Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21; Acts 3:19-20
What do the former and latter rains mean? The former rain refers to the initial rain that is needed for seeds to grow while the latter rain refers to the rain that comes just before the sickle is applied to the harvest. In other words, the latter rain comes to ripen the plant and prepare it for its harvest. This process/concept is well understood in agriculture and often used in the Bible, but has even deeper spiritual meaning for us. 🤓
The former rain refers to the time of and since the pentecost, when the apostles received the holy spirit’s power to commence a strong revival work for God all across the world. The apostles had prepared themselves for it and were deemed ready by God when the spirit descended. We are still living in the time of the former rain, a time of grace, cleansing of mind, growth and preparation, while anticipating the time of the latter rain.
The latter rain happens at a future time (which is near) before the second coming of Jesus. The holy spirit’s power will descend on God’s children in even stronger measure, to prepare those in whom the work of the former rain has been perfected, to prepare them for the imminent coming of Christ.
Remember that without holiness, no-one can see God (Heb 12:14). Only the power of the holy spirit can make us truly ripe and ready to be translated to see God. We need to do our part to prepare to receive the latter rain, God’s spirit, in even greater measure, as it will strengthen and enable us to make it to the finish line. 🏃🏾♂️🏃🏾♀️
- Just like the apostles had to prepare themselves spiritually before they received the former rain, we are to be preparing ourselves now to receive the latter rain which would come just before the second coming of Christ, just before the difficult end time seven plagues spoken of in revelation. Joel 2:28-32 clarifies this. As the Israelites were spared in Egypt from the plagues by sealing/marking their doors with blood, so God’s children will be spared from the seven last plagues by receiving the seal of God through the latter rain holy spirit (Eph 4:30; Rev 7:3). 🙌🏾
- Just as we saw the power of the holy spirit move in the lives of the apostles, strengthening them to go to all corners of the world to preach the good news, perform miracles, appear and disappear (like Phillip in Acts 8:39 and Elijah in 1 Kings 18:12), miraculously speak in new languages (which is the primary essence of speaking in tongues), and have great resilience despite the difficult trials they faced – so the holy spirit will manifest itself again in the end times in the lives of those who have prepared themselves to receive its power!
This is really great news for God’s children but we have our work cut out for us. We need to be preparing now for the time of the latter rain, lest we be like the sleeping brides of Matt 25:1-13 as we know not the day or the hour. 🙏🏾