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
"Where is the promise of His
coming?" cries the scoffer of 2 Peter. "Be patient," says James, "the
coming of the Lord draweth nigh." But it may be some time yet, he warns. You will
need the patience of an Israeli farmer, waiting for both the early and latter rains before
he can harvest the fruit of the earth
God is the Israeli farmer of
James 5:7, just as He is the farmer, or husbandman, of so many other parables in the
Bible. He has done a stint as the sower gone forth to sow, and now He is waiting for the
harvest. Don't worry, He will not turn His attention elsewhere until the full harvest is
in. He will surely come back to His field.
The key to understanding many of the
mysteries of the end-times is the harvest. Jesus will not return until the harvest is
completely in. He declared in Matthew 24:14 that the Gospel must be preached in all the
world before the end can come. Peter tells us that the Lord, who is willing that none
should perish, is only tarrying until more people be brought to salvation in Christ Jesus,
(2 Peter 3:9,15). Jesus will not come again, the Heavenly Husbandman will not call for the
reapers, until the crop is fully ripe and ready. He is not willing to miss even one ear of
corn by beginning the harvest even a few days early.
But James is telling us even more than
this. He is prophesying of the great revival which is to come upon the earth in the last
days. This, to me, is the most exciting aspect of end-time prophecy. Let others wail and
whine about the antichrist, and the ominous growth of the occult, and even its entrance
into the ranks of the believers. So what's new? The professing church has always been full
of the doctrines of devils. Apostasy, Nicolaitanism, Jezebelism, Laodiceanism, have all
been around since the First Century. The church, except for the remnant involved in the
latest revival, has always been in the process of backsliding. I'm looking forward to the
James says it's going to be exciting. He
reminds us of Joel's prophecy of the early and latter rain. You see, the rainy cycle of
Israel is a prophetic type of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the harvest of souls
associated with true revivals. In late October, the early rain comes. It is called
or "the pourer." It gives the young seedlings their first spurt of growth to
really start them on the way to maturity. The rainy season follows, a time of relatively
steady, but not heavy rains. Finally, in late March or April, the latter rain comes. The
Hebrews called it "malqoesh" or the "harvest rain." It was much
heavier than the early rain, and compared to the rainy season, it was a veritable deluge.
The crops grew by leaps and bounds during this time, and the harvest immediately followed.
Prophetically speaking, the early rain
corresponds to Pentecost and the First Century Church. The Apostle Peter stood up in Acts
chapter two and declared that "this is that" which was spoken of in Joel chapter
two, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh, the throwing wide of Heaven's
gates, and the invitation for all to call upon the name of the Lord, be saved, and partake
of the powers of the world to come.
Now look a little closer at Joel chapter
two. Verse twenty-three says, "Be glad then... 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." He has promised
both the former rain and the latter rain to us. In order to understand the prophetic
implication of these spiritual downpours, let's compare the history of the church since
Pentecost with Israel's rainy cycle...
Pentecost was the early rain, the
"pourer," at the beginning of the last age of the world, the church age. The
rainy season followed, the church grew and spread, revivals (showers) came now and again,
but they were nothing like the original outpouring of Pentecost. At times, pests multiplied
(the palmerworms, locusts, cankerworms, etc. mentioned in Joel chapter one) and the crop
languished, dried up, and nearly perished. But in more recent times God has been restoring
the years that the devourers have eaten (Joel 2:25), by gradually returning us to a more
biblical understanding of the church and its role.
What's next on the calendar? The latter
rain, Hallelujah! What's it going to be like? Joel says it's going to make Pentecost and
the Book of Acts look "moderate," or tame, by comparison! And compared to the
revivals of church history... well, there just is no comparison between the light showers
of the rainy season and the tremendous downpour of the harvest rain. The Wesleyan Revival,
the Great Awakening, the ministry of Charles Finney, will seem as nothing compared to the
scope and magnitude of the Latter Rain Revival. We have yet to see the greatest outpouring
of the Holy Spirit the world has ever experienced.
Joel goes on to say, "and the
floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil," (verse
24). Can there be any mistake as to the interpretation? The wheat is the church, souls
saved, as in the parables of the sower; the wine and oil represent the joy and healing of
the Holy Spirit, as they always do in scripture.
Is it any wonder why I'm not upset
about the devil's doings in the last days? I'm too excited about God's doings! Oh, I know
that the enemy has unleashed his deceiving spirits as never before; I'm not blinding
myself to the facts with some kind of silly positivism. Joel mentions the
cankerworm and the palmerworm, too, but their effect will be greatly overshadowed by the
powerful effects of the latter rain. And those sincere believers who were momentarily
lured away by the enemy's counterfeits, may very well be drawn back into the fold by the
Great Shepherd in that day when He puts forth His final, mighty effort to draw this erring
world to Himself. The floors will be full of wheat, and the oil and wine shall flow freely
in that day!
The Testimony of Other Biblical Writers
Is this mentioned elsewhere in the
Bible? Of course. It is a recurring theme in Isaiah. Read chapters forty-nine and sixty,
especially. Just when things are looking their bleakest and when it seems the church has
labored in vain... just when the darkness is deepest upon the face of the earth... then
the Glory of the Lord will arise upon His remnant. The nations shall come by the droves to
be saved, multitudes shall flock to the light of Jesus Christ. The saints of God will fear
and tremble as they see the magnitude of it. Even those long familiar with Him never
expected anything like this--a fresh sense of awe shall grip their hearts..
Daniel saw it, too. In the last days, when the
very abomination of desolation is on the scene, he spoke of the people that know their God
performing great exploits, (Dan. 11:32). The Latter Rain Revival is the major theme of
Habakkuk. "Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously; for I
will work a work in your days which you will not believe, though it be told you,"
"though it tarry, wait for it... for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of
the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea," (Hab 1:5, 2:3,14).
Zechariah chapter four and
Revelation chapter ten speak of the two anointed ones that turn the world upside-down in
the end-times. They are two literal men, and perhaps symbolic men, too, representing the
twofold composition of God's army in those days, Jew and Gentile. The theme and rallying
cry of this people is, "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the
Lord of Hosts!"
Then there is Matthew 24, which we've
already referenced--the Lord's discourse to His disciples on the subject of the last days.
False prophets will arise, He says, and persecutions will take place, iniquity will
abound, and Christians will be hated of all nations, but, nevertheless, "this
gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations;
and then shall the end come," (Matt 24:14).
This Gospel shall be preached! Every
nation, every tongue, and every tribe will have opportunity to hear the Good News before
the end comes, before Jesus returns to this earth. No longer will there be
multitude of some two or more billion who have not heard, as is the case today. They
shall hear, and they shall respond as well, and that multitude shall soon be found
standing before the throne of God, clothed in white robes as they lift up their voices in
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great
multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and
tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms
in their hands;
Brothers and sisters, I believe the
latter rain has already begun. In the last decade we have seen a greater influx of new
people into the Kingdom of God than ever before. The Holy Spirit has been poured out in
places that once seemed totally impossible, from staid, old denominations that have
resisted Him for centuries to darkest Africa, from tribal areas to the slums of the
world's darkest cities. The harvest rain has started to fall. God is beginning to equip
and send out a mighty army of laborers to go into the fields in this hour.
Even as the
many missionary doors of the
world seem to be closing, the Lord is opening a few of His own--doors that no man can
shut. A fire has been kindled, and is even now spreading across the fields of the world.
Every nation will be shaken to its very roots, no matter how successfully it has resisted
in times past. Godless governments will fuss and fume, instituting persecutions of various
kinds, but they will be unable to stop this move of the Holy Spirit. You may as well try
to stop the fury of a hurricane, as lift up your hand against the Latter Rain.
Hallelujah! This is what the apostles
and prophets and revivalists of the past have been looking forward to since the days of
the Old Testament! And it's upon us today! Let's make sure we are completely involved in
it, that we don't miss a thing. Let's get out there and get good and wet in the Latter
(all Scripture quotations are from the King James
Copyright © 1998 Kim
Harrington, Masterbuilder Ministries