The Former Rain And The Latter Rain

“Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you—The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.” (Joel 2:23)

In farming there is a time or a season for sowing seeds and there is also a time or a season for reaping the harvest. There is rain in the sowing season called the former rain and there is rain in the reaping season called the latter rain. The former rain prepares the ground, so that the seeds will immediately sprout and take root. The latter rain speeds up the ripening process of the fruit so that it will immediately be ready for harvest. What Joel the prophet wrote above is actually a prophecy about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit related to the church. The former rain is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the sowing of the church as the kingdom of heaven seed on the earth while the latter rain is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the ripening the church as the kingdom of heaven fruit ready for harvest.

“The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.” (Joel 2:24)

When Joel the prophet gave the above prophecy to the children of Israel, God had already given them the former rain for the sowing season. So, he assured them that God would also give the latter rain for the harvest season. What would be the result that latter rain? There would be a great harvest. The threshing floors would be full of wheat, and the vats would overflow with new wine and oil. Both the threshing floors and the vats are the pictures of the churches. Wheat is the picture of the revelation of the word of God and new wine and oil are the picture of the new manifestation and anointing of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when the Holy Spirit is poured out as the latter rain, the churches will be full of the revelation of God’s word and overflow with the new manifestation and anointing of God’s Spirit.

“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.” (Joel 2:25)

For many years it seemed there was no harvest in the land of Israel. The crops that had been cultivated were eaten by the army of locusts. It is a picture of the church that have not been able to be harvested for so long because the seeds of the kingdom of heaven that were sown or grown have always been stolen, killed and destroyed by the enemy, the devil. For about two thousand years the church has not been able to reach spiritual maturity. The church has not been able to become the ripe fruit of the kingdom of heaven. When the Holy Spirit is poured out as the latter rain, the church will finally be ripe for harvest. God will restore to the church the years that have been taken or robbed by the devil.

“You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame. Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the Lord your God and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame.” (Joel 2:26-27)

When the Holy Spirit is poured put as the latter rain, there will great harvest in the church. The church will be so full of the revelation of God’s word, and overflow with the new manifestation and anointing of God’s Spirit. God’s people will enjoy abundant blessings and be satisfied. They shall praise the name of the Lord, who has dealt wondrously with them. They shall know that the Lord is in their midst and there is no other God but He. God’s people shall never be put to shame anymore. 

“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)

Joel the prophet himself immediately interpreted his prophecy about the former rain and the latter rain. It was about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all men. When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon about one hundred and twenty disciples of Jesus on the day of Pentecost that put the church as the seed of the kingdom of heaven on the earth, Simon Peter explained that it was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel the prophet above. He said, “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:16-18)

“But 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 to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem on the day on Pentecost about two thousand years ago that put the church as the kingdom of heaven seed on the earth was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel the prophet. That outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the former rain. So, it means there will be another outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the fulfillment of the same prophecy, but this outpouring of the Holy Spirit will be the latter rain that will make the church fully mature as the kingdom of heaven. The church will be like the ripe fruit ready for harvest. Unlike the former rain that first came down only in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost then it spread to other places, the latter rain will first come down at about the same time in many places of the earth then it will spread to the whole world.

“Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you—The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.” (Joel 2:23)

When Joel the prophet said that God would cause the rain to come down for the children of Israel, he did not just say the latter rain, but both the former rain and the latter rain. Why? It was because the crops that had been cultivated from the former rain were eaten by the army of locusts. So, to have the fruit ripe for the harvest, the former rain must come down again and  the new seeds must be sown. Therefore, for the harvest God will give both the former rain and the latter rain. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the latter rain is actually both the former rain and the latter rain.

“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;” (Joel 2:28)

According to the prophecy of Joel the prophet, God will pour the Holy Spirit on all men. What does it mean? It means the Holy Spirit will not only come down on the church but also on the world. The Holy Spirit that comes down on the church will make the church grow into maturity and ready to be harvested as the ripe fruit of the kingdom of heaven. The Holy Spirit that comes down on the world will make the people in the world ready to be sown as the new seeds of the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, the latter rain of the Holy Spirit is the latter rain as well as the former rain.

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:17-18)

When the Holy Spirit is poured out, there will be manifestations, such as prophecy, vision and dream. The sons and daughters, the young men and the old men who will experience these manifestations are not only the people in the church but the people in the world as well. The prophecies, visions and dreams that the people in the world receive are primarily to show them the way to enter the kingdom of heaven, whereas the prophecies, visions and dreams that the people in the church receive are primarily to show them the way to be mature in the kingdom of heaven.

“I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:19-21)

When there is a heavy rain, there will be darkness, lightning and thunder in the sky. The lightning from the sky can cause death and fire when it strikes the earth. Likewise, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the latter rain will be accompanied by wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath. And, fear will come upon the people in the world. These signs and wonders, combined with the manifestations of the Holy Spirit (prophecies, visions and dreams), will make many people seek God, call on the name of the Lord Jesus and be saved.

“Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.” (Revelation 14:14-16)

The latter rain will make the church ripe and ready to be harvested from the earth. Then, a white cloud will come upon the earth and Jesus Christ sitting on it. Wearing a golden crown and holding a sharp sickle, He will thrust in His sickle on the earth and the church will be reaped. What does it mean the church will be reaped? The church will be taken out of the world like the harvest is taken out of the field. The church will be raptured.

“Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” (1 Kings 18:41)

The church can grow from the seed to the ripe fruit of the kingdom of heaven speedily when there is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But, when there is no outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the growth of the church as the kingdom of heaven slows down and even stops. The devil as the thief then will come to the church to steal, to kill and to destroy. It has been so long there is no outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the church just like it had been so long there was no rain for the land of Israel in the time of Elijah the prophet. The devil has been stealing, killing and destroying freely in the church. But, now it is time to be glad and rejoice in the Lord, for there is the sound of abundance of rain. The latter rain is coming very soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.