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3. The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Latter Rain Power

Mark Finley

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Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

Conference

Recorded

  • December 28, 2017
    2:45 PM
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This message was presented at the GYC 2017 Conference: Arise in Phoenix Arizona. For other resources like this, visit us online at www.gycweb.org.

 

Let's pray and then we would jump right into our topic again.

 

FATHER in heaven, how thankful we are for a clear light on the road ahead. How thankful we are for the sure word of prophecy that gives us hope and encouragement to face the future. As we study the latter rain and true and false revivals, help us to be able to clearly distinguish the false from the true; but not only distinguish the false from the true, may our hearts be open to receive the power of YOUR Spirit in latter rain. We pray in JESUS' name. Amen.

 

We finished this morning talking a little bit about the close of probation. And there were some questions that folk had about ‘Does probation closes all at once or does probation closes for individuals as time goes on.’ Two thoughts that I had about that at lunch and then I looked up a reference or two to make it a little clearer. If we do not live till the coming of CHRIST, there are people that are dying all along the way, aren't there? When does probation close for them? When they die, right? So when an individual dies, probation closes for that person. Does it close for every individual at the same time? Do they all die at once? Obviously not. So when a person dies, probation closes for him.

 

Now what about when people are alive, when does probation close for them? Let me read to you a very fascinating statement from Ellen White that, to me helps to clarify this issue. And I'm reading here from the First Selected Messages page 191 to start: “GOD has not revealed to us the time when this message will close, or when probation will have an end. Those things that are revealed we shall accept for ourselves and for our children; but let us not seek to know that which has been kept secret in the councils of the ALMIGHTY.” So as GOD revealed the time when probation will close. Does HE reveal that? Not necessarily, He hasn’t? She says, “Letters have come to me asking me if I have any special light as to the time when probation will close; and I answer that I have only this message to bear, that it is now time to work while the day lasts, for the night cometh in which no man can work.”

 

So GOD did not reveal to Ellen White a date on the calendar when time would close. Does that mean that the story is settled? No, let's look at the Second Selected Messages page 81, “The LORD has shown me clearly.”So HE didn't show her a date on the calendar but what did HE show her clearly? “The LORD has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes.” So, the image of the beast is what? That's the enforcement of the what? National Sunday Law. So does probation close before or after the national Sunday Law? After. So, notice “The LORD has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is the great test for the people of GOD, by which they return all destiny will be decided.”

 

So when the national Sunday Law is passed and people make a decision individually to receive either God’s seal or the mark of the beast, at that point, probation closes for them and the judgment of the living occurs. So from the time of the national Sunday Law, there is the out full manifestation of the outpouring of the latter rain. Men and women have a chance to make their decision for or against CHRIST to receive the mark of the beast or the seal of GOD. When that is done, when that is done, and every human being has made that decision, the decree goes forth. “He that is righteous, let him be righteous still; he that is unrighteous, let him be unrighteous still.”So that occurs over a period of time.

 

So, probation does not close for each individual at the exact same time. Because ‘Has everybody had full light on the Sabbath when the national Sunday is passed?’ No. There is some who have not heard of it. And so the Latter Rain is poured out, the Gospel is preached, for some who have had that light, probation will close sooner as they make their decision than others who have not had that light who will receive it and either receives the seal of GOD or the mark of the beast. So, I hope that that clarifies that subject for you.

 

We're going to talk this afternoon about true and false revivals and about the outpouring of the latter rain in the first session and then the sifting and the shaking in the second.

 

Let's go back 2,000 years, and as we let our minds go back to the first century, we go back to the days of John. It was a violent land and a violent time and there were violent men. It was a pleasure-seeking land and a pleasure-seeking time and there were pleasure-seeking men. It was an immoral land and immoral time and there were immoral men. They thought nothing except for themselves. They lived by no standard except their own. Their hearts though were restless and deep within their souls, they were restless and they needed peace. They were guilty and they needed forgiveness. Their hearts were spiritually hungry and they needed to be satisfied. Their wills were weakened and they needed strength; and they were confused, they needed direction. Then, he came. His preaching was like no other than they ever heard. When John the Baptist spoke, it seemed like, he, it penetrated their hearts. They came to hear him on the banks of the Jordan River, and as they came they were led to their knees in deep repentance. Wherever he spoke, their lives were changed. John did not speak about religious entertainment. He didn't come to tickle their fancies. He spoke directly to their hearts. And as he did, they were led to repentance and baptism in the River Jordan. John the Baptist was a powerful forerunner of CHRIST; a model of the last-day message to prepare a world for the coming of JESUS.

 

Now, John made this fascinating statement: Matthew 3:11, if you have your Bible and you'd like to turn to it, you can do that, if you want to read it from the screen with me, you can do it as well. Let's read together; “John said, I indeed baptize you with (what?) water unto repentance; but HE that’s coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I'm not worthy to carry: HE will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire:”

 

Now, notice what it does not say. It does not say HE’ll baptize you with the Holy Spirit or with fire. I've heard some interpretations of that with the impression as you gonna be baptized by the Holy Spirit or you can be burned in the last-day’s fire. That's not what it says. It says HE'll baptize you with the Spirit (what?) and fire. So let's look for a few moments at the symbolism of fire throughout the Bible. I alluded to it this morning, but I wanted to look at it much more deeply with you this afternoon.

 

What does fire represent in Scripture? So let's go back. Fire is always a symbol in the Bible of the splendid glory, the presence of the power of GOD. If you go back to the first mention of fire in the Bible, it's Genesis where you have the angel guarding the gates of Eden with the fiery glory of the presence of GOD; or when you come to Moses in the burning bush. The bush burns but what? It's not consumed, representing the presence of GOD. Or you come to the sanctuary in between the two cherubim of the sanctuary; you have the Shekinah glory or the presence of GOD. You remember in Exodus 24:17, let's all read together. We can read together. “The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire.”So, according to the Bible, a consuming fire is like what? The glory of the LORD. So John says ‘One is coming after me that will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.’ Fire represents the glorious presence of GOD. Israel was guided by a pillar of fire, the very presence of GOD, by night. You remember when Elijah prayed. He prayed and the fire of GOD's presence came down to consume the altar. You remember when Isaiah prayed: a coal from the altar touched his lips.

 

If you wanna know what a biblical symbol means? What do you do? You go to the Bible and you see every time that symbol was used in Scripture.

 

So, in the Old Testament, fire represents what everybody? The presence of GOD. Now when you come to the New Testament, fire represents the glorious presence of GOD through the Holy Spirit. And fire and the Spirit are linked together on the day of Pentecost. So what does John say? He says, “HE'll baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Now, what is baptism? What's baptism? Baptism is what? Immersion. So what is the baptism of fire? The baptism of fire is since fire is a symbol of the glorious presence of GOD, the baptism of fire is immersion in HIS presence. So the baptism of fire is being immersed in the presence of GOD so that your life is filled with the Spirit of GOD. So the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to be immersed in the presence of GOD, so GOD's Spirit lives in you, GOD's Spirit dwells in you, GOD's Spirit possesses you, and GOD’s Spirit leads you to be a mighty witness for HIM.

 

Now, this is a call - the baptism of fire, the baptism of the spirit or immersion in the presence of GOD- is a call for genuine authentic Christianity. This is not a call to shallow. Remember how it says Psalms? ‘Shallow calls into shallow, but deep calls into deep.’ This is not a call to walk in a kiddy's wading pool up to your ankles and pick up pennies. This is a call to go deep and dive for pearls; so that your life is totally consumed with the things of eternity and so your life is filled and possessed with the Holy Spirit.

 

Now notice what Ellen White says, “In all who submit to HIS power the Spirit of GOD will consume sin. But if men cling to sin, they become identified with it. Then the glory of GOD, which destroys sin, must destroy them.” So, what's the baptism of fire? It is being filled with the glory and presence of GOD that consumes known sin in your life. “Then the glory of GOD, which destroys sin, must destroy them… At the second advent of CHRIST the wicked will be consumed “with the Spirit of HIS mouth,” and destroyed “with the brightness of HIS coming.” The light of the glory of GOD, which imparts life to the righteous, will slay the wicked.” - Desire of Ages 107, 108. So the baptism of fire is the baptism of the glory of GOD, filling the believer with the presence of GOD, filling the believer with the Holy Spirit so their life is totally transformed by that Spirit. You remember what it says in Malachi 3:2 and 3, “HE is like a (what?) refiner’s fire…like launderers soap: HE will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver. HE’ll purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver...”Who were the sons of Levi? Who were they? The sons of Levi were who everybody? The priests.

 

Now, take your Bible and turn to First Peter chapter 2. First Peter chapter 2 and we're gonna look at we're/ going to study a little bit the priesthood in the New Testament. First Peter chapter 2. GOD wants to work a work in your life and in mine in which the glory of GOD is manifest in our lives. First Peter 2:9. Peter is talking about believers and he says, “But you are a chosen (what?) generation, a royal (what?) priesthood, a holy nation...” HIS own special people. What does this royal priesthood do? “That you may proclaim the praises of HIM who called you out of darkness into this marvelous light.” So JESUS longs in your life and mine to reveal HIS glory. HE longs to fill us with HIS Spirit and the fire of HIS presence and to consume rebellion in our lives, so that we can be royal priests for GOD.

 

Now, take your Bible and turn to the Book of Revelation. Revelation and you're gonna look there at Revelation chapter 1. Revelation chapter 1 and it talks about what HE's done for us - Revelation 1: 4, 5, and 6. “John, to the 7 churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from [the LORD] HIM who is and who was and is to come.” JESUS is, Jesus was, and JESUS is to come. The FATHER, GOD the Father, is, who was, and is to come. And from JESUS CHRIST, the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, the Ruler over the kings of the earth. HE loved us. What did JESUS do for us? HE loved us. What else did HE do for us? HE washed us. What else did HE do for us? HE made us what? Kings and priests. So JESUS does three things, what does HE do? HE loves us. What else does HE do? HE washes us? What else does HE do? Made us kings and priests. Do you have royal blood running around in your veins? Why do you have that? Because JESUS made us kings and priests to GOD.

 

Wouldn't be a tragic thing to sell out your destiny cheap? You are a son or daughter of GOD. You are a priest or priestess of GOD. You have a destiny before you. And notice what Scripture says, “HE's made us kings.” So, there’s royal blood in your veins. As a princess, don't sell out cheap. As a prince of GOD, don't sell out cheap. You have a destiny. You'll travel from star to star, from planet to planet, you'll be a witness for GOD as part of the royal line of heaven. HE takes us from the gutter most to the uttermost, from the depths of despair to the delights of discipleship. So, HE made you a king; but what else are you? A priest. And what does JESUS wanna do with HIS priests? Malachi tells us: HE's like a refiner's fire. HE’s like a laundry soap. HE'll sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver. HE'll purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver. Who are the sons of Levi? The priests.

 

And so JESUS wants, through the fiery presence of HIS glory, to purge our hearts from that which is contrary to HIS Will. Why? That they might make an offering to the LORD, an offering of righteousness. I want my life to be an offering of righteousness to GOD, don't you? So what is the baptism of fire? It’s immersion in the presence of GOD so that GOD, through His Holy Spirit, can work by HIS glory in us; so that we can be truly priests of GOD to reveal HIS love and grace to the world. GOD is longing for a people who come to HIM and prayerfully open HIS word and have their lives changed by the glory of HIS power. HE's longing for people who come to HIM and seek HIM and make seeking HIM the first thing in their lives.

 

You see, GOD's not gonna turn on heaven's power in the latter rain if the electrical power line is frayed. Have you ever tried to plug in a plug and there is a power line that's frayed? If GOD turned on HIS Holy Spirit power on a church that had known sin and open rebellion, they would just take that glory to themselves and be filled with pride and arrogance. If you long to speak in tongues, but you have a critical tongue, you're praying for the wrong miracle.

 

Did you know that the Bible does not encourage us to seek the gifts of the Spirit? The gifts of the Spirit are GOD's to give. We are to seek the fruits of the Spirit. And if we seek the fruits, GOD will give the gifts. See, but there are many people that are confused. They’re always seeking the gifts of the Spirit. They want to speak in tongues; but they got a critical tongue. They wanna work miracles, but GOD has worked a miracle in their heart to change their lives.

 

One sure characteristic of a false revival is the longing for the gifts of the Spirit and the absence of the fruits of the Spirit. We seek the fruits; GOD gives the gifts. And we’ll show that as we come along. I love that old poem: Burn in me, Fire of GOD.

 

Burn till my heart is pure

Burn till I love GOD fervently

Burn till my faith is sure

Burn in me, Fire of GOD

Burn deeper, deeper still

Burn till my one and sole desire

shall be the FATHER's will.

 

That's my desire, isn't it yours? We’ll have some questions at the end. So save your questions. Write them out. And then at the end, I’ll always save some time for some questions.

 

Burn in me, Fire of GOD

Yea, burn and burn again

Till all I am by GOD consumed a flame of fire remain

 

What did John say? “I’ll baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with (what?) fire.”  The presence of GOD through the Holy Spirit that consumes known sin in the life that leads us to reflect the image of JESUS and the fruits of the Spirit.

 

In old Jamaica, there are houses and these houses are made with the bitumen limestone. And limestone is very easy to cut; but bituminous limestone stinks. I mean it really stinks, so nobody can live in the houses. You build these houses in their limestone and they stink. So you know what they do? They burn the house and when they burn the house, the limestone has a beautiful smell and the house becomes white and smells beautifully. Well, you know, we too are by nature and through our wrong choices combustible and we kind of stink at times. We kind of stink at times. Our critical tongues stink. Our proud attitude stinks. Our lustful desires stink before GOD. And so what does HE want to do? HE's built the house. HE wants to burn in us. What with? The fire of GOD. So our lives can be changed to reflect HIS glorious image.

 

Remember what it says in Psalm 51: 10 – 12, let's read it together – “Create in me a clean heart, oh GOD, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not take your Holy Spirit from me.” I'd like you to take your Bible and turn to Psalm 51, there is something in Psalm 51 that is quite remarkable. I want you to look at the verbs in Psalm 51. The verbs. This is what GOD can do in us that we can never do for ourselves. Look at Psalm 51 and look at the verbs in Psalm 51. We can do we can never do it ourselves; only GOD can do it. Psalm 51. We're starting there with verse 7 and I want to see the verbs. You may want to circle in your Bible. The verbs, Psalm 51:7, “Purge me with hyssop.” Who does the purging? Do we purge ourselves? “Purge me with hyssop... Wash me and I'll be whiter than snow.” Who does the washing? GOD. “Make me hear joy and gladness.” When HIS grace comes to our hearts, we hear joy and gladness. So, HE purges us. HE washes us. HE brings joy and gladness to us. “Hide YOUR face for my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.” Who does the blotting out? GOD does. “Create in me a clean heart.” Can I create a clean heart myself? Who can only do that? GOD can. “Renew a right/steadfast Spirit within me.” Who does that? GOD did. “Do not cast me away from YOUR presence. Do not take me from YOUR Holy Spirit. Restore to me.”

 

Notice the verbs: ‘purge’ and ‘wash’ and ‘make me’ and ‘hide’ YOUR face from me and ‘create’ a clean heart in me and ‘renew’ a right steadfast spirit. “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, uphold me with your generous spirit...” Then when? Then when? Then when I'm purged, when I'm washed, when I hear the joy of salvation, when I know HIS face is hid from my sins, when HE blots up my iniquities, when a new heart is created within me, when I'm restored to the joy of salvation, then I will teach transgressors YOUR ways, and sinners will be converted to YOU.”

 

GOD has to do something in me before I can do something through me. GOD has to do something with me before HE can do something for me. And so here, there is this earnest appeal for us to come and allow the Fire of GOD to burn in us. The Holy Spirit comes to us when we're quietly meditating upon HIS Word, seeking to live a more CHRIST-like and godly life. There is something about quietness when you're alone with GOD. There's something about those quiet moments where GOD speaks to you. You may be praying for somebody else, praying for a son that doesn't know CHRIST (or daughter). And the LORD may reveal to you that there are things in your life that are hindering the outpouring of HIS Spirit in that person. You may be a university student praying for a friend and GOD says “Yes; but you've exhibited a proud attitude, a ‘know it all’ attitude; show more caring, love, compassion for your friend.” You may be praying for a husband or wife that doesn't know CHRIST and the LORD may impress you, “Have you revealed love to them or have you been critical for them?”

 

As we pray, GOD manifest the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22, 23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” We seek the fruits of the Spirit. GOD gives us the gifts of the spirit. We long to reveal the fruits and GOD trusts us with the gifts. GOD pours out HIS genuine spirit that leads men and women to seek HIM in sincere repentance for their sins and a new revelation of HIS will for their lives.

 

Now, prayer is the breath of revival; but Bible study is the heart of revival. If you have prayer and you don't have solid Bible study that can lead you to an emotional experience with GOD. So we always blend our prayer life and our Bible study life. If you have prayer and Bible study without something else, it can lead you to false revival. Can you think of any group of people that prayed for hours every day, studied the Bible for hours, but yet crucified JESUS? The Pharisees, right. Did the Pharisees pray? Did the Pharisees study the Bible? (Yes) But did they have a genuine revival? (No.) Why not? Yes, it was robotic prayer; but there was no outlet or witness. You see, their prayers became self-centered. So you can pray and you can study the Bible; but unless you are focused on witness, you will not grow spiritually. If your prayer and Bible study is to prove everybody else wrong in your Sabbath school class, you'll become a Pharisee; but, if your prayer and Bible study is to empower you to witness, to empower you to share your faith.

 

You know, I love what Ellen White says in Acts of the Apostles page 105. She says; she talks about the Scribes, the Pharisees, Jewish leaders. And she says, “Forgetting that strength to resist evil is best achieved through aggressive service.” Notice, she doesn't say, “Strength resist evil best comes through prayer and Bible study.” Now, of course, GOD leads us to prayer and Bible study; but if you don't have some out of it. Desire of Ages 142 says this, “In order to develop a character like CHRIST, we must work as HE worked.” So as we pray and as we study the Bible that leads us to witness, mission, and service. Prayer, Bible study, and witness lead us to have that self-sacrificing ministry of CHRIST at our heart.

 

Now, the true genuine spirit of the revival kindled by the Holy Spirit originates with GOD, that's from above. The false revival originates with the evil one and it’s from beneath. So the Bible talks about two great workings in the last days: (1) the working of GOD through the latter rain, (2) the working of Satan through false revival.

 

False revival has always often taken place. You remember the story of Nadab and Abihu. They wanted the fire. They wanted to fire of the Spirit. What did they do? They disobeyed GOD, contrary to the will of GOD. Leviticus 10:1 says, “Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took a sensor and put fire in it.” What was wrong with that? They were not commissioned to do that. They were disobeying GOD and put incense on it. Now, this is in the temple of GOD. It offered profane fire. So this is the false fire before the LORD which HE had not commanded them. So fire came, just like in Revelation. What does it say? Remember in Revelation. It says fire came down from GOD out of heaven and that was the false fire in Revelation chapter 13’ false revival.  Well, what happens in this case? Fire when came from the LORD and devoured them and they died before the LORD. They had fire but was that the genuine fire? Do you want the fire of Nadab and Abihu, the fire a false revival? We want the genuine fire of the Holy Spirit living within us.

 

Well, you know, for every genuine, there is a counterfeit. How many counterfeit 23-dollar bills have you seen? How many counterfeit 16-dollar bills have you seen? How many of you have a counterfeit 16 in your wallet, counterfeit 23? You see why are there no counterfeit 16's or 23? There is no what? Genuine.

 

And so the LORD has genuine truth; but the devil counterfeits that. So here is what the devil wants to do. In an age where genuine authentic spirituality is often not found and at a time of natural disasters, of tornadoes, hurricanes, fires and floods, at a time when the economy is going to tank, at a time with the threat of nuclear war, the devil wants to come with a false revival, with the expressed purpose of that false fire unifying people to get them to conglomerate or unite, church and state, with a false revival to oppress the people of GOD. Satan is conditioning the minds of millions to receive a counterfeit religious experience and be deceived by an emotional form of religion.

 

Let's look at the counterfeit for a few moments and see Satan's strategy. Satan is gonna pour out his counterfeit spirit of signs, wonders, and miracles to deceive with a false religious excitement. So if you want signs and wonders and miracles in a false religious excitement, the devil will give that to you. You see, unless you have conditioned your mind to study GOD's word, unless you've conditioned your mind to be saturated with GOD's Word, the devil will sweep you off your feet with a false revival.

Look at it, Matthew 24:24, let's read it together: “For false Christs and false prophets will arise in show(what kind of signs?) great signs and wonders to deceive if possible even the elect.” Who are the elect? The people of GOD. GOD's church. But here, these false religious leaders show what kind of signs? Are they minor signs? They’re great signs and wonders. Will some of them work miracles? And will these miracles apparently be genuine miracles, but are they really false miracles? Notice what Revelation says in Revelation 13: 13, 14. “He performs great signs (King James Version says miracles), so that even he makes fire come down from heaven.” Now what is fire represent in the Bible? It represents what? The glory of GOD's presence. But this is not the glory of GOD's presence in true revival. This is the Satanic presence or power in false revival. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those miracles or signs that he was granted to do in the sight of the beast. So the agency that Satan uses to deceive many in the false revival in earth’s final hours are miracles.

 

So do you see what's going to happen to a generation that wants instant? You know instant. I put my mashed potato, I mean my bake potato in the microwave, and it takes three minutes and I stand there saying hurry up, hurry up, hurry up, you see. People today are in a rush, in a hurry. They want to digitize and change the channels on the T.V. and they're pushing this channel, that channel. Or their minds are saturated with the Internet and everything quick to get my news quick. “I got a text quick.” You know. Ddddddd. And so here, the mind is conditioned to do everything fast, everything rapid today. You can't have a rapid spiritual experience. An experience with GOD takes time; takes time in prayer; takes time in Bible study. So to a generation that wants everything rapid, everything quick, the devil says, “You wanna get healed? Don't worry about quitting smoking, don't worry about getting on a good diet, I'll heal you instantly.” “Do you want to see miracles, the devil says, “I'll show them to you.” So to a generation that whose mind is conditioned through mass media for superficiality and not spiritual depth, the devil palms off false miracles to deceive.

 

Notice Revelation 16: 14. What leads to the battle of Armageddon? “For they are the spirits of demons the spirits of (who everybody?) demons performing signs (King James says miracles)(where did they go?) to the kings of the earth and to the whole world to gather them to the battle of the Great Day of GOD Almighty.” So let's gotta summarize the scenario.

 

In the last days of Earth’s history, there is famine, fire, flood, natural disasters. There is also war and strife, also riots in the streets. And at this same time, Satan performs miracles for a counterfeit spiritual revival. The masses of people, now remember what we read this morning in Great Controversy, the legislators yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. So it's not some dictator that rises to the throne. It's rather, in a time of calamity, natural, political, economic disasters that the devil works on the masses for a false religious revival and they go to the kings of the earth or to the political leaders a common day of worship at a time of crisis is past and those who don't go along are considered to be outcasts.

 

Now, notice what Ellen White says. And this statement, we need to study very carefully. “Before the final visitation of GOD's judgments upon the earth.” Now what's that? What are the final visitation of GOD's judgments on the earth? What are those called? The seven what everybody? Seven last plagues. “So before the seven last plagues, there will be among the people of the LORD a revival of primitive godliness.”I praise GOD for that, don't you? I wanna be part of that revival, don't you? “As has not been witness since Apostolic times. The spirit and power of God will be poured out upon HIS children.” What do we call that when the spirit and power of GOD is poured out on HIS children? We call that what? The Latter Rain. “The enemy of souls (who is this? Satan) desires to hinder this work.” What work? What’s Satan want to hinder? The Latter Rain. So what does he do? “Before the time for such a movement will come (before the time of what kind of a movement? the Latter Rain) because when the latter rain is poured out GOD's people will go to the ends of the earth to do (what?) witness for CHRIST and when the Gospel is spread, JESUS will come. Satan wants to hinder that so before the time for such a movement will come he'll endeavor to hinder it but to prevent it by introducing a (what?) counterfeit. So does the counterfeit revival come before or after the genuine revival? Before. Why does it come before? So that the devil will take as many people into his snare.

 

So what should you and I expect before the coming of JESUS? We should expect in the Protestant world a full spiritual revival. We should expect mega churches to be packed. We should expect and should Seventh Day Adventists go aping after those mega churches and say, “Look what they have, let's follow it.” Should they? Should Seventh-Day Adventists be interested in these multiple miracles that are indeed taking place?

 

Now, will the counterfeit revivals only come in non-Adventist churches or will we see some counterfeit revivals among Adventist churches? How can we tell the difference? Well, we gonna show that.  “In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he will make it appear that GOD’s special blessing is poured out…” Will they think it's GOD's blessing? Will they think it's GOD's blessing? Sure. Will many people go flocking there? Will you go flocking there? “In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he'll make it appear GOD’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest.”“Look what's happening over there. I'm in a little Adventist church, and look what's happening over there. Hundreds of people are coming, thousands, maybe I should go over there and learn of those methods.” What do you think? Notice what it says, “In those churches which he can bring under is deceptive power he'll make it appear GOD’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what's thought to be great religious interest. Multitude will exult that GOD is working miraculously for them, (How many would exult that? Multitude) when the work is that of another spirit. Under religious guise, Satan will seek to extend his influence over the Christian world.” (Great Controversy, 464) That reference is one worth filling our minds with.

 

Will there come a genuine Latter Rain? Will GOD in the genuine latter rain pour out HIS Spirit? Will HE work miracles? HE will but will there also be false miracles? There indeed will. So here's what that statement says: (1) GOD is planning to send a mighty revival to HIS church at end-time, (2) HIS Spirit will be poured out powerfully, (3) the enemy, Satan, desires to hinder the latter rain, and before that he is gonna introduce a counterfeit revival, (4) under religious guise, Satan will deceive the whole world.

 

At a time of economic disaster, at a time of natural, political disasters, at a time of war and conflict, Satan is going to try to bring the world together in a church-state unity. He's going to lead people to believe that those miracles indeed are from HIM.

 

Now notice Great Controversy, page 588, let's read it together from the screen, “Through the agency of” Let's do it together. “Through the agency of spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed.” Did we read this in the Bible? Do we read it again through the Great Controversy, the divinely inspired commentary? Indeed, we do.

 

If GOD will work genuine miracles and Satan will work counterfeit miracles, how can we tell the difference? So will GOD work miracles? Will Satan work miracles? So we better be able to tell the difference. Matthew 7:21-23 helps us. “Not everyone who says to ME, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to ME in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in YOUR name? (Did they prophesied in HIS name? Yes) “cast out demons in YOUR name, (Did they cast out the demons in JESUS' name? Yes), … done many wonders in YOUR name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; …”He never what? What does it say here? He never what? How many you believe the Bible? Well that's a few of you. How many believe the Bible? OK. He says,(Praise GOD)“I never knew you; (HE never knew them when they were prophesying in HIS name. Is that what the text says? HE never knew them when they were casting out demons in HIS name? HE never knew them when they were declaring that they could do wonders in HIS name? HE never knew them.) Depart from ME, you who practice lawlessness.”

 

So to them, miracles were more important then to know truth and obey truth. So here is the key: when there is an emphasis on signs, wonders, and miracles rather than knowing truth and following truth and obeying truth, beware. Beware. For them, emotionalism was more important than obedience to GOD. And so when external trappings of religion are substituted for a heart-knowledge of GOD that is life-transformational, beware. Beware of any so-called religious revival which is more interested in feeling good than in being good. Don't miss that. Beware of any so-called religious revival which is more interested in feeling good than in being good.

 

Genuine religious revival leads you to your knees for repentance of sin, for a transformation of character; it is not based on feeling. Some says, “Oh, I went to this revival meeting and the songs, oh it just felt so good. It was like an emotional shock coming up and down my spine and you know I just felt such a warmth in my heart.” I praise GOD when GOD gives me feelings of closeness to HIM; but I also at all cost can praise HIM when I get on my knees and I don't have those feelings and HE leads me to sorrow for my sin and repentance. I praise GOD because the Christian faith is not devoid of feeling. We are three-dimensional beings: we are physical, we are mental, we are emotional; four dimensional, and we're spiritual. So there are times when we have feelings, we feel close to GOD; but that does not define our spiritual experience.

 

What defines our spiritual experience is a heart that is committed to do GOD's will - a heart that desires to do GOD's will. What defines our experience is on our knees saying, “GOD, whatever you want me to do, I wanna do it.” You see, the disciples opened their hearts to GOD in earnest prayer. They repented of their sins. They confessed their faults. They committed their lives to obeying GOD. They were passionate about living for JESUS and sharing HIS love with others. GOD is leading us once again to our knees. HE is leading us once again to be passionate about sharing HIS love with others. HE is leading us to a last-day revival. The Holy Spirit will be poured out soon in Pentecostal power. Just as Satan has a counterfeit revival, GOD has a (what?) genuine revival.

 

Revelation 18:1, let's read it together, “After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with HIS glory.” So the Holy Spirit is genuinely going to be poured out. The earth is gonna be illuminated with the glory of GOD or the character of CHRIST. The Holy Spirit is gonna be poured out with full power. The Gospel is gonna spread quickly around the world. Multitudes are gonna respond to the preaching of GOD's Word. Thousands are gonna share the words of life with their neighbors and find responsive hearts waiting to receive the truth.

 

 I believe that GOD is getting ready to pour of HIS Spirit in abundant power. We are seeing false revivals outside and within the church all around us. The Latter Rain is one of the Bible’s symbols of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days.

 

See, the terms early and the latter rain were part of the agricultural cycle of Israel. Rain is often a symbol in the Bible of the Holy Spirit. The early rain watered the sea that had been planted and helped it germinate; and the latter rain fell at the end of the agricultural cycle to ripen the grain and bring it to harvest. In Israel, the grain was often planted in the late summer, early fall. I've heard some people say, “Well, the early rain fell in the spring and the latter rain in the fall.” It's not so with Israel. In Israel, you often do planting in the late summer, early fall and that's when the early rain fell. And the harvest usually begins in Israel, April, depends on what crop; but March, April, you have your grain and so the latter rain would fall at the end of the cycle.

 

James chapter 5 verse 7 and 8, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the LORD…” So James takes that symbolism of early and latter rain and he applies it very carefully to the end events. “Therefore, be patient, brethren, to the coming of the LORD. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruits of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”

 

Right now, we send out our telecasts. Praise GOD for It Is Written; praise GOD for every Adventist telecast; praise GOD for 3ABN; praise GOD for the Blue Mountain Television, for Hope Channel. We send out the message of GOD via internet now. We give out literature. How many of you have ever participated as student colporteur and Mega-book Program? Praise GOD. You know you are sowing seed. How many of you have ever given a Bible study? You’re sowing seed. How many of you have ever given out a piece of literature? How many of you ever witness to a friend? Sometimes, when you give out that literature, sometimes when you give out a book, sometimes when you witness to others, do you ever say ‘what good is all this doing because I don't see many results from my labors. ’When the Latter Rain is poured out, the seeds that you have sown will come to harvest. And someday in heaven, men and women, and boys and girls are gonna walk down streets of gold, with tears coming down their faces ‘Thank you for knocking on my door’, ’thank you for giving me that Great Controversy’, ‘thank you for selling me that mega-book Desire of Ages’, ‘thank you for coming to my house and giving out the literature’.

 

So when the Latter Rain is poured out, the seeds that we have sown… But in the agricultural cycle of Israel, can the rain germinate any seed we have not sown? The only literature that GOD can bless is the one you give out, not the one that sitting on the back shelf in your church. The only Bible studies GOD can bless are the ones you can give, right? The only Bible Study, the only sermons GOD can bless are the ones you preached, brother. You better preach. The only Bible study, the only books that GOD can bless are the ones, we give out, you see. So, we may not see immediate results now but we know that under the Latter Rain, the seeds that we've soon are gonna generate an amazing harvest.

 

Joel 2: 23, “Be glad then (be what everybody? Glad then), you children of Zion, (how many of you are children of Zion?)” “Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; (Why?) For He has given you the former rain moderately (now circle the word moderate here in your mind), And He will cause the rain to come down for you—The former rain, And the latter rain…”

 

Former rain is moderate. Now, historically, the former rain, Early Rain fell at Pentecost. We have the Early Rain falling in our personal lives; but in historically the Early Rain fell at Pentecost. What is the Bible say that the Early Rain was when it fell at Pentecost? It fell. What was that word? Moderately. Moderately. Pentecost is going to be repeated on a grander, larger scale. How many were baptized in one place in one day? 3,000. If you saw 3,000 baptized in your city, would you say that's the moderate outpouring of the Holy Spirit? It's only moderate in comparison to what's gonna come? What GOD is gonna do in the Latter Rain for a people who are totally committed to CHRIST we have not yet dreamed of or imagine.

 

Now notice Great Controversy 611, let's read it together. “The great work of the gospel is not to close with the less manifestation of the power of GOD that 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.” So the great work of the Gospel won't close with less manifestation of the power of GOD. So when you look at the Book of Acts, 3,000 were baptized in a day and then you look at Acts chapter 4, another 5,000 are baptized. You look at the Book of Acts, and by the end of the Book of Acts, there is at least one million believers. It starts with 120 believers.

 

You know, interestingly enough, this last summer at our Living Hope School of Evangelism. I teach at the Living Hope School of Evangelism. We have a different kind of a program. We only do five to seven day intensives; and it's not like a three-month program, a six-month program because most of the people that come are busy. So we do five to seven day intensives. And we have no tuition charge. People just have to pay to get themselves there. And they stay there in a hotel and they pay 7 to 8 dollars, 8 dollars a meal for food. But anyway, we don't charge tuition. And so I was teaching a course this summer on the Book of Acts. And it would happen to be a two-week course. And, I said to my students, the first day of class, I said, “I only have two questions on the final exam. We're gonna spend 35 hours studying the Book of Acts. Every chapter we're gonna go over backwards and forwards. I want you to know the Book of Acts as there will be two questions on the final exam. Everybody took a dig breath and said, “Wonderful.” In fact, this course, there was a tuition charge because the students could get a master's degree in evangelism or they could take undergraduate credit. There is that Southern Adventist University a 36-hour master's degree in evangelism and you can take 9-hours off that at our school. And so I was teaching for Southern at our little school and we had 12 - 15 students in a class. We like to keep our classes small. I'm there at the school about 40% of my time and so we really concentrate on immersing the students’ mind in the Bible. All the classes we teach are tuition-free except the ones that are for graduate or undergraduate credit that happens once a year in July. So anyway, if some of you have an undergraduate degree, you're thinking of a master's degree in evangelism, check it out at Southern Adventist and come up with us for nine hours or if some of you need nine hours of credit in undergraduate degree, think about that as well. But anyway, I was teaching our students, and I said to them, “Now, there are only two questions on the final exam.” They said, “Great, wonderful.” Everybody, you know, is really happy. I said, Question number 1: I need to know, at the final exam, my first question is ‘What is in every chapter the book of Acts?’ Now you don't have to memorize it word for word; but it would be helpful if you did, you know. What's in every chapter in the book of Acts? Hey, I have one of my students, Eric, you’re here, yeah, Eric stand up, please. This is the esteemed Eric Flickinger from It Is Written Television. Would you give him a hand please? Associate Speaker. I love It Is Written. “Eric, you were in class this summer? What happened in the book of Acts? How long did it take you to write the final exam?” Four hours and he got an A on his final exam incidentally; but he knew everything in every chapter of the Book of Acts.

 

So I said two questions. ‘What's in every chapter the Book of Acts?’ And number 2, ‘What does it mean to your life and how can you apply it?’ So what’s my point anyway? I’m missing this quote. OK. All right. “Saturate your mind with the Word of GOD. The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than in opening.” Now, I know thousands were baptized in the days of the Book of Acts. The prophecies that were fulfilled at the outpouring of the Former Rain at the opening of the Gospel gonna be fulfilled the Latter Rain. GOD's work is not going to flicker like a candle and go out. GOD's glory will be manifest. HIS power will be manifest in the world.

 

Notice Great Controversy, 612: “Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with the holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers.”

 

Now, how do you know the difference? In genuine revival, men and women are on their knees with repentance for sin. In genuine revival, their great desire is to know the will of GOD. In genuine revival, they’re saturating their minds with the Living Word of GOD. In genuine revival, they are witnessing for CHRIST. When GOD has a group of people whose hearts have one desire to do HIS will, who are filled with HIS Holy Spirit, HE will pour out HIS Spirit, miracles will be worked, the sick will be healed. It's one thing to recognize the counterfeit; it's another thing to receive the genuine. So, GOD is calling us to have our hearts open to receive the genuine. Do you long for the genuine outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your own life? Do you long for GOD to do something special in your life?

 

I wanna spend some time in our next class seeking ‘How do you seek the Holy Spirit.’ What are the prerequisites to receive the Holy Spirit? And then I'm going to talk in our last class today as well about the shaking that is coming to Adventism. But I wanna give you a chance; do you have any questions right now on anything we've gone over in class so far about the Latter Rain, the Loud Cry experience? Any questions that you might have right now before we take a break before our next class? Any questions? Yes.

 

I thank you so much. Wasn't this a very honest… I'm gonna repeat the question so you can hear in the back; but thank you for your honesty. I really, really appreciate that. She was saying, you know, as far as I know I'm committed to GOD, I’ve given my life to JESUS, I want only HIS will to be done in my life; but I have a fiery personality, not everybody would admit that. So you’re halfway victory. And I know I say that seriously. You know, the Bible says, “Cover your sins and you won't prosper.” And so ‘just this, I know this about myself, it's kind of part of my nature. OK.’ A couple of things: first, when GOD transformed Peter, HE did not change the essential nature of Peter's personality. What HE did is HE read directed that fiery spirit to the things of the glory of GOD. So what I would say to you is this: GOD is not gonna radically change the DNA of who you are. What HE will do is HE will redirect that passion to the passion for HIS cause, a passion, you know, a passion to share HIS love and grace with others. So that's the first thing. Second thing is this: here is a passage that's very encouraging to me right on that point. There are two or three passages. Hebrews 12:1, 2, “Looking unto JESUS, the author and the (what?) finisher of our faith...” My dear sister, do you know JESUS has begun something in you? You do. You do. You know HE's begun something in you? Will HE finish the work HE has begun? Can you trust HIM to do that? So JESUS is the (what?) author and the (what?) finisher of our faith.

 

 

Now notice also here is a wonderful text in First John. This text is gonna help somebody here today. First John chapter 3 verse 2. First John 3:2. This text is gonna help somebody here today. “Beloved, now are we the children of GOD, (Are you a child of GOD today?)Yes. “…now we are the children of GOD; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when HE is revealed, we shall be like HIM, for we shall see HIM as HE is.” So are you a child of GOD today? Are you saved by HIS grace? Redeemed by HIS love? If you are allowed HIM to, HE will reveal the glory of HIS grace in your life. So our, here is our goal: when a person is in the first grade, how many of you once were in the first grade? How many of you ever graduated from college? How many of you ever took chemistry? When you were in the first grade, did you know and understand all those chemical equations? I mean when you're in college, you do understand. No, I'm not going to go there. OK. When you're in the first grade, you don’t know everything about chemistry, right? But where you just as much in school when you were in the first grade as when you're getting ready to graduate from college and take a pre-med exam? You're just as much in school. If you stay in school, GOD's going to enable you to graduate. HE is the author and (what?) finisher of your faith.

 

So my goal today is to stay in touch with JESUS and let HIM do the work in my life. So what I would say to you, Sister, to encourage you is two things: (1) GOD is working in your life, (2) you don't know what HE is yet to do and HE will reveal HIMSELF in you and finish the work HE started, (3) don't expect to be passive and sit in the corner, use that fiery personality to proclaim HIS grace and HIS love.

 

Anybody else have a question? Oh, yes. I missed it. I'm sorry. OK. Great question. What is the Latter Rain and what is the filling of the Spirit? The filling of GOD's Spirit is not a one-time event. There are some people that have this idea ‘I'm just waiting for the Latter Rain.’ Day by day, you and I are filled with the Spirit of GOD. Now, here's a very good example of that and I'll give you a very good example. When JESUS was born, was HE conceived by the Holy Spirit? Yes. During JESUS' childhood was HE guided by the Holy Spirit? Yes. When CHRIST studied the Word was the Spirit coming into HIS life? If that is true and it is, what sense does it make to say that when HE was baptized, HE received the infilling of the spirit? Because HE was beginning HIS unique 3-1/2-year ministry. So, therefore, HE needed more of the abundance of the Spirit. Day by day, you and I are filled with the Spirit. Day by day, the spirit guides our life. When indeed the national Sunday law is passed, GOD will pour out abundant amounts of HIS Spirit that we call the Latter Rain to do two or three things. One, to finish HIS work quickly. Two, to intensify the positive Christian values in our life. And three, HE will pour out HIS Spirit as a mighty witness to unbelievers and we will see the miracles of GOD's grace.

 

So what is the Latter Rain? I have people say, “Oh, I'm waiting for the Latter Rain.” No. GOD’s Spirit wants to fill your life now and every single day; but as the tests get greater, you and I could never go through those without the abundance of the Spirit strengthening our life. And so for every test that comes, GOD prepares us for that test, through the mighty power of HIS Spirit. So HIS spirit fills us today. HIS Spirit will fill us more as time goes on and as Satan works with the marvelous working of Satan, GOD will work with the mighty working of GOD.

 

We're gonna take a break right now. It is precisely what time? It is 3:47. Let's come back at 4:00 o'clock and we'll go from 4 to 5. Look at prerequisites to receive the Holy Spirit and then we'll look a little bit at the Shaking. OK.

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This message was recorded at the GYC 2017 Conference: Arise in Phoenix Arizona. GYC, a supporting ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, seeks to inspire young people to be Bible-based, CHRIST-centered, and soul-winning Christians. To download or purchase other resources like this, visit us online at www.gycweb.org.

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