Understanding The Former and Latter Rain
Zechariah 10:1 (LITV): Ask rain from Jehovah in the time of the latter rain.
Jehovah shall make lightnings. And He gives them showers of rain, grass to each man in the field.
Here the scripture tells us to ask for rain in the time of the latter. What is this rain and when is the time of the latter rain?
Rain is the power of God that is released in response to the teaching of God’s Word:
Deuteronomy 32:2 (ESV): May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb.
Isaiah 55:10-11 (ESV): “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, (11) so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Luke 5:17 (KJVR): And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
1 Corinthians 2:4 (KJVR): And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
The former rain was and still is the release of the ‘earnest’ (Eph 1.14) of the power of the Holy Spirit in response to the teaching of the Word of God concerning the foundational principles of the faith: the new birth, baptism of the Holy Spirit, healing, deliverance and material prosperity.
The former rain was poured out on the day of Pentecost and is still being poured out today. In the natural the latter rain is much heavier than the former rain. The former rain is to soften the ground to plant the seed; the latter rain is to ripen the fruit inside the ground to bring in the harvest.
Spiritually the former rain of Pentecost (Act. 2.4) was and is to soften men’s hearts to get them born-again and filled with the Holy Spirit: and this has been accomplished both in the early church and today.
However the latter rain of Tabernacles is to enable us to grow and be established in the perfection and fullness of Christ:
Ephesians 4:11-15 LITV And indeed He gave some to be apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; (12) with a view to the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ, (13) until we all may come to the unity of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, (14) so that we may no longer be infants, being blown and carried about by every wind of doctrine, in the sleight of men, in craftiness to the deceit of error, (15) but speaking the truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, the Christ,
The church has experienced the former rain but we are yet to experience the latter rain that will produce the manifestation of perfection and fullness of Christ with the consequent release of the power of the Holy Spirit without measure enabling us to do the works Jesus did and greater:
John 3:34 ESV For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.
John 14:12 ESV “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
This will cause us to reap the full harvest of the discipleship of every tribe, tongue and kindred on the earth and thus bring a close to this dispensation:
Isaiah 60:1-5 ESV Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. (2) For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. (3) And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (4) Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip. (5) Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
Matthew 24:14 ESV And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
In our article next week we will see how to pray for the latter rain.