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The Latter Rain Is Falling! (Are you receiving it?)

Sincere Christians have anticipated with longing the “Latter Rain,” or the promised “refreshing” of the Holy Spirit that they expect will get them ready to give the Loud Cry just before the return of Yahushua to set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. An overlooked verse in Deuteronomy reveals that the “Latter Rain” is quite different than what has been expected and it is already being poured out!

The Iroquois Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, in December 1903

The Iroquois Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, in December 1903.

When the Iroquois Theatre opened on November 23, 1903, it was widely exalted as an example of what theaters should be. The location, near the police-patrolled Loop shopping district, was very safe. The Chicago Daily News trumpeted: “No theater anywhere is handsomer than the Iroquois. Except L’Opera in Paris, no theater I ever saw is so resplendently spirited in architecture.”1 The Chicago Tribune was even more effusive in its praise, declaring:

A playhouse so splendid in its every appointment, so beautiful in its every part, so magnificent and yet so comfortable, Chicago has heretofore not been able to call its own. The Iroquois is certainly unrivaled in perfection among the regular amusement places of the west, and it is doubtful if the east can boast more than one or two houses that are its equal.2

Advertisements and playbills lauded the building as “Absolutely Fireproof.”3

Thirty-eight days later, on December 30, the theater was filled to capacity. An estimated 2,100-2,200 people squeezed in for a matinee performance. At least 200 patrons—mostly women and children—had no seats but were allowed to stand in the back and sit in the aisles.

Shortly into the second act, a muslin curtain caught fire. Within two minutes, the entire fly gallery above the stage was engulfed in flames. Eddie Foy, an actor in the play, tried to prevent a dangerous stampede of the audience by encouraging, “Keep your seats. It is nothing. It will be out in a minute. Play, Dillea, play!”4 Musical director, Joseph Dillea, followed Foy’s advice and played on.

The Iroquois Theatre fire aftermath (Chicago, Illinois)

Bodies were piled 10 feet deep inside doorways locked, or insufficient for the mass of people pressing behind.

Over 600 people died as a result of the fire, most within minutes.

This one tragedy in an “Absolutely Fireproof” building—a fire that was dismissed as “Nothing. It will be out in a minute”—remains the deadliest single-building fire as well as the deadliest theater fire in US history.

The theatergoers, hearing the fire dismissed as nothing more than a minor inconvenience, had no idea that, even as they sat listening to the orchestra play, flames were racing ever closer, hungrily devouring everything in their path. They expected a pleasurable conclusion to a pleasant outing. They expected to return home in a couple hours time.

The reality was events were already occurring which would prevent hundreds from ever realizing their expectations.

The somber truth is that this very same scenario is being repeated today, but this time, much more is at stake: the eternal salvation of multitudes.

The Early Rain

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was a spiritual event of stupendous significance.

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. (Acts 2:1-4, KJV)

The tremendous gift of the Holy Spirit poured out without measure, provided the impetuous, the power, to enable the early believers to take the gospel message to the known world in a single generation. This was the arrival of the promised “Comforter” and it was poured out as the “early rain.”

What is even more precious to believers today, is the discovery of a text in the Old Testament that promises a repeat of this gift, only this time, in “latter rain” power. “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in Yahuwah your Eloah: 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, KJV)

Precious promise! An outpouring of the Holy Spirit to purify the soul and life, to get a people ready to meet Yahushua in the skies and give them power to take the last warning message to the world. Many believers look to this promised event with longing. They yearn for purification. They want to cooperate with Heaven in taking the Loud Cry (last warning) to the world, and they pray for Yahuwah to send the latter rain to prepare them for earth’s closing scenes.

Tragically, many are making the exact same mistake the people made at the Iroquois Theater, as they settled back in their seats and calmly listened to the music, fully expecting to return home after the performance. They are putting the expected latter rain off to the future while, at this very moment, events are transpiring that can very well prevent them from taking their expected journey home to Heaven.

To understand why this confusion has occurred, it is necessary to understand what the early and latter rains in Palestine were, and what they are when used as symbols.

Rainstorms

I grew up in the gently rolling hills of wheat country. It was very dry and arid. Annual precipitation was about 20 inches (50 cm.), mostly from fall and spring rains and winter snows. The farmers had perfected the art of dry land farming. They would plant winter wheat in the autumn. It would sprout and begin to grow. When winter came, the young wheat would wait, protected from severe cold under a sheltering blanket of snow. When the spring rains fell, the wheat grew to maturity quickly. It then dried out under the hot summer sun before being harvested in July.

dry land wheat farming (Image used by permission of Michael Brandt Photography)

Dry land wheat farming is very similar to the unirrigated farming practices of Israelite farmers in ancient Palestine.

(Image used by permission of Michael Brandt Photography.)

This yearly cycle was similar, in many ways, to how grain was grown in the arid climes of Palestine. Farmers planted in the fall. They harvested barley in the spring and wheat in the summer. Israelite farmers were dependent upon two rainy seasons to grow their crops. The “early rain” fell shortly after planting in the fall. This sprouted the grains and began their growth.

The “latter rain” fell at the end of the growth cycle, in the spring, and brought the grains to maturity. The latter rain insured a bountiful harvest.

It is not surprising that the Spirit of Inspiration would choose to use the early and latter rains as symbols of the spiritual growth and maturation of believers at Pentecost and, again, just before Yahushua’s return.

Yes, but…what is it?

So…the latter rain is the Holy Spirit. But what, specifically, does that mean? How does it get the believer ready for Heaven?

The answer to this question reveals a thrilling truth: the latter rain has already started! It is being poured out now!

Yahushua explained the special work of the Holy Spirit, stating:

The Latter Rain Is Falling! (Are you receiving it?)

I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

 

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

 

Of sin, because they believe not on me;

 

Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

 

Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

 

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

 

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

 

He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (John 16:7-14, KJV)

The Holy Spirit is given to instruct! To educate the humble learner in the truths of Heaven. The “latter rain,” then, is advanced truth!

This fact is established by two important verses, hidden in the book of Deuteronomy: “Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of My mouth. My doctrine 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.” (Deuteronomy 32:1-2, KJV)

The latter rain is doctrine. It is new light! To stand in the sight of a holy Yah without a mediator requires the restoration of truths long hidden. Truths buried under layers of ignorance, superstition and man-made traditions are restored under the life-giving showers of the latter rain.

And this is already happening!

Increasing Light

Those who cling to old customs and hoary errors have lost sight of the fact that light is ever increasing upon the path of all who follow [Yahushua]; truth is constantly unfolding to the people of [Yah]. We must be continually advancing if we are following our Leader. It is when we walk in the light that shines upon us, obeying the truth that is open to our understanding, that we receive greater light. We cannot be excusable in accepting only the light which our fathers had one hundred years ago. If our God-fearing fathers had seen what we see, and heard what we hear, they would have accepted the light, and walked in it. If we desire to imitate their faithfulness, we must receive the truths open to us, as they received those presented to them; we must do as they would have done, had they lived in our day.5

Increased light is a tremendous gift. Yahuwah empowers His children by gifting them with ever increasing knowledge, wisdom and comprehension of the deep things of Yah. Infinite love is demonstrated by not withholding any truth, which when accepted, will strengthen and equip the soul on its earthly journey. When His people hunger and thirst for His rays of light, the Father never disappoints them.

“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.” (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 507.)

 

Yahushua declared, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6, KJV) Yahuwah rewards those who diligently seek for greater light. Those who value and follow truth, regardless of the cost, will reap rich spiritual rewards in this life, and still greater recompense in the life to come. Yahuwah deepens their love for truth with new rays of light from His throne of grace.

Such tremendous spiritual gifts, however, bring with them tremendous spiritual responsibility. Yes, to share with others what has been learned, but also to continue in the path of seeking ever-increasing light. For far too long have the Christian churches been content with the light they already have. The Roman Catholic Church, the oldest of the organized denominations, boasts of it’s aged traditions and bases many of its doctrines on nothing other than the “teachings of the church fathers.” How does this differ from the Rabbinical “sayings of the elders” that Yahushua so soundly denounced?

The denominations that arose out of the Protestant Reformation embraced the precious rays of Heavenly light on the priesthood of all believers, righteousness by faith, adult baptism by immersion and others but then they stalled. The second and third generations of Protestants were content with the light gained by their parents and grandparents. They did not continue to seek more truth.

“Many of the professed teachers of the people are perfectly content to set their stakes and make no advancement themselves, and they are much disturbed when others are induced to seek for truth. When new light is presented, they feel as the Pharisees felt when Christ came with new light for the Jewish nation. They want to stop the increase of light. They not only refuse to search the Scriptures for themselves, but they do all in their power to prevent others from searching.” (Review & Herald, June 29, 1886.)

Likewise, the various post-Protestant Reformation denominations that arose in the 19th century progressed beyond what the Protestant reformers accepted as truth. The Seventh-day Baptists accepted the seventh-day Sabbath and shared it with the Seventh-day Adventists. The Mormons embraced healthful living. The Jehovah’s Witnesses sought for Yahuwah’s true name and rejected all the pagan holidays. In addition to accepting the seventh-day Sabbath and the health message, Seventh-day Adventists studied out the vast truths of the sanctuary and the lessons it has to teach about the plan of salvation.

But…

But every single one of those denominations has repeated the mistakes of the past and they, too, have stalled. They have not continued to advance in the light.

To receive new and deeper light, each truth seeker must step free of every man-made tradition. He or she must lay aside every preconceived assumption and be willing to obey whatever the Holy Spirit reveals as truth.

Lay at the door of investigation your preconceived opinions and your hereditary and cultivated ideas. You will never reach the truth if you search the Scriptures to vindicate your own ideas. Leave these at the door, and with a contrite heart go in to hear what [Yahuwah] has to say…

 

Do not carry your creed to the Bible and read the Word in the light of your former opinions. Do not try to make everything agree with your creed. Search the Word carefully and prayerfully with a mind free from prejudice. If as you read conviction comes, and you see that your most cherished opinions are not in harmony with the Word, do not try to make the Word fit these opinions. Make your opinions fit the Word. Do not allow what you have believed or practiced in the past to control your understanding. Open the eyes of your mind to behold wondrous things out of the law. Find out what is written, and then plant your feet on the eternal Rock.6

Only by doing this, is it possible to rise above ingrained prejudices and follow truth wherever it leads.

To meet the need left by the failures of the churches to follow advancing light, various independent ministries have been raised up to spread Heaven’s truths. These ministries have faithfully shared the light given them, but almost without exception, they have chosen to cling to their one ray of light, refusing to follow on and study out still more truth. Worse, like the various denominations before them, most independent ministries have taught their followers to reject any light beyond what they already have.

This is a great tragedy. It is also a great danger to the souls of those who reject advanced light. Heaven’s truths are to be diligently sought for! They are to be carefully studied and eagerly accepted. Not a single gem, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, is to be carelessly laid aside or discarded. All are to be gathered together, cherished, and obeyed.

It is the responsibility of every true believer to: 1) search for truth; 2) accept the truth given; and, 3) live a life in conformity to revealed light.


Sanctified Through Obedience

“Light” is truth. But more than that, it is the evidence of truth, brought home to the intellect, and lived out in a life of obedience. A mere intellectual assent will never save anyone. The devils acknowledge the power of Yahuwah and tremble, but continuing in rebellion, the truth does not save them. To be fully accepted, truth must be obeyed and it is when the heart determines to obey that the Spirit of Truth sanctifies the soul.

Paul praised Yahuwah for this very truth: “But we are bound to give thanks alway to [Yahuwah] for you, brethren beloved of [Yahushua], because [Yah] hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13, KJV)

The word here translated “belief” in English is quite passive. In Arabic, it is the more active word believing. It is the action of believing (with its accompanying obedience) that sanctifies. Not a passive mental assent. The word comes from the Hebrew pis’tis (#4102) which means conviction, persuasion and assurance.

The soul is sanctified through obedience. This is an extremely important point. New concepts, acted upon, become foundational principles. These foundational principles, in turn, become part of the attitudes and beliefs of the individual. The attitudes and beliefs form the thoughts and feelings. And it is the thoughts and feelings that form the character.

Character is the only thing we take to Heaven. No one can risk shunning the smallest ray of light, because each one lays the foundation for still greater light, that is to lead to obedience and sanctify the soul. Even the first step back from fully embracing truth puts the soul at risk.

Hardened Through Disobedience

The history of the Israelite nation is a solemn warning to believers today. It reveals the dire consequences of closing the heart to advancing light. The very first step the Israelites took in rejecting the Saviour was a dangerous one as it established a precedent of rejecting truth. Later, as reports of His great wisdom, His superior character, the miracles He performed came in, the conviction took hold that Yahushua was indeed the long awaited Messiah. But fallen human nature being what it is, pride would not let the leaders admit to having made a mistake. The leaders then influenced the rest of the nation to reject the Saviour and the people were too proud to admit they had placed their faith in leaders that were wrong. 

wheat field (Image used by permission of James Richman)

The latter rain is given to get hearts ready for the harvest. Only those who accept this advanced light will reach the level of full maturity in Yahushua.

(Image used by permission of James Richman.)

Every sincere truth seeker should be aware that this same scenario is being repeated today. Church members are presented with new light and, far too often, their first reaction is to run to their pastor, priest or rabbi, eagerly inquiring, “Is this true?”

Religious leaders are well aware that the new light contradicts some established doctrine of the organization that pays their salary. It is in their best interests to reject all new light, and they do. This author is personally acquainted with a handful of Seventh-day Adventist pastors who are convicted that the lunar Sabbath is true, but they do not teach it to their congregations. They stay silent. They continue to draw a pay check from an organization that has taken a stance against this increased light. This is repeated every time someone makes another human being the final authority on what is truth.

Why are these people asking man and not Yahuwah? The Father has graciously invited all to come to Him for wisdom: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of Yah, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5, KJV)

Like the Pharisees of Yahushua’s day, the religious leaders of today take great pride in their learning. They have been to seminary! They have studied Hebrew and Biblical Greek. They have read scholastic works that the average person has never even heard of! They take it for granted that they have superior knowledge and feel indignant at the possibility that some of their beliefs may be in error.

Thus, pride steps in and they feel contempt for anyone who would suggest they might have a more advanced grasp of truth than the leaders themselves. They dismiss the evidence offered with, at times spurious, at times confusing, arguments. The leaders themselves do not study with open minds because it is in their personal best interests to support the status quo. By their example, they lead the masses to doubt any new light and encourage suspicion of anyone who would dare to question.

When additional evidence reaches the mind of the religious leaders and they are convinced of the truth, they still do not admit it to their followers. All the evidence in the world is not sufficient to break through hardened pride. They stubbornly maintain their course, refusing to admit that they were wrong.

There is danger that when [Yahuwah] shall send his people special light, they will also place themselves on the side of the Pharisees. But let not one of the people who have had advanced light, take the position that they have all the light that is to be revealed for all time, and that there are no further rays to shine upon their pathway from the word of [Yah]. The more our people search the Scriptures, the more will be revealed the rich and precious gems of truth. Will those who have felt the spirit of oppression from their brethren in the churches, do that which they condemn in others? Will they do as did the self-righteous Pharisees? Will they meet argument with ridicule, jest, and sarcasm? Will they say of the light-bearer as the Pharisees did of the world’s Redeemer, “He hath a devil”? Will they be ready to forbid his message, “because he followeth not with us”? Will the messenger whom [Yahuwah] shall send with special light be treated with ridicule and contempt, as Paul was treated by the heathen, who said, “Let us hear what this babbler hath to say”?7

Rejoicing In The Light


When you go to Yahuwah for yourself, He will teach you individually. It is not necessary to ask the opinions of religious leaders. Truths learned this way become very precious. When Yahuwah is your teacher, He will settle you into the truth so that nothing can shake your faith.

It is very faith-inspiring to look back over the experiences Yahuwah has led through, the truths He has taught.

wheat field at sunsetThe WLC team is no different from you. We are simply a group of humble believers, scattered around the world, who love Yahuwah and who have a burning desire to share truth as it is brought to our awareness. This has sometimes required a public confession of past error. But truth is so precious it is always worth it! We never wish to allow pride to keep us from acknowledging past mistakes. Truth alone matters.

With every acceptance of advanced light, more truth is given as the refreshing showers of the latter rain bring ever more truth. It is these very truths that prepare souls for the harvest at the end of the world.

This journey began in 2000 for the WLC team when we became convicted of the need to flee all fallen and apostate organizations. After resolving to follow Yahushua and Yahushua alone, the Father has rained upon us His heavenly showers generously and continuously in the following chronological order:

Year 2002:

Year 2005:

Year 2006:

Year 2009:

Year 2010:

Year 2011:

Year 2012:

Year 2013:

Year 2015:

Year 2016:

Accepting Light, Discarding Error

New light is not something to fear or dread. It is a tremendous gift! Every ray of new light also reveals error. Accepted with gratitude and brought into the life through obedience, it prepares the heart for Heaven.

Pray for new light. Search diligently for it, as for hidden gems. There is no better proof that Yahuwah is leading you than that He is still teaching you His doctrine.

Examine your own heart. What new light have you received? Is there light that you rejected? Are you sure that it was error you rejected and not light? Go back and restudy. Studying with an open mind means that you consider all the evidence with a heart willing to obey if the Holy Spirit convicts you that it is truth. Make sure that you have accepted all the light available and plead for more.

The latter rain is being poured out. The wealth of information and truth now available is unprecedented in the long centuries of spiritual darkness that enshrouded the world. This new light is of the utmost importance to your soul because it is this light that is preparing you to meet Yahushua in peace when He comes.

And He is almost here!

sunset on a beautiful mountain horizon (Image used by permission of James Richman) 

The rays of eternal dawn are even now glowing on the horizon. Accept with joy and gratitude the new doctrines Yahuwah is pouring out and get ready for Heaven.

(Image used by permission of James Richman.)


1 Amy Leslie, quoted in Chicago Death Trap: The Iroquois Theatre Fire of 1903, by Nat Brandt, p. 25.

2 W. H. Hubbard, ibid.

3 Brandt, p. 5.

4 Christopher Cerf, The Experts Speak, p. 247.

5 Ellen G. White, Historical Sketches, p. 197.

6 Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, No. 209, pp. 431-432.

7 The Home Missionary, September 1, 1894.