“Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month,” Joel 2:23.
The “latter rain” is a biblical symbol for the final outpouring of the Holy Spirit, by which we experience the corporate manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
Rain is the stimulus and medium by which the nutrients in the soil are drawn up though the root system. In the realm of spiritual growth, the Holy Spirit is the rain agency.
The Latter Rain Revival first began in Saskatchewan, Canada at the Sharon Orphanage and School, where a young woman at the Bible school prophesied that a great revival was about to come.
It was called “The Last Great Outpouring that was to culminate in God’s Plans on this Earth.”
At the beginning several churches denounced the movement calling it heretical. On April 20, 1949, the Assemblies of God officially denounced Latter Rain teaching, nearly splitting the denomination in the process.
Other Pentecostal groups had also denounced it. Today, the term “latter rain” is rarely used, but the theology of Latter Rain continues to exert an influence.
Modern movements such as the Brownsville/ Pensacola Revival, the Toronto Blessing, and the “holy laughter” phenomenon are a direct result of Latter Rain theology.
In 1948, a “revival” broke out in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the teachings of the Latter Rain movement were articulated.
Those involved in the revival were convinced that they were on the verge of a new era, one in which the Holy Spirit would demonstrate His power in a greater way than the world had ever seen.
Not even the age of the apostles, they said, had ever seen such a movement of the Holy Spirit.
In these days we are experiencing a continuing outpouring of God’s Spirit upon His people.
The end-time outpouring of the Holy Spirit will not come to us as a nebulous or mysterious power, but rather in the form of continued clarity of our purposes in for the work that is to be done in the Kingdom.
Further on in Joel 2, the prophet speaks of this outpouring in these days upon His people:
“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. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars 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. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, Among the remnant whom the Lord calls,” Joel 2:28-32.
But even with this miraculous outpouring of God’s Spirit, some corrupt the very purposes of the rain that is falling down upon His people and instead seek strange fire rather than the very water that is pure.
We see this in unusual teachings that combine new age principles with those of God.
We see this with the circus mentality that is often seen at some of the popular conferences that many people now flock to see.
We see this in many of the churches that now spear-head practices of laughing uncontrollable in the spirit and rolling on the floor.
We see this in some who seek the prophetic but now have found another spirit that has disguised the true voice of the Lord.
What was meant at first as a replenishing rain that came to empower and refresh the people, now at times has brackish water and other elements in it that have caused many to go astray into strange and unusual teachings.
Come back to the life-giving stream that is poured out from above in newness of life. Draw deep from the wells of salvation that would fall now upon dry hearts and spirits.
But learn to balance the outpouring of God’s Spirit with the foundational truth found in His word.
“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it,” Isaiah 55:10-11.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?