Lesson 10 – The Dew, the Early And the Latter Rain

////Lesson 10 – The Dew, the Early And the Latter Rain
Lesson 10 – The Dew, the Early And the Latter Rain2016-11-27T17:37:11+00:00

Sabbath, June 5, 2004

INTRODUCTION

“As you receive the Spirit of Christ–the Spirit of unselfish love and labor for others–you will grow and bring forth fruit. The graces of the Spirit will ripen in your character. Your faith will increase, your convictions deepen, your love be made perfect. More and more you will reflect the likeness of Christ in all that is pure, noble, and lovely.” – Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 68.

OBJECTIVES

• To understand the main purpose of the influence of the Holy Spirit in the Christian growth.
• To grasp some of its effects through the representation of natural phenomena.
• To recognize the great need of the Holy Spirit to prepare us as a people for the latter rain, and the world for the final harvest of the gospel.
• To recognize the importance of prayer in order to receive spiritual gifts and use them wisely for the right purpose.

1. Through the use of which natural symbols does God show us the work of the Holy Spirit?
Deuteronomy 32:2 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:
Joel 2:23 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.
James 5:7, last part “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.”

“The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth.…

“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 perfection.

“There is to be ‘first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.’ There must be a constant development of Christian virtue, a constant advancement in Christian experience.” – Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 506.

THE DEW OF THE SPIRIT AND ITS EFFECTS

2. In order to grow spiritually, what must be done to help the seeds of the gospel germinate?
Deuteronomy 32:2 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:
Romans 8:23, last part “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

«The preaching of the word will be of no avail without the continual presence and aid of the Holy Spirit. This is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. Only when the truth is accompanied to the heart by the Spirit will it quicken the conscience or transform the life.… No amount of education, no advantages, however great, can make one a channel of light without the co-operation of the Spirit of God. The sowing of the gospel seed will not be a success unless the seed is quickened into life by the dew of heaven.» –The Desire of Ages, pp. 671, 672.

THE EARLY RAIN

3. Before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit could come to pass, what did the disciples do to prepare?
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

“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.” – Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 507.

4. What kind of assurance is given about the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Romans 8:14-16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

“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. To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church.” – The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 54, 55.

5. What does every believer who is baptized with the Holy Spirit receive as the early rain in order to be able to spread the gospel more effectively?
Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Ephesians 4:11,12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

“Just prior to His leaving His disciples for the heavenly courts, Jesus encouraged them with the promise of the Holy Spirit. This promise belongs as much to us as it did to them, and yet how rarely it is presented before the people, and its reception spoken of in the church. In consequence of this silence upon this most important theme, what promise do we know less about by its practical fulfillment than this rich promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, whereby efficiency is to be given to all our spiritual labor?” – Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 174.

THE LATTER RAIN

6. As we are living in the time of the latter rain, what kind of experience can we expect from the Holy Spirit?
Acts 1:8 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.
Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

“As the ‘former rain’ was given, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the opening of the gospel, to cause the upspringing of the precious seed,so the ‘latter rain’ will be given at its close for the ripening of the harvest.

‘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.… ‘In the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh.’ ‘And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Acts 2:17, 21.

“The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close.” – The Great Controversy, pp. 611, 612.

7. Can we receive the latter rain without receiving the former rain only because we live in the time of the latter rain?
Joel 2:23 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.

“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 perfection.
“There is to be ‘first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.’…

“Many have in a great measure failed to receive the former rain. They have not obtained all the benefits that God has thus provided for them. They expect that the lack will be supplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance of grace shall be bestowed, they intend to open their hearts to receive it. They are making a terrible mistake.” – Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, pp. 506, 507.

FOR MEDITATION

• Have you been able to witness the Holy Spirit in your spiritual growth?
• Considering the experiences you have made with the Lord, do you remember when you received the first fruits of the Spirit?
• Are you already using the received spiritual gifts for the progress of the gospel, in order to make them develop?
• What do you think may be done in order to prepare the church for the latter rain?