appears in open glory to the world.

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)

The Lord is coming to His churches in our day as the Lord of Armies. He is ready to wage war against His enemies—first of all, His enemies in us, His saints.

The Day of Atonement is the period during which each Christian is judged and reconciled to God. The Day of Atonement has begun and will continue throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age. Each of us must be reconciled to God so we may serve as a dwelling place for the Lord. We must be delivered from our love of the world. We must be delivered from the lusts of our flesh.

Finally we must, through suffering and imprisonment of various kinds, be totally delivered from self-will, envy, presumption, supplanting, and disobedience to the Father. Only then are we ready to be a living stone in the eternal Temple of God.

The emphasis of the Spirit now—today—is that we cease from our own works and look to the Lord. It is a new day. The Lord is calling us to repentance and to listen carefully to His voice. He stands at the door of our heart and is asking if He may enter. We may have been a Christian for many years. Yet, this is what is taking place. Are you finding it to be true? Is the Lord speaking to you concerning your thoughts, your words, your actions?

The Lord Jesus desires to enter and dine with us on His own body and blood. We become part of Him as we partake of Him. We become the Wife of the Lamb as we partake of the Lamb.

This is a sovereign work of God. It is the rest of God to which the Book of Hebrews calls us. It is a move of God beyond basic salvation, beyond the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Are you ready to hear the trumpet of the Lord? Are you ready to be reconciled to God in your entire personality? Are you ready to enter the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, into the rest of God, into the Kingdom of God? Then open your heart to the Lord Jesus and discover what He has for you today, what your role is in the Kingdom of God that is at hand, and what your role is in the great latter-rain outpouring.

If the mystery of the Gospel were Christ with us the demands on us would be severe. But since the mystery of the Gospel is Christ in us, the demands on us are total. The Lord will have no idols in His house, no uncleanness, no presumption, no supplanting of the place of another, no envy, no unforgiveness, no rebellion of any kind against the Father’s will.

Is this what you truly desire—to be made in Christ’s image and to enter total, untroubled rest in the Father, in Him who is the Consuming Fire of Israel? If this is what you really want, then tell the Lord about it right now. Express your desire with your voice. Then get ready for the greatest adventure of your life as the Father and the Son make Their eternal abode in you.

It is time for Christ to come to maturity in the saints. This is the second purpose of the latter-rain outpouring.

Revelation, Chapter Twelve

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: (Revelation 12:1)

There are two wonders in the heaven. There is the Church of Christ. She is clothed with the Glory of Christ. The moon, the creation of God, is under her feet. She is crowned with the heroes of faith, the stars of righteousness who will shine forever.

And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. (Revelation 12:2)

The most significant feature of the Church of Christ today is that she is in travail. We have referred to the travail of Zion. Zion is in travail today to bring forth Christ. Have you felt the labor pains?

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (Galatians 4:19)

We have been saved and filled with the Spirit. Now it is time for Christ to be formed in us. The glory of the latter rain and the tribulation that will follow will accomplish the maturing of Christ in us.

And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. (Revelation 12:3)

The second wonder in heaven is Satan. He has perfect wisdom, power in the world, and authority that God has given him to accomplish God’s purposes.

Much of what will take place in the days to come will be far, far beyond the mind of man to understand or to manage. It is time now to surrender all to Christ. Only He has been entrusted by the Father with superior wisdom, power, and authority. Only He can tear down and destroy Satan.

It is vain for us to struggle to save the world or to bring in everlasting righteousness. The battle will reach into the heavens and attack the host.

And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. (Daniel 8:10)

We are on the brink of the reconciliation of the creation to the Lord God. God has determined all of the universe will find its center and circumference in Christ. The wrath of God, smoldering since the original rebellion in the heavens, is about to be poured out on the fallen stars of the heaven and on those people who worship them and accept their leadership.

The wisdom and power exercised in the war of the ages is so great as to make the efforts of human beings to be so much dust blown about in a typhoon. We simply are unable to think clearly or to act effectively.

The only hope is in the travail of Zion. The only hope is that the saints will avail themselves of the glory that is available in the latter-rain outpouring and become still long enough to permit Christ to be formed in them. Only Christ has the ability to conquer the wicked lords of the heavenlies.

Waiting on God is an attitude of the heart. It does not mean we cease performing the tasks that are before us. It has more to do with looking to the Lord in place of planning and scheming.

Will you be one of those who turns from the efforts of the flesh and waits on God until Christ is formed in you?

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. (Revelation 12:4)

We are not certain whether the stars of heaven referred to here are fallen saints or the rebellious angels. It certainly is true that several of God’s saints have succumbed to temptation in our day, and there may be more tragedies yet to come. If the stars are rebellious angels, it seems strange, but not impossible, that Satan would cast his own followers into the earth.

Satan is standing before the woman, the Church. Why? To kill Christ just as Herod attempted to kill Christ.

The Son, Christ is destined to govern the nations with a rod of iron. One may notice that the influence of humanism tends to soften all forms of rulership. The fear of authority is removed and in its place are gentle (and often useless) entreaties. Christ always rules with a rod of iron. He enforces His law. He speaks gently and lovingly but woe unto whoever despises His wishes!

Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalms 2:12)

When Christ is formed in us He immediately is caught up to the Throne of God. You may be experiencing a struggle as you attempt to gain the victory over the world, over lust, and over self-will. If you will persevere you will come to the hour when you break through. Then you know you have overcome through Christ. You can almost hear the bells ringing. This is because Christ in you has overcome your adamic nature and has ascended to His Father. From now on you are dead and your life is hidden with Christ in God. That which you had taken by faith has now become reality.

We will not go further in Chapter Twelve of the Book of Revelation and discuss the persecution of the Church and the war in Heaven because our object is to describe the two purposes of the latter-rain outpouring.

In order to bring Christ to maturity in the saints we must have more of the Glory of God.

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: (John 17:22)

The Divine Glory, which always is Christ, will come to us as the latter rain, if we follow on to know the Lord.

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)

"He (Christ) shall come unto us."

We shall have the double portion, the rain of the Book of Acts and the harvest rain—all in the first month, that is, at the time of the dawning of the Day of the Lord. The Blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the feast of Tabernacles all took place in the first month of the Jewish calendar, the calendar that is observed today.

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)

Now will the Lord Jesus be great. Now will the Lord crush His enemies and bring in everlasting righteousness. Now will righteousness, peace, and joy come to the whole earth.

Therefore will he give them up, until the time she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. (Micah 5:3,4)

Conclusion

There were two sets of rings directly over the veil that separated the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place, in the Tabernacle of the Congregation.

And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle. (Exodus 26:6)

And thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and put the taches into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one. (Exodus 26:11)

The fifty gold rings coupled the linen curtains. The fifty bronze rings coupled the goats’ hair curtains.

Two sets of fifty rings were positioned directly over the veil.

The Holy Place was 2,000 cubic cubits in volume, symbolizing the two thousand years of the Church Age.

The Most Holy Place was 1,000 cubic cubits in volume, symbolizing the one thousand years of the Kingdom Age.

The veil portrays the division between the Church Age and the Kingdom Age.

The number fifty speaks of Pentecost.

The two sets of fifty refers to a double portion of Pentecost.

Gold represents Divinity.

Bronze represents judgment.

The two sets of rings, one gold set and one bronze set positioned over the division between the Church Age and the Kingdom Age is saying at the end of the Church Age there will be a tremendous outpouring of the Holy Spirit, a double Pentecost, that will contain in itself both Divine Glory and Divine judgment. Zion will be redeemed with judgment and her converts with righteousness.

We are living in the greatest days of all. Looming up before us is the Kingdom Age, and then a new world of righteousness in which every day will be more marvelous than the preceding.

It also is true that our present environment is becoming a garbage dump of lust and violence. Close at hand is an age of moral horrors that will test the resolve of the most fervent saints.

The Lord God of Heaven is about to pour on us the double portion of His Spirit. A true witness of the Kingdom of God shall be borne. Multitudes shall be converted.

However, the most important aspect of the end-time revival will be the coming to maturity of Christ in the saints. It is this maturing of Christ that holds the promise of better things to come.

Revivals come and go. Meanwhile the Body of Christ, the Servant of the Lord, is being formed. When the Body has come to the required maturity the Lord Jesus will appear in and with His Body. Then wickedness shall be driven from the earth and the inhabitants will learn righteousness. The effect of righteousness will be peace, joy, quietness, security, and every other good and desirable feature.

Kingdom shall rise against kingdom; nation against nation. There shall be floods, famines, earthquakes, plagues—every conceivable sorrow and disaster until mankind is shaking its fist in the face of God.

We of God’s elect are to lift up our heads because our redemption is at hand. Our redemption includes the clothing of our body with incorruptible, resurrection life. Then we shall appear on Mount Zion with the Lord Jesus, ready to bring the Holy Spirit to those of mankind who will receive Christ.

As always, God has kept the good wine until now. Let us dance with the Lord Jesus at midnight on waters of unfathomable depth. He has guarded us to this point. He shall guard us throughout all that comes to pass until we stand in complete victory with Him, surveying a world which we are destined to bring into the freedom that accompanies the glory of the children of God.