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Preparing for Rain

Mark Howard


The gospel message will climax in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in “Latter Rain” power, but we are warned that the Spirit “may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it.” This message will focus on the “Loud Cry” and how we can be ready for it.


Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism




  • October 22, 2016
    7:00 PM


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Bothered heaven I do thank you for your holy Sabbath day. Lord I thank you for those who are here. I pray Lord that the Holy Spirit would be present to give us understanding and spiritual things. Lord we need your spirit more than ever and we're going to be talking about this that the See evening so I pray that the Holy Spirit be present to give us an understanding of spiritual things. As we've never had it before for asking prayed in Jesus name Amen. We've been talking about the three angels messages. And I go to the next slide please. This statement I've used in each presentation. There are a number of statements that are similar to this but I've just narrowed it down. I think that told you the other night and some of you were not here for that but those who were I don't know which one it was. I tend to I tend to be tempted to be very thorough with things and so it's hard for me sometimes to know what to narrow down and cut out because it's like OK I'm preparing the notes and while this is a good statement this one and this one. And let's do all of them. And so I've cut out and I narrowed it down to this particular one from testimonies Volume nine page nineteen says in a special sense seven the administers have been set in the world as watchman and the light bearers to them has been intrusted the what the last warning for a perishing world on them is shining notice folks it isn't entrusted to anybody but us. And you'll hear different you'll say you know all Christians are preaching. No they're not all preaching it because God did not intrust the message to all Christians I'm not denouncing I'm not denigrating other Christians I'm saying there are things God has entrusted to us that he did not entrust to somebody else. If I put a note in your hand and tell you to take it to somebody. I'm not telling you you're better than the person you're taking it to but the fact remains that the notes in your hand. And this note from God is in our hand to them has been a trust of the last. Mourning for a perishing world on them a shining wonderful light from the Word of God They have been given a work of the most solemn import the proclamation of the first second and third Angel's messages there is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention let's go to the next lie there. This is a portion of one I shared earlier and I want to highlight the part in yellow the light that Christ revealed to his servant the prophet is for us in His revelation are given the three angels messages and a description of the angel that was to come down from heaven with great power lightning the earth with his glorious share this this morning that angel that's being described as the angel we find in Revelation eighteen and what's being depicted there is what we call the loud cry of the third angel in the outpouring of the Latter Rain. And it when I read that in here I thought I could do we could do a whole I'm going to fight this this evening I could do a whole seminar on. The Holy Spirit in the latter rain but I didn't feel right. Excluding it from the three messages because of the way it's placed here and because if you understand it. Maybe you don't but you will by the end of this presentation that loud cry angel is something that joins itself or joins himself to the three angels to give the power to finish the work and we'll see what that means as we go on. But Ellen White brings it into this context. She says they're the three angels and a description of the angel that was to come down from heaven with great power lightning the earth with his glory the world has to be warned by the proclamation of this message that proclamation has to include this Fourth Angel or this other angel So you've got to know something about it. If you're going to share it with people. If we blanket it. If we hide our light under a bushel if we so. Dr ourselves that we cannot reach the people we are answerable to God for our failure to warn the world. Next slide please. Now I believe this which hall is it that I saw this in some of you know this isn't right. Hall Right and it's that's portrayed as here at Southern avin as universal as it not. And I was the first time I saw this picture. I was praising the Lord not tell you why. Seven They added a scholar just used to be understood as missionary colleges they were even a missionary colleges right. This used to be Southern missionary college Washington missionary college. Emmanuelle missionary college and so you don't get the wrong idea because people do all the time. Evan to say oh yeah we used to only train people for ministry wrong a missionary college meant when you went to school to be a nurse or an architect or whatever else you first and foremost you knew you were carrying the last message of mercy to a dying world and so when you went into your role as a doctor or as a nurse or as an architect you were going in kind of undercover you know because secretly you're going in and you're presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And so that's what this picture is portraying my Nathan green that's what he was capturing here's Jesus. Here's a man who looks like he's training for ministry. But behind him are all of these other students who are going into all different fields but Jesus is not sending one he's sending all of them and I don't want you to miss this I'm excited. You have this outreach coming up on in November and and I don't I don't want to take away from that but I want to comment on something that I'm concerned about. As a lot of work that we're doing a Seventh Day Adventist that is more for lack of a better expression social gospel work. We're going to meet the needs of people we're going to commit go into the communities we're going to feed them we're going to clothe them. Hey that's a good work. We should be doing it as Christians are going to tell you something that you may not be aware of. There are a lot of Seven day. Avenues that are using that to supplant the giving of the three messages. Why because it's kind of awkward to talk to somebody about this whole Sabbath thing in the Mark of the beast and try to prepare them for that it's much easier to give them a sandwich. And they're going to appreciate you. A lot more when you just give them a sandwich. Nobody's going to get offended at you because you gave them a sandwich. Even if it's not their favorite sandwich. But I want you to understand something. If that's all we do and I'm not saying we don't do it but if that's all we do at the end of the day all we have are a bunch of well fed. Well close people that are going to hell to be blunt. I know we don't believe in eternal burning hell but we still know it for inspiration there's a heaven to win and to hell to shine. There are people who are not going to make it so the warning message that we have I don't want you to think of it as an optional thing you know it's probably important I should get around to that is not getting around to it people will be lost if they don't hear the message we're coming to a time in earth's history where all humanity is going to be tested. In the one who I'm not it's not the hired guns who are doing that there's and it's not just the pastors who are the ones who are called to give the message a Seventh Day Adventists we understood that that's what we all are we're all the ministers of Jesus Christ to give this message and don't lose them. That's why I'm talking about the three angels messages these messages are essential nothing else should absorb our attention. So when we're going out and ministering to people's needs which we should. Don't lose the reality that somewhere in the mix and it's not the first time it's not the eyes first time I sit down with somebody. I'm going to roll out to in the twenty eight fundamentals the idea is that my I'm going to have an intention somewhere in that process. I've got to help them to understand the truth for this time. That's what we're called to do and when I talk about that calling something. That should flow right along as that other angel that Ellen White talks about because what that other Angel's pointing to is the gift of the Holy Spirit that was given to the church for just that purpose of finishing in fulfilling the commission of Jesus. You know we've talked about building character this week and we've talked about examining our own relationship with Jesus and we've talked about the decisions that we ought to be making as Christians but I really hope you understand. And if you don't understand yet by the end of tonight I hope you understand that there's not a single thing I've talked about that you can do on your own not a single thing unless we have the power of the Holy Spirit. Christianity is something that will never understand much less live. The reason the Spirit was given was to help spiritual people become a spiritual people. That's what it means to be spiritual the Holy Spirit comes in and transforms the life. And so when we're talking about living the Christian life which we should. We've got to remember the promise of the spirit in Jesus gave this promise to his disciples in a number of places I want you to go with me in your Bibles to Acts chapter one. And this is just one of many places and I have whittled this down. And maybe not as far as the should have. I'm going to share with you a lot of statements from inspiration tonight and I'm going to tell you I make no apologies for that God has given us a pen of inspiration to give us a can encourage Mint we need at a time in this earth's history when darkness is beginning to cover the earth their wonderful promises. In fact I would encourage you just for a side reading if you're one of those people says I don't know what to read in my devotions I'll just give you something that you can work on this week and it's a chapter in his R.V. just called Let not your heart be troubled. Oh it's one of the most powerful and encouraging chapters you'll ever read in your life and much of it has to do with the gift of the Holy Spirit. I have some of that very very little of that and in this presentation night been accepted one Jesus gave His disciples a promise. It wasn't the first time he gave it we go to John and look in John Chapter fourteen to sixteen but in Acts Chapter one. I want you to notice what Jesus says in chapter four. In verse four X. one of verse four says in being assemble together with them. He Jesus commanded them. Not to depart from Jerusalem. But to wait for the promise of the father which he said you have heard from me for John truly baptized with water but you shall be baptized with was the Holy Spirit. Not many days from now. Now why would Jesus say hey wait for the promise of the Father. Wait wait to do what. What were they going to do after they get the promise from the father he said Wait so in other words why wouldn't they be waiting what might they be running ahead to do go out and proclaim the gospel right because Jesus left and that commission to go Intel preach. Preach the Gospel to all nations go teach all nations baptizing them etc cetera. But he says before you go. Wait why would he tell them to wait. Should they just get out and start at it as a whole world or warning as a whole world that doesn't know the gospel why would he tell them to wait. We can't we can't do it by ourselves. He wanted them to understand that you two things you can't do it by yourself. But if you wait you're going to receive power and the power you receive nothing will limit you. There are two important things for us to understand as Christians one I think we're getting pretty good today we say I can't do that by myself. We live in the we live in the Let Go and Let God generation. We're doing to the point you know you hear all the time we can't do anything in our own strength Well that's true but what that is done for many of us is kept us from doing anything. We say we can earn anything by doing good works. That's true but that doesn't mean I have to work my kids can't obey earn my love by their or do obedience or disobedience I'm going to love many when their parents. That doesn't mean I don't expect them to obey. Just cause obedience doesn't earn anything here to stone him say Christ expects us to do it to carry out the commission is that we can't carry it out ourselves. That's right that's why you give the Holy Spirit and He said Wait. Terry in Jerusalem verse six says Therefore when he they had come together they asked him saying Lord will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel. Now I could go on about this that just tells us. These guys still didn't fully understand the mission did they if they thought Jesus was going to come the Messiah is going to come and conquer the Romans right. He was going to conquer the Romans and set them up as an earthly kingdom your member that that's what they had thought Well that wasn't his mission. But here they are OK Now is it time now is it time they didn't fully understand you know how many Seventh Day Adventists are waiting until they fully understand to go out and tell anybody I heard all time pastor I don't know enough. I'm going to ask if you've ever said it. I'm sure you heard it. Why don't know enough. I've trained a lot of people and there's a question I still can't answer and I don't think you can answer it either. How much is enough. How much it was the magic tipping point. What's the point where you read some in the Bible like dating OK now it's time now I can go witness that time is never going to come. There's always going to be things you don't understand the disciples didn't understand everything is obvious right here. But what did Jesus say I want you to go before you go I want you to wait for the Holy Spirit. And he said to them in verse seven it is not for you to know time to Caesar it's a father's put in his own authority. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and was to the end of the earth and unless you've not noticed this before. These are concentric circles starting at home you start the closest to you right. Jerusalem right where they. We're And then all Judea. You know you're broadening out and in some area and in the world. You know we have a responsibility to those closest to us don't we. If we know Christ we have a responsibility to those closest to us but our responsibility does not end there that circle of influence should widen and this is what Jesus said and he said you're going to receive power to do what I'm telling you to do doesn't matter how incapable you might feel you're going to receive power. Now let me ask you something of a person has faith in the words of Jesus. What are they going to do what if I hear what Jesus says but I don't feel capable. What am I going to do if I have faith. Tell me. I'm going to recognize I'm not capable and I'm going to what he said go and I'm going to go. He says you're going to receive power to go and be witness that I'm going to go be a witness it doesn't matter how I feel about it. Faith goes beyond feeling faith transcends feeling Faith says I may feel this way but Jesus said this and I believe what he says regardless how I feel. Yes or no. If it was all about feeling I would need faith but the Bible says we walk by faith not by sight. Not by feeling not by our senses Jesus said go and he promised. Power and what he find in the early church we find they receive power don't we. Let's go to the next slide into it. Check this statement out from the book desire of ages it says and I think it's a chapter I refer to the Holy Spirit was what kind of gift. The highest of all gifts that he Jesus could solicit from his father for the exile Taishan of his people you know he gave us the highest gift he didn't just give it to them. He gave it to you sitting here tonight. The highest of all gives he can solicit from his father for the exile Taishan of his people the spear was to be given as a what regenerating agent notice the next part and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. That's a. Amazing statement the sacrifice of Christ would have been a no avail. Why because part of that is the Holy Spirit making that sacrifice alive in our lives. The resurrection of Christ becomes a resurrection in our life when I'm crucified with Christ and Christ lives in me without this is sacrifice of Christ would have been and all of a all the power of evil had been strengthening for centuries and the submission of mantis this a tannic captivity was amazing sin could be resisted and overcome only through the what the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead who would come with no modified energy. But in the was fullness of divine power. I don't think any one of us fully grasped sense and I that tells us that Jesus. He was he was pretty felt privileged to give to you and me the highest gift that he could no modified energy the fullness of divine power. Did you know the fullness of divine power is accessible to you tonight. That's what it says that's what Jesus gave to you into me through the Holy Spirit. Now it's interesting to me we get into Christian begin to debate in the administration about sin and how long we're going to be sinning. I'm not going to get into all that but I'm going to ask you a question how big is your god are devils a lot bigger than our God a lot of times we talk about all our weaknesses sure we talk about all our failures sure we have failures how powerful is God let me ask you this question you think anybody's going to be sitting in heaven. How many of you think people are going to be sinning in heaven you think sinners are going to heaven. Maybe that's it. You don't think sinners are going to know are there sinners going to happen do you hope to get to heaven or are you a sinner but you don't think you're going to be sending in heaven who's going to stop you. Who's going to stop you from sinning. You better know the answer to that one. OK God Jesus either one of those work right. So he's going to stop you. Is he allowed to stop you. Whenever he wants to just let that sink in. He's not limited in what he can do unless you don't believe what he can do so what is the Book of Acts known for what we find in the book of Acts Jesus says wait in Jerusalem until the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon you and what happened. The Bible says they gathered in that upper room and they prayed. You know why because they sense the need of what Jesus was telling them they needed. I mean Jesus tells us we need the Holy Spirit but how many times how often do we come together and pray for that they gathered in the upper room you know why because he said You gotta go and warn the whole world and they looked at the world and they said this is were twelve guys actually eleven guys until they went and got Matthias but you had a Matthias and you had the twelve again and in Acts chapter two. There are twelve guys are praying there they get a hundred twenty in the upper room and take the hundred twenty. We got to warn the entire world. If I just put that on this church here how many do we see here and what's capacity. How many people sit in this church thousand not a thousand. Let's call it a thousand people. If I said to this church you do your job is to warn the whole world to be like oh right. You're one hundred twenty. You've got to warn the whole world. They said that's impossible. And yet you know what. Here's that here's the odd thing they knew it was impossible but they believed it was their job anyway. And so the only place they could go is to their knees and say Lord you've got to make it possible. You've got to make it happen in the Lord answered their prayer didn't you read in Acts chapter two in the church grows out of the early church. It exploded in growth the hundred twenty became three thousand less. Take Our thousand here. OK in one day three thousand Incidentally when the Bible counts to three thousand a day. It only counted the minute didn't count the women and children. So you can easily double it. Six thousand people. OK so here the college yell church has a thousand day six thousand of morrow. They had a hundred twenty A thousand a six thousand M Are you excited about that. Hold on a minute. Kind of but now you gotta figure out where they're going to park. You gotta figure out where they're gonna where that where you going to put all those kids in Sabbath school classes where the people going to sit. That's a good problem to have isn't it. But you think about that. That's what happened in the early church and that was just on Pentecost and the number kept growing and what's amazing is in the early church that growth drove the need for organisation. It's fascinating. And I don't have time going on going off on a tangent. Today we do it backwards. We wait until the leadership tells us what we need to do when Jesus already told us what to do go preach the gospel. I'm not saying to disrespect leadership I'm simply saying Jesus has given us Commission in the early disciples followed that commission and Jesus told them to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit that promise was sure. Jesus didn't back out on the promise we see the power of the Holy Spirit working through the church we see the Holy Spirit poured out a number of places we see miracles being wrought we see the sick healed we see dead rays we see lame people walking. Peter and John walk into a temple. They weren't even intending on healing the man. They're walking into the temple and the man gets their attention he's asking for all us Peter says we don't have anything in the Spirit comes upon him and he says hey listen. So over and go have I not but such as I have give either you want to take up your bed and walk. Wow. I'll take that over silver and gold any day folks the guy goes to church like you go to church you know there's a lame man and at the end of the day the only man's walking. By the power of the same always spirit that will work in you and me today. So we see this in the New Testament church I'm not going through all of the different place in the church we're going to see some things as we move on but I want to go to the Book of Deuteronomy Now the Bible used an illustration. Well there was a reality of the early and latter rain so let's look at that Deuteronomy how many of you heard the terms early and latter rain. OK most of the evidence of her those terms. Deuteronomy Levon thirteen. And here the Bible speaks in a literal sense and probably with a spiritual application as well. But in Deuteronomy Genesis Exodus of it is numbers Deuteronomy Deuteronomy chapter eleven verse thirteen this is what the Bible says and it shall be that if you earnestly obey my commandments which I command you today to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul then I will give you the rain for your land in its season the what the early rain and the louder rain now early on land. They're tied to certain seasons I'll talk about that the minute that you may gather in your grain your new wine in your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock that you may eat and be filled take heed to yourselves less your heart be deceived and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them lest the Lord's anger be aroused against you and he shut up to heaven. This so that there be no rain in the land yield no produce and you perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you or says if you are faithful and you obey me I'm going to send you the rain but if you turn to follow other gods I'm going to hold back the rain. I told you was a literal and probably. Spiritual as well. Now just so you understand the early rain literally was the autumn rain that would come before the winter crop the way that they planted in Palestine the early rain was a rain that would come right at the time of the planting of the seeds it was the initial boost to get the little seed to begin the plan to begin growing. So it was the beginning of the harvest cycle and in a land depended upon rain the seed would not sprout unless the rain fell in it. Season it was so important to have that rain and it season that was the early rain that the Bible speaks of here but the Bible also speaks about the latter rain in its season and that was the harvest rain that would come. Right before the harvest and I want to really emphasize that in a little bit. I'm going to come to the harvest rain a minute but let's talk about the early rain imagery. On Pentecost because Pentecost was the spiritual application of the early rain. What was the early rain to do the literal early rain. What did I just say OK it wasn't just preparing the ground. It was helping the seed to sprout or germinate right. It was the initial growth. Let me ask this. Can you and I have initial spiritual growth without the Holy Spirit of God no. So the whole idea of being born again would be similar or tied into that idea of the early rain that's the when the Spirit first comes into the life and you have that first renewal. You're not going to have any renewal without it in and so on the day of Pentecost you have the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the early church and we see throughout the early church evidences of the Holy Spirit not just in the miracles and what have you. Jesus referred to the whole concept of being born again through the Spirit right as essential. Nobody enters the kingdom of God unless they're born of the spirit of water in the sphere. I want to go to John fourteen and look at the promise jesus made to His disciples there of the the one he he would send called the helper or the comforter depending on the translation you're reading John fourteen and verse fifteen. You can probably quote John fourteen fifteen for me if nothing else if I started it. If you love me. Oh you know that one. Now notice what it goes on to say if you love me keep my commandments and I will pray the Father and He will give you another watch helper or comforter again depending on the translation or reading that he may abide with you forever. The Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him or knows him but you know him for he dwells with you and will be in you I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you. He is going to come to them through the US The Spirit the Holy Spirit. He said I'm going to send you another Helper. Speaking of someone besides himself. Now why what would that. What's that. Implying. Why do you send a helper to somebody. Well to help them to help them. What what was Jesus giving the spirit for what was he telling his disciples here. What's it telling you and me in this passage you don't have to try to live the Christian life by yourself you don't have to overcome sin by yourself you don't have to wrestle against your bad habits by yourself. I'm going to send you another Helper. Oh Who you going to send some weak guy who doesn't know a lot who doesn't know I'm going to send you the Spirit of God who has no limit to his power. Hey that's a kind of helper on one right. Don't send me a helper that can help me. Jesus didn't slack off on giving help or he gave us as we read the greatest gift that he could the Spirit of Truth. He called him now Illinois has an interesting statement here going to the next slide. On the Spirit of Truth. The Comforter is called The Spirit of Truth. His work is to notice define and maintain that truth to define and maintain the truth I'm going to fight real hard not to go off on a whole nother subject here. Or maybe not a whole nother subject. Jesus said sanctify them by the truth is the word is truth. The Spirits job is to define and maintain the truce and let me read on what it says here. He first wells in the heart as a spirit of truth and thus he becomes the comforter. There is comfort in peace in the truth but no real peace or comfort can be found in false hood and I want you to understand that when I get a paycheck and I go to the bank. You know relativism is right. What's true for you may not be true for me this is really popular in our world today. That's all. And it was I think John Piper who said he has a I think he's Presbyterian evangelist or what have you author. He said you know that goes down everywhere except for it. The divorce attorney in the bank. I think he said You go to the bank all of a sudden two plus two better equal four buddy write my checks as this amount don't go tomorrow it may be five hundred to you but it's only hundred fifty to us here at the bank all of a sudden I'm not real happy with that relative thinking I'm happy when it works in my favor. There's no comfort in ambiguity the world that we live in when we say this all the time is all of we live in a post-modern world. People and they don't want truth. That's not true. They don't want truth it's what they're offered is a bunch of nonsense they want truth because truth brings comfort and it's interesting here from the pen of inspiration that truth comes go back US lied again truth comes from the comfort comes from knowing there's something stable knowing I can count on something. There's comfort in the truth but no real peace or comfort. In a false hood now known as the work of the Holy Spirit is to define and maintain the truth when we come together we're just like well I see it this way and you see it that way. Well that's great. How are we going to come to a one of us of the truth. Well the Holy Spirit brings you know what the Holy Spirit uses. Among other things the gifts of the spirit you know want to give to the Spirit is the gift of prophecy and you know what you're going to find you're going to find a Seventh Day Adventist is still believe in the gift of prophecy have some kind of strange confidence something called the truth. But the same damage to them even claimed it is that this is you know I have it all might mean this over here she doesn't mean this over here guess what there anything goes. Folks I'm telling you this is a time we live in but the Lord gave this Holy Spirit to give us a comfort and a confidence in the truce and we tell you something else. You're never going to give a message to the world if you're not confident in it. If you're questioning it. You're not giving it to somebody else. Let's go to the next lie this statement continues known as it is true false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind this is what we were talking about we talked about Babylon the other night. You remember we talked about the paradigm and how the things that we bring into our mind whether we are watching or reading or whatever else we accept as truth begins to form a foundation in a four were accepting as truth is really not truth but error then everything else what comes into our mind we tested by our truth but if our truth is error. Jesus said if the light is in you is darkness how great the darkness. This is exactly what the same is true the false theories and traditions. You know the devil mixes the truth of error through the line of Babylon and what does he do it undermines the truth and he gains power over our minds by directing men to fall standards. He missed shapes the character because what you believe his troops by beholding we become changed in five imbibing error I'm taking on the form of that error and the devil does this subtly through the scriptures all the Spirit speaks to the mind and it presses truth upon the heart. Thus he exposes error and expels it from the soul. Only the Spirit of God can do that and I'm just giving you a little bit here and there to help you to see all the blessings and benefits of the Holy Spirit many of which we take little advantage of the Spirit of Truth was given by Jesus to give us that confidence to lead us into the truth. Once you get to Romans chapter eight with me now you have probably had the discussion and I am I am just again I'm just very briefly touching on something here in Romans. How many of you gone through Romans Chapter seven where Paul talks about the things that he wants to do. He doesn't do in the things that he doesn't want to do. He does do and over wretched man that I am if you've been through that before. And look at it in verse twenty four of seven Romans seven verse twenty four says arrested man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death. I think God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the Law of God but with the flesh the law of sin and you know what I have had some Christians even seven am innocent target that is with the mind I serve the Law of God with the flesh the law of sin. You know I really want to do the right thing but with my flesh I always sin anyway but it's going to have to be OK with God that's just how it is as that's how Paul was he said with a flash answer. You know what the problem is people don't go into Chapter eight The story doesn't end in chapter seven folks Chapter eight is talking about life in the spirit notice when he goes on to say in chapter eight. If we keep on reading. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to The Spirit for the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me what free from the law of sin and death same law different approach and I don't have time to get into that verse for a verse three rather for what the law could not do and that it was a bad law is that. But the Bible says yes or no for what the law could not do and that it was what we can through the flesh. God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh on account of sin he condemns in the flesh that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirits are you with me so far. Number five years five for those who live according to The Flash set their minds on the things of the flesh is that a bad thing or a good thing that's a bad thing but those who live according to the spirit the things of the Spirit for to be carnally minded is death. But to be spiritually minded is life and peace. So in verse twenty five when he says I through the mob in my mind I myself serve the Law of God with the flesh the law of sin. What he's saying is this if you go into Penn and your carnal nature and you feed your carnal nature you're always going to go along the path of sin but you don't have to live according to the flesh. You can live according to the spirit that's what he describes in Chapter eight The Holy Spirit gives you the option of living a different way. Are you following this. I really hope you're seeing this in your Bibles. I do enough preaching to people and when you don't look it up in your Bible you know what that means you just got another opinion at I don't know how many million in the church today. I want you to see even the word of God I'm not making it up. It says here that the Spirit of God gives us the opportunity to live above the flash yes or no. So in what Paul's doing in verse twenty five is who's going to deliver me from the body of this death my flesh. I think God through Jesus Christ. So now I know that if I let the flesh lead me I'm going to go in the path of sin but if I let the Spirit lead me I'm going to set my mind on different things and through the power of the spirit I'm going to live above the flash. It only through the power of the Spirit. How many of you know the name Robin Williams The comedian and many a member that name. The man who hanged himself just what was a couple years ago now hang himself committed suicide. You know why. Among other things at least he'd struggle with alcoholism for years I've got a quote I wish I had brought it with me he struggled with alcoholism for years and in M.S. N.B.C. interview he told them these words he said you know he says you have these habits in your life and it and they make you do stupid and shameful things and I'm paraphrasing this and he says. And yet you can't break them and he sed then he said this he said you know you can say you're forgiven and all that stuff but it's not the same it's not the same as overcoming it. Let me tell you something a person who really hates their sin wants to hear more than you're forgiven. They want to know they can overcome it. When you have habits that bring shame to God and his cause you don't want to just keep going on and it's OK always get that. Here's a man from a total secular stand mindset I you know you can say you're forgiven but I want to be a victor over this thing. This is what the Bible tells us through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what is talking about we can be new creatures in Christ Jesus. All of these things that I've just barely touched on are things that the Holy Spirit makes possible not in the life only of the early church but in your life in my life I go to the next slide I want to understand all of this came through the early rain when the. New Testament sure started in the Holy Spirit was poured out it wasn't like a yo yo where good shoe comes down to the church and what goes back up into heaven until sometime in the future. Notice the statement the lapse of time has wrought no change in Christ parting promise to send the Holy Spirit as his representative it is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His Grace do not flow earthward to Minix lives if the fulfillment of the promise is not seen as it might be. It is because the promise is not appreciated as it should be if all were willing all would be filled with the Holy Spirit. In other words we should be seeing the same power in the church today we see in Acts chapter two and three and four and why are we. We don't experience the power because we don't ask for it. We don't ask for it because we don't see our need and I believe we don't see our need because we've developed such a humanistic Christianity today that it's a kind of Christianity you can live in your own power. I mean let's face it after you start saying hey you know what we'll never overcome sand we're always going to have these weaknesses. Well guess what. So does the rest of the world. And suddenly I don't need divine power to live the kind of Christianity I'm describing. But if I want to live by a Christianity you know I can't do it without the Spirit of God. And when I convinced myself and commit myself to living by the Christianity. I've got nowhere to go but to my knees and say Lord give me your spirit and when I asked that and the need a sense if I was willing I would be filled with the Holy Spirit and so would you be. We live below or privileges next live wherever the need of the Holy Spirit is a matter little thought of how often do you spend thinking about your need for the Holy Spirit to live a holy life. Wherever this mean. Of the Holy Spirit as a matter little thought of there is seen spiritual drought spiritual darkness spiritual declension and death when ever minor matters occupy the attention. The divine power which is necessary for the growth and prosperity of the church next slide and which would bring all other blessings in a strain is lacking though offered in infinite plenitude. And so we've learned to do without the power of the Holy Spirit look at the next slide. The reason why there is so little of the Spirit of God manifested is that ministers learn to do without it. That's fearful and I relate to that all too well before I was a pastor. I used to be an electrician I'm a handy guy I get out on a job site. I have to figure out how to get the job done. There are times I didn't have the right to I make it work. We can do the same thing in spiritual things we can figure a way to work it out instead of going to the Lord we set the standard low or whatever we end up having to do we learn to do without the Holy Spirit God forbid we learn to do without the Holy Spirit. So the early rain was poured out there early rain is still excess will to the church. If we're not seeing the power of it because we're not sensing are needed. We're not asking for it but then the bible talked about the latter rain and the difference in the early church late rain in the Latter Rain is that the latter rain would come right before the harvest to ripen the harvest and I don't want you to miss this point how many times have you been tempted to look at yourself and say I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere my Christianity my walk isn't what it should be. I don't know how I'm going to be or we talk about being ready for Jesus to come this week and we can start looking at ourselves and saying oh man I don't think I'll ever be ready. You know in the Bible talks about Abraham as his. Experience of righteousness by faith in Romans Chapter four said he did not consider his own body or the deadness of Sarah's womb. Remember that God promised him a child in their old age. How is that going to happen. His wife couldn't have a child when she was young she was barren now she's barren and past men a pause and she's going to have a child it was doubly impossible. The Bible says Abraham did not consider his own body or of the deadness of Sarah's womb. You know what that means to you and me we too often consider our own weaknesses. Abraham didn't consider his weaknesses. Instead he considered God strange we need to be considering God's strength. I mean what we're going to talk about how weak we are. Hey pull up a chair. What we all do all day long I can tell you about my weaknesses. If I focused on my weaknesses I have no the gospel is not about my weaknesses it's about his strength in spite of my weaknesses and in spite of yours. Amen. And here's the thing. The latter rain was the rain that would bring the harvest. You can't expect the harvest yet don't look at yourself and expect the harvest you don't expect your character to be ripened yet the harvest rain hasn't fallen the latter rain brings the harvest to maturity I'm going to tell you something if you're daily walking with Jesus and growing with Jesus when that harvest rain comes you're going to be right for the kingdom. That's what God promised us one place at that is represented and I haven't seen this for a while maybe maybe you've thought this through. But this just hit me and I don't know the last year or so we talked last night about the parable the ten virgins remember that right. Five or foot wise and five are foolish and the wise virgins. They brought extra oil but the foolish was didn't have extra oil and I'm sitting here late reading that Paramount thinking OK we know that oil represents the Holy Spirit. But how do you have extra Holy Spirit. I mean everybody gets all his beer How do you have X.. And I got to thinking to myself. Is it possible that that extra oil is their readiness for the latter rain when the latter rain Kong came before the wise received the foolish didn't receive that could fit and then I read I read this statement next statement please next slide we go to the next slide please near the close of Earth's harvest a special bestow of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of Man this outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the Latter Rain next slide unless God's people keep their lamps trimmed and burning they will fail of receiving the added grace in times of special need. That's why the five wise virgins were ready even though they slumbered and slept there was a difference. They were prepared for the latter rain when the foolish ones were what makes a difference what prepares a person. For the latter rain. Let's go to the next slide. It says here there must be no neglect of the Grace represented by the what the former and I know a lot of have been assisted around waiting for the latter rain as if we don't have any power we got all the power of the early rain and what is saying is we cannot neglect that Grace represented by the former rain or the early rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have were received greater light. Let's go back to the harvest and let's think about it in the practical terms. That the early rain came to help the plant to begin to grow. Now let's just say that when that plant first sprouts up out of the earth. So you got to stock a corn or something maybe a plant a week plant and it's you know just this tiny little thing and all through the harvest season. It doesn't grow at all when the high. Service train comes what's it going to do to that plant. I would say is going to drown it. It's not going to bring it to harvest. If that plant is not continually growing all season. There's no way the harvest rain is going to get it ready. And so you accepted Jesus you've been justified by faith you were born again. But now in your Christian life. You're not making it a priority. You're not growing. You're not growing. You're not growing. You're not growing you're thinking win the lottery incomes going to fix everything. No it won't unless you're growing now the harvest rain can do nothing for you. And that's exactly what the point that this is being made here unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the what does it say the active Christian virtues. We shall not recognise the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us but we should not discern or receive it. That should be terrifying you answer me that the Latter Rain would be poured out and I wouldn't even recognise it let alone receive any of it. Now I really fought against this but I added it. I would for sake of time I wasn't going to but I had to give in because active she sucks about the active Christian virtues you know there are two kinds of Christian virtues are the passive virtues and the active virtues. How many of you are aware that the passive let me let me show you what I mean in this next statement go the next thing. Please. Says Christian life is more than many take it to be your back up one back up one's life before I get ahead of it. Let me just ask you this if you were to describe the character of Jesus. The life of Jesus His character traits. What would you say give me his character traits Jesus compassionate. What is it patient steadfast. What is it. Just. OK humble submissive. Now most of what I'm hearing are what we would call the passive virtues. Kind gentle loving and then as Christians we say we ought to be like Jesus kind gentle loving and that's true. I'm not denying that but notice a statement from the book minister healing next statement Christian life is more than many take it to be it does not consist wholly in gentleness patience meekness and kindliness these graces are what is sensual but there is need also of courage was Jesus courageous. Force. Did Jesus have not forceful force but you know. Stamina and I say whatever energy and perseverance did Jesus press through difficulties sure did. Some who engage in ministry or missionary service rather are weak nerveless spiritless easily discouraged. They lack push Jesus didn't lack push or you never would have gone forward right next live. They do not have those positive traits of character that give power to do something the spirit and energy that Kindle enthusiasm those who would win success must be courageous and hopeful they should cultivate not only the passive. But the active virtues you know many of us spend all of our time on the passive virtues and don't realize who say I'm just not that kind of person I'm a kind of backseat behind the scenes person that's because you're not cultivating all of the Christian virtues and getting an all around character. Next slide while they are to give the soft answer the turns away wrath the passive. They must possess the courage of a hero to resist evil with the charity that endures all things they need the force of character that will make their influence a positive power. Next slide. Some who have I'm sorry. Some have no firmness of character their plans and purposes have no definite form and consistency there of but little practical use in the world this week in this indecision and inefficiency should be what over come next slide. There is. In true Christian character and indomitable in a status you can't get that you can't get him down no matter what comes out Christian stays steadfast indomitable as that cannot be molded or subdued by a burst circumstances. We must have moral backbone and integrity that cannot be flattered bribed or terrified and that describes Jesus to a tee. Doesn't he was never flattered he was never bright. So he wasn't a latent by propped up men's applause. And he wasn't discouraged by their rejection didn't matter what people thought he was faithful no matter what he was not able to be bribed he wasn't terrified he stood call knowing he was going to the cross as call him is I mean pilot when pilot saw him he couldn't believe this man was so calm in his court didn't open his mouth in defense of himself. The active virtues we need to be daily advancing in our Christian experience not just the passive but the active if we are not daily growing in our Christianity when the Holy Spirit comes in. Lateran power. We may not even discern it. Last thing I want to share the Revelation Chapter eighteen will close with this is a lot more than that could be said here. Revelation Chapter eighteen. Incidentally revelation eighteen has a message in it that is not found directly in this range of messages. I mean the one place revelation eighteen verse one the Bible says after these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven having great authority and notice it says the earth was illuminated with His glory in the crowd mightily with a loud voice saying Babylon the Great is fallen and fallen. And is become a dwelling place of demons etc said I'm going to read through all that I want you look at verse four verse four says and I heard another. Voice from heaven saying what comes out of her mind people lest you share in her sins unless you receive her plagues you know come out of her my people is not in the three messages of Revelation chapter fourteen. It doesn't come in until here and the Bible depicts this angel coming down and he's adding his voice of warning to the three angels and it says the earth is lightened with His glory in a seventh day as we understand this passage as revealing that light of the Holy Spirit in Latter Rain power that lightens the earth with his glory in wraps up the three in his messages you can see a parallel if you go to Isaiah Chapter sixteen which I'm not going to take time to do but I want to read to you just a couple statements here in closing on what's going to happen and I don't want to miss this. If you get nothing else from what we've talked about this afternoon. I just want you to understand this the Lord Jesus is always on your side. He's always on your side when you go in a way we're direction he's on your side. He wants to save you. He is always in your corner. He has given you unlimited power and that unlimited power is always for you in the devil knows it better than you know him better than I know it and so he comes to us and tries to discourage us and say Oh give it up you're never going to make it and God doesn't care about you because you fell for that sin again and Bob Law and it's all law of the enemy the Lord Jesus has given you unlimited power and he will finish the work he started and the Holy Spirit powers available to you to do things you couldn't imagine. And when we come down to this loud understand this the harvest rain has not fallen yet. And so there's maturing of your spiritual harvest and my spiritual harvest that is yet to come in. Though I look at myself and I don't see it yet in myself by faith I believe the words of Jesus and I know the time is coming and I know if I continue to walk with Him and trust in him the harvest will ripen and the Bible says in Mark chapter four when the harvest is ripe and immediately he puts in the signal because the harvest is come. Jesus will be faithful to us and not only to us in our experience but when we go and share with others. How many you have you have tried to share with others and you just got nowhere they rejected you you got family members loved ones and they just don't they're not making any move towards you had that happen to you before you've given out literature and nobody reads it as far as you know let me tell you something. The latter rain has not fallen and seeds have been planted that we haven't seen the end result of yet no notice these last statement is some of the most powerful statements you read Next slide please. The angel who unites in the proclamation of the thirteenth as message is to lighten the whole earth with his glory. A work of worldwide extend unwanted power this is this is on unwanted means abnormal power unusual power. I would say unprecedented power a work of worldwide extent and unwanted power is here for told here in Revelation eighteen. The Advent movement of eight hundred forty eight hundred forty four was a glorious manifestation of the power of God The first dangerous message was carried to every missionary station in the world next live and in some countries there was the greatest religious interest which has been witnessed in any land since the reformation of the sixteenth century. But these are to be what exceeded by the mighty movement under the last warning of the thirty will let this sink in. Go read the book of Acts read about the day of Pentecost read about the man Lamey and he'll be on the way to the temple read about Peter who's asleep in the jail an angel comes in a capsule on the shoulder in wakes him up and walks him out in the middle of the street read about Paul and Silas in the prison and the earthquake comes in frees them from prison read about the mighty miracles and then re what it says here these movements and the early av meant movement was greater than that and then you had the Reformation and then these are to be exceeded. By the mighty movement under the last warning of the third angel you. If I'm reading this right. Have the privilege of being alive during the most powerful working that the Holy Spirit has ever done on this earth and it's amazing. So we talk about the end of time talk about the time of trouble. We get nervous about things. Don't forget that at the same time the power of God is going to be poured out as never before acts like the great work of the gospel is not to close with a less manifestation of the power of God in Mark it's opening the prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are what. Ugh and to be fulfilled in the latter rain and it's close next lie. Servants of God with their faces lighted up that you and me and shining with holy consecration will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices that's not just the ministers by thousands of voices all over the earth the warning will be given miracles we wrought the sick will be healed and signs and wonders will follow the believers those are the words of Jesus in Mark sixteen next live. The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God. The arguments have been presented the seed has been sown. And now it will spring up to bear fruit next lives. The publications these are the books you gave out these are the tracks you gave out distributed by missionary workers have exerted their influence. Yet many whose minds were impressed have been prevented from fully comprehending the truth or from yielding obedience. These are people you don't know why they're not moving it God knows why they're not moving it and they're about to move watch next slide. Now when the outer rain is poured out the the rays of light penetrate everywhere. The truth is seen in its clearness and the honest children of God sever the bands which have held them. Family connections church relations are powerless to stay them now or to hold them. People have been held back by their pastors have family members say Oh don't make this decision they're going to those those ties will be broken. And they're going to come next slide. I was going to say what is going to say here. Truth is more precious than all besides notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth. What does it say. A large number take their stand upon the lord sayd Saints this is the time we're living in we're living at the time of the outpouring of the Latter Rain we live in the presence of the early rain and if we don't see the power of it is because we're not asking for it. Zechariah chapter ten verse one says ASCII rain in the time of the Latter Rain in the Lord will send bright clouds and pour out the showers of rain we need to start asking. We need to start asking we need to commit ourselves to Jesus and every day. Don't let me finish with this go to the next flood. This is a story of share the story many times I love the story you might have heard it before me before you hear from me again because one of my favorite stories a story of a man who is this guy wanted to go on a cruise. I don't know if anybody has ever been on a cruise. I really am not too thrilled about getting out on the ocean a cruise boat but you might be but this particular guy had saved up his whole life to go on a cruise he wanted to go on a cruise boat and so he had skimped and he saves a single guy finally got up the money to go on the cruise bought his ticket. The problem is he spent everything he had on his ticket. He didn't have any money left over. He figured well I'm not going to have anything to eat on the cruise but I'll get something cheap and he took a long peanut butter and crackers. OK. I mean you can get by on it. It's not the best but it. You know you figure at least I get to take in the scenes and everything else I'll make it takes peanut butter crackers goes. The crew's Next slide please a problem is when he gets on the cruise they have this beautiful dining hall and every day he smells the smells come out of the you have been really hungry and then you smell food. You guys don't have that he don't have fellas you have fellowship meal here in this church you ever have it where you can smell it in the church. So your home church is you may have got the little church and it's like oh wow it's getting the preachers go along and I can smell lunch right. So he is going by smelling the food coming out of his fellowship hall. Oh it smells so good. Out of this dining hall rather But so I had mine but he's you know sticks with this peanut butter as crackers. But one day just it's been it's been all week East and it was on the cruise it goes on Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday he's been there on that cruise taking a week long cruise. He's outside the dining hall guy comes out and he's like Man that was good. Today looks and he says oh did you didn't you love the meal today and he's like you know I love to eat and it smells so good but he said you know I just didn't have money left over to buy the meal tickets. I looked at him got a puzzle. Pardon me he said and have money left over to buy the meal ticket. He said you your meals are included your meals are included in the cost of the ticket and here the man had been eaten peanut butter and crackers all week when he could have been feasting on the food in the dining hall and the sad reality is that too many of us as Christians are living a peanut butter and cracker existence when the Spirit of God wants to give us so much more and I want to leave you with that thought today. God has promised you. The Lord Jesus your savior has promised you on. Limited power to live a godly life a Christian life and everlasting life beginning right here the abundant life. How many of you want to take him up on that. Is it your desire today. Let's pray together Father him. Father once again you've spoken through clay or I just pray that some of what's been said today would resonate in the hearts of your people that we would realize that we have not been left orphans to try to fight out the Christian life on our own to try to make ourselves into new creatures but you've given your spirit is a regenerating agent you've given your spirit to give us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Father forgive us for living below our privileges forgive us for living that peanut butter and crackers existence. When we could have so much more. And Father we ask I ask here for each one of us that you help us to remember that we are living in a time. Now we have the accessibility to the early rain. We are living in the time of the fulfillment of the Latter Rain. Lord help us move on are still asking to reach the hand of faith higher and higher. And to lay hold of the promise of the spirit that we make the work you've given us to do and soon. 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